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Breakfast Cheesecake

I am currently developing a recipe for breakfast cheesecake. I know that you can eat any cheesecake for breakfast, but this one is a simple, no-fuss, no-crust cheesecake that’s baked in a bain-marie and scooped into a bowl like custard or pudding. A girl has to eat something for breakfast, right?

Breakfast Cheesecake

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Fruitcake in February

I love fruitcake. It is another treat that is not universally loved in my family. A few years ago, my mother and I decided not to bake it at Christmas and to focus instead on more popular desserts. Then, later, after all the Christmas baking is long forgotten, we can make and really enjoy this treat.

Gluten-free fruitcake holds up fairly well. Because of the strong flavour of the batter and the way it’s loaded with nuts and fruit, you don’t need a large piece. This means there are fewer, um, “structural issues” than there would be if you needed to cut larger slices. We make a dark fruitcake from a recipe in Edna Staebler’s Food That Really Schmecks. It has molasses, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

This is, of course, also an excellent breakfast cake. In case you were wondering…

Fruitcake in February

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Scallops and Bacon and Garlic! Oh My!

My niece is brilliant. She came up with an incredibly delicious idea this week. As part of a meal, we had bacon-wrapped scallops. But they were scallops with double plus bacon, really. First, she fried a slice of bacon for each scallop. Then, she cooked the scallops gently in bacon fat. Next, I fried chopped garlic in bacon fat—I chopped five large cloves for 10 scallops. She assembled them, wrapping each scallop in bacon and carefully distributing the garlic over the scallops. This photo does not do them justice at all.* The result was pure bliss.

*(I guess that means we will be forced to make them again so I can get a better photo…)

Scallops and Bacon and Garlic! Oh My!

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Poutine: Yes, I Am Canadian!

Poutine is a staple of French-Canadian cuisine. It’s simple but extremely tasty.

A few years ago, I went with my sister and my niece to a concert put on by Ron Cahute and Jane Lapko, the creators of these educational French songs. They performed their Poutine song, which goes like this:

Poutine, let’s start with the french fries,
Poutine, add the cheese and the gravy!
Poutine is my favourite thing,
It’s fries with an attitude!

Poutine is easy to make at home. You can use cheese curds or (if you don’t mind the wrath of poutine traditionalists) any cheese you like. I like a blend of mozzarella and old cheddar. I make my own gravy (with gluten-free beef broth and potato starch) and I bake my french fries until they are extra crispy.

To make it, you just need to make or reheat some gravy, prepare your chosen cheese and bake some fries. Then, all you do is layer your cheese curds or grated cheese on top of the fries and ladle gravy on top. Et voilà! The heat from the fries and gravy will melt the cheese, creating an ooey-gooey, delicious mess, all ready for you to dig in. Miam miam!

Poutine: Yes, I Am Canadian!

Poutine is a Québécois dish that combines french fries, cheese and gravy.

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No Such Thing as Too Much Cheese…

I love cheese, as may already be obvious despite the young age of this blog. Four out of my six recipe posts feature cheese. A simple grilled cheese sandwich is one of my very favourite meals.

But a grilled cheese isn’t so simple for those of us avoiding gluten. Anyone who has tried commercially available gluten-free breads will know how disappointing they can be. I am lucky, though, to have stores that sell incredible gluten-free bread near where I live. I made this grilled cheese sandwich with the Romano Bean Bread in the Queen St. Gluten Free bread line baked by Yoshi’s Sweets. There are other breads in the same line—including one made with grape seed flour—and they all have a texture which is incredibly like bread with gluten in it.

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Happy Birthday to Me

One of my sisters made me this fabulous cake from Martha Stewart for my birthday. It was absolutely amazing.

She made it using three boxes of Betty Crocker gluten-free chocolate cake mix. Other than that, she followed the recipe. It was truly decadent.

And the best part? We celebrated my birthday a day early and I took leftovers home. That meant that on my actual birthday I got to eat this cake for breakfast. That’s a pretty good way to start the year.

Happy Birthday to Me
This dessert features six layers of chocolate cake, a ganache topping and a salted caramel filling.

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A Thing of Beauty

One of my sisters recently vacationed in the U.S. and brought me back these two precious bottles of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce.

I love Worcestershire sauce. (In my family, it’s pronounced WUSS-ter. My father was born in the English county of Gloucestershire, which the locals refer to as GLOSS-ter.) I used to apply it liberally to hamburgers, as well as use it to perk up beef stews. After going gluten-free, I was very sad when I learned that, because of the malt vinegar in the version sold in Canada, I had to stop using it. When I found out that the U.S. version used white vinegar and was therefore okay for me to eat, I was ecstatic. I am almost afraid to start using it, because I don’t want to run out.

Wooster

This American Worcestershire sauce is made with white vinegar, not malt vinegar, so it is gluten free. The Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce sold in Canada is made with malt vinegar, so it is not safe for people who avoid gluten.

Street Meat, Toronto Style

Street Meat, Toronto Style

Gluten-free hot dogs and quinoa salad are on offer at this street vendor near the corner of University and Gerrard in Toronto.