Wednesday, December 29, 2010
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup cold butter
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup cold milk
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in raisins. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl, beat egg until frothy. Mix in milk, then pour into well. Stir to make soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8-10 times. Pat into two 6″ circles. Transfer to greased baking sheet. Score each top into 6 pie-shaped wedges. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes until well risen and browned. Serve hot with butter or maple butter.
My mom baked these scones on Christmas morning to enjoy with our coffee while we opened gifts (well, the kids didn’t have coffee, they had milk!). I loved the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg that wafted through our home; it smelled like Christmas. Not only did they smell great but they tasted great too. They were a perfect light breakfast, just what we needed to hold us over before brunch, which was a very delicious Christmas Wifesaver. Everyone really enjoyed these, and I’m sure I’ll be making them again because these are delicious anytime of the year.
-Recipe adapted from Company’s Coming
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup flour (approx)
dash of salt
Combine ingredients in a large bowl until it forms a ball of dough. Add more flour if dough is sticky. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and divide into 3 sections. Roll sections into long snakes with about a 3/4" diameter. Cut each snake into 1" pieces. Place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Take a fork and press down on the tops of each piece to create ridges (you can skip this step if you're short on time). Place gnocchi one at a time into a large pot of boiling water until they rise to the top. Remove from water and serve with your favourite pasta sauce.
I've tried gnocchi before, but I often find the dough is very sticky and hard to work with, and I inevitably need to use more flour, which can make the gnocchi heavy and chewy. I think maybe the problem was that I used mashed potatoes that had just been cooked. This time, I happened to have leftover mashed potatoes in my fridge, so I tried making gnocchi with it and it worked so much better! I didn't need nearly as much flour, and the resulting gnocchi were perfectly light and fluffy. My family loved them too. I topped them with a basic homemade meat sauce and a little parmesan cheese. Sorry the photo isn't that great, it's getting harder to get good shots now that the sun goes down so much earlier. I often take a photo of leftovers the next day in the daylight, but this gnocchi didn't last until the next day. We gobbled up every last bit of it that night. I know what I'll be making with my leftover mashed potatoes from now on!
Monday, December 27, 2010
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup toffee Bits
1 cup chocolate melting wafers (or chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla until creamy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt; stir half into butter mixture. Stir in toffee bits and remaining flour mixture.
Roll heaping tablespoonfuls (15 mL) of dough into balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets, spacing about 2” (5 cm) apart.
Bake in centre of preheated oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes.
Heat chocolate wafers in a double boiler and dip the cookies in half-way. Set on wax paper until chocolate has hardened.
Well this recipe is a little late, since Christmas is already over, but I had a few recipes that I didn't manage to post before Christmas so I'll be posting them this week. They're still delicious to make anytime of the year. My family isn't big on shortbread, but these went over very well. You can't go wrong with toffee bits and chocolate!
-Recipe adapted from Robinhood.ca
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Recipe from Annie's Eats
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
2¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1½ lb. semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate, coarsely chopped
Mini chocolate chips (for garnish)
Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until the dough has firmed up enough to form balls.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Shape the chilled dough into 1-1½ inch balls and place on the sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the freezer to chill for 1-2 hours.
When ready to dip the truffles, melt the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Place chilled truffle on a fork, one at a time, coating in chocolate and gently tap the fork on the side of the pot to remove the excess. (If the cookie dough balls starts to get too soft, put it back in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. I like to take only a handful of balls out of the freezer at a time.) Transfer to a wax-paper lined surface. If using mini chocolate chips for garnish, sprinkle on top quickly after dipping each truffle before the chocolate sets. Once all the truffles have been dipped, store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Mmmm, these were so incredibly divine! I've never made truffles before, so it took some practice to get the hang of dipping them in chocolate but I think they turned out okay for a first attempt. As I tried to explain in my directions above, I found the best way to dip them was if I sat them on the edge of a fork to dip them in the chocolate, then as I removed them I tapped the fork on the edge of the pot to get rid of the excess chocolate. I've heard that adding a little shortening to the chocolate will make it easier to dip with, so I may try that if I make them again. Anyway, these were a big hit with the whole family. I froze some of them in little tins to give as gifts as well.
Friday, December 17, 2010
1/2 gallon milk (whole or 2%)
2 C plain yogurt (greek adds more protein)
Place the milk in a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven and bring to a boil, stirring gently, over high heat. Just before the milk boils and the bubbles spill over, mix in the yogurt and continue to stir lightly until the milk curdles and separates into curds and whey, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Drape the cheesecloth over a large bowl and pour the curdled milk over it, draining the whey through the cloth and catching the curds in the cloth. With the curds inside it, pick up the cloth and tie it to the kitchen faucet to drain 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the faucet and gently twist the cloth around the curds, then place the cloth between two large plates and weigh it down with something heavy. You can use the bowl of whey, or I used a big jug of milk. Place it in the fridge like this for a couple hours, then remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and cut into cubes.
To cook paneer to eat by itself or in another recipe, fry in vegetable oil, stirring carefully to keep paneer pieces from breaking.
I had so much fun making this! It's really quite an easy and fascinating process. It was neat watching the curds and whey separate so quickly once I put in the yogurt. I used this cheese in my Lentil and Spinach Curry for a meatless dish that's really packed full of protein. Bennett loved eating it plain. He kept asking for more and more as I was trying to cut it up. I thought it was a little bland that way myself, but the great thing about this cheese is that you can fry it with whatever spices you want and it soaks up the flavours. It's a lot like tofu that way. In fact, I think you could probably use it as a substitute for tofu, for example in a stir-fry. I haven't tried that yet but I bet it would be yummy.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (softened)
2 tsp vanilla
5 packages of Rolos
1/4 cup granulated sugar
In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Blend well. In a large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; beat well. Add flour mixture and blend well. Chill the dough for at least 2 hrs then work with 1/4 at a time. Shape 1 heaping teaspoon of dough around 1 Rolo completely covering it. Put sugar in a small bowl and roll each ball of dough in the sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 mins, until set and slightly cracked. Cool 5 mins on sheet and remove.
Oh my. Words can't describe how good these cookies are. Just look at this.
Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my face.
Anyway, Cole had the best time helping me make these. I was surprised how good he was at covering the rolos with the dough. It can be a little tricky but he did such a great job. I gave some of them to the ladies who work our boys' daycare, and they were raving about them when I picked the kids up today. I'm planning to make them for a cookie exchange this Christmas. They're a perfect holiday treat, or a treat for any time at all, really.
Recipe found on Weddingbells.ca forum: http://forums.weddingbells.ca/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=77429#Post77429
Monday, December 13, 2010
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 quarts cold water
6 ounces of linguica sausage, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder
ground black pepper to taste
1 pound kale, rinsed and chopped
Heat oil in dutch oven or soup pot and add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes more. Pour in water, bring to a boil. Add bouillion and let boil gently for 20 minutes, until potatoes are mushy.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, cooke sausage until it has released most of its fat, about 10 minutes. Drain fat.
Mash potatoes or puree the potato mixture with a blender or food processor. Stir the sausage and pepper into the soup and return to medium heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
Just before serving, stir kale into soup and simmer, 5 minutes, until kale is tender and jade green.
I couldn't find linguica sausage, so I used kielbasa. Although it wasn't as authentic, it tasted pretty amazing! The smoky flavour of the kielbasa blended so nicely with the potatoes and kale. Cole didn't really care for it, but Bennett and Tony ate it up. Tony liked it a lot, and when I told him it was a Portuguese recipe, he said 'I thought it seemed familiar!' Maybe his Portuguese mother made something similar when he was young. Even if you're not Portuguese, there's something about this soup that feels like home. It's a very comforting soup that makes you feel good inside. I loved this soup even more the next day once the flavour of the sausage had a chance to permeate. I can see this soup becoming a family favourite.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes
Friday, December 10, 2010
3/4c all-purpose flour
1/3 c whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon (divided)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/3 c light peanut butter
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, stir flour, baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ginger, salt and allspice: set aside. In another bowl, combine sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon in a bowl and also set aside. In another bowl, beat peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar on medium speed for 1 minute. Then add egg, molasses, and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture. You will be making a stiff dough. Using your hands now, shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll balls in the reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Place on cookie sheet at least 2" apart (they spread when baking). Flatten cookies slightly with a fork
Bake for 7 minutes. They may appear undercooked but don't worry. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to wire-cooling rack.
I love peanut butter cookies, and I also love gingersnaps, so to me this is a perfect cookie. They're also simple enough to make that my 4-year-old Cole was able to help me with them quite a bit. He liked rolling them in the sugar the best. Well, maybe second best, because I think his favourite part is licking the spoon. This is a great cookie to make this holiday season if you want a different spin on your classic gingersnap cookie.
Recipe from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry (Girl-Guy Cookies)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
3 thick pork shoulder blade steaks (about 2 lbs/1 kg)
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp jerk seasoning
Trim fat from steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown steaks on both sides. Transfer to crockpot. Drain fat from skillet.
Add 1/4 cup water to skillet, bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of skillet. Stir in ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce and jerk seasoning. Scrape over steaks.
Cover and cook on low until tender, about 3-4 hours.
Tony's sister gave me this very yummy jerk seasoning from her trip to Jamaica:
I was worried it might be spicy, but she gave me the mild version and it really is mild. I often use it as a marinade on chicken and it's amazing. I never thought to use it on pork though until I saw this recipe. Turns out it works wonderfully on pork too! It had a really great flavour to it. Only problem was that I forgot to trim the fat off the steaks first and I also took a short-cut and didn't brown the steak first to release some of the fat into the pan. That was a big mistake. There was a heavy layer of fat floating on the top of the crockpot by the time it was done cooking. I tried to skim off as much as I could but couldn't get it all. It was still tasty but a little greasy due to my oversight.
The bonus to this recipe is that the leftovers make great pulled pork sandwiches. Just reheat the meat, pull it apart with a fork (which is really easy to do because it's so tender), and put it inside a lightly toasted hamburger bun. Yummy!
Recipe from: Canadian Living, The Slow Cooker Collection
Sunday, December 5, 2010
1 can evaporated milk
1 14oz can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp butter (melted)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs- separate egg whites and yolk
1 pie pastry crust
Warm milk, sugar and butter. Coat crust with small amount of egg white. Add all ingredients except egg whites together. Whip egg whites until firm. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes. Bake further at 350F for 40 minutes.
This is the pumpkin pie recipe that my mom always makes for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. She makes her own pie pastry, but as I've mentioned before, I'm not a great pie-maker. So when I make this I usually use store-bought frozen pastry crust for this recipe, just so I don't screw it up. It may not be quite as good as my mom's but it's still pretty darn good. I just love the texture of the filling, it's what sets it apart from other pumpkin pies I've tried. This is one tried and true family recipe that I'm sure I'll be making for many years to come, and maybe one day I'll even master the pastry part too!
Friday, December 3, 2010
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey, melted
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
4 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 apples, peeled and diced
Put marinade ingredients into a baking dish with the pork tenderloin. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. Uncover baking dish and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. Cover and let stand 10 minutes
To glaze apples: In frying pan, heat butter, honey and lemon juice together. Add apples and toss to coat. Cook 2-3 minutes. Slice pork and spoon apples over top.
I love pork tenderloin and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it. This is a great recipe, especially if you're entertaining. We serves this when my brother and his girlfriend came over for dinner and it was a big hit with everyone.
-Adapted from That's Trump: More Recipes from the Best of Bridge