Sunday, 22 December 2013

Links to Chocolate

"Where are your chocolate posts?", Rebecca asked me on the phone tonight.  And, "How many cups of sugar in 10 pounds of sugar.  I have out my old recipes and I want to know if I should make the small batch or the big batch."

Those questions are why I am out here, linking some of the pictures and recipes on how to dip chocolates to this food blog.

If you need a refresher, either with words or pictures you might want to click on

1. The Candy Start - Catie beats fondant
2. The Candy Finish - Thomas and Rebecca beat fondant
3. Hand-dipped Chocolates - beginner dipping pictures
4, Orange-Flavoured Chocolate-Dipped Cheesecake Lollipops - a cheesecake centered specialty

More coming to this page, later.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

South Indian Style Vegetable Curry

Here is the link for South Indian Vegetable Curry.  This recipe is more amazing than the dahl that you make, Rebecca and is well worth the time it takes to make.  I got the left-overs which I have managed to stretch into 3 more amazing meals.

... vegetable curry ... long shot
Pouria made a five course Indian meal for us on Monday night. This was one of the dishes he choose.

Seven of us gathered around the table: Harry, Pouria, Amir, Kelvin, Connor, Richard and baby Alice on Richard's knee.

One plate of food went home to Miranda.

Below, I shamelessly copy the reviews of other people who have done this recipe.  Even though they all suggest doubling up on all of the flavours, except the citrus, I suggest using the original recipe if you aren't big on a lot of heat.  So here goes:

vegetable curry ... close-up
*Took others advice and doubled all of the spices. Added some spuds and zucchini, left out the chick peas and didn't have lime so used lemon (doubled juice and zest) will add something more next time as I'd like some more sauce (I also kept the seeds etc from the toms). Agree that it's lots of prep but loved the base. Will add prawns or chicken next time (at my mums request) but more than happy with the veg alone. Shame there's not more left over for tomorrow:)

*After reading the reviews I doubled the spices, and probably could have tripled them, according to my husband. I did have to make a couple of substitutions. I used chili powder in place of cayenne. My coriander was quite old so I left it out completely, and I used ground ginger and ground cinnamon. I used the whole can of light coconut milk because I wasn't sure what else I'd use it for, but my husband loved it. It was fairly easy to make, but advice for myself and others; next time I will have all my spices measured out ahead of time to make things run more smoothly. We served it over Basmati rice. Yum!

* by dmcq, 6/9/2013I doubled up on the spices after tasting the broth halfway thru cooking. I also added 2 tsp of cinnamon since I didn't have a cinnamon stick on hand along with green beans and eggplant. It was delicio

* by franjan, 6/15/2011If I could give it 10 stars I would! Unbelievably deep flavour, aromatic and warm. And all really good on a cold winters night or a hot summer's eve with a cold beer. A few things I did differently: added whole mustard seeds after tempering the onions - this created a 'pop' in the mouth element which was fabulous, as well as adding a whole jalapeno as well as extra ginger. I also added more coconut milk, only because I had a third of a can left and didn't want to waste it. I used only bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and tofu and none of the starch the recipe called for (didn't have it in my kitchen). I did add a little salt at the end too. Served on bulgur, with a squeeze of lime, a dollop of greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of cilantro - HEAVEN!!!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Carmelized Pear Crepe

 ... Janet, finishing up on the computer before taking a bite ...

I didn’t want breakfast until I saw Janet’s caramelized pear crepe.

“Is this how you two do breakfast every day?”, I asked.

“This isn’t usual,” she laughed. “I am just celebrating some of my successes with an over-the-top treat and there is plenty for you. Join me.”

I wish I lived at their house.  Of course, walking down there early in the morning is a second best.


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Glen's Waffle Recipe

Here is Glen's very mathematical recipe.  We love it at our house here in Quebec.  And it is a great way to start a frosty November morning.

I was so excited to post Glen's waffle recipe this -- I thought I would be the first to post a waffle recipe on a food blog that should have at least a dozen given the people who contribute to and follow this blog.  And given the amount of waffles that get consumed at the Lake each summer.

But alas, I see Moiya beat me to it.  But if I am going to be beaten by anyone, I would choose Moiya though.


N = number of people divided by 2

2 N eggs
N cups of flour
N teaspoons of salt
N tablespoons of baking powder
N cups of milk
N/3 cups of cooking oil

Step 1:  separate egss and set aside yolks for step 3
Step 2:  beat egg whites until stiff
Step 3: mix all ingredients but egg whites until consistency of syrup
Step 4:  fold in egg whites
Step 5:  heat waffle iron until light goes out and then cook for about 2 minutes

(Taken from the Johnson Family Reunion 2009 book put together by Catherine Jarvis)


At our house this is what you will find on the table
  • real maple syrup
  • store-bought syrup
  • peanut butter
  • butter
  • honey and/or cinnamon honey
  • whipped cream (if we are lucky enough to have some in the fridge)
  • fruit: wild Quebec blueberries (if they are in season), sliced bananas, other berries in season or if there happen to be some from California or South America hanging about the grocery store
If you have never tried this, you must:
  • spread waffle with peanut butter, sprinkle with sliced bananas, drizzle with real maple syrup, top with whipped cream.
You won't regret it.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Swedish Cabbage Soup

Swedish Cabbage Soup
When I was working and taking a lunch with me to the library I opted into the belief that a healthy soup was a good lunch:  hot, just the right size and could be accompanied by a piece of bread or a salad or a piece of fruit, or all three.

Weight Watchers had a good recipe, one that was full of tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic and some other vegetables.  In those days everything that was in the soup was counted as "free".  I began to collect soup recipes, setting aside any that were cream based. Those were absolutely not my collection.

The system worked for me.  I could carry the soups in my backpack frozen.  There was no spillage.  I was eating lots of vegetables.  What could there be "not to like" about that" -- unless of course a person doesn't like soup.

On that note, Moiya bought some cabbage last week -- four huge heads. She shared one of them with me.  I made a huge pot of Swedish Cabbage Soup, plus two different slaw salads.

I used up all of my caraway seeds in the soup and have since looked for them in bulk again. 

Light & Crispy Waffles

This is a nice light, airy, delicious restaurant quality waffle.   Well worth the extra time to make!

3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

1 c. buttermilk     OR (not both!)
1 c. milk, less 1 Tblsp.& Add 1 Tblsp. vinegar- this is how you make buttermilk if not on hand
6 Tblsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
1 egg yolk

1 egg white
1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1.   Stir together dry ingredients in one bowl
2.   In separate bowl, combine milk, vinegar, egg yolk, and oil. Whiskk with fork.
3.   In a third bowl, beat egg white until nearly soft peaks.   Sprinkle sugar while shipping until glossy, Gently stir in vanilla
4.   Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and whisk until blended.   Fold in egg white mixture with spatula.

For a four inch waffle, about 1/3 cup batter fills the waffle iron for each waffle, but the amount you need to fill your waffle iron will very according to the size.

Number Of Servings:10

Preparation Time:

Monday, 11 November 2013

Yummy Pizza Sauce & Dough Recipe

Moiya's paddle and skin for pizza
PizzaSauce                                     Shilleen Whibley

1   28 oz.               canned crushed tomatoes
1 Tbls.                   dried parsley
2 tsp.                     dried basil
1 tsp.                     dried oregano
1/2 tsp.                 dried thyme
1/2 tsp.                 marjoram
1/4 tsp.                 freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup                 olive oil
2 tsp.                     granulated garlic powder
1/4 cup                 red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp.               salt

... pizza stone ... about $40 ...
Order of making a Pizza
1.   hand toss dough and lay on pizza peel (I put  
      whole wheat flour   & cornmeal on the peel .
2.   lightly brush dough with olive oil (creates  
    barrier so dough doesn't get soggy)
3.   Put sauce on.
4.   Sprinkle a bit of cheese
5.   Add toppings ( veggies & meat....)etc.)
6.   Top with grated parmesan reggiano
7.   Do you like spices?(top with whatever
    you prefer......sesame seeds, dried red chilli  
    peppers, oregano, fresh basil.....and for sure
    always fresh ground pepper.
8.   Now throw it in the oven (as hot as your oven
      can go....make sure to put the stone in the
      oven first, then turn the oven on.....and let the
      stone get hot for a good half and hour.)
        The Pizza will only take 8-12 min. max.
                            Oh Yummy!

... stone can be purchased in a box like this ...
  Pizza Dough                         Shilleen Whibley

3 c. bread flour   * it is important to use Bread flour*
1 1/2 cups   all purpose flour
1 tsp,           salt
1 tsp.           yeast
1/2 cup       olive oil
1 1/2 cups   water (warm)

Mix just for incorporation;  
Rest for 5 min.;     Mix some more;     Let rise for 2 hours
Put in fridge in balls. (overnight)   Spray inside of Zip lock bag before inserting ball of dough
Take out and let go to room temperature (about 2 hours before using)

If not refrigerating......Just let the dough rise for 2 hours.


Number Of Servings:4 12 inch Pizza's

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

  Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas  
<< Previous  Next >>
Desiree Vaughn - Jan 27, 2013   View | Viewers
Categories: Main Dish
Title: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Okay so this might be my new favorite meal.   So tasty!   You gotta try it!   Mom asked for the recipe but I thought I'd share it to all of you.

4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
2 c shredded Mexican Cheese blend
10 flour tortillas (medium size)
2 limes
4 Tbsp honey
2 tsp chili powedr
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans green enchilada sauce
Optional: 1 small can diced green chilis

Cook and finely dice (or shred) the chicken breasts and place in a large mixing bowl. I usually boil them, it's easy, but grilled works nicely too. To the bowl, add 1.5 cups of the cheese, the diced green chills and the chicken soup and mix well. To make the sauce, zest and juice both limes in a separate bowl. Add in the honey, chili powder, garlic powder, chopped cilantro and olive oil. Mix well. Add sauce to the chicken mixture and stir well. Now fill each of the tortillas with a portion of the mixture and place in a 9x13 glass baking dish. Top the rolled tortillas with the two cans of green enchilada sauce and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned.

Number Of Servings:3-4

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Chocolate Wafer Cale

... I only cook for friends, not for fun ...
"Does anyone really like cooking?"

That is what Bonnie asked me.

"It feels so much like making crafts and I don't like doing crafts. Textures that are uncomfortable, liquids and gels spreading into places that they aren't supposed to go. Goods and materials sliding up my arms or getting on my face. What is there to like about cooking?"
... I may be smiling but this is torture to me ...

"Look at this mess," she went on. "It is the best I can do. If I tried to do better, I would take one of these crackers, start spreading whipped cream on it, and then in an effort to do my very best, I would continue spreading with my knife, back and forth, until the chocolate cracker finally crumbled into fine grit spread throughout the whipping cream on my knife."

... my best shot ...
so glad birthdays only come once a year
Moiya had stayed after Sunday dinner to help Bonnie get a start on this cake.

"Can you believe someone my age doesn't even know how to whip cream," Bonnie went on. "Let me get the saran wrap around this, get it to the party, and then I will hope that it will be served so late at night that no one will notice that this is the best I can do.  I hate cooking.  It feels just like doing crafts! Do people really like this?"

Fig and Fennel Bread

... a low, dense, loaf ...
Last year when I was at Mary's house she had some figs in her cupboard.  "Bought when I saw them in the discount bin," she said.  "Can't leave them there when they are half price, but I haven't had time to use them."

I went to the internet, as we all do, now, and found a recipe for Fig and Fennel bread at

Being in a rush, and having no printer, here is what I wrote down:

3/4 c figs or 1 1/2 c figs
1 1/4 c water
1 Tbsp yeast
3 cups flour
1 cup rye flour
2 tablespoons fennel
1 tablespoon salt

Makes 2 large loaves.

Further notes to myself say, "I doubled the recipe and still only got 2 large loaves.

I can't remember much more about making the bread, but tried it again last week, just from the notes I had jotted down while making it at Mary's.  I wish I had used the 1 1/2 cups figs instead of the 3/4 cup -- better to have erred on the side of generosity on this one.  I can't remember if the recipe had called for white flour or brown, so I used brown and beat the batter in my bosch for 8 minutes, as it takes that long to get the gluten developed in brown flour and then I added the rye flour later.  Wish I had toasted the fennel seeds.  I am going to try that next time.  From the picture you can see I didn't get much height.  Still, toasted, it was absolutely delicious.

I bought more figs yesterday at the store even if they weren't on sale in the half price bin.  The sweetness in this recipe comes out of the figs and the fennel.  As you can see, there is no sugar in it.

Red Velvet Cake

... a miracle in my new kitchen ... I always have parchment paper ...
I am not a cake maker.

I do have a few tried and tested cake recipes, all of which are presented in a 9 x 13 pan: carrot cake, a quick “hot water” chocolate cake, a zucchini cake, and there you have it.

Three-quarters of the time my cakes don’t even get iced. I don’t know if brownies qualifies as cake, but I can bake them in a 9 x 13 pan as well, so now you know it – I can do four cakes.

... 2 tbsp cocoa (not Dutch) and 2 tbsp red food colouring ...
And I only have one icing. Cream cheese.

I can remember a broiled icing my mother used to do: cream, nuts, cocoanut, brown sugar, dissolved, then spread on a cake and broiled until toasted – brickle-like.

But I haven’t thrown that together for what seems like 1000 years.

... following the recipe step by step ...
columns on the other side of the page now have red food dye on them
My Cooks Illustrated Comfort Foods magazine that I bought at the supermarket has a recipe for Red Velvet Cake. For entertainment I read the articles (as opposed to make the products), and this recipe struck a chord from the past. I could remember making this cake many years ago. But this recipe went off of my radar when I read the red food colouring might not be the healthiest choice for my family.

Bonnie asked me to make a cake for her friend’s birthday. Why not retry Red Velvet? I am trying to comply with her requests for help while I am here. I put in the thinking time about how to make this cake,... and then Bonnie cancelled her request. Too late for me. I had the red food colouring, I had the buttermilk, I had the cream cheese for the icing and I couldn’t be stopped, even if she no longer wanted that job done.

... colour looks good for Xmas or Valentines Day or ... any other day
On beginning, I laughed at the method for making the cake. “This cake can be made in 10 minutes.” Yes, if you have thought ahead 2 hours to get the butter out of the fridge so that it is soften, if you have put together the dry ingredients in one pan, the wet ones in another, and figured out which of the 2 cans of cocoa you are to use, since the recipe specifically warns the cook about the dangers of using Dutch cocoa – the kind I bought the last time I was at Costco.

... cool ten minutes in pans and 2 hours on a rack ...
Not being a cake maker, I didn’t even know if I could find two round 9 inch cake pans to make the double layers in. That search ended when I found some unused ones stacked among my pie plates – unused meaning, I bought them last year in the hopes that having a set of pans would inspire me to make wonderful cakes. I promptly forgot I had the equipment.

Do these problems happen in every kitchen? Or just mine.

 ... ask for the icing recipe AFTER you have eaten a piece ...
I am notorious for thinking I have ingredients, when in reality the jar I am wanting to use is back in the kitchen in Calgary. That happened yesterday – the whole Indian Butter Chicken finished when I discovered – mmm, that Patak’s jar is not in these kitchen cupboards afterall. Improvisation only goes so far and takes away some of the bloom of happiness that should accompany cooking. On the other hand, there is a certain challenge in overcoming unexpected kitchen surprises.

... decorate with the last of the fresh raspberries from lot #3 ...
ever bearing means raspberries are still going strong on Nov 10th
This cake went from beginning to completion with no hitches.
So here you have it, Red Velvet Cake, the pictures of which are coming from a Shuswap kitchen to this blog.

Wish you were here to have a piece.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Pumpkin Scones (a la Starbucks -- skinny version)

... pumpkins and gourds, ceramic style ...
I have always loved the Starbucks Pumpkin scone available in the fall.  It is covered in delicious spiced glaze.  But this year after having cut back on sugar considerably in my diet the past months, I  found it too sweet (I can't believe I just wrote that -- the shame).  This morning I found this "skinny" version. 
I didn't have greek yogurt on hand so I used 1 cup of pumpkin.
Thank you to for the recipe.

2 C. Whole Wheat White Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Stevia in the Raw (Or other C. for C. Sweetener.)
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
4 Tbsp. (1/2 Stick) Light Butter
3 Tbsp. Fat Free Milk
1 Whole Large Egg
1/2 C. 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree
1/2 C. Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 Tsp. Ground Ginger
3/4 Tsp. Groung Cloves
1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
Vanilla Glaze:
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 Tbsp. Fat Free Milk
1/8 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
Pumpkin Spice Glaze:
1/4 C. Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp. 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree
Pinch of Ground Cloves
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Ground Ginger
Pinch of Cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. Fat Free Milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly coat with some non-stick cooking spray. Set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and sweetener until well blended.  Add in the butter until the mixture resembles the grainy texture of cornmeal.
Add in the milk, egg, pumpkin puree, greek yogurt, vanilla and the spices.  Combine together until a smooth dough has formed.
Scoop the dough out onto a floured surface. Form the dough into a half inch tall circle - about 6 inches across. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and carefully cut the dough into 12 wedges (as best you can anyway - they don't need to be separated completely.) 
Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges are turning golden brown and the middle is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.While you're waiting, mix together the ingredients for each glaze separately. 

Once the scones have cooled, drizzle evenly with the vanilla glaze followed by the pumpkin spice glaze.