Monday, November 13, 2017

Soft Ginger Snaps

I have tried many gingersnaps, and many gingersnap recipes, but once I tried these ones I knew I had found the best and have never looked back.

Leila's Soft Gingersnaps

1.5 cups of butter
2 cups of white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup of molasses
1/2 cup of corn syrup
4.5 cups of flour
2 tsp. of baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Stir the baking soda into the molasses then add to the creamed mixture along with the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll into balls and dip in sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350°.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lemon Blondies

Have you ever had the lemon squares from Fiber One?  They are delicious, but also expensive in a house of lemon lovers.  Then one day I discovered that Bulk Barn sells lemon chips and I decided I was going to try to replicate the lemon squares.  After much googling and thinking I determined that a lemon blondie would be a close facsimile. After trying a hybrid of two recipes I found, and not being happy with the results, I decided to start from scratch and come up with my own recipe.  Here it is.  The only thing I am thinking of changing is maybe trying it with a little less butter next time.

Lemon Blondies

1.5 cups of butter
7 eggs
4 cups white sugar
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
zest and juice from 2 lemons
4 cups of flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups of lemon chips or white chocolate chips

Cream together wet ingredients. Mix in dry ingredients until thoroughly combined then add lemon chips and stir through.  Spread the batter over a large, parchment paper lined cookie sheet with sides. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle and the top of the blondie is a light golden colour. Allow to fully cool before cutting.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

We're Finished!

After years of appointments, tests, and procedures at both the Stollery and Children's Hospitals, we made what will hopefully be our last trip EVER to the Children's Hospital this week where after a brief appointment, my 9 year old was discharged from the care of her Pediatric Gastroenterologist. She is following her curves on the growth charts. Just over the 50th percentile for height and finally moved up just a hair above the 10th percentile for weight. It would appear from her last two blood tests that she has outgrown her IgA deficiency (a genetic immunodeficiency which she has had since birth) but unfortunately he identified another benign genetic condition, Gilbert's Syndrome, also known as constitutional hepatic dysfunction and familial nonhemolytic jaundice, which explains how yellow she is sometimes. It could also be the cause of some of her stomach pain.

I can't stress two things enough: how thankful I am for all the specialized, free care she has received over the years. Yes, I know, I pay taxes. But honestly I think what we've paid just covers what we've used. And we never had to produce big chunks of it at once or pay co-pays or give a second thought to whether we could afford to take her to the doctor or not. It has not bankrupt us as a family. What a wonderful country we live in that values the right of everyone to receive healthcare, regardless of their ability to pay. We cannot take that for granted and must be ever vigilant in protecting the erosion of our Universal Healthcare system.

Secondly I'm so thankful for all those healthcare professionals that made it possible for my sweet little child to be sitting happily at the computer and singing while she plays Minecraft this morning. The doctors, from general practitioners, to pediatritions, to her two excellent pediatric gastroenterologists. The nurses and anesthesiologists from her gastroscopies. Clinic nurses, pediatric dieticians, occupational therapists, lab technicians, radiologists. This doesn't even include those essential but overlooked people such as porters, cleaners and medical equipment cleaners. The list could go on and on.

All this for the price of parking.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Best Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting Recipe

This is the most frequently requested cake at our house. If you are making it as muffins, keep the oven at the same temperature and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Remember that the darker the pan, the faster it bakes.

¾ cup soft butter
1.5 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cups sour cream

Cream together butter and sugar then add eggs. Add vanilla and banana, then dry ingredients and sour cream. Blend. Pour into buttered 9x13 glass pan.  Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

½ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup milk
2 cups icing sugar

Melt butter in pan and add brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and beat in icing sugar until smooth. Pour over banana cake and let cool before cutting.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Best Salsa Recipe Ever

Seriously, it is. It's the perfect amount of sweet and heat.

I'm not going to bore you with the details, since you came here for the recipe, not a story or a million pictures.  I will give credit where it's due however.  I got this recipe from my husband's aunt, Becky.

Best Salsa Ever

It's a major time-saver to use a food processor for this part if you have one:

12 cups chopped roma tomatoes - packed (homegrown is best if possible)
3 cups finely chopped celery
3 lbs. finely chopped onions
750ml jar of hot banana peppers - drained & chopped finely
8-10 large cloves of garlic, minced or chopped finely
2 large green peppers - chopped finely
1 large red pepper - chopped finely
1 large yellow pepper - chopped finely

Put all the chopped vegetables in a very large bowl or bucket and sprinkle with 1/4 cup coarse pickling salt, stir to distribute evenly.  Let sit out on your counter, covered, for 5-6 hours.  Drain well. Put vegetables into a large stock pot and add:

1 cup natural vinegar (Superstore)
3/4 cup white sugar

Bring to a boil over low heat. Let simmer 45 minutes - 1.5 hours or until onions are translucent. Add 1 large can of Hunt's tomato paste (13 fl. oz or 369 ml) 1/2 hour before it's finished. Seal in hot sterile jars and process as usual. Makes approximately 9 - 500 ml jars.

Here's the bonus.  When you drain the liquid from your vegetables, just strain it into a large pot, bring to a rolling boil, and then freeze in freezer bags once it has cooled.  The vegetable juice is already perfectly seasoned, spicy and flavourful, and makes the best seasoned rice you will ever eat.  Put about 1 cup of vegetable stock per cup of rice and top up with water to the full amount of liquid needed to cook the rice.