a batch of stunningly good Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars are quintessentially Canadian. They are to British Columbia what Butter Tarts are to Ontario, Flapper Pie is to the Prairies, Tarte au Sucre is to Quebec, and Figgy Duff is to Newfoundland: beloved and iconic. Essential pieces of our culinary history. Continue reading “a batch of stunningly good Nanaimo Bars”

a pressed-crust pear and almond tart

It’s been so hot this summer. And so dry. The driest summer in Eastern Ontario since 1888. It reminds me of my years in Australia – especially the drought years when the heat seeped up from the floorboards and down from the attic, filling every crack, every corner of the house, while outside the yard baked under the intense Australian sun. Continue reading “a pressed-crust pear and almond tart”

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”

red wine jelly

This is a mashup of a couple of red wine jelly recipes. I like it so much that I’m posting it.

red wine jelly 2

Four ingredients and twenty minutes and you’ve got yourself a wonderful jelly that works equally well with either savouries like a cheese platter or a turkey sandwich; or sweets like waffles or crepes. Or pile it atop toast and peanut butter. Maybe on a bagel with cream cheese.

If you buy the smallest mason jars (125 ml in Canada) you can make about 12 jars of this jelly out of one bottle (plus 1/4 cup more) of wine, making it so easy to spread the love.

Red Wine Jelly

  • Servings: 10-12 125ml jars
  • Print

  • 3 1/4 cups wine (you can use red, white, or rose or a mix. I used a Cabernet Sauvignon which resulted in a beautifully coloured jelly. NB. One bottle will not be enough. You will need to have a little from a second bottle – anything will do! I used a splash of a Pinot noir sitting on the counter to make up the extra 1/4 cup of wine needed)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 box of fruit pectin crystals (such as Certo or equivalent. My box was 57 grams but I think they are pretty universally standard)
  • 4 cups sugar
  1. First, sterilize the jars, lids, and sealers by whatever method you choose. I washed them thoroughly with hot soapy water, then rinsed and drained. Then I put them in the oven at 300 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Most recipes also recommend boiling the lids and rims and then leaving them in the hot water until you are ready to use them.
  2. Bring the wine, lemon juice and pectin to the boil in a large stainless steel pan, stirring frequently.
  3. Once you have achieved a full boil, add the sugar and continue stirring. Bring the mixture back to a full boil again. Once it is boiling, immediately set the timer for 2 minutes. Leave the heat at medium-high and stir for the entire 2 minutes.
  4. Once the timer goes off, remove the pan from the heat and pour into the sterilized jars. I used a large pyrex measuring cup with a pouring spout to fill the jars. Seal ASAP and set the jars aside for 24 hours in a place where they will not be disturbed.

Mrs. Beeton’s champagne cup

This recipe for Champagne Cup was immensely fashionable in the Victorian era. It was originally published in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1861. Continue reading “Mrs. Beeton’s champagne cup”

Lemon gelato with vodka

To compensate for last week’s excessively long post – I’m doing an excessively short one here. With an equally short recipe. Hardly a recipe at all. Just two ingredients. And I didn’t even think of them myself. The ‘recipe’ for lemon gelato with vodka comes from Elizabeth Bard’s charming book, Lunch in Paris. It’s probably the best dessert I’ve had all summer. So good I’m having it again tonight. Continue reading “Lemon gelato with vodka”

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”

on self worth and mini cornmeal crabcakes

 

This week I’m thinking about self-worth. Or self-esteem. Or the ability to believe in oneself. Self-love. Call it whatever you like. It’s so important and yet for many of us, our sense of self-worth is difficult to maintain, so shaky, so fragile, so easily eroded….  Continue reading “on self worth and mini cornmeal crabcakes”

more sushi, less sorrow

I’m navigating a rocky, erratic path through the #100HappyDays project. If you don’t know about #100HappyDays – you can read about it hereContinue reading “more sushi, less sorrow”