Gluten-Free Graham Crackers

Gluten-Free Graham Crackers!

A few months before starting work on “Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking”, my husband and I went “camping” .. by which I mean we rented a tiny little 1 room cabin and cooked our food over a fire pit outside. It was great… aside from the S’mores we made. I’d never actually done S’mores before, so my husband showed me how it was done… but with gluten-free graham crackers.

Oh… those crackers were terrible. I actually picked them off the marshmallow and tossed them, finding them completely inedible. To add insult to injury, we’d ordered them online, as we couldn’t find any gluten-free ones locally – they weren’t cheap!

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

So, obviously I needed to come up with a recipe for them. The problem with graham crackers, specifically, is that they use a special type of flour – graham flour – that really doesn’t have a gluten-free replacement. Just using an all-purpose mix (as store bought ones do) of the regular gluten-free flours won’t give you anything resembling that unique flavour from the graham flour.

Enter rice bran! I’m not big on having weird ingredients in my books, but for something like this, I made an exception.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Rice bran and a little flax meal, combined with the flours I’ve chosen for this, create a mix that is pretty much indistinguishable from the taste and texture of graham flour product. Add in carefully planned quantities of honey, molasses, and cinnamon, and BOOM – proper “graham” crackers! Just try to use good chocolate If you make S’mores off these. The traditional stuff is gross, in my spoiled,
Canadian opinion. Chocolate should not be gritty!

Makes about 50 2.5″ square crackers

Beyond Flour 2

This recipe comes from my gluten-free cookbook, Beyond Flour 2. You should definitely consider checking it out! 🙂

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Gluten-Free Graham Crackers

Gluten-Free Graham Crackers

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal, not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture, and imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze

Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze

Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze

If you’ve read my hops cookbook, Hedonistic Hops – or you just know a bit about hops and are familiar with my intense citrus addiction – It’s probably no surprise, at this point, that I like Citra ® hops for this. It’s a strong, bright citrus flavour with a bitterness that cuts through what can be a cloyingly rich, sweet dessert. At the levels called for, this makes a very balanced, elegant dessert.

Hop cheesecake

You’d never pick the flavour out as being hops – it’s definitely citrussy, but doesn’t taste like orange, or lemon. Very sophisticated, almost like … using some exotic fruit that no one has ever heard of. This Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze is by far my favourite cheesecake ever – and that’s saying something!

Hedonistic Hops

This recipe comes from my cookbook, Hedonistic Hops. It’s FULL of fun, tasty recipes using hops for flavour – you should check it out🙂

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

As this recipe requires hop extract, you’ll want to plan ahead a little if you haven’t already made some. Hop extract is really easy to make – click here to go see my recipe for them!

Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze

Fan of hops? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Hedonistic Hops!

Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops!

Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!

Canadian Foods Recipe Roundup

Happy Canada Day – Time for an Canadian Foods Recipe Roundup!

So I’ve been procrastinating on writing the text part of this entry for a while, as I haven’t known what to say.

Canada Day used to be so easy for me. It was a favourite day of the year – celebrating the country I love, with amazing music and food. Even when I was living in the USA, we marked the day every year.

This year, I’m having some incredibly complicated feelings on the matter.

On one hand:

We’ll be marking 2 years since I dragged my husband home from Minneapolis. Not only has the move been amazing in its own right – we LOVE our new city, Hamilton! – it’s also been sobering to watch everything that we left. The problems that we saw – and suffered under – in Minneapolis are finally coming to a head and being dealt with. (Remember, the final straw for us – accelerating our timeline for getting out – was the huge uptick in Nazi activity in 2016!).

We’re watching, horrified, as friends left behind tell us not only about what’s going on with all of that, but also of the COVID situation. Between the coverage, the response, and even the financial help from the government? There’s no comparison between how it’s been handled, and how much better off we are, here.

Parallel to all of this, I am currently recovering from surgery. This is surgery that saved my life, that I never even would have known I needed, had we not moved home. Due to the nature of our insurance, they never would have found this until it was too late. I’m out a grand total of $36 for the whole thing, btw – 2 CT scans, an MRI, several specialist visits, surgery, 5 days in the hospital, prescriptions, a walker rental, and 6 in-home physiotherapy sessions. Thirty-six dollars.

I don’t want to get into it too much, but “Moving home to Canada has now literally saved my life” definitely weighs into my complicated feelings on it.

For those reasons – and many others – I am extremely thankful to be home in Canada.

There’s a lot to love about this country. The land, the people (for the most part, anyway), the talent, the food, and more. Multiculturalism 100% is what makes this country great, from my point of view.. And it’s something that flavours almost every aspect of all of the things to love about Canada.

As a food blogger… I love going grocery shopping and hearing upwards of 6 different languages spoken as I wander the aisles. I love the HUGE variety of both ingredients and prepared foods available, as a result of the cultural diversity. I love that the music playing over the loudspeakers at grocery stores sometimes involves different languages, and that even the CanCon playing tends to reflect various cultural backgrounds of the singers. The diversity of it all really brings a richness to life that I missed when I was living away.

By now, I’m sure you can feel that there’s a big “BUUUUUT” coming. You’re right.

The thing is, I’ve been noticing more and more that Canadians are resting on “better than” when it comes to matters of civil rights. We point the fingers south and thank our lucky stars that we’re not “them”. For a lot of people, it feels like pride in being Canadian is fairly well centered on what we’re “not”, rather than what we are.

And you know, for a lot of things -healthcare, for instance – that’s ok.

The thing is, it’s a problem now, for where we are in the world. We may not be facing the near daily lynchings that are happening in the USA. We may not have experienced the near daily mass shootings that they had before the pandemic… but “better than” doesn’t necessarily mean “good” or even “good enough”, especially when we’re talking about such a low bar.

News coming out of our very own country has been horrific lately. Multiple people – usually BIPOC – being murdered by our own police. The courts finding that intoxication is an acceptable defense against sexual assault charges. STILL with the First Nations communities without clean water – this is all barbaric.

How much “better” are we, really?

I want to be proud. I want to celebrate Canada, and really just revel in this country that saved my life and has given us a much better life, peace, freedom, etc… but it really feels wrong to do so, when knowing that is NOT the reality that other Canadians are living. The very same government that is shielding us from absolute personal financial collapse from the pandemic… hasn’t done anything about the water situation for others.

I can celebrate MY love for the cultural diversity all day long, but then … Jagmeet Singh got booted from the House for pointing out the racism of another member.

How much “better” are we, when our government centers the feelings of racists, over those negatively impacted by their racism? Why is pointing out racism more “unparliamentary” than actually engaging in racism? I don’t even care what your politics are, what party you normally vote for, or even what your personal feelings are on him specifically… that he was kicked out over that is a moment of such deep shame for Canadian politics, I hope it makes the history books. I am SO disgusted.

As privileged as I feel, I’m not unaware of the fact that I’m only arms length from some major problems, myself. My grandmother was a victim of the residential school system. I’m an autistic with a lot of “pass privilege” (most of the time, anyway)… yet I see my fellow autistics – right here in Canada – targeted by unfair politics, policies, and policing. I am VERY aware of the fact that I’m also potentially just one bad/overwhelmed day / meltdown away from a life altering – or ending – experience.

These are the things weighing on my mind, as I’ve been trying to write up holiday themed text to go with my Canada Day blog post.

I’m just not feeling it this year, Canada.

The thing is, we COULD be so much better.

We could see past our own egos, our own fragility, and take a good hard look at what we are. We could stop being defensive and pointing fingers elsewhere. We could stop resting on “better than” and aim for GOOD. We could aim for actual equality.

As many of us are using these weird times to better ourselves personally – whether in skills, health, or just cleaning up, building gardens, etc… why shouldn’t we devote the same introspection to improving our country, and life for ALL?

We could look at the positive strides that the US is making, and see what could apply here. Especially with regards to shuffling police power with regards to mental health calls – even just changing that ONE area would be huge.

Yes, this is all the stuff that comes to mind when I think “Canada Day”, this year. Have a maple buttertart recipe, it comes with a free rant.

Truth be told, I wasn’t even sure I should post anything, but as with most things… I tend to think of silence as being complicit. None of what’s going on is acceptable and more people need to acknowledge and address that.

I don’t want to shame anyone away from celebrating Canada, whether for Canada Day or any other day. I’m just asking that – moving forward – such observations aren’t done without a bit of introspection.

For many of us, Canada is a great country that treats us well… but until ALL of us can say the same, is it really “great”, in its own right?

I don’t have all of the answers, I just think that acknowledgment is a really good first start – especially considering how rare and taboo that acknowledgment seems to be, especially of late.

I’m a person who has a hard time enjoying what I have, when I know others are suffering.

Since moving home, I feel incredibly guilty to enjoy things such as our healthcare system, as the friends we left behind are in such a terrible situation. My $36 bill for the entire medical drama is a relief to us, but then I see friends who can’t afford to see a Dr at all, or the thousands of dollars a month for life saving prescriptions.

Celebrating, now, feels a bit like hosting a lavish feast, while starving people watch from within arms reach. I certainly wouldn’t be able to enjoy such a situation, and would be inviting them to the table.

Can this be the Canada Day that we finally invite ALL Canadians to our (metaphorical) table?

Anyway. Things to keep in mind, as we plan for Canada Day!

… so here are some great Canada Day recipes 🙂

Condiments and Beverages

Homemade “Beep” Juice Drink
A very accurate replica recipe for a beloved Canadian favourite.
Check out this recipe

Maple Butter Tart Liqueur
This Canadian themed liqueur is easy to make at home, and really does taste like butter tarts!
Check out this recipe

Honey Garlic Cooking Sauce
This cooking sauce is super popular in Canada, and very versatile - It's great for wings, stir fry, meatballs, marinating, grilling, and more!
Check out this recipe
Honey Garlic Cooking Sauce

Honey Dill Dipping Sauce
This Winnipeg favourite is ubiquitous there - you'll find it on most restaurant menus and in grocery stores. While it's usually used for chicken fingers, it’s also great on roasted potato chunks, steamed carrots, salmon, egg rolls, perogies, for crudite plates … and as a french fry dip!
Check out this recipe
Honey Dill Sauce

Gluten Free Cretons
Cretons is a traditional Quebecois meat pate, commonly served on toast for breakfast. This is my recipe for a homemade, gluten free version.
Check out this recipe
Gluten Free Cretons Recipe

Partridgeberry Wine
Homemade Partridgeberry Wine (AKA: Lingonberry Wine) is fantastic, and worth the bit of effort to make it. Here’s how!
Check out this recipe
Partridgeberry Wine

Snacks and Main Dishes

Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls
Egg roll styles are HIGHLY regional in Canada. These “Meat Paste” Egg rolls are a Halifax specialty!
Check out this recipe
Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls

Dill Pickle Cream Cheese Dip
A very accurate replica of the Canadian Philly Pickle Dip!
Check out this recipe

Vegan Donair "Meat"
This vegan donair "meat" tastes - and feels - so much like the real thing, it has fooled even the most dedicated of carnivores!
Check out this recipe
Vegan Donair "Meat"

How to Make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon
Peameal and Back Bacon are ubiquitous in Canada, but hard to come by elsewhere. Luckily, they're both easy to make, here's how!
Check out this recipe
How to make Peameal and Back Bacon

Alligator Pie
Revisiting an iconic childhood poem, one thing led to another, and I learned that “Alligator Pie” - in a literal sense - isn’t actually a thing. This recipe rights that wrong 🙂
Check out this recipe
Savoury Alligator Pie

French Canadian Pea Soup
This traditional Canadian soup is easy to work up, feeds a LOT of people - with very little expense - is tasty, filling, and a great way to use up leftover ham!
Check out this recipe
French Canadian Pea Soup

Poutine, My Way!
Poutine is something that many people have some strange ideas about, but it’s just fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Very easy to make, and so trashy-good! While I’m against nonsense like fried eggs being thrown on top, bacon and green onions are perfectly acceptable, IMHO.
Check out this recipe
Poutine, My Way

Gluten-Free Tourtiere
This Gluten-Free Tourtiere Recipe is full of all of the flavours and textures of the traditional pie, just without the gluten!
Check out this recipe
Gluten-Free Tourtiere

Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere
This Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere is a shockingly accurate version of the traditional pie. You’d never know there’s no beef or pork!
Check out this recipe
Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere

Cod Au Gratin
Cod au Gratin is a popular dish on the east coast of Canada, for good reason. This is my gluten-free version!
Check out this recipe
Cod Au Gratin

Sweet Treats

Sucre à la Crème
Sucre à la Crème is a traditional Quebecois fudge. This recipe is from my book, #MoreThanPoutine, and comes courtesy of my frend Karine Charlebois!
Check out this recipe
Sucre à la Crème

Gluten-Free Imperial Cookies
Imperial Cookies are a Winnipeg favourite. This Gluten-Free version - from "More Than Poutine" has all of the texture and flavour, with none of the gluten!
Check out this recipe
Gluten-Free Imperial Cookies

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
These cookies were designed to be a gluten-free replica of Canada's "Pirate" cookies, but apparently they are also very similar to "Do-Si-Do" Girl Scout cookies!
Check out this recipe
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

“Moon Mist” Ice Cream
Moon Mist Ice Cream is a pretty - and wildly flavoured - ice cream from the East Coast of Canada, especially Nova Scotia. Banana, Bubblegum, and Grape sound like a weird combination, but somehow... it just works!
Check out this recipe
Moon Mist Ice Cream

Tiger Tail Ice Cream Recipe (AKA Tiger-Tiger Ice Cream Recipe)
As weird as it may sound to some, this is a beloved ice cream flavour in Canada... and has been for decades! You can make it at home, wherever you are!
Check out this recipe
Tiger Tail Ice Cream Recipe

Gluten Free Schmoo Torte
Schmoo – or “Shmoo”, depending on who’s writing it – is a soft, pecan-laced angel food cake that is torted and filled with sweetened whipped cream, before being served up with a buttery caramel sauce. This decadent cake is served at various bakeries and dessert restaurants around the city, and apparently it’s very common at Winnipeg Bar Mitzvahs- but you don’t really see it anywhere else.
Check out this recipe
Schmoo Torte

Puffed Wheat Squares (Or Puffed Rice Squares!)
Puffed Wheat Squares are a super popular bar back home in Winnipeg, and it seems to be mostly a Canadian Prairies thing. You know how you can get Rice Crispy squares pretty much anywhere, even in the gas stations? It's the same way with these bars back home. Even just that earthy, roasty aroma of the puffed wheat, as I opened the bag... Mmm. Memories!
Check out this recipe
Puffed Wheat - Or Rice - Bars

Homemade Clodhoppers
A very accurate replica recipe for a Canadian Favourite
Check out this recipe
Homemade Clodhoppers

Homemade Crunchie Bars
Homemade Crunchie Bars! A fun way to have Crunchie Bars - one of my favs - on hand, wherever in the world you may live.
Check out this recipe
Homemade Crunchie Bars

Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
These Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars are a fun variation on tradition, and a great way to use leftover pumpkin puree!
Check out this recipe
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars

Mocha Nanaimo Bars
Nanaimo Bars can be made in many different flavours, but this Mocha Nanaimo Bar is one of my all time favourites!
Check out this recipe
Mocha Nanaimo Bars

Maraschino Cherry Nanaimo Bars
Nanaimo Bars can be made in many different flavours, but this Maraschino Cherry Nanaimo Bar has always been one of my favourites!
Check out this recipe
Maraschino Cherry Nanaimo Bars

Maple Butter Tarts
Butter Tarts are a uniquely Canadian favourite, and this is my recipe for them. FYI: I am decidedly PRO RAISIN! 🙂
Check out this recipe
Butter Tarts

Gluten-Free Butter Tarts
Gluten-Free Butter Tarts! Because everyone should be able to try this uniquely Canadian favourite, gluten allergy or not!
Check out this recipe
Butter Tarts

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for purchase, here.

Gluten Free French Onion Soup Tart

I developed this Gluten Free French Onion Soup Tart recipe for my first gluten-free cookbook, “Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking“.

I wanted to do a caramelized onion tart in general, but soon decided that I’d base all the flavours around French onion soup. I liked the idea of including a custard base, as one would normally do for *dessert* tarts .. but a savoury custard, picking up more of the flavours of French Onion soup.

Everything came together so well! Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list – it’s a little bit of work, but it’s not especially difficult work. This Gluten Free French Onion Soup Tart is worth the effort – it makes an impressive offering for any brunch,dinner, or get together.

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Gluten Free French Onion Soup Tart

Gluten Free French Onion Soup Tart

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal, not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture, and imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Homemade Hop Extracts

Homemade Hop Extracts may be a new idea to you, but it’s a fun way to really expand your flavour arsenal in the kitchen!

Did you know that I wrote a whole book on cooking with hops? I did! It’s called Hedonistic Hops, and it goes over all kinds of ways you can use hops to flavour your cooking.

You can use almost every part of the hop plant – shoots, leaves, and flowers. One of the most convenient ways to include hop flavouring into your cooking and baking is through the use of homemade* hop extracts, which are very easy to make.

The only ingredient aside from hops is just a neutral alcohol base. This alcohol extracts flavours/ aromas from the hop, without the isomerization of the alpha acids. (The types of acids, isomerization, and details on the different types of hops are all things I go into way more detail in the book, btw). Any good quality vodka will work.

I like to keep a few extracts on hand – usually one that’s more citrussy, one that’s more herbal, etc. My go-to for cooking/baking is my Citra® hop extract. LOVE it. Unlike normal baking extracts – which are normally used exclusively for sweet applications – you can use hop extracts in almost anything – sweet or savoury!

While I’m a purist and like to have single hop extracts, you can have a lot of fun with mixing hop varieties to come up with new favourite flavours.

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Homemade Hop Extracts

Homemade Hop Extracts

Fan of hops? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Hedonistic Hops!

Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops!

Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!

Sucre à la Crème

Sucre à la Crème is a traditional Quebec fudge recipe, contributed by my friend Karine Charlebois. (Super talented illustrator and great person – Follow her on Facebook and Instagram!)

This was how her grandmother made it – the recipe was passed down to her mother, down to Karine, and finally on to you! Big thanks to Karine for her patience as I used my very rusty grasp on French to translate the original as best I could, before bugging her for help.

Also, a note on preparing the pan: “also for authenticity, the pan should be buttered instead of sprayed, but it all works in the end. As long as you use a stickiness prevention method!”

Enjoy your Sucre à la Crème!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Sucre à la Crème

Sucre à la Crème

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada! High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for purchase, here.

Moroccan Twist Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Time for my Moroccan Twist Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe!

As you may remember from a few days ago, I finally got around to “replicating” a couple of funky spiced caramel popcorns that we bought in early 2018, from stale old bags of expired popcorn. Glad I did finally get around to it, though, as both recipes turned out fantastically! I posted the Sweet Heat Salted Caramel Popcorn already, and now it’s time for the “Moroccan Twist” flavour.

A while back, I posted a big, detailed account of how I can replicate recipes two ways – straight from taste, and from reverse engineering. In the case of my Honey Garlic Sauce, it was pretty much straight up “reverse engineering” – Going on the presented ingredients and nutritional information to ballpark a pretty accurate base, then customize it for home use by swapping some commercial ingredients out for more readily available items that would do the same things. Finally, I tweak it for taste.

In some cases, replication takes a more multi pronged approach – some info from the label, some food memory, and some just straight from taste. The three information sources come together really well, usually. When the source material is something you’ve only had once, AND it’s 2 years old – expired by over a year – it gets a bit more problematic. You have to rely on information to fill in the bits that are missing from corrupted taste/smell/memory.

… It’s always fun when manufacturers list “Spices” as an ingredient… especially alongside other spices. You have like 90% of the information you need RIGHT there, then have to figure out the last 10%. You know, lots of fun when the smell and taste are … not there. Anyway, where “spices” is listed – in relation to other ingredients – can sometimes be a clue. If it comes after an ingredient, it has less of it than that ingredient. If before, more. How many spices are involved in “spices”, though? What proportion? Combined, the spices have to be less than the ingredient before, and more than the ingredient that comes after. Problem solving! I love it.

In this case, things were a bit weird – either it was labelled incorrectly (likely), or age does some weird things to the potency of ingredients (usually the more likely case, but not this time). You see, fennel was the dominant smell and taste, but was not a listed ingredient – it would have been under “spices”, and in a smaller amount than some other ingredients.

Long story short(er), I had to go off label and wing it to produce something similar to what I was smelling, tasting, and remembering, even though all 3 were corrupted bits of information. The result was fantastic, though I have no idea how accurate it is, at this point.

My Moroccan Twist Salted Caramel Popcorn is sweet, savoury, and a little spicy. The seasonings – including garlic, cardamom, and fennel! – may seem a bit weird for a caramel corn, but it WORKS.

Enjoy!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Moroccan Twist Salted Caramel Popcorn

Moroccan Twist Salted Caramel Popcorn

Sweet Heat Salted Caramel Popcorn

Sweet Heat Salted Caramel Popcorn!

Right before moving from Minnesota, we were at a gluten-free trade show. There were all kinds of fun things to try, but one that stood out was a popcorn. Two popcorns, actually – both salted caramel, but one was “Sweet Heat”, and the other was “Moroccan Twist”. They were SO good – but apparently unavailable in Canada.

So, I did what anyone with a “replicate from taste” superpower would do – I bought an extra bag of each and put them aside to replicate once we had a new house and were settled in. Well, that was in May of 2018. I finally got it in my head that maybe I should do that… 2 full years later. You know, when both bags were expired by well over a year.

Whoops.

I shook the bags, and was happy to hear that it sounded like the popcorn was all separated and dry. That meant little chance of mold… but no idea how it would taste. I was really relying on the source material being intact, as I’d only had it once, and hadn’t developed any real kind of taste memory for it, 2 years later.

Well, it smelled like … old. Not mildew, not really dusty, just.. old. Staleness. Crap. I smelled it several times over a few minutes, trying to work past that additional smell, to be able to pick out the actual scents present. Eventually I was able to, and also got brave/stupid enough to lick one. It.. wasn’t very good, but there was enough remnant of flavour to be able to trigger a little bit of taste memory.

Brains are weird.

Anyway.

The degradation of both source material and taste memory for it means that I likely didn’t end up with a perfect replica, but I DID end up with an amazing popcorn, so I’m considering it a win anyway. This is sweet and spicy with a complexity that comes from a few seasonings that you don’t normally see in a caramel popcorn.

It disappears fast… fast enough that you shouldn’t have any worries about eating stale, 2 year old caramel popcorn 🙂

Enjoy!

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Sweet Heat Salted Caramel Popcorn

Sweet Heat Salted Caramel Popcorn

Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls

Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls!

Egg rolls are a funny thing in Canada – they vary wildly based on region. In most places, they’re wrapped the way described here, rather than the burrito-style wrapping that is common elsewhere.

In Ottawa, they’re cylindrical and mostly meat. One end is left open, and the meat spilling out gets very brown – those “burnt end” eggrolls are hugely popular!

In Halifax, it’s all about the meat paste egg rolls. Sure, there’s a small amount of vegetable matter in there… but it’s dwarfed and enveloped by the star of the show – meat!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls

Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada! High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

Chicken Souvlaki Power Bowl

This Chicken Souvlaki Power Bowl is a bit of a throwback for me – I developed and photographed the recipe a year or two ago, during our extended obsession with Power Bowls!

In this one, I used my chicken souvalaki as a base and an inspiration. The flavourful chicken is accompanied by all of the traditional Greek flavours that belong in such a bowl – olives, feta, red onions, and more – on a flavourful and fun textured base of quinoa.

It’s a little bit of work – and you have to plan ahead to marinate the chicken – but it still comes together surprisingly quickly, and is definitely worth the effort.

Note: If you’d like to grill this, it also works well. Just cut the chunks a bit bigger. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers, and grill until done!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Chicken Souvlaki Power Bowl

Chicken Souvlaki Power Bowl

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.