‘Everything’ bagels have been around at least since the 1980’s, but more recently we are seeing the everything spice blend itself, showing up on grocery store shelves.
Everything spice has similar flavor notes to a number of Middle Eastern spices and dishes that have moved into the mainstream over the past few years. The mix of poppy and sesame seeds, garlic, dried onion and salt has always been a popular variation for people who want some tang at breakfast or brunch.
It automatically gives almost any food item that you dust it with a ‘trendy upgrade’. On one recipe website they list more than 101 ways to use the everything spice. Some of them included cheeseballs, savory french toast, meatloaf, cheesesteak and risotto.
To be sure, this spice isn’t for everyone. If you like blueberry bagels and red velvet doughnuts this garlicky blend won’t work for you.
In August of 2020, the Presidents Choice Brand made their ‘copy kat’ version available here in Canada. For that reason, I see no excuse not to buy some. You can stir it into plain cream cheese, sprinkle it on grilled meats, avocado toast, rice, scrambled eggs, salads, chicken, pancakes or use it on top of some ‘Everything Spice Rolls’. Yum!
'Everything Spice' Rolls
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup oats, honey, butter & salt with boiling water until combined. Cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, combine the yeast with warm water. Let stand for about 5 minutes until foamy. Pour into the oat mixture followed by flaxseed meal, whole wheat flour & 1 cup all-purpose flour. Use a wooden spoon to stir into a shaggy dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface & knead until the dough is smooth & elastic, about 8-10 minutes. If the dough feels too sticky, add a little more all-purpose flour (up to 1/2-3/4 cup). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover & let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough & let it rest for 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half; cut each half into 12 portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent from drying), shape each portion into an 8-inch rope. Tie each rope into a single knot; tuck top end of rope under bottom edge of roll. Place each roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap coated with baking spray; let rise in a draft-free place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Combine egg & water in a small dish; brush egg mixture over rolls. Sprinkle with everything seasoning mix. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
- If you wish, shape your dough into more than one style of bun.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
One thing for sure, Valentine desserts most often center around chocolate and strawberries. To celebrate the occasion, Brion came home with a bottle of Bailey’s Strawberries & Cream liqueur. This is the companies second seasonal flavor following their Pumpkin Spice liqueur. To put it in their words, ‘ the drink combines Bailey’s Original Irish Cream with delightful ripe strawberry flavor and delicious vanilla’.
After we had enjoyed it as a drink it got me thinking about how I could incorporate it into a ‘special’ dessert as well. Do you recall those classic Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes from the 60’s? They were the ultimate comfort food, fancy enough for a parfait and homey enough to be a spur of the moment indulgence. I could see nothing wrong in swapping out the milk in the original recipe for some strawberries & cream liqueur!
Speaking of pudding cake, its really kind of a culinary miracle, how pouring hot water over a thick batter can create this warm, fudgy concoction that lies precisely at the intersection of cake and pudding.
OK, on with my dessert … I had some strawberries in the freezer so they became a nice strawberry sauce to compliment the liqueur in the pudding. Serving this dessert parfait style with some ice cream or whipped topping adds a bit of elegance and I’m sure you will love the taste.
Bailey's Strawberries & Cream Fudge Pudding Parfaits
Preheat oven to 350 F. In an 8 X 8-inch baking dish, combine first 5 ingredients. Add liqueur, margarine & walnuts, combine well. Batter will be very stiff (if you find it easier to mix the cake in a small bowl instead, do so). Spread batter evenly in the baking dish.
In a small dish, combine brown sugar & 1/4 cup cocoa powder & sprinkle over batter. Pour boiling water over all & bake for about 40 minutes or until batter rises to the top & is baked through.
In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar & salt. Mix well. Add water & sliced strawberries. Cook until sauce is clear & bubbly. Remove from heat & cool.
Place some strawberry sauce in the bottom of each parfait glass. Spoon fudge pudding over sauce & top with ice cream or whipped topping. Serve with a glass of liqueur!
HAPPY CANADA DAY !
We are celebrating our country’s 150th ‘birthday’ this year. July 1st marks the historical event in which Canada gained its independence from Great Britain in 1867. This important holiday celebrates the birth of Canada as an independent nation.
Our July 1st holiday is comparable to the July 4th, ‘Independence Day’ holiday celebrated by the United States. Along with numerous parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals and firework displays, Parks Canada entrance fees are being waived in 2017 to mark this occasion.
Food and drink are almost as synonymous with Canada Day as the colors of red and white. Barbecues are definitely the preferred choice of food event for the day.
For ‘our’ barbecue, I am going with some BACON-WRAPPED BURGERS, POTATO SALAD with BLUEBERRY-LEMON CHEESECAKE CUPS. Yum!
Bacon Wrapped Burgers/ Potato Salad/ Blueberry Cheesecake Cups
Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cups
In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients & 2 Tbsp barbecue sauce. Crumble beef over mixture & mix well. Form into 12 thick patties. Wrap a bacon slice around the sides of each patty & secure with a toothpick.
Barbecue at 350 F. until meat is no longer pink. Baste frequently with remaining barbecue sauce during latter part of cooking.
Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cups
Add boiling water to jelly powder; stir 2 minutes until dissolved. Refrigerate 45 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix graham crumbs & butter; press about 3 Tbsp onto bottom of each of 8 -125 ml, pyrex custard cups. Place on rimmed baking sheet; bake 6 minutes. Cool.
Beat cream cheese & sugar with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in half & half; Stir in jell-o. Spoon into cups; top with fresh blueberries.
- You can find the potato salad recipe in the June 2016 blogs.
If you grew up in the 60’s, you probably remember ‘brownie fudge pudding’. Those wonderful pudding cakes every homemaker was making. The ultimate time saver because it could be mixed and baked all in the same dish.
Pudding cakes offer two treats in one. While baking, the cake portion rises to the top and a creamy pudding-like sauce forms on the bottom. They can also come in a variety of flavors and can even be made with fresh fruit. Adding fruit, such as blueberries or cherries, makes a pudding cake even better than a regular fruit cobbler in that it develops a thicker, richer sauce around the fruit than most cobblers would.
This dessert is relatively low in fat and it really isn’t necessary to add an extra topping, although ice cream or whipped cream are good. At the time my mother was making this dessert, it was only the chocolate version. It’s definitely one of those classic recipes that has never been forgotten.
Brownie Fudge Pudding
Serving it parfait style adds a bit of elegance to this ordinary little pudding.
Preheat oven to 350 F. In an 8 x 8 inch baking dish, combine first 5 ingredients. Add milk, margarine & walnuts; combine. Spread batter evenly in dish (batter will be stiff). Sprinkle brown sugar & 1/2 cup cocoa over batter.
Pour boiling water over all & bake for about 40 minutes or until batter rises to the top & is baked through.
New Years Eve and Christmas are the traditional occasions to serve tourtiere. This classic French Canadian meat pie originated in the province of Quebec, Canada as early as 1600. While it may seem foreign to some, tourtiere is as Canadian as maple syrup or hockey. It is one of Canada’s better contributions to the culinary world being enjoyed throughout Canada as well as the upper mid west and eastern United States.
Fundamentally, tourtiere is a pie that contains meat and spices baked in a flaky crust. The meat is generally diced or ground, including any or all of pork, veal, beef or wild game. Other less common varieties include salmon or poultry. No matter what the meats used, or the presence or absence of potato, bold seasoning is the rule for all varieties. The four original spices used in the classic tourtiere are cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Like so many of these recipes that have been ‘handed down’ over generations, each family alters it to suit their taste.
Something sweet and sour or something with a ‘kick’ pairs well with the spiced meat and flaky crust of tourtiere. Some choices might be cranberry sauce, pickled beets, chili sauce, green tomato relish, olives, spicy fruit chutney or salsa.
Even in today’s increasingly fast-paced world, these time consuming dishes are still being prepared. Just to clarify – Brion and I are not French Canadian but like many Canadians , we enjoy our seasonal ‘fix’ of this classic.
Apart from making tourtiere in the traditional form, try it as tourtiere meatballs, phyllo rolls, burgers, turnovers or chicken tourtiere tartlets. The recipe I’m posting today comes from a tiny little pamphlet I probably have had for 30 years from a meat packing company. It has been one that I have worked with the spices to suit our taste. Spices listed as ‘optional’, lets you do the same.
HAPPY NEW YEARS TO EVERYONE READING MY BLOGS
BEST WISHES FOR 2017 !!
Tourtiere - Cooking with a French Accent
Cut bacon into small pieces & fry over moderate heat until cooked but not crisp. Add pork, veal & onion; cook until meat is lightly browned. Add water & spices; reduce heat to simmer; cover pan & cook 45 minutes more. Combine meat with mashed potatoes; cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Meanwhile, line a 9" pie pan with pastry; fill with meat mixture. Place top crust in position; seal & flute edges, slash several times for air vents. If preferred, cut 'leaves' from pastry & place on top of pie. An egg wash can be brushed over pastry before placing in oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes; reduce heat to 350 F. & continue to bake 30 minutes longer.
- I have a great pastry recipe on my Thanksgiving blog in October 2016 if you choose to make your own.
With summer heat upon us, the idea of ‘no baking required’ seems just right. Over the years I have never really made use of limes to any extent. Kiwi, on the other hand, seems to always add so much eye appeal it finds it’s way into many recipes. The thought that comes to mind when you pair them up is a refreshing, sweet-sour flavor.
This brings me to my little mini cheesecakes. I thought I would do my favorite thing, which is to give preparation options. The fact that they freeze so well makes them great for those times when you need a little dessert but have no time to make it. Enjoy!
No-Bake Kiwi Lime Cheesecake Minis
Cheesecake with options!
Cheesecake using Whipped Cream
Cheesecake using Dream Whip OR Half & Half Cream
Cheesecake using Cool Whip
In a small bowl, combine graham crumbs, sugar & margarine. Divide evenly into mini cheesecake pan & press down firmly. At this point you can either bake them for 5-7 minutes at 325 F. or leave as is. Either way works.
Cheesecake using Whipped Cream
In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. In large bowl, with electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, lime juice & zest; mix to combine. Sprinkle jell-o powder onto cream cheese mixture & mix until thoroughly combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream until well blended & no streaks remain. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
Cheesecake using Dream Whip OR Half & Half Cream
In a medium bowl, combine boiling water, lime jell-o powder & lime juice; mix & let partially set. In a large bowl, cream cheese & sugar together; set aside. Using package directions, make Dream Whip (place in fridge until ready to use). Once jell-o is partially set, pour into cream cheese/sugar mixture (if using 1/2 & 1/2 cream add at this point) & beat to combine. If using Dream Whip, with a rubber spatula, fold into jell-o, cream cheese/sugar mixture. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
Cheesecake using Cool Whip
In a small bowl, dissolve lime jell-o powder with boiling water; set aside to cool. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, lime juice & zest until smooth. Add cooled, partially set jell-o & mix well. With a rubber spatula, fold in Cool Whip. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
In a small saucepan, cook sugar & chopped kiwi for a couple of minutes. Using a blender, blend to a smooth consistency; allow to cool slightly. Add 1 1/2 tsp RESERVED lime jell-o powder & mixing until glaze thickens. Cool slightly then using a spoon, divide evenly among the mini cheesecakes. Chill until set.
- If you prefer, you can double your crumb & glaze ingredients & make one large cheesecake in a 9-inch spring form pan.
- If you don't have a mini cheesecake pan just use a mini muffin pan with paper liners. It will work just as well.
- After I made these, I froze them completely. When I wanted to serve them, I set however many I needed out about 30 minutes ahead. There was never any difference in the quality of these cheesecakes in doing that.
I can not remember ever being able to pick fresh rhubarb in the middle of May here in northern Alberta, Canada. We are definitely seeing some serious changes in the weather.
I love everything about the plant — how good it tastes, the beautiful huge foliage in the garden and how it can keep on producing all season long. The uses of rhubarb are endless. For most part, I think it is usually thought of as a dessert ingredient. I tried making it into a spicy chutney with pork tenderloin for supper one night and it was real nice.
Bordering one side of my mother’s large country garden grew six or eight rhubarb plants. I can’t even imagine how much they would produce. I recall that special taste of her Saskatoon-Rhubarb Pie. Saskatoon berries grew wild in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This was a good reason for our family to pack a picnic lunch and make the drive on a Sunday afternoon to pick saskatoon berries. Not only did it make for quality family time but those fresh berries were soooo– good!.
Here are a couple of dessert recipes I made with some of my first rhubarb stalks of this season. One is Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler, an old fashioned baked dessert with a tender biscuit crust sprinkled with sugar. The other one is Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfait. If a rhubarb plant isn’t growing somewhere in your back yard you can usually locate some at a neighborhood Farmer’s Market throughout the summer.
Enjoy a little rhubarb nostalgia in two different presentations.
Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfaits
Mix chopped rhubarb & blueberries together in a large saucepan. Blend sugar & cornstarch together & stir into the fruit mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup cold water.
Place on medium heat & bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low & cook until juices flow & fruit is soft. Pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 1 Tbsp sugar & salt. Blend well. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter until mixture is a coarse texture. In another bowl blend milk & egg.
Make a well in center of flour mixture; add milk/egg mixture & stir until flour is moistened. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto the fruit mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar evenly. Bake about 25-30 minutes. Serve plain or with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream.
Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfaits
In a plastic bag, coarsely crush gingersnap cookies; set aside.
Chop rhubarb stalks & place in saucepan with water. Cook over low heat until soft. Remove rhubarb from heat. Add sugar, Cointreau & cornstarch; mix well. Return to heat & stir until thickened; cool completely.
In a large glass bowl, dissolve jelly powder & boiling water, making sure it is completely dissolved before adding to cream cheese. Blend in cream cheese with a hand mixer on low speed. Whisk in juice & zest of orange as well as the Cool Whip.
In parfait glasses, spoon a layer of cream cheese mixture; sprinkle lightly with gingersnap crumbs then add a layer of rhubarb sauce. Repeat layers one more time making sure to divide cheesecake, rhubarb sauce & crumbs evenly between parfaits ending with cheesecake mixture.
Refrigerate about 4 hours; garnish a bit more orange zest & a fresh mint leaf if desired.