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November 2016

Beer and Wine Pairings/ Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Does anyone else feel like November is just going by too fast? Next thing you know, Christmas will be here! I feel like I’m behind on putting Christmas decorations up. So far, I just have my front entry way decorated, but I haven’t had time to put my wreath up on the front door or put up my Christmas tree. I have it written down in my to do list, but I keep on putting it off day after day. The goal is to get all the decorations up before the end of the month!

Christmas decorations are up in the front entry!

Christmas decorations are up in the front entry!

The baby is down for her morning nap, so I have a couple hours. Instead of putting up the tree though, I’m in the mood to make some cookies. With Christmas around the corner, I’ve decided to make some Ginger Molasses Cookies.Ā I’m hoping that the smell and taste of these cookies will get me in the holiday mood and give me some motivation to put up the Christmas tree. These cookies are deliciously soft and chewy and are my personal favourite. My husband still prefers my Snickerdoodles over these ones, but too bad for him.

Oh, let’s talk about wine pairings! There are a couple of types of wines that would go very well with these ginger molasses cookies. For all you white wine lovers out there, a nicely chilled German Riesling would pair well with the spicy notes of the ginger in this cookie. My personal favourite is the Dr. Loosen Riesling. For all the red wine lovers, the bright acidity of a Pinot Noir would pair well with the richness of the molasses in this cookie. Ā I haven’t found a Pinot Noir that I absolutely love yet though – anyone have any recommendations?

cookies-and-dr-loosen

Give this recipe a try and please send me your Pinot Noir recommendations!

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Print Recipe
Serves: 12-15 cookies Cooking Time: 10 minutes bake time

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • White sugar to roll the cookies in

Instructions

1

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Set aside.

3

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and white sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy. I used my hand mixer. Add the molasses and egg, and beat for another 2-3 minutes.

4

Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

5

Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes or pop the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. (I usually take this time to clean up the kitchen a bit and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F).

6

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll the balls in the white sugar. Space the balls about an inch apart on the cookie sheet and bake in the 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

7

Cool the cookies completely and enjoy!

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Butternut Squash Fettucine Alfredo

Hi everyone! Sorry for the long absence away from this blog. I’m still working out my schedule of when to cook and blog as a new mom. I think I have it figured out though. My husband works shift work, where he works blocks of four or five days and nights, and then has four or five days off. For the days where he is working, I for sure will not be posting on this blog as it is just me at home taking care of the baby and there are days I don’t even shower, let alone cook and blog about it. I will still be present on social media though, as it is amazing how much time I’ve spent on my phone while nursing the baby around the clock! On the four or five days that he is home, I will binge cook and binge post as much as I can while he watches the baby!

So for that reason, I am posting on this specific recipe on this chilly Saturday morning because:

  1. The husband is upstairs napping with the baby
  2. Butternut squash is in season
  3. Butternut squash was on sale at Sobeys this week
  4. I’ve been craving something hearty like pasta, but at the same time, I’ve been feeling super guilty that I haven’t been eating enough vegetables lately. This recipe is the best of both worlds – a creamy pasta that contains a whole squash in it!
Vegetable and herbs // cutting board from Mortise and Tenon

Vegetable and herbs // cutting board from Mortise and Tenon

This recipe calls for a cup of Parmesan cheese for the sauce, as well as some as a garnish on the pasta. I cannot stress enough that it is important to buy good quality Parmesan cheese, the kind that comes in a block and you have to grate yourself. Don’t buy the pre-shredded cheese that comes in a bag or a can – that stuff is preserved with chemicals and will ruin any recipe. For this recipe, I used a nice piece of Grana Padano cheese.

 

Grana Padano cheese // cutting board and measuring cup from Mortise and Tenon

Grana Padano cheese // cutting board and measuring cup from Mortise and Tenon

This recipe is adapted and modified from a recipe that I saw on those Tasty videos on Facebook.

This recipe would make for a great ‘Meatless Monday’ dinner, just substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock. We don’t have Meatless Mondays in our house as the husband is a huge carnivore so he actually adds a chicken breast onto his pasta.

Enjoy this recipe and I will be back soon with another one!

Butternut Squash Fettucine Alfredo

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • One small butternut squash, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 box fettucine noodles (454 gram box)

Instructions

1

Melt the butter on medium heat in a large pot and add the onion, rosemary and sage. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the onions are soft. Turn up the heat to medium-high until the butter begins to brown (be careful not to let it burn).

2

Turn down the stove to medium again, and add in the diced butternut squash and the chicken stock. Give it a good stir, then cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 15 minutes on the medium heat.

3

Uncover the pot and mash the butternut squash with a potato masher until all the squash is pureed. Add in 2 cups of milk and stir. Add in 1 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese and stir. Then add in the brown sugar, nutmeg, some salt and pepper to taste and stir until well blended.

4

Add in the fettucine noodles, then pour in 2 more cups of milk and 2 cups of water. You can break the fettuccine noodles in half if you want. I just stick them in the pot until the bottom half of the noodles are soft, then gently fold down the rest of the noodles until they are all submerged in the sauce.

5

Stir the pasta continuously so that it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot and cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

6

Top with salt, pepper and some more grated parmesan cheese for a hearty meal!

 

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Pan Bread

Oh how my life has changed. As I’m writing this, it is 8:30 on a Saturday morning and I’ve already nursed my little girl, had some play time with her, had my own breakfast and coffee, changed her 3 times, successfully put her down for her morning nap, cleaned my kitchen, and paid our bills. I’ve also managed to brush my teeth, wash my face and put on a little tinted moisturizer, so I’m feeling pretty decent! Prior to having a baby, there was no way I would even be up by 8:30 on a Saturday morning!

Baby E is just over 3 weeks old now and I’m attempting to put her on some sort of schedule. If all goes according to plan, I have about an hour before she wakes up so I thought I would pay some love and attention to this blog!

The recipe I want to share today is pan bread. One of the restaurants that my husband and I often go to is Earl’s, and I just love their pan bread. One of the go to menu items that I often order is the soup, salad and pan bread combo, with their clam chowder. I have my own seafood chowder recipe that I’ll post one day (it’s a little more involved, so I haven’t made it since having the baby) but today I’ll post my version of the pan bread.

This pan bread is prepared in my trusty cast iron skillet. Actually, it’s my husband’s cast iron skillet and it’s probably one of my favourite things that he’s brought into our marriage! It’s well seasoned, perfectly maintained, and I use it on a regular basis to make chicken, steaks, frittatas, etc.

Give this pan bread recipe a try and stay tuned for a seafood chowder recipe soon!

Pan bread

Pan Bread

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 package active dry yeast (or 2 and 1/4 tsp if you're using bulk yeast)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 4 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • **garlic infused olive oil (See instructions below to make your own)
  • fresh rosemary

Instructions

1

Combine yeast and warm water in a large bowl.

2

Using a wooden spoon to mix, add in 1 cup of the flour and then the salt and mix until combined. Stir in the rest of the flour, one cup at a time until well incorporated.

3

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour.

4

Lightly oil the bottom of the cast iron skillet with the garlic infused olive oil. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and cover your hands with flour. Take the dough, place it in the skillet, mold it to fit the skillet, and cover loosely with a tea towel. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes.

5

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

6

Drizzle a little bit more of the garlic infused olive oil over the top of the bread, slash the top of the dough with a knife creating an X on top. Sprinkle the top of the bread with some coarse salt and fresh rosemary leaves.

7

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is brown and crusty.

8

Serve with soup or chili for a hearty meal!

9

**TO MAKE THE GARLIC INFUSED OLIVE OIL

10

You can buy garlic infused olive oil, but it's also really easy to make your own. Just heat up some olive oil on medium heat in small pot. Peel and crush a couple cloves of garlic and fry in the olive oil to infuse the flavour into the oil. Remove the garlic cloves before they burn or else the oil will taste like scorched garlic. You just want to fry the garlic in the olive for a few minutes to lightly flavour the oil.