Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tis the season!!!

I love the holiday season! All the baking, lights and decorations...it just makes everything look so cheery and happy. And this past weekend the holiday baking began for our office childrens Christmas party!

This actually had zero baking involved...but turned out super cute and was a huge hit amoungst the kiddies!
 Here were all the supplies I needed...Fruit by the foot, marshmallows, oreos, lolly pop sticks, rolos, chocolate wafers and candy coated sunflower seeds (not pictured). The pretzels were for another project to be posted in a couple weeks!
 Take 3 Marshmallows and push them down the sticks...only pushing the last one half way so the stick doesn't come out through the top. Also set up something that you can stick the sticks in so they are upright...I used floral foam blocks and using my glue gun, glued them to the bottom of a Christmas basket.
 Now we will make some scarves! Take your fruit by the foot and but it in half length wise, then again into strips long enough to tie around the marshmallow.
 Starting to look like a snowman!!
 Next melt your chocolate wafers in the microwave in 20 second intervals until melted. Using a butter knife smear some chocolate on half an oreo and place the oreo on top of the marshmallow. Then take a rolo and smear some more chocolate on the bottom and place on top of the oreo. Now you have your hat!
 Using the rest of the melted chocolate, pour into a piping bag and pipe eyes and any other details on your snowmen. For the nose I cut a little slit with a sharp knife in the marshmallow then using a little melted white chocolate, stuck an orange candy covered sunflower seed in the slit.
These were a perfect take home surprise for all the kids! And so darn cute you don't even want to eat them!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making the Perfect Omelet

This is one meal that a lot of people have trouble with. They either can't flip it (I don't flip my omelet), or it isn't fluffy and bland.

Here is how I make my omelette's.

 The key to fluffy omelette's is in the egg whites. Separate your eggs. This is a 3 egg omelet and I put the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another.
 In the egg yolks I added 1/4 cup of canned corn (I know...sounds weird...but it was delish!) and seasoned with salt and pepper. whisk to combine.
 for the egg white start whisking the whites until they become white in colour and pretty fluffy and frothy.
 See picture above of the frothy egg whites.
 Lightly fold in the egg whites with the egg yolk mixture. Don't whisk and don't over mix...you just want it slightly combined.
 Your your omelet mixture into a lightly buttered frying pan. I like to cook my omelette's on medium low heat. You want them to cook through, but not burn on the bottom.
 Using a rubber spatula you can check the progress of the bottom but lifting a corner of the omelet and making sure it is slowly browning. Once the middle of the omelet starts to cook through (it will look like solid scrambled egg) you can start adding your filling.
 On one side of the omelet sprinkle your desired toppings. I added Goat Cheese and chopped chives.
 Fold over the omelet and let the filling melt for a couple of minutes.
Slide onto your place and devour. So perfect..so fluffy...so yummy! Try the corn in the omelet sometime...it gives a surprising sweet taste!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Easy Scallopped Sweet Potatoes

This is a posting coming in pretty late. It was a side dish I made for Thanksgiving at my parents place this year. It was super savoury and was a hug hit with the crowd. I could make this every day and just gobble it up on its own...really it was that good! Make this for Christmas dinner since I am so late in posting it!
Thinly slice about 5 large sweet potatoes. If you have a mandolin you can use that...but I am kinda scared of them and just sliced the potatoes with a very sharp knife. Layer the potatoes in a large baking dish, seasoning with salt and pepper.
In a large measuring cup, pour out 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream and add 1 tbsp minced chipotle peppers. I bought the Herdez brand in a can. This just gives this dish the little bit of kick to cut the sweetness. Pour 1/4 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.
Continue the layering with potatoes, salt, pepper and cream until you have completed all four layers. Bake in a 350F oven for at least 1 hour or until the cream thickens, and the top starts to brown and caramelize.
Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving (if your cream hasn't gotten too thick, it will once it sits). Serve with Turkey and all the fixings!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Baked Goat Cheese with Spinich Salad

I made this appetizer salad a couple weeks ago for a friends Birthday dinner. Overall it was really well received (except for the non-goat cheese eaters..lol! Or my husband that doesn't like beets!) So if you like Goat cheese and beets..this is a great salad option for you!! (although the beets are totally optional!)
To make the baked goat cheese parcels, take some thawed phyllo pastry and roll it out, removing only 2 sheets at a time.
Have about 3/4 cup melted butter handy with a brush.
Wrap the unused phyllo in a damp clean dish cloth as it dries out very very easily. This step is important.
Lay the first sheet of phyllo on a clean surface. Brush the butter over the whole sheet.
Lay the second sheet over the first sheet and gently press down to remove all the air bubbles.
Using a sharp knife divide the dough into 3 1/2 - 4 inch strips
Add a dollop of good quality goat cheese to the bottom of each strip of dough
and fold over using the entire strip until you are left with a nice neat triangle.
Brush the triangles right away with butter and lay on a baking sheet. Repeat with more sheets until you have enough for 3 per person.
Bake in a 375F oven until dough is a nice golden brown (about 10-12 minutes). Set aside to prepare your salad. Or you can prepare the salad in advance and serve the triangles warm...both ways are delicious!
For the dressing I used 1/4 Cup Honey, 1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar, 1 Tsp Honey Dijon Mustard, 3 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Pepper, 1 Cup Olive Oil. Whisk well to combine and leave in the fridge until ready to use.
For the salad I used Fresh Baby Spinich, Shredded Carrots
Sliced pickled beets (again..totally optional!!)
And a generous handful of chopped walnuts.
Dress your salad with the dressing and lay the goat cheese phyllo triangles over the salad. Delish!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Spaghetti with Spicy Marinara Sauce

The last month has been insanely busy for me. So many social events, the big marathon I was training for, thanksgiving..twice! So i guess lately my weeknight cooking has been fast, easy go to's that i never really though were worthy enough for a post. However, this quick and easy weeknight meal has so much flavour I had to post it. I got the inspiration from a Food Network show ("The best thing I ever ate"), and have been making this dish on the eve of my long run Saturdays for the last month. So good!
I make this first step in advance and bottle it in an old olive oil bottle. The oil is so flavourful that I use it in a lot of my cooking now..not just this dish! Pour about 1 Cup of good quality Extra Virgin Olive oil into a pot. Add 3 or 4 peeled garlic cloves...slightly smashed with the side of your knife, 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil and a pinch of red chili flakes. Set the heat to low and let simmer until the garlic turns a light golden brown...do not let it burn. Remove the garlic from the oil and set aside to cool. Pour into an old olive oil container if you like.
Peel and seed about 6 roma tomato's...roughly chop and add to a deep pan on medium heat.
Simmer the tomato's for about 10 minutes, then using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes a little bit more until it gets to a chunky tomato sauce consistency. Simmer away for an additional 10 minutes stirring every so often and allowing most of the water in the tomato's to evaporate.
Pour about 1 tbsp of the oil mixture into your tomato's...I obviously made a fresh batch and just poured it straight in! Season at this point with a little salt and pepper or additional chili flakes if its not spicy enough for you.
Add 1 tbsp of butter and combine until butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce. About 5 more minutes.
Add your favourite cooked pasta to the sauce (I used whole wheat linguine) and a handful of fresh basil.
toss with a generous handful of freshly grated romano or parmesean cheese.
Voila! The most delicious pasta I have ever eaten!