Glad to see you stop by! This is a collection of recipes I have developed, received from friends or was inspired by and altered somehow. While I try to post all food photos I just cannot help but share some of my Vintage clippings with you from my Gran's recipe drawer, my great Gran's tin and of course my Mum's treasure trove of her Gran's lovely publications all kept so prim, not to mention the cache my Mum also had and even mine too! They are all regularly used recipes, loved by my family, friends, and now you my treasured readers Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Date Nut Bars

Date Nut Bars

  Adapted From FamilyFun Magazine
Date Nut Bars 
Dates, walnuts, cinnamon, and vanilla mingling with the flavors of honey and apple jelly - this bar has something for everyone. Put it all on our simple oatmeal *cookie bar crust, and you've got an instant bake-sale classic. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients; these are a breeze to throw together.
This sweet oatmeal crust makes the perfect base for a variety of cookie bars.
Ingredients Cookie Bar crust *
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but cool
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oats, quick or old-fashioned
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  1. Heat the oven to 350º, then butter a 13- by 9-inch pan and set it aside.
  2. Cream the softened butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir in the oats, vanilla powder then stir in the flour a third at a time, rubbing in the last bit of it by hand to make coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on the water and rub briefly.
  3. Press the dough into the pan, spreading it evenly into the bottom and very slightly up the sides. Chill the pan for 15 minutes. Then bake the pastry on the center oven rack for 15 minutes. Transfer the crust, in the pan, to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
  • 1 Quick Cookie Bar Crust as above and cooled
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup apple jelly
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup dried apple pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
  1. Prepare the Quick Cookie Bar Crust and allow it to cool in the pan.
  2. Heat the oven to 350º. Combine the honey, apple jelly, and butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Whisk the mixture occasionally until the butter and jelly melt, about 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Mix the brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until they're well mixed, then whisk in the honey mixture. Next, stir in the dates and walnuts.
  4. Pour the filling over the crust and spread evenly with a spoon. Bake the bars on the center oven rack for 25 minutes, until they're a rich golden brown. Transfer the bars, in the pan, to a wire rack to cool thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate the bars for 1 to 2 hours before slicing. Makes up to 24 bars.

Zucchini even my kids will eat

These zucchini cakes make an elegant appetizer fit for those upcoming "fallish" parties. Not to mention a great way to use up that bumper crop of Zucchini that is winding all over your yard. Shredded fresh zucchini, is mixed with a little Parmesan, panko, paprika, garlic and a hint of ground nutmeg. The mixture is then pressed into patties and pan fried in olive oil until they are golden brown.
Makes: 8 cakes 0r 12 smaller cake bites
You will need:
  • 1 large zucchini grated, excess water removed (Note: To do this, after you grate the zucchini, put the grated zucchini into paper towels and place a couple of plates on top to squeeze and release the water)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • sprinkle of ground nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon (Note: it is best used fresh and just a wee gratings worth)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian smoke is my fave)
  • 1 1/2 clove garlic, minced or 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger with 1 tsp tandoori and madras curry combined.  (Do not use both garlic and ginger this is definitely an either or)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil (I am allergic to olive oil sadly)
  1. Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Using a heaping tablespoon form the mixture into 8 patties. Seriously I would double the recipe and make 24 smaller patties
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once heated, add patties and cook until golden brown. About 3-4 minutes per side. Serve.
These are great when served with a dollop of  ranch dressing or mango curry chutney. Enjoy! I love to serve them with fresh cilantro sprigs and in decorative little paper cupcake liners. Everyone loves their own wee plated treat.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Iced Coffee that beats the Cafes

For this I use a Bodum coffee maker and a large bowl with a gallon of water and one pound regular ground coffee. Follow me so far haha Oh you need two cans of sweetened condensed milk and 2 cans of evaporated milk ( It lasts a month!! ) Oh and a LOT of ice! This time I used 500 ml of table cream and left off one can of condensed milk and one can of evap milk (My son isnt a fan of too sweet or too creamy)
I like a pail my son Garrett likes a pot!

Action! Cold brew for 14 hours!

The java takes a little better than 12 hours to cold brew and another hour or so to cold press. I know it sounds intense but really it isn't and it is worth it. Think of the cafe dollars you will save not to mention the gratification of making something better than you can possibly buy!

Now as many of you already know I spend my summers in the Southern USA ... I'm hooked! I have a wonderful friend, a delicious garden, a gorgeous flower garden, my own chickens and "human" dogs, about 5,000 goldfish in a pond as well as deer and turkeys! Yes deer and turkeys. Originally we were going to eat some of these pets but named them and once they have a name, all bets are off. So we settle for farm fresh eggs each morning and the great part is that when the hens lay their eggs they come to the garden door and tell us. Haha ... in return they get cornmeal muffin scraps. Pretty good deal I would say. (Not to mention what ever they steal from my gardens as they are freest rangest chickens that could have crossed our lips.
Well this summer was killer hot and it takes an hour and 15 minutes to go to Starbucks and back. Not only that but it costs about a hundred dollars because when I go it is the old "while I am here I best stock up" Next thing I am stocking up on new things I have never seen before because really I am a Canadian obsessed with the Southern USA. So all told the trip is 3 hours HOT HOURS!
The only thing I do not like about the south is Sweet Tea ... blick! I ordered tea with milk at a Bob Evans restaurant and the waitress brought me a glass of tea with ice in it and a glass of milk .... I looked at her as though she was nuts and she gave me the same exchange back. Then she said "you have to order "HOT TEA" and burst out laughing at me. ha! Well I got the last laugh, this kind lady who witnessed the exchange told me how to make the best darned tootin Iced Coffee that ever crossed my lips. <3  This was after she saw me taste that putrid Sweet tea!
Her name even made me smile "Penelope" no lies haha Onwards ...  Thank you Miss Penelope!

Okay so pour the whole pack of coffee and the whole gallon of water in a stainless steal food grade pail. You can use a bowl but it isnt as self fulfilling.
Let that steep until it is quite concentrated and strong. (12 to 14 hours covered with cheesecloth so flies do not poop in your coffee, seriously) Then patiently press it by batches in your new spiffy Bodum coffee press. (sure you can use a filter but you will go crazy I guarantee it)
Then find the fanciest jar or bottle you have laying about. I use a one gallon mason jar You can use anything really but glass is best! Pour your coffee concentrate in and seal for refrigerator storage.
Then open your 2 tins condensed milk and 2 tine evap milk and pour into an equally attractive glass bottle (you deserve this) for refrigerator storage.
Now to consume this decadent bevvie!
Fill a glass with a lot of ice (NOT CRUSHED) Then add equal parts of coffee concentrate and sweetest cream! You can even add flavour syrups that I will tell you how to make in another post! So for now grab a bottle of syrup from your fave cafe!
Enjoy! I know you will! Pictures are forthcoming because I'm really crappy at photoshop! xox Happy java'ing my friends.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Breakfast Book

Recipe collections have been a pastime in my family for a gazillion generations, snipping, sorting, sharing and even the "I can do better" boasting! Funny though, each of us can have the exact same recipe and nobody's is the same. I call this your baking fingerprint.
Normally I do not do book reviews unless I learn of a book, buy it, try it and love it, will I get on here and honk my horn.
The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham is just worth honking about!
If you try it, buy it and read it and love it as much as me .... I would love to hear what you create and what you think. Ready set ... you get ready to honk too and let's see who makes it better <3

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Peachy Chicken Wraps for my Girl

Here make these for your trip honey :
Peachy Good Chicken Wraps a la Mummie:
1 1/2 cup chopped fresh peaches
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped (be careful)
12 ounces of chicken breast pieces ( you can even get those precooked now )
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves or flat Italian parsley
1 tsp honey (buckwheat is best) There is some in my cupboard you can steal.
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin,
1 tsp tandoori spice
3/4 tsp chili powder
4 tsp canola oil
5 tortillas
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (don't buy pre-shredded buy a chunk as it keeps its flavour)
1 small sweet pepper julienne'd
3/4 cup chopped heirloom tomatoes
1 cup torn Boston and romaine lettuce mixed.
In food processor (or blender) combine peaches onion jalapeno lemon and honey Puree and add cilantro with a quick stir. Set aside
Cook chicken and all spices in oil (If precooked you still have to warm with spices on low heat so chicken doesnt dry add a splash of water and some chicken stock *(about 1 tbsp of each, the liquid will disappear)*)
Spread puree on wraps Layer with chicken,cheese, red pepper tomatoes and lettuce Rrrrroll and wrap in plastic Bring along a cooler with a knife and make romantic sushi sandwiches the whole trip for your sweetie and you ♥ Makes 25 little finger sushi sandwiches. Love you ♥

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Butter Snap Pretzel Wafer Dessert with Raspberries

RASPBERRY PRETZEL DESSERT: Butter Snap Pretzel Wafer Dessert with Raspberries     
2 1/2 c. coarsely ground salted butter pretzels (we like Snyder's of Hanover brand)
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. powdered sugar (confectioners)
1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip
1 (6 oz.) & 1 (3 oz.) pkg. raspberry Jello
2 1/2 c. boiling water
3 (10 oz.) boxes or baskets frozen raspberries (you can use fresh and freeze them yourself, you need the frozen berries for a quick set jello)

Mix together pretzels, butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and put into 9 x 13 inch ungreased pan. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool. Beat together cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Stir in Cool Whip, you will see it turn into a cheesecake type mixture. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled pretzel mixture. Dissolve 1 large and 1 small package Jello in boiling water. Stir in 3 boxes or baskets of frozen raspberries and let set until cool, but not jelled. Pour over cream cheese mixture and let set overnight.

may I also suggest:

Mum's Hob Top Rice Puddin'

Can be stored in plastic container to take camping or picnic'ing

Mum's Hob Top Rice Pudding
1/2 c. regular rice
1 c. water with 1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 c. whole milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. raisins sitting in 1/4 cup boiled water or brandy
2 tsp. cinnamon
On top of hob, Pour rice into boiling water and cover. Simmer or cook for 7-10 minutes until rice is slightly under done. Add milk, butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Stir. Bring to a boil. Cook for 1 hour on low flame. No need to stir. Beat eggs with a fork, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla. Add raisins. Pour into rice, stirring slowly until rice thickens. Pour into buttered pudding basin. Sprinkle with cinnamon on top. Enjoy warm or cold with or without whipped cream.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mug an Upside Down Cake

Mug an Upside Down Cake and give it to a friend

This makes a great little gift for just about any reason. Even an,  I just mugged a cake reason!
 2 cup sized oven proof soup or coffee mug

To mug your cake you will need:
1/3 cup of flour
3/4 tsp of baking powder
3 tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp of sweet flaked coconut
1 tbs of brown sugar
4 maraschino cherries

Mix the first 4 dry ingredients together and place into a ziplock bag and place on top of the fruit!
1- 4oz/120g tin of diced pineapple pieces or peach pieces (I even like the very cherry fruits) This is the lunch box size tin and you want it to fit in the bottom of the mug. The plastic fruit cups work well for narrower mugs.

Make sure to have on hand some gift tags large enough to print your instructions and or course a pretty bow for the top of your ziplock bag. I insert it in upside down so "zip" is hiding tidy and then I pinch up a corner and tie the ribbon on.

Tag should include instructions of course:
2 1/2 tbsp of butter
1 egg
3 tbsp of whole milk
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp of melted butter
Preheat oven to 350'F or 165'C
in a small bowl add the ingredients from the mug and using your fingers mix in the shortening. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until well combined.
Grease your lovely new ovenproof mug with 1/2 tbsp of the melted butter.
Place the remaining melted butter in the mug and sprinkle with enclosed brown sugar. Place the cherries and the drained pineapple into the bottom of the mug. Pour the cake batter over the pineapple bake in an oven on a flat cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes. Top will be light gold and spring to touch or toothpick insertes will come out clean!
Tip** I love to buy a bunch of mugs on sale in January and use them the following year for festive little psuedo fruit cakes ... it will become a part of your nostalgic memories with family and friends .... I promise!