Gordy and I are in training, our motivation is to get in shape for our 10k hike in Algonquin Park. Gordy’s idea is to run up and down the Baldwin Steps at Spadina and Davenport, located just between Casa Loma and The Spadina House. Not sure if this put us in shape for the hike but it sure was a good workout. After climbing the stairs (five times), we wandered through the gardens at the historic Spadina House, did you know we have an apple orchard right here in Toronto? Just when you think you know your city you can be surprised. Time to make an apple crisp.
Whichever type of apples and pears you use, make sure to choose the best local varieties.
This recipe is a classic and is adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I added pecans for some extra crunch.
This recipe serves 8 to 10.
2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
2 pounds firm apples (6 apples), I use whatever I have in my fridge.
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup peacans
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Peel and core the pears and apples and cut them into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the cranberries, zests, juices, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish.
- For the topping:
- Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, pecans and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
- Place the baking dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
The apple orchard at the The Spadina House
Why are beets so amazing? They are jam packed with potassium and antioxidants, low in calories, and purple too. Beets make these burgers juicy and sweet and are full of good healthy stuff like veggies, beans, fresh herbs, oats and flax. These burgers may be gluten free, dairy free and egg free but filled with so much goodness that I can promise you that this tasty little burger is just that – amazing.
This recipe makes 8 burgers.
- 2 cup cooked black beans, (if using canned drain well)
- 2 cups shredded beets
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed*** + 4 tbsp water
- Olive oil or coconut oil for sautéing
- Soak the 1 tbsp ground flaxseed in 4 tbsp water for 15 minutes.
- Clean beets and carrots and shred with the shredder attachment of your food processor, then set aside.
- Change the attachment to a metal blade and add the beans, carrots and beets. Pulse about 10 to 15 times until the mixture blends together making sure not to over process, the beans should still have some texture.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients.
- Using your hands mix very well. Everything should be well incorporated.
- Place the mixture in the fridge for a half hour to chill.
- Form patties, shape with your hands into burgers.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat.
- Pour a thin layer of oil into the pan and cook patties for about 5 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of you pan you should cook 3 or 4 burgers at a time.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place burgers on parchment lined cookie sheet. You can prepare ahead at this point and either keep in the fridge until ready to bake in the oven or put them directly into a preheated oven.
- Cook the burgers in the oven for 30 minutes until heated through. Check the burgers after 15 minutes and flip the burgers, this will make them crispy on both sides.
- Serve with your favourite toppings.
Cooks note: I like to serve this burger with some honey mustard that I make by adding some honey to dijon mustard, add a pinch of cayenne pepper and stir well. Serve as a dipping sauce or on the side.
After riding my bike through the wind and the rain I came home and made a pot of this warming soup for supper.
Time to celebrate fall.
This jar is going home with Zach.
This recipe serves 4.
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
- 4-5 small parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 2 cobs of fresh corn,
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbs. fresh dill, chopped
- 6 cups of water
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- Fresh chives for garnish (optional)
- Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium.
- Add onions, stirring until onions are translucent.
- Add cauliflower and continue cooking unit cauliflower is browning in spots, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add carrots, parsnip, garlic and dill and cook, stirring about 1 minute.
- Add water, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until vegetables are tender–about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Using a handheld immersion blender or a regular blender puree soup (if using a regular blender do this in small batches).
- Remove the corn from the cob and add to the soup.
- Adjust seasoning is necessary, I often add more dill at this time.
- Bring back to a simmer and serve with fresh chives, (if using).
Honey cake is traditionally made with lots of oil, eggs, white flour, sugar and of course honey. I wanted to make a healthy honey cake without using to much oil and refined sugars so last week for Rosh Hashanah I tested this cake on my family. Both Gordy and Zach said it was good but I could tell by how quickly they gulped a glass of water that it must a little dry. Yale told me to make it again and try adding zucchini. Guess what..? This cake is now perfectly moist. The spelt flour makes the cake mildly sweet and has a slight nutty flavour that adds real character. The additions of applesauce and zucchini make it light and moist. Happy New Year.
Ready to eat.
- 2 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or fresh
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 medium zucchini, shredded
- 1/2 cup safflower or grapeseed oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, optional
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the first 6 dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together until the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add the zucchini with the wet ingredients.
- Cut two pieces of baking parchment to fit the bottoms of two 8-inch loaf pans. Lightly oil the pans. Divide the batter between the two lightly oiled loaf pans. Sprinkle the almonds over the tops of the loaves.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf tests clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely. Remove the loaves from the pans.
- Cut each loaf into 10 slices to serve.
If you want to make this cake vegan substitute 1/2 cup of agave and 1/2 cup of maple syrup for the honey.
I like to make this honey cake at least a day or two before serving as the taste gets better. If not using store in the fridge.
Everyone has that familiar tin of mixed beans in the cupboard that stare you in the face every time you open the door. What to do with them…? No mixed bean salad here, just a delicious recipe for a veggie burger. No promises that everyone in your household are going to enjoy these or even taste one (you know who I am talking about…Gordy) but Yale and I had them for dinner last night with purple potatoes and a dollop of honey mustard that I made by mixing dijon, some buckwheat honey and a dash of cayanne pepper and all of a sudden your can of mixed beans is not ordinary any more.
This recipe makes 8 patties.
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cups oats
- 1 -19 0unce tin of mixed beans
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 medium parsnip, grated
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- Coconut oil or olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse beans well in colander under cold running water.
- Heat a skillet and saute the onion and garlic until translucent.
- Add the carrot, parsnip, chili powder, cumin, salt and cook until the carrot and parsnip is tender. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Mash the beans in a large bowl. Add the carrot and parsnip mixture, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce and oats.
- Mix well and then shape the mixture into eight patties.
- Place patties in the fridge for 15 minutes so they become firm.
- Heat a nonstick skillet and coat with coconut oil.
- Cook patties over medium heat for four to five minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Place patties on parchment lined cookie sheet, (You can prepare up to this point in advance).
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until hot.
- Serve with your favourite toppings.
These veggie burgers freeze well.