Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hot chocolate mix

Commercial hot chocolate mix basically all contains dairy, so I make my own. This is based on Martha Stewart's recipe, and really.. all I've done is converted it to grams, because it's so much easier to portion out that way.

Put a one litre mason jar on your scale, tare it out.

325g of sugar
100g of cocoa
1 tbsp salt

Put the lid on and shake vigourously.

It would be fabulous in a mug of hot milk, but I'm lazy and tend to add a couple heaping spoonfuls to a mug, a shot of hot water (or coffee) from the magic coffee maker, and top up with almond milk. (and or cinnamon whiskey)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sundried tomato pesto

I did yoink this recipe from the Bulk Barn's website but then I modified it just enough that its worth posting, IMO. I made it with the chicken featured in that first link, and some sweet potato slices. Yum. The spouse claims this isn't basil enough to be called pesto, I disagree. :)

Sundried Tomato Pesto

¾ cup sliced sundried tomatoes
½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder

Give the pine nuts about 10 mins at 350 on an ungreased pan with a shake about half way. Toss everything into a food processor. Blend like hell. Serve everywhere.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lightening up Cakes

It's no secret at all that I rather adore a 30 yr old cookbook from a church group in the Canadian prairies, but I have to admit that the palate of a hippie surburbanite in 2013 and the palate of a farm kitchen in 1980 aren't quite the same, generally just in the sheer amounts of oil that gets used. Crazy pants. So I started tweaking.

One cake came about by aiming to clear out some of the jars from the fridge, in specific the random end bits of jam jars. Of course I cleaned out two, didn't have enough and had to open another, so it was only a net drop of one, but at least its a change of flavour.

Leftovers Cake

2 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup of whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 cup jam (I ended up using three different ones, mix and match, it's okay)
3 eggs
1 cup milk (I use almond milk, use whatever milk makes you happy)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups mixed dried fruit, nuts, seeds (raisins, dates, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, whatever!)

Sift together the dry (or mix, because few of us ever really sift). Mix together the wet in another bowl. Add wet to dry, and then mix in the dried fruit/nuts/seeds. Pour into a greased pan, I used a bunt pan, and bake at 350 for about 40 mins.

Verdict: I had ginger chunks in my mixed fruit, and I think without those this would have needed some more spice. It'd be a perfect place for those sweet spice mixes that you use once a year and wonder why they're in your spice drawer.

The other cake came about on a similar desire to use things up. I had a couple of elderly beets and decided to bake with them. The church lady cookbook had a veggie cake I wanted to try, which was a list of ingredients and no directions that matched the ingredients. Oops.

Veggie Cake

2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup milk (I use almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup shredded raw beets (about 1 medium sized)
1 cup shredded raw carrots (about 1 medium sized)

Sift together dry, I tossed in the raisins at this point, I probably should have kept them 'til the end but enh. Mix together the wet, and add to the dry. Mix in the veggies. (I shredded them with the food processor. So much win.) Pour into a greased 9 x 9 pan (I had planned on putting it in a bunt pan, but it was full of Leftovers Cake). Bake at 350 for 30 mins or until done.

A long weekend full of cake, parties, Civ V and sangria. Can't argue with /that/.

Friday, April 19, 2013

April's Green Box

So apparently I don't post in the winter, or something. Not that I've ever made much of a promise about posting regularly.

Anyhow, in March I finally got my act together to do something I've wanted to do for ages. Get on board with Guelph's Green Box program. Basically it's a small fresh food co-op run by some municipal department, and for 20 dollars (for the large box), we get a grocery bin's worth of fresh local (and in the winter not so local) produce once a month.

For us, we eat produce. A lot actually, but we don't often buy new or interesting things, and honestly I wanted the challenge and interest of someone else handing me healthy food going 'try this!'

I neglected to take a picture of March's haul, but Aprils' looked like this:

Mmm. Produce.
And because you can't see it well in that first picture, get a load of the sweet potato! It's sitting next to a 3lb bag of carrots!

Sweet potato of DOOM!
It is the biggest damn sweet potato I have ever seen. Now I just need to learn how to not overcook asparagus, and what to do with fresh thyme when you dont much care for thyme.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I know, I know, the world has a hate on for fruitcake. They call it hard and dry and building material and lives forever.

And I love it. Dark and rich and delicious, even a year later when it's a touch dry. (Yes, I'm nibbling the last of last year's, and it's gotten a touch dry. I need to work out a better storage.)

I make my own fruitcake, mostly because I'm allergic to dairy and most are made with butter. Although part of it also comes from the fact that I rather adore baking, so of course I make my own. My favourite recipe comes from a little booklet put out by the candied fruit company and I think the booklet is about a bazillion years old.

I have adjusted and adapted it and this is now my recipe, mostly here for posterity sake such that I remember how I changed it this year.

Dark Fruitcake 2012

125g chopped pecans
125g slivered almonds
450g Deluxe mixed glace
450g mixed candied cherries
225g candied pineapple chunks
300g mixed citrus peel
150g currants
80g crystallized ginger, finely chopped
225g golden raisins
225g dark raisins
225g chopped dates

Toss in a huge bowl, mixed well and soak with white rum for a while.

2c flour
1/3c cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
nutmeg, mace, cloves all to look right

Add to the fruit and mix until well coated.

In the mixer bowl, cream together:

1 cup shortening
1 1/3c dark brown sugar, firmly packed

6 eggs, one at a time
1/2 c molasses
2 tbsp oil
1/4 c booze (bourbon this year)

Blend well and then fold the liquid into the fruit mixture and mix well. Spoon into greased pans. Bake at 275F for about 2 hours. Makes 2 8"x8" pans and 3 small loaf pans.