Christmas Dinner: Pea Soup

Pea Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

This Christmas I want to make a complete and composed dinner from beginning to end and who better than to use Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook. I am practicing these recipes early so Christmas dinner has no hiccups and I am always one to eat Christmas dinner any time of the year; to a few of my friends chagrin. They just don’t understand Christmas in July of Turkey in late spring. I have been adverse to pea soup for as long as I can remember and the only reason was the colour of the soup. I don’t mind peas in any other fashion, so what is my problem right?

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
Soup

• 1 onion
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 1 leek, rough chopped
• 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
• Olive oil
• 6 cups of frozen peas
• 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 6 sprigs of fresh mint
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Plain yoghurt or crème fraiche, optional
Toast
• 6 slices of whole-grain bread with seeds
• 5 ½ oz leftover cooked ham
• 1 crunchy eating apple
• 1 ¾ oz Stilton cheese
• ¾ oz mature Cheddar cheese
• 1 tbsp liquid honey
• 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Assembly
Soup

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Using a Dutch oven add in the garlic, onions and leek and celery over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until softened; but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
3. Add in the frozen peas and stock and let boil.
4. Add on a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
Toast
1. Lay bread in a large baking sheet and shred ham, apple and crumble chees atop of the bread.
2. Finely grate cheddar cheese over top and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and honey.
3. Cook for 10 minutes and then place in soup bowls.
Soup
6. Pick out the mint leave and using the immersion blender; blend until smooth.
7. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, add a dollop of yoghurt or crème fraiche, and serve.

Tips
• Make ahead and reheat when needed and you can also gather the toast topping and have ready to go.
• Top with pomegranates, crumbled bacon if your not making the toast depending on your guest.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Now that I enjoy a daily green smoothie I have no quams about the colour of this soup and I’m very happy I finally decided to try it. The pea soup was so flavourful and my only issue was getting the soup to be silky smooth. Other that that I’m sold. I would suggest using vegetable or mushroom stock instead of chicken and serve the toast, yoghurt or cream fraiche on the side so those vegetarians and vegans can partake.

Advertisements

Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookies

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been on a real decorating kick since the summer and I have seemingly craving to amp up my decorating skills. I don’t know why the sudden push has come upon me, maybe it’s just time and I’m excited to see how I improve and grow. This cookie has been an unused pan in my cupboard for about three years now and this Christmas I’m feeling extra inspired to expand my decorating skills.

Yield/Serving: 3 elves &amp & 6 assorted sugar cookies
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 15 min. per cookie
Difficulty level is: Easy to bake, Medium-Hard for decorating & very time consuming

Ingredients
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp almond extract
• 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 2 tsp red, green & white nonpareils
• 1 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa
Icing
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk
• Food colouring, to desired colour

Assembly
Sugar Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment at medium speed until light and fluffy.
4. Beat egg, vanilla extract and almond extract into mixture.
5. In a separate bowl whisk flour and salt together and combine with butter mixture.
6. Beat until well incorporated.
7. Separate mixture out into 3 equal portions.
8. Press the plain sugar cookie mixture (1/3 of the dough) into the pan filled ¼” deep and bake for 15 minutes or until edges are light brown.
9. Meanwhile add nonpareils to the second portion of sugar cookies and incorporate and then set aside.
10. Finally add the cocoa powder to the finally portion of dough, incorporate and set aside.
11. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
12. Spray non-stick cooking spray over the cookie pan again and add one portion of the dough, cook for 15 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes.
13. Repeat step 12 again with the cocoa powder portion of the dough.
14. Let all the cookies cool completely and then decorate.
15. Prepare the icing and first outline the cookies and let that icing dry before flooding the interior with icing and then let that dry. (Ensure the icing isn’t too runny as it will run off the cookie. There is a subtle balance regarding the consistency of the border icing and flooding icing. You may want to add a touch more milk after doing the borders to get the icing to flood across the cookie easier.)

Tips
• Add more or less milk depending on how your dough is coming together.
• Don’t add vanilla extract to white icing as then the icing will lose its white colour.
• You can make the cookies ahead of time and decorate the next day.
• Remember you will need to set aside a nice chunk of time to decorate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a very time consuming task. It was zen like and yet stressful all at the same time as I decorated it. Mind you this was my second attempt at properly decorating a cookie; so in that regard I am very pleased with my outcome. I’m a little mad that I didn’t realize I don’t have Caucasian coloured food colouring or brown food colouring in the house as the other day I grabbed a whole bunch of gel colourings. I had to opt for a pale yellow skin and black hair and I’m ok with that but not really as it’s the perfectionist in me saying do better. I realized my cheeks were a touch too rosey; but again it’s my second try and I need to give myself a break. This isn’t a skill I’m going to acquire in two attempts late at night after putting in ten plus hours at work. On a plus at the last minutes I thought to split the dough three ways and I’m glad I did as I can experiment in one shot and see the outcomes. The nonpareils cookie turned out the best as it was very festive and the sugar cookie as well. The cocoa sugar cookie was a drier mixture as another dry ingredient was added after the fact. I would suggest adding a little milk or water to just slightly moisten it up. As you can see the cocoa cookie didn’t stay together the best. I was still able to decorate it; but it definitely needed a touch more moisture. These will be given to a co-worker the plain cookies for her and her hubby to split and the nonpareils for the kids. I was worried this recipe had too much sugar; but I was told this was the right amount of sugar and I need to just stop worrying about so much sugar as this is a sugar cookie.

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner – Potato: Potato Al Forno

Potato Al Forno – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s not Christmas without a side of silky smooth mashed potatoes right? Well how about this year you go a little more rustic and complex.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr & 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
• 2 onions
• 2 bulbs of fennel, with herby fronds attached
• 2 ½ cups whole milk
• 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
• 6 anchovy fillets in oil
• 8 cloves garlic
• ½ bunch of fresh rosemary
• 6 fresh bay leaves
• 1 whole nutmeg, for grinding
• 1 ¾ oz Parmesan cheese

Assembly
1. Peel onions. Potatoes and trim the fennel, reserving the fronds .
2. Finely slice the potatoes, onion and fennel just under ¼” thick, using a mandolin with the guard.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. In a medium sized saucepan pour milk and cream in and tear anchovies, crush in the unpeel garlic and add rosemary & bay leaves and finely grate in half the nutmeg.
5. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat and let infuse for a few minutes.
6. Remove out the rosemary and bay leaves and grate in some Parmesan cheese and season if desired.
7. In a baking dish layer the potatoes, onion and fennel.
8. Pour the cream mixture over and finely grate the remaining Parmesan cheese.
9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes and the remove foil and continue to bake for another 45 minutes, or until tender and golden.
10. Garnish with reserved fennel tops and serve.

Tips
• Swap out fennel for any other seasonal vegetable such as celery root or celery heart.
• I would also recommend rutabaga as that is easy to find in Canada in the Autumn & winter months.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a recipe you could prep the night before and cover in the fridge and cook the morning before your Turkey goes in. This recipe was surprisingly savoury and luscious with all the dairy added. I didn’t notice the anchovies; which I actually love; but some of my guests swear they hate. (When they come to my place it’s in lots of things unbeknownst to them and the eat away) This is a amazing and sophisticated side dish that is also great as leftovers. Add some dill to the top also if you have some in the house.

Potato Al Forno – Candy Coated Culinista

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Gingerbread Molasses Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Another year another gingerbread recipe and this year I think I have a decent recipe. Last year I tried a recipe from a cookbook that shall remain a secret; but it was a terrible recipe. I followed the instructions perfectly twice and the cookies looked like a dog’s breakfast and I had so many to make matters worse. I’m so much more pleased with this recipe that I can actually make a post.

Yield/Serving: about 30 cookies
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: approx. 24 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup demerara sugar
• 1/3 cup golden brown sugar
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
• 1 tsp nutmeg
• ½ tcp cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• 1 tsp baking soda
• Pinch of salt

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Using parchment paper, line two baking sheets.
3. Using an electric mixer on low speed with the paddle attachment; beat butter and sugar until it is fluffy.
4. Then add egg and molasses and continue to beat until just combined.
5. In a medium-sized separate bowl wisk flour, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt.
6. Pour flour in the mixer on low speed and mix until just combined.
7. Roll 1 tbsp of the gingerbread mixture into a ball and place on the baking sheets, two inches apart.
8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes one pan at a time and until edges are just firm.
9. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
10. Enjoy.

Tips
• Store in an air tight container between a layer of wax paper in the fridge for up tp five days or freeze for up to two weeks if you want to make ahead.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts

Now I noticed the shelf life of these cookies was super short; two days maximum in an air-tight container. I do realize the texture of gingerbread cookie is different from the normal cookie; but I enjoy those Starbucks ginger molasses cookies so much. Maybe those are just a touch under baked as they tend to be so soft in the centre. These cookies smelled of Christmas and as my house smells of balsam fir & now gingerbread with the Christmas tree lit and presents under the tree I am officially in the Christmas mood. Nott to mention I got the desired crack in my cookies so that made me happy. Next year I will attempt to make gingerbread men decorated and everything – fingers crossed

Creamy Blue Cheesey Potatoes with Chives & Haricots Warm Salad

Creamy Blue Cheesey Potatoes with Chives & Haricots warm salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats a warm salad and this recipe will not disappoint and if your reading this hating Blue Cheese I urge you to give this a try.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pound baby yellow skinned potatoes, halved & boiled
• 1 pound green haricots, ends trimmed
• Blue cheese, small wedge crumbled
• Chives, finely chopped
• Thyme, 6 sprigs

Assembly
1. In a large pot over high heat salted boil potatoes until tender; then drain and set aside.
2. Prepare haricots and steam until just cooked.
3. Place haricots in an ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking process.
4. Drain haricots and add to a platter along with the potatoes and crumble blue cheese over top.
5. Sprinkle chives and thyme and serve.

Tips
• If you must, you can swap out to another crumbly cheese if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a beautiful way to enjoy some in season haricots. I remember a time I hated blue cheese and just like olives, anchovies and sushi I became a fan once I became an adult and my palette matured. The salty creaminess with that slight medicinal taste makes the perfect coating for the vegetables. One can’t eat loads of blue cheese in one sitting; but this recipe gives the perfect balance that I craved again the next day. I wish I had made more.

Turkey Stock

Turkey Stock – Candy Coated Culinista

Another great make ahead Thanksgiving or Christmas recipe that can be used in stuffing, gravy and day after soup.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 4 hours, plus
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

Slightly altered from No Crumb Left

Ingredients
• 6-8 turkey pieces; combo of wings and drumsticks
• 10 cups of water
• 1 large onion. Sliced into rings
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 celery sticks, chopped
• Fresh parsley, handful
• Fresh chives, handful
• Fresh thyme, handful

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Place turkey pieces into a roasting pan and bake for 60 minutes. (Just ensure all sides of the turkey are a golden brown)
3. Check every 30 minutes and flip.
4. Meanwhile using a large stock pot add ten cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Once turkey is done, tear apart the wings and place all the turkey pieces along with the vegetable into the stock pot.
6. Scrape the brown bits from the roasting pan with a wooden spoon and add to the stock pot. (If it hasn’t all deglazed; just turn on the burner and add some water and let boil and scrap the turkey pieces off)
7. Gently simmer over low heat for 4 hours. The stock will reduce down.
8. Let cool and pour into jars and chill.

Tips
• Use the leftover turkey for whatever you like. I saved the drum sticks for dinner as they remained whole and the turkey wings were put in a quick turkey soup with the rest of the veg.
• You can also freeze this stock.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Not going to lie here this is a lot of work for stock; but then there are no preservatives, sodium or salt and chemicals. So start this in the morning and go about your day in the house and let this reduce while you’re doing chores and other baking. There is no salt in this recipe so it won’t be as flavourful as you expect; but it’s best to salt whatever dish you put this into after the fact.

Hearty Winter Soup

Hearty Winter Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

We had our first snowfall last Friday and I was pushed head on into soup season a little earlier than I expected. Now I had bought rutabagas and had no clue what to do with them besides my usual preparation and then I thought of adding this to my winter soup.

Yield/Serving: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour + 45 min. inactive tine
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pepper squash
• 2 rutabagas, peeled and cubed
• 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 tbsp, extra virgin olive oil
• 1 white onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 3 button mushrooms, sliced
• 1 litre homemade vegetable stock

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut squash in half and scoop out the insides while the oven warms up.
3. Place in a roasting pan and bake for one hour.
4. Prepare rutabagas and sweet potatoes and boil in a medium sized saucepan until tender.
5. Using a frying pan over medium heat pour in olive oil and add onions, garlic and mushrooms; fry until golden brown.
6. Place rutabagas, squash, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and mushrooms in a bowl and set aside.
7. Using a large stock pot, pour vegetable stock in and add vegetables.
8. Using the immersion blender, vegetables and let simmer until squash is tender.
9. Once squash is cooked, scoop out of the skin and add to the stock pot.
10. Blend again until all the vegetables & fruit have been pureed and the soup is smooth.
11. Let simmer on low for 45 minutes.
12. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve.

Tips
• Use store bought vegetable stock.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This turned out much better than I expected as rutabaga has very little flavour. However; with the other vegetables there was an added earthiness I enjoyed. The colour was a little muddier than I’d hoped; but I would have had to add more squash and sweet potato to get my desired colour.

R is for … Rainier Cherry Puree Pops

R is for … Rainer Cherry Ice Pops – Candy Coated Culinista

Ranier cherries are the best period. I love them even though they are so expensive and I really should just stay away. I was grocery shopping and saw these peculiar looking cherries and to me they just looked a little anaemic; but low and behold these were Ranier cherries and I decided to purchase a 2lbs container up and give them a try. These were so sweet and succulent that I could eat a whole container myself in one sitting. I still find these are still too pricy, but they are only around for maybe a month in the summer, so I will splurge to taste these wonderful fruit gems.

Yield/Serving: approx. 10 popsicles (depending on your mold size)
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 8 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 cups ranier cherries, pitted
• ¼ cup sugar
• 2 cups water

Assembly
1. Combine cherries, water and sugar in a small saucepan.
2. Over medium-high heat let simmer for 8 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Let the mixture cool.
4. Pour mixture into a blender and pulse slightly.
5. Fill the ice pop molds and freeze overnight.
6. Unmold and serve.

Tips
• Run over luke warm water to unmold.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Yum immediately came to mind and this is a great way to have rainier cherries. I added strawberries to a few popsicles to give a variety to the puree pops and they still tasted wonderful.

Autumn Beetroot Smoothie

Autumn Beet Smoothie – Candy Coated Culinista

I remember a short while ago I couldn’t tolerate a vegetable smoothie and then I started enjoying them. Slowly I added more and more vegetables building up my tolerance and now I’m at the point where I have a veggie smoothie more days than naught.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• ½ raw beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks
• Handful of cranberries
• 1 small knob of ginger
• 1 banana, cut into slices
• 3 tbsp plain yoghurt
• ½ cup water
• Few ice cubes

Assembly
1. Prepare vegetables and fruit and place in blender jar.
2. Add yoghurt, water and ice and blend for one minute.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I’ve always loved beets and this smoothie with its natural sweet touch from the beetroot and slight kick from the ginger is a wonderful fall smoothie.

Tombstone Chocolate Brownies

Tombstone Chocolate Brownies – Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween is almost here and as Halloween is my second favourite holiday I just love making dessert for this day. This year I am being good and am staying away from the temptation of Halloween candy as best I can. I have only 1 pack of Rockets in the house and I have given away half of them. I am focusing more this year on making unique and decorative treats for my friends and God-Kids.

Yield/Serving: 8 – 10 tombstones
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 10 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ¾ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
• ½ cup sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp black gel food colouring
• White icing, to decorate

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Spray pan with non-stick spray.
3. Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan and let cool slightly.
4. Whisk sugar, cocoa, salt in a medium bowl and combine.
5. Pour the butter in slowly and whisk, then add the vanilla extract.
6. Add eggs one at a time and then add flour until incorporated.
7. Finally add black food colouring gel and don’t overmix.
8. Pour batter in pan cavities and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Leave in pans for five minutes and then turn out.
10. Repeat again if you have batter still left over.
11. Decorate with white icing and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These brownies are dense and moist and the perfect size with a scoop of ice cream or glass of milk. I had fun decorating these tombstones and I will be making these again before Halloween.

%d bloggers like this: