Category Archives: Heritage cooking skills

Spice up summer by planning for a fall @ASpicyTouch cooking class


Noorbanu Nimji – photo by JagerKokauer

The Cookbook Co Cooks fall schedule just arrived in my inbox. I’m teaching a Pakora, Samosa and Chutney Workshop on Monday, November 7. I always groan when department stores bring in fall and Christmas goods when we’re only halfway through summer but I’m so excited to teach this class I wanted to share it with you now.

The recipes are from A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen which I co-authored with my mentor Noorbanu Nimji. Noorbanu was just named to Western Living magazine’s Top Foodies of the Year. Her samosas are the best.

I hope you’ll join our editor Tilly Sanchez and me for the class on November 7 here in Calgary but if you can’t make it, here’s a mini Samosa Workshop just for you – wherever you savour it all in the world.


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#Bread is on the Rise – My CBC @AlbertaatNoon food column podcast

sourdough bread by Aviv Fried at Sidewalk Citizen bakery in Calgary - photo credit - Karen Anderson

Fresh bread from Aviv Fried’s Sidewalk Citizen Bakery is made with local flour from Highwood Crossing Organic Farms and Grainworks – photo credit – Karen Anderson

Here’s my CBC Alberta at Noon Column “Bread is on the Rise” on the return of sourdough to our culture. I’m on at the 12:06 mark with host Donna McElligott. You’ll find the recipe for making your own sourdough here and recipes for No Knead Bread here.

The most popular post on this blog is actually about bread.

I captured an old Swedish family recipe of my husband’s Anderson family for Halvtjock Kakor. It’s been really wonderful to watch how many people have found it useful and how many have taken a moment to comment on it. Rightly so, it’s very tasty business and has helped my family savour it all at our get-togethers for many years now. Mmmm – nothing like bread straight from the oven. Somebody please pass the butter.




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#Sourdough bread – history and methods – my @AlbertaatNoon column for May

sourdough cinnamon buns near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory - photo credit - Karen Anderson

Sourdough at Haines Junction Yukon Territory – photo credit – Karen Anderson

Keeping a sourdough starter requires some planning and dedication but for those that love the tangy taste, crumb infiltrated with air pockets and a thin but firm crust, it’s definitely worth the bother. This post will share some of the history and technique involved in building your own sourdough starter. Continue reading

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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


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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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Cooks I know, Heritage cooking skills