What’s In My Tin? Apple Squares

So, I have decided to add a new series. Because. Why not?

Years ago (way too many to count) I found this wonderful tin.  I walked into a Fenton’s store – a kitchen supplies store filled with things that make me want to spend all my money – and there at the back of it, in my direct line of sight was the PERFECT tin!  Not only did it have my name on it (!), it also had my favourite flower!  No way in hell I was NOT going to purchase this baby! (Fingers crossed it was not being sold for an arm and a leg!  Can’t remember the price but obviously was within my budget…)

It is pretty, no?

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So… after years of just sitting on top of the cupboards, collecting dust, fading with time, I finally decided to start using it!  I guess I was afraid I would ruin it but seriously, what’s the point of having pretty things, if we don’t use ’em?  If they get worn or faded, it adds to the charm, I think!

So, without further ado, what did I have in my tin this week?

Apple Squares!

Apple Square 2

If you would like to make these for yourself, just get the recipe here!

Apple Square 1

A Tale of Two Cakes

We were invited for dinner at my sister Tracy’s last Friday night.  No special occasion; just because.   I asked her if she minded my bringing a dessert (like, really, who would mind)?  She of course said that was absolutely not necessary and I replied that I was in the mood to make something.  Make something but not have the left-overs at MY house!

Sooooo…if that’s the case, she said… (Bonus:  Left-overs would  NOT end up on my tush and thighs and belly…. you get my drift?

My mint has gone absolutely wild in my garden.  I mean, I truly have to rein it in before it engulfs everything!

Mint, mint everywhere!

Mint, mint everywhere!

So this is one of the things I made:

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Lemon Mint Yogurt Cake with Frosted Mint Leaves

Should you not yet be subscribed to Dalectables, perhaps now is time!  You can find the link on the How-To of this cake right here!

This being a great week-end of not cooking for me, we were invited to my sister Lisa’s for her annual BBQ on Saturday, which coincides with her eldest’s birthday.   I didn’t tell her, but I felt like bringing a nice Strawberry Shortcake as the Quebec strawberries are still absolutely delicious!

Well… things don’t always turn out as planned… my bloody sponge cake fell apart (why I insist on doing this particular recipe, is beyond me… I get it one time out of four….)

So, when life throws you lemons… and all that jazz…

Turn cake into trifle!  No one need know the truth…. Let’s just keep it between us, K?  To see what I did with it, check it out here!

This is what it ended up looking like… not too shabby, if you ask me!

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So, again, if you are not yet subscribed to Dalectables, please don’t be shy… I’ll be updating said website, showing you my latest “learning” videos (think Julia Child with the turkey on the floor….), keeping you entertained and giving you some good recipes!

 

A visit to Dalectables Is In Order

Hello my friends!

For those of you not in the know, I have another blog solely related to food, food, food!  The preparation, the recipes, the video tutorials (OK, still partly under re-design) but still accessible.

Please go and check it out!

Simple Marinara Sauce

While there, you could subscribe and see the site as it transforms, bit by bit!

Thanks and have a most excellent day!

How to Make Quick Fruit Cake

As part of my participation (though tardy) to The Canadian Food Experience Project Challenge Seven: A Christmas Tradition the following is my story.

I have bought Victoria Magazine since April 1989.  I was working in Westmount at the time and, during my lunch hour, I took a walk on Sherbrooke Street West and ended up in Cumberland’s Drug Store (now a PJC).  Whilst browsing the magasine aisle, my eye was drawn to Victoria and I had to look inside.  Oh, the beautiful photos, the recipes, the quotes: “Oh, to be in England Now that April’s here…”, Robert Browning. – I was totally hooked!

Victoria, April 1989

Victoria, April 1989

So beautiful and so worth the three bucks! (It’s now $6.99).  It was a bi-monthly magazine at the time.  Oh! To have to wait a whole two months for the next one!!!  I couldn’t stand it!  It then became available monthly.  Yea!!! It then changed ownership and they made it look just like another Martha Stewart-type of magazine (not that I don’t enjoy Martha, I just didn’t want Victoria to look like it).  That did them in and they disappeared for a few years and then… Hark!  An obvious fan of the original re-started it just like it was – bi-monthly (but I’ve faith….) Happy Days!

The December 1991 issue had a recipe for a “Quick Fruit Cake”.  Hmm… I was sceptical but it looked really nice and the ingredients did not contain any of that yucky fluorescent cherry crap so I decided to try it.  It just so happened that my father’s new girlfriend was introduced to us on Christmas Eve.  Poor thing, she was overwhelmed by Larry’s tall, exuberant daughters!  Hmmm… let me taste that fruit cake.  She must have eaten about half the plate!

Well, since then, it has now become an expected yearly Christmas offering.  And, I always ensure Susan gets at least half a cake to her (she is a tiny thing!)

This year is the first Christmas without Dad and Susan was definitely invited to our early Christmas dinner on Sunday.  Of course I had to make sure I had some to give her!  The smile was worth what little effort was required.

The ingredients are easily found and making it is a piece of cake (sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

Fruitcake ingredients

Fruitcake ingredients

What you will need:
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut up
3/4 cup milk
6 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 Tbsp molasses
1 cup currants
34 cup pitted dates, chopped
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped mixed candied peel
1 cup walnut pieces
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 Tbsp brandy

Marzipan topping
1 7-oz roll almond paste (marzipan)
Apricot jam
Confectioner’s sugar for garnish

How to:

1. Butter 8″ baking dish, line bottom and sides with double layer of waxed paper. Butter waxed paper. Preheat oven to 300 F
2. In heavy large saucepan, combine first 10 ingredients. Heat slowly until butter melts, stirring occasionally
3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cool 10 minutes.
4. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add cooled fruit mixture and eggs. Mix with wooden spoon until blended. Pour into pan.
5. Bake at 300 F for 1 1/2 hours until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.
6. Cool in pan sent on rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool on rack. Cut a thin slice from top of cake to make cake even. Prick top of cake all over with skewer, then spoon brandy over cake.

To make marzipan topping:
1. On surface lightly dusted with confectioners’ sugar, roll out marzipan to 8″ square. Invert cake on serving plate. Brush uncut top surface with apricot jam (or honey), then press on marzipan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar
(Here’s where I differ. I prefer to spoon jam onto cut side which leaves the bottom nice and smooth.
2. If desired, heat 2 or 3 metal skewers until red hot. Press into marzipan to make a caramelised lattice pattern. Repeat until pattern is complete.

Quick Fruit Cake

Quick Fruit Cake

You can watch the how to right here!

How to Make Christmas Biscotti

Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re looking for something easy-peasy to make and delicious to boot, try these out!

Now that you’ve seen how they’re done, here’s the recipe and “how-to”

Christmas Biscotti
Biscotti
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 cups pistachios (shelled)
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Heat oven to 350ºF.

2. In a stand mixer (or using a hand one, just a bit more difficult) fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. In a bowl, beat eggs, yolks, vanilla and zest. Add to dry ingredients, mix on medium low until crumbly.

4. Add pistachios and cranberries and mix until sticky dough is formed (longer than I did in the video!!!)

5. Turn dough out onto well-floured counter; sprinkle with flour and knead slightly. Shape into 2 9-by-3 1/2-inch logs. Flatten a bit. Transfer to parchement-lined baking sheet and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

6. Reduce oven to 275ºF.

7. On cutting board, cut logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Return pieces, cut side down to baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, 10 minutes (20 if you prefer them hard) Turn over. Bake until slightly dry, about 10 minutes (20 if you prefer them hard). Cool on wire rack.

Store in air-tight container.

Enjoy!

A new one for you!

Hello my friends!

Mick and I have made another video. Hope you enjoy it!

OK, Here Goes….

Soooo… Mick just finished the big edit of my very first cooking lesson.

With butterflies in my tummy and hope in my heart, here it is.

This is our very first attempt so a huge thank you to Laurie-Ève Barriault for taking your time to come over and film me and thanks to you, hubby, for taking time away from your own stuff to help me by putting it all together.

We’ll only get better as we go along!