Defies description

There are some places that seem to defy description and logic. I think we found one of them.

It started as a Continue reading

Fingers crossed

I may have jinxed myself with yesterday’s post about first time out and things turning out exceptionally well.

Today I’m also trying something for the first time and feeding the results to friends! Hence the fingers crossed! I don’t have a plan B for supper so let’s hope.

The story begins a couple of years ago when my friend’s dad gave us some beans. He grows them and then dries them and shells them out. So this year I planted some of his and after we ate them fresh and green I let the plants continue. I pulled, dried and finally shelled them in a post called Side tracked

They’ve been patiently waiting for me to remember to soak them on a weekend night and have the day for them to simmer. First I checked with my mom for a recipe but it turns out that’s doctored up canned beans was the norm although she did hand write out a receipe for her granddaughter’s shower gift. I then turned to my two favourite on line sites only to find out they both used canned beans to create their baked beans.

So I just picked the first three hits, read the reviews, picked one (Genius kitchen which I’ve used before) and set about making it. They have to soak overnight in cold water; the next morning they are boiled in clean water for 10 minutes. While they were simmering on the stove I made the sauce for them; a modification here and there like less sugar and a jalapeno. Then I put them in the oven and walked away for several hours. We did have to adjust fluid levels a few times but I am happy to report they were cooked after 6 hours and the sauce was absolutely spot on!

So first time lucky but it sure won’t be the last time we have them. It takes pre planning but it is neither hard nor complex just time consuming for the cooking part. It was a casual meal for sure but paired with good friends and lively conversation and a brew it went down well.

Bernie

Worst Enemy

I am, without a doubt, my own worst enemy. I’m chronically tired but always go to bed late because I’m doing one more thing. I feel Continue reading

Grasslands National Park

I am extremely excited to bring you the first GUEST BLOG POST about our National Parks. For me it’s like a triple win; a Saskatchewan park, the wide open prairies (my spiritual space) and written by an inspiring young woman who is a mover and a shaker. Someone I am lucky enough to call my friend and who, with only a tiny bit of encouragement dove into writing about her Parks Canada experience. Continue reading

Piecaken 

I had a request from my son for a special birthday cake. I was so pumped it wasn’t an angel food cake (see previous posts about how much I dislike making, icing and eating this “cake”) that I instantly said yes to the challenge.

He wanted a piecaken. Never heard of it?  You know the turkey stuffed with the duck stuffed with the chicken. I think it was created by the same crazy person who invented turducken. It could also have been invented by someone who just couldn’t decide if pie or cake was their favourite for dessert. Obviously we live in a world of over indulgence.


So the flavours chosen were raspberry and chocolate. Works for me as I have lots of garden raspberries and make a killer chocolate cake. I did do a little bit of internet research about creating one of these. Retrospectively not enough! 

We made a small pie it had to fit into the 9″ springform with space along the sides. It cooked up well and the parchment paper meant it was going to slide into the cake easily.

Chocolate cake is like one on my signature dishes. So the next part of making the cake is easy. Until you get to the part where you marry them together. There are no photos of the actual process because all hands were kind of busy.


So that was the tough part right? Now to pop it in the oven, pull it out and ice it. Or so it seemed. But if you have ever cooked a cake you know it can be tricky to get it cooked perfectly. If you over bake it then it’s dry, too little and it will fall and be gooey. So I checked it several times in assorted places. All seemed to be cooked so I left it too cool in the oven. The hash tag on Instagram was #whatcouldgowrong. Ah yes well…



It was interesting to note that the middle and outside were cooked and the ring of the pastry was gooey. Hm. Not good. We cut the top off, patched the hole with cake from the top and put on the ganache toping. The theory we worked off of — we’ve all eaten raw cake batter off the spoon.


The verdict was that it tasted good but more work is required to get it perfected. I suspect strongly that my next dessert club offering will be a piecaken. More research is a prerequisite to the next attempt though. If you’ve successfully made a piecaken please share your tips with me. If you want to come for left overs of this one let me know!

Bernie