Authors of best-selling series have another hit cookbook

The Breast of Friends campaign has come a long way from its rural roots in east-central Saskatchewan to being a world force in charity fundraising and cancer awareness.

The project has published six best selling cookbooks and raised $1.4 million in donations since its start in 2004, when 10 friends from Foam Lake, Sask., channelled their grief and anger surrounding breast cancer into a cookbook fundraiser.

This year, it won Best Charity Cookbook in Canada from the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for its Breast Wishes, For the Men in Our Lives. It then went on to win North America’s Top Charity Cookbook from the same organization, beating out cookbooks from Microsoft and Michelle Obama. The award took the group to Paris.

After reading the women’s blog, I hope their next book features some of the food they tasted there.

The inspiration for this cookbook came from their husbands, sons, sons-in-law and grandsons.

After years of focusing mainly on breast cancer, the group thought it was time to dedicate a book to the men who supported them. Breast Wishes, For the Men in Our Lives focuses on recipes men would enjoy with sections dedicated to breakfast food, grilling and snacks.

It focuses on raising prostate cancer awareness and includes information on diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Because men don’t really network about personal things, this cookbook encourages us all to be more aware.

Next up for the group is sponsoring the InspireHealth Life Program May 10 in Regina. It is a non-profit organization that uses seminars about nutrition, stress relief and exercise to support people who have a cancer diagnosis.

For more information, visit inspirehealth.ca and www.breastfriends.ca.

The Breast of Friends site also features an online store and a blog, which is great reading.

The recipes for this article are all chosen from Breast Wishes, For the Men in Our Lives. I have written about the Breast of Friends books before in the Western Producer and have reposted them on my blog at prairiekitchencompanion.blogspot.ca.

Brie with candied walnuts and blueberries

  • 1 1/2 lb. wheel of brie cheese 350 g

Candied walnuts:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts 125 mL
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 75 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. butter 2 mL

Blueberry compote:

  • 1/2 tsp. canola oil 2 mL
  • 1/2 tsp butter 2 mL
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh and frozen
  • 1/2 cup water 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar 15 mL
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 45 mL

For the brie: Place the brie on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven; allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes. Before serving, top with blueberry compote and then candied walnuts. Serve with crackers.

For candied walnuts: Spread walnuts on a plate and microwave on high for four to five minutes or until fragrant. Be sure and keep a close eye on them as they will burn easily. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt butter and sugar over high heat. Once sugar has dissolved and is bubbling, add walnuts and stir immediately. Working quickly, pour walnuts and sugar mixture on wax or a parchment paper lined baking sheet and separate walnut pieces. Allow nuts to cool.

For the blueberry compote: In a saucepan, over medium heat add canola oil and butter. Add onions and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized. Add blueberries, water, sugar and balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been reduced off and the sauce thickens. Set aside to cool.

Balsamic glazed salmon

This is a quick and easy salmon recipe. I used the leftovers to make the salmon salad with grapefruit.

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil 30 mL
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar or honey 30 mL
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. grainy mustard 15 mL
  • 1 whole salmon fillet

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Line cookie sheet with parchment or foil. Pour olive oil over foil and coat. Place asparagus on foil and roll to coat in oil. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

In a small dish, stir together sugar, vinegar and mustard. Spread over the fillets to marinate.

Remove from pan after 20 minutes, depending how well done you like your asparagus, keep warm and place salmon on foil. Bake 10 minutes per one inch (2.5 cm) width of fish. Serve immediately.

You could add the salmon to the asparagus in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Salmon salad with grapefruit

This is a great way to use leftover salmon. The arugula adds a great peppery bite. I added salt and pepper to the dressing to make the flavours pop.

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 2 tsp. canola oil 10 mL
  • 1 cup snow peas 250 mL
  • 4 cups leaf lettuce, washed and dried 1 L
  • 4 cups arugula 1 L
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 red grapefruit, peeled, cut into segments (save juice)

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice 60 mL
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar 5 mL
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 60 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped 15 mL
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook salmon in canola oil in preheated skillet for two to four minutes on both sides.

Cook peas in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water immediately. Divide lettuce and arugula on four plates.

Whisk dressing ingredients. Place avocados, grapefruit and peas over greens. Place salmon on top and drizzle with dressing before serving.

Chicken fettuccini Alfredo

Alfredo sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter 125 mL
  • 2 tbsp. cream cheese 30 mL
  • 2 cups whipping cream 500 mL
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder 10 mL
  • 1 tbsp. parsley 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese 125 mL
  • 6 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless, cut into cubes
  • 6 tbsp. butter, divided 90 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning 15 mL
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 10 oz. sliced mushrooms, can drained 284 mL
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb. fettuccini pasta 450 g

For the alfredo sauce: In a saucepan, melt butter, add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add cream, season with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

Simmer for 15 minutes. It will thicken as it simmers. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

In a large skillet, over medium heat combine chicken, two tbsp. (30 mL) butter, two cloves garlic and Cajun seasoning. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

Place onion and mushrooms into same skillet and cook until golden brown.

Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for eight to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Combine chicken mixture, mushrooms and onions and alfredo sauce. Just before serving toss with Roma tomatoes. Serve over cooked fettuccini.

Asian sesame quinoa salad

  • 1 cup quinoa 250 mL
  • 2 cups water 500 mL
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, chopped 75 mL
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted 15 mL
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted 60 mL
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce 30 mL
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar 30 mL
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil 7 mL
  • 2 tsp. canola oil 10 mL
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated 10 mL
  • 1 tsp. honey 5 mL

In a fine sieve, rinse quinoa under running water. Transfer to medium saucepan and add water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool.

In large bowl, toss cooled quinoa, cucumber, red pepper, tomato, green onions, sesame seeds and pine nuts.

In small bowl, whisk soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, canola oil, ginger and honey. Pour over quinoa and vegetables toss well to coat. Serves eight.

Any berry lemon winner biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 500 mL
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 75 mL
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 10 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
  • 1 cup lemon or plain yogurt 250 mL
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest 5 mL
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh berries

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice 15 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest 2 mL

In a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, egg, butter, lemon zest. Mix wet ingredients well with dry.

Carefully fold in berries. Place one large spoonful of mixture in well-oiled muffin tins. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, make glaze by mixing icing sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together. Brush on top of warm biscuits. Serve warm.

Dorothy Sandercock is a home economist in the agrifood trade and former greenhouse grower from Lloydminster, Sask. She writes a blog at http://prairiekitchencompanion.blogspot.ca. Contact: food@producer.com.

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