Advertisements

Blog Archives

McIntosh Dark Christmas Cake

Okay…I hear ya! It may seem too early to start this, but trust me, NOW is the right time to make this cake! Once baked and wrapped and stored, you are going to take it out every two or three weeks and brush it with your favourite brandy! Keep doing that right up until the cakes are all gone!! You won’t regret it…

FYI…this is Larry’s mother’s recipe with a slight change. Since we had no cherries, we replaced them with dried cranberries. He also added some Kirsch to make up for the lack of cherry flavour… BTW…MY mother used glazed pineapple too!

Mrs. McIntosh’s Dark Christmas Cake*

Fruit Mixture:

3 cups seedless raisins

3 cups Sultana raisins

1 cup dates cut up

1.5 cup dried cranberries OR glazed cherries

3 cups mixed peel

1 cup chopped pecans OR walnuts

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp.cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. mace

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. ground cloves

Wet Ingredients:

10 Tablespoons butter

10 Tablespoons shortening (Crisco)

8 eggs

1.5 cups brown sugar

2/3 cup orange juice

Line 2 loaf pans with heavy waxed paper and brown paper.

Preparation:

Soak fruit with 1/3 cup Kirsch liqueur

Add the nuts; dust with ¼ cup flour.

Stir Dry Ingredients (remaining flour and spice) together in a separate bowl.

Cream Wet Ingredients (shortening, butter and sugar), beating together until fluffy.

Add eggs ONE AT A TIME, beating well after each.

Blend in dry ingredients; fold in ½ fruit and nut mixture.

Add orange juice slowly while mixing in, and then add second half fruit mixture.

Fill prepared pans 2/3 full.

Bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) 2 hours or until done. Place a pan of hot water in a shallow pan on bottom rack during baking. Remove after one hour!

Cool before removing paper; re-wrap and store in an airtight container in a cool place.

DON’T FORGET THE BASTING EVERY TWO OR THREE WEEKS….. I personally like brandy!

Advertisements

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

‘Tis the season to enjoy the bounties of summer strawberries!

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING

3 teaspoons sugar + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture. Add vanilla. Gently stir in the strawberries.

Spoon batter into muffin pans.

Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins in pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil* Soup (Harira)

Thanks to Karen at Back Road Journal for this tasty recipe! backroadjournal.wordpress.com 

As we have been doing some travelling I had not tried this before returning home. Fortunately, another friend told me I could find harissa at a store near her! I was concerned that we had run out of lentils when I went to make it, but was equally happy with using pearl barley. I don’t think I would do this with rice, but that is my bias!

By the way, harissa is a paste composed of several spices. It is found in a small jar in the imported foods section of some grocery stores. If you have a Middle Eastern market near you check it out. It is spicy! Be sure to check Karen’s blog for other wonderful recipes and happenings in her life in New England!

Harira, A Moroccan Chickpea And Lentil Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  •  pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 c. lentils or pearl barley
  • 1 c. cooked chickpeas (if canned, rinsed)
  • 2 c. stock (vegetable or chicken) Choosing vegetable broth would make this began I believe
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 c. water or additional stock
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. or to taste harissa (optional)
  • lemon slices or wedges to serve alongside

Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat, add the onion and carrot and cook until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute. Add the spices and cook until fragrant. Add the lentils, chickpeas, stock, tomatoes and water, stir and cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, and harissa and simmer for a few minutes. Taste for additional seasoning. Ladle into bowls, garnish with cilantro and a lemon slice.

Roasted Carrot Soup

The following recipe was a real hit a recent dinner party. As always, my changes to the original recipe are in red….

Roasted Carrot Soup

 

Serves four, yields about 1 quart

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • Herbs de Provence
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into medium dice (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 large rib of celery, cut into medium dice (about 1.2 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger (from about 1/2-inch piece, peeled)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
  • Chopped fresh chives or chervil for garnish
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Nutmeg
  • Sour cream

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the carrots in a medium baking dish, or any dish that will hold the carrots on a single layer without touching, and drizzle them with the olive oil. Sprinkle a little bit of Herbs de Provence over them. Toss them to coat well and roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until they are tender, blistered and lightly browned in a few places, about 1 hour.melt the butter in a medium heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s translucent and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the celery and ginger and cook until the celery softens a bit and the onions start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the roasted carrots, chicken broth, salt, pepper and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Drop in the cinnamon stick. Cook at a tender lively simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 45 minute. Turn off the heat and let the liquid cool somewhat or completely. Remove the cinnamon stick!!!

Puree most of the soup in a blender in batches, filling the blender no more than one-third full, vent the lid and hold a towel while you turn it on. Keep about ¾ cup of the vegetables aside to be added when serving if you like some chunks in your soup.  If serving immediately, return the soup to the pot and reheat, along with the unpureed veggies. Garnish with the chives or chervil if you’d like and/or a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle some fresh ground nutmeg to add some extra zip.

Otherwise refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat gently and taste for salt before serving.

Marianne’s Pumpkin Cake

Our American friends invited us to celebrate their Thanksgiving in Merida. Besides their beautiful home, we were there with some beautiful people! The deep fried turkey was astounding! So was one of the desserts for the last course… When we made this yesterday, our friends thought it was much better than pumpkin pie!

Marianne Kehoe’s Pumpkin Cake

1 – 15 oz can pureed pumpkin

1 – 12 oz can evaporated milk

3 eggs

1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar but can be white)

4 tsp pumpkin pie spice * (see below)

1 package white, spice, or yellow cake mix

1 c butter

1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

* If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice use 4 T. ground cinnamon + 4 tsp. ground nutmeg + 4 tsp. ground ginger + 3 tsp. ground allspice. This makes more than you need!!!

Oven 350 F (175 C). Grease a 9 x 13″ cake pan.

In large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and spices and pour into pan.

In another bowl, with fingers incorporate butter pieces into cake mix and crumble over pumpkin. (I also added a little more cinnamon to mix here for color because I could only find white cake mix,)  Sprinkle walnuts or pecans on top.

Bake for about 1 hour, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

We served this with some fresh whipped cream and a mix of chopped walnuts and brown sugar which we had carmelized just a bit…

Nutty Strawberry Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Nutty Strawberry Banana Breakfast Quinoa {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Source: Ambitious Kitchen and re-blogged from www.learnnutritionwithme.com

As always, words inserted in red are my changes to the recipe.

Serves 2

1 cup of water

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups milk of your choice (to make vegan use coconut or almond milk), or yogurt, divided

1 banana, sliced

1/2 cup strawberries, diced

1/ 4 cup toasted nuts of choice, chopped

2 tablespoons unsweetened toasted coconut

Directions

  1. Place water and rinsed quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Add cinnamon and vanilla and reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand another 5-10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  2. Divide into two bowls, adding 3/4 cup of milk. Top each bowl with bananas, strawberries, toasted nuts, and unsweetened coconut. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Optional add-ins: honey, agave nectar, peanut or almond butter, berry variety, mango, pineapple, apples, applesauce or toasted nuts
  • If you’d like you can double the recipe and store the extra quinoa (without milk and toppings) in a container and place in fridge. Take out portions during the week, reheat, and add toppings.
  • Save yourself some time and make a big batch the night before for dinner and have the rest for breakfast.

Dutch Apple Cake

Happy Victoria Day! In keeping with all of the desserts we have had on our travels, here is one from our friend, Kathy in Ontario.

Apple Cake

4 tart apples

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup oil

2 T milk

Peel and core the apples. Cut into eighths. Sift flour, salt and sugar into an 8 x 8 cake pan. Combine oil and milk and pour over the flour mixture. Mix with fork until dampened. Pat out to cover bottom of the pan and push dough up along the ides to depth of 1 inch. Arrange apples on the pastry, sprinkle with struesel topping and bake at 425 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Struesel Topping

Mix 3/4 cup sugar, 2 T. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt in a bowl. Add a bit of cinnamon if you want. Cut in 2 T butter until crumbly.