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BBQ fruit





So I've started going back through my back log of pics...and here's what I have for you guys today :)



I made this quite a while back ago....but I would LOVE to be able to do it just ONE more time before we put the BBQ away for good. I made this for dessert one day, so that we could enjoy it after we had our BBQ chicken.

Its crazy easy and very, very delicious! All you do is pick your favourite fruit (or a mix like I did) and slather on some good stuff!

Ingredients:

* Freshly cut (and pitted if needed) fruit (a few examples of good fruits would be apples, peaches, bananas, pears, etc)
* 1-2 tbsp honey
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1 -2 tbsp brown sugar

1) spread honey onto the fruit, and sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar . BBQ until nicely baked.

The best thing about this is that you can pop them in the BBQ after you have taken all your food out and about to sit down to eat. By the time your done eating, the dessert is nice and hot and just ready!



Enjoy with some whipped cream or ice cream if you like! ( I mean come on...your having fruit for dessert......you deserve an extra something ;) )

I tried to get pics of how they look like after they are ready.....but they ate it so fast there was no time!

Anywho.....thats all for now, hopefully I'll be able to post more of my backlog photos soon!:) I made banana bread today( that I have yet to try) which I will post for you guys soon! Also.....I'm hoping to change the layout of the blog....so don't be too shocked if it looks all different! lol
I should get to bed....first day of school tomorrow!

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Daring Bakers - Fail

Oh, I thought I should post this up...even though Im not sure if we had to?

I tried making July's Daring Bakers....the Milano cookies? YAH. I MEAN EPIC FAIL COOKIES.



I was sooo excited about these things. Like....TOO excited.....then when Im all ready and made the creamy filling and am oh so ready for a bite of that yummy goodness....all goes wrong....NONE of my cookies would peel off!



I ended up biting off parts of the cookieinto my mouth...or scraping chunks of the wax paper with a spoon....*flinches*

I have no idea why it did this.....



It was an epic disaster...I was so sad. :( SO CLOSE. I was SO CLOSE to having my cookies...alas....thats the way the cookie crumbles this time I guess :/


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Italy!




Hello!

Long time no post eh? So very sorry about that! I feel awful! :(



I have been meaning to post for the longesttttt time. Its not that I haven't baked its just that I haven't had time to 'process' the images and post about them. I have had so much stuff going on this past month...which I hope to catch up on soon! Aside from working full time,I had my first order (cupcakes for a friend's sister's baby shower), I also had to plan our trip to Italy and go on the trip (it was amazing!) and I also had to get my books for back to school and a bunch of other things in between. So, as I was sorting through my photos trying to figure out which to post first, I decided to just post my most recent item, what I made for lunch yesterday! :)



Italian Style Tomato Sauce from fresh tomatoes! (with pasta of course ;))



Today Ill just talk about Italy. Oh my god. It was wonderful. Even though so many things that could have gone wrong with our trip did (thanks a lot aircanada vacations! **glares**) we still managed to have a pretty good time. Rome was beautiful and quite breath takingly amazing. My parents werent THAT excited about going to Rome. (They had lived in Paris for almost 2 years and thought Rome would be the same: a few big sites and that was it....over with in 2-3 days tops.) But they were in for a big surprise....when they say Rome is the eternal city...they weren't joking! There was soooo much to see and do there! In fact, my parents are planning on maybe going back in December! (of course...we wont be taking air Canada vacations if we do go! -_- )



freshly picked basil from my garden

Anywho, on to the best part....the FOOD. The food was absolutely amazing! SO yummy! I loved their pizzas and pastas and oh my god....I am in LOVE with Gelato. I am going through withdrawal right now since I had about 2 scoops a day while we were in Italy! Yes....thats a lot of gelato....BUT I WANT SOME NOW!

Anyways, we especially loved their pasta with tomato sauce....it was SO good....we practically lived off that stuff. We have been back for less than 2 weeks, and were craving its tomato-ey goodness:)



Two types of Olive Oil and Italian Pasta

So yesterday, I was going to make some pasta, but the old canned kind that was always so perfect...now just wouldnt do....its horrible how you are so happy with something...then you find out it can be so much better....and you are no longer happy with what you had:(





So, being adventurous I set out into the kitchen to make us some Pasta with homemade Italian tomato Sauce! It took some searching but I couldn't find what I wanted exactly ....they were all either too simple...too difficult...or didn't use fresh tomatoes! (We bought an entire box full of Roma Tomatoes!)

So, I adapted my own from a few different place I found online. So here it is,

Italian Tomato Sauce made with Fresh Tomatoes



Ingredients:

* 14 Tbsp Olive Oil (7/8 cup)
* 1 red onion
*5 garlic cloves
*200 ml water
* 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
* salt and Pepper
* Tomatoes (about 15 Roma Tomatoes ) -- or about 28 oz of other tomatoes

1) Heat oil in a large pan on low. while heating up chop the onions up and fry them for 7 min. When the onion is cooked for this long it gives the sauce its sweetness. When onion is cooked it should be caramelized slightly and translucent.



2) Chop up the garlic really small and add to pan and cook for another 2 min.

3) Add 3-4 generous pinches of freshly grounded pepper.
and 4-5 pinches of salt. (To taste)


4)Add the prepared tomatoes (see below how to prepare them). Leave them to cook for 20 min. Add a bit of water to it if you feel its going to burn.



(Befor the 20 min)

5)Add the 200 ml of water and stir gently for 2 min. Sauce should be thick but not watery. Add your basil and gently stir it in.

6) Reduce the heat and cook for 10 min. This concentrates the flavour. Add water if needed.

Enjoy!



This recipe was mostly based off this video, so watch and enjoy! Videos always help :)





Prepare Tomatoes:







(in hot water)


(in cold water)

(It peels away easily)




1. Dunk your Tomatoes into boiling water and carefully remove after 30-60 seconds.
2. Immediately drop tomatoes into cold water to stop the cooking process.
3. Peel off the skins of the tomatoes and de-seed them and get out the extra juices. (A bit of juice is fine)


Well that's it for now! I *promise* to try to update some more ASAP!

Hope everyone had an amazing summer! :)



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Gresar Pasta Salad

Hello, hello,

yes it has been a fort night hasnt it? lol Alas I have excuses for my lack of posts! (excuses you say? ha! that is exactly what they are....EXCUSES!) But good excuses they are! ;)

sorta....

I have been uber busy with work...when I come home I'm so exhausted all I can do is sit back and watch a few movies and surf the net....( I know...I know ...poor me :)) But whats been REALLY keeping me busyyyyy has been planning our trip! Guess where we are going?! ITALY! :D:D:D I am so very excited, and ofcourse, I am the one doing most of the planning, from where to sleep to what to do to what to eat and where to shop etc....yes its been quite hectic but I think it will all be worth it!:)

More on that later, but for now....some foooooodddd!!! I made this in an attempt to make more healthy food, and it was gooodddddddd! Im going to go ahead and call it the...uh..."Gresor Pasta Salad"! Get it? Greek+Cesar= Gresar! *badaboom* :D....anyone? no? **crickets chirping**



Gresar Pasta Salad:

* chicken Breast - cubed (seasoned with garlic powder and bread crumbs and prepared as desired)
* tomatoes
* cucumber
* Black Olives
*Feta Cheese ( I used Organic...from sheeps milk)
* Green Pepper
* 1 thinly sliced red onion
* Handful of Croutons

* about 5 cups of cooked wholewheat pasta

* Greek Salad Dressing

1) Mix everything together with the dressing and olive oil and enjoy!:)

Thats all for now!

I will post soon! *promise*

P.S. GUESS WHO GOT an iphone 3GS? ;)

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Daring Bakers- June Challenge 2009- MY FIRST!


The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.



Bakewell Tart History and Lore

Flan-like desserts that combine either sweet egg custard over candied fruit or feature spiced ground almonds in a pastry shell have Mediaeval roots. The term “Bakewell pudding” was first penned in 1826 by Meg Dods; 20 years later Eliza Acton published a recipe that featured a baked rich egg custard overtop 2cm of jam and noted,

“This pudding is famous not only in Derbyshire, but in several of our northern counties where it is usually served on all holiday occasions.”

By the latter half of the 1800s, the egg custard evolved into a frangipane-like filling; since then the quantity of jam decreased while the almond filling increased.


This tart, like many of the world’s great foods has its own mythic beginnings…or several mythic beginnings. Legend has it in 1820 (or was it in the 1860s?) Mrs. Greaves, landlady of The White Horse Inn in Bakewell, Derbyshire (England), asked her cook to produce a pudding for her guests. Either her instructions could have been clearer or he should have paid better attention to what she said because what he made was not what she asked for. The cook spread the jam on top of the frangipane mixture rather than the other way around. Or maybe instead of a sweet rich shortcrust pastry case to hold the jam for a strawberry tart, he made a regular pastry and mixed the eggs and sugar separately and poured that over the jam—it depends upon which legend you follow.


Regardless of what the venerable Mrs. Greaves’ cook did or didn’t do, lore has it that her guests loved it and an ensuing pastry-clad industry was born. The town of Bakewell has since played host to many a sweet tooth in hopes of tasting the tart in its natural setting.
Bakewell tarts are a classic English dessert, abounding in supermarket baking sections and in ready-made, mass-produced forms, some sporting a thick sugary icing and glazed cherry on top for decorative effect.

Enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee or just eat it sneaky slice by sneaky slice until, to your chagrin, you realise the whole tart has somehow disappeared despite you never having pulled out a plate, fork or napkin with which to eat it.

Is it a tart or is it a pudding?

Someone once said something like “The Bakewell pudding is a dessert. The Bakewell tart is that girl over there.”
It’s a debate that rages on and we aren’t taking sides on this one. But we will say that many people call this pudding a tart.


While we’re at it…
The etymology of pudding is a rather interesting and slightly convoluted one.* The naming confusion may come from the British manner of referring to the dessert course as ‘pudding’ (as well as referring to fat babies by the same name, though we don’t think that is what was the inspiration in this case). And so any dessert is a pudding until another name comes along and adds clarity to what it really is.

Recipe: Bakewell Tart

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed:
23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds




Assembling the tart

Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out.

Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base.

Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.

Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.


We had 2 types of jams in the cupboard....mixed berry and orange....SO I USED BOTH:)

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.


The Frangipane Before it got popped into the oven

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed:
 bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture.

Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.




Frangipane

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed:
bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again.

With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.






YAY! This is my first post on the Daring Bakers! I was so very excited to do this months challeneg (in fact i did it the day it was posted;)) However, I didnt get the chnace to post now because my mac had to go in to the store for a fix up-change the casing- (and it still didnt get fixed!) It was supposed to be back in my arms on Sat, but alas it took longer than intended, So I had to wait till I got it back....(today)

I will hopefully update soon! Im just rushing to get this posted up MY FIRST DARING BAKERS :D It was tons of fun and SO YUMMY! aight well its almost 1AM so Im off to bed!:)

(Who am I kidding...prob another hour of mindless facebook/youtube/twittering/tastespotting)

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Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache and Fondant Decorations :)

Hello!



Sorry about the lack of posts! Ive been really busy! To name a few things is a broken mixer (deadly fro any baker!) I also bought a new camera lens! (which is what I used to take these pictures with!:) ) I just got a new full time summer job, (my first full time job ever!:D) and that has kept me uber busy..... I sometimes come home so tired that i just want to plop onto my bed and not get up ever again! But alas I do....bright and early at 6am :/ *sigh*




But alas....I cant complain, I have a pretty good job (Program Assistant aka Administrative Assistant for the Ministry of Child and Youth Services) lol , but more on that later.



Im also trying to fix up my old blog posts....you know..those pesky labels? Im actually doing it right now ;)

Now on to these yummy nummy cupcakes! I actually made these almost a month ago but never got around to posting!



It was my first time making chocolate ganache, and I have to say, I fell in LOVE! It was SO smooth, and velvety and rich...and CHOCOLATY! Chocolate buttercream dilutes the chocolate flavour in my opinion but this ganache had a very pure chocolaty flavour.



I had 2 packets of chocolate on hand, and I ended up using Hershey's Extra Dark Reserve 70% CACAO, and also some Hershey's semisweet chocolate chips.





I ended up adding the chocolate chips because I'm not a fan of very dark chocolate, but I love the intensity of it. Next time I will probably add more semisweet chocolate chips :)



But either way it was SO YUM on a nice moist vanilla cupcake!

And the best part? It was SO EASY TO MAKE!



I adapted my recipe from a few places, according to what I thought would work.

Rich Chocolate Ganache:

*100 gr dark chocolate
*1/4cup-1/2cup semisweet chocolate (depends on personal taste)
* 100 ml whipping cream

1. cut up chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl
2. bring your cream to an almost boil
3. pour over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 5 min
4. slowly mix until melted (try not to incorporate air into the mixture)
5. You can beat it (optional) then put it in the fridge to firm up a bit to desirable spreading consistency







As well a big hello/welcome to my new followers!:D Thanks for following! **maybe I shouldpost sooner just for you lot ;)



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Recent Posts

Random Fun Stuff

Song of the week: Glee Season 2!!

Watching: Criminal Minds season 6 (man! its mind blowing)

Inspirational Quote:

"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself"

Random Foodie Fact:

"The world's first chocolate candy was produced in 1828 by Dutch chocolate-maker Conrad J. Van Houten."

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