Archive for the 'Cooking' Category

Vacation time

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

I have 2 weeks off with very little to do, so I decided to head South to my mom’s house for a couple days so we could do some bonding and some canning. I’ve never really canned before, and didn’t really this time either, but it was still fun and I have the fruits of my labour in the fridge here.

First, we made chili sauce. It’s SO good, holy. Tomato, onion, green pepper, vinegar and pickling spice. Easy.

chili sauce

Then we made peach jam. I say ‘we’, but I really mean my mom did it all. I just peeled and chopped some very ripe peaches and did a web search for jam. She put candied ginger in it, and it’s delish. Although it didn’t set properly, but that’s fine too. She did a second batch with maraschino cherries in. I’d eat it.

jam too

I didn’t get to take any jam home, but hopefully it will still be around in her freezer next time I am in her ‘hood.

Gimme a beet

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

I love beets. I really do. I love their earthy flavour, I love their colour, I love it all. Today we went down to Buskerfest but there were so many people, and I hate crowds-especially in full sun, that I trickled off and bought a bunch of produce at the St. Lawrence Market. Their market is the best, for real, maybe it’s not all 100km produce, but there’s so much to chose from. I bought a box of golden beets, and we had traditional red ones at home, so I decided to make refrigerator pickled beets, using this recipe.

They tasted pretty good, but seemed to be missing something, so at the last minute, as they were cooling, I added a large pinch of ground cloves (I would have put whole ones in but didn’t have any) and a couple peppercorns.

Seriously, mmm.

Fat beets

Pretty! I am also in the process of making 8-ball zucchini stuffed with quinoa…

Rainy Saturday afternoon

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

This is what we do when it’s not nice enough outside to ride bikes. It was my first time baking sugar cookies and I was surprised by how dense the dough was (it has virtually no liquids in it at all).  Then we all pitched in and decorated them with icing and sprinkles.

yummmmm

Yum!

Cookies.

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

2 sticks butter (yes, a whole cup), softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups Quaker® Oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat well.

Add combined flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add oats and coconut; mix well. Add raisins, combine.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

I considered adding chocolate chips or cinnamon, but I really like how they are crazy buttery and awesome.

om nom nom

Make them, eat them, try not to cry tears of utter joy.

Super Simple Soup

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

I figured out an incredibly simple way to make soup. I bet a lot of people already know this formula, but I am sharing it today because I have had huge success a couple times in the last week with it.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 C stock

4 C vegetables

Optional-salt, pepper, herbs, cream/milk, grated cheese, sour cream, yogurt, etc

Method:

Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.  Pour in stock and vegetables, bring to a boil,reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Eat.

Amazing, huh? And it ALWAYS turns out really good. As for stock, I use a Campbell’s tetra pack of chicken with reduced sodium. It’s the perfect amount and tastes great, but if you have the temerity to make stock from scratch, go for it. I like to keep things easy and fast. Obviously it needs seasoning – for broccoli soup I used thyme and for (frozen) green pea soup I used tarragon and mint. It also needs salt and pepper. I have an immersion blender, so I stick it in and give it a whirl.

Pea soup pre blenderpea soup leftovers

Next time I am planning to use cauliflower. Or maybe beets and cabbage? Carrots with ginger? Sweet potato? Leek and potato? Ohhh…..so many possibilities…

Edible Art

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Since marzipan was on sale at the grocery store, and I have a cupboard full of food coloring, today’s project was making sculptures with the marzipan and then painting them… and then eating them!

marzipan-shannon.jpg

marzipan-nefarious.jpg

marzipan-caitlin.jpg

Gingerbread Ambition

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Caitlin and I braved the Toronto blizzard this morning…

 caitlin-is-cold.jpg

…and went out for breakfast and to pick up supplies to make a few sheets of gingerbread house dough. I can’t wait for tomorrow when Nefarious and I will assemble it (after tons of sledding and/or skating), and then on Tuesday we’ll decorate it, but here’s the cardboard stencil I made. It’s relatively complex so I hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew with this design.

gingerbread-house-project.jpg

Shrimp and Tomato Rice Salad

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

The main body of this salad contains approximately the following, although it could be modified quite a bit… the gist of it though is that it’s a mix of shrimp, tomatoes, and rice, with other vegetables added as you like them:

1/2 pound of shrimp
1 1/2 heirloom tomatoes
8 grape tomatoes
4 mushrooms
1/4 red onion
2 cups of rice

The dish is served cold so the shrimp and rice should be cooked in advance. Total cost for the above for me was just over five dollars and it serves two to three people depending on hunger — just mix up the above and add a light dressing. I had already made the dressing in advance for another salad that was a mix of 1/4 mayonnaise, 1/4 lime juice, 1/4 balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 olive oil, with a little red pepper and sea salt. A delicious, inexpensive meal. Terrible photo unfortunately…

shrimp-salad.jpg