Ah May Long weekend… What a lazy, sunny, wonderful start to summer. Justin and I spent most of the day on Saturday going to the market and lazing around in the backyard, and doing some gardening. I also decided it was high time to make some homemade ice cream. I’ve always wanted to make homemade ice cream, but I don’t have an ice cream maker. So, I improvised and found a recipe online that gives you instructions if you don’t have an ice cream maker. It was quite a lot of work, but it turned out pretty tasty. I also ended up making mine organic, without even meaning to! Awesome!
The ingredients to homemade ice cream are pretty simple. Milk, sugar, egg yolks, and cream. Vanilla too, of course. I ended up using a Groupon I had to the Earth’s General Store to pick up the all local, organic and fair trade ingredients for my Ice Cream. Loved it!
and whipped the mixture up in the hand blender for about 3 minutes. (I covered it with a cloth because it was splattering everywhere!) – Now here was the hard part: Every half hour, for the next 3 hours, I had to take it out of the freezer and repeat the whipping process. It would have worked out well enough had I remembered that I had doubled the recipe, and thus probably should have doubled the whipping time, which I did not.
That’s probably why I ended up with a milkshake-esque bowl of ice cream. It tasted pretty good, but didn’t quite have that smooth tasty texture that ice cream normally does. Oh well! Trial and error I guess!
Jacquie’s Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (Courtesy of Eatomanic)
The second part of this post is devoted to rhubarb. I never really knew how awesome rhubarb was until I began cooking with it (which began his weekend!). To me, rhubarb looked a lot like big, pink celery, and had the same consistency and texture to it. putting it into a desert didn’t really appeal to me, until I realized that I had a massive bush of rhubarb growing in my garden, and it was threatening to take it over. I didn’t really have a choice. Rhubarb crisp it was!
All in all, I’m very happy that I finally tried cooking with rhubarb. That weird looking pink celery turned out to be delicious when baked with sugar! If you have a rhubarb plant threatening to invade, you should chop it down and turn it into a crisp. You wont regret it!
Jacquie’s Rhubarb Crisp (Courtesy of Kitchen Simplicity)
- 4 cups chopped fresh or frozen (thawed) rhubarb
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Place rhubarb in an 8×8 pan or divide between 6 ramekins.
- Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan, stir in water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over rhubarb.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used almonds and cashews)
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- Mix together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt and walnuts. Stir in melted butter until even distributed. Crumble over filling.
- Bake at 350ºF for 45 min or until rhubarb is cooked through and filling is bubbly.
What a great time the family has been having lately, with all of the wedding festivities, and the return of summer like weather. My Baba stayed an extra day after the wedding to make a few batched of perogies with us. We were so lucky to be able to get her secret recipe, and boy, was it ever a treat! My sisters and I have been enjoying these perogies since we were little kids, and we never tire of them. They were always highly anticipated family meals, when prepared, and they still are today!
We put them on cookie trays, sprinkled with a bit of flour, and froze them like this. That way, they do not clump together in the freezer, and stay together better while they are boiling. Oh yes, there is a method to our madness!
I had to take a shot of my perogies before they went into the water. This is what you would like to avoid by freezing the fresh perogies on trays first. Since I was impatient, and didn’t want to wait for them to individually freeze before taking them home, I ended up with a big frozen clump…
Baba’s Homemade Perogies
For the dough, you will need:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon of salt
2 Teaspons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup warm water (or reserve potato water)
1 egg, beaten
For the filling, you will need:
1 pound of peeled, cooked, and minced potatoes (reserve potato water after cooking)
1 pound of dry cottage cheese
1 teaspoon each of salt & pepper
In a large bowl (we used a large pot), mix together flour, salt and bakign powder. Make a well in the centre.
In a separate bowl, mix together vegetable oil, warm water (or reserve potato water), and the egg. Pour into the well of dry ingredients. Knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes.
Cover dough and let rise for 2 hours. Roll out and fill.
While you are waiting, make your filling by peeling, cooking and mincing 1 pound of potatoes and mixing them with 1 pound of dry cottage cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When dough has risen, roll it out thin and, using a round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Fill with 1/2 tablespoon of filling and pinch all sides of perogy closed.
Freeze on a baking sheet, which has been lightly dusted with flour. When frozen, transfer perogies to a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
To serve, boil perogies from frozen. When they begin to float, transfer drained perogies to a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Fry until desired crispiness has been reached. Serve with Ukrainian sausage or bacon and onions. Enjoy with sour cream and jam!
Wow, this post is a little late… Sorry about that! We’ve been a bit busy on our end. My sister Michou got married yesterday, quite the celebration! That, of course, postponed my posting on the royal wedding. But here it is!
I decided to make some English classics as finger food for my Royal Wedding party: Scones with Raspberry Butter and Cucumber Sandwiches. Hmm… Delicious!
Jacquie’s Tasty Scones and Raspberry Butter
You will need:
For the Scones:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup milk
For the Raspberry Butter:
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of your favourite raspberry jam
For the scones:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter. Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl, and stir into flour mixture until moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll dough out into a 1/2 inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
For the raspberry butter:
Warm butter briefly in the microwave, until soft. Whisk jam and butter together until smooth.
They were sooo good.
Jacquie’s tasty Cucumber Sandwiches.
You will need:
1 cup of white vinegar
1/4 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of dried dillweed
5 mini cucumbers
8 slices of whole wheat bread
margarine for spreading inside the sandwhiches
Combine sugar, vinegar and dillweed and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Slice the cucumbers up and marinate them in the vinegar mixture overnight. When the cucumbers are marinated, spread the margarine on the bread, line with cucumbers, and slice sandwiches into triangles. Enjoy!
Smoked Salmon is probably one of my favorite foods (I know what you’re thinking… she has too many favorite foods!) But I’m serious this time! If I had to choose, I would say smoked salmon is my favorite food, with cheese. Hmm… That’s why when I saw this recipe on Foodgawker, I just had to try them out! They were super easy to make too!
I used Grand-ma Bear’s bread from the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. She makes the best bread at the market. So fresh, light, fluffy and reasonably priced!
To make the rolls, take a piece of whole wheat bread and chop off the crusts.
When ready to serve, slice them up and place on a fancy plate! They turned out looking a little like sushi rolls, but tasted more like lox. They were good though. I could eat a whole plate-full of these!!
Jacquie’s Super Easy and Delicious Smoked Salmon Rolls (Courtesy of My Kitchen Antics)
Yesterday was the much anticipated Eat Alberta Local Food conference. It was wonderful! A full Day of local foodie awesomeness, where I got to nerd out over how much I love food, and local food at that, with other local food lovers! Before I begin to tell you the tales of the day, I wanted to send out a HUGE Thank you to Valerie and to Slow Food Edmonton for organizing such a wonderful day! I had so much fun!!
My mom and my sister Michelle took time out of their super busy lives (My sister is getting married next weekend!) to partake in the fun.
The morning Keynote was wonderful! Jennifer BerkenBosch and James Vriend recounted their tales of falling in love with food, and endeavoring to sustainably feed their family with the food that they’re grown with their own two hands. I loved the uniqueness of their story; how they gave up with urban lives to buy a farm and live sustainably on it. It was a great kick off to the day!
She also let us play with the apple peeler/core-er. It was so cool!! All you do is stick the apple onto the spikes in the machine.
Then you turn the handle
Also made for a pretty interestingly cut apple!
After we played with the apple peeler for a while, Christian explained the fine art making fresh pie filling. Always use a tart apple, she says, and then add brown sugar. You know that you’ve added enough brown sugar when the apple tastes at a perfect balance between sweet and tart. Next, don’t be afraid of cinnamon. Add a lot, because it tastes good!
The dough was a lot easier than I thought it would be! Apparently, Christian uses the recipe on the side of the Tenderflake box!
We each got to take home a mini pie. It was quite the fun experience to learn how to cook altogether!
Here’s my overstuffed pie! I was told to bake it with a cookie sheet underneath, as it is sure to explode in my oven!
Here’s me trimming the edge of my super huge pie.
Beautiful! I got tips on how to add finishing touches, like curling up the edges for that classic apple pie look, and adding different types of ventilation holes!
The next session of the day was fresh, homemade pasta making with Kathryn Joel of Get Cooking (she hosts local Edmonton food classes. Check her out!) I was so blown away to be learning how to cook fresh pasta from a Corbon Blue trained Chef. This was such an interesting session! It make me seriously consider investing in a pasta maker…
The recipe for making homemade pasta is actually way easier than I thought. All you need is 1 egg per 100 grams of flour. No seriously, that’s it. I’m not lying!!
Kathryn showed us a technique that you create a little well, and crack your egg in it.
Next, you beat the eggs until they are incorporated into the flour, and you are able to kneed it.
Also while we were waiting, Kathryn gave us a demonstration on how to make our own pesto. Its really simple. Use fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. That’s it! Stick it in a blender, and blend it up fine. Toss with freshly made pasta! Delish!
Chunky, delicious, fresh homemade pesto!
After lunch, it was time to make some sausage. Allan Suddaby from Button Soup passed along his knowledge on how to make the perfect Spicy Italian and Kubasa sausages.
Can you see the marbling of the ground meat as it comes out of the machine? That’s because sausage is half half meat and fat. That I did not know before taking this workshop. It was very interesting, but also kinda gross!
Once all the meat was ground, it was time to ferment it, using a little vinegar and salt. I didn’t know sausage was fermented!!
The next step in sausage making was probably the most gory (I’m warning the squeamish, you may want to skip ahead a few pictures if you don’t have a strong stomach. It was almost too much for me…) This is the sausage stuffer. Pretty innocent looking machine eh?
This however, is not to innocent. It’s a nicely washed and preserved small pig intestine. Yummy.
Then the meat was literally pressure pressed into the intestine tube. We didn’t section it off as we went, rather we kept one long tube until the end.
Kevin Kossowan delivered the afternoon keynote. It was so interesting and rounded off the full way so nicely!! He talked about the challenges to the growth of the local food system in Alberta (such as long waiting lists at farmer’s markets, and silly provincial laws preventing farmer’s from selling ducks as agricultural products), and the plethora of options that you have to chose from when it comes to local food! I found Kevin’s talk to be quite inspiring. He really solidified for me all the reasons why I decided to go down the local path in the first place.
Eat Alberta was a wonderful day filled with local foodie awesomeness. I really appreciated the huge amount of work slow food edmonton put into the day to make it a huge success! I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference!