Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mom's German Cheesecake with Blueberries & Raspberries

This cheesecake has been a family favorite since the 70's! My Mom calls it a German cheesecake but I have no idea what makes it German and I have yet to ask - I think it may be the use of cottage cheese instead of cream cheese. Usually she makes it with strawberries but the last time it was a raspberry and blueberry surprise (see pics). I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do...

Ingredients and Preparation:


1 (generous) cup cake & pastry flour 1/3 cup sugar

Pinch salt 1 egg (beaten)

½ cup Becel


500g tub 1%, or 2% cottage cheese (chunky kind, not creamed) ½ cup sugar

Small tub (175g) plain yoghurt OR 3 tablespoons sour cream 2 eggs (beaten)


Special equipment – 10” spring form pan. Arrange rack in oven so pan can be placed on centre rack. Turn on oven to 350F.

In large mixing bowl, sift flour, add pinch salt, cut in Becel (with round ended knife) until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Fold in sugar. Add beaten egg and mix in with knife just until blended but maintaining appearance of bread crumbs. Sprinkle/spread mixture in bottom of spring form pan, press down and out to sides of pan gently with finger tips. Put aside and prepare filling.

Put cottage cheese in mixing bowl (you can use the same one you just used for the base mixture, no need to wash it!). Blend in yoghurt or sour cream with spoon. Gently blend in sugar. Gently stir in beaten eggs – do not beat or whip. Pour mixture onto base in spring form pan. Place on middle rack in oven and cook for 1 hour or until top is firm and golden yellow coloured (not brown or it will be dry). When cooked, leave to cool then add topping of your choice. Cake improves in taste and texture if served the next day (if you can wait!).


Cover top of cheesecake with generous amount of halved, fresh strawberries, or raspberries, or blueberries or mixture of all three if you like! You can also use frozen fruit or unsweetened canned fruit. Pour glaze over top (recipe below for the gourmet pastry chef – or cheat and use package glaze mix from store…) and allow to set. Share and enjoy!

Strawberry Glaze

1 quart strawberries 1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon butter

¼ cup water

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries. Crush enough berries to make one half cup.
  2. Boil the crushed berries, sugar, water and cornstarch two minutes, stirring. Add the butter. Strain and cool.
  3. Arrange the berries (whole or sliced in half) over the cheesecake and pour the glaze over the berries. Chill.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Barbecued Cod packets with Fennel, Sweet Pepper and Lime

A very simple and delicious way to make fish (and it keeps the smell out of the house!). You can use this method for a variety of fish and flavours.

Select your fish - a nice thick filet. Cut into personal sized portions. Place in centre of foil. Add the veggies and herbs/spices you would like...add some EVOO, salt & pepper. I also like to add either lime or lemon juice to fish. Wrap the fish into a little foil parcel. Place on the BBQ and grill for 12-15 minutes. When the fish is flaky it is done.

Last night I made cod filets with thin slices of fennel, julienned sweet peppers, lime juice, S &P and EVOO. Excellent!

Fried Red Tomatoes

I saw this recipe the other day when flipping through daytime TV. I couldn't find the recipe so I made mine the best I could from memory (I posted the original recipe below). I pretty much got things right but I did not do the garnish as 1) I don't eat red meat and 2) I had no sour cream. I did buy some turkey "bacon" and may try these again tomorrow with some of that cooked to be crispy and prosciutto-like. A really delicious way to eat your veggies!

Courtesy of: Chuck's Day Off - Episode: The Bro Show

 Ingredients and Prep:

  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 firm ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Dollop of butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • A dollop of sour cream
  • 3 slices prosciutto, fried till crisp
  • A few sprigs of chives, finely chopped


  1. Cut tomatoes into ½ inch slices.
  2. Sprinkle with coarse salt & cracked black pepper.
  3. Place flour, eggs, and crumbs in separate shallow bowls.
  4. Heat oil with a dollop of butter in a medium skillet on medium heat.
  5. Dip tomato slices in flour, then eggs, then crumbs.
  6. In the pan fry half the coated slices at a time for about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  7. Bread and cook remaining tomatoes.
  8. Remove to a serving tray. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, crumbled crisp prosciutto and a sprinkle of minced, fresh chives.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Seafood Cannelloni

I had a craving for seafood cannelloni today...but with no recipe and a cranky 8 week old baby to tend to I created this one as I went along. The turnout was quite good so I decided to get back into the swing of things and finally post a new better than takeout recipe!

The ingredients are simple and things have to be these days with a young one to manage and much less time than I had before...

Ingredients & Prep:

  • 1 box of oven ready cannelloni pasta (you may not use all of them)
  • 1 bag of small peeled and cooked shrimp (use 1/2)
  • 1 package of "crab" aka crab flavour pollock (use 1/2)
  • 1 can of flaked pacific salmon
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 jars Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 3 tbsps flour
  • 2 green onions diced
  • 1/2 fresh lemon (juice)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
Put salmon, shrimp and "crab" in the food processor and pulse until bits are broken down (about 4 pulses) but still has a nice texture. Put mixture in a pot and warm through on the stove with half the Alfredo sauce. Add wine, flour, green onions,lemon juice and salt/pepper. Continue to warm for a few minutes. Taste test.

Prep your casserole dish for cannelloni. Fill each pasta shell with mixture (once cooled) and arrange in dish as per instructions for your specific pasta. Add the remaining pasta sauce on top and Parmesan for topping.

Bake as per instructions on your pasta box.

Serve with fresh bread and a green salad!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fantastic Summer Salad

My Mum was here last week helping me with our new baby and she made this salad one night as a starter. It is my new fave - so delicious. We used tinned artichokes and hearts of palm instead of the fresh artichokes because, really, who has time for artichokes when you have a 5 week old baby?

No idea where the original recipe is from....will post when my Mum tells me where she found it.

ANOTHER TIP - make triple the dressing!!! The original quantity is not enough.


Serves 4

10 baby artichokes, peeled and quartered (or use tinned artichokes, like us!)
2 cups diagonally cut asparagus
1/3 cup thinly sliced radishes
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 19-oz. can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
8 large romaine leaves

1. Steam the artichokes for 8 minutes. Add the asparagus and steam about 2 minutes more, or until crisp-tender. Drain and run vegetables under cold water. Let cool.

2. Make dressing: Whisk together garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Combine radishes, onions, and beans in salad bowl with half of dressing and toss well. Gently stir in artichokes and asparagus.

4. To serve, place 2 romaine leaves each on four plates. Divide salad equally among plates and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swiss Chard & Creamy Pasta

I am posting this so I don't lose this recipe! I found it on the back of the tag on my organic Swiss chard. I got my first fruit and vegetable delivery of the season and it was in the delivery...very good. And really, who knows what to do with Swiss chard unless someone tells you???

Ingredients & Prep: (Recipe from the tag on my Organic Swiss Chard bunch)

1lb Swiss chard
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup of low fat sour cream
1/2 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup Parmesan
8 oz fettuccine, cooked
salt & pepper to taste

Wash the chard and cut into small pieces (compost or discard stalks). Heat oil in large sauce pan over m-h heat. Add chard, onion and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add tomatoes, sour cream, milk, Parmesan cheese and cooked fettuccine. Stir together. Add salt & pepper. Serve warm.

I served my pasta with fish last night. It was meant to be halibut but the woman at the fish counter must have picked up the wrong fish because it was actually cod. Equally as delicious!

Swiss Chard on Foodista

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Panzarotti meets Calzone and Artichoke Caponata

While I don't think this recipe counts as either of these (panzarotti or calzone), it's a close representation. What's more important is how good these are to eat.

The following recipe was made by my husband on April 22nd 2009. Not only was it Earth day but it was also a historic day in our kitchen.

Ingredients & Prep:
Makes about 6-7 pieces

  • 1 bag fresh pizza dough from your local deli (enough to make one 12" pizza)
  • Fillings of your choice: we used sliced turkey deli meat, red pepper and mozzarella
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your dough as though you were making a rectangular pizza. Dust with flour so things don't stick. Once in the rectangular shape, slice it right down the centre (the long way) to make two long rectangular halves. Now, take a knife and score the dough in triangular shapes (think of the way a Pillsbury crescent roll looks before you roll it up). once the shapes look good, cut them with a pizza knife. Fill each triangle with your fillings and roll as you would a crescent roll. Use the egg wash to seal each pocket and then brush all over (it gives them a golden colour once baked). Repeat until the rest of the dough and filling is used.

Put in the oven on a pizza pan preferably one that has holes to get more even baking. I use parchment (cut in a circle to fit your pan) underneath the pockets to avoid any mess.

Bake for approximately 18-19 minutes.

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice (basic tomato or pizza sauce, garlic cream sauce etc.) Last night, I made a very quick, cheat's version of an artichoke caponata which was really great with the pockets. I suggest trying this one if you like artichokes. The recipe below is from memory and since I do not measure when I am doing something by taste it is an approximation.

Ingredients & Prep:
  • 1 can Artichokes (quarters)
  • 1/3 cup or so Olive oil,
  • 1/4 cup or so Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ tsps Capers
  • ½ tsp Garlic, minced
  • Salt, small amount (if to taste, otherwise skip this)
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and whiz until everything is incorporated. You can make it as chunky as you like. This is a great dip for crackers or veggies as well. Enjoy!

Delicious Banana Bread with Chocolate Chunks

I was cleaning out the freezer the other day and discovered 3 sad, old bananas. Not wanting to throw them out, I made the following recipe - and it was so good there was no time for a photo opp. It is also one of the easiest recipes I've ever made!

I used chunks cut from a huge milk chocolate bar instead of the chocolate chips and it was delicious. The recipe called for 40-50 minutes but it took my loaf about 1 hour to bake. Keep checking yours towards the end of the recommended time just to be sure it is cooked all the way through. It could have been because I used a silicone loaf pan instead of a metal one.

Ingredients & Prep: (Recipe from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 bananas
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine and mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place batter in a greased bread pan (bottom only) or in muffin tins.
  4. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan. Complete cooling on a wire rack.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tomato soup from a can - a recession proof recipe

Now, this doesn't sound fancy or even very good from the post title alone...but trust me, homemade soup has never tasted so good and been so easy to make! We were out for dinner the other night and paid $6.99 for a bowl of soup at a restaurant in our town. The soup tasted quite good and was homemade but I figured I could make the same thing for $6.99 and get about 10 times the quantity. The result? A perfect replica (just better)! And my costs were only $6.82 - Not bad.

Tomato and Black Bean Soup
Ingredients & Preparation:
Serves approx. 8-10 for a first course
  • one 1.36L can of low sodium tomato juice ($1.49)
  • one can of organic whole tomatoes, including juice ($2.69)
  • one can of sliced carrots (.99)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced (.30)
  • 1/2 a can of black beans, rinsed ($1.00)
  • Approx. 2 tablespoons of parsley, dried ($.05)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I used my Salish smoked salt for a little extra flavour) ($.05)
  • olive oil (.25)
First things first - saute the onions in the olive oil until soft, add carrots and black beans just for a minute or two. Meanwhile, pour the tomato juice and whole tomatoes (including the juices and seeds) into a big pot. Smoosh the tomatoes with a potato masher or use a handheld mixer to break them up but don't puree. Add the salt, pepper and parsley. Next, add the 3 ingredients from the other pan. Mix together. Bring up to a low boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Super, speedy, springtime weekday meal!

No time to cook like me? Try this! Lots of fresh flavours and healthy veggies, this quick pita sandwich is healthy and delicious. Great for spring and summer when you don't need comfort food because we have sunshine instead!

Ingredients & Preparation:
(makes enough for 2 people, double the recipe for 4 people etc.)

  • 2 pita bread (I get the high protein pitas)
  • 1 red pepper, cut into skinny strips
  • 1/4 large cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • a chunk of feta, crumbled
  • Kraft Greek feta & oregano dressing, drizzle
For the side:
  • 1 box whole wheat couscous
  • vegetable broth or water
  • 1 lemon
  • handful of fresh parsley
Make a side of whole wheat couscous - it only takes 5 minutes! Cook the couscous in vegetable broth for extra flavour. Add a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice and fresh chopped parsley. Serve in the pita or on the side, your choice!

Cut each pita in half and then fill it up. I start with the lettuce, then cucumber, then feta, then the peppers and then a drizzle of dressing.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Just time to write!

Homemade Mac & Cheese with Panko topping

Clear the Fridge Vegetable Soup with Orzo

Electric Yellow Lemon Tart

Dog-bone Shortbread
Store-bought cupcakes! From a cake bakery (cakery?) in town...

I made a bunch of meals over the past few months and never had the chance to blog about fact, most of the recipes I can't even find now but I just emptied my flash card and thought I would share a few of the things I found there!

Pea & Basil Soup

Things have been really busy lately but I made this soup the other night and had to share! Love the vibrant green colour...would be great to serve at an Easter brunch once Spring arrives.
(This photo is from the Food Network site but my soup was much brighter!)

Ingredients & Recipe:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds (about 4 1/2 cups) frozen peas
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cups chicken broth, divided (I used veggie broth)
2 cups cream
4 to 6 very thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup diced roasted red bell peppers (jarred is fine)

Place a soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, butter, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and basil, and heat until the peas are thawed.

Place the pea mixture in a blender. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and pulse until pureed, adding more broth, if necessary, to puree. Return the pureed mixture to the pot. Stir in the remaining chicken broth and cream. Return the pan to medium heat and cook until hot, but not boiling.

To serve, place the soup in bowls. Float a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese on top of each soup and sprinkle with the diced roasted red bell peppers. Serve immediately.
Enjoy with fresh bread!