Posts Tagged ‘Maple syrup’

Cran almond and feta salad

Since I’ve lived in two very different yet both remote locations these past two years, I’ve learned that a yearning for delicious food and the absence of many of my favourite items makes for some intense cravings. Last year, I would have done just about anything for something other than palm oil and broken-grade rice; this year I would do just about anything for something other than a tasteless carrot or bitter celery.

As a member of the local volunteer fire department and ambulance service, I’m learning about standing up for myself in conversations dominated by men. This past weekend we had a pot-luck at the firehall, and I knew the food would be heavy on “man food”, which I’ve determined through my engagement in the department to mean meat-heavy (always) and often sauce-based dishes or casseroles. The food is usually delicious, but it lacks in the veggie dimension. I hate to follow the entrenched rules and bring light food as is expected of a woman, but at the same time the extreme lack of the vegetable and fruit food group made my final decision to bring a salad a no-brainer. I knew it would just reinforce stereotypes, but that’s something I can handle.

Here’s the recipe for the delicious salad we brought along to the potluck!

Cran Almond Feta with Vinaigrette

Ingredients – 6 servings

1 head lettuce (anything except iceberg if you can help it), washed, dried, and torn into pieces

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp maple syrup

2/3 cup crumbled feta

1/2 cucumber, quartered then sliced


2 Tbsp grain dijon mustard

11/2 Tbsp cider vinegar

4 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 shallot, minced

1 tsp crushed tarragon

salt and pepper to taste


Heat butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Once melted add the maple syrup. Once hot and mixed, drop in the almonds and cook, stirring every minute or so, until they brown. Allow them to cool and make sure the clusters are not too big by separating them with your fingers.

Wash the lettuce and cucumber and prepare. Place lettuce in a large salad bowl, and sprinkle the cucumber over top, along with the feta and the cranberries, and then the maple-candied almonds. Cover until ready to serve.

To make the vinaigrette, mix the mustard and vinegar well. Add the oil and stir vigorously until it combines. Add the shallot, tarragon, salt and pepper. Pour over salad when ready to eat!

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While Sitelle is certainly an early bird, I am one to enjoy delicious breakfast food at anytime of the day!  Steaming pancakes fresh off the griddle with whipping cream and blackberries is one of my favourites – and it tastes delicious any time of day (and I confess, this was supper).  I am normally an oatmeal pancake snob, refusing to eat the ordinary pancake.  But as per usual, the Joy of Cooking offered a simple and delicious recipe. You can tell these beauties were hot, with the whipping cream melting into the pancakes, and fresh fruit simply elevating the pancakes to the next level.  Sweetened with Canadian maple syrup (recently declared a superfood of the same order as antioxidant filled berries, red wine, and flax seeds) these pancakes disappeared by the plate!


Pancakes with Blackberries and Whipping Cream

(makes 16 pancakes)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 3/4 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

1/2 cup whipping cream


Maple syrup

Extra butter

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat together the milk, eggs, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla.  Quickly mix the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to overmix and ignoring lumps. Grease a hot griddle with butter.  Cook about 1/4 cup of the pancake mixture for 2-3 minutes a side, until golden.

In a separate bowl, use electric beaters to beat the whipping cream and remaining vanilla to soft peaks.  Serve the pancakes straight off the griddle with whipping cream, blackberries, and maple syrup!

– Catherine

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