Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Tangy BBQ Sauce

This tastes amazing. What's even greater is that it doesn't have ketchup in it. It's pretty tangy. I tasted it before adding the final 3 ingredients in at the end of simmering and I just about knocked myself out. It was a little bit strong. Luckily it tamed down significantly towards the end and just tasted amazing.

I used this as a sauce for pulled pork and it was fabulous. It would also be wonderful I suspect on chicken. I had some extra sauce left over and it was dumped in the crock pot with a roast and the roast tasted pretty good the following day.

Recipe from about.com

Makes 4-5 Cups


2 C. Yellow Mustard
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 1/2 C. White Vinegar
1/2 C. Water
1/4 C. Chili Powder
2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp. Soy Sauce
1/4 C. Butter
2 Tbsp. Hickory Liquid Smoke 


~Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan, except for the soy sauce, butter and liquid smoke.
~Bring to a boil, whisking constantly and then lower to a simmer for 30 minutes.
~Whisk in the reserved 3 ingredients and allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

These were a success. Like a really, really big success. Usually only some of the more unique things I make, pass the 'would I make this again test?'. This one passed with flying colours and everyone seemed kind of shocked that this slightly bizarre concept could taste so amazing.

Recipe from Quick & Easy Recipes.


8 oz. thinly sliced roast beef (or leftover steak)
8 Slices Provolone Cheese (I used a spicy Monterey Jack and it was amazing, don't use havarti it just melts away to nothing)
2 Green Bell Peppers
1 Onion, diced
1 C. Mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp. Butter
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced


~Preheat oven to 400 F
~Slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and stem.
~Place a slice of cheese in side each half of the pepper
~Combine onion, mushrooms, butter, salt & pepper in a heated skillet and saute until softened.
~Add in beef slices and stir long enough to heat.
~Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly.
~Scoop mixture into each pepper.
~Top with another slice of cheese.
~Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbly and golden.


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Peach Cobbler

This is a Paula Deen Recipe that is absolutely amazing. In our household, we've always made crisps or crumbles. That's all we've ever known. Throw the fruit in the pan and top with some sugar and oats. That sort of thing. The odd time I'd comment that I wanted to make a cobbler and my Mom would whip out so and so's blackberry cobbler recipe. Fruit on the bottom, biscuit like dumplings on the top. Then one day things changed...

I wanted a cobbler. Something different you know. I made a couple attempts at finding a really good cobbler recipe, but nothing really seemed to be out there. A couple of times I combined a couple and came up with my own doughy topping, but it never was what I was looking for.

The whole time this was happening I kept finding these really odd recipes that were calling for a lot of butter to be melted in the bottom of a pan. Batter added next. Followed by fruit on top. How was this supposed to work? I dismissed them every time. To me this just didn't seem possible. How would you get a perfect layer of fruit on the bottom, when you put it on the top?

Finally one recipe convinced me it might be possible (plus logic that heavier things sink helped out), but the recipes all seemed to look like you had fruit on the bottom (dry, ungooey fruit) and a cake (dry again) on the top. Not what I wanted. So again I passed over these recipes.

Until I decided to trust Paula Deen's recipe. Because if she can't make a good cobbler, I don't know who could. And it was magical. Why did every recipe I found fail to mention that the cakieness on the top is anything but dry? As it moves up through the gooey peaches it gets all these amazing flavours. Then once it arrives at the top it has just the right sugar and butter amounts to caramelize and have an almost candy like coating over the top. All the while, the fruit on the bottom is so syrupy and delicious.

Verdict: Delicious. Amazing. So worth it. When can I make it again?

I didn't have enough peaches on hand (or so I thought). I wanted to double this recipe (wasn't necessary, it puffed up A LOT and almost overflowed the dish). So I used half peaches, half rhubarb (also because I had a lot of rhubarb to get rid of). So I just subbed out half of the peaches for rhubarb. Easy peasy. What I didn't expect to happen was for the rhubarb to completely vanish, and the peaches to stay whole. Of all things. If you were to hold a piece of peach and a piece of rhubarb in your hand, it would seem like a no brainer to say that the peach would dissolve and vanish during cooking. It is just so juicy and soft and moist, whereas the rhubarb is so hard. But that is not what happened. So my fruit layer was very much a white gooey syrup with a few peaches throughout. I can't wait to try this with all peaches though. Can't wait.


4 C. Peaches, peeled and sliced
2 C. Sugar, divided
1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. Butter
1 1/2 C. Self Rising Flour  (make own: 1 1/2 C. Flour, 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder, 3/4 Tsp. Salt)
1 1/2 C. Milk
*Optional* Ground cinnamon (for sprinkling)


~Preheat oven to 350 F
~In a saucepan, combine peaches, 1 C. of the sugar and water and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring often.
~Meanwhile, place butter in a 9x13 pan and place in oven until melted
~In a large bowl, combine remaining 1 C. sugar, flour and milk. Mix until clumps are gone.
~Pour flour mixture over melted butter (DON'T STIR).
~Place fruit on top (DON'T STIR)
~Pour syrup (from fruit) gently overtop (DON'T STIR)
~Sprinkle with cinnamon (I don't think this is absolutely crucial. Up to you. The topping has so much flavour already.)
~Bake for 30-45 minutes (I can't remember what my exact time was) until top is dark golden and crispy.


Friday, 19 July 2013

Pink Paradise (Hippie Juice)

Okay, I had to come up with another name for this. There was no way that I was going to be able to drink something called Hippie Juice. There was even less of a chance that the people I was serving this to would drink it if they knew the name of it. So, the name has been changed. It is now Pink Paradise. AKA Your Drink. This is the drink that I'm sure everyone has seen all over Pinterest. Yup, I had to give it a try. So worth it.

This is pretty good and by pretty good I actually mean you could very easily drink way too much of this. We did. In our defence though there was a lot of people we were sharing it with. But we did go through 3 jugs of this in a weeks time. If you use the actual Simply Lemonade you'll get three batches of this drink out of two jugs of lemonade, fyi. Also, I preferred the regular lemonade, to pink lemonade in taste, but the pink lemonade gave it a much nicer colour.

Also, if you're not going to drink this all within a day or two, either don't put the strawberries in, or pull them out and eat them (and watch when you try to stand up. Whew!). Don't leave them in there to sit for more than a day or two because they'll turn and wreck the whole drink. That's too much alcohol going to waste there. So don't do that. 

The original recipe used watermelon vodka. I haven't searched everywhere yet, but I'm pretty sure that it's not available in Canada. So hence the Watermelon Liqueur and Vodka split 1:1. The original called for that total volume of the two, just as watermelon vodka. So if you can find it, use 1 1/2 C. of the vodka.

Recipe from Peace, Love, Guacamole originally, but I used Quest for Delish's volumes (and I'm happy with them)

Makes 1.75 L


3/4 C. Watermelon Liqueur
3/4 C. Vodka
1/3 C. Triple Sec (plus an extra splash)
1/2 C. Malibu
7 Strawberries


~Using a funnel, pour alcohols into a clean 'Simply' jug
~Cut strawberries into pieces and add to alcohol
~Top up with lemonade.
~Put lid on and shake to combine.
~Chill before serving, or serve over ice.


Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Brownie Recipe - Chewy, Ooey, Gooey

Sorry, no picture for this one (is one really needed for a brownie anyway? We all know exactly what they look like, or rather, what they are supposed to look like). By the time I realized that this was the exact recipe I was looking for to call my best brownie recipe, the brownie was no longer worthy of being photographed. I mean, I guess I could go and snap a picture right now of the one remaining corner piece, but I think that saying that there is only one piece remaining says a lot more than a picture ever would.

I just wanted a basic brownie recipe. Was that too much to ask for? One that was gooey and fudgey and had very little flour and cakeyness to it. I also didn't want to add anything to it to make it gooey, like marshmallows. I just wanted a brownie. Well I found it!

I looked through the dozens and dozens of brownie recipes I have saved, to come to two conclusions. 1) 99% of the brownie recipes I have saved, all have something special done to them. Oreos, s'mores, rocky road, nutella, etc., and 2) the two recipes that were just plain old brownies, happened to be the exact same recipe. So armed with the knowledge that at least two people found this recipe to be worthwhile and posted it, I set out to make them, and I'm glad I did. It was so good. Like make your teeth hurt sweet, which is absolutely perfect.

I did change up the sugars a bit, like a lot of the reviewers commented they did. Instead of using 3 C. of white sugar, I did half and half of brown and white. I'm sure it would be great any way, but I know this way was delicious.

Recipe from All Recipes


1 C. Butter, melted
1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
4 Tsp. Vanilla
4 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Flour
1 C. Cocoa
1 Tsp. Salt
1 C. Chocolate Chips


~Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9x13 pan
~Combine butter, sugars and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add in eggs and whisk until incorporated
~Stir together flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl.
~Add dry into wet and stir until mixed.
~Stir in chocolate chips
~Spread into pan
~Bake for 30 minutes


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pudding Cookies

This is another one of those recipes I have copied down from two different spots at two different times and go back to find out they are the same recipe.

I double this recipe and so that means you use two packages of pudding. The recipe calls for vanilla, but I usually don't have two of the same flavours on hand at the same time. So I have ended up making vanilla-lemon one time, and vanilla-chocolate another. Both good, but I think I'll stick with the vanilla-lemon or vanilla-vanilla combo, just because the cookies are supposed to be chocolate chip cookies with a kick. As soon as you add the chocolate pudding, it makes them look like you've added cocoa to them, and in my eyes, that's a totally different cookie.

It's taken me awhile to type this up, and I'm realizing I didn't mark down how many cookies this made (it was a lot) or how much chocolate chips I added. Oops. The original recipe calls for a 12 oz bag of chips, so I'll just put that, but because I scoop from the Costco size box, I always measure in cups not bags. So I'm guessing it was somewhere between 1 and 2 cups, but that's completely dependent on chocolate preference, etc. Just do what you want. I'm also realizing that there is no salt in this recipe. Which is really strange. Hmm

Recipe from Kraft Foods


1 C. Butter
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 C. White Sugar
1 Pkg. (4 serving size) Instant Vanilla Pudding
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 1/4 C. Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 12 oz Bag Chocolate Chips


~Preheat oven to 375 F
~Cream together butter and sugars.
~Add in pudding and vanilla, then the eggs.
~Mix in the flour and baking soda
~Stir in the chips
~Drop onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
~Cool on rack.


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Raspberry Vinaigrette

I don't usually scale down recipes. This one I had to. I made a quarter of the batch. Who needs 4 cups of dressing when it has no preservatives in it, and it's simple enough to make again 2-3 days down the road?

This was great. It didn't separate like most vinaigrettes do (further reading informs me that the honey is the trick). It's a wonderful pink colour and looks really great on your salads, and it's way too easy to warrant buying the expensive salad dressings at the grocery store.

Recipe from Cooking with Chandra

Makes 1 C.


1/2 C. Olive Oil
1/4 C. Vinegar (whatever type you like, I use white)
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 Tsp. Parsley
2 Tbsp. Honey
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 C. Raspberries (I used frozen that I thawed)
1 1/2 Tsp. Lemon Juice


~Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until mixed
~Run mixture through a sieve to strain out the raspberry seeds.
~Serve right away if desired, but best if left to sit in the fridge for a bit for the flavours to blend.


Monday, 15 July 2013

Cheese Crackers (Cheez Its / Cheese Nips Copy-Cat)

These didn't exactly taste like Cheeze Its (for those Americans out there) and Cheese Nips (for the Canadians). They tasted better. Different, but oh so much better. Let's just say the batch almost didn't have a chance to cool and leave it at that. Plus, there is only five ingredients and they are pretty darn simple to make (but they do take a bit of time to chill and cut, but nothing hard about that).

One thing for certain, roll them thin. Like really thin. The ones that worked the best for me were the ones that I could see the colour of the countertop underneath them coming through. They puff up. So unless you want little cracker cubes, roll them thin. I though I had them thin enough, I didn't. Not that it made them taste any worse. They just weren't as crunchy right out of the oven.

Recipe from Better Home & Garden

Makes 14-15 dozen crackers


1 C. Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 C. Butter
1 Tsp. Salt
1 C. Flour
2 Tbsp. Cold Water
*Optional* Additional Salt for Sprinkling


~Combine cheese and butter in an electric mixer.
~Add in salt and flour and mix until well combined and crumbly
~Continue to mix while adding the water, until a ball forms
~Form dough ball into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill (at least an hour)
~Preheat oven to 375 F
~Roll out dough onto a floured surface to a 1/8 of an inch (when you think you have it thin enough, keep rolling)
~Cut into squares using a pizza cutter, knife or pastry wheel (if you want the classic jagged edge)
~Place squares on baking sheet and with a chopstick or similar sized utensil, poke a hole in the centre.
~Sprinkle with a small amount of salt over the top
~Bake for 12 minutes

Enjoy (warm they are delicious, cool they are crunchy)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Margarita Donuts

As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. But donuts aren't something we eat a lot of and so I was waiting for the right opportunity to make them. I was really intrigued by the idea and finally I got the chance to try them.

I'm going to critique these because I really like the idea of them, but the donut itself really did nothing for me. The margarita curd filling was absolutely amazing and I am trying to think of something else to make that would use it because it is so great. The donut dough portion was not the right thing for this amazing curd.

I've never tried making donuts before. I don't deep fry anything and so the idea of a baked donut intrigued me. Unfortunately, this baked donut tasted a lot like a dinner bun. They looked beautiful and very much like a donut, but when you bit into them they were just like eating bread. I don't know if this is how all baked donuts turn out, or if this was just because of the recipe.

The other problem with this was I made these and then put them in a container and carted them around for eating the next day. A mistake. I don't know why I thought this would be a good idea. You'd never eat a bought donut the next day. They sweat when stored in a container or even a paper bag and they aren't good. Basically, I ended up throwing out almost a dozen and a half donuts because of this mistake.

I would like to try them again, but with a different donut dough. I'll have to do a bit of research because I'm really not at all familiar with donuts and then maybe you'll hear back from me some day. The one good thing about this recipe though was that you did not need to deep fry them, and you didn't need one of the fancy donut pans.

Recipe from Searching for Dessert.

Makes 12 donuts


1 Heaping Tsp. Instant Yeast
6 1/2 Tsp. Sugar
1 1/4 C. Flour
1/2 C. Warm Water
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. Butter, melted 

Margarita Curd
6 Tbsp. Butter, melted
6 Tbsp. Sugar
Zest of 2 Limes
1/4 C. Lime Juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. Tequila
1 Egg

1/4 C. Berry Sugar
1 Tsp. Orange Zest (1/2 Orange)
1-2 Tbsp. Butter, melted


~Combine all ingredients of the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix to combine and then knead for 5 minutes. If dough is very sticky, increase flour until it forms a nice ball of dough.
~Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and a towel and place in a warm spot and allow to rise to double it's size (1 hour) or place in a cool spot and allow to rise overnight.
~Preheat oven to 350 F.
~Roll dough out onto a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to about a 1/4 inch in thickness.
~Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter (or glass) cut rounds from the dough.
~Place on a floured cookie sheet.
~Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and allow to sit and rise for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
~Bake for 12-13 minutes or until the edges just begin to turn golden.
~Allow to cool.

Margarita Curd
~Combine butter and sugar in a microwave safe bowl and whisk until sugars have dissolved.
~Add zest, juice and tequila and whisk.
~Add in egg and whisk well.
~Place mixture in microwave and microwave for 30 second intervals, whisking in between each time. For a total of 3-4 minutes or until mixture remains on the back of a spoon.
~Run mixture through a sieve.
~Place in refrigerator to set.

~Combine sugar and zest and mix well to evenly coat.

~With a toothpick, poke a hole into one side and wiggle it around inside to open up the inside.
~With a pastry bag outfitted with a narrow and long attachment, pipe curd into the donut.
~Brush donut with melted butter and roll in the sugar/zest mixture.
~Allow butter to set and then eat right away.


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Thick & Fluffy Pancakes

Pancakes have really been important for us in our house. So much so that I almost can't appreciate them because I've eaten them for dinner too many times. While most households have soup and grilled cheese, a hot dog, order a pizza or pick up a burger when there is no food in the house, we haven't been able to do that because of dietary restrictions. So, enter the pancakes.

While we make waffles from scratch ALWAYS! Pancakes have been a different story. Probably partly because we make them for dinner when we are in a hurry or because we make them up the cabin (the first day there we always have pancakes) and we don't have tubs of flour, etc. sitting up there. It's just easier to take a box mix.

Now for us, pancakes aren't thin little white things that are loonie size and flavourless. Pancakes are supposed to be thick and filling and have a lot of flavour. We achieve this with the pancake mix (there is only one brand we're allowed to buy and one type in that brand) by always adding the eggs, oil and milk to it. Not just the water that some mixes brag you can get away with doing. Not worth it.

But we have to sub out the milk for soy milk. Vanilla soy milk to be precise, and wow! The vanilla adds so much flavour and the thicker soy milk makes the pancakes puff up all that much more. I don't know if I've mentioned before, but one time one of the neighbourhood boys stumbled and said these were better than his mom's (and they were from a box mix). Big oops. But they are great.

Why I'm saying all this is because we ran out of pancake mix. All available boxes had migrated up to the cabin and never returned. I suggested we just make some from scratch and that idea was shot down. I guess the recipe that had been used before for scratch wasn't so good and it really flopped. This recipe did not. They were thick and amazing and very similar to the famous mix pancakes we've always made. I think we may have just cured the box pancake mix obsession in this house, because I've been asked 'have you printed out that pancake recipe.' Success!

This recipe was very similar to what we are used to, it just lacked a bit of sweetness, but it didn't lack flavour. So not a big deal. Later in the afternoon after making them for breakfast I commented about this lack of sweetness and I hadn't been doing the measuring of ingredients. The one that was told me there was no sugar in this recipe. I pulled up the recipe and noticed that there was in fact sugar. What I'm trying to say is these are still very good pancakes without the sugar. It's not necessary. I think we'll try them with some of the sugar next time, but we probably won't use the whole amount I'm going to list because really, they were just fine without and who wants to add sugar if it's not necessary?

Note to myself: TRIPLE THIS RECIPE FOR 4 PEOPLE & A DOG if you don't want to just squeak by with barely enough batter. Doubling was the perfect amount if you scrapped the bowl, but we like to have a bit more wiggle room if people want an extra one. And yes, the dog gets a pancake. Mind you it's probably more blueberries than pancake, but it's still a problem because she's on grain free kibble because of allergies, but she ends up wanting pancakes. Someone gave a piece to her once and now she's hooked. You can't eat your pancakes and not give her one small one and have a clean conscience. She'll make sure of that.

Recipe from allrecipes.com

Serves 2


3/4 C. Milk (Vanilla Fat Free Soy Milk is amazing)
2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
1 C. Flour
2 Tbsp. Sugar, optional
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Egg
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted



~Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl and stir once to mix. Allow to sit and sour for five minutes
~Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, powder, soda & salt) in a separate bowl.
~Whisk eggs and butter into milk.
~Add the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk out the lumps
~Head skillet or griddle and spray with oil or cooking spray
~Pour batter onto griddle and wait until bubbles appear and start to pop in the batter. 
~Cook until golden brown


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Crispy Cheesy Tortilla Bites

This is about the simplest thing you could ever hope to make. I always love grilled cheeses. Now I know most people thing that means a cheese sandwich (two pieces of bread around a centre of cheese) that has been fried up in a pan. Yeah, that is a grilled cheese, but that is a lot of work. What I'm talking about is a grilled cheese under the broiler. One piece of bread with cheese broiled on top until it is bubbly and potentially going crunchy (especially good if using mozzarella cheese because it gets this beautiful golden, crispy top on it that has amazing flavour). But it's not exactly the healthiest thing. Just a hunk of bread and cheese. So I decided to try this.

I kind of stumbled upon it by accident. I had thrown a tortilla into the oven with some stuff on it to heat it up and the tortilla bypassed heating up and went straight to being crispy in the time it took for the toppings to warm up. I ended up having made my own tortilla chips. What was even better was I have just recently found a brand of wraps that uses a half flour, half corn mix, so you get the best of both worlds. The flexibility and agility of a flour tortilla, and the amazing flavour of a corn one. So, it tasted pretty good and I just about dumbed the toppings off of this wrap so I could eat the tortilla all by itself with some salsa.

So the next day I decided to just do a tortilla under the broiler but as I was about to put it in the oven I had another idea. I always love things with a fine sprinkling of cheese that has been baked until it is crispy (like a pizza pretzel or cheese stick), so I decided to grate a very small amount of cheese over top of the wrap and presto, I had greatness. The key here is to have minimal cheese. You want just enough to get the flavour of some crispy cheese, but too much and you will get a lot of grease coming out of the cheese which will prevent the cheese and the tortilla from crispy up. If in doubt, use less. These are basically just nachos but using a soft tortilla instead of tortilla chips. Same difference, it just tastes really good. It's almost too easy to be posting, but I'm posting it for my benefit so I can remember it and make it again.

Serves 1


1 Flour & Corn Tortilla (I'm sure either or would work also)
1/8-1/4 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese


~Place oven on broil.
~Sprinkle grated cheese over one side of a tortilla.
~Broil until cheese has bubbled and the tortilla is crispy. 1-2 minutes. But make sure to watch it closely as it can burn very quickly.
~Cut into manageable triangles and serve with salsa.


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Coconut Granola

I finally bought coconut oil. I've heard 'wonderful' things about it (that I can't help but roll my eyes at) but we'll see. I really like it as a lotion though. Just by itself. No perfumes, no chemicals, just coconut oil. It smells amazing and it leaves your skin feeling great. I'm definitely going to cook with it. But I won't be taking x number of tablespoons of it a day or whatever advocates of it are currently doing. It is still a fat. Maybe it is a better fat, but that doesn't mean you can consume it without consequences. Everything in moderation. So I will be using it as a butter substitute for some things. Which is a good thing, because I don't actually use butter because of it being a dairy product. So I'm always using margarine which isn't real in the slightest.

First up on the coconut oil recipes is this granola. Very tasty. The batch isn't going to last very long I don't think. But it is a little sweet, not too sweet but if you don't like sweet granola then it would seem sweet. But that may just be because I only had sweetened coconut on hand, so that might play into it.

Recipe from Shutterbean

Makes ~ 5 Cups


3 C. Rolled Oats
3/4 C. Nuts, chopped  
3/4 C. Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/3 C. Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 C. Maple Syrup
1/8 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt


~Preheat oven to 350 F
~Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well to evenly coat the mixture.
~Sprinkle brown sugar and salt over mixture and toss to coat.
~Spread mixture onto a rimmed baking dish or cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and crisp. Stirring every so often.


Monday, 1 July 2013

Uber Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think I have done it! I have finally tracked down the best chewy chocolate chip cookie out there. They look beautiful, they are thick (there is a trick I've never tried before and it worked perfectly) and they have almost too much chocolate in them. I did say almost.

This recipe utilizes cornstarch, which is something I have tried before and it does make them chewier. Up until today, I thought that this recipe was my favourite chocolate chip cookie. When I actually compare the recipe it is pretty much identical except for a few small tweaks. I guess I know what ratio of ingredients I like in my cookies. One of these being, I like more brown sugar to white sugar as it gives it a fuller flavour in my eyes.

But, this wasn't the only thing different than other cookies out there. It used melted butter and an extra egg yolk which is new to me for cookie recipes. I was very intrigued from the very beginning when I saw this recipe and knew I had to give it a go.

All that aside, what is even more great is that they turned out to be really thick and they were dense and almost cakey. I followed the instructions that said to roll the dough into balls and make them slightly taller than they are wide. So when they bake they stay thick. I rolled the dough into a ball in my hands and then just gave the ball a quick one sided roll between my hands again to form it into more of a cylinder. I then placed it on the cookie sheet and pushed it down a bit from the top so it would have a flat bottom and not roll onto its side during transportation over to the oven. It worked beautifully. I made these a second time though and just rolled them into a normal ball, and the cookies still turned out incredibly thick as well, they just didn't have that little extra oomph. So either way really works.

The only thing I did differently from the original recipe is, like always, I increased the amount of vanilla.

One mistake I did make was on my 3rd cookie sheet I put in the oven (I had made a double batch) I had two extra cookie dough balls. Not wanting to deal with having to clean up one of my already used sheets for just 2 cookies I decided to rearrange and try to cram these extras onto the sheet. Unfortunately, my 3rd cookie sheet is the smaller of them all and it was already crammed to begin with. When I pulled them out of the oven it looked like I had make chocolate chip cookie monkey bread. It all tasted the same, but as a warning, because these are rolled taller, they appear like you can squish them onto a cookie sheet because they don't take up as much of a footprint when unbaked. Just remember that they do spread (even though they still are thick), so watch for that.

Warning, if you like crunchy, well baked cookies stay away. You've been warned.

This amazing recipe is from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Makes 2 1/2-3 dozen cookies


2 1/4 C. Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 Tsp. Cornstarch
1/2 Tsp. Salt
3/4 C. Butter, melted
3/4 C. Brown Sugar, loosely packed
1/2 C. White Sugar
1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
2 1/4 Tsp. Vanilla
1 C. Chocolate Chips


~Combine dry ingredients (flour, soda, cornstarch & salt) in a medium bowl. Toss to combine.
~In a large bowl whisk together butter and sugars until the sugars have dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
~Pour dry ingredients into wet and mix by hand.
~Add chocolate chips and mix in.
~Refrigerate for a couple of hours (I ran out of time and they sat over night in the fridge).
~Preheat oven to 325 F.
~Roll dough into balls and then shape into taller cylinders so they are taller than they are wide. Place on cookie sheet.
~Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they just begin the turn golden around the edges. Centre will still be soft and unbaked.


Sunday, 30 June 2013

Currywurst and Fries with Special Sauce

This is a post I'm really excited to share. In Germany, one of their very popular fast food items is called Currywurst. It's really a simple concept. Slice your bratwurst, bathe it in curry ketchup and top with a side of fries (that you dip in the curry ketchup). If you are a big curry fan, don't think of this as a real curry dish, it's not. If you don't particularly like curry (like me), try this. It's really not very curry like. But it's still tasty.

So then in Belgium I had an order of fries. The dutch do fries really well, and Belgium is part Dutch. They eat mayonnaise on their fries over there. Sounds strange (and is strange if you think of it as North American Mayonnaise or worse Mayo or Miracle Whip) but it is a different mayonnaise. It has more tang to it. Which worked for me because I usually eat vinegar on my fries, not ketchup. But it did take a few tries for me to accept it. So they have these little fry stands and you can get all different toppings on your fries. Special sauce, cheese sauce, pickles, red and white sauce (mayonnaise and ketchup), etc. But in Belgium the place I went to their special sauce was mayonnaise, curry ketchup and onions. Very, very tasty.

I'm going to show you the curry ketchup recipe today and then you can make two good dishes out of it.  I will also show the special sauce mayonnaise recipe. It wasn't exactly the same as the ones I ate there, but it works. The curry ketchup though was pretty much identical.

Recipes from Saveur & All Recipes.

Serves 4 (1 1/2 C. Curry Ketchup & 3/4 C. Mayonnaise)

Curry Ketchup

Fry Sauce (Mayonnaise)


Curry Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. Curry Powder
1 Tbsp. Paprika
2 C. Canned Tomatoes with Juice, diced or crushed
1/2 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Red Wine Vinegar

Fry Sauce
1/2 C. Mayonnaise
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar (I probably would just use white vinegar next time)

1/2 Onion, minced
1 Kg French Fries
4 Bratwursts


Curry Ketchup
~Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onions until transparent.
~Add curry and paprika, stir and let cook for 1 minute.
~Add tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Stir.
~Season with salt and pepper to taste.
~Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
~Stir every so often while simmering for approximately 30 minutes until mixture thickens.
~Put mixture into food processor and puree.
~Run puree through a sieve (to make it authentic you only want the thin ketchup like mixture. I don't know if I'd put the work in though to run it through the sieve. It takes a lot of time and I don't mind chunks of tomato. But then it is more like a curry tomato sauce, not curry ketchup. So you decide).

Fry Sauce
~Combine all ingredients in a container and mix well with a fork to combine.
~Return to fridge until needed.

~Cook bratwurst
~Slice brats into bite size slices
~Bake or fry french fries
~Put brat pieces on plate, top with hot curry ketchup
~Top fries with fry sauce on one end, curry ketchup on the other and a generous topping of minced onion pieces.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Gooey S'more Brownies-1st Blogiversary!

I'm back! It felt good to be back in the kitchen after 7 weeks away. Now I can say I was in Europe, and let me tell you, there is two very important things the Europeans don't do well, Brownies & Chocolate Chip Cookies. They have biscuits, and the one brownie I had (no it wasn't in Amsterdam) was supposed to be the 'to die for brownie' but it really wasn't. Kinda disappointing considering I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found it on my Birthday and opted for it over a slice of cake. I made it home and my first day I avoided the kitchen, not because I wanted to, but because I had a lot of stuff to do. Day two though and I was back. I was just going to make some Toll House Cookies, because they had really turned out well the last time I made them in the new oven. But then I started thinking about Brownies, and there really wasn't any further internal debating needed. So S'more Brownies it was because I miraculously had all the specialty ingredients needed and they weren't even old and stale.

But now I'm posting this to you on my one year Blogiversary. Which is pretty cool. If you want the whole sentimental spiel about me and blogging you should check out my 100th post. I really don't have anything else to say that I didn't say there. Especially because I've been out of the loop for awhile now.

They tasted amazing. I would not recommend removing them from the pan though until they are absolutely cooled. The bottom layer even slightly warm was just a mush of brownie pudding. But oh so tasty brownie pudding. I really liked my silicone baking dish for this one though. Because of the marshmallows in it and all the sugars, I figure it might be a bit tricky to get the edge pieces out of a glass dish.

The marshmallows did amazing things. Only in a few places are there still marshmallows left in marshmallow form as you know it. Everywhere else they simply melted into the brownie batter, making a chewy brownie with a really crisp top. One thing I may consider next time is to layer Brownie, Marshmallow, Graham Cracker, Brownie instead of doing Brownie, Graham Cracker, Marshmallow, Brownie. My original thought was that it'll be a lot easier to spread this thick brownie batter on the top layer over smooth graham crackers, than it would be to try and completely cover marshmallows that just want to jump around. I know it'll change the texture of the brownie layers though because the marshmallows would then melt over the bottom brownie layer, instead of under the top layer (the graham crackers softened up perfectly, but never dissolved. They created a border between the two brownie layers). I'm definitely going to have to try this other way and let you know what method I prefer. I have a feeling that it'll make for a completely different textured brownie.

Wow, that was easy. I've been blogging ever night about my trip on a different blog and I've been typing it up on my phone because I didn't take my laptop with me. This post came together so quickly being able to type with a full keyboard. Plus, I've been home for 3 days now and I still can't get over how big my laptop screen feels.

Recipe adapted from The Royal Cook & The Big Green Bowl.

Makes 10x10 pan


1/2 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
2/3 C. Cocoa 
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 C. Butter, melted
2 C. Sugar
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
1 C. Chocolate Chips (I used mini ones)
2 C. Mini Marshmallows
14 Graham Crackers (14 Canadian ones, they are different than the American, but you can sub the American in just fine, except the number I'm calling for won't be the same)


~Preheat oven to 350 F.
~In a medium bowl combine flours, cocoa and salt.
~In a large microwave safe bowl melt butter. Stir in sugars.
~Add in Eggs and Vanilla. Stir.
~Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir by hand until just combined.
~Stir in chocolate chips.
~Spread half of the brownie batter into a greased pan (I used a 10x10 silicone dish).
~Top with a layer of (whole, not crushed) graham crackers, followed by the mini marshmallows.
~Spread the remaining brownie batter overtop the marshmallows and carefully try to spread it out and cover all the marshmallows.
~Bake for 26-28 minutes or until top is crispy and centre still feels soft.
~Cool completely (very important, trust me) before slicing and removing from pan.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate (Minus the Cream)

I had to think of something last minute to post here. The reason being was I didn't get to say goodbye in my last post. So goodbye.

Okay, so you probably want a little more than that. Well, I'm going on an adventure and am going to be away from this blog for a bit. I'll be back though. I promise.

Anyway, this drink. It does have alcohol in it, and a type of alcohol I bought because I had to try it but was very sceptical about it. Turns out it really really works (for some things). I'm talking about whipped cream vodka (cake batter is the next one on the list to try). It took me a bit to find something I would want to drink with whipped cream flavouring in it but I can now say it is very good for two things: creamsicle screwdrivers (just your typical vodka and orange with an added creamyness to it) and hot chocolate.

With the hot chocolate I do find you have to balance the alcohols out. I love peppermint hot chocolates but the peppermint schnapps makes the drinks taste more bitter (and I like a sweeter, creamier, milk chocolate hot chocolate), and the whipped cream vodka on its own makes the hot chocolate excessively sweet. So do a 1:1 ratio of the two and it perfectly balances the drink out. The amount of each that I use doesn't make a strong drink, it just adds a hint of flavour. So if you want it stronger feel free to increase the quantities. What I really like about the vodka is that it makes my hot chocolates seem thicker and creamier (it's the word of the day) without having to make it with milk. This was a really good thing when I was limiting the amount of dairy I was consuming. Up until figuring this out I would rather have no hot chocolate than one made with water. But make it with water and add in this vodka and it's all good. Really.

So how do you make this wonderful thing I'm bragging about.


3/4 C. Boiling Water
1 Pkg. Hot Chocolate Mix
1/2 oz Whipped Cream Vodka
1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
*Optional* Whipped Cream


~Boil the water and pour into a mug.
~Stir in hot chocolate mix until dissolved.
~Mix in alcohols and stir.
~Top with whipped cream if desired.


Friday, 1 March 2013

Blueberry Lemon Curd Galette

Okay, I know this looks messy and like I ruined my cookie sheet but I can assure you it actually came off the sheet beautifully and once it was on a plate you would never know that all the innards leaked out of it.

The beautiful thing about this is that it looks about as far from perfect as could be, but the rustic look is in right? Right? So really, imperfect is perfect now or at least that's what I'm telling myself. The other great thing about this is that you can really make them as big or as small as you want. Because you aren't limited to the size of a pie pan. I ended up making 4 of these (we cut them into 3 or 4 pieces) and I used about 1/2 - 2/3 of this pastry recipe. It was a great recipe to use up the leftover pastry from the chicken pot pies because I was able to make as many of these as I wanted at the size that I had pastry available for. It wasn't like trying to stretch not enough dough into a pie pan. Plus with my little bit of scraps I was going to throw out at the end I decided to do something with them as well so scroll down to the bottom for that.

The pastry really didn't roll out that well.

But it all tastes the same in the end

Makes 2 Galettes


1/3 Batch of Pastry, divided in 2 
4 C. Blueberries (I used frozen, fresh would work too)
Lemon Curd
5 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 Egg


~Preheat oven to 350 F
~Grease a cookie sheet or large baking dish.
~Place 2 rolled out pastry circles onto greased pan (I slid 3 or 4 knives under the edges of the pastry to make it easier to not over-fill it and it helped to just flip the pastry up over the edges when done - see picture above if confused with what I'm trying to say here.)
~Spread lemon curd over the pastry, leaving about an inch around the edge.
~In a bowl combine berries, sugar and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly.
~Scoop berries on top of lemon curd.
~Flip up edges of pastry over the berries and with your hands press together to seal.
~Bake for 30-35 min. or until pastry is golden.


And this is what you can do with the scraps. Roll it out into a long rectangle, scoop a bit of curd in the centre and fold it up and press the edges together with your hands to seal. Bake with the galette at 350 F but for a little less time (say 25-30 min.), just watch them and when they are golden they are perfect.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Bear with me while I post this recipe. Like my vanilla ice cream post I just want to have it up here by itself so I can find it easily without having to sift through multiple other steps of more complicated recipes (like the one I'm going to post next). So yes, this post is really just for my benefit (and yours too if you want. I guess I can share).

Recipe from the back of the Tenderflake box.

Makes shells for 3 complete pies with tops and bottoms


5 1/2 C. Flour
2 Tsp. Salt
1 lb Tenderflake Lard
1 Egg
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
Up to 1 C. Water


~Stir together flour and salt
~Cut in the lard until you get pea sized pieces
~In a measuring cup whisk the egg, add in the vinegar and top up with cold water to a total of 1 C.
~Stir the water mixture into flour mixture, adding a bit at a time and only add enough to make the dough cling together
~Gather dough into balls (6 balls - makes 3 top and bottom pies)
~Dough can be refrigerated if not ready to be used right away (just pull out at least 30 min. before rolling) - don't roll dough until you are ready for it at the end as it won't come off of the counter once it is left for awhile and warms up.
~Roll dough out on a well floured surface.
~Then do with it whatever pastry creation you have in mind.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Toll House Cookies

This was my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies from the very beginning. I guess you could say it was where my love of baking really began. I'd spent a lot of time leafing through our cookie cookbook searching for the next great thing to make (if only I had known about food blogs then), but I always seemed to find my way back to page 92, nine times out of ten. Even though I haven't made these in probably a year, I did not forget page 92 when I opened up the book this time. I made this recipe for years almost exclusively before I ever knew what a food blog was. Then I kinda got bored of it (too much of a good thing) and started to search elsewhere for a good recipe. Until discovering food blogs I never found one that I liked as much. Since beginning this blog (and getting my KA mixer) I haven't made these cookies. I made other ones and a few recipes I swore hands down were better. More flavour, more chewy, you get the picture. Well I take it all back. Ever since getting our new oven, the two recipes that as of late I would say were the best cookies really haven't been cooking up well. So I decided to go back to my good old faithful Toll House recipe, a recipe I have yet to make in my mixer. Actually I think I tried making this in my first mixer (the one that broke and was way, way, way too small for me), but I don't count that because the mixer didn't get to work it's magic on the ingredients. But my new mixer...I'll say it again, you never know what creaming butter and sugar truly means until you make cookies in a stand mixer. The hand held mixer just doesn't even come close.

So back to the results of the cookies. They were amazing. I ate some warm and they were the gooiest things I'd ever eaten, they fell apart in my hands. But the dough before baking was amazing. It was silky and light and fluffy (basically whipped is the word to describe it), instead of thick and chunky like my other recipes have been, probably due to their being quite a bit more butter and eggs in this recipe than others (and you bake at 375 vs. 350 so really it is a significant difference from other recipes). So the end result was that these cookies probably tasted close to the same as the recipe I remembered but the texture was so much better. I feel like I've found a whole new cookie recipe. The only think about these cookies was they went pretty flat and almost concave (something I've never really experience with this recipe or other cookie recipes seeing as I usually opt for a chewy and thick cookie recipe), and typically I associate flat cookies with crispy cookies. But as long as you watch your baking time (for my liking, 8 minutes and not a second more was perfect), these cookies are anything but crispy. When the family bit into the first cookie it was asked what recipe it was. When I responded they said they could tell. I guess there's nothing like the original chocolate chip cookie recipe.

One final interesting thing. I was just searching this recipe online (as I got my copy from one of the only recipe books I refer back to time and time again), and found that I really cut back on the chocolate. The recipe in my book is identical to the one on the Nestle website, except mine calls for 1 pkg of Nestle chips and the web version calls for 2 cups. I didn't really know how many cups was in a package so I started by the half cup full and counted up and it looked good at 1 1/2 cups. But I can see why they called for 2. Some of my cookies were amazingly chocolate-filled and others had very little (simply because I had made a double batch and my mixer was pretty close to capacity and wasn't distributing the chocolate quite as well as it should have), so take your pick on the amount of chocolate. 1 1/2 may be enough if you're just making a single batch and you can mix the chocolate in evenly.

Recipe is the Original Nestle Toll House Recipe, from Cookies! A Cookie Lover's Collection.

Makes 4 1/2 dozen medium-large cookies (it's a much larger recipe than other recipes out there).

Can you tell how light and fluffy it is?


1 C. Butter, softened
3/4 C. White Sugar
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 1/4 C. Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Salt
1 1/2 - 2 C. Chocolate Chips
1 C. Chopped Nuts (optional - I've never put these in)


~Preheat oven to 375
~In a large mixing bowl cream butter, sugars and vanilla. Add in the egg and mix.
~Mix in flour, soda and salt until light and fluffy.
~Stir in chips and nuts if desired.
~Using two spoons, scoop onto cookie sheets (handle as little as possible with your hands, it doesn't matter what the dough looks like on the pan - it doesn't have to be a perfectly shaped ball)
~Bake for 8-9 minutes or until edges are golden and centre still is white and soft.

Enjoy (warm)!

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Non-Balled, Cheese Ball

AKA The Best Tasting, & Easiest Cheeseball Out There!

This thing is amazing. Once you start eating it you just can't stop. Seriously, what's better than garlic and cheese together? Umm, nothing. So, you could theoretically roll this mixture once made into a ball like you would for any normal cheese ball, but we get lazy and just throw it into a bowl and scoop it out with a knife (or by the spoonful if we're too lazy to search for a non-stale box of crackers). I've been thinking lately though that this may be pretty darned good spread on a toasted bagel. After all you put cream cheese on a bagel, and this recipe is just a souped up cream cheese. I was also one night wanting something to put on my baked potato but I didn't feel like making garlic butter or grating some cheese so I just put a scoop of this stuff inside the potato and let it melt and it was again amazing. Garlic and cheese, need I say more? I'm also just being reminded that this was also scooped onto steamed veggies and allowed to melt and was a simple cheese sauce.

There is a lot of fancy cheese ball recipes out there that call for expensive and fancy ingredients. This one calls for some pretty basic ingredients and very little work, and it tastes a million times better than any cheese ball I've ever tasted, and as you can see it's pretty versatile. We typically only make it at Christmas, but this year we bought a two pack of the Imperial Cheese so we had one spare for later.

Recipe (or ingredients list with no directions or quantities) comes from one of the ladies my mom worked with.


1 Pkg. Imperial Cheddar Cheese
Equal Part Soft Cream Cheese
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce


~Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until all ingredients are combined and mixture is fluffy.
~Allow to rest in fridge for at least half an hour (if you can)!


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Chicken Pot Pies (Dairy Free)

These were quite a bit of work because we had nothing prepared ahead of time and we made the pastry from scratch. You could buy some pre made pastry sheets or use some leftover chicken and veggies from the previous nights dinner to take out a few of these steps. But, the homemade pastry was so worth it. It may not have been pretty (I've only ever made pastry one other time and that was years ago) but it was so incredibly flakey and delicious. I've not ever been a pie lover, it's something I'll eat but it's typically not the first (or second) thing I'd pick for dessert, but I now know why. When the pastry tastes like this, pie is so worth eating.

Pastry recipe is the one off the Tenderflake box.

Makes 5 individual ramekins and 1 regular sized pie


1/2 Recipe of Pastry
             5 1/2 C. Flour
             2 Tsp. Salt
             1 lb Tenderflake Lard
             1 Egg
             1 Tbsp. Vinegar
             Up to 1 C. Water

6 Chicken Breasts
1/2 Tsp Poultry Seasoning

3 Carrots, peeled and diced
4 Medium Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 C. Frozen Peas

1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Large Onion, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
5 C. Chicken Broth
5 Tbsp. Flour
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Poultry Seasoning

1 Egg


~Make pastry
        ~Stir together flour and salt
        ~Cut in the lard until you get pea sized pieces
        ~In a measuring cup whisk the egg, add in the vinegar and top up with cold water to a total of 1 C.
        ~Stir the water mixture into flour mixture, adding a bit at a time and only add enough to make the dough cling together
        ~Gather dough into balls.
        ~Dough can be refrigerated if not ready to be used right away (just pull out at least 30 min. before rolling) - don't roll dough until you are ready for it at the end as it won't come off of the counter once it is left for awhile and warms up
        ~You'll only need about half of this recipe, so reserve the rest in the fridge or freezer for later projects.

~Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and seasoning and bake in oven until almost cooked entirely. 
~Allow chicken to cool slightly and cut into cubes.
~Cut carrots & potatoes. Place carrots and peas in one pot and potatoes in another and cook until tender. Drain.
~In a large saucepan melt the butter and saute the onions until golden on medium-high. Near the end, add in the garlic and cook.
~Add in 4 cups of the chicken broth, reserving the remaining 1 cup, stir and lower temperature to medium.
~Pour the 1 cup of broth into a mug and whisk in the flour 1 tbsp at a time until all lumps are gone. Add into the saucepan, whisking constantly.
~Season with poultry seasoning and continue to whisk until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
~Preheat oven to 425 F
~Grease the dishes.
~In a large bowl combine chicken cubes, carrots, peas & potatoes. Pour in the sauce and mix to distribute.
~Scoop mixture into dishes.
~Coat top lip of dish with a bit of egg wash.
~Roll out pastry on a floured surface and lay over top of each mixture filled dish. Trim edges and press to seal around edges.
~Brush top of pasty with egg.
~Bake for 40-45 minutes or until pastry is golden.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Fudge Brownie Ripple Ice Cream - 100th Post!!

My 100th Post!!

I remember when I couldn't believe I had two pages of posts. With seven entries displaying per page, it was a big deal for me to have to click to see older posts. I didn't know how I was going to do it then, and I still really don't know how I'm doing it now. All I know is that my motives haven't really changed. 100 posts in and I'm not trying to get everyone and their dog reading my blog. A few people are great, but I really don't want to dedicate the time to having thousands of hits a week. I'm happy with the pictures I have, they show what the dish is. Sure they aren't the prettiest or have the best lighting or whatever but they do the job. At the end of the day I enjoy it. I have fun making new things and searching for new recipes, and I realize I have a lot to say about the adventures that go into making each dish. This blog has done it's job though as it is a place to store things I have made and my notes on what worked and what didn't and I can honestly say that I enjoy referencing back to a recipe that is written up by me. It follows a procedure for how my brain works and my kitchen and equipment operate. And really, that's enough for me.

Now I know it's kinda cold out for ice cream (but we are going through a pretty mild spell here), but one of the ladies I work with just got back from Hawaii and she kept raving about these milkshakes she had that she was sure were made with homemade ice cream, etc. So I left work and headed to the store to buy cream. I was making ice cream in February, even if I had to eat it wrapped in a blanket. The plan started out with making brownie batter ice cream, but as I was sitting in the grocery store parking lot on my phone trying to find a recipe I knew I had seen before, I decided to go in a different direction because I have to be honest, I'm not much of a chocolate ice cream fan. It's kinda like blueberries and strawberries. I love the real thing, but don't you dare put them as an ice cream base.

Ice cream is a fair bit of work and it takes a bit of time but it's fun to make. The only problem is that there is two smells guaranteed to turn my stomach and that is warm milk and eggs cooking. Unfortunately, those two smells combined don't make it smell any better and it took a long time for the custard to cook so I was all too familiar with the smells. It amazes me though that something that smells so bad (in my opinion) while it's cooking can taste so amazing after it cools. It's magic.

The fudge sauce is not as bitter as the chocolate sauce I made recently which is a good thing in my eyes.

Fudge Ripple recipe is displayed on epicurous.com, but is actually from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop. 


Fudge Ripple
1/2 C. Sugar
6 Tbsp. Cocoa
1/3 C. Light Corn Syrup
1/2 C. Water
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

1 Batch Vanilla Ice Cream
2 1/2 C. Brownies, cubed & frozen


Fudge Ripple
~In a small saucepan mix sugar and cocoa. Add in corn syrup and water and heat until it reaches a boil, stirring constantly.
~Allow it to bubble and thicken for about a minute then remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir.
~Place in fridge to cool completely before adding to ice cream.

Ice Cream
~Make ice cream custard, when cool freeze in ice cream maker

Ice Cream Assembly
~In container place a layer of vanilla ice cream. Top with a generous drizzle of fudge (don't mix it in).
~Place layer of ice cream on top. Topped with brownie cubes.
~Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients.
~Finish the top with a drizzle of fudge and gently swirl it in to the top layer of ice cream.
~Sprinkle the edges with some crumbled bits of brownie.
~Place ice cream in freezer to set.


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Vanilla Ice Cream

I've posted this recipe before as part of my Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream, but I just wanted to post it again by itself because I know I'm going to be referencing back to it in the future many times as it was so good and will probably be my base for most ice cream recipes I try. So bear with me, because the next post is going to be so, so worth it. Even the 'chocolate disliker' said yum!

Recipe is David Lebovitz's


1 C. 2% Milk (for very creamy ice cream, use half-and-half)
Pinch of Salt
3/4 C. Sugar
2 C. Heavy Cream
5 Egg Yolks
2 Tbsp. Vanilla


~In a medium saucepan, heat the 2% milk, salt & sugar.
~In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
~Pour about half of the warmed cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly
~Place yolk & cream mixture back into the saucepan.
~Cook over med-low heat, while stirring constantly & scrapping the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
~When the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, strain the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl.
~Add in the cream & vanilla. Stir
~Refrigerate mixture to chill thoroughly.
~Place cold custard into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.
~Place ice cream into a container and put in freezer to freeze completely.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Cheeseburger Sloppy Joe (Tomato-Free)

Forgive me for what I'm about to do. I'm going to share a Sloppy Joe Recipe that is a little bit different. It has no ketchup and no tomato paste. Gasp! You'll survive, and you'll like it trust me. After looking at a few different recipes I came to the conclusion that the ketchup in the recipes was used as an ingredient to make a sort of BBQ Sauce, as it is mixed with spices and mustard, etc. And the tomato paste appeared to be a thickener. So, I cut straight to the chase and just added BBQ Sauce, and thickened it with flour and it worked beautifully.

The reason for calling it Cheeseburger Sloppy Joe (even though we didn't actually put any cheese on it at all - but you could and I'm sure it would be amazing) is because as it was simmering it smelled just like the smells I associate with hamburgers. Red meat, BBQ sauce, onions, mustard & spices. I think it was mainly the BBQ sauce & mustard combo that did it though. But, when you tasted it, it actually tasted nothing like it smelled which for me was a good thing because we just had had hamburgers the night before and I wanted something different and it was. I'm sure we'll be making this again which excites me because up until this point I have never eaten a sloppy joe.

Recipe adapted from Kayotic Kitchen.

Serves 6-8


2 lb ground meat

1 Large Onion, diced
1 Green Pepper, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Can Sliced Mushrooms, drained
1/4 C. Yellow Mustard
1/3 C. BBQ Sauce
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
Dash or Two Tabasco
1 1/2 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp. Oregano
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder
1 C. Water
1-2 Tbsp. Flour


~In a large skillet season meat with salt and pepper to taste and brown
~Add in the onions & peppers and cook until veggies have softened and meat is cooked
~Add in the garlic and stir just until cooked.
~Add in the mushrooms. Stir
~Reduce heat to a simmer and add in mustard, BBQ sauce, sugar, tabasco, worcestershire and spices. Stir to mix.
~Add about half of the water. Stir. If sauce is looking watered down, whisk flour into remaining water and add mixture to skillet. Stir. (Really just play it by ear. The moisture content is really going to depend on your cut / type of meat so if it's too runny add less water / more flour, and if it's not saucy enough add some more mustard / BBQ sauce / water. Find your happy medium.)
~Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
~Butter the buns and warm them in the oven until butter has melted (don't let the buns go crispy, just want them warmed)
~Scoop meat mixture onto buns


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Coconut Orange Muffins

Hey guess what? I've got another muffin recipe to share.

At one of the local bakeries they make the most amazing muffin. It is orange and coconut and so moist and amazing. Well last night I wanted one of those muffins, so I went on the hunt for a copy-cat recipe, and I found this one (and many others that sound amazing but not exactly what I was looking for). I liked the idea of throwing the whole orange in because I figured to get the amount of moisture and orange flavour it couldn't just be juice and zest. By the way, orange juice is definitely not orange. When you compare it to the colour of an actual orange pulverized in the food processor it looks so pale and yellow. Maybe it also has something to do with I was using Cara Cara's and they are incredibly dark and so so juicy and smooth.

It was really the perfect time to make these because it is right in the middle of 'specialty orange weeks' at the local grocery store. They have a least 8 different types of specialty, organic oranges that they specially bring in for only a couple of weeks a year. So, I had to buy a few different ones to sample.

I made this recipe just as it was written on food.com, but after this batch I might try and change things up a bit with some addition of some banana or pineapple or...we'll see. Big plans though. The first one of these I sampled once they had cooled tasted exactly like what I was going for. Unfortunately, once they rested overnight they didn't taste identical in the morning. But, they still were pretty good and very flavourful so I guess I can't complain.

One thing worth noting with this recipe is that they do not rise (at all). Nor do they melt down and spread out. What I'm trying to say is that if you have the batter all lumpy and uneven in the muffin tins, you'll pull the finished muffins out and they will have the same mountains and valleys that they did going into the oven. So, not the prettiest, but the coconut sprinkled on top helps and I'd recommend smoothing out the top of the batter in the tins gently with a spoon (I know, a big no-no with muffins, or so my Mom says).

Makes 12 muffins


1 Medium Orange (I used 2 small minus a few bites), seeds removed, with peel
1/4 C. Orange Juice
1/2 C. Coconut Milk (or OJ)
1 Egg
1/2 C. Butter, softened
1 3/4 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C. Shredded Coconut
3/4 C. Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tbsp. Shredded Coconut


~Preheat oven to 375 F
~Wash & slice orange and process in food processor until pureed 
~Add in OJ, milk, egg & butter and pulse until creamy
~In a separate bowl, combine flour, coconut, sugar, powder & soda.
~Fold in wet ingredients to dry.
~Scoop batter into greased or lined muffin tins.
~Sprinkle tops with coconut
~Bake for 20-22 minutes


Friday, 15 February 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza Wrap

You're probably thinking, not another wrap recipe! Just like you probably say the same thing when I post another muffin recipe. But bear with me, this was very, very good.

I regret to inform you that there is no picture for this post. The only explanation for this sad fact is that I'd worked all day, gone to the gym and then shopping and I was ready for dinner. And by ready, I mean I inhaled 3/4 of this and then my brain caught up and I thought, man that was really good, oh no I didn't take a photo of it. My exact train of thought. So here it is, I'm sharing it, because it was kinda a use up the leftovers sort of thing and so I don't know if or when we'll have the stuff to make it again. Meaning, I might forget to post it in the future, or even make it again if it's not in writing. So, I'm posting it now and hopefully it will remind me to make it again and take a picture. But seriously, I don't know how much of a loss it will be. Just go look back at any other post on here about wraps and this one will look basically identical. Except, it doesn't taste identical. It is so amazingly awesome in it's own unique way. I think it's the BBQ sauce. It sweetened it, whereas I usually try to add a bit of spice to my wraps.

After I finished eating it I realized that all the ingredients that I had thrown into this out of the fridge were actually the ingredients on our favourite type of pizza. So there you go. It made this wrap taste like a better dinner than some of my other wrap recipes that are more lunch tasting.

Makes 1


1 Soft Tortilla
1 Tbsp. BBQ Sauce
1/2 Chicken Breast, cooked & sliced
1/4 C. Pineapple, diced
Red Onion, sliced (to taste)
1/4 C Cheese, shredded
1/4 C. Peppers, diced


~Lay out all ingredients down the centre of the wrap.
~Roll up.
~Grill in panini press or grill until crispy on the outside. (If no grill available, you could microwave all innards before placing in wrap, to get a warm wrap with melty cheese).