Lilac water

I was reading through some blogs the other day and someone (I can’t remember who) mentioned lilac water. Right away we had to try. Evie loves flavouring water and is always experimenting, some are good. Others, well are just plain weird. Weirdness happens in the kitchen when you are 9! 

Our lilac trees were in full bloom so off we went to cut some. 

Basically we cut some blooms and washed them gently in cool water, there are no pesticides, but we wanted to get rid of any dust or bugs. ONLY use blooms that you know are pesticide free. 

Take one jug of fresh cool water. Place lilac blooms in the water and place in refrigerator until cold, a few hours.


The water takes on a slight scent and flavour of the lilac. It was nice.

And look how pretty that is. It would be beautiful at a wedding shower or baby shower, or tea. 

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Crepe Cake with Raspberry Orange Mascarpone Cream

This is a great celebration cake and would make the perfect Mother’s Day dessert. It would also be a great addition to a baby shower, bridal shower, or brunch table. The best part is that you can make the crepes the day before and then whip up the cream and assemble a couple of hours before you serve it.


I got this recipe from Canadian Living magazine. They test the recipes until perfect and I have never made a bad recipe from that magazine. I will include a link below to the original recipe.

For the crepes:

2&1/2 cups warm milk

2cups all purpose flour

6 eggs

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar 

1/4 tsp salt 

1/4 cup vegetable oil

In a blender ( I used my Hand blender in a large bowl) purée together milk, flour, eggs, butter, sugar and salt until smooth.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.


You should have a very smooth batter with no lumps at all.

Heat an 8″ skillet or crepe pan over medium heat, brush lightly with oil. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into pan swirling to coat. Cook turning once until golden.



Layer between waxed or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining batter. You should have about 30 crepes.


I ruined the first two and ended up with about 23, the last one was tiny as you can see on the top of the cake. 

I wrapped the crepes in plastic wrap on plate wth parchment between each one and kept in the fridge overnight.

For the cream:

2&1/2 cups whipping cream

1&1/4 cups mascarpone cheese

5 tbsp liquid honey 

1tbsp vanilla 

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed 

2cups fresh raspberries 

In large bowl beat together cream, mascarpone and honey until stiff peaks form, then beat in vanilla, orange juice concentrate and 1 cup of the raspberries until evenly distributed. Remove 1/4 cup to a small bowl and set aside.




To assemble:

Place 1 crepe on cake plate. Spread with thin layer of cream mixture. 

Repeat with others. 

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving top with reserved cream and mound remaining raspberries on top of cake.


Look at those layers!


Original source: Canadian Living 

In My Kitchen May (and April) 2017

I have missed a couple IMK link ups, and have missed visiting my blogging friends too. Spring is very slow to arrive and my kitchen inspiration has been lacking, almost non-existent. 

There hasn’t been too much excitement around here. 

If you check out our Instagram @cookswithevie you will have seen what we have been up to. 

Here are a few things that have been in our kitchen while we have been AWOL from blogging.

Evie turned 9! This was the at home cake and we had emoji cupcakes at her party with friends.



We made this crepe cake, which I still have to post on the blog, and will do that soon.


We dyed Easter eggs


Made this delicious Thai crunch salad


Lays smile bag


I did post this recipe! It is on the blog.An antipasto snackPan fried gnocchi pomodoroChickpea avocado sandwich with cilantro sprouts We made maple pecan granolaEvie made cupcakes, she is not light handed when it comes to sprinkles!Maybe there was a little more going on in my kitchen than I thought. 

In My Kitchen monthly theme is now hosted by Sherry at sherryspickings.blogspott.ie.  So if you would like to know what’s cooking or see some kitchen treasures, head over to Sherry’s blog and check out all the other IMK participants.

http://sherryspickings.blogspot.com.au

Oatmeal Chocolate Square

Do ever need to pull together a snack fast for a playdate or you just really need something sweet but there is nothing to grab?  These squares are a very fast and delicious and hit the spot when you want a cookie or a chocolate bar kind of snack.  These disappeared quickly, mainly because I can’t pass the pan without cutting out a square.

For the base:

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup corn syrup

In a large bowl mix oats, brown sugar and wheat germ. Cut in butter until crumbly.

Stir in corn syrup.

Pour mixture into a microwave safe (glass), greased 8 inch square pan. Spread lightly and microwave on high uncovered for 2 minutes.   Stir.

Press down firmly with a damp fork. Microwave uncovered on high for 2 minutes more until bubbly.

Now for the topping:

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

In a microwave safe dish, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Microwave for about 1 minute, but stop part way through and stir, then continue heating. If not melted smooth microwave for 20 seconds at a time until melted smooth. Pour over oat mixture and let cool before cutting.


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Once cooled cut into squares. Good luck with the self control!

Our next project is to give these a makeover so they are healthier and nut free so they are school safe for the lunch box.  We will work on that as soon as my little social butterfly has some free time at home to work on it with me.

Guinness Beef Stew

I am trying to get ahead of the game for once and share a holiday recipe before said holiday, when it is most relevant. Here is one for St. Patrick’s Day.


In my normal fashion I didn’t write anything down. I just put the stew in the oven so I am typing before I forget

1lb stew beef

3carrots

1parsnip

1 onion

2-3 stalks celery

Tomato paste

3 cups chicken broth

4 tbsp flour

3cloves garlic

Thyme & bay leaf

Season the beef pieces with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Add a few glugs of olive oil to a Dutch oven and brown all sides. 

Remove meat from pan and set aside.This is the good stuff, leave it in the pan, it is the flavour. 

Add 200g chopped meaty bacon ( I used a maple wood smoked).  Add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until softened. 


Once softened sprinkle with 3-4 tbsp flour and stir around to coat everything and add 1 can of Guinness.

 

When we are done with Guinness, the leftover foam always gets put into a small bowl for Max, he loves it! After he laps it down he runs off to his bed to roll around.


Back to the cooking.  

Add carrot and parsnip, celery, chicken stock and 4 tbsp tomato paste. Stir again to mix and dissolve the paste.

Add the meat back to the pot along with any accumulated juices

Add 2 bay leaves and a tsp of dried thyme.

I think I added about 1/2 tsp salt and a generous 1/8tsp pepper. Cover and cook in 325F oven for 2 1/2 hrs.

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Probably best to let people add their preferred amount at the table.


Serve with bread or crusty rolls for soaking up the gravy.


😊 

Homemade Spinach Flatbread Paneer Fajitas 

It may sound like a strange fusion but it was sooo good and I ate so much it hurts to breathe. Evie ate as much as I did! 


I took two different recipes and put them together for this meal and it worked. I used a bottled cilantro chutney to drizzle, which would have been even better if I had the time to make my own version.

 For the paneer there really wasn’t a measured recipe so I just make a guess at amounts.

For the spinach flatbreads I pretty much used Jhuls recipe, but I used about 5-6 tbsp of water to get the dough to come together.




For the paneer I followed SJ’s instructions, used a mixure of about 1tsp of each, chilli powder, coriander, salt, cumin and a garam masala that I had in the cupboard. Basically combined spices them tossed the slices of paneer with the spices and a drizzle of canola oil then grilled.


Make onion and pepper mixture with some tomato to top.


Place all on flatbread and drizzle with cilantro chutney and tamarind sauce.

Meanwhile in Canada…

I have been seeing a lot of picture from blogging friends showing beautiful spring like pictures. Many of you are in the Southern Hemisphere and it is your summer and I love seeing those pictures this time of year. Even on this side of the globe Misky just posted some beautiful spring pictures of flowers peeking through the ground and Celi has been moving pigs around the farm and it looks like early spring there.

Meanwhile in Canada, this was our week….

Walking to school was a challenge and took a very long time and I was extra late for work.


Short little westie legs….need to shovel out a spot for him to pee.


That is the table and chairs on my patio. Won’t be having morning coffee there for awhile.


This year is Canada’s 150th birthday. It will be a year long celebration.

Dragon boats equipped for the ice

Evie’s favourite part of skating is maple taffy made by pouring hot maple syrup on snow

Skating on the Rideau Canal

Elaborate snowman

It is nice and all,but I am ready for spring and summer.