Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Washoku Warriors - Challenge 8

Yes - Challenge 8. If you're wondering where the first 7 are, they're over at La Fuji Mama's blog: La Fuji Mama

Washoku Warriors is a group that Fuji Mama started based on Elizabeth Andoh’s Japanese cookbook, Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen. As a lover of all food I was excited to take up the challenge. (Except for fish. Remember folks, fish are friends, not food.)

This time the challenge was tempura pancakes known as shojin kaki age. This is one of my favorite dishes so I was excited to try it. The deep frying made me a little nervous thanks to a previous "incident" but I was still willing to try. (For the record, 350F oil hurts when it runs down your arm.)

Also included in the challenge were some optional recipes. I chose to make three of the five flavored salts to dip the tempura in. I made the green tea, fragrant pepper and black sesame. Super easy! Just two ingredients for each:

Green Tea:

Fragrant Pepper: (Our favorite)

Black Sesame:

Yes, I used French fleur de sel for this. Yes, I know it's stupidly expensive. I figured it wasn't doing any good sitting in the pantry and it saved me from buying more salt.

For the tempura itself, I used julienned parsnips, sweet potato, carrot and burdock:

The burdock was new to me but we liked it. Overall, we liked this dish. I'm already looking forward to the next challenge and plan on making the tempura pancakes again! Here's my final result:

Yummy! Thanks for the challenge Fuji Mama!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Trip to the Mountains

One of the great things about living in the foothills is how close we are to the mountains. If I look out my kitchen or bedroom window, I can see their beautiful snow capped peaks. In fact, the picture in my blog header was taken from my bedroom window.

Yesterday we decided to take a trip to the mountains. We were actually scouting out locations for a Search and Rescue training course but we thought we'd also take the time for a weiner roast as well.

This is the highway that heads past our house to the mountains. Today we're going to see how close we can get to Devil's Head Mountain. It's the one the arrow is pointing at.

Pretty small now but it'll get bigger!

West of town there is some pretty clear evidence of our province's main industries - cattle and natural gas.

Longhorn cattle aren't very common around here but their horns are certainly impressive!

Once we left the highway, the road narrowed considerably...

And then it narrowed some more...

And then it became icy/slushy in places where springs were located close to the road...

(We went around this spot)

Finally, we drove across the river and were treated with a beautiful view of Devil's Head mountain.

We had our weiner roast:

We learned that cowboy boots aren't the best footwear when the snow is deep:

We gained a greater appreciation for indoor plumbing. (No pictures of this thankfully!)

We learned how to use the camera's timer function:

Heading west of town is one of my most favorite thing to do around here. I'd love to see what other's love about the area they live in!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How to Make French Macarons in 10 Steps

I made macarons a few weekends ago and I thought that sharing my experiences would be a perfect way to resurrect my poor neglected blog.

Before I start, I want to clarify - I'm talking about French Macarons made with almond flour and egg. Not Macaroons which are yummy little coconut treats.

Here's a picture of my result:
Yum - Almond macarons with lemon custard filling!

Since these are often refered to as one of the most difficult pastries to make, I thought I'd share my technique.

1. Take a class from a French chef who makes Macaron baking look like the easiest thing in the world.

2. Make a special trip into the city to buy almond flour. Accidentally buy almond meal.

3. Try to make almond flour out of almond meal. Get frustrated.

4. Have a nap.

5. Make a special trip into town to buy a flour sifter.

6. Realize that the almond meal is still too coarse to go through the sifter and that you only have enough icing sugar for a half batch. Refuse to go into town again and half the recipe instead.

7. Use the almond meal and hope for the best. At the very least you can make an interesting trifle.

8. Discover that cheap aluminum cookie sheets result in mutant macarons and that expensive double bottom cookie sheets result in nice looking ones.

9. Run out of parchment paper. Refuse to make another trip into town since the stores are all closed anyway. Discover that macarons stick to parchment paper when it's used more than once. Also discover that sticky macarons = mutant macarons.

10. Eat the mutant macarons to hide the evidence.

That's it! You now should have about 10 perfect macarons to show for a whole day of baking! Easy right?


Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Baby Card!

I'm not so sure if I like this one or not. Hmmm....

Oh well, I can make more!

Congratulations to my cousin Sue and her husband Whip on the safe arrival of Brady William! A baby brother for Coby and Evan!

(By the way, this card was made with Core-dinations paper. For some really great examples of what you can do with this paper check out Lydia's Blog:
Scrap Notions)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Writing my midterm today. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back to School Shopping!

I love back to school shopping!

This year we went up to West Edmonton Mall to do our shopping. More than 800 stores to choose from!

We try to make a special day out of it for Cassidy and she gets to be involved 100% in picking out her new outfits.

This year we didn't really need a lot since Cassidy had a growth spurt at the end of the last school year and needed all new clothes in June. Clothes that still fit! (Thank heavens!)

We still got quite a bit:

2 pairs of pants, a skirt, 3 long sleeve shirts, 2 short sleeves, indoor shoes, church shoes and a backpack. (Okay, the church shoes aren't for school but aren't they cute?)

Also, thanks to a wonderful school district, I only need to buy one more thing from Cassidy's school supply list: a box of tissues. Woot!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another quick card

Just a pink version of the baby boy card I posted a while ago.

Congratulations John and Andrea! Welcome to Tabitha Rose - a little sister for George!