Monday, January 30, 2012

Parsnips Pandas, and Parisian Orange Cookies.

Alrighty, folks. This has been an exciting week for me and this little blog here. We're going global. Yes you heard me right. World-wide. Okay maybe not. But I've signed up and been accepted into a few different blogroll sites to get more exposure of this blog (You may notice the little ads on the side of the home page). To you that may sound silly, but it makes me excited!

So the first site I'm now connected with is called "Foodie Blogroll." This is basically a site that advertises, in a way, different food blogs to it's members. My blogging friend and second cousin (maybe...I think) introduced me to it. Hop on over to his site, it's pretty sweet.

The second one is called "Petit Chef," and it basically does the same thing. So I've applied to have my blog published on their site as well.

On a non blog-related topic, I've finished exams and started the second semester of grade eleven today. Exams were wonderful. Okay, not wonderful, but I feel super confident about all of them. And my new classes look promising too. So here's to the second half of this school year!

The title of today's post was inspired by Mr. Popper's Penguins: A wonderfully, ridiculous movie featuring none other than Jim Carrey. For those who haven't seem it I highly recommend it! Mr. Popper's assistant, Pippy, speaks mainly in words beginning with the letter "P." It's the most wonderful thing, really. So this post is dedicated to Pippy!

So let's focus on the first part of the title: Parsnips. I work at a grocery store. Now I know the names of most of the produce that people bring through my till, but last Saturday was a different story. I starred at this bag of weird looking produce for a good five minutes before having to ask my customer what it was. A parsnip. Right. I knew that. So just what is a parsnip? Well...Wikipedia tells me that it's a root veggie related to the carrot. And that's all I need to know.

I hope I taught you something new.

Number Two: Pandas. So this is a rather old video, but for some odd reason I remembered it the other day. Watch it. I promise you will smile.

How cute! If you're ever wondering what to get me for Christmas or my birthday...a baby Panda would be acceptable.

And finally, number three. Parisian Orange Cookies.

These guys created the best aroma ever. Well...maybe not the best but they smell wonderful.

I enjoyed them when they were still warm and soft but after they cooled down they harden quite a bit. They still tasted alright, but not my favourite. My Dad did enjoy them a great deal though.

This recipe was adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. A delightful book of a gazillion recipes for yummy cookies!

Parisian Orange Cookies
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
*Preheat oven to 375*
*Mix orange rind, water, and 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan
*Boil gently for about 10 minutes, until mixture becomes syrupy
*Cream butter, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla extract until fluffy
*Mix dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt- in a small bowl
*Mix 1/4 cup of the syrup mixture and all of the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture
* Roll into 1" balls (I used a small cookie scooper)and place on cookie sheet, flatten with a fork and sprinkle with sugar
*Bake for about 9-12 minutes

Taadaa! They look lovely and sparkly from the sugar on top! And who doesn't like sparkly things?

So give it a try. Oranges not your thing? Try mixing it up. Use lemon rind instead of orange, or be daring and try it with limes...I'm not promising good results but atleast it's something fun to try. And who knows, maybe you'll stumble upon someting wonderful!

Thanks for reading, Have a super-duper week,
Sydney <3

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Danke, Merci, Gracias, Thank you!

As some of you know, my Grandma has been in the hospital for three and a half weeks now due to a broken back. But on Friday she should be going home! Yay! What a trooper, that Grandma of mine. I can only imagine what she's all been through in the past few weeks. But she did 98% of it with a smile on her face. Not a shock for those of you who know my Grandma. Things will get tough once she gets home without the nurses at her side, but I have no doubt that her and Grandpa will get through it...smiling and laughing the whole time.

My mom has spent a lot of time with Grandma at the hospital through all of this and both of them have grown quite fond of the nurses. I visited for a week and in that time it became obvious to me how much the nurses put into their patients. How they manage such long shifts so many days in a row is beyond me! But they too, are constantly smiling.

Since Grandma will be going home soon, my mother wanted to do something as a "thank you" to all the nurses that helped take care of my Grandma. What's the perfect "thank you" present, you ask? Cupcakes, I always answer.

And what kind of cupcakes do you make for nurses? Well medical cupcakes, obviously.

So that's just what my mother and I did. We spent all Sunday afternoon rolling and shaping fondant into hospital-type decorations...yes, I know I should have been studying for exams...but this was much for fun!

Nothing too fancy. More is less, right?

As for frosting, the marshmallow method from my previous Smore Cupcakes was used.

Hm, who knew my mother was such so pro at making fondant pills? I guess everyone has a hidden talent! Yes, we make quite a team in the kitchen. Not that we get a lot of work done between the laugh attacks...haha but that t'is okay with me.

Well...since I would prefer to pass my exams this semester at school I should be a good student and do some more studying. Yay...hear the sarcasm in my voice? probably don't because I didn't say anything outloud. Let's try that again. Did you read the sarcasm in my typig? "Why yes I did, Sydney." Good, I was hoping you would.

Okay, well that is all I have to ramble about today.

-Sydney :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You'll Wish You had Left Over Coconut Milk too

Okay, so if by any chance you DO have left over coconut milk from a previous recipe you made....then this is your lucky day. But even if you don't, I would suggest buying some for the recipe I'm about to share.

I've never baked with coconut milk before....I've never had coconut milk in the house before...I had to think really hard to remember that coconuts have milk in them. We don't usually have fresh coconuts around so I've gotten used to the bags of sweetened, shredded stuff. So if you say something about coconuts I will imagine flakes or shreds of sweet white please always explain if you are talking about real coconuts or processed coconut products.
Not that I have many conversations about coconuts.

Well now I'm really in the mood to talk about coconuts.
 Okay, I'm sorry for getting distracted. Back to the recipe I found the other day. So my mom had made me some amazing lemon-y coconut-y cupcakes for my birthday. Yes it was my birthday almost two weeks ago. Happy belated Birthday to me! So my mother had bought coconut milk for these cupcakes and apparently had a lot left over so I was challenged to use it up.
And that's just what I did.

Any of you have an Ipod? Iphone? Ipad? I guess any device that has apps...if so, I bet you have piles of random apps that you downloaded and never even look at anymore. Well I have one called "Sweet Baking" that I downloaded almost a year ago just because it was a baking app. Well long story short, I never even looked at it until last week. And it's actually pretty decent. I guess the recipes and techniques are really simple...but who doesn't love simple every now and then?

So on this App, I stumbled upon something. Something that uses coconut milk. Coincidence? I think not. After a quick run through the kitchen to see if I had everything, I began to make Coconut Milk Cupcakes. And they turned out really well.
That is if you like coconut.

Being the generous person that I am...I will share the recipe.

Coconut Milk Cupcakes
  • 1 cup cake flour (or 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons regular flour)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup (I just used pancake syrup...)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
*Preheat oven to 350*
*In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, & salt)
*In another bowl beat together the sugar, maple syrup and 3 egg yolks
*Beat the 3 egg whites until stiff peaks form
*Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture and beat in the coconut milk
*Gently fold in the egg whites until fully blended
*Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes.

This recipe made about 12 regular size cupcakes and 12 mini's.

As for icing, I just used chocolate buttercream. Because lets face it: everything tastes better with chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

So I'm not much of a photographer. *Gasp* As if you didn't know that already. But my sister showed me an editing program (Photoscape (free download!!)) I've gotten hooked on editing. Not like crazy over-the-top editing...but just a little tweaking. Good? bad? Just something different I guess.
Well well, I think I've run out of things to say..ha not really but I have better things to do now.
Like drink tea and watch Ellen.
Have you read Ellen's new book? "Seriously...I'm Kidding." So. Good. I literally laughed through the whole book. It's amazing.

Okay now I'm done.

Happy January 10th to you!
-Sydney :)