Category Archives: Recipes

how it turned out


While this is not the same recipe as I started with in my last baking post, this is my Red River Cereal bread that resulted in another late night baking session. I use organic cereals from my local farmers market. I am very pleased with how this loaf turned out.

Sorry for the picture quality, I do not have a digital camera and used my computer to take the picture (which is why you see my sofa in the back).

Red River Cereal bread (makes 2 large loaves)

1 cup Red River Cereal

3 cups boiling water

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp lard

1 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp salt

2 packages of instant yeast or 2 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast

2 cups whole wheat flour

up to 4 cups all purpose flour

Combine cereal with boiling water and let sit until cereal has soften and temperature reduces to slightly above room temperature.

Add honey, lard, molasses into cooling mixture and let melt. Stir well.

In a mixer or large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, salt, yeast, and 3 cups all purpose flour and mix thoroughly. Reserve the last cup of flour to add gradually to adjust the dough.

Add cereal mix to the flour and mix dough until it comes together adding extra flour if needed. Let rest in the bowl covered for 20 minutes before kneading further. After 20 minutes of rest, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead shortly, for about 4 – 5 minutes.

Let dough rise covered in an oiled bowl until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Gently punch down and let rest for 20 minutes, covered.

Divide dough into two equal portions and shape into loaves. Place in large loaf pans and let rise, covered until doubled in volume about 45min – 1 hour.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks. Brush tops with butter.


a welcome back

oatmeal.gifIt has been too long since my last post. The short story is that as we know, life gets “full” really quickly and some of those little things get cut out of it to make room.

So on this cold spring morning (it is dark, cool, and rainy here in Winnipeg) what better way to welcome myself back into blogging life than a comforting bowl of oatmeal! For those who think oatmeal is boring, or worse, tasteless, I invite you over for a great adventur e in oatmeal tasting. It is so versatile, you can play around with it and create many exciting flavour combinations. Here is my standard “blank slate” recipe, to which you can play around with to fit your taste.

Sara Jane’s Blank Slate Morning Oatmeal:

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sweet mother of sangria this stuff is good!

sangria-1.jpgIt has been a while since I posted a recipe, but the wait is over. I have never tasted nor have I made sangria. I suppose it is my fear of all things sweet that has kept me away from a drink like this. I tend to choose things that are salty, bitter, dry etc. But I am a sangria virgin no more.

This Spanish drink starts with a wine (usually red) and a variety of fruits are added to sit in and aromatize it. The result is a beautiful, fresh wine that is refreshing and was perfect for this warm September evening. I had always suspected that sangria would be overly sweet so to accommodate my tastes, I omitted the sugar/simple syrup (because really, where is the flavour in *just sugar*?) and replaced it with concentrated frozen Lime-Aide.

Sara Jane’s Simple Sangria

750ml Spanish red wine

A handful each of chucks of fresh pineapple, and kumquats cut into halves or thirds

1 orange, lime and lemon, thinly sliced

1/2 tin of frozen Lime-Aide concentrate (more or less to taste)

Add all above ingredients in a pitcher or jar and cover. Place in the refrigerator. Let flavours get to know each other overnight.

When flavours have mixed (overnight), add 1 part carbonated water, mineral water, citrus soda etc. to 2 parts wine (with fruits).


hamburger buns

hamberger-bun.jpgFor many people, summer brings with it the wonderful opportunity to do get out the grill for some BBQ-ing! But if you are like me, Summer just means you do more grilling and your BBQ finds its self working all year round.

There are so many great things that can be grilled but fresh hamburgers are one of my favourite! I have no problem making the hamburger patty, but up until now, I have not been making my own buns. With the new addition to my family (my new KitchenAide) I have taken on the task of making not only my own burgers, but hamburger buns. Here is the recipe that I used to get the buns (pictured above):kitchenaide-top-wet.jpg

I combined 1/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups warm water and 8 g of yeast and let stand for 10 mintues. In the mean time, I added 1 egg, 1/4 cup cooking oil, and 1/2 tsp salt together. In the KitchenAid, I had 1 cup all-purpose flour, added and mixed in the yeast, added egg mixture and slowly added flour (approx 3 1/2 more cups, total flour used: 4 1/2 cups).

kitchenaide-top.jpgI turned onto a floured surface and kneaded the dough until smooth and elastic.

To make the buns, I made small (4 oz) balls and placed on a baking sheet about 2 in apart. Flatten each slightly with your hand. Let them rise until double in size (about an hour) and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Brush tops with butter!

These buns have a rich and sweet flavour. The texture is chewy and springy and do not fall apart with a burger inside of it. Enjoy!

totally loaded granola bars


There are a million and one different types of granola bars out there on the market. I like only one or two of them enough to buy them. Making your own granola bar is a great way to ensure “quality control” when it comes to freshness, healthier, non-preserved ingredients and you also greatly reduce the amount of waste that goes into the packaging for each bar. My recipe (posted below) for “Totally Loaded Granola Bars” tastes light, nutty and fruity!

The best part is you can *totally* customize them to suit your taste preferences. I HATE raisins, so that is what I left out. You can become pretty creative with the very broad recipe. It is adapted from the back of a Rogers Flat Oats bag and has been modified somewhat to reduce some of the sweetness.

Totally Loaded Granola Bars:

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breakfast menu: (orange-ginger-vanilla) stuffed french toast

One morning a few friends and I were feeling quitestuffed french toastadventurous about preparing breakfast so we decided on creating a “stuffed french toast” recipe. This is nothing very new, as I have heard/read/seen something like this before. The result – a lovely morning sitting on the veranda, sun pouring over us with fresh coffee, O.J., bacon, bananas, fresh cherries,cantaloupe and stuffed french toast. We stuffed our toast with an orange-ginger-vanilla cream cheese which thankfully made enough cream cheese left over to use on muffins, toast, or even a slice of cake! Some of my friends put syrup on theirs, I topped mine with sliced bananas and could have gone for some crushed walnuts as well. The toast was slightly heavy with only cream cheese filling it – to lighten it use some fresh fruit, berries or preserves to give it a lighter texture and feeling. Non-the-less, no one was left hungry or unsatisfied with our creation!

Here is the recipe that we created:

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meet my friend the mango!

mangoMangos! A delightful fruit indeed, but not accessible in superb quality and quantity in Winnipeg, Manitoba. No matter how *not prairie like* we try to be, we can't escape the fact that many beautiful fruits and veggies just cannot be purchased with quality.

There are time when the price (and time) is right for mangos. The other day a friend had posted her find of mangos at a local grocer. What do Manitobans do with mangos? Salad is usually the first thing that pops into most peoples minds. Perhaps something sweet?

Of course there are many mango recipes that could be mentioned none of which would be dessert, but as a born and bred Manitoban, I could see mango paring with some local offerings such as Manitoba pork tenderloin baked and glazed with with mango chutney. Or how about Manitoba beef grilled with lightly salted, dipped in balsamic vinegar grilled mango wedges? Or beef served with mango and cilantro relish? Mmmm I am getting hungry!

One noteworthy dessert I enjoyed came together for a diner party a number of months ago had me pairing this delicious fruit with a bold raspberry coulis (home made) with the mango in a sugared phyllo pastry shell, served with whipped cream with a hint of vanilla and a fresh mint leaf to garnish from my garden! Sound good to you? Here is what I did:

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