Monthly Archives: November 2013

November meetup: The recipes

Oh dear, it feels like it has taken me forever to post the November recipes!

Before we begin the goodness, the following cookies have already been claimed for the Great Summerland Cookie Swap on December 7th, which will be at Lisa L’s place:

  • Ginger Snaps
  • Macarons
  • Chocolate crinkle
  • Oatmeal raisin chocolate chip

Fancy baking six dozen cookies and coming along for the ultimate cookie swap? Let me know what you’ll be bringing, so we avoid doubles. Nomnom!

Now, for November’s amazing recipes!

Lisa L’s peanut butter cookies


These cookies can be filled under ultimate comfort foods. They would be great with a nice cup of good quality hot chocolate.

I used organic chunky salt-free peanut butter but I think they might taste a bit better with some salt added. Also, I baked them in their rounded form, and I squished them down with a fork as soon as they came out of the oven.

Erin’s Coconut Sticky Rice with Pineapple

Sticky rice with pineapple

Well done Erin for showing your mom that while she may be in Thailand, we can eat just as well here in Summerland. This recipe was so fresh and delicious, it may have convinced me to have the paticence to soak rice for six hours.

Jennifer’s gluten free shake n’ bake alternative

I thought I took a photo of these little nuggets of goodness but it seems I did not. Doh! I could see myself using this and making lovely savoury pitas. Certainly worth trying!

2 cup dehydrated onion
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Black pepper
½ tsp Ground sage
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 ¼ cups parmesan
Blend onions for 1 min then add rest of ingredients except cheese and blend 30 seconds
Add cheese and pulse to just blend. Coat chicken and bake in oven until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!

Can be stored for two weeks

Chantelle’s Biscotti
(from Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus by Carol Fenster)


Sorghum Corn Flour Blend
Makes 4 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch or cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup corn flour

**Use what you need then store the rest for another wheat-free recipe**

Biscotti (makes 30 cookies)

1 1/2 cups slivered almonds (or 3/4 cup of almond flour)
2 cups flour blend (as mentioned above)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Grease a non-stick baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

2. Process the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add the flour blend, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt and pulse on and off until mixed. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse the food processor on and off about 20 times or until the ingredients are moist. Then process continuously until the mixture forms a ball, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

3. Form the dough into a ball. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a 2-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-thick, 12-inch-long log. Place the logs on the prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the logs are browned at the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Leave the oven on. With a serrated knife or electric knife, cut each log on the diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices, cut sides down, on the baking sheet.

5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the biscotti start to brown, turning the slices over halfway during baking to brown both sides. Transfer to a wire rack to cool

**If you wish, you can melt some baking chocolate over the stove top and dip the tip of each biscotti into the chocolate. You can leave the chocolate tip as is, or dip in a topping of your choice (I have used almond pieces, broken up candy cane, etc)**

Janice’s Meringues with Orange Cream


The orange cream made these taste so fresh and light.

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup icing sugar

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl till soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually while you continue beating till stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold icing sugar in and spoon into piping bag fitted with star tip.
Pipe into circles and create sides by adding more to edges.
Bake at 100 degrees for about 1 hour or until dry. Turn oven off and let stand in oven with door ajar until cool.

Orange Cream
3 egg yolks
¼ cup orange juice
3 tbsp frozen orange concentrate
3 tbsp sugar
Grated orange peel

Beat eggs yolks over low heat until warm. Add orange juice, concentrate and sugar and heat over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add orange peel. Chill until completely cooled. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into orange mixture. Spoon into meringues. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with more orange peel or orange segments before serving.

Kims Banana BreadKim L’s reduced fat Banana Bread

Proof that even when a recipe doesn’t go exactly as you would like, it can still be darn tasty.

½ cup oil (I replace all of this or ½ of it with an equivalent amount of applesauce)
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1.5 cups flour (I replaced white flour with whole wheat flour, but I don’t think it worked, so next time I will use white flour again)
1 tsp baking soda
3 mashed bananas
½ cup roasted pumpkin
½ bag chipits

Put bananas into mixing bowl first and mix with mixers
Add other ingredients
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour

Kim G’s Gluten Free Rice Flour Flat Bread
Valentine Farm – November 2013

Gluten Free bread

(makes 2 six inch flat breads)

Okay. I know this flat bread is not going to look like your idea of flat bread, however, it is good tasting unlike a lot of GF breads which are, in my opinion, quite awful. Think of these flat breads more like two small old fashioned soda breads. They can cut into quarters like scones and split for toasting or sandwiches. Or, slice them across for biscotti shaped pieces.

¾ cup brown rice flour or white rice flour **
(plus more for shaping loaves)
½ cup almond meal/flour***
¾ tapioca starch
2 tablespoons flax meal
¼ teaspoon anise seeds
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon wheat free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg
½ cup water
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400º. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper (this is important).

  • Combine rice flour, almond meal, tapioca starch, flax meal, anise seeds, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and xantham gum in a bowl.
  • Combine yogurt, oil, egg and water in a bowl.
  • Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix.
  • With a spatula, scoop out the batter and form two equal mounds on the baking sheet about 5 inches apart.
  • Sprinkle dough mounds lightly with rice flour and pat into 6 inch rounds. With floured hands nudge the edge of the dough to form a nice rounded edge.
  • Cut a diagonal grid pattern on the top of each flab bread, by making three ¼ inch deeps cuts each way.

Do not cut right to the edge.

Bake for 25 minutes until brown.

Transfer to wire racks to cool.

**Do not confuse ground rice flour with Asian rice flour – it is not the same product. Asian rice flour
is a starch like corn starch. Asian rice flour makes terrible bread on its own.
***If you grind your own whole almonds, add a little rice flour subtracted from the total amount. This
helps to prevent the nuts from turning into a paste.

Belindas Banana BreadBelinda’s Gluten Free Banana Bread
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 eggs
2 ripe (soft) bananas
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C
Using a whisk or fork, blend all the dry ingredients together. Add the walnuts to the dry ingredients.
Blend the wet ingredients together. (I use a hand blender to ensure the mixture is well blended).
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
Place mixture in a well oiled loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes or until browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean.

Bonnie’s Carrot Cake
Bonnies Carrot Cake
3 tsp lemon juice 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups milk 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup oil 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. orange zest 1/2 tsp.cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups white flour 1/2 cup walnuts

Combine milk and lemon juice. Cream oil, sugar and orange zest in a bowl.
Add the lemon, milk and mix. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add wet ingredients and mix. Add carrots and nuts and mix to combine.
Pour batter into a greased baking dish and bake at 355F for on hour, or
until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and ice.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Blend 250g pkg. cream cheese, softened with 2 cups of icing sugar and 2 tsp.
lemon juice until smooth.

Gluten Free nut barWendy’s sugar free nut bars

Egg White
Smuckers no-sugar added apricot jam

I don’t have the instructions, but it’s certainly worth experimenting with these ingredients because the bars were perfect for long journeys or hiking. The jam on top was perfect.

Jeans Carrot Cake

Jean’s gluten free carrot cake with coconut whipped cream

Although Jean admits it was a bit of an arduous hassle to make the cream, it was so good I think it was worth it!

11/4 c. Quinoa flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t.salt
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 T. molasses
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla
11/2 c. shredded carrot
1/2 c. raisins(apricots, craisins, or dried cherries)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Preheat oven  350′ Grease muffin pans(these work a lot better than the 8″ square cake pan that the recipe used) In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder,soda salt cinnamon nutmeg and cloves. Whisk well. In another bowl, beat sugar and eggs until pale in colour. Beat in molasses, then the vanilla and puree. Add oil and beat until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in raisins, carrots and walnuts. Pour into pans. Bake in the middle of the oven 25-30 minutes( I did 25 ) Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then turn out of pan.
Whipped Topping: Chill coconut milk overnight. Carefully spoon out the cream that has settled on the top of the milk into a small bowl. Beat the cream with a little icing sugar and top each cupcake with it.

Other treats of the evening included Christine’s “Nothing is free” Double chocolateDouble Chocolate Cookies chip cookies, created after her first recipe went wrong.

Then there was a lovely carrot and ginger cake, and while I have no name written down as the creator of said lovely cake, I shall remember it fondly.

Carrot Cake with Ginger

GOQub GoodnessFinally, there was the Good Omens Quinoa Brownie, henceforth known as the GOQuB. Despite loving cakes, I am not the best baker, and this was the first baking meetup in which I didn’t have any of my own bake to take home with me afterwards! Since I have promised not to share the secret recipe, I will leave you with a photo that shows the expression of joy that overtakes one when one consumes a GOQuB.

Until the cookie swap, I wish you peace, love and coconut whipped cream (no matter how infuriating it is to make!)


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November meetup: Laughter and sugar highs

Cake tableI think our November meetup will go down in baking club history as the evening in which we relished our failures. For some of us, it was the first time we had tried to bake using alternative methods, whether gluten or wheat free, sugar free or egg free.

As we went around the room regaling our tales of triumph or woe, there were many nods of understanding, and plenty of laughter.

I must share some of the quotes as I recall them:

Kim G’s reaction following her first attempt at gluten free red velvet brownies: “I said to my husband, ‘We don’t have to eat this crap! And then I threw it to the chickens, and even they wouldn’t eat it.”

Jeanne’s experience using coconut milk to make whipped cream: “I couldn’t figure out why there wasn’t very much, but then I noticed the tin said ‘reduced fat.’ So I had to beat it like crazy forever, and it still didn‘t do what I wanted.”

Christine’s discovery that the key ingredient to the popcorn cakes were below par: “There was something wrong with the kernels. They were more than stale. There isn’t a harsh enough word for how stale they were.”

Janice’s challenges when faced with creating meringues with orange cream: “They went flat and now they look like fried eggs.”

CakesCake LadiesThen there was gallant first charge towards the treat table by our newest members. Once you have been to a few cake meetings, you get to know your limits, and usually you will configure a collection of the smallest samples possible onto your plate, in order to try as much of everything as you can.

But if you’re new, all you can see is 17 items in front of you, and chances are you’re really going to go for it until your plate resembles a small mountain.

For our lovely new members who may still be suffering from their sugar hangovers, you have run the cake gauntlet and come through it to bake another day. I really must develop some kind of badge for surviving such an ordeal. Perhaps it should look something like Kim’s pocket of have-fork-will-eat-cake:

CakeForkErinThank you to Good Omens for allowing me to make your amazing Quinoa Brownie, which is now as the “GOQuB” in the Summerland Bakers circle. My version of the GOQuB lacked the clean edges and sturdy refinement of the original, but the flavour and rich texture were still there.

Finally, a huge thank you to our hostess Barb at Cherry Tree Quilts, who recently celebrated her one year anniversary in business. I’m glad we got to enjoy such a great evening in your beautiful shop!

I will post recipes next time. Until then, mark your calendars for a slightly different meetup:

DATE: Saturday, December 7
THEME: The Great Summerland Cookie Swap
TIME: 10am -11:30am
LOCATION: Lisa L’s house (directions will be emailed to bakers who confirm their spot by December 6)
DETAILS: Bakers are challenged to bake six dozen of their chosen cookie, and come prepared for the swap by bringing along a baking tin in which to fit all your treats. Cups of tea will be consumed, and cookies will be nibbled.
TO CONFIRM: Email me at to let me know you’re attending, and also what you’re bringing. The goal is to have everyone bringing something different. Macarons and Gingersnaps are already taken!

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An open letter to a Good Omens Quinoa Brownie

Dearest Good Omens Quinoa Brownie (or as I prefer to call you on account of its adorable ring: GOQuB)

The first time I saw you, I thought you looked like a pint of Guinness that had been turned into a Lego block. I thought if I could ever stack enough of you together, I would have the outer walls for Willy Wonka’s factory.

Perhaps it was because of all those serious angles that I mistook you for one of those “no frills” desserts. You know the ones – the reliable yet forgettable kind you half wrap in a napkin and munch on while you wait for something else to happen.

I was wrong. I am sorry.


It is impossible for me to describe the combination of your brawny exterior and the multitude of tiny delicacies that make up your bulk without descending into the realm of metaphor, so I will do just that. For you are Chuck Norris reading Oscar Wilde in a field of daisies and shell casings. You are the bass drum’s affair with the triangle. You are Arnold Schwarzenegger doing a plie.

In just over a week I will meet with my baking group for our first “free from” theme. I have scoured the internet for “gluten free quinoa brownie,” but none of the ones I’ve found look as deep, dense, and delicious as you, and all seem to be lacking your endearing little icing comb-over.

GOQuB1My only hope is that your creators might reveal to me your secrets (for use on only a temporary basis of course), so that I may wow my fellow cake ladies with the heights that can be achieved in the gluten free world.

My adoration of you would only increase if you could appeal to your creators on my behalf, that I might be allowed to whip you up in my own kitchen and carry you triumphantly into the room on bake night. And of course, should there be any leftovers, you know you will be well taken care of.

Your greatest fan,

Sophia the cake lady

PS – should there be others reading this who would like to join in this month’s festivities, the details are as follows:

  • Date & Time: Wednesday November 13th, 7pm
  • Where: Cherry Tree Quilt Shop and Studio, Main Street
  • Theme: “Free From.” This could be sugar free, wheat free, gluten free – whatever suits your fancy
  • Be sure to bring: Tupperware for leftovers


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