Just dot Food

Lemon Sugar Wafers

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Discovered this recipe quite a few years ago during the Christmas Season. Although I have never been a huge cookie baker, these immediately became part of my repertoire for an all year round treat.  The kids, grandkids and our Brazilian grandchildren enjoy them immensely.  They really are a lemon flavoured sugar cookie without the fuss of rolling out the dough.  They really are fabulous!  

Recipe Card

Lemon Sugar Wafers
Yields 6
Soo tasty and quick to prepare.
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. • 2 cups white sugar
  2. • 1 cup butter, softened
  3. • 2 eggs
  4. • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest - generous is okay
  5. • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  6. • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. • 3 1/2 cups flour
  8. • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. • 1 teaspoon salt
  10. • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  11. • addiitional granualated sugar
Instructions
  1. Cream sugar, butter, eggs, lemon zest, juice and vanilla in large mixing bowl until smooth. I use a stand mixer.
  2. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar until well blended.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
  5. Roll in additional granulated sugar coating generously.
  6. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a 325 degree oven or until light golden brown.
  8. Cookies will be soft in the centre.
  9. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. I use a Pampered Chef baking stone so the baking time for me is closer to 18 minutes in a Miele oven. A baking stone ensures completely even heating so that the bottoms don't get too brown. As always, monitor the progress of the baking and adjust to the uniqueness of your oven.
Adapted from from Robin Hood
Adapted from from Robin Hood
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

 

Milk and Cookies

milk and cookies

This has been a busy week in our home . . . . the Canadian Federal Election was called considerably earlier than anyone expected, and that changes our lives considerably until the vote takes place and things are wrapped up.  Both of us have different roles with Elections Canada . . . . it is very interesting what goes on behind the scenes to provide eligible voters the right to exercise their franchise.  Believe me, there is a tremendous amount to do and we will be working many long hours.  

So the food preparation begins and the baking frenzy went into high gear and I savoured one of my last chances for a few weeks to have a leisurely photo shoot.

Photography/Prop Details:
Nikon D4 with 50 mm f/1.4 lens
Dishes from a breakfast set that I have had for a decade or more . .. .orginally from Canadian Tire
Placemats . . . I believe Winnners . . . a long time ago
Ceramic white basket . . . Pier One
White Milk Pitcher . . . Home Sense
Florals . . . can’t remember . . . they have lived with me for a very long time
Linen Napkin . . . Ikea . . . I believe

Week 17 . .. Milk and Cookies . .. Be Still 52

August 3rd  . . . The Studio Online . . In Corners

Saskatoon Berry Pie

saskatoon pie

Have really been enjoying spending time in the kitchen recreating the food that I grew up with in rural Saskatchewan.  This is the season for Saskatoons, native to the Canadian Prairies, and an essential to our summer traditions.  

We went berry picking a lot in our youth . .. reflecting back I am not sure how much help we were, as an awful lot never made it into the pail for pies and preserving for the winter months.   I think Mom was always disappointed at our portion of the pickings!!

This is the recipe for the pastry that I used:  Easy Mixer Pastry

 

Saskatoon Berry Pie
Serves 6
No summer is complete without at least one Saskatoon Pie, especially if you are from the Canadian Prairies.
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Ingredients
  1. 5 cups saskatoons
  2. 1 cup blueberries
  3. I cup sugar
  4. 1/2 c minute tapioca
  5. 3 T water or less . . . . I like a filling that doesn't run all over the place
  6. sprinkle of salt
  7. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. freshly grated nutmeg . .. a dusting
  9. 3 tbsp lemon juice
  10. dabs of butter (adds a nice glisten to your filling)
  11. Pastry for a double crust 9 inch pie or if you choose, bottom crust and a crumb topping
Crumb Topping
  1. Enough for one 9 inch pie or two 5 inch ones
  2. 1/2 cup rolled oats . ..not quick cooking type
  3. 1/3 cup flour
  4. 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  5. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/4 cup room temperature butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine berries, fresh or frozen in saucepan
  3. Add sugar and tapioca and some water, adjusting as necessary . .. the tapioca really thickens the filling beautifully, however I like a filling that isn't runny
  4. Cook on medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring so it doesn't stick to the pan
  5. Add salt, spices and lemon juice after mixture is thickened (I add these at the end so that the spices don't get bitter from being over cooked. I read this somewhere eons ago, so have always adhered to this.)
  6. Let filling cool some so that you don't put it into the pastry while hot
  7. Sprinkle bottom pastry crust with sugar before placing filling in (this makes for a crispier crust)
  8. Generously fill pie shell
  9. Daub with a few spots of butter
  10. Place pastry on top and cut vents or use a crumb topping
  11. Crimp the edges of the pastry even if using a crumb topping . . . . the edges need to be sealed if you are using a double pastry crust.
  12. You can dampen the bottom rim of the crust with a brush of milk to ensure sealing
  13. Using a pastry brush, brush milk or cream all over the top crust of the pastry and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. This makes your pie glisten beautifully.
Crumb Topping
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients
  2. With fingers or hand pastry blender, cut in butter until there are large clumps.
  3. Spread on top of filling
  4. Bake at 350 for an hour or until crust is golden and brown and filling is bubbling
  5. Serve hot or cold with vanilla ice cream.
Notes
  1. I used 2 - 5 inch pie plates to make this up as we are only two. That way we had one to consume immediately and one to freeze. Much safer that way, otherwise a leftover pie is the subject of midnight foraging!!!
  2. Bake the small pies for 25 to 30 minutes . .. .crust should be golden and brown and the filling should be bubbling a bit,
Adapted from from Linda Rudachyk, Rosthern, Saskatchewan
Adapted from from Linda Rudachyk, Rosthern, Saskatchewan
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

The Still Life Journey

Lemon Creams

January of 2015 ushered in a new chapter of my life.  It would be the start of the first year of full on retirement which was very exciting for me.  As much as I loved my Manulife days, I could now fully plan a year devoted to doing the things I love.  At the same time, Kim Klassen was offering a new gathering place for artists to grow and share.  The Studio Online was born and I jumped on board.  This has been one of the most fulfilling journeys for me as an artist and as a person.  It is filled with like minded women who care, share and support.  Truly amazing.  I could go on and on . .. but suffice it to say my soul has been enriched and my art has blossomed.

Food and photography seem to go together . … Carol Hart of Seattle is a gifted photographer and a creator of all things amazing in the kitchen.  She writes a wonderful blog and cooks through a different book every month. This month she chose Bowl and Spoon by Sprouted Kitchen and showcased their Lemon Creams.  They looked so good, and of course the cookbook has just happened to arrive in my library recently, (shhhhh!) and I decided to try them too . .. 

Details:

Used the Nikon D4 with two different lenses .. 105 mm f/2.8 and the 85mm f/1.4

The pot de creme cups are from Evesham and have lived with me foreva

The gold flatware is Artistry and has also lived with me for a very long time

Purple plates are ones I picked up from Bowrings quite awhile ago

White luncheon plates are part of the dinner set I scored at Christmas time . .. Aynsley Golden Crocus

Cookies were made this week . .. vanished . .. Lemon and Ginger . .. thought they would be the perfect accompaniment to this recipe . ..

Thanks to Carol for her inspiration.

 

Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones

Scones have been part of my bailiwick for a very long time, and especially so after visiting England in the early 1980’s and taking advantage of every opportunity for a Strawberry Cream Tea. I even treated myself to Afternoon Tea at Harrods … now that is one amazing experience that I need to have again. I often host bridal showers and birthday celebrations and a lot of the time choose to treat my guests to a full on Afternoon Tea experience. Of course scones served with my version of clotted cream and strawberry preserves are always part of the menu.

Buttermilk Scones
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 C buttermilk
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1/2 tsp almond extract
  4. 3 C all-purpose flour
  5. 4 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 1/2 C sugar
  9. 1/2 C cold butter, cubed
  10. 3/8 C white chocolate chips
  11. 3/8 C finely chopped almonds or slivered almonds
  12. 3/8 C dried fruits such as currants, raisins, craisins, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Whisk together buttermilk, egg and almond extract. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  4. With a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  5. Add white chocolate, almonds and dried fruit.
  6. Add egg mixture and stir with a fork until you have a rough dough.
  7. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times.
  8. Divide dough in half. Pat each into a 6” circle.
  9. Cut each half into 6 wedges scoring with a bench scraper or knife.
  10. Place on baking sheet lined with a silpat or bake in the divided wedge scone pans that are available on the market. You could also put the halves on a baking stone, but it takes a little more time. Monitor the browness closely in this case. I use the baking stone method as it is faster than putting the dough into the pans.
  11. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. I am VERY generous with the fruit . .the 3/8 cup is just a guide for me ... I like scones that are quite fruity.
  2. I also dust the wedges with sugar before baking . . . . adds a bit of glisten and sparkle.
Adapted from from Victorian Epicure
Adapted from from Victorian Epicure
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

Butter Bundt Cake with Fresh Strawberries & Whipped Cream

Rum Soaked Bundt Cake

Back in the day, when we lived in Wainwright and had young children, I decided to make cake decorating a part of my culinary repertoire.  That ended up in the purchase of many uniquely shaped cake pans and decorating utinsels. As a result I have decorated many, many wedding cakes.  I hasten to add that is definitely part of my past!!!  I was always looking for cake recipes that would unmould well from the pans and were also tasty.  Recipes for wedding cakes had to be dense enough to withstand the weight and smoothing that rolled fondant needed. This particular recipe is so tasty, it became part of my regular baking collection, even though it started out as the base for a Cinderella birthday cake for our daughter.

It is just a good old fashioned type of cake and has always released well, even from the most intricate of Bundt pan shapes.

Butter Bundt Cake
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 4 eggs, room temperature
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 3 cups flour
  5. 1 tsp. salt
  6. 1 tsp. b.p.
  7. 1/2 tsp. soda
  8. 2 tsp. vanilla
  9. 1 cup buttermilk
Butter Sauce
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1/4 cup hot water
  3. 1/2 cup butter, yes butter, NOT margarine
  4. 1 T. rum flavour
Instructions
  1. Mix cake ingredients in order given. I use a stand mixer to get a very smooth batter.
  2. Pour batter into a very well greased Bundt or tube pan.
  3. Bake at 325 for 55-65 minutes. This is totally dependent upon your oven . . . use your best judgement for how pound type cakes bake in your oven.
  4. Cake tester should come out clean.
  5. Skewer holes in cooked cake with a carving type of meat fork that has good sized tines (that is what I use).
  6. Pour sauce over and let the sauce work its way into the cake.
  7. Let cool for an hour or so.
  8. When you no longer see the sauce sitting on the outside of the cake, turn out and let finish cooling.
Sauce
  1. Bring sugar, water and butter just to a boil ... do not let it boil so much it becomes candy. You will never be able to unmould the cake if you do.
  2. Remove from heat, add rum flavour.
  3. Pour slowly over hot cake letting the cake absorb the sauce.
Notes
  1. Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries of your choice. Strawberries are a wonderful flavour complement.
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

 

Sweet & Sour Pork Chops

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Now that the dreaded taxes are done I can get back into the kitchen, which is where I really like to be.  Tonight I made pork chops . . I can’t remember the last time I cooked them, let alone the last time I made this recipe. It was a staple during our Wainwright years.

Sweet & Sour Pork Chops
Serves 6
Quick to make and very tasty.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp. ginger
  2. 1 tsp. salt
  3. ½ tsp. pepper
  4. 1 tsp. paprika
  5. ¼ cup flour
  6. 6 pork chops
  7. 1 Tbsp. shortening (I used butter for the flavour)
For the sauce
  1. 1-14 oz. tin of crushed pineapple, juice drained off and reserve
  2. 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  3. 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Coat both sides of chops with dry mixture.
  2. Brown in the butter on both sides.
  3. Remove to baking dish.
  4. Mix the reserved juice from the crushed pineapple with the other sauce ingredients and pour over the pork chops in deep casserole dish.
  5. Top with the drained crushed pineapple.
  6. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Notes
  1. I usually serve this with Baked Rice. Tonight I added asparagus tossed in olive oil and herbs with garlic and baked and some cherry tomatoes. Mmmmmmm good.
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

Apricot Frangipane Tartlettes

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Probably due to my Scandinavian heritage, almond anything is my favourite flavour . . . you could also put mango in that category!!  

Made these tartlettes for Brunch on Good Friday.  They are light, tasty and colourful . . . . just thought they added a Spring touch to the menu.

Use the Easy Mixer Pastry by Duchess Bake Shop for the pastry shells.

Apricot Frangipane Tartlettes
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. Pastry . . . I used the Duchess Pastry
Frangipane Filling
  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  3. 3/4 tsp. almond extract
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds
  7. 2 tsp. all purpose flour
  8. 1/2 cup apricot preserves
Instructions
  1. In large bowl combine butter and sugar, mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Add almond extract and salt, mix well.
  3. Add egg and mix well.
  4. Add almonds and flour, mix well.
  5. Use immediately or refrigerate for later use. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before using.
  6. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of the fiilling into each tartlette shell.
  7. Leftover mixture can be wrapped and frozen for later use.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 to 19 minutes or until light golden brown.
  9. Remove from pan, cool on rack.
  10. Spread about 2 tsp. of warmed apricot preserves over each tart.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. I used the 12 - 1/4 cup fluted tartlette pan from the Nordic Ware family of baking wares. Wanted the shells to have the fluted design and they slip out of the pan beautifully, so you don't have to dig at all. Mine was purchased at Barb's Kitchen Centre in Edmonton. I cannot attest to how the silicone fluted tart shells would work.
Adapted from Bundt Entertaining
Adapted from Bundt Entertaining
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

Easy Mixer Pastry

  • Easy Mixer Pastry
    Very quick and easy to prepare.
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    Ingredients
    1. 4 cups of all purpose flour (I lightly spoon this into the measure cup)
    2. 1 cup of unsalted butter, cut in 1/2 inch cubes (yes, I use unsalted butter in all my baking)
    3. 1 cup of vegetable shortening, cut in 1/2 inch cubes (I use Crisco)
    4. 1 tsp salt
    5. 1 cup of ice water
    Instructions
    1. Place flour, butter, Crisco and salt in stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment or if using a food processor, use the blade knife.
    2. Pulse until there are pea size bits of the fat in the bowl. This will not take very long . ..15 seconds or so . . . .. do not overwork the mixture
    3. Add the cold water all at once and mix until dough just starts to come together. Again, do not over process this mixture.
    4. Remove from bowl, divide into three.
    5. Shape into 3 disks, wrap in saran wrap and then put in a ziploc bag and chill for at least 30 minutes.
    6. I usually make mine the day or night before.
    7. Remove from fridge and roll out into shapes required using a dusting of flour.
    8. I use a silpat or a tupperware sheet to roll pastry on. Less sticking and much easier cleanup of the kitchen.
    Notes
    1. Pastry may alse be frozen. When planning to use, let it thaw completely, but still cold for rolling out.
    Adapted from The Duchess Bake Shop
    Adapted from The Duchess Bake Shop
    Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

Tomato Tart

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This is a two part recipe . . . . I am passing on the pastry recipe I have been using, however you could always substitute your own.  This comes straight from one of my new acquisitions, The Duchess Cookbook.

We visited there with friends a couple of years ago, and go back to visit lots. They also have a little store at the side of the Bakery, called Provisions . . . . that has been a bit of a problem for my wallet!! This whole adventure has renewed my interest in French cuisine, and I have been experimenting with some of the recipes.  

Our son Michael, who was recently in Paris, brought me back the book Laduree, Sucre.  The reason I mention this is that the Duchess Bakery in Edmonton has been rated in the same category as that particular bakery in Paris. Imagine, one of the best French Bakeries is in Edmonton, Alberta. The cookbook, The Duchess Bake Shop by Giselle Courtreau is a beautiful book and I would suggest purchasing two . .. one for your coffee table and one to use.  Yes, it is that good.  Here is her recipe for the pastry that I use for everything now.

Duchess Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

 

Easy Mixer Pie Dough
Very quick and easy to prepare.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups of all purpose flour (I lightly spoon this into the measure cup)
  2. 1 cup of unsalted butter, cut in 1/2 inch cubes (yes, I use unsalted butter in all my baking)
  3. 1 cup of vegetable shortening, cut in 1/2 inch cubes (I use Crisco)
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 cup of ice water
Instructions
  1. Place flour, butter, Crisco and salt in stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment or if using a food processor, use the blade knife.
  2. Pulse until there are pea size bits of the fat in the bowl. This will not take very long . ..15 seconds or so . . . .. do not overwork the mixture
  3. Add the cold water all at once and mix until dough just starts to come together. Again, do not over process this mixture.
  4. Remove from bowl, divide into three.
  5. Shape into 3 disks, wrap in saran wrap and then put in a ziploc bag and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. I usually make mine the day or night before.
  7. Remove from fridge and roll out into shapes required using a dusting of flour.
  8. I use a silpat or a tupperware sheet to roll pastry on. Less sticking and much easier cleanup of the kitchen.
Notes
  1. Pastry may alse be frozen. When planning to use, let it thaw completely, but still cold for rolling out.
Adapted from The Duchess Bake Shop
Adapted from The Duchess Bake Shop
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/
 This is the recipe for the Tomato Tart filling.  I found this on the blog The Spice Train.  This is one amazing collection of fabulous recipes, and I have been known to clean up drool from my keyboard more than once. Hop on over there . .. Nicole is a very gifted baker and photographer.

Tomato Tart
Serves 4
Very easy to prepare and unbelievably tasty.
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Ingredients
  1. Chilled pastry, rolled and pressed into 4 3.5 inch tart shells
  2. 1 cup coarsely shredded gruyere cheese
  3. 28 cherry tomatoes, more or less, depends on size
  4. leaves of about 8 sprigs of thyme
  5. freshly cracked black pepper
  6. freshly ground salt
  7. fresh parsley or additional sprigs of thyme for garnish
Instructions
  1. Chill the tart shells for at least an hour before filling. (I may be wrong, but I think this helps the release of the tart from the dish after baking.)
  2. Divide the cheese among the ramekins.
  3. Divide the thyme leaves among the ramekins.
  4. Halve the tomatoes and fit them on top of the cheese and thyme.
  5. Sprinkle some salt and freshly cracked black pepper over the tomatoes.
  6. Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden-brown (25 to 30 minutes).
  7. Garnish with fresh parsley or a sprig of thyme.
Notes
  1. I served this as a side dish/vegetable for Easter Brunch. It is so fast and easy to prepare that I made them again for dinner tonight. Used the glass tart dishes as shown in the photo and the tart slid out just beautifully onto the plate.
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

Brunch . . . Good Friday

Good Friday

For Easter Weekend, I like to entertain friends on Good Friday so that they have Easter Sunday with their family.  A late brunch is my preference as then you have the rest of the afternoon and evening to have a pyjama day.

I chose varying shades of purple as for me that is an Easter colour . . . with a few additions, the flowers I had for last weekend are still lovely.  This time I thought it would be nice to use my very dramatic china, Fitzgerald by Noritake.  It reminds me of the rooms of malachite I spent some time in at the Winter Palace, and of course I love green.

This is the menu that I have chosen to serve this year.

Mimosa

Ambrosia

Honey Almond Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Salmon with Lemon & Capers

Tomato Tart with Gruyere Chesse

Cherry & Almond Scones

Apricot Frangipane Tarts

Swirled Pound Cake served with Whipped Cream & Fresh Strawberries

 

Sunday Brunch

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Tablescapes | March 27, 2015 | By

Getting ready for guests for brunch on Sunday.  There is nothing I enjoy more than planning a tablescape and setting a beautiful table with some of my treasures.  As we are one week out from Easter, I thought I would throw in a few related touches, even though we regrettably still have snow on the ground . . . YUCK.

Sharing the Menu . . . .

Fortified Orange Juice aka Mimosas!!

Ambrosia Salad

Three Cheese Pie

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Marinated Herb Tomatoes

Cranberry Scones

Butter Bundt Cake with Fresh Strawberries & Whipped Cream

Mocha Mousse topped with Fresh Raspberries & served with a Lemon Madeleine

Looking forward to lots of laughs, good visiting and hopefully good food.

More photos and some recipes later.

Madeleines

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Lemon flavoured shell-shaped tea cakes of French origin that adds visual interest to a tray of goodies as well as contrast in colour and texture. You will need special Madeleine pans which are available in most gourmet or kitchen specialty shops.

Madeleines
Yields 2
Beautiful addition to a tray of dainties.
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1¼ cups sifted cake flour
  2. ½ tsp. baking powder
  3. ¼ tsp. salt
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla
  6. ⅔ cup sugar
  7. 2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
  8. ¾ cup butter, melted and cooled
  9. icing sugar to dust madeleines with
Instructions
  1. Sift together the first three ingredients and set aside.
  2. Beat eggs until light, add vanilla, gradually beat in sugar.
  3. Continue beating until volume has quadrupled.
  4. Fold in lemon rind and gently fold into flour mixture.
  5. Stir in the cooled butter.
  6. Brush pans with additional melted butter and spoon about 1 Tbsp. batter into each shell, filling about ¾ full.
  7. Bake at 350̊ for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove to wire rack and dust tops with sifted icing sugar.
  9. Makes about 3 dozen tea cakes.
Notes
  1. If you don't have cake flour measure out the recipe amount shake through a wire strainer and then take about 2 tablespoons out.
  2. I have no idea where the original recipe came from . . . this dates back to my Adult Education teaching days 35 years ago.
  3. There are silicone shapes available now, also coated pans which makes removal easier. I still have the old fashioned tin pans which by now would fall in the antique category.
  4. I cannot attest to the cooking times or use of the silcone molds as I have tended to stay away from them as they are not terribly rigid and worry about flavour transfer.
  5. These pans are not cheap, but should be considered an investment in your baking tools. You will never go wrong buying good quality . . . . still using baking pans that I purchased over 40 years ago. Look after them and they will become heirlooms.
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

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More cakey than crispy, these ladylike little tea cakes puff up as they bake. The lemon glaze on top adds a tart, crunchy layer. It is a very interesting texture that is provided by the use of the ricotta cheese. 

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Very different, and sooo tasty.
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FOR THE COOKIES
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (310 grams)
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder (4 grams)
  3. 1 teaspoon salt (4 grams)
  4. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (113 grams)
  5. 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese (425 grams)
  8. Zest of one lemon
  9. 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (45 grams)
FOR THE GLAZE
  1. 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (180 grams)
  2. Zest of one lemon
  3. 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (45 grams)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
  5. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice and beat to combine.
  6. Stir in the dry ingredients.
  7. Line the two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets using 2 tablespoons for each cookie.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden at the edges.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
  11. While they cool, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
  12. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cooled cookie and use the back of the spoon to spread it to the edges.
  13. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.
  14. Pack the cookies in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. For the cookies . . . I added vanilla . . . everything tastes better with vanilla.
  2. I also used an ice cream scoop to measure out the batter.
  3. Make sure you allow lots of room for them to spread.
  4. I used Pampered Chef baking stones to bake these on . .. watch the timing closely as things usually take a little longer to bake on a stone, however you will have absolutely beautiful colour on the bottoms of the cookies and they don't go as dark as fast.
  5. After the cookies have baked, I let them cool completely and used 1 teaspoon of glaze and smoothed it over the cookies. Liked the extra bit of flavour this added and there is certainly enough glaze in one recipe to allow for this.
  6. When doing the glazing, make sure you have wax paper under the cooling rack . .. makes cleanup much easier. Some glaze will definitely drip off the edges onto the wax paper.
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

Jelly Roll

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Anytime I see a recipe where I don’t have to separate the eggs and dirty more dishes immediately has my interest piqued. I am not a big fan of big time cleanup!

This recipe come from one of the old country church cookbooks of my Mother’s . . . I know this dates me, but I remember the days of afternoon tea with assorted tea cups (and yes I have many) with fancy sandwiches, dainties and desserts being served with much love and pride.

This is an exceptionally easy recipe and I can whip up a jelly roll from breaking eggs into the bowl to finish cleanup in half an hour, including the baking time.  It will take you back to your youth . . . when we took more time to smell the roses and partake of afternoon tea.

Jelly Roll
Serves 8
Simple and easy, this is a dessert that will take you back in time
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup flour
  4. 1 tsp. baking powder
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 2 T. water
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Butter and line a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan with waxed paper, buttering waxed paper as well.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Have in readiness your filling . . . lemon curd or jam or whatever you prefer to use.
  4. Have dry ingredients mixed together and and sift through a mesh strainer.
  5. Break eggs into mixing bowl and beat until lemony coloured
  6. Slowly add sugar, making sure there are no lumps.
  7. Beat until it starts to thicken very nicely and the beaters leave a bit of a trail like whipped cream and is light and fluffy The time will vary depending on whether you are using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
  8. Add vanilla and water and give it a whirl again.
  9. Remove beater or beaters.
  10. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, folding in as lightly as you can until there is no trace of the flour in the batter, making sure there isn't any on the bottom of the bowl either.
  11. Spread lightly in prepared pan.
  12. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes in the centre of the oven. I always use convection bake.
  13. Remove when golden on top, and immediately turn onto dampened tea towel that has been sprinkled with sugar.
  14. Carefully remove wax paper.
  15. Immediately trim off about 1/4 inch all around the edges as it will roll much better without the crisp edges.
  16. Roll up in towel and let sit until cooled a bit.
  17. Unroll carefully, and spread filling on making sure you cover all the surface . . it is okay if a little seeps out on the edges.
  18. Roll up and place on serving plate and dust with more sugar.
  19. Trim off edge pieces so ends are clean cut . . . and then eat them!! Gotta taste test you know!!!
Notes
  1. Your baking time will vary depending on the pan you use. When I use a metal pan it is 12 minutes exactly. When I use the Pampered Chef stoneware baking pan, it takes a little longer.
  2. My favourite filling is lemon, rarely use jam.
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/

Bon Appetit

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I just knew that these little side plates belonged in my collection of goodies and would be used over and over again, both for photography props and for actual serving of food. It just so happens that I have a dinner set of black dishes and very lovely black goblets by Mikasa, so my mind was running around in circles with ideas as I was making my way to the cash register . . . . oh the combinations I could put together for a very contemporary tablescape . . . . 

Fast forward to a food photography class that I participated in last weekend. Oh so wonderful, and our fearless leader, Sandy Weatherall of Jinsei Photographics infused and infected all of us with her knowledge of 25 years in this field. Each participant had to design their own photo including props, food and backgrounds. They were all so different and we learned from each other as the creative process unfolded. For this scenario I chose to use my new-found treasures, the Bon Appetit plates, and made ginger cookies as the food item.

As part of Studio Online, I chose this diptych to portray this week’s prompt Stacked. You are given a word each week as a prompt to create a still life photo according to your vision . . . . . the creativity in this group is beyond amazing and so inspiring . . . . the creative juices just start to flow as everyone displays their interpretation of the prompt and your mind just goes into overdrive!!! If you are looking for inspiration and exploring your inner soul in the field of photography, I highly recommend being part of this community.

The Studio | Online

 

Afternoon Delight . . .

Cranberry Walnut Jelly Roll

This photo was taken for Week 4 BeStill 52 project wherein I am in pursuit of bettering my Still Life Photography as led by Kim Klassen.  

Using mid afternoon light from the bay window facing north, this photo is of a jelly roll that I made on the weekend and served up for afternoon coffee this afternoon.  Now that certainly doesn’t happen every day, but it felt quite decadent to have our afternoon break together and have dessert as well.

The dishes are fine porcelain Cream Lace by Skie McGhie that I have had for some time . . . thought the lace cutwork on them was perfect for upcoming Valentine’s Day.

Technical stuff
ISO 400
focal length 70 mm
Nikkor f/2.8 24-70mm
f 5.6
1/50 sec
Texture used to soften kk_501
 

KIM KLASSEN dot COM

Happy Birthday . . .

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Ramblings, Tablescapes | February 10, 2015 | By

My husband’s sisters . .. twins, Barbara and Brenda have a February birthday. Seeing as how this was a milestone one . . . the big 70 . . . we must celebrate.  When planning the table out I decided to take a break from red, which with the proximity to Valentine’s Day would be the go to colour, and chose to honour the birthstone colour for that month, amethyst.  This was an easy choice for me, as it is one of my favourite colours and have lots of accessories that are in the purple family.  I like purple so well that I think it goes with everything . . just like black!

As always, I set the table early to allow the creative juices to flow, formulate and change their mind!  Happens often. Below are a few photos of what I put together.  The china is Aynsley Golden Crocus . . . have always loved this pattern and just recently found 9 place settings . . . the charger plates came from Bowrings, the purple side plates and goblets are from Princess House, the gold flatware is Golden Artistry, the champagne flutes I have had for ages and were from Winners and so was the salad bowl.  The vintage water pitcher have had for ages and cannot remember where I picked it up.  The flowers are arranged in shaded purple epergne . . love it as it allows you to nicely tier florals.  All of these treasures have resided in our home for a very long time, other than the Aynsley china which is a fairly new acquisition . . at a steal of a deal.

 

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Things I Love . . .

Polka Dots

Polka dots . . . pretty much in any colour and on anything . . . even shoes

 

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Easy to make and very tasty.

Chicken Pot Pie
Delicious, and quick to make.
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Ingredients
  1. • 1 recipe pastry using cream cheese
  2. • 1 tub (270 g) Philadelphia Italian Three Cheese Cooking Creme
  3. • 1/2 cup milk
  4. • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  5. • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
Instructions
  1. Prepare Pie Crust dough and roll into 11-inch round. Use 3-1/2-inch round cutter to cut dough into 6 rounds; discard dough trimmings or reserve for another use. (See tip.)
  2. Heat oven to 400°F. Whisk Cooking Creme and milk in large bowl until blended; stir in chicken and vegetables. Spoon into 6 (150-mL) ramekins.
  3. Place pastry rounds over ingredients in ramekins; press edges of pastry to edges of ramekins to seal. Cut several slits in each crust to permit steam to escape. Place ramekins on baking sheet.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 min. or until crusts are golden brown.
Notes
  1. I used 1 cup ramekins and it was completely done in 25 minutes in a convection oven.
  2. Make sure you use the cream cheese pastry. Truly very good.
Adapted from from Kraft Kitchens
Adapted from from Kraft Kitchens
Just dot Food http://www.justdotfood.com/