This is the Horde. Below are our Recipes. Thanks for sharing our Kitchen

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tortierre - A Christmas Tradition

I'm not sure how my Polish Grandma ended up making the traditional French Canadian Christmas dish, and my French Canadian Grandma made the Italian pasta but that's how life played out.

This one is really quite simple though.  Most of this I do to taste so it's better to start with less spice and add as desired to your own personal taste.

3 lbs lean ground pork
1 tbsp butter
1 large or two medium potatos shredded
1 large onion (totally pulverized)
2 teaspoons allspice
pepper to taste
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
6 pie shells (uncooked)

Pie dough
5 1/2 cups pasty flour
1 lbs Tenderflake Lard
1 tsp salt
(cut lard into flour/salt until well combined using a pastry cutter)
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
Take a measuring cup, gently beat the egg, add vinegar and up to the one cup mark with very very cold water.  Slowly pour into dry mix using enough only to moisten the dough until it sticks together into a ball.  Divide into six equal portions and wrap for later.  If needed refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

For the filling.

Melt butter in a large skillet, add onions until they've turned clearish.  I literally pulverize the onions in a mini chopper.   Add the ground pork until well cooked.  Add the shredded potato and mix well.   Add the allspice and pepper and mix well.  Add enough water to totally cover the mixture and let simmer for a few hours allowing the potato to thicken the mixture.   Add more allspice, pepper, and cinnamon to taste.

One Mixture is thickened divide equally into prepared Pie shells.  (I will admit I used to cheat and use ready made pie shells).  Cover with dough and pinch the edges.  I always cut an M into my to indicate meat pie so I can freeze them and pull them out when the craving hits and I don't end up with an apple pie (which wouldn't be a horrific thing either but hard to substitute as an actual meal).  

Bake at 425 degrees F until edges are golden brown and pie dough cooked.   I usually undercook mine just slightly again so I can freeze and just pop into the oven to reheat without the pie dough getting burned during reheating.

That's it.  So now we have our traditional "Pierogy" recipe  Grandma's recipe  posted from last Christmas and now my same Grandma's Tortierre recipe.  I'll be working on a Danish Soup recipe next

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup. Simple, and scrumptious.

Wouldn't you know it, as I'm about to post last month my modem fried and we were offline for awhile. (and I went on Vacation).

Without further adieu...the easy cream of Broccoli soup I was about to post a few weeks back. 

I love Broccoli, and I actually don't like soup that much but this one...oh yeah!!!!


1 large potato
3 cups broccoli, cut up into smaller bits
1 shredded carrot
1 onion diced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup cream (approx)
2 tbsp butter

In a large pot melt butter, add onions and saute until soft, add the chicken broth followed by all the vegetables.  Simmer for about 1/2hr -45 minutes until broccoli and potatos are soft.   Two options now.  Transfer the contents into a food processor or use a hand blender to puree the soup.   I use a hand blender (less mess!!).  Add the cream and simmer for another 1/2 hour or so.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Top with some shreded cheddar cheese or parmigean cheese and serve.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Just wanted to give everyone a head's up that I'm back and will be posting some excellent recipes shortly.  (today as a matter of fact)

Sorry for my absence for so long friends and followers.  I dedicated the summer to relaxation, family, and fun with very little cooking involved.  Lots of salads though!!

Coming up this evening.  Simple yet scrumptious cream of brocolli soup to warm your soul and delight your palate

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Ameretto Almond Buttercream Icing

In honour of Mother's Day today I made an old family favorite.  This recipe was passed from my Grandmother, to my mother, to me.  It was always my favorite birthday cake and I figured I'd make these today to honour my mom and grandma.

This recipe was said to originate back in the depression when eggs were a luxury.  I've posted the recipe before as Chocolate Mayonaisse Cake.

Cupcake Recipe
1 cup mayonaisse
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla (I used almond extract this time to change it up)

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp sifted cocoa

Mix dry ingredients together in a seperate bowl.  In the mixer bowl combine mayonaisse, water, and vanilla.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and combine well.

Line cupcake tin with muffin cups and fill 2/3rds full.  Bake at 350 degrees for approx 18-20 minutes.  Toothpick test at 18 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Ameretto Almond Buttercream Icing
3/4 cup butter softened and whipped
3 cups icing sugar
1-2 tbsp whipping cream
2 tsp Ameretto
1/2 tsp Pure Almond Extract

Whip butter until very light.  Add icing sugar one cup at a time whipping completely between additions.  Add whipping cream, whip again, add extract and Ameretto again whipping well.  Continue whipping until desired constistency. 

Pipe onto cupcakes after they have cooled completely with a large star tip and icing bag.  These cupcakes are incredibly moist and not too sweet.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cinnamon Crepes with Fruit

I know I've been away for some time now.  Life has a way of taking over sometimes and I needed a break from the kitchen to take care of some renovations and a holiday.  Renos are still on the go but I've been hankering to get back into the kitchen.

I loved crepes as a kid and still do.  I tried to make them once many years ago and I blew it. They kept falling apart, I couldn't flip was a disaster.  I'm not one that accepts failure very well so this morning I decided to try and rectify my previously failed experiment.

It worked!!  First I attempted to use a large skillet.  That didn't go so well, again, falling apart, I couldn't flip it.  I moved to a smaller pan I have and that worked wonders.  Things I learned.  The pan needs to be fully hot.  A good spray of Pam cooking spray is essential.   I flipped them with ease and they were delightful. 

My kids love Nutella (and I do too).  Once cooked I layered them between plastic wrap, which worked perfectly.   The kids helped themselves, spread some nutella on them, fresh strawberries, bananas and a table of YUMMMMMMs followed.   I also cooked some apples with some brown sugar and cinnamon and that was equally good but the nutella combo was the hands down hit.

Without further adieu the recipe.  I found one on the Food network website but altered it a little bit as the consistency was too thick and I didn't want a lot of rise so I reduced the baking powder componant.  My altered recipe is as follows.

Cinnamon Crepes
1 1/2 cups flour (all purpose)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking Powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup skim milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.   In a seperate bowl combine all the liquid ingredients.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid whisking well  until till completely smooth.  (You may need to add a little more liquid).  Be sure the consistency is smooth and pourable.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Heat a nonstick frying pan (approximately 7 inch diameter) on Medium high and coat with a spray oil.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to coat the pan bottom.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Carefully lift the edges of the crepe with a spatula all the way around.  Shake the pan to move the crepe a bit and use a large spatula to flip. Cook for one minute and slide onto a plate, cover with plasic wrap and continue along until you are finished.

Fresh Strawberries, Banana, Apples, Rasperries.

Spread some nutella on the crepe, place strawberries and banana, roll up the crepe and there you have a tuttie fuity crepe.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My first Paid cake

I never intended to bake or cook for money, but I'm getting more and more requests to do so.  This is especially true about cakes.  I finally acquiesced a few weeks back and agreed to make a cake for the kids acting union (the credit union they opened specifically).  I was hesitant to do so because, while I love making cakes, if I goof up something when it's just for us I don't sweat it too much. 

When someone is paying for something I generally demand perfection.  It came out alright and everyone seemed happy.  I was happy with everything but that damned paperclip.

I was really kind of under the wire for timing.  I was ahead of schedule but kids drama, and issues pretty much wiped out my yesterday.  Long story there but it meant I was behind the 8 ball.

Anyhow.  This cake is 40" x 30".  It was huge!!  The biggest challenge was getting it out of the house through the front door. 

I made 8 sheet cakes using a Martha Stewart recipe.  I adjusted it a little bit but was very close to hers.  I'll post the recipe tomorrow when I'm not falling down exhausted.

Buttercream icing using my own recipe.  The paperclip is rice krispie treat, over wooden skewers.  What it was supposed to do was lay flat on the left side and stand up where it looks like it's been taken apart.  That was the plan.  The rice krispies to be covered in grey fondant and covered in luster dust.

First the rice krispies weren't behaving, then the fondant was a disaster.  I have never screwed up fondant but boy did I do a good job of it this time.  I had some black fondant and thought I could cover it with the luster dust and still get the silver effect.   I picked up the wrong luster dust and it was useless. 

Running out of time left me with no alternative but to lay the whole thing down and cover it with buttercream.  Not ideal, not the nice smooth finish I wanted on it but at least it was the right (ish) colour.  

If I hadn't had to deal with family issues yesterday I would have solved this issue but such as it is I ran out of time.

The cake itself is delicious.  I hope in the end they are pleased with the result.  I'm a little dissappointed in it but all in all considering the situation it looks okay.   Fortunately they knew I'm not a professional cake maker so there we are.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bodacious Banana Cream Pie

Sorry I've not been around for a bit everyone.  I got hit with bronchitis and it's making it's rounds about the house so not much time for cooking things other than chicken soup.

That said.  My oldest had his wisdom teeth removed yesterday.  He has been not really enjoying his diet of mashed potatos and cream of wheat so I figured I'd whip him up a treat tonight.

This recipe is very good.  Quite a rich custard.  I found it originally on Allrecipes but changed a few of the measurements to adjust the flavour.  I doubled the bananas from the original recipe and added an extra egg yolk into the mixture.   I don't think I left it long enough to set properly as we were all eager to eat it.  I'd recommend a full 4 hours of chilling.  If anyone changes this up I'd love to hear about it to get a firmer pie but even not quite set it was delicious.  I think perhaps next time I might mash some banana into the custard as well.


3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 (300ml) (10 oz) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker or baked pie crust
4 medium bananas
Whipped cream


1.In heavy saucepan, stir together cornstarch, salt and water. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Cool slightly. Place about 1/2 cup filling in bottom of crust. Slice 2 bananas. Place evenly on top of filling in crust. Pour remaining filling over bananas. Cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap.

2.Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until set.

3.Garnish with whipped cream and banana slices. Store covered in refrigerator.   Make sure you dip the banana slices used for garnish in lemon juice to avoid browning.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Caramel Pecan Aebleskiver (Danish Pancakes) with Homemade Caramel Sauce

I've been having lots of fun with my new Aebleskiver Pan that my husband bought me for Christmas.  I'm getting more adept at the flipping concept and making them nice and round.

The kids wanted some the other night so I thought...why not.  Let's make some.

To change it up a bit I decided to make some homemade caramel to go with them instead of syrup, and throw some chopped pecans into the mix for some extra texture.

I used the basic vanilla batter recipe found Here in the original post  and made them the same way.  I added 1/2 cup of chopped pecans into the batter and made them as described in the previous post.

The kids were fascinated watching me make homemade caramel though, and after we ate all the aebleskiver, we chopped up some granny smith apples, and dipped them in the caramel for an extra treat the next day.

Caramel Sauce.
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch salt

In a heavy high sided saucepan, cook the sugar over medium-high heat until it begins to melt around the edges, (approx 5 minutes)
Continue to cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar is melted and turns medium amber in colour.  Approx 3 minutes.
Very carefully pour the cream down the sides of the pan into the sugar in a slow, steady stream.  It will bubble and spatter alot so please ensure your hands and arms are protected.  Stirring constantly until completely smooth.  stir in the salt.  Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and let cool completely. 

This can be refrigerated to make a thicker filling, or re warmed to to ice cream, pancakes, dip for apples etc.  This was a real treat for the kids and easy peasy to make.

More Lemons- Lemon Cookies with Icing (Anginetti)

My family was never stuck on italian traditions but we had many friends who made traditional Italian desserts that would collect at our home around the holidays.

One of these treats were lemon cookies called Anginetti.  The ones that came to our home had a lemon glaze on them, which were delicious on their own, but I took a different tack on it.  These cookies aren't super sweet so a glaze or icing on top takes it from yummy to holy yum.

Instead of using a lemon glaze I decided to use up the last of the Limoncella buttercream Icing I made for the cupcakes in yesterday's post  .  These cookies are kind of cakey in texture and not too sweet.  I simply piped a small amount of icing on top of each.  I'm thinking next time I make them I will cut the cookies in half after baking then ice between like a cookie sandwich.  The limoncella icing combined with the cakey texture and subtle flavour of the cookie is a perfect combination.

Anginetti (Italian Lemon Cookies)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream together sugar and shortening.
Add eggs and lemon extract and beat well.
Add flour, baking powder and salt; Mix well.
The dough should be soft and sticky.
With a small cookie scoop, drop dough onto a slightly greased cookie sheet or baking stone, spacing them about 2-inches apart.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until firm and lightly brown.
Remove cookies from cookie sheet and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

Frost cookies with a simple glaze or with the Buttercream Limoncella Icing 
1 1/4 c. butter (2 1/2 sticks) softened
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Limoncella liquor (if you don't have limoncella you can use the equiv. in lemon juice)
3 c. powdered sugar

Whip the butter until fluffy. Add 1 Cup of powdered sugar and whip again until smooth and fluffy. Add the lemon rind and lemon juice. Whip again, add another cup of powdered sugar again whipping until smooth. Add the limoncella and whip again. Add the final cup of powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Delicious Lemon Cupcakes with Limoncella Buttercream Icing

Straight up...these are amazing.  I have to give credit where it is due and that belongs with Our Best Bites blogger.  I was looking for some good lemon recipes and did she deliver.  I changed the icing a minor touch but she deserves all the credit for this one.  She actually has a pretty amazing blog.  Very creative lady who I've been following for a long time.  Her tie died eggs for easter have become a hit in this house!!

Anyhow.  These cupcakes are light tasting, and not too strong in flavour.  They have enough substance though that you only need one as a nice snack without needing to go back for more and more....let's face it..there are some cupcakes that just don't fill you enough...this one is not like that.  I changed the icing to include limoncella as I'm not a fan of lemon extract...not sure why, but I love Limoncella since our trip to Italy and use it a lot in baking now.

Lemon Cupcakes

1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) of REAL butter
3 c. cake flour (no substitutions here--you really need the lightness of cake flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons (just zest the other lemons before you squeeze them)
1 c. buttermilk  ( if you don't have buttermilk on hand, just use regular milk and add some lemon juice into it to curdle a bit)

Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Don't go skimping here--you want the mixture to be almost white and super fluffy. This is absolutely essential to the outcome of the cake.  (my own note...I agree completely...whip em, whip em good)

While butter and sugar are mixing, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. After butter and sugar have mixed sufficiently, With the mixer running, add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

With mixer on low speed, alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until fully incorporated.

Using a measuring cup place approx 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup. (Notes from Sara and Kate at Best bites:  Fill these almost to the top--due to the final texture (again, think super-moist and light pound cake), these cupcakes won't have a nice, curvy crown, but that's okay--no one will ever know or care.)  I'll be honest...mine came out pretty nicely with no sunken tops.

Bake about 20-25 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. You don't want to overbake these even a bit, or they'll start to lose their delicious moisture. Remove from oven and cool completely. Frost with Limoncella buttercream icing.
Limoncella Buttercream Icing
1 1/4 c. butter (2 1/2 sticks) softened

2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Limoncella liquor (if you don't have limoncella you can use the equiv. in lemon juice)
3 c. powdered sugar

Whip the butter until fluffy.  Add 1 Cup of powdered sugar and whip again until smooth and fluffy.  Add the lemon rind and lemon juice.  Whip again,  add another cup of powdered sugar again whipping until smooth.  Add the limoncella and whip again.  Add the final cup of powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy.

Pipe onto cupcakes with a large star tip.

These are so good.  I had some leftover icing and made some lemon cookies and topped them with the icing as well...Oh my die for good...I'll blog the recipe for the cookies tomorrow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simply Sinful Cheesy Chicken Pot me win a baking contest. (Now for charity)

To all my followers and friends who visit this site. Please take a moment and vote for my Simply Sinful Cheesy Chicken Pot pie recipe in Canada's Pillsbury Baking Challenge.

Voting is now open until the end of Jan. (27th) and you can vote once a day. I was going to post this recipe to the blog ages ago but held off while the contest was open. Here it is in all it's glory. I would ask that you visit the contest and rate my recipe though please. Originally I was going to give the appliances to my mom, donate the grocery gift cards, and enjoy the cleaning services myself.  As this contest has progressed I've decided to donate any prizes won to Charity.  Appliances will be donated to our local shelter for abused women, groceries to our local food bank, and I'm still working on the cleaning service.  My goal in this is to get to the finals and have my recipe judged.  That has been my goal since the beginning.  Anything else is really gravy.  So please take a moment to register at the above link and help me reach both my goal and hopefully win some prizes for some very worthwhile causes. 

Let me know how you like this recipe if you try it.  It has become a family favorite in our house and it's so good!!!  I mixed it up a little bit over the holidays, using turkey and leftover veggies from Christmas...just as yummy (oh, and I added some precooked elbow noodles into it instead of topping it with Biscuits.  The kids loved the twist on the traditional mac and cheese.

4 (6oz) boneless chicken breasts, cubed small and cooked
2 cups shredded old cheddar cheese
125 grams (1/2 block) regular cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded fresh parmasean cheese
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
2 cups chopped cauliflower

1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (or chopped carrot)
1 chopped or finely sliced, large shallot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp olive oil
2 pkgs Pillsbury Biscuits (you can substitute my Buttermilk Scones here, or a premade pie crust)

Prepare chicken ahead of time. Small cubes sautéed.
In a medium to large size saucepan, place olive oil. Over medium high heat sauté shallots and celery until soft and clear.

Lower the heat and add cream cheese, allowing it to melt. When melted add two cans of cream of Chicken Soup (non diluted) and combine well. Add the two cups of old cheddar and mix until well combined/melted. Add remaining parmasean cheese and combine well.
Add to the mixture the cooked chicken and all vegetables. Combine well.
Split the mixture into two 8-inch casserole dishes or one large casserole dish.
Place the Pillsbury Biscuits over the mixture to completely cover. Bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to set for 5 minutes and enjoy.
You may also substitute Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie crusts for the biscuits. This recipe will make two pies.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ameretto Cheesecake

This one comes from my husband.  It's an absolutely delicious  dessert.  Dangerous for me as it's one of the few I will eat the whole thing if self control did not exist.

Perfect for Christmas, New Year or any other special dinner party.

Base:  1 1/4 cup Oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 lb butter
2 blocks semi sweet chocolate
Melt the chocolate and butter together add the crumbs and sugar until well combined.  Press on the bottom of a greased springform pan and set aside.

Ingredients: Cake
3 Blocks Cream Cheese
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp Ameretto
1 tsp Pure Almond Extract

Cream the cheese with the almonds, then add other ingredients until smooth.  Gently pour over the chocolate cookie base. Bake at a 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.   A tip I picked up some time ago was to put an oven proof cup with water in the oven with the cheesecake.  It prevents it from cracking while baking.

1 cup sour cream
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp sugar.  Mix well and spread on cheesecake while still hot after removing from the oven.  Garnish with sliced almonds.  Place back in the oven at 350 F for 5 minutes.  Remove, let cool completely before removing the springform.

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