Chocolate dark as midnight.  Caramel sauce –  toffee-like  with just a suggestion of burnt sugar.    A superb marriage of flavours.   CHOCOLATE AND SALTED DULCE DE LECHE TART is a very indulgent and very very French dessert.   One sees it on the menu of discerning French restaurants.   One adores eating it.  But faced with the complex demands of making the perfect crust, the silky smooth chocolate filling and the smoky rich caramel sauce the perfect hostess pops into her favourite patisserie and picks up this tart.

This recipe takes the tears and pressure out of putting this dessert together and you can do it in about twenty minutes.  It is an uncomplicated recipe.

Chop up some roasted nuts, chocolate and oat digestive biscuits in the food processor.  Mix it with melted butter and press it into a loose-bottomed tart tin(a must).   The can of dulce de leche is opened and two-thirds of it are poured over the chilled crust.  Use the rest of the dulce de leche and pour it over cake or ice cream.  Chocolate and cream are stirred together to make an unbelievably smooth and creamy sauce.  Pour this over the dulce de leche and tuck the tart into the fridge to chill.  Sprinkle the top of the pie with the finest flakiest sea salt in your pantry.  Malden salt would be absolutely perfect.

Keep the tart refrigerated until you are ready to serve it.  Cut narrow slices (it is incredibly rich) and quickly slide the tart onto the plate.  The dulce de leche will immediately slip out of the cut tart to form a fantastic sauce.

If you are an enterprising cook you could turn this into your own personal production by making the oat digestive biscuits and caramel sauce yourself.


: Dessert
Cuisine: French
: 10 to 12
An indulgent and dazzling dessert. Easily made and impossible to resist. A superb combination of chocolate and caramel.
  • 1 cup (100 g) hazel, walnut or almond nuts.
  • 2½ cups (250 g) oat digestive biscuits(or use graham crackers).
  • 14 oz (400 g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa) coarsely chopped. To be divided.
  • ¾ cup (6 0z. 175 g) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (200 g ) double cream
  • ¾ cup (200 g) dulce de leche (from a 300 g tin of dulce de leche)
  • pinch of flaked sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread the nuts on a baking tray and roast in oven for 5 or more minutes giving the tray a good shake halfway through, until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
  2. Butter your 9 inch (23 cm( loose-bottomed tart tin ( 9 inch) very well.
  3. Put the nuts, the biscuits and about ¾ cup (100 g 3½ oz) of chocolate in food processor. Pulse until chopped. You want a crumbly mixture, NOT a powder. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. Melt butter in a small pan, then begin to pour into the biscuit mixture. Don't pour it all in at once. You might not need the entire quantity of butter depending on the type of biscuits you use; just enough to hold together when pressed in your tart tin.
  5. Tip the mixture into your tart tin and press into the bottom and up the sides to make a crust. You'll find using the flat bottom of a measuring cup handy for pressing down the bottom of the crust.
  6. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling
  7. Put the cream in a medium sized pan and carefully heat until a few bubbles form on the surface and it threatens to come to the boil. IMMEDIATELY remove from the heat.
  8. Add the remaining coarsely chopped chocolates and stir until the chocolate is melted. If the chocolate is not melted completely put the pan on the still warm burner but DO NOT turn on the heat. Also, be careful not to get any water in your chocolate mixture at any time.
  9. Remove the tart tin from the fridge. Spoon the dulce de leche over the biscuit base and use a spatula to spread out evenly.
  10. Pour over the chocolate mixture and return to the fridge.
  11. After about 20 minutes or so sprinkle the sea salt over the top of the tart. Return to the fridge to set fully.


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This is not your usual carrot cake recipe.   This is a carrot cake made sublimely rich with butter replacing the oil.   The results are a fine, firm crumb that holds and slices beautifully (so necessary in a layer cake). Th cake is not complicated.  You can stir it  up in one bowl without using your mixer.    Use it for the most important of occasions, like birthdays and weddings.   One can bake a  four tier cake and have an impressive tower of indulgence (held in place with dowling of course).  Refrigerated, the cake holds well so you can  enjoy nibbling cake over a couple of days (if it lasts that long).

And then there’s the frosting.  It is outrageously wonderful.  Rich, creamy, buttery and exquisitely flavoured and enriched with cream cheese.  It is the light as air volume that takes this cake creation over the top.   There is absolutely no doubt.  The frosting is sublime.  The frosting is uncomplicated and foolproof.  You simply beat the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar until is fluffy and smooth.    The volume will seem like  a lot of frosting, but use every bit.  Lavish the frosting  between the layers and on the top of the cake.  Don’t frost the side of the cake.


: easy one bowl cake
Cuisine: Canadian
: 10
Butter replaces oil in this one bowl cake. Uncomplicated to make.
  • 1½ cups (325g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (170g) melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of one orange
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2½ cups grated carrots (about 2-3 large carrots)
  • 1 cup (110 g) chopped roasted walnuts
  • 250g package cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ cup (115g) butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups (580g) sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (55g) coarsely chopped walnuts to decorate your cake
  1. Preheat oven 350F. Grease with butter two 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
  2. Stir the sugar and butter together in a large bowl (or you can use your stand mixer)
  3. Stir in cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, vanilla and orange zest
  4. Stir in the eggs until well combined
  5. Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda all at once and stir well to combine
  6. Stir in the carrots and walnuts.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake 30 to 35 minuets or until a cake taster poked into the middle of the cakes comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs still sticking to it. Do not over bake.]
  8. Let cool in pans set on a rack for ten minutes then flip the cakes out of the pans onto the racks, remove the paper, and cool completely
  9. To make the frosting beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and fluffy (by hand or in a mixer).
  10. Add the icing sugar all at once and stir until combined.
  11. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  12. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with about half of the frosting. Spread it right to the edge then gently place the next layer on top. Frost the top leaving the sides bare
  13. Sprinkle the cake with chopped walnuts if desired.
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The other day my favourite local grocery store featured organic lemons –  twenty five cents each.  A bargain.  I filled my shopping bag  with a couple of dozen of these little darlings to make PRESERVED LEMONS.

PRESERVED LEMONS are one of the indispensable ingredients of Moroccan cooking.  I use it not just in tagines or with lamb and chicken I add the lemons to salads and vegetable dishes and use the pickling juice in salad dressings.  No matter what some food writers  say  their unique pickled taste and silken texture cannot be duplicated with fresh lemon or lime juice.

The important thing in preserving lemons is to cover them with salted lemon juice.     Preserved lemons are not complicated to make.  You partially slice the lemons.  Jam them into sterilized jars, add a few spices if desired and freshly squeezed lemon juice,   You let the lemons ripen in a warm place for thirty days, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice.  Used pickling juice can be used to make salad dressings and  excellent Bloody Marys.

If it important when preserving any type of food that you sterilize your jars and lids, and various tongs and spoons(in this case wooden),  Your prep area should be immaculate and you should guard against cross-contamination.


: preserving
Cuisine: Moroccan
: 12
An complicated recipe for preserving lemons in salt. An indispensable ingredient for Moroccan cooking. Delicious with chicken and lemon and salads.
  • 5 lemons (a couple of extra lemons if needed for juice)
  • ¼ cup coarse salt, more if desired
  • 3 CLOVES
  • 1 BAY LEAF
  1. The best way to extract the maximum amount of juice from a lemon is to boil it in water for 2 or 3 minutes and allow it to cool before squeezing.
  2. Quarter the lemons from the top to within ½ inch of the bottom.
  3. Sprinkle the salt on the exposed flesh and reshape the fruit.
  4. Place 1 generous tablespoon salt on the bottom of the mason jar.
  5. Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding more salt, and the optional spices between layers.
  6. Press the lemons down to release their juice and to make room for the remaining lemons. If the juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them add freshly squeezed lemon juice (NOT CHEMICALLY PRODUCED LEMON JUICE AND NOT WATER). Use a WOODEN spoon to force the lemons into place.
  7. Leave some air space before sealing the jar.
  8. Let the lemons ripen in a warm place (your kitchen counter works) and shake the jar daily to distribute the salt and juice.
  9. Let ripen for 30 days. Then refrigerate.
  10. To use rinse the lemons,as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pul if desired
  11. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year..


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You can  accomplish this in just five minutes a day.  I promise you.    It is so simple.  You can do this  if you can hold a wooden spoon, and have a big mixing bowl or container and two loaf pans.


Step one you mix water, yeast, flour, salt, sugar and oil all together into one easily mixed dough.  This is done in a few minutes.  No kneading.


Step two you leave the dough to rise on your counter.  It rises to heady heights but you don’t punch it down.  Step four you refrigerate it and let it have a good rest.


When you are ready to bake your bread you  remove a portion of the dough, form it into a ball, then into a loaf shape and sit it in a loaf pan to rise.  All that’s left it to bake your bread and then indulge in the joy of home made bread.



This recipe is unbelievably simply.  BUT IT WORKS.  You  can mix and store the dough in the same container using only a wooden spoon.  A stand mixer is nice but not necessary.  You need two loaf pans (if baking all the dough).  And that’s it.  You can store the dough for up to seven days in the refrigerator and bake bread when every you like.  This bread recipe is so obliging.  It’s not messy.  It requires little space.  Perfect for small kitchens.  And even better for vacation cottages when the nearest store is ten miles away.

This recipe makes a fine crumb, dense bread that slices perfectly and stores well.  Do not refrigerate your baked loaf.

: yeast bread
: 2 pounds
Bread you can make without special equipment in just five minutes a day. No kneading or punch down of dough.
  • lukewarm water (100F or below) 3 cups (680 grams) (1 pound, 8 ounces)
  • Granulated yeast 1 tablespoon (10 grams )(.35 ounces)
  • Kosher salt 1 tablespoon (10 grams) (.6 ounces)
  • Sugar ⅓ cup (85 grams) (3 ounces)
  • Oil ¼ cup (85 grams) (2 ounces)
  • All-purpose flour 7½ cups (1.065 grams) (2 pounds 5½ ounces)
  • If desired egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) for brushing the loaf.
  2. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and oil with the water in a 6 quart lidded (not airtight) container or a 5 quart stand mixer.
  4. Add all of the flour at once, measuring it with dry-ingredient measuring cups or by weighing the ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle until the mixture is uniform. It you're hand-mixing and it becomes too difficult to incorporate all the flour with the spoon, you can reach into your mixing vessel with wet hands and press the mixture together. DON'T KNEAD. It isn't necessary. You're finished when everything is uniformly wet, without dry patches. This step is done in a matter of minutes, and will yield a dough that is fairly tacky.
  6. Cover with a lid that fits the container well but isn't completely airtight. If you're using a bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, depending on the room's temperature and the initial water temperature - then refrigerate it and use for up to 7 days. If your container isn't vented, allow gases to escape by leaving it open a crack for the first couple of days in the fridge. After that you can usually close it, but a vented container is best.
  7. You can use a portion of the dough any time after the 2 hour rise. Fully refrigerated dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature, so the first time you try this method it is best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before shaping a loaf. Once refrigerated, the dough will seem to shrunk back upon itself and it will never rise again in the bucket - that's normal. NO NEED TO PUNCH DOWN THIS DOUGH.
  9. Grease an 8½ x 4½ non stick loaf pan with butter. Grease heavily if you are not using a nonstick pan.
  10. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and, using kitchen shears or a serrated knife, cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it's hot intended to be incorporated into the dough,. The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking. The correctly shaped loaf will be smooth and cohesive. The entire process should take no more than 20 to 40 seconds.
  11. Elongate the ball into an oval and drop it, seam side down into the prepared pan.
  12. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 90 MINUTES. You may not see much rise during this period; must more rising will occur during baking. If you are using fresh dough, that has not been refrigerated, you only have to let it rise 45 minutes.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
  14. Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash.
  15. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until medium golden brown and well set.
  16. Remove from pan. If the loaf sticks, waiting 10 minutes and it will steam itself out of the pan.
  17. Allow to cool completely (about 2 hours) preferably on a wire cooling rack, for best flavour, texture and slicing. Cutting into a hot loaf is tempting, but it won't slice well and may seem underbaked if you break into it before it's cooked.
  18. Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded or loosely plastic-wrapped container and use it over the next 7 days.
  19. If you store your dough in the mixing container, you'll avoid some cleanup. Cut off and shape more loaves as you need them. The dough can also be frozen in 2 pound portions in an airtight container for about 3 weeks and defrosted in the refrigerator before using.


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When it’s not quite winter.   Not quite spring.    When dingy snow piles up in secret places.  When thoughts of exotic get a ways  dominate your day.     This is the time to ladle out the exotic flavours of  Thailand and Malaysia.  And this is the soup that borrows from these cuisines  and fills your soup bowl with its  spicy taste balanced with sweet and sour back notes.

I like this recipe for its ease of preparation and the readily available ingredients.   The only time consuming  part of the recipe preparation is the  julienned  carrots.  The recipe calls for green beans.  When they are out of season I substitute tiny frozen green peas.  The recipe is easily doubled.

The coconut milk I prefer to use is AROY-D.  I also prefer  AROY-D red curry paste.      These products are readily available  in most Asian grocery stores, of in the Asian food department of major grocery stores.

: soup
Cuisine: Malaysia and Thailand
: 4
This easy to make soup balances its spicy flavour with sweet and sour back notes.
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 generous tbsp julienned fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • zest of one lime
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth (vegetarian version) or use 2½ cups homemade chicken stock
  • 2 cups julienned sliced carrots (about 5 slender carrots)
  • 1½ cups green beans cut into 1 inch pieces or 1½ cups tiny frozen peas
  • 1 (14 oz) package water-packed soft or medium tofu cut into ½ inch pieces
  1. Heat oil in a large,deep sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and saute lightly for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add curry paste and saute for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring constantly until combined
  4. Add brown sugar and cook for another minute or so.
  5. Stir in the lime juice, zest of lime and soy sauce and give it all a quick stir.
  6. Add the coconut milk and mix well.
  7. Add the broth and scrap up and brown bits in your pan.
  8. Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer gently for l hour. Don't be tempted to shorten the cooking time. The coconut milk releases the rich cream and combines with the red curry paste during the low low simmer.
  9. Add your carrots and cook for 6 or 8 minutes.
  10. Add beans and cook for 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp and tender.
  11. If you are using green peas add them with the tofu and cook for 2 minutes.


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I will never forget the first time I tasted home made marmalade.   I was visiting relatives in Scotland.  They lived on a sweet farm just outside Dumfries.        A behemoth, ancient  Aga stove  dominated their kitchen.  Several large pots simmered away and filled the air with the perfume of oranges.   Knives flashed and turned the knobbly peel of Seville oranges into fine, slender  slices.   Batches of the most perfect of preserves, homemade marmalade, cooled in small jars.

The season for these sour oranges is short.  Just a few weeks in late January and February.    Sometimes you can still find them in stores as late as March.  Every marmalade aficionado know the best marmalade uses Seville oranges.  Their thick, bitter peel holds the secret to this most heavenly concoction.   It is this peel and pits that supply the necessary  pectin.    One can buy marmalade but it never tastes quite as delicious or gives us the same satisfaction of making it ourselves .

Making Seville orange marmalade is a two day process.   However, it is not difficult.   You juice the oranges and thinly slice or finely chop the rind the first day and have it  sit quietly over night.  The next day you add the sugar and cook the marmalade.  You do need a good size pot and a candy thermometer.   Absolutely no pectin is added.

One does not refer to marmalade as jam.  Jam is made with fruit and even vegetables, but marmalade is always and only made with citrus fruits.  The name is Portuguese in origin and refers to a preserve made with quince.


seville orange marmalade
: preserves
Cuisine: British
: 8 cups (2 kg)
A classic recipe for a popular spread. Seville orange marmalade requires no added pectin. Lavish its rich citrus flavour on toast or biscuits. This recipe takes two days.
  • 6 Seville oranges or other sour oranges (2 pounds /1 kg total weight) preferably organic
  • 1 navel orange, preferably organic
  • 10 cups (2.5 liters) water
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 8 cups (l.6 kg) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cognac, whiskey or Grand Marnier (optional)
  1. Sterilize jars (see chef''s note)
  2. On day one halve the oranges and squeeze out the juice and seeds from each half into a mesh strainer set over a medium sized bowl.
  3. After all the oranges have been squeezed place the seeds on to a generous piece of double layer cheesecloth. Gather up the sides and tie securely with kitchen string.
  4. Cut each rind in half and then slice as thinly as possible. If you are having problems slicing the orange peel thinly try using a very sharp serrated knife.
  5. Put the oranges slices into a large pot or a large Dutch oven. Add the orange juice, water, the bag of seeds and salt.
  6. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Be sure to maintain this medium heat and not let the temperature drop to low.
  7. Remove from the heat and cover. Let stand overnight at room temperature.
  8. The next day stir in the sugar and set the pot over high heat.
  9. Bring the mixture to a boil then decrease the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer.
  10. Cook stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture is not burning on the bottom until the marmalade reaches the jelling point. Depending on your like your marmalade your candy thermometer should register 217F (110C) for a thick spread, or if you want a runny marmalade take it to slightly before those temperatures.
  11. If white sum occasionally rise to the top, skim it off with a large spoon.
  12. Stir in the spirits if using and remove the bag of seeds squeezing it with a pair of tons to extract as much marmalade from it as possible.
  13. Ladle the marmalade into the sterilized jars and cover tightly. Let cool and refrigerate.
  14. The marmalade will keep for at least 6 months in the refrigerator or 1 year in the freezer.
  15. Chef's note:
  16. You can sterilize your jars in the dish washer or your oven but I prefer to to boil my jars for 5 minutes. I also sterilize my tongs and spoons. It is important when doing any type of preserving or caning that you do no cross-contaminate your product.


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This gallery contains 3 photos.

Foxley’s Restaurant on Ossington in Toronto is one of our favorite  neighborhood restaurant.  We love their ribs and this inspired me to create this recipe.   This is a two step recipe.  You make the glaze first (you can do this … Continue reading

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January was always  the cruelest month when one grew up in Northern Saskatchewan. The excitement of Christmas still a warm memory, but  January was a biting,  bitter, angry cold that left you weeping.  Freezing eye lashes together.  Turning feet into numbing blocks of ice.    A January  cold that groaned and complained.  A cold that split the ice on our outdoor rink  into  large cracks   catching the blades of our skates and sending us tumbling into snowbanks.  We loved it.

Night come early in the Far North.   Darkness by four o’clock.  Snow crunched with   every step.  The evening sky dazzled with a light show  of a million  stars.   Scarf wrapped, double layers of hand knit mittens and socks,  we waited.  The  Northern Lights  lite up the sky with breath taking brilliant colours. They flashed, soared, danced filling our world with a  show we never took for granted.    Mittens were discarded.  Hands clapped.  We were absolutely certain we had the ability to make  The  Northern Lights dance to our applause.   Then chilled to the bone hunger drove us home for supper.

Remembrances of things past.    The crackle and smell of a wood burning wood stove.  The small, warm kitchen filled with  the comforting aroma of baked beans.  Fresh bread lavished with butter.   A childhood recollection of home.    Marcel Proust wrote of the joys of madelines.  For me it will always be  baked beans.     Fragrant beans simmering all day  until the pork dissolved into a rich sauce and beans become  tender bursts of flavour.  This is the baked beans of my childhood.   The remembrances of things past.  This is not an exotic recipe.  The ingredients are those of more than seventy years ago.  Most important is –  what is not in this  Northern Saskatchewan recipe.    No molasses.   Ginger gives the beans a  counter balance to the sweetness of the sugar.

Quoting Proust  wrote “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy;  they are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom.”   May you be happy with this simple recipe.  May your January skies be filled with Northern Lights, and may you enjoy  the simple pleasure of skating on an outdoor rink in the mysterious darkness of the night.

The preparation for OLD FASHIONED CANADIAN BAKED BEANS starts about 24 hours before you plan to serve it.    You spend  just a few minutes assembling the ingredients, and the rest of the times requires the beans to spend overnight soaking in water, and then most of the day quietly simmering away unattended in a slow oven.  (275F)

Serving beans with grains like wheat, rice or corn makes it a completely protein.  When you leave out the pork it makes a delicious vegetarian supper.

: one pot dinner comfort food
Cuisine: Canadian
: 6 - 8
Home baked beans is the ultimate comfort food. This dish simmers and sings to itself all the live long day. It's no fuss. No bother. Make it vegetarian by leaving out the pork.
  • 2½ cups (625 ml) dried navy or kidney beans, soaked overnight AND DRAINED.
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (70 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) powdered ginger
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) fine sea salt
  • Several good grinds of black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 medium-sized onions stuck with 3-4 whole cloves
  • 6 oz (175 g) fat salt pork, cut into 3-4 pieces
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • A splash of red wine vinegar if desired.
  1. Preheat oven to 275F (140C).
  2. Put the soaked beans in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to boil and immediately drain them, saving the water.
  3. Transfer the beans to a 6 cup (1½ liter) bean pot or deep dish casserole.Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, ginger, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Peel the outer skin from the onion leaving the onion intact. Stick several cloves into the onion.
  5. Poke the onion down into the center of the beans.
  6. Push the pork down on top of the beans.
  7. Add enough of the reserved water to completely cover the beans.
  8. Cover the bean pot and bake all day, usually seven to eight hours at 275F.
  9. Lift the lid occasionally to be sure the beans are still moist, adding more of the reserved water if necessary.
  10. Uncover the pot for the last hour of cooking so the sauce thickens and the beans brown a little.
  11. Remove the onion and the bay leaves before serving the beans.
  12. A splash of red wine vinegar adds another delicious layer of flavour and complements the sweetness of the baked beans.


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KATE’S CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE … quick, easy and so delicious

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Away way back in time coffee cake was a simple treat.    It was an uncomplicated cake.  The ingredients were always at hand.  It went together quickly .  The delicious aroma of the baking cake filled your kitchen.  It was warm … Continue reading

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In late summer plums in a rainbow of colours fill my baskets.  I carefully sort them.  Choosing the not quite ripe plums to make this pie.  Some we eat out of hand.  Plum juice staining our fingers.  The rest are popped in the freezer  to be used straight from the freezer and into the pie shells, without thawing.

This pâte brisée  recipe is one you’ll use over and over again.  It showcases any fresh fruit – from berries to apples – beautifully.    A scoop of ice cream or  a drift of whipped cream takes it to divine decadence.


: Dessert pies
Cuisine: French
: 8
Sugar-studded caramelized pastry filled with seasonal fruit: berries, figs, cherries, stone fruits, apples, and pears.
  • TART PASTRY (pate brisee)
  • 7 oz (200 g) (about 1½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling
  • 3.5 oz . (100g) (7 tbs.) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • Ice-cold water - just in case.
  • 2 tsp (10 g) unsalted soft butter
  • ¼ cup sugar(or a combination of granulated sugar and pearl sugar)
  • 1¾ pounds (800 g) just-ripe small plums. (Do not use overly ripe plums or fruit. They will release too much juice)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) apricot jam
  1. In a food processor combine flour, salt and butter and process for 5-10 seconds, until you get a bread crumb-like consistency. There should still be a scattering of larger pieces of butter.
  2. Add the egg and process for a few more seconds JUST UNTIL THE EGG is combined.
  3. Turn the flour mixture out onto your work surface and see if you're able to father the dough into a ball. If the dough seems a little dry sprinkle with one or two teaspoons of water and mix with a fork.
  4. Knead lightly for a few seconds.
  5. Now put the tart together
  6. Grease a 10 inch (25 cm) metal tart pan with a removable bottom with butter and sprinkle the bottom and sides generously and evenly with the sugar.
  7. Roll out the pastry and line the pan with it, trimming the excess for a roll of the pin.
  8. Tuck it into the refrigerator and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 425F (220c) . If your oven heat comes from the bottom heating element position your oven rack in the one third of the oven.. It will create a deeper, rich caramelized crust.
  11. Halve and pit the plums. If your fruit is large cut them into quarters or sixths/ Arrange the plums skin side down on the dough in a circular pattern, starting from the outside, overlapping slightly; the plums will shrink slightly as they bake.
  12. Place the tart on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet (just in case!) and bake 20 minutes or so until the plums are tender.
  13. When the tart is baking in a small sauce pan, heat the apricot jam over low heat.
  14. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
  15. Remove the tart from the oven BUT LEAVE THE OVEN ON. Using a pastry brush generously glaze the sides of the tart, outside and in, and the top of the fruit.
  16. Return your tart to the oven and bake until darkly caramelized - 5 to 10 minutes.
  17. Transfer to a rack to cool completely


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Posted in Baking, Christmas Food Ideas, Desserts, Desserts and sweets | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments