My Friend Lynn’s Rustic Apple Cranberry Tart

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My friend Lynn Burton is a wonderful baker! She loves to present her friends with wonderful gifts from her kitchen. I had this delicious apple cranberry tart once at her house and she graciously shared the recipe with me. I love it because you can quickly make the pastry dough in the food processor and you can substitute whatever fruit you would like for the filling.

Sue Devor’s Decadent Flour-less Chocolate Torte

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When I lived in Toronto, Sue Devor, the owner of "Sweet Sue's" pastry shop was my congregant. She often led a "baking for Passover" cooking demo at my congregation. Passover baked goods shouldn't taste like "Passover". She introduced me to this rich and gooey chocolate torte. This recipe has become one of my most requested YEAR-ROUND favourites. My brother (the Culinary Institute of America trained chef) declared: "Wow! This cake is better than one of mine!" I've modified Sue's original recipe to make it serve a larger group and added a chocolate glaze. You can flavour it with mint extract (if you like mint), or use a strong espresso (in place of water) if you like a mocha flavour.  This is sure to be a show-stopper and a big hit! Here is my version of Sue's fabulous recipe. Thank you, Sue!

Betsy Stone’s Carrot Kugel (or Carrot Muffins)

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These taste like the most delicious carrot muffins, but not too sweet. They are a fabulous side dish with a roast beef, or chicken or fish. Kids gobble them up. It can be made in a 9" X 13" pan and cut in squares, or in muffin tins. I love making them in my Nordicware Rose muffin tin, because they just look so beautiful! They also freeze very well.

Cold Melon Soup Duo

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"Summer time, and the living is easy..." This is the season when we want to eat lightly and not spend hours in the kitchen preparing food that's cool, refreshing, delicious, and beautiful. My dear friends Judy and David introduced me to this delicious and beautiful cold melon soup duo. It's the perfect starter for an easy summer lunch or dinner (or, you can even serve it for dessert with some vanilla ice cream on the side). I've "tweaked" the recipe a bit to suit my taste. What's so wonderful about it, is that the prep time is minimal, but the impact on presentation is huge! It's important, however, to prepare it at least several hours before you plan to serve it (or in the morning). It needs to sit in the fridge for a few hours for two reasons: 1) the flavors need time to "marry"; and 2) it is best served chilled.

Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup

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I set out to create a soup full of tomato flavour, perfect for a wintery day. By combining lots of ripe Roma tomatoes, rich sundried Italian tomatoes and a can of organic fire-roasted whole tomatoes, I was able to ramp-up the flavour and create a full-bodied and delicious soup. I have two secret ingredients that always add that little extra touch to my soups: some lemon juice to add a little brightness, and a touch of maple syrup to round out the flavours and add a little more body and richness. (Just be careful to add both in small amounts at a time and: taste, taste, taste!)

Sharon’s Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

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Sometimes you just need a something that's a little sweet, a little salty and a little spicy to have with drinks before dinner. Or to add a little zest to a salad. Or to nibble on for a snack while you are watching the game on TV. Many of the recipes I saw used corn syrup. So I developed my own recipe, using one single beaten egg white, and a combination of flavours and spices. Feel free to use your own spice combination.