Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bottoms Up!

For those able to get it, check out the offerings from Rogue Brewery in Oregon. Willing to take risks - most of which pay off - they are a brave new frontier in beer. I plan to harass the SLGA in Saskatchewan to bringing in Rogue into the province. This holiday season I had the Chipoltle Ale, (very nice, subtly spicy) The Juniper Pale Ale, (a worthy experiment but not necessarily my favourite) the Yellow Snow IPA (Pictured and very worthwhile) and the rather stunning American Amber Ale. I have also had their excellent Shakespeare Stout, Mocha Porter and Dead Guy Ale.

One of the great things about Rogue is that they have food pairing suggestion on the bottles, so gourmets and gourmands alike can gobble and quaff to their hearts and stomachs content. Check them out if you are able to.

Dagger not included

Monday, December 15, 2008

Eggnog Cookies

This weekend was mostly hibernating and for me hibernating means baking. I did make a pumpkin pie from scratch from a baking pumpkin I've had around for ages, but the crown of my queenly baking on the weekend was trying out a new recipe for Eggnog Cookies.
I know. Eggnog is good. Cookies are good. So I figured it could only be a good thing.

I baked them on my baking stone and got 3 dozen delicious fluffy, almost shortbread like cookies that taste lightly of nutmeg and are a pretty good match for eggnog.
Definitely on my list of Christmas baking...

I hate to keep the goodness to myself, so give this a try before the eggnog goes away for another year...

Mrs. Field's Eggnog Cookies

2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon (heaping)
1/2 t nutmeg (heaping)
1 1/4 c sugar
3/4 c butter, room temperature
1/2 c eggnog
1 t vanilla
2 egg yolks

1 T nutmeg, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 300. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and spices. Mix well with whisk.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter with a mixer to form a grainy paste. Add eggnog, vanilla and eggs and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir until they are just combined. Do not overmix.
Make ~1 1/4 inch balls of dough ( a large teaspoon full) and place them on an ungreased baking stone (or baking sheet - I prefer stones for cookies) an inch apart. Flatten slightly with a wettened fork and sprinkle nutmeg on top of the cookies.
Bake for 20-24 minutes until the bottoms turn light brown. If you overbake them they'll brown on top and not be so deliciously me, extra care at the end makes them deeeeeeeeeeeelicious.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008


A friend gave me some squash from her garden this fall. There is an advantage to having a friend on an acreage...lots of yummy veggies in the fall.

I still had two huge kabocha squash sitting in my pantry staring at me every time I opened the door. One was about 6 Lb and bigger than my head! They are yummy flavourful winter squash -sweet and a cross between and acorn squash and a yam. Apparently after you pick them they're supposed to have a few weeks to mature and get more flavourful before you eat them...heh heh. No problem there. I've had mine a few months now :)

I was wondering what the hell to do with it this weekend when I opened the mail and found this month's Vegetarian Times in it...and on the cover was a picture of their recipe for Kabocha squash soup. And it had smoked paprika in it, which is one of my new favourite things. Score! This magazine is usually full of yummy recipes and this soup was definitely no exception-I used half my gargantuan squash to make a double batch of soup and froze the rest of the squash for another soup session. It was so simple and yummy I must post the recipe, giving full credit to the folk's at Vegetarian Times.

Kabocha Soup

1 c thin sliced white onion (~ 1 medium onion)
1 T olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 T cooking sherry
2 cloves garlic
2 t smoked paprika
~1 1/2 Lb peeled kabocha squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 c water
2 c low sodium veggie broth
Pinch salt
pepper to taste

Saute the onions and oil in a large saucepan for 5-7 minutes, add the garlic and saute another few minutes. Add the paprika and bay leaf and saute another minute. Add sherry, water, broth and squash and bring to a simmer on low-med heat. Let simmer with lid on for ~30 minutes until squash is softened/cooked. Add pinch of salt and pepper, fish out the bay leaf and puree the soup in a food processor. Add pepper to taste and enjoy. Easy and delicious.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Guacomole and pita chips if you have the nibbles, try this:

Take a bag of pitas, pull them all apart into two circles. Brush with olive oil and cut into eighths and bake on a sheet at 350 for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You get golden, tasty, healthy pita chips for dipping. They burn quick, so keep an eye on them and remove from the pan as they're done...they'll bake up at different speeds, so I check the pan every few minutes.

(Image: Natalee Dee)
To go with the chips, you need to make some wicked guacamole:

Skoosh together well (I use my hand mixer):
3 avacados
1/4 c lime juice

Stir in:
1 roma tomato ,diced
1/2 c red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced (seeds removed)
1/4 c diced, pickled banana peppers
1/2 t pepper

Then do the following. Dip chip. Eat. Repeat.
This is the best guacamole I've ever tried. It tastes better if you can wait an hour and let the flavours all mix together...I can't always make it that long. I ususally just make it before I make the pita chips so it has a bit of time to sit and fuse.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Egg Nests

Want a quick, easy and delicious breakfast?
Do what I just did...make some egg nests.
For 1 person, take an english muffin, 2 slices of good black forest ham (shaved thinly), 2 eggs, 2t of cream and a pinch of basil. Basil and cream are the key - don't skip that part...
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 2 slightly oiled muffin pan holes with the ham a muffin-paper of ham. Crack an egg into each of the ham-cups (mmmmm...hamcups), put a teaspoon of cream on top of each, with a pinch of basil and bake about 15 minutes until the whites are set, and the yolks are half set (or longer if you like hard yolks). Toast and butter your english muffin, set it open faced and place the 2 egg nests on top of the halves.
Sounds simple, but the flavours work together to be absolutely delicious.
Perfect for a lazy weekend or holiday breakfast...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feel Like Chicken Tonight?

Or beets, or carrots or figs?

Like many working class people, I usually cook an evening meal with the next days mid-day meal in mind. Boredom and revulsion with and toward ones own cooking can quickly ensue so there is a need to experiment and try new things regularly. Chicken, rice and roasted veggies. Sounds potentially boring, but the meal I made last night was quite exciting and was even more so today.

The essentials:
-Two chicken thighs. (skinless in my case)
- Chioggia beets (also known as candystripe or bull's eye beets) and eastern carrots. (purple, white, yellow and red in colour)
- 2 cups brown rice.

Put the vegetables and fresh chopped parsley in an oven pan and rub them in olive oil, dark balsamic vinegar along with black pepper/grains of paradise, a small amount of smoked paprika and halved dried figs. I set my oven for 375° and usually roast for at least 50 minutes. Your oven is probably different so adjust accordingly.
I took two cups of long grain brown rice and cooked it in 3 cups of water and tossed in about 2 1/2 tblsp of white balsamic vinegar and a pinch of course salt. Cook that until done and keep it separate.
As for the chicken, I sauteed two cloves of crushed garlic and 1/2 of a naga pepper together in a small bit of olive oil. I then sautee the chicken and add a marinade of this description:

- 1/8 of a cup of red wine (I have been drinking Malbecs from Argentina of late)
- 1/8 of a cup of dark balsamic vinegar
- 1/16 a cup of water (something like that, what the hell do I remember about fractions?)
- 1 tblsp of honey
- 1 tsp of Dutch cocoa (although I would use another variety of cocoa for the health benefits, as the Dutch process apparently destroys the antioxidants I was hoping for)

Shake this all up quite well and add to the pan once the chicken has been seared on both sides. How much you use is up to you, I used it all. I also sprinkled ground grains of paradise over top.
The sweetness of the roasted vegetables really compliments the robust, dry, hot flavour of the chicken and the generally neutral flavoured rice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stay tuned to this station for an important update

After consulting with the leaders of the world and my advisors (J and Magnus) I've figured out the new name for things around here. Thing is...I need a few days to tweak the logo and all that come around and see the new digs in a while. I just need an hour or so of free time to do this...he heh...yeah...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's in a name...

I've had many people tell me they think that the blog name Food Whore is a bit too...well...something. Enough people to make me think "hmmmm...perhaps the name has gone off and I should pick out a fresh one."
I wanted to put in words my desperate love of cooking and love of food.
Any suggestions for an alternate?
I can't call it the Bacon Queen, as my good friend Magnus is also cowriter here, and he is not the Bacon Queen (my nickname) and is decidedly straight, so that won't work.

I'm trying to think of another name...suggestions?
Possibly involving muffins....

Winner gets some.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

I am the Queen of Pancakes.
It is true…I've often thought of getting an apron printed up…I love pancakes. I always make them from scratch and I diddle with recipes until they are fluffy delicious perfection. Most of my favourite recipes for pancakes come from The Joy of Cooking…their regular pancake mix is great and there is a multigrain pancake with honey in it that is fluffy and delicious. How It All Vegan has a deadly banana pancake recipe too…but I digress…

I had leftover buttermilk from the derbies I had to use up, so I took out my trusty cooking bible and hunted for buttermilk pancakes…and found this recipe. Blueberry buttermilk cornmeal pancakes…with a touch of lemon. These are now my favourite pancakes…and that is saying something…they are fluffy, yet the cornmeal gives a slight crunch to them…and the slight lemon zing just puts it over the top into decadence. You almost don't need syrup for these…
Make them yourself this weekend. I know it looks daunting, what with all the egg separation and whisking but let me tell you…a better pancake you will not ever have. Not even my Grandma's were this good…and she's the one who got me started on this pancake obsession in the first place.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Joy of Cooking

Whisk together in a bowl:
1 c flour
½ c yellow cornmeal
¼ c sugar
1 ¼ t baking powder
¼ t baking soda
¼ t salt

Whisk together in another bowl:
1 ¼ c buttermilk
4 T melted butter (1/2 stick)
2 large egg yolks
1 ½ t finely grated lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)

Pour the wet over the dry and gently mix them together until just combined.
Beat the 2 egg whites until the peaks are stiff but not dry and then fold into the batter.
Finally, fold in 1 c blueberries.

Spoon ~1/3 batter onto a hot oiled griddle per pancake, nudging the batter into rounds. Flip when the top of the pancake is speckled with bubbles.
Serve with maple syrup if you have it.
You'll thank me for it... :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


A quick post to jot down a marinade that I have been using on chicken and pork. (one piece each time) I take about 1/8 of a cup of water mixed with 1/8 of a cup of red wine (Malbec from Argentina in this case) and stir it in with 1/2 a teaspoon of course sea salt. After the the salt has dissolved enough, I add a tablespoon of honey and a somewhat heaping teaspoon of smoked paprika and two dashes of ground grains of paradise. In the pan I have lightly sauteed one or two crushed cloves of garlic and some variety of hot pepper - I currently have serrano, habanero, naga and a couple of chipoltles. (also see the Scoville Scale) I don't allow the heat from the peppers to overwhelm the dish, just give it some kick. I know how much hot pepper is enough for me and for the dish at hand, but I suggest you learn the way I did: experiment.

- Magnus

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Let's party like it's my birthday

I made myself some tasty baking for my birthday.
LOTS of it.
Because I can.
So there.

At work, everyone has to bring their OWN cake on their birthday (you get what you like and noone is left out unless they want to be). I hummed and hawed and settled on making some spice cake derbies.
What is a derby you ask? Well, a few years ago I bought a make your own Twinkie set from a kitchen shop…It's called a "Cream Canoe" kit so they don't get sued, but is a really good pan -the pan has 8 canoe/twinkie spots in it and comes with an icing decorator/injector to fill them with any little flavoured filling that your little heart desires.
At the moment, my heart desires cream cheese icing.

I've tried vanilla derbies with lemon pudding inside, chocolate and almond with vanilla or Bailey's pudding inside…and thought some spice cake with cream cheese inside would rock the casba. I was actually going to cheat and buy a good spice cake recipe (layzee dayz) but I made this one.

When I first made derbies
, version 1 (vanilla cake with lemon curd filling), Magnus said I should call them derbies…after Rocky and Bullwinkle, when Bullwinkle was hypnotized to desire a hat ("derby…I must find derby…"). Magnus can do the Bullwinkle "derby" perfect…makes me snicker like a kindergarten student everytime. It stuck. They became derbies.
And they're relly worth all the effort. Unlike real twinkies they do not suck…and are totally customizable and pimpable.

Pimp my cupcake.
Aw man…if I get a cooking show, I totally want a baking segment called that.
ANYways….back to the cake.

I commandeered my favourite apple spice cake recipe from the Joy of Cooking - it makes exactly 1 pan worth of derbies (or a 9 inch round cake). I made the batter and sprinkled some diced apple and a few walnuts into the derby pans before I spooned in the batter. This is a nice spicy moist cake with no eggs. I've used splenda in this instead of sugar for a diabetic friend, and cheated with 1 c milk + 1 t vinegar when I had no buttermilk and it tastes great too. Odd, but doesn't matter…it just tastes all kinds of good.

Apple Spice Cake

Whisk together in a bowl:
1 ½ c flour
1 c brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t \cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
½ t allspice or cloves
½ t salt

Add and stir until just smooth:
1 c buttermilk
½ c oil
2 t rum (I add ~ ½ t rum flavour)
1 t vanilla

Stir in/sprinkle on top:
1 apple diced up small and ½ c chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or pecans are all good)

Scrape into a greased and floured pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean (it may not look quite baked - don't let it fool you…) about 40-45 minutes for a 9x9 cake or ~18 minutes for the derby's or cupcakes. Tip derbies out of the pan onto a rack and let 'em cool completely.

Then I made some cream cheese icing - again the Joy of Cooking cream cheese icing recipe. The icing gods didn't smile on me so it's not as fluffy as it could be, but it tastes delicious...
8 oz light cream cheese (cold)
4 T butter/margarine (room temp)
2 to 2 ½ c icing sugar (to taste. I do ~2)
2 t vanilla
Use a food processor or the paddle on your mixer and beat together butter and cheese until smooth…don't overmix. Whip in vanilla and sugar. You can freeze this apparently, but I've always…um…eaten it all, so I can't say from experience if that is true. Eez good.

Usually I don't ice this cake as it rocks hard with disco lighting on it's own. But since I needed creamy filling for the derbies, this worked. I injected about 1 T worth of icing into each derby, in 3 injection spots…and they were most tasty. None were leftover…

Then there was the OTHER cake.

Heh heh.

I wanted to have something pumkininny for my birthday, and wanted to have it with family, so I tried making a pumpkin spice cake recipe gluten free to share with my brother and his wife…I used the Pumpkin Spice Cake I recipe from Allrecipes (A great recipe site). I have never made the cake before, but it looked pretty simple and looked moist enough to easily to convert to gluten free, if not slightly (OK pretty, bad) for you.

Pumpkin Spice Cake
1 c oil
3 eggs
1 (14 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 c white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used just over 2 c of gluten free…exact measurement is 2 1/8c (I ran out of flour just over 2 c so that was what I used…general rule is 7/8 c of gluten free flour for every regular cup of flour in a recipe)
1 t baking soda (if gluten free - use 1 ½ t - general rule is 1.5 x leavening)

1 t ground nutmeg
1 t allspice
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (or other nuts if you want)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease one 10 " bundt pan or a regular 9x13 pan. Because I used gluten free flour I went for the 9X13 pan, as I wasn't sure how it'd turn out. I usually dont' mess with a recipe until I've tried it first.

Cream oil, beaten eggs, pumpkin and vanilla together. (according to some commentors on the site, they subbed out ½ c oil for ½ c apple sauce and cut back sugar by ½ c and the cake was still good…again, next time).
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined (no worries about overmixing if gluten free flour). If desired, stir in nuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 min in a 9x13 pan or 1 hour in a bundt pan until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool cake. Serve with either confectioner's sugar OR cream cheese icing. Or both .Y'know.

I used the same icing as for the derbies (just made twice as much). Originally I was going to ice it up with grey icing to make it look like Han Solo trapped in Carbonite (nerd!)…but in the end I just made 2 iced layers in a slightly misshapen but very delicious cake. I don't think I overbaked it too much (it's hard not to with a larger cake) so it was really good. I am tempted to replace some of the oil with applesauce and perhaps cut back the sugar next time…we'll see. I picked this cake mix for being moist…and it was. I always try something "as is" before I mess with it. I just wanted a cake we could all enjoy. And we all did.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Turning Tricks in the Gluten Free Zone

Image: Sea Muffin Bakery. Thanks!

My sister in law just realised a few months ago that she is celiac. Suddenly a reason for why she was always tired, queasy and tended more than most...OK, ALL people I'd ever met. She had the most sensitive stomach of we know why. It's like a miracle - she's got more energy, feels better and as long as she cuts out the gluten she feels great.
Downside to all this tho - good gluten free baking is really hard to come by. Especially breads and can buy some premade gluten free rice bread in the local grocery store but have you actually tasted that sh*t? It's like stale cardboard that's been left out to get even more stale...unless you toast it or turn it into french toast you're pretty much out of luck for soft baking...or so I thought.

My brother and I have had a deal the past few years - he loves my muffins, so I bring by a dozen muffins at least once a month if not's an excuse to hang out and visit and he gets yummy baked stuff...fair deal really. I can make people happy with my food - how cool is that?Thing is, this changed when his wife was diagnosed- she'd look sadly at the muffins...often tempted enough to eat one. This was no good. I couldn't bear knowing I was making her ill with delicious foods, so I did some foodsearch, on the hunt for celiac baking recipes and ideas. There are some great gluten free cake mixes out there (honestly, better than a lot of regular cake mixes) but here is what I've come up with for a few gluten free snackeroos for my brother and his wife to make in your own home. I took my muffin recipe I've tweaked and developed over time and altered the volumes and leavening for gluten free baking. You can make your own gluten free flour or by the premade mixes...they're a bit pricey, but usually good. My sister in law recommended Knicknicks ,so I went with them.

Gluten Free Cranberry Walnut Muffins:

1 3/4 c gluten free flour (I used gluten free Knicknicks flour mix)
1 1/2 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg

2 eggs
1/2 c melted margarine
2/3 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 c milk

Mix wet together and then all the rest in together well... unlike regular muffins there is no gluten, so no worries about over mixing to get tough muffins (bonus)!
Add 1 overflowing c of cranberries (or any fruit really) and 1/3 c walnuts (or any other nut) and put into greased muffin pan with large muffin papers. Cups will be rather full...this is OK. It won't look quite like regular mix...just ignore it. It's all good.
Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes until just done: tops will bounce back when you tap them and a toothpick will come out clean and they'll just be starting to brown on the edges. Watch them at the end so you DON'T over bake them...they get dry and crumbly if you do.
The result? Light, fluffy muffins...usually devoured before my very eyes. Gluten free baking is best eaten within 1-2 days or frozen for storage until eaten...putting it in the fridge makes it go all grainy and crumbly otherwise...and I dare ya to tell these are gluten free. They are indeed tasty-my brother can't tell the difference. Make the recipe 1T baking powder and 2 c regular flour for regular muffins...they are my universal muffin recipe. Add any fruit or nut and they are fantastic...Don't skimp on the butter if you can help it (you can add sour cream or yogurt for part of it if you must) really helps keep the muffins moist.

Also, thanks to the great Jennifer McGann over at Vegan Lunchbox, I found a great gluten free (sugar free) vegan cookie recipe this weekend. They are also pretty tasty - cakey and soft and very good for you:

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Oat Cookies:

2 c oat flour (gluten free oats ground to flour in a food processor or gluten free oat flour)
4 very ripe bananas, smooshed up with a hand mixer into a smooth gooeyness
1/2 c dates, chopped up fine
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t baking soda

Mix up and drop onto a baking stone (or cookies sheet lined with pastry paper) by the tablespoonful - you get 24 cookies out of this. Bake at 350° for about 12 minutes, until they just start to brown up on the edges and spring back when you tap them. They will be soft and spongy, not hard. These cookies are yummy - not overly sweet, except for the odd bit of date sweetness. If you like your cookies sweeter, you could add chocolate chips or raisins (EVIL!) to these I'm sure...I really like them. I'm all for healthy treats.

So there you go - try out some gluten free nibbles.
If anyone out there in the interweb has any great gluten free recipes, please pass them my way. I'm interested to try them sister in law will tahnk you :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Another Mad Invention - Apple Gjetost Pie

Now that Magnus has explained the oddity that is gjetost, let me fill you in on our pie experiment. Magnus left a phone message about this whole pie combo a few weeks ago and since then I've been waiting for a time to have a few hours to try it out. First time we were thwarted by a lack of gjetost (tragic) at the local cheese emporium, but finally Magnus could find the cheese and I had a rainy sunday afternoon it was, indeed, time for pie.

Well, I've always liked toffee and butterscotch, but have an aversion to overly sweet things...gjetost is brilliant in that it taste like toffee or some sort of caramel...minus the sweetness. It has the consistency of hard cream cheese, and is delicious in little nibbly quantities. How it melted? We had no idea...which made it more intriguing. As a kid I liked toffee apples...I just couldn't eat a whole one from all the sugar...this seemed like a perfect combination. Cheese and pie? Well, I've seen and tried the cheddar apple pie combo, and it never really was my too many pickles on a sandwich, the cheddar was overpowering and, in my opinion, detracted from a perfectly good pie...and cheese. Any cheddar apple recipes I found called for grated cheese in the crust itself or melted on the top crust, so I had to improvise...mad science indeed.
I did a bit more piesearch before starting, looking in my trusty Joy of Cooking for a good apple pie recipe (this book has *never* let me down and has tonnes of references on methods of cookery). I found a good recipe, and (as usual) cut back the sugar a bit, to let the flavour of the fruit shine through. I also decided to not make the pie deep dish, as I usually do, as I wanted the ratio of apples to gjetost to be one that would allow the flavour of both to shine through.

I used my favourite pie crust recipe (same as in the peach pie post below). I made the recipe, divided it into 4 balls, as it is for 4 pies, froze 3 of them, and rolled out the remaining ball for crust. I rolled out the bottom crust and pressed it into the pie pan. Then I got to the apple filling, a variation on the Apple Pie I recipe from Joy of Cooking:

-6 peeled thinly sliced gala apples
-1T lemon juice
-1/2 c white sugar (less than the 3/4 c called for in the original recipe)
-1/2 t cinnamon
-2 T flour

I mixed this all together and spread evenly in the crust. Apples shrink when you bake them, so I filled it 1 1/3 times full to get a decently thick pie. Then I sliced the gjetost about 1/8 inch thick and laid it evenly over the top of the so:We had a brick of gjetost about 3 inches by 2 inches by 1 inch and used 3/4 of it...the rest of it went in our bellies while we waited. Yum. Then I layered the top crust over it all, wetting and pinching the sides with a fork and cutting some slits in the top.

Then it went in a 425° oven for 30 minutes, after which I turned down the heat to 350° and baked it another 20-25 minutes until the crust was golden and the filling was starting to bubble out the crust slits.
Not to shabby eh? We were looked delicious. We managed to distract ourselves for 15 minutes to let the pie cool and sit a bit before having some...with vanilla ice cream of course.


As it turns out, gjetost and apples go brilliantly together in a pie. the caramel flavour of the cheese enhances the fruit flavour, but isn't overwhelming, and the usual sugary sweetness of caramel was absent, making for a rich creamy flavour. Decadent.
The gjetost didn't melt as much as it sort of fused to the crust and went a bit soft, like low fat cheese does when you broil it on toast. I give it two thumbs up. I will definitely make this again...and I highly recommend you give it a try, if you can hunt down some gjetost from your local exotic cheese shop.

I love being a mad scientist...:)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gjetost - Cheese Goes to Brown Town

CD in Play: PJ Harvey, White Chalk

Gjetost is a Norwegian whey cheese more commonly known as brunost ("brown cheese") within Norway itself. People I have met are often skeptical about gjetost (an archaic spelling of geitost, which is used in Norway today) because of its brown colour. Many North Americans seem ready to accept cheddar cheese dyed orange and pale yellow for no real reason - when authentic cheddar is actually an off-white colour - but leery of cheese naturally the same colour as toffee or caramel. When people try gjetost they are usually won over by those subtly sweet caramel/toffee like notes one gets when they finally taste it.
There are two varieties of of brunost:

1. Gjetost/geitost, which simply means "goat's cheese". Obviously made from goat's milk, Geo may have second thoughts about this cheese, given her highly irrational prejudice against goat's milk.
2. Gudbrandsdalsost is a cow's milk version and therefore slightly less sharp than gjetost. (which really isn't that sharp in the first place)

Gjetost is often used to top off an open faced sandwich or with lefse. (sort of a Norwegian potato crêpe that I have had rolled in butter, sugar and maybe cinnamon) As lefse is also eaten along with lutefisk (lye-cured white fish) I imagine that gjetost is eaten with that meal as well. Geo and I are about to embark in a different direction - apple pie with gjetost just under the top of the pie crust.
See, the idea of cheddar (specifically North American cheddar) and apple pie has never turned my crank. I know people who love it and could never think of having apple pie without it. Geo was talking about making apple pie a while back and I stated that I wanted a slice. Baking is a skill that eludes me and her pies are really good. I was thinking about apple pie while eating gjetost and it hit me - gjetost and apple pie is a natural. At least I think it is and Geo seems to be of the same mind. Are we on to something or just half-baked? We make the pie today so one of us will let you know soon.

- Magnus

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I, Food Whore

CD in Play: Mojo Presents - Acid Daze

I asked Geo if I could co-contribute to her food blog. She said no way. I asked her again the next day and she told me to forget it. I started staring at her and her husband in bed through the rather large window they have facing their back yard. They called the cops. I nailed a dead fish wrapped in newspaper to their front door. They didn't get it. I started working two floors above her with lots of sharp instruments and pathogenic samples. She threatened restraining order. I reminded her of my chicken cordon bleu and she kindly relented. Think, this could happen to you too if I like your blog.
My current thing are beet tops. More than just borscht, beet tops are a great in a stir fry. My most recent stir fry involved brown rice, ground beef, (optional) beet tops, spinach, cabbage, parsley, Serrano peppers, mushrooms and a whole head of garden grown garlic. I stir fry the veggies first and separately from the beef. (which contains 1/2 of that head of garlic) It takes a while for the beet tops to soften, so cook until you get them the way you like them - it doesn't seen to make a difference to the flavour. Once it is all cooked, mix it all together, let it stand and serve. I served mine with roasted carrots.

- Magnus

Friday, September 19, 2008


So here's the deal...I was going to crosspost all the recipes I've previously put on my other blog, but I figured I'd set up a linkorama for all the recipes I've posted so far. I could repost them, but they are little snippits in time, so I want to leave them be. Looking through the past I've realised I talk about food a LOT on my main blog, and jsut don't post enough recipes. It's given me some ideas for what to psot next.
Some recipes below are of my own invention (mostly muffins...I likes me my muffins) and others are just yummy creations I have made or tried out over the check them out. Try them out...let me know how they worked for you!


Tofu Parmesean
Green Bean Chicken with Curried Cream Sauce
Guinnes Stew and Potato Bread (Link to Potato Bread, and Stew recipe is in the comments section)
Lemon Baked Fish


Raspberry Cornmeal Muffins
Raspberry Flax Brain Muffins

English Toffee Cake
Gramercy Tavern Guinness Shortbread
Twinkies (or Derbie's as I like to call them)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mattar Paneer

This weekend I made my favourite curry dish for the first time: mattar paneer.

It's a vegetarian Punjabi dish, consisting of cubes of indian cheese (paneer) and green peas in a tomato based curry sauce. Delicious.
I used my brother and his family as guinea pigs, then with confidence from my first attempt, made it for my husband for his birthday yesterday. Both times -fantastic. It's simple, and so delicious, and really not that bad for you, as far as curry dishes go. And it's woot.

And so - here's my recipe for mattar paneer. There's many variations of this out there. I found a few "watch the cook make it" bits on you tube and watched them before I started to get the gist of it. Some Hindi friends from work gave me their versions of it too, so I had a good idea of what I needed to do to make it. It really is pretty simple. I did cheat a bit and used some premade curry paste and tomato paste instead of pureed tomatoes. From what I've been told by my Hindi friends you can vary the curry sauce as you like, adding a bay leaf or a green chili or some chili powder...make it as you like your curry.
You really HAVE to try this, whether when you're out for a curry next, or sitting at home wondering what to's my favourite curry dish.

I bought the paneer cubes from the frozen food section of the local ethnic grocery. (I haven't gotten that good at indian cooking as to make my own paneer yet...)

I package frozen paneer (thawed)-about 2 cups paneer, 1 cm cubes
1 can tomato paste
2 T medium Pataks curry paste
2 T curry powder
2T cumin
1T turmeric
1t cinnamon
1 T ginger garlic paste
1 large white onion diced small.
2 cups frozen green peas
~2 1/2 c water (give or take)
3 T low fat sour cream or plain yogurt.
a bit of oil for frying

How To:
In a frying pan, brown the paneer in some oil until it is golden on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan add the peas and ~ 2 c water and bring the peas just to a boil. Turn off heat and set aside.
In the frying pan from the paneer, add a bit more oil and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are clear and start to caramelize. Then add the curry paste and spices and simmer 1 minute. Add the other spices and stir a minute, then add the tomato paste and rest of water and simmer a minute until it is all mixed together. Remove from heat and add to the peas and water.
Return the curry and peas to heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Add a bit of water if needed to get a nice thick curry sauce. Let simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the paneer and simmer another 10 minutes. Right before serving, stir in sour cream/yogurt (optional - it's how I like my's not necessary)
Serve with white basmati rice and some naan bread.

Go'll love it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Best Pie in the 'Verse

Every fall I've started the tradition of bringing back freshly picked, ripe peaches from BC. There are orchards in Creston BC, right near Shambhala and the fruit there is over the moon. The best peaches I've ever had.
Last year I brought back a flat of peaches and they all went ripe at the same time. "What to do?" I thought - as you can only eat so many peaches in a day without some unfortunate side me.
"Make a peach pie" said the I asked my husband J's Aunt (who is the queen of all desserts) for her peach pie recipe.
"You'll love it -it is the divinity of all that is fruity and pieyey in this world" she said (OK, so I'm paraphrasing a bit here). I stole the crust recipe from J's Mom. It's a good crust, flaky and light, easy to make and it freezes well. Worth the bother.
And upon completion, I found it to be my all time favourite pie...and I do likes me my pie, so believe me when I say this: this pie? Eeez good.
This year, as a test to see if it really was the best pie in the world I did the same, more peaches from BC and more pies...and it was still glorious.
Oh yes. I just had a piece. The last one. Yum.

So I to make Peach Pie. So you can yum it too...

First, ze crust:
(This recipe that makes enough for 4 pies(top and bottom)...but the dough freezes well..I usually make half and do 2 pies.) You can half it and it still works fine.

5 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 Lb lard
1 t sugar
1 egg whisked (This recipe that makes 4 only need improvise...or make 4...whatevah)
1 t vinegar
milk to 1c

Crumble first 4 ingredients together with knife or pastry cutter until lard is in tiny pieces, no larger than a pea. In a 8 oz cup, add the egg, beat it and mix in vinegar. Add milk up to 1 cup and stir well. Mix this in with the flour mixture and mix with hands to get a firm dough. Roll our on floured surface.
I lattice the top on peach pies, as it looks cool, and bakes better for me (less boilover) and better overall baking. Plus I'm shit at rolling out pie crust, so it's less of a hassle too. It's a bit of work to make a pie, so I usually make two and freeze one, after baking it. Then there's more pie later. Trust me. It's a good thing.


OK...ze Pie Filling:
(for a deep dish pie - this is PER pie...for 2 regular pies multiply everything by 1.5)
6 c sliced, peeled ripe peaches
3 T cornstarch
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
2 T lemon juice
Sprinkling of nutmeg
A few T butter

Mix together all but butter and place in crust. Dot the top of the peaches and juice with ~9 butter pieces, about 1/2cm square. Lattice the crust top. Bake for ~ 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
Cool. Eat. Make groany noises.

So that is that. Enjoy the peaches while they are in season my lovelies. Soon the snow will take them away for another year and we'll have nothing but twigs and berries.
If anyone has any pie ideas send 'em my way. I love mad kitchen science! I will accept any challenge...but no raisins.
That is all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Here we go

Just begun.

Just you wait...