Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Biscoff Rice Krispie Treats

New Adventures in the World of Biscoff

'What the devil is Biscoff?', you ask.  For that answer, we can go straight to the Biscoff site.

Biscoff is the name given to Lotus Bakeries Speculoos Cookies in North America. It is derived from the words BIScuits & COFFee.

For this first adventure into baking with Biscoff Spread...hold on....

Biscoff Spread is a new spreadable, sweet treat made from Biscoff Cookies. Biscoff Spread tastes just like Biscoff Cookies because more than half of the jar is made up of crushed Biscoff Cookies. Biscoff Spread has the consistency of peanut butter and can be enjoyed on toast, with apples, as a secret ingredient in recipes or straight out of the jar!

That's all for today's little lesson.  If you have never tried the speculoos cookies and you like a spice cookie, you need to find these.  Seriously!!  And if you know what they are and love them, then you need to find the Biscoff Spread.  Seriously!!

I was lucky enough to find the Biscoff Spread at my favourite kitchen place (Grace in the Kitchen).  And I wasn't even looking for it! (She typed in a high pitched voice font.)   We (hubbie and I) were just looking around the store....I had to go in to buy a fine mesh sieve (for my ice cream making) and I always like to look around, as there is always something interesting in that store.  But I totally wasn't expecting to see Biscoff Spread!!!  They have probably always sold it, but I had never seen it.  (There is a lot to see in that store.)  And some (my hubbie) may say that I was way to excited when I found this jar of Biscoff Spread....and to that I say Biscoff!! 

Anyhoo.  I have been looking on the interwebs for something to make with the Biscoff Spread.  I have had the jar for a total of three day and I just need to use it!!!!  I wanted to try something easy and quick.....'cause sometimes easy and quick is good....umm in baking....


Interesting recipe.  I feel like I should have used more marshmallows to make the squares, as I like them more chewy.  But I do like the flavour of the biscoff.  Can't wait to try another recipe with this spread and continue on this biscoff baking adventure!

Slightly Adapted from Shugary Sweets.

Biscoff Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 cup butter
10 oz marshmallows
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
5 cups Rice Krispies

For the topping
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips(or chunks)

Butter an 8x8 pan.
Melt the butter, marshmallows and Biscoff Spread on medium heat.  Once completely melted, add the rice krispies.  Quickly incorporate the melted ingredients into the rice krispies.  Sread the mixture into the buttered pan and let cool.
Melt the 1/2 cup biscoff spread with the chocolate.  Spread the chocolate/biscoff topping over the pan of rice krispies.  Let the topping set before cutting into squares.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oopsy Daisy (Cake)

Totes Amazeballs!

I think I'm going rogue today....oopsy daisy.  Pretty sure anyway.  I made this cake a while back, when I was deciding on which cake to make for hubbie's birthday. (this post
It was a very good cake. (I mean VERY GOOD!!)  If you haven't made it, then you definitely need to make it.  Of course it is by the Baked boys, so really you can't go wrong.
Me on the other hand, am baking on the dark side and going rogue.  Yes, I've decided since that first paragraph.  (I think she knew all along.)  Who said that???

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TWD-Summer Vegetable Tart

Summertime and the living is easy...

I wasn't going to make the recipe this week.  But then I relented.  It might have been because it calls for phyllo pastry (meaning I wouldn't have to make my own pastry) or the fact that I was feeling guilty for wanting to skip the recipe. 

Reading the recipe and instructions, it does sound lovely.....goat cheese, red peppers, onions, mushrooms and thyme (to name a few ingredients).  I'm thinking it would make a nice light dinner with a salad.
Oh and did I mention I won't have to make any pastry dough??  My happiness about this may be more than necessary.  But since I'm not aware of the correct amount of happiness when it comes to not having to making pastry dough, I'll continue to believe I have just the right amount of happiness pertaining to this task that I don't have to do.  Woo-hoo!!  Okay, it isn't like I'm dancing under a disco ball because I can't contain my happiness.  (And it isn't just because I don't have a disco ball.)  But if I did, I would promise to only use it under the most sincere moments of happiness.  I take my oath to the disco ball very seriously.  What?  There's no oath?  Seriously, no one else had to take this oath? 

I, Sandra, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the disco ball.  I absolutely and entirely renounce the Jitterbug and will support and defend the Hustle so help me Bee Gees.


I may or may not have learned to do the Hustle in grade school.  That is all.
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ice Cream in da House

Everyone remain calm.  Ice cream is being made.  That's right, my brothers and sisters, ice cream will finally know what it means to be made by me.  (And I may or may not have to apologize to all ice cream later.)

I'm feeling pretty darn excited to finally be using my new ice cream attachment for my kitchenaid.  The bowl has been chilling in the freezer forever.  In real time, that is just over two weeks.  A long time for some.  (And even longer for me.)

Even longer, seems to be the hours I need to let the custard chill in the fridge, before I can actually get to the ice cream making with my new attachment.  Le Sigh.

Perhaps I'll just show you the steps involved before the ice cream making can begin.  So before the frozen bowl can even come out of the freezer, there are some things that need to be done.

First, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla need to be heated on the stovetop.  Boom!  I did it!

Look at all that vanilla and the pod just hanging out.

 I am always amazed at just how many seeds can be scraped out of a vanilla pod.

From this....

I get all of this (and a shot of my camera!)
  My first stint at waiting is going to be the half hour I need to let all this goodness steep.  But in that time, I can ready my 6 egg yolks and pour out my other cup of cream. 
Next, I (slowly) pour the warmed, steeped mixture into the eggs.  Slowly, so as not to cook my eggs.    Scrambled eggs ice cream anyone?  No?  Fine!  Slowly I will proceed.
This mixture is then poured back into the pot and put back on the heat.  It needs to be stirred constantly so as not to stick to the bottom of the pot.  It is ready to be removed from the heat, once it has thickened.
Here lurks the Lock Ness Vanilla
And here we have a thickened custard.....
which can now be chilled in an ice bath.  I just filled the sink with ice and water, which I think does the trick nicely.
I forgot to mention that I need to first pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve before incorporating it into the rest of the cream.  I only have this ridiculously small sieve for this job.  Honestly people, could we start a telethon to get me a regular sized fine mesh sieve??  I'm not gonna lie, this took a long time to pour through this sieve.  Tears (of impatience) were shed and a few Charlie Brown, "aaughs" were uttered.  This sieve is my Lucy.
But I did it.  And here is the finished product (missing the 3/4 tsp of vanilla that I was supposed to add.....hopefully the whole vanilla pod was enough for flavour.)  A lovely custard that now needs to cool in the fridge for hours.  I've decided to move it to the freezer to try and speed up the process.  (shh)  And we're totally going to gloss over the fact that I forgot the extra vanilla.....fully reading a recipe is also my Lucy. Aaugh!!!!
During this intermission, I made the following:
Quinoa salad with cucumbers, red peppers, drizzle of olive oil and a splash of lemon.  And to all that, I added some kale that I had previously sauted with a little olive oil and red chili peppers.  Mmm Mmm.  We had this for lunch with some feta cheese crumbled on top.  It was delish!
I also made some Chickpea Crunchies.  Honestly, the easiest thing to make ever.  Just need to rinse a can of chickpeas with cold water and then pat dry.  Next, a few spices and 2 tsps. of olive oil get tossed with the chickpeas (I used fennel, cayenne, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper) and then layered onto a baking sheet and baked at 400 degrees for half an hour.  And we've got a crispy crunchy snack that is high in protein, low in fat.  Boo-Ya!
 Okay, the custard has spent a sufficient amount of time in the freezer.  It is now chilled enough to put in the ice cream bowl.  Woot-Woot!!!
Soooo.......these things are supposed to fit on my Kitchenaid....sure....no problem..... 
Ta-Da!  I did it!  And all by myself!  Proud?  Yes.  Relieved?  Oh, yes!  Hands frozen from holding the bowl and trying to fit it onto the kitchenaid?  I'm sorry, what was the question?

The custard was poured into the ice cream maker while it was running, so as not to freeze the custard to the bottom of the ice cream maker.  (So say the instructions....yes, I read some instructions.) 

Twenty minutes later (at a low speed) the custard turned into this.
Just going to pop this into the freezer to chill (again).
 And now I'd like to introduce Mr. Scoop to the Ice Cream.
Well, it looks like ice cream....
and I think it tastes like ice cream.  Vanilla ice cream to be exact.  Not too shabby for my first try at making ice cream.  To be fair, it really isn't that difficult.  (Just a lot of steps before the actual ice cream making.)
Hubbie had the ice cream with cantaloupe and thought it was yummy.  Thanks honey.

So there we have it; my first foray into the world of ice cream making.  I used the Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop.  I can't wait to try other recipes in the book!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Malted Vanilla Milkshakes

Yabba Dabba Do!

These milkshakes just might bring all the boys to the yard......
But I better have a back up plan just in case.  Hey, how about a drive in diner meal?  Hamburger, onion rings and a milkshake.  Oh yeah, this sounds like a great reason to come to the dinner table.  If I had my rollerskates still, I could roll from the kitchen with it!  My husband is shaking his head no.  Oh rollerskates...how I loved you.  I saved my money to buy them, well I saved half the money and my parents covered the rest. (But I made the purchase, so you know....I bought them.)  I coveted these skates for months before the purchase was made.  The skates were beautiful.....blue suede. 

Not actually my roller skates, but I did have the blue indoor wheels and I also had the yellow outdoor wheels.  Yeah, I had indoor and outdoor wheels....'cause that's how I rolled.  Get it!  I'm here all night....try the milkshakes!

Yeah, I rocked the roller rink!  (And yes, I am that old....though maybe I came in on the tail end of this trend.)  Makes me think of that song, Brand New Key by Melanie.....but for some reason always thought it was Joni Mitchell singing it. (Which means nothing to you whippersnappers!) 
But I digress.....

Anyhoo......I'm guessing since these are milkshakes, ice cream will be involved.  I did get an ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid.  (This post.)  But I haven't gotten around to actually making ice cream yet.  And I've had it for a full week!  (public shaming in 3-2-1.)  Oh, and I received the new book I ordered, David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop.  So excited!!!!  The keener in me wants to make my own ice cream, to use for these milkshakes.  The realist in me is wondering what brand of ice cream to buy.  Silly reality...bein' all real and stuff. 

Breyer's.  Hubbie went out and bought me Breyer's ice cream.  Yes, I once again didn't make ice cream.  But my ice cream bowl is still in the freezer, so it could happen at any moment, people!  That's right, ice cream could be made at any moment!  The power of the ice cream is strong in this one.  But not right now. 

Now this is one easy recipe.  Perfect for the lazy days of summer.  Not many ingredients needed at all....five in total.

I stuck to the drive in diner meal.  Even though I could have really gone out for a meal at Haveli's.  My favourite Indian Restaurant.  Mmmm.  But I needed to stay strong and continue with this meal.  The milkshakes needed to have a meal made especially for them. (Please note:  no burgers were eaten by milkshakes.) 

Vera's Burgers (from the Butchery) and Alexia Onion Rings are going to make up this drive in diner meal.  Hubbie is out BBQ'ing the burgers, while I bake the onion rings and blend up the milkshakes.  This shake just got real.
I have never made milkshakes before.  I did think they were going to be big glasses filled to the brim, but it really didn't make that much.  Which, I guess is a good thing.  But doesn't exactly make for stunning milkshake pics!  (And I even went with smaller glasses than I was originally going to use.)
And here are the milkshakes with their drive in diner companions!

It was a yummy meal to have along with milkshakes.  I liked the flavour of the milkshake.  The vanilla really came through and the malt flavour was subtle and really good at the end when all the crushed maltesers had to be scooped up with a spoon.  Yum!  It was a great treat meal to have.  I could see making the milkshakes again, perhaps trying a different flavour and (dare I say) with my own homemade ice cream.)

This video is for my hubbie....because he sang this song when I brought out the dinner tray, and I thought this was the perfect song to go with this meal!!  He's my music man!
Hey, there wasn't a tip on my tray at the end!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

TWD-Baked Yogurt Tart

This week's recipe from Baking with Julia, is a Baked Yogurt Tart.  Well sir, that sounds pretty good.  And I think I have some of the flaky pastry dough in the freezer.  I'm pretty sure it is the same dough we used for the Apple Tart...though that was a few months ago.  Wait, that was way back in January.....yeah, just might have to make a new batch of the flaky pastry dough.  Or maybe I could use the pastry dough we used for the Tomato and Cheese Galette.  Probably not, huh.  Yep, I think I'm going to have to make some dough....d'oh!

Making pastry dough is not one of my favourite things.  Julie Andrews never sang about it.....so she obviously wasn't a fan either. 

And it isn't that I hate the process of making it.  I just dislike the uncertainty....will it turn out....won't it...will it take a jack hammer to cut through the crust??  Questions like these haunt me when I make pastry dough.  Granted, I don't make it very often.  And practice make perfect, or perhaps it just makes for crazy (when it keeps NOT turning out).  Am I rambling on, so I can put off the making of this pastry dough?  Some would say 'yes', others would say 'sorry I tuned out after the Julie Andrew's reference'. 

To the Kitchen!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Happy Canada Day!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!!!!

So, today is Canada Day.  And in the spirit of being a cool Canadian, I am making ice cream.  It might have made more sense in my head.,,but I'm sticking with it....because I AM CANADIAN!! And proud of it, I might add.  I love Canada, I really do.  I feel very lucky to live in such a great country.  I'm proud that it is a country that people want to move to and make their new home.  I know, there are always things to complain about.  But surely, ice cream can fix it.  (Yes, that was an awesome seque.)  My blog, my rules!

Ice cream!!!  I am going to make my very first batch of ice cream.  I'm a smidge excited!!!!! ( I may be giggling like a school girl!) 

We (hubbie and I) went and bought the ice cream  maker attachment for my KitchenAid.  I have wanted it for a while and it was on sale, so we went for it.  Now I just have a wash it, put it in the freezer for a minimum of 15 hours and then make ice cream!  What the....15 hours??  But I want ice cream now!!  (And now I may be crying like a school girl.)  Okay, so there is going to be a bit of down time.  That's fine, gives me time to look for a good Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe.

Here is the ice cream maker chilling out in the freezer. 

So, I have found a good recipe.  David Lebovitz (naturally).    I am going to make Vanilla Ice Cream, as I think I should try a basic recipe for my first time.  And I think I need to purchase this book.  David Lebovitz is the Ice Cream King!

Only 14 more hours to go.......guess I'll pick this up tomorrow.....

So, it is now tomorrow (today).  And I can start this recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream.  Upon reading the recipe thoroughly (something I really should do more often), I see that once the custard is made, I have to let it cool completely before putting it in the ice cream maker.  Good grief, Charlie Brown....maybe ice cream making isn't going to be my thing.  I hate waiting!

Now upon my second reading (more thoroughly as I missed this during my first "thorough" read) I see I also need to let the milk mixture infuse the awesomeness of the vanilla bean (for an hour)....before I can actually make the custard.  Le Sigh.

I guess we're going to be putting this ice cream making adventure on hold.  Oh well, perhaps the 'Perfect Scoop'  ice cream book will arrive by that time.  Yeah, I ordered it. 

Today is not a total loss though, as I am making the recipe for tomorrow's Tuesdays with Dorie post.  Which in hindsight, I should have posted today, as it makes a lovely looking Canada Day dessert! (Stay tuned!) 

Happy Canada Day to everyone!