Guest Post: Beer Batter Pancakes with Butter Rum Syrup

February 22nd, 2012 by Paige No comments »

A guest post from my bestie, Connolly:


You are correct. That IS whipped cream on those pancakes.

I had to look up “Pancake Tuesday” and discovered that it takes place the Tuesday before Lent begins. Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. The idea is to use up all the fats in the fridge before the season of fasting (lol!).  If you’re into giving stuff up for 40 days, good on ya. I’m sure it makes you a much better person. I, however, have pancakes left over for tomorrow and they were pretty phenomenal.

Why, you ask? For the same reason as plenty of other things I cook are phenomenal. Booze.

The Pancake:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp (or less) cinnamon
1 can of beer (blonde)
2 eggs (separated)
a splash of vanilla
3 tbsp. butter

Mix the dry ingredients together. mix in the beer, egg yolks and vanilla.
Whip the egg whites until they’re stiff. Fold them into the batter.
Melt the butter in a frying pan, pour it into the batter. You’ve just killed two birds with one stone and greased your frying pan. Done-ski.
You could add a little milk (or more beer) if you like a thinner pancake. If you go with beer, you’ll have some drinking to do.
Fry up big, fluffy pancakes until they’re golden.

The Syrup:

3 tbsp. butter
1 cup maple syrup
2 oz. spiced rum

Put this stuff in a saucepan and simmer it until the butter is melted. I’m sure this is what unicorn blood would taste like. Thanks, Lord Voldemort. It’s hard to do the right thing when there is syrup involved, isn’t it?

Don’t make plans to go anywhere immediately after eating these. The rum is a bit of a kicker. Oh, and is there tequila in that orange juice? Why, yes… Yes there is…

Special thanks to Strater Patrick for quality control. Thanks also, to Bitchin’ Kitchen for the original recipe which I adapted, due to not having the right ingredients.

Rice Krispie S’more Squares

February 6th, 2012 by Paige 2 comments »

S'more Rice Krispie Squares

Okay, okay.  So they’re just Rice Krispie squares with chocolate chips.  But they still taste quite s’morey, what with their chocolate, marshmallowy crunch.  Plus they’re much easier to pack for a mid-afternoon snack.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
40 big fat marshmallows
2 tsp vanilla
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Grease a 9×13 glass pan; set aside.
In a large, microwaveable bowl, nuke the butter until it is completely liquified.
Drop the marshmallows into the butter, tossing gently to coat.
Add the vanilla and zap until the marshmallows have blown up and gotten nice and soft.
Add the cereal to the melted marshmallows, stirring to distribute evenly.
Pour in the chocolate chips and work them through with as little stirring as possible – you don’t want them to melt and blend completely.
Wet your hands and press the cereal mixture into the prepared pan. Once it is all pressed smooth, put it in the fridge to set for at least an hour before serving.
To serve, cut into squares with a wet knife.

Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

December 3rd, 2011 by Paige 2 comments »

Shepherd's pie with lamb

I love lamb.  This puts me quite alone in my family – my father refuses to eat “the cute little baa-lambs” and my mom isn’t a fan of the “strong” flavour.  However, in my very humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl full of lamb casserole on a cold winter night.  A shepherd’s pie treatment is the ultimate, with the saucy lamb smothered in a toasted layer of mashed potato.  Just the perfect combination of flavours and textures when you need a warm serving of comfort food.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
8-10 white mushrooms, quartered
1 tbsp white flour
3 roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup white wine
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper

4-5 potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk

In a large, deep frying pan, cook the lamb in the olive oil over medium heat.
Once the lamb is no longer pink, add the onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies have softened and the lamb has started to brown.
Sprinkle over the flour, stirring quickly to incorporate.
Add the tomatoes, white wine and seasoning.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid has reduced to a gravy thickness.
While the lamb is cooking, boil the potato chunks in salted water until soft enough to mash.
Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and mash along with the butter and milk.
To assemble, spoon the lamb mixture into individual ramekins or one large casserole.
Top with the mashed potato, leaving it nice and lumpy for browning purposes.
Stick in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes, until the top of the potato layer is nice and browned.
Allow to cool slightly before serving – it will be very hot!


December 1st, 2011 by Paige 3 comments »

Well, it’s a few minutes into December 1st, and since I’m still awake, that means it’s time to do the draw for a lovely new KitchenAid food processor!  Everyone’s name has been written on a scrap of paper and swirled together in my favourite red colander.  Now I just need to close my eyes and pick a name…


Drum roll, please…

P1090873 P1090876

Congratulations, André! I know you’ll make wonderful things with this shiny new toy. If you’d like to share one of the new dishes on this site, just let me know.

Thanks to all of you for entering – and a huge thank you to the lovely folks at KitchenAid for providing the awesome prize.

Multigrain Raisin Bread PLUS a Giveaway!

November 14th, 2011 by Paige 40 comments »

I love my kitchen – especially on cold, snowy days like today.  Its bright turquoise paint and cherry red accents make it feel fresh and summery, even in the bleakest of Novembers.  While the kitchen was already blue and white when I bought the house, the red is what really makes it feel like mine.  My Kitchenaid stand mixer was the first pop of colour, followed soon after by coordinating cafe curtains, sewn by my grandmother.  The mixer was also a present from her, for completing my Master’s degree in 2008.


Playing around in the kitchen is so much better when you have all the right tools to work with.  My mixer whips up breads, cookies and cakes without so much as batting an eye.  My knives work in tandem with the perfect cutting boards to slice, dice and chop to (amateur-acceptable) perfection.  And now, I’ve discovered another kitchen tool, one that I’ve had sitting in my basement for a while, but had yet to break out and use.

Clay baker bread

A year ago, I inherited a clay baker.  It was stashed away in its box, on the off chance that maybe, I might want to make a pot roast for one.  (unlikely)  Then the other week, the thought of using it to bake bread popped into my head.  All the cool bakers talk about using baking stones and steam to get the perfect crust – why wouldn’t a clay baker work perfectly for bread baking?  After bopping around the internet for a while, I found that yes, this was certainly possible, and had been tried by a few bakers, who mostly wrote of their findings on bread baking forums.  Enter a batch of grainy raisin bread dough, a soaked clay baker, and a cold, early winter afternoon.  The gorgeously browned results can be seen above.

KitchenAid Food Processor - Contour Silver Now for the part I know you’ve all been really waiting for - the giveaway.  Last week, I was asked if I would be interested in giving away a shiny new 13-cup Kitchenaid food processor for the holidays.  It slices, shreds, chops and purees, and comes in a couple of great Kitchenaid colours – white, black, or space-age silver.

Interested in winning the food processor? Just leave a comment telling me what you’d make if you won.  The deadline is December 1st, 2011, at which point I’ll put all the entries into a  hat and randomly pick a winner.  One caveat – you must be Canadian to win.  Good luck!


Multigrain Raisin Bread

1 1/2 to 2 cups white flour

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup honey

3 tbsp butter

1 cup milk

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup stone ground oats

1/2 cup grainy hot cereal *

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1 cup plumped raisins **

In the bowl of your mixer, stir together 1 cup of white flour and the yeast.

In a large, microwaveable pitcher, mix the honey, butter and milk.  Warm for a minute at a time, until the butter has just barely melted.

Stir the warmed milk, salt and egg into the flour and yeast, beating at medium speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then continue to mix at low speed for 3 minutes.

Swap out the paddle mixer for the dough hook.  Add the whole wheat flour, grains, almonds and raisins on low speed, a single ingredient at a time, letting the hook bring everything together into a sticky lump.

Slowly add another half a cup to a cup of white flour, still keeping the mixer at low speed.  The completed dough should be kneaded for 5-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Place the ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for at least an hour, until doubled in size.

Punch down the risen dough and shape into a smooth, round loaf.  Place the ball of dough on a large rectangle of parchment paper, cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.

While the dough is going through this final rise, soak both halves of a clay baker in water, drying the inside of the base before adding the dough.

Lift the risen dough on its parchment paper into the base of the clay baker.  Top with the lid and place in a cold oven.  Turn the oven up to 375°F and bake, covered, for 35 minutes.  At this point, remove the lid of the clay baker and continue cooking the bread for another 15-20 minutes, or until browned on top.

Take the clay baker out of the oven, lift the parchment paper and bread onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing.

* I used some Daystart cereal from the Daybreak Scheresky Mill in Saskatchewan.  It’s a mix of millet, buckwheat, oat bran, flax and sunflower seeds.

** To plump raisins, toss them in a bowl and cover with water.  Microwave for 1 minute, then let sit for at least another 10 minutes before draining and adding to the dough.

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