Saturday, May 29, 2010

FIRE GRILLED MACKEREL with a Tamari Ginger Dipping Sauce

After a beautiful morning spent at the South Shore Waldorf School's May Fair, we took the long way home on the old highway.  If Faegan hadn't been taking a nap in the car, we would have stopped at all the antique stores and yard sales along the way.  The one stop we did make though was for some fresh caught mackerel.  I was hoping we would run into a truck on the side of the road selling wild mackerel so that I could avoid buying fish from the store wrapped in plastic.  I was so excited to find some today that I bought 10 so I could freeze some for another day.  The only time I ever usually eat mackerel is when it's smoked.  I had visions of outdoor grilling over the fire again, so did a quick internet recipe search and found one for Salt Grilled Mackerel on Cook it Simply's site.  What a delicious way to serve mackerel!  I am going to use that sauce for all kinds of fish and seafood dishes again.  This was delicious served with a fresh garden salad made with an asian style vinaigrette.

FIRE GRILLED MACKEREL with a Tamari Ginger Dipping Sauce
adapted from Cook it Simply

4 local wild mackerel, gutted and cleaned with head on
2 Tbsp fine sea salt
8 Tbsp organic tamari sauce
4 Tbsp local honey
2 inch piece organic ginger, grated finely

Method:  To make the sauce combine the tamari, honey and ginger in a small saucepan.  Bring to a light boil and then simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, strain and let cool.

     Prepare the fish by slashing the fish down one side, and then sprinkle the salt in the cavity, on the skin and in the gashes.  Let sit for 40 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.  Heat your grill or prepare the fire pit so that there are just hot coals and place the fish on, cook for about 5 minutes each side, being sure to only turn once.  You can baste each side midway through cooking with some of the sauce.  Serve the fish with tiny dishes of the extra sauce for dipping.

Friday, May 28, 2010


All I can do is dream of the day when Scott and I get a cow or some goats.  Committing to a plastic free lifestyle has enhanced this desire even more because plastic free organic dairy products are non existent around these parts.  So, until then I am still going to buy organic milk in a carton, which is at least recyclable, and make our yogurt and tonight, ice cream!  I've had some maple walnuts floating around in our freezer for over a year.  What better way to use them up than in this delicious ice cream?

4 organic egg yolks
2/3 cup local maple syrup
1 tsp organic unbleached flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup organic half and half or 18% cream
1 cup organic whole milk
1/2 tsp organic vanilla
1/2 cup organic maple walnuts (recipe follows)

Method:  In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, maple syrup, flour and sea salt.  Set aside.  In a saucepan over medium low heat, bring cream and milk to a simmer.  Gradually whisk into the egg mixture.  Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring often until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Cool to room temperature.  Stir in vanilla, cover and refrigerate until completely cold or overnight.
Transfer to an ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer's directions.  Add maple walnuts in the last 5 minutes of freezing

3 cups organic walnuts
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp organic ground cinnamon
1/8 cup brandy
1 Tbsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup local maple syrup
1 Tbsp organic unsalted butter

Method:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Spread walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet, toast in oven, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 10 minutes.  Let cool completely.
Combine maple sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.  In a large, deep skillet, combine brandy, vanilla, maple syrup and butter.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Stir in nuts, and continue cooking, stirring, until skillet is almost dry, about 3 minutes more.
Remove from heat, and immediately add reserved sugar mixture to hot nut mixture.  Toss until well coated.  Spread nuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool completely.  Store nuts in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks or freeze for 6 months to one year.


If you end up having leftover pasta from last night's meal, you can always make a pasta frittata.


2 organic eggs, whisked
1 cup leftover garlicky angel hair pasta with kale and mizuna (or any leftover boiled pasta)
1 Tbsp organic salted butter
sea salt and peppper
romano cheese

Method:  Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Set your oven to broil and warm it up.  Melt the butter in the pan and the add the pasta, stirring to warm it through.  Whisk the eggs with some salt and pepper and then add to pan, tilting it to distribute evenly.  Grate some of the romano cheese on top.  Broil about 3-4 minutes in oven until the egg is set.  Serve.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I am  a pleased to have found a supplier of Kamut Capellini.  Artesian Acres pasta is available all over the place but I've never seen this Angel Hair pasta.  I've been ordering wholesale from Ontario Natural Food Co-Op and I just happened to see it in the catalogue.  You'll be seeing a lot of it over the next little while because I have a whole case of it in my basement pantry!  The only thing is, now that I am plastic conscious I realize that I won't be ordering it again, until they change to some sort of responsible packaging that is.  I am coming more and more to the realization that for many favorite foods, the only alternative right now to plastic packaging is to make everything from scratch, and to grow our own.  Luckily homemade usually tastes better.
     So back to tonight's supper.  When you want to clean your fridge up and use any greens still lingering from your weekly farmer's market forage, make this pasta.  You only need one pot, so clean up is easy, and it tastes amazing.  You can use any green in this one too, I just so happened to have lots of kale and mizuna this week.


1 head of organic kale, chopped finely
1 bunch organic mizuna, chopped
3 cloves organic garlic, smashed and chopped
1 bag organic kamut capellini nests (375 g)
1/4 - 1/2 cup really good e.v olive oil
sea salt and pepper
romano cheese

Method:  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add 1 Tbsp sea salt, the kale, mizuna and pasta.  Cook 3-4 minutes, strain.  In the bottom of the hot, empty pot, warm the olive oil and garlic on the still warm element that has been turned off.  Then stir in the drained pasta and greens, serve with lots of cheese and pepper.

Monday, May 24, 2010


When you need to get some frustration out, think Turkey Paillards.  One huge turkey breast is cut into medallions, then you bang the hell out of it with a cast iron skillet till they're nice and flat.  Tastes great, grilled with a side of grilled asparagus.  Happy long weekend!


1 free range, pasture raised turkey breast
2 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
1/2 Tbsp Tom's Spice
2 Tbsp e.v olive oil
zest of 1 organic lemon
2 cloves organic garlic, smashed and minced

Method:  Prepare turkey breast as described above.  Lay in a baking dish and season with herbs, oil and spice.  Warm up barbeque and then grill about 1-2 minutes each side.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I really wish the rhubarb I planted last year was bountiful enough to harvest from.  It might have helped if I had remembered to fertilize it with some sheep manure in the fall.  Luckily there was an abundance of rhubarb for sale at the Farmer's Market yesterday, so for the third week in a row I bought some.  I've been making all kinds of yummies with rhubarb lately.  For awhile it was Mixed Fruit Rhubarb crisp (sorry it was so good we ate it each time before I could get a picture!) and for this week's market sales, I made the Rustic Rhubarb tart featured on Smitten Kitchen's food blog.  They were a huge hit with my customers and people kept coming for them long after I was sold out!  This morning we savoured Rhubarb Compote Crepes with maple good.


5 stalks organic rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup coconut sugar or  1/4 maple syrup
1/2  cup frozen or fresh wild blueberries

Method:  Place all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil on medium heat, cover and lower heat, simmering for 15 minutes.  Remove lid and simmer another 15 minutes.  Serve on ice cream, in pastry shells for tarts, in crepes, on pancakes, waffles or anything at all!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Sometimes I am blown away by just how beautiful spring can be in the country.  Even though I was grumpy as can be this evening, I still managed to be awestruck by the greenery, the sun, the cool breeze and the blossoms.  This all occurred as I was sitting by the fire while my husband nurtured some coals to cook supper on.  Scott loves being outside even more than I do, sipping wine by the fire.  So it was his idea to fry up some trout over the fire.  The trout is from a sweet little boy at the Farmer's Market.  He sells them out of a cooler from his stash he catches at a lake near his home.  It doesn't get much better than that, unless you catch your own of course!  Since the coals were fired up, I thought it might be nice to bake some russet potatoes while we were at it.  They were delicious topped with salty butter, cheddar cheese, fresh spring onions and yogurt.  Oh and the salad!  Fresh lettuce from the market was supplemented from some of the wee lettuce and arugula shoots I have growing in a pot on the deck.  Great way to get some early greens before the soil in the big garden is warm enough.


Thursday, May 20, 2010


I am inspired to reduce and hopefully eliminate my use of plastic.  There is pretty much nothing good about plastic and it sticks around forever which is bad for us and future generations.  So that being said I am on a journey of discovery of alternatives to life with plastic.  I thought I would share with you some of the things I am now using instead of plastic around our house, especially the kitchen.
     In the photo you will see a lovely dish brush called The Laid Back Dish Brush.  I bought it at P'lovers in Halifax and I really like it.  It's pretty cool, made with natural bristles and recycled plastic, bamboo and a biodegradable plant based plastic.  You buy replaceable heads too instead of buying a whole new handle each time.  Seeing as this does still contain some plastic, I am thinking of buying ones that I recently saw online that are made from tampico.
     The next product are these really great biodegradable dish cloths from Vileda.  They are 70% viscose from cellulose and 30% organic cotton!  The best part is you can get them at Atlantic Superstore!  I love that these work so well to wash dishes and wipe counters.  They also hold up really well to being washed in the laundry.  The price is great too....I think I paid 2.99 for a pack of 3.  Way to go Vileda!
  The last item I'd like to mention is the unbleached soywax paper.  Although I am concerned about the potential of the soy in this being of genetically modified origin, I am glad to have an alternative to plastic wrap.  This stuff is great for wrapping food, and I even bring it to the store and have them wrap deli items and seafood in it.  It is available at Planet Organic and will run you about $3.29 for a roll.  And the packaging has no plastic either.  Yay!
  As I was browsing the blog Plastic Manners, I followed the links and found myself at the Berkeley Farmer's Market list for storing vegetables without plastic.  Here is the link if you are so moved to start refrigerating your goodies without plastic:



Even though I try to make sure I serve my son vegetables often, he doesn't always eat them.  Rather than fret over this I've decided to transform them into something I know he will consume - juice.  If there is one thing that can lure this kid into doing most things he generally does not want to do, it is juice.  So here is a recipe for a smoothie that includes beets, carrots, and kale, along with some sweets like apple and banana.  Yum!  Here is a picture of my wee one drinking his smoothie in his stainless steel bottle and straw.  Don't mistake that look on his face for disgust, he genuinely enjoyed it and asked for more.


2 organic apples
2 organic carrots
1/2 organic beet
3 small leaves of organic kale
1 organic banana
1/2 tsp organic spirulina powder

Method:  Juice the apples, carrots and beet.  Pour into a blender along with the banana and spirulina.  Blend and enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010


When I was in high school my boyfriend's mother used to make the best cinnamon buns ever.  Luckily before we broke up I got the recipe!  So here it is, modified slightly to include whole wheat flour, coconut or maple sugar and organic ingredients.  


1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic unbleached flour
4 Tbsp organic butter, cold
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup organic milk
1/4 cup organic soft butter
1 cup maple sugar or coconut sugar
organic cinnamon

Method: Preheat oven to 450*.   Combine the flours, baking powder and sea salt in a bowl, whisk.  Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal.  Stir in milk until just combined and it forms a ball.  Knead on a floured counter no more than 20 X.  Roll out or press out with your hands into a rectangle.  Spread with the butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Roll into a cylinder and cut with a sharp knife into rolls.  Place in a greased baking dish and cook for 10-12 minutes.  

Friday, May 14, 2010

BROILED SHRIMP AND HADDOCK with Spring Vegetable Noodles

Tomorrow is market day so tonight I tried to clear out as many of the fresh greens from the refrigerator as possible.  (Why have I bought so many bags of kale?)  Braised kale, spinach and fiddleheads in pureed tomatoes, a little garlic, lots of romano cheese and you have yourself a mighty fine pasta dish.  Pair that with some broiled shrimp and fish and you have one happy husband too!


1 bunch organic kale, chopped
1/4 pound organic spinach
4 large handfuls wild fiddleheads
5 cloves organic garlic, smashed and minced
3 Tbsp e.v olive oil
1 can organic tomatoes, pureed
sea salt and pepper

Method:  Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the garlic, greens, some sea salt and pepper and saute for one minute, then stir in the tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes.  Serve on your favorite noodles with lots of cheese.


1 bag PC organic shrimp, raw 
1 filet hook and line haddock
tom's spice (on my etsy shop)
organic lemon
2-3 Tbsp e.v olive oil

Method:  Toss the shrimp in some olive oil along with a sprinkle of Tom's Spice.  Drizzle some olive oil on the filet and sprinkle with some Tom's Spice.  Lay in the middle of a large cast iron skillet and spread the shrimp alongside.  Squeeze a little lemon on it.  Broil in your oven for 5-10 minutes or until fish is flaky and opaque and the shrimp start to brown slightly.  Stir shrimp as needed.


     When our lawn begins to sprout lovely yellow dandelion flowers,  I start planning my yearly batch of dandelion wine.  That makes it sound like I've made dandelion wine all my life, when in truth this is only my second year!  But this year I invested in a wine bottle corker because I have plans to make all kinds of homemade wines.  My husband and I enjoyed last years batch so much that I can't wait to see how this one turns out.  We will have to wait 6 months to find out though!  That's right, wine has to rest for that long once it's bottled.  The timing couldn't be better though because we open a bottle on Winter Solstice,  so it's like a Christmas gift to myself.  Be sure to pick the flower around noon on a sunny day when the blossoms are fully open.  Also make sure that you avoid picking any green parts of the dandelion as they may interfere with the fermentation process.


4 litres boiled water
4 cups dandelion blossoms
2 organic oranges, zest peeled and then juiced
1 organic lemon, zest peeled and then juiced
2 pound local honey
1/4 tsp dry white wine or champagne yeast

Method:  Steep the blossoms in the boiling water, cover and let rest overnight (or up to 3 days) in an earthenware pot.  Then stir in the citrus peels and bring to a boil.  Strain into the earthenware crock again, stir in honey and let cool.  Add the raisins, lemon and orange juice and the the yeast.  Cover loosely and let sit in a dark room or cupboard for 2-3 weeks,  stirring every 2-3 days.  When fermentation is complete, strain with a cheesecloth, and pour into a 4 litre sterilized bottle fitted with a little gadget you buy at the wine making store that lets gas out but no air in.  Let this sit for 3 weeks and then pour into 500 ml bottles and cork.  Let age for 6-9 months.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I was a vegetarian for many, many years and this was my all time favorite comfort food recipe.  I think it's because it reminded me of all those yummy, greasy, sparerib and chicken wingy type foods I ate growing up.  For the ultimate meal, serve this with mashed potatoes and frozen corn!  We were halfway there tonight, minus the corn.  We didn't really have enough potatoes, so I added a turnip into the pot which was a great addition that boosted our vegetable intake.  That lovely salad you see in the photo is one of my cabbage and kale jobbies I've already posted, so take your pick from the recipe index, and enjoy!


1 lb organic extra firm tofu, cut into 1/4" slices
2 Tbsp organic flour
2 Tbsp organic cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp organic poultry seasoning
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh organic black pepper
2 Tbsp organic dijon mustard
4 Tbsp organic vegetable oil for frying

Sauce: 1/2 cup organic ketchup
1/3 cup coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup
2 Tbsp organic lime juice
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
1 organic onion, minced
4 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot pepper sauce

Method:  Make your sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes.
     On a plate mix flour, cornmeal, poultry seasoning, nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper.  Brush tofu with the mustard and then roll in the cornmeal mix.  Set aside.
     Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, place 4 slices of tofu in the skillet and fry until golden brown.  Keep warm in an oven on low heat.  Repeat.  Serve with sauce and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I've planted nettle at every house I've lived in, much to the dismay of the new residents I am sure.  Anyone unaware of it's presence might be surprised by it's nasty sting!  But rest assured, the needles and their stinging properties disappear once the plant is cooked.  After removing the leaves from the stems I started juicing an apple and carrot juice and decided to add in some of the stalks from the nettle into my juicer and I was pleasantly rewarded with a subtle grassy essence to my drink!  I will definitely do that again.


1/2 pound organic nettle leaves
4 Tbsp unsalted organic butter
1 medium sized organic onion, chopped
1 1/2 pound organic potatoes, thinly sliced
6 cups water or stock
1 Tbsp organic white wine vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
1 cup organic whole milk
1 cup organic cream
organic black pepper

Method:  Wash the nettle leaves.  Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Saute the onion until translucent, 3-4 minutes.  Add the nettle leaves, potatoes, water, vinegar, and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until potatoes are tender.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, adding little bits of the milk until creamy.  Add the cream and simmer soup.  Season to taste with salt.


3 organic apples
4 organic carrots
5 organic nettle stems

Method:  Juice and enjoy!


Even with all the wedding excitement and stay-over guests I managed to make a trip into the city on Saturday to buy my Farmer's Market goodies.  I am so glad I did too because this weekend all my spring favorites were there; nettle, asparagus, fiddleheads, and rhubarb.  I am planning on making a nettle soup for tonight's supper but last night we enjoyed the asparagus and fiddleheads roasted in a pasta.  Now I have already posted a few cream pasta recipes here and here so I won't bore you with the details of that.  But I will share with you the joys of roasting your asparagus and fiddleheads that you can then stir into your creamy pasta dish.  It tasted even better this afternoon when I reheated it and added some of the amazing leftover Getaway Farms Beef Bacon I picked up at the market too.  I think I like it even better than pork bacon.  But I will discuss the joys of that discovery next time I buy some more.


1 bunch organic asparagus
4 large handfuls wild fiddleheads
4 Tbsp e.v olive oil
1 Tbsp Tom's Spice

Method:  Preheat oven to 425*.  Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and lay them out onto a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp of the spice.  Toss and then make sure they are each separated and laying flat.  Do the same with the fiddleheads on a separate pan.  Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Eat as is or toss in a pasta dish.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I should have really labelled this post in a way that highlighted the delicious side dish of broccoli and kale in a yummy tomato sauce.  My father was savouring the meatloaf, saving it for last, but for me the broccoli was the hit.  My favorite times when my parents visit is supper time.  I really love eating together as a family, sitting around the table sharing food.  I am also very lucky that my mother sometimes cooks for us when they're here and so the food tastes even better when someone else is making it!  Tonight though, I insisted on making supper for her because she rarely gets to enjoy other people cooking for her.


1 head organic broccoli, stems peeled and cut into four pieces and floretted
3 large handfuls organic young kale
5 cloves organic garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 can organic crushed tomatoes
e.v olive oil
sea salt and pepper

Method:  Heat a saucepan over medium hight heat, stir in a drizzle of olive oil, some sea salt and cook the tomatoes for about 15 minutes over medium low heat until they thicken.  Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil.  When ready, toss in the broccoli and cook for a couple of minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and then drop the kale into the hot water.  Cook for about 1 minute then set aside with the broccoli.  Heat another 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a non stick skillet.  When hot add the smashed garlic and then fry the broccoli and kale for 3 minutes.  Dribble in the tomato sauce, 3 Tbsp of water, cover and reduce heat and cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.


2 pounds organic ground beef
3 organic green onions, sliced
2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup organic fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/4 cup organic milk
5 cloves organic garlic, smashed and minced
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
dash of hot sauce
sea salt and pepper

Method:  In a large mixing bowl soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the ground beef and the rest of the ingredients, stir gently to combine.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Shape the meat into a loaf in the centre of a cast iron skillet.  Bake in oven for about 30-45 minutes, or until it starts to brown and is not red in the middle.


This weekend I had the pleasure of baking my sister a 3 tiered wedding cake.  I am an experienced HUGE wedding cake baker, having made my own wedding cake (which by the way is a great idea if you want to load even more pressure onto your wedding planning) last summer.  For my wedding I had visions of yummy moist carrot cake with a rich cream cheese icing.  It turned out very well so I figured what better gift to give my sister than a homemade organic wedding cake?  Since it was a spring wedding, my sister envisioned a light lemon cake, filled with raspberry jam and a lemon cream cheese icing.  She planted 400 tulips in her backyard last fall in anticipation of her wedding day, so she thought it might be nice to use some of them on the wedding cake.  I am happy to say the cake turned out well and all the guests enjoyed it immensely.  PHEW!

LEMON WEDDING CAKE (makes 2 12" pans, 2 10" pans and 2 8" pans)
You can bake all the pans at once if you have a commercial oven, otherwise you need to bake them 2 at at time.  I baked the cakes 2 days before the wedding, crumb coated them one day before and final iced and decorated them the day of the wedding.

5 cups organic unsalted butter
12 1/2 cups organic unbleached white flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
5 tsp sea salt
5 Tbsp organic lemon zest
7 1/2 cups organic sugar
10 organic eggs
15 organic egg yolks
10 Tbsp fresh organic lemon juice
5 cups organic whole milk
organic canola oil for greasing pans
unbleached parchment paper

Moistening Syrup:
2 organic lemons, thinly sliced
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup water

2 jars organic raspberry jam

9 8-oz packages organic cream cheese, softened
3 cups organic unsalted butter, softened
4 tsp organic lemon zest
12 Tbsp fresh organic lemon juice
3 Tbsp organic vanilla extract
8 1/4 cups organic icing sugar

plastic straws and a thin wooden dowel

Method for Cake:  Preheat oven to 325*.  Grease the pans thoroughly and line with parchment paper that you traced with the bottom of the pan and cut out.  In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and soda, sea salt and lemon zest.
     In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time.  Beat in the lemon juice and then alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix until just combined.
     Divide batter between pans, smooth tops.  Be sure to insert a baking cone for the 12" pans and use wet baking strips around the cake pans to prevent the edges from burning and the centre remaining raw.
Bake until the cakes pull away from the sides of pan around 40 minutes.  Let cool in pans 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert on wire racks to cool.  When cool, invert on cardboard cake rounds, wrap in saran wrap and then tie into plastic bags and store in a cool place overnight.

Method for Syrup: Bring the sugar and water to a boil in the saucepan.  Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.

     Remove cakes from plastic wrap and with a large serrated knife, level off the tops of the cake so they are flat and all the same height.  Moisten the cakes with cooled syrup by dipping a pastry brush into the syrup and dabbing onto the cut surfaces.  Place one of the 12" cakes on a cake plate and spread with some of the jam, leaving a 1/2" border so the jam doesn't colour the icing.  Top with the other 12" cake, inverting it so the bottom of the cake is the top of this tier for a flat surface.
With a mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and butter on medium high speed until combined and airy, about 2 mintues.  Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.  Sift the sugar and with the mixer on low speed, slowly pout in the icing sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  I used a third of the icing recipe for the crumb coat and the other two thirds for the final icing.
Do a crumb coat of a thin layer of icing and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Repeat with the other two cakes.
     The next day or 2 hours later, do the final layer of icing.  If you have refrigerated extra icing, bring it to room temperature and then whip it a bit before you use it.
    When you are ready to assemble the cake place a dab of icing onto the cake plate and place the 12" cake on the plate and press an empty 10" cake pan onto the surface of the cake to guide your placement of the next tier.  Then insert a straw into the cake to measure how tall it should be, remove and cut.  Then using this straw as a guide, cut 5-6 more and insert within the circle you created so that the straws support the next level and prevent it from collapsing into the bottom cake.  Keeping the paper cardboard cake plates on the cake, place the 10" tier onto the bottom cake and repeat with the straws.  Then place the 8 inch cake on top of the 10" cake.  Take your wooden dowel and sharpen one end of it like a spear and insert it into the centre of the cake all the way down to the bottom layer.  This helps prevent the cake from shifting in transportation.  Then mark where it reaches the top of the cake, remove and cut it to size.   Re-insert into the cake and use icing to cover the entry point.  Using an icing bag, pipe any designs you would like on cake and then refrigerate before wedding.  Right before the wedding, insert the little water filled flower spikes into the cake for decorating.  Yay!
     Here is a picture of our wedding cake.  It is basically the same method only we used the carrot cake recipe that is featured in the blog post I did for my son's birthday party.

I kept the pieces of cake I sliced off when levelling the wedding cake.  I was glad I did because it came in handy the day after the wedding.  We invited some family and friends over for a BBQ and I served this cake for dessert.  There was some leftover icing and I picked some wild violets and dandelion from the garden which made a lovely spring decoration!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My sister is getting married this weekend so my parents arrived today and were here in time for supper.  I hastily took out some lamb stew meat from the freezer this morning, hoping it would thaw in time to make a stew.  It was still a wee bit frozen when I started to make this meal, but it turned out just great anyway.  It is pretty hard to screw up a stew.
     Our freezer has been restocked with lamb from Bruce Family Farms in anticipation of a post wedding BBQ we are hosting.  We originally wanted a whole lamb, but apparently that is unavailable locally until this summer.  Anyway, so the stew meat was up for grabs and rather than my usual Irish Lamb Stew I decided to go Indian with a side of brown basmati rice.  My favorite part of this meal, aside from the big chunks of lamb, was the fresh spinach salad I made that had Indian spiced cashews that I sprinkled in.  I think we need a batch of those kicking around for snacking.


2 pounds organic lamb stew meat (with bones)
30 g fresh ginger
5 cloves organic garlic, peeled
1 can organic crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp organic coconut oil
1 Tbsp organic sunflower oil
2 organic onions, peeled and chopped
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp organic ground cumin
1 tsp organic coriander
1 tsp organic paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
fresh organic black pepper, ground
5 organic potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 organic carrots, chopped
1 cup organic peas
fresh organic cilantro, chopped

Method:  In the bowl of a food processor, puree the ginger and garlic.  Heat the oils in a large saucepan over medium heat and brown the meat in two or three batches.  Remove from pan and set aside, then saute the onion and salt until translucent.  Stir in cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric,  pepper, garlic and ginger, saute for one minute.  Add the tomato, lamb, potatoes and carrots.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat, cooking gently for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  If it gets too dry add some water.  At the end of cooking stir in cilantro.  Check for saltiness and add more if necessary.  Serve with steamed basmati rice,  raita and mango chutney.

SPINACH SALAD with Spiced Cashews, Radish and Cilantro

1/2 pound organic spinach
4 organic radish, sliced
1/2 cup organic cilantro, ripped
1 cup organic cucumber, sliced
1 cup organic cashews
1/2 tsp organic cumin powder
1/2 tsp organic coriander powder
1/2 tsp organic turmeric powder
sea salt
drizzle of organic sesame oil
e.v olive oil
1/2 organic lemon, juiced
organic pepper

Method:  Toss the cashews in the cumin, coriander, turmeric, pinch of sea salt and sesame oil.  Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium heat and then saute the nuts, stirring until they start to brown only slightly.  Lower heat if necessary to prevent scorching.  Remove from heat and set aside.
     In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, radish, cucumber and cilantro.  Drizzle with some olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Add cooled nuts and toss.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


After a long day at the Farmer's Market, I was very happy to come home to a cleaned house and the makings of a fantastic supper sitting on the counter ready to be cooked at any moment by someone other than me.  Yesiree, that's my man.  Not only that but he had a fire started outside in the pit so he could grill the lamb over wood charcoals.  Yesiree, that's my man!  Since we've already posted about the joys of cooking over real coals, I'll just share with you the awesomeness of oven roasted fries with you.


1 organic sweet potato, sliced into fries
3 organic yukon gold potatoes, sliced into fries
3 Tbsp e.v olive oil
3 tsp Tom's Spice (available on my Etsy store)

Method:  Preheat oven to 400*.  Toss the fries in the oil and Tom's Spice.  Spread out onto 2 cookie sheets to prevent crowding and steaming.  Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they start to get golden brown on the edges.