Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

Happy 2017!  Wishing you a healthy and happy year.

For many of us 2017 always starts with the intention to eat healthier and ban desserts. Easier said than done but to assist in the process I’m sharing this simple yet flavourful broccoli soup recipe.


Cheddar Garnished Broccoli Soup

If you often order Broccoli Soup from restaurants you can know whip it up at home quickly and easily. Add a salad or a fresh whole wheat roll for lunch and feel virtuous.  You could probably still add in a little dessert!


Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

Makes approximately 6-8 servings


2 tablespoons butter

1 bunch broccoli, peeled and cut into small pieces (use peeled stalks and florets)

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 small onion, cut into small pieces

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup milk and cream or combination of both

salt and pepper to taste

Grated Cheddar Cheese to garnish – couple tablespoons per serving


In stock pot over medium heat melt the butter and saute the onion until translucent.

Add the broth, potatoes and broccoli and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until vegetables are softened.

Let cool slightly until safe to handle and either use a blender or immersion blender and puree to desired consistency.

Return to pot (if necessary) and add in 1 cup of milk or cream.  Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste.

Add in a little dill or some red pepper flakes for additional flavour if desired.

Serve garnished with some grated cheese.

Pound Cake – Easy, Breezy and Beautiful

Pound Cake – Easy, Breezy and Beautiful

img_20161211_194937307-2Simple, sweet and stunning!  This ‘Classic Pound Cake’ from Bake from Scratch’s Cake issue is delicious and baking it in my new Nordicware Fleur de Lis pan takes it from blah to fab even with no drizzle or embellishments.img_20161212_100150326-2

A word to the wise, don’t bake this cake when you’re in a rush, as it needs about 2 hours of baking time in a low oven (300F).  My bundt pan had a 10-cup capacity so I filled 2 individual bundt pans with my leftover batter.  This way you have a little taste tester or a little treat for yourself.

This recipe is delicious.  Dense and flavourful as well as moist it presents beautifully when baked up in a pretty pan and can be left unadorned or would take well to a dusting of icing sugar or sweet cocoa powder.

This cake has no leavening agent so don’t be alarmed.  Make sure to spend at least 6-8 minutes beating your room temperature butter with the sugar in order to create the lightness you need in this cake.  You could also change up the vanilla to almond flavouring or even add in some orange zest.

Classic Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 300F and spray a 15-cup bundt pan using spray with flour.


1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

7 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, 6-7 minutes. Scrape down beaters and bowl a couple of times during mixing.

Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the whipping cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat just until ingredients are combined after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.  Cover loosely with foil, and bake an additional 45-55 minutes more, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 15 minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely.  Garnish with icing sugar if desired.



This would be a terrific holiday dessert for this Christmas season.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread


Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

‘Tis the season, for shortbread, it seems, in all shapes sizes and variations.  Today the shortbread is combined with a few other yummy things.  On their own chocolate, caramel and shortbread are delicious.  Put them together and the taste combination is superb.

This is an oldie but goodie I go back to every year during holiday time.  I’m not sure how old it is but it is a Borden Foods recipe (probably most of you reading this have no idea who the Borden Food company or Elsie the Cow is). No matter, like most delicious and simple recipes it stands the test of time…and it’s not really THAT old!

Fabulous right out of the fridge these squares will also freeze well so you can bake ahead and have ready for yourself or when company drops by.

Tip:  When making the caramel layer make sure to stir every minute or so.  The butter, condensed milk and corn syrup can get some burnt bits if you leave to long before stirring.  If you happen to get some solidified bits in your caramel because you ‘saved’ it before the burning point (not like that’s ever happened to me!!) pour it through a sieve and no one will be the wiser.  If you burn it…well, unfortunately it will need to be tossed.  Hint – always have a second can of condensed milk on hand!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or parchment line a 9-inch square pan.  Makes approx. 20 pieces.


1 1/2 cups of butter, softened (divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup measures)

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 can Condensed Milk

3 tbsp corn syrup

3 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted


Beat 1 cup soft butter with the icing sugar and salt until light and fluffy.  Add in flour and mix until combined scrapping down sides and bottom of mixing bowl.

Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan and bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.shortbread-layer

In a microwave safe bowl melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter.  Add in the condensed milk and corn syrup and return to microwave.  Cook on high for about 6-8 minutes making sure to stir after every minute until mixture turns a light caramel colour.

Pour caramel mixture on top of warm shortbread layer.  Let set and drizzle with melted chocolate.  Allow to cool completely and cut into squares.

Can you say, Mmmm Mmmm amazingly good and perhaps just a little indulgent!






Classic Lindt Shortbread


This simple shortbread recipe is from the 2016 Lindt Holiday magazine.

img_20161203_122205053-2With only 5 ingredients, which you probably already have on hand, plus some Lindt chocolate, you will be able to bake these up quickly.  I had a 300 gram bar of Lindt Dark chocolate so I used the individual squares to top my shortbread.  If you use the 100 gram bars the squares topping your cookies will be thinner but larger.  Use square, round or shaped cookie cutters for interest or fun. These are delicious no matter what their shape!

Once your dough is prepared the recipe calls for refrigerating for approximately 10 minutes.  My dough was soft but firm enough to roll out and not be sticky so I skipped this step.  If your butter was too soft you may need to put dough in fridge before rolling and cutting.

Sprinkle with a little sea salt if desired.

Grab your mixer, put your butter on the counter to soften and choose your chocolate.  Time to start your holiday baking.  Whether you share or not is up to you!

Classic Lindt Shortbread

Preheat oven to 325F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Makes approx. 24 cookies.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 bars (100 grams) Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate (or chocolate of your choice)

Maldon sea salt


Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy (this will take several minutes and scrape down your bowl and beaters at least once during the process).

Stir in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until all flour is incorporated and dough forms ball.  Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Lightly flour your work surface and roll out dough until about 1/2 inch thick.  Use 2-inch square cutter and cut into 24 pieces.

Transfer dough to prepared cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart and top with 1 square of chocolate.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until cookies begin to brown.  Remember to rotate your pans 1/2 way through the baking time to ensure even baking.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt if using.

Cool completely.