Food Adventures – Pigs in a Blanket

This name gives my stomach a hard time – it makes me shudder and want to cry and become hungry all at the same time.

I wonder if there is a vegetarian version….

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But it wouldn’t taste the same, no doubt.

I had no idea how to make this recipe before today, but I was craving it continuously, so I got sausages from the store and opened up five tabs with different recipes for “crescent hot dogs”. Some of them requried puff pastry, which I did not have, and all of them were different, so I ended up combining elements from several to make this recipe. The results are rather magnificent.

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The dough

  • 2 1/4 cups flour (I am off gluten, so I used quinoa flour – this worked fine)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3-4 tbsp oil (melted butter should work too)

The sauce/dip

  • 3/4 cup mustard
  • 1 heaped tsp of honey

Other

  • mini sausages, cooked (I bought two packs of six long ones, which I each cut into half. I had 6 halves left over in the end)
  • sesame seeds (or other seeds, to your liking)
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water, for glaze

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Briefly beat the milk, oil, and egg together in a separate bowl, then mix into the flour mixture. Combine until the dough sticks together, then turn over onto a floured surface, and mould until it forms one ball.

Notes: don’t be afraid to work the dough! Unlike delicate puff or pastry dough, this scone-type dough can be worked as much as it needs to be without fear or ruining it. You may need to add extra milk or flour if it is too floury or too sticky.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle. Turn it so that the long side is horizontal to your vision, and cut the dough vertically into three segments. Cut each of those columns into three pieces horizontally, so you have nine sort-of rectangles (squares would work fine too, so the shape isn’t that important!) Cut each of the squares diagonally so you have 18 triangles.

At this point, I would start preheating the oven. Most of the recipes said 400 degrees F, but I think it may have worked a little better if the temperature was a little lower (around 350-375 degrees) and the rolls baked a little longer. The edges started looking almost burnt quite soon, so maybe baking for longer would have let it brown more evenly. (All of the dough was still well baked, though!)

Now it’s time to put the sauce on! Spread it only on one side of the triangle – you need one of the vertexes to be clean so that the dough can stick to itself when you wrap up the sausage. After you smeared some sauce on the dough, put a sausage along one of the sides of the triangle, and wrap it up, pressing the vertex into the dough once it’s wrapped, so it doesn’t unroll in the oven. Once all the sausages are wrapped, put them on a baking tray laid with parchment paper, beat the egg with 1 tbsp of water for the glaze, and brush on the tops of the rolls. Sprinkle some sesame seeds (or ones to your taste) overtop, and into the oven they go for 12-15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown on the edges!

I found the dough a little dry in the end, so perhaps the remaining sauce could be used as a dip for extra moisture and flavour  Or perhaps I missed something with the dough – if any readers have ideas for improvement, please leave a comment! 🙂

A colorful dinner (and dessert)

Last night, I had a creativity spazz while thinking about what to make for dinner – I decided to make the fanned ratatouille dish from the movie Ratatouille!

I imagined it would be a complicated recipe, but there was practically nothing so simple and so colorful as this vibrant vegetable dish.

  

I used the recipe from smitten kitchen but adjusted it a little because I forgot to buy the yellow squash so I used cucumber instead, and I served it with quinoa as we didn’t have any couscous.

I ended up with a little much vegetable slices, so I really crammed them in there xD I had a bit of trouble with the huge pepper being much bigger than the slices but that just adds more texture and uniqueness to the dish – it’s a work of art.

One thing I do suggest is being not too generous with the spices – they taste good with the tomato sauce, but if you add too much onto the vegetables then the whole dish tastes too spicy and you can’t distinguish the softened vegetable flavours that well anymore. Also, next time I would use more tomato sauce – instead of just one cup, then the whole +/- 350ml can of tomato puree for example. I just loved the way the veggies tasted with it and with so many veggies in the ratatouille I made, the ratio just didn’t taste balanced enough.

The second recipe (dessert!) is one of my own creations. I’ve perfected the perfect plain muffin recipe already, so I wanted to try adding more flavours to it. So tonight, I made blue berry muffins!

I didn’t really plan the dinner to be such a colorful mix – it just so happens the blue is one of the only colors missing from the ratatouille xD. It looked well on the table. Too bad we were so hungry I forgot to take a picture of it xP

  

With the normal muffin recipe I usually end up with eight muffins. Since I added a bunch of berries and extra ingredients to this one, I ended up with almost a full batch. Maybe with one more beaten egg yolk in the batter, it would be just right for a full dozen.

They didn’t puff up as much as the plain ones do, but that’s probably just because the berries weigh the dough down some. (Again an extra egg yolk may fix this, or a bit more of baking powder).

Anyways, these tasted delicious 🙂

– 2 cups flour

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1 flat tsp baking soda

– 1 (more generous) tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp lemon rind

– 1 (or 2) eggs, separated

– 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending how sweet you like your muffins)

– 1 cup milk (I always use goat)

– 1/4 cup oil (I used omega-3 oil)

– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

– juice from 1/2 lemon

– 1 cup frozen wild berries (or to your taste)

– broken bits of half an 85% Lindt chocolate bar

Mix the dry (first five) ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat the egg white(s) until stiff peaks begin to form, then beat in the sugar one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is creamy and stiff-ish. Beat in the egg yolks and then mix in the milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice and oil. Add the dry mix to this wet mix and combine until smooth. Run warm water over the berries to melt the ice, let drain, and add into the mixture. Add the  chocolate bits and spoon the batter into prepared paper muffin cups until they are full.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. (I start preheating the oven once the egg whites are beaten so it heats up just in time and saves electricity.)

Some people may not like the dark chocolate, but I find it taste exquisite with the berries and lemon juice, adding a balance of sweet, bitter, and sour flavors for the ultimate taste experience, and something like a piece of art for the eyes as well ;D

Spanish weird pizza and matching appetizer

😀 I have no idea if this recipe actually exists somewhere outside of my dreams. I just know that I had pizza in Spain where they put eggplant slices on it and drizzled it with honey – and it was the best darn pizza I have ever eaten in MY LIFE. And apparently only that restaurant is risque enough to make such an awesome pizza :S And me. Because I made it for dinner a few days ago 😀

It doesn’t really taste like pizza…. this is a recipe that either you love it, or you hate it. It’s kinda hard to be neutral. It has such a distinct taste :O

You also have to like stinky/smelly/mouldy (and it’s supposed to be like that!?!?!) cheese. At least for the appetizers xD For the pizza just a good ratio is important so one flavor doesn’t overthrow the others.

Even if you don’t like eggplant or some other ingredient, don’t let that scare you away from trying this delicacy. There are people that hate an ingredient by itself but when it’s combined with something else it turns into heaven in their mouths.

Without further due, voilà the recipe 😀

Spanish eggplant and honey pizza

Crust:

– 1 tsp active dry yeast

– 1 tsp sugar

– 2/3 cups warm water

– 1 1/2 cups flour

– 1 tbsp olive oil

Toppings:

– 1 eggplant

– 1 small onion

– 1 garlic clove

– liquidy honey

– mini tomatoes

– gorgonzola cheese

– shredded pecorino/parmesan cheese

Mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a pot. Stir vigorously until the yeast is dissolved, or almost dissolved in the water. Put it on an element and heat it to the minimum; make sure it’s not so hot that you can’t keep your finger at the bottom of the pan without getting burned. When the yeast is dissolved, set aside and cover until little bubbles start forming in the mixture. Put the flour in a medium bowl and make a well in it. Pour the yeast and olive oil into it and mix with a spoon until it’s mostly incorporated. Knead with hands until it’s smooth and elastic. Leave in the bowl and cover with a cloth dampened with a bit of warm water until it nearly doubles in size. When the dough is ready, roll it out and place on pans (it makes two pizzas) and start preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut up eggplant into round slices, plum tomatoes into halves, onion into small pieces and mince the garlic. You can try shredding the gorgonzola cheese but if it’s too sticky and bendy you can just cut it up with a knife or crumble it up with your fingers.

Once the dough has risen a bit on the pan, drizzle it with honey and gently spread with a knife. On top place the small bits of gorgonzola and stick in the oven until it’s melted. It should form a thin-ish layer all over the dough. If there’s not enough, add more (if you really like this cheese you can make a thick layer too.) Place the eggplant slices on the dough. On top, sprinkle a bit of the shredded italian cheese and scatter the tomatoes, onion and garlic overtop. Sprinkle on the rest of the shredded cheese. Put in the oven to bake for about half an hour or until the dough is golden brown and the onion is cooked to your liking (I baked it for half an hour and the onion was see-through, and brown at a few tips.)

The appetizer can be prepared while the pizza is baking and then put in the oven to quickly bake the mushrooms and melt the cheese after the pizza is taken out.

     

Mushroom gorgonzola caps

– a paper bag of medium mushrooms

– honey

– gorgonzola cheese (enough to fill the caps)

– 1 country bread baguette or ciabatta loaf

– 1 or 2 garlic cloves, chopped in half

Clean the mushrooms and carefully remove the stalks, so you have a little cup made of the top. Rub honey on the inside of the cap and place a chunk of gorgonzola cheese inside. Do this for all the caps and place on a pan or bakeable plate with the stalks. Bake until the mushrooms are baked or softened and the cheese has melted. While they are baking, cut the baguette/ciabatta loaf into slices and toast with a bit of oil in a pan. Once done, rub the cut side of a garlic clove onto the toasted side. Arrange on a plate with the mushroom in the centre and the bread slices around, or on two separate plates.

-> meant to be eaten as a mushroom placed on a slice of the baguette or bread

It makes a nice, artisan-looking, stinky (cause of the cheese –  it doesn’t actually smell bad :P) homemade meal 😀

A wonderful introduction

I finally did it!!!

I started a blog 🙂 A place where I can go off on random rants about all my idiosyncracies and the things that go wrong in my world and post pictures of random recipes I make in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep. Hoorah! Betcha you were so looking forward to that.

So before I get off to a compeltely pointless start, here’s a bit about me: I love the arts; dance, music, crafts, baking (if you can call that an art), design and fashion as well to a certain extent. I figure skated for many years but am momentarily not practising. I play the piano- close to getting my teacher’s degree in a few years 🙂 and I looove literature. I can read or write all day, I also enjoy watching movies or videos or some tv shows as well; my favorite is The Big Bang Theory, although I haven’t seen many others because we *GASP* don’t have tv channels. Most of the time I watch hindi movies or japanese animes through netflix or online sites. Some other likes of mine: anime, Kpop, crochet, Owl City, foreign and classical music, and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (if I ever get to finishing reading it xD).

Soo I hope you find something of interest in my babbling 🙂

And now that that’s out of the way…. I have very important news.

I made muffins :3

Obviously, this is the “wonderful” part of the introduction.

This is a very interesting recipe because it uses cornflakes. It adds a very original texture. The ones on top harden and are visibly still intact as flakes. Depending on how long you let them soak in milk, the ones inside the muffin may be almost completely dissolved into the rest of the dough.

I found that I had a lot more success getting these to rise by using buttermilk and baking soda than goat’s milk and baking powder, but the baking soda (which I mistakenly used in the same amount as the baking powder) gave them such a powerfully soapy-bitter taste that I rarely risk it xP

They still puffed up quite a bit though!

Oh yeah, I cut bits of my favorite chocolate bar up to use instead of chocolate chips. That also gives it a more personal, homemade touch flavor – and you can use the exact kind of chocolate you love best!! 🙂

Here is the recipe:

for 12 muffins

– 4 cups cornflakes

– 2 cups goatmilk (or buttermilk)

– 2 cups flour (I used whole wheat to make them healthier)

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 6 tsp baking powder (or 2 tsp baking soda)

– 1/2 cup oil

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1 egg

– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

– chocolate chips or broken bits of your favorite chocolate bar

Put the cornflakes in a big bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Separate the egg white and yolk into two different small bowls, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks begin to form. To the cornflakes, add the milk and mix so all the flakes are soaked and wet. Then add the egg yolk and whipped white, vanilla extract, and oil. Mix until it’s incorporated. Then add the flour, trying not to overmix or the baking powder will start to react with the wet ingredients and it won’t puff up in the oven as much.

Scoop into muffin cups. The way I did it is to put a heaped tsp into the bottom of each one, then put four or five bits of chocolate, then keep layering a tsp of the batter and chocolate chips. I did this because if I just dump it all in with the chocolate chips already mixed in the batter, they tend to sink to the bottom or get stuck to the paper, and then it becomes a mess when you peel the paper off. I filled the muffincups to the top, and they puffed up nicely, but different ovens and ingredients might react to this differently.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. (For small muffins, about 12-15 muffins depending on how well done you want them).

It’s also a good idea to have the  oven preheated and ready to put the muffins in as soon as you finish scooping them into the muffin tins. This is, again, so the baking powder doesn’t start reacting too much with the ingredients before it’s supposed to, otherwise it won’t work as well in the oven.

I really like this recipe. It tastes like breakfast in a cup :3 The last time I made them they turned out quite dense but they are quite delicious. And they don’t use all that much oil and sugar either!

This one had chocolate chips. But they chocolate stays more intact and solid if it’s from a chocolate bar (I used extra dark though, because that’s my favorite). And if you are wondering, I did in fact use Winnie the Poof muffin cups…. they were the only ones left in the store 😛 But I think they’re cute!

The dough tasted amazing too. Yummm.

Just look at that creamy goodness. (In this case I whipped the egg whites with the sugar just to see what it would do, but I think it just makes the muffins even denser… tastes hellofamazing though!)

 

Just one more…

 

Okay fine, two. Couldn’t help myself. That tends to happen around muffins.

Enjoy! :0)