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I love meyer lemons and have taken a few opportunities to gather mass quantities of them in times of abundance from unsuspecting abandoned-tree owner’s yards and fields recently. ….. πŸ˜€

I have made tons of lemon curd — heres the recipeΒ  in one of my daring bakers challenges — but i just came across this tasty kitchen recipe for meyer lemon sorbet (i ❀ you p.w.!!)

How lovely:

(from bunkycooks.com)

i want some now πŸ™‚

Well, i’m a day late with posting though i had the challenge completed a few weeks ago! πŸ™‚

My overall impression of these new treats (the first time i tasted these) was good – the filling was a bit sweet, and the chocolate cracked when you cut the bars, but the textures were interesting and i loved the bottom layer- i could have just eaten that by its self!

Mom made the graham crackers ahead of time – and did them from scratch – but no pictures. we wereΒ  both a little skeptical that they tasted a little burnt when eaten by themselves – but they tasted great inside the bottom layer when we finally got the whole thing completed.

they were a lot of work though for just an 8×8 pan, but they were tasty anyway πŸ™‚

Here’s what happened:

our goal

Preparation time:
β€’ Graham Wafers: 30 to 45 minutes total active prep, 2 Β½ hours to overnight and 45 minutes inactive prep.
β€’ Nanaimo Bars: 30 minutes.

Equipment required:
β€’ Food Processor
β€’ Bowls
β€’ Parchment paper or silpats
β€’ Cookie sheets
β€’ Double boiler or pot and heatproof bowl
β€’ 8 by 8 inch square pan
β€’ Hand mixer or stand mixer (You may use a wooden spoon, but this makes it much easier!)
β€’ Saucepan

For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
Ingredients
1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 Β½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions:
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ΒΌ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

Nanaimo Bars
Ingredients:

For Nanaimo Bars β€” Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars β€” Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars β€” Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

Directions:
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

HERE GOES!

the homemade graham crackers

the homemade graham crackers

grinding the nuts

bottom layer components: nuts, graham crackers and coconut

bottom layer components: nuts, graham crackers and coconut

the left over graham cracker crumbs

bottom layer pressed into the pan

middle layer goes on

...and gets smoothed

Mom melts chocolate for the top layer

chocolate gets poured on top

and gets smoothed out

post refrigeration, mom starts a slice

the first cut came out a little ... well, mangled πŸ™‚

next one's a little better - the chocolate kept breaking!

and then we get one that looks really cool πŸ™‚

Mom and I finally had a successful year making these mint meringues – something that rarely happens – and attempts are only made at my constant pleading every christmas.

this year, it was not raining, which, YES MOM – MAY HAVE BEEN A FACTOR – but, this year i also took…creative(? πŸ™‚ ) liberty with how much i felt like following the directions which i think was more the thing that worked. and, of course i showed them the love. they know mom doesnt like them and assumes theyll fail before the whites are even whipped – but no – i WILLED them to work – and for the first year in MANY – they made it out of the shell/mixer/oven and into a ziplock bag.Β  i am enjoying one as we speak.

(trying to write a coherent intro is hard when snoop dog is on martha stewart and she thinks he’s referring to the brownies that they are making should be “green brownies”Β  – she thinks he means chocolate brownies with green sprinkles and cant seem to understand why he would want to use GREEN sprinkles on chocolate. snoop keeps cracking up that martha isnt getting it and the inuendos keep getting stonger. its hilarious!)

HA! Look at the sprinkles!! πŸ™‚

ANYWAY – here’s the recipe:

2 egg whites – room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp mint extract
1 tooth picking of green gel (paste) coloring
6 oz chocolate chips

preheat oven to 200*F.

Use a metal bowl – or glass – NO PLASTIC – and metal beaters – make sure all equipment used is TOTALLY CLEAN – any amount of grease at all will ruin the batter. I wiped the clean bowl with a fresh paper towel very carefully just to be sure!!

Beat the egg whites in a kitchen aid til foamy (45 sec – 1 min? just til they’re frothy) and then add sugar on high speed VERY slowly until whites hold a stiff, glossy peak – (about 5-7 min? – it will keep its ribbon-ey/elephant nosey (?) texture from the beaters in the rest of the meringue left in the bowl – like a medium-whipped whipped cream )

add extract and food coloring – beat another minute or so, fold in chocolate chips.

drop tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheet- NO BUTTER – one inch apart – bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour until outside is dry – BUT NOT BROWN. cool on sheet for five minutes before removing.

DO NOT open oven while baking. then, the best part: DEVOUR WITH GLEE AND BLISS!! πŸ™‚

Let me know how it goes – success?!

As this is the 11th hour of the Daring Baker’s November Challenge – cannolisΒ  – i am going to do this post mostly in photos – that’s the best part anyway – no? πŸ™‚

rolling the dough through the kitchen aid - apparently essential with such hard dough

getting thinner

ahh - i can see the light!

check on the oil temp

cutting out rounds with a cookie cutter tin lid

mom (was so excited to hear that cannolis were on the menu - she insisted we do them together) works away

mom wraps the first one ...

and it goes into the oil

...and it pops right open 😦 and the next 5 or so do too

in true capricorn spirit, i decide there is no way a cannoli shell will get the best of us and i start a sealing process - PINCHING.

take that oil bubbles! lets GO!

mom also starts holding them down ...

and success looms near!

and we start cranking them out

and they start stacking up!

and we have a little photoshoot

...well, wouldnt you have done the same?! πŸ™‚

then mom gets a little silly ...

yep, she's goofy ...

..and another close-up πŸ™‚

and work begins on the dipping chocolate

and the dipping commences ...

aww so pretty

dipped and good to go

chocolate also goes into the filling

complete with pistachios, cinnamon and rose water!

piping into the dipped shells

all filled and delicious!!

All done!

Thanks for all your help mom – glad we got to bake together!

me and mom!!

!! xoxoxo πŸ™‚

lasagna2

Sweet bubbling goodness

Leftovers + pre-“cooked” noodles + mushroom + spinach + ricotta = lasagna … oh yeah.

Let’s start from the begining…

I hate squash. For clarification; I define squash as the stringy acorn kind, not items such as zucchini or crookneck.

Now that we have that clear… you will be astounded at my next move.

I decided the other day to buy a butternut squash.

I still dont know why, but with the cold weather finally arriving, i was in a soupy mood. It turned out delicious. I added a little curry powder, onions, garlic and tomatoes and i roasted it all in the oven and then immersion blendered it until blissfull. I did learn about the necessity to seed the tomatoes for the second time around.

For the sake of my laziness to type, I’m just going to say to use a premade or leftover portion of butternut soup for the sauce πŸ™‚

lasagna

tasty interior

Also as an ode to laziness, im going to just write out ingreditnets in layers from bottom to top, you figure amounts/methods, thats what cooking is about anyway right? not measuring?? πŸ™‚

BOTTOM:

glass pan

small amount of olive oil

soup/sauce

sauteed mushrooms with onions and garlic

noodle

ricotta laced with tyme, oregano and basil

fresh spinach

grated motzarella

duo

all the goodness

Repeat in that order until you reach the top of the pan.

The last layer, use just:

Noodle

soup/sauce

grated motzarella.

Cover with tinfoil.

Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 30-45 min, uncovering for an additional last 15 minutes or so till it looks golden and delicious.

I was wondering through foodgawker when I came across these:

so delicious looking!!

so delicious looking!!

Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes from A Good Appetite

I CAN NOT WAIT to try them.

Thank you for the inspiration : )

zucchini_grits

Sauteed Zucchini and Grits with Spirulina and Brewer's Yeast

In the quest to continue using all the zucchini that keeps appearing on my doorstep, another squashy concoction was on the dinner table tonight.

All you’ll need is:

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 cup water

3 Tablespoons quick grits

1 Tablespoon butter

dash of spirulina powder and Brewer’s Yeast

dash of salt and pepper

Boil water with a pinch of salt. Add grits and cover pot. cook over low heat stirring occasionally until thickened.

Add butter to skillet and when melted, add zucchini. Sautee until golden and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Dish grits and zucchini and sprinkle with spirulina and brewer’s yeast. Enjoy!