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Pinterest inspired Easter Treats

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Originally published April 2012

I don’t think I am alone in the craze that is pinning on Pinterest.  Most of what I have pinned/liked have been recipes.  I was inspired by two pins this Easter, mainly because I am addicted to Cadbury Mini Eggs and needed to use up the kilogram bag I had.  Also being a 4 day weekend for me, I actually had some time to bake.

First up was the easy recipe from The Happy Baker: Mini Egg Shortbread cookies.  I only had one problem with the recipe, it did not give  an idea of how much one batch would make, so I doubled the recipe.  75 cookies later…..

Everyone at work loved them, and because it is shortbread, I can easily freeze them to eat throughout the year. They were the right texture and the chocolate was a nice crunch without  overwhelming the cookie.

Next up was a picture I saw, and after some digging, found out it was from the Peeps website; a cake made to look like a sunflower.  I did a chocolate fudge double layer cake with chocolate buttercream (real butter!) and raspberries in the middle.  This did not turn out quite how I hoped as I thought that having the Peeps upside down would look better.  Unfortunately, I could not secure them and turned them right-side up (which is actually how they were supposed to be once I looked back at the website again). This made the end result messy, and being just a little bit of a perfectionist at times, did not make me feel that I had done a good job.

That being said,  there was just enough left at the end of the workday so that @WineGuyTO could have a slice 🙂

Courvoisier Collective 2012: Culinary Masterpieces

You may remember this post from last year.  The Courvoisier Collective is back again this year, this time with the theme of food.  Both amateur and professional chefs are invited to participate by creating a recipe that involves the famous cognac, which will then be voted on by a chef judging panel.  Allowed recipes include soups, salads, hors d’oeuvres and entrées. 3 student chef and 3 at-home chefs will be selected to come to Toronto and possibly win $1000 and have their recipe featured at an exclusive tasting event.

The dates for participation are as follows:

July 3rd to August 24th – Users can submit recipes and vote for their favourites.

August 24th – September 7th: The chef judging panel (you can learn more about them on the site) review each recipe.

 September 7th: Six finalists are contacted and invited to attend an exclusive tasting event in October where their dish will be recreated and sampled.

Alas, though I wanted to create a recipe, the summer of moving has gotten away from me.  Looking at the recipes already posted, I can’t wait to see which are chosen, as they are all mouth-watering.  Follow them with the hashtag #CVCollective on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I was invited to participate by Matchstick Inc.  I was given a kit that included a spatula and a cognac glass.  All opinions are my own.

Ice Cream: my first attempt

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Each Friday in my office, someone brings in snacks, aka Fat Friday.  Its a nice way to end off the week.  Last week my colleague did a bbq and I volunteered to make ice cream. HAVING NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE!  The ice cream was my first attempt with the ice cream maker attachment I received for Christmas to fit on my KitchenAid mixer.  I wanted something light and simple, so I thought of lemons, because it is one of my favourite flavours of gelato. I found the recipe at Use Real Butter after a simple google search.  I also added in some blackberries for more flavour (though in the end, it really did not need it, but I would them as a topping next time instead).

This was really easy! And a hit with everyone!

What I was not sure of going in what the yield would be, but the recipe filled a rectangle large Ziploc container about 3/4 of the way.  A nice amount that would be perfect for a dinner party or a family dinner.  I am eager to try out more recipes and create some of my own this summer.

**I used skim milk as the recipe did not specify, and made sure the attachment was in the freezer 15 hours before using.

July Daring Cook: Hand-made (literally) Pasta

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Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks‟ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

This was a challenge I was up for!  I don’t eat much pasta anymore (not like in University) and usually it is rice noodles to avoid gluten.  A colleague of mine makes all his own pasta with his KitchenAid and it has always been good, and he said it was easy, so here is my version 🙂

I went with a basil fettucine because I wanted to use what was in season, and I could use the basil from my garden. My recipe was from All Recipes (click here) and the only variation I made was to omit the food processor and do it all by hand (except for the basil, needed it chopped very fine and paste-y).

The whole process was really, really, simple.  It was nice getting my hands messy.  I let it chill more than 2 hours, and only rolled out enough for one plate, rewrapping the rest for the freezer.  Again with the local theme, I threw in some fresh peas (from my garden!) with olive oil.  It didn’t quite come out as thin as I wanted, but once cooking the basil smell was strong.  Definitely will try again, but in the food processor!

The finished product

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