Our Favourite Halloween Haystacks by Linda Klimack

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We love this tasty recipe because you can make seasonal versions for Christmas, Easter or Halloween, by replacing the Lumpy Bits with appropriate candy or sprinkles.

Sticky Bits

1 cup of sugar
cup of milk
1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

  • You can not vary these ingredients.

Floury Bits

2 cups large flake oats
1⁄2 cup wheat bran
1⁄2 cup hemp hearts

Variations: 

  • Replace large flake oats with any other variety of flakes or mixture.
  • Replace wheat bran and/or with oat bran, ground flax or ground nuts.

Lumpy Bits

2 cups total nuts, seeds and/or fruit

Such as: unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas, raisins, dried cranberries, dates, chopped apricots, dried blueberries, and almonds.

  • In a large saucepan, bring Sticky Bits, except vanilla to a boil over medium heat, whisking until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.
  • Stir in Floury Bits and Lumpy Bits.
  • Drop by heaping 1 tablespoon onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. - Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  • Let stand at room temperature until dry, about 2 hours.

Our Favourite Five Minute Fudge by Linda Klimack

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Basic Recipe

1 ⅔ cups sugar
⅔ cup undiluted evaporated milk
2 Tbsp butter
½ tsp salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups chocolate
½ cup fruit & nuts

  • Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium saucepan.
  • Bring to full boil over medium heat.
  • Continue to boil for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows, chocolate, vanilla and fruit and nuts.
  • Stir vigorously until marshmallows melt and blend.
  • Pour into buttered 8 inch square cake pan and chill. 
  • Cut into squares. 
  • Store in refrigerator.

Variations

  1. Chocolate - bittersweet chocolate
    Fruit & Nuts – cherries & pecans
  2. Chocolate – ½ milk & ½ semisweet
    Fruit & Nuts – sour cherries & cranberries
  3. Chocolate - semisweet
    Fruit & Nuts – diced ginger & 1 tsp ginger juice
  4. Chocolate – ½ semisweet & ½ cappuccino
    Fruit & Nuts – whole hazelnuts
  5. Chocolate – ½ milk & ½ semisweet
    Fruit & Nuts – pistachios & 2 drops of pistachio oil
  6. Chocolate – ½ Callebaut cappuccino & ½ semisweet
    Fruit & Nuts – slivered almonds & 2 drops of coffee oil
  7. Chocolate – ½ Valrhona Caramel & ½ semisweet
    Fruit & Nuts – whole pecans

Our Favourite Beet Salad by Linda Klimack

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This is the yummiest beet salad, complete with oregano, pecans and goat cheese!

8 to 10 medium beets (red, golden, or a combination)
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs aged balsamic vinegar
Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
¼ cup chopped lightly toasted pecans

  • Trim off any leaves and all but ¼ inch of the stems.
  • Wash the beets
  • In a large saucepan or stockpot fit with a steamer basket, steam the beets until a paring knife enters them easily, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm.
  • Peel the beets; the skin will peel right off.
  • Trim and discard the tops and tails and cut the beets into thick wedges.
  • Transfer the beets to a large serving bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar. 
  • Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the goat cheese, oregano and pecans over the beets and serve.

Our Favourite Summer Pudding by Linda Klimack

This is the ultimate summer bread pudding.  The recipe sounds finicky and a bit weird, but is yummy.  It is a great desert for a dinner party, because you make it ahead of time.  Your guests will be wowed by the simple taste of fruit in season and never guess it is just fruit and bread!   

1½ pounds a variety of berries in season
1 lemon peel, grated
¼ cup sugar
5 or more slices white bread, crusts trimmed
Whipped cream


  • Remove stems and pick over berries and cut in half if large. 
  • Combine fruit with the lemon peel and sugar in a small saucepan. 
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • Cut each slice of bread into 3 strips and line the bottom and sides of a 4 cup souffle dish, patching with pieces of bread if necessary. 
  • Strain the fruit pulp, reserving the juice. 
  • Pour several tablespoons of the juice over the bottom slices of bread and let it set for a few minutes.           
  • Fill the souffle dish almost to the top with fruit pulp, then pour in enough juice to moisten. 
  • Cover top with a layer of bread and dampen this with a little juice. 
  • Put a small plate, which just fits inside the dish, on top and wrap the whole thing in cling wrap. 
  • Set on a plate in the fridge with a weight on top, a large can be used as a weight, and leave for 24 hours.
  • To serve, run a knife around the edges and invert the dish onto a serving platter being careful not to spill the accumulated juice. 
  • If juice has not stained the bread all the through, you may do so with the reserved juice.
  • Serve with whipped cream and reserved juice.

Our Favourite Rhubarb Squares by Linda Klimack

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¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1½ teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoon demerara sugar
¾ cup melted butter

3 cups chopped rhubarb
¾ cup water
5 tablespoon honey or sugar
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1½ cup whole wheat flour
1½ cup rolled oats


  • Place rhubarb in saucepan with ½ cup water with honey or sugar and cook until stewed.
  • Mix cornstarch in ¼ cup water and add to the stewed rhubarb.
  • Simmer and stir until thickened.
  • Set aside.
  • Mix remaining ingredients together.
  • Put half the oat mixture on the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan and pat down.
  • Fill with stewed rhubarb.
  • Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top.
  • Bake 35 minutes at 350F.
  • Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

Our Favourite Hermit Cookies by Linda Klimack

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1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

  • Cream shortening and sugars until fluffy - Mix in beaten egg and vanilla
  • Add dry ingredients
  • Stir in dates, raisins and walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 350℉
  • Bake on greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes

Our Favourite Spiced Maple Vinaigrette by Linda Klimack

½ teaspoon fresh ginger
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
⅔ cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper

6 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
2 whole star anise

  • Combine maple syrup, cinnamon, all spice, cloves, star anise, ginger and 2 tablespoons water in a sauce pan.
  • Simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Strain through a sieve.
  • Whisk in oil.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Cool to room temperature.