Oh ice cream, you with your chunks of cookie dough, your ribbons of chocolate running over icy vanilla hills, your valleys filled with heaps of fruit and creamed vegetables…

Wait. Did you just say “vegetables”?

That’s right! Or haven’t you heard of the new rage in dessert land?

Having made rice and mashed “potatoes” out of my low carb friend cauliflower and viewing this lovely recipe for chocolate chip muffins, I thought to myself there must be a way to get my favourite vegetable into a dessert! Then I spotted my donvier jumping up and down out of the corner of my eye and knew I had the answer.

The love of my life!

After trying to work out this recipe twice I have found that it’s somewhat difficult to get this dessert as healthy as I had wanted. Originally I wanted to leave most of the cream out and half the pureed cauliflower be the main component, unfortunately it turns out cauliflower is not as subtle a flavour as I had initially thought. The first time I made this recipe I used 1 cup of cream and even after a mishap with my vanilla extract (using way WAY too much) the ice cream was surprisingly not bad (although it still can’t hold a candle to my triple chocolate brownie supreme). The second time I cut the cream back all the way to 1/4 cup and got a reasonable amount of vanilla into the mixture. It was still edible but the cauliflower taste was definitely too much for me. I wanted to try one more idea by adding a banana to the recipe but alas I have run completely out of cream.

Mmm....

Of course by now you must be thinking I’m completely off my rocker. I mean cauliflower ice cream? Believe it or not I have heard of stranger and due to the fact that the idea of savory ice cream creeps me out a little I decided to go out on a limb and try to find the sweet side of cauliflower. Although I’m sure it would make a great savory ice cream now that I think about it. But like I said, no more cream, so I guess you’ll just have to settle for this “unsavory” version. You might even say it’s fiendishly good. Ha! Get it? Unsavory, fiendish? Okay I’ll stop now.

Chocolate sauce is always a must!

Sweet Cauliflower Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup cauliflower, chopped

1 cup cream (I’d recommend not going any lower in fat than half and half)

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp of vanilla

1/3-1/2 cup sugar (more sugar makes it sweeter [duh!])

Put cauliflower in a sauce pan and cover with water and let boil until soft or until all the water has evaporated. Whisk egg yolks into sugar in a bowl. You can use a beater but only beat just until mixed. Put cauliflower in a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add cream to prevent it from getting stuck on the sides. Put all ingredients (egg yolk and sugar mixture, cauliflower, vanilla and cream) into a bowl and mix together. You can also use the blender to do this if you wish. Let mixture sit in fridge until cooled. Make into ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Store in a plastic container in the freezer until ready to eat!

(Note: I did not pasteurize the egg yolks as custard and me don’t get along very well but feel free do so. I would recommend searching for instructions on google.)

Enjoy with chocolate sauce and/or marshmallows!

Does this look like a vegetable to you?

I am a sweet lover. (In case you haven’t already guessed from viewing my previous posts.) I do like savory and salty foods, however. I’m all for a bag of crispier-than-heck dill pickle chips or  crackers covered in mountains of blue cheese. I just tend to lean towards the sugar (sky) high tastes of dark chocolate melted over fresh baked donuts and homemade ice cream.

That being said there is one thing I crave that just can’t be satisfied with a sweet indulgence. That is fish. Preferably pink, fresh and grilled. If I had to pick one type of meat to eat for the rest of my life it would be fish. I could eat a whole grilled salmon even with no added flavors or seasonings. And salmon’s twin brother? Rainbow trout? Well I could eat three fillets of that!

Which is what we had tonight. (Actually four fillets, but two were small.) The first two were the recipes below and the last two I just used some honey mustard marinade we had in the fridge, which wasn’t bad but what would I put on this blog under the recipe instructions? “Go to the store and buy some honey mustard marinade”?  I do have a little more pride in my fish cooking skills than that!

Although to be honest I am pretty clueless when it comes to meat. I don’t really know much about the basics of marinade or how to tell whether something is done without cutting into it to take a peak. In fact I don’t even try to marinate fish anymore because I find it just always tastes better cooked straight away. My fish only sits in it’s sauce for however long it takes for me to set up the rest of the dinner so that everything is done at the same time. But, like I said, I could eat fish with no seasoning, so experiment and find out what’s good for you!

Who will win this epic battle?

So here I give you two delicious recipes. The classic and simple citrus and dill and a new and interesting goat cheese delight!  The dill recipe is our default recipe for fish and it’s one of my favourites. The goat cheese one is a twist on a recipe I use all the time! Don’t like goat cheese? Mozzerella works just as great! Bake in the oven or grill over a hot fire and watch them disappear off the table before your eyes!

New challenger has appeared! Goat Cheese!

Goat Cheese and “Aoli”

1 rainbow trout fillet

2/3 cup miracle whip (or mayonaisse)

2/3 cup relish

1 cup goat cheese (or desired amount [I like lots!])

1 squirt of mustard (optional)

aluminum foil

Preheat oven to about 400 degrees or warm up grill. Place fillet into the center of the aluminum foil. Decide whether you’d like to stuff the fish with cheese or just crumble it on top (the picture above has it crumbled on top). If stuffing you’ll need to slice with a sharp knife a slit along the length of the fillet about 3/4 of the way through. (In other words butterfly it.) Crumble goat cheese onto the bottom half and place top half of the fillet back on top.  Otherwise simple crumble the cheese on top of the fillet. Mix miracle whip or mayo with relish and mustard. I know aoli is actually made with minced garlic instead of relish but the relish reminds me of tarter sauce.  Spread “aoli” on top of fillet untill covered and then wrap up your fish. It will take approximately 10 minutes to cook.

Classic Dill

Classic Dill Fish

1 rainbow trout fillet

3-5 tbsp of lemon or lime juice

dill seasoning

3-5 cloves of garlic

aluminum foil

Lay fillet in the center of the aluminum foil. Cover with lemon/lime juice. Mince garlic and spread over fillet as well. Season generously with dill. Wrap the fillet and you can allow it to sit for about 15 minutes or you can bake in a 400 degree oven or grill it on high for approximately 10 minutes.

What did I say? Easy right?

Is there a colour that epitomizes summer?

Which one comes to mind? Perhaps it’s the blazing yellow of the sun painted on too many sunscreen bottles. Or maybe it’s the dark brown of sun-kissed skin. Or could it be the lush green grass that graces my yard once every seven summers when we get just enough rain to prevent the earth from baking into dust?

Well, those are all fairly close, but for me it’s the bright turqoisey blue only found on rare clear skies or tropical oceans. It screams hot weather and vacations and long, luxurious dips into refreshing pools of water.

Unfortunately this colour does not grace me in the form of food. In fact blue rarely shows up in food at all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that’s both naturally blue and edible. Don’t try to fool me with those “blue” berries and that weird species of potato either. Those are purple and we all know it!

So in the absence of my blue colour I turned to the help of my old friend food colouring! And set off to make some blue cookies.

Don't mind the messy kitchen!

Now I wasn’t going to share this recipe with you yet. I was going to perfect it first but somewhere between the banana-brownie ice cream I made earlier this week and the 0 comments on my blog made me think I should probably start sharing some of the stuff I’ve been doing with you. Besides, I haven’t posted anything since those kiwi muffins! By god that was ages ago!

Prebakage

Anyways, the point is that these cookies are okay but not yet perfect. Especially when it comes to the method I used… You’ll notice the holes in the center of all my cookies? Yes that was a result of an unfortunately warm kitchen and my inability to roll out cookie dough. Doing it again I would refrigerate the dough before trying to roll it out. I would also clear more kitchen space before cooking so that I didn’t have to use the top of my stove as a counter-top. (Don’t try and lie, I know you’ve done it before too.) And perhaps cut the dough a little thinner, as they were hard to chew when sandwiched together. As for the taste? I think I would decrease the amount of sugar. Since I filled them, the sugar in the cookie seemed useless and was hopelessly overpowered by the buttercream. I would also probably add some espresso powder to the chocolate part of the cookie, since I found the cookie fairly bland on it’s own….but that’s just me.

Yum

This recipe is adapted from here.

Original says 70 cookies so if we’re sandwiching them that would be 35.

Cooking time: 10-15 minutes Prep Time: at least one day total (for freezing and dethawing)

Blue Swirl Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 1/3 cup of sugar (I would recommend decreasing to 1 cup.)

3 cups flour (plus more for rolling)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg and 2 egg yolks

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp cocoa

Blue food colouring

Cream butter and sugar until and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add vanilla and eggs to creamed butter and sugar beating well between each addition.  Slowly add flour mixture, leaving approximately 1 tbsp behind in the bowl and beat until combined. Divide dough into two parts. Select one part and put in a separate bowl. This will be the chocolate dough. Add cocoa and work into dough until it is dark brown. Add blue food colouring to other dough and work into dough until it is the desired colour of blue. If this part of the dough is a little sticky add the left over 1 tbsp of flour and mix. Gather the chocolate dough and wrap in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge. Do the same with the blue dough.

Now wash some of those dishes, read a few magazines and clear off some table space for about an hour. When finished remove from fridge and plastic wrap and place on a well floured surface. (I use wax paper that’s been taped to my counter for easy cleaning and no sticking.) Also flour up a rolling pin. Roll the chocolate dough ball first to desired square or rectangle. My rectangle was a little longer than the length from my fingertips to my elbow and about half as wide. A wider width will yield a larger cookie. After trimming the chocolate dough to desired shape make the same size rectangle with the blue dough on a different counter. (I eyeballed it but you can always measure.) Then take the blue dough and place it on top of the chocolate dough. I did this by picking up the wax paper underneath the blue dough and flipping it over onto the chocolate dough.  If your wax paper was well floured it should not crumble.

Then roll the dough up into itself using the longer side. My dough was quite crumbly so in order to do this I used the wax paper underneath to fold  the dough onto itself. (Make sure to peal the wax paper off after each fold!) Then using that same wax paper cover the log of dough up and wrap it in plastic wrap. Then transfer the log to the freezer and let freeze for at least one night.

When the desire to bake the cookies gets to you put log in the fridge to thaw for a couple of hours. (I left it for 12.) Leave out at room temperature for about 5 minutes and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice cookies thinly and place onto greased cookie sheet. Cook for about 10-15 minutes. Or until the blue colour starts to yellow/brown.

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter (unsalted)

2 cups icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla (or other flavor)

1 pinch of salt

1/2 tsp of cream

Blue food colouring

Cream sugar and butter together until no lumps remain.  Add vanilla salt and cream and mix. Finally add food colouring and mix until colour is satisfactory. Pipe or spread between 2 of the completely cooled cookies and eat! (Or at least what’s left because if you’re anything like me you’ve already consumed half the cookies before they even made it off the cutting board!)

Flowery cutting board.

I went home this weekend for a couple of appointments I have on Monday. Being home is always fun because it means I have a nice big kitchen to play with (even though I should be studying for my last exam). The other fun thing about being home is that I get surprises. This weeks surprises started off with there being kiwis in the fridge. Kiwis! We never have kiwis! My mother told me they were a gift from a customer at work.

Kiwis and I have a love-hate relationship. I like the tastes of kiwis, I really do. The problem I have with them is that they are slippery and slimy. The only things in this world I cannot eat consist of gelatinous, slippery and slimy foods. This is the reason I can not stand jello. Pudding is okay oddly enough but kiwis cross that oh-so-subtle barrier between the syrupy body of peaches to the slimy texture of mangoes.

So knowing that my family will probably not go through a box of kiwis before they go bad I decided to look for a kiwi recipe. There isn’t much in the way of kiwi recipes. Most I found were of smoothies and really what is so challenging about plopping things into a blender? No, I needed something fun that I could slide out of the oven.

Then I found a recipe for kiwi muffins.

Mmm...muffins...

The recipe was meant for 18 reasonable sized muffins but since when have I ever been reasonable? I couldn’t find our regular muffin tin, only small ones and a ginormous one. I opted for the flower-pot sized tin. It yielded 8 delicious, monstrous kiwi muffins.

Who needs a wire cooling rack?

My apologies about the pictures too. I thought since I was at home I wouldn’t have to take any more pictures with my cellphone…unfortunately for all the 4 cameras we have in our house not a single one had a charger. Luckily the webcam on my laptop and photoshop have yielded some decent pictures to wet your appetite.

Half is probably a better serving size....

But I digress. Here is the delicious monster recipe (adapted from here.)

Makes 8 monster muffins or approximately 16 normal sized.

Monstrous Kiwi Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar

3  – 4 kiwis, peeled and diced

2 eggs

3/4 cup melted unsalted butter or oil (I used a combination of melted shortening and butter as I had no oil)

3/4 cup milk

1 tbs lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all wet ingredients in one bowl and all dry ingredients in another. (If you are using melted shortening it may solidify when added, it’s not a problem.) When oven has heated to desired temperature mix ingredients with a spatula until just wet. Do not over mix, the batter should be a little lumpy. Spoon into greased muffin tin filling cup approximately 3/4 of the way up. Bake for about 15 minutes if making regular sized muffins and 25 minutes if making large ones. Remove from oven when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm. Enjoy!

I needed a break from studying.

I needed to write something that wasn’t about what Aeneas ate for breakfast the day he went to slay Turnus or what Patroclus’ second-cousin-twice-removed’s middle name was. I needed a break from waking up at 1:00 in the morning with the worst cold imaginable. Then I remembered I had a blog.

That’s what I love about the internet. You can disappear for months on end and no one can call you up at some obscure hour wondering where you went. It also allows me to pretend I have an audience to listen to the ramblings of a some-sort-of-cook/chef-type-thing-when-I’m-not-busy-studying-which-is-like-90%-of-the-time.

So for anyone who’s out there I’m going to share with you this delicious Lime Trifle dessert recipe (sorry we ate it too quickly for there to be any pictures but it’s one of those things I’m guaranteed to make again.)

Lime and Honey Trifle Recipe

Honey sponge cake:

2 tubs cool whip (or equivilant of whipped cream)

4 eggs, seperated

1 cup sugar

4 tb cold water

2/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat egg yolks and sugar together until light. Add water. Sift together flour and baking powder and add to batter. Add honey to batter as well and mix it all up! Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff. Fold them into the batter. Pour everything into greased/sprayed pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes.*

Lime Curd (adapted from here.)

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 butter or margarine, melted

1 tbsp lime zest

In the top of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar. Stir in lime juice, butter and lime peel. Cook over simmering water until thickened. Let cool.

Assembly:

Rip up cake into chunks of desired size.

Layer cool whip, cake chunks and lime curd in desired amount of layers in desired thickness.

Refrigerate and serve!

*mine took more around 18 minutes but then again my oven is known to be hot!
Alright I know that some of you are cringing at the thought of using cool whip. To be honest it’s one of my guilty pleasures. Real whip cream tastes just like whipped fat to me and while I may not mind a dollop on a pie or some sort of french dessert I certainly do not want to be eating it as a basis for this dessert. Plus cool whip tasted like biting into a low-calorie cloud of air! It’s heavenly to me but if you really want to use real whip cream, go for it.

Oh! I need to tell you all my double-boiler story! Have you ever put the wrong pot on top? Like the one that’s smaller is on the bottom and the bigger one’s on the top? No? Good, cause I’m here to tell you NEVER EVER put the smaller one on the bottom.

‘Cause it gets cemented together. Seriously we tried everything to get them apart! Ice water in the top, boiling water in the bottom, didn’t work.
What did work was a saw.
That’s right I said saw.
We now have 1/2 a double boiling.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I didn’t forget you…..

Nor did I forget about these Christmas cookies I made….

January still counts as Christmas right??

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Anyways here are some very late cookies that my family liked a lot. I personally thought they were missing something…like a buttery or salty taste but nevertheless they were enjoyable.

They were adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Homemade Oreos to include little candy-cane pieces in the filling.

Just follow the recipe but after making the filling, chew up some candy-canes in a blender and add them to the mix. I would cut down on the sugar a little in any way you can because the candy-canes add so much sweet taste.

Hope you enjoy….you still have some extra candy-canes lying around your house right?
Candy-canes!!

….make chocolate bark!

So, I tried to make some truffles using a “simple” truffle recipe I found on the internet (but cannot for the life of me find again). It seemed easy enough but after (almost) boiling the cream and adding in the white chocolate I knew something was wrong. It didn’t taste bad, don’t get me wrong, but the consistency was more like melted taffy even after I froze it.

What I was trying to make was a candy-cane truffle that had melted candy-canes in the ganache and was covered with white chocolate. It was for a potluck and I thought it would be a big hit. Since the ganache didn’t work out however, I used the rest of my chocolate and candy-canes to make this wonderful chocolate bark.

I think the problem with my ganache was the ratio of cream to chocolate. In other words too much cream and not enough chocolate. I’m going to try ganache again at some point but it’s an expensive thing to mess up and difficult to adapt into something else if it does. I ended up putting some of my ganache in the center of the candy-cane bark but it didn’t really add anything to the recipe. Here’s the recipe for those interested, it’s extremely easy and you can adapt the measurements how you like.

Ingrediants:

2 cups dark/milk chocolate

2 cups white chocolate

1 cup chopped candy-canes

Recipe:

Melt dark/milk chocolate and spread evenly with a spatula over a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Stick in the refrigerator until hardened.

Melt white chocolate and mix with candy-canes. Spread over hardened dark/milk chocolate and stick in the refrigerator until hardened.

Break apart and serve. Serving sizes vary. This makes approximately two 16 x 14” baking sheets worth of chocolate.

 

Blue cake!

 

Hello! This is my first post on my first blog ever! I’m a university student in Ontario, Canada and I love to cook! I also love coffee but that’s a rather minor fact that was only mentioned because it rhymes and sounds cute to boot! I decided to start blogging because I wanted somewhere to catalog my cooking adventures and help stir creativity in my kitchen.

Hopefully I’ll add something interesting to the internet and have fun too!

Thanks for listening and stay tuned!