Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

I happen to really like sweet potatoes so this is a real winner. You can increase the amount of leeks if you wish, but for me, I find the taste to be milder and more palatable with the amounts in the recipe.


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 bunch leeks, white parts only. Wash really well; slice
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup  – 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup, chopped chives (optional)

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, leeks and garlic in the butter until they become soft.

Stir in the potatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes. Now add the chicken broth, nutmeg, salt, cayenne pepper simmering until the potatoes are soft. (about 20 minutes)

In batches, pour into a food processor or use a hand held blender, processing until smooth. Stir in the cream and heat through. Ladle into your prettiest bowls and, if using, sprinkle a few chives on top.

Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi appears to be the latest ‘in’ food item. Homemade is great and you can change the ingredients and herbs for different, yet exciting flavours.

This recipe will serve 6-7 people


  • 1  1/2 lbs. Russet potatoes scrubbed
  • 1 cup flour (you might need more)
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. good olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the potatoes in several places and bake until tender (about 1 hour).

Cool slightly and cut the potatoes in half, scooping out the flesh into a potato ricer. Rice the potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and let cool.

Line another large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add the flour and toss to coat.

Form a well in the center and add the egg yolk, nutmeg and salt,. Stir this with a fork until evenly moistened. “It will look a little shaggy”.

Turn  this out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it comes together, sprinkling with flour, very lightly, if it is sticky.

Form this dough into a ball and cut into 4 wedges.

Roll the dough between both hands and work surface to form a 3/4 inch thick rope. Cut each rope into 3/4 inch pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Working in batches, cook the gnocchi in a large pot of boiling water until they rise to the surface. Continue to simmer until completely cooked through and tender (about 4 minutes).

Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.  At this step, you can lightly saute until it just starts to turn golden OR just drizzle olive oil and toss to coat.

**You can add 1/2-3/4 cup of pure pumpkin puree and some sage for a different flavour and serve with roast chicken.

Pumpkin Loaves

This recipe makes 2 loaves….one for now and one for unexpected company in the future.


  • 3  1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups sugar (yes, this is right)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup Crisco oil
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree not pie filling)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup English toffee bits

Sift  dry ingredients in a medium bowl, add the beaten eggs, water, oil and pumpkin.  Stir in the toffee bits and pecans until well blended. Grease 2 loaf pans and bake for about 1  1/2 hours in  a 350 degree oven.

Check for doneness and let cool on a rack. Remove from the pans. Wrap in saran and, if freezing, insert inside a freezer bag.

Sweet Potato Mash With Lime

I absolutely love the sweet potato and yam…between the USA and Canada, they appear to mean the opposite, so I will go by colour.

  • 1 large sweet potato (white one)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick potato all over and bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet until completely tender if poked with a knife. This normally takes 45-60 minutes.

Remove from oven and slice in half lengthwise to scoop out the flesh.

In a small bowl, mash until smooth and add the remaining ingredients

This would be awsome with roasted chicken or barbecued chicken, using the drippings to drizzle over the potato. If more than 2 people, simply add another sweet potato or two and increase the ingredients accordingly.

Gingered Crab in Potato Nests

A few weeks back, we had the landscaping crew over for a ‘thank you dinner’ for the wonderful work and great fun we had last summer (and still tweeking) in our yard.

After dinner was over, they commented this was one of the highlights of the evening. Imagine! So before I lose the recipe, here it is and we will be using it again in a couple of weeks for our next dinner with company.

  • 1 large baking potato -about 8 oz., peeled and grated
  • 1 lightly beaten large egg
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley (not cilantro)
  • sea salt
  • crushed red peppercorns
  • syrup from jar of ginger (it is thick) to taste
  • 3 tbsp. melted, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup cooked fresh crabmeat, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • creme fraiche
  • finely chopped dried cranberries
  • fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Oil a mini muffin tin or two with cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl, beat the grated potato with the egg and nutmeg. Add the parsley and season with the sea salt (a bit) and crushed red peppercorns (a bit). Take a small amount of the grated potatoes in your hands and squeeze out the excess liquid. Press the potato in the bottom of the muffin cup to form a nest, and repeat for the remaining potatoes. Add 1/2 tsp. melted butter in each nest. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove from oven and carefully remove from the pan. Let cool on a rack.

In a bowl, gently toss the apple with the lime juice, crab, ginger syrup and oil. Season with the sea salt and pepper. Using a teaspoon, drop a small amount of filling inside eash nest. Top with a dollop  of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of fleur de el and the chopped cranberries.

Your company will rave and again,  you go back to the kitchen, give yourself a high five and proclaim….damn I can do this!

Crusted Potato Gratin

As part of the entree from the Hester Creek Cooking Class Dinner, these were prepared and served. These are yummy, yummy, yummy.

  • 6 medium red flesh potatoes, peeled
  • quart of half and half
  • 1 cup Swiss Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Fresh Thyme/Italian Parsley/ Sage
  • 1 tbsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced and fried crisp

Peel potatoes, tie the thyme, parsley and sage in cheesecloth and tie up, placing in the pot with the potatoes and cook in cream until almost cooked. Drain and add the crisp bacon.

In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, slice the potatoes and layer them out, add the cheese and sprinkle the Parmigiano over the top. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts and a light golden crust appears on top.

When preparing to serve, use a wide mouth dessert bowl or 3 inch round cookie cutter. What we saw was almost like a salmon can size and cut out circles. Carefully transfer to the plates. Looks so cool!

Thanks Chef Gillespie.



Corn on the Cob Soup

Gotcha! This soup is absolutely perfect this time of year. Tis the season for corn. Try this and you will absolutely love it.


  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 4 cups corn, just cut from the cob
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2-3 cups milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, plus additional for garnish

In a saucepn, melt the butter and gently saute the onion for about 5 minutes until tender. Do not brown.

Add 3  1/2 cups of the corn and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Stir well and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Now stir in the sugar.

In a medium saucepan combine the milk and the cream and warm over medium heat until heated through.  Pour the corn mixture over the milk and over medium heat, cook to just a simmer. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Pour about 1/3 of the soup in a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour a fine strainer over a bowl and allow the soup to drain through. Repeat until all done. Transfer all the soup back into the saucepan and reheat, this time whisking in the nutmeg.

The corn is its own thickner but if you want it thinner, add a touch more milk. I love a nice thick soup so I find it quite lovely as it is.

Pour into warm soup bowls, and again lightly grate some nutmeg over top and place a tsp or two of the remaining corn on top. OMG this is yummy.

Serve with warm slices of honey corn bread and a chilled glass of white wine. If this is heaven, send me there!


Squash With Nutmeg And Lime

Time for a new veggie dish. I know,  but you have to get back to eating GOOD meals and no more over-snacking. Season is almost over.


  • 1 – 3 – 3  1/2 lb. butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tsp. lime juice and 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and place one half each on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Rub each half with olive oil .

Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn over and bake another 25 minutes.  Make sure it is soft (tender). Carefully remove from the skin and mash with butter until smooth.

Spoon mixture back into the skin and add a few dollops of butter, a mere sprinkling of salt and pepper and now grate from fresh nutmeg over the tops.





Overnight Coffee Cake

This is a good one to start when you have invited the girls over for coffee in the morning. It is done when you get  up and all you have to do is bake it.


  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs beating well to combine and add the sour cream and, again, mix well.

Combine all the dry ingredients and gently combine.  Pour into a 13 x 9 inch greased and floured baking pan.



  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the cake.  Cover with tin foil and set in the fridge overnight.

Remove from the fridge in the morning and let sit for 1 hour. Then bake in a 350 degreee oven for about 38-40 minutes.



Santa’s Christmas Balls

Gotcha! You thought it was going to be dirty…..ye of little faith! It is a fun recipe and a perfect snack for Santa’s snack.  You do leave a snack, don’t you? He always leaves crumbs on the plate you know. That way the little ones know he visited. (do I have to tell you all the secrets?)

This makes about three dozen cookies.

  • 2  2/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1  1/4 cups sugar
  • 1  1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix all but the last two ingredients on low speed until well blended.  Now for the fun part:  if you cover this dough in plastic, it can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days before baking , giving you breathing space, if you need it.

In small bowl, mix the nutmeg and sugar.  Take the dough and roll into one inch balls.  Roll in the sugar and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for about ten to twelve minutes until lightly browned.  Do not burn these.

Pear and Gouda Soup

This is one soup that has an intriguing taste and is easy to make. Read it through first and then, in a loud voice, proclaim  ‘damn I can do this”. That is the whole motto of this site.

Try new things, have fun and reap the rewards for a job well done.

You will need:

  • 2 ripe Bartlett  pears, peeled, cored and chopped coarsely
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra
  • 1/2 red-skinned red pear, not peeled, cored and julienned
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. toasted pecans
  • 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 oz. baby Gouda cheese, cut into small pieces (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Piesporter wine or apple juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine the Bartlett  pears, vegetable stock, nutmeg and ginger in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the pears become tender. (about 10 minutes). Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, make a salsa by gently stirring to gether the red julienned pear, lime juice, pecans, cranberries and a dash to nutmeg. Set this aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Add the flour, stirring until smooth but do not burn. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring constantly until it thickens. Add the cheese to the milk mixture until melted. Set aside.

To finish this, puree the pear mixture with the vegetable stock until completely smooth. Return the mixture to the large saucepan and add the cheese mixture, stirring constantly until heated through. Gradually add the wine or apple juice and heat through. Do not boil.

To serve, use your prettiest bowl and fill each one equally. Top the soup with a light sprinkle of freshly ground nutmeg – not too much-and a spoonful of the salsa.

This makes 4 – 6 servings.  This is definitely a ‘lick the bowl’ kind of soup. It is not too sweet but in rich in flavour and texture.

Take your time with this course. Everyone will want to enjoy it fully and, of course, compliment you through the roof.

Puffiest Cheese Omelet EVER

This is one impressive omelet to serve guests, family or….just  you!

You will need:

  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 cup Pepper Jack cheese OR Balderson’s aged cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, moist peaks form. In another bowl, beat yolks with the salt, pepper and  nutmeg until thick and lemon coloured. Whisk in the sour cream. Pour yolk mixture over beaten egg whites and GENTLY fold together.

Melt butter in a 10″ oven-proof frying pan over medium heat. Tilt to cover the bottom of the pan and then pour in the egg mixture.

Do not stir but cook until omelet is puffy and lightly golden on the bottom. This will take 2-3 minutes. Transfer pan to the oven and bake until top is a pale golden brown (takes 6-9 minutes) and a knife, when inserted, comes out clean.  Sprinkle with cheese. Using a spatula, fold half the omelet over the other half. Slide omelet onto a warm plate and serve immediately.

This can be cut in two as it is quite a generous serving.

To take it up a notch, add pre-steamed asparagus, red peppers or mushrooms before folding over the top edge.

This recipe is from my published cook book ‘”The B & B Cook Book”.