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Happy Canada Day!

1 Jul

Happy Canada Day!

Here are two of the best treats we know: Butter Tart Squares and Naniamo Bars.

We have to give credit to Canadian Living for their great holiday menus. Year after year, they always have an interesting selection of patriotic recipes, like this one which includes bite-sized Cedar-Planked Salmon with Maple Mustard Glaze, Beer and Bacon-Steamed Mussels, Mini Lobster Rolls, and Green Bean and Barley Salad.

Nanaimo Bars

Nobody disputes the origin of these treats (Nanaimo, B.C.), but there’s always an opinion on the exact ingredients. This recipe makes 18 pieces servings

Naniamo Bars
Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.

Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
These uniquely Canadian squares are a must for any Canada Day celebration. This recipe makes 16 squares servings

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp(2 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp(2 mL) (2 mL) vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 cup (250 mL) raisins
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped pecan
In bowl, combine flour with sugar; with pastry blender, cut in butter until crumbly. Press into 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan; bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 15 minutes.

Topping: In bowl, mix together butter and eggs; blend in sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Stir in raisins and pecans; pour over base.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Let cool on rack. (Make-ahead: Wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.) Cut into squares.

Kick-the-Can Vanilla Ice Cream

7 Sep

We love it when children are around for summer barbecues, because it equals slave labour. This cool dessert is a great way to keep small ones entertained — and away from our drinks.

Recipe from Canadian Living Test Kitchen


In large heavy saucepan, bring milk, cream and vanilla beans to boil over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat; cover and let stand to steep for 30 minutes. (If using vanilla extract, add after removing pan from heat.) Remove vanilla beans and scrape out seeds; stir seeds back into pan.

In bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until light; stir in milk mixture. Pour egg mixture back into pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat back of spoon, 12 minutes. Place pan in ice bath to cool, stirring for first minute.

Half-fill each of two empty 500 g coffee cans with ice-cream mixture; seal lid well with tape. Place each can in 1 kg can filled with ice mixed with 1/3 cup (75 mL) salt ; seal well. Rotate and gently kick cans until ice cream is set, about 25 minutes. (Or freeze in ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions. Or freeze in shallow metal pan until almost firm; break into chunks, pur?in food processor then freeze in airtight container for 1 hour or until firm.)

An alternate, eggless recipe:

1 cup half and half

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 quart size zipper bag

ice cubes/6 tbsp salt

2.5 lb coffee can with lid

duct tape


Ice Milk in a bag:

1/2 cup chocolate milk (the real thing)

1/2 cup table salt


sandwich bag

freezer bag