Archive | November, 2011

Apple Tarte Tatin Bread

27 Nov

Things I do before I go to bed:

1. Engage in some minor snackage.

2. Moisturize.

3. Brush teeth. More recently, rinse out the holes where my wisdom teeth once lived. (TMI?)

4. Write a to do list for the next day.

5. Set my alarm clocks. Not a typo. I have several.

6. Read a book or magazine.

7. Fantasize about upside down apple-y bread things.

Yes, it’s true. I fantasized about some sort of love child between an apple tarte tatin and bread.

I clearly had no choice but to make it come true….otherwise I’d be losing sleep over it for days.

This came out so beautifully, I think I might have outdone myself.

Picture this as some sort of amazing breakfast treat….a half sweet, chewy but fluffy bread semi-soaked in apple/caramel sauce. Does that not sound like the greatest thing? It was.

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Lemon-Ginger Sponge Cake

24 Nov

Epic moments in our lives are worth noting, right?

There are all the big moments like graduating high school, your first job or first car….you know…the usual moments that demand ┬ásome sort of recognition.

Well I had a notable moment in my life recently.

My first time having surgery. Totally not the biggest deal. Just my wisdom teeth. But I’ve never been under anesthesia before. Never had an IV put in. It was notable; super notable.

Actually, what’s more epic is the fact that I pulled through without any complications. No crazy swelling. No major bleeding. No painkillers needed. Clearly my body is so awesome, it was like “What? You’re taking my wisdom teeth? Fine….you can have em. We’re cool. Moving on.”

The day after my surgery, I was out of bed. I dyed my own hair for the first time (another notable epic moment)….causing the bathroom to look like the aftermath of a bludgeoning….

And then I baked my first spongecake: also notable.

No big deal.

I couldn’t eat it…..still not allowed to eat solid foods.

My family thoroughly enjoyed it though, and that to me was way better than making a cake and eating it too. Or at least that’s what I was telling myself over and over again as I slurped some super yummy chicken soup.

This cake has lemon and ginger in it and its super light and fluffy and it totally rocks.

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Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies

18 Nov

Caution: These cookies are healthy.

No…like, they’re REALLY healthy.

These are not the kind of cookies that you bake for people who want butter-laden disks of brown sugar and chocolate heaven. I am also one of these people, I’ll admit, but unfortunately yours truly is in the middle of a “six pack challenge” and unfortunately I do not mean the beer. I can’t eat anything good….basically. Why am I doing this? Just to be able to say that at some point in my life I had a six pack. Am I a little bit wacko for doing this? No….not a little bit. I’m a lot wacko. I must, however, finish what I started.

So here we are. Craving cookies. Baking these healthy cookies to see us through this challenging time.

On the plus side, I would totally eat these cookies even if I were not on a six pack challenge. Would you like to know why?

They’re devastatingly delicious, that’s why.

I should sell these.

I ate one. Ya. I totally ate a cookie. I’d do it again too! Because I can!

I’m currently addicted to sunflower seed butter, therefore I altered the recipe and used it instead of peanut butter. You can opt for peanut butter if you wish, but I highly recommend the sunflower seed butter. It’s good. I wouldn’t lie.

These don’t even require an electric mixer. You just mix all the ingredients together, scoop onto a baking sheet and toss them into the oven.

They are really good, trust me. Good for you too. It’s a win win cookie situation here folks. Take advantage.

Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/4 cup Ground Flax Seed

1/2 cup quinoa flakes (or quick oatmeal)

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Salt

1 tsp Vanilla

2 tbsp Coconut oil

1 tbsp Applesauce

1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup sunflower seed butter
Dump ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir. You will really need to work at getting the ingredients mixed well. Knead a little with your hands if need be. Drop 1 tablespoon size mounds onto a cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Smash them down slightly with a fork. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if you like. Place in 325F oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly golden. After they are baked let them cool for 15 minutes before you dig in. They will be soft out of the oven and crisp up as they cool.

Chocolate-Stuffed Cookie, Take 1

15 Nov

So there’s a lot of talk about cookies stuffed with crazy things.

I’ve seen it all over the internet and beyond….

All the pictures I’ve seen kinda make me drool. A lot.

I guess the only solution was to try my hand at a stuffed cookie.

All I had on hand was leftover chocolate ganache from icing those lovely pear cupcakes I made….remember those?

I made a basic recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough, except left the chocolate chips out.

Scooped the dough into balls, flattened said balls, and placed a single scoop of chilled ganache goodness in the centre. Topped it with another flattened cookie ball, and pressed them together. I made the three of them a family.

Chilled those guys for about 20 minutes….

Placed them in the oven and waited patiently.

They came out all unsuspicious and ho-hum looking.

They could have gone undercover; could have been secret agent cookies.

*Side note* I totally just got pumpkin batter all over my keyboard. No laptop while baking. Lesson learned.

Pumpkin batter, you say? Well….stay tuned.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, secret agent cookies. Normal cookies. You take a bite. BAM! Chocolate. In the centre.

Try it! You can make secret surprise cookies too.

Just take your favourite cookie dough recipe, and stuff it with something amazing.

I may or may not attempt to stuff mine with other goodies now that I’m addicted. Stay tuned for this as well.

Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits

12 Nov

I know it has already passed, but I feel I must reflect on my history of Halloweens. I have had some pretty damn great Halloweens. Ones where my parents would take me trick or treating in my grandparents’ neighbourhood. I’d return to their house and bask over my loot alongside my big brother while the adults did….well….adult things. To be honest I don’t know what they did. Heck, I was too busy counting O’Henry bars to notice. I was a clown once. A beauty queen. Batman.

Then there were the awkward Halloween years where I dressed up in gory costumes, wore a scream mask one year (Big mistake. You can’t see &$*% out of the eyeholes), went to my first halloween party dressed as a devil (not realizing that it wasn’t a Halloween party but was in fact a “dress provocatively but wear car ears” party) Embarrassing? Yep.

The trick or treating stopped…then last year I went as Elaine Benes whom I resembled to a tee, but nobody knew who I was unless I did the dance.

This year, however, seemed to make up for the slow decline of my Halloweens.

It involved a big sweater, a front porch, lots and lots of cool beer, a hot bowl of crazy good chili, some cornmeal buttermilk biscuits, and some Nerf guns.

Ok ok, I guess I’ll have to explain:

I went over to my chef and her husband’s house. We sat on the porch; I wore a giant sweater. We ate chili that Beth made (it was killer) and sampled a variety pack of beer. I brought the biscuits. I was in charge of handing out the candy; Beth and Clayton were in charge of having a Nerf gun fight. I may or may not have shot Clayton in the eye with a Nerf rifle. I may or may not feel bad about that.

See? Amazing halloween. Amazing cornmeal buttermilk biscuits. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to accompany the chili with cornbread or buttermilk biscuits, so I put them together! So great.

I sprinkled the tops with Beemster cheese and baked them in my square muffin tin just for the heck of it. I’ve come to the conclusion that square quick breads don’t look that good. Take note.

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Maple Cashew Oatmeal Bars…AND Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream”

9 Nov

These should ACTUALLY be called, “Guilt-free oatmeal raisin cookie dough bars.”

Ok I’ll explain.

Well there’s not much to explain. Somehow, all of these delicious, nutritious and wholesome ingredients combined taste exactly like oatmeal raisin cookie dough.

Ask me how long I’ve been wanting to make this recipe. Go ahead. I dare you.

SO VERY LONG!

Ask me why I couldn’t make it.

My food processor, although undeniably cute, is dwarf sized….rendering it utterly useless for most food processor tasks.

Ask me who made this recipe possible.

My awesome chef: Beth

Beth recently splurged and gave the restaurant a brand spanking new food processor…or “robot coupe” as we say. This, my friends, is the greatest thing she has ever done. This guy chops a box of mushrooms in seconds. He grates a wheel of Asiago cheese like nobody’s business. He has made our lives so much easier. We love him.

Our old food processor was just not meant to be used in a restaurant. He was getting tired, finicky and very loud. You also couldn’t use it unless you held the bowl in place.

Ask me what happened to it.

Beth gave it to meeee!

Yipeee!

So here we have it. A simple and nutritious way to pig out on something that should be bad for you…but isn’t!

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Spiced Pear Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

5 Nov

Pears.

I’ve been using them a lot lately.

Are they my favourite? Nah. Meh. Pff.

Let’s just say, if they ceased to exist, I’d be sad…but I wouldn’t MISS them.

They’re tasty….its just….they’re like yellow lollipops for me. I’d just rather have a different colour.

With pears…I’d just rather have apples.

Ok wait….what am I doing? I’m totally making pears seem not awesome. They ARE awesome. Let’s be real. They taste good in baked items. This I’ll admit.

I totally need to get you back on the pear bandwagon for this post. I”ll tell you a story. It goes like this:

Our farmer Marc at the restaurant hooked me up with a huge basket of seconds. Apples and pears till the cows come home. He also handed me a recipe for pear cake. He acquired it at the market from a lady. All I know is that she was German. All I knew was that I had to make Marc some pear cake.

Well….pear cupcakes. It was a recipe for bundt cake but I figured cupcakes would go over better, and I also like to break rules. You know this.

So off I went and make cupcakes. They were amazing. And moist. And spiced just right. They made Marc happy.

And that’s my story.

Here’s her recipe. Now you can make them too. It makes lots. Good thing we like cupcakes at August Restaurant.

You can make it as a bundt cake like it was supposed to be….I guess.

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