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Showing posts from 2010

Christmas 2010 Recap

This year we traveled to New Jersey for Christmas to see both of our families. We got an early start on Saturday and much to our surprise hit absolutely no traffic getting there (which was probably a first for us if you've read any of our Journey to Jersey mini-series). This particular ride into NJ was probably one of the most peaceful ones we've ever taken - still quiet from the night before and the post-xmas rush hadn't yet started.

Even google was in the holiday spirit!

We saw my family first - my siblings and I played a few games on the brand new kinect (far too much fun!), then we opened gifts (far too many!), and after all the fun we finally sat down for a late lunch/early dinner.

It was quite the fancy feast - my parents made cod-cakes (just like crab-cakes but with cod!) for a quick appetizer, but the highlight of the meal was the beef wellington they constructed (that we all pitched in to decorate, as you'll see in a bit). Shawn had never had beef wellington befo…

The Two Week Wrap-Up

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas around here! Despite the lack of snow in these parts, we decorated the apartment with some colorful lights and hung candy canes off of our twiggy plants; I wish we could get a real tree but apartment living makes that slightly difficult. Maybe next year we'll get a mini tree and some ornaments; for now, a few holiday touches work just fine.

We also changed the blog layout to match the season; the autumn layout was nice, but we're craving snow! The new header image was taken last week on the one day we saw some flurries in our courtyard... the bow on the lamp looks so surreal - but it's real, I swear! (Unlike our santa hats and mistletoe) We had a very temporary layout up in-between too, if anyone caught it... it had squirrels and an American flag as part of the header... but it wasn't well liked by everyone ;) and it was only intended to be temporary until we could get some decent snow pictures for a new header anyway. So e…

Think We're Nuts? We're Not Alone

I was taking a look through for new recipes and happened upon a blog I'd never stumbled upon before...

The striking photo of peppermint candy looking meringue cookies caught my eye, but it was the other photos that made me smile and call Shawn over for a look.

Apparently, we're not the only ones with squirrel visitors.


...the squirrels in Montreal are HUGE!

Whole Wheat Bread

This is my go-to bread recipe since I first discovered it back in October. I thought I had already posted this recipe, but apparently, I had not! So here it is, in all it's glory. Making bread isn't quite a difficult task so much as a patience-testing one. It's worth all the waiting though - homemade bread is always worth the wait.

Whole Wheat BreadThis recipe makes two 8-inch loaves.

1 package of active dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water (not hot water!)

Combine the yeast and the water, stir the yeast up to make sure it dissolves, then set the mixture aside while you get your other ingredients ready.

1 1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter

Combine all of these ingredients in a large bowl and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
Once the mixture has cooled, mix in:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour

Once the flours are incorporated, add the yeast mixture and continue to add more bread flour until the dough becomes stiff but pliable.
Knead the doug…

Brownie Pie, Oh My!

I promised you recipes - don't worry, I haven't forgotten! This one's a good one to start with.

The crust part of this pie is actually from a lemon meringue pie that didn't quite work out... the meringue part was delicious - like a cloud marshmallow - but the lemon part wasn't much of a success. It was gooey and oozy and just not curd-like in any way! I should have gone with my gut instincts and used my trusted lemon curd recipe from my restaurant recipe files. I'm pretty sure the problem here was that I used too much lemon juice though. Oh well. At least the crust was worth trying again!

Meringue! A success! Lemon pie - not quite.

The brownie part of this pie is perfect perfect perfect. It's not too dense, it's not too fudgy, it's not too crumbly - it's just perfect. Make this pie! Your taste-buds will thank you, and your stomach sure won't complain.

Brownie Pie
For the crust:

Sift together 200g all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt.
Work in 125g …

Recipes of the Future

Albeit having a nicely sized collection of both savory and sweet cookbooks, I usually end up searching for most of my recipes online (I use my cookbooks primarily for a few staple recipes I've grown fond of over the years). I'm a huge fan of visiting when in search of a specific recipe or ingredient, or even for just a little inspiration on a dull day. But I have a habit of bookmarking potential recipes in my browser... and then never looking at them again. After a while, the bookmarks accumulate and I'm left with so many to go through that I lose interest in them all-together.

But not this time. No, this time, I stopped myself before it got too out of hand. I took all those bookmarks, and I made them into a list. A list of recipes I'd like to get around to making eventually...

Chocolate Opera Cake
Espresso Chiffon Cake w/ Fudge Frosting
S'more Cakes
This amazing Lemon Chocolate Praline Cake
Buckeye Cake
Idle Hand Bars
Glazed Doughnuts
Mocha Butter…

What we've been up to...

So we've been a tad M-I-A for the past three or so weeks, and for that, I apologize. It's not that we haven't been busy... we've been cooking and baking plenty and Shawn's had plenty to rant about, but we've also been watching plenty of 90's movies and episodes of the X-files... so we've both been a little lazy, too. Can you blame us? I've been a little tired of the internet as of late, I must admit; so much less of my time is spent clicking away in front of the computer screen these days - apparently that's a good thing for me, but not a good thing for any of our loyal blog readers.

I really don't have a good excuse other than having shifted my focus to the Bark Bites website two weeks ago. If you're wondering what on earth Bark Bites is, it's my homemade organic dog treat business - check it out! The idea has been in the works for over a year now, and I finally got my rear-end into gear and started promoting myself. With our recent …

Spooky Sweet Halloween

I didn't go trick or treating this year, or even dress up, but this Halloween I got to spend a few hours with my brother and sister! The three of us caught up for a bit, and then my sister and I made some cupcakes in the spirit of the holiday.

My sister was in the mood for pumpkin, so we went with spiced pumpkin cupcakes and got a little crazy with the designs. We picked up some candy corn, black food coloring, and white red and green food gels, and we used some dark chocolate covered raisins too.

Check it out: spider webs, a pumpkin patch, floating heads, and a pumpkin massacre! (My sister is far more creative with her cupcake design than I am...)

We thought the icing looked really cool as we were adding the food coloring!

Monster cupcakes!

We actually had to make two batches of cupcakes... the first batch were under-baked by a good fifteen minutes, but I didn't realize it until we'd already let them cool (my mistake - I thought the cakes were just incredibly moist and delicat…