Category: Dessert

Apple Pie (photo: R Marinho)

Caramel Blueberry Apple Pie

Apple Pie (photo: R Marinho)
Apple Caramel Pie (photo: R Marinho)

Homemade Pie Crust

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar – ice cold
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water


If you have time, after you have cut your butter, put it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Put flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor or mixer and mix on high until everything is mixed well.
Add butter and pulse no more than 10 times, until the butter is corn size.
Add vinegar.
Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until your mixture starts to clump together.
If you can make a ball from all of the flour then it’s ready, if not keep adding water.
Split in two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge while you make the filling.

Notes and tips: If this is the first time making this recipe, double it in case you run out. Make double especially if you’re making the weave on top of the pie like my picture.

Apple Caramel Filling








  • 5 Granny Smith apples – cored, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small package of Werther’s Original Chewy caramels (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries or Saskatoon berries (optional)



Mix everything together except the apples, berries and lemon juice.
In another bowl mix fruit and lemon juice together and set aside.

Notes and Tips: Break up your caramel if you want better distribution.

Notes and Tips: The reason you don’t want to mix the dry ingredients with the apples until you are completely ready to pour into the crust is because it will become watery, thus making your apple pie fall apart when serving.

Preheat oven to 425º

Roll out one ball of dough into about one centimeter thick.
Make sure you flour your counter and your rolling pin or the dough will stick to them.
Place it onto your 9 to 12 inch pan. I used a flatter 12 inch pan, but you can use whatever you have.
Fork the dough at the bottom of the pan so that steam can come out of the bottom.
Cut off any access dough around the edges.
Put the pan with the bottom piecrust in it in the fridge while you prepare the strips.
Roll out the second ball of dough the same way you did the first one.
Cut the dough with a knife into long strips.
Take the piecrust from the fridge.
Mix apples with sugar mixture and pour over piecrust.
Place each strips horizontally and others vertically and wave them like a basket over the apples.
Make sure you don’t weave the strips too close together or there wont be any holes so steam can escape.
You could also just roll out the second ball of dough (don’t cut it) and place it over the apples. Just make sure you cut a few holes so steam can escape.
Pinch down the sides so that the two crusts press together.
Mix an egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the crust.
Place pie in the oven and turn oven down to 350.
Bake for 40 minutes or until you can stick a fork in the apples and the crust is golden brown.
Let stand or 15 minutes until it cools. Cut and serve with your favorite ice cream.

Notes and Tips: You may want to place the pie in a cookie sheet incase it overflows during baking.

Notes and Tips: The next day the pie tastes amazing cold because the caramel hardens a little and it’s just really yummy!

Chocolate Cake (photo: R Marinho)

Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Icing and Blackberry filling

Chocolate Cake (photo: R Marinho)
Chocolate Cake (photo: R Marinho)

For Raphael’s 27th Birthday I decided I would be a good wife and make him a homemade cake. Well actually my birthday is 8 days after his so I knew I had to butter him up to get what I wanted for my birthday. So I came up with this cake. I try as much as I can to stay away from cake mix but sometimes it happens. In this case I found a recipe for a moist cake that had a little twist. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cake and so I’m always looking for something else. This cake has a cup and a half of coffee in it and the icing comes out to be marshmallowy which is not as sweet as the traditional powered sugar icing. As for the filling, we went to visit my aunty Azar and her kids in Victoria for a week over the summer. One night we went and picked blackberries and the next morning we woke up and made blackberry jam. I brought home about 6 jars so I thought I would add the jam to the centre of the birthday cake. Of course you could use any kind of jam, fresh fruit or icing that you want (Nutella would be great too). This recipe would work great for cupcakes too.

Cake Batter

  • ½ cup fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups well-shaken buttermilk (Notes and Tips)
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°F.
Line bottoms of 2 10-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper.
Add chocolate chips in a bowl and combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer).
Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well.
Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.
Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Notes and Tips: Did you know buttermilk doesn’t actually have butter in it? You can make your own by putting 1 tablespoon of vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup and add milk until it reaches one cup. Mix and let stand for a few minutes. 1 cup of milk/vinegar mixture is the same as 1 cup of buttermilk.


  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.

Homemake Blackberry Jam

  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tsp. of lemon juice

In a large pot cook blackberries, sugar, and lemon juice on high heat for 5 minutes.
Reduce to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes while stirring.

Let it cool completely.

Notes and Tips: Or you can just use pre-made jam from the supermarket.


You can start assembling once everything has cooled.
Put one layer of the cake on the dish you would like to serve your cake in.
Spread jam a couple centimeters thick over the first layer.
Make sure you don’t spread the jam too close to the edge because then it will mix with the white icing.
Add the next layer of cake on top of jam.
Now you can ice the cake.
You can decorate the cake however you like.
I added MMs because that Raphael’s favourite.

Recipe for cake and icing are from:

Raphael's Birthday Cake
Raphael’s Birthday Cake
Aunty Azar Picking Blackberries
Aunty Azar Picking Blackberries
Fruits of our labour
Fruits of our labour
Banana Bread (photo R Marinho)

Mom’s/Mae’s Banana Bread

Banana Bread (photo R Marinho)
Banana Bread (photo R Marinho)

This past Sunday we had a devotional gathering at our house because as a Baha’i, we wanted to meet people by saying prayers, poems and writings together. The plan was to go to brunch after but I wanted to make sure everyone had a little something in their tummies before we started the devotional part.

Raph had been asking for banana bread a few weeks now so I thought this would be a great opportunity. When we got married my mom bought me a KitchenAid Mixer and it really is the best thing for quick and easy muffins, cakes, doughs, and of course banana breads. The key to Banana bread and other like batters, is not to over mix or it will become very dense.

So this recipe is called Mom’s/Mae’s Banana Bread because it’s an amalgamation of my mom’s recipe and Raph’s mom’s recipe. My mom always put chocolate chips and Raphael’s mom always put Brazil nuts and a cinnamon/brown sugar topping on hers.

So this is what I came up with. It’s really yummy, just ask the 20 people who were at our house on Sunday morning.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 4-5 overripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup chopped brazil nuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Sugar and Cinnamon topping

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix all dry ingredients (from flour to cinnamon) together.
In another bowl combine all other ingredients.
Mix dry ingredients with banana mixture until everything is combined.
Pour batter into a sprayed or buttered bundt or loaf pan.

Combine sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 350° for about 45 mins or until you stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean.

Notes and Tips: I like the bundt pan best because that’s how my mother in law made it, the bread cooks faster and more evenly, and the pieces are smaller.
Notes and Tips:
You can make this recipe lower fat by using the following recipe:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 4-5 overripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup chopped brazil nuts
  • ½ cup flax seed

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Sholehzard or Saffron Rice Pudding









Sholehzard or Saffron Rice Pudding (photo: Raphael M.)

This recipe will make about 8 servings and you can eat it hot or cold.

2 cups of rice
8 cups of water
2 to 3 cups of sugar – depending on how sweet you like it
1 tablespoon of saffron
3 tablespoons of hot water
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of rosewater –
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of almonds, slivered

Rinse rice in warm water by filling a large pot up and swishing it around then slowly draining the water, being careful not to pour the rice out. Repeat 3 times.
Add 8 cups of warm water. It may seem like a lot but trust me you will need it.
Bring rice to a boil and keep boiling and stirring for 20 minutes. Make sure rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot.
Turn heat down to a slow boil and slowly add sugar half a cup at a time and stirring rigorously each time.
Meanwhile dissolve the saffron in another small bowl or a cup in the hot water, let stand for 10 minutes and then add to rice.
Stir in butter and rose water.
Stir over medium or low heat until mixture becomes thick and you can’t see rice grains any longer.
Serve with cinnamon and slivered almonds on top. I toasted my almonds to give it more flavour.

Notes and Tips: You can also use roasted pistachios. The simplest way to roast nuts is in the microwave by placing a paper towel on a plate and spreading the nuts apart. Toast for about one minute depending on the nut and size. You know it’s done when nuts are a light brown.