Celebrating the Weekend with Scrumptious Scones


Homemade SconesMy baking paid off this last week in love. It is something I do to relax and create, finding it not only meditative and calming, but also really grounds my desire to feed my family healthy, fresh food. I’ve been baking scones since the Pandemic started, as a way of welcoming the weekend. It’s quick and rewarding.  I love cooking, but I find baked goods are amazing in that they send a warmth across the house, with a great smell wafting out of the kitchen. This weekend my 10-year-old daughter decided to make homemade guacamole to accompany the scones and present it to me in the shape of a happy face on our plates!! It was a great surprise. She wanted to contribute more joy to our Sunday morning, and she did it with great success! Sometimes, it’s the small things that lead to the greatest impact!


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour,
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 cup of cream or coconut milk

The following are ingredients that can vary depending on taste:

  • 1/4 cup of old cheddar diced (or any other strong hard cheese)
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • Two shallots (green onion) chopped into thin slices 


Preheat the oven to 425 F

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in mixer – pulse/mix for about 15 seconds
  2. Dice butter cold, combine with flour until it looks like corn meal, add a bit more butter if too dry
  3. Put in bowl and combine with the cheese, onions and thyme. I put in some spinach flakes too, if you have it’s really good (also can add sweet red pepper flakes)
  4. Mix it up either with baking spatula or hands, and then add the cup of cream or coconut milk, mix again until completely combined
  5. If too wet (mushy) then keep adding small amounts of flour until it’s slightly sticky but not mushy
  6. Wet your hands a bit and take about 3-4 tbsp of dough per scone and shape them into balls – then put on baking tray and press lightly to flatten tops.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes
  8. Should be golden brown – take out, cool and eat!

Finding Comfort (and Value) in Fresh Pasta


Fresh PastaFor my wife and I, food is at the center of much of our social lives. We celebrate special occasions with special meals, and we enjoy getting to know new friends over drinks and food. Social distancing has changed that, although we are continuing to meet friends for dinner over zoom or FaceTime.

One of the first foods we learned how to make together was fresh pasta. It’s a communal, methodical practice that in earlier times was a great party trick – we’d host another couple and make each element of dinner together. In the midst of social distancing, we’re coming back to this family favourite to recapture the idea of dinner as something to do together, rather than something to simply keep us fed. The beauty of fresh pasta, other than the taste, is that the experience of making it together is so satisfying. You get your hands dirty and must work together as a team to produce it in bulk. The food cost for the final recipe is very low for the quality of the meal you get. You can make it in large quantities and freeze the noodles for future use. Here’s our recipe for fresh pasta, as well as a classic dish flavoured with olive oil, garlic, and chilies or red pepper flakes. Once you’ve done the work of making the fresh pasta, the actual meal comes together in less than 10 minutes.

Fresh Pasta (makes 1.5 servings)

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/2tbsp olive oil
  • Water (about 1/8 cup, depends on humidity)


  • Add salt to flour and place on table or board – make a small well in the centre
  • Crack egg into well and add oil – scramble with a fork
  • Start mixing in flour, a little at a time, until fully incorporated
  • Knead and add water until a ball forms. Continue to knead until the dough becomes smooth (~5 minutes)
  • Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes

Shape as desired (for fettuccine, roll until slightly see-through, cut into thin flat noodles)

For this process, you can also use a stand mixer. Pasta rollers are also handy. This fresh pasta only takes about two minutes to cook and can be frozen after being left out to dry. If frozen, add a minute to the cooking time.

Eating on a Budget During COVID


Eating On a BudgetAs a community we were poor, but we always ate well. We were farmers and we knew how to stretch a dollar. We had a saying - “that is as cheap as borscht” - going out of our way to make nutritious meals for as little money as possible. So, it is no surprise that during COVID-19 the recipes I most crave are the ones I grew up with and like that and are also inexpensive to make.

My go to foods on a budget:

  • Soup, of course, is the go-to budget food. The key is to learn how to create a great broth using bones, vegetable peel, parmesan rind, shells from shrimp – you name it, you can create a rich flavour. Bouillon cubes are cheap and can also work well. So many great recipes.
  • Lentils and beans the dried ones are so much better than canned and very cheap. Just soak and cook. Try going to an Indian food store – they have a ton of great lentils at a fraction the price and in bulk.
  • Cabbage and carrots are inexpensive pretty much year-round and are very nutritious.
  • Frozen vegetables are inexpensive most of the year – keep looking for sales and fill the freezer.
  • Gardening is the ultimate low-cost way to eat. A $2 package of seeds can feed a family spinach for an entire year.

My favourite budget recipe: Lentils and Spinach (feeds 5-7 people for under $5)


  • $2 for 3 cups of lentils – any kind – I prefer red (yellow split pea also works)
  • $1 for a package of chopped frozen spinach (you can add two if you have them)
  • $1 for 1-2 onions
  • $1 for 2 cups of uncooked rice
  • Step 1: Add 6 cups water to a pot. Wash lentils and add the lentils to water with 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of paprika or chilli powder. 1 teaspoon of turmeric is optional.
  • Step 2: Bring to boil, turn down to a low boil for 30 minutes to an hour and then add the frozen spinach directly to the pot. Simmer until lentils are done.
  • Step 2: Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a pan and add the chopped onions until soft (I sometimes add carrot or peppers or any greens I have in the fridge). Continue to sauté for another 15 minutes on very low heat) If you have some add pepper, mustard and cumin seed (or 1 teaspoon of each powder) and 2 teaspoon of garam masala (you can substitute with cinnamon and cloves) Optional add other spices you like and think will add flavour)
  • Serve with Rice

If you have extra and are feeling decadent add a couple extra tablespoons of butter just before serving.

If you want to learn more get the More with Less Cookbook by Doris Longacre or just search more with less cooking online. You will be amazed by the great cooking you can do for less than a $1 per person for a meal.


Comfort through Japanese-Canadian Chow Mein


Kimber Family BrunchCommunity building for me has always been centered around food. Cooking and sharing a meal together, helps us connect, share stories and care for each other. With the current state of the world, I’ve been trying to continue these traditions through virtual means. Regular meals over video calls, sharing recipes over e-mail or food adventures (and sometimes mishaps) over social media, has allowed me to stay in touch with friends and family, no matter where they are in the world.

Japanese Canadian Chow Mein is one of those dishes that brings people together. Along with making it at every family gathering, my grandmother and the “church ladies” would prepare this dish for community meals and fundraisers at their Buddhist temple in Lethbridge, AB. While Chow Mein is not traditionally from Japan, the recipe developed as the first wave of Japanese Canadian immigrants tried to continue making Japanese-style dishes with ingredients that they had access to in the early 1900s. It reminds me of building community and adapting in a new environment. This comfort dish helps me feel connected to my family and community, in a time of social distancing.


  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 340 g of ground pork
  • 3 stalks of celery (julienned)
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 1 cup of button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
  • Deep-fried chow mein noodles
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups bean sprouts


  • In a large wok, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add ground pork and cook until browned.
  • Add celery, mushrooms, soy sauce, sugar and pepper and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Move vegetables and pork to the side and add in noodles. Gently cover noodles with vegetables and pork. Cover wok with lid and steam for 2 minutes.
  • Mix in bean sprouts and cover and steam until noodles have softened.


  • If you are unable to find deep-fried chow mein noodles at your local grocery store, fresh chow mein noodles can be used a replacement. Follow the cooking instructions on the package and add the cooked noodles in at step 4.
  • Variations could include tofu, ground beef or ground chicken as a replacement for ground pork.

A Lovely Leek Potato Soup


I simply love soup. Every Saturday growing up my mom would make a huge pot of soup - enough so we could eat it again on Sunday after church. It is for me the ultimate comfort food and brings forth this “warm feeling” like mom is in the room with me. So, as we are cloistered by COVID-19, my first thought was, what ingredients do I have for soup? Our store was low on produce, but they did have leeks. Yup and we still had some potatoes and voila a comforting creamy leek potato soup. 

Paul Born SoupThis is my family - for four years we cooked together in an out of the cold program. A family that cooks together stays together. 

Here's my potato leek soup recipe. (Cost – about $5 for a huge pot)


  • 3-4 stalks leeks washed - do cut in half and wash in between the strands as they can be very sandy. 
  • 7-10 medium potatoes
  • 4-6 cups broth (a 900ml tetra pack is fine)
  • A teaspoon each dried thyme, parsley, or any kind of fresh herb you may have is best. Bay leaf is also awesome. 
  • A cup of milk or cream or sour cream. 
  • Butter and olive oil


  • Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot and add some olive oil. Add the cut-up leeks and sauté for about 15 minutes. 
  • Add the potatoes (peeled or just washed and cut up like you would for mashed potatoes)
  • Add the broth and the dried herbs. (If you have fresh ones wait to add until the end)
  • Keep a low boil until the potatoes are done. 
  • Now blend in blender or use an immersion blender (that stick looking thing). If you do not have either just use a potato masher until everything is as smooth as you like. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and then add your cup of cream, sour cream, or milk. 
  • Soup is never exact, and you can add all kinds of things - like parmesan cheese or green onion or even peas and ham. 

If you like this recipe let us know. I have lots more - my favourites are borscht, Mexican corn chowder, butter chicken (or paneer) soup and my homemade chicken noodle soup is classic.