Monthly Archives: April 2015

Creative Indulgence Recipes

Greetings, lovely bakers!

I don’t have recipes for all the goodies, but I have some, as well as delicious looking photos to inspire you, so let’s get started!

The first recipe I have I didn’t manage to get a photo of, and that is Jean’s Potato Gnocchi with Pesto. These were so good and there weren’t any leftovers after we were done with them. Definitely giving this recipe a try:

2 c. cold mashed potato
1 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 tsp. salt
Dump 1/2 c. flour on counter.Add all the potatoes-form a well in the middle and pour in the egg and sprinkle in the salt. POur remaining flour over the top and work it all together with your hands to form a soft ball. Knead a couple of times very gently.DO NOT OVERKNEAD. Divide the dough into 1/4s. Roll out a 1/4 at a time into a long rope 3/4in. in diameter.Cut into 3/4 in. pieces. Roll each piece down the back tines of a dinner fork(this takes a little practice) You need the ridges so the sauce will stick. Do the same with the remaining dough. Lay them out on parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze. Pop into a freezer bag and cook whenever you want. TO COOK: Drop in boiling salted water. When they float, they’re done!

Pesto Sauce
2c. fresh basil
1/2c. E.V.O.O.
1/4 Pine nuts
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic
1/2c. fresh Parmesan, grated
Puree all in a blender. Freeze in ice cube trays. Pop into freezer bag and use whenever. I used about 5-6 cubes in the gnocchi

Paleo Skinny Mint ThinsFor fans of the Paleo diet, next we have Chatelle’s Skinny Mint Thins, the recipe for which comes from Paleo Indulgences. Three cheers for Chantelle for launching herself at a recipe with so many steps! I bought some coconut flour recently and haven’t known what to do with it, but now I may have found a purpose.

Yields 60

Dry Ingredients
1¼ cups almond flour
½ cup coconut flour, sifted
2 TBSP arrowroot starch
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
½ tsp pure peppermint extract
¼ cup coconut oil, melted

¾ cup chopped dark chocolate (or Enjoy Life Chocolate Morsels or Equal Exchange Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
2 oz unsweetened 100% cacao chocolate (I use this to cut down on the sugar, but you can use additional chocolate chips/chopped chocolate if you’d like)
½ tsp pure peppermint extract

Place the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients, except the coconut oil, to the dry. Blend with a hand mixer.
With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the coconut oil. Mix well.
Place the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap as a guide, shape the dough into a 1¾-inch diameter log. (You can divide the dough into thirds to make it easier.) Wrap tightly and freeze until very firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove dough from the freezer and slice into ¼-inch-thick rounds.
Place the rounds on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes, rotating trays part way, or until centers are firm to the touch and the edges start to brown slightly.

Remove trays from oven. Remove cookies from trays and cool completely on wire racks. Meanwhile, melt the coating ingredients in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth.

Using 2 forks, dip each cookie in the chocolate coating, scraping off any excess along the edge of the bowl. (If there is such a thing as excess chocolate!)

Return cookies to the parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Store cookies in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days, or in the freezer up to 3 months.

This recipe makes a lot, so feel free to cut it in half, but I really recommend making the entire batch and rolling the dough into two or three logs. Then you can freeze the spare logs and have cookies ready in no time whenever a craving or special occasion arises!

Opera Cake

Next is Carmen’s Opera Cake, which she made for us, on HER OWN BIRTHDAY. I am sad to report that lovely Carmen has moved away to Vancouver Island with her sweetie for a new round of adventures. We will miss her and all of her awesome baking! If you’re feeling daring and want to try making your own Italian meringue, here is the recipe to guide you:

Flax crackers w garlic artichoke dip

For those looking for healthy options for snacking, Ming’s Raw Crackers with Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Dip were a huge hit at our meetup.

Raw Crackers

2 cups ground flax seeds
2/3 cups whole fax seeds
1 to 2 teas sea salt (depending on taste)
1 teas Italian herbs (such as oregano, basil, etc) I put in some marjoram too!
2-2/3 cups water (don’t skimp — this is important to make sure the mixture has the right viscosity when spreading it onto the drying sheet)
1-1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 sesame seeds

Mix everything together and pour out onto 2 sheets for dehydrator.
First hour at 120 degrees
then remaining time at 105 degrees
after 4 hours, score the crackers
total hours about 18.5 hours in the dehydrator

Quick links:


Artichoke and Garlic Dip:

How did I not managed to get a photo of  Lisa’s Lemon Crinkle Cookies? I can still remember the Christmas container she brought them in. I also took home several (You can’t make me disclose how many) and ate them for breakfast the next day. Lemons are a breakfast food, aren’t they?

TOTAL TIME: 25mins PREP: 15 mins COOK: 10-15 mins
If you like lemon and you like cookies, this recipe is for you! It won the “Top Cookie Award” on an LDS food blog. It’s very refreshing and light, but the texture is what really makes this cookie stand out. Crunchy on the outside and just the right chewy softness on the inside. You might want to add extra lemon and extra lemon zest because mine were not lemony enough.

1⁄2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
Zest from one large lemon
Fresh lemon juice from one large lemon (approx. 2 Tbsp)
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour ½ cup sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
*If using a non-stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes. Don’t overbake!

Savoury Bread & Butter puddingI loved Denise’s Italian Savoury Bread Pudding – we hadn’t seen anything like it at our meetups before and it was absolutely delicious! It would be great on it’s own with a salad, or as a side with a stew.

Serves 10

5 Cups of diced bread (Denise used the blue cheese and pecan baguette from True Grain). Dice and toast in 8×12 pan with Italian spices and drizzled olive oil (350 degree oven until toasted).

Dice and saute 1 onion or 2 small shallots until glossy.
Add 6 large, finely sliced mushrooms
2 cups of chopped fresh spinach or kale
1 cup peas or diced asparagus
Season and mix this into the pan of toasted bread cubes

Stir in 3 ounces of crumbled chevre (goat cheese) and 10 slices of diced Prosciutto or salami.

In a bowl mix together:
6 eggs
3 cups of ½ and ½ cream
Salt and pepper, rosemary and thyme
Grate 2 cups of Asiago cheese

Pour mixture over the bread mix, top with more grated Asiago or Parmesan and bake for 45 minutes at 345F.

chocolate marshmallows and butter popcornThat is it for recipes – you’ll just have to drool over the photos for the rest! Many of the goodies below were made by members of the Artisans of the Okanagan. They seem to have new artisan food offerings arriving every week, from homemade pies to Okanagan fruit juices to homemade marshmallows.

Carolynn from Nummers Gourmet brought along some of her Chocolicious Marshmallows and Butterama Caramel Corn, as well as some Salted Chocolate Caramels that I forgot to photograph. #nomnom

On with more treats!

Black Bean Salad

Rebecca’s Black Bean Salad. I love having more healthy options at our meetups. Makes me feel better about eating cake…

Carrot cake

Julie from “Little Miss Sew & Sew” made this fabulous Carrot Cheese Cake. Click the photo to go to Julie’s Facebook page.

Cheese bites with salsa

Jean’s Cheese Bites with Salsa. I love bite sized goodies!

Chocolate brownie mystery cake

Jenna’s Chocolate Brownie Mystery Surprise. She even made her own fondant!

Chocolate Kaluha Cake

Wendy’s Triple Chocolate Kaluha Cake. Heavy on the Kaluha, just the way we like it.

ginger cookies carrot cake

Sandra’s Ginger Snaps. Who doesn’t love a good Ginger Snap with a cup of tea?

Greek Salad

Sam’s Greek Salad. There was also a hummus dip but I didn’t get a photo.

Lemon Cheesecake

Janice’s Lemon Cheesecake. Mmmmm…cheesecake.


Lory’s Quiche with asparagus. There were only crumbs left after we were done with it.

raw spinach tomato tart

Ming’s Raw Spinach Tomato Tart. I think I may have to get a dehydrator…

Taco Soup

Fran’s Taco Soup. This is one of those awesome comfort meals that go great with rustic bread.

Walnut Bread

Speaking of Rustic Bread, we enjoyed Rudy’s Walnut Bread, which went perfectly with all the savoury offerings.

Whipped Cream Butterscotch Torte

Selina and Brante from Westbank Harvest (ie the juice people!) indulged us with their Whipped Cream Butterscotch Torte. Click the photo to go to their Facebook page.


Laura's Venison Curry. So good with a hearty bit of spice!

Laura’s Venison Curry. So good with a hearty bit of spice!

Finally we have Jennifer's Chocolate Cherry Brownies, complete with Easter Bunny. Click the photo to go to her Facebook Page for Summer Valley Soaps.

Finally we have Jennifer’s Chocolate Cherry Brownies, complete with Easter Bunny. Click the photo to go to her Facebook Page for Summer Valley Soaps.


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