Archive for the ‘Recipe’ Category

Massive fail in the picture department here.

I made two recipes to help get rid of my glut of apples, but neglected to take photos — because they disappeared so quickly. It was my own doing: Because I had enough baked goods around to swell myself to 300 pounds I made sure to get most of these out the door as soon as possible!

The first was an Apple Bundt Cake, care of the October 2008 issue of Canadian House and Home. It turned out pretty much exactly like the photo and was a snap to assemble. The boyfriend’s Dad was on his own for four days, so I sent it his way so he’d have something to eat other than canned soup and frozen pizza. The reviews were excellent.

The second recipe was from Baking Bites: Apple Pie Cookies! As advertised, these were soft and chewy. I substituted butterscotch chips for the pecans (it’s the kind of mood I was in), which made for a sweeter cookie, but that made it even more of a treat! These would be great with caramel bits, if you can find them.

Check out these treats and enjoy!


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Overwhelmed by apples

Apples: Homely, but delicious

Apples: Homely, but delicious

My boyfriend’s parents live on an acreage in Langley and happen to have a couple of apple trees on their property . . . lucky for me!

Because he’s lovely, K. picked a bushel (or what seems like a bushel) of apples from the trees, which would likely qualify as organic because they’ve never been sprayed. They’re not all the prettiest specimens and are of questionable heritage, but they are delicious!

Which means apple recipes are on the way for the next little while.

I doubled the recipe when I made Apple Cup Pies just over a week ago, and ended up with enough dough left over for a single-crust pie. Because I wasn’t sure how big a pie I’d be able to make, I decided to make a more rustic pie — a galette, if you will. I surfed around to find roughly what I wanted and came upon Mark Bittman’s Free-Form Apple or Pear Tart on Bitten from October 10, 2008. Almost exactly a year ago — it was meant to be.  I used my leftover dough and his idea for apple preparation and cooking, expanded a bit and came up with this recipe.

It turned out better than I’d expected, likely due in part to the lovely apples and the delicious dough.

Apple Galette

Apple Galette

Here’s a rough recipe.

Apple Galetteadapted from Mark Bittman’s Bitten blog

Dough from this recipe at Eggs on Sunday

4 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 T brown sugar

1 T butter, cut up into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Toss cut apples with cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside. Roll out pie dough until 10 to 12 inches in diameter and place on large baking sheet. Arrange apples in a rough circle in the middle of the dough, leaving a couple of inches of clearance on the sides. Fold dough over, sprinkle apples with brown sugar and dot with butter.

3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (I needed about 28) or until crust is brown and flaky and apples are tender.

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Adorable apple cup pies

Apple Cup Pies

Apple Cup Pies

Fall is one of my favourite times of year for many reasons, but the main one is this: Apples.

B.C. grows so many wonderful varieties of apples, it’s difficult to believe that Washington even bothers to send theirs up here! The crisp, fresh, sweet, tart flavour of an apple fresh from the farmer’s market just screams fall to me.

One of the best places for apples, in my opinion, is right here on the Lower Mainland. The owners and sole workers at Silverhill Orchard in Mission, Sonja and Raymond Barker, grow their apples organically in protective crop tunnels and use no sprays. The flavour is amazing.

My boyfriend and I paid a visit there last year for my birthday and managed to hit their last “Complimentary Apple Fritter Day” in November. Sonja makes the fritter before your eyes while you sip a warm beverage and browse the small shop’s apples and apple products.

Last Sunday at the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market, I grabbed eight of Silverhill’s apples and decided that since I was heading to my boyfriend’s parents’ place I’d make something seasonal and desserty. Good thing I came across this recipe for Apple Cup Pies on Eggs on Sunday via this post on Cook & Eat. Whew. It was a convoluted way to get there, but was I ever glad I did!

Other than being adorable, these pies were delicious. I doubled the recipe, and had a bunch of pie dough left over, but just the right amount of filling. Curious! These got rave reviews from the soon-to-be in-laws!

Check out Apple Cup Pies at Eggs on Sunday.

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Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

It’s been too long!

This is what happens when I try to keep any kind of journal or record. I start off with the best of intentions, but I tend to drift off from time to time. So from now on I’m making a promise to myself (seeing as I am likely the only person reading this!) to post once a week to start.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been cooking quite a bit, actually. I have a huge backlog of recipes that I’ve cut out of magazines or newspapers, bookmarked or copied on to my hard drive (not to mention the cookbooks!) so I’ve been trying to work through as much as possible, trying something new at least once a week.

This week, my experiment came out of ingredients, not a recipe I’d clipped.

A photographer at work had been on assignment at the UBC farm, and was not allowed to leave until he took some produce with him. Luckily, he’s a nice guy and I benefited from his great assignment. That’s how I ended up with a bag of tomatillos and jalapenos!

I’d never tried to make anything with tomatillos before because, frankly, I was intimidated. I figured that this was an opportunity to try my hand at making some salsa verde with nothing to lose!

I found a few recipes that worked with what I had and I adapted for the amount of produce I ended up with. The result was not particularly spicy — I have a low threshold for spice so this was likely a good thing — but very flavourful and excellent with scrambled eggs wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. If you want more heat, add another jalapeno, or include the seeds and membranes from the two in the recipe.

Here’s the recipe for salsa verde.

Salsa VerdeAdapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless and Simply Recipes

6 ounces husked, rinsed, and halved tomatillos
1 medium clove of garlic, peeled‚
2 small jalapenos, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 medium white onion, finely chopped
30 mL water
1 tsp lime juice

1. Place tomatillo halves on baking sheet, cut side down. Broil until browned and they begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Remove the tomatillos to the work bowl of a blender or food processor. Let cool to room temperature.

2. Add garlic, chiles, cilantro, water, lime juice and onions to the bowl and pulse until coarsely pureed. Pour salsa into a small dish and thin out with more water if necessary. Taste and season with salt.

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Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Mushroom and Pea Risotto

After a long day of breaking rocks in the hot sun, as a former co-worker would always say — in my case, that meant spreading two yards of organic soil on my garden — the last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner.

But, seeing as Monday is my Sunday I took the opportunity to make something that I’d always wanted to try and that takes more time than I generally have after getting off work and making the long transit commute home.

Risotto. Mushroom and pea risotto, to be exact.

My mom visited from Victoria on Sunday with two bottles of Cinzano Orancio (must try over ice — delicious bitter orange vermouth) and a box of arborio rice in tow. What else was I supposed to do?!

So I decided that since mushroom risotto is my favourite in restaurants and peas are a springy/early summery treat, I’d try to find a recipe in my pile of cookbooks, clipped recipes and computer bookmarks.

I glossed over the recipe for Risotto al Nero di Seppie (black squid ink) in the Trattoria Grappolo book and settled on the Risotto with Dried and Fresh Mushrooms from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything — with a few changes.

It was awesome; just what I imagined it should taste like, and not as intimidating as it seems. The boy and I had it alongside halibut steaks cooked on the barbecue. Even better with a cold Corona with lime!

Mushroom and Pea RisottoAdapted from How to Cook Everything

5 T butter

1/2 onion, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup white wine

4 1/2 cups chicken stock [I used homemade turkey stock]

2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced [I used portobello and white]

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt 2 T butter in a large, deep non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with butter, 2 to 3 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper, then the white wine. Stir and let the liquid bubble.

3. Begin adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more. The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Stir frequently.

4. In another pan, melt 3 T of butter on medium. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring until cooked. Add peas and cook until peas are warmed through. Remove from heat.

5. When rice is tender but with a little bit of bite [this took about 20 minutes for me, but Bittman says it can take up to 30 minutes], add mushrooms and peas with their butter, and Parmesan.

6. Serve immediately and top with freshly grated Parmesan.

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