baking · cooking · Recipes · Uncategorized

Homemade Grape Nut Cereal and some baking

Hi everyone:

A few weeks ago I had the idea to make some homemade cereal. I got the idea from Atlanta from Home At Winshaw to make grape nuts. I googled and perused Pinterest for some recipes and finally found one that I wanted to try.  It turned out so well I wanted to share it with you all.

Grape Nut Cereal Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used sprouted whole wheat)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or soured milk – milk with 1 tsp vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven at 375F.
  • Mix all ingredients save raisin and walnuts and pour into a lined cookie sheet or baking dish.
  • If you are cooking the mixture on a cookie sheet, it will only take approximately 15 minutes. I decided to bake the mixture in a dish and it took approximately 35 minutes.
  • Once baked, allow to cool completely on wire rack.  I broke the bread up into pieces so that it would cool faster.
  • Once cooled, pulse the mixture in a food processor in batches and place on baking sheets – you will likely need two baking sheets if you make the entire breads worth.
  • Bake at 250F for approximately one hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes and let cool
  • Toast the walnuts if using and pulse the cereal and the walnuts together again.
  • Add raisins if you’d like. Let cool completely and store in a jar for 2-3 weeks.
  • I decided to only make half the batch and freeze the rest of the bread so that I need only blitz it up later to make more cereal.

Also, here are some of the other things I baked today.

I wanted some biscuits so I made half plain, half cinnamon bun style. They turned out a bit different than usual since the butter I had was already soft but they taste very nice nonetheless and of course, hubby likes them.

It has been a very busy day at Fenton house for me. Filled with laundry, baking, cleaning and making a nice dinner – and also some school work. But despite it all, it was a nice day and I am grateful I get to spent Sundays at home doing the things I love the most.

I hope you all had a great day, too.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline

baking · comfort food · cooking · Recipes · Uncategorized

Just a Sunday

Today was the first restful day I’ve had in weeks so I thought I would do some baking. It gets awful quiet here on Sundays as Mark tends to work on that day almost every week. I watched Northanger Abbey whilst I did my housework so at least I had some company, even if from fictional characters.

I decided on making a cobbler but all I had in the freezer was a mix of fruits (peaches, strawberries, mango and pineapple) and decided to use those – I suppose it makes a sort of tropical cobbler. I also made a quick batch of custard (using Bird’s custard powder) for serving.

I also made a big quiche for our dinner tonight and lunches for the week. I often use a “press-in pan” pastry for quiches as it is quick and always turns out flaky and rich.

This quiche was a caramelized onion, double smoked bacon, and cheddar quiche. I used one onion, one thick rasher of bacon, and a few grates of cheese before pouring over the egg mixture. It is kept simple but I find it cooks best that way. And always turns out nice.

I also finished the tea cosy I was making today. I am very proud of myself for getting the hang of knitting and the tea cosy itself didn’t turn out too bad. It is a nice skill to have and to build on.

Other than knitting, I have been doing some free hand embroidery as practice before starting on bigger projects. I am not very good yet but better than I thought I would be. It is just nice to be creative and is better than surfing the internet aimlessly as I had started to do. Mark’s mom also lent me puzzles to do and Mark and I have been making them together. I am basically an 80 year old in a 27 year old’s body, but alas – it could be much worse!

I hope you all had a great Sunday. We are now just finishing up our dinner and my husband is happy with a full belly. Thank you for reading.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

baking · Chocolate · comfort food · Recipes · Uncategorized

Baking up a storm – Nigella’s chocolate chip cookies

Good afternoon everyone:

It has been a stormy day in Nova Scotia, with school closures and delays. Rather than making my way through half snow plowed streets I decided to stay home, get school work done and do a spot of baking.

We didn’t have much in the way of baking supplies in the house but we did have all the ingredients for Nigella’s lovely (and quite large) chocolate chip cookies and I thought I would share them with you.

Nigella’s chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 100g white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (cold from the fridge)
  • 300g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 326g chocolate chips

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and lime a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt butter and beat together with both sugars (I just used very soft butter instead of melting it)
  • Beat in the vanilla and eggs until creamy.
  • Mix together the flour and baking soda and gradually mix the flour with the wet mixture
  • Fold in the chocolate chips
  • Scoop out the cookie dough using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure and press the dough a bit. This will make approximately two batches of 8 cookies (unless a Cookie Monster lives at your house…)
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes, let cool on baking dish for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack.
  • Eat!

I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

baking · comfort food · cooking · Recipes

Easy Chicken & Biscuits

Hello everyone:

I have a simple, budget friendly recipe for you all today.  Chicken and biscuits are such a comfort food and a great meal to whip together when you have leftover chicken in the fridge.  And if you have a enamelled pot, it goes from the stovetop to the oven – and everyone loves less washing up.  This is a recipe I just threw together, but it turned out so delicious I wanted to share it with everyone.  Of course it can be made bigger by doubling the recipe but I try not to make such big meals as it is only just us two at home at Fenton house.

For a vegetarian option, use a can of chickpeas instead of chicken and a nice vegetable broth, it works just as well.

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Chicken & Biscuits (for 4-6 people)

Ingredients

For the chicken mixture:
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped (optional but adds a lot of flavour to the base)
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper
mixed herbs, such as herbes de provence

For the biscuit mixture*:
1 cup flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1/3 cup of milk plus a few tbsp if needed

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 375F.
  • Drizzle olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and celery and sprinkle with salt and the bay leaf.  Allow vegetables to sweat and soften.
  • Once the vegetables are softened, remove the bay leaf, and add the flour to the vegetables and mix well.  Gradually add broth and whisk.  Bring the vegetable mixture to a simmer to thicken.
  • Stir in shredded chicken, peas, and corn.  Season with salt and pepper and herbs.  Take off the heat.

Next, to make the biscuits.

  • Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together well.
  • Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or knives until it forms fine crumbs.
  • Gradually stir in the milk until mixture makes a dough – try not to over mix the dough.
  • Turn the dough out on a floured surface and press it down to form a circle.  Cut into 6 triangles or cut out into circles and place on top of the chicken mixture.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, let set for 5 minutes and enjoy.

I hope you do try this recipe.  I look forward to hearing your comments!

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

*biscuit recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

baking · Recipes · Retro Recipes · Uncategorized

Retro Recipes: Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler

I am a sucker for all things retro and that includes recipes.  Recently I have been fascinated by the 1950s era, and nothing speaks quintessential housewife like an old fashioned peach cobbler*.

21106772_10159153675610177_8159572068003208125_nIngredients

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 cups sliced peaches, peeled and sliced (I used a dozen small-ish peaches)
1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, peaches, and lemon juice.

Cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil for one minute and pour into ungreased casserole dish.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in butter using a pastry blender until mixture looks like fine crumbs.  Stir in milk and drop dough into spoonfuls over the peach mixture.  Sprinkle remaining sugar on top.  The mixture will look sparse, but it grows whilst cooking.

Bake 25-30 minutes and serve on its own, with whipped cream, or with some vanilla ice cream.

Please let me know if you try the recipe.  🙂

Buon Appetito!

Jacqueline

*Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

Recipes · Soup · Uncategorized

Warming Minestrone Soup

Hello friends:

I wanted to share this gorgeous minestrone recipe I whipped up yesterday for work lunches.  It just requires a few simple ingredients and a bit of chopping time.  It makes approximately 4-5 generous servings.

Warming Minestrone Soup

minestrone-soup
Ingredients

Olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 potato, chopped into small pieces
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, chopped into small pieces
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-540ml can of diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup soup pasta
1 tbsp dried Herbes de Provence
1 tbsp dried basil/and or basil pesto
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper

Method

Soften onion and carrot in olive oil for 5-7 minutes or so.
Once onions are translucent and a lovely colour, add the potato pieces and garlic.
Add in the stock and diced tomatoes.  Give a good stir.
Now add in the bay leaf and cook until potatoes and carrots are cooked through.
Add the zucchini and kidney beans, as well as the Herbes de Provence and basil and simmer until zucchini is softened.
Then add the dried pasta and simmered for a further 4 minutes until pasta is tender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
If you are cooking this ahead, allow to cool before storing in the fridge.

Let me know if you gave this soup a go!

Thank you so much for reading.

Jacqueline

baking · Recipes · Uncategorized

Pumpkin Bread + Books I Love

I wanted to share a few things today that I have been loving lately.  Around Canadian thanksgiving,  I made this gorgeous pumpkin bread and thought I should share.  And it is easy-peasy to make.

I also wanted to share some books I have been loving lately.

First, here’s the recipe for the pumpkin bread.

pumpkin-breadIngredients

One 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (melted butter or coconut oil is a fine substitute)
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or mixed spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sultanas (optional but makes a sweeter loaf!)

Method

Preheat oven to 350F and ensure oven rack is placed low if you have a small oven, or in the middle if you have a regular sized one.  Grease bottoms of two small loaf tins (8×4), or one big one (9×5) and place parchment paper on the bottom.  I trace mine out before hand so it fits in perfectly.

In a bowl mix pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla & eggs until well mixed.  Stir in remaining ingredients except for the walnuts and sultanas.  Once the mixture is well combined, fold in sultanas and walnuts.

Pour mixture into pans and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  It took me approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes for the big loaf tin.

Cool 10 to 15 minutes on wire rack before removing from the tin.  Let cool for two hours or so before slicing.  And enjoy with a cup of tea.

And here are the books.

all-souls-trilogydiary-of-a-witch

The All-Souls Trilogy is amazing for people interested in history, witches, and a bit of academia.  It was nice to find a series regarding witches, vampires, and daemons, geared towards adults.  If you are a fan of the Elizabethan era, I would suggest you do read these, as the second book is based during that time.  I think I enjoyed this series so much – and I have read it three times – because the author, Deborah Harkness, is actually a historian, so there are a bit of fun facts thrown in while you read.

The second book was a bit of an odd find at my local bookshop.  It is a fictional story, however, it does bring you into the darker parts of Scotland’s history – the witch trials.  The book is mostly in diary form which I love.  I must warn you that some parts of the book are truly violent and if you are squeamish or easily disturbed by violence (and sexual violence) against women, this is not the book for you.  I must say this book surprised me in its quality and I hope you do pick it up.

As you can see, these books do have a bit of a witch theme, and I suppose being halloween, it seems a natural selection however I must admit I have a fondness for the history of witches so I tend to read about them a lot.

I hope you all have a great Halloween/Samhain.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline