Blog Archives

Cookies!!!

Time to feature a staple item that got me (and several of my friends) through exams.   Chocolate chip cookies- the soft, chewy-center type.  I made 2 dozen and they were gobbled up real fast between 5 people.  I had to make another batch for the next study party.  I got the recipe from allrecipes.com

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsps baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream the butter and sugars.  Beat in pudding mix.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Add flour and baking soda.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop the cookies by the spoonful onto cookie sheets (I use parchment paper on the sheets).  Bake for 10-12 until golden.

Enjoy!

EM

Advertisements

Studying and Strawberries

Hello everyone.  The lack of posting lately is due to the fact that it’s exam season, and studying for them has basically taken over my life.  I arrived early in the morning at a friend’s house to study (yuck) and her boyfriend, Andrew, had made us a lovely stock pile of chocolate covered strawberries.  A LOT OF THEM.  I was so happy!  Not just any chocolate covered strawberries, these were fancy.  There was milk chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate with nuts, and chocolate with coconut.  It was all very yummy, and since Andrew REALLY wanted a blog post, here it is.  But in all seriousness, this was blog-worthy, as the strawberries looked gorgeous and tasted great.

For all of you suffering through exams, good luck!

EM

Dinner and Dance Friday: Oxtail Stew with my dance crew, woohoo!

Yes I am a terrible poet; luckily I didn’t major in English.  Friday night was another successful dinner with my dance crew, Jen and Jose (some pretty mean nicknames were tossed around when I asked them what they wanted to be named as in this post, but I finally decided to go with their actual names instead of things like “butcher-rat”…don’t ask).

The slow cooker meal we went with was oxtail stew, Italian style, courtesy of this blog: http://memoriediangelina.blogspot.com/2009/07/coda-alla-vaccinara.html

Ingredients

  • pancetta
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 4-5 stalks celery
  • handful of parsley
  • one large oxtail (2 smaller ones would work too)
  • about 1 1/2-2 cups red wine
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • one bay leaf
  • whole cloves

We didn’t have pancetta so we skipped it, but it was decided that if we did have it, it would have added some nice flavour.  First, chop up all the veggies and sauté in some olive oil until tender-however, leave out half of the celery and save that for later.  Once veggies are soft, place in slow cooker.  Take the oxtail and brown on all sides in pan-season with salt and pepper.  Add the red wine and boil off.  Once wine is boiled off, throw oxtail in slow cooker and add the tomatoes (use the liquid it comes in).  Make sure oxtail is just covered with enough liquid: I found I didn’t need to add any water, but if you need to, add some.  Throw in the bay leaf and a handful of whole cloves.  Set on high for 6 hours.  Half an hour before serving, throw in the rest of the celery-this is supposed to prevent it from tasting too cloying.  Serve with a baguette to soak up the sauce.

It tasted amazing!  The meat tasted very tender; it’s hard to describe the taste of the meat itself, but oxtail is unique and I quite like it.  Just a note, it’s not super fatty, but there is fat to this cut of meat.  It is very flavourful, but I could see some people finding it heavy; the way it’s prepared here helps to offset that.  

To finish off the meal, we also had a Nutella dessert, which Jose made from scratch!  It’s called: Brioche roulée au Nutella.

Ingredients

  • 225 g of flour (just a tad less than 2 cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 25 g icing sugar (3 1/4 tsps)
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml of milk, warmed
  • Nutella
  • Honey
  • 1/4 cup butter

Mix flour, salt, sugar, baking powder.  Add the egg.  Heat the butter, using a microwave, until liquid and pour in.  Mix and slowly incorporate the warm milk.  Mold dough with hands until homogeneous.  Add more flour or milk as necessary if too sticky, or too floury.  Cover and let stand for at least 2 hours; best to leave overnight.

Roll dough over floured surface into rectangle of about 20 x 40 cm.  Spread Nutella over dough, leaving 1 cm border.  Roll dough lengthwise and cut into small pieces, about every 5 cm.  Place on baking sheet and cover and let stand for one hour.  Brush tops with a little honey.  Preheat oven to lowest setting and bake for five minutes.  Then increase to 180 C and bake another 20 minutes.

These were really yummy.  The only thing I’d change would be to add some chopped nuts on top of the Nutella.  But Jose did a great job with these, they didn’t last long!

And, as per usual, we topped of the night with some swing dancing!  Perfect Friday night.

EM

Blogging Benefits

I highly enjoy writing for this blog.  The problem is, I don’t cook something new everyday, so I don’t get to post recipes all the time.  However, I am finding that this blog is bringing in some great benefits.  Most of my friends already knew I love food, but now that I am blogging on top of it, it seems to have started a new trend.  People are bringing me food!  Not that I’m complaining…some of my friends were already doing food swaps with me, but I must say, I’m really enjoying it.  All you folks reading this, feel free to bring me samples and I will blog about it! Treat number one on Monday: zucchini bread.  My friend’s husband, Jeremy, found out I love food and now blog and sent me three delicious slices of homemade zucchini bread.  Looked like it was from the store, but even better!  I was offered a lesson on how to make it, which I fully intend to take up.  Look for that in a couple weeks!  In the meantime, I was sent a pic of the loaf, before it got devoured:

Lovely isn’t it?  I cannot wait to learn to make it myself. So that was Monday.

Last night my dear friend Matt told me he made cookies: but they weren’t cool yet so he couldn’t bring me a sample.   A little part of me died inside: why would you even bother telling me that?  To mock me?  Taunt me?  Matt, are you reading this?  Just kidding, you know I adore you (and not only because you’re a vision in purple)!  He did bring me a sample today though, and it was DELICIOUS. Here is the recipe for Original Toll House Cookies.  They are a soft cookie-bar, and I adore them (I’m munching on one right now).

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mini chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped nuts or raisins or cranberries

Beat the butter until fluffy and gradually add sugars, eggs, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix baking soda and flour.  Add to butter mixture and blend well.  Stir in chips and nuts/dried fruit.  Grease a 12 x 18 inch pan, or alternatively, 2 10 x 14 inch pans (they’ll just be thinner bars).  Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes (Matt uses the single 12 x 18 pan and bakes for 25 minutes, but remember ovens can differ so just keep an eye on them).  Cut into bars when partially cool and finish cooling in pan.

Delicious!

BUT WAIT!!! The blogging benefits kept coming and my friend Jon brought me chili today!!!  I ate it up pretty quick, but I have yet to get the recipe from him, so I will have to save that for another day.  In the meantime, enjoy baking the cookie-bars!

EM

Chinese Party and Oreo Truffles?!

A couple nights ago one of my friends decided to throw a party: Chinese themed.  What did that mean?  We had Chinese food and played Chinese games.  And took pictures (which I will not be posting), posing incessantly.  It was a lot of fun; I especially enjoyed meeting new people because NO ONE at the party has any classes with me.  Nice to branch out when our class is so big.

I have yet to learn how to make Chinese desserts, so I decided to make Oreo truffles for the party.  Super easy and super fun, not to mention super tasty.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Oreo cookies: 350g size
  • 1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz), softened
  • optional: semi-sweet chocolate chips for coating (or you could use whatever chocolate you prefer: white, milk, etc)

Crush the cookies finely-if you have a food processor, make use of it.  I don’t, so I put the cookies in a big bowl and used a potato masher.  Took a bit of effort but it got the job done.  Add the cream cheese and mix well.  Take the mixture and roll into little balls, about one inch in size.  I managed to get 28 truffles out of this, even though the recipe said I should be able to get at least 3 dozen.  I think mine were bigger than one in size though.  Whatever.

Once you have rolled out all the truffles, place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and put in the fridge for an hour to firm up.  You can serve as is, which is what I did, or you can coat them with semi-sweet chocolate chips for an outer coating.

To coat: melt the chocolate chips in a bowl-I just use the microwave.  Then dip the truffles in the chocolate with a fork and let the excess drip off and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.  Chill until the coating sets.  I have yet to perfect the coating process for truffles; it tends to be very messy and you have to work quickly so that the chocolate doesn’t harden.  Last time I did this, I had to keep microwaving the chocolate every so often.

I skipped this last step, so this was my finished product:

Enjoy!

EM