Complaint by Numbers

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2008
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I’m sitting on my couch, pretty far inot a bottle of wine, enjoying a Ghost Hunters special while talking with my friend Lisa (who, in Montreal, is watching the same special). I’m not really a paranormal buff, but this show (and Paranormal State) seems to suck me in.

I’m also mostly done with both the socks and slippers for Matt and my mother, and have begun knitting a sweater (Carolyn from Knitty).

I also made pumpking cupcakes with chocolate frosting. The cupcakes came from this recipe, and the chococlate was a simple buttercream. The cupcakes came out wonderfully! I have to admit, pumpkin might be one of my new favorite foods.

We had around 8 trick-or-treaters this year in three groups (two individuals, and then a group that piled into a minivan and drove around). This was a pretty high number for us. Fortunately, there are plenty of Reeses left for me, 🙂


Placek!

June 13, 2008
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I found placek recipe online, and adapted it to better suit my memory of what was made back home. I won’t lie, it tastes fantastic. While this recipe isn’t completely traditional (usually, you’d make a dough “sponge” first), it gets the job done fast (besides, I didn’t have enough yeast for the other recipe). I’m hoping my cook book arrives soon. I’d love to find some variations on placek, and perhaps try out some babka (which is a bit dense– more cakey than bready, to use the technical terms).

The hubby isn’t Polish (his family is Scottish), and so placek was a new concept for him, but was he ever thrilled to try some. It’s been declared a new staple in our house (or rather, tiny apartment). Pictures and the recipe after the jump. (more…)


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.


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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?


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Cupcakes

August 24, 2007
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The green cupcakes are lemon; the green are lime. My mother needed a four dozen mini cupcakes for a company picnic she was attending, and so I came over to help out a little. The large cupcakes are for a special someone, and he has already eaten one of them.
Big Cupcakes Cupcakes

Large Pictures after the jump. (more…)


Posted in Baking, Food

Cookie Time

August 24, 2007
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Fall Cookie CuttersWho wouldn’t want to make sugar cookies (or any other rolled cookie) shaped like leaves and acorns? Kaiser came up with this great set of fall cookie cutters, complete with a ring to store them all together (which I personally find to be ridiculously convenient).

In addition to the leaves and acorn, the set also includes Halloween shapes (pumpkin, cat, moon, etc.). Who doesn’t like Halloween cookies? I can’t lie, I’m just excited to be able to make cookies and have a legitimate excuse…one that I didn’t make up.


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