Tag Archives: whisk

Monday/Tuesday Meals/Desserts

mmmmmm!

what what!

So when I got back from my 30th birthday trip, I decided to recreate some brownies that my friend Bai made my first night in Cali.  Didn’t work.  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe the sugar didn’t melt into the chocolate the way it was supposed to, perhaps putting them in the refrigerator when the recipe said store at room temperature did it.  But whatever it was the brownies were hard, and all stuck together like cement.  It was gross.  AND very inedible.

So last night I decided to re-recreate these suckers! 

Here is the recipe:

(FYI I was totally going to type it all out until I realized Bai sent it to me over email!  Yay copy and paste! 🙂 )

Classic Brownies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

1 cup (4 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped finely
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhand pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or, ahem, in the freezer until your resistance gets the better of you.)

So yea.  When I started mixing the sugar into the melted chocolate, it was looking really lumpy AGAIN, but I didn’t freak out….I just continued.  Also, Bai gave me a few tips before starting this time- try using cake flour as opposed to regular flour, it will be fluffier, and this tip he gave me while in California- use high-end chocolate.  It does make a difference.  Seriously.  Aside from dinner today, brownies was all I ate.  I love them. 

Long story short, they did turn out.  Though I didn’t wait for them to cool completely, so they are all in like weirdly shaped clumps in the tupperware, but they are fantastically good weirdly shaped clumps, so no worries! 🙂

finished product!

the aftermath :S

 

Oh, before I forget, funny story!  While in San Fran, I discovered that Ghirardelli Chocolate is made there.  Sooooo good!  Which is the chocolate Bai used to make his brownies.  So when I got back, naturally I tried to find some here.  I tried everywhere!  grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Pharmacies, Bulk Barns.  You named it, I tried it.  I then went to Facebook to appeal to friends to see who knew where to get some!  Well, I learned a couple of things then.

1.  There is a lindt warehouse in Mississauga.  Dangerous!

2. Roger Leavens is a man of his word. 

Roger is a friend of my husband.  (Well ok, he is my friend too :P)  Anywho, he lives in the Tdot, and replied that he would mail me some.  2 days later, I got an Xpress post package delivered FULL of chocolate! 

Thanks Roger!

 Keep in mind there are 2 bars missing that I used to bake with!  It was an exciting piece of mail to say the least!  I also ended up getting a belated birthday gift from my sister in-laws of ghirardell chocolate too, which was also very exciting.  I guess Facebook can be good for something after all! 🙂

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’tis the season…

REAL snowflakes!

so I have so far not been living up to my part of the bargain, and posting 2 times a week…  I’ll try to make up for it!  It’s December 6th, (holy crap I started wirting this post a while ago!)  and since I work in retail, and in the school system, Christmas season for me starts immediately following Hallowe’en.  Christmas carols have been on the in store radio station for the last 4 weeks or so (and I am one of the few people who honestly love it!), Christmas plays/dances/songs/poems/skits have been in practice for the last 2-3 weeks, and now Mother Nature has unleashed the snowy wintry weather on us too!

The first THREE snow days of the school year happened last week (also known as snowmageddon),  and how did I spend them?  Sleeping.  Sleeping and blowing my nose.  With this winter wonderland weather, I also caught a cold (surprise surprise), which had gotten worse probably due to the fact that since I could not get my car out of the drive way, I chose to walk to work.  In the crazy snow.  When the sidewalks weren’t shoveled OR plowed.  How long did it take me you ask?  about 25 minutes.  How far away do I live from my work you ask?  Normally it takes 5 minutes to walk there.  Shitty.

Alright, enough of my complaining…..

What have I been up to the last couple weeks?  I’m glad you asked!

1.  I baked 10 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange.  Seriously.  They turned out awesome if I do say so myself.  I know I know, I should have taken pictures!  I took one, but then forgot.  And it’s not an exciting pic, it’s just of the ingredients!  I’ll tell you what I made though, and you can picture it in your head!

Sooooooooooooo, I chose to do chocolate covered mint wafer cookies.  Fancy!  They’re not wafers, so I’m not sure why the recipe calls them that, but whatever.  They are chocolate covered, and they are minty, so 2/3 isn’t bad.

Here’s the recipe.

What you need:

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus another 1/8 of a teaspoon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter @ room temp.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint extract

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Set aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Gradually add flour mixture until just mixed.
  • Form balls of dough about 1 teaspoon large and place on baking sheets.  Take a flat bottom glass, and flatten balls into 1-11/2 inch rounds (OH- don’t forget!!!!- wet the bottom of the glass first!!! Otherwise the dough will stick to the glass, and it’s all messy).  Bake slightly until firm, about 8 to 10 minutes.  When done, transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • NEXT make chocolate coating!  This can get MESSYYYYYY!
  • Melt the chocolate, mint extract, and rest of salt on a double boil thing where you boil water, then put a bowl to rest on top part of pot.  If the chocolate gets too hot, it will turn all sticky and doughy, not melty and smooth like you need it.
  • LASTLY, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Put cookies one at a time on a fork and dip into chocolate.  Then place on parchment paper to cool.  My advice is this…. I went through a lot more chocolate than I thought, so I just started throwing cookies in the chocolate, and forking them out.  I’d put like 10 in, then pull out one at a time.  Messy yes, but a little easier as they are already coated when you go to pull them out.
  • Anywho, after coated decorate with whatever edible decor you’d like!  I used sprinkles! 🙂
  • Cool, and enjoy!

Ok, that’s a mix of the actual directions and my advice thrown in!  By the last dozen, I was flying through the recipe.  These cookies are easy peasy, AND they look professional.  Always a plus!

Tip- if your chocolate turns all doughy and stiff, there is no way to save it.  I googled it, and it said so, so it must be true.

Hmmm, what else can I share?

2. Oh, I tried again at the Cranberry Pumpkin Cheesecake and it rocked out with it’s cock out.  (For those of you who don’t know, I actually own a T-shirt that says that.)

Oh wait, no I don’t it says rock out with your guac out.  As in guacamole.  Same difference though no?

the infamous t-shirt...

Ok, so last time I took a picture of that recipe and posted it, but it was kind of out of focus, so I’ll just type it out.

What you need:

  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 4 table spoons butter or margarine melted
  • 3 packages cream cheese softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pie mix!)
  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 2 eggs

What to do:

  • combine cookie crumbs, and butter in bowl, spread mixture into 10 inch spring form pan.  Press crumbs evenly over bottom and 2 inches up sides.
  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and spice until smooth.  Add eggs and pumpkin.  Mix well and pour into crust.
  • place pan on cookie sheet, and bake for an hour.  Turn off oven, but leave in for another hour.  Remove from oven, let cool, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours.  You might want to actually take a butter knife and trace around inside edges of pan to make sure cheesecake doesn’t stick to sides!
  • After cooling, carefully remove from pan, and spread cranberry sauce on top before serving!

Super good, super easy.

HOWEVER…..

if you remember, the first time I tried this, it was really moist….most likely because of the extra pumpkin puree I added!!  AND it didn’t really have enough pumpkin pie spice taste.  Soooooooooooooo, this time when I did it, I made some recipe modifications…..  pay attention people, I’m not going to repeat myself.

  1. I halved ALL ingredients EXCEPT the cookie crumbs, AND pumpkin pie spice.  ALSO instead of a can of puree, I only used about 2 spoonfuls.  Still orangey, still pumpkiny.
  2. I used an 8 inch springform pan.  Still springy, still cheesecakey.

It was so much more flavourful!  BUT I will warn you, that it is quite a lot shorter.  The first recipe is quite tall, more of a traditional cheesecake.  The modified one is shorter in height, but way more flavourful and dense.  Very VERY good if I do say so myself, and it got excellent reviews at our family Christmas party that was had this past weekend.  Seriously.  Awesomely.  Good.

I googled awesome, and this is what came up! (it's for real my baseball team's logo!! haha)

Alright…I have a couple more posts in the works, AND I’m expecting my prof. wedding pics back like any day now!!!!  (Like as in yesterday :P)

AND we got a fancy new camera thanks in large part to optimum points!  So yay to Shoppers!  Yay to new cameras!

We’re heading to the T dot tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll be breaking out the new cam and getting some sensi pics of a sensi 30 something get together.

ikes.

ok, for reals I’m embarrassed at how long I let this blog go…..

I’ll be back for real before Monday, I just got some awesome recipes, and some great craft ideas that need to be blogged about.  Look out Martha Stewart, here comes Erin F-T.  (In case you’re wondering, my new initials (as soon as I get around to changing my name) are EFT.  Say it out loud.  (I mean really sound it out) Just awesome.)

Check this out!

Whisk count = ….3?  it’s definitely 3 or 4.

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monday/tuesday meal #3

what it SHOULD look like

there’s a reason they create recipes.  i think it must be so the people who don’t know how to cook, can actually create something somewhat edible.  right?

i learned 2 major things from attempting this week’s meal- 1. try to follow the recipe.  if they say melt the cheese, THEN add in other mixture, there’s probably a reason for it, and 2. cheese sauce is hard to make.

for this week’s meal I chose to do a kraft cooking with philly recipe!  “Creamy PHILLY pesto chicken”, with baked green beans.  Again, not a lot of ingredients, not a huge cook time, so it looked pretty easy.  and essentially it was.

http://www.cookingwithphilly.ca/philadelphia2/page?PagecRef=609&currpage=1&rid=15948

you take your chicken, and you cook it up in a frying pan until done.  easy.

next you are supposed to take the cream cheese and cook it on medium heat until melted.  surprisingly enough, it takes a little while for it to actually melt.  first it got kind of gloopy, and it stuck to my spoon quite a bit.  i got tired of waiting for the cream cheese to melt, so i threw in the next ingredients right away.  and so the not following the recipe begins.

gloopy grossness

i added the pesto, and broth all together with the clumpy cheese, and stirred.  i stopped stirring a couple of times to talk to matt, and to take pictures, and realized i should have been whisking instead of stirring.  does it make a difference i wondered?  who knows.  i do know however, that it wasn’t really a sauce as much as it was a clumpy stew-like mess.  realizing it wasn’t really as saucy as it should be, i added more broth.  did that help?  not really.  it evaporated pretty quickly…and i swear i had it on low- not even medium!

anyways, let’s talk about the green beans.  they were super easy.  like really really easy.  and for this, i didn’t follow a recipe at all, i just threw them in a dish, put some oil on them, seasoning, lemon juice, then baked them for a half hour or so.  they turned out really good.  oh, i also sprinkled some bread crumbs on the top hoping to add a bit of a crunchy crust, but i didn’t put enough on it.  they turned out really well anyways!

mmmmmm

so, chicken with clumpy cheese topping, and baked green beans in oil, seasoning and lemon juice.  great tuesday meal if i do say so myself! 🙂

how it turned out!

whisk count for tuesday/monday meals: 2 recipes so far! 😛 (that count is for you lyndsay!)

and don’t worry laura- i haven’t forgotten about the recipe  you sent me! can’t wait to try it!

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