Cooking Classes


Rhubarb Johnny Cake

Cooking proved to be a bit of a challenge for me today. In addition to this rhubarb cake I was testing a recipe for a turkey burger. Do not walk away from a heating pan. Fortunately the little bit of oil that was in it did not burst into flame but the smoke alarm was telling my neighbours all about my moment of carelessness in the kithcen.

After I cut the rhubarb and tossed it with the sugar and ginger, I realized that I had no butter in the house. It is Sunday morning and I had to wait for an hour before a store opened. Thus there was a bit of juice in the bowl. I added it to the final batter. 

I used regular cornmeal in this recipe and it worked just fine. I might search out corn flour and try it again. Either way, it would be an excellent breakfast or dessert dish. I also forgot to add the sour cream and vanilla. It really wasn't a day I should have been following a recipe. But then again it is always nice to find a recipe that can handle a few mistakes and still turn out nicely.

This is naturally gluten free and is not loaded with sugar. Any summer fruit would work equally as well as rhubarb.

Rhubarb Johnny Cake
2 cups rhubarb
2 tablespoons sugar 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ginger or cardamom
1 cup corn flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° Grease a 9” cake pan.
Gently toss the fruit with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the spice of your choice. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the corn flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat 1/2 cup sugar with the butter until creamy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.
Add the corn flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just enough to combine. Pour the batter into the cake pan and spread into an even layer.

Arrange the fruit on top of the batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool and then sprinkle the raw sugar over the top.
Slice and serve with Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream. Serves 8.

Recipe from Cheryl Paff of Black-Eyed Suzie's Upstate 


The Okanagan Food and Wine Writers' Workshop was a solid success

Writer and author Jennifer Cockrall-King once again pulls off a successful writers' workshop.
If you ever have the desire to feel like royalty then the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers' Workshop is for you. We dined on the best of local food, we drank of the best local wines and all the locals call this region 'paradise'.

Writer and author Jennifer Cockrall-King once again pulled off a successful writers' workshop in the heart of the Okanagan wine and farming region. 26 participants from across the country spent an intensive couple of days learning, experiencing and networking. Don't mind that we usually have a glass of wine in our hand. Sometimes, I am told, they even drink wine after breakfast in the Okanagan.

The speakers were first rate. Not only did we learn and enjoy their presentations but they were with us throughout the entire time always willingly sharing their knowledge. This alone makes the workshop unique among all the professional development conferences I have attended.

At the end of the workshop I went away feeling like I know Anita Stewart. I didn't just listen but we exchanged ideas in conversation. How special is that?
Anita's fast paced presentation left me with a sense of pride in our Canadian food culture. My seat mate on my return flight questioned that. "Is there really a unique Canadian food culture?" Why do we need one and only one food that is quintessentially Canadian? We accept regionality in other countries. Italy is the prefect example. We are a lot like Italy. Our food is very regional and it should be no surprise that cod cheeks are mainly available in Newfoundland. To choose one food that represents the country is not realistic.

Rosalyn Buchanan was a participant and a presenter. Her wealth of knowledge in tapping into social media was welcomed as writers are finding it more and more difficult to snag well paying assignments. I don't know anyone who knows more about the food and drink scene in the Okanagan than Roz. She is a regular contributor to Savour magazine and many other BC lifestyle publications.
An animated Noelle Chorney chatting with Neal McLennan
Neal McLennan, food and travel editor at Western Living magazine, drinks writer at Vancouver magazine and frequent contributor to enRoute, share his best advice on pitching your stories to editors.

Julie van Rosendahl, of cookbook writing fame, was also a participant and a presenter. Loved her tips on food photography and food styling!

What else did we do?

Buds about to open on grape vines at Summer Gate Vineyards and Winery.

Orchard tour at Paynter Markets.
Jennay Oliver taking us on a tour of her family's orchard.

Apple blossoms at Paynter's Fruit Market.
Function Junction orchard and produce stand in Kelowna.

The Crush Pad uses concrete barrels for fermenting and aging their wine.

At the Crush Pad with Mike West pouring their own label Haywire.

Sumac Ridge with their Black Sage Vineyard products.

Summer Gate estate winery.

Summerland Fruits now has a fruit winery.

Dirty Laundry Vineyard has a very interesting history!



Sorry about the flash! Mark Filatow receiving an award from Anita Stewart.

Matt Batey receiving an award from Anita Stewart.

Chef Matt Batey prepares lunch sponsored by B.C. Tree Fruits.

The Cove Resort's own Chef Grant de Montreuil.

Chef In Stead Martin LaPrise preparing our dinner at his Rabbit Hollow.

Chef Lee Humphries from Local Lounge Grille in Summerland.

How did I get those two perfect starbursts?

Karen Anderson and Rosalyn Buchanan.


Catherine Frechette with Tourism Kelowna welcoming all to the workshop.

Our tour company Distinctly Kelowna Tours.
All the amazing people in the service industry that made our stay so much better.