Monthly Archives: March 2012

Variations on Water: Make-At-Home Iced Tea

Hey, guys, thanks for inviting me to this blog!

Maybe you are already doing this all the time, but if you’re not, you should be. Your life will be better.

Make-At-Home Iced Tea:


tea, water, lemon, sugar, ice

1. Get the biggest pot you have, fill it with water, and bring the water to a boil.

2. Turn off the heat, add two to three tea bags to the water. (This is otherwise known as “making tea.”) I use orange pekoe. When the tea is as dark/strong as you like, remove the tea bags.

3. Add about a quarter cup of sugar, or more to taste. It’s important that you add the sugar while the water is hot. Add two slices of lemon, or more to taste. This you can wait to do later if you don’t like the lemon taste to be too strong. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

4. Cool down the tea! You can either let it sit until it’s cool enough to put in a pitcher in the fridge, or you can ladle it over a glass full of ice.

5. Enjoy!

I know this is a really simple recipe, but it’s seriously SO much better than iced tea from powder or iced tea from Starbucks, and it costs almost nothing. You can also add fresh mint to the tea instead of lemon, or you can use different kinds of tea and experiment with whatever you want to add to it.


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Chermoula (Moroccan green sauce)

This sauce is simple but has so much flavour. I originally made it to accompany roasted vegetables and quinoa, which was great, and I just covered a fried egg on toast with it, which was maybe even greater.


  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • salt
  • 2/3 cup cilantro
  • 1/3 cup parsley
  • 1½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one large lemon (or more to taste)


Mash the garlic, with 1 tsp salt, into a paste: either in a mortar and pestle or with your knife. Transfer to food processor, add the cilantro and parsley, and process until finely chopped (if using a mortar and pestle, chop the herbs finely beforehand and bruise them in the mortar to release their flavour). Add spices, olive oil, and lemon juice to taste, and process until mixed.

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

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Filed under Sauces and condiments, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cinnamon-Maple Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup chopped salted peanuts
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

For rolling cookies:  1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/4 cup sugar

Heat oven  to 350F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In large bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter till well blended.  (I do this by hand so as not to overbeat the batter; but you may use an electric mixer on medium speed, if desired.)  Beat in syrup, vanilla and egg till well combined.  Gradually add dry ingredients, stirring by hand or on low speed of mixer.  Do not overmix.  Fold in peanuts and chips.

Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough (about size of a golf ball) into hands, roll into ball, then into cinnamon-sugar.  (You can also use coarse sanding sugar for a nice effect.)

Place on prepared pans and bake 12-14 minutes, or till toothpick inserted in center returns with just a few crumbs.  It is better to underbake rather than overbake these cookies. (You don’t really need toothpicks. Take them out when the tops of the cookies start to break, around 10 minutes.)

Let cookies cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire rack to finish cooling.  Do not eat for at least a half hour. Yield:  about 20 (3”) cookies

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Cranberry Square

Hi everyone, and thank you for inviting me. This sounds like a great way to gain new recipes that I can try.

So here is a family favorite, which I recently found still works quite well if you want to make it vegan, and substitute the butter for vegan butter. Margarine on the other hand, while it tastes fine, for some reason does not bind well and your cranberry square will be very difficult to cut and serve because the bottom will not hold together well.

The cranberry filling recipe can be used to make cranberry sauce, which, you can make for a dinner, or preserve by putting it into sterile canning jars.
The crumble topping can also be used for a variety of crumbles and squares, from date squares, to apple or peach crunbles. So this recipe has a lot of potential for variation.

Cranberry Squares Ingredients

Dry Ingredients for crumble layers:
1 ½ Cup of All Purpose Flour
1 ½ Cup of Oatmeal
1 ¼ Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Softened Butter
½ Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Wet Ingredients:  (This on its own is a great recipe for homemade cranberry sauce for turkey/chicken dinners)
3 cups of fresh,or frozen whole cranberries (not dried ones) (you can find frozen ones in the frozen fruits isle of many grocery stores)   1 Cup of White Sugar
1 Cup of water

One well greased 9 Inch square baking pan or pyrex dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle.

Procedure for crumble layers:
Sift together flour and baking soda, then add oatmeal and brown sugar and mix well. Combine with the butter till it forms a pressable crumble mixture. A pastry cutter works well for this, if you don’t have one, using your hands is just as good. Separate the mixture into two halves and press one half firmly and evenly into the bottom of the greased pan. Set the other aside for the topping.

Procedure for cranberry filling:
Dissolve the white sugar in water in a small pot and boil for 3-4 minutes until it appears to have thickened into a thin syrup. Stir periodically so that the sugar does not burn to the bottom of your pot. Once it has reached this stage, add the cranberries to this mixture and boil while stirring for approximately 4-5 minutes. The skins should split on the cranberries and the mixture should become syrupy and thick. Allow it to cool slightly, till the filling thickens, and then pour over the oatmeal mixture in the pan. Spread evenly and cover this with the remaining crumble topping.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, this will be slightly less in a pyrex dish. The crumble should be golden brown on top when it is done. Allow to cool before cutting. Keeping the cranberry square chilled until you plan to serve it will help make it easier to cut.

*Note, if you are substituting vegan butter in, I found it cooked a bit faster, so watch it carefully.

Mmm delicious.


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Crostini with olive paste, ricotta, and marjoram

I’m so excited that people have been joining (and posting such delicious things to) this blog! Here is my first contribution, as requested by my already-dearly-missed friend Erin. It is what I am cheerfully assembling in the picture below.



olive oil
marjoram (fresh or dried)
1 recipe olive paste (see below)

Olive paste:

1 cup pitted olives (any kind; I used kalamata)
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
2 small garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
fresh lemon juice

Put the olives, capers, garlic and thyme (if using dried) in a food processor and blend. Add olive oil, blend some more. Season with pepper and add lemon juice (to taste, I used maybe around the juice of a quarter of a lemon) and thyme (if using fresh).

To make crostini: slice the baguette and toast the pieces. Spread a layer of olive paste and a layer of ricotta on each crostini in proportions that suit your tastes (I prefer a thicker layer of olive paste and a thinner one of ricotta, but your mileage may vary). Season with black pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Broil briefly to warm the cheese,  sprinkle the crostini with marjoram (I used dried because that’s what I had available, but fresh would probably be much nicer), and serve warm.

This recipe is taken from Deborah Madison’s fabulous Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.


Filed under Entrees, Snacks, Vegetarian

Apple cake

As requested by Erin not so long ago and because I miss her already.

A simple to make, tasty, reasonably-good-for-you cake. You could probably healthify it further by reducing the sugar and switching out some, or all, of the flour for whole wheat. It lasts 4-5 days at room temp (maybe less in summer) and is good in a packed lunch.
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Appetizer Pinwheels

Thanks for inviting me to this blog: I love blogging about food! I made these today, to take to a potluck supper this evening. Every time I’ve made them, people have asked for the recipe. They can easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the chicken, and they still taste great. As well, if you switch to soy-based cheesy-ish replacements, such as Daiya products, then it could be vegan too, and I’m sure just as tasty. It’s the little bit of hot sauce or hot red pepper jelly and the green onions that really give this appetizer flavour.

“Fairest Wheels” from Crazy Plates cookbook, by the Podleski sisters (and they’re a Canadian foodie success story!)

  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • ½ cup chopped lettuce
  • ½ cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 13; cup chopped green onion
  • 13; cup minced red bell pepper
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese , softened
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon hot red pepper jelly
  • 3 (9 inch) flour tortillas


  1. In medium bowl, combine chicken, lettuce, cheddar cheese, green onions and red pepper.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In small bowl, beat together cream cheese, sour cream, and red pepper jelly on low speed of electric mixer.
    NOTE: I always use 1/4 or 1/5 of the amount of stuff, and then get 4 or 5 rolls.
  4. Spread 1/3 cream cheese mixture over one side of tortilla.
  5. Sprinkle with 1/3 chicken mixture, leaving 1/2 inch border at top just covered with cream cheese mixture (so you can seal it closed.) Roll up tightly, jelly roll style.
  6. Wrap tortilla roll in plastic wrap.
  7. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  8. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  9. Trim off the ends and cut each roll into 8 slices, serve cold. The ends are tasty too, but they fall apart, so not great for the look of the appetizer plate if you’re serving these at a party.

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