Category Archives: Heritage cooking skills

Anne’s Shortbreads – a #recipe for #Christmas #cookies and friendship that lasts

It’s Christmas and I’m missing my friend Anne. Last year about this time, Anne spent an afternoon in my kitchen teaching me to make her “Aunt Tibby’s Shortbread Cookies”. I thought I might miss Anne less today by spending a little time sharing her recipe and a few photos from that day. In writing about Anne’s recipe, I found myself also thinking about what makes a friendship last.

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My December @AlbertaatNoon column – @ASpicyTouch #cookbook release w #NoorbanuNimji

A_Spicy_Touch_Cookbook_Cover

I am a food columnist for Alberta at Noon and at first glance it might seem terrifically self-promoting to talk about my own book for my monthly column but this story isn’t really about me at all. It’s about my mentor, Noorbanu Nimji. She is a great Alberta immigrant, cookbook author and cross-cultural success story.

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#WasteNotWantNot this #Christmas – #recipes from one of 2015’s most important food books by @TasteReport #CindaChavich

WasteNot_cvrRecipes and photos reprinted with permission from TouchWood Editions.

Cinda Chavich is one of Canada’s foremost food and travel writers and like cream that rises to the top, her journalism school education means she delivers top notch reporting on food issues. Her latest book, The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook – Save Food, Save Money, and Save The Planet (Touchwood, 2015) is timely and empowering.

We all want to do something to help save our planet and Cinda helps us start in the heart of all of our homes – our kitchens – to do our bit to reduce the harmful effects of food waste. In this post Cinda shares a few recipes that are perfect for Christmas and she also “talks turkey” about avoiding waste in a season that can be fraught with excess.

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#Christmas (baking) in November – My November @AlbertaatNoon column with recipes from @CraveYYC & @aspicytouch

Thumbprint Cookies by Crave - photo - Karen Anderson

Thumbprint Cookies by Crave – photo – Karen Anderson

This summer I had the very pleasant task of writing a Christmas piece for Calgary’s Avenue Magazine on “How-To Entertain with Ease at the Holidays”. That piece will be in the upcoming December holiday issue. I loved writing it – even in the heat of summer – because it got me thinking about things that make a difference to an “ideal holiday experience” versus the harried and hurried one that leaves people frazzled, stressed and grumpier than Scrooge himself.

My holiday ideal is time to enjoy my family and friends. That means time to go skating or skiing or to just sit and watch movies or play board games together. At the same time, I like to share delicious festive food and treats with everyone and have my home look beautiful. To make it all happen, I’ve scaled back on the decorating, make lots of “to do” lists, buy some of the treats we enjoy and have a plan for the cooking I really like doing myself.

The key to success is to start early. So even though we haven’t even had our Remembrance Day holiday, like all my professional baker friends, I will start making batches of my signature Holiday Biscotti now. My mother-in-law is making Nanaimo Bars. My friend Annie is making her shortbreads (I’m going to share her recipe soon).

For you, I’ve gathered three great recipes of various levels of difficulty to help you should you choose to start now too.

Read on for Crave’s Thumbprint Cookie recipe, Peanut Brittle from my mentor Noorbanu Nimji and our new book A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen and last but not least – an easy Coconut Cashew Granola Fudge Bar that’s fun to make.

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W5 – a series of questions about @cookitraw #rawAlberta @albertaculinary – Let’s start with “WHAT” is Cook it Raw?

If you have no idea WHAT Cook it Raw is, this blog post is for you.

Watching the video above is a great place to start learning about Cook it Raw. Check it out and see if, while you’re learning about WHAT Cook it Raw is, you can also find seven Alberta food products that you might be quite familiar with but that the rest of the world might know very little about. That’s a pretty big hint about the answer to WHAT this is all about, by the way.

Don’t have time to watch the gorgeous video by Edmonton cinematographer Kevin Kossowan? Nah – go back and watch it. It’ll make you want to get on a plane to Lac LaBiche, Alberta – even if you have no idea where in the world that is. Hey, wait, that’s another clue to WHAT Cook it Raw is all about! Let’s cut to the chase.

Cook it Raw is a group of local and internationally-renowned chefs who gather to discover and articulate the essence of diverse and emerging culinary locations throughout the world. They are just winding up six months of intensive work in Alberta this very week. This is only the ninth time there’s been such a gathering since the inception of the program in 2009.

To learn more, read on and as an incentive to do so, I’ll give you the answer to exactly WHAT the seven truly Albertan ingredients are at the end of this post.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Great ingredients, Heritage cooking skills, Savour food, Savour life, Time in Nature, Travel

Preserving family recipes – my July @AlbertaatNoon podcast

I love to cook with my Mom Gerri - the expert pie maker in our family. How about you? Who makes your favourite family recipe? - photo - Karen Anderson

I love to cook with my Mom Gerri – the expert pie maker in our family. How about you? Who makes your favourite family recipe? – photo – Karen Anderson

Thanks to all the CBC Radio One listeners who called, emailed and tweeted to Alberta at Noon today to join the conversation on ways of Preserving Family Recipes. Here’s the podcast from the show. I’m on at the 24 minute mark.

I hope you’ll be inspired to record your own family’s recipes while you’ve still got a mentor to share them with you. Or – maybe it’s up to you to share your own recipes with the future generations of your family. Preserving family recipes is an important way to preserve our heritage.

Besides, cooking with a great recipe comes with a built-in reward – great food to help us savour it all.

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Preserving recipes – Preserving heritage – My July column for @AlbertaatNoon

Shish Kebabs with Cucumber Raita from A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji's Kitchen by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson - photo - Karen Anderson

Shish Kebabs with Cucumber Raita from A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson photo – Karen Anderson

Summer is a time for family fun and family gatherings. Every family has a few recipes that everyone looks forward to. Whether it’s your great aunt’s hand pinched pirohy’s or your uncle’s smoked brisket – these are the foods that come loaded with great taste and great memories.

This post is about ways to preserve your family’s taste treasury. I’ll also share a bit about a big project I’ve been working on with my Indian cooking mentor – Noorbanu Nimji. Noorbanu is responsible for preserving not only her own family’s recipes but also – the recipes of a whole culture’s cuisine.

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