Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Home-made Funnel Cakes

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought I would try to make them this evening. Now, I can't really say I've ever tasted Funnel Cakes -- I think here in Canada, Beaver Tails are a favorite when at the Fair. In any event, Jessica and I thought they weren't too difficult, so we got out our mixing bowls :-)

We decided NOT to go with the mini funnel cakes, opting instead for large frying-pan sized cakes. We weren't disappointed, though Jessica only managed to eat the one.

The boys, of course, ate more! Benjamin liked his with icing sugar and chocolate sauce. Timothy had rhubarb jam, raspberries and a sprinkle of icing sugar. I also had jam and icing sugar. I do think they'd be awesome with a cinnamon/sugar mixture!

We thought they tasted kinda like the honey crullers from Tim Hortons, but definitely a lot less greasy!

So, here's the recipe, but go ahead and check the first link, too! I saw another recipe there that's worth looking at -- Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough :-)


Mix these ingredients together:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In separate bowl mix the wet ingredients:

1 1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg

Combine the wet and dry ingredients. If you have a squeeze bottle, you can use that to make your funnel cakes. I didn't, so I used my cake decorating bag with a large tip. I think the squeeze bottle would make nicer shaped ones, though.

You'll need about 1/2 inch of oil in your frying pan. I used a mixture of coconut. and olive oils. Heat it on high then turn down to med-high.

 Squeeze your batter into the pan, making a circle first, then criss-crossed lines across. Let it cook for about 30 sec-1 min, then flip to cook the other side. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with icing sugar while still hot. Add toppings as desired.

If you make them, let me know what you think! I'll definitely be making them again!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I originally got this recipe from my sister, Jane, but she didn't include bananas in her recipe. We happen to love the banana/chocolate combination, though........ and it helps me use up those over ripe bananas :-)


3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
3 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 cups flour
2 cups coconut
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
approx 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugar and egg together. Add vanilla and bananas. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients (except for chocolate chips). Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Mix until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 deg for 15-18 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

DELICIOUS Potato Salad!

I've made potato salad before, but always guessed at what ingredients to add. Today, I decided to look for a recipe. Found this one at Gluesticks. It was delicious! Even my picky eater loved it :-) I'll definitely be making this again!

ORIGINAL Potato Salad

~ 5-6 potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
~ 1 cup mayonnaise
~ 2 Tbsp vinegar
~ 1/2 tsp salt
~ 1 tsp sugar
~ 1/4 tsp black pepper
~ 1 cup sliced celery
~ 1/2 cup chopped onion (I used green onion)
~ 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

 Bring water to boil and cook potatoes for about 10 minutes (or until tender). In separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, salt/pepper, sugar, celery and onion. Drain potatoes and cool for a few minutes. Add to mixture. Stir in chopped egg. Serve chilled.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tea Buns

Tea Buns are one of those traditional Newfoundland staples, especially from our grandmothers' generation. I remember eating these when visiting my grandparents. I never did like the raisins in them, so when I make them for my family, I omit the raisins :-)

I found this recipe in a small printed book from 1980, called Newfoundland Recipes. I was glad to see it didn't include raisins, though I'm sure you could add in a cup of raisins if you like.

3 cups flour
3 heaping tsp of baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1 TBSP lard (I omit this)
1 egg
1 cup water

Mix dry ingredients and cut in butter with pastry blender. Mix egg and water, and add to dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Roll on lightly floured surface, try for 1-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter (or use top of a small glass). Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes at 450 deg.

more decorated cakes

Boy, it's been a long time since I posted anything here :-) Ooops! Life really gets in the way!

Anyway, here are a few decorated cakes tht I've done:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

Ok, I've recently discovered Greek yogurt, BUT I should have kept it to myself and not let the rest of my family taste it. A package of 4 single servings here in my town was almost $4.00. So...... I did a little research and decided to try making my own yogurt. It's actually quite easy to make, and at least I know it doesn't have any thickeners/additives in it. We all love it better than store-bought!

I started with a 2L of whole milk. I heated it in a double boiler.

I didn't stir it at all -- just waited until the temperature reached 175-180F.

When it cooled, I removed the milk from the double-boiler and let it cool to 110-120F.

You'll notice when it cools it has this thin layer of dried milk. I read this hint from another blogger. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the milk, then pull up from the middle of the wrap and it will take that layer of dried milk right off!

Here's where you need to add some starter yogurt. If this is your first batch, use 2-3 TBSP from store-bought. Make sure it has "active bacteria" listed in the ingredients. For your second and subsequent batches, just same 2-3 TBSP of your homemade yogurt. I have a special container just for my starter.

I found that my first batch, made with the store-bought yogurt, was not as thick as the other batches I made.

You can also add a TBSP of vanilla extract at this point, and some honey or other sweetener. Two of us like it better without any sweetener or vanilla -- the others don't really mind one way or the other. Without sweetener it's obviously more sour. on a side note, I actually substituted some of the more sour yogurt for sour cream in a dip recipe I made. No one knew the difference!

If you add anything at this point, give it a whisk :-)

I then pour my yogurt into an old crock pot. I guess I could technically leave it in the saucepan, but I like using the crock pot. Wrap it in a heavy towel or blanket. Then I set my crock pot into my oven (which I turned the heat on for about 2 minutes). I then turn the heat off, and the light in my oven "on", and I leave the yogurt for 6-7 hours. Don't peek! Keep the heat inside.

I have made this late at night so it can set in my oven all night, while I'm not needing my oven for cooking.

With 2L of milk, I can get 6 cups of yogurt (three of these containers).

Now, if you like the thicker Greek-style yogurt, you can let your yogurt sit in a sieve (in a couple of layers of cheesecloth) and drain. What drains out is whey. Oh, and I've seen online that you can use this whey in fruit smoothies (I've tried it and it's fine), or for making rice. The downside of straining is that you lose about 1/2 of your yogurt.

After about an hour of straining, you can also tie it up and hang it to get even more whey out.

This is what the whey looks like.

There you have it! We love ours served with some fresh fruit of some homemade jams. Delicious!

Once you get one batch made, you can experiment with different  flavours or different ways of making it. I've read about using the crock pot to set it (turned on LOW) or even putting the milk mixture, after letting it cool, right into jars and setting it in a cooler with some hot water bottles around it. Also, one idea I read about the mixture was poured into a thermos for 6-7 hrs and it set in there.

Let me know if you try some yourself, or if you have any tips/hints :-) Good luck!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Decorated cakes

I haven't been good at updating my decorated cakes. Here are some I have done recently.

This was for my grandmother's 90th birthday. She LOVES hats!

 This was for my cousin and his fiance -- wedding shower cake.

Halloween-themed birthday cake. Legs were made from fondant. I used the soccer ball cake-pan for the body, and the head was a cupcake.

3-D pumpkin, made with 2 bundt cakes. Leaves are fondant, stem is 3 cupcake bottoms.

Wheels are made from rice-krispie treats, covered with icing.

Head is made from rice krispie treats, covered infondant. Flowers also made with fondant.

This one was a Rainbow Cake inside -- what a surprise for the birthday boy!