Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blueberry Banana Cranachan

Here is a Scottish dessert that not only has a twist, but is turned on it's head.  A traditional cranachan uses raspberries.  This one uses blueberries and bananas.  It is healthy and very tasty.  If you aren't partaking in alcohol, use orange juice.  This would make it a good breakfast then, as well.

1/2 cup rolled oats (toasted)
1 cup whipped cream (sweetened with 1/4 c. confectioners sugars and a 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.)
1 cup blueberries
2 tbsp. honey
2 bananas (sliced)
2 tbsp. whisky (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread oats out in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until nut-brown. Set aside to cool. Remove them from the pan for faster cooling.

Mix the honey into the blueberries.

To assemble layer banana slices, then oats, then blueberries amongst 4 dessert cups.  Then a dollop of cream. Repeat, but before the final whipped cream dollop pour in a bit of whisky in each dessert cup. Serve.

To better show the layers:



Blueberry Coconut Cream Tea Scones

A twist to an English cream tea.  The scones are enhanced with coconut and the cream is coconut cream.   Enjoy this with coffee, or tea.


2 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking power
2 tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut

Preheat oven to 450 deg.  Make a course meal texture out of the dry ingredients and the butter.  Use you hands and a mixer.  Add the milk and form into a soft dough.  Roll into a disc an inch thick on a floured surface.  Now cut into six even triangles.  Bake until golden about 20 minutes. cool slightly.

Coconut cream:

1 can full fat coconut
2 tbsp powdered sugar

Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.  Now scoop the firm white cream off the top of the can.  Put in a mixer and add the sugar.  Whip into a firm whipped cream.

Blueberry Jam:

2 c. + 24 fresh blueberries (reserve the 24 blueberries to garnish the final product)
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 pouch fruit pectin

Prepare fruit in saucepan  on stove. Stir sugar into fruit. Mix well. Bring mix to full boil for 5 minutes over high heat; stir constantly.

Pour pectin pouch into fruit and continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Let this set in the refrigerator about an hour.

To assemble, I do it the Cornish way.  Jam and then cream.  Split the scone in half, spread with jam and top with coconut cream, Sandwich the top of the scone and enjoy.


Balsamic Blueberry And Chocolate Melba Toasts

A new blueberry sweet treat!  All the flavors balance on a nice crispy toast.  To make these little ones start by making a small yield blueberry jam, here is a basic recipe:

2 c. + 24 fresh blueberries (reserve the 24 blueberries to garnish the final product)
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 pouch fruit pectin

Prepare fruit in saucepan  on stove. Stir sugar into fruit. Mix well. Bring mix to full boil for 5 minutes over high heat; stir constantly.

Pour pectin pouch into fruit and continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Let this set in the refrigerator about an hour.

The next step is to reduce 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar with 2 tbsp sugar dissolved in it.  Bring to a nice syrupy consistency.

Now make a batch of hard shell chocolate, to do this:

Melt 7 ounces of  chocolate, either on a double boiler, or a microwave works nicely,  then stir in tbsp of coconut oil.  Make sure all ingredients melt and are incorporated.

To assemble lay out 2 dozen melba toasts on a tray.  Spread each one with blueberry jam.  Drizzle with reduced balsamic.  Now you can dollop some chocolate in the center and place a blueberry on top of each toast.  Place the tray in the freezer for a few minutes to set the chocolate.  Now you can display on a clean platter.  Serve.


Blueberry Broccoli Quinoa Salad With Rosemary Vinaigrette

Here is a healthy side dish with a slightly sweet element in the form of blueberries.

To make this recipe start by preparing a rosemary vinegar.  To do this bruise several sprig of rosemary and add to a 1/2 cup white wine vinegar. Let marinade for 1 or 2 days.

 Blueberry Broccoli Quinoa Salad With Rosemary Vinaigarette

1 cup Quinoa (lightly toasted in a dry pan)
2 c. water
1 cup blueberries
1 head broccoli cut into flowerettes (cook til tender and cool)
1 bunch scallions, chopped 
1/2 cup rosemary infused white wine vinegar (strained)
3/4 c. oil
2 tbsp. whole grain mustard
2 tbsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the quinoa to a boil with the water and then turn the heat down to med.  Cook until water is absorbed approx. 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool.  Fold in broccoli, blueberries and scallions place in the refrigerator.  Prepare the dressing by whisking the vinegar with the mustard and honey.  Gradually add the oil while whisking and whisk until thick.  Stir into quinoa salad and serve.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Maple Glazed Pate Brisee Biscuits

These biscuits can be made with pre-bought pastry from the store.  You can also use a basic pate brisee recipe for these biscuits.  In fact, left-over pastry from your favorite pie can be used for this recipe, as well. For the double recipe you will get a yield of a dozen with a medium sized cutter.  You will also get many smaller pieces with the odd shapes left over from cutting your medium sized pieces.  A good use for those as left-over pieces would be to use them for an actual pie crust.  It would be lovely as a crust for an 8 inch pumpkin pie with all the pecans and dried cranberries running through it! Simply press them into a pie plate and fill!

Maple Glazed Pate Brisee Biscuits

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Pre-made 9 inch pastry case (often found in the freezer section of a grocers), or maybe you have left-over pastry from making a pie.

Using pre-made means you can make the whole recipe on one baking sheet from start to finish. Less mess!
Or make it fresh, basic Pate Brisee recipe:

2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon  salt
1 cup  cold,  unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup  ice water

This will make 2 - 9"  pie shells (a double recipe)

You will also need:

1/4 cup chopped pecans (1/2 c. for double recipe))
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (1/2 c. for double recipe)
1/4 to 1/2/ c. maple syrup  (probably 3/4 c. for double recipe)

Roll out your pastry disc onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle half of the cranberries and half of the pecans on one half of the disc.  Brush the other half with maple syrup. 

Fold in half, evenly to the edges.

Roll over the layers to smooth them out and press the layers together.

Cut into shapes with  cutters of your choice right onto a parchment lined baking sheet and remove the excess.  Repeat with the other disc of pastry if making doubled recipe.  Using a fork poke all over the top of the dough, so it bakes evenly.  Place the cut dough shapes on the baking sheet into the freezer for about 10 minutes. 

Now, place them into the preheated oven. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining maple syrup. Bake for about 12 minutes more, until lightly golden. Cool and serve.

These biscuits would be elegant as a dipper for a custard, just place them in the side of the custard cup.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baked Goat Cheese Dip Drizzled with Maple

It didn't take too long to start thinking about Autumn on this first day of October.  One of the thoughts I had was of maple! 

This isn't just goat cheese broiled on bread and this isn't artichoke dip.  This is Baked Goat Cheese Dip Drizzled with Maple!

You can make this directly in one pan. 

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F

8 oz. goat cheese
8 oz. cream cheese
6 thin slices of Prosciutto, chopped into small pieces (cut chiffonade style then roughly chop)
1 small bunch spinach, chard, or kale, chopped into medium pieces (cut chiffonade style then roughly chop)
1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 pinch each white pepper and sea salt (be careful with the salt, as Prosciutto is quite salty)
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. maple syrup  -

Place the first seven ingredients into a 8' baking dish  and start to blend.  Keep blending until the ingredients are evenly distributed and the milk is incorporated.  Now spread the mixture evenly into the pan.  Use a paper towel to wipe any mess on the rim of the pan.  Sprinkle the almonds over the mixture.  Bake in the oven for 20 minute, or until bubbly.  Hot out of the oven drizzle the dip with maple syrup.  Use this dip with bread, or vegetables, or even certain fruits (such as apples, or pears).

The flavors balance out quite nicely; the salty and sweet together with the nutty and creamy.

This easy to prepare dish would be good at a party, or as a starter at your next dinner party.


I have a few ideas to use the left-overs from this dish, if there are any.  Top grilled chicken with this cheese mixture for the last 5 minutes of of cooking time and drizzle with a bit more maple syrup.  another idea is to thin this mixture a bit more with milk ( how much depends on how much you have left-over) and stir into pasta for a delicious side dish.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Red Hot In The City

We are getting plenty of red Thai chillis this year.  Last year they took their own sweet (hot) time to change colour.  

From this:

 To this:

Then This:
  •  15 fresh hot red chile peppers,  a couple of which I substituted  jalapeno
     3 roasted red sweet peppers
     1 teaspoon sea salt
     4 lrg. garlic cloves
     2 tblsp. palm sugar, or dark brown sugar
     1/4 c. brown rice vinegar
    salt and pepper to taste, be careful!

    Give that a whirl.....
I used some of mine straight away for Thai tacos on Navajo fry bread.  Now, how is that for a fusion recipe?  They are really nice!

Start by marinading about a lb. of flank steak for at least 4 hours in:

1 tablespoon sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger  
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 14 oz. can coconut milk 


3 c. Napa cabbage kraut  (I used my recipe previously blogged, without the kohlrabi and use Napa cabbage) 
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar 
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger 
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce 
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce 
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Prepared Navajo fry bread

Grill the steak to your desired doneness.  Rest and cut on the bias.

Top your fry bread with meat, then slaw, then chopped peanuts.  Although not shown diced fresh mango is nice on this recipe, as well.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Guest Blogger - Lemon Zucchini Bread

Here to answer the age old question of what to do with garden zucchini, a post from my sister Amanda Schaefer.  The photos are mine after I tried the recipe.   I recommend it!

Introducing Amanda Schaefer:

  • As usual, our garden has a large supply of zucchini this year. I am always looking for new ways to use it, and last year tried this recipe that I found on Pinterest. I have made it several times this year, and there never seems to be enough! Here is the recipe if you would like to try it:

  • Here's the recipe:


    Makes one 9×5″ loaf ◾2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ◾2 teaspoons baking powder ◾1/2 teaspoon salt ◾2 eggs ◾1/2 cup canola oil ◾2/3 cup sugar ◾1/2 cup buttermilk ◾Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice) ◾Zest of 1 lemon ◾1 cup grated zucchini (you don’t need to peel the zucchini before grating it)

    Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.
    In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
    In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs well, then add canola oil and sugar, and blend well. Then add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and blend everything well. Fold in zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture.
    Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and blend everything together, but don’t overmix.
    Pour batter into prepared 9×5″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (if your oven tends to run hot, check the loaf after 40 minutes; also, if you make this in an 8×4″ loaf pan, your baking time may be a little longer…about 5 to 10 minutes more). Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely. While loaf is cooling, you can make the glaze…

    LEMON GLAZE ◾1 cup powdered sugar ◾Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
    In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until well blended. Spoon glaze over cooled loaf. Let glaze set, then serve.

  • I usually double this, and make it in a long loaf pan, or bundt pan.

Thanks Amanda.  Amanda has her own blog, as well:

Eat every last crumb!

You can also try to bake theses in mini bundt pans, like I did.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No Whey.....WHEY!

This is the second batch of fermented salsa.  It is really lovely that everything came from the homegrown garden....Everything, except the whey.  The whey came from a batch of homemade saurkraut. 

I don't have exact measures for this, as I used things as they came out of the garden.  If you have too much for whatever jar you choose, just eat it fresh....It is salsa, right?

roasted onions
roasted peppers
lime juice
whey ( 1/4 c. per quart of salsa)

Set out at room temperature for 2 days. Put in frig for another day to mellow.  Serve!

Now. This. Is. Delicious!

Fermented Ketchup

I got the recipe from this book:

12 oz. tomato paste
6 tbsp. water
1/8 c. whey
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 to 1/3 c. honey, or maple syrup

Mix until smooth and funnel into a  wide mouth pint jar.  Leave at room temp for 2 days.  Place in frig and then enjoy!


What to do with this?  Perhaps one of these ideas:

A new toy!  Opened the box to what looked like a tangled mess.  It did come pre-threaded, however.

 A few days later, I am threading the machine like a wizard (well, the lower looper is a challenge.)

Yes, I'm having fun learning to use this serger!



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ferment This!

I've been wanting to make some fermented food for awhile now.  It is pretty popular right now it seems, I get that idea from reading posts on Facebook and from various sites.  When I saw this recipe, I knew it was time to try:

Sweet and Sour Fermented Coleslaw

I did my kraut a little bit different though.

The first batch went quickly, as in it was gone no time and was very nice indeed!  I have my second batch working it's magic, we are hooked!  Here is the recipe I came up with:

1 head cabbage, core it and shred
1 kohlrabi, shredded, or sliced paper thin
2 carrots, shred
1/4 c. whey (drain the whey off of some yogurt)
1/2 tbsp. sea salt

Put all this in a big bowl and beat it up with a masher.  I also squeeze it and punch it with clean hands.  Cover and let the juices develop for 30 minutes.  Come back and squeeze it a couple of times to help it along.  Press very tightly into a quart jar with the right kind of lid.  You can get special fermenting lock lids for canning jars, or use a jar like shown below.  Pour the juices over it and press more to get the veg under the juices.  Put on the shelf for 3 to 7 days.  Everyday I visit the kraut and push under the juices and smell of it, it should smell sour, and not rotten.  You will see it bubble, when the bubbles stopped, I put it in the frig.  The kraut will still ferment in the frig, but it will be slowly at this point. The flavours will continue to develop.  Taste it from time to time to see if it is there.  Enjoy with the recipe above, over brats, or on reuben.  

I also made some kimchee, not as popular as the kraut but good with Korean style ribs.

Now this stuff was brill!  It is called cordito, it is absolutely delicious as a posole topping.

The next picture isn't fermented, but pickled.  It is a relish I make from my garden cukes.

Sorry, no exact measures this time.  I make as I need it, dictated by cucumber harvest.  Small chopped cucumber and onion in a bowl.  Equal amounts vinegar and sugar, turmeric, celery seed, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Boil until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour hot over the cucumber and onion mixture. Pack the veg into a jar and pour enough picking liquid to just cover.  You reserve the liquid for another batch if you have some left over.  Keep the relish in the refrigerator.

Produce, glorious produce!

These courgettes came from the same plant, round and different colours.

I made a moist cornbread muffin from them.


I used a basic cornbread recipe and added fresh corn kernels and shredded courgette to the mixture.  Try it, they are good!

Here are some flowers, enjoy!

 The happy sunflower reaching for the sky, complete with a bee.  Classic!

In my garden, this shall be known as the year of the aubergine.

I am getting too many to fit in the picture, about a dozen every three days, or so.


 Lots of, from this....

....To this.

Opening up, bees welcome!

Survivors of the "Great Shiso Disaster"

The okra is still going.....

More fermenting, thought I would try to ferment salsa this time.


The usual suspects:

With extra bit parts....


The reveal will be next time......


I used to make this at Overton Grange!