Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 Gifts from the Kitchen, as seen on SHAW TV

2011 Gifts from the Kitchen, as seen on SHAW TV


Perfect for gift-giving in a cellophane bag tied with ribbon!

3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 TSP baking powder
1/2 TSP salt
2 TSP dried ginger
2 TSP cinnamon
1/2 TSP cloves
1/4 TSP allspice

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, dry-toasted in frying pan till puffed
1/2 cup chopped cranraisins

chopped white (or dark) chocolate for garnish - ~1/3 cup if just doing a drizzle, about 2/3 cup or more if dipping

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, stirring with a whisk to completely combine. In a large glass measure, mix together the pumpkin and vanilla, whisking to combine. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Add the pumpkin seeds and cranraisins, mix to combine.

Divide the dough into four portions. Shape each portion (flour your hands, if necessary) into 15 inch long log, approx. 1 inch in height. Place the logs at least 3 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool logs for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F. Then, using a serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Place the slices back on the baking sheets (they can be close to each other now) and bake for 15 minutes (20 minutes if they are a little thicker than 1/2 inch) Cool completely on a wire rack.

White Chocolate Garnish:Fill a small pot 1/3 way with water; find a glass bowl that will sit nicely on top without the bottom actually touching the water (adjust water level as needed). Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a bare simmer. Add the white chocoate, stirring until completely melted. Dip one end, or one side, of each biscotti into the chocolate, then place on parchment to set.
Alternatively, you can drizzle chocolate over the biscotti sitting on top of a cooling rack, with a cookie sheet or parchment beneath to catch the excess.


This makes a ton, as it's designed for gift-giving. It stores perfectly in the freezer, or scale recipe accordingly. Pack in holiday tins, or cellophane bags, for a gift that's sure to be loved!

1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP baking soda
2 TSP vanilla extract
Optional: few drops of pure Maple extract (Boyajian brand - contact me for info if you love maple flavour and would like to purchase some)
1 cup unpopped popcorn (if kernels are kept in freezer, they will pop bigger & fluffier)

Heat oven to 250F. Cook the popcorn using method of your choice. Place the popped corn in lightly greased bowl(s).

In a small pot, melt together the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then allow to boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from mheat & stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract and maple extract (if using). Pour the mixture over the popcorn, mixing well to combine. Turn into a large roasting pan(s).

Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool, stirring every so often to keep popcorn from clumping.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Spring 2011 Recipes as Seen on Shaw TV

Caakiri - a West African Dessert

Typically made with couscous (a durum semolina product), this rice-pudding-like dessert would have originally been made with a grain similar to millet. If you love rice pudding, but the idea of standing at the stove for half an hour is unappealing, this recipe is for you. Light versions of one or both of the yoghurt and sour cream can easily be used in this recipe, as they do not get cooked. I don't add any additional sugar to the mixture, as I find the caakiri sweet enough with the condensed milk and the sweetened vanilla.

2 cups uncooked couscous
4 cups water
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 TSP salt
1 TBSP butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 TSP vanilla
2 cups yoghurt (vanilla-flavoured, preferably)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP freshly grated nutmeg
sugar, to taste
cinnamon (for garnish)
any combination of fruit/seeds/chopped nuts for garnish

Bring the water, sugar & salt to a boil. Place the uncooked couscous in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water mixture over the couscous, stirring briefly to make sure there are no lumps. Cover with saran wrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and fluff with a fork. The couscous will be wetter than normal couscous recipes, where the ratio is closer to 1:1. If the couscous is too dry at this stage, the pudding will eventually solidify. Add the butter, fluffing with fork until melted. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the condensed milk, vanilla, yoghurt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sour cream. Pour over the couscous, mixing to combine. At this point, taste for sweetness. Add additional sugar, if desired. Pour the mixture, or part of the mixture, into a serving platter.

Garnish elaborately (think strips, swirls, etc). Leave some space(s) for sprinkled cinnamon (or sprinkle cinnamon over the entire dish before garnishing so it can be seen through the garnish) Serve warm, or chilled. Store in the refrigerator.