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Posts Tagged ‘all spice’

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What did you do? We celebrated at our favourite French restaurant and then stopped in at a party at Kim’s (neighbour, boss, friend) place. I had had the 24 hour stomach bug the day before, so I was a little tentative to party, but it all worked out in the end.

Did you make any resolutions? I evaluated my resolution from last year and by George I did OK. I resolved to use fewer zip lock baggies and I DID! I am using reusable containers instead, mostly glass but for the freezer I still use plastic. So what’s my resolution this year? I’m going to work out more regularly even though I tend to be good about it, I will resolve to go to the gym even when I don’t feel like it. Did you know it takes 21 days of repetition to become a habit? So all I have to do is work out for 21 days and I won’t have a choice. Hmmm.

As most of you have seen by my comments, Christmas was a bit of a wash for my side of the family; my brother’s kids came down with the stomach flu and Christmas Eve dinner was cancelled. That was a real bummer and the kids felt so terrible, so I told them we would recreate Christmas dinner when they all felt better in January. JT stepped out in the morning and bought us a Seafood feast we were going to enjoy instead of a traditional Christmas turkey dinner. Late afternoon we popped over to Barb‘s for some Christmas cheer and they had a gorgeous Charcuterie spread that was so moreish, we couldn’t stop eating. And then of course, we weren’t hungry for our seafood feast. It went back into the freezer and we’ll enjoy it another time!

Santa was very good to me this year and it was extra special because I participated in Charles’ Secret Santa. My not-so-secret Santa was Charlie over at Hotly Spiced. She sent along the greatest kitchen gadgets made by a 100 year old English company Tala which is very cool because it’s Taylor and Law! There was a great retro looking sifter and a really cool measuring cup and Charlie also added a beautiful Christmas ornament and the cutest festive napkins! Little did she know I’m a bit of a cocktail napkin collector! All much appreciated and already put to excellent use. Thank you Charlie.

We’re still in holiday mode over at Kitcheninspirations and we made gingerbread pancakes that were just so yummy I had to sneak in one more holiday recipe. Remember the fluffiest buttermilk pancakes I made on Thanksgiving weekend at my brother’s cottage? Well, I reinvented them into gingerbread pancakes.

Festive Gingerbread Pancakes

IMG_3753_BLOG

Makes 6 pancakes 10cm (4.5in) in diametre

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl or Tupperware container for travel, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, spices and salt. Set aside.
  2. Separate egg yolk from egg white and beat egg white and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form but not dry.
  3. Beat the egg yolk until light yellow in colour and thick, add milk, vanilla and melted butter and beat until smooth on a slow speed. (For this small quantity, I find my immersion blender with whisk attachment a perfect size for both egg white and egg yolk).
  4. Fold in flour mixture, but don’t over mix as we don’t want the glutens activated.
  5. Add 1/3 of the egg white to the batter and mix together gently then fold in the remaining egg white carefully, do not over mix!
  6. Spray your skillet with non-stick spray set to medium temperature (or 350°F).
  7. Drop about 1/3 cup of batter on pan for each pancake and spread out to about 4-5″ and cook until you see a few bubbles on the surface of the batter. Flip your pancakes and cook for about another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Keep warm until you have made all the pancakes and serve warm with butter, maple syrup!

Note: recipe was updated December 2019.

IMG_3754_BLOG The coolest retro cooking tools

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I thought I had my workout in the gym today. That’s what I thought when I got home and prepared to go for a walk around the hood and admire the changing leaves before they are all on the ground. I was wrong. As I went into the kitchen for a glass of water (the wine would come after the walk) I noticed the hardwood in front of our wine fridge was buckling a bit. No problem, I’ll just pull out the fridge and see what’s going on. I should have waited for JT to get home because clearly I was in the ‘blue job’ territory. But I just couldn’t help myself, I’m like that. I discovered that the fridge didn’t budge; oh no, it must be buckling under it and catching the little feet. Oh no. Now THIS is a challenge. Some brains and some brawn (and some good old fashioned Eastern European sweat) I managed to get the fridge out and the boards cut out (with my handy Dremel tool, which I use about once every four years). BRING ON THE DYI, I’m freakin’ READY! Tomorrow I’m ripping out tiles from the stairs and I’m cladding them in wood!

Fortunately, there was no water or even wetness below, so there is relief because if you’ve ever had a water leak, it’s almost impossible to figure out where it’s coming from. But now the question is, why did the boards buckle? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Doing manual labour like that inspires me to bake. Fortunately, my friend’s (boss, neighbour) daughter’s after school program is having a bake sale and since my friend (Kim) doesn’t bake much, I told her I would bake some cookies for the sale. I ended up making some old fashioned ginger snaps from my recipe from last Christmas, but then I saw a version Zsusza’s delightful cookie and was immediately drawn to it. I loved the way the cookie crackled on top. Well the kid got two batches for the bake sale (maybe a few were set aside!). I made a few alterations to the recipe, so please pop over to Zsuzsa’s blog to see the original recipe, I didn’t have nutmeg handy so I substituted allspice and I also added an extra teaspoon of dry ginger as well as a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger. It makes for a lovely warmly spiced cookie. And baking cookies is a hell of a lot easier than pulling a stuck wine fridge out of its spot.

They are soft and chewy on the inside

Old Fashioned Molasses Spice Cookies

Makes about 30-36 cookies (if you don’t sample the cookie dough)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to (175°C) 350° F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; set it aside.
  4. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the shortening and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Beat in the molasses, egg and the freshly grated ginger and beat on low speed until just combined.
  6. Stir in the flour mixture.
  7. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  8. Using a melon baller, form the dough into 19 g balls.
  9. Place the balls leaving at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (baking more will cause the cookies to be hard)
  11. The cookies will be very soft when you take them out of the oven but they will harden up as they cool, then transfer to a wire rack.

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