Tag Archives: food

Chocolate Oat Dulce de Leche Bars

15 Jun

These are the richest, sweetest, gooeyest, chocolatey-est bars you’ll ever eat.  When you take your first bites it’s heaven.  After you’ve finished a whole bar you kind of feel like you shouldn’t have eaten a whole bar.  It’s a love/hate relationship to say the least.  I would definitely advise to cut very small bars and eat them slowly.  You should have seen my son after he ate one.  He was doing laps around our house for over an hour.  Then he passed out on the grass.  Like I said…they’re so right but so wrong at the same time.

After making these squares I made the whole family go for a 2 hour walk in the woods to try and get some of the sugar out of our systems.  We saw these gorgeous roses.  The pink against the bright blue sky was just mesmerizing.  I stared at them for a long time.  My kids stared at me staring at the roses and asked me to hurry up because they wanted to go home for some more squares.I gave some to my Italian neighbours and friends and I could tell by their faces that they were maybe a bit too heavy and rich for their liking.  My British, Irish and American friends thought they were great though.  I’m thinking that maybe these would be better to make in the cold winter instead of the warm summer.  In summer it’s all about light, fresh and fruity around here (something like this frozen honeydew recipe from the  joelix blog or this citron meringue pie from the classicplay! blog would fit the hot summer weather much better).  Get recipe for Chocolate Oat Dulce de Leche Bars here on the Daily Crave site.

I found these plastic boxes in Chinatown in Milan (usually used for take-out in sushi restaurants).  They’re actually great for giving little baking gifts to neighbours and friends.  I absolutely love this Tour Eiffel tape that I found in Japan (and it’s not washi!).

Gingerbread with warm caramel sauce

5 May


Today was one of those days that I just craved something from back home.  It was a chilly and cloudy day and I was wandering around my kitchen trying to find inspiration for something to bake.  I opened up my baking cupboard and the first thing I saw was a little carton of Maritime Molasses and a tiny tin of  pumpkin pie spice.  I knew immediately what I wanted to make.

I remember througout my childhood we always went to visit Peggy’s Cove (a famous Nova Scotia tourist destination with famous lighthouse).  We always stopped at the Peggy’s Cove restaurant to have a piece of their famous Gingerbread.  

So today that’s just what I made.  It’s an easy cake to bake and the sauce whips up in minutes.  It is very moist  and rich with a tiny hint of the spicy ginger.  My kids love it and we almost managed to finish the whole cake.  Shame on us.

Click for recipe…
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Biscuits (or scones for you British folk out there)

27 Apr


There is seriously nothing yummier than warm-out-of-the-oven biscuits with butter and homemade jam (Strawberry-lime-Vanilla or Blood Orange Marmalade are perfect).  As a child I spent many hours in my grandmother’s kitchen making these biscuits and I’d have to say it was through this recipe that my passion for baking was ignited.

This is such a simple recipe and really perfect for kids to learn to do on their own.  My grandmother’s version is always made with vegetable shortening (impossible to find in Italy) but I have made them with butter as well.  They aren’t quite as light and airy but tasty just the same.

Here is the step-by-step recipe for BISCUITS:

Enjoy!

Take a peek at my daughter’s little film (fast forward) of making these biscuts here.

Strawberry-lime vanilla jam

19 Apr

We’re heading into strawberry season here in Italy.  You can find big, ripe strawberries in all the supermarkets, outdoor markets and from produce trucks on the side of the roads.  Yesterday I bought a big boxful from the local Sicilian produce truck and was excited to get home and try them out.  They smelled so sweet and delicious.

There’s only one slight little problem.  I’m allergic to fresh strawberries.  But somehow every year when strawberry season comes around I convince myself that it’s a possibility that my strawberry allergy has miraculously been cured.  And every year I pop one lovlingly in my mouth, taste that divine sweet berry flavour then proceed to swell up.  My eyes get red and swollen, my lips puff up (think Angelina Jolie here) and my throat starts to itch so terribily I’ve been known to contemplate shoving a fork down to scratch it .  In other words I look frightening.  Scare-the-neighbourhood-kids sort of frightening.  But let me tell you…those 10 seconds of tasting fresh strawberries is almost worth the discomfort I feel from the allergic reaction.

So in order to use up some of the strawberries that I purchased I decided to give jam making a try again (I’m not allergic to cooked strawberries).  Last time it was actually a success (Blood Orange Marmalade).   And I’m proud to tell you this time was as well.

Today we gave this new batch of jam a try with fresh out of the oven homemade biscuits.  Delicious.  The sweetness of the berries with the addition of the tart lime juice and rind is really perfection.  And to round off all the flavours the vanilla gives it such a deep sweet richness.

Unfortunately only one of my three children likes jam (the other two run away in horror at the mere mention of spreading it on their bread).  So a nice thing about this recipe is the fact it makes quite a small batch.  I managed to get 3 normal sized jars of jam out of this recipe.

Recipe: Strawberry Lime Vanilla Jam

4 cups chopped strawberries
2 cups of sugar (divided in two)
1-2 vanilla bean (split and pulp scraped from the inside)
1 lime (zest and juice)

1. Place chopped strawberries in large bowl with 1 cup of the sugar and the vanilla bean and let marinate (some prefer the term macerate…not me) for 2-3 hours.

2.  Add marinated strawberries into large pot with the remaining cup of sugar and bring to a boil and simmer until it reaches 220 degrees (I use a candy thermometre).

3.  Add the lime juice and zest and boil for additional 5-8 minutes or until the jam is at the correct consistency.

4.  Remove vanilla bean and pour jam into prepared and sterilized jars.

Enjoy! (I found this recipe here)

This jam brings back warm and fuzzy memories of one of my favourite childhood books “Bread and Jam for Frances” by Russel Hoban.  I so related to Francis and her love of bread and jam.  Still do.

Red lentil soup with fresh coriander

5 Feb

It is so so so cold here at the moment.  It’s all I talk about to anyone I meet. At bit like when I had newborn twins and all I talked about with anyone who even made eye contact with me was sleep deprivation.   It was actually -15 when we got home from a party last night at midnight.  I’ve decided to not leave the house until the Italian weather smartens up and the crocuses (croci ?) start sprouting.  I keep expecting to find my chickens frozen solid in their little house in the morning when I take them their heated water and kitchen scraps.  How can they survive?  I’m seriously thinking of knitting them this or this.  So of course to make us all feel warmer I decided to make one of my favorite soups.  It’s a recipe from my mother and I actually have no idea where she found it.  It’s delicious and so flavourful.  Lots of fresh coriander is a must. I have a thing for photographing food in mason jars lately.,,,,

Red Lentil Soup with Fresh Coriander.

2 onions finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

3/4 cup red lentils

820 grams  crushed tomatoes (or 2 large cans)

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped

2 tsp tumeric

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper

Cumin to taste (I put a lot)

1. Saute oil, onions and garlic for 2-4 minutes.

2. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Puree soup (or not) to desired consistency.

Zuppa di Cipolla

3 Nov

I made this fantastic Onion Soup the other day.  The onions were first oven roasted then pan sauteed.  So good.  The kids pretty much gagged through the entire meal though.  I guess onion soup isn’t for everyone.  Get recipe here.

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