Author Archives: jillyswan

Shortbread Christmas cookies (Anne Swan’s)

Pie crust (Anne Swan’s)

Jamie Oliver’s Fantastic Granola (muesli)


1/2 cup Brazil nuts

3/4 cup walnuts

3/4 cup pistachio

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

3/4 cup sesame seeds

4 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 tsp cinnamon


1/2 cup dried sour cherries

1 cup soft dried apricots


Process nuts/seeds in food processor till deaired size ia reached. Remove. Process apricots and cherries. Mix nuts/seeds and cinnamon and bake in 350F oven until golden. Let cool. Add the oats, cocoa and apricots/cherries to the mix and stir.

Summer berry/fruit crisp recipe

Jill’s notes: It’s actually a crispy crisp! I tried with walnuts but pecans might be better, chopped quite fine.

This all-American fruit dessert is classic, comforting and easy to customize and assemble. The recipe takes especially well to summer fruit. Use a single variety or a mix.

You’ll need an 11-by-8-inch baking dish, with sides at least 2 inches tall, or a similar dish whose volume is at least 2 quarts. We also tested this in a 9-inch square dish, which may require a few more minutes of baking time. A ceramic or other non-glass dish is preferable. If glass is all you have, you can use it, but skip browning the topping under the broiler.

Serve with ice cream, heavy cream or whipped cream.

Make Ahead: The unbaked crumble can be covered and refrigerated for up to a day in advance.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

  • Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
  • 1/3 cup (77 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (30 grams) flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 cups fresh fruit, such as blackberries, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, plums, cherries or apricots (pitted and coarsely chopped or sliced, as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup (49 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (111 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces; 1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (56 grams; do not use quick-cooking or instant)
  • 1 cup toasted nuts (about 4 ounces) of your choice, such as pecans, almonds or hazelnuts, chopped (optional; see NOTE)


For the fruit: Generously grease your baking dish (see headnote) with butter.

Combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add the fruit; use a flexible spatula to gently toss together. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, spreading it evenly. If there is any remaining sugar mixture at the bottom of the bowl, scatter it evenly over the fruit, then drizzle the lemon juice evenly over it. Wipe out the bowl, because you’ll use it for the next step.

For the crumble: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk or sift together the flour, nutmeg and granulated sugar in the same mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, stirring to incorporate. Add the butter; use your fingers, a pastry blender or two table knives to quickly work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs (not too fine). Stir in the oats.

To assemble, scatter the nuts, if using, over the fruit. Then scatter the crumble topping evenly over the top.

Bake (middle rack) for 25 to 30 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling at the edges. Switch the oven to broil for a minute or so to further brown the crumble topping a bit — watch it carefully to avoid burning.

Serve warm, or at room temperature.

NOTE: Toast the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant, shaking the pan to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.

Strawberry jam

From Canadian Living magazine:

Know the Rules: The general rule for making jam is to haveequal parts sugar and fruit, by weight. I find you can usually get away with less sugar than that. The amount of sugar can also vary, depending on the pectin content of the fruit. But that’s the ballpark amount. Here’s how I made mine: In a large shallow Dutch oven, I combined:

  • 10 cups halved hulled strawberries
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

If you like your jam pulpy and thick, then crush your berries. If you like big berry pieces suspended in a strawberry syrup (like me!), then leave them halved. Like a mixture of the two? Crush half of the berries. See? Very complicated. Stir the mixture over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; bring to a full rolling boil, stirring often.
Boil hard, stirring almost constantly with a long wooden spoon (so your hand is nice and far away from any potential spatters), until setting point is reached, about 15 minutes. How do you know you’ve reached the setting point?Chill a small plate in the freezer and spoon a little of the hot jam onto the plate and let it stand for a few seconds to cool. When you run your finger through the syrup it should hold a firm line that doesn’t fill in. If you’re making the thick pulpy kind, when you push your finger in, the jam should wrinkle.
Let cool for 5 minutes and skim off any foam. Using sterilized metal funnel and measure, pour into hot sterilized 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Cover with prepared lids; screw on bands fingertip tight. Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to rack; let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. The lids should pop inward as they cool — then you know you have a good seal. The jam should last unopened for up to a year. Or you can use freezer-safe containers and freeze the jam, rather than go through the hullabaloo of canning. Totally up to you.


From pinterest

Shred the cucumber including skin. Mix with salt and then squeeze out excess liquid in a towel. I used fresh mint, dill and parsley. And only 1 clove garlic.

15 minute creamy avocado pasta



  • 9 ounces (255 grams) uncooked pasta
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 ripe medium avocado, pitted
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Lemon zest, for serving


    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. For a lighter option, serve the avocado sauce with zucchini noodles.
    2. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce: In a food processor, combine the garlic and basil and pulse to mince. Add the lemon juice, oil, avocado, and 1 tablespoon water and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Add all of the avocado sauce and stir until combined. You can gently rewarm the pasta if it has cooled slightly, or simply serve it at room temperature.
    4. Top with pepper, lemon zest, and fresh basil leaves, if desired.

    Notes: I used leftover salsa verde instead of basil

Gnocchi with Chicken, Green Beans and Feta


Store-bought gnocchi is a go-to pantry staple for this Greek-inspired dish. So fast and flavourful.

  • CourseMain Dishes
  • Prep. Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time10 mins
  • Yields4 Servings


1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) 15% or 18% cream
1 lb (450 g) pkg store-bought potato gnocchi
2 cups (500 mL) green beans, cut in half diagonally
1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen peas, optional
3/4 cup (175 mL) Canadian Feta, crumbled
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped fresh mint


In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; sauté chicken with garlic, oregano, salt and pepper for 6 to 8 min until chicken is browned and no longer pink inside. Add cream to pan; stir to coat chicken, then turn off heat.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook gnocchi and beans for about 2 min. Add peas and continue to cook until gnocchi starts to float, about 1 more min. Drain. Return gnocchi mixture to pot. Pour in cream mixture; set over medium heat. Cook 1 to 2 min until gnocchi is well coated. Stir in Feta and mint.