Monthly Archives February 2014

A Taste of the Tropics: Crawford’s Luscious Lime Pie

UPDATE: Crawford’s Village Bakery is closing November 30, 2014.

When I’ve had my fill of winter I start to crave a little taste of the tropics, especially if I can’t actually make it there. Crawford’s Luscious Lime Pie is just the ticket. It’s Crawford’s version of Key Lime Pie but without eggs. Cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk are the rich and creamy foil  for a burst of tangy lime juice and lime oil; the filling is set on a lovely graham cracker crumb crust and piped with whipped cream.


Crawford’s Luscious Lime Pie is a sumptuous smack of sunshine. Can’t you just feel your taste buds tingling with a luscious lick of lime?


Like all of Crawford’s pies, it is made from scratch using quality ingredients. While Crawford’s regularly available pies are baked fresh seven days a week, their specialty pies – like Luscious Lime Pie – are baked fresh on specific weekends throughout the year.

Hurry, Luscious Lime Pie is only available for three more weekends until mid March. Katie makes them as fast as she can but it is hard to keep up with the demand so be sure to call ahead to order.

Stay tuned to my Facebook page or Crawford’s Facebook page for updates on when Crawford’s will launch their Easter Egg Pie and other specialty and seasonal pies throughout the year.

Crawford’s Village Bakery & Distinctive Foods
2809 Bovaird Drive West
Brampton, ON
Telephone: 905-451-0347

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The Scent of an Orange: Honeyed Oranges with Basil

What is it about the scent of an orange that buckles me under with happy gratitude? Inspired by my favourite fragrance, Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain, my Honeyed Oranges with Basil recipe is sparkling and fragrant. The spicy licorice note of fresh basil flirts with the sweet and juicy citrus; a luxurious drizzle of golden honey brings it over the top. What a cheery way to end a winter’s meal when winter’s end seems elusive. Don’t get caught licking your plate!


Honeyed Oranges with Basil

Serves 1 (easily multiplied)

Cara Cara oranges are an exceptional navel orange – so sweet and flavourful, they barely need any honey. President’s Choice has a new Orange Blossom Honey that works wonderfully here; mellow with a light citrusy flavour, it’s worth seeking out.


1 Cara Cara navel orange (seedless)
1 large basil leaf
President’s Choice Orange Blossom Honey or your favourite mild honey


  1. Cut top and bottom off of orange, slicing just deep enough to expose fruit. Slice off peel, cutting from top to bottom, removing white pith but leaving as much fruit behind as possible; work your way around the orange until all peel and pith have been removed (reserve peel). Run a sharp paring knife along each side of the membrane between each orange segment; remove segments and reserve.
  2. Arrange segments on a pretty serving plate or glass cup. Squeeze peels over segments to extract juice from any fruit attached to peel.
  3. Just before serving, roll basil leaf from edge to edge to form a tight roll; slice thinly, across the roll, into a fine chiffonade. Sprinkle basil over orange. Drizzle segments with a touch of your favourite honey. Serve immediately as a refreshing finish to a meal; or add a few walnuts and serve as a snack.
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Olive’s New Found Love: Raw Aura Organic Cuisine

I love the beautiful food I’ve recently discovered at Port Credit’s Raw Aura restaurant. I’ve passed by Raw Aura many times, passing it off as a raw vegan restaurant catering to diets far more regulated than what pleases my palate.  After my trainer, Joanne Klingenberg, encouraged me to “step out of my comfort zone”, I agreed to give it a try – wow, I am so glad I did! It is easy to fall in love with Raw Aura, even if you are not vegan.

Raw_Aura My interest was piqued as soon as I stepped inside the tiny restaurant. The place was buzzing with a cool vibe. Rough wooden beams span the interior, tabletops are sliced tree trunks. The decor echoes the food: raw and organic.

Raw Aura serves familiar food that is made with sustainably-harvested and organic (where possible), gluten-free, raw, vegan ingredients (no animal products). Because none of the ingredients are heated over 105°F, the digestive enzymes, vitamins, and minerals are retained. But what I love about Raw Aura are the pure and vivid flavours, the attention to every detail, and the passion that Chef Patrick Hartt serves up on every plate.

Raw Aura’s Red Beet Ravioli is a creamy cashew stuffing tucked between thin slices of red beets, topped with more spoonfuls of cashew stuffing, and drizzled with a luscious red pepper marinara sauce. The plate is crowned with the most delicious dehydrated kale chips; the kale is perfectly crisp and robust.  The entire dish is a symphony of flavour, colour, and texture – a first visit must try.


The Burstin’ Burrito is big and bursting with the fresh flavours of crisp lettuce, ripe tomato, sweet red onion, guacamole, and refried pumpkin seed beans, all wrapped in a sun-dried tomato and carrot tortilla, drizzled with cashew sour cream, and garnished with green onion and pico de gallo salsa.


The Chocolate Mint Ganache is a rich and satiating cashew cheesecake topped with a thick chocolate ganache laced with fresh mint – a decadent but feel good dessert.

Raw Aura Chocolate Mint Ganache Cake

Delicious and nutritious, it’s food that loves me back. And though I’m not vegan, I’ll be a regular at Raw Aura. Mmm…next time I’ll try one of Raw Aura’s fresh juices and the Yellow Coconut Curry Noodles.

Reservations are strongly recommended.

Raw Aura Organic Cuisine
94 Lakeshore Road East
Mississauga, ON L5G 1E3
Telephone: 905-891-2872
Tuesday to Thursday: 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Sunday & Monday: Closed

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Get Your Motor Running: Artisanal Toast with Ricotta, Grilled Figs & Honey

It is mighty hard to leave a warm bed and face a cold, dark, winter’s morning; a little extra pampering is required. Here is how I got my motor running this morning: artisanal toast, but not at $4 a slice from a trendy San Francisco coffee shop. I’m talking about artisanal toast made at home by you, the artisan.


Artisanal Toast with Ricotta, Grilled Figs, & Honey

Special equipment: cast-iron grill pan


Locally-baked, artisanal whole grain bread, thickly sliced
Olive oil
Fresh figs, sliced in half lengthwise
Ricotta cheese or cream cheese
Good quality honey
Shelled, unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds
Ground cinnamon


  1. Start with a seasoned, cast-iron grill pan; get it good and hot (but not smoking) over medium heat.
  2. Brush olive oil on both sides of the best artisanally-crafted, nutrient-dense bread you can get your hands on (see suggestions below); lay them on your grill pan. After 1 or 2 minutes, check the underside of the bread – when it has nice grill marks on it, flip it over and grill for 1 or 2 minutes more until both sides have grill marks; remove to a serving plate.
  3. Place fig halves in a bowl; add a healthy dose of olive oil; toss to coat evenly. Place the figs cut side down on the grill pan. Grill for 1 or 2 minutes, until cut side has nice grill marks; flip to other side and grill until softened about 1 more minute.
  4. Meanwhile, smear the best ricotta or cream cheese you can find on one side of your toast. Top with fig halves, drizzle with your favourite honey, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, dust with cinnamon. Feel a smile draw across your face like the sun rising on the dawn of a bright, new day. Make a vow to treat yourself this well every morning. And then thank your local artisanal baker.

Some suggested breads from local artisanal bakeries:

Rye Walnut Bread from La Villa Bakery & Café in Port Credit, ON: baked using recipes and techniques passed down through generations of the Bozzo family.

Pumpernickel from Monestary Bakery & Delicatessen in Oakville, ON: baked fresh daily.

Fig, Raisin, & Walnut Filone from Pane Fresco in Burlington, ON: handcrafted and baked in a European Deck oven. Preservative free.

Hearty Seed from The Glen Oven Café in Glen Williams, ON: A golden flax bread with sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

Boston Mills Multigrain from Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon, ON: Handcrafted with cracked grains, seeds, and a touch of honey. Baked daily in a wood-fired oven. No artificial preservatives.

Chia Fruit Loaf from Cobs Bakery (click link for locations): Made with whole grain flour, cinnamon, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, dates, and raisins. Made without preservatives or added sugar. Cholesterol free.

Walnut, Fig, & Raisin Loaf from The Hot Oven Bakery at Cloverdale Mall: During the month of February all bread on the bread wall will be only $2.00 each.

Please check my Grocery/Gourmet Store Directory (Bakeries) for details on local artisanal bakeries.

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