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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Two excellent recipes: Cauliflower Cheese Casserole and Orange Raisin Cake

Cauliflower Cheese Casserole
This cauliflower recipe is easy and delicious. Coarsely chop a head of cauliflower and boil in a small amount of salted water until tender. Drain and leave in the pot. Add a small container of cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, several grinds of fresh pepper, a couple of green onions sliced, some chopped Italian parsley and 1/2 cup of grated hard cheese, like Parmesan or Gruyere or Emmental, or even Cheddar. Mash it all together, and pile into an un-greased dish. Bake at 350 F for 1/2 hour until bubbly. Do not add salt when making this dish as the original cooking water was salted and the cheese is also quite salty.

Orange Raisin Cake
When I made this cake recently, I baked it in a silicone bundt pan, the rubbery wobbly kind. I baked it for 45 minutes as I would if I was using a metal tube pan, but it did not bake all the way through; I am presuming because of less efficient heat conductivity of the silicone. But the gooey pudding cake is delicious, and J. says that he loves it, which just goes to show that there are few true mistakes in cooking.
Put 2 cups of raisins, 1/3 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 cup of orange juice and a 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg and cloves into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, which will probably take an hour. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 2 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon  baking soda. Mix lightly, and put into a greased tube pan or loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes for the tube pan (see my note above) or 60 minutes for the loaf pan. 

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