Welcome all to part two and thanks for your patience!
Marija from Palachinka came up with a Serbian Pumpkin Pie that looks divine!
Julie from A Mingling of Tastes shares a super-moist pumpkin batter that's the base for a holiday bundt cake. Check out her All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake!
Nicole from Audaciousness presents her carrot custard with graham cracker topping and lime-cilantro syrup. Fun!
Kayla from Mama Yogini (fun name, btw!) submits her Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream. Great use of a slow cooker, if you ask me!
Sara from Cupcake Muffin made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a friend's birthday party. Happy b-day!
Chris from Mele Cotte created a wonderful fall 'brunch' cake. Check out his Spiced Pumpkin Cake!
Monica, the Pastry Princess sends us her Sweet Potato Hazelnut Tart and Pumpkin Financiers. Sounds awesome!
Carolyn from French Peach created Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting....I'm loving the frosting.
Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy shares a rich and creamy dessert made witha gingerbread cake base and a pumpkin cream filling.....check out her Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle!
Melody from Fruittart combined tropical with temperate with her carrot pineapple cupcakes.
Julie from The Persnickety Palate shares a Paradise pumpkin pie that she made for thanksgiving (with fresh pumpkin) along with some toasted pumpkinseeds.
Cenk from Cafe Fernando has created a carrot cake with both chopped walnuts and dried blueberries. Love it!
David from Sketchy's Kitchen satisfies our sweet tooth with his Pumpkin Cheesecake with Navan Cream.
Gretchen from Canela & Comino shares her Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Icing, made with her first ever roasted pumpkins. Looks great!
Linda from Make Life Sweeter! just squeaked in with her Carrot Ganache Covered and Clementine Curd Filled Petit Four (can I just say that looks fabulous?).
A HUGE thank you to all those who participated. Such a great variation of tasty, nutrient-filled treats! I REALLY hope I haven't missed anyone - I have a sneaking suspicion that my spam filter may have caught some of your entries, and I wasn't able to check this account while I was in Thailand. SO...if I've missed you, PLEASE let me know and I would be most happy to add you in.
You can find next month's SHF 38, "The Proof is in the Pudding" at Kochtopf. Looks like a great theme! I'm looking forward to a December that is hopefully (perhaps naively?) a little less crazy than November and October have been. I'm anxious to post a whole whack of stuff and anxious to have y'all read about it.
Thanks for reading, and again, a HUGE thanks to Jennifer from the Domestic Goddess who created the whole SHF shebang. :)
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Welcome all to part two and thanks for your patience!
Friday, November 30, 2007
So here it is - the fist part of the round-up of all the fabulous bloggers who participated in November's edition of Sugar High Friday! There were quite a number of you, so hopefully I didn't miss anyone (but if I missed yours, let me know I will be happy to add). I received TONS of submissions, and I'm totally jet-lagged right now, so I promise to have the rest of 'em all up first thing tomorrow morning. MUCHO thanks to all those who participated, and also to Jennifer of the Domestic Goddess who came up with the whole idea.
November has completely whizzed by for me - between work, class and travelling to Thailand for my father's wedding, it feels absolutely impossible that it's the end of the month already! November is ending with a white, blasty bang here, so it seems almost impossible to fathom that mere weeks ago people were actually harvesting from the cold, frozen ground. :)
And without further ado, I invite you to travel the globe (virtually, of course!) and check out this month's entries into Sugar High Friday....
Brittany from The Pie Lady has come up with a lovely sweet potato flan with brandy snaps, cider reduction and glazed pecans. Yummy!
Sophie from Mostly Eating created butternut squash, oat and ginger cake bites for your perusal and enjoyment. Check them out!
Judy from No Fear Entertaining offers us a vamped-up version of pumpkin bread in the form of muffins. I bet that smelled fabulous!
Courtney from Coco Cooks gives a twist on the traditional Spanish/Latin American churro, with her sweet potato and orange zest version. Looks very tasty!
Rosa, a fellow Canuck from Rosa Jackson: Edible adventures in Paris, Nice and beyond, has baked up a batch of butternut squash muffins. Watch out Jamie Oliver!
Helen from Tartelette has baked up an exquisite Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake for you to try. One would expect nothing less from the Tartelette!
Caroline from A Consuming Passion profers a simple yet exceedingly flavourful pumpkin breakfast cake. Beautiful work!
Rachel of Vampituity stepped out into the world of weird and different with this very fun cantaloupe soup. Kudos for thinking outside the (carbon shoe)box!
Anne from A Foodie Froggy in Paris came up with a creative and tasty-sounding orange tart (yep, they do have a lot of betacarotene!). Merci Anne!
Inge from Vanielje Kitchen offer yummmmy sounding Spiced Carrot, Pineapple and Walnut Cake. Not your average carrot cake for sure!
Susan from Food Blogga came up with a very snazzy Persimmon and Date Bread...not to be missed!
Eva from The Golden Shrimp played around and came up with Sweet and Savoury Parsnip Muffins. I love parsnips!
Meeta from What's for Lunch, Honey? gives us a wonderful take on Crème Caramel, flavouring it with sweet potatoes and toffee. I'm drooling - yum!
Daniela from Fragole & Cioccolato has created a rustic and spicy tart, to be enjoyed with a cup of tea. Grazie!
Cakelaw from Laws of the Kitchen shares with us a low fat cake laden with the goodness of pumpkin and sultanas - check it out!
Karyn from Hot Potato has created mini pies that provide the same cute one-serving appeal as cupcakes...but they are pies! Check out her mini pumpkin pies!
Louise from Knit 1 Bake 2 revamped the humble carrot cake with her Ultimate Carrot Cake with Marscapone and Fromage Frais Topping.
Nora of Life's Smörgåsbord comes from down under and refreshes us with a Mango and Apricot Frappé.
Ann of Redacted Recipes shares her Bittersweet Carrot Orange Cake Mini Bundts with Cream Cheese Frou Frous. Cute!
Elizabeth from SMBSLT's Journal shares her delicious and moist Pumpkin and Sour Cherry Scones. I will have to try sometime!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Welcome all to definitely not martha, the sarcastic, quip-filled home of Sugar High Friday for November 2007. SHF was created by Jennifer at Domestic Goddess and has been hosted by blogs across the globe...now including me.
Seeing as this month is Thanksgiving for American readers, and generally has me in a harvest-y kinda mood, what with threats of snow, ice and other such chilly menaces….the theme for this month is Beta Carotene Harvest.
This is like the chicken soup of the dessert world – something hearty, something comforting and something that packs a beta carotene punch…i.e., desserts made with typical harvest gourds and roots – pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, etc. (I’m open to other possibilities…but this is the general idea). A few examples:
- pumpkin pie
- carrot cake
- sweet potato torte
- spiced pumpkin strudel
Go nuts! Be creative! Make something totally new. I love weird and different. So show me what you’ve got!
The deadline for submitting to this month’s SHF is MONDAY, 26 November at midnight EST (GMT-5). I will post the round-up on Friday the 30th of November…at some point during the day/evening (he – I’ve got a day job peeps!).
In order to share your submission, I will require the following:
- image (optional) no larger than 100x100 (doesn’t have to be square, but the biggest dimension cannot exceed 100 pixels)
- a link to your entry
- name of your blog (and link to your blog)
- a brief summary of your entry
Please send your entries to me here: firstname.lastname@example.org with the title SHF November (or something like that, so I don’t think it’s spam!). You can post in comments, but I can’t guarantee I’ll find it….so if you could send me an email, that would kick ass.
If you do not have a blog and wish to participate, please feel free to do so in the comments section.
I look forward to seeing all of your vitamin-packed creations…
Monday, October 29, 2007
For noobs, the Daring Bakers are a group of intrepid food bloggers who tackle a new culinary challenge every month.
This month, we tackled the fun and funky bostini cream pie, hosted by the lovely Mary of alpineberry.
There were parts of this recipe that I really liked, and other parts I wasn't a fan of.
I LOVED the chiffon cake....I would make it again and do it up as a layer cake - orange chiffon is really lovely and delicate and very very yummy.
Don't know as I'd pair it with dark chocolate again. I love dark chocolate, but unless you have something pretty aggressive, it ends up dominating anything you pair it with.....I loved the chocolate glaze, but it didn't really do anything to improve the dessert, I thought.
And last....the custard....I think I goofed 'er up somehow. Like maybe I killed it. It was grainy. Other people didn't really seem to have the same issue, so I'm pretty sure it was me....hehe.
Anyway....here are is my take on this fun new treat - and I halved the recipe and lost (somehow!) all my photos of the making of the custard. But since I sucked at it, I guess that's no big deal, eh? hehe
Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)
Makes 8 generous servings
3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, beaten
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter
To prepare the custard:
Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.
To prepare the chiffon cakes:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray 8 molds with nonstick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups.
(I didn't have cute little cake molds, so I baked my halved recipe in a 9x9 pan, and I cooked it for less time). I would like to make it in 2 9x9 pans next time and make an orange cream layer cake. WOOT!
Also - photographic proof that I squeezed my own orange juice...
Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat.
It always scares me a little when someone tells me to make something smooth, but not to overbeat it....
Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed molds nearly to the top with the batter.
I was enamoured of my frothy egg whites.
And even more so with my cake...
Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the molds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.
I think I ended up baking my cake for about 18-20 minutes. I started checking early because I keep burning things!
My much-abused spiegelau wine balloons served me well yet again....one of these days I'll stop using fine crystal as a cookie cutter....
Also, I know the chiffon cake kicks complete ass because I got to eat these bits...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
To prepare the glaze:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.
Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.
I didn't have to cut anything from my cakes, as they were already quite flat, and perfectly sized to my custard ramekins...
And then I poured the chocolate over top, garnished with orange zest....and proceeded to eat all the cake, but leave my grainy narsty custard. I want more cake. And perhaps someday I will learn how not to destroy custard....
Thanks so much for reading! I'm so behind in all my posting - I seriously have like 200 photos I haven't even gone through yet, because life has just been so busy lately. I miss you guys!
Anyway, if you'd like to see other (likely more successful!) renditions of the bostini cream pie, check out the daring bakers blogroll here: http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/
Saturday, October 20, 2007
When it comes to food, I'm not a big fan of the traditional. Just because you have been eating the same thing for the last 20 years doesn't necessarily mean that it is a great idea.
I always like to try new things (it can totally be an old recipe, as long as it is new to ME) and frequently tire of eating the same thing all the time....I just think that there is so much amazing food out there.....why always eat the same thing?
So you'll have to understand that when it comes to meals like Thanksgiving, I always feel like I'm stuck in a bit of a conundrum....in my neck of the woods, when the temperature drops, people expect turkey. And they expect the full-meal, roasted, sage-seasoned bird deal. No ifs, ands or buts.
Definitely nothing exciting or new.
So for a couple of years, I caved to expectations and made the bird the old-fashioned way. And to a certain extent, I still do that. There's nothing revolutionary or different about the way I make my turkey.
But one thing I always found absolutely maddening was the fact that you would have to slave away all day to make a super-rich, heavy meal, only to have the hordes descend and gobble it in less time than it took to set the table.
So I've altered the way I serve Thanksgiving without too much mucking around with the traditional flavours. It works out pretty well.
We were just a weeeee little group this year (only 5), but good conversation was there in abundance and I think we all ate our fill.....
Appetizer: Turkey Dumplings with Cranberry-Soy Sauce
This was a nice light appetizer - good for snacking, good cold and easy enough to make up in advance. YUM.
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1/4 lb (125 g) lean ground turkey
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) minced ginger
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/4 t pepper
3/4 cup (175 mL) shredded Savoy or Napa cabbage
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded carrot
1/4 cup (50 mL) green onions
32 round dumpling or square wonton wrappers
Cornstarch for dusting
1 cup (250 mL) cranberry sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL)minced ginger
2 tbsp (30 mL) thinly sliced green onion
1. Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Crumble in turkey and brown well. Add the carrot, cabbage, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper.
2. Cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
3. Moisten two edges of each wonton wrapper with a little water. Place a rounded spoonful of the filling in the centre of each; fold to enclose, pressing to seal. Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornstarch to keep wontons from sticking. Cover with a damp towel. (You can layer them in a container if you put waxed paper between the layers. I made them up the day before).
1. Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add a single layer of the wontons. Cook, without turning, for 2 minutes or until just golden on the bottom.
2. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of water to the skillet. Cover and steam for 6 minutes or until all the water is evaporated and dumplings are tender throughout.
3. Repeat with remaining dumplings, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Meanwhile, whisk the cranberry sauce with the soy sauce in a small saucepan; set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until the sauce comes to a boil and is smooth and glossy. Cool slightly; stir in the ginger and green onions.Makes 32 wontons.
Soup: Roasted Buttercup Squash with Cinnamon Cumin Cream
(yeah, I know, you've seen that before! but it's so good!)
Salad: Mâche with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese
Pretty self-explanatory - take your favourite greens, your favourite vinaigrette (I like 3:1 oil to vinegar with enough mustard to emulsify) and crumble goat cheese over top. I had grand intentions of adding dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds, but had no luck in finding either.)
Dinner: Turkey, Gravy, REEEEALLLY yummy Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Decadence, Stuffing, Green Beans
The one thing I don't really love about a turkey dinner is that it really isn't the prettiest thing you can make....colours are a little blah. It was deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelish though. YUM.
Roasted Turkey with Gravy
1 giant turkey (fresh, preferably, and with giblets)
1/2 bottle dry white wine
2 onions, peeled and halved
3 carrots, cut into large chunks
2-3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
1 cup chicken broth
1 turkey lifter (if you don't have one, BUY one - you want a rack you can put under your turkey, so when it's all cooked and falling apart, you can lift it out of your pan.....having a centre pin is an added bonus, as it will be easy to get it out from under your cooked bird)
1 meat thermometer (takes the guesswork out!)
oil/melted butter, salt, poultry seasoning and dried sage
1. Wash your turkey, inside and out. Remove any weird looking blobs from inside (aka giblets). Hang onto the giblets.
2. Take a big roasting pan. PUT THE LIFTER IN FIRST. Take your veggies and spread them around the outside of the pan.
3. Put the washed turkey on the roaster. Pour a little white wine into the pan juices, and add enough broth so that the bottom of the pan is covered.
4. If you're stuffing your turkey, fill 'er up. Place the giblets around the outside (along with the veggies). They help flavour the gravy.
5. Mix together your melted butter/oil, along with some of your favourite spices (poultry seasoning is a big hit here).
6. Turn your oven to 350F. Take out the top rack (probably don't have room for it).
7. If you want, you can spread some of the seasoned butter mixture between the skin and the meat. If you're icked out, just brush it on top. Your turkey will still be very good and you won't be up to your elbows in guts.
8. Cover all the exposed bony bits with foil (wings, legs), put the thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh) and then put the turkey in the oven.
9. Every 45 minutes, take the turkey out and baste. Check the temperature every time. Once you see the temperature hit 120F, it won't be long until your turkey is ready. If you still have a lot of time left until dinner, turn the oven as low as 250F (but no lower) to slow down the cooking process.
10. About half an hour before the turkey is to be evicted, take the lid off, brush with oil again, and turn the oven up to 400F so you can get nice, crisp brown skin.
11. When turkey hits the temperature you want (about 170-180F), take it out of the oven and let it rest a few minutes. Stick any potatoes/extra stuffing into the oven at this time....
12. Lift the big bird onto a rimmed platter. Carve as desired.
13. To make gravy, strain your pan juices into a large pot. If you're lacking in juice (probably not), add some wine/broth. In a small bowl, take about 1/4 cup of flour and whisk it together with more wine/broth....slowly whisk it into the gravy mixture and bring to a boil. If you want it darker, add a couple of dashes of soy sauce. Taste and add seasoning if it needs it.
The Best Mashed Potatoes EVER
This recipe is from the best of the best of bridge cookbook and it is awesome. The whole Best of Bridge series is great - things that are simple to make and big on impressing guests. It's not my usual style of recipe, but I'd heard such rave reviews I wanted to make it. I actually had to go out and buy onion salt for it, and it's DELICIOUS. You can make it up the night before and just heat it in the oven while your turkey is resting. The thinner the layer of potatoes in the casserole dish, the better.
5 lbs. potatoes or 9 large 2.5kg
8 oz. low-fat cream cheese 250g
1 cup fat-free sour cream 250ml
2 tsp. onion salt 10ml
1 tsp. salt 5ml
pinch of pepper
2 Tbsp. butter 30ml
Cook and mash potatoes. Add all ingredients, except butter, and combine. Put into large greased casserole. Dot with butter. Bake, covered, at 350F (180C) for 30 minutes.If making ahead, cover and refrigerate or freeze. Thaw before baking. Serves 10-12
Sweet Potato Decadence
This is really, really bad for you.
2-3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
6-8 ounces cheese (I like to use gruyère)
3 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter
2 T flour
1.5 cups whipping cream
1. In a slow cooker (or casserole dish if you are lucky enough to have oven space for this!) sprayed with cooking spray, layer the potatoes with grated cheese.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook 3 minutes or so. Add in the flour and whisk together.
3. In a slow stream, add the whipping cream. Bring to a boil.
4. Pour over sweet potato mixture. Cook on low about 4 hours. If you cook longer, the sweet potatoes fall apart (like mine did!). It still tastes great, but presentation is not so nice.
Stuffing - Easy and Old Fashioned
The whole idea that people use boxed stuffing absolutely flabberghasts me. DON'T FREAKING DO IT. EW. I mean....EW.
Stuffing is easy and impossible to mess up. And even if you do somehow mess it up....just drown it in gravy. But please don't use the instant stuff....it's a pretty sad statement on society when people can't even make soggy bread..... hehe
2 loaves bread (1 brown, 1 white), processed into coarse crumbs, or torn into small pieces
3 onions, chopped
3 stalks celery
6-7 cloves garlic
1/2 cup butter (1/4 pound or 1 stick)
1. In a skilled, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft. Add 1 T poultry seasoning and 2 t dried sage.
2. Stir this mixture into the bread (if you like, sprinkle more dried spices over the bread - it's okay to use a lot of spice in this recipe, because it's supposed to be highly aromatic).
3. Add enough broth so the whole mixture is moist. You want it to stick together, but not be sopping wet.
4. You can put it in the bird, or cook it in a casserole dish at about 350F for 20-25 minutes to heat.
This is just plain-jane old fashioned stuffing. It's SUPER easy to make and very yummy.
Dessert: Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with Whipped Cream and Pecan-Bourbon Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining mixture.
3. Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.
4. Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until filling is set. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Cool and remove rim. Chill before serving. ***Personally, my cake was WAY overcooked at 55 minutes. I would start checking it at 45 minutes or so. Mine cracked in the worst way. I ended up covering it up with spiced whipped cream (3/4 cup whipping cream, 2-3 T sugar, 1/2 t cinnamon and 1/4 t ginger). Then sprinkling it with more chopped pecans.
Pecan-Bourbon Caramel Sauce
(this stuff is AWESOME). Definite make again.
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
6 T unsalted butter
1/4 c corn syrup
1/2 t salt
3-4 T bourbon
1 cup pecans, toasted
1. Bring sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup and salt to a boil in a deep medium sauce pan. (Whisk until sugar dissolves).
2. Reduce heat to medium, boil 1 minute without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon, then pecans.
3. Cool, stirring occasionally.
Thanksgiving dinner kicked ass. I ate so much. Then I ate a lot of turkey in the week that followed - turkey panini (with dijon, chopped shallots and aged cheddar), turkey fried rice, turkey nachos....you name it.
Thank you for reading! Hope all my Canadian readers had a great thanksgiving....and hope this might serve as a bit of inspiration for some of my American friends.....