Lazy Sunday

February 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Every Sunday I try and make a big Sunday breakfast because I’ve always dreamt of having those quaint moments with the family eating a nice, hardy breakfast and ruminating over the past week, the future and our never-ending dreams.

We have managed to pull it off, for the most part, since the New Year. I credit this to the waffle maker my parents got me for Christmas. I love waffles and Sundays have now been renamed Waffle Sundays in our household.

Throughout the past few weeks my husband and I have been experimenting with various waffle recipes but we seem to always come back to the Belgium Waffles I posted a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t until today that we discovered a new recipe to add to our waffle repertoire.

The other day, as I was searching everything waffles, I came across Waffleizer which is an insanely great website for waffle fanatics.

There was a waffle recipe for cinnamon buns in waffle form. Basically, you just grab Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, crack open the packaging and then press it in a waffle iron.

Since I didn’t want to go out and buy a pack of cinnamon buns I decided to make my favourite brioche cinnamon buns a la Flour.

After I had waffleized the cinnamon buns I drenched them in a cream cheese maple syrup mash up. Delicious.

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Cinnamon Bun Waffles

Cinnamon Bun Waffle recipe:

  • 1/2 batch of brioche (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method:

On a floured work surface, roll out the brioche into rectangle about 12 by 16 inches and 1/4-inch thick. It will have the consistency of cold, damp Play-Doh and should be fairly easy to roll. Position the rectangle so the long side is facing you.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Starting from the longest side farthest from you and working your way down, roll up the rectangle like a jelly roll. Try to roll tightly, so you have a nice round spiral.

Use a bench scraper or a chef’s knife to cut the roll into 10 equal pieces. Place them in a baking dish and cover with plastic wrap overnight.

The next day, take out cinnamon buns and heat the waffle maker.  Once waffle maker is heated, place one cinnamon bun on the waffle iron and close it.  The time it cooks will depend on your waffle maker.  Mine cooked the cinnamon buns in a minute so I would recommend checking how the cinnamon bun looks after a minute.  You want to achieve a nice golden brown crust on it.

Carefully remove cinnamon bun waffle and place on plate.  Smoother with maple syrup or a maple syrup cream cheese mash up.

Enjoy!

Brioche Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups (350 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 2 1/4 cups (340 grams) whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 1/2 packages (3 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (82 grams) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 3/8 cups (2 3/4 sticks; 310 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 10 to 12 pieces

Method:

Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the all-purpose, whole wheat bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, and the eggs. Beat on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all the ingredients are combined. Stop the mixer, as needed, to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the flour is incorporated into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has come together, beat on low speed for another 3 to 4 minutes. The dough will be very stiff and seem quite dry.

With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, 1 piece at a time, mixing after each addition until it disappears into the dough. Continue mixing on low speed for about 10 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. It is important for all the butter to be thoroughly mixed into the dough. If necessary, stop the mixer occasionally and break up the dough with your hands to help mix in the butter.

Once the butter is completely incorporated, turn up the speed to medium and beat until the dough becomes sticky, soft, and somewhat shiny, another 15 minutes. It will take some time to come together. It will look shaggy and questionable at the start and then eventually it will turn smooth and silky. Turn the speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute. You should hear the dough make a slap-slap-slap sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. Test the dough by pulling at it; it should stretch a bit and have a little give. If it seems wet and loose and more like a batter than a dough, add a few tablespoons of flour and mix until it comes together. If it breaks off into pieces when you pull at it, continue to mix on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until it develops more strength and stretches when you grab it. It is ready when you can gather it all together and pick it up in 1 piece.

Put the dough in a large bowl or plastic container and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the dough. Let the dough proof (that is, grow and develop flavor) in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to overnight At this point you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Always room for comfort

November 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It seems like November has only just arrived but it is already mid-month. Where has the time gone? This month has been extremely busy–the majority of which I spent lying in bed in at my parents’ house in mild pain and sleeping. When I finally returned home, I was struck with the bite of frosty weather.

The weather in Whistler is getting chilly and my house lacks proper insulation. So, I decided I would be efficient and heat the house with my oven while baking something homey for my husband since apparently the bachelorhood he endured while the girls and I were gone made him feel quite lonely.

Apple crisp was the perfect treat for these cool fall days especially for my family because we always equate the dessert with feelings of comfort. This is a straight forward recipe that has always been a hit with our family. Sometimes comfort comes in the simplest of ways. It may not be the prettiest dessert, but it’s sure to warm you up on a cold, wet day.

Mom’s Apple Crisp

10 medium sized apples (macintosh, golden delicious or granny smith) peeled and sliced

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

Juice from 1 lemon

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup butter, cut into cubes

Method:

Preheat oven to 370 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl toss the apples with granulated sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Pour apples into a 9×13 pan and set aside.

In another medium sized bowl, mix flours and sugar together. Then, with a pastry blender (you can also use your hands) cut in the butter until it the butter is coarsely mixed in and is about the size of peas.

Spread the flour mixture on top of the apples evenly and place in preheated oven.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and you can see the apples mixture at the corners bubbling.

Remove from oven and cool.

Serve with ice cream or on it’s own for breakfast, lunch, dinner or all of the above.

Blueberry Muffins

October 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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As a young mom I often feel intimidated around older moms. I don’t know if all young mothers feel like this but I do. Now after having two children, I am starting to gain confidence. However, that confidence suddenly becomes fleeting and I am broken down within two minutes over certain instances.

The times when I can’t control my children and they run around or the moments where I have older women telling me how I should dress or parent my children is when the belief in myself as a mother crumbles into a pile of self-doubt.

When my oldest daughter was born I was constantly busy trying to balance the life of a university student with motherhood. Some days I would go out of the house with my daughter dressed in a sleeper onsie, which for those who don’t know is basically a one-piece pajama with long arms and legs.

At the mommy groups, older mothers would constantly comment on the dreaded sleeper. “Oh, your daughter is so adorable but she’s wearing a sleeper?” “Is that a sleeper your daughter is wearing?” were questions I often heard.

Time passed and I, of course, became more resilient. However, sometimes the comments from complete strangers still sting. I don’t know if I am a good mother, but I do know that I am constantly striving to be one. I love my kids and my biggest fear is failing them. So, I try to spend as much time with them by interaction.

One activity my eldest daughter likes to do is help me bake. I usually give her a bowl of flour and water and let her “bake” daddy something. Because I love my daughter and feel an utter amount of regret for leaving the house with her while she was wearing sleepers I decided she could bake today.

Here is a recipe for Best Blueberry Muffins. It is an America’s Test Kitchen recipe and I really liked the way they made the blueberry flavour intense. I might not be the best mom but I know a darn good recipe for blueberry muffins so I guess that is a step in the right direction.

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Best Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

From Season 10: Best Weekend Breakfast

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (about 10 ounces) (I used frozen wild blueberries as blueberries aren’t in season)
  • 1 1/8cups sugar (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
  • 2 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 1/2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 2large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4cup vegetable oil (I used Almond oil)
  • 1cup buttermilk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract

Method
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.

Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 11/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil
until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)

Following photos below, use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion.

Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time.

Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

The bird’s are twittering the scone of spring… er, song of spring.

March 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Spring is officially here. I think that spring is probably my second favourite season. The coming of spring means the start of nice weather, which makes me smile.

This year, though, spring has come too soon. Well, not spring but my birthday. Yes, my birthday is near and I am dreading it. I really don’t want to add another number to my age.

I know that most people probably think that I am overreacting about my age but they just don’t understand. The fact that I don’t have a career by now is troubling to me, which probably has to do with the fact that I have a type A personality (my husband likes to say that I am type A plus plus personality).

If you happen to come across my grade one diary you would find it filled with entries about how well I did on tests and my dreams about going to university. What kind of ridiculous six-year-old writes about that stuff? Probably a child who is type A.

When I got to university I was determined to finish early so I could establish a career sooner. Not only would I take summer classes but I had an over-limit course load in which I needed to get the dean’s approval for (seven courses for one semester).

I would probably still be in school working on my second degree but my husband got this amazing job. While I am so grateful for the career opportunities that he gets, I can’t help but feel unaccomplished. I know, however, that one day I will be able to establish my own successful career.

For now, I am just trying to be the best stay-at-home mother/wife I can be. And, since spring always reminds me of scones (I have no idea why) I whipped up a batch.

These scones are a bit more moist than most scones I have tried albeit I have never had a homemade scone. While they are moist, I think they still maintain the integrity of what makes a scone a scone.

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Cranberry Oat Scones
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup rolled-oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blended (or two forks) cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in rolled oats and cranberries. Then, stir in the sour cream a little bit at a time. The dough will start to come together.

On a clean surface, flip out the dough. Knead together the dough so that it fully comes together.

Once all the dough has become one big piece, lightly flour the countertop. For dough into a ball and then roll out into a disc that is about 7 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.

Cut into eight equal pieces.

Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

In a small cup beat together the egg and milk. Using a pastry brush, brush the scones with the egg wash (two coats per scone).

Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until scones are brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a scone.

Serve warm or at room temperature with butter, jam, clotted cream or by itself.

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