Black Bean Ginger Snaps

It’s time for another blog post about my favourite cook book of all time – “Spilling the beans” by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. I’ve tried out several recipes from this book so far, and none has been as interesting as the “baking with beans” section. I’ve been holding off of trying to bake with beans in my kitchen, for the simple fact that I did not have a food processor. Getting married does have it’s advantages. 🙂 Now that I have one of those bad boys, I can now dive in to a plethora of bean-baked treats.

In this fantastic book, Julie and Sue dive into the health benefits of combining beans with whole grains. When combined, they do your body a world of good. I decided to go with some entire grain flour for these cookies, to boost up the health points!

Here’s a quick snapshot of the tasties that went into this recipe. (The recipe called for white beans, but I used black because that was all I had in my pantry…)

The first part of the recipe consists of combining butter, beans and sugar in the food processor until smooth.

Next step is to cook the mixture for about 5-6 minutes.

Next, add the molasses and let cool.

Being the cheerleader that I am for Gold Forest Grains, I used their soft white wheat flour for this recipe. It’s ideal for baking cakes, muffins and cookies, and you’re getting all of the benefits of whole grains. Combined in this recipe, you get the added benefits of protein as well! Yea, these cookies were super good for you!

This is what the mixture looked like after having added the dry ingredients.

And here they are, drying on my super cool drying rack!

Jacquie’s Awesome Black Bean Ginger Snaps (Courtesy of Julie Van Rosendaal and Due Duncan from “Spilling the Beans.”)

You will need:

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup prepared white beans ( I used black because I did not have white in the pantry)

1 Tbsp molasses

1/3 cup flour

2 – 3 tsp ground ginger.

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 egg white, beaten

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Process butter, sugar and beans in a food processor until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will start to thicken and after 5 minutes, it will be sticky and almost gelatinous. Remove from heat and stir in molasses. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300. In a small bowl, stir flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda together. Add egg white to saucepan and stir until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. drop by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake about 20 minutes, until cookies are set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Enjoy these healthy, delicious cookies that taste NOTHING like beans!

** I would double this recipe. It only made about 15 cookies. They sure didn’t last long!


Sweet Curry Chicken Burgers

This recipe was super easy but insanely good. There not much prep involved, so make this on a busy evening for an amazing summer meal!

I like to make different sauces that pair well with different burgers. This time, I decided to try something adventurous and try and copy something Justin and I ate in Victoria. It was a chicken burger topped with sweet chutney and a curry mayo. To make the mayo, I simply combined mayo with curry powder.

I used a lot of curry powder to make sure that the flavour came out well.

I used mango chutney for the topping. It’s one of my favourite chutneys. So sweet and delicious!

For the chicken burgers, I used nothing but the best – Sunworks farms has the most AMAZING ground chicken products. From chicken hot dogs to chicken burgers, I am always impressed with the quality and outstanding flavour of their products!

Grilled food just tastes so much better than any other food in the whole world. We served these bad boys up with some fresh, local asparagus from Edgar Farms (Honestly, try them. They are AMAZING), and some local potatoes!

Melt the cheese onto the chicken burger on the grill before serving. Enjoy!

Jacquie’s Awesome Sweet Curry Chicken Burgers

You will need:

1 jar of mango chutney

3 tbsp curry powder

3 tbsp mayo

4 chicken burgers

4 whole wheat buns

4 slices of aged cheddar

Grill chicken burgers on the grill until cooked. Combine mayo and curry powder. Generously apply mango chutney and curry mayo to both sides of the bun. Melt cheese onto chicken burger before assembling sandwich. Serve with local veggies and enjoy!

Awesome Product Alert: Gold Forest Grains’ Sturgeon River Cereal

Full Disclosure: I just got the best job ever! I’ll be working a few shifts here and there helping out Gold Forest Grains at some of Edmonton’s fabulous Farmer’s Markets this summer. I couldn’t be more stoked! Their products are simply fantastic. What could honestly better than heritage, local grains being stoned milled near Morrinville and sold at our local markets? Nothing. There’s no comparison. The health benefits of local heritage wheat is astounding! John was telling me today that wheat and gluten intolerant folks can consume his products without a problem. It’s because they use heritage and ancient grains, rather than the modern industrial agricultural mutations that have been produced since the 50s, which has caused most of the world’s “gluten” problems over the past few decades. (Wheat Belly – read it. It just makes so much sense!) They even have two celiac customers eating their products regularly, with no side effects at all! With products  as amazing as these available in our markets, I feel that we are closer to the new food revolution every day.

Ok, now that you know where I’m coming from, I’m going to let you in on an amazing product that gold forest grains makes. It’s called Sturgeon River Cereal. Remember Sunny Boy cereal? Well it’s like that, but only local, and better.

Gold Forest combines an array of their cracked heritage grains and flax to make a tasty, hearty, and crunchy breakfast cereal that will honestly satisfy you until lunch.

It’s really easy to make too. Just cook it low and slow. I used 1 cup of water for 1/2 cup of cereal and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. You can also soak in the the fridge the night before and it cooks up real quick in the morning.

Here it is, all cooked up!

The French Canadian in me was dying to drizzle maple syrup all over it.

And I thought, why not add a little more awesome and add a touch of heavy cream to the mix. Let me tell you, it was quite the breakfast!

You can find Gold Forest Grains at the St. Albert, Downtown and Old Strathcona markets on Saturdays, and the Southwest Market on Wednesdays. Trust me. You will want to get your hands on these products as soon as you can, and say hi to me while you’re there!

Chocolate Peanut Ice Cream Pie

In honor of the first day of summer, I thought I’d offer up one of the best summer cool off recipes I could think of – Ice cream pie. Yes. It is as good as it sounds. It is also the perfect treat to celebrate special occasions, like graduations and weddings! Be warned, this is a long post!

I decided to make a custard ice cream for this extra special recipe. I am finding that I have more luck with the custard base ice creams than the non custard ones. I think it’s because I am always trying out different fat percentages with the milk. If you want a less sweet, less fatty ice cream, but you still want the creamy dreamy awesomeness of ice cream, go with a custard base. It is well worth the extra time and effort that goes into it. Here’s a shot of my new pot! 🙂

This recipe called for 5 egg yolks to be blended with cocoa powder and sugar.

It made a WONDERFUL base to the ice cream.

Once the milk is heated to just bubbling, add 1/4 cup at a time, while whisking or mixing, to the yolk base.

Blend, blend, blend…

Once it is all incorporated, put it back in the pot and cook it over medium low heat, whisking all the while, for about 5 minutes.

When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it’s good to go. (I normally would have cooked it a little longer, for a thicker custard, but I was in a rush…)

The recipe I found offered a very helpful tip: strain the custard before cooling. It’s to make sure no cooked egg bits make their way into your ice cream!

Smart idea, eh?

For the pie crust, I had wanted to use graham crackers, but since I did not have any, I used Maria crackers. Best. Idea. Ever. They are not too sweet but oh so delicious.

This is the first time I got to use my new food processor. Isn’t she CUTE?

I blended up about 15 crackers, and then blended in about 2 tbsp of melted butter. It made for a simple and delicious pie crust.

Here’s the pie crust, waiting for it’s ice cream topping!

Once the custard is cool, it’s time to go into the ice cream maker. I normally would have let the custard set for at least 8 hours (or overnight), but again, I was rushed…

Here’s the before shot.

And the after.

This ice cream pie was destined to be a chocolate peanut pie. I could just feel it.

I crushed up some Spanish peanuts to mix in with the ice cream, along with some chocolate chips.

5 mins before the ice cream is set, pop in your mixings. Make sure to monitor it closely, because it may overfill.

Here’s a shot of me trying to transfer the ice cream to the pie mould quickly, before the ice cream froze too quickly to the container. It’s quite the process. You need to act quickly.

Tada! Pie!

I added another layer of peanuts and chocolate for the topping. I probably added a little too much, but hey, it was great!

I served it with some celebration champagne. What a great evening!

Jacquie’s super awesome Chocolate Peanut Ice Cream Pie (Courtesy of the Chubby Cook)

You will need:

For the ice cream:

5 egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup whole or 2% milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Toppings and mixings:

2 cups crushed peanuts

1 cup milk chocolate chips

For the pie crust:

15 Maria Crackers

2 tbsp melted butter

Add the milk to a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Heat until it starts to bubble around the edges. As it is heating, take out a medium size mixing bowl and add in the yolks, sugar and cocoa powder. Mix it up in the bowl with a hand mixer until thick. When the milk is hot, pour about 1/4 cup into the chocolate mixture at a time- whisking to incorporate. Do not pour all the milk in at once- this will cook your eggs. Once they are combined, return the mixture to the sauce pan and put over low heat. Stir constantly to prevent burning and cook it over low heat to prevent eggs from cooking too much. If the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat immediately and continue to stir. Cook the mixture for 5-6 minutes or until it thickly coats the back of a metal spoon. Now, take the custard and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Covered with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for the next six to eight hours.

After the custard has set, remove from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap. Pour in the cream and vanilla. Mix gently. Pour the mixture into the ice cream carafe. Run the ice cream maker for about 25 minutes. While you are waiting, make ice cream pie crust by blending the maria crackers in a food processor until they become a fine powder. Add butter and blend until incorporated. Flatten into a pie mould and put in fridge until ready to use.

5 minutes before the ice cream is ready, add half of the peanuts and a handful of chocolate chips to the ice cream maker. Make sure it does not overfill. When the ice cream is ready, transfer directly into the pie mold and top with remainder of peanuts and chocolate chips. Put back into freezer for at least 1 hour to set.

Enjoy. A LOT!

Garden Update! – June 18, 2012

Hello Foodies! My apologies again for being AWOL for a while. It’s been a busy time, what with getting married and all 🙂 I wanted to update you on the progress of the DuVal-Lycka Garden! It’s doing quite well, if we do say so ourselves.

Here is the field of potatoes, growing nice and strong. I believe that we will have more potatoes this year than we can possibly every eat. I am excited to try though!

Here is our beautiful corn shoots, popping up quite nicely! We planted 6 more rows of green beans over the weekend as well, seeing as none took off because they were being hidden at the shade of a large tree. Luckily, my landlord loves my garden so much that he chopped the tree down. Now we have more growing space!

I believe this will be the summer of strawberries! Our patch is alive and growing strong, and trying to shoot out uncontrollably again! We might have to trim some tendrils so the other plants actually survive this year! 🙂

Here is our first tiny ruby red!

The zucchini is, of course, doing quite well.

Our beautiful little onions are growing strong!

Here is the buttercup!

And the acorn.

The red pepper is doing well.

Our beast of a rhubarb plant is thriving, despite our attempts to cut it down with the help of Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton, who saved up by pulling a hefty amount of stalks just last week. Anyone want some? 🙂

Stay tuned for updates throughout the summer!