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    Lemon Tarts

    2014 - 10.20

    One of Karin’s favourite treats at Farmer’s Markets is lemon tarts by Sweet Thea, so for her birthday I decided that I’d make her some lemon tarts. Problem is, I don’t like lemons, so not really in my cooking wheelhouse, nor do I really want to taste as I go along, because I won’t be able to tell if it’s good, because I wouldn’t expect to like it.

    The tarts Karin likes are 4″ tarts I believe and they go for about $4/each, so the goal was to beat that, and aim for similar quality/taste. We already had a bag of lemons from Costco because Karin was thinking of making lemon cordial but hadn’t gotten around to it yet (approx value $6-7 for ~11 lemons). I found this recipe for lemon curd and thought it sounded reasonable, it’s an Ina Garten recipe (Barefoot Contessa).

    I bought 120 3″ tart shells from Costco (~$11 on coupon), and ended up pre-baking one package of them (30).  Used 4 lemons as suggested in the recipe, which resulted in 3/4 cups of juice instead of 1/2 cup (I added it all anyway). Instead of using a food processor, I just added the zest and the sugar to the mixer and let them mix together for a bit.

    The end result is that it’s the right amount of lemon curd to fill the 30 shells.  If you haven’t made lemon curd before, it’s actually pretty easy, the one thing to be aware of is that after you’ve finished the mixing but before you’ve gone through the heating/cooking portion it’s going to look like it’s been ruined, the slow heating melds everything together again and it turns beautifully smooth.

    Now if I need to make Karin some tarts in the future, I’ll be able to find the recipe again.

    Rhubarb Sauce

    2013 - 07.23

    I love rhubarb. Crisp, pie, but one of my favourite ways to eat it is in sauce over ice cream or (this may be kinda weird…) on Rice Krispies with a lot of milk. By the end of it, the milk has curdled a little bit, but that’s totally the best part! I planted a rhubarb this year in a large pot and it’s doing well (as long as the aphids don’t destroy it…we have a massive ant colony in our yard and they’ve taken advantage of some of my garden. Grrr… ) but haven’t harvested it yet. Jen, David’s sister, bought a bunch of rhubarb from the farmer’s market for me and gave it to me on Mother’s Day. I cooked it into sauce, and wanted to write down the recipe here so I can finally take it off the whiteboard where it’s been since May. :/ Hopefully I’ll be able to remember it’s here so that I can calculate how much rhubarb to buy/harvest in order to make a decent amount of canned sauce. I’ve frozen the small amount of sauce I didn’t get around to eating this time around, but I’d much rather have a large batch that isn’t taking up any space in the freezer. As of this writing, we don’t have a separate freezer at our house, but that’s probably our next major household expense.  This is a crazy easy thing to make, so I mostly wanted to be able to quickly check for quantity, and because I liked the tartness/sweetness ratio I pulled off, so I wouldn’t have to experiment.

    Sorry for the weird back and forth with metric and imperial measurements, and the imprecision I put in…I’m just kinda going with what I’ve got written down, and honestly, it’s REALLY hard to screw this up.

    Karin’s Rhubarb Sauce (makes 4 cups of sauce, plus one serving over ice cream. What? I wasn’t going to waste it!)

    About 1 kg of raw rhubarb trimmed, washed and cut into approximately 1″ chunks. *
    2 cups of white sugar. **

    Put the sugar into a large pot or saucepan and warm it up (not necessary, but it seemed to melt the sugar a bit easier) then put the cut up rhubarb into the pot with the sugar and stir it up. Turn off the heat and let it sit for anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours until the sugar melts. The recipes I found had a range of times. Turn on the heat to about medium and cook until the rhubarb is soft (about 5-15 minutes). Make sure you’re stirring. Mash with a potato masher if you want it smoother, or leave it for a chunkier sauce. Remember that the sauce will be more tart if you leave it in chunks because the sugar probably won’t penetrate into the fruit.

    Eat right away, freeze or can using proper canning techniques.

    * DISCARD ALL LEAVES. They’re extremely toxic. Most recipes mention this, and most people know, but just in case someone stumbles across this recipe and didn’t know that. Because I have a 6 month old who likes to chew on my fingers, I also wore disposable vinyl gloves and washed up really well. Paranoid? Maybe.

    ** I like sour and bitter things a LOT (tonic water, beer, lemon etc), so this might be too tart for some people. Add sugar to taste. You can add sugar pretty much any time while the sauce is still hot, or even when serving individually. :) I’ve also heard of people using honey, which sounds freaking amazing, but I have no idea how much to substitute.

    Three Layer Salad

    2013 - 05.26

    So I think we’re going to start posting more recipes here, not so much to turn things into a food blog, but because it’s just easier for us to find them if we post them here.

    This is one of my favourite “salads” typically had at a larger family gathering, so that would have been Easter, Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving, Christmas or maybe a birthday or something like that.  In general we’d have these only at Grandma’s house, although there were exceptions.

    Three Layer “Salad”  [quotation marks are mine]

    • 1 pkg. lime jello (small size: 4 serving size, 85g or 4 oz)
    • 1 pkg. lemon jello (small size)
    • 1 pkg. cherry jello (small size)
    • 1 cup undrained crushed pineapple (you can use the whole 398ml can if you want)
    • 1 pkg dream whip (Kraft)
    • 1/2 cup cold milk (for dream whip)
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla (for dream whip)
    • 3 oz of softened cream cheese (that’s about a third of a 250g package, works fine if you use upto half a package)
    • lots of boiling water (4  1/4 cups)
    1. Assemble your ingredients
    2. Boil water
    3. Make the jello all at once (because of the differing amounts of boiling water they will inherently take longer for the upper layers to set)
    4. Add 1 cup/25oml boiling water to the lime jello in an appropriate serving dish (should have at least 2.5 litre/10 cup capacity, you may need more depending on whether you stick to the original sizes or not)
    5. Add 1 cup/250ml undrained crushed pineapple (or the full can) to the lime jello, and allow to set
    6. Add 1 1/2 cups/375ml boiling water to the lemon jello and allow to set in an appropriate mixing bowl (but not completely)
    7. Add 1 3/4 cups/438ml boiling water to the cherry jello and allow to set in an appropriate mixing bowl (but not completely)
    8. Make the dream whip, combine 1/2 cup/125ml cold 2% milk1/2 tsp/3 ml vanilla into a mixing bowl, add 1 pkg Dream Whip, whip at highest speed of the electric mixer until topping forms peaks, about 2 minutes.  Continue beating 2 minutes more (4 total) until topping is light and fluffy.  Makes about 2 cups.
    9. Add the softened cream cheese and the partially set lemon jello to the mixing bowl, and mix until combined.
    10. Pour the dream whip/lemon jello mixture over the set lime jello/pineapple layer, return to fridge and allow the new layer to set completely
    11. When the second layer has set, add the partially set cherry jello as the top layer (you can remelt the jello by warming up the bowl if necessary).
    12. Allow to set, and enjoy.

    It is possible to make multiple containers of this “salad” if you don’t have any which are big enough, or if you want to make individual servings or something.  Glass serving dishes are best, as they clearly display the layers.  Other flavours of jello can be used if desired (resulting in different colour and flavour combinations).  Some people prefer the middle layer best, it can be made by itself, or you can repeat step 6, 8 and 9 and make them a separate container of their favourite.

    It should look something like this:


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