mile high meringue pumpkin pie

So, my first ever Pumpkin Pie won a contest at work. Not too shabby for a first timer, right!

In the spirit of Fall, we were all invited to prepare a dessert using apples or pumpkin at work. Let’s just say that it was a sugar high Friday! So many desserts, so hard to decide which one to try, even harder choosing a winner. One of my favorite was a pumpkin-and-chocolate-brownie type of thing my friend Anne-Marie had made… and she even gave me some to bring home!!! So right there, I guess I was already a winner!

At first I was going to make my go-to Pumpkin Pop Tarts, but then had a craving for meringue… so I went on a hunt for a pumpkin pie with meringue recipe. Didn’t have all the ingredients on hand so had to improvise and ended up with my very own Mile High Meringue Pumpkin Pie.

Don’t attempt this if you’re in a hurry, as it’s time consuming. But next time your hosting, just pretend you’re Martha Stewart and make it, because your dessert will be worthy of a magazine cover.

Mile High Meringue Pumpkin Pie

What you need:

 

Crust:

store bough pie crust or even better, homemade

 

Filling:

3 large eggs

15 oz. Pumpkin Puree

1 cup of heavy cream

2 teaspoon cornstarch

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Meringue:

2 cups sugar

8 egg whites, room temperature

 

How to:

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Roll out crust on a lightly floured surfaced. Place crust in a 9 inches pie plate. Let the dough hang a bit on the side, it will shrink a bit while baking and you want to have lots of crust for this dessert. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust starts to golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling in a large bowl. Mix together the eggs, pumpkin puree, heavy cream, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.

Lower to oven to 325. Pour the pumpkin mix into the pie crust. Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes. The middle may still be wobbly, but that’s ok! Remove from oven and let cool on a wired rack. When it’s room temperature, place in fridge for a few hours.

Now, for the meringue, use a heat proof bowl, like the one on your Kitchen Aid mixer and place over a saucepan filled with boiling water on the stove. Add the egg whites and sugar. Mix with whisk or hand held mixer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and then place on the Kitchen Aid. Mix for another 3 minutes on medium speed, then for 6 on high. It will look like marshmallow frosting. Soft, fluffy and delicious: DO NOT eat it all and keep some for the pie! Stack the meringue on the pie, making swirling motion. Using a kitchen blow torch, brown the meringue to a soft gold color. And voilà!

Your guests will be impressed, and so will you! It was my first attempt with meringue and I’m now an addict! Going to have to find new recipes with meringue, but since it’s October, for now I’ll keep on enjoying this delicious Pumpkin Pie.

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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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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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pink cinnamon buns…of course

Bring me all the pink stuff!!!  Valentine’s Day is around the corner and everywhere I look… pink heart-shaped everything are calling my name!

Of course I’ve already decorated my house for Valentine’s Day.  Well, I like to decorate for every occasion.  So for the next few weeks, my house and my blog will be flooded with pink!

Last weekend I made pink cinnamon buns, and like he always do when he loves something, Logan said ‘dell-licious’ after his first bite.

I’m sharing the recipe from www.sprinklesomesugar.com but you can use your own favorite recipe and just add some pink food coloring!

What you need:

Dough

-1 packet of active dry yeast

-1 cup of warm milk

-2/3 cup of sugar

-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

-2 eggs lightly beaten

-1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

-4 1/2 cups of flour

Filling

-1/2 cup unsalted butter

-1 1/4 cups brown sugar

-2 tablespoon cinnamon

Frosting

-4oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

-1/4 cup unsalted butter

-1 cup icing sugar

How to:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add yeast, warm milk and 1 tbs of sugar.  Stir and set aside for 10 minutes.  Add the rest of sugar, melted butter and beaten eggs until combined.  Add 3 cups of flour and then add one tablespoon at a time until you have a workable dough.  The dough should be sticky, do not add to much flour.  Mix for 5 minutes.  Place the dough in a greased bowl in a dry place to rise.  For about one hour.

While the dough is rising, mix the ingredients for the filling.  Once the dough is ready, place it on a floured counter and roll it out to form a rectangle.  Smear the butter mixture on the dough, and then roll the dough.  I made heart shaped buns by rolling both side until they meet in the middle.  Cut and place in a baking pan, creating hearts.  Allow the dough to rise again for 30 minutes.

In a 350 degree oven, bake the cinnamon buns for 25 minutes or until golden brown… or in this case, golden pink!

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth with no lumps.  Add the icing sugar.

Spread the icing onto the warm buns!  Dell-licious!

Enjoy with your loved ones.

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liam turns bb-6

Our weekend shenanigans are over!  2 days, 3 birthday parties and 67 guests later…we are done!  Our  little man turned six on Friday.  How did this happened?  Six???  Maybe 3 or 4 but 6…bye bye baby.  It’s hard to see your first child growing up and it does go by so fast.  He’s changed so much in the last few months, he’s less clingy, talks with lots of new words and ask for our help much less than
before and the worst, he gives less kisses.  My heart is torn.  So I will stop with the drama of having a 6 years old and talk about our weekend festivities!

So I like a good party and my boys too!  A few months before their birthday, we talk about what they like, what they want and who they want to be there.  Star Wars was an easy theme, the boys still haven’t seen the movies but that’s about to change because we received them for his birthday.  Guest list, we have a big close family, we want everybody, so we had our friends come over for pizza on Friday night, a few of his school friends came yesterday morning and our families came over for some roasted hot dogs and cake last night!

Cakes, it’s always about the cakes!  I love making my babies their cakes.   It makes me so happy to create the things they love in sugar!  I made 6 cakes.  Baked  and decorated them all after school this week.  Star Wars decoration were really easy to find, lots from the $store, lots free on Pinterest and I bought the invitations and photo booth accessories from Etsy.  I made my t-shirt, another idea from Pinterest and Brian and the boys attire came from Gap Kids and Old Navy.  Bought some cheap wrapping paper before Christmas for the photo booth wall (new found favorite of Logan, taking photo booth pictures…we have at least 100!)

When we went to Boston in the fall, we visited one of my favorite stores, Pottery Barn Kids.  I love this place!  They have a Star Wars line that is to die for.  I want the Star Wars sleeping bags sooo badly.  I fell in loving with their marquee lit up sign.  I decided I (well I mean Frank) could do this way cheaper, like for less than 25$.  Found some Christmas string lights in clearance, painted a piece of wood, Frank drilled the sign and added the frame.  Put in the light and bingo, I had the most awesome marquee sign EVER.  I will put it up in their playroom, the light bulbs are in plastic, so unbreakable!  Win-win!

Of course we had a few games.  Our favorite, donuts-on-a-string, always a hit!  We decorated Star Wars cookies.  Also played, place the lightsaber on Yoda.  A BB-8 pinata was a must.  And we had the NOT so brilliant idea of buying lightsabers for all kids…do NOT attempt this when you are outnumbered!  I made little Jedi costumes for all the kids and took lots of photo booth pictures.

Food, we had soooo much.  Pizza, fries and poutine, wings, cookies, Princess Leia’s Buns, candy, chips, hot dogs, cupcakes, Edible Ewoks, Liam’s favorite raspberry pie, Yoda’s guacamole and CAKE!  I’m no eating until the next birthday…well maybe not but I do need to recover from this weekend!

So today we took down the decorations, played with toys and looked at all the pictures we took.  We love parties, we love our family and friends and most of all, we love our babies.  Happy Birthday Liam.  You deserve all the time we spent for your parties and more!  You’ve been one amazing little boy since the moment you were born.

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christmas eve eve

Excitement is in the air, stores are full and we are ready to party!  It’s Christmas Eve eve and our household could not be more excited about the next couple of days!

We got our Christmas cards done in time, the cake is ready, all the presents are wrapped up and we are listening non-stop to Christmas music!

The boys got to go to Brian’s workplace this morning while I slept in, tidy up the place and went for some last minute errands.  Once we all got back home, it was time to decorate our store bought gingerbread cookies (no time for the real deal this year)… but so what… as long as we got sugar and candies, right?  And boy we did!  I think that more icing sugar went into the boys than on the cookies!  I gave them little paintbrushes for helping spread the icing… by then end, they were painting themselves… fail!

I found some of the cutest Rudolph’s gingerbread at Bulk Barn… and I had high hopes for these pretty cookies… but no, it seems like we have no future in cookie decorating!  At least they’re delicious!

So tonight for Christmas Eve eve, we are staying in, watching Home Alone and Elf for probably the 500 times this month (but for the last time this Holiday season, I swear), while finding one last thing for our Elf Willy to do before he leaves for the North Pole tomorrow, until next December.

Wishing you all a great Christmas week, with all the food, the drinks and the signing that makes the Holidays so special.  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is signing loud for all to hear

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sugar knots donuts

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THEY WERE DELICIOUS!

Last week I needed to bake.  Went through my cupboard and found last year’s Ricardo’ summer magazine.  DO NOT WAIT THAT LONG TO TRY THIS!

A bit long to make but easy.  Better than any donuts you’ve ever tried!

Don’t wait, tomorrow would be a great day to try this!

Like I said before, this is a Ricardo recipe:

What you need:

2 tablespoons of room temperature water

2 teaspoons of instant yeast

4 and half cups of flour

half a cup of sugar

1 cup of heavy cream

1 teaspoon of salt

6 eggs

Canola oil

Sugar

How to:

In a bowl, mix the yeast and water, leave it for 5 minutes

In your mixer with a hook, mix flour, sugar, cream, salt, eggs and the yeast mixture.  Mix until the dough starts to form a ball around the hook.  At that point, I removed it from the mixer and worked the dough on the counter with a bit of flour.  Once the dough is soft, place in a big clean bowl that’s been oiled.  Cover with a damp towel and leave for 2 hours.

Put lots of flour on the counter and roll out the dough, make a rectangle of about 6x 30in.  Cut the dough in slices of 6×2.  Knot the dough, place on a cookie sheet and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oil at 180.  Place 2 or 3 donuts at a time.  Cook until golden and place on another cookie sheet with paper towels.  Toss the knots in the sugar and EAT!

Will make around 24 knots.

These are best eaten on the same day, so invite family and friends and ENJOY!

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