Nirvana Pudding

One of the things about zazen that never fails to amaze me is how interesting thoughts – and solutions – can arise when the mind stays open. A natural disposition ready for that ureka! moment. So this morning at Zen River, rather than making rice gruel for breakfast a colourful thought popped up saying how nice it […]

Blueberry Muffins

There was a time when I considered blueberry muffins downed with a large mug of French Roast coffee as breakfast-on-the-run. These days, they are more likely to show up at the slow-paced coffee break in-between meals, and probably better so! This version has a lovely fine crumb, packed with blueberries and finished with a crisp sugary topping. […]


Dipping a toe into the sea of recipes coming from around the Mediterranean, this is a current favorite borrowed from the Lebanese kitchen. I love it. Ingredients Sweet Anise Tea 1 teaspoon ground anise seeds (or grind 1 teaspoon of whole anise seeds using a pestle and mortar.)  250 ml (1⅛ cups) boiling water 220 g (1 cup) sugar Cake […]

Lavender & Rose Tray Bake

The next morning, a mystery note was lying on the kitchen counter. On it was written the following; “That cake could be right out of the Avatamsaka Sutra! Sooooo nice, thank you!” So please go ahead and enjoy some Sutra eating! 1.Cake Base 110 g (½ cup) white sugar 350 ml (1½ cups) buttermilk (or combine half milk […]

English Crumpets Revisited

When we decide to eat breakfast informally and not in the zendo, there is a happy chance for the tenzo to make crumpets. Fresh crumpets are just adorable and so much more tasty than shop-bought ones. (If you are wondering what crumpets are, they’re rather like a cross between a bread roll and a pancake.) Mine usually […]

Coconut Snowflakes

The weather is warming up, spring is finally in the air and I find myself thinking of sandy beaches, palm trees and beach towels. Well, not quite. But the change in weather did conjure images of cooling and hydrating foods, and coconut happens to be one of them. Maybe that’s why these ended up on the coffee table the […]

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve always loved cake frosting, but real butter frosting always struck me as being a little heavy – both on the palette and on the waist line. This both tastes and feels a little lighter than its sumptuous buttery cousins. Combined with chocolate cake, it reminds me somewhat of those chocolate covered coconut bars you can buy in […]

Chocolate Rocks

Chocolate Rocks. Decadent crunchy morsels with chocolate buttons melted through them. After testing the recipe three days in a row, Senko mentioned that if we would have to make them every day, no-one would really mind. Say no more… This is loosely based on an old recipe that was often used during World War II, as it used less sugar and eggs than […]

Boiled Fruit Cake

Now and then my mother sends recipe clippings from magazines that she thinks might be of interest. This Boiled Fruit Cake originates from one of those clippings that had worked its way to the back of the kitchen drawer, almost lost and barely remembered. I found it wedged between the Tenzo notebooks and random slips of paper scrawled with recipe measurements. The […]

Fennel & Almond Cake

Much of our Zen practice is to see through our conditioned patterns; the patterns that tie us up in knots and confuse us; the conditioning that prevents us from being free. There are all kinds of conditioning that make us who we are and a very fascinating one is our cultural conditioning. We hardly realize how much influence […]