Archive | March 2014

Oooops…I baked again!

Just wanted to share my Village Sweets page…been baking again    🙂

http://village-sweets.com/2014/03/21/sugar-shack-sweets/

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Collar Accessory

Have been in a sewing mood lately….  Today I made a pretty fashionable collar using fine Bridal Satins and Laces.  I think it’s pretty anyway, lol.  Available in my Etsy shop.  They called for rain today, which is why I sat myself down at my machine early.  It is looking sunny/cloudy with no sight of rain…yet.  I often wonder if those weathermen/women know what they are talking about?  I havesent a link for some weather entertainment below.   Hmmm what do I make next, my sewing machine is calling!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/182769137/womens-girls-pretty-embellished-collar?ref=shop_home_active_1

Fashion Collar Accessory. Light Coral color.

Fashion Collar Accessory.
Light Coral color.

A little weather humor from Canada for your entertainment, please watch this video “Rick Mercer Report”    🙂

 

Neon!

Just added some great new NEON Winter Headbands to my collection that is available on the link below.  I know, spring is just around the corner, but really?  Winter just seems to have it’s claws into us and is just not letting go!  I don’t mind, a snowshoeing here I come…  a snowshoeing here I come…

http://www.etsy.com/shop/PeoniesCloset

Cool Ultra Warm NEON Winter Headbands. Reversible too!

Cool Ultra Warm NEON Winter Headbands. Reversible too!

Neon Pink - Neon Orange - Neon Purple - Neon Yellow - Neon Green.

Neon Pink – Neon Orange – Neon Purple – Neon Yellow – Neon Green.

The Ultimate French Toast

French Toast.  One of my favorite breakfast items.  Although breakfast is not my favorite meal of the day, I do love French Toast for Brunch.  Fills me up all the way to dinner time.  Here is my recipe for the ultimate of French Toasts!  

ULTIMATE FRENCH TOAST

–  Thick sliced bread or Leftover French Bread, sliced (I had no french bread, I think leftover crusty bread is best)

–  2 Eggs

–  1/2 Cup Whole Milk (you can use any milk)

–  2 T. Plain Yogurt

–  1/4 t. ground Cinnamon

–  1/4 t. ground Nutmeg

–  Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar for sprinkling

–  Confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional, I think it looks pretty)

–  The best 100% pure Maple Syrup

Heat a pan on medium.  In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, yogurt and spices.  Whisk well until fully combined.  Add a pat of butter or margarine and swirl around in pan until melted.  Dip your slice of bread into the egg mixture and get it all covered with the liquid.  Put bread in pan and sprinkle with a little of the muscovado sugar.  Cook both sides until you hear a hollow sound when the bread is tapped lightly.  You only need a sprinkling of the muscovado sugar on one side.  Transfer to a plate and add some fresh fruit slices or berries.  Pour a little maple syrup and dust with confectioners sugar.  Bonne  appetito!

Ultimate French Toast. Perfect for a brunch!

Ultimate French Toast. Perfect for a brunch!

Magic Soup Broth

The cold just does not want to go away… I don’t mind it so much, I do many winter activities, so on those humdrum days, being outdoors is what I love, even in -26 temperatures, Brrr!   When I am indoors, cooking and baking keeps me busy during the long winter months.  One of my favorite things is SOUP!  I love soup, any soup.  I especially love coming home after a long day of snowshoeing or skiing and having a hot bowl of delicious soup.  I have a basic broth that I use for all my soup bases.  When I am feeling like chicken, I add a roasting chicken to the pot, feeling beefy?  I take out my cross rib roast bones and beef shank bones.  I also love a vegetarian soup, so no bones, just a whole lot of vegetables.  I never throw away my chicken carcasses or beef bones, they make the most delicious soup broth.  I also have on hand potato water (you know that potato water you used to boil your potatoes?  Don’t throw it down the drain, save it and put it in freezable containers, it keeps for a good 3 months.  Even that vegetable water you use to cook your veggies, keep it!).  Here is my basic MAGIC broth recipe.

Turkey MeatbalL Soup using basic chicken broth.

Turkey MeatbalL Soup using basic chicken broth.

Magic Broth

In a very large stock pot, fill the pot halfway with filtered water.  Throw in the following;

– About 4 large washed and rinsed carrots cut up in chunks

– About 5 celery stalks washed and rinsed with the leaves on, cut in chunks

– about 3 small onions cut up in chunks

– Add 1 Cup Potato Water (reserved from an earlier cooking)

– Add 1 cup of vegetable water (reserved from an earlier cooking, can be any mix of vegetable water).

– Add about 3 large Bay Leafs (fresh is best, but dried is fine to use as well).

This is the part where you decide what kind of soup you are making, Chicken? Beef? Vegetarian?

Add the following ingredients for which you prefer:

POULTRY:

– Whole Roasting Chicken or frozen chicken bones, whole roasting chicken is nice, because you can cut up the cooked chicken and add to your soup.

– Assorted Fresh Herbs.  For chicken I like Rosemary, Thyme, Basil or Oregano, choose what you like.  Fresh is best, but you can go ahead and use dried if that is what you have on hand.

Now cook this up on medium heat for at least 2 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.  Let cool.  Carefully strain the broth into another large pot.  Keep the chicken, remove skin and cut up into pieces to use in the soup. Reserve the meat.  Discard the vegetables.  Put the broth back into the stock pot and cover.  Refrigerate overnight.  The next day, scoop any fat that has surfaced to the top, should be very easy to remove, it is a hard film on top of your broth.  Discard.  Return pot to stove and add fresh vegetables cut into bite size pieces.  I add the following:

– 1 to 2 cups sliced carrots

– 1 to 2 cups sliced celery

– 1 to 2 cups turnip, cut into bite size chunks

– I add a few bunches of each Fresh Herb or 1 T. of Dried:  Basil, Oregano, Rosemary.

– 1 T. cracked black pepper

Cook on medium heat until vegetables are cooked, still firm, not overcooked and mushy.  You want them a little on the hard side.  Just before the vegetables are cooked, add:

– Add your reserved poultry pieces.

– 1 Cup Corn Niblets

At this point I ladle my soup into freezable containers and cool completely in refrigerator overnight and put in freezer the next day.  If I am serving the soup, I add some Tortellini, or noodles or rice.  The amount depends on the servings I have.  I only add my noodles or rice etc… when I am actually serving the soup, do not add it to the soup and freeze, the water content in the soup makes it go mushy, same as for potatoes, I only add this when I am actually serving the soup.  *Variations:  I rolled small turkey meatballs and added it to the vegetable cooking time point to make a turkey meatball soup.   Cook until meatballs are cooked through. I also added about 1 cup sliced cabbage.  **When adding vegetables like spinach or broccoli, add at the last minute of cooking as they cook quickly.

Chicken Tortellini Soup using chicken broth base.

Chicken Tortellini Soup using chicken broth base.

BEEF:

I made a Beef Minestrone Soup.  So whatever vegetables or seasonings you want to add is all up to you. For Beef, add the following:

– Beef Shank, Saved Cross Rib Bones, Blade Roast (I throw it all in!).

– Assorted Fresh Herbs or 1 T. Dried:  Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Marjoram.

– 1 T. cracked black pepper

Now cook this on medium heat.  If you are using previously cooked meat and bones only cook for about an hour.  If you are using fresh uncooked meat, cook until the meat is cooked through and still tender.  Do not overcook it!  

Follow the same procedure for straining the broth as the poultry.  Cool the meat and cut up in bite size pieces, reserve. The next day, add the following:

–  2 Cups Sliced Carrots

–  2 Cups Sliced Celery

– 2 Cups Turnip, cut into bite size chunks

Cook until slightly hard but not mushy.  Add the following:

– Reserved meat pieces

– 1 Cup Corn Niblets

– 1 Cup Red Kidney Beans

Just before serving throw in a big bunch of washed and rinsed Baby Spinach, cooks in 2 minutes.  You want it a bright green.

Beef Minestrone Soup using beef broth base.

Beef Minestrone Soup using beef broth base.

VEGETARIAN:

Follow the above recipe but just OMIT any poultry or beef.  Any vegetable can be used to make your basic broth.  I throw everything I can get my hands on.  Squashes, parsnips, sweet potato, and of course good old carrots, celery, turnip.  I always add potatoes 1/2 hour before serving, makes a good staple.  I never add potatoes to my containers to freeze and they always end up mushy, yuck!  Any kind of Herbs can be used, fresh or dried.  Try whatever vegetables, herbs, spices, toppings and sides that suit your fancy.  A hot bowl of homemade soup and crusty bread after a day of winter activities hits the spot! Most importantly, cook, experiment and simply have fun. 

 

Breakfast Crepes with Fruit

Made some delicious crepes last week and wanted to share the recipe.  It was fast and easy (okay maybe washing and slicing the fruit took a little time, but deliciousness is worth it!).  Here is the recipe,

Breakfast Crepes with Fruit

2 Large Eggs  

3/4 Cup Homogenized Milk (3.25%)

1/2 Cup Water

1 t. Vanilla

1/4 t. Cinnamon

1 Cup Flour

3 T. Melted Butter (+ some for pan)

Assorted Fresh Fruit, cut-up in small pieces  (I used Strawberry, Banana & Pineapple)  Any fruit would be great  🙂

Whipping Cream 35% for filling.  (about 1 cup)

DIRECTIONS:  Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer your crepe batter into a covered bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.  This allows for the bubbles to subside, so the crepes are less likely to tear during cooking.  Can be kept in refrigerator up to 48 hours. Meanwhile, prepare all your fruit to fill the crepes and whip up the the whipping cream.  Heat a non-stick pan.  Add some butter to coat the pan.  Add about 1 T. of the batter to the center of the pan and swirl around quickly to form a large circle, batter is thin and you should easily be able to do this, but do it quickly.  You can also decide on how big or small you want your crepes by decreasing or increasing your Tablespoon amount of batter.  Cook for about 30 seconds and flip the crepe, cook for another 10-15 seconds.  I like mine a deep golden color.  Remove the cooked crepe to a cutting board with lined paper towel to cool. Continue cooking all your crepes.  When all your crepes are cooled, take one crepe and spread some whipped topping, add some fruit and roll up, Voila!  so easy. Crepes can be stacked and stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer up to two months.  I stack my crepes between parchment paper when storing in the freezer.  When defrosting your crepes from the freezer, allow them to completely defrost before separating papers.  *If you want to make a crepe for filling with eggs or veggies, simply omit the vanilla and cinnamon.  Crepes are not just for breakfast, these fruit filled crepes make an excellent dessert!  If you want to go crazy, drizzle some melted chocolate over top your fruit filled crepes.  Slurrrrp!

Cut up your desired fruit.

Cut up your desired fruit.

 

Refrigerated batter.

Refrigerated batter.

 

Swirl batter in pan quickly to form a thin circle.

Swirl batter in pan quickly to form a thin circle.

 

Cook 30 seconds on one side, flip and cook another 10-15 seconds on other side.

Cook 30 seconds on one side, flip and cook another 10-15 seconds on other side.

 

Crepe Fillings

Crepe Fillings

 

Devour Me Ready Crepes !!

Devour Me Ready Crepes !!

This recipe has been adapted from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/crepes-recipe.html

Village Sweets Peanut Butter Apple Pie Cookies

Wanted to share Village Sweets New cookie item to their dessert menu.  Peanut Butter Apple Pie Cookies,  Y-U-M!!  Here is the link, check them out!

Village Sweets Peanut Butter Apple Pie Cookies.

Village Sweets Peanut Butter Apple Pie Cookies.

http://village-sweets.com/2014/03/03/peanut-butter-apple-pie-cookies/