Category Archives: baking and desserts

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.

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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Fresh Cherry Tarts

fresh cherry tart

I have a large cherry tree in my backyard. For years it produced a lot of cherries, because my neighbour ALSO had a cherry tree (pollination). Last year, her ex-husband, trying to be helpful, chopped it down…and we had no cherries. This year, one of my other neighbours must have planted a cherry tree, because I’ve been climbing the ladder to pick as much as I can. I’m still leaving a vast amount for the birds, because the tree is over 30 feet high. Still, I have over 10 pounds of lovely fresh cherries. My husband loves cherry pie, but since there are only two of us, I decided to make him a half dozen cherry tarts. I cheated, and used frozen tart shells, but you can also use refrigerator pastry. These are extremely simple to make.

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Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

chewy oatmeal raisin cookies

My husband dropped some subtle hints about cookies the other day. Hints about oatmeal and raisins, and how well they went together and how he would really like some cookies. As I said, subtle:)

I have since made him a couple of batches, as they are really good cookies to add to a lunchbox.

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Cornbread (Johnny Cake)

cornbread (Johnny cake)I love cornbread, and it is so very simple to make. It is lovely with chili or served with soups or stews.

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Cherry Almond Loaf

I felt like making a treat for my husband the other day, and I know he’s fond of cherries and almonds, so I thought a cherry almond loaf would be perfect for dessert.

cherry almond loaf


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Date and Nut Bread

date and nut bread

The nice thing about quick breads is that they they really are quick. This moist and delicious date and nut bread only took a few minutes to prepare and 50 minutes to bake.

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Cherry Almond Refrigerator Cookies

cherry almond refrigerator cookiesContinuing with my Christmas cookie baking, these cherry almond refrigerator cookies are both delicious and very easy to make. The nice thing is that the recipe makes a LOT of cookies, so you can save half of the dough to whip up a fresh batch at a later date.

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Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

Whenever I do Christmas baking, Nanaimo Bars are a must. Living here on Vancouver Island, only a couple of hours from Nanaimo, it seems almost obligatory. This recipe, culled from the Victoria Times Colonist many years ago, was the winner of a contest in Nanaimo in 1986, whereby they sought the ultimate Nanaimo Bar. The lady who submitted it was called Joyce Hardcastle. I have enjoyed her recipe every year since then.

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Best Butter Tarts

best butter tarts

It’s December, and that brings on the cycle of madness known as Christmas baking. Every year, I make these, which are the best butter tarts I have ever tasted. The recipe came from a lovely lady called Katie Baxter, who called them Regal Butter Tarts.

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