Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas treats for the furry kids

Every Christmas I make treats for my kids. My kids are dogs and I loved spoiling them too during the holidays. This year, we are fostering a Treeing walker Coonhound that supervised my baking from the kitchen doorstep. He really enjoyed the smell!






We also give some to our "kid's friends" and no of them can resist this treat, see for yourself, I got a few testimony:



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Wheat Treats

2 jars baby food meat (chicken, lamb, beef, etc.. - you decide, make sure there is no onion)
1/2 cup non-fat powder milk
1-2cups wheat germ



Pre-heat the oven at 350C.

Mix all the ingredients. Spoon small balls on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Make sure to store those in the fridge.


Hope your dogs enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Cook/baker's wish list

Dear Santa,
as you already know I have been a good girl, mostly... So here's my wish list:

My Little Cupcake Mould
A bunch of candy melts
Lolly Sticks
Food Color pen sets
and if you won the lottery, a kitchenaid mixer.

That list is mostly to share some goodies Santa. So you see, I am being a good girl. Any Kcup coffee/tea/hot chocolate is also accepted!

I will leave cookies for you on Christmas Eve. If there is none left, I am sorry but I blame hubby. Or Karine... Or Scott....


Love
Melanie


It's pure torture to see all those cool cakes/cupcakes/cakepops and not be able to make some due to lack of material in Quebec stores. Just the Candy melts, I can't find anything so my choices are different variations of chocolate color coating: white, milk or dark. Even adding food coloring doesn't really help. I can't find gel coloring anywhere, I am stuck with the liquid one. Trying to make a red velvet cake with red liquid food coloring does NOT work well.

I'd love to take an afternoon of decorating cake pops with a friend or two and a glass of wine or two... and more...


Just look at those cuties from My Little Cupcake's blog




Cute, no?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snow day goodies - soup

On a day like this:

You want to warm up with things like this:




and like this:





A week ago today, we had our first snow fall in Montreal. Hubby spent the morning shoveling so I knew a warm soup would make him happy. I planned to make a big pot so that I could freeze left over but I forgot to include one thing in my plan. The husband factor. So no left overs...

1 chopped onion
3 tablespoon soup of butter
2 tablespoon of flour
5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1 Cauliflower, cut
1/2 cup of 35% cream
salt and pepper

In a big pot, put butter and tenderize the onion bring close to caramelized. Add flour and mix well. Incorporate the broth and Cauliflower and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked. Either with a blender or a hand blender bring the mix down to a purée. Add the cream, salt and pepper.

I made my own garlic croutons and served the soup with sauté portobello mushroom.



Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

3 cheeses and veal cabbage cake

Confused yet? A cake with cheese, veal and cabbage? Did she fell on her head?

No I didn't! I saw the recipe on Ricardo and it seemed so good I had to try it. But as always, I changed the recipe to adapt it to my need, well... my husband's needs for meat. I have to say that is one of the best thing I ate in a long time and much easier then expected. However, next time I will make it I will prepare a lot in advance and make sure to let it sit longer then 5 minutes. That way I may avoid the mess it did on my kitchen floor.

Oh yeah, and I won't make that for a weekday diner either, too fancy!




Ingredients;

10-15 leaves from a Savoie cabbage
1 1/2 cups of leek, finely sliced (I used celery)
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of white wine
1/4 pound of Brie cheese
1/4 pound of Le Fin Renard cheese (both cheese rind removed and cut in cubes)
3 potatoes sliced in the mandolin
1 sweet potato sliced in the mandolin
1/2 pound to a pound of grounded veal
1 onion, chopped
3 cups of milk
garlic
1/2 cup of cheddar, grated
rosemary
salt and pepper


I started by blanching the cabbage leaves for about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked I drained and set aside.

In a pan I cooked my onions until they were tender, put my veal in and cooked it. Then set aside.

In a skillet I cooked the celery with butter until it was tender then added the wine and let it reduce until it was almost dry. I put salt and pepper then added the Brie and Fin Renard. I stirred until it was all melted and yes, you guest it, set aside.

At this point, husband was asking what was smelling so good in the kitchen and his puzzled look was priceless when I said: a cake...

In the same skillet where you melted the cheese, pour the milk, rosemary, garlic and potatoes. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked. Drain the potatoes but keep the milk, you will cook the sweet potatoes the same way.

When all of this is done, you are ready to assemble.

First, preheat the oven to 375 F and position the rack in the center of the oven.

Line the bottom of a 9 in hinged cake mold with parchment paper. Put one large cabbage leaf in the bottom and line the sides of the mold with 6 leaves. making sure they stick out. Put another leave in the bottom. Put the veal mix in the bottom, add the potato mix, the cheese mix, the sweet potato mix and the shredded cheese. Press between each layer. Put a cabbage leaf on top, fold the leaves toward the middle and put more leaves till you see it's formed properly.

Wrap the mold in 2 sheets of aluminium foil, one at the bottom and one on top, covering the mold. Put the mold in a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Now this is where I went wrong. When you remove from the oven, put a plate on top (once you remove the top foil) and let it stand for 15-20 minutes. Not 5 minutes like the impatient person that I am.

Turn the mold so it is in the plate. (if you waited 15-20 minutes you shouldn't have any trouble with that step. If you did like me and only waited 5 minutes, your kitchen floor is probably covered in hot liquid, so are your hands and arms. Told you so!)

Remove the mold and cut in pieces, just like a cake. Serve it with a salad.




Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding



This will become a favourite at home, my husband is still asking for more!

2 Cups of Milk
4 eggs, separated
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
5 1/2 cups of white bread, cut in small cubes (I used Italian bread)
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I used dark, as always)

Preheat the oven at 350 F or 180 C
Butter a soufflé mold and sprinkle with sugar

In a bowl, mix the milk, egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the bread and the chocolate chips and set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until you get firms peaks. Incorporate that in the bread mixture by folding gently.

Bake in the center of the oven for about an hour.

I served mine warm, with a berry coulis. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash

The perfect fall meal!






I purchased an Acorn squash not knowing what to do with it and after a bit of research on how to cook it I came up with my own recipe. I know my husband enjoyed it and so did my upstairs neighbors!


1 Acorn squash
Cinnamon
half a pound of ground beef (you can use any kind of meat)
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon of green onion flakes
1 small onion
1 can of red kidney beans, rinced
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup of cooked white rice
half a cup of red wine
a cup of shredded cheese
salt and pepper

I started with asking my husband to cut the squash since my arms didn't have the strength to do it... After emptying it I poured olive oil on it generously and sprinkle cinnamon on it. I place both half on a cooking sheet and baked it at 350 for about an hour.


It tasted great just like that but I had a plan!

In a pot, I put Olive Oil, about one tablespoon, the garlic and onion until it was tender. I added the meat and once it was brown I then added the beans, rice, tomato paste, onion and cayenne pepper flakes and stir till blended. I poured the wine and stir until it reduced.






I emptied the acorn squash and mixed my cut pieces in the meat mix. I stuffed my squash halves with the mix and added cheese on the top. I put it back in the oven at 350 for another 20 minutes... or until the cheese melted.



Of course I had too much stuffing for the squash, but that is why my neighbors are so greatful ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Strawberry cream and tea chocolate ganache

I like simple desserts and I have to confess my love for chocolate and strawberries... If you demand that I chose between chocolate and strawberries I may have to do bad things to you if you don't let me pick both. Mum gave me a recipe for a simple dessert a long time ago and I was wondering how to improve it.... This is what I came up with:

Strawberry cream and tea chocolate ganache





(seen with Vanilla/banana and coconut frosting cupcake)


Strawberry cream:

1 box of strawberry Jell-o
1 Cup of boiling water
1 Cup of plain yogurt



Empty the Jell-o box in a bowl, pour the boiling water on it and mix until the powder completely dissolved. Add 1 cup of plain Yogurt and whisk until blend. Pour in small cups and refrigerate.

Seriously, how easier can it get?


Tea and Chocolate Ganache

1 Cup of 35% 2cream
1/4 cup of tea leaves (I used bakeapple tea but unless you are in Newfoundland or had some brought back to you use another one. Orange Pekoe works well with this.)
400g (14 oz) of dark chocolate, in smalls pieces

Put the chocolate in a bowl. In a small pot bring the cream and the tea to a shimmer on low to medium heat. Put a stainer over the bowl of chocolate and pour the cream in, keeping the tea out of the chocolate. Let it sit for about 5 minute. Mix well until the chocolate is completely melted and well blended with the cream. Refrigerate until cooled down and pour on top of the Strawberry cream. I poured mine in a pastry bag before putting it on top of the Strawberry cream so I could have a cleaner look.

I then added whipped cream and a strawberry for decoration.


Bon Appetit!