Welcome to "chuff to bits"! My blog about food, crafting, and other wonderful things! Stay tuned to find out what!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cuz I like Pina Coladas

Tada! I'm here! Aren't you impressed?

I know, I know. This time of year is rough for me. Believe me that it was in your best interest that I'm not around to post. If I had, it would have been full of angry ranting, rather than the gooey, delicious tasty goodness that todays post will include.

For today, I have a lucious, delicious Pina Colada cake and a wonderful Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding dinner. Just look at this glorious Yorkshire:

Let's start with the entree course first:

Roast Beef and Yorkshire

1 small roast (if you choose a large roast, adjust the cooking time)
3 large carrots cut into large chunks
12 baby potatoes (ish, I used however many were in the bag)
1 large onion cut in large pieces
salt and pepper
olive oil

3 eggs
1 cup of milk (don't add it all)
3 cups of flour

bisto gravy powder

Ok for the directions... I should preface all of my recipes with the caveat that when I cook from scratch, I adjust as I go. I rarely write down what I'm doing, and I never measure. You should absolutely do the same, it's easy to get the hang of.

1. Preheat oven to 450. In a large oven-safe pot or roaster on the stove, on high heat, put about a tablespoon of olive oil. Rub roast with a little salt and pepper and put the roast in the pot and sear all the sides.

* Bonus instructions on searing. Searing means to brown the outside of the meat, this keeps all the juices on the inside of the meat. Put the roast down in the pot. It's side will be seared adequately when the roast easily comes off the bottom of the pot. If it sticks, leave it down a little longer.

2. Remove the roast to a plate. Add whole baby potatoes, carrots, and onions. Place roast on top. Cover and place in oven. Cook for an hour. Add 2 cups of water. Cook for another hour to hour and a half. (Start your Yorkshire batter while you're waiting the last half hour or so).

To know when your roast is done, use a meat thermometer or poke it in the thickest part with a knife, it's done when the juices run clear. While your Yorkshire and gravy is being finished remove the roast to a plate and cover tightly with foil, keep it somewhere warm (I put mine in the microwave to stay warm but DON'T TURN IT ON!). Remove the potatoes, carrots and onions from the pot using a slotted spoon. Put them in a bowl, cover and also put somewhere warm. Leave the beef juice in the pot for gravy.

Yorkshire and Gravy

1. Crank up the heat in your oven to 500. Heavily grease a 9 x 11 pan (or something similar, I use a glass casserole dish) with butter. Keep the pan somwhere warm while you make the batter.

2. In a large bowl put 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt. Add a half a cup of milk and 3 whole eggs (one of very few recipes I'll use real eggs for, I don't recommend egg substitute for this one). Mix until smooth. This batter should be the consistancy of thick pancake batter, add more milk or flour as necessary.

3. Pour the batter into the pan. Drizzle a little of the beef juice on the top of the batter. Put in the oven. Do NOT open the oven door more than a crack to check, and don't thunder around your kitchen or the yorkshire won't rise. The yorkshire is done when it's puffy and golden on top.

4. Heat the beef juice and water up to boiling. Stir a tablespoon of Bisto into some room temperature water until dissolved. Add to beef juice stirring like CRAZY or it will chunk right up. Lower the temperature. Add more bisto to achieve desired consistancy.

5. Serve sliced roast beef alongside whole veggies, with large squares of yorkshire. Gravy as desired.

Mmmmm....and now, dessert course. Pina Colada cake. This cake is a delicious, moist, puddingy pineapple cake, with a light and fluffy coconut icing.

Pina Colada Cake

1 small can pineapple "tidbits" with juice(small chunks, about one and a half cups, drain and reserve the juice and tidbits seperately)
2 + 1/3 cups flour
1 + 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsps baking powder
pinch salt
2 eggs (I used egg substitute)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup butter (I used low fat margerine, but butter would have been better)
optional pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Add butter, cut into chunks. Squish butter through flour mixture using fork tines until flour forms little crumbly balls. Add eggs, milk and about a half cup of pineapple juice.

2. Mix until smooth. Add pineapple chunks. Add a little vanilla if you like (I found the cake did not hold the pineapple flavour as well as I thought. The pineapple chunks were certainly flavourful, but if I was making this again I'd add vanilla).

3. Pour into 9 inch cake pan (Warning, this is a lot of batter and with a low cake pan, could overflow). You could double this recipe and make a 2 layer cake. Bake for 30 minutes and check with a toothpick (if the toothpick is clean, the cake is done). I had to reduce heat (to prevent burning the top) and bake for another 20 mins at 300. For the last 10 minutes I covered the cake in foil. Keep a close eye on this cake.

4. Remove the cake and cool completely while you're making the coconut frosting.

Coconut Frosting

1 can coconut milk (pick a good quality thick milk, shake the cans at the store and listen to the slosh if you have to)
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup of butter (I did not use margerine here)

1. Using a mixer, beat butter until fluffy, add icing sugar and coconut milk in small amounts until you achieve desired flavour and consistancy. (Coconut milk for taste, icing sugar to thicken).

2. Firm up in fridge for a little bit before icing cake. Frost the cake however you like. I prefer the glob it on and smush it around method. It's not beautiful, but I'll have eaten it in a few minutes anyway.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Uh oh here comes the nuts!

However good it may have sounded, do NOT make my chocolate chip cookie recipe from yesterday. A friend of mine made them and discovered there's an error in there somewhere. I'll make them again and post the correction as soon as I figured out what it is. In the meantime, the same friend has sent her delicious Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies recipe. Please make them instead:

2 cups quick oats
1 and 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup shortening
1 and 1/4 cups of Peanut butter
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 and 1/4 cups chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla

Throw everything in a bowl, wash your hands well and mix the old fashioned way. Lick off fingers.. (make this recipe with your girlfriend to add interest to this step lmao) wash hands well again..

Drop from a spoon whatever size cookies you prefer and bake 10-15 mins depending on the cookie size at 350


In other news, I have another link for you. This one's for a comic called "Cyanide and Happiness" and you can find one of their animated shorts here. If you search around their page I'm sure you'll find their daily webcomic.

I'm also considering adding some book reviews to my blog, they'd mainly be of the Sci-fi/fantasy genre and the reviews will be short since I don't want to bore anyone who's here just for the cookies.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chips Over There!

So, I made chocolate chip cookies, from scratch. I have no idea how I did it. So here's my guess.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 /2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder

1. Cream butter and sugar together, mix in egg and vanilla.

2 Mix in flour, baking powder and chocolate chips.

3. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased or parchment papered cookie sheets.

4. Bake at 350 until golden.

I have a bonus recipe for you today, in honour of Chef Michael Smith, who I believe was unfairly trounced in Battle Avocado on the tv show Iron Chef America. If I'm speaking a strange language to you, you should make it your mission to find out what these things mean, your life will be better for it, I promise.

Anywho, one of my favourite recipes is "The World's Fastest Chocolate Mousse". A recipe by Chef Michael Smith, which you can find here. And, if you're too lazy to click that, I'm putting the recipe here for you:

8 ounces silken tofu
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
1 tbsp vanilla

1. Melt chocolate slowly in a double boiler (bowl on top of a pot of water).
Make VERY certain you don't get water in the chocolate. Then go watch the movie "Like Water for Chocolate"......THEN go watch the movie "Chocolat".......then thank me.

2. Then (back to the recipe) puree the tofu in a food processor or with an immersion blender.

3. Add chocolate to tofu. Pour into individual containers (if you like). Chill until set. (Or give in and eat it warm, it's still good).

If you're really a keener you could top it all with his Mint Honey Strawberries, which are simply a cup of chopped strawberries mixed with 2 tbsps of fresh chopped mint and 2 tbsps of honey. Or top with whipped cream, or whatever else you please.

Now I know you read that and thought "Tofu? Really?!?" and if you did, then you haven't been listening very well. You really think I would mislead you like that? That I would give you a recipe for chocolate mousse that would taste BAD? Just go try it. Trust me. Afterwards you'll be thanking me for the Johnny Depp reference AND the chocolate mousse.

Next post I'll be bringing you stuff I already promised you.......or something.

Lasagna, Garfield style.

Here's my "from scratch" recipe for meat lasagna. (I use the term "recipe" loosely).


1 mozzarella ball shredded
1 pkg ricotta
1 pkg cottage cheese
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 onion chopped
1 large shredded carrot (optional)
1 green pepper
5 white mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
1 pkg no-boil lasagna noodles (I used 8 noodles I had left from the artichoke lasagna. They made 2 layers of noodles).

1. Brown ground beef with onions, garlic in a large skillet. Add green peppers, mushrooms and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes at about medium. (Long enough to soften peppers and carrot).

2. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer on low.

3. Mix ricotta and cottage cheese.

4. In a casserole dish (mines about 8 x 11") spoon a layer of the spaghetti sauce mixture (about 1/3 of the mixture). Top with one layer of noodles. Top noodles with half of the ricotta mixture and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat with sauce, noodles and cheese. (You should now have no ricotta left, I had too much and saved it for munching). Top with remaining sauce, top THAT with remaining mozza. (NO ricotta or noodles in that layer).

5. Cover with foil and bake in oven at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Broil until cheese is brown and bubbly (if you want, I do).

THE Raspberry Cream Torte!

Tada!I promised (ages ago, but we don't need to talk about that) and here it is. THE Raspberry Cream Torte. (I believe that the recipe from Taste of Home was originally titled Raspberry Cream Dessert). Just in time for Valentines.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

1 pkg (10 ounces) thawed frozen raspberries
1/4 cup cold water
1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
1 pkg (8 ounces) softened cream cheese (I used low-fat, nobody will ever know.)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream WHIPPED (this threw me off when I discovered it halfway through making the dessert

1. Combine crust stuff and press into 8 " pan (use a disposable, straight sided aluminum pan, or a springform pan). Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.

2. Drain berries and reserve juice. Set berries aside. In a small saucepan mix juice, water and gelatin. Let stand 5 min.

3. Cook gelatin mixture over low heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool 10 min.

4. Beat cream cheese and sugar together. Add berries and gelatin mixture and mix together. Chill until partially set (keep a close eye on it, this happens fast). Fold in whip cream (hopefully you already whipped it). Keep the extra whip cream. Spoon mixture into crust.

* Extra tip: Under my bowl in the above pick is a cold pack. Keeps the bowl stable and cold while the whip cream is setting up. I use an oat bag cold pack. It's basically a 6" x 14" tube of cloth, filled with oats. I keep it in the freezer, but you can also put it in the microwave (just only microwave in short bursts of 20-30 seconds or risk burning the oats). I curl it into a circle on my counter and put the bowl on top.

5. Chill OVERNIGHT! (or 6hrs).

6. Peel down sides of pan (or cut them off) or remove springform outside thingy. Top slices with extra whip cream and/or garnish.

7. Write me copious thank you letters telling me all about how this dessert changed your life.

I have a bunch of posts lined up. So stay tuned for homemade, no recipe lasagna (meat and tomato this time), cinnamon maple pancake cupcakes, PLUS chewy chocolate peanut butter cookies and a pancake from scratch recipe both from my friend.

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