Unhelpful Recipe: Easy Peasy Handmade Pasta

Truth: Carbs are delicious. Truth: Fresh pasta is better than dried pasta. Truth: Making your own pasta is totally easy and totally worth it.

First of all, you need only a couple of basic ingredients, and while you may make improvements on the taste and texture with higher quality products, such as semolina flour or 00 flour, they’re not necessary for learning purposes.

I started this batch with 2 cups of flour, 3 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil.

Pasta purists may tell you to “Salt the water, not the dough” and skip the oil but… you know me, more is more!

Start by sharing your pics on Instagram, otherwise it didn’t happen.

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Unhelpful Recipes: Newfoundland Wild Blueberry Icebox Cake

I just returned from a trip to Newfoundland to stay in the home my great-grandparents built in the forties. It was just lovely to explore the natural beauty of the province we call “The Rock” and, amongst the other fine experiences, was how special it was to prepare food in my great grandmother’s kitchen.

While my Nanny took the time to prepare blueberry pies from scratch, I opted for a simpler way to make use of the abundant wild blueberries that grow all around the property.

If you’ve never made an icebox cake, then you are in for a treat! They are easy peasy and so delicious. Not to mention, they have something of a vintage appeal to the “baking” style.

All you need is a handful of ingredients and the best part? It’s no bake!

Newfoundland Wild Blueberry Icebox Cake

Ingredients:

  • Graham Crackers
  • Whipped Cream (sweetened, if that’s your preference)
  • Wild Newfoundland Blueberries

Design

If you’re feeling extra authentic, start with some charming depression glass bowls or one large vintage serving dish!

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Directions:

  • Alternate layers of delicious ingredients
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours
  • And that’s it!

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Basically, the graham crackers absorb the moisture from the whipped cream and become cake-like. I opted to use coconut whipped cream on account of my lactose intolerance but regular dairy works the same. Feel free to add a splash of vanilla or icing sugar to your liking.

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Oh, and most importantly, share with friends.

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Unhelpful Recipes: Summery Italian Olive Oil Cake

I have something of a reputation for being bossy in the kitchen. I can’t help it! I can’t bear to know that something isn’t going to turn out the way I want it (due to someone else’s help…because goodness knows most of my attempts are disasters anyways). I guess I’d just rather it be my fault if things go south.

When I’m visiting friends and family, most are happy to stand aside and let me take over. This was the case last weekend when I was visiting a family member who happened to be celebrating his birthday. Obvi, this was my time to shine.

Being a hot, beautiful August weekend, I wanted a recipe that screamed summer. I came across this delicious recipe for Italian Olive Oil Cake and, after drooling all over my keyboard, I knew it was a winner.

If you remember some of my previous birthday cake attempts, you’ll recall I really struggle with editing. When I saw that this cake included so many components (whipped mascarpone cream, lemon curd, and a lemon berry sauce) I knew I’d found a recipe after my own heart. 

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The place I was staying obviously doesn’t share my obsession with excessive accumulation of kitchen baking and cooking tools, so I had to McGyver a few times to make do. There weren’t any major compromises; for example, I baked the cake in a skillet instead of a spring form pan.

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If you haven’t tried olive oil cake, get on it. Stat.

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Like I said, compromises were made.

I’ve been experimenting with various curd recipes over the years and here’s what I’ve learned: a yolks-only curd is better than using whole eggs, real lemons are a MUST, and ALWAYS lick the spatula.

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Here’s where I got to embrace the excess.

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The best part about this cake is the LAYERS. Cake, curd, cream, berries and repeat! Am I alone in wanting to eat cake for all meals of the day? Imagine tossing aside the granola and eating cake for breakfast? (I’m talking more than just muffins and pancakes, folks.)

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This cake was so good. It was seriously a challenge not to sneak bites of it during the whole visit.

What could you just eat for breakfast, lunch, and supper?

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