Tag Archives: baking

it’s pie time again…

Criscoooooo!

When I go back to Canada… whenever that might be… I am going to STOCK UP on Crisco. Can I do that? Can I bring vegetable shortening back in my suitcase? I think that’s allowed.

I’m goin’ for it.

This is a pie. This is THEE pie? This is a pie that I ate from the pie plate with a fork and occasionally vanilla ice cream. This is a pie with a crumbly crust and a delicious soft apple filling. This is a pie that Sean requested I bake.

How ’bout Strawberry?
No.

Rhubarb?
Huh?

Rhubarb-Apple?
Are you not listening?

…Just apple then.
Yes.

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He’s stunting my baking. I swear.

Pies and scones please.

—Homeboy, lets get some variety up in here.

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This might be a pie for him. But this is MY pie. I made it. My love is in this pie. Along with some flour and Crisco.

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Apple Pie. I’ve made it before.

It doesn’t need frills, or raisins. or cheese slices. Just apples and cinnamon.

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Merry December!

Apple Pie

Crust:
2 c. of all-purpose flour
1 c. of vegetable shortening
1/2 c. of ice cold water (or more depending on the day-whatever it takes for the pie to form together)
couple shakes of salt

Filling:

1/2 c. of sugar
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
Just a pinch or two of salt
Usually about 8 or 9 apples. In other words: lots.
6-7 dots of margarine

For the Crust:
Mix the flour and salt. Sifting the flour helps with mixing later on.Cube your shortening and cut it into the flour a couple cubes at a time until a course mixture is formed. Crumbs should be about pea size, but not bigger and not too small! Next add the cold water (make sure its cold!) and mix until combined. Try not to use your hands too mcuh. When the dough forms a loose ball, divide into two and wrap each in glad wrap. Place in fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

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For Filling:
Pre-heat the oven to 400*F.
Chop the apples (no need to peel), place in a large bowl and add the sugar,  flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.

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Mix it up until all the apples are coated in sugar. Take your dough and roll out the bottom crust. Make sure your surface and rolling pin are floured well. Place the rolled crust into a pie plate and place the apple slices into the bottom. Dot the apples with margarine. Next roll out the top crust and place on top. Pinch the edges to secure the top and bottom. Make 5 of 6 slices in the top of the pie to allow the steam to release. You can brush the top with some soy milk and sprinkle with raw sugar to help it brown a bit.

Place the pie in the pre-heated oven and allow to bake for 50-60 minutes.

Remove, serve with ice cream, on a plate, or on the pie. Eat out of the pie plate if necessary.

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It’s almost always necessary.

xxx

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December 9, 2012 · 5:33 am

broke into the old apartment…

This is where we used to live…

42 steps from the street.

So this is the old apartment. And for the record, I did not break into it. Come on… BNL references anyone? YES! (My next post is going to be pictures of ‘me in grade nine’… get it?) No? You DIDN’T used to stalk Ed Robertson? Well this is awkward…

Back to the apartment.

I don’t think I ever posted proper picture of it. I made sure to take some before we started packing up.

It was our first apartment together.

It was my first apartment period.

It was my first home that didn’t also house my parents.

It was the first home I ever paid money to live in.

It was a first. That’s for sure.

why did you paint the walls?

It was cozy. Not small.

It was compact. Not cramped.

It was New York-sized. Yes. How chic.

It was a studio. A bachelor. It was a badass place to dwell.

why did you keep the dish rack?

It had water ‘glimpses’… if you stood in the bedroom and viewed them through the mirrored wall, at an angle, and through the neighbour’s balcony.

It took about 30 minutes to clean from top to bottom.

It was centrally located.

It was perfect, with all its imperfections. I loved it.

this is where we used to live…

But we’ve moved. For many reasons. Maybe we do need a little more space. Maybe a wall here and there isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe a kitchen with a four element stove top and a full sized fridge isn’t so bad.

Maybe we don’t have any water glimpses… but we DO have a cockatoo that helps us make breakfast.

duncan

Scratch that, we have four.

the birdies!

They’re determined. And a wee bit cheeky.

They reach for crumpets and tomatoes on the windowsill. They jut out with beaks with such confidence and each time are surprised to discover a magical invisible force field hindering them from reaching the food. It is of course, the window. But that doesn’t deter them.

If at first you don’t succeed…

baaaaaaaaahahhahaha

We were greeted by only one, but he soon invited his posse. Anyway, we named him Duncan, he is the feistiest.

the duncs.

They are loud and they are bold. I love them already.

Recipes from the new kitchen to come once I sort my internet out… I may or may not be sitting in an outdoor mall in the rain taking advantage of free wi-fi in order to post this.

Ahaha. May or may not.

And I may or may not be going home to continue watching season one of The OC. Which may or may not belong to my boyfriend. Say. word.

I think we belong together.

Stay Jazzy.

xxx

(And stay warm. and dry. Will this rain ever stop?)

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Filed under Adventures in Australia

browner

Brownies.

I wouldn’t consider myself a brownie person. At all. and then I saw this recipe. And I thought… this needs to happen.

And then, as fate would have it, I received a little something in the mail… and all the pieces fell into place. All the lovely brownie pieces.

enJoy!

Now I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I didn’t rip open this cocoa as soon as I received it. I’m not going to tell you that I didn’t inhale it’s deep bitter scent or dissolve it into oat milk with maple syrup and peanut butter. Chea. I went there. But that was just to test the chocolatey waters… I knew it’s main purpose would serve in these brownies. And man alive! It did.

On a side note, who else thinks of Willy Wonka’s river of chocolate whenever they drink hot chocolate? I kind of wish I was Agustus Gloop. That’s a fact.

one gone...

Back to the present: Combining banana bread and brownies? It’s genius! It’s a match made in heaven. Though I took matters into my own hands and spiced up this recipe in a vegan-healthy living sort of way. I’m pretty sure anything with whole wheat flour is 100% good for you. no?

For the sake of this recipe I’m saying yes! Bananas, whole wheat, flax, walnuts and coconut oil… these are the things that health is made of! That, or it’s just what I tell myself after I eat three brownies in one day. Whatever.

good god

Either way, I’m a brownie convert. And you should be too.

But look! Somehow, some WAY I managed to not eat any until after the pictures! And then I had one… and then I had two… and then… ya know.

this is what happens.

This here is what happens during photo shoots. A little ‘behind the baking’ for ya. Yeah, ok. So maybe my bare feet shouldn’t get so close to the brownies and maybeee I shouldn’t stand the ikea coffee table, especially when I question its structural stability. but whatever. I’m going with it…

the banana-y-est brownies.

1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax with 3 tbsp warm water-whisked together)

2 bananas mushed up

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 c. coconut oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. raw sugar

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/4 c. white flour

3/4 c. cocoa!

1/2 c. chopped dark chocolate

1/2 c. walnuts

 

Mix the wet!

Mix the dry!

Mix together! But not tooo much! Add the chocolate pieces and walnuts!

Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan and spread the brownie mixture (aka the very thick batter that is so thick you start to wonder if this will work at all.) (it will!)

Bake at 350* for about 15 minutes, slightly under cooked, but perfect since there is no salmonella-y risk. and also cause under cooked brownies are the bomb-diggity. and ALSO because they will firm right up if you prefer them cold from the fridge. 🙂

***

One thing I know for sure is that if I found one of those golden tickets in a bar of Wonka chocolate (and lord knows I would have. I mean just look at the number of chocolate bars I go though)… well, I would not have made it to the end of the factory tour.

Willy Wonka might call me gluttonous. The Oompa Loompas would probably sing a song about me.

I would be a goner. That’s another fact right there.

xxx

 

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Filed under Desserts

pumpkin scones in the spring time

How is it the end September already? I mean, really. It’s ridiculous. I’ve been here for almost five months now… no wait. I HAVE been here for five months. Today! Weird. Anyway, time is just flying by.

pumpkin sconesss

My body is confused though. I’m craving the heat. I want that warm sun on my face. I want that feeling of walking out of your house only to realize its warmer outside than it is indoors. I want to not wear a jacket to work. And I want to rock shorts and a tanktop without the fear of afternoon chills.

But again, it’s SEPTEMBER… this is autumn in Canada and for that reason my body wants pumpkin pies and warm tea. Maybe a wood burning fire, delicious treats and halloween.

I haven’t had a proper summer since 2009… It seems I’ve been chasing winter back and forth across the globe, so yes. Summer is what I need, but pumpkin is what feels right.

That, and every other recipe I’ve seen since September 1st has been Pumpkin themed. Honestly, Autumn needs some new flava. But I won’t complain. I love me some pumpkin. Even if I can’t find it canned in Sydney. And even if what Australians call a Pumpkin is ACTUALLY a butternut squash… its delicious none the less.

So what do I do? I make smoothies. With pumpkin. and breads. with pumpkin… and SCONES! with pumpkin.

So today I bring you those Pumpkin Scones. Autumn Pumpkin scones, in Spring. Yum.

delicious

Pumpkin Scones with cinnamon icing

Recipe adapted from here

1 c. spelt flour

1 c. all purpose flour

1/2 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 c. vegan butter

1/3 c. pumpkin puree

1/3 c. oat milk

Cinnamon Icing

1/4 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tbsp. almond milk

Cinnamon to taste

For the Scones
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Celcius and place the butter and milk in the fridge.

Mix together the flours, the spices, the baking powder and the sugar. Cut in the cold butter and then stir in the milk and pupmkin puree.

Mix the dough until a loose ball forms. lightly flour your surface and mold the dough into a rectangle. Cut into triangles. Mine made eight very small scones.

Bake the scones for 12-13 minutes.

For the Icing
Mix the ingredients together and add cinnamon to taste. Drizzle icing over the scones and allow to set.
make these! I bet they’d taste even better in cool, windy weather.
xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast

The (Baking) Bucket List

For the past couple months I have been making a real effort to post at least once a week. The posts usually revolve around my weekend and if I’m lucky, they involve some sort of baking or recipe. I have to admit though, sometimes my life isn’t as exciting as all that. Sometimes I have nothing to write about, nothing to report… and I’m left feeling a little bit empty, having no baked goods in my tummy, no pictures of food and no humorous anecdotes to regail you with. It’s a shame when this happens, but it happens. I am only human and my life can’t revolve around pictures of food. Not yet anyway, though that is the goal (!).

This week… is one of those weeks. I’m currently house sitting and dog sitting for a friend so it’s been a bit of a write off for me. I’m all turned around, I’ve barely turned on my computer, or even picked up my camera until now. Yeeesh.

With all this non-baking going on, I’ve had the chance to think about some of the things I’d like to try. I’ve browsed Foodgawker and Tastespotting, bookmarked way too many blogs and ordered a cookbook on amazon specifically for one recipe. You know… the usual.

With that being said, I’ve taken some ques from other food blogs and started my very own “Top 100″… Although, mine is not 100, yet. It’s kind of like a random Baking bucket list. I will add to it as I see fit… but for now it is just some things that I’d like to attempt or re-attempt and document here.

I think its a fine starting point. I’ll aim for one attempt per week… but I make no promises. My fast paced life may not allow it, what with all the going to bed at 9.30pm and watching 30 Rock in its entirety.

Anyhoo, I DID make a little somethin soemthin last Saturday for my boy. By request:

Mmm Saturday mornings.

Banana Porridge with Poached Apple
(Banana and apple doesn’t sound like the best combination to me, but each on it’s own? Delicious! So… I mean I geuss it’s all the same in your stomach)

2 small bananas (one chopped one mushed)

1/2 c. of rolled oats

1 c. oat milk

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamin

pinch of ginger

pinch of salt

1 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tbsp. of coconut cream

Raisins for garnish

Coconut for garnish

1 Apple, peeled and sliced in quarters

water or juice for poaching

First, place the apples in a saucepan with the water or juice and bring to a boil. You can add sugar if you prefer a sweeter poached fruit, but I think the apples are fine on their own. Add a slice of lemon or cinnamon stick for extra flavour. Allow the apples to boil for about 20 minutes or until you can pierce them very easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, whisk together your oats, milk, banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, salt and maple syrup. Using a small saucepan on medium heat, heat up the mixture, stirring occasionally until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the vanilla and coconut cream, continue to heat until desired consistency.

Spoon oatmeal into a bowl, and top with some poached apple. Sprinkle with raisins and coconut and drizzle some maple syrup on top.

The combo was actually quite delish.

Sweet Saturday Mornings, you smell of overpriced Bananas.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast

The bread of my dreams…

cinnamon pull-apart bread

I’ve been dreaming of making this bread for weeks, months even. And since Monday I have had the uncontrollable urge to stare at pictures of it and study every recipe and every version that I could find. It didn’t take much to find a vegan version… so I’ve been researching and gathering ingredients since my Monday evening grocery shop. With all that being said, the research, the studying, the drooling… its actually kind of impressive that I STILL misread the recipe and forgot a step. But… that’s not unusual coming from me.

This past week was beautiful and such a stark contrast to last week. Not a drop of rain. Beautiful sunny days, crisp mornings and cool evenings. Perfect running weather, very ‘autumn in Canada’-esque. The days are definitely getting longer, too. The sun is just setting as I leave work. I’m so ready summer nights…

But in the mean time, the best baked good are those suited to the cool weather. Conditions were perfect; beautiful day, gorgeous light, Sean was going biking… the apartment would be empty and I would be able to play music, throw flour and dominate as much space as was necessary for baking and photography needs, which is of course the entire apartment. 🙂

apples and raisins

I started as soon as I woke up. I can never find applesauce at Woolworth’s, so that was my first task, fresh applesauce. Next I whipped up some dough, and then left it to rise for the next hour as I doodled about and went for a run.

When I returned, I tried my hand at the kneading process, something I have zero experience in… so I really have no idea how I went at that. I’m seriously considering taking the bread making course at the North Sydney community centre in August. I seem to have quite a few gaps in my bread baking knowledge.

I allowed the dough to rise for another 5 minutes and then rolled it out for filling and constructing the pull-apart deliciousness. The rolling was especially hard, for a couple reasons. First of all, I don’t really have a flat working area… and second of all, my working area was just a hair bigger than how big the dough was supposed to be rolled. Dilemma.

The entire kitchen... post-baking.

After to some strategic rolling, pulling, rotating and measuring, I smeared the filling over the dough with my pastry brush fingers, and then sliced it, stacked it and bunched it up into the bread pan.

pre-bake

It was looking kinda pathetic, yet still delicious, so I snapped some pictures and popped it into the oven. It wasn’t until 10 minutes into baking that I realized I had forgotten the all important second rise. Idiot.

Well… not bad for a first attempt. I’m thinking next time I’ll work on my kneading skills, remember to let it rise, and then perhaps add some pumpkiny goodness? Yummm…

before and after

The result was still gorgeous. Deep golden tips and a lovely cinnamon-raisin insides. I think it needed a bit more moisture, but it was amazing with a nice strong cup of coffee.

amazing...

Even with my minor screw-ups, Sean managed to enjoy half a loaf when he got home later.

yummm...

That boy might just be growing tired of my photographing his every meal. He was whining through most of my pictures, particularly when I moved outside to get better light. He was not impressed. Perhaps if he didn’t eat all of my baking in one sitting I wouldn’t have to take so many pictures of it in such a hurry. Just sayin…

Cinnamon-Raisin Pull-apart Bread

Adapted from Kohler Created

Ingredients

For the dough:
3/4 c. non-dairy milk
1 packet active yeast
3 c. white bread flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 c. raw sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. fresh unsweetened applesauce

For the Filling:
1 tbsp. fresh unsweetened applesauce
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
In a small saucepan, gently warm 3/4 cup non-dairy milk and sprinkle yeast in letting it dissolve. This takes about five minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/4 salt. Add 5 tbsp applesauce and yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add in another 1/2 cup flour, stirring to combine with a spatula. Continue mixing until you have a sticky dough ball. It will take a while to all come together, but it will.

Place the dough in large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm area and allow it to rest until doubled in size, or about 1 hour.

While the dough rises you can whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon and applesauce for the filling. I found this filling very thick, and not very good for spreading, so I added a bit more applesauce, but this is probably where I would add pumpkin instead of applesauce, and maybe more than a tablespoon. Maybe a 1/4 c.(?)
Grease and flour a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan. Set both aside.

Sprinkle remaining flour on a flat surface and knead dough, kneading in most of the flour. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a large thin rectangle, about 12-inches tall and 20-inches long, or roughly as large as you can make it, depending on the size of your petite kitchen.

Using your fingers, or ideally, a pastry brush, spread the filling across all the dough. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar if desired. Sprinkle raisins evenly across the dough and eat a lot of them.

Slice the dough vertically into strips and stack strips on top of one another and slice into strips again. Be sure they will fit into your baking pan. Layer into your greased pan and cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30-45 additional minutes. (don’t forget this part… idiot)

Preheat to 350 degrees F and put the baking rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until tips are deeply golden brown. Mine was a bit doughy in the center, so be sure the tips are quite dark which will ensure that it had been in for long enough.

Allow to cool for up to 30 minutes before removing from pan and onto a clean surface or serving dish. Serves 2 greedy people. just yank it in half.

mmm…

xxx

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