Tag Archives: montreal

Solo Saturday

23 Mar

With the boyfriend at work and my mom out enjoying Elvis impersonators I’m home alone so that means……

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I get to stuff my face with homemade popcorn and watch Netflix.

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Make Bake Cupcake: Pink Lemonade and Maple & Bacon

21 Mar

The other day I posted about the cupcake book “Make, Bake, Cupcake” and today I’m going to post the first two cupcakes that I’ve tried which are pink lemonade and maple & bacon.

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The first ones I tried were the Pink Lemonade cupcakes because pink lemonade reminds me of summer and with there still being so much snow outside I needed a little reminder that summer isn’t so far away.

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These cupcakes we’re probably the strangest cupcakes I’ve ever made just because of how thick the batter was… it looks more like cookie dough than cupcake batter. This recipe doesn’t call for very much liquid at all, actually the only liquid in this whole recipe is the juice from ONE lemon and that juice doesn’t even go in the batter but it’s used to make a simple syrup to brush over the baked cupcake. I was a little sceptical of these so I test baked one to see how it turned out. Once out of the oven I tried a bite of it and the initial taste is of eggs although they were pretty moist. I decided to add a little bit of lemon juice and raspberry syrup (which I used to color the cupcakes pink rather than using food coloring)

lemonadeeThese cupcakes didn’t really rise like cupcakes normally do but instead formed into a dome shape. I found that adding the extra ingredients (lemon juice, raspberry syrup) caused them to be less moist than my tester cupcake but the egg taste wasnt so overpowering.

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Once the cupcakes come out of the oven and cool slightly you poke them with toothpicks then brush a lemon simple syrup on top to give them that lemonade taste. This is just a mixture of sugar and lemon juice that you heat on the stove until all the sugar has dissolved, it’s as simple as that!

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The recipe for the icing calls for butter, icing sugar, food coloring, cream, lemon zest and lemon juice (I also added some of the raspberry syrup that I put in the batter). It says to combine all the ingredients at once which I did but instantly regretted as soon as I saw that the cream curdled. If I were to make this icing again I would probably mix all the ingredients and leave out either the cream or lemon juice until everything else has been combined to try and avoid the curdling, although the icing still tasted good the presentation didn’t look so good because of the curdling.

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In the end these became raspberry lemonade cupcakes instead of just ‘pink’ lemonade. Would I make these again? I don’t think I would use this recipe but I would definitely like to find a better recipe for lemonade cupcakes because I really love the idea and I think they would be perfect to bring to a summer get together.

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The second recipe I tried were Maple & Bacon. These were fun to make because I absolutely LOVE candied bacon and the thought of combining candied bacon into cupcakes made me excited.

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Before starting the recipe you need to prepare your candied bacon, all you need is brown sugar, and bacon! You can place the bacon on a baking tray with parchment paper and coat both sides with brown sugar then bake at 350 f until crispy. I placed my bacon on a rack so that the fat would drip onto the tray underneath but that became a problem once it cooled and stuck a bit to the rack so your best bet is probably to use the parchment paper.  Once it’s cooled you can cut it into pieces whichever size you want so you can toss it in your batter.

*a little side note: my favorite way to make candied bacon is to add a little bit of chilli flakes to give it a bit of heat.

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This recipe calls for milk and maple syrup so unlike the Pink Lemonade batter the consistency of these were much more liquidy.

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*step 1*

The frosting used for these cupcakes is a meringue so what you need is eggs, sugar, cream of tartar (used as a stabilizer) and whatever flavoring you’re using.. in this case maple syrup and maple extract. I didn’t have any maple extract so I just used more maple syrup. Making meringue is pretty simple all you need to do is fill a pot with water and bring it to a simmer then take a bowl that fits nicely into the pot and add your ingredients and begin to whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Be sure that your bowl isn’t touching the simmering water because it can cook your eggs.

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*step 2*

once your sugar has fully dissolved you remove it from the heat and whisk it until it gets to stiff peaks (meaning that when you take out the whisk the mixture should stand upright without falling over) in the book it says to whisk for 4-5 minutes so I began whisking by hand.. that amount of time is ridiculous, my arm began cramping so I got out the electric mixer and continued mixing for about 15 minutes. I never actually reached stiff peaks but I became fed up of standing there with the handheld mixer (Please God, send me a kitchen aid)

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Because I didn’t let the frosting get to stiff peaks it was a little bit droopy but after frosting them I put them in the fridge and that let the frosting set so it turned out fine. I decorated the cupcakes the same as they did in the book. I thought just placing the bacon strip into the frosting would be fine but it wasn’t firm enough to hold it up so in the end I cut a slit into the cupcake so that it would hold up. When I make these again I will probably just top it with candied bacon bits instead in order to save some time and work.

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These cupcakes tasted like Sunday breakfast in one bite. You get the consistency of a pancake and the flavor of bacon and maple syrup. I will definitely try these cupcakes again!

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messy, messy, messy.

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But, OH SO GOOD!

Today for lunch: lettuce wraps

19 Mar

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One lettuce wrap is filled with ground chicken, bacon bits, diced tomato with balsamic dressing and crumbled goat cheese on top! The other wrap is basically the same I just swapped the tomato with diced apples! They were delicious!

Make, bake, cupcake – Bored bakers rejoice

19 Mar

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I recently bought this cookbook and I’m super excited to try out all of the recipes because they all sound delicious. So far I’ve tried two of the recipes which I’ll post soon.

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There’s 5 sections in this book with great categories which gives a great variety to choose from.

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Cupcakes and alcohol? Sure, why not? I’m most excited to try the root beer cupcakes, raspberry daquiri and caramel appletini. I’ve already tried the pink lemonade cupcakes.

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Shown in this picture: Pink lemonade, Cosmopolitan, White Russian, Vanilla Chai and Mudslide.

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Seen in this photo: Appletini, Margarita, Raspberry Daquiri and Strawberry Mimosa.

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Out of this chapter I already made the maple & bacon because being Canadian you can’t resist maple AND bacon. I’m excited to make the chocolate chip cupcakes because it consists of cupcakes and cookies so who wouldn’t want to eat that? I also really want to try the baklava cupcakes and gingerbread.

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Shown in this picture: Maple & Bacon, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Pink Lemon Meringue, Chilli Chocolate and Coffee & Donut.

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This chapter is fun and frosted…. probably some of the cutest cupcakes. I most want to try the hamburger cupcakes, ice cream sundae and popcorn (gotta love taking cupcakes and making it look like something completely different than cupcakes)

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Shown in this picture: Cactus, Ice Cream Sundae, Hamburger, Dabbling Duck and Cupcake Shooters.

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Seen in this photo: Belly Up Bear, Popcorn, Flamingo and Little Lion Cupcakes.

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Halloween themed cupcakes perfect for any Halloween party no matter what age.  I pretty much want to make every single recipe from this chapter because they’re all so cool. Halloween needs to come faster so I can make them!

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Seen in this picture: Marshmallow Monster, Rotten Apple, Brain,  Pumpkin and Zombie Cupcakes.

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Seen in this picture: Squished witch, Neon Spiderweb, Toadstool, and Ghost cupcakes.

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Last but not least we have hidden surprises. If you knew me you would know that I have this unhealthy obsession with s’mores so it’s pretty obvious which ones I’m most excited to make out of these! Besides s’mores I’m also excited to make the heart in a cupcake, rainbow cupcakes, and funfetti.

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Seen in this picture: heart in a cupcake. Super cute and perfect to give to your significant other!

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Seen in this post: Rainbow, Baked in Cookie, Funfetti and Egg Cupcakes.

So many recipes to get through, let’s get baking! If you see a recipe on here you’d like me to make and review leave a comment 🙂

Author of Make, Bake, Cupcake –  Robin Donovan

Movie night: Junk Food included!

16 Mar

Last weekend I thought it would be cool to have a night in with the boyfriend and watch movies. I also thought it would be a good idea to make all sorts of junk food, because who doesn’t love pigging out with a good movie? On the menu was pepperoni and chorizo pizza, garlic spinach deep dish pizza with a cheese sauce, fried pickles,  mozarella sticks, jalapeño chips and finally for dessert root beer floats!

Now this night didn’t run as smoothly as planned. At first the plan was to buy dough at the pizza place close to my house but when we got there they told us they don’t sell just the dough anymore, second plan was to go to the grocery store conveniently located across the street but like I said in my last post the dough had to defrost for 24 hours SO in the end we put our culinary education to good use and made our own dough!

Pizza dough is pretty simple to make and doesn’t require too many ingredients. It’s basically flour, warm water, dry active yeast, All Purpose flour (or bread flour), olive oil and sugar. The somewhat tricky part is that you have to let the dough rise in a proofer or in our case we preheated the oven to 350 and then when it came time to put the dough in we turned the oven off  with bowl full of snow (we didn’t have ice and needed to improvise.. so why not make use of all that white stuff in the backyard?). The purpose of ice (or in our case snow) is so that there’s steam circulating

We started the night off with the mozarella sticks (well technically with the chips cause we couldn’t resist them)

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This was before frying them. We took mozarella sticks (like the peelable ones) cut them in half and stuck them in the freezer. After they were in the freezer for a bit we battered them by first dipping them in eggs and then into bread crumbs then we repeated those steps to get a double batter. We had the oil s bit high when frying them so they colored fast and it didn’t give the cheese time to melt.

The next thing we made were the fried pickles.

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Not our best attempt at fried pickles. We cut the pickles then seasoned them with cayenne pepper and tossed them in flour.. we didn’t fry them right after flouring them so they kind of became goopy? (that might not be the best word to describe it) When we began frying them they didn’t want to cooperate but in the end they were still pretty tasty.

Now onto to main event…. PIZZA

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This is the deep dish filled with spinach, and a garlic cheese sauce. To make the cheese sauce you need milk and cornstarch as well as garlic. For every cup of milk you use you need a tablespoon of cornstarch. Heat the milk in a sauce pot and add crushed garlic (use as much as you see necessary) and cornstarch then you need to mix it constantly until it gets thick. Once it’s at the right consistency you can either strain it to get out the garlic or leave the garlic in. We used a cake pan in order to make this a deep dish. We put in the dough and made sure the crust went up the sides and then we added our cheese sauce, spinach and then shredded mozarella and provolone. Don’t forget that you need to oil the pan and put cornemal so that the dough doesn’t stick. Then bake at 425f for about 20 – 25 minutes or depending on the thickness.

Now onto pizza numero deux.

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Here we have a peperoni and chorizo pizza with a tomato sauce. This one was made on a pizza stone and like the first one bakes at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until it becomes crispy on the edges. On this pizza is pepperoni, chorizo and a mix of cheese (provolone, mozarella, cheddar and a bit of swiss) You can’t go wrong with this pizza. It was so good!

Last but not least dessert… I don’t know how we managed to get this down after all the other food but we did.

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Root beer float in my favorite cup!

Cinnamon Rolls

15 Mar

The other day me and my boyfriend wanted to make pizza so we bought this frozen dough from the grocery store.. being the geniuses we are we didn’t realize it had to defrost for 24 hours so in the end we just made our own dough. What that has to do with this post is that I used the store bought dough yesterday to attempt for the first time making cinnamon rolls! (ps I’ll post the pizza pictures soon)

here’s the store bought dough

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Normally when I bake I like to do a trial run and bake a few of whatever I’m making to see how it turns out..

To make the cinnamon rolls all I did was roll out the dough into a rectangle then brush it with butter and sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. After that I rolled it and cut it into slivers.

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I baked these ones at 350 f for 10 minutes and raised it to 400 f because they weren’t browning. After I took them out of the oven I put a glaze of cream and icing sugar then dipped them in more sugar and cinnamon. (Personally I liked these ones the best because they had a really doughy center)

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These were the second round of cinnamon rolls. These ones were much flatter and I think it’s because I had cut them at the same time as the first ones and it sat on the counter and kind of flattened itself out. For the cooking time with these ones I started them at 400 f for 10 minutes so they would brown then I lowered the heat to 350 and baked them for another 8 minutes I also brushed these ones with butter before putting them in the oven.

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These were the last ones I made. I baked these the same as the first ones (350 f for 10 minutes then for another 8 at 400 f) but I also brushed them with butter like I did for the second ones. After they were out of the oven I let them cool slightly then poured over the glaze of icing sugar and cream.

All in all they turned out pretty well… I mean they all got eaten so they couldn’t have been awful right?!

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