Epic Oooooppppsssss

Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

Epic Oooopppsss

This post is designed to illustrate why I don’t bake that often if ever……..

Roughly two years ago I originally made this dessert and it turned out pretty good so today, since it is raining and miserable outside, I thought I would make it again exactly the way I did way back when.

As you can see it is a disaster…… But, never fear since as they say “when one door closes another opens” and so it is on to plan “B”.

Plan “B” is in this case is to let them harden and then use pieces to create Chocolate Butterscotch Brownie Sundaes using Vanilla Ice Cream and Vanilla Frozen Yogurt. Will see how that idea turns out.

Until next time……..

                                  Bon Appetit

 

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Was going through my dry goods cupboard making a grocery list and came across a tin of Cherry Pie Filling that I forgot I had and figured no time but the present to make something with it.

Now since I am not that proficient at making pie crusts I decided I would use it in a cake and what better combination  than Chocolate and Cherries?

I present to you my Chocolate and Cherries Cake.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 cup All Purpose flour – sifted
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 18 ounce can Cherry Pie filling
  • 9×13 Cake pan

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a large non reactive bowl mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In another large non reactive bowl mix together the remaining ingredients except the cherry pie filling.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and, using a rubber spatula, mix the ingredients together until smooth. Add the cherry pie filling and mix until a batter forms.
  5. Spray the cake pan with a vegetable oil spray and dust with flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…..

                           Bon Appetit

Mini Banana Bread Loaves

Banana Bread loaves IV

Mini Banana Bread Loaves

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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In my ever continuing quest to become a baker I have decided to practice with very easy baking formulas and ones that I have had some success with before therefore I have chosen this one as it is super easy and even I can’t mess it up….. well I can but not this time.

I decided to use my mini loaf pan for this as the results are the perfect after school snack size and they can go in my grandsons lunch for school.

Cooks note: I have referred to this as a “formula” because I was taught in culinary school that Baker’s use formulas and Cooks/Chefs use recipes and it kind of stuck in my mind. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 cups smashed overripe Bananas
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Pam® Olive Oil spray

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the bananas, eggs and the remaining wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  5. Spray the loaf pan with the Pam and pour the batter into each loaf slot.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the loaves comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                             Bon Appetit

Baked Apple Pie Enchiladas

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Baked Apple Pie Enchiladas

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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My baking experience is somewhat limited and the past few attempts have been less than stellar…. my Clafoutis didn’t rise and my Peach Cobbler was more like peach gelatin so what I decided to do with this one was to follow the formula to the letter and see what happens.

The flavour profile was certainly there although it could use a bit of tweaking but the overall appearance of the finished product was not what I was expecting and I’m a little disappointed with it however as they say practice makes perfect so I will keep trying this “baking” thing and hopefully it will get better.

Here’s how we do this one.

 

Shopping list:

  • 1 21 ounce can Apple Pie filling
  • 6 8 inch Tortillas
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish
  3. Put the tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds to soften so they are easier to roll.
  4. Put about a 1/4 pie filling just off center of the tortilla, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and roll up. Place the roll ups seam side down in the baking dish
  5. In a medium sauce pan bring the butter, white and brown sugar as well as water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately three minutes. Stir constantly
  6. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar if desired and let stand for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake in your preheated oven until golden brown.
  8. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                            Bon Appetit

Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

Brownies

Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I don’t bake all that often mainly because I don’t think I am very good at it but secondly because baking really is an exact science. Unlike cooking where you can get away with not using exact measurements baking requires precise measurements otherwise the finished product will not turn out and most times I just don’t have the patience.

What then lead to my decision to make brownies? My wife’s best friend of 60 years was by for a visit and since she does not bake and does not really cook I decided to offer up a treat.

This particular recipe is an adaptation from the baking queen, Anna Olson, so I hope I do it justice.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  •  10 oz (300 g) Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
  • ⅔ cup (150 mL) unsalted Butter
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) Sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Vanilla extract
  • 3 large Eggs
  • ½ cup (125 mL) All-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) Salt
  • 3 oz (90 g) Butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped Peanuts

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C) and grease and line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl resting over a pot of barely simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring gently. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla.
  3. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour and salt. Fold in the chopped peanuts and butterscotch chips.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the brownies comes out clean. Cool before slicing.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                           Bon Appetit

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

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Apple Pie Bread Pudding

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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“The greatest dishes are very simple.” 

Auguste Escoffier, the “Emperor of Chefs”

When I was in culinary school I was terrified of my Chef Instructor putting me in Bakeshop with a specific item to bake and giving me a set time it had to be ready by mainly because baking was not at the top of my “interest list” and I didn’t want to screw things up thereby throwing a wrench into the Lunch Menu.

As I have now become completely retired both from my regular job and restaurant kitchens I can take the time to practice baking and by using my family as Guinea Pigs I don’t have to worry about ruining someone’s business…….. just my families stomachs.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 19 ounce can of Apple Pie filling
  • 6 1/2 cups of Raisin Bread – cubed
  • 3 Eggs – whisked
  • 2 cups Half and Half
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla
  • A 9 x 13 Baking pan

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350°
  2. Cube the Raisin bread and place in a large bowl.
  3. In a second large bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and allow to sit at room temperature for about ten minutes
  4. Combine the wet ingredients with the cubed bread and mix until well incorporated being careful not to break up the bread.
  5. Grease the baking pan or spray with a non stick cooking spray, pour in the bread pudding mixture making sure it is evenly distributed and bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                           Bon Appetit

Applesauce and pumpkin loaf

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Applesauce and pumpkin loaf

  • Servings: 1 9x3 Loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
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As a general rule I don’t do a lot of baking even with a six year old in the house who likes cookies, muffins and cake so when I get the urge to bake it’s quite the surprise to all in the house… especially me. This recipe, then, is from one of those urge moments and with the help of an electric mixer the “prep” time is a breeze.

The baking time on this one is a little longer due to the loaf pan being used however if you wish to use a regular 9×13 cake pan the time will be reduced.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 1cups All purpose flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cloves
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 2 Eggs

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Put all the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low for about two minutes
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low for about three minutes then on medium until all ingredients are well blended
  4. Pour the batter into a greased loaf or cake pan
  5. Bake for approximately 90 minutes if using a loaf pan, 60-65 minutes for a cake pan or until a toothpick comes out clean

There you have it “another simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until the next time……..

                           Bon Appetit

 

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie

  • Servings: 2 nine inch pies
  • Difficulty: easy
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For this recipe I decided to go back to the beginning and make the very first thing I ever learned to bake —- the iconic and oh so good sweet potato pie!

Now when I first heard about this dessert some 20 something years ago I thought “man people were nuts”… I mean really…. potatoes in a dessert? Well I tell you the very first bite had me hooked and the only sad part is I don’t make it nearly enough.

As you can see in the photo (Note to self: Get a different camera) the pie is lacking the one element my family and friends missed and that is whipped cream but seeing as how it was Thanksgiving and I was in the middle of doing about 18 other things I was forgiven. Maybe the next time.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 Large sweet potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 stick of melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 nine inch ready to bake pie crusts

Putting it all together:

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender
  2. When cooled place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the milk
  4. Using a hand blender mix all the ingredients until smooth
  5. Add the milk and mix until incorporated
  6. Pour equal amounts of the sweet potato mix in the pie crusts
  7. Place in a 350 degree convection oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean
  8. Let cool and dig in

So there you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time……….

                              Bon Appetit

 

Lemon and Herb Risotto Cake

  • Servings: ”4″
  • Difficulty: ”medium”
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Lemon and Herb Risotto cake

 

Risotto….. Just the name alone conjures up images of silky, smooth and creamy Arborio Rice as the backdrop to a fabulous and decadent main dish and I mean seriously who does not like Risotto…… except for my daughter who says that “rice should not be creamy”. Oh well you can’t have everything.

This particular recipe comes to us from a book that quite frankly I had forgotten that I even had…… did I mention that I have somewhere round 80 cookbooks?…… and it is dedicated to nothing but RISOTTO and it contains 75 different variations of this wonderful dish.

Now I have to admit that the thought of making a Risotto cake never entered my mind…. a main dish or even Arancini most certainly…. but never a cake and as such I have not made this one nor have I ever tried it but I am sure it will be a monstrous hit.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 Small Leek – finely sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or other Risotto rice
  • Grated rind of one Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp snipped fresh Chives
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Parsley
  • 3/4 cup grated Mozzarella
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and lightly oil a 8 1/2 inch round cake pan
  2. Put the leek in a large pan with 3 Tbsp of stock.
  3. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened. Stir in the rice and the remaining stock
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes
  5. Stir in the lemon rind, herbs, cheese and seasoning.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Let stand for 5 minutes then turn out and slice.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time………..

                          Bon Appetit

Ham and cheese biscuits

  • Servings: ”12-15″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
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I hit upon this recipe a short while ago when I was emptying my grandsons school lunch bag. The thought of doing something different for him for lunch seemed like a good one so I started looking through my cook books, various recipes on my computer and at different websites but nothing really jumped out and said “Hey—– Pick me”. Then I remembered the Buttermilk Cheddar loaf (the recipe can be found under Bakery stuff) I made just before Christmas and I thought why not take that one and twist it around to become muffins that would suit lunch bags or a quick snack?

Since my grandson would be having some I simply added diced ham to the recipe but you can pretty much add whatever you wish— cayenne pepper, chopped Jalapenos, chopped scallions or bacon (Mmmmmmm bacon) or all of them the choice is yours. They are also perfect for freezing…….. I put mine in individual sandwich bags and popped them in the freezer.

A minute in the microwave and you have the perfect companion for a warm beverage.

Here’s how we do it………..

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of All Purpose (ap) flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablepoon Baking Powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Canola oil
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded old or sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 a cup chopped ham

Putting it all together:

  • Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large size bowl mix the dry ingredients ingredients together
  • In a large measuring cup add the milk,egg and Canola oil and whisk until well incorporated
  • Mix the cheese into the dry ingredients
  • Add the buttermilk mixture and mix with a spatula until just wet. If it looks a little to thick you can add some water
  • Incorporate the diced ham
  • Spoon into a pre greased (use cooking spray as it’s easier) muffin tin
  • Bang the tin on the counter a couple of times in an effort to get the mixture to settle and avoid air bubbles
  • Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time………..

                            Bon Appetite