Winter Slaw

Need a new idea for a crunchy Thanksgiving salad using wintry vegetables? Sure, you could go the kale route, but why not try chopped napa cabbage and thinly sliced or shaved jicama or kohlrabi? Both are fresh and crunchy; kohlrabi is a brassica vegetable and once peeled, tastes like the inside of a broccoli stalk. Jicama is a root vegetable that doesn’t look like much, but is so snappy and fresh tasting you’ll find all kinds of uses for it, from veggie platters to salads.

Measurements here are up to you – use as much of each ingredient as you like, depending on your taste and how many you have to serve. If you like, top with chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, too.

Winter Vegetable Slaw
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Ingredients
  1. finely sliced Napa cabbage
  2. thinly sliced, slivered or julienned jicama and/or kohlrabi
  3. thinly sliced celery (leaves too)
  4. julienned apple
  5. crumbled feta
  6. toasted walnuts
Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  3. 2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
  4. 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  5. 1 tsp. sugar
  6. salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pile the veggies in a shallow salad bowl or on a platter, saving the walnuts to scatter on top. To make the dressing, shake all the ingredients up in a jar and drizzle overtop; toss gently to coat. Top with walnuts and serve. Serves as many as you like.
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Classic Bolognese

Although it still feels like summer, and we still eat outside when it’s sunny enough, fall is definitely here – back to school time makes me crave those classic dishes from my childhood: shepherds’ pie, chili, classy chicken, and spaghetti loaded with sauce. When we start getting back into the groove of fall schedules, I like to make a habit of preparing twice (or more) as much dinner as we need, and freezing the surplus for an almost instant dinner on another night. A classic bolognese is the perfect candidate for the freezer – and makes use of fall veggies in season, like garlic, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers, if you’re inclined to add any. Or roughly chop a bunch of veggies and skip the meat altogether for a vegetarian bolognese.

This recipe is fairly small, but can be doubled or even tripled for a larger batch – or bulk it up with extra veggies and tomatoes. Often when I have overripe tomatoes I’ll toss them in the freezer whole, then add them to sauces later.

Classic Bolognese
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Ingredients
  1. olive oil, for cooking
  2. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  4. 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  5. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 3 slices bacon or pancetta, finely chopped (optional)
  7. 1 lb. lean ground beef, or half ground beef and half ground pork
  8. 1 28 oz. (798 mL) can diced or whole plum tomatoes, drained
  9. 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  10. a few basil leaves
  11. salt and pepper
  12. 1/2 cup half & half (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large, deep skillet, sauté the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bacon in the olive oil for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the lumps of meat until no traces of pink remain. Add a splash of wine if you like, and cook until the liquid evaporates.
  2. Crush the tomatoes with a fork and add them along with the balsamic vinegar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for half an hour to an hour, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. Add the basil leaves and salt and pepper to taste, stir in the half & half and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve over pasta with grated Parmesan cheese at the table. Serves 4-6.
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Inside-Out Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back to school time is cookie season for us – I don’t know whether I make them out of self-preservation or to fill lunchboxes. Everyone needs a little comforting treat when summer comes to an end, and I like baking a batch of cookies on the weekend to wrap and tuck into lunch boxes all week. Sometimes, when I’m really on the ball, I’ll make and freeze balls of dough so I have something to slide into the oven after school – there’s nothing like walking in the door after a long day and the house smells like chocolate. Bonus: with a stash of dough, you can bake a few at a time in the toaster oven, and not have a couple dozen to eat your way through.

To freeze and bake, freeze balls on a sheet and then transfer to a freezer bag; take them out, place them on a parchment-lined sheet and let them sit while the oven preheats, then bake as directed.

Inside Out Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 2 tsp. vanilla
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1/3 cup cocoa
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp. salt
  10. 1 cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until pale and almost fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and stir or beat on low until almost combined; add the chocolate chips and stir just until blended.
  4. Drop dough by the spoonful onto a parchment-lined sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes (depending on their size) until set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 dozen cookies.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/
brown butter loaf

Boozy Brown Butter Loaf Cake

brown butter loaf

Brown butter seems to be all the rage these days — for good reason. Cooking butter in a pan so that the milk solids turn a golden brown gives butter a deep and nutty flavour. Brown butter is great over vegetables and adds a unique flavour to baking. We love putting it in this deceptively simple loaf cake. Read More

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

If you’re like us, you’ve got plenty of zucchini hanging around your house right now and are probably getting tired of chopping them up and putting them in stir-fries. Which brings us to one of our favourite classic Best of Bridge recipes: our Chocolate Zucchini Cake. The zucchini makes this cake nice and moist, the chocolate chips give an extra boost of chocolate and a touch of cinnamon adds some complexity to the flavour.

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake first appeared in the original ladies’ 1984 book winners and you can now find it in The Complete Best of Bridge Cookbooks Volume 3. But here it is again for easy reference, because we know you need to use up at least some of that zucchini a.s.a.p. Read More

Saskatoon Peroghies

If you live on the prairies, chances are you’ve had saskatoons in something – pie or jam, probably, and maybe even in sweet peroghies. Saskatoons (the city was named for them) are hardy shrub berries, less juicy but similar in look, shape, colour and flavour to a blueberry, with more pulp and slightly thicker skins. Botanically, saskatoons are in the same family as roses and apples; the wee purple ones come into season sometime around August, and if you don’t have a secret picking spot, keep an eye out for them next time you’re out on a hike or at the dog park. Some local grocery stores sell them frozen, too.

There is perhaps no dish more prairie-influenced than peroghies stuffed with saskatoons. Eat them for dessert, boiled and then cooked until golden and crisp in a hot pan with butter, topped with sour cream, crème fraîche or vanilla yogurt. They’re also delicious for breakfast or brunch.

Saskatoon Peroghies
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Dough
  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp. salt
  4. 3/4 cup milk
  5. 2 Tbsp. butter, melted, or oil
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 1/3 cup water
Filling
  1. 2/3 cup sugar
  2. 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  3. 2 cups fresh or frozen saskatoon berries
  4. butter, for cooking
  5. sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl stir together the milk, butter and egg; add the water about a third at a time, until you have soft, slightly sticky dough. Knead it about 10 times, then cover with a towel and let rest on the countertop for 20 minutes.
  2. To make the filling, stir together the sugar and flour; shake over the saskatoons and toss to coat. On lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut into rounds. Stretch each round slightly; fill with a spoonful of the saskatoon mixture, ensuring you get some of the sugar-flour in there as well. Pull the dough over filling into semicircle; pinch edges together to seal. Cover with tea towel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Freeze in a single layer or cook immediately.
  3. To cook, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the peroghies (fresh or from frozen) in batches, until they float to the top and the dough is tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous dab of butter. With a slotted spoon, transfer the boiled peroghies to the hot pan and cook until golden and crisp on each side. Serve with sour cream or crème fraiche.
  4. Makes about 3 dozen peroghies.
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