Ribs, Candy and Cake!

Risotto..It’s a lot of stirring and you have to think about timing your quick breaks from stirring, so it’s best you have all your ingredients prepped and at hand when making this. My favourite thing about this recipe, other than the fact it’s topped with whole pieces of bacon, is the toasted squash seeds. They’re just like mini pumpkin seeds, but the shell is thinner. Getting them out of all those squash innards isn’t as tedious as it first seems. Just run a bunch of that gunk through your closed hand and the seeds will just pop out the other side.

This is a slight vatiation on a Jamie Oliver recipe. In the original there were roasted chestnuts (I’m allergic to tree nuts) and pancetta, where I used bacon. The recipe calls for you to lay the bacon, sage leaves and seeds over the squash during the last 10 minutes of the cook time. I put it in for 15 min, but I still thought the bacon would need a little more time to crisp up then that and I was right. So, once my squash was cooked I scraped the goods off into the roasting pan and put it under the broiler for several minutes. It gave me time to mix my squash into the risotto and the bacon and sage were toasty and crispy. Pancetta, sliced thin would probably crisp up faster than the bacon I had.

As suggested, I served it with a scoop of marscapone. Needless to say, it was deeelicious. [click to continue…]

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Carrot Cake Flippin’ Sandwich Cookies, What!?

by laine on November 16, 2011

Like the site I got this recipe from said, these are really, really good cookies. And you know who else said that? Everyone that I gave these to. I gave away as many as I ate because everyone needs to try these. I’m normally loathe to share baked goods. This recipe makes a lot, around 5 doz. individual cookies pre sandwich. And thank God because this is how many of these cookies you’re going to need.

I posted this recipe like I found it, but I reformatted it for easier reading. And when I actually made them I cut back on the icing sugar in the buttercream because I wanted a bit more tang from the cream cheese and I used steel cut oats instead of rolled ones, which were chewier and probably a bit nuttier. Either would work, just use what you like. My buttercream was plenty sweet though. The original recipe used a ½ oz. ice cream scoop when getting them ready to bake, but I used a teaspoon and judgement. Make nice little round balls, so that they sandwich up neatly.

Make them as soon as you can and then message me with your thanks and praise for bringing this recipe to you.

Thanks, Petit Chef!

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Roasted Squash and Apple Soup

by laine on October 27, 2011

This was my first autumn soup. I made it a few weeks ago before I went on vacation when the changing leaves had me eating squash, apples and corn by the pound! It was a little early and still pretty hot out, but I’d been looking forward to making this.

I don’t like to do a lot of peeling and chopping, so I came up with the idea for this roasted squash soup. I thought roasting the squash first would cut back on work (but not cook time mind you) and impart a sweet je ne sais quoi. I added the apples for a bit of tartness to cut the creamy sweet of the squash.  If you prefer your soup a little thinner, have some extra stock handy to achieve your desired consistency. This is a nice thick soup.

Now, I can’t eat walnuts, which is a huge shame since I think nuts are the one thing missing in my life, but if I could I would garnish the soup with some toasted and coarsely chopped nuts. Hopefully someone tries and lets me know if it’s as good as I imagine it would be. I used sour cream and some chopped fresh chives instead, the last of the green things in my herb garden. [click to continue…]

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Sriracha Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

by laine on October 24, 2011

A couple posts ago I shared a recipe from a sriracha feature in Bon Appetite. These refrigerator pickles are from the same article. The only change I made was using a shallot where they called for a white onion.  I’ve been excited to try this clever use of chard stems. Usually I discard most of the stem when cooking with chard because it’s a little tough, but pickling them made them just tender enough to chew. We ate the whole jar in one go!

I used a 500 ml. mason jar, so I knew I’d end up with too much liquid, but I mixed it to the proportions the recipe called for anyways. I only had about a 1/3 cup left over. It obviously depends on the jar you use as to how much juice you’ll require. I’m a big fan of all things pickled and have yet to venture into canning, but these spicy little stems are the best quick pickles I’ve made yet. I only wish I had a Caesar to dunk them in.

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Fried Green Tomatoes

by laine on October 12, 2011

Who hasn’t wanted these since the movie?

I’m on vacation, so this is going to be a quick post. I needed to get this one out while green tomatoes might still be available! In the fall, there are more green tomatoes available because the day is getting too short for them to ripen on the vine. Traditionally they’d be done with 1/2 corn meal and 1/2 bread crumbs, but I was out of corn meal, so these were just made with breadcrumbs. Just as good!

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The Tastiest Sangria

by laine on September 25, 2011

I prefer red wine over white wine, so this sangria is perfect for me May through September. I wish I would have posted this recipe earlier, since it’s my favourite hot summer day (or night) drink, but a client of mine recently said sangria is good anytime of year and she’s right, so here it is.

This is a party portion of Sangria. Inspired by a recipe I found on All Recipes, I’ve made it even better with the addition of fresh mint, agave syrup and a big slug of spiced rum. Basically it’s nothing the same, save the lemonade concentrate and the marachino cherries, but I wanted to give a shout out to “Sangria! Sangria!”, also a tasty recipe (but mine’s better). [click to continue…]

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Shrimp in Sriracha Butter

by laine on September 6, 2011

This is a recipe from a little corner article featuring Sriracha hot sauce in Bon Appetite. Not sure which month, since it wasn’t my magazine and my husband took pictures of the recipes using his  iphone. Sriracha is my most favourite condiment. I use it a lot, even when I probably shouldn’t like my friend Brad with ketchup. So, I was happy to run across these recipes and I’m sure I’ll share almost every one.

This was deee-licious and we spoiled our dinner by eating a pound of shrimp first. We still ate dinner, but we weren’t comfortable. It was so simple and tasted really fresh and light, but with a nice kick of heat at the same time. I used raw frozen shrimp where the recipe calls for head on shrimp, but this would be terrific with whole peel and eat shrimp as well. I’m going to make it again tomorrow for a friend who has an equal affinity for Sriracha. It’s going to knock his hot sauce loving socks off!

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A Remoulade for the Rest of Us

by laine on August 29, 2011

I wanted a spread for the chicken burgers we were having for dinner, so I whipped up this remoulade in my mini food processer (my new most used gadget). I took a little of this and a little of that from a variety of remoulades, which is a mayo based condiment that’s French and similar to tartar sauce, but I mostly just used what I like.

My herbs are starting to flower and some of them aren’t growing back as quickly, so I want to use what I have in almost everything I eat. I cut off a couple sprigs each of tarragon, parsley, chives and mint. I didn’t measure this recipe out exactly, so this is a rough estimation of what I threw together. You can modify it to suit your tastes and use what you might have on hand.

I didn’t plan on making it for the blog, but it was one of those things that tasted so good and could be used so many ways that I thought it would be a good thing to share. We had it on those chicken sandwiches and then later dipped artichoke leaves into it. This remoulade would be great with fish and I think it would be a good veggie dip too! [click to continue…]

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The Bacrown

by laine on August 21, 2011

Bacon is in.

My friend Ron made this bacon crown for his friend’s birthday. He said it was difficult to make because the rashers each shrunk differently once cooked. It looks perfectly cooked to me and it made me feel a bit hungry. I think I’d eat that (not after someone wore it). Here are a few highlights, but you can go see the whole process here. [click to continue…]

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The Best Coconut Cream Pie Ever!

by laine on August 7, 2011

One of the places I miss most since moving to Toronto from Winnipeg, is a great dessert spot called Baked Expectations. Along with serving up a pretty good burger and fries, they had 2 huge coolers full of desserts. One devoted entirely to cheesecakes and the other filled with cakes, pies, tortes and other treats. Although there are tons of incredible things to eat here, there isn’t anywhere quite like that. Maybe there is, but I don’t know it. I’m going to have to start making more elaborate tortes and stuff if I’m ever going to scratch that itch (or more trips to Winnipeg).

I’m not a very experienced baker. I’m learning, but I’ve only tried a few things. One of the recipes I have honed to perfection (in my opinion) is this delicious Coconut Cream Pie. I have made this pie over and over (because it is that good) making little adjustments along the way. It’s rich! It’s all heavy cream and egg yolks and it has toasty coconutty flavor in every layer. It takes a bit of time. It turns out best if you stir it on low heat for 25-30 minutes, but if you can make a better pie, I want that recipe. At the end of the recipe I’ll share a few other ways I’ve made it that cut back on time or cuts out the gluten (from the filling only), but the recipe below is the one I prefer.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I’ll make you a pie when I see you this week! [click to continue…]

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