Friday, January 31, 2020

Valentine Cutie Pies


Little pies,  filled with jam,

Grandkids and children will love these handheld pies.

I used basic shortbread cookie recipe and filled 

them with my homemade raspberry jam.



I had seen a similar recipe of these made 
with piecrust, but I though they would taste
 so much better made with shortbread dough.




No kidding, they melt in your mouth good.



















Ingredients

Basic shortbread dough.

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Jam for filling.


Directions for making the dough

In a bowl whisk the flour with the salt, set aside.

With an electric beater or hand beater, beat the butter
until smooth (about 1 minute).

Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes)
Beat in the vanilla extract.

Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.

Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.

I used 1/2 of my dough for these Cutie Pies and the other half I used for Valentine Sweet-Hearts, in a blog post to come. 


Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick.

Cut out the cookies with a round cookie cutter. 
Divide the cut~out cookies into 2
 and cut the top ones with a small heart cookie cutter.






Knead the leftover scraps of dough into a ball and roll out again.
Spread some jam on each of the cookie bottoms. (I use raspberry)




Set a cutout cookie on top of the bottom.
Press around the edges with a fork to seal them.




Place the unbaked cookies on a baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baking. Bake at 350deg.F for about 15-20 minutes or until cookie edges are lightly browned.







I sprinkled some with powdered sugar/icing sugar.
I placed the small heart cookie cutter, 
covered with saran wrap,  over the jam area
as not to get any powdered sugar on it.



Fun to make and oh so good....

To view my blog on,  Valentine Sweet~Hearts,
(shortbread cookies, filled with strawberry, 
raspberry, apricot and 
wild blueberry jam,) click here.






Thanks for your visit xo

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Asian Instant Noodles






These instant noodles are economical and
 fast to prepare and extremely delicious.
Serve as a side dish or add protein such as beef,
 fish or pork and it makes a great meal.

I use the instant ramen noodles and throw 
away the packet of spices that come with them.
I make a sauce that I adapted from
recipetineat.com






Ingredients:

2 packets ramen or other instant noodles
green onions - save green ends for later.
227g mushrooms, sliced
or can mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stocks, chopped
(Optional) 1/2 green pepper, chopped
6 green onion, reserve the
 green ends for later.
2 cups water, or a broth.



The Sauce
1 tbsp Dark Soy sauce
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
2 tsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine.
Mix sauce together













After rinsing, I cut off the hard end of the mushrooms and slice them with an egg slicer.





Directions:

In a large skillet with 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil, fry the vegetables.
garlic cloves, green pepper, celery, onions, and mushrooms.





Empty sauce in 2 cups of water or stock. I used Mushroom Broth.




Add the sauce and broth to the cooked vegetables in the skillet.
Push aside the vegetables and add the noodles in the middle.
Cook for approx. 1 minute.




Turn them over and cook on the other side for another minute.



Mix the noodles and vegetables together.
Add the green onion ends and cook  for a few minutes.





I had some left over pork and beef and added to the skillet.

So so delicious. I love this dish. 






Thanks for your visit xo


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Monday, January 27, 2020

Classic Dark Fruitcake






Dark, moist and rich with dried and
 candied fruits, nuts, spices and molasses
 makes this cake my favourite fruitcake. 






Fruitcake has been a tradition
 in my family for many yrs. 
My Mom made it each year and
 mailed us a cake when we moved away,
if we couldn't get home for Christmas.
My Mom is no longer with us
 so I decided to make it this year.











Unfortunately, I don't have my Mom's recipe.
I adapted this recipes from a 
Newfoundland blog, rockrecipes.com
I altered the fruit to my likes.
This is a large recipe and I prepare all
the ingredients beforehand.


Ingredients:
1 cups chopped dates
1 cups chopped dried prunes
1 1/2 cups dark raisins.
1 1/4 golden raisins.
1 1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup chopped apricots.


3/4 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup coffee liqueur or... 
1/2 cup strong black coffee.
Zest and juice of 2 oranges.


1 cup chopped green and 
red glaced cherries - 1/2 cup of each.
1/2 cup candied citrus peel
1/2 glace mixed fruit
1 cup toasted pecans chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts.

2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp powdered ginger
(I leave ginger out because of allergies)
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
3 tbsp. cocoa 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda.


I prepare and assemble my ingredients together.
The dates, prunes, raisins, currents, and apricots, 






Butter, molasses and brown sugar


Red and green cherries, citrus peel, and the  mixed fruit, 




The flour, the ground almond, cocoa, baking powder,
 baking soda also the nuts all in the same bowl.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 deg.F
Prepare your pans.

I used two 9x5 loaf pans and 1 small pan
I greased them and lined with 
waxed paper (or parchment paper)






In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat
 and add the raisins, dates, prunes,
 currants, brown sugar, molasses, 
 spices, coffee liqueur  (or coffee) and 
the orange zest and juice.


Bring to a gentle boil and  
simmer for 10 minutes.






Remove from heat and allow to
 cool for 30-45 minutes.


When cooled, stir in the beaten eggs.

Add in the flour, ground almonds, 
cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, chopped pecan 
and walnuts, and add all 
to the cooled mixture above.





Add the cherries, citrus peel, and the mixed fruit 





Pour in the pans and decorate the top with
 pecan halves, (or sliced almonds) and cherries.



Bake 300 degF.  for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. 
depending on the size of your pan.
Do the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick in
 the middle of the cake and if it
 comes out clean, your cake is done. 



Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack before removing.
















Add booze, helps preserve the cake.
Poke small holes with a toothpick
 into the cooled cake,  and pour 2 - 3 tbsps of brandy, 
dark rum or whiskey in the holes.
Wrap in cheesecloth and foil.
This will preserve the cake for several months.

Apricot Brandy
Wrap in Cheesecloth


The cake can also be served with a 
glaze of equal parts of water and 
sugar boiled together for approx. 10-15 minutes.





Enjoy!






My light fruitcake contains only fruit and no spices.
Light, moist and packed with fruit.
To view, click here. 



It was a rewarding experience
 making these fruitcakes for the first time.
I understand my Mom's "labour of love"
and I'm grateful that she made this a family tradition. 

Many thanks to the 
Sherbrooke Record Newspaper.
for featuring this post.





Thanks for your visit xo


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