Posts Tagged ‘cheese


Parsnip, Cheddar and Black Pepper muffins

Amidst all the sweet muffins I make on a regular basis, I began to feel the need to include a savoury flavour or two. I happened across a recipe in Baked: Explorations (those cookbooks are phenomenal) that had potential, but I wanted to tweak it to suit my palate and what I had in the fridge and pantry at the time. The resulting muffin is sweet and salty, and tastes somewhere between a biscuit and a muffin.


Parsnip, Cheddar and Black Pepper Muffins

adapted from Baked: Explorations

Steamed Parsnip Purée

4 to 5 medium parsnips

Fill a sauté pan or saucepan with about 2 inches of water. Set a bamboo steamer on top.

Peel the parsnips and coarsely chop. Place on the rack of the bamboo steamer. Cover and place over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and steam parsnips for 8 to 10 minutes, or until fork-tender.

Add parsnips to the container of a blender and pulse to make a smooth purée. Let cool before using in muffins.


1 cup steamed parsnip purée

3 tablespoons sour cream or buttermilk

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups grated Black River Maple Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the parsnips, sour cream, eggs, and butter. Mixture will be very thick.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and sugar.

Add flour mixture to the parsnip mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be very thick.

Fold in the grated cheese.

Divide muffin batter evenly between muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.


Mary Poppins Pizza

Because it’s practically perfect in every way.

We had this pizza for dinner last night, and through a confluence of fortuitous events, it was one of the best pizzas we’ve ever made. Natural light was all but gone by the time I wanted to photograph it, but I was too hungry to keep leftovers for later documentation. It’s a simple pepperoni pizza, but the texture was exactly as I like my pizzas to be: crispy, without being too crunchy to bite through easily, and the toppings didn’t all slide off in one mouthful. A lot of this has to do with the technique we used – it’s the same technique used for pizzas on the grill. Since our barbeque needs a tune-up, we made do with the home oven. The thing that would have pushed this over the edge would be some Chris Brothers pepperoni, but that’ll have to wait until my next trip to Nova Scotia.

Practically Perfect Pizza Dough

adapted from a recipe by Roger Mooking

makes enough for 2 large pizzas

1 cup all-purpose spelt flour

1/2 cup red fife flour

2 1/4 cups all-purpose wheat flour

1 tbsp salt

1 cup tepid water

1/4 cup sweet white wine (I used a German wine for this)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp instant yeast

1 tbsp honey

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, blend flours and salt.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine tepid water, sweet white wine, olive oil, honey, and yeast. Let sit for a few minutes, until yeast activates and thickens the mixture slightly. (It being instant yeast, this step isn’t really necessary, but I think it develops better flavour.) With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. When combined, increase speed to high and let the dough knead for about 8 minutes. You should be able to stretch the dough quite a bit before it tears.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The dough is ready when it doesn’t spring back when pressed. Divide into two. Both pizzas may be made at once, or half the dough may be frozen for later use.


1/2 ball stretched mozzarella, shredded

1/3 cup tomato sauce of your choice 

1/2 recipe Practically Perfect Pizza Dough

Place a pizza stone in the oven. Preheat oven to 500ºF. Make sure all topping ingredients are prepared and ready to go.

On a pastry marble or large, smooth cutting board, stretch pizza dough into a rough circle. When the oven has preheated, place dough on the hot pizza stone. Bake for 5 minutes – the dough will bubble up a bit. Remove pizza dough from the oven and flip the dough, so the crisp side faces upwards (this can either be directly on the pizza stone, working quickly, or on the same surface the dough was stretched on). Arrange sauce, cheese, and toppings over the cooked side of the pizza crust. Return pizza to the oven and bake about 7 minutes more, until cheese is melted and pepperoni begins to curl slightly. Set broiler to high and broil for about 2 minutes more, until the cheese begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting into pieces.