Canadian Classics Potluck!

Hope to see you next week!


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The bacon we ate in January

We need to talk about Bacon. About dates stuffed with almonds and wrapped in bacon. Water chestnuts wrapped in bacon. Tater tots wrapped in bacon. Pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon. Meatballs stuffed with jalapeno Havarti cheese wrapped in bacon. Cake…you guessed it…wrapped in bacon.

And those are just things wrapped in bacon. There are also crackers made with cheese and bacon, topped with delicate prawns. There are Hungarian biscuits made with butter and bacon. Balls of cream cheese rolled in bacon bits. Tiny maple bacon tarts. Quiche with bacon. Creamy bacon dip. Yams with bacon. Bacon bombs. We’re talking literal explosions of BACON.

We haven’t even touched on the facon. Bacon that isn’t bacon. Because it’s facon. Infused with coconut mystery and embedded in cornbread and macaroni cheese.

In the nearly five years of running this fabulous group (Summerland Bakers’ 5th anniversary is coming up at the end of April – should we have a party?), I continue to be awed by our collective culinary creativity. Thank you to everyone who answered the call of BACON, and to the glorious Lisa and the Summerland Waterfront Resort for once again hosting our giant January potluck. Before I begin with the photos, SAVE THE DATE for our upcoming gathering:

  • When: Wednesday, March 14th, about 6ish
  • Where: Maple Roch’s new location on Victoria Street
  • Theme: Canadian Classics. This can be a classic Canadian dish or something that features an iconic Canadian ingredient. Call shotgun if you’re doing Nanaimo bars or butter tarts, so we don’t have end up with too many.

Onward with the photos! There are several dishes that I’ve missed. When there are more than 20 of us at a meetup I get a little sensually overwhelmed and struggle to maintain focus.

Laura’s Five Cheese Mac n’ Cheese with 2 kinds of facon. I forgot to ask her what those were. No matter. It all came together in a cheesy, facony gooey delight.

We were treated to another of Denise’s one-of-a-kind recipes, this time her Brie, Applewood Bacon, Spicy Peach Chutney & Green Onion, Topped With Asiago Tarts.

Janice’s Bacon and Three Cheese Bombs. Mmmm…tiny bacon explosions.

It may have been her first Bakers meetup but Sheila really went for it with her Bacon Cheese Crackers topped with more bacon and sliced prawn cooked in Maple Roch syrup and Union Kitchen Habanero Sauce.

Dorthea’s Bacon Pecan Toffee Sticky Buns would be soooo good with ice cream.

If you’re ever thinking of making the ultimate Superbowl weekend menu, I would add Ingrid’s Bacon-Wrapped, Jalapeno Harvarti Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs.

Another one you may want to pair with a salad to make you feel better. Thank you to Tracy & Mackenzie for introducing us to Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots with Cheese & Brown Sugar.

Judith used Maple Roch Maple Syrup for her Balsamic Maple Bracon Strips.

Bourbon and Bacon – what a delight. These are Tracy’s Signature Cookies with Chocolate Bourbon Icing and BACON.

Kim aged her homemade coconut facon for three days in order to make her cornbread. This is a woman who once made her own marzipan to wrap around her homemade Battenberg cake. Aged facon is nothing to such culinary wizards.

These are Cream Cheese Bacon Balls, made by Judith. Don’t you just want to get a knife and smear the whole thing on a cracker?

I think these are Wendy’s Almond-stuffed dates wrapped in Bacon. Which means I didn’t get a photo of LeeAnna’s Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts. Be assured both were delicious.

Peter (also known as Peter the Brave for once again being the lone male among 25 women) made Hungarian Pogácsa, a bacon biscuit often made with lard and crackling, but for this is recipe used butter and bacon.

Lory’s Maple Bacon Butter Tarts could be the ultimate Canadian snack.

Mirjana’s Maple Bacon Cake was resplendent with both strips and sprinklings of bacon.

Maple Roch once again made an appearance for Betty-Ann’s Maple Bacon Crack.

Chantelle and Rylee’s Maple Bacon Chocolate Pecan Butter Tarts. Look at them. Imagine them. They were that good.

The delicious Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin was brought by Lorraine, courtesy of her eldest son.

Classic Quiche Lorraine! Zero leftovers for this dish. Thank you, Theresa.

Sophia’s Sour Cream & Bacon Deviled Eggs. I’ve now made them twice, and I’d make them yet again.

Cathy gave her Spanokopita a “bacon twist.”

An example of the glorious bacon chaos upon a plate. The plate owner asked to remain anonymous.

Thank you everyone! Here’s to another year of decadence for no reason other than we can.

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December Cookies Swap photos (and January meetup news!)

Confession: I ate cookies for breakfast for three days in a row following our annual cookie swap. I feel no shame, for they were delicious. I have more in the freezer that I’m trying to save until July. I want to eat Christmas cookies in July, with an iced coffee. They say it’s good to set goals for yourself. Time will tell if this one is unrealistic.

I’m going to play a game of “were these your cookies?” with my photo collection. Lisa (hostess extraordinaire – thank you!)  made a list of who made what, but sometimes I can’t tell my ginger cookies from my ginger crackle cookies. Forgive me if I get a few wrong or if I’ve missed some. You know how distracted I get around all the food. Look at this wonderful group! A huge welcome to our newest baking club foodies. 

Before I begin with the cookie photos, Save The Date for January 11th, also known as The Epic Summerland BACON Potluck. The glorious folks at the Summerland Waterfront Resort will once again be hosting us. Start thinking of dishes that feature BACON in some way. For those who are vegetarian or who just want to try something new, “facon” is also welcome. We’ll meet at 6pm and start the whip-round at 6.30. We may try a film again, in this case Footloose, staring Kevin BACON.

Kevin Bacon – part of a complete breakfast.

To the cookies!

Some of our lovely members made up beautiful packages for their cookies. 🙂

Kim’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Chocolate Chip goes with every season.

Kathleen’s Ginger Cookies? I just want to put ice cream between two cookies and make a glorious ginger cookie sandwich.

I believe these to be Janice’s Shortbread with cherries. Christmas isn’t the same without shortbread.

Lisa’s towers of Snickerdoodles. I’ve discovered that Snickerdoodles make wonderful breakfast biscuits.

Linda’s adorable little Shortbread Cookies.

I thought these might be Ingrid’s Russian Bon bons, but I think they’re a shortbread. Tracy’s Orange Cranberry? What I had discovered is I don’t have a photo of the bon bons, and I’ve eaten all of mine so you’ll just have to believe how wonderful they were.

Maggie’s Mexican Oatmeal Cookies. Now that we have a member from Mexico, I think we need to think about a Mexican themed meetup. Summer outdoor perhaps?

Kathy’s Ginger Crackle Cookies? Look, dancing Santas!

Rene’s Snickerdoodle’s could be used as plates for other cookies. Then you eat your plate. Yes.

I believe these to be Betty’s Orange Cranberry Shortbread. Paired with hot chocolate =yum.

Chantelle’s signature Chocolate Oreo Truffles. Super rich and worth hiding away so you don’t have to share.

Sophia’s Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies. I love crinkle cookies. So soft, so chewy.

Wendy’s Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies. I had no guilt whatsoever eating these for breakfast. Robust and delicious and excellent with tea.

LeeAnna’s Almond Biscotti. I didn’t get to try these ones, but they sure looked gorgeous in their parcels.

More loot! Thanks everyone who came out to visit and catch up. See you in January! BACON!

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What we ate in October

We certainly ate in style last month, hosted by the wonderful Peter and Dorthea in their home. In honour of Peter’s impressive book collection, our theme was “The author’s favuorite dish.” Like all our meetups, there was no telling what people would come up with. We had everything from Shakespeare to a cake made with Hemingway-inspired rum-soaked raisins.

Wendy even went so far as to write her own poem, which I love.

A literary theme, my brain went dead.
Compared to this group, few books I have read.
I looked at my cookbooks, I went online,
that perfect dish, I could not find.
I gazed at my pantry and what did I see,
my friend “Betty Crocker” jumped out at me.
Inspiration then struck me, as I grabbed me some booze
And I whipped up a Rum Cake for this culinary crew
I guess I’m an author, I wrote this silly poem
So enjoy this cake here
and please take some home!

Behold, the cake. I think this has been my favourite post-meetup breakfast cake so far.

Sticking with rum, it was Lory who saluted Hemingway with the rum raisins in her German Apple Cake.

Kim made Empanadas de Horno verdura, inspired by Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda, who loved food so much he wrote odes to some of his favourites.

Our new member Gina made beautifully gnarled Witches Fingers, in honour of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Dorthea chose an author closer to home for her flourless chocolate cake – Peter! Along being a long time lover of books, Peter has authored 10 of his own. He even has his own Wikipedia page.

As a financial advisor, it’s not surprising that Chantelle would take inspiration from books about finance and budget. The idea for her Double Chocolate Peppermint Bark was taken from a book that included tips on holiday entertaining on a budget. Simple yet decadent – how can it get better?

Sticking to her British roots, Tracy made Pork in Cider, inspired by Christopher Fry. I loved this dish and had two helpings.

Jean’s Mini Shepherds Pies were inspired by her love of Scottish literature. I love piped mashed potatoes!

The heart squeeze moment of the night for me was how Lisa honoured her friend, author Richard Wagamese, by making his favourite snack to have when he was writing – apples and sharp cheddar.

My beef stroganoff was inspired by Summerland’s own Don Gayton. In Okanagan Odyssey, Don writes about how he enjoys taking the idea of wine and food pairing one step further by including a good book to read at the table. I brought the stroganoff and Don brought the shiraz and the copy of The Tree of Man by Patrick White. Shameless author plug – check out Don’s new blog

Finally, in keeping with blogging tradition, I neglected to get a photo of the Pumpkin Cheesecake. I’m sorry, maker of the cheesecake! Stephen King loves cheesecake and this one had a pumpkin twist for Halloween.

Thanks again to Peter and Dorthea for hosting us, and to everyone who got creative and came out to eat and visit and eat some more.

Future dates:

On Wednesday, December 13th we’ll be meeting at Lisa’s for our annual Cookie Swap. Also, few of us lingered back after the author meetup and came up with the theme for January – BACON! Date and more info to be announced!

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What we ate in September

Hello all,

I’m once again struggling to keep up with things. Please save the date for our October meetup.

  • When: Thursday, October 26, 6:00pm-ish
  • Where: Dorthea & Peter’s house (Please email to RSVP and I will send you directions and parking info.
  • Theme: As a homage to their Peter & Dorthea’s vast book collection, the theme is “the author’s favourite dish.” Looking for inspiration? You could make coffee cake for Walt Whitman or an elaborate snack plate in honour of novelist Durga Chew-Bose. You could even make Emily Dickinson’s Coconut Cake. You can also ask a local author about their favourite dish or what they like to snack on when they’re writing. Goodies can be baked or not – it’s an open author-loving potluck.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the old post office in September for our “Harvest-tastic” meetup. My ability to be funny and witty is at a deep low, so please forgive me if I just post the photos below without my usual descriptions. I shall start with Val’s epic Okanagan charcuterie board.

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Two-bite appie and pool party!

We ate, we laughed, we ate some more, we swam/bobbed around the pool in our lavish fullness!

Our 3rd annual two-bite appie and pool party was another resounding success, with all manner of deliciousness to devour. Huge thank you to Lisa for hosting us again!

Our next meetup will land around the 3rd week of September. Who is up for Harvest Showstopper?

In the meantime, let’s relive the glory of August. Starting with the two dishes for which I have recipes to share!

Jean’s Fougasse

Fougasse is a type of bread mostly associated with Provence and is often slashed or sculpted to resemble and ear of wheat. One thing is for sure – Jean is far  braver with bread than I am. And what a result!

  • 500gr.bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 2 tbsp. Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup warm water (115′)
  • 11/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 11/2 tsp. chopped rosemary
  • 11/2 tsp. chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • sea salt to finish

Grease a large container with a little olive oil. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of Kitchen Aid(don’t put yeast on top of the salt) Add olive oil and 3/4 of the water. Mix on low. As the dough starts to come together add the remaining water, very slowly.Add herbs and continue to mix. This is a tough dough and need a lot of work. Add a little more olive oil to loosen it a bit.

Put dough in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch down.

Tip dough out onto counter(greased with some more olive oil) Divide dough in half.

Roll out 1st piece into an oval-shape to cover your baking sheet. Using a pizza cutter, make 2 consecutive cuts down the middle. Now cut 6 diagonal cuts(6 on each side) of the centre cut, forming a leaf design, the stretch the dough out slightly to emphasize the holes. Cover and alow to rise again about 20 minutes. Preheat oven 450′ . Brush bread with olive oil and sprinkle with the other dried oregano. Bake 15-20 minutes until fougasse sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. Remove from oven and while still hot, brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt.(I also put a pan of hot water in the oven under the bread-creates a little steam)

Janice’s Shrimp Dip (with cucamelons!)

According to Wikipedia, the Cucamelon (or Melothria scabra if you really want to get into it) is a vine grown for its edible fruit. Fruit are about the size of grapes and taste like cucumbers with a tinge of sourness. They’re so adorable. There is no better name for them than the one they already have. And the shrimp dip emerged perfectly from the mold and looked so elegant before we decimated it with our cracker spoons.


  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 envelope gelatin, unflavoured
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cans shrimp
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped

Heat soup and dissolve gelatin, stirring constantly. Let cool slightly, then put in mixer with cream cheese and mayonnaise. Mix in the shrimp, celery and onion by hand. Pour into a greased mold to set in the fridge, then unmold to serve with crackers.

Tracy’s Mini Cherry Bakewells. Just look at their unabashed cuteness. We ate them all.

Lory’s Goat Chees Stuffed Apricots w/out BACON. These were a great little mouth celebration of summer.

Dorthea’s gluten-free Banana Bread with pineapple and a creamy topping that a little bit of everything in it (I’ve lost the wee bit of paper – of course I have). I think it even had Sriracha in it. She had tested it on Peter pre-meetup and he gave it an enthusiastic “it’s okay!” Yes to daring kitchen experiments!

Peter’s “Happy Appies” – Chevrai Brei & Jarlsberg, gluten free crackers and sausage from Tony’s Meats & Deli in Penticton. Lovely combo, and I got to try beet crackers!

Wendy’s Almond-stuffed Figs wrapped in BACON! The BACON deserves to be capitalized, for BACON is always welcome. There was a little pot of dipping sauce to complete the delectable experience.

Kim’s Vine Leaves stuffed with Boccocini & Sundried Tomatoes. As one does. I volunteer Kim to be on my “uber decadent picnic” planning committee.

Kim Lawton’s “Summer Pigs.” They were still warm and the cheese was all melty and maybe I ate three of them.

Sophia’s Sour Cream and BACON Deviled Eggs. I would certainly make them again. Nom.

You can’t have enough bocconcini in the summer. Chantelle made these lovely little tomato/basil/bocconcini bites with a rich vinaigrette. Yes.

They didn’t have BACON, but Lisa’s little pumpernickel sandwiches did have salmon that Harry had caught, and little capers on top for that little extra pop o’ flavour.

I was hoping someone would bring bruschetta and Sandra saved the day with Peach Bruschetta and tiny homegrown tomatoes.

Mirjana’s Lemon Blueberry Tarts with Mascarpone and Maple. I managed to snag some of these at the end of the meetup and I can say with great enthusiasm that make an excellent breakfast with a nice cup of tea.

That’s all the treats! We’re really rather splendid, I think. I didn’t manage to get a good photo of Margaux this time, but Lisa & Harry’s home is now resplendent with this artwork inspired by the glorious mini fur nugget that I adore. So I shall leave you with “Chapeau Margaux” in all its loveliness.

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In which we potluck, western style

This month I learned that sangria goes with everything. Thank you Tracy – what a way to welcome summer.

Our theme was Western and in true baking club fashion, we gave it the old yee haw. There were two baked bean dishes, both slow cooker style (all those tender hours on low heat). Think of rich, tangy sauce, the flavour equivalent of a heavyweight boxer light who is on his feet.

In the salad realm, there were three. We decimated the entire bowl of spicy coleslaw. In goes without saying that creamy coleslaw next to baked beans is a glorious thing. I was initially suspicious of the kale salad (I’m always suspicious of kale – it’s just a built-in thing with me). But I I really liked it. Never underestimate the power of feta cheese and a zingy dressing. The Texas Caviar was resplendent in anti-oxidant-rich veggies, and added the necessary additional crunch for overall mouth-feel awesomeness.The bready things were paired with the saucy and salady things. We lavishly dipped the jalapeño & cheddar cornbread and the bannock made with BACON.

There were two kinds cookies. One kind was so decadent with rich ingredients, the dough had defeated a Kitchenaid and had to be mixed by hand. The other cookies were so gooey with chocolate, they inadvertently caused the eater to take time out for gentle reflection, just letting the mind wander on the silky softness of cookie bliss.And there was sangria and delicious white wine and lovely company and meeting new friends and the stunning view of Giant’s Head Mountain from Tracy’s porch.

So yeah. Just the usual baking club routine. Recipes next time and more of the same extravagance at Lisa’s August 3 for the two-bite appies and pool party.

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