Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


This cake was a delightful festive dessert.  If you love the flavors of gingerbread this is a cake for you.  It would be lovely for Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas and your house will smell divine while it is baking.  Apples would work nicely here too. We have just come into pear harvest in our area so this was the perfect recipe to make.

The inspiration for this gingerbread cake came from the blog Dinner With Julie – you can find the original recipe here. This is a recipe that easily converts to gluten free.  I have made a few of Julie’s recipes now and they never disappoint.  Thank you Julie, your recipe is a gluten free winner in this household!

Usually I always make my own gluten free flour blends for any baking.  This time, I decided to try Cloud 9 Cup for Cup All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour.  (we found it at Costco – no paid advertisement here…just sharing something new!)

It worked great in this recipe with a good “cake” texture and nice and moist too. (although it did not work so well for pancakes, but that could have been my own error with the dry to wet ingredient ratio – hence more experimenting with this flour down the road)


2 Tblsp. butter

2 Tblsp. honey

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 ripe but firm pears -peeled, cored, quartered then slice into sections


1/4 cup butter – room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup dark molasses (I used organic black strap molasses)

1 Tblsp. fresh grated ginger

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup Cloud 9 Gluten Free Flour (or your own blend)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup buttermilk (add a good splash of vinegar then top up with milk to make a 3/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8 or 9 inch round pan or deep pie plate with oil.  For the topping add the butter, honey, brown sugar to a small sauce pan and melt stirring to combine on low heat.  Pour into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly.  Place the peeled sliced pears in a circular pattern on top of the melted sugar butter topping.


Beat the butter, brown sugar in a medium bowl till well blended.  Add the egg, vanilla, ginger, molasses and beat thoroughly.  (it may look separated)

In a smaller bowl, sift the dry ingredients.  Add 1/2 to the molasses mixture stir by hand until just combined.  Add buttermilk, then remaining dry ingredients and stir again until just combined.  Pour over the pears.  It will be slightly thick so spread the batter evenly over the pears.

Bake for 40 minutes until the top is springy.  Let stand 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a plate to cool.  Serve with whipped cream…sooo yummy!

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


Before commencing with today’s recipe I thought it fitting to make mention of our recent “Royal” visit.

Our fair city has been a whirl wind of activity for the past week. We have just finished our “Royal” visit with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Victoria B.C.  They spent the week touring throughout a number of areas in B.C., but their “home” base was here.

Work had no sooner slowed down then all of a sudden went crazy once again.  Although we did not see them, we sure saw the crowds and crowds of people welcoming them throughout the city.  What a lovely couple they are – truly gracious and humble.  Their visit brought huge numbers of people from all areas and internationally too.  The Royal visit is now over, although for many Victorians it is a visit that will long be remembered and cherished.  Bless their hearts for the work they do, for the humble way in which they reach out to all people.

I suppose with the Royal visit I should have created a typically English dish such as the famous “Eton Mess”.  However, we are still inundated with farm fresh vegetables.

So a vegetable side dish it is.  Wow….did this ever take green beans to a whole new level.  With really bright and tasty flavors these simple ingredients really went well with green beans.  It is hard to believe we are in the first week of October and we can still get green beans at our farmers market.  It has been the start to a lovely fall in our neck of the woods.

Last year I remember practically crying because I did not stock up on enough fresh organic shallots – I have done so this year – my favorite over a regular onion any day!

You can find the sun dried tomato pesto recipe here.  Or use your favorite kind – regular pesto would be delicious here too.

1/4 lb. fresh green beans, end trimmed

1 large shallot, halved then thinly sliced

2 Tblsp. sun dried tomato pesto

juice of 1/2  a small lemon or less to taste

1-2 Tblsp. of reserved green bean water from blanching

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt and pepper to taste

Heat up a frying pan on low medium heat with a good drizzle of EVOO.  Add the sliced shallots, season with salt and pepper and saute until lightly golden – about 8-10 min.  Meanwhile bring a pot of water to the boil, and blanch the green beans for 2 minutes.  Reserve 2 Tblsp. of green bean water.  Drain the green beans and immediately submerge in an ice bath to stop the cooking.

Remove the green beans to a clean towel and pat dry setting aside.  Once the shallots are golden, remove to a dish.  Add the pesto and green bean water, 1 Tblsp. at a time (you may only need 1 Tblsp.) to the frying pan – stirring well.  Then add the green beans, lemon juice, and check for seasonings to coat.  Toss well to evenly coat the green beans.

Serve hot alongside any main dish.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


Nothing says fall like beautiful squash – and much cooler temperatures too.  Work has finally slowed down….the tourists are going back home.  What a whirl wind of a summer we have had!  Still not sure where summer went and now it is already fall.

With the cooler weather,  we have been having more soups lately and this one was lovely.  Although, personally I could eat soup any day regardless of the weather.  Okay, well maybe not with 32 degree temperatures.

This soup was inspired by a recipe I found in our local newspaper.  Theirs was a root vegetable soup but having a curry squash on hand this is what I used.  Acorn or butternut squash would be delicious in this soup as well.  A good homemade chicken or vegetable stock is a must for this soup.

4  to 4 1/2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock

2 1/2-3 lbs. squash

4 large shallots

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large carrot – chopped

3 large minced garlic cloves

2 medium apples

1  1/2 inch knob of finely minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. Thyme

1 Tblsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

good pinch of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.  Lightly drizzle with EVOO and place onto a tin foil lined baking sheet.  Peel the shallots and cut into quarters – lightly drizzle with EVOO to coat.  Season the squash and shallots with salt and pepper.

Bake for 1 hour until the shallots are lightly browned and the squash is cooked through.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Once cool add the shallots to a food processor.  Scoop out the flesh of the squash and add to the shallots.  Add 1/2 cup or so of stock then puree until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

Meanwhile heat up a dutch oven with a Tblsp. of EVOO.  Add the chopped carrots, garlic, apples, ginger, thyme and saute for about 8 minutes.  Add 2 cups of stock, and the apple cider vinegar.  Bring to a light simmer, and cook until the carrots are tender.  Once cooked remove from the heat and allow to cool about 10 minutes. Add to the food processor or use a stick blender and carefully puree the carrots and apples.   Add the pureed squash, bay leaves and remaining stock to the pan – stirring to combine.  Bring back to a light simmer, check for seasonings and add a good pinch of nutmeg stirring well.   Let simmer for a 30 minutes, remove the bay leaves and serve hot with good gluten free bread or buns. (we forgot to take a picture of the soup finished…until dear husband of mine gave his bowl a good stir…please forgive the untidiness but we were starving!)

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


Thought I would post this early as beautiful fresh tomatoes in our neck of the woods are not too far away. With an abundance of heirloom tomatoes making stewed tomatoes is a great way to use them up.  Although for weeks on end we just eat them fresh off the vine.

We do not do much [...]

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


I have never had Jamaican Jerk Chicken before.   My daughter recently returned from a vacation to Jamaica and she raved about the BBQ Jerk Chicken she had there.  She also went crazy over their curries.  So another recipe is in the works for down the road….I just need to find Tamarind paste….so far no [...]

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


Although I do have a number of rice dishes on this blog….rice is not my favorite side dish.  Never has been. (unless it is Risotto or a lovely dessert rice pudding) However, if you make it into a pilaf, adding numerous flavorings and other ingredients, it creates a flavorful side dish indeed.

We recently discovered this [...]

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe



Please contact me through my email with your mailing address to receive your free copy of the cook book….congratulations Linda!

I recently received The Italian Diabetes Cook Book Delicious And Healthful Dishes From Venice To Sicily and Beyond written by [...]

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


Wow, did this dish ever exceed my expectations.  It was YUMMY.  With the Quinoa and Yams I also used cooked Mung Beans – a powerhouse of nutrition in a small bean.  This is a dish that would be great for lunch or dinner – served at room temperature.  It will get even better the next [...]

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


Nothing says spring like fresh, beautiful rhubarb.  (well that and fresh asparagus)  I love the gorgeous pink color….in fact when chopping the rhubarb it turned my cutting board pink!

While strawberries are not in season until June, I did use organic halved frozen strawberries in this dish.

There could also not be an easier dessert to make.  [...]

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


We have had endless days of rain in our neck of the woods which always leads me to comfort food.  Lasagna being a family favorite.  There are a number of different lasagna recipes on my blog and while this is somewhat of a traditional lasagna there are a few new ingredients as well as a [...]