Archive for the ‘Challenges’ category

Happy (belated) Nutella Day!

February 7th, 2011

Nutella on buttermilk biscuit

Oh, Nutella.  Another year has come and gone, and once again, I’ve missed your special day.  I was going to make it up to you by wrapping you in pasta or swirling you through a Bundt cake, but at the end of the day I decided nothing quite shows off your flavours like a sweet buttermilk biscuit.  (except possibly a steaming hot crepe, but only when in Paris)  To make things special enough, I’ve placed you lovingly on one of my fancy china plates.

The most important thing about making perfect, high-rise biscuits is the temperature of the butter.  Michael Smith goes so far as to suggest freezing, then grating the cup of butter, but in the middle of winter, when it’s -18 outside (and it doesn’t feel that much warmer inside unless you’re snuggled up in bed or near the oven) I find that butter straight out of the fridge will work just fine.

2 cups white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk

In a large ceramic bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Cut the butter into chunks, then work it into the flour using a pastry blender.
Add the buttermilk and gently work the dough into a ball.  You may need to add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.  It should be about an inch thick.
Cut out the biscuits using a round biscuit-cutter or the top of a juice glass.
Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet and bake at 375ºF for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Once the biscuits are out of the oven and cool enough to handle, cut them in half and top them with a generous spoonful of Nutella.

Menu for Hope IV

December 14th, 2007

I’m a bad food blogger, and didn’t get my butt in gear in time to put together a prize for this year’s Menu for Hope. So instead, I will advertise!

Menu for Hope IV

There are some fantastic prizes again this year, like a Kitchenaid stand mixer (with ice cream attachment and cookbook) from David Lebovitz, a box of chocolate mice, dinner for two (plus a private garden tour) at Manresa, and a ton of wine-related prizes. All it takes is a simple $10 donation (via for a ticket. All the money raised this year will go to the UN’s World Food Programme, to feed school kids in Lesotho, Africa. Great prizes for a great cause – how can you go wrong?

The lovely Jennifer, of The Domestic Goddess, is this year’s Canadian host. There are some great Canadian prizes this year, like a giant assortment of spices, or the gift certificate-packed Taste of Toronto prize. Check out the full list, then go buy a ticket!

WCC #19 – The Round Up

August 20th, 2007

The deadline has passed, so it’s time to see what everyone came up with for Weekend Cookbook Challenge #19 – Dinner and a DVD.

Shaun of Winter Skies, Kitchen Aglow starts us off with Broiled Figs, to go with a pair of French movies, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources.

Amy from Tart Reform went all out with three recipes and three baseball movies – Rookie of the Year’s Chicago Dog Salad, Field of Dreams’ Roast Corn on the Cob, and A League of Their Own’s Peach Sunflower Seed Muffins.

Raaga, the Singing Chef, made a tasty dish of Spaghetti, right in the middle of watching The Pursuit of Happyness.

Sara from I Like To Cook (and intrepid founder of the Weekend Cookbook Challenge) paired You’ve-Got-Red-On-You Pasta with the best zombie movie ever, Shaun of the Dead.

Pamela, the Cooking Ninja, made a very tasty looking Almond Apple Pie, to go with (what else) American Pie.

Deborah of Play With Food made Cheesy Breakfast Grits, to go with My Cousin Vinny.

Mike from Mel’s Diner went all out, and made two dinner/movie pairings. His first was homemade mozzarella cheese, to go with Guys and Dolls.

Mike’s second dish was Papa’s Baked Beans, to go with White Christmas.

Viji from Malabar Ruchi made Indian Macaroni and Cheese, to go with Big B, a Malayalam Movie.

Michelle from Je Mange la Ville stirred up some wonderful looking Vanilla Coconut Shrimp, to go with Lady in the Water.

Lis from La Mia Cucina snuck in at the last minute with Mama Cream Puff’s Lasagna, to go with The Godfather DVD Collection.

Me? I whipped up some Shitkickin Soup, and settled in with a threesome of action movies – Crank, The Transporter and Kung Fu Hustle.

Thanks to everyone who participated this month! The Weekend Cookbook Challenge will be continuing next month – check out the website to find out the new theme.

WCC #19 – Shitkickin Soup

August 16th, 2007

I’m a little late posting my entry for this month’s Weekend Cookbook Challenge. I blame the ninjas – they attacked me on the way home from the grocery store, so I wasn’t able to pull together my recipe until late tonight, as I was too busy laying the smack down. (or whatever the cool kids are saying nowadays)

Shitkickin Soup (the honest-to-God name of this recipe) comes from Out of the Molasses Jug, an old hippie cookbook of my parents. Among the wholesome, earthy recipes, you’ll also find tips on outhouses, growing alfalfa sprouts and why you don’t need any of them fancy creme rinses. It’s quite the book.

I figured the Shitkickin Soup recipe was the perfect match for some action movies, so I dug out The Transporter, Crank and Kung Fu Hustle. Might be hard to eat soup while punching some guy in the head, but I’m sure Jason Statham would be up for it.

8 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 onions, finely chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, cumin, dill, parsley…

In a large soup pot, cook the potatoes until nice and tender.
Pour off the cooking water until it only comes halfway up the potato chunks.
Mash the potatoes (roughly) in the water. Don’t worry about getting them smooth.
Toss in the remainder of the ingredients and cook for at least a half hour.
Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley on top.

This isn’t exactly a precise recipe. You can fool around with the ingredients as much as you like – add some carrots, switch around the herbs, etc. The action heroes might get annoyed, but I’m pretty sure the hippies will support your freedom of choice.

5 Days and Counting…

August 14th, 2007

The deadline for this month’s Weekend Cookbook Challenge is this coming Sunday – only five days away. I’ve gotten a few great submissions, but I’d love to have more!

The theme is Dinner and a DVD – pick a movie (or TV show), pick a recipe, and you’re good to go!

Send your posts and pictures to paige_elizATyahooDOTca by Sunday, August 19, 2007. The round up will be posted shortly thereafter.

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