Category: brunch

creamy dressing

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So everyone seems to have an opinion on Gwyneth Paltrow and her blog (which I actually really like), her marriage…pretty much her life in general. I always kinda liked her (remember when she dated Brad Pitt!?!?). She always seems happy in interviews, pretty in magazines. She’s also been in some of my favorite movies (Royal Tenenbaums, Great Expectations!) Anyways, inspired by all the Paltrow hollywood gossip lately, I decided to crack open her (newest) cookbook “It’s All Good”  (a gift from my parents).

salad dressing2We’ve been trying a bunch of different stuff from the book the past couple weeks. So far everything has been delicious!! MY FAVORITE so far being this salad dressing. It’s super simple and so freaking good!! Please give it a try….regardless of your feelings about Ms. Paltrow.

 

It’s All Good; Gwyenth Paltrow & Julia Turshen (p.61)

INGREDIENTS:

3 T white wine vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup organic Vegenaise

3 T water

½ tsp coarse sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

**Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe, she added a handful of parsley which is also amazing!**

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a blender until completely pureed. Keeps well in a jar with a fitted lid for up to one week.

 

 

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a birthday party

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I spent the weekend celebrating my birthday with my favorite people!  Saturday afternoon we hosted a wonderful potluck with some of the most delicious food! Chris made my favorite ribs on the BBQ, My bestie Nic  (ibbyandpop) brought her delicious quiche (hopefully she’ll post the recipe on her beautiful blog), We had salads; chickpea, caesar, and cabbage. Homemade mac’n cheese, awesome mini baked potatoes and a HUGE spread of meats and cheeses, banana cupcakes and of course beer and wine for all. This year we choose to include EVERYONE that meant even our new little friends. We stuffed a pinata with candy (for us) toys, stickers and gold star confetti!  It was one of the most special birthdays I have ever had. I can not thank everyone enough for coming and sharing the day with me.

Thank you, Chris for capturing it and making another incredible video for me! I love you!

 

 

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Beautiful photo’s of the party and lots of amazing recipes and stunning photo’s check-out: www.ibbyandpop.com

 

oat yogurt scones

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I had a whole list of things I wanted to do today. I can honestly say that this scone project was the only thing I ended up getting done. I woke up with a splitting headache. Unable to barely move I whined and cried till past noon. Finally, after a couple tylenol I was functional enough to make some scones and a small blog post. Homework and taking Wyatt for a walk will have to wait a little longer. The scones were nice, a little too dry but, with a large cup of fresh coffee, a little butter and fresh strawberries they ended up pretty good!

Ok, well guess it’s time to tackle a little homework.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups  cake flour flour extra for dusting surface
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup  rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon (+) full-fat yogurt
  • 1 egg, beaten (for glaze)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). line baking sheet with un-buttered parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. With your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients (until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs).
  4. In a small dish, combine the milk and syrup, then add these ingredients to the butter-flour mixture.
  5. By hand, bring everything together and add yogurt a tablespoon at a time until it forms a soft dough. If it feels too dry, add a little more yogurt (dough should not be sticky).
  6. On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough out until it is approx 2 inches tall. Using a  cutter (or a small cup), cut the dough into rounds and place them on the prepared tray so that they almost touch. Glaze the tops with beaten egg
  7. Bake for 20-25min

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slow poached

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Saturday morning we woke up super early (thanks to our hyper morning puppy). I had been talking about trying David Chang’s ‘Slow Poached Eggs’ after watching him make them on Mind of a Chef.

I love poached eggs! Surprisingly, I’m not terrible at making them either. This seemed like a fairly simple way to make them. Takes MUCH longer but, it seemed pretty easy. It wasn’t (well not for me). I spent an hour staring at the thermometer adjusting the heat to keep it where it was supposed to me. I wasted a bunch of eggs testing to see if it they were done yet. In the end, they weren`t as amazing as I really wanted them to be.

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HOW TO SLOW POACH EGGS:

Fit a large pot with a smaller pot upside down in the bottom (so eggs do not touch bottom of the pot) or try using a steamer basket and fill with water. Place over low heat .

Heat water to between 60 – 63 degrees c(140 and 145 degrees F) and gently add eggs to pot. I noticed when the water had reached 60 degrees C (tiny bubbles will began to form). Once the poaching began, the eggs themselves became coated with tiny water bubbles, and on occasion you’d see a bubble rise up and break through the surface.

Cook eggs 45 minutes – 60 minutes, checking temperature regularly. I tried to distract myself snapping photo’s of random things around the kitchen…but every time I wandered back over the temp would be just below or get to hot.

I even turned the oven off a few times to keep temp. between (60c – 63c). I also checked my first egg at 45min (I didn’t think it was done). It wasn’t until around 60 minutes it looked good.

Crack top of egg off and pour into clean hands. Let the clear liquid pour off (you might have to give it a little wiggle) then delicately place on the plate.

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We stacked up our brunch, fresh Pumpernickel bread (toasted), peameal bacon,  sweet potato latka and finally topped with the slow poached egg.  I sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese, cracked pepper and a little hot sauce.

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harvest pancakes

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We woke up this morning to a hyper puppy. Both hoping for just a few more minutes of sleep, Chris scooped him up to the bed thinking some cuddles would calm him down. We were so wrong. Wyatt excited by the attention, pounced and jumped around digging through our big duvet, licking our ears and cheeks as we tried to duck away. We soon realized there would be little to no sleeping in this morning. Tail wagging, we all marched downstairs.

Chilly drizzle and grey skies meant we had very little to do this morning. We grabbed coffee and headed to the living room to watch an Alien marathon. Half watching we lounged around talking about our costumes for tonight’s Halloween parties and eyed Wyatt as he curled up at our feet to fall back asleep! *sigh

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I made some roasted vegetables to go with a bean salad yesterday and had some extra sweet potato and butternut squash left.  There have been a few recipes for pumpkin and butternut squash pancakes that have caught my eye and I thought I’d give it a try. Still in pajamas and our big woolie socks we mixed and measured and made a delicious breakfast!

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INGREDIENTS:

2 large eggs
1/2 cup butternut squash & sweet potato, roasted mixed and mashed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

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DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together, squash, syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.

In a smaller, separate bowl, mix together  flour, salt and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Separate eggs adding the yolk to mixture. Beat whites to fluffy and flood into batter

Lightly grease a griddle with butter a. Using a ladle, pour the batter by the scant 1/4 cupful onto the griddle and cook just until bubble appear on the surface.  Carefully flip and cook on the other side until the pancake is done, about one minute more.

Serve warm with additional maple syrup!

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These were amazingly light and fluffy (we think because of the egg whites). They we full of autumn cinnamon and nutmeg flavor. Now, with full belly’s we will start our finishing touches on our Halloween costumes for tonight’s events! I can’t wait to see our wonderful friends and their crazy outfits!!! YAY!!

 

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plum torte

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Thanksgiving weekend officially marks end of summer for me. Although I am sad it’s over the weather has been amazing! the sun has been shining most of the long weekend (except Sunday) and with the beautiful leaves full of color it’s been awesome to wander with our new puppy around our neighborhood. It’s crisp but not at all cold.

Now that summer is over and our weekends are finally quieting down. I have more time to get back to trying to teach myself to cook (and blog). Seems the summer was mostly spent repeating the few recipes I had learned……or us scrambling to make something quick while rushing in and out of the house.

This weekend I made a delicious Plum Torte (originally posted on Smitten Kitchen). I had to switch up some of the ingredients cause we didn’t have some things on hand. But, it didn’t seem to matter. This was super easy and really, really good. I know plums are not a autumn fruit. I don’t care. They should be. …..or look like they should be.

While it baked in the oven I curled up under our big blanket, snuggled in with our sweet puppy to watch ‘Thérèse’ with the beautiful Audrey Tautou. When it was done baking i pulled it out of the oven and headed to our back deck to let it cool. It was  bright and sunny outside so Wyatt and i played in the leaves.   After we came inside our house was still filled with the most amazing warm scent of fresh baking. As soon as Chris came home we couldn’t resist, we cut ourselves a couple pieces and enjoyed it still slightly warm.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup  all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1 cup dark brown sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon

1/2 cup  butter, softened

2 large eggs

10 plums, halved and pitted

½  fresh lime (juice)

2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

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DIRECTIONS:

Heat over to 350°F.

MIx flour, baking powder and salt in a  bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light in color. Add the eggs,  then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into an greased 9-inch springform pan  and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lime juice, then cinnamon, and the rest of the sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter (but of course not plum juice), about 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool on rack.

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brunch

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Summer is finally over. I LOVE summer. The only thing I hate about it, how busy everyone is. It’s hard to get together with anyone, let alone 4 others (my besties and their perfect and wonderful other half’s …. 6 actually, including Poppy and Chris).

We did it. Finally after the heat was long gone and the leaves were changing color we locked down 3 of them (sadly we were minus one, do to some stupid wisdom teeth). We got together in the morning with warm latte’s, bubbly mimosa’s and of course a huge brunch.

We woke up early, grabbed coffee, turned up some music,  straightened up the place and started chopping up our fresh fruit. We made a baked french toast (which was perfect, all the work was done the night before), apple/cinnamon smoked sausage from St.Lawrence Market and threw the pile of bright fruit on the table and we were set! As soon as everyone arrived and we were ready to go! We chatted (mostly with my mouth full), laughed and watched poppy and our puppy. Before we knew it, it was time for them to head home to put beautiful Poppy down for a nap. It was such an awesome time. Within the first couple hours of them leaving we had our next brunch date set! Just a couple weeks from now. I love them all so much! I CAN’T WAIT!!

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Ricotta, Pancetta French Toast
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 pound pancetta; diced
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar + 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half and half
DIRECTIONS:
Butter a casserole dish and set aside.Heat a saute pan over medium heat and cook the pancetta 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.Fold together ricotta, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup and dark brown sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the 5 eggs, half and half and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Place a layer of ciabatta in the prepared pan. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the bread. Sprinkle cooled pancetta over top. Layer the remaining bread slices over top. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the casserole from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with extra sugar. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake 40 minutes or until the custard is set. Serve warm.

* I think it was a little dry. If I were to do this again I would add 2 more eggs and a little more cream (yup, TWO more!)

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