Thursday, November 24, 2011

Baked French Toast

This is a fantastic dish to serve at a brunch because it requires so little work! It can also be prepared the night before allowing the bread to soak up the egg mixture overnight.

Sorry for the lack of photos. I made this for the "crew" the morning we poured our new concrete steps and it disappeared before I could get a picture.

Serves four

1 large sour dough loaf
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries
3 tablespoons raw or brown sugar

Preheat over to 350 F. Grease a 9x12 casserole.

Cut the bread into one inch cubes and place into a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Pour the mixture over top of the bread and stir to ensure all of the bread is well covered.

Transfer to the casserole and top with blueberries and sugar.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot with your favourite french toast toppings.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chèvre Goat Cheese

Fresh goat cheese or Chèvre is one of the easiest cheeses to make and only takes a day before it is ready to be eaten.

I order all of my cheese cultures and supplies from The Cheesemaker but you can also get convenient starter kits from Urban Cheesecraft.

From 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes; From Cheddar and Brie to Butter and Yogurt by Debra Amrein-Boyes, makes about 2 pounds

4 litres goat milk
1/4 teaspoon mesophilic culture
1 drop liquid rennet
Kosher salt

In a large pot, warm the milk to 77 F or 25 C, constantly stirring. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle the culture over the surface of the milk and let stand for about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon and a gentle up-down motion, mix the culture into the milk. 

Dilute the rennet in 1 tablespoon of cool water. Add to the milk and combine using the same up-down motion. Cover the pot and let rest at room temperature for 24 hours. 

After 24 hours the milk will have formed a large disk of curd that is floating on top of the whey.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the curd to a draining bog or to a cheesecloth lined colander. Let the curd drain for 6 to 7 hours.

Remove the cheese from the bag and place into a bowl. Weight the cheese and add 1% of the weight in the cheese in salt. For example, the cheese should weigh approximately 2 pounds or 900 grams, therefore you would add 9 grams of salt. If the cheese is to be eaten immediately, simply add salt to taste.

The cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Serves four

5 pounds mussels
1/2 pound spicey italian sausage, chopped
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeño
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups white wine
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup cream

Clean the mussels and discard any mussels with cracked shells. If any mussels are open, tap them gently against the counter and discard any mussels that don't close up within a few minutes.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the sausage until cooked through. Add the onion, garlic and peppers, saute until soft.

Add the broth, jalapeno, tomatoes and wine to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Add the mussles and cover the pan.

Simmer until the mussels have opened, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Stir in the cream and basil, simmer for an additional minute.

Serve hot with crusty bread.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Pepper Jelly

From Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving, makes five 8 ounce jars

12 ounces jalapeño peppers, stemmed and seeded
2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
2 pouches pectin

Sterilize the jars and lids. Fill the canner with water and bring to a boil.

In a food processor, puree the peppers and 1 cup of the vinegar until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Add the remaining vinegar and the sugar. Bring to a boil over high hear. Stirring constantly, boil for 10 minutes. Stir in the pectin and continuing boiling for another minute. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.

Pour the jelly into the prepared jars. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe rim clean and fasten lid.

Process the jars for 10 minutes in the boiling water bath. Remove the jars and allow to cool.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cheese Sauce

Adapted from AllRecipes

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups milk
1/3 cup cooking sherry (optional)
1 cup shredded cheese - any combination of swiss, cheddar, mozzarella, etc

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add in the flour, paprika, mustard, and pepper. Stir constantly until the flour begins to brown. Add the milk and sherry, stirring constantly until thickened.

Stir in the cheeses until melted and well blended.

Serve over broccoli or your favorite vegetables.



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chalk Paint

This is not a edible recipe but a fun one none-the-less. I have been looking for an excuse to try making my own chalk paint ever since I spotted the recipe on Centsational Girl and Shauna's baby shower turned out to be the perfect occasion (yes I know I am four months late posting this...). I painted plain wooden ovals from Michael's and then adhered them to skewers and clothes pins to make miniature signs for the food.

I stuck with the traditional charcoal colour but you can make this any colour your heart desires.

Adapted from Centsational Girl, makes approximately one cup

3/4 to 1 cup of latex or acrylic paint
2 tablespoons non-sanded grout

In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the paint and grout. Mix until combined.

Continue adding paint as required until the paint has the consistency of "runny oatmeal". No matter how hard you mix, the paint will not be perfectly smooth and will still have small grains of grout.


Apply as you would regularily apply craft paint. As you apply the paint, the majority of the grout granules will dissolve resulting in a relatively smooth surface but pick out any larger lumps of grout. Multiple coats maybe required to get good coverage.

Happy crafting!

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