“Any Fruit” Cake Bars

The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club made a Pear Cake Bars for dessert. This is in line with adding more fruit in our diet idea.

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Michelle served the Pear Cake Bars with a scoop of frozen yogurt.

You can freeze small portions of this treat wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups berries or chopped fruit (rhubarb, apples, peaches, pear, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon or orange zest

Batter

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • icing sugar, if desired

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P/S: the pears are from Michelle’s backyard pear tree

Source: adapted from Guilt-free Sweet Treats

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Easy Skillet Fruit Cake

Michelle prepared an easy Skillet Fruit Cake for dessert at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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This cake is best made in a cast iron skillet which gives it a crispy bottom. Since the South Arm kitchen does not have a cast iron skillet, we baked the cake in a regular round cake pan and muffin tins.

We made two versions of this cake, one with thinly sliced pear and another with canned peaches. The pear gives the topping a slightly crunchy texture.

The simplicity of this cake is that you can mix it by hand and have it in the oven in 5 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (recommended) or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (or other stoned fruit, apples or pears, thinly sliced)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar for topping

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Source: mintgreenapron.blogspot.com

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Quinoa Chocolate Cup Cakes

The last superfood featured in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is Quinoa.

Benefits of quinoa includes:

  • contains essential amino acids
  • good quantities of calcium, phosphorous and iron
  • high in protein, the complete protein source, similar to meat source
  • high in fiber

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This Quinoa Chocolate Cup Cakes is made without flour; i.e. gluten free.

This recipe makes an 8″ round cake or you can make them as cup cakes for easy portion control. We managed to get 30 cup cakes from this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk or soy milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups white or cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

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Source: adapted from Quinoa 365 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming

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Deep Dark Chocolate Yogurt Zucchuni Cake

At the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen, Minoo made a cake with a portion of the huge zucchini from her CSA box.

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This Deep Dark Chocolate Yogurt Zucchini Cake is moist and healthy. This will be great for kids lunch box or after school snacks. A great recipe to sneak in vegetables for fussy kids.

Minoo also shared with us the benefits of zucchini in the above excerpt. You can click on the scanned document to have a larger view.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
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Source: this recipe is adapted from Dinner with Julie

Serves 16

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Apple Cake

Minoo served an Apple Cake as dessert for the South Arm Community Kitchen.

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You can substitute carrot for the apple in this recipe. Zucchini also works well with this recipe and you can substitute the walnuts with chocolate chips for the zucchini cake.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups grated apples
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Shefali Raja’s recipe from Simply Great Food; Dietitians of Canada, 2007 Robert Rose Inc.

Yield: 20 servings

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Black Bottom Banana Cake Squares

Michelle shared a banana cake recipe for dessert at the South Arm Seniors Kitchen. In fact, we had two desserts for this kitchen. We enjoyed the double desserts from Michelle’s cravings for sweets during her last leg of pregnancies. The recipe is inspired by Stella’s contributions of frozen bananas from her freezer.

Michelle told us that the best way to freeze unused ripen banana is as it is. Do not store them in ziplock bag or they’ll become soggy.

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This Black Bottom Banana Cake Squares are very moist.  The cocoa adds the chocolate flavour without adding extra sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

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Source: Hospitalilty: Cooking the Doukhobor Way

P/S: You can halve the recipe easily and bake in a 8″x8″ square pan

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Gingerbread Snacking Cake

For dessert, Michelle prepared a recipe from Martha Stewart for the South Arm Seniors Kitchen. This cake has the elements of gingerbread which fits for the season.

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This Gingerbread Snacking Cake freezes well. You can serve this cake with a dollop of whipped cream or ice-cream for a treat. The aroma of molasses filled the kitchen while the cake is baking. This cake is light and fluffy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • icing sugar for garnishing
  • whipped cream or ice-cream for topping

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart

Serves 12

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The Secret Garden Tea in Kerrisdale, Vancouver

Polly and I met again for our sweet treats. We went to the Secret Garden Tea in Kerrisdale, Vancouver.

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The Secret Garden Tea Company is a family-owned business run by sisters-in-law Kathy and Erin Wyder. It was established in 1995, inspired by Kathy’s grandmother, Gammy Bentail.

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We sat at the inner section which is more quiet. The front section was buzzing with customers. The Secret Garden Tea Company’s mission is to offer moments of comfort, beauty and joy in an elegant yet comfortable setting, beautiful eats, and a good cup of tea.

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We were ecstatic when we saw the sweet treats on display. We almost wanted to order one of each of the miniature sweets to try. When we asked the server the price of the miniature sweets and our intention to get one of each, she suggested us to try one of the high tea menu instead. The miniature sweets is $1.95 each.

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You may click on the menu to have a larger view.

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The server was very helpful in explaining to us the difference between the high tea options.

We opted the Sharing High Tea for $11.95 per person. The Sharing High Tea comes with 3 miniature sweets of the server’s choice and a miniature scone served with raspberry jam, devon cream and one of Secret Garden Tea. We asked for the miniature sweets to be all different so that we can maximize our tasting. This Sharing High Tea is good for … (more…)

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City Blends Coffee in Mission

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Complete Disclosure: We knew the owner of this cafe and some of the food and drink were complimentary. But most of them were paid.

 

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Polly and Vince had to pick up their kids from a music camp in Mission. They decided to visit a friend of ours who recently bought over the City Blends Coffee in Mission. I just tag along for a free music concert and visit this friend of ours.

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The first sight which impressed me is the huge parking lot and the patio. You cannot find such space in Richmond or Vancouver.

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I like the cozy corner where one can enjoy a cup of coffee and surf the internet with the free wifi or engross in a book.

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Besides coffee and tea, City Blends serves light meals like wraps, soup, salad, sandwiches, cakes and baked goods.

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The baked goods here are made onsite by the Pink Spatuala. Some of the baked goods includes biscotti, cookies, bars, brownies, cakes and miniature sweets.

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We ordered the above drinks before our friend arrived. From left to right, Hot Chocolate ($2.85),  Cappuccino ($2.90) and Caramel Machiato ($3.40).  My Caramel Machito was good, with a mellow coffee flavour.

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Later, the owner served us some sample of Chai Latte which is one of the cafe’s specialty. It is very creamy and rich in spice flavour which includes cinnamon, cloves, etc.

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Polly bought some cup cakes for her twin daughters. They looked … (more…)

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Cafe de lÓrangerie on Granville St. and W 70 Ave

Polly and I had been to this location before when it was Italia Deli & Cafe. Italia Deli & Cafe was closed down and replaced by Chloe Cafe which is a Vietnamese Cafe. Now, it is taken over by Cafe de l’Orangeri. The name sounds like French but it is a Japanese Fusion Cafe. Upon entrance, there were magazines on a rack which are mostly in Japanese.

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The server told us that they had opened for 10 months. The server speaks Japanese. We also noticed a couple of customers who speak Japanese.

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The Cafe de lÓrangerie serves typical cafe food like sandwich, panini, salad, soup, etc.

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Of course, Polly and I came here for their coffee, desserts and cakes. There is not a lot of choices for desserts and cakes though.

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It is clean and the decor is more modern now, compare to Italia Deli & Cafe. It was quiet on a Monday morning. We were there early, about 9:30 AM. It seats about 20 with 3 sofas and 4 counter seats.

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