Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

mango chile lime cupcakes
In case you were wanting the recipe for these little gems from the New Member Mixer at Savory Spice Shop on 6th Street, here it is! 

Mango Chile Lime Cupcakes

9 key limes, zest and juice
1 mango, diced (about 1 cup)
1 tsp Peruvian Chile Lime seasoning
1 cup coconut milk
5 large eggs
1 cup oil
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 cups organic unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 325ºF and line a mini cupcake pan with paper cups.
Cook the mango with a tablespoon of water until soft.  Use an immersion blender to puree the mango.  To reduce the fibers, push through a wire strainer and squeeze and juices from the fibrous pulp.
Combine the wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Add the wet to the dry and mix well.  Pour about a tablespoon of batter in each mini cupcake liner.  Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
The frosting is vanilla cream cheese buttercream.
8 oz soft cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Crisco
2 tbsp meringue powder
2 tbsp vanilla extract (Pro tip from Savory Spice Shop: don’t put your vanilla in the fridge!)
enough water to make the consistency you like (about 2-4 tbsp)
16 oz confectioner’s sugar
Whip until incorporated.  Keep chilled until ready to use.

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Typical shopping trip to Sprout’s Market today, I was there for the bell peppers (88 cents each and all colours!).  I stumbled upon a vat of ice topped with stalks of ruby red rhubarb.  The produce manager was there and I sarcastically asked “Can I take this whole thing home?” motioning an oversized hug in the rhubarb’s direction.  “Well, at that price you can take as much as you’d like.”  My enthusiasm prompted a sweet older lady to pause and comment “We used to grow rhubarb in Canada…” of course I had to tell her that I was also from Canada!  She was born in Saskatchewan and lived in Edmonton before moving to California, then to Round Rock.  We both agreed it’s far too hot here but otherwise nice place to live.  Our short conversation reminded me of the genuine kindness most Canadians show, especially to each other abroad.

I had to buy some rhubarb, then strawberries to go with them.  The kids don’t understand why I love this red celery looking thing.  It’s a bit strong in the tartness department for those not accustomed to it.  To me, it represents one of the few tastes of summer in The Great North.  The other two are raspberries and Saskatoon berries.

Now the jam is made (rhubarb, lemon, lemon peel, sugar, strawberries – no pectin) and cooling in my half pint canning jars.  Some of this jam will be the filling in my gluten-free dessert squares.  Stay tuned!

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Are you a college student or recently moved out on your own and find yourself in the fast food trap?  Making a meal for yourself and maybe a friend or two can be easy and tasty, and gosh darn it – good for you!  Cooking does not require fancy equipment, expensive ingredients, nor cook books.  You’ve been eating since you were born, silly, use the flavours you like so far and run with them.

I’ve always craved sweet over savoury.  When I moved away for school I started with sweet potatoes, chicken with pineapple or oranges, and grilled cheese sandwiches (Mom taught us how to make them when I was little so I could at least manage to work a stove and one pan).  Simple, yes.  Easy, of course.  Exciting?  Not so much.  Since breaking out on my own and away from the bland monotony of meals on the farm, I wanted to try something new every chance I got.  This strategy is good for expanding the palette but not so good for honing a recipe to its peak of culinary mastery.  Now I’m not trying to turn you into one of those chefs on TV, but everyone should have a stash of reliable and quick dishes in their noggin.  Or in a small coil bound notebook they’ve had since grade 9.

Maybe you’ve been around the kitchen a few times already.  And lately you have no inclination to cook?  Well get in your kitchen, or take over a friends’ for an evening and make something for yourselves!

Here are five easy ways to get cooking tonight.

1. Cheap Eats!

Ground Turkey with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

Fry (on medium heat) a pound of ground turkey in a little oil in a large frying pan (at least 10″ in diameter) or use a wide bottomed pot.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper as it cooks.  Stir gently.

Peel 3 potatoes (Russet – the dark brown-skinned ones, be sure to buy firm potatoes).  Cut the potatoes into large chunks that are about the same size.  Put them into a pot of cold water and turn up the heat.  Lower the heat to medium-high when it begins to boil.  Do not put a lid on the pot or it will boil over.  Let the potatoes cook while you watch the turkey in the other pan.

Mix 1 packet of gravy mix (like McCormick’s Turkey Gravy) with half a coffee mug of water (about 2/3 cup if you want to measure it).  Have a can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup ready to deploy (open the can).

When the pink hue of the turkey meat is gone it’s time to add the sauce.  Pour the can of cream of whatever soup in the pan with the meat, follow with the gravy/water mixture from the coffee mug.  Stir to dissolve the soup into the water.  When this bubbles turn down the heat to low.  Now check your potatoes.

Potatoes are mashable when they can be stabbed with a fork and they fall off the tines easily.  Turn off the heat.  Pour off the water and add a splash of milk and some butter.  Add salt now if you forgot to salt the water for boiling the taters.  Mash using whatever you have available: fork, ricer, big spoon. Although the process goes faster if you have a masher.

Serve as pictured above.  (You are half way to a Sheppard’s Pie btw!)

Cost: about $6  ($1.50 per serving)

2. Soup

Beef Soup

Soups are very forgiving.  They can have just a handful of ingredients or a wide variety when you are trying to use up veggies hanging out in the fridge.  My thought on soup is this: all you need is a good base.

I make my chicken stock from bones and scraps of veggies that I collect in the freezer until there is enough to fill a stock pot to boil up at stock.  But you could buy a box, can or powder to create the soup base.  Try looking in the international foods isle at your grocery store, you can find some interesting stuff to use as your base.  Even a pack of Ramen Noodles can get you started on a tight budget buy adding some meat and/or veggies to the water for the noodles.

Try any of these recipes:

Texas Beef Soup

Dill Pickle Soup

MrsWheelBarrow’s Mushroom Soup

Cream of Poblano and Turkey Stew

Caldo de Res

3. Baked Salmon with Garlic

Salmon Baked with Garlic

If you like fish and you can afford to buy a pound or two at the market, go for this recipe.

Cover a baking sheet with foil.  Place a salmon fillet on the foil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and freshly smashed garlic.  Bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes.  Serve with rice or pasta and a salad.

4. Roast Chicken Breasts with Root Vegetables

Chicken Breasts and Root Vegetables

Cut some potatoes (white or red) into wedges and layer them into a casserole dish or some sort of oven-proof pan with sides.  Season with salt, pepper, and maybe an Italian herb blend?  Add baby carrots or peeled adult carrots.  Lay chicken breasts that still have the bone attached on the potatoes and carrots.  Rub the skin with oil or butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Ready, Set, Roast!

Roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 425ºF. Cover with foil and return to a 375ºF oven for another 20 – 30 minutes.  (Always check the temperature of your chicken at the thickest part, it should read at least 180ºF)

Full recipe is here.

5. Something Sweet to End the Meal

What about dessert?

I can hear your thoughts: I can’t bake!  Nonsense!  Try a crisp.

Take some sliced fruit (apple, apricot, peaches, blueberries, or rhubarb if you are luck enough to live where it grows like weeds) or buy a can of pie filling then top it with a crumbly lumpy mixture from my recipe here.

It’s perfect with its imperfections.

Rhubarb Cookie Crisp

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Vote for my recipes on food52.com!

Here is today’s entry for the No-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert Contest.

Pumpkin Crepes

1 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cake flour

confectioner’s sugar

1/2 pint whipping cream

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Whisk all of the ingredients together except the flour.

Sift the flour into the wet ingredients, then gently whisk to combine. If the batter seems to thick, add a tablespoon of milk. The crepe batter should be thinner than a pancake mix.

Swirl the hot pan while pouring about a 1/4 cup of batter into the center. The crepe should be very thin and distributed over the flat portion of the bottom of the pan. Cook the first side for 1 minute, or until bubbles form throughout the crepe. gently flip the crepe over and cook for another 30 seconds until the center is set.

Keep the crepes under a clean kitchen towel so they don’t dry out. Whip up some whipping cream with a pinch of confectioner’s sugar, to taste.

Fill the crepes with the whipped cream and top with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon.

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The baby of the family spends the most time with me in the kitchen.  She has started eating small soft foods and would eat everything she could get her little hands on if you let her.  Including muffins.  She is a welcome kitchen companion as she gabbs and coos pretending to take part in the conversation. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

 This is the full batch version, this can be easily halved by using half measurements and 2 eggs instead of 3

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (light olive oil works)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 325F.  Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners.  You should get about 2 dozen regular size muffins.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk to distribute and fluff the flour.  Mix the oil, eggs, bananas, vanilla, and chips in a bowl.  Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour the banana mixture into the well.  Gently stir the batter together just until the flour disappears.

Bake in the paper lined tin for about 25 minutes.  Poke the center of one with a toothpick or knife to check for crumbs.   

Once the muffins have cooled slightly, remove them from the tins to racks.

And of course, share a few nibbles with your little apprentice.

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