Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins With Chocolate Chips

Spiced pumpkin muffin on a colourful plate

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips

These pumpkin cranberry muffins have a nice blend of savoury, sweet and sour. They are spiced with ginger, cinnamon and allspice. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. They are great for breakfast or for a snack anytime. 

Makes 12

1 cup canned packed pumpkin 
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350° F.  

Prepare a muffin pan and line it with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla. 

In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Mix in the cranberries and chocolate chips and stir well. Add the wet mixture and stir until just combined.

Spoon into muffin cups and cook 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. 

Other Recipes To Try Baking:

Three chocolate zucchini muffins sitting on a white plate.                                              


Butternut Squash, Apple, Curry Soup with a Hint of Orange

A bowl of butternut squash, apple curry soup.

An easy squash and apple curry soup with a hint of orange to warm up your soul.  It's spiced with curry and is sure to be a hit in your home.

Butternut Squash, Apple, Curry Soup with a Hint of Orange

Serves 6

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 white onions, chopped
5 pounds peeled, diced and seeded butternut squash, about 6 cups
1 medium Macintosh apple, peeled and chopped 
2 teaspoons curry powder
Pinch of grated nutmeg
3 cups chicken broth
Grated orange zest and juice from one large orange (I use a microplane to grate the rind)
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream (optional)
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


In a large Dutch oven, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions about eight minutes, until soft.  

Add the squash and apple. Sauté three more minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Add the curry powder and nutmeg and stir for one minute.   

Add the chicken broth and orange juice and zest. Simmer slowly uncovered 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  

Coarsely blend with an immersion hand wand or in a blender. Return soup back to the pot and stir in the milk. Gently heat, and season with salt and pepper. 

Serve with sour cream and parsley on top, if using.

A bowl of squash soup on a table.

Other soups to try:

Bowl of carrot soup with cilantro on top.

A bowl of lentil soup.

Easy Beef Stew With Potatoes and Peas

View of beef stew in a brow pot.

Here's a simple, cozy beef stew that takes no time to throw together. It’s guaranteed to fill your home with delicious smells while it simmers for hours in your oven.

Easy Beef Stew with Potatoes and Peas

Serves 6

3 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine or water
1/2 cup flour
1 – 14-oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds stewing beef, fat trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium cooking onions, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 celery stick 
4 large carrots cut into 1-inch rounds
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 white potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas


Preheat oven to 350° F

In a bowl, add beef broth, wine (or water), flour and tomato sauce. Whisk until the flour is dissolved.  

In a large casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid such as a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. 

Add the beef and cook in batches until all sides are nicely brown. Remove beef and set aside. Drain off any fat in the pan, but keep any brown bits. 

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sauté onions and garlic until soft, about six minutes. 

Add the broth-wine mixture, celery, carrots, bay leaves, thyme and potatoes. Cover with lid and place in the oven for 2 hours. Add peas and cook 15 minutes longer. Serve.  

Easy beef stew in a pot ready to eat.

Other Recipes To Try:

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Apricots and Dates

Pot of lamb stew with apricots and dates in a pot with wooden spoon.

Pot Roast

Bowl of beef pot roast with a bag of onions on a table.

Lemon Cranberry Scones

Cranberry scones

Lemon Cranberry Scones

These cranberry scones use fresh or frozen cranberries. They are perfect for any occasion and super easy to make. I suggest you give them a try.

Makes 10 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Lemon zest from one lemon (I used a microplane grater, but you can also grate the lemon peel and chop it finely)
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small squares
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 375° F.  

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add butter, and with fingertips gently rub mixture until it feels like small grains.

Add cranberries, egg, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix with a fork until it forms a large clump. Gather dough with your hands and form a large ball.  

Pat onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a 10-inch disc, about ¾-inch thick. 

With a sharp knife, cut disc into 10 wedges. Place wedges on a non-stick baking sheet.  

Cook until done, about 25 minutes.

cranberry scone ready to go in oven

Other Recipes to Try:

Cranberry Cookies

Cranberry cookies on a cookie sheet.

Cornmeal Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry Cornmeal Muffins

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Veggie Bean Soup with Pesto Sauce

Veggie Bean Soup with pesto sauce

Veggie Bean Soup with Pesto Sauce

This is a delightful soup to serve for lunch or dinner. The secret is in the easy-to-prepare pesto sauce that’s added on the top. Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese on top and you have a yummy soup, perfect for a rainy day.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1" pieces
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 398 ml (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry curly pasta
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated

For the pesto sauce:

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and sauté onions, garlic, celery, carrots and green beans for about five minutes. Add corn, tomatoes, kidney beans, chicken stock, water, thyme. Add bay leaves and bring to a boil.

Simmer 25 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Add pasta and cook 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

For the pesto, add the garlic, basil, salt, olive oil and pine nuts into a food processor. Process until smooth and transfer to a small bowl.

When pasta is cooked, spoon soup into bowls. Add a dollop of pesto sauce and serve, passing the parmesan cheese.

Other Soup Recipes To Try:

Monday, October 25, 2021

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

These are soft, velvety cookies that are easy to eat. This recipe makes a lot, so freeze what you won't eat in a few days to keep them fresh.

Makes about 36 small cookies

1 cup raisins
3/4 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, soak raisins in boiled water for 5 minutes while preparing the other ingredients. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until nice and fluffy. Add pumpkin puree, orange juice, egg, vanilla and spices. Beat until mixed well. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, walnuts and softened raisins. Stir into the pumpkin mixture. Drop small spoonful of batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook cookies until nicely brown around the outsides, about 15 minutes.

soft pumpkin cookies

Try our Pumpkin, Walnut, Date muffin as well.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Halibut with Caper Vinaigrette

Halibut with caper vinaigrette

Halibut with Caper Vinaigrette

This is a super easy weekday or weekend meal. It calls for halibut, but any cod or snapper could also be used. Serve with potatoes and stir-fried veggies or a big green salad.

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds halibut
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 red onion
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried dill
2 teaspoons capers, drained
1/4 cup olive oil


Preheat over to 425 degrees F.

Brush olive oil over halibut. Sprinkle salt and pepper to season. Place in hot oven and cook 15-20 minutes, depending on its thickness. It's typically 15 minutes per inch. When cooked, the fish should flake with a fork.

In a food processor, add the balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, red onion, dill, capers and olive oil. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve halibut with vinaigrette spread on top.

Halibut with capers

Other Fish Recipes to try:

Monday, September 20, 2021

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

sun-dried tomato pasta

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

If you are looking for a slightly different version of a pesto, then you should try this sun-dried tomato pesto.  It’s easy to make with mostly pantry items, which is always a bonus.  If you don’t have pecans, you can also use almonds or walnuts.  

Serves 4

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup olive oil
454 grams dry linguine
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese for serving

Purée the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pecans, olives, Parmesan cheese and olive oil in a food processor. Cook pasta according to package and drain. Mix in the sun-dried tomato mixture and minced parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing the Parmesan cheese.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Looking for another pesto recipe?

spinach basil pesto
Spinach and Basil Pesto

Monday, August 9, 2021

Blueberry Cake

Blueberry Cake
Blueberry Cake

Blueberries are plentiful at this time of year. They're great in muffins, pancakes, smoothies and fruit desserts. Here's a delicious cake recipe to try that's bursting with blueberry flavour.

Blueberry Cake 

You can use either fresh or frozen blueberries in this recipe.

Makes one cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
Whipping cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease and 8-inch square (20x20cm) baking pan. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and set aside. 

In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk; batter will be stiff. 

Spread 1/2 batter into prepared pan. Spread blueberries on top. 

Drop spoonfuls of remaining batter over blueberries and try to spread it out evenly (this is a bit tricky).

Bake for 50 minutes or until the cake is cooked and the tester comes out clean. Serve warm with whipping cream if desired.

Blueberry Cake
Blueberry Cake

The great thing about blueberries is that they freeze easily. Purchase copious amounts when they are in season (which is now), give them a rinse and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Place the frozen berries into a freezer bag to be used throughout the year. 

Try another blueberry recipe:

Pear apple blueberry cobbler

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Apple Crisp with Oats and Brown Sugar

Apple Crisp with oats and brown sugar

I always, well, almost always, serve a fruit crisp on Sunday night dinner.  

The crisp is always different depending on my mood and the available fruit.  

This apple crisp was made with a macoun apple which I'd purchased while driving in the magnificent Kootenays region in beautiful British Columbia. It's an area filled with rich soil and super sunshine producing fantastic fruit for the province.  

I've never had a macoun apple and was pleasantly surprised by it's taste. It's a cross between a macintosh and a jersey black apple. It was excellent in this apple crisp!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Serves 6

6-8 spartan or macintosh apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup large rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soft butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Cut up enough apples to fill a11x7x2 inch baking pan.  It will depend on the size of the apple how many you use. 

I like to use an apple that softens when baked and I recommend the spartan or the macintosh apples. If you feel the macintosh apple is sour, feel free to mix in one tablespoon of white sugar.

In a medium-size bowl combine rolled oats, brown sugar, and salt. With your fingertips rub in the soft butter until it's combined. Sprinkle mixture on top of the fruit and cook for 45 minutes.

Serve plain, with vanilla ice cream or whipping cream. 

Apple Crisp
Apple crisp with oats and brown sugar