Ravings of a Canadian Expat: Christmas Oranges

I was going to start this entry out with something like “This time of year, the topics of discussion in groups of Canadians living away tends to turn to food…”… but let’s be real, at least 80% of what we talk about in Canadian groups is food.

Foods we miss, foods we’re now cooking because we miss the source material, how COMPLETELY inferior American chocolate is, griping about how corn syrup is in everything here and makes stuff – soda, certain candies, etc – taste weird, etc. I don’t remember us being particularly food obsessed when I still lived at home, but man… take a Canadian out of Canada, and food is the great bonding experience.

Recently, I noticed that “Christmas Oranges” don’t really seem to be a THING in Minneapolis. Like, you can buy Cuties or Halos, but there doesn’t seem to be a culture of … well, them being particularly “holiday”.

When I was a kid, we’d get one in the toe of our Christmas stocking, and it usually ended up being my favourite part. I LOVED them!

As I grew a bit older, holiday season meant buying crates of Mandarin oranges. They were the same oranges I’d have as a kid – sold in boxes, imported from either China or Japan, and individually wrapped in green paper. There was always at least one completely moldy one in the bottom, but the rest were *gold*.

I would buy several 5lb cases at a time. At least one would end up consumed within a day or two – I’d crash on the couch with a book, and snarf ungodly amounts of oranges. I’d buy more than one case, as it was usually insanely cold (I’m from Winnipeg), and I liked to have enough to last me a week or so.

… December is the month where I am least likely to come down with scurvy… By a longshot! In addition to snarfing oranges by the case, I also enjoy to make things from them, such as:

Candied Orange Peels

Cuties Mead

Cranberry-Cuties “Christmas” Wine

Cuties Marmalade

I even juiced and zested a bunch of them to make a Cuties mousse last New Years.. Oh, it was amazing.

Anyway, I digress.

This past week, I decided that I NEED THOSE ORANGES. Cuties and Halos just don’t cut it, I wanted a bit of *home*.

My first stop was a group for local food bloggers. I explained what I was looking for, and a few people weighed in with suggestions.

I should mention that part of the problem with looking for oranges like I knew back home, is that when it comes to this sort of thing, oranges suffer from the same sort of thing that Sweet potatoes / yams do. Different products are sold as the same thing, the terms are used interchangeably, and people have wildly different ideas of what is meant when you say “yam” – and, in this case, “Mandarin orange”.

One blogger commented to say that it sounded like I was describing Satsuma oranges, and that she knew they sell them at a local coop. She then mentioned that they’re more abundant in January (not the case, back home!) – so I had to make sure that she wasn’t thinking SUMO oranges (another addiction of mine). She wasn’t, so I called The Wedge coop, and grilled their produce guy.

HE agreed that I was talking about Satsumas, but then referred to them as being “more tart”. What a let down – I never would have described Christmas oranges as being tart!

I posted a quick note about my mission to a couple expat groups, and asked for info on what they remember of the oranges back home.

I got in my truck and headed over there anyway, because when you need a mess of oranges, you NEED a mess of oranges. I was surprised to see that they had several types of oranges that looked good… so I bought a few of each. I bought a whole bag of Satsumas – I know myself, and if they were even close… a bag wouldn’t be enough!

As all of this was going down, the threads were blowing up – Us Canadians are VERY passionate about our Christmas oranges, as it turns out!

As it also turns out, the whole “oranges going by multiple names” thing got further complicated by regional differences in what constitutes a “Christmas Orange”.

People from everywhere except Atlantic Canada agreed – sold in boxes, with almost everyone specifically referencing the green tissue paper. MOST people agreed that they were imported from China and Japan, though a few pockets of Canadians apparently got theirs from Morocco! I’m 90% sure I’ve never seen an orange from Morocco, so I found this fascinating. We all knew them as “mandarins”.

On the East Coast, “Christmas Oranges” are sold in smaller, wooden crates, usually with a red plastic mesh holding them in. There is no green tissue paper, and they are known as “Clementines” – not Mandarins. From my time in Newfoundland, I was familiar with them. They were definitely different from what I knew back home: A bit harder to peel, not as juicy, smaller, and rounder. Still tasty, though!

Anyway, back to the mission.

I noticed that all of the oranges at The Wedge were from either California or Florida, and I remembered that basically all of the oranges I’d seen anywhere in Minneapolis tended to be the same. I guess there isn’t a big market for imported oranges here?

I decided to follow up on another suggestion, and headed to United Noodle – a large Asian grocery store. They would for SURE have Japanese or Chinese oranges, right?

Nope. Neither did Sun Foods, another large Asian grocery.

What they did both carry, however, were Halos. Halos are fine – and they’re actually pretty close to the Atlantic Canadian idea of Christmas oranges, packaging aside – but I really wanted my Mandarins!

So, I ended up with 6 different types of oranges (as well as “Limequats”, which had absolutely nothing to do with anything, but fascinated me nonetheless!), and wanted to do a comparison. Aside from the Halos and the last “Mandarins”, all of the oranges – and Limequats – were purchased at Wedge Coop.

Of course – if it hasn’t been obvious from this blog post so far – take my findings with a grain of salt. Due to the nature of naming conventions, there’s a good chance you could buy something that is called the same as one of these, and have it be something completely different. For that reason, I am including as much identifying information as possible!


Table below is pictured in order, left to right

Photo Sold As Details
Kishu Mandarin Tiny – about 1.5-2″ in diameter! Very easy to peel, loose skin, very little pith – which rubs off easily. Good balance of sweet and tart, leaning slightly towards the tart. Fairly juicy, seedless. Expensive, but fun. (They were obviously not Christmas oranges, but I couldn’t resist!)
Halos Halo is a brand name, not an actual variety. They’re very similar to Cuties, which we tend to prefer but haven’t seen in a while. Like Cuties, the variety of orange depends on the time of year. According to the Halo’s site (here), these were Clementines. Makes sense, given how similar they are to the Atlantic Canadian “Christmas Orange” – also sold as Clementines. These were not as easy to peel as I was looking for – skin comes off in small chunks. Also slightly more tart, and had no seeds. Readily available – it was all they carried in the Asian markets! Clementines also tend to be more spherical than what I was looking for.
Sunburst Tangerine This Florida orange was very smooth and shiny – a stark contrast to the rough, dimply skin of most of the other varieties. It was VERY difficult to peel by hand – probably better to slice. Thin, hard skin, with pith that is very attached to the segments. Has seeds, tastes like a pretty basic orange (not “Christmas” orange).
Algerian Mandarin These are called “Algerian”, but were grown in California! They were purchased at The Wedge, and is one of two oranges that were labelled as being Mandarins (not including Halos, which refer to their oranges as Mandarins on their site). This had a medium-thick skin that was very easy to peel, while not actually being loose/separated from the orange inside. It had a fair amount of sticky pith – harder to remove than some varieties. Tastes right, but the sticky pith is annoying. No seeds.
California Satsuma This was the “ugly” one of the lot – irregular, kind of squat shape, with very dimply, loose skin… AND IT WAS PERFECT. Very easy to peel, medium thick skin, only a small amount of pith that detaches from the segments very easily. Absolutely my favourite, and the closest to what I remember “Christmas”oranges being. Very plump and juicy segments, and among the sweetest of those tested. No seeds.
Mandarin After paying about $4/lb for the Satsumas, I saw 3lb bags of these “Mandarins” at Hy-Vee… and they looked very much like the Satsumas, just slightly larger. These were also very easy to peel – but had much more pith. Also has the thickest skin of all. The flesh isn’t has juicy as any of the other varieties, and has a gigantic grain to it. Has seeds.

So, as you can see… not only can the names be confusing (“Mandarin” was used for three wildly different oranges, none of which was what was referred to as “Mandarin” back home… which is “Satsuma” here!), but appearances can be deceiving, also: The Satsuma and second type of “Mandarin” looked VERY similar!

I’d asked this on my Facebook page, may as well as here too – the replies were FASCINATING (here):

1. Were “Christmas oranges” a thing where you grew up, and/or where you are now?

2. If so, what exactly does that mean to you? What was the actual orange called, what did it look like, was it easy to peel or not, how was it sold, where were they grown, etc. As much detail as possible, please!

3. Where was/is this (state/province, etc)

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 will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

Gluten-Free Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere

Gluten-Free Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere

Thanksgiving was a couple days ago… for Canadians like me!

My husband is always happy to celebrate both – twice the turkey! Twice the pumpkin pie! – but this year, he presented me with a challenge: He can’t handle eating pork or beef anymore. You know, the two main ingredients of my traditional tourtière!

There was NO way I was going to forgo a tourtière, so I decided to try for a workaround: I would develop a tourtière recipe that didn’t have the pork or beef, but still tasted proper.

Starting with the meat, I went with ground chicken: he prefers it to turkey. I decided to add a TON of mushrooms to it, both for taste and texture. I was originally going to get really weird with it and add a sweet potato, but decided against that at the last minute.

… it turned out amazing! I was actually a bit disappointed that it didn’t actually taste like mushrooms. I figured the mushrooms would be my consolation for not having beef or pork, and was actually looking forward to a mushroomy pie. In the end, though, it just tasted like my normal tourtière!

The mushrooms provided the right texture and umami that I would normally be getting from the pork and beef, while the use of the vegetables and seasonings worked together to camouflage what was actually in it. It’s hard to be too disappointed in the lack of mushroom flavour, when confronted with that kind of … sorcery … in accuracy.

Not only was this Gluten-Free Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere great fresh out of the oven (and, let’s get real here, with all of the filling that disappeared to “quality control” before making it into the pie), it reheats very well as leftovers.

So, yeah. Not going to stress out about dietary issues getting in the way of tradition again – super happy with how it turned out.

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!

Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere


Chicken Mushroom Tourtiere


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.

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.

Gluten-Free Bacon Poutine Pizza

I’m a stickler for tradition with poutine. In order for it to be poutine, it HAS to have:

1. Fries
2. Proper sauce
3. Actual, fresh, NOT DEEP FRIED cheese curds.

I’m ok with the addition of most items (I like to add bacon and green onion slices to mine), so long as it has the basics, and doesn’t go OVERBOARD with the additions. Toppings shouldn’t eclipse the base ingredients, just accent them!

The other day, my friend Karine Charlebois posted about “Poutizza” (in THIS mini comic), and I knew I’d have to make some. Not only is actual poutine NOT available in Minneapolis, but hey – I’m gluten-free on top of it.

I did have to make some tweaks to my go-to poutine recipe, though. I decided on oven fries, as baking deep fried fries would give them a gross texture. Also, not a ton of sense going to all the extra effort and fat of deep frying, when they’re going to end up baked on a pizza anyway.

Also, I played with the viscosity of my sauce, so it would act as both poutine sauce, AND “pizza sauce”. The mozzarella cheese is considered part of the pizza, and not part of the poutine… because if you put shredded cheese on “poutine”, you don’t deserve poutine anyway 🙂

Told you I was a stickler 🙂

The crust on this pizza is great – not dry, crumbly, or gummy at all, just a great, doughy pizza. My not-gluten-free husband loved it, and insists that no one would know it was gf – it really has a great taste and texture!

He would also like to add: “I like the gravy as pizza sauce, it has that nice seasoned saltiness you expect from a pizza sauce but yet it’s completely different. It’s fun and different, and really good!”

Anyway.

Before I get to the recipe, one final thought: today is launch day for my Beyond Flour 2 Kickstarter!

I’m so excited for this book to come out – I’m already over 2/3 the way through developing it, and there are some amazing recipes in there. I’ve perfected a gluten-free samosa that even tastes great as leftovers, AND there are flaky, tasty, easy to make cracker recipes – that don’t cost a fortune – among all kinds of other delicious things.

So, if you love great gluten-free recipes, be sure to check it out and back it ASAP! (please and thank you!) The first day of a campaign is critical to its success – having a popular campaign right off the bat brings all kinds of perks from Kickstarter, and definitely increases the chances that it will successfully fund! 🙂

Backers will receive their copies at least a month before the general release, AND will get them for about 20% off the cover price!

Now, on to the pizza … enjoy!

Gluten-Free Poutine Pizza

Makes a 13-14″ pizza

Crust:

1 1/2 cups Warm water
2 tbsp Liquid honey
2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups Light buckwheat flour
3/4 cup Brown rice flour
3/4 cup Sorghum flour
1/2 cup Potato starch (plus extra for rolling)
1 Tbsp Tapioca starch
2 tsp Xanthan gum
1/4 cup Olive oil

Poutine Sauce:

1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup Brown Rice Flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cups beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp+ ground black pepper
salt to taste

Toppings:

1/2 of a 26 oz bag Crispy oven fries
1/2 lb Bacon
1-2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 pack FRESH cheese curds (~12 oz)
Green onions, sliced

Add honey and salt to warm water, stir till well blended. Add yeast and stir again. Allow to sit (somewhere warm!) for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flours, starches, and xanthan gum. Add olive oil, mixing until evenly distributed. Add yeast mixture, mix well. Dough should ball up a bit, but be a bit sticky. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, allow to rise in a warm area for 1 hour.

Preheat oven for the fries, make the sauce:

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add rice flour, stir well until fully incorporated. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until flour mixture becomes the color of peanut butter. This is called a roux, and cooking it to this level will impart a nice, somewhat nutty flavor to the sauce.

Once roux has obtained the right color, whisk in cornstarch, until smooth. Once cornstarch is incorporated, slowly add broth. It will steam like CRAZY, so be careful. Stir as you go, until sauce is smooth. Taste, season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer on medium heat for a few minutes, until slightly thickened. This is not supposed to be a super thick gravy! Once the sauce is a good consistency, remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare oven fries according to directions on package. Set aside.

Chop bacon into small pieces, fry until crisp. Set aside, reserving the drippings.

Preheat oven to 450F, if it’s not already at temperature from the fries. Line large pizza pan with parchment paper, if it’s not nonstick. Brush lightly with liquid bacon drippings.

Generously dust work surface with potato starch. Roll each dough into a large 13″ round. Transfer to pizza pan.

Using a pastry brush, spread a very thin coat of liquid bacon drippings over the entire top side of crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove crust from the oven. Spread some poutine sauce over prepared pizza crust. Scatter Mozzarella across the pizza, followed by fries, curds, and more sauce*. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until mozzarella is bubbly and starting to brown. Remove from oven, top with green onions, serve hot.

* For more authentic poutine involvement, scatter mozzarella on pizza, bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven, top with fries, curds, and hot gravy, and serve immediately. This will prevent the curds from melting all over the pizza!

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 will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

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.

Canadian Election Cocktails

This Canadian election has been the craziest I have ever seen in my entire life.

In my experience (up til 9 years ago when I moved, anyway).. our elections are usually pretty boring compared to the USA. We don’t really get big sex scandals, or many of the “OMG DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE/SHE SAID!?” kind of moments. Everyone is usually pretty middle of the road, election season is usually quite short, and then we move on.

Then we got Stevie, and everything started to change. The tone of elections got a little darker. Ads started to be a little more nasty. This election season is officially the longest we’ve ever had. Stevie and company have just gone WAY off the deep end with unabashed bigotry.

The backlash has been amazing to watch. As I’m writing this, just YESTERDAY ALONE, I’ve heard about Sluts Against Harper, a marijuana dispensary offering weed as an incentive to vote, and Niqabs of/du Canada. Oh, and Danny Williams telling people of his own (former, as he retired) political party to not vote for Stevie, and to not vote at ALL if they can’t bring themselves to vote for another party. (Danny for PM!)

I want my CBC. Curse geo-blocking, I bet This Hour has 22 Minutes and Rick Mercer Report are PARTICULARLY fruitful and fantastic, this go around.

As soon as this election was announced, I knew I would need to be well stocked on alcohol to get through the actual election day, along with all of my Canadian expat friends. It sucks, having our hands tied like this!

So, rather than just make a few gallons of Rum Runners, I thought it would be fun to come up with themed cocktails for the event.

I swear, when I had the idea a few weeks ago, it was with the absolute best intentions. I have a lovely cucumber vodka that I thought would work well for the Green Party cocktail, for instance.

Brainstorming for them, however, took me way off into snarkland.

It’s always fun to describe Canadian politics to my American husband. The parties, what they stand for, how they came to be, key players… things like how minority governments work, what a coalition government is, etc. I don’t know what they teach about Canadian politics, here… but I get the feeling there’s an assumption that it’s basically the same system. NOPE.

As he learned more and more about the whole deal, he failed to hold me back on my snark, and instead egged me on. It was the night we photographed (and subsequently drank!) our Boozy Sparkling Cider Floats recipe, so that didn’t help keep things polite, either 🙂

So… I’m not sure if I should apologize in advance for these recipes (as a Canadian!), or proudly present them as the obvious and necessary result of such an insane election. I mean really: at this point in the Canadian election, is it even reasonable to expect that a post about election themed cocktails would be anything other than really snarky?

Probably not.

So, here we go!

A Note on ingredients: As an expat, these cocktails are made with ingredients that are readily available in Minneapolis, where I live. I have no idea what’s available where in Canada. Really, if I have to watch this shit show FASCINATING election from afar – with my hands tied – I’m going to use what I can to get through it 🙂

Liberal Party

In designing a cocktail for the Liberal party, the obvious starting point was “Red”. From there, I decided that it should have some heat to it, because… well, Trudeau is so PRETTY. I’m not honestly that shallow, but if you look at the history of Prime Ministers in my lifetime… he does stand out!

Additionally, they’re leading the poll I just read, as I write this… so we’re going to go sparkling, and in a champagne glass, to make it celebratory.

1 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
Sparkling Wine

Pour Cinnamon Schapps into a tulip glass, top with sparking wine.

If you’re less concerned about staying on theme with “heat” and want a drink that doesn’t taste like mouthwash, use something like “Pom” Pomegranate liqueur instead of the cinnamon schnapps. Ick!

NDP Party

I really do want to like the NDP, and I tend to… but Mulclair has eyes that remind me of the demons on “Supernatural”. That really throws me off… especially when you consider that the very first reason I disliked Harper, waaay in the beginning, was that his eyes really creeped me out. I digress.

Growing up, I had Gary Doer as a premier, and he was a good guy. Also, I got choked up with Jack Layton feels as I discussed the NDP with my (American) husband. I told him a bit about their evolution as a party, general stances, etc. I told him that I remembered them being a bit more leftist back in the day, and that it seems like they’re moving more centrist – that they’re basically the Liberal Party with a different leader, at times. I brought up the concern about vote splitting.

To make: Squeeze a little yellow food colouring into a glass. Pour half of the Liberal cocktail into the glass, stir to turn orange.

Conservative Party

Oh boy. Initially, I wanted to just do a rocks glass full of Everclear… with the idea of “this is what we’ll need if Stevie gets in again…”. My husband quipped “Plenty of spirit, no SOUL!”… and we were off.

This cocktail retains the base Everclear, because really. I decided – to my husband’s horror – that what it really needed was some Budweiser. Also: bitters.

The bitters is mostly me projecting, as I AM bitter about what that party has become. I’ve voted Progressive Conservative before, and never regretted it. I would vote that way again, in different circumstances (Again: Danny Williams for PM!!)… but I am truly disgusted with what the current iteration of the federal party has done to my country.

To make: Measure about 2 oz Everclear into a tall mug. Add several drops of bitters of choice, stir well. Top with Budweiser. Might wanna chase it with Aspirin, especially if things go poorly in a week and a half.

Honestly, I have no idea how this tastes, there’s no way I’m going to drink it.

Green Party

I’ve never really thought much of the Green Party. Back in the day when I was a young voter, they were VERY far off and unknown, and seemed way too hippie for me.

I was pleasantly surprised by Elizabeth May during one of the early debates. She wasn’t at all what I pictured from the Green Party I’d known of when I was still in Canada, and pretty much came off as the best choice of all of them, based solely on that debate. My husband and I agreed that it was a shame they had no chance in hell of getting in.

So, we decided to go with something greenish, vegetal, and refreshing. The Prairie Cucumber Vodka we used was “certified organic”, so that seemed pretty appropriate too!

To make: Place 2 thin slices of honeydew melon and 3-4 fresh mint leaves in a tall glass. Measure 2 oz cucumber flavoured vodka, a good squeeze of fresh lime juice, and 3 mint leaves into a shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15 seconds or so, strain liquid into prepared glass. Top with sprite.

This one was actually REALLY good. Will totally make it again – definitely a summery drink though!

Bloc Quebecois

Bien que la moitié de ma famille est originaire de Québec , et vit là-bas , je ne l’ai jamais vécu un endroit avec un membre du Bloc québécois se présenter aux élections . Mon exposition au parti a toujours été de loin.

Si je suis notamment un cocktail pour le Parti vert , il semble juste de faire un pour le Bloc ! Ils sont , après tout, en avance sur les Verts dans le sondage actuel que je lis.*

To Make: Pour about 1 oz of maple liqueur into a flute glass. Top with champagne.

If you don’t have maple liqueur, use a splash of maple syrup instead. Or, you know, add maple syrup anyway. MMMMM maple syrup…

* Thank you, Shirley, for providing the translation! (As I mentioned to Shirley… I’ve only managed to retain the ruder bits of French that I’ve learned over the years. Whoops)

Canadian Flag

Finally, let’s do a layered shot in honour of the Canadian flag, while we still have one!

First, you’ll want to read my post on doing layered shots, Shot Tectonics: The Science of Layered Shooters.

For the bottom layer, use grenadine.

For the middle layer, use Rumchata

For the top layer, we used Cinnamon schnapps.

Really, again… unless you like that mouthwash taste, find some other kind of high proof, red coloured booze. Go for tasty!

Note: This will turn out nicer if you make it early in the evening, if you know what I mean. Doing layered shots after an evening of developing and photographing cocktail recipes isn’t necessarily the best plan.

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 will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Canada Day Recipes!

When non-Canadians think about Canadian food, they usually go RIGHT for the poutine… but we actually have a ton of other uniquely Canadian foods, many of which are relatively easy to make at home. You know, even when home-as-a-location is no longer in Canada!

Once I immigrated to the USA, pretty much everything I loved back home – and was no longer able to obtain here – became “comfort food”. No matter how ubiquitous it had been back home, no matter how simple… now it was exotic, heart warming, sanity, saving, etc.

So, with Canada Day just 2 days away – and it being THREE WHOLE YEARS since posting my Canada Day Watermelon Bowl Tutorial!), I figured this would be a good time to post a comprehensive list of the awesome Canadian recipes on my blog so far.

Enjoy!

Alligator Pie

Ok, so as a food, Alligator Pie isn’t really CANADIAN… I’m not sure it’s really a thing anywhere, for that matter… but I created this recipe based off a very famous children’s poem back home, so I’m claiming the recipe as being Canadian!

*****

Back Bacon and Peameal Bacon

Back Bacon and Peameal Bacon start off with the same brining process, but utilize different methods to cook them. One is rolled in cornmeal, sliced, and fried… while the other is smoked. Both are awesome. Proper back bacon like this will wreck you for the stuff they call “Canadian Bacon” in the USA!

*****

Butter Tarts

I have two recipes for Butter Tarts posted… Regular and Gluten-free. I even created a Butter Tart Liqueur recipe!

*****

Clodhoppers

Clodhoppers is a well known candy, that originated with a company in my hometown of Winnipeg. This is my recipe for a homemade version – just as good as the “real” thing!.

*****

Cod Au Gratin

I fell in love with Cod au Gratin while living in Newfoundland for a few years, and it still hits the spot. Easy to make, and this version is Gluten-Free!

*****

Cretons

Cretons is a breakfast meat spread from Quebec. First had it when visiting my family in my early teens – hated it at first, love it as an adult.

*****

Crunchie Bars

Crunchie Bars were one of my favourite candy bars back home – chocolate covered sponge toffee!

*****

French Canadian Pea Soup

Ah, comfort food from my childhood. February was ALL about Festival Du Voyaguer… which, really, was ALL about the French Canadian Pea Soup!

*****

Honey Dill Dipping Sauce

Honey Dill Dip is SUPER popular in my hometown, but not all that well known outside of Winnipeg. Very simple – only 3 ingredients – and goes so well on so many things. Can’t have chicken fingers without it!

*****

Honey Garlic Cooking Sauce

Honey Garlic Cooking Sauce is one of those things I’d never really associated as being Canadian, til moving to the USA. You can get hot wings anywhere here… but no honey garlic wings to be seen! I reverse engineered a popular brand of honey garlic sauce from back home, and it’s easy to make at home. I particularly love meatballs cooked in this sauce.

*****

Nanaimo Bars

Generally regarded as one of our two main “national desserts” (along with Butter Tarts), you may recognize Nanaimo Bars from their place of honour on the cover of “The Spirited Baker”. I have a few recipes for Nanaimo Bars online: Cherry, Mocha, and Pumpkin Spice

*****

Partridgeberry Pie

Partridgeberry Pie is my favourite kind of pie, which I “discovered” while living in Newfoundland. Partridgeberries (AKA “lingonberries”) grow wild in Newfoundland, kind of a cross between a blueberry and a cranberry. SO good!

I also have a recipe for partridgeberry wine.

*****

Poutine

Poutine… such a simple thing, SO impossible to find done right locally. Good thing it’s pretty easy to make at home!

*****

Puffed Wheat Squares

Puffed Wheat Squares are apparently a Canadian Prairies thing – and it’s a snack you could find ANYWHERE, much like (But VERY much superior to, IMHO!) Rice Krispy Treats.

*****

Tiger Tail Ice Cream

Tiger Tail Ice Cream (or “Tiger-Tiger”, depending on the brand name!) was my favourite flavour of ice cream as a kid, though we usually just got it when visiting my aunt in Ottawa. So, kind of a rare treat. It’s orange flavoured ice cream with ribbons of black licorice caramel!

*****

Tourtiere

I LOVE Tourtiere, a French Canadian meat pie. My recipe, here, is for a gluten-free version, but for those not requiring gluten-free, you can substitute your favourite savoury pie crust recipe.

*****

So, Happy Canada Day!

Now, for my annual sharing of Important Canadian Culture 🙂

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 will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

How to make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the annoying things about living away from my homeland is the lack of availability of many of the grocery basics, treats, and general comfort foods of home. For the most part, they’re easy enough to make, once I put my mind to developing a recipe (Tiger Tail Ice Cream, or Honey Garlic Cooking Sauce, for instance!)

Recently, I was disappointed with a purchase of “Canadian bacon” (we don’t call it that – it’s back bacon!). I lamented the lack of availability of not only GOOD back bacon, but also peameal bacon. My husband had never even heard of peameal bacon, and had only ever had “Canadian Bacon” as they sell it here in the USA… anemic, flavourless, very blah ham product. This was a situation that needed to be rectified!

So, I did some research on recipes and techniques, and created a recipe of my own, using the flavours I wanted. I ordered a few necessary items – including Prague Powder, which I’d never even heard of – and then called my husband to let him know that I was taking up a new hobby – curing meat. You know you’ve married well when such a declaration isn’t met with some variation of “WTF? Because we don’t have enough hobbies?”, but with “Awesome! I’ve been meaning to take up smoking meats! We can do both!”!

Anyway, both back bacon and peameal bacon start out the same – soaking in a flavourful brine for a few days – and then veer off in different directions from there:

Peameal Bacon is then rolled in cornmeal (Back in the day it was crushed up dried peas), wrapped, and chilled. It’s then cut into thick slices and fried up as needed, usually served in sandwiches. So far as I can tell, peameal sandwiches are mostly a Toronto thing… I have no idea why. They’re fantastic!

Back Bacon skips the cornmeal, and gets smoked until fully cooked. You can serve it as-is, though it’s usually reheated in some form: fried as part of breakfast or in a sandwich, or thinly sliced and used to make pizza. I promise you, making a pizza with this will wreck you for all other pizzas. I made a spicy Hawaiian one the other day – back bacon, pineapple, thinly sliced jalapenos, and a drizzle of sriracha.. spectacular!

Says Porter: “It has a better texture than the stuff I’ve had – firm but not stringy or chewy. Much better flavor, more character. I definitely see a big difference, and I’m not going back”

While back bacon requires smoking – usually requiring special equipment / technique – peameal bacon is ridiculously easy to make, and requires no special skill or equipment. I was really kicking myself for not having done it sooner!

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!






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 will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

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.

Savoury Alligator Pie Recipe

A few weeks ago, my friend Charlotte posted something to the effect of “When I say ‘Alligator Pie’, you say what?” as a Facebook status. To me, the answer was obvious – “If I don’t get some, I think I’m going to die!”.

She ended up getting some weird responses, none seeming to know what she was talking about. I was kind of perplexed – Alligator Pie was SUCH a popular poem / book growing up, how could people not know what she – a fellow Canadian – was talking about? I had assumed the book to be British, on account of the style of artwork I remembered from it … and if it had been crazy popular back home, surely her American friends had heard of it, right?

Well, I guess I should have realized it from the hockey references… but as it turns out, the book is Canadian. I guess that explains the confusion! ANYWAY.

This time of year, I end up obsessed with Alligator meat. It finally cooled down enough for me to attend the Minnesota Renaissance Festival a couple weeks ago, and – in my mind – the alligator sausage there is the absolute best part of fest. (Aside from all my friends that work there, I mean!). Shortly after our day at fest, I happened across some frozen alligator meat in the grocery store, so I picked it up… thinking I’d make some sausage at home.

Well, having “Alligator Pie” stuck in my head, I ended up deciding that I should make some. I knew “Alligator Pie” existed in a few different incarnations as a dessert… some as a green coloured cream pie, others more like a pecan pie, with the nutty surface being representative of alligator skin. However, I had never heard of an ACTUAL alligator pie. As one of the most literal people ever (Seriously, Drax is my patronus)… it had to happen.

Because there wasn’t really something pre-existing, I could pretty much do whatever I want! I decided to start with a proper cajun trinity – onion, celery, and green peppers – as a nod to gator meat as a very southern thing. (Says the Canadian, making a pie about a beloeved Canadian poem!). I flavoured it with some of the same seasonings I could taste in the alligator sausage that I loved so much… but only as an accent. I didn’t want it to be a sausage pie, after all. I wanted it to be like the savoury pies I’d grown up with – some meat, some vegetables, a little gravy, and a ton of flavour.

This ended up a huge hit with both my husband and a couple other friends that happened to pop by the night I made it… including The Pink Dalek, who almost didn’t share with her mom! The meat was tender and juicy, and the flavours all worked very well together.

This recipe will work well with your favourite pie crust recipe, or even with store bought crust. Looking for a tasty gluten-free pie crust (the filling is inherently gf!)? You should buy a copy of my book, Beyond Flour – pie crust is only one of the many “as good or better than the gluteny original!” recipes in there.

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!

Savoury Alligator Pie


Savoury Alligator Pie


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.

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.

Geekery and my Partridgeberry Pie Recipe (AKA Lingonberry Pie)

Apologies for the silence on the blog lately – I’ve been hard at work on my upcoming gluten free cookbook, “Beyond Flour”. It hasn’t left me much time, drive, or inclination to post blogs! Whoops.

This weekend, I was inspired to post something… albeit in a roundabout way. The facts are these:

– Since making my husband’s Thranduil costume, we’ve been on a bit of a Lee Pace kick. TOTALLY fell in love with “Pushing Daisies” – posthumously (hah!) – as well as some of his other work. (There is a “Red Bandit” cosplay in the works..)

– A friend (Who you may recognize as “Legolas” in the movie premiere kiss photo of ours that went sort of viral last month) just completed a “Ned the Piemaker” cosplay last week, complete with “Pie Hole” box.

– This past weekend happened to be the weekend I had scheduled for developing a gluten free pie crust for the book.

– Late last week, I came upon this fan art, which I promptly fell in love with.

– We have 159 digits of Pi tiled into our awesomely geeky kitchen backsplash.

… I’m sure you can see where this is going, if you’ve been following this blog for any real amount of time. You should never underestimate how far I’m willing to run with a crazy idea!

So, at the prompting of another friend, we decided to do a mini shoot with Porter as “Thrandy the Piemaker”. We invited our friend over to join in, because… really. Thranduil, Ned, and pie? Awesome. Bonus: Legolas! I went ahead and made a the most ridiculous twee thing I’ve ever made in my whole life – the frilly apron from the fan art – and baked the pie.

The photos from that shoot turned out amazing – and so did the pie! Let me share a few photos, and the recipe for my partridgeberry pie filling. (The gluten free crust recipe will be in the book!):


(We have almost 50 photos from this shoot posted to my costuming page on Facebook. That album is here. So much ridiculousness.. I LOVE it!)

Remember my “Faux Lingonberry Wine” recipe? I think it’s the first time I mentioned my love of partridgeberries on my blog. LOVE them… and I’ve been missing them as a dessert ingredient for a long time now. It’s been almost 8 years… and this is my favourite kind of pie!

So, I splurged a bit and bought some frozen partridge/lingonberries from a local shop*, and here we are!

Partridgeberry Pie

3 cups Fresh or frozen partridgeberries (about 1 lb)*
1 1/2 cups Granulated sugar
2-3 tsp cornstarch
Zest of one orange
Pinch salt
2 pie crusts. See Uncle Tom’s Pie Crust for recipe!
1 egg, whisked
2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Place berries in a medium saucepan. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch (use 2 tsp for a slightly runnier filling, 3 for a thicker one. We used 3 for the pie pictured!), and add to the berries along with orange zest and salt.

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. The berries will break down a bit, and the mixture will thicken slightly. Allow to boil for 3 minutes before removing from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature – it will thicken more as it cools.

Preheat oven to 425F

If not using a prepared pie crust, roll your two crusts out to about 1/4″ thick. Line a pie pan with one crust, and cut the other into 1″ strips.

Transfer cooled filling into the pie shell, spreading to cover the bottom of the pie evenly.

Use the strips of pie crust to create a lattice on top. Where this filling is very dark and stains easily, I don’t usually do a properly woven lattice – that involves placing and folding back strips to weave other strips through… and can get pie filling all over the place!

I lay one of the longest strips right across the middle of the pie, vertically. Then I cross it with another of the longest strips, horizontally. The next longest strip gets laid aside the first strip laid, then the next one beside the second strip laid. I alternate directions and sides, working from the longest strips down to the shortest.

Once your lattice is laid, trim the edges of the crust to only slightly longer than the edge of the pie plate. Fold the bottom crust edge over the lattice edge, and pinch well to seal. Use your fingers to crimp/ruffle the edge of the pie.

Carefully brush lattice and crust with whisked egg, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake pie for 15 minutes at 425 F. Without opening the door, turn the temperature down to 400 and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or so.. until crust is golden.

Serve warm or cold – this pie is especially great with some rich vanilla ice cream on top.

Enjoy!

* If you don’t live somewhere that partridgeberries grow, you can ask around any Scandinavian shops and see if they know where you can find some. Alternatively, they can be purchased frozen online from some specialty retailers, and I’m told that IKEA sells them in their frozen section as well. (I just can’t find anything on their site about it!)

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 will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

Butter Tart Liqueur!

A while back, I was craving butter tarts .

That’s nothing new, I’m a Canadian away from home – I’m always craving something that I either can’t get at all, or will have to make myself.

What was new is that I was drinking at the time, (Ok, THAT part isn’t new!)… and got it in my head that “Butter tart” would make a lovely flavour for a liqueur or cocktail. I immediately set about working through some ideas, deciding which way would be best to go.

In the end, doing a custom infused spirit and then turning it into a liqueur made the most sense.

This takes very little in the way of ingredients or effort, and the result will make any butter tart fan – or general Sweet Tooth – very happy!

Also: there is time to make this as a Christmas gift!








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 will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

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.

Newfoundland Partridgeberry Wine Recipe

A month ago, I joined the Canadian Food Experience Project, writing about my memories of a uniquely Canadian food experience.

The Canadian Food Experience Project began on June 7 2013. Per the project:

“As we share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us.”

This month’s topic is “A Regional Canadian Food”.

My mind immediately went to the years I spent living in Newfoundland. Newfoundland has a unique culture – even within the Atlantic Canadian provinces alone! – and that really comes through in their food. I was spoiled on some of the best seafood ANYWHERE, and was always trying new things.. rabbit stew. Flipper pie. Every manner of deep fried seafood imaginable. Unique preparations of fish and shellfish, and the most wonderful game meats.


St. John’s … this was home!

I love moose stew, and I’m proud to say that I make the most insanely amazing moose stew ever. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get my hands on any moose in the past 7 years… and I’d be afraid to admit to just what depravity I’d agree to, just to get some at this point!

Part of what makes my moose stew insane is the inclusion of partridgeberry wine – a unique wine that is locally produced and readily available in Newfoundland. The tart, bright flavours of the wine work so beautifully with the gamey flavor of the meat… oh, it’s a work of art. I really, really need to get some moose meat soon. (Sorry, I mean.. “Gotta get me moose, b’y!”).


Yum. These guys are EVERYWHERE, back home. So tasty.

ANYWAY.

Partridgeberries are indigenous to Newfoundland, as well as Scandinavia. They’re tart little red berries that taste like a cross between a cranberry and a blueberry… you may know them as “lingonberries”, if you’re a fan of IKEA!

They are one of a few amazing berries that grow wild in Newfoundland, and they’re very popular in Newfoundland cuisine, appearing in jams, sauces, in candies, on cheesecake… and in wine. You can buy partridgeberry wine in local wine stores back home, as there are several Newfoundland wineries that specialize in it.

Unfortunately, you can’t buy partridgeberry wine here in Minnesota, anywhere I’ve seen. Homesick desperation is one of the mothers of invention in my kitchen, and a few years ago I created a recipe for partridgeberry wine. We were able to buy a case of the berries from a local wholesaler!

This makes a very full bodied, gorgeous wine. It’s a fairly sweet wine, with a great mouth feel .. very delicious, and very luxurious. Definitely worth the effort of finding a case of partridgeberries!

If you haven’t attempted making wine before, don’t be intimidated! Check out our primer to home brewing, it starts here, with parts 2 and 3 here and here. Just a small handful of entries, and you’ll be good to go!

Unable to get your hands on partridgeberries? I actually designed a “faux partridgeberry” wine recipe a while back, click here to go there!

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!

Partridgeberry Wine


Partridgeberry Wine


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.