Sunday, January 24, 2010

Birthday Cake

Recently, a friend with wheat allergies had a birthday. I offered to make a cake as I have an old recipe I hadn't made in years that I thought would do the trick. It's also kind of fun for the challenge to make something where you can't rely on all the old standbys. The cake itself is built on eggs and nuts. I wanted a high cake and I also wanted something more gourmet seeming, so I made two batches and layered it with ganache and mousse. To decorate it seemed like I had no choice but to try and make the spiked hazelnuts that were featured in Martha Stewart a while back. I think I may need to work on those, although some usable ones did make it onto the cake.

Hazelnut Torte

4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar - whirl these in blender
2 tbsp flour ( I used Bulk Barn substitute that is a blend of bean,potato,tapioca and sorghum)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup hazelnuts
blend all on high until nuts are ground

Pour into 2 greased and floured 8" pans and bake at 350* for 20mins.
the cake is not a high riser but it has a wonderfully spongy texture that makes it moist and flexible. Definitely preheat your oven, as the batter is so quick and easy to make that you'll be done in a flash.

Monday, January 18, 2010


It can be hard to cook properly when the kitchen's been all dismantled and there are drop cloths everywhere, but I was tired of making pasta packets (hello and goodbye to creamy parmesan) so Lentils and Rice it is. Doesn't sound so appealing? oh but the flavour. I was out of white basmati which really makes this yummy but brown rice also satisfies my need for something healthy after all the preservatives.
This is a variation on Mujadra which is why it has burnt onions on top and is served with some tzatziki.

Lentils and Rice

1/3 cup butter - yes you can use olive oil if you prefer
Large sweet onion, half cut into slices, the other chopped
1/2 cup lentils soaked over night. here I used du puy lentils
2 tbsp cumin - yes it seems like a bit, I probably put in closer to 3 tablespoons
chopped garlic - use however many cloves you like, I use a lot
1 cup rice
2 cups chicken or veg stock
salt and pepper to taste
I add a pinch of chilli flakes as well
because they go in most things I cook

saute chopped onions and garlic in a couple of tablespoons butter. Add lentils and rice, sauteeing until rice is translucent. Add cumin and other spices and then the stock. When mixture has come to a boil, turn heat down to low and cover. Let cook until rice is tender about 25 mins (longer for brown). While rice is cooking, saute the sliced onions in butter until deep golden brown almost burnt. Top your rice with onions and serve with tzatzki or raita. heaven

Monday, January 11, 2010

More 'Before' pics

Here are a couple of examples of what was going on in this kitchen and it's obvious why changes were needed!

Here is the oh so lovely floor that was under Laminate #2 of 7

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2010 - Big Changes.

With the New Year, comes news that we will most likely get posted away from Halifax. When we bought our house, we knew it needed lots of work, but thought we had time on our side. HA!

So, the kitchen has been dismantled. The second coat of paint was applied today with help from my friend Shelley and moral support from Charlene. The fumes are now apparent and I am hiding in the basement. Why the former owners used oil paint is beyond me, but my new motto should be 'Never Again'

Check out the lovely interior under the sink. It was this way when we moved in and I thought I could hide it with mac tac until I was ready to redo the kitchen. Well a proper reno is not feasible with our budget sooooooooooo paint it is!!