Wednesday, 23 October 2013

La Belle Province and Maple Pudding Cake

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. - C.S. Lewis


Old Quebec City photo by Tatjana Tadin
Last month my family and I, together with my visiting older brother,  had a chance to take a short trip to La Belle Province, the french speaking portion of Canada, also known as Quebec. From my home to the capital of the province, it took about six hours by car. My littlest one complained almost the entire way. He emphatically believed  that there was absolutely nothing worth such a drive.
Until we finally saw...the cannons.  Then, suddenly his world began to change...and life was not so bad after all.
My older brother with my four children
 Then there was  the "castle"...and the fortresses....
Hotel Frontenac
 Though the sites did inspired my little band of travellers, my eldest boys were most inspired by the new food experiences of the province.  The Quebecois have inherited a love of food from their French forefathers. One of our favourite recipes of the trip was baked by my friend, Pierrette, who gave us our first taste of  this French Canadian treat...

Maple Pudding Cake(Chomeur)recipe adapted from:Ben's Maple Syrup
preheat oven to 350 F

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup chopped nuts ( I used pecans, but walnuts are good, too)
2 cups maple syrup
1 cup water
4 Tablespoons Butter
(optional: serve with sour cream or creme fraiche )

1.Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt milk and nuts.

 2. Pour into a greased 9 X 13 pan.

3. Combine maple syrup, water, and butter into a small saucepan. Heat just until the butter melts.

  4. Pour the warm sauce over the cake batter. Do not stir.

5.  Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven (350 F).

6. Cut and serve.  It is nicest warm. 


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A Canadian Fall

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. -Anton Chevoc

Here is my world today...

The end!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Through a Window...

Scholars read the great words of the world. But you and I must learn to read the world itself. - Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard

Here is my world today...

 The End!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Pumpkin Bars

Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings. Now for October eves. - Humbert Wolf 

Recently,  I read a very wonderful book called, The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius, by Kristine Barnett.  It is an autobiography of a mother who was able to reach inside her young child with autism and help him succeed. It was a beautifully written story that showcased a mother's love for her child...and her desperation to reach him.  She pointed out that all children have unique gifts, that need to be nurtured in unique ways...
She mentions in her book numerous ways in which to help children(and adults) enjoy life...
One small point she included, was filling the air with sweet smells...from lavender scented playdough to fresh roasted chicken with herbs wafting from the oven.  I agree. So I hope to inspire you by giving you this fall recipe...pumpkin bars...and the beautiful scents that will fill your kitchen when these are baking...

Pumpkin Bars (adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)
makes one 8 x 8 pan of pumpkin bars
preheat oven to 350 F

For Pumpkin Bars:
1 cup spelt flour ( or any flour you would like)
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin
4 Tablespoons milk
4 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, except for the brown sugar.

2. Mix the brown sugar and all the wet ingredients in another medium size bowl.

 3. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
4.  Next, Pour the mixture into a greased 8x8 baking pan and cook for 15-20 minutes.
5. Let cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Icing (from Better Homes and Gardens)
1/2 block of cream cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup icing sugar (or to taste...I used about half this amount)
1-2 Tablespoons milk
1 Teaspoon vanilla

1.  Beat all the ingredients with an electric mixure till light and fluffy.

2. Frost pumpkin bars when cooled.


The End!