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Margo’s martini

25 Jan

Margo's martini

With only two ingredients to worry about, you’d think it would be a straightforward matter for a bartender to make a decent martini.

But the number of crummy martinis I’ve been served over the years are proof that this isn’t the case.

Happily, we are in the fortunate position of having two good friends who are known for their skill with martini shaker. Continue reading

Eggnog ice cream

29 Dec

Eggnog ice cream

Given that eggnog has always tasted like rum-laced melted ice cream to me, I’m surprised it took me so long to hit on the idea of eggnog ice cream.

I made a batch a couple of days before Christmas as an alternative dessert for people who don’t like Christmas pudding.

It turns out I don’t know those kind of people… My guests like their Christmas pudding topped with both brandy butter and a goodly scoop of eggnog ice cream.

The pudding and ice cream combo is such a winner, that I think we’ll forgo the brandy butter altogether next year.

Continue reading

Date squares

19 Dec

date squares

Each December I faithfully reproduce the traditional family Christmas baking, and each year the ghost of Christmas past haunts my efforts.

The shortbread, cherry slice, butterscotch fudge and nanaimo bars are never as good as I remember them tasting in my childhood.

The only exception to this slightly depressing state of affairs are the date squares. Continue reading

Roast carrots with pomegranate molasses

8 Dec

roast-carrots-with-pomegranate2

In January my friend Margaret sent me a copy of the gorgeous “A Taste of Haida Gwaii” by the Canadian writer Susan Musgrave.

This wonderful collection of stories, recipes and photographs documents Musgrave’s life in the islands, where she is proprietor of The Copper Beach bed and breakfast. Continue reading

Blueberry cheesecake pots

9 Nov

Blueberry cheesecake pots

Much to my girls’ disappointment, I’m not much of a dessert person. While I’ll occasionally make a batch of ice cream or throw together an apple crumble, it’s generally fruit, yogurt, fruit-and-yogurt, or maybe a biscuit on the dessert menu around here – none of which generate much enthusiasm.

So it was a pleasant surprise to see their excitement when I produced these little blueberry cheesecake pots the other day – which are essentially fruit, yogurt, and a biscuit. The power of presentation – and added sugar and fat of course…;-)

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Roasted pumpkin seeds

31 Oct

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Along with pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin seeds are a Halloween night staple. As soon as we’ve scooped out the pumpkins for the jack-o-lanterns, I get digging through the slippery pumpkin innards to collect the seeds.

Tossed with oil and seasoning then roasted in the oven, pumpkin seeds are great to snack on while carving the jack-o-lantern. They are also almost certainly the healthiest thing the kids will eat all day. Continue reading

Beef stroganoff

9 Oct

Beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is one of my life-long favourite meals – I can remember choosing it for my special birthday dinner.  I recently unearthed a class cookbook from first grade, and there in all its faded mimeographed glory was “Beef Stroganoff, by Andrea”.

Stroganoff was where my love affair with rosemary began. So I was genuinely stunned that in a survey of numerous beef stroganoff recipes online, not one of them included rosemary.

To my mind, rosemary is an integral part of the dish – it simply wouldn’t be stroganoff without it. (The poppy seeds on the noodles are non-negotiable as well.) Continue reading