Thursday, July 26, 2012

Twisted Parmesan Herb Buns

 The summer has been an unbearably hot one, and we have been staying away from the stove and oven as much as possible.I'm not complaining, because I actually love all this sunshine and warm weather. but our poor lawn is almost turned to hay!
Today we woke to some rain and a much cooler day.
I had made a pulled pork in the crock pot and was planning to make some homemade potato buns, but after a busy morning found myself with not enough time required to make them..
In the end because I was craving some type of homemade yeast bread, I decided to make these yummy soft fat bread twists.
They literally require only 15 minutes of prep time, an hour to rise, and then another 20 minutes to rest and bake. You can top them with almost anything you feel like, caraway seeds, sesame,rosemary or like I did with some grated Parmesan, sea salt and herb De Provence. I hope you try these as they really do melt in your mouth.
1T. yeast
2T. sugar
11/2C. warm water

Mix all these in your mixing bowl

31/2C flour

With your dough hook knead for 5 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the bowl.
I then take the dough and lightly oil the bowl ,return the dough and cover with cling wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until double in size.

Flour your counter and roll out the dough into a rectangle about 15X20. with a pizza cutter cut 12 strips about 11/2 inches wide.

Melt 1/4C of butter
 Por the melted butter right  on to your baking sheet.

 Take your stip of cut dough and coat it in the melted butter ,
 fold the dough strip in half and then twist and lay in a row on your baking sheet.

Repeat the same way with all your stripes.

When they are all in the pan  side by side,you are ready to dress them up any way you want. I generously sprinkled Parmesan cheese, salt and herbs on mine. Let rise for another 20 minutes while you preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Beware, when they come out of the oven they won't last long!

Monday, March 19, 2012


I like to serve smooth soups when I entertain, they are appetizing but not heavy and very unfussy to prepare. You can make them ahead of time when entertaining and then just reheat.  If you wish you can add a little bit of heavy cream to "rich" it up and make it a bit fancy for your guests, or if serving  for your family, a garnish of parsley makes it just as festive .

2 butternut squash about 4-5 lbs in total
2 T vegetable oil
2 C thinly sliced onions
1 T golden brown sugar
2 tsp.minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 C vegetable/or chicken broth ( you can use more broth if desire)

Pre-heat oven to 375.
Oil a baking sheet.
Cut your squash in half and place  flesh side down and bake until soft , at least 50 minutes.
Using a paring knife cut off the skin on your baked squash and then cut in chunks.
Heat oil in in your soup pot, add the onions, garlic,ginger and cinnamon stick.
Cook about 15 minutes until onion are tender.
Add your broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for another 20 minutes.

At this stage you can  puree in batches to your desired  consistency,serve immediately or refrigerate for use the next day.
Garnish with a dollop of heavy cream swirled to impress your guests or
garnish with parsley.

Monday, January 23, 2012


After 36 years of marriage you would think that I would know what my husband liked  for something a little sweet to nibble on. For example I know that when he had his nose job after making contact with a rugby cleat all he asked for were his mother's chocolate chip cookies. In a torte he always asks for a Frankfurter Kranz,at Christmas he loves Red Velvet cake and Nanaimo bars, and he especially enjoys a good pound cake or banana cake with a cup of tea. So why am I posting a date square? Because whenever we are invited out where someone serves a date square, my husband chirps quite pleasantly how ,"date squares", are his favourite!! Really??  I swear , his mother never made a date square in her life, neither did my mom or for that matter any one of my sisters....oh wait, he tells me that his Aunt Louise makes date squares... whatever!The point being after all these years surely he would have asked me to make some..before now .

While it may not be a new recipe for you,but it is most certainly my first attempt at making these squares. I probably should have called Aunt Louise,but instead I chose to go to a Canadian Living recipe where I know for sure recipes are tested and guaranteed not to fail.

 Dates are a good source of fibre, and I must admit these squares are satisfying and quite delicious and would make a good morning snack...they are just a bit too sweet for my tastes.

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter cubed
1/3 cup sliced hazelnuts (optional)

375 grams pitted dates
3/4 cup sugar
2Tbsp. lemon juice
2Tbsp. orange juice


Filling:In a saucepan stir together 2 cups water ,dates,sugar, lemon and orange juices and let stand for 30 minutes.
Bring to boil and reduce heat to medium and boil gently, stirring often, until thickened, around 10 minutes. Let cool.

In large bowl whisk together oats,sugar,flour,orange rind and salt.
Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press 1/2 of oat mixture evenly into an 8 inch square parchment lined pan.
Spread with date mixture.
Toss remaining oat mixture with hazelnuts if you are using them, sprinkle over date mixture pressing lightly.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 minute.