A Summer Family Recipe: Basil Chocolate Cake

 

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I’ve known and loved this cake for at least 25 years! It was one of my mom’s signature summer desserts. She loved whipping it up to show off the many varieties of basils she grew in her garden, often using a mix of cinnamon, Genovese, and purple basils. The recipe calls for a whole whopping cup of chopped basil! You can use any variety, so long as it’s fresh, fragrant, and chopped very finely, it will add the most exquisite perfume and depth of flavour to this rich and moist chocolate cake.

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Picnic Ready: Cucumber Dill Salad with Rye Croutons

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This luscious little salad delivers serious crunch. The crisp juicy cucumber marries the toasty rye croutons and the whole crackling affair is coated in velvety dilly sour cream dressing. Pickled shallots, capers, and feta deliver tart and salty punches with each bite, leaving you wanting more.

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Summertime Tea with Lemonbalm Shortbread

 

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Lemonbalm is a fragrant herb that always seems to grow lush and strong in the garden. It sadly doesn’t get used nearly enough in cooking and as a result, it can be hard to find in stores or even at farmer’s markets.

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Sweetness and Depth Added to the Table: Parsnip Gnocchi

 

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For folks who like to grow their own food or eat seasonally, springtime holds the promise of many new beginnings and upcoming harvests. But April and May can be somewhat desolate months when seeds are being put in ground but not many crops are actually ready to eat. Having parsnips overwinter provides a surprisingly luscious, seasonal treat that can be harvested before any other crops are ready to eat.

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A Sure Sign of Spring: Maple Syrup Mousse

 

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Up here in the North, maple syrup season is often the first real sign of spring. There’s something invigorating about standing on a crunchy remnant of shrinking snow and peering into a bucket filled with maple sap, a promise of sweet things ahead, the beginning of the land thawing out and coming back to life after its long slumber.

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Soothe Your Soul with Crespelle in Brodo, Italian Crepes in Broth

 

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Many of us have special recipes that are in our lives because they have been passed down from our parents or grandparents, and these recipes are often deliciously wrapped up in our cultural identity. Recipes that are passed down from previous generations can take on an important significance in our lives, as a treasured link to our ancestry, to the passage of time, to the people who lived before us. A simple dish can become a much-needed connection to our roots, and the region and terrain and climate that it was born out of.

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Celebrate Christmas Morning with a Cranberry Orange Brioche Star

 

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For a large chunk of this year, I’ve had the sweet pleasure of living under the same roof as a spritely little miss who is completely obsessed with brioche, or as she says it “baweeyoche!” Always with an exclamation mark. And since there are few things quite as enchanting as a warm festive sweet bread on Christmas morning, I decided this would be my pièce de résistance this year. It does not disappoint.

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Sweet Potato Fry-lovers will Devour These Buttercup Squash Fries

 

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I’m always trying to think up new ways to eat squash at this time of year, and I thought this one was worthy of sharing with you all. I first tried these fries with butternut squash but was disappointed with the results. Butternut can be on the watery side and they just didn’t have the right texture. I wanted a fry that was a little more meaty so I opted for buttercup squash which has more of a rich and dense texture and is also sweeter, reminiscent of sweet potatoes which make my all-time favorite fries.

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