Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bon Ton Bakery Cinnamon Bread

Thank you guys for all your nice comments about our wedding video! :) I'll be sharing some photos from our wedding soon too.

But today I want to share this cinnamon bread. I've posted about cinnamon bread before, as well as pecan honey sticky buns. Actually it's surprising I haven't posted about cinnamon rolls and cinnamon breads more often considering that they're one of my favourite baked goods. (My other favourite is napoleons.) Maybe it's bizarre thinking but I avoid making these things because I know if I do it will be hard to resist eating the whole batch myself!

Anyway, I am here to share another cinnamon bread recipe with you. Because it's seriously amazing. I gave one loaf to E's parents, and then warned E against eating too much of the loaf I kept for us. It's probably the best cinnamon bread I've made so far, though I remember enjoying Martha Stewart's. This cinnamon bread is basically like a big cinnamon roll, with nice soft delicious dough.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Braided Lemon Bread
Pecan Fruit Rye Bread
Milk Chocolate Cherry Twist

Bon Ton Bakery Cinnamon Bread
Adapted from The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book

Makes 2 loaves

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
3 1/4 cups white bread flour (plus more if needed)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter

1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

In large bowl, dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in egg, vanilla and lemon juice.

In separate bowl, whisk together 3 1/4 cups of the flour, remaining sugar and salt. Using pastry cutter, cut in butter until in pea-size pieces. Usingw ooden spoon, stir into yeast mixture to form soft dough.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead, adding as much of the remaining flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans; set aside.

Punch down dough. Divide in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half out into 14x8 inch (35x20 cm) rectangle. Brush with 2 tbsp water, leaving 1 inch border along 1 short end.

Filling: In small bowl, whisk sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle half over each rectangle. Starting at short end without border, roll up jelly roll-style; pinch seams to seal. Fit, seam sides down, into prepared pans. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake in centre of 375F oven until deep brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottoms, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to racks; let cool.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our Wedding Video

We have our wedding photos now, yaey! But I thought first I would share our same day edit wedding video. (A same day edit video is a short video - ours is about 4.5 minutes - showing clips from the day. The video is shown on the wedding day after dinner so all the guests can see what you were up to all day and the getting ready in the morning stuff.) One guy spent the whole day just working on his laptop putting it all together as he got the footage from the videographers. We think they all did such an amazing job! So here it is. :)

The videographers are rf productions and I highly recommend them if you're looking for a videographer and live in Vancouver, BC! Well I know they also travel for weddings so if you really love them you could still book them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lemon-Herb Tofu

As I keep saying over and over and over again, Eat, Drink & Be Vegan is one of my favourite cookbooks right now. It's the one I always pull off the shelf when looking for meals for the week. Well I thought it was time I got another Dreena Burton cookbook so I got Vive le Vegan! and not surprisingly, I love it too! I found this lemon-herb tofu recipe in it and it's a new favourite.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Puttanesca Tofu
Cumin Lime Tofu
Salt & Pepper Tofu
Honey Mustard Marinated Tofu

Lemon-Herb Tofu
Adapted from Vive le Vegan!

4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp light sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp agave syrup
few pinches ground black pepper
1 pkg (350 g/12 oz) extra firm tofu, cut into squares about 1/4"-1/2" thick

Preheat oven to 375F. Combine all ingredients except tofu in a baking dish (9"x13" is good). Add the tofu and coat each side. Bake covered for 15 minutes. Turn the tofu over, and continue to bake uncovered for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour any extra marinade on top.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake

I loved the idea of this cauliflower and Parmesan cake when I saw it on Smitten Kitchen. Since then I've seen so many Ottolenghi recipes on blogs, many of which I want to try! I thought this savoury cake was good but not amazing. Fresh herbs may help to bring it to that next level (I used dried though the recipe calls for fresh). It's something different and fun to try though and I loved eating it with a big salad.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Savoury Vegetable Cheesecake
Butternut Squash Casserole
Tomato and Corn Pie
Tracy's Lentil Loaf

Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi

Serves 4 to 6

1 medium cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds, 23 to 24 ounces or 650 to 700grams)
1 large red onion, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
10 medium or 8 large eggs
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups (about 220 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper
Butter, for greasing pan
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) degrees. Break cauliflower into medium florets (this will cause less mess than chopping it). Place floret in a pot with a teaspoon of salt, cover them with water and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until quite soft. Strain and let drip in the colander for a few minutes so they dry and cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Halve your red onion and cut a few thin rings off the end of one side; set them aside. Coarsely chop the remainder of your onion. Heat all of your olive oil in a saucepan and saute the chopped red onion and rosemary together until soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Whisk eggs and olive oil and onion mixture together. Stir in basil. Whisk flour, baking powder, turmeric, cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (use 1 teaspoon if you are nervous about this amount) and many, many grinds of black pepper together in a separate bowl and add to egg mixture, whisking to remove lumps. Stir in cauliflower gently, so most pieces remain intact.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch (24cm) round springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the sides generously. Put the sesame seeds in the pan and toss them around so that they stick to the sides. Pour in the cauliflower batter, arrange the reserved onion rings on top and bake cake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Before you serve the cake, be sure to run a knife around the pan.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mediterranean Macaroni and Cheese

I love trying out different versions of macaroni and cheese so I was excited to hear about this Mediterranean version my classmate had made. It has tomatoes, olives, oregano and feta so how can you go wrong. And of course it was delicious.

The other night I went to a chocolate tasting at a local chocolate shop. I had a coupon for the tasting plus a box of 16 chocolates. In addition to the box of chocolates, I couldn't help but come home with a few unique bars! One of them is made in the shop - blue corn tortilla chips & lime. The other two are made by an Austrian company called zotter. One flavour is peanuts & ketchup, and the other is port wine, celeriac and truffles. How could I not try those?! And there are a ton of other interesting flavours I want to try. Apparently they have a bar with olives in it that's really good.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Audrey's Deluxe Mac & Cheese (with Crispy Pine-Nut Herb Crust
Asparagus and Pea Pasta with Ricotta and Tarragon
Spaghetti All'Arrabbiata with Crispy Garlic Crumbs
Asparagus and Feta Pasta

Mediterranean Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Everyday Food, April 2010

Serves 6

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I'd use more next time)
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
8 ounces feta, crumbled
Coarse salt and ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Set a large pot of salted water to boil and get out an 8 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, and oregano.

2. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than package instructions; drain pasta and return to pot. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens, 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in 4 ounces feta. Stir in tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture over pasta; stir to combine.

3. Pour pasta mixture into dish and top with 4 ounces feta. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese begins to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Three-Seed Biscuits

I love biscuits! And I love that these ones have lots of good things in them - whole wheat flour, sunflower seeds (which are one of my favourite things yet I don't eat them very often, must fix that), flaxseeds, wheat germ, sesame seeds. That's some exciting stuff. These are good fresh, but they're also really good heated up in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes, which seems to really bring out their flakiness.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Oatmeal & Wheat Germ Raspberry Scones
Blackberry Whole Wheat Scones
Cheddar and Black Pepper Scones
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

Three-Seed Biscuits
Adapted from Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection

Makes 12

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
Water, for brushing
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Whisk together all-purpose and whole wheat flours, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers to cut in butter until in coarse crumbs. Stir in milk to form soft slightly sticky dough.

With floured hands, turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead gently 10 times. Pat out to 7-inch (18 cm) square. Cut into quarters; cut each quarter into 3 strips. Place, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with water; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake in centre of 425F oven until golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool on pan on rack.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cocoa-Coconut Chili

I've been trying to update my blog everyday to get through the backlog of food I have to blog about, but I should realize that I won't really have time to update on weekends. I need to save the posts and space them out so as not to overwhelm people during the week! So my trip to Trader Joe's was a success of course. I wish I could say I came home with a virtuous bunch of food but I wasn't comfortable bringing back refrigerated or frozen stuff, since I didn't know how long it would take to cross the border. And they have so many different fun treats so I had to try some!

Mostly I bought junkfood and trail mix (which I guess the kinds I bought are kind of junkfood). I'm really looking forward to trying the garlic basil pasta and lemon pepper papparadelle! The box mac & cheese is for E as he loves trying different ones. The Blenheim California apricots are not good. I'm sticking with the Turkish ones from now on. I don't love dried apricots (or fruit) to begin with but want to start eating them more often for a small source of iron.

Onto the recipe! I've mentioned before that Eat, Drink & Be Vegan is one of my new favourite cookbooks right? It's an outstanding cookbook. I have so many new favourite dishes from it. One of them is this cocoa-coconut chili. I was super intrigued by it - cocoa + coconut in a chili?? Sounded weird but also so interesting. And it turned out really delicious. I'm not a big chili fan but really loved this.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Curried Split Pea Soup
Thai Coconut Corn Stew
White Bean & Roasted Garlic Soup
Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Cocoa-Coconut Chili
Adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

Makes 7-8 servings

1 tsp oil
2 cups onion, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, diced (I used about 8 ribs)
1/2 cup red or yellow bell peppers, diced
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
3 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 cans (796 mL) diced tomatoes
1 can (398 mL) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (398 mL) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (398 mL) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (398 mL) light coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup frozen corn kernels

In a large pot on medium heat, add oil, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and allspice and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally; reduce heat if onions or garlic starts to burn. When onions start to soften, add cocoa and stir for 1-2 minutes, then add tomatoes, beans, coconut milk, and coconut, and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn kernels, and cook another 5 minutes to heat through. Remove cover to let liquid reduce if desired.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not only did I foist another pumpkin recipe on you guys, but now I'm sharing another chocolate chip cookie recipe! I'm sure you all have your favourites, but I still wanted to show you this new favourite of mine. They're very soft and a bit chewy, and I need to make them again very very soon.

I'm going to the states tomorrow for the day and am very much looking forward to a visit to Trader Joe's!!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Dark and Dangerous Triple Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate Chunk Vanilla Muffins
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies & Toblerone Cookies

Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Sunset, November 2003

Makes about 28 cookies

1 cup (1/2 lb) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Drop dough in 2-tablespoon (1/8-cup) portions, 2 inches apart, onto buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

4. Bake in a 400F oven until cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet in the center (break one open to check), 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

5. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tracy’s Lentil Loaf

I've never tried making a lentil loaf, but I love lentils, especially red lentils, and I love vegetarian loaves like this so thought I must find a recipe and try it out! Plus vegetarian loaves are so much easier to make than burgers, which tend to fall apart. I liked this loaf and would make it again, but also want to try out some other versions to see what else is out there. (Please share if you have a favourite!) This lentil loaf was super easy to make and very versatile. I love how there are so many options for each thing, like you can use oats, rice, millet or bulgur. And for the sauce - barbecue sauce, tomato sauce or salsa.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Mushroom Pecan Burger
Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad
Greek Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, Rosemary and Feta Cheese
Sweet Potato Badi

Tracy’s Lentil Loaf
Adapted from Whipped

Makes 4-6 servings

3/4 cup dry red split lentils, cooked
1 cup oats (or leftover rice, millet or bulgur)
1 cup grated organic cheddar cheese
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (tomato sauce or salsa)
2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (parsley, scallions, chives or mix)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano

(The options I chose: oats, tomato sauce, 1/2 cup green onions + 1/3 cup parsley)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour mixture into oiled loaf pan or casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tomato Rosemary Scones

I love savoury baked goods so it's no surprise that I really liked these tomato rosemary scones. And I was really happy to see a vegan savoury scone - whenever I think of savoury scones, they always include cheese. One of the coolest things about them is that you use a 14 oz can of tomato sauce as part of the liquid component! Fresh rosemary would be better as the dried rosemary can be a little too twiggy and hard, but I used dried as it's easier. I also used all whole wheat flour, and while I really liked the scones, next time I'd try using maybe half all purpose flour just to give them some lightness.

I'm looking forward to seeing our wedding photos tonight!! (From the official photographer.)

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Cheddar and Black Pepper Scones
Apple Cheddar Scones
Sun Dried Tomato, Feta and Oregano Muffins
Caramelized Onion, Sage and Cheddar Muffins

Tomato Rosemary Scones
Adapted from Vegan Brunch

3 cups whole wheat flour (or a combination of all purpose and whole wheat)
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
14 oz can tomato sauce (1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper.

In another bowl, whisk the oil, tomato sauce, vinegar and rosemary together.

Make a well in the center of the flour and add the wet ingredients. Gently mix, using a wooden spoon. Once the batter is loosely holding together, lightly flour a clean work surface and turn your dough onto it. Gently knead until a soft dough forms; it's important not to overmix or it will become gummy. (You should see some patches of flour.) If the dough seems sticky, add a little flour as you knead so it's easier to work with.

Divide dough in two and form each section into a 6 inch disk. Slice each disk into six pieces. Place scones on a baking sheet and bake for 14 to 16 minutes; the tops should be firm. Remove the scones from the oven and move to cooling rack.

(My dough was really sticky, and honestly if this happens to you, I would just make these drop scone style and save yourself the hassle of trying to add more flour and pat them out, cut them and move them to the baking sheet.)