Sunday, 28 April 2013

baking for fun: dairy-free chocolate cake (vegan)

A week or so ago, I made this cake and today I made it again. This is a really good, moist cake and if any of you are vegan you can eat this too. It's super easy and quick. Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Combine the two mixes and stir until smooth. Pour the batter into a greased 8x8 inch pan and put into a 350 oven for 25-30 minutes. From experience, I would lean more towards the 30 minutes. And that's it! It's really that easy. Once the cake has cooled dust it with powdered sugar or frost with a vanilla or chocolate butter-cream. 

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)  

Monday, 22 April 2013

My 2 year adventure, Week 9: Poutine

Week 9:
This week was poutine!!!!!!!!!!!! When I went to Quebec a couple months ago I was so sad that I didn't eat any poutine. for those of you who don't know, poutine is fries with gravy and cheese curds. I found the cheese curds in a store after calling a couple other stores and being unsuccessful in my search. The recipe said that we needed to oven roast the fries instead of deep-frying them. As a result, the fries weren't as crispy as I would have liked. The gravy tasted just like the gravy that I had on my poutine when I went to Quebec a few years ago! The curds were really good, but I didn't really contribute to that ;) I made a mistake though. I over-salted the dish.Overall, my family gave the dish an 8. Definitely a dish that I want to repeat so that I can correct myself. 

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)  

Sunday, 14 April 2013

My 2 year adventure, week 8: halibut fish tacos with mango salsa

Week 8:
Deep frying. Something that occurs in fast-food restaurants and makes your food greasy... I never thought that I would be deep frying food at home. Today I did though. I deep fried halibut... one of the most delicate and expensive fishes. We got such nice filets it was almost a shame to fry them. I was lucky, I was entering the store today and the was this giant sign that said SALE ON HALIBUT. Perfect day to buy halibut filets. I had a dilemma at the store because after my 2 banana disasters, I was skeptical on picking out fresh fruit. I picked out four mangoes and I showed them to my dad and he took them back and switched them out for better ones. *sigh*. I made the mango salsa and it was amazing! It was a little spicy, but good. The batter was super simple. Flour, beer, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. We actually had recently got a instant thermometer as a gift and we decided to test it out. It seemed to work so we tried to mess with it. We stuck it the oil then ran it under cold water then back into the hot oil and saw how long it would take for the thermometer to get to the proper heat ;) We fried the fish and it was soooooo good! There was not much excess grease and it was slightly crispy and when it was eaten in corn tortillas with the salsa it was amazing. My family gave it a 8.6. That's how my deep frying experience went. Now how do I get rid of the oil...?

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)


Saturday, 13 April 2013

baking for fun: banana sour cream cupcakes

I decided to make these cupcakes because we had bananas and almost expired sour cream at home so I made banana sour cream cupcakes. I had a horrible experience with bananas in the banana brown betty and I was determined to redeem myself. Sorry to say, I did not. I think there's something wrong with me. I can't tell if fresh food is ripe or not. I'll pick the greenest fruit and vegetables imaginable. It's unreal. Anyway, enough about my banana drama, here's the recipe:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup self rising or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 1/2 tbsp molasses
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
2 medium OVERRIPE bananas, peeled and mashed plus 12 thin slices of banana
WOW! Some long ingredient descriptions! Combine the flours (or flour and baking powder), baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until creamy (if using the white sugar and molasses, beat them together first then add the butter). Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg. Alternate adding the flour mix and sour cream, beating after each addition. Stir in the mashed banana by hand. Fill your muffin tin cups about 3/4 full and top each cupcake with a slice of banana. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool and eat!
Super simple and super delicious(?). I can't really say because of those dang green bananas! I would normally avoid fresh food for a while after this but My 2 year adventure tomorrow recipe is FULL of fresh produce. *sigh*. lol

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)         

Monday, 8 April 2013

My 2 year adventure, week 7: Quick and easy chicken soup

Week 7:
First of all, I'd like to apologize for not posting my 2 year adventures. I went away for spring break so I couldn't really be doing my blog without my recipes. I made chicken noodle soup today. My mom came home from work today and she said "would you like pizza?" I said "no. I'm making soup." she said "great! how long have you had the stock on for?" I was really confused. I was like, "what stock?" My mom was pretty surprised that I didn't know what she was talking about. I said "I'm just using chicken broth..." My mom exclaimed "What's the point!" Apparently, my mom thinks that the whole point of making soup is making the stock from scratch. I didn't have time for that. I had a bit of a disaster. I got this food chopper for my birthday and I decided to test it out. I put carrot under the blades and started pushing down on the button to chop the carrot. Firstly, the pieces were uneven and secondly, they were so small. Thank goodness I had another carrot in the fridge. The chopper would be great for jalapeno peppers or something that you need to mince, but for soup? not really. In one of my previous entries I mentioned that my goal is to use a new ingredient or learn a new technique each time. Today I learned how to roast chicken. Yummmmmm! The soup was really good and my parents gave it a 7.5. I totally forgot about a picture though. Dang it!

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Baking for fun: Banana brown betty

My mom had a friend over and she asked me to make a dessert and I decided to make a banana brown betty. Super simple and easy. 
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar 
6 tbsp butter, melted
4 firm ripe bananas (make sure they are ripe and NOT green)
1 1/2 cups milk    
1/2 vanilla bean, split or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and the butter. Peel and cut the bananas into 1/2 inch slices and set them aside. Bring the milk and the vanilla bean, if using, to a simmer (if using extract, just wait). While the milk heats, beat the remaining sugar, egg, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl until thick and pale yellow. Remove the vanilla bean if using. Gradually whisk half the milk into the egg mix, then whisk the new egg mix into the remaining milk. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat until the center bubbles and the mixture had thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk to cool for 1 minute (add vanilla extract if using). Fold the bananas into the hot custard. Gently press half the crumb mix into an 8 by 8 inch pan, 9 inch pie pan or 10 by 6 inch oblong glass baking dish. Then spoon the custard on top and cover the custard evenly with the remaining crumbs. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream. I had a bit of a disaster because one banana was green so you were eating this great dessert and all of a sudden you'd get this dry, green banana and it was pretty awful. But like I said, great easy dish. 

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)