Category Archives: Recipes

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!


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.


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


  • 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.


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

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


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.


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.

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 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


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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


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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September recipes, November plans!

There must have been a day when summer was officially switched off and autumn’s chill began in earnest. Now that the clocks have gone back, those late summer breezes and golden afternoons are warm memories we invoke as we light the first fires of the dark months.

Before I share the delicious recipes we enjoyed at our September meetup, here are the details of our November Gathering, which will be hosted by the lovely Jean!

  • Date: Thursday, November 19
  • Time: 6.30pm-ish
  • Where: Jean’s house. Email me at to confirm your spot and get directions.
  • Theme: Cold Weather Comfort Food. The frost has begun – what dish do you reach for when the season begins to turn towards winter?
  • What to bring: Your glorious creations don’t have to be baked, but you can certainly bake if you want to! Also, remember your Tupperware for leftovers!

On with the September recipes!

It was a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon when our small clan of foodies gathered at SummerGate Winery in Prairie Valley. Not only did we get to sip wine with our goodies, but owner Gillian Stohler treated us to samples of Kerner juice as well as juice that had been partially fermented, on its way to becoming wine. If you ever get the opportunity to taste organic wine in these different phases, I highly recommend it!

September 2015 meetupSummerGate Wine

They have a tradition at SummerGate of serving a special dish to celebrate young fermenting wine known as federweisser. Zwiebelkuchen, aka Onion Pie, is a rich dish that will make your house smell heavenly. Think of bacon, sour cream, onion (lots of onion) and fresh oregano. The recipe can be found on their website. It would be splendid with a green salad, and, of course, a glass of good wine.


Jean’s Zucchini Stuffing Casserole

This dish is so Moorish, I think Jean could make it for our comfort food meetup and those of us who have already tried it would be perfectly happy to eat it again!

Zucchini Stuffing Casserole

  • 7 cups chopped zucchini-bite sized cubes
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. shredded carrot
  • 1 box ‘Stove Top Stuffing’

In a large saucepan, cook zucchini in boiling salted water about 8 minutes. Drain well. Saute onion and carrot in a little margarine until soft. Combine this with soup, sour cream and about 2/3 box of stuffing bread and seasoning. Fold in zucchini. Sprinkle the remaining stuffing mix on top. Bake in casserole dish about 30 minutes at 350′.

Denise’s Caramelized Apple, Bacon, Onion and Blue Cheese Pizza

I could eat this pizza again and again, provided lovely Denise would make it for me. Thank you, Denise, for taking the time to slowly caramelize onions. It is a much beloved treat that I rarely get to indulge in because I usually run out of patience and burn them.

Caramelized Onion Pizza


I made a spelt pizza dough and let it rise until doubled then spread it onto an oiled large 10 x 15 inch stone pizza pan. You can use whole wheat, coconut, or any crust you prefer.


  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large kale leaf, diced
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 small round of brie, cut into small slices
  • 4 tart apples (I used McIntosh), peeled. Sliced and soaked in a saucepan with 1 cup maple syrup.
  • 4 slices of softly cooked bacon, diced. Lay bacon on paper towel to soak up the excess oils.
  • 1 to 3 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary


  1. Heat oven to 470F
  2. Soak your sliced apples in a saucepan and gently warm to absorb maple syrup. I used just enough syrup to gently coat the apples.
  3. Heat your skillet on medium head and add the butter and the onions. Occasionally stir onions and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until they are soft and caramelized.
  4. Add the kale to the onions and lightly cook.
  5. Sprinkle the pan of pizza dough with a little olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle pizza dough lightly with the mozzarella.
  7. Sprinkle the pizza dough with blue cheese and the small slices of brie.
  8. Top with the apple slices, then bacon, then caramelized onion and kale, and chopped rosemary.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the crust is baked through and the edges are lightly golden brown.

Lory’s Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini

Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini

These are one of those appies that are easy to pick up, and pick up, and pick up, and before you know it you’ve eaten six. Hey, it could happen to anyone!

Gerri’s Mediterranean Terrine
What a beautiful dish this was. Like something out of a magazine. If there is one among us who can make photographing food easy, it’s Gerri. Just look at it! Yum. Now, when Gerri sent me the recipe she forgot the cheese layer, so I’m doctoring things using her follow-up instructions and hopefully I’ll get them right. If you’re confused, just look at the photo and wing it! As long as you get the flavours right, it’s bound to be delicious.

Mediterranean Terrine

Choose a theme and layer the ingredients inside a suitable shaped container (I used a bread pan) and plastic wrap the whole inside with lots sticking over the edges.

Cut a couple of good sized eggplants in one inch slices lengthwise, salt and brush with oliver oil.  Roast the eggplant in the oven on “broil” for about 10 minutes each side – cut the soft slices into strips and cover the bottom of your pan with one half of the slices.

Next layer – some white kidney or navy beans mixed well with juice of one lemon and 1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin (or any spice you prefer).  You could also mash the beans and the juice and spice – it will probably hold together better but I like the look of the whole beans.

Next layer – roast some peppers – red or any colour – I used our garden yellow Hungarian peppers.  Cut in strips and cover the beans with roasted peppers.

Tomato layer  – puree four or five fresh really ripe tomatoes and two whole cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup parsley (or you could of course use basil or oregano) – just until it is blended – don’t liquify it.  Spread over top of eggplants.

Put another layer of the roasted eggplant strips here.

For the last layer you mix up some good feta cheese with all fat greek yogurt and press it onto the other layers.

Cover with plastic wrap and a piece of stiff cardboard that fits just inside the container so you can put heavy weights on top of it.  Put in fridge overnight and when ready, put plate on top, flip over and gently pull the terrine out of the container with the plastic wrap you have left hanging out.

You can make terrines out of anything – choose a theme and layer away!

Laura’s Pull Apart Bread

Not only was this bread delicious with white wine, but it would also be rather grand with beer. It’s the kind of thing that would be a hit at a dinner part or watching the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s just so tasty.

Pull apart bread

Makes 1 9″x5″ loaf



  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • handful fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed


Make the dough:

  1. In a large bowl, heat milk and water until warm – about 30 seconds in the microwave should do. Add the yeast and sugar. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the dough ingredients (butter through flour) to the milk mixture, stirring everything until it comes together to form a shaggy ball. Then knead the dough by hand (or with a dough hook attachment) until it’s smooth and elastic – this will take about 10 minutes (or less if using a stand mixer). Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Make the filling:

  1. While the dough rises, combine the olive oil, basil and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.

Shape and bake the loaf:

  1. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan.
  2. After the dough has risen, punch it down and cut it into 1″ pieces. Roll each piece of dough in the oil mixture and transfer to the prepared pan; continue until the bottom of the pan is covered. Then sprinkle on half the tomatoes and half the mozzarella cheese. Add the remaining dough pieces to the pan and top with the rest of the tomatoes and cheese.
  3. Cover loaf with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. About 15 minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove pan from oven and turn out bread onto a wire rack. Let cool slightly before serving.

And that does it! I look forward to seeing what everyone makes for our comfort food meetup later this month.

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August meetup report & recipes!

Before I launch into the photos and general deliciousness that was last month’s gathering, here are the need-to-know details of our September meetup!

SummerGate Winery, where we'll be spending out time on September 27!

SummerGate Winery, where we’ll be spending our time on September 27!

  • Date: Sunday, September 27
  • Time: 4pm-ish
  • Place: SummerGate Winery, 11612 Morrow Ave
  • Theme: Harvest and Herbs. Many of us are garden rich at the moment, so use what you’re harvesting and throw in some herbs to make it extra fabulous. This is potluck style, so it can be baked or not -whatever you choose!
  • What to bring: Other than your offering of tastiness, there will be the opportunity to buy some glasses of wine to enjoy with our meal, so bring a few dollars so you can treat yourself. SummerGate is a unique, small organic winery with amazing white wines that are definitely worth sampling!
  • Let me know if you’re coming along! Email me at so I can give the lovely folks at SummerGate an idea of numbers.
    On with the August treats!

One could say we ate a few peaches at August’s meetup. Seeing as our theme was Orchard Fruit and our meeting place was The Peach Pitt, we were pretty bang on, if I do say so myself. A HUGE thank you to Sandy at The Peach Pitt for hosting our wee clan of foodies!

August Peach Pitt Meetup

I don’t have all the recipes so I’m going to try in intersperse recipes with glorious photos over which you can drool. Let’s begin!

Sarah’s Peach Basil Jam

Peach Basil JamI confess that I ate more than my fair share of these darling little explosions of flavour, sweetness smoothed by a layer of cheese. Seriously, I think I had five. I don’t even feel bad – they were that good.

  • 5 Cups mashed peaches (about 7-8 large)
  • 4 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 (49 g) package pectin
  • 3 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 Cup fresh basil leaves, torn
    Peel and roughly chop the peaches. Mash the peaches and measure 5 cups. Add the peaches and lemon juice to a medium saucepan. Slowly stir in the pectin. Bring the mixture to a hard boil that can’t be stirred down. Stir in about 3 cups of sugar until dissolved. Return to a hard boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat and skim foam off of the top. Stir in 1/2 cup torn basil leaves. Can or cool and store in fridge.

Jean’s Frosty Peach Dessert

Frosty Peach DessertOkay so I had two slices of this as well, but technically I only had 1 1/2, since half of my first serving was blown away by a gust of wind. Also, can I just say how impressed I was by how much of this we managed to demolish before it started to melt.

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
    In a shallow pan, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter, mixing well. Bake 350′ for 20 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to keep mixture crumbly. Let cool

Reserve about 3/4 c. of the crumb mix for the topping. Spread remainder in 9″ springform  pan  or 9×13″ baking dish and set aside.

  • 10 peaches, peel and stone 4 of these and thinly slice
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 c. whipping cream

Mash the peaches really well (I used the food processor) Add sugar and lemon juice. Beat egg whites until foamy and then on high speed to get them almost double in volume. Add the peaches (I had to cover my Kitchen Aid with a tea towel at this stage, cuz it makes a real mess) Whip this until it is double in volume and the mixture is thick. Takes about 10 minutes. In the mean time, whip the cream in another bowl, then fold it into the peach mixture gently. Pour into springform pan, sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Cover and freeze for at least 6hr. of overnight. Transfer to fridge about 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, peel and slice remaining peaches and arrange around the edges (I didn’t do this part as I ran out of time)


Lory’s Brie and Peach Pizza

Brie and Peach PizzaThere were absolutely zero leftovers of this lovely creation. Click the link for the recipe!

Janice’s Peach and Blueberry Pancakes

peach pancakesComfort food alert!

Melt 3 tbsp. butter in glass pie plate or baking dish, Add 3 large nectarines and blueberries, or apples, or pears, cook for 10 minutes at 425. Top with 1/4 brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Pour batter over and bake another 20 mins or till brown. Enjoy warm with maple syrup if desired. (If desired, Janice? Or course we desire. Of course).

Chantelle’s homemade baguettes with peaches and balsamic vinegar

Peach BruchettaThe woman made her own baguettes, people! Virtual high fives for Chantelle!

Belinda’s Peach Pie and Peach Salsa, and Laura’s Peach Salsa

Peach PieThis is what happens when super cook Belinda misses a few meetups – she shows up with not one but two dishes! Now, Laura also made a scrumptious peach salsa, and I can’t remember who made which one, so you may gaze upon them each in turn.Peach Salsa 2 Peach Salsa and Chips

Jennifer’s Peach Salsa and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa and Peach SaladThis woman – me thinks she is trying to make us be healthier. I don’t have definitive proof, but I have my suspicions…

  • Mix 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Maple syrup to sweetness ( i used about 3 tbps)
  • Dash of thai chili pepper sauce.
  • 4 tbsp of Epicure Peach salsa seasoning.

Let stand in bowl until all the liquid is absorbed. About 25 minutes.

Layer in a glass bowl to appreciate the colours the following:

Peaches and peppers (Sliced in small pieces). Try red and yellow for colour.  Cherry tomatoes quartered.

Quinoa layer.

Peaches again.

For the Quinoa layer:  1 cup quinoa rinsed. 2 cups water. Bring quinoa in pot to a boil. Stir.  Lower heat and Cover for 15 minutes. Mix in seasoning adding a little water if all the water has cooked into quinoa. Cool quinoa before adding to salad.  ( if pressed for time put onto plate and pop into freezer! )

May be nice with a little fresh cilantro on top (mine had already gone to seed).

Linda’s Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato SalsaEvery time I eat homemade tomato salsa, I swoon inwardly and think “I really need to make this.” And then I don’t make it. But oh my, was it ever good.

Brenda’s Savoury Strudel
Savoury strudelThis magnificent beast had dijon mustard, pears, and brie. I wasn’t fast enough and missed out on a slice, but it certainly looked divine.

Lisa’s Cherry Clafoutis
Cherry Clafoutis“You see what’s happened – I’ve been in the baking club so long I’m starting to make the same recipes over again. I’ve come full circle.” That’s okay, Lisa. You can make it again if you want. And again. And again…

Lorraine’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Chocolate Zuchinni LoafWho doesn’t love a bit of chocolate zucchini cake of a morning? Sorry – did I just give away that I ate some of this for breakfast the next day? Nevermind. Hey, there were vegetables in it – it was practically a low-fat scramble!

Denise’s Fruit and Cheese Appetizers
appiesThese little beauties were a complex combination of flavours, including plums, mozzarella, pine nuts and mint with a reduced balsamic vinegar on a blue cheese and pecan baton (and breathe), and roast peaches with pecans and brie on light rye bread. YUM!

Wendy’s Peach Pound Cake
Peach Pound CakeIsn’t it pretty? It’s the kind of thing you feel bad carving into, but then you get over it. #moreleftovercakeforbreakfast #noshame

Sandra’s Coffee Cake with Plums
Plum CakeWhen you’re heading into autumn, you can’t really beat plum coffee cake. Give me a big slice and a nice latte and I’m perfectly happy, thank you.

Dorthea’s Plum Galatte

Plum GalletMmmmm…tart plums, delicate pastry and a gentle smothering of cream. Don’t mind if I do…
This is adapted from a recipe for apricot galette in Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters.
Makes 1 12-inch galette

Galette Pastry Dough
2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
12 T unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
7 T ice water
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut 4 T of the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, mixing until the dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Cut in the remaining 8 T of butter just until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of large peas – or a little larger.

Dribble 7 T of ice water into the four mixture in several stages, tossing and mixing between additions, until the dough just holds together (I used a fork). Do not pinch or squeeze the dough or you will overwork it. Keep tossing the mixture until it starts to pull together; it will look rather ropy, with some dry patches. If it looks like there are more dry patches than ropy parts, add another tablespoon of water and toss the mixture until it comes together.

Divide the dough in half, firmly press each half into a ball, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, pressing down to flatten each ball into a 4-inch disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. (The dough will keep in the freezer for a few weeks.)

When you are ready to roll out the dough, take one disk from the refrigerator at a time. Let it soften slightly so that it is malleable but still cold. Unwrap the dough and press the edges of the disk so that there are no cracks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the disk into a 14-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Brush off excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate at least ½ hour before using. (The rolled-out circles can be frozen and used the next day.)

This makes about 20 ounces of dough, enough for 2 open galettes or tarts or one covered tart.

Almond-Amaretti Powder

(Sprinkle ¼ cup of this over the rolled-out galette pastry before adding fruit)

(Dorthea’s note: I didn’t have amaretti so substituted a few macaroon cookies and some extra ground almonds.)
¼ cup ground almonds
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup amaretti, pulverized

Toss all the ingredients together. Makes 1 cup. This keeps for a few months in the refrigerator.

1-1/2 to 2 lb plums, quartered
¼ cup plus 2 T Sugar
1 T unsalted butter


10-oz galette dough, rolled into a 14-inch circle and chilled (see below)
¼ cup almond-amaretti powder (see below)

Preheat over to 400 degrees F

Remove the prerolled dough from the refrigerator or freezer and place on a buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle the almond-amaretti powder over the dough, leaving a 1 to 1-1/2-inch border unsprinkled.
Cut the plums in half (or quarters if they are large), removing the pits, and arrange, skin side down in concentric circles on the dusted dough, making a single layer of snugly touching pieces and leaving the border bare. Evenly sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the fruit.

While rotating the tart, fold the border of exposed dough up and over itself at regular intervals, crimping and pushing it up against the outer circle of fruit, creating a containing rim that resembles a length of rope. Pinch off any excess dough. This rim must act as a dam, preventing juices from escaping while cooking, so make sure there are not folds or wrinkles that would permit such a breach.

Brush the border gently with melted butter and sprinkle it with 2 T sugar.

Bake in the lower third of the oven (preferably on a pizza stone) for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is well browned and its edges are slightly caramelized.

As soon as the galette is out of the oven, use a large metal spatula to slide it off the baking sheet or parchment paper and onto a cooling rack. This keeps it from steaming and getting soggy. Let cool for 20 minutes.

If you want to glaze the tart, brush the fruit lightly with a little warmed jam. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, if you like.

Makes 1 12-inch tart, serves 8.

Sophia’s Peach and Ginger Cobbler
Peach Ginger CobblerI almost forgot that I made something as well. This recipe is from the Great British Bakeoff Book, and while I couldn’t find the same kind of sticky ginger that I could in the UK, I made due with candied ginger cut up fine and mixed with a bit of ginger marmalade. I swear, it tastes better than it looks.
For the filling

  • 6 medium to large peaches (about 700g)
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 an unwaxed lemon
  • 1.5 tablespoons caster sugar

For the topping

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g glace ginger
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100ml natural yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, for sprinkling

1 baking dish or pie dish (about 1 litre)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Rinse the fruit, then halve and remove the stones. Cut each peach half into 4 thick slices. Put into a mixing bowl with the lemon zest and juice and the sugar. Toss gently, then transfer to the baking dish. Spoon over 2 tablespoons water.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the fruit is half-tender and the juices are bubbling.
Just before the end of the cooking time sift the flour, baking soda and sugar into a mixing bowl. Using a round-bladed knife stir in the chopped ginger, followed by the melted butter and yogurt to make a soft, sticky dough.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and turn up the heat to 425F. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and drop in rough mounds, slightly apart, on top of the hot peach mixture.
Sprinkle the dough with the sugar and ginger mixture. Return to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the topping is crisp and a good golden brown. Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream.

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Quick Summer Recipes – Part 2

I’m playing a bit of blog catch-up, and so will be plying you with photos of deliciousness. I don’t have recipes for most of these, but there are lots of recipes online that are worth looking up.

Chantelle’s No-bake Dark Almond Butter Cheerio Bars

No bake almond butter bars

Chantelle used an Ambitious Kitchen recipe that she changed – swapping the cheerios for rice cereal. She reports that she has also used Chex cereal once before and the bars have turned out as well.

Sophia’s Creamy Peanut Slaw

I think I proved the point that it is possible to make too much coleslaw, even with a large gathering. What was I thinking? I made a vat of the stuff. Good thing I like leftovers. The recipe was from the folks at Thug Kitchen. I couldn’t find it on their website but the Metro has reposted it:

Peanut ColeslawI don’t have recipes for the rest of these yummy photos, but if you want to add your recipe for posterity, email me and I will add it! First up – we had three awesome varieties of Watermelon Salad. Who knew watermelon could be so versatile?

Watermelon Salad 2 Watermelon Salad 3 Watermelon SaladNext, two lovely recipes for Southwestern Bean Salad!

Southwestern Bean Salad Southwestern Bean Salad2Then we had two more scrumptious kinds of pasta salad, Sharrylee’s Pesto Pasta Salad and Janice’s Rainbow Pasta Salad.

pesto pasta salad Rainbow Pasta SaladMushrooms! Thank you Denise for treating us with Marinated Mushrooms and Artichoke and Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms.

Marinated Mushroomsartichoke parmesan mushroomsFinally, we finish with another dessert – Kim’s “Just a Little Cheesecake.” Because who can’t manage just a little cheesecake at the end of a meal?

Just a little cheesecake




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Quick Summer Recipes – part 1

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.

Summerland Bakers June meetup
Summer saladsThanks 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

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. 

savoury cheesecake

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!

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.

Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Mango

The recipe is from Bon Appetit, so you can start impressing your friends immediately.

Tastes like Nanaimo Bars!

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)

Mini Cherry cobblers


  • 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 

Pomegranate Feta Couscous

Welcome, Lori and thanks for bringing your amazing salad!

Serves 6

  • 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.


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Regional heritage recipe adventures!

The Home Cook Book “My dear Sirs,

I have read your Cook-Book, and I now know how it is done. The mystery is solved. The question which puzzled King George the Third is no longer an enigma. I know now how the apples get into the dumplings, how to baste a chicken, make a pork pie, and fry dough-nuts. I have read your book carefully, and can say it is full of good things.”

Oh, how I love the grammatical pretentiousness of old books, particularly old cookbooks. The quote above is from one of the classic cookbooks we got to peruse during last month’s gathering at the Summerland Museum.

A huge thank you to the lovely Andrea at the Museum for creating a great space for our meetup! As part of Summerland Earth Week, the theme was “Regional Heritage Bakes,” and we were challenged to prepare a dish that our grandparents or great-grandparents may have made in this area, using local and regional ingredients.

Bake night at Summerland museum

Letter to the publishersNurses Tranquilizers Recipe bookJellied ChickenDominion CookbookFashions of a Century2Before I start with the goodies and recipes, I want to give a quick promotion for the Museum’s upcoming Fashion Show event on May 24th. This is a great chance to see many of the outfits in the Museum’s collection being modelled! Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from SASS on Main Street.

Fashions of a CenturyLet’s get started with the Vinegar Pie that was made by the lovely Kim, who is also the owner of some very old and glorious cookbooks. Kim used raspberry vinegar in her pie, which I found to be tart, zingy and very tasty! I could see how this would be the perfect pie in the winter when there wasn’t much fruit to be had yet people still wanted a dessert.

From Kim:

Vinegar Pie, Vinegar Pie, if I don’t get some I think I’ll die.

Vinegar pie comes from an era when fresh fruit and flavourings were not readily available. Especially in late winter when fresh and dried fruit, carefully saved, had run out. What was readily available were the staples of the farm larder – butter, eggs and sugar.

On the Canadian prairies, where access to citrus fruit was a luxury at anytime of the year, vinegar was the home cooks’ acid option. Most all homes had a crock of vinegar percolating away in the cellar. Vinegar pie satisfied the craving for something sweet in the dark of winter. There are many variations on vinegar pie. One variation is a boiled filling poured into a baked pie shell (like a custard pie). Another variation is an unbaked filling poured into a partially baked pie shell. Typically vinegar pie is a single crust pie covered with a meringue (like a lemon meringue pie). Or not. Still another variation uses milk or cream (like a milk pudding).

Vinegar pie

I am not going to burden you with a plain pie crust recipe. Nor am I going to repeat here Clara Jane’s Unforgettable Pie Crust Recipe. Forget it. No one left alive can make a pie crust like Clara Jane’s, so you might well go buy one or use one from The Home Cookbook, compiled by Ladies of Toronto and Chief Cities and Towns in Canada, 1877. Or, this one from The People’s Home Recipe Book, 1910:

Pie Dough. – Four cups of flour, a little salt, enough lard to make flour stick together when pressed. Work for about 20 minutes. Then add just enough water to make it hold together.

The recipe (or receipt) for Vinegar Pie is equally vague when it comes to instructions:

Beat together 1 large egg, 2 egg yolks, ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour. Add ¼ cup vinegar, ½ cup melted and cooled butter. Pour into partially baked pie crust. Bake until filling is set. Cover with meringue and bake.


time for puddingNext, three cheers for Jean for daring to try a classic steamed pudding. Spotted Dick is a traditional British pudding which uses dried fruit and is served with custard. The challenge with a pudding like this is you can’t peak in on it while it’s steaming – you just have to hope for the best. If you want to give this dessert a go, Jamie Oliver has a good recipe on his site.

spotted dickLory treated us to a flourless chocolate cake baked with local walnuts and served with a raspberry sauce made from her own raspberries. When she emailed me the recipe she called it a “cloudless chocolate cake” which I think also sounds delicious.

chocolate cake with raspberry sauce

Janice’s butterscotch rice pudding was a big hit. She told us that this would be something that might be served when the local pastor was coming to tea. One wouldn’t wish to serve just plain rice pudding, after all! This dish was really decadent served with extra cream.

butterscotch rice puddingSandra served up a Pear Frangipan Tart that was adorned with amaretto biscuits, however for those of us who were there, it will forever be known as “the pear and meatball tart.”

Pear frangipan tartDenise carved up sliced of her sourcream raspberry pie, which was delicious and had a lovely tart tang to it.

sour cream raspberry pieAnother treat was Gerri’s rustic wheat beer bread, which went so well with the lovely potato salad another of our clan brought. I can’t remember who made this dish but I loved it enough to have two helpings!

wheat beer breadrustic potato saladtable of bakesWe also had fresh tomatoes and plenty of garlic adorning the bruschetta – I believe Sara made these. If I’m wrong please leave a comment so I can correct it – you all know how easily confused I get.

Finally, I have the Apple Barn to thank for growing the glorious apples that I used for my apple crumble

Whew! Thanks again to the Museum and to everyone who attended! It was lovely to meet some new people and to talk about recipes and cookbooks. I am officially smitten with the museum’s kitchen display. Sigh – I do love kitchens.

Summerland Museum KitchenBefore I sign off, another thank you to all the bakers who wished me a happy 40th recently, and attended the surprise party at Christine’s. I felt very loved and well fed!

There is no event in May but we’ll be returning in June with our theme that honours the solstice: “Quick recipes for long days.” This will be another flexible potluck – it doesn’t have to be baked but you can certainly bake if you want to! More details coming soon.

To quote the same old cookbook, I am:

Yours gastronomically,


yours gastronomically

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