awanderingbard: (CP: Brilliant)
Long time no post. It's been sort of A Series of Unfortunate Events around here for the past little while, thankfully most of which have resolved favourably, or are on their way to being good. I'm not good for much these days, but Mom and I have been making some dietary changes, trying to swap out ingredients for healthier versions and eat a bit less, in aid of both our health woes. It's been really yummy! Dad had been doing most of the cooking for dinner and continually making meals that didn't appeal to Mom, who has very low iron still from the blood loss during her surgery last year. So we decided she and I would make dinner, and if Dad wanted, he could share, or he could make his own dinner, and the meals we've had have been really delicious.

Anyway, in my search for good recipes, I stumbled on pumpkin chili. About four years ago, I started reacting to nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant) and had to cut them out from my diet. It wasn't that big a deal once I got the hang of swapping things, but things like spaghetti with tomato sauce and pizza with tomato sauce and chili was something I really missed. I decided to give the pumpkin chili a try and it was amazing! Not quite like real tomatoes, but a similar flavour, and very satisfying. After fiddling around, I was able to make spaghetti and pizza sauce from it, too, both of which were also excellent. I thought I'd post my method here, for those who also have allergies, or are avoiding nightshades due to arthritis or dietary concerns, or just wanted to try it. It still tastes of pumpkin, so if you don't like pumpkin, this won't make it taste any less pumpkiny. Just more tomato-y.

Tomatoish Sauce Base
1 15 oz/398ml can of pumpkin puree (or pumpkin/squash mix)
1 cup of broth of your choice
Seasoning of your choice (I use garlic powder, black pepper, and salt)
1 tbs white vinegar (optional, but gives it a more 'tomato-y' tang)

Combine all ingredients together, seasoning to your liking. Pumpkin is bland, so prepare to season a lot.

To make chili: throw the base into a slow cooker with some beans, ground meat of your choice (brown it first!), and whatever else you want. Cook on low for eight hours or high for four. I'm no good at serving sizes, but I got three large bowls of chili from it, so it will serve at least three if not more.

To make spaghetti sauce: add a little bit of sugar or sweetener to the base (I put in two tsps), and whatever else you'd like. We use ground beef, mushrooms, and onions, browned together. Add that to the base, and warm over low in a sauce pot until heated to your liking. I got two servings of sauce out of it. We take spaghetti seriously here, you might get more if you don't like as much sauce.

To make pizza sauce: add a little bit of sugar or sweetener. Stick on a pizza crust, add toppings, and follow crust directions to bake. I halved the recipe and got one pizza out of it, so the full recipe should be enough for two pizzas.
awanderingbard: (MCU: Jarvis)
It's Mum's birthday, almost, and we're celebrating tonight, and that means it's time for Rhubarb Coffee Cake, which is a standard Bard Family Birthday recipe. Since we've had a rash of losing recipes of late (where are you, pumpkin muffins?) I'm posting this here both to share and as a back-up if we lose the card.

"Rhubarb Coffee Cake" (from, my mum thinks, the local newspaper)
Things you will need:
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 C butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda IN
1 C milk
2 C rhubarb, cut in pieces
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.

Cream together first four ingredients.
Add flour, mix.
Put baking soda into milk and let dissolve, then add milk to batter. Mix.
Fold in rhubarb.
Spread batter in 8x8 pan or other appropriate receptacle.
Mix brown/coconut sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 40-45 mins, or until the cake is cooked through and the top is bubbly.


NOTES: We substitute Splenda for the white sugar and coconut sugar for brown sugar, which works fine, but may affect baking times, so monitor your creations. You will need something that caramelises for the topping, whatever you may substitute. Frozen rhubarb works great if you don't have fresh. Let it semi-thaw before tossing it in, and the extra liquid while it's baking adds moisture.

We usually have it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but it's also really nice cold for breakfast. It's not a very sweet recipe; the rhubarb gives it a nice tang.
awanderingbard: (Default)
A few months ago my mom was browsing a magazine at the physiotherapist when she found a recipe for really easy scones. My family has to deal with both my parents being diabetic and me having all the sensitivities ever (soy! tomatoes! potatoes! food colouring!), so we do a lot of baking and creative substitutions and I always get excited to have something new to eat that's easy to do, since my menu is so limited. We gave these a whirl and they're so, so good. Really light and fluffy, a little like a sweet soda bread with a less coarse crumb. The remind me of the baking powder biscuits you get at American KFCs. Or used to, I haven't eaten American KFC in about twenty years.

I'm not sure the original creator of the recipe, but it looks like a variation of a cream scone. It's very yummy.

Easy Scone Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Directions

Mix your dry ingredients together. Add whipping cream. Mix with fork until combined. Throw out on floured surface and roll dough out to 3/4" thickness. Cut with cutter of your choice. Bake at 400ºF/200C for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown. Enjoy!

Variations
We usually do a double batch, since one dose makes enough for, say, having with stew, but we like to have extras for snack or breakfast. We've used table cream which has less fat and is cheaper without any noticeable difference in the taste or texture. Our family never puts salt in when we're baking, or only a few shakes, so you can leave that out if you want. I've also used half and half all-purpose and whole wheat flour in a pinch and it was still very yummy. The original recipe states you can toss dried fruit, cheese, chocolate chips, etc. in there to spice things up, but they are quite good on their own with just butter and/or jam. The other thing you can do if you don't have time to roll and cut is toss the dough in an 8x8 pan and cook for about 25-30 minutes to make a cake. The dough does rise a lot, so make sure your pan has room for growth.

Pinwheels

Dec. 20th, 2016 04:10 pm
awanderingbard: (CP: Arthur is happy - a lot)
Pinwheels are a French-Canadian dessert, which we make every Christmas along with tourtiere (a meat pie). Most people around my neck of the woods (Ontario) haven't heard of pinwheels and are suspicious of them, like dude, it's literally just pie crust and sugar, what are you so freaked out about?

The 'official' name of pinwheels is 'Pets des Soeurs', which translates as 'Nun's Farts'. In my family, we've always called them pinwheels, or Soupirs des Soeurs (Nun's Sighs, which are actually a different pastry, I think). The gourmet supermarket here calls them Nun's Pastries. Take your pick, they are all delicious.

The way pinwheels are made is very free form, because they were originally created to use up extra pie dough, I think, so exact measurements are not a part of the process, you just use what you have. Here is the Bard Family Recipe/Guideline:

Things You Will Need:
1 pie crust (shortcrust, store bought is fine but make sure it's thawed a little if it's been frozen)
Some brown sugar (coconut sugar also works, Splenda brown sugar mix works, and we've used cinnamon sugar too, you just need something that will caramelize, so plain Splenda will not work)
Some butter
An oven
A pie plate (tin one from the frozen pie crusts is fine, glass ones are fine too, whatever you got)

Things You Do To Make Delicious Pinwheels:
1. Heat your oven to 375°F/190°C, or to whatever temperature you're using to bake whatever else you're making, do what you feel in your heart.
2. Either roll out your homemade pie dough in a flat circle or remove your frozen pie crust and make it a flat circle. If there are cracks, no sweat, you can pinch them closed later on, but if your frozen pie crust is super cracky, let it thaw a bit longer.
3. Butter your pie crust like you would butter bread. You want to have a pretty even, but not too thick layer. Let your heart guide you once more. Avoid the edges of the crust and mostly work in the centre.
4. Take your sugar or sugar-like substance and sprinkle it over the butter layer, smoothing it out to an even thickness.
5. Starting at one edge of the crust, roll it up like a cinnamon roll, so you have a spiral of filling inside a log.
6. Cut off the end pieces so the edges are even. Sample end pieces if so desired and it is not a health risk to do so.
7. Slice the log into slices of your desired thickness. Like, I don't know, half an inch? Your heart will know. They should look like little cinnamon rolls, and you can use your fingers to round them out if they are squashed on the bottom.
8. Arrange slices in pie tin/plate. They don't spread too much, so you can pack them in pretty close together.
9. Cook for ten minutes, or maybe five minutes if you're using a higher temperature. Check on them. Do they look golden and has the sugar melted and is bubbling? If yes, remove from oven. If no, cook until they do.
10. Let cool.
11. Eat the wonky ones as samples and serve the pretty ones to guests.

Here is a picture of some made with homemade crust (due to allergies, I couldn't have store bought for a while, but Tenderflake took their soy out, so yay for easier pinwheels this year!) Half-eaten tourtiere on the right. Click and it gets bigger.



Happy Holidays!

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awanderingbard

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