Archive for January, 2015

Shortcut Pierogi Casserole

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 270g tub of Philadelphia Garlic and Herb Cooking Creme
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 16 frozen potato and cheddar cheese pierogies
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cooking creme and milk and mix well.

3. Combine pierogies, ham and peas in a 2L oven dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top with sauce and the shredded cheese.

4. Bake 40 min or until heated through.

Pierogi Casserole

Verdict: This was a very easy, very tasty dish. I thought it was a little heavy and I’m not sure the peas were needed (though I dislike peas anyways).

Leave a comment

Mix-in-the-Pan Chocolate Chip Cake

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package (300g) chocolate chips, divided

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Heat oil and unsweetened chocolate in a square oven pan, in the oven, for 4 min, or until chocolate is melted. Stir until blended.

3. Add all other ingredients except the chocolate chips and stir until well blended. Stir in half the chocolate chips. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.

4. Bake 30-35 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Chip Cake

Verdict: This wasn’t my favourite cake recipe. I was hoping for the cake to really have a nice chocolate flavour, but there really wasn’t enough of it. The cake was also super dense.

Leave a comment

Chicken with Creamy Tomato-Herb Sauce

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 small, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tub (270g) Philadelphia Light Herb and Garlic Cooking Creme
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, 6 to 7 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through.

2. In another pot over medium-high heat, combine the cooking crème and water. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Add tomatoes for the last 2 minutes.

3. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve (we served with rice as well).

Creamy Chicken and Tomato

Verdict: This was a very easy and very tasty recipe. Though we served it with rice, I think it could be served with a variety of side dishes as the sauce would work well with different things.

Leave a comment

Candy Blondies

I am not sure where I found this recipe, though it was probably online.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups M&Ms
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

1. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla pudding and vanilla. Add eggs.  Add the flour and baking powder. Add chocolate chips, M&Ms and walnuts.

2. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle additional M&Ms on top if desired (we did). Bake at 350F for 20-25 min.

Candy Blondies

Verdict: I love the chocolate chip cookie recipe I tried that had vanilla pudding mixed in, so I thought I would love this recipe as well. Overall, I thought it was a little too dry. It may have needed another egg. I also think that with the walnuts there was too much added to the mix and should probably not have added them.

Leave a comment

Chicken, Brie & Bacon Turnovers

This is a Rachel Ray recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (we used Club House’s Montreal chicken seasoning)
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pasty, thawed
  • 4 ounces of Brie, cut lengthwise into 4 slices
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Season chicken with seasoning. Brown chicken on each side, 2 minutes each (we cooked ours all the way through; I am not a fan of sticking raw chicken inside dough or pastry and then having it possibly contaminate the dough).

3. Cut the puff pastry into 4 pieces. Roll out each into an 8 inch square. Place a chicken breast onto each square, toward one corner. Top each with a slice of Brie (to be honest, I don’t know how much Brie we used. We just cut pieces off of the large Brie we had until it looked like we had enough on the chicken) and 1 crumbled up bacon slice.

4. Fold the pastry in half to form a triangle and pinch the edges closed. Brush with chicken grease from the skillet (we chose not to) and cut slits in the top. Bake 30 – 35 min or until chicken is done (since our chicken was cooked, we baked until golden which still took 30 min).

Chicken Brie Turnovers

Verdict: This was a very easy recipe to make, very quick. It was tasty, just nothing special.

Leave a comment

Tomato Vegetable Noodle Soup

I found this recipe in the French language Metro newspaper.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 of an onion, diced
  • 1 celery branch, finely cut
  • 1 carrot, cut into rounds (we had the small carrots, so we used about 1 1/2 cups of them instead because we like carrots)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 10 ounce can of tomato soup
  • 1 bay leaf (we didn’t use)
  • 1 teaspoon of herbes salées (we didn’t use, instead we used about 1 teaspoon each of thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered chicken broth
  • 1 cup of fusilli, uncooked (we used elbow macaroni instead)
  • 1/2 zucchini, cut into moons (we used the whole zucchini)

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until tender.

2. Add the water, tomato soup, bay leaf, herbes salées (or whatever seasoning you are using) and chicken stock powder. Bring to boil.

3. Add the pasta. Lower to medium heat and let simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is done (ours needed longer and a higher temperature).

4. Remove from heat and add zucchini.

Tomato Noodle Vegetable Soup

Verdict: My family really loved this recipe, saying it was one of their favourite tomato soup recipes but I wasn’t as impressed. I didn’t think it had a deep enough tomato flavour and the combination of vegetables wasn’t my favourite.

Leave a comment

Momofuku Milk Bar’s German Chocolate Jimbo Cake

I found this recipe on Yahoo. It looked quite complicated, so I waited until the Holidays to try it, when I knew I had the time to go through all of the steps.

Fudge Sauce

  • 1 ounce 72% chocolate, chopped (we used dark chocolate, but I don’t know what percent it was)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup glucose (we couldn’t find this so we used the substitute we found online: corn syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons of the above fudge sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)

Chocolate Malt Cake Soak

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Ovaltine powder (given the name of this section, we used Ovaltine Malt powder instead of the other types of Ovaltine powder available)

Crack-Coconut Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon corn powder (because we couldn’t find this we used a recommended substitute: corn flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut

Pecan Crunch

  • 3/4 cups pecan, chopped (we used walnuts, because my sister doesn’t like pecans)
  • Splash of grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup feuilletine (we used corn flakes, which the Yahoo recipes suggested as a substitute)

Chocolate Malt Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (we didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup sweetened coconut for garnish (we didn’t use)

Directions

Fudge Sauce

1. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine glucose (or corn syrup), sugar and heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring intermittingly. As soon as it boils, pour over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.

3. Slowly begin to whisk the mixture, increasing your speed every 30 seconds for 2-4 minutes until glossy and smooth. Fudge sauce can be used right away or stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (we stored the sauce for 1 day before making the cake. It needs to be taken out a bit before you use it so it is easier to use).

Fudge Sauce

Chocolate Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk, oil, fudge sauce and vanilla. Mix until homogenous.

3. Add flour, baking powder, salt (if using) and cocoa powder.

4. (The original recipe says to bake the cake as a sheet and then to cut out two circles and use the scrapes as a third circle. We just made 3 circular cakes using round moulds, though they may not have been even. The original recipe says you can make the cake ahead of time and store in plastic wrap in the fridge, but we made them the day we assembled the cake.)

Two cakes baked. One about to go into the oven.

Two cakes baked. One about to go into the oven.

Malt Cake Soak

1. Whisk together milk and Ovaltine (on the day of cake assembly).

Crack-Coconut Filling

1. Preheat oven to 325F.

2. Combine sugar, brown sugar, milk powder, corn powder (or flour) and salt in a large bowl. Mix until combined. Add eggs yolks and mix until glossy; do not overmix.

3. Pour mixture into an oven pan and bake 8 to 10 min. The mixture should jiggle slightly in the middle but be firmer around the edges (I watched the video of the cake being made to make sure I got this part right. The mixture seems kind of liquid-y or crumbly to me).

4. Let cool before mixing in the sweetened coconut. Filling can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge (we made it the day before we assembled the cake).

Coconut Filling

Pecan Crunch

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Put the pecans (or walnuts) on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 15 min.

2. Puree warm pecans with grapeseed oil and brown sugar.

3. Combine in a small bowl with the feuilletine (I think using the corn flakes was a mistake. We crushed them a little but not too much because the feuilletine didn’t look crushed, but the bigger pieces that were left kind of ruined the cake for us). Crunch can be used immediately or stored at room temperature in an air tight container for 5 days (we made it the day before we assembled the cake).

Walnut Crunch

Probably should have crushed the corn flakes a lot more.

 

Chocolate Malt Frosting

1. Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, salt (if using) and cocoa powder. Add in the milk and beat until mixture is smooth and glossy. Use frosting immediately or store in fridge in an air tight container for up to 1 week (we made the day before assembly. It needs to be taken out a bit before using so it is easier to work with).

Frosting

Assembly (using the three cake rounds we made and not the one sheet cake from the original recipe)

1. Place one cake round on a serving dish. Using a pastry brush dunked into the malt cake soak, give the cake a good bath with the soak.

2. Using the back of a spoon, spread half of the coconut filling on top of the bottom layer. Sprinkle half the pecan crunch on top. Use the back of a spoon to spread 1/3 of the frosting on top.

3. Repeat steps with middle layer (cake, malt soak, remaining coconut filling, remaining pecan crunch and 1/3 of the frosting).

4. Place the third cake round on top. Using pastry brush give top layer a good bath with the soak. Spread the remaining frosting on top.

5. (The original recipe says to top with sweetened coconut, but we served with remaining fudge sauce instead.)

Momo Cake

Not the cleanest looking of cakes, but I was happy that I was able to complete this complicated looking recipe and that the result was edible!

 

Verdict:

For the amount of time this cake required and the amount of steps the recipe had, the cake had to be the most amazing thing for us to feel it was worth it. And, while the cake was good and we all enjoyed it over the holidays, it just wasn’t the best cake we’ve ever eaten. Like mentioned above, the corn flakes didn’t really work. Maybe if we had used another proposed substitute Rice Krispies or just omitted the feuilletine all together when we couldn’t find it, the results would have been different.

Leave a comment