June 26, 2013

what's taking so long?

Fact:  Everything always took alot longer to bake in our oven than what was mentioned in the recipe.  I sometimes had to put things in the oven again to bake for another 20-30 mins, sometimes more.

Fact: Many of the things we baked were just a bust.  They would never full cook/bake up.

Fiction:  The temperature on our oven display.

Fact: If this sounds familiar to you, you may need a new tool.

Background:  While we were at a kitchen supply store to buy a mandolin, we decided to also pick up an oven thermometer.

We put in the oven, and turned it on to 350 F.  The oven display said 350 F.  We checked the oven thermometer, and lo and behold, it read 300 F.

Baking being an exact science and all, this was a problem.

So now we go by the oven thermometer, and things bake up as they should in the right amount of time.
Oven thermometers, so hot right now.

June 19, 2013

ah... paris

A couple of weeks ago Mr. A and I took a little trip to Paris.  We rented an apartment and scaled the city by foot, bike, bus and train.

It was amazing.  The weather was not so cooperative at times, but even that was an adventure (read: the Seine water levels were so high because of all the rain, parts of the pedestrian walkway by the river were impassable).

We ate scrumptious pastries, visited museums, strolled the streets and parks, and ate delicious food.  We even went to the market on Tuesday and Friday, the one nearby where we stayed (Marche Raspail).

I also got to speak French, which I rarely do at home.  It was one of my favourite things about the trip.  It reminded me that learning any language at a young at age is highly beneficial.

All in all it was a fantastic trip that I will remember for a long, long time.

this was the little neighbourhood where we stayed 
the apartment we stayed in

soft boiled eggs and sliced oranges for breakfast

the cheese stall at our neighbourhood market


...and veggies. everything looked so good!

Un Dimanche a Paris, one of Paris' most favourite pastry shops

the au lait, my go-to during snack hour

best crepe ever.

blue bike tours.  so! much! fun!

the steps from 'midnight in paris'... love that movie

June 08, 2013

amazing cheese omelette

I'm so lucky.  Mr. A makes me so happy.  He's so kind and loving.  And he makes me this delicious cheesy omelette on some weekends.

I thought I'd share the love by sharing his recipe.

Sorry, am I being too cheesy? ;)

Here's the recipe!

Amazing Cheese Omelette
by Mr. A
makes 1 large omelette

4 large eggs
1/2 tsp chives, finely chopped
1/4 cup aged white cheddar, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp butter
optional (for non-vegetarians): speck (smoked prosciutto), chopped up into small pieces

1) In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and add the chives.  Set aside.
2) Heat pan on medium low heat.  Add butter to the pan.  If you're adding the prosciutto, add it at this stage and cook it until it gets a little crispy, 1-2 minutes.
3) Add the egg mixture to the pan. Let it cook on its own for about 4 minutes, don't touch it, just let it cook.  Then add the cheese.  Cook for another minute. (Tip: Don't add the cheese too early, otherwise it'll just liquify instead of being only slighted melted.)
4) Go around the edge of the omelette and the pan with a fork to loosen the omelette in case it's a little stuck.  You should now be able to slide the omelette off the pan, onto a plate.  As you're sliding the omelette out, flip one half of it on top of the other, as pictured above.


June 02, 2013

blueberry cranberry oatmeal scones

Scones are perfect little snacks any time of the year.  Also, they're hard to mess up.  Once you see that they're golden on the top, they're ready to go!

right before we pop them into the oven

This is one of my go-to recipes.  I'll also let you in on a little secret:  I usually grab frozen berries when they're on sale and always have them on hand in the freezer.  I like cranberries and blueberries because they're great in baked goods.  The cranberries especially, because they give a little sweet-sour explosion-treat in muffins, scones and coffee cakes like this one.

Here's the recipe!

Blueberry Cranberry Oatmeal Scones
adapted from Joy The Baker

1 large egg
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup frozen or fresh berries (I used blueberries and cranberries because that's what I had on hand)
1 stick plus 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, grated on a box grater or cut into small pieces


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside.  

Stir the eggs and buttermilk together and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Using a box grater, quickly grate the butter until all is shredded and add to the dry ingredients, using your fingers to quickly incorporate the butter and flour mixture.  If you don't have a box grater, you can also simply cut the butter into small pieces and quickly rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it is pebbly.  

Pour the egg and buttermilk miture over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be wet and sticky, comes together.  Add the berries.

Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand or turn it with a rubber spatula about 8 to 10 times.  Using a spoon, scoop up the dough and place them on the parchment paper, then flat them a little.

Bake for 20 minutes or until their tops are golden and firmish.  Transfer them to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving.  These are great served with a pat of butter, and washed down with a cold glass of milk.