Friday, January 11, 2019

Savory Pumpkin and Carrot Spice Cake

This is a savory variation of Carrot, Orange, and Spice Cake that I came up with when I had some leftover pumpkin puree. This recipe makes enough batter for 1 - 9 inch round cake pan.
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g pumpkin puree
  • 20 g brown sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 50 g  grated carrots
  • optional 50g pecans  or walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 orange, zest and juice only
  • 1 tsp Grand Marnier or orange extract
  • 160 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/360F/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of one round 9 inch cake pan.

Grate the carrots and add the juice and zest of one orange. If using nuts, add them here.

Melt the butter in a saucepan then whisk in the sugar, eggs and Grand Marine/orange oil until smooth and well combined.

Sift the flour, baking soda and ground spices into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt and baking powder.

Fold the butter mixture into the dry ingredients until combined. Fold in the carrot mixture.

Pour the combined mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer or knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle (check after 40 minutes and cover the top of the cake if the cake is browning too fast).

Leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Vegetable and Mashed Potato Pie

Makes 2 - 9 inch pies


  • 2 - 9 inch pie shells
  • 5-6 large potatoes (russet or yukon gold)
  • 3T butter 
  • milk
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 lb mushrooms
  • 2 c dry soy curl
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 c frozen peas
  • 3 c water
  • 1 tsp dill
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp thai basi
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard seed, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 2 T Soy sauce
  • ¼ c warm water

Pre-heat oven to 200F and pre-bake the pie shells for 8-12 minutes or until the dough starts to dry out a bit. Set aside to cool.

Make the mashed potatoes: Peel and cube the potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the potatoes, add a pinch of salt and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Mash the potatoes using a mixer and add the butter and enough milk until they are the consistency you like. Set aside.

Soak the soy curls in hot water for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

Cut the mushrooms up into ½ inch pieces.

Heat the oil in a large fry pan.

Fry the soy curls until they start to brown, then add the mushrooms. Use medium to medium-high head and stir occasionally until all of the mushrooms are well cooked.

Put three cups of water into a saucepan and add the spices. Bring to a boil and add the carrots. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let the carrots cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the peas to the saucepan and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then take the saucepan off of the heat.

Mix the Soy Sauce, cornstarch, and ¼ c warm water. Stir until well combined.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Add the soy curls and mushroom mix to the peas and carrots mix and stir until well mixed. Bring the mixture back up to temperature on the stove.

Add the soy sauce/cornstarch mixture to the combined vegetables, cook for 3-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Divide the vegetable filling between the two pie crusts. This should make just enough to fill both to the brim.

Top with mashed potatoes and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the pie crust has browned and the potatoes are starting to color.

Let cool for a few minutes before serving as the filling will be very hot.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Scandinavian Rye Bread

This is my go-to bread recipe and I have found it is very adaptable. I've used it to make Dill, Walnut and Chocolate chip, and white loaves. 

Ingredients for Rye Bread
  • 175ml full-fat milk
  • 175ml water
  • 2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
  • 7g fast-action dried yeast
  • 250g rye flour
  • 200g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • sunflower (or other neutral) oil oil, for greasing
Alternate breads: 

Chocolate Chip Walnut
  • Substitute white bread flour for the rye flour
  • omit the caraway seeds
  • use ½ t. salt
  • when kneading for the 2nd prove/rise add in: 
    • 50g chopped walnuts 
    • 50g chocolate chips.
  • The 2nd prove/rise may take longer
  • substitute white bread flour for the rye flour
  • use 1T Dill in place of Caraway seeds
  • omit the water
  • omit the rye flour
  • use 450 g of white bread flour
  • add 150 g pumpkin puree
  • add 50 g shredded carrot
  • add 1 tsp Grand Mariner
  • add 1 tsp of orange extract or the zest of one orange
  • add 1 tsp cinnamon
  • add ½ tsp cardamom
  • add ¼ tsp cloves
  • add ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • substitute wheat flour for the rye flour
  • omit the caraway seeds
  • use ½ t. salt
  • substitute white bread flour for the rye flour
  • omit the caraway seeds
  • use ½ t. salt

  • Put the milk, water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat very gently, stirring constantly, for just a few seconds until the liquid is lukewarm and the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl. 
  • (Note you can also microwave the milk and water and then add the sugar, or you can add warm water to cold milk to bring it up to temperature. The goal is to get the mixture to just about body temp (96-98F).
  • Stir in the yeast and leave for 5-10 minutes until there is a light froth floating on the surface.
  • Put all the flour, rye and white, in a large bowl, stir in the salt and caraway seeds, then make a well in the center. 
  • Pour the warm yeast mixture on to the flour and mix with a wooden spoon and then your hands to form a soft, spongy dough.
  • Turn the dough out on to a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic; or, if you have a stand-mixer, use a dough hook to knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  • Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with oiled cling film/plastic wrap.
  • Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until it has doubled in size.
  • Put the dough on a floured work surface and knock it back with your knuckles, then knead for another minute.
  • Shape the dough into a fat oval, round loaf, or putting it into a loaf tin; pulling the dough from the top and sides and tucking it underneath to make a neat shape.
  • For shaped loaves: place the loaf on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover it loosely with the oiled cling film/plastic wrap. For bread in a loaf tin: cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap. Leave either type to prove/rise for a further 40–50 minutes until it has doubled in size once more. 
  • Once the loaf is done proving/rising a second time, score the top of the loaf 2-4 times. 
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Bake the loaf in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes or until it is well risen and the base sounds hollow when tapped sharply. 
  • Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. (This is very important! The bread is still baking during this time. Cutting into it too early can result in an undercooked loaf).

Originally found at: Scandinavian Rye Bread (Hairy Bikers)

Dill Loaf, round with 2 cuts in the form of an X
Dill Loaf

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients (makes 2 9-inch pies)
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 1 t. cardamom
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 2 cans (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk (use 1 3/4 cans)
  • 2 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shells

Blind bake the pie shells at 475° F for 6-8 minutes until dough goes from translucent to opaque but before it browns. Protect the rim of the crust during the blind bake. Set aside to cool while mixing the filling.

Mix the dry ingredients: sugar, salt, and spices in a small bowl together until well combined. 

Mix the pumpkin and molasses, beat the eggs and add to the pumpkin mixture. Using a whisk can make this process easier.

Slowly add 1 ¾ cans of the evaporated milk until well combined.

Fill the crusts to the brim. Bake at 475° F for 15 minutes then reduce the  temperature to 350° F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes or until a tester inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack for 2 hours, then serve immediately or refrigerate.

Monday, August 20, 2018

My Hummus

My no garlic, very lemony hummus. 


  • 2 cans garbanzo beans 
  • 1/4 cup celery
  •  1/4 - 1/2 tsp Corriander 
  • 1 lemon, zest and juic
  • enough bottled lemon juice to make up 1/4 cup between it and the juice from the lemn 
  • 1/4 cup tahini 
  •  1/8 cup fresh lemon verbena 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp paprika 


  • Drain and thoroughly rinse the garbanzo beans. 
  • Prepare the garbanzo beans. Use a blender, mixer, or vegetable strainer to puree the garbanzo beans. I found that my stick blender was the fastest and most effective method. The goal is to crush them into a paste.
  • Cut the celery in thin slices and fry the celery and Corriander in a little oil until the celery is just translucent.
  • Zest and juice the lemon. 
  • Add bottled lemon juice to zest and juice from lemon to make up 1/4 cup of juice.
  • Chop the lemon verbena fine.
  • Mix together all of the ingredients and blend until well combined.  If you can, use a mixer or whisk to whip it together and smooth out the texture a bit.


Friday, August 3, 2018

Any-Fruit Crisp Topping

This topping can go on top of any fruit when making Fruit Crisp and the vanilla extract can be omitted or changed to a flavor that pairs better with the fruit being used.


  • 1¾c rolled oats 
  • 1½c flour 
  • 1 c brown sugar 
  • 1 c unsalted butter 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional) 


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F. 
  •  Mix the dry ingredients together. 
  •  Soften the butter to a good consistency for rubbing in by hand.
  •  Add the extract and butter to the dry mix. 
  •  Rub the butter in by hand until all ingredients are well-combined. 
  •  Cover the fruit with the crisp topping. 
  •  Bake for 25-40 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through and the topping is lightly browned. 
  • Let rest for 20-30 minutes, this will help the topping finish crisping up and will keep you from burning your mouth on the hot fruit.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Triple Chocolate Muffins


75 ml vegetable oil
240 ml milk or buttermilk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla

300 g all purpose flour
75 g brown sugar
20 g cocoa powder
20 g dark cocoa powder or melted baking chocolate
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

250 g chocolate chips


If needed, melt the chocolate and then add it to the combined mixture. If using powdered add to the dry mixture.

Mix the wet ingredients together.

Mix the dry ingredients together.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture until well mixed.

Add the chocolate chips, stirring in by hand until well combined.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Fill muffin cups with 60ml (¼ c) of batter. They will be about 2/3rd full. Makes 17 muffins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.