Blackberry Mint Infused Water

Hi Evie here,

This is my first blog post that I have done by myself. This is how you make blackberry and mint water.   You take about 1letter (litre) of  water and put it in jugge (jug)  put some blackberrys and mint (about 1/4 cup berries and 1 few mint leaves).  I also really like to make cucumber water add cucumber slices to water and put it in the fridge for 1 night.  The water really tastes like cucumbers and I like cucumbers.  Cucumber water is very refreshing on hot days.

(Lori here, just read this and decided to clarify a few spelling mistakes, although for just turning 7 she did pretty good with the spelling.)

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Guinness Chocolate Cake…a.k.a Best Cake Ever

We all LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake. I make this at least a few times a year.  This is another Nigella recipe (from her book Feast) and it is my favourite.  It is a delicious dense dark moist chocolate cake topped with a very creamy smooth cream cheese icing.

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Preheat your oven to 180C, which I think is 350F.  Start with a can of Guinness.  This is what happens if you are unprepared when you open it and don’t have a pot ready to pour it in. I lost a little bit.

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Pour the can of Guinness (250ml) into a pot and add butter (250g) heat until melted.  I just realized, while typing this, that I just poured in the whole can. I think that was quite a bit more than I needed.  Which explains why the batter was wetter than I remembered it being and it took longer to bake.  But it turned out amazing!

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Add sugar (400g) and cocoa powder (75g)

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Whisk this together while heating

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Take that off the stove and let cool a couple of minutes, in a separate bowl whisk together 142ml sour cream, 2 eggs and 1Tbsp vanilla

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Pour that mixture into the chocolatey beer mixture.

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To that add 275g of flour and 2&1/2 tsp baking soda

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Pour batter into prepared (greased with a round of parchment lining the bottom) springform pan (8 or 9″)

Place the pan on a cookie sheet, just in case of leakage.

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Bake for about 45-60 minutes until done. Don’t worry about the cracks in the top, those nooks and crannies will get filled with the delicious cream cheese icing.

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Let cool completely before icing.  Once the cake was at room temperature I wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator overnight and did the icing the next day.

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The cream cheese icing is amazing but very simple.  Beat together 300g room temperature cream cheese with 150g icing sugar and 125ml whipping cream.  I used a little less that that amount of whipping cream as I found the icing was getting too liquid.  Use your judgement.

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Dollop the icing on top of the cake and spread to the edges.

It kind of looks like a pint of Guinness!

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I think this cake would also be great without the icing or just a sifting of icing sugar.

Chickpea Quinoa Chili

This was my mother’s day dinner, prepared almost entirely by Evie (her dad had to help with cooking the quinoa).  Someone gave me this recipe and they got it online, I don’t know where it came from so I cannot back to them directly.  This is a great recipe, it is very tasty, fast and nutritious.  It also reheats well and can be frozen. IMG_3571

Here is the recipe, I hope you can read it.

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1 can each of chickpeas and white kidney beans (you can use the red ones)

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Stir in a large can of chopped tomatoes

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Stir to combine

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This is the chili spice packet that we used.  You can use your favourite.

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Stir in chili spice mix package

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Stir and add in the cooked quinoa

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Stir together and heat through

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I like it best topped with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of cheddar and some torn cilantro leaves.IMG_3571

Lemony Chicken Skewers

Food Revolution Day is May 15, 2015, it was started by Jamie Oliver a few years ago, following in the spirit of his Food Revolution cookbook, which I have and use often.  I highly recommend it as it is a great book.   It is all about making your own, good, healthy real food.  Making your own food doesn’t have to be complicated, some of the best meals are very simple.  This recipe is one of those.  I found the original recipe in a magazine and have tweaked it to be quicker and easier, but it is healthy and full of flavour.

This is a great summer recipe, very tasty and perfect on the grill, but good in the oven too.  Especially nice because you can throw everything in a zip top back to marinade all day and then grill in the evening.

I will spare you the photos of cutting up raw chicken. The chicken should be cut in chunks big enough to be threaded onto a bamboo skewer, maybe an inch or two.

Place chicken in a zip top bag along with 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1&1/2 tsp dried oregano, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Shake around to coat chicken and place in refrigerator all day (or at least a an hour).

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Thread onto bamboo skewers that have been pre-soaked in water for a couple of hours (so they don’t catch fire), or you can use metal skewers if you have them.  Grill until cooked through.

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These skewers are good served with greek pita that has been warmed on the grill , tzatziki (i know that is spelled wrong) and a nice salad.  We made Jamie Oliver’s chopped salad from his Food Revolution book, it is really good.

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Brown Bread

This is an old recipe that was given to me by a friend who got the recipe from her mother who was given the recipe from a friend.

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The lady that gave me the recipe said it was a very nice bread for breakfast or with tea and recommended that I try it.  The recipe was handwritten on a beautiful vintage recipe card and it was well worn on the edges.  I photocopied it so I lost the colour and gold detailing but it was so pretty I didn’t want to just copy our the recipe.  I hope you are able to read the recipe.

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This is the soured milk, which was basically 2 cups of milk with 2 Tbsps vinegar added.  To this I added 2tsp of baking soda, you can see how it bubbled in the second photo

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I had a little trouble finding the graham four but then I found this one.

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Mix the dry ingredients together, little hands are helpful for this

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Pour in the wet ingredients and stir.  A vintage recipe calls for a vintage mixer!

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Place into a greased loaf and and bake at 325F for about one hour.

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Et voila!

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Cool on a wire rack

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It turned out nice and evenly browned, even the bottom

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It is really nice served warm with a little butter.

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As the recipe card says if too warm it doesn’t cut well.  But it does freeze like anything but takes hours to thaw!

In My Kitchen May 2015

So far May has been a very busy month.  I have not had a moment to upload pictures from my camera to get this post finished! I am down to the wire on Celia’s deadline to submit the IMK post.   Sorry for the lateness of it Celia (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) hope I made it.

The end of April brought a birthday party with a sprinkle cake.

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Evie had her birthday party at the Humane Society and instead of presents asked that her friends bring a donation.  Her friends, family members and a very generous friend all gave her donations.  She received $220 which she handed over after the party as a donation for the animals.  It was a good party, the children got to play with a lot of kitties, pet a curious little guinea pig and had a visit from a volunteer with a therapy dog.

My parents were visiting so we had some tea buns, also know as baking powder buns in Newfoundland.

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A couple other items from Newfoundland

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A box of my favourite tea

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I am reading this cookbook and I love it.  I haven’t made anything from it yet, but there is a lot that I would love to try.

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I made this buttermilk pie and it was really good.  It is an old southern recipe, from a southern grandma.  I will have a post about that a little later.  This pie is so good I have to share.

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I was given a full box of Tunnock’s teacakes, box of 36, I love them.

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We also had Steak and Guinness pasties from our local farmer’s market.  These are Evie’s favourite.

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And the biggest thing in my kitchen this month is……

NEW COUNTERTOP, sink and faucet! While my Dad was visiting he replaced the old worn dark brown that as here when we bought the house.  Now it is bright and clean.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mom’s (May 10th is Mother’s Day in Canada).

Strawberry Rhubarb Apple Crisp

It is rhubarb season. Though mine are just a few leaves through the ground right now. I can’t wait to start cooking and baking with it once it grows to stalks. In the meantime I will re-share this older post of a recipe that I like to make often and it is great served warm with vanilla ice cream.

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This recipe was given to me by a friend and I usually make it in early summer when strawberries and rhubarb are in season.  I have a bumper crop of rhubarb, apples are in season and a bag of frozen strawberries from last year in the freezer needing to be used.

Topping:

1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup rolled oats

3tbsp whole wheat flour

1tsp cinnamon

2tbsp soft butter (you can use margarine)

Combine all of the topping ingredients and set aside.

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Fruit:

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2/3 cup sugar

3tbsp all purpose flour

2 cups sliced apples (I left the peel on, but peel if you prefer)

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced  (halved is ok too)

Combine sugar and flour.

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Add fruits and toss to coat.  Spoon into a baking dish.  I usually use an 8 cup casserole dish or square baking…

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