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fresh fruit tart

fresh fruit tartThis time of year the local farmers’ markets are bursting with fresh produce.  It’s a place I enjoy wandering around seeing what vendors have to offer.  Last weekend I picked up a lovely box of redcurrants.  I haven’t used these for what seems like eternity and it was a fruit my mom used for jellies.  Continue Reading →

cosmic cookies

cosmic cookiesOur favorite north end cafe, Lion and Bright, has a small selection of delicious sweets.  One of their desserts we love to munch on when enjoying a cappuccino, is their cosmic cookie.  It’s full of goodies and if you’re feeling a bit peckish, this is the perfect snack to tide you over.  Continue Reading →

cherry clafoutis

cherry clafoutis by The Culinary ChaseOur local cherries won’t show up in the farmers’ markets or food shops for another month and in the meantime I’ll snack on the ones coming in from California.  Cherries are delicious, when ripe.  I enjoy them most in their au naturel state but the other day I wanted to highlight them in a clafoutis.  Continue Reading →

roasted rhubarb and custard

roasted rhubarb by The Culinary ChaseLocal rhubarb in the grocery stores and farmers’ markets usually signals spring has arrived but the exceptionally cold and lingering winter forced our spring plants to show up much later.  Last weekend I picked up my first local batch of rhubarb from the farmers’ market.  It always makes me think of the ginormous rhubarb plant my mom had in her garden.  As a kid, I remember trying to hide under its massive leaves – most probably playing hide and seek from my siblings. Continue Reading →

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

lemon olive oil cakeIf you’ve been following my blog, you’ll see that I don’t post many desserts (the most recent was oats & cranberry bars back in March) and if I do it’s usually ones that are easy to make.  My sweet tooth tends to gravitate to things such as blue cheese with fruit and a glass of port, sherry, or ice wine.  Of course I have made my fair share of desserts over the years but I much prefer to focus around the appetizer and main meal.  I find I’m pleasantly satiated and to make room for dessert doesn’t make sense.  Continue Reading →

Oats and Cranberry Bars

oats & cranberry barsA few posts ago Mr. S wanted me to make him his favorite ginger molasses cookies – I said I would but didn’t.  If I’m not in the mood to bake, I don’t even make an attempt.  I’ve had failures in the kitchen before when my mood was less than buoyant resulting in the meal tossed away and a freezer job to the rescue.  I recognize those moments, not with anguish or defeat, but knowing full well I’ll make it again when the pep-in-my-cooking-stride returns.  Continue Reading →

Citrus Fruit Salad with Roasted Pecans

Citrus Fruit SaladWe had a glorious sun-filled weekend.  Today the morning started off with a grey sky and snow falling gently to the ground…the chunky snowflakes were pretty but more snow?  A total of 10cm (4-inches) fell with more forecasted on the way.  I’m usually more tolerant of our winters and I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, but for the love God, please stop snowing!  Continue Reading →

Chocolate Scones

Chocolate SconesWhat is it about a storm that makes me want to bake? We were bracing for what was supposed to be THE storm of the century.  Forecasters got it wrong…it was just another snow storm – no crippling affect felt here.  All the hype, I suppose, got to me.  Continue Reading →

Baked Chocolate Pudding

Baked Chocolate PuddingDessert is one of the things I tend to drag my heels on when planning a meal.  It can be the highlight of the meal OR it can be the opposite.  Let me explain.  By the time I come around to serving dessert, my belly is about to burst.  No matter how diligently I focus on ‘saving room’ the appetizers, drinks, and main meal have stolen the show.  Continue Reading →

Mincemeat Tarts

mincemeat tartsEveryone has their traditional list of sweets to enjoy over the Christmas season.  Mine is loosely based on the Victorian era with some tried and tested recipes that have been handed down to me.  Mince pie originally contained minced meat (usually a combination of chopped meats), suet (beef fat), dried fruits, and spices.  Mom used to make her own mincemeat.  It seems odd that something with meat could taste sweet.  These days, one can easily find commercial jars of mincemeat, however, you’ll be hard pressed to find any with meat in it.  As far back as the 16th century, mince pies were considered part of a traditional British Christmas.  Continue Reading →