Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm such a fan of Katie's Good Things Catered blog and I was so excited to try these recipes when I saw them on her blog... I just love mushrooms and poppyseeds yum!! (just not together of course...hehehe...) The tart has now become one of my hubby's favorite side dishes. The poppy seed loaf was very moist and although everyone loved it, I think I would use a little less butter next time and make them into the mini loaves as directed in the recipe.

Wild Mushroom, Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Herb Tart


1/2 recipe pie dough
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
8 oz. wild mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 strips cooked bacon
1 garlic clove
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp herbs de Provence
3 oz. Camembert, diced small
1 Tbsp beaten egg


-In medium saucepan, over medium low heat, add butter to melt.
-When pan is heated and butter is melted, add onions and stir to combine.
-Cook onions down, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. -Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment.
-Add mushrooms to onions and cook until browned but not burned, an additional 10 minutes.
-Add balsamic vinegar and stir to combine well.
-Add bacon, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
-Remove from heat and set aside.
-Roll out dough to a rough 12" round.
-Place onion mixture in center of dough and spread out evenly, about 1.5" from the edges.
-Scatter Camembert around edges of onion mixture and fold dough edges into tart, pleating for presentation and leaving the center open.
-Brush edges of dough with beaten egg and place in oven to bake.
-Bake tart until edges are golden brown and tart is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
-Remove from oven and let cool to just warm before cutting and serving.

Lemon Poppy Seed Mini Loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
2 c. granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temp
2 c. buttermilk, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 2 large lemons
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare mini loaf pans (or 1 large loaf pan)
-In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, poppy seeds and whisk to combine; set aside.
-In medium bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, and whisk to combine; set aside.
-In bowl of stand mixer, add butter, shortening, and sugar and beat on high until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
-Reduce speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly before adding the next.
-Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three parts alternating with milk mixture, starting and ending with flour and mixing until incorporated.-Scrape batter into pans and spread evenly.
-Place in oven and bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, about 30 minutes (or 45-55 for a large loaf).
- Makes about 8 mini loaves


Turkey and maple syrup...what a combination!

I know there are so many recipes out there for turkey but being a stickler for sticking to something that is tried and true, I've always had a hard time deviating from the recipe that I've always used. Although I was so glad to come across this recipe in an email I had received. I had never tried basting a turkey with maple syrup but being Canadian, I knew I had to try it... This recipe was a hit at our family gathering and perhaps our new family favorite...

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Smoked Bacon and Stuffing

Cook Time: 4 hr 30 min

4 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ chourico, diced
3 packages of stuffing (2 packages of seasoning)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 (12 to 14 pound) PC Real Butter basted turkey
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup hot water
8 strips smoked bacon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 lemon, juiced

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and remove the top rack.

In a saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons butter, add the onions and chourico, cook and stir for 15 minutes until soft and golden. Remove from heat. Put the cornbread in a large mixing bowl and scrape the sauteed onion mixture on top. Add the packages of seasoning, egg, heavy cream, and just enough chicken stock to moisten the stuffing without making it soggy (about 1/2 cup.) Toss well to combine.

Remove the neck and gizzards from the inside of the turkey and discard. Rinse the with cold water, pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Fill the bird with the stuffing without packing too tightly; cook the remaining stuffing separately in a buttered baking dish. Truss the turkey; place it on a rack in a large roasting pan with remaining chicken stock and wine, and put into the oven.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and hot water to thin the glaze out a bit; use this to baste the turkey every 30 minutes (starting at the 1 hour mark). The turkey should take about 4 ½ hours to cook. If the legs or breast brown too quickly, cover with foil.

About 2 hours into cooking, shingle the strips of bacon oven the turkey breast to cover; continue to roast and baste. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F (the thigh juices will also run clear when pricked with a knife.) Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving, so the juices can settle back into the meat.

Skim off the excess fat from the pan drippings with a spoon and place the roasting pan over 2 burners set on medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Whisk the flour into the drippings, stirring as it thickens to prevent lumps. Add the remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper and hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain to remove any particles.


Note: Please be careful as the turkey may look ready visually because of all of the sugar in the baste the skin darkens very quickly but that is not a direct reflection on whether the turkey is cooked on the inside. In this case, a thermometer reading is imperative!

Nutella Frosted Brownies

This brownies were quite the hit at my husband's birthday party. I don't remember where I found this recipe but we're lovers of Nutella so I knew I had to try it... The only change I made to the recipe was instead of swirling the Nutella with a toothpick, I placed batter into the muffin tin, added the spoonful of Nutella as is and then added more muffin batter on top... It was quite the chocolate-y suprise when you bit into the cupcake...

Nutella Frosted Cupcakes


10 tbsp (140 grams) butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups (200 grams) sifted ap flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder Nutella, approx. 1/3 cup


Preheat oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

Cream together butter and sugar until light, 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Don't worry if the batter doesn't look smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be 3/4 full, if you're not using a scoop. Top each cake with 1 1/2 tsp Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the nutella.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12


I'm Back...

Okay I'm back and this time its for good...After a long hiatus, ending work, starting maternity leave, having a little baby, our new house being delayed again, family challenges along the way, its time to start getting this blog back up and running!

But we're going to do things a little differently this time around, I will promise the following:

1. To bake a recipe once a week
2. To make a filipino dish once a week
3. To make a portuguese dish once a week
4. To incorporate my latest hobby of photography by including a favorite pic in the blog, and
5. I'll include tips that I've found very helpful or touch on any recent projects that I'm working on and what my progress is with them...

and so this list will guide me along the way over the next couple of weeks and I'll revisit it later on and see if its working or not :)

In the meantime, let's get this party started...

Helena :)