Sunday, January 13, 2013

NEW BLOG!

I'm starting fresh over here: Simple Delicious Handmade

Join me!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Owl Wine Cozy

With the re-opening of my Etsy shop, and the start of the new year, I've decided I'd like to get back into blogging again. This time though, will be a little different as I will be posting about more things than just food! I'm thinking this will be more of a crafting blog, offering recipes, DIY projects and whatever else I'm up to.

Recently, I learned to knit. I bought the Susan Bates "Learn to Knit" Kit from Amazon, and I haven't stopped knitting since!
My first sold item on Etsy was this Owl wine cozy. I was given a sketch to work from, with some color ideas, and this is what came to be.


I knit this up using US11 round needles, in garter stitch (not on the round), until I got a big rectangle that fit around a wine bottle. Then, I sewed it shut, and added a felt bottom. I then knitted a small rectangle for the belly and sewed it on. Lastly I added the owl features and wove in the ribbon bow. I’m pretty happy how it turned out, and so is the customer.

Happy New Year Everyone! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Job Pie- 2 ways! Vegan and Gluten Free (GF)

New Job Pie
Apple Rhubarb with Streusel Topping


This new job has given me such inspiration in creating new flavour combinations, and has really challenged me since I have to work without the use of eggs, butter, milk, cream! But, I'm loving it.

This pie was created for the current Chef's Tasting Menu at ZenKitchen and I must say I am pretty proud of it.

What's more awesome about this? It can be made two ways, with just a simple adjustment- Gluten free or not!

First, the crust:
-1 cup margarine or all-vegetable shortening
-3 cups all purpose gluten free flour, sifted
-2 tbsp sugar
-pinch of salt
-4-8 tbsp cold water

Preheat oven to 375*F.
Combine dry ingredients. Cut flat into dry ingredients. Add water gradually until dough just comes together.
Press into 10" tart pan and pre-bake 10 minutes.

Second, the filling:
-1 cup rhubarb jam
-2 rhubarb stalks
-1 large macintosh apple
-2 smaller spy apples
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Peel and dice rhubard into 1" cubes. Peel and slice apples thinly. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch. Sprinkle first tablespoon of cornstarch, let sit for 10 minutes. Add remainder of cornstarch.
Spread jam in crust evenly. Evenly distribute rhubarb pieces. Layer apple slices neatly.

Lastly, the topping:
-1 cup either all-purpose gluten free flour (sifted)/ gluten free oats (if you can find them) OR regular oats (not gluten free)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 cup cold margarine/shortening

Combine first four ingredients, cut in fat until all dry ingredients are coated. Sprinkle evenly over pie.

Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until filling bubbly and crust is done.
Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vegan Gluten Free Best Friend Tart

Remember when I shared this recipe with you? It's really one of my favourite tarts. Recently though, I've gotten a new job as a pastry chef at a vegan restaurant where I also do quite a bit of gluten free baking. So I reworked the original pie recipe to make it vegan, gluten free, and extra tasty!

Vegan GF Best Friend Tart
Crust:
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour, or white rice flour
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of cocoa
4-8 tbsp of water

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in fat until it becomes a sandy texture with pieces of shortening the size of peas. Gradually add water until dough just comes together. Chill in fridge until ready to use. Because this recipe uses shortening and gluten free flour the dough is ready to use right away, but store it in the fridge while you make the filling.

Filling:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 cups mixed berries (raspberry, cranberry, blackberry is my fave combination)

1/4 of a can of coconut cream
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Once dissolved, add berries and cook until thick, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until all cranberries have burst and the syrup sticks to the back of the spoon so that when you run your finger through it, that stripe stays dry.

In a bowl over a double boiler combine chocolate chips and coconut cream. Stir to melt.

Preheat oven to 375*F.

Press dough into a 9" tart pan. Pre bake 5 minutes until just set.
Spread a layer of the chocolate coconut cream on the bottom of the pie shell. Pour in the jam. Bake for another 20 minutes or until crust is done.

Let cool to room temperature and serve with a vegan whipped cream substitute (for example, Lite Nutriwhip), and a berry coulis drizzled over the top, if you have some.