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Category Archives: I Will One Day Attempt To Make This

Jammin’

I ran out of jam again. That is what precipitates my jam-making sessions, not the availability of fresh/seasonal food. Rather than make the same old variation on a berry jam I am so used to making that I no longer need the recipe, I decided to actually try another (yes, I actually have pinned more than one) of my jam recipes. The blueberry lemon sounded delicious and different. I followed the recipe almost exactly, save for my modified cooking. I cook it at a lower heat for longer, it just works for me. The recipe called for a slightly different ratio of sugar to berries. It called for 3.5 cups to 6 cups of berries. I thought maybe this was to counter the sourness of the lemon juice. Nope, the recipe writer just has a real sweet tooth. The flavour combination is awesome, even if it takes a bit of getting used to with peanut butter. For next time I will stick with the usual that I have found works for me, 1 sugar to 2 fruits. (I have no math background, I have no idea how to write ratios.)

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

In my home-made DIY phase I decided to spend a Saturday evening in the kitchen making, of all things, barbecue sauce. Bourbon Barbecue Sauce to be exact. This was about as far removed from anything I had ever done in the kitchen. From the start we had troubles. I had only about 2 shot glasses worth of bourbon left, Canadian Club whisky would have to do (I need a full cup). Then I ran out of ketchup, 1 1/2 cup quickly became 1/2 cup and the rest was what was leftover after 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

I figured out the most brilliant way to chop onions, no tears, no grunt work. Freeze them. Then do not thaw them, just hack them into manageable chunks and toss them in an electric chopper. Voila, chopped onions. I do not recommend leaning over the pot as the whisky and onions boil. I also learned the hard way to put a lid on it when it simmers. I heard popping noises and when I came over I saw it was exploding and leaving little spots of sauce all over the stove.

How did the modified sauce come out? A little but on the tomato-ey side flavour wise, but still good. Will I be making it regularly? No. It is too much work.

 
 

Lemon Chia Muffins

At first I was wary of cooking with ricotta cheese. I even had trouble finding it in the grocery store. At my No Frills it shared fridge space with sushi. I was also hesitant about chia seeds. From childhood I associated them with grass growing out the top of a head as a novelty. Now I was supposed to eat these seeds? Food or toy?

Regardless, I put my faith in the recipe (and comments section) and made the muffins. Other than having to grate two lemons, the recipe is easy and straightforward. And the muffins? Delicious! It is worth it to grate the lemons and use real lemon juice, the flavour really does come through. These lemon chia seed muffins are now a staple and go-to when I want to make muffins!

 
 

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

I had the brilliant idea in my head one day to make my own spaghetti sauce, it would be so much better than store bought I thought! Plus now that I was making it at home I could control the amount of tomato chunks in it. With my fresh Ontario tomatoes I set to work. Step one, peel the tomatoes. This would prove to almost be my undoing. Tomatoes are about the worst thing on the planet to peel. To get the skin off “easily” you pour boiling water over the tomato. Only if you wait for it to cool the skin doesn’t come off and you have to repeat this all over again. I had to boil an inordinate amount of water. I haven’t burnt my fingers so many times since I worked as a barista years ago, turns out I’m not as immune to it as I had thought. Towards the end I stopped caring and hacked at them. Going into this I already hated tomatoes*, but now, now I had some new reasons to hate them. I hate how they feel and I hate how they smell.

I had just gotten over the “frozen green things in my freezer frustration.” The recipe called for basil and parsley. I had dill and cilantro. How many green cooking herbs are there?! My anger soon dissipated as a delicious smell filled the house, it smelled like an Italian restaurant and made me super hungry. After an hour or so of cooking on a low heat my sauce was done, so said the recipe. I took one look in the pot and thought NO WAY. I fished out the tomato chunks and tossed them in my blender (as opposed to when I usually encounter them in the store bought and I leave them on the side of the plate awaiting a toss into the garbage). My sauce went from a deep red to an orange-y colour that reminded me of tomato sauce. OK, so my spaghetti sauce is more of a thick tomato soup, even though it lacks any soup base. I ended up with two jars of it! Unfortunately the store bought sauce was on sale, and it comes in good mason jars. I had to make room in the freezer for my spaghetti sauce, I will eventually eat it. I promise.

 

* this hate does not extend to tomato products like spaghetti sauce and ketchup, actually even bruschetta is tasty

 
 

Cake Batter x2

You might be thinking I’ve given up my baking/cooking Pinterest project, as I have not posted in forever. I’ve been busy, and avoiding baking as it is starting to have its toll on my poor, poor waistline. No worries, I recently had some more baking excuses! And they happened to be themed: birthday cake! I hate admitting that another year has passed, but I used my birthday and a recent long weekend spent at the cottage as excuses for more baking.

For our weekend at the cottage I made birthday cake blondies from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I was hesitant at first, as the recipe calls for boxed cake mix and I prefer making stuff from scratch. In the end however, I was pressed for time so it worked out well. The recipe is very simple and straight-forward, it takes no time at all. The only trouble is the baking time, it was off for me. My first batch came out a little over-baked and so I reduced the time for the second half. This might be because I was using a toaster oven, but for future bake it for 5 minutes less and check on it. They were delicious and did indeed taste like cake batter. Next time however I will try using yellow cake mix, as I had used vanilla and the flavour of that overpowered the cake batter flavour at times.

Continuing in the birthday cake excuses for birthday vein, I chose to be more adventurous with my second recipe. I decided to attempt to make cake batter truffles. It seemed easy enough plus I had some extra cake mix laying around from a previous recipe and I had just bought sprinkles for the cake batter blondies. The truffle part was easy to make. What they neglect to mention is that the sprinkles will bleed colour into the truffle and onto your hands as you shape them. Then came the hard part: the chocolate coating. Things really fell apart here. It became a terrible mess and I started having flashbacks to that time I tried to make cakepops. It was a kitchen disaster all over again. Really, unless you having awesome kitchen skills, this recipe is not that great and not worth the trouble.

 
 

Crepes for All!

My mixed berry jam was a success, it turned out amazing. Even if I had to fudge the recipe a little and cook for longer on a lower heat. What’s homemade jam without something to put it on though? I had just run out of my homemade bread. As audience members to CityLine, my sister and I each received a $50 giftcard to the Shopping Channel. As soon as I set eyes on the electric crepe maker I knew what I was getting. The next few days after ordering it were spent in agony, awaiting the day it would finally arrive. Only I had to wait an extra day because “no one was home”, because you know it never occurred to them to check the side door??

A #sneakpeek at my #jam as the berries boil. #diy #jammin #homemade #smellssogood

A photo posted by PS Photo (@pinkargh) on Apr 21, 2015 at 4:39pm PDT

Finally! I had my crepe maker!! I learned a few lessons right off the bat. First off, you want to use cooking spray. I almost burnt my fingers trying to pry it off. Secondly, as soon as the batter is poured start spreading it with the spreader!! Immediately! My poor crepe was thick in some parts and paper thin in others. It was not pretty. But it was tasty and that is what matters.

 

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Heavenly Distraction

What’s a fresh batch of apple butter without some equally (if not more) fresh bread to spread it on? Right??? That, and I had recently found a recipe for slow-cooker bread . Kismet, it was meant to be. And so I found myself one Saturday kneading bread dough, secretly hoping for a kitchen-success, rather than another flop. I was a bit worried, as bread is a finicky thing to bake. It likes to not turn out.

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As the bread baked I sat down to get some work done. Soon the smell overwhelmed me and I could not for the life of me focus. All I could think about was having a (still warm) fresh slice of bread with apple butter…. how can anyone get any work done?! Even once the first loaf was done baking I could not indulge, as it still had to cool down a bit.

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. No one likes burning their tongue.

 

The recipe was really easy to make. Because I wanted to eat my bread with apple butter, I omitted the rosemary.

 
 
 
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