Monday, October 30, 2006

Maple Pudding Cake also known as Pudding Chomeur

This cake is a classic in French Canadian, otherwise known as Quebecois cuisine. It's recipe originated during the depression in the 30s, and it used stale bread, sugar and water for it's composition. This is the modern version. Notice the lack of eggs in the cake's ingredients.

Cake:

* 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
* 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
* 1 cup (250 ml) de sugar
* 1 cup (250 ml) de milk

Maple Sauce

* 1/2 cup (125 ml) maple syrup (you can replace with corn syrup)
* 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar
* 1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
* 1/4 cup (65 ml) butter

Preparation:

1. Preheat over to 325°F (160°C).
2. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
3. In a bowl, mash butter until creamy and mix with sugar.
4. Add to bowl 1/4 of the flour mixture and the milk at a time and mix. Continue until you've mixed in all the flour and mix.
5. Oil a 9x9 baking dish. Pour batter into dish. Set aside.
6. In a sauce pan, mix all the ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a boil and let boil for one minute.
7. Pour over the batter and DO NOT MIX!
8. Cook at 325°F (160°C) for 45 minutes.

While it cooks, the cake will rise to the top. When the edges of the cake no longer stick to the side of the dish and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle of cake, it's cooked.

Let it cool. It's best served lukewarm with a dollop of ice cream.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Simple Crepe Batter

I use this recipe all the time when I want to make thin crepes. It's easy to remember and you can use any flour you like. The secret to a fluffy crepe is to flip it only once.

You'll need:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar (omit if savory)
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
Cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients together and remove big lumps by crushing them with fork. Heat a non stick skillet (the ONLY reason why I ever use those is for crepes) and spray some cooking oil. Put in 1/2 cup of batter for each. Flip when the crepe's edge lifts and the center bubbles.

Repeat with remaining batter.

Will make 6-7 crepes.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

How to cook Quinoa, Barley and Kasha

Remember to always rince your grains thoroughly to remove the dust and little rocks which may have passed through the machines cleaning the grains. You can replace water with stock or milk. These grains can both for used for savory or sweet dishes.

Kasha

Description: Whole roasted buckwheat kernels.

Nutrition: Source of magnesium, copper and fiber.

Preparation:
• Rince grain to remove dust and pick out little rocks.
• 1 part Kasha for 2 cups water.
• Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.


Quinoa

Description: Small, white or red round grains.

Nutrition: It’s a source of complete protein. Unlike other grains which require the combinaison of beans or lentils to form the protein. Source of iron, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, thiamin and riboflavin.

Preparation:
• Rinse quinoa thoroughly as it has a non digestible chemical which coats it. Once the running water stops bubbling and it runs clear, you are set.
• Use a tea towel to remove excess water through the sieve.
• Roast the grains in the pot until you have a nice nutty smell coming from grains.
• 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water or stock.
• Boil and then cover andsimmer for 12 to 15 minutes.

Barley

Description: Pot or Pearled - Pot style is less refined and thus more nutritious.

Nutrition: Source of both fiber and iron.

Preperation:
• Rince barley to remove dust and rocks.
• 1 part grain for 3 parts water.
• Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cassie's Beet Soup

Beet soup is perfect for those colder days when the air is crisp and you've been playing outside all day. It's easy to make this version. This recipe makes alto of soup so you will have left overs for the remainder of the week. If you don't want to use the bacon, you can replace it with olive oil to make a lighter version.

You'll need:

-1 large onion, diced.
-3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
-2 pounds of beets, peeled (use rubber gloves as they stain your hands)and cubed into 2cm pieces
-1 pound of carrots, peeled and chopped coarsely but evenly
-1 large round potato, peeled and cubed
-200 gr of cabbage, coarsely chopped
-2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
-1 rib of celery, sliced
-1 can of diced tomatoes
-Stock of your choice, enough to cover vegetables. (better when it's already hot when you add it to the soup).
-Pinch rosemary, thyme, cumin
-1 bay leaf
-1 tsp dill
-salt and pepper to taste.

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil. Stir in onions and bring to sweat until translucent. Add in garlic and stir once. Stir in all your vegetables (except tomatoes) to cover with oil, garlic and onions. Add in your bay leaf and herbs. Cover with stock and bring to boil. Add in your tomatoes and bring back to boil. Simmer for 35 minutes.

Serve with dollop of sour cream or yogurt. This soup keeps for a week refrigerated.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jeweled Gingerbread

Preheat the oven to 375F and use a 9 inch square baking dish, greased.

1/2 cup of butter or vegetable oil
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup grated carrots
1/3 cup grated parsnips
1 cup grated beets

1. In a large bowl, cream butter or oil. Beat in sugar until light and
fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then molasses, yogurt and
vanilla.

2. Sift together in a seperate bowl, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ginger. Fold into butter mixture until just blended. Fold in carrots, parsnips and beets. Batter will be thick and sticky.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes, until fork comes out clean from cake.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stuffed Pumpkin with Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Want to serve pumpkin in a way that will surprise and delight your guests? Try this nutritious and fun recipe. Makes a fantastic side dish!

You will need:

-1 medium Jack-O-Lantern or Sorcerer pumpkin, top removed, seeded and cleaned out.
-1 onion - coarsely cubed (about 1 inch pieces)
-1 leek - coarsely chopped (about 1 inch pieces) carefully washed.
-1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces.
-1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces.
-1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
-1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
-1 celery stick, sliced into 1 inch pieces.
-1 zucchini, washed and sliced into 1 inch pieces.
-Olive oil
-1 tsp or more salt
-pepper to taste
-1 tsp thyme powder(dry)
-pinch sage powder(dry)
-1 tsp rosemary powder(dry)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil and salt to bring out sweetness. Place it hole down on an oiled cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until soft but not too soft as it will have to hold all the other roasted vegetables, so it needs to retain its shape. At the same time, mix all the other vegetables and herbs into large bowl and drizzle oil lightly to cover. Mix to coat all vegetables with oil and herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Place vegetables on oiled baking dish, large enough to hold all vegetables in single layer and roast for 30 minutes or until cooked but still firm.

Once the pumpkin and vegetables are cooked through, remove from oven. Carefully turn over the pumpkin, making sure you let it retain it's shape. It may be soft and will be very hot, so please be careful when handing it as steam will have built up inside the cavity of the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin in serving dish. Fill it with the roasted vegetables. Serve immediately. You can cut the pumpkin into wedges and serve like a pie with the roasted vegetables as filling.

Squash Soup in a Pumpkin Tureen

Pumpkin Soup

Your serving containers:
-1 large decorating pumpkin washed and scrubbed in cold water to remove all dirt - either Jack-o-Lantern or Ghost varietal.
-6 small pumpkins washed and scrubbed in cold water to remove all dirt - Jack-Be-Little or small Trickster

Your soup ingredients:
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 buttercup or butternut squash (about 3lbs) peeled, seeded and diced
-1 onion, diced
-1 carrot, peeled and diced
-1 celery stick, washed and diced
-Stock to cover all vegetables. (vegetable or onion stock can work here)
-1 tsp tumeric powder
-1 tsp curry powder
-salt and pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven, on a medium heat, warm oil and throw in turmeric and curry powder. Stir until the aroma of the spices fill the air. Add in the onions and sweat until translucent. Add in your squash, celery and carrots. Stir in to coat with onions and spices. Cover with hot stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

While that is cooking, prepare your large pumpkin to serve as soup tureen. Slice the top part of the pumpkin off to make large lid. Empty out the flesh and seeds. You can save the seeds to roast. Rinse out the inside of the pumpkin and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

With the small pumpkins, you will want to shape them to be able to hold the soup. Again, remove the tops of the pumpkins to offer a wide mouth to hold soup. Seed and empty of the pumpkins. Rinse out with water and pat dry.

Once the soup has cooked, using a hand blender, puree the vegetables to make a thick pottage. If you find the soup is too thick, you can add more stock to thin out. Once your soup has reached the right consistency, salt and pepper to taste.

Pour soup into large pumpkin and place the small pumpkin in plates to serve soup to guests. Enjoy!

Halloween Countdown - 10 days!

Halloween is my favorite time of year. I happen to own more Halloween decorations than Yuletime.

This celebration allows us to dress up and play, even as grown ups and with it, the return of home baked goodness.

I will be posting seasonal recipes for your enjoyment over the next 10 days!

Worm Salad

-Worm shaped gummies
-Spider shaped gummies
-Assorted other gummies.

Combine then in a bowl large enough to hold all the gummies and mix. Serve with salad thongs. =)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Banana Stuffed French Toast

A fun twist on the ordinary french toast. Makes 4 stuffed toast.

8 slices of bread (slightly stale works better to soak up the egg mixture)
4 large bananas, peeled and mashed
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
butter

Mix the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, and spices in a large bowl with flat bottom. Take two slices of bread, and place 1/4 of the mashed bananas on one slice and make a sandwich with other slice. Repeat with other break.

In a medium heat skillet, place 1 tbsp butter and let melt. While that is going on, dunk your sandwich in the egg mixture, covering both slides. Let excess egg drip back into bowl and fry it in the skillet until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with three other sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Works great with maple syrup, blueberry syrup or any other fruit couli.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jelly Cake Roll

I just came back from another family visit, and along with it, I was given home canned goods. I received some wonderful wild strawberry jam, canned sweet beets, home made red and green ketchup, apple jelly and other mixed jams.

Having so much jam made me think of what I could do with it. That's why I made a Jelly Roll.

For this recipe you will need:

Jelly Roll Cake

4 eggs, whites and yellows seperated and at room temperature.
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
5 ml vanilla extract
15ml baking powder.
1/2 cup jam or jelly, fruit of your choice.

Grease a large baking dish (10x8x2), line with parchement paper, and grease paper.

Mix together your flour and baking soda and set aside.

Using a mixer, hand or stand, beat egg yolks at high speed with vanilla until a creamy pale yellow color. Add in slowly the 1/3 granulated sugar until combined. Set aside.

Wash well your mixing attachements to remove all traces of yolks. Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add in the 1/2 cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time and beat until it forms hard peaks.

Preheat oven at 375F.

Folk in yolk mixture to egg whites until just combined. Add in flour mixture slowly and combine, cutting in the flour until combined. Spread in baking dish to make even layer and bake for 12 to 16 minutes. It's ready when the cake springs back when touched.

Once cooked, quickly unmold roll, and cover with tea towel. Roll up and let cool on wire rack. When cool, unroll from tea towel and spread jam on inner surface. Roll up again, seam facing downwards. You can leave it at is, or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Zucchini and Carrot Cooked Salad

  • 2 cleaned and peeled carrots
  • 2 cleaned zucchinis
  • pinch ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Using your vegetable peeler, cut long strips on your carrots and do the same with your zucchini to make linguine sized strips. Bring water to a boil in two sauce pans and quickly blanch your carrots and your zucchini separately. The zucchini will take about 3 minutes and the carrots, 5. Once blanched, drain both and place in serving bowl. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, sprinkle cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. It serves 4.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Winter Squashes

An often forgotten vegetable, the Winter Squash comes in many shapes, sizes, color and flavor. They go very well with very savory spices and herbs. You can use sage, thyme, or tumeric, curry, cumin when you prepare your squash.

Their nutritional value alone should be enough to entice you to include more in your diet. It is a great source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese.

To see the different types of squashes and their names, click here. The site is in French.

Right about any squash can be used to make a creamy low fat soup.

Here's my recipe:

Winter Squash Soup

  • 1 medium sized squash (I use buttercup, butternut, ambercup or giraumon)peeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  • 1 onion, diced
  • broth to cover all vegetables (about 2 liters)
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

In a dutch oven, bring the olive oil to medium heat and add your tumeric and curry powder. Stir until the spices' aroma fills the air. Throw in your onions and stir until translucent. Add your cubed squash and stir to cover with onions and spices. Turn up the heat and cover the vegetables with broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste. At this point, I like to use my hand blender and puree the soup. Otherwise, you can blend the soup in your food processor. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Can be frozen for one month or refrigerated for a week.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Homemade 'bisquick' Substitute

  • 9 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups powdered milk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup baking powder
  • 2 cups shortening

In a large pan, stir the dry milk, baking powder, sugar and salt into the flour; mix thoroughly. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture is the consistency of corn meal. Place the mix in a covered glass or plastic container and keep in a cool, dry place. In warm weather the mixture should be refrigerated.
Use within a month. Frozen, it can keep for months. To measure, pile the mixture lightly into a cup and level off with a spatula or the back of a knife.

Brown Rice Pudding

  • 1 - 2 cups of left over cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups milk (I used soy)
  • handful of raisins
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cardamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Combine all in a pot and bring to boil while stirring constantly. Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and rice begins to stick to bottom of pan. Let cool, and refrigerate.