Sunday, June 28, 2009

Strawberry Pickin' Time!

Not for me, but for the hard working farmers of Ontario. I'll just pay to enjoy their yummy goodness. I think it's very appropriate that strawberries come into season just around Canada Day because they're red and make a great summer dessert.

For my family's Canada Day BBQ I made the recipe for Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Lemon Cream that I found in the summer issue of Canadian Living magazine (I really am going to have to get a subscription). Anyway, it turned out pretty well (as evidenced by the picture AND by the fact that there were no left overs). I made the cake part from scratch, following the recipe, because I happened to have cake flour and cream of tartar on hand, but really, I think using a box mix produces just as good a cake (if not a taller one) and saves a bit of time and ingredients/dishes. My dad swears by the Robin Hood brand boxed angel food cake mix, if you're interested.

Also, the recipe calls for a teaspoon of lemon zest. This is non-negotiable. If you don't already have one, pick yourself up a Microplane grater (I found mine at Fortino's). They're cheap and great for things like zest, nutmeg, frozen ginger (my favourite way to use it), and parmesan cheese.

Anyway, check out the recipe and try it soon, before all the fresh, local strawberries are gone!

Happy Canada Day!

P. S. Some good friends of ours are getting married on Canada Day and I'm making five or six pies for the occasion so check back soon after for pictures, recipes and general tips on the pie making proccess!

Friday, June 12, 2009

That's the way the cookie crumbles

I'm sure no one's noticed my absence these past few weeks so I won't apologize for not posting. But I will give you a bit of an update.

1) Gabriel and I bought and moved into our first home. It's been a bit hectic, to say the least. My biggest problem is the crappy kitchen. Noo counter or shelf space, so it took a little "finagling" (a la Chad) to get the room into something I could actually work it.

2) I started a weight loss study. Oh boy for me, right? Ha. No food of any kind, really. Which means that my forays in the kitchen will be limited but, never fear, they will still happen. (btw, I've lost almost 10 lbs in four weeks)

So I'm going to ease back into this with a short, quick post. For Mother's Day, I made my mom her favourite cookies -- peanut butter. But, silly me, I tried to forgo the tried and true recipe from Kraft and try a new one out of the Joy of Cooking. As a result, I had to bake two seperate types of cookies which equated to around 8 dozen individual cookies.

Here's the breakdown:
  • The Joy of Cooking's recipe was very peanuty and not very sweet. My friend, Leo, who had never had sweetened peanut butter before he came to Canada, liked this recipe best. It was also VERY loose and crumbly and made for a very difficult squish.
  • The KRAFT Old-Fashioned recipe was very moist and sweet and made very thin cookies. These are still my mom's favourite.
  • A variation on the KRAFT recipe is to not hatch them with a fork, and let them rise in the oven. Then, after they're baked, press a hole in the center and fill it (while still hot) with strawberry jam. Yum.
  • The picture below shows the Joy cookies on the left and the KRAFT cookies on the right.