homemade beaver tails, eh?

Beaver Tails… it doesn’t get more Canadian than this!  If you like them as much as I do, well I’ve got you covered.  I’ve made my first batch over Canada Day weekend and we’ve been craving them ever since.  Honestly, it’s kind of easy to do, you just need a bit of time to do it.  Topping possibilities are endless… and that’s really exciting!  So take some time this weekend and try them!

What you need:

1\2 cup warm water

2 packs of active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup warm milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1\2 cup sugar

2 cups whole wheat flour

3 cups regular flour

1\3 cup vegetable oil

vegetable oil for frying

How to:

I always use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the hook attachment when making dough.  In the mixing bowl, add water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Let rest for a few minutes, until foamy.  Pour in the milk, sugar, vanilla, eggs, oil and salt.  Mix well with the hook.  Add in batches, the flour.  Mix until nothing sticks to the side of the bowl.

Use another bowl and cover with a bit an oil.  Take the dough from the mixer, knead a minute on a floured surface, then place in the oiled bowl. (I always preheat my oven at 175 and then turn it off and place the dough in, with a damp cloth on top).  Let rise until it doubled in size, between 45 minutes to an hour.

On a floured surface again, knead the dough gently and then roll it out in a rectangle with a rolling pin.  With a pizza cutter, slice the dough in small rectangle about the size of your hand.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover while you prepare the rest.

Heat oil in a large pot.  You should have 4-5 inches of oil in the bottom of your pan.  One piece of dough at the time, stretch and shape in an oval or like a Beaver Tail.  Gently place in hot oil and fry until golden on both side, turning once.  Take it out, place it on a paper towel and repeat with all the dough.

I suggest doing this recipe with an helper (adult).  Do not let the kids play around you while you do this.  They will have plenty of time to have fun while topping their Beaver Tails later on!  As for my toppings… well I have a thing for Nutella, so obviously mine was chocolate with powdered sugar.  The boys had the classic cinnamon sugar (brush melted butter and mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with 1 cup of sugar).  Dip the buttered tail in the sugar and voila!  I’d say that maple butter, or jam or Dulce de Leche from Chocolats Favoris would also be pretty delicious.

You could easily divide this recipe.  It makes around 20 pieces of dough depending on the size of your Beaver Tails.  You can store them, without toppings, in an airtight container for a few days on the counter.

This is a great recipe for a party, where you could have a cute topping bar and where everyone could customize their own Beaver Tail!

So try this, it’s a winner!  Let me know about your favorite toppings, as I’d like to try them all!  Enjoy!

 

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strawberry jam forever

It’s official, we’re on vacation.  And what did I do on my first day of vacation?  Wake up super early and went strawberry picking.  Dragged the boys, as I thought they would like it, but within 5 minutes they were already bored.  Turns out they really like jam but not as much working for it and picking up berries.

So I woke one minute before my usual 6:10 am alarm.  Way to go.  Lounged with the boys and then got ready to visit Les Jardins Lamoureux in Hawkesbury.  Jojo, Lulu and my Mom tagged along.  Within one hour we had 7 huge baskets filled to the brim.  It was a gorgeous morning, perfect weather, but boy, picking strawberries is not easy!  I will now have much more appreciation for the berries that I will buy at the store!

Logan had a meltdown.  He picked about 11 berries before he called it quit.  So I decided to fill his basket for him, but as soon as I started putting some in the basket, he started balling.  You can’t touch his food; I should have known better!  Well, nothing like a 4 years old meltdown in the middle of a strawberry field.  He kept on saying ‘I only want 11’.  Oh well, too bad.  I filled the rest of it!

We came back home and took our first summer vacation nap.  Two glorious hours of sleep and then waking up to the smell of strawberries in the entire house.  Heaven.

I think we made 5 batches of jam in a 12 hour period.  The boys didn’t liked the strawberry picking, but making the jam, they loved it… with all the licking and the sticky fingers and the happy faces.

I used a Club House envelop.  The recipe is on the packets but I’m sharing anyway!

No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam

What you need:

4 cups of strawberries

1 1/2 cups of sugar

Club House Freezer Jam packet

Glass jars

How to:

Wash jars.  Chop the strawberries and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add sugar and mix.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Even though they say not to, I blended the berries.  I’m not a fan of chunky jam.  So at this point, I used a hand held mixer and blended the berries.  Sprinkle the gelling powder and mix well for 3 minutes.  Let stand for 5.  Stir again before pouring in the jars.  Seal tight.  Store in fridge for up to 6 weeks or in the freezer for a year.

So now I think we have more jam than what we’d probably be able to eat over the next 3 years… so if you’re in a jam, drop by our place and pick up a jar!

I know what’s for lunch today: Strawberry sandwiches.  Our fav!  Now, if only the warm weather would cooperate it would actually feel like a vacation and I could enjoy some freshly picked strawberry outside by the pool.

Have an awesome week mylemondroplife followers!

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goat cheese pizza

And the sun is out!  Finally!!!  So, patio time now?  Oh well, I wish, but not for us… we still haven’t started painting our deck, so our time being outside and enjoying the sun will be quite short for now, or until that task is done; because at the moment our backyard is a mess… and we just don’t know where to start!

Anyway, I’ve made up this awesome, quick and delicious pizza/naan bread recipe last week and can’t wait to make it again, and again.  It takes a few minutes to make, all the ingredients are easy to find, and everybody loves it.  I didn’t follow any recipe, so you can change the goat cheese for whichever cheese you like most.  For me it’s not an easy task to decide which one to use… as I love all of them!  But goat cheese, on a pizza, it’s just sooo good!!!

Easy Goat Cheese Pizza Recipe

What you need:

-garlic naan bread

-fresh tomatoes

-olive oil

-goat cheese

-fresh pepper

-fresh basil

How to:

Heat the oven to 350.  Place the garlic naan bread (if you don’t have garlic naan, use regular naan and add fresh garlic to the olive oil) on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on it.  Slice the tomatoes and place on the naan.  Place chunks of goat cheese on top and sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper. Put in the oven for 15 minutes and then broil for a few minutes.  Keep an eye on it.  You don’t want to forget it in the oven!  Once the cheese starts to golden, take it out.  Dressed the pizza with some fresh basil and voilà!  Cut in pieces and eat it while in the pool or in between sangrias!

Enjoy this pizza this weekend and have fun!  You won’t regret making this.  Cheers!

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chipotle corn on the cob

Who doesn’t like corn?  I mean, aside from Logan, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that doesn’t like corn on the cob!

I bought corn and I have to say that it was pretty good for not being in season.  I got a new recipe book last week called ‘Summer Table’, in which I found a great corn on the cob recipe for my Mexican week.  I might be clueless, but it required some Chipotle Adobo sauce, which I had never heard of before.  So I looked it up, and it’s actually smoked and dried jalapenos in a sweet tangy purée of tomato.  Sound delish right?  Well it was!

So again, very easy to prepare.  Remove the husk from the corn… I didn’t entirely removed it, I decided to tie it at the other end for prettier pictures!  Then pour the sauce on top of the corn and wrapped it up in foil, leaving the husk on the outside.  Here’s the recipe.

Chipotle Corn on the Cob

What you need:

12 corns

1 can peppers in Adobo sauce (found at my local Food Basics)

1/4 melted butter

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 pinch of cumin

2 TBS tomato paste

2 TBS honey

2 TBS oilive oil

2 TBS sugar

Garnish:

cilantro

mozzarella

hot chili peppers

How to:

Preheat the BBQ at 400.  Remove the husk, leaving it hanging and tie it with twine.  Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the corn.  Wrap four corns with foil, leaving the husk on the outside.  Repeat for all corns.  If you put too many, turning them on the grill will be difficult.  Place the foil packets on the BBQ, placing the husk toward the outside of the BBQ, and close the lid.  Cooking time should be between 20-25 minutes, turning the corns once after 10-12 minutes.  Once they’re ready, remove from foil and let them roast on the grill for a few minutes.  But watch them carefully, if not you’ll end up with popcorn.  Remove from the grill and garnish with mozzarella cheese, cilantro and hot peppers.

The taste is very different than regular boiled corn on the cob, but delicious.  The smokiness from the Adobo plus the grill is amazing.  Perfect for BBQ nights and Cinco de Mayo!

So I’ve discovered a new recipe as well as a new sauce… will definitely try some chicken marinated with this spicy Adobo sauce soon!

I hope you will try some of these Mexican and spicy recipes I’ve share this week.  So far, all three would go great together!  And if you have your own favorite Mexican recipe, please share!

Salud.

 

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who wants some taquitos?

So for my second day of awesome Mexican recipe, I’ve tried a new one.   And I will definitely make it again and again.  Great to make in advance for some lunches; or you can cut it up and serve it as appetizers; or even serve for diner with some lime and cilantro rice.  Beware: lots of spiciness!  I used some jalapeno in a jar… and I thought they’d be less spicy, but boy oh boy, was I wrong!

Here the recipe for the awesome Creamy Jalapeno Taquitos!

What you need:

4 boneless chicken breast

8oz cream cheese

2 TBS of pickled jalapeno chopped

pinch of cumin

1 TBS garlic salt

salt and pepper

12 tortillas

tex-mex cheese

sour cream

How to:

Preheat oven at 400.  Place chicken, cream cheese, jalapeno, cumin, garlic salt, salt and pepper in a baking dish.  Mix well and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, mix well again and replace for another 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, grate the cheese and set aside.  Remove the chicken and let cool for 5 minutes.  Shred the chicken mixture.  Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Take a tortilla, place some cheese in the middle and add a few spoonful of the chicken mixture.  Roll the tortilla tightly and place on the parchment paper.  Repeat for all the tortillas.  Heat up (at 400) in the oven until golden.  Serve with some cream cheese, fresh jalapenos, lime wedge and cilantro.

I’ve stored the leftover taquitos in a Ziploc bag, ready to be heated up for lunch.  Once again, these are spicy, so beware.  If you’re not a fan, cut out half of the jalapenos or leave them out entirely.  But these are so good with the full 2 tbs of chopped pickled jalapeno!!!

Enjoy!

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pineapple salsa fit for a fiesta

 

Finally, May is here. That means I’m getting ready for Cinco de Mayo!  I love, love, love Mexican food, and finally (and hopefully), the boys do too!

It took a while but we now have Taco Tuesdays at our house.  And this next Friday we’re hosting a little Cinco de Mayo get-together where I’ll be cooking some of my favorite Mexican recipes.  So this week, my blog will be all about delicious, flavorful and spicy food!

At the top of my list: GUACAMOLE! This was the first recipe posted on my blog, which you can find here.  Always a crowed pleaser, so you should double the recipe if you ever try it for a small group of people. Try it, you’ll know what I mean!  Awesome with nachos, but also great with chicken, tacos, fajitas, toast and more!

So this week’s first recipe is a Pineapple Salsa.  It tastes so ‘fresh’, it will make you think of summer.  And I bet you’ll want to eat it all summer long as well.  Great with nachos, baked tortillas, or on top of some grilled chicken.  Great for pool parties, diners or just for a snack.  It’s really healthy, well, until you add the chips!!!

This recipe calls for an entire pineapple; you may think it’s a lot, but once you’ll start to eat it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t used two!

Pineapple Salsa

What you need:

1 pineapple, cut into small cubes

1\4 cup of fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno

1 small red onion

2 tbs. lime juice

1 small tomato

salt and pepper

How to:

Really easy.  Cut everything into small cubes.  Place in a bowl.  Add the chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Place in the fridge for about an hour before serving.  You can keep it in the fridge for at least 4-5 days in an airtight container.  Serve with nacho chips, or on top of anything really!

This week’s recipes are really spicy.  I will be using a lot of jalapenos, but if you’re not a fan of the heat, use less jalapeno or just leave them out of the recipe. My kids are not fans of the spiciness, maybe because I’ve had a bit too much of Frank’s Hot Sauce while pregnant (but I was craving for it), who knows!  So all these recipes can be kids friendly without the peppers/jalapenos.

So, if you are into Mexican food like myself, you should really try this recipe.  It’ll make you feel like you’re in Mexico enjoying the beautiful Mexican sun, while here in Ottawa it’s freezing and pouring rain outside all day long.

Oh, and don’t forget to let me know what you think of this awesome pineapple salsa me amigo.

Salud!

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keep calm and eat maple taffy

They’re a tiny little gap I enjoy every year between winter and spring; and it’s called Sugar Shack time!  So every year, since as far as I can remember, I went to the Sugar Shack, always on a Saturday night, and always with family and friends, to enjoy some of the finest maple syrup you can find!

I know most of you go yearly, but I’m pretty sure that some of mylemondroplife followers have no clue what I’m talking about!  So, at the end of winter, the maple trees release some maple sap.  You collect and boil it.  It then thicker and becomes something marvelous: Maple Syrup!  It’s basically Buddy the Elf’s dream come true from the Christmas movie ‘Elf’!

So two weeks ago we met up with my family at one of our favorite Sugar Shack and tried to eat as much as possible. Such an easy task!  Before we ate, we enjoyed a nice horse wagon ride in a maple tree forest.  The boys learned all about the syrup and they counted way too many cans.  I love wagon rides, I wish they would last longer.

This year, we got to meet my cousin’s so adorable brand new daughter Evely and had time to chat up with some relatives we hadn’t seen in a while!  We also ate copious amount of ‘bajoues’, or pork jowls!  These are definitely Brian’s favorite.  I always end up bringing some in my purse for him to eat later.  On top of that, there’s also omelet, ham, bacon, potatoes, sausages, and various pickled jars.  It doesn’t seem sooo special when you say it like that, but the difference it that at the Sugar Shack you don’t just eat all that food; you eat all that food with maple syrup poured on top of it and all over your plate!

I have a tip for you.  The Sugar Shack has so many deserts, but you should always go for the pancake AND sugar pie.  Combined them together and you’ll have the best desert ever!!!  All you need to do is scrap off some of the sugar filling from the pie and spread it on the pancakes!  To die for!

The boys had been great up until it was time to taste the maple taffy.  Then it was all downhill from there, with them doing things they would have never even thought of doing with a normal level of sugar!  So we decided to go burn off some of that energy at grandma’s!

Usually, during the March break, I do maple taffy at home.  We all love it.  The boys love to watch the sugar boiling and becoming syrup; and then we spread it on snow and enjoy.  There’s always a fight for who gets the first piece, but it’s not too long before everybody’s full of sugar and happy anyway!

Hope you’ll get a chance to visit a Sugar Shack this year.  And if you do, don’t forget what I told you about the desert!  You’ll think of me and want to thank me as soon as you take that first bite of that pancake!

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pasta carbonara

ALERT pasta lovers, this Spaghetti Carbonara recipe will change your life!  OMG… new recipe that I found this week that you have to make and eat, like, right now!!!

Easy, fast and sooo delicious.

I’ve never craved for that type of dish before… I love pastas, like, I could eat pasta all the time, but I’m not really into creamy white sauce with my pasta… never really made or ordered something like that before.  But God was I missing on something.  Simply to die for.  I feel like I’m overselling it… but can’t see how you’d be disappointed!

The boys ate a big plate and then asked for more ‘Spaghetti à la crème’.  It was a winner for myself and the entire family.  This recipe will now be in our meal rotation.

I based my recipe on a Jamie Oliver online recipe.  He uses pancetta, I used bacon and added cream.

So easy, you can do all the prep while the pasta is cooking.  Within less than 15 minutes you have an amazing week night meal.

What you need:

3 egg yolks

5 slices of bacon

1 box of spaghetti

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup of 35% cream

salt and pepper

How to:

In a large pot, cook spaghetti in salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, cook the bacon slices until crispy, once cooked, remove the slices and cut in small pieces.  Leave the bacon grease in the pan and crush the garlic and let it flavor the bacon fat.  You should have about 2 Tbs of fat, if more, remove from pan.

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, pepper and cream.

Once the pasta is ready, keep 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta.  Quickly place the pasta in the pan, adding the cooking water, bacon and the egg mix.  Mix well and serve immediately.  Serve with more Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper.

I served this dish with a light arugula salad with a lemon and olive oil.

This is now a favorite of mine.  Hope it becomes one of yours too!

Enjoy!

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all you need is…ice cream

All you need is love… and a few sweet snacks!

I had a few things planned for this weekend but with yesterday’s blizzard, some of our plans fell through.

On Saturday, we finished our valentine’s day cards and made some Red Velvet Whoopie Pie.  FAIL.  Not everything we do is a success.  They looked sooo good, but the taste was very disappointing.  The texture was actually like baked play-doh, and it tasted as bad as it could have been with a LOT of sugar!

So we tried another new recipe while watching the snow storm yesterday.  Homemade ice cream sandwich… and we’ve got a WINNER!  This one will be hard to beat.  And it was easy to make, quick, and delicious.  I’m a big fan of ice cream sandwich, but these were something else, and homemade, which obviously add to the fun!  Light, moist and delicious cookie with strawberry ice cream… AMAZING!

I can foresee myself doing this recipe many times next summer for everyone to enjoy at our pool parties, and of course for myself as well!  I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter… perfect snack size… and perfect for the occasion!

I used my guru Martha Stewart recipe for the cookie.

what you need:

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

how to:

Preheat oven at 350.  Butter a jelly-roll pan and cover with parchment paper.

Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the egg, vanilla and salt and mix.  Add the flour and coco powder and mix well.  Spread the mix on the parchment paper.  The mixture is thick, you will need to spread it out evenly.

Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.  Once it’s baked, let it cool for 5 minutes, then cut hearts with the cookie cutter.  Take out the ice cream. Let the cookies cool for another 5 minutes.  Then add a dollop of your favorite ice cream and add another cookie on top.  Press gently.  Once they’re all done, place the baking sheet with the sandwiches in the freezer for one hour.

It won’t take an hour to eat, so grab one as fast as you can and ENJOY!

This recipe gave me 12 sandwiches.  I guess you can have more if you don’t use the cookie cutters and do square ones; less waste.  But they are so much more fun to eat when they’re made of your favorite shapes!

Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day.

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super bowl worthy pretzels

 

Beside beers and wings, I’d say that pretzels are now pretty high on my list of must have for the Super Bowl.  Homemade pretzels, of course!  I found this recipe online, adjusted it, and now I’m telling you, you’ll never crave for ANY OTHER PRETZELS once you’ve tried these ones.  This is one AMAZING recipe.

I may not be a huge football fan, but I love the Super Bowl!  I have not missed one since I’ve been 8, or so.  I remember, during my first year of university, we threw a huge party in our apartment… we lived in a duplex, and we had installed 3 TV’s in our living room, with so much junk food, it was crazy!  I, myself, had made more than 200 wings.  I’d say we were close to 50.  Everybody came.  People were eating in the stairs, on side tables, on desk, on the floor… we couldn’t walk, people everywhere!  It was great.

Of course, the best halftime show still belongs to the King of Pop.  Nobody as never came close to beating Michael Jackson XXVII show.  But I’m crossing my fingers Lady Gaga will be just as good!

So if you’re watching the game (Go Pats/Go Brady) or even just watching the halftime show, what you NEED is some of these Pretzels.  I guarantee you will love them and your guests too!

What you need:

1 1\2 cups warm water

2 tbs brown sugar

1 package active dry yeast

1\4 cup melted butter

2 tsp kosher salt

4 1\2 cups flour

vegetable oil

2 liters of water

1\2 cup baking soda

1 egg yolk

sea salt

How to:

In you stand mixer with the hook attachment, add the warm water, sugar, butter and yeast.  Mix and set aside for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix the salt and flour and add to the yeast.  Mix on low for 5 minutes.  If the dough is too wet, add a bit more flour, one tablespoon at a time.  Remove the dough and knead for 2 minutes.  Place the dough in a greased bowl (vegetable oil), cover with a damp cloth.  Place the bowl in a warm place (I preheat my oven at 170, then turn it off and place the covered bowl in there for about an hour.  The dough should be soft and have doubled in size.

Once the dough is ready, throw a bit of flour on the counter and roll out the dough to form a rectangle.  I cut long strips with my pizza cutter.  Make a pretzel shape, knot or strips, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and let rise for another 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, boil the water in a large saucepan.  Once it boil, add the baking soda.  Put 3 or 4 pretzels at a time for 30 seconds.  Do this for all the pretzels and put them back on the baking sheet.  Mix the egg yolk with a bit of water and egg wash the top of the pretzels.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake at 425 for 12-15minutes.

I serve my pretzels with sriracha aioli or mustard.  Eat on the same day… but that shouldn’t be a problem!

So who’s coming over on Sunday?  Everyone’s invited.  As long as you cheer for our team!

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