Monday, June 20, 2016

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

Last summer we toured Prince Edward Island, and on the advice of a local, we visited PEI Preserve Company and had a fine meal meal in their restaurant.  Their sampled their dessert specialty...'Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie'.  Of course!  I took note and I took a photo.  Now that the raspberries in our garden are ripe, I made my own version of their famous pie.  It went over well!  So here it is...PEI raspberry cream cheese pie made with BC raspberries.

1- 9 or 10-inch baked pie shell, pre-baked

Cream cheese filling:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  2. Gradually add the cream, beating until thickened. 
  3. Spoon into prepared pie crust and spread evenly.
 Raspberry Filling:
  • 5 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  1.  In large saucepan, mix granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt.  
  2. Add water and whisk until smooth. 
  3. Stir in 2 cups of the raspberries. 
  4. Heat to boiling. 
  5. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  7. Add 3 cups fresh raspberries to the cooled mixture and stir gently to coat all the berries.
  8. Spoon over cream cheese layer of pie.  
  9. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In medium bowl, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  2. Garnish entire pie or individual slices with whipped cream when serving.
  3. Store pie in refrigerator. 

* If you prefer a thinner 'cream cheese layer' cut the recipe in half.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cucumber Strawberry Salad

We have been enjoying fresh strawberries every which way these past few weeks.  Here is a refreshing spring salad made with crisp cucumbers from our neighbourhood greenhouse, local strawberries, candied walnuts, and feta cheese.  Though the amounts given are for a larger salad, this recipe is easily adapted for two.

Cucumber Strawberry Salad:
  • 2 Long English cucumbers, thinly sliced  (or 6 mini cucumbers)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, candied (recipe below)
  • poppyseed dressing (your favorite or the recipe posted below)
  1. Combine cucumbers, strawberries, feta cheese and walnuts in a salad bowl. 
  2. Drizzle with poppyseed dressing and toss to coat.  
Serves 6

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  1. Combine white wine vinegar and sugar and blend (with hand-held blender) until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Add the poppy seeds, grated onion and dry mustard.
  3. Slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing, while blending.
  4. Store in the fridge in covered container for several weeks. Shake before using.  

Candied Walnuts:
  • 1 cup walnut halves/pieces
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  1. Place walnuts, sugar and butter in a non-stick pan.
  2. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring continually until all sugar is melted and the nuts are coated.
  3. Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts. 
  4. Allow to cool.  Store in covered container.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Strawberry Cream Cheese Clouds

After enjoying a similar dessert at a friend's place on several occasions, I 'borrowed' the recipe from her and decided that strawberry season was a good time to give it a try.  The frozen 'clouds' are ready in the freezer anytime you might need a special dessert...and would be good with other fruit toppings as well.

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped with 1 Tbps. sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (for topping)

  1. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  2. Gradually add the cream, beating until thickened.
  3. Spoon mixture into 10 mounds on a parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. With the back of a spoon, shape into 3 inch 'nest-like' circles.
  4. Freeze for at least two hours or overnight.
  5. To serve, fill with strawberries and top with whipped cream. 
Yield: 10 servings.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Greek Chicken Wrap

Several years ago, a friend shared her simple tip for marinating chicken...and that was using the Greek dressing which she always had in her fridge.  Since then I have often done just that, and though 'longer is always better' when it comes to marinating, even a 30 minute soaking in the dressing gives the chicken great flavour. Today's recipe features a Greek-style chicken kebob sandwich.
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Greek dressing (your favorite)
  • 6-8 wooden skewers 
  • 4 naan bread
  • 1/2 cup tzatziki sauce
  • lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  1. Cube chicken breasts into about 1" pieces.  Place in bowl and pour Greek dressing over, stirring to coat all the pieces.  Cover bowl and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for several hours.
  2. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 1 hour.
  3. Thread cubed chicken onto skewers.  Grill on medium-hot for about 10 minutes, turning once. 
  4. Grill naan bread for about 30 seconds per side, just to heat through.
  5. Brush naan bread with tzatziki sauce.
  6. Add lettuce, , tomato, cucumber and red onion as desired.  
  7. Slide chicken cubes from skewer and onto naan bread.
  8. Roll into a sandwich and wrap in parchment to serve.

Why not serve the hot-off-the-grill chicken kebobs on a bed of rice with a Greek salad for dinner tonight.  Grill a few extra  kebobs for tomorrow's sandwiches!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rhubarb Meringue Torte

Here is a springtime favorite...with a press-in-the-pan shortbread crust that makes this dessert 'easier than pie'! 

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  1. Mix butter, flour and sugar together until crumbly.
  2. Pat into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan, and bake in 350 F oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Cool slightly.
  • 6 egg yolk
  • 1 cup whipping cream or half and half
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5-6 cups rhubarb, cut into small pieces
  1. Beat egg yolks, cream, sugar, flour and salt together.
  2. Fold in rhubarb and pour over baked crust.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes (until custard is set).
  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla until foamy.
  2. Add sugar gradually, and beat until stiff.
  3. Spread over custard and bake at 350° F until golden (about 10 minutes).

Serves 12-15

*This is a large recipe...can be halved and made in an 8 inch square pan.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Banana Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

While on an RV road trip through the eastern states several years ago...we spent some time in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  We had the privilege of being invited to a home for dinner one night, and enjoying a wonderful home-cooked meal of favorite local cuisine.  As we parted ways that evening, we were given a parting gift by our hostess...a pan of blueberry baked oatmeal to enjoy on the road.  And enjoy it we did!!!  I have been stirring up my own version of that dish since that that also has bananas in the mix. It always brings back memories of summertime in Lancaster County...the warm hospitality and wonderful foods we enjoyed while we were there. Baked oatmeal is a wonderful and healthy breakfast treat...and can be refrigerated for several days. 

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats (large flake)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

  1. Grease an 8" square baking dish.
  2. Mix oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar and almonds together in a bowl.
  3. Whisk milk, egg and oil together in a separate bowl. Add mashed bananas.  (Or combine milk, eggs, oil and bananas in blender and pulse until smooth.)
  4. Add to oat mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Gently stir in the blueberries and spread in prepared baking dish. (I like to save a few blueberries to sprinkle on top.)
  6. Bake at 350° F for 35 minutes...or until top is golden.
  7. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup, a dollop of yogurt or a splash of milk.

Serves: 9

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Asian Coleslaw Stirfry

Simple, tasty and healthy as well!  Here's my version of a hamburger cabbage slaw recipe that I've seen all over the internet.  Serve in a bowl as is and call it a meal...or serve over rice.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger root
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-1 pound (454 gr) package coleslaw mix *
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (or use Sriracha sauce to add heat)
  • chopped green onion and sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Heat oil in very large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add beef, garlic and ginger and cook through, while stirring.**
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add coleslaw mix and peppers.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring frequently.
  6. Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and Sambal Oelek. Add to skillet and stir for about 30 seconds longer.  (Use Sriracha Sauce instead of Sambal Oelek if your prefer.)
  7. Spoon into serving bowl and garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
* Using pre-cut coleslaw mix is a huge time-saver and makes for a quick and simple meal.  If you are more interested in saving money than time, buy a small head of cabbage and do your own shredding.
**Tip ~ Use a potato masher to crumble the ground beef while browning.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

These potatoes are crispy on the outside and amazingly tender on the inside...a great twist on the classic baked potato.  They are the perfect side dish for any meal and easy to prepare. 
  • 1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes (yellow or white potatoes work best)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil (use garlic-infused olive oil for added flavour)
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste 
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh herbs, minced (chives, rosemary, dill or whatever is growing in your garden)
  1. In a large pot, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water. Reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes).
  2. Drain potatoes and cool slightly.
  3. Place on prepared baking sheet (lined with parchment or foil and brushed with olive oil).
  4. Gently flatten potatoes with the back of a lifter/spatula or a potato masher.
  5. Drizzle or brush tops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
  7. Roast in a 450° oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. 
  8. Serve just as they are or top with sour cream and your favorite potato toppings.
Serves 4

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Impossible French Apple Pie

As I explained last week when I posted Impossible Taco Pie....'impossible pies' are simply a combination of simple ingredients (usually including Bisquick) which are poured into a pie plate, and then form a magic crust during the baking process. Very easy. And delicious.  Today I am posting a sweet version of the impossible pie...and again I am using the biscuit mix recipe featured on this blog.

  • 5-6 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced (such as Granny Smith)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup 'biscuit mix' (or Bisquick)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, softened
Streusel Topping:
  • 1/2 cup biscuit mix (or Bisquick)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Place apple slices in greased 9-inch pie plate. 
  2. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, baking mix, spices and softened butter in blender.  Blend until smooth...about 15 seconds. Pour over apple mixture in pie plate.
  3. In small bowl, mix all streusel ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over filling.  
  4. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  
  5. Serve warm with ice-cream or whipped cream.

Serves 8.  

And that is my 'throwback Thursday' contribution...a recipe from yesteryear!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Impossible Taco Pie

Do you remember the 'impossible pies' that were all the rage many years ago?  These could be sweet or savory...and were a combination of simple ingredients (usually including Bisquick) which were mixed together and poured into a pie plate, and would form a magic crust during the baking process. At the time, I had a basic biscuit recipe that I used as the base for many of these 'impossible pies'. I've recently tried a few of those recipes using the biscuit mix recipe on this blog with great results.  I'm sharing the first one with you today...on this 'throwback Thursday'!

  • 1 pound ground lean beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 envelope Taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup salsa (we prefer hot)
  • 1 - 12 oz /340 ml can sweet corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup red or green sweet peppers, chopped
  • 3/4 cup 'basic mix' (or Bisquick)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Brown ground beef and onion in a heavy skillet; drain off any fat. Stir in taco seasoning.
  3. Add salsa, corn and peppers and simmer for a minute or two.
  4. Spread in bottom of greased deep dish pie plate or 10" cast iron skillet.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the baking mix, eggs and milk. Beat well to combine and pour over meat mixture in pie plate.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until knife inserted at the center of the pie comes out clean.
  7. Top with cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
  8. Serve with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream. 
  9. Serves 4-6

What are your memories of the 'impossible pies' of yesteryear? I'll be posting another version next week.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Topping

Here is a light, luscious and lemony 'no-bake' cheesecake that is the perfect ending to a special occasion meal.  Or forget the meal and just enjoy this dessert with with good friends!  With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I'd share a recipe that I served recently...a dessert that would be the perfect finale on February 14th.  You may just want to put it on your 'Saturday in the kitchen' agenda for next weekend!

  • 1 1/3 cups Oreo Baking Crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter

  • 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • zest of 1 lemon (finely grated)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons) 
  • 1 - 8 oz /250 gr package cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream

  1. Combine chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter. Pat into a 9-inch spring-form pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; then add hot water while stirring.  Stir in lemon zest and juice.  Allow to cool for several minutes (but do not let set). 
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until very smooth.  Add gelatin mixture and combine well. 
  4. In a separate bowl, whip cream until stiff. Gently fold whipped cream into cheese mixture.  
  5. Pour filling into crust.  Refrigerate for  at least four hours or overnight. 
  6. Remove from pan and serve, topped with raspberry sauce (below), fresh raspberries and additional whipped cream.

Easy Raspberry Sauce:

  • 2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in blender and process until liquidy. (Add more sugar to taste, if desired.)
At this point, you can eliminate the seeds by passing through a strainer.  We like the seeds!
Store in closed container in fridge for several days.

This dessert can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.  It also freezes well.

Serves 8.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Onion Gravy

Here is a gravy that pairs perfectly with Salisbury steak, meatballs or schnitzel. And one can never go wrong by smothering mashed potatoes with a spoonful of onion gravy!  
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups liquid (water, meat juice or broth)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • salt, to taste

  1. Cook onion in oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, until onion is softened and browned, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add  minced garlic and saute for another minute or two.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the onions and continue to cook, stirring, for several minutes.
  4. Gradually stir in broth, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. 
  5. Simmer (stirring often) until gravy is slightly thickened.
  6. Season with salt.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Thai Linguine

We have enjoyed this Thai dish several times over the past few months.  I think you will too!

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons oriental sesame oil, divided use
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cup thinly sliced red peppers
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (or use white vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Transfer pasta to large bowl; add 2 tablespoons sesame oil and toss to coat.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.  
  3. Stir fry chicken pieces and remove to separate plate.
  4. Add green onions, garlic, and ginger and red peppers; saute until red peppers soften, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Add honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, chicken broth and pepper flakes; whisk to blend. 
  6. Simmer sauce for several minutes.
    Pour over pasta and toss to coat. 
  7. Transfer to platter; sprinkle with remaining green onions.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Chicken Noodle Soup (made easy)

There's nothing quite like homemade chicken noodle soup to cure whatever may ail you. (And it seems that in January there are many who are 'ailing'!)  If the thought of cooking up stock and making your own noodles is a little daunting, here's a short-cut recipe that is delicious and doesn't take long to cook up! 

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 or two cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 cups chicken stock (store-bought or homemade)
  • 350 gr / 3/4 pound noodles (I used fresh linguine from the deli, cut into 2 or 3-inch pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise* 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  1. Remove the meat from the rotisserie chicken; cut into bite size pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery, and carrots, and saute until onions begin to turn translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute or so.
  3. Pour the 10 cups chicken stock into the stock pot. Add bay leaf, star anise and parsley and simmer over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook noodles in a separate pot according to directions...being sure not to overcook.  Drain.
  5. Add chicken pieces and noodles to the soup pot.  Test and adjust seasonings as needed.  Heat through and serve.
*star anise is optional, but gives a wonderful exotic flavour to the soup.

Serves 6-8