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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Video debut: Lime Cardamom Scones



Could I possibly look MORE like I've just been goosed? Well, as promised (or warned) here is my very first recipe video: Lime Cardamom Scones. You can see my teaching approach is very "free form" and a little unorganized but, and I hope you'll agree, entertaining and somewhat informative. Hey, I'm no professional! But I had a wonderful time and this will be the first of hopefully many more videos to come.

For clarification, the recipe shown in the video is a little off. Mainly because I was winging it and was relying on my failing memory. So please follow the recipe below. Also, where I say "2 1/3 cups of dried cranberries"...uh, that's WAY off. It's 2/3 cup. If you need any further clarification don't hesitate to drop me a line. Good luck!

LIME CARDAMOM SCONES

DRY
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup pastry flour
6 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 TB sugar
3 tsp lime zest
3 tsp cardamom
2/3 cup craisins

WET
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 TB lime juice

Preheat oven to 400˚.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk. Then whisk wet ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients. With a rubber spatula gently mix everything together. If dough seems too dry to hold together, squeeze about 2-3 tablespoon of lime juice into the dough and continue folding and mixing until dough holds together, pressing the dough into the dry bits at the bottom of the bowl until it becomes one cohesive mass.

Gently press into an 8” circle and cut into 6 wedges. Line a baking try with parchment paper and set each wedge about 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until pale brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. When nearly completely cool you can go ahead and drizzle on the glaze. Let the glaze dry for about ten minutes before serving.

GLAZE

1 cup icing sugar (or more if needed for thickness)

2 TB lime juice
1 tsp grated lime zest

With a small whisk or fork, mix together the icing sugar, zest and lime juice until thick but pourable.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille

Is it true the camera adds ten pounds? Baking scones and other fine fare sure does. It's an occupational hazard. Thankfully I had plenty of help getting rid of the evidence last weekend on the set of Smells like Sunday, an online cooking site created by chef Keith Severson.

As my passions have led me by the nose all my life, so it has for film maker, Robert Ellenwood of 500 mph films. Robert and his wife Marilyn have been close friends of mine for over 20 years now and as our lives have crossed paths in the past in music it's making it's convergence again in food with the filming of my first "webisode" of Hearth & Larder videos. To be honest, this is a work-in-progress and I really don't have a title for what I'm doing exactly. It will evolve, though, and hopefully prove to be entertaining at least!



I'm anything but conventional so there's no way I could stick to any formulated script. I just said, "What you goin' play now? Bobby, I don't know....but what's in EVER I play it's got to be funky". Ha! Just kidding. But seriously, I said, "just let the camera roll and whatever happens happens." We'll fix it in the mix. We shot two recipes of scones; Lemon-Blueberry and Lime-Cardamom. I referred to my failing memory for the recipes but I've made them so many times now I think I managed to reproduce them correctly. With the "camera crew" as my audience, I began blathering about scones and other non-related subjects; their grins and muffled laughter egging me on. The perseption of elapsed time is definitely subjective. Pauses in my speech that seemed WAY too long were actually quite short (thank god). Good to know for next time as they are helpful in giving the performance a little ebb and flow. Needless to say, the raw footage proved to be highly entertaining with eruptions of riotous laughter...all at my expense. So strange to see oneself on film let alone hear your own voice on a recording. I had no idea I was so animated and goofy - good times.

Here's Keith on set with camera man, Robert, and his lovely assistant (and wife), Marilyn. Marilyn's love of Mexican folk art is passionate, to say the least, and her artful vignettes are ubiquitous around their home. The bright, bold colors make an excellent backdrop for film.

At the moment, Robert is busy editing all the raw footage (hope he has something usable!!). So, stay tuned, kiddies, for a brand new video of yours truly fumbling about with sharp objects, gesticulating spasmodically, and flinging flour every which way. You get TWO recipes absolutely FREE of charge! Yes, that's right, with no obligation to you, you get not one, not two, but TWO scone recipes to use and reuse as you see fit. (By the way, Hearth & Larder claims no responsibility if you think these recipes are terrible. Hey, what do you expect? They're free.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Norma's pie crust recipe: Just a wee bit of lard!


I'm standing next to Norma Barnes; a kindred soul and one heck of a gardener and homemaker. Born in Ireland, Norma came to Canada over 40 years ago and she and her husband, Alan, have always had a kitchen garden. It's actually the same garden I was lucky enough to pillage through and collect such a bounty I have in my arms here. A plethora of fresh herbs - coriander seeds (which I plan to dry and use in my Indian and Mexican recipes), French tarragon, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley and gorgeous beefsteak and Roma tomatoes. Heaven!

Norma promised we'd make something together and that's just what we did. Fresh blueberry pie!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Free Blackberries!

So, I go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday and buy $10 worth of farmed blackberries; big, flavorless, blackberries. On my way home I noticed the blackberry brambles, which are considered more of a weed here in Vancouver, are sporting deep black, small berries which are finally getting ripe and...sweet! I started picking and soon ended up with about 2 lbs of berries. Naturally, I put them in the bag with the cherries (which was perforated) in my cloth reusable bag leaving a trail of black juice as I walked the rest of the way home, into our building, in the elevator and through the kitchen. A minor inconvenience for what insanely delicious concoctions the dripping mass was soon to become.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Super cute fluffy kittens!!!

Okay, so they're not exactly fluffy...
But super cute, right? Admittedly, this blog post is a bit of a "filler" one. I've just been taking a little break from blogging the last two weeks so I resorted to trickery to get your attention. I know; lame. But now that you're here why not stick around! I'll even throw in a recipe. But you have to read through to the bottom to get it. We cool? Cool.


Anyway...
So, now that I have a few Saturday's off from selling my stuff I headed over to the Trout Lake Farmer's Market here in East Vancouver last Saturday to buy some other people's stuff. It's about a five minute drive from my house which is most convenient...and most excellent. Not surprisingly, but not entirely expected, it was absolutely PACKED! But it was a gorgeous sunny day so what could be better? Umm....a million dollars? Well, considering the crappy summer we've had, I think the sun is a fair trade off.

Normally, I tend to only get specific things at Farmer's Market. I mean, it's easy to spend $50 on groceries and I just don't have that kind of cash lining my wallet. But this time I decided to splurge and just picked up what I wanted. I couldn't believe how beautiful the apricots were! Small with a gorgeous blush of red and quite good. I also bought three kinds of new potatoes, kale, farm fresh eggs, sweet golden beets, heirloom tomatoes of all colors, corn and some garlic. And speaking of garlic...

Monday, August 1, 2011

HARK! Are those sleigh-bells I hear?


I know it seems a tad early to be bringing up the holiday season now. I mean, we finally have some summer weather here in the Pacific Northwest, but after August 6th (this coming Saturday) Hearth & Larder will be taking two months off the whole market thing. However, I'll be back in the Fall beginning October 1st. And right around the corner are the Holidays and you know what THAT means...HOLIDAY BAKING!!! So, from November 26th through December 31st I will be making holiday items: Sourdough Stollen Rolls (pictured above), Lebkuchen (German Christmas Cookies), Snowballs and a few TBA items.

In the mean time...here are the scheduled Fall market dates for Hearth & Larder:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Number One!

Top Members this Week - Dreamers Into Doers
- Hearth & Larder

Hey, would you look at that! Hearth & Larder is ranked No. 1 this week! That is cooly shmooly.



Monday, July 18, 2011

Gone fishin' for a week (I wish)

Hi folks, just a quick note. I will be out of town this Thursday, July 21st until Sunday, July 24th. I will resume filling orders on Monday. Until then have a great week and weekend!

Also, there's two more dates left at the Tri-Cities Baker's Community Market: this Saturday (which I'm missing, sadly) and the last one August 6th where I will be offering yet another flavor preserve - Pomelo-Lime Marmalade (very limited quantities...like 4 jars) It's delicious with a hint of real vanilla bean.

So please spread the love and visit the market and help support these local small home-based businesses and indulge in some fantastic homemade baked goods! See you there!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

TRI-CITIES BAKER'S MARKET: New products!

Are you a collector of conserves? Is your refrigerator jammed with jams or, dare I say, packed with preserves? Well, here's five more you can add to the clutter without causing an avalanche. Cute little 1.5 oz jars filled with artisan preserves all wrapped in a nice little package. They make great gifts, basket stuffers, wedding favors: the perfect size to pack with your lunch or take on a picnic. 

This coming Tri-Cities Baker's Community Market on July 9th I'll be offering these pygmy preserves along with a new scone flavor and a new jam flavor featuring summer's first harvest: STRAWBERRIES!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

SUMMER: Are we there yet?

Today has been the official day of summer and we've been lucky to see the thermometer reach 20˚C. But it does seem to be getting a little warmer and that's a good thing. Especially for our fruit! I can't wait to find some sweet and juicy local apricots, cherries, peaches and all the other seasonal fruits we get this time of year. I was a little disappointed not to see more berries at the market last weekend. But I was pleased to find strawberries which I had plans for later.

After a little bargaining I got 15 lbs of fresh local strawberries for $3 a lb. Not sure if that's a great price but it was cheaper than anything else. So, what do I do when I'm Skyping with my mom in California? Wash and hull 15 lbs of strawberries, of course! Glad she likes watching me bake. I yielded about 10 quarts of prepped berries. It's jam time!


20 jars later...


Next on the list? Strawberry scones. My mom beat me to it, though. (Darn that woman!) She added her signature oranges to the mixture which made for a very moist and delicious scone...or so I heard. Unfortunately, I don't get to sample mom's baking very often anymore. But she was gracious enough to send me a photo at least. Thanks mom!

Mom's strawberry orange scones.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

SOLD OUT!

The Pineapple Jam was trés popular. (Photo by Magna Vita Photography)
What a difference an HOUR makes. Another very successful day at the TCBCM on Saturday. All but two Lime-Cardamom scones sold out, all the Pineapple Jam sold out (yay!) and running low on Dandelion Jelly. (I hope they start blooming again soon!) I had more people offer me their supply of dandelions. I even made MORE scones this time. Good thing I got up an hour earlier. Alarm set at 4:45am. As horrible as that sounds it made all the difference. Got everything done in time and even showed up ten minutes early. You know, I think I'm getting the hang of it now. There's a real method to the madness. How do I make NINE DOZEN scones in time for market at 10am....in a home kitchen?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM: A factor worth considering while baking?

5:45am.
It's the first day of the Tri-Cities Baker's Market and I have to bake and glaze six dozen scones. Doors open at 10am so we have an hour to set up which means I have to leave Vancouver by 8:30. No problem. To get everything done I did a bit of prep work the night before so my morning of the event would go smoothly. I mean, I really had my baking schedule timed perfectly...or so I thought. There's various factors that figure in. Obviously, the actual baking time but there's also the pre-heat the oven time, the mixing time, the oops! I screwed up time, the cooling time, the glazing time and the time it takes to set the glaze, etc. One thing I didn't factor in was the space-time continuum.  Where did the morning go? Apparently down a black hole.

Monday, May 23, 2011

If you're in the neighborhood: GET $2 OFF!

Start your day off right. Indulge in something sweet! Have a coffee or tea and one of my delicious scones and take a home a jar of my homemade preserves. (They also make a great gift.) There will be FREE samples, too! And for this week only receive $2 off a jar of my preserves (any flavor) at the Tri-Cities Baker's Community Market in Coquitlam this Saturday when you click the "like" button on my Facebook page. I will confirm the "likes" with an email.

The market will be held (indoors) at The Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam (event parking is free). It is absolutely beautiful and just a block away is the Pinetree Village a huge shopping mall. Make a day of it and come visit me at the market!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Upcoming Baker's Market: Setting up shop

With about a week and a half to go until the Tri-Cities Baker's Community Market, (or the TCBCM as I like to call it), I've been as busy as a beaver. With zero budget I've had to get mucho creative. Of course, I love the challenge. One thing I needed are bags. I could order 1000 of them and get a good price but I'm not quite sure I need that much right off the bat. Speciality stores that cater mainly to bridezillas spending daddy's money carry all kinds of fancy bags, boxes, ribbons and rolls and rolls of white polka-dotted cello wrap but are just too costly for this spend-thrift. No problem. A quick visit to the Dollar Store (and about 50 trial runs through my printer) and - voila! - custom bags for my pastries!


I also needed to come up with a table display. At the market each of us vendors get an 8' table to set up however we choose. I'm selling preserves and a selection of scones. Okay, baskets for the scones but how to display the jars and jars of colorful preserves? Hmmmm. I looked around for shelves and baskets but ultimately I went with my husband's super smart idea to use our shoe racks. And they're free! So I bought a can of black spray paint and set to work.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hearth & Larder is goin' to market!


If you haven't already you might want to start hittin' the gym or take a few hills on your bike because coming up on May 28th I will be at the Tri-Cities Baker's Community Market in Coquitlam at the Evergreen Cultural Centre. I will mainly feature my preserves but will also be selling Apfelkuchen (apple cake) and my Apricot Tarts plus a small selection of scones which, coincidentally go really nicely with preserves. Speaking of preserves I'll be selling a new item - Pineapple Jam! The flavor is like pineapple upside-down cake. I will be there three more dates: June 4th, July 9th and August 6th. Spread the word and please come and support your local bakers and preserve makers!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jammin' for Japan!


I found out about this fund raiser, Bake for the Quake, about two days before the deadline to register. By the time I decided to give it a go I was too late. Boo!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I've been blogged!

Hearth & Larder gets reviewed - in Japanese! A customer of mine has her own food blog called Full of Color and thoughtfully reviewed a couple of my products - Mixed Citrus Marmalade and the Blueberry Goat Cheese Tart. If you understand Japanese take a look!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pork fat. What's not to love?

The other day I just had a hankering for some crunchy, salty, chicharrones or cracklins (aka deep fried pig skin). For those repulsed at the thought of eating something like that I offer a few nutritional facts for you to munch on. Almost 50% of the fat in chicharrones are unsaturated. Most of which is oleic acid - the good kind of fat found in olive oil, for example. So it would behoove you to save the fat rendered from the chicharrones to use in cooking since it's healthier than butter and offers a lovely nutty flavor, too.

There are different methods in making chicharrones.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sourdough pita bread.

So 1970's, man.
I remember pita pockets back in the health food craze of the 70's. Stuffed with sprouts, felafel, chopped salad, tuna salad...whatever leftovers were in the icebox. They were sort of a novelty when we were kids. But having made fresh ones...fresh sourdough ones, it's no longer a novelty but a staple in our home.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chili garlic salt


Please pass the salt. 
Salt is a necessary component, if not the most necessary component, in cooking. It enhances and balances flavor. In baking it adds structure to the dough by strengthening the gluten, among other things. And it's been a food preservative for centuries. The list goes on - and we undoubtedly consume too much of it.

This is a way to not only add the salt component to your cooking but also add tons of flavor. I found this recipe from La Parilla: The Mexican Grill by Reed Hearon. Think of it like Mexico's version of Herbes de Provence or Garam Masala. It's one of many seasoning mixtures used in Mexican cuisine and are called Recados. It's been indispensable in my kitchen. I've been making it for years and can't imagine not having some on hand.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The awful thing I'm trying to get my husband to eat.


STUFFED KARELA
Indian Bitter Melon (link to original recipe)


I’m determined to find a recipe for karela, or bitter melon, that my husband will enjoy. Although he’s Indian, he HATES bitter melon. It's definitely an acquired taste but I actually like it. Once you get past the bitterness it has a slightly grassy-nutty flavor. In other words, it tastes healthy, which it is. VERY. In fact there is a national bitter melon council advocating the many health benefits of this warty looking vegetable. Aside from all that good stuff, I found a recipe that seems to be the most palatable thus far. The fact that he said "hmmm, not bad" is just short of a miracle. It calls for the use of amchur powder (green mango powder, which is very sour) but discovered I was out so I substituted tamarind concentrate. I've now made it with both tamarind and amchur powder and find I like the tamarind the best. I think amchur has a slight chemical taste to it, to me. Just my opinion, though!I I also used some ground coriander and fennel seed. Here's the recipe:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Citrus. A real bang for your buck.



What you can do with an orange is a lot.
Aside from all the obvious uses (eating it fresh, drinking orange juice....mimosas, etc), in cooking and baking, there's so much you can do with just an orange and some sugar. For example when I make orange marmalade I use the whole fruit in the process. After removing the zest and orange segments I'm left with the seeds and membranes. So what do I do with all this crap? Well, what's neat about all this crap is it becomes a key ingredient and one you absolutely need if you're going to make cooked marmalade, jam or jelly - pectin. What is pectin? It's basically the "glue" that holds the marmalade together. It's found mostly in the white pith (albedo) of citrus fruits and in apples. If you're a keener check the Wikipedia definition as it goes way deeper than my tiny brain can handle. But if you want to know about marmalade I go in to detail on another post about how I make my marmalade. Moving right along....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chocolate and salt. Who knew?

Yeah, that's right. Look at it. A chocolate covered pretzel sprinkled with rock salt. The way I see it, salt enhances flavor. So how could this be weird? It's not, trust me. The thick chocolate coating coupled with the soft chewy pretzel is amazing. Then you get a secondary sensation of the crunch of salt. It's goooooooooooooood. Too many O's? Never.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Merry Christmas to me!

Santa was very, very generous this year. I guess I must have been good. What you're looking at here is some pretty slick chrome styling on my new Cuisineart stand mixer. A couple years ago my husband asked if I would want one of these and I said no. I didn't do enough baking to warrant spending the money. But since I started my "new hobby" my sneaky mom got the idea it might come in handy. And she was right! My first job using this bad boy was a batch of sourdough cinnamon rolls. Take a look at these.