Whilin’ away the Winter …

winterWinter in Ontario is just not giving an inch to incipient Spring!  After a windstorm/blizzard on the weekend which closed highways, we were left with drifts which o’er-topped the snow fences meant to corral them.  All thanks and admiration to our intrepid Land Staff, Nick and Jaye, who keep the arteries of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre open!

This is perfect weather to huddle around a hot pot of tea and a bit of sweetness.  Thanks to our Emily, we have the perfect cookie to nibble or to dunk.

Emily’s Sesame cookies

In a 350° F oven, toast until golden brown (6 – 8 minutes) …

1 cup raw sesame seeds

Combine …

1 c flour

½ t salt

½ t baking powder

Cream together and beat until light …

½ c unsalted butter

2/3 c brown sugar

Add to butter/sugar mixture and stir until smooth …

1 egg

1 ½ t vanilla extract

Stir the wet ingredients into the flour and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Then gently stir in the cooled sesame seeds.

Roll the dough into small balls and place on a baking sheet (here parchment paper is your friend). Flatten the cookies slightly and bake until golden – about 10 minutes.  Let them cool slightly before you move them from the baking tray.

sesame cookiesRemember that seeds are full of protein, healthy fats and minerals … and have a second one!

As hard as it is to believe it, spring will eventually nudge aside this winter and we will be preparing for Easter Brunch.  Don’t forget to book your tickets now – it’s a popular (and fun) occasion.  Contact Pam at officecoordinator@ignatiusguelph.ca or at 519 842 1250 ext. 241.  You’ll be glad you did.

Take care to stay warm … so you can take care of each other and our Mother Earth.  ❤




May Musings.

easter table2

Easter Brunch has come and gone.  We served 200 people and had just a great time!  There was a special encore appearance by Ryan – who came up from London to lend a hand … thanks, buddy!  You make service fun and easy.

Book your tickets early for next year!  We can’t accommodate many more … unless we build an addition (and add a couple of ovens!).  There’s something for every taste.muffin eggs 2Well, maybe not the above … if I tried to get my staff to make (the dis-respectfully-named)  “muffin eggs” for 200 people, I am sure I would face insurrection!

An easier recipe follows.  It was passed on to the kitchen by our Executive Director and we’ve been using it without a change.  Occasionally I will add a handful of slivered almonds for texture but it is a wonderful treat just as it is.

Father Roger’s Rice Crispy Squares for Grown-ups.  

Line an 11 x 7 inch pan with parchment paper.

Heat slowly, stirring constantly, in a large pot…

2/3 c honey

2/3 c almond butter

1 t vanilla

1 t cinnamon 

As soon as mixture is warm and well blended, stir in…

6 c whole grain rice crisps (or other cereal).

When well coated, move mixture to pan and gently press it in to all the corners (wet hands help!).  Cool completely before slicing. 

Not ideal for mid summer as it tends to get too soft and fall apart.

I do have to note that we use honey from Tuckamore Bees … who are so local that their bees harvest nectar from our land!

Enjoy the spring!  Stay dry and take care of each other!  ❤





Molasses Cookies


photo by Kate Hendry

I love my job. It’s not “just a job” that I have to drag myself to each day. I love creating meals. I love that we emphasize simple, comforting, and healthy food at Loyola House. I love that we nourish and positively impact so many people with our creations from the kitchen.  There is a unique relationship between cook and guest, that is difficult for me to articulate, this is maybe draft number 7, but I will try. I put my passion, love, and prayers into the food I create for you. And you trust my skills as a cook and eat what I’ve created. We may never speak to each other, but a bond is created nevertheless. I care about you as a guest at Loyola House, whether you’re here for a season or an afternoon.

On the Ignatius Jesuit Centre property in Guelph, where Loyola House is located, there is also a Jesuit cemetery. Jesuits who die in this area are buried on the property. After the burial, friends and family come to Loyola House to sit and mourn or celebrate the life of their loved one, and we provide coffee and cookies. So often I want to offer a hug, but I am shy, and they are strangers, so instead I put the hug into the food and hope it translates.

And so, with that lengthy preamble, comes the news that there will be the funeral and then the burial for Jim Webb, previous Provincial of the Jesuits of English Canada, this afternoon. I did not know Jim well, but I am saddened by his death.

When I first heard he had died, my instinct was to bake. My favourite cookies are our Molasses Cookies. I don’t even have to try to imbue them with hugs. Comfort is released with every bite. It’s a wonderful dough that can be made ahead of time and left in the fridge until fresh cookies are desired. For a chewy texture, they only need 12 minutes in a 350 F oven. Eat them slowly to savour the orange flavour – they are excellent!

Molasses cookies

Beat together until smooth – continue beating at high speed until fluffy…

1 c brown sugar

¾ c butter or becel

½ c molasses

Stir in….

1 T lemon juice

2 t vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of 2 oranges

Sift together and stir in to wet ingredients…

2 ½ c whole wheat flour

2 ½ t baking soda

1 t each of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves

2 t ginger

(1/2 t cardamom – optional)

¼ t salt

Let dough sit for at least half an hour so it is not sticky.  (If it is sticky, stir in a little more flour).  Roll into small balls and roll balls in coarse sugar.  These cookies are designed to rise and then fall, giving them their distinctive crinkled surface.