Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I am alive...

I am alive, for the few of you who are wondering ;) It is the middle of November and that means that I am in the midst of National Novel Writing Month! My novel is... interesting. I am hoping that this is one of those things that will look a lot better a few months from now! Most of the time when I am not sleeping or working is spent writing, or sitting at my computer staring at the screen! I have recently discovered Frank Turner and have spent many hours listening to every song of his that I can find. If Ever I Stray and Saint Christopher is Coming Home are my current favourites! Hope that all of you are well =D

Friday, September 30, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - Top 5 of 50

Well folks, as of this week, we have made 52 recipes from Dorie Greenspan's book, Around My French Table. 52! (Unless my math is off...totally possible) And tomorrow, October first, is one year since we have posted the first results of the first recipe: Gougeres! I have not been faithful in making every recipe, but I have made most of them! This group has forced/led me to expand both in cooking and in eating, which is a great thing. Here are my five favourite recipes from our journey thus far!!
Warm Weather Pot de Feu This utterly simple soup is one I have made at least two times more since we made it as a group. It is warm, Delicious and satisfying but packs a ton of veggies in a bowl! Chicken B'stilla What can I say... the flavours and textures in this dish were amazing. So unlike anything I have made before! Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburger I loved the Red Onion Marmalade and the sun-dried tomatoes in the burgers, delicious and different. Vanilla eclairs To be honest, it was the Chocolate Pastry cream of Dorie's that made me fall in love with these eclairs. I ate... many. Salted Butter Break-ups A sweet and salty humongous cookie to break up with friends, what can go wrong?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FFWD Week #51: Honey-Spiced Madeleines

These Madeleines called out to me a few months ago, and after trying them I was determined to make them again this fall, when there flavours would be perfect. I was so glad to see these on the schedule! I made the mistake of quickly glancing through the ingredients, quickly deciding I had them all and then not looking at the recipe again until I was ready to bake. As a result, I skipped the orange zest :( and added a few squirts of lemon juice instead.
I don't own a Madeleine pan, but a dear friend of mine does. Thanks friend!
I am so excited that fall is here! I can not wait to start baking with pumpkin again!

FFWD Week #49: Creamy, Cheesey, Garlicky Rice with Spinach

I did actually make this a few weeks ago when it was on the schedule, but my computer was having... issues. I enjoyed this dish, but I was skeptical up until I added the cheese. Cheese always fixes things!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

FFWD Week #48: Corn Soup

Soup. Yum! I really need to make more soup.
This corn soup of Dorie's is delicious. I loved the garnish of bacon, corn kernels and scallions - I think that they added a lot to this dish. More bacon would have been even better! I used 1% instead of whole milk and threw in some fresh basil and sage instead of the rosemary and thyme. Have a fabulous weekend =D

Thursday, August 25, 2011

FFWD Week #47: Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburger

This was a delicious, delicous hamburger, but I had trouble taking a good photo of it. I also made quite a mess eating this hamburger, but it was SO good! I must admit, this is the first time EVER that I have made hamburgers! I've eaten plenty of homemade burgers, but they have always been made by lovely and talented friends and family. I think this was a good start to my hamburger making career =) The Red onion marmalade was really good, and the sundried tomatoes in the burger worked very well, as did the parmasean. I skipped the capers and cornichons. This recipe is definitely one of my favourites that we've made so far! By the way... the photo above is an Arbutus tree, I love them!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy National S'mores Day!

S'mores are... Scrumptious Melty Outdoorsy Remarkable Easy Summery Heehee =) I had grand plans of concocting an amazing s'mores dessert, but what I ended up with was less than I had hoped for. I made a s'mores pound cake, adapting a recipe I found for a graham cracker pound cake. It turned out okay, but not great. However... we have s'mores cookies! These were one of my first posts and remain one of my favourite cookies EVER! The recipe is here! And of course, the original. The s'more - can you really beat a s'more? Best eaten around a campfire with friends on a warm summer evening. Hope that's in the forcast for you!

Friday, July 29, 2011

FFWD Week #43: Citrus-Berry Terrine

I wasn't so sure about this one, but decided to give it a go anyway. I made a quarter of the recipe in my mini loaf pan, but I think I added too much fruit, as it turned out more lumpy than smooth. This was pretty though, and tasty. Glad I gave it a shot!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

FFWD Week #42: Coconut-Lemongrass-Braised Pork

After a long time away I am finally back on the French Fridays with Dorie bandwagon - thank goodness! I don't believe I have ever cooked anything with Lemongrass before, it smells wonderful! This recipe took some time to make, but was simple enough. And most importantly, it tastes great =) I loved the onion in this, I definitely think that vegetables work well with the pork; I used onions and carrots. I did not have cardamom or coriander seeds and so was forced by my own thriftyness to use the ground spices that I did have. I can only imagine that using the seeds would have made the dish that much better.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

FFWD Weeks 38, 39, 40, 41...

...were not made in my kitchen. Oops. I've been a BAD French Fridays with Dorier, and have missed the following four weeks: Week 38: Mozzarella, Tomato and Strawberrry Salad Week 39: Chunky Beets and Icy Red Onions Week 40: Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote Week 41: Cold Melon-Berry Soup I don't even have any excuses, at least none that are any good! I did make Warm Weather Vegetable Pot au Feu for a second time though, does that give me any points? A point? But I'm jumping back on the train I tell you, I will cook more French food - and I will cook it this week!

Monday, June 27, 2011

All Good Things

Usually when I see a recipe online that catches my eye, I bookmark it, sort it into its category in my favourites bar, and, well, forget about it. But sometimes, sometimes I just have to make something, and soon! Such was the case when I saw these Gooey White Chocolate Fluffernutter Cake Bars on Picky Palate. Cake, White Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Marshmallow Cream - what's not to love? I couldn't wait to make them! These bars are delicious! However, they are more caramely in flavour than peanut buttery, so if you are looking for a peanut butter bar, search elsewhere. But for a sweet, addictive treat, these are for you!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lions, and Tigers, and Zebras... and Giraffes!

My lovely roommate is moving away and there was a goodbye party for her this weekend. She loves all things animal print so I made animal print cookies for the party. I am often asked what is my favourite thing to bake, and I always say, "Ummm, everything?!" But really, decorating sugar cookies is pretty, no, very, high on the list. You might notice that the animals have no faces... I am not very good at decorating faces, and am pretty sure that if I had tried, my animals would look mighty weird. So, we have faceless animals. Happy Fathers' Day to all the dads out there!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

FFWD Week #37: Roasted Rhubarb

Rhubarb. Oh Rhubarb how I love you! I really enjoyed the addition of orange zest in this recipe, but I admit that I prefer the stewed rhubarb my mom makes. I kind of like how rhubarb breaks down when cooked and found myself trying to get this rhubarb to do the same - not exactly the point of roasting it! I ate most of the roasted rhubarb with vanilla yogurt over oatmeal. Delicious!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

FFWD Week #36: Cola & Jam Spareribs

The combination of Coca-cola and apricot jam is definitely new to me, but it is delicious on ribs! Every once in a while you need to eat something like ribs - something messy and delicious and that just begs to be eaten with your fingers. I really enjoyed this recipe and will make it again! And I thought I'd share the wedding cake I decorated for school as our final project. I am very happy with how it turned out! The pig is optional, but adorble!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

FFWD Week #35: Warm Weather Vegetable Pot au Fee

I was skeptical - it was an awful lot of vegetables in one pot. And I was blown away. Blown clear out of the water! This soup was magnificently delicious! I must admit that Dorie's soups and I haven't always had the best of times together, but this one won my heart. I made half of the recipe and ate it over 3 days. And while the soup was definitely fabulous on the first day, it was also great two days later. I went without the egg, but will have to try it again soon with the egg. We've been having a gray, rainy spell so soup fit right in =)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

FFWD Week #34: Cardamom Rice Pilaf

This rice pilaf is super simple and quite delicious indeed. I made half of the recipe and it came together smoothly and quickly. I only had ground cardamom and so I just tossed about 1/8 tsp ground cardamom in right before I added the rice. I found the awesome bowl at a garage sale, and have been using it as much as I can. The pink chopstick came in a set with four other colours: green, blue, orange and yellow. I am not very efficient with chopsticks, but I am slowly getting better.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

FFWD Week #33: Bacon & Eggs & Asparagus Salad

I am shocked and delighted to report that I loved this recipe! Hard-boiled eggs terrify me, and I usually only eat eggs scrambled. Today, however, I took a little step and poached an egg for the salad. I had some candied hazelnuts lying around and so chopped them up for the salad - they added a lovely sweetness and crunch. Like Dorie promised, the egg and the asparagus worked marvelously together. Unfortunately, I lent my camera to a friend to take some photos for me and so do not have a picture of this lovely salad. Hope you have a splendid weekend!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

FFWD Week #32: Spinach & Bacon Quiche

As for the Orange-Almond tart a few weeks ago, I made half of the recipe in a 9 inch tart pan. I will admit that there was some unsightly leakage from the half-quiche, but overall it was a success and I got three delicious pieces of Spinach & Bacon Quiche! I really enjoyed this recipe; I made the tart dough one day, baked it the next, and made the filling and baked the quiche on the next day, so it was fairly simple to make. I enjoyed this quiche for dinner, breakfast and lunch, so I agree with Dorie that it is quite a versatile dish.

Friday, May 6, 2011

FFWD #31: Torteua de Chevre

This cake is currently sitting on my kitchen counter, looking very intreguing indeed. It was very easy to put together and I whipped it up last night, with tart dough that was resting in the fridge. It is unlike anything I've ever had. Dry, but moist too and with a simple, not very sweet flavour, with goat cheese after tastes. I tried a small slice of it today plain, but would like to try it with fresh fruit and honey. Update: tried it with a drizzle of honey and fresh strawberries, and enjoyed it immensely! I made half of the recipe in my lovely 6-inch springform pan - it's getting quite a workout with French Fridays With Dorie - with the regular tart dough.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Springtime Sugar Cookies

I couldn't resist decorating cookies for spring, and so I made chicks, butterflies, lambs and bunnies for Easter. I LOVE decorating sugar cookies. They turned out really cute, but I couldn't seem to get photos that did them justice.