Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These are perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning but they will also just make any Sunday morning special. You can always make them at night, roll them out and let them rise for the final time in the fridge overnight. Big Pete loved them. They have a nice fluffy texture as all cinnamon buns should and just a little hint of spice and pumpkin!! YUMMY!!

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup warm milk (I microwave for 20 seconds)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 pkg of yeast
  • 1/2 cup of mild buttery olive oil – don’t use anything that says Light – I used a gorgeous Ascolano from Wild Groves California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/12 -4 cups of all purpose flour – a bit more for rolling
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6-7 tbsp very soft butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans


  • 4 oz of softened cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 -1 1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar (I like it with 1 cup sugar but, you might like it sweeter)

Step 1: warm the milk in the microwave for 20 seconds just so that it is warm to the touch not hot. Add the honey and yeast, stir and leave for 5 minutes to make sure yeast activates.

Step 2: add the yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the remaining wet ingredients: 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. I have used my new friend Dewey Lucero’s gorgeous Ascolano (go to his website Wild Groves Olive Oil wildgroves.com to get some!) add the canned pumpkin, the eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Step 3: In another bowl add the dry ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and baking soda.

Step 4: add the dry to the wet and mix with the paddle or dough hook for approx 30 seconds until just combined. It will be a wet dough.

Step 5: cover and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place.

Step 6: get your remaining 1 cup flour (might need a bit more) and a scrapper works well. I pour out the flour and mix and fold in the remaining flour. I add just enough flour so that it is not sticky but it is still a lovely soft dough. I roll out a big rectangle and then add the filling.

Step 7: in a small bowl make the filling: add the brown sugar , salt, 2 tbsp bourbon, cinnamon and chopped pecans. Mix with your fingers or a spoon.  Then spread out the softened butter in an even layer on the top of the dough. Sprinkle the filling evenly leaving a bit of an edge.

Step 8: roll up so you have a long skinny roll, not a short fat roll. Slice into 1 1/2 inch rolls. I always cut the whole roll in half and each in half until you have the even slices you like. Place into a buttered dish with room around each and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes or until they are nicely browned around the edges.

Step 9: make the glaze: in a bowl add soft cream cheese, bourbon and powdered sugar, mix with the hand mixer until smooth.

Let rolls cool and smear some of the cream cheese glaze on top of each. They taste great when still slightly warm .

Honey Wheat Chocolate Cinnamon Buns

These are not too sweet and are perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon! Don’t even think that one will be enough!!

You will need:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water -I heat in micro 40 seconds
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp of mild extra virgin olive oil – I used Uliva from the Garda region in Italy
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 2 pkgs – 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour
  • 6-8 tbsp very soft unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped milk chocolate *always buy best quality chocolate
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered/icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk

Step 1: In a large measuring cup heat the water. Add butter, lovely olive oil and honey. Whisk to combine.

Step 2: add the 2 packages of yeast, mix and leave 5 minutes to get foamy and activate.

Step 3: Whisk in eggs and salt. Pour liquid into a large bowl and add the whole wheat flour and 4 cups of the all purpose flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes too stiff to continue mixing in the bowl.

Step 4: Turn out contents onto a clean counter and knead with your hands adding the last cup and even a bit more flour as necessary. Once the dough turns into a soft dough and your hands are no longer sticky you have added enough flour. It is a nice soft dough when done.

Step 5: place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover to seal with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place to double in size for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Step 6: punch down dough and remove from the bowl onto a floured surface to role out into a rectangle approx 15 x 20 inches -with the longer edge face you.

Step 7: Spread very soft butter evenly all over the surface of the dough. I take the cinnamon, finely chopped chocolates and brown sugar and mix together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the chocolate, cinnamon sugar and sprinkle over the layer of butter leaving a bit of a clean edge to seal the dough.

Step 8: With the long edge facing you, roll up the dough. Slice the dough into even slices. I always cut in half, then keep cutting those in half to get the size of bun you like. Approximately 1 1/2 inches is good but, you can make them as large as you like!

Step 9: place 1/2 inch apart in a pan so they have room to rise once more before baking. I also freeze them at this point. I froze half this batch for later.

Step 10: heat oven to 350 degrees F. Let rise another 30-40 minutes. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Step 11: let cool then make simple glaze by mixing a bit of milk with icing sugar. Drizzle over buns and eat soft and slightly warm with a big mug of coffee!! Don’t even think you can just eat one!

Vanilla Buttermilk Biscuits

These are simple, slightly sweet buttermilk biscuits that take just a few minutes to prepare and they can be cut and baked or frozen for another weekend. This is also a great way to use up that large container of buttermilk you bought when you needed a half a cup! (seriously why don’t they make small containers of buttermilk??)

I just love them with honey or jam and some double cream.

You will need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter -cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 1: in a large bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Mix with a whisk and set aside.

Step 2: chop very cold butter into small cubes and add to flour mix.

Step 3: with a pastry cutter or using a food processor pulsing a few times. Cut butter into flour until butter pieces are pea sized.

Step 4: make a well in the center of the flour mix and add buttermilk. Mix with a fork to start to just incorporate the buttermilk. It will look like a shaggy mess.

Step 5: turn out mix onto counter and gather to start to create a dough. You don’t want to overwork this dough, you just kind of gather the mess, pat, fold and press to form a dough.

Step 6: Press the flour in to incorporate and to form a square. Then fold one side to the center and then the other side into the center and again, press to shape and add all the flour on your board. You can flip the dough over and scrape up any flour and use a rolling pin to form a square dough. When you gather the contents and fold you are adding lots of layers of butter and flour (like when making puff pastry) which doesn’t overwork the dough and makes these biscuits flaky.

Step 7: when you have your dough complete you can roll out to 3/4 inch thickness and you can cut with a cookie cutter for a traditional round biscuit or do the lazy method (which leaves no mess)

I just cut into 12 squares, bake what I want and freeze the rest.

see those nice flaky layers, they will puff nicely!

freeze some.

Brush tops with buttermilk and sprinkle some vanilla sugar on tops for a nice sweet top.

Bake 13 -15 minutes (they should have a nice brown bottom but don’t over-bake)

Break open

add some double cream (which is like butter!) and your favorite jam or honey.


Chia Coconut Almond Pudding

Despite their tiny size Chia seeds are jammed packed full of good stuff. They are loaded with fibre, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, manganese and other anti-oxidants. This is a super easy pudding that I first tried in Hawaii a few months ago for breakfast. All you do is soak the seeds overnight in almond milk and in the morning top this jelly like caviar pudding with fruit and granola. I like adding blueberries because they pop in your mouth like the Chia seeds. Try it you might just find a new breakfast option.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 3/4 cups almond/coconut milk (in the fridge with the milk)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • fresh blueberries
  • a  handful of your favorite granola – I like the crunch of some nuts as well

This is all you need to create a neat breakfast food that requires no cooking at all.

Step 1: pour your measured seeds in a container with a lid. I used a plastic container but feel free to use a glass jar or whatever you like.

Step 2: add almond-coconut milk (or any milk you like!) a bit of vanilla, a splash of maple syrup and a bit of shredded coconut and mix well. Cover the container and leave in the fridge overnight.

Step 3: in the morning the seeds will have absorbed much of the liquid and the mix will be gelatinous or similar to a tapioca pudding. Stir and place a few scoops in a bowl and top with your favorite fruit and some crunchy granola for a bit of crunch and texture

It is pretty neat and very delicious!!

Olive Oil Crepes with Lemon and Honey

You make the batter in your blender and it can be left in the fridge overnight. Next time you want crepes for breakfast make the batter the night before and then you just cook them when you get up. You can serve them simply with a drizzle of honey and a squeeze of lemon or spread on some of your favorite jam, a smear of Nutella or fill with berries and cream. I love these even more because instead of using butter I use a mild, buttery, gorgeous extra virgin olive oil from my friend Emilie in Corsica.

I dare you to use a beautiful quality mild olive oil and see if they don’t taste just as delicious as butter and they are also much better for you!

You will need: 

* recipe makes 9-10 crepes

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp mild extra virgin olive oil – I used Domaine Oltremonti from Cosica, France
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (any kind you prefer)
  • 1 cup flour
  • more olive oil for cooking

fillings can be:

  •  honey or sugar and lemon juice
  • Nutella or grated chocolate -your favorite kind
  • jam or marmalade
  • fresh berries and whipped cream


Step 1: gather and measure all your ingredients


Step 2: toss everything in a blender and blend for 20 seconds until smooth. Leave the batter for 15 minutes at room temperature if you are making them right away or cover and leave in the fridge for the next morning. I like to leave the batter in the blender because it is easy to pour in the pan.

Step 3: heat up a crepe pan (I think this is a great investment and makes easy cooking but, you can use a non-stick pan as well. Add a tsp of olive oil.

Step 4: pour in approx 3/4 – 1 cup of batter in your pan (depending on the size you want) and immediately swirl the batter all around the pan to spread the batter evenly. You need some olive oil or butter to brown the crepe properly and also so when/if you stack them they do not stick to each other. Hey! it’s olive oil don’t be afraid! Once there is some browning around the edges run a spatula around  to loosen and then flip. I like this tool for flipping but, you can use a wider spatula if you prefer. The first one is always a test to see how hot your pan is and to test your skills.

Continue on to use all the batter.

A drizzle of lemon and honey, then roll up or fold in quarters and serve. I have to admit this one is my favorite!

I had some tiny packs of Nutella so I had to!! Hey, Nutella is 50 years old this year and they gave out free packages in my mail!! This reminds me of childhood!

Saskatoon berry Jam (a local thing!) Tart and sweet.

Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee!!


Ham and Vegetable Quiche


Perfect with your favourite vegetables or add a bit of meat. I always have puff pastry on hand and this makes a nice lunch or dinner. Add a fresh salad and you are done.



You will need:


  • 6 mushrooms – sliced
  • 3 small carrots – shreds and fine dice
  • 1 small onion – diced fine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic- chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 2 spring onions/scallions – chopped fine
  • 2-3 slices of ham – chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp red pepper/chili jam
  • 1 sheet of rolled all butter puff pastry
  • 1/4 cup aged cheddar – grated

375 degrees F oven temperature  – bake 30 minutes


Step 1: gather all your ingredients. You can make this entirely vegetarian or add a bit of meat.

Step 2: slice mushrooms, peel carrots and then continue to make large shavings with your peeler until you reach the core and then turn and repeat. I then take the core and chop it into tiny dice. I have used some pretty coloured carrots but, you can use any kind. Chop onions. Set aside.

Step 3: chop garlic, parsley, cilantro, spring onions and ham.

Step 4: in a bowl add ham, chopped parsley, cilantro, eggs, mascarpone (or milk) and Dijon mustard. Whisk until combined well. (the mascarpone is like a cream cheese)

Step 5: in a large pan on medium/high heat add a few tbsp of good extra virgin olive oil and your vegetables. Add salt and pepper and cook until almost completely cooked. Approximately 10 minutes. They will just start to brown. Once cooked remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to egg mix.

Step 6: roll out a sheet of puff pastry. I like to bake mine on the parchment paper it comes rolled in. Place on a sheet pan.

Step 7: spread a few tbsps of red pepper jelly on the puff pastry. This is sweet and slightly spicy.

Step 8: add your egg mix to the parchment. I have created a bit of a lip all around the pastry to contain the egg mix however, it is fairly dense and the mascarpone keeps it thicker as well so you just need to contain the mix within the crust. I use the edge of the pan and I pinch the corners. Add your grated cheddar cheese to the top and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Step 9: Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the crust and top is nicely browned.

Serve with a simple cool salad and finish with a bit of great quality extra virgin olive oil.

Honey Olive Oil Buttermilk Biscuits


I must say I love the bottom of a biscuit best of all! I love the crunchy browned bottom and the fluffy warm layers that make these delicious just as is, or as a light airy sandwich. You can eat these with some runny honey or your favourite jam or as a little sandwich with a slice of salty ham and maybe some honey mustard. You can feel good that the only butter used in these was 1 tsp I used to brush the pan and tops before baking. I used extra virgin olive oil and buttermilk and they turned out just as flaky and delicious and if you made them with butter…just sayin! You might want to try them.


You will need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp melted honey to brush under and on top of biscuits

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.




Gather all your ingredients together.


Step 1: in a large mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.


Step 2: you can create a well in the centre of the bowl and add the buttermilk, olive oil and honey (you can mix them all together in a smaller bowl to combine first and then pour into well if you prefer)



Step 3: start by stirring the mix in the centre and then begin to gather some of the flour slowly from around the edges of the bowl.



Step 4: after about 15 seconds it will start to appear as a shaggy mess. I then start to use the spoon to scrape everything from the bottom and sides of the bowl (cleaning the bowl with the ingredients) At this stage it does not appear to be a smooth dough. Pour contents out of bowl onto counter. Remove any dough from wooden spoon.



Step 5: you do not want to handle this dough very much at all. You are looking for a nice flaky biscuit so I just kind of press it all together and form a rough square shape. It is still sticky and all the flour has not been incorporated at this step. Don’t worry.



Step 6: if you have a bench scraper it is good to use it or just with your hands fold over one half of the square and then the other half. Press the dough to make it as large as it was before you folded it. Turn once and repeat. Fold over half into the centre and then the other half into the centre. Press out and most of your flour will be absorbed. You can pat it out to smooth slightly and form a 5×6 square that is 1/2 inch thick.



Step 7: the simplest way to cut out biscuits is divide with a floured knife and cut into squares. If you prefer you can use a biscuit cutter (I am just too lazy so this is easier) At this stage you can place on a sheet separated and freeze. Once frozen place individual biscuits in a Ziploc bag.



Step 8: If you want to bake then place on a piece of parchment paper and make sure to butter under and on top of the biscuit. Bake in a hot oven, 425 degrees F for 12-14 minutes.



brush tops with a bit more butter if you like and enjoy hot.



with honey and butter







with jam or even sliced ham and of course gravy if that is your thing.











Banana Cinnamon Rolls – Makes 6 rolls!




These are lovely soft yeast cinnamon buns with banana right in the dough. They are sticky and not too sweet with a slight banana flavour.  The best part is that they are a half batch which is perfect for a small group. So even if there are just two this is a nice recipe to make. Makes 6 rolls.


You will need:

  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 cup = 1/2 a stick unsalted butter – room temperature/soft
  • 2 small bananas – squished with a fork (makes about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 1/4 cup (the other half of the stick of butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup and a few drops of water if necessary


  • save 2 tbsp of filling and brush tops with a bit of melted butter  and dip or sprinkle extra cinnamon sugar on tops.


I always gather all my ingredients so that I don’t forget something.



Step 1: in a small measuring cup heat milk and honey 25 seconds in microwave. Place into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add yeast and mix a few times. Let stand for 5 minutes to make sure yeast is activated.



Step 2: add egg, sour cream, bananas and vanilla. Mix for a few seconds. Add softened butter and mix again.



Step 3: add  1 cup of  flour and salt. Mix well.



Step 4: add 2nd cup of flour (reserving last 1/4 cup for the counter) Mix well.



Step 5: add the last 1/4 cup to the counter and turn out dough on to counter. Mix well. If you don’t need all the flour don’t use it all. You want to add enough flour so the dough is no longer sticky to the touch. The dough is a lovely soft dough when done.



Step 6: add to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.



Step 7: to prepare cinnamon filling place sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix. Leave the remaining 1/2 stick of butter in wrapper on counter until dough rises.



If you want to make a glaze then add icing sugar and maple syrup to a small bowl and mix. If you need to add a couple of drops of water to make it a thick but pourable consistency. (Cover with plastic and set aside.)



Step 8: once dough has doubled in size. Place a bit of flour on counter and turn out dough.



Step 9: gently roll out dough to a rectangle mine was 14 inches x 12 inches. Smear the butter over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle all the sugar except 2 tbsp evenly.



Step 10: roll up and slice in half. Then slice each half into 3.



Carefully place each section into a buttered large muffin tin or silicone tray.



Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour until doubled.



Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20-22 minutes. Remove and let cool in pan.



brush with a bit of melted butter and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar.



finish with glaze! EAT  while still warm. They are soft and fluffy and not too sweet.





















Six Honey Carrot Muffins – perfect for two!



If you have 2 people in the house this is the perfect little recipe. I think 6 is perfect for today and just enough for tomorrow. These are moist from the olive oil and have lovely flavour from the honey, cinnamon and ginger.


What could be nicer on a Sunday morning than the smell of fresh muffins. Get the coffee and enjoy them while they are warm!



You will need:


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots

optional add 1 tsp orange zest, or a handful of chopped walnuts or dried cranberries





Step 1: grate carrots.


Step 2: in a bowl add all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger and ground cinnamon. Mix.


Step 3: in another bowl add wet ingredients: olive oil, honey, vanilla, egg, milk and grated carrots. Mix.



Step 4: add the wet to the dry or the dry to the wet and stir until combined. If you wish to add some nuts or some dried cranberries this is the time to add them.



Step 5: scoop out the batter evenly into 6 paper lined muffin cups.



Step 6: Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean. Eat warm with a drizzle of extra honey or of course you can make a simple cream cheese icing to jazz them up but, I think they are delish just as they are!


French Toast


I love French toast. I normally have to try an convince Big Pete to eat it but, not today. I made this with some of my leftover Greek Easter Bread – Tsoureki but, it would work perfectly well with brioche or challah breads. Add some back bacon, some fresh berries and of course real maple syrup and you have a gorgeous breakfast! Make sure you pour the syrup on the bacon because it makes a perfect sweet and salty bite and don’t forget the coffee!


You will need:


  • 4-6 slices egg bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • pinch salt
  • olive oil and butter for cooking
  • bacon – I used back bacon sometimes called Canadian bacon
  • fresh blueberries
  • powdered sugar
  • real maple syrup



Step 1: in a small bowl that will fit your slices of bread add eggs, milk, vanilla paste, flour and a pinch of salt. Whisk with a fork or whisk until combined. If you still have a bit of flour not blended  in don’t worry. Slice bread and set both aside.



Step 2: cook your bacon and set aside.



Step 3: add just a tiny amount of butter – mine 1/2 tbsp and 1-2 tbsp olive oil. I used a light fruity Greek olive oil. Heat pan.



Step 4: dip bread in egg mix for a few seconds and flip over to soak other side of bread. Add bread to hot pan and cook for a few minutes on medium heat. Flip and cook on other side. They should be nicely browned.



Serve with bacon, fresh blueberries, powdered sugar and of course warm maple syrup!