Almost every Sunday morning, either Mr. Ginge or I roll out of bed, throw on some coffee and heat up a pan for breakfast.
Our usual rotation includes french toast, bacon and eggs, and sometimes pancakes thrown in. If we are really feeling fancy, we’ll head out to one of the local diners for breakfast.
So it goes with out saying that my initial idea for this month’s Improv Challenge, hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, was to make breakfast. Except, I could think of anything that I really loved, and that honestly as a challenge.
When I noticed some pizza dough in the freezer it hit me. One of my favourite treats when I was a kids was bacon double cheeseburger pizzas. I would literally beg my dad to order it instead of the usual pepperoni. We’ve also been on a bit of a calzone kick, every once and a while picking one up when we’re out visiting friends. And with that the idea was born. With a quick egg wash, I had something both delicious and challenge worthy.
Bacon Double Cheese Burger Pockets
makes 6 pockets
- Homemade or store bought pizza dough ( I made my own, but after the disaster I made last time, I used the recipe out of my Kitchen Aid manual )
- 1 lb ( 454 g) ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp mustard
- 6 strips of bacon, cooked till crisp
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350° F/ 180 ° C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large pan, brown the meat, onions, and garlic together, until onions are translucent and meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat and return to the pan. Add the beef broth, barbecue sauce, ketchup and mustard to the pan, stirring to combine. Simmer the mixture until it is thickened.
- Divide the pizza dough into 6 equal sections. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each into a round to about 6 inches/ 15 cm across. I find it easiest to use a rolling pin, but feel free to stretch it out by hand. Divide the meat mixture between the six rounds. Top with a strip of bacon and 1/3 cup of each of the cheeses.
- Fold one edge of the round over, so that you end up with a half moon shape. To seal the pocket, gently press the edges together, then fold over. Transfer to the paper lined sheet.
- Brush each of the tops with some of the beaten egg, making sure to cover along the seams. Sprinkle with the reserved cheddar cheese
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the dough is golden brown. Let cool on the tray for about 5 minutes, then serve along side a fresh salad.
Don’t forget to check out what others have come up with using Eggs and Bacon!
I also linked this recipe to The Weekend Potluck and Strut Your Stuff Saturdays! Click the link to check out more great recipes!
I really wish that I could say that I came up with this drink.
I can’t even take credit for finding it. Mr. Ginge did.
But the lovely waitress at Whiskey John’s Bar and Grill who did come up with the recipe was more than happy to send Mr. Ginge home with the it.
Now, I’m not one to hype up a shooter. More often than not they end up being liquid heartburn. And highly expensive for two tablespoons worth of drink. But OH MY GOD this one is good. You need to go to your liquor store and get the stuff you need now. It’s that good.
Apple Pie Shooter
makes 1 shooter, easily multiplied
- 1/2 oz sour green apple liqueur
- 1/2 oz butterscotch schnapps
- whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
- pinch of grated cinnamon
- In a shot glass, layer the sour green apple liqueur and the butterscotch schnapps
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream ( if desired) and a pinch of cinnamon.
- Send’er down the hatch.
from Whiskey John’s Bar & Grill
*I was in no way compensated by the restaurant. They have no idea who I am. I just really liked their shot.
I linked this recipe to Strut Your Stuff Saturday and:
So…. Soda bread.
Likely a post that would have been more suitable to have been posted a month ago, but oh well. You get it now.
On the bright side though, I managed to check another item of my 25 while I’m 25 list! Woo hoo! And you get fresh baked bread in under an hour.
This was a huge success for me, not only because I got to knock an item that has been on my To-Do list for a looong time, but because I was able to share and teach my sister how to make it before sharing it here.
Now this may not seem like a huge accomplishment, but anyone who knows me, or at the very least, anyone who has ever tried to cook with me, knows that I do not share the kitchen well. I don’t share counter space and tend to get snippy when people get in my way. Even so, I managed to drag my non-baking sister into the kitchen and successfully taught her how to make her very first loaf of home made bread. This is also an amazing feat. I am really not a good teacher
While my Mom does have pictures of us, seemingly co-operating in the kitchen, historically this is not the case. I can think of more than one occasion where me trying to teach her how to bake ended up in a screaming match. Hahaha
Thankfully, this time it resulted in some warm crusty bread, perfect for dunking into soup or stew. Or even just slathered with butter and honey. A much better result if you ask me.
Some notes on the recipe:
- I’ve listed both volume and weight measurements, but I got a better result using weight measurements for the flour.
- I have adjusted the recipe to make a small loaf that comfortably serves four. It tends to dry out quickly, so I didn’t want a whole lot of leftovers kicking around and going to waste.
Irish Soda Bread
adapted from www.sodabread.info
- 12 oz ( about 2 cups) flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 oz ( a scant 1 cup) buttermilk or soured milk*
- additional flour for dusting.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a round 8 in casserole or cake pan.
- Sift the flour in to a large bowl, then whisk in the baking soda, brown sugar and salt. Make a large well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
- Pour the buttermilk into the well and gradually stir in the flour, until it is all combined and you have a slightly sticky dough. If your dough is really sticky, then add a bit more flour, a couple tablespoons at a time.
- Knead the dough lightly, about once or twice, so that you don’t squish out all of the gases, then form the dough into a ball. Place in the greased casserole. Dust the top of the dough with some flour, then with a sharp knife make a couple of slashes in the top o the bread.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until you have a deep golden crust, and the bottom sounds hollow when you give it a tap.
- Let it cool on a wire rack, then cut into wedges ( while still warm) to serve.
Seriously, what is better than homemade bread.
I linked this recipe to:
Sometimes, things get stuck in my head.
Like Elliot Moose. Don’t look at me that way. I have younger siblings.
Other times it’s a word or phrase, or something that just doesn’t make sense in the maze that is my mind. Like butterscotch. Why doesn’t it actually have scotch in it?
All the time I was growing up I forced myself to eat the butterscotch candies because of scotch. Not that I knew what scotch tasted like. Not that I even really knew what it looked like. Not that I really like scotch now. My parents aren’t really big drinkers, let alone Scotch drinkers, so I had no idea where this whole concept came to me. I just know that I was crushed when I found out Butterscotch was a relatively neutral combination of brown sugar and butter.
It bothered me that something very clearly labelled “scotch” contained nothing of the sort.
Now, in the later days of my internet rich adolescence, I was able to look up why scotch was included in the name but not the treat. Some say “scotch” is a reference to having to score the candies. Other say it’s a derivation of “scorch”. I still think it’s dumb and that we are being ripped off.
So I decided to change that, and when I had a hankering for pie, I made it happen. So I give you Butter”Scotch” pie that is actually true to it’s name, and all is right in the world. It does taste a bit more like a “butter rum” ( only scotchey) versus a true butterscotch, so keep that in mind if that’s not something you like.
Butter “Scotch” Pie
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 9 inch prepared graham cracker crust
- 1 cup brown sugar ( darker is better)
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups milk ( we use 2%)
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp/ 30 mL scotch ( we had Grants, so I used that)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- If you are using a prepared graham crust, then skip to 2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the graham crumbs and the melted butter, until all the crumbs have been coated. Using the back of a spoon, evenly press the crumbs into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then let cool.
- Meanwhile, in a sauce pan combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Mix together the milk and the eggs and slowly mix in into the sugar mixture.
- Heat over medium heat, just bringing it to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for about 10 minutes or until it had thickened. Stir in the butter and the scotch.
- Pour the filling in to the cooled and prepared crust. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the filling to avoid forming a skin. Let chill several hours or overnight.
- Just before serving, combine the whipping cream, icing sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until stiff peaks form. Remove the plastic wrap from the pie and spread the whipped cream over top. Slice and serve.
So there you have it. Butterscotch pie that is no longer lying to you.
From Mel, Mr Ginge, and the kitties!
I linked this recipe up to On the Menu Monday and Strut Your Stuff Saturday. Click the link to check out more great recipes.
So, I’ve been a bit off the ball when it comes to these Improv Challenges.
You see, I really enjoy doing them. Makes me think outside of the box a little bit when I am coming up with recipes.
This can backfire bit for me though. Like last month when the ingredients were heart shaped foods and flours. Problem was I use flour daily. I bake constantly and flour is not a challenge for me. So I over thought it, and ended up panicking, and then the improv day came and went and I never managed to get anything posted. I so could have rocked that challenge, but alas, I did not.
So for this month’s challenge of peas and carrots, I copped out a bit by using frozen peas and carrots, but still am sharing with you an awesome recipe that I make all the time. The recipe came about when we ended up with tons of leftovers from an enormous venison roast we cooked up for dinner.
Because venison (especially left over venison) can be a bit gamey, I make a beef gravy to go into it. Of course if you don’t like, or don’t have access to venison, beef will work just fine as well. These also freeze amazingly, so if you have time, a double batch will give you lots to stow away in the freezer for a quick and easy meal.
Leftover Venison Meat Pies
makes about 8 pies.
- Pastry ( store-bought or homemade) for a double crust pie
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock , divided
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup left over venison roast, diced
- 3/4 cup frozen peas and carrots ( I used frozen mixed veggies)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Roll out your pastry to about an 1/8 in (2-3mm). Cut out 8 5 in ( 12 cm) circles, re-rolling out as needed. Because I didn’t have a round cutter that big, so I used a bowl and the tip of a knife to cut out my circles. Gently fold them into the cups of a muffin pan and set aside. With the remaining pastry, cut out 8 2 in (5cm) circles and set aside.
- In a deep pan or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
- Pour in 1 cup of the beef broth and bring to a boil. Meanwhile whisk the flour in the remaining 1/2 cup of broth. Add to the boiling stock, and stir constantly, until slightly thickened.
- Add the meat, veggies, and cheese if using, and cook until warm.
- Divide the mixture between the eight prepared shells. Top with the rounds, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
Don’t forget to click the link to check out the other great Peas and Carrots recipes!
So I have a hot tip for you today.
Don’t crack your eggs directly into the bowl.
Now I realize that this may not be any sort of revelation to anyone, but I certainly learned it the hard way the other night.
Do not crack your eggs right into your mixer bowl. Especially if your mixer is on. Because you very quickly go from picking a few eggs shells out of the batter, to a million evil little shards of shell mixed thoroughly in. And are you left staring into the bowl contemplating whether or not it’s worth trying to pick out all the little bits of egg shell so you don’t waste the half pound of butter in there, or sadly dumping it into the trash can.
I’ll save you some time and effort. Just dump it and start again. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to dig the blasted bits out.
I rock at this baking thing.
Fortunately, this pound cake is egg shell free. Also delicious. Loaded with tart cranberries and topped off with a lemon glaze, it’s the perfect end to a meal or wonderful along side your coffee in the morning.
Lemon Cranberry Pound Cake
makes 2 9×3 cakes
- 1/2 cup milk
- 6 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups flours
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups butter, cut in to cubes and softened
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup cranberries
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 3-4 tbsp of lemon juice
- Preheat you oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 9×3 loaf pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and the eggs. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Slowly beat in the butter, continuing to mix until it is fully incorporated.
- Once mixed, pour in half of the milk mixture, mixing well. Scrape down the sides, then mix in the remaining half of the milk mixture. Scrape down the sides again then fold in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and cranberries.
- Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and icing sugar to a pouring consistency ( not too thin or it will pour right off the cake) Pour over the cooled cakes and let set, about an hour.
One day I will grasp basic baking skills.
I linked this recipe to The Weekend Potluck and Strut Your Stuff Saturdays! Click the links for more great recipes!
It’s Mr. Ginge’s birthday today! Yay!
The man who not only serves as an official Ginger Bakes taste tester, but is a driving force behind the blog, occasionally coming up with recipes, supporting me over the past two years, and ultimately the person who turned me into a “foodie” by always making me try something at least once. I mean let’s face it, this man is all about the food.
So in honour of his birthday, I’m sharing 15 of his favourite recipes from the blog.
In no particular order:
1. Christmas in a Cup – One of his recipes, his beverage of choice after coming in from shovelling the driveway.
2.Cheddar Ranch Bubble Bread – I changed the recipe a bit one day ( which I should have known not to do) and completely ruined is day because it wasn’t how he liked it.
3.White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies – His absolute favourite cookie. I make him a batch every year to take hunting with him.
4. Nutella Crispy Rolls - The man loves chocolate. And cereal treats. He could hardly wait ( and didn’t) for the chocolate to set before slicing into these.
5.Caramel Apple Pancakes – Another one of his recipes that he came up with when he had a craving for pancakes and some apples that needed to be eaten.
6.Cracker Fried Pork Tenderloin ( or, as we call it, Snake)- I can not buy pork tenderloin and not make this. It just doesn’t happen.
7.Dark Chocolate Bourbon Mousse – We are bourbon drinkers, so the combination was irresistible to him.
8.Pizza Rolls – The appetizer that sparked our relationship and a favourite of the snacker.
9.Mom’s Lasagna – His requested birthday meal
10.Iced Toffee Scones – It was him who discovered these in the grocery store, and eagerly gobbled up the homemade version. That and I’m pretty sure he thinks Skor bits would improve most desserts.
11.Lobster Mac and Cheese – The man loves all things rich and indulgent.
12.Marbled Chocolate Orange Pound Cake – Citrus-y pound cake is one of his most favourite things and the addition of chocolate makes it all that much better to him.
13.Jalapeno Grilled Cheese – This was love at first bite for him.
14.Buttertarts – Mr. Ginge is a fan of any classic dessert, and requests these fequently.
15.Deep Dish Pizza – After all, he was the one who begged me to make it when we couldn’t get it in town.
So there you have it. A few of the birthday boy’s favourite recipes. Happy Birthday to him!
Tags: birthday, round up