Oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chocolate

I wanted oatmeal cookies, but I didn’t want to make banana cookies. And I dislike raisins…

So a bit of poking around in my pantry made me reach for leftover cranberries (from making the cranberry sauce) that I had frozen and a bag of mini chocolate chips. The resulting cookies are a bit crunchy, a bit chewy, with bright burst of cranberry and just a hint of dark chocolate. Craving satisfied ūüôā

Ingredients :
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon nutmeg
Seeds of 3 green cardamon pods
3 cups oats
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 mini dark chocolate chips
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the over to 350F.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, oats, spices, baking soda)
dry

2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter.
butter1

3. Cream together until lighter and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at the time, mixing well between additions.
butter2

4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
combine

5. Add the chocolate chips and cranberries.
add

6. Fold into the batter.
fold

7. Spoon unto cookie trays lined with parchment paper.
balls

8. Bake for 12 minutes. They will be very soft coming out of the oven and will firm up as they cool.
baked

9. Allow to cool fully and transfer to a air thigh box.
box

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Whole yellow pea soup

A variant on pea soup made with whole peas as well as split peas and more vegetables. It keeps more texture from the whole peas and the diced vegetables while the split peas fall apart and give body to the soup.

The soup bone can be from a ham, if so try to keep some flesh on it. I got mine from my butcher (I had no intention of making a ham) so it’s very bare.

This is a slight modification of the recipe found here.

Ingredients:
1 soup bone
4 liters water (16 cups)
600g whole dried yellow peas
300g split dried yellow peas
2 onions
2 carrots
3 celery branches
2 parsnips
1 leek
1 small turnip (or 4 baby turnip)
1/4 of a nutmeg, grated
1 table spoon summer savory leaves
6 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoon salted herbs
black pepper to taste
ingredients

***

1. Put the whole peas in a large bowl that can be sealed.
dry

2. Fill with water and put in the fridge overnight to soak.
dry+water

3. In a large stock pot, combine the water and the soup bone.
bone

4. Bring to a boil. Skim the foamy scum that may form on the surface.
skim

5. Take the soaked peas out of the fridge.soaked

6. Drain and rinse them well.
strain

7. Add to the stock pot.
peas

8. Add the split peas (they don’t need to soak). Simmer for 2 hours, stirring once in a while.
peas2

9. Meanwhile, dice the vegetables.
veggies

10. At the two hour mark the whole peas should be very soft and the split peas should be falling apart. You’ll want to be stirring this a bit more frequently at this point so that the broken down peas don’t form a crust at the bottom of the pot (they can scorch). Skim any film like scum from the top of the liquid.
skim2

11. Add the vegetables.
add-veggies

12. Add the nutmeg, salted herbs, summer savory leaves and bay leaves.
add-herbs

13. Stir in the chopped parsley and add black pepper to taste. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently and skimming the film like scum for the top of the pot. Add boiling water if it gets too thick.
parsley

14. Serve warm.
serve

 

Apple Spiced Cake with goat cheese icing and caramel drizzle

My brother asked for a home-made birthday cake for this birthday. This is what I made… It’s a pretty long process, do not try to make it after work as I did… Mine came out a bit “clumsy” for that reason.

Ingredients for the cake :
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tea spoons baking powder
1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1/2 tea spoon salt
1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tea spoon ground allspice
1/4 tea spoon ground dry ginger
pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup applesauce
ingredients1

Ingredients for the icing :
6 oz goat cheese
8 oz mascarpone
2 table spoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tea spoon cinnamon
ingredients2

Ingredients for the caramel sauce/drizzle
1 cup sugar
6 table spoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup 35% cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch allspice
ingredients3

***

1. Butter and flour your cake rounds. Cut out parchment paper to line the bottom.
I used 1x 9″ and 2x 8″ cake molds because that’s what I have. If you have all the same size it’ll look better. If you have 4x 8″ that’s probably be best to have slightly thinner cake layers.
cake-molds

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg.
dry

3. In a measuring cup combine the whole milk and vanilla extract.
wet

4. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugar.
butter1

5. Cream together for a few minutes until fluffy.
butter2

6. Add the eggs one at the time, beating well between each addition.
eggs

7. Add the dry and wet ingredients in increment, starting and ending with the dry. No in between step pictures but the order is :
Dry -> Wet -> Dry -> Wet -> Dry
combine

8. Fold in the applesauce.
applesauce

9. Divide the batter into your cake rounds.
divide

10. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
cool1

11. Remove from the pan (use a plate, they should drop right out when you flip them).
Remove the parchment paper and allow to cool fully on a rack.
cool2

12. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing.
Wash the bowl and paddle of the mixer and put all the ingredients in the bowl.
icing1

13. Beat until smooth, scrapping down the sides a few times.
Stick in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up some.
icing2

14. Time for caramel!
In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat on medium.
caramel1

15. From this point on do not step away from the stove.
The sugar will first melt and get bubbly. You want to stir a few times to ensure all the sugar is melted.
caramel2

16. Then it will start to look hard and dry. You want to keep breaking this at this point to prevent lumps in the sauce.
caramel3

17. When it gets a color you like, turn the heat to low. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Add the cream and stir until smooth.
Remove from heat and add the bourbon and spices. Stir until smooth.

**Note my caramel is a shade darker then most people would aim for because I kinda like a tiny bit of the bitterness of it. YMMV stop at your preferred color of caramel.
caramel4

18. The residual heat in the sauce pan is enough to push the caramel into scorched territory (especially if you take it as far as I did). So transfer the caramel to a heat neutral vessel (here a quart mason jar) and allow to cool.
caramel5

19. Time to assemble.
Stack up your cakes with icing in between, ending with a thinner layer on top.
If you want to make it prettier cut the domed top of the cakes so they stack up more neatly.
assemble1

20. Drizzle as much caramel as you want over the whole thing.
cake

21.¬†In a perfect world, put the assembled cake in the fridge for an hour to firm up. But my brother got home so we didn’t wait.
assemble2

22. Drizzle more caramel on the slices, if you want.
Makes for a rich but not too dense or heavy cake with plenty of sweetness. the tartness of the goat cheese is very nice in the icing and the caramel rounds it up.
slice

Peaches and Blackberries crumbe

Satisfying with a bit of a crunch from the almonds. I would probably remake this with less sugar. Will update the recipe if I do.

Ingredients :

For the filling:
6 peaches
2 pints of blackberries
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lime
Juice from 1/2 lime

For the crumble:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 almond meal
5 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 slivered almonds
pinch of nutmeg and ground cardamom
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Rinse the blackberries. Slice the peaches and combine in a bowl.
slices

2. Combine the sugar, flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl.
dry-filling

3. Add the zest, lemon juice and vanilla to the fruits.
zest

4. Add the dry ingredients and gently mix to coat the fruits.
combine

5. Turn the fruits into a baking dish (about 11×7).
turn

6. Start on the crumble. Combine the flour, almond meal, brown sugar, oats and salt. Add the spices, to taste.
crumble1

7. Add the butter. Mix until the dry ingredients are well combined and the whole thing turns to a pebbly texture.
crumble2

8. Fold in the almonds.
crumble3

9. Add the crumble on top of the fruits.
Bake 35-40 minutes.
add-crumble

10. Take out of the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
baked

11. I never mastered the art of serving a crumble prettily. Tastes good anyways.
serve

Légumes au Gratin

A nice side dish that goes with pretty much anything. And any vegetable is good, so use what you have on hand.

Ingredients
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
3-4 carrots
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tea spoon dry mustard
nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne : to taste
a few handful of grated cheese
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Cut the vegetables into bite size and steam until mostly done.
steam

2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, melt the butter.
butter

3. Add the flour and cook until lightly colored.
flour

4. Slowly add the milk, stirring at the same time to avoid lumps. Season with the dry mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
milk

5. Transfer the steamed vegetables to a small casserole dish.
transfert

6. Pour the bechamel over the vegetables. Add the cheese on top.
sauce

7. Bake for a few minutes, until the vegetables are done. Turn the oven on broil to make the cheese golden. Serve warm.
done

Almond Berry Pizza

The second of the pizza dishes. A sweet dessert pizza! Awesome warm, but somehow equally amazing cold and eaten for breakfast.

Ingredients
1 ball of pizza dough
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
3/4 cup almond powder
2 table spoon amaretto
1/2 cup dark chocolate
4 table spoon almonds slices
nutmeg, to taste
1 package of the berries of your choice.
sweet-ingredients

***

1. Toast the almond slices and set aside.
sweet--toast-almonds

2. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
In a mixer, combine the butter and sugar.
sweet-cream-butter

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each.
sweet-add-eggs

4. Add the almond powder, nutmeg and amaretto. Mix well.
sweet-add-almond

5. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and brush with olive oil. Roll the dough to the size of your baking sheet and transfer unto the foil.
sweet-roll

6. Spread the almond cream over the dough, getting as close to the edges as you can.
sweet-smear

7. Add the berries (I used strawberries but any berry would work). Make sure you push them into the almond cream a bit.
sweet-add-berries

8. Bake for 25 minutes on the lower rack in the oven, until the crust is golden.
sweet-cooked

9. While it’s baking, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
sweet-chocolate

10. Set up a piping bag system by sticking a ziploc bag in some kind of container, then filling it with the molten chocolate.
sweet-piping-setup sweet-pipingbag

11. When you’ve taken the pizza out of the oven, snip a corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the pizza.
sweet-drizzle

12. Add the toasted almonds, slice and serve as soon as possible (before the chocolate sets) or cool and eat in the morning.
sweet-final

Jerk Chicken Wings

Because I wanted something spicy and easy to share. You can use the jerk marinade with pretty much any cut of chicken. The recipe is simple, but to compensate I took way too many pictures. You have been warned.

Ingredients
3 bundles of green onions
1/4 cup lime juice
6 table spoon AllSpice (ground)
3 Caribbean laurel leaves
1 whole nutmeg (grated)
1 table spoon kosher salt
10 springs of thyme (fresh)
4 habaneros
12 whole chicken wings.

ingredients2

***

1. Wash the green onions, remove the roots and cut into chunks so that they will fit in a food processor.
green-onion

2. Wash the thyme and roughly chop the sprigs. Add to the food processor along with the Caribbean laurel.
herbs

3. Ground the allspice. You want to turn it into a fine powder. I tend to use a cheap-ish coffee grinder for this, rather then a mortar and pestle.
all-spice1b allspice2

4. Add the ground allspice to the food processor and grate the nutmeg.
spices

5. Juice the limes. It helps if the limes are room temperature rather then cold, and roll them under your hand against the work surface before cutting them to release the juice.
lime

6. Add the lime juice and the salt to the food processor.
salt-and-lime

7. While wearing gloves, cut the habaneros in half and remove the white placenta and the seeds. Add to the food processor and carefully discard the gloves.
heat

8. Blend until everything is incorporated. The marinade will freeze well at this stage.
blend

9. Separate the chicken wings. Discard the wing tips (or freeze to make stock later). Put the wings in a larger freezer bag.
trim

10. Add the marinade to the bag and massage a bit to ensure all the wings get coated. This is the part when this will look dubious and weird… It turns out tasty, I swear. Put in the fridge and allow to marinade over night.
goo

11. Oven bake at 400F for 30 minutes or so or grill the wings, if you have a grill available.
cook