Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cucumber Salsa

Cucumber Salsa

The ingredients you will need.

Vegetables diced and ready

 Dressing mixed and very fragrant

Crunchy, spicy and oh so very delicious.


2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 - 2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Tortilla chips
In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat.
Serve immediately with chips.

"When you first wake up today.....

Send love to your day ahead and remember to stop and catch the miracles."

Dill Pickle Relish

Summer time is a time of fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden. There is nothing sweeter and so delicious than biting into a freshly picked cucumber. This year I planted a few different varieties, Sweet slice, Marketmore, Burpless, Lemon and Persian cucumbers. The first two are ones that my Mother always planted ' because they are good producers',  so I carry on her tradition. We have had such a hot and sunny summer that the cucumbers are loving it,  and with so many of them I decided to make this Dill Pickle Relish.
I am not a fan of the sweet relish so this I think will become a favorite of mine!
It is tangy, with a hint of sweetness and a beautiful dill flavor. If your garden has an abundance of cucumbers make some of this relish for your family, friends or as gifts.   

 Dill Pickle Relish

Cucumbers washed and ready for slicing

Cucumber chopped fine

Salt and turmeric are mixed in

Water has been added to cover. Now it sits for 2 hours.

The rest of the ingredients to be added.

Cucumber are drained in a colander, then more liquid squeezed out

The sugar, vinegar, onions and dill seed are added.

 Relish smells amazing, after simmering - ready for jarring

Jarred and now to process in a water bath for 15 minutes.

Dill Pickle Relish ready for tasting

Makes approximately 7 pints
8 pounds pickling cucumbers
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
4 cups water
2 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dill seeds
4 cups white wine vinegar

  • In a Food Processor finely chop cucumbers.  *You will need to work in small batches.
  • Place chopped cucumbers in a glass or stainless steel bowl and sprinkle with picking salt and turmeric. Add water, cover, and let stand in a cool place for 2 hours.
  • Transfer to a colander placed over a sink and drain thoroughly. Rinse with cool water and drain again. Finally, squeeze out excess liquid with your hands.
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine drained cucumbers, onions, sugar, dill seeds and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and vegetables are heated through (approximately 10 minutes).
  • Prepare canning jars and lids.
  • Ladle hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/2 head space. Remove air bubbles by placing a plastic utensil down the inside of the jars.
  • Wipe rim. Add warm lid and ring.
  • Process in water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Cool overnight and before storing, make sure that the lids have sealed by pushing down in the center of the lid. If it does not move, it is sealed properly

  • "Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman or lady."
    - Thomas Henry Huxley 

    Sunday, August 6, 2017

    Monkey Butter.......takes me back to Hawaii

    We travelled to the Kootenays to visit family on the July long weekend. So good to be surrounded by much love. While drinking coffee one morning my sister Holly came across this recipe and shared it with me.
    Once home I had to use up some very ripe bananas and this was the perfect recipe!
    The butter/jam is so very tropical with all my favorite flavors. I love it on Greek yogurt. I hope you make some for your family.

    Monkey Butter

    The ingredients you will need.

    All ingredients are put into the pot to simmer.

    Monkey Butter has simmered and is ready for jarring.
    It smells so tropical in my kitchen.

    Monkey Butter ready for topping your yogurt, ice cream or toast


    1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, with juices *(see note)
  • 2 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 4-5 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Glass jars
  • Preparation

    1. Place sliced bananas in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and top with sugar, pineapple (and juices), sugar, coconut and lemon juice, and bring to a boil.
    2. Reduce heat to medium-low and, stirring frequently, cook until mixture is thickened and has reduced down. Banana slices will break down into pieces.
    3. Mixture is ready when it coats the back of a spoon; remove from heat and transfer to glass jars. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to use
    *Note: I used fresh pineapple slices that I had frozen. Thawed and blended into 'crushed'.

     'Be an encourager: the world has plenty of critics already'

    Dave Willis

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    Chinese Style Vegetarian 'Chicken'

    Do you like Chinese food......well this is a recipe for you!  It is vegetarian, made with homemade Seitan (recipe can be found in - Pam's Incredible Edibles II) or store bought vegetarian protein.
    Make a quick sauce with a few Asian ingredients, steam some vegetables and serve with rice or noodles.  Quick, tasty and very filling.

    Chinese Style Vegetarian 'Chicken'

    Ingredients for the sauce prepared and ready.

    Freshly made Seitan in the pan for some browing

    Seitan is nicely browned on both sides, ready for the sauce

    Sauce is added and cooked for another minute or two

    Chinese Style Vegetarian 'Chicken' served over Basmati Rice and with steam baby boc choy.
    Smells and look amazing.


    For the sauce:
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 Tbsp. Agave nectar or brown sugar
    2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
    1 tsp. sesame oil
    2 tsp. cornstarch
    cayenne pepper (optional)
    1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil for browning Seitan
    8-10 pieces homemade Seitan or store bought vegetarian protein
    1-2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
    2-3 green onions, sliced

    In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, agave nectar or brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, cayenne pepper (if using) and cornstarch until well combined. Set aside.
    In a non stick frying pan, add oil and heat on medium high, add pieces of Seitan and brown each side  (approximately 2-3 three minutes per side)
    Once Seitan is nicely browned add sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes until thick and glossy.
    Serve over rice and with steam oriental vegetables.

     'Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

    One Pot Lentil, Black Bean and Brown Rice

    My family loves lentils, rice and beans and  that is a good thing as my oven quit working last week so this dish came together on top of the stove. A one pot meal that will satisfy everyone. Keep it mild or spice it up, make it extra cheesy or leave out the cheese - it is delicious either way - and it will feed a large family too! Combining Lentils and Rice makes this dish a complete protein, adding in the black beans adds the extra fibre and will keep your belly full. Serve it with a green salad,  some hot peppers🌶 on the side ( for those who want even more heat) a bit of Greek yogurt or sour cream.

    One Pot Lentil, Black Bean & Brown Rice

    The ingredients you will need.

    Cilantro for sprinkling on top

    Onion and garlic, diced and minced

    Onion and garlic,  sautéed for a few minutes.

    Green lentils and brown rice are added into the pot

    Vegetable broth is added and this will be simmered 40 minutes

    Zucchini is shredded and ready to be added

    The rest of the ingredients ready for the pot

    All ingredients are added to the green lentil and rice mixture

    The cheese is stirred in and heated until melted.

    One Pot Lentil, Black Bean and Brown Rice ready to be eaten.
    So fragrant, with just enough heat, topped with some Greek yogurt and cilantro.


    2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    1/2 yellow onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup uncooked brown rice (I like brown basmati)
    1/2 green lentils, uncooked and  rinsed
    3 cups vegetable stock
    1 tsp. chili powder
    1/2 tsp. cumin powder
    1/4 tsp. cayenne or chipotle powder (optional)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 - 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1/2 cup diced tomatoes, drained
    4 ounce can diced green chilies
    1 small zucchini, shredded
    1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen or canned
    1 cup salsa
    3/4 cup cheese, shredded (I used the Tex Mex blend)
    cilantro for garnish
    yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)

    Heat a large pot or saucepan over medium high heat.
    When the pot is heated add cooking oil, onion and garlic.
    Sauté for a couple of minutes then add in the brown rice and lentils.
    Add the vegetable stock, stir and bring to a boil.
    Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low.
    Simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until lentils and rice are tender.
    If there is excess liquid, drain.
    Season the rice and lentil mixture with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and cayenne.
    Add in the remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup of the cheese. Stir together.
    Heat this mixture until the cheese melts.
    Top with the rest of the cheese and cover with a lid until.
    Heat on low until the cheese on top is melted and the mixture is bubbling.
    Spoon into bowls.
    Top with cilantro and yogurt or sour cream.

    'Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas.'
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Sunday, May 7, 2017

    Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

    I have been wanting to try using a spiralizer in my cooking as there has been so much talk about this 'gadget'. I knew my neighbor Anne had one and she let me borrow it for my 'test drive'. If you are watching your starches this recipe will be perfect for you! I love the texture of the 'zoodles' when added at the last part of the cooking. I also put a carrot through the spiralizer too as I thought it would add a bit more texture to this dish. I loved this dish and my family, my friend Helena and cousin Michael did too! I hope you try this for your family and friends.
    For the tofu I used my recipe for 'Crispy Tofu Bites' in Pam's Incredible Edibles, the Adventure Continues'. You will find in on Page 5.

    Zucchini Noodle Tofu Pad Thai

    The ingredients you will need for the sauce

    The rest of the ingredients.

    The zucchini has been put through the spiralizer

    Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai ready to be sampled.


    • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) tamarind paste
    • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lime juice
    • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) brown sugar
    2 zucchini, cut on a spiralizer
    1 cup (240 ml) firm tofu, cubed
    olive oil, for frying
    1 garlic clove, minced
    ½ red bell pepper, sliced thin
    2 green onions, sliced thin
    6 mushrooms, sliced
    1 medium carrot cut on a spiralizer
    2 eggs
    2 Tbsp. (30 ml) fresh cilantro, chopped, for topping
    2 Tbsp. (30 ml) roasted peanuts, chopped, for topping


    Whisk together ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
    Using a spiralizer, make zucchini and carrot noodles.
    Fry cubed tofu in olive oil until golden
    . Add garlic, red pepper, green onion, carrots and fry until tender.
    Crack egg and whisk into veggies.
    Add zucchini noodles into pan
    .Pour sauce over top and toss to coat.
    Continue cooking until noodles warmed through and tender.
    Top with cilantro and roasted sauce if you like a bit of heat.

    'A turtle carries its home on its back, as humans we carry our home in our heart.'

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    Fig, Pecan and Hazelnut Bread

    Fig, Pecan and Hazelnut Bread

    The dry ingredients you will need

    Dried figs

    Butter, milk and brown sugar mix

    Hazelnuts and Pecans

    Dried figs are chopped and soaked in water then drained

    The pecans and hazelnuts are chopped and toasted

    All ingredients are mixed and kneaded ready for the first rise

    The bread dough has risen and is shaped into loaves and will rise once more

    Fig, Pecan and Hazelnut Bread, smells amazing

    All this needs is some butter and a drizzle of honey
  • Fig, Pecan & Hazelnut Bread recipe
    ½ cup (120 ml) dried figs
    hot water, for rehydrating figs
    2 tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter
    1 2/3 cups (400 ml) milk
    2 tbsp (30 ml) light brown sugar
    2 3/4 tsp. yeast (I use bread machine)
    2 1/2 cups (600 ml) all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) whole wheat flour
    1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    1 cup (240 ml) pecans or walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
    1 cup (240 ml) hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Place figs in a bowl with hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes to plump and soften.
    Drain figs and chop.
    Put butter in a bot and heat just to melt.
    Take off heat. Allow to cool a bit.
    Pour in milk. Add sugar. Add yeast and stir to dissolve.
    To a separate bowl, add both kinds of flours and salt. Add nuts and figs and mix together well.
    Pour wet ingredients slowly into dry and stir to combine.
    Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes
  • This can be done in a stand mixer as well
    Form dough into a ball and let sit in a lightly greased bowl.

    Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size.Punch dough to release air pockets.
    Cut dough and pull dough apart and form into loaves (your choice of one, two or three).
    Place loaves onto a greased baking sheet.
    Rub tops with olive oil.
    Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise another 20 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
    Bake for 20 - 40 minutes in the oven.
    Enjoy a slice with some butter and honey.

    'Remember a future from another dream.....and hold on'.
    Claudia Rankine