Monday, November 30, 2015

#SRCHolidayTreats: Turtle Bark

You would think that I would learn.
I am a procrastinator by nature, and that's why this post is a little...odd.  It's time for the Secret Recipe Club Bonus Reveal Day:  Holiday Treats.  With a fifth Monday in November, the entire Club has come together to celebrate the season by making treats for the holiday season from each other's blogs. Fun, right?
I was given the assignment of perusing Michaela's blog at An Affair from the Heart.  I spent a long time looking at cookies and squares, trying to decide what would be best.  I mean, there were so many good looking options!  I considered Peanut Butter Kiss cookies, and Chocolate Mint Candy Cookies, before deciding to challenge myself and make candy.
Every year for Christmas, I make a goody bag for my support staff of things like pickles, fudge, and nuts and bolts.  I figure that even if you don't like those items, someone will show up over the season who will enjoy the treat...or you can regift as a quick hostess gift.  When I saw Michaela's recipe for Turtle Bark, I thought that sounded like a delightful addition to the bag!
I present to you now An Affair from the Heart's Turtle Bark:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: Mini Leek and Bacon Pies

I missed last month for the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew.  Things were crazy and I couldn't find the book.  I was thrilled this month when Erin of the Spiffy Cookie invited us to have a piece of treacle tart and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone:

I know it's Sorcerer's Stone in the US, but this is Canada, and this is the British edition.
I devoured read all the books when they first came out, but that was a long time ago.  So I sat down and read this one again.  Now, I want to read the series again, and I really don't have time for that!
What I enjoyed most in the rereadin were the little references that I skimmed the first time, not fully comprehending.  It's kind of like rewatching Star Wars, knowing what is to come.
I was originally planning to do something with Butterbeer, but it doesn't make an appearance in book one.  I then considered doing something with Dumbledore's favourite muggle sweet, sherbet lemon.  But those are lemon drops, and that didn't strike my fancy as much as the potential ice cream.
I then happened upon this recipe on Instagram, and while it's not a direct tie-in to the book, it's definitely got a British bend.  It's also surprising when you start looking how many references there are to bacon...and this has it in spades.  While not a pasty, it is a bit of an homage.  Canadian Living recommends these cold with HP sauce, but J and I would tell you they're amazing hot as a side with soup.
I present to you now from Canadian Living Mini Leek and Bacon Pies:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Party Time: Raspberry Trifle

The beauty of big family dinners is that they're often potluck.  Or perhaps that's just my extended family.  When you're the host, you provide the hot main, and the visitors provide the rest.  Last Christmas, my mom and I were asked to bring dessert for family Christmas.  My mother often makes a mincemeat pie with a sour cream top layer that people who like mincemeat love, and my aunt makes traditional Christmas pudding every year, so I was left to make something else.  You know, something light and decadent for the end of a large meal.
Enter the December 2006 edition of Everyday Food.  I saw this beautiful trifle and knew that I wanted to make it, but you need an occasion for a dessert that feeds 12 plus.  With frozen raspberries in my freezer, and my sad, sad sour cream pound cake, it was an easy decision to take this for Christmas.  By posting this just before American Thanksgiving, I hope you are inspired for your own feasting over the next few weeks.  This one's delicious.
I present to you now from the December 2006 Everyday Food, Raspberry Trifle:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Apple Crisp

I was reading an article today about being a "mean mom".  Don't ask me why I was reading it, seeing as the closest thing to children that I have is 2 cats who do what they like and a husband who doesn't always listen to me either.  But there I was, reading about how to raise kids by being mean.
One of the things that the article said was to not give in and serve dessert every night so it would be a "treat".

*insert cricket sound here*

I grew up in a house where dessert ended lunch and dinner.  It could be a cookie or fruit, but there was always something.  J and I don't eat dessert every night, but we do often have something in the evening after dinner - perhaps a glass of chocolate milk, or one of the many things I bake up.  It's not an every day thing, but there's often something.
The October 2007 issue of Everyday Food included a dessert article called Sweet, Warm and Cozy:  sumptuous, soul-soothing treats that go straight from oven to table.  Of the 4, I wanted to make 3 of them. I bought a new, appropriate shallow dish and have already made 2.  The next one is coming soon.
Might I suggest a return to ending your meal with something sweet?  I'd also suggest returning to slow meals together with laughter, conversation and a distinct lack of mobile phones, but I don't want to be all crazy-like.
Let's start with desert.
I present to you now from the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food, Apple Crisp:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Cheesy Hash Brown Bake

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned in the past that the only thing my husband makes when I'm here is chili.  He likes to start with the Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili Kit and "makes it [his] own" by having me chop an onion to toss in along with a drained can of kidney beans.  It's really good, and thankfully makes enough for a couple of meals plus lunch for me for a couple of days.
The last time, however, I asked J if we could make this with the leftovers of the chili, and we actually ate this the next 2 days for lunch.  It's that good.  Trust me.
So if you're looking for something to do with the leftover chili from your last tailgate, and want a new twist on something delicious, might I suggest this?  It won't be the last time we try it around here.
From the March 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Cheesy Hasbrown Bake:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: November Planning

It's only halfway through the month, and I'm finally getting around to posting what I'm planning to make from the November 2007 issue of Everyday Food.  It's of course the Thanksgiving issue, which is a month too late for those of us north of the 49th parallel, but there were lots of interesting looking things, and I've already made one, so that's good.
Here's what I thought might make it onto our plates in the month of November:

  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Honey-Soy Glazed Chicken
  • Spinach and Cheese Puff
  • Green Bean, Watercress and Crispy Shallot Salad
  • Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Cornbread and Beef Skillet Pie
  • Cheese tortellini with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Garlic
Sounds doable, right?  Let's see what happens!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Oh, Paris...

My heart aches tonight.

I don't usually post on a Friday night.  I like to queue things up and leave it to post on its own during the week.  Tonight is different though.
I made a new dessert for dinner tonight as a part of the Magazine Challenge and thought about posting it later.  But as we've watched the unfolding news about the attacks in Paris, I don't want to wait and post this later.  It's not that this is a hugely important thing, but the flavour made me think of France and right now that's bittersweet.
My year as an exchange student in France more than 20 years ago gave my first opportunity to learn to cook from someone other than my mother in a family situation.  I learned to make sauces, souffles, and a dense chocolate cake that was out of this world.  I still make sauces starting with a roux like I learned from Mme Brabant.  I haven't made a souffle or that cake since I came home though.
I found this recipe in the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food.  It's not like the other pudding cake I've made where you pour boiling water over the cake and it self-sauces.  It's 4 simple ingredients that surprisingly come together to make something delicious.  This is more a cross between a souffle and a dense, slightly undercooked chocolate cake.
Tonight, it reminded me of a French dessert I ate long ago, and my heart ached for a city I love and miss.
I present to you now from the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food Chocolate Pudding Cake:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Couscous

We've been eating a lot of simple meals recently.  There's been enough going on, and we're still trying to eat at home, so there's been lots of indoor grilling and frozen vegetables.  Not that exciting for blogging everywhere.
But have no fear!  I still haven't blogged Thanksgiving!  Or some desserts.  And there's still Secret Recipe Club and the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew.  Or there are things like this.  Magazine Challenge and last Friday night's dinner.
In making this stuffing, I combined things my husband is suspicious of:  couscous and pine nuts.  I also cooked something that I haven't touched in a while:  boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  This was easy enough for a Friday, but fancy enough to feed to company.  I may make it again.  Even with the pine nuts.
I present to you now from the September 2007 issue of Everyday Food, Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Couscous:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Pizza Dip

Once again, it's the first Monday of the month and the Secret Recipe Club is upon us.  For those of you new to this, or who need a refresher, the Secret Recipe Club is a group of  food bloggers who all receive an email each month of another's blog from the group.  You choose a recipe, secretly make it, and we all post at the same time.  My group's posting is today.  Check out the other great recipes in the hop at the end of this post!
This month, I was assigned Melissa's blog over at A Fit and Spicy Life.  Melissa is a food and wine blogger who is also very athletic.  J and I have been talking more about the fact that we need to eat meatless meals more often, so I poked around with that in mind.  I thought about the baked eggs with roasted red peppers, or breakfast quiche.  But then I wanted a dip for a Saturday afternoon of football.  I found this.  It was dinner.  So filling.  So good.  It was a nice change from the hot goo or nacho dip that I often make, and it used up some bits and pieces that were lurking in the fridge.
I present to you now A Fit and Spicy Life's Pizza Dip: