Tag Archive | Baking

Bake Someone Happy





There’s something about rainy, and windy, cool days where you can hear the leaves rustling that brings out the baker in me.

It’s a way of embracing the change of season after the summer months by filling my home with the glorious scent of baked goods, and satisfying my sweet tooth, and my family’s hankering for home-made goodies are added bonuses.


Here’s a recipe that ticks all the boxes for everyone’s
sweet, tangy, and fruity taste buds.


Sweet Bread filled with Lemon Custard and Blueberries




Lemon Custard Filling:


4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 lemons
1/8 tsp. salt
6 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into cubes and let it get to room temperature so it’s soft


Note: If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own, with a pot and steel bowl on top, or another pot that fits the bottom pot.

Fill the bottom of a double boiler with 2 inches of water, and allow it to boil on high.
Once boiled, reduce to low heat and keep it at a simmer.

To the top of the double boiler, add: sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and egg yolks.

Whisk this mixture until it’s completely blended, and continue to whisk until the custard cooks. Constant whisking will prevent the egg yolks from curdling, and it will give you a nice, smooth custard.

Once the mixture is thickened (about 10 minutes), remove from heat, If curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and constantly whisk.

Note: If you find it’s not thick enough, turn up the heat a little, not too high and keep whisking for a few more minutes.

Once thickened, remove the pot from heat and stir in the butter pieces. Allow the butter to melt inside the mixture.

Pour mixture into a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap so it is touching the top of the custard as this will prevent a skin from forming on top, and set aside to let it cool.

Blueberry Topping:


6 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP cold water


2 cups fresh blueberries (or your favorite berry)
½ TBSP butter, unsalted
½ TBSP, freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a saucepan, add sugar, cornstarch, salt and water and heat over medium heat, stirring until smooth.

Add the blueberries and bring to a boil.

Cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

Remove from the heat, then add butter and lemon juice, stir until butter is melted.

Set aside and let cool.


Egg Wash:

Beat together:
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. water

Sweet Bread:


3 TBSP white sugar
3/4 cup milk, whole milk works better
2 TBSP butter, unsalted
2 tsp olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 TBSP yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt


Add: sugar, milk, butter and oil in a sauce and heat on medium low, stirring.

After all ingredients are warmed through, remove from heat and briskly whisk in the beaten eggs.

Add the yeast to this mixture and mix.

Pour mixture into a bowl and cover the bowl, let it sit for five to 10 minutes to activate the yeast.

Sift the flour and salt together, then add to the mixture, and mix gently, until all the flour is incorporated.

Cover and set aside at room temperature, and let it rise for one hour.

Sift the flour and salt together, then add to the mixture, and mix gently, until all the flour is incorporated.

Cover and set aside at room temperature, and let it rise for one hour.

Sprinkle some flour on your working surface, then gently roll out the risen dough into a rectangle. You can add a bit more flour one your rolling pin, so it doesn’t stick.

Once your dough is rolled out to approximately 16 x 12 in size, spoon the lemon custard in rows.

At this point you can do one of two things; you can braid the bread, gently criss-crossing, and using a spoon pressing the filling in so it doesn’t spill out while baking.

ANOTHER OPTION: Or, you can roll up the dough in the shape of a log, placing the seam underneath, then pinch edges of the log so the filling doesn’t pour out.

If you breaded the bread, add a dollop of the blueberry mixture, dotting the blueberry mixture on the opening, or you can also choose to add a few dollops of blueberry mixture inside the bread. You can use your imagination with the berries.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and transfer your dough to this baking sheet.

Let bread to rise for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375 F

Make your egg wash by whisking egg and water well, then brush the egg wash over the bread, and put the bread in the oven.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the top of the bread is golden.

Once you remove it from the oven, and it cools to warm, you can dust your bread with icing sugar.

Enjoy with your favourite hot beverage.





A threesome guaranteed to please.

When life hands you lemons, simply add rosemary and olive oil—best threesome you’ll experience for the taste buds. For an extra kick and spice things up in the kitchen even more, chili peppers joins the threesome.




Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Loaf


1 3/4 cup un-bleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, beaten
2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup boiling water
1 lemon, (grate it to get the rinds, and squeeze for the lemon juice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 to 2 tsp. cayenne or chili peppers (this is optional, if you like some spice with the sweet)


Heat oven to 350 F

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, or if you don’t want to use parchment paper, lightly grease the pan

Pour the boiling water in a bowl then add the lemon rind, and let sit until the water is cool.

When the water is cool, add the beaten egg, white sugar, brown sugar, lemon extract and olive oil, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, add: flour, baking soda, salt (and if you’re using any chili peppers this is where you would add them in), and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend well.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center.

This loaf is delicious with or without a glaze. If you want to kick up the sweetness a notch, then while your loaf is baking, mix together 2 cups of icing (confectioners’) sugar and 1/3 cup of lemon juice, until smooth.

When loaf is baked, let sit for five minutes, then drizzle with the lemon glaze.



Have a date with a sweet loaf.



This exotic fruit is not only deliciously sweet, it is also packed with a plethora of health benefits, from lowering cholesterol, adding protein to your diet, rich in vitamins and fiber, to promoting digesting.

You can enjoy a few a day instead of candy (seriously, they do taste like candy) or you can bake with them.


Nutty Date Loaf Bread





1 3/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup chopped dried dates
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 cup nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans—any nut you enjoy, your choice)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla



Heat oven to 350F

Lightly grease a loaf pan.

In a bowl, mix together; dates, coconut oil and boiling water, then set aside and let it cool. Once cooled (make sure it is cooled as you don’t want to cook the egg), mix in the beaten egg and white and brown sugars, and mix until mixture is smooth and creamy.

In a separate bowl, mix together; flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt, mix well.

Add dry ingredients to the wet bowl, and blend.

Add nuts and vanilla, and blend well.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes (toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center).

Bake someone happy.

It’s that time of the year when baking for others is not only about gifting something sweet, but it has major therapeutic benefits for the baker.




No matter what level of cook or baker one is, a simple recipe for cookies is an excellent way to express your creativity, and  a great way to relieve stress.




Here’s a delicious, moreish recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, guaranteed to fill your home with a warm, comforting aroma.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies



cup un-salted butter, softened
cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup white sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chunks -or- chocolate chips; semi-sweet -or- milk chocolate (your choice)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a non-stick baking sheet).
  3. You’ll need two bowls; large one for dry and and smaller one for wet ingredients.
  4. In the large bowl, sift together; flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  5. In the smaller bowl, cream together the butter, brown and white sugars, and stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy, then stir in the vanilla, and slowly add the beaten eggs and blend well together.
  6. Stir the dry ingredients in the creamy mixture until just blended (do not over mix).
  7. Mix in the quick oats and chocolate chips.
  8. Stir enough (not too much stirring) to get everything evenly distributed.
  9. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.
  11. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer onto a cookie wire rack to cool completely….but, it’s always nice to pinch a warm cookie before they are completely cooled.

These cookies make a great contribution for a cookie exchange.



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Celebrating Blueberry Season with Chocolate

I love fruit ending in “erries”; blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

What better way to celebrate blueberry picking season than with the other super food—chocolate.

Here’s a recipe for a decadently delicious, brownie-like-chocolate-pie, with a few different suggestions on serving it (my favorite way to eat it, is topped with any berry in season).

This recipe is quick and easy, and you probably have all the ingredients in your home to make it right now.


1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
3 TBSP. cocoa powder (use a good quality one, it really does make a difference)
1 tsp. salt


Pre-heat oven to 350 F

In a bowl, add butter and mix until smooth, then add sugar and mix together until creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, add: flour, cocoa powder, and salt, and mix well.

Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix well.

Line a pie plate with parchment paper (or you can also grease it and add a bit of flour so it doesn’t stick.

Bake for 30 minutes (or until center is done).

Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream, and favorite berries, and you have a dessert filled with super-antioxidants.



Sprinkle icing (confectioners) sugar on top.


Enjoy with a scoop of ice-cream.


















Come get a good beeting.

Who doesn’t love a good beeting?

If you’ve only tried pickled beets or not tried any at all, then you’ve been missing out on some great ways to enjoy this sweet vegetable.

Beets have an earthy fruity flavor and are so versatile you can turn them into a salty snack or utilize them in your baking, and not feel guilty when indulging, since beets are chock full of vitamins, antioxidants, and help boost your hemoglobin and immune system.

Here are a few ways to give yourselves a good beeting.

BEET CHIPS – Warning: They are highly addictive.



2 large beets

3 TBSP olive oil

2 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary leaves

2 cloves roasted garlic (mashed) if you don’t have any of this on hand, then 1 tsp. of powdered garlic

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 300F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use non-stick spray)

Peel the beets.

Using a mandolin (or a good cutting knife) slice the beets thinly (like the thinness of a potato chip)

In a large bowl, add all your sliced beets.

Add: rosemary, oil, garlic, salt & pepper and toss well to coat all the beet chips

Place them on your baking sheet, do NOT overlap.

Bake for one hour, or until edges are crispy and the beets look like they have dried into chip consistency.

Remove from oven when done and put them on a cooling rack until cool, and even crispier once they are not warm.

***Note*** You can use the same recipe to make sweet potato chips and serve them along with the beet chips. Use any of your favorite dips as well.




1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup gluten free flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup beet puree (bake beets (1 or 2 depending on size) in oven, until tender enough to mash into a puree

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 TBS honey

1 cup banana, mashed (or use apple sauce)

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)

1/2 cup pecans (or any nut that you like or leave the nuts out all together)


Preheat oven to 350

Spray a baking pan 9 x 9 with non-stick spray

In one bowl add all the dry ingredients, mix well.

In another bowl add all the wet ingredients, mix well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until batter is smooth.

Pour batter into pan and cook for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

***Topping*** Ice with your favorite chocolate icing, add berries or just dust with confectioner sugar.




1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup Gluten-free flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 medium beets (baked and mashed and cooled)

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)

1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. almond extract


Preheat oven 350F

Add all the dry ingredients into one bowl and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla and almond extracts

Add the cooled, pureed beets to the egg mixture and stir well.

Pour wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated.

Line baking pan with parchment paper (or use non-stick spray, but I prefer using parchment paper, works real well)

Pour the cake batter into cake pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until toothpick  comes out clean.

Cool cake completely before icing with your favorite frosting or serve with freshly whipped cream.