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chocolate fudge

chcolate fudge - homemade holiday giftI cannot recall the last time I made fudge.  It was a family favourite growing up and around the Christmas holidays, there was always some to be had.  My mom always had the pantry and freezer full of cooked goodies.  The laundry room became the storage area for fruit cake, plum puddings, cookies, squares not to mention tins of Ganong chocolates.  It was an out-in-the-open treasure chest that as a kid I could not ignore (a few times caught with my hand in the cookie jar).  Continue Reading →

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blueberry-blackberry fool

blueberry blackberry foolBlueberry-blackberry fool has to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  Not everyone is a fan of blackberries but mixed with blueberries and cream, it’s guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table.  Both blueberries and blackberries are in season so look for fruit that’s plump but not mushy to touch.  Continue Reading →

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Lemon Tart – a bit of sunshine

Lemon TartThe weather here has been grey, wet and cooler than our usual Spring. We were in Paris for a week and it either rained or was overcast with periods of rain showers throughout the day. We came home and had a repeat of Paris weather. It’s been so wet mushrooms are sprouting up in our lawn so when patches of blue sky poked through the clouds this morning, I was elated.  Continue Reading →

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orange jelly slices

orange jelly slicesAccording to What’s Cooking America, gelatin was once considered a sign of wealth, before the commercial version appeared, only members of the elite classes could afford it. It took hours to render gelatin, clarify it, and turn it into fancy aspics, molded salads, desserts. etc. The use of gelatin was a sign that the host or hostess had the means to support a kitchen staff with the skill and time to create such a dish. When gelatin became available commercially it still was a symbol of culinary sophistication.  Continue Reading →

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plum dessert – fresh and light

plum dessertA dessert concludes the main meal and for me, it’s the last thing I think about when planning a meal.  I’m just as happy to snack on fruit and a bit of cheese than fill my stomach with another course. I am usually too full.  But give me an option to savour fruit with yogurt, I’ll always make room.  It signals to my brain something fresh and light.  Continue Reading →

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devil’s food cupcakes

devil's food cupcakesDevil’s food conjures up something sinister.  We’re all familiar with deviled eggs, devils on horseback (dates wrapped in bacon), chicken alla Diavola (devil’s chicken) etc.  And according to What’s Cooking America, the term deviled is used to describe food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily piquant or stimulating.  Continue Reading →

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DIY ferrero rocher

diy ferrero rocherI’ve mentioned it before.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth but if there’s one chocolate that halts me in my footsteps, it’s ferrero rocher.  While I am not a fan of milk chocolate the combination of hazelnuts wrapped in what reminds me of nutella (yum) along with a crisp wafer…I’m salivating just thinking about it!  Making your own chocolates is a labor of love and I was curious to see if I could replicate my own ferrero rocher.  I went sleuthing for a DIY version on the internet.  Turns out there are quite of few. Continue Reading →

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poached pears – an easy dessert

poached pearsIt’s been a while since I last poached pears.  A super easy dessert to make and one where you don’t need any special ingredients.  Poached pears make the best use of unripe fruit and heightens the flavor of firm but ripe pears.  This light and delicate dessert is perfect for entertaining; the pears stay in the poaching liquid until ready to serve.  Serve the pears whole, sliced or quartered.  Continue Reading →

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plum torte – a classic

plum torteSummer heat tends to make me lazy.  I want to spend more time outdoors and less in the kitchen but when I spotted plums at the farmers’ market, I knew it was a dessert I’d happily sacrifice my precious outside time.  They looked so good and after one bite, the sweet tasting plum would be perfect in a torte.  Some may think Nova Scotia doesn’t have the right climate or soil for stone fruits but we do.  We’re not a large producer like Ontario or British Columbia but what we do grow is juicy and sweet.  I snacked on a peach the other day and needed a napkin to catch the juices.  Continue Reading →

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Redcurrant Ripple Ice Cream

redcurrant ripple ice creamIce cream, one of my favorite summer treats!  With a slew of flavors available, there’s something for every palate.  Last week I picked up a box of redcurrants from the farmers’ market and used a few sprinkled on my fruit tart.  I then used what was left to make a sauce and initially intended to spread over vanilla ice cream (yet to be purchased).  While I was at the grocery store looking at all the ice creams available, I noticed one of my favorite flavors – butterscotch ripple.  Continue Reading →

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