Café Cookbook

Baked Mac and Cheese

This scrumptious mac and cheese is the perfect winter meal to share, as well as take for lunch at school or work. This mac and cheese is great for all kinds of cheese and pasta  lovers!



1 lb. dried elbow pasta or macaroni

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup all purpose flour

1 ½ cup whole milk

2 ½ cup half and half

4 cup medium sharp cheddar cheese (grated and divided)

2 cup Gruyère or parmesan cheese (grated and divided)

½ tbsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. paprika



  1. Preheat oven to 325 F and grease a 9 x 13” baking pan.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less then package directed for al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil to keep from sticking. (Do not rinse with cold water as it is better if the starch remains on the pasta so that the sauce will stick to it better).
  3. While water is coming to a boil, grate cheeses and toss all together to mix, then divide into 3 piles: Approximately 3 cups for sauce, 1 ½ cups for inner layer and 1 ½ for topping
  4. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 min, whisking often. Then, slowly pour in about 2 cups of the milk/ half and half, while whisking constantly until smooth and thick.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in spices and 1 ½ cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine. Stir in another 1 ½ cups of cheese and stir until combined.
  6. In a large bowl, combine drained pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully. Pour half of pasta mixture into baking dish. Top with remaining pasta mixture.
  7. Sprinkle top with last 1 ½ cups of cheese and bake for 15 mins or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown  

Cinnamon Buns

These cinnamon buns are the perfect early morning snack. They are fun to make and a great thing to share with family and friends. Yield: 12 large cinnamon buns.



4 cup flour

¾ cup whole milk

¼ cup honey

2 ¼  tsp. Instant yeast

2 tsp. Salt

10 tbsp. Butter



1 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. Cinnamon

¼ tsp. Salt

4 tbsp. Butter (melted, cooled)



8 tbsp. Butter (softened)

4 oz. Cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp. Salt

2 ¼ cup icing sugar


  1. In a large measuring cup, mix eggs, milk and honey.
  2. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix flour, yeast and salt in LOW. Switch to hook attachment, add egg mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Transfer dough to greased bowl (will be sticky) and cover with plastic. Let rise for 30 mins.
  4.  With a bowl scraper or spatula, pull the dough gently from bottom. Do ¼ turns (repeat 6-8 times). Let rise 30 mins and repeat 3 times.
  5. Chill and wrap overnight (or upto 72 hours)
  6. Knead dough 10-12 times and then cover with a tea towel. Let come to room temp.
  7. To mix filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt - whisk together. Add melted butter.
  8. Flour surface and roll out dough into a long rectangle. Then, spread filling over dough evenly and thinly.
  9. Roll along length of dough tightly into log. Pinch edges together.
  10. Cut log into 12 pieces and place on baking sheet. Let rise for 1 ½ hours.
  11. Bake at 350 F for 27-32 mins.
  12. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream room temperature cream cheese and then add soft butter and mix until creamy smooth. Then add vanilla and salt. Slowly add icing sugar. 
  13. Spread frosting on baked cinnamon buns. 

Apple Muffins

This delicious and healthy muffin recipe can be made with apples and cinnamon, peaches and cardamom or many other tasty combinations of fruit and spices. Yield: 8-12 regular or 15-24 mini’s (depends on how big you make them!)



1 ¾ cup all purpose flour

½ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon or cardamom

⅓ cup vegetable oil

1 egg (beaten)

⅓ cup milk

2 apples (peeled, cored and chopped to 1 cm cubes)


Streusel Nut Topping

¼ cup oats or granola

3 tbsp. flour (white or whole wheat)

3 tbsp.  brown sugar

3 tbsp. chopped nuts (your choice)

½ tsp. Cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

⅛ tsp. Salt

⅛ cup melted butter


To make muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.  Prepare muffin tins (grease and/or place in paper muffin liner)
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon using a whisk. Form a well in the center and set the whisk aside (do not use to mix the batter).
  3. To the well, add the beaten egg, oil and milk.  Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently stir the batter. Over mixing the batter will make it tough once baked.
  4. Fold the apples into the batter. Do not over mix.
  5.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins to ⅔ full.
  6. For the streusel topping:  mix together the oats/granola, brown sugar, nuts, spices and salt.  Drizzle the melted butter over and toss to coat dry ingredients. Sprinkle the streusel over unbaked muffins.
  7. Bake full-sized muffins for 15-18 mins. And mini-muffins for 10-15 mins. Check they are baked through with a toothpick.

Want to change it up…swap out the apples for canned peaches, sliced strawberries, or any of your favorite fruits!!  Try experimenting with different flavors, spices, nuts…even chocolate chips.

Gingerbread Houses (part 2) 

Here is the second week of the gingerbread house installment! We have for you the recipe for perfect icing, ideas for decoration and tips for assembly! The QEHS Culinary Program wishes you a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year! 

Ingredients - Royal Icing 

1 cup egg whites 

2-3 cups icing sugar 

1 tbsp. 

Lemon juice 

Food colouring (if wanted) 


To make icing

  1. Whip egg whites in a stand mixer with whisk attachment until they have soft peaks.
  2. Add icing sugar slowly (suggested: ½ cup at a time)
  3. Add lemon juice and mix until fully combined.

To decorate/ assembly

  1. Seperate royal icing into as many parts as desired and colour each with food colouring.
  2. Place each different colour icing into a separate piping bag.
  3. Outline all the shapes of the houses with a coloured icing and leave to set.
  4. Once set, flood (fill in) each of the outlines and let set.
  5. To assemble the house, pipe icing around each of the edges of each piece and stick together. (Tip: place cans or other objects around and inside each of the walls of the house to help it stay upright!)
  6. Let icing dry several hours or overnight.
  7. Finished! 

Gingerbread Houses (part 1) 

This week is the first installment of the gingerbread recipe, the dough! Icing, assembly and decoration to come next week! It’s the perfect festive treat to make together as a family and a wonderful way to show off your creative skills!


 4 ½  cups flour 

 3 tsp. ground ginger 

 2 tsp. cinnamon 

 1 tsp. ground cloves 

 1 tsp. ground nutmeg 

 1 tsp. baking soda 

 1 tsp. salt 

 ½ tsp. ground black pepper 

 1 cup shortening (melted) 

 1 cup molasses 

 1 cup sugar 

 ¼ cup cold water 


 Sift together all dry ingredients (flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and pepper), then set aside. Melt the shortening, then pour into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the molasses, sugar and water. Mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Stir to combine. Split dough into 3 portions and wrap in plastic. Chill for 2-24 hours. Roll dough out to ⅜” think and cut desired house pieces (or any other shape of cookie cutter! Templates for houses can be found online, or created on your own.) Brush off shapes lightly with a wet pastry brush. Bake at 325 degrees F for 8+ minutes, depending on size. (Look for edges of dough to be just browned and no longer raw in the middle).


While it might seem odd to feature Miso recipes as we enter the winter season, it makes sense to try some light, flavourful meals to counter the heavy celebratory food. The bonus is these are plant based items that you can swap out vegetable garnishes for whatever you have in the fridge. We have been using miso in the kitchen to replace anchovies in the Caesar salad dressing, boost flavours in stews and use as a marinade base for meats and tofu.

Miso Snap Peas and Asparagus

Serves 4-6 

¼ cup   slivered or sliced almonds

1 tbsp. sesame oil

2 cups  snap peas, de-stringed

12   stalks of asparagus, cut to same length as snap peas

¼  bell pepper,  sliced thinly

2 tbsp.  miso paste

Optional:  1 tbsp samjang

Optional:   1-2 tbsp hot water

  •  In a sauté/fry pan, heat to medium high heat.
  • Toast the almonds in the dry pan to golden brown.  Remove to a plate to hold.
  • Add the sesame oil to the pan.
  • Sauté the snap peas, asparagus and peppers to coat in oil. 3-4 minutes
  • Add the miso paste (and samjang if using). Toss to coat. Sometimes the miso is a little stiff and doesn’t spread around easily, this is when I like to add a tablespoon or two of hot water to loosen it up. Coat until veggies are the doneness you like…taste….taste taste!!

Quick Miso and Greens Soup for Two

2 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

3 -4 tsp. dashi powder/ bonito soup base

3-5 Tbsp. white miso

1 sheet nori, cut into small squares

1 cup diced tofu (* smoked tofu is a great alternative)

2 green onions, thinly sliced

½ cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (shiitake is best but any mushroom that you enjoy will do)

½ cup slivered kale or spinach

  • In a pot, bring to simmer the stock, water and bonito soup base
  • In a small bowl, place the miso paste and 1 tbsp. of the hot stock and mix well. This will make it easier to dissolve in the soup.
  • Add the miso to the soup broth and stir well.
  • Add the tofu, green onions, mushrooms and kale.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt or soy sauce as desired.
  • Place the nori squares in serving bowls and spoon the soup overtop.

** want to build more flavour? Try frying the tofu squares in a pan of hot oil. Drain on paper towel lined plate before placing in soup broth.

Tres Leches Cake 

In celebration of National Cake week, the QE Culinary Arts class has brought you this delectable Tres Leches cake, a sponge cake soaked in a trio of milks (evaporated milk, sweet condensed milk and heavy cream). It can also be made with eggnog modifications for the upcoming Holiday season. Simply replace the heavy cream with ready-made eggnog.  This is a great make ahead dish for those busy nights of holiday entertaining. 


1 ½  cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. salt

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup milk

1 ¼ cups heavy/ whipping cream

1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk

1 can (14 oz.) sweet condensed milk

½ tsp. almond extract

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Optional Garnishes: whipped cream, shaved chocolate, fruit, chocolate syrup or caramel syrup...jazz it up a bit!


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9x13 in. baking pan with oil, then cut a sheet of parchment paper to size, lengthwise of the pan. Clip the parchment paper to the sides of the loaf pan.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream together eggs, sugar and vanilla for 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce the speed to low and stop the mixer. Add half of the dry ingredients and the milk. Continue mixing to combine.
  6. Add the second half of dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula to be sure it is all mixed.
  7. Spread batter evenly into the pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
  9. While the cake is baking, mix together the heavy/ whipping cream, evaporated milk, sweet condensed milk, almond extract and vanilla extract.
  10. Using a bamboo skewer, once the cake is cooled, poke a series of holes in the cake. Be sure to reach the bottom so the tunnel runs deep. (See photo)
  11. Slowly pour half the milk mixture over the cake to soak in. Repeat with the remaining liquid.

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and allow to sit 6-24 hours before serving. Garnish as desired. (See photo)

Quick and Easy Cheese Loaf

This delicious cheese loaf is the first recipe for the Queen Elizabeth High School Culinary Arts blog. It’s easy to make and takes no time at all. Best enjoyed with a hot chili or stew on a cold winter’s night.


3 cups flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

⅛ tsp. black pepper

4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded

1 ¼ cups milk

¾ cup sour cream

3 tbsp. butter, melted

1 egg, lightly beaten


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9x5 in loaf pan with oil, then cut a sheet of parchment paper to size, lengthwise of the pan. Clip the parchment paper to the sides of the loaf pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper.
  4. Stir in the shredded cheese carefully until they are covered in the flour mixture. This will help to prevent the cheese from sinking to the bottom of the bread loaf.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, sour cream, butter and egg.
  6. Fold the wet mixture into the flour and cheese mixture. Stir until just combined, do not over stir.
  7. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving. 

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