February 27, 2009

Edmonton Foodie Meetup #1 - My "blind date" with 11 people

Dinner at the Blue Plate Diner
(Pozole & chicken enchiladas at the Blue Plate Diner. It was too dry for me, bummer).

I tried on numerous outfits, not sure what to wear. As I put on some makeup, I joked to the hubby that I was going on a "blind date".

Ha! You realize I'm going out, without you, to a restaurant, getting all done up to meet people I don't even know! And forget one person, I'm going on a blind date with ELEVEN people I've never met!"

The thing is, the idea wasn't that strange at all.

I stumbled upon the
Edmonton Foodie Meetup exactly a week ago. It was then I discovered, for the first time, that there indeed is other Edmonton food bloggers. We all met at the Blue Plate Diner, to see the faces behind the blogs. My only wish is that I had found their blogs sooner so that I could have read up more and gotten to "know" them through their blogs before I met them in person.

When I told people I was going to this event, some folks thought it was odd. I guess the perception is that bloggers are strange or are antisocial people who never see the light of day because they are too busy typing away on their computers. I can tell you that everyone at the Foodie meetup were very nice and genuine . As normal as can be, though, wouldn't it have been a bit interesting to have one person show up with their underpants on the outside or something like that? Hmmmm, maybe at next Foodie meetup :)

It was great meeting all of you!


Blue Plate Diner
10145-104 St
Edmonton, Alberta

February 25, 2009

construction scene birthday cake

construction scene birthday cake

My daughter's birthday will be coming up soon and I was thinking about what kind of birthday cake to make for her, taking in her suggestions. I then realized that I didn't post the last birthday cake I made.

Some months ago, my youngest celebrated his birthday. I tend to make my kids birthday cakes (that is until they prefer me not to anymore). I'm not the greatest baker or cake decorater but I give it my best shot.

Last year, he started his love for construction and that his why I made the dump truck cake. I thought as the year went on, he'd be into something else but that didn't happen. He loves construction even more.

So I came up with this idea. This was easy and he was pretty excited to see it. What spoiled kids I have. But I love doing it for them.


chocolate layer cake
makes 12 servings

1 cup butter, softened
1.5 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp each baking soda & baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups buttermilk

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time: beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in butter misture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of buttermilk.

Spoon into prepared pans. Either 2 greased springforms pans or 2 round metal cake pans prepared with parchment or waxed paper. **

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.** Cool on racks for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on rack.

Cut cake horizontally into 2 layers.

** I used a 9x13 cake pan instead. You will have to adjust your baking time for longer, at least another 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe from: Chocolate layer Cake, The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook.

chocolate buttercream icing:
yields 3 cups

1 cup margarine or butter
4 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 cup cocoa OR 3 - 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
3-4 Tbsp tbsp milk

Cream margarine. Add sugar gradually beating on medium speed. Icing should appear dry. Add milk & chocolate and beat until fluffy.

Chocolate Buttercream from Wilton's Decorating Guide Yearbook

February 23, 2009

roasting your own coffee beans

roasting your coffee beans
(from front to back: Dark roast, light roast, unroasted (green) beans)

My husband had a conversation with some of his friends about getting a perfect cup of coffee. Of course, they talked on length on water temperature of your coffeemaker, the type of water one must use and to filter or not to filter.

Let's not forget about the coffee beans. These wannabe purists came to the conclusion that they must roast their own beans. That's when my hubby came home with some beans from Transcend Coffee, all excited to roast his own.

It started out ok as the smell of roasting coffee beans reached my nose.  Then it quickly went to overwhelming as the hubby kept opening and closing the oven door, allowing huge clouds of smoke to billow out.  The oils from the coffee beans produce quite a bit of smoke.  Who knew that the smoke would permeate my home furnishings and remain there for days to come.  

Lesson:  The hubby is no longer allowed to bring home unroasted coffee beans.

roasting your own coffee beans

Heat oven to 475 degrees

Spread the beans onto the baking sheet and into the oven for 8-10 minutes. The beans will begin to pop and start shedding the chaff.  Roast the beans for a few more minutes until the desired level of roast is reached.

Remove the the baking sheet from the oven.  Shake the beans to remove chaff (preferably outside) or pour into a colander to cool & remove chaff.

Store cooled beans in a sealed container.

February 20, 2009

bananas with caramel sauce and peanuts

bananas with caramel sauce and peanuts

I have to admit, I've sorta lost my mojo in the kitchen. That's why the lack of blogging. I think it has something to do with my husband moving into the kitchen. He found a new hobby and now the kitchen is no longer my place so much. Plus, he never leaves the kitchen as tidy as I like it. sigh.

I was looking through my photo archives and spotted this photo. It made me wish I had some bananas sitting on the counter begging to be used.


bananas with caramel sauce and peanuts

sorry, it's been a while so I can't tell you exact quantities.

whipping cream
peanuts, crushed (I like the salted version, gives a nice taste to the sweet)

Place about 30 caramels in a pot, with low heat. Add enough whipping cream to dilute it so that it can be drizzled over your bananas.

Top with peanuts.
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