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Bread Sauce for Christmas Dinner

1 small onion, peeled

about 20 cloves, to stud
1/3 ck. or veg. stock cube, dissolved in 2 TBSP water
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt.
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP butter
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
pinch thyme
2 cups milk
3 small buns, crumbled (last)

1. Make an X-shaped notch at both ends of onion, to allow flavor to escape into the
2. Carefully stud onion with cloves, sticking them all the way in, leaving only the
knob of the clove visible.
3. In a medium saucepan, simmer studded onion in the milk (barely bubbling) for
20-30 minutes to let flavor steep into the milk. Remove from heat.
4. Take onion out; discard. Pour hot milk through a flour sieve into a bowl, to filter
out clove bits. Return to saucepan. Season milk to taste, then stir in breadcrumbs
till it’s as thick as you like it. Adjust seasoning. Cover to keep it from yellowing.
Serve immediately, or it can be reheated in microwave.

Joy’s Favorite Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen

1 cup (1 250-gram container) Golden Pasture or Kerrymaid butter spread

3/4 cup Tate & Lyle’s Dark brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 small eggs or 1 large egg + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla

2 cups crunchy granola cereal (pick out any raisins and keep for later eating)
1 cup cake flour (or sauce flour)
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup coconut (optional)
100 grams (about ½ cup) chopped almonds, or walnuts, or a mixture of the two

400 grams (2 200-gram bars) high-quality plain chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces,
carefully by pressing down on dull side of a bread knife blade, watch fingers! or 1 12-
oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Thoroughly cream together the butter spread, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.
2. Stir in granola and mix well.
3. Add cake flour and plain flour, then soda and salt. Mix thoroughly.
4. Stir in coconut and nuts, taking care to lift and turn the mixture with plastic-
gloved hands for better mixing, as it will be thick.
5. Finally, mix chocolate into dough, working it through till it is evenly dispersed, but
don’t overmix, or the heat of your hands will melt the chocolate!
6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, or a bit larger if you like big cookies. As you roll the
balls, place them in an airtight plastic tub for storage in the fridge.
7. When you are finished rolling all the dough, bake the ones you intend to eat within
a day or two. Preheat oven to gas mark 5 or 6, depending on hotness of oven (200
degrees C).
8. Lightly grease a large metal baking sheet. Evenly place 12 dough balls on it,
leaving sufficient space between each for spreading out during baking. Bake about
12-15 minutes. Cookies are done when they are golden brown and no longer wet
and shiny in middle.
Remove from oven. Cool about 8-10 minutes on sheet, or until set, then carefully
take up with a spatula and finish cooling on a plate.

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

For the Crust: If you can get 2 Oreo pie crusts, you can use them instead and skip
this part, though this pastry is also delicious.

150 grams (6 oz) all-butter shortbread

2 TBSP caster (fine) sugar

25 grams (2 oz) semi-sweet (plain) chocolate gently melted with:

1 TBSP sunflower oil

2 TBSP cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla

Crumb shortbread in a blender or place in a plastic bag and use rolling pin to crush
cookies to fine crumbs. Mix in sugar, chocolate melted in oil, cocoa and vanilla. To
combine this mixture thoroughly you may have to use your hands. To keep them
from getting messy, wear plastic kitchen gloves.

When thoroughly mixed, spread mixture evenly in two small pie pans or one big one
(about 9-inches diameter). Or, spread in base of a springform pan. If firmer crust is
desired, pre-bake for about 10 minutes in a 200 degree F (gas 5) oven, or till it
browns slightly and is firmer to the touch. Do not overbake!

Leave to cool while you prepare cheesecake mixture.

For Cheesecake filling:

200 grams plain chocolate, or for richer filling, 100 grams plain chocolate+100 grams
dark chocolate
2 200-g tubs full-fat cream (soft) cheese
1/2 cup caster (fine) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 284-ml. carton sour cream
2 TBSP caster sugar
Cocoa powder or powdered sugar, to garnish, if desired

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degree F (Gas mark 4 or 5).

2. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, caster sugar, and vanilla until
smooth and creamy. Add egg yolks and mix well. Fold in the sour cream.
3. Spoon about half this mixture into the prepared pie crust.
4. Gently melt the chocolate in a double boiler, along with the 2 TBSP caster sugar.
Mix with the remaining cheesecake filling (it will be quite thick).
5. Drop spoonfuls of this over the white mixture. Using a skewer or a thin knife,
swirl the 2 mixtures together.
6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or till mixture expands a bit and is just set. If your oven
is slow, it may take considerably longer, but keep checking every few minutes!
7. When cool, you can dust with powdered sugar or cocoa powder
8. Chill in fridge. Can serve with creme fraiche, if liked.

Doggone Good Cornbread

My mother used to make skillet cornbread, and her dog Brownie, served as the
kitchen timer. He’d sit on the back porch staring wistfully through the screen as she
made it, and when it was ready to turn he’d let her know by whining until she got the
spatula and flipped it over. Truly, cornbread is a Southern dog’s best friend!

1 cup yellow corn meal

1 cup bread flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP sugar
2 large eggs
3 TBSP melted margarine
1/2 cup pureed corn kernels (in blender)
3/4 cup milk, or enough to make a medium-thick batter (don’t thin it out too much
or it might be too delicate to flip over).

1. Start preheating a generously greased 9-inch iron skillet in a 200 degree oven
(about gas 6). Five minutes later, pour 2 TBSP cooking oil in it and continue heating
while you prepare the batter.
2. In a big bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Set
3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs slightly, then add the melted margarine, corn
and milk. Puree in a blender or food processor till smooth.
3. Lightly, but thoroughly, combine wet mixture with dry mixture.
4. When handle is too hot to touch without oven mitts and grease is sizzling hot,
pour in your batter, give pan a shake to smooth batter out, then bake about 25
minutes, or until batter rises and fork inserted in center comes out clean. If it isn’t
ready after that time, put back in oven and check every 5 minutes or till done.
Edges should appear brown and crusty. Only when it reaches that stage should you
attempt to flip cornbread over. Using a hot pan in hand holding the pan handle, use
a metal spatula to scrape around the edges of the skillet. Then shake the skillet to
help loosen it underneath. Then slip the spatula underneath the cornbread, then
carefully flip it over, so it doesn’t land on the floor (Your dog would love for it to do
that!) Leave cornbread in pan and bake just five more minutes on other side so the
whole thing is nice and crusty. Then remove it from the oven and leave it sitting on
top of the stove, still in the pan to stay warm. Cool just a bit, then cut it into 8-10
fat wedges to stuff full of luscious butter. For skillet cornbread, bake until middle of
batter looks set and dry (about 25 minutes or so. Carefully loosen edges of pan with
a metal spatula, and work at it until you can flip the cornbread cake over. Give the
pan a hearty shake, then set back in oven for 10 more minutes, or until baked all the
way through and crusty brown (not burnt!) on top.

2. If you’ve got an iron cornbread stick pan, you can make crusty cornbread sticks
instead. Just grease and preheat the pan in 200 degree oven till smoking hot. Fill
up the pan’s 7 slots in 2 batches. Bake about 12 minutes, or until they puff up and
turn golden brown and crunchy around the edges. Test doneness with a fork. Cool 5
minutes in pan, then carefully lift sticks out of their slots with a knife point. Serve as
soon as possible, or keep warm in tinfoil while you make Batch 2, following the same

3. Or, you might be in the mood for corn muffins instead. You’ll need a 12-hole
muffin pan for these, with nice deep holes (I can’t stand those wimpy shallow muffin
pans!). Generously muffin pan with cooking oil. Stick it in a 425 degree F oven.
When sizzling hot, divide batter among the muffin holes, then bake about 15
minutes, or until they puff up in the center, turn golden brown, and knife inserted
comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool a bit, then wiggle muffins out of holes
with a knife tip (use a nonstick kitchen implement if the pan is nonstick).

4. To bake cornbread in a casserole dish, use an 8 X 10-inch heatproof glass,

ovenproof crockery or metal pan. If using glassware or crockery, do not preheat
before adding batter, as this might crack the pan. It is okay to heat the metal kind,
though. Add batter immediately to greased casserole dish, then bake at 425 degrees
F about 25 minutes, or till puffy and golden brown and fork inserted through center
comes out clean. You should not try to flip this kind, just cool a bit in pan and scoop
out like a piece of cake. Serve with gobs of butter.

Heavenly Chocolate Mousse

1 container Elm Lea Whipping Cream

1/4 cup milk

6 TBSP caster sugar (heaping 1/3 cup)

3 TBSP water
pinch salt
100-gram bar bittersweet (dark, at least 70% cocoa solids) chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten in a small bowl

First: Get the whipped cream ready. Pour Elm Lea into a deep bowl. Add milk.
Beat, taking occasional breaks, till stiff peaks form. Put in fridge while you prepare
chocolate part.

Pour 1/2 inch water into a wide skillet and have it simmering over a medium heat.
Dissolve sugar and salt in water in a small saucepan over med-high heat until clear.
Remove from heat. Add chocolate bar to this, then set saucepan inside the skillet,
stirring chocolate until it is melted. Cook gently until it no longer appears grainy in
texture, and looks glossy. If it looks a bit cracked, add just a bit of water and stir.
Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Cool chocolate mixture a bit, then add a little of this to egg yolk bowl, stirring till
yellow disappears. Fold this into rest of chocolate mixture. Mix well. When it cools
to barely lukewarm, get whipped cream back out. Take a wooden spoon and gently
fold chocolate mixture in, lifting from bottom and turning it over, ever so gently, so
as not to lose the swirly fluffiness. If necessary use a wire whisk too, but carefully,
as stirring too vigorously would generate heat and make the mousse lose volume.
Continue until just about all of it has been integrated into the cream, but DO NOT

Chill 2 hours or more, covered. Enjoy!

Lemon Ice Box Pie (makes 5-6 servings)

Ingredients for the pastry:

6 digestive biscuits, crushed

1 TBSP sugar
3 TBSP butter
Pinch salt

Make this part first. Mix crushed biscuits with the sugar, butter and salt. Press into a
small pie plate, then bake for 10-15 minutes at 180° (gas mark 4 o4 5) until set and
lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool while you prepare the filling.

* ** *
For the filling:

½ cup lemon juice (juice of 2 or 3 lemons, depending on size)

2 tsp. lemon zest (finely grated lemon rind, yellow part only)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk, as they aren’t the same).
2 large egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)

Gently combine condensed milk with lemon juice and zest (if used), and the yolks.
Set aside. Prepare meringue for pie.

For the meringue:

2 large egg whites
Pinch salt
¼ cup (4 TBSP) sugar

With a mixer, beat egg whites with salt until they begin to stiffen. Add half the
sugar and beat some more. Stop and add the rest and continue beating until
meringue is stiff.

Spoon the filling into the cooled pie shell. Swirl the meringue mixture on top, sealing
the edges. Bake in a moderate (Gas mark 4 or 5) oven for 10-12 minutes, or the
meringue is set and tips are brown. Cool on countertop awhile, then refrigerate at
least two hours before eating.

My Best Brownies

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup Kerrymaid or other butter spread
1/2 cup cocoa
2 TBSP oil

1 heaping cup cake flour (or 1 cup Sainsbury’s Sauce flour+2 TBSP self-raising flour)
2/3 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
150 g. (3/4 of a 200-gram bar) semi-sweet (plain) chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch
pieces, carefully by pressing down on dull side of a bread knife blade, watch fingers!
Or, if you can find it, use 150 grams (6 oz) semi-sweet (plain) chocolate chips

For Chocolate glaze:

50 grams (use what’s left over from large chocolate bar) for melting
2 TBSP oil

Nut Dust (For finishing)

2-3 TBSP toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, pulverized in blender (leave a few small

Combine sugars, butter spread, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly
cream together, then add cocoa and 2 TBSP oil. Stir in cake flour, baking powder,
and salt. Mix until well combined, then add chocolate chips or pieces.

Pour batter into greased 9-inch square brownie pan or 7 X 11-inch glass baking dish.
Bake in preheated 180 degree F oven (gas mark 5 or 6) about 30 minutes, or till fork
inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool.

Gently melt 50 grams semi-sweet (plain) chocolate in a double boiler. (You can
improvise by placing a smaller pan inside a large skillet with a pool of hot water in
it). Add 2 TBSP oil to prevent it from getting hard and crackly when it cools atop the
brownies. Stir till smooth, then spread evenly over cooled brownies.

Finish by evenly applying the nut dust.

Fettuccini Alfredo (Pasta in a cheesy sauce)

You will need:

½ of a 500-g. bag tagliatelle

2 TBSP cornflour
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. onion powder or pinch onion salt if powder isn’t available
½ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. seasoning salt
¼ tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. chicken stock powder (or ½ cube)
1 TBSP. Butter
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes (optional)
About 4 slices Edam cheese, grated
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cups milk
½ cup cream

Boil tagliatelle in plenty of salted water with a drop of oil in it to prevent sticking.
Cook 9-10 minutes, or till desired tenderness. Drain and rinse. Cover and set aside.

For the sauce:

Combine the cornflour with pepper, onion powder, seasoning salt, mustard powder,
sugar, salt and stock powder. Add milk, butter and parsley flakes. Using a wire
whip, stir constantly over a low heat until mixture gets hot. Stir in the two cheeses
and cook just till thick, do not boil. At the last minute add the cream and heat
through. Reheat the noodles in microwave if they’re cold, then pour sauce over
them. Serve immediately.

(About four servings)

My Best Meat Loaf (or stuffed peppers)

500 grams pork mince (available at Sainsbury’s)

500 grams steak mince
3 slices bread, crumbled in blender
2 TBSP oil
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
1 medium onion, minced
¼ vegetable or chicken cube, dissolved in a bit of boiling water.
½ packet French onion soup mix
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. seasoning salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. parsley flakes, optional
½ cup ketchup
½ cup evaporated milk

Open the onion soup packet. Since you’ll only need half of it, take a teaspoon and
stir up the contents to make sure there’s an even mixture of onion flakes and
seasoning throughout the packet. Take half of soup mix out and put away the rest
for later use. In the oil, sautee the onion and celery over medium heat, drizzling it
with a bit of the chicken broth to prevent crisping and browning. When vegetables
are tender take off heat. Cool a bit. Combine the two meats with the vegetables,
bread crumbs, soup mix, salt, pepper, seasoning salt, beaten egg, parsley, ketchup
and evaporated milk. Mix well with clean hands. Pile mixture into 2 deep loaf pans.
Top with this mixture:

1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
½ tsp. French’s American Mustard (British mustard is too hot).
Combine these ingredients till smooth. Spread over top of meat loaves. Bake them
uncovered in a moderate (Gas mark 5) about 180 degree oven for 50 minutes. Meat
loaves should be done when sauce has curdled a bit and they’re sizzling. Poke them
in the middle to check for doneness.


First prepare your bell peppers. Use about 8 small or 6 large green or red bell
peppers. To prevent tearing, carefully remove the stem, then reach down into the
hole to loosen the seeds inside. Shake the seeds out over the sink. When they’re all
out, place the peppers upside down in a steamer pan covered with a lid, with plenty
of water inside. Steam them about 15 minutes, checking constantly. They’re done
when a fork goes through them easily. Remove from steamer and cool. Pile meat
mixture inside. Stand the peppers up inside a casserole dish or loaf pan (a muffin
pan is ideal) Pour ketchup sauce into the holes of the peppers and on top. You can
line the pan(s) with tinfoil to help keep them from falling over. To prevent oven
spillage, it helps to put your pans on a cookie sheet. Bake peppers 45 or 50 minutes
and check for doneness. Carefully lift out of pans and serve.

Mashed potatoes is very good with either dish. For an extra treat, add a few
drippings from the meat loaf to your favourite brown gravy, to top your potatoes or
further flavour your meat loaf.

Pork BBQ Sandwich Meat

I developed this recipe after remembering a favourite canned product we’d had as
children, no longer available. I highly recommend using a slow cooker to tenderize
the meat. Otherwise you have to cook it at least 3 hours on the stovetop anyway, but
with constant checking and stirring to prevent burning on the bottom!

1-1/2 pounds pork pieces

1 can Italian tomatoes, pulverized in blender
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. paprika
1 hot chilli pepper, seeded and chopped
3 tsp. Schwartz mild chilli powder
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt
5 TBSP (about 1/3 cup) Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Coleman’s Mustard Powder
2 TBSP. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chicken stock powder
3 TBSP. Lard
1 TBSP. white sugar

Lightly brown pork pieces in a bit of oil. Transfer to either a slow cooker or a pot on
top of the stove. Add all other ingredients. Cook over medium heat if cooking on
stove top. When mixture reaches boiling point, lower to simmer, keeping covered.
Check periodically to see if it needs a bit of extra water (As meat cooks down into
tomato it will make its own liquid, but might get a bit dry later).

If using a slow cooker, cook on a high setting 3 hours, then a low setting for 2 more.
Do not lift lid until time is up.

Adjust seasoning as desired. Meat is done when it falls apart and isn’t too chewy. It
should be very moist, with some liquid in bottom of the pot. Serve on toasted baps,
topped with health slaw. Potato salad and crisps are great with this meal!

Health Slaw (called so because it has no mayonnaise). Mayonnaise would

overpower the sauce in the sandwich so I leave it out. I throw these ingredients in by
the handful so I’m making an educated guess as to the amounts.

½ head cabbage, grated

½ of a medium onion, grated
½ green pepper, diced small
¼ cup oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
3 TBSP sugar, more or less, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste (I use homemade seasoning salt, Season-All is available in
some supermarkets).