Tag Archives: Foodies

Le meilleur Gâteau Froid de mamy

Mamy’s best cold cake!

Don’t ask me why we call it cold cake in french… but it is the direct translation!  Maybe you can help me, what would you call them in English?

Like the dominos, they are one of my weaknesses. A small bite of softness, melting in your mouth with a hint of coffee! I’m sure this is all they eat in heaven!

It is very easy to do, and it keeps well in the freezer while waiting a couple weeks for your guests!

Simply follow these few steps:

  • Crush into crumbs 40 tea cookies by first placing all the cookies in a big ziploc bag,
  • Gather some accumulated frustration and use a rolling pin as a tool to crumb the cookies,

Mix it all in a bowl with:

  • 1 lbs of icing sugar… a little over 2 cups
  • 3/4 of a cup of strong brewed coffee
  • 1 yolk …. the yellow part of the egg
  • 3 tablespoons of coco powder
  • some butter… Mamy says has big as the yolk in size
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Push down into a large 9 X 9 Pirex container with the back of a spoon to compact well and give a smooth surface on top. Be patient, it will be sticking to the spoon!

Refrigerate at least an hour before attempting to cut it into squares or what ever shape you feel like!

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Happy holidays! 

Mimi

Christmas Domino Squares

Some people call them Nanaimo bars but in my family we call them Dominos! Anyhow they are one of my favorite sweets and I have been making them since I was a little child! 

They are very easy to make, although they require some time as they have 3 separate layers. You can surely do them a few days or a couple weeks ahead and keep them in the freezer.

I love to play with food coloring for the middle to create some fantasy. I make them early before Christmas, store them in the freezer until I gather friends and family at home for a lovely dinner. 

Here how to make them:

For the bottom layer mix well together:

  • 1/2 cup of melted butter,
  • 1/4 cup of sugar,
  • 1/3 of a cup of coco powder,
  • 1 egg,
  • 1 1/2 cup of crushed graham cookies and
  • 1 cup of coconut. 

Push all the mixture down at the bottom of a 9 X 9 Pirex plate with the back of  spoon to flatten the surface. Place in the fridge at least 30 min to let it cool down.

While waiting, start the middle icing. Mix well together

  • 1/4 cup of butter,
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla pudding mix powder and
  • 2 cups of icing sugar

I add some food coloring to make it green in the middle, last year I made it red…  Just for fun because I am still very young in my heart!

Spread the icing on top of the first layer carefully no to make crumbs into the icing and replace in the fridge another 30 min. 

Finally, melt and spread the chocolate layer on top of the squares:

  • 3 oz of chocolate chip with
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

You can melt it slowly in the microwave at 50% intensity or on a very low temperature stove for a few minutes. Be careful it is very easy to burn chocolate, being patient is my best advice…. thrust me!

The harder part in my opinion is to cut those into small squares without the chocolate braking into pieces. Again use a sharp knife and maybe when the chocolate is well cooled down but still close to room temperature slowly cut them into small squares.

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Happy holidays Folks!

Mimi

Strawberry week: Easy Peesy!

The last of this series and the easiest! 

Because strawberries won’t last t’il winter, one of the best options to preserve those amazing fruits is still to freeze them. During the cold months, it will be very easy to use a few strawberries into a smoothie, a milk shake or mixed with some yogurt and cereals for a delicious breakfast.

  1. Remove the leafs and place the full strawberries or cut in pieces on a large plate or cookie sheet.
  2. Freeze them as they are and try to make sure they do not touch each other too much or they will stick together.
  3. The next morning, place the frozen fruits in plastic bags or containers and replace in the freezer.
  4. Then only have to wait until the winter, or your next strawberry craving!

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***Français***

Le dernier de la série et le plus facile!

Malheureusement, nous savons tous que les fraises ne dureront pas jusqu’à l’hiver. Alors une des façon les plus simple pour les conserver est de les congeler. Ainsi, durant les froids mois d’hiver, il sera super facile d’utiliser les fraises dans les smoothies, milk shake ou encore mélangé avec du yogourt et des céréales pour une petit déjeuné santé!

  1. Bien équeuter les fraises, et les placer sur une grande assiette ou lèche frite, ronde ou en morceaux (à votre choix).
  2. Congeler l’assiette tel quel, laissez de la place entre les fraises pour qu’elle ne se touche pas trop sinon elle vont coller ensemble.
  3. Le lendemain matin, placer les fruits congelés dans un sac en plastique ou dans un contenant et remettre au congélateur.
  4. Ne reste plus qu’à attendre l’hiver ou votre prochaine envie de fraises!!!

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Strawberries on a cookie sheet
Strawberries on a cookie sheet

Salads recipe – Jazzed up!

To start off, I am not a very big fan of green salads, it seems too bland to me. I always like to put a lot of different things in my salads.

I think I found the secret! I’m sharing with you my perfect combination for a great salad.

  • Good romaine lettuce is always a winner for its crunchiness – I think 
  • Lots of vegetables: cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes…
  • Lots of fruits fresh or dry because they make me happy, for example: strawberries, or dried cranberries…
  • Don’t forget to go NUTS!: I love using roasted walnuts or almonds 
  •  Being cheesy makes you feel good! some feta cheese for example will add a fun dimension to a bland salad!
     

– The trick here is to be overly generous with all the ingredients but the lettuce!


– I also make my own salad dressing mixed in a little jar using to taste some

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Honey
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper

I hope you have lot of fun Jazzin’ up your salads this summer!

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Couscous Salad, Just Cuz’

Light and flavorful, I enjoy making couscous salad as a side dish because it leaves room for my imagination. I can put together a different salad every time. Last week, I was so surprised how tasty it turned out, I though I should share it.

Couscous salad and chickpeas pita
Couscous salad and chickpeas pita

I used 1/2 cup of dry couscous that I cooked in a bowl with the same amount of boiling water and I placed a plate on top for about 5 min. I than added about 2 tablespoons of orange juice (small flavor trick I saw in a cooking show once).

Ingredients in the salad:

a used a handful of each following ingredients (about 1/3 cup) of

  • Red onion,
  • Celery,
  • Pepper,
  • Cucumber, and
  • Feta cheese

all cut in small cubes. You can really used what ever you like in a salad, or improvise with what you have in your fridge!

I added about

  • 2 tablespoons of Plain yogurt.
    • I totally love the Balkian yogurt by Astro.
    • It also seems more healthy than using only mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon of Mayonaise
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of red vinegar
  • Fresh thyme and cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Don’t be shy to taste and re adjust the quantities, I did not measured the ingredients accurately.

For the curious of you, on the picture, beside the salad is a chick peas salad on a pita from the blog Trois fois par jour. Here is the link to the recipe. 

 

Amaz’n Bajan Jerk Pork

My friend is famous for her Jerk pork recipe! Last time she came over I took notes of what she was doing and I asked a few more questions about the local tricks for the best jerk meat. If I remember right, the jerk spices where put together to help the meat become more tender. Any fan of spicy food will love it!

Ingredients needed
  • 1 onion minced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch of ginger root grated
  • 1 or 2 Habanero pepper (I didn’t have any today)
  • 1 teaspoon of all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cloves powder
  • Half a lime juice
  • 1/8 of a cup of orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of jerk spice
  • Fresh Thyme
  • 1 or 2 lbs of meat (Pork shoulder is the best)
Method

Make incisions into the meat and add the rub the mixture on it and inside. Let marinated as long as you want to get the flavors mix (4 hours in my case).

Marinating the meat
Marinating the meat

I cooked the meat in a thin foil on the BBQ to avoid it from burning. I placed the meat directly on the grill for the last 5 min on each side. You could also cook it in the oven at 350 F, the time would depend on the size of the piece of meat you got.

I made a spinach salad with corn, cucumber and mango on the side, as well as sweet potatoes fried on the BBQ.

Voilà!!!
Voilà!!!

I hope it old up to her standards. I will have to re-invite her over for more Bajan cooking and I will try to learn something new to share on the blog!

Curry, don’t worry!

Back to some cooking after a few weeks of laziness! You can guess what was my work schedule like lately… pretty busy! I also had some vacation time, pictures will come soon too!

This is my Saturday night dinner. Great thing, sometime annoying about being a pilot is that the scheduling is certainly not conventional. Planes must fly fly fly!!!

Tonight on the menu folks, we have some Indian/ Pakistani curry. A year ago two of my friends came over to cook and they showed me how they cooked their curry. My apologies, my own curry is probably not very authentic. I looked online and kept inspiring me with different mix of spices as well as trying to remember their North-West Asian techniques.

I really enjoy this kind of recipe because I can just use what ever veggies I have in my fridge that week, and I always keep a can of diced tomatoes around. So it is super easy to improvise and a good way to have lunch for the work days.

Here is what I did.

Ingredients list:

  • 1 onion-chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic-minced
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root-grated
Spicing things up!
Spicing things up!
Spices:
  • 1 teaspoon of garam massala
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, Pakistani chili powder, turmeric, coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamon.
  • 3 tablespoons of curry paste
All the others:
  • 1 can of dice tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • 3 chicken breast cut in small pieces
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 old potatoes
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of 35% creme (it was just sitting in my fridge… like the old potatoes)

Method:

I first cooked the onions in some oil for around 5 minutes on medium high heat.

Onions
Onions

I added all the spices and cooked about 2 min before adding the can of tomatoes.

Spices and Tomatoes
Spices and Tomatoes

After it came to a boil, I added the chicken, all the veggies and some water enough to cover all the food.

I let everything simmer for about 30 to 45 min. Adding the tomato paste half way through. Also to help thicken the sauce I removed some potatoes and mashed them on a plate and put them back in the sauce.

Curry
Curry

It was ready when I confirmed the chicken was all cooked and I got the texture sauce I liked. I finally added the cream… like I said just because it was sitting in the fridge and I had nothing else to do with it.

I served the curry with rice and my favorite yogurt cilantro sauce.

  • Plain thick yogurt
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime juice
Yogurt, cilantro and lime
Yogurt, cilantro and lime

Quantities as you wish, I just put a lot of cilantro and about a teaspoon of lime juice for maybe 1/3 of a cup of yogurt.

Hope you enjoy, we certainly did!

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Empty plates!

Caponata

Egg-plants seems to be part of the scary fruit category for most people (at least around me). Personally, I enjoy their sponginess and I do find them very tasty although I don’t risk myself often to buy it…

Lucky for me, this week on TV, I saw the chef Stephano Faita cooking a Caponata (what we can describe as an Italian egg-plant stew). It got me inspired and I did a little research online to find different recipes and to understand the concept. Finally, there I was this afternoon mixing different ingredients together and trying to make this Italian recipe, as well as enjoying taking pictures of the food!

This is how my inspiration turned out:

  • 1/2 of Red onion
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Egg plan
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 Tomato
  • a few Cranberry in Port wine (Stephano used dry raisin and Marsala wine)
  • Mint and Parsley
  • Pine nuts
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Capers
  • Salt and pepper
Veggies for the Caponata
Veggies for the Caponata

First, I cooked the onions and garlic in some olive oil for a few minutes. I added the egg plan, zucchini and red pepper cut into dices. I added a little bit of water to help the cooking. After 5-10 min I added the tomato, the nuts, the cranberry, that were soaking into a few tablespoon of Port and the mint and parsley finely chopped. Once the veggies were cook I added about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a handful of capers. I served the Caponata on pasta, but it could be served on crouton with some cheese, room temperature, hot or cold.

 

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Caponata on pasta

It was so refreshing and tasty, almost made me forget about all the snow we have and reminded me that spring and summer should be coming back soon.

I can’t wait to try it again and perfect the taste with the different ingredients and quantities!

 

I hope you enjoy!