Gail’s Cantuccini

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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.

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The Best Buttermilk Biscuits

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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.

Buttermilk Biscuits
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 1/4 cup butter
  6. 1 cup buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you like, brush the tops with a little milk.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm. Makes about a dozen 2-inch biscuits, or fewer larger ones.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

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.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup cottage cheese
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. pinch salt
  5. 1/4 cup milk
  6. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1 tsp. baking powder
  8. 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Serves 2-4; recipe can be easily doubled.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/

Stampede Morning Parent Saver

Stampede Morning Parent Saver

Stampede can be a crazy time of year if you live in Calgary – if you’re feeling rushed, you can make this cowboy-inspired version of the famous Best of Bridge Christmas Morning Wife Saver, and slide it into the oven in the morning to feed your hungry cowpokes.

Even when it’s not stampede, a simple strata makes for a fantastic brunch – and it’s a great way to use up stale veg or leftovers from the fridge – bits of sausage, ham, bacon, veggies and even cheese ends can all be transformed into something delicious.

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Canola Granola

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It’s Stampede week, and we’ve been busy doing cooking demos over at the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre. Julie was asked to do a show featuring canola, one of our favourite Alberta ingredients and our go-to cooking oil; granola was a perfect pick. It’s easy to make and great for packing to take on hiking or road trips, to summer camp or to the cabin – anywhere you need a healthy burst of energy, granola is perfectly portable, and you don’t have to worry about it squishing or melting. Read More

Easy Cream Scones

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When I have cream in my fridge that’s starting to go south, I turn them into a batch of scones. Dairy products are among the most often tossed of the food we buy that goes to waste – and most of it makes a pretty fine scone. Milk, yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk – they’re all great for baking, and often interchangeable. But I love these super simple scones made with heavy cream – there’s no butter, which makes them easy to stir, pat and bake – but you’ll never miss it.

This basic scone recipe also makes a great blank canvas – try adding fresh, frozen or dried fruit, chopped chocolate, or grated orange or lemon zest.Read More