Lemon-Almond Cookies

We wanted lemon cookies, so I took my great-grandma's "mabelle" cookie recipe and added lemon. While at it, I rolled them in ground almonds before baking. The result is a soft but zesty cookie. I also included a variation with a maple-almond filling.

Yields 30 cookies


• 1 cup salted butter • 1 cup brown sugar • 1/4 cup hot water • 1 egg • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon lemon juice • zest of 1 lemon • 3 cups white flour • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 cup almonds, grounded

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients. Add the baking soda to the flour, then add to the other ingredients. Mix well until smooth. If the dough seems to loose, add some flour. Roll balls about 1" in diameter, then roll them in grounded almonds and place them on a baking pan. Tap down each cookie to flatten them a bit. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Maple-Almond Filling

Proceed as above, but mix the leftover grounded almonds with 1/2 cup maple syrup, press a little hole into each cookie, and fill it with the mixture.

Spicy Haddock Fish Cakes with Aioli

Fish cakes, crab cakes, both remind me of beach vacations. Seashore restaurants, seafood take-outs, cold beer, tartar sauce, sun. It's not summer yet, and I know that back-painfully well; after shoveling the snow from our driveway yesterday, the car still got stuck, and later on we stacked a cord of firewood. But guess what I felt like eating in spite of all the ice and snow? Hint: check the title of this post. I wanted summery fish cakes; classic ones made with mashed potatoes. Crab cakes tend to be more popular in general, but fish cakes, when done correctly, are just as tasty and rewarding. They're also cheaper to make! Now I've got everyone's attention. Serve these with with a squeeze of lemon and a cold beer. As a side, we ate them with a Spinach Salad. Also, if you've never made mayonnaise, now's your chance. ps: You'll probably be left with some mashed potatoes, keep them for next day's lunch.


Spicy Haddock Fish Cakes

• 500 g of haddock (3-4 fillets) • 4 medium potatoes • 1/4 cup white wine • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped • 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped • juice of 1/2 lemon • a dash of hot sauce or sambal • salt + black pepper

Preheat oven at 350°F. First off, you need to do some mashed potatoes and cook your fish. In an oven pan put your fish with the wine, a dash of oil and salt. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel, cut and boil the potatoes until tender. Drain, mash and salt. Let the fish and mash potatoes cool down for about 10 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the fish with about 2 cups of the mashed potatoes, the green onions, parlsey, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. If the mixture seems to loose, add a bit of flour. Form 16 little patties of about 2" in diameter.

Heat some oil in a large pan. Non-stick does the job best for these but you can use a traditional pan and put more oil. Cook the cakes a couple at a time. Don't overcrowd your pan. After 2-3 minutes flip them gently, they are delicate. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat the process for all the fish cakes.

Yields 16 fish cakes.


You could use olive oil only for this, but I think the flavor is too strong. What I do is half olive half sunflower.

• 2 egg yolk • 1 cup olive/sunflower oil • 3 tablespoons lemon juice • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped • pinch of salt

I like to use a measuring cup to make mayo, it's deep and doesn't splash everywhere.

With a hand mixer, blend the yolks, mustard, half of the lemon juice and the salt. Then add the oil in drizzles, little by little and never stop mixing. Once all of the oil has been incorporated you'll have a nice, thick mayo. Add the rest of the lemon juice and the garlic. It will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.