#TKLucky7 2 Doors Down 5D Mark II abandoned Able Sense agave AGNS al fresco Alderney Market almonds Annapolis Valley anniversary aperitif Aperol appetizers apple butter apples aqua arancini Arborio architecture argus 75 Argyle Street Ashwood Ridge Asian-inspired dishes auction avocado award baby backyard bacon baconandbaileys Baileys baked apples baking banana banana bread bars basil Baskin Robbins BBQ beach beef Benjamin Bridge best carrot cake ever best carrot cake recipe ever bird's nest birthday biscotti biscuits Bish Bishop's Cellar black plums blood orange blood orange marmalade blue blue cheese blueberries book review Boston Bourbon brandy bread breakfast Brewery Market bride brie brioche brisket Brooklyn Brooklyn Warehouse brown butter brown sugar bud buds Bulk Barn bunny buns butcher butter buttercream Cabot Links cake cakes Campari candied bacon Canon Canon 5D Mark 2 Cape Breton Carbonara card cardamom carrot cake carrots cats chai chalkboard charcuterie cheesecake cherries chicken chicken salad chili paste Chinese New Year Chinese wedding chocolate Chocolate Lake Christmas christmas photo cards cilantro cinnamon citrus recipe Clafoutis Clam Harbour Classic Cocktails Clementine cobalt blue cocktail cocktail photography Cocktails coconut coconut macaroon pie crust coconut milk coffee Colosseum colour comfort food condensed milk contest cookbook cookies cooking cooks corn corn field Cornwall cracker crust crafting Cranberry Madeira Crawfish cream cheese cream cheese frosting cream sauce crockpot croquettes crostata CTV culinary guide cupcakes Curry custard da Maurizio dahlia dates David Lebovitz DesBarres Manor Inn dessert Diana Domaine de Grand Pre Donna Hay dried dulce de leche Earl Grey early morning east coast living magazine easter Easy Easy Asian Easy Italian-Asian Easy To Make EatInEatOut editorial eggs elderflower engagement Europe extra toes fall family fans farm farmer's market feathers february Feel Good Food Feisty Chef Festive feta Fine Cooking Magazine Fine Lifestyles Magazine Halifax firefighter fish in parchment Fish Sauce fish taco flax flea market Florence flourless flowers fog food Food and Wine food bloggers Food Bloggers of Canada food film food photographer food photography food photography tips food styling food stylist food video food vignette forest Forum fountain france French French wine fresh fresh herbs Friends friendship frozen fruit fruit butter fudge fundraiser garden garlic garlic scapes Getaway Giada de Laurentiis Gin ginger girl glamour glass Glen Arbor gluten free GMCR gnocchi golden hour golden spiral gorgonzola granola green Grilling groom guacamole guanciale Hali Deli Halifax Halifax fashion photography Halifax Food Bloggers Halifax food photographer Halifax food photography Halifax food styling halifax food stylist Halifax newborn photography Halifax photographer Halifax photography Halifax restaurant Halifax restaurant photography Halifax restaurants Halifax wedding photographer haskap hazelnut heart Heart and Stroke hfxfb HHalifax photographer holiday home homemade homemade liqueur homemade tacos honey house Hurricanes hydrangea ice cream ice cream sandwiches icing sugar Idiot Cake il Mercato il Mercato Spring Garden Indian ingredients iPhone Italian Italy ivory jam jane's next door jane's on the common January Jeffrey Van Horne Jennie Dobbs JIVE Photographic Joy The Baker Julia Child juniper berries JVH K-Cups Keurig kids Kingsburg kitchen vignette kitchenaid lace Lamborghini Larry Uteck lavender Le Caveau Le French Fix leftovers lemon lemon bars lemon curd lemon curdsicles light lighting lighting practice lime linguine Live at 5 lobster Local Lord Nelson love Lulu and Po Lunenburg mac and cheese macarons macaroons Made With Local magnolia tree Makin' Bacon Manitoba many feet maple maple rosemary almonds marble Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Marsala marshmallow Martha Stewart Martha Stewart CAKES Martinis mason jar meatballs meatloaf medjool dates menu meringue Merry Christmas Mexican Michelangelo Milan mini eggs MINI Plus mint mint green Minted.com models monthly miettes morning Morris East MRB muffins mushrooms My Paris Kitchen Nanny Burke Nanny Neil nautical 'Nduja Negroni New Orleans New Year's Eve Nova Scotia NSLC Nutella oak island inn oats Occasions olive olive oil Orange oranges orchid Out Of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens overnight oats Oxford Pad Thai Noodle Pie painting with light pancetta Pantheon paper paperie parents Paris park Parrsboro party decor party food pasta pastry pasty Pavlova peach peaches peacock peanut butter pear Pearl pecans pepper Pete's phlox photographer picnic pie pink pink grapefruit pink peppercorns Pinterest pistachio pizza pizza Halifax Playbook plums Point Pleasant Park polenta polydactal pom pom pom poms porcini pork belly potatoes pp Neil preserves pretty product shots prosciutto Prosecco published pudding pudding pops pulled pork Purcell's Cove purple quail Quick Meals Quinoa rain Raincoast Crisps rainy day Random House of Canada RANS raspberries raspberry Ratinaud recipe red red currants restaurant Restaurant Association rhubarb Rice Krispies rice noodles rice pudding risotto Ritz roasted almonds roasted garlic roasted red chiili paste rolls Rolls Royce Rome romesco rose rosemary rum rustik magazine Sackville sage salsa salsa doña San Fiorano sand santa Saskatoon berries sausage Savour scones Scotch Scott Jones sculptures sea salt Seahorse Sweets Seaport Market seeds shortbread shortcrust shrimp simply balance sister skillet Skor Bits smoked salmon snack snickerdoodles soup Spanish spice spicy Thai mango spring Spring Garden Road sprinkles squares St. Famille St. Margaret's Bay St. Mary's Basilica stamp stars steak Stephanie Bertossi still life storyteller strawberry strobes studio Stuffed Pork Chops summer Summer Fresh sun Sunday sunrise sunset supper sweet potato syrup tarts Taste of Nova Scotia tea teabiscuits Texas Thai Thai Cooking Thai food Thai Kitchen Thai Kitchen Canada thank you The Bicycle Thief The Bitter End The Coast The Hugo The Vatican thyme Tidal Bay Tiramisu tissue tissue paper toast toasted tomato Toronto tracks Trajan's Forum travel Trevi Fountain TTV twinkle lights Untitled Eats Valentine's Day Van Houtte vanilla vegetables Venice Vermouth versailles video vin d'orange vintage vintage bakeware Vittorio wallpaper washi tape waterfront wax paper wedding Westin whipped cream white white wine wild strawberries Willy Krauch window Windsor wine wine jelly winery Winners Wolfville wood wreath writer Wuthering Heights yellow Zabaglione

Entries in maple (4)

Tuesday
Mar182014

Honey Maple Bread : On Friendship, Distance and The Tie That Binds Us Together

I've seen my best friend Angela four times in the last seven years.

Twice when she was home in Nova Scotia visiting, once at her wedding in the Annapolis Valley, and once at my wedding in our small backyard here in Halifax. I actually sent Angela's parents a wedding invitation and they liked it so much (it was a great invite - a DVD photo slideshow that I made with David Gray as the soundtrack), that they decided to pay to fly her home just for my wedding. She wouldn't have made it without them. I was so happy to see her

wedding photo credit : Mike Tompkins

Angela is my very first 'food friend'. We met in 1998, when I was really beginning to understand and develop my love of food. We met through a mutual friend and hit it off pretty much right away. After that, we spent a ton of time together and we talked about food constantly. We cooked our first 'not-at-our-parent's-house' turkey dinner together and, we had a running list of all the restaurants in Nova Scotia we wanted to visit. Time passed and we started crossing names off the list, one by one.

Seven years ago, in 2007, Angela moved to Manitoba with her love, and it doesn't look like they're returning to the East Coast any time soon.

I miss her.

A lot.

Last summer I thought about flying to Winnipeg, but you know how it goes - you get busy, your schedule books up and before you know it, another year's passed, plus - it's expensive. I keep saying I'd love to go but when I mention it, people ask 'Why? Why would you want to spend your hard earned money to fly to MANITOBA?!?'

Well DUH. My BFF lives there! I'd love to see the life that Angela and her husband have built for themselves. PlusI've learned a lot about Manitoba from Angela's blog www.littlegraybird.ca. I bet I could fit right in with the locals!

Ummm.

Maybe.

Except, according to Angela, because of my accentthey'll all think I'm a Newfoundlander.

Ha!

Seriously though, I've learned so many things about MB I never would have known, all by living vicariously through my best friend and her blog. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • WINNIPEG IS AWESOME - you can read about Angela's thoughts on this fantastic city here - I hate Winnipegactually published as the blog of the week in The Winnipeg Free Press is about how living in a rural community can make you hate an awesome city because it's always rush rush rush, errands and more errands - never time for fun. change of heart is about Angela's 48-hour visit to The Peg, with nary an errand in sight which gives her a whole new outlook on the city and food for thought is a recap of a guided restaurant tour she took through The Exchange District.  
  • The wildlife is second to none. On littlegraybird, I've seen Ang ice fishing, canoeing with a moose paddling pretty much right next to her, photos of exquisite tiny birds, plus pictures of bears, owls and WOLVES. Angela and her husband have encountered gray wolves a few times. 
  • It's rarely foggy in Manitoba. I live in St. Margaret's Bay - the fog rolls in some nights like a cement wall.
  • No earwigs (yuck!) or Junebugs (gag!!) - but LOTS of mosquitoes.
  • Hoodies are called 'bunny hugs'. Although Angela did tell me that bunny hug is technically a Saskatchewan term she said it's also sometimes used in southwestern Manitoba. I think it's funny.
  • THE FOOD!!! - PEROGIES!!! Angela was invited to a PEROGY MAKING PARTY (so jealous!!!) - Winnipeg is the Slurpee (for us Maritimers that's a Slushy) Capital of the WORLD - Pickerel cheeks are prevalent and Angela swears they're good (I admit I'm curious, as I am also curious about Borscht) - What we East Coasters call squares (ie - date squares) are called 'dainties' in MB - and JUST WHAT ARE Saskatoon Berries anyway?!?

Last week, I got an unexpected notice from Canada Post that there was a package waiting for me at the post office. I instantly recognized Angela's handwriting on the brown paper and couldn't wait to get home to see what was inside the small heavy box. I ripped open the paper and in addition to a handwritten card, a small cookbook called 'Supper In The Field' and the Bacon issue of The Food Network magazine, here's what I got:

  • A bag of Mum's Original Hemp Hearts - 'The part of Manitoba I live in is one of the largest in North America that grows hemp. In the summer you can smell it growing. These hemp hearts are from my area called 'The Parkland'.
  • Saskatoon Berry Pie Filling - 'I know this is canned pie filling and it's technically from Sakatchewan but it's still a big favourite in my area of MB. I couldn't figure out a way to mail you frozen berries!'
  • Raven Creek Farm Beeswax Candles - 'Hand-dipped, pure beeswax, locally made'.
  • Schau'zzz Creamed Lemon Honey and Wendell Estate Creamed Raw Prairie Honey - 'Manitoba has lots and lots of honey producers. These are two of the most popular in my area'.
  • Manitoba Maple Syrup - 'The 'Manitoba Maple' tree is slightly different than a 'regular' maple tree and it's syrup has a different taste - it's not as sweet and can vary in colour. This syrup is tapped in my area of Manitoba'.

Always up for a challenge, I started brainstorming how I could create a recipe that would not only reflect the integrity of the Manitoba ingredients I'd been sent, but at the same time, could symbolize my 16 year friendship with Angela.

Bread.

Bread was the answer.

Wheat, the golden symbol of the prairies, combined with my Manitoba loot, so carefully packaged in bubble wrap, would tie us together.

I tested this recipe twice to make sure it works. It yields 2 loaves that have a beautiful nutty texture from the hemp hearts and a gorgeous sweetness from the honey and maple syrup. I recommend eating a piece, still warm from the oven, smeared with creamed honey.

Honey Maple Bread - makes 2 loaves - takes about 4 hours from start to finish (most time spent waiting for dough to rise)

3.5 C all purpose flour

1 C hemp hearts

2 tsp rapid rise yeast

1.5 tsp salt

1 Tbsp butter

1/4 C creamed honey

1/2 C maple syrup

1 C hot water (I put my kettle on and used water that was almost boiling so it would melt the butter)

- in a large bowl, whisk flour, hemp hearts, rapid rise yeast and salt - set aside

- in the bowl of your mixer whisk butter, creamed honey, maple syrup and hot water

- add dry to wet and mix with dough hook on low 5 minutes - dough will come together after about 1 minute - if dough is too sticky, add extra flour, one Tbsp at a time, until the dough stops climbing the dough hook and starts to pull away from the bottom of the bowl

- after 5 minutes of kneading with the dough hook, remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a floured board or counter - knead by hand for 3-5 minutes until dough is smooth and elasticy - shape dough into a ball and place back in the mixer bowl - cover with a tea towel and allow to rise 60 minutes

- after 60 minutes, lightly butter a baking sheet - again, remove dough from bowl onto floured board or counter - GENTLY deflate the dough and cut in half - with a rolling pin, GENTLY roll each half into a rough rectangle shape - starting at the smallest end, roll each piece into a cylinder - pinch the dough together where the seams meet to keep the loaf together - tuck the ends under and place the loaves on the buttered baking sheet - (OPTIONAL : score the top of each loaf with a razor blade) - brush top of each loaf with melted butter and cover with a tea towel - let rise 45 minutes

- preheat oven to 350ºF - bake 27-30 minutes - if you have a loaf with a lot of score marks, you may need to tent it with foil after 20 minutes so it doesn't over-brown on the top - my loaves take 30 minutes exactly - you know they're done when they're golden on top and sound hollow when rapped with your knuckles

 

This was my first time trying hemp hearts, a Manitoba specialty.

 

After 5 minutes with the dough hook, the dough is rather sticky and shaggy but...

 

after 5 more minutes of kneading by hand it's quite smooth and elasticy.

 

After shaping into loaves, I like to score the tops with a fresh razor blade - it gives a nice clean cut.

 

After the loaves are shaped and scored, they're left to rise for 45 minutes more. You can see they expand quite a bit in this time. After 20 minutes in the oven, the loaf on the right was already quite golden on top so I covered it with tinfoil for the last 10 minutes.

 

Hopefully someday I'll get the chance to see my BFF in her 'home' province but for now, my Honey Maple Bread will have to do.

Monday
Sep232013

Martha Stewart's CAKES : Happy Birthday to me

My birthday was last week and it was sooooo boring. I took my cat to the vet to have his teeth cleaned. I went to Target. We had a quiet dinner at home.

It was exactly what I wanted.

Except for one thing.

For the first time in my entire life, I didn't have a birthday cake.

No cake.

No candles to blow out.

A couple of days later, Martha Stewart's CAKES arrived for review from Random House of Canada and my immediate thought was, 'I'm going to make myself a birthday cake'.

I pored over the pages, reading every sweet little recipe intro, drooling over the beautiful photography, trying to decide which one would be perfect.

It turns out that choosing a cake recipe was much like choosing my wedding dress. The first one that caught my eye turned out to be my favourite.

Maple Cake.

'The incomparable flavour of pure maple syrup is reason enough to make this sweet treat; that it is quick to prepare is an added bonus. Maple syrup is marked and graded by its colour, ranging from light to dark - the darker the colour, the more intense the flavour. If you can find grade B, use it here for both the batter and the icing.' - Martha Stewart's CAKES, p 120

Martha's book instructs the Maple Cake to be baked as a single layer in a 9-inch square pan, but who wants a flat, square birthday cake? I divided the batter between two 8-inch round pans and doubled the icing.

Oh my god. The icing.

Anyone from Canada that's ever gone on a road trip has probably eaten a Maple Dip Donut from Tim Horton's.

Martha's maple frosting has the texture of the top of a Maple Dip but the taste is about a gazillion times better.

The cake itself was light and fluffy on the inside and baked to a perfect light golden brown crust on the outside.

Martha Stewart's CAKES is being heralded as a '...one stop resource for cakes - birthday, chocolate, coffee, Bundt, upside-down, loaf, and more. From pound cake and angel food (with many variations) to genoise and streusel-topped, from comfort classics like red velvet, six-layer coconut, rich chocolate, lemon meringue, and cheesecake to sophisticated grown-up fare including chiffon cakes and tortes with luscious fruits, these 150 recipes and colour photographs cover techniques, decorating, and gifting ideas for every taste and occasion, whether no-fuss or fancy.'

A beautiful cake from a beautiful book.

Happy Birthday to me.

Martha Stewart's CAKES is available for sale on September 24, 2013.

Pin It!

Thursday
Mar312011

Sweet Potato Soup with Acadian Maple Syrup

One of the beauties of Twitter is the ability to hold conversation with people you would not normally meet. Last week, Tim Pratt of Real, Creative Eats tweeted about his weekend trip to the Earltown Maple Syrup Festival. I responded with a big 'I LOVE MAPLE!!!' tweet to which I then got a response from@AuthenticCoast with a link to the DesBarres Manor Inn recipe for Sweet Potato Soup with Nova Scotia Maple Syrup.

DesBarres Manor Inn is one of Nova Scotia's stunningly beautiful historic properties that has been faithfully restored to the full splendour of it's 1837 heritage. Located in the town of Guysborough, along the scenic Marine Drive of our Eastern Shore, DesBarres Manor has become a go to for lovers of local food and wine. 

'From our spectacular open kitchen, our culinary team uses fresh ingredients from the Manor’s organic garden along with seasonal gourmet treasures from local farmers and fishers to create contemporary Canadian cuisine with an East Coast flair. Seasonally inspired menus are complemented by the Proprietor’s extensive wine collection, offering you a personal selection of fine wines from around the world. Combined with our attentive service, the DesBarres Manor dining room creates a culinary experience as warm as our people.'

I followed DesBarres' recipe to a T and the end result was pretty good but I was left wanting a little more of a flavour kick. Maybe it's because I've been working for the Bertossis too long but my tastebuds have developed a serious need for intense flavour. 

DesBarres Manor Inn Sweet Potato Soup with Nova Scotia Maple Syrup

1 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 tsp chopped garlic, 1/2 C chopped celery, 1/2 C chopped onion

1 Litre Chicken Stock, 2 Lbs peeled and diced Sweet Potatoes

4 Tbsp Maple Syrup, 1/4 tsp Nutmeg, 1 C Whipping Cream, 4 Tbsp Brandy

Sour Cream and Garlic Chives to garnish

Kelly's Modified Sweet Potato Soup with Acadian Maple Syrup

1 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 clove chopped garlic, 1 stalk chopped celery, 1/2 med onion, chopped

1.5 Litre Chicken Stock, 2 Lbs peeled and diced Sweet Potatoes

8 Tbsp Acadian Maple Syrup, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp Cardamom, 1.5 C Milk, 4 Tbsp Brandy, pinch of dried chili flakes

**Sautee garlic, celery and onion in olive oil 2 minutes

**Add chicken stock and sweet potato - bring to the boil - reduce heat - simmer one hour or until potatoes are soft

**Puree - add all other ingredients - simmer 15 minutes

**Garnish with sour cream and garlic chives

I simmered my sweet potatoes for one hour as the recipe calls for. I should have taken them from the heat when I checked them at 1/2 an hour because that's when they were done. By the end of one hour, my sweet potatoes had reduced too much and were so thick that I had to add more liquid, hence the increased measurements of stock and milk in my version. Also, my whipping cream was expired so I had to substitute milk for cream.

The only real difference in my version is the seasoning. I doubled the Maple Syrup because I found the original amount got lost among the sweetness of the potatoes. I increased the amount of nutmeg and then added cardamom to bring forth another flavour dimension. The pinch of chili flakes, once pureed, rounded out the bottom end of the sweetness with a little fire. I ate my first bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped baby chives (I couldn't find garlic chives). The chives added a nice hint of oniony crunch but I think the soup could stand alone without the sour cream. 

All in all, this was a really nice recipe from one of Nova Scotia's best!!