Category Archives: Preserving & Freezing Freshness!


This is really easy to make and only one step separates the ricotta from being paneer…pressing out the excess moisture and compacting the cheese into a more solid mass. This recipe is also in our cookbook Easy Date Oven (available as a free download for signing up for our mailing list).

Use the paneer in Palak Paneer.

Fresh warm ricotta is a great homey thing to present unexpected guests with, especially if you have fresh bread on  hand, or make biscuits as well.

You could easily start the process while making tea, and then complete it while drinking it with your guests during a 30 second departure from the table. 🙂

While you don’t want to overboil the milk, you do need to bring it to a full froth…do not allow yourself to be distracted at this point….milk is highly volatile when being heated and can boil over before you know what’s happening if you wander off.

Do not skimp on the souring agent (we use lemon juice, but you can also use any kind of vinegar you wish to. Each will affect the flavour differently however, so use something that makes sense for your purpose.

Dead Easy Dills – Kosher Style

Kosher Dills
Kosher Dills

These are those crisp pickles that snap in your mouth. Crunchy because they are uncooked, making them the hands-down easiest pickles you can make.

You need a saucepan, cheesecloth, jars, or a crock, and the ingredients. Maybe a funnel if you’re using jars. It takes about 15 minutes top to bottom if you use ice cubes instead of cold water.

I have a thing for alliteration, so could not resist putting dill in the title, but fennel is a nice alternative.

Aging them for 2 days makes them what is called “half-sour”, aging for 4 or more days is called: “full sour”.

Note that the longer you age the pickles, the more yeast will form on the top. Try to skim it off, as this will affect the pickle taste. It’s perfectly safe though and a natural part of the kosher pickle.

If the yeast weirds you out, then stop aging the pickles at two days.

Brownie sandwich with salted caramel frosting

For weeks, I’ve been trying to make the perfect brownie sandwich. I kept failing, but also kept trying…and,my last attempt was finally,successful!

It’s so hard to copy those recipes. It’s easy for most of the people,but for us( with celiac) is really challenging,even to make a simple vanilla cake.

Thankfully, supermarkets have Gluten free flour for everything,but still,you have to make your own experiments.

Anyway… The sandwiches are really caloric! I’m not going to lie! But they are the most scrumptious,softest and dreamy brownie sandwiches you’ve ever ate!

imageFor the brownie cookies:

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 Pamela’s Artisan Flour or gluten free flour for pastry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds or peanuts or walnuts. I used peanuts.


Pre-heat oven to 325 F (165 C).

Melt butter then stir into sugar and cocoa. Add egg and beat until shiny. Mix in flour,salt,baking powder and peanuts.

Put the brownie dough in the fridge for 10-15 minutes until it gets a little bit hard.

Take out of the fridge and scoop a tablespoon of the dough on a greased sheet pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes. To make sure they’re done,just put a toothpick  and if it comes clear,is done.

Let them cool in a rack.

For the salted caramel frosting:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter,room temperature
  • 5 cups powder sugar

In a pan add the sugar and the water under medium-high heat. You can stir it up but once the sugar turns brown,leave it alone. Do not stir. You want the caramel to get a nice dark brown colour,but not too dark. You don’t want  to burn it.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the heavy cream,the salt and  butter and stir with a wooden spoon.

Do it quick and e careful! You don’t want to have a caramel burn! I’m talking from personal experience!

let it cool completely.

Once the caramel is  cooled,is time to make our frosting.

In a stand mixer,mix the sticks of butter and add gradually the powder sugar,1 cup at a time. When the mixture start looking like a butter cream add the caramel and stir for 2-3 more minutes.

That’s it! If it’s a little bit runny,put it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Take the brownie cookie and  assemble! Make your sandwiches!

I kept them on the fridge so they can get a little bit harder. Personal preference !







Skinned-knuckle free grating!

“It’s a poor carpenter that blames his tools, but nevertheless, bad tools suck.”
Me (Quote that as much as you want to. :-))

Article and photographs by Gayle Hurmuses,

A well designed tool does its job with style and grace, assisting in the task in ways that transcend the obvious: A blade that begins and remains sharp, a grip that reduces fatigue and helps transfer force to a blade, a sheath that protects.

A thoughtfully designed tool makes work easier and often safer. The Microplane graters do an excellent job of the former, and the glove does the latter beautifully. Use the gloves properly, and you will never have a shredded knuckle again.

These things are freaking awesome. First, Nancy Whitmore, their charming PR rep, sent the long, slim citrus grater and the glove. I immediately  put them both to the test, grating frozen Parmesan and taking it to the tiniest piece I could hold, blithely careless of my fingers.

The grater did a beautiful job of grating frozen Parmesan rinds, which was the toughest test I could dream up. It did a masterfully impressive job, shredding the cheese into fluff. I remain in awe, especially considering that I’ve never owned a food processor that could handle even fresh Parmesan rind, let alone frozen…and this is just a handheld manual grater. Bonus, it comes with a plastic cover that will prevent any accidental finger shredding while rummaging through drawers.

The glove was great, protecting my fingers from harm. It is  made to be cut resistant and and as such,  does its job excellently. It’s not impossible to damage the glove however, so you should still be watching your hands to make sure it isn’t in the danger zone.

Since then, Nancy has sent me a couple of their ‘Elite Series’ graters, the covers of which also serve as a bowl and measuring cup for the grater when you reverse them and attach them to the blade in the opposite direction. Quite a clever design.

I’ve used the larger gauge grater to demolish a potato for latkes, a task it accomplished with velocity, and the smaller gauge again for the frozen Parmesan rind test, and it was like grating mild cheddar, easy, quick and really felt like nothing at all.

On Monday, they’re going to demo this year’s new products…and I can’t wait to see them!

Microplane Elite Series
Microplane Elite Series and frozen Parmesan rinds. The toughest test.

Pear Chutney

Pear Chutney
Pear Chutney

This is a wonderful chutney that I love with steak and that friends love with their curries. It’s a great way to use up pears in a bumper crop year and lasts a long time even after opening.

It looks lovely in the jar and makes a great gift.

However, after opening these you should swap the tin lid for a plastic one that is not susceptible to rusting.  The vinegars can be quite aggressive with these sorts of preserves that are used over a long period of time.

GaddAboutEating visits Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi Village – St. John’s, NL.

Article and photography by GaddAboutEating

Mallard Cottage Quidi Vidi Village St. John's, NL
Mallard Cottage
Quidi Vidi Village
St. John’s, NL

What do you get when you combine a beautiful old cottage with a menu featuring fresh local products and deliver that with beautiful and professional service?   Well, you get Mallard Cottage.   Located in an 18th Century Irish-Newfoundland cottage – originally home to the Mallards, a fishing family – the cottage was an antiques shop from around 1985 and onwards, then bought and converted by the current owners in 2010.

Mallard Cottage Quidi Vidi Village St. John's, NL
Mallard Cottage
Quidi Vidi Village
St. John’s, NL

Every brunch and dinner menu is a fresh sheet; it is different every day based on the availability of local ingredients and pickings from their on-premise garden.   The menu below was the brunch menu on the day we visited.

Every day there is a fresh table of baked goods.   The costs is $7 for cake or $10 for cake & coffee and how it works is:   you can visit the cake table once and take as much cake (or cookies) as you can fit on your cake plate.   It’s an amazingly appetizing offer and the baked goods really are delicious.

CAKE !!! Mallard Cottage Quidi Vidi Village St. John's, NL
CAKE !!!
Mallard Cottage
Quidi Vidi Village
St. John’s, NL

I managed to control my desire for cake long enough to order my brunch main dish which was porchetta with eggs and chimichurri.
It was absolutely delicious and if you love pork (like I do) you will love this dish.  It will satisfy your need for the sweet greasy meat for some time to come.

Porchetta and Eggs Mallard Cottage Quidi Vidi Village St. John's, NL
Porchetta and Eggs
Mallard Cottage
Quidi Vidi Village
St. John’s, NL
Frittatta Mallard Cottage Quidi Vidi Village St. John's, NL
Mallard Cottage
Quidi Vidi Village
St. John’s, NL

My wonderful companion (Mom) had the frittata which was full of local lamb – curried – and veggies.   The edible flower garnish came straight from the garden.    Brunch dishes can also be ordered with a side salad made with their fresh ingredients,  or a side of fresh local potatoes – pan fried.   We didn’t’ order sides.  I think we were subconsciously trying to save room for cake.

CAKE !!! Mallard Cottage Quidi Vidi Village St. John's, NL
CAKE !!!
Mallard Cottage
Quidi Vidi Village
St. John’s, NL

Then there was CAKE.   Clockwise from the left:  Orange Cake, Coconut Cake, Cranberry Bread Pudding with Hot Toffee Sauce.

I’m so thrilled with what has been done with this cottage.   It’s a pleasure to come here and enjoy the surroundings, consume some delicious comestibles, and comfort in the friendly and hospitable service.   Highly recommended!

Mallard Cottage
8 Barrows Rd
St John’s, NL A1A

Mallard Cottage Quidi Vidi Village St. John's, NL
Mallard Cottage
Quidi Vidi Village
St. John’s, NL

Perfect Pickles

PicklesCrpArticle, recipe, and photographs by Gayle Hurmuses

What makes a pickle perfect?

Whether your favourites are sour or sweet, tangy or salty, you want them to have a certain snap when bitten into.  We have a full list of crisp pickle tips to read and follow here.

Given that there are few things more disappointing than trying to bite into a pickle only to have it dissolve in your teeth, it’s worth taking the very few minutes to properly prepare for perfect plump and succulent satisfying pickles that snap.

In addition to these tips, make sure that all your ingredients are at the same hot temperature when you assemble the jars. Your boiling water bath should be properly hot, already at a rolling boil when you drop the jars into it and the jar contents should also be as hot as possible.

This is a cold pack recipe, so make sure that the brine solution is boiling at the ready to be added after the jars have been filled, and immediately before capping them.