Maple Pecan Tart

I love butter tarts with pecans and this is just slightly different. Try it and see if  you can keep any leftovers….nope! can’t be done.


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 egg, beaten (not kidding)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. light cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup ground pecans

To make this pastry, cream together the butter and sugar. When light and fluffy add the cream, vanilla and pinch of salt. Mix well. Fold in the flour and ground pecans to form a dough. Form into a ball. Pat into the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until golden in a 375 degree oven. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.  Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.


  • 2/3 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp. butter

In a saucepan, heat the syrup with the brown sugar until it has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Beat in the eggs, pecans and butter. When the butter has completely melted, pour into the crust. Bake for 20-28 minutes or until it is firm to the touch.


Asparagus With Lemons and Pecans


Sometimes we all get into a rut and serve vegetables the same old way. Try this one and it will brighten your outlook on asparagus.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup pecans (measuring 1/2 cup after saute)
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 2 lbs. asparagus
  • lemon slices

In a skillet, melt the butter and add the pecans, sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the panko crumbs. and continue for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze into the mixture, making sure no seeds fall in. Remove from the heat and add the zest and parsley.

Steam asparagus just until tender. Arrange on a pretty platter and sprinkle the topping over all. Garnish with lemon slices.

You will get lots of oohs and ahhs for sure.



Super Pecan Bars

I love pecans in or on anything. When you make these you won’t want to take the plate into the dining room. It is not polite to serve just the left over crumbs. Yes, it is that yummy.


  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 tbsp. butter

Mix this all together and press down in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan that you have lined with foil. Set aside.

In a 300 degree oven place 3 cups of pecans on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.


  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Mix well together and now add the pecans. Carefully spoon this out over the crust and bake in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes.

Be sure to let this cool down for an hour. Slice into squares and serve.

Ribbon Asparagus With Fresh Burrata Cheese

Summer is here (at least it is warmer) and now is the time to bring on the salads. Just so you don’t get bored with the same old, same old ones, try this. It is pretty to look at and is wonderful, especially with my most favourite cheese.


  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 4-6 shitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, stems cleaned, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 head of leaf lettuce, outer leaves removed
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage, core and outer leaves removed, grated
  • 4 radishes (different kinds if available)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Burrata cheese,
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Melt butter in a fry pan and sauté the mushrooms until golden. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Wash the asparagus and pat dry with a paper towel. Now, with a vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus from tip to end to get ribbons. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Wash the lettuce and tear into bite size pieces. Add this to the asparagus. Add also the red cabbage. Thinly shave the radishes on a mandolin and add to the bowl as well. No mandolin? Slice very thinly with a paring knife.



Combine the oil, juice, tarragon and mustard. Whisk until really well blended. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the asparagus and greens with the now cooled mushrooms. Divide out onto 4 plates. Now, using a small spoon, drop little bits of the soft Burrata cheese onto each of the 4 plates, add the pecans and drizzle the dressing over the top.

Serve with warm dinner rolls and you are a hit and, perhaps, a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio.




Chocolate Pecan Pie

This must be a dessert day for no other reason than I feel like chocolate and pecans. So here we go.


  • 1 1/3 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk
  • 1 cup chocolate melting discs (dark chocolate is best), melted
  • Chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the crumbs, pecans, butter and cinnamon and press firmly into a 9″ pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes and set aside.

Beat egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, beat the egg  yolks, condensed milk and melted chocolate discs until smooth. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into the pie crust.

Bake for approximately 34-36 minutes or until set. Cool.

When ready to serve, cut into wedges and drizzle with the chocolate syrup. Oh, if you insist, add a generous dollop of whipped cream on the side.

Pecan Tart With Whiskey

I love pecan anything and this one really catches my fancy on Sunday afternoon. Here we go…


  • 1- 12 inch round pie crust (your favourite recipe or roll out store bought)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. whiskey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of pecan halves or pieces
  • *special equipment -12″ tart pan with removable bottom

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the pie crust with foil and fill with baking beans. Bake until the crust has set and is a pale golden colour (about 30 minutes). Remove foil and the beans. Now bake the crust a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar  until thick and pale in colour. Add the corn syrup and beat in well. Add the butter, whiskey, vanilla and salt, beating until well blended. Stir in the pecans.

Pour the pecan filling into the baked pie crust and bake for about 25 minutes. (until center is set). Cool on a rack for 1 hour. Remove sides of the pie pan and serve barely warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

OMG! My mouth is drooling…..

Maple Pecan Squares

I must be in a ‘square’ mood these days. This should be Canada’s icon for sure.


Shortbread base

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper so it hangs over the sides.

Pulse flour, sugar, pecans, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly.

Press into the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes – just until it becomes brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool down.


  • Maple Pecan Layer
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (no substitutes)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch fine salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Whisk together the butter, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped pecans and pour over the cooled shortbread base.

Bake for 22-25 minutes until bubbly around the edges, Allow to cool completely before attempting to cut.





Toasted Pecan And Blue Cheese “Truffles”

Okay , the word truffles is a bit of a push, but a fresh grape tucked inside a rich cheese wrap and crusted with toasted pecans make them little treasures. These are best made ahead and refrigerated to allow the flavours to meld. Simply bring to room temperature and serve. Trust me! Your guests won’t know what hit them when they see and taste these beauties.

  • 4 oz. Blue Cheese at room temperature
  • 8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 30 seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • For garnish, fresh basil leaves and more grapes

Mash together the cheeses, basil and pepper until really well blended.

Scoop 2 tsp. of the mixture and insert 1 grape. Mold the cheese around the grape to completely cover. Roll in the nut mixture and lightly press to ensure it adheres to the cheese. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the grapes have been used. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To serve: bring to room temperature and set out on a platter. Garnish with basil leaves (stems removed) and grapes. Have a pretty container on the table with fancy picks and cocktail napkins at the ready.

Thanksgiving Sprouts And Apples

I know, almost everyone hates these little things, but with Thanksgiving not that far away,why not try this first, then present it again at your Thanksgiving table.

You WILL give thanks for this one. They  are very tasty – a little sweet and tart with a crunchy texture and not like what you grew up eating.


  • 2 lbs. Brussel sprouts
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2-3 drops of hot sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut in thin slices
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cups toasted and chopped pecans

Line a large baking dish with paper towels and set aside. Remove the outer leaves of the sprouts and discard. Cut the ends off and then cut in half.

In a large pot cook the brussel sprouts n boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain and plunge in ice water to stop the cooking process. When cool, drain and put in the bowl with the paper towels. Pat dry.

In a frypan,melt the butter, hot sauce  and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter begins to turn brown. This should take about 8 minutes. Add the sprouts and cook  for about 5 minutes. Now add the apples slices and thyme and cook until the apples are tender.

Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and serve.

Peach Cheesecake Squares

I just finished making peach jam (our very own peaches) and this is a delectable/delicious/and downright yummy dessert using it.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 – 8 0z. pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup peach jam
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves

To make the crust, combine the flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans and butter, mixing until crumbly. Keep 3/4 cup aside for the topping.

Press the remainder into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish that you have sprayed with Pam. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes until the edges are golden.

In  your mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until completely smooth. Spread over the hot crust, and bake a further 15 minutes. Stir the jam until quite smooth and spread over the top.

Mix the pecans halves into the remaining crumb mixture and sprinkle over the top. and bake another 15 minutes.

Cool completely on a rack and chill t least 3 hours or overnight.

What did I tell  you? Yummy!

Fudge That Is Smooth As Silk

What a fun way to fix that ‘sweet-tooth’ you all have but know that it is homemade with love, tastes fantastic and is easy to make. Give it a try. The flavours can be changed just by using the different coffee creamer flavourings out there. You know, the kind that you pour in, looks like cream but tastes like a fancy gourmet coffee.


  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream (36% if you can)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp. butter pecan coffee creamer
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

In a large pot, combine the butter, sugars, syrup. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until the candy thermometer reaches 241 degrees.

Immediately remove from the heat and add the creamer, but DO NOT stir. Leave for 20 minutes to room temperature.

Butter a 9 inch square pan. Here is where the fun begins.

Fill the sink with 2 inches cold water and put the pan inside and beat with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken. Add the pecans and continue beating until it thickens and begins to lose its shine.

When no longer shiny, transfer to the prepared pan and smooth the top down. You will have to work equickly or the sugar will begin to crystalize.

Do not cut the squares until it has rested for 2 hours at room temperature.


Barley And Cheddar Soup

This is not only tasty but good for you as well. Would I steer you wrong?

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2  celery stalks, washed, cleaned and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 8 oz. white button mushrooms, dusted and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • pinch each of dried sage and dried thyme
  • salt, cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1  1/2 – 2 cups aged white cheddar
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted, chopped coarsely

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until all vegetables are tender. This should take 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally so they don’t burn.

Add the barley and stir in well. Add the stock and herbs. Bring to  a hard boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered for 25-30 minutes until barley is tender.

Just before serving, stir in the pecans and cheese.