Monthly Archives: April 2014

Ancient Grain Recipes, Part 1

There were so many of us at our last meetup that I’m posting the recipes in the two parts.

Ming’s Pearl Barley and Berry Pudding with Spelt Flour

Pearl Barley Spelt Berry Pudding

I loved this pudding. I think it would a wonderful thing to make in the winter with summer berries hauled out of the freezer.

From Ming: You can cook the barley the night before, making it super easy to make! It’s delicious with a dollop with crème fraiche, and it looks pretty too!







150g unsalted butter, softened
180g icing sugar, plus extra to finish
2 medium eggs
150 g natural yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g uncooked pearl barley, drained and dried slightly
(yields 300g cooked)
250g plain flour (substitute Spelt Flour)
2 tsp baking powder
300g mixed frozen berries
Preheat oven 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F

Cook the barley first, drain and let dry a bit by setting aside.
Grease a round 20 cm baking dish (or 6 to 8 ramekins for individual servings)
Beat butter and sugar until slightly fluffy. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in the yoghurt and vanilla, then fold in the barley.
Mix the flour and baking powder together first, and add into batter. Mix with wooden spoon until evently mixed. flour and baking powder until evenly mixed. Pour batter into greased baking dish, and sprinkle the frozen berries over the batter. Fill the baking dish no more than three-quarters full and bake for about 45 minutes for large dishes (less for ramekins), just until a skewer comes out clean.

Double chocolate quinoa cookies

Chantelle’s Double Chocolate Quinoa Cookies
Taken from the recipe book: Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood. Yes! An entire cookbook based on Quinoa. No one can deny how fabulous it is now.

1 cup (250ml) butter, softened
1 ½ cups (375 ml) white or cane sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (500ml) quinoa flour (or one cup (250ml) quinoa flour and one cup (250ml) all-purpose flour.
¾ cup (185ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp (5ml) baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup (250ml) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F (250C)
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Blend in the eggs and vanilla and stir until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Roll into 1 ¼ inch (3cm balls). If the dough is too soft to roll, put dough in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Place the balls 2 inches (5cm) apart on a large, ungreased baking sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake on the centre rack for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will be puffy and soft when they are removed from the oven, but will flatten when cool. Allow the cookies to set for at least one minute on the baking sheet before removing to cool on a rack. Store in a sealed container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. You can also freeze rolled unbaked cookies in a sealed container or a plastic bag until needed: simply thaw before baking.


Dorthea’s Amaranth breakfast loaf, from Bob’s Red Mill.
It seemed all of use enjoyed the crunch of the grains in this bread. Dorthea served it with berries and cream but I was happy with it just on its own.

From Dorthea: I substituted 1/2 cup of Organic Spelt Flour in place of half of the white flour.
This recipe is available on the Bob’s Red Mill website.


Jean’s Amaranth Banana Walnut Bread
Before we begin, a note from Jean: All those ancient grains had a PROFOUND effect on my regularity-if you get my drift. Eat with caution!!!!!!!

Preheat oven 350′
5 x 9 in loaf pan-greased
1. Toast 1/2 c. amaranth seeds in non-stick sauté pan about 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add the seeds to 1 1/4 c. boiling water-stirring well. Return to boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool about 30 minutes. I put it in a smaller bowl to cool faster. ( any left-overs can be refrigerated in a container with a tight fitting lid)
1 c. cooked amaranth
2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. mashed bananas (about 3)
1/2 c. liquid honey
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder and walnuts. Beat the bananas, honey, egg, butter and vanilla together in another bowl. Add cooked amaranth and mix well. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Pour into prepared pan. Bake about 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan. I always line my baking pans with a strip of parchment paper so it hangs over the end-using it to lift out the loaf.



Lisa’s Gluten-Free Pizza with Quinoa Crust

Lisa has dubbed this “the working mom’s pizza” because it took no time at all to whip up and was decidedly delicious.

From Lisa: Makes: 1 x 8-inch pizza. The recipe can easily be doubled to make 2. I made 3 small pizzas with the doubled recipe.

•¾ cup quinoa, soaked for at least 8 hours, rinsed and drained
•¼-1/2 cup water
•1-2 Tbs. olive oil
•½ tsp. salt
•1 clove garlic, sliced (optional)
•2 tsp. Italian seasoning (optional)


1.Soak the quinoa in filtered water for at least 8 hours. *This step is crucial as the recipe won’t work with dry quinoa. Rinse and drain the quinoa.

2.Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor or a high-speed blender and combine until the dough resembles pancake batter. Adjust the water as needed.

3.There are 2 methods for cooking the dough (this is the method I used: lj). In the oven: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and coat either a cast iron skillet or an 8-inch round cake pan with the olive oil.

Allow the skillet or cake pan to heat up in the oven for about 10 minutes (this is good to do while you’re preparing the dough and chopping the veggies). Remove skillet/cake pan from the oven and immediately add the quinoa “dough,” using a spatula to even it out as needed. Place the dough in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. Flip the dough and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

4.OR, On the stove: Heat a non-stick pan with the olive oil over medium heat. Pour the dough into the pan and use a spatula to even the dough out as needed. Allow to cook for approx. 5-10 minutes or until the bottom is turning brown and crispy. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes, or until evenly cooked on both sides.

5.Now comes the fun part! Add whatever toppings you want and feel free to be creative.

6.I like to place the pizza in the oven under the broiler after adding the toppings just to heat everything up a bit, without really cooking the veggies (raw veggies are always better!).

7.Serve and enjoy!!


Mike’s Red Fife Flatbread Pizzas
These would be very versatile and I can’t wait to try them when I’ve got company over for dinner.

From Mike: The recipe for the flatbreads is absurdly simple (though I’m not sure mine turned out like the picture on the website). I used Red Fife Wholegrain flour.


500g plain flour
Half a tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp Filippo Berio Olive Oil
Approx 300ml lukewarm water
Extra olive oil for cooking

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda and the salt. Pour in 4 tbsp of the oil and mix a little then gradually add most of the water kneading the dough all the time you need to make a smooth but firm dough so do not be tempted to add all the water at once.
When the dough is silky looking, cover with cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes. If you are in a hurry you can use it straight away.
Divide the dough into 8 and knead each portion into a smooth ball. Roll each one out to a diameter of approx 13cm (5”). Heat a cast iron frying pan or griddle pan until hot. Lightly brush a round of dough with oil and place in the pan and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Bubbles will start to form on the surface of the top, brush this side with oil then turn over and cook until the second side is golden brown. If you want a crisper pizza, use more oil in the pan.
Transfer the cooked piadine to a plate and cover to keep warm while cooking the rest. If you wrap them in a tea towel to keep warm, they will soften if you prefer then like that.

Cooks Tip

These pizzas can be used to scoop chopped salads, or can be topped with various ingredients. For all of these topping suggestions finish each Pizza with a drizzle of Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Sophia’s Apple and Spelt Cake

Apple spelt cake

I would not recommend this cake. It calls for five apples, and I don’t know how long you would actually have to bake it in order to make it less dense and squishy. (or as Kim would say, “bouncy”). Somehow I managed to both overcook and undercook it at the same time. I am perplexed and disappointed, and will not make it again. If you want to give it a go, you can find the recipe here.

7 grain and spelt breadTina’s Seven Grain Spelt Bread
Here I admit I had a whole slice to myself. If anyone else noticed the mammoth dent in the tapenade, that was also me. I have no regrets.

1 ½ cup of water (or a bit more)
4 ¼ cups of flour in ratio:
2 cups Spelt flour from True Grain
1 ¼ cup white flour, unbleached
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 Seven-Grain Cereal
2 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp bread machine yeast

serve with Mediterranean Olive Tapenade


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Baking with Ancient Grains Meetup

I am quite overwhelmed by the awesomeness of this month’s baking event. At more than 20 bakers, this was our biggest gathering to date. What I didn’t realize that it was also the one year anniversary of Summerland Bakers. Thinking back to our first meetup in April of last year, we were just five ladies getting together to laugh and enjoy a bit of cake. Of course my first bake was a disaster, and to be honest that hasn’t really changed much.

Fast forward 12 months, and oh my, do we have some incredible bakers and cooks in Summerland. I owe the growth of this group to all those regulars who have invited, tempted, cajoled, or lured unsuspecting novices to one of our events. To you die-hard dedicated cake lovers (you know who you are) I adore you beyond measure.

The response to our “Ancient Grain” theme was incredible. So many were eager to try take advantage of great local ingredients and try something new. And what a spread we produced, filling the display cabinet at True Grain Bread with everything from Amaranth Breakfast Loaf to Hemp Seed Cookies. Our taste buds were delighted by Quinoa-base pizza, a Barley and Berry Pudding, Chocolate Cake, Barley Pilaf, and loaves of Homemade Bread made with Spelt, Emmer Red Fife and even Einkorn.

Behold our glorious gathering!

Summerland Bakers at True Grain Bread

Baking with Ancient Grains meetupA huge thank you to True Grain Bread Owner Todd for hosting our group and providing tours of the bakery and the Austrian-designed stone mill. We learned about the processes used for different grains, the nutritional value of the grains, and got to see the mill in action.

Along with the behind-the-scenes tour, Todd filled us in on some of the exciting new products the company is now working on (I shall post announcements when they launch!) And aside from all the treats we brought ourselves, Todd sent us all home with cookies, coupons, and loaves of True Grain bread. Thanks also to Jan for bringing gifts of beautiful carrier bags featuring ambrosia apples!

Thank you, Todd! Check out the short video of the evening, made by our lovely member Kim Lawton. The song is “icing” – how fitting!

True Grain Bread GoodiesTrue Grain Bread TourAncient Grain meetup at True Grain

I will begin posting recipes next time. If you attended, please email your recipe so I can share it!

In the meantime, please mark your calendars for next month’s event:
When: Thursday, May 22
Where: Valentine Farm
Theme: “High Tea.” We’re talking finger sandwiches, Victoria Sponge, mini cupcakes and scones. Bring your favourite, most delightful tea cup, and haul out your prettiest plate or platter to display your creation. If you have a hat fit for a garden party, wear it, or make one!
RSVP required – email to confirm your spot and let me know what you’re bringing so we can avoid doubles and have a grand selection.


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Mmm…ancient grains…

We’re just over a week away from our “Baking with Ancient Grains” event at True Grain Bread. Thank you to everyone who has already signed up! We’ve still got some room so let me know if you can attend. Jean reported this week that she will be bringing Amaranth Banana Walnut loaf, which I’m desperately looking forward to.

Hooray for Ancient Grains!

Bakers Club poster

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Ukrainian breakfast treat

Come Saturday morning in Summerland, my Scotsman and I often like to treat ourselves to breakfast at a local café. We mostly split our excursions between eggs benny at Good Omens (The wild mushroom is my favourite, although last week’s salmon special was especially good. I recommend ordering something different than the person you’re with so you can share), and breakfast at the Country Café, also on Kelly Street, which is my husband’s favourite. We used to order the 2-2-2 (locals will understand the lingo), but now we are die-hard fans of the Ukrainian breakfast, with their home made perogies and grilled kolbasa.

Summerland-Country- Cafe

On my list of things to do (date, anyone?) is the brunch at Local Lounge • Grille, for I have heard wonderful things. Anyone else have a favourite Summerland breakfast experience you can recommend as a treat?



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Irish meetup recipes, and a new event!

I hope everyone has recovered from the sugar rush following our most excellent Irish-themed meetup last month. Now, are you all ready to do it again?

Summerland Baker’s Special Event: Baking with Ancient Grains

  • Where: True Grain Bread, 10108 Main Street
  • When: Thursday, April 24th, 6:30pm
  • What: This is your chance to try something new with one or more of the many incredible ancient grains out there. True Grain carries varieties like organic spelt and emmer flour. True Grain is one of the only bakeries in BC to mill their own flour on site, and we’ll learn about where they source their grain and also see the mill in action!
  • Reserve your place! There is a lot of interest for this event – please email me to confirm your spot on the 24th.

On with the Irish Recipes!

Irish cream bundt cake

Christine’s Irish Cream Bundt Cake

This kind of drizzle that combines Baileys and butter should be invited to all parties everywhere.

Baileys Trifle
Jennifer’s Bailey’s Trifle
First, the cake: Black Bean Chocolate Cake – Flourless and Gluten Free!

Notes from Jennifer: For the trifle assemblage I just made pudding with half milk, half Baileys. Layered with cake bits, then Whipping cream on top sprinkled with shaved chocolate.

Irish Soda Bread

Lisa’s Irish Soda Bread

Lisa says this recipe was very easy to make, which is encouraging, since it was so delicious, especially with Lisa’s own homemade peach jam. The recipe even comes with a video for extra encouragement!

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Sophia’s Chocolate Guinness Cake

My friend Paula’s sister makes her a chocolate Guinness cake every year for her birthday and I always wanted to try one. I shouldn’t have made it into layers though – it is supposed to just be a single cake with the cream cheese icing, in order to look like a pint of Guinness. Oh well – it is still lovely and moist. Thanks Nigella for this recipe.
Irish proverbs and cupcakes

Heritage cupcakesGerri’s Heritage Cupcakes
Gerri is a baker with flair. Not only is the recipe one that she has been making since she was small, but we all loved the addition of the wee Irish proverbs, including “Never bolt your door with a cooked carrot,” and “If you want praise, die. If you want blame, marry.”

From Gerri: You can tell it’s from the ‘50’s as it has jello in it!!!

Grease two 8” layer tins and heat oven to 350F
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 3 oz package lime jello powder
Beat well in 2 eggs

Add 1 tablespoon lime zest
Combine 2 ¼ cups flour with 2 ½ tsp baking powder & 1 tsp salt
Add alternately to the butter/egg mixture with 1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
Put in layer pans or in cupcake holders
Bake until cake taster comes out clean

Make a paste with 5 tablespoons flour and 1 cup of milk
Beat lumps out until smooth and cook over med heat until mixture is “boiling” (it will be very thick but make sure flour is well cooked so there is no taste of flour left)

After it is cooked, dump the paste in a piece of plastic wrap, wrap up tightly and chill in fridge until cold all the way through – very important. I usually leave it overnight.

Cream 1 cup butter with
1 cup icing sugar
1 3 oz pkg of lime jello powder
1 tsp lime zest

Beat until very smooth with an electric mixer and then add the paste mixture from the fridge slowly so it incorporates well and is smooth. Beat all until light and fluffy.

Mint MacaronsJean’s Irish (Mint) Macarons

Jean gets a gold baking star for her tenacity in the face of the terrible trio: a difficult recipe, a broken oven and a rain storm. Since making these, Jean reports another success with coffee-flavoured cookies with a mocha filling, made for a friend who was under the weather. Nom!

1 1/4c. almond meal
1 3/4c. icing sugar
Combine these in a food processor and sift out any larger lumps.
4 large egg whites (I used commercial egg whites)
1/2c. granulated sugar
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/8 t. peppermint extract
Green food colour

Whip the egg whites ,sugar, cream of tartar until soft peaks. Adding the sugar gradually. Add extract and food colour and whip to very stiff peaks.

Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites-folding no more than 40 times. Pipe onto parchment paper in circles about 1-1 1/2 inches.(I drew circles on the underside of the parchment to use as templates) ((I used my piping bag with no attachment to get a nice smooth circle)) Bang the cookie sheets on the counter a couple of times-this breaks any air bubbles inside the cookies.

NOW VERY IMPORTANT: allow the cookies to rest on the counter for at least 20 minutes-can be more if you’re doing multiple sheets. Bake in an oven 300′ for 20 minutes( turn the sheet 1/2 way through) Cool on a wire rack about 5-10 minutes and then lift off. They will keep for several days in an airtight container or freeze for later use.

Ganache Filling:
200g. semi-sweet chocolate
100g. heavy cream.
Heat the cream to light simmer and pour over chocolate to melt it. Let sit on the counter to cool. Spoon filling on the bottom of one cookie and top with a second cookie. (I didn’t put any flavouring in ganache)

Irish Curd Pie with Sour Cherry JellyKim’s Irish Curd Tart

I loved this, served with homemade sour cherry jelly. The tart reminded me of my great-grandmother’s cheesecake, which was made with quark. Similar texture and light flavour. Comfort food and great with a cup of strong tea.

From Kim: This is an old Gaelic recipe. It looks like there are lot of steps but not really.

I made the crust one day and completed the pie the next day. I found pressed cottage cheese, made in Grand Forks, at Quality Greens in Penticton. This is a nice light “cheese” cake.

Pie Crust
1 ¼ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small chunks
about ¼ cup cold water

2 cups pressed cottage cheese
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon salt if the pressed cheese is unsalted (mine was)
1 whole lemon, zested
3 large eggs, separated

1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Pie Crust: Mix together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter with your fingertips. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water. Stir to moisten – you may have to add more water. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a flat disk, slip into a plastic bag and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Filling: Separate eggs and beat the egg whites until fairly stiff. By hand, beat together cottage cheese, sugar, butter, salt and lemon zest. Stir in egg yolks. Fold in egg whites.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 10 inch round and lay it in tart pan and do whatever you do to crimp the edges. Brush pastry shell with beaten egg and refrigerate. Melt butter for topping. Mix remaining beaten egg with melted butter, sugar and flour.

Pour filling into pastry shell. Don’t worry if it seems pretty full – it doesn’t rise much. Starting in the centre of the tart, pour topping in a spiralling circle moving outward to the edge of the shell. Don’t worry if the topping doesn’t reach the edge. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden. Cool. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit preserves.

Jan’s Irish Cream Bread and Butter Pudding Irish Cream Bread and Butter Pudding

Does anything sound more comforting on a cold night than this? This recipe comes all the way from Jan’s cousin in Ireland!

Have slices of bread buttered place buttered side downwards in a pyrex dish, sprinkle currents & raisins or one of them over the bread.

Then place another layer of buttered bread over the fruit buttered side up again a layer of dried fruit followed by a layer of buttered bread buttered side up. Depending on size of dish this should be sufficient.

Now beat two eggs and add hot milk to eggs, add sugar and pour this over the bread. It should be nice and moist. Place dish in hot oven and bake it comes out golden brown. Serve with Custard

Irish Night

Laura’s Current Squares

Three cheers for Laura for heading straight to her kitchen to bake even though she had just returned home from California. She whipped this together using simple ingredients, proving that a stubborn baker will drag deliciousness out from wherever it is hiding, no matter the circumstances.  Unfortunately I was so excited with all the cake arriving, I didn’t get a proper close-up! But you can see them on the left side of the above photo.

Apparently these are also sometimes called “Fly graveyards.” Luckily, they don’t taste like it! Click here for the recipe.


Jan’s Potato Biscuits (Fadge)
Jan brought some Roger’s Syrup as a sweetener for these, but I loved them just as they are. Potatoes are awesome, and these Moorish little biscuits prove it.

1 cup mashed potato
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon of baking powder
Mix well. Pat down to ½ inch. Cut with small glass. Bake 400 F til golden.

Jan’s notes: This is a good way to use leftover mashed potatoes, but I used (4 or 5) boiled, peeled potatoes and added a fourth tablespoon of butter. I put everything in the food processor, progressively mixing in the order listed above. I also used a gluten free flour mixture to keep the biscuits celiac friendly. Serve sweet or savory.

Chocolate grasshopper cheesecake

Chantelle’s Chocolate Grasshopper Cheesecake

Apparently, a dangerous part of making this cheesecake is that the crust does not require the entire box of cookies, and so it is necessary to “assist” the process of emptying the packet while the cake is baking. Your secret is safe with us, Chantelle. Oh, wait – this is a public blog. Oops.

30 fudge mint cookies, crushed (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

4 oz semisweet baking chocolate
3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup green crème de menthe liqueur*
Topping and Garnish, if desired

Sweetened whipped cream
Crème de menthe thin rectangular candies for garnish, unwrapped, cut in half diagonally


  1. Heat oven to 300°F. Wrap foil around bottom and side of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. In large bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until crumbly. Press in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 12 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.
  2. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once halfway through microwaving, until melted. If necessary, continue to microwave on High in 15-second increments, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in liqueur. Pour filling evenly over crust.
  4. Drop 8 to 10 tablespoonfuls melted chocolate randomly onto filling, allowing chocolate to sink into filling. With table knife or small spatula, cut through chocolate and filling to swirl for marbled design.
  5. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until set 2 inches from edge of pan. Remove from oven; run knife around side of cheesecake to loosen. Return to oven; turn oven off and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 1 hour. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  6. To serve, remove side of pan. Spoon whipped cream into decorating bag with large star tip; squeeze bag to pipe cream around top edge of cheesecake. Garnish with candies.

*One teaspoon peppermint extract and 4 to 6 drops green food color can be substituted for the crème de menthe liqueur.
*This decadent dessert is the perfect do-ahead because it needs to be chilled at least 3 hours before serving.
*For easy cutting, dip your knife into hot water.

Irish Tea Cake
Both Wendy and Leah made traditional Irish Tea Cakes, but they were both slightly different. Here is the recipe for Leah’s.Leahs irish tea cake

Leah’s Irish Tea Cake

Wendy's Irish Tea Cake

Wendy’s Irish Tea Cake


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