Friday, December 27, 2019

Fasting Friday - No more treats

No more sweets, no more alcoholic beverage, no more high carb meals, and no more going out for meals.  Until when, one might ask.  Oh, I don't know, maybe until the end of the year. Oops, that only four more days.  Well, I am going to try anyway starting today.  I have been noticing that I can't seem to finish most of the food I put on my plate.  So I have been trying to only dish out small portion so I don't waste any food.  Of course if I get hungry I can find something to snack on, but lately I am finding that I don't need too.  For today's post, I would just like to share some of the holiday things that we receive or made and tried.

Gift from my neighbor's mom.

Candy cane jello shots served during our caroling.

Gift from the Smith's

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Teaching Tuesday - Baked Samosas

When one of our neighbors ask me if I can teach her how to make samosas, I was surprised. The reason, she was originally from India.  So one would assume that she would know how and that she should be doing the teaching.  She asked me for the recipe so she could get the ingredients and then she ask if she could come over one day.  Last Sunday, she and her husband came over to our home.  The good part about it is that she made the filling at home using the recipe I had sent her.  It's not a secret because I just searched it from Pinterest.  She brought at least 3 boxes of phyllo pastry as she didn't know how much it will require.  We started laying out the pastry and then cutting them to the right side and brushing with butter for each sheet.  I showed her how to fold it so it becomes a triangle and that the fold is under when baking.  After I showed her, her husband wanted to learn how to do it as well, and once he got the hang of it, we continued the process as we became a team.  We baked one batch and the rest they took it home to freeze and will bake when needed.  They were very appreciative of the lesson and I was very impressed with the results.  She was very impressed with the ones I brought to her home about a month ago at their event.  Unfortunately, the samosas were gone by the time she wanted to try it but her friends were giving me a lot of compliments.  I am so happy to share what I have learned from Pinterest.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Sweetest Saturday - It's all about presentation

During the holidays most of you are probably doing a lot of baking.  Some will do it a month or two before and freeze them.  Unfortunately my freezer is not big enough so I can only do a couple of containers and will have to consume or give away.  Once the container is empty, then I will start baking again.  To date, I have a couple filled with squares and cookies.  But it didn't stop me from making some other ones.  For example, I made this butter pecan crack cake with toasted almond on top.  Next I made a bread pudding because I had left over bread that Jeff baked and I wanted to make use of it before it goes bad.  Half of the pudding was delivered to the By-law office last Tuesday.  On Thursday night, I took a plate of assorted cookies and bars to the RCMP Detachment since I was working my volunteer shift.  Of course, you now that when it is snowing, I tend to stay indoor and just bake.  I wanted to bake my artisan bread for one of our neighbor who made my charcuterie board.  He loves artisan bread and I wanted him to try my version of cranberry and walnut bread.  So this weekend, here's my presentation of my variety of breads, cakes and cookies.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Towels Tuesday - Only 54 days before Superbowl

While watching TV today, I notice that there's only 54 days before Superbowl LIV.  That's when I realized that I have not made my special NE Patriots kitchen towel.  I thought it would be nice to have them when I host the superbowl party in February.  But there's a rule.  I only have a party if my all time favorite team "Patriots" will be in it.  There's a few more games to complete before the playoff but they are 10-3.  It will be nice to have the rest of their games a WIN.  Anyway, I am all prepared for that party, just in case. It snowed the last couple of days so I decided to stay in my sewing room and do something productive. I made some additional towels for gift giving which included the one for my daughter that I forgot to take a photo. So here's the towel collection for this week.

Friday, December 6, 2019

French Mac Friday - Back to Macarons

It has been a while since I made macarons.  I believe the last time I made them was last year. Not sure why I didn't make them again this year.  Oh ya, I remember, it's sweet and I shouldn't be eating them.  But it doesn't mean I can't serve it for dessert or give it as gift.  So I decided to try them again as I need some more practice.  This time I made their size smaller.  They are cute but I need more practice in piping.  I found some tips online and it's like a trouble shooting guide.  Now I can try again keeping in mind all the information that I read.  For example, I need the consistency really looking silky and flowing like a lava.  If I am coloring it, I will need more to actually change the color of the macarons.  And the last one is all about that baking.  Right temperature and correct timing is the key.  With all those in mind, the next batch should be perfect.  I hope so.  Anyway, here's what I did this week.

As you can see, some are perfectly piped.

This batch all have that little point which is not correct.

Aren't they so cute. You can just pop the whole thing. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Winery Wednesday - More wine to bottle

We finally got the call from the wine place and we are ready to go there and bottle another 30 bottles of wine.  The owner mentioned it the last time we got our first batch that there might be a few couples interested in doing a variety of wine.  If we were interested, we would get a variety of red and white.  This was a great opportunity to build our stock so we agreed. Luckily my son in law was the designer of our label.  He was quick and making changes and we got it early enough to send it to the wine place (Vernon Vintners).  We have been saving some bottles and a few of our friends donated their empty wine bottles.  I was in charge of washing them, removing the labels and Jeff would remove the old foil and use paint thinner to remove some glue residue.  I organized all the bottles in the box so we know exactly what to use for each type of the wine.  When we were ready to work, I got to pick whatever foil I wanted to use for our batch.  Luckily, there were so much variety that I could match each of the foil to the label.  If you look closely at the label, the color of the outline matches the foil.  Our stock is complete and hopefully the first and second batch of wines will be good for at least three years.  If you are lucky enough to get a chance to visit the Cranberry Portage B&B, you can do some wine tasting without going to a real winery.  OK maybe not the same. 

White Trio - This refined Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat blend exudes pretty floral
aromas with hints of tropical fruit and lychee. Flavours on the palate include juicy
pineapple, mango, peach and lychee.

Italy Viognier - opens with a dramatic and intense floral bouquet enhanced by aromas of
apricots and peach. Lush peach and honeysuckle on the palate balances a crisp acidity.

Australia Cabernet Sauvignon - This complex, full-bodied wine has an appealing aroma of
plump blackberries, sweet vanilla, and fresh violets, white cherries, pepper spice and
rich tannins grace the palate.

Chilean Malbec - a brilliant bouquet of dark fruits with subtle hints of oak,vanilla and spices.
Strong plum and berry flavours balanced by moderate tannins on the palate.

Red Trio - A modern, new world style wine featuring a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
and Zinfandel.  Aromas of vanilla, red berries and black cherries and sweet
flavours of ripe raspberry, chocolate and cherry.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Snowy Sunday - Stayed indoor being productive

First day of December, although it was not the first snow, I considered it was.  Sometime in November we had a little bit of snow but in a couple of hours it was gone.  So technically I count today as our first day of snow because there was quite a bit.  By the looks of it, this one will be staying.  After breakfast, I decided I was not going anywhere.  It was time to bake and cook.  But before that, I tried to finish up with all the Christmas decorations that was mine to do.  I am sure you feel the same way, when it is cold outside, you think of SOUP.  I asked my hubby to save the bone of the ham from thanksgiving.  Using is for my broth and then I added vegetables and alphabet noodles. It's like a minestrone aka vegetable and ham soup. LOL.  Now it was time for baking.  First I check what I have in the pantry as well as the fridge.  Then I look for recipes that I can follow as a guide.  Sometimes I have replace an ingredient or two, but still sticking to the rest of the instructions.  It was a very successful day even though I did not get a chance to go outside.  Well, maybe just for a few minutes to change my garden flag and add a few decorations for outdoors.   I manage to bake the oatmeal pecan lace cookies, cranberrry whole wheat muffins with chocolate glaze, hawaiian pineapple coconut bread and of course my soup.  Check out the photo of our neighborhood with all that snow.