Pão de Queijo ~ Brazilian Cheese Bread

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I’ve posted a new recipe.  My apologies to all, but life is what it is, and this year has been busy with taking the lead on the planning for the expansion of our community hall. Although my focus was originally to make sure that the kitchen would be of a size and plan that would see us through many years into the future, somehow I took on far more than that.  We are just about to move into the tendering phase, and I can’t wait for it to get built!

A big part of my involvement has been fundraising, and usually for me that includes creating dining experiences, or supporting another event by offering food. My favourite event was creating a dinner for seventeen people, served in the meadows below our home.  Long tables were set end to end, linens & china were laid, and a nine-course dinner was served.  No price was set, hoping that those who would attend would pay what they felt the experience was worth.  At the end of the fabulous & fun evening, we received $3500 in donations. My crew was ecstatic!  Go to the Island Events page to read more….

This summer held its usual amount of dinners on our deck and lawn, and visits to others’ special summer dining places.  This cheese bread has become one of my favourites to take along to contribute to the spread.  I developed it over the past couple of years, to create a really good bread that is gluten-free, simply by the tradition of its roots.  This simple, delicious bread will satisfy as an accompaniment to a hearty braised dinner, or even just a bowl of soup.  We’ve eaten it with Salad Niçoise, bountiful garden salads, and steaks off the grill.  The typical Brazilian Pão de Quiejo is served in bun form.  I’ve simply moved that idea into a round form to be sliced and served.  It’s a good recipe to have on hand for serving those who are eating gluten-free, while still being a great bread for everyone.  Continue reading

Mexican Skillet Chicken

IMG_1185Sometimes a recipe is born simply from a suggestion. While being told about a chicken dish that was enjoyed on a recent trip to Vegas, my mind was clicking away, trying to think about how to prepare a similar dish, having never seen the original, with the description more about how good it was, not really about how it was made. Our conversation wandered along several paths, never returning to the chicken dish. Several nights later I played the “what if” game while cooking what turned out to be the first draft of this very fresh, spicy dish of chicken with a light topping of melted cheese, and topped with fresh tomatoes, avocados, tomatillos, & green onion. Theoretically it should feed four. So far, it has only ever fed two, with no leftovers. Continue reading

Cheddar Vegetable Pie

IMG_5518Mom used to make a cheese noodle pie that was so incredibly good, but when looked at through today’s lenses, makes me think that perhaps it was a little too good, too much starch, and too much fat.  It was a great pie to take along to a potluck, a lunch en route, or for a weekend family dinner.  This recipe appeals to me for exactly the reasons that I loved Mom’s pie.  Everything is in it, just add a salad or some raw vegetables, and we’re good to go.

The pastry is just a simple short-crust, and the filling has a few staples, but there is room for experimentation (in other words – what you have on hand).  Make the pastry ahead of time, so it can rest in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.  Continue reading

Cheese Scones

IMG_4265I can honestly say that I have made thousands of these scones.  They’ve been a highlight for any breakfast event that I’ve prepared.  They are so easy to prepare ahead and cook the morning that you need them.  They are delicious warm from the oven early in the day, or later on as part of a light lunch.  I used my mother’s old scone recipe, tweaked it a bit, and switched out dried currants for aged cheddar.

My favourite spreads for these scones are dollops of raspberry jam, or later in the summer, fresh blackberry jam. Continue reading

Cream Scones

IMG_2738 When made following the basic recipe, these make excellent shortcakes.  Using any summer berry topping, and fresh whipped cream, it’s an easy way to feed a crowd.

With the cheese or bacon options, they make a great bread for serving alongside a hearty bowl of soup or a crisp winter salad.  Dress them up with white chocolate & lemon or cocoa for making a shortcake style dessert that will be remembered.

The trick to this recipe is that there isn’t any fat to be cut into the dry mix.  All the fat you need to make them light and fluffy is in the cream.  This recipe is really quick to make, with great results, and can be doubled easily.  The recipe shown is for Paprika-Cheese.

Continue reading