Cinnamon Bun Twist Wreath

Thursday, 31 March 2016

So as a nice segueway and follow up to the last post...

I made a recipe from Chatelaine!

It was so good, I made it twice.

It's a twist (literally) on the cinnamon bun.



There are different kinds of cinnamon buns: the cakey variety and the yeast-risen variety.

I was always terrified of baking with yeast.  I am really good at killing living things..it's surprising my cats are still kicking.  Wish I could say the same for the two basil plants on our kitchen sill. Yeast is technically inactive in it's store-bought-Fleischmann's form, but, I always figured I could never get it back to it's living form again.

I made bread for the first time back in December with yeast and was successful.  It has spawned an interest in working with yeast...making rolls, bread, naan.. There is a really cool link HERE that describes all the neat stuff about yeast...what it likes to eat...how it likes to be nice and warm...how it can be tricked into sleeping again with a change in temperature...Just like a CAT!!  (Yeast+cat = Food spirit animal)

Andrew's favourite food group is cinnamon and sugar (I am sure this will be a new food group when the food guide gets it's overhaul: See here!)...so logically, yeast-risen cinnamon rolls was the next step.

Here's the recipe:   Click here!! (Ultimate in laziness today..In all honesty, Chatelaine did an awesome job of writing the description and demonstrating the technique.  Why reinvent the wheel?)

After the yeast has started "eating". This was seriously an amazing sweet dough
This was the hardest part...rolling out the dough in 12 x 22 inches
I kept eating the filling...so this was also difficult.


The "twisting"! Again...kept eating the cinnamon twist offal...aka the trimmed ends



After the dough has had a chance to rest again
SUCCESS!!!  Plus the sugar and butter filling caramelize and make toffee on the parchment. Beware!

I have to say I think the second wreath was even better, because the technique is fun, but a little tricky at first. But even if you have an ugly wreath, its still gonna taste awesome....and isn't that what matters?

Props to Chatelaine.

K.



Age based Upon Reading Material

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

So I was in the bathroom, the other day when Andrew stood in the door frame and said he had to tell me something...(jeez dramatic er wah?)

"Katie, you are officially old"


(Tell me something I don't know. I have intense relationships with cats, rip out grey hairs daily and am thinking about summer sandals with arch support)



It was then that he held up a magazine I purchased, that was on the floor, next to the bed.


"Chatelaine?"



"Whaaat...... It had an article with Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau I wanted to read..." (Cuz anything to do with politics is soo associated with the younger generations...Phew! Good save, Katie).



(Andrew gives me a look)



"What? They have good recipes..."



As the words fall from my mouth..an additional grey hair sprouts up on my part and a cat I have never seen before, jumps up on the vanity.





I admit. My mom still reads Chatelaine. I used to read her copies from the library back in the day...a closeted old lady if you will, in high school. 


I read them all... Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Canadian Living...O magazine, when that appeared on the scene...quality reading establishments...grooming me for a domestic life...yep.


Don't worry I read more than my fair share of Seventeen, YM, Glamour, Cosmo..


But let's be honest..there are only so many beauty tips, sexual positions and platform shoes you want to try out..


Reading tastes mature with time..(IS Chatelaine mature? Not sure about that one...)



Well then...doesn't everyone have guilty pleasure reading?


In the meantime...I am thinking about getting an e-subscription to Chatelaine. No jokes. 

(Speaking of age...My friend and fellow blogger, Sherrie, over at www.wellingtonfarm.ca is celebrating a birthday today! Hope your day was filled with cake, hugs and kisses, Sherrie!)

K.








Not-Your-Average Coconut Cake

Saturday, 26 March 2016

So if you have read some of the recipes that I have posted on here, you might have an idea that I promote a lot of unprocessed, made-from-scratch food. I really truly believe that one of the keys to my health and future health, is trying to stay away from processed food (but let's get real...processed food can be sooooo tasty....how many mini-eggs have you had already this weekend?)

Of course, any dietitian that you talk to, would state moderation. And since it's Easter weekend...let's moderate!

This is one of my most favourite-ist cakes in the world!  My co-worker makes it for me every year for my birthday. When I begged for the recipe, she sent me a link to a picture of a ripped out recipe from McCalls... and the cake is actually a cake mix (Well, I never!)!

I was shocked! Cake mix!  Don't get me wrong I love a good cake mix...and Andrew and I have talked about the merits of cake mix...(we talk about a lot of random things). Cake mixes are all about consistency and convenience. It always tastes the same and it takes no time to make it.  In fact...I got interested in the history and origins of cake mix and googled it.  I found this interesting little article: HERE. It's worth a read if you are interested in some food science reads, mixed with marketing reads.


Anyhoo, I found the link to the cake recipe, on a vintage recipe card website.  The website is especially entertaining, if you are looking to laugh at the recipes of yester-year. These were considered high style...hello Jellied Lamb Salad, Hot Tuna and Egg Buns and Frozen Cheese Salad.  (The Frozen Cheese Salad was also a Weight Watcher's dish..bonus!)

On a purdy plate 'n e'rthin

It's a pretty straight forward recipe....but when all the components come together...it's magic. (it's slightly adapted from the original)

You need:

1 package of golden cake mix


Filling:
1 package of instant or regular vanilla pudding mix (the one that says it makes 4 servings)
2 cups of milk (we had 2%)
1/2 cup of whipping cream
2 tbsp of powdered/icing sugar (I used granulated)
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups of unsweetened coconut (I like to gently toast mine)

Frosting (I use a different boiled icing recipe than the original because it has less ingredients):
4 egg whites
1 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar

Toasted coconut for topping

Make cakes according to instructions for two cakes. Bam...cakes done.

For the filling:

Make the vanilla pudding mix with the 2 cups of milk, as per instructions. Chill in the fridge. Whip the whipping cream, sugar, vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pudding and add coconut.

For the icing:
In a heatproof bowl, place sugar, eggs and cream of tartar.  Place over a pot of boiling water. Whisk, while the mixture heats, until mixture is warm to the touch. Then beat mixture with hand mixer or stand mixer, until stiff peaks form. Let the icing cool in the fridge, prior to frosting the cooled cakes.

Split each of the cakes into two, so there will be four layers of cake. Spread filling, in between layers and frost with icing.  I like to top with toasted coconut!


To me..this cake screams Easter: marshmellow-like frosting, light and spongy cake..lots of yummy, nutty coconut....just like the little coconut Easter bunny cakes you could buy at the store in the 80s..with eyes made of jelly beans..anyone used to have those?

Speaking of bunnies..E. says she wants to leave out carrots and cucumbers for the Easter bunny.  Guess the bunny will have to carve out some room for veggies, in spite of the cake.




Wishing your family all a wonderful Easter...whatever your traditions!

K.








Spring

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Happy Spring everyone!

I took an unexpected-ish break from the blog. It is no secret to anyone that I dislike winter...plus tax season always makes our house feel so much busier than usual.

Knock on wood, our house has been extremely lucky with illness, so far this cold and flu season, and the weather has been so much more reasonable, than in past years.

Hopefully, tomorrow is our last big brush with snow. The bunny comes in a week....things are looking up!

Some vintage ornaments for our Easter tree branch


There is some movement on the house building front...we are down to choosing between two contractors.

I have started extensive research into the costs of flooring, things like light fixtures, faucets, tile, appliances....

It's a really interesting time...I hope I am not getting too overzealous in the research.  It's kinda mindblowing that you can put a bathroom faucet into the responsibility of the contractor...it gets rolled into your mortgage...and you end up paying off the faucet over the course of 25 years....so yeah...I want to minimize that as much as possible...and buy some of that stuff with cash.

We also have to source things like siding, railings, doors....lots of decisions for sure!  I like making decisions and picking stuff out (I have excellent taste ;) )....it's just a matter of what is within the budget (I have expensive taste). I see it as a big puzzle that is gonna take some time and jiggling pieces around.

We also are in the process of deciding what lender to go with. One called me the other day and I had to stop her and say let's have a meeting with my finance-minded, husband present...my eyes glaze over and I have trouble following all of the requirements, percentages, fixed/variable convos. It's better that I see it all mapped out on paper.

So fingers crossed..it starts coming together in a few weeks...maybe a month?

In the meantime..Emma's hockey is winding down...canskate is done...and our schedule should be a little bit more flexible.

Tax season still remains for a bit longer but hopefully we can take it in stride.

I am toying around with the idea of doing some special easter baking...so maybe stay tuned!

Enjoy a short week!

K.


Pastel cards waiting to be mailed!


Culture, Heritage and Racism

Saturday, 5 March 2016

 I got to do something cool the other day: fill out a form.

Whoot Whoot!

It was the content of the form that was cool.

I got to self-disclose information re: Emma's ancestry and heritage.


For those of you that aren't familiar. I am status Inuit, of the Nunatsiavut Government, in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Emma is non-status Inuit. (She's mostly Caucasian and doesn't qualify for status under current rules.)

I think that the self-disclosure form was really cool.  It's making, being from another culture or background, socially acceptable and special, from a very young age. It's a celebration of being different and I think a school board's way of ensuring cultural and racial sensitivity, from a young age.



This was not the case in my small, Caucasian town in Newfoundland.

I self-disclosed, one day, in my fifth grade social studies class, that my mom was Inuit, when were talking about Innu and Inuit, from Labrador.

It wasn't a big deal on that day.

But it followed me.

Until one day, kids in my class saw it as a vulnerability...that I was also considered to be Inuit.


I find it absolutely abhorrent now...but I was so ashamed of my heritage at the time.

Kids were essentially racist from such a young age. Thus, making me ashamed of my background.

Thankfully, I had a core group of friends that didn't give a crap about race or where your family was from. I certainly wasn't unhappy as a teenager...I was lucky.

But I strongly remember the racism...and it's certainly given me a reason to never permanently return to a small, Caucasian town in Newfoundland.

It's interesting...many of the people that were specifically awful to me, grew up to be strong, contributing members of society. I do wonder if their ideas re: race and culture have changed.

I suspect they have.  I HOPE they have.


In the meantime, I will raise my Emma to be extremely proud of her heritage. Self-disclosure is the first step...

I really hope to bring her to Labrador. To show her where part of her family came from and expose her to some of the traditions that have been lost from my mom to my generation. (I always loved visiting my family in Labrador).


And way to go Tri-County School Board! Hopefully, similar steps are being taken in school boards (small and otherwise), across the country.

What's your experience with self-disclosure?


K.


On the left: Kirkina Mukko. She had two of her legs amputated from a young age due to frostbite. She went on to be a midwife...and is my great great grandmother.