Monthly Archives: July 2011

Baking for My Man….

Between the two of us, Mr. Ginge is the most adventurous when it comes to food. He will try anything once (seriously…. we have alligator in our freezer right now), knows all sorts of great little specialty shops and markets, and, more often than not, is the one telling me that I am picky and am missing out on a good thing.

Put simply, Mr Ginge is the bigger foodie.

Don’t let this fool you though. There are some very distinct rules I have learned when it comes to baking for him.

1)No matter how hard you try, absolutely nothing beats his Grandma’s apple pie.

2) Do not muck up his treats by adding nuts, raisins, fruit, or other such nonsense. In his very own words ” If I wanted a nut, I will eat a nut.” End of story.

3) Do not mess with his desserts. He likes them for a reason, and he likes them that way. No exceptions.

4) You can never have enough of a good thing. Honestly, apple pies made for him are dark, dark brown from the amount of cinnamon in them.

These cookies are no exception to this rule. They have chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate, which in his books, is always a good thing.

I used dark chocolate, white chocolate, and mint chocolate, which are among his favorites, but they would be great with whatever chocolate you prefer.

Minty Chocolate and White Chocolate Cookies.

makes about 30 cookies

  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate ( I used 70%), melted and cooled.
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4  tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mint chocolate squares, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 325ºF.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, blend your sugars. Cream in the butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Add your eggs, on at a time, blending well after each.
  5. Add the vanilla and the cooled chocolate, mixing well.
  6. Slowly add the flour mix until just combined. Stir in the chips and the chopped chocolate.
  7. Scoop out onto a cookie sheet, a couple tablespoons each, and bake for about 15 minutes.
  8. Let them cool a couple minutes on the pan, and either enjoy warm, or let them cool completely on a wire rack

Enjoy!

-Mel

Categories: Cookies | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

I will never learn…..

Trying a new recipe the night before you need them for a party=Huge mess.

Categories: Misc. | Tags: , | Leave a comment

An Unusual Nugget….

When we were little, we used to camp often during the summer. Sometimes we would camp in tents at a site, other times at my grandparents farm. We had a tent trailer which my parents parked out in the front pasture. Every few weekends during the summer, we would go out and visit then camp out in the trailer.

One story that comes up often, happened to me when I was about 5 years old. Mom and Dad had put us to bed, and the last thing I remember is curling up and going to sleep. The next thing I remember is waking up on the ground, outside of the trailer. So I ran around front and knocked on the trailer door to be let back in. Now this scared the bejeebers out of my parents, since by then it was late at night, and as far as they knew, we were all long asleep. Much to their surprise, they found me on the other side of the door. :D

Another favorite is the time we ate snake. One evening, my parents thought it would be funny to play a joke on us.  When we asked what was for dinner, mom showed us the piece of meat she was preparing, and told us very seriously “Snake”  hoping to shock us. Dinner came, and she served us up these round slices of ‘snake’. Surprisingly, we gobbled it up (we were picky eaters), and later that night when we went inside to brush our teeth, we ran up to my Gran and told her all about the snake we ate for dinner.

Since then, pork tenderloin has been known as snake ( or at least has brought up this story).

Be sure to make lots, it flies (slithers?) off the plate!

Snake (a.k.a Cracker Fried Pork Nuggets)

serves 2-4

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 sleeve soda crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • oil for frying
  1. Preheat about 1/2 cm/ 1/4 in of oil in a large pan
  2. Trim your tenderloin of fat and the silverskin, then cut into medallions, about a centimeter/ 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Mix together the four, salt, pepper and paprika, then set up your breading station.
  4. Dredge each piece of pork in flour, then in egg, then in the crackers.
  5. Fry them for a couple minutes on each side until the crackers are golden and the meat is no longer pink.
  6. Drain them on a paper towel to remove excess grease.

Don’t they look sssssssssssscrumptioussssssss?

(OK…. that was awful…. :P )

-Mel

————————————————

It has been brought to my attention that it was, in fact, not this recipe but another one for grilled pork tenderloin that my parents told us was snake ( makes sense you know because it would have been whole….). I have just come to associate these nuggets with that story. Still really tasty and the only thing that ever gets made when we have pork tenderloin in the house :)

-Mel

Categories: Main Dishes | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

My week so far….

It’s only Tuesday, but has it ever been one heck of a week. :)

Sunday, my parents celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary.

29 YEARS! It’s pretty awesome if you ask me! My family and some close family friends all piles out onto the patio for a wonderful barbecue and a game of golf, card style(Which by the way it WAY more fun with a rowdy bunch of people like my fam-jam ! :D).  I have to say, I was amazed at how big our get togethers seem to be getting! I am also amazed at the sheer number of mosquito bites that I have as a result of said barbecue!

Sunday was also failed angel food cake day. It was bad….. like giant weird marshmallowy goo bad. :S Oh well. Better luck next time.

Monday morning started off a bit rough. Sadly, my location was not one of the 21 remaining open. After more than 4 years with the company it was a bitter sweet goodbye. I wish I had before-and-after pictures to show you. The change was dramatic. I wish all the best to all the former employees out there looking for jobs, and thankful that I am not worse off.

Today is Orangemen’s Day! Up until recently this meant absolutely nothing to me, but apparently it is a Protestant holiday celebrated most commonly by those of Irish or Scottish descent. My mom would go to the Orangemen’s Day Parade when she was a girl.

This is how much of a noob I am. Since I am of Irish descent ( My maternal grandpa’s parents immigrated from Ireland), I always liked to celebrate St Patrick’s day, wearing green and eating corned beef and potatoes or Irish stew. It never occurred to me that maybe my ancestors were Protestant! Oops…. I did intend on making an honorary orange meal…. but it slipped my mind. We had hot chicken sandwiches instead. :)

I’m totally hooked on River Monsters….. I may never swim again, but I can’t seem to stop watching it !

How has your week been going?

-Mel

Categories: Misc. | Tags: | Leave a comment

Cupcake leftovers

So because I was icing cupcakes as I rushed out the door for a barbecue, I ended up with a few extra naked cupcakes.

So what to do?

Mr. Ginge really likes the red velvet cheesecake that the grocery store makes. Since I had some extra cake I thought I would give it a whirl.

What I ended up with was kinda a cross of cupcake-in-a-bowl, no bake cheesecake and trifle. Call it as you will, it was still pretty scrumptious.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Trifle:

Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 2-3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 c red velvet cake ( I used about 3 cup cakes, the recipe I used is here)
  • 1 pkg dessert topping, made according to the package directions
  • 1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese softened.
  • 1/4 c sugar
  1. Combine your graham crumbs and butter, then press lightly into the bottom of a bowl.
  2. Send the cake through the food processor until you get some fine crumbs ( or if you are looking for more of a cakey  taste, like Mr Ginge, just cube up the cake into little cubes)
  3. Cream together the cream cheese and the sugar until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the prepared topping and mix until combined.
  5. Pour half of the cheese mixture over the graham crumbs. Top with cake crumbs, saving some to decorate the top. Pour the rest of the cheese mixture on top of the cake and sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on top.
  6. Refrigerate for several hours to let set.

Now that I look at this dessert, it would have been a much easier dessert to have made for Canada day! Much more festive too! Oh well.

-Mel

P.S. I spent all afternoon playing hide and seek with my sisters little kitten. Isn’t he just a cutie?He tried kidnapping my camera a few times, by dragging it by the wristlet into his little hidey fort.

Categories: Dessert | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Happy (Early) Birthday to Me

Ok, so my birthday is not for another few months, but I’m kinda excited about my present so I had to share!

(sorry it’s a little dark…. I have no light in my kitchen!)

Thanks Mr. Ginge!

Categories: Misc. | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Sometimes you win…….

…..And sometimes you don’t.

Earlier this week I had a little girl about 6 or 7 come in and ask where the restrooms were. Since I get asked this question at least a 100 times a shift, I gave her my usually line and told her the washrooms were else where in the mall. Apparently this was not the answer that she wanted, because before she stormed of, did she ever give me one heck of a death stare. As if I was purposely withholding secret bathroom information, just to laugh in glee as she did the pee dance. As if I was telling her “no” to specifically ruin her day. I was still stunned as both her and her mother left my store and headed in the general direction of the washrooms.

Later, when I got over my initial shock, I laughed to myself.

The cupcakes I made for Canada day, were the Everything-Went-Wrong-Cupcakes. Imagine them as me in the story. Then imagine my attempts to create these confectionery delights, as the little girl in the story. I had originally hoped to create a red velvet cupcake with a white chocolate filling topped with a red and white swirl icing.  This is how they turned out:

Still very cute, however not at all how I had imagined. I had hoped to make these last Wednesday and get them up Thursday before Canada day. Except I got called in for a shift on Wednesday. So that didn’t work. The cupcakes themselves, worked nicely, however the filling did not. The chocolate did not met well at all so I ended up with a chunky white chocolate slime that apparently  tasted like root beer. I have no idea how that happened. So by Thursday night, I had un-iced cupcakes and slimy filling. Awesome.

So I set the alarm to get up in the morning and ice the cupcakes before work. Except instead of setting my alarm I apparently turned it off.

When I finally got them iced… well as you can see  it’s not swirly.

Oh well, they still got eaten :)

The cupcake ended up being more like a red chocolate cupcake then a true red velvet and I topped it with just a basic icing.

Canada Day Red Cupcakes:

Makes about 26-28 cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 2 c sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk or light cream
  • enough red food colouring to make a very red batter ( I used about a tsp of the gel food colouring)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line your muffin tin with liners.
  2. Sift together your flour, cocoa, soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Cream together your butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add your eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  5.  Add in the flour alternating with the milk in three equal parts, mixing until combined.
  6. Finally add in the vanilla and enough food colouring until you have a bright red batter.
  7. Fill your cupcake  liners 2/3 full and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure they are done.
  8. Let them cool completely and then top with your favorite icing.

Again I just topped them with a basic frosting that I had died red.

Enjoy!

-Mel

Categories: Cake and Cupcakes | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Happy Canada Day!

Hope that you are enjoying the beautiful sunshine this weekend! Or if you have to work like me, hopefully you day goes by quickly so you can get out there and have some fun!

I won’t lie, I don’t have a recipe to put up with this post, but I will hope to get it up later for you! This time management thing is clearly not my forte!

-Mel

Categories: Misc. | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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