Summer 2016

It's summer 2016 and there are so many things to update on!  My goal is to keep a little more current on my blog and Twitter and share more cooking ideas and tips. Maybe I'll slip in a recipe here and there...

I love this time of year, as the promise of what is to come is almost as sweet and tasty as the harvest.Tomatoes, beans and herbs are all planted and the apples are starting to form on the tree. I just had my first local strawberries this summer - life is sweet. 

There are so many ways to enjoy these strawberries besides giving them a rinse and popping them in your mouth as I've been doing. I'll be making jam and putting putting some in the freezer for when they're not in season so I can enjoy them over the winter. While they're in season there will be a constant supply of fresh berries to nibble on, and add to whatever appeals. If you are looking for an extra sweet treat, one of the favourite things in this house, is to serve them on top of organic vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of good balsamic. If you haven't tried it, now is the time! Make it healthier and substitute the ice cream with a good quality Greek yogurt or Skyr - something nice and thick - with a drop or two of vanilla mixed in. 





Looking for the perfect host gift? 

Bring that special someone hosting your holiday gatherings something they can use to perk up their holiday feast! I've been busy making preserves through the harvest season (blackberry jelly, sour cherry jam, damson plum jam) to catch what was local and fresh. I also have some interesting jars just for the holidays. The ingredients are not all local in the holiday preserves (such as figs and meyer lemons), but they capture the season nicely in a jar and pair wonderfully with that local cheese you discovered, a local naturally raised roast turkey or ham for the holiday dinner, or a treat on your morning toast.

Come by Camp Restaurant (#244 Jane Street, Toronto, ON)  today from 4-8pm and try my preserves - you will also meet a few other local crafters selling their wares. Get some holiday shopping done and maybe pick up a little treat for yourself.

I can take holiday orders for some of my preserves such as cranberries in honey and wine, meyer lemon preserves (meyer lemon jelly, meyer lemon simple syrup for your cocktails, or meyer lemons in honey and wine), fig and walnut compote with star anise, fig compote with vanilla and cardamom, blackberry & wine jelly etc. Contact me through my contact page or email me at for more details.

Happy Holidays!!



Christmas Craft Sale at Camp Restaurant Dec 7th from 4-8pm

Pop on by to Camp Restaurant at 244 Jane Street (Toronto) on December 7th and pick up some Christmas treats!  I will be there with a variety of small batch hand made preserves that make great stocking stuffers. Ingredients include Niagara blackberries, sour cherries and Damson plum as well as fig compote and a couple of treats made with Meyer Lemons!

Other vendors will be there with some great treats as will want to take a little time and stop in!



Dinner with Sharon Dishes! Going Glamping!

Sharon Dishes is going Glamping at Camp Restaurant!  What does that mean? Well, really, it means that I am going to make a delicious meal and you can come for dinner. There are wine pairings (optional) and it's all happening at Camp! Check out the Campy poster for more details!  It's happening September 28th at 7pm.


What's for breakfast? 

Sorry, but I don't want the same ingredients in my breakfast that I can get in a yoga mat! 

I just "tweeted" an article about what was potentially in a breakfast sandwich from the golden arches. Frankly, I would have thought that it might be one of the better choices, egg, ham, bread, cheese.  But apparently, not one of those things is as simple as it sounds. It is not surprising but it is scary, and it seems that largely we now define food as processed and packaged goods. Things we can grab and eat or cook in under 10 minutes. Rice and other grain products are bleached, stripped and changed to the point that they cook quickly. But they don't taste or resemble their raw ancestor from which they come and our taste has changed along with it.  We want things sweeter, saltier, milder, softer. Food that will last a long time in your pantry but not in you, making your blood sugars spike like any other processed food. Cooking has taken on a new meaning (not to mention cooking from scratch).

It is not an uncommon to find people talking 'ingredients' these days, and this morning was no different. While I was presenting recipes to a group about healthy eating on a budget, we talked about what was in some of the food available, like bleached white flour, canned foods and yogurt. People on a budget are limited in their access to fresh foods, but good or better choices can still be made including canned products and basic pantry items. 

My first and immediate response is always going to be; make it yourself and you'll know what's in it. Make it yourself, and it will likely be cheaper too. I know this can seem challenging and people don't know where to start. In my humble opinion it's not earth shattering, we simply start by talking about it. Ask to know what's in your food.  Read labels. You need to know. The next step is simply taking the control back - back into your own hands.

This is why I am doing what I am doing here at Sharon Dishes.  I want to show people who aren't sure, how to do it and bring some inspiration back into the kitchen...maybe even your garden or your shopping bag. Let's bring that abstract discussion about ingredients to your plate and make it real.  Real good that is.

Cheers.  Thanks for listening to my rant.  Now here's a tasty and real breakfast that you can prepare in the same time it takes to wait in that drive through.  


Makes approximately 4 cups (8  servings) 


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) whole flake oats
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) large flake unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped dates (approximately 7 large medjool dates)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chia seeds


Mix well and store in an air tight jar or container.

To serve, place 1/2 cup of muesli in a bowl and pour milk (or unsweetened almond, rice or soy), yogurt or apple juice over it .  Chop a banana or grate an apple into the muesli. Enjoy immediately, or let sit for 30 minutes or more if desired.  

This recipe is intended for personal use and may not be reproduced or distributed except with the prior written permission of Sharon Dishes.