a summer salad of arugula, cherries, and chèvre

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how fortunate I am living this sweet, simple, happy life, here in Kingston. I love this place. The shabby-chic-ness of it. The history. The old stone buildings. The massive waterways. The proximity to other places – Montreal, Ottawa, the Adirondacks – and yes, Toronto. And better yet, how fast I can leave everything behind and be in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading “a summer salad of arugula, cherries, and chèvre”

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”

Sweet Potato Soup

You know the Albert Camus quotation, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer…”? Continue reading “Sweet Potato Soup”

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.

Vietnamese tofu spring rolls

I love this time of year. Not because I love winter – but I love the fact that the days are slowly, steadily getting longer. I like the quiet of winter. The long dark evenings. The clean blanket of snow. The fact that it’s actually easier to sit at my desk now than it will be in six months when the garden will be luring me outdoors. Mostly, I love the fact that spring is coming, and then summer, and then autumn. I spend a good portion of winter looking forward to the other three seasons.
Continue reading “Vietnamese tofu spring rolls”

chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

If you’re afraid of sugar – just look away now.  These chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes are sinful. And truly, I don’t normally cook like this. Or eat like this. Honestly. There’s been homemade baked beans, sweet potato lasagna, curried butternut squash soup, and a couple of beautiful frittatas, and all manner of other reasonable, healthy food in my kitchen over the course of the last couple of weeks. But as great as a kale, sausage,and feta frittata is, how could it possibly compare to a cupcake? Especially a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake?
Continue reading “chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes”

classic apple crisp

Driving home across rural Ontario last week, I drove past a picturesque farm nestled into the rolling hills. As I sailed on by, I noticed a sweet little shed at the side of the driveway with a crooked, hand-painted sign saying, “Apples for Sale.” Inside the shed were a few baskets of apples and a cash box.  Continue reading “classic apple crisp”