Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread

 This was great bread! 
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup warm milk
1/2 cup raisins (I used sultanas)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup palm sugar (I used brown sugar)
2 eggs
1/4 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon palm sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tablespoon butter

Yields 1 loaf
Combine oats, milk and raisins in bowl, cover, let stand for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line loaf tin with parchment paper.

Beat olive oil and sugar in small bowl until smooth.  Add eggs,  one at a time. Whisk until well incorporated, before adding the next one. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. Stir in oat mixture.
In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Combine wet and dry ingredients.

For the topping, combine oats, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Rub in butter with your finger tips until mixture becomes crumbly. 

Pour cake batter into prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle with topping . Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mongolian Beef

This was a pretty good asian dish.  I'm notoriously terrible at asian cooking, but this one was good enough to make again.  Next time I will use the veggies I listed below:

  • 500 g beef, thin sliced (I used sirloin, 4 steaks should be good)
  • 2 tbsp sherry cooking wine
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp plus 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced into strips
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 1 zucchini, in sticks
  • 6 green onions, cut into 2" pieces
Place beef in a bowl and add sherry cooking wine and cornstarch. Mix together and marinate for 15 minutes. If you are making rice, start it now so that it's ready when your stir fry is finished. Meanwhile, mix together the 4 tablespoons of hoisin sauce and the soy sauce and set aside.

When beef is ready, add remaining 1 teaspoon of hoisin sauce and mix into beef. Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok on high heat. Add beef and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, or until no longer pink. Don't cook too long or it will get tough! If it's still a little pink it's ok. Remove the beef to a bowl and return wok to the stove. Add a little more oil to the wok and stir fry the garlic,veggies, and green onion for 2-3 minutes. 

Move the vegetables to one side of the wok, add beef to the other side. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the centre and stir a little then combine beef, vegetables and sauce. Stir just a minute or so to combine and serve immediately over rice. 


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Another great recipe!  I tried another sloppy joes recipe a few weeks ago and it just wasn't quite right. This one is perfect.  I found it here.


  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 green capsicum, finely diced 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste 
  • ~800 g ground beef chuck 
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 (400 g) can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine 
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

6 buns, sliced
mayonnaise (not the salad dressing stuff)
yellow mustard
bread and butter pickles

What you do:
  1. In a large skillet ( bigger if you are doubling the recipe) over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and capsicum and sauté until it begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  Set aside.
  2. Add the beef and cook until brown, breaking up any large clumps, about 5-7 minutes. Add the veggies back in.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, remaining salt and black pepper and cook, stirring every few moments, for 2 minutes.  
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for another minute.  Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar and boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 6-8 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with additional salt and black pepper if needed.

To serve
Slather a bit of mayonnaise on each bun half.  Spoon some of the meat sauce on the bottom of each of the buns, top with a few onion slices, some bread and butter pickles, and a drizzle of yellow mustard.  Add the top half of the bun.  Smoosh together and take a big bite.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Slow cooker asian chicken

 This recipe is from my sister.  It was AWESOME! It seems like it's not enough sauce, but trust me, it's plenty of sauce!

  • 1 3-4lb whole chicken
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed lite brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sherry or apple juice
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 green onions, halved + trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed

  1. Wash/dry chicken, remove giblets, neck, + excess fat. Put chicken in slow cooker breast side up
  2. In bowl combine: everything I said above. Pour over chicken, cover and cook on high for 3.5-4.5 hrs.
  3. Remove chicken.
  4. Remove and discard onions. Add 2 tbsp cornstarch abd 1 tbsp water to sauce. Stir over heat. Toast 2 tbsp of sesame seeds and serve on top of chicken and white rice with a side of broccoli

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oatmeal Cream Pies

OH. MY. GOD. You HAVE to make these! I promise that they will be amazing!

Ingredients (recipe from here)
  • 1 cup butter (225 g), softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (I used hot chocolate powder and it turned out great)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in vanilla and the eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and oats. Beat into the cream mixture. Refrigerate cookie dough for 15 minutes.

Drop about 1 tbsp of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees (180 C) for about 10 minutes. The centres should still be slightly underdone when you remove them from the oven. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Spread about 1 tbsp of cream filling (recipe below) on the bottom of one cookie and then top with another cookie.

Cream Filling (I already had this recipe)


1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, scraping bowl. Beat on high until light and fluffy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

America's test kitchen ultimate banana bread

This really is the ultimate banana bread! Recipe from America's Test Kitchen.  Sorry there's no picture this time...

Also, I have new, much better cooking blog here: Mama's Home Cafe

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled (see note)
8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees (180 C).
  2. Spray 8 1⁄2 by 4 1⁄2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
  4. Place 5 bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you should have 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup liquid).
  5. Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth.
  6. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  7. Slice remaining banana diagonally into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. Shingle banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1 1⁄2-inch-wide space down center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.
  8. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 55 to 75 minutes.
  9. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Be sure to use very ripe, heavily speckled (or even black) bananas in this recipe.
  • This recipe can be made using 5 thawed frozen bananas; since they release a lot of liquid naturally, they can bypass the microwaving in step 2 and go directly into the fine-mesh strainer.
  • Do not use a thawed frozen banana in step 4; it will be too soft to slice. Instead, simply sprinkle the top of the loaf with sugar.
  • The test kitchen’s preferred loaf pan measures 8 1⁄2 by 4 1⁄2 inches; if you use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, start checking for doneness five minutes earlier than advised in the recipe.
  • The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but it can be stored (cool completely first), covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Flourless Chocolate and Cream Cheese Marble Cake

This cake is just like the flourless chocolate torte I made the other day, but this one has cream cheese in it.  YUM! Will definitely make again!  Got it from here.

For the cream cheese batter:
  • 8 oz. (225 g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate batter:
  • 10 oz. (283 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 141 g (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • Cocoa powder for dusting

1) Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F (150 C). Lightly grease a 9×2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.

2) To make the vanilla batter: In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until blended. Set aside.

3) To make the chocolate batter:  Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave. Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium high until the mixture is pale and thick, 3 to 4 min. With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.

4) To combine and bake: Spread about half of the chocolate batter in the bottom of the pan. Alternately add large scoopfuls of each of the remaining batters to the cake pan. Using a knife or the tip of a rubber spatula, gently swirl the two batters together so they’re mixed but not completely blended. Rap the pan against the countertop several times to settle the batters.

5) Bake until a pick inserted about 2 inches from the edge comes out gooey but not liquid, 40 to 42 min.; don’t overbake. The top will be puffed and slightly cracked, especially around the edges. It will sink down as it cools. Let cool on a rack until just slightly warm, about 1-1/2 hours.

Loosen the cake from the pan by holding the pan almost perpendicular to the counter; tap the pan on the counter while rotating it clockwise. Invert onto a large flat plate or board covered in wax or parchment paper. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment from the bottom of the cake. Sift some cocoa powder over the cake (this will make it easier to remove the slices when serving). Invert again onto a similar plate so that the top side is up and carefully remove the wax or parchment paper. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight, or freeze.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Oh man, this was great.  It was fantastic right out of the oven and it was just delightful the next day straight out of the fridge.  Will definitely make again.  Found it from here.

  •  400 g 70% dark chocolate, chopped – use the good stuff here, don’t go for the cheapo stuff.  You want a good chocolate that melts well. I only used 200 g and it was still amazing 
  • 10 tbs. room temperature unsalted butter, cubed + some for coating pan
  • 5 room temperature eggs, separated
  • 2 drops lemon juice (not a drop more!)
  • 2 tbs. granulated sugar + some for coating pan
  1. Preheat to 325F (162 C).  Place jelly roll pan filled with water on bottom rack.  Grease a 9” springform pan with butter on the bottom and sides.  Cut a round of parchment paper to fit your pan and place in the bottom.  Dust the sides of the pan with sugar, it will stick to the butter.
  2. Beat your egg yolks a bit with a whisk until they start to foam a little.  In a separate large DRY bowl, add your egg whites and 2 drops of lemon juice.  Beat with a whisk or hand mixer until it becomes foamy, then gradually add in the 2 tbs. sugar as you continue to beat to stiff peaks.  Remember to stop beating when you *just* get to stiff peaks.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave (stir after every 25 secs).  When completely melted, take off heat and whisk in egg yolks.
  4. Fold about 25% of egg whites into the chocolate to “loosen” it up a bit, and then gently fold all of the chocolate back into the big bowl of egg whites.  Fold until it just blends together, there will be some white streaks still.  If you fold until all the color is exactly the same it will be too much.
  5. Pour into springform pan, smooth out with a spatula, and tap to get rid of any big air bubbles, then bake in the oven on middle rack for 40 min.  Take out and cool on a cooling rack.  Eat or then refrigerate overnight.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Refrigerator Pizza

This is my new favourite pizza!  It tastes great.  Just look in your refrigerator and see what you have lying around. 
 Make your pizza crust dough and bake the crust ahead of time (or use store bought).  Then preheat the oven, and pizza stone if using, to 500° (260 C) while you prepare the toppings.

The ingredient prep is easy.  Clean the vegetables (listed below), then slice the mushrooms, red onion and red pepper into thin strips.  Chop the spinach coarsely.  Rip the basil leaves. Mince the garlic.  Set aside.

If your cheese isn’t already grated or crumbled, now is the time to grate it.  Set the cheese back into the refrigerator while you gently sauté the vegetables.

For pizza topping, sauté these vegetables in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil while the crust bakes:
8 button mushrooms
One red pepper
¾ of a raw red onion
3 cups of raw spinach
cherry tomatoes

For additional flavoring, I added these during pizza assembly:
Feta cheese
Grated parmesan cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese

For my finishing touches, I complimented the pizza with some aromatics and a garnish:
1 bunch of basil leaves, torn, not cut
4 minced garlic cloves
Garlic Olive oil
4 thinly sliced green onions that I used as a colorful garnish (optional)

To begin, drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil over the pre-cooked crust.
Here’s the quick 1-2-3 for Pizza Assembly:
  1. For the first layer of flavor, sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Next spread those colorful sautéed vegetables, one by one, over the pizza.  Their order doesn’t matter.  Once the vegetables are arranged, sprinkle the basil and garlic olive oil over the top.
  3. To finish off the pizza and to prevent the topping from burning, crumble the feta cheese over everything and then end with the mozzarella cheese.
Place the pizza in the 500° (260 C) oven on the preheated pizza stone. If you don’t own a pizza stone, a pizza pan works just fine and doesn’t require preheating.  If you don’t have a pizza pan, use a cookie sheet.  It cooks fairly quickly, so watch it and remove when it starts to brown.