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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Wine Jellies: Update

It has been a few days now and I am sad to say: the wine jelly (not sure why I keep pluralizing it) did not turn out. It did not really set properly (I blame the fact that I removed it from the stove and then stirred in the pectin- or I did not stir for long enough). In addition it is unbelievably sweet, I made a mistake using a late harvest wine.

There will be a re-do in the coming weeks where:

  1. I will not attempt any math on the recipe, no more halves or thirds
  2. I will use a less sweeter wine
  3. I will actually use a timer!

In the meantime, I have a jar full of super sweet half-set jelly. It’s time to make linzer cookies.

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Super Soft Sugar Cookies Take 2

It’s been weighing on, slowly driving me nuts: those failed sugar cookies. Failed because of my errors, not the recipes. I was finally going to do something about all the frozen strawberries in my freezer: strawberries and cream on rice*. It might sound gross, but it is in fact delicious. I grew up on it and it is easily one of my favourite dishes and I was in need of some comfort.

Project 21- super soft sugar cookies take 2 (3)

And then I put too much sour cream. I was left with extra sour cream that was strawberry flavoured. I could not possibly throw it out, what a waste! I also happened to have one last egg left in my fridge. I was originally going to make Bailey’s french toast on the weekend, I guess it will have to wait.

Project 21- super soft sugar cookies take 2 (5)

Round two was a lot better. I had to add more sour cream, so it toned down the strawberry flavour to just a subtle hint. All was going well until I got to the part about wrapping it in saran wrap and sticking it in the fridge: I have no saran wrap. I bought a rolling pin today, but no saran wrap. I split the dough and put it on plates, sticking it in the fridge and hoping for the best. We’ll see. I have 1-2 hours now while it chills.

Project 21- super soft sugar cookies take 2 (7)

The first attempt at rolling them with a rolling pin was disastrous to say the least. The dough stuck to the parchment paper and was such a mess I had to toss the whole thing (I was rolling it between two pieces of parchment paper). I added more flour and that seemed to do the trick, no more sticking. It was fun cutting out little chickens with my cookie cutter. I over-baked them a tiny bit and so I now have crunchy cookies. That might also be from rolling the dough too thin. I threw on some sprinkles before baking- alas they fell off when I ate the cookie.

Project 21- super soft sugar cookies take 2 (10)

I baked half the dough and left the other half, I had taken this project up a little late in the day. The second batch warranted some experimenting. The first batch was tasty yes, but kind of boring. They needed some jazzing up. The strawberry flavour got lost in the baking, so I added some almond extract (as originally called for in the recipe) knowing I would not end up with some horrible concoction. The second problem was the sprinkles, so I mixed some in for one variation. The second variation was to add some Bailey’s. Third was adding cocoa powder and fourth was cocoa powder and cinnamon (although at first I accidentally sprinkled a tiny bit of allspice).

Project 21- super soft sugar cookies take 2 (13)Project 21- super soft sugar cookies take 2 (12)

While mixing the cocoa in, the side of the bowl popped out. There had been a large crack and it had grown and formed into a circle- that popped right out. I was too tired to roll out the dough, so I just made blobs that I flatten ed as much as I could. Apparently I did not flatten them enough as they grew into little puff cookies. For versions 3 and 4 I rolled them out and brought out the cookie cutter too.

Project 21- super soft sugar cookies take 2 (15)

So how did the cookies fair? They are better when rolled out thinner (and not overbaked). If I had added just a little more Bailey’s it would have been better- and that was the best variation of them all. In the end, the sugar cookie recipe I had posted earlier is still the clear winner, at least in my stomach.

Project 21- super soft sugar cookies take 2 (18)

 
 

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Wine Jellies

I will use just about any excuse to head into the kitchen and whip up something delicious, and Mother’s Day is no exception. I know, I know, Mother’s Day is still a-ways-away. However, one must contend with mistakes. I found a recipe on the Porto Bellas blog for wine jellies and could not resist. Besides, it would make a nice gift- assuming it turned out well.

Lacking a bottle of wine, I went out in search of one. I found a nice late harvest wine, which is about as close you can get to ice wine without actually buying ice wine, which for a jelly I think would be too sweet anyways. I was at Michaels’, holding a mason jar and contemplating buying it. I remembered Dollarama having such jars, so I put it back. Apparently I was mistaken, Dollarama did not have any. Nor did Wal-Mart. Or Bulk Barn. Or any grocery store I went to. I was starting to panic. I finally found one that was close enough: it did not have the lid with the ring, but it was a jar that would not crack where I to boil it to seal it.

Project 20- wine jelly (4)

The recipe is simple. However there is one part where you may need a second person. Once the wine, sugar and vinegar (small amount) start boiling, you are to whisk in pectin and stir for 60 seconds and remove from heat. I was so concerned with not screwing up the recipe that as soon as it boiled I removed it from heat and then whisked in the pectin. I remembered there was still another step, panicked I call over to Brent to have him check what I had done wrong.

As the jelly sits in its jar cooling, I am wracked with nerves. Did it turn out? Does it taste good? Should I still seal it, given that the dent in the lid goes down?

 
 

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When It’s Cold Out Go To A Hot Table

Nothing sucks more than when it is freezing cold and lightly snowing- despite the fact that it is the end of April! What better way to cheer up (and warm up) than by walking in the frigid cold up to St. Clair West for some delicious Italian food at the city’s best Italian hot table.

Centro Trattoria was packed full of people- and I don’t blame them, it was miserable outside.  I cozied up to a nice warm bowl of noodles and tomato sauce with a nice thick layer of mozzarella cheese and prosciutto slices. I had wanted lasagna but it was sold out, this was better anyways. When I ordered, the woman asked if I wanted sauce and cheese on top. Yes, I said! And then I watched in silent horror as she sprinkled a tonne of Parmesan cheese all over the delicious concoction. Oh God, I thought to myself, how will I ever eat this? I had terrible flashbacks of those green cones filled with Kraft Parmesan cheese and the awful smell.

The first couple of bites I tried to eat around the Parmesan, but there was no way out. I was going to have to eat it. I took a tiny little bite and was pleasantly surprised: it was delicious! I guess that is the difference between good Parmesan cheese and the gross processed kind.

The portions at Centro Trattoria are hefty to say the least, making a good bargain. A lot of food for a cheap price- and actual good food, not something gross you are eating out of necessity.Centro Trattoria (3)

 

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Burritos!

If you know me, you know that I am not a big fan of beans- and that is an understatement. Thus I tend to avoid foods such as chili and burritos, in that beans are a major component. Last time I got lucky when best burritos in the city offered the option of edamame beans. This time I was not so lucky.

Fat Bastard burrito- best late night burrito (1)

Fat Bastard Burrito was voted best late night burrito and in keeping with our late night Friday foodings it was the perfect choice: it was a 15 minute walk away from our current place (we are moving next week). I went there with the mindset that I would just order it without the beans (yes, I can hear you burrito enthusiasts gasping at the horror). The menu was daunting, so many choices! I decided on the baja chipotle chicken, partly because it was fun to say. Brent had the less-fun-to-say buffalo chicken. As i watched them prepare his burrito (he had ordered the works) I noticed that the beans were in a paste form. Somehow this seemed less gross to me and I found myself also getting the works. This included but was not limited to lettuce and chives. I was a little bit worried to say the least.

Fat Bastard burrito- best late night burrito (2)

One bite and I was hooked. The beans and chives were buried deep inside, mixed with all the other toppings in one giant delicious mess. And I mean giant. I ordered the smallest size (tiny) and it was still a behemoth of a burrito. As is the norm, mine was the better choice as it had a spicy kick to it thanks to the chipotle sauce.

You can’t eat a burrito without drinking Jarrito. This time we had lime and it further cemented my new-found love affair with the soda. I have yet to meet a flavour I did not like, partly because I refuse to try the pineapple flavour and as far as I am concerned it does not exist.

 

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Decadent Rice Krispie Squares

There were talks early in the week of having people over for a night of games. It had been a while, Pandemic was collecting dust, Ticket to Ride had not even been opened yet- it was time for a weekend of gaming. And what better to fuel the games than sinfully delicious rice krispie squares? I had found two recipes a while ago on Pinterest but could never justify making them because it is kind of difficult to portion it down for only one or two people. It helps when anticipating having a few people over. Helps, and justifies. The two chosen variations were: Oreo and cake batter. I would make a half batch of each.

Project 18+19- Oreo + cake batter rice krispie squares  (3)

The Oreo version called for 10 Oreos. I knew that temptation would get the better of me, so I portioned them out in a plastic bag, so they would not get eaten- as the rest of the bag did within two days. While smashing the Oreos (great fun, great stress relief) I was tempted and thus found myself eating the last of the Oreos. The smashing was really fun, I would throw it in the air and watch it land with a soft thud. I did have to crush them up into smaller bits by hand though when mixing them in with the cereal.

Project 18+19- Oreo + cake batter rice krispie squares  (2)

Project 18+19- Oreo + cake batter rice krispie squares  (5)

The second half called for using 1/6th of a cup of dry yellow cake mix. Which barely makes a dent in the amount that comes in a packaged box. I now have a box of yellow cake mix with a tiny amount missing and not enough eggs to actually make the damn stuff. Maybe I will make Malibu rum cupcakes in the coming week. This recipe proves to be just as fun, but less labour intensive. Instead of pounding Oreos you get to throw in rainbow coloured sprinkles- but beware! I mixed the sprinkles with the cereal and added them together to prevent the sprinkles from colouring the melted marshmallows. I did not anticipate them colouring my brand new wooden spoon, however, as I mixed it all together.

Project 18+19- Oreo + cake batter rice krispie squares  (11)

 
 

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Baked Apple

baked apple (1)

baked apple (2)

baked apple (3)

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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