Saturday, March 27, 2010

Go BIG...

or go home!

I'm a fan of trying new things.  I believe mixing random combinations of foods is... genius.  Really.  Honey goes with just about anything, and so does brown sugar.  Ok ok, so maybe it's my sweet tooth talking, but nevertheless, mixing and matching flavours is awesome in my books.  

When I first heard about the 'Compost Cookie' on Regis & Kelly, I knew I had to try it.  I especially liked the ingredient "your favourite snack food".  It caught my attention immediately so off I ran to the store to pick up some hickory sticks, pretzels and ringolos!

What I ended up with was a super ginormous cookie stuffed with the perfect amount (I really did pack the thing!) of chocolatey and salty goodness.  Did I ever mention I have a sweet tooth?  The hubby didn't particularly like it *gasp* but the recipe is a keeper!  Kettle corn, watch out!

Compost Cookie 
By Christina Tosi

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups AP Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Your favorite baking ingredients! (Kelly used mini chocolate chips, Raisinettes, Rollos & Cocoa Krispies)
  • 1 1/2 cups Your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc. - Kelly used Goldfish, Ritz, & Fritos)

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.

When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

Scoop cookies onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Bake at 400 degrees for 9-11 minutes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Short Hiatus & Lovely Linzer Cookies

Wow, time flies... and sadly, I don't have any valid excuse for not posting so I won't even try to make one up.  I've been home pretty much all this week and doing lots of fun baking!

A friend recently had a baby a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to make something sweet and yummy for her to enjoy.  Of course, cookies quickly came to mind, but I didn't want just any o'l cookie.  I wanted something... pretty.  So my search began for a lovely pretty cookie, fit for a new mommy - and boy did I find the perfect one.  The Linzer Cookie.

First off, it's C-U-T-E!!  Who wouldn't want to bite into something so adorable with a little jam peeking out of the center?  And Secondly, no body can resist a butter cookie. It's pure fact. Or maybe it's just my experience.  (I didn't make it the real linzer cookie way, with crushed up hazelnuts and almonds - I just made it a simple butter cookie). 

It was fun putting the cookie together, and I'll definitely make it again very soon.  The cookie batter itself was a little moist so keeping it in the fridge (and using lots of flour) before rolling made it easier to work with.  Either way, the cookies were yummy and looked great.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

There's always a first...

for everything and today, my first was FISH!

I don't like fish.  Unless it's fried in a thick (and I mean thick!) layer of batter and can be smothered in tartar sauce, I won't eat it.

As much as my parents told me fish was brain food, I never liked it, brain benefits and all.  I don't like the fishy taste - it's like biting into a hunk of sea water, but because the hubby enjoys it, I put aside my protest sign and attempted my first baked trout.  

I didn't know if the fish already came cleaned and washed, so that's the first thing I did. I washed it and it was... slimy.  Ick.  After quickly washing it, I cut up my limes and was thankful for the clean-like smell!

On the whole, the trout was (and I am surprised I'm saying this) good.  It didn't have a fishy taste to it and I loved the lime!  Maybe I put a little bit too much but thankfully, the hubby liked it! I think I might even give fish another chance... or not.

Baked Lime & Garlic Trout

1 lb Trout
1 clove Garlic
1 Lime (juice & zest)
Salt and Pepper
1 can Corn

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Mince one clove of garlic and mix it together in a small bowl with a little bit of melted butter (depends on how much you like butter!).  Add the zest and juice of 1/4 a lime.  Season the trout with salt and pepper, on both sides, and place on top of a piece of foil.  Cut a couple of slits on the top of the trout and rub the garlic & butter mixture all over.  Place some lime slices on top of the trout, squeeze more lime juice in and using the foil, package the trout well so that no juices leak out.

Bake the trout for 15-20 minutes.  While the trout is baking, open a can of kernel corn and fry in a pan with a little bit of butter until brown.  Season a few sprigs of asparagus with a little oil and salt and fry in a pan for about 5 minutes until brown.

Happy Eating!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Better Together...

When my husband and I first met as teenagers, little did I know we'd become the best of friends. Being 3 years apart in age (which is a huge difference when you're in high school) I didn't think our friendship stood a chance.  But it did.

We did everything together.  Talked on the phone for hours, helped one another with homework, learned how to drive stick together... and the list continues.  As I entered into university, however, I realized that we had both changed; matured.  We didn't spend as much time together, and even had our moments of "I totally don't understand why you are the way you are" but still, we always knew we could count on one another despite the circumstance.  

We had been through life's ups and downs together, spent years apart with different groups of friends, yet we managed to keep our friendship intact, even though we no longer talked. Years later, when we started talking again, it felt like we had never stopped being best friends and I couldn't help but think that we were two people who were simply, better together.

With that said, might I introduce you to two foods I believe are better together: Peanut Butter + Nutella.  I love love love this combination, and your taste buds will too!  Just be careful not to overbake the cookies or they will be extra crunchy by the next day. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies

1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
3/4 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1 3/4 Cups Flour

3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Nutella

Combine butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix together.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix together.   Swirl in Nutella (as much or as little as you desire). Chill dough 10 minutes. Roll into balls by hand.  Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated  oven 350F degrees for 8-10 minutes until edges are light brown. Be careful not to overbake the cookies.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Little Secret...

Pssst.  May I let you in on a little secret?? You've gotta come in closer. 

I am in love with cupcakes!!!

Yes, I am.  But don't tell the hubby - he thinks I'm sugar crazed already.  But who wouldn't fall head over heels with the little guy there in the middle?  Like really, I've gotta keep my head on straight to avoid eating my computer screen it looks so yummy!

Dinner parties are the best, especially when somebody brings cupcakes (and I get to keep the leftovers!) 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lemon Love!

Dinner on Friday was great!  Despite my lack of luster for super spicy foods, I enjoyed the girls night out, but more so because of the amazing company. Being surrounded with such a great group of girls is always a blessing!

So what I ended up bringing for dessert was mini lemon cheesecakes with lemon sauce.  I didn't know if the taste would be too much like the typical bagel spread (rather than sweet chesecake), but it turned out quite delish.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dessert Dilemma...

Tonight I am meeting up with a bunch of my girl friends for some Indian food, fellowship and fun!  Afterwards, we're heading over to my friends new apartment for dessert.  That I'm making.  Sadly, not having a stove put me in a bit of a pinch.

I've never had to make a dessert without using the oven but I'm sure I can come up with something, but what?  Microwave brownies?  Fudge?  No-bake cheese cake?  Pudding?  It's time to squeeze my creativity muscles and find a recipe that does not call for baking temperatures but tastes sweet and yummy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mini Vanilla Minute Cake!

I love desserts.  Sweets are my weakness.  But because I live with just my husband, going out and purchasing a whole decadent cake, simply because I had a craving, wouldn't go over well.  So, I was in search for a quick and decent individual sized microwavable cake recipe!  

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pork Rib Tips in a Black Bean Sauce

As a newlywed, one of my must-haves of any recipe is simplicity.  I have often been overwhelmed by the sheer number of ingredients (some even carrying onto the next page!) necessary in attempting a so-called easy meal.

Since moving out with my husband, I've gained a new sense of appreciation for both my mum and mom ('mum' being my mom and 'mom' being my husband's).  I never understood how much love, and time, goes into cooking meals seven days a week, not to mention packing lunches everyday and having snacks ready right after school.