Category Archives: Cooking

Easy Peasy Delicious Pumpkin Pie Recipe

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend and as an Expat it means learning about a whole new national holiday full of traditions.  Like all holidays here in Canada Thanksgiving is very family orientated and centres around a meal of roast turkey, seasonal vegetables, mash potatoes and pumpkin pie for dessert.  As the holiday doesn’t have its roots in any kind of religion it is in many ways more widely celebrated and more important than Christmas.

Luckily Hubbies cousin is taking care of the festivities this year so I don’t have to do much but I hosted last year and the first thing I needed to do was perfect Pumpkin Pie as it is an integral part of the dinner.  I was new to baking and new to pumpkins, which in England are big stringy things that used to turn my stomach just scooping out the innards so the boys could carve one for halloween, I had no idea pumpkin pie could be so delicious!  Brand spanking new expat Molly @ The Move to America asked me for this recipe when we were chatting about expat issues, so Molly, I wish you all the luck in the world as you embark on your new life and  this is for you. 😀

Firstly, if you need to use an actual pumpkin they need to be small (about 6 inches across) as they are the sweet ones, they need to be cut in half seeds removed and baked in the oven. If you are really lucky you may find a can of pumpkin puree. Secondly, use whichever pastry recipe you like pre-made, granny’s recipe, a packet mix or the frozen kind (hey if Jamie Oliver says it’s OK then that’s good enough for me!

This is the easiest pumpkin pie recipe ever, it may not look that pretty but the taste is so good no one will care!

Ingredients:

Pastry

400ml / 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree

2 eggs

250ml / 1 cup evaporated milk

125ml / ½ cup milk

175ml / ¾ cup honey

½ tsp ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 220C / 425F

 

Line a 9 inch pie dish with short-crust pastry

With a blender or hand mixer mix together all of the rest of the ingredients

Poor into the uncooked pastry shell.

 

Bake for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 180C / 350F for a further 45 minutes or until a knife put into the middle comes out clean.

 

Leave to cool before cutting and serve with whipped cream

Easy enough for a newbie expat baker to make!

My Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Following my picture on last weeks The Gallery post I had a few comments asking for my cookie recipe so here it is:

Makes approx. 30 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

½ cup light brown sugar

1 ½ cups white sugar

2 eggs

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 ½ cups all purpose (plain) flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 ½ cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat over to 350F

Grease two baking sheets (I use a spray oil)

With a hand mixer blend butter and sugar until fluffy then add eggs and vanilla and blend.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture mixing with the hand blender.

Once it is all mixed, stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon until they are distributed evenly.

Place golf ball sized balls of dough onto the baking sheet and place in the oven for 9-10 minutes until slightly brown around the edge, et voila!

Delicious gooey chocolate chip cookies, enjoy.

The Gallery – I made this

I realise baking chocolate chip cookies is like baking lesson number 1, however, I am not creative at all and don’t really cook with any flair either so I didn’t have a huge amount of choice with the theme this week.

These are my Cookies, not a hard British, dunk in your tea type biscuit but a North American ooey gooey chewy cookie.

Learning to cook properly, as apposed to reheating something, has been my mission since arriving in Canada.  When we had the business back in England I didn’t have either the time or the inclination to cook properly but now I’m a SAHM I have no excuses anymore.

It hasn’t been an easy mission either as the measurements and ingredients are different here.  Generally ingredients are given by volume and are measured in cups, many homes don’t even own kitchen scales.  As well as getting used to measuring out butter in cups, a huge amount of food stuffs of all types are called different names and some things aren’t widely available.  So it’s been a bit of trial and error and I haven’t got much further that a few basic dinners and cupcakes but I’m way better than I was a few months ago.

 

Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Chocolate cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So forgive me if my contribution to ‘I made this’ seems a bit lame to you but I’m proud of my Chocolate Chip cookies and my boys love them!

 

The Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

I  have been put in charge of dessert for this years Christmas dinner and seeing as the traditional Christmas pudding is not really done here I have been wracking my brain for for ideas of what to make. I have been toying with the idea of doing two desserts one chocolatey and one fruit based and maybe try to have something Canadian and something English.  Now can you see why I still can’t decide what to do?  I’m not really making it easy for myself especially being new to all this baking and cooking from scratch business.

Seeing as cupcakes are almost a dietary staple here I have decided to go with Chocolate cupcakes to go with my chocolate and Canadian  requirement.  I have checked all my cook books and haven’t found any suitable recipes so I turned to the internet this morning in the hope of finding something.  Oh My Goodness, did I find the most perfect cupcake recipe!

 

I had to knock up a batch (just as a practice run of course) and I think with a cute festive cake case,  a Christmas decoration on top and maybe a little extra icing practice these are going to be just perfect.

The boys cake radar went off the second they set foot in the door after school and they have loved them, I’m pretty sure the rest of the batch isn’t going to hang around for long. They are beautifully moist without being heavy and totally delicious.

So thanks to Melissa over at The Alchemist for sharing this recipe I’m so impressed that a novice like me managed to pull this off!  I always wanted to be one of those mum’s who could knock up a batch of something delicious (like my best friend M) at the drop of a hat and now I am!

I would write out the recipe for you but I’m far too busy eating cupcakes  doing housework so check Melissa’s site for full details.

alchemybaking.blogspot.ca/2012/10/the-best-moist-chocolate-cupcake-recipe.html

Now to decide on the fruit based English dessert Hmmmmm…..