Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Steel-Cut Oats

So a friend of mine made a comment on her Facebook page, and I am paraphrasing, she would rather eat Rice Krispie Squares for breakfast, that oatmeal.  Which has now given me a challange to create a yummy oatmeal that Devon will enjoy, that is still somewhat healthier than eating Rice Krispie Squares for breakfast. 

So in honour of the season, and because I had a ton of pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving, I give you:

Pumpkin Spice Steel-Cut Oats
With Pumpkin Whipped Cream

4 Cups water
1 Cup Steel-Cut Oats  
1 Cup Raisins (optional)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ginger
½ tsp. Nutmeg  
¼ tsp. Ground Cloves or Allspice
1 Cup + 1TBS. Pureed Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Filling), divided
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Agave Syrup (optional)

Boil water.  Slowly stir in Oats and Raisins and cook until oats start to thicken (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and add spices and 1 Cup pumpkin. 
Pumpkin Whipped Cream:
Beat heavy cream with an electric beater until peaks form. Fold in 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin and Agave Syrup to taste. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shark Cake Pops

Shark Cake Pops

1 pkg. Duncan Heins Devil’s Food Cake

½ tub store bought chocolate frosting

24 Hershey’s Kisses

2 bags Blue Candy Melts

1 bag Red Candy Melts

½ cup White Candy Melts

Wilton Black Sugar Pearls

Black Sprinkles

24 Lollipop Sticks

Styrofoam Block or Floral Foam

Bake the cake according to the package directions.  While cake is baking start prepping your Kisses.  In order to get the perfect shark fin, I trimmed off each side of the Kiss and then angle-cut the base. See Pictures below.

Once your cake is baked and cooled, crumble into a bowl. Add ½ a can of frosting and mix with your fingers until thoroughly combined.  Using a scoop, scoop onto a cookie tray or cutting board. (I used my Pampered Chef Medium Scoop, which is approximately 2 TBSP.)  You should have about 24 mounds or cake mixture.  Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls and place all balls into the fridge.

Melt your Blue and Red candy melts together until they form Purple, add white until you get the appropriate gray colour.


1.       Dip the tip of your sticks into the melted candy melts

2.       Insert stick into prepared cake ball

3.       Insert the stick into Styrofoam block

4.       Dip bottom of kiss into candy melts and stick to top of cake pop

5.       Once candy melt has hardened, dip the entire cake pop into the melted candy melts. The technique that I used was I put the melted candy melts into a small deep bowl and dipped straight down and up, I then held the cake pop at an angle and twirled and tapped the side of my wrist with my other hand.

6.       Once candy melt has hardened, use tweezers to pick up and dip the sugar pearls in a small amount of candy melts and attach eyes.

7.       Use tweezers to pick up and dip the black sprinkles in candy melts and attach gills

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Boursin Gougère

Gougère (pronounced goo-zhair) is a cheese flavored cream puff pastry, which I have adapted from the Land O Lakes website. I love this website; so many yummy recipes and beautiful photos.
My in-laws were coming over for lunch and I made these to serve with soup and salad.  They were a huge hit. Even my husband, whom does not like anything biscuit-y, loved these and approved them for future consumption. 

Boursin Gougère
1 cup water
½ cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
4 eggs
1 150g package Boursin
2 TBSP. chopped fresh chives or green onion
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone mats or grease baking sheets lightly.
Combine water and butter in a 3 quart heavy sauce pan or dutch oven.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil (5 to 7 minutes).  Add flour, Italian seasoning, garlic,  and salt.  Stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Add 1 egg at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Stir in Boursin and chives. 

Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto prepared baking sheets. Top each with parmesean cheese. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until puffed and browned. Serve warm.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte

Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte
So around Christmas time Andre and I were watching the Food Network when a show came on called “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. There was a chef named Judy Joo who talked about a Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte that she had at the Lovin’ Oven in New Jersey.  Andre asked if I could make it, so I quickly wrote down a few notes from watching the episode and it was a good thing I did, because when I went on the Food Network website they did not post the recipe. 
So for the next two months I slowly amassed the needed items to make this torte.  I picked up a fluted torte pan and some pink Himalayan salt from Winners.  I researched the internets and Pinterest for some basic ideas for creating the perfect caramel filling.  I already had in my repertoire a really great chocolate ganache recipe. 

So Valentine’s Day was upon us and I was ready to attempt this. So I made the crust – no problem. I made the caramel and burned it, so I made the caramel again and burned it. Third time’s a charm – right? I watched that pot like a hawk and turned it off a little too early, but the caramel was not burned so I forged ahead.  The good news is I made this again the next week for some friends who were coming to town and let the caramel cook to a deep rich colour and got it just right.  Woohoo!!
The Crust

1 ½ cups Chocolate Cookie crumbs
3 – 4 Tbs. melted butter
1 pkg. Starbucks Via (optional)
Mix all ingredients together and press into a 10 inch round torte or springform pan.   Bake for 10 minutes in a 350°F oven.  Now the first time I made this I did not use the coffee and it was really good.  The second time I made this I thought I would try the coffee to add another level of flavour.  It was really good, but I had trouble falling asleep both nights that I ate a piece, so I would not recommend adding the coffee if you want to go to sleep early. 

Salted Caramel
1 ½ cups sugar
3 Tbs. corn syrup
¼ tsp. sea salt, finely ground
6 Tbs. water
6 Tbs. unsalted butter
6 Tbs. heavy cream
1 Tbs. sour cream

In a heavy duty saucepan or dutch oven, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water and bring to a boil.  Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°F (this is where I ran into problems – in Calgary, the temperature on the thermometer only needs to reach just under 300°F or it will burn) so take into account your location to sea level. 
Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, cream, and sour cream (the mixture will bubble up) until smooth. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm 4 -5 hours.  Make sure when you put it into your fridge that it is level or the caramel will be uneven. 

Chocolate Ganache
½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped – I used Bernard Callebaut
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Only make this once the caramel has set.  Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth.  Pour ganache evenly over tart and refrigerate until set, 4 – 5 hours.  Sprinkle tart with sea salt, slice, and serve. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quinoa Granola

So I woke up this morning craving my favourite homemade granola recipe.  Unfortunately, I discovered that I had only about 3/4 of a cup of rolled oats.  So I decided to substitute quinoa for the oatmeal and am pleasantly surprised with the results. 

Quick & Easy Quinoa Granola

1/2 cup Sunflower seeds
1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cups Quinoa, rinsed really well and patted dry
3/4 cups of Rolled Oats (optional)
1/4 cup ground Flax seed
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
1/2 cup sliced Almonds
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened Coconut
1/4 cup Almond Butter
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Honey or 1/3 cup Agave syrup
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1- 2 tsp. Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 F.  Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix until evenly blended.

Press mixture into a baking pan and bake for 40 minutes.  I used my broiling pan as it is the largest one I have and lined it with parchment paper.  This made it a little bit crispier, which I really like in a granola.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Oreo Brownie Goodness


So awhile back I had made Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. Andre had suggested that I make them in muffin tins instead, in order to keep them from spreading out so much. Andre had also asked that I incorporate brownie batter into them in some fashion. After talking to some friends who made them (Hi, Devon & Amador) who recommended using Two Bite Brownies instead of the Oreos and finally while wasting time on Pinterest I found this. It was like the world was conspiring against me and telling me that I must make Brownie Chocolate Chip Oreo Goodness, much to the chagrin of Andre's waistline.

So three weeks ago I bought two bags of double stuffed Oreos in order to do just that.  Well, let's just say that my sister came to visit, life got busy and I have just gotten around to attempting to make them this morning.  The only problem is that by this time I only have one partially eaten bag of Oreos left (15 cookies).  I figured while that should make about 15 cookies (I am a math genius), that should be enough for dessert tonight.  So I made up my chocolate chip cookie dough batter (same recipe as here) and I made up my Brownie Batter (see below). 

Surprise, surprise, I have way more batter than I have Oreos.  So I thought, "I can just make cookies, but what fun is that?" I decided to experiment and settled on the idea of putting marshmallows in the center of the chocolate chip cookies and brownie batter cupcakes. Brilliant!! I tell Andre that necessity is the mother of invention.  He advises me that he did not think that having extra cookie dough was what Plato had in mind. So off I went to continue to construct this diet defying chocolaty treat.  I baked these in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes and when they come out the marshmallow has completely disappeared and been absorbed into the cookie and brownie dough, so that it has turned the dough into a delicious caramel infused cookie, but has left a giant void in the middle of my cupcake, so I stuff another 5 mini marshmallows into the crater and leave them to cool and melt the marshmallows. I have to admit that these were pretty tasty.  I took a picture, but it is really fuzzy (probably from all the sugar I had just consumed). 

But now I have run out of muffin tins and I still have a lot of brownie and cookie dough left.  Aha, I know I will put it in a bread pan and then bake a loaf, but why stop at just marshmallows - I can quickly whip up a small batch of rice krispie squares and make a rice krispie layer (and Andre wonders why there are so many dishes after I get done baking). 

Step #1

Step #2

Step #3

Now this idea was great in theory, but once baked the rice krispies turned into a hard chewy melted blob of sugary cereal.  Not that that is going to stop us from eating it in any event, we will probably just cover it in vanilla frozen yogurt and eat anyways or Andre will at least, but it is definitely not as tasty as the oreos or the marshmallows.     


In a heavy saucepan over very low heat, melt, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter

Set aside to cool completely.  Stir in:
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Stir until combined:
4 eggs

Stir in until just combined:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Scrape batter into pan (normally a 9 x 13) lined with parchment paper and spread to edges.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until the center is almost firm and a toothpick inserted comes out clean about 25 - 30 minutes. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oatmeal Apple Raisin Muffins

I like to make these muffins on weekend mornings, when I let Andre sleep in.  He is always so happy when he gets up and there are fresh muffins coming out of the oven for him. 

Preheat oven to 400.

2 Eggs

1 1/2 cup milk
2 cups raisins (I will boil and drain my raisins in water before putting them in the recipe in order to plump them up and make them super juicy)
2 cups chopped apple (about 2 apples) I prefer Granny Smith, but any variety will work
1 cup vegetable or canola oil

In separate bowl combine:
2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
2/3 cup sugar
6 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 tsp. cinnamon

Stir dry ingredients into wet until just combined.  Fill greased muffin tins or papers as right to top and kind of overflowing the top of the muffin tin.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.