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Category Archives: Food Network Magazine Recipe

Pumpkin Loaf

Chef Karen: I was inspired by Chef Jonathan to make a Pumpkin Loaf.  I’m not a HUGE fan of pumpkin but every-so-often it’s a nice taste – especially for fall!  The loaf recipe that I used was so easy to make!  I even accidentally put in double the baking soda and it still turned out yummy!  I found the recipe from Anna Olsen on the Food Network website.  I made it exactly as written (except for the baking soda)…… I think I would add walnuts next time; that’s the only change I’d make.  It did take over an hour to bake so be prepared for that.  This loaf is VERY moist!  I was very surprised at how moist it was….. must be the pumpkin 🙂  I served this to a group of people and it got rave reviews – I didn’t see any of it in the garbage – which is a bonus! Try this recipe. I know you’ll enjoy it.

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Chef Jonathan: This is my absolute favourite recipe to make whenever even a hint of fall appears. This is my own recipe that I’ve adapted from one that I used in Culinary School for Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf. So, when a work function asked me to bake something, this my obvious choice. It consists of very simple methods: creaming butter and sugar, incorporating eggs, adding dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, ginger, cloves), and finally adding pumpkin puree, cranberries and vanilla along with a secret ingredient that I wont reveal to anyone (not even my mother…..) One thing I did change this time was using pure pumpkin and sweetening it with brown sugar and spices, I found this a bit better than using the pie filling, because you get it to the sweetness desired. This is always a hit at every gathering, try it out!

Pumkin-Cran-Loaf

 

Lemon Squares

Chef Karen: A few weeks ago, Chef Jonathan made these for an event. I was so impressed, I asked him if we could make it for our blog. He’s so agreeable! 🙂 because here it is! I found this so easy to make! I had only a short window of time to whip these up and I was very pleased at how easy they came together. In the recipe, Paula suggests to mix the butter and flour with your hands. I found I didn’t like this. I’d use a pastry cutter next time. My “arthritic feeling” hands didn’t work as well as a cutter would. I’d also add some lemon zest next time.

We two chefs hung out with each other on the weekend so we were able to have people compare our two recipes. (Pretty unfair, huh?) Everyone was very gracious in saying that they liked both of them but had preferences about each one. I actually preferred Chef Jonathan’s. Hopefully, I can become an excellent pastry chef like him, someday 🙂

Chef Jonathan: Before I made this recipe, I had never made lemon squares before (I know, gasp!), and much to my delight they turned out wonderfully. I love all of Paula Deen’s recipes, especially her desserts, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Since I had made this recipe before, I added a touch more lemon juice than previously, and Chef Karen and I mutually decided that adding lemon zest would be beneficial next time. I would also reduce the amount of crust in this recipe to almost half, as it seemed a bit thick. This is a great recipe for a quick summer lemon square, and I’ll definitely be making it again soon!

Chef Jonathan's are the two top ones. Chef Karen's are the two bottom ones.

Chef Jonathan’s are the two top ones. Chef Karen’s are the two bottom ones.

Here is the recipe. Thank-you, Paula Deen! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/lemon-bars-recipe/index.html

 

Hazelnut-Mocha Dacquoise

This week we have one recipe in one kitchen……. I made this delightful treat for Chef Jonathan’s birthday.  Let me start by saying it was worth the effort.  That said, it’s A LOT of effort to make this cake.  It takes several hours, as it clearly states, so be prepared. There are no cutting corners with this little project.  I’m glad it tasted so good after all of the time put into it.

Let me give you a few other hints……..

1. Make sure your meringue disks are flat – it will keep the ganache from sliding off.

2. It says to spread the whole thing with the whipped cream and let set for 6 hours or over night.  I think this is a mistake.  The whipped cream begins to separate and run.  This isn’t nice to look at or to eat.  I would spread the meringue disks with the ganache and then let them set in the fridge for the 6  hours and then spread the whipped  cream over the cake just before serving.

3. The FNM’s picture shows a tall cake. Mine wasn’t that tall. Just be prepared for that…..

4. As you cut it, it tends to slide……. just be prepared for that, too.

I loved the cake. I’d make it, again, with the few added changes.

Here is my picture:

ImageHere is the link to the recipe on the Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/hazelnut-mocha-dacquoise-recipe/index.html

 

Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner

We had the wonderful opportunity to share in the creating of our Thanksgiving Dinner together.  We’re posting our thoughts and pictures of what we created from the amuse bouche to dessert.  Our pictures aren’t professional as we were taking most of them as we were passing the plates around the table….. we were too hungry to be picky about pictures!  We hope you enjoy our pictures and comments. We are thankful for you, our readers and hope that you continue to gain excitement from our blogs.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup: This spicy soup was easy to make. It’s best taken as a shot (which we did compared to the picture on the website where they use mugs) as it has a bit of spice to it. You can find the recipe at: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/10/roasted-red-pepper-soup-shots

Peach Punch: I was tiring of my same-old punch so I tried something new.  I placed peach slices in simple syrup (1C water to 1C sugar) and froze it in a ring.  To serve, pour 1 container of peach juice and 1 bottle of a sparkling citrus soda together over the peach ring.  Quite refreshing on the palette as one eats turkey and stuffing. We went virgin on this recipe but here is the inspiration for it: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/10/philadelphia-fish-house-punch

Cranberry Sauce: No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without cranberry sauce.  The canned stuff just doesn’t do it for us so we make it from scratch.  It tastes much better, anyway.  The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Foodnetwork but an addition of orange marmalade was made part-way through cooking.  It was a good decision which will now be the “norm” when making this recipe. Here’s where to find the original: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/perfect-cranberry-sauce-recipe/index.html

Pumpkin Cheesecake: We saved awesome-ness for the end with Pumpkin Cheesecake.  It’s become a favourite at our house.  Here’s the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pumpkin-cheesecake-recipe/index.html 

 

We aren’t the only 2 chefs in the family.  We had help making: Green Bean Casserole, Garlic Potatoes, Praline Sweet Potatoes and Sausage Stuffing.  And of course, the main player… the Turkey. Here are the pictures to whet your palettes:

 

Pencil Cake

Karen: I am NOT an artist. I am not a cake decorator; no patience…… So this project was a bit of a stretch for me. Thankfully, the directions were easy to follow and it helped. I managed to do things a bit differently than written (which I find I do most weeks). I added more than the suggested amount of food colouring to both frostings. I also didn’t use a microwave to melt the chocolate; I prefer a double broiler. I did find the shaping of the cake to be a bit of a challenge but nothing I couldn’t handle. I forgo using the green stripes because I couldn’t find any and used licorice, instead. I think this is a fun project that could be accomplished by kids with the help of an adult. What a fun first week of school treat!

Chef Jonathan: I was very excited to try this pencil cake to celebrate the start of school this week, although it was a bit of a challenge. I found that my loaf cakes were smaller than the ones in the magazine, so I adjusted my measurements accordingly. I found it a bit difficult to bevel the edges of the pencil, but I just kept shaving it off until level. I found the method of microwaving the chocolate in a plastic bag a bit unsafe, so I decided to use a double boiler. The other obstacle was attaching the chocolate tip to end of the cake, and shaving off enough to make it look believable as a pencil. I used a rainbow sour belt, instead of green, and I actually like it better. All in all, a great project if you have several hours to devote to it, and I also recommend it for a children’s project!

This recipe was found in the September 2011 issue of The Foodnetwork Magazine.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/how-to-make-a-pencil-cake/pictures/index.html

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Week #27 – Mexican Fiesta!

Chef Jonathan: We wanted to try something new and fun this week for our blog, and what says fun more than a fiesta! I made the Chicken Mango Tacos, but due to the unripeness of the mangoes, I’ve renamed it, Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Tacos. Despite the mango situation, it was fairly easy as long as you remove all the seeds from the Jalapeño peppers. I also added cilantro, which added a nice garnish. I also made Bobby’s guacamole, which is a nice recipe, although I added lots of garlic, because that’s my preference. For the Virgin Margaritas, I ended up adding some lemon juice and sugar, because there wasn’t much taste. I also garnished with a lime quarter. I love all these recipes, and I will likely use them all again. Enjoy!



Karen: I LOVE tacos but we usually pile on the cheddar cheese and sour cream when we make them. I found some newer recipes quite refreshing. They’re taken from this month’s Food Network Magazine. I made the “Chicken and Vegetables” tacos and the “Chicken-Mango” tacos. I also assembled Bobby Flay’s guacamole recipe.

All of the recipes were very easy to make. I followed each recipe as directed. My only mistake was putting too much cayenne on the chicken for the “Chicken-Mango” recipe. It made me, my husband and one guest cough uncontrollably. Thankfully, the “dust” settled and we were able to enjoy the meal.

I placed the ingredients in separate bowls instead of putting together the tacos for everyone. My dinner guests had fun mixing the different ideas together and creating their own Mexican masterpieces.

I also served Virgin Margaritas. They were pretty good.

I highly recommend trying these recipes. Happy Cinqo De Mayo!

Chicken-Mango Taco: Mix 1 chopped mango, 2 tablespoons each minced red onion and scallion, 1 teaspoon each minced jalapeno and lime juice, and salt. Season 1 pound chicken cutlets with salt and cayenne; grill and slice. Serve in tortillas with the mango salsa.

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Chicken and Vegetable Taco: Saute 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1 teaspoon each minced garlic and jalapeno in oil. Add 1 1/2 cups each corn and chopped zucchini; cook until crisp-tender. Stir in 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, and cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste. Serve in tortillas.

Bobby Flay’s Guacamole:

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a molcajete and mix to a chunky consistency
. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and cilantro.

Virgin Margaritas: Ingredients:

1 Can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1/4 Cup orange juice

2 tbsp Kosher salt

1/2 Lime, cut into 4 wedges

4 Cups ice cubes

How to make Virgin Margarita:

Put the salt in a shallow dish and rub the rim of each margarita glass

Dip the rims into the salt and keep the lime wedges aside.a glasses with a lime wedge.

In a blender, blend the orange juice, limeade and ice cubes on high speed for about 1 to 2 minutes till well blended and the ice cubes are crushed.

Now pour into the glasses, garnish it with the lime wedges and serve.

Here is a taco that was created using all of the ingredients!
 

Week 21 – Red Velvet Layer Cake

Chef Jonathan’s Part:

So this week we decided to do a Valentine’s sweet treat (a little late, I know), commonly known as Red Velvet Cake. So, I did the traditional multi-layer cake with Cream Cheese-Buttercream Icing. I found this cake recipe very easy to follow, as long as you have proper knowledge of the creaming method. This recipe also calls for cake and pastry flour, which is usually only used for cakes. If you don’t have this, I recommend buying some, you’ll use it more than you think. The cream cheese icing was also very simple. But next time, I would cream the butter first, then the cream cheese. I found the butter took a long time to cream once I had the cream cheese in the bowl. The hard part comes when you have to fill the cake. Make sure that you’re adding a good amount of icing in between the layers, but ensure you have enough icing for the top and sides as well. The “crumb coating” of icing as they call it, is not worth your time, just frost it all at once. This is a great recipe for a dinner party, and it can also be made into cupcakes, bundt, or loaves. Enjoy!                                                                     

                                    

 

Chef Karen’s Part:  I don’t know where to start with this delicious cake!  I had so many faux pas that I just ended up laughing at myself.  This IS an easy recipe but I decided that I didn’t want to make the whole cake so I planned to make 1/2 of the recipe but turn them into cupcakes, instead..  Ever tried to divide a recipe that calls for 3 eggs?  First issue.  Second issue was that I didn’t check my pantry for red food colouring.  I used green which actually ended up making the cake look like dark guacamole.  Then, I forgot I was making 1/2 the recipe and creamed the full 12 tablespoons of butter.  Oops!  Mistake number 3.  I quickly pulled out 1/2 of it (how can you tell once it’s creamed?) and set it aside for the frosting.  Everything went well until I went to put the batter into the cupcake tins.  I grabbed a measuring cup that I thought was “clean” and started scooping out the batter; this was when I realized i had used that to measure the oil.  At this point I just laughed and hoped that they would turn out just fine…… which they did.

I ended up cutting them in 1/2 and putting frosting in between them.  They now acutally look like tall Whoopie Pies.  The taste is amazing!  I don’t know why I ever buy box cakes when making them from scratch is so much better!  This recipe is moist and crumbly and worth every step I have to take to walk off the calories!  Make them but try to be more professional in your baking, like Chef Jonathan, than I was!

This recipe is from the the Foodnetwork’s website:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/red-velvet-layer-cake-recipe/index.html