Salami & Cheese in Puff Pastry

Salami and Cheese in Puff Pastry

This is an easy and delicious snack you can make in no time with a few ingredients. What can be better than that? We ate ours with soup, but I can see this as a party snack or as a midnight munchie.  Thaw out your puff pastry in the fridge overnight (which you purchase in the  freezer section).  The sky’s the limit when it comes to the filling – but using spicy salami with a mild cheese and some dijon was well received when I made it.  The puff pastry really puffs up, so it’s very visually appealing as well.  Give this a try,  it’s great. Continue reading

Traditional Shortbread

Traditional Shortbread

I am  preparing a few care packages to mail and shortbread is an obvious choice for a few reasons.  Firstly, it’s delicious and evokes wonderful Christmas memories of home…..and secondly,  it keeps for a long time and travels well if packaged properly.  This recipe is super easy and so good — the use of brown sugar gives it a caramel-like flavour that is so great with a cup of tea.  As with all baking, some technique is required to attain great results.  Use room temperature butter and beat it on high with the sugar, scraping the sides often.  Sift your flours before adding. Your dough should be crumbly.  Make this! Everyone should know how and this recipe is a keeper. Continue reading

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup (with bacon base)

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup

I’m definitely blogging this recipe, since this is where I catalogue  all my favourite recipes. This soup starts with a base of bacon so it’s unlike cream of tomato soup as we know it.  It sounded unusual to me at first,  but bacon and tomato is a classic combination so I went ahead and made  it and continue to make it often. It’s delish, I tell you.  This soup’s  got a smoky and savoury richness that you don’t usually find in vegetarian versions of this soup. Continue reading

Strawberry Almond Mini Cakes

fireworks at Sharbot Lake beach

Strawberry Almond Mini Cakes

Happy Canada Day!  Here’s an easy and delicious little cake that takes advantage of fresh strawberries.

These come together quickly and easily.  They are more dense than a traditional muffin, made with ground almonds, egg whites and a bit of flour. The addition of freshly crushed seasonal stawberries makes this a great recipe. Give them a try while the berries are in – you can keep them simple or fancy them up with some whipped cream and extra berries on the side.  The recipe is from Anna Olsen and we all know what a great (Canadian) baker she is. Continue reading

Rhubarb Cake with Cinnamon Crunch Topping

rhubarb cake with cinnamon crunch topping

I was wondering what to make with some fresh rhubarb from the farmer’s market…when I saw this recipe, I gave it a whirl. So good!  It’s a buttermilk batter and it’s just so creamy and delightful…with some rhubarby tartness and cinnamon crunch on top. A keeper. Easy too. Continue reading

Dry Spice Rub for BBQ Meats

Dry rub for bbq meats

Now that bbq season has arrived, thankfully, everyone should have a container of all-purpose spice rub on hand for bbq meats.  I use this on chicken, pork and ribs.  It can be used dry or feel free to mix in a bit of olive oil to make a spice paste to rub on a beer can chicken or pieces of chicken.  Either way, it’s nice to have your own unique spice rub to use throughout the summer.  I love the idea of dry-roasting whole spices then grinding them up in my coffee grinder.  You can use pre-ground spices for this recipe as well (use same amount as whole), but if you have the chance, try dry-roasting some of your spices in a regular pan and grind them.  You’ll be surprised at the roasty, robust flavour that results.

As usual, you can and should customize this spice mixture as you see fit. Continue reading

Mediterranean Dip

Mediterranean Dip

This dip is easy to put together and is packed with fresh Mediterranean flavours — it’s nice to have in the afternoon on the deck, or if you have some friends drop over.  As ‘entertaining’ season begins (at least for me, being at the lake), it’s nice to have some easy appetizer ideas.  As usual, you can modify this to your taste. Continue reading