Cooking With Sin 2014 Calendar – April

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Each month in 2014, I am sharing a calendar page that includes a CWS recipe. Here is April’s!

Click to open up the large version of the calendar page, then right click and save or copy it for yourself. Print it off for your fridge, share it with a friend, post it at your office… etc.

I just ask, if you use it in a document, please use the entire image, so Cooking With Sin gets the credit. Thank you. It is yours to enjoy!

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin Calendar 2014

CWS Calendar 2014-04

Check out the story from the original recipe “Wedding Pudding” Dutch Advokaat.

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Barefoot Wine Little Sips Cupcakes

Posted on: February 1st, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Carla Johnson Cooking with Sin Barefoot Wine Bubbly

For the past three years I have been involved in “Best Bites: Taste of the Region” fundraiser here in Cambridge, Ontario. As the beverage contact on the organizing committee for the event I contact and invite the wineries, breweries & distilleries to the event. As you can imagine, I have the best job! This is the 6th in a series of “Thank You” posts featuring the beverage participants who have been such an important part of helping make Best Bites such a resounding success each year.

Barefoot Wine bottles

Barefoot Wine and Bubbly


Little Sips

Best Bites Barefoot Wine Moscato bottle

190g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
200g granulated sugar
113g butter
2 large eggs
50ml Barefoot Moscato
50ml milk
250g tub of mascarpone cheese, softened
2 tbsp Barefoot Moscato
1 500g pack of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Shaved chocolate for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl with electric mixer on medium-high, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, Barefoot Moscato and milk until just combined.

2. Add dry ingredients; mix until smooth and fluffy. Divide batter evenly into 24 mini cupcake tins. Bake 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan: remove from pan and cool on wire rack.


1. In small bowl with electric mixer on high, beat mascarpone cheese and Barefoot Moscato wine just until smooth.

2. Gradually beat in icing sugar and vanilla until blended. Ice each cupcake with a small amount of icing and garnish with chocolate curls with a sprinkle of icing sugar.

Barefoot Wine Little Sips Cupcake IcingAll photos credit of Barefoot Wine and Bubbly.

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin


King’s Court Estate Winery – Wine Tasting

Posted on: July 14th, 2013 by Carla Johnson No Comments
“It is well to remember there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, one’s present or future thirst, the excellence of the wine, or any other reason.”
~ Latin Proverb

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Last year at our Best Bites, Taste of the Region fundraiser, I struck up a nice friendship with Roland Zimmermann of King’s Court Estate Winery. When I learned about his unique family history of wine-making, it was the focus of my article for the Winter Issue of Infinity Magazine. Plus he not only makes *sin,* he and his wife cook with it too. See their “King’s Court” Mussels in Wine Broth.

In December Roland invited my husband and me into his tasting room in the basement of his home where we enjoyed sipping his wines and we left with several cases of King’s Court wine for corporate and personal gifts. Christmas shopping doesn’t get funner or easier than that!

Knowing I have been doing wine reviews, Roland recently sent me an Extra Special Delivery of two bottles of his beautiful, award-winning wines to taste & review. Excitedly I opened each bottle with my husband, and over two different evenings, we sat and savoured the beautiful flavours.

Please understand I am not a sommelier. I have no formal training in wine tasting, but I like to think I have a decent nose and palate. Plus, I like to think experience counts. Don’t you agree? ;) Yes, Roland knew that when he sent them to me. For his trust I am most appreciative.

King’s Court Estate Winery, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

This Sauvignon Blanc had much more personality than many others I have tried. Many are mass produced to appeal to the palates of a broad market. Roland is an artist though, and his wines are uniquely, finely tuned to bring out all the tones and textures in each varietal.

The colour of this wine truly reflects its taste. It is a clear, bright yellow with just a touch of green in it and I would describe its flavour as light and crisp with a hint of green herbs.

It was a very beautiful and interesting wine with a full, smooth mouth feel.  Nicely bouncing on the herbaceous and acidic tones of my palate, it had a dry crispness that came with a sour twist of a bit of rhubarb that was grounded with a gentle green tea and a bit of fresh grass. It finished with a very soft, yet almost salty, taste on my lips. I kept licking and licking them.

While I tasted this Sauvignon Blanc on a clean palate, it should pair well with something creamy, like a pasta with alfredo sauce or something a little sweet like pork tenderloin with caramalized onions.

King’s Court Estate Winery, Wild Blueberry Wine, 2010

Roland’s Wild Blueberry Wine absolutely piqued my curiosity. Years ago, my brother-in-law hand picked elderberries from our family property and made his own wine with them. It was a pain-staking effort that resulted in something wonderful and unforgettable. Knowing Roland’s passion for detail, I knew his Wild Blueberry Wine had been precisely tuned and nurtured. I was excited to try it.

The first thing that drew me in was the colour. It was a deep, virtually opaque, plum purple and the rim was a deep, ruby red. The nose was light, but with its gorgeous, intense colour, I knew the bouquet was just teasing me. The mouth feel was smooth and gentle.

The taste had a surprisingly deep complexity to it that comes only with using wild berries. Wild blueberries are smaller and punchier than their domesticated relatives, making the skin-to-flesh ratio higher. This richer flavour gives the vintner a juice with an interesting intensity.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin port dessert wine

I even used the Wine Aroma Wheel in my book for this review.

This wine beautifully balanced sweetness and dryness, neither one dominating. The lovely sweet blend of black currants, prunes, raisins, dark cherries and a hint of fig integrated nicely with the a low, earthy tones that came through from the skins.

While it didn’t linger, the finish was delicate and sweet.

There is a prevailing gentleness to this wine. It is truly delightful. I would serve it the same way I would serve a port. It is perfect as a dessert alone and it makes a wonderful port alternative, for those who find the tannins in grape port too harsh.

These are Roland’s own notes – which are significantly less wordy than mine. ;)

“Deep royal purple colour fading to light burgundy rim. The intense blueberry on the nose follows through to the palate. Sweet cherries and ripe blueberries notes with a touch of sweetness blend together for a strong intense finish. Enjoy with pork, beef, or fried foods. Will keep until 2015.”

I tasted it at room temperature, but Roland says he has tried it both chilled and room temperature with equally enjoyable results. He and his family have enjoyed pairing it with cheese cake.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin port dessert wine


Both of these wines won awards at the 2013 All Canadian Wine Championships. The Wild Blueberry Wine took a Gold and the Sauvignon Blanc took a Silver. Click here for more information about the wines’ awards.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin white wine taste tasting colour palate nose   Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin port dessert wine red tasting finish nose

I posted reviews, based on this post, for these two wines here:

Wild Blueberry Wine 2010 & Sauvignon Blanc 2012


Happy Easter Egg Nests!

Posted on: March 31st, 2013 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

My inner child took over last night and I made a batch of Easter nests with eggs. The recipe is an old classic and a goody.

Easter Egg Nests

Makes 12

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups chow mein noodles
a splash of marshmallow vodka – optional for the “big kids” :)
Bag of chocolate mini eggs

1. Melt the chips and pb in the microwave on medium power for 1 minute. Stir and nuke for another minute.

2. Remove from the microwave and stir until all ingredients are blended. Add the vodka and stir well. Toss in the noodles and stir until all the noodles are coated.

3. Spray 12 muffin tins with oil. Scoop the noodles into the muffin tins, making them bowl shaped to hold the eggs.

4. Place the eggs in each nest while the chocolate is still soft. Store in fridge until they are firm.

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Wishing You and Yours A Beautiful Easter Day

Full of Hope and a Little Too Much Chocolate!

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Flaming Cherries Jubilee

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 by Carla Johnson No Comments

“Love must be as much a light as it is a flame.” H. D. Thoreau

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

This past Saturday I shared Flaming Cherries Jubilee, a simplified version of  “She’s a Trooper” Cherries Jubilee on the Cooking Stage at The Total Woman Show in Kitchener. On the Friday evening before I was practising my flambé skills – fortunately nothing was singed! – when I realized I was running low on Kirsch. I made a point of heading out early Saturday morning to buy another bottle only to learn the entire city of Cambridge was sold out!

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

I needed something with an alcohol content of 40% so it could ignite and one of the liquor store managers talked me into using marshmallow vodka. I had never bought or tasted it before, but I decided to take his word for it. I’m so glad I did!

When I arrived at the show I was so happy to find out my friend Jay Chagnon was hosting my segment. I was also relieved to have my friend Chef D of Chef D TV working nearby to help re-jig that cooking surface for me. Jay and I ended up inviting Chef D to join us on stage and we had a fantastic time. Much hilarity ensued and I just hope the audience had as much fun as we did.

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

Me and Chef D on The Total Woman Stage - Photo Credit K. Stenhouse

Deciding to add the marshmallow vodka at the last minute was certainly a risk, especially with a live audience there to taste it, but it was a wonderful surprise! In fact, it was so good that two of the volunteers who were helping afterward cleaned up the pan with their bare fingers! Yup, “finger licking good!” :lol:

If you saw us on stage, you know we joked about measuring the booze with a “wrist feel” where you pour until your wrist feels lighter, but for this post I’ll give you some more specific amounts. Feel free to add as much as you want. That’s all part of the fun and it’s especially timely for a Valentine’s Day dinner.

Flaming Cherries Jubilee

Serves 6
1 can cherry pie filling
2 ounces Cointreau
2 ounces marshmallow vodka
2 ounces Kirsch
vanilla ice cream

1. Pour the can of cherry pie filling into a large pan. Heat on high until bubbling.

2. Move the cherries to the side of the pan then pour the alcohol onto the scrapped side of the pan. This ensures the alcohol comes in contact with the pan directly and heats up quickly. Using a lighter with a long nozzle, ignite the alcohol.

3. Let the flames burn down then mix it into the pie filling. You can also douse the flames with the pan lid if you wish.

4. Pour the warm cherries and sauce over individual dishes of vanilla ice cream and serve.

*Tip* You will want to make this in the evening when it is dark to appreciate the glow of the flames.

I especially like this recipe because it is very simple, very showy and the cherries remain a nice red colour.

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

Photo credit

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Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin