• Alexi Chatzilias Alexis
    Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Pecan Pie

    I made this for a friend’s birthday, and he said it was “the best pecan pie he’s ever had,” which is exactly the kind of response you want when you bake something for someone. It’s both the first one I’ve ever baked and the first one I’ve ever eaten, but I know I’ll be making it again, because it’s always good to play the hits. Pecan Pie Ingredients Directions Based on Epicurious’ Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie recipe with alterations.

  • Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Honey Ginger Pumpkin Pie

    I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to my traditional recipes, so generally speaking, I stick to the absolute most iconic version of a pie and do it very, very well. Last year, however, we had a bit of an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner, and I couldn’t track down my own pumpkin pie recipe (which is here, on my website – how hard is that, Candace?), and I found one I’d printed from somewhere ages ago and decided to give it a whirl. How did we end up putting together a full turkey dinner on the fly? Well, you see, my friends David and Meghan got married on Thanksgiving…

  • Lentil Cottage Pie

    Lentil Cottage Pie

    Hearty, comforting, and vegetarian, this Lentil Cottage Pie is my sister Cassie’s recipe, and it’s a perfect vegetarian main dish for Autumn dinners like Thanksgiving.  A few years ago, we were on a family trip in the Scottish Highlands, and we stopped at a small cafe in Helmsdale.  Their vegetarian Cottage Pie was delicious and filling on a cold, windy Scottish day, and it inspired Cassie to create her own. This recipe could be made vegan with a few small alterations – mostly by omitting the butter and using oil or coconut oil instead. Lentil Cottage Pie Ingredients 3 lbs potatoes, cubed + salt 3 tbsp butter and olive oil…

  • Canning Peaches - Hot Pack Method
    Canning and Preserving,  Recipes

    Canning Peaches – Hot Pack Method

    Canned peaches can be eaten just as they are, or used in recipes that call for fresh ripe peaches.  Try to get high-quality fruit at peak ripeness for best results. People always make canning seem super-difficult and complicated and time-consuming, but in fact it’s mostly washing things and cutting up fruit or vegetables.  Don’t be afraid – just make sure your work area is clean, wash everything well, and follow the instructions below! I’ve added some notes at the bottom from my first experience canning peaches; they’re as much for myself as anyone else, but you may find them helpful! Canning Peaches – Hot Pack Method Yield: 5-6 Litres Prep time: It…

  • Recipes

    White Pizza: Caramelized onions, mushrooms, and roasted garlic

    One night, I was feeling adventurous and decided to try making pizza crust.  Out of that batch, there was enough crust for two pizzas; one with a tomato base, and one white pizza.  The tomato-based pizza was pretty good, and has become a staple of my pizza repertoire.  But the white pizza was delicious, and after a pizza night, my sides are usually aching from having eaten too much of it.  So here’s the recipe! This was the first time I’ve tried making my own pizza crusts from scratch, and while I always find it a bit frustrating, the results are usually pretty good. I’m going to experiment a bit more before…

  • Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

    I always associate rhubarb with Summers at my Nana and Papa’s; they’d pick a fresh stalk of rhubarb and hand it to me with a small dish of sugar to dip the end in. Nana would make what she called ‘Rubarberry,’ a sauce of strawberries, rhubarb, and sugar that she and Papa loved to have on toast. And Papa tried his hand at Rhubarb wine, along with his other wine-making experiments (his mainstay was the sweet red wine that bubbled in demijohns in his basement throughout the Autumn). Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie has always been a favourite of mine, but somehow I never did get around to making it until this Spring,…

  • concord grape pie
    Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Concord Grape Pie

    From the time I was little and well into my teens, my Papa would drive to the Niagara Region every Autumn to buy bushels of concord grapes so that he could make his yearly supply of of sweet red wine.  Sometimes I would help out with the press, but mostly I was just eager to steal some concord grapes for myself, that incredible sweet-tart burst of flavour a treat that came with my favourite season.  In the following months, the demijohns would bubble away in the basement, filling the whole room with the smell of wine. As an adult, I’ve often bought concord grapes at the market and been instantly…

  • Nana-Approved Turkey Pot Pie
    Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes,  Shaw Christmas Favourites

    Nana-Approved Turkey Pot Pie

    2017 Update: I posted this Turkey Pot Pie recipe in 2010, and two years later my lovely Nana died.  This recipe still reminds me of her; her approval meant a lot to me.   2010 Original post: This is essentially a basic turkey pot pie recipe, but I like to think that I’ve particularly made it mine by emphasizing the thyme, salt, and pepper.  This savoury pie could probably handle a little sage, too, but have a light hand – the thyme really makes it irresistible. And don’t be stingy with the salt and pepper. I find too that no matter how badly I think I’ve screwed up the homemade pastry,…

  • Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Pumpkin Pie

    One of the greatest pleasures of Autumn is pumpkin pie.  I wasn’t converted until I was well into my twenties; the idea of vegetables in desserts didn’t sit well with me.  Nowadays, as soon as the weather turns cooler I start to think of the creamy deliciousness of my own homemade pumpkin pie.  I got this recipe from Terri, who took me under her wing when I was at theatre school and away from my family for the first time. Whether for Thanksgiving, Hallowe’en, or just to celebrate Fall and harvest-time, this easy pumpkin pie recipe is exactly the thing you’re looking for. As with all of my sweet recipes,…

  • Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Pie Pastry (Basic)

    This recipe is from a copy of The Canadian Cookbook which my Uncle Johnny gave to my Mom for Christmas in 1975. ((In a strange coincidence, I won a copy of the exact same book at a pie-making competition where the pie I’d entered used this pastry recipe!))  I’ve copied it directly with a couple of side notes where I differ from the ladies who wrote the recipe. Trust me when I say you should not go check with Martha or any of the other gods of the food world; just trust me and the 1970s, and follow this recipe to the letter, and you will have a pretty good…

  • Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Apple Pie

    Easy-peasy, lovely and delicious, Apple Pie is the perfect thing for just about every day, if you feel like it. I know oldsters and orchard-owners will tell you all kinds of things about which apples make the best pie, but I’d say that MacIntoshes and Granny Smiths are the absolute best apples for pie making that are regularly available in most grocery stores (in Canada, anyway).  I know other apples hold together better in the pie, but taste is my issue, not texture, and you can’t beat Macs and Grannies for perfect sweet-tartness. If you want a pie that tastes less like a straight-ahead old-fashioned version and more like candied…