Monthly Archives: October 2011

YUMMY SCONES RECIPE

Preparing High Tea for the girls this afternoon – bringing our grandma’s china and preparing cucumber sandwiches & scones with home made strawberry jam & clotted cream (can be found in Choices).  Found this great recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or dried currants)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg

Directions

    1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
    4. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
    5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

UNCLE WOUT’S CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Uncle Wout is our Chef Extrodinaire at our Kits location who spends a lot of his time creating our famous house made ravioli and dessert specials.

Over the last week he has been busy trying to perfect the creation of chocolate mousse and I believe he may of done it!!  I had a small bowl and it melted in my mouth.  It is our current dessert feature at Kits – rush down before it all disappears!

Wout’s Chocolate mousse for 4 persons

I’ve been studying this desert feature for the last two weeks. The amount of recipes and procedures were immense and sometimes controversial. The main issue is the use of eggs. And that is a personal preference. I just think if we were able to use raw eggs for the last 2 centuries, than we would be more than able to use them nowadays. Fresh eggs have a shiny yolk that is firm and round. If you are not sure about the freshness, just fry it up for breakfast instead.

The ingredients we used for this desert special:

140 gram of dark chocolate (callebaut coverture)

25 gram Butter

60 gram egg yolk

30 gram powder sugar

375 ml Cream

pinch of salt

And we flavor the cream with something. It can be orange juice or espresso, or Liquor. We used some grand marnier for this one, but dark rum or cognac are nice as well.

Now just a short thing about the chocolate. What is really important is that you know that you cannot substitute the dark chocolate with a white or milk one, without changing the weight of the other ingredients. The fat content is different so the result can be off.  Always buy more then you have too. For the simple reason that somebody will definitely will snack from it. After weighing, cover and chain it if you must.

Now we begin:

First we weigh everything out and have it ready to use.

We melt the chocolate with the butter au bain-marie. That means in a metal bowl that seals on top of a pot with simmering water. Keep track of the temperature. It should not exceed 35 Celsius. Use a spatula to stir it so once in a while

While the chocolate is melting we beat up the egg with the sugar until its pale. We whip up the cream with salt and the flavor of our choice. You should be able to turn the bowl around without the cream falling out. Otherwise you will have to clean your kitchen floor and start again whipping up that cream. Use a cold and clean metal bowl and whisk (or stand mixer). If the utensils are a bit greasy, you can whisk very hard and it would be a great exercise, but it will not really set.

Time to combine everything together. 

Add the egg mixture with the chocolate. Keep it in the bain-marie for a little bit to bind the chocolate and egg more. Remove the bowl from the heat and add ¼ of the cream. Mix it up well. Add the remaining cream and fold it in. That means we use a spatula and gently mix everything together.

To finish everything up we let the kids or roommate clean the kitchen. We wash our hands and put our pointing finger in the bowl of the chocolate goody and taste our divine creation. Now it is time to drink a small glass of grand marnier for a job well done!

We could fill the mousse in glasses or other kind of forms. Just google that and see how other people serve their chocolate mousse. Important is that it should be cooled for about 6 hours prior using. Maybe I should have told you that in the beginning. Oh well now you have a desert for tomorrow night.

Enjoy!


LEAF-ING THROUGH THE SEASONS, BY SHARON HANNA

The sight of falling leaves can bring bittersweet emotion….it’s the end of something, right? Nope. Those leaves are falling off because they are being pushed by the next set of leaves. If you look closely enough, you can already see the tiny buds.

Speaking of leaves, continue to make good use of them as they drift down from boulevard or yard trees. They are a free, local and sustainable source of valuable organic material and trace elements.

Leaf compost can be part of your own homemade potting soil as well, so we can leave peat in peat bogs where it belongs, making a home for  thousands of species of plants and animals.

You need a large heavy-duty plastic garbage bag, a rake, and something to poke holes:

1)    poke a dozen holes around the sides and bottom of the garbage bag.

2)    Rake leaves, place them in the bag. Add whenever you are in the mood to rake.

3)    When the bag is nearly full but you can still squeeze the top shut and tie it off, add some water.

4)    Shake the bag vigorously, then tie it with a couple of strong twist ties.

In one year or less, the leaves will transform themselves into beautiful, useable mulch which you can use on your garden.

MORE THINGS TO DO WITH LEAVES:

Use leaves to half-fill (or more) large containers in which you’ll plant bulbs, evergreens, etc. Use lots and lots of leaves, pack tightly. You only need about six inches of soil for bulbs, maybe a bit more for other plants depending on the size of the root ball. The leaves will very slowly and gradually decompose. Plant bulbs a little deeper than you would in the ground.

Even smaller containers can have a few inches of deciduous leaves in the bottom, especially if you’re planting bulbs. Fig leaves, for example. This is a fantastic thing to do with kids –and as you know, kids love to cut things – dullish scissors work fine with leaves.

Create an impromptu spring display in problematic rocky or tree-rooty areas: pile on a thick layer of leaves. Add a layer of topsoil, then lay bulbs in drifts – a way to make it look natural is to throw them down, then plant them where they landed. Cover with more leaves and a few more inches of soil. Firm soil, water well.

Keep a pile or bag of leaves near your compost so you can layer with kitchen waste

Layer leaves on perennial beds for insulation, making a leaf ‘down duvet’ for garden beds.

Top-dress tender, recently-planted herbs like rosemary and lavender with a covering of leaves if very cold weather is expected.
Plant garlic now through mid-November.  Choose a sunny area with rich soil, and remember your garlic will occupy that space for nine months or so. Plant the biggest cloves – eat the smaller ones – don’t peel them!

Cover each clove with 8 cm (3 in.) of soil, pointy side up, and about 16 cm (6 “) apart in rows 12 – 18” apart. Imported garlic from China will not grow properly in our climate and may have been treated with growth inhibitors to prevent sprouting.  For a very long article see:  http://www.ediblecommunities.com/vancouver/Gardening/sharon-hanna.htm

Lightly pile cedar boughs on areas planted with garlic; ditto broad beans, bulbs too, to dissuade critters like cats, squirrels. Squirrels dislike areas strewn with human hair – visit your local barber shop. It worked for me last year when the little bratty squirrels were eating my barely opened tulips in the front yard – they stopped after hair was applied.

Plant broad beans through mid-November, covering with 8 cm (3 in.) of soil, and enjoy them late May to mid-June! Their fragrant blossoms attract beneficial insects. They also attract aphids, but that’s a good thing because then you can grow nasturtiums.

Happy Fall….