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First shaped cake

IT HAS BEEN SO LONG! Even since I baked something. Suddenly I had a few days to put together my first shaped cake– with little fondant. 

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Happy (belated) Halloween!

This is what I did:

Made candy meth for my friend Walter White ImageImageImage

The first attempt was trying to take his rock candy and dye that… It went too dark so I thought I would just make some hard candy. Easy stuff! But when I went to do it… my candy thermometer was broken! The first time I didn’t make it to the right stage. I ended up with taffy like stuff that I tossed cause I didn’t flavour it. The second time was perfect! I used this recipe and then this page to help me figure out when it was ready.

Next I had a party to go to so Vampire Bite Cupcakes were next.

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I wanted to have more filing so I opted to cut out a piece of the cupcake to fill it with cherry pie filling.

Next I topped them with some messing icing, used red coloured corn syrup to puncture and dribble some blood.

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Finally, I made my costume! I went to a pretty low key party and I was the worlds tallest gnome!!!  My attempt at free handing a shirt went terribly wrong but I saved the costume. My clay mushroom earrings and pin were okay, I forgot to take a picture of them but this hat– is fantastic

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Soup’s On #1

Last winter I figured out how easy soup was to make… but I stuck to a few simple ones. 

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup (It is a Foodland Ontario recipe but for some reason it can’t be found on their server anymore)

making my own chicken broth (mostly in the slow cooker after doing a chicken. 

Michael Smith’s Thai Coconut Curry Soup– Oh I loved this one. Hands down one of my favourites and so easy. 

I had a couple of flubs… like a southwestern sweet potato :oS but I want to make it through the winter making awesome yummy new soups.

So enter the stage with: 

Broccoli Cheese Soup 

Yes this is another Brown Eyed Baker recipe… I can’t help it. She has some fantastic things on her site that I can’t get enough of! 

Cream of Broccoli-Cheese Soup

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes

½ cup unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, finely chopped (I also added a couple cloves of garlic because I think everything should have garlic in it) 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk (I used two percent) 
2 cups half-and-half (I forgot half and half at the grocery store so handy Coconut milk to the rescue)
4 heads broccoli, stems removed and discarded, and florets cut into bite-size pieces
Pinch of nutmeg ( & maybe a sprinkle of chilli flakes) 
12 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
Salt and pepper
2 cups vegetable broth

1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine, cooking for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk  in the milk and half-and-half.

2. Add the nutmeg, broccoli, a dash of salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt the cheese after each addition.

3. At this point I did a quick couple of batches in the blender to puree the broccoli a bit. 

Overall, pretty good. I’m not a huge fan of super creamy soups but this one gets there with coconut milk which I love. I’m going to try freezing the extra. 

 

nom. nom. nom :o) 

 

 

I haven’t been able to get my hands on pie pumpkins yet and it is driving me crazy! So I caved and opened up a can that I had lying around yesterday and made these babies. I have other pancake recipes but I was lacking some kitchen staples so I liked the simplicity of this recipe before I threw them in the pan though I did add a bit of sugar. As a preference I do prefer caker pancakes but these were pretty yummy with a bit of butter on top. I even had enough for leftovers and that became dinner tonight :) 

Best Pumpkin Pancakes: (From Heather Christo Cooks)

1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
¾ cup pumpkin puree, (canned is fine, make sure it is not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 egg
2 Tbs melted butter

Preheat a griddle or pan to 375 degrees.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, pumpkin, egg and melted butter.

Combine well until you have a smooth batter.

and that is it!

Now… what did I do with the rest of the left over pumpkin?  I made apple spice pumpkin chocolate chip loaf 

This made a ton! 
Do you ever get halfway through a recipe and think there is no way this is going to work?

I had that feeling right about here: 
It was just too runny but it all worked out. Everything was super moist… Housemates agree. I plan on giving more of it out later this week. So hopefully I’ll get good responses.

I made a few adjustments…

(baked) pumpkin chocolate chip loaf (From the Twisted Chef

ingredients:

3 1/4 c. flour, sifted (I had one cup whole wheat, some flax seed and the rest white)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp group allspice (I used ground cloves)

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

1 3/4 c. pumpkin purée (one 15 oz. can)

1 c. vegetable oil

3 c. sugar (I used 2 c. white & 1 c. coconut blonde sugar)

4 eggs (I used 2 eggs and 2 egg whites– this was just convince for me)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 c. water, room temperature

1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (I used half white & half semisweet chocolate chips)

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Spray two 9 inch loaf pans with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon nutmeg, allspice (cloves), ginger, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In another, larger bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée and the oil until combined.  Add the sugar(s) and whisk again.

It’ll thicken nicely – now add in the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition, and the vanilla.  Add the water and whisk until combined.  Grab your rubber spatula and stir in the chocolate chips. *add a large apple (peeled, cored, diced, sautéed) to the batter as the same time as the chocolate chips.

Gently fold in the dry ingredients – try not to overmix.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans.  Gently tap the pans against the counter – it’ll remove any air bubbles and level out the top of each loaf.

Earlier in the summer I complained to a friend that I was dying to make a cake. It had been forever since I had done it. So she suggested I bake one for her cottage weekend at the end of September. She started sending me amazing looking recipes to cakes that she liked.

Closer to the date she dropped the bomb that it was going to have to be gf & df…. so I picked a recipe I thought I could convert and still taste yummy. It was Megan’s PB Cake

After dropping some coin at a local health food store I was informed that I could go back to gluten and dairy filled… but I decided to keep the same cake…cause lets be honest, it looks fantastic.

I baked the cake a few days before and made the ganache and icing at the cottage. A cottage I might add that I didn’t need to bring any cake tools up cause it was fully loaded!

 

The assembly. I had a devil’s food cake layer and the recipe layer (I might have damaged a layer in transit but been prepared with backups.

It was hard keeping everyone’s fingers out of the pb icing putting this together but I managed to save enough.

 

I don’t know why I had so much ganache! I poured the whole thing on… maybe next time I would make only half.

Finally

 

Everyone had leftovers to take home!  Thankfully! Cause I didn’t want it coming home with me. The cookies were also a hit!

 

Oh baby, oh baby

Guess what I get to make this week?
Megan’s PB Cake!

Look at that?? Doesn’t it make you drool a little bit? An old coworker asked me to do this cake for her birthday and I was more then happy to oblige.

For the cottage weekend I’m also bringing up chocolate chip cookies & oatmeal and raisin cookies. If time permits, I would also like to get some royal icing mixed up to decorate these babies and make some googly eyes.

Practicing for Movember

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