Everyone should know how to make a biscuit. They’re infinitely versatile – perfect for serving alongside soup, stew or chili, for turning into a sandwich or when you need to serve up some sloppy Joes. They can be made sweet for weekend mornings, or savoury with the addition of cheese, roasted garlic or fresh herbs. I like mine plain, served warm with butter and honey or jam.Read More
Gail Hall has been a positive force on the Alberta culinary scene for decades – she was an award-winning caterer, broadcaster, food writer, educator and international culinary tour guide who knew everyone and shared everything from her cooking school and loft on 104th Street in Edmonton. We’ve known her for years, and like most others who knew her, have been inspired by not only her work, but her infectious energy and enthusiasm. She has done so much to build our culinary community, to teach home cooks and support new (and established) chefs.
Sadly, Gail passed away in November, but this past weekend her husband Jon along with her many friends and family members held a celebration of her life – a potluck, of course, and we baked a batch of her almond biscotti to bring along. Thanks Gail, for all the delicious things you’ve shared, and for bringing so many people together around the table.
- 1 cup whole almonds 250 mL
- 5 cups large-flake (old-fashioned) rolled oats 1.25 L
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 250 mL
- 1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar 125 mL
- 1⁄4 tsp salt 1 mL
- 1⁄4 cup butter 60 mL
- 1 tbsp vanilla 15 mL
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup dried tart cherries 250 mL
- Coarsely chop almonds, aiming to cut each almond into only 2 or 3 pieces (so they won’t burn as easily).
- In a large bowl, combine almonds, oats and coconut. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together brown sugar, salt and butter. Bring just to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Drizzle butter mixture over oat mixture, tossing until everything is well combined and evenly coated.
- Spray the bowl of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour in the oat mixture. Cover and cook on high for 30 to 60 minutes or until granola is hot throughout. Stir and cook, uncovered, on high for 1 to 11⁄2 hours, stirring every so often so the edges don’t get too brown. Toward the end of the cooking time, you’ll need to stir more often. Once everything is a couple of shades darker, stir in cherries. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely. Store in a glass jar at room temperature for a few weeks. Makes about 8 cups (2 L).
- Tip: The granola will toast a little faster if you push it up against the side of the slow cooker, leaving a well in the middle.
- Variations: Granola adapts well to almost endless variations. Try pecan halves or whole hazelnuts in place of the almonds, or other dried fruits, such as cranberries or chopped dried apricots, instead of the tart cherries. You can even add chunks of dark chocolate to the finished (and completely cooled) granola.
- “A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.”
- — P. J. O’Rourke
- 3 medium oranges
- 2 lemons
- 11⁄2 cups cold water 375 mL
- 1 bottle (6 oz/170 mL) preserved ginger
- 6 cups granulated sugar 1.5 L
- 1 bottle (6 oz/170 mL) maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (add extra green cherries as well — colorful!
- 1 pouch liquid pectin
- Wash oranges and lemons. Slice paper thin. Discard seeds. Put into large kettle. Add water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and simmer about 30 minutes, until rinds are tender and transparent. Stir occasionally.
- Drain ginger, saving syrup. Chop ginger finely. Add sugar, chopped ginger, ginger syrup and cherries to orange-lemon mixture. Turn heat to high and bring to a full, rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in pectin. Continue stirring and skimming for 5 minutes.
- Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm) headspace. Wipe rims and seal with two-piece canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Check seals and refrigerate any jars that are not sealed.
- Makes about ten 8-oz (250 mL) jars.
Everyone should know how to make a biscuit. They’re infinitely versatile – perfect for serving alongside soup, stew or chili, for turning into a sandwich or when you need to serve up some sloppy Joes. They can be made sweet for weekend mornings, or savoury with the addition of cheese, roasted garlic or fresh herbs. I like mine plain, served warm with butter and honey or jam.
Buttermilk makes these biscuits very tender, and the soda is added to neutralize its acidity. If you want to use regular milk instead, omit the baking soda. If you want sweeter biscuits, or plan to add fresh or frozen berries or dried fruit, add a couple tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter or oil and blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir just until the dough forms a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough four or five times. Pat the dough about 1/2” thick and cut into circles with a biscuit cutter, glass rim or the open end of a tin can.
- Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you like, brush the tops with a little milk.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm. Makes about a dozen 2-inch biscuits, or fewer larger ones.
We love cottage cheese pancakes around here – dense and slightly cheesy, they’re higher in protein than traditional pancakes, and delicious with tart berries or compote drizzled over top. They’re wonderful on leisurely holiday weekends, especially with berries to brighten them up – or thin leftover cranberry sauce with maple syrup to drizzle over top. Leftovers can be frozen and popped into the toaster or microwave for a warm, hearty winter breakfast that will set you up for a day at work or on the slopes.
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter
- In a large bowl, beat together the cottage cheese, eggs, sugar and salt; mix until smooth, then add the milk and stir until creamy. Add the flour and baking powder and stir just until blended; stir in the oil or melted butter.
- Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and brush with butter or oil or spray with nonstick spray. Drop batter (I used a small ladle) onto the pan and cook until bubbles begin to break the surface and the edges no longer appear wet - flip using a thin spatula and cook until golden on the other side as well. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 250F oven until they are all cooked.
- Serves 2-4; recipe can be easily doubled.