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Apr. 21st, 2010

chocolate fudge brownies.

Aloha.

I've been putting off uploading this recipe for a good few days now, and so I've finally decided to do it justice. The thing is, these brownies are soo good that anything I say here is unworthy of being on the same page as them. Honestly, they were seriously delicious. Not only that, they were a dawdle to make. Super easy, super awesome. Win win. Lucky for me I found an amazing recipe from www.canadianliving.com/ that needed very minimal tweaking, so most of the hard work was done.


Chocolate Fudge Brownies.

 

Ingredients: 
  • 5oz semi-sweet chocolate squares
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine (I always use margarine and quite frankly, I can hardly tell the difference)
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (10ml) of vanilla extract (i use artificial, but only because i'm a poor student ;p)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) all-purpose flour (i used cake flour and added an extra tblsp. of flour to compensate)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (i added another 1/4 cup, but that's because I <3 chocolate chips).
  • (optional)1/2 cup peanut butter chips or dessicated coconut or marshmallows or smarties or pretty much any other thing you think would be good in brownies. (as I was making the brownies for Ryan & myself, I thought I'd add an extra personal touch by putting 1/3 cup of peanut butter chips in his half and 1/3 cup of dessicated coconut in my half. like i said, this twist is totally optional).
  • 1 tsp icing sugar

Preparation time: 15-20 mins.
Cooking time: 25-30 mins.
Makes 20 brownies.

  1. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease the baking pan you're using.
  2. Coarsely chop or break the chocolate into chunks and place into a saucepan with the butter. Melt slowly over medium-low heat, stirring occassionally. Be sure not to let the chocolate overcook, as it will start to thicken or burn.

  3. Before melting, and after melting.

  4. Once melted, remove the mixture from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and the vanilla extract.
  5. Break the first egg into a small bowl then transfer it to the mixture, whisking until well blended in. Break the second egg into the small bowl, pour into the mixture and whisk well.
  6. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, be sure to scrape down the sides. Leave behind no man... chocolate! Oh, and try resist the urge to just outright eat the chocolate mixture. It'll be worth it in the end.. Add half of the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour and the salt, and mix well again, until no streaks of flour are left.
  7. Add the chocolate chips & the personal touch of your choice and mix well until they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture. With a rubber spatula, pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes (as I used a pan with eight separate sections, I only baked them for 23 minutes and they were perfect. When judging whether or not the brownies are done, remember that it's usually better to give them slightly less time than slightly more time, and that they're done when a toothpick inserted into the top comes out clean (with the exception of perhaps a few stray crumbs).
  9. Remove from oven and let cool before lightly dusting them with icing sugar. Feel free to add more icing sugar if needed. Once cooled, you can cut them with a sharp knife into sections (though quite honestly we definitely didn't wait that long. We can't resist baked goods straight from the oven mmm).

Anddd they're done! Eat up. :)

Liz.

Apr. 1st, 2010

strawberry smoothie.

Ahoy hoy again. Two in one day, I know, I'm a goddess. Not really, the grocery store had a sale on strawberries - we saw our opportunity and we took it! That's what heroes do... Anywho, we thought smoothies would be a good idea. :) These are pretty simple, except I added some strawberry jam for a little bit of a sweet kick. Plus I love jam, and I can't find enough ways to use it. Mmm, jam.

Strawberry Smoothies.


Ingredients: 
  • 5 medium-large sized strawberries, quartered
  • approx. 50ml water (or fruit juice or milk, whatever you feel like using - it's just to help the strawberries blend, be creative with the ingredients available to you!)
  • as many scoops of vanilla ice cream as you think you can handle, I used about 4
  • 1-2 tablespoons of strawberry jam (optional, but i thought it was a really nice touch)
Preparation time: 5 mins
Serves: 1, but you could easily multiply the ingredients to suit bigger blenders.
  1. Cut off the stalk and quarter the strawberries. Put them into the blender with the liquid of your choice, blend until most of the big chunks are gone.
  2. Add ice cream and blend until smooth. Add more ice cream to top it up if there isn't enough.
  3.   

  4. Add jam if using, and blitz one last time until smooth. Pour into glass and drink. :)


Soo simple, but soo good. Alternatively, you can pretty much interchange the strawberries for any fruit, so don't worry if you don't have any strawberries. It would work just as well with bananas.. or blueberries.. or kiwi.. or a mix of a bunch! Go nuts. :)

Liz.

Mar. 31st, 2010

the almighty sammich.

Ahoy! So, due to a lack of attention to the calendar I inadvertently missed International Make Me A Sandwich Day (despite conflicting dates quoted for it - yes, I missed them all. Mostly because I found out about it after most of the dates), despite promising to make Ryan the mother of all subs. So, here it is. A little off schedule, yes, but better late than never. :) 

(Also, I had no idea it would be this mighty until it was finished when I realised that while it's not a 'recipe' per se, it's definitely worthy of blog-space. Thus, there are only pictures of it once it was finished, and so you don't get to see the ingredients, or the awesomeness of the layers. /sadface. Just take my word for it.)

The Almighty Sandwich!


Ingredients:
  • One large baguette-type sub (we went for a particularly massive one, but only because we wanted to make it count haha)
  • One package of assorted meats: bologne, ham, and salami
  • One package of sliced chicken deli meat
  • 4 slices of bacon, halfed (though you really could use more, we just didn't want to overdo it... well... more than we already did haha)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Mild Cracker Barrel Cheese, grated - roughly 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups.
  • Honey mustard, miracle whip & american mustard.
Preparation time: about 10-15 minutes
  1. Slice all the way along the baguette so that it opens butterfly style and apply whichever sauces you're using to the top/bottom of the sub (I had honey mustard on my side, Ryan had miracle whip and american mustard but it's really a matter of preferance).
  2. While cooking the bacon in a skillet, begin to stack the deli meat of your choice evenly along the sub until the package is finished or begins to look like a heart-attack sandwich. Be the master of the meat haha. When the bacon is cooked/crispy, lay the bacon evenly along the sub.
  3. Cut the romaine lettuce julienne style and place on top of the meat. Sprinkle the desired amount of cheese over it, and top with more sauce if needed.
  4. Attempt to close. No seriously, it took serious skill on Ryan's part. It was a pretty much a feat of engineering.
     

OM NOM NOM!

Again, this isn't really a 'recipe'... it's just a really, really good idea. ;)


Liz.

ps. in the second picture, that's Ryan holding an already partially eaten half sub. THAT is how big it was haha.

Mar. 28th, 2010

white vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting.

I'm reluctant to post this recipe so soon, as I feel this is kind of a shotgun entry. I really should wait until the times right and I re-make them, so I can take pictures throughout the entire process... but I just can't allow the only entry so far to be a simple dinner recipe that took no skill on my part. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't call cupcakes an arduous task but they sure do look purty. :)

I will eventually do right by my cupcakes and give them the entry they deserve, but in the meantime I can't afford to be baking treats just to take pictures of them... Ingredient donations to Om Nom's by Liz are welcome of course, and in return you will receive tasty treats. Warning: May cause general plumping of physique.

Vanilla Cupcakes.




Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (113g) of butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (130g) of granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 large lemon (optional)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (195g)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp of baking soda.
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of milk
Preparation & cooking time: 10 minutes to mix, 20 to bake.
  1. Heat the oven to 350F/177C, and either grease a mini-muffin tray or a regular muffin tray, or line it with the appropriate sized paper muffin cups.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time beating well after each one. Beat in the vanilla extract and the lemon zest/juice if you're using it. (You could even substitute the lemon zest for orange zest, or white chocolate chips mmm).
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking soda and salt until well mixed.
  4. In three additions, add the flour mix and the milk to the butter & sugar mixture beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix well.
  5. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. (I find when I use the mini-cupcake tray, less time is better). They are down when a toothpick inserted into the top comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, wait a few moments and then place on a wire rack to cool. Once completely cooled, it's time to frost the cupcakes.


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.




Ingredients:
  • 2 & 3/4 cups powdered sugar/icing sugar/confectioners sugar (it has a different name in every country it seems)
  • 6 tbsl unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsl butter
  • 5 tbsl evaporated milk or normal milk (i always use normal and it turns out fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
  1. In a medium bowl sift or mix together cocoa powder and icing sugar, then set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl cream the butter until it's smooth, then gradually beat in the sugar mixture alternatively with the milk (sugar, milk, sugar, milk, sugar, milk, etc...) ending with the sugar. Blend in the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. If the consistency isn't right, add more sugar to thicken or more milk to dilute.
  4. Once it's done, you can spread it on immediately. It's also good to just eat out of the bowl, if you're so inclined. I always find I have some left over anyway. :)
If you're looking of things to put on top of them, may I suggest sprinkles, crushed nuts, or crushed maltesers/smarties/etc,..
Annndd....


Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! :)

Liz.

Mar. 27th, 2010

chicken tikka masala & rice.

Aloha.

I am remiss about posting a basic dinner recipe as my first ever entry; I kind of feel like I'm cheating on my baking. Don't worry baby, I still love you. From this point on, I'll be posting delicious baked goods and tasty treats aplenty. Trust me. I'll make it my personal mission to make sure that the world or the minimal amount of people this blog will ultimately reach... has lots of little baby cupcakes to love and call their own. You could almost say I'm doing a public service. But I digress... this blog is not about me, it's about tasty things. I wanted a nice little project to give my baking purpose - I can already see my summer schedule filling up with baking dates, and i'm excited (i'm also really lame. Incase that wasn't abundantly clear).

This is a simple recipe; I didn't make my own sauce, but by all means feel free to. If I had any of the spices I certainly would have. I'm all about cooking from scratch.


Chicken Tikka Masala with Rice.

Chicken Tikka Masala Ingredients

Ingredients:
  • 250ml of your favourite type of rice
  • 1 jar of VH Tikka Masala Sauce or Patak Tikka Masala Sauce
  • 2 medium sized chicken breasts
  • generous helpings of the greens of your choice; i used spinach, and green peas, but you could easily add brocolli, green beans, etc...
Serves: 2 big portions.
Cooking time: 15-25 minutes:
  1. Cut the chicken into medium sized cubes, and put into a frying pan with oil over medium heat. Season with salt, pepper or lemon pepper to taste. Cook until the chicken is white on all sides (approx. 5-8 minutes). I strain out the chicken grease at this point, but you don't have to. I'm just kinda particular about stuff like that.
  2. Pour in sauce and let simmer until sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add greens, adjusting time for the veggies of your choice (for example, put spinach in a few minutes before taking off the heat, however green peas take a few minutes longer). In total, the food should simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Cook the rice the appropriate length of time (it varies), then turn off the heat for both the rice and the chicken.
  4. Dish it up and eat!


Simple enough. Too simple in fact. I almost feel like I cheated at making it h4xX0r5. But it was tasty nonetheless, and that's all that matters. Oh, and if you're at all put off by spicy food, don't be alarmed. It's not even a remotely spicy dish. :) Next time, baked goods I swear!

Liz. :)

ps. i apologise about the quality of the camera. there's just something about the light in my kitchen that makes it take bad pictures.