Sunday, September 27, 2009

Too much time on my hands...

You know you have too much time on your hands when you make homemade crackers. They are really one of those things you just buy. For the labour and ingredients, it probably is cheaper, both in terms of cost of ingredients and time value, to just buy the stupid things, but I digress. It was neat to make them and they were pretty tasty! They were fast and easy. Alone, they are a bit bland, but they are great with cheese or with hummus or a dip. I would really like to try the other recipe for Cumin-Caraway Rounds, but didn't have rye flour on hand. I need to pick some up!

As for the recipe, I used dried parsley instead of fresh, because I didn't have any on hand. This was probably a mistake, because there wasn't quite enough moisture. I had to almost double the milk and oil to make them stick.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens, New Baking Book

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat, next time I would do half and half)
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp milk (I had to almost double this... see above)
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley (I used dried, probably a mistake)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (Again, almost double this)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onion
  • kosher salt


1. In a good processor, combine flour, sage, salt and pepper. Briefly process to combine. Add milk, parsley, oil and green onion. Cover and process until just combined. The dough will look crumbly, but should stick together in a ball.
2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and flatten into a rectangle. Roll out until around 12x9 inches and 1/16 inch thick. Trim uneven edges and prick holes all over with a fork. Cut into rectangles, about 3 x 1 1/2 inches. Transfer to pan and sprinkle with salt.
3. Bake at 325 F for 18 to 20 minutes, or until crackers are starting to brown and firm to the touch. Cool on rack and store in ziplock container.

Pulled Pork

I just realized that I have made this a number of times, but never posted the recipe. It is probably my favorite thing to make in the crock-pot. It goes very well on buns, over rice on on a salad. It is a great (and cheap!) way to feed a crowd!

Source: Me!

  • 1 shoulder, butt (picnic) of pork
  • 2 onions, chopped and divided
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp worchestire sauce
  • 1 bottle of beer (add a little water too, depending on the size of the meat)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 bottles of your favorite BBQ sauce (We like bullseye chicken and rib sauce)


1. Rub pork with salt and pepper. Cook on low with 1 onion, garlic, worchestire and beer for 7-8hrs.
2. Drain liquid. Shred pork, removing any bone and fat. Stir in BBQ sauce and extra onion. Let cook on high for about 15-20 mins, so BBQ sauce soaks in and onion softens.
3. Serve on buns, over rice or salad.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Best Ever Big Soft Ginger Cookies

I have been on a real baking kick lately. Over the past couple of years, I have learned to cook pretty well. I like the freedom of cooking, you can just toss things in to suit your fancy and it will likely turn out. Baking is a completely different beast and the discipline scares me. My sister (who is also a great cook) is an excellent baker, so in the true spirit of sibling rivalry, I have decided that if she can do it, so can I!

These cookies were fabulous. They reminded me of my grandmother and the times where she would let us have tea, before we were really old enough to be allowed tea, with her excellent soft ginger cookies. I have a feeling these will be an "heirloom" recipe.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens, New Baking Book

  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar


1. In a medium bowl mix up the flour, spices and soda. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter with the mixer for 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar. Add the egg and molasses and beat well.
3. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture. This part was tough, because it didn't seem like there was enough liquid for all that flour, but if you keep working it, it will mix in. It will be a bit crummy though.
4. Make 1 1/2 inch balls out of the dough. It takes about about a heaping tbsp for each ball. Roll the balls in the extra sugar and put on a cookie sheet with a good amount of space between them. I thought it was strange to sit them on the pan in balls, but they will flatten out.
5. Bake them on 350 F for 10 minutes. They will still feel soft and puffed when you take them out, but do not be alarmed (I know, you were freaking out), they should not be over cooked! Let them cool for a couple of minutes, until they fall and firm up a bit, then put them on a cooling wrack. Voila!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Peach-filled Phyllo bundles

Source: Better Homes and Gardens, New Baking Book

  • Butter-flavour nonstick spray coating
  • 12 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 12 sheets of phyllo dough
  • Optional: whipped cream, powdered sugar, fresh raspberries or peach slices


1. Spray four 6-ounce custard cups and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine peaches, sugar, chocolate chips, flour and lemon juice. Set aside.
2. Unfold the phyllo dough. Take 1 sheet and spray with butter spray, lay a sheet on top and spray, continue until you have 4 sheets sprayed together. Cut the big rectangle into 4 smaller rectangles.
3. Put the phyllo in the cutard cup and gently push it down to the bottom. The phyllo will hang over the edges. Fill each cup with about 1/2 c. of the peach filling. Close the top up by just kind of bunching it up. They will look like little bags. Spray the fully formed bundles.
4. Bake at 375 F for around 20 minutes. Cool and serve. You can garnish them with whipped cream, powdered sugar or fresh fruit.


I didn't have custard cups, so I used my spring form giant muffin pans and it worked just find! They were very tasty and light; the recipe book says they are only 164 cals! Everyone liked them and they looked sort of "fancy"!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting


Spice cake:

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 c. shortening
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk (I used 1 tbsp of vinegar and milk, set for 5 mins)


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease 13x9x2 inch baking pan or 2 round layer cake pans.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices).
3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening on high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla and beat.
4. Alternatively beat in milk and flour mixture at low speed until well combined.
5. Pour into pan(s). Bake 30-35 mins for round pans or 35-40 mins for rectangle pan and until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 mins. Out of pan until well cooled and frost.

Penuche Frosting:

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 3/4 -2 c. icing sugar


1. Melt butter. Stir in brown sugar. Boil for 2 mins.
2. Remove from heat, cool to lukewarm. Stir or beat in icing sugar. Add more icing sugar or milk as needed.


The cake was delicious! Light and airy with just the right amount of spice. The icing was very tasty, although maybe just a shade sweet. I also got the consistency all wrong. I added WAY too much icing sugar too quickly, so got almost a fudge-like consistency and the icing was drying out fast as I was using it on the cake. Next time: less icing sugar and add it more slowly, really giving it time to thicken.