Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Breton Apple Pie

Our family is one full of pie lovers. My mum and gramma are pie makers. Pie for breakfast is quite a common thing...if there happen to be leftovers.

My grandpa would quite often, after supper, tell my gramma he wanted a piece of pie and she would whip one up in an hour.

I cannot count the number of pie varieties I have tried on account of my mum and gramma.

All that said, I don't fancy myself a pie maker. I have made my share of pies in different forms, sweet and savory. I'm not a master by any means.

"So Jess how's your pastry success been lately?" My gramma asked me today, which made me smile. Mostly because I know it makes her happy that I love to cook, like she loves to cook.
Honestly though, my pastry is pretty hit and miss.

I'm quite sure all cooks learn a lot by trial and error.

Gramma's first pie was a pumpkin, she had never made a pie before and thought she'd be a good (new) wife and make her husband a pie. She made her crust, dumped a can of pumpkin into it, smoothed it out and baked it. She proudly served it to my grandpa but, instead of gratitude, was met with gags and sputters.

Grandpa-"What did you put in this?"
Grandma-"Nothing just the pumpkin!"

Now she knows you have to add sugar, spices, cream and other such important ingredients.

Gramma has since totally redeemed herself.

Last night, after dinner, I thought I'd make an apple pie for Jimmy. This pie had caught my eye as a quick one to make during the week.

Breton Apple Pie is quick, and really won't feel like pie making, in the laborious, fiddly kind of way it can.

The crust is somewhere between a shortcrust and a shortbread cookie. It's easy to work with and shortcomings can easily be patched.
The apples are partially cooked before hand on top of the stove with applesauce, lemon and cinnamon. They will become soft and shiny and rich smelling.

Everyone loves this pie. I will be making this one over and over. Maybe it will become a favourite in your house too.

Breton Apple Pie
Originally in by Nick Malgieri and also in The Washington Post, September 17, 2008

2Tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/2 lbs apples, peeled, cored and sliced (6-8 apples)
1/4 C apple sauce
1/4 C sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1C unsalted butter, room temp
1tsp vanilla
1C sugar
4 large egg yolks (1 of the egg whites beaten with a pinch of salt for a wash)
2 3/4 C flour

Butter a deep 9 inch pie plate and set aside. Place oven rack at the lowest setting and preheat oven to 350*.
In a large saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large saucepan, add apples, applesauce, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook, covered about 10 minutes or until swimming in liquid. Uncover and cook another 10 minutes.

Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer.
Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes.
Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to incorporate the flour.

Place half of the dough in the bottom of the prepared pan.
Use your fingertips to press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides.
Spread the filling over the dough.

Roll out remaining dough on a board with lots of flour until the circle is the same size as the pie plate. Top the pie with the dough and press down around the outside to seal.

Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Use the tines of a fork to trace a lattice pattern on the top.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the dough is nicely colored and baked through.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve with ice cream, cheese or by itself.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Black Beans with Ginger

I made more refried beans.

Beans with ginger and hoisin sauce.

Ginger and hoisin make the beans sweet, smoky and spicy.

Clara told me she could eat these beans for every meal.

These have a more Asian taste than the Limey Beans, they taste great piled into tortillas (or a large lettuce leaf) with brown rice, mango salsa, sour cream and black olives.

Both kids came back begging for more of the beans 20 minutes after we finished dinner.

Black Beans with Ginger

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced and crushed
1-2 Tbsp grated ginger (I freeze my ginger to make it easier to grate)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1-2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
1/2 C vegetable broth
2 tins black beans

Heat oil in a med sauce pan. Add onion and cook on med heat until soft, about 8 mins.
Add garlic, ginger and thyme and cook on med another few minutes.
Stir in hoisin and broth.
Add beans and mash in with a potato masher. Simmer on low for 20 mins. Stir a few times.

Serve on a tortillas or large lettuce leaf. Top with brown rice, mango salsa, sour cream and olives.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blueberry Date Juice

(Photo by Renee)

Renee and I were making this cake, and trying to figure out how dates grow.

Do they grown on a tree or on a bush or on a plant like a strawberry? Finally we googled it and discovered that they do, indeed, grow on trees, a little like a coconut does.

We then stumbled upon this recipe for a blueberry date juice.

After a morning of baking and cooking we were ready for a snack.

Throw bananas, milk, blueberries and dates in the blender and you get this bright violet juice that is creamy and sweet and filling.

Blueberry Date Juice

2 Bananas
1Cup Milk
2Cups blueberries (frozen)
8 dates, pitted
1-2 Tbsp protein powder (optional)

Mix together in a mixer until smooth.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Breakfast Sandwiches with Fried Mushrooms

We eat a lot of eggs. One of our favourite ways to eat them is in a breakfast sandwich. Usually the sandwich just consists of egg, cheese and an english muffin. But on the weekends, we like to fance them up by adding vegetables and meat.

Fried mushrooms are so versatile and simple to prepare. We put them in crepes, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and even eat them as a side dish.

I watched my Uncle Steve make his version of fried mushrooms last summer and was inspired to simplify my recipe and eat them a lot more.

Alton Brown has an amazing recipe for mushrooms which he then piles in between layers of crepes. They are amazing!

This method is the easy way.

The Breakfast Sandwich with Fried Mushrooms

2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
1/2-1 lb mushrooms, chopped or sliced thinly
1 small onion, chopped finely (divided)
1/4 C red pepper, chopped finely
2 thin slices of ham, chopped
5 eggs
heaping 1/4 tsp herbes de provence
1/2 tsp Montreal Steak Spice (divided)
2 Tbsp sliced Kalamata olives
1/4 C grated mozzarella cheese
3 English Muffins, halved and toasted

In a small frying pan warm 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp butter. Add chopped mushrooms, 1/2 the onion, herbes de provence and 1/4 tsp montreal steak spice. Fry until mushrooms are soft, about 5 mins. Keep mushrooms warm.

In a larger (10 inch) frying pan warm the other 1tsp oil and 1 tsp butter over med heat.

Add 1/2 the onion, red pepper and other 1/4 tsp of steak spice. When the vegetables are soft, add ham and warm through.

Crack 5 eggs over top of the cooked vegetables. Mix up the egg into the vegetables breaking a few of the yolks. Continue cooking, opening up little holes in the egg mixture so the uncooked egg falls onto the hot pan and fills the holes.

Once the egg is mostly set, sprinkle with olives and cheese. Cover the pan with a lid and turn heat down to low.

Toast english muffins. Butter them when toasted.

When eggs are set, divide into 3 portions.

Fill up english muffins with egg and mushrooms. Squirt on some hot sauce or ketchup if you like.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chocolate Espresso Bars with Dried Fruit

I love granola bars, I buy granola bars.

Starting today, I make granola bars.

It always pains me to buy them even on sale because the good ones are usually so expensive. Jim and I love Clif Bars but try to ration them because of how expensive they are.

Today, I was inspired by Grace to make granola bars.

I view this recipe as more of a ratio suggestion than a recipe because you could do anything with it.

I decided to make my first batch chocolate espresso bars and then added some chopped apricots and walnuts.

Some other flavour ideas:
~ Banana chip, Chocolate with Espresso
~ Carrot, Walnut with cinnamon and yogurt chips
~ Peanut butter, chocolate....(maybe some espresso in there too)

I doubled the recipe and used a 10 x 14 inch as well as an 8 x 10 baking dish to spread the mixture in because I wanted my bars to be really thin and look like a Clif bar. Mmmm.

Granola Bars
(adapted from

1 cup oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)
1 cup shredded wheat or weetabix cereal
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used apricot, fig and golden raisin)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp espresso powder
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped good dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Light oil or coat an 8×11-inch baking dish and set aside.

Place the oats, weetabix, walnuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, espresso powder
and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. .
Or chop fruit and crush cereal by hand and mix with other dry ingredients in a large bowl.
(The dried fruit should be the size of lentils.)

Whisk together the eggs, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.
Add the oat mixture and chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and flatten gently with the back of a spoon.
Bake about 18 minutes, or until the edgest turn golden brown.
Let cool completely in the pan before slicing into 12 bars.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Broccoli Pasta with Feta

Don't pass this one by. It's EASY, cheap and so tasty.

A bunch of broccoli, a can of beans, some pasta and feta.

This couldn't be easier or more perfect for making after work. (Shannon, if you like broccoli, this one's for you.)

I threw some chopped tomatoes and kalamata olives on top.

I think a Sauvignon Blanc would go perfectly.

Mum I see this being a great dinner to take down to the beach this summer... The Sauv will be a must!

Broccoli Pasta with Feta
(Moosewood Cooking for Health)

450g (1lb) chunky pasta
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Cups chopped broccoli
1-2 Tbsp minced (pressed) garlic
1/2 tsp salt
ground pepper
2 ladles of pasta water
1 small can pinto beans
1 C crumbled feta (cow or goat)

chopped tomato, sliced kalamata olives to finish

Cook pasta.

While pasta cooks, warm oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat. Add broccoli, cooking 5 mins, and stirring constantly.
Add garlic, salt, ground pepper and 2 ladles full of pasta water. Stir in beans. Cover and steam for about 5 mins.
Please do not overcook the broccoli! Let it remain bright and green!
Top cooked pasta with broccoli and feta. (add tomatoes and olives if desired)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ideal Easter Cookies

We spent a long time with my Gramma today making cookies for Easter. She has some fantastic old spring chicken and bunny cutters. What I failed to do, even though I took my camera, was take a single solitary photo of us together...sad.

We used Martha's "Ideal Sugar Cookie" recipe. I love Martha's Ideal Sugar Cookies. I especially love that they're called "ideal"...that makes me laugh.

That said, these cookies are ridiculously easy to make, yield a dough that is perfect to roll out and bake into a beautiful, light and tasty cookie.

We inherited a large amount of cookie decorating supplies from a sweet friend the other day, which proved quite inspriational to the decorating of our cookies. And, of course, Clara made her signature violet and tiffany blue icing for them.

After the icing hardens, they can be placed in a container in the freezer so they stay fresh until the weekend comes.

The only thing to do now is try and stay out of them.

Ideal Sugar Cookies
(Martha Stewart)

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons brandy (or milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar; mix until light and fluffy.
Add egg, brandy, and vanilla; mix until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture.
Mix until just combined.

Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between.
Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more.

If the dough or the cut outs are getting soft refrigerate them again before cooking.

Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Ice and Decorate.

Clara's Signature Icing

2C sifted icing sugar
2-4 Tbsp warm water or juice
blue, red and green food colouring

Mix sugar and water together in a med size bowl.
Divide icing into 2 smaller bowls.
To the first bowl add 1 drop of blue and one drop of red. Stir well.
To the second bowl add 1 drop of green and ond drop of blue. Stir well.
Shove the icing into 2 separate, small ziplock bags, cut off a small corner and pipe onto cookies.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vegetable Fried Rice

Perfect fried rice. We all love it.

We couldn't keep out of it tonight. The fresh and slightly crisp vegetables sit on top of perfectly flavoured rice. Eventually Jib ate the dinner by the fist full.

I wanted to keep it simple and vegetarian tonight but chicken, beef, pork or shrimp would be easy to add and a welcome addition.
Vegetable Fried Rice
(adapted from Real Simple magazine)

1 1/2 cups brown or white rice
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar, honey or agave
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp canola oil
2 carrots, matchstick-size strips
2 cups snow peas, cut into thirds
2 cups bean sprouts
4 scallions, thinly sliced
4 large eggs, beaten

Cook the rice.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and ginger.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add the snow peas, bean sprouts, and 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture.
Cook, stirring, until slightly tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the cooked rice, scallions, and the remaining soy sauce mixture.
Cook until just heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Push the rice toward the side and pour the eggs into the center.
Scramble with a spatula until set then stir in the rice.
Top with the vegetables and serve.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oven Roasted Tomato Peach Pasta

My Gramma, "Doda" as Jibs calls her, has been raving about frozen peaches lately. They're really quite good.

This pasta uses frozen peaches as the primary ingredient in its sauce. Mixed in with the peaches are onion, lots of fresh and sun-dried tomato, some cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

All the ingredients go into a 9 x 13 baking dish and get thrown in a hot oven to roast.

Once the sauce is done, it will be sweet and rich and thick. You can pour it over some chunky pasta and top it with parmesan cheese.

This one's for you, you want the leftovers?

Oven Roasted Tomato Peach Pasta
(Moosewood Cooking for Health)

6 sundried-tomatoes, chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen peaches, thaw if frozen
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp olive oil, (I used the oil that the sundried tomatoes came packed in.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 tsp herbs de provence
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
450g chunky shaped pasta (3 Cups or so dried)
grated parmesan cheese

In a 9 x 11 inch baking dish, stir together sundried tomatoes, tomatoes, peaches, onions, oil, salt, cinnamon, herbs de provence pepper and cayenne. In a 450* oven roast, uncovered, for 40 mins stirring a couple of times.
When the sauce has been cooking about 25 mins, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta.
When the sauce is cooked, stir in vinegar.
Serve sauce atop pasta with a generous grating of cheese.
A side salad of spinach, goat cheese and walnuts would be nice.

Jib says, "Get over here pasta, I love you."
Jib tip, "Don't get the pasta in your eyes, the cayenne is quite unforgiving!"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vegetable, Cookie, Banjo

Beans and greens are a wonderful combination. This salad is cheap, filling, has simple, healthy ingredients and is quick to throw together.

I have never cooked with black eyed peas before but they have great flavour and really go well with the kale and sweet fennel. I'm always looking for more ways to use kale so I know I will make this over and over this summer.

Today we ate it on top of some amazing sausage that my Dad keeps his freezer stocked with.

The salad could easily stand on it's own feet at one of those epic summer barbecues that are inevitably approaching. (Yay!)

I did sample, and love, the taste of the dish when I first made it, but it got better with time. So if you can make it an hour ahead of eating time, it will be even better.

Black Eyed Peas with Kale, Fennel and Tomatoes
(adapted from Moosewood Cooking for Health)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp herb de provence (or 1/2 tsp ground fennel)
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 Cups chopped fennel
4 Cups chopped kale (stems removed)
1 Tbsp Soy sauce
1 Cup chopped tomato
2 cans (15 oz) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/4 Cups dried beans, cooked)
ground black pepper

In a large saucepan over med heat, warm the oil. Add onions, salt, garlic and herbs. Cook, stirring often until onions soften. About 10 mins. Add fennel, cook another 8 mins.

Stir in kale and cook, covered 5 mins or until softened. Add soy sauce, tomato and peas.

Simmer 5 mins. Season with salt and black pepper.

Let sit 1 hour or so if possible. Not necessary but it will develop the flavours.

As for the cookie, made Joys Brownie Cookies tonight for my class...they were stupendous.

Make them!

I used 3/4 of a PC Dark Chocolate Bar in the cookie and then topped them with sprinkles and mini marshmallows. Pretty decadent.

Last thing, my Jimmy is the most inspiring person I have ever known.

He's an optimist, he will try anything and teaches himself all kinds of things.

Being around him has made me, a perfectionist who is scared to try anything that I might do wrong, learn and try stuff I never would have otherwise.

"You could totally do that, Jess.", he says. Then comes along side and helps me push through all my, "I just can't do it"(s).

Well, Jimmy has started teaching himself the banjo...and it pretty much rocks!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Peanut Butter-Cereal Balls

I could say I make these for the kids...but to be true...I make these for Jim and I. (We let Jibs and Clara have a few.)

Jim made these at home when he was a kid and I was introduced to them on a visit to his family's home years ago.

You have to love peanut butter to love these, we do...and we love these balls!

Cereal, honey, peanut butter, and some chocolate or raisins rolled into a ball.

Peanut Butter Cereal Balls

1 cup honey
3 cups peanut butter (I used crunchy)
1 1/2 cups rice krispies
1/3 cup applesauce
1 cups coconut
1 1/2 cups crushed cereal (I used Cheerios)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup golden raisins
5-8 tablespoons powdered milk
1-2 cups crushed shredded wheat (or mini-wheat cereal)

Mix all but last two ingredients and mix until well combined.
Add powdered milk. Mix.
Form into smallish balls and roll in crushed wheat cereal. Refrigerate or freeze.
I like mine frozen, Jim likes his refrigerated.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another One For the Cookie Jar

Clara and I made these today.

It's a little like a granola bar, a little like a cookie.

Perfect for taking along on the little bus ride excursion we're going on this afternoon. They'll be filling enough to get us through to dinner.

A little note: the batter is very chunky and will look weird for a cookie dough...just hang in there, when they bake they'll hold together fine.

Oatmeal Granola Bar Cookies
(Moosewood Cooking For Health Cookbook)

2 Tbsp butter, room temp
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/3 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 C spelt flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C Rolled Oats (not instant or quick)
1/2 C chocolate chips
1/2 C golden raisins (craisins, dried blueberries, or apricots), chopped
1/2 C walnuts (pecans or cashews), chopped

In the bowl of an electric mixer or with a whisk, beat together butter, oil and sugar. Bean in vanilla and eggs. Sift in flour, soda and salt. Mix until well combined.
Stir in oats, chocolate chips, raisins and nuts.
Batter will be chunky.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or grease with oil. Drop batter by tablespoonful. You will probably need to use your fingers to clump the dough together. Press down lightly with a wet fork.

Bake at 350* for 10mins or until the edges are golden brown. Do not overbake.

Cool and eat with a glass of cold milk.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Prairie Wisdom

Enough is as good as a feast. - Ma Ingalls.

'70's Cookbooks Rule

A few years ago, I totally gave 70's/80's cookbooks the cold shoulder.

They aren't as flashy...they don't boast celeb chefs "As seen on the Food Network"...and they aren't usually peppered with gorgeous glossy photos.

What they do have - accessible, interesting, healthy and frugal recipes.

1. Moosewood Cookbooks: I love Mollie Katzen and have made tons and tons of Moosewood recipes.
I love how Mollie hand wrote the recipes in this cookbook and drew great illustrations to go with.

2. Found this one today, The Art of Cooking for Two. The book guides small families on how to use really natural ingredients, spend less, eat better and waste less food.

A lot of the recipes are easily double-able for our family and some are even written for 4 servings so a 2 person family could freeze the leftovers.

Looking at this book to pick some goodies out with my Gramma tonight, she has recently begun the hard task of cooking for one.

Amazing cookbook. I want to make everything in it.
Some that I want to try:
  • Zucchini Spaghetti
  • Baked Broccoli Egg Supper
  • Christmas Roast Chicken
  • Curried Lamb Spare Ribs
  • Whole Wheat Biscuits
  • Baked Honey Custard
  • Herb Salt
  • Curry Mix
  • Once-a-week Jam
  • Fruit Chutney
3. Alice Waters is amazing at simple, basic cooking. I love the fresh combos of flavours and creative ways to eat from the garden.

Of course, a cookbook devoted to pizza, pasta and calzones is right up our alley.

  • Spring Pasta: Pasta with peas, spinach and prosciutto. Asparagus and artichoke pasta.
  • Summer Pasta: Pesto and New Potato. Pasta with Cherry tomato vinaigrette.
  • Pizza: Shrimp, Green onion, Tomato. Hot Peppers, Coriander, and sausage.
Bring on the garden cooking.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bean Curry

Monday is turning into Beanday.

Beans are good for Mondays because I can improvise with them from my pantry. And since we have significantly depleted our food stock by Monday, this is perfect.

Everyone loved this curry.

The recipe called for black eyed peas, I didn't have any so I used kidney but any bean would be fine. Also I used tined San Marzano tomatoes (in place of fresh), chopped them and added their juice to the broth. And a handful of peas made it a little prettier.

If you don't have Garam Masala, make your own. Otherwise, it's easy to find in the spice isle.

Clara and I topped ours with a little Major Gray Mango Chutney, Jim liked it plain.

Bean Curry

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1-3 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 large tomato, chopped (or 1/2 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes chopped)
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
pinch cayenne, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
3/4 cup half and half (I used 5%)
1 cup vegetable stock or chicken broth or V8)
1 can black-eyed peas, lightly drained
1 C frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion; saute 5 mins or until translucent and slightly browned.
Stir in garlic and grated ginger root; stir constantly for 30 seconds.
Add tomato; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in turmeric, cayenne, salt, paprika, and garam masala;
stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add half and half, stock, beans and peas.
Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro or parsley.
Serve over rice. Naan is nice to dip in. Chutneys or pickle as a topping or side.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Springtime Lime Pie

Here's a spring dessert for you. 10 minutes prep time, 18 mins bake time...chill (4 hours)and eat.

Lime Pie

22 graham wafers, crushed (yield 1 1/4C)
1/4C butter, melted

2- 14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 C freshly squeezed lime juice (about 6 limes)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 C sour cream
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
zest of 1/2 a lime

Preheat oven to 325*.
Mix graham wafer crumbs and butter in a 10inch pie plate. Press crumb mixture into plate.
Bake for 10 mins.

Meanwhile, whisk together milk, lime juice and eggs in a large bowl.

Pour into baked pie shell. Bake 18-20 mins.

Chill for 4 hours.

Mix sour cream and sugar in a small bowl. Spread on top of pie. Sprinkle with lime zest.


Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

These are not your usual sugar-butter laden peanut butter cookies. They're reasonably healthy, easy to prepare and will surprise the skeptics.

I was a bit skeptical myself. Sugar-free, spelt cookies don't sound very promising.

If you don't know what spelt is and you have never baked with it before, go to the bulk food store, buy just what you need for these cookies and be pleasantly surprised at how normal it feels to use it.

Spelt actually gives these cookies wonderful flavour. The batter will look a little more gritty than regular flour but will taste perfect when they're baked.
I took these to share with a group of friend last night and everyone agreed, they're good!
...(despite being healthy)

One thing I will mention, Heather from 101cookbooks recommends you buy a well combined peanut butter and not a super oily one. I used PC Crunchy and it worked beautifully.

Heather's Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup organic, chunky natural peanut butter
1 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350* degrees. Place racks in the top third.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate larger bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla.
Stir until combined. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture
and stir until barely combined - still a bit dusty looking.
Let sit for five minutes, give one more quick stir, just a stroke or two.
Now drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
Press down on each one gently with the back of a fork.
It's a loose batter, so if you're set on doing criss-crosses,
go ahead and chill the batter for an hour or so before this step.
Bake for 10, maybe 11 minutes - but don't over bake or they will be dry.
Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Revisiting the Everyday Bagel

Bagels used to be so mysterious to me. Their texture so unlike any other bread. Peter Reinhart's method of bagel making is easy and will totally de-mystify the bagel making process. Clara formed these for me...she's a great bagel maker.

I used white flour this time, but whole wheat flour worked beautifully last time.

You will have to start a day before you want to eat them, but the hands on time is very minimal. So worth the time! Give it a try.

Today we are enjoying Cinnamon Sugar, Everything, and Sesame Seed Bagels.