There is several reasons to call this a bodacious bran muffin.   Most bran muffins taste like crushed cardboard .  Then along comes these bodacious bran muffins filled with yogurt and so  bursting with beguiling blueberries  one can’t believe they are good for you too.    That’s the first reason these are bodacious muffins.  The addition of flaxseed meal gives you a good shot of  omega-3.    There is the antioxidant loaded, vitamin rich blueberries.  Then all the wonderful health benefits of bran and Greek yogurt.  Secondly this muffin recipe tastes “let’s have a second one”  delicious.  And lastly – the muffins are a whizz to whip up.  You can even make them the night before, tuck them in the refrigerator and bake them for breakfast.

: baking
Cuisine: muffins
: 18
Delicious, moist, flavourful muffins liberally studded with blueberries.
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup flaxseed meal
  • ¼ cup slow cooking oatmeal
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounces Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2½ cups wheat bran
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries. (Rinse frozen blueberries several times until water runs clear, then dry with a tea towel - before adding to your muffin mix)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly brush the inside of your muffin tins with vegetable oil and line with paper liners. Brush the top of the muffin pan with vegetable oil if you want large crusty tops.
  3. Stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and flaxseed meal in a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, sugar, ½ cup vegetable oil, honey, eggs and vanilla until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients stirring just until combined.
  6. Gently stir in the wheat bran and blueberries until combined.
  7. Let the batter sit for about 15 or 20 minutes.
  8. For smaller sized muffins fill just to the top of the paper liner. For crusty large tops fill to the top of the pan.
  9. Small muffins will give 18 muffins. The larger top muffins will yield 12.
  10. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. If you have used frozen blueberries you may have to bake the muffins a little longer.
  11. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.


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Don’t you just love a cake you can whip up at a moments notice.  A cake that comes out of the oven and is ready to serve almost immediately.   One that is  a doodle to make.  And a cake that almost everyone asks for second servings.

The ingredients are simple.  Eggs, sugar, flour and melted butter.  Some flavouring.  Then at least four kinds of apples.  Any kind of apple works although it is a bonus if one of the apples is the “mushy” kind like Spartan or Macintosh, and use some apples that are crisp, some sweet and some tart.

IMG_3175The cake takes around an hour to back and then you need let it rest until it is just slightly warm or room temperature.  Serve it with an indulgent dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of classic vanilla ice cream or simple sprinkle it with a dusting of icing sugar.

: apple cake
Cuisine: baking
: 81 hr
A simple and quick no-fail apple cake perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea.
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 4 different kinds of large apples
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 8 tbsp.(4 oz.) unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • Icing sugar for dusting the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Generously butter an 8 or 9 inch springform pan .Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the springform on it.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
  4. Peel and core the apples and cut into 1 or 2 inch chunks.
  5. In a large bowl beat the eggs with a whisk until they're foamy.
  6. Add the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk until well blended.
  7. Gently whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter. Mix gently after each addition so that you have a smooth rather thick batter.
  8. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples turning the fruit so it's coated with batter.
  9. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around with the spatula so it's evenish.
  10. Take the cake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the is a rich golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.
  11. Transfer to a cooling and rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Careful run a knife COMPLETELY around the edges of the cake and carefully remove the sides of the springform pan.
  13. Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan wait until the cake is cooled then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan.
  14. Cower the top of the cake with a piece of parchment paper and invert it onto a rack.
  15. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
  16. Dust the top of the cake with a sprinkle of icing sugar.


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MEATLOAF … the classic comfort food

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  Of all the reassuring comfort food  there is nothing better than a perfectly executed, divinely crusty- brown meatloaf.     Severed with a generous pitcher of rich gravy  and mounds of creamy mashed potatoes it takes comfort food to dazzling new … Continue reading

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DREAM BARS … ” rich, luscious topping on a shortbread-type base”

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I have been making this Panettone recipe every Christmas for more than thirty years.  Our son would not consider it Christmas unless this gorgeous bread appeared on the breakfast table December 25th. Panettone is an Italian sweet bread that originated … Continue reading

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A double Chocolate Truffle Brownie is a creation so rich in chocolate, butter and cream that one taste gives you shivers of delight.  You melt the butter and chocolate and carefully stir it into the richest, darkest bowl of delight.  … Continue reading

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Cuisine: old fashioned baking
: 50
Crisp and chewy buttery rich oatmeal cookies with raisins and dried cranberries. Store dough in your freezer for cookies at a moments notice.
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1½ cups quick or slow cooking rolled oats (NOT INSTANT!)
  1. Using a stand mixer whip butter at low speed for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add brown and white sugar and beat until mixed.
  3. Continue beating butter and sugar for 4-5 minuets until soft and very creamy. DON'T RUSH THIS PROCESS
  4. While your butter and sugar is creaming whisk together in a large bowl the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and set aside
  5. When butter and sugar is beautifully whipped add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Now add the flour to the butter mixture and mix just until combined.
  7. Add the dried fruit and and oatmeal and mix just until combined.
  8. Divide the dough in half
  9. Working with one-half at a time place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap covering it loosely. Shape and roll into 12 inch (30 cm) long log and twist the ends of the wrap to seal.
  10. Refrigerate until firm - about 4 hours.
  11. Trim ends of log and then slice the dough into ¼ inch (5 mm) thick rounds, reshaping as needed.
  12. Arrange 2 inches (5 cm) apart (DOUGH SPREADS) on parchment paper-lined RIMLESS baking sheets. This allows you to simply slip the parchment paper off the baking pan and onto a cooling rack.
  13. Bake one sheet at a time in 350F(180C) oven until lightly browned. About 12 minutes,
  14. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes.
  15. Transfer directly to racks to cool completely,
  16. (MAKE AHEAD; Layer between waxed paper in airtight container and store for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
  17. or
  18. (Refrigerate uncooked dough for up to 3 days or freeze in airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Thaw overnight in refrigerator before baking.).


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This is a fabulous combination of hot Italian sausage and shatteringly delicate puff pastry.  Each one bite portion is an explosion of wonderful favour and texture.    The honey mustard dip takes the old-fashioned sausage rolls to dazzling new heights.

The  recipe is easy to make, but it helps if you have follow the preparation tips.

img_3070Use a 5/1/2 or 5/8 inch plan tip to pipe the sausages.  Anything larger and you’ll run out of filling .   Use a narrow pastry brush for the egg wash.  It gives you more control.

img_3074A ruler is handy to measure the size of your rolled puff pastry strips and to cut your rolled pastry.

img_3072Leave your rolled out pastry on the original wrapping paper. Measure and cut into portions.


Cuisine: British
: 64
Delicious mouthfuls of puff pastry filled with spicy sausage. Dip into honey mustard mixture.
  • ¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs (one for the sausage mixture, the other for the puff pastry)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 12 oz (340 g) hot Italian sausages, casings removed
  • A little salt (to draw moisture from onions)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • A generous ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 fat clove finely chopped onion
  • ½ tsp each fennel seeds and dried oregano
  • 3 sheets frozen butter puff pastry thawed
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • ¼ to ½ tsp Sriracha sauce
  2. Saute the onions in the olive oil (sprinkled with a little salt) until tender
  3. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two. Let cool.
  4. In a large bowl mix together bread crumbs, one of the eggs and the milk until smooth.
  5. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Add sausages, fennel seeds and oregano and combine
  7. Add the cooled onion garlic mixture and mix with a fork just until combined.
  8. Cut each pastry sheet lengthwise into thirds.
  9. Using piping bag fitted with a ⅝th inch plain tip pipe sausage mixture along one long edge of each third.
  10. Whisk remaining egg with 2 tsp water and brush along opposite edge.
  11. Starting at sausage-mixture side, roll up and cut into 1½ inch pieces.
  12. Arrange seam side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  13. Pierce top of each knife.
  14. (Make ahead: layer between waxed paper in air-right container and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in refrigerator before continuing with recipe.)
  15. Bake in 400 F oven until golden, about 18 minutes
  16. honey mustard dip;
  17. In a small bowl whisk mustard with honey and add the Sriracha sauce to taste. Serve with sausage rolls..



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img_0009While I’m swanning around having a beatific time  decorating the house for Christmas my alter-ego Mrs. Butterfingers is puttering about in the kitchen.     There is panetonne set to raise   .  Mince pies to roll out.  Short bread to bake.  The kitchen is filled with delicious aromas of Christmas.

Mrs. Butterfingers keeps a few easy recipes for dips in her apron pocket.  Add the basic ingredients to your grocery shopping list  and keep them to hand.  They are refreshingly different and  delicious rift on some old friends.

This CAESAR DIP  leaves the salad bowl and takes on a new role as a great dip.  Use the pale green heart leaves of romaine or roll the large leaves lengthwise into tight cylinders.

CREAMY CHÈVRE DIP  combines herbs, hot pepper sauce and sun-dried tomatoes for a creamy dip for crunchy fresh vegetable sticks.  They are deceptively easy but the precut vegetable trays are not always the freshest.    For the crispest possible vegetables create your own from carrots, celery ,fennel, red pepper and green beans.  If you use broccoli blanch and refresh it in ice water for the bright green appearance and tender stalks

: dips for fresh vegetables
Cuisine: appetizers North America
: 1¼ cups
Easy to make dips with readily available ingredients. Perfect for fresh vegetables
  • 1/13 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp Sriracha sauce
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Asian fish sauce or 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
  • 6 oz chevre (cream style goat cheese)
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp finely chopped dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 green onions chopped
  2. Whisk all ingredient together until blended.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If you think it requires more salt add a little more fish sauce.
  4. Dip can be covered and refrigerated for several days.
  6. In food processor blend chevre, sour cream, garlic, rosemary, thyme and Sriracha sauce until smooth.
  7. Remove from food processor and stir in tomatoes, parsley and onions,.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
  9. Dip can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  10. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
  11. Makes about 2 cups.





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