Easy Granola Bars

This Easy Granola Bars are fantastic and have a lot of flexibility. You can adapt the recipe to your liking. They are great for hikes, long road trips and camping as they store well and keep for fairly long time. You may adapt any combination of chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut, pecans, almond slices, or any other tidbits you like in this granola bar.


This Easy Granola Bars are loaded with carbohydrates from with oats, protein from the nuts and vitamins from the dried fruit. They are also rich in fiber. They make a great on the go breakfast for busy people.


  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries



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Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

Getting kids into the kitchen to prepare a weekend breakfast is perfect time for sharing quality time. Age-appropriate tasks not only help divide the workload in the kitchen but also give kids a chance to take pride in their accomplishments. Kids often enjoy the food more if they are involved in the making of it. Working side by side lets adults keep a watchful eye without hovering.

Below are samples of age-appropriate tasks that kids can involve in making a healthy breakfast:

Young hands:

  • placing cut fruits into juicer for juicing fruit
  • setting the table
  • flaking fish for Smoked Fish Hash
  • pressing blender buttons
  • whisking eggs together for scrambled eggs


  • measuring ingredients
  • cracking eggs into a small bowl before adding in case some shells slip in
  • whisking, stirring, mixing, folding
  • mashing butter for Baked Stuffed Tomatoes and stuffing them


  • cooking with some minor assistance with a nearby adult at hand for support and to answer any questions


This easy side dish makes a nice addition to many breakfasts, such as scrambled eggs and Smoke Fish Hash. If you like, use small tomatoes cut in half.


  • 6 ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds/1.5 kg)
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs



Continue ReadingBaked Stuffed Tomatoes

Smoked Fish Hash

The Richmond News came to the Gilmore United Church a few weeks ago to interview the Richmond Community Kitchen for their newly launched community guide. That community guide is called Welcome to Richmond. In their first edition of December 2009, they choose to highlight the Richmond Community Kitchen for their cover story! We were all so excited.


In the cover story, the monthly community guide talked about the role of the RCK in supporting the diverse multi-cultural community that you find in Richmond. We felt that food and cooking is one element that brings people from various culture together. Being a SAHM, I personally had formed lasting friendships through the RCK. I encourage those of you who lives in Richmond to come join us to learn about food and of each others culture.

There are a total of six community kitchens in Richmond. So there is at least one near where you stay if you live in Richmond.


On that day of the interview, we did a series of recipes for breakfast and brunch. While the interview was done at the Gilmore Church, this series is documented with the South Arm Community Kitchen. We do sometimes rotate the same recipes with several kitchens.


As requested by some members of the cooking club to do a session on breakfast and brunch item, Minoo came up with four very nutritious recipes to share. Minoo also shared some important breakfast basics with the members. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy morning meal will fuel the kids up in time for school or a day of play at the child care. We simply need to refuel our body in the morning after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. That’s why the morning meal is called break fast. Skipping breakfast can made kids feel tired, restless and irritable, moody and lack of energy.

Breakfast also can help keep kids’ weight in check. It kick-starts the body’s metabolism, the process which converts fuel in food to energy which starts the burning of calories. People who skips breakfast is likely to get famished before lunchtime and snack on high-calorie foods or overeat at lunch which cause overweight issue.

Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein while low in added sugar may boost kids attention span, concentration, and memory. Breakfast that boosts brain power is what kids need to improve their learning in school.

With all the benefits of a good breakfast in mind, here is the first breakfast/brunch recipe.


This Smoked Fish Hash has a smoky flavour that kids will love. It is simple and straight forward diner classic. When top with some eggs and Baked Stuffed Tomatoes, it makes a hearty breakfast.

For a variation, you may make a Corned Beef Hash by substituting the smoked fish with corned beef, diced and omitting the rinsing and poaching process.


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Mushroom and Spinach Frittata with Smoked Gouda

Someone in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors suggested to have one cooking session for making brunch. It was a great idea and the organizers (Stella, Minoo and Charlene) came up with a few brunch recipes. Stella also handed out an article on how breakfast may improve memory in healthy elderly for the seniors to read. In this article, a study of 22 men and women 61 to 79 years of age, researchers observed improved performance on memory test 15 minutes after ingestion of pure protein, pure fat or pure carbohydrate beverages following an overnight test, as compared with scores achieved after ingestion of a placebo beverage containing no energy. This study shows that memory may be enhanced by eating any type of breakfast – regardless of whether it is comprised of protein, fat or carbohydrate.

Stella, as a coordinator of South Arm’s seniors, has hands on experience on this matter. Among one of the members in South Arm’s seniors group, Stella noticed a big difference in one of the senior’s performance at certain days. She found that the day this particular senior had a good breakfast, her performance improved on that day.


The first brunch item the seniors made was Mushroom and Spinach Frittata with Smoked Gouda. Frank and Karen made this Frittata. Here we go again with Frank slicing up onions again. Frank seemed to be doing a lot of slicing onions and mincing garlic in the community kitchen.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach leaves or torn Swiss chard
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper



Continue ReadingMushroom and Spinach Frittata with Smoked Gouda