Over Easy – Cajun Souffle

Hey folks,

I’m obviously not over my New Orleans inspired cooking stage.  The food there was so good and well, why not try to bring some of it home to my friends and family? Plus, this recipe is from my baking blogger , Joy the Baker…who is also continuing to give me inspiration and guidance in the kitchen….and for that reason, I’m cooking my way through her most recent cookbook – dedicated to all things brunch and home to some fun NOLA themed dishes, the one-year-old Over Easy.

IMG_6950[1]My first pick was this recipe for a Cajun Souffle.  It struck me as an interesting dish to try and figured that, since I’ve never made a souffle before, I would give it a whirl.  It was far easier than I had anticipated, based on all I have ever heard about souffles being a lot of work, finicky, etc.  This recipe is not that.  I found it rather simple to make and for the most part the directions were quite clear.


all the veg was used

I experienced a bit of confusion in one step, however.  The recipe never provides direction as to what one should do with the other half of a vegetable mixture….small oversight, but still an oversight nonetheless.  I assumed it all gets mixed in with the egg yolks.  I even texted my lovely co-blogger, Cindy, to see if i was just tired and not getting it, but nope…she was confused too.


It was fun to watch this thing come together and rise in the oven.  Like I said, I’ve never made a souffle before, so it was neat to watch it get all golden and cracked.  And the smell, it was amazing.  It also made me really want to try making sweet souffles.


folding in the egg whites for that airy texture

I’ve only ever eaten sweet souffles, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect in terms of texture and taste considering this had some sauteed veggies and sausage in it…but it was nice.  The veg and sausage gave some weight and a whole lot of flavour to the airy pudding texture.

I would definitely recommend this recipe because it’s just different and I am sure that it will impress at any brunch for brinner (breakfast for dinner) tables it graces.

Oh and one more fun fact – it tastes great as leftovers, too!

Recipe rating – 4 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,



Over Easy – Cajun Souffle

serves 6-8

Unsalted butter, for the baking dish

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

2 teaspoons creole seasoning with salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature

1 heaping cup chopped andouille sausage, casings removed.

6 large eggs, separated

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cream of tartar

(Note, you need to cook your sausage – remove the casings and toss it into a medium skilled over medium heat, with a bit of oil….cook it for about 8 minutes or until it looks done…and set aside.  I used the same frying pan, with just a hint more oil to cook the veggies mentioned below as it will make the veg more flavourful and I hate doing more dishes).

Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.  Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

In a medium skillet set over medium heat, heat the oil.  Add the onions and bell pepper.  Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring until soft, translucent, and lightly browned.  Add the garlic and parsley and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the creole seasoning, cumin and black pepper.,  Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle in the flour and stir.  Slowly whisk in the milk.  Cook, whisking constantly, 6-8 minutes, until thick and bubbling.  Add the sausage and stir.

Separate the eggs and place the egg yolks in a medium bowl.  Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Whisk the egg yolks until well combined.  Add about 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture to the egg yolks and whisk well….and then add the other half of the vegetable mixture, I assume.  (NOTE, I also made sure that I tempered the eggs a bit before i added the veg mixture, as my veg mixture was hot off the stove top and I didn’t want to make scrambled eggs).

Beat the egg whites on medium speed.  When they begin to foam, add the salt and cream of tartar.  Increase the speed slightly and beat for 5-6 minutes, until soft peaks form.  Spoon about 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.  Fold until just combined,.  Add another third of the egg whites and fold to combine.  Add the final third and fold until combined.  Spoon into the prepared pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes, until puffed, browned and no longer jiggling in the centre.  Let cool for 15 minutes, serve warm.


Baked Salmon with Thyme and Thin Potatoes | Downtime: Deliciousness at Home

It’s been a dream of mine to eat at Noma in Copenhagen – a dream that, pending reservations, may come true later this Fall during a Scandinavian vacation. Eeeee!

While the Noma cookbook (Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine) is a beautiful work of art and high on my wishlist, I was pleased to see that René Redzepi’s wife, Nadine, had a beautiful cookbook of her own, Downtime: Deliciousness at Home.

Nadine’s theme for the book is fantastic: Delicious cooking at home with the very best ingredients… and for all skill levels!


Since we had some rainbow trout in the freezer which a friend recently caught in Northern Manitoba, I knew I wanted to make one of Nadine’s fish entrées. The Baked Salmon with Thyme and Thin Potatoes caught my eye – and since rainbow trout and salmon are fairly close enough in flavour – remember, I have a hard time following recipes! – that’s what I made!


This was the easiest fish dish I have ever made… but look how gorgeous! Folks, simple ingredients and simple preparation make for the very best meals.

Recipe Rating: 5 Knives out of 5

Vær så god!


Baked Salmon with Thyme and Thin Potatoes


Baby potatoes 570 g (1¼ lb)

Garlic cloves 4

Extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons

Fine sea salt

Skin-on salmon fillet 680 g (1½ lb), in 1 piece, preferably wild

Fresh thyme sprigs 4


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C Fan).

2. Scrub the potatoes well under cold running water, but don’t peel them. Using a mandolin or plastic V-slicer, cut the potatoes into paper-thin rounds. If you have good knife skills, you can slice the potatoes by hand, but using a slicer is a better way to get the thin, consistent slices you want here.

3. Cut the unpeeled garlic in half lengthwise. Put the potato slices and garlic on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with half of the oil, toss well with your hands, and spread out on the sheet as thinly as possible. Drizzle with the remaining oil and season with the salt.

4. Pat the salmon dry with kitchen towels. Run your fingers over the flesh side to detect the protruding ends of any thin white pin bones. Use your fingers or heavy tweezers to pull out and discard the bones. Season the flesh side with salt. Place the salmon skin side up on top of the potatoes. Scatter the thyme over the salmon and potatoes. Be sure to put the fish with the skin side up – the skin will help you determine when the fish is ready.

5. Roast the salmon until the skin comes off easily when pulled with kitchen tongs, about 20 minutes. Start checking for doneness after about 15 minutes, but do so at the thicker end of the fish because the thinner tail end will be done first. If the skin does not come off easily, just keep checking every few minutes until it does.

6. To serve, remove and discard the skin and cut the salmon into serving portions. Season with salt and serve with the potatoes.

Off the Books: Joy the Baker – Gumbo Poutine

Hey folks,

Long time no blog.  I can’t believe it’s practically April and I’ve blogged once this year….and it was a gumbo recipe…. I have no excuse but life got in the way but things are calm and I’m hoping to make up for it.


Me fangirling with THE JOY the BAKER!

Now, I’ve made this recipe for Gumbo Poutine twice now and each time it is fantastic.  I don’t follow it exactly, but I follow it rather closely.  I was fortunate enough to actually meet THE Joy of Joy the Baker on a recent vacay to New Orleans, where she hosted a baking seminar to make Galette des Rois (aka traditional King Cake).  I fangirled hard and had a blast and learned lots of fun stuff…including how important it was to have a dark roux  that is cooked slow with lots of stirring, by her social media manager, Sydney, who was born and raised in Louisiana.  I also learned about the Trinity (green pepper, celery and onion) and the Holy Trinity (the aforementioned Trinity plus some garlic).

Making this recipe takes some time…you have to cook the chicken and the sausage (I do mine the day before so its less time all at once).  It needs two hours cooking at a gentle simmer to cook down to a nice thing gravy-esque gumbo on top of the roughly 30 minutes or so you need to make the roux.  Do not start cooking this while you are hungry,…or start drinking cocktails when you are hungry and waiting for this pot of deliciousness to slowly come together.


I added some tweaks to this recipe….I added some of my creole spice mix – about 4 teaspoons, but taste it and see what you like.  If you do use the creole, cut down on the measure for cayenne pepper because it will give the gumbo some heat, which is delish, but not everyone likes heat.  I also added Worcestershire Sauce, which is a tip I learned from another cooking class I took in New Orleans at the New Orleans School of Cooking…and by the way, it was also fabulous.

Overall, I have to say, this recipe is fantastic and the idea of making gumbo into a poutine is a fabulous idea.  I suggest you plan to make this for your nearest and dearest asap as it is amazing.

Recipe rating: 5 knives out of 5

Happy eating!



Joy the Baker’s Gumbo Poutine
Cooktime: 2.5 hrs
Serves 8
For the Gumbo
4 boneless, skin-on chicken thigh
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds or squeezed out of the casing kinda like ground beef
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more if you’d like  – See my Adaptations above
4 sprigs fresh thyme or about 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
3/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
10 – 12 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup chopped green onions, whites and greens, plus more for topping
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping
For the Poutine Dish
2 large bags frozen french fries
2 bags of cheese curds
  1. Start with a large, heavy-bottom pan. I used a large dutch oven- the heavy cast iron type of pan.
  2. Place the pan over medium heat and allow it to warm. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook, allowing the skin to brown and release its fat. Flip the chicken and continue to cook until browned on all sides and a good amount of fat has rendered into the pan.
  3. Remove the chicken and place on a large plate. Add the sausage to the pan and cook until lightly browned. Remove the sausage from the pan and allow it to hang out with the chicken.
  4. Now is also a good time to remove the chicken skin and discard it. We were using it for the fat and now that we’ve rendered it, we can throw the skin away.
  5. Add vegetable oil to the pan. Add flour to the pan. Increase heat to medium-high and whisk the flour into the oil mixture and continue whisking frequently as the flour begins to toast and brown. You can use either a flat whisk or a wooden spoon once all of the lumps have loosened in the flour.
  6. Cook the roux to a milk chocolate color, this usually takes me 20 to 25 minutes but your time may vary.
  7. Once you’ve achieved your desired brown in your roux, add onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic and cooked sausage. Stir to combine and cook until the vegetables have begun to soften- 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cayenne, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and chicken stock.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.
  9. Add the chicken and any juices from the plate and simmer and reduce until thickened, about 1 hour more.
  10. Stir in the green onions and parsley. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to rest, uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaves.
  11. To make the fries, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cook fries on baking sheets in a single layer until cooked through and crisp- usually about 20 minutes but check the instructions on your particular french fry bag.
  12. Remove from the oven and gather into small serving dishes. Top the fries with cheese curds, a hearty ladle of gumbo, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. Enjoy hot with cold beer! Store any leftover gumbo in the refrigerator

Off the Books: Hello Fresh = Hella Good!

Well, hello there! Yes, it’s been a while but it’s because I’ve been busy cooking and eating… just not busy blogging 🙂 Anyway, let’s just get right into it, shall we?

About a month ago, my boss dropped off a Hello Fresh gift card on my desk. I’d heard about the meal/recipe delivery service but had not heard much feedback on how the food actually tasted. So, I decided to give it a try for a couple of weeks.


Is it too early to tell you at this point in my blog post that Hello Fresh is pretty fantastic? (5 knives out of 5, guys!)

As I’m part of a two-person household, I went with the Pronto Plan which contains three meals for two people. (Additional plans include the Family Plan and the Veggie Plan.) Since we’re not picky, nor do we have allergies, I chose Chef’s Selection for our Meal Preference. (Other choices are No Pork, No Shellfish, No Fish, No Seafood and No Beef.)


You can simply leave the recipe selection up to Hello Fresh if you like surprises, or you can login to your account online or via the app and select 3 out of 5 different recipes. You can change your mind as much as you like (or even skip a week of delivery) as long as you submit your changes by the deadline time.

I had my first box shipped to work and it arrived in an insulated box which I just kept on my desk for the bulk of my day. The recipes are sealed in separate paper bags, while the meat/protein is at the bottom of the box underneath ice packs.


Each meal I made was quick (no more than 30 minutes), overall quite healthy and really delicious. Hello Fresh kitchen testers really do some unique things for sauces and toppings. Apart from one avocado that could have been a bit more ripe, the produce I received was excellent. (Also, I’m just starting to forgive them for providing dried Parmesan cheese for spaghetti. Inconceivable!)

Each recipe comes with an instruction card outlining what to do, step by step. I’m very comfortable in the kitchen, so I took their guidance with a grain of salt and basically did my own thing. While the instructions were easy to follow (with the odd spelling error!), I did find that most of the suggested stove settings were way too high. If you’re a newbie cook, I would recommend that you start with a medium setting for almost everything, unless you’re searing meat.

My favourite things about Hello Fresh? Just knowing what we were going to have for dinner over the course of the week was a game changer. I commute by foot and the bulk of my walks home would be spent trying to figure out what we’d have for dinner, or wandering around the Safeway across from our place.

The greatest thing though was not wasting food. They give you the exact amount of ingredients you need. One spring of green onion versus buying a bunch of green onions which would just wilt the next day anyway. Most of the meals made enough for one meal, while a couple of others allowed for leftovers for lunch for one person the following day.

I would definitely recommend Hello Fresh to anyone and everyone! While I won’t be subscribing weekly, I will definitely be using their service again.

Alas, treat yourself! Save $40 on your first box with my code CINLES at https://www.hellofresh.ca/?c=CINLES&utm_source=raf-share&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=twitter_share_wp !

Bon appétit!

*This blog post is no way sponsored by Hello Fresh.

Cooking off the Books: Genius Kitchen’s Gumbo Recipe (adapted)

Happy 2018 y’all!

Yes, I’ve gone a bit southern, but it’s in celebration of my upcoming trip to New Orleans!  I have made it my mission to try a few key, traditional New Orleans dishes before I head out….and this is one of them…and it is effing fantastic.  I have also made beignets and jambalaya…both were excellent and will soon be on the bloggy.

The recipe itself comes together quickly, once you have all the chopping together.  That is what takes the time….but it’s arguably therapeutic. Well, aside from making my creole spice mix…which is just a massive pain in the butt and quite messy.

IMG_6209[1]Making the roux was really easy…and a much nicer experience than other times I have made roux in the past.  One interesting aspect of this for me, was that it actually burnt the edge of my wooden spoon.  I used one of those flat edge ones and it is all crazy burnt now…so that was a surprise.  I may just keep that one for roux and get another for other things.


just added the veg to the dark brown roux

The smells of all of these things as they cook is tremendous….and it gets better as leftovers…the flavours become fuller and makes for extra yummy leftovers.

I look forward to trying a proper gumbo in New Orleans, but I will say, this one tasted pretty darn fabulous to me.

Recipe rating: 5 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,



Genius Kitchen’s Gumbo

Serves 8

NOTE: you will need to prepare some white rice to go along with this.  Since it serves 8, I would suggest making rice to serve that many.

  • 1cup vegetable oil
  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • large white onion, diced
  • 1cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1cup chopped celery
  • 1cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1cup sliced scallion
  • 1 cup of sliced okra (optional)
  • cloves minced garlic
  • cups chicken broth
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon creole  seasoning (I made my own because I couldn’t find it in the grocery store, but added like 1 tbsp…possibly more as I added to taste…but different blends may have different spice levels…also note this isn’t the same as Cajun seasoning).
  • lbs any combo of andouille sausage, shrimp, chicken or even crab claws if you can find it (i did not), cut into bite sized slices or pieces.


Get all of your veggies and herbs and meat all chopped up – mis en place style.

Make the roux. In a large stockpot combine oil and flour and cook over medium-high heat about 15 minutes or until it turns very dark brown, almost between brown and black. NOTE: You will have to stir almost constantly so don’t leave it unattended.

Add onions, parsley, celery, bell peppers, scallions and garlic and cook about 10 more minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring regularly.

Add broth, salt, and creole seasoning.

Cover pot and simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add your chosen combination of meat at this point and simmer an additional 10 minutes.   Put in shrimp and fresh okra for your last five minutes of cooking as it doesn’t take long to cook. NOTE: If using whole pieces of crab like claws, or blue crab halves cook a little longer to ensure they’re cooked all the way.

Ladle over steamed white rice.

LOVE real FOOD: Dark Cherry Almond Crisp

I am kind of obsessed with cherries. If something has cherries in it, I will always choose it first. I truly do think there are not enough cherry things in the world!

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it.  One thing that bugs me is that anything with dried cherries usually has added sugar to the cherries.  This is totally not necessary…dried fruit is sweet enough on it’s own.  And although this recipe does not use dried cherries, it makes me happy that it doesn’t call for sugar in the cherry filling.  It does call for maple syrup which adds a little sweetness, but it is mostly necessary to make the filling more pie like!

I actually made this Dark Cherry Almond Crisp twice in one day.  I wanted to bring a dessert to my Book Club, and then I was going to make cupcakes for a co-worker’s birthday for the next day.  After getting home at 10:30 pm, I figured it would be quicker &  that I would get to bed sooner if I just made another Dark Cherry Almond Crisp instead…so I did!  I already had the ingredients, and it doesn’t take long at all to put together.  While it was baking, I was able to take a bath and get ready for bed.  Much less time consuming thank baking and icing cupcakes.  I will make those another day 🙂

This recipe is very easy to make…and it make your house smell so good while it is baking!


Assembled and ready to bake!

I baked it for the 40 minutes, and the topping was perfectly baked and golden.


Just out of the oven

I would highly recommend following Kates’s (the author) suggestion of serving the crisp with vanilla ice cream!  If you happen to have leftovers, it is also really good with some vanilla yogurt for breakfast!


Served in cute paper bowls at work for a co-worker’s birthday!

The end result is like a healthy cherry pie! I loved the nuttiness that the almond meal and almonds gave it.  I will definitely be adding this in to my repertoire of frequently made recipes.  Maybe next time I will try adding in another fruit (like peaches or apples) as well!

Recipe Rating: 5 knives out of 5

Happy Cooking!






  • 2 pounds dark sweet cherries, frozen (thawed)* or fresh (pitted and halved)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/ cup packed almond meal (2 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup packed coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

Vanilla ice cream or plain or vanilla yogurt, for serving

TIP: Don’t try to substitute honey for the maple syrup, as it will stick to cold thawed cherries

*Ingredient Note: If you’re using frozen cherries, you can defrost them in the microwave, at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Before adding them to the filling, drain off most of the excess juices.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. To prepare the cherry filling:  In a 9 x 9-inch baking dish, combine the cherries, maple syrup, starch, and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is evenly blended and no powdery spots remain. Set aside.
  3. To make the topping:  In a medium bowl, combine the oats, almond meal, coconut sugar, sliced almonds, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine, then add the yogurt and melted butter. Stir until all of the almond meal is incorporated and the mixture is moistened throughout.
  4. To assemble, stir the filling one last time, then evenly distribute the topping over the filling (don’t pack it down). Bake until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is turning lightly golden, about 40 minutes.
  5. Let the crisp cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, I insist! This crisp keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. Leftovers are great for breakfast with yogurt.

Makes 8 servings

*GLUTEN FREE: Use certified gluten-free oats  *DAIRY FREE/VEGAN: Use non-dairy yogurt and coconut oil instead of butter  *NUT FREE: Substitute our choice of flour for the almond meal, and skip the sliced almonds

Taylor, Kathryne. Love Real Food: More than 100 Feel-Good Vegetarian Favorites to Delight the Senses and Nourish the Body. Rodale, 2017.

Off the Books: The Festive Rosé Gin Spritz

Every holiday season, Lisa and I make sure to get together for a girl’s night out – usually at one of our favourite haunts, Peasant Cookery. But this year, when Lisa brought up the idea of staying in at her place while wearing our comfies (cozy sweats, warm wool socks!) – I was totally sold.


Naturally, I offered to make cocktails. Since I had quite a bit of booze on hand, I decided to make up my own merry recipe: Enter the Festive Rosé Gin Spritz.

What you’ll need:

  • A bottle of dry rosé
  • Gin
  • Club soda
  • Cherry bitters (optional)
  • A pomegranate
  • Fresh mint
  • A pear

Fill a couple of glasses with ice. Toss in some pomegranate seeds, a few thinly sliced pieces of pear and a bit of freshly chopped mint. Pour in an ounce or two (who’s counting?) of your favourite gin. Squeeze in a couple of drops of cherry bitters, if you have them on hand, and stir. Top of your glass with rosé and a splash of club soda. Stir again and enjoy!


Not only is it pretty… this cocktail was a delicious way to give cheers to our friendship!


Bottoms up!

LOVE real FOOD: German Chocolate Cake

Whenever I search for recipes online, I often come across Cookie + Kate’s recipes.  I have made a few in the past, and have liked them all.  I was really excited when Kate came out with her own cookbook…there are so many recipes in it that I want to make!  In case you didn’t know…Cookie is the name of Kate’s dog, and she makes many appearances in the cookbook 🙂

My grandma turned 93 on the weekend, so I wanted to bake a birthday cake for her! LOVE real FOOD’s German Chocolate Cake recipe was the perfect choice.

The topping of this cake does not have any added sugar,  but it is naturally sweet from the dates.  The topping reminds me of an energy bar…you could totally just eat it on its own!

I had to make a modification to the flour.  I thought I had whole wheat flour, but didn’t, so I used all-purpose flour and added a little extra to compensate for not being whole wheat.  I found the batter was very thick after doing this, so I ended up adding a bit more water at the end.  I was kind of worried that the cake would be dry…but it wasn’t.


Ready to go in the oven!

I checked the cake at 30 minutes and is seemed ready…so I took it out then, and let it cool for about an hour before putting the topping on.

The topping was fool proof to make…first, I soaked the dates so that they would be easier to make blend into a smooth texture.  Then everything ends up in the food processor.


The topping in the food processor

After the cake was cool enough, I used a spatula to spread the topping on…it spread very easily.


Cake is done!


Ready to eat!

The caked turned out very dense and chocolaty…It worked well with the date/coconut topping.  I didn’t get a picture with ice cream, but I served the cake with Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream…yum!

I brought the leftovers to work the next day and we ate it for breakfast.  Eating cake for breakfast is the best thing ever!  If you have never done it before…I recommend trying it!

Recipe Rating: 4.5 knives out of 5

Happy cooking!



German Chocolate Cake


  • 1 1/2  cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup warm water


  • 12 large Medjool dates (about 1 cup firmly packed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2cup pecan pieces
  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 9 -inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend. Pour in the coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the warm water over all the ingredients and stir until well blended.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake until the edges of the cake are starting to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. 32 t0 34 minutes. Set aside the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes, or preferably until it reaches room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the frosting: Place the dates in a heatproof bowl and pour hot water over them until they are covered (this ensures that the dates are hydrated and soft enough to blend-don’t skip this step!). Let them soak 10 for 10 minutes, then drain. Once the dates are cool enough to handle, remove the pits and discard them.
  5. In a food processor, combine the pitted dates, water, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt. Process until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary. Add the shredded coconut and pecans and pulse a few times, just until they are evenly distributed. Set aside.
  6. Once the cake has cooled, spread the frosting over the cake in and even layer. Slice and serve. This cake keeps well, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Taylor, Kathryne. Love Real Food: More than 100 Feel-Good Vegetarian Favorites to Delight the Senses and Nourish the Body. Rodale, 2017.


Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen: Almond Butter Snickerdoodles

The last time I made Snickerdoodles was about 13 years ago.  I went to a holiday open house for a gift shop, and they had an assortment of refreshments & treats for the guests.  The Snickerdoodles were so good that the friend I was with asked for the recipe…and they gave it to her!  She gave me a copy of the recipe as well, and I made them a few times, and then recipe got buried away and I haven’t made them since.  After seeing Vegan Richa’s version, I was reminded of my love of Snickerdoodles, and just had to try them!

The recipe did say that smooth, drippy almond butter works best, and that additional oil or non-dairy milk should be added if using a more solid almond butter.  My almond butter was not very drippy, so I did add a bit more almond milk.  I think I should have added even a little bit more though.  The dough was very crumbly, but after kneading,  it did come together.


In to the fridge for an hour…

After letting dough sit in the fridge for an hour, it was time to form balls, and then roll in cinnamon,  and then in the cinnamon sugar.  Next time, I might omit the rolling in the plain cinnamon, and just use cinnamon sugar.  Rolling them in cinnamon made them very dark.  I think they would look prettier if they had less cinnamon and weren’t as dark.

Rolling them was easy…they looked like little donut holes! When I pressed them down with a fork, they did crumble a little more than I would have liked…but they luckily did not fall apart.

One thing I remember about making Snickerdoodles in the past is that they had Cream of Tartar as an ingredient.  This recipe does not have Cream of Tartar, so these cookies are less chewy and not as tangy as traditional Snickerdoodles.

The addition of almond butter adds a really nice flavour to the cookies.  And even though I thought they might be a bit dry after baking, they weren’t dry at all!


Cooling on the cooling rack!

Note: The recipe makes about 12 cookies…so if you want some extras to share…make a double recipe 🙂

Recipe Rating: 3.75 knives out of 5

I took a point off for appearance…they tasted great though! I will try them again one day and see if it yields prettier cookies!

Happy Cooking!






  • 3/4 cup (90g) unbleached all-purpose flour or spelt flour (or Gluten-Free flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1/3 cup (65g) plus 2 tablespoons (24g) fine cane sugar or finely ground raw sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons (48g) almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) organic safflower or other neutral oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided



  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, 1/3 cup (65g) of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another medium bowl, combine the flax seed and the milk.  Add the almond butter, oil, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and stir to combine. (It will take a minute for the almond butter to mix in.)  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and knead in the bowl to form a dough.  It will feel crumbly at first, but will come together.  (If it doesn’t come together, knead a few drops of water into the dough.)  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).  Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the remaining 2 tablespoons (24g) sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Make the balls with the chilled dough that measure 1 to 1 1/2 inches (3 to 4 cm)  Roll the balls in the cinnamon then in the cinnamon sugar.  Place the balls on the baking sheet.  Press them down with a fork.  Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes.  Cool completely.  The cookies will be soft out of the oven but will firm up.  Store them in an airtight container.


Copyright 2017, Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kichen by Richa Hingle, Vegan Heritage Press, LLC, All Right Reserved

The Little Paris Kitchen: Poulet aux champignons avec une sauce au vin blanc (Chicken and Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce)

I’ve always had a thing for Paris (don’t most of us?), especially after spending a week there in my early twenties. I can still feel the ripped up roof of my mouth from eating too much crusty baguette! (C’était le meilleur!) The cheeses, the crêpes…


Topped with fresh, chopped parsley and pickled onions (because I’m obsessed)

But this dish right here? This is the epitome of French food for me. It doesn’t get much more comforting, decadent and just plain wonderful.


White wine sauce simmering

While this recipe did take a bit of time from prep to table, it wasn’t stressful or hard. I did add some more spices to the chicken – the aptly named Sunny Paris from Penzey’s Spices, which contains shallots, chives, green peppercorn, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf. I thought about adding garlic to the chicken/mushroom mix, but the white wine sauce has so much amazing flavour that it’s not particularly needed.


I love Penzey’s wide variety of spices!


My only beef is that I didn’t pick up any fresh, crusty baguette to sop up all of the extra sauce! Oh well… la prochaine fois!

Recipe Rating: 5 Knives out of 5

Bon appétit!


Chicken and Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

4 tbsp butter, divided
¼ cup flour
2 cups chicken stock, lukewarm
½ cup dry white wine
4 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 lb chicken or turkey breast, cut into chunks
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
Handful of finely chopped tarragon or parsley

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pan over medium heat. Add flour and beat hard until you have a smooth paste (called a roux). Continue to beat until roux begins to have a golden color. Take off heat and gradually add stock, whisking constantly.

Place pan back over medium heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking frequently to ensure none of the sauce burns on bottom of pan. If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a little more stock.

Add wine and continue simmering for 10 minutes, then take off the heat and whisk in cream and lemon juice. Taste for salt and pepper.

While sauce is simmering, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large frying pan until sizzling. Add chicken and fry for a few minutes until golden. Add mushrooms and fry for another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

To serve, mix sauce with chicken and mushrooms and sprinkle with some fresh tarragon or parsley.

From “The Little Paris Kitchen,” by Rachel Khoo.