Thursday, May 29, 2008

Growing Sour

These are the newest creatures to find a home with our household... or so I hope. Yup, I'm trying my hand at sourdough. I've never done it before, but I guess there's a first time for everything, right? It's going to get it's first feeding tomorrow, and with luck I'll have a loaf of richly (hopefully very) tangy sourdough bread popping out onto this blog in a month or so. My only question is when it comes time to use the starter, what do I need to do? Just use it straight, bulk it up with flour and water and let it sit for 6 hours, or what?? I'm an active dry yeast girl... these wild things are confusing!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Calcium - Rich, Low - Fat Meals

I'm lazy today, and would rather knit my friend's blanket tonight than come up with something witty to post (well, that and I didn't cook anything today...) but I do have plans for some birthday cake testing for Andrew, as well as some more biscotti, so stay tuned for that later. For now, I am continuing in my vein of calcium - rich foods (like Susan is on her blog) by sharing some delicious and lower-fat recipe links from Weight Watchers. Even if you don`t count POINTS or need to lose weight, the dishes look incredible and (if nothing else) will save you from any BBQ weekend guilt down the line.

Greek Spanakopita
Zucchini and Soy Cheese Pancakes
White Bean, Citrus and Salmon Salad
Bok Choy and Tofu Stir-Fry
Minestrone with Kale
Chicken, Black Bean and Corn Enchilada Casserole

As a (completely unrelated) side-note tonight, I`m having a serious craving for latkes and sour cream... neither of which I can eat! Damn that brain of mine!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Boning Up with Bread

Somehow, even though I have a gazillion things on the go at any given time (I'm like a mother without kids, go figure!), I felt this indescribable urge to bake this morning. Not something quick and simple, either... no, I wanted to bake bread. So bread was made, and even though it looks butt-ugly, it is probably the healthiest loaf of anything that will be in our house for a few months (until the veggies from the garden start rolling in!).

This was actually a simple bread to make (just like most pan loaves) and since I have no aversion to working with yeast (it seems to like me and my kitchen!) I had some fun playing around with the contents of the dough. What emerged, smelling way too awesome for it's own good, was a 100% whole-grain bread that was perfect for lunchtime sandwiches, a nutty, fibre-rich bread pudding or french toast, or anything you could imagine! It's got flaxseed, skim milk powder, wheat gluten and honey in it... what could be better?

This bread was also the vessel I chose to try out the latest ingredient on my pantry shelf: Potato Milk. This was new to me! I had heard of (and tasted) soy, rice and almond "milks", as well as seen hemp and oat milk for sale, but never milk from potatoes! The brand I used, English Bay, is advertised as being free of lactose, fat, protein, preservatives, soy, rice, gluten, and MSG. It's also a great source of calcium (25% of the RDA per cup), and vegan. The taste, I'll admit, is not something I would be willing to drink straight, but boy, does it make good bread! If you're interested in finding out more, the beverages are available at Loblaws, IGA, Save-on/Overwaitea, Safeway and Federated-Coop stores in Canada.

On the topic of non-dairy milks, I stumbled on this article while getting my hyperlinks and personally find it absolutely ridiculous, unfounded, and frankly offensive. Even if soy is naturally high in estrogen, it will not turn a male child into a little girl no more than eating steak will turn your daughter into a strapping man. I have no tolerance for intolerant people... and yes, I am a walking contradiction.

Anyway, this recipe is important for women especially, since it is high in calcium from the milks, whole wheat and flaxseed that it contains. Each slice, or 1/16th of the (fairly large) loaf has 3% of your RDA, and considering most people eat more than one slice at a time, it will help add up the benefits! I'm passing this on to Susan from FoodBlogga, who has osteoperosis and is running an awareness event (Beautiful Bones), because I'm at risk for it too and its prevention is something everyone should be aware of!

The fibre content of this bread is of course also very high - almost 4g per slice - and so I'm passing this onto Art of Cooking's event , which is focusing this month on high-fibre foods!

So, now that I have officially worn out my intro, I present thee with:

Wheaten Milk and Honey Bread
Makes 16 slices
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp nonfat dry milk (optional, but great for texture)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
5 tbsp ground flaxseed
  1. Whisk together yeast and water. Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Heat milk to just above body temperature, stir in salt, honey, and milk powder and let cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a large mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer) whisk together flour, gluten and flaxseed.
  4. Pour in yeast mixture and milk mixture and beat until a fairly smooth dough forms.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until elastic.
  6. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 375F, grease a loaf pan.
  8. Punch down dough, shape into a loaf and place into the pan, tucking ends under.
  9. Cover and let rise again for 1 hour.
  10. Brush the top of the loaf with milk and bake for 40 minutes, tenting with foil after 20.
  11. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Note: Use fortified soy (or alternate) milk and soy milk powder if you do not consume dairy, and agave nectar for the honey if you are vegan. Sometimes, I add sesame or hemp seeds to the top of the loaf or dust it with flour for a decorative flare. For a sweeter bread, up the honey content to 1/3 cup and drop the water content to 1/2 cup.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 112.1
Total Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.2 mg
Sodium: 8.9 mg
Total Carbs: 20.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 5.3 g

Monday, May 26, 2008

Baking for Brandy

No, not this brandy... this Brandy!! Yup, today I fired up the good old oven of mine (twice!) and made my dad's sweet yellow Labrador some cookies. And they weren't just any cookies either... they were biscotti!! She loves her cookies, so I figured that since biscotti are crunchy like her doggy biscuits I would try my hand at making those!

For a base recipe, I used an eggless formula that I've had in my recipe box for a while (many Christmases ago!) and modified it to make a savoury, puppy-friendly snack. The initial recipe was vegan, but since I don't know many vegan dogs I decided to play around with some bits and pieces of my pantry.

Basic Biscotti
Makes 42 Small Pieces
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/3 cup hot water
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cups sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375, place the rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. Whisk together the flaxseed and hot water, set aside.
  3. Mix the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  4. Seperately, beat together the oil, sugar and flaxseed slurry.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and beat until well incorporated.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 balls, knead each to smooth out.
  7. Add extra ingredients at this point, keeping the consistency fairly sticky.
  8. With floured hands, shape each ball into a 9" log, flattening slightly, and place on a lightly greased and floured cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes in the upper third of the oven. Reposition the oven rack to the middle position.
  10. With a sharp serated knife, cut each log into 14 slices.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake 5 to 7 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 53.4
Total Fat: 1.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.4 mg
Total Carbs: 9.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 1.0 g

Here's what I did to make Brandy's biscotti:
  • Swapped the whole wheat flour for rolled oats
  • Added about 3 tbsp of dehydrated veggies, as well as 1 envelope each beef and chicken bouillon to the oil mixture
  • Used olive oil
  • Cut sugar to 1/4 cup
  • Added 1/4 cup buttermilk powder
  • Added 2 tbsp cheddar cheese powder
  • Doubled the salt
  • Added about 1/4 cup extra water

Basically, it was fun to play around with the different ingredients in a basic recipe. The result is perfectly edible for people too, I'm sure, but I don't think the puppy will give up her share any time soon!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Catching Up, Planning, and Packed Days Ahead!

I honestly cannot believe that I haven't posted anything since Thursday, and that even Thursday's post was a half-hearted attempt - without even a recipe! I'm trying to do better, honest, but the problem is that I am at a loss for material right now... simply put, I haven't made a dang thing in the past week. Instead, I've been putting my hands to use knitting a blanket for my best friend Heather, who only used to be a 10 minute walk away from me during the hazy, lazy days of highschool. Now, she's way away in Kingston, but with luck I'll have her super-soft gift ready for her by the time the cold weather hits! So that's my excuse for the lack of foodage on here, and by the looks of things, it's probably not going to be a whole lot better this summer (especially if I keep forgetting my camera everywhere I go!).

With luck, though, I'll have some fun reports and photos for everyone over the next few months, since Andrew and I are planning some very exciting events for us this summer! We actually spent most of today making some serious plans for our first-ever vacation as a couple, down to Niagara Falls, as well as setting out some dates for our customary anniversary / Andrew's birthday Blue Jays baseball game and dinner (and there will definitely be a post for this), as well as plans for our yearly jaunt to the CNE. We're even hoping to take my little sister out on a trip to Canada's Wonderland! Between all those trips and celebrations (not even counting anyone else's birthdays, Canada Day, my Chinatown trip with my dad or Father's Day!) there is pretty much no extra room for any other major projects!

The mention of Niagara Falls actually brings me to a question I had for any Canadian readers who frequently (or occasionally) shop for groceries cross-border... given my dietary restrictions (can't have caffeine, alcohol, meats, dairy, egg yolks, oils, nuts or essentially anything high in oil / fat content) what should I keep an eye out for when we hop over the border?? I know there are a lot more "fat-free / diet" foods available state-side, but if there's anything in particular I'd be glad to know of it!

I'll be sure to take my camera for the trip at any rate: so far we've planned the border crossing as well as trips to the Ripley's museum, Skywheel, MGM and Hershey's stores, Clifton Hill, Rainforest Cafe, and the Butterfly Conservatory. We're also planning a trip on the Maid of the Mist (my mom requested "drowned rat" photos of the two of us). As far as vacation nosh goes, it'll be pretty boring for any readers - sushi, subs, salads and cereal will more than likely be standard fare for us. However, if anything changes, I'll be doing some reporting afterwards!

The planning doesn't stop with the summer, either! I've even started thinking about things to make as gifts for Christmastime - 7 months away - because I have this insane craving to make (of all things) candy! I'm definitely going to do marshmallows and fudge, and I'm thinking of a sesame seed brittle of some kind too... but that's too far away to plan! My online agenda at RememberTheMilk (a very useful site, by the way) is bursting at the seams already haha.

For now, though, I'm content to do my final report on my Great Oatmeal Cookie Search. Yes, dear readers, I think I have found a recipe that I am content to offer at the bakery, albeit only on a seasonal basis, and I will even share it with you! You'll notice they are very similar to the last oatmeal cookies I made, but I played around with the spicing and the base, making them very distinctly Autumnal in nature. They're even lower in fat and higher in antioxidants than the original, due to the addition of pumpkin puree in place of some of the oil, and cranberries along with the raisins. I suppose you could use these as breakfast food, but make them bigger - the yield I'm giving is for two - to three - bite cookies. Also, these don't flatten as they bake, which I learned on the first batch and you can see in the top photo - squash 'em to the thinness you want before you put them in the oven!

Harvest Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 18
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg replacer, prepared
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup Kamut flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups quick (not instant) oats
1/4 cup raisins, soaked and drained
1/4 cup dried cranberries, soaked and drained
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease 2 cookie sheets.
  2. Whisk together oil, pumpkin, sugars, egg replacer, vanilla and maple syrup.
  3. In another bowl, whisk all remaining ingredients but raisins and cranberries.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet mix, stirring to blend.
  5. Fold in the dried fruit.
  6. Drop spoonfuls on the prepared sheets and flatten slightly with wet fingertips.
  7. Bake 10 minutes, cool 5 minutes on sheets, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 113.4
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 77.7 mg
Total Carbs: 19.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 2.1 g

Thursday, May 22, 2008

PPN: Quick n' Dirty Asian

Sometimes quick and dirty is the way to go when it comes to preparing dinner. That was the way it was for me tonight. I don't know why, but suddenly the clock was showing 6:45 and I hadn't even thought of what to make.

It's times like this that I thank God our pantry and fridge are well-stocked with the most basic of essentials (well, basic for a foodie like you or me, probably not for those not reading this blog - like my sister, queen of the Kraft Dinner - mmm, KD). Anyways, everything in this bowl pretty much stemmed from what I had in the fridge: some leftover fetuccine, black beans, and Napa cabbage. For a dressing / sauce, I threw together some freshly grated ginger (my new fave obsession), rice vinegar, a touch of honey and some tamari, then poured it over the freshly microwaved mixture, stirred, and quickly took a photo.

Then, I chowed down. There was no going back. Mmm... antioxidants and veggies... good ARF / 5-A-Day food for Cate's event at Sweetnicks, no? Sorry there's no actual recipe, but check Ruth's PPN (AKA Presto Pasta Nights) roundup tomorrow night (where I'm sending this to as well) for some more concrete noodling ideas!

Tomorrow may or may not have a post, it's date night for Andrew and I!! We're going for sushi (at least my favourite meal, I think he prefers pasta or steak - correct me if I'm wrong, hon!) then we're going to see Narnia, where I will do my best not to ooh and aah over Ben Barnes, zee Prince Caspian! Lucky for me I have my own prince right by my side. Yes I know, icky ooey gooey mushy stuff. Too bad... I'm in love with the boy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Seriously Healthy Food

I could kill for a vacation out to the west coast of Canada right now (where Valli of More Than Burnt Toast lives!). I can see it all... walking along the beach and shopping in White Rock, maybe a few days at the Harrison Hot Springs, and of course a lengthy stay with my aunt and uncle (who have offered their home to me before so they can take me to some naturopaths out there), visiting and just being babied by them!

But yet, I have no plans to. Why? *Note: scroll down if you don't want to read my whining* Well, I'm chicken for one - I'm a control freak in the kitchen, and since I can't usually eat what the rest of the household does, I'm either getting in the way or they spray *ahem* gratuitous amounts of Lysol air freshener in an attempt to restore their kitchen ambience (I use a lot of spices in my meals, and if anyone's smelled kasha cooking before, you know it's an acquired smell). I don't like imposing on other people's houses and families with my needs and random shopping requests, especially when it requires extra trips out of the way. Since I wouldn't have a car (and can't afford to rent one), it would leave it all up to them. I'm also kind of freaked out by the notion of yet more doctors, even though these are natural healers... I'm so sick of them! Eventually, though, I'll get my butt out there - I know it would be a lot better for me, a nice change of pace, (and easier to shop too).

For now, I'll settle with baking instead, I guess. These are the newest babies from the oven, whisked off by the wonderful mom I have to feed the starving hordes at her office! I filled these with flax seed, chia seed (yes, like the pet), hulled hemp seed, pecans, carrots, pumpkin puree, apples and 4 kinds of whole grain flours: rye, barley, spelt and oats. Also, these are totally vegan and wheat free (but sadly not gluten-free... haven't mastered the GF bake-age yet!). Whew! It's like Vancouver at your door. Which is good, 'cause we can always use a little B.C. in our lives.
Due to the supreme goodness shoved inside these muffins, I think they'd be a great accompaniment to Sweetnick's ARF / 5-A-Day event. I also have a feeling that those busy office workers will be using these as breakfast, and with all the stuff in 'em, I don't blame them! Hope Melissa thinks so too this BBD!

West - Coast Muffins
Makes about 18 regular or 8-9 jumbo muffins½ cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup spelt flour
½ cup barley flour
½ cup rye flour
½ cup rolled oats (not instant)
2 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chia seed
1 tsp ground flax seed
1 tsp hemp hearts
1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans
2 large carrots, coarsely grated
1 large apple, peel on, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin cups.
  2. Beat together sugar, orange juice, water, applesauce, and pumpkin until well blended. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, seeds and hemp hearts.
  4. Add the liquid mixture and stir briefly - just to moisten.
  5. Fold in pecans, carrots and apple. Do not overmix.
  6. Bake 25 minutes (for regular muffins) or 35 minutes (for jumbo muffins).
  7. Immediately turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.
Amount Per ServingCalories: 98.1
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 77.2 mg
Total Carbs: 19.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 2.0 g

And, as another addition to the party, why not enjoy one of the salads being shown on GreedyGourmet's Snackshots event this month? Here's mine: simple bed of lettuce, green onions, tomatoes and black beans in a mustard viniagrette (which I'm leaving out next time... ick). Topped off with a shake of Montreal steak spice!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Cookie for $1 Million...

Whew... what a day of baking! Like the insane person I am, I not only made up today's recipe, but an altered batch of these muffins for my mom, and a batch of brand-new, fruit-grain-and-nut filled muffins for whomever wants them! But today... today is the day of the world's most expensive cookie.

I'm not kidding, either. New York can eat it's heart out, because I doubt that anywhere or anybody else - be they large scale corporations, restaurants, home bakers or celebrity chefs - has spent a minimum of $5000 on a single batch recipe - yielding only 6 cookies. And yet, there is no gold leaf, no platinum or diamonds hiding within the dough. Ohh no. There is something much much better:

Yup. Amedei Toscano 70% chocolate. Some of the most expensive chocolate in the world. And it is exactly this chocolate that causes the cookies to be worth 5x their weight in gold.

I know what you're saying... "but Sarah, I've looked at that stuff online and it's nowhere near $5000. What gives?". Well, I'm doing a bit of cheating here, by factoring in the fact that the two bars of this absolutely divine confection were brought back to me by my mom and stepdad from their honeymoon in Italy... which lasted (if you recall) 3 weeks and cost in the ballpark of 5 grand, not counting souvenirs. So, I'm justified. I wouldn't have the chocolate if they hadn't gone to Italy on their honeymoon, and though I'm slightly ticked off that they are ditching my sister and I this summer for a trip out to the Canadian maritimes (and the fact that they didn't even tell us before they booked it!) I thank them for these pieces of culinary indulgence.

Now, I reveal to you these balls of chocolate and peanutty gooodness in all their glory, and I cannot wait for them to be taste-tested by my loyal followers - Martha, my Dad and Andrew (of course!), and I even saved one for my Mom. She needs her chocolate after spending the entire long weekend out in the garden (and in the rain) doing heavy labour!

I know there are a lot of photos, but bear with me... I was having fun! It takes some time, and a little effort, but it's worth it! The resulting treat is nothing short of decadent, and insanely rich... tread lightly and serve with lots of milk!

Italian Millionaire Cookies
Makes 6 large cookies, fit for a queen (or king)
- Chocolate Dough -
3 tbsp shortening
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp baking soda

- Peanut Butter Dough -
3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp whole milk
3 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder

- Assembly -
60 grams (6 squares) Amedei 70% Toscano chocolate (or similar)

Chocolate Dough
  1. Cream shortening, brown sugar and salt together.
  2. Beat in milk and vanilla.
  3. Whisk together espresso powder, flour, cocoa and baking soda together, beat into creamed mix.
  4. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Peanut Butter Dough

  1. Cream together peanut butter, sugars, vanilla and milk.
  2. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate at least 4 hours.


  1. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with parchment (do not grease).
  2. Flatten out two rounds of peanut butter dough roughly the size of the chocolate square.
  3. Place the chocolate in the middle of one disc, top with the other dough round and pinch the seams to seal.
  4. Repeat with remaining chocolate squares and peanut butter dough.
  5. Follow the same procedure for flattening the chocolate dough into rounds, this time placing the peanut butter round in the centre of each.
  6. Place sealed cookies on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake 11-12 minutes, allow to cool 5 minutes on sheets before removing to wire rack and cooling completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 243.7
Total Fat: 14.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.3 mg
Sodium: 42.1 mg
Total Carbs: 26.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 4.4 g

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Can You Keep A Secret??

Shh... kitchen is going to produce my latest development tomorrow... quite possibly the world (or at least my world's) most expensive cookie ever. Curious? Ohh, I know you are. Keep your fingers crossed for a post tomorrow!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Three for the 2 - 4

I've been pretty absent from the blogging scene these past few weeks... believe me, I know! I'm dealing with some health issues that for the time being are keeping me more in my bed and less in my kitchen, and even though I did make some more cookies (can you guess what kind?) I was kind of sick of posting them, even though these are my new favourites. I think. For now. And then as for cooking (as opposed to baking), I've been less and less apt to create tasty (and successful) creations when it comes to making meals. Maybe it's just me being sick, but the thought of a crunchy, juicy dill pickle or some iceberg lettuce with yellow mustard is more appetizing than any sort of meal. Sigh. Even my sweet tooth seems to have gone AWOL these days, which is a shame. Until my tastebuds (and energy levels) return though, you may not be seeing much of me. Just a heads up, I won't abandon this blog for good, I promise, especially since I have way too many bloggie events lined up that I want to take part in, and just as many recipes to share! I got a jumbo muffin tin yesterday too *jumps up and down in a happy dance* so we will be seeing what I can churn out with that!

For now, though, I have some prime May 2-4 goodness to share with you guys. Now, if you aren't Canadian, or if you don't know someone Canadian, you may be asking yourself why I'm talking about May 24th this weekend as opposed to next Saturday, and why I hyphenated it, and what the heck am I talking about a silly day for anyways?? So let me explain, courtesy of the hoity-toity Canadian Government website, with supplements from the (less hoity-toity) Wikipedia. Did I mention that I liky typing hoity-toity? Nevermind.

An amendment to the Statutes of Canada in 1952 established the celebration of Victoria Day on the Monday preceding May 25. From 1953 to 1956, the Queen's birthday was celebrated in Canada on Victoria Day, by proclamation of the Governor General, with Her Majesty's approval. In 1957, Victoria Day was permanently appointed as the Queen's birthday in Canada. In the United Kingdom, the Queen's birthday is celebrated in June.

Victoria Day is regarded as the beginning of the unofficial summer season in Canada, and is thus the weekend when many businesses, parks, etc., that operate during warm weather months, will open. This long weekend also often signifies the beginning of spring to gardeners in much of the country, as it falls around the time when they can be fairly certain frost will not return until the next autumn or winter (I personally finished my plantage shopping today, and almost everything is in the ground!). The weekend also marks the beginning of the cottage season with cottagers making their first visits to check and clean their properties (which is where, coincidentally, Andrew is this weekend).

In some parts of Canada, the holiday is colloquially known as May 2-4. This phrase has two meanings: the holiday always falls near the date of May 24, and a two-four is Canadian slang for a case of 24 bottles of beer, a common packaging of the drink in Canada (and a common purchase of those planning to celebrate the weekend).

And speaking of beer... what goes better with that frosty, delicious beverage than an ooey, gooey, decadent slice of pizza?? Ohh yes... it's the universal pairing of frat parties everywhere. I have not one, not two, but three awesome recipes that are perfect for this weekend! The first one is for a quick, easy pizza crust that incorporates a honey lager (or similar beer) for a great flavour and light texture. The second one, a gluten-free creation, has just the right amount of give to it, meaning you can fold it in half like I used to do every pizza day at school!

The Two-Fer Pizza Crust
Makes 2 crusts
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 12 oz beer (a honey lager like Sleeman or Niagara is beautiful in this but any kind will do)

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Grease two 12" pizza pans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Pour in the beer and stir until it forms a really wet, sticky dough. Beat an extra 5-7 minutes, so that the dough develops a stretchy consistency.
  4. Let the dough rest for about five minutes before using — it will be easier to work with once it has relaxed.
  5. Dump the dough out onto the prepared pans, dividing it equally between them. Sprinkle the top with flour to reduce stickiness and pat the dough into an even layer, all the way to the edges of the pan.
  6. Top in whatever way you want, then bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned and the toppings are done.

Amount Per Serving (crust only)
Calories: 179.0
Total Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.4 mg
Total Carbs: 35.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 5.6 g

Chewy, Gluten - Free Pizza Crust
Serves 10
2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
1 1/3 cup warm 1% milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
4 teaspoons guar gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatine powder
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm milk.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, blend together dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in yeast mixture to dry ingredient mixture.
  5. Add oil and apple cider vinegar. Mix well.
  6. Grease and flour the pizza pan (just like you grease and flour a cake pan).
  7. Pat down dough on pan, sprinkle top of dough with flour so dough doesn't stick to your hands as you're shaping pizza.
  8. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add toppings.
  9. Return to oven and bake for another 20 minutes.

Amount Per Serving (Crust Only)
Calories: 136.5
Total Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 1.6 mg
Sodium: 19.7 mg
Total Carbs: 27.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 3.9 g

The last recipe, a very decadent chicken and alfredo creation, is a recipe I created for Andrew a few months back after he told me about a pizza idea he had had one night - he's usually my inspiration when it comes to cooking! I've yet to test it out, but it's definitely on my list, possibly to go with a certain birthday / anniversary meal I'm planning! If you don't eat chicken, but like shrimp, they would work equally well on this. If you try it before I do, drop me a line and let me know how you fared!!

Thin - Crust Garlic Alfredo Pizza With Chicken
Serves 12
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
2 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ tsp instant dry yeast
½ cup half-and-half cream
1 cup fat free evaporated milk
¾ cup grated, authentic Parmesan cheese
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tbsp oregano
½ tbsp basil
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, slivered
3 tbsp flour + 1 tbsp garlic powder, for dredging
1 tbsp olive oil
½ large sweet onion, sliced thinly
½ large tomato, sliced thinly
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated Romano cheese

  1. Heat a pizza stone in an oven to 475F.
  2. Combine water, sugar, salt and oil in a small bowl.
  3. Separately, mix together flours and yeast.
  4. Add water mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well to form an elastic dough.
  5. Let rest 10 minutes.
  6. Spread flour lightly on a pizza peel and roll out dough until very thin (about 3/16 inch).
  7. Shift bare crust to stone and bake 5-7 minutes. Remove crust to peel.
  8. Heat cream and evaporated milk to a simmer.
  9. Stir in Parmesan, pepper, garlic powder, garlic, oregano and basil.
  10. Stir together cornstarch and cold water, mix into sauce.
  11. Remove the mixture from the heat when it begins to thicken.
  12. Dredge chicken pieces in flour and garlic powder mixture, lightly pan-fry in olive oil until browned all over.
  13. Remove chicken and set aside.
  14. Add onion to pan and cook gently until translucent.
  15. Add tomatoes in one layer and cook 3-4 minutes, until wilted looking. Remove everything to the plate with the chicken and set aside.
  16. Spread a thin layer of sauce onto the base and top with onions, tomatoes, chicken and cheeses.
  17. Bake for 15 minutes at 475 degrees.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 248.9
Total Fat: 7.9 g
Cholesterol: 18.5 mg
Sodium: 231.3 mg
Total Carbs: 31.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 13.1 g

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Worth the Price of Admission

What does this look like to you? Spaghetti with sauce, maybe a bit of ground meat and veggies inside, maybe? Well, I hate to be a downer, but it was more of a helpless sort of "save my lunch" creation than any sort of culinary masterpiece. Yes, I am admitting culinary (or tastebud, as it were) failure tonight! It turns out, dear readers, that I hate gazpacho. With a passion. One so strong that it took the addition of (a lot) of pasta to save what would have been a most disappointing meal.

Why did I dislike it so much? I think it had a LOT to do with the addition of the celery. Now, I don't actually mind celery on it's own, topped with a spicy salsa, spread with peanut butter (when I could eat it) or even (gasp!) Cheez Whiz as a snack. But in this... it mutated into something evil. To me, the soup tasted only of celery, which in turn tasted scarily similar to cilantro... one of my few culinary pet hates. Sigh. Mind you, this makes a fantastic use of pantry staples and garden produce for later on in the Summer (when tomatoes come into season... I can't wait!), and if you like gazpacho I can heartily reccommend this as a light, refeshing and healthy lunch. However, if you're anything like me and the thought of a cold soup doesn't exactly float your boat, do what I did to save it - throw it in the microwave for a minute or two and toss it with some leftover pasta and black pepper for a delicious, fresh sauce that will mosey in to Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights this week!

Tasty Tabasco Gazpacho (or sauce)
Serves 4
1 cup V8 juice
2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (garlic, if you can get it)
1/2 tsp Stevia (or 2 tbsp sugar, to taste)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 fresh squeezed lemon
2 medium size carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium size red peppers (I'd throw a jalapeno in, too)
2 to 3 ribs celery (next time I'll stick to 1, maybe), washed and rough chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 medium size English cucumber, chopped
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend for 20 seconds to chop vegetables into small pieces (do not puree vegetables - it should be like a small-diced salsa).
  3. Add remaining juice and allow to sit in refrigerator for 4 hours for flavours to blend.
  4. Taste and add salt as needed.
  5. Serve well-chilled.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 87.1
Total Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 222.3 mg
Total Carbs: 20.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.2 g
Protein: 3.1 g

Sunday, May 11, 2008

250 Posts, 11 Months...

....and maybe, just maybe, one cookie recipe. Yup, you read that right, I may have found my bakery's formula for an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie!! It's not perfect, by any means, but it did fit the criteria I set out in the beginning (actually moreso... I didn't have to use the often-maligned shortening and it's totally dairy- and egg-free!). For a cookie that I'd make at Christmas or for a once in a blue moon bake sale fundraiser, I would definitely stick with something more traditional, like one of these from, or for nostalgia's sake, Phoebe's Cookies, but for bigger-scale production with (as always... sigh) the bottom line in mind, these fit the bill nicely.

But you know what? I don't feel guilty about not using butter or eggs at all. Many people nowadays are lactose intolerant, vegan, or (like me) riddled with allergies, so this may well be a wonderful, home made addition to the world of baked goods.

Want to know something else amazing (at least, to me)? This is my 250th post on YummySmells!! In that time I've participated in my favourite blogging event ARF / 5-A-Day at Sweetnick's 44 times, and today's submission will be the big 4-5! With these delicious, no-hydrogenated-fat cookies stuffed with all the goodness of whole grains, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg, these will bring a wonderfully sweet and wholesome light to the Mother's Day celebrations here... for all the mothers out there, have a wonderful, and special day!!

Fulla Oats Cookies Recipe
Makes 20
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins, soaked and drained
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, mix oil, sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and oats.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into the sugar mixture.
  5. Mix in the raisins.
  6. Form small, flat patties by hand and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
  8. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 112.8
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 83.5 mg
Total Carbs: 17.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.9 g

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Can See the Future...

And it's filled with pretty, ripe tomatoes, ready for batches of salsa, gazpacho and sauce. You see, with a family as gung-ho when it comes to the gardening thing as mine is, Spring starts... early. What you see here are several of our assorted baby plants that we started from both the saved seeds of last year's crop and a few heirloom seeds I picked up at the local WalMart over the winter to test out. When all's said and done, we are going to have a small farm on our hands! Mind you, I guess that's not too far off from where we started - the land that our house and yard sits on is actually old potato field! Add the awesome nutritents that the potatoes gave to the earth to the two driveways' worth of triple-mix fortified soil, and I have a feeling that these baby 'maters may turn into... dare I say it... the John De Bello B-rated movie cast of nightshades!

All the photos (except for the last one, with the plastic fork) are tomato plants - rainbow heirlooms, romas, large reds and a few struggling grapes. The pots labeled with the fork (we ran out of popsicle sticks) are actually "little blue peppers" - supposed to be spicy yet sweet fruits a little bigger than habanero peppers (nowhere near as spicy though!). When I saw the seed packet, I knew we had to try them out.

As soon as all these babies are grown up and out on their own in our garden, though... oooh, boy, are we going to have some FUN! Vitamin C overdose, anyone? I need to learn how to can, so I can keep the flavour going all year round!

But what about the near future?? Well, there are cookies. Lots of cookies. Pounds of oatmeal flying everywhere, mixers whirring, raisins soaking, egg replacers being beaten, 10kg bags of flour being emptied, and many many pounds being gained by my ever willing taste-testers (and yes, I said thank-you!).

Why so many more cookies, you may ask? Well, I hate to say it, but the Great Cookie Search must continue. I have not been able to find a cookie recipe that is not outrageously expensive in terms of butter / margarine costs, that doesn't use eggs (again cost and allergy concerns) and that isn't so moist that they stick together and fall apart when I try to transport them. All three of the latest trial runs have produced nice, large, decent-tasting flat cookies (though perhaps a bit too flat in some cases), but I had problems with creating some of the batches of dough (too liquidy / stiff) and again, the stickiness proved to be a challenge. None of them really proved themselves bakery-worthy (i.e. sellable) treats that could be bagged up like my other goodies for my customer shipments. I'm not too worried about time constraints, seeing as they weren't very popular sellers anyway, but I would eventually like to be able to make a (preferably shortening-based [and yes I know, icky shortening]) egg-free, decent looking and tasting oatmeal cookie.

The results were pretty expected, as far as I could have forseen. Not surprisingly, the low-fat Nick Malgieri recipe (the first photo) was not the winner in either taste nor texture, and the batter was very difficult to work with - almost liquid - and I had to allow it to sit for a few minutes for the oats to soak up some of the moisture before I could drop balls of the dough onto the sheets.

While the Baking Bites recipe for Banana Oatmeal Cookies (second photo) wasn't even a serious contender in the eyes of the bakery world, they were definitely the favourite with both my dad and at my mom's work (I knew they'd like the banana flavour... they order so much banana bread from me at a time that I have to restock after every order - usually 3-4 loaves!). The last recipe (and photo), from one of my dear friends TippyStClair at GroupRecipes, was definitely closest to what I was looking for. They spread a bit too much for my liking and I couldn't get all the oats into the batter (they were the stiff ones, obviously) but I would definitely be willing to tinker with this recipe again. And since I bought a big-ass bag (oops... shameful bad language me!) of "cherry raisins" on sale at the Bulk Barn this past week, I can't see any real end in sight until I find what I'm looking for! If I don't, well, you just won't see any oatmeal cookies coming out of Bumblebee Bakery ever again! Unless, of course, you live in the area and care to order some anyway...

Anyway, here are the three recipes I made. Check them out, and maybe one of them will tickle your fancy. At the very least, the house smells GREAT!

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Adapted from Nick Malgeri)
Makes 36
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 egg replacer
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dark raisins, soaked and drained
2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper, foil, or silicone mats
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and set the racks on the lower and upper thirds of the oven.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the margarine and granulated sugar until smooth.
  4. Mix in the brown sugar, then the egg replacer, applesauce, and vanilla.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the oats and raisins.
  6. Drop the batter by rounded teaspoons 2-inches apart on the baking sheets and use a fork to gently flatten the dough (I just wet my fingertips to do this, next time I probably wouldn't even bother with this step).
  7. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate baking sheets during baking for even baking.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 53.8
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 30.7 mg
Total Carbs: 11.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 0.9 g

Banana Oatmeal Cookies (Adapted from Baking Bites)
Makes 24
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 small-medium mashed banana
1 egg replacer
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins, soaked and drained
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugars.
  4. Beat in syrup, banana, egg replacer, and the vanilla extract.
  5. Gradually add in the flour mixture.
  6. Stir in the oats and raisins.
  7. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 11-14 minutes, until set and lightly browned.
  9. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the pan before transfering them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 83.5
Total Fat: 1.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.6 mg
Sodium: 53.2 mg
Total Carbs: 16.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.6 g

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Adapted from TippyStClair)
Makes 24
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 egg replacer
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins, soaked in hot water and drained

  1. Preheat oven to 375F/180C/Gas Mark 4.5. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl cream sugars and margarine.
  3. Add vanilla, corn syrup and egg replacer. Blend well.
  4. Gradually stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix lightly.
  5. Stir in oats and raisins.
  6. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are light brown.
  7. Cool for 1 minute, remove from cookie sheet and place on wire cooling racks.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 110.2
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 97.4 mg
Total Carbs: 17.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 1.3 g

Oh yeah, and in case you were wondering... the future is full of yarn, too. Lots of yarn.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pairing Up With Pasta

Though I have some results from the Great Cookie Search (yeah, I named it) to share with you. I wanted to take a break from all the sugar and fat of the bakery world and give you something deliciously savoury for a change. I was originally planning to make some gazpacho (my own recipe) and / or ceviche for yesterday's lunch, seeing as it was Cinco de Mayo and all, but I discovered we were lacking in both the bell peppers and the tomato juice required, so that plan went down the drain like a tequila shot at a college party.

No matter. I found something that was equally, if not more, delicious and satisfying, and it used up a bunch of the ingredients I had languishing both in my fridge and my pantry. Nice al dente brown rice fettuccine got tossed with one of my favourite vegetables ever - roasted Brussels sprouts - before I blitzed up (oh, how I love that Nigella-esque word) a decadently creamy sauce with some low-fat silken tofu, lemon, garlic and spices and poured it overtop. In a half hour, I had a wonderfully hot, sumptuous meal that I realized just before scarfing that - hey, this qualified for Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights event! Ergo, a photo was snapped and the recipe got hastily scribbled onto the back of my knitting pattern sheet, so I could tell you all about it (but that was yesterday before I got too lazy to write an entry. Sigh).

On the plus side, I got a yummy meal yesterday, and today I got to have a visit with my favourite teacher V when I brought her some cookies. But that's the next post. Onto the pasta!

Creamy Roasted Sprouts n' Pasta
Serves 1
6 large Brussels sprouts, halved
85g (1/4 block) Mori-Nu Lite Silken Tofu, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp dried dill weed
1/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup cooked brown rice noodles, drained and kept hot
Fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Spray a glass baking dish lightly with olive oil.
  2. Add the sprouts to the pan and roast at 375 F for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir, and roast for 10 more minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place tofu, garlic, lemon juice, salt, paprika, onion powder, parsley, dill and water in a food processor and puree smooth.
  5. Toss noodles and sprouts together in a bowl.
  6. Pour the tofu mixture overtop and serve with cracked black pepper.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 232.3
Total Fat: 1.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 125.6 mg
Total Carbs: 46.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.8 g
Protein: 10.6 g

Sunday, May 4, 2008

An Important Day for Foodies

Hey everyone, I'm lacking in a recipe today (actually I'm not, but I'm feeling too lazy to type that much... you'll have it tomorrow!) so instead I'm providing you with some interesting (well, to me at least) news on the medical and gastronomical front.

As someone who loves to both cook and eat, but who has to watch her diet due to illness, I was very interested to see that this month (May 29th, to be precise) is home to World Digestive Health Day. Started in 2005, it began as a way to mark the 45th Anniversary of the creation of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), which aims to
  • Contribute on a global scale to the study and progress of gastroenterology
  • Maintain active contact with all organizations interested in Gastroenterology and allied fields
  • Encourage and support co-operative research, particularly in relation to the epidemiologic study if gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Tabulate and file existing areas of graduate training in Gastroenterology
  • Consider the study of future plans for the development of graduate education in gastroenterology.
  • Solicit and receive donations for the purpose of study, scientific research and investigation.
  • Make arrangements for the holding of a World Congress of Gastroenterology and to advise and assist those responsible for organizing it (WGO).

Each year focuses upon a particular digestive disorder in order to increase awareness of the prevention and therapy associated with many of the common diseases. Past themes included things like hepatitis. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the WGO's creation and the 3rd year of this event, and the theme they've chosen is a broad one that pertains to everyone: Optimal Nutrition in Health and Disease. If you're interested in any of that sort of stuff, or you're attempting to maximize your health overall through diet, there are a ton of links to help you out. Try these off for starters:

And keep eating well!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mo' Cookies, Mo' Pie...

You know my whole cookie test post a few days back, where I said I had one more cookie to test out for the bakery? Well, this isn't it. And I actually have 2 more Oatmeal Raisin cookies to try, thanks to a handy hint from Veghead (AKA the Village Vegan) pointing me to David Liebovitz' adaptation of Nick Malgieri's Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe. Whew, that was one heck of a journey for some cookies, wasn't it? So, two more batches of cookies to be baked and devoured. But that's not the cookie goodness I'm sharing today.

Lassy Mays are!

**Cue "huh?" response**. Okay, let me explain for anyone not in the Canadian cookie loop. According to President's Choice (a Canadian company that mass-distributes these): in early Atlantic Canada, the "lassy mog" was a classic home-baked treat. Its charming name is derived from the local dialect for the region's widely used sweetener, molasses ("lassy") and a small, low-rising cake ("mog"). These are lauded by pretty much everyone I know who's tried one, and there is even a mention of them (with the best PC products, no less) in the ChowHound boards!

Notice that I didn't name the cookies Lassy Mogs, though. Why? Well, take a look at the packaging ingredients: Enriched wheat flour, butter, brown sugar, dates (coated with dextrose), raisins (coated with hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oil), fancy molasses, pecans, dried whole egg, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, sodium propionate, ammonium bicarbonate, cloves.

Mine, well, let's just say it's slightly different. I do have another version of these cookies too, which is probably closer to the package contents, but Andrew loved these cookies right off the tray (I don't know if any made it overnight!) so I know this is a keeper. If you like molasses and raisins, you will definitely like these cookies. I know I did as a kid - stealing them from the bag on our sailboat whenever I could - and these are definitely not what I think of when it comes to "kid food"! Come to think of it though, if my kids (when and if) eat my version of the cookies rather than the processed ones I'm happy! Who needs extra hydrogenated coatings and preservatives anyways? I don't think humans are designed with a 500 year shelf life in mind!

I'm not entirely sure where this recipe came from, but I know it can live on in cyberspace as long as this blog is running! I made some alterations (putting in some yummy barley flour instead of all white, swapping black strap for fancy molasses), but I would keep doing it that way. Better for you and all - cause we all know cookies are the gods of the health realm LOL!

Lassy Mays
Makes 3o(ish)
1 1/4 cups barley flour
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup black strap molasses
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest of two oranges
1/2 cup dark (Thompson) raisins, soaked and drained

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  2. Combine flours, spices, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar.
  4. Beat in the egg, followed by the molasses, orange juice and zest.
  5. Gradually blend the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
  6. Fold in the raisins.
  7. Drop the dough by spoonfuls 3 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly coloured but still looking a bit underdone.
  9. Let cool on sheets.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 96.4
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Cholesterol: 9.0 mg
Sodium: 6.9 mg
Total Carbs: 14.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.2 g

These cookies brought me right back to my childhood adventures with my family on the shores of Lake Huron during the summers when I was growing up. I found out about the Tastes to Remember event going on at Homemade Experiences in the Kitchen, so I thought I'd send these cookies Sarah's way. The deadline's May 23rd, so check her site for the roundup!

As for the whole "pie" component of this post, I actually didn't get a chance to take any decent photos of what I did with the remaining pastry dough from the Redwall Pasties from Wednesday. I'll tell you what I did, though, and you can check out Smitten's photo for a rough estimate of what my Strawberry hand-pies looked like.

All I did was roll out the dough (which by the way is NOT fun to work with a day later... I don't think I'll chill it again), divide it and fill the centre of each strip with chopped up strawberries and a few rich, dark chocolate chips. Into the oven they went (375F for 25 min) and though they oozed a mess everywhere they smelled GREAT! I liked the combo of smells from the olive oil and sweet berries, and I'm sure that the taste isn't that bad, either!