Complaint by Numbers

Pumpkin Cupcakes: Success!

September 22, 2007
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I managed to track down some canned pumpkin (’tis the season), and altered a pumpkin log cake recipe to make a light, airy, cupcake. I ended up using a chocolate-cinnamon buttercream to frost, which turned out fantastic (M licked the spoon, and cleaned the bowl for me…).

The cakes stuck to paper cupcake wrappers after baking, but when baked in silicon cupcake pans, there were no problems. The cupcakes are greated as a dessert when frosted, but could also be used as muffins for breakfast, and spruced up with some walnuts or raisins (I have a love for raisins that borders on inappropriate). These cupcakes have renewed my lust for pumpkin, so expect more pumpkin recipes in the near future.

Recipe to follow later today.


Posted in Baking, Food

Sucralose: A Cautionary Tale

September 14, 2007
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I can’t lie, I love artificial sweeteners. Something about the ability tohave consequence-free (science be damned!) sugar makes me giggle like a school girl. As wonderful as the concept is, using artificial sweeteners outside of a lab can be a project in itself. While it’s easy to sprinkle some on fruit, add it to coffee or applesauce (pretty much anything that only relied on sugar for sweetness, and not for texture), incorporating Splenda into an existing recipe for baked goods is a full-on scientific endeavor.

Up for a challenge, and craving cookies, this weekend past seemed the perfect time to try out replacing sugar in a recipe with Splenda. In short, this turned out to be a disaster. I had forgotten that the chemical properties that allow sugar to melt and become liquid under heat, do not apply in the same manner to its artificial cousin. Additionally, it seems that Splenda loses some sweetness in the baking process (it couldn’t overcome the other ingredients to be sweet). All in all, the product had a taste and texture akin to hardtack. I definitely should have substituted only half of the product, though I’m concerned that this will yield only slightly better results.

Also, my Canadian quest to find canned pumpkin/squash is still underway. So far, Metro, Provigo and IGA have failed. I’m starting to look in the little specialty stores, though it’s beginning to look like I’ll have to do this the old fashioned way.


Posted in Baking, Food

Crisis Mode: High

September 9, 2007
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Apparently the markets near me have never heard of canned pumpkin, which put quite a damper on my plans for the day. I think I’ll have to stock up next time I’m in the states. Also, I appear to have left my cookie cutters in the move, so it’s round cookies for me today. Alas!


Posted in Baking, Food

Fall is in the air (finally)

September 9, 2007
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The unbearable September heat wave seems to have broken for now, and there is a slight chill in the air (at last). In honour of this, I think today will be devoted to a little fall baking –I can finally make those cookies/cupcakes. Off to the market today for butter and apple cider.

Just as a side note, the price of food is getting out of hand. I realize that gas prices raise the price of everything, but it’s getting to the point where I feel I should own my own cows and chickens (as well as a sizeable plot of land for farming). That could prove to be more cost-effective. I saw a gallon of milk for $6 CDN the other day (which is actually around $6 USD now). Ridiculous.

Expect to hear about the autumn recipes soon!


Posted in Baking, Food

Pumpkin Cupcakes

September 8, 2007
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So, I’m thinking of creating a fall cupcake flavour for the family and friends to enjoy. I’ve already got a spiced apple one that’s pretty good, but I’m thinking of experimenting with pumpkin. I’ve got a pumpkin bread recipe that I could use (it’s fairly cake-like). My only remaining issue is the frosting. I could probably do something with cream cheese (though neither the Mister nor I like cream cheese-based dessert items). Mu inclination, however, is just to stick with vanilla or a spiced vanilla. Thoughts?


Posted in Baking, Food

We’re back!

September 8, 2007
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And by we, I mean me. During my (two?) week-long hiatus, the hubby and I moved back to Montreal from the Boston area. I’m in a kitchen than is smaller than what any person should be required to cook in. Right now, the stove is in such a condition that only one burner at a time may be used. It doesn’t help that the fire alarm is right above the stove and goes off, even when there is just a pot of spaghetti on.

You may be wondering why I would choose a tiny kitchen (with no counter space, and virtually no storage), but the location is perfect for the Mister and I, and the space itself is beautiful (and cost effective). We’ve also taken in an abandoned cat and kitten on behalf of the SPCA, making the space slightly smaller, but infinitely more homey. Now if only the temperature would drop, so it isn’t so unbearable.

I invited my friend L (who is pretty much my neighbor at this point) for a spaghetti dinner, and since both she and the Mister eat meat, modified a Bolognese sauce to include soy in a ground beef style. L said she couldn’t taste a difference. It’s all in the seasoning.

Random question, but if anyone in Canada/Quebec could let me know where I can get Annie’s Homegrown pasta, or Luna bars (or Tortilla Factory wraps), I would be eternally grateful.


Posted in Food, Random