Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gustatory Déjà vu ~~~

Gustatory Déjà vu is just what I call it. The only reason I even know that word is because I was in the dental profession for more years than I care to remember…. Gustatory, that is, not the deja vu part…lol ….that is from another time..... ..

It means having to do with the sensation of tasting.

Have you ever put something in your mouth and all of a sudden felt transported to another place and time? Not always a perfect place…but most of the times it seems a strange and pretty good experience. That happened to me this morning… and it may have been because I was eating a cranberry/banana muffin after eating a very sweet little butter tart square…after eating a peanut butter smeared cracker. Hmmmm…. maybe it was just the combination of the flavors …. who knows… but I felt like I was somewhere back in the days when I was about 12 or something. Weird.

I was supposed to be testing some squares because I am taking some to the doll club meeting next week….. but it was early so I was also having some brekky… and then I tossed in the muffin for good measure…hahahha…. Silly me. Yikes. That was enough sugar for the whole day.

Must type out that butter tart squares recipe…it is a keeper.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fish dinner tonight! Oh, alright we are not eating that fish...but it looks good in the picture right? My brother the all 'round outdoorsman... and he cooks and does dishes too! Sent me a pic of his fun day at the lake.

Salmon roll-ups ...that is what we really had. A fillet sliced almost open... and stuffed with a mix of mashed potatoes, wild rice, small knob of butter and drizzle of oil, tiny bits of diced carrots, peppers, celery....fold the fillet back on top of the mound of doesn't close or cover it of course!...then put a light smear of butter on top... sprinkle of pepper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. YUMMY!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Today, while blog hopping, I found a great recipe!
It was for chicken...but I had pork just adapted it to suit me. Oh, was it yummy!

"Blog hopping"... what fun! Of course, it can take hours of your day if you let it, but, every so often it can be very rewarding.

Remember "plan-overs"??.... here it is in action. A lovely meal... and plenty of meat and sauce left over. Also..the two smaller had some rice and the other a bit of mashed spuds.... they were sitting in the fridge. Waste not... want not.. There was enough sauce to add some to those as well and they can be lunches for me, while the larger containers will be lunch for "you-know-who"....

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Tip for making sure you always have something good to eat in emergency situations: .... make what I call "plan-overs". Some people call them leftovers...not me. At my house.... these things are planned.

I make and freeze lunches on a regular basis because Greg takes them to work. It is so simple...just toss in an extra spud.. make an extra chop or enough chicken to have a few pieces left for making up a great lunch. Instead of putting leftovers in the fridge.. put them into a lunch size Rubbermaid container... meat, potatoes...peas, beans or carrots...whatever you have left over and add some more veggies if necessary, then freeze them. I label them and stack them on one side of my freezer on a little shelf... I like to have about half a dozen or so in there at any one time so that I can pick and choose what to send in his backpack.

The guys at his office call them Greg's Envy Lunches. They always comment on the aromas wafting from the microwave at lunchtime...even stop by to see what he is heating up... some of the guys thought it was a great idea and have now begun to bring their own lunches. They hate eating out every day...not to mention how expensive it can get. .. and don't like bringing sandwiches.

I also love to have some great things in the freezer for days like today. If I get outside in the good weather...and/or, especially if Greg is finding us things to keep us busy for too many is imperative. Who wants to come in the house ... late in the afternoon.. dirty, tired and feeling not the least bit like cooking and try to whip up a gourmet meal? Well, not me anyway.....

For lunch or snacks to keep us going... it is whatever I find in the fridge when we get hungry. Today it was a Jamaican meat patty, a cinnamon bagel that I toasted and slathered with peanut butter, a banana and more juice. You would think after about 5 glasses of juice we would feel "juice logged"..but we must have been working it off as fast as we drank it. Matter of fact I worked off a pound.... I know that because I weighed myself in the morning... what a slave driver that guy is.

Supper today ended up being turkey chili that we found in the freezer and heated while getting cleaned up. We had fresh whole wheat Kaiser buns too...yum! I was so sore and tired I didn't care what I ate really..but that was wonderful.

Days are absolutely flying by; I want to test a few more recipes before posting them. I need to feel they are pretty much perfect in my own eyes before I expect you to try them. No point in
having you try one...finding it not great and then.... leery of trying another. Nope...can't have

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Hey!! No fair checking out the should be looking at those steaming muffins! See my Picturetrail Site... you will understand. This place is Renovation Central. The tiles really are coming...................................

Yesterday was a perfect baking day. Pouring rain most of it. Love it when the smell of baking pervades the whole house on a cold and dreary day. Today it was Banana Chocolate Chip mega muffins. Well, my muffins are always mega as I have a wonderful muffin tin that only has 8 spots. When I make muffins...I want a MUFFIN! Not that I eat many of them.... I just like to have plenty in the freezer because my husband takes lunches to work and usually a muffin goes along for the ride. But...if I want one..I know where to find one.

I have a thing about home made muffins.....'cuz "store bought" are horrible in my book!! I bought a couple once....wouldn't waste my money on them now that I know how to bake. They are what I call "cake disguised as muffins"....which is really a cupcake to me..ick. Cake batter is fine texture; muffin batter is more .... er...rustic looking. That's how I like my muffins .... rustic looking; not all smooth and fine. Perhaps because they are baked in such quantities for business, and I suppose they do have to make sure the ingredients are all mixed, but to my way of thinking it gets mixed too much. Too much for me anyway.

When I do muffins I thoroughly combine wet ingredients in my mixer... then..add all the dry ingredients at the same time... gently fold in by hand with my wooden spoon ...just until incorporated.... spoon huge dollops into each of the 8 spaces of my muffin tin (with muffin papers in each of course so that clean up is minimal) and yummy, perfect muffins! Of course, ingredients also make a huge difference.... what can I say? With home baked goodies we can regulate the ingredients and adjust anything and everything to suit our taste buds, our lifestyle and our health concerns.

On Teddy Talk the other day there was talk of ... "when life gives u lemons"?.... well, my response is always... hey..lemons!! I can use those..... for Lemon Loaf.... or Lemon Blueberry Muffins.... or my sister's Lemon Squares... or.... Well, anyway.... there is absolutely no shortage of what to do if I am handed lemons or find them hiding in my crisper. What? doesn't mean literally?..... oh...........

Lemon blueberry muffins. When I heard that Tim Horton's was coming out with those I absolutely had to try one because those two flavours together?... all I can say is YUM! Ran out to my car with my coffee and a muffin... ready to savour each bite... yech! Do you know I tossed it? What a shame. So...I went home and over the winter I perfected my own. Yeah... you probably think I am nuts..but this is a blog about baking, cooking etc.... so.... read on, move on or send me your own recipes.... ....hahahhahha ..My Lemon Blueberry muffins are great if I do say so myself; and I do.... They get great comments from anybody who tries them and I even have people that call to order a batch every so often for their own freezers.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


The Italians use the term biscotti to refer to any type of cookie. In North America, biscotti is used to describe a long, dry, hard twice-baked cookie with a curved top and flat bottom designed for dunking into wine or coffee. The name biscotti is derived from 'bis' meaning twice in Italian and 'cotto' meaning baked or cooked.
Biscotti is said to have originated during Columbus's time and credited to an Italian baker who originally served them with Tuscan wines. They became so popular that every province developed their own flavored version. Because of their long storage ability they were an ideal food for sailors, soldiers, and fisherman. Most European countries have adopted their own version of biscotti: English - rusks, French - biscotte and croquets de carcassonne, Germans - zwieback, Greeks - biskota and paxemadia, Jewish - mandelbrot, and Russians - sukhariki.
Traditionally biscotti were almond flavored as almonds were readily available in Italy and nearby countries. Now your imagination is the only limiting factor to what can be added to these popular cookies; dried fruits, chocolate, different varieties of nuts, seeds, spices, etc. Frequently found iced with melted chocolate or frostings, and topped with nuts and even colored sprinkles.
The sticky dough is first shaped into a 12 inch (30cm) log and baked until firm. After a short cooling period, the log is sliced into diagonal slices and baked again to draw out the moisture thus producing a crisp, dry textured cookie that has a long shelf life. Recipes containing butter or oil will have a softer texture and will not keep as long as the traditional recipes that only use eggs to bind the ingredients together.

Double Chocolate Biscotti with Cranberries

1/2 cup (113 grams) butter (if u prefer use unsalted and add pinch salt)
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups (245 grams) all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt (I prefer to omit this if I use salted butter ..)
1/2 cup (45 grams) good, dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup (50 grams) dried cranberries (chop into smaller pieces for easier slicing)
1/2 cup (90 grams) white chocolate chunks or chips
1/2 cup or so of toasted, chopped almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In electric mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. (sifting cocoa powder first will remove lumps and make it much easier to incorporate into flour mixture) Add to butter mixture and beat to combine. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks or chips.

With floured hands, transfer dough to parchment lined baking pan and divide in half. Form into2 logs about 12 inches long spaced well apart on the sheet. Then pat with hands to slightly flatten each log. I leave mine about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.

Bake until firm to touch, about 25 to 30 mins or so… the logs do spread during baking.
Remove from oven, place on wire rack and let cool for about 10 to 20 mins…(I find 20 mins. usually makes easier slicing.)

Transfer logs to cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut the logs. On the diagonal, cut slices about 3/4 of an inch thick. Arrange slices on their sides on the baking sheet and bake another 10 mins. at about 325F.(160C) Turn slices over and bake until crisp and dry…about another 10 mins. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

To fancy them up … how about a glaze of white chocolate? Melt some more white chocolate (about 3 ounces) and 1 tsp. vegetable shortening in small bowl over simmering water. Watch carefully…and stir as it melts…..white chocolate burns easily! Use spatula to spread on or swipe each piece of biscotti through the chocolate if you don’t mind a few dark crumbs in your chocolate. Enjoy!!

TIP:.. because biscotti is sliced on the diagonal… I make the ends of each log diagonal…in the direction I will be slicing. You actually get more biscotti from each log… less wasted in the cutting. Although..the little crunchy ends are always mine…..
all mine!!!

Cranberry Orange Loaf

Okay!! I know this is not cookies as I promised..but..I did figure out how to get the recipe here from Word ...finally!!! So, I am a happy camper; will go ahead and do my recipes in Word, transfer them and have them as I want them to appear. Yesssss!!

Later today I will get the cookies posted...but first, brekky and friend Maggi from the doll club is coming by to play with some clay or some bear fur ...we haven't yet decided which.........

Easy Cranberry Orange Loaf

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt...(I never use it as I think there is plenty in the butter)
1/2 or 1 tsp. finely grated (or zested) orange rind. (it says of whole orange...ick..too much!)
small handful of cranberries...I used dried from Safeway bulk bins..but Craisins will work too... or fresh or frozen ....

Mix together flour, baking powder, soda and salt in bowl. In larger bowl, beat together butter, sugar and egg til smooth. Stir in juice and grated orange rind. Pour in flour mixture... stirring until just moistened. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake in 350F (180 C.) preheated oven for one hour ...until loaf is a lovely brown colour. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Oh, and when you test the center?...If you use a knife to check for doneness?....DONT LICK IT! I did.... OUCH!!!!! Yep that is how I fried my tongue and could hardly talk for two days !! Man... that was hot!

Then.... make tea and enjoy!!!!!! yum....

Saturday, May 19, 2007

milk with those cookies?.

Okay...sorry, no cookies today...but soon.... honest! My first recipe will guessed it, ........cookies!!

Busy day today just organizing my other blog which is dedicated to bear and doll making endeavors. Check that one out too. Finally got most of my blog roll set up over was a lot of clicking and hand was "twingly" by the end of a few hours of that. I wanted to get it finished and have things moving along in the reciprocity department.

I was originally planning to have some recipes, tips and tricks on there as well.. but... nope.... changed my mind. This will be the place for that. Along with a few other tidbits of course... not all edible.

Here it is, midnight again....why do I always end up doing this at the witching hour? Hahahha.... all of a sudden I got a mental image of me as a "kitchen witch".... remember those? Dangling on her scraggly little broom somewhere in your kitchen? Dating myself there for sure. Perhaps I should make one for the site. Nah.... I prefer the bears having their little tea party.... ...

Off I go then for this day.....and tomorrow I will share a great, well tested cookie recipe of mine that will get you some rave reviews.