Maple Taffy / Tire Sur La Neige

Maple Taffy / Tire Sur La Neige

Maple taffy or tire sur la neige (tire) is one of the most Canadian things in existence. Like: beavers, mounties, hockey and the maple leaf, eating maple taffy screams I AM CANADIAN.

Actually, it screams I AM IN QUEBEC. Or in the case of Calgarians I GO TO A FRENCH IMMERSION SCHOOL.

At the market the western Canadians that ask us about taffy/tire usually are children (or have children) in french immersion school, french immersion schools are some of the few places that can do a proper maple taffy in Alberta. Why? Because french immersion schools are about the only place in Alberta you are allowed to pour taffy on the snow. Fun fact, the health inspector HATES it when you pour edible food on snow. And not just because of the risk of dog pee, go figure.

While we cannot pour the syrup on snow we will occasionally make it for winter markets and Robert will slap some taffy onto chopsticks and hand them out. Want to see delighted people? Hand them a stick full of maple taffy.

Because Robert has developed arthritis in his hands that tradition is coming to an end, so I figured we will put the recipe up on the blog and then the myriads of taffy seeking disappointed people can learn to make it themselves.

cups of pure maple syrup. You can use medium or dark depending on your taste preference, a lot of people really like this done with dark syrup.
I say two cups depending on how much you want. When you make taffy it will lose 2/3 of it’s volume.
Popsicle sticks or wooden chopsticks
Candy thermometer – You don’t HAVE to use a candy thermometer but I HIGHLY recommend it. Like really really really recommend it. Especially for rookies.

Butter the rim of a tall pot. It doesn’t have to be butter it can be any kind of fat. Bacon Grease or lard etc. Robert swears that this will prevent the taffy foam from boiling over
Fill your pot no high than two-thirds of the way full to help prevent it from boiling over. (There’s a reason the Quebecois tend to do this over an open fire)
Stick in your candy thermometer.
Bring the syrup to a slow boil. So put it on a medium low heat. This whole process should take an hour to an hour and a half. SLOW BOIL
You are going to have the urge to stir it. Stop that urge. DO NOT STIR the taffy, it will make it sugary.
The syrup It will boil at 104 degrees for half an hour to an hour
DO NOT STIR If you stir you end up with sugar.
When the thermometer reads  112-115 it is perfect. If you boil it over 115 it will turn to sugar.
As Soon as it reaches that temperature, you pour it onto the snow in strips.
Use your popsicle sticks to roll up the taffy and then lick it up.
If you don’t have snow at your disposal, are adverse to pouring it onto snow or are wanting to save it from the occasional taffy snack.
Once the syrup reaches 112 to 115 cool it quickly.
Put the pot in an ice bath to cool it as quickly as you can.
If you want to freeze pour a little bit of water on top and freeze it the water will stop it from crystalizing.

Maple Oatmeal Cookies

Maple Oatmeal Cookies

I woke up on New Years Day sick as a dog. I don’t mean the: daintily-sneeze-and-look-somewhat-ill… I mean the: My-face-is-trying-to-fall -off-of-my-face-dear-god-how-many-times-can-a-person-sneeze kind of head cold sick.

Last night I realized that all I wanted was for someone to make me some maple oatmeal cookies. I sure as hell am not going to be the one making them, I can’t be away from kleenex long enough to make them – I just really wanted someone to make them for me.

Unfortunately for me, no one is going to do that. I don’t want Robert to do it because god knows what kind of cookies we would end up with and no one else is around.

I decided I should post the recipe and maybe one of you will make them and send them to me. Or at very least maybe you’ll make them and tell me how awesome they were.

½ C shortening
1 ½ C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt ( I do not use)
1 C maple syrup Darker the better
½ C Milk
1 egg beaten

**the last three ingredients
1 ½ C oatmeal
½ C raisins
½ C chopped nuts.  ( I use Cranberries as I have a child with nut allergy in my home)

oven to 375
Grease Cookie Sheet
Combine the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well.
Add in the last three ingredients and mix well again. To be honest I am not really sure why you don’t just put all of the ingredients together to begin with, but this is what the recipe I have says to do.
With a tablespoon (or your hands, unless your precious and don’t like getting your hands covered in cookie dough) to drop balls of cookie dough onto the greased cookie sheet should be about 2 dozen cookies
Bake at 375 for 1oish minutes or until they are golden brown on top
Let them cool and then remove from sheet and eat



New Years Maple Sports Drink

New Years Maple Sports Drink

I wanted to call this post, Hangover Be Gone…but this drink also has so many other uses that it seemed a little reductive.

Think of this drink like a Gatorade that isn’t made entirely of chemicals, salt and sugar. It also doesn’t come in flavours like: blue, orange, white and red.

It’s only maple orange flavoured.

I may be a giant maple nerd but I am also a lover of wine. All wine, white, red, blush, bubbles, or still. I love it all – especially the red wine.
I recently discovered this maple electrolyte beverage recipe online and it really does help with the red wine headache.

So here we are just before New Years Day and I thought that this would be the perfect recipe. Hangover Be Gone!

I may have had a little bit too much red wine last night and I have just made my New Years Drink; therefore I am literally just copying and pasting from Pure Canada
And D Sharon Pruitt is the original owner of this kick ass picture of an orange in water.

Maple Orange Energy drink

This easy-to-make maple syrup recipe was specially formulated for your fitness regimen. Not only does the all-naturalmaple sports drink have the seal of approval from sports nutritionists, it is absolutely delicious.

When working out for more than an hour, a sports drink can ward off dehydration, provide needed electrolytes (potassium and sodium) and energize your workouts. This all-natural sports drink recipe contains no artificial colors or flavors, and no additives or preservatives.


 3-1/2 cups cold water

 1/4 cup orange juice

 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

 2 tablespoons lime juice

 1/8 teaspoon salt


Mix all ingredients together.

Number of servings (yield): 1 quart


Scalloped Maple Yams

Scalloped Maple Yams

These are a great holiday dish as they can come straight out of the oven to the table and into anxiously awaiting mouths.

You can think about this dish like it is a sweeter and MUCH easier scalloped potato dish. Without any cheese or creamy sauce. Ha ha ha.

The yams are sliced like they would be for scalloped potatoes and they are layered with onion the same way, they are also cooked in a casserole dish but that is really where the similarities end.

Enough yams for your family or enough to fill a casserole dish (likely 2)
1 sweet white onion
3 table spoons of butter
3 table spoons of dark (no3) maple syrup

Grease the casserole dish or spray with a no stick spray
Preheat oven to 375
Peel and slice the yams
Dice 1/4 to 1/2 of the onion, depending on how much your family likes onion.
Layer the yams and onion into a greased casserole dish.
Dab each layer with butter and pour a drizzle your Dark maple syrup over the whole casserole.
Bake until tender which should take about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve.

Pear, Cranberry, and Pecan Salad

Pear, Cranberry, and Pecan Salad

In the days before Christmas we decided we should probably put up a recipe for a holiday salad. Of course the first one that popped into my mind was the pear, cranberry, and pecan salad.

You don’t have to make my word gospel for this recipe. I use mixed greens for this one, but you could just as easily substitute spinach or romaine or iceberg or arugula – ooooo… it would be really good with arugual! That’s how I am making it next.

You can also use any kind of nut but pecan really is the best, especially candied pecans.
Because my daughter, Kimberly, has a nut allergy I use a nice soft goat cheese to it in lieu of pecans when she is home, but it would be EXCELLENT with both.

Without further adieu, the recipe.

Mixed greens
2 firm ripe pears, peeled cored and thinly sliced
½ C dried Cranberries
½ C chopped tossed pecans

¼ C Dark Maple syrup
¼ C Mayonnaise or plain yogurt or sour cream
3 TBSP White wine vinegar
2 TBSP Olive or Grape seed oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix the Mayo(or yogurt or sour cream), Maple Syrup and vinegar until well blended.
Add the oil and blend until uniform consistency.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss Greens, pears , Cranberries and pecans together.  Coat with desired amount of dressing and serve.
Note: Do NOT add dressing until you are about to serve.
Photo is courtesy of Alysa from Flickr on a creative commons license and isn’t it a pretty picture? Thanks Alysa for letting people who aren’t artistically inclined use such a great picture.


Brussels Sprou…Maple Yum Vegetables

Brussels Sprou…Maple Yum Vegetables

Once upon a time there was a nice unassuming vegetable from Brussels (probably), this vegetable was just minding its own business when the townsfolk came with pitchforks raised and decided that it was an awful vegetable that was meant to ruin holiday meals and terrorize children.

That poor vegetable has cried itself to sleep every night for the rest of it’s days on earth.

Do you feel bad for the vegetable? Good! You should, what did Brussels Sprouts ever do to you? They are a great vegetable!

They are also full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Fiber, Potassium etc. etc. etc. Seriously, they are so good for you and they really aren’t that bad! You know what makes them even better? (or actually edible says my son) Maple! Here is the recipe for Maple Brussels Sprouts that I serve to my family.

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, rinsed, cut into quarters, and patted dry
3 Tbs grapeseed oil (or canola or camelina etc.)
4 ounces butter
4 Tbs dark (no3) Maple Syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1.5 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Sea salt or kosher salt to taste

Heat large skillet over medium high heat.  Add oil.  When oil begins to ripple, add Brussels sprouts.  Allow the sprouts to brown for 1-2 minutes and then turn heat down to medium.

Add butter and shake pan while butter foams.  When butter is entirely melted, add maple syrup and mustard.  Toss vigorously to coat.

Continue to cook brussel sprouts until they are tender, with a bit of bite, about 10 minutes.  Remove the sprouts from the pan and reserve.

Add balsamic vinegar and salt.  Cook the sauce for 1-2 minutes more, until the sauce thickens, and then pour over brussels sprouts.  May be served immediately or made up to a day in advance.

I swear! This makes GREAT Brussels sprouts you’ll be proud to serve.

Thank Meal Makeover Moms from flickr for putting this great pic into the world on a Creative Commons License.

Maple Syrup Pie

Maple Syrup Pie

Sugar pie is a decidedly Eastern Canadian thing. Most western Canadians have never heard of it. Most western Canadians don’t know that there are different kinds of maple syrup either, but that’s ok.

Sugar pie is the sweetest dessert you will ever have. Seriously, I challenge you to find a sweeter dessert. My daughter can’t stand it, my son will eat any dessert put in front of him and then there is Robert. Robert looooooves sugar pie. He would probably marry it if he was given the chance. While Robert says my sugar pie is very good, he says it is not as good as his mothers – he’s a good son.

Without futher adieu, here it is: (Not Robert’s mom’s) Maple Sugar Pie.


225 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
80 g (1/3 cup) butter or margarine
2.5 g (½ teaspoon) salt
80 ml (1/3 cup) cold water
Buy one pre-made in the freezer aisle of any grocery store

225 ml (1 cup) pure maple syrup
100 ml (½ cup) light cream
100 g (½ cup) all-purpose flour
100 ml (½ cup) water
Chopped nuts or coconut (optional)

Pre heat oven to 350. Line pie pan with pastry and bake just until golden brown (7ish minutes)
Pour syrup into deep sauce pan. On medium-high heat bring syrup to a boil, stirring occasionally.
In a bowl Mix flour with water, then add the boiling pure maple syrup. Stir this concoction until it has thickened.
Next, add the cream and then let it cool. Once it has cooled down pour into already cooked pie shell.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts or coconut (Optional)

Maple + Bacon + Brie = Mmmm

Maple + Bacon + Brie = Mmmm

I just drooled on myself typing the headline. I wish I was kidding, but I am not. There is drool on my shirt. Now, if I had drooled over any other dish I may have been ashamed, but we’re talking about maple + bacon + brie! How could I be expected not to drool?

Since you are probably in the midst of party season I thought party food would be the most logical maple food item to fill up this space, I am very thoughtful.

I know, I know, I know. You’re thinking GET ON WITH IT! Tell me how to make the maple bacon brie! Ok, I will.

1 Sheet of thawed puff pastry. (you don’t really need the puff pastry, this could be made sans puff pastry but….it’s the holidays and calories don’t count until January 2nd, so just go for it.)
1 8 oz Wheel of brie (Any size, really If you want to use the giant one, that’s up to you and your arteries. You will probably need more puff pastry if you’re going with the giant one though.)
4-6 pieces of crumbled, cooked bacon
1 egg (beat it up real good)
1/4 cup of dark maple syrup
Handful of crushed pecans or hazelnuts (optional)
Crackers (optional)

Put aluminium foil or something non sticky on a baking sheet. I would advise against using a cooking spray
Lay out the puff pastry
Place the wheel of creamy goodness – i mean, brie in the middle of the pastry
Crumble the bacon on top of the brie
Pour the maple syrup on top of the bacon and the brie. Try not to drool on it.
Fold the puff pastry by bringing the four corners together in the middle and make a seal. Using a fork helps to press the corners together into a seal.
STOP what you are doing and remember to preheat the oven, set it to 375 degrees.
Use that beaten up egg to “wash” the outside the puff pastry. Just brush the egg on, there should be some egg leftover. (This step isn’t necessary for taste, but style. If you want it to look pretty and gold then you should probably do this. If you are just going to binge eat the MBB don’t bother)
Bake your Maple Bacon Brie for 15-20 minutes until the outside is gold and brown.
Let it sit. For the love of god, let it sit. It is really hot inside that puff pastry pillow of yum.
Here’s where you can add the optional pecans, walnuts or hazlenuts on top. You can even drizzle a little more maple syrup

EAT it. Serve it at your party, watch people go banana pants crazy for it.
You’re welcome

Oh, and thanks Larry Hoffman and Andy Ciordia for the pictures.

Spinach Maple Salad (SMS)

Spinach Maple Salad (SMS)

Remember when it was super nice out and you could walk outside, pick spinach from your garden and make a salad of it? Yeah, me neither. It may have only been two months ago that I could do that, but I miss it dearly. Being the beginning of December is making me want nice fresh salads. Since I haven’t gone to the market to buy myself some spinach I am going to have to make a reeeeeaaaallllly nice dressing to make up for the spinach I am using.

Thank god for Maple Syrup. It sure makes a mean salad dressing. (Mean in a good way, not in the ‘I’m going to beat you up for your lunch money, kind of way.’)

1 Bowl of spinach
2 mandarin Oranges (or one can if it’s not December and you’re feeling kind of trashy)
¼ – 1/2 cup of Swiss cheese
1/4 – ½ cup of toasted almonds
¼ cup of sliced red onions

2 tblspns olive oil
¼ cup of Dark Maple syrup
¼ cup of Mandarin Orange Juice (from the canned oranges or squeeze a fresh one)
3-4 tbsp of Raspberry Vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 clove Garlic or powder 1 tsp.
Other fresh herbs that can be added depending on taste: (There are crazies out there who don’t like cilantro.) Cilantro, pepper corns crushed, rosemary, or oregano
Or you cheat like me and use a tablespoon or two of Epicure Pink peppercorn dressing mix

Combine everything in bowl

But if you really have to know. Combine salad ingredients in a bowl, set it aside.
Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse it then pour over salad ingredients.
Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl, mix it with a fork or a whisk and then pour over salad ingredients.



Cooking substitutions for Maple Syrup

Cooking substitutions for Maple Syrup

Even before I met my partner Robert and I got to tap into his straight-from-the-farm maple syrup supply, I was a bit of a maple nut. I have always loved syrup; the good stuff though, not your average pancake/butter/corn syrup. I have been using it in place of sugar or on savoury dishes for as long as I can remember.

I realize that not everyone has been cooking with maple syrup for as long as I have. So, here is a handy maple substitution guide.

1 cup of sugar = 2/3 cup of maple syrup
1 cup of brown sugar = 2/3 cup of maple syrup
Honey = Equal amounts
Agave Syrup = Equal amounts

When substituting maple syrup for granulated sugars, you want to reduce the amount of overall liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup per cup of maple syrup added.

Let’s all thank Nora Kuby from Flickr for putting this picture into the world on a Creative Commons License.