Sunday, November 29, 2015


I wanted to bring a bite size dessert to a meeting at work and decided to make two bite mini tarts using frozen blueberries and saskatoons.  The recipe is really no different than making pie.  You can use a muffin tin which makes a bigger tart but I used mini tart tins to make them smaller.  The mini tins I have hold two dozen shells.  You could also use mini muffin tins.

Dough for a double pie crust makes two dozen shells.  I use the recipe from the Tenderflake website and I make it in a mix master.  The Tenderflake recipe makes three double pie crusts.  I like to freeze the dough I don't need for future pies.  I use vegetable shortening for the pie crust.

To get the shape for making the shells for the mini tarts, I used a glass whose rim was a bit larger than the diameter of each well in the tin.  After rolling out the dough I used the rim of the glass to cut out a round circle which I pushed down into each individual well.  The recipe for the fruit filling is very similar for regular pie.  I used only a small amount of sugar.  The recipe takes a bit more time to make than regular pie as you need to keep re-rolling the leftover pieces from cutting out the dough with the glass rim.  The mini tarts turned out great partially due to the addition of the lemon zest.

Filling each shell with the fruit.

Cooling off on a rack.

dough for a double pie crust.  Another recipe that I like to use is the one from Tenderflake.

2 cups of blueberries or saskatoons
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
lemon zest from one fresh lemon
pinch of salt


Mix up with the fruit, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt in a bowl and set aside.  Taking sections of the dough at a time, roll it out and use the rim of a glass jar to cut circles.  Gently push each circle into each well in a mini tart tin.  Instead of using the rim of a glass, you can also cut the dough into small squares and push each square into the well.  

To each tart shell, add a heaping teaspoon of the fruit mixture.  You don't want it to be heaping out of the tin well.  Depending on the size of the fruit you are using, you may need more than a teaspoon.  Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Check to make sure the crust does not over brown.  Makes two dozen tarts.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I was looking for a vegetarian or vegan dish to make for supper and adapted this recipe from 'oh she glows' cookbook.  The DH can't eat a lot of beans in one sitting and tofu is not his go to source of protein so I was looking for a dish that provided some protein or fat in the way of nuts.  I like using raw cashews in recipes and this curry uses cashews.  I soaked the raw cashews for about eight hours.  You can soak the raw nuts for less time than that.  Other vegetables can be added than what is listed in the ingredient list.  I didn't add any spinach but could have and only thought of adding it after the dish was cooked.  I used a mild curry powder and you could add a chile pepper if you want to increase the heat.  Instead of grating ginger I have been buying fresh ginger paste in the tube and find that more convenient to use.  A big frying pan or skillet is required to make this dish.

The recipe makes four servings so the leftovers will be used for another meal this week.  Both the DH and I enjoyed this meal.  I made basmati rice to go with the curry stew. 

Cooking in the large frying pan.


1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked beforehand
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp coconut oil or other fat
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger or fresh ginger paste
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (2 to 3 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 mushrooms, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp curry powder
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
salt and pepper


Blend the cashews and water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium high.  Once hot, add the onions, garlic and ginger.  Reduce the heat to medium and sauté for five minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients except for the cashews and peas.  Saute for about five to ten minutes.  Stir frequently.  Add the cashews and peas, combine and reduce heat to low.  Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 25 minutes.  Stir every few minutes and if the vegetables are sticking to the pan add some water.  The potatoes take the longest to cook and need to be soft for serving.  Serves four.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Zucchini flourished in the garden this year and there are many recipes that can be made using zucchini.  You can add zucchini to muffins, breads, omelettes, casseroles, stews and soups.  You can sauté, fry, bake or roast zucchini.  I decided to make zucchini brownies as I saw this recipe in a blog that I follow- FatFree Vegan Kitchen.  I followed the recipe but made a few changes.  I used splenda for the small amount of sugar required.  I also added chocolate chips instead of walnuts to the batter.  I didn't make icing as I am not an icing kind of gal and I thought these brownies would be sweet enough with the splenda, dates and apple sauce added to the batter.  I baked the brownies for 35 minutes using convection heat but the recipe called for about 25 minutes.  We all like these brownies and they were consumed before it was necessary to freeze the leftovers.

Here is the link to the site for the recipe. 
vegan fat free zucchini brownies