Monday, October 20, 2014

Meatless Monday- Cauliflower Pizza



I had cooked cauliflower in the fridge,  leftover tomato sauce and mozzarella, and then Juliet sent me the link to a tutorial for cauliflower pizza. I wasn't overly excited about it, as I have made cauliflower pizza a few times and it hasn't always turned out well.  Well this time it turned out a lot better, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.

It's perfect for when you have cooked cauliflower leftover and ready to use. If you don't,  I recommend following the tutorial. That is, if you can bare watching this video. The recipe is great but the guy just drives me crazy. It is so sing-songy that I found it nearly unbearable. He actually says "press this in-around the outside, around the outside, around the outside.."

Anyway here is what I did- I grated 1 full cauliflower, using my attachment on my food processor. It can be done by hand as well. This makes cauliflower "rice". I then stir fried it with 1 onion. Easy as that. It made a ton! I then put it in Tupperware in the fridge to have to eat with meals throughout the week, instead of traditional rice.  After eating it as rice a few times I used what was left for this pizza. It actually reminded me a bit of the Cauliflower Fritters we made last summer.

Ingredients:
- cooked cauliflower- as described
- 1 egg
- goat cheese
-Parmesan
- tomato sauce
-grated mozzarella
-fresh basil
- toppings of choice

Instructions:
- preheat oven to 400 F
- Combine cauliflower with egg, goat cheese and Parmesan. Flatten down into a patty on a baking sheet or round pizza pan.
- Bake  for about 10 minutes. Flip over
- Add toppings and bake for another 10 minutes or until crispy and cheese is melted.

Enjoy!



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

So I'm home again, I had my wisdom teeth pulled and I'm bored which has got me baking some Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins mhmmmm..

I got the recipe off of twopeasandtheirpod.com, not following it fully as I never do and didn't have all the ingredients available..

So what you'll need is:
2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of one lemon (The lemon I used was too squishy and I wasn't to grate it so no zest for me..)
2 cups of Flour (this I sifted so it's nice and fluffy)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
2 large eggs (not sure mine were large, then again I do live in Europe and the sizes tend to be smaller here)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
113 grams unsalted butter
2 tablespoons poppy seeds


First off you're meant to mix the sugar with the zest, obviously that didn't work for me so I just mixed all the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) together in one bowl and all the wet ones (melted butter, vanilla extract, eggs, greek yogurt and lemon juice) in another. WAIT with the POPPY SEEDS!! 




Then I added the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mixed those together, when that was done I added the two spoons of poppy seeds and dished them out into the baking tray (I used cupcake cups as I don't have a baking tray spray thing) then I shoved them into the oven and voila.











The oven I preheated to 200°C and the muffins I put in for 13 minutes..

Twopeasandtheirpod.com also gives and icing recipe, not sure yet if I'll be using it or not but incase you're interested here it is:

1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
2-3 spoons lemon juice

You mix the two together and dribble it onto the muffins. 

Bonne Apetit!























Tuesday, October 14, 2014

6 Things Thanksgiving

Here is a round-up of a few of my favourite things from Thanksgiving dinner at my parents'.

1. Pretty Dishes

Serving appetizers in these pretty blue dishes.

appetizers

2. Napkin folding

I found really easy instructions on how to make these. This site also has other easy ones that look nice.

napkin design

3. Place cards

Cathy made these adorable place cards.


4. Table decorating

Gail decorated the table so beautifully. I love this arrangement, perfect for fall.


5. Turkey- and all the rest

I couldn't leave this out.


Not pictured- all the other delicious food and side-dishes (thanks to all of the Chefs!)

6. Family, and friends who are like family

It wouldn't be the same without these wonderful people.



Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Mini Batch Cupcakes

Happy Sunday!

I took a 2 day workshop at the School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO) on food photography, that wrapped up yesterday. It was so much fun! Thank you G, for telling me about this course! The instructor, Adrien, is so knowledgeable and great. He really is a master of light and knows how to tweak things just so, to make them look better. The other students were great to work with. There were a couple of other food bloggers,  Louise of Kitchen on Fourth and Fida of Sweet and Savoury Pursuits, Deb, a marketing professional and Alex, a high school photography teacher! We balanced each other out well.

The first week was theory and practice: composition, lighting, what we liked and didn't like about photos, etc.. This week was more about production. We set up two sets and got to shoot and play around with the lighting.

Here's a glimpse:



I was paired with Louise and Alex who are in the photo above. It was great because we all had Nikons and could try out each others lenses. I got to test out a macro lens and now I really want one!!

Another highlight for me, was finding out that my (Dad's) really old tripod can do some really neat stuff! The instructor was all excited about it too, saying it could do things he had never seen on a tripod, for example part of it can unscrew and attach somewhere else so it'll be possible for me to shoot birds eye view with it. I can't wait to try this feature out!  He also said it is very light for what it can do. So that was really cool. Hey who says newer is better, right?

For Saturday, we were supposed to bring in some food to photograph. It was supposed to be simple enough to be able to play around with the composition. I couldn't decide what to make. I had already photographed fruit and tomatoes the week before and wanted something different. I decided I would bring in cheese and crackers and if I had time maybe bake something.

I woke up early on Saturday and decided to make some cupcakes.  I had received some great accessories for cupcakes for my birthday and thought they could be fun to photograph (Thanks T and P)  I am so last minute! As usual, I was frazzled and rushed. I had previously found a recipe on Pinterest,  from Yes to Yum  for a half batch of devil's food cupcakes, which I think is amazing. You don't always need 12 cupcakes and if you are like me, you will just eat them all.

Side note- I am not the only chocoholic out there. In yoga the other day - yes I have been going to yoga like it's my job and am down to just 4 classes left!!- the teacher told us about how she always used to think the " Cat/Cow" pose was called " cacao". She was wondering why it was called that and finally realized her instructors were not saying that, she had just misheard. She said that even though it doesn't make as much sense, she still wished it were called cacoa because she likes chocolate. Hmm so I am not the only one daydreaming about chocolate while on my yoga mat.. She is a pretty funny instructor and also talks a lot about coffee in the morning classes- "Imagine there is a cup of coffee.. now reach as far as you can for it"

Anyway I did not modify the cupcake recipe so if you want to make these, just click on the link above and get it directly from the source. I was surprised at how quick they were to make.  I didn't make the icing but can see from the comments on the site that it is really good. If I have more time, I will definitely try it. Instead I just used a plain white icing.  Here are some of my photos:






These were modeled on Martha Stewart's style- clean and crisp with white on white background 
Everyone loved this cake stand- thanks Patrick and Jane! 
close-up! 


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Popcorn at Home








 This is the easiest, healthiest, and cheapest way to make popcorn at home.

Once you see this method, you will never need to eat those bags of microwavable popcorn ever again. Let's be honest, they are so salty, filled with chemicals, high in calories, .. etc.  I keep a jar of popcorn kernels on hand so when I get a craving for popcorn, I can make a batch.  I love salty foods, and it is a lot safer than having chips in the house. You can buy a big bag of popping corn for around $3 or $4 at pretty much any grocery store.

All you need are: popcorn kernels, a paper bag ( and a microwave)

how to make popcorn at home

Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup of corn kernels
- butter (optional)
- salt (optional)

Directions
- Place kernels in a brown paper bag
- Fold over top of bag (about 2 times)
- Put on high in microwave from 1:30- 4 minutes depending on the strength of your micro. My micro is so strong if I'm not careful, it will burn at about 1 min 31 seconds. However I'm sure if I used the old micro we have at work, 8 minutes later and it still wouldn't be done. The trick is to wait until you don't hear any popping for a few seconds and then stop it.
- Optional: melt butter in micro for 1 minute, pour over popcorn
- Optional add salt
Fold the bag like this- if it unfolds a bit in the microwave that is okay
Veg in front of the tv with your favourite show (woohoo- isn't it great to have all the series starting up again?), eat enjoy!






Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ginger Cookies

So today after a long day of running around I decided to make some ginger cookies. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com (absolutely love that website) and it was right at the top of the homepage.

I got a tiny bit creative and didn't follow the list of ingredients fully as I didn't have all the things I needed at home and didn't feel the need to add extra sugar to the cookies before putting them in the oven.

Another great thing about all recipes is that you can change the measurements from metric to US measurements and back again. 

All you need is: 
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I used spelled flour?)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (didn't use these as I didn't have ground cloves)
3/4 cups margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water (I used like four)
1/4 cup molasses (I used simple brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar (didn't use this either)

First off preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175°Celcius). Then in a bowl you put together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt and normally the ground cloves. This you then leave on the side as you'll need it later.




Third off mix together the margarine and 1 cup sugar, add the egg, brown sugar and water. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Once done place on a baking tray with baking paper. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.



Some steps I missed out are sifting together the dry ingredients all I did was put them together. I also left out the step of rolling the dough in sugar before placing the cookie balls in the oven.

Personally I don't think it makes such a difference and if it helps my dad's already had a cookie and said it was delicious :D

ginger cookies






Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Savory Oat Bread

Savory Oat Bread

Weekend baking!! I love baking on the weekend, it's so much fun. I think i am slowly turning into my friend Kristin from cooking and school work! Shortly after baking this bread, I posted a photo on Instagram and then I saw that Kristin posted a very similar photo of her bread in the oven.  Now if K lived here, I would have skipped the baking and just eaten her bread. She's a great baker. But until she finishes up school, I am stuck making my own bread.. wah wah #firstworldproblems

friends, instagram, bread

So just when I thought I was getting the hang of making bread, this recipe through me for a bit of a loop. It doesn't use the same standard formula of mixing the yeast with warm water and then adding the other ingredients. It is still very easy to follow, and make. Recipe inspired by Kitchen aid recipe for Summer time Savory Oat Bread, from the Kitchen aid cookbook.

I love that it uses carrots and onions. I have a lot of carrots from my veggie share so this was a good chance to use some of them up. I also made carrot soup (recipe to come sometime soon as i have had some requests for it). I had my parents over for lunch and we had the soup and melted cheese breads using this bread. I had to eat a lot of bread to carbo load for my big 5K army run on Sunday. I am mostly kidding, because you really don't need to carb load for such a short race. At the same time, any excuse to eat bread works for me. Also, even though the race is short in distance, it still takes a lot out of you if you are pushing yourself. My run went pretty well, given my training ( or lack there of). I did train, but didn't do enough speed work or intervals leading up to it.  I definitely started out too fast and was dead about 2km in.. and that's when the mental challenge begins to not to give up, stop or slow down (too much!). As Jillian Michaels would say, "Don't phone it in"

anyway back to the bread. For the recipe..

Monday, September 22, 2014

Apple Crisps ... Autumn's coming

Last week when I was in London I discovered these delicious apple crisps.. Now that I've been sick at home and munching on chocolate, cookies and what not I've decided that apple crisps can't be that hard to make and took it upon myself to make some.

There were several different recipes, I honestly think I should've stuck with the first recipe I found as I think the apple slices would've been crispier but I went with another one..

Start off by pre heating the oven to 100°C. Then I took four apples and cut them into super thin slices placing them onto a baking tray one layer on top of another. DON'T do this as they didn't turn out crispy, I wasn't patient enough and wanted more crisps and now I've ended up with a result I could be happier with.

Anyway slice the apple into thin pieces like so:


Then place the sliced pieces on a baking tray and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Once in the oven it smells so lovely mhmmm.



These are the before and after results. Sadly the photo quality on the last photo is terrible. As one can see half of the apples are crispy the rest more soft and chewy.

Anyway the recipe I followed tells one to bake the apple slices for one hour, flip them bake again for another hour on the other side and let them cool off for another hour in the still warm/turned off oven.

Even though they don't look so great they taste delicious and are something healthy to snack on :) 

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