Hands up everyone who had 8 kinds of salad for lunch/dinner/snacks on June 26! Perhaps it was the fresh air, the copious salads, or standing in the cool lake for 10 minutes beforehand, but somehow I managed to plough my way an impressive dinner of deliciousness, followed by a collection of quaint desserts, and emerge the next morning void of a food hangover.
Thanks to everyone who joined in our awesome picnic at Peach Orchard Beach! We had a brilliant time, and Dorthea even managed to evade having us sing to her by not advising us that her birthday was the next day. Well played, Dorthea. Well played.
There are a lot of photos/recipes to share, so I’ve decided to split it up into two posts. If you haven’t yet sent me your recipe, please do! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dorthea’s Savoury Cheesecake with Potato Chip Crust (of which I had two servings because YUM)
I now want to try all kinds of variations on it, because the base is so simple, just 1 lb cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 4 eggs, bit of flour and flavouring, so you could scale it up or down proportionally using the egg-creamcheese-sourcream ratio as a guide. I got the recipe from a food blog that had pretty pictures, and finally the recipe near the bottom, which I then modified by adding the feta and Herbes de Provence to enhance the flavour of the chives and garlic.
Prep time: 20 min Cook time: 20-30 min Serves 8-10
- 1 8-oz bag kettle cooked or ruffled potato chips.
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 2 T butter, melted
- 1 pound full-fat non-whipped cream cheese (I used Phildelphia)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (i used mascarpone)
- 2 T flour
- 1 T chopped chives plus extra chives for decorating (so about 4 T)
- Sour cream for topping (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 T garlic powder (or 1-2 cloves finely chopped)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 – 1/2 T cayenne pepper
- Sea Salt
- white pepper
- Thyme and/or Mediterranean herbs
- Optional – 1/2 cup stronger cheese, such as crumbled Feta or grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 475 F.
Crush chips to large crumb size with food processor and/or rolling pin. Mix 1T butter into the crushed chips and press into 1 10-inch springform pan, or 2 6-inch pans.
Bake for 5 mins and set aside.
- In 1T melted butter, lightly saute chopped green onions until soft but not brown.
- In food processor or mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth, then add sour cream, flour, chives, spring onion, garlic, and other seasonings.
- Add 1 egg at a time and thoroughly mix in.
- Blend in any other cheese.
- Pour cheese mixture into pan.
If using 10-inch pan, bake for 10 mins at 475, then reduce heat to 250 for another 20-25 minutes.
If using 6-inch pans, cook for 5 mins at 475, then reduce heat to 250 for another 10-15 minutes.
Cheesecake should be a little jiggly. (Hey, this club is all about jiggly, Dorthea)
Turn off oven, open door, and let cheesecake rest for 15 minutes. When ready to serve, decorate with more sour cream and/or chives and/or other fresh herbs. Serve at room temperature with crackers, more chips, or mini-toasts. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before serving. Can also be tried with blue cheese!
Belinda’s Curried Couscous Salad
This salad was especially good as leftovers – worth trying for work lunches!
- 2 cups uncooked couscous
- 3/4 cups finely shredded carrots
- 3/4 cups finely chopped celery
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup canned drained garbanzo beans
- 1/2 cups raisins or dried currants
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp turmeric
- 1 Tbsp vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the couscous bring 2 cups of water along with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil to a boil in a medium saucepan. As soon as it’s boiling, add the couscous. Immediately turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff the couscouswith a fork and put it in a very large mixing bowl. Set aside.
To prepare the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until emulsified.
Pour the dressing over the couscous salad 1/3 at a time, stirring to combine between additions. Cover and refrigerate overnight so the flavours have time to meld. Because of the vinegar/acid content, use a glass bowl.
Serve as a light lunch or as a side dish along with fresh chicken, etc.
Lory’s Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Mango
Salads like this always remind me of fancy bistro food, so when I make something like it myself, I always get that extra positive feeling of accomplishment.
The recipe is from Bon Appetit, so you can start impressing your friends immediately.http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/soba-noodle-salad-with-cucumber-and-mango
Tastes like Nanaimo Bars!
Sandra’s Fridge Squares
- ½ cup butter ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup white sugar ¼ cup butter
- 5 Tbsp cocoa 2 cup icing sugar
- 1 egg 2 Tbsp custard powder
- 1 tsp vanilla Enough milk to mix
- 2 cups crushed graham wafers
- 3 to 4 squares semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup coconut 1 Tbsp butter
Melt ½ cup butter over hot water. Add sugar, cocoa, egg, vanilla, crushed wafers, coconut and walnuts, Stir well, Press in pan. Chill. Mix ¼ cup butter, icing sugar, custard power and milk; spread on top. Chill. Melt semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter over hot water and pour over top.
Sandra’s Mini Cherry cobblers (because she made 2 recipes LIKE A BOSS)
- 6 cups Sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- ¼ cup Granulated sugar
- 4tsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp grated orange zest
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp coarse sugar
Filling: In large bowl, toss together cherries, granulated sugar, flour, vanilla and orange zest and orange juice. Spoon into six ramekins.
Topping: In separate bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using fork, stir in buttermilk to form ragged dough. Top each ramekin with dough, Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
To finish: Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 375 oven until centres of topping are not longer doughy inside, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Lori’s Pomegranate Feta Couscous
Welcome, Lori and thanks for bringing your amazing salad!
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and well drained
- seeds of 1 pomegranate
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- ½ cup sultanas or dried cranberries (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of ½ lemon
- ¼ tsp fresh black pepper
Cook couscous according to package instructions. Let cool then fluff with fork and set aside.
Chop mint and whisk with lemon juice and oil in bowl. Toss couscous with herb oil mixture. Add remaining ingredients with the feta mixed in last. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavours to blend. Add drained chickpeas, garnish with lemon zest and a spring of mint and then serve.