Friday, October 15, 2010

The things they say

Heidi: I have good idea! (pointing her index finger up, pause). Eat Moe for dinner! (hysterical laughing). I have good idea! Eat Artemis for dinner! (more hysterical laughter).

Amelia, talking to our neighbour: That one is similar to .....
Neighbour: What, honey?
Amelia: *sigh* It means like.


I made the most amazing brownies this morning. So much for watching what I eat...

I got the recipe from Dragon's Kitchen, and modified it slightly. Check out her blog.  She's a friend of my uncle, and an amazing cook. Haven't met her, but I've heard a lot about her and her food.

1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp butter
1 cup sugar (2/3 cup white, 1/3 cup light brown)
3/4 cup + 2  Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, etc. (optional)

1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

3. Stir in the vanilla and coffee. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well-blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

5. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into squares.

Okay, so as if I could wait for them to cool down. I ate them warm straight out of the pan.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dinner time conversations

Yesterday Amelia was playing a game which I had died and she and Kendrick were taking care of Heidi. I ended up being paranoid all day that I was about to die. Kids know these things. When I went to bed last night I had a dull ache in the back of my head so I assumed I had an aneurysm, obviously. I meant to tell Kendrick that I was probably going to die sometime in the night, but forgot. Anyway, this whole convoluted tale is leading up to our conversation at dinner this evening.

me: (after relaying the above tale to Kendrick) My head was going "voooom" like every 15 minutes. Seriously. With the sound effects and everything.

Kendrick: Mine does that sometimes, but not with the sound effects.

me: My aneurysms are cooler than your aneurysms.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Growing up

Kindergarten is starting soon (okay - in 3 months, but that's soon enough).  I actually got a little teary at the information night.  My little girl is growing up and I've only got a few more months with her all to myself.  I have to entrust the school system to keep her safe, to teach her, to nurture her.  I just hope I've done my part in preparing her for this big step.  I worry she's going to pee her pants.  I worry that other kids won't play with her. I worry that she'll be stubborn like her dad.

In order to prepare her (and me), we've registered her in a week-long summer camp.  Princess camp.  I know, I said I'd never do such a thing if I had a little girl, but now that I do, I realize that it doesn't have to be a bad thing. 


Heidi is talking up a storm.  She calls Artemis "Ass", as I've probably mentioned.  A couple of days ago she put a cloth on his head and then pointed at him and said, "Ass hat!".  Yes he is, Heidi, yes he is.

She loves to do things herself.  One of phrases you hear most coming out of her mouth is, "No, Heidi do!".  It's a little frustrating for both of us.  She still calls Amelia "Ness".  She adores her big sister and follows her around everywhere.  Kindergarten is going to be a huge adjustment for Heidi too. 

Common Heidi-speak:

"Where Ness is?"
"Libby bus" - Olivia's school bus
"Silly (Ness, Mommy, Daddy)!"
"Wha happened?" (Paging Fred Willard!)
"Mommy's milkies all gone!"  Shortly followed by: "Tiny bit, please?"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Clementine Cake

I wasn't sure I could do it when I first thought about it: taking a recipe with only 5 ingredients, changing 2 of them and still getting something that even remotely resembled what it was supposed to be. In this case, that something is a Clementine Cake. The recipe called for ground almonds, 5 whole clementines, 6 eggs, sugar, and baking powder. I set out to replace all 6 eggs and the sugar. Here's how it turned out:

I would say that's pretty successful!

Here's how I did it:

5 clementine oranges
1/2 cup honey
2 1/2 cups ground almonds
1 banana, mashed
1 Tbsp whole flax seed, ground + 3 Tbsp water
3 tsp egg replacer*
3 Tbsp water (or whatever liquid your egg replacer calls for)*
2 tsp baking powder

*I used commercial egg replacer. It's basically baking soda, corn starch, and other things, that you add water to. For this recipe, I used an equivalent of 3 eggs worth of egg replacer.

Wash the clementines. Put in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, covered, and let simmer for 2 hours. Check them periodically to make sure the water doesn't boil away. Drain and cool. When cool, split then open and remove and seeds. Put the clementines, peel and all, into a food processor and chop. Set aside.

This is what the clementines look like after boiling for a couple of hours. Oh, and the house smells divine!

And here they are chopped up:

Heat oven to 350. Grease an 8-inch spring-form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Mix the ground flax and 3 Tbsp water in a small bowl. Let sit for a few minutes to become almost gelatinous.

I ground the almonds myself in the food processor. Cheaper than buying them pre-ground.

In a mixer bowl, combine banana, flax seed mush, egg replacer and water. Beat together. Add the ground almonds, honey, and baking powder. Beat again. Add the chopped clementines. Mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and put in the oven.

This is where things may turn out different for you. My oven is wonky and things never cook how they are supposed to. The cake took 70 minutes to bake in my oven, but I would check it after 40 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after. I don't expect it should actually take any longer than 55 minutes in a reliable oven. I'll have to recreate this at my mom's house soon to test the baking time.

When a toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from pan and let fully cool on a serving platter.

The finished cake:

Just before you're ready to serve, you can sprinkle with powdered sugar if you wish. Next time I want to drizzle it with some melted dark chocolate or chocolate ganache!

So it was a successful day in the kitchen for me. Next time I'm thinking of trying an chocolate-avocado cake. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Stay tuned for some big changes around here. Due to a huge opportunity approaching, I am changing my blog to more food-related topics. Things have been insanely insane lately (sick house since January 1!), but once things settle down, I'll start making the changes.

I hope to post recipes, with pictures, every couple of days.

Stay tuned, to here and your television set, for more! Hee hee.