Grilled Bread

4 slices focaccia bread
2 tb olive oil
¼ tsp salt

Brush bread slices with olive oil and season lightly with salt or other favourite seasoning. Grill bread in 400F oven for 10 minutes; it should be crusty outside and chewy in the centre.

I don’t usually have focaccia bread in the kitchen, so I use any bread on hand and it’s always delicious. Grated Parmesan cheese is a nice seasoning; so is garlic powder. It's so simple and yet so good.


Chili Beans

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large (540-oz) cans kidney beans
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 540-oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
parmesan cheese

Sauté onions, pepper and garlic in oil until tender. 
Add remaining ingredients and heat over low heat, covered.

Serve with brown rice; sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Colourful, tasty, satisfying.

1.Add a can of brown beans.
2.Add a second can of diced tomatoes and stir your leftover rice into the chili beans before heating.
3.Melt grated mozza on tortilla chips in the oven and serve them as dippers.



2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup oil

Sift first 4 ingredients together. 
In another bowl, beat egg with milk and oil. 
Pour liquid into dry ingredients all at once, and stir just enough to moisten all dry ingredients. 
Batter will be lumpy. 
Fill well-greased muffin pans 2/3 full. 
Bake in 425F oven for 20-25 minutes. 
Makes 10-12 muffins.

Corn Meal: substitute 1 cup yellow corn meal for 1 cup flour.
Blueberry: add 1 cup fresh blueberries to dry ingredients. Makes 14-16 muffins.
Bran: decrease flour to 1 cup and blend 1 cup bran into dry ingredients.

Date Bran: also add ½ cup chopped dates to dry ingredients.


Grandma Benson’s Baked Potatoes

Wash potatoes, peels on, and slice in half lengthwise.
Poke with knife point to make tiny slits. Don’t poke all the way through.

Place on baking sheet in 425F oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and butter the cut sides of the potatoes lightly.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and/or whatever else you like (garlic or onion powder? surely anything goes).
Return to oven another 45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and tops begin to turn brown. 

I like to cook them till the tops are crispy sometimes too.


Don's Lemon Blueberry Freeze

3 cups whipping cream
1.5 cups sugar
4 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 cup lemon juice
10-oz can blueberry pie filling (also works good with fresh blueberries, saskatoons, raspberries or other pie fillings)

In a large bowl combine sugar and cream, until sugar is dissolved. 
Blend in lemon rind and juice - mixture will thicken slightly. 
Pour into 13"x9" pan and freeze until slightly firm (about 1/2 hour).

Drop spoonfuls of pie filling over cream mixture & swirl together with a knife. 
Cover and freeze until firm (about 4 hours). 
Cut into squares and serve. S
erves 8 - 10.


Basically Best MeatLoaf

All meatloaves are not created equal!
As a kid, I didn't care for steak; to me, it had the texture of cardboard. 
Anything made from ground beef, well, that was a different story. 
I am still not a big meat-eater, but to this day I like pretty much anything made with ground beef.

2 lbs ground beef
1 egg
1 c milk
½ c onion, finely chopped
¼ c parsley, finely chopped
1½ tsp salt (I don’t put that much, just a good sprinkling of it)
1½ c rolled oats OR 2 c soft breadcrumbs
¼ tsp oregano (or thyme)
½ tsp chopped garlic

Beat egg and add milk.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Form into loaf and place in shallow baking pan.
Place a few cloves and bay leaf on top.
Bake at 350F for 1½ hours.

You can use a cup of tomato juice in place of the milk in this recipe, but I prefer the meat loaf made with milk.

From Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, by Agnes Toms


Spinach with Feta

1 x 10-ounce bag fresh spinach
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
½ c crumbled feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tb dried dillweed
¼ tsp pepper

Rinse spinach and shake off excess water. 
In large frying pan over medium-high heat, cover and cook spinach in only the water clinging to the leaves, until they start to wilt, about three minutes.
Transfer to colander, press out liquid, and coarsely chop.
In pan, heat oil over medium heat and fry onions, garlic and dill till softened, about three minutes. Add spinach, pepper, and all but one tablespoon of the cheese, cooking and stirring till cheese softens, about two minutes. 
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

Don't be dismayed when you see how little volume there is in the end. This makes a small bowl and is intensely flavoured; there will only be a couple small spoonfuls per person and that will be enough. It's sort of a special treat, very rich; you don't want a whole lot of it. 



2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp baking soda
15 drops peppermint oil

This makes a nice small amount so it will be used up before bacteria from dipping your toothbrush into it becomes a concern.

The recipe was seen on Facebook and I finally got around to trying it out. 

Update, March 2016
I have been using the above homemade toothpaste for a long time, and did not connect it to my gums being quite often sore, achy, bleedy. I rinsed with salt water for relief, and it always worked, so I thought maybe bacteria in my mouth was the problem.
Then I read that baking soda is an abrasive and if used often to brush teeth, can make the gums irritated and inflamed.
So I stopped using it for several weeks. Suddenly I didn't even know my gums were there.
This morning I used the toothpaste again, and again my gums are sore.
So there you have it. This recipe is not for me.


Joanne's Antipasta

½ cup oil
1 cup chili sauce
½ cup malt vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic (crushed)
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup water
1 tbsp horseradish
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup catsup

Other Ingredients:
½ cup string beans (chopped)
6 mushrooms (sliced)
½ cup cocktail onions (sliced)
2 dill pickles (chopped)
3 cans flaked tuna
½ cup raw cauliflower
1 cup raw carrot (sliced)
½ cup stuffed olives (chopped)

Combine sauce ingredients and bring to boil. 
Add other ingredients. 
Simmer until veggies are almost done (30-40 minutes). 
Bottle and refrigerate. 
Keeps up to 4 months.


Spicy Burgers

"These burgers are spiced to perfection. To make them even spicier, you could melt jalapeno soy cheese on each patty and serve topped with salsa.

This is a SparkPeople.com Recipe (what's this)


1/2 cup flour
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 small hot or jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium red pepper, diced
2 cups cooked or canned black beans, mashed
1/2 cup corn niblets
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp parsley, minced (optional)


1. On a small plate, set aside flour for coating. In a medium saucepan, saut the onion, garlic, oregano, and hot peppers in oil on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent. Add the peppers and saut another 2 minutes, until pepper is tender. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the vegetables (including the corn), breadcrumbs, cumin, salt, chili powder, and parsley. Mix well. Divide and shape into 6 patties.
3. Lay down each patty in flour, coating each side. Cook on a lightly oiled frying pan on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or until browned on both sides.
Makes 6 patties.
Reprinted with permission from HOW IT ALL VEGAN! by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer (www.GoVegan.net) Arsenal Pulp Press."


Dressing Casserole

1 medium onion, chopped
4 tb butter
10 slices bread, cubed
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp sage
½ c celery, chopped
1 can chicken with rice soup
½ can water

Preheat oven to 325F.
Brown onion in butter.
Mix with remaining ingredients.

Bake 1 hour.

This recipe is in the little wooden cardholder box that Mom had at home while I was growing up, and that I have had since she bought something different and passed the old one on to me some 20 years ago. The recipe is in Mom's handwriting, on a piece of notepaper folded in half. 

And it's perfect for those holiday/family get-togethers, like Thanksgiving this coming weekend, when there is never really enough dressing inside the bird. 


Broccoli Chowder

¼ c butter
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1 quart homemade vegetable broth (see below)
1 tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 bunch broccoli, broken into tiny florets

Melt butter in heavy pot and sauté onion and garlic till tender but not browned. 
Add potatoes and sauté for 4 minutes longer.
Add broth, thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add broccoli, cover, and cook for 7 minutes or until florets are barely tender.

Vegetable Broth

½ c vegetable oil
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
3 large onions, chopped
6 medium-sized potatoes, diced
3 turnips, diced
3 cups parings from scrubbed carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips if available
3 quarts water
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tb salt
½ tsp pepper
small bunch parsley

Heat oil in large heavy pot and sauté vegetables for 20 minutes, stirring often.
Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil, covered partially, and simmer for 2 hours.
When cooled, put through fine sieve or run through blender. 
Cool, chill and freeze in pints or quarts. 
Makes about 5 quarts.

* recipes from The Natural Foods Cookbook


Basic Brownies

Grease and flour a 9”-square pan.

¼ c butter
¼ c cocoa
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten.
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 c whole wheat flour
½ c walnuts

Melt butter.
Add cocoa, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add eggs. Mix well.
Add flour and nuts (I like to double the nuts and the vanilla). Mix well.
Bake at 325F for 30 min. (Test with toothpick. I usually have to bake 10 more minutes.)

The original recipe gives ingredients and instructions for icing the brownies, but we like these just as they are. They are more than sweet enough! As a matter of fact, I made these one afternoon on the weekend and the pan was empty when I got up the next morning.

And lest ye think all recipes for brownies are created equal ... think again!
There is at least one brownie recipe marked "crappy" in my handwriting in a cookbook.


Huevos Rancheros

Sauté in oil:
chopped garlic and onion

 3 c diced tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 tb chili powder

Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Spoon over poached or fried eggs on toast or a tortilla.


Fire Cider

¼ c horseradish root, grated
1/8 c garlic, chopped
½ onion, chopped
¼ c ginger, grated
1 tsp cayenne

Mix well, place in jar and cover with apple cider vinegar.
Leave jar in a handy place for 14 days and shake it every time you have a mind to.
Strain, and you have your fire cider.

Fire cider keeps a long time without refrigeration. It’s one of the few liniments that may be taken internally. Liniments ae classed as medicines for external use only, since they are often made using isopropyl alcohol, which is poisonous when ingested. However, this recipe for fire cider has apple cider vinegar as the solvating medium, making it entirely safe to drink.

As a liniment it can be rubbed on the chest to reduce congestion and placed around the sinus areas to ease breathing, as well as on sore muscles and arthritic joints.

To take internally, add a teaspoon of the mixture to half a cup of boiling water. You might want to add a little sweetener such as honey, which happens to be soothing for a cold and sore throat.

Nothing is cheaper, easier or finer for breaking up congestion and easing the symptoms of a cold or flu. Try just a little at first to see how strong you can take it. If you find one teaspoon too weak, just double up.

All the ingredients are medicinal foods:

• Ginger will fight the microbes and get heavy mucous moving. It is a good anti-inflammatory and very beneficial for colds and congestion as well as for settling the stomach.
• Garlic supports the immune function and opens the pores of the skin to lower a fever.
• Horseradish will act as an antibiotic against certain strains of bacteria and is an excellent herb for clearing the sinuses.

• Cayenne stimulates blood flow and heats up the body, diminishing mucous buildup.

A recipe from Kahlee Keane.


Parker House Rolls

4 tb yeast
1/2 c lukewarm water
1 c milk
¼ c oil
1 tb honey
2 tsp salt
2 c whole-wheat flour
3 c white flour
2 eggs, beaten

Dissolve yeast in water. 
Heat milk to lukewarm; add oil, honey, salt; stir. 
Add w-w flour; add yeast and eggs. 
Beat well. 
Raise in warm place 15 minutes. 
Punch down, add remaining flour and knead for a few minutes. 
Roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. 
Brush with melted butter. 
Cut with three-inch biscuit cutter (a drinking glass will do the job). 
Fold each round in half and seal edges. 
Place rolls one inch apart on greased baking sheet. 
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes. 
Bake at 425F for 12 minutes.

Reprinted from Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: the Joy of Eating Natural Foods, by Agnes Toms


Jalapeno Poppers

Mix together:
1 cup grated cheddar cheese        
3 oz cream cheese                 
Dash Tobasco   
 Crushed garlic 
 (Optional: Monterey Jack cheese)  
Italian Seasoning                       
Lemon pepper               

Using rubber gloves, cut and seed peppers lengthwise. 
Fill with cream mixture. 
Dip in egg wash. 
Roll in bread crumbs and paprika. 
Place on cookie sheet, cut side up. 
Bake at 325F for 30 minutes or until cheese bubbles/melts.

These freeze well.

Don't ignore the rubber gloves or you will be sorry. 

If you do get the pepper juice on your skin, soaking in milk helps. 

If you get it in your eyes, you'll need to wash them out with water in an eye cup. 


Faye's Pasta Salad

Cucumber, quartered and sliced thin
Red onion, chopped
Pasta shells, cooked
Ranch dressing

Simple and delicious.