Thursday, October 31, 2013

Batch of links

- Meatopia is in Texas for the first time, and it’s in San Antonio! The sold-out event will be held this weekend at the Pearl, where there will be 33 chefs from around the country cooking over live fire. Obviously, the event is meat-centered, but there is a vegetarian chef from Green. The flexitarian in me feels like it’s weird to glorify this much meat (and to put the cartoonish dead animals on the logo), but I have to admit that were it not for the Little Prince, I’d have made this our monthly outing (which we’ve yet to resume).

- Please me Please Muffins, a recipe to please everyone (anyone who reads food blogs will love this post).

- Looks like I have to learn a categorization system for maple syrup - so much for Grade B!

- Brace yourself – there might be a sriracha shortage.

- Women with big butts are smarter and healthier. Well, that made my day!

- I had mentioned Robyn Lawley before – she’s the model with a food blog. She recently wrote an article, Why the Dangerous “Thigh Gap” Trend Makes me Mad that I really enjoyed.

- A TED Talk by Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory.

- Tyler Cowen’s 10 reasons why Texas is America’s future, a quick summary of his interesting article in Time.

- There’s a book out today called Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition, by Ben Schott, that is just delightful! I’ve always felt that English, when compared to French, gives one the ability to coin new words to describe just about anything, but really, that’s probably a characteristic of Germanic languages. So this book has 120 recently coined German words to describe idiosyncrasies of life. Some highlights: Leertretung (stepping down heavily on a stair that is not there); Entlistungsfreude (the satisfaction achieved by crossing things off lists); and Zeigarnikfrustration (the gnawing sense of incompleteness knowing there is a partially eaten snack lying around).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Macaronis au fromage, à la courge musquée et à l'érable

Une autre recette des producteurs d’érable du Québec que j’avais mise à congeler. Toujours en train de faire des macaronis au fromage, vous me direz! Mais l’Ingénieur aime beaucoup. Sa recette préférée demeure le macaroni au fromage fumé, mais moi j’ai beaucoup aimé cette variation à la courge et à l’érable. Pour ceux qui essaient de cacher des légumes dans les plats, c’est plus discret que le macaroni aux carottes, en plus d’ajouter un délicat goût sucré… J’ai modifié un peu la recette pour la faire seulement avec du cheddar fort sans lactose, et j’ajoute ci-dessous du sel et du poivre, car il manquait un peu d’assaisonnement. J’ai utilisé un plat de 9 po x 13 po, mais on pourrait aussi utiliser des plats individuels; la recette fait environ 6 portions.

1 oignon, haché finement
½ courge musquée, pelée, coupée en cubes
2 c. à soupe de beurre ou de margarine
¼ tasse de sirop d’érable
1 tasse de lait sans lactose (j’avais du lait entier), chaud
1 lb de macaronis
1 tasse de cheddar orange sans lactose, râpé
1 c. à thé de paprika
sel et poivre, au goût
1 tasse de fromage sans lactose, râpé (j’ai repris du cheddar)

Dans une casserole, faire revenir à feu moyen l’oignon et les cubes de courge dans le beurre. Ajouter le sirop d’érable, puis remuer 1 min avant d’ajouter le lait. Laisser mijoter environ 5 min.

Pendant ce temps, dans une grande casserole d’eau bouillante salée, cuire les macaronis jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient al dente. Les égoutter et les remettre dans la casserole.

Au mélangeur, réduire la courge poêlée en une sauce lisse. Verser sur les macaronis, ajouter le cheddar et le paprika, puis saler et poivrer au goût. Bien mélanger avant de transvider dans un plat beurré (9 po x 13 po), de parsemer de fromage sans lactose et d’enfourner quelques minutes pour faire gratiner.

Banana Cereal Muffins

This is a recipe I made for the freezer before the Little Prince was born. I found it via Orangette (where it was particularly à propos, since Molly Wizenberg made it when she was in early labor and it was the first thing she ate after giving birth); it’s originally from the wonderful book Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce. Obviously, they are made with whole grains: I used the cracked-multigrain hot cereal called for, but I wonder if I could use buckwheat or oats instead. I have a lot of that cereal left, though, so I’ll be making them again! I see them as both healthy and healthy-looking muffins. They are hearty but moist, great on their own or served warm with a little butter or vegan margarine. They make for a great breakfast, or a one-handed snack for a new mother.

½ cup cracked-multigrain hot cereal, such as Bob’s Red Mill
pinch of salt
1 cup (140 g) rye flour
1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter (I used cold margarine)
¼ cup dark brown sugar
3 very ripe bananas, about 1 ¼ pounds (565 g)
2 Tbsp. unsulphured (not blackstrap) molasses
1 large egg

Bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil. Add the cereal and salt, and whisk to prevent clumping. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cereal is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool; then set aside ½ cup of the cooked cereal, saving the rest for another use. (You can freeze it in ½-cup portions to use for more muffins later, if you want.)

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease 8 cups of a standard-size muffin tins. (I wasn’t paying attention and greased all 12 cups, and ended up with enough batter for 11 muffins, since I didn’t mound it above the edges of the cups.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the rye flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the brown sugar. Beat on high speed until the mixture is light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the bananas, molasses, egg, and the ½ cup cooled cereal, and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, a minute or so. It may look curdled; don’t worry about that. Add the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed to just combine.

Scoop the batter into the 8 prepared muffin cups. (I use an ice cream scoop to do this, but you could also use a spoon.) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or 30 minutes if you’ve got 11 muffins), rotating the pan midway through, until the bottoms of the muffins are dark golden in color (twist one out of the pan to check). Remove the tin from the oven, twist each muffin out, and place it on its side in the cup to cool. This ensures that the muffin stays crusty instead of getting soggy. (I didn’t bother with this, since I was freezing mine, but it’s good advice.) The muffins are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day. Or, on later occasions, consider warming them in the oven or toasting them lightly before serving. They can also be kept in an airtight container for a few days, or frozen and reheated.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Petites crèmes aux framboises et au lait de coco

Une p’tite vite! J’ai bien aimé cette recette de Coup de Pouce (légèrement adaptée) car elle est rapide et sans produits laitiers. Elle pourrait être retravaillée pour être plus goûteuse, par contre, mais c’est une excellente base. Je la verrais bien avec des bleuets…

1 ½ tasse de framboises fraîches
2 gros œufs
1/3 tasse de sucre
jus et zeste râpé finement de 1 lime
2 c. à soupe d'amandes moulues
2 c. à soupe de fécule de maïs
1 ½ c. à soupe d’huile végétale
1 tasse de lait de coco non sucré

Préchauffer le four à 350 °F.

Répartir 1 tasse des framboises dans le fond de quatre pots résistants à la chaleur ou ramequins d'une capacité de 1 tasse chacun, beurrés. (Mes ramequins sont plus petits, alors j’en ai fait 8.)

Dans un bol, à l'aide d'un batteur électrique, battre les œufs et le sucre jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit homogène. Incorporer le jus et le zeste de lime, les amandes, la fécule de maïs, l’huile et le lait de coco en battant. Répartir cette préparation dans les pots.

Cuire de 20 à 25 minutes (20 pour les 8 petits ramequins) ou jusqu'à ce que les crèmes aient pris. Laisser refroidir. (Vous pouvez préparer les crèmes à l'avance et les couvrir. Elles se conserveront jusqu'à 2 jours au réfrigérateur. Laisser revenir à la température ambiante avant de servir.)

Au moment de servir, parsemer du reste des framboises.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Batch of links

- Did I really never get around to posting this? Austin, TX (where else?) has a packaging-free grocery store called in.gredients. While they do provide reusable and compostable containers, they encourage customers to bring their own containers to buy food in bulk. I like the concept, though I admit it would take a lot of adjustment. Judging by some reactions, this is a nightmare for germaphobes and people with food allergies, but a near-utopia for the more granola-types. I don’t think that you’d need to schlep glass jars to the store, though; probably investing in some bags like the kootsac would make more sense. (The Engineer and I already have reusable bags for our produce and canvas bags to lug everything home.)

- Chocolate may lower blood pressure and help keep people slim, plus it contains more iron than beef. Is there anything it can’t do?

- California Pizza Kitchen has gluten-free pizza dough that’s safe for celiac sufferers. For real, this time!

- Why do we eat popcorn at the movies? (Incidentally, the Engineer is officially boycotting movie popcorn, because of the ridiculous markups. I have trouble justifying it myself, although nothing beats fresh movie popcorn…)

- Why adding cold cream to coffee keeps it hotter longer. Part of it is the same reason that hot water freezes faster than cold, but there’s more to it than that.

- How cherries are shaken off the tree (a short video).

- How to make a cucumber move like a snake. I actually like this for the mad knife skills!

- Remember the pre-smoke alarm that wasn’t being made anymore? Someone else picked up the concept!

- Satellite images of factory farms.

- Which state matches your personality? Apparently, I belong in New Mexico.

- A very telling article about job discrimination in the workplace.

- Have you ever wondered why mosquitoes love some people more?

- There’s a rare disease that could actually explain spontaneous human combustion.

- The hidden toll of children and guns. This article made me unbelievably sad. And also a little more aware that, living in Texas, I might have to ask other kids’ parents about the guns in their home before I allow the Little Prince to go over and play…

- 16 practical uses for really creepy dolls.

- 10 crazy food Vines that you need to see and 10 food Vines that are actually helpful.

- And 24 awesome Vines that are not food-related, but some are hilarious. Numbers 5, 8 and 10 are my favorites!

- What a fairytale wedding would actually entail… Very thorough!

- And finally, Phonebloks is exactly the smartphone I want! Let’s hope enough people feel the same on October 29th…

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gâteau aux carottes, à l'orange et au gingembre avec glaçage au chocolat blanc

Alors voilà, j’ai un regain de motivation. Il y a de ces recettes, parmi ma pile de pages de magazines, que je mets toujours de côté pour une raison ou pour une autre. J’avais notamment un article de la publication de la LCBO, À Bon Verre, Bonne Table, avec des recettes pour six gâteaux aux carottes différents. J’en avais déjà fait un pour l’anniversaire de l’Ingénieur en 2011, puis je n’y avais plus touché. En effet, les recettes sont parfois imprimées au verso d’une image que je voudrais garder, alors il me faut les faire dans un certain ordre pour pouvoir ensuite les consigner, s’il y a lieu, dans mon classeur de recettes approuvées. Et à force de feuilleter ma pile de recettes à essayer, cet article de gâteaux aux carottes était devenu un gros bloc intimidant plutôt que des recettes individuelles. Mais donc avec mon regain de motivation, je me suis lancée et j’ai fait le gâteau aux carottes, à l’orange et au gingembre avec glaçage au chocolat blanc, qui a été un franc succès! L’Ingénieur aime beaucoup le chocolat blanc, et j’ai fait le glaçage avec du vrai beurre (donc avec du lactose, mais je savais que ça lui plairait); le goût était plus subtil que ce à quoi je m’attendais, mais très bon. L’orange et le gingembre se mariaient parfaitement aux autres saveurs aussi, alors c’est à refaire! On verra quand est-ce que j’essaierai les deux autres variations qui me tentent…

Pour le gâteau
2½ tasses de farine tout usage
1 c. à soupe de poudre à pâte
1 c. à thé de bicarbonate de soude
1 c. à thé de sel
1 c. à thé de gingembre moulu
zeste de 1 orange râpé
1 tasse de beurre à la température ambiante ou de margarine froide
1½ tasse de sucre granulé
4 œufs
2 c. à thé de vanille
⅔ tasse de lait sans lactose
½ tasse de gingembre confit, haché finement, ou de gingembre confit dans le sirop
5 tasses de carottes râpées

Pour le glaçage
1 tasse de beurre, à la température ambiante
6 oz. (175 g) de chocolat blanc
1 c. à thé de vanille
¾ c. à thé d’extrait d’amande
1 généreuse pincée de sel
3 tasses de sucre à glacer tamisé

Pour la garniture (facultative)
gingembre confit haché

Pour le gâteau
Préchauffer le four à 350 °F. Enduire d’aérosol de cuisine ou huiler légèrement 2 moules à gâteau ronds de 9 pouces.

Mettre la farine dans un bol de moyenne grosseur. La saupoudrer de la levure chimique, du bicarbonate de soude, du sel et du gingembre. Bien mélanger. Saupoudrer ce mélange du zeste d’orange râpé tout en remuant.

Mettre le beurre dans un grand bol à mélanger et le battre en crème au batteur électrique. Incorporer le sucre petit à petit, tout en fouettant à vitesse moyenne pendant 3 minutes. Incorporer les œufs et ensuite, la vanille. La préparation pourra avoir l’air d’avoir tourné. Ajouter tout en fouettant à faible vitesse environ le tiers du mélange de farine. Fouetter jusqu’à ce que la préparation soit tout juste homogène, puis ajouter la moitié du lait. Répéter les ajouts en terminant par la farine. Saupoudrer le gingembre haché sur la préparation et remuer pour bien le répartir. Incorporer les carottes râpées.

Répartir la pâte entre les moules. L’étendre le plus également possible jusqu’aux parois du moule. Pour éliminer les poches d’air, frapper le moule cinq ou six fois sur le comptoir. Cuire jusqu’à ce que le milieu du gâteau semble bien pris quand on tape doucement sur le moule (de 30 à 35 minutes). Sortir les moules du four et les laisser refroidir sur une grille. Démouler au bout d’environ 15 minutes et laisser refroidir complètement sur une grille. Il vaut mieux cuire les gâteaux un jour avant de les glacer et les laisser toute une nuit à la température ambiante (mais je ne l’ai pas fait).

Pour le glaçage
À l’aide d’un batteur électrique, travailler le beurre jusqu’à ce qu’il soit très crémeux. Mettre le chocolat dans un petit bol allant au four à micro-ondes et le réchauffer 1½ minute à intensité moyenne. Remuer, puis réchauffer 1 minute encore à moyenne intensité. Remuer jusqu’à homogénéité. Le chocolat peut aussi être réchauffé sur la cuisinière, dans un bol posé sur une petite casserole remplie d’eau frémissante (ce qui est ma méthode préférée). Remuer souvent. Incorporer le chocolat au beurre graduellement, une fois qu’il a un peu refroidi. Ajouter la vanille, l’extrait d’amande et le sel. Incorporer le sucre à glacer petit à petit.

Pour l’assemblage
Mettre 1 gâteau sur une assiette, côté plat vers le haut. Le couvrir d’une généreuse couche de glaçage en prenant soin de laisser une mince bordure vierge sur le pourtour. Couvrir du second gâteau, sur le côté plat, et appuyer délicatement dessus. Étaler le glaçage uniformément sur les côtés du gâteau, puis sur le dessus (je n’ai eu assez de glaçage que pour le dessus, pas pour les côtés). Décorer le dessus de gingembre cristallisé haché. Il est préférable de réfrigérer le gâteau plusieurs heures ou toute une nuit avant de le servir (je ne l’ai pas fait et je ne m’en porte pas plus mal).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Coconut Waffles

I had a craving for waffles recently. After all, we have a waffle iron that we don’t use nearly enough, and weekend mornings are slow enough that I can swing something like waffle-making while the Engineer plays with the Little Prince. So I looked through my bookmarked recipes and noticed that I had two different ones for coconut waffles. I decided to make both of them (on non-consecutive weekends) to compare, and I took notes on each. However, given the Engineer’s reaction to one of them, notes were hardly necessary. See, this recipe, with eggs and applesauce and fine macaroon coconut, did not get a warm welcome at all. I hadn’t even had a chance to taste my first waffle that morning when the Engineer was already tearing them apart, in the figurative sense. My impression was that they were innocuously bland, but the Engineer had this to say: “I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I don’t like them. They’re lifeless. Whose waffles are these? Tell that blogger she is joyless!” Well, tell us what you really think! Sometimes I feel like I’ve created a monster. It used to be that anything I put on the table was met with approval, but now the Engineer is able to not only criticize, but to very precisely articulate what he does and does not like. I choose to see this as a good thing, but thank God this was just a recipe I was trying out, not one I’d vouched for. So anyway, I’m sorry to say that those waffles, from a blog I now do not wish to name, will not be making any other appearances at our table.

The recipe I will share, however, is from Art of Dessert. These coconut waffles are vegan and very easy to make, with only a few ingredients. I used 1 cup of white all-purpose flour and 1 cup of white whole wheat flour and loved the result. They are crispy on the outside and a bit dry, so they are best served with a choice of coconut syrup or light maple syrup, or the fresh fruit you prefer. The Engineer said they were almost like cookies, actually, but in a good way. The batter is quite thick, so use an ice cream scoop to portion it out, and don’t forget to spray the waffle iron again after each waffle (I like to use a natural cooking spray here). This made 10 small waffles; they are best eaten the day they are made, but leftovers can be frozen or kept in the fridge if they are reheated in the toaster or oven to remain crispy.

2 cups all-purpose flour (see note above)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk (a little over 1 ½ cups)
(¼ cup sanding sugar, if you’re making sugar waffles, which we didn’t attempt)

Preheat waffle iron. (I set mine to 3 out of 6, but the waffles were still quite pale, so you could go higher.)

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and coconut milk until combined. If you’re making sugar waffles, gently fold in the sanding sugar.

Spray the preheated waffle iron with natural cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop, put some batter onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Serve with fresh fruit and syrup.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sausage and Squash Supper

Have you heard of The Stone Soup? It’s a great food blog where the emphasis is on cooking good meals quickly and with very few ingredients (hence the name). Its creator has published a cookbook, and offers free e-cookbooks on the website as well. That’s also where I got this really good recipe, although it needs a few tweaks. First of all, I used the whole squash instead of half of it, and I used 1 onion instead of 2. I cut the pieces of squash smaller than they were in the original recipe, and I had peeled the squash, so I was afraid that it would be overdone and too soft, but the opposite happened – the squash wasn’t cooked through. In addition to cooking it 1 hour at 350 °F, I put it back in the oven the next night for 30 minutes at 425 °F, and then it was awesome. Next time, I’d consider 45-60 minutes at 400 °F or something along those lines, checking for doneness towards the end, so that’s what I’m writing below. You could also use sweet potato or other root vegetables instead of the squash, or chicken instead of the sausage to shake things up.

½ to 1 butternut squash
1 or 2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise (I used a red onion)
½ tsp. dried chili flakes (I used Korean pepper)
salt and pepper, to taste
4 to 6 thick sausages (I like mild Italian myself)
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

Preheat your oven to 400 °F.

Halve squash crosswise, peel, and chop into pieces. Place squash, onion, cand sausages in a roasting dish. Sprinkle with chili, salt and pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil.

Roast for about 45-60 minutes, stirring halfway through. It’s ready when everything is golden and tender.

Serve with parsley leaves sprinkled over the top.

Chocolate Coconut Pudding

This pudding from The Kitchn happens to be vegan and it’s really easy to make, not to mention delicious. As a matter of fact, it was so good that I really think the recipe doesn’t make enough. Sure, it’s 4 servings if you spread it around in 4 ramekins or bowls, but the servings are really small! Next time, I would double the recipe below and just make 4 bigger servings. The texture was thicker than I expected, but that could be because I cooked it a bit too long, so that could be adjusted easily. I also found them slightly too sweet, so next time I would either use bittersweet chocolate instead of semisweet, or just use less sugar. I used Ghiradelli chocolate, but as long as you use your favorite quality chocolate here, you’ll be fine. You could also use add-ins like almond extract or chocolate chips, if you wanted.

1 14-oz. can of coconut milk, divided
¼ cup sugar (or less, to taste)
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp. espresso powder, optional (I didn’t use it)
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or bittersweet, with full amount of sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut flakes, toasted, to garnish (optional)

Shake the can of coconut milk, as it can settle. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring half the can of coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer over low heat. Don't allow it to boil fully.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining coconut milk, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.

Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the hot pan of coconut milk, whisking vigorously. Keep whisking on low heat until the pudding almost reaches a simmer once again and begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from heat. Whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Keep stirring until the chocolate melts into the pudding and the mixture is smooth and silky.

Pour pudding in a separate bowl or individual ramekins and place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours. To prevent a skin from forming, press plastic wrap up against the surface of the pudding. (This wasn’t really an issue for me, interestingly. In any case, I’m not crazy about pudding skin, but the Engineer enjoys it.)

Serve with a dusting of toasted coconut flakes. If covered in an airtight container, pudding can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. It will firm up quite a bit once chilled; give it a good, firm stir before serving. (This was perhaps why mine was so thick, as coconut milk does change consistency when cold; I prefer not to stir it.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bœuf aux carottes

Il s’agit ici du meilleur plat de viande que j’ai mangé récemment. J’ai bien essayé des médaillons de porc aux poires et aux panais (trouvés dans le Coup de Pouce de septembre), mais ils n’étaient pas assez bons pour que ça vaille la peine d’en parler. J’ai aussi essayé des steaks et des pommes de terre assaisonnés avec de la poudre de bolet (porcini powder), censée donner un excellent goût umami, mais je la goûtais à peine, même en y ajoutant de la fleur de sel (pour me rapprocher du sel à la truffe réputé pour son goût presque magique). Déception! Toujours est-il que le meilleur plat de viande du moment, il était dans mon congélateur. C’est le bœuf aux carottes de ma mère, si bon que même l’Ingénieur a mangé les carottes (moi j’aime ça, alors je n’ai pas à me plaindre de toute façon). Je n’ai pas de bonne photo, on avait trop faim ce soir-là! J’ai servi le plat avec des pommes de terres en purée. Avec un tel à côté, la recette donne de 4 à 6 portions.

750 g (1 ½ lb.) de bœuf en cubes (haut de ronde ou médium-tendre)
4 c. à soupe de farine, environ
1 c. à thé de sucre
1 c. à thé de moutarde en poudre
sel et poivre, au goût
2 c. à soupe de vinaigre de vin rouge ou blanc
thym séché, au goût
4 c. à soupe de ketchup
carottes en rondelles (au moins 4 ou 5, mais autant qu’on veut; j’en ai pris ¾ lb.)

Préchauffer le four à 350 °F.

Mélanger la farine, le sucre, la moutarde, le sel et le poivre. Enrober les cubes de bœuf de ce mélange et les faire dorer de tous côtés dans une grande poêle ou un chaudron à fond épais, huilé (procéder en deux étapes, pour éviter de trop mettre de cubes dans la poêle d’un seul coup).

Retirer les cubes de la poêle et déglacer avec le vinaigre, en grattant le fond de la poêle pour décoller les petits morceaux. Remettre les cubes dans la poêle et ajouter le thym, le ketchup et les carottes, ainsi que du sel et du poivre, au goût.

Cuire au four, couvert, de 90 à 120 minutes, selon la taille des cubes de viande, s’ils sont tendres ou non (plus ils sont tendres, moins ils auront besoin de cuisson) et si vous comptez les manger immédiatement ou pas (visez 90 minutes si vous destinez le plat à la congélation, car il faudra le cuire davantage pour le réchauffer). Ajouter du liquide à la poêle au besoin (j’ai ajouté 1 tasse d’eau).

Servir chaud, avec un à côté tel que des patates pilées.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Blueberry White Chocolate Coffee Cake

I had been uninspired in the dessert department for a while, but I’m getting back in the swing of things. In an effort to use up some more tea (by golly, I will get through the stash that no one drinks!), I made a Darjeeling chocolate layer cake. While it was good, I have come to the conclusion that in any chocolate dessert, the taste of the tea gets lost; the Engineer and I both thought it was a perfectly fine chocolate cake, moist and with good flavor, but it wasn’t worth the extra effort to incorporate tea into both the batter and frosting since it was entirely indiscernible. I also made a strawberry crisp, which was good, but not great, so I won’t be making it again.

But then there was this blueberry white chocolate coffee cake. The flavor combination appealed to me immediately because it reminded me of Whole Foods’ blueberry white chocolate bread pudding, which the Engineer absolutely loves; I would love it more if it were lactose-free. This coffee cake, however, is lactose-free, so it’s win-win. I made it in a 9-inch round springform pan, so I don’t think it was necessary to line it with tin foil, but I’ll leave that in the instructions in case you use another type of pan. The cake was delicious, not too sweet yet satisfying, and we both heartily approve.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup margarine (or butter, room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract
1 cup buttermilk substitute (I used lactose-free milk with a splash of lemon juice)
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
1½ Tbsp. coarse sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
¼ cup chopped, sliced or slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a 9-inch round or square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease. (Here, I used a 9-inch round springform, which I recommend. Greasing it would be sufficient, I don’t think you’d need the tin foil.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla and almond extracts until smooth. Stir in about one half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk substitute and then the rest of the flour mixture. Stir only until just combined. Fold in berries and white chocolate chips to evenly distribute them. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and chopped almonds.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool completely before slicing.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Viking Chicken

This recipe is pretty awesome for new parents, as long as carving a chicken is feasible. You basically throw odds and ends from your crisper drawer and pantry into your biggest baking dish, add a chicken and throw it in the oven for 1 or 2 hours. There’s something kind of primal about it, hence the name of the dish! I found the recipe on The Kitchn. I ended up using mostly root vegetables, along with some mushrooms and an apple (I should have cut the root vegetables smaller and the apple bigger than in my pictures, and if I’d added green veggies like at the link, it would have looked even better). The Engineer found the chicken very soft and agreed that it was really juicy – as a matter of fact, I had a lot more liquid in the bottom of the pan than I thought, but I didn’t have time to make a gravy with it. This makes 4 to 6 servings.

3- to 4-lb. whole chicken
1 small lemon or clementine
several sprigs fresh rosemary
1 to 2 large yellow onions
3 to 4 whole firm fruits such as apples, pears, or quince
1 to 2 lbs. firm or crisp vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, or garlic cloves
olive oil
unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 450 °F. Set a rack in the lower-middle of the oven.

Remove the chicken from its packaging and thoroughly pat it dry. Place the lemon or clementine inside the cavity along with the whole rosemary sprigs, and truss the legs together.

Create a bed of fruits and vegetables in a roasting pan to raise the chicken off the bottom. Chop the onions and a few pieces of fruit into rings, and scatter them over the bottom of the pan. If you're using asparagus or carrots, lay them side-by-side on top of the onions in the center of the pan. Sprinkle the vegetables and fruit generously with salt and black pepper.

Set the chicken on top of the bed of fruits and vegetables. Roughly chop and scatter any remaining fruits and vegetables around the chicken.

Drizzle the chicken and all the fruits and vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Set a few pats of butter atop the chicken, if desired.

Place the chicken into the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 400°F. Roast for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until the vegetables are cooked, chicken's skin is golden, and the chicken registers 165 °F in the thigh (this took 2 hours in my case).

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving. While you're waiting, toss the vegetables with the pan juices and transfer to a serving bowl. If desired, make a simple gravy with the leftover bits in the pan. Serve while the chicken and vegetables are warm. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Batch of links

- I’ve always hated the term “natural flavorings” on ingredient lists, because it’s so vague it’s meaningless. Here’s one example of what it could mean (and one more reason I always buy real vanilla, not beaver butt).

- Why calorie counts are wrong – I’ve never been one to count calories anyway, but this shows how ridiculous the whole thing is.

- Is Food Writing Important?, by Michael Ruhlman. I think I may have posted this already, but a friend sent me the link recently and I enjoyed reading it, so here it is (again).

- Jennifer Esposito says it’s getting harder for celiac sufferers to avoid gluten, and I agree with her. I also think there needs to be better legislation about this.

- I read in Time that there’s a London bar called Redemption that doesn’t serve alcohol, just mocktails (and vegetarian fare). Which actually sounds really appealing to me. Even more startling, though, was that there’s a vegan strip club in Portland, Oregon (where else could it be, really?), AND that they’re opening a second location.

- The Modern Farmer celebrity vegetable chart pairs celebrities with vegetables. Some of it is mean, most of it is funny.

- Why Generation Y yuppies are unhappy – a great explanation. And on a related note, some advice from Bill Watterson (he of Calvin and Hobbes fame), along with a post by The Bloggess with her reaction to the video An Interpretive Dance For My Boss Set To Kanye West's Gone. (The follow-up video is here, since there are two sides to every story.)

- An essay that asks whether we should grant some people a free pass to be immoral just because they are artists, particularly when measuring a young girl’s worth to that of a great man.

- Also, an 8-year-old girl got a sexist children’s book removed from a store, and I think she’s awesome.

- NYC basic tips and etiquette.

- A demonstration of projection-mapping on moving objects. Phrased like that, it sounds really boring, but you have to watch the awesome video.

- Did you see this awesome Man of Steel $20 coin from the Royal Canadian Mint? There are also $15 and $75 versions.

- An illustrator draws faces and lets her 4-year-old daughter draw the bodies. The result is adorably weird art (you can even buy prints).

- My sister insisted that I watch some of Louis C.K.’s stand-up comedy, and it turns out I think he’s really funny! Here’s why he won’t let his kids have cellphones (and joke aside, I’m with him on this, though I wouldn’t resort to banning modern technology).

- Jimmy Kimmel does it again: Obamacare vs. the Affordable Care Act (or why this thing just hasn’t been explained properly to the American public). In the same vein, a significant chunk of Louisiana Republicans blame Obama over Bush for the government’s poor response after Katrina (and almost half aren’t sure which of the two to blame).

- A Tumblr blog full of rescued pets.

- And finally, emergency compliments for when you’re feeling insecure.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tourtière aux deux viandes et à l'érable

Bon, alors voilà, le Petit Prince a aujourd’hui 10 semaines. Le temps file! L’Ingénieur et moi sommes maintenant habitués au manque de sommeil, mais j’avoue que je trouve ça plus dur que mes nuits blanches pendant mes années à l’université. L’université qui, je dois le dire, m’avait mal préparée à avoir un bébé… Bon, mon cours de psychologie du développement me sert, mais j’avais appris (peut-être dans un cours de physiologie animale, en fait) que si le bébé et sa mère biologique dormaient l’un à côté de l’autre, dans l’éventualité où le bébé cesserait de respirer pendant 15 secondes ou plus, la mère se réveillerait automatiquement. J’y croyais dur comme fer, mais je vous annonce que c’est faux! Il y a, même encore maintenant, bien des moments en plein jour, où je suis en pleines possession de mes facultés, et je dois me pencher au-dessus du Petit Prince et regarder sa poitrine pour vérifier s’il respire encore. C’est sûr et certain que mon sommeil ne serait pas du tout troublé s’il arrêtait de respirer!

En tout cas, nous avons trouvé un beau rythme. Les premières semaines ont été difficiles, puis mes parents sont venus donner un coup de main, alors on a très bien mangé pendant presque deux semaines sans avoir à lever le petit doigt! Sérieusement, regardez ces assiettes…

Maintenant, on se débrouille comme suit : je fais un repas par semaine, l’Ingénieur en fait un autre, on sort un repas du congélateur et on commande au restaurant une fois. Avec les restes, ça nous fait une semaine de soupers. Je suis bien contente d’avoir si bien rentabilisé notre nouveau congélateur! Voici cette fois-ci une recette de tourtière, créée à l’origine pour les produits de l’érable du Québec. J’y ai fait quelques modifications : du poulet au lieu du lapin (j’avais déjà décidé que le lapin n’en vaut pas la peine, sauf si votre boucher vous le prépare) et un demi oignon doux au lieu d’un oignon entier (allaitement oblige). La recette avait tout de même l’avantage d’être créée pour être congelée, ce qui me facilitait la tâche! Ce serait aussi pratique pour préparer de la nourriture à l’avance pour le temps des fêtes, ça… Nous avons beaucoup aimé cette tourtière, plus originale et nuancée qu’une tourtière au porc. J’adopte!

1 c. à soupe de beurre ou de margarine
1 oignon, haché finement (doux ou pas, ou moins, au goût)
1 gousse d’ail, hachée
¼ tasse de sucre d’érable
1 lb. de poitrines de poulet, coupée en petits cubes (ou 4 cuisses de lapin désossées; demander au boucher)
½ lb. de porc haché
1 pomme de terre, pelée et râpée
½ c. à thé de sarriette séchée
1 pincée de clou de girofle moulu
1 pincée de cannelle moulue
sel et poivre du moulin
2 abaisses de pâte brisée (du commerce ou maison, sans gluten au besoin)

Dans une casserole, laisser fondre le beurre, puis faire sauter l’oignon et l’ail 3 minutes. Ajouter le sucre d’érable, les viandes et la pomme de terre et cuire 5 minutes. Incorporer les épices et laisser mijoter à feu doux environ 15 minutes. Saler et poivrer. Retirer du feu et réserver cette farce.

Foncer un moule à tarte de 23 cm (9 po), d’une profondeur de 5 cm (2 po), avec la première abaisse, garnir de la farce réservée, puis couvrir avec la deuxième abaisse. À l’aide d’un couteau, pratiquer de petites incisions sur le dessus de la tourtière (cela permettra à la vapeur de s’échapper lors de la cuisson). Laisser refroidir avant de congeler (se conserve au congélateur jusqu’à 3 mois).

Le jour du repas, préchauffer le four à 350 °F. Sortir la tourtière du congélateur et l’enfourner directement. Cuire 2 h ou jusqu’à ce que la croûte soit dorée.