Author Archives: Cindy

Summer Heat

We have been “enjoying” an extensive heat wave. I like to be warm, but I do not like to be hot, and hot is what we are getting (in spades). It has been around 30C for over a month. I have not been baking, as I cannot bear to make the kitchen hot.

A few nights ago, it cooled down a wee bit. I really wanted cookies of some sort, so I thought I’d take a traditional chocolate chip recipe and play with it. The results were tasty.

I substituted white chocolate chips and cranberries for the chocolate chips and raisins. I also threw in the peel of an orange. Next time, I think I’ll add a quarter cup of chopped almonds.

If you try these, let me know what you think.

Chicken Mushroom Penne Pasta

Chicken Mushroom Penne Pasta

I was trying to think of something to make for supper before we left the house this morning, so I hauled a couple of chicken breasts out of the freezer to thaw. I figured we would decide whether to make chicken souvlaki, or butter chicken or chicken burgers while we did our weekly shopping. We talked it over and realized  we haven’t had pasta for a while, so I decided to make something with chicken and penne. I knew I had cream, parmesan and mushrooms in the fridge, so I didn’t need to pick up anything.

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I haven’t been here much lately

I have been neglecting my website lately, and normally I might feel guilty about that, but I have recently adopted two lovely little guys. I adopted both of them from Cat’s Cradle Animal Rescue.

One, just before Christmas, was originally called Ace by his foster mom. My husband renamed him Norman:


Isn’t he a lovely fellow? He was seven months old when I got him, and he is now nine months. He’s a tuxedo cat, and he has a heart shape on his chest, with a diamond just below it…almost looks like he is wearing a tie:)

My husband thought Norman must be feeling lonely (he came from a house with  a full grown cat and two other foster kittens- one of whom was his brother, Blackjack. Blackjack wasn’t up for adoption yet.), so I contacted Cat’s Cradle and they put me in touch with another foster Mom.

This lovely little guy was called Longneck by his foster Mom, because he is incredibly curious and he stretches out his neck at the slightest sound. Her family called him Ben, and so do I. My husband wants to call him Leroy, and my daughter is plumping for Maverick. Poor little guy must be confused.


He was nine months old, and is now nearly eleven months. He’s a lovely grey tabby, and very hyper. I think he almost wore Norman out (Norman is very laid-back for a kitten), with his constant stalking of him, pouncing on him, and biting. Norman has begun to give back as good as he gets, and also to hold Ben down and wash his head quite forcibly.

Normand and Ben

They seem to be getting along much better lately, however, they are wearing ME out. I’m old, and keeping up with two lively, inquisitive kittens is tiring:)


Fresh Fig Jam

fig jamLike last year, my fig tree was a little over-productive this year. It was surprising, because it seemed like it was going to be a bad year for figs. I had ONE ripe fig in September. In October, however, they started ripening like mad and I was picking them every couple of days. Baked some, gave some to co-workers, ate some fresh and in salads. Cooked a bunch down to attempt to use in homemade fig newtons. And I STILL had figs, so I decided to make some fig jam.

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Blackberry Jam

blackberry jam

We had so many blackberries this year that it became ridiculous. I was picking them and giving them away, making blackberry and apple pies and crumbles and freezing them.

I finally decided to make some jam/jelly with them, and proceeded to crush berries in a sieve to remove as many seeds as possible. I crushed enough to come up with 4 cups of juice (about 2 quarts of berries).

I used the Certo recipe , although I wasn’t worried about a few seeds winding up in the jelly, so I did not bother with straining it through cheesecloth. I followed the rest of the directions, however.

The jelly is delicious.

Lemon Meringue Pie

lemon meringue pie

lemon meringue pie

Some recipes are classics. Lemon Meringue Pie is one of those.

My husband roasted a baron of beef roast for supper, and I wanted a nice dessert to go with it. I haven’t made this for quite a few years,  but I was very pleased with the way it turned out (so was he).

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Open Face Sandwich

open faced sandwiches

I love an open, or open-faced sandwich. Quick to make, and visually appealing, sometimes they make it easier to tempt someone with a poor appetite to eat. This is one of my favourite lunch ideas.

They can be anything you like, and you can use any kind of bread. Above, I used Russian Rye/sourdough swirl bread, and topped it with old cheddar for one sandwich, and spread cream cheese and topped it with sliced avocado and grape tomatoes for the other.

Basically, pick a bread/bun/naan bread/pita/crispbread…

then spread it with butter/cream cheese/cheese/mashed avocado…

and top it with tomato/egg/tuna/ chicken/sprouts/lettuce/ham/beef…

Let your imagination run riot…and remember, you can also make HOT open sandwiches by putting them under the grill, or in a toaster oven…


Quick French Toast

French toast

I love French toast for breakfast occasionally. I used to make it for my daughter when she was a child. It’s a quick and easy breakfast, and it tastes and smells great.

Quick French Toast (1 serving)

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 slices bread (depending on thickness)
  • 1-2 teaspoons butter

Beat the egg and milk together. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Pour into a flat dish and soak the slice(s) of bread in it. Turn the bread over and allow it to soak up the milk. Melt the butter in a frying pan (I use a non-stick pan) over medium heat. When heated, add the soaked bread and cook for a minute or so. Flip over. Cook for another minute. When browned on both sides, it should be ready to serve.

You can sprinkle icing sugar over top, or serve with maple syrup or jam or dulce de leche.

Southern Banana Cake

Years ago, when I worked at the hospital in Jasper, I worked with some pretty good cooks. I tried some new and different recipes, and some of those went on to become family favourites. Southern Banana Cake is another recipe from Debbie, which my family loved and I have made many times. Then my husband developed asthma and bananas are one of his triggers, so I rarely make it anymore. Last night, I had a trio of dead bananas sitting on my kitchen counter, and I was debating whether to make banana bread or muffins when I suddenly remembered this recipe. I took it in to work this morning, and several of my co-workers loved it.

southern banana cake

southern banana cake with coconut topping

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Easy Chicken Enchiladas

easy chicken enchiladas

I had some leftover chicken that I wanted to use up the other night. I wasn’t in the mood for cold chicken and salad. Didn’t feel like making biscuits and chicken a la king. I wanted something different…and I had corn tortillas sitting around. I asked my husband if chicken enchiladas would suit, and he said yes.

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