Monthly Archives: July 2009

Vanilla Ice Cream

Well, I was supposed to make vanilla ice cream for Tuesdays with Dorie. However, being as I am a newbie to this ice cream thing I didn’t realize I needed to pre-freeze the ice cream maker. So since today is my dad’s birthday I decided I would make it two days late, I am such a rebel I know. Check out Lynne over at Cafe Lynnylu for the recipe. I served the ice cream with mini pavlovas, pictured below is plain vanilla and I also made stracciatella.

Vanilla ice cream on mini pavlovas

Vanilla ice cream on mini pavlovas

So I followed the instructions minus the temperature reading part (I am currently at my parents house and they don’t have a thermometer). I have to say I didn’t really like it, sorry Dorie. I don’t know if it was knowing the indgredients or what but it wasn’t doing it for me so I didn’t eat it. My dad seemed to like it ok, but he thought it could use more vanilla. Claire is coming home this weekend so she can try it and let me know what she thinks. I don’t think I will be making ice cream again, frozen yogurt perhaps but to quote a friend “ice cream may be best left to the experts.”

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Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies: A go-to recipe

Everyone has a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. This has been mine for quite a while. Claire got the recipe from one of her elementary school classmates, Alicia H. Thus in our family, they are called the Alicia H. cookies. I think they would be better renamed as go-to chippers, perhaps I should work on that. These cookies are super easy and have few ingredients (key elements of go-to cookies) and most of all they are delicious.

Anyways, I made these a few weekends ago for my friend Ryan’s birthday. Ryan and I have been friends since grade nine and although we don’t see each other that often he is one of my oldest friends, and thus he holds a special place in my heart. Ryan lives in Montreal but he was in Toronto for his birthday so I decided to whip him up a batch of my go-to chippers (hmm it does roll off the keyboard quite easily).

My go-to chocolate chip cookies

My go-to chippers

Ingredients

1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups and 4 tablespoons flour
2 cups chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet, Ghiradelli if I have them, or if I am feeling really wild a mixture of milk, white and semi-sweet)

Instructions

Preheat over to 325 degrees. Mix well the first seven indgredients (I used my stand mixer but it can certainly be done by hand). Add chocolate chips and stir well. Drop by spoonful  onto greased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper, choose your own adventure at this point). Bake at 325 for 10 minutes.

Raspberry Pavlova

It’s summer time in Ontario and despite the fact that we haven’t had great weather (great to me=30 degrees or hotter) we are in the midst of raspberry season. My friend Lisa and I started our vacation with berry picking and jam making. While picking our raspberries we decided that pavlova was the only option for the evening’s dessert. I used my mom’s pavlova recipe and she assures me that although other recipes call for cornstarch and vinegar, these are unnecessary additions. (This is according to her good friend Mary, a cookery expert in the North of Ireland).

Whipping the Pavlova

Whipping the Pavlova

Ingredients

4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar beating until stiff and glassy. Fold in vanilla. Cover a cookie tray with foil. Spread mixture on foil  in  an 8 inch circle. Ensure that the outer edges of the pavlova are peaked and thicker than the middle. This will create a lip around the edge of the pavlova that will contain your filling. Bake at 275 for 50-60 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to stand in the oven for at least 1 hour. Transfer the pavlova to a cooling rack. When cool remove from aluminum foil and place on serving plate.

Undressed pavlova

Undressed pavlova

Just prior to serving, prepare whipped cream and spread on top of the pavlova. Place your favorite berries or fruit on top. Enjoy.

Raspberry Pavlova

Raspberry Pavlova

Note: You can play around with the pavlova, making it into a rectangle or creating individual pavlova servings. Unadorned pavlova can be wrapped well and frozen for future use.

Individual Pavlovas

Individual Pavlovas

Brioche Apple Tart- Tuesday’s with Dorie

I love bread and my goal this summer is to work on my bread making skills so this was a perfect recipe for me (that and the fact that I am on vacation and Claire isn’t). I was pleased that Denise of Chez Us picked the Brioche Plum Tart as I have always wanted to try making brioche. Now I would have tried the plum version but I am vacationing at my mom’s house and she is an apple fan so I needed to switch it up. I used seedless raspberry jam and I added a half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the sugar mixture and omitted the nuts (bakers prerogative, nuts are not my fave).

Heading for the fridge

Heading for the fridge

Now given as I am new to bread I have to say this was a bit time consuming, the deflating and the refrigerating and warming, it seemed to be a time suck, not hard but it required a bit of attention. Needless to say I am glad that I am on vacation because I don’t think I would have time for this during the busy school year.

Ready for eating

Ready for eating

So all in all it turned out very well. It is nice to have people to bake for; however, both my mother and Lisa (my vacation partner) have indicated that I can’t bake all the time. Lisa is getting married in August and is concerned that I am going to mess with her wedding dress, I say she just needs to run a bit more! With all this time on my hands I can’t help it if I bake up a storm.

I love strawberries!

Strawberry season is a personal favorite of mine. To me it symbolizes the start of summer and I really dig that delicious fruit. I thought I was going to miss this year’s season as I was in Kenya with my da. But given the lack of heat that we have been experiencing in Ontario, strawberry season was delayed (whoohoo). I  went strawberry picking on Canada Day (what could be more patriotic that picking red fruit on Canada Day?) with friends. I ended up making three different types of jam after realizing I still had TONS of last year’s berries in my freezer.  Despite the jam escapades I still had some strawbs left and I went searching for a recipe.

I went through my delicious tags and I found a recipe for strawberry scones over at Confessions of a Tart. I LOVE scones and since I came back to Canada by way of Ireland (where I ate my fair share), I was in a scone mood. This is how they turned out.

strawberry scones on a baking sheet

strawberry scones on a baking sheet

I guess since I had just eaten Irish scones my expectations were a little high. I thought they were okay, not enough sugar for my taste buds but once I put my fresh strawberry jam on them they were pretty darn tasty. The coworkers gave them the thumbs up, but then again, they will eat anything;) I think next time I will try adding strawberries to my momma’s scone recipe.

Scones on a plate

Scones on a plate

For the recipe and more artistic photos head on over here.

TWD Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies

Some people are brownie people and some people aren’t so much. Caroline wasn’t so interested in this weeks recipe and so I decided to do it because a) it looked super easy and b) a certain someone likes walnuts that I know. I myself can either take or leave a brownie for the most part. Except for my favourite brownie from Bread and Butter Bakery in Kingston which has caramel on top of it!

However, I was pleasantly surprised by this brownie. It had just the right texture for me. Not to dry, not too chocolatey and even though there are walnuts in it, I still enjoyed it:) I have already started thinking about ways to play with this recipe like adding white chocolate or if I dare, trying to find the perfect caramel to put on top!

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The only change I made to this recipe was to hold the cinamon. I did have all intentions of putting a little in but was shocked to discover I didn’t have any! Anyways, this recipe is a keeper and thanks to Lisa of Surviving Oz for choosing it. You can head on over to the site for the complete recipe.

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