Cooking With Sin 2014 Calendar – November

Posted on: November 6th, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

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

Cooking With Sin author Carla Johnson

Check out the story with the original recipe:

Sugar Plum Sisters’ Strawberry & Lemon “Short” Cake

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

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!” 😆

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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Sugar Plum Sisters’ Strawberry and Lemon “Short” Cake

Posted on: June 30th, 2012 by Carla Johnson 4 Comments

A toast once heard:  “To my big sister, who never found her second Easter egg until I’d found my first.”  ~ Robert Brault

by Pam Ratzlaff

Laurel and I met Carla virtually on Facebook through a mutual friend after we posted about gourmet marshmallows on our blog  We found out that we have a fair amount in common…we all come from a Mennonite heritage.  But I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all broken out of the Mennonite stereotype.  Laurel and I love nice things…food, fashion, interior design and we love to travel to amazing places and that’s what our blog is dedicated to.

When Carla asked if I had a recipe for Cooking with Sin, I knew which one right away.  And this one is perfect for the strawberries that are currently in season in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia where we live.  The citrus of the lemon curd and the Cointreau really enhance the flavor of the strawberries.  A guest on Martha Stewart a number of years ago made this dessert, but we’ve put our own “Sugarplumsisters” twist on it.

All photos in this post courtesy of Pam Ratzlaff

Strawberry and Lemon “Short” Cake

Lemon Curd

1 pound cake (store bought is fine) sliced about ¾” thick (about 8 slices)

6 cups sliced fresh strawberries (raspberries are yummy too!)

4 T. sugar

3T. Cointreau

3 cups whipping cream

3 T. sugar

1 tsp. real vanilla

1. Prepare the lemon curd. It will last in the fridge for about a week, so I usually make it a day or two in advance of serving this dessert.  One thing that I do differently than Martha Stewart (dare I challenge the guru!) is that I strain the cooked egg, lemon juice and sugar mixture after taking it off the stove and before adding the butter.  If the eggs happen to get a bit overcooked, straining the mixture will leave you will a very smooth consistency.  Once the butter is added, I add the zest.  Put in the fridge to cool.

2. Put the sliced pound cake on a cookie sheet and broil.  Watch it closely!!!!  This will only take a couple of minutes and you may want to turn the pan around mid-way through to get all pieces evenly toasted!

3. Wash and hull the strawberries.  Here’s a great trick I learned from Tina from The Pink Spatula….use a melon baller to hull strawberries.  Slice the berries (not too thinly) and add 4 T. sugar and the Cointreau.  Mix together and put in fridge until just before you are ready to serve.

4. Whip the cream with 3 T sugar and the vanilla.  This can be done ahead if you whip it to a thick consistency.

5. Fold the whipped cream with the cooled lemon curd.

6. Put one slice of toasted pound cake on each plate.  Spoon some of the whipped cream and lemon curd mixture over each slice.  Top with strawberries.  Delish!!!!


Keep an eye on Pam Ratzlaff and Laurel Edwards’ posts on Sugar Plum Sisters for the latest & hippest trends!

Carla Johnson "Cooking With Sin"

Laurel & Pam

“Working Past Midnight” French Toast

Posted on: June 27th, 2010 by Carla Johnson No Comments

“To be or not to be cointreauversial, that is the question”
with apologies to William Shakespeare

From the Cointreau website:

Some people have a natural ability to garner good will and Margaret and Robert Campbell are the best. After years working in careers, running businesses and counting down to retirement, they could have chosen to rest on their laurels and slow down, but no. They decided to start a new business.

When Bob & Margaret established Colour Tech Marketing, they set out to be leaders in the business. They were the first company in Canada to print full colour, glossy business cards with colour photos on them. Today, they continue to stay on the cutting edge of technology and personal service.

Margaret has often said, “We do whatever it takes to keep our customers happy.” Their quick smiles and generosity have gained them people’s trust and confidence. It is surprising how many business people, far and wide, know them and like them.

Recently a real estate board organized their first trade show. It had a few bumps and by the end of the day, the word had spread among the hundred or so exhibitors to bring suggestions to Bob as the board was looking to him for direction for next year’s show. Bob naturally stepped into his big brother role within the group.

Each week Margaret & Bob go full tilt. They will attend at least one trade show a week, often travelling a distance, and return to put in long hours running their growing business. Recently they decided to start yet another initiative – a Canadian first – to build on the marketing services they so adeptly provide. They go at a pace that would exhaust many people half their age.

Talk to Margaret about food and she bursts with enthusiasm. She says it usually takes one special ingredient to take a dish from delicious to spectacular. Her beef stroganoff has always been a favourite, but recently she substituted cream cheese for the cream and that put it in a whole new league. There are a couple of kicker ingredients in her French Toast recipe: the Cointreau and the cream. It is her favourite thing to serve to guests.

I am always curious to find people who love food and cooking, yet maintain their weight. Bob will look you straight and sober in the eye and tell you he has to run 3 miles a day to keep his in check!

Midnight is the moment you are ending a day and starting the next. Bob & Margaret have enthusiasm, and creativity and are always looking to start something new.

Working Past Midnight French Toast

1 dozen eggs
½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
½ teaspoon (2 ml) vanilla
Zest of one orange
2 tablespoons (30 ml) Cointreau
1 loaf French bread – 1 inch thick slices
1 or more cake pans to fit the bread slices
Plastic wrap
  1. Whip together the eggs, cream, vanilla, zest and Cointeau in a large bowl.

  2. Place the bread slices in one or more cake pan and pour the egg mixture over all the slices making sure each slice is evenly coated.

  3. Cover the pan(s) with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit. It can sit on the counter for 15 minutes or be placed in the fridge overnight before baking.

  4. Place the slices on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.

  5. Serve warm. Can be topped with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or maple syrup.

Garnish tip: Peel a slim strip of orange peel and wrap it around a toothpick. Later, pull the toothpick out and the orange peel should be curled and a perfect garnish for your French toast or a beverage.

Hmmm…. Margaret…. Margarita….

According to the Cointreau website, Mrs. Margarita Sames created the first “Margarita” in 1948. Here is the original recipe.


1 ounce Cointreau
2 ounces Tequila
¾ ounce Fresh Lime Juice


If you would like another bread recipe, you might enjoy “Bread Pudding & Hard Caramel Sauce.”

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