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


  • 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

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


  • 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!


  • 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


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.
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
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).


  • 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!


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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Healthy Potluck – delicious photos!

Welcome bakersSay the words with me:

Baba Ganoush!




Have you ever wanted to make a recipe because you liked how it sounded? Our January Healthy Potluck and Movie Night was a collection of incredible food, including several dishes that were a delight to say as well as eat. A huge thank you to the lovely Lisa and the Summerland Waterfront Resort for hosting us, with tablecloths and wine glasses and cloth napkins and everything! Thanks for everyone for coming out, bringing delicious food to share, and swaying in your seats to the cuban-inspired music of Chef.


I present to you a collection of photos of our goodies. I have gathered up some recipes and will post them next time.


Kim S’s Schneckenbrot, aka “Snail Bread.” Not only is it delicious, it’s a very handy thing to yell at someone in order to confuse them.

Palm Spring Guacamole

Lori’s Palm Springs Guacamole. Yes, we ate it all.


Jan’s South African Bobotie. I had always wanted to try this dish so it was such a treat!


Lori’s Baba Ganoush and veggie chips. Baba Ganoush. Baba. Ganoush. So good.

veggie rice rolls

Thai style Veggie and Rice Noodle rolls. Light, healthy, yum.

Shepherds pie

Janice’s Shepherd’s Pie. She even did the fancy zen lines with the fork. 🙂

Random Pasta Salad

Karen’s “Random Pasta Salad” with olives. Love the name, and loved this salad!

Quinoa veggie salad

You can’t have a healthy potluck without a quinoa and veggie salad!

Pumpkin Pear Spice Cake

Wendy’s Pumpkin Pear Spice Cake with cream cheese icing. I love that part of why this recipe was healthy is that the icing was not as thick as she usually would make it. Tee hee.

Peanut Butter Pie

A little dessert photo, featuring Chantelle’s Peanut Butter Pie (nom), and Evelyn’s Angel Food Cake with Okanagan Fruit Compote (also very nom).

Greek Lentil Soup

Tina’s Greek Lentil Soup. I have the recipe for this and I will post it next time!

Granola bars

Kim L’s Granola Bars. These were lovely – the recipe is John’s but Kim added the flourish with the chocolate chips, which I for one really appreciated, because chocolate.

Curry Chilli with beans

Leslie’s Curry Chilli with Beans. Hearty, healthy, perfect for winter.

Chia power donuts

Jennifer’s Chia Seed Power Donuts, from Oh She Glows. There was chia seed jam as well, which I neglected to photograph.

Broccoli Salad

Lisa L’s Broccoli Salad with cranberries, sunflower seeds and toasted almonds. I had this for my lunch the next day. Thanks, Lisa!

black bean and chickpea salad

Charlie’s Black Bean and Chickpea Salad. A little lime thrown in for a Southwestern kick.

Beef Stew

Can you beat homemade beef stew with locally grown beef? Me thinks not.

baked veggies

Lisa J’s herby vegetable bake. Mmmm…cheesy herby goodness…

Baked Veggies Julienne in Phyllo

Did someone say parmesan cheese? That was just one of the splendid things about Denise’s Baked Veggies Julienne in Phyllo.

Avocado hummus veggie rollups

Judith’s Avocado Hummus Veggie Rollups. These were very tasty and would be great for summer picnics.

So much amazing food! Please forgive me if I didn’t get everyone or if I’ve forgotten who made which dish. I get so distracted by all the goodies sometimes I just forget to write things down! Recipes coming on the next post. Until then, happy baking/cooking/eating!

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Cookie swap 2015

Greetings, bakers! It’s nearly the end of 2015, so I need to post all the last photos from our last two months of meetups.

First, a note about January’s meetup. On Thursday, January 14th we return to the always beautiful Summerland Waterfront Resort for another Potluck and Movie night!  The lovely Lisa J will again be our host and the theme will be “Healthy Potluck,” so dig through your recipes for a nourishing and delicious dish to bring along. The idea is to have another foodie movie, but what one? Julie and Julia? Chef? A documentary about sommeliers? Let me know in the comments below or email me your thoughts!

Now let’s jump into December and the 3rd Annual Cookie Swap, hosted by the glorious Lisa L. Thank you, Lisa! There were many treats and much tea. Below are the photos depicting all that we created and subsequently ate.


Belinda’s Rugelach. Rugelach is a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic origin. Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling.

pecan sugar cookies

Lesley’s Pecan sugar cookies

butter tarts

Kurt’s butter tarts

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lisa L’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. The recipe is from Canadian Living website: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/best_ever_chocolate_chip_cookies.php

Peanut Butter Balls

Raquel’s Peanut Butter Balls

Cookies and Cream cookies

Sophia’s Cookies and Cream cookies


Okay – who made these glorious little creatures? I think it was Chantelle but I can’t remember what they were called.

Date Squares

Janice’s date squares. The lady makes a mean date square, y’all.

ginger snaps

Someone made these delicious Ginger Snaps but I didn’t write down who it was. Was it you?

italian orange ricotta cookies

Lisa J’s Italian Orange Ricotta Cookies – very scone-like and excellent with coffee.

oatmeal raisin

Lesley’s Oatmeal Orange Raisin Cookies. Lesley ended up bringing three different kinds of cookies, and we were obviously okay with that.

oreo truffles

Jaclyn’s Oreo Cheesecake Truffles. Aren’t those the best three words put together?

rocky road

Lesley’s Rocky Road treats

Shortbread people

Retha’s awesome Shortbread people

Toblerone Skor cookies

Wendy’s Toblerone Skor Cookies

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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 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


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. 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/


  • 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 pleasebringcake@gmail.com 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. http://www.summergate.ca/our-wines-2/our-recipes/


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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