Homemade Macaroons

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: March 3, 2014
Yield: 12-24 cookies
Time needed: 20 minutes

For a dessert challenged baker like myself, no-bake cookies are a no-brainer. And macaroons are one of my favorites.  These are very good, but heavy on the cocoa and oatmeal.  I would like to find a recipe that lets the coconut shine through.

The recipe calls for setting the cookies on wax paper, a commodity I seldom have in the house.  I was about to add that to the shopping list when it occurred to me I could probably use the banana leaves that have been sitting in my freezer. Sure enough, once thawed out and softened with coconut oil they worked just fine.

The recipe says 12 to 24 cookies depending on whether you use a tablespoon or teaspoon to spoon them out, but I got nearly 4 dozen using a tablespoon.

Homemade macaroons

Homemade macaroons

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Elisha’s Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: August 9/16
Yield: 2 dozen
Time needed: 45 minutes

These are one of the staff-created variations on the basic muffin recipe used by Alternative Grounds, a popular fair-trade coffee roasters in Toronto. Sadly they no longer operate the restaurant where these muffins were served each morning, but the coffee is still available at various local outlets.

This is a very good muffin, moist and tasty. Good call, Elisha!

Elisha's Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Elisha’s Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: December 8, 2012
Yield: About 4 dozen
Time needed: approximately 45 minutes unless you have a helper.

This is a great little snack. I like the fact that the light phyllo pastry does not overwhelm the spinach-feta filling, but lets it shine through. They are wonderful morsels of good taste. For me, the only drawback is that I find the assembly process too finicky and time-consuming if I am working alone. But as long as someone else is making them, these get a thumbs up from me.

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles

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Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad with Harissa-style Dressing

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: May 21, 2016
Yield: variable, make as much as you need
Time needed: 30 minutes to roast vegetables; about 20 minutes to assemble after vegetables have cooled.

It is often worth while to give a recipe a second try. I didn’t care much for this the first time I tried it, but realized I had made it in a hurry. So I tried again taking more care. I even roasted the vegetables a day ahead so I could pay full attention to making the dressing and salad. And it was quite good!

Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad with Harissa-style dressing

Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad with Harissa-style dressing

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Ten Minute Greek (ish) Style Spinach and Rice

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: July 22, 2013
Yield: 2 servings
Time needed: 10 minutes

Prior preparation needed:
Cook rice

This is a very quick and simple one-pan meal for two.  Can be put together in a jiffy with pre-cooked rice. The recipe title says “spinach” but any favorite green will do.  The greens in the picture are arugula.

Ten-Minute Greek(ish)-Style Spinach and Rice

Ten-Minute Greek(ish)-Style Spinach and Rice

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Banana Pancakes

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: July 7, 2012
Yield: 4-6 pancakes
Time needed: 10-15 minutes

You can tell from the list of ingredients that this contributor to the Parkdale Pot Luck Cookbook regularly has vegan ingredients on hand.  If you haven’t tried rice milk or carob chips yet, now is your chance.  Don’t have time to shop for them?  Just use your regular milk and chocolate chips.  Butter, margarine or a light vegetable oil can replace the coconut oil but won’t give the same delightful flavour.

I made these rather thick and hearty this morning, but if you prefer a thinner, lighter pancake, just adjust the quantities of flour and rice milk to get the desired consistency.

 

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

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Vietnamese Duck Salad

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Made: October 14, 2013
Yield: 4-6 servings
Time to make: 10-15 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Roast a duck for another meal and keep leftovers for this refreshingly different salad.

I came down with a horrid cold this Thanksgiving weekend and had to give the task of roasting the duck to my daughter—her first attempt at this bird. Fortunately this salad is simple enough to make on my own.  And although my taste buds couldn’t do it justice, I do have noted from the first time I tried it that it is delicious.  It is a nice Asian-style salad with sprouted beans replacing lettuce.  And, of course, a mandatory garnish of chopped peanuts.  The dressing was my introduction to fish sauce, a welcome change from the more familiar soy sauce.

Vietnamese Duck Salad

Vietnamese Duck Salad

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