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I have a new obsession. Pinterest. First of all, let me explain to you what this is if you don’t already know. It is a website that acts as a message board for all the coolest things people find on the world wide web. I could just keep scrolling and scrolling down the endless page of pins. Well, sometimes I do… SO many interesting things. Anything from hair do’s to nail colours and recipes to quotes. I have saved many a link. Especially for crocheting. When I am going to find time to do all this crafting, who knows? But, man, I am loving this resource.
There also have been many a recipe saved. Althought, pinteresters are keen on slow cooker recipes involving pop and also baked goods involving pop. A little cringe worthy, but also….. interesting. You see what I mean? Lots of cool stuff. So, brought to you by Pinterest is this lasagna soup. I think it’s a cool twist on a favourite. I love me some lasagna. My mother is actually known far and wide for her lasagna. She says the secret is cooking it in the stone, but whatever it is, it is the one thing that is always requested from family and friends alike. So, I am like a lasagna connoiseur, if you will.
This recipe is basically lasagna soup. Ok, duh, that is what it is. Lasagna with a thinned out sauce in a bowl. I thought it was easier/quicker than making the real thing. And it was also kind of cool to have a switch up. With the foggy, chilly, cold weather here, soup really does hit the spot better than anything else. On the whole I give this soup a 9 because I can get all the goods from a real lasagna in it, have the cosiness of soup to warm my chilled bones and it is interesting (or should I say Pinteresting?). Happy slurping!
Lasagna Soup – adapted from this link A Farm Girl Dabbles (check out her picture -delish!)
You could definitely add some veggies into this soup. I like to put zucchini and broccoli in my lasagna, so why not in the soup?
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
300g extra lean ground beef
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 28oz can or 2 smaller cans diced tomatoes (she used fire-roasted, so if you can find it…)
4 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water
2 cups dry mini lasagna noodles (or rotini etc)
For the cheese dollop:
cottage cheese or ricotta
Start by heating up some oil with the red pepper flakes, oregano and garlic. I’ve been doing this lately and it seems like the seasonings really come alive inthe warm oil. Have your onion and beef ready to dump in before it burns though. Once yo ucan smell the oregano and garlic, dump in the onions and saute for about a minute and then dump in the beef and break it up. Continue cooking until the beef is browned. Now, stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Next, in goes the tomatoes, broth and water. Bring this all up to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
When you are 10 minutes away from serving, throw in the dry pasta and cook until al dente. While the noodles are softening in the soup, prepare the cheesy dollop. Mix together some cottage cheese or ricotta and some grated mozarella and paremesan and dollop it into the bottom each bowl. Pour the hot soup over the dollop and throw on some fresh basil if you like. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.
Good morning all! It’s Sunday. Yup, Sunday. I love this lazy day. It used to be all about sleeping in, then laying in bed forever. Getting up and putting on my slippers and a snuggly housecoat and pad into the kitchen to make coffee and pancakes. Not much has changed, except now we don’t sleep in, but we do bring our Little Pea into the big bed to play for a while in the morning. And, pancakes are always still on the menu!
I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe with you. It is embarrassingly simple, but it is the classic go-to you must know. My Mom has made these pancakes for decades. I remember, I used to be very proud that I ate them the way my Dad did. A double decker with butter and syrup. My Mom and Dad were so cool. I hope LP thinks we are cool, too. If I make her pancakes every weekend, I think I can count on it – for a few of her younger years, anyways!
Mr F is working all weekend, so I made some pancakes for myself. I must. eat. pancakes. on. Sunday. This is what LP was doing when I was cooking in the kitchen with the door closed. Hahaha!
Classic Pancakes – recipe by my mama and memorized by every member of my family
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar (optional) – I always put syrup, so no need to sweeten the cakes
Start by lightly whisking the egg. Add the oil and whisk a little more. Whisk in the milk. Next dump in the flour and baking powder and you guessed it – whisk. Once incorporated, set aside and get that pan warmed on medium. If you have a non-stick pan, no butter or oil needed. If you have stainless steel pans like me, I like to melt a little butter to fry them in. The edges get a little crispy that way and they won’t stick.
Stack’em how you like’em and top with whatever floats your boat. Since these are classic, I reccommend butter and syrup. Oh and by the way, I’ve made these with whole wheat flour, with buckwheat flour, I’ve added chocolate chips, bananas and topped with anything from strawberries and whipped cream to blueberries and maple syrup. Go nuts!
So there’s this huge trend of cake balls and cake pops on the web right now. I first saw them on Bakerella’s site and they are the coolest thing. She is a real artist when it comes to decorating these cake pops. You should really check them out. So, anyways, I wanted to make some, of course, but I hadn’t had an opportunity as of yet. And then along came my 30th birthday. What could be a better time than to try out a new “cake” than that. They are perfect because I could eat one after another, after another, after another…..
BUT, then I was all like, what flavour should I make? Should I use icing, should I use cream cheese, should I make red velvet? And then it came to me. You want to know when things “come to me”? When I am up in the middle of the night trying to fall back to sleep after I just spent 10 minutes calming LP down. I am just lying there, trying to fall back asleep and BAM! ideas are hitting me like comets! Things like what I should pair my new jeans with, what I should make for a Halloween costume, what thing I should crochet next and what kind of cake balls I should make for my birthday. Come on – you guys do this too. Don’t you?
Well, I got thinking about dulce de leche. How could I use this oowy gooey caramel-ness? A can of it has actually gone to waste in the back of my refridgerator once. This is blasphemy. I needed to come up with a way to slide it into my everyday life more often. And at 3am, BAM! use it in your cake balls, Kerry! And add some pretzels for saltiness and crunch!
I had my cake ball idea and here it is, come to fruition. Thanks middle-of-the-night- brain. You really help me out in tough times.
Dulce de Leche Cake Balls adapted from Bakerella.com
1 box white cake mix (prepare as directed)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup pretzels, crushed, plus extra for sprinkling
white and milk chocolate for dipping (1 bar each)
Start by baking the cake. This can be a boxed cake or a cake from scratch. When the cake is ready and cooled, crumble it into a mixing bowl. Add in the crushed preztzels.
To make the dulce de leche, there are a couple ways I have done it. One: you can remove the lable and put the can in water on the stove and simmer it for 4 hours. The water should be about one inch from the top of the can. Two: you can empty the can into a sauce pan and cook it on low heat while constantly stirring until it turns golden in colour. The first method resulted in a darker brown dulce de leche and was super easy. There is a small risk of the can exploding and it takes forever. The second method was also easy, but the mixture does not get as dark. I went with the second method because it was quick. Do not let the dulce de leche sit and cool, since it will become very hard (if using the second method).
Add the dulce de leche to the cake and pretzel mixture and stir to combine. Now take 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll into balls. Place on a baking sheet and then into the fridge or freezer to set.
When they are set, it is time to get the chocolate ready for dipping. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. I peirced one ball at a time with a skewer and used a spatula to coat the ball with chocolate. Place on parchement paper or silpat when completely covered. Sprinkle immediately with the extra crushe pretzels. If you are doing some white and some dark chocolate, start with the white and then just throw in the dark chocolate. You won’t have to wash out the double boiler in this case!