Friday, June 27, 2014

Iced Pumpkin Cookies For My Mom

This is one of my mom's favourite cookies. It's not written in her scribblers because she's only known about them for a short while and she can't cook for herself now, so I make them when I visit.

Before I came for my 'visit' (wasn't she shocked to find out I'm staying indefinitely!) she mentioned she had bought more canned pumpkin for the cookies. So, I'm making her cookies today!

She recently had a stroke (I believe we found out around Ignace, Ontario - during our drive across Canada) and is in the hospital, so I made them this morning and brought some in for her. She had one with her lunch, I think it made her happy.

The recipe is from Allrecipes and has great reviews.  There isn't much I change when making it, except putting the dough in the fridge to stiffen up and using a simplified version of the glaze.

Usually, I roll them in to balls, which gives the cookies a smooth surface, but this time I used a cookie scoop since I didn't want to let the dough rest in the fridge.  You know...things to do, places to be :)
I realized after taking the picture that I had grabbed cake flour!
Combine 2.5 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl.
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Once done, beat in the pumpkin.
Add in the egg and vanilla
Beat until fluffy. At this point you can chill in the fridge if you want to hand roll into balls, or just move along if using a cookie scoop :)
Place on cookie sheet and bake 15-20 mins in a 350 F oven. 
You can see these are 'rough' and not hand rolled smooth.
Once baked, let cool and then drizzle with glaze. haha, sorry I got side tracked and stopped taking pictures until they were already drizzled!

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Gina -


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cinnamon (optional, but yummy addition!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F . 
  2. Combine dry ingredients
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar. 
  4. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. 
  5. Mix in dry ingredients. 
  6. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes
  8. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
  9. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, water, and vanilla and then drizzle over cookies with a spoon or fork.
Makes about 3 dozen.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Arrived alive

It was a quick trip across Canada. We left Toronto, Ontario sometime around 9:30 am PST on June 21st (Saturday) and kept driving until we hit our destination in southern British Columbia around 5:30 am PST on June 24th (Tuesday).

Spidey and Yun relaxing in Scarborough, Ontario before the trip.
My poor little truck was jam-packed, behind the seats and in the box! Sleeping was NOT easy! We couldn't slide the seats back or tilt the seatbacks back very much because my TV was back there along with pillows and odd and ends.  Along the TransCanada highway there are pullouts all over the place, and in the middle of the night, you will no doubt find long haul truckers taking a nap too. The stops are noisy affairs with the sounds of traffic and headlights make sleeping hard - but we did it!

We did a few other stops too, since we needed to stretch our legs and also wanted to get a Geocache in each province. I had a Spidey and Yunshoof (owl) from work that joined us on our adventures ...sorry, us meaning my sister and I.

If anyone is driving the Transcanada, here are a few hints
  1. Winnipeg SUCKS for driving through at night. The bypass is a mess of construction. I highly recommend driving through it in the daylight! There are so many pilons and reflectors, turns, and signage that it hurts the eyes - not to mention traffic flies through there. It was the only time I felt worried driving on the whole trip! Trying to find the right way to go was difficult.
  2. There are very few rest stops in Manitoba on the TransCanada. It could be because it is only aprox 500 km across. If you are tired, there is a great rest area at the Ontario/Manitoba border, a rest area in the middle (near Sutton I believe), and another at the Manitoba/Sask border.  These are going west, not sure what is on the 'going east' side.
  3. Wawa, Ontario...for some reason the mileage signs always indicate the town was always 'about an hour away' but it took forever to get there!
  4. Ontario takes FOREVER to get through, but once you are through that, it's a fast haul across the prairies until you hit the BC mountains. (Maybe they are alberta mountains, but I'm from BC originally, so I'm claiming ownership for my province :)
  5. A lot of the corners from Wawa to Thunderbay, Ontario do not seem to have the right slope or bank to them, they feel 'flat', so it's like you are being pulled outwards when taking them. It was a bit nerve racking at first.
Spidey and Yun checking out the moose in MooseJaw, Sask.
Being uprooted and in a new place is a feeling I'm used to. Being uprooted, in a new place, but not in a place of my own is something else entirely.

Yes, I'm with family, but that isn't the same as having the complete privacy of my own place and doing my own thing. Like walking from the bathroom to the bedroom completely nekkid after taking a shower!

We'll see how things go.  Work is nice enough to let me work from BC, so at least I have $ coming in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Vintage Cookbooks and Project Gutenberg

I found a wonderful website today called Vintage Recipes!

It was exciting...well, to me it was. I had to close the browser page and look away *sigh* or I would end up browsing the web looking to buy my own vintage copies of the books.

The nice thing about the website is that they link the books that can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg. If you've never checked out Project Gutenberg before, you should! It has everything from the classics to cookbooks!

They list the formats you can get the books in: html, epub, mobi, pdf, etc.  The books are legit and available because their copyright has expired.

I only have a few vintage cookbooks, but there are enough recipes in them that I won't run out of things to make, and really, this blog is about cooking my way through some of my mom's cookbooks.

Well, in a week, I'll have a chance to look through her cookbooks again. I think she might have the Betty Crocker Picture cookbook. I may have passed it over the last time I was there thinking it looked too new to be vintage.

We shall see!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Baked or Shirred Eggs

I'm running out of options! My choices are not only limited by ingredients, but by what I need to cook or eat with.

I've packed all my dishes except 1 coffee cup and...I have a plastic wine glass for water.  It makes me feel kind of special, like I'm at a wedding :) All my pots and pans are packed away also, leaving me with an angel food cake pan that wouldn't fit nicely in the box with the other pans and a square pyrex baking dish.

So...I have all the fixings for making bread products, a bunch of spices, and a few pans, but I can't live on bread alone. I've already made 2 Sally Lunn cakes (well..technically 3, since I ate one before taking pictures) and the Canadian Cheese Supper Ring...I figure it's time to use up some eggs before next Saturday when I do the 'BIG MOVE'.

While I don't have any custard cups, I do have a bunch of very cute 1/4 cup mason jars that can be heated in the oven. So...Baked or Shirred Eggs it is!

The ingredients are pretty simple; eggs, butter, salt, and pepper.

Since I've packed almost everything that can be used to melt butter, I put 1 teaspoon of butter into each mason jar and let the butter melt in a hot water bath. It works well and actually saves having to clean another dish.

Crack the egg in to the dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dab with a bit more butter...since the teaspoon of butter previously wasn't enough!

Pop them in to a 350 F oven for approximately 15 minutes.

This recipe comes from the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic CookBook (1950). There are 6 additional variations for this recipe (cheese, chicken livers (YUCK! Nope, not trying!), pork sausage, roquefort baked eggs, eggs a la suisse, and eggs in mustard sauce) that I'll get around to trying at some point, but sadly...not while in Toronto.

Keeper: Yes Siree :)  The eggs were yummy and what could be better than making eggs that you don't have to babysit.

Baked or Shirred Eggs
Culinary Arts Encyclopedic Cookbook - 1950  (pg 289)

  • 6 or 12 eggs
  • butter
  • salt
  • pepper

    1. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in each custard cup.
    2. Break 1 or 2 eggs in to each cup.
    3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dot with butter.
    4. Bake in moderate oven (350 F) until eggs are firm but not hard, approximately 15 minutes.
    5. Serve in the cups.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Canadian Cheese Supper Ring

    "Could be Canada's spotlight quick bread - combination of her native products"

    Yummy in my tummy!

    I'm more of a savory kind of girl, so for me, this works. At first I wasn't too sure about the addition of curry in the recipe, but it turned out well. I don't really know if you need to add it though, since I'm not 100% sure I can even taste it with the 'nippy cheese', but I like how it coloured the dough.

    On that note,  I cheated a wee bit on the recipe.

    My cheese wasn't super 'nippy'. All I had was a blend of pre-shredded cheese (Mozza and Cheddar) that I had in the freezer. So, I sprinkled a few chili flakes along with a tiny amount (1/4 tsp or less) of chili powder onto the cheese ... and I used butter instead of shortening. Hey now! I'm moving! My house is a mess and I don't want to buy more ingredients.

    My verdict: It was yummy, easy, and attractive looking.

    I'm going to add this recipe as a 'Keeper', I can imagine the possibilities with pizza fixings or cooked chicken and feta perhaps. Mmmmmm. I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve it to guests.

    Lets get started and gather up the ingredients!

    Add the 3 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp curry powder to 2 cups sifted Robin Hood flour (It is a Robin Hood flour recipe after all). The recipe says to sift it all together, but I just stirred it with a fork. Haha, I'm lazy that way when making simple biscuits and things.

    Add the butter (shortening) and blend in with a pastry blender or knives. I just used my fingertips. Blend in until mealy (grainy) feeling.

    Add in the milk and stir gently with a fork until blended. It was a bit sticky at this point for me, so I dumped it out onto a floured surface.

    After sprinkling the top with flour, pat down into a rectangle shape about 1/3 inch thick.  The directions mention adding the cheese, rolling and then moving to a baking sheet, but for me, it seemed more stable putting the dough on the greased cookie sheet first.

    Sprinkle with cheese (optional chili flakes and a bit of chili powder).

    Roll along the long end, like a jelly roll. Join the ends together in a circle. I stuck one side into the other so that the cheese mix was a bit more evenly distributed otherwise, the joining section would have more dough and less cheese. If that odd sentence makes any sense!

    Cut the dough, every 2 inches around the outside, leaving the dough intact along the inner edge.

    Once cut, gently twist each section on its side.

    And bake, 450 F for 15 - 20 minutes....and...wait for it... Voila!

    Canadian Cheese Supper Ring
    Robin Hood Flour Cookbook 1947 - 1953  (pg 49)

    • 2 cups sifted Robin Hood flour
    • 3 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp curry powder
    • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
    • 4 tbsp butter
    • 2/3 cup 'nippy' cheese

    1. Grease large cookie sheet.
    2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and curry.
    3. Cut shortening (butter) in to small pieces and add to dry ingredients.
    4. Blend together until mixture is mealy, using pastry blender (or two knives, cutting in a scissor-like motion).
    5. Gradually add the milk, stirring lightly with a fork.  Mix only until a soft dough is formed.
    6. Turn on to lightly floured bakeboard or pastry cloth and knead gently for 10 seconds.
    7. Gently roll out with floured rolling pin or pat out with hand to 1/3 inch thickness to form rectangle.
    8. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over rectangle.
    9. Roll up like a jelly roll.
    10. Place on greased cookie sheet and join ends to form a circle.
    11. With floured scissors, cut roll in sections about 2 inches apart cutting from the outside of the ring two-thirds of the way towards the centre.
    12. Twist each slice slightly on its side so that one cut surface is toward the cookie sheet.
    13. Bake at 450 F  (very hot oven) for 15 - 20 minutes.
    14. Serve hot
    Note: Makes a nice accompaniment for a supper salad. Good with butter and jam.

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Stuffed Crown Roast of Frankfurters

    A crown roast of wieners is an ideal solution for guest problems when the budget is low.

    Honestly - I'm going to believe your guest problem and any drain on your budget because of said guests will be solved for quite a while with this recipe! 

    What a mighty name for hotdogs and sauerkraut!

    That being said, I vow to make this gem, but with one of the optional choices, I don't want to waste my food budget $ on sauerkraut that I won't eat. I've even put it in the calendar.

    The picture looks like there may be bacon wrapped around the outside, but the recipe doesn't mention it at all.  I'll do the bacon, because this is special - It's a stuffed crown roast!

    Has anyone made this?....Anyone?

    Stuffed Crown Roast of Frankfurters
    Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook 1950 (pg 387)

    • 20 Frankfurters
    • 2 cups cooked Sauerkraut
    1. Arrange frankfurters side by side, with curved side up.
    2. Using large needle and string, sew through all the frankfurters 1/2 inch from the bottom and 1/2 inch from the top.
    3. Tie ends of the top string together, bringing first and last frankfurter of the row together.
    4. Repeat with bottom row.
    5. Stand frankfurters on end to form a crown. (Concave side should be out)
    6. Fill center of crown with sauerkraut.
    7. Bake filled crown in moderate oven (375 F) about 20 minutes. 
    Serves 10

    Fill crown with stuffing, creamed cabbage, creamed cauliflower or Potato Balls instead of sauerkraut.

    Sunday, June 1, 2014

    The Sally Challenge

    Appearances can be deceiving.

    On the outside, they look the same. If I hadn't named the images I might not know which is which, but they are different. It's what's inside that counts.

    The Sally Lunn from American Woman's Cook Book is much more of a dessert sweet cake - bread while the English Sally Lunn from the Five Roses Flour Cook Book is more of a bread type and a lot less sweet. Neither recipe has a lot of sugar, but the English Sally only has a tablsepoon compared to 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) in the AWC Sally.

    The dough for both of the recipes is a bit gloppy.

    Texture, when baked, doesn't appear that much different, although the FRF English Sally seems to be a bit less crumbly - more sturdy right after baking.  (Is that even proper English...more sturdy?)  Once cooled, they seem about the same.

    My verdict - would I make these again?

    Sally Lunn - Yes

    You could make drop biscuits with this recipe, but I think the English Sally Lunn would be way to runny for this.  Probably due to the extra eggs. Neither dough can be rolled out.
    • It's a simple sweet cake-bread
    • It can be served alone or with Jam or Honey.
    • It can be whipped up quickly with simple ingredients.
    • Perfect any time of day for a snack or for serving to a friend.

    English Sally Lunn - Maybe
    •     I could make tea biscuits with less effort.
    •     I would eat it as a snack (with butter or jam), but I dont think I'd eat it dry with nothing on it.
    •     I wouldn't serve it by itself to a friend. It would be part of a meal.
    •     Yes, if I wanted a tea biscuit styled bun (that would rise in a muffin tin)
    •     Yes, if I wanted a quick no yeast type 'bread'.

    That's English Sally to you

    It wasn't hard to figure out who Sally is, it appears she's a bit famous - for her buns. Hahah, I guess that's why they are named after her.  Info from the Sally Lunn website says she was a Huguenot refugee who went to Bath in 1680 after fleeing persecution in France. She worked in a bakery and sold the wares in a basket in the streets.

    She sounds like quite a woman, I can't imagine what life was like for her in 1680's, but she made it. You go girl!

    The site describes Sally Lunn buns as 
    part bun, part bread, part cake… A large and generous but very very light bun; a little like brioche/French festival bread
    I don't think I've had brioche before so I can't speak to that,  but the two Sally Lunn recipes I've tried do match the rest of description - part bread, part cake, and very light.

    I guess I'll have to plan a trip to Bath to really know how similar or different they are, but while I'm waiting on a winning lottery ticket to make that happen, I'll share the second recipe:  English Sally Lunn from A Guide To Good Cooking - Five Roses Flour Cookbook 1938

    This recipe differs from the regular Sally Lunn in that it uses butter instead of shortening, which is blended in to the flour like you would when making tea biscuits. It also calls for more eggs, less sugar, and more WORK.

    First off you'll need to separate 3 eggs. Beat the egg yolks and add them to 1 cup of milk.

    Add 1 teaspoon of salt , 4 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 tablespoon of sugar to 2 cups of flour. Sift together 3 times (ha! you can, but not my style - I stirred it with a fork)

    Add 4 tablespoons of cold butter to the flour mixture.

    Blend well with tips of your fingers or with a pastry blender. Once done, put in the fridge to cool while doing the egg whites.

    Blend the egg whites until stiff peaks. Should be easy...unless you've packed up your KitchenAid mixer, handheld mixer, and yes...even the whisk.

    So...after quite a while using a fork, I switched to the spatula. The noise of the fork against the bowl was quite annoying.  And if I have to do this again, I'd use the spatula, it worked a lot better. Cooling the bowl helped also. The peaks aren't as stiff as they could be, but I'm happy with how well I did by hand.

    Add the combined milk and beaten egg yolk to the flour mixture.

    Fold the egg whites in to the dough mixture.

    The recipe calls for muffin tins, but alas, that is packed also. I used the only tin I haven't packed - the angel food cake pan

     Voila!  Cooling in the pan. Looks wise, it looks exactly the same as the other Sally Lunn.

    Cooling on the rack. It is pretty.

    English Sally Lunn Recipe
    A Guide to Good Cooking - Five Roses Flour Cookbook 1938 (pg 29)

    • 2 cups sifted flour
    • 4 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 3 eggs, separated
    • 1 cup milk
    • 4 tbsp butter
    1. Sift flour with baking powder, salt, and sugar. 
    2. Blend flour and butter together with finger tips or pastry blender.
    3. Beat egg yolks and add to milk.
    4. Beat egg whites to a stiff peak.
    5. Add egg yolk and milk mixture to flour mixture.
    6. Fold in stiffly whipped egg whites
    7. Bake in muffin tin in a moderate oven (400 F) - 30 minutes
    Makes 12 muffins.