Thursday, 29 August 2013

Peanut Butter
Blossoms
 
 
Well Autumn is around the corner and soon we will be turning the oven on again and filling our homes with the sweet scent of baked cookies.
 
Peanut Butter Blossoms are so easy to make and changing the top gives the cookie a special  look and taste.
 
These can easily be dressed up or down.
With striped flavoured "kisses"
they become festive enough for the Holidays!
 
This dough can be made ahead.
Shaped into rolls and sliced when needed.
These thumbprint cookies store and freeze well covered in freezer containers and defrosted when needed.
 
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
 
Toppings:
Hershey's Kisses
(chocolate, peppermint or striped Chocolate)
Caramel Topping
Jam
 
Preheat the oven to 350F
Stir together the dry ingredients.
In a large mixer bowl, whip the peanut butter and sugars together.
 
Add the egg, margarine and vanilla.
Continue beating.
 
Add dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed.
 
Shape into 1" balls and place on a silpat/parchment lined baking sheet, 1" apart.
 
Press down centers with your thumb, making a deep imprint.
I used the bottom of a wrapped "kiss" dredged in flour to avoid sticking to make my imprint before baking.
 
Bake for 15-17 minutes.
Before the cookie cools, press an unwrapped chocolate into the center of the cookie.
 
For Jam or Caramel
 
Stir to loosen.
Press the cookie down with your thumb or chocolate imprint again, gently.
Fill the center with jam or caramel mixture.
Allow to cool completely.
Store in air tight containers with parchment/wax paper between layers.
Makes approx. 40-60 cookies depending on size.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Trail Mix Oatmeal Cookies
 
 
A classic with a twist;
 
Who doesn't welcome the scent
of baking oatmeal cookies?
 
This cookie was one of the simplest cookies for me to make any time of the week.
When my children were small, I would prop them up on the counter and ask them to help.
How?
I would ask them to help me find the specific measuring cups like: 1 slash 2:
1/2 cup
This simple task helped teach them fractions!
 
Stirring became a game watching the ingredients mix together in a LARGE mixing bowl;
to catch any irregular stirring from little hands.
 
This type of participation led my children, now teens and adults, to love creating in the kitchen.
 
I can't tell you how wonderful it is for them to bake and cook for me now!
 
Win Win
 
This recipe is courtesy of my daughter! 
 
Easy to prepare,
simple ingredients
These yummy cookies have a colourful twist with the addition of cranberries;
festive, chewy and inviting
 
These are chockfull of nutritious ingredients with a touch of sweetness needed to satisfy even the pickiest person of the bunch.
 
You can whip these up any time of the week.
 

1/2 butter


1 eggs
1 1/2cup rolled oats
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup each toasted chopped almonds and walnuts (walnuts toast for less time than almonds)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/8 cup each dried cranberries & golden raisins
3/4 cup flour
Cream butter in a large mixer bowl. Add sugar. Continue creaming to a fluffy texture.
Lower speed and mix in egg, vanilla, salt and cinnamon
Remove from mixer stand and using a spatula or wooden spoon fold/stir in the flour.
When almost no white shows, drop in chips, dried fruit, nuts and blend well.
Refrigerate mixer for 1-2 hrs. Using a 1oz large cookie scoop. Scoop batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 375F until golden for approx. 10min, but soft to the touch. They will crisp and harden when cooled.
Enjoy with love!
 

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Roasted Honey Thyme
Yams
Summer time fun for me includes using the
BBQ
You can virtually make everything on it with no fuss and no heating up the kitchen.
Yay!
Yams are usually used in the winter, but
this easy dish adds so much flavor to your next BBQ
You'll have everyone begging for seconds and the recipe...
 
1 large peeled yam, sliced
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Cajun spice
drizzle of oil
pinch of salt
aluminum foil
 
Place the cut yam on the foil.
Drizzle with honey
Sprinkle with seasonings and oil
Wrap!
 
Place on cold BBQ and turn it on to low!
Roast turning after 20min. as it takes the BBQ time to warm up.
Then continue to turn over 2 more times at 20min. intervals for a total of 40-50min.
 
Place the rest of your BBQ foods between these times to save time.
 
Remove pkg. from the BBQ and serve.
It's that easy
 
Enjoy with love!
 


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cassata Ravioli Cookies

Cassata Ravioli Cookies

This is a delicate cookie rich in flavours and they have a delicate crunch.
Served warm they ooze a creamy filling with the same ingredients of an old classic Italian dessert.
Cassata
is a filling from Southern Italy
used between delicate sponge cake layers to
form a wonderful dessert.
I used the filling ingredients and used
Pasta!
Yes pasta,
fried in a ravioli shape
These are perfect for any special occasion or Holiday
1 cup  ricotta
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp  orange zest
2 tbsp toffee bits
3 tbsp toasted , chopped almonds or hazelnuts (opt)
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped into large chunks
10 sheets, fresh lasagna
1pkg fresh raspberries, washed drained
1 egg for egg wash, beaten lightly
oil for frying
1/4 cup icing sugar for dusting
Mix first 3 ingredients together. Gently stir in chocolate, nuts and toffee bits. Set aside.

On a flat surface (see picture) place 3 large dollops of cheese mixture near the bottom edge of pasta, place raspberry on top, leave 1/2"-1" rim around all sides.  Brush pasta with egg wash around all edges and in between dollops.  fold pasta over and using the sides of your hand press down to seal all edges.  Cut using pizza wheel or decorative wheel Continue until all sheets and filling are finished.
Fry for 5 sec on each side until lightly golden (no longer or it may burn ) and drain on paper towels.  Dust with icing sugar
Enjoy with Love!







Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

Pancakes are such a North American tradition. Classic flavours using our fresh in season
Blueberries
hit the spot on a lazy weekend morning or brunch!
This recipe adds a light fluffiness using my European background additional ingredient of
Ricotta
 Not only does it add rich flavor but it makes the pancake fluffy and it's full of protein and calcium.
Think outside the box and add any nuts, dried fruits or natural flavourings you like.
 
 

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1 cup wheat flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt

 

Wet Ingredients:

2 lg. eggs

2 cups milk or non dairy milk

1/4 cup ricotta

1 tsp  vanilla extract

1 tsp grated lemon rind

 1 cup blueberries (or a mixture of your favourite berry)

 

Mix wet ingredients together with a fork, whisking until smooth.

Pour into mixed dry ingredients. Stir only until no flour shows. Set aside to rest.

Preheat a large skillet on #6 or #7. Grease with a small pat of butter or oil.

Drop batter onto skillet with a ladle.  Allow to cook for approx. 5 min until bubbles which form on batter burst and the top of the pancake looses it's shine.

Using a spatula, flip pancake and continue to cook through another 3 minutes.

Place on a warm plate for stacking or eat immediately while hot~
 
Enjoy with love!

 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

From Italy with Love
Pesto alla Genovese
 
My 5th and last installment from my wonderful trip to
Italy
 
I couldn't have picked a better dish to represent my family and background.
I was able to make this dish with the help of two uncles.
One had large plants of fresh basil already growing hardy in his garden.
The other has old pine trees which supply him with pine nuts!
 
Look at the height of the pines, you have to wait until the cones drop!
 
I had to pick each and every pine nut from the pine cone, a sticky and difficult job because the pines are sturdy and tight. Then I had to crack the shell of the nut with a hammer!
 
Now I know why they cost so much...
 
The aroma of fresh pine is unmistakable and I knew that bringing them across the ocean would probably cost me that distinct wonderful scent...
 
so I made the dish in Italy
and savored this classic dish.

 
Even my Italian sister in law has a mini chopper so, I whizzed the ingredients together instead of using a mortar and pestle...
easy easy
 
1lb pasta, your choice
10 large basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
 
Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil.
Tip in the pasta.
Stir to prevent the pasta from sticking.
 
Meanwhile in a small skillet toast the pine nuts on medium high heat, sliding it back and forth across the burner to toss the nuts.
Set aside.
 
In a mini food processor add the basil, garlic and nuts.
Turn the machine on to blend the ingredients, drizzle olive oil into the feeding tube.
Enough to loosen the mixture, making a thick sauce.
 
Drain the pasta, reserve a 1/4 cup to loosen the sauce.
Add 1/2 of the pesto, toss in the cheese.
Adjust the sauce if you want a thicker paste.