Sunday, February 10, 2008

Irish Hiking Scarf

This is one of the many projects that I did during last semester but only post now because luckily, I have a schedule that now allows me to spend some time for myself. =p

This scarf is made from the Irish Hiking Scarf pattern on Hello Yarn. It was a Christmas gift for my sister and while I was anxious about giving her an handmade gift, she loved it and has made it her ''official scarf''. It was my second project with cables and a very easy pattern to follow. I knit it all while watching TV. After a month of knitting my first sweater, I am dying to knit something this simple again. Anyone want one?

Detailed information:
Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf by Adrian Bizilia
Published in: Hello Yarn
Yarn used: Georga 100% wool in the colorway Gray. (3 skeins)
Needle size: US 8 / 5mm

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Berry and Granola Muffins

Two of my good friends recently moved out into their own apartment. Being the supportive friend that I am, I decided to help them out by cooking an healthy breakfast alternative for the nachos and salsa that seem to be the only thing on their diet these days. I found the basic recipe for these in Everyday Food Magazine but changed the majority of ingredients to make them meet my friends' demands.

Berry and Granola Muffins (by Odri) makes 12
1 3/4 cup Nutri Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 packed brown sugar
1/2 cup strawberry low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 granola
2 cups mixed berries
Granola topping*
*In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup granola, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter into pieces and add to the mixture. Mix with your fingertips until clumps form.

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup standard muffin tin with an anti-adhesive spray and line it with paper liners.
2.In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
3.In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, strawberry yogurt and butter.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour egg mixture into well. Mix until well combined. Fold in the berries.
5. Divide batter evenly among lined cups filling each 3/4 full. Sprinkle with granola topping. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes before serving. You can serve these muffins the day they are made or refrigerate them.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I didn't get to craft much during this week so here is a previous project that I did last december but never posted here. Last Christmas, I decided to make truffles for all of my relatives:

Here we have, from top left to top right:Dark chocolate, peppermint, grand marnier and coffee.

I you want to make some, here's the recipe.First, make some basic truffles, just chocolate flavored. For this part I took the Martha Stewart recipe that you can find on her website:

MAKES ABOUT 3 /12 DOZEN Use different brands of cocoa powder (such as Hershey's, Valrhona, Droste, and Ghirardelli) to make truffles of assorted colors.

-8 ounces best-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
-1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Put chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour over chocolate in bowl. Stir in liqueur, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let stand until thick, about 15 minutes.
2. Pour chocolate mixture into a shallow 8-inch dish or pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until mixture is very cold and set but still pliable, about 30 minutes.
3. Using a teaspoon or a 1/2-inch melon baller, scoop balls of chocolate mixture, transferring them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper as you work. Refrigerate truffles 10 minutes.

THEN, when you have your chocolate mix, the fun/messy part begins.
For the dark chocolate truffles: This is the easiest recipe. Just take your truffles and roll them in cocoa powder until they are completely covered.

For the peppermint truffles: add some peppermint extract (how much you put is up to you) to your chocolate mixture and roll the truffles in powdered sugar

For the grand marnier truffles: Add some grand marnier (once again, you decide how much) to your truffles and let them cool in the fridge for about 10 min. While they are cooling, Melt some dark chocolate with cream in a small pan. Dip your truffles in the melted chocolate and let them cool for a while. Add some grated orange peel for decoration.

For the coffee truffles: Add some coffee granules to your chocolate mix and roll your truffles in some powdered sugar mixed with a bit of coffee granules. Add a chocolate dipped coffee grain on top for decoration.
When all your truffles are done, put them in these little foil containers and package them neatly:

And voilà! You now have the perfect fun to eat and fun to make Christmas gift. ;D

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Strawberry Applesauce

This is a nice and fast autumny recipe that goes very well with the oatmeal cookies I baked earlier. I made a gigantic batch this week and it only took me about 25 min and now I eat it with everything ^_^

Strawberry Applesauce (by Odri) My own recipe. I'm proud.
14 peeled and cut apples
1 pound strawberries
1 1/2 cup old fashioned apple juice (the brown kind)
6 tablespoon sugar
1 pinch cinnamon

1.In a pan over medium heat, cook the apples, the strawberries and the apple juice for approximately twenty minutes or until the fruits are tender.
2.Put this mix in the blender and mix until very smooth.
3.Ad the sugar and the cinnamon and let cool before serving.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Carrot Cake

I recently made this carrot cake and I swear, it is the best carrot cake I have ever tasted. I normally don't even like these types of cakes because I find the icing to be too sugary or they contain raisins which I don't like. This one was perfect for me because the cream cheese icing was just sweet enough and it contained pecans and no maleficent raisins. Sadly, I took the recipe in my mother's Coup de pouce magazine and the recipe is not on their website so no recipe this time. (Buy the magazine!) ;)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oatmeal cookies

Since I had no school this week, I've been cooking like crazy, trying to make a lot of food to freeze so I could later have tons of healthy homemade meals for my lunches. As delicious as they are, I am really starting to get bored with weight watchers and lean cuisine frozen meals. Therefore, since last Friday, I've been in cooking heaven. I've been cooking at least 2 recipes a day while knitting, watching many CSI episodes and doing the obligatory homework. My latest creation is a batch of delicious oatmeal cookies from the Martha Stewart website. I followed the exact recipe but I didn't any dried fruits to the batter because I like my cookies plain and simple.

Classic Oatmeal Cookies (By Martha Stewart)
Makes about 3 dozen
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large egggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruits and nuts, such as golden raisins, currants, coarsely chopped dried apricots, dried cherries, coarsely chopped pecans, or a combination of above

1.Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats; set aside.
2.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs; mix on high speed to combine. Mix in vanilla; set aside.
3.Combine oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat on low speed to combine, 10 to 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer, and stir in dried fruits and nuts.
4.Using a large metal scoop, drop dough onto prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden and just set, about 18 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire rack to cool.

I'll try to update with many other recipes during the week, I took a lot of pictures of everything I cooked/baked, I just need to find the time to post them!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cooking class

For my 18th birthday, my uncles and aunts signed me up for a pastry making course at l'Institut Culinaire (The Culinary Institute) of Montreal. I just came back from the course and I'm so thrilled! It was a 7 hours intensive course where we learned all the basics of baking from making pie pastry to cream puffs. Here are the results:

Apple pie
Of course, this was my favorite, partial as I am to fruity desserts. I hope I'll have the time to pick apples this autumn to make plenty more apple pies but since I learned to make the crust, I guess I could do it with any other fruit. I'll try it with strawberries and rhubarb next.

Boston Cream Pie
I don't usually like Boston Cream Pies but the one we made that day was heavenly. I think it has to do with the fact that we used real vanilla beans to flavour the pastry cream instead of cheap vanilla extract like I usually do at home. Well now, no more vanilla extract for me!

Choux à la Crème/ Cream Puffs

We learned to do puff paste which was quite impressing because my puffs looked like little ugly blobs when I put them in the oven and when I took them out they looked perfect! The next time I make puffs, I'll fill them with ice cream and cover them with the fudgy sauce below.

Crème Anglaise

Again, I don't normally like English Cream but with the vanilla bean, it tasted so good.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Very simple to make, goes well with Ice cream

I'm prrrretty proud of myself! :)
I still can't believe that I got to learn all these recipes and baking tips in just One day. At the beginning of the day, we were given a small recipe book and I swear, at the end mine looked like the Half-Blood Prince's potion book since it was covered in so much writing ^_^
There are still many classe I would love to take at the Académie but since they are so expensive, I think I'll wait for Christmas and my birthday. *Subtle hint*