Friday 31 March 2017

Thai Quinoa Salad

I first made this salad last summer for our annual stampede BBQ.  The original recipe actually comes from Campbell's (yup, the soup).  Over the course of the summer I tweaked the ingredients and quantities used to suit my tastes.   Then, winter hit us hard.  I sort of forgot about this delicious little salad because the slow cooker and warm, comforting dishes took over this household.

Monday 13 March 2017

Brownie Mint Cream Cheesecake

Brownies.  Oh...chewy, rich, delectable brownies.  I have to say they rank right up near the top of my all-time favorite desserts.  Or dessert components.  That's right...I often break desserts up into components when I think about them.  Take for example, any pie.  You've got the crust component. The filling component.  And then a top-crust component.  Or maybe that top-crust is a meringue.  Or maybe it is a streusel.  Or maybe it is some sort of whipped topping component.  Who knows?   What I do know is that there are probably millions of potential combinations of crust/filling/topping components.  Throw on some kind of a garnish such as toasted coconut or chocolate shavings and there's another component.   I'm no mathematician, but that is a frighteningly obscene number of delicious options out there just waiting for us to taste.

I'm rambling.  My point is simply that the brownie is a magical dessert option, either alone, or as a component.  In this case, I used it as a base component to this super quick, no bake deliciousness that I have called the Brownie Mint Cream Cheesecake.  You're welcome.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Crusty Homemade Bread

I came across this delightful little bread recipe over the weekend.  It came up on my Facebook feed, and it jumped out at me immediately.  This is an unbelievably simple and delicious five ingredient bread from Taste of Home.  That's right, this isn't my recipe.  I wish I could take credit, because it's so awesome. Seeing this on Saturday was perfect, because it has been awhile since I baked bread, and I haven't participated in a Taste of Home Tuesday since last year.  So here we go..... if you're scared of bread, don't be.  I've made lots of it, and this is one of the simplest (yet best) bread recipes I can recall!   The outside is so crispy, and the inside is so soft and chewy.

My take on Crusty Homemade Bread from Taste of Home

Friday 3 March 2017

Mint Sprinkle Ice Cream

Mint ice cream is right up there on my list of favorite ice creams.  It seems I've only ever posted about all of this frozen deliciousness in the winter.  The never-ending western Canadian winter.    I've said it before though.... ice cream has no season.  (see Tiger Ice Cream and Ginger Maple Pecan Ice Cream)

So here I am, with snow on the ground, making more ice cream.  My daughter asked for the "minty" ice cream.  We JUST finished the last of the 5 different quarts of ice cream we made for her ice-cream themed birthday party, so I was totally prepared with my captain-no-fun-mom response of N-O.   Then it dawned on's March.  March means St. Patrick's Day.  Green minty ice cream would be so festive.  And you know what would amp up the festiveness even more?  Rainbow chocolaty bits!   I also have an abundance of this item in my pantry due to the ice cream themed birthday party that took place in mid-January.  (See....Ice cream has no season!)  Buckle up everyone, this is gonna blow your mind.  The recipe below is for a half batch, which is actually perfect because after it churns it makes just under 3 cups. That is the perfect amount to have a treat, but not have it linger in your freezer and tempting you every night after the kids go to bed.  That is serious business.

Minty Ice Cream
-1 cup heavy whipping cream
-1 cup half and half cream
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp mint extract
-Green food coloring paste (such as Wilton), as desired.
-1/3 cup assorted rainbow sprinkles OR mini chocolate chips (if you're not looking to create a festive Leprechaun-ish batch)

-Whisk together the creams, sugar, extract, and desired amount of food paste (a little goes a long way!)
-Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions. Mine takes about 25 to 30 minutes.  Just before it is complete, slowly pour in sprinkles and process just until combined.   Don't add them too early, or the colors will run.
-Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for approximately 4 hours, until firm.