Sunday, September 16, 2012

I've Moved!


I know it's been awhile since I've updated...I will very soon.

You may now find me here

Thank you so much for your patience, I am grateful for all of you.

I hope that you will read me at my new location.

With Appreciation,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Double Espresso Mini Muffins with Toffee Brickle

Life's been throwing me a consistency of curve balls since 2010.

All I'll say is the job in December did not work out and I'm pretty much trying to swim rather than sink.  Barely.

What's been keeping me afloat is the fact that I've been working out, and having my support of friends and family.

That doesn't mean I haven't been cooking however.  A few things that I have cooked is Susan Penge Filson's Nutella Krispie Treats and Jen's Matcha Short Bread Cookies.

As for these double espresso muffins with toffee brickle.

I will be the first to say that I am and have always been a night owl.  I tend to work 'best' at night when no one is around, no one will call me, and the list goes on.

Mornings have always been difficult for me....Even more so since I had lost my job(s).

Because of this factor, I absolutely love caffeine.

So when I saw this recipe, I put this on my list to cook (amongst my long list of other things to cook).  Now, when I saw muffins and began making it...I thought...What's the difference?  So I came across this.  My perspective?  It's in a cupcake form...but the consistency is different and the 'look' is different.

I guess to me, in the end, it's all carbs, and as long as it tastes good...Who am I to complain or bother differentiating?

2 cups flour
4 tsps baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I nixed the pecans...And added one bag Heath brickle)
1 tbsp instant coffee
1 tbsp boiling water
60 grams melted butter

eggs (or 1 duck egg...I had duck eggs on hand)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp instant coffee
12 tsps boiling water
Preheat oven to 200°C Lightly grease 12 muffin tins.
Sift together flour and baking powder into a bowl, stir in the sugar and pecans and make a well in the centre.
In another bowl dissolve the coffee in the boiling water and allow to cool.
Add the coffee to the melted butter, eggs and milk, and lightly whisk together.
Fold egg mixture into dry ingredients and stir quickly to combine.
Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until muffin springs back when lightly pressed.  -I had to add an extra 9 minutes to my batch-
To make Espresso Glaze:.
Combine icing sugar and coffee in a bowl and add enough boiling water to make a spreadable consistency. Drizzle over the top of each muffin.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lactose Free Cottage Pie

I happened to have cauliflower in my fridge...And the guest that I had over evidently was not a fan of this vegetable - as well as being lactose intolerant.  So I figured I'd blend two and two together and make it so that the guest could NOT figure out that there was no cauliflower and no milk products in this cottage pie.

So I boiled some yellow potatoes and the cauliflower together...Added some rice milk and vegan butter then proceeded to blend the potatoes and cauliflower into 

I then used my cast iron skillet, that still had residual duck fat on it (as I had cooked duck breasts on it not too long ago), browned a meatloaf mixture of beef and pork and added onion and garlic seasoning to it (as I had no actual onion or garlic on hand...And didn't think about it til much later).  While it browned I heated the frozen vegetables and put in Pomi's strained tomatoes and as well as some worcestershire sauce.

I then placed the meat mixture on the bottom and topped it with the cauliflower-potato mixture and heated the oven for approximately 350 degrees for about half an hour or until the crust got a nice tan color to it.

Outcome?  The guest loved it.

Listed below are the ingredients.

Residual Duck Fat
Rice Milk
Vegan butter
white potatoes
Meatloaf mixture (beef and pork)
Frozen vegetables

Saturday, December 24, 2011

On the Experimentation of Duck Breasts

I've never been very good at making duck breasts just 'right'.  The skin always came out too chewy or I would over cook it.  So this time around, I decided to do something completely different.

I knew that when it came to dry brining any poultry that the skin would have this wonderful crisp texture to it once it was cooked and/or baked.  

Now while I realize that duck isn't just any type of poultry...I'd figure I'd give it a shot, considering the past times I've tried to cook it I'd never brine it.  I would, for the most part, leave it at room temp for awhile, and cook skin side down for a few minutes (on a cast iron skillet....With the skin scored)...and then flip to the other...And on more than on occasion I would pop it in the oven for a few minutes.

This time around...I scored it, brined it in salt (covered it with salt), and let it sit in the fridge for a few days.  I also wanted to leave it rather 'simple' due to the fact that this was, in fact, an experiment of sorts.

Once I was ready to cook it, I put it into room temperature for at the very least, a half hour, had the heat on my gas stove for approximately low to medium....Once the iron skillet was warm enough I put the duck breasts skin side down.....I let it simmer and pop for a good 5 minutes.  I then switched it up and let it cook meat side down for a good 4 minutes....I let the meat rest for about a minute and then I sliced.

It came out perfectly.  The skin on the duck was brown and crisp and the meat was done on a perfect medium....Right where it should be.   As game meat should never be cooked well done.  

I may try to utilize a version of this technique more often, no need to mention that practice also makes perfect.

As for the breasts out of this experiment?  They were eaten cold (after being cooked) and dipped in leftover honey barbecue sauce.  


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why buy wings when you can get your own?

I love wings.  They're good finger food.
But it's even better when you make it yourself.

The only tried and true method of making wings that I've come to enjoy is through Alton Brown.

Every time I've made it, it's come out spectacular.

What I did was that I broke down approximately a 3 lb bag of wings (that I got for cheap at an Asian market)

and steamed them

With the extra bits, I and the water that was left from the steamed chicken I went ahead and made broth out of.

Either way, the end result of the wings (and the trimmings) is completely fail safe...The wings are healthy AND delicious!....If anything, I'd have to thank Alton Brown for these 'Good Eats'!

Alton Brown's Buffalo Wings


  • 12 whole chicken wings  (about 3 pounds)  *Personally...I never count how many whole wings I have*
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 small clove garlic , minced
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce  *In this case I had used Rufus Teague's "Touch O' Heat"
  • Kosher salt


Place a 6-quart saucepan , with a steamer basket and 1 inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock . Use kitchen shears or a knife to separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings in the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay out the wings on a cooling rack  set in a half sheet pan  lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator to dry, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the paper towels on the pan and replace with parchment paper. Roast  on the middle rack of the oven, about 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook 20 to 30 more minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.
While the chicken is roasting, melt  the butter in a small bowl with the garlic. Pour this along with the hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine. Remove the wings from the oven, transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving, News, and Pumpkin!

Since my last post, I've been working on my current situation (and then some)...As best as I could.

And guess what?

A day job.  Now I will not specify what it is other than the fact that I'm grateful that I have achieved it.
Which leads me to what I'm thankful for....

First and foremost I am thankful for being alive, and in pretty decent health (last I checked anyhow).  
I'm thankful for my friends, my family, my readers, my personal trainer...The fact that I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge (and belly), that I have an AWESOME recruiter for helping me find this job...For this equally AWESOME company that will be putting me under their wings....And so much more.

Anyways, I had volunteered to bring a dessert to my parents Thanksgiving....And no, my family doesn't do it the traditional way with the turkey and the fixings.  We do it via Taiwanese Hot Pot...Which is in and of a feast itself.

Although next year I may or may not volunteer to do the Turkey...We shall see.

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse

A can and a half of pumpkin (approx 3.5 cups?)
Half a pint of the Tofutti Sour Cream
Half of the extra soft tofu
Maple Syrup (I eyed that out as well)
And approx a table spoon of pumpkin spice seasoning
Gingersnap cookies (I cheated and used Whole Foods Gingersnap cookies)

Combine all together either using a food processor or a hand blender...Tho' in my case I decided to use a whisk.  I mixed it all together until the ingredients were well blended.  

Refrigerate the mix for a few hours and when you are ready to serve, crumble the ginger snap cookies on a fine layer on the bottom, then cover with the mousse...And top it off with whipped cream and some more ginger snap cookies.  

I tasted *almost* like pumpkin pie...The ginger snap cookies gave the right sweet and spice mixture with the mousse.

Considering that I didn't directly follow a recipe...Feel free to add to your taste and go with your instincts in flavor and texture.

On that note, I forgot to add another item that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for all that odds that were, have and probably will be against me.  Why?
Because they make me stronger, better, and wiser.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Soup Season

I'm a sucker for soup.
Granted I could have soup in all kinds of seasons, however fall and winter is where it is most appreciated...Considering the chill in the air and the slow turning darkness of the days.

Recipe inspired by The Wicked Noodle

Considering I didn't measure...

I used approximately:

1/4 Onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
Thyme (eyed it out)
2 cups homemade pumpkin puree
Veggie stock (approx 1/2 pint)

In a soup pot, I used olive oil....Tossed the onion til it was opaque, followed by the garlic.
Poured in the soup stock and the pumpkin puree....Added the thyme, garlic and pepper.