Thanksgiving Gingerbread Cake

Thanksgiving Gingerbread Cake

This Gingerbread Cake recipe is one that my Grandmother used for Thanksgiving dinners that has been passed down through the generations. You can add some Vanilla Ice-Cream on the side if you wish.


1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Large Eggs
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Dark Molasses
1 Cup Water


In a medium bowl, whisk the Oil, Sugar, and Molasses. Add the Eggs and whisk until smooth.

Have a large bowl to combine Flour, Ground Ginger, Cinnamon, Salt, and Cloves. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix well until evenly combined.

Using a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove saucepan and add Baking Soda and stir. Add to batter, and stir until combined.

Pour into a non-stick bundt pan to prevent sticking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

After the cake cools, you have the option to sprinkle Icing Sugar over the top of the cake. A nice touch.

Serves 12-15

Meetings in the Kitchen

Unique Ideas for Meeting Venues

As Vancouver’s culinary ‘mobile’ team builder, we’re constantly on the lookout for great venues to deliver our cooking programs. At the end of a long day’s meeting, cooking a meal as a team is the perfect formula to end the day. A fun and energetic cooking activity that engages everyone. Not to mention a great meal celebrating the efforts of all.

We’re thankful to have access to this beautiful kitchen and meeting room in South Burnaby. The capacity caps at forty and offers AV services.


Leader of the Pack Cooks

Food and cooking is a solid platform for building a fun and deeper understanding of your peers.

When my clients are busy chopping onions and sauteing garlic, I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to catch a glimpse of the various shades of company culture. It takes a special kind of leader with unique competencies and skills to successfully build and lead a well oiled team.

When I facilitate team cooking programs, I enjoy watching business leaders engage and have fun with their team. It’s those moments that I see the makings of a high performance group, worth their weight in gold. Sadly on the flip side, there are corporate team leaders not engaged or worse yet, not participating. Trust me, their team notices.

Other than my commitment to deliver on my client’s objective, everyone is on the same level, and no one gets special treatment. The message is simple, if ‘you burn, you learn’.


Julie’s Rhubarb Pudding Cake

Rhubarb Pudding Cake


1 cup                              all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons           baking Powder

1/8 teaspoon                salt

5 tablespoons               unsalted butter, softened

1 1/3 cups                     granulated sugar, divided

1 teaspoon                    vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon                ground cinnamon

1                                      large egg

1/2 cup                          2%  milk

4 cups                            1 inch – sliced rhubarb

cooking spray  or parchment paper

1 teaspoon                     Icing Sugar



Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well. Place butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add 2/3 cup granulated sugar; beat until well blended. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and egg, beating well. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until smooth.

Combine rhubarb and remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray or parchment paper. Spoon batter over rhubarb mixture. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.


Corporate Cooking with Teams – out of my comfort zone

I’ve always been an entrepreneur since I first made an impressive net profit selling on the street corner of my childhood neighborhood. After that, I realized working for someone else might not be an option. My intuition told me I should try my hand at running my own catering business. However, I didn’t have the courage in my cooking to explore the possibilities. I was out of my comfort zone until I was asked to cook for an upcoming party. It was now or never.

I encourage anyone to give permission to yourself, to take more chances. What the heck! For me, thirty five years later, I’m running a culinary team building business in Vancouver. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m taking a mental note of what I need to take action on that’s uncomfortable.

When my corporate clients are cooking with their peers, some  participants feel intimidated in the kitchen. But in my kitchen, you have no choice. You have to cook. A couple of examples include, one team being tasked to prepare the perfect souffle and the other team to make bread. There was a risk in whether the souffle would rise or fall, but making a concerted effort and being confident in trying is what’s important.

I believe life’s too short. We’re all in charge of our decisions and our actions. We must live and learn by them.

I hope everyone reading this blog, goes out of their comfort zone, as much as possible. You’d be surprised what you can do, if you do it!