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Sunday, 18 October 2020

GREEN Tomato Mincemeat for your Christmas mincemeat tarts (no meat involved)



9 c       green tomatoes 
9          apples (medium size), peeled & cored
1 1/2 cups       white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
5 cups raisins - rinse well first and drain
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cloves
5 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water

Use a food processor to dice the tomatoes or dice by hand
. Strain through a fine wire mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove excess juice. Discard juice and save tomato pulp.
Peel and core apples and chop into a small diced or chop up in processor until small chunks. 

Add all ingredients in a large pot on the stove. Bring the mincemeat up to the boil and then simmer on low for approximately 1  1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Be careful as the mincemeat will burn on high heat.

After simmering on low and while hot, portion hot mincemeat into hot, clean and sanitized glass sealer jars. Place a hot sealing disc onto clean rim[i] and place a screw band over top of jar and tighten until resistance is met and then tighten just a bit more. RESIST THE URGE TO SCREW THE SCREW BAND UNTIL EXTREMELY TIGHT…NOT NEEDED.  
For complete canning procedures as specified by the authority on canning ‘Bernardin  Canada’ please go to their website
Green tomatoes left over after the harvest

After simmering for 1 1/2 hour the mincemeat turned into a tasty aromatic filling for your tarts 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving with a non dairy substitute!

 Thanksgiving 2020 is going to be different this year as we all are doing our part to flatten the Covid-19 curve again. I hope that you, your family and friends are safe and even though we can't gather as we normally do I hope this recipe comes in handy for however you are celebrating this year.

This year I am using oat beverage  instead of dairy for my pumpkin pie filling. It is a great substitute for those who don't want to use dairy or almond milk.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

yield:  filling for 1  X 10 in. pie shells

1 can pure pumpkin (398ml) 
3 large eggs or 4 small
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup Oat beverage (this is a substitute from the original recipe, please click here to go to my original recipe which uses dairy instead)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
½  tsp. salt


In a large bowl or with a stand mixer whisk eggs and sugar until well blended. You can easily do this by hand....a mixer is not necessary.

Add pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) from the can, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined.
Add oat beverage to the pumpkin & spice combination. Stir or whisk until combined.
Pour into unbaked pastry pie shell (recipe below) just up to the fluted edges (don’t
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake the pie on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 50-60 minutes until the filling is baked and set. Usually the filling when set has a slight convex appearance to it.
Serve hot or cold.  Refrigerate unused pie after cooled to preserve the freshness.

How about these pumpkins?

PASTRY (enough pastry for 4-5 pie shells)  The original recipe is from my Mom, Eileen,  who made the best pies ever.  
Eileen at thankful

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 lb. shortening
1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 egg
3 tbsp. vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar but any vinegar will do)
1 & 1/4 cup cold water

1.     Mix together flour, salt and brown sugar. Whisk together to remove the lumps.
2.    Cut up shortening into small cubes, return to cooler to keep cold.
3.    Add vinegar and egg to liquid measure cup. Beat with a fork.
4.    Add enough ice cold water to egg/vinegar mixture to make a total of 1 1/4 cup of liquid.
5.    Place measured dry ingredients in a large bowl if mixing by hand.
6.    Add shortening and with a knife or a pastry blender start cutting the shortening in to the flour until all the shortening is dime size and mealy.

Miriam's Time Saving Tip If using a stand mixer for pastry making do not multi-task. Stay at the mixer and pulse the machine on and off until the flour and shortening are slightly mixed but not totally combined. There should still be big size chunks of shortening showing and plenty of loose flour when you add the liquid. Do not be alarmed at this because if you go too far at this stage you will ruin the pastry.

7.     Add liquid to the flour mixture and with a fork mix liquid in. Do not over mix at this stage or your pastry will be tough. Gently form into a ball with your hand.
8.    Roll dough up into a disc and wrap in parchment paper and then in a clean plastic bag and store in cooler until needed.

Miriam's Time Saving Tip Making this pastry ahead is a great time saver. It keeps well in the fridge as long as it is wrapped well. After making pies freeze the remaining pastry for use later.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Banana Cream Pie

  • 1 pastry recipe (please click here to go to my recipe for making easy pastry)
  • Equipment needed:
  • 1 pie plate
    rolling pin
    parchment paper or tin foil
    dry beans, peas or any legume (this is for the blind baking of the crust)
    ice for an ice water bath (cooking the custard)
    wire mesh strainer
    heavy pot for making custard
    pastry cutter (not absolutely necessary but very handy)
    large bowl
    plastic wrap
  • Banana Cream Filling Ingredients:

    6 egg yolks
    3/4 cup white sugar
    3 tbsp. cornstarch
    1/4 tsp. salt
    3 cups whole milk
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    2 tsp. vanilla
    3 ripe bananas
    1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 very ripe banana (the blacker the better) for a flavour enhancer 
  • Pie Topping:
    1 cup whip cream
    3 tbsp. icing sugar
  • When it is time to serve your pie whip up some whip cream to garnish the pie.
    Mike and Alexandra's pie

    Leanna's pie

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Butter Tarts


2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. syrup ( I am using golden syrup)
1/4 raisins (optional but I love raisins)

Melt butter.  Add egg to a large bowl. Whisk the egg until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar, vanilla, vinegar, salt and whisk again.
Add melted butter.
Continue to mix until well blended.

Pastry ( please click here to go to my recipe of never fail pastry)

Roll out the pastry very thin and cut out 12 large rounds. This recipe has enough filling for 12 tarts.

Press each pastry round into each muffin cup.
Put 8-10 raisins in the bottom of each pastry round.
Pour filling into each muffin cup on top of the raisins to fill the tart. Do not over fill.

Bake at 400° for 22 minutes or until the pastry browns.
Remove from muffin pan after cooling for  minutes. They would be hard to get out if you let the sugary filling cool too much.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Breakfast Muffins with Carrots & Zucchini

2 medium carrots - peeled & shredded
1 small zucchini - shredded

5 eggs
1 cup brown sugar

1/2  cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil

3 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

1 cup raisins (optional)

Peel carrots & wash zucchini (peeling the zucchini is not necessary). Shred both.
In a large bowl add eggs, oil, vanilla, & sugars.  Whisk until well combined.
Add flour, soda, salt, and mix well with a whisk or a spatula.
Add shredded carrots & zucchini and raisins if desired. Stir well but no need to over mix.
Spoon a large amount into each muffin cup in a greased muffin tin. Use all the batter as it only makes 12 large muffins

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Tomato Marinade for Chicken

2 bone in chicken breasts

1 cup tomato sauce
2  tbsp. Frank's red hot sauce - original
3/4 cup white wine
1 tbsp. herbes de provence* or dried herbs of choice
2 tsp. honey
salt & pepper to taste ( my salt that I am using is from Epicure which I get from Lynn Oddy and it has a garlic component to it too)

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl and then add to the chicken breasts in a zip lock bag or a container.
Allow to marinate overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes until the juices run clear.
Serve with your favorite starch dish or salad.

*Herbes de Provence is an aromatic mixture of dried Proven├žal herbs and spices, which traditionally includes thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf. 

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Sushi rice made perfect

2 cups of sushi rice
2 cups of cold water
pinch of salt

Cleaning the rice:
Add rice to your best sauce pan that has a good, tight fitting lid. 
Rinse sushi rice in cold water in the sink to remove the milky starch from the rice. Use your clean hands to massage the rice. Drain off the milky water while keeping all the rice in your sauce pan. Repeat this 2 more times.
Rinse and drain your rice a total of 3 times.

Cooking the rice:
Into the sauce pan with the washed rice add 2 cups of cold water & a pinch of salt.
With the lid off quickly bring the rice & water up to the boil. Immediately turn off the heat and stir once only. Drape a clean tea towel over the pot (see pic below), put the lid onto the pot over the tea towel, then wrap the cloth over the lid so that the cloth does not touch the stove (you don't want it catching on fire). This helps to seal all the moisture in the pot.
Turn the heat back on to the lowest setting possible.
Turn the timer on for 22 minutes.

Cooling the rice:
After the timer goes off, lift the lid and gentle scoop the cooked rice into a large wooden bowl (preferable for cooling the sushi rice but any large bowl will do).
Don't worry about the rice stuck to the bottom of the pan, you don't need this rice. 

With a wooden spoon or spatula slice through the rice to start the cooling process. Add 1/8 cup rice vinegar and continue slicing through the rice. Do this gently as you do not want to crush the rice. 
The vinegar will soon evaporate while cooling the rice.  Add another 1/8 cup rice vinegar and continue slicing your wooden spatula through the rice. 
You will find that this action cools the rice down quickly.
Set your rice aside to make sushi rolls of your choice.

turn off heat, cover pot with a clean tea towel, then the lid
fold the clean tea towel back up onto the top of the lid so that it doesn't catch
on fire when you turn the heat back on to very low