Thursday, October 28, 2010

FFWD Week 5: Marie-Helene's Apple Cake

To finish off the first month of French Fridays with Dorie, we baked Marie-Helene's Apple Cake. This is a very simple, lovely cake chock-full of apples. Instead of the rum called for, I used apple cider, and if I had been thinking at all, I would have upped the vanilla - but I wasn't, so I didn't. I enjoyed this cake, and will enjoy the rest of it, but I feel that it is missing something. Perhaps the addition of some spices, or the rum or stronger apple cider or vanilla flavour, I'm not sure. I love how moist it is though, and will probably play around with it in the future. I used combination of Granny Smith, Honey Crisp and Spartan apples. While at the grocery store, a very wise lady encouraged me to buy many Honey Crisps as they were her favourite. I don't remember ever having a Honey Crisp apple, and she was right, they are DELICIOUS! A big thank you to Laurie for organizing this great group and to all the French Friday with Dorie participants for a fantastic first month! I can't wait to see what we cook up next =)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Impulsive Pumpkin Milkshake

I had a wonderful impulsive pumpkin milkshake experience today! It all started out with me making pumpkin butter - just because I wanted to see what it tasted like. When I was in the dorm kitchen making it my neighbor was there also and asked for a taste. She loved it and we began to brainstorm all the delicious ways we could use pumpkin butter: on toast, in a date bar form, in a tart, a layer of pumpkin butter in pumpkin pie, cheesecake, etc! And then it came to us: Pumpkin milkshakes! I said, "I wish I had a blender!" She said, "I know someone who has a blender!" and we were off, in limited time because she had a class soon! But we were foiled and the girl with the blender was not around; so we decided to use some arm power and a sturdy spatula (thanks mom!) instead. We ran, literally, to the corner store and bought some insanely expensive vanilla ice cream and ran back to the kitchen, where we whipped up the most AWESOME vanilla milkshakes! I added some pumpkin pie spice to mine to make it spicier! I know that it doesn't really look like milkshake, seeing as it is in a ramekin and all. But you'll just have to bear with me until I get some more dishes! Please, do yourself a favour. If you have some pumpkin puree in your fridge or cupboard, make up some pumpkin butter, and then make a milkshake, doable even if you don't have a blender. You will be glad you did. Hmmm, I need to get some straws... as clearly, you never know when the milkshake urge will strike!

FFWD Week 4: Hachis Parmentiar

This week's recipe was divine! I've only eaten Shepard's Pie a handful of times and never made it myself. Dorie's version has much more flavour than I ever remember and is really very delicious! The sausage added a wonderful flavour to the meat layer, definitely don't skip out on it. I halved the recipe, and ended up with 2 ramekins and one 6 inch pan - enough for four small servings. I made the 2 ramekins without vegetables and the 6 inch with and liked them both, although I prefer the one with vegetables. Either way you make it, Hachis Parmentiar is a great dish! And next week we get to bake Apple Cake!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Ripple

I whipped up a loaf of pumpkin bread on Saturday morning to take to a good friend's house. Though originally from Joy of Baking, I found the recipe on Lick the Bowl Good. It turned out beautifully and very moist and was well received at lunch! Next time, I will add some spices to the cream cheese ripple and maybe up the spices in the bread too, I do love fall spices! All the pumpkin recipes popping up on blogs make me really happy, I love pumpkin and have a large folder in my favourites reserved soley for pumpkin recipes I want to try! I hope you are having a fantastic week, every one of you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FFWD: Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

Thanksgiving weekend was spent at home, with the benefits of a lovely kitchen, room to breathe and the company of my dear family. I made this week’s recipe, Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup, on Saturday so that I could share it with them. It was great to be able to make a whole recipe and have people to eat it with and to get more opinions! This soup was definitely different and we all enjoyed the interesting and new flavours. My sister said it tasted "like real food", which I enjoyed! I am loving this group and can’t wait for the Hachis Parmentier next week! Visit the French Friday's with Dorie site to see other members soups!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

FFWD: Gerard's Mustart Tart

Yay for week 2!!!! But not for posting late, that is unfortunate! First off: My copy of Around My French Table came! And with it came a copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours, so I am all set on the reading front for a while! Secondly, expanding my cooking repertoire! A Mustard vegetable tart is about the last thing that I would think of cooking. Ever. But, just like I knew it would, this group has pushed me outside my comfort zone to try something new and exciting. And guess what? I loved it! Being the non-mustard fan that I am, I opted to substitute some onion and garlic in for the Dijon mustard. This was also because I am cheap and did not want to buy a whole jar of Dijon mustard. However, next time I think I will splurge and try it. I used dry Mustard though, and was quite liberal with it! I quartered the filling recipe and made a mini tart, which was absolutely perfect for lunch today. I halved the tart dough, thinking that half of the recipe would be easier to handle than a quarter of it. The dough that I did not use for the mustard tart, I used to make a simple plum crostata with a few plums I had kicking around. I was pleased with how well the tart dough worked with both the savory tart and the sweet crostata! Yay for versatile dough! I do wish that I had added a bit more mustard and/or salt and pepper, to add a bit more flavor, but as it was, I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s recipe. Other things that are ‘YAY’! • Being home for Thanksgiving • Pajama pants • Pumpkin whoopie pies • Autumn leaves • The Mamas & The Papas (Yes, I am still obsessed. I don’t see things changing.) • Not stalling my standard car • French Friday’s with Dorie!!!

The Little Chocolate Bomb that almost pushed me over the edge

Okay, not really. But it was pretty close! Let's just say it was hard on me and leave it at that! But it turned out cute =)