Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My friend, Jeanelle Mitchell, has a best selling cookbook, FOR THE LOVE OF SOUP. It is full of wonderful recipes to serve on cold wintry days or chilled soups for warm summery days.It's available where cookbooks are sold.

Jeanelle has a new cookbook, FOR THE LOVE OF SALAD. It will be available in stores on March 1st by Whitecap Books. Jeanelle will be on the Wellness show in Vancouver, April 30, May 1st and May 2nd, doing cooking demonstrations.I am ordering copies of FOR THE LOVE OF SALAD for members of my family and myself. I love salads and am always looking for something new to try.

Jeanelle was kind enough to send me a salad recipe from her new cookbook. I can guarantee it will be delicious and healthy.

Belgian Endive & Apple Salad
with Creamy Maple Dressing

4 to 6 servings

This is a lovely side salad that pairs well with pork or chicken.

It is also wonderful topped with crumbled blue cheese.

Apples are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol.


2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-fat plain yogurt

2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-fat mayonnaise

2 Tbsp (30 mL) real maple syrup

2 Tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced shallots

1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Belgian endives, cut across the heads into rings

4 cups (1 L) mixed baby greens

2 Granny Smith or Gala apples, cored and cut in matchstick

½ cup (125 mL) chopped toasted walnuts


For the dressing: whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, maple syrup, cider vinegar, shallots and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside or if making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Just before serving, place endives, baby greens, apples and toasted walnuts in a serving bowl. Toss with enough dressing to cover - you may not need it all.

Reading the ingredients makes my mouth water. To my readers, I'd love to hear from you. Have you tried any of the wonderful recipes I have posted? I have two recipes for shortbread from Ruth Farrow with a fun story to go with them. Watch for them in the next day or two.

Leave a comment below or send me your special recipe to share with others to:

visit my web site: to learn more about me and the books I have written.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


As promised on my blog yesterday, here is the recipe for Pumpkin Pickles. Save this recipe for Halloween when pumpkins are available! Use your Jack-o-lantern unless it's smudged with black from the candle burning inside. The recipe takes time to make but is well worth the effort. My friend, Margaret (Margie) Slemon sent it to me.

Pumpkin Pickles

Peel the rind, and cut into 2 inch cubes.
Prepare syrup in this ratio:
5 cups cider vinegar
6 cups white sugar

In a gauze bag combine
1 tsp. cloves
1 Tbsp. cinnamon stick, broken
2 pieces crystallized ginger

Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved.
Add spice bag and simmer 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and return to the boil.
Simmer uncovered 25 minutes, stirring often. Pumpkin pieces will look
partly opaque, but will all look the same after bottling. Remove spice
bag. Pack pumpkin into sterilized jars. Pour syrup on top to fill jars.
Seal. When serving, slice pumpkin cubes.

One medium-large pumpkin requires 4 times the ingredients, in 2 double

(Hope this makes sense) The note came with Margie's recipe.
Note to Margie. It makes perfect sense. Thanks for sending it.

I need more recipes for my blog. Please send them to me at: and put Recipe on the subject line. I'm collecting them for my blog readers. Stay tuned.


Monday, February 15, 2010


For new viewers of my blog, the idea for collecting old recipes came to me when I was searching for my sister's Chocolate Cake recipe. I found it tucked away in one of my little recipe notebooks. The recipe was on a small index card splattered with chocolate, butter, egg and cake batter. It almost looked good enough to eat!

As I looked through my notebooks I came across recipes I'd received from friends when I lived in various parts of Canada and Wales. I wondered if other women had recipes to share that came from another time and place? If you have one and would like to share, please send it to me at: with Recipe on the subject line. I will download it to my blog.

Tomorrow! Watch for it! Pumpkin Pickle recipe. It's delicious

Now for a big change of pace. I'm going to download the cover of my time travel romance, RING AROUND THE MOON and a very short description of the plot.

My American heroine, Beth Ormond, rents a thatched cottage in Cornwall for a month of rest. She is four months pregnant with her first child. Her husband is suing for divorce. When she is unable to get pregnant, he agrees to artificial insemination from an unknown donor but changes his mind when she suffers morning sickness. "Get rid of that thing!"

Determined to keep her baby, Beth arrives at the cottage at midnight after driving from Heathrow airport. As she steps from her car, a man calls out to her. Terrified she runs up to the cottage door but is unable to get her key in the lock and the door open before he reaches her.
Alan Tremaine had traveled from eighteen hundred to the present time to find the woman he loves and thought he had lost two hundred years ago.

That's all I'm telling you! All my books published by Cerridwen Press are available in e-format from or Visit my web site to read about me and my books. The covers are all there with excerpts from the books. You can find used copies of my non-fiction book, The House at Bridal Veil, at and ABE.books.

Pumpkin Pickles tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This recipe came from my friend, Fran Embury. It is delicious. I ate two helpings at Marie's birthday party.

I have been pondering what recipe to send to your blog, and finally decided that the oreo cheesecake I made for Marie’s birthday party a few years ago would be the right choice. The history of this recipe is from my days of being a member of Junior Service League. One year there was a cookbook published, and this recipe is one I have carted around with me for the many years since. It needs to be made a day ahead of time, but the time is well worth it. You also need to have a gathering for this dessert, because if you do not, you will definitely pack on the pounds eating it. There were only six people at the birthday dinner, but Marie claimed the leftovers and managed to dole it out to herself over a few days.
Here it is:

Cuisine d’Or Oreo Cheesecake
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup melted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
6 eggs
½ cup whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups oreo cookies (coarsely chopped)
2 cups sour cream

1 cup whipping cream
8 oz dark chocolate (I buy callibeault)
1 tsp vanilla
5-6 oreo cookies (cut in half) crosswise)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
CRUST: BLEND all ingredients and press into bottom and sides of 10 inch spring form pan. Refridgerate about 30 minutes.
FILLING: BEAT cream chsees until smoothe. Beat in the sugar and flour until blended. Add eggs, and then stir in whipping cream and vanilla. POUR ½ OF THE BATTER into the prepared crust, and then sprinkle with the chopped cookies. Pour the other half of the batter over this. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 225 degrees and continue baking for 50 minutes. REMOVE from oven, and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Blend sour cream with ½ tsp of vanilla and spreak over the cheesecake. Bake this for 7 minutes. COOL. Cover cake with plastic wrap and chill overnight in refrigerator.
SWISS FUDGE GLAZE: Scald cream in heavy sarucepan over high heat. Add chocolate and vanilla and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and stir until all chocolate is melted. Refrigerate glaze about 10 minutes. Remove cake from springform pan and set on platter. Pour some glaze over top of cake and brush glaze smoothly over entire cake. Continue brushing the glaze over sides as well until entire cake is covered. Stand the oreo halves on the edge on the top of the cake. These half cookies are a good guide for cutting serving pieces and should fit 12 servings by defining with 12 half cookies.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

As they say “Bon Apetit”

Have any of my blog readers tried one or all of the recipes? Please leave a comment or two.


Saturday, February 6, 2010


My friend, Marjorie Daniels sent me this. As you can see from her note, it's been a family favourite for over fifty years. It's a great family dish full of good healthy ingredients. Thanks for sending it, Marjorie.

RICE SOUFFLE (Saved from 1960’s era “Hints From Heloise” column in the Edmonton Journal newspaper. The column started with the words, “Is there a cloud above cloud 9?” I tried the recipe and it has been a family favourite ever since)

2 c. cooked rice (cold)
3 c. grated cheddar cheese
6 eggs (separated)
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1 tbsp. butter

Beat egg whites until stiff (fold in 1/8 tsp. crème of tartar while beating, to help hold the peaks)

In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients.
Gently fold in beaten egg whites. (Don’t over-mix)

Pour into greased casserole (glass is best).
Cook 35-40 minute in 300-degree Fahrenheit oven.

A note from Anita: I have interesting recipes for you. Pumpkin Pickles is on its way. Possibly tomorrow. Please let me know if you are enjoying my blog and trying the recipes.


Thursday, February 4, 2010


My niece, Elspeth Koor, sent me this delicious soup recipe. Elspeth has been making it for years and isn't sure where she got the recipe. She thinks she cut it out of a magazine and then added her own touches to it. The Jennifer mentioned is Elspeth's daughter.


Beef and Barley Soup

This thick and hearty soup is Jennifer’s favourite meal. You may find that you have to add more water (or wine) if the barley expands and the soup is too thick.

2 tbsp. Vegetable oil ½ tsp. Crumbled dried sage
1 lb Beef cubed very small 5 cups beef stock
2 tbsp. All purpose flour ½ cup red wine (or more beef stock)
2 onions finely chopped 1 19 oz. can chopped tomatoes
3 cloves garlic minced 2 cups water
8 oz mushrooms chopped or ½ tsp pepper
1 red pepper finely chopped ¼ tsp salt
2 carrots finely chopped 1 cup pearl barley
2 stalks celery finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
• In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Toss beef with flour; in batches brown all over. Transfer to a plate.
• Increase heat to high; cook onions, garlic, mushrooms or red pepper, carrots, celery, thyme & sage, stirring, for about 5 minutes or til liquid is evaporated.
• Stir stock and wine into pot; cook for 1 minute, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of pot. Add beef, tomatoes, water, pepper and salt; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 ½ hours or until beef is tender.
• Add barley; cover and simmer for 30 minutes

I substitute red pepper for mushrooms when making for Jennifer as she has a mushroom allergy.

A note: Although my blog is copyright@2010 by Anita Birt, the recipes are for you to copy and keep in your special notebooks. Lots more to come in the days ahead including a very special salad recipe from Jeanelle Mitchell, cookbook author. And there are pickles on the way.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Although I hold the copyright to my blog, the recipes are yours to copy, cook and enjoy. I'd love to know when you try them.

Tomorrow on my blog you'll find a wonderful recipe for Beef Barley Soup. It's guaranteed to make you feel good during the last few months of winter.

Here's a feel good recipe for Muffins.

This Muffin recipe came from Mimi Barbour with this note. "I've been making them since the first year I got married in's one of my favorite recipes and I think it was the lady next door who, knowing I was a new bride, took pity on me and helped me with some good recipes. She's the same one who gave me the Cranberry, pecan shortbread cookie recipe that won me the recipe contest in the chatelaine magazine a couple of years ago.

Thanks for sending it, Mimi. We all love muffins.

Easy Bran Muffins ------Mimi

Beat: – 1 egg

½ cup brown sugar

Add: - ½ cup cooking (vegetable) oil

Beat all together, and then add one cup buttermilk (I use any milk I have and it works fine) Beat again.

Sift together: - 1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 cup cooking bran (I use oat bran, wheat bran or just the regular - flax can

be added maybe a few tablespoons but I’d use that as part of the cup of


Throw in a handful of raisins, or cranberries, blueberries, choc chips – whatever you like…..or add in different kinds of fruit, peaches, pineapple, etc

Bake at 400 for 15 – 20 min

Then Enjoy!

We shall Mimi.