Ultimate Christmas Pudding

Ultimate Christmas Pudding
From nigella.com

•    1 ¼ cups currants
•    1 cup golden raisins
•    1 cup roughly chopped pitted prunes
•    ¾ cup Pedro Ximenez sherry
•    ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
•    2 ⅓ cups fresh breadcrumbs
•    14 tablespoons coarsely grated vegetable shortening (freeze overnight to make it easier to grate) 
•    ¾ cup dark brown sugar
•    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    grated zest of 1 lemon
•    3 large eggs
•    1 medium apple (peeled and grated) 
•    2 tablespoons honey
•    ½ cup vodka

You will need a 1.7 litre/3 pint/1½ quart heatproof plastic pudding basin with a lid, and also a sprig of holly to decorate.
1.    Although I stipulate a capacious 1.7 litre/3 pint/1½ quart basin, and cannot extol the utter gloriousness of this pud too much, I know that you’re unlikely to get through most of it, even half of it, at one sitting. But I like the grand, pride instilling size of this, plus it’s wonderful on following days, microwaved in portionsafter or between meals, with leftover Eggnog Cream, or fried in butter and eaten with vanilla ice cream for completely off-the-chart, midnight-munchy feasts. But it wouldn’t be out of the question – and it would certainly be in the spirit of the season – to make up the entire quantity of mixture, and share between smaller basins – a 2 pint/1 quart one for you, a 1 pint/½ quart one to give away. Three hours’ steaming both first and second time around should do it; just keep the one pudding for yourself, and give the other to a friend, after it’s had its first steaming, and is cool, with the steaming instructions for Christmas Day.
2.    Put the currants, golden raisins and scissored pitted prunes into a bowl with the Pedro Ximénez, swill the bowl a bit, then cover with clingfilm and leave to steep overnight or for up to 1 week.
3.    When the fruits have had their steeping time, put a large pan of water on to boil, or heat some water in a conventional steamer, and butter your heatproof plastic pudding basin (or basins), remembering to grease the lid, too.
4.    In a large mixing bowl, combine all the remaining pudding ingredients, either in the traditional manner or just any old how; your chosen method of stirring, and who does it, probably won’t affect the outcome of your wishes or your Christmas.
5.    Add the steeped fruits, scraping in every last drop of liquor with a rubber spatula, and mix to combine thoroughly, then fold in cola-cleaned coins or heirloom charms. If you are at all frightened about choking-induced fatalities at the table, do leave out the hardware.
6.    Scrape and press the mixture into the prepared pudding basin, squish it down and put on the lid. Then wrap with a layer of foil (probably not necessary, but I do it as I once had a lid-popping and water-entering experience when steaming a pudding) so that the basin is watertight, then either put the basin in the pan of boiling water (to come halfway up the basin) or in the top of a lidded steamer (this size of basin happens to fit perfectly in the top of my all-purpose pot) and steam for 5 hours, checking every now and again that the water hasn’t bubbled away.
7.    When it’s had its 5 hours, remove gingerly (you don’t want to burn yourself) and, when manageable, unwrap the foil, and put the pudding in its basin somewhere out of the way in the kitchen or, if you’re lucky enough, a larder, until Christmas Day.
8.    On the big day, rewrap the pudding (still in its basin) in foil and steam again, this time for 3 hours. Eight hours combined cooking time might seem a faff, but it’s not as if you need to do anything to it in that time.
9.    To serve, remove from the pan or steamer, take off the lid, put a plate on top, turn it upside down and give the plastic basin a little squeeze to help unmould the pudding. Then remove the basin – and voilà, the Massively Matriarchal Mono Mammary is revealed. (Did I forget to mention the Freudian lure of the pudding beyond its pagan and Christian heritage?)
10.    Put the sprig of holly on top of the dark, mutely gleaming pudding, then heat the vodka in a small pan (I use my diddy copper butter-melting pan) and the minute it’s hot, but before it boils – you don’t want the alcohol to burn off before you attempt to flambé it – turn off the heat, strike a match, stand back and light the pan of vodka, then pour the flaming vodka over the pudding and take it as fast as you safely can to your guests. If it feels less dangerous to you (I am a liability and you might well be wiser not to follow my devil-may-care instructions), pour the hot vodka over the pudding and then light the pudding. In either case, don’t worry if the holly catches alight; I have never known it to be anything but singed.
11.    Serve with the Eggnog Cream, which you can easily make - it's the work of undemanding moments - while the pudding's steaming.
Make the Christmas pudding up to 6 weeks ahead. Keep in a cool, dark place, then proceed as recipe on Christmas Day.
Make and freeze the Christmas pudding for up to 1 year ahead. Thaw overnight at room temperature and proceed as recipe on Christmas Day.

Posted on November 1, 2017 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Fruitcake Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies
From foodnetwork.com

•    1/2 pound dried figs
•    1/4 pound raisins
•    2 ounces candied cherries, coarsely chopped
•    2 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
•    1 tablespoon honey
•    2 tablespoons dry sherry
•    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
•    6 ounces chopped pecans
•    Kosher salt
•    1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
•    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
•    1/2 cup superfine sugar
•    1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
•    1 extra-large egg
•    2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Snip off the hard stems of the figs with scissors or a small knife and coarsely chop the figs. In a medium bowl, combine the figs, raisins, cherries, apricots, honey, sherry, lemon juice, pecans, and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cloves, superfine sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until combined. Don't over mix! Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl. 
  3. Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12 by 18-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch thick, making an 18-inch-long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on ungreased sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. 
Posted on October 12, 2017 and filed under cookies & bars.

Berry and Pistachio Muffins

Berry and pistachio muffins
Makes: 12 muffins

•    1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
•    ½ cup wheat germ
•    ½ cup quick cooking rolled oats
•    6 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
•    ½ tsp baking powder
•    ½ tsp baking soda
•    2 eggs
•    ½ cup Greek yogurt
•    ¼ cup canola oil
•    1 orange, grated zest only
•    1 lemon, grated zest only
•    1 tbsp lemon juice
•    ¾ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
•    ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries or blackberries
•    ¼ cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped


  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 12 muffin cups with paper or silicone liners.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda, then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, oil, citrus zest and lemon juice with a whisk.
  4. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the dry ingredients until combined.
  5. Gently stir in the berries.
  6. Divide the batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle the muffin tops with the pistachios.
  7. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool.
Posted on April 12, 2017 and filed under breads, muffins & scones.

"Baby" Ambrosia Salad

From Marcia Dye


  • 1 1/4 cups of chilled full-fat coconut milk (take the good stuff from the top of the can first)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest 
  • 3 Tbsp organic lemon juice 
  • 3 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla

Whisk all together until smooth and put aside.

Any fruit you like, in a big salad bowl - I used a combo about like this:

  • 3 cups sweet green grapes 
  • 3 cups fresh pineapple, sliced and cut into small wedges (you can cheat and buy a naked, cored pineapple from the produce/salad section)
  • 1/2 cup (for some of us) OR 1c (for some others of us) maraschino cherries blotted and halved
  • 2/3 cup toasted (do it! - totally different flavour) pecan pieces
  • 2/3 cup big toasted coconut slices 
  • ½-1 whole bag of mini marshmallows

Throw the dressing over it and mix quite well before tossing in somewhere between and half and a whole bag of mini marshmallows. I used a bit more than half... I would like to say 2/3 of the bag. Go easy mixing in the marshmallows. Enjoy!

Posted on February 22, 2017 and filed under salads.

Cornbread (Vegan and Gluten Free)

CORNBREAD (Vegan + Gluten Free)

•    1/3 cup (80 ml) chickpea brine, whipped until fluffy and soft peaks form (aka aquafaba)
•    1/2 cup (100 g) organic cane sugar* (sub up to 1/4 cup with 1 packet or tsp of stevia extract)
•    3/4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened almond milk
•    1 tsp apple cider vinegar
•    1/4 cup (60 ml) grape seed or canola oil
•    1 cup (160 g) all purpose gluten free flour*
•    1 cup (150 g) fine cornmeal
•    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
•    1/2 tsp baking soda
•    1/4 tsp salt

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease a standard 9-inch round cake pan or 8x8-inch baking dish and dust with gluten free flour. Shake out excess and set aside. (I also think you could use an 9-inch cast iron skillet, but it wouldn't come out as easily and will likely have to be served directly from the pan).
2.    In a liquid measuring cup, measure out non-dairy milk and add vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside.
3.    Add chickpea brine to a medium mixing bowl and begin whipping until loose peaks form. Then add sugar in a little at a time and beat until the texture is glossy and white and semi-firm peaks form.
4.    Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add almond milk mixture and oil and whisk once more. Lastly, add the whipped chickpea brine (with sugar) and gently whisk/fold in until a thick but pourable batter is formed.
5.    The batter should be thick but pourable. Add more cornmeal or gluten free flour if too wet, or almond milk if too thick. I added 1 Tbsp more cornmeal and 2 Tbsp more light gluten free flour blend.
6.    Add batter to prepared cake pan and bake on a center rack for 25-35 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean.
7.    Let cool completely in the pan - set on a wire rack to speed cooling process. To remove, run a dull knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen, then slice and serve. Alternatively, place a plate on top and quickly invert. It will be upside down so flip onto another serving platter to get it right side up.
8.    Serve with vegan butter and maple syrup. Pairs extremely well with hearty dishes like Vegan Lentil Chili.
9.    Store covered at room temperature for 2-3 days, or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze up to 1 month.

Posted on November 22, 2016 and filed under breads, muffins & scones.

Georgetown Horticultural Society Friends

Hello to our Georgetown Horticultural Society friends!

Here is the crossword puzzle solution from our ad in your delightful yearbook:

and hey - thanks for playing along!

Posted on October 26, 2016 .

Banana Bread

Adapted by Julia Grys from Food.com
•    3 ripe bananas
•    1⁄2 cup maple syrup
•    3 tablespoons oil (grape seed or olive oil)
•    1 tsp vanilla
•    1 1⁄2 cups spelt flour
•    1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
•    1⁄4 teaspoon salt
•    1/2 cup pecans (plus a tsp more for garnish)
•    1/2 cup chocolate chips (plus a tsp more for garnish)
•    1/2 tsp turbinado sugar (optional, for garnish)

1.    Heat oven to 350°F.
2.    Oil a loaf pan.
3.    In a bowl, mash bananas and mix in the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla.
4.    In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients together, adding the nuts and chocolate chips last.
5.    Blend the wet and dry mixtures and pour into the loaf pan.
6.    Sprinkle extra chocolate chips, pecans & turbinado sugar down the center of loaf for garnish
7.    Bake for 42 minutes.


Posted on March 23, 2016 and filed under breads, muffins & scones.

Butternut Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad


•    3 cups butternut squash, chopped
•    1 Tbsp. olive oil
•    1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa but any type will do)
•    1½ cups water
•    ⅓ cup dried cranberries
•    ⅓ cup red onion, fine!y chopped
•    3 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
•    salt and black pepper
Balsamic Vinaigrette
•    ½ cup olive oil
•    ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
•    1 tsp. honey
•    1 tsp. Dijon mustard
•    1 garlic clove, minced
•    salt and black pepper

1.    Preheat the oven to 400F.
2.    Toss the butternut squash with olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 25 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly browned.
3.    While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
4.    To assemble the salad, combined the cooked quinoa, roasted squash, cranberries, red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Chill in the refrigerator for couple hours and serve.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1.    Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Posted on March 23, 2016 and filed under salads.

Baker's One Bowl Chocolate Bliss Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted by Joanne Mackie!

•    8oz Chocolate chips or 8 – 1oz chocolate squares
•    1/2c butter
•    1/2c peanut butter
•    3/4c brown sugar
•    2 eggs, beaten
•    1 tsp vanilla
•    1/2c flour
•    ¼ tsp baking powder
•    2c salted chopped peanuts

1.    Preheat oven to 350F
2.    Melt chocolate chips or squares with butter in a large pot.
3.    Add in peanut butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla and stir until blended
4.    Combine flour and baking powder and add to creamed mixture
5.    Stir in peanuts
6.    Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets
7.    Bake 12-13 minutes

Posted on March 23, 2016 and filed under cookies & bars.

Plantain Pancakes

From Rose de oliveira

•    2 large green plantains (about 2 cups pureed) the greener the better
•    4 eggs
•    2 tsp vanilla
•    3 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
•    1/8 tsp salt (a generous pinch)
•    ½ tsp baking soda


1.    Extra coconut oil for frying
2.    Peel plantains (I find it easier to quarter them before I peel them) and place pieces in your blender or food processor.
3.    Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender or food processor and process until it forms a smooth batter (about 1-2 minutes).
4.    Heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan or on a griddle over medium-high heat.  Pour batter into the frying pan until your pancake is the desired size.
5.    Let cook 4-5 minutes on the first side, until the top looks fairly dry with little bubbles in it (just like regular pancakes!).
6.    Flip!  And cook on the second side for 1½-2minutes.
7.    Repeat with remaining batter, adding a little more coconut oil to your pan as needed.
8.    Recipe may be halfed

Posted on March 23, 2016 and filed under breakfast.

Old-Fashioned Baked Beans



By Rick Gorski

•    454 grams (1 pound) – 2 cups of Navy Beans or White Pea Beans
•    5 cups cold water
•    1 medium onion, sliced
•    ½ tablespoon salt
•    2 teaspoons cider vinegar
•    1 tablespoon brown sugar
•    ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
•    ¼ cup of molasses
•    ½ cup tomato ketchup
•    Pinch black pepper
•    (optional ½ pound peameal bacon sliced and cut into pieces of about an inch square)

  1. Rinse Beans with Cold Water.
  2. Soak Beans Overnight in Cold Water. 
  3. Drain.
  4. Add 5 cups cold water to drained beans in a pot, cover, heat to boiling, then simmer 30 minutes or until nearly tender (beans will not become any softer once placed into oven).
  5. Drain when cooked, then put beans back into the pot.
  6. Place onion slices on bottom of 6 cup flameproof casserole dish.
  7. Add remaining 7 ingredients in with the beans in the pot, stirring gently to combine, then pour the entire mixture into the casserole dish.
  8. Add enough water to cover the mixture (then place optional peameal bacon pieces on top).
  9. Cover with lid and bake in oven at 250’F for 7 hours (you may want to monitor & turn down to 225’F)
  10. When beans are tender, remove 1 cup of beans, mash, then stir back into casserole dish carefully.
  11. Cover and continue to bake.
  12. Add water as needed to keep beans covered.
  13. One hour before serving, remove cover to darken the beans.
  14. Salt to taste.

Serves 8.

Posted on March 23, 2016 and filed under beans & legumes.

Strawberry Vanilla Muffins

By Marissa Gorski (nee Brayne)

•    1/2c grapeseed oil
•    1/2c vanilla soy/rice milk
•    1/2c maple syrup
•    1/4c agave
•    1T (or more) natural vanilla

•    1c whole spelt flour
•    1c light spelt flour
•    2 tsp baking powder
•    ½ tsp sea salt

•    2c (or more) chopped strawberries

1.    Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl
2.    Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
3.    Add the dry to the wet slowly incorporating until just combined, but do not overmix
4.    Add in the strawberries and place into muffin tins
5.    Bake at 375F for 20-30 minutes (watch for a nice golden top). Enjoy!

Posted on March 23, 2016 and filed under breads, muffins & scones.

Christmas Mincemeat Bread

From "Our Daily Bread" by Stella Standard (pub c 1970)

If you have some mincemeat left-over (how would that happen???) this is a great way to use it up. If you don't have any left-over, it's worth picking up (or making) some more!


  • 1 cup mincemeat
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp dark rum
  • 1/2 cup 100% bran crumbles cereal
  • 2 cups soft whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder


  1. If you are using homemade mincemeat, then just add the rum. If it is commercial, use a scant cup of it and add 5 or 6 sliced dates and 2 spoons of apricot jam or orange marmalade, and the rum.
  2. Mix with the dry ingredients and the beaten egg.
  3. Mix the buttermilk, sugar and baking powder and add to the flour mixture (use a large bowl as it may foam up a bit)
  4. The batter should be soft and moist but not thin.
  5. Bake bread in a greased bread pan 1 hour at 350F.
  6. Slice after it has cooled.

This is nice to have during the holidays for tea.

Posted on December 13, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Norwegian Citron Bread

From "Our Daily Bread" by Stella Standard (pub c 1970)

Tastes like Christmas...


  • 1/2 cup sweet butter (if unavailable, use salted butter but omit salt below)
  • 1  1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups sifted flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup raisins 
  • 1 cup moist glazed citron, chopped or sliced (if quite dry, splash with a bit of something boozy)
  • 1  1/2 cups milk


  1. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth, then add the beaten eggs
  2. Soak the currants in whiskey for an hour or more, if you please.
  3. Sift the flour with the dry ingredients; toss the raisins and citron through them
  4. Add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternately, to the creamed mixture
  5. Bake in 3 little oiled loaf pans or 1 large one, 1 hour at 350F for the large one and 35 to 40 minutes for the little ones 
Posted on December 13, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Retro Popcorn Balls

From Hot Off the Griddle #46, December 1995.


  • 12 cups popped corn (about 3/4 cup popcorn)
  • 1/2 lb. candied cherries, halved
  • 2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In greased 8 quart saucepan toss popped corn with cherries until well mixed.
  2. In 2 quart saucepan over medium high heat, heat to boiling corn syrup, vinegar and salt, stirring occasionally.
  3. Set candy thermometer in place; continue cooking, without stirring, until temperature reaches 250 deg.F. or until a small amount dropped in very cold water forms a hard but pliable ball.
  4. Remove syrup mixture from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly pour syrup over popped corn mixture, tossing until kernels are coated.
  6. With greased hands, shape mixture into 3-inch balls, using as little pressure as possible so balls will not be too compact. If mixture hardens, place saucepan over very low heat until mixture is pliable.

Makes 12.

Posted on December 3, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Maple Glazed Walnuts

Borrowed directly from the pages of the magnificent cookbook “Nuts: Sweet and Savory Recipes… from Diamond of California”

These delicious crunchy nuts make a fine addition to a cheese platter or a holiday cookie assortment. You can find maple flavoring in the spice section of most supermarkets*, along with the vanilla and other extracts. For an equally tasty variation, substitute pure vanilla extract for the maple.

  • 1 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c sour cream or plain yogurt, drained of any excess liquid
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 c walnut halves
  • 2 tsp maple flavoring

Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, coat with vegetable oil spray. In a heavy, medium saucepan, mix together brown sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is smooth and comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring, until mixture reaches 236F to 240F on a candy thermometer. (A small spoonful of the mixture dropped into ice water will form a soft ball when rubbed between your index finger and thumb.)

Quickly stir in walnuts and maple flavoring; cook, stirring, until nuts are coated completely, 2 to 3 minutes. Working carefully, spread walnuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, separating nuts with a fork. Let cool completely.

Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week.

Yields 4 cups.

* (or, ahem, at Foodstuffs…)

Posted on December 3, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Uncooked Fruit Caramels

Originally published in Hot Off the Griddle – December 1995.

These are easy-to-make but a sticky business – the kind of recipe the kids might like to help with… The fiddly bit is cutting and rolling them for gift-giving – but they are worth the effort! 


  • 1 cup seeded raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup figs
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 candied orange peel
  • 6 candied cherries
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • Icing sugar


  1. Wash the raisins, dried apricots and figs.
  2. Grind together the raisins, dried apricots, figs, dates, candied orange peel, cherries and walnuts.
  3. Add enough orange juice to hold the fruits and nuts together; mix well.
  4. Press into a greased 8 × 8 × 2 inch pan. Chill overnight in refrigerator.
  5. Cut in squares.
  6. Roll squares in icing sugar.

Makes 2 dozen pieces. Line your tin with waxed paper and put waxed paper between layers for better keeping… but they won’t last long!

Posted on December 2, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Retro Tutti Frutti

From Hot Off the Griddle #22, December 1993.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cornflakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup glazed cherries (mixed red and green)
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 tsp almond flavouring
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla


  1. Cream butter, sugar, egg and flavouring.
  2. Add cornflakes, nuts, dates, cherries, raisins and coconut.
  3. Form in balls and bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes.

Yield: 2 dozen.

Posted on November 30, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Vegetarian Chili

Canned tomatoes and beans make this a simple chili to prepare. Serve it with brown rice for a complete protein!


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 16 oz. can tomatoes in juice, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 oz. can chickpeas, drained
  • 5 oz. canned kidney beans, drained


  1. In large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring 1 minute.
  4. Add water and bring to a boil.
  5. Add lentils. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, salt and cayenne.
  7. Cover and cook 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  8. Add kidney beans and chickpeas. Cook, stirring 5 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

Serves 4.

Posted on November 20, 2015 and filed under main course.

Marinated Christmas Fruitcake

Some of you have been asking for a dependable & delicious fruit cake recipe.

This one’s from “The Canadian Mennonite Cookbook”.

Yield: 4 loaves
(8” x 4” x 3” pans)
Preheat: 275 F


  • 1 lb seedless raisins
  • 1 lb currants
  • 1 lb sultana raisins
  • 1/2 lb figs (chop)
  • 1/2 lb dates (chop)
  • 1/2 lb red & green glazed cherries
  • 1 lb mixed glazed fruit & peel
  • 1 cup wine or sherry

Combine the fruits and wine and marinate over night (8-10 hours) covered (in glass or crockery containers)

  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purp/flour
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup fancy (sweet) molasses
  • juice and finely grated rind of one orange
  • 1 cup grape juice
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup slivered almond
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • juice and finely grated rind of one lemon


  1. Cream butter, add sugars and beat well.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.
  3. Sift flour & spices.
  4. Combine molasses, fruit juices, grated rinds and almond extract.
  5. Add sifted ingredients and molasses/juice/rind mix alternately to butter/sugar/egg mixture, beating well after each addition.
  6. Fold in marinated fruits and chopped nuts.
  7. Distribute evenly in pans and bake ‘til done when tested with a cake tester or toothpick


Don’t be a slave to cooking times: when it’s done, it’s done – not sooner.
Line loaf pans with baking foil – shiny side down, lightly greased.
Place a pan of water on lowest rack to prevent over-browning.
Let rest in the pans only a few minutes before turning out on racks to cool.
When cooled, completely wrap first in plastic wrap, then foil.

Posted on November 4, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.