The easiest and most popular dessert to take on a picnic is the ever-portable cookie. And what makes a cookie perfect? Chocolate chips, of course.
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic canola oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) organic cane sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (90 mL) dark brown sugar, packed
1 large free range egg
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 cup (250 mL) whole grain cereal flakes
3/4 cup (180 mL) stone-ground whole wheat flour
3/4 cup (180 mL) large flake oats
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground flaxseed
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup (60 mL) dark chocolate chips
Set rack in your oven to the middle. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly with oil.
In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Beat in canola oil 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time until it is well incorporated and butter/oil mixture is fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy.
In medium bowl, mix together cereal flakes, flour, oats, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips. Add to butter/sugar mixture. Beat in until cereal flakes are well distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, start off on low and then when incorporated turn up to high.
Drop by heaping tablepoonfuls onto the prepared pan. Lightly press down to flatten.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will get.
Let cool slightly on cookie sheet and then remove to cooling rack; store in airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes 30 cookies.
One cookie contains:
90 calories; 1 g protein; 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 12 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 19 mg sodium
Tip: These cookies are so delicious, you’ll find them irresistable. But watch your intake of this sweet treat or you’ll quickly overdo it.
Source: "Picnics & Potlucks", alive #344, June 2011
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.