Red Fife Maple Walnut Pancakes with Sliced Strawberries

Red Fife Maple Walnut Pancakes with StrawberriesWe’ve been hit by a snow/ice storm today, and I am lucky to have the option to work from home.  I take transit, so commuting to work wasn’t so much of a concern, but I did already put away my winter parka and boots, and I’m stubborn and don’t want to get them out again on principle.  Silly, I know!  I treated myself this gloomy morning to these delicious and healthy pancakes.  I’m generally not a fan of pancakes (I know, that’s sacrilegious to some) but I really liked these.  The Red Fife, flax and walnuts added lots of flavour and texture.  And I’ve had a thing for strawberries lately, my impatience for spring produce is growing!  Continue reading

Advertisements

Maple Walnut Pie

Finished Maple pieIt’s maple syrup season!  Maple syrup has been called the first agricultural crop of the year in maple producing areas.  It heralds the start of spring, and this felt particularly fitting today as we changed the clocks ahead and we gain an hour of daylight in the evening.  It was also fitting for the great weekend full of sun and warm weather we experienced.  What better way to celebrate than maple and walnut pie?  There may still be a few snowfalls and a week and a half on the calendar until the official start of spring, but in my mind it began this weekend. Continue reading

Sunday Baking: Granola x 3

We’ve stopped buying cereal in exchange for making home-made granola.  It’s an easy breakfast or snack, stirred into Greek yogurt or with milk poured onto it like cereal.  And these recipes make your house smell amazing while they cook!  It’s worth making a batch just for the smell alone.

I used some fabulous local honey, maple syrup and vanilla to make these batches of granola.  I bought raw honey at the Westboro Farmer’s Market.  The seller, A Country Garden, had several different types of honey with varied tastes, as they were harvested at different times of year when different flowers were in bloom!  I sampled each one and you could really taste the difference.  The vanilla I use is from Really Horrible Enterprises and it’s made with rum!  It’s delicious and I don’t want to ever buy store bought vanilla again.  I found him at Urban Craft, but you can also order from the website.

Here are three variations to try, but each time I make it I use a different combination of ingredients.  I love the use of apple sauce in the second and third variations as this eliminates a lot of the oil that is often used.  However, they didn’t get as clumpy as you’d expect granola to be.  They had more of a cereal texture – still delicious though!

Honey Almond

3 cups oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup Honey
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Apple Walnut Cinnamon

3 cups oats
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup applesauce (about 1 individual size cup)
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped dried apples

Cranberry Maple Pumpkin Seed

3 cups oats
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup applesauce (about 1 individual size cup)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.

3. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.

4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet.

5. Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is golden brown. (NOTE: Make sure you stir up all the bits around the edges and in the corners – these are the parts that will burn first.)  Remove from oven, and stir in dried fruit. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container (I use mason jars).

This recipe easily doubles and keeps for quite a while in the cupboard.

Cranberrie Pumpkin Seed Granola

Recipes adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod and Simply Scratch.

Sunday Baking: Maple Swirl Biscuits with Cream Cheese Frosting

While I was away for Thanksgiving weekend a family member gave me a bottle of maple syrup that they bottled themselves.  Nothing beats local maple syrup!  I could probably come up with a dozen dessert recipes using maple syrup because it really is one of my favourite indulgences.  If you live in Ontario, Quebec or Vermont you have no excuse – stop buying “maple” syrup (or even worse – table syrup – gah!) at the grocery store and get it from a local producer.  Trust me, you will thank me.

Ingredients

Biscuits
2 cups Red Fife flour
2 cups white flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter cut into cubes
1 cup milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Frosting
3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tsp maple syrup

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a food processor combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine.  Add 1/2 cup cold butter cubes and mix until combined. Add milk and maple syrup, process until dough forms a ball.

2. Remove dough from processor and knead it into a ball. Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll or pat dough into a 14×10-inch rectangle.

3. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

4. Spread dough with 1/4 cup softened butter then sprinkle with the sugar-spice mixture. Top with walnuts. Starting from a long side, roll up into a spiral. Press down on the seam to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into slices about 3/4 inch thick (mine made 18 slices). Arrange slices on baking sheets.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until dough is cooked through.

5. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese and 2 tsp maple syrup to make frosting. Stir until smooth.

6. Remove biscuits from oven and let cool a couple of minutes.  Spread with frosting.

Serves: 18.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Maple swirl biscuits from from the oven