Category Archives: General

The Bistro’s Scotch Cookies

Shortbread
Scotch Cookies

Scotch Cookies (sometimes called “Scotch Cakes”), close cousins of Shortbread, are a must-have Christmas tradition in many PEI households. They are a very common addition to holiday sweet plates. I am often asked if I have a recipe for Scotch Cookies and this is it.

The proportions of the main ingredients in these Scotch Cookies follow the holy grail ratio for traditional Scottish Shortbread – 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, and 3 parts flour.  What differentiates Scotch Cookies from traditional Scottish Shortbread are the liberties taken with ingredients for Scotch Cookies and their decorations. In that way, I suppose one could refer to Scotch Cookies as a modernized version of traditional Shortbread.

Shortbread
Scotch Cookies

Texture of Scotch Cookies

If you have ever heard someone refer to a cookie as “short”, they mean it has a crumbly texture that melts in the mouth. This texture is achieved by producing a somewhat dry dough which comes from the high flour content in relation to the proportion of fat in the recipe. The use of icing sugar and addition of cornstarch, and only moisture that comes from the butter are also contributing factors. There will be a shortness and crispness to a well-made Scotch Cookie.

INGREDIENTS

Butter

Butter is considered an essential ingredient for which I do not recommend any substitutes in Scotch Cookies. Yes, use the good stuff in Scotch Cookies because you can taste the difference and pure butter is a main contributor to both flavor and the crumbly texture in these cookies.  The cookies may be made with either salted or unsalted butter.  If using unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon or a little more of salt to the dry ingredients.

Icing Sugar vs Granulated or Brown Sugar

While traditional Shortbread will typically be made using granulated sugar, I use icing sugar in my Scotch Cookies. Some of you may know icing sugar as powdered or confectioner’s sugar.  I find this sugar gives a much more light and tender crumb in the cookies than does traditional granulated or even brown sugar (called for in some recipes).  Make sure the icing sugar is sifted before measuring out the ½ cup called for in the recipe.

Additional Flavorings

Traditional Shortbread would not typically have any additional flavorings added – it’s basically just the sugar, butter, and flour in Shortbread.  However, I sometimes like to add just a small amount each of pure vanilla and almond flavoring in my Scotch Cookies.  These flavorings are entirely optional in this recipe.  If added, they should be in very small amounts – i.e., ¼ tsp and 1/8 tsp, respectively.  These cookies are meant to taste like butter and adding too much flavoring will interfere with that pure flavor so do exercise caution in how much is added.

Cornstarch

My recipe calls for 1/3 cup cornstarch to which I attribute the melt-in-your-mouth tender texture in the cookies. Mix it in with the flour before incorporating it into the butter/sugar mixture. Cornstarch works magic in combination with the other ingredients to create the “shortness” texture in the cookies.

Flour

Basic, all-purpose flour is fine to use in Scotch Cookies. No special flour is required.

No Leavening in Scotch Cookies

There is no leavening in Scotch Cookies which makes the dough great from which to cut shapes since the stiff, dry dough retains its shape during baking.

Shortbread
Scotch Cookies

MEASURING INGREDIENTS

When measuring the icing sugar and cornstarch, as well as the flour, make sure you use an accurate measure.  To measure, simply spoon the dry ingredients into the measuring cups without stirring, and then, with the flat side of a table knife, level off the excess.  Do not pack the dry ingredients into the cup, tap the measuring cup with the spoon to settle the dry ingredients into the cup, or tamp the cup on the counter to make room for more.  This will result in an inaccurate measure of the ingredients and may cause the dough to be overly dry if too much of these ingredients is used.

TEXTURE OF DOUGH AND CHILLING DOUGH

Shortbread/Scotch Cookie dough is considered a dry dough as no liquid is added, save for the moisture that comes from the butter.  The dough texture will be soft when mixed.  Placing it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or so to chill will help it to firm up enough to roll out and cut out shapes.  The dough for Scotch Cookies should not be over-kneaded or worked as it will get the gluten in the flour all excited and stirred up resulting in tough cookies.  Just work it enough that the dough comes together and can be rolled out to about ¼“ thickness. The scraps of dough should be handled in the same manner until all the dough has been cut out in shapes. Minimal handling of the dough is one of the keys to tender Scotch Cookies.

I recommend dividing the dough in half and forming discs with each half.  It is a smaller amount of dough to work with at a time, especially for gathering up and re-working the dough for the remainder of the cookie cutting.

CUTTING OUT SCOTCH COOKIES

Scotch Cookies are intended to be small, dainty cookies, about two-bite size.

Because the dough is a dry dough, it does not spread during baking. It, therefore, lends itself well to being cut with any shape of cutter desired.  I recommend a cookie cutter of about 1¾ – 2” in diameter as a suitable size.

Shortbread
Scotch Cookies

BAKING THE SCOTCH COOKIES

I use insulated cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for baking my Scotch Cookies.  I find the insulated sheets give a bit more protection for the cookies from the heat. That is not to say that other cookie sheets do not work well.

The oven rack should be positioned in the center of the oven to allow good air circulation for the cookies to bake evenly. The cookies (of the size indicated in this recipe) are baked in a slow oven (300°F) for about 22-24 minutes. They will be almost the same color when baked as was the dough. They should not be brown on the edges or the underside side as they are meant to be very pale and delicate. Once removed from the oven, let the cookies rest 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

DECORATING SCOTCH COOKIES

A significant difference between Scotch Cookies and Shortbread is that Shortbread is left plain, unfrosted.  With Scotch Cookies, however, liberties can be taken to decorate them with a small dob of icing piped in the center of each cookie which may, if desired, be decorated with a small bit of very well drained maraschino cherry, a dragée, or quinns of choice as I have done in the photos here with the holly leaves and berries. The cookies can, of course, be left unfrosted, if desired.

Decorated Scotch Cookies
Scotch Cookies Decorated with Christmas Quinns

STORING SCOTCH COOKIES

Undecorated, the cookies can be stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container in a cool location for about 4-5 days.  Alternatively, they can be frozen for longer storage.  If applying icing and decorations to the cookies, I recommend doing so just before serving.  This will ensure no damage occurs to the icing or decorations during storage plus the cookies are easier stored in layers, undecorated.

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

The Bistro’s Scotch Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup salted butter, room temperature
½ cup sifted icing sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar)
¼ tsp vanilla (optional)
1/8 tsp almond flavoring (optional)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch

Method:

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed until it is light in color and very soft and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the speed and gradually add the icing sugar, continuing to beat the mixture until blended and smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if required. Beat in the vanilla and almond flavoring, if using.

Sift the flour and cornstarch together. With mixer set on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until all are incorporated, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as required. Mixture will be soft. Divide dough in half and form each half into a disc shape. Wrap discs separately in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes, or just until dough becomes firm enough to roll out.

Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 300°F. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.

Remove dough from refrigerator and, on very lightly floured surface, roll each disc of dough evenly to approximately ¼“ thick. With lightly floured cookie cutter of choice about 1¾“ – 2” in diameter, cut out shapes and transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet. Gather and re-roll scraps of dough until all dough has been used up and cut out into shapes, being careful not to overwork dough. Place cookies about 1½” apart on the prepared baking sheet(s). Bake 22-24 minutes, or until cookies are just set. Cookies will be very light colored. Note that baking times will need to be adjusted if other sized cookie cutters are used.

Remove cookies from oven and leave on baking sheet for about 3-4 minutes before, using a flat cookie lifter, transferring them to wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies may be left plain or a small dab of icing may be piped on to center of each cookie and then, if desired, topped with a small bit of well-drained maraschino cherry, dragée or quinns of choice.

Yield:  Apx. 3 – 3½ dozen cookies. [Note that exact yield will depend on thickness to which dough is rolled and the size of cutter used.]

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Shortbread
Scotch Cookies

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

The Bistro’s Scotch Cookies

These melt-in-the-mouth Scotch Cookies have a delectable buttery flavor and a tender light crumb.
Course Sweet Treats
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Scotch Cakes, Scotch Cookies, shortbread
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sifted icing sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp almond flavoring (optional)
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch

Instructions

  1. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed until it is light in color and very soft and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the speed and gradually add the icing sugar, continuing to beat the mixture until blended and smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if required. Beat in the vanilla and almond flavoring, if using.
  2. Sift the flour and cornstarch together. With mixer set on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until all are incorporated, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as required. Mixture will be soft. Divide dough in half and form each half into a disc shape. Wrap discs separately in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes, or just until dough becomes firm enough to roll out.
  3. Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 300°F. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and, on very lightly floured surface, roll each disc of dough evenly to approximately ¼“ thick. With lightly floured cookie cutter of choice about 1¾“ – 2” in diameter, cut out shapes and transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet. Gather and re-roll scraps of dough until all dough has been used up and cut out into shapes, being careful not to overwork dough. Place cookies about 1½” apart on the prepared baking sheet(s). Bake 22-24 minutes, or until cookies are just set. Cookies will be very light colored. Note that baking times will need to be adjusted if other sized cookie cutters are used.
  5. Remove cookies from oven and leave on baking sheet for about 3-4 minutes before, using a flat cookie lifter, transferring them to wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Cookies may be left plain or a small dab of icing may be piped on to center of each cookie and then, if desired, topped with a small bit of well-drained maraschino cherry, dragée or quinns of choice.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 3 – 3½ dozen cookies. [Note that exact yield will depend on thickness to which dough is rolled and the size of cutter used.]

 

Coconut Date and Cherry Square

Coconut Date and Cherry Square
Coconut Date and Cherry Squares

These Coconut Date and Cherry Squares are one of the easiest squares to make as there is only the one layer.  Simply place the coconut, dates, cherries, and pecans in a large bowl. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and transfer mixture to a baking pan.  How easy is that!

The trick is not to overbake the square as it will dry out.  Just bake it until it barely starts to turn golden on the edges and it will stay lovely and moist. It’s a supremely lovely treat with a cup of tea (or coffee)!

Coconut Date and Cherry Square
Coconut Date and Cherry Square

A simple way to deal with icing and cutting squares is to leave a bit of parchment overhang when lining the baking pan with parchment paper.  This “overhang” can then be used to easily lift the square, once completely cooled, from the pan.  This makes it very easy to ice and cut the square and the knife does not damage the finish on the baking pan when squares are cut.

One thing I like to do with my squares is cut off the outside edges by about 1/4″ all around the square.  This gives every cut square a nice tidy, even edge.

While this square is fabulous any time of the year, the wonderful delicious flavors of coconut, dates, cherries, and pecans also make this square a great addition to holiday sweet trays.  Of course, the delectable icing with a drizzle of chocolate on top is the crowning glory. While the chocolate drizzle is optional, it does add interest to the white icing. No need to fuss with how the drizzle goes on – just use either a fork or a spoon and quickly drizzle the chocolate any which way!

Coconut Date and Cherry Squares
Coconut Date and Cherry Squares

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Coconut Date and Cherry Squares

Ingredients:

2½ cups medium shredded non-sweetened coconut
2 cups dates, chopped
½ cup maraschino cherries, very well drained, cut into pieces
½ cup pecans, chopped
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (no substitutes)
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

Icing:

½ cup + 1 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
2½ cups sifted icing sugar (aka powdered or confectioner’s sugar)
2 – 2¼ tbsp milk or water
½ tsp almond flavoring (or vanilla)

1 – oz square semi-sweet chocolate (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line 9”x9” baking pan with parchment paper, leaving just enough overhang that there are “handles” to easily grip and lift the square from the pan when cooled.

In large bowl, combine the coconut, dates, maraschino cherries, and pecans. Mix the vanilla and salt into the sweetened condensed milk and pour over the coconut, dates, cherries, and pecans. Stir well to combine ingredients. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 22- 25 minutes, or just until edges of square start to turn light golden brown. Do not overbake. Remove square from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool in pan completely before icing. When completely cooled, lift square from pan.

To prepare icing, place butter in bowl of stand mixer and beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the icing sugar. Add the milk (or water), a couple of teaspoons at a time, along with the almond flavoring. Increase speed to medium-low to blend ingredients. Increase speed to high and beat an additional minute to ensure ingredients are well combined and icing is smooth. Additional milk or water may be required to make icing of desired spreading consistency. If adding additional milk or water, add by ½ teaspoon at a time. Icing should be of spreading consistency but not “soupy”.

Spread icing evenly over cooled square. Melt the chocolate square in small dish in microwave. Using a fork or spoon, drizzle chocolate in desired design over icing. Cut squares into desired size. Squares freeze well.

Yield: One 9”x9” pan of squares

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Coconut Date and Cherry Squares

Full of delicious flavors, this easy-to-make Coconut Date and Cherry Square is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.
Course Dessert
Keyword iced squares, squares
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • cups medium shredded non-sweetened coconut
  • 2 cups dates, chopped
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries, very well drained, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (no substitutes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Icing:
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
  • cups sifted icing sugar (aka powdered or confectioner’s sugar)
  • 2 – 2¼ tbsp milk or water
  • ½ tsp almond flavoring (or vanilla)
  • 1 oz square semi-sweet chocolate (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 9”x9” baking pan with parchment paper, leaving just enough overhang that there are “handles” to easily grip and lift the square from the pan when cooled.

  3. In large bowl, combine the coconut, dates, maraschino cherries, and pecans. Mix the vanilla and salt into the sweetened condensed milk and pour over the coconut, dates, cherries, and pecans. Stir well to combine ingredients. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 22- 25 minutes, or just until edges of square start to turn light golden brown. Do not overbake. Remove square from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool in pan completely before icing. When completely cooled, lift square from the pan.

  4. To prepare icing, place butter in bowl of stand mixer and beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the icing sugar. Add the milk (or water), a couple of teaspoons at a time, along with the almond flavoring. Increase speed to medium-low to blend ingredients. Increase speed to high and beat an additional minute to ensure ingredients are well combined and icing is smooth. Additional milk or water may be required to make icing of desired spreading consistency. If adding additional milk or water, add by ½ teaspoon at a time. Icing should be of spreading consistency but not “soupy”.
  5. Spread icing evenly over cooled square. Melt the chocolate square in small dish in microwave. Using a fork or spoon, drizzle chocolate in desired design over icing. Cut squares into desired size. Squares freeze well.

Recipe Notes

Yield: One 9”x9” pan of squares

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Granola
Pumpkin Spice Granola

Oh, the divine tantalizing scent in the house when this homemade Pumpkin Spice Granola is baking in the oven!  The combination of pumpkin purée and warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger make this a winner!  If you want a clean, healthy breakfast cereal, or snack food, free of preservatives and additives, this granola is for you.

This is chunky style granola which means binding agents are needed to clump and hold the ingredients together.  In this granola, that includes pumpkin purée, applesauce, maple syrup, and the mother of all food glue, an egg white beaten till frothy.  I do add a couple of tablespoons of oat flour to this recipe and I have labeled it as an optional ingredient.  This means the granola is fine without it but the oat flour does, along with the ground flax and chia seeds, give something extra for the syrup to cling to and it does help bind the ingredients together.  If you don’t have oat flour and wish to add it, you can simply toss some rolled oats into a small food processor, or even a coffee grinder, and grind them into fine flour.

In addition to the binding ingredients, the other thing that is necessary to keep the granola clumpy and chunky is not to stir it while it bakes and to leave it in the pan, undisturbed, for approximately 30 minutes after it comes out of the oven.  This helps the granola crisp up and then it can be broken into desired size chunks.

granola
Pumpkin Spice Granola served with Greek yogurt and fresh pear

Typically, I don’t add nuts or whole seeds to my granola but a pumpkin-flavored granola just seemed to call for them.  Any favorite nuts or seeds can be used.  Slivered almonds and pistachios pair well with the pumpkin so those are my choices for this granola.  I do include these nuts in with the rolled oat mixture that gets baked in the oven.  The pumpkin and sunflower seeds, on the other hand, are very small and delicate.  As such, they are very susceptible to easily burning.  My preference is to buy these seeds already roasted and add them along with the raisins and dried fruit after the rolled oats mixture has been baked.  I recommend the same thing with coconut, preferring to buy it already toasted as it can burn very quickly, ruining the flavor of the granola.

Bulk food stores are great places to buy ingredients for granola as one can buy just the amounts needed instead of buying a big bag of one ingredient and only using 1/3 cup of it with no plans for the rest of the bag’s contents.  The great thing about granola is, once you have a good recipe for the syrup and spices, you can swap out any of the dried fruits, seeds, and nuts so long as you replace them and keep the new substitute(s) in the same quantity/weight.  So, if you don’t like raisins, for example, simply swap them out for the same quantity of another dried fruit like cherries, cranberries, apricots, etc.

Granola
Pumpkin Spice Granola

Add the dried fruits and raisins after the rolled oat mixture has baked and cooled.  Adding these before the baking process will turn the fruits into hard, tough little nuggets which are not pleasant to eat.

This granola is a staple in my freezer.  There are  so many different ways in which it can be used.  I use it on its own as a cereal and, sometimes, I’ll top oatmeal or a cold cereal with it.

Granola
Pumpkin Spice Granola

It’s also great to serve alongside (or on top of) Greek yogurt and some fresh fruit.

Granola
Pumpkin Spice Granola

Toss some of the Pumpkin Spice Granola on top of a salad to add some extra crunch and texture.  Or, simply eat it, as is, as a snack.

granola
Pumpkin Spice Granola

Of course, homemade Pumpkin Spice Granola makes a great gift, too.  Package it attractively in a small cellophane bag or in a glass jar.

granola
Pumpkin Spice Granola

Add a ribbon and it makes a nifty host/hostess gift or small remembrance for someone. I love to give consumable gifts as they don’t clutter up anyone’s life and who doesn’t love a treat from someone else’s kitchen!

Granola
Pumpkin Spice Granola Makes a Great Gift

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Ingredients:

½ cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid state
2 tbsp applesauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla
1¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cloves
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp mace (optional)
½ tsp fine sea salt

3 cups old-fashioned large flake rolled oats
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup shelled pistachios
2 tbsp oat flour (optional)
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp ground chia seeds

1 extra-large egg white

2/3 cup golden raisins
½ cup sultana raisins
½ cup dried mixed fruit (e.g., cranberries, cherries, blueberries)
1/3 cup diced dried apricots
¼ cup hemp hearts
½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
½ cup toasted coconut flakes

Method:

In small saucepan, combine the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, coconut oil, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is well blended and heated. Do not boil. Stir in spices and sea salt. Cool for about 20 minutes.

While the syrup is cooling, combine rolled oats, almonds, pistachios, oat flour, ground flax and chia seeds in large bowl.
In separate large bowl, combine raisins, dried mixed fruit, apricots, hemp hearts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and toasted coconut flakes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray lightly with cooking oil.

Beat egg white until frothy.

Pour cooled syrup over rolled oats mixture. Stir in the frothy egg white to coat the rolled oats mixture.

Spread oat mixture evenly in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Pat down with the back of a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until oats are a deep caramel color and start to get crispy and fragrant. Do not stir mixture during the baking. If granola starts to brown quickly, rotate the baking sheet in the oven and/or reduce the heat. Remove pan from oven and cool granola in pan for about 30 minutes. Break granola into desired sized pieces and add to the large bowl containing the dried fruit and seeds. Stir to combine all ingredients.

Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or store in freezer for longer use.

Yield: Apx. 2½ pounds

Connect with My Island Bistro Kitchen by:

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Seeing the drool-worthy gallery of mouth-watering food photos from My Island Bistro Kitchen on Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/peibistro/

Following “the Bistro” on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.ca/peibistro/

(and you can pin the Pinterest-ready photo(s) below to your favorite Pinterest boards)

Of course, by subscribing to receive an email notification of new posts and recipes, you can be among the first to know when I publish a new post or recipe. Simply enter your name and email address in the Subscription block over on the right-hand side of my home page.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Perfectly flavored with warm autumnal spices, this chunky style Pumpkin Spice Granola has great flavor and texture. Perfect for breakfast, snacking, and gift giving.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword granola, pumpkin spice granola
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid state
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp mace (optional)
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned large flake rolled oats [gluten-free if required]
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 tbsp oat flour (optional) [gluten-free, if required]
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1 extra-large egg white
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup sultana raisins
  • ½ cup dried mixed fruit (e.g., cranberries, cherries, blueberries)
  • 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts
  • ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup toasted coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. In small saucepan, combine the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, coconut oil, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is well blended and heated. Do not boil. Stir in spices and sea salt. Cool for about 20 minutes.
  2. While the syrup is cooling, combine rolled oats, almonds, pistachios, oat flour, ground flax and chia seeds in large bowl.
  3. In separate large bowl, combine raisins, dried mixed fruit, apricots, hemp hearts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and toasted coconut flakes. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray lightly with cooking oil.
  5. Beat egg white until frothy.
  6. Pour cooled syrup over rolled oats mixture. Stir in the frothy egg white to coat the rolled oats mixture.
  7. Spread oat mixture evenly in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Pat down with the back of a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until oats are a deep caramel color and start to get crispy and fragrant. Do not stir mixture during the baking. If granola starts to brown quickly, rotate the baking sheet in the oven and/or reduce the heat. Remove pan from oven and cool granola in pan for about 30 minutes. Break granola into desired sized pieces and add to the large bowl containing the dried fruit and seeds. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  8. Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or store in freezer for longer use.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 2½ pounds

For Other Great Granola Recipes From My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Nut-free Granola
Clumpy Almond Butter Granola

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Granola

Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

The Thanksgiving Turkey
The Thanksgiving Turkey

So, we all know how beautiful a decorated roast turkey on a platter looks and many of us associate this with the ideal Thanksgiving.  The reality is, however, that many households are small and either don’t need, or want, a large turkey.  The responsibility of getting a turkey properly cooked can be somewhat daunting.  Yet, who among us does not want to celebrate Thanksgiving in a somewhat traditional manner and have the heavenly scent of turkey roasting in the oven.

To show how the traditional elements can be incorporated into a small-scale Thanksgiving dinner, I have prepared a dinner for two.  This meal is easily scalable meaning it can be multiplied to serve the number of guests you have.

I still wanted turkey but I wanted something manageable in size and meat that would cook quickly and without having to have a large roaster.  That’s where fresh boneless turkey breasts come in.  They are available in all sizes, ranging from the small 1-pounders. These cook quickly, especially in a convection oven, and you still get the same wonderful scent in the house as the turkey breast roasts.  The other benefit to a boneless turkey breast is that it is all pure meat.  There is no large carcass to deal with and the meat slices so perfectly for stylish plating.

Roasted Turkey Breast
Stuffed Roasted Turkey Breast

I brine my chicken and turkey.  It makes such a difference to the flavor and texture of the meat.  All I do to brine a fresh turkey breast is let it sit for a few hours submerged in a salt-water brine.  After brining, I pound it somewhat thin, roll some of my stuffing into the breast, and tie it securely.  I then brush the entire meat with melted butter mixed with olive oil and sprinkle it lightly with paprika.  I head to the garden and pick some fresh parsley, rosemary, dill, oregano, and thyme (or whatever blend of herbs I happen to have at the time).  Chopped really fine, these herbs are then sprinkled over the meat which is set on a rack in a small roasting pan.

Roasted Turkey Breast
Roasted Turkey Breast

I am a huge proponent of using a meat thermometer.  This ensures my meat is always cooked properly and stays tender and juicy.  I cook the turkey breast in my convection oven till it tests done on the meat thermometer.  After the turkey comes out of the oven, I loosely tent it with tinfoil for about 20 minutes or so before proceeding to carve it. Comes out perfectly cooked and juicy every time. Easy-peasy.

Roasted Turkey Breast
Sliced Stuffed Turkey Breast

For gravy lovers, the downside to roasting turkey breast is that there are virtually no drippings from the meat which can be used to make gravy.  This is easily enough remedied, however, by making the gravy using poultry stock which is what I have done here from some homemade turkey stock I had in the freezer.

Stuffed roasted turkey breast with pan gravy
Stuffed Roasted Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy

Whether it’s a meal for 2 or 22, I always recommend doing as much of the prep work ahead of time as possible.  In this case, I made the Rhubarb-Cranberry Sauce the day before and refrigerated it.  This is my newest cranberry sauce and it combines two wonderful flavors beautifully.  Either fresh or frozen cranberries and rhubarb can be used for the sauce.  It has the most glorious jewel-toned color and fabulous flavor.  The sauce pairs particularly well with turkey.

Bowl of Cranberry Rhubarb Sauce in foreground with Rolled Stuffed Turkey Breast and Two Stalks of Rhubarb in Background
Cranberry Rhubarb Sauce

For the soup course, I am also featuring my newest soup recipe, Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup.  For Thanksgiving, I try to use seasonal produce like parsnips and pears.  This soup freezes well so can be made ahead, thawed, and reheated in the microwave.  Or, a batch of it can be made specifically for Thanksgiving and the leftover frozen.

Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup
Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup

For the salad course, I have gone with a really simple salad, most of which came from our backyard garden – fresh lettuce, beets, red onion, and nasturtium flowers.  I roasted the beets (though they could be boiled instead).  So, on a bed of lettuce, I placed slices of beets and added some mandarin orange sections and slices of red onion.  This was topped with crumbled feta cheese and the salad was served with a simple vinaigrette and topped with a colorful and edible nasturtium.

Roasted Beets and Mandarin Orange Salad
Roasted Beets and Mandarin Orange Salad

Because I have included both a soup and salad course, it is not necessary to have a number of different vegetables on the plate.  Here, I have included the decadent Duchess Potatoes and colorful carrots which, though basic, add a wonderful pop of color to the plate.

Plated Thanksgiving Dinner
Plated Thanksgiving Dinner

My wine pairing with this Thanksgiving Dinner is a 2016 Riesling from Thirty Bench Winemakers in the Niagara Peninsula. A Reisling is a good choice as it has lots of palate-refreshing acidity along with a slight touch of sweetness to balance and complement the variety of flavors in the dinner.

For dessert, it’s Squash Pie.  I always maintain that, while similar to pumpkin, squash pie has a richer, deeper flavour.

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

I have opted for a very simple tablesetting and I have used items I already own in its construction.  Miniature white pumpkins were placed on three candlesticks of varying heights.  Some hydrangea plucked from my hedge formed a colorful, yet soft-colored, base for the pumpkins. I used three small votives at the base of the arrangement to give a glow of soft light.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Here’s a closer peek.

Miniature White Pumpkin
Thanksgiving Centerpiece

I intentionally left the tabletop bare because the deep maple wood provides a warm looking canvas for an autumn meal.  Each placesetting was framed with gold charger plates sitting on gold-colored round placemats.  This keeps the tablesetting muted but yet has the warm tones of fall.

To draw the connection of the pumpkin-focused centerpiece down to the placesettings, I simply placed a small pumpkin atop the napkin at each place.

Miniature white pumpkin
Thanksgiving Placesetting

When the napkins have a lot of colorful border design on them, like these, it is sometimes best to just fold them flat on the plate so that the design is visible. Otherwise, the design may be lost in a napkin fold and not be as effective.

Thanksgiving Napkin
Thanksgiving Napkin

Glassware does not need to match.  Here, I have chosen two different vintage pieces from my collection for the wine and water glasses. The tablesetting is clean, simple, and uncluttered. Best of all, it only took a few minutes to create, used items I already had, and the tiny pumpkins cost me less than $4.

Thanksgiving Tablesetting
Thanksgiving Tablesetting for Two

I am a big fan of using white dinnerware as it goes with everything and food always looks so appetizing on a white background.

Roast Turkey Dinner
Roast Turkey Dinner

So, regardless the size of your household, there are options to preparing a tasty Thanksgiving Dinner that still includes the elements we expect to see in a Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes (Bumblebee variety)

Every year, we grow cherry tomatoes in the garden. They are prolific producers and there is no way we can use up the pounds and pounds of tomatoes they produce.   This time of the year, they can’t even be given away because it seems everybody has an over-abundance of them in their gardens.  So, what to do with them?  Turn them into a rich, thick, and flavorful sauce!

Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Typically, when making tomato sauce, I choose to use plum (aka Roma) tomatoes because they have more pulp than seeds.  However, I do not like wasting food and, since I had pounds of excess cherry tomatoes, I figured they were worth a bit of time to turn them into tomato sauce. Any variety of cherry tomato will work in this recipe.  The sauce in the photos in this posting was made with the Bumblebee variety.

Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

I find that roasting vegetables brings out their wonderful flavors. This is true of tomatoes as well. For this recipe, I simply washed and dried the tiny tomatoes and cut off the stem ends then put them into a couple of large baking pans, drizzled them with olive oil, turning the tomatoes to ensure they were coated on all sides. Some nutmeg, along with a hefty sprinkling of fine sea salt and some freshly ground pepper, were applied to the tomatoes.  A light drizzle of balsamic vinegar was used to add some additional flavor.

Roasted Tomatoes
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

These tomatoes were roasted around 40 minutes in a 400°F oven, just until they started shriveling and bursting open.  While the tomatoes are cooling before being puréed, start cooking the aromatics – the shallots, celery, carrot, green pepper, and garlic cloves.  Once these are softened, they will be put through the food processor or blender along with the tomatoes.

Either a food processor or blender can be used to purée the roasted tomatoes and vegetables. My preference is to use a blender for this purpose.  Neither appliance will completely grind up all the hundreds of tiny tomato seeds. I like my tomato sauce to be free of the seeds so, after puréeing the tomatoes, I pass the puréed mixture through a wire mesh sieve, using the back of a spoon to gently press the tomatoes to release the sauce and hold back the seeds and any remaining bits of skin that may not have puréed.  If you don’t mind the seeds and like a more rustic style of tomato sauce, it’s perfectly fine to leave the seeds in the sauce and you can skip this step.  However, for a sauce with a more smooth and refined textured, and for anyone who experiences difficulty digesting seeds, I do recommend straining out the seeds. Amazingly, the puréeing process will grind up the tomato skins very well and there will only be slight traces (if any at all) of any skins visible after puréeing the mixture.

Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

This sauce may be made with either dried or fresh herbs and I have given approximate amounts for each.  The amount of herbs to use (and the same for garlic) is a matter of personal taste so feel free to vary the amounts slightly according to your own taste preferences.  Just remember that more seasoning can be added as the sauce simmers but, if too much is added, there is no way to remove it.

Tomato Sauce
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

I do add a small can of tomato purée to this sauce to give it more body, color, and deeper flavor.  Sweeten up the sauce with a small amount of pure maple syrup and let the sauce simmer for about an hour or so to allow the flavors to develop. If desired, a half cup of a full-bodied red wine can also be added to the sauce.

Tomato Sauce over Pasta
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce Over Pasta

This sauce works particularly well on pasta though it can be used in any recipe calling for tomato sauce.

This Cherry Tomato Sauce may be used immediately or refrigerated up to three days.  For longer storage, freeze the sauce in airtight freezer containers or zippered freezer bags of desired serving size. This sauce is a great way to use up the excess cherry tomatoes in the garden.

Tomato Sauce over Pasta
Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce over Pasta

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

5 lbs cherry tomatoes, any variety, washed and dried, stem ends removed
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
1 – 1¼ tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

2-3 tbsp olive oil
Scant 2/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped (apx. 1 stalk)
½ cup carrot, finely chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 – 5.5oz can tomato paste
1½ tbsp pure maple syrup
½ cup red wine (optional)
2 – 2½ tsp dried parsley, chopped (or apx. 2 tbsp chopped fresh)
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1¼ tsp dried basil (or apx. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh)
1 tsp dried oregano (or apx 1 tbsp chopped fresh)
¼ tsp dried thyme (or apx 1 tsp chopped fresh)
½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed (or apx ½ tbsp chopped fresh)
1/16 tsp ground cloves

Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place tomatoes, single layer on rimmed baking sheets or 9”x13” baking pans. Drizzle with olive oil, tossing tomatoes to coat all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. Place in oven, uncovered, and roast for 35-45 minutes, until tomatoes shrivel, and start to burst and break down somewhat. Remove from oven and cool for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet. Add the shallots, celery, carrot, green pepper, and garlic cloves. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, until vegetables are softened.

Working in batches, process the roasted tomatoes and their juices along with the sautéed vegetables in blender or food processor until smooth. If removal of all seeds is desired, pass the puréed mixture through a wire mesh sieve positioned over small clean stock pot. Using the back of a large spoon or a rubber spatula, gently press down on the tomato mixture to push it through the sieve. Discard the seeds and any remaining bits of tomato skin.

Place stockpot on low heat and add the tomato paste, maple syrup, red wine, and spices. Stir well and increase heat to medium low. Stir frequently to avoid mixture sticking to pot. When mixture starts to show signs of bubbling, reduce heat to low simmer and let mixture cook slowly for 40-60 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Stir frequently.

Serve immediately over hot cooked pasta or refrigerate up to three days. For longer storage, freeze in airtight containers or zippered freezer bags of desired serving size.

Yield: Apx 1 litre

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Tomato Sauce

 

Printable Recipe:

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Roasted cherry tomatoes are the basis for this rich, thick, and flavorful Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce that is perfect over pasta. Freezes well. Great use for excess cherry tomatoes.
Course Condiment, Side Dish
Keyword cherry tomato sauce, roasted cherry tomato sauce, tomato sauce
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs cherry tomatoes, any variety, washed and dried, stem ends removed
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 – 1¼ tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Scant 2/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped (apx. 1 stalk)
  • ½ cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup green pepper, finely chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 5.5oz can tomato paste
  • tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup red wine (optional)
  • 2 – 2½ tsp dried parsley, chopped (or apx. 2 tbsp chopped fresh)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • tsp dried basil (or apx. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or apx 1 tbsp chopped fresh)
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme (or apx 1 tsp chopped fresh)
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed (or apx ½ tbsp chopped fresh)
  • 1/16 tsp ground cloves
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place tomatoes, single layer on rimmed baking sheets or 9”x13” baking pans. Drizzle with olive oil, tossing tomatoes to coat all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. Place in oven, uncovered, and roast for 35-45 minutes, until tomatoes shrivel, and start to burst and break down somewhat. Remove from oven and cool for about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet. Add the shallots, celery, carrot, green pepper, and garlic cloves. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
  4. Working in batches, process the roasted tomatoes and their juices along with the sautéed vegetables in blender or food processor until smooth. If removal of all seeds is desired, pass the puréed mixture through a wire mesh sieve positioned over small clean stock pot. Using the back of a large spoon or a rubber spatula, gently press down on the tomato mixture to push it through the sieve. Discard the seeds and any remaining bits of tomato skin.
  5. Place stockpot on low heat and add the tomato paste, maple syrup, red wine, and spices. Stir well and increase heat to medium low. Stir frequently to avoid mixture sticking to pot. When mixture starts to show signs of bubbling, reduce heat to low simmer and let mixture cook slowly for 40-60 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Stir frequently.
  6. Serve immediately over hot cooked pasta or refrigerate up to three days. For longer storage, freeze in airtight containers or zippered freezer bags of desired serving size.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx 1 litre

Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup Recipe

Parsnip Soup
Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup

Today’s featured recipe from my kitchen is Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup.  The combination of the somewhat nutty flavor of the parsnips pairs well with the sweetness of the Bosc Pears.  They balance each other well in this savory soup.

My grandparents always left a clump of parsnips in the garden over the winter, claiming they tasted sweeter when harvested the following spring after the cold winter weather turned some of their starch into sugar. In any event, no parsnips in their garden were to be harvested until at least after the first few frosts in the late fall. Today, parsnips are available in supermarkets and at farmers’ markets year-round.

The ivory-colored root vegetable is a member of the carrot family but parsnips have a distinctly different flavor from carrots. Some claim parsnips have an almost spicy earthy flavor, bordering on a hint of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Parsnips can be prepared in numerous ways and they are a staple in my household.  I use some parsnip in many of the soups I make, including Turkey Vegetable, as it imparts wonderful flavor. In my opinion, roasting parsnips will add depth to their flavor profile which is why I am roasting them for this particular soup in which they are the primary ingredient.

In terms of health benefits, parsnips are high in fiber and are considered to be a good source of Vitamins C, E, and K as well as folate and manganese.

Parsnip Soup
Parsnip and Pear Soup

This soup freezes very well, provided no fat-reduced milk is used in it – just don’t do that to any cream-based soup, regardless if it is to be frozen or not.  Cream-based soups are meant to have a velvety, creamy texture that just simply cannot effectively be achieved when low-fat or skim milk is used.

Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup, while it can certainly be served on its own with a favorite bread, makes a wonderful addition to the soup course of a meal.  The soup also makes a fine accompaniment as a side to a sandwich for a great lunch or light supper.

Parsnip Soup
Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped into 2” chunks
½ garlic bulb
1½ tbsp olive oil to toss with parsnips and garlic
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp coriander
Salt and Pepper

2 Bosc Pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1-2 tsp olive oil to toss with the pears

1½ tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 leek (white and light green parts only), sliced about 1/8” thick
1 cup potato, peeled and diced
2/3 cup celery, chopped
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped

4 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
½ tsp dried Rosemary, crushed
¼ – ½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cardamom

1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice

2/3 cup whipping cream
½ cup whole milk

2/3 cup medium Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line rimed baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Peel and chop parsnips into 2” chunks and place in medium-sized bowl. Add the half garlic bulb. Toss with olive oil, nutmeg, coriander, salt, and pepper. Spread parsnips and garlic, single layer on baking sheet. Roast, uncovered, 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel, core, and coarsely chop the Bosc pears. Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat pears. Turn parsnips over and add pears to the roasting pan. Roast 15 minutes longer or until parsnips are tender.

In Dutch oven, heat 1½ tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the butter. When butter is melted, add the leek, potato, celery, and shallots. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken or turkey stock, bay leaf, star anise, Rosemary, turmeric, and cardamon. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook slowly, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf and star anise. Stir in the maple syrup and lemon juice. Cool for about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, purée mixture in blender until smooth. Transfer mixture back to soup pot. Stir in whipping cream and milk. When heated, stir in cheeses until melted. Season further with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish if and as desired. Serve hot with bread or rolls of choice.

Yield: Apx 5-6 servings

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Parsnip Soup

Roasted Parsnip Soup

 

Printable Recipe:

Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup

This creamy soup is a delicious and comforting fall and winter treat. Hearty enough for a main meal, it also makes a lovely starter to a meal or a side to a favorite sandwich.
Keyword parsnip, parsnip soup, soup,
Servings 6
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped into 2” chunks
  • ½ garlic bulb
  • tbsp olive oil to toss with parsnips and garlic
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Bosc Pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil to toss with the pears
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced about 1/8” thick
  • 1 cup potato, peeled and diced
  • 2/3 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ tsp dried Rosemary, crushed
  • ¼ - ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup medium Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°Line rimed baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Peel and chop parsnips into 2” chunks and place in medium-sized bowl. Add the half garlic bulb. Toss with olive oil, nutmeg, coriander, salt, and pepper. Spread parsnips and garlic, single layer on baking sheet. Roast, uncovered, 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel, core, and coarsely chop the Bosc pears. Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat pears. Turn parsnips over and add pears to the roasting pan. Roast 15 minutes longer or until parsnips are tender.
  2. In Dutch oven, heat 1½ tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the butter. When butter is melted, add the leek, potato, celery, and shallots. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken or turkey stock, bay leaf, star anise, Rosemary, turmeric, and cardamon. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook slowly, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf and star anise. Stir in the maple syrup and lemon juice. Cool for about 30 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, purée mixture in blender until smooth. Transfer mixture back to soup pot. Stir in whipping cream and milk. When heated, stir in cheeses until melted. Season further with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish if and as desired. Serve hot with bread or rolls of choice.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx 5-6 servings

 

For Other tasty Soup, Stew, Chowder, Chili, and Stock Recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Chili
Classic Chili
Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

Cream-based Soups
Classic Cream of Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Classic Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Cream of Roasted Asparagus Soup
Cream of Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup
Cream of Winter Root Vegetable Soup
Homemade Cream of Celery Soup
PEI Potato Leek Soup

Broth-based Soups
Minestrone
Classic Homemade Turkey Vegetable Soup
Cock-a-Leekie Soup
Ham Lentil Soup
Hamburger Soup
Old-fashioned Boiled Ham Dinner

Stews
Irish Stew
Rich and Hearty Goulash

Stocks
Homemade Turkey Stock
Homemade Beef Stock

Chowders
PEI Mussel Chowder
PEI Lobster Chowder
Turkey Chowder

Classic Tuna Melts Recipe

Tuna Melts
Classic Tuna Melts

When I want a quick and easy light meal, I will often make these Classic Tuna Melts.  They are super easy to make and are wonderfully tasty.  It’s amazing what can be done with a simple can of tuna and a few staple ingredients!

I used to make this mixture and stuff it in finger rolls and heat them in the oven.  That still works but they present really well on sliced English muffin halves.  Use regular or gluten-free English muffins of choice and toast them before adding the topping.

Mix up the topping in the order in which the ingredients are listed.  If you don’t have pickle relish, chop up some bread and butter pickles, dill pickles, or gherkins and use them.  Use either red or green pepper, whichever suits your fancy (or whichever you happen to have on hand).  Divide the mixture between the four English muffin halves and spread it to the edges of the muffins.  Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top.  Broil quickly,  just until the cheese is melted.  Watch them like a hawk as these only need a minute or two and they burn quickly!

Tuna Melts
Classic Tuna Melts

These Tuna Melts are meant to be served hot so quickly garnish them with some colorful microgreens or chopped fresh parsley for eye appeal. Serve the Tuna Melts with potato chips or, for a healthier option, a green side salad.

This recipe will make two servings.  However, the recipe is easily scalable if more servings are required.  To scale it down to one serving, use one of the little wee cans of tuna and halve all other ingredients.

This is one of our favorite Sunday night light suppers.  Hope you enjoy them, too!

Tuna Melts
Classic Tuna Melts

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Classic Tuna Melts

Ingredients:

1 – 170g can flaked white tuna (packed in water), drained
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp red or green pepper, chopped
1½ tsp fresh dill, chopped
1/8 tsp garlic salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper

2 English muffins, halved and toasted

6 – 8 tbsp shredded Cheddar cheese

Microgreens or chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Method:

In small bowl, break up tuna with fork. Blend in the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Stir in the celery, pickle relish, red onion, red or green pepper, dill, garlic salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Place oven rack in upper third of oven. Set broiler to high.

Place toasted English muffin halves on tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Divide the mixture between the English muffin halves and, with knife, spread mixture to edges of muffin halves. Top each with shredded Cheddar cheese.

Place English muffins in oven and broil just until cheese is melted, approximately 1½ – 2 minutes. Watch carefully as these can easily burn quickly.

Garnish with microgreens or chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and serve immediately alongside potato chips or a side green salad.

Yield: 2 servings

Did you Know?

You can join the Facebook page for My Island Bistro Kitchen:  https://www.facebook.com/MyIslandBistroKitchen/

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Follow “the Bistro” on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.ca/peibistro/

(and you can pin any of the Pinterest-ready photos below to your favorite Pinterest boards)

Of course, by subscribing to receive an email notification of new posts and recipes, you can be among the first to know when I publish a new post or recipe. Simply enter your name and email address in the Subscription block over on the right-hand side of my home page.

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Tuna Melts
Classic Tuna Melts

 

Tuna Melts
Classic Tuna Melts

Printable Recipe:

Classic Tuna Melts

Packed with flavor, these Tuna Melts, topped with melted cheese, are classic open-faced sandwiches. Best served hot with potato chips or a green salad.
Course Sandwich
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword tuna, tuna melts
Servings 2
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 – 170g can flaked white tuna (packed in water), drained
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red or green pepper, chopped
  • tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 English muffins,halved and toasted
  • 6 – 8 tbsp shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Microgreens or chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, break up tuna with fork. Blend in the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Stir in the celery, pickle relish, red onion, red or green pepper, dill, garlic salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Place oven rack in upper third of oven. Set broiler to high.
  3. Place toasted English muffin halves on tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Divide the mixture between the English muffin halves and, with knife, spread mixture to edges of muffin halves. Top each with shredded Cheddar cheese.
  4. Place English muffins in oven and broil just until cheese is melted, approximately 1½ - 2 minutes. Watch carefully as these can easily burn quickly.
  5. Garnish with microgreens or chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and serve immediately alongside potato chips or a side green salad.

Prune and Pistachio Power Balls

Energy Balls
Prune and Pistachio Power Balls

Power balls (sometimes called energy balls, energy bites, or bliss balls) are a super tasty, portable, and convenient on-the-go snack. They are great for the lunch bags and they are the perfect pre- or post-workout snack.

Made with a blend of carefully selected ingredients, these tasty Prune and Pistachio Power Balls provide a great energy boost, particularly during the mid-afternoon slump when energy typically starts to wane for many.

Apart from the usual pantry staples, I bought all of the ingredients for the balls at my local bulk food store.  It’s an ideal store for recipes like this one that call for small amounts of ingredients, such as green tea matcha powder, that some people might not have in their cupboards.

Green Tea Matcha Powder
Green Tea Matcha Powder

It saves money, too, since you only need to buy what the specific recipe calls for and, in some cases, the ingredients might not be ones the home cook would use up if an entire package or bottle had to be purchased.

Energy Balls
Prune and Pistachio Power Balls

These power balls freeze well and are great to have in the freezer for on-the-go snacks.  Check out my posting for Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites for an explanation of the four main sets of ingredients typically found in these types of balls.    In that posting, you will also find my tips for making energy balls.

Energy Balls
Prune and Pistachio Power Balls

[Printable Recipe Follows at end of Posting]

Prune and Pistachio Power Balls

Ingredients:

6 oz dried prunes, coarsely chopped (apx 1 cup chopped)
½ cup quick rolled oats (gluten-free, if required)
1/3 cup sunflower butter
½ cup pistachios, shelled and finely ground (apx. 4 oz unshelled)
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp chocolate whey protein powder
1½ tsp green tea matcha powder
pinch fine sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup puffed quinoa cereal
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Additional finely chopped pistachios for rolling balls (optional)

Method:

Pulse prunes in food processor until they become paste-like or clump into a ball. Add the rolled oats, sunflower butter, pistachios, ground chia seeds, cocoa, chocolate whey protein powder, green tea matcha powder, salt, maple syrup coconut oil, and vanilla. Pulse mixture until ingredients are completely blended.

Add the puffed quinoa cereal and coconut and pulse just until combined. If mixture seems too dry, two to three teaspoons of water may be blended into ingredients. Place mixture in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to chill.

Roll mixture by hand into bite-sized balls. For frame of reference, each ball should weigh approximately 27 grams. Roll balls in finely chopped pistachio nuts, if desired. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 20-25 minutes to firmly set. Store balls, in single layers separated by waxed paper, in airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator or freeze up to three months for longer storage.

Yield: Apx. 18 balls

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(and you can pin any of the Pinterest-ready photos below to your favorite Pinterest boards)

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Energy Balls

 

 

For other energy ball recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

Printable Recipe:

Prune and Pistachio Power Balls

Prune and Pistachio Power Balls make a convenient on-the-go portable snack. These little balls of power are also the perfect pre- or post-workout snack.
Course Snack
Keyword energy balls, energy bites, power balls
Servings 18
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 6 oz dried prunes, coarsely chopped (apx 1 cup chopped)
  • ½ cup quick rolled oats (gluten-free, if required)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower butter
  • ½ cup pistachios, shelled and finely ground (apx. 4 oz unshelled)
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp chocolate whey protein powder
  • tsp green tea matcha powder
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup puffed quinoa cereal
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Additional finely chopped pistachios for rolling balls (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pulse prunes in food processor until they become paste-like or clump into a ball. Add the rolled oats, sunflower butter, pistachios, ground chia seeds, cocoa, chocolate whey protein powder, green tea matcha powder, salt, maple syrup coconut oil, and vanilla. Pulse mixture until ingredients are completely blended.
  2. Add the puffed quinoa cereal and coconut and pulse just until combined. If mixture seems too dry, two to three teaspoons of water may be blended into ingredients. Place mixture in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to chill.
  3. Roll mixture by hand into bite-sized balls. For frame of reference, each ball should weigh approximately 27 grams. Roll balls in finely chopped pistachio nuts, if desired. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 20-25 minutes to firmly set. Store balls, in single layers separated by waxed paper, in airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator or freeze up to three months for longer storage.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 18 balls

Fresh Peach Salsa Recipe

Colander of Fresh Peaches
Peaches

I like to use fresh produce when it is in season. It has so much more flavor than buying the same product when it is out of season. There are certain dishes that super fresh produce is essential and Fresh Peach Salsa is one of them. Versatile, this salsa can, of course, be used as a dip for tortilla chips and it can also be used as a topping for cooked fish, pork chops, or chicken breasts and for a number of other uses as well.

Fresh Peach Salsa
Peach Salsa

There are two types of salsa – Fresh and processed (bottled). Fresh salsa is meant to be used shortly after it has been mixed up. Ingredients in a fresh salsa are raw and the juices that emanate from the fruit and vegetables will be water thin. The ingredients will have vibrant flavor and the vegetables and fruits will hold their shape and be crisp, never soggy or dull. This is in contrast to a processed salsa where the ingredients will be cooked and the salsa will have a thicker consistency, almost sauce-like in texture. A cooked salsa will have a longer shelf life than the fresh salsa.

This colorful fresh Peach Salsa is super showy and very tasty.

Small glass filled with fresh peach salsa
Fresh Peach Salsa

The great thing about the salsa is that the seasonings can be adjusted according to one’s personal taste. For my recipe, I have purposely gone gentle on the amount of Jalapeño pepper used as well as the garlic and ginger. My recommendation is, as always, to initially make the recipe the way the recipe developer has intended. Then, taste the salsa and, if it does not have sufficient “heat” for your taste, add a bit more seasoning – but just add a bit at a time, tasting as you go. As the old saying goes, you can always add more seasoning but, once it’s in the dish, you can’t remove it.

Bowl of Fresh Peach Salsa
Peach Salsa

Peaches

Use ripe but still firm fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped into ¼” pieces. If the peaches are too ripe, they’ll break down too much in the salsa and add too much liquid. You want the peaches to hold their shape.

Peaches
Peaches

Tomato

Use plum tomatoes (aka the Roma variety) for this salsa. Plum tomatoes are a firm variety with fewer seeds and less juice than most other varieties. Plum tomatoes will hold their shape when diced and won’t add unnecessary juice to the salsa. There will still be some seeds in plum tomatoes so be sure to remove them and the juicy sac that surrounds the seeds then cut the tomato into ¼” pieces. Fresh Peach Salsa is meant to be a clean salsa, free of seeds.

Plum Tomatoes
Fresh Plum Tomatoes

Peppers

Adding a bit of sweet red pepper to Peach Salsa adds color and flavor. Of course, there has to be some Jalapeño pepper added, too. This is a hot chile pepper so, unless you like really hot and spicy food, I recommend the “less is more” practice. I add between 1½ – 2 teaspoons of very finely chopped Jalapeño pepper to this salsa. This, of course, can be varied with more or less according to personal taste preference.

Onion

Red or green onion may be used in the Peach Salsa. The red onion will add a more pungent flavor than will the more subtle green onion. I also think its burgundy/eggplant color adds an interesting hue to the salsa. With fresh salsa, color, vibrancy, and texture are key.

Cilantro

Fresh cilantro is a must for this salsa. I generally use between ¼ and 1/3 cup of the chopped herb. More, or less, may be used according to taste.

Cilantro Leaf
Fresh Cilantro

I grow Cilantro in my backyard chef’s garden every year. It’s a great addition to salads and fresh salsa. Cilantro will resemble flat-leaf parsley in appearance but it has a distinctively different flavor. Cilantro’s unique taste is often described as having a citrus undertone. It will add a burst of flavor and is a common ingredient in salsa.

Garden-fresh Cilantro
Cilantro

Lime Juice

Always use freshly squeezed lime juice in a fresh salsa – it’s just so much fresher and better tasting than the commercially bottled version.

The lime juice performs double duty in the Peach Salsa. First, the acid in the juice helps to keep the peaches from turning brown quickly. Second, it gives wonderful citrus flavor to this fresh salsa.

Seasonings

Some garlic salt and ground ginger are sufficient to season this salsa since the primary ingredients take care of generating the flavor. Adding ½ teaspoon of sugar adds just a touch of sweetness to balance the Jalapeño pepper and lime juice.

Add some fresh chopped parsley for additional color and subtle flavoring.

Making the Salsa

Easy-peasy describes the method for making fresh Peach Salsa. Once all the ingredients are chopped they, and the seasonings, are simply mixed together in a bowl. Letting the salsa sit for about 15 minutes or so at room temperature allows the flavors to “mix and mingle” and deepen their relationship 🙂 Refrigerate the salsa, covered, for about 15 minutes to chill slightly before serving.

Ways to Enjoy Fresh Peach Salsa

The traditional way to serve this salsa is to simply surround the bowl of salsa with tortilla chips for dipping.

A work-around for those concerned about the sanitation of guests “double dipping” (and there is always at least one who dips the tortilla chip more than once into the salsa) at a gathering is to serve the salsa in individual serving dishes like the small glass ones in the photo below. Guests simply pick up a personal-sized dish of salsa and double-dip the tortilla chips into the salsa to their heart’s content.

This fresh Peach Salsa is also a lovely addition spooned over cooked fish, pork chops or, as I have done here,  oven-roasted chicken breasts served on a bed of rice.

Peach Salsa tops roasted chicken breast served on a bed of steamed rice
Peach Salsa on Chicken Breast

The colorful salsa dresses up, or completes, a plain piece of meat, fish, or poultry and adds a burst of flavor and texture along with eye appeal.

Fresh Peach Salsa tops Roasted Chicken Breast served on a bed of rice
Peach Salsa tops Roasted Chicken Breast

This mild salsa can also be spread over tortilla chips, topped with shredded mozzarella cheese, and placed in the oven at 400°F just until the cheese is melted. A perfectly delightful treat served hot with a dob of sour cream.

Peach Salsa on Tortilla Chips
Fresh Peach Salsa on Tortilla Chips

Some other ways you might use this salsa:
• Topping for tacos
• Spooned over scrambled eggs or an omelette
• Added as a condiment on burgers
• Added to a grilled cheese sandwich
• Mixed with sour cream as a topping for baked potatoes
• Stirred into tuna or chicken salad
• Served over rice as a side dish
• Mixed with sour cream and use as a chip dip
• Mixed with cold cooked quinoa for a side dish to meat, fish, or poultry

Small individual glasses filled with Fresh Peach Salsa
Fresh Peach Salsa

You will find a multitude of uses for this versatile, colorful, and flavorful Peach Salsa.

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Fresh Peach Salsa

Ingredients:

2 medium-sized peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced small
1 medium-sized plum tomato, cored and seeds removed, diced
1/3 cup sweet red pepper, diced
2½ tbsp red onion, diced small (or green onion sliced thin)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 – 2 tsp Jalapeño pepper, stem and ribs removed, seeded, and minced)
½ tsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp ground ginger
½ tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Fine sea salt, to taste

Tortilla chips for serving (optional)

Method:

Combine all ingredients in bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for apx. 15 minutes before serving.

Serve as a dip with tortilla chips or spoon over fish, chicken, or pork.

Yield: Apx. 2½ – 3 cups Salsa (depending on size of peaches and tomato)

Printable Recipe

Fresh Peach Salsa

This easy-to-make Fresh Peach Salsa is the perfect summer condiment to serve with tortilla chips or as a topping to cooked chicken, pork, or fish.
Course Condiment
Keyword peach salsa, peaches, salsa
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced small
  • 1 medium-sized plum tomato, cored and seeds removed, diced
  • 1/3 cup sweet red pepper, diced
  • tbsp red onion, diced small (or green onion sliced thin)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1-2 tsp Jalapeño pepper, stem and ribs removed, seeded, and minced
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Tortilla chips for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for apx. 15 minutes before serving.
  2. Serve as a dip with tortilla chips or spoon over fish, chicken, or pork.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 2½ - 3 cups Salsa (depending on size of peaches and tomato)

 

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Summer Salsa

Sweet Marie Bars Recipe

Plate of Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

Everybody loves an easy square or bar to make that does not require careful watching as it bakes in the oven and that does not have to be frosted.  Sweet Marie Bars fit nicely in that category.  Taking only a few very basic ingredients, the result is one delectable treat that often finds its way on to sweet trays, particularly at Christmas.

Sweet Marie Bars have made their way into my picnic basket on more than one occasion since they are more like candy, in my opinion, than what we traditionally think of as squares or cookie bars.

This bar recipe has been around for a long time and is known by names other than Sweet Marie Bars.  The core ingredients do not tend to change though the quantities may and, sometimes, the bars are iced with traditional frosting.  I have seen them called Peanut Krispie Bars and a variation called Scotheroos that call for some butterscotch chips. There are probably other names for these bars and their variation(s). Regardless what they are called, they are one delectable treat any time of the year!

Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

[Printable recipe follows]

Sweet Marie Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups crispy rice cereal (e.g., Rice Krispies)
¾ cup salted peanuts

½ cup peanut butter
½ cup golden corn syrup
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp butter

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces or squares
¼ cup peanut butter
2 tsp butter

Method:

Line a 9”x9” square baking pan with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray (or grease with butter).

Stir the crispy rice cereal and salted peanuts together in a large heat-proof bowl (e.g., glass or stainless steel). Set aside.

In medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over low heat, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter. Stir until mixture is blended and heated. Do not boil.

Remove saucepan from heat and pour mixture over the cereal and peanut mixture. Stir to mix. Press mixture into prepared baking pan.

For topping, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, a few seconds at a time. When chocolate is about half melted, stir in the peanut butter and butter. Continue to microwave in short bursts of seconds until chocolate is melted. Pour the topping over the square in pan and smooth with a knife or small flat metal spatula. Let cool completely to room temperature before lifting square from pan and cutting it into squares or bars of desired size. Square may cut out better if cooled square has been placed in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Yield: One (1) 9” pan of squares/bars

Sweet Marie Bars

Easy-to-make no-bake bars that combine peanut butter and crispy rice cereal into a base topped with melted chocolate and peanut butter.
Course Snack
Keyword bars, nobake bars, nobake squares, Sweet Marie Bars
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal (e.g., Rice Krispies)
  • ¾ cup salted peanuts
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup golden corn syrup
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces or squares
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp butter

Instructions

  1. Line a 9”x9” square baking pan with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray (or grease with butter).
  2. Stir the crispy rice cereal and salted peanuts together in a large heat-proof bowl (e.g., glass or stainless steel). Set aside.
  3. In medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over low heat, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter. Stir until mixture is blended and heated. Do not boil.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and pour mixture over the cereal and peanut mixture. Stir to mix. Press mixture into prepared baking pan.
  5. For topping, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, a few seconds at a time. When chocolate is about half melted, stir in the peanut butter and butter. Continue to microwave in short bursts of seconds until chocolate is melted. Pour the topping over the square in pan and smooth with a knife or small flat metal spatula. Let cool completely to room temperature before lifting square from pan and cutting it into squares or bars of desired size. Square may cut out better if cooled square has been placed in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Yield: One (1) 9” pan of squares/bars

 

Did you Know?

You can join the Facebook page for My Island Bistro Kitchen:  https://www.facebook.com/MyIslandBistroKitchen/

Follow “the Bistro” on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/PEIBistro/

See the drool-worthy gallery of mouth-watering food photos from My Island Bistro Kitchen on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peibistro/

Follow “the Bistro” on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.ca/peibistro/

And, of course, by subscribing to receive an email notification of new posts and recipes, you can be among the first to know when I publish a new post or recipe. Simply enter your name and email address in the Subscription block over on the right-hand side of my home page.

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Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

 

Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

 

Sweet Marie Bars
Sweet Marie Bars

Homemade Chive Vinegar Recipe

Chives, a perennial plant related to onions, are one of the season’s earliest gems. I generally cut back part of the patch to keep the chives producing all season long.  But, letting some of the chives reach the flower blossom stage has its perks, too.

Patch of Chives
Chives

As they mature, chives will produce long stems that become somewhat hard and tough. Those stems produce fabulous lavender-hued edible blossoms.  Those are the blossoms that I harvest to make chive vinegar.  It just seems so wasteful not to make good use of them. And, when you see the color of the vinegar, you’ll understand why this is a prized commodity in my pantry.

Chive Patch
Chive Blossoms

Chive vinegar is super easy to make and it will have a subtle onion essence.  All that is required is about 80-100 chive blossoms that are pesticide free and 1½ cups of a good quality colorless, neutral, unflavored vinegar such as white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar. No special equipment and no special skillsets are required.

Snip the chive blossoms just below their heads.  I generally leave about a 1” stem on just a few of the blossoms for a little extra flavor.  Swish and wash the blossoms in a bowl of cool water then dry them in a salad spinner.

Chive Blossoms in Salad Spinner
Chive Blossoms

Lay the blossoms, single layer, on a tea towel and let them air dry for about an hour or so. Use a meat pounder mallet to slightly crush the blossoms to hasten the release of their flavor.

Stuff the blossoms into a 2-cup glass jar and add the vinegar.  Use the end of a wooden spoon to reposition the blossoms, if necessary, to make room for all of the vinegar.

Mason Jar Filled with Chive Blossoms and Vinegar
Steeping Chive Blossoms in Vinegar

Do not use a metal lid to cover the jar as it can react with the vinegar.  Instead, use a double layer of plastic wrap to cover the jar and secure the wrap with an elastic band.  Store the jar in a cool dark place for a couple of weeks to let the chives infuse the vinegar with flavor and for the vinegar to turn the most stunning shade imaginable.

Every couple of days, give the jar a gentle shake or two to move the vinegar in and around the chive blossoms. The color of the vinegar will develop very quickly but, like its flavor, will deepen the longer you let the chive blossoms steep in the vinegar.

Once the infusion period is up, strain the vinegar from the blossoms.  You can use either a wet cheesecloth lined fine wire mesh sieve or you can line the sieve with a paper coffee filter.  Decant the vinegar into a sterilized bottle that has a non-metallic lid such as a rubber stopper (as shown in the photo below) or a cork. Store away from light.

Bottle of Homemade Chive Vinegar
Homemade Chive Vinegar

Use chive vinegar in any way or recipe you would use any vinegar.

For example, it makes a fantastic vinaigrette, especially for those main meal summer salads.

Plate of Salad with Bottle of Chive Vinegar and Small Jug of Vinaigrette in background
Vinaigrette Made with Homemade Chive Vinegar

A light drizzle of the chive vinegar over a potato salad adds an extra punch of flavor.

Bowl of Potato Salad with Bottle of Chive Vinegar in Background
Homemade Potato Salad Drizzled with Chive Vinegar

The vinegar can also be used in marinades, tossed with roasted veggies or over French fries, or for quick pickling of cucumber or red onion.  This vinegar also makes a lovely host/hostess gift from your kitchen. Just look at the fabulous color of the vinegar and it’s all natural from the chive blossoms. No artificial coloring has been used.

Bottle of Chive Vinegar
Chive Vinegar as a Host or Hostess Gift

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Chive Vinegar

Ingredients:

Apx. 80-100 chive blossoms, including a few buds
1½ cups white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

Method:

Snip blossoms from chive plants, just beneath the blossom heads. If desired, leave about 1” stem on a few of the blossoms for extra flavor. Wash blossoms in large bowl of cold water and spin dry in salad spinner. Transfer blossoms to tea towel to air dry for about an hour or so.

Use a meat pounder mallet to lightly crush the blossoms and buds to release their flavor.

Transfer blossoms and buds to a 2-cup glass jar. Fill with vinegar. Using the end of a wooden spoon, push down and redistribute the  blossoms to make room for the vinegar.

Cover the jar with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Do not use a metal lid which can react with the vinegar. Place the jar in a dark, cool location and let it steep for 2 weeks to allow the flavor and color of the chive vinegar to develop. Over the two weeks, periodically give the bottle a gentle shake or two to redistribute contents.

Strain the steeped vinegar through a wet cheesecloth-lined fine wire mesh sieve (or line the sieve with a paper coffee filter). Discard the old blossoms and buds. Decant the vinegar into a sterilized bottle that has a non-metallic lid such as a rubber stopper or cork.

Yield: Apx. 1 1/3 cups

Did you Know?

You can join the Facebook page for My Island Bistro Kitchen:  https://www.facebook.com/MyIslandBistroKitchen/

Follow “the Bistro” on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/PEIBistro/

See the drool-worthy gallery of mouth-watering food photos from My Island Bistro Kitchen on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peibistro/

Follow “the Bistro” on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.ca/peibistro/

And, of course, by subscribing to receive an email notification of new posts and recipes, you can be among the first to know when I publish a new post or recipe. Simply enter your name and email address in the Subscription block over on the right-hand side of my home page.

Chive Vinegar

Chive-infused vinegar is easy to make and is a wonderful addition to the cook's pantry. Use it just as you would any vinegar. Especially good in vinaigrettes and marinades and tossed with French fries and roasted vegetables.
Course Condiment
Keyword chives, homemade chive vinegar
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • Apx. 80-100 chive blossoms, including a few buds
  • cups white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

Instructions

  1. Snip blossoms from chive plants, just beneath the blossom heads. If desired, leave about 1” stem on a few of the blossoms for extra flavor. Wash blossoms in large bowl of cold water and spin dry in salad spinner. Transfer blossoms to tea towel to air dry for about an hour or so.
  2. Use a meat pounder mallet to lightly crush the blossoms and buds to release their flavor.
  3. Transfer blossoms and buds to a 2-cup glass jar. Fill with vinegar. Using the end of a wooden spoon, push down and redistribute the blossoms to make room for the vinegar.
  4. Cover the jar with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Do not use a metal lid which can react with the vinegar. Place the jar in a dark, cool location and let it steep for 2 weeks to allow the flavor and color of the chive vinegar to develop. Over the two weeks, periodically give the bottle a gentle shake or two to redistribute contents.
  5. Strain the steeped vinegar through a wet cheesecloth-lined fine wire mesh sieve (or line the sieve with a paper coffee filter). Discard the old blossoms and buds. Decant the vinegar into a sterilized bottle that has a non-metallic lid such as a rubber stopper or cork.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 1 1/3 cups

Pin Me To Pinterest!

Chive Vinegar

PEI Lobster Chowder Recipe

Preparing for Setting Day
Eve of Setting Day in the Fishing Village of North Rustico, PEI, Canada

Living where we do, here in PEI, we have access to fresh local lobster and we make the most of it! The lobster fishery plays a major part in PEI’s economy and many people work in one of the many facets of this industry.

PEI Lobsters
Fresh Catch of the Day – PEI Lobsters

We are blessed on the Island with great food from the waters that surround our Island and from the rich red soil of our fertile land.

PEI Potatoes
PEI Potatoes

Combining foods from the sea and land, my recipe for Lobster Chowder features fresh lobster and potatoes, both foods for which PEI is known.  Some creamed corn, milk, cream, and a flavorful lobster stock make this a rich, decadent, and delectable chowder. Follow the step-by-step preparation and cooking directions to create a lobster chowder feast.

Bowl of chowder made with PEI Lobster and Potatoes
PEI Lobster Chowder

Lobster

A cooked lobster, about 1½ pounds, is required for this recipe.  This should yield about 7 – 8 oz of lobster meat needed for the chowder. However, that said, it is always hard to gauge exactly how well filled lobsters will be with meat. To be certain of having enough lobster meat, you may wish to buy a 2-pound lobster (or two one-pounders, about the size of the one shown in the photo below).

Steamed Lobster
Lobster in the Shell

Use lobster fresh from the shell for this chowder because the shells will be needed to make the lobster stock which is the flavorful base for the chowder. The cleaned out shells still have great flavor to them and that flavor is infused into the stock.

When cracking open the lobster, capture any juice that flows as this will enhance the flavor of the lobster stock.

How to Eat Lobster, PEI Style
Cracking Open the Lobster

Refrigerate the lobster meat immediately in a tightly covered container as it will not be used until the latter stage of the chowder making.

Making the Lobster Stock

Remove and discard the head sac (aka grain sac or stomach) (behind the eyes) from the lobster body along with any red roe and green tomally. Enclose the shells inside a clean folded over towel.  Using a hammer or rolling pin, give the shells a few good whacks to break them up somewhat. Cut the lobster legs into 2-3 pieces.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot, then add the lobster shells along with the legs.  Cook for a couple of minutes then add the remainder of the ingredients.  Cover and bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for about an hour or so to let the flavor of the stock develop.  Cooking the lobster shells in poultry stock (either chicken or turkey stock) will add a layer of flavor to the stock, more so than just simmering the shells in water. Strain mixture through a very fine wire-mesh sieve and discard the solids.

Using lobster stock (as opposed to clam juice, for example) maintains the authenticity of the lobster chowder and does not introduce another seafood flavour. Besides, why buy a seafood broth or stock when it is quite easy to use the lobster shells you already have to make homemade stock.

Lobster, Potato, and Corn Chowder
PEI Lobster Chowder

Bouquet Garni

A good chowder benefits from some gentle seasoning.  For whole spices like star anise, peppercorns, and allspice, it’s best to contain them in a small sachet.  It beats having to fish around in the chowder to find small peppercorns and allspice or broken bits of star anise or bay leaf.

To make the bouquet garni, use a double layer piece of cheesecloth, about 6” square.  Place spices in center of cheesecloth, gather up the edges to form a little sack or sachet, and secure it with heavy thread.

This sachet will stay in the chowder during its entire cooking time and then will get removed and discarded before serving.

Making the Chowder

Sweating the aromatics (onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and red pepper) in butter draws out their moisture content and releases their flavor, developing a background flavour base for the chowder.  While the whipping cream and creamed corn called for in this recipe will help to thicken the chowder, sprinkling a bit of flour over the vegetables and then stirring in the lobster stock will also help to thicken the chowder.

Use waxy potatoes for chowder.  These would be potatoes like the red-skinned Norland variety, for example. Waxy potatoes are low in starch and will hold their shape better when cooked than will potatoes that have a high starch content. The goal here is to see small chunks of identifiable potato in the chowder.

A blend of whipping cream (35%MF) and whole milk makes this a rich and luxurious chowder.  The whipping cream helps to thicken the chowder meaning less flour is needed. The less flour that is used, the less likely the chowder will have a pasty, starchy taste. A small amount of dry white wine is added to the liquid base of the chowder to complement the lobster’s natural saltiness. It’s all about subtly layering in flavor.

The addition of 10oz of canned creamed corn imparts an element of subtle sweetness to the chowder and also helps to thicken it. If the chowder, however, is still not sufficiently thick for your liking, an additional small amount of flour may be added at this stage.  Be sure to mix it with some water or extra lobster stock and add some of the hot chowder to it to temper it before stirring it into the pot.  This will prevent the chowder from curdling or going lumpy.

One of my go-to seasonings in many dishes is dried summer savory.  Most commonly associated with poultry dishes, this herb is surprisingly versatile and can enhance seafood dishes, like this chowder, as well.

My fresh herbs of choice for this chowder are chives, thyme, dillweed, and parsley.  Not a lot of any of the herbs is needed but small amounts of each do impart an extra layer of flavor depth to the chowder. The key is not to add too much to overpower the dish.

As always, taste the chowder and add any salt and freshly cracked pepper to suit your taste.  Lastly, add the lobster meat and heat the chowder gently over low heat. The lobster is already cooked so it just needs to be heated.  If it was added earlier or cooked too long, it will break apart and lose its lobster flavor.

Tasty Lobster, Potato, and Corn Chowder in Bowl
Lobster Chowder

Serving and Garnishing the Chowder

Ladle the chowder into warm soup bowls.  Garnish with fresh herbs or, to be really luxurious, add a lobster claw to the center of each bowl of chowder.  Serve fresh rolls, biscuits, or artisan bread with this chowder and delight your favorite lobster lovers.

Lobster Chowder Served with Artisan Bread
Lobster Chowder

This chowder can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 2 days. In fact, I think it is always better a day or two after it is made as the flavors have had a chance to mix and mingle to create a really flavorful chowder. To reheat, heat the chowder in the microwave or, alternatively, return chowder to a stockpot and reheat gently over medium-low heat.

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

PEI Lobster Chowder Recipe

Ingredients:

1½ – 2 lb cooked lobster to yield apx. 7 – 8 oz meat (reserve shells and any juice from the lobster)

Lobster Stock:
Cleaned-out shells, juice, and the legs from cooked lobster
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
3” chunk of celery, chopped
2” chunk of carrot, chopped
½ cup yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 – 4 sprigs each of fresh thyme and parsley
3 cups poultry stock (chicken or turkey)
1/3 cup dry white wine

Bouquet Garni:
1 star anise pod
1 bay leaf
2 pepper corns
1 whole allspice

Chowder:
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup carrots, finely diced
2 tbsp red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tbsp flour

2½ cups strained lobster stock (retain any excess stock to thin chowder if it becomes too thick)
1/3 cup dry white wine

1¼ cups waxy potatoes, such as the red-skinned Norland variety, peeled and diced into ½” cubes
½ – ¾ tsp dried summer savory
¾ cup whipping cream (35%MF)
¾ cup whole milk
1 – 10oz can creamed corn
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

2½ tsp fresh chives, chopped
1 – 1½ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
¾ tsp fresh dillweed, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 – 2 tbsp butter
Salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Method:

Lobster Stock:
Remove and discard the head sac (aka grain sac or stomach) (located behind the eyes) from the lobster body, along with any red roe and green tomally. Enclose the shells inside a folded over clean towel. Using a hammer or rolling pin, break up the shells somewhat. Cut the lobster legs into 2-3 pieces.

To make the lobster stock, heat the olive oil in stock pot over medium heat. Add the lobster shells along with the legs. Cook for about 2 minutes then add any juice from the lobster along with the minced garlic, celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf, and sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley. Add the poultry stock and white wine. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for about an hour. Strain through a fine wire-mesh sieve and discard the solids.

Bouquet Garni:
To make the bouquet garni, use a small piece (apx. 6” square) of double-layer cheesecloth. Place spices in centre of sachet. Gather up corners and tie with heavy thread.

Chowder:
Heat the butter in large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, add the onion, celery, carrots, red pepper, and garlic. Sweat the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to blend. Cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and scorching. Gradually add 2½ cups of the lobster stock along with the white wine, stirring constantly to work out any lumps. Add the potatoes, the bouquet garni, and dried summer savory. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture just to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until potatoes are almost, but not quite, fork tender.

Combine the whipping cream and milk. Remove about 1/3 – ½ cup of the hot liquid from the pot and stir into the milk to temper it. Pour tempered milk into hot mixture and stir to combine well. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the creamed corn, and Parmesan cheese. Cook for 4-5 minutes, just until mixture is heated. If mixture is not as thick as desired, mix an additional tablespoon of flour in 2½ tablespoons of water or some leftover lobster stock (if any). Add a tablespoon of the hot chowder to temper it and then stir into the chowder in the pot.

Add the lobster meat to the chowder along with the fresh herbs, and butter. Heat for about 2-3 minutes on medium-low temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Ladle chowder into warmed bowls and garnish with sprig of parsley and/or chopped chives. Sprinkle lightly with paprika, if desired. Serve with crusty rolls, biscuits, or artisan bread.

Yield: Apx. 4-6 servings

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PEI Lobster Chowder

Printable Recipe:

PEI Lobster Chowder Recipe

This made-from-scratch Lobster Chowder, filled with rich flavours combined with light seasonings, is sure to be a hit with lobster lovers.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword chowder, creamed corn, lobster, lobster chowder, potato
Servings 6
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1½ - 2 lb cooked lobster to yield apx. 7 – 8 oz meat (reserve shells and any juice from the lobster)

Lobster Stock:

  • Cleaned-out shells, juice, and the legs from cooked lobster
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 ” chunk of celery, chopped
  • 2 ” chunk of carrot, chopped
  • ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 – 4 sprigs each of fresh thyme and parsley
  • 3 cups poultry stock (chicken or turkey)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

Bouquet Garni:

  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pepper corns
  • 1 whole allspice

Chowder:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • tbsp flour
  • cups strained lobster stock (retain any excess stock to thin chowder if it becomes too thick)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • cups waxy potatoes, such as the red-skinned Norland variety, peeled and diced into ½” cubes
  • ½ - ¾ tsp dried summer savory
  • ¾ cup whipping cream (35%MF)
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 – 10oz can creamed corn
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • tsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 – 1½ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp fresh dillweed, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

Lobster Stock:

  1. Remove and discard the head sac (aka grain sac or stomach (located behind the eyes) from the lobster body, along with any red roe and green tomally. Enclose the shells inside a clean folded over towel. Using a hammer or rolling pin, break up the shells somewhat. Cut the lobster legs into 2-3 pieces.

  2. To make the lobster stock, heat the olive oil in stock pot over medium heat. Add the lobster shells along with the legs. Cook for about 2 minutes then add any juice from the lobster along with the minced garlic, celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf, and sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley. Add the poultry stock and white wine. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for about an hour. Strain through a fine wire-mesh sieve and discard the solids.

Bouquet Garni:

  1. e To make the bouquet garni, use a small piece (apx. 6” square of double-layer cheesecloth. Place spices in centre of sachet. Gather up corners and tie with heavy thread.

Chowder:

  1. Heat the butter in large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, add the onion, celery, carrots, red pepper, and garlic. Sweat the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to blend. Cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and scorching. Gradually add 2½ cups of the lobster stock along with the white wine, stirring constantly to work out any lumps. Add the potatoes, the bouquet garni, and dried summer savory. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture just to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until potatoes are almost, but not quite, fork tender.
  3. Combine the whipping cream and milk. Remove about 1/3 – ½ cup of the hot liquid from the pot and stir into the milk to temper it. Pour tempered milk into hot mixture and stir to combine well. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the creamed corn, and Parmesan cheese. Cook for 4-5 minutes, just until mixture is heated. If mixture is not as thick as desired, mix an additional tablespoon of flour in 2½ tablespoons of water or some leftover lobster stock (if any). Add a tablespoon of the hot chowder to temper it and then stir into the chowder in the pot.
  4. Add the lobster meat to the chowder along with the fresh herbs, and butter. Heat for about 2-3 minutes on medium-low temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Ladle chowder into warmed bowls and garnish with sprig of parsley and/or chopped chives. Sprinkle lightly with paprika, if desired. Serve with crusty rolls, biscuits, or artisan bread.

Recipe Notes

Yield:  Apx. 4-6 servings

Note 1:  Chowder may be refrigerated up to two days.

Note 2:  Be sure to ready the accompanying blog post to this recipe as it contains additional details,  explanation, and tips for making this chowder.

Note 3:  Any leftover lobster stock can be labelled and frozen for a future use.

 

If you like lobster, you may also enjoy these other lobster recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen:

Lobster and Asparagus Crepes
Lobster Frittata
Lobster Club Sandwich
Lobster Eggs Benedict
Lobster-stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Lobster Croissants
Lobster Cakes

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam Recipe

Jars of Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam
Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

This Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam boasts wonderful flavour and is very quick and easy to make. Because it is to stored in the freezer, it does not require a long cooking time or the hot water canning process.

Like any freezer jam, this Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam is a softer jam than most that are cooked for many minutes on the stove in the traditional jam-making way. I know some recipes for freezer jams don’t require any cooking at all but I personally feel that, if the fruit has not had some cooking, it’s really just a sauce, not a jam. I think the heating of the product brings out deep flavour notes in the jam.

Open jar of Freezer Jam
Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

This jam will appear to be somewhat watery and runny when it first comes off the stove. However, it will thicken some as it sets up.  For this reason, be sure to let the jars sit, undisturbed, on the counter for a full 24 hours to set before freezing.  Resist the urge to pick up the jars and tilt and twirl them to see if the jam is thickening – just let them be.

And, just know that this jam is unlikely to become as thick as traditional jams that are cooked for many minutes on the stove.  In my view, the easy procedure and speed with which this jam can be made, along with its wonderful combination of rhubarb and strawberry flavours, more than make up for the lack of a thick consistency.

My preference is to freeze the jam in sterilized glass jars. Even though the jam is going to be frozen, I still simply like to know the jars are sterilized before placing my jam in them. Plastic freezer containers can be used but the jam will need to cool before placing in the containers.

Jars of Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer jam
Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

Because this jam has not been processed via the hot water canning method, it is not considered shelf-stable at room temperature so be sure to freeze the jam, after the 24-hour setting period, to preserve it.  Once opened, store the jam in the refrigerator for up to about a month (if it lasts that long).

Breakfast featuring Strrawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam
Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

Whether you are an experienced jam maker or a novice making your first batch, this is a great jam to make because it is quick and easy and requires no hot water canning.

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam on a Toast Point
Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

Ingredients:

1¼ lb strawberries, hulled, washed, and sliced (or quartered, if small berries)
¾ lb rhubarb, sliced ½“ thick
1½ cups granulated sugar

1½ cups granulated sugar
2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice

Method:

Place strawberries and rhubarb in medium-sized stockpot. Add the first 1½ cups sugar, stir into fruit, and let stand for 5 minutes. Place pot over medium high heat to bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil hard for 4 minutes, starting the timing when the mixture reaches a rolling boil. Stir frequently.

Add the remaining 1½ cups of sugar, stirring to blend it in. Return mixture to a rolling boil, continuing to stir frequently to prevent it from scorching. Boil mixture briskly over medium-high heat for 4 minutes (starting the timing when the mixture reaches a rolling boil again), continuing to stir mixture often.

Remove jam from heat and stir in the lemon and orange juices. Skim off, and discard, any foam that remains. Jam will appear runny but will thicken somewhat when set. Fill sterilized jars, leaving about 1” headroom to allow for product expansion when freezing. Apply heated lids and jar bands to jars. Let jars stand on counter for 24 hours, without disturbing, to allow the jam to set before freezing.

Yield: Apx. 4 half-pint jars

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

This Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam boasts wonderful flavor and is very quick and easy to make.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword freezer jam, Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam
Servings 4 cups
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • lb strawberries, hulled, washed, and sliced (or quartered, if small berries)
  • ¾ lb rhubarb, sliced ½“ thick
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (divided in half)
  • 2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

Instructions

  1. Place strawberries and rhubarb in medium-sized stockpot. Add 1½ cups of the sugar, stir into fruit, and let stand for 5 minutes. Place pot over medium high heat to bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil hard for 4 minutes, starting the timing when the mixture reaches a rolling boil. Stir frequently.

  2. Add the remaining 1½ cups of sugar, stirring to blend it in. Return mixture to a rolling boil, continuing to stir frequently to prevent it from scorching. Boil mixture briskly over medium-high heat for 4 minutes (starting the timing when the mixture reaches a rolling boil again), continuing to stir mixture often.

  3. Remove jam from heat and stir in the lemon and orange juices. Skim off, and discard, any foam that remains. Jam will appear somewhat runny and watery but will thicken somewhat when set. Fill sterilized jars, leaving about 1” headroom to allow for product expansion when freezing. Apply heated lids and jar bands to jars. Let jars stand on counter for 24 hours, without disturbing, to allow the jam to set before freezing.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 4 half-pint jars

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Jars of Homemade Freezer Jam
Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

 

For other great jam, jelly, and marmalade recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Blueberry and Grand Marnier Jam
Gooseberry Jam
Zucchini Jam
Pumpkin Jam
Rhubarb Marmalade
Green Tomato Marmalade
Peach Marmalade
Crabapple Jelly

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

Drinking jars filled with Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade
Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

When the summer days are hot and thirst takes over, a tall glass of refreshing lemonade is just what is called for.  Strawberry and rhubarb are always a winning flavour combination and they team up  to make a wonderful Strawberry and Rhubarb Lemonade. There is no need for any addition of coloring in this drink as the deep red strawberries and bright red rhubarb impart their own shades into this colorful drink.

Jars of Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade
Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

This is one of those drinks I make when the strawberries and rhubarb are in season because this lemonade freezes very well in an airtight container. This makes it a great drink to have on hand for those hot summer days.

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade in glass jar
Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

Serve the lemonade plain over ice or half fill a glass with the lemonade and top it up with your favorite clear soda.  If so inclined, an ounce of your favorite libation may be added to the lemonade.

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

Ingredients:

1½ cups water
1 cup super-fine sugar (aka caster sugar or instant dissolving sugar)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp coarsely grated lemon rind

¾ lb rhubarb, chopped into 1” chunks
1 cup water
1/3 cup super-fine sugar

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1¼ cups water
Pinch salt

Method:

For the simple syrup:  In small saucepan, combine the 1½ cups water and 1 cup sugar together.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved.  Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (apx. 30-40 minutes). Add the lemon juice and lemon rind. Let mixture stand for at least an hour (or up to three hours) to allow the flavor to develop.  Strain mixture twice through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lemon pulp and rind.  Discard the pulp and rind.

For the rhubarb and strawberry juice:  Combine the rhubarb, 1 cup of water and sugar in a large pot.  Cover and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 5 minutes.  Add the strawberries and 1¼ cups water along with a pinch of salt.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until rhubarb and strawberries are softened.  Remove from heat and let stand for about 20 minutes.  Use a food masher to loosely mash and break down the pulp. Place a large fine wire mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl.  Line the sieve with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth.  Pour the rhubarb and strawberry mixture into the sieve, letting the juice drip through.  Use the back of a large spoon to very gently press the pulp in order to extract as much of the juice from the fruit as possible.  Discard solids.

To assemble:  In large jug or bottle, combine the simple syrup with the strained rhubarb and strawberry juice. Stir well.  Chill.

To serve:  Stir the chilled lemonade. Fill a glass approximately one-half full of ice cubes and add the lemonade.  Garnish with a lemon wheel or fresh strawberry, if desired.

Additional Serving Suggestions:  

  1. Fill glass one-half full of lemonade. Top with sparkling water or clear soda such as lemon-lime, sprite, or grapefruit.  Finish with ice cubes and a sprig of fresh mint.
  2. Add 1 oz of your favorite libation to a glass half-filled with ice cubes. Top with lemonade. Garnish with lemon wedge and strawberry.

Lemonade will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freezes well in airtight container.

Yield:  Approximately 5-6 cups, depending on water content in fruit

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

With a perfect blend of sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb, this Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade is a refreshing and thirst-quenching summertime sipper.
Servings 6
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • cups water
  • 1 cup super-fine sugar (aka caster sugar or instant dissolving sugar)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp coarsely grated lemon rind
  • ¾ lb rhubarb, chopped into 1” chunks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup super-fine sugar
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • cups water
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. For the simple syrup: In small saucepan, combine the 1½ cups water and 1 cup sugar together. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (apx. 30-40 minutes). Add the lemon juice and lemon rind. Let mixture stand for at least an hour (or up to three hours to allow the flavor to develop. Strain mixture twice through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lemon pulp and rind. Discard the pulp and rind.

  2. For the rhubarb and strawberry juice: Combine the rhubarb, 1 cup of water and sugar in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add the strawberries and 1¼ cups water along with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until rhubarb and strawberries are softened. Remove from heat and let stand for about 20 minutes. Use a food masher to loosely mash and break down the pulp. Place a large fine wire mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl. Line the sieve with double layer of dampened cheesecloth. Pour the rhubarb and strawberry mixture into the sieve, letting the juice drip through. Use the back of a large spoon to very gently press the pulp in order to extract as much of the juice from the fruit as possible. Discard solids.

  3. To assemble: In large jug or bottle, combine the simple syrup with the strained rhubarb and strawberry juice. Stir well. Chill.

  4. To serve: Stir the chilled lemonade. Fill a glass approximately one-half full of ice cubes and add the lemonade. Garnish with a lemon wheel or fresh strawberry, if desired.

  5. Additional Serving Suggestions:

  6. Fill glass one-half full of lemonade. Top with sparkling water or clear soda such as lemon-lime, sprite, or grapefruit. Finish with ice cubes and a sprig of fresh mint.
  7. Add 1 oz of your favorite libation to a glass half-filled with ice cubes. Top with lemonade. Garnish with lemon wedge and strawberry.
  8. Lemonade will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freezes well in airtight container.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Approximately 5-6 cups, depending on water content in fruit

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Glass mugs of Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade
Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

 

For other great lemonade recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Basic Lemonade
Sensational Strawberry Lemonade
Rhubarb Lemonade
Blueberry Lemonade

Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert

Dessert glasses filled with Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert

There is much folklore over the origins of Eton Mess, a parfait-like dessert that is named for the prestigious English college in Berkshire, England, across the River Thames from Windsor.

Traditionally served at Eton College’s annual June celebration event, how the Eton Mess dessert was originally created is material for folklore and legend.  One such story involves an over-exuberant Labrador jumping on a picnic basket at a cricket match at Eton, crushing the pavlova inside and making it look like, well, a “mess”.  Hence, the name “Eton Mess”.

Another story is that parents of an Eton student were transporting a pavlova to him but, on arrival, it had not weathered the trip well and had collapsed into, you guessed it, a “mess”.  Truth or fiction to either story – who knows but one thing is for certain and that is that the Eton Mess dessert has been associated with the famous Eton school for decades.

Close-up of Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert
Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert

There are various and sundry ways to construct the British-inspired Eton Mess summertime dessert.  Made with only three simple ingredients – fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and crumbled meringue nests – this dessert is best prepared in tall glass dessert dishes so the red and white layers show.

Two Eton Mess Desserts in glass pedestal dishes
Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert

Some fold all the macerated berry mixture into the whipping cream-meringue mixture. Others layer the dessert – part of the crushed berries followed by part of the whipped cream mixture, more crushed berries, and the remainder of the whipping cream mixture.  I prefer to keep the whipped cream mixture white, versus turning it pink with too much strawberry. So, I simply and carefully fold a bit of the crushed berries into the whipped cream-meringue mixture and distribute the rest of the berries in the bottoms of the dessert glasses topped with the whipped cream mixture.  A couple of meringues crumbled over the tops of the desserts adds a little extra crunch.

Close-up of Eton Mess Dessert
Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert

I make my own meringue nests because they are not difficult to make and I like to have them really fresh although they can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator or freezer. Pre-made meringue nests can be purchased from bakeries or supermarkets and will work in this dessert as well.

Meringue Nests
Meringue Nests

Whether by design or accident, the creation of the happy “mess”, known as Eton Mess, is a brilliant summer dessert that has stood the test of time.  It’s an absolutely lovely summer dessert and a great way to serve those fresh local berries when they are in season.

Pedestal dessert glass filled with Strawberry Eton Mess
Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Eton Mess Dessert

Ingredients:

1 lb strawberries, hulled and washed
2 tbsp caster sugar (aka berry sugar or instant dissolving sugar)
1½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup whipping cream (35% MF)
¼ cup sifted icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)
¾ tsp pure vanilla

6 meringue nests (ready made or from recipe below)

Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Method:

Slice or quarter 8 oz of the berries in bowl. Loosely crush with food masher. Add 2 tbsp caster sugar along with the lemon juice and let berries sit for about 15 minutes to release their juice. Slice half of the remaining berries (apx. 4 oz) and add to the crushed berries. Stir. Reserve remainder of strawberries for garnish.

In chilled bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream on medium speed while slowly adding the icing sugar and then the vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Do not beat to stiff peak stage – the whipped cream is meant to be soft (but not soupy) in this dessert. Remove bowl from mixer stand.

Break or chop 4 meringue nests into bite-size pieces and add to the whipped cream by using a rubber spatula to fold in the meringue pieces. Fold about ½ cup of the crushed berry mixture into the whipping cream and meringue mixture. Make 2-3 quick folds with the rubber spatula to incorporate the berries but do not overmix or whipping cream will turn pink.

Spoon the remaining crushed berry mixture, divided equally, into bottom of glass pedestal dessert dishes. Divide the meringue mixture evenly between the dessert glasses. Crumble remaining 2 meringues over the tops of the desserts and garnish each with remaining sliced strawberries. Add a sprig of fresh mint to each dessert, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert

A simple, naturally gluten-free, summer parfait dessert made with fresh strawberries, meringues, and whipped cream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Eton Mess, strawberries, Strawberry Eton Mess, summertime desserts
Servings 4
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and washed
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (aka berry sugar or instant dissolving sugar)
  • tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup whipping cream (35% MF)
  • ¼ cup sifted icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)
  • ¾ tsp pure vanilla
  • 6 meringue nests (ready made or homemade)
  • Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice or quarter 8 oz of the strawberries in bowl. Loosely crush with food masher. Add 2 tbsp caster sugar along with the lemon juice and let berries sit for about 15 minutes to release their juice. Slice half of the remaining berries (apx. 4 oz) and add to the crushed berries. Stir. Reserve remainder of strawberries for garnish.

  2. In chilled bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream on medium speed while slowly adding the icing sugar and then the vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Do not beat to stiff peak stage – the whipped cream is meant to be soft (but not soupy) in this dessert. Remove bowl from mixer stand.

  3. Break or chop 4 meringue nests into bite-size pieces and add to the whipped cream by using a rubber spatula to fold in the meringue pieces. Fold about ½ cup of the crushed berry mixture into the whipping cream and meringue mixture. Make 2-3 quick folds with a rubber spatula to incorporate the berries but do not overmix or whipping cream will turn pink.

  4. Spoon the remaining crushed berry mixture, divided equally, into bottom of glass pedestal dessert dishes. Divide the meringue mixture evenly between the dessert dishes. Crumble remaining 2 meringues over the tops of the desserts and garnish each with remaining sliced strawberries. Add a sprig of fresh mint to each dessert, if desired. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 4 servings

Meringue Nests

Ingredients:

2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup caster sugar (aka berry sugar or instant dissolving sugar)
¼ tsp almond flavoring

Method:

With heavy marker, draw six 3” circles, about 1½ “apart, on parchment paper the size of baking sheet. Flip parchment sheet over on to cookie sheet so the marked side of the parchment is on the underside and won’t transfer onto the meringues. The marked circles should still be visible as templates. Preheat oven to 225°F.

Place eggs in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Add the cream of tartar and salt. Whip on medium low speed until eggs become frothy.

Increase mixer speed to medium-high and add the sugar slowly and gradually, a tablespoon at a time. Add the almond flavoring. Increase speed to high and continue to whip the meringue until it is stiff, about 5-8 minutes.

Fill large pastry bag, fitted with a large open star decorating tip (e.g., Wilton 8B), with the meringue mixture. Pipe into 3” circles, using the template on the parchment paper, first outlining the outer edge of the circle then filling in the centre with another smaller circle of meringue. Add one more layer of meringue piped on the top of the outer edge of the circle. This will form a shallow cavity in the centre of the meringue nest for filling, if desired. Alternatively, the meringues can be dropped by large tablespoonful onto parchment paper and swirled with the back of the spoon, creating a cavity in centre.

Bake for approximately 1¼ – 1½ hours, or until meringues appear dry, crisp, and hard and can easily be peeled from the parchment paper but are not brown on the underneath side. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool completely for at least 2 hours or longer to prevent the meringues from cracking due to the shock of temperature change.

Use immediately or store between layers of parchment paper in airtight container on counter or in refrigerator or, for longer storage, in the freezer.

Yield: 6 – 3” meringue nests

Meringue Nests

These meringue nests are perfect filled with a favorite curd or other filling and topped with fresh fruit. May also be crumbed into desserts such as Eton Mess.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword meringue cookies, meringue nests, meringues
Servings 6
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ cup caster sugar (aka berry sugar or instant dissolving sugar)
  • ¼ tsp almond flavoring

Instructions

  1. With heavy marker, draw six 3” circles, about 1½“ apart, on parchment paper the size of baking sheet. Flip parchment sheet over on to baking sheet so the marked side of the parchment is on the underside and won’t transfer onto the meringues. The marked circles should still be visible as templates. Preheat oven to 225°F.

  2. Place eggs in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Add the cream of tartar and salt. Whip on medium low speed until eggs become frothy.
  3. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and add the sugar slowly and gradually, a tablespoon at a time. Add the almond flavoring. Increase speed to high and continue to whip the meringue until it is stiff, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Fill large pastry bag, fitted with a large open star decorating tip (e.g., Wilton 8B), with the meringue mixture. Pipe into 3” circles, using the template on the parchment paper, first outlining the outer edge of the circle then filling in the centre with another smaller circle of meringue. Add one more layer of meringue piped on the top of the outer edge of the circle. This will form a shallow cavity in the centre of the meringue nest for filling, if desired. Alternatively, the meringues can be dropped by large tablespoonful onto parchment paper and swirled with the back of the spoon, creating a cavity in centre.
  5. Bake for approximately 1¼ - 1½ hours, or until meringues appear dry, crisp, and hard and can easily be peeled from the parchment paper but are not brown on the underneath side. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool completely for at least 2 hours or longer to prevent the meringues from cracking due to the shock of temperature change.
  6. Use immediately or store between layers of parchment paper in airtight container on counter or in refrigerator or, for longer storage, in the freezer.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 6 – 3” meringue nests

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Strawberry Eton Mess in glass dessert dishes
Strawberry Eton Mess Dessert

For other desserts from My Island Bistro Kitchen featuring strawberries, click on the links below:

Glazed Strawberry Pie
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Ripple Ice Cream

Lobster Suppers – A Time-honoured PEI Tradition

People visit Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, for all kinds of reasons but many will tell you it’s for the beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, fine golf courses, and fabulous food – ahhhhh, yes, the food and, more specifically, the seafood.  Most people, when PEI is mentioned, will immediately say that we are known for our high-quality seafood, including mussels, oysters, and lobster.

For many years, the Island has been known for its “lobster suppers”. That is to say, they are restaurant venues that specialize in serving meals where lobster tends to be the star. As anyone who has eaten at a traditional PEI lobster supper will attest, they are the full meal deal.  For the most part, these lobster suppers are traditionally served in big community halls or large restaurant facilities.  Over the years, there have been several lobster supper enterprises come and go but, at the time of writing, two have endured for decades and they are really only about a 10-15 minute drive from each other.  With such a rich long history, I recently sat down with the general managers from both the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers and the Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers to find out how these suppers started and why they have enjoyed such enduring popularity.

New Glasgow Lobster Suppers – New Glasgow, PEI

Exterior of New Glasgow Lobster Suppers Building
New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, New Glasgow, PEI, Canada

Nestled in the heart of the rolling hills of rural New Glasgow along the scenic River Clyde and not far from North Rustico and Cavendish, the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers (NGLS) have been operating since 1958.  This makes them the longest running lobster suppers on the Island. When I asked general manager, Carl Nicholson, to explain their long success, he said it’s due to their freshness of product (lobsters are cooked daily) with all rolls, pies, and salads made daily on the premises. He also said that, since the suppers began, they have only had two managers, including himself, so there is an element of consistency in operation. With decades of experience behind them, they’ve clearly found the secret to staying in business.

How New Glasgow Lobster Suppers happened to start is, itself, an interesting story.  A group of young farmers in the area, known as the Junior Farmers Group, decided they wanted some kind of community centre.  The group of young farmers in their twenties and thirties came together and bought a small canteen from the Covehead Racetrack for $210 and moved it to New Glasgow.  In June, 1958, to pay for this building, they held a fundraising event that happened to have lobster for supper and a dance afterward.  The princely sum of $1.50 got you supper and the dance.  The building, small and primitive by any standards, had no kitchen facilities and only had make-shift tables made from saw horses with old doors on top and there were no chairs, just benches.

A kitchen and washrooms were added in 1962 and the group continued to serve one lobster supper per year until 1964 when they started serving the suppers once a week during July and August. They gradually increased service to two days a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. By 1967, lobster suppers were served five days per week and a cook was hired. As business grew, they expanded the kitchen and hired their first manager in 1969.  As their current manager, Carl, says, “it is a true testament to sustainability [of the lobster suppers], only growing and expanding as demand grew and they were able to pay for each expansion”.

By 1972, six local couples bought out the shares of the other Junior Farmers who had been part of the initial enterprise and, in 1973, they added on a big extension to the building to accommodate the growing lobster supper demand. The original building is still within the walls of the current structure. A grand opening was held in 1974 when then-PEI Premier Alex Campbell brought along Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau who happened to be on the Island at the time.  Mrs. Trudeau cut the ribbon to officially open the newly-expanded New Glasgow Lobster Suppers.

Over the years, various changes have occurred and, since 1980, two of the original six families – the MacRaes and Nicholsons – have run the suppers, now making it a third generation run family business.

One thing that has not changed at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers is their deeply-rooted connection to the local community and their family-oriented work environment.  The operation now sees members from the third generation of families working in the restaurant. Grandchildren are now working where their grandparents got their start in the working world. A seasonal employer of over 100 people, New Glasgow has provided summer employment for many local people over its long history with many funding their education through working summers at the lobster suppers.  It is not uncommon to hear of judges, lawyers, and other professionals having had their first job washing dishes or waiting on tables at the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers.

What’s for Dinner?

Dinners are served in a large banquet style hall that has a seating capacity of 500.

Interior of New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, New Glasgow, PEI
Interior of New Glasgow Lobster Suppers in New Glasgow, PEI, Canada

Patrons order their entrée and pay for their dinners upon arrival and then are escorted to a table by a hostess.  Lobster dinners are priced based on the size of the lobster (1 lb – 4 lb lobsters are available). Tables for different sized groups are available, starting with tables for two.  Don’t expect a quiet, intimate romantic dining experience as these suppers are casual and are modeled after a church or community hall supper.

Lobster in the shell
Lobster in the shell at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, PEI

Primarily, the number one entrée will be lobster served in the shell, hot or cold, with lots of melted butter for dipping that succulent lobster.

Dipping lobster claw in melted butter
Dipping lobster claw in melted butter at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, PEI

However, if lobster is not your thing, a number of alternative entrée options, including chicken, steak, pasta, haddock, scallops, ham, and salmon, are available.

Bowl of seafood chowder and homemade roll at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
Seafood Chowder from the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers in New Glasgow, PEI

All meals include appetizers of chowder or soup, steamed PEI mussels, and large puffy homemade rolls and sliced bread; salad plate (coleslaw, potato salad, and green garden salad); desserts consisting mainly of homemade pies; and non-alcoholic beverages. The facility is licenced and there are additional charges for alcoholic beverages.

Basket of homemade rolls and bread at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
Homemade rolls and bread at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, PEI

Dinner is a plated meal brought to the table by your server and the servers are very obliging to photograph you dressed in your plastic bib and all ready to tuck into an amazing meal. Gratuity is extra and at the patron’s discretion.

Plates of lobster and salad at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
Plates of lobster and salads at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers in New Glasgow, PEI

Several of the restaurant’s staff have worked with the organization for years, returning year after year, a testament to how grounded New Glasgow Lobster Suppers and their staff are in the local community. At time of writing, the same baker has been making all the pies onsite at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers since 1976, often arriving at 5am.  Pastry is homemade onsite and the Suppers are well-known for their lemon pie with the mile-high meringue. It’s not uncommon for the baker to turn out 60 lemon pies on any given day….and that’s just one kind of pie available! They make a mighty fine coconut cream pie, too.

Slice of Coconut Cream Pie at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
Coconut Cream Pie at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers

The restaurant accommodates special dietary restrictions such as gluten-free and vegan diets; however, it is always advisable to call ahead of your visit to discuss your particular dietary needs. A children’s menu is available making New Glasgow Lobster Suppers a family-friendly dining experience.

PEI has two lobster seasons with a break in between.  The first season runs from May – June and the second from August – October. To ensure a continuous supply of fresh lobster, New Glasgow Lobster Suppers has a salt-water holding tank with capacity to hold 20,000 lbs of lobster onsite at a time and is replenished throughout the season. New Glasgow Lobster Suppers buys thousands of pounds of lobster when the spring lobster season opens.  While different sizes of lobster are available, their most popular is the 1 lb lobster dinner. On average, they’ll crack open around 50,000 lbs of lobster a season.  And, of course, there are the world-famous PEI mussels that are served as an appetizer and the suppers will go through about 70,000 pounds of those in a season!

Lobster, rolls, and salad plate at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
Lobster, rolls, and salad plate at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers

When asked what, in his opinion, sets New Glasgow Lobster Suppers apart from other similar suppers, Carl says it’s a combination of their focus on quality and freshness of food, consistency of product, and the local, friendly wait staff and table service they provide. And, he says, at the heart of it, it’s about two of the original six families working in business alongside their employees and everybody working together.  Everyone, regardless of their employment status, pitches in with the work that makes New Glasgow Lobster Suppers the experience it is to their patrons.

Salad Plate at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
Salad Plate at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers

A visit to New Glasgow Lobster Suppers is a time-honored tradition for many Islanders and tourists alike.  Carl tells me a man was recently paying for his meal and he informed Carl that this year’s annual visit was his 40th meal at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers.  Operating seasonally from mid-May until early October, the restaurant is open seven days a week from 4pm until 8pm (8:30pm in July and August). When you go, keep an eye out for spotting celebrities.  Prime ministers, famous hockey players, and movie filmmakers, actors, and directors are known to have dined at the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers.

New Glasgow Lobster Suppers is located at 605 Route 258, in New Glasgow, PEI.  For more information, visit their website

Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers – North Rustico, PEI

Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI
Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI

There is something quaint and charming about a small rural PEI town that has a working fishing harbour.  North Rustico, which also has a fine beach, has long been a treasured location for tourists, artists, and Islanders.  In close proximity to the resort municipality of Cavendish, North Rustico swells in size with visitors in the summer. In the heart of the town is a large restaurant establishment known as “Fisherman’s Wharf” that sits just on the edge of the harbour. That’s where my stop today has found me chatting with general manager, Troy Howatt, and current owner, Amy MacPherson, who along with her husband, Forbes, now owns and operates the Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers.

Preparing for Setting Day
Eve of Setting Day in the Fishing Village of North Rustico, PEI, Canada

These lobster suppers began operating in 1980 when the original owner, Albert Dow, purchased a small existing restaurant on the same location as Fisherman’s Wharf sits today.  So the story goes, Mr. Dow would see the sightseeing buses from Charlottetown pass by and wondered where they were heading and, more to the point, where they would be dining on their excursion.  It wasn’t long until those big red double-decker buses were stopping at Dow’s restaurant that began serving cafeteria-style lunches for the bus tour industry. Back in the early 1980s, the buffet lunch, including lobster, cost only $9.99.

Apart from the increase in price for the dinners, other changes have occurred at Fisherman’s Wharf over the years including an expansion of facilities to increase serving capacity. This, of course, requires a large staff which now numbers over 100 seasonal employees. The restaurant enjoys great staff loyalty as several staff members have worked at Fisherman’s Wharf for many years, including one server who has been with the restaurant since it began in 1980. Troy, himself, has worked at Fisherman’s Wharf since 1986, working his way up to become the general manager.

What’s for Dinner?

Dinners are served in a restaurant setting that has a seating capacity of 500 (two dining rooms).  As with New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, patrons order and pay for their meal before eating and are then seated by a host(ess).  The ambiance has a distinctive rustic, nautical theme in keeping with its close proximity to the harbour.  Individuals are seated at wooden tables that seat four or six.

Dining table at Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI
Dining table at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI

The suppers have maintained their self-serve buffet style that was in operation when the suppers first began serving the motor coach market which is still a major part of their clientele. It is not uncommon, as was the case during my visit, to see a large motor coach pull up to the door and unload a large group of tourists for a traditional Fisherman’s Wharf lobster supper.  When you see a block of tables with bibs on the chair backs, it’s a sign that a bus tour is imminently expected.

Lobster Bibs Awaiting Diners
Lobster Bibs Awaiting Diners at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI

 

Obviously, lobster is the most popular entrée.

Lobster in the shell served with melted butter at Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers
Lobster in the shell served with melted butter at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI, Canada

It’s the customer’s choice to have the lobster served, in the shell, hot or cold, and, yes, there will be lots of melted butter for dipping the juicy, plump chunks of lobster.

Dipping lobster claw in melted butter
Dipping Lobster Claw in Melted Butter at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI

There are plenty of alternative meal options available for those who are not lobster fans.  Steak, scallops, breaded shrimp, snow crab, haddock, and rotisserie chicken are entrée options.

Salad bar at Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers
Small Segment of the 60-foot long Salad Bar at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers in North Rustico, PEI

All meals include access to the 60-foot salad bar that, in addition to being comprised of some 30 salads, also includes seafood chowder, and mussels.

Bowl of Seafood Chowder at Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI
Bowl of Seafood Chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers, North Rustico, PEI

Yes, those tasty PEI steamed mussels are included, too!

Steamed PEI mussels dipped in melted butter
Steamed PEI mussels dipped in melted butter at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers

Warm homemade rolls are delivered to your table by your server who will also serve the lobster or other entrée of choice.

Basket of warm homemade rolls at Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers
Basket of warm homemade rolls at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers

Other than that, the meal is basically self-serve at your leisure.

Plate of different salads at Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers
Plate of different salads at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers

A wide variety of homemade desserts is also available and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the meal price. The facility is licenced and there are additional charges for alcoholic beverages. Gratuity is not automatically included with the meal price and is at the patron’s discretion.

Strawberry Shortcake at Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers
Strawberry Shortcake at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers in North Rustico, PEI

Fisherman’s Wharf accommodates special dietary restrictions such as gluten-free and vegan diets. To discuss specific dietary needs, it is always a good idea to call ahead of your visit. A children’s menu is available so the whole family can enjoy a meal together.

Lobsters are purchased through Island seafood wholesalers and are held until needed in the onsite lobster holding facility that is filled with sea water piped from the harbour. This allows the lobsters to maintain their fresh sea quality and taste. Various sizes of lobster are available and the most popular size is the 1½ pound lobster though they do get requests for lobsters as large as 3-4 pounds. On average, 650-750 lobsters will be cracked a day in peak tourism season and one guy cracks open every one of them, single-handedly.  I have seen him at work and those hands just fly to make short of the work!

Troy says, in his opinion, what sets Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers apart from others is their state-of-the-art kitchen and their 60-foot long salad bar which has such a huge variety, there is something for everyone.

Segment of 60-foot long salad bar at Fisherman's Wharf Lobster Suppers
Segment of 60-foot long salad bar at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers

A visit to North Rustico would not be complete without a stop for a meal at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers. Open daily from mid-May until early October, the restaurant serves meals from 12 noon until 8:30pm (note that hours may be reduced in the shoulder seasons). You never know who you will see at Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers. Several celebrities including those from the film industry, the hockey fame world, and politicians have been spotted dining at the restaurant.

Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers is located at 7230 Rustico Road in North Rustico, PEI. Visit their website for more information.

Tips for Dining at a PEI Lobster Supper

Dining at one of the Island’s Lobster Suppers is a unique experience.  Here are my tips for making the most of it:

      1. There is no need to dress up. These are casual dining venues. Plastic lobster bibs are available and are recommended as, even though the lobsters have been cracked open by the kitchen staff, the meat can be a bit juicy to pull out the of the shell….then there is that lovely dripping melted butter….enough said!
      2. Expect casual surroundings. You won’t be seated at tables with people you do not know but neither is it a quiet, intimate dining experience.
      3. Pace yourself and don’t over-indulge in food! This is the biggest tip of all. There is A LOT of food coming your way at an Island lobster supper. It’s easy to get carried away with the unlimited mussels, fresh rolls, and seafood chowder that start out the meal and to fill up on those.  Save room for the lobster (or alternative entrée) and the desserts.  You’ll want to sample everything.
      4. Plan to spend time at the supper and enjoy the experience. These are not fast food outlets and the meals comprise a lot of food and courses.
      5. In peak season (July and August), there may be some line-ups (especially over the 5pm – 7pm timeframe) so be patient. It gives time to work up a needed appetite for what awaits you.
      6. Don’t expect à la carte menus to be available. The meals are set menu so there is no ordering of special or particular side dishes or customizing a meal.
      7. If you have never been to a PEI lobster supper, it can be daunting when you arrive at the check-in desk and need to make a snap decision on what entrée to order or whether you want your lobster hot or cold and so forth. It’s a good idea to check out the lobster supper’s website before arrival so you have an idea of what you plan to order.
      8. While both New Glasgow Lobster Suppers and Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers can accommodate dietary restrictions, it’s always advisable to call them ahead of your visit to discuss specific dietary concerns and needs. This will help ensure a pleasant dining experience for everyone in the party.

     

    Summary

    Food at an Island lobster supper is plain, downhome hearty fare that is simply prepared.  The lobster is served straight from the shell with no additions or sauces added to it. This allows the pure authentic taste of the lobster to be enjoyed. The potato salads will be homemade and be just like most Islanders know potato salad to be and that they, themselves, make at home.

    I always recommend visitors to PEI experience an authentic and traditional lobster supper during their visit – in fact, I suggest they visit both New Glasgow Lobster Suppers and Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers.  While there are certainly similarities between them, there are some differences. The most notable is that New Glasgow Lobster Suppers offers a completely plated meal brought to your table and served to you by your server while Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Suppers offers a 60-foot long salad-plus bar and patrons largely serve themselves with the exception of the main entrée itself. Fisherman’s Wharf serves their lobster suppers all day starting at 12 noon while New Glasgow starts their dinner service at 4:00pm.

    No matter whether you choose one or both lobster suppers, one thing is for sure, you won’t leave hungry.  Just make sure you arrive with a hearty appetite and elasticized waistbands are recommended! Then, don the plastic bib and tuck into a hearty and tasty authentic PEI lobster supper. It’s sure to be an unforgetable meal and a great memory of a PEI visit.  Once you’ve had a meal at one of our Island lobster suppers, I think it will be quite apparent why they’ve stood the test of time and have been in business for decades.

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Lobster Suppers in PEI

Rhubarb and Mango Chutney

Jars of Rhubarb and Mango Chutney
Rhubarb and Mango Chutney

This Rhubarb and Mango Chutney is a mildly spicy condiment.  Combining the tart rhubarb with the sweet fresh mango and a variety of spices produces a fabulous flavour combination that teeters between the sweet and savory.

Small bowl of Rhubarb and Mango Chutney
Rhubarb and Mango Chutney

Chutney, with origins in India, differs from a relish that tends to be sweeter. A chutney will also have a more chunky texture with pieces of fruit. Chutney tends to lean more toward the savory side of the culinary scale.

Bowl and Jars of Rhubarb and Mango Chutney
Rhubarb and Mango Chutney

A versatile condiment, chutney can be used in sandwiches either as a spread on its own or mixed with mayonnaise.  It’s a great snack or easy hors d’oeuvre when presented on a cracker with some cheese (e.g., goat cheese, Brie, or cream cheese) and some deli meat.

Cracker topped with goat cheese, deli meat, and rhubarb and mango chutney
Rhubarb and Mango Chutney tops Deli Meat and Goat Cheese on Cracker

It complements cold meats like beef, pork, and poultry and is wonderful on a charcuterie board.

Rhubarb and Mango Chutney on Charcuterie Board
Rhubarb and Mango Chutney as a Condiment on a Charcuterie and Cheese Board

This Rhubarb and Mango Chutney is also tasty when mixed with some Greek yogurt and used as a dip for fresh veggies.  I like to use it as a side to my chicken pot pie and beef pot pie and serve it as a burger condiment.  The possibilities for the use of the chutney is limited only by your imagination.

Rhubarb and Mango Chutney on Charcuterie and Cheese Board
Rhubarb and Mango Chutney on Charcuterie, Cheese, and Fruit Board

This recipe for sweet, tart, and slightly spicy Rhubarb and Mango Chutney is not difficult to make but it does take some time. A couple of stock pots as well as a hot water canner to process the jars of chutney will also be required.

Spoonful of Rhubarb and Mango Chutney
Rhubarb and Mango Chutney

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Rhubarb Mango Chutney

Ingredients:
4½ cups rhubarb (apx. 1 lb 3 oz), chopped into ¼“ pieces
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ cup minus 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp fine sea salt
1/16 tsp coriander
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp olive oil

1 mango, peeled and chopped into ¼“ pieces (apx. 1 1/3 cups)
2/3 cup golden raisins

Spice Sachet:
1 star anise
1/8 tsp mustard seed
2 whole allspice
3 whole cloves
3” piece cinnamon stick

Method:
Place rhubarb, onion, sugars, vinegar, salt, dry spices, and olive oil in medium-sized stock pot.  Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Make the spice sachet by combining the star anise, mustard seed, whole allspice and cloves, and cinnamon stick into center of small square of double or triple layer of cheesecloth (depending on how open the weave of the cheesecloth is).  Draw edges of cheesecloth together to make a sachet and tie with heavy thread.  Add the spice sachet to the pot.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the mango and raisins and continue to simmer about 25 minutes longer, or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.

While the chutney is cooking, fill a large pot of water, about ¾ full.  Place 4 half-pint jars (see Note 1 below) and 1 quarter-pint jar (see Note 2 below), upright, into the water.  Ensure the jars are fully submerged, each jar filled with water, and that the water is at least an inch over the tops of the jars.  Cover, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the jars in the hot water while the chutney finishes cooking.

Meanwhile, fill the canner about one-third to one-half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil to have it ready for the filled jars.

When the chutney is cooked, use a jar lifter to remove the hot jars from the water.  Discard the spice sachet in the chutney. Using a glass measuring cup and a canning funnel, transfer chutney into sterilized jars, leaving about ¼” headroom in each jar.  Wipe the jar rims with a clean cloth. Seal jars with heated lids and fingertip-tightened ring bands.

Place filled jars in hot water bath wire basket, ensuring jars do not touch each other or fall over. Carefully lower basket into canner of hot water. Some empty jars may need to be added to the basket to fill up space so the filled jars do not fall over.  Let the empty jars fill with water from the canner as they are submerged. Ensure the water level is at least 1” above the tops of jars, adding more boiling water as necessary. Cover with canner lid. Increase the heat to return the water to a rolling boil then decrease the heat to just keep the water at a rolling boil but not boiling over. Process jars in the hot water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting time for altitude. Start timing the processing from the point where a full rolling boil is reached after basket of jars has been added to the canner. At the end of the processing time, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait until the water stops boiling (approximately 3-5 minutes) then, using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars, one at a time, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Listen for the “pop” or “ping” sound as the bottles seal over the next few minutes or hours. The lids of properly sealed jars will curve downward. Let jars rest, undisturbed, on wire rack for 12 hours. Store in cool, dark place. Refrigerate chutney once opened.

Yield:  Apx. 4½ cups (4 half-pint jars and 1 quarter-pint jar)

Note 1:  You may want to sterilize an additional half-pint jar to have it ready to fill in case the recipe yields more than exactly 4½ cups of chutney.  Many factors can vary the amount of chutney produced – e.g., amount of water in the rhubarb, ripeness of the mango, temperature at which the chutney was cooked, how long it was simmered, how much it was stirred during the cooking process, and how much liquid in the chutney may have evaporated, or not.

Note 2: I generally do not process the tiny quarter-pint jar in the hot water bath because it does not need the full 10 minutes that the half-pint jars require and I prefer not to take the cover off the canner to extract the small half-cup jar mid-way through the timing of the hot water bath.  Instead, I let the small jar cool at room temperature then refrigerate it and eat its contents within a day or so because it’s hard not to taste freshly-made chutney! I call this my “tasting jar”.

Rhubarb Mango Chutney

The combination of tart rhubarb and sweet mango mixed with a variety of spices results in a Rhubarb Mango Chutney that can be enjoyed as a condiment in many different ways with meat, cheese, and charcuterie boards.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword chutney, rhubarb and mango chutney
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • cups rhubarb (apx. 1 lb 3 oz), chopped into ¼“ pieces
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup minus 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/16 tsp coriander
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped into ¼“ pieces (apx. 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • Spice Sachet:
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/8 tsp mustard seed
  • 2 whole allspice
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 ” piece cinnamon stick

Instructions

  1. Place rhubarb, onion, sugars, vinegar, salt, dry spices, and olive oil in medium-sized stock pot. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Make the spice sachet by combining the star anise, mustard seed, whole allspice and cloves, and cinnamon stick into center of small square of double or triple layer of cheesecloth (depending on how open the weave of the cheesecloth is). Draw edges of cheesecloth together to make a sachet and tie with heavy thread. Add the spice sachet to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the mango and raisins and continue to simmer about 25 minutes longer, or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the chutney is cooking, fill a large pot of water, about ¾ full. Place 4 half-pint jars (see Note 1 below) and 1 quarter-pint jar (see Note 2 below), upright, into the water. Ensure the jars are fully submerged, each jar filled with water, and that the water is at least an inch over the tops of the jars. Cover, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the jars in the hot water while the chutney finishes cooking.

  3. Meanwhile, fill the canner about one-third to one-half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil to have it ready for the filled jars.
  4. When the chutney is cooked, use a jar lifter to remove the hot jars from the water. Discard the spice sachet in the chutney. Using a glass measuring cup and a canning funnel, transfer chutney into sterilized jars, leaving about ¼” headroom in each jar. Wipe the jar rims with a clean cloth. Seal jars with heated lids and fingertip-tightened ring bands.
  5. Place filled jars in hot water bath wire basket, ensuring jars do not touch each other or fall over. Carefully lower basket into canner of hot water. Some empty jars may need to be added to the basket to fill up space so the filled jars do not fall over. Let the empty jars fill with water from the canner as they are submerged. Ensure the water level is at least 1” above the tops of jars, adding more boiling water as necessary. Cover with canner lid. Increase the heat to return the water to a rolling boil then decrease the heat to just keep the water at a rolling boil but not boiling over. Process jars in the hot water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting time for altitude. Start timing the processing from the point where a full rolling boil is reached after basket of jars has been added to the canner. At the end of the processing time, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait until the water stops boiling (approximately 3-5 minutethen, using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars, one at a time, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Listen for the “pop” or “ping” sound as the bottles seal over the next few minutes or hours. The lids of properly sealed jars will curve downward. Let jars rest, undisturbed, on wire rack for 12 hours. Store in cool, dark place. Refrigerate chutney once opened.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 4½ cups (4 half-pint jars and 1 quarter-pint jar)

Note 1: You may want to sterilize an additional half-pint jar to have it ready to fill in case the recipe yields more than exactly 4½ cups of chutney. Many factors can vary the amount of chutney produced – e.g., amount of water in the rhubarb, ripeness of the mango, temperature at which the chutney was cooked, how long it was simmered, how much it was stirred during the cooking process, and how much liquid in the chutney may have evaporated, or not.

Note 2: I generally do not process the tiny quarter-pint jar in the hot water bath because it does not need the full 10 minutes that the half-pint jars require and I prefer not to take the cover off the canner to extract the small half-cup jar mid-way through the timing of the hot water bath. Instead, I let the small jar cool at room temperature then refrigerate it and eat its contents within a day or so because it’s hard not to taste freshly-made chutney! I call this my “tasting jar”.

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Bowl of Rhubarb and Mango Chutney

Rhubarb Marmalade Recipe

Rhubarb Marmalade on Toast
Rhubarb Marmalade

Jamming and preserving season here in PEI starts with rhubarb, one of the first treats from the garden. The two crowns of rhubarb in our garden produce lots of rhubarb for use when it is in season and to freeze for later enjoyment.

Rhubarb Patch of Two Crowns
Rhubarb Patch of Two Crowns

One of the first things I make with rhubarb as soon as it is ready is this wonderful rhubarb marmalade I have been making for years.  The marmalade only takes five ingredients – rhubarb, granulated sugar, an orange,  half a pink grapefruit, and half of a lemon.  The color of the rhubarb marmalade is a lovely deep shade and its flavour is fresh and slightly tart.

Bowl of Rhubarb Marmalade
Rhubarb Marmalade

Tips for making rhubarb marmalade:

  • Choose rhubarb stalks that are slender as marmalade is best made with smaller pieces of rhubarb. Stalks that are a bright red color will yield a marmalade with a richer, deeper color.
  • Prepare all the fruit before beginning to make the marmalade – chop the rhubarb, prepare the citrus fruit, and measure the sugar.
  • Set out all the pots and hot water canner needed.
  • Organize the process.  Begin cooking the marmalade. While it is cooking, get the bottles sterilizing in hot water, and the water heating in the canner so that it will be ready to process the marmalade as soon as it is bottled.
  • Cook the marmalade to a sustained temperature of at least 217°F (to a maximum of 220°F) on a candy thermometer. If a candy thermometer is not available to test marmalade doneness, place a couple of freezer-safe saucers in the freezer.  This method of testing is explained in the recipe.
  • Don’t overcook the marmalade as it will become very thick and dark in color. Cooking the marmalade to 217°F on a candy thermometer will yield a more pliable spread while cooking it to a temperature of 220°F will produce a thicker marmalade.
Jar of Rhubarb Marmalade surrounded by ingredients
Rhubarb Marmalade

Serve this tasty rhubarb marmalade with biscuits, scones, toast, or crackers.  Add a dollop to Greek yogurt or custard for a tasty dessert.

Jars of Rhubarb Marmalade
Rhubarb Marmalade

You’ll find many tasty, creative ways to enjoy this special treat!

Spoonful of rhubarb marmalade
Rhubarb Marmalade

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Rhubarb Marmalade

Ingredients:

8 cups rhubarb, thinly sliced into pieces between 1/8’ and ¼“ thick
4¼ cups sugar
1 large orange (or 1½ small oranges)
½ pink grapefruit
½ small lemon

Method:

Wash the orange, grapefruit, and lemon well.

Peel orange, grapefruit, and lemon.  Chop the pulp, remove and discard any seeds, and place pulp in bowl.  Scrape the pith from the fruit peelings and discard.  Chop the peel into small pieces.  Set aside.

In a large pot, place the rhubarb and sugar.  Add the citrus pulp and peel. Bring to a boil over medium high temperature, stirring to prevent scorching.  Immediately lower the temperature and cook, uncovered, at a slow gentle boil until mixture thickens and reaches a sustained temperature of  217°F on a candy thermometer (see Note below for alternative testing method).  Stir mixture regularly to prevent scorching. Be patient, this can take an hour or so. The marmalade may be cooked to a temperature of 220°F but it will be a thicker marmalade and less pliable to spread than if it is cooked to 217°F.

While the marmalade is cooking, fill a large pot of water, about ¾ full.  Place 7 half-pint jars, upright, into the water.  Ensure the jars are fully submerged, each jar filled with water, and that the water is at least an inch over the tops of the jars.  Cover, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the jars in the hot water while the marmalade finishes cooking.

Meanwhile, fill the hot water canner about one-third to one-half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil to have it ready for the filled jars.

When the marmalade is cooked, use a jar lifter to remove the hot jars from the water.  Using a canning funnel, pour marmalade into sterilized jars, leaving about ¼” headroom in each jar.  Wipe the jar rims with a clean cloth. Seal jars with heated lids and fingertip-tightened ring bands.

Place jars in hot water bath wire basket, ensuring jars do not touch each other or fall over. Carefully lower basket into canner of hot water. Ensure the water level is at least 1” above the tops of jars, adding more boiling water as necessary. Cover with canner lid. Increase the heat to return the water to a rolling boil then decrease the heat to just keep the water at a rolling boil but not boiling over. Process half-pint jars in the hot water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting time for altitude. Start timing the processing from the point where a full rolling boil is reached after basket of jars has been added to the canner. At the end of the processing time, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 4-5 minutes, until the water stops boiling then, using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars, one at a time, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Listen for the “pop” or “ping” sound as the bottles seal over the next few minutes or hours. The lids of properly sealed jars will curve downward. Let jars rest, undisturbed, on wire rack for 12 hours. Store in cool, dark place. Refrigerate marmalade once opened.

Yield:  Apx. 7 half-pint bottles

NOTE 1: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, place 2-3 freezer-safe saucers in freezer. To test for doneness of the marmalade, place a small amount of marmalade on chilled saucer and swirl saucer around. Let marmalade sit, untouched, for about a minute, then gently push your finger through the marmalade.  If the marmalade holds its shape (i.e., does not immediately run back together after the finger has been removed from the marmalade), it is set and ready to bottle.  If not, continue to cook mixture, repeating the “chill” test about every 3 minutes or so (always removing the pot from the heat while conducting the chill test) until the marmalade passes the “chill” test.  Do not overcook as it will result in a very thick marmalade, dark in color.

Note 2: After jars have completely cooled, if there are any on which the lids have not curved downward, refrigerate them and use within one month.

Rhubarb Marmalade

A delicious marmalade made with rhubarb and citrus undertones. Perfect on biscuits, scones, and toast.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword rhubarb, rhubarb marmalade
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 8 cups rhubarb, thinly sliced into pieces between 1/8’ and ¼“ thick
  • cups sugar
  • 1 large orange (or 1½ small oranges)
  • ½ pink grapefruit
  • ½ small lemon

Instructions

  1. Wash the orange, grapefruit, and lemon well.
  2. Peel orange, grapefruit, and lemon. Chop the pulp, remove and discard any seeds, and place pulp in bowl. Scrape the pith from the fruit peelings and discard. Chop the peel into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, place the rhubarb and sugar. Add the citrus pulp and peel. Bring to a boil over medium high temperature, stirring to prevent scorching. Immediately lower the temperature and cook, uncovered, at a slow gentle boil until mixture thickens and reaches a sustained temperature of 217°F on a candy thermometer (see Note below for alternative testing method). Stir mixture regularly to prevent scorching. Be patient, this can take an hour or so. The marmalade may be cooked to a temperature of 220°F but it will be a thicker marmalade and less pliable to spread than if it is cooked to 217°F.

  4. While the marmalade is cooking, fill a large pot of water, about ¾ full. Place 7 half-pint jars, upright, into the water. Ensure the jars are fully submerged, each jar filled with water, and that the water is at least an inch over the tops of the jars. Cover, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the jars in the hot water while the marmalade finishes cooking.
  5. Meanwhile, fill the hot water canner about one-third to one-half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil to have it ready for the filled jars.

  6. When the marmalade is cooked, use a jar lifter to remove the hot jars from the water. Using a canning funnel, pour marmalade into sterilized jars, leaving about ¼” headroom in each jar. Wipe the jar rims with a clean cloth. Seal jars with heated lids and fingertip-tightened ring bands.
  7. Place jars in hot water bath wire basket, ensuring jars do not touch each other or fall over. Carefully lower basket into canner of hot water. Ensure the water level is at least 1” above the tops of jars, adding more boiling water as necessary. Cover with canner lid. Increase the heat to return the water to a rolling boil then decrease the heat to just keep the water at a rolling boil but not boiling over. Process half-pint jars in the hot water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting time for altitude. Start timing the processing from the point where a full rolling boil is reached after basket of jars has been added to the canner. At the end of the processing time, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Wait 4-5 minutes, until the water stops boiling then, using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars, one at a time, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Listen for the “pop” or “ping” sound as the bottles seal over the next few minutes or hours. The lids of properly sealed jars will curve downward. Let jars rest, undisturbed, on wire rack for 12 hours. Store in cool, dark place. Refrigerate marmalade once opened.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 7 half-pint bottles

NOTE 1: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, place 2-3 freezer-safe saucers in freezer. To test for doneness of the marmalade, place a small amount of marmalade on chilled saucer and swirl saucer around. Let marmalade sit, untouched, for about a minute, then gently push your finger through the marmalade. If the marmalade holds its shape (i.e., does not immediately run back together after the finger has been removed from the marmalade), it is set and ready to bottle. If not, continue to cook mixture, repeating the “chill” test about every 3 minutes or so (always removing the pot from the heat while conducting the chill test) until the marmalade passes the “chill” test. Do not overcook as it will result in a very thick marmalade, dark in color.

Note 2: After jars have completely cooled, if there are any on which the lids have not curved downward, refrigerate them and use within one month.

For other tasty marmalade recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Peach Marmalade
Green Tomato Marmalade

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Rhubarb Marmalade
Rhubarb Marmalade

 

PEI Lobster Frittata Recipe

Red baking dish filled with baked lobster frittata
PEI Oven-baked Lobster Frittata

Living in PEI, we are accustomed to high quality local seafood.  When lobster is in season, I try to make the most of it, enjoying it steamed and fresh from the shell with the tender meat dipped in melted butter.

Three steamed lobster on white tray with wedges of lemon and a small bowl of melted butter for dipping the lobster meat
Steamed Lobster in the Shell

Once I have had a couple of good “feeds” of lobster with homemade potato salad and rolls, I start using the meat as an ingredient in other recipes like this easy-to-make oven-baked Lobster Frittata.

Baked lobster frittata with a side salad and a glass of white wine
Oven-baked Lobster Frittata

Frittata is an Italian dish that is a cross between a crustless quiche and an open-faced omelette, probably leaning more toward similarity with the quiche.  The main difference between a frittata and an omelette is that, for a frittata, the filling ingredients are cooked with the egg mixture versus being added just before an omelette is folded in half to finish cooking.

Traditionally, frittatas are made on the stovetop, either completely or, sometimes, they are partially cooked on the stove and then finished in the oven.  However, it is quite acceptable to completely bake the frittata in the oven which is the method I am using for the Lobster Frittata.

Close-up of a bite of lobster frittata on a fork
Baked Lobster Frittata

There are two main tips for making this frittata.  First, use cream, blend, or whole milk but never fat-reduced milk as it makes the frittata’s custard too runny and watery. The second tip is to pre-cook the vegetables to get rid of some of their liquid and also to ensure that they are sufficiently cooked. If they were added raw with the egg custard, they would not be sufficiently cooked in the same amount of time it takes to properly bake the frittata and they would release too much liquid into the egg custard.  Even with the pre-cooking, the vegetables will still have a lot of moisture in them. For this reason, I recommend transferring them from the sauté pan to a paper-towel lined bowl to sop up the excess moisture before they are added to the egg custard mixture.

Frittata is a great brunch, lunch, dinner, or picnic fare, making it very versatile. It can be eaten hot from the oven or at room temperature. Serve with a side of toast, salad, homefries, or fresh fruit.

Baked Lobster Frittata with a side green salad
Baked Lobster Frittata

I use individual small 6″x4″ baking, or gratin, dishes for this recipe.  Oblong  baking dishes that have 1½ – 1¾ cups capacity work well for this recipe as the egg mixture will puff up somewhat and room needs to be allotted for that. If you don’t have individual baking dishes that are approximately 6”x4” inches, you could use one baking dish that would be large enough to hold the entire amount of ingredients.

Bake the frittatas on the middle rack in a preheated oven. It is important not to overbake frittata as it will become somewhat tough and leathery.  This Lobster Frittata takes between 18-22 minutes when baked in the dishes called for in the recipe.  When the frittata is perfectly baked, the eggs should be set and no longer runny.

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Oven-baked Lobster Frittata

Ingredients:

4 large eggs
2½ tbsp cream
Salt and Pepper
¼ – ½ tsp Herbes de Provence

1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp onion, chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 slices zucchini, halved or quartered
5-6 button mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp red bell pepper, chopped

4 oz cooked lobster, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Method:

Place oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat oil in small skillet.  Sauté, over medium heat, the onions, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, and red bell pepper for 4-6 minutes, until vegetables start to soften.  Transfer to small bowl double lined with paper towel to absorb the moisture from the sautéed vegetables.

Whisk the eggs just enough to break them up and mix the whites with the yolks.  Whisk in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and the Herbes de Provence.

Spray two 6”x4” baking dishes with cooking spray, each dish having 1½ – 1¾ cup capacity.  Divide the vegetables and lobster equally between the two dishes.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and first amount of cheddar cheese.  Pour egg mixture over the vegetables, lobster, and cheese, dividing equally between the two dishes.  Place on baking sheet and transfer to oven.  Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until frittatas are puffed up and just set in the center.  Add the remaining cheese for the last 2-3 minutes of baking.

Serve with a side salad, toast, fresh fruit, or homefries.

Yield: 2 servings

Oven-baked Lobster Frittata

This easy-to-make, oven-baked Lobster Frittata is perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, or a picnic
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Italian
Keyword frittata, lobster, lobster frittata, oven-baked frittata
Servings 2
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • tbsp cream
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp onion chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 5-6 slices zucchini halved or quartered
  • 5-6 button mushrooms sliced
  • 3 tbsp red bell pepper chopped
  • 4 oz cooked lobster coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Place oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat oil in small skillet. Sauté, over medium heat, the onions, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, and red bell pepper for 4-6 minutes, until vegetables start to soften. Transfer to small bowl double lined with paper towel to absorb the moisture from the sautéed vegetables.
  3. Whisk the eggs just enough to break them up and mix the whites with the yolks. Whisk in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and the Herbes de Provence.
  4. Spray two 6”x4” baking dishes with cooking spray, each dish having 1½ - 1¾ cup capacity. Divide the vegetables and lobster equally between the two dishes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and first amount of cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables, lobster, and cheese, dividing equally between the two dishes. Place on baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until frittatas are puffed up and just set in the center. Add the remaining cheese for the last 2-3 minutes of baking.
  5. Serve with a side salad, toast, fresh fruit, or homefries.

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Baked Lobster Frittata in red baking dish
Oven-baked Lobster Frittata
Oven-baked Lobster Frittata

 

For other great lobster dish recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Lobster Cakes
Lobster and Asparagus Crepes
Lobster Club Sandwich
Lobster Eggs Benedict

Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

White pedestal dish filled with Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

Energy bites (sometimes called energy balls, power balls, protein balls, or bliss balls) are a super tasty and convenient on-the-go snack.

My recipe for Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites is easy to make and requires no cooking or baking  (provided, of course, that you buy the coconut already toasted and you don’t have to turn on the oven to toast coconut) — bonus !  Made with a blend of carefully selected ingredients that pair well together, these tasty treats provide a great energy boost, particularly mid-afternoon when energy typically starts to wane for many.

These energy bites freeze well and I regularly keep them on hand in my freezer so I have them ready for a snack anytime or as a portable treat to pop into a small container for the work lunch bag.

Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bite in small plastic container
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bite Ready for the Lunch Bag

Energy bites are typically comprised of four sets of ingredients:

Main bulk/filler – this is most often rolled oats which also adds fibre to the energy bites. The oats give the energy bites body and structure.

Binder – dates are often used for this purpose since their texture and consistency lend them well to binding the other ingredients together, plus they have great flavor.  Other dried fruits such as prunes, figs, or apricots, may also be used.  Nut butters (e.g., peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or hazelnut butter) are also great binding ingredients in addition to contributing flavour.

Liquid sweetener – The two most common sticky sweeteners used are typically maple syrup and honey though others, such as agave syrup, may also be used. Because they are liquid and not granular, they provide a smooth textured natural sweetener.

Add-ins – These are limited only by your creativity and taste preferences.  Common add-ins are flax and/or chia seeds (either whole or in ground form), mini chocolate chips, cocoa, coconut, crispy rice cereal, hemp hearts, protein powder, finely ground nuts, dried fruits, spices, etc.

So, now that we have discussed the basic composition of most energy bites, let’s move on to this post’s featured recipe.  Dates are the main “binder” in these Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites and are best blitzed in the food processor before other ingredients are added.  Depending on the size of the food processor bowl, the dates will either form a paste-like consistency (more likely if a small food processor is used) or clump together into a ball (if a large food processor is used).  Either consistency is fine as basically the goal is to break up the dates and smooth out their texture before pulsing with the other ingredients that don’t take as long to incorporate.  A small food processor, if you have one, is great for this first step but use the larger food processor for incorporating the ingredients together. Use the pulse feature on the machine as you mix the ingredients. The goal is to incorporate them, not crush or mash all the ingredients into a smooth paste.

Three Peanut Butter Energy Bites on White Marble Server
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

If the rolled oats are particularly large, it’s a good idea to blitz them separately 2-4 times in short bursts in a food processor before beginning to make the energy bites. Be careful, though, about processing them too much as the oats will quickly turn into oat flour which is not the consistency required for these energy bites. If the oats are over-processed, it will change the consistency of the energy bites.

This recipe calls for very finely ground nuts. This means their consistency should be like nut meal, almost to the point of being powder-like.  While ground nuts can be purchased pre-packaged, I buy the nuts whole and use an electric coffee grinder I have reserved for the purpose of grinding nuts.  The coffee grinder will quickly and easily turn the nuts into the desired nut “meal” more efficiently than a regular nut grinder which will not grind the nuts nearly so fine textured.

Some ingredients need to be added by hand at the end of the mixing process.  These include the crispy rice cereal, chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and hemp hearts.  These are the more fragile of the ingredients and are intended to be left intact in the balls. Incorporating them with the food processor would be likely to break them up and lose the texture and visual appearance they provide.

Close-up of interior of Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bite
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

The energy bites can easily be made gluten free by using gluten-free rolled oats and, of course, ensuring all other ingredients called for in the recipe are gluten free.

If the mixture seems a bit too dry to form into balls, add small amounts of water, a teaspoon or two at a time, and quickly pulse the mixture in short bursts.  Be careful, though, about adding too much water as it can make the mixture too soft and moist.  Possible causes for the mixture to be a bit dry might be dates that are dry and/or the size/quality of rolled oats used.

I recommend chilling the mixture for about 20 minutes or so in the refrigerator to make it easier to form the balls.  I am a huge promoter of using digital scales when cooking or baking. For size consistency, and as a frame of reference for these energy bites, use about 28 grams of mixture per ball.

Close-up of Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bite
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bite

These energy bites can be stored for up to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or frozen for up to three months for longer storage.  Place the balls in single layers between sheets of wax paper in the storage container.

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

Ingredients:

5 oz honey dates (pitted), coarsely chopped

¾ cup quick rolled oats (gluten-free, if required)
½ cup smooth peanut butter
2½ tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup very finely ground peanuts
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1½ tsp vanilla whey protein powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt

½ cup crispy rice cereal (gluten-free, if required)
½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
¼ cup pre-toasted coconut
3 tbsp hemp hearts

Method:

Pulse dates in food processor until they form a paste or clump into a ball.  Add the rolled oats, peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, ground peanuts, ground chia seeds, vanilla whey protein powder, and sea salt. Pulse mixture until ingredients are completely blended.

Mix in the crispy rice cereal, semi-sweet chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and hemp hearts by hand.  If mixture seems too dry, two to three teaspoons of water may be blended into ingredients.  Place mixture in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to chill.

Roll mixture by hand into bite-sized balls.  For frame of reference, each ball should weigh approximately 28 grams.  Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 20-25 minutes to firmly set.  Store, in single layers separated by waxed paper, in airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator or freeze up to three months for longer storage.

Yield:  Apx. 22 balls

Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

These tasty Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites are filled with dates, rolled oats, peanut butter, ground nuts, toasted coconut, and chocolate chips. Makes a convenient on-the-go snack.
Course Snack
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword energy bites
Servings 22
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 5 oz honey dates pitted, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup quick rolled oats gluten-free, if required
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup very finely ground peanuts
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • tsp vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ cup crispy rice cereal gluten-free, if required
  • ½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup pre-toasted coconut
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts

Instructions

  1. Pulse dates in food processor until they form a paste or clump into a ball. Add the rolled oats, peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, ground peanuts, ground chia seeds, vanilla whey protein powder, and sea salt. Pulse mixture until ingredients are completely blended.
  2. Mix in the crispy rice cereal, semi-sweet chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and hemp hearts by hand. If mixture seems too dry, two to three teaspoons of water may be blended into ingredients. Place mixture in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to chill.
  3. Roll mixture by hand into bite-sized balls. For frame of reference, each ball should weigh approximately 28 grams. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 20-25 minutes to firmly set. Store, in single layers separated by waxed paper, in airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator or freeze up to three months for longer storage.

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Close-up photo of Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Balls on white marble server
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Balls

 

White Pedestal Dish Filled with Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites
Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

 

You may also enjoy this recipe from My Island Bistro Kitchen for no-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls.