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Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Apples and Yams

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I guess you could say that a few minor things have changed in my life since my last post. “Minor” being a massive understatement.

Quick recap:

A) dating -> engaged -> married

B) living in Vancouver, Canada -> living in Chicago, USA

C) employed as a high school teacher -> unemployed and not allowed to work

Which leaves me here, with copious amounts of time and not much to fill that time with. And so, the rebirth of this baking blog. But probably not just baking any more, perhaps, now that I am technically speaking a housewife (cue the shudder), other meal time recipes too. If only for the fact that my husband and I can’t survive on dessert alone…

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My first order of business upon arriving in America was to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with all of my American friends. Slash more like I needed to help educate the few Americans that I know that yes Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, no it doesn’t have anything to do with Indians, yes it is a month earlier in October, and yes we eat the same things that you do for Thanksgiving. Oh, and also: 15 reasons why Canadian Thanksgiving is better.

Like number 3 of the 15 reasons link says, yams are a staple on my family’s thanksgiving table. And so the yams were made in America and they were a hit. And then I missed home big time.

Remembering to be thankful can be a challenge these days, but I know that I’m blessed and am so thankful for old friends. family back home. new friends. new adventures. getting to celebrate thanksgiving more than once a year. my husband.

I’m also thankful for traditions old and new. So here’s to celebrating many more thanksgivings, no matter where or with whom they might be.

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Apples and Yams

– 3 large yams              – 1/4 cup brown sugar

– 1 tbsp cinnamon         – mini marshmallows

– 1 peeled apple            – butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and cut the yams into thick slices. Place the yams into a pot and heat until boiling. Boil for 20 minutes or until tender.

Peel and slice the apple.

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Cover the apple slices with the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.

Put a layer of yams in the bottom of a 9 x 12 pan. Cover with the slices of apple. Add a dot of butter to the top of each apple. Sprinkle some mini marshmallows on top of the apples and then cover with a final layer of yams. Put a few more marshmallows on top and again add dots of butter.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 – 45 minutes.

* Most Thanksgivings we will make this recipe and then refrigerate it until the following day when it is baked and eaten.

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Refrigerator Rolls

I’m currently sitting here stuffed to the brim with baked potato soup. Hearty, chunky, comfort food. Today was my day to bring in a big batch of soup for a group of staff at work. I’m not a soup person. I’m not even a savoury person. I’m a sweets person.

Sometimes you have to branch out a bit, carve out a new path, push the boundaries and thus I decided to join the school soup group. It would be fun I told myself. Instead of constantly searching blogs for all things sugary, I could dive into unknown territory. Of course I would still end up going to my favourite food blog for advice and Smitten Kitchen’s baked potato soup was my lucky winner.

Image from Smitten Kitchen

As it turns out, soup isn’t that difficult to make. Cut a few things here, toss them in there, let them do their own thing and consume. Sort of like baking, minus the bowl licking bonus. I meant to take a photo of the finished product, had planned on setting everything up when I had a bowl for dinner, that was before I realized that my co-workers had finished off the entire pot of soup. Just check out Smitten Kitchen. She’s my hero. For real.

The real reason why I loved this soup? Hands down the toppings. Who in their right mind could turn down bacon bits, grated cheese, green onions and sour cream? So perfect.

Of course I still had to some how fit some baking into this so I decided that refrigerator rolls would be the perfect accompaniment to the soup. Still hot from the oven, I loaded the buns and soup into my car and took off for school. Unlike the soup, I managed to get a few pictures of these before they were demolished. Sure the soup was good, but the real winner was the buns, which received compliment after compliment.

Double this recipe. Trust me. I ended up with 28 buns and that wasn’t even near enough.

Nothing could be more depressing than getting into your car, which smells like fresh from the oven buns, and driving home empty-handed and bun less.

 

 

 

Refrigerator Rolls

2 packages of instant dry yeast

2 eggs                    2 1/2 cups warm water

2 tbsp shortening    8 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar         1 tbsp salt

Dissolve the yeast and 2 tsps sugar in 1 cup of warm water.

Beat the eggs, add the yeast mixture and 1 1/2 cups water.

Gradually add half of the flour and all of the sugar and salt. Mix.

Add the melted shortening and mix again.

Knead in the remaining flour. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth.

Place the dough in a greased bowl. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and cover closely.

Keep in the fridge until needed. (I kept mine in there over night for convenience purposes)

Shape into rolls. Cover with a dish towel.

Let rise in a warm place (or on the counter) for an hour.

Bake for 12 minutes at 375F.

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Chili and Biscuits

The pictures I took disappeared to who knows where, so these are from Smitten Kitchen

Yes this blog is called “Time for Something Sweet”. Yes I have the hugest sweet tooth. Yes I love my chocolate, and ice cream, and muffins and other baked goods. Yes I realize that chili has nothing to do with baking. But I’m still going to justify it.

It snowed here on Saturday. It hardly ever snows in Vancouver, so why in the world was it snowing at the end of February!? Regardless of all this, the snow was a welcome addition to my evening spent making and eating chili with good company.

Cooking isn’t really my thing. I don’t eat spicy foods, so when recipes call for foreign items in my cupboard such as cumin, paprika and, heaven forbid, red pepper flakes, I abandon all thoughts of cooking. Thank goodness for friends who are there in times of need.

This chili was delicious. Not too spicy for me, filled with meat, beans, carrots, onions and my favorite vegetable of all, corn. Topping it all off we whipped up a batch of sour cream and cheddar cheese biscuits. To be honest, the biscuits weren’t the best that I’ve ever had. Unless I was making this chili I probably wouldn’t make the biscuits again. A little too dry and bland for my taste. But don’t get me wrong, with the chili, these biscuits were great.

Photo Credit Smitten Kitchen

Just picture it, warm cheddar biscuits fresh out of the oven, homemade chili and snow falling outside. I’m jealous of myself. The added bonus, leftovers that I devoured the next few nights…and of course the Bailey’s and hot chocolate that we used for Tim Tam slams. Now that’s a good Saturday night.

 

 

Beef Chili

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 large onions                                1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp minced garlic                    1 carrot thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef             1/8 cup chili powder
1/2 tbsp ground cumin                   1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp crumbled dry oregano      Dried red pepper flakes, to taste

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce          3/4 cup beef broth
1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar                 1 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn

In a large pot heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions in it for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and carrots and cook for one minute more.

Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and pepper flakes and cook for another minute.

Add the tomato sauce, broth and vinegar and simmer the chili, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the kidney beans, corn, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour              2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda                          1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits    1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese

1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Either cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub them in with your fingertips until well-combined.

Stir in the cheddar and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough.

Pat to 1/2-inch thickness on a well-floured counter and use a biscuit cutter (or glass) to cut six rounds. Bake on an ungreased sheet  for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden on top.

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