Friday, September 5, 2014

June's Hot Fudge Brownie Dessert

I've been remiss! With 2 pregnant mothers how am I not making the classic Molten Lava Cake kicked up to extreme?! Here it is, for all lovers of anything chocolate and yummy gooeyness.

This is the original recipe, origin unknown. Probably my Grandma May McPherson. You can tell because of the sifting bits. I wouldn't bother. It's lumpy anyway. Enjoy!

June's Hot Fudge Brownie Dessert

1c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 c. milk
2 tbsp melted butter or shortening
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and cocoa. Add milk, smelted butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Pour into 8x8 baking dish and cover with sauce ingredients.

Mix together 1/3c. Brown sugar, 1/3 c white sugar and 4 tbsp cocoa. Sprinkle over the uncooked butter, then pour 1 1/2 c. hot water over the surface of the pudding.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Best served immediately and with ice cream cuz why not?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cheesy Roasted Tomato and Sausage Bake

Bring home a basket of farm fresh tomatoes and green peppers and it's not long before the kitchen is filled with the tantalizing smells of roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic, the flavour base for today's casserole. Yum!

This recipe is prepared in easy steps: roast off the tomatoes, cook the sausages and penne, combine everything with mozzarella. Top with ooey-gooey cheddar. Bake 'er.


6 large field tomatoes - 4 cut into quarters, 2 diced in 1/4 in pieces
1 or 2 jalapeno pepper - depends on your heat love
4 cloves of garlic - peeled, not chopped
1 large onion - cut into quarters
olive oil - for drizzling

8 sausages ( I used mild Italian and Johnsonville beer bratwursts)
5 slices of bacon - cut in 1 inch pieces
2 green peppers - chopped in 1 inch pieces
1 cup mushrooms - cleaned sliced thickly
fresh parsley, basil - 1/4 cup each
1 tsp paprika

500g of penne 

1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup of shredded cheddar
1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1.Combine first 5 ingredients in a flat pan. Drizzle and coat with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees until everything is soft and mushy (about 25 minutes). Remove tomato skins.

2.Cook penne until al dente (8 minutes)

3.Saute bacon, sausages and green pepper over medium heat until sausages are browned and pepper is soft. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more.
Add roasted tomatoes and jalapenos with juices to sausages.

4.Combine penne and sausage melange with mozzarella. 

Pour into oiled casseroles (this filled 1 large and 1 medium sized dishes). Top with remaining diced tomato, shredded cheddar and breadcrumbs.

Cook at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Next time I'll take a few pics as I go along, but I find that I tend to scroll  through obvious pictures of chopped onion to get to the ingredients and method.

These dishes are always are work in process, based on what's fresh and the mood I'm in. Substitutions are encouraged, as is feedback. We cook to share.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cousin Reunion at Sharbot Lake

I just spent a magical day at Sharbot Lake, hosted by my sister Marilyn and her husband Brian. Our long-lost cousin "Big Barb" (I am Little Barb) and her husband Rick were visiting  on a welcome trip from B.C.  Here's the requested recipe for the tri-veggie dip. Easily manipulated according to what's in your pantry.

Colorful Vegetarian Pâté -from Canadian Summer Living 2014

1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
 1/4 tsp cumin and pepper

1 pkg light cream cheese, softened
3/4 c chopped, drained roasted red peppers

2cups lightly packed basil leaves
1/4 c pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, blend kidney beans. Add lemon juice, 1 tsp oil, cumin and pepper. Whiz till smooth. Spoon into plastic-wrapped 1.5 L loaf pan and refrigerate.

In a food processor, purée cream cheese with red pepper until smooth. Spread over bean layer. Refrigerate.

In a food processor, pulse together basil, pine nuts and garlic. With machine running, gradually add remaining olive oil and process to a coarse paste. Pulse in Parmesan cheese. Spread over red pepper layer.

Cover and refrigerate up to two days. Garnish with fresh herbs.  Serve with crackers, pitas.

Notes: Totally substitute with what's in your pantry. Chick peas for kidney beans. I used basil and cilantro. Folks thought the red pepper layer was salmon. Not a bad thought.

This is soft like a dip.

We didn't invert as I wanted the pesto on top. Treasa and I teamed it up and slid the plastic out.



Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Mom’s Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

4 tbsp butter

1 ½ c. flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

Chocolate chips (optional – really?)

Melt butter.

Mash bananas, add sugar. Beat well. Add butter, beat well, then flour, soda and salt. Beat just until incorporated.

Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes. You may want to cover top with foil for last 10 minutes or so.

This is a classic “June” baking recipe. Easy, fast, dependable, takes any amount of chocolate chips you have on hand.

Grandma Kraft’s Shortbread


1 c. butter

Sift together:

1 ½ c. flour

½ c. icing sugar

¼ c. corn starch

Add dry ingredients slowly to butter and continue beating. Add a few drops of vanilla.

This is very soft. Divide into 2 balls and wrap in wax paper to chill.

Roll into balls and press down with a moistened spoon. Decorate.

Bake at 325 F for 10 minutes. Watch it, it burns and I like them nice and white.

I used to get to decorate these with mom. I cut up red and green maraschino cherries and made individual designs on each. Now I just use sprinkles.

Old School Bits and Bites

1 pkg. pretzel sticks

1 can of salted peanuts

4 cups of shreddies

½ c. butter

3 tbsp.Wooster sauce (Worcestershire, if you weren’t raised by June – insert funny story about phone call from Alexis from Loblaws)

1 tbsp garlic salt

1 tbsp onion salt

1 tbsp celery salt

Set oven at 225 F or very slow. Break the pretzels into smaller pieces and mix with the peanuts and shreddies. Melt butter and add remaining ingredients. Pour over cereal mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover and bake 1 hr. Remove cover and bake another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Alexis’ Truffles

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/3 c. butter

2 c. sifted icing sugar

4 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat (or microwave) stirring occasionally. Cool.

Stir in sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. Chill until mixture is firm enough to shape.

Using 2 teaspoons (or your hands), scoop a rounded bit out and roll in cocoa, icing sugar or nuts until it is a ball. Chill until firm. Store in frig.

For pure decadence, melt some good chocolate and dip the truffle in that.

These are called “Alexis’ Truffles” because I disliked getting chocolate all over my hands rolling them out. Never minded eating them though.

Chipnut * Bars (aka The Classic)

1 c. margarine

1 2/3 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 c. stirred flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 c. chocolate chips

Lightly cream margarine. Add brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt, and beat on low until blended, scraping down sides once and bottom once. (This is obviously an important part of the magic and one that I follow to the letter.)

Add ½ c. chips and beat on low until blended. Turn stiff batter into greased (or fairly new non-stick pan, as opposed to the crappy ones we all generally use for all-purpose roasting and baking). Spread into corners and cover with remaining chips (or use another packaged if you are like everybody else).

Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, it really doesn’t matter; people eat these raw or burnt.

* I suppose in its original state, someone, somewhere actually put a nut in this.

** this is a very good beginner’s recipe and illustrates what the well-stocked baking pantry should hold. I also suggest you simply memorize this recipe and make it a part of any holiday tradition, in the Style of June.

Grandma Kraft’s Sausage Stuffing (point of origin much older than that)

1 lb. sausage meat

4 c. soft bread crumbs (although I found my sausage : bread ratio this year was off. Translation: Not enough dressing!! So I shall increase to 6+ cups)

1 c. celery (chopped fine)

½ c. onion (chopped fine)

3 tbsp. melted butter (or sausage fat)

2 eggs, beaten

½ tsp. salt

few grinds of pepper

1 ½ tsp. sage

pinch of baking powder

In large bowl, put crumbs, celery, onion, seasonings and powder. Mix with fork.

Fry sausage meat until nicely browned, stir occasionally. Drain all fat. Add sausage meat to the dressing. Mix with a fork, add melted butter and seasonings and lastly the beaten eggs. Mix well with a fork, should look moist and crumbly.

*I stuffed the bird rather loosely (as opposed to the pate-press style of my forbearers. It took off an hour of overall cooking time, thus ensuring a moist bird. Food for thought anyway.)

** DO NOT DICK WITH THIS RECIPE. Do NOT put apples in it. If you want chestnuts, give yourself a Mary Poppins shake and make Chestnut dressing. I need not even mention that the royal oyster deserves a dressing of its own at all times, and is a lovely complement to the humble sausage.

Aunt Marilyn’s Sugar Cookies (best ever for rolling and decorating)

1 c. margarine

2 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. Cream of Tartar (optional – I still can’t find it at the supermarket so I have no idea what it does)

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. salt

3 c. flour

Cream together margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, in small amounts, beating well after each addition. Chill.

Pre-heat oven to 325 F. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch (0.635 cm if you are Canadian) using small amounts of flour on the rolling surface to prevent sticking. Cut shapes. Bake on ungreased pan for 8 minutes. Watch it! They burn.

Makes enough for Halloween and Christmas.

Aunt’s Marilyn Play Dough (who doesn’t need this recipe at some time)

1 c. flour

1 c. water (tinted with food colouring)

1 tbsp. oil

2 tbsp. Cream of Tartar

½ c. salt (yes, you read that right. You (at least) aren’t eating this!)

Mix together flour, Cream of Tartar and salt in a large pot. Combine water and oil. Stir well (of course it won’t blend!). Add to mixture in pot.

Cook several minutes on low heat until it forms a soft ball. Tip out onto countertop and knead approximately 10 times. Store in a covered plastic container. Lasts well.

Chocolate Bombs (aka Poo Cookies)

I had to use these on both my children. Maybe eating the Play Dough isn’t such a good idea.

1 c. brown sugar

¼ c. butter

2 tbsp. cocoa

¼ c. milk

½ tsp. vanilla

1 c. rolled oats

½ c. bran

½ c. skim milk powder

½ c. sunflower seeds

Combine sugar, butter, cocoa and milk in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until butter melts. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Cool-ish. Form into palm-size balls.

*While you can obviously change up the ingredients (the idea is tasty fibre) I found that when I strayed too far from this it either didn’t have the appropriate consistency to make into “cookies” or just didn’t get eaten up the same way. And the goal was to get these in, and get them working!

Getting Started

Hi all,

I am setting up this blog as a temporary (or not) home for all recipes, June and otherwise, that have been a part of our collective family memory. Who can forget Saad and the Tourtiere from the early days at Pineglen, or the famous Chipnut, which saw nary a nut, and Grandma handed out like gold, so that she could have her stache after the grandkiddies left?

I promise to include stories, pictures, recipes and lore to refresh your memories and make your mouth water. Your comments, additions and recollections will enrich and flavour this endeavour far more than I can do on my own.

So go ahead, laugh at the spaghetti on the fan at Bob's Lake, cry for the roadkill in the pie and above all, cook the way mom did, for family.