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Sunday, October 30, 2011

[Halloween cookies] Witch's fingers


Cookie is an easiest thing you can bake when you are just beginner to the baking.
 

And also, it's the easiest treats with which you can please crowds.
 




 

I made these cookies for work last week. Everybody (I guess) liked it.
I'm going to bake these tonight for the "Spookiest dessert contest" at Mr.D's work.


I made some eyeballs too. :)
I'll post eyeball recipes soon.
You can apply this recipe for many other occasions.
It's just about how you shape cookies.


The recipe I used is adapted from a very popular recipe at Allrecipes website,
but I omitted the almond extract, on purpose, because Pablo is allergic to Peanuts and all the tree nuts.
Pablo ate witch's fingers without witch's finger nails. :)




These cookies are really yummy.
If you have some tolerence for gross or spooky things, I'm sure you will like them too.
Mr. D refused to eat one at first sight,
But he ate one grudgingly, only after I told him he was a real coward.





I guess I should have posted this a couple of days earlier,
well, but I was buy baking. And I am still baking now.
But I think I should post it now, "better late than never" is my mantra :)


Here goes the recipe:





Ingredients

 1 cup butter, softened
 1 cup confectioners' sugar
 1 egg
 1 teaspoon almond extract
(I skipped almont extract. It was still delicious)
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1 teaspoon salt
 3/4 cup whole almonds
 1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel



How to make:





1. Combine the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.





Beat together with a hand mixer or a standmixer.





2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
This makes the dry ingredient mix.


3. Gradually add dry ingredients mix to the wet batter 
while the mixer is continually running.








Refrigerate about 30 minutes to make the dough manageable.


4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).


5. Remove dough from refrigerator in small amount at a time.




6. Scoop about 2 heaping teaspoons at a time
and roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie.




7. Press one almond into one end of each cookie to make a long fingernail.
Squeeze in centre to create knuckle shape;





using a sharp knife, make slashes in several places to form knuckle.





Place on lightly greased baking sheets
or parchment papered baking sheets





8. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until pale golden.





Let cool for a few minutes.





9. Lift up almond; squeeze a small amourent of red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back into place, so that gel oozes out from underneath.





It's Halloween eve~
Remi and Pablo will be a batman and a dragon, just like last year.
I was so happy when both of them said they would like to be the same characters as last year.
How can they be so good!


I'll wear a witch hat with black attire.
It would be a bit warm, but it's okay just for one day a year :)


I wish you a happy Halloween!!!


Witch's Finger cookies

Saturday, October 29, 2011

[Fish and rice] Baked fish and rice with cauliflower

I love fish as I said before.
Fish is one of the food I can eat 7 days in a row.


Mr. D likes fish, not as much as I do, though.
His favorite is raw fish, i.e. sashimi,
but it's really hard to find a fish of good quality to eat raw in inland like Ottawa.


Remi and Pablo don't even imagine, yet, a human being eating raw fish.
Well, let's see how these fellows develop their palates~ :)




But untile then,
mostly, we eat cooked fish at home.




Well, I made up this recipe to feed more fish to the kids.
With this recipe you can hide fish among other stuff. 
Remi and Pablo don't even notice it unless I tell them.



And it tastes really good and healthy :)
Does it sound weird? But it is true.
You can make it more cheesy if you want.
But I prefer putting only a thin layer of grated cheese so that I can taste the flavour of white flesh fish.


If you are the only one in your household  like fish,
you should try this recipe. All your family will love this.


And another bonus is that it's very easy to make.


Here goes the recipe:





Ingredients



1+1/2 cups chicken broth, very hot
1 cup uncooked long grain rice, preferably basmati
1/2 + 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 bunch broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 - 1 bunch cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound fresh or frozen white flesh fish fillets, thawed if frozen
2/3 cup mozzarella, grated if not done yet
olive oil





How to make:


I grated cheese first.
I seldom buy a shredded cheese.
I buy block cheese when they go on sale.


1. Season fish generously with salt and pepper.


Cut fish into about 3-inch-sizes.



2. Cook cauliflower & broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes 


Drain the vegetables,



before you cut them into a kids-bite sizes.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.


2. In a heated skillet, saute onion with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.


3. Add rinsed rice and coat rice well with sauteed onion.


4. In a 11" * 8" or bigger size baking pan, pour the ingredients from the skillet and add chicken broth.
Then, mix well with oregano, 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and onion powder.


Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil and cook it in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes.


Uncover and stir in broccoli and cauliflower.


There still is chicken broth, not fully absorbed yet.


Place fish fillets on top and cover the baking dish again with foil
Bake for another 25-30 minutes.


Take out the baking dish out of oven,
and switch to the "broil" mode.


and flake fish fillets with fork.


Season with unused 1/2 teaspoon Cajun powder.


Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese,
and put the baking dish back to the oven under broil for 2-3 minutes, only until the cheese is melted well.


3 minutes under the broil will tan your fish & rice with cheese like this :)
This doesn't look like it is hiding(?) 1 pound of fish fillets


It's pretty easy, isn't it?

It takes less than an hour to prepare and all your family members will like it.
If there is some leftover, this is also an excellent lunch box item.

I bring a leftover for lunch.


I just took so detailed photos.
As you see, it's very easy to make.

Enjoy~

Bon App├ętit!


Baked fish and rice with Cauliflower

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[Millers farm] Visit to Pumpkin patch in Manotick, Ontario



We go to a pumpkin patch every year.





It was a bit late this year, but we went to Millers Farm last Sunday.





Millers farm is famous not only for pumpkins in October,
but, also for Halloween ornaments.





It might be easy for some people to pick a pumpkin,
but not to me nor to Mr. D.





Every year, Mr. D. carves a pumpkin with a different design.
So he needs a specific shape of pumpkin.





So it becomes even harder to pick one (or two) pumpkins out of hundreds of them.


This little pie pumpkin hut was so cute.





It would be nice to have such a little shed in my backyard.





But, how am I supposed to fill the shelves with so many pie pumpkins?





Pablo picked a nice cute pie pumpkin.





From inside out shot.





Happy Pablo with his cute pumpkin.



We didn't buy this one.
But, it was the favorite of Pablo.


He tried to hold the biggest one, but it was as heavy as Pablo.
It was not ergonomic shape either.


Remi was successful, almost... I should say.


We bought some Indian corns too.


These don't look like reindeer for Halloween, do they?


These ones either. Are they Halloween snowmen or what?
But, they were really well made.
I should have bought one.. as they looked unique~


Bales of straw~

As Pablo's skating lesson was right in 30 minutes,
we couldn't but skip the bales of straw.


Pumpkin Remi~

 


I don't know why I took a photo like this.
But, believe me, my focus was on Remi choosing a pie pumpkin, not pie pumpkins!!



Gourds choosing Pablo



This mister looks super serious, doesn't he?
But, actually he is not too careful. :(



 Remi was pickier.
He always is though. In that sense, this older mister is very consistent.


This gourd Pablo was holding was somewhat ugly, but still very fall like.
I just had to buy it.


Delicata squash or winter squash

We bought a very pretty acorn-shape sweet dumpling squash,
but, there is any picture of it in this folder. :(


 Boys on pumpkins



As we usually take only snap shots,
they are not used to pose in photos.


Boys sticking out tongues :(

 


These guys really don't care much about photo shots as you see.




 Then, we checked out before we went to see the gift shop.


This is my favorite one.
A pumpkin turkey~
or Should I call it a turkey pumpkin?



This is a great idea.
I may put some "violet" lipstick at Halloween.
I have to buy one first.




Pumpkin instruments 


Already spooky well before Halloween.


Rock star pumpkins?



Well, these ones are not scary at all.


That was our little drive to Millers Pumpkin farm in Manotick.


 Mr. D washed all the gourds and pumpkins to make them look shiny.
So they are clean and shiny in our living room~ :)


It's almost Thursday.
Yay. I love Thursday.
Lots of people don't understand me.


But, Thursday is the best day of the week.
It's not yet weekend, but it's so close that you smell the weekend on Thursday.
Friday is nice too, but it seems (and really does) the weekend already starts to click off.
That is why I give more credits to Thursday than to Friday :)


So, I wish you a happy Thursday!
I have lots of files to close tomorrow at work.
But, it will be fine.


Happy Thursday! :)

 - Colleen