Chili-rubbed Spareribs

From the Kitchen…..

This is a favourite recipe for our family – one that we use for some family gatherings – especially Father’s Day.   The Dad’s in our family will be very happy to have this served this June 18th.  What are you making for your Dad?

Chili-rubbed Spareribs
4 racks pork side ribs, about 2.5 kg total
2 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp ground cumin
6 cloves garlic, minced

  • Trim excess fat from ribs. Spareribs have a thin membrane running along bony side. It shrinks during cooking, causing ribs to curl, and remains tough and chewy. To remove, run a fork tine underneath membrane and lift fork to loosen. Grasp membrane firmly and pull. It should come off easily in one piece.
  • To tenderize ribs, fold or cut racks in half. Place in a large saucepan and completely cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. (If not using right away, wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Ribs will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 days
  • Stir oil with ketchup, Worcestershire, chili powder, sugar, cumin and garlic.
  • When ready to barbecue, oil grill and preheat barbecue. Place cooked ribs on hot grill. Barbecue 5 minutes per side. Then generously brush or spoon sauce on both sides of ribs. Continue barbecuing until coating is hot and browned, from 2 to 3 more minutes per side. Serve any remaining sauce for dipping.

From Joanne’s kitchen – Chinese dumplings

From the Kitchen…..

Chinese Dumplings

My granddaughter and I prepared multiple appetizers for our families Christmas Eve Appetizer Dinner, and I love that she is more adventurous in the food that she will eat… and now make! We tried a few new recipes this year including these Chinese Dumplings.  They were super easy to make, wonderfully delicious to eat (she wanted to take some home with her after the appetizer party) and will definitely be added to our meal plan in the future!

It was easy to get all the ingredients locally, although I did have to go the little Asian Grocery Store at Castlefrank and Hazeldean to purchase the dumpling wrappers.  ($1.89 for 60 wrappers so it didn’t even make sense to try to make these!) Hope you enjoy!

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Take a dumpling wrapper and place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in center. Moisten edges with water, fold over and press to seal edges.

Add 3 tablespoons of Peanut Oil to a large skillet and saute until the bottoms are golden brown.  Remove from pan. Repeat process until all potstickers are cooked. Keep warm on a plate covered.

Some recipes suggest adding a ½ cup of water at this point to “steam” the dumplings, but because we made them in advance, I popped ours in the freezer and then put them in a bamboo steamer for 10 minutes prior to eating.  Once the “dough” turned opaque we knew they were ready.  Serve them with a Gyoza sauce made of: 1/3 cup of soy sauce, ¼ cup rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and some chopped green onions or chives.  You can add siracha sauce and/or a pinch of sugar here as well.  It’s all about preference.

These were really fun to make and eat. Looking forward to playing with this recipe a bit more – maybe making some to include Chinese Cabbage the next time.  Hope you try this one!


From the kitchen


Nothing says I was thinking of you like a plate of home-made cookies – and December is the perfect time of year to bring out those family favourite recipes to bake up some memories. This recipe came from my one of our mother-in-laws –  many moons ago.  We hope you will enjoy them!

¾ cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

½ cup milk

2 cups flour

¼ tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cloves

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped red & green candied cherries

1 cup chopped nuts – we like pecans or walnuts


Cream together well the butter and sugar until smooth. Add beaten eggs and milk. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (not the raisins, cherries or nuts), and then blend the wet and dry ingredients together in small batches until all combined. Add the raisins, cherries and nuts.

Drop by teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet, about 1” apart. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

These freeze well…  We know because we have tried to “control” my enjoying them by keeping them frozen…  don’t worry they thaw quickly… and we even like them frozen!

Spiced Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats

Spiced Pumpkin Steel Cut OatSpiced Pumpkin Oats

We have always eaten breakfast – by the time I get home from gym I am starving – so a “hearty” breakfast to carry me through until mid morning is important. I like to try to make something on Sunday night, that will last all week, and make it easy to have a good breakfast without spending lots of time prepping.  This week I made these pumpkin oats – using canned pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. It is sooooo good.  You should try it!

1 cup steel cut oats

3 cups water

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 apple, peeled and grated, although I just chopped it

After cooking:

Consider adding 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds


In a medium pot, combine oats, water, pumpkin puree, spices and apple.

Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through.

Stir in the maple syrup, allow to cool, portion into individual containers, and then top with pumpkin seeds. Heat to serve. I like to add milk to mine.

Note: You need to use steel cut oats for this – not regular oats. They are amazing!

Raspberry Pie the perfect summer treat.


From the Kitchen…..

Raspberry Pie

1-9 “ double pie-crust
4 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup white sugar
2 ½ tbsp. tapioca
1 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
4 tsps butter
1 tbsp half-half cream

Preheat oven to 425°.   Mix all raspberries with sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt together, and gentle place into crust lined, 9” pie plate.  Dot top with butter, and place 2nd pie crust on top.  Crimp edges with a fork, make slits in centre of pie for steam to escape, (I like to place a heart shaped piece of dough right in the centre to show the pie was made with love!) and then brush the top crust with the cream. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°, then reduce the heat to 375°, and continue to bake until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is sizzling – approximately 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool before serving.

From Joanne’s Kitchen – Strawberry Shortcake


From the Kitchen…..
It’s important to take advantage of the wonderful crops available to us locally during the growing season. Now that asparagus season is behind us, the next crop to look forward to is STRAWBERRIES. Although we are able to get strawberries year round, from California and Mexico, they simply don’t compare in taste to the local berries we grow right here. June is not complete without a trip to one of the local berry farms for a “Pick-your-own” outing with the grandchildren.  (They really ought to weigh them on the way in and on the way out…)  The following recipe is usually our go-to dessert for Father’s Day – hope that the berries will be ripe enough in time for June 19th.

Strawberry Shortcake

1 prepared Angel Food Cake or 1 pkg shortcake

Whipping Cream – vanilla and a spoonful of sugar

Strawberries – lots and lots and lots

A “true” Strawberry Shortcake is supposed to be made with short-cake, but our family prefers the light fluffiness of an Angel Food cake instead. Because I’ll be doing an Open House that day, making an angel food cake from a mix on Sunday morning is just fine by me. No one will notice that it comes from a package – it’s still made with the same amount of love.

Prepare strawberries in advance by washing, slicing and sprinkling with a few tablespoons of sugar and then refrigerating.

Whip the whipping cream until is starts to stiffen, then add 1 tsp of vanilla, and a few tablespoons of white sugar as well. Finish whipping and refrigerate.

Some people like to slice the top off the cake, scoop out the inners, and fill with the berry mixture. Others like to ice the cake with whipping cream, and then place a spoonful of the berry mixture on each slice as it’s sliced.  Serve it whatever way you like – just make sure not to miss out on eating some local berries this season – before they are all gone!