My second box of Cookies got here today! I was reading when my mom said, “The postman is on his way to the door with a cookie shaped package, Aimee.” I almost squealed. This box came to me from Amanda at thevanillabeanery.wordpress.com They’re wonderful White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. I have to admit I had them with my coffee today as breakfast. They are so sweet and filling and just all around lovely.
First off, I am sorry I have been so absent lately. I have recipes and lots of other lovely things to post that I am in the process of sorting out and queuing up right now!
Second off, look! I got my first box of cookies today from the Food Blogger Cookie Exchange! Holy moley are they ever wonderful. Peppermint Hot Chocolate cookies from Christine @ wannafoodie.ca They’re wonderful cakey chocolate cookies with a hidden layer of homemade peppermint marshmallow inside! Next Monday all the recpies are getting posted and I think you should DEFINITELY make these. So fantastic. I put mine in the microwave like she suggested for a couple of seconds to melt the mallow and they were devine!
I mailed out all of my cookies on Monday, so hopefully they make it to my recipients soon!
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Pancakes are so fantastic. Sometimes they even make a fantastic dinner. I don’t think I would have these for dinner though. These are a real treat. Sadly I am the only person I know who enjoys Chocolate Pancakes. Whenever I go to IHOP this is generally what I get. Why should I have to go there to enjoy them though? Can’t I just make them at home? Yep.
- 1 1/2 cups Flour
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Fry’s Cocoa Powder
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
- Butter, for your pan
- Heat your pan or skillet to just below medium heat, or 380 degrees. Let butter melt evenly on pan.
- Sift and then stir together all dry ingredients
- In a smaller bowl, whisk Egg, Oil, and Vanilla together. Add Milk and mix again.
- Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix together till just thoroughly incorporated.
- Mix in your Chocolate Chips and scoop a 1/3 cup of batter into the hot pan.
- When edges of each pancake are nearly cooked, and bubbles stop breaking through the center of you pancake it is ready to be flipped.
- Cook for an additional minute on the other side and serve right away, or place in moderate oven till finished cooking the batch.
- Makes about fourteen 4” pancakes.
- Make sure that your chips are evenly spaced out in your pancake or the dough in between them will not cook thoroughly.
- When the bubbles stop filling in after they pop in the center of your pancake they’re ready to be flipped.
- These pancakes are very sweet and filling, I didn’t need syrup at all.
- Because of the Cocoa Powder in the batter, these guys look like the burn very quickly, but they are really just darker in colour. Don’t flip them too soon or they will be raw in the middle.
- If your pancakes are burning on the outside before they cook through, try turning down the heat.
Oven Roasted Garlic
There is a large amount of garlic in my house. Very large. Easily 30 heads. I love garlic and use it in a lot of my cooking, and Garlic is SO good for you. But at a certain point, if you don’t use it, it dehydrates and shrivels and gets pretty gross. You can only use so much of it. I haven’t been in much of a make-a-big-meal kind of mood, so roasted garlic on veggie crackers made a great meal. I can’t lie, I ate 4 heads. My breath is fabulous.
- 12 heads of Garlic
- 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of dehydrated minced Basil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel all the outside layers off the garlic except the layer that self contains the cloves.
- Slice off the top sixth of the clove. Depending on how it grows you may be able to cut directly across the head. If not, cutting at an angle will minimize the amount wasted.
- Mix together the Oil, Salt, Pepper, and Basil in a small bowl and brush generoutly across the tops of the exposed cloves.
- Wrap each head in tinfoil so it looks like a Hersheys Kiss, and place it in a muffin tin. I find that the tin keeps helps to keep them upright.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- When you’re cutting the tops off you’ll be left with nearly perfect tips of garlic cloves. A lot of them. It’s always nice to save them for later for cooking instead of wasting them.
- I like putting the leftover into the fridge in a container and saving it for use later.
- The garlic is great on Breads, Crackers, or Canapes, and the flavour is much less strong.
- The olive oil helps to caramelize the onions. A big mistake that many people make is not to put any on and they burn and dry out very easily.
- Getting the garlic out of the cloves is super simple. Just slip a knife down the side of the casing and it should slide out smooth as butter.
Homemade Iced Tea
Of course, it makes total sense that as soon as I cave and talk about the terrible weather outside, the sun starts showing itself again. It’s by no means hot outside yet, but it is getting warm. I like it. I like sitting outside in the afternoon with a book and feeling all the freckles on my skin start to show up across my nose and sipping on a glass of iced tea.
- Two teabags of your choice.
- A tablespoon of lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup of sugar (more or less depending on your taste.)
- 750 ml - 1 litre boiling water.
- Bring water to a boil and pour into a pitcher over your two teabags.
- Add lemon juice and sugar and let steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir and remove teabags.
- Pour over an ice filled glass and enjoy!
- I used one Tazo Passion teabag, and one Twinnings Strawberry Mango teabag.
- A green tea teabag and a fruity herbal one would compliment each other nicely.
- If you opt to use a black tea like Orange Peakoe your steeping time will be much less than an herbal tea, as they are considerably stronger in flavour.
Grilled Avocado and Bacon Sandwich with Sauteed Red Peppers and Onions
You know what’s delicious? Bacon. You know what else is? Cheese, and also, Avocados. Yum. Just thinking about all those things combined is making me hungry. You know what goes really well together? All of those things, plus peppers and onions on a sandwich. All warm and toasty and perfect. This sandwich is fantastic. Also, if you’re not careful it will be a giant beast of a sandwich and you’re going to be like, how in the world am I going to put all this in my mouth? And then you’ll giggle at yourself. Try and make thin layers so you’re not left trying to figure out how to keep the filling inside of it and not on your plate.
- Your favourite sandwich bread! I used sourdough.
- Two slices of Bacon, cooked to your preference.
- 1/4 - 1/2 an Avocado, depending on the size of your bread and how much you like avocados of course.
- Two or three slices of Cheese.
- 1/3 of an Onion
- 1/2 a Red Pepper
- Butter for your pan
- 1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
- A pinch of Italian Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Saute sliced Red Pepper and Onion with the Butter, Garlic, and Italian Seasoning over medium heat till cooked through.
- Slice your Bread, Cheese, and Avocado while waiting and preheat your sandwich press ( or other pan )
- Layer all your ingredients together on the sandwich. I like to put the cheese and the avocado closest to the two slices of bread, so they both get nice and hot.
- Put your sandwich in your press ( or pan ) for 3-4 minutes, or until your cheese has all melted and the outside of your bread is toasted.
- Eat right away, but be careful not to burn your mouth.
- I don’t have a sandwich press, as most people don’t at home, so I use a George Forman Grill. It works perfectly, and no one will ever be the wiser.
- If you are cooking your sandwich in a pan it would be a good idea to butter the outsides of your bread lightly so they don’t stick and burn.
- Between the Bacon, Cheese, and Avocado this sandwich is super filling and has a lot of fat in it. One small sandwich filled me up, and it’s probably not one that I’d make every day. But it’s definitely a delicious treat when I do.
- A tiny bit of Dijon on here would be fantastic also.
Baked BBQ Pork Chops
In Vancouver right now, and the rest of the surrounding area, we are having something that is being dubbed “The Bummer Summer.” It’s been so terrible outside, all want to do is stay in and eat comfort foods and wear a sweatshirt and curl up with tea. It’s really not been warm at all. The BBQ in my back yard is sitting with it’s cover on, teasing me, all the fantastic things that you normally eat in the Summer haven’t happened once. I haven’t the heart to go outside and turn it on, besides, it’s grey and chilly out there and I’ll get rained on. These baked BBQ pork chops are the next best thing to actually being able to BBQ them.
- 4-6 boneless Pork Chops or Pork Steaks
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Thyme Leaves
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dehydrated Onion Flakes
- 1 heaping teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 2 large Onions sliced in rounds
- 3/4 cup your favourite BBQ Sauce
- Measure out and mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl and rub Pork Steaks with them.
- In a glass or enamel baking pan. Let sit for 2-3 hours. ( If you don’t have a glass or enamel pan a foil covered pan sprayed with a non cooking spray will work. )
- Place onions evenly over the Pork Steaks and bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 degrees.
- Remove from oven and cover the Pork Steaks and Onions with the BBQ sauce.
- Bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove and serve immediately.
- If you’ve never cook with Cayenne Pepper before you should know that the longer it sits in a dish the hotter that it gets. If you don’t like spice very much simply remove the Cayenne, or lessen it in your rub.
- I used a bold BBQ sauce, but I think a sweeter one like Honey Garlic would really make them sing.
The Best French Toast
Adapted From Foodess
I know perhaps starting a blog with French Toast is a silly thing to do. It’s not hard to make at all. Throw in an egg or two and a little bit of milk till it looks okay, right? Wrong. No wonder my whole life I have been so underwhelmed by French Toast. This is completely heavenly and a great way to start a lazy day or brunch in bed.
- 1/2 cup of Milk
- 4 Eggs ( I know, it seems like a lot )
- 2 tablespoons of pure Vanilla
- 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup.
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon ( Optional )
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Butter for your pan.
- 6-8 slices of French Bread sliced 1-1 1/2 inches thick
- Preheat your Pan with the butter to medium heat, and heat oven to warm
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and syrup in a bowl with a flat bottom.
- Gently coat your first two slices of bread in the egg mixture and put them into the hot pan ( Don’t saturate your bread or it will just be hot fried egg mush )
- Depending on the thickness of your bread and the heat of your pan, each side should take about 2-3 minutes. Be sure not to over crowd the pan with too much toast.
- Put the french toast in a warm oven till the others are finished or serve immediately.
- What I like most about this recipe is that with such a large amount of eggs it makes the liquid much thicker and the bread doesn’t get quite so soaked so fast.
- I used a French Loaf of Sourdough Bread that I had made the day previously. I think using the fresh thicker bread made a huge difference, it was much stronger than presliced store bread and didn’t break apart.
- The vanilla, syrup and cinnamon add a really lovely depth, you can add a little more or less depending on your tastes, I find cinnamon to be really warming and comforting in food. Especially in the fall and winter.
- My favorite way to serve these is with a small amount of cinnamon and powdered sugar over the top of them.