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Archive for November, 2011

Just like hay and sunshine, lemons and limes are just meant to go together. Singularly they’re very good, but together they’re intense. A combination of  lemons and limes makes the most glorious, tart, refreshing flavour explosion I can think of.  This recipe takes these glorious flavours and turns them into a luscious, creamy, beautiful and luxurious dessert.  The combination of the graham cracker, coconut crust is warm and delicious, the layer of lemon is sweet and heavenly, the topping of fresh lime is rich and creamy.  All 3 of  these layers combine to provide an absolutely luscious dessert that will impress your most discerning of guests.   

Lemon Lime Tart

1/2 cup (125 ml) lemon juice, strained

3 eggs

1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla

2 limes

8 oz. (227 g) cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons (30 ml) granulated sugar

Coconut Graham Crust

1 cup (250 ml) graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup (125 ml) unsweetened desiccated coconut

3 tablespoons (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar

1 pinch salt

1. In a large bowl and using fingertips, crumble graham cracker crumbs, coconut, butter, sugar and salt.  Press into parchment-paper-lined 9-inch   springform pan.

2. Bake in 350 °F ( 180 °C) oven until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely. This can be made ahead and stored, covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.

Lemon Filling

While your crust is cooling, prepare the lemon filling.  In another large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, eggs, 2/3 cup ( 150 ml) of the condensed milk and half of the vanilla; pour over the cooled crust.  Bake in 350 °F (180°C) oven until set, 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely. 

Lime Topping

1. Zest one of the limes to make 1 tablespoon of zest.  Squeeze and strain both limes to make 1/3 cup (75 ml) juice.

2. In a food processor, pulse cream cheese, remaining condensed milk and vanilla, lime zest, (strained) lime juice and 2 tablespoons (50 ml) sugar until smooth.  Pour over baked layer.  Refrigerate until set, about 8 hours. 

If you’re like me and find it difficult to wait 8 hours before you can sink your fork into all this goodness, plan ahead and make sure you’re distracted or at the very least, getting a good night’s sleep while it sets, however I’ll just warn you … the anticipation may make it difficult.

Notes

When you’re ready to remove the tart from the spring-form pan be sure to dip a knife in hot water and run it around the inside edge of the pan before you decide to release the clip. This will help ensure you have a clean edge without any large cracks or tears.  If you do have a rough edge just dip your knife in some hot water and use it to smooth out the tear.  Use this method again witha larger knife when you go to cut and serve the tart.  A sharp, hot knife will give you a nice, clean edge and prevent your knife from gumming up so that your servings look neat and tidy.  Or if you’re not trying to impress and you just can’t wait one more minute, cut, serve and experience a little taste of heaven. The entire dessert can be made ahead, covered without touching the top layer, and stored in the fridge.  Top with a little lemon and lime zest and you will have the most delicious dessert you’ve had  in a long time.

Source: Canadian Living 

Serves 12 wonderful people, family and friends 

 

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Farmland Flax Cookies

These cookies are perfect for when a packed lunch is in order and around here,

that’s actually more often than you’d think.   These cookies combine oatmeal,

which of course is a go-to ingredient for a lot of cookies, with a handful of

ground flax seeds.  It’s an interesting combination because the flax is

crunchy and the oatmeal is chewy.  You end up with a surprising nutty

flavour.  I knew I had a winner on my hands when my husband called from

the combine just to tell me how much he loved these cookies.  Let’s just say, 

that doesn’t happen often. 

I’d love to know if you have a favourite way to serve up flax in your diet?

Why eat flax?

 

 

Should I eat flax whole or grinding it up?

 

Want to add flax to your daily diet?

 

 

 

Canadian grown.

Adapted from Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission

Farmland Flax Cookies

1/2 cup (125 ml) butter

1/2 cup (125 ml) packed brown sugar

1/3 cup (75 ml) granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (175 ml) quick-cooking rolled oats

2/3 cup (150 ml) ground flax seeds

1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda

Method

1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

2. In a bowl, beat together butter, brown and granulated sugars until light and

fluffy (approximately 8 minutes); beat in egg and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oats, ground flax seeds and baking

soda; stir into butter mixture to make a soft dough.  Wrap the dough in plastic

wrap and refrigerate for 10 -15 minutes.   

4. Drop by level tablespoonfuls (15 ml), 2 inches (5 cm) apart, on prepared

baking sheets.  Bake in a 350 ° F (180 °C) oven for about 8-10 minutes.   

5. Let the cookies cool in the pan, for 2 minutes before you transfer them to

the cooling rack directly.  Use a spatula with a thin, flexible blade to make the

transfer after 2-3 minutes. 

These cookies make a great addition to packed lunches for work,

school, picnics, tractors, combines or any other type of farm equipment. They

can be made ahead and layered between waxed paper in an airtight container

and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. (I actually liked them better

the second day). They can also be frozen the same way for up to 1 month.

Makes 40 cookies. Enjoy and stay healthy!

 Love, This Sweet Wife

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I’m always up for a little chips and salsa but this has a little bit of a spin on it …

fruit salsa.  Yup … that’s right … there’s no tomatoes, no onions, no peppers or

spicy jalapeno’s for a country mile.  Just fruit.  Tart apples, sweet strawberries,

ripe raspberries and delicious kiwi all mixed up together to give you a fun,

bursting with flavour taste of sweetness served up on a baked cinnamon chip.

I first came across this recipe a couple of years ago and I’ve been mixing it up

ever since. It’s a real favourite around here and makes a great dish for a fun,

summer get together.  It’s got great colour, it’s versatile, full of flavour and

chock full of vitamins. 

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

2 kiwis, peeled and diced

2 apples, whatever suits your fancy

1 package of plump, juicy raspberries

1 pound strawberries, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 tablespoons raspberry preserves (jam), or whatever you’ve got in the fridge

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas

Butter flavoured cooking spray

1 /2 cup cinnamon sugar, you can make this yourself, just toss 1/2 cup

granulated sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon.  If you don’t like cinnamon or

just can’t have it, feel free to just use the sugar.

Method

1. First you’ll want to rinse your fruit and chop up everything but the

raspberries.

2. In a bowl, mix kiwi, apple, raspberries, strawberries, sugars and preserves

(which is a fancy name for jam).

Just look at all those gorgeous colours.  I even left some of my skin on the

apples for some colour.  Besides, it’s so good for you. Place your bowl in

the refrigerator while you make your cinnamon chips.

 Preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C).

Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavoured cooking spray. 

My sprinkling’s a little uneven, but you get the idea.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges and arrange in a single layer (important so you

get the crispiness) on a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle wedges with desired

amount of cinnamon sugar.  Spray again with cooking spray.

Bake the tortillas, in batches, in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.  Allow

to cool approximately 15 minutes.  Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

While chilling in the fridge,  the sugars start to break down the fruit and

preserves and you get a delicious juicy salsa.

 

Makes approximatley 3 cups of salsa and 60 chips.

Adapted from All Recipes

Enjoy! TSW

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These popovers are surprisingly easy to make.  I bake them in a metal muffin

pan and they come out puffy and golden; crispy outside and tender inside. 

They are superb with steak or a good old fashioned pot roast. Many people are

intimidated by the popover (commonly referred to as a Yorkshire Pudding).  I

myself used to feel the same way.  However, this recipe is foolproof.  

There are many theories about making the perfect popover and I have a few

myself which I’ll share with you here:

1.    Use ingredients that are at room temperature.  If your milk is just out of the refrigerator, measure it out and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir and you’re ready to go.  Same with the eggs, use them at room temperature but if you’ve forgotten to take them out of the fridge, set them in a bath of hot water for 5 minutes and they’ll be just as good.

2.    The trick to gorgeous height and puffiness – don’t overbeat your batter.  This  can be very tempting … but back away. In this case, less is more!

3.    Preheat your oven.

4.    Heat oil in each muffin cup before you pour in your batter and make sure you use the required amount.  It may be tempting to cut back on the oil, but don’t … there is nothing worse than cleaning up a muffin pan full of baked on popovers.

5.    Once baked, remove them immediately from the cups.

6.    Watch your timing!  Since these need to be served immediately you’ll want to bake these when everything else is almost ready.  Like the gravy, these should be one of the last things to hit the table.

7.    Have fun!   It’s great fun to watch these puff up while they’re in the oven. And just to be on the safe side, try not to get so excited that you’re jumping up and down … it might not be so good for the pop effect we’re going for!

Best Ever Popovers

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour

1/3 teaspoon (3 ml) salt

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter, melted

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) whole milk

12 teaspoons (60 ml) oil

Method

1. Position rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 425 ° F (220 °C).

For this recipe, you can use a popover pan, a muffin pan or custard cups

placed on a baking sheet. 

2. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, eggs, butter, and milk.  Process

for a few seconds, just barely enough to combine.  Scrape down the sides of

the bowl and process again briefly to break up any lumps of flour.

3. Place 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of oil in each cup of whatever type pan you are

using so that the popovers won’t stick.  Pop the pan filled with oil in the

preheated oven for about 2 minutes.  An  easy way to tell if your oil is hot or

not is to tilt your pan ever so slightly.  Hot oil will spread really fast across the

bottom of your muffin cup. If it doddles, heat it a little longer but not too long

or they will take up smoking.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared  cups, filling them half full.  Bake for 30

minutes.  Reduce the heat to 375 °F (190 °C) and continue baking until they

are a golden brown. 

5. Remove from the oven and immediately unmold them before they shrink

and stick.  If you come across one that sticks, pry it out with a spoon or the

edge of a sharp knife.  Serve immediately. Makes 12 beautiful popovers.

Adapted from: Williams- Sonoma Essentials of Baking

I just know you’re going to love these dramatic, little show-offs! Slathered with

butter, or crowned with gravey, they’ll bring you flurries of praise and

adoration. The two things I love most!

Love, TSW

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Ryan James Thompson was born November 14, 1990 … 21 years ago. It feels

more like 10, maybe 12.  For me, time is like a dangling carrot, you chase it

frantically, but you just never quite reach it … there just never seems to be

quite enough time.   Despite our long days and short nights here on the farm,

the years seem to roll along at a breakneck pace and as much as we try to cram

in every last detail of work and play, the days just get away on us.  21 years

ago Ryan came into the world and thrust his dad and I on an

amazing adventure of raising an awesome and inspiring son, so today is a

special day. 

Since I bake a lot of birthday cakes you would think I would have had an

amazing cake in honour of Ryan’s 21st birthday but with other orders to fill,

cake just wasn’t on the menu.  So, with little time, I needed to come up with a

desert that would be special and delicious.  This ended up being a perfect

finish to a perfect day. 

Served warm with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a scoop of vanilla bean

ice cream, this is the kind of food I live for. The cranberries are slightly tart

and the orange offers a beautiful subtle, citrus flavour.  The apples are

scrumptiously sweet because of the carmelly brown sugar and heavenly

vanilla. In fact, Ryan would have been quite happy to have sat down with just

the bowl of apples and called it a day.  In fact, I had to keep slapping his hand

to get it out of the bowl.

Served warm, (not hot, because you want people to really enjoy the flavours)

these turnovers ooze fruity goodness that contrasts beautifully with the crisp,

flaky phyllo.  The balsamic drizzle enhances the sweet, tart and citrus flavours

and the vanilla bean ice cream adds a delicious creaminess and more vanilla

flavour.

All in all, this dessert is awesome and really does not take a great deal of

time.  Peel and chop your apples while the cranberries are simmering and you

can be serving these up in an hour. This recipe makes 16 turnovers.  You

could make double that amount if you were to reduce the size for a dessert

table.

Cranberry Orange Jam

1 pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup (250 ml) water

1 cup (250 ml) sugar

1 orange, peeled

Put all ingredients together in a pot to simmer, stirring frequently.

Simmer until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Remember that the

mixture will thicken once it cools so you don’t want to let it get too thick. Set

aside to cool.  Once it’s cool you’ll want to puree it just enough to grind up the

orange.  You can use a blender, food processor, or a hand-held blender, giving

it just a few bursts of power so that you still have the odd whole cranberry in

there. A hand-held blender is perfect for this because you don’t have to

transfer the mixture back and forth. Just pop the blender in the saucepan, give

it a couple bursts of power and wham, bam, you’re done.

Apple Filling

6-7 apples, MacIntosh, or whatever you like

1/2 (125 ml) fresh lemon

1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar

 1 tsp (25 ml) pure vanilla

Wash, peel and chop 6-7 apples.  I like to use MacIntosh because they have a

delicious sweetness.  I didn’t have quite enough so I used a couple of delicious

off of the tree in the front yard.  Use whatever you like best, you can even use

a variety, it’s up to you. Cut the apples up into bite-size pieces.  Squeeze 1/2 a

lemon into the apple pieces to prevent browning and add a splash of flavour.

Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar and 1 tsp (25 ml) pure vanilla.  Stir and set aside.

Phyllo

Frozen phyllo dough

1 cup (250 ml) butter, melted

16 teaspoons coarse brown sugar

Use a package of store bought frozen phyllo pastry found in the freezer section

of most grocery stores.  Allow the phyllo to thaw in the package in the

refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for about 5 hours.  Do not open

the package until all of your filling is prepared and ready to use.  Unwrap the

phyllo and lay out flat.  Take one sheet of phyllo and place in down on a baking

sheet or cutting board.  Brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter using a

pastry brush.  Brush the phyllo gently making sure to get the edges.  The

phyllo does not have to be completely covered in butter just lightly make

broad strokes across the surface.

Repeat this 7 more times until you have a pile of phyllo sheets, 8 sheets high. 

With a sharp knife, cut your phyllo into 8 sections.

Add 1/4 cup of the chopped apple mixture followed by a 1/8 cup of cranberry

orange jam. (Don’t mind me … as you can clearly see, I couldn’t figure out

what I was doing.  I do have moments like that … even whole days actually).

Brush around the edge of the phyllo section with melted butter and fold over. 

Press to seal the edges as much as possible.

 Brush the top of the turnover with more melted butter and sprinkle with 1

teaspoon of coarse brown sugar. Cut 3 slits into the top for the steam to escape

while it bakes.

Place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in a 325 °oven for 20-25

minutes or until lightly brown and crispy.

Repeat the process, building another 8 sheets of phyllo, cut, fill and fold.

 If you want to get fancy, you could make triangles.

Serve with a balsamic reduction that you can get from most grocery stores or

make it yourself by simmering a 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar until it thickens. 

Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy.  Heavenly!!!

Love,

This Sweet Wife (Ryan’s mom)

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Shortbread always reminds me of Christmas because it’s often when I enjoy an

indulgence of its scrumptious buttery goodness.  Dressed up with cocoa

powder, cherries, chocolate, toffee or zest, these little melt in your mouth

wonders are always delicious.  Whether you whip, roll, slice or spritz it,

shortbread is incredibly versatile and offers up an array of applications for

dressing up a cookie tray.  This variation includes poppy seeds for a crunchy

texture and lemon zest for a burst of lemony flavour that is very clean and

refreshing.  I’ve been making these for a couple of years now and though I

usually make them at Christmas, they really do work at any other time of the

year. As a snack or served with tea to unexpected guests, these just

popped out of the freezer treats, are always in season.

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread

1 cup (250 ml) butter, softened

I cup (250 ml) confectioners (icing) sugar

2 tablespoons (25 ml) poppy seeds

2 tablespoons (25 ml) grated lemon rind

2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (25 ml) granulated sugar

In a bowl, cream together butter and confectioners sugar until fluffy; stir in

poppy seeds and lemon rind.  Gradually blend in flour. 

Gather dough into a ball and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes or divide in

half and flatten into 2 discs if you’re in a hurry.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness (5 mm);

cut into 2-inch (5 cm) rounds and place directly onto an ungreased baking

sheet or on a sheet of parchment.

Bake at 300° F (150°C) oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until very faintly brown

around the edges. Let cookies cool on a rack. These cookies can be stored in

an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen  for up to 1 month.)  Makes

about 40 cookies.

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The Royal Winter Fair is the black tie affair of Agriculture in Toronto.  It’s

where all of the best bred cattle are showcased in competition, and

international visitors flock to the ring to see some of the best genetics in the

industry.

My husband loves the Royal. He buoys in the anticipation of networking and

competition, and enjoys all of the pomp and possibility of the event to market

his cattle.  The Royal has marked some significant milestones for us; Elmlawn

Cher was grand champion cow in 1985 (a stunning achievement, even if I do

say so), we were engaged during the Royal of 1988 and our first son Ryan, was

born during  the Royal of 1990.

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