Irish soda bread

Homemade Irish soda bread in 25 minutes or less – from start to finish including prep and cooking time! Continue reading “Irish soda bread”

Susan Musgrave’s Welsh Griddle Cakes

I’ve been remiss – an erratic blogger. I haven’t managed to spend an entire week at home for months. Between work, a surprisingly extensive book tour, and visiting my elderly mother in hospital six hours drive away across the province – I’ve been on the road constantly. Continue reading “Susan Musgrave’s Welsh Griddle Cakes”

perfect pumpkin scones

The love of place is as real, as strong, and as important as any love. I felt it on the wild remote coast of Tasmania. I’ve felt it over and over on visits to Yorkshire – my ancestral home and the place I spent my formative years. I’ve felt in the south of France – the north of France – the middle of France. The sunshine coast of Australia. Salt Spring Island off the coast of Vancouver. I’ve felt it in the rugged, wilderness of Northern Canada. In Killarney Provincial Park as I watched a blue moon rise over the lakes and listened to the loons call to each other. I’ve felt it the Rocky Mountains, in Mexico. And absolutely in Newfoundland. Definitely there. That was love at first sight.

Continue reading “perfect pumpkin scones”

roasted grape and brie flatbread

When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time in the attic room over the garage at my best friend’s house. Her parents both worked so we went to her place where we were free to do whatever we wanted without any actual parental intervention. The attic was set up with an old TV and a couple of couches. And a record player. We didn’t have cell phones, Netflix, or computers. We didn’t even think about drugs or alcohol. There was no social media as a constant distraction. Time stretched out in front of us in the most luxurious way – a way that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Continue reading “roasted grape and brie flatbread”

losing your mind is underrated AND so is really good soda bread

 

I saw this quote on the website True Activist  – and I’ve been thinking about it – trying to work out if it’s really true or not…. Continue reading “losing your mind is underrated AND so is really good soda bread”

love on a platter: Grandma M’s cinnamon buns

This morning while it was still dark, I went into my kitchen to make a batch of cinnamon buns. I was craving some serious comfort food. This is my late mother-in-law’s recipe (only I’ve adapted it here for the breadmaker). She was a not only a superb cook, but also one of the strongest, kindest, and most capable women I’ve ever known. When she served these buns, what she was really serving was love. On a platter.

 Grandma M’s Cinnamon Buns

1/2 cup milk, warmed slightly
1 large egg
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine in order listed. Use dough setting. If you don’t have a bread machine mix together the warmed milk, sugar and yeast and let stand for approximately five minutes, then mix in the remainder of the ingredients. Knead thoroughly and set to rise until doubled in size.

Cinnamon Filling

1/4 to 1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp cinnamon

Once the dough is ready, roll out to a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick. Spread thickly with butter (use as much as you like – be generous!) and then sprinkle with brown sugar (1/2 cup) mixed with 1 tbsp cinnamon. I’m pretty conservative with the sugar – use more if you want the full-on Cinnabon kind of experience. Roll tightly starting with the long side of the rectangle. Divide in 12 equal portions. Place the rolls into a well-buttered Pyrex lasagna pan (9 x 13 inches)- giving the rolls room to expand. Set to raise for 30 minutes in a warm spot.

Bake at 375 deg F for approximately 15 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 tbsp butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Beat together and spread over the warm rolls before serving.

the complicated business of ethical eating – and the Starbuck’s pumpkin scone clones

 

Food has become big in every way. Forbes magazine says that food is the world’s largest single industry.

When you start to think about the size of the food industry globally – the numbers are impossible to quantify and understand. But what is understandable is that there are over seven billion of us on the globe and every single one of us is affected daily, several times over, by the food industry.

From farmers and growers to processors, manufacturers, and advertisers; to transporters, wholesalers and retailers; from celebrity chefs and cooking shows, to food magazines and food blogs; to farm stands, markets, restaurants and speciality stores; from fast food to slow; and from vegans to locavores to flexitarians – food permeates our existence in more ways than ever.

Eating safely, reasonably, and ethically is an increasingly complicated business.  Continue reading “the complicated business of ethical eating – and the Starbuck’s pumpkin scone clones”

in memory of Ivy – date nut loaf

 

When I first moved to Australia, years ago, I lived in a funny little flat in Melbourne. My neighbour, Ivy, who was alternately cranky and sweet, used to scare the life out of me with horrifying tales of poisonous spiders and snakes and staggering crime statistics. “Careful that baby doesn’t get snatched right out the window,” she said, as I moved into the flat with my baby girl in arms. “We’ve had a whole raft of babies stolen in Melbourne lately – you’ll need to keep your windows locked.”

That was my introduction to Australia.

Continue reading “in memory of Ivy – date nut loaf”

last taste of summer – loaded lemon & blueberry scones

 

I’m in favour of dragging summer out as long as possible. It’s my favourite season and although I agree, autumn is fantastic, I never, ever want summer to end. I love the long days and nights, the cycling and outdoor activities, time at the lake and shore fires. I love running about in sun-dresses and sandals. I like summer fruits and salads and barbecues. And shooting stars, and fireflies, and sleeping with the windows open and the overhead fan on. 

All summer long, I make an effort to never complain about the heat or humidity. My theory is that you cannot complain all year round – if you must complain then you must limit yourself to one season. It’s only reasonable. It’s generally winter when I feel entitled to complain. Last year I made it through the winter with very little moaning at all. Continue reading “last taste of summer – loaded lemon & blueberry scones”