Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pizza Monkey Bread

Pizza Monkey Bread
This past Saturday I told Shawn that I don’t think I’ll be blogging much anymore. He said to wait for the winter before I do anything rash…like deactivate my website. So I’ll leave it live for now but much has changed since my last post and frankly I don’t really feel like posting recipes anymore.

I’m still baking all our bread, trying out new, fun recipes for dinners and desserts and loading up my cellar with cases upon cases of Ball jars for the upcoming canning season.

That’s all the same so what’s changed you ask?

1)      We bought a house June 9th!

2)      We repainted the entire interior and exterior and did extensive yard remodeling to said 3000 square foot house.

3)      I built a website and basically helped start a business for Shawn. It’s a vacation rental business. He has three condos for rent now and is super busy managing them. I’m super busy updating the website and teaching him how to use our paypal merchant account.

4)      I got a full time job with benefits!

5)      We have an herb garden! And a kitty named Kiki that comes and visits me in the evenings when she goes out to hunt quail.

So we’re busy. J

I started the blog as a way to fill my days with something productive back when I wasn’t working. I really enjoyed it and I made a bit of cash off it too!

But now my life has changed for the better and I’m not sure where blogging fits into the mix. I know a lot of you enjoyed reading the blog posts so I’m going to try to add a really great recipe to the site whenever I can but I’m thinking once or twice a month instead of once or twice a week.

And because all of you read this for the recipes and not my personal musings I’ve included a recipe in this post for you….

Pizza Monkey Bread.

Little balls of dough coated in an herb butter mixture and topped with parmesean cheese. It’s like bite sized mini garlic bread! We ate a third of the batch in one sitting. Then I biked to work every day for a week and ate broccoli for lunch to make up for it ;)

This was the first new recipe I baked in my new supersized kitchen. For our 1 year anniversary we received a brand new set of the Williams Sonoma Gold Touch bakeware including the anniversary bundt pan. I barely needed to grease the pan and the bread just popped right out! All of the bakeware is the best I’ve ever worked with however the loaf pans are AMAZING! If you are an avid baker this line is so worth the extra cash.


Pizza Monkey Bread

From What’s Gabby Cooking

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups Bread flour
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 Scallions, chopped
  • 10 Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup Marinara or Pizza sauce

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the Bread flour, AP flour and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the active yeast and water in a mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook. Let it sit for a few minutes to make sure your yeast is working. Add the sugar and mix for a quick second. Add the flour mixture in batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Let the dough hook work its magic for 5-6 minutes until the dough has come together into a large mass. Remove the dough to an oiled bowl and let rise for 60 minutes.
  4. After an hour, remove the dough from the bowl and cut into small 1/2 inch cubes. Dust with flour to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside.
  5. Butter and flour 6 small bundt pans. (You could also use a large bundt pan)
  6. Melt the butter in a small bowl.
  7. Combine the cheese, herbs, salt/pepper and garlic in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and mix together with a spoon. Toss in the cut dough and make sure it all gets a coat of the butter mixture. Start layering the cubes into the bundt pans until they are 3/4 of the way full. Let sit for 30 minutes for the dough to rise a little more.
  8. Place bundt pans into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the bread and cheese is golden brown. Serve with warmed marinara sauce or pizza sauce.




Monday, June 4, 2012

Hot Cross Buns with Cardamom

Hot Cross Buns with Cardamom
Wondering what I've been up to lately?

I've been biking, hiking, baking, canning, trying out new recipes for pitas, English muffins and naan, and looking at houses....lots and lots of houses. 

The past few weeks have been stressful. I officially hate house shopping. I used to love it. Now shady banks and real estate agents have ruined it for me. This is supposed to be the fun part...its not, and by a long shot. I daydream about sore muscles from painting all day, aching backs from scrubbing floors and moving furniture and headaches from setting up our current home into a vacation rental. Yes, that's weird but at least all that discomfort means we'll be settled in our new home. And settled there for the next 30 years at least cause it's going to be at least that long for Shawn to convince me to do this again.

Know what else is weird? Posting a recipe for Hot Cross Buns in June. It's more of an Easter recipe but hot cross buns are MY FAVOURITE. And I think I deserve one of my favourites right about now. ;-)

Hot Cross Buns with Cardamom - lower fat recipe!
This recipe is amazing! Soft, perfectly spiced warm pillows of slightly sweet happiness!

Hot Cross Buns with Cardamom
by Kaitlyn McFadden


Ingredients :

  •  2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I reduced to 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm soy milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup craisins
Icing:
 *use more sugar or less milk to make the frosting more thicker if you like a 'piped look' to your buns.
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Directions
  1. Place warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand until dissolved and frothy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add sugar, cardamom, 1 1/4 cups of milk, applesauce and egg to the yeast mixture. Stir with the paddle attachment on medium to combine. Add 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups all purpose flour while speed is on low until a ball is formed. Switch attachment to the dough hook and add raisins and craisins. Knead on low for 8-10 minutes adding remaining flour by the 1/4 cup if needed. ie. if the dough is too sticky. Dough should be smooth, supple, and elastic when properly kneaded.
  3. Form into a bowl and place in a large oiled bowl. Cover and let rest until doubled, about 45mins to 1 hour.
  4. Punch dough down, divide into 12 portions and shape into balls pinching tightly at the bottom to make a taunt surface area. Place them into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish evenly spaced out; 4 rows 3 across. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest and rise again. Approximately 30 to 40 minutes. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the plastic wrap from the rolls. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. 
  6. Make frosting by whisking together the confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup of milk and extract until smooth. I used a little extra powdered sugar to make my frosting more paste like. When the buns are cool, pipe frosting over them in a cross shape.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Flour Tortillas

I don't want to get in the habit of rehashing all my old recipes but I simply cannot resist reminding you all about this one. I'm back in Vancouver at the moment and made these last night.....

Homemade Flour Tortillas

AND

I know some of you didn't know I had this recipe on my website!!!! Shock and awe at learning this! This recipe is one of my CLASSICS! Scratch tortillas are infinitely better than store bought. One try and you'll never go back!

Promise.

(Recipe link)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ice Cream season is here!

It was hot today...not the 70 degree spring day that everyone thinks is hot but is really just warm and only seems hot because you've just lived through 5 months of chill-you-to-your-core ice, wind, rain and snow.

Today was like legit summer hot. *sigh* At last!!!!

Lets celebrate with some healthy ice cream!

It's soooooo good that you won't miss all that cream and sugar!

Remember my healthy chocolate ice cream post? Well if you don't then it's time that I reintroduce you...

World,
Let me reintroduce you to frozen bananas pureed with pure cocoa powder.

Healthy Ice Cream

Yum!

(Recipe link here)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tips for a Perfect Omelet

Basic Omelet
Omelets have always been a mystery to me. I would overcook them, under cook them and have them completely fall apart as I flipped them over.

After many years of practice I've finally found the perfect method. I'm sure many of you have already mastered omelets so this post probably isn't very interesting, but for those of you who are still striving for picture perfect, restaurant quality omelets then maybe this post can help.

How to make a basic Folded Omelet

Some of the major lessons learned have been:
  • Use a really good non stick fry pan than you love and trust.
  • Invest in a super wide spatula. A wide base will be able to lift more of the egg preventing rips or tears. 
  • 1 egg is not enough, 3 is too much, 2 eggs are just right. I find 3 egg omelets too heavy to work with. With 2 eggs you get the perfect amount egg to filling ratio while still being manageable. 
  • Prepare the filling before you start cooking the eggs. The egg doesn't take that long to cook so make sure you cook the meat and veggies first. Also remember to add fillings to the omelet that are warm or at least room temperature. You may overcook your eggs waiting for your filings to warm up.
  • Cook, flip, fill, fold. I used to cook my eggs until the bottom was set but the top still runny, add my fillings to one side, flip the other side over the fillings and watch all the runny egg and filling pour out. I would then sit down and slice into an omelet that was still uncooked in the center! What I needed to do was cook the egg on medium-low until almost completely set. Then take my wide spatula pick up the entire layer of egg and quickly but careful flip the whole thing over so the top of the eggs can cook. Then while that is happening add cheese and fillings to half the omelet and fold the other half over. Clean, simple, and cooked all the way through.
  • Keep the heat low to medium-low depending on your stove. You want those eggs to cook evenly.
Basic Folded Omelet

What you need to make 1 Folded Omelet:
  • 2 large eggs
  • favourite cheese shredded or crumbled; depending on the type.
  • Warm precooked veggies & meat you want to stuff it with; ie. mushrooms, diced onion, diced bell pepper, spinach, cubed ham, crumbled sausage.
  • medium-small sized non-stick fry pan. 8" pan is best.
  • 1 tsp of butter
Instructions:
  1. Beat the 2 eggs in a small bowl  for a few seconds and set aside. * for colour and flavour you can add your favorite chopped fresh herbs to the eggs and stir.
  2. Prepare your fillings, cook and set aside. I use roughly 1/4 cup fillings per omelet. 
  3. Heat your non stick pan on medium-low. Melt the tsp of butter in the pan and swirl around to coat.
  4. Add the eggs to the pan. Swirl the pan just enough to cover the base evenly with egg. Cook on low until almost set.
  5. When only the top center of the eggs are unset then using a wide spatula or two regular sized ones, carefully flip the omelet over to continue cooking on the other side.
  6. Sprinkle cheese on half and top the cheese with your other warm fillings. Fold the half of the omelet without toppings over top of the half with toppings. Turn heat all the way down and cover with a pot lid until cheese is melted. Usually takes about 1 minute. 
  7. Carefully side omelet from pan to plate and dig in.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dutch Baby with Blueberry Sauce


Dutch Baby
Dutch Baby Pancake with Fresh Blueberry Sauce
This super simple breakfast brings me so much joy! It’s quick, easy, and dirt cheap but when you pull that golden fluffy giant pancake out of the oven and pour on some fresh blueberry sauce,  the presentation and ‘wow’ factor is priceless. My pictures unfortunately do not do this dish justice. So don’t judge by my bad, I’d say impatient to eat, photography skills.

This recipe makes one large Dutch baby perfect for a large cast iron skillet. This can also be made in a glass 9 x 13 inch casserole pan. Just melt the butter in the microwave and spread to coat the entire pan.

The recipe serves four and you’ll make enough sauce for waffles or crepes the next morning! 

Dutch Baby puffed up -  fresh from the oven.

Dutch Baby
By Kaitlyn McFadden

Ingredients:
·         2 tbsp of butter
·         4 eggs
·         1 cup of milk (we use soy)
·         1 cup of AP flour (we use whole wheat)

      Directions:  
  1.  Preheat oven to 425F 
  2.  Heat up your large cast iron skillet and melt the butter, swirling it around to cover the pan. 
  3.  Mix the remaining ingredients well until a smooth batter is formed. Pour into the skillet and bake for 15-20 minutes. You know its ready when the edges are browned and the center has puffed up. For me that takes about 18 minutes.
  4.  Remove from oven and immediately cut and serve

Blueberry Sauce
By Kaitlyn McFadden

*This is a pretty flexible recipe. Add more water the fresher your blueberries are ie. Recently purchased frozen blueberries have less ‘ice’ on them than that bag that’s been sitting in your freezer for 3 months :)

Sub blueberries for raspberries and you have Raspberry Sauce!
Ingredients:
·         2 cups of frozen blueberries
·         ¼ cup of brown sugar, or less depending on your taste
·         1 tsp of vanilla extract
·         Splash of balsamic vinegar.
·         1 tbsp – ¼ cup water depending on how frozen or fresh your blueberries are.
·         1 tbsp of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp of water

Directions:
  1. Add all ingredients but the water and the cornstarch to a small sauce pan. Heat until simmering. 
  2. Add some water if your blueberries don’t look very saucy/juicy.  
  3. Taste and add more sugar or vanilla as needed. 
  4.  Add cornstarch and simmer until thickened. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Irish Cream Chocolate Cake

I'm back!

Tall delicious Irish Cream Chocolate Cake
Irish Cream Chocolate Cake
I know its been super long since I've posted but my 50-60 hour weeks are done, I've vacationed all those tax returns out of my system and we've picked yet another house and put in yet another offer. Hopefully this one sticks. I've found the whole home purchasing process to be incredibly stressful. Shawn bought the place we are in the day he met me so I've never had to deal with the whole negotiation process; in sum, I don't like it. We've given up once and I've given up twice but the allure of a second bedroom keeps beckoning us.

When I'm feeling tired or stressed two things really seem to help: exercise and chocolate. The fact that I've found the most amazing chocolate cake recipe probably hasn't been the best thing as it's much more alluring to choose cake over the gym.

This recipe has 1 and a half cups of Irish cream in it!!!! Yes you read that correctly, 1 and a half cups! So for those of you that enjoy that 'third vice' this cake has plenty of that. It bakes for an hour so I'm pretty sure all the alcohol is baked out but the Irish cream flavour remains and is strong enough that you taste it in every delicious bite.


This recipe is a  MUST try. It’s perfect for a special occasion, Sunday dinner or a Friday date night. I even subbed out part of the butter which lowered the fat content without compromising the taste or texture. I’m going to sub all of the butter next time I make this. I’d shy away from subbing the eggs though…for some reason I think this recipe deserves to have eggs in it


Irish Cream Chocolate Cake dressed up for St. Patrick's Day


Irish Cream Chocolate Cake
From FoodIsMyLife

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa powder (use natural cocoa powder not dutch-processed)
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup brewed strong coffee, can be hot or at room temperature
  • 1 cup butter ( I subbed unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1.5 cups Irish Cream (don't be shy, I used a little bit more)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 320F. Grease your  8.5 inch width by 4 inch high Dutch oven and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together flour and baking soda and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Heat the cocoa powder, sugar, coffee and butter in a sauce pan on medium heat. Heat until butter is melted and cocoa powder and sugar dissolved. Pour the cocoa-coffee into a large mixing bowl or stand mixer and let it rest until just warm to the touch.
  4. Add the Irish cream to the chocolate mixture and stir. Whisk in the eggs one by one followed by the vanilla.
  5. Add in the flour slowly and whisk gently until all the flour has been incorporated. The cake batter will be thin and bubbly (because of the reaction between the baking soda and the cocoa powder).
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared Dutch oven. Tap the pot on your counter top gently 3 to 5 times to remove excess air bubbles.
  7. Bake the cake for 1 hour. Cover the top of the cake with the Dutch oven lid and continue baking for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake come out with a few crumbs.
  8. Place the Dutch oven on a rack and cool completely.
  9. Slice and serve


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Soda Bread


The BEST Irish Soda Bread
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Two years ago today we celebrated with Ashley MacIsaac in Whistler B.C., last year we went to a local Irish pub for traditional beer and Irish food and this year we decided to stay in and have a home cooked meal.  I’m making corned beef served with homemade sides consisting of: marbled rye, crisp red cabbage slaw, sauerkraut (yes homemade sauerkraut…we’ll see how it goes), and Irish Cream chocolate cake.  I will definitely be taking pictures and posting about the meal if it all goes according to plan. I’m especially excited about the marbled rye bread. I’ve been prepping my sourdough starter all week just in case I want to make a sour rye loaf.

I decided that my recipe for Irish Soda bread would be perfect to share with you today. It’s an easy no fuss recipe that comes together in minutes, gets popped into the oven for an hour and voila! You have a gorgeous warm, slightly sweet yet nutty and savory loaf of deliciousness. I’ve fine tuned this recipe and attempted to make it vegan but I didn’t like it as much. The eggs and the Greek yogurt give this loaf a certain je ne sais quoi!

I baked the loaf pictured yesterday morning and we ate half of it while watching Extreme Couponing. Honestly one of the best things about working 50-60 hours a week (besides the money) is being able to TOTALLY veg out on the weekend with absolutely no guilt!

Warm, moist Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread
By Kaitlyn McFadden

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup of whole wheat AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 1/4 cups soy milk 
  • 1 tbsp of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup non fat greek yogurt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 inch cake pan. 
  2. Measure out the 1 1/4 cups soy milk into a small bowl or largeish measuring cup and stir in the vinegar. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flours, baking powder, baking soda and raisins. Form a well in the center of the dry mixture.
  4. In a medium sized bowl add the eggs, yogurt, and soy milk mixture, whisk together. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients. And stir together.
  5. Mix until all the dry flour has been absorbed. The 'dough' is more like really thick batter and will be very sticky.
  6. Plop...yes plop that dough into the prepared pan and pat down and shape it as best as you can into a roundish shape. I find that a silicone spatula works best. You can slice the signature cross into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife but my batter is always too sticky for that to work.
  7. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes. 
  8. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving with butter and preserves.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mexican Lasagna


A nice BIG slice of Mexican Lasagna is perfect after a morning on the XCountry trails.
For warmth during these cold and frankly pretty blistery months a lot of us turn to comfort foods to warm up and relax after a long day at work or on the slopes; hopefully the latter!

 Mac & Cheese is popular here in the US but all that cheese and cream and pasta just doesn’t appeal to us. When Shawn and I want comfort food I make slow cooked roasts with red wine and balsamic gravy, yummy baked enchiladas or even curry.

One of our new favorites however is Mexican Lasagna. It’s inspired by a recipe I found in the Williams Sonoma catalog a few months ago. I love it because I can bake it in my round Dutch oven which is the perfect width for large flour tortillas. Just grease the Dutch oven, layer the ingredients, bake, let cool 10 minutes, loosen up the edges with a silicone spatula and slice and serve. The presentation is gorgeous and the taste even better. Now THIS is comfort food!

Mexican Lasagna
Mexican Lasagna
by Kaitlyn McFadden

Ingredients:
  • 1 3 1/2-quart round wide Dutch oven
  • 1 tsp of olive or canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of siriacha sauce
  • ½ tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp of prepared mustard
  • 1 3/4 cups enchilada sauce (recipe here)
  • 9 corn or flour tortillas, each about 6 inches in diameter (recipe here)
  • 2 cups of a ‘Mexican’ blended cheese mix (pepper-jack, cheddar, mozzarella)
  • Sliced green onion tops for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:
1.       Preheat an oven to 375°F.
2.       Grease the Dutch oven with the oil.
3.       Sauté the onions and peppers with the ground turkey.
4.       Add the soy sauce, siriacha sauce, red pepper flakes and mustard. Mix into the meat mixture and cook until browned.
5.       Spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Arrange 3 tortillas in a single layer on the sauce, overlapping them and positioning them to completely cover the full diameter of the Dutch oven. (Important since homemade tortillas aren’t perfectly round)  Top with a slightly heaping 1 cup of the turkey mixture, approximately 1/2 cup of the sauce and approximately 1/4 cup of the cheese. Repeat the layering 2 more times, alternating the direction of the tortilla layers. Use your discretion with the amounts but leave enough sauce and cheese to coat the top layer.
6.       Place in the oven and bake until the ingredients are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
7.       Serves 6-8 when paired with a healthy green or black bean salad.