Sunday, 24 February 2013

My 2 year adventure, week 3: Baked vegetable lasagna

Week 3:
I had to skip a week! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! But that's OK because I was in Quebec for my schools Quebec exchange. But I'm back now! Today I made lasagna with my dad. Step one: Cook the pasta. That went well. Step two: Make the sauce. That consists of onions, garlic, salt, sugar, black pepper, crushed tomatoes, basil, and oregano. It was a really good sauce! My only concern was that we might of heated the saucepan too much and evaporated some of the sauce because there wasn't very much in the end. Step three: Make the tofu layer. Normally, this would be a meat layer, but because this is a vegetarian dish, the recipe called for tofu. The tofu layer had tofu (duh!), Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, one egg, and salt. My dad handled that part and it was great. Step four is were it went all wrong. Step four: Make the vegetable layer. Now this was a really easy step. You cut up bell peppers and zucchini then add salt and saute it. What could possibly go wrong????? Well, I cut up my bell peppers and I cut up my zucchini. I was taking the zucchini off the knife by sliding my finger across the side of the knife and disaster struck. I cut myself. Pretty badly. Needless to say, my dad had to finish the dish himself. The dish in the end was great and my family gave it a 8 out of 10. Today I learned a lot of knifing techniques from my dad today (before I cut myself). Overall, a nice dish to eat with your family.

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)  

Monday, 11 February 2013

baking for fun: Cake decorating

For my birthday, my parents gave me a spot in a 2-hour cake decorating course. It was at a really good cupcake bakery and I was really happy. I got there and the first thing I realized was that I was sooooo much younger than everyone else. Then I realized that there was only one boy there and he was there with his girlfriend. We came in and there were 8 stations. Each station had one turntable, an apron, 2 spatulas, 1 wet towel, 1 PVC pipe, 1 rolling pin, and one cutting/smoothing tool. We put our aprons on and got to work. We went to another table and there were 18 cakes. 6 vanilla, 6 chocolate, and 6 red velvet. We were making double layered cakes. Everyone wanted red velvet. All 6 girls/women got one layer of red velvet and one layer of chocolate. The poor guy, who was busy, got two layers of vanilla. We started by filling and stacking our cakes. I took FOREVER! I was trying to smooth the icing out with my smoothing tool, but I just kept scraping cake away with the icing... So I finally got my cake in the fridge and we start working with fondant. I'we never worked with fondant so I had no clue what to expect. I wanted to cover my cake in purple, but the purple they had was really dull. I ended up mixing purple with hot pink and white to get a really vibrant purple. I got my cake covered and we started decorating. I did my cake with circles in fondant around the sides and I wanted to do swirls on the top. BAD IDEA. I've never piped elaborate details, only swirls on a cupcake, so my swirls really sucked. I scraped them off but there was this giant smear of white icing on-top of my cake :( I decided to try to hide it by piping circles made from stars on-top. It looked great. Until the stars stared to melt and blob... *sigh*... Overall the sides looked 10 times better than the top but I learned a lot today and I had a really great experience. Thanks mom and dad!

See you next time internet! Love Alexa :)   

Saturday, 9 February 2013

My 2 year adventure, week 2: Fettuccine alfredo with bacon/upside-down fudge-almond tart

Week 2:
So, I'm already at week 2. The first thing my dad and I made was fettuccine alfredo with bacon. Yes, I said BACON. You needed four pieces of bacon for the recipe. So, my dad and I thought why should we buy crappy bacon at the store that we need only four pieces of? Instead, we went to our local market with organic and locally grown/produced food. We bought 4 nice pieces of bacon. Yum... We also decided to buy handmade fresh fettuccine there instead of buying it at the store. We kind of wrecked the recipe though. WE FORGOT TO WASH THE PASTA AFTER COOKING IT! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! It became sticky, but still, delicious. 
Fettuccine Alfredo w/ Bacon

Next my dad made his 2nd dessert ever. An upside-down fudge-almond tart. It tasted like luscious brownie with nuts on top. I used a new ingredient. Golden cane syrup. At first I thought the recipe said golden corn syrup, but no. Golden cane syrup is pretty much liquid sugar. Yay? 

Upside-down Fudge-Almond Tart

My parents rated the pasta 7/10 (mainly 'cause of sticky pasta) and the tart 8/10. 

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)  

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Baking for fun: Biscotti

Today I took on the task of making biscotti. A difficult task because I was in charge of watching my little brother at the same time.... I succeeded in making the dough and getting it into the oven. While the dough was in the oven, I decided to make myself a drink from the leftover lemon and orange. I cut the orange open and.... it was RED!!!!!!! I realized that I had used a blood orange instead of a regular orange. I spent the next 5-10 minutes googleing "Does blood orange zest taste different that orange zest?" most results actually stated that blood orange zest is sweeter. Hope I did the recipe a favor... anyway, here's the recipe:
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup corn or canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp anise extract or almond extract 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and beat them on medium speed until combined. Gradually add the flour mix to the egg mix until it forms a dough. Make the dough into a log and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Place the pieces on a greased cookies sheet and bake them for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Once the logs are baked, slice each one into 3 slices. Then........EAT!!!! They smelt heavenly. As I was cutting them, the lovely smell of orange and almond filled the kitchen. It actually tasted like biscotti! I was sooooo happy :)It's a very nice recipe and worth making!

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)           

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Blog intro

I just realized, 3 days in, that I haven't done a blog intro. I'm going to do 2 section blog. Section 1: My two year adventure. The story is this: For my 13th birthday I received a recipe calender, which is pretty much for every two or three days there is one recipe. This lasts for exactly one year. Now, I'm not going to making a recipe every two or three days, I'm going to be making a recipe every week. But I might do more than one recipe in a day, making the amount of meals I have created last me exactly 2 years. This project will end around my 15th birthday :)
Section 2: Baking for fun. This section is pretty much the things that I have baked during the week + recipes so that you guys can try it! Happy reading!

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Baking for fun: 5 minute fudge

Today me and my friend (whose name also happens to be Alexa) decided to make 5 minute fudge. The recipe was amazing. It was actually more like 10 minute fudge plus refrigerating time. The recipe is as follows:
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 2/3 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows or 1 cup regular sized
  • 2 cups chocolate chips   
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
Directions: Place the evaporated milk, sugar, and butter into a saucepan. Heat it until you get a rotating boil. A rotating boil is pretty much when you stir it, the mixture keeps boiling. Keep boiling and stirring for another 4 minutes. Take the saucepan of the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Keep mixing until the chocolate chips and marshmallows are completely melted. Then, pour the mixture into a 9 by 9 baking dish lined with aluminum foil and refrigerate until set (about 1-2 hours; mine took 1 hour and 30 minutes). When the fudge is done cut and serve. My friend and I decided to garnish it with chocolate chips. :) IT WAS SOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!! The only problem was that it was REALLY sweet. If you don't have a sweet tooth, don't make this...
Our parents were SUPER impressed and my brother is now addicted. 

(5 minute chocolate fudge)                          

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

My 2 Year Adventure, Week 1: Corn and Crab Fritters with Guacamole/Sauteed Snapper with Orange-Fennel Salad

Week 1:
       Today my dad and I made Corn and Crab Fritters with Guacamole. I had no clue what to expect. I had never eaten a fritter before today. I was in a bit of a frenzy at the store because I haven't ever had to look for canned crab before so I wasn't sure if the store would have it. They did, and they had many varieties of it. I spent a full 5 minutes deciding what kind to buy. It was an easy recipe and making them was a lot like making pancakes... except that you you fry them in a ton of oil to make them crispy. Because of the amazing amount of oil and the heat my dad and I had to be careful to not get burned by flying oil. The guacamole really shocked my dad and I. It called for 2 teaspoons of minced onion. Yeah. Only 2. After we added all the ingredients it ended up being the perfect amount of guacamole. They ended up being really tasty even though the crab was pretty hidden. 
                    (Crab Fritters and Guacamole)  

       The crab fritters were tasty, but not quite a full meal. My dad an I used them as an appetizer. While my mom, brother, and great-aunt were eating the fritters and guacamole, my dad and I were in the kitchen frying some snapper (a.k.a. rockfish) and an orange-fennel salad. Fennel, if any of you are wondering, tastes like licorice (which I found out today). We went to the store and bought $20 worth of fish, only to come home and find out we bought twice as much as we needed... The finished product was delicious and definitely worth the money and time.

                 (Sauteed Snapper with Orange-Fennel Salad)

      Overall my family gave the fritters 7/10 and the fish 7.33/10. They would have given it more, but they didn't want to set the bar too high for the other dishes. LOL. 

See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)