New Season, New Post.


Hello. Hello?

Is anyone still here? I didn’t abandon you, I swear!
& I wouldn’t blame you if you’d abandoned me.

Between illnesses, traveling, working and life, Visitors have been neglected.

We’ve explored Amsterdam, tiptoed through tulips and back again.
I’ve been getting back into a groove though. The sun is shining, warming our skin and seeds are sprouting. This year’s pending bounty is creating an itch to eat fresh from the Earth and the sap has been running again:

Just before March Break, we were prompted by our bathroom demo and perfect weather to flee our house and go to the cottage. My Grandparents are still up there enjoying the Great White outdoors and thankfully they are more than willing to have us freeload for a few warm meals, which I am more than happy to accommodate for!

My Grandfather, who taught my kids the in’s and outs of winter tree identification and the love of maple syrup, encouraged us to get at it again, tapping the trees for their yearly elixir.

Being up their is just what we all needed. Relaxed, we’ve returned to a dusty house and ready for renewal.

Cooking is what makes me happy, and I’m so ready to start sharing again.

Blogging Martha …and Pumpkins


So did everyone get a chance to watch Martha yesterday??
Not only was is it the start of her new season, yesterday she featured blogging; a few of them that we know and love I might add.
First up there was an intro to Deb at Smitten Kitchen, then a great segment with fellow food photographer and blogger Matt Armendiaz from Matt Bites. Matt was lucky enough to get a book writing suggestion from Martha herself all while mixing it up with her and the Kitchen Aid.

How wonderful to see a full hour devoted to the beauty of the blog. I’m guessing Martha is into hers, as it’s not only updated regularly, but she was dying to know everyone’s monthly stats and income draw. It was darling. Really.

Anyhow, what was really great was getting to see Martha and her old pal, Margaret, who’s site A Way To Garden, I’m already addicted to. Margaret used to be the garden the then the editorial director at MSL, so she knows a thing or two about gardening. Not only is Margaret’s site a naturally good read, she’s offered personal tips and suggestions on how to plant corn and why it is that mine is the only garden that doesn’t produce copious amounts of zucchini. (I finally did get ONE, by the way!!) A Way to Garden, along with Deb and the gals at Dinner Tonight have been hosting some weekly round ups of seasonal veggie dishes and today is one of my absolute favourites; pumpkin.

If you’ve ever read my other blog, Food+Photography, you’d see the fascination, lust I have over pumpkins. Every fall I buy too many and try to squeeze the space in my yard to grow some of my own every year.
That being said, I have three plants from the seeds of last year; Marina Di Choggia, a Rouge Vif D’Etamps and my favourite Galeux d’Eysine. So far, I’ve been enjoying their flowers along with the bees, but I think I’ll be heading back to the pumpkin patch in a couple of weekends – at least something grew…

To join into the fun, here are a few of my pumpkin favourites from this site:

MARINA DI CHIOGGIA GNOCCHI

PUMPKIN PIE POPPERS

PUMPKIN & MUSHROOM RISOTTO

PUMPKIN MANICOTTI

PUMPKIN CRANBERRY TEACAKES


SAVORY PUMPKIN TART

Also Goes Great With Tea Coffee Cake


I know that Mother’s Day has come and gone, but I just had to share this perfect everyday, great with tea or Coffee Cake.

One of the many things that I’ve learned through my Nana and her baking is that men love coffee cake. It’s a crazy notion, but you can go ahead and quote me on this. So with all my motherly advice aside for now, I’d been eying this recipe handed down from my Nana. Originally called Sour Cream Coffee Cake, it’s moist and satisfying and it’ll wrangle afternoon peckishness like the dickens.

Seeing that I have a habit of buying up anything organic or that I’d want to see in stock at my local grocery store just to send a message, I was the new owner of some soy yogurt. I’m good with tofu but I won’t be eating the “soygurt” à la carte again. However, as an equal replacement for the original sour cream in this recipe, I know I’d buy it again.

Although a nice bundt pan would be pretty, my Nana is of the depression generation so you can put it in what ever pan fits. I used a square 8×8 and it worked out really well, just could have been bigger since, even with all the birthdays lately, this is about the fastest I’ve seen cake go around here in a long time.

NANA’S COFFEE CAKE

1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Margarine, softened
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Soy Vanilla Yogurt, plain is o.k. in a pinch, just add 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup Plain Soy Milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

TOPPING
1 Cup Walnuts, broken
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Toss the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream the sugar with the margarine, then add the baking powder and continue to mix until fluffy.
In a measuring cup, combine the yogurt, soy milk and baking soda.
Add half of the yogurt mixture to the creamed sugar, then half of the flour, mixing until each is combined, repeating with the remainder.
Lightly spray and dust an 8×8 cake or bundt pan with flour.
Add half of the cake batter to the pan. Add half of the walnut topping. Finish with the remaining batter, then evenly sprinkle over the last of the topping.
Bake in the center of the oven for 45 – 50 minutes.
Cool completely in the pan before turning it out to a serving plate.

Daring Bakers – Vegan Cheesecake Pops


Twice busted. I’d been holding off making this month’s cheesecake pops due to birthday celebration purposes…

It’s my son’s turn at a birthday this week, so I thought that these would be just perfect, since the family will be en route for is Favourite Things Dinner. As part of his request the dessert had to be chocolate… with candy (no strawberries, like his sister likes).

To make a long story shorter, I would call this month’s attempt at veganizing the Daring Bakers challenge a fantastic disaster. The result was not exactly cheesy or cakey, but look forward to the results as the weather warms a little more

As for the actual challenge, I do indeed complete them twice, so you can find the original recipe over on my Food + Photography blog.