Friday, December 30, 2011

Giant Christmas Pavlova!

Seriously.  No joke.  Biggest pavlova ever!  The size of the tire on my 4Runner.  Ok, maybe not quite that big.  But big.  It took up an entire cookie sheet and almost, almost, ran over the edges.  The recipe for the meringue was from Nigella Lawson's Feast.  I one and a halved the recipe, hers said it would serve 10 to 12.  We have hearty eaters in my family and I knew that there would be at least 15 of us at Christmas dinner.

New Recipes to Come!

So much cooking and baking has taken place over the last week I hardly know where to start!  With all of the parties and birthdays it was hard to find the time to take pictures of what I was making, let alone write up a post!  Now that things have slowed down a bit I am hoping to block out some time in the next few days to get blogging.  I have a new favorite bread recipe, a curried red lentil soup, quick and simple chicken parmesan and a dessert that will wow even the professional chefs in your family!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that you have fun plans for the new year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Cookies - Round 3 - Peppermint Meringues

I mean, who wouldn't want to make something from the cover of Bon Apetit?  Pink and white and red and minty...  Sign me up!  A great treat for any one who is gluten free too!  I am always a little hesitant when going into a project that involves meringue.  If there is just the littlest bit of oil in your mixing bowl you have to start all over again.  And you have to add everything S L O W L Y.  But I thought what the heck.  Why not give it a try.  And have something totally different to give out, or eat myself.

Christmas Cookies - Round 2 - Gold Stars

No big elaborate story here.  Just buttery cookies with ginger instead of the usual vanilla or almond.  Another cookie recipe from Nigella Christmas.  Nigella's ginger stars had edible gold glitter on them.  I didn't have that, nor did I want to go on what was sure to be a wild goose chase to find it.  So I just used gold sugar.  Simple as that.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Moosewood Fudge Brownies

One of the very best brownie recipes out there!  Right out of the Moosewood Cookbook.  No alterations.  Mollie Katzen lists all sorts of add ins, and I have no doubt that they would all be delicious.  But I wanted to stick to the basics.  Plain chocolaty fudgy awesomeness.  To be eaten warm with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of Saigon cinnamon.  Bliss!  And yes that is a corner piece in the picture.  I am one of those people who likes the edges of brownies, the lasagne from the corner and the crunchy end of a baguette.  Can't help myself, somehow it is just better! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Cookies - Round 1 - Spice Cookies with Orange Icing

So I'm totally on the Christmas Cookie band wagon this year.  I don't know why.  Well actually I have a pretty good idea.  I finally have a kitchen I can spread out in and two weeks ago a friend's mum gave me her Kitchenaid mixer.  I know.  It is amazing.  Debby asked me if I wanted her mixer and I must have looked at her like she was crazy because she said, "No really, you can have it, I don't use it anymore."  AMAZING!  So you can thank Debby for all of the Christmas Cookies and other baked goodies that are going to be coming your way!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Cooking isn't the only thing that happens in the kitchen at #42!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Anadama Bread

Homemade bread?  Yes please!  And make mine anadama!

A Curry for Ninjas!

I had an impromptu dinner party last weekend. Organized a just couple of hours before it happened.  A bunch of awesome friends who I don't get to see very often were all available.  And what better way to catch up than over a bowl of curry?  The curry pictured above isn't actually the one I made last Saturday.  We were having way to much fun to bother about taking a photo of a bowl full of curry.  The one above I made last night.  Same thing only with this one I used carrots instead of the green beans I used last week.  But let's get right to the recipe.  Double everything if you are going to serve more than three or four people.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chicken and Noodles


It's that time of year.  Everyone is feeling a little frantic.  A little over extended, ok maybe a lot overextended.  And your worst fear of getting sick just in time for all of those holiday parties may just be coming true.  In my family not only do we have all of the holiday parties, we also have a lot of December birthdays.  As you can imagine this adds to the insanity.  Bouncing from Ugly Sweater party to cookie swap to birthday and back again is bound to take it's toll.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lemon Marmalade Cake

Cake that tastes like pound cake but doesn't have any butter in it - what?  You're talking crazy talk.  Nope.  Not.  I am telling the truth.  I can't promise that this is good for you, it does have sugar in it after all, but it is pretty darn delicious!  I was on one of my favorite blogs, Pioneer Woman, recipe browsing.  Looking for a relatively simple and quick dessert that I could throw together and then bring in the car with out fear of anything falling apart.  I also wanted something that I already had all of the ingredients for.  I came across this.  On Pioneer Woman it is listed as Yogurt-Marmalade Cake.  The only thing I would recommend changing is the amount of glaze.  I ended up only using half of what it called for because it made so much.  So I'll give you the halved measurements for the ingredients.  And If you like lots of sticky orange marmalade glaze than by all means go ahead and double it!

Friday, December 2, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza - The Way I Like It!

This isn't your run of the mill BBQ chicken pizza.  It is oh so much better!  And it really is all about the ingredients.  Not just pizza sauce and BBQ sauce from a jar - oh no!  I use my own roasted tomato sauce mixed with some Sweet Baby Ray's original.  And the crust, it's all about the crust.  I use Portland Pie Co. crust, either the garlic or the beer.  YUM.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chicken Thighs in Tomato Sauce With Penne


So basic.  So delicious.  You have to make this!  And you will be so happy that you did.  Every Thursday I have dinner with my Grandmother.  And every other Thursday I bring dinner.  I am always looking for something that I can make the night before and something that will appeal to both of us.  I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog and I changed it a bit because she used chicken thighs with the skin and bone - I am not a fan of chicken skin and personally I don't want to be pulling bones out of my pasta.  But you need the flavor so I added pancetta - yup - bacony goodness.  This is quick to put together but then you have to be patient and let it bubble away for an hour and a half.  Make sure you have the time because it is worth it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Crust

It's been a LONG time since I have made a pie crust.  So I was a little worried.  But this came together beautifully and tasted great.  And as I mentioned in the Cran/Blue Pie Post it still tasted great three days after baking it.  Don't be afraid!  It was well worth the effort.

Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie

So I decided to go in a different direction from the usual apple, pumpkin or pecan pie for Thanksgiving.  And boy am I glad I made this beauty!  I am not usually a blueberry pie fan but combined with the cranberries this was spot on.  DELICIOUS!  And I made both the crust and the filling the day before so all I had to do Thanksgiving morning was roll out the crust, dump in the fruit and bake it.  Easy as...well...pie.  Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.  So here we go.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Indian Pudding

So I've been feeling a little nostalgic lately.  My Granny used to make Indian Pudding for me on Thanksgiving.  I'd never made it before, but I have her Joy of Cooking so I thought why not give it a try.  And since I am making a berry pie for Thanksgiving dinner I thought Indian pudding would be a good second dessert, then we could cover both the fruit and spice flavors.  I have to admit that I wasn't as happy with the outcome as I had hoped to be.  It just didn't taste quite right.  Typical right?  Nothing ever tastes quite as good as it did when someone special made it for you.  Here is the recipe - right from Gran's Joy of Cooking (she even had an x next to the raisins - I hate raisins) I'll put in italics what I think might improve the flavor.  As is it has a very strong molasses flavor, which is good, but for me it needed to be cut with vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Rolls


Yep.  That's right.  Pumpkin dinner rolls.  One pan sweet (only slightly) and the other pan savory.  Does it get better than that?

So these are headed to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.  And to keep myself from eating a whole bunch and showing up with pans missing many rolls I put them in the freezer.  But I have been thinking about them since Sunday.  And when ever I pull open the freezer I see the two packages wrapped in foil and I can wait to eat them!  Last night I actually considered busting a package open and warming a couple of rolls up in the oven, then I thought of the looks I would get turning up with what was once clearly a round pan full of rolls with gaps.  So I left them where they were.  Lucky for the rolls.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jazzed up Corn Muffins

These were super quick to pull together.  They were great with chili last night and just as good with scrambled eggs this morning.  The original recipe was from Gourmet, January 1999.  I added more pumpkin seeds, more cheese and the scallions.

Let's just get right to it, you're probably hungry and impatient for the recipe!  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sweet Potato, Swiss Chard and Smoked Gruyere Turnovers

Three things that I love.  Wrapped in pie crust. What could be better?  

I found the recipe for these beauties in Real Simple a year or so ago.  The only things I changed were to swap the fresh thyme for dried and the Gruyere for smoked Gruyere.  Here is my reasoning.  I always have dried thyme in the cupboard.  If I buy fresh thyme I will not use it all before it starts to wilt.  I like smoked Gruyere better.  That is all. 

Thanksgiving here I come!

I am getting really excited for Thanksgiving!  I mentioned my addiction to the Epicurious slideshows.  I have been looking through all of the Thanksgiving ones and drooling.  I have been put in charge of desserts for next Thursday.  Is anyone really surprised?  I am thinking of making a cranberry blueberry pie and individual Indian puddings.  That way we have both fruit and spice flavors covered.  And since there will be a maximum of six or seven people individual Indian puddings make much more sense than a giant bowlful, especially since everyone always wants the edge pieces.  I also found a recipe for squash pan rolls that I think with a little tweaking will be really delicious.  The grocery list has eggs and butter underlined several times.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Green Beans? Broccoli? Please?

This is classic Pippa.  Searching for food.  Hoping, just hoping, something will hit the floor.  Please Mum, I really want some veggies.  I am so cute!  Give me the green beans.  If I stare at you with my big brown eyes you HAVE to give me the broccoli.  GIVE ME THE BROCCOLI!  Please? 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Spiced Cranberry Bundt Cake

So I posted this once already today.  And then I was trying to fix some of the settings.  And I deleted it.  Not cool.  So here we go again.  I will do my best to remember what I had typed before.  UGH!

So I have a slight addiction to the recipe slideshows on Epicurious.  I spend a lot of time browsing.  And getting hungry.  And convincing myself that I absolutely HAVE to make SOMETHING.  I was intrigued by this recipe because not only did it have the spices you would expect to find - vanilla, cinnamon and ginger - it also had Chinese five spice.  I was curious about baking with almond flour, having never used it before.  I was also looking for a different type of holiday dessert and I am pretty sure this cake will be making a reappearance.  It is delicious!

In my earlier post that I deleted I gave you the whole back story on the adventure to find the Bundt pan and the almond meal.  At this point I really just want to get the recipe up so you can make this for yourself!  So just a quick note - go directly to the natural foods store to find the almond flour.  It may be listed as almond meal and I think Bob's Red Mill will be the easiest to find.  It is pretty expensive so you may want to have some other recipes that use almond flour on hand since it is simply finely ground nuts and you wouldn't want to spend the money and then have it go rancid.  Be sure to store it in the freezer.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lentil Soup with Turmeric Yogurt

I love soups in the fall and winter.  Who doesn't?  My soups need to have a lot of flavor and maybe something unexpected.  The something unexpected in this soup is the subtle kick from the spicy smoked paprika and the turmeric yogurt that melts in and around the lentils and clings to the kale.  It is warming and hearty and delicious!