Saturday, 14 April 2012

Vanilla Latte Jelly Shots

I'm not a vodka fan. As I've explained to several people I believe every person goes through phases with different types of alcohol in a set order. Vodka is the first for girls (after cheap 4% coolers). It is the high school don't-get-caught, first year wasted, 'white girl drunk' drink. No self respecting adult's drink of choice is vodka. However, I am instantly drawn to anything cake-related... I even bought cake tea last week. So when I saw all these drink recipes involving "cake vodka" I was intrigued. I did some research and found out it was only available at some places in the US, so you can imagine my shock & awe when walking into the glebe LCBO yesterday and there it was; a giant sign announcing it's arrival...

Naturally, they were sold out.
But, instead I picked up their "whipped cream" flavour. Sounds disgusting. Tastes awesome. And that's not just me trying really hard to justify the money spent, it actually tastes good, however I'm unsure of possible mixes (orange juice? creamsicle drinks...?)

Anyways! For our girls night last night I decided to experiment with it and made some vanilla latte jello shots. They tasted good, considering I just made it up as I went...but didn't come out of the molds as easily as expected. Next time- either more oil or paper cups!

2 cups of cold, strongly brewed coffee, made as sweet and as milky as desired (perhaps a bit more than usual to cover the burn of the vodka?... I added quite a bit of milk, hence the latte name)
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp condensed milk
2 packets unflavoured gelatin (knox)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipped cream vodka

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
dash of vanilla
sprinkles... if desired

1. Combine coffee, cream, vanilla and condensed milk in a saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin on top and let sit for about 5 minutes.
2. On a low heat, stir the mixture until all the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and add vodka.
3. Pour mixture into WELL OILED molds, paper cups, pan, or anything really. Let it set in the fridge for at least 1 1/2 hours.
4. If desired, you can add a cute topping. Combine heavy cream, icing sugar, vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Dollop or pipe swirls on top of the shooters and sprinkle with... well, sprinkles.

As a warning, eating them too fast may get you white-girl drunk. Tara was classy about it though.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Curried Carrot Soup

Yet another non-dessert post. Something's definitely wrong with me.

Maybe it's all this bunny paraphernalia, but carrot's seemed like a good idea. Being alone (and admittedly, pretty bored) this Easter weekend, I figured I should make something new and fun (and carroty). This soup, although the majority being carrots, also has a lot of butternut squash (my fav), ginger, onion and garlic... but not much else. See below.

olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 big (massive, in my case) carrots, chopped
1 small butternut squash, chopped
1 tsp curry powder
a few dashes of black pepper
(additionally, a dash of cayenne would work well)
About 5 cups of water or vegetable stock

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil and cook garlic, ginger and onion until fragrant and starting to soften.
2. Add carrots and butternut squash. Add water or stock, add spices.
3. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots and squash are soft enough to be "smushed" up again the side of the pot with a spoon.
4. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for a bit. Using a blender, puree the mixture and pour into a second pot. Reheat if necessary! EAT.

So easy, so healthy, so good. Also makes for some damn good work lunches. :)

Monday, 2 April 2012

Key Lime Pie

Happy Monday, guys. Last night Rob and I hosted a somewhat last-minute thrown together dinner with our friends Tara and Kyle and I decided to go all out and make dessert as well (as if you'd expect anything less from me). Our meal consisted of vegetarian chilli, caesar salad and last but not least, key lime pie. :)

I chose this dessert because:

  • a) it's limeyness coincided well with our tex-mex ish meal.
  • b) i had never made it before and always wanted to.
  • c) it is yet again, another ridiculously easy dessert to make. 
It went over well, and in fact I just had another piece for breakfast. I highly recommend!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cans condensed brand milk 
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Zest from about 3-4 limes (and more for garnish if you prefer)

1 cup whipping cream 
2 tbsp powdered sugar
splash of vanilla 

1. Preheat oven to 350*F and lightly grease a 9" pie plate.
2. Mix together graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter in the pie plate. Press into the plate firmly and bake for 10 minutes.
3. Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Add in the condensed milk, lime juice, and most of the zest. Continue to whisk until well combined and creamy. 
4. Pour filling into the prepared crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes. After removing from the oven and allowing to cool for a bit, refrigerate the pie for a minimum of 2 hours. 
5. While the pie is in the fridge, combine whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. 
6. Before your pie is served, either dollop some whipped cream on top of each piece or if you want to be fancy, pipe some designs on the pie. Sprinkle on extra zest.