Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Baking in Africa

So, for those of you who don't know, on November 8th I left with 9 others from my church to go to Zambia, Africa for 2.5 weeks. Our church sponsors a home through the orphanage Seeds of Hope Childrens Ministries and they sent a team down there to go and volunteer for a while and get to know the area/community.

So after we arrived late November 10th, we got settled and experienced things you only really witness on TV...until you're in those situations. It was such a God time and I will forever be thankful for having the opportunity to go.

One day while we were there, we decided to have a party with our sponsor kids. So we started planning a party. We made fondue, cut up fruit, and I was asked to bake! I was so excited. So during the day I went to the office kitchen (this way our dorm wouldn't be over-heating with the oven on, seeing as it was already in the high +30, celsius that is). I mixed my batter, poured it in the pan, and slid it into the tiny oven that only had Fahrenheit temperature numbers. I was so confused, but thank goodness for the only metric conversion chart in the back of an old cookbook in one of the cupboards.

The party went so well, we gave our sponsor kids some gifts, ate some good food, all while the power was out. It was candle-light, and it was such a beautiful time with the kids. I will never forget this experience.

It was an interesting experience to get to bake in Africa. I wasn't expecting it, but it was so much fun. And for those of you wondering what I made, I decided on my Luscious Buttermilk Brownies, and they were a hit!

So for your viewing pleasure, here are a few photos from my time in Africa!





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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Molasses Ginger Cookies

I haven't baked in quite some time, that is...something new. So I found an old recipe that my mom made once, and I heard her talking about it this morning. So I figured I'd surprise her and bake some. I find it quite funny how I can't make regular chocolate chip cookies, but these turned out gloriously. Enjoy!

Molasses Ginger Cookies
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
dash of vanilla
1/8 cup white sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease/line cookie sheets.
2. In large bowl, combine first four ingredients, mix well.
3. In small bowl, combine the egg, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla, also mix well.
4. Add molasses mixture to the flour mixture, and blend until molasses mixture is fully incorporated.
5. Using a cookie scoop, or a tablespoon, scoop portions of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten with hands and coat one side with white sugar. Place on cookie sheets.
6. Bake for 6 minutes, and leave on the pan to cool for 2 minutes.
7. Enjoy!

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Whole Wheat Apple & Flax Waffles

I had such a fun time making these, and there's nothing else to say about them except they're delicious and worth the time and effort. That is all.

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Whole Wheat Apple & Flax Waffles
Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground flax powder
some crushed walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup milk
3 small apples, peeled and cut into slices
1 tbsp. organic maple syrup, more for topping
scoop of vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions:
1. Turn on waffle iron and let it heat up.
2. In large bowl combine first 6 ingredients, mix well. Make a well in the middle.
3. Add the milk, vanilla, and egg yolks to the well, gradually blend in with the flour mixture.
4. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into waffle batter.
5. Add the apples to small frying pan. Once tender add the maple syrup and let simmer on lowest heat setting.
6. Prepare waffles in waffle iron until batter is all used up.
7. Top waffles with sauteed apples, maple syrup, and ice cream. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chocolate Marbled Brownies & Sister Baking Day

Yesterday I had my sister-in-law (I love saying that! For those of you who don't know, my brother got married last month, and I now have a sister!) over for a baking day and it was absolutely lovely! She found a recipe for Strawberry Coconut Cake on Pinterest, and I found a recipe out of a good ol'fashioned cookbook and we made a big mess and it resulted in two beautiful desserts. So here it is!

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Chocolate Marbled Brownie
Ingredients:
1 cup cocoa
1 cup butter, melted
5 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
handful of white chocolate, finely chopped (or white chocolate chips)
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup icing sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper.
2. In large bowl, mix together the melted butter and cocoa.
3. In small bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, mix for about 5 minutes with an electric mixer on medium.
4. Add the flour to the chocolate batter.
5. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate batter, blend until smooth.
6. Add the white chocolate and stir throughout.

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7. Pour batter into prepared springform pan.

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8. In a separate bowl mix together the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth.

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9. Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture onto the chocolate batter. Using a butter knife or toothpick, swirl the cream cheese into the batter to create a marbled look.
10. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Vicki with her Strawberry Coconut Cake

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

So for those of you who know me, I cannot make chocolate chip cookies. Like, I'd make them at school in Culinary, and they'd be beautiful...same recipe at home, they'd be awful. So for years of wondering what I was doing wrong, I finally found a trick that will work.

I was watching Bake with Anna Olson and when she was baking her chocolate chip cookies she mentioned putting corn starch into the batter. This helps make the outside of the cookie crispy, while the inside stays soft. TA DA!!!!! It worked marvelously! So, here's the recipe.

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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
as much chocolate chips as your heart desires
finely chopped pecans, also optional

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In mixing bowl, blend together the butter, oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla.
3. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda.
4. Add the chocolate chips and pecans.
5. Spoon onto cookie sheets and bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bailey's Chocolate Mocha Loaf

I haven't really baked in a while, like, seriously bake. And it felt lovely to put on my apron, put on the music, and bring out the Bailey's. Lately I've had a strange obsession with it, and I've thought of many ways to use it in different recipes. One of them being Bailey's Irish Cream, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Rice Crispie Squares. I made them last week and they turned out lovely. I took them on my grad camping weekend, and let's just say I took none home.

So, with that, here's another Bailey's recipe.


Bailey's Chocolate Mocha Loaf
Ingredients:
1/4 cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream (I used original, but you could do flavoured)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. instant coffee granules
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tbsp. baking powder
two large handfuls of chocolate chips, or more

Directions:
1. Cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time.
2. Add the vanilla, Bailey's, milk, and coffee granules, mix well.
3. Gradually add the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Add the chocolate chips at the end.
4. Baking in 9x5 loaf pan (or mini loaf pans, or cupcake pans) for approx. 1 hour (loaf), or 40 minutes (mini loaves, cupcakes).
5. Top with Bailey's whipping cream and enjoy!


Bailey's Whipping Cream
Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream

Directions:
In small bowl, whip all ingredients until light and fluffy. Scoop onto Bailey's Chocolate Mocha Loaf and love!


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Julie & Julia (& Julianna)

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 today I bought and watched the movie Julie & Julia. while watching I was baking up a batch up peanut butter cup chocolate cupcakes, and I felt as though I could relate completely and totally to Julie Powell. so as I was baking my cupcakes and hearing Meryl Streep (Julia Child) say "Bon App├ętit" many, many times, I remembered back to when I first watched the movie when it came out (2009). I remembered that that was the reason I started this blog. I knew it would never be anything big, but I loved to cook and bake. I loved coming up with new things and experimenting at the cost of my mom's groceries. I figured I'd start posting, just for myself to see what would happen. and here I am, two years later with only 35 (now 36) posts, and 11 followers. it's a miracle, really. I never thought I would even have followers. so I guess in a way this is a thank you to those of you who do read this. I love this blog. I don't bake/cook as much as I used to, but my passion has grown. cheers, to Julie & Julia. p.s. it was a little ironic that I started this blog because of that movie/life of those two, all the while having the name Julianna.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pizza Pancakes

Yes, you read right. I came across this recipe a few months ago and always wanted to try it. So, tonight I decided I would make my own version, and my goodness. They were so good.

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Excuse the photo, I took it on my phone, and it's really hard to make these pancakes look as good as they taste.

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 egg
50 grams pepperoni, chopped
5 small mushrooms, sliced thin
3/4 cup shredded cheese
pizza sauce

Directions:
1. In medium sized bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients and blend well.
2. Add the pepperoni, mushrooms, and cheese, mix.
3. In heated frying pan or skillet, scoop batter out in even amounts (I used a 1/2 cup muffin scoop to do so) and spread out. Flip when bubbles appear on top.
4. When finished, top with hot pizza sauce and enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cheesy Parmesan Muffins

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Cheesy Parmesan Muffins
Ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated marble cheese
1/8 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. basil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix together the egg, yogurt/sour cream, milk and margarine.
3. Add the flour, parmesan cheese, sugar, baking powder and basil.
4. Scoop even amounts into lined muffin tins.
5. Sprinkle the grated marble cheese evenly over each muffin.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cake Contest & Recipe

This week in my town we're hosting a contest called "You bake the cake" and I figured I'd enter! So, here's the photo of my cake, along with the recipe below. Enjoy!

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Citrus Cream Cake
Ingredients:
2 3/4 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk or light cream
1 tsp. vanilla
orange zest & juice from one orange

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In microwavable bowl, melt the butter and add the milk.
3. In large bowl, whisk together to egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the rest of the sugar, again, until soft peaks form.
4. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk mixture, in about 3 parts, beginning and ending with the flour, folding in.
5. In 9-inch springform pan, line with either parchement paper, or grease with non-stick spray (ex. Pam). Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it.
6. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling wrack to finish cooling.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients:
1 block cream cheese (8 ounce), softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. squeezed orange juice
Enough icing sugar to give the consistancy you desire.

Directions:
1. Cream together to butter and cream cheese until smooth.
2. Add the lemon juice and mix well.
3. Gradually add in the icing sugar, mixing well until all is incorporated.
4. Spread over cake and garnish with orange slices, orange zest, or whatever your heart desires :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chocolate Nutella Espresso Mug Cake

So I originally found this recipe here and I instantly fell in love. It's such a wonderful idea for a snack for one or two and look how cute it is! So I figured I'd make my own version.

For one mug:
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. milk
3 tbsp. Nutella
1 heaping tsp. espresso powder or instant coffee powder (less if you're not into a strong espresso flavour)
3 tbsp. cocoa
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. flour

Directions:
1. With fork, whisk egg and add coffee powder and oil, mix well.
2. Add cocoa and coffee powder, mix well, again.
3. Add the Nutella, and really mix well, because it's thicker.
4. Add the sugar, flour, and milk, mix until creamy.
4. Microwave on high for 2.5-3 minutes. Once cooled add whipped cream and strawberries or some white chocolate and caramel. Enjoy!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

the cookie jar - what's wrong with it?

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For as long as I've been baking (about nine years now, wow!) never have I ever been able to succeed in making a cookie just right. They always, always are either too flat, too puffy, and always, always dry out after the first day. This problem though, has only ever lived within my kitchen. When I was a culinary student my subconscious gathered that what I was doing was going to be judged, and decided to turn out wonderfully. Sadly, that was the first and only time that happened.

So, when I found yet another recipe for the simple chocolate chip cookie, I figured I had nothing to lose if I tried it out (except for all those ingredients that my mother bought...so nothing to lose!) Once again, I was highly disappointed with my ability (or more so lack of) to make chocolate chip cookies.

I used Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe because it looked absolutely delectable. But, even though the delicious tingling taste bud sense was there, they looked awful. I followed all the instructions to the T, but I got flat cookies. And even though they were supposed to be flat, I'm sure they weren't supposed to be crepe flat.

So, if you happen to make this recipe just for kicks (or any other favourite cookie recipe for that matter), would you mind telling me your little secret to success? It would be so lovely!

Some day when I'm married and have children, my children will be the most deprived when it comes to cookies if their own baker of a mother can't make a simple chocolate chip cookie.

P.S. I found a new blog that's got sooooo many wonderful recipes! She collects them and posts all on her blog page with photos galore! It's like you just walked into a buffet line and you don't know what to pick first to eat (or in this case, make). So, go check out FoodGwaker and tell me your favourite new treasures!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

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Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco oil/canola oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup hot water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease either 13x9 inch pan or 9 inch springform pan.
2. In large bowl mix together the first four ingredients.
3. In small bowl combine the next three ingredients, mix well (batter will be a bit dry). Add the hot water and mix until consistent.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

*The cake in the photo is two 9 inch cakes, a recipe and a half divided into two pans.
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