Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Marian served a Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing as a side dish at the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.


This Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing goes well with the Marinated Baked Pork Chops.


  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons diced onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • mix salad vegetables torn into bite-sized pieces (we used baby spinach)
  • 2 1/2 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons dried cranberries
  • 5 to 8 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 5 to 8 pears – peeled, cored and diced


Source: this recipe is adpated from

Serves 8


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Ginger Pumpkin Muffins

For dessert, Marian selected a Ginger Pumpkin Muffins for the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors. Muffin can be eaten as breakfast or as tea time snacks. It is a great lunch box item.


You may used fresh pumpkin puree or canned ones. It brought back the pumpkin pie flavours of fall. You may bake this in mini muffin tins or regular muffin tins.


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (recommend to use only 6 tablespoons as we find this recipe to be on the sweet side)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, or currant or craisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or canned


Source: this recipe is adapted from American Cancer Society

Makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular size muffins


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Marinated Baked Pork Chops

For the main course, Marian prepared a Marinated Baked Pork Chops for the seniors. It is tricky to make a tender pork chop as it usually ends up tough and dry.


This Marinated Baked Pork Chops are moist and quite tender as there is no complain from the seniors.


  • 6 pork chops, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup


Source: unknown via Marian

Serves 6


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Cauliflower Tomato Soup

This will be the last kitchen for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors for 2010. It was conducted during the Arctic freeze in late November 2010. South Arm Community Center was doing some renovation near the kitchen and the heater was not on. It was freezing cold in the kitchen despite we had switched on the oven and had some water boiling on the stove. It was so cold that my SLR camera froze up and I had to borrow Stella’s point and shoot camera to take some of the pictures.


Marian prepared 4 recipes for this kitchen. The first recipe was Cauliflower Tomato Soup. Soup is great for cold weather.


  • 1/4 cup sliced leek (white portion only)
  • 1/4 cup chopped clelery
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 x 10.75oz can condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflowerets
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Source: this recipe is adapted from

Prep time: 15 minutes;  Cook time: 15 minutes;  Serves 2


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Fried Magu Rice Vermicelli

With soup and chicken already on the menu, Joanna completes the meal with a carbohydrate dish. She made a Fried Magu Rice Vermicelli.


Joanna used a lot of chilis for this Fried Magu Rice Vermicelli. It was a little too spicy for some of the members but I love it.


  • 1 pack Magu rice vermicelli
  • 1/2 pound of beef
  • 2 red and green chilies, julienned
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-inch ginger, cut into slivers
  • salt and soy sauce to taste


You can substitute the Magu Rice Vermicelli with any vermicelli, preferably from Jiang Xi.


Joanna is from the province of Jiang Xi. According to Joanna, the above vermicelli is produced in the Nancheng County, under Mountain Magu, the famous taoist mountain.

On the package:

It is said that after Fairy Maiden Ma became a fairy, she used the rice to make radiant silver thread rice flour noodles. Then Fairy Maiden Ma presented it to the mother of the King in the heaven, on her birthday. Ever since then, it has be contributed to the courts of different dynasty.

Magu rice flour noodles, are all made of Magu silver pearl rice, based on traditional craftsmanship. It is a green food. The product is pure white, tasty, soft but flexible, durably cooked and fit for being fried and coldly dressed with sauce.

Source: Joanna; Serves 4 to 6

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BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

BBQ Chicken Drumsticks are Joanna’s family favourite, especially in summer, when she will barbeque them on the grill outdoor.  In winter, these BBQ Chicken Drumsticks can be baked in the oven.


The BBQ Chicken Drumsticks has crispy skin and the cut up drumstick is very easy to eat.


  • drumsticks
  • chilly powder to taste
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • Montreal steak spice mix to taste
  • soy sauce to taste


Source: Joanna


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Pork Neck Bone with Corn Soup

In the Caring Place Community Kitchen, Joanna shared some very homey Chinese dishes.


The first recipe is a simple Pork Neck Bone with Corn Soup. You may use pork rib to make this soup for a meatier cut of meat. Pork neck bone is very cheap, 99 cents per pound.


  • 2 pounds pork neck bone
  • 4 corns, cut into chunks
  • 3 to 4 slices of ginger
  • 8 to 10 cups of water
  • salt to taste


Source: Joanna;  Serves 6 to 8


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Breakfast Idea: Omelette with Spinach and Cheese (Frittata di Spinaci)

Minoo shared more basic food safety guidelines at the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. These guidelines apply to group cooking or cooking at home.

Personal Hygiene

  • If you are sick (cold, vomiting or have diarrhea), do not attend the community kitchen. If you must come, do not cook as you may contaminate the food you are cooking. Perhaps, you can help with the clean up.
  • Always tie your long hair back or wear a hat while cooking.
  • Wash your hands when you first get to the kitchen.
  • Wash your hands when you switch working from raw meats to vegetables or fruits.
  • Wash your hands anytime your hands become self contaminated. for example after sneezing or coughing into your hand or after using the washroom, after touching your hair, nose or face.
  • Don’t handle food with open sores and cuts on your hand. Wear thin plastic gloves is the best solution in this case.

Your Clothing

  • Pull up your sleeves to prevent your clothing from contaminated with food.
  • Wear a clean apron.

The Food

  • If a can is leaking, rusted or dented, do not open it. Throw it away. The contents may make you sick. If a can is bulging, do not open it and contact the Health Department.
  • After use, immediately wash any board and knife used for raw meat. Wash your hands too.
  • Cool food as quickly as possible before putting it into containers to take home. This can be done by putting it into shallow containers, and stirring regularly. Placing the pot or pan into an ice bath also works well.
  • Foods should be refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible. Bacteria will grow if food is left out at room temperature.
  • It is recommended that cooked meals can be kept up to 3 days in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.
  • When reheating meals at home, be sure to get the food up to the proper temperature, i.e. the food should be steaming hot.
  • Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, microwave oven or cold running water; not on the kitchen counter.


The last breakfast item which Minoo shared was Omelette with Spinach and Cheese (Frittata di Spinaci). You may add any leftover parsleys or cilantro into this recipe.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 3 green onions, chopped
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 pound spinach, stems removed (or baby spinach)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: this recipe is adapted from

Serves 6 to 8


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Breakfast Idea: Crunchy Chewy Granola

At the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen, Minoo shared with us some food safe leftovers tips from dietitian Heather McColl. Here is the excerpt:

Double duty dinners are a perfect time-saving solution to getting a homemade dinner on the table in a hurry. When storing and reheating leftovers, use the following measures to keep them food-safe:

  • Ensure your fridge is at the correct temperature: 4 degrees or colder. A fridge thermometer is a good investment.
  • Refrigerate leftovers immediately after dinner or within 2 hours of cooking.
  • Cool food quickly by storing in shallow containers on your refrigerator’s wire shelves to promote maximum airflow and even cooling.
  • Quickly cool a large pot of hot food like soup or stew by chilling in an ice bath and stirring frequently before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Chill large pieces of meat or poultry quickly and safely by deboning and dividing into small pieces before storing in the refrigerator
  • Date your leftovers and use within 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • When reheating leftovers, be sure to heat foods to an internal temperature of 74 degrees or bring liquids like soup to a rolling boil.
  • A good rule of thumb is when in doubt, throw it out as you can’t tell the safety of food by its look, smell or taste.


The second breakfast item which Minoo shared is a Crunchy Chewy Granola. This granola can be eaten as snacks or as topping on your favourite yogurt.


  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 5 1/2 cups old fashioned oat flakes (you may substitute up to 2 cups of oats with any other cereal flake you desire)
  • 1 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 cup chopped mixed nuts
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruits (like craisin, raisin, blueberry, sour cherry or goji berry)


In this recipe, Minoo introduced us with new sweetener called agave syrup. Agave syrup or nectar is available at Costco and Galloway’s Specialty Foods.


Minoo shared with us the nutrients of agave includes Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B6 (Phridoxine), B9 (Folate, Folic Acid), C, E, K, protein, selenium, natural fats, natural sugars, carbohydrates, starch, magnesium, calcium (good amount), iron, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and dietary fiber (good amount).

Source: unknown


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Breakfast Idea: Quinoa and Millet Porridge

Once again, Minoo prepared a few recipes for breakfast or brunch at the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good nutritious breakfast will help kids to perform better in school.


This Quinoa and Millet Porridge is stained purple by the blueberries which is rich with antioxidants. It is a good substitute to the more regular oatmeal porridge.


  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • honey


Source: unknown;  Serves 2


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