Archive for the ‘In the Kitchen’ Category

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Pizza Pizza

March 17, 2013

We LOVE pizza!! It’s not very often that we buy pizza, I usually make it at home. It is so easy and delicious. This is one of our favorite crust recipes. We like it because it is kinda healthy, well on the healthier side of unhealthy. I used to make it ‘Samba Brazil’ style. For all of you Frederictonians you will know exactly what I mean. For others, it is an amazing thin crust filled with cream cheese which is absolutely To. Die. For. Sounds a little freaky, but is totally amazing. We don’t normally make it like Samba Brazil anymore but whenever I make this recipe I think of the good ol’ days!

The Benefit of the Dough

Our goreous party girl on her dads big day.

Our goreous party girl on her dads big day.

Originally from Eat, Shrink & Be Merry

1 c. all purpose flour

1/2c. whole wheat flour

2 tbsp. ground flaxseed

1 envelope quick-rising yeast

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. very warm water

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. honey

1 tbsp. cornmeal

1.    In a medium bowl, combine both flours, flax, yeast, and salt. Mix well.

2.    Measure warm water in a measuring cup, then stir in olive oil and honey. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix using a wooden spoon to form a ball. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes. Wash out bowl, spray with olive oil and place dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, spray a 12″ pizza pan with olive oil and dust with cornmeal.

IMAG1845

3.    When dough has risen, turn out onto lightly floured surface and, using a rolling pin, roll dough onto prepared pizza pan. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 425F oven for about 15 minutes.

Pizza for Brad's 30th Birthday Party. There were 3 like this. This one was 1/2 meat, 1/2 works

Pizza for Brad’s 30th Birthday Party. There were 3 like this. This one was 1/2 meat, 1/2 works. The other 2 were veggie and just cheese.

ENJOY!!

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Greek Meatloaf

February 19, 2013

We had meatloaf for supper last night. I’m not a huge fan of ground meat but when Brad showed up with 2 pounds of ground turkey I turned to my good friend Pinterest and found this recipe. It was soooo delicious that I thought I would share it.

My only suggestions are to reduce the salt (actually I’d probably omit it all together) and cook it for 45 minutes instead of an hour.

I made it on a Monday, my sis was here (we have a sleepover every Monday) so it had to be gluten free. I subbed the panko for cooked quinoa. It was awesome! When I make this again, I will definitely use this substitution.

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Good bye fruit fly!

August 11, 2011

Last post I promised a delicious strawberry popsicle recipe… that was three weeks ago and I have since lent the book out to a friend… next post I PROMISE!!! Today, I thought we could talk about fruit flies, I HATE fruit flies. I don’t know about your kitchen but mine has lots. Even taking all the precautions; emptying the compost daily, cleaning up after every meal  and not leaving fruit out I still have those little buggers whizzing past my face. I have come up with a few tips that will help keep them to a minimum and it has really worked this year.

Firstly, do all the things I listed above! Besides that, be sure to splash a couple tablespoons of bleach down your sink drains once a week. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then rise it down. Drains are the perfect spot for fruit fly eggs! Secondly set a trap. I know you’ve all tried the ‘red-wine vinegar in the cup with plastic wrap’ trick and it works, but not as well as the cone!! To learn how to make it click here. I’ve found that the best bait to use is cantaloupe, but anything sweet (banana peel, strawberry top, beer/wine/juice) will do.

Now to get the fruit flies out, I just take the whole jar out to the composter and let them join their little fruit fly friends… but you could always pour some water down the tunnel and drown the suckers!!

Good luck in your fruit fly endeavours!!

P.S. I’ve been a major slacker with my happiness project, I hope to start up again soon, but vacation is fast approaching so it won’t be for a while.

P.P.S. I’m also amending my 1 recipe a week goal to 1 recipe a month, with a baby on the move there isn’t much time to sit around and blog!

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Strawberry Shortcakes

July 24, 2011

Finding time to sit down and add some strawberry recipes hasn’t been easy lately. Between the garden, a baby ‘on the move’ and having the flu I haven’t had much ambition but have no fear; I’m on the mend, my house is babyproofed and my husband is a garden/housework superstar!!! I was hoping to have this posted before strawberry season is over and I think I’m just making the cut. Today is my favorite Strawberry Shortcake recipe and later in the week, strawberry popsicles!

Strawberry Shortcakes

This is adapted from another one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes. I LOVE it!!!!! The biscuits are delicious, just the right amount of sweet!

FOR THE SHORTCAKES:

  • 325g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, frozen (1 stick + 1tbsp.)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 quart of strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Few drops balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup prepared whipped cream

 METHOD: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Grate the butter into these dry ingredients and use your fingertips to finish crumbling  it  into the flour. Whisk the egg into the cream, and pour into the flour mixture a little at a time, using a fork to mix.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll gently to a thickness of about 2cm. Dip the cutter in flour and cut out as many rounds as you can. Work the scraps back into a dough, re-roll and finish cutting out. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the egg white, and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. If it helps with the rest of your cooking, or life in general, you can cover and refrigerate them now for up to 2 hours.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown, and let them cool for a short while on a wire rack. Meanwhile, crush half the strawberries with the spoonful of sugar and the few drops of balsamic vinegar and halve or quarter the remaining strawberries, depending on their size.
  5. The shortcakes should be eaten while still warm, so split each one across the middle and cover with a spoonful of the crushed strawberry mixture, a few halved or quartered strawberries, then dollop some whipped cream on top.

Sorry for not including a photo; they’re just so good they didn’t stick around long enough to snap one!<!–

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Salads for your steak

July 15, 2011

As soon as the snow melts it’s time to pull out the BBQ!! I don’t eat a lot of meat, I just don’t like the taste of it, and I really don’t like the smell of it, it grosses me out… so the BBQ is the perfect solution… no meaty mess or smell!!  Brad is BBQ’er extraordinaire so this works out perfectly!! There are many sides I make to go with our BBQ’s, usually steamed veggies or salad.  A good garden salad is my favorite, but I also love broccoli and potato salad. I’ve tried lots of different recipes and these are my favorite.

Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad

 This is adapted from my grandmothers recipe. It’s simple and delicious! Be careful about the dressing, I find you don’t need to use it all. I mix it in a mason jar and save the extras for another day. Also, the longer the salad sits dressed the better it tastes but leave the cashews out until just before you serve.

½ c. raisins

½ c. cashew, chopped (if you don’t have cashew’s walnuts taste great as well)

1 c. green (or red) grapes, halved

½ a medium red onion, chopped very finely

½ bunch broccoli, chopped

½ bunch cauliflower, chopped

Optional: 8 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled

Dressing: (can be made ahead)

3/4 c. mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. sugar & 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar. Mix and refrigerate.

Potato Salad

This recipe came from the Williams & Sonoma ‘Potatoes’  cookbook. Below is the recipe from the cookbook but I have changed it. I don’t like tarragon so I use 1 ½ tbsp. dill, 1½ tbsp. basil and ½ tbsp. fresh parsley. I have tried LOTS of different potato salad recipes… there are a few different ones I make but this is my favorite. I only tried this one for the first time this summer and have made it a few times to take to BBQ’s (and to eat for ourselves).

2/3 c. red onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp.  white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped

½ c. mayonnaise

¼ c. yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk (I use yogurt)

½ tsp. dry mustard

10-12 new potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered

3 stalks of celery, finely chopped

6 eggs, 4 finely chopped and 2 for garnish (I use 4 total)

1)      Steam or boil potatoes until easily pierced with a fork, do not overcook. While still hot, transfer to a bowl and add the onion, vinegar and herbs. Let cool for 15 minutes.

2)      Mix the mayo and yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk in a small bowl.

3)      Add the rest of the ingredients to potatoes.

4)      Stir in the sauce being sure not to break up the potatoes. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, the longer the better.

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Happy Red & White Strawberry Squares

June 29, 2011

Canada day is just around the corner and I’m sure all of you are looking for a special red and white treat to take to your long weekend BBQ. These squares are always a winner in my house, and whenever I take them to a gathering. I was given this recipe by a friend I worked with in university and have made it every strawberry season since. It is light and yummy!! To travel, I usually cut and freeze the squares so they stay as cold as possible.

Strawberry Squares

Shortbread Crust

1 ⅓ cups flour

2/3 cup butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

          – Mix, press into a 9” pan & bake at 350˚ for 15 minutes

 Filling

2 cups strawberries

½ cup sugar

1 package strawberry jello

1 package Dreamwhip

      – Heat 2 cups strawberries until hot. Add  ½ cup sugar and 1 package strawberry jello, let cool. Make 1 package Dreamwhip. Add ½ to strawberry mixture, reserve other ½ for topping. Pour strawberry mixture over the shortbread crust and let cool. Top with remaining Dreamwhip, Refrigerate. Top with sliced strawberries.

I’m off to make some strawberry popsicles… be prepared for more yummy strawberry recipes!! 🙂

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Coca-Cola Cake

June 6, 2011

Don’t think that I am advocating taking up a Coke drinking habit by posting this recipe. I am not a pop drinker nor do I think it is a good idea to become one. However, everything in moderation right?! So, my baby sister turned 16 at the beginning of May. I gave her a stack of cookbooks and asked her to choose which cake she would like. This is what she chose…  it was so good that since then I have made it for another family birthday (see  52 Weeks of Happiness: Week 2 post). It is moist and crumbly and everything you’d ever want in a deliciously chocolatey cake. It is another one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes which I have ‘tweaked’ a little to make my own.

Coca-Cola Cake

for the cake:

     200 g. plain flour (1¼  c. less 1 tbsp.)

     250 g. brown sugar (1 c. packed)

     ½ tsp. baking soda

     1 large egg

     30 g. yogurt (1/3 c.) + 100 ml milk OR 125 ml buttermilk – I used the yogurt mixture

     1 tsp. vanilla extract

     125 g. butter (¼c. + 2 tsp.)

     2 tbsp. cocoa powder

     175 ml Coca-Cola

for the icing:

     225 g. icing sugar (1¾ c.)

     2 tbsp. butter

     3 tbsp. Coca-Cola

     1 tbsp. cocoa powder

    ½ tsp. vanilla extract

for the pan:

     22-23 cm Springform pan, lined with foil to prevent the batter from leaking, then buttered

Preheat the oven to 350° and put a baking sheet in at the same time.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking soda. Beat the egg, milk-yogurt (OR buttermilk) and vanilla. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the cocoa and coke, heat it gently.

Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon, and then add the liquid ingredients, beating until well blended (I do all this in my stand mixer).

Pour into the prepared springform pan and bake on the warm sheet for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Leave to stand for 15 minutes in the springform before unmolding. Then unclip, unwrap and turn out on a wire rack. Line your cake plate with strips of wax paper (2″ W X 5-7″ L) around the entire edge of the plate (lengthwise so that they are not too far into the middle). This will make for easy clean up when icing the cake – Martha Stewart taught me this!!

Sieve the icing sugar and set aside (or just run a whisk through it in a bowl, thanks again Martha).  In a small sauce pan (I just rinsed out the one I used earlier) combine the butter, Coke and cocoa. Stir over low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spoon in icing sugar, beating as  you do so, until you’ve got a good, spreadable but still runny icing (I used all the icing sugar).

Pour this icing over the cake, while the cake is still warm, and leave it to cool.

Serves 8-10

To Decorate: Nigella recommends sprinkling the top with chopped walnuts when the icing is still warm, I will probably do that next time. This time, I made chocolate decorations by melting some good quality semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Once it has melted put it in a zip-lock bag and give it a few minutes to cool. Then simply cut off the corner and drizzle it onto wax paper in whatever shape you prefer  and refrigerate until hardened.

 

 Decorate the cake right before serving.

This icing needs to be kept cool. This cake travelled in the car for over an hour and the icing started melting… it was much prettier before I left it out in the heat!!