Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hot Pizza Dip

Think of this as a pizza without the dough!  Combine all your favorite pizza ingredients in a hot dip and serve with taco chips, crackers or breadsticks. It is easy to prepare in advance and keep refrigerated.  And with New Year's Eve coming up...this may be just the recipe you need. 




  • 8oz / 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 cup pizza sauce (your favorite...but we like it 'hot'!)
  • pepperoni, small pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (red, green or yellow or a combination of colours)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Blend cream cheese, sour cream and seasonings.
  2. Spread in a 9" pie plate or quiche pan.
  3. Spread pizza sauce over base.
  4. Top with pepperoni pieces and chopped peppers.
  5. Spread cheese over top.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and edges are golden. 


Friday, December 18, 2015

Salted Toffee Pretzel Bark



It's Flashback Friday and I'm bringing back a quick and simple holiday treat that is a favorite over here. If you like a toffee and chocolate combination with a touch of salt...this is for you. It's not too late to add this to your Christmas baking list.  Truth is...if you make it today you may need to make another batch by Christmas!
 
  • 1 bag mini pretzels (you will need 4 or 5 cups)
  • 1 cup butter (the real thing)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 340 gr / 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
  • Sea salt (optional)
  1. Line 11 x 17 inch bar pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cover the bottom with a layer of pretzels.
  3. Combine butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a full boil while stirring.
  4. Pour carefully over the pretzels.
  5. Place in a 350° F oven for 8 minutes, or until bubbly all over.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.
  7. Let sit for a minute to melt the chocolate. 
  8. Then smooth surface with a spatula.
  9. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
  10. Cool to room temperature.
  11. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden chocolate topping.
  12. Remove from the pan and break into bite sized portions.  
* These can easily be cut into bars as well.  Lift the hardened confection onto a cutting board and cut into bars using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Peppermint Pretties


This is one of those recipes that 'happened by mistake'...and has become an annual favorite.  We were served these tasty little peppermint morsels at a Christmas open-house many years ago.  The hostess kindly gave out the recipe. I thought I had copied it out wrong since the butter was missing...so I added half a cup of butter. The cookies were delightful and I have made them every Christmas since.  I later discovered that there really was no butter in the original version...but I'm sticking to my updated recipe.  Everything tastes better with butter.  Right?  These freeze well and taste great straight from the freezer.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Cream softened butter and sugar.
  2. Add cream, egg and peppermint extract; beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Chill dough for at least one hour.
  5. Roll out to about 1/4" thick and cut with tiny cookie cutters.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 5-6 or until bottoms begin to brown.
  7. Drizzle with peppermint frosting. (For pale green icing add food colouring.)
  8. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, if desired.
 Peppermint Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  1. Beat softened butter until smooth and creamy. 
  2. Add powdered sugar, milk and peppermint extract. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add a little more milk if necessary in order to drizzle the icing.
Yield: 10 dozen 1 1/2" cookies.


*Tip ~ Put icing into a Ziploc bag, snip the corner and drizzle over the cookies.

Have you done any Christmas baking yet? 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ice-cream Blizzard cake

We celebrated birthdays over here on the weekend...with an ice-cream cake for each of the grands that had a birthday last week. A chocolate ice-cream pizza for Micah...a mud-pie for Emme and a 'cookies-and-cream' ice-cream cake for Spencer.  The thing about ice-cream cakes is that they are easy to make ahead...and store in the freezer until party-time. 
Today's recipe is an ice-cream cake that I made for the grands 'yesteryear'.  It combines chocolate cake and ice-cream blizzard...and is wrapped in whipped topping.

  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • 1 liter / quart premium vanilla ice-cream, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Skor bits (1 cup, or to taste)
  • Cool Whip topping
  1. Mix cake mix according to instructions on package and bake in two 9-inch round pans.  Cool completely. (This is enough for two ice-cream cakes.)
  2. Line a 9-inch cake pan with plastic wrap. 
  3. In heavy-duty blender, combine the ice-cream and milk.  This works best doing 1/2 at a time. *
  4. Pulse to blend until thick and uniform.
  5. Add Skor bits and pulse just until combined.
  6. Pack into prepared cake pan, leveling the surface.
  7. Freeze until firm.
To Assemble:
  1. Cut chocolate cake in half horizontally and place bottom on a round base.
  2. Place frozen ice-cream layer on top of cake base.
  3. Center top piece of cake on ice-cream layer.
  4. Pop into the freezer and freeze until firm.
Decorate:
  1. Frost entire cake with a layer of cool whip.
  2. Use additional whipped topping in a pastry bag to decorate as you wish.
  3. Write message on cake with melted chocolate or chocolate icing.
  4. Store in freezer for up to a few weeks.
  5. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving. 
That is the general method for making a yummy ice-cream cake at home.  I made two blizzard cakes at the same time...one with Skor bits and the other with crushed oreo cookies.  Who said ice-cream was only good in the summer?

 

Monday, November 2, 2015

PEI Potato Pie



While vacationing on the east coast this summer...we were told that we must try the P.E.I. potato pie while we were there.  We ate at a lovely place called Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. and enjoyed their potato pie.  The server also brought us a copy of the recipe...and we have enjoyed the British Columbia version of it at home since then.  It takes a little while to assemble and several hours to bake but is a delightful dish. 

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 lb peeled potatoes, thinly sliced  (Yukon Gold are great)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or more)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives (fresh or dry)
  • 1 lb (500 g) bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Line a pie plate or casserole dish with bacon, leaving half of the slices of bacon hanging over the edge of dish.
  2. Thinly slice potatoes.
  3. Arrange a layer of potatoes on top of the bacon in pie plate. Sprinkle with all the chopped  thyme, chives, salt and pepper and a generous amount of grated cheese. Thyme is only used on the first layer. (photo #1)
  4. Repeat until you have four layers (photo #2)...ending with a layer of cheese sprinkled with chopped chives. (photo #3)
  5. Pull bacon up over top of pie. (photo #4)
  6. Pie should be about 4 inches high in the center .
  7. Trim a small piece of parchment paper and place it on top of the bacon. Then wrap entire pie in heavy duty foil, place on baking sheet and bake at 375° F for 2 hours.
  8. Remove foil and parchment paper and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and bacon is cooked.
  9. Pour off as much of the fat around the edges as possible. Let stand for about 15 minutes and then slide onto a cutting surface.
  10. Slice into wedges and serve immediately. 
  11. Top with Maple Bacon Sauce (photo #6)  Recipe Below


Maple Bacon Sauce:
  • 1 cup  mayonnaise
  • ½ cup  sour cream
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • bacon bits (as desired)

  1. Combine mayo, sour cream and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.
  2. Stir in bacon bits.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Parfait in a Jar

Just in case you need another pumpkin fix... I have got a dessert for you!  Perfect to prepare ahead...it is a combination of gingersnap goodness and pumpkin cheesecake.  I used 1 cup (250 ml) wide-mouth Mason jars but these also make up nicely in the mini Mason jars (125 ml).


Crumbs:
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger-snap cookie crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

 Cream Filling:
  • 1 cup whipping cream*
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 oz. / 125 ml cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

 Pumpkin Filling:
  • 1 - 14 oz (398 ml) can of canned pumpkin 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup whipping cream (whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla)*

  1. To prepare the base, combine cookie crumbs and butter.  Pack crumbs into the bottom of 8-10 Mason jars.
  2. For cream filling...combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff.  In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and icing sugar; beat until smooth.  Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and whip to combine well.  Carefully spoon cream cheese layer over gingersnap crust.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl combine canned pumpkin, milk, pudding mix, and spices. Mix slowly with electric beater until blended, about 1 minute. Fold in whipped cream. Add pumpkin layer carefully to parfaits.   
  4. Refrigerate. (Even better made the previous day!) 
  5. Just before serving, top each parfait with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a ginger snap. 
*Whip all the cream at once (with 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla) and use half for cream layer and half for pumpkin layer. 

**Put fillings into large Ziploc bags and cut off tip of a corner off for mess-free dispensing!

Yield: 8-10 (1 cup / 250 ml) Mason jar parfaits. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken


We have a local Thai restaurant that serves a delicious chicken curry dish that is a favorite of ours.  This recipe is similar...with cubed potatoes, chicken and red peppers smothered in a zippy curry sauce.

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite-sized cubes
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (156ml) tomato paste*
  • 1 can light coconut milk (400 ml. or about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala  (add an extra tablespoon of curry powder instead, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less, if you don't like the heat!)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

Method:
  1. Place cubed potatoes, red pepper and onion in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Cover with cubed chicken breast.
  3. Place remaining ingredients (except cornstarch and water) in a food processor  or blender and process until smooth.
  4. Pour sauce over ingredients in slow cooker.
  5. Close lid and cook on low for 6 hours.
  6. One hour before serving, stir together water and cornstarch until smooth. Add to the chicken curry and mix well. Cover and cook for remaining time.
  7. Serve on a bed of rice, topped with chopped onion greens. 
*I discovered that if there is no tomato paste in the pantry, it can be omitted and is still delicious!
 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Apple ~ Any Way You Slice It!

Apple season is upon us...and there's nothing quite like enjoying a crisp, fresh apple right off the tree.


Here's a simple way of slicing the apple without an apple corer...perfect for including in a lunch bag.

  • Set apple with stem side down on a cutting board..
  • Slice apple in a tic-tac-toe pattern, holding the pieces together firmly as you slice through. (#1)
  • Snap an elastic band around the apple to hold the pieces together. (#2)
  • Many hours later...the apple slices have stayed almost totally white.  
  • Discard core section and enjoy eight slices of crisp, white apple. (#3)



There are many wonderful recipes that feature apples...and it seems the perfect time of the year to highlight a few of those.


 Caramel Apple Cake is a favorite over here....and has often doubled as a birthday cake at this time of year.  We enjoyed it around the table with friends this past week.


How about Apple Fritter Rings for brunch?


Or Apple Muffins...for breakfast, lunch or coffee break.

Apple Pie Squares...a crowd-sized version of apple pie!


Here's a perfect accompaniment for an apple tray...Caramel Apple Dip.


Apple Pancakes...always a treat!

If you still haven't found the apple recipe you are looking for...try entering the word 'apple' in the recipe search on the sidebar of this blog and you will be overwhelmed with apple everything!   Don't you just feel like cooking with apples?
 

As for me...I'm slicing up apples every which way over here!  We have one wee tree...which bears several varieties of apples. The one variety (on the left) grew to be the size of small pumpkins this year. The apple pictured here weighed well over a pound...as compared to the average sized McIntosh apple on the right.  Enjoy these 'apple days' of autumn!

 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tomato Corn Chowder


Fall is in the air...and soups are on the menu! For this week's Flashback Friday recipe, I'm featuring one of our favorite fall soups. This tomato-corn chowder is based on a recipe that I clipped from a paper many years ago. It has a south-of-the-border flavour to it and was first posted here in August of 2008 as Mexican Tomato Chowder.  Fresh herbs are wonderful...but dried oregano and basil are fine as well.  It's a great way to use those end-of-the-season tomatoes.
 
Mexican Tomato Chowder
  • 2 pounds field tomatoes 
  • 1 large onion 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 3 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 large can black beans, drained (19 oz.) 
  • 1 can beans in tomato sauce 
  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh, canned or frozen) 
  • 1 tsp. each of salt, oregano and basil (more if using fresh herbs)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (make that a generous pinch...if you like a little zip)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Scald tomatoes to remove skins and chop coarsely. 
  2. In large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until softened (about 3 minutes). 
  3. Stir in stock, chopped tomatoes, corn, beans, salt, oregano, basil and cayenne. 
  4. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. 
  5. Stir in cilantro and serve. 
  6. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Loaded Granola Cookies

Loaded Granola Cookies

 

Hearty, chewy and crunchy at the same time...and Oh So Good!  Our favorite lunchtime treat has always been an oatmeal raisin cookie. But for some time now, that cookie has been upgraded to a 'loaded granola cookie'. I add homemade cinnamon spice granola along with assorted dried fruits to come up with a wholesome and flavourful gourmet cookie. And here's how we like them best...right out of the freezer!

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened (but not melted)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats 
  • 3 cups granola (your favorite or mine)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruits (cranberries, blueberries, apricots, raisins, etc.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugar.  
  3. Add vanilla and eggs and blend well.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt and blend. 
  5. Add all remaining ingredients and stir just to combine. 
  6. Drop from a large cookie scoop (1/4 cup mounds) onto a cookie sheet...leaving several inches between mounds.  Flatten slightly.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes on cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack.
Yield: 30 large cookies.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cinnamon Spice Granola


Here is a basic granola recipe that is easy to switch up to include the seeds and nuts of your choice.   Who knew granola could taste so good?  We love it with fruit and yogurt for breakfast or even as a salad topper.  I'll be sharing our favorite granola cookie recipe here next week.

  • 4 cups large flake oats (not quick oats)
  • 3 cups of nuts and seeds of your choice (1 cup sliced almonds, 1 cup pumpkin seeds, 1 cup sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325° F (300°F for convection oven).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and seeds. 
  3. Combine the oil, honey, brown sugar (or maple syrup) and spices in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly so that everything is moistened.
  5. Spread on two ungreased large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Store granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several weeks....or store in freezer.

  
Suggestions:
  •  Breakfast parfait.
  • Topping for baked apples.
  • Salad topping (great on kale salad or any salad with fruit).
  • Eat it with various fruits, nuts and seeds as add-ins.   (i.e. raisins, craisins, cashews, dried apricots, dried apples, dried cherries).
  • Makes a great neighbor gift.  Pour granola in cellophane bag and tie with ribbon...or fill a glass jar.
  • Add to cookies along with dried fruits.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mexican Chopped Salad


Chopped salads are a beautiful way of showing off  the fresh and colourful produce of the season.  The best thing about chopping a salad is that you get all the flavors in just one bite.  Why is it that when you chop ingredients into small pieces....it changes not only the texture, but the flavor as well? This Mexican-leaning chopped veggie salad is a perfect way to showcase our local corn and other fresh produce.


Ingredients:
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob * (grilled or cooked and cooled)
  • 4 mini orange peppers, diced(or use one large)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 mini cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 small can black beans,  drained and rinsed (about 1 cup)
  • Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
  • Tortilla strips, optional 
  1. Chop all ingredients in small, uniform sized pieces.
  2. Combine in salad bowl, adding the avocado pieces last.
  3. Drizzle with dressing and top with tortilla strips, if desired.
  4. Serve along-side grilled chicken.
Serves 4. 

    Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup plain or Greek Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise 
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice of one lime)
  • 3 Tbsp milk (more or less as desired)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and bend until smooth and creamy. 
  2. Store in air tight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 
 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Grilled Peach Sundaes


We have been enjoying peaches 'every which way' this past month...and here is a simple favorite.

  • four large, firm peaches (preferably free-stone)
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil (canola or grapeseed or other flavour-neutral oil) 
  • vanilla ice-cream
  • warm caramel sauce (recipe below)
  • granola or chopped nuts for topping
  1. Pre-heat grill to medium-high.
  2. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. (No need to peel)
  3. Brush peach halves with oil and place on hot grill, cut side down.
  4. Grill until golden and showing grill marks....probably about 4 minutes.
  5. Turn peaches over and grill until slightly soft and just warmed through...several minutes longer. 
  6. Transfer peach halves to serving plates.
  7. Top each half with a scoop of ice-cream.  Drizzle with warm caramel sauce and sprinkle with granola or chopped nuts of your choice.

Warm Caramel Sauce: (can be made in advance and re-heated)

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. 
  2. Add sugar, cook until melted stirring occasionally. 
  3. Reduce heat to low. 
  4. Gradually stir in sour cream...cook 1 minute stirring occasionally. 

Yields four delicious peach sundaes.  Or spread the goodness around...and make eight smaller sundaes.   

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie

We have been enjoying fresh local sweet corn for the past month, and zucchini is also in abundance at this time of the year.  I combined them in this tasty side dish...a recipe that has become a summertime favorite.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 large zucchini, sliced thin
  • 2 cobs sweet corn
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano*
  • 4 eggs
  • dash of cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (Mozzarella, Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan...use what you have on hand or mix and match to taste. )
*If using dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon for every tablespoon of fresh herbs called for in the recipe. eat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced onions, zucchini, and mushrooms and saute.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the kernels of corn from the cob. Add them to the skillet and continue to saute until the veggies are tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the basil and oregano and stir.
  4. Beat eggs.  Add salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir into sauteed veggies along with the grated cheese (reserving some for topping).
  5. Pour mixture into a well-greased pie plate (9" or larger), arranging zucchini slices on top. 
  6. Sprinkle with additional cheese and bake for 25 minutes in a 350°F oven (or until set and golden).
  7. Let stand for about 10 minutes before slicing.
 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Rustic Apricot Cherry Tart

What's not to like about Lepp Farm Market?  They select the best B.C. gourmet foods and feature farm-fresh vegetables and fruits from their Okanagan orchard and local growers...along with the beef, pork and poultry raised on their family farm.They also have fabulous cooking classes in their shop...and partner with local charities to make a difference in our community.  So I clicked 'like' on their facebook page a long time ago...and love seeing their updates on a regular basis.  Last week they featured a cherry studded apricot galette that made my mouth water.  It just so happened that we received a gift of fresh apricots and fresh cherries from an Okanagan farm that very morning.  Good idea.  Good timing!  I set about to make a rustic apricot tart for dinner that night.  It was a hit!  And so I will share my method with you today.

Pastry:

  • Pastry for a single crust pie.  (Prepare your favorite or use purchased pastry. I like to make a large recipe of pie dough (click for recipe) and store the discs in the freezer to use at a moment's notice.) 

Filling:
  • 3 cups apricots, sliced  (about 10 -12 apricots) pitted and sliced
  • 8 pitted cherries, sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon minute tapioca for thickening 
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Topping:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk 
  • coarse sugar

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Roll disc of pastry into a large, thin circle.  (Ragged edges are just fine!)
  3. Carefully transfer the pastry onto a large parchment lined cookie sheet.  (The simplest way of doing this is to roll it onto the rolling pin, and then unfurl it onto the cookie sheet.)
  4. Put the sliced apricots in a bowl and add the sugar, lemon juice, tapioca and cornstarch.  Gently toss to combine.
  5. Spoon apricots onto the center of pastry circle and spread out evenly to within 2 1/2 inches of outer edge. Arrange top apricot slices evenly and accent with cherry halves .
  6. Fold the edges of the pastry over the outer edge of the fruit. Pat slightly to keep it in place.
  7. Whisk together the egg and the cream for the egg wash. Gently brush egg wash over outer edge of the crust (not you will only need a small amount of the egg wash). Sprinkle with a little coarse sugar.
  8. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, covering with foil for the final 15 minutes if it is getting too dark.  

Simple, appealing...


...and so tasty!
If you need any inspiration in the cooking department, check out the recipe section of Lepp Farm Market's web page...or click 'like' on their facebook page and be inspired daily.



Friday, July 10, 2015

Raspberry Ripple Pie


For Flashback Friday...let me bring back our all-time favorite summer dessert.  This is a recipe that was clipped from a farm publication decades ago…at a time when we were growing commercial raspberries.  I make several at a time at the beginning of the summer…and like to have some in the freezer. The better the ice-cream…the more special the dessert!

Raspberry Ripple Pie


Ice-cream - 2 litres (quarts) premium vanilla ice-cream, slightly softened

Crust:
  • 1 ¼ cups Oreo cookie crumbs
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  1. Combine crumbs with melted butter. 
  2. Press firmly into the base of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
Filling:
  • 1 ½ cups crushed raspberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Combine raspberries, sugar and three tablespoons of water.
  2. Blend cornstarch with 1 ½ tablespoon water until smooth; stir into berry mixture.
  3. Cook until mixture thickens and boils (I do this in the microwave, stirring regularly).
  4. Add lemon juice.
  5. Allow to cool.
Method:
  1. Spoon about 1/3 of the ice-cream over the crumb crust…pressing down somewhat.
  2. Then spoon about half the berry sauce over the ice-cream.
  3. Repeat…ending with ice-cream on top.
  4. Carefully spread ice-cream over the filling with spatula or knife.
  5. Cover and freeze until hard.
  6. Allow to soften for about 15 minutes before serving.
  7. Cut in wedges and serve with whipped cream and berry sauce (below) and garnish with fresh raspberries.
Berry Sauce:
  1. Puree about 2 cups of raspberries in blender…add a little sugar.
  2. Stir in whole berries just before serving.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Fish Taco Salad


From fish-'n-chips to fish sandwiches or fish tacos...those are often my picks on a fast food menu.  Just yesterday we sat in the sunshine on the dock at Steveston and enjoyed fish 'n chips.  That is fish as at best!

Here is a new favorite way to enjoy fish this summer...and so simple to make up at home.  And healthier than 'fish and chips' as well.  This is the 'fast food version'...but you can easily step it up a notch by using fresh fish of your choice...grilled to perfection!

Salad:
  • 4 frozen cod fillets, breaded
  • 5 cups mixed lettuce greens
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 sweet bell pepper (red or yellow), chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Tortilla strips

Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip dressing
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest 
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced cilantro or parley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Method:
  1. Prepare dressing by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisking well. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. Line baking pan with foil or parchment paper and bake fillets at 400° F for 20 minutes or according to package instructions.
  3. Combine mixed greens and cabbage and divide evenly between four large salad plates or bowls.
  4. Top each plate with peppers, red onion, chopped tomatoes and avocado slices.  
  5. To serve, place a filet of fish on top of each salad and drizzle with dressing. 
  6. Garnish with tortilla strips, if desired.
* The dressing will keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It will also thicken up as it chills...so you may want to thin it down with additional milk or buttermilk.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Breakfast Cupcakes


If you enjoy having quiche or omelets on occasion...here's a crustless quiche that is made in a muffin pan. Though my recipe called for a crust made of shredded hashbrowns and baked until golden...I decided to stir the hashbrowns in with the rest of the ingredients (just like Betty's farmer sausage quiche in the original Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook)....and it worked like a charm!

  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk (or half and half)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 slices bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup of finely chopped sweet peppers (red, green or yellow)*
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion or chopped onion greens
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen hashbrowns (defrost slightly to eliminate large chunks)
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded (or your favorite cheese blend)
*Substitute veggies as to preference. Mushrooms and spinach are also great additions.

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Generously oil 12 muffin cups.
  3. Best eggs slightly; add milk and seasonings and blend well.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Spoon egg mixture into prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake until golden brown or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean...about 15 minutes.
  7. Cool several minutes...then carefully run a knife around the outside of each muffin to loosen. 
  8. Lift onto plate with a fork. 
These are great fresh from the oven...or re-heated the following day. 


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Orange Dreamsicle Punch


It doesn't get much simpler than this!  This punch is always a hit...and pretty-as-a-picture as well.  Somehow it stirs up memories of warm summer days and refreshing orange floats of yesteryear...but it is perfect served at showers and parties any season of the year.

  • 2 L Sprite
  • 1 L orange sherbet, slightly softened
  1. Pour sprite into large punch bowl.
  2. Add scoops of sherbet. 
  3. Stir gently to produce foam.