Louise Queen

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Cider – The Inital Steps

In Recipes on September 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm

There are so many apples trees in Nova Scotia, and there are only so many apple pies/crumble that you can eat – so what do you do? CIDER!

First off you need to get yourself some apples….



Then we thought we’d core them…


Although after the first bag we gave up and just chucked them in any old way, after all it’s all going to be strained eventually!

Next you need to pulp them or bash them up…


Not having ever made cider before we’ve been ‘making-do’ with whatever equipment we can find. We think a gin bottle filled with water works quite well…


Fill up your vessel/tub/bin (clean) with the pulp, add yeast and sugar and leave to ferment


Please feel free to comment, make suggestions etc as we don’t really know what we are doing/if we are doing it right


A Summer Take on Chocolate Cake

In Recipes on July 9, 2009 at 9:00 am

Okay so it’s Summer and we tend to lean more to fresh and fruity than to gooey and chocolatey! But why not combine the two? Here’s my way of making a chocolate cake a little more ‘appropriate’ for summer…



The recipe used is the same as for my chocolate cream cakes. It’s just a bog standard sponge recipe, but instead of make it into a sponge cake (or into individual cakes), I just make one half of a sponge cake! It makes it a little thicker, more torte like, just be sure to make check its cooked all the way through before you take it out of the oven.

Recipe Recap…
4oz caster sugar
4oz margarine (best not to use butter as it makes the cakes too greasy)
3oz self raising flour
1oz cocoa powder
2 medium eggs
white, dark, milk or a mixture of chocolate chips (lots are good, but don’t over do it as the cake will become too gooey)

Method –
Really really easy… (and lazy)
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, add in the eggs, mix well, add in chocolate chips.
Spoon mixture into round (greased and lined) cake tin
Bake at 180oC for 30-35mins.
Check cakes are ready by pushing lightly on the top, the cake should spring back up or try the old ‘stick a skewer in’ test (it should come out clear/have no cake mix on it)

Allow cakes to cool thoroughly!

What I love best about this cake is the chocolate fudge icing on the top. It was my Gran’s recipe but I copied it down wrong and have only just managed to figure out the exact quantities again.

1/2oz margarine
1oz cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of milk
4oz icing sugar

Melt the margarine in a pan and then add in the cocoa – stir well. Add the milk and head, but don’t boil! Take off the heat and sieve-in the icing sugar. Mix well until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake using a knife dipped in hot water to help.

Once the icing has set, garnish the cake with some summery flowers. Make sure the flowers are edible… although you probably won’t eat them it’s best to avoid any potential accidents. Some examples of edible flowers include, daisy, pansy and apple blossom (avoid those sprayed with pesticides etc)!

Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

The Art of Artisan

In Recipes on June 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

My regular bread requires little effort. In fact it allows me the luxury of rolling out of bed at 9am and still having fresh made-from-scratch bread on the table in time for lunch. It’s a recipe that my mother-in-law has been using for years and it’s pretty fool proof. The best part is that it still tastes delicious. Either make it in a bread pan or just pop on a baking tray for a more rustic look.





However, every cook likes to experiment and when I received a book titled “Artisan Baking” (by Maggie Glezer) for Christmas I couldn’t wait for our house to warm up enough (remember the stories of no upstairs heating, in fact you were pretty much sure to freeze if you moved more than 1/2 a meter from the wood stove) to try some of the recipes. Now spring has defiantly sprung (it’s 28oc out today) and so has my experimental side.

So what is Artisan (Artisanal) Bread, I hear you ask? According to the dictionary (quoted in the book also), “artisan” refers to a person working in a skilled trade or a craftsman. However, like me, Maggie Glezer wasn’t happy with this unclear definition and hence polled several well-respected bakers. The only conclusion that can be drawn from their varied responses is that for bread to be considered “artisan”, at least one part of its production must be performed by hand and it must be of good quality!

Being overly ambitious Cameron and I took a very big jump in at the deep end with our first attempt at artisan bread – a rustic baguette. The fact that the recipe called for 2 different starters should have been enough to warn us off. We tried and I must say we didn’t completely fail. We ended up with a rustic baguette that was cooked to the point where it may have made a reasonably good baseball bat. Overcome the crust, however, and the bread had a delicious flavor. Read the rest of this entry »

Dinner on the Deck

In Recipes on June 16, 2009 at 10:42 am


Last Wednesday, Cameron and I realized that we’d been together for 5 years! We’ve lived together for 4 years and 2 months of that and have so far managed 9 months of marriage (Cameron has just told me it feels like 9 years – charming!) Thinking this quite an achievement (and a good excuse) we decided we’d cook something special for dinner at the weekend.

I love Tapas and vote for it for any special occasion dinner. However, Cameron wanted lobster especially since they are ridiculously cheap at the moment only $4.99 per lb (approx £3 per lobster). We decided to combine the two and settled on a dinner of lobster with melted coriander (or cilantro in Canada) butter, chorizo fried in red wine, tumeric infused rice and peas and fresh crusty bread from the farmer’s market.



All washed down with a bottle of wine or two…. Yummy!

Stovies Recipe

In Recipes on April 28, 2009 at 11:05 am


Stovies = a traditional Scottish dish made with leftovers from the Sunday roast! Quick, easy and delicious. Although cleaning the pan after-wards isn’t that much fun..

Let me start with a confession, I don’t make stovies the ‘traditional’ way. Like everything else that comes out of my kitchen, they are made to my own unique recipe. However, (without sounding big headed) they taste pretty damn good.

What you’ll need:
*a large saucepan with lid
*oil (olive or vegetable)\
*1 large onion
*8-10 large potatoes
*1 pint of beef stock
*left over gravy
*left over meat
*beetroot and oatcakes to serve

1) Chop an onion into fairly small pieces and soften in some oil



2)Peel and then slice 8-10 potatoes (no hard and fast rule, the more potatoes, the more stovies you’ll end up with) into rounds



3)Add potatoes into the pan with the onions. Stir and remove from the heat. Read the rest of this entry »

Red equals Dead!

In Recipes on February 6, 2009 at 10:26 am
Blue = Alive

Blue = Alive

Lobster is Canada’s most valuable seafood export, contributing as much as $1 billion in export sales. In many ways, the lobster is Canada’s ambassador to the world and one of the exports most closely associated with this country. Consumers in 55 countries from Australia to Vietnam and all points around the globe enjoy lobster from Canada.

In Canada, lobster is harvested and processed throughout the Atlantic provinces (Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) and Quebec. Landings peak twice a year, once in the period from April to June when the spring season opens, and then again in December after the winter fishery opens in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Flicking through my photographs the other day I came across the pics we’d taken of our very own lobsters. The two that we cooked for new year. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheeky Chilli, Pepper and Tomato Chutney

In Recipes on December 17, 2008 at 2:21 pm

I’m afraid I cannot take all the credit for this recipe – it has been adapted from Jamie Oliver. I have to say though that it is delicious on any kind of sandwich or just with cheese. You can also add it into stews etc. It’s wicked stirred through gravy to accompany sausage and mash! Although, sausages aren’t something you can easily get in Canada, hence, I am really looking forward to some good sausage and mash next time I return home to Scotland. Or why not give it as a gift this Christmas?

All jarred up

All jarred up


•2-4 Red Chillies (depending on how hot you like it)

• 5 red peppers

• 4 ripe tomatoes

• olive oil

• 2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped

a sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped

• 2 fresh bay leaves

• a 5cm piece of cinnamon stick

• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 100g brown sugar

150ml balsamic vinegar

P.T.O for method

Read the rest of this entry »


In Recipes on December 3, 2008 at 1:32 pm




500g strong white flour

2 medium eggs + 1 for egg wash

75g caster sugar

30g (3 teaspoons) baking powder

75g butter, softened

230ml milk

100g sultanas

Makes 15-18 scones

Preheat oven to 425 oF (roughly 200 oC)


1) Mix all ingredients except sultanas for 5 mins, until well bound

2) Incoorporate sultanas into the dough

3) Tip out onto floured surface

4) Roll out dough until about 5cm thick then cut out scones

5) Put onto lined baking tray and egg wash (be careful egg wash doesn’t run down the sides of the scones as this will stop them from rising as well)

6) Chill for 30mins before baking at 425 oF for 10-15mins



Rocky Road Bars

In Recipes on October 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Rocky Road Bars

Ingredients –

200g chocolate (milk or plain)
175g butter or margarine
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 small packet of digestive biscuits/ 1/2 large packet crushed into different sized pieces
Nuts (optional)

Method –

Melt together the chocolate and butter, add the syrup half way through melting, mix well – be careful not to burn the mixture.
Stir in the crushed biscuits, marshmallows and nuts
Spread into greased/lined baking tin and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or over night
Cut into bite sized pieces and serve

Chocolate Cream Cake Recipe – by popular demand!

In Recipes on October 20, 2008 at 5:54 pm


4oz caster sugar
4oz margarine (best not to use butter as it makes the cakes to o greasy)
3oz self raising flour
1oz cocoa powder
2 medium eggs
chocolate chips (lots are good, about half a cup, but don`t over do it as cakes will become too gooey)

Method –
Really really easy… (and lazy)
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, add in the eggs, mix well, add in chocolate chips.
Spoon 1 dessert spoon of mixture into each cake case – the mixture makes 9 cakes.
Bake at 180oC for 20-25mins.
Check cakes are ready by pushing lightly on the top, the cake should spring back up.

Allow cakes to cool thoroughly!

Filling –
Whip 150ml (half a carton) of cream until thick.
Cut a small lump out the top of each cake (but KEEP it!).
Spoon in a generous dollop of the cream.
Now for the tricky part… cut each lump in half, place one of these halves at each side of the cream (to make it look like a butterfly) and finally dust with icing sugar.

Enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

pictures to follow (once I work out how to use these crazy huge Canadian ovens)