Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I've been meaning to make pecan pie for months, ever since eating some at one of our favourite local restaurants. I finally got around to it this weekend, deciding to bring it to our staff holiday potluck. Accompanied by my husband's famous ribs, my favourite mac n cheese, and coleslaw, this pecan pie would have made the perfect finish to our southern-inspired meal. Too bad we pigged out on all the other food (mostly desserts) that I only ended up having a tiny bite of this delicious pie.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
As much as I love good old traditional christmas treats that make me nostalgic for my youth, I equally love trying out new recipes, and Martha never disappoints in providing me with ample selection of fancy goodies.
It wasn't until I had already started making these that I read the not-so-great reviews of the recipe: "Horrible!", "Molasses overkill!", "Will never make these again!", "Had to throw them out".
Well you'll be happy to know that those reviewers obviously just don't like molasses and nuts. And they most likely prefer overly sweet, boring, cookies. Cookies that no one will remember.
These cookies though are definitely different, memorable and really delicious.
As long as you like molasses and nuts, that is.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The other day a friend asked me what some of my family's christmas traditions were, the kind that have lasted since childhood. I could really only think of a few.
Just as the old handmade ornaments that my brother, sister and I made as kids have disappeared over the years from our family home, perhaps some of our old traditions have too. But as I said there were a few things I could think of...
We've always listened to Handel's Messiah on vinyl, we've always eaten scrambled eggs on christmas morning (and called them "christmas eggs"), we've always used the same strand of large red and green lights on our tree, and we've always baked some mexican wedding cakes.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I have spent a long time pondering what style of stocking I'd like to make for my husband and I.
This is the first year we're not spending the holidays with family, therefore the first year we won't be stuffing gifts into my mother's hand made stockings that I've had since childhood.
Trust me when I say that I'm a bit of a Christmas-a-holic and that deciding on new stockings felt like a big deal.
The stockings we had growing up with were made of red felt with metallic rick rack trim, our name spelt out in felt letters, and a bell on the toe. I loved them. But I wanted something more....us.
After browsing through some holiday decorating ideas online I came across the cutest rustic christmas scene complete with wool socks as stockings, and knew I had found the inspiration I was looking for.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
This morning I woke up quite early and immediately had christmas songs in my head and couldn't stop thinking about christmas crafts, and entertaining. After trying to ignore my crazy self and get back to sleep (which did not work) I hopped out of bed, put on christmas tunes and started crafting.
For years I have wrapped gifts in old newspapers or other repurposed materials. Last year for some reason I gave in to my inner christmas fanatic and bought the shiniest, most offensive looking metallic wrapping paper. I guess after years of newspaper wrapped gifts, I was really craving some eye-catching presents.
Well I'm more or less back to my old ways this year, but I think I've definitely upped the cute factor.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Design Sponge. I'm in a christmasy crafty mood, and our apartment is seriously lacking in holiday cheer.
After making this wreath, I can't help but think of lots of other cool wreath ideas. How many wreaths can I have in my home before I look crazy?
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
My husband makes the most amazing ribs you'll ever eat.
But these aren't his ribs.
I can't even compete with him and his ribs, so I only make these when he's unable to cook for whatever reason (like when he was sick this week).
This recipe will satisfy your rib craving, but doesn't take an entire day to make (like someone else's rib recipe I know...)
This recipe will satisfy your rib craving, but doesn't take an entire day to make (like someone else's rib recipe I know...)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I can't believe I've never thought to make my own Magic Bag before. If you know me at all, you know I have a serious obsession/addiction to having a hot bag of dry grains at my feet (or any other body part that ails me).
These took mere minutes to make and already look so much cuter than the ugly blue ones I bought in a store years ago. Imagine how much more amazing they could look if I put in even a tiny bit more effort. Quilting? Embroidery? I'm getting excited just thinking about it.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
This cake has just become my winter "everyday cake".
What is an everyday cake? And what was my summer version?
An everyday cake is a cake that needs no occasion. It's quick to make (and even quicker to eat), and doesn't rely on any frosting or elaborate layers.
For the last two years this cake was my go-to everyday cake.
When I first discovered it I probably made it about 6 times in two weeks. But with all those luscious raspberries it's clearly only a seasonal everyday cake, and after my first bite of this apple coffee cake I knew I had found my winter replacement.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Growing up in Edmonton my husband quickly fell in love with these delightful little snacks. After moving to Halifax he sadly realized these were apparently an Edmonton phenomenon, as no one (except fellow Edmontonians) knew what he was talking about when he raved about these odd little cakes that aren't cakes at all.
Luckily they're so easy to make at home that it doesn't matter what city we're in, we can have green onion cakes whenever we want.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Every year I dream of making oodles of edible treats to give to loved ones for the holidays. And every year I make only a few treats that rarely manage to leave my home (and if they do they're never packaged as nice as I imagine).
But this is the year that I'm going all the way. I'm going to make smaller batches of all my favourite sweets, package them in adorable little containers and deliver them around the town like a jolly little elf.
My dream was somewhat crushed when I saw the outrageous price tag on those adorable little containers at the local craft supply shops. There was no way I was dropping that kind of cash, when I knew I could make something even cuter with my own two hands.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I was sure about only one thing: I was making pizza for dinner. But my fridge and pantry had very little to offer as far as inspiration. Brussels sprouts? Nope. Parsnips? Nope. Cabbage? Nope. Potatoes? Nope. Wait a minute....maybe...yes. Yes, I can make a pizza with potatoes.
Turned out to be one of the best pizzas I've made in a while.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Today I looked at a knitting project I've been working on since July and decided I didn't like it anymore. I've been having second thoughts about it lately, but felt like I've put SO much effort into it that it would be silly to not finish it. But today I couldn't help but look at it and think "Nope. I just don't like it."
So R.I.P. knitted afghan that I've spent four months working on. And hello cute little knitted pillow covers.
I crocheted knitted afghan squares together to form pillow cases and then stitched on some beautiful patches my sister made for my husband and I years ago.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Clearly I'm a bit of a soup fan.
I've only been sharing my homemade world with you for about 2 months and here is my 7th soup! And that's not including all the ones that I've been too shy to show you...
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Yet another fabulous recipe from The Coup! This one is probably my favourite so far (which says a lot because the others were awesome) and I'm totally adding this to my arsenal of dips that I'll be busting out this holiday season.
I apologize for sounding like a total food geek here but, the complex blend of flavours are really well balanced. Sweet, nutty, earthy, with some zing from lemon, and a kick from garlic. Mmmmmmmm.
And it's actually super healthy!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
After about 6 attempts to make a hat on four needles I finally have something I'm happy with.
I didn't use a pattern (mostly because I still get confused reading them) and just kind of figured it out through trial and error.
Here's generally what I did if you're interested:
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I feel quite accomplished right now.
There was something slightly intimidating about the thought of making my own ricotta cheese. And there were certainly many moments I stared into the pot of milk on the stove wondering what on earth I had done wrong, and where were those curds?? Alas, all I needed was a wee bit of patience (and a wee bit more lemon juice).
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Inspired by Lotta Jansdotter's wall organizer in "Simple Sewing", I made a cute little organizer for the staff of our cafe. We are often so busy at the cafe, that organization of our stock/staff room is usually last on the priority list. Not only will this new organizer keep the staff's tips safely out of harm's way, but it also free's up valuable shelf space. And the cheery yellow floral print can't hurt to brighten up the utilitarian-like room.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I really love eating as much seasonal local food as possible. But it's only November and I'm already craving lighter fresher foods! How am I going to last another 5-6 months until spring??
Thankfully there are some root vegetables that taste great raw and lend themselves beautifully to salads. It also doesn't hurt when the farmers market surprises you with mixed salad greens!
Friday, November 12, 2010
These are the best peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I've ever made/tasted.
They encompass everything I look for in a cookie: the perfect texture, the perfect balance of sweet and salty, and of course one of the most perfect flavour pairings ever; chocolate & peanut butter.
Do yourself a favour and make a double batch.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
When I was young my mother really only made pie about twice a year, at thanksgiving and christmas. It was always pumpkin, topped with mounds of whipped cream. As much as I loved the pie, I actually have more fond memories for a by-product of her pie making. She called it a "sugar daddy" and if I remember correctly we were usually fed little bits long before dinner, probably to keep us happy and out of her hair while she cooked.
A few years into my relationship with my husband, after making a pie one day, I began assembling a sugar daddy. My husband was confused. "I thought you were done the pie. What's that?" I told him how my mother had made this for us as children, and how delicious it would be. As he looked at the skimpy fillings he didn't look convinced. But ever since his first bite he's welcomed the tradition of the sugar daddy into our home and excitedly awaits its arrival, just like I did as a child.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
My husband insisted he hated eggs. When we met he was vegan so I had no right to try to change his mind...but once he started eating animals I felt it was my wifely duty to make him love like eggs. I remember the first time I told him I was going to make a quiche. The look of disgust on his face was laughable.
"Just promise me you'll try one bite, that's all I ask".
It's been over a year since that first bite, and I've lost track of how many times he's asked for quiche for dinner.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I think the last time I showed you a dip recipe it was when I was making food for a party at our cafe. Well today is our cafe's 1st birthday (which means this week has been madness hence the lack of posts lately, sorry!) and here I am again making some quick tasty dips to bring to the party.
This dip has acquired quite a reputation over the years amongst my friends and family. I often hear "Oh my god you made The Dip!" once they realize what's in the bowl.
Well, I guess The Dip is pretty darn good if I may say so myself. Rich, creamy, tangy, and full of dill with a nice garlicky kick. You'll be hooked after one bite.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This was one of those meals where I just kind of threw together something from whatever I had lying around. Red pepper? Sure. Red onions tossed in herbs and pesto? Sure. Lemony goat cheese? Sure.
But it tastes like I put so much more thought into it. And now I'm really wishing there were some leftovers.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Whats my secret to great pie?
Well, I use Martha Stewart's classic Pate Brisee dough, I do my best to chill my ingredients and tools, and I practice, practice, practice.
I think that (like in bread making) you really need to get acquainted with the dough, and the whole process. It takes a while to not only get used to the feel and look of the right texture of the dough, but also to learn how to control it when rolling.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
This is only the second time I've made flour tortillas.
The first time after eating one, I exclaimed "I'm never eating another store bought tortilla again!".
Tonight after taking my first bite of a taco made with these tortillas I said "Yup. Still never going to eat another store bought tortilla ever again."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Now I know what you're thinking. Why would I ever go searching for another macaroni and cheese recipe when I've already found the best one ever? Well, for starters I wasn't searching...it just sort of fell in my lap. But I'm quite okay with having two wonderful mac & cheese dishes up my sleeve, especially when they are worlds apart from each other.
Unlike my all time favourite, this dish gets lots of its creaminess from butternut squash. I think the balance between the cheese and the squash is just perfect. It doesn't taste like it's desperately trying to be healthy, hiding vegetables between cheesy noodles. It tastes like the squash has just as much of a right to be there as the cheese. Like it's been there all along and you've never even noticed.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
AKA a mini quilt!
These were really fun, and I think I'm going to end up making many of these to try out patterns before starting a large quilt.
Can you tell the first photo was my second and most recent attempt at this project? Definitely improved drastically from my first pair in the second photo.
Interested in learning how to quilt? Check out "Quilts" by Denyse Schmidt. It's probably my favourite quilting book I've found so far.