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Archive for February, 2009

Adapted From Martha Stewart

Makes 16.

granolabars2granolabars1

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup bran cereal, ground
  • 1/4 ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup natural crunchy peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 crisscrossed rectangles of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang at 2 opposite ends. In a large bowl, combine oats, ground bran, flax seed, wheat germ, almonds and cranberries.
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk together oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, cinnamon, allspice, salt and 1 tablespoon water over low heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly; whisk in egg whites. Pour over at mixture; stir until moistened. Spread evenly in bottom of pan; smooth top.
  3. Bake until top is firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Lift out of pan, using paper as handles. Let cool completely, cut into bars with serrated knife.

I found this cool site that can calculate the nutritional facts of your recipes. I will try to do this for all of mine going forward. This is not as healthy as it seemed.

nutfactsgranolabars1

*Note that all nutritionl facts may not be accurate and are a guideline ONLY.

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We are now officially addicted to Jim Lahey’s no knead recipes. JT is the executioner of all of these recipes. Of course I am jealous, he has taken away my role as chief cook in the relationship, now I am the executive chef, sometimes overseeing, mostly just on the board, giving advice when asked. We came across this recipe today, and even while I type this entry, the love of my life is downstairs making up our first batch of this dough. Supper was very tasty tonight.

As seen on Martha Stewart.

nokneadpizza31

nokneadpizza11

Ingredients

Makes one 12-inch pizza

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface (need about 1/2 cup more!)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2/3 ounce Gruyere cheese, broken into 4 or 5 pieces
  • 1 ounce young pecorino cheese, broken into 4 to 5 pieces
  • 1 1/8 ounces buffalo mozzarella cheese, broken into 4 to 5 pieces
  • 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 or 4 thin slices garlic
  • 1/4 pound fresh spinach, stems removed
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, yeast, and 1/2 cup water. Stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and rough. Let dough rest in a warm place (about 72 degrees) until doubled in volume, about 3 hours.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Let stand until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Place a pizza stone (we use our trusty Chicago-land cast iron pizza pan) on the lowest rack of oven and preheat to 550 degrees for 25 minutes.
  4. Flatten dough into a disk that is thicker in the center than at the edges. Using your fingers, gently pull on the edges of the dough to form a 6- to 8-inch circle; dough should still be thicker in the center. Drape dough over both hands, and using your knuckles, work dough out from the center into a 12-inch circle.
  5. Carefully transfer dough to hot pizza stone. Working quickly, top dough with cheeses, pepper, garlic, and spinach; season with salt. Bake pizza until spinach is wilted and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  6. Using a pizza peel, remove pizza from oven and drizzle over olive oil; serve immediately.

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*Note that all nutritionl facts may not be accurate and are a guideline ONLY.

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“Shrove Tuesday is a term used in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada…” We missed out on pancakes for breakfast mainly because I forgot, but we had some for dinner and they were YUM, so I thought I would share the recipe I created on the fly last night. These are slightly darker than normal pancakes because of the ingredients and have a slightly coarser texture, but we really enjoyed them.

Whole Wheat, Bran, Oatmeal, Flax Pancakes (makes 12 – 13 6″ diameter pancakes)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup bran
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal (any kind will do)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 -1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp dark molasses
  1. Add all wet ingredients including the egg into a large blender.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the bran and oatmeal until ground coarsely (not a fine powder).
  3. Add to the wet ingredients, including everything BUT the baking powder.
  4. Blend for a few minutes, scraping down the sides. Add additional milk if too thick.
  5. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
  6. Add baking powder and blend again (adding a bit more milk if necessary).
  7. Preheat your oven to keep finished pancakes warm.
  8. Heat a griddle until hot, spray with pam.
  9. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop one scoop and with the rounded edge push the batter out into a circle about 6″ in diameter.
  10. Cook for a couple of minutes each side, until golden. Keep finished ones warm in the oven
  11. Continue until all the batter is used.

Serve with fresh fruit, a dollop of yogurt and real maple syrup. Check it out on Foodista.

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Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Double Chocolate, Peanut butter brownies.

Makes about 9 dessert-sized brownies

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 4 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 oz (45g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ( 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar)
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmellows
  • 2 squares white chocolate melted
  1. Sift flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, instant coffee and baking powder.
  2. Melt butter or margarine with brown sugar, add vanilla, corn syrup and water.
  3. Beat in the egg whites.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir well.
  5. Pour into a prepared 9″ x 9 pan. Bake for 24 minutes, then add chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and mini marshmellows and bake until firm.
  6. Cool brownies completely.
  7. Melt the white chocolate, and drizzle on top. Cut into 9 portions.
  8. Serve with ice cream, Vanilla, of course!

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Home Smoked Salmon

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We’ve made this recipe many times, it’s one of our favourites! adapted from Epicurious.com we have, of course, modified it to our taste!

This is one of the tastiest salmon recipes I have done so far, and each time is a HUGE success! I generally buy a large salmon fillet and serve it family style, because it is so beautiful, but you can do individual portions or steaks. You will want to marinate the salmon in the brine overnight or at least 4 hours to get the full effect.

  • 1 quart water
  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar splenda
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 2lb salmon fillet
  • 3 cups (or more) Cedar smoke chips, soaked in water 30 minutes

Preparation

  1. Stir first 4 ingredients in large bowl until sugars dissolve. Add salmon (skin side up), to brine, pressing to submerge. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove salmon from brine; discard brine. Rinse salmon under cold water. Place salmon, skin side down, on rack. Let stand until top is dry to touch (do not pat dry), about 1 hour. Prepare barbecue (medium-low heat). Using 2 layers of foil, make 12 x 10-inch foil rectangle with 1-inch-high sides. Place 3 cups smoke chips on foil rectangle. Set atop coals 5 minutes before grilling salmon allow to begin smoking. Make sure the heat is turned OFF below the salmon, you want indirect heat from the smoke to cook it. Position barbecue rack at least 6 inches above heat. Position vents on barbecue so that chips smoke and heat burn but do not flame.
  2. Smoke until salmon is firm to touch and glaze forms over salmon, adding more smoke chips to barbecue if necessary, 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on heat of grill.
  3. Transfer salmon to platter; serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
  4. Serve with a Horseradish Aoili

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This is a small capuccino sized serving, for 5 (about 75ml per serving). Although it seems like a lot of work, this is really worth it. The flavour is incredible AND it’s totally my recipe! Inspired no less, by our dinner at Europa in Montréal on February 15 2009.

leekpotcapuccino1

  • 1 cup finely sliced leaks
  • 3 small new potatoes (about 2″ in diametre) sliced finely (no need to peel)
  • 13 oz water
  • 1 tsp concentrated chicken stock or miso (I used chicken for this version)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Cook leaks in butter and olive oil until soft (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add water and chicken stock and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add potatoes and cook until everything is soft.
  4. With an immersion blender, purée until everything is smooth.
  5. Strain through a fine sieve (all the peel will get caught in the sieve) into a pyrex container.
  6. Set aside.

Gruyère Crème

  • 1/4 cup carnation 2% evaporated milk (use real cream if you’re in the mood)
  • 1 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese.
  1. Heat cream, add cheese and whisk until smooth. If your cheese was cold, you may need to purée with an imersion blender to get it really smooth.
  2. Pour into a small funneled container (so that you can control the shape). Allow to cool completely and then refrigerate (this is important because you want to get the crème really thick and the contrast of the hot soup and the cold cream is lovely!)

Assembly:

  1. Heat soup in microwave for a couple of minutes (you want it steaming hot, but don’t boil it as it will crust up on the sides).
  2. Carefully pour into 5 demitasse cups.
  3. Pour Gruyère Crème in a circular pattern on top, and draw a sharp knife in one direction to make the pattern shown.
  4. Serve with a small spoon so the crème may be stirred within.
  5. Enjoy!

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Dinner with Kim and Rob

We invited Kim and Rob over for dinner last night. He mentioned Todd and Tina bought a house (congrats you two!!) Here is the menu, recipes to follow in separate posts.

Hors D’oeuvres: Fresh Figs, with Goats Cheese, Arugula wrapped in Proscuitto

Amuse Bouche: Leek & Potato Capuccino with Gruyere Crème (no doubt enspired by our dinner to Europa in Montréal on Feb 15)

Main: Home Smoked Salmon (cedar and maple), New potatoes with garlic and parlsey and steamed green beans and JTs famous no knead bread

Dessert: Double Chocolate, Peanutbutter brownies.

Coffee

freshfigproscuittoaruggoattray23

leekpotcapuccino

homesmokedsalmon1

brownies

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Friday night JT and I rode the Bullet (that’s our subway) to the Bloor-Yorkville Icefest. An easy 15 minute ride. We immerged at Cumberland and spent about 4 minutes looking at the sculptures. Now maybe there was more, but 4 mintues? They were indeed lovely, and apparently 25,000lbs of ice! That’s some ice. But 4 mintues? We had dinner at Asuka, one of our favourite sushi places a short walk from the festivities!

Here are the photos, enjoy in the warmth and comfort of your home.

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innukshuk-copy

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cn-tower

eiffeltower

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JT made this with the Naan for dinner last night. This is quite tasty but it’s not the ‘butter chicken’ I know. What’s different about it is that it has almonds and raisins in the recipe. It’s a lot of work, and not really worth it, so I won’t bother posting the recipe, but it looks pretty good, so here is the photo. Recipe came from Simply Indian by Tahera Rawji and Hamida Suleman, published 2003 by Whitecap books, page 51.

This is what we did differently than the recipe: substitute Carnation Evaporated Milk for the Cream and we also puréed the sauce so that it is more creamy and added about 1 tbsp of tomato purée and about 2 tbsp tandoori paste instead of 1 tbsp tandoori powder. In my opinion is that this is too sweet (too many raisins when puréed) and it needs about 1/2 cup to 1 cup plain yogurt for the tang.

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Easy Naan Bread

dscn1912

Naan Bread (adapted from several recipes)

This recipe is only good fresh from the oven…but if you need to reheat them, try steaming them to get the chewy texture back!

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup natural yogurt at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp flavouring of your choice (such as minced garlic, onion, cumin etc) – the one in the photo is plain
  1. Dissolve yeast in water with the sugar and let stand 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt in a medium sized bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture, olive oil, yogurt and flavouring and combine until a dough is formed.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes.
  4. Return the dough to the bowl and cover, allow to rise about 1 ½ hours until double in size.
  5. Preheat oven on high broil setting, preheat your cast iron pan as well.
  6. Punch dough down and turn out to a lightly floured surface and knead a further 4 minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 6 portions and pat with your fingers to form ovals about 6 inch by 4 inches and about ½ inch thick. Rub both sides with room temperature butter.
  8. Lay dough onto your preheated really hot cast surface and broil for 2-4 minutes each side, turning twice in the process to allow bubbles to form on both sides.
  9. Serve immediately, or keep warm in foil. If you are reheating, try steaming to regain the chewy texture.

Check it out at Foodista.

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