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Monthly Archives: December 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Spiced Butter-Glazed Carrots

I haven’t cooked dinner at home for so many nights now since the Christmas break! I don’t have vegetables in my fridge too save for some green onions, cilantro, 2 tomatoes and a half a bag of organic carrots. Thanks to the bag of carrots I’m able to participate in French Fridays with Dorie (FFWD) this week. :)

This carrot dish is tasty! Onions, garlic, ginger and cardamom are sautéed in butter (butter, not oil, makes a difference!) before the sliced carrots are added in with some chicken broth to cook. I didn’t remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and use whole pods instead because I mistook ‘seeds’ for ‘pods’ when I was reading the recipe. I did give the pods a light smash with the knife. I wasn’t sure how thin to cut the carrots too so I sliced them Chinese-stir-fry thin. Next time I’ll either cut them thicker or cook them for a shorter period so the carrots won’t be too soft.

The cardamom taste wasn’t very strong and overall this dish felt like a Chinese/Asian dish to me because of the ginger. It’s a great way to cook carrots though and I’ll be making this dish again.

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan‘s Around My French Table.

This month FFWD members are free to select the recipe they want to make each week from the December set of recipes. Check out what other members made here.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2010 in Cooking, Food, French Fridays with Dorie

 

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Cookies and Hot Chocolate

 

I went over to Sandy’s house today to bake Christmas cookies together. She made Mint Chocolate Truffle Cookies while I made Christmas Cherries. The cookie doughs were made earlier so we just had to roll them out to bake.

The truffle cookies were fun and easy to make: make dough, smash candy, roll dough into balls, bake, make a dent, sprinkle! They were fudgy and chocolately. It’s very important not to overbake them. If you don’t like mint or candy cane in your cookies, omit the candy and eat them plain or with some melted chocolate drizzled over.

 

The Christmas Cherries were citrus-flavoured soft cookies. I didn’t roll them as small as Pioneer Woman did but I got more than 50 cookies from one recipe. If you’re using unsalted butter, add in a pinch of salt.

 

While the moms are baking cookies, the kids went sledding. We dropped by to watch them after finishing the last tray. It was so chilly outside that it was a real pleasure to step back into a warm house that smells of freshly-baked cookies!

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Hot chocolate to warm their bodies up!

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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Baking, Food, Life

 

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Christmas Fruit Cake

I’m not a big fan of rich fruitcake but this particular recipe from my mum, I like. The taste of alcohol is not overly strong and it’s not too sweet either. Big Kid likes it so it’s suitable to a kid’s palate although I have to say Big Kid does not have a palate of a typical 7-year-old!

Christmas Fruit Cake

1 kg mixed fruits and peel
100g almond nibs
250g butter
200g dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
250g plain flour, sifted
50g almond meal

Put fruits and peel in a medium bowl and pour over 1/4 cup brandy, 1/4 cup liqueur (I used Cointreau) and 2 tablespoons rum. Toss the fruits and cover the bowl with food wrap. Soak up to 2 weeks. If using glazed mixed fruits, rinse fruit before using.

Line a 8″ square tin with 2 layers of parchment paper. Leave the paper higher than the sides of the tin. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C/300 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and almond meal. Add in the soaked fruits and almond nibs and turn to mix evenly. Pour cake batter into the bowl and fold mixture by hand. Scrape mixture into pan and bake at 150 degrees C/300 degrees F for 30 minutes then lower temperature to 120 degrees C/250 degrees F and bake for 2.5 hours and top turns golden brown.

Brush top of cake with 2 tablespoons of brandy/rum while cake is still warm. Let cake cool completely before wrapping in food wrap and storing in an airtight container. Wait at least 2 days before cutting. The cake is successful when it doesn’t crumble when cut. Cut cake with a thin, sharp knife. The cake will mature and taste better overtime.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2010 in Baking, Food

 

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Tis the season…

It’s the time of year when schools are having their winter concerts/Christmas celebrations. Last week we watched our boys in their respective school presentations. Little Guy’s Oxford Learning school had their ‘Celebration of Light’ on Wednesday. They did a little song presentation and then we had time for crafts before lunch and a Santa appearance.

Telling Santa he wants Hot Wheels for Christmas

Big Kid’s school held their Primary Winter Concert on Thursday. I would love to post a clip of him singing Au Royaume Du Bonhomme Hiver (Winter Wonderland in French) unfortunately my WordPress blog hasn’t been upgraded to do that.

The presentation that we’re most proud of was the one from our church on Dec 5th.  It was called ‘The Christmas Quest’ and both boys sang and danced to 5 songs that were part of the play. All the children did so well and they were a joy to watch.

Schools will break for Winter at the end of this week and the holiday celebrations will continue till the New Year. I am looking forward to the school break so I can be at home to do my Christmas baking! Happy Holidays! :)


 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 13, 2010 in Life

 

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French Fridays with Dorie: Leek and Potato Soup

Dorie is right, this is a simple soup to make. Leeks and potato cooked in chicken broth and milk. The soup came together in under an hour and it was very satisfying. I followed the recipe except for the potatoes, I used 2 instead of 1. I wanted to have some potato chunks in my soup but I also wanted a smooth soup. So when the soup was done, I scooped out some potatoes before hitting it with my immersion blender. I also made my own croutons because I happen to have a stale bun in the bread bin.

From this:

to this in 40 minutes:

Bon appetit!

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan‘s Around My French Table.

This month FFWD members are free to select the recipe they want to make each week from the December set of recipes. Check out what other members made here.

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Cooking, Food, French Fridays with Dorie

 

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French Fridays with Dorie: Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts

I made these for French Fridays with Dorie (FFWD) this week. (Yes, I’m late in posting!) Simple to make but great tasting. The nuts are coated with egg white, tossed in a sugar and spice mixture then baked. They are sweet (from the sugar) and spicy (mainly from the chili powder) as the name tells you. The way to eat them is to put some in a bowl and sit far away from the jar of nuts else you’ll end up finishing the jar in one sitting!

I used a combination of whole peanuts, cashews, almonds and pecans. My favourite was the pecans. Next time I’ll omit the peanuts as it was almost laborious separating the small nuts before baking.

 

 

This month FFWD members are free to select the recipe they want to make each week from the December set of recipes. Check out what other members made here.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Baking, Food, French Fridays with Dorie

 

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