Category Archives: Recipes

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.

Recipe:

  • 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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May meetup – World Travel

Greetings, foodie friends!

Thank you to everyone who came out and eat generously at our World Travel potluck in the park last month. The stormy weather may have chased us off early, but we sure did eat well. Below are some delectable photos, some with recipes. 

First, SAVE THE DATE! Our next meetup will be Thursday, June 22nd, when we will be hosted by Tracy. We’re sticking with the original idea of a “Western” theme, so dig out your cowboy hat and start making your barbecue sauce. More details and directions forthcoming by email.

Onward to the deliciousness!

Laura’s Hawaiian Salad and Mediterranean Salad (both of which were so very delightful)

Sandra’s Pavlova (I had two big slices of this. There are two photos because I couldn’t decide between them!)

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites, of room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablesppon cornstarch

Directions

Line cookie sheet with greased foil.  Draw a 10 inch circle of the foil.
Beat egg whites and salt until peaks form, but not dry.
Add vanilla and vinegar and beat well. Mix sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Add 1 Tablespoon at a time to egg whites beating well after each addition. Spread meringue inside circle on paper – building it up around the edge. Bake at 275 F. for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave meringue in ovenr to dry for 1 hour. Serve with whipped cread and fresh fruit.

Chantelle’s Easy Tiramisu (Don’t you just want to get a spoon? The recipe uses cream cheese instead of  mascarpone) http://www.kraftcanada.com/recipes/easy-tiramisu-174501)

Lory’s Prawn Pilau (with pieces of pineapple sauteed in butter!)

Ingredients
12 oz. basmati rice
6 tbsp ghee or butter
1 tbsp. crushed coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. Turmeric
1 small pineapple cubed or 1 8 oz can pineapple chunks
8 oz frozen prawns thawed
1 tsp. salt
1 pint fish or chicken stock

Garnish
2 tbsp. ghee or butter
2 tbsp. sultanas
2 tbsp. cashews or almonds (I used slivered almonds)
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered (I omitted this)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander

Wash rice under cold running water, then soak in fresh water for 30 mins.  Drain throughly. Melt butter in a large saucepan, add coriander and fry for 30 seconds.  Add turmeric stir for a few seconds, then add pineapple and fry, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add prawns, rice and salt. (If using stock cube omit salt.) Fry, stirring for 1 minute, then pour in enough stock to cover rice by 1/4 inch. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and cook very gently for 25 mins. or until the rice is cooked and the liquid absorbed.

Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Heat the butter in a small pan, add the sultanas and cashews or almonds and fry for 1 to 2 mins., until the sultanas are plump and the nuts are lightly coloured.  Transfer rice to a warmed serving dish and gently fork in the sultanas and nuts.  Arrange egg around the edge (if using) and sprinkle the coriander on top. Prawn Pilau can be served warm or cold.

Wendy’s Spanish Rice (Yes to garlic and tomatoes and spiced beef)

Jean’s Sticky Toffee Pudding (with the most delectable sauce ever)

Sophia’s Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing (very easy to make and it’s just as good without the mango and the cilantro. Recipe is here: https://www.jessicagavin.com/crunchy-thai-salad-peanut-dressing/)

Thanks for being awesome, everyone. I strawberry heart you.

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All things deliciously maple syrup

You know when you’re really hungry and you walk into a room that has been perfumed with just the kind of food you want to eat? That’s what happened to me on Thursday night after work, trundling into Maple Roch and being consumed by the scent of the maple pulled chicken simmering in Mirjana’s crock pot.

Then more people arrived, and more food. Maple pulled pork (courtesy of Nick), maple pork patties with spicy maple mustard glaze, maple walnut cake, maple granola bread with maple butter, maple tarts and maple squares, maple banana bread, and a small vat of baked brie with seeds, dried fruit and maple syrup.

We also got to hear from Roch about some of the company’s new adventures, and try new products such as maple water, maple cotton candy and two kinds of syrup. After reading this post, if you decide that you simply can’t get enough maple, check out some of the Maple Roch recipes.

And we celebrated a birthday! Jean bravely lit the sparklers on her Maple Cake while Ken (aka birthday boy) stood at a safe distance. We sang boisterously and no fires resulted from the festivities.

As usual, not all of my photos turned out. As glorious as pulled pork and chicken are, unless they are photographed spilling lavishing from the confines of a bun (alas, a photo I neglected to take), the picture simply looks like a mass of mangled meat. So you’re going to have to imagine how good they were, because they were both amazing. Similarly, there are no images of my maple ice cream with sticky maple walnuts, which looked like a lumpy beige landscape but which was truly delectable.

Thank you to our wonderful hosts and to everyone who came out for our potluck extraordinaire!

May meetup! Likely the 3rd week in May. According to the draft outline, there was a desire for a “World Travels” gathering at the Summerland Ornamental Gardens. Yes?

Enjoy the photos. Hopefully I got everyone’s dishes right. Where there are recipes, I have included them.

Wendy’s Baked Brie with seeds, cranberries, apricot preserves (homemade!) and maple syrup. This was so decadent, I kept going back for more.

Our newest member Lorraine from Peachland is a goddess of piping! Behold her Maple Nut Cake with glorious springtime flowers. It tasted just as delicious as it looked.

Sandra’s Mini Maple Cheesecakes. Rich and moist and ever so lovely.

Denise made Maple Pork Patties with Spicy Maple Mustard Glaze. I think I ate four. Yum…

Chantelle’s Maple Syrup Butter Tart Squares. All the flavour of butter tarts with the extra delight of also being cakey in texture.

Thank you, Victoria for always showing us tricks to bring a little still-tasty health boost into our diets of cheese and whipped cream. Her Maple seed cookies were vegan and gluten free.

Lory’s Maple and Bacon Popcorn. Reily, we ate all the bacon on your behalf!

Another dish from Lory – Maple Baked Beans! Despite her delayed realization that the beans needed to be soaked overnight before cooking, she pulled off the recipe in record time. Soooo good.

Kim’s Maple Granola Maple Bread with Maple Butter. Maple. Butter. Butter with Maple syrup whipped mercilessly into it. Yes.

Maple syrup is a perfect match for Carrot Cake. Thank you, Lorraine B for showcasing this classic combination.

Jean’s Maple Cake with Maple Sugared Walnuts and Maple Buttercream, before we devoured much of it.

Kim’s Maple Butter Tarts, which unfortunately I didn’t get to try. You have to be quick at these meetups…

Mirjana’s Maple Coleslaw, which paired brilliantly with the pulled chicken. A must-make for summer BBQ season.

Maple Sugar Cookies, made by Dorthea. Gluten free and doused with a Maple-Whisky Glaze for good measure.

Sugar Shack Treats (made by Janice) – these would be perfect for an afternoon tea, with a cup of Earl Grey.

Ingredients 1

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preparation: Mix ingredients and place in a greased mold (9×9 inches). Cook in oven for 10 minutes, at 300 F.

Ingredients 2

  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs

Preparation: Mix all ingredients and pour on previous mix. Cook in oven at 325F for about 40 minutes. Let cool and cut in squares.

Maple Glazed Banana Bread (made by Tracy?) – also known as my post-meetup breakfast!

Ingredients

Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3-4 medium bananas (or 2 large bananas)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Maple Glaze
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease one 9×5 pan or two 8×4 pans. In a small bowl, mash bananas, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and beat until mixed. To the wet ingredients, sift in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined. Pour in mashed bananas, and mix until combined.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes (for two 8×4 pans) or until cake tester comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it. If using one 9×5 pan, bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Then lower the temp to 325 and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Move to a wire cooling rack.

Glaze

Melt butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cinnamon over low heat. Once melted together, pull off the heat. Sift in powdered sugar and whisk until fully combined. Allow to cool for 8-10 minutes so the glaze can thicken. Once the glaze has thickened, give it a quick stir and pour it over the bread. Allow the glaze to harden completely before cutting into slices.

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What we ate in April

I am once again so very late with the monthly update. Sometimes I think I am the worst baking club mistress in the land, and yet you all continue to put up with me and bring along glorious food every month. Forgive the silliness in this post. I have been unashamedly overindulging in Tom Robbins.

Quick, mark your calendars and call on the sunshine gods, for we are meeting THIS THURSDAY, May 26th at Kim’s place for a Garden Party. What have you always craved during your regular garden party soirees? Make it. Take a moment to glory in your creation. Sample the corner with a tiny spoon and then pack bits around the hole you left so you think we won’t notice (we do notice, only because we’ve all done the same thing). Then pack up your awesome offering, grab your most audacious hat, and come along to Kim’s place to indulge in some calorie stacking and tea drinking. (email now for directions!).

Onward with the great things we ate in April, when we descended upon Dianne’s house and surprised ourselves with how much a single plate can hold. Once again I am missing photos of two dishes. I need to calm down and focus before we dig in because once the forks come out, my photography mind just shuts down. I’m sorry, Lesley and Tina!

Summerland Bakers

Kim’s (aka The Milne Road Forager) Bread – baked in terracotta pots and served with two kinds of herbed butter

Would you like lashings of Spring Pea Butter atop your Stinging Nettle Pesto Bread? Or a ravishing half-inch layer of Cheeky Chive Butter? I mean, just look at these adorable taste explosions. Hands up who imagined hollowing one of these out and donning it as an edible hat? Practical and fashionable all in one, perhaps with tiny butter knife earrings as accessories. Kim, you are the queen of bread, and I salute you.Teracotta Pot Bread Teracotta Pot Bread2

Sharry’s Rhubarb Berry Crumble

Who doesn’t love a crumble? It’s like a big cuddle and permission to go to bed early with a good book. It unlocks the fireside of the mind and says “Calm down. Sure, life can crumble, but it’s still delicious.”Rhubarb berry crumble

Mirjana’s Rhubarb Cake

So engaging is our little clan of eaters that people who can’t attend sometimes still bring food. Mirjana was double booked at the last minute, but she still dropped off this rather tangy rhubarb cake. Thanks, Mirjana!Rhubarb cake

Laura’s Rhubarb Juice

An inordinate amount of sugar is usually required to make rhubarb juice palatable. But this was so good, it was worth every oom-pah-pah of diabetic polka in my veins. Rhubarb juice

Sandra’s Banana Chocolate Icebox Cake

Was I the only person who briefly considered smashing her face directly into this cake? Didn’t think so. Sandra gave me a printed recipe but I’m too lazy to write it out so instead I found a recipe online to what looks like the same one. Aren’t I a cheeky wee cake-loving creature?Banana Chocolate Icebox Cake

Lory’s “Rustic” Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart

Lory began our newest trend: If your dish doesn’t work out exactly as you wanted it to, you can dub it rustic and suddenly it will sound as if you meant to do whatever it is that went wrong. That Lory – she’s both fabulous and clever. That tart was delicious as well, which I think was down to its badass rustic attitude.Asparagus Tart

Denise’s Crepes with onion, spinach, asparagus, chives, parsley, and local cheddar

I have a theory that Denise stops off at some secret upmarket bistro on the way to our meetups, because her food is too glorious and always suspiciously lacking in “rustic” disaster elements.Asparagus Crepes

Tracy’s Rhubarb & Custard Crossovers

Having once attended a birthday garden party at Buckingham Palace (it was Princess Anne’s 60th), I can say with confidence that members of the Royal Family would have been walloping each other in the jaw to get their hands on one of these. Thank you, Tracy and thank you to Mastercook, for bringing this little beauties into our lives.Rhubarb Custard Crossovers

Jean’s Puff Pastry Spinach Cups

These are sweet and small and one tiny chomp above bite-sized. They are the kind of goodie I would have no qualms stuffing liberally into my purse at a buffet.

Puff pastry spinach cups

Recipe:

  • 1 pkge store-bought puff pastry
  • 250g frozen spinach
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic- minced
  • 1 cup cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil

Cook garlic in oil for a few seconds. Add spinach & heat until water has evaporated. Combine sour cream, cream cheese & grated cheese with salt and pepper. Divide puff pastry into 12 squares and put in muffin pan. Spoon in filling. Bake 20 minutes at 375F.

Dianne’s Peas stuffed with dill, smoked salmon & cream cheese

I ate five of these. Sorry if anyone didn’t get one – that was me. Were these not delicate and delicious?stuffed peas

Wendy’s Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake

Looking back at the photos, I think what Wendy’s bake revealed was in fact a map to a secret island where treasures of margaritas wait to be discovered. And we ate the map. What were we thinking?Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake

Chantelle’s No Bake Butterscotch and Peanut Butter Bird’s Nest Cookies

I think these could be rebranded as an easy-to-grab hangover cure. Butterscotch because it sounds like a Hogwarts drink for grownups, peanut butter for that all important dose of protein, and perfectly packaged in nice little nests to give you some sense of control of your life again, since the memories of the night before are starting to float to the surface of your psyche.no bake spring treat

Sophia’s New Potato & Spring Onion Quiche

Oooh… check out the “rustic” pastry on this beauty.quiche

Lisa’s Pasta Salad with Mozzarella, Ham and Mint

I ate this for breakfast the next day. It didn’t even make it to the afternoon where it was supposed to be shown off to my colleagues at lunch. Nope. Ate it. Not sorry.Pasta salad

And that’s it! Did you read right to the end? I’m sorry there’s nothing more to see. Oh, wait! Here’s a photo of my kitten Iza sleeping the sun.iza

Okay that’s it now. Really, I’ve got nothing. See you Thursday. Remember your hat!

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Ancient Grain Adventures Report!

The quote of month for March goes to our youngest baking club member Rylee. We were all sitting down with our first rounds of glorious food when Rylee frantically nudged her mom and pointed out the awesome lack of a queue for early seconds. “Now’s the best time to go!” The second best quote of the month also goes to Rylee, who fell quite madly in love with Dianne’s Spelt Focaccia and was loading the pieces into her Tupperware at the end of the evening. When gently reminded by her mom that they were going on a big trip the next day and wouldn’t be able to eat so much, the young foodie quickly adapted. “Okay, we’ll just have two each.” This young lady is obviously one of us.

2 On Camera

Erick from ET2media hung out with us for the evening. Thanks, Erick!

Summerland Baking Club

Our youngest member and fearless extras gatherer is bottom left.

3 Digging in

Before I crack on with the Ancient Grain report, our next will be Thursday, April 28th at Dianne’s house (email me for directions) and the theme will be “Early Spring Offerings.” Something tells me there’s going to be some asparagus in our collective futures.

Below I have posted photos and any recipes that I have. Some of them I have forgotten who made them. At this stage however I think most of you have grown used to my somewhat haphazard style of “organizing” things. Thank you to those who gathered up all the recipes and note cards at the end of the evening, knowing full well that I would likely lose them if you didn’t.

Wild Rice, Lentil and Emmer Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Who made this one again? It was delicious!

Wild Rice Salad

2 cups (500ml) cooked wild rice
2 cups cooked Emmer kernels
1 cup (250ml) lentils (French green or beluga), cooked or sprouted
1 cup cranberries
2 Tbsp (30ml) hemp hearts

Vinaigrette
Zest of 2 oranges
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Canola oil
3 Tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss rice, lentils, emmer kernels, cranberries and hemp hearts together in a bowl. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in separate bowl and then toss over salad. Season with to taste.

Lisa’s Volou Vorst

So awesome. So decadent. So. Much. Excellent. Bacon.Volou Vorst

Incredible Quinoa Salad (Whitewater Cookbook)

This was a favourite of many and I don’t think there were any leftovers. There is a recipe online here that I think may be the right one.

Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups multi-coloured quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups micro kale or julienned regular kale
  • 1/2 red onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup corn kernels, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 papaya, peeled, seeded and diced

Dressing

  • 1/2 papaya, peeled, seeded and chopped roughly
  • 2 limes, juice of both, zest of one
  • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. A hand-held wand blender works well too.

Toss quinoa with salt, turmeric, paprika and cumin in a large salad bowl. Add kale, red onion, corn, red pepper, cilantro and papaya. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss gently until well combined.

Jean’s Homemade Chocolate Digestives

Digestives are such an amazing comfort food. These would be perfect with a cup of strong tea. Digestive Biscuits

Tina’s awesome Hummus
I don’t have the amounts but the delicious secret everyone went away with was buttermilk!

hummus

  • Chickpeas
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Tahini
  • Buttermilk
  • Salt
  • Paprika

Jan’s Chocolate Quinoa Cake
This was very decadent! Jan adapted the recipe from two sources: Oh She Glows and makingthymeforhealth.com. She included red quinoa, duck eggs, butter, coconut cream, coconut powder, sugar and milk.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Denise’s Sweet Potato, Spelt, Kamut & Hemphearts Biscuits

Am I right – Denise were these yours? These would be excellent with soup.

Sweet potato spelt kamut biscuits

Chantelle’s Vegan Gingersnap Cookies
Vegan and gluten free and somehow still tasty! Find the recipe here.
Gluten free ginger biscuitsTama’s Italian Bean Stew with Kale & Quinoa
Comfort Food Alert!Italian Bean stew with kale and quinoa

Wendy’s Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Topping

Cake

Anyone else have two pieces of this? I loved how the top was kind of caramelized.

Kim’s rather glorious ancient grain crackers

I very much appreciate all the work that goes into these dishes, dishes I often would never be brave enough to try myself. Ancient Grain Crackers

Dianne’s Sourdough Spelt Focaccia

Spelt Focaccia

The infamous focaccia that young Rylee couldn’t get enough of! Luckily, she did save a few pieces for the rest of us.

Pumpkin Loaf  -Another tasty gluten free option!
Gluten free pumpkin bread

Val’s Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Quinoa Chocolate Cake
This cake looked as lovely as it tasted.
Ingredients
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 8-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper – this cake is very moist, and it will make removing them much safer.
In a blender, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla; add the cooked quinoa and the melted butter and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the blender and pulse until well blended.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pans before running a thin knife around the edges and inverting them onto plates. Frost if you like, or serve dusted with icing sugar.
I added a tablespoon of instant coffee to the cocoa, I some of the guests identified it and said it added to richness.

Laura’s Vegetarian “Meatloaf”Vegetable loafThis reminded me of the Glazed Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf from Oh She Glows. I had two servings because yummy.

Lory’s Bulgur, Black Bean, & Mushroom Enchilada Casserolebulgar mushroom and blackbean enchiladas

Oh, this was lovely. The smell is heavenly and it would be a great dish to serve to company. Or yourself. Serves 6 to 8 (or yourself if you’re really, really hungry).

Ingredients

  • 15 small or 10 large Corn Tortillas
  • 1 cup uncooked Bulgur Wheat
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. White or Brown Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28 oz.) can Mild Enchilada Sauce store bought or homemade (recipe follows)
  • 1 lb. Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded

Optional Toppings (always say yes to optional toppings):

  • 1/2 cup halved Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. crumbled Cotija or Feta Cheese
  • 1/8 cup chopped Cilantro leaves
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 2 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 small Jalapeno, sliced into rings

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine bulgur with 2 cups cold water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes until cooked.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and brown on one side for 60 seconds. Stir and continue to cook until soft, three or four minutes. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.

3. Once the bulgur has cooked, fluff with a fork and transfer to the large bowl. Add the black beans, ¼ of the enchilada sauce, and ½ of the shredded cheese. Fold together with a spatula.

4. Pour another ¼ of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13” x 9” baking dish. Arrange five tortillas to cover the bottom (you may need to cut into quarters). Spoon half of the filling over the top and press down with a spatula. Pour another ¼ of the enchilada sauce over the top.

5. Arrange another five tortillas in the dish to create a second layer, followed by the second half of the filling and another ¼ of the enchilada sauce.

6. Arrange the final five tortillas over the top of the dish, then pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Spread the remaining shredded cheese over the top of the dish. Cover with well-greased foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another five minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Let rest fifteen minutes, top with desired toppings, and serve.

Sophia’s Kamut Berry SaladKamut SaladThis is really nutritious and cheap to make. I think it will be my summer go-to salad recipe. It was supposed to have pomegranate but I couldn’t find any.

I did it! This blog post has taken me two weeks to finish. There are probably many, many errors. But I doubt anyone has read down this far anyway so nevermind. Oh, I’m very tired.

 

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Healthy potluck – a few lovely recipes

Hello you. It is my intention to share with you a few of the recipes from last month’s healthy potluck. Because if you’re still somehow clinging on to your New Year’s resolutions, you deserve a little something to bolster your resolve.

But first, something to smash your resolve into a paste, which will then hopefully either be rolled in chocolate, or mixed with cheese and fried. In other words, here are our upcoming events:

Saturday, February 13 is the return of Cafe Noir at the Summerland Art Gallery. We will drink wine, listen to fabulous music, and eat delectable “sweet n’ spicy” things. We will swoon over the handmade mugs made by the members of the Potters Guild. Tickets are available at the art gallery in advance or at the door. Are you going? Let me know so we can sit together!

Thursday, March 31: Ancient Grain Adventures, Part 2, at True Grain Bread on Main Street. Start time is 6.30pm. Potluck style – bring your dish that features one or more ancient grains.

Okay, let’s have some recipes!

Babaganoush

Lory’s Baba Ghanoush 

Can’t get enough eggplant dip? Find this recipe on epicurious and make all the baba ghanoush you can eat. Dip vegetables in it. Smear it on crackers. Just eat it.

Peanut Butter Pie

Chantelle’s Peanut Butter Pie 

According to the recipe, this is both easy AND decadent. If you tried this at last month’s meetup, I think we can agree on the decadent part. And of course the peanut butter mousse has protein. And chocolate ganache has…chocolate. So yeah, it’s practically a smoothie. Sign me up.

Jan’s Bobotie 

Jan wrote this recipe on a very small piece of paper, so I hope I don’t miss anything out. It was Gill Brown who shared her recipe for this traditional South African dish with Jan. And then we ate it, and it was delicious.

bobotie

Main Mix – in casserole dish

  • 1-2 onions, diced & sautéed in oil.
  • 1 pound browned minced meat, or cooked lentils
  • 2 Tbsp dried apricots (or jam)
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 apple, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp raisins

Topping!

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 banana, sliced thin

Cook at 350F for 45 minutes, and serve with rice and chutney.

John Aredt’s Granola Bars

Thanks Kim for making these, and thanks John for sharing your recipe. They were an absolute hit (mmmm…peanut buttery). I don’t remember there being any leftovers, at least none that I got to run away with. I wish I had some now. I would eat them.

Granola bars

  • 2. 1/4 cups oats
  • 3/4  cup raisins or dried cranberries or dried blueberries
  • Slivered almonds or coconuts

Mix all the dry ingredients together.
There is some room for flexibility here, but it should work to a total of three cups.

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey

Heat until blended together and until the sugar has dissolved.

Mix the liquid and the dry ingredients together. Put into a greased 8″x8″ baking dish. Press down hard on the ingredients. (I use a spatula and a lot of force.) Cool in the refrigerator for several hours.

Two notes: First, if the dry ingredients haven’t fully mixed with the liquid, add some more peanut butter and mix this together. Second, pressing down the mix is essential. Otherwise, the result is granola and not granola bars.

**************

There you have it – some recipes to keep you inspired until we meet again. If you’re not able to make it to Cafe Noir, I will be posting photos to make you so jealous you could swoon. Hooray!

 

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What we ate in November (Part 1)

potluck bountyWe were part way through sharing our descriptions of nearly 20 dishes for our “cold weather comfort food” gathering and we were collectively shocked and dismayed that not one of us had made mac n’ cheese. Somehow we had all thought that someone else would surely be making it. Then there was a knock at the door, and two more newcomers entered the kitchen. One was carrying a crockpot. It looked heavy. I strained to see through the steam-shrouded lid into a bubbling sea of orange.

“Is that Mac and Cheese?” I demanded as a way of greeting.

“Yup.”

The boisterous cheer went up, and our new members received an immediate understanding of what our demure little club is all about. Namely, EATING ALL OF THE THINGS.

Cold weather comfort food

A massive thanks to Jean for hosting one of our largest gatherings at her house and allowing us to take over both her kitchen and living room. One of my favourite things is Jean’s collection of beautiful tea cups. Despite feeling rather clumsy when I try to drink from them (my paws are made for mugs), I adore tea cups, especially when then are displayed together like the little works art that they are.

Tea cups!

dominion ciderDespite there being more than 20 dishes, there wasn’t one duplicate! Also, thanks to the lovely Laura, we were among the very first people to sample cider from Summerland’s brand new Dominion Cider Company. Oh, my it was good. Talks are in the works to have a meetup there is 2016. Woo-hoo!

Below are a few of the recipes from last month. I’ll follow up with the remainder of the delicious photos for the next post. 🙂

Evelyn’s (now famous) Creamy Crockpot Mac’N’Cheese

mac n cheese

  • 16 oz. COOKED Shell Macaroni (cooked) OR 4 c. UNCOOKED Shell Macaroni
  • 1/2 c. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. Half & Half
  • 1/2 tsp. White Pepper
  • 10 3/4 oz. Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup (1 can)
  • 4 c. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Ground Dry Mustard

OPTIONAL SUBSTITUTION for condensed cheddar cheese soup:

  • 3 T. butter
  • 3 T. flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. cheese, Cheddar

Cook macaroni according to box directions; drain.

Place cooked shells in a 5-quart lined or greased slow cooker; add margarine and stir. Cover.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine soup and the half & half, stirring until smooth and creamy.

Add the eggs and dry mustard; stir.

Add cheese and stir until melted. Sauce should be smooth.

Pour cheese sauce over the shells in the crock.

Cover & Crock on LOW for about 2-4 hours.

Season with pepper or top with bacon bits, if desired, before serving.

Optional Substitute Recipe for Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup

(NOW included in main recipe ingredient list as a Optional Substitution for Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup):

Melt 3 T. butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; add 3 T. of flour and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup of milk. Return to the saucepan and bring contents to a gentle boil. (keep whisking until thickened) Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Salt to taste. Use this in replacement of the Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup called for in this recipe.

NOTE: It is important to know that I like to add spices outside of the recipe. I used sweet chili cheese in the soup recipe with old sharp cheddar and some laughing cow cheese. I also added our homemade dried hot peppers, homemade dried garlic, some salt and pepper, and some paprika.

Charlie’s Mexican Corn Dip

There is always one dish that I fail to get a decent photo of. I chalk it up to being so beside myself with excitement that I can’t hold the camera straight and it turns out blurry. Several people have asked for this recipe since our gathering. Needless to say, there wasn’t much left at the end of the evening.  Enjoy!

  • 1 can kernel corn
  • 1 cup salsa (Mrs. Renfro Black Bean Salsa)
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • Jalepeno peppers to taste (2 jalepenos)

Mix all ingredients together. Serve nachos.

NOTE: Tastes better when it sits for a couple of hours or overnight. Also you may add regular salsa however it makes the salsa watery.

Jennifer’s Pumpkin spice shortbread (from jocooks.com)

Cold weather just isn’t the same without some good, buttery shortbread to help create extra body insulation.

Pumpkin spice shortbread

Premix pumpkin spice:

  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1½ cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (icing sugar or powdered sugar)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.

Blend butter and pumpkin spice until smooth in a large bowl using an electric mixer set at medium speed. Slowly blend in the icing sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and combine thoroughly. Add flour and mix at low speed until well blended.

Pat dough into an ungreased cookie sheet. Alternatively you can roll out the dough so that it’s about ¼ of an inch in thickness and cut them to your desired shape. I placed parchment paper on my cookie sheet and rolled my dough into flattened balls.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until just done (slightly golden in color). Do not let it get brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with colored sugar or other sprinkles if desired. Cut into squares if you haven’t pre-cut them and place cookie sheet on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and enjoy!

Belinda’s Butter Chicken with Cumin Rice (4 servings)

She may have brought a massive pot of this curry, but in the end there were no leftovers. Nothing. Barely a grain of rice. We ate the lot.

butter chicken with cumin rice

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Apply mixture of red chilli powder, lemon juice, and salt to the chicken pieces and set aside for half an hour in the refrigerator.
  • For the marinade:
  • 1/2 cup of greek yogurt (I use 2% greek yogurt)
  • 2 tsp ginger paste (use a rasper)
  • 2 tsp garlic paste (use a garlic press)
  • 1/2 tsp chili pwd.
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala pwd.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp mustard oil (use olive oil if you cannot find mustard oil).
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter

Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth (I use a flat bottomed coffee filter) for 15 – 20 min to remove extra whey. Then add the ginger and garlic pastes, chilli pwd, salt and garam masala pwd to the yogurt, mix well and apply this marinade to the chicken pieces and place in fridge for 3 – 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400F. String the chicken onto skewers and cook in preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes until almost done.

Baste with melted butter and cook for another 3 – 4 min. Remove and set aside

To make the Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 green cardamom seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 green chilli deseeded and chopped fine
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp Kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

In a med pan heat the 2 Tbsp. butter, add the green cardamon seeds and chopped garlic, saute for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till tomatoes are plump and soft.

In a separate small pan, heat the 3 tbsp butter, add the ginger paste and green chilli and saute for a few minutes till the mixture softens. Add this mixture to the tomato mixture. Add the sugar/honey 1/2 tsp kasoori methi and salt to taste. Cook for a few minutes and then puree the tomato mixture with a hand blender. When everything is completed pureed, add the heavy cream, simmer gently. Add chicken pieces off the skewer to the sauce and mix well. Taste for seasoning, add additional chilli pwd and salt if required.

p.s. If the mixture appears too thick, thin it down with a little water.

Val’s Gingerbread Cake

Welcome to our other new member Val, who seemed to know instinctively to include lashings of whipped cream with her cake. Smart lady.

gingerbread

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with 2 inch (5 cm) sides. (You can also use a 9 inch (23 cm) round pan with 2 inch (5 cm) sides.)

Gingerbread Cake:

  • 2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (3 grams) ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Zest of 1 lemon (outer yellow skin of lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) finely chopped fresh ginger or 1/4 cup (30 grams) finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) (130 grams) unsulphured molasses (To prevent the molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, first spray the cup with a non stick vegetable spray.)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk, at room temperature

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, lemon zest, and grated ginger (if using).

In bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the molasses and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients (in three additions) and the milk (in two additions), alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. If desired, frost with the Lemon Icing.

Lemon Icing: Mix together the sifted confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth. (The icing should be thick but still spreadable.) Pour the icing onto the center of the cake and spread with an offset spatula.

This cake will keep for several days at room temperature. Can serve with softly whipped cream, lemon curd, or slices of apples sauteed in a little butter and sugar.

Makes about 9 servings.

There is also a demonstration of this recipe on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3MRc7WfUpw

Lemon Icing: (Optional)

  • 1  1/2 cups (170 grams) confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
  • about 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Note: For the glaze I used dried figs, lemon juice, honey. Tablespoon of ginger marmalade. Boiled together, spread over cake and sprinkled with icing sugar

Lori’s “Hillary Clinton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies”

Mrs Clintons cookies

These were so decedent, owing mostly to Lori’s excellent decision to add obscene amounts of chocolate chips. The original recipe is from http://clinton2.nara.gov/WH/EOP/First_Lady/html/cookies.html and Lori made several adjustments, including adding 1 cup of dried cranberries, substituting butter for the shortening, and using jumbo chips instead of regular chocolate chips.

Dorthea’s Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup (Vegan!)

Who brings not one, not two but THREE optional toppings for an already amazing soup? The lovely Dorthea, of course! This is one of those winter soups that makes everything right with the world.

Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Original recipe from http://cookieandkate.com/2014/thai-curried-butternut-squash-soup/

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (I used olive)
  • 2 pound butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups) (my butternut squash was a little over 2 lb, peeled.)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste* (Thai Kitchen is good)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (I didn’t have this but used curry powder instead.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (up to ¼ teaspoon for spicier soup) (I used cayenne rather than flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk for drizzling on top (I stirred some into the soup before serving, plus some of the side for stirring. )
  • ½ cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes** I just used unsweetened coconut.

Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add squash, onion, garlic, curry paste, coriander, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes to skillet. Stir to combine.

2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. (I let my cook for about 30 minutes.)

3. While the soup is cooking, toast the coconut flakes in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden on the edges. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Transfer coconut flakes to a bowl to cool. (I also used toasted pumpkin seeds as a garnish.)

4. Once the squash mixture is done cooking, taste and add a little more Thai red curry paste if it’s not quite flavorful enough for you. Remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly.

Purée the mixture until smooth.

— Use an immersion blender to puree in the pot, or use a blender:

To use a blender to puree the soup: Working in batches, transfer the contents pan to a blender (do not fill your blender past the maximum fill line!). Securely fasten the lid and use a kitchen towel to protect your hand from steam escaping from the top of the blender as you blend.

Transfer puréed soup to a serving bowl and repeat with remaining batches.

5. Stir the lime juice into the blended soup. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Use a spoon to drizzle coconut milk over each bowl, then lightly swirl the spoon through the topmost layer for a pretty design. Top the soup with toasted coconut flakes (or/and pumpkin seeds) and a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro.

Sandra’s Baby Mocha Cheesecakes

Just look at it. It’s cute as a button. If buttons were made of chocolate and awesome.

baby mocha cheesecake

CRUST

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • 2 T sugar
  • 3 T butter melted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

CHEESECAKE

  • 1 – 8oz (250 g) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz (60 g) good quality dark chocolate (callebaut), melted
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 T coffee liqueur or 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 12 chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Prepare a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan by greasing. Mix cookie crumbs, nuts, sugar, melted butter and cinnamon together.

Divide mixture evenly among the 12 cups. Press the mixture firmly into the bottoms of the pans and about 1/3 of the way up the sides.

Place the room temperature cream cheese and sugar in a food processor or the bowl of your mixer and whip up until smooth and creamy.

Add the sour cream, egg, melted chocolate, espresso powder, coffee liqueur (or vanilla extract) and salt. Mix well to combine.

Put the mixture in a jug or measuring cup with a spout for pouring, or use a spring-loaded cookie scoop to get all the mixture into the 12 cups.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. The cheesecake will puff up a little in the oven and fall when you cool them.

Remove from the oven and cool until set (about 30 minutes). Remove from the pans by pushing up each cup from underneath then sliding a knife between the disc and the little cake.

Garnish with a chocolate covered espresso bean or a drizzle of dark chocolate.

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