Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gingerbread Oatmeal

Almost as good as cookies but you can eat it for breakfast. Everyone knows you're supposed to put cinnamon and brown-sugar on oatmeal but switch it up and use molasses and powdered ginger and voila, gingerbread oatmeal! I also added trail-mix, bananas and plain yogurt because all those things are wonderful.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spice of my life

Nothing beats's spicy and kind of like cinnamon and ginger but so so much better! It is mostly found in Indian curry dishes and Scandinavian pastries, which is pretty random but proves that cardamom is great in anything. Today, I found a new use for my favourite spice in Cardamom Crisps. I modified a recipe for Moravian cookies, which are a tradition from the Moravian Christian communities in colonial America. Careful though, these cookies end up being too spicy for church.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt 
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 molasses
2 large eggs
2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 ground ginger
1/4 ground cloves

Blanched sliced almonds, ground almonds or whatever you please for topping

1. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing some to overhang the sides
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt
3. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy
4. Add egg and spices
5. Add in flour mixture in 3 parts
6. Pour mixture in pans, cover with plastic, and freeze for at least 1.5 hrs
7. Preheat oven to 400 F
8. Slice dough as thinly as possible with a sharp knife
9. Place on baking pans and top with almonds 
10. Bake until dark, golden brown, about 7-9 minutes
11. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely

These cookies were perfect with Bengal Spice tea. Although usually not a fan of herbal tea this one is amazing! Introduced to me by the H-Core paddling-phenomenon Katrina.

Cardamom rules.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Late Night Mango Madness - Mango Rustic Tart with Sour Cream Ice Cream

To continue with the jam packed food filled evening that followed our fun run ( still not having showered at this point, FYI) we decided to conquer our dessert dreams.  Stumbling through the interwebs, we came up with a winning combination to use both our heaps of mangoes, and our ability to make ice cream! Hurray Ice Cream Ball!

My heart was set on making a galette (rustic tart) to showcase the magnificence that is mango.  Along my foodblog travels I discovered an intriguing yet simple recipe for sour cream ice cream through The Family Kitchen.  Considering my history (as a child of course) for digging a spoon into the sour cream container, this recipe was a definite GO.  Through a combo of Cannelle et Vanille and the brain, the mango rustic tart was born. 

Adele set off to OWN our new found ice cream recipe.  And by OWN I clearly mean shake that ball like a stubborn baby for over a half hour!  

Filled with these ingredients:
• 2 cups full-fat sour cream, chilled
• 1 1/2 cup half & half
• 1/2 cup sugar or 1/3 cup honey
• 1 tsp. lemon juice
• 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
• pinch salt

Just a note, we halved the recipe due to ball size. Ha. Haha. Ha. Dell is a pro at baby shaking and knew exactly when to stop, mix up its innards, and get right back at it.  The ice cream was perfection.

Meanwhile I took the Kitchenaid by storm and whipped together the crust recipe with aid from the lovely site above.

Short Dough:
• Just over 1 cup butter
• 1 1/8 cup powdered sugar
• 1 egg
• zest from one orange
• 3 1/3 cup flour
• 3/8 tsp baking powder (yes I was anal when converting from grams)
• 1/2 tsp salt

After creaming the first two ingredients in said magic machine, add the next two, mix, then last three, mixed. Then chill for a half hour (in da freezer) or more in da fridge, and roll that baby out.  I can roll a mean crust mind you, so I kept atter until the size was satisfactory. It was big.
Now came the real fillin

• three ripe mangoes, thinly sliced
• sprinkle of cane sugar
• beaten egg (for wash)

Decoratively arrange the sliced mangoes around the tart and sprinkle them with cane sugar before folding up the edges wherever you see fit.  Lightly glaze the whole tart with egg wash using a pastry brush and do a final sprinkling.  It should look roughly (and I mean roughly, It's a rustic little bugger after all) like my beautiful offspring below:

She grew even more gorgeous after being in a 400° oven for around a half hour.

Finally, talk about a power couple:

If you want your night to end sweet and satisfied, because it hasn't in a while, follow the above instructions, or find a new lover.
Catch ya later,


The Finest Falafels

When faced with a dilemma, such as arriving home, starving, after a 5k running race with no dinner prepared and no tempting left-overs, nothing beats FALAFELS! These nifty little patties are scrumptious, easy and you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard already. Plus with a team effort, we had these prepared cooked and on the plate in under 35minutes. And probably eaten in 40.

Here's what you need:
1 15oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (unless you like being gassy all night)
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
salt and pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup plain fine bread crumbs

Here's how you make them:
Preheat oven to 425 degress F
Use a food processor or hand blender to mash the chick peas, oil and spices into a chunky paste. Add the onions and breadcrumbs and blend until the texture can be easily formed into a patty. Add more bread crumbs if you need to. 

Form the mush into 1/2 inch thick patties and pan sear in oil over medium heat until nicely browned (2 ish minutes). Flip and do it again. Transfer falafels to a baking sheet and bake until heated through, about 5 minutes.

*Note: We used pre-Italian-spiced bread crumbs. The extra flavouring was nice but they were maybe a bit salty. We'd leave out the extra salt if using these crumbs again.

Falafel is Middle Eastern and is often eaten in schwarmas (an Ottawa fav) but we didn't have that stuff so we made in into a kind of Indian-Middle-Eastern fusion meal, by eating the falafels with naan and raita (yogurt dip that is eerily similar to tzatziki). As long as you're not an foreign food purist, you should love this combo!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reviving your bread maker

Everyone has one, and its sitting in your basement, neglected and shrouded in guilt for being just another unused appliance. Go get it! If you don't own one, ask your neighbour for their unused machine. I've acquired all three of my bread makers this way.

Bread makers really as easy and fast as grabbing a loaf at the grocery store, and far more delicious, cheaper and free of preservatives or mystery ingredients. Lack of time is not an excuse to avoid your bread maker since once you are familiar with a recipe, it takes under 4 minutes to toss in all the ingredients and press start. I've been using my bread machine for 3 years and the novelty of even plain bread hot out of the machine has never worn off! And there are endless possibilities of things to make with your bread machine. Stay posted for blogs on Montreal-style bagels, pizza dough, sourdough soon.

Today I switched it up from my usual multi-grain loaf and tried a lemony-molasses loaf. I also added raisins and pecans.

This loaf was not overwhelmed by any particular flavour but was perfect for a slightly sweet breakfast toast. Mr. 3-Yr-Old chose concord grape jam as his topping.

The recipe came from the book The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking:

3/4 cup mild
1 egg
2 Tbsp water (I replaced one of these with fresh lemon juice)
2 Tbsp margarine or butter
2 Tbsp molasses
3 Cups bread flour
1 Tsp finely shredded lemon peel
3/4 Tsp salt
1 1/4 Tsp bread machine yeast

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
* If you do add nuts or fruit, make sure you wait until part way through the mixing cycle. My machine beeps about 40min after I start. This ensures that the nuts and fruit don't get too mangled and stay as visible pieces.

That's it for now folks! Bread makers rule.


Monday, May 24, 2010

The perfect way to start your blog - With a well balanced breakfast

Here's a preview of what our readers will be seeing frequently, the wacky, wild, fabulous, fruity, crazy, creamy, nutty... and nutty (haha, pun) world of oatmeal.

Us gals are what some might call Oataholics. Oats have to be the most versatile, delicious, comforting, and filling way to start the day. Apparently they're pretty great for you as well eh? This morning I was feeling both tropical and creative. The barbeque we hosted this past weekend (left over coconut milk from pina colada's) and the large box of mangoes sitting on my counter may have contributed to my inspiration.

Anywho, here's the mix:

Tropical Oats
• 1/3 cup quick oats
• pinch cinnamon
• pinch cardamom
• 1 tbs coconut milk
• 1 tbs shredded unsweetened coconut
• 1/2 banana
• fresh mango chunks
• water/milk (to desired consistency)
• 1/2 tbs of peanut butter

Thanks for your time blogosphere :-) I hope to see you around,