Posts tagged baked
Posts tagged baked
Product review: Village Buns cinnamon buns
Over the Christmas holidays, the husband and I indulged in a few treats, one of them being Village Buns cinnamon buns. Available in the frozen, take-home food section at one of my favourite Ottawa food shops, Thyme and Again, I had seen these cinnamon buns on numerous occasions but had not purchased them. I finally gave in to my addiction to cinnamon and brought them home to try!
The buns come with simple directions on how to thaw, cook and frost the buns. I followed the directions and they turned out perfectly! We were so eager to eat them that I didn’t get the chance to make icing with which to top them, but recipes are available on the Village Buns website here.
If you’re looking for an easy, tasty way to serve cinnamon rolls to family or guests without all the work, these are for you! I would buy these again and would recommend them if you’re feeling too lazy to make your own (like me! haha).
Holiday baking: white chocolate covered pretzel and chip cookies
It has been forever since I have done any real baking, and, with the big dumping of snow that we got this past Sunday, I thought, what better way to spend the day? (and what better way to reward the husband and I after a whole lot of snow shovelling?)
I was also inspired by this week’s Gastropost mission, which was holiday indulgences. Cookies have to be my favourite holiday indulgence. Everyone gets so creative with cookies during the holidays!
I wanted to try a new recipe, and I also didn’t want the recipe to make too many cookies (fresh cookies laying around? Ok thanks I’ll eat 10!!!), so when I came across this recipe on the fantastic Yankee Kitchen Ninja blog, I was sold. The recipe makes about two dozen cookies, which seemed like a good amount: not too many and not too few. I planned to freeze most of them to serve to friends and family during the holidays! As well, the husband loves anything white chocolate, so I knew these would be a hit.
I made the cookies exactly as described (click here to link to the recipe) except that I added some red and green coloured sugar before baking for some holiday cheer! Happy holiday baking everyone!
The most perfect mini corn breads to accompany a southern BBQ-style lunch from @DoubleDsBarBQ - always a delicious meal!
Easy baking project: pumpkin cinnamon chip bread
I had a bag of cinnamon chips sitting in my pantry just screaming to be used, so when I came across this recipe on the lovely Peanut Butter and Peppers blog, I was all set to go! You see, cinnamon baking chips are hard to come by for us Canadian bakers; I had acquired my bag on our last grocery shopping trip to New York State.
I didn’t realize it until I actually set out to start baking the bread that this is seemingly a “healthier” pumpkin bread recipe in that the moisture comes from the pumpkin, some greek yogurt, egg whites and just three tablespoons of olive oil. I made a few substitutions to the recipe as follows: I used whole wheat all purpose flour (instead of white whole wheat flour); white sugar instead of presweet tagatose (something made from stevia); and just regular olive oil.
This bread turned out deliciously! It is quite dense, but I liked it that way. The cinnamon chips are an absolute delight; they pair perfectly with pumpkin, of course!
Weeknight dinner: broccoli and cheese baked pasta
I tend to avoid making homemade white pasta sauces; for some reason I can never get the flavour combinations right and it always turns out to be bland. I tend to have much more success with homemade tomato-based sauces, which, if I’m feeling in the mood for a bit of creaminess, I can add some light cream to the sauce for a rose sauce.
I decided to throw caution to the wind when I came across this recipe for a baked broccoli pasta on Food Republic's website; it has all of the kind of flavours that the husband and I love and I thought perhaps a baked pasta would be more successful. The result? It was still just a tad bland for the both of us. But, it wasn't terrible. We found it was even better when we had it as leftovers the next night; the flavours seemed to come together a bit more. Click on my photo above to link to the original recipe.
I would make this again but I would definitely make a few additions to add some of the kind of flavour that I like. Perhaps some pesto, or even some cooked crumbled Italian sausage. We made a few little changes to Food Republic’s recipe, which I detail below in my adapted version.
Broccoli and cheese baked pasta - slightly adapted from Food Republic
- 7 ounces fusilli pasta
- 1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 slices proscuitto, chopped and cooked
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup 5% cream (or whatever cream you have on hand)
- 1/3 cup 1% milk (or whatever milk you have on hand)
- 2/3 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
- salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425F. Oil a deep 9x9 ovenproof dish (I sprayed mine with Pam).
Cook the chopped proscuitto in a frying pan. When almost done, add the minced garlic to let it cook a little bit. Set aside to cool.
Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water according to package directions for al dente. Add broccoli for the last 5 minutes of pasta cooking time; drain. Rinse pasta and broccoli under cold water; drain, cool.
Combine eggs, cream, milk, cheddar, Italian herbs and the salt and pepper in large bowl and mix until yolks are diffused. Add in the cooled proscuitto, broccoli and pasta. Gently stir to combine.
Spoon mixture into baking dish; sprinkle with combined panko breadcrumbs, parmesan and lemon rind.
Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until browned lightly and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Weeknight dinner: chicken schnitzel on a bun
Growing up, one of my Mom’s staple quick dinners was pork or chicken schnitzel from a favourite local butcher. It came pre-cooked, and it was incredibly fresh and delicious. I loved to eat my schnitzel on a fresh, soft roll, slathered in French’s yellow mustard.
The husband and I have made schnitzel on a bun one of our own quick weeknight dinners. Our favourite local grocery store, Farm Boy, sells fresh chicken schnitzel that is ready to pop in the oven at a moment’s notice. We serve ours on top of fresh toasted buns, and I’ve graduated from a little mustard to lettuce and tomato for my toppings. We made a batch of his (russet potatoes) and hers (sweet potato) baked oven fries to accompany our sandwiches.
The dinners that my Mom came up with so long ago were so simple at the time, but it is funny and heartwarming that it is those memories that are what fuel my own sense of creation when it comes to making dinner as an adult.
A very special dinner celebration
The fiance and I had the very special pleasure of attending an engagement party for my sister and her fiance one recent weekend. Hosted by my sister’s future mother-in-law, our two families gathered to celebrate the joyous occasion of their engagement (he popped the question this past January).
My sister and her boyfriend have been together for a very long time now, so this dinner was not a meeting of the two families. Over the years, I’ve heard many stories about her fiance’s Mom’s cooking, so, naturally, I was totally excited to see what we would be eating!
Well, the stories were true: the food was amazing! The huge buffet of home made goodness included chicken cordon bleu, scalloped potatoes, lasagna, roasted pork, baked beans, grilled pineapple, and caesar salad. I can’t say I’ve ever had home made chicken cordon bleu, so this was an incredible treat (and it is also one of my sister’s fiance’s favourite dishes, which is why his Mom made it!) It was a fantastic engagement celebration, one that we will not soon forget!
Dinner at Fresco Bistro Italiano
When I think of Fresco’s, I think of my early to mid-20s, a time when I lived downtown, had no responsibilities, and was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I enjoyed many a meal and drinks with friends at Fresco’s, and have numerous fond memories of hanging out at the resto.
So it was hugely exciting for me when I found out that Fresco’s was opening a west end location this past fall. I couldn’t wait to go and enjoy some of their delicious cuisine, and I was lucky enough to receive a gift certificate for Fresco’s for my birthday, so the fiancé and I finally went one recent evening.
I forgot how amazing their menu offerings are, and had quite the time making a choice about what to order. The fiancé was equally perplexed; there were just so many things we both wanted to try. We ended up starting with the baked macaroni and cheese, which was a rich combination of mushrooms, crispy fried pancetta, a three cheese blend, and elbow noodles, topped with a panko crumb crust and infused with truffle oil. It was amazing.
For our mains, I finally settled on the seafood bouillabaise, which featured a rich tomato-fennel broth with seared scallops, shrimp, mussels, salmon, roasted zucchini and celery root. It came topped with crostinis smeared with black olive tapenade and truffle oil. I couldn’t have chosen better as this dish was absolutely perfect - everything was expertly cooked and seasoned. I also think I am becoming quite the lover of bouillabaise; this is the second time I’ve ordered it in a restaurant in the last few months!
The fiancé went with his gut feeling and ordered the carne pizza, which came topped with tomato sauce, chorizo sausage, bison salami, roasted red peppers, caramelized onion, mozzarella and Benedictine bleu cheese. The size of the pizza was excellent - not too big or small - and absolutely delicious.
There was one last thing we had to try - I couldn’t come to Fresco’s without ordering the tiramisu! It was just as delicious as I remembered it to be, so rich but light as air, dessert perfection.
Fresco’s is still as great as it ever was, and I am excited, now a few years older and wiser, to make new memories.
Individual baked oatmeal cups
Just when you thought I couldn’t find yet another way to love oatmeal, I did just that! When I saw this recipe for individual baked oatmeal cups on the lovely Peanut Butter and Peppers blog, I immediately e-mailed it to myself to make on the weekend.
These little muffins are so versatile; you can add anything you like for flavours (spices, fruit, nuts) and you can adjust your preferred level of sweetness too. I opted to leave mine unsweetened save for a few pieces of chopped granny smith apple on top.
So simple to make, I whipped them up in no time, and I froze the whole batch to be able to pull them from the freezer for week day lunch snacks. They are fantastic!
My favourite fall treat: Scone Witch’s pumpkin scone
I treated myself to my favourite scone in the city earlier this fall - you have to get them while they are available! Scone Witch’s pumpkin scones are a fall tradition of mine. I like to buy two scones: I eat one right away with a cup of strong, hot coffee, bite by sip by bite by sip, and then I freeze the other one to enjoy later! The texture of the scone is so dense and chewy, and the flavour is the complete essence of the fall season! Yum.
Chicken fingers for grown-ups!
I finally took the time to make my homemade chicken fingers one recent evening. The boyfriend had been bugging me to make them since we didn’t eat them all summer due to the heat!
It takes a little bit of extra time to prepare these, but they are worth the effort. The first thing to do is set up your stations - you’ll need all-purpose flour, one or two eggs, scrambled until mixed, and breadcrumbs of your choice (I use panko crumbs with various herbs and spices added in). I take fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts and slice them up into chicken finger-sized pieces. Coat each piece in the flour, shaking off the excess. Next, dip each piece in the egg. Finally, take the egg-covered piece and submerge it in the breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken. Bake the chicken fingers on lightly greased cookie sheets at 425° for 10-12 minutes per side. Serve with your favourite side dish - I had my sweet potato oven fries!
Happy National Oatmeal Day!
National Oatmeal Day might as well be every day for me! I eat oatmeal very, very often, so much so that I’ve got it down to a science: half a cup of these oats, mix in some dried fruit (usually dried cherries or cranberries), some chopped nuts (usually almonds, walnuts or pecans) and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Add boiling water, stir, wait, enjoy!
Oatmeal is a food for which I developed a taste quite late in life, relatively speaking. I didn’t really come to adore it as much as I do now until just a couple short years ago, in my late 20s. I realized that it was one of those foods for which the preparation was a key factor. Having had it prepared for me a certain way when I was a child (soupy, wet, watery) made me think that there was no other way that it could be eaten. It wasn’t until I played with it a little bit and discovered the way that I liked it prepared (quite dry, not soupy) that I fell in love.
To officially celebrate National Oatmeal Day, which happens each year today, October 29, I decided to make this delightful apple pie baked oatmeal. I found the recipe on the fantastic Nutritious Eats blog (click on the photo for a link to the recipe), and, after quickly scanning the ingredient list, I was psyched to realize that I had all the ingredients on hand to make it. It is so simple to put together and smelled amazing while slowly baking away in the oven. The result was delicious, hearty and paired perfectly with my steaming cup of coffee. I added a generous dollop of non-fat greek yogurt to my oatmeal for an extra textural sensation and to crank up the creaminess factor. The best part? I get to re-heat all week and re-live National Oatmeal Day over and over again while I enjoy the leftovers!
I know I love it when Starbucks comes out with a new baked good, so I was pumped to read Serious Eats’ review of the coffee giant’s newest sinful treat! Have you tried it?
Photo Credit: Serious Eats - Lauren Rothman
Cinnamon Roll Baked Doughnuts
I have a huge baking-related confession to make: I have owned a set of doughnut pans for years and have never used them! If my friend who so generously gifted them to me so many moons ago is reading this, please know I thought of them often but just never got there!
With that confession out of the way, I can now proudly say that I have used these pans and loved them! With so many baked doughnut recipes out there in the blogosphere these days, I finally reached a breaking point. My inspiration? A recipe I came across on the lovely Top with Cinnamon blog. I am obsessed with cinnamon-flavoured anything, so I thought these were the perfect way to break in my doughnut pans.
For my first time making these, I think it went pretty well, and they turned out deliciously! They did not last long - even the boyfriend ate them up! The original recipe called for a cream cheese icing, but I went with a very simple glaze recipe instead (icing sugar, cream and vanilla). I can’t wait to use my doughnut pans again and again!
Steak sandwich with oven fries
I was having a craving for steak this weekend, but instead of just bbqing some New York striploins, the boyfriend and I decided to whip up some steak sandwiches.
We chose a sizeable piece of flank steak as our cut of beef, sliced it up and stir fried it with sliced yellow bell pepper, onion and sliced regular mushrooms. We also added two tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (oregano and rosemary), a big splash of red wine, garlic powder and salt and freshly ground pepper. To assemble, we shared a demi-baguette sliced in half and slathered with a bit of garlic butter. After piling on the beef, onions and mushrooms, I added a few dollops of President’s Choice Maple Mustard and a big slice of provolone cheese. We threw the sandwiches in the oven to melt the cheese and warm the bun, and served them with a side of my oven fries. Craving satisfied!