Monday, January 30, 2012

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe popped up in one of my Martha Stewart emails recently and I was intrigued. I wanted to bring a little something to an event I was attending and, knowing someone I was planning to share the treats with has an issue with gluten, this recipe seemed like a good option. It also just happened to be National Peanut Butter Day. Who knew?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Pork

Non-traditional Christmas dinner of pulled pork sandwiches

iPhone photo with Instagram

Monday, January 23, 2012

Homemade Donair Sauce

Every time I go home to PEI for a visit, there is one restaurant I must go to - Pizza Delight. Admittedly, I'm not actually that fond of their pizza. The reason I have to go there is to have garlic fingers and donair sauce. Those of you not from the Maritimes likely have no idea what I'm talking about but this is what I was craving and needed to try to recreate.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Cupcakes

Cupcake tasting - from Isobel's on the white plates, mine in the green
iPhone photo with Instagram

Monday, January 16, 2012

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares

When I was younger, I remember I always avoided these squares when I saw them on a dessert tray. I'm not really sure why. It could have been my aversion to most things butterscotch but I'm glad I eventually gave them a chance. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Doughnut

Yeast doughnut with citrus sauce and strawberry ice cream at Back Lane Cafe in Hintonburg

iPhone photo, no filters

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kristen's "Pain au Chocolat"

This Christmas was the first one that I have spent away from my parents. It was just more practical for my brother and I to stay in Ottawa this year rather than make the trip back to PEI like we normally do. Since it was going to be a bit of a different Christmas for me, my friends were very thoughtful and did different things to make my Christmas morning special.
My Christmas morning

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix

I've been making this snack mix for years. I can't remember when I first came across it. Probably in one of the daily newsletter emails I get from Martha Stewart. I keep getting drawn back to it because it's so darn easy and delicious. I gave this out to co-workers for Christmas this year and had some great reviews. It doesn't photograph particularly well but I can promise you it tastes better than it looks.

 Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix
very slightly modified from Martha Stewart
serves a crowd
  • 1 bag pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups natural (unsalted) almonds
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Line two large baking sheets with foil and top with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss together pretzels and almonds.

In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, cayenne, and water to a boil, stirring constantly. Once bubbling, pour over pretzel mixture in the bowl and gently toss to coat and combine.

Spread pretzel mixture in a single layer on prepared sheets. Bake until almonds are crisp, about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally. Cool on the sheet before serving. Package in individual bags if you're handing it out as a gift, or keep it in a large tin or storage container in a cool place. You could easily change things up by using different nuts in the mix. I've also made it with alphabet shaped pretzels when I couldn't find pretzel sticks. It was just as delicious.

Here's a lesson from me to you - while the finished product was delicious, there was a moment when I wasn't sure I was going to have gifts for people. I'm still getting used to having multiple racks in my oven. It didn't seem like the almonds were toasting so I left the mix in the oven a little longer than I should have. The result was a blackened mess on the bottom of one sheet. I spent about half an hour going through every pretzel and almond and picking out the ones that were too far gone. I think I ended up with at least a quarter of the batch in the garbage can.

A couple of "crispy" pretzels poking through
All this to say that, just because you might think your dish has turned into a disaster, there is usually a way to save it if you take a minute to think instead of immediately reacting and turfing the whole thing like I almost did. Even people who cook or bake all the time mess up. Don't let it discourage you or keep you from trying again.

What was your biggest kitchen disaster that you were able to salvage?
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