HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!  May this year be one of peace and laughter, health and well-being.

What’s new in the Pantry? Organic Vegan Gummy Bears and locally made Conde Gourmet Specialty Organic Almonds (Maple Sesame and Vanilla Cinnamon).  These are heavenly!!  Coming soon…Organic Coconut Butter 🙂

The Pinehedge kefir in the fridge this week have all been purchased…delivery is approx every 2 weeks.

Soups and stews are available daily ‘to-go’, either hot or frozen.  This week the hot options include Organic Moroccan Lentil Soup and Organic Spinach Lentil Stew.

Today’s recipe is…  DSCN3947.JPG

Sushi Salad   (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

If you like sushi, you will love this sushi salad. All of the same great sushi flavors, but in an easy rice salad!
1 cup short grain brown rice
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled ginger
3 green onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup shelled edamame
½ cup dried whole nori, cut into thin strips with scissors
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

For the dressing:
¾ teaspoons wasabi paste
1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons Tamari
½ -3/4  teaspoons ground organic ginger powder
In a large pot, combine rice and water. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup vinegar to boil with sugar and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved and remove from heat.
Transfer rice to a large bowl and stir in vinegar mixture. Cool rice and stir in sesame seeds, remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar, oil, ginger, green onions, carrot, cucumber, edamame, and nori strips. Top salad with avocado slices.
In a small bowl, stir wasabi powder into hot water and stir in cold water, soy sauce, and ginger juice. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.
*frozen organic edemame beans, organic brown rice, organic sesame seeds, tamari and Canadian nori are available in the Pantry!

Stay warm and have a relaxing January everyone!

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POST ‘Maple in the County’….were you here??

It’s Maple in the County!

Today and tomorrow there are 12 County sugar bushes participating in the maple festivities…so get out and have fun!  I have the Brummell Family Farm syrup available in the Pantry…a relationship begun 6 years ago and going strong 🙂  Brad and Annette are third generation I believe and they boil down their syrup with wood, using no de-foaming agents.

The U.S. Environmental Working Group has now published their annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of conventionally grown (not organic) fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticides.  This year, the list is: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes…and hot peppers are an additional item identified.  If you are choosing to maximize the nutritional value and minimize the pesticides it is strongly recommended to buy organic produce.  Here is the link for more information:  https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php

This week’s recipes are for gluten-free pancakes to go under that maple syrup!

Gluten-Free Coconut Corn Flour Pancakes (credit to familyfreshcooking.com)
1 cup organiccorn flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup ground flax seed meal
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (any type including coconut milk!)

Mix flours, flaxseed, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Add eggs and milk.  Spray or lightly butter the frying pan (I used a bit of coconut oil)  and make the pancakes as large or small as you like.  Makes about 12 medium pancakes.

Another favourite GF pancake recipe was shared by a Pantry customer and here’s the link:


Stay safe and have a great week.

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End of Winter Deliciousness

Since I send out a weekly email called The Pantry News, I decided to compress a bit of the writing and re-post the email via my blog….so here’s the first one! 🙂

Hello March…spring is coming but it sure is COLD today!! spinach-lentil-stew2.jpg

The above picture is Spinach Lentil Stew, a vegan dish that is found in the Pantry freezer and one of the recipes that will be offered at the upcoming Plant-Based Diet Workshop.  The March 21st date is almost full, so I have plans to offer it again late April/early May!  I’ve also had a request for the Pantry Crackers & Almond Bread workshop on a different weekday evening, so that will happen on Wednesday, April 5th.

What’s NEW this week? (besides a delivery of Pinehedge kefir?) The sap is running in the County and the Brummell Family Maple Syrup has arrived in the Pantry!!  Full litres and half litres are available 🙂 FYI Maple In The County is March 25/26th this year….see you then!!

A spice that has been requested quite a lot recently is Chipotle and it is finally on the shelf.  The other ‘new’ item is kelp seaweed noodles.  The are sold in a package, ready to eat, with no preservatives.  A quarter of the package provides 15% of the daily recommended amount of calcium and has 1 gram of fibre.  I’ve made a nice salad with these and the package has an intriguing recipe for a soup. Something else to try!!

This week’s recipe is for one more soup since it’s still mighty cold out there 🙂

Squash & Seaweed Soup
2-3 cups squash, cooked (I’ve used butternut, acorn, buttercup)
1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked organic white beans
1 cup (about 30g) dried seaweed (alaria is good, also arame)
3-4 Tbsp of lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon is enough)
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp powdered organic ginger
2 Bay leaves (optional)
6 cups of water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 tsp organic curry powder
¼-1/2  tsp of  Celtic sea salt to taste
1 tsp toasted Sesame Oil
1 small can coconut milk
Cook the squash ahead, either roasting or steaming.  Scoop out the ‘meat’ and keep in the fridge for a day or 2 as your time dictates.
Soak overnight and cook the beans ahead also….make extra for bean dip or to have with salads. J
Cut the seaweed into small pieces with scissors.  Re-Hydrate in water for about 20 min. Drain, then soak in lemon juice before adding.
In a large soup pot on medium heat, add the coconut oil, onions, garlic, ginger & bay leaves and cook for about 5-10 min.  Add squash & seaweed. (Drain some or all of the lemon juice if you like- I leave it in)  Sauté on low heat for a few minutes.  Add water & bouillon cubes, simmering for about 10 min.  Add coconut milk & sesame oil. Blend & serve alone or with rice.

In Health and Happiness,

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Hello October …Cranberry Dumpling time !!

Here’s to October …more sun, rain and 🍁

Upcoming Pantry Holiday Closure:

Closed Thanksgiving Sunday October 9th – Monday October 17th (re-opening Tuesday Oct 18th at 9:00 a.m.)

I am looking forward to taking a week off to spend with family and friends and to re-charge the battery 😊  Thanks so much for your continued support!!

Yesterdays’ delivery included Pinehedge kefir.  The organic golden flax seeds have arrived, a fresh batch of Pyramid gut shots have been delivered and the Manitoulin wild caught whitefish is still available.  I also now have whole blanched almonds for those upcoming holiday recipes….

More local apples have been delivered including the first pickings of Northern Spies….great for pies!!  There are still plenty of MacIntosh and Empires too. 🍎

This weeks recipes include one of my favourite Thanksgiving desserts, Cranberry Nutmeg Dumplings.  (See below) The other recipes are also for baked goods….something about this cooler weather makes me hungry for muffins and scones!!  I’ve made Blueberry Lemon Scones for the Pantry today too 😊

Have a great weekend everyone,


Cranberry Nutmeg Dumplings.JPG

Cranberry Nutmeg Dumplings

¾ cup spelt flour

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ cup organic cane sugar

2 tsp organic baking powder

¼ tsp Celtic sea salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 egg (or 1Tbsp ground chia seeds and 3 Tbsp water -let it sit a few minutes)

1/3 cup milk (any type)

3 Tbsp oil (coconut if you have it, melted)

3 cups fresh cranberries

1 ½ cups water

¾ cup organic cane sugar or 1 tsp powdered pure stevia or ¼ cup organic raw agave nectar

2 Tbsp arrowroot flour

In a large saucepan over high heat, mix cranberries, whatever sweetener you have chosen and water. Cover and cook until cranberries begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and blend in arrowroot flour. While cranberries are cooking, make the dough.

In a medium bowl mix together flours, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In another medium bowl, beat egg with a fork until fluffy. Add milk and oil. Add flour mixture and mix well with fork into dough.

Drop dough by spoonfuls on top of bubbling cranberries (you should get about 12 dumplings). Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, without lifting lid, 12 minutes. Makes 6-12 servings, depending on portion size. This is not a sweet dessert but it is delicious….sweet ‘toppings’ can be added 🙂

Gluten-free Note: I would try ¾ cup of my blend, ¼ cup arrowroot starch, ¼ cup sweet rice flour and 1 tsp guar or xanthan gum. (I have not yet made these gluten-free, so please let me know how this works :))

(Credit note: original recipe from June Johnston’s Cookbook via The Toronto Star)

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Hello Everyone 😊

It’s nice to feel the heat and not be quite so concerned about the lack of rain, albeit the situation is still critical here.  It’s also hard to believe that the long weekend is the weekend after this one!!

Pantry Hours THIS Weekend:

Saturday – 9:00 – 5:00

Sunday – 11:00 – 3:00

Labour Day Weekend Pantry Hours:

Saturday – 9:00 – 12:00 (Closing early to attend a family function Sat/Sunday)

Sunday & Monday – CLOSED

The Reachview organic greens have already come and gone from the Pantry porch today!  (Perhaps there will be a surprise delivery today) The Blue Wheelbarrow has delivered some nice field tomatoes and cucs and there are some beets and cherry tomatoes too.

What is NEW on the porch are some lovely, large, blemish-free, no spray crabapples from Milford…only $1 /lb!!!  I’ve roasted some with coconut oil & cinnamon for you to try and Marilyn (the owner of the tree) has supplied us with some hot crabapple jelly to sample too!  This recipe and the mango/crabapple chutney that I made a couple of years ago are both below.

Inside the Pantry everything is pretty much ‘stocked up’ including the Pinehedge kefir. 😋

Have a relaxing final weekend of August everyone!! 😎

Penny DSCN3637.JPG

Pantry Crab-Apple & Mango Chutney

4-5 cups washed, stemmed crab-apples

3 medium sized ripe mangos, peeled and chopped roughly

1 medium sized onion, chopped

¾ cup organic cane sugar

¾ cup filtered water

¾ cup organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

½ tsp organic ginger powder

2-3” Ceylon cinnamon sticks

½ tsp organic ground cumin

½ tsp organic ground coriander

½ tsp organic turmeric

3-4 whole green cardamom pods

Put all ingredients in the crock-pot, stir and cook on low for about 8 hours. Remove the cinnamon sticks and mash with a potato masher. Cool and keep in the fridge or freeze for longer storage.

This amount fits nicely in a medium-sized crock-pot. Quantities are pretty flexible for both the main ingredients and the spices. If you like it hot, you may want to include a bit of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Garlic is also an option….go with your tastes!

*Note…there will be some ‘bits’ of the core that you may need to discard when eating, but I don’t find this troublesome, much easier than coring the crab-apples!


Hot Crabapple Jelly

8 cups of crabapples

3 cups white sugar

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)* This is optional.

Red wine vinegar (also optional)

Remove stems and blossoms of crabapples, cut in halves or quarters. Barely cover with water, bring to a boil with the pepper flakes, then simmer approx. 10 – 15 minutes until apples are soft. Strain through 3 or 4 layers of cheesecloth lining a colander which is set on top of a large pot – I use a dutch oven. Cover apples with a dinner plate, weighed down with a large full can. It is ready when dripping has stopped, but can be left overnight. You should have 4 cups of clear liquid to use for 3 cups of sugar. If it is a bit less, top up with a little red wine vinegar or just adjust sugar proportionately. Bring clear juice to a simmer, cook about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, continue simmering until thickened and ready to “set”. If you have a thermometer 220 – 222 degrees. I just use a small plate and spoon chilled in the freezer, for testing a drop. Fill sterilized jars, leaving ¼ “ headspace.

*I cannot use fresh hot peppers (allergies) but there is no reason why you could not. Perhaps ¼ cup of chopped peppers which could be cooked with the apples?

This condiment is fantastic with almost any kind of cheese, and it also works with pork or chicken.

Have fun, Marilyn

Note from Penny: for those of you who have used (or are interested in using Pomona Pectin, this pectin will thicken the crabapple jelly with any amount of ANY sweetener….it is available in the shop and well worth trying !!

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Curried Chickpea Surprise

Hello Everyone,

Here’s hoping for more rain!!  The delicious bags of greens have continued to be available from Reachview Organic Farm as have greens, beans and beets from the Blue Wheelbarrow.   The garlic is a-plenty from Tansy Lane and this week Honey Wagon Farm supplied the porch with large kohlrabi.  These are great chopped or shredded in coleslaw and stir-fry dishes.

The blueberries are available most days, thanks to Little Highbush in Waupoos.

I will continue to be open on Sundays 11:00-3:00 for the month of August.
Inside the Pantry, the fridge is well-stocked with Pinehedge kefir, Pantry salads, Pyramid sauerkraut and more.  I now have organic black quinoa in bulk and will continue to carry the 3-colour, red and white as well.

The recipe this week is for a delicious chickpea salad with a curry dressing.  Thanks to a Pantry customer for sharing this one…on to YOU!!  The salad has joined the list of organic Pantry salads.  It is gluten-free, organic and can easily be vegan. 😋


This recipe was brought in last week by a loyal Pantry customer and it is delicious! The recipe is from Bonnie Stern and she calls it Curried Chickpea with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Seeds.
I will often have it available to purchase in the Pantry. (You can easily made a double batch :))

2 cups cooked chickpeas*

½ cup currants *(Bonnie uses raisins
½ cup dried (organic are SO MUCH BETTER) apricots*, chopped

½ cup coarsely chopped, toasted raw cashews*

½ cup shredded coconut*

¼ cup sunflower seeds*

¼ cup pumpkin seeds* (I used part regular organic and part Austrian pumpkin seeds)

Optional- cooked whole grain rice or quinoa (about 1 cup)

½ cup mayonnaise* (I have used both an organic mayonnaise and a vegan-both great!)
1 ½ tsp curry powder* (use more if you like a strong curry flavour)

1 tsp honey* (agave or maple syrup could also be used I’m sure)
1 Tbsp lemon juice*

3-4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1. Combine chickpeas with currants, apricots, cashews, coconut, sunflower seeds and

pumpkin seeds (also grain if including)

  1. Whisk mayonnaise with curry powder, sweetener, and lemon juice
  2. Combine dressing with the chickpea mixture. Blend in cilantro and green onions.

Enjoy!! Makes 4 servings


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Summertime in The County!

I hope that you are enjoying this gorgeous summer weather….yes it has been a bit too hot for some and YES, we need rain desperately, but I feel fortunate to live here and enjoy the heat for what it is.

July & August Store Hours:  M – F 9:00 – 5:00; Saturday 10:00 – 5:00; Sunday  11:00 – 3:00 Closed:  Civic Holiday Monday, Aug 1

This week on the Pantry porch there are certified organic salad bags from Reachview Farm, as well as a variety of greens, beans, sugar snap peas and purslane (samples available if you haven’t tried it!) from the organic practice BlueWheelbarrow Farm.  And Rose from Tansy Lane popped in Friday to promise fresh garlic very soon!!

Inside the Pantry the cassia buds have arrived (some people make a type of pickles with them) as well as the pickling spice, and alum.  The celery seeds are on order….due to arrive in a few days.  It’s almost pickling season in the County!

A fresh case of Pinehedge kefir has arrived as well as more Pyramid sauerkraut.  The latter goes very nicely with the variety of Pantry salads in the fridge.  Yesterday I made the Organic Chick Pea Citrus Salad and there are 2 other types to choose from….the early bird….  The Deep Dish Chocolate Quinoa Cakes sold out Friday as did the Pantry crackers yesterday….more are now ‘on the shelf’.

Recipes this week include the favourite Mighty Grain Salad (Note: this recipe requires tasting and often more spices, oil, lemon juice) and the Banana Oat Bran Muffin recipe that is easy, healthy & delicious!

Mighty Grain

‘The Stop’ Mighty Grain Salad

2 cups cooked grain (use a combo or choose- bulgur, couscous, wheat berries, quinoa)

3 Tbsp oil (olive, grapeseed, canola)

3 Tbsp acid (vinegar, citrus juice)

3-4 tsp total of spices you like (cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, curry powder)

sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups finely diced vegetables (peppers, cucumber, celery, carrot)

1 small handful each of scallions and herbs (parsley, chives, fresh cilantro, dill etc)

about 1 – 1.5 cups cooked beans (kidney, black, chick peas, white) (rinse if from a can)

handful of toasted nuts or seeds (pumpkin, pecan, almonds) (toast for about 7 min in 350 oven)

handful of dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins)

1 small handful crumbled goat cheese

Place cooked grains in a large bowl and add oil, acid, spices including salt and pepper. Add all other ingredients and toss well to coat evenly. Add cheese, mixing lightly.

With Love from Penny’s Pantry ………Enjoy!!!

(The Stop is a community hub food bank in the west end of Toronto and this recipe is from their cookbook entitled Good Food for All)


Banana Oat Bran Muffins

(credit to: 2peasinapod blog for original recipe)

2-1/4 cups oat bran
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cups milk (I use almond milk)
2 bananas, mashed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/3 cup chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. (400 convection) Line a standard muffin tin with paper cups.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat bran, baking powder and brown sugar. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the milk, mashed bananas, egg and agave nectar.

3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in the walnuts. (And chocolate chips or raisins if using) Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

With Love from Penny’s Pantry ………Enjoy!!!

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