Chef’s Corner: Chef Nik’s Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cookies

This is what you picture when you picture the perfect cookie and a chocoholics dream: three kinds of chocolate, crackling cocoa outside, chewy gooey fudge on the inside, and a nice crunch of nut to give it texture. This is the kind of cookie that has to be locked away or it goes missing.

Chef Nik’s Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cookies


  • 400 g (3 cups) dark chocolate chopped up or good quality chips
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) unsweeted or bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 15 ml vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 350 g (1 3/4 cup) sugar
  • 60 g (2/3 cup) cocoa
  • 1.5 ml salt
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • 125 g (1 cup) roasted chopped pecans or chopped walnuts
  • 170 g  (1/2 cup) each of dark and white chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Melt the dark and unsweetened chocolate with the butter over a double boiler gently (you want to melt not cook).
  • Whisk the chocolate butter mixture smooth and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer with the wire attachment or with a hand held electric beater, beat the eggs with the sugar until thick and fluffy (ribbon stage).
  • Add the vanilla and chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat in.
  • Combine the cocoa, salt and baking powder in a bowl and whisk together until smooth and combined.
  • Add with the nuts and chocolate chips and blend on low speed until all combined.
  • Pour the batter in a pan cover with clear wrap and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes for the mixture to set.
  • Scoop out using a small ice cream scoop or use a teaspoon to drop small cookies onto parchment line cookie sheets leaving an inch between cookies, do not press down.
  • If you have a convection oven you can bake 3 trays at a time. If you have a conventional oven set the rack in the middle part.
  • Bake cookies for 8 minutes do not over bake or they will be dry. They will be shiny and have cracks on top. Let cool before devouring (if you can!).

Makes about 48 small cookies.

Nik Seniors' ServicesNik Milonas, Executive Chef at The Cridge Village Seniors Centre, is a Certified Chef de Cuisine.

Nik believes that “cooking is the best gift you can give. I believe in serving people fresh food grown as close to home as possible as it provides the best taste and nutrition.”



Giving Tuesday 2013

charity-tuesday_580x269_2You’ve heard about ‘Black Friday’ – the biggest retail shopping day of the year that kicks-off the relative madness of Christmas shopping in North America. You’ve probably also heard about ‘Cyber Monday’ – online retailers response to Black Friday that continues the spending frenzy after the weekend of failing to find everything on your gift shopping list.

You may not, however, have heard of the new movement called ‘Giving Tuesday‘ – a day to move the focus to giving back. Giving Tuesday “celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations”. Started last year south of the border, we are proud to participate this year in Canada’s first Giving Tuesday on December 3.

Giving Tuesday celebrates the many ways your gifts of time, talent, and treasure make a difference for our clients. More importantly, it’s an opportunity for us to thank the many many supporters who throughout the year ensure that we can continue to support, encourage, house, counsel and ‘manifest the love of Jesus’ to those in need.

Here are some ways you can participate in Giving Tuesday:

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Both gifts-in-kind and financial gifts are essential to continuing and expanding our services. This Giving Tuesday, you can give either:

Support someone living in The Cridge Supportive Transitional Housing by providing them with The Gift of Christmas with a Christmas hamper.

Donate quickly and easily online withour dedicated Giving Tuesday donation page. If you’re more comfortable giving the traditional way, you can mail a cheque and mark in the Memo “Giving Tuesday” or phone our accounting office with your credit card information at (250) 995-6402 and mention Giving Tuesday.

BONUS: If you choose to give online using Interac, Interac will match your gift and double your impact!


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  • Talk to your children and family about The Cridge Centre, why you support us, and why charitable organizations are important in our communities.
  • ‘Like’ us on Facebook, share our posts, pictures, and events with your friends there; invite Facebook friends to follow us, and let us know why you care about The Cridge Centre for the Family.
  • Follow us on Twitter, retweet our activities that are of interest or importance to you, and encourage your followers to follow us.
  • Invite someone from The Cridge Centre to come talk at your church, service organization, or professional association. (email Shannon to find out more)


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Our services would be greatly reduced if we didn’t have generous and skilled volunteers who help lighten our load. They drive, cook, clean and encourage at The Cridge Transition House for Women. They take survivors of brain injury out in the community to reconnect. They keep our seniors engaged, active, and entertained. They construct the stunning and appreciated gift baskets that welcome parents of children with special needs on their Respitality stays.

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering, contact Shannon to find the best fit for your time and talents.


Want to learn a little more about Giving Tuesday? Why not watch this video (and keep an eye out for our logo).

3rd Annual Stuff the Stocking for The Cridge Respitality Service

Come enjoy a cup of cheer, festive treats, and the sounds of beautiful live Christmas music in our lovely Grand Lounge.

Our stocking will be hung and ready to be stuffed with your financial donation to support The Cridge Respitality Service.

Come by on your way to work, or  stop in on your coffee break. See you there!


Date: Friday, December 13th
Time: Anytime between 8:00am and 11:00am
Place:  The Cridge Village Seniors’ Centre Grand Lounge


To our event sponsors whose generosity makes this event even more special!:

Check back regularly for sponsor and event updates.

Give the Gift of Christmas – 2013

The Cridge Centre offers low cost housing and supportive services to woman and children leaving relationship violence, as well as families in transition for many other reasons.

Our Cridge Christmas Hamper program provides these families with an opportunity to celebrate Christmas without a lot of the stress low income families often have in trying to put aside extra money for gifts and Christmas dinner when they are already on a very tight budget.


Each year we’re honoured to witness the shared joy, not only in the families, but also in the donors as they come to drop off their completed hampers. It is obvious to us that the process has been extremely rewarding for them as well.

Here is what some of our clients have had to say:

  • “Without this we would not have had anything for Christmas”
  • “The hamper made Christmas for us”

For those who have donated in previous years, thank you so much for your very generous support. We hope you will consider preparing a hamper this year, too.

Donation Options

  • Women with children – Family size varies from one child to several
  • Women without children – Hamper is for one person
  • Two-parent families with children – Family size varies from one child to several plus 2 adult
  • Program needs – A list of program needs can be supplied on request
  • Food drive for non-perishable items – for our clients to access from our food cupboard, which is in demand year round

All women and families are receiving services within the Cridge Dovetail Program. More information about these services is available on the program webpage.

Here is how it works:

  • Using the guidelines below, estimate what size of family you want to donate to or if you would like to do a combination (for example, a woman without children plus a family of two).
  • Print, fill in, and fax the Cridge Christmas Hamper Form to 250-220-8566. You can also scan it and e-mail it to
  • We will send you a wish list for the family of the size(s) of your choice. The list may include specific items and/or areas of interest for each member of the family, as well as sizes for clothing or maybe a favourite store for a gift card. What you choose from the list is up to you.
  • Have some fun! Go shopping, have a wrapping party and put it all together.
  • Finally, bring your completed hamper to the Cridge.
    Drop off dates for 2013 are:

    • Monday, December 16th 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    • Tuesday, December 17th 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    • Wednesday, December 18th 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM


Here are some guidelines of what a hamper will often include:

  • New, wrapped gifts for each member of the family (typically donors spend between $25-$50 per person).
  • Items for the whole family or the house may also be included.
  • Grocery gift card. This will vary depending on whether it is to be used to purchase Christmas dinner or to purchase food into the New Year as well. A guide is anywhere between $20-$40 per person.
  • Do not include alcohol, cigarettes or cash.

Thank you for your interest in helping our families this Christmas!

Please contact Louise Neufeldt at 250-995-6418 if you have any further questions

Printable version of this information sheet: Christmas Hamper Information Sheet
Printable hamper form: Cridge Christmas Hamper Form

NOTE: For information on supporting The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program please contact Nicole (

Celebrate #Cridge140 and win your way to Twestival!

PrintTwestival Victoria, a fundraiser organized by the social media community, has this year selected The Cridge Centre for the Family to be the recipient charity for an evening of glamour and fun Tuesday September 24 at the Bengal Lounge beginning at 7 pm.

The event has had amazing community-wide support, and promises to be a fabulous evening out including live music, a silent auction, and great door prizes. All of the details are available at

The Cridge Centre also happens to be celebrating its 140th Annual General Meeting on Monday, September 23 – celebrating 140 years of service to Greater Victoria and The Cridge’s position as Western Canada’s oldest continuously serving charity. The back-to-back events are a fun combination of honouring our past and celebrating our future, and you can be a part of it.

Thanks to the generosity of a regular Cridge donor, we have two free Twestival tickets to give away, complete with Twag bags of donated gifts. Since Twestival is the brain-child of the social media community, we’re going to give the tickets to someone who helps celebrate #Cridge140 on Facebook or Twitter.

All you have to do to be entered into the random draw is:

Share a memory you have of The Cridge Centre or our predecessor The BC Protestant Orphans’ Home, commend someone you know who works or volunteers with us (now or in the past), or even ask a questin to learn about us. As long as your status is relevant and includes the hashtag #Cridge140, it’ll be counted in the draw.

We’ll make a draw from all selections on Monday, September 23 at 10:00 pm and let the winners know then, so keep your Tuesday evening open just in case you’re the lucky winner.

This contest is open to everyone in the online community, including board and society members, supporters, suppliers, clients, volunteers, staff,  and their families.

More than a Garden Shed: Service and Home and Abroad

If you ask them, Tony and Jan Zanon will tell you they’re just ordinary people. That may be true, if ordinary people travel to Mexico for mission-based building projects, or organize donations and a crew to make a difference here at home.

Tony and Jan are society members here at The Cridge Centre, who happened to read about The Cridge Brain Injury food programs in a recent edition of The Messenger. Seeing that the community garden needed a shed, they started making connections.

In Jan’s words, “We are from Colwood Pentecostal Church. The church paid for the materials for the shed. The labour was provided by members of the Mexico Mission Trip team heading out Nov/13 to build a house in Mexico for a needy family . . . we have been building sheds as a fundraiser for the trip. We wanted to give to our community as well when we heard of the garden program you have.”

Their team includes builders, carpenters, contractors, and just a few “ordinary” good people who are willing to do hard work. Over the course of a weekend, they built a firm foundation for the shed (no easy task on our uneven land), then made the shed tall, strong and secure.

Once the building was complete, Greg Goldberg, co-ordinator of The Cridge Brain Injury Services’ ‘Blue Sheet Club’ – a supportive environment where survivors of brain injuries learn, grow, and share with each other – and two club members finished the shed with a good coat of paint. As Greg reported afterwards, “The shed was completed today with great and inspirational help from Garratte and Mark. My assistants and I went out for some popsicles to celebrate. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be productive-such an important gift during rehabilitation.”

Thanks to Jan and Tony Zanon for their leadership of this project. Thanks to everyone who showed up and pounded nails, cut wood, secured shingles, and got the job done. The difference you all made is a contribution far beyond the garden shed. God bless you as you bless the people around you.

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Community Cooking 2013

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Dates: Thursday September 12, to Friday December 20, 20113
Time:  9:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Oaklands Chapel (2736 Fernwood Road – one block south of Hillside Avenue)

Program: A community kitchen is an arrangement where people get together to cook, have fun and support each other. This program is focused on growing people’s capacity to connect and contribute. Participants will be supported to start their own community kitchen and will learn new skills along the way.

community kitchen

Participants: This program is for people living in the community recovering from a brain injury. Participants must be independent with transportation and must be ready to contribute and learn:

  • Cooking Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Budgeting
  • Teamwork
  • Nutrition
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Relationships

Please Contact:
Mark Fournier
250 479-5299

PDF version of this flyer to print and share: Community Cooking Start Info.

Buskers 2013

For the third year in a row we are welcoming the International Buskers Festival community performance program to The Cridge Centre for the Family. This year we will have three performance, all of which are open to the public.

Charlie Caper – Monday, July 22 at 1 pm

Charlie Caper is an international magician and winner of Sweden’s Got Talent. He’s also an experienced variety entertainer with a swing beat in his heart and a love for the good life.

Kif Kif – Wednesday, July 24 at 1 pm

“Kif-Kif” in French means “same-same.” This young duo of identical twins share their creativity in Quebec City and around the world. Humor, circus and twinship are at the heart of their original and interactive performances. Check out their energetic, family-friendly performance on their website.

Funny Bones – Friday, July 26 at 1 pm

Funny Bones were winners of the 2012 world buskers fest in New Zealand. Their act features rock ‘n’ roll lions, hat juggling, voice percussion, break-dancing, comedy mime, magic and slightly frightening yet hilarious giant puppets.

headstart salon keeps on giving

A welcoming environment, talented hair stylists, fantastic hair care products, and friendly staff… all of these descriptions fit the atmosphere of headstart hair salon perfectly. But what truly sets the staff of headstart apart is their deep commitment to making a difference for families of children with special needs.

For the past two years, owners Garry & Chris Preston and Assistant Manager Megan Stretch have supported The Cridge Respitality Program by raising funds through the Look Good : Do Good Cut-a-thon. This year, despite the busy-ness of an upcoming change of location, the staff of headstart dedicated themselves to a “Month of Respitality.”

For the entire month of May, the front of the shop was adorned with a Respitality display, and customers were invited to make a donation to the program. All Headstart customers were invited to put their name in a draw for an overnight stay courtesy of the Magnolia Hotel, a longtime partner of The Cridge Respitality Program.

We are so grateful to headstart and their clients for the $ 3,771 they have raised for The Cridge Respitality Program. And we wish them all the best as they move locations in July to 313 Cook Street, in the heart of Cook Street Village.

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The Cridge Nature Preschool

Victoria’s first all-outdoors nature preschool is coming to The Cridge Childcare Centre. 


“Let nature be your teacher”  William Wordsworth

This September will find eight adventurous four and five year olds, in the company of their early childhood educator and a support adult, exploring nature as it occurs in and around our city. Following the changing seasons in our Garry Oak meadow, watching the water move the rocks at Gonzalez Beach, and finding wildlife within city parks and greenspaces will all be an everyday part of this special curriculum.

Nature education is not simply about being outdoors – it provides children with an opportunity to interact with nature in a way that few urban children experience. With a belief that “there’s no bad weather, there’s only bad clothing,” the intrepid children and their leaders will sally forth as urban explorers to learn the special lessons of nature. Studies show that children who experience nature develop important critical thinking, team work, self-awareness, independence, agility, self management and risk taking skills.

The Cridge Nature Preschool featured on Shaw GO! Island

Planned for Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, The Cridge Nature Preschool will offer slightly extended hours in order to accommodate travel times, and – as with all Cridge Childcare Programs – will be inclusive of children with special needs. If you would like more information about The Cridge Nature Preschool, please email Paula West-Patrick or call (250) 995-6416.

Applications for September 2013 intake can be downloaded here..

The Cridge Nature Preschool featured on CHEK News Vital People.