Monday, September 26, 2011

Extra Buttery Lemon Cranberry Scone Recipe

I made a huge mistake when I made these scones. I doubled the butter by accident. Oops! That's a lot of butter! They were still delicious just more of a cookie texture. The original recipe called for 3/4 cups butter. I don't know what I was thinking when I cut off a 1 3/4 cup chunk. Still, yum yum yum! Next time I'll pay more attention to the butter.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Basil Pesto Recipe

This is good on pasta or as a spread on your sandwich. I love pesto but the prepared one from the store seems very oily. You can control that by making it yourself!

Lentil Stew Recipe

I adapted this from what was originally a Weight Watchers lentil soup recipe, but it turned out to be thick so I'm going to call it a stew. I thought the raisins were interesting but I knew raisins and lentils would be good together because I like Adas Polow which also has lentils and raisins in it! Even my 4 year old loved this! Use veggie broth to make this vegan.

Concord Grape Jam / Syrup Recipe

Let me start by saying I know nothing about making jam. It's obvious because if I did then this recipe would have set the way it was supposed to. I looked up several recipes for grape jam. Some of them said to separate the skins from the grapes and cook them separately. I don't really understand that because in the end, you're going to smush them all through a sieve anyway. I went with the idea that it should be equal parts grapes and sugar. Simple and old fashioned. I cooked the grapes with the skin on. Some recipes also called for pectin. I decided not to use it. My jam turned out to be a thick syrup. I think the problem was that I didn't boil it long enough.

I'm not experienced in jam making and I'm sure I broke all the jam making rules, but I had a great time with this and the end result was delicious! These concord grapes are in season right now so I had to do something with them. The syrup is sweet and sour. It would make a great spread in crepes, on toast, or even waffles! If you want to preserve this you could process the jars in a large pot of boiling water. We started eating ours the next day (you can give it away too!). I got 4 jars from this recipe in assorted sizes. I save jars from pickles and condiments and I sterilized them (after removing the labels).

We visited a farm over the weekend.
Here are the yummy grapes they had growing there.

You can see how grainy the sugar is.

Simmering away. It's clear now.
All the sugar has melted and the grapes are getting soft.

Straining the syrup.

Finished syrup.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Love Autumn

Soon it'll be all about the apples and pumpkins! I absolutely love to visit the farms with my kids. We pick our own fruits and veggies when we can, and sometimes we just go to play among the pumpkins and corn mazes.
This weekend we visited two farms. Yesterday we went mostly to visit the animals and Forsythe Family Farms in Markham (Ontario). We missed the wagon ride and there was nothing to pick there, so we just visited with the animals, let the kids play for a bit and left with some homemade butter tarts from the market.

The kids are checking out the animals at Forsythe.
Today we went to Andrew's Scenic Acres (Milton/Halton Hills) which is one of my favourites. My older daughter turned 4 last week and started Junior Kindergarten. She has to take a snack to school so I thought a nice apple would be just the thing, and she could go to school and tell her friends that she picked it herself. Although there wasn't much to pick today, we managed to find about 15 good apples. We sampled some of the concord grapes straight from the vine, and the raw sunflower seeds were good too. Yum! We didn't make it to the raspberries because the kids were getting a bit cranky. They were getting hungry for lunch.

Yummy Concord grapes.


The raw seeds.

This child is happy as long as she has food in her hands.

After we picked our apples, we headed for the hotdogs and fresh sweet corn. At just $1.50 a cob, you can't go wrong!
While we were eating, we sat and waited for the wagon to come around. When it arrived we hopped on and went for a ride. We passed by the raspberry bush but didn't get off the wagon. We kept going past the pumpkin patch, and in the distance we saw the beautiful flower garden. Yes, you can pick flowers at Andrew's too! At this point my memory card was full. I was too slow inserting a new card so wasn't able to get a photo of the flowers from the wagon.

Here are the kids waiting for the wagon to arrive.

Here we are on the wagon. My eye looks weird.

Pumpkin Patch. They're not quite ready yet.

I love the layers of petals on this.

The sunflowers were beautiful.
Once the ride was over, the kids went for a pony ride, visited the animals and played in the playground. We finished our trip with maple walnut tarts (we like tarts) and chocolate covered marshmallows on a stick.

We live in the city so it's really nice to get out to the country sometimes. I really love going in the fall. The summer is good for strawberry or cherry picking but something about Autumn makes me feel happy inside.

Our next farm visit will be in October when the pumpkins are ready. We'll pick more apples then too. I can't wait!

I made some concord grape jam/syrup and I'm working on posting that recipe. It was supposed to be jam but it didn't set properly so it's more of a thick syrup, but it's delicious! I have no experience making jam so i'm not surprised it didn't turn out. It won't be my last time though. I will try again!

Here's my jam/syrup. I'll get the recipe up soon.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Shrimp Dip Recipe

This is the same recipe as the Shrimp Mould that I usually make for special ocasions. The difference is that this time I used the whole can of soup and I thought I'd save time by chopping my veggies in the magic bullet. Well, the magic bullet is useless for chopping and turns everything into liquid. While the dip tasted delicious, I guess there was just too much liquid and it didn't set properly. I should have added another packet of gelatin. The result was a yummy dip rather than a spread. It goes better with pita and veggies.

Sundried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Ball Recipe

I made this for my daughter's 4th birthday party. It was a huge hit! I was going to add fresh chives but the store I went shopping at didn't have any. Maybe next time. We went with a Mickey Mouse theme for the party so I decided to do the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cheese ball. I used paprika to make the ball red. Chili flakes were an option that I didn't think the kids would appreciate and I couldn't think of any other red food that would be good for coating a cheese ball. I cut Mickey's head out of two layers of craft foam and attached some toothpicks between the layers with glue. It stuck into the top of the cheese ball perfectly. The roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes both came packed in oil so I drained and blotted them with paper towel before chopping them.