Pumpkin Pancakes

As the weather cools into fall, it’s time to enjoy warm, comforting flavours like pumpkin and spices.

Serves 8

2.5 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cloves

4 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

1 cup cooked pumpkin

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients. Stir gently until just mixed. If the batter is too thick add a little more buttermilk. 

Blackberry Molasses Cake

Because it's August! It has to be blackberry. This recipe is originally from Hollyhock Garden to Table. 

Serves 6-8

½ c + 2 tbsp unbleached white flour

½ c whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground cardamom

5 tbsp plain yogurt

½ c blackstrap molasses

2 large eggs

4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 ½ c blackberries, frozen

Preheat oven on 350F. Lightly butter a 9” round cake pan, or a pie plate.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, molasses and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and add the berries, pressing them in lightly with your hand. Bake 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool. Serve dusted with powdered sugar, with vanilla yogurt on the side. 

Green Rice

1 bunch spinach

1 bunch cilantro

½ bunch Italian parsley

2 jalapeno peppers, 1 seeded

1 tsp salt

2 ¼ cups water or stock

2 tbsp olive oil or butter

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ cups long-grain white rice

4 tbsp minced chives

Carefully wash the spinach, cilantro, parsley and jalapenos. Place in a blender, add salt and 1 cup water or stock. Blend to liquefy, then set aside.

In a medium pot, heat the butter or oil. Add onion with a pinch of salt, sautee onion until translucent. Add the garlic and rice, sautee a few minutes until the rice turns slightly golden. Add the contents of the blender and the remaining stock, stir well to combine. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to very low and cook 15 min. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand, covered, for a further 10 minutes (no peeking!). To serve, gently fluff the rice with a fork and turn onto a serving dish. Garnish with minced chives and serve immediately. Serves 6. 

This recipe for Green Rice is from the wonderful Rebar cookbook. Maybe we should call it Emerald Rice, when we serve it to divers who are exploring the Emerald Sea. We like it served with enchiladas. 

As always, we are happy to share recipes. If you would like a recipe, email us.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

1 pound ground turkey

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

¼ tsp each cumin, marjoram, pepper, nutmeg, oregano, ginger

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp each basil, thyme, sage

1 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix gently with a fork. Form into small patties (about 2 tbsp per patty) and fry in a little butter or olive oil. Easy, tasty and you know exactly what is in it. Also great for lunch or dinner. Serves 4.

As always, we are happy to share recipes. If you would like a recipe, email us.

White Chocolate Brownies

White Chocolate Brownies                             (originally from Whitewater Cooks)

 1 cup butter

10 oz white chocolate, chopped into small pieces

1 ¼ cups sugar

4 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

2 cups flour

½ tsp salt

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (pecans are good too)

 Place butter and chocolate in a large metal bowl, place in the oven at 225°F (or place over a pan of simmering water on the stovetop). Stir occasionally until butter and chocolate are melted and well blended. When well blended, remove from oven and turn oven up to 325°F.

Prepare a 9x13 pan: butter it well and set aside.

Stir sugar into melted chocolate. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. It may look ‘curdled’ but this is OK. Add flour, salt and nuts and gently stir until just mixed. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 325°F for 30 – 35 minutes, until the top is light brown but the centre is still soft.

Let cool completely before slicing and removing from the pan. To finish, dust with icing sugar, or drizzle with melted dark chocolate. 

Harbour Seal Research

During the months of June - September 2014, Katrina Nikolich lead a team of researchers from Western Washington University to Hornby Island to study of the mating calls of male harbour seals. This project is for Kat's MSc in marine mammal biology.
We think her topic is really interesting because although harbour seals are common animals in our region, very little is known about them. Kat's study also included observations of boat traffic in the area, and to our knowledge this has never been directly studied. There is always more to learn!
Hornby Island Diving assisted with the project by providing local support and logistics, e.g. we helped Kat deploy and retrieve her hydrophone. She is currently hard at work analyzing her data, and we are eager to see her results. 

Here are a few words from Kat, describing her project:

'I study the language of harbour seals; more specifically, I study their mating calls, and how noise from boats can impact the way they talk to one another in the breeding season. This past summer, I listened to the seals near Heron Rocks all summer using a hydrophone that Hornby Island Diving helped me deploy on the seabed. Along with three teams of dedicated interns, I also observed the seals and their environment from shore. I collected data on how many seals there were and what they were doing, as well as observing the boat traffic. From my underwater recordings, I've heard a number of different calls that I believe are harbour seals, which would greatly expand our knowledge of the seal vocabulary (so far, scientists only recognize one call - I've heard a dozen!). I've also noticed that the seals call only at night, when there is less boat traffic. Just as we prefer not to strain our voices by talking over loud music, harbour seals wait until the ruckus of fishing boats, ferries and tugboats has calmed down before starting up their chorus. This information will help to improve our understanding of seal mating behaviour and perhaps reveal never-before-described calls. My results may also suggest that routing larger ships through Georgia Strait, such as cruise ships and cargo ships that travel at night, could seriously impact the seals' ability to communicate.'

 

Red Cabbage with Apples

Red Cabbage with Apples - Recipe from our February Newsletter

2 lbs red cabbage

½ cup chopped onion

¼ cup butter

1 ½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

3 tbsp vinegar

1 ½ cups apple, chopped (peel if you like)

Shred cabbage coarsely and chop onion. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and sautee a few minutes. Add cabbage and stir to coat with butter. Add seasonings and vinegar. Cook over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apples, cook 20 minutes more. Add a little water if necessary to keep from sticking. 

We serve this along side pork roast. It also pairs well with baked squash, lentil pilaf and a spinach salad for a vegetarian winter feast. 

 

Bonaire

We are often asked where we like to go on vacation. We really enjoyed Bonaire, it has been a few years since we were there but by reports, the good things have stayed the same. We stayed at Buddy Dive Resort. Another option that we learned about recently is www.bonairedivevilla.com which is owned by a Canadian couple who also have a dive store in Edmonton www.thediveoutfitters.com 

Hawaii - Big Island

We are often asked where we like to go on vacation. One favourite destination is the Big Island of Hawaii. We like to rent a house in Puako, about 45 min north of Kona. It is a residential area, lots of vacation rentals but quiet and low key. There is nice shore diving and snorkelling there from the many public beach accesses. Watch where you step, sea turtles are everywhere! A few minutes up the road is Kohala Divers http://www.kohaladivers.com. We get air fills from them and we have been out on their boat as well. We have found them to be organized, safety conscious, friendly and enthusiastic about their own diving. We also enjoyed diving out of Kona with Pacific Rim Divers http://www.pacificrimdivers.com. Patrice, one of the owners, has great marine ID and critter spotting abilities. 

Hornby Island Diving Housemade Granola - Recipe from our April 2014 Newsletter

Hornby Island Diving Housemade Granola

                                                           

1 ½ tsp vanilla

¾ c melted butter or coconut oil

1 c honey or maple syrup

 

8 c rolled oats

 

½ c sesame seeds

½ c coconut

½ c sunflower seeds

(1 ½ c nuts/seeds in total, whatever you have, whatever looks good :)

 

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

 

Add AFTER baking:

2 c raisins or dried cranberries

¾ c chopped dried apricots

 

Preheat oven to 325°F. Cover two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine vanilla, butter, and honey and heat gently until melted and blended.

In a large mixing bowl, mix grains, nuts, and spices. Add honey mixture and blend thoroughly.

Place mixture on trays. Bake at 325°F for 30 – 45 minutes. Stir often because the outside tends to cook faster. Don’t overcook, it crispens as it cools.

When done, remove from oven, cool a bit, then add dried fruits. Cool thoroughly and store in the refrigerator. 

Sweet & Sour Meatballs - Recipe from our December 2013 Newsletter

SWEET & SOUR MEATBALLS

8 Servings

Meatballs

  • ¼ c. minced onion
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • ½ c. milk or water
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 2 egg
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • black pepper
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Sauce

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 – 13 oz. can of pineapple, with juice
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ c. vinegar (or less)
  • 1 - 2 coloured peppers, cut into chunks
  • Green onion, to garnish

Meatballs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. Mix together all ingredients, form into balls (1 tbsp per ball). Place meatballs on baking sheet and bake for 20 – 30 min until browned and cooked through. When done, leave the oven on. Transfer meatballs to a casserole dish large enough to hold the meatballs plus sauce, set aside.

Sauce

In a saucepan, add a little oil and sautee the onion until translucent. Add the sugar, pineapple and soy sauce. Sprinkle the cornstarch over and add part of the vinegar. Stir and cook until the sauce thickens. Taste and add the rest of the vinegar if necessary. Add the coloured pepper and cook for 5 min. Pour sauce over meatballs and place in the oven. Bake 15 or more minutes until sauce is bubbling and heated through. Garnish with green onion. Serve with rice. 

French Lentil Soup - Recipe from our November 2013 Newsletter

FRENCH LENTIL SOUP

An easy recipe that makes a big pot of hearty soup.

  • 3 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 cups lentils
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
  • ½ tsp green peppercorns
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

Dice onions and carrots finely. Sautee in butter and olive oil until soft. Add stock and lentils, bring to a boil and skim. Add thyme and peppercorns. Simmer ½ hour or until lentils are tender. Remove thyme. At this point, you can puree the soup, or leave it as is Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Thin with water or chicken stock if necessary.

Can be served with sour cream as a garnish.

As always, we are happy to share recipes. If you would like a recipe, email us.    

 

Apple Cinnamon Muffins - Recipe from our October 2013 Newsletter

APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS

A warm taste for cold mornings. Makes 12 small muffins. 

  • ¼ c. butter
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ c. grated apple
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • ½ c. rasins
  • 1 c. flour
  • ¾ tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg

Topping:

  • 1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cream butter, sugar and egg. Stir in apple, milk and rasins. Set aside.

Sift dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients and mix gently. Spoon batter into muffin tins and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Bake 375°F for 20 minutes.

As always, we are happy to share recipes. If you would like a recipe, email us.

Blackberry Vinagrette - Recipe from our September 2013 Newsletter

BLACKBERRY VINAGRETTE

Makes 1 ½ cups

  • 1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen/thawed
  • ¼ cup raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Push blackberries through a coarse sieve to remove seeds. Mix blackberry puree with vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, honey. Whisk while slowly adding the olive oil. Add the thyme, salt, pepper and whisk a bit more. 

Use your imagination, but it's especially spectacular with buttercrunch lettuce, sliced peaches, and brie.

As always, we are happy to share recipes. If you would like a recipe, email us.

Green Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad - Recipe from our July 2013 Newsletter

GREEN BEAN AND CHERRY TOMATO SALAD

Perfect for summer! Delicious and so easy. Serves 6.

  • 1 pound green beans, though if you can find a mix of green and yellow beans, it will be all the prettier
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Basil or other herb such as parsley, chervil, etc. (optional)

Prepare the vegetables: Top and tail the beans and cut them into bite-size segments. Parboil the beans in salted water until just tender, about four to five minutes. Drain and immediately spread them out to cool. Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.

Make the vinaigrette: Peel and mince the shallot and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed.

Close to serving time, toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette. 

As always, we are happy to share recipes. If you would like a recipe, email us.