Catherine Bussiere: veggie burger

I have been experimenting with veggie burgers lately
and, I have been juicing

I have loads of carrots, beets, and our apple trees are bountiful
good time to use a juicer
sometime the juicer feels a little over the top
really, couldn’t I just chew a little
but to drink fresh juice from the garden feels quite regal
so why not

I decided to make the most of it
and aside from drinking the most delicious juice
I would use the pulp left behind
here is this week’s recipe
healthy, nutritious, and tasty

Veggie burgers with quinoa

for a dozen large burger you may use

6 cups of shredded veggies (kale, carrots, beets, celery, onion, use what you have)
1 cup of quinoa (to be cooked)
400 gr of grated cheese (I like cheddar)
3 large eggs (I always get them from a local farm now)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup oats
2 Tsp hemp seeds, or sesame seeds or, again, whatever you have kicking around
4 Tsp za’atar (a delightful Middle Eastern mix of oregano, thyme, savory and sesame seeds)
salt and pepper
olive oil

Rinse the quinoa. Bring 1 1/2 cup of water to boil. You may add a little salt or miso to your water for flavor. Add the quinoa. Simmer for 12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Let it sit for another 5 minutes.

Chop, grate, shred your chosen veggies. If you have been using a juicer and don’t know what to do with all that beautiful pulp, here is a good place to use it.

In a large bowl place all ingredients. Mix, mix, mix with your hands. Best tool ever.
Form patties and place on a parchment covered cookie sheet. If you don’t have parchment paper just oil the pan. Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes or until slightly brown and crispy.

Eat in a bun with garnish or with a side salad.
My favorite this week is a kale salad with one of those burger diced on it.
Tastes good, feels good!

ps. replace za’atar with your favorite herb, I used basil last week and it was delicious
pps. can’t eat them all, freeze them for later

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Catherine Bussiere: Rose

it’s rose time
yellow roses
pink roses
they look like wild roses
are they?

I collect the petals
I bring 1 cup of sugar with one cup of water to a boil
I pour the syrup over two cups of petals
I let it steep half a day
or more
I pour it in a jar
it’s pretty
I pour it over ice and add bubbly water
lovely

I bet I could pour it over vanilla ice cream
now I’m talking

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Catherine Bussiere: fiddle heads & omelets

we went for a walk in the woods
we listen to nature waking up
the beauty of it all just makes me smile
I feel happy

we are out to collect fiddle heads
one of nature’s first edible
there may be others
only recently have we been going out to gather wild edibles
so far mushrooms and fiddles heads are what we collect
there is something quite enthralling about gathering food from the wild
I love it

by the river we find some tightly curled ferns
they’ve just started showing up through the leaves
you can’t wait too long
when nature wakes up she’s got no time to waste for stretches, coffee, and all
she’s on the move

this morning I made us a fiddle head omelet
for two people I used three large farm eggs
beat them up with a little cream, a pinch of salt, cumin and fresh ground pepper

I steamed a couple handful of fiddle heads
I grated some cheddar cheese and chopped some chives
I pour the egg mix onto a cast iron pan
when the egg mix starts to set I place chives, fiddle heads and cheese on one half of it
I wait a little
the cheese melts
I flip the bare half onto the dressed half

a nature walk feeds the soul, lungs, eyes
today, a nature walk also fed two hungry bellies

happy Sunday
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Catherine Bussiere: almond cake

Last Sunday I did make an almond cake

I don’t think I’ve given you this recipe before and it is one of the best cake I make

It barely has flour and the little it has could be replaced by a non gluten one

it has no butter or milk so it is dairy free

boring you’re starting to think

think again

this cake is mostly nuts, eggs a little sugar and can be covered with whipped cream

originally it was a hazelnut cake

I once replaced the hazelnut with almonds

I played a bit with proportion

and this past Sunday I did something very decadent and exciting

I made baklava syrup and poured it all over the cake once it was done

this is what I will share with you today

My new favorite almond cake

for the cake you will need:

2 1/2 cups of freshly roasted ground almonds (roast the almonds then ground them)

6 tablespoons of flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

10 eggs

1 1/2 cup of sugar

Beat eggs and sugar. Add the ground almonds. Mix in flour and baking powder.

Bake in a large dish 20 minutes at 350ºF.

Now you can eat the cake just like that or if you want bake it in two round cake pan and you can put raspberry jam in the middle then cover it with whip cream or skip the jam and make a ganache (melted chocolate with cream) and cover the cake with it, whatever you fancy, it’s already delicious.

But if you want my new version, once the cake comes out of the oven, pour this syrup all over it.

for the syrup you will need:

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

3/4 cup honey

1 cinnamon stick

5 cloves (if you have some)

4 lemon slices

4 orange slices

Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool syrup.

To be honest I did not quite mesure the ingredients for the syrup. If you don’t have much honey put more sugar and if you don’t want to use sugar put more honey. The key for this syrup is the citrus and spices.

Also if you go with this version and think wow, too much sugar here, you can reduce the amount in the cake a little or just skip the syrup all together.

In the end it is a really easy cake to make and is absolutely delicious, nutritious, healthy and quite stunning if you go the whipped way. Speaking of, next time I will make it with the syrup and then serve it with a beautiful dollop of vanilla whipped cream.

That ought to be good.

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Manasseh Supper # 5 Warm Potato Salad

I have been trying to eat local and in season when I can. It really is not very hard. I really like the market around the corner from my studio. Tonight I picked up a sparling apple juice. After a hot day hooking rugs…well I was parched. I finished a small rug today, and a bit of a larger one.

I came home and mixed the cider with diet ginger ale and poured it over ice, threw in a couple of fresh strawberries and woo hoo I was having my own little party. I even poured it in one of those big wine glasses that take half a bottle.

I also picked up some Simply for Life Spinach and Goat cheese Sausages, which I pan fried. My trick is to pan fry them until almost done and the split them and fry them again with the split side facing down. It is really great because it is like having two sausages but only eating one and all sides are browned.
With that I made a warm potato salad…

6 medium potatoes chopped small and boiled
1 cup of green beans, more if you like.
I toss the green beans in with the potatoes, then drain them when cooked.
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs … I used dill , chives, parsley and oregano
1 clove garlic crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp vinegar
Salt
Lots of pepper
Toss all together , serve warm with sausage and vegetables.

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Catherine Bussiere: Easter pancakes

Beautiful sunny day here in northern Nova Scotia

I was gone for three days last week with my daughter to a conference in Sydney.
Through multiple presenters we learned how and why the arts and crafts are a leading economy. It was interesting and inspiring; the creative economy is one to be reckoned with.

When I came back home a few things had happened that were of great excitement. First, the ice on the pond was gone. It may not seem like much but with the ice gone the pond gets fixed (by the beavers, instantly it seems, they come and fix any little or big leaks and the water goes up). A pair of ducks arrived for their annual visit and the peepers will soon, any day now, deafen us with their high pitch chorus. The sound of the peepers is one of my favorite. It’s the sound of nature celebrating the end of a harsh winter and the prospect of life about to blossom.

Oh, I love this time of year.

This morning I’m waking up to the smell of home made baked beans. My husband has been making them with beer and smoked pork lately and they are just divine. There is bacon slowly cooking and pancakes will be made. Of course this whole lot is also home made. Maybe I should share the pancake recipe with you on this Easter morning.
When I make pancakes I don’t bother, I grab the bag of premix flour, add an egg, milk, little oil and bam we go. They’re good. Fast and easy.
When my husband makes pancakes it goes up several notches.
First he takes say 8 eggs (maybe a dozen if they are small or 6 if they are extra large)
He separates the whites from the yolks. He beats the whites like he was making a meringue and set that aside. Then it’s the usual. Mix the yolks with milk, melted butter, a little vanilla if you wish. Add the flour but do not add any baking powder. See that’s the beauty of these pancakes, no baking powder or baking soda, none of that taste. When your pan or griddle is ready to go, gently fold the fluffy egg white in your pancake mixture. It’s like incorporating cloud bundles. Then gently scoop that up and cook it.
The result is the spongiest, tastiest, most syrup absorbent pancakes you will ever have.

I hope today is as beautiful and warm for you that it is for me. Enjoy spring, fine food and the presence of family.

Happy Easter!

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Catherine Bussiere: Souvlaki

There are mornings where I feel like cheating
Meaning I will not try too hard to write a blog
I’ll just post a recipe
It’s not really cheating
it could be seen as a gift
sounds much better
it’s all about point of view

speaking of view here is today’s weather report
it’s another grey day but there are no snowfall warning in effect (= improvement)
the sap is running
and the sun is trying hard to pierce through all these layers of grey
I have a feeling it might succeed

Last night I was hungry and inspired
those are two things that can equal into a good dinner
I happened to have all I needed to make a Greek style meal
I made my own version of souvlaki

You will need:

pork, chicken or lamb

for the marinade: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper

Chop meat in cubes. Marinate in oil mixture for 8 hours (for 1 pound of meat have 1/2 cup of oil mix – with lots of fresh herbs – looks and smells like a tasty dressing)

Cook meat on parchment paper in hot oven (doesn’t take long)

Serve on pita with tzaziki, chopped tomatoes and cucumber
or serve with rice and Greek salad

Tzaziki: drain 750 g of balkan yogurt in cheese cloth for a few hours. Put 1 grated cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle salt over. Let sit a couple hours to extract water. Rinse and drain cucumber (squeeze all that water out). Mix drained yogurt and cucumber. Add grated garlic, pepper, mint or dill. Taste, see if it needs salt.

* Lately I mix a small container of sour cream with half container of astro balkan yogurt and skipped the draining bit for the yogurt. Of course I get the 14% sour cream. Works well.

cucumber herbs red pepper souvlaki

Catherine Bussiere: ice storm and soup

sometimes I just feel like soup
that was the case the other night
March is definitively a good month for soup
all winter really thinking of it

so here we go for enough soup to feed 6 hungry frozen souls

1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 extra large carrot
1/3 of a medium size cabbage

chop chop chop all of the above
drizzle some olive oil in a large pot
on medium high heat starting with the onion, caramelize the veggies

add some salt, some pepper, cumin, garam masala (if you have some kicking around)
add a little sugar

take your time during this process and maybe even turn the heat down
this is when the aroma of your soup gets developed, roasting veggies and spice

then

Add the equivalent of a can of chickpeas
little more or less is fine (I had some left over)
add enough water to make it soupy
if you have broth it’s better yet
otherwise add a cube or two of bouillon
at this point I added a few shake of cajun mix (if you don’t have any replace with a dash of cayenne, some oregano and any other herbs that may inspire you)

Bring to a boil then add 1 cup of uncooked noodles of your choice or if you have left over cooked noodle throw them in, but maybe do that last minute as they will swell.

Simmer until the noodles and veggies are done. Add 1 can of tomato sauce. Whatever you have on hand. This will thicken your soup nicely. Taste and make adjustments. Turn the heat off and add the zest of one lemon.

Serve and shake some parmesan on that = Wholesome deliciousness!

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Prosciitto and goat cheese chicken

Sometimes you find an odd recipe and you wonder if it could really be any good. All week I have been thinking about this recipe I found in a magazine that Megan put in our give a way basket . It was a Better Homes and Gardens 30 minute Dinners magazine and I adapted the recipe some what. Here it is. I just picked up the ingredients today and made it for supper. I would say it is the best meal I cooked in weeks..
Four large chicken breasts
1 small log of herbed goat cheese
1 package of proscuitto
Salt , pepper, olive oil, truffle oil

1/2 cup finely chopped dates
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Take four deboned Chicken breasts and split them in two making two steaks of each.
Top each piece with a round of herbed goat cheese.
Wrap with a piece of proscuitto.
Pan fry in olive oil ( I added a tsp of truffle oil as well) with the cheese side up for four minutes.
Put in same pan in oven. Bake fifteen minutes at 350. Then broil for a few minutes to crisp Proscuitto.

Top with Date Sauce.
Boil together 1/2 cup dates, 1/4 cup bslsamic vinegar, and 3/4 cup of water. Serve over broiled chicken.

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Shrimp and Peas Pasta

There are some special ingredients in this recipe, but they are worth buying……

Angel Hair Pasta for four cooked. I used almost a box.

Sauce:

2 cloves Garlic

1 tbspoon of butter

2 tablespoons of top quality olive oil

1 teaspoon of lime infused olive oil.

Crush garlic with salt and lightly sauté in butter and oil.

Toss in but do not cook….

2 cups of  pre cooked Atlantic baby shrimp ( these have a different flavour than imported shrimp and are a must for this recipe.

1 cups frozen peas

Toss this with cooked pasta. Leave a few tablespoons of pasta water in there.

Dress mixture with 1 teaspoon butter, 1 tbspoon lime infused olive oil, two tbspoon top quality olive oil.

Drizzle with 1/2  to 1 teaspoon of truffle oil.

Heat  gently to warm shrimp and peas.

The combinations of the different oils , the subtle flavour of Atlantic Shrimp, and the fresh crispness of the peas make this delicious.

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Catherine Bussiere: food and friendship

I was away this week end
amongst other things, I was visiting a good friend of mine who is moving away
it was a last chance to see her for a while
she is moving to Korea for several months and who knows where after that
as there is hardly anything left in her apartment I suggested that I would bring fresh goods from my garden and cook for her
aside from garden produce I had a prize item that I knew she would appreciate

for the past few months my husband has been passionate about wild mushrooms
if not everyday, every second day he will walk the woods to see what may have popped up
lately he has been searching for the great king bolete
it’s bolete season you see
in Italian it called porcini
whatever it’s called it is a star mushroom for any food aficionado

last Thursday my diligent men found “the king”
just imagine the excitement in the house
well that is for me and my husband
my lovely daughter could care less about fungus at the moment
someday maybe
so with whom could we share this wonderful treat?

turns out it was with my lovely friend Ambera

I do not have pictures of the meal I made for her in her empty apartment
where all that was left for tools was one small cutting board, two pots and a sharp knife
no more chairs or table
we were camping in the city
turns out all you need for a fabulous meal is a handful of fresh ingredients and good spirit

Before we left for the city I had picked : tomatoes, leeks, red onion, green beans, basil, parsley, I had a bulb of garlic and had brought some fresh homemade vinaigrette
Of course there was the king, all prepped up by my husband ready to be cooked
I bought red wine, cream and fresh linguini

Ambera had butter, salt and pepper
she had paper plates and plastic cups
and another bottle of wine

As soon as we arrived the first bottle was open
as they sat on the kitchen floor I got busy
First the leeks, cleaned and thinly chopped lengthwise
in a pan with melted butter I made them caramelize
just enough, then added the string beans with a little salt

that’s done
set it aside

chopped tomatoes, red onion and basil
put that on a plate with the vinaigrette
done

then,
so exciting because you know when you make something for the first time and you just know it’s bound to be delicious,
I melted a good chunk of butter and threw the kings in
I had them sautéed for a while until just brown
I added that whole bulb of garlic (minced)
mixed it a little and put in the rest of the first bottle of wine

by then there was about 1/2 cup left

I let that reduce as Ambera opened the second bottle

the wine was going down nicely and so was the conversation

when my wine had reduced to about a tablespoon (the one in the pan) I added the cream (1 cup of 35%)
you can’t go wrong with cream
In the meantime I had had the pasta cooking
by the time my cream had reduced (not too much) I added the parsley and the pasta and lovingly tossed that ensemble

I served my love and my friend
the paper plates filled with a meal fit for a king
glorious in it’s simplicity

on the floor of Ambera’s empty kitchen
we savored our friendship
in the most beautiful way
without artifice

with warmth, king boletes
and
oh what the heck, lets open one more bottle

 

 

 

 

Maritime Mary: Hot Pepper Jelly

Many years ago I acquired a large old canning pot that had belonged to an elderly neighbour and each time I pull it off the basement shelf, I think of all the processing she would have done in it to provide for her family of four children. Last week it was time to bring it out again because we had used up the final jar of Hot Pepper Jelly which is a favourite in our home.

Last summer we had a robust crop of green peppers in our garden, so green pepper jelly it was. This season our peppers did poorly so I purchased three long sweet red peppers and they were perfect for two batches.

I usually put some of the jelly into small 125 ml Mason jars as they are a great size for little hostess gifts. Sometimes I even decorate them with small bits of leftover backing from my rug hooking and strips of wool cloth. Waste not….

We enjoy the jelly topped on a soft goat cheese and my friends agree with me that it goes nicely with a glass of wine.

Credit for the recipe goes to Jean Pare, author of the Company’s Coming series.

1 1/2 cups (350 ml) seeded, chopped peppers
1/4 cup (60 ml) jalapeño peppers(I use the pickled bottled type)
1 1/2 (350 ml) white vinegar
6 1/2 cups (1.5 L) sugar
6 oz. (170 ml) liquid pectin

Combine peppers and vinegar in a blender. Blend smooth and pour into a large pot. (I use a Dutch oven.)
Add sugar. Heat on medium-high and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes.
Stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil on high. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off the foam.
Pour into hot sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch (6 mm) of top. Seal. I then put the jars into a hot bath and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Take the bottles out and listen for the lovely ‘sealing pops’.
Makes 14 mini bottles.
Enjoy!

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Catherine Bussiere: boat rides and pies

it’s a drizzly day today
the sun is trying hard to break through
birds are hopping around delighted by all the worms coming out of the ground
my cats are sleeping
radio is playing
it’s a lovely Sunday morning

we’ve been invited my husband and I to a boat ride later today
If you’re thinking fancy styling boat think again
my friend who is man of all trade has inherited this old pontoon party boat
every time he invites us for a ride it is somewhat of an adventure
the tide is too low
we just about run out of gas
you never know
being a mechanic you feel safe enough that if something breaks he can repair it
plus we’re going down a river
we all can swim
the river’s edge is never too far

one thing that is always a given is that there will be plenty of delicious food
my friends love to eat and so do we

to add to the picnic today I will bring a fresh baked rhubarb pie
I have a huge patch of rhubarb in my garden and I just ignore the fact that rhubarb has a season and that the season may be over
as long as I see rhubarb there is potential for pies

Here is my recipe for 3 double crust pies

For the crust:

5 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 pound of shortening
about 1 cup of cold water with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (sometimes I mix an egg in my water)

Mix all dry ingredients well. Cut in the shortening until the shortening bits look like bits of oats. Add the liquid. Mix as little as you can to make it hold.
Put aside in the fridge until ready to roll.

Rhubarb filling:

You will need about 6 cups of cut rhubarb per pie and the sugar ratio is 1 cup of sugar for 4 cups of rhubarb. It’s neither too sweet or too tart.

18 cups of cubed rhubarb
4 1/2 cups of sugar
3/4 cups of flour (or tapioca)

The flour or tapioca acts as a thickening agent. Cooked rhubarb is really runny and no matter what, the juice from my pies always bubbles over and makes a mess in my oven.
If smoke is coming out of my kitchen chances are I’m cooking rhubarb pie.

Alright, I better smoke my kitchen

 

 

Harry the Printer Potato Salad

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Here is the recipe though it is  one of those things that change every time.

 Potato Salad

6-8 medium sized potatoes

Two stalks chopped celery

Four green onions chopped

Two boiled eggs chopped

Good handful of chopped Italian parsley and fresh dill

Heaping tablespoon of good curry powder

As much mayonnaise as you like it

 

Make sure to mix all the ingredients with potatoes when they’re still warm.

 

Lime Tart

 

 

Lime Tart

My niece Kathleen made these for me when she was visiting from Calgary last week and they were delicious. She made them twice, so I am sure. I just made it tonight as a one big tart cause my sister in law has come to visit.

Crust:

In a food processor combine:

1 1/2 cups of almonds

1/2 cup pecans

8 dates

2 tablespoons water

Grind together and it will form a paste. Press into a greased pie plate or tart shells.

Filling:

1/2 cup lime juice fresh squeezed

2 egg yolks

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Blend together and pour in tart shell.

Bake for fifteen minutes at 350. Let cool for three or four hours ( that is the only thing I don’t like about this pie….the wait)

We ate them just plain but you could top it with whipped cream and fancy it up with a bit of lime rind but there is no need, they are lovely as is.

 

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Catherine Bussiere: sushi time

sometimes one just has to learn how to make things because the things one wants isn’t available
in the food department there is plenty of that

in our cosy little villages and towns
you will find delicious fare
but because of lack of demand
the variety is limited

I love all sorts of food
sushi roll is one of them
it’s pretty, it’s healthy, it’s variation is infinite
plus, you feel good when you eat it

the secret in anything is the quality of your ingredients
aside from that the important thing with sushi is your rice
you will need sticky rice (or sushi rice) and you will need to rinse it well

Here is an adaptation of a recipe found online (I’ll put the link at the bottom)
It will make four sushi rolls.

For the rice:

1 cups sushi rice
1 cups water
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt

Place rice in a bowl and rinse with water several times until water is clear.
Put rice and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, cook for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed by the rice. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pot and heat until sugar and salt is dissolved. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and fold in the vinegar mixture. Cool to room temperature.

To make the rolls you will need:

1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
4 sheets nori
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded
1 medium size carrot
1 red pepper
2 green onion
12 medium size shrimps
cream cheese (optional)

For serving:

Pickled ginger
Wasabi
Soy sauce

Cut all veggies into matchstick size. Lay 1 sheet of nori, shiny side down. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds. Place veggies and in the center of the sheet. Grab the edge of the nori closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder. Cut each roll into bite size pieces. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

You do not need all the veggies mentioned above and you can replace shrimps with crab meat, fresh salmon, fresh tuna, or have none of it.
The beauty of these is that any of the above is optional except for the rice.
Although just rice might be a little boring

• You don’t like nori, use rice sheets instead (like the ones used for salad rolls)

infinite
I tell you

 

here’s is the link:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/california-roll-recipe/index.html

As promised to Gloria…Brown Sugar Sauce Recipe

Dear Diary, I made this sauce this week , but I poured it over ice cream. It is the loveliest brown sugar sauce ever. Blueberry cake was one of my mother’s favourite food because she grew up next to a little hill where she could pick them for herself as a treat. She did not have much growing up but he did have that little blueberry hill outside her door.

I promised a woman in my rug hooking group that I would post the blueberry cake recipe with brown sugar sauce so here it is Gloria, enjoy.

Blueberry Cake

1/2cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Cream this together and add
1cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flower
2tsp baking powder
1/2cup milk
Mix and fold in two cups blueberries. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes until knife comes out clean
Serve with
Warm Brown Sugar Sauce
Melt two tbsp butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Mix 1tbsp cornstarch with 1/4 cup cream or mix and pour into sauce. Reduce heat, stirring til; thickened

.bingo

 

Catherine Bussiere: Oatcakes

These are my favorite oatcakes
A friend of mine brought me a batch years ago
she then gave me the recipe
which I have shared several times
Buttery and just sweet enough, they are the perfect companion to that afternoon tea

here it is

1 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of flour
a pinch of salt

Combine butter, sugar and vanilla.
Add flour, oatmeal and salt.
Roll between wax paper to about 1/4”
Cut into squares.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375˚

Want to dress them up
melt some chocolate
and dip them in
or zigzag over

• you may need to share this recipe

 

Catherine Bussiere: snow, tea and milk fibre

It’s a wet damp winter wonderland this morning
a mist filled wind is slowly working it’s magic on the trees
depending on how the weather goes
nature will be covered in bling or go back to mud
it’s a Cinderella kind of morning I guess
it could go either way

As far as I’m concern I know pretty well what’s on my board today
I have a hint of a cold naggingly scratching the back of my throat
I’m going to take it easy
drink some tea
have a sauna
watch a movie

that sounds like a great plan

In other news
to be random
I got some – Oh my God this is So Soft – wool at Deanne’s on Friday
I never buy wool.
I’m neither a knitter, a hooker or a crochet(er)
but this wool was on the counter begging to be touched
and it was less than half price
so I picked it up
read the label which said : 60% Milk Fibre
Milk fibre?
Have you ever heard of that.
Then: 30% silk and 10% cashmere
You can just imagine
So I picked up five bundles of an ochre color
with no plan except maybe
to ship it to my sister so she can knit me something
but
last night
bundled up with my two favorite girls and a sleeping son
while watching Funny Face
I attempted to knit (I was just practicing)
I don’t even have knitting needles around
I had to use chopstick
But it was fun and the feeling of that Milk Fibre…
well, you’ll just have to try it someday

Last but not least for anyone with a cold (or not)
Yogi tea (not the bear, the other yogi)

Bring 1 1/2 cup of water to a boil with: 3 cloves, 3 black peppercorn, 4 cardamon seeds, a pinch of powdered ginger, 1/2 stick of cinnamon. Boil for 5 minutes then add 1 tsp of black tea. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Add a little milk and a little honey. Very tasty.

 
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White Chocolate Macaroons

White Chocolate Macaroon

These are just so delicious. I keep going back to the cupboard again and again for another one.

2 bags unsweetened coconut 200 grams

1/2 sup sliced almonds

1 bag white chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed Milk

Toss ingredients in a bowl and stir the milk until the ingredients are very well coated. Spoon onto cookie sheet with parchment paper on it and bake for 15 minutes at 325 to 350.

 

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Gluten Free

by Catherine Bussiere

salad rolls are delicious, fresh, beautiful
one can put just about anything in them
they are gluten free
as the fine wrapper you will need is made from rice
there is a variety of option if you search a little
or you can just see what is in your refrigerator
to create your own combination
I put vermicelli to start
a little mango and avocado
sweet and creamy
red pepper and cucumber
keeps it fresh
chive and mint
it grows in my garden
(hardy chive and mint, first up in the spring, last to let go)
now best of all
because it is soooo tasty
Peanut Sauce
to dip those little rolls in
if you don’t like peanuts
or if you have allergies
no worries
there are other sauce

enjoy

* for additional fun, take pictures of the process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jelly

Last week end I made jelly
I love making it
Picking apples from different trees
I wash them, I quarter them
I put it all in a big pot
Covered with water they simmer for a while
It becomes mushy
I collect the juice
For that much juice that much sugar goes in
In the big pot it boils
Cinnamon sticks are added
Such a nice taste
Boil and boil until it gels
In a jar it goes
Clear, pink, sweet

Catherine

 

From the Downhomer cookbook

Sweet Mary Anne Bars from the Downhomer Cookbook, an old favourite of mine, made in Newfoundland

Melt together:

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix together over medium heat but do not boil. Add 2 cups rice crisps, half cup peanuts. Press into 8 by 8 pan. Melt chocolate chips and cover base with them. Cool and serve.

 

 

 

I think I love my printer

Dear Diary, A few weeks ago I was talking to Harry the printer on the phone, and when I went to say good bye, I said, “Okay love you”, thinking I was talking to my kids I guess. So then I said, “whoops sorry I was thinking I was talking to Robert or the kids”, so then I said, “Well I do love you too!”  Now I don’t throw around “love you’s” so we had a good laugh. He is good to me, efficient and creative. He has helped me make so many great new cards,kit labels, books, and this years calender.

Well after yesterday I am sure I love my good friend Harry the printer because he bought me the most decadent chocolate mousse cake I have ever eaten. I know you shouldn’t love people cause they give you stuff, but cake,  come on, it’s chocolate mousse cake. That’s tricky to make.

You are talking to a woman who spend all day yesterday making fudge. Three pans. One pan was hard and sugary, one was to sticky, one had to be thrown in the garbage. All the while I was making it I called the woman ( aka Lori the man magnet) who gave me the recipe twenty years ago for specific instructions. I even called her mother. When Lori called back that night to check on the fudge I told her about the fiascos. Then I asked, ” Have you ever doubled that fudge recipe?” Well, we took to laughing. She said,” double it, you can’t even make one batch.” So I appreciate a good piece of fudge, or a cake that is tricky to bake.

Yesterday, Harry brought me this cake… the recipe is below.

I went home. I unwrapped the cake. I took pictures of it in the sunlight coming thru my kitchen window and I ate one beautiful piece. I am now just waiting to go home so I can do the same thing again after lunch. It was and is gorgeous.

I think I might make him some fudge.

 

Harry the Printer’s Chocolate Mousse Cake

1 pound unsalted butter

1 pound bakers semi sweet chocolate

1 cup strong black coffee

1cup brown sugar

8 eggs

Melt chocolate, butter,coffee, sugar together gently over a low heat, not letting it get too hot.

Beat the 8 eggs. Temper the eggs by adding the melted chocolate mixture a bit at a time (like you would for mayonaise). Add it slowing, while beating the mixture continuously. If you add it too quick or it is too hot, the cake will not turn out right.

Put in a cheesecake pan and wrap with two layers of foil. Put in a bain marie (that means you put the wrapped cheesecake pan inside another pan of water so it steams a bit the way you bake a fruitcake) and bake for one hour at 350.

Top with fresh raspberries.

 

mary jones and the amazing fruitcake

Dear Diary, After Mary Jones left to go back to the Island after our hook in she sent me this note with a fruitcake recipe to share.So here it is….

What a great time we had at the “hook-in” on Sat! I’m going to make my fruit cakes tomorrow which reminded me to send along the recipe to you which was given to me by a NFLD hooker who used to live here on the Island. The best white fruit cake ever!!!!! Cheers… Mary Ploughman Jones

WHITE FRUIT CAKE WITH AMARETTO

(can easily be doubled)

Soak in Amaretto overnight (about 1 C):

1 1/2 C golden raisins

4 oz dried citon peel

4 oz green cherries

4 oz red cherries

8 oz mixed fruit

Cream well:

1 C white suger

1 C butter

4 eggs (one at at time…beat well)

1 tsp almond flavouring

1 4 oz pkg slivered almonds

Mix a 1/4 C flour with fruit.

Add 21/4 C flour to batter

Mix fruit in batter.

Use parchment paper to fill line loaf pans 3/4 full.

Bake at 275 for 2 hrs (watch closely after 1 1/2 hrs)

Mary’s extras…

Here is Mary , handcutting her wool at the hook in

Now if you havn’t drunk the rest of the Amaretto….poke holes in the cakes while still slighty warm and drizzle Amaretto over them.Soak cheese cloth in Amaretto and wrap cooled cakes with that, then Saran wrapand tin foil and store in cool place. Now finish the bottle!

Ambrosia Bites from Cheryl Boudreau

Dear Diary, Today at the Hook in, we had about forty rug hookers in the studio, for tea and talk, and time to hook. It was a lovely day, we’ll do it again.

We had rug hookers from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI and there were new friends made I’m sure.

Cheryl Boudreau brought a big container of home made cookies to add to the treat counter and they were a hit.

She even gave us the recipe

Amrosia Bites

 

1 cup soft butter

1cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp grated lemon rind

1 tbsp grated orange rind

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped dates

1 cup coconut

Mix together , spoon pan and bake for 12 min at 350.

 

 

 

 

 

 

lemon and honey salad dressing

Dear Diary, So I told you I went to Gloria Dunbar’s pottery open house last weekend in Lawrencetown, and came back with a small casserole dish, just a beauty, that stacks into a set of casserole dishes I got last year when she had myself and her friend Nancy as overnight guests at her beautiful place in Lawrencetown. So I have a set of four handmade pottery dishes that stack, serves from oven to table or even as a salad bowl. They are completely functional, and add to the other pottery I have and love.

I decided to use the largest one as a salad bowl the other night and it worked fine, more than fine , beautifully.

Here’s my Honey Lemon Dressing recipe…

lemon juice from half a lemon

2tbsp honey

4tbsp white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Blend together, it will thicken nicely, and pour over mixed greens

I used chopped romaine, pecans, craisins, raspberries, red onion, sunflower seeds, and feta cheese

great salad in a great dish, which I think is important….

 

 

 

 

 

 

thai rice noodles with honey chicken

Thai Rice Noodles with Sticky Chicken
This recipe I adapted and have been joyously feeding my family with it all month. It is easy to make and easy to vary.I put it in this months newsletter but wanted to give it it’s own post for the recipe section, and just because it deserves the attention, it is such a good recipe.

Cook the rice noodles according to the package , it just takes a minute or two.

Prepare finely 2 cups chopped bok choy or savoy cabbage, 2 cups bean
sprouts, 1 cup carrots thinly sliced in sticks, 1 cup cucumber thinly
sliced, 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, 2 cups shredded or freshly pan fried
chicken.

I pan fry the chicken in a little sesame oil and then toss it with a tbsp on honey when it is cooked to glaze it.

Dressing:1 cup water, juice of a lime, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon chili
garlic sauce, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp crushed fresh
ginger, 1 clove garlic crushed, Shake well in a mason jar.

On a plate put rice noodles, tops with salad fixing and chicken, then
peanuts and if you like chop a bit of coriander on it. Then pour some sauce
over it. I toss the leftovers all together for a cold salad the next day. It
is a delicious meal. Substitutions can easily be made.

 

 

 

 

Date Squares

Date Squares

This is a recipes from my mother, when ever someone was coming we made a pan of date squares, epecially if they were coming from away. It is a taste of home. My advice…use butter and eat them slowly…. and enjoy.
1 1/4 cups white flour  1 1/2 cup oats 1/2tsp salt 1 cup brown sugar 1tsp baking soda 1 cup butter.

Mix together with hands, until butter is thoroughly mixed through. Pat half into bottom of a 9 by 13 pan.
Filling:1lb dates 3/4 cup sugar 2/3 cup water, boil until a paste of the dates is made and spread over pan. Top with the other half of oat mixture.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes

 

 

 

 

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the winner of the grill…

my handy well used grill

her family might not know it but they are going to be eating a lot of sandwiches….

Picked Randomly, by myself and Lorna, the winner is…..

 

Thank you so much participating. I now keep avocado as a staple in my fridge. Guess I’ll have to get some chutney to. The readers of this blog are all like my friend Joanne, good to go, whenever you call on them. I appreciate your reading so much. Thanks for playing with me……

Donna Gass
d.gass@ns.sympatico.ca
99.192.94.173 Submitted on 2011/04/28 at 4:30 am 

Simple sandwich, but once tried you will crave it.

Two slices of thick really good whole grain bread.
Butter it lightly on the out sides.
One thick wonderful slice of OLD sharp chedder.
and the secret ingreditant PEACH CHUTNEY, spread it
over the cheese.

Put in the grill YUMMMMMMMM you will love this one. Donna

Donna, please contact us with instructions on getting the grill to you. Congratulations.

We’ll make the big draw for the grill on Wednesday May 18

Dear Diary, I decided to stay home this morning and work on my rug of the Maccan River. Around eleven I called my friend Carol to come over for lunch, just a sandwich but good ingredients, fresh spinach from the Masstown Market, good hand made feta from the Sackville Farmers Market, and rosemary jelly from the Tangled Garden. It almost has to be good. I haven’t made it yet but you can see the vegetables on the grill.

This little grill is one of my favorite kitchen tools. A few years ago my son and I were out and I was looking at grills  and about to buy an inexpensive version and he said, “Get the good one.”  Then he said something to the effect that eventually I’d be gone and he’d have my money if I don’t spend it so I bought the good Cuisinart Grill. As Margaret Lawrence once said, “You’re young, you know things now you won’t know when you’re older.”  I listened to his wisdom.

I bought the lovely little Cuisinart Griddler Grill in May, two years ago, and I barely turned on my oven that summer. I have a small kitchen with just a bit of counter space but the griddle got to stay because it is so great. It does everything from grilling a great sandwich to cooking a chicken breast without heating up the kitchen.

So in celebration of food….and to have some fun this spring on the blog I am trotting off to the our lovely local privately owned downtown department store  this afternoon to buy a Cuisinart Griddle to give away to a blog reader…might be you…

…. Cuisinart does not know about me or is not sponsoring this. Cuisinart has no idea about this thing I am just doing it cause I like my grill. I decided to do this contest as I was making the sandwiches…..that’s what I’m like.

Just like the red bloodstone boots, I buy it for you. I pack it ( well someone in the studio does) and mail it to you…..

We’ll pick the winner randomly from the entries after May 18 when my spring workshops are finished…

Summer’s coming and the cooking has got to be easy. Lets inspire each other in the sandwich department…..

Her’s how you enter….you just make a comment on the blog telling me the ingredients for a great sandwich… your favorite combo , or recipe. Tell me about the spread, the bread…the necessary ingredients…..to make a most beautiful sandwich….only one entry per person

Thanks for playing with me. I’ll make some of your sandwich suggestions. I’m looking forward to it.

Right now I’m off to clean my grill, make it “sparkle and shine…sparkle and shine” because  I just looked at my pictures and I’m thinking my friends might stop coming over for lunch when they see this. I just wanted you to know the truth about me, I’m a messy housekeeper. I’d take a picture of the shined grill when I am finished but I am afraid you’ll say you can’t tell what is before and what’s after…..

If you want to , you can add this notice to your facebook feed so your friends can enter their favorite sandwich to win the grill by clicking the Like button in the corner.

steam rising as I grill green pepper and zuchini
fresh spinach with feta and grilled vegetables
Really good ingredients like local farm feta
I added a pitch of rosemary from my kitchen window to the sandwich
I love the grill marks my griddler makes...so earthy
my well used griddler....ignore the water marks...now you really know me.

 

tell us about the really good condiments like this one from the Tangled Garden that you use on your sandwiches
quince rosemary jelly on one slice of bread, a bit of mayo on the other
whew! I remembered to take a picture before I ate it...well actually my friend Carol Oram who came for lunch had to remind me

 

 

 

how to fry fish from a newfoundlander

How to fry a good piece of fish

 

I was so lucky as a child when it came to fish.

My father would here a boat cross the bay, and he’d say “Leonard Wakeham is on his way in, I am going over to get a fish. ” He knew the sound of particular boats.

We would meet the boat at the wharf. Dad would pull a fish out of the hole. He’d pay a couple of dollars for it.

We would take it home. It would be a big grey cod with milky eyes and it’s head and tail would stick up out of out sink that was 18″ deep.

My mother would gut the fish in the kitchen sink. Fillet it or cut it into steaks depending on how she felt. That is my fish story, all true.

Now me. I have not gutted a fish for awhile, but when I can I buy fresh cod fish.

Heres the key to frying good fish…plenty of oil and a nice hot pan.

Cover the bottom of the pan with oil . Put it on med /high heat until it is hot. Lightly dredge your fish in flour and put into the pan. It should sizzle. Turn the heat to medium. Do not touch the fish for five minutes until you think it is rip on the bottom side, turn it over and leave it alone again. Turning the fish too quickly will make it fall apart. It should float in the oil a little bit.

That is how my mother did it. It is how I do it. The house smells like fish for at least twenty four hours….

I welcome comments from all the expert fish fryers out there…..I know you want to add your two cents, especially the Newfoundlanders, I’m listening…..

 

oatcakes…..from the studio

Dear Diary , for years I made these oatcakes…the one shown here were made by my faithful friend Jane Allen, who makes them for me during our workshops. It is a recipe found in a church cookbook at the little Anglican Church where I was married, and my children were baptised. It was submitted by my friend’s mother, Mrs. Sheila Sanford.

When Jane makes them she adds a little extra sugar. She has never said that but I can just tell. They are delicious either way

Studio Oatcakes

recipe from Mrs. Sheila Sanford

These are a studio favourite, good old fashioned Nova Scotia oatcakes. They’re the real thing. Great served with maple butter, honey or cheddar cheese. Nothing better that these with a cup of King Kole tea…red Roses , or Morses… they are all good
3 cups oats,  3 cups flour , 1 cup sugar ,  1 cup butter,  1 cup shortening,  1/4 cup water,  1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together, and work into softened butter and shortening. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into circles with a glass. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Years ago, the CBC radio personality Shelagh Rogers came to visit me at my studio when it was in my house. I was out at the beach when she got there so the woman who worked with me at the time called the shore to say…”You got to come in , Shelagh Rogers is here.” I said let me talk to her cause I was thirty minutes away. I said, ” Shelagh do you have time to wait. I’d could make you a lovely cup of tea and I’d love to meet you.”

She said she would wait so I rushed in all excited to meet her and her husband. She had interviewed me that winter on her national radio program, This Morning, and said she might come to visit but I never expected her to really darken my door, CBC celebrity that she was.

I knew I had these oatcakes in the freezer so I had something nice to offer her. I had been at the shore for weeks and had not worried about the house fridge. When I got there we had a little buzz to meet each other in person and I brought her into my kitchen for tea. I started to make it , and my cupboards were bare. I said, “I’m so sorry Shelagh, I don’t have a bit of cheese to go with these oatcakes but they are lovely on their own.” She said, “I have cheese in the car I’ll go get it.”

Then I went to pour the tea, and she took milk. I said, “I’m so sorry Shelagh, I am out of milk.”. Out she went again, to get the makings for the “lovely cup of tea she was promised. She said, “No problem, I have milk in the car.”  I thought she must have a grocery store out there but it turned out they were camping,  and we were all lucky for it.

At least I knew I had some really oatcakes in the freezer, and that they could not be beat. If  Shelagh Rogers wasn’t such a lovely person I’d have been embarrassed but she made it easy, and came up with half the lunch herself.

She came back years later to visit and she ddid not even remember that she had to go out to the car to get the cheese and milk…but she remembered how good those oatcakes tasted.

 

 

Orange Icing

Dear Diary, Last week I was at Don Miller’s 30 th dessert theatre that he does with his Youth Group at the First Baptist Church. It is an ecumenical group, with kids coming from all kinds of churches, or no church at all. It doesn’t matter. Over eighty teenagers from grades ten to twelve meet in the basement of the church every Monday Night. It ‘s a miracle is what it is.

As part of the theatre this year, Carol O’Regan made the desserts, ( I think she has made the desserts for all thirty) which were three flavours of cup cakes one being ..orange. I had forgotten the taste of orange icing. My mother used to make it for layer cakes on Sunday after chicken dinner. When I tasted the orange cup cake a trigger went off in my brain, and I remembered the flavour, not having had it for years. It was such a nostalgic feeling that came over me. You know that feeling , when you taste or smell something and it transports you.

After the dessert theatre, I asked Carol if I could take pictures of her cup cakes. She gave me a puzzled look and said, “fill your boots”. I was still actually thinking about filling my cheeks. They were lovely cupcakes.

Orange Icing

4 tablespoons softened butter (more if you like), 2 cups icing sugar, juice of half an orange, finely grated orange peel to taste, blend together and ice a pain white cake, or cupcake.

 

Chicken and Coconut Soup

Chicken and Coconut Soup

Make a stock from the bones of a chicken. Bring it to a  boil and simmer it for two hours. Remove all bones. Clean chicken off bones and set aside.

Add pinch of saffron, pinch of turmeric, pinch of coriander, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp ginger,  1/2 tsp lemon grass…obviously you can play with this.

Once the stock has simmered to a rich broth add 1 small sweet potato cubed, 1 carrot cubed, 1/3 yellow pepper chopped, 1/2 onion chopped, 1/4 cup vermicelli noodles. Simmer for ten minutes until vegetables are tender. Add 1 can coconut milk, 1 cup fresh spinach chopped fine, simmer for ten more minutes. Serve with a dollop of Balkan yogurt.

 

 

 

walk that way

buried in snow...

Dear Diary, I miss autumn, summer, and spring. I miss walking in a light jacket and sneakers but do I lament..oh no…cause lamenting is just  a weird word for complaining. Instead I trudge through the snow, consoling myself that a mile is really two because it is so darn hard to walk. I pull on my snow pants and head band and then I literally push myself out the door because I really want to get a cup of tea and go upstairs in my little studio where the light is so fresh and pretty. I get outside, and once I do, I feel better. I feel like I have taken charge of that person who wants to sit with  a tin of cheap danish butter cookies and a two cups of tea, and read away the winter.
You have to make yourself be more than you are sometimes. You have to take control of your inner sloth, and get dressed up, get out of the house. Winter is perfect for the “sloth”. There are days when there is a skiff of snow on the roads and I convince myself to leave the car in the yard, and my secret sloth , that lies inside me says” yippee…go put your yoga pants on but don’t go to yoga…let’s eat instead.” My inner sloth is a liar, I don’t know about yours. She tells me that I’ll be happier if I wear that black striped turtle neck, that I wear whenever it’s clean and stay away from the world. She tells me that snow is hard to walk through. She tells me that seven cookies are better than two. She tells me lies, lies, lies.  She’s like a two timing boyfriend, tells you one thing, then does another. You just can’t trust what she tells you cause she’s not really there for you. So now I’m gonna rise up out of this chair, take off my black striped turtle neck, put on some nice clothes and go to town cause winter ain’t really that bad, and you can walk in the snow.

I sent out my monthly newsletter today, ( you can subscribe in the box on the right if you want to receive it) here is a great recipe…. sometimes you have to let the inner sloth win…

Recipe
Butter Brickle
This is a simple and delicious recipe I have had around for years.
2 cups flour, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 cup pecans, 1 jar caramel sauce, 2 litres of vanilla ice cream. Melt butter, add all but sauce and ice cream. Bake mixture on cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 350. Crumble while hot. Spread half on bottom of 9 by 13 pan. Drizzle on 1/2 jar of sauce. Spread on softened ice cream. Pour rest of crumbs on top. Spread with sauce. Freeze overnight. Serve in squares.

making dough

Flour, Salt and instant yeast

Dear Diary, Bread is part of every culture. It has always been part of mine. I have a big silver bread  pan that my mother used to put dough in rise. She made traditional loaves of bread, with three buns. With the last bits of dough she would make a tiny loaf for me when I was a child; a loaf that could be cut as soon as it came from the oven and loaded with Eversweet Margarine.  There was no butter, except in early summer when it was made fresh on the Cape Shore.

Bread, in my house has changed somewhat but it remains a staple. We make a traditional Lebanese dough that my husband grew up with. It is made in a big container with a cover so that it can be put away in the fridge for a week, taking out the dough you need for any recipe. This dough makes traditional pita bread, pizza, foccacia, zaatar, and a variety of  Lebanese turn overs. It is easy to make.

half whole wheat, half white

Lebanese Pita Bread
This dough is a staple in our home. You can make it, punch it down and leave it in the fridge for a week until you are ready to use. My husbands mother, and his sister wrote a cook book years ago on Lebanese Cooking. It is long out of print but this recipe is the back bone of it. We use it for pizza dough, Zaatar. (a spice mixture from the middle eastern food stores), turnovers, all kinds of things.

8cups white flour ( use half whole wheat if you like)  1 teaspoon salt   2 tablespoons of instant rapid rising yeast   3 to 4 cups warm water  2 tbsp olive oil

Mix flour, salt, and yeast. Pour in water. Stir with a spoon. You may need to add more water, to get a nice soft dough. I mix the dough with my hands, kneading it a little to mix all the flour in. The dough should be quite soft. All flour should be mixed in. When it  well mixed and you have a nice soft dough, spread the olive oil over the dough. You may bless the dough by using your hands to make a  cross in it if you wish. Let the dough rise 4 hours. You can then put it in the fridge, or use it. When you take it out of the fridge you must let it rise again.

The Pita Trick, the key to making a good pita is to take a large handful of dough, and roll it out with a rolling pin like a piecrust, then cover it with a clean dish towel. Let it rise , sitting there, rolled out and covered for at least ten  to 15 minutes.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. This effort at rising combined with the hot oven will make the bread rise and puff up while in the oven and is the key to forming the pita pocket. Bake two loaves at a time on a cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. I make it the day I nmeed it because it only sttays fresh for trhe day as there is little fat in it.

add water until it is the right consistency, all flour is worked into the dough
We sometimes add 2tbsp olive oil, but it is not needed
a nice soft dough

The dough should be soft like a baby’s bottom.  It is traditional, to cross the bread, to bless it. My mother in law did this, and I continue the tradition.

This dough is a standard in my life. When there is dough in the fridge, I always know I have something for supper. Though it is not like my mother’s bread, home made bread remains a tradition in my house, and it tastes great , dripping with …you guesses it ..real butter.

cookies at my door

Dear Diary, yesterday, Brenda who works with me brought me down a delicious pack of home made cookies…. and here is the highlight…remember to use butter, it makes all the difference in these beauties.
SANTA’S WHISKERS
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 chopped candied cherries, red and/or green
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or almonds
3/4 cup shredded coconut
Mix all ingredients except coconut, when well combined shape into2 rolls, roll in coconut, wrap in plastic wrap
and chill in fridge for 2-24 hours.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes
or until edges are golden.

How to Cook a Turkey

How to Cook  a Turkey…

Take that thing, stuff it full with bread, onion, summer savory. Stick it in a big roaster in the oven  and forget about it. Cook it all day long on 350 while you read the book you got for Christmas. About an hour before everyone comes over, cook lots and lots of different kinds of vegetables.
I don’t think you can ruin  a turkey, but you can forget to turn the oven on. After about an hour or two make sure you can smell it cooking. If you cannot, delay dinner.

Beef and Mushroom Stew

Beef and Mushroom Stew

2 lb  beef sirloin cubed, 1 large onion, 1clove garlic,2 cups sliced mushrooms fry in two tbsp olive oil, until beef is browned, in a stew pot. You should sear the beef so it has a bit of a crust on it,

Soak 1/2 cup dried mushrooms(mixed)  for ten minutes, then toss into beef mixture. Add four to six cups of water, 1/2 cup red wine, salt and pepper and simmer for ten minutes.

Slice four carrots sliced, and cube one small turnip. Simmer for 1/2 hour on lowest heat. Add three potatoes chunked quite large. Simmer for another hour, or more on lowest heat till everything is tender. Be careful not to overcook so that the vegetables are mushy. Mix 2 tbsp corn starch with 1/4 cup cold water . Bring stew to a boil, mix in cornstarch mixture to thicken. Turn heat to low, and serve with crusty bread.

it’s fruitcake time again

Dear Diary, I have it soaking, the fruit for this years cake. I am making it late so that I don’t have to make it three times like other years. When it is in the fridge I just keep going back to the kitchen.

Deanne’s Fruitcake
4 cups mixed fruit
1/2 cup  mixed peel
3 cups thompson raisins (dark)
1cup red cherries chopped
3cups pecan halves
2 cups slivered almonds
Soak in one  or two  or three or four ounces of southern comfort, bourbon, or rum over night. I used about three quarters of a cup.

Soften 1 1b butter, and cream with two cups of sugar and 1/2 cup molasses, 2 tsp vanilla. Beat vigourously. Add 12 (yes the whole dozen) eggs, one at a time.

Mix in3 1/2 cups flour, 1tsp cinnomon, 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.

Combine flour mixture with fruit mixture and fold together. Scoop into four loaf pans, that have been well greased and lined with wax paper or tin foil. Bake at 275, for 1 hour and 20 minutes until knife comes out clean. I put a pan of water on bottom oven rack to allow it to steam a little. It keeps the cake moist.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do

hot lemon and taking good care

hot lemon drink

Squeeze half a lemon, add 1 teaspoon of honey and pour in boiling water. Let steep and drink while still warm. You can add a slice of fresh  ginger if you like for ginger lemon tea.

Dear Diary, we need to take care of ourselves, whether it is time with friends , or an extra boost to fend off a cold. Looking after ourselves is so necessary and so comforting. I just made myself a hot lemon drink, and I am about to curl up with a book and settle in. The more you neglect yourself, the more you’ll want to neglect others…so november requires a little extra care.