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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.

    Cherry Lime Flip


    2012 - 03.11

    I used to go Red Robin on a fairly regular basis. My usual go-to drink has changed a couple of times. Originally it was a Cookie Magic: a boozy Oreo milkshake or a Rookie Magic: a non-boozy Oreo milkshake. I quite like their Freckled Lemonade: sweetened frozen strawberries in lemonade, and when they started offering it as a bottomless drink, that was pretty freaking awesome. They have a couple other bottomless mocktails and on Friday (as a reward for working on my classroom) Dave and I went to Red Robin for a dinner break. I tried the Cherry Lime Flip and it was pretty tasty.

    We had some of the ingredients already (grenadine and maraschino cherries in juice) and picked up the others today (limes for juice and Sprite or 7Up). I’m drinking it now, while watching some Alcatraz and my concoction is pretty tasty! (ooh…that was kinda gruesome…and I’m drinking a red drink. Glad I’m not that squeamish!)

    20120311-211755.jpg

    Crispy Mashed Potatoes


    2012 - 02.09

    One of Karin’s favourite food items is: Crispy Mashed Potatoes from Joey’s.  Last Thursday we went to Joey’s with Jennifer and Karin mixed it up a little bit.  Instead of ordering something that allowed her to get crispy mashed potatoes with her meal she instead ordered something else and got a side order of the Crispy Mashed Potatoes which when ordered separately like that end up getting fancied up with sour cream, cheese, bacon and green onions.

    Well, I don’t think that I’m going to make them for her, or order them from Zanzibar but I did seek out some similar recipes on the internet which she can try herself (because she’s an awesome cooker-person).

    Blueberry Glaze


    2011 - 09.04

    Regular readers may remember that Karin went blueberry picking a while back.   One of the things which she wanted to make in addition to jam was pie or tarts.  White Spot apparently does a fresh blueberry pie while they are in season and she just loves it.  So the goal was to approximate it.  Unfortunately this did not happen in a timely manner, mostly because I refused to spend $2.00 on Blueberry glaze from the store (it was on SALE for that price), and on top of it you still needed to supply your own sugar.  No thank you!

    This week her mother went blueberry picking again and provided Karin with a small supply of new fresh berries.  She had already baked the tart shells, so the only thing missing was the glaze.  Tonight, I made it.

    So the glaze recipe really is very very simple, and I would recommend that you experiment a little yourself if you’re feeling it.

    1 cup/250ml – sugar
    1 cup/250ml – water
    3 tbsp/50ml – corn starch (heaping tablespoons)
    1 cup/250ml – berries [optional]

    1. If you’re lazy, throw everything in a sauce pan over medium-high heat stirring frequently with a whisk, bring to a boil and allow to thicken before removing from the heat.
    2. If you’re less lazy, add the sugar, 3/4 cup water and 1 cup berries (if using) to a saucepan and bring to a boil.  The berries will add colour and flavour to the glaze, making it a ____berry glaze instead of just a generic glaze.  This is optional.
    3. Combine the corn starch and the remaining 1/4 cup water, stir well until completely combined.
    4. Add the corn starch mixture to the sauce pan, stirring while bringing it back to a boil.
    5. The glaze should thicken, remove from heat.  Depending on what you’re doing you may choose to allow it to cool at this point.
    6. You may either pour the glaze over things now, say a pie crust filled with fresh berries, or you can add the berries directly to the glaze, stirring until completely coated, and then spooning into tart shells or onto pound cake (that’s what we did).
    7. All of this should take less than 15 minutes.  Enjoy.

    Below you’ll find a few pictures of the end result.  It should work find with pretty much any fruit or berry.

    Blueberry tartsBlueberry tartsBlueberry tartsBlueberry tartsBlueberry tartsBlueberry tarts
    Glazed Blueberries on pound cake

    Blueberry Glaze, a set on Flickr.

    Normally Karin’s the take pictures of food I made person in the family, but the camera’s been used a lot in the last couple of days so was really handy, so I figured why not.