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Here’s an appetizer that is sure to please, especially now when asparagus is plentiful and has lots of flavour!
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  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (all butter type is best)
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 10 medium asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, shaved into thin strips
  • using a vegetable peeler
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano (or cheese of your choice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface, just until creases are smooth. Trim dough to a 10″ square. Lightly score a 1/2″ border around dough. Brush off excess flour and transfer dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze 15 minutes.

Brush border of dough with the beaten egg. Bake until puffed and starting to brown, 10 – 12 minutes. Toss asparagus with the oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Remove tart shell from oven and press down on the center with a spatula. Arrange asparagus on top. Bake until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Bake until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing into squares. Serves 4.

We had our tarte with barbecued lamb burgers and veggies with hummus!

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As per request, here is the recipe for the ever popular banana chocolate chip muffins! 

  •  3 ripe bananas
  • 6 tbsp. melted shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1, 1/2 cups all-purpose baking flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Mash bananas in mixer
  2. Add shortening, sugar and salt 
  3. Mix well  and add egg and vanilla 
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda and baking powder 
  5. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture along with walnuts and chocolate chips 
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Yields 18 muffins. 

 

The combination of sweet and salty make these a favourite.

Serve them with drinks, soup, salad, ice cream or cake to give them a crunchy addition or pack them up prettily for gifts.

  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pinch each cayenne and cinnamon
  • 2 cups of no salt whole nuts – pecans, almonds, walnuts etc
  1. In a bowl, mix together maple syrup, sugar, salt, cayenne and cinnamon. Add nuts and stir well to coat evenly.
  2. Spread over parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in 325 degree F oven (160 degree C) for 8 minutes.  Stir the nuts to make sure they are not sticking to each other and bake for up to 10 minutes more or until golden.  Let cool completely.  Break apart any nuts that are stuck together.

Storage: Store in airtight container for up to 1 week

Wacky Cake

This 1950’s snack cake has no eggs and is made all in one pan. If you prefer a more pudding like texture do not completely mix the batter and remove it from the oven a few minutes before the given timing.


1 1/2 cups flour (unsifted)
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Sift above into an 8″ square ungreased cake pan
  2. Stir to mix
  3. Make 3 holes
  4.  In the first hole put 1 tablespoon vinegar
  5. Next hole put 5 tablespoons melted shortening
  6. Last hole 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. Pour over all 1 cup fairly warm water
  8. Stir to moisten if you want pudding cake and stir to mix thoroughly if you want cake
  9. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 30 – 40 minutes

Breakfast Pies

These individual breakfast pies can be made ahead of time and microwaved to reheat as needed. They make great finger food for the little ones. This recipe is always a huge hit.

3/4 lb. ground pork sausage
1/8 cup minced onion
1/8 cup minced green bell pepper
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup shredded colby-Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar
2 (12 oz.) can refrigerated biscuit dough

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or grease a 12 cup muffin tin with oil.
  2. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, combine sausage, onion, and green bell pepper. Cook until sausage is evenly browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
  3. Separate both lots of dough, dust slightly with some flour and roll very gently to flatten. Cut each portion (1 per can) into 6 squares so that you have 12 to line each cup – sides and bottoms of the muffin tin.
  4. Evenly distribute sausage mixture between the cups. Mix together the eggs and milk and divide between the cups. Sprinkle tops with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until filling is set.

Yield: 12 servings

Happy Valentines Day

Pomegranates are flavourful and nutritious but can be tricky to eat. The most simple (and under-rated!) way to de-seed can be done in three steps…

  1. Roll the pomegranate gently, pressing down on it like you would an orange before you juice it. This loosens the seeds.
  2. Cut the pomegranate in half.
  3. Over a large bowl, hold the half upside-down and tap it with a wooden spoon. The seeds should fall out into the bowl!