Traditional Quebec Poor Man’s Maple Syrup Pudding

Baking this pudding in a clear dish lets you see the magic of the syrup going down to the bottom while the cake floats on top.  Serving with a dollop of sour cream is a nice contrast for this VERY sweet, but easy to make dessert.

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Cake layer ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4  cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Sauce layer ingredients:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup maple syrup

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grease an 8”x8” glass or metal baking dish.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Using a mixer, beat the sugar and butter until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until smooth and combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared dish.

Combine the syrup ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil for two minutes. Cool for one minute, then carefully pour the sauce over the batter, avoiding making holes in the batter.  Do not stir.
Bake in centre of the preheated oven until golden and the centre of the cake bounces back when touched, about 40 minutes.
When it comes out of the oven it’s quite runny, but the syrup thickens as it cools a bit. Dust with icing sugar as a garnish.
Serve warm, with sour cream, ice-cream or whipped cream if desired.

Adapted from Canada’s Favourite Recipes, by Rose Murray & Elizabeth Baird

Snacking Good Asparagus Quesadillas

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Try this  very easy and delicious quesadilla as a snack or appetizer.  If you like to eat savory food in the morning it’s a good healthy breakfast since it includes protein, vegetable and whole grains.

Ingredients
1/2 cup grated cheese
2 x 10” whole wheat tortillas
6-8 spears of asparagus
2 slices of ham

Wash asparagus.  Lay flat in a microwaveable dish, add a few tablespoons of water, cover, cook on high for 3 minutes.  Slice into 2” pieces after steaming to maintain nutrients.  Or lightly sauté raw asparagus in a tablespoon of oil until tender.  Slice into 2” pieces.

Sprinkle cheese on half of each tortilla.

Cut ham in strips and distribute on top of the cheese.  Lay tender-cooked asparagus on the ham.  Fold each tortilla in half and press closed.

Lay each half side by side in a heavy frying pan, such as a cast-iron pan.  Cook until lightly browned, turn, and cook until cheese is melted.  Cut into quarters and serve while warm.

Eat them plain to really taste the asparagus or serve with salsa.

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