Turkey Leftovers Two Ways

Turkey Soup with Cranberry Parsley Pistou and Turkey Salad

I’m a big fan of cooking without a recipe (except when baking). And, when I’m trying to clean out my fridge I can get pretty creative—although not everything is picture-worthy. Yesterday I was anxious to finish up the leftover turkey in my fridge because last year I stuck the turkey in the freezer at the last possible minute and then never used it—and that is just wrong.

So, this year I made two dishes: Turkey Soup with Cranberry Parsley Pistou and Turkey Salad. The turkey soup is pretty standard, but I spiced it up with the Cranberry Parsley Pistou. If you’ve never tried Soupe au Pistou, it is a French vegetable soup from Provence with a dollop of “pistou” which is essentially pesto without the pine nuts. It’s a puree of olive oil, garlic, parmesan and herbs (usually basil). The version of pistou that I’ve made before has tomato paste in it as well. I really like it because it is a great way to jazz up soup, and shouldn’t soup be jazzy? However, my ponytails don’t like jazzy soup (they call anything they don’t like “spicy”) so they will get the plain version. Isn’t that perfect though? An ingredient so special that it is just for the adults?

I should point out that the cranberry in the pistou is VERY subtle. It just adds a hint of sweetness and you see a few tiny specs of red in the soup, but you really have to look for them. I loved being able to use up the left-over cranberry as well!

Now I have put together a recipe for my soup (below), but it is the perfect dish to try without a recipe or to completely change up my version. Consider mine a starting point and go with what you have leftover in your fridge and how much you have of each ingredient. I’ve also made a small portion of the pistou because it is just for the two of us, but you could easily double it if you are serving a crowd.

I’m not going to include a recipe for the turkey salad. I just chopped up the turkey into cubes, added enough low-fat mayo to cover it nicely, then threw in a couple pieces of chopped celery and green onion and a handful of pine nuts and raisins. I’ve never had it with pine nuts and raisins before, but perhaps it is not that original. I quite liked it.

Turkey Soup with Cranberry Parsley Pistou

For the stock:

  • Turkey carcass and bones
  • Onion, quartered
  • 2 whole carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • Small bunch of parsley (whole)
  • Bay leaf

For the soup:

  • 1-1/2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 potatoes diced (if you have them – I was out so didn’t use them this time)
  • 3 cups chopped turkey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 cups medium egg noodles
  • 1 cup peas

For the pistou:

  • ½ cup tightly packed flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
  • ½ clove of garlic, minced (add more if you like garlic)

Place the turkey carcass and bones, along with vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, parsley and bay leaf) in a large stock pot and cover with water. I filled mine pretty close to the top of the pot, because I wanted to maximize my soup yield. Simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.

Strain turkey stock and throw out the carcass, bones and vegetables. Place the lovely strained stock back in your pot and add all remaining ingredients except the peas and egg noodles. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the peas and egg noodles and cook for 15 more minutes. (You can sauté the vegetables in a bit of olive oil first, but I skipped this step.)

For the Pistou, place the parsley, cranberry, parmesan, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and puree. Pour in the olive oil with the motor running until the mixture is completely blended.

Ladle your soup into a bowl and add a dollop (or two, pending preference) of pistou. Enjoy.

Here’s a picture of the turkey salad, just waiting for some good bread.


Mom’s “Modern” Plum Pudding

There’s something very grounding about traditions. They link us to the past, and sometimes they even link us to past generations. Such is the case with my mom’s recipe for plum pudding. She’s been making it at the holidays for at least 45 years now. And, my grandmother made it every year for Christmas, as did her mother and grandmother before her. (My mom fondly remembers the Christmas day of her childhood — a horse drawn sleigh ride on the farm, followed by dinner and pudding.) By my calculations then, this pudding has been an Edington family tradition for well over 100 years.

I must tell you though, that the name of this dish is very misleading, as it is neither “modern” nor does it contain any plums. Apparently, it is called “modern” because at the time (100+ years ago), it was a new take on the traditional plum pudding made with preserved or glazed fruit and nuts. The grated carrots and potatoes, (without any egg) make this a unique take on “The Pud”. I would describe it as a cross between carrot cake and sticky toffee pudding.

Traditional plum pudding is also doused in brandy and lit at the table, or served with brandy butter or a white cream glaze. My mom developed her own version of a Brown Sugar Brandy Sauce for The Pud, which I love so much I could bathe in it. Her pudding and sauce are the reason that I am unable to move after Christmas dinner. The knowledge that this flavor combination comes but once a year prompts the second and third helping. You get the picture. Both ponytails loved it this year, and I guess that makes sense since they always order sticky toffee pudding at our local pub.

Modern Plum Pudding

  • 1 cup grated raw carrot
  • 1 cup grated raw potatoes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup sultana raisins
  • ½ cup currants
  • ½ cup butter or suet
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Grate carrots and potatoes. Measure and set aside. Mix the butter and sugar until well blended. Add ½ of potatoes, and all of carrots. Mix well. Sprinkle raisins and currants with 1 tbsp of the flour and add to the potato mixture. Mix together remaining flour and spices, and add to the mixture. Dissolve soda in remaining half of the potatoes, mix well and add to the mixture. Stir the mixture well. Place in a pudding mold and add lid. Set the mold in a into a large pot filled with water half-way up the mold and steam (with lid on) for 3 hours.

(Before I bought the mold that we use now, my mom always used a small pyrex bowl and covered the pudding with cheese cloth and then wax paper. She placed a rack in the bottom of a canning pot, placed the bowl on the rack and then filled the pot with water until it touched the bottom of the bowl.)

Brown Sugar Brandy Sauce

  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 to 5 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp brandy

Melt butter in large frying pan. Add brown sugar and cook until mixture starts to brown (approx. 2 minutes). Add water, and stir. In a small bowl add a bit of water to the corn starch (enough to cover) and mix. Add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar mixture to the cornstarch before adding to the pan. The sauce should be thick enough to nicely stick to the pudding. Add brandy and vanilla. Drizzle the sauce over each piece of pudding before serving.

“Checking” Out


The mixer is back in the cupboard. The baking sheets are taking a rest. I’m ready for a martini—but it’s only 7 am. Okay so maybe some baileys in my coffee since I’m a lightweight.

The final count for the Cookie Challenge came in at 889 cookies, with 13 different batches. The lowest cookie yield was the Coconut Pyramids (27) and the highest was the Gingerbread Cookies (118).

So, the “best guess” cookies go to Mercedes, whose “final answer” was 864. Her next challenge will be to eat all the cookies before she heads off to New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Thanks to all who submitted a guestimate.

I’m wrapping up the cookie recipes with Checkerboards. There’s always a bit of curiosity about how they’re made. I’ve always claimed that I piece each one together by hand . . . now you’ll know the truth.



Checkerboard Cookies


  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate , chopped
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt


Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper or grease; set aside.

In bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, stirring often. Let cool to room temperature.

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in 2 of the eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; stir one-third at a time into butter mixture, using hands if too stiff to stir.

Remove half of the dough for vanilla dough. Stir chocolate into remaining dough, using hands to blend thoroughly.

Divide vanilla dough in half; flatten each half into square. Place dough, 1 square at a time, between waxed paper; roll out to 7-inch (18 cm) square. Straighten edges with ruler. Repeat with chocolate dough. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Using ruler and sharp knife, cut each square into nine 3/4-inch (2 cm) wide strips.

Place 12-inch (30 cm) long piece of plastic wrap on work surface. Alternating vanilla and chocolate strips, place 3 strips of dough side by side (close but not touching) on plastic wrap. Whisk remaining egg; brush over sides and tops of strips. Gently press long edges of strips together to adhere. Repeat, forming second and third layers and alternating flavours of strips, to create checkerboard effect. Repeat to make 3 more logs, reversing colour pattern. Fold plastic wrap up to enclose logs; refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 1 month.)

Using serrated knife, trim ends of each log; cut into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. Arrange, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on prepared pans. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Let cool on pan on rack for 3 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month.)

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: December 2003


  • I find it hard to get the height of the chocolate and vanilla dough the exact same height because the chocolate is a different consistency. If my checkerboard is slightly uneven after being sliced, I just cut off the uneven bits.

A Tribute to New Zealand

When I think about my brief trip to New Zealand 14 years ago, there’s one thing that always comes to mind. If you’re guessing that it’s the beautiful countryside, the lovely beaches or the warm and outgoing people – you’d be wrong. When I dream about New Zealand, I dream about the rolo bar.

If you’ve never heard of it—you’re not alone. Few of us here in Canada have tried one. But if you had, you’d be right there with me. Forever yearning for the rolo bar.

Picture an oversized chocolate bar, in a similar format to a Caramilk, but made with rolos that are joined together on the flat-bottomed side. You’ll have to trust me on this one—the rolo bar is quite spectacular.

So, when my friend Jayne and I found this Rolo Cookie recipe online nine years ago, I didn’t have to think twice before giving it a try. It is a close as you can come to the rolo bar. And, my friends and family who don’t know what they are missing seem to love them. I must admit, they are pretty darn good.

As you’ll see from the pictures below, it is a good recipe for little helpers in the kitchen.




Rolo Cookies

  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • about 7 packages of rolos
  • Granulated sugar for top or mixture of 1 cup chopped nuts with 1 tbsp sugar

Beat sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat well. Add flour and baking soda. Blend well. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Roll 1 heaping tsp of dough in palm of hand to form a ball. Press Rolo into ball covering it completely. Press top of ball into saucer of sugar (or nut and sugar mixture). Place cookies, sugar side up, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes.


  • Make sure the rolo is completely covered by dough, otherwise the chocolate and caramel will leak out onto the pan. It’s not the end of the world, but they the cookies look nice when you can’t see the rolo that is hiding inside.
  • Plan to make these cookies first if you are making other cookies, so that you can refrigerate the dough while you move onto another cookie. We’ve made the mistake of making these at the end of a day of baking, and then had bake them another day because we forgot about the 3 hours to chill the dough!

An Egyptian Cookie?

While we all know that there are pyramids in Egypt, I have abolutely no idea if coconut is used in Egyptian cooking. I do know that coconut baked in the shape of pyramids tastes bloody good. The only downside to this recipe is that it yields a smaller number of cookies than my other recipes. I’ve successfully managed to hide these from the ponytails and my husband. Fingers are crossed that it stays that way!




Coconut Pyramids

Recipe from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies Magazine 2001

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate
  • ½ tsp solid vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix together sugar, coconut, egg whites and salt. Add butter and extracts, and combine well. Refridgerate at least 1 hour.

Moisten palms of hands with cold water. Roll 1 tbsp of the coconut mixture in palms, squeezing tightly together 2 or 3 times to form a compact ball. Place ball on a clean surface, and, using a bench scraper, flatten one side at a time to form a three-sided pyramid. Keep turning pyramid onto another side, and repeat process until sides are even and all edges are straight.

Place pyramids on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart bake until edges are golden brown about 15 minutes rotating halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool completely.

Place chocolate and shortening in a small heat-proof bowl or the top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water; stir occasionally until melted. Dip to ½ inch of each pyramid in the melted chocolate. Set each dipped macaroon on cooled baking sheet; let chocolate harden.

Chocolate, Cherries and Toffee Bits Get Together

These cookies are the sister cookie to the Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie. They are easy to make, but the cherries can be a bit hard to come by. Most bulk barns carry them, but I must warn you they are not cheap. Aren’t you worth the splurge? Between the chocolate chunks, cherries and toffee bits, you’re guaranteed a yummy hit of goodness in every bite.

Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Toffee and Dried Cherries

Recipe from In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley

  • 2-¼  cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  •  1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plump, moist, dried sour cherries
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 1 cup toffee pieces for baking (such

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars until light in colour and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the flour-mixture in three additions, blending just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the chunky ingredients and mix until they seem evenly distributed.

Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets and place them in the centre of the oven. Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes, or until barely set in the centre and just firm around the edges. (Bake 10-11 minutes if making smaller cookies using a teaspoon rather than tablespoon.)

Santa-friendly Cookies

I’m always on the look-out for a unique cookie that will add a new flavour, shape or texture to my annual cookie line-up. I was intrigued by the concept of a cookie brittle when I came across the recipe, so I had to give it a try. I’ve been making it ever since.

White Chocolate and Peppermint Cookie Brittle

Recipe from Bon Appetit, December 2004

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz white chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup coarsely crushed red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, divided

Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Wisk melted butter, both sugars and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just blended. Stir in 1 cup chopped white chocolate and ½ cup crushed peppermint candy.

Transfer dough to prared sheet. Press dough into a 14×8-inch rectangle about 3/8 inch thick. Bake cookie until top is firm and dark golden, about 30 minutes. (NOTE: I find it browns in about 18 minutes, so keep a careful eye on the pan when baking.) Cool on sheet 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Stir remaining white chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Using small spoon, drizzle about half of melted chocolate in thin lines over cooled cookie. Sprinkle remaining crushed peppermint candies over chocolate. Drizzle remaining white chocolate over top. Lt stand until white chocolate sets, about 1 hour. Break cookie into irregular 2-to 3-inch pieces.


  • I find this cooks a lot faster than the recipe calls for. Mine was golden brown in about 18 minutes.
  • I use a hammer or rolling pin to smash the candies, depending on my mood that day. Both work well!

Twice the Chocolate Cookies


These cookies are always a hit. It’s not surprizing, since I figure they have about twice the chocolate as most chocolate chunk cookies. They are chocolately, chewy and downright addictive.


Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipe from In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 8 oz milk chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350. Line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or by hand), cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together into a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Using your hands, shape knobs of dough about the size of a large walnut into balls and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Stagger the rows of cookies to ensure even baking. Bake 12 to 15 minutes for smaller cookies, 14 to 17 minutes for larger cookies, or until the tops are light golden brown. If the cookies are neither firm nor dark when they are removed from the oven, they will cool chewy and soft. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Can be stored in air-tight container for 1 week.


  • I make all of my cookies small in order to maximize the number of cookies. I make them the size of a small walnut or a teaspoon and bake them for about 11 minutes.
  • Use a timer and set it lower than the recipe calls for. If they still need more time, you can always bake longer. Record the final time on a post-it note for your next batch.
  • I buy the large President’s Choice milk chocolate bars and use 1/2 for each batch (25 squares) (+ 8 oz of semi-sweet chocolate squares).

Cookie Countdown & Giveaway

Getting the supplies ready

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of giving away cookies at Christmas for me. Each year, I bake like a crazy lady and then give away my cookies to colleagues, family, teachers and friends. While I’m afraid I can’t give to everyone I know, we try to give to the people that have been close to us throughout the year, as well as the people who have helped out the family.

When I was single 10 years ago, my biggest challenge was freezer space – I had a very small freezer. Now I have an extra freezer in our basement (and that still is not nearly enough), but my ongoing challenge is keeping my husband and ponytails out of the cookies. Despite my best efforts, a good portion of my supply is nabbed by little and big fingers alike.

To celebrate this milestone, I’m holding a Cookie Contest. I’ll send a box of cookies to the person who accurately guesses how many cookies I bake this season. Even I have no idea what the answer is, because a) I’ve never counted my cookies before and b) I’m not sure how many batches I’m going to feel like making. There’s one big caveat – please don’t enter If there are any nut allergies in your family because I do bake with nuts. I’m very careful with the gingerbreads that I make for the school, but beyond that, I get very nervous because there’s so much activity in the kitchen. If you are already on my list, then I’ll throw in a few extras of your favourites. One entry per person please; and each member of a family can enter. Entries must be posted on this blog. If more than one person gets the right answer, then their names will be entered into a draw. I’ve had good success with shipping my cookies, so I’ll ship to anywhere in North America.

The countdown is on!

10-years of holiday magazines!

Two Rivals Join Forces

My husband has had a thing for Jambalaya for quite some time now. But sometimes he cheats on his great love and goes out with Risotto. What’s a guy to do when he’s torn between two (or three) loves?

But those days are over, now that I’ve brought these two rivals together by creating Jambalaya Risotto just for him. (It’s easier to keep my eye on them this way.) His days of sneaking around are over—hopefully!

 Jambalaya Risotto

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 large shallots, chopped (or 3 small shallots)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups of Arborio rice
  • ½ cup wine or verjus
  • 1 900 ml box of chicken stock, plus 1.5 cups hot water
  • ¾ cup diced tomato (fresh or canned)
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • ½ pound shrimp (deveined, precooked, tails removed)
  • 3 large andouille sausages (or 4 small sausages/see tips)
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne

In a large sauté pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook chicken for 10 minutes per side and remove from pan and slice into small pieces. Add remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and cook sausage for 8 minutes per side. Remove from pan and slice. (You can sauté the sliced sausage for 2 minutes to brown each piece nicely.)

Bring broth and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat and cook onion, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, another 2 minutes. Add green pepper and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Add thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir in rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine (or verjus) and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, chicken breast and sausage and mix well. Stir 1 cup simmering broth into rice and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next. Add shrimp when you have approximately 1 cup of broth remaining. Continue adding broth until rice is just tender and creamy-looking but still al dente. (Total time about 18 to 22 minutes.)


  • Andouille sausage can be tricky to find. I buy mine at the Sausage King in St. Lawrence Market. You can substitute with kielbasa or italian sausage.
  • You can use uncooked shrimp–I use precooked as a short cut. Just be sure to add them to the rice 4 or so minutes before the rice is cooked to ensure they cook through.
  • You’ll note that I used red pepper in my photographed version. I had a red pepper in the house that I needed to use up. However, the green pepper adds a nice contrast to the tomatoes.
  • If you use canned tomatoes, you can freeze the leftovers for your next batch of pasta sauce.
  • I hold back on the spice for this because of our ponytails. You can take it up a notch by adding a little more cayenne.
  • Garnish with parsley or chives. I normally do this, but was a bit stretched for time this round.