Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rustic Apple Pie

It's been a busy few days. I decided to hop in my truck and drive 8 hours to visit family and friends. The drive through the mountains would of been beautiful, but it was a rainy day and the clouds/fog pretty much covered all the views.  Wasn't worth stopping to take pictures, blek! :(. Hopefully the drive back will be spectacular! I'll let you know next week. :)

So, realizing that I haven't made anything for over a week, I let my granddaughter decide what to make. Haha, yes, I had the foresight to pack a few of the cookbooks with me :) She chose apple pie since they had a whole bunch of crab apples, but they didn't have shortening. to the store ...

The kids helped me make the pie and it wasn't until it was finished that I remembered I should be taking pictures...ahh, well...I did get a picture of the finished that is something!  I call it 'Rustic Apple Pie' - even with the mixed up weave of the pastry strips, it still turned out pretty enough to make the kids proud :)  And it tasted great too - thankfully, since I got a bit worried that the crab apples might be a bit too tart!

Apple Pie

I followed the instructions as posted, except I found there really wasn't enough liquid in the pastry to have it hold together so I added probably about 2 more teaspoons of water, and it was VERY thin when rolling out, but that was me....I should of paid more attention, I don't think the recipe for SWEET PASTRY was meant to be for a double crust, so after separating the dough into two balls,  I cut the second ball in to strips to cover the top.  

Everyone liked the pie and it was simple enough to make, and I think fairly foolproof.  So for that reason I would probably make it again (but double the sweet pastry recipe for a bottom and top crust).

Sweet Pastry 
Rich and sweet for fancy tarts
Robin Hood Flour Cook Book - 1947  (pg 90)

  • 1 cup sifted Robin Hood Flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp shortening
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cold water

  1. Sift together flour and salt into mixing bowl.
  2. Add sugar and mix well.
  3. Cut butter and shortening into small pieces and add to flour mixture.
  4. Blend together thoroughly, using pastry blender (or two knives, cutting in with scissor-like motion). Butter and shortening should be well blended into mixture.
  5. Beat egg yolk slightly.
  6. Add lemon juice and water.
  7. Add a little at a time to the flour mixture, blending in lightly with a fork.
  8. When adding liquid, drop it here and there over the mixture so it will be better distributed. Mixture will be crumbly.
  9. Turn out on to lightly floured bakeboard or pastry cloth and press together into ball.
  10. Knead for 15 seconds (turn dough over 4 or 5 times)

Apple Pie 
First choice - with all the family 
Robin Hood Flour Cook Book -  1947 (pg 95)


(For Eight-inch Pie)
  • 4 1/2 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 1/2 to 3/4  cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp butter

For Nine-inch Pie
  • 6 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Prepare pasty as in General Directions for Two-Crust Pies (page 94)
  2. Wipe, quarter, core, peel, and slice apples, then measure
  3. Combine sugar and cinnamon (amount of sugar depends on tartness of apples)
  4. Arrange apple in layers in pastry-lined pie plate.
  5. Sprinkle each layer with sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Dot top layer with small pieces of butter.
  7. Cover with top crust
  8. Place pie on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 F (very hot oven)
  9. Bake 10 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350 F (moderate oven) and bake for 30 - 35 minutes longer.
  10. Serve warm or cold.
Note: I didn't make the Two-Crust Pie Pastry, so I ignored Step 1 - General Directions for Two-Crust Pies (page 94) But I will post them at some point :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The best and yummiest Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I can't say I love Carrot Cake. In most cases I avoid it and choose something else. It's always hit and miss and I don't want to take the chance of biting in to gummy undercooked cake, slimy carrots, or shredded carrot bits that are just too long and stringy - the kind that you pull from the cake like hair stuck in a shower drain. Blek! I would rather gnaw my arm off, seriously! I have issues with finding any hair in my food! I became a vegetarian for a couple years because of hair and a Wendy's hamburger!...But that's a different story and not about this carrot cake.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

The carrot cake my sister (sis #2) makes is amazing. I'm not sure why, but it's very vanilla-ie, has a great vanilla flavour is what I'm trying to say :) or maybe it's just that the smell makes it seem like it has been infused with vanilla.  The cake has an amazing 'rightness' to it. The right taste, the right texture, the right smell, the right sweetness, and the right size of shredded carrots.  And whomever decided that cream cheese icing goes with Carrot Cake was a darn genius!

This time around, I figured I would make it myself, using the recipe my sister uses from the Five Roses Flour Cook Book and I wasn't disappointed, nope, not at all. The only thing better than this cake - is if she had made it for me :)

I started off by chopping the nuts (I used walnuts) and shredding the carrots. I just used a carrot peeler and did small strokes at the end of the carrot until the carrot was completely shredded and in the bowl. It took about 4 - 5 medium sized carrots to make 3 cups.

Shredded Carrots and Nuts

Once I had the carrots and nuts done, I dumped all the wet ingredients plus the sugar into the mixing bowl and turned it on. The recipe says to let it go for 5 minutes, so while that was spinning around, I got the dry ingredients ready and greased the 9 X 13 baking pan.

Carrot cake dry ingredients

Next up was to toss the carrots and nuts in with the wet ingredients and give it a whirl.  

Adding carrots and nuts to Carrot cake batter

Add the flour. I just dumped all of it in at once and gave it a quick mix.

This seriously looks like barf and reminds me of the Rinktum Ditty I made. Pinky orange is NOT a good look for food. Hahah, are you sold on making this yet? Hair and Barf - what the heck will I say about food I hate??

So, take your yummy looking pinky orange mixture and dump it into a greased 9X13 pan. It really needs to be this big of a pan, or two 8X8's or something (24 muffins perhaps). It ends up making a lot of cake. I got 24 large 'forget about the diet' sized pieces out of this.

 Bake at 350 F for 55 - 60 minutes and then let cool on a rack.

While baking, throw your cream cheese ingredients into the blender and cream together.  I made a double batch because....
  1. a regular package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese is 8 oz, not 4, and what am I going to do with 1/2 a brick of cream cheese? I guess I could freeze it...nah...
  2. I think the cake is better with the double recipe. It's a nice yummy amount  - not too much...and definitely not too little :)
 Once the cake has nicely cooled, slather it with the cream cheese icing. YUM!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Cut into the non diet friendly servings and enjoy!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Five Roses Flour Cook Book - 1970? (pg 94)

  • 2 1⁄2 cups Five Roses flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

  1. Preheat oven
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together.
  3. In the large electric mixer bowl combine oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla; beat until light, about 5 minutes.
  4. Blend in carrots and nuts.
  5. Blend in dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time.
  6. Pour batter into greased and floured pan
  7. Bake in a moderate oven until top springs back when lightly pressed with fingertips.
  8. Let cake stand in pan 10 minutes before removing. 
  9. Cool completely on rack.
  10. Frost with cream cheese frosting
Rectangular cake pan: 22 cm X 33 cm (9" X 13")
Temperature: 180 C (350 F)
Cooking Time: 55 to 60 minutes
Yield: 1 large cake

CREAM CHEESE ICING (single recipe as shown in book)
Five Roses Flour Cook Book - 1970? (pg 102 )

  • 2 1⁄2 cups icing sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 – 4 oz pkg cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together
  2. Add in vanilla
  3. Beat in icing sugar
Yield: 500 mL (2 cups)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blueberry Sally Lunn

I was reading through a local cook book 'From Our... Kitchen... to yours' by the The Atlantic Provinces Association of Northern B.C. and I stumbled across a recipe for Blueberry Sally Lunn submitted by Sandra Langille of Truro, N.S.

Blueberry Sally Lunn

The cook book reminds me of so many local association, school, knitting club cook books. All the recipes come with a name attached and there are a lot of filler recipes for having a happy home or finding the right husband. Maybe I should of read this book YEARS AGO :) haha!  These so-called recipes make me think of knitted tea cozies, tea stained tea cups, quilted blankets, ... and gasp!... nosey opinionated relatives that can and will explain to you exactly why you are not yet married and how you let a 'good one' get away.  Hopefully it reminds you of grandmas kitchen or the aged cross stitched 'Home Sweet Home' picture framed at Auntie Annie's house, but not me, sorry.. different upbringing I suppose :)

Recipe for a happy home  (submitted by Maisie)


One carefully selected man.
One carefully selected woman.

To the man add the abilities to be a good provider ad give affections. Stir in stability, strength, decisiveness and leadership. Boil until all traces of condescension evaporate.

To the woman add the abilities to be a good homemaker and give encouragement. Stir in loyalty, tenderness, and creativity. Boil until all traces of nagging evaporate.

Carefully blend the two together. Grease immediately with maturity. Flour with common sense. Add heaping amounts of respect and honesty. Constantly add kindness and understanding. Drain off apartness but retain individuality. Whip in sense of humour. Grind in responsibility. Fold in patience mixed with insight. Stir in ability to sacrifice. Soften with trust. Cut out all traces of selfishness. For added richness blend in plans and dreams and season with children.
What I do know for sure about the book is that my mom would of either purchased it or received it as a gift when she used to live in northern BC over 30 yrs ago. What I don't know is when the book was published by Gateway Publishing Co. Ltd (Winnipeg, Canada).

Now, having already made two different Sally Lunns, how could I possibly pass up this one. It's similar to the recipe in the American Woman's cook book in that it doesn't require beating the egg whites to stiff peaks, thankfully! but that's about it - the ratios for the ingredients are completely different.

I made 2 changes in the recipe, mostly so that this recipe is baked the same as the other two Sallys. I used a bundt pan for it instead of the 9X9 mentioned in the recipe and, since bundt's get flipped out, I used the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture to dust the sides of the greased pan, like you would with flour.

Once dusted, I wiped off the unused brown sugar mixture so it wouldn't burn to the side of the pan and popped it in the oven.  I just used my finger, which seemed to work the best :)

It came out of the pan really easily once it was almost cooled, no doubt because the bundt pan is non stick and I also sprayed it with PAM before dusting with the brown sugar mix.

It's not a sweet cake, but the brown sugar and cinnamon coating gives it an extra bit of sweetness and a tiny bit of crunch, which I really like.  I think this really would be amazing served warm with ice cream. Yum!

Blueberry Sally Lunn
From Our... Kitchen... to yours - 1970's? (pg 28) 
Sandra Langille of Truro, N.S.  

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  1. Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs
  2. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk
  3. Fold in blueberries
  4. Pour into greased 9 X 9 inch pan
  5. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
  7. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy Day!

I think today is going to be great!

I don't have another recipe to post. Hey..I just did the tea biscuits! But, let me explain...

Good Thing #1 - I found a home for my baked goods.

Jack Cookies

When I was in Toronto, I would bake all the time and bring the goodies in to work for my coworkers. Now that I am in BC and that's the first time I've actually said that...usually I just say I work in Toronto.  What a great word that is, everything you need to know all rolled up in one little package...wait, haha, I digress! Now that I am telecommuting, I have no one really to give my baked goods to. I bring some to my mom, but she has favourites she wants me to make, so I don't get to do my own thing as much...but I've fixed that!

My dad lived and died in this area. While he was alive he worked for the same company for almost as long as I can remember.  His boss is a very nice man and while I haven't spoken to him often over the years, he still knows who I am (he knows my sister a lot better...but she has lived here off and on over the years), so... I went to see him.

I was nervous and after I left the hardware store, I wasn't sure I wanted to just pop in across the street. I had that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach when I push myself to interact with people I don't know well or when I'm in a confrontational situation.  It all sounds easy and I know what I want to say beforehand, but it doesn't come out like that. Usually I sound like a babbling idiot. BUT...I did it. I had to, like jumping out of the white water rafting boat into the regrets and what if's and might-have-beens.

We talked for a few minutes and did the normal "How are you" meeting things and then discussed a bit about Table Saws. And then I asked if he could help me with something...before he could get all wary (I would be - people who drop in only to ask for things SUCK) .. I asked him if I could drop off baking when I make it.  He smiled, I smiled, and the deal was struck! RELIEF! I still babbled, but I got the heck out of there while I still had some dignity :)  I kindly left a loaf of yummy Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake to truly seal the deal :) Yay! I win! Hahah.

Good Thing #2 -  I get my truck back today. It got a wee bit of scuff on the front bumper at the Uhual place in Toronto. It wasn't me! I know where the front bumper of my truck is. It was a guy who works there...I just didn't notice until I was halfway to BC...and really, it wasn't that bad, so it's not worth the fight.  So...back here...I have a friend close by that I've known for years...and he happens to be an auto-body painter with his own company. Yay! I left my truck with him on the weekend and it's ready today!  Yay!  I miss her :)

Good Thing #3 - My other sis (Sis #1) will be in town today, so I'll get to see her.  I saw her a few weeks ago when me and sis #2 went to visit her and pick up some furniture :) Yay!

Good Thing #4 - I'm going to buy a mitre saw (on sale). I will be able to cut wood in a straight line. Yay, Yay, and more Yay!!

What a great great day!  Hope you all are enjoying yours!

Whole Wheat Tea Biscuits

It's hard to beat tender, flaky biscuits for that melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

I was going to make the tea biscuits in the Purity cookbook, but then I came across the whole wheat recipe.

I'm pretty sure I loved the basic Tea Biscuit recipe in the Five Roses Flour cook book, so it seemed like the place to start. How do I know I loved it? Well, glad you asked! On one of the back pages of the book, I wrote ' Tea Biscuits pg 41'. And yup, it is my 30+ yr ago selfs' handwriting.

Tea biscuits are the ultimate in easy quick comfort food. They have been a wonderful breakfast, snack, and dinner food for me over the years. Yum!

I've made my fair share of basic tea biscuits over my lifetime using whatever recipe I came across, but I don't often switch it up flour wise. Until now. Whole wheat tea biscuits just sound a bit healthier and less guilty feeling when smothered in homemade blueberry-cherry jam. I think this means I can have more than one!

One of the great things about tea biscuits is that they can be made fancy using scalloped cutters, or utilitarian little squares cut from a patted down pile of dough, or cut into sticks - perfect for dipping in soups! It's all yummy in my tummy goodness :)

Whole wheat tea biscuits with flower cookie cutters

The texture of these biscuits are not quite the same as regular tea biscuits. They are a bit more dense feeling, but they were delicious with just the right amount of sweetness.

I would make these again, for sure :)

Tea Biscuits (basic)
Five Roses Flour Cook Book - 1970? (pg 41)

  • 2 cups Five Roses All Purpose Flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk or light cream

Variation: Whole Wheat Tea Biscuits

Use only:
  • 1 cup Five Roses All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Five Roses Whole Wheat Flour
  1. Preheat oven
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Cut in shortening with two knives or a pastry blender until mixture is the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
  4. Make a well in the center of ingredients and add liquid all at once.
  5. Stir batter vigorously until it comes freely from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead lightly for a few seconds.
  7. Roll or pat out to desired thickness*
  8. Cut dough with floured biscuit cutter and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  9. Bake in a hot oven.
  10. Serve immediately with butter and jam or marmalade.

*Thickness of dough: 1 cm (1/2")
Diameter of biscuit cutter: 5 cm (2")
Pan: cookie sheet
Temperature: 230 C (450 F)
Cooking Time: 12 - 15 minutes
Yield: 15 - 18 biscuits

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A break in the weather

It's been 2 weeks since I've last made anything.  In my defense, it's summer, it's warm in the house, and it's HOT HOT HOT outside! Beautiful and amazing actually. My poor friends in Toronto have had mostly rainy cold weather lately, but for the last month it's been 30+ degrees here. day it said 41!  40 Freakin 1 degrees! That is crazy talk! 

Since I haven't been baking or cooking, I figured I'd at least explain (in photos) how I've been spending my time.  I loooOOOOve the heat!
Columbia River
Fishing! I love fishing. It is one of the most relaxing things. I've mostly trolled from a boat, so it's a whole new experience casting from shore.

The Springs Golf Course
My sister and I took golf lessons (thanks Sis!), so we went golfing one evening. The mountain view is amazing. The pic above is a mid range OK view, there are so many even more beautiful views there.

The Old Coach Trail
Hiking! There are a so many places to hike and every one of them has spectacular views.  It wasn't so odd coming across a cross, but...seeing an empty hole beside it was CREEPY!

Ana White Door Spice Rack
Building things!
I love the Ana White website. She has plans for everything from beginner to experienced.  My sister was in serious need of some extra cupboard space, so I decided to build the behind the door spice rack. I think it turned out great for the first time making anything.  Dowels....dowels look perfectly straight in the store...but not when used. That's what I've learned making this :)  Next up is the beer cooler outdoor table and the outdoor sofa.  Pssst, the behind the door spice rack is full now :)

Wet N Wild White Water Rafting on the Kicking Horse
Let's all stay in the boat!
White water rafting down the Kicking Horse.  We did the upper and lower canyon which went from easy to class IV rapids. It was so much fun!  In the picture above, I'm the the one sinking in to the water on the top right. It happens so fast over the rapids and you get splashed with so much cold water (3 degrees Celsius) that you have no time to worry.

Wet N Wild White Water Rafting on the Kicking Horse
White Water rafting!
I chose the seat in the front on the right (passenger side if you are driving a car in Canada!). It was the WETTEST spot to be. At first it felt a bit unstable and like I would fall out of the boat, but after a few rapids, I got my river legs :)

The scariest part of the day was jumping out of the boat (on purpose) to float down the rapids.'s not floating, it's a no control fast trip through crashing waves. I was fine until I met up with our boat. The most claustrophobic scariest thing ever is the feeling of being pulled under the boat with the rapids crashing all over your head so you can't breathe!  But...having done it once badly...I want to try again!

The heat has caused a few forest fires both north and south of where I am, so the valley gets a bit smokey and looks hazy all the time, but it's still been a wonderful summer to be outside. I don't want to waste any of it - winter will be here soon enough.

I do have plans to do some baking - whole wheat tea biscuits from the Purity cookbook - but I need to make a run to the store to get some milk first :)

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer too :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Nut Coffee Cake with Blueberries

There seems to be a lot of blueberries for sale, everywhere! And all at a fairly good price. Between me and my sister, I think we collected more than we really need, so besides freezing them,  I used about a pound to top up the amount of fruit I needed when making cherry jam... I guess it's Cherry Blueberry Jam now. I hope it tastes great!..hope hope and more hope.. even if it's not great, I hope at least edible and somewhat yummy! Jam is a funny thing, you can't really know for sure if it all worked until it's done..  *sigh*... ok..ok, less about jam and more other blueberry stuff! Although...runny jam is great on ice cream!

I love coffee cake, especially when having coffee. It seems like such a civilized thing to do. Like afternoon tea with dainty teacups. But coffee cake and coffee feels more rustic and down to earth. More like a friendly visit with girlfriends instead of a snooty affair. Apologies to afternoon tea drinking / cucumber sandwich eating folks :)

I took this one over to my mom....minus a TINY slice...Thankfully I had better self control than I did when I made the Sally Lunn!  It was yummy, although very cake like and not as dense as I envision coffee cake to be.
Nut Coffee Cake with Blueberries

I basically followed the recipe as is with the exception of 1 or 2 things.  Ok, 3 things if I'm being honest.

I didn't read 'square pan' until I had already poured the batter into the Bundt Pan. And, well, I kind of decided that I didn't want to only use half the topping, nor did I want to put the topping and blueberries on top - so I followed the basic recipe and just added blueberries along with the first layer of topping in the middle of the batter.

Nut Coffee Cake with Blueberries - in the middle
It doesn't mention it in the recipe, but I usually dust fruit with flour before adding them into the batter. So I did that too.

I did have a bit of concern when I put the final bit of topping on. I thought to myself, "How the heck is this going to work...the cake gets flipped, so this is really the bottom", that's when I read 'square pan', which makes more sense based on the directions! 

There wasn't anything else to do, but put it in the oven and hope for the best. And..well, it worked out great! The blueberries and nuts sunk in to the batter a bit while cooking, so it didn't leave a weird sticky mess on the bottom when I flipped it over  :) Yay! I won!

I let it cool for the 10 - 15 minutes they recommend and then flipped it out onto a plate.

I wanted to pretty it up, so I lightly sprinkled it with icing sugar.

I took some pictures, and then off to my mom's house, cake in hand :)  Hahah, they didn't wait long to try it, since when I asked how she liked it later on that day, she said she liked it and that it was still warm when she tried it :)

Nut Coffee Cake with Blueberries
Five Roses Flour Cook Book  - 1970?  (pg 37)


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp butter or margarine


Combine brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is the size of large peas.

Batter (Basic Recipe)

  • 1 1/4 cup Five Roses All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In another bowl, cream together sugar and shortening until smooth.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until mixture is light.
  4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients alternatively with milk.
  5. Spread half of the batter into greased pan. 
  6. Sprinkle half of topping on top.
  7. Cover with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining topping.
  8. Bake in a moderate oven.
  9. Allow cake to sit at room temperature in pan on rack 10 -15 minutes.
  10. Cut pieces from pan and serve warm.

Square Pan: 20 cm (8")
Temperature: 180 C (350 F)
Cooking Time: 30 - 40 minutes
Yield: 1 coffee cake

Variations: Blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, not thawed

  1. Prepare only half of the topping.
  2. Spread batter in greased mould.
  3. Arrange blueberries on top and sprinkle with topping