Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'll update soon!!! Pinky Swear

I feel like I havn't written anything here for weeks and weeks... Probably because I wrote the Baklava post as soon as I did the challenge, and then let it post itself on the 27th when I was allowed to share it.

I made Blueberry Explosion Muffins on Monday night... I'm working on that post, I'll hopefully finish it up after work tomorrow... Because they are amazing muffins!

We just got home from a shopping trip to Costco... $300 later we are trying to find room for everything... I will definatly have some good food to share from that...


I'm working on something... I'll share a bit about that whenever I get a chance too

It's Canada day weekend comming up and I actually have to work, but the plan is to go hiking on Saturday/Sunday. Ava's first trip to the mountains! Wilson is going to be so stoked! Prairie land doesn't really excite him like the mountains. Leach walks suck compared to hiking. I hope everyone has a great Canada Day weekend... or Independence Day/4th of July weekend if you are american... or general good weekend for anyone else.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 2011 Daring Bakers Challenge - From Phyllo to Baklava

I'm not a huge fan of Baklava, but I've only ever had it one time. What I was most excited about was the challenge of making home-made Phyllo. I even bought a new rolling pin for this challenge (and also because I broke my cheap one I got from Walmart)

Let me just add, that I WASN'T a huge fan of Baklava, but I have now been converted. AMAZING! I'll be making this for my mom next time I go home, because she Loves Baklava. I'm convinced that if she likes the stuff that I could hardly stomach, She will be blown away by this recipe. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Erica!

Home-made Phyllo is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better than the store bought stuff... And sooooooooooo much more frustrating.... But all that frustration is worth it in the end.

Blog-checking lines: Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making home-made phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

Again, I'm going to send you over to the Daring Kitchen Website to check out all the other Daring Baker's Creations this month, and to get the Recipe.... Although I'm sure I'll be adding the Phyllo recipe at some point because I LOVE it!

I bought roasted Unsalted Sun-split California Pistachios and hand-shelled them. Because of that, I cheated a little and bought Ground Almonds, and I already had Walnuts at home. I split the amount of Walnuts in half and replaced the half with Hazelnuts... (the real reason I bought the ground almonds? They were cheaper)

I ground up the nuts in my Magic Bullet (which sounds dirty, but its not, and if you don't have one, you should get one, because they are awesome... especially if you like smoothies)

I couldn't find whole All-spice Berries, so I just used about 1/3 tsp of the ground allspice, and to save some dishes, I just used ground cinnamon too.

I'm sorry my pictures are not so good, It's been pouring rain all day, and the light is crap. But here they are. I don't have much else to say about this month's challenge, except that I loved it. And I plan on using the phyllo recipe again and again. Thanks Erica for a great Challenge!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chicken Souvlaki

Its Greek night in my house apparently. I was feeling very inspired, and make Chicken Souvlaki and Spanikopita, and sautéed Zucchini...

I'll share the Spanikopita recipe another time, but here is a picture of it fresh from the Oven:

For the Chicken Souvlaki:

1/4 cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Zest of 1 Lemon
1/4 cup EVOO (extra Virgin Olive Oil)
5 gloves of Garlic -minced
Dill and Oregano (I apparently ran out of Oregano, so I just used the Dill)
4-6 Chicken Breasts, Cubed
wooden skewers (soak them for a few hours before you plan on cooking with them, otherwise they can scorch in your oven)

Combine all the Ingredients above in a Ziploc bag and let marinate for at least an hour. Turning as often as you like... but at least once so everything gets as evenly coated as possible.
When done marinating, lace the chicken onto the skewers

Put on a baking dish and bake in a 375F oven for about half an hour (until the chicken is cooked)

Then transfer to a frying pan, on high heat, to help brown and crisp up the outside.

Serve with Tzatziki sauce and whatever else you chose. (Like Zucchini and Spanikopita)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

lets just call this some lazy inspiration

Ok, so I don't have a recipe for you... But I do have pictures. The recipes I was going to share... my dad lost the paper they were on, and is still trying to find where he found them in the first place....

BUT I do have a post for you... With Pictures and everything, and I'll try and post something real soon.

This is one of my favourite songs right now:

A few weeks ago when I was at home, we made Fish & Chips... but it will never be as good here as it was when I was in England (maybe if we didn't live so far from an ocean). Our batter recipe still needs work too.... We also made onion rings and deep-dried some shrimp in the batter.

While we are on the topic of Fish... My gold fish finally passed away. I've had him since 2004... That has to be some kind of record for gold fish life! I got him from Walmart when they still had a pet section (instead of just pet supplies). He was a "Black Moon" and when I got him, he was black. For the last 3-4 years, his right eye has been almost twice the size of the left, and Had a huge tumor on his right side that gradually got bigger. For the last 6 months, whenever my mom would feed him, he's float upside down for about half an hour after, and then go back to swimming around normally. Little fish, but huge personality... RIP pinky!!!

Last weekend, I took my doggies for a walk, it was really our first sunny weekend in a long time:
So we went to the lake and sat in the shade
Then I came home and made home-made Pizza... I'll try and share that one with you soon (I forgot I had pictures of it to be honest)
This weekend, I'm being lazy and not baking anything... "Today I don't feel like doing anything, I just wanna lay in my bed"

Oh, and this is the recipe I want my dad to find so I can share with you... Looks delicious doesn't it? And I want to steal my mom's pastry brush...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Oreo Cupcakes

I have had cupcakes on the mind a lot lately. A new girl we have at work introduced me to Cupcake Wars. I'm kind of addicted now. You should watch it... It is incredible what they create in such a short amount of time. And with such weird ingredients. Watch the Sea World episode and you will know what I'm talking about.

This cupcake, I just HAD to try. I saw the recipe and I went and bought Oreos JUST to make these cupcakes. And OMG they are amazing. The recipe makes 24, But I scaled it back to 12. I also changed the frosting, from the original. I'm going to give you the ingredients for 24 cupcakes, since my conversion skills suck, But I did learn something new while Converting-something I should have probably known before. 1/8 cup = 2 TBSP, 1/4 cup = 4 TBSP
And one little bit of advice: Don't use the giant-sized muffin liners like I did.

Oreo Cupcakes
yield: 24, Original recipe: Annie's Eats

24 Oreo Halves, with cream filling attached.
2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Butter
1 2/3 cup Sugar
3 large egg whites
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (quarter them)

Preheat oven to 350 F; Line cupcake pan with paper liners. Place the Oreo halves in the bottom of each liner, Cream side up.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy at medium high speed. Blend in the egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the Vanilla. Turn the speed down to low, and beat in half the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, Then mix in the remaining dry ingredients (i did that last part by hand). Gently fold in the chopped Oreos until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Divide evenly between your prepared liners, Bake 18-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whipped Cream Butter cream Icing
1/2 cup softened Butter
3 cups Icing sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tsp Vanilla

Cream butter until REALLY light and fluffy
Slowly add Icing Sugar Vanilla and whipping cream until It is the right consistency for your taste. You want it Thick and Fluffy.

Put into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes, And then top them with the other Oreo halves without the cream attached.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vanilla Frosting Cookies

I just got my Challenge for June, for Daring Bakers... and I can't wait until the 27th to share it with you too! It is something I have wanted to make for a long time, but just never have, and now I HAVE to... excited!!

I still have a bunch of photos of things I made with my dad when I was at home. I'll try and harass him for the recipes and then show you on here sometime in the near future!

And I tried... I TRIED to make the cashew oat milk like Joy said... But I just couldn't drink it. It was nasty. If that floats your boat, then I applaud your taste buds, But I just couldn't stomach it. I really wish I had just eaten the raw cashews instead. and I'm really glad that I'm not lactose intolerant, because the cookie recipe I'm about to share with you is amazing dipped in milk if you cook them a little too long like I did. They are also good dipped in coffee.

When I saw these cookies, I HAD to try them. They have SPRINKLES! I have sprinkles in my cupboard... They have frosting IN them... I have frosting in my Fridge... match made in heaven!

I took a bunch to work, and they were a massive hit.... Sprinkles and Frosting, whats not to like?

Vanilla Frosting Cookies

1 1/2 cups Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking soda
3/4 cup Vanilla Frosting
1 egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup Sprinkles (more or less, whatever looks best to you)

Preheat the Oven to 350 F, and Line a cookie sheet with Parchment paper
Whisk the flour salt and baking soda together in a large bowl
In a separate bowl, Combine Frosting, egg, Vanilla and Sugar. Beat at medium/high speed for about 3 minutes
Add wet mixture to the Dry mixture and combine

Fold in the chocolate chips and the sprinkles

Drop by tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.