I can’t believe how fast September flew by. In a way, I’m grateful because that means one month of classes is over with! Thus, one step closer to graduation. Almost.
Even though September flew by, it was rather eventful. I went to two stagettes, one for a friend and one for my cousin. The weddings are both in the same week, my cousin is getting married here in Vancouver on October 15, and then we leave the next morning on the 16th to go to Mexico for our friends wedding. It seems like it has been forever since we were there last. However, it’s only been 7 months. I had never been to Mexico before, and now I’ll have been twice in one year. And Vegas. This year has been pretty good for travelling.
I also went to my friend Vickie’s birthday this past weekend. We went to the Kingston Taphouse downtown. It was nice cause we had the entire bottom level to ourselves, so it was like a private party.
Back to school, also means back to public transit. Two skytrains and a bus. Also, back to volunteering in an elementary school. Both of those combined = easily able to catch a cold. Which, I have apparently done. Not so great. So trying to get better so I can properly function for the upcoming week at school.
It just so happens that Lainey is also sick. We spent a lot of this morning in bed together, after she woke me up at 6 am to go outside. Downfall of having pets in an apartment is that you actually have to get dressed to let the dog out. Bummer.
She caught up on her beauty sleep this afternoon. She’s quite the model.
I made these waffles last weekend. Weekends are usually our ‘big breakfast’ days. All week it’s either a smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast. Though oatmeal was making me feel sick for some reason, so it was on a hiatus for a while but I had some this morning and I feel fine. I think it was more so the peanut butter I used to put into it. But, I’m trying to be good and avoid peanuts so my allergy doesn’t act up. So it’s Almond butter. Adam definitely likes waffles or pancakes for breakfast. I make a lot, and usually only have one or two so he ends up eating like an entire batch. haha =)
I added some banana and pecans to the usual Joy of Cooking recipe, and made some changes to create something a little less boring than the same old. I also substitued apple sauce for butter.
Whipped Banana & Pecan Waffles
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 -1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (use regular milk if you don’t have an allergy to it!)
- 1 1/2 bananas (cut into chunks)
- handful of pecans, slightly chopped
- dash of cinnamon
- 2 mixing bowls
- Electric beater ( I didn’t use my stand mixer cause I think the two beaters whip the eggs better)
- waffle iron
- Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl using a whisk.
- In a seperate bowl, beat the applesauce and banana with electric mixer. Continue until light and frothy. May take a minute to break down bananas, but just keep mixing until they mash up.
- Add other wet ingredients to the banana mixture and blend.
- Make a well in dry ingredients, and pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
- Pour in chopped pecans.
- Slightly whisk together until well combined.
- Cook on waffle iron on medium setting for about 3 minutes.
This past weekend I entered a baking contest! It was the Second Annual Great BC Bake-Off held in Langely, hosted by Well Seasoned. It was a small part of a larger event, the BBQ on the Bypass. It is an all-day barbeque competition. There were free samples of every type of pork BBQ you could think of. It was delicious! I most definitely came home that day smelling of BBQ and smoke.
We were entertained by the wonderful Karen Lee Batten, a country singer from BC who was a finalist on the first season of Canadian Idol. Mom and I even got a picture with her between her show.
I had woken up early Sunday morning to prepare. I had made the tart dough the night before so that I would be ready to go in the morning, without having to wait for it to chill. I rolled out the dough, placed it carefully in my new rectangle tart pan(!), and began making the filling. It was only 8 am, and the kitchen already smelled of browned butter pecans and orange zest. It was wonderful. I even had a small amount left over to make a ‘mini’ tart, so I could taste test it ;) That was breakfast. Adam got up a little after me, I made him taste the tart (hard life!) and then we made our way out to Langley. Entries had to be submitted before noon.
There were about 30 pies in total entered in the contest. There were three categories, Fruit Pie, Open (anything goes), and Butter Tarts (of course). When I went to drop mine off, I did notice a few other Pecan pies/tarts that were also submitted. All of the pies looked very delicious! There were several judges, one of which was Follow Me Foodie.
We made our way around the BBQ tents, tasting what each had to offer. Adam was in BBQ heaven. By the second loop, I was pretty full! Adam’s mom and my mom met us there as well, so each time we took them around to the tents we had another sample. There was also homemade Perogies, and vegetarian Borscht. I can safely say no one was leaving the event hungry.
Adam and I had to stay until the awards ceremony, which said online, and on the entry form, was to be held at 4 pm. We had gone across the street for a little bit to shop, and returned around 3 to wait for the ceremony. As 4 o’clock passed, we began to wonder if it was going to begin soon. After asking an event coordinator, we were told it was actually at 5 pm. So, we sat down for another hour and listened to some more songs by Karen-Lee. If we had known earlier, I may have gone home for a few hours and perhaps done some homework.. but oh well. We also had a family dinner to get to at 5 pm.
However, the wait was worth it! My entry came in Second place! I was secretly hoping I would make some placement, after waiting around all day it would have been a little dissapointing if I did not. But, they did call my name! I came in second place for my Pecan tart! I was awarded a lovely ribbon (my first!) and a $100 gift certificate to the gourmet kitchen store, Well Seasoned. I thought only first place was going to receive a gift cetificate, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was going to be winning one as well! I have already begun thinking about what I may purchase with it..
I had only found out about the contest on the Tuesday before. So, I had to get moving! I made a whole pecan tart the next night, trying out a few new ideas and flavours. Then, the day before I made some mini tarts, using frozen dough just so I could try an idea I had after tweaking the filling recipe. That was it! I believe I had created something quite delicious.. !
me and the organizer Angie, photo from the flickr stream
So, here is my Award Winning recipe! The addition of the orange zest adds a lot of flavour to the filling! After making these brownies a few times before, I also decided to brown the butter instead of melting it in the microwave (because it also keeps exploding when I do that! anyone else have this problem of exploding butter..). I also wanted to do a tart dough with cream cheese, as I’ve heard of it before and thought it would be soft and prevent from an overly-hard crust that could be difficult to cut. I based mine off of this recipe I found.
This will definitely be making an appearance at our thanksgiving table this year :)
Royal Pecan Tart
Made with Crown Royal, Browned Butter Pecans & Orange Zest
Recipe by Bakeaholic
For the Crust
- 1/2 cup chilled cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
To make the dough:
- Place the cream cheese, butter, flour and sugar in a food processor. Process until dough starts to form.
- Pour onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a ball.
- Flatten into a disk, and cover tightly with plastic wrap, being sure to seal all edges tightly.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or may be made and refrigerated for one night, or 24 hours in advance.
For the Filling:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Zest from 2 oranges
- 1 cups chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Just under 1/2 cup golden corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons organic blue agave syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Crown Royal Liquor
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out tart dough to ¼ inch thickness on slightly floured countertop.
I roll the dough over top of the rolling pin, and then unroll it over top of the pan. If using a round tart dish or pie plate, you would roll it in more of a circle, then fold it in half and then in a quarter, and place point in middle of pan and unfold.
Place over lightly buttered pan, and press down on sides and bottom lightly.
- Discard extra dough.
- Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat; cook two minutes, whisking until butter browns. Stir in pecans and cook a couple more minutes, continue stirring. Remove pan from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs. Add orange zest, brown sugar, corn syrup, agave, Crown Royal and vanilla until well combined. Stir in pecans.
- Pour filling onto crust ¾ way full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until dough is golden brown and filling is set. Cool completely on wire rack. Best if served same day. Can be stored for 1-2 days.
Have you ever entered any baking or cooking contests!?
You can also make it in a round tart pan!
Well It’s been one year. One whole year since I started my little baking blog! I actually have to wish it a Happy Belated Birthday, as the official first post ever was oct. 15. It was also for a pie, and it was for thanksgiving. A whole year of baking yummy things!! First I started this blog as something to do for fun, and of course I loved to bake and baked often enough that I could update it. But as I got further into the baking blogging world I became obsessed with everything to do with cooking and baking. I am actually addicted to baking blogs, I read them everyday and always look up recipes and visit tastespotting more than I’d like to admit. Which is deadly, because whenever I see the yummy baked goods it makes you very hungry!!
I haven’t been able to post a whole lot in the past little bit, back to school is always a busy time and now I’ve got a cold. But I have probably about 10 or so posts that I’ve taken pictures of but haven’t uploaded them yet. I dunno why, no time and sometimes just don’t really feel like it. I have lots of drafts for posts, and sometimes don’t even get to take pictures or what I bake. But when I do I try to post it asap!
But over the past year I’ve loved being able to have something of my own to contribute to, to share with my friends and family and something to keep me busy when I have some free time! Thanks for everyone who reads this little blog and leaves comments and feedback =) I try to post as often as I can so thanks to those fellow bakers our there in blog world who follow my here and there posts!
Here’s another pie recipe, for chocolate pecan pie! It’s another one from the Dorie Greenspan collection and one of my favorite
Happy Birthday Blog Chocolate Pecan Pie!
Pecan Pie – Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspans – Baking from My Home to Yours
I used the same pie crust I made for the Pumpkin Pie – Buttermilk Pie Crust which you can find here
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecan pieces/halves
- chocolate shavings, or coaresly chopped, or chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 425F/ 220C.
- In a large bowl, whisk the corn syrup and brown sugar until smooth, then add the melted butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg into the mixture before adding the next.
- Whisk everything until you get a smooth foamy mixture, then add vanilla, cinnamon and salt and beat everything in. Rap the bowl against the counter a few times to remove any bubbles from the batter, then stir in the pecans and chocolate. Pour the filling into the crust.
- Place the baking pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon mat. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are over, lower the heat to 325F/ 170C, place pieces of aluminum foil over the edges of the crust and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pie has puffed, is brown and doesn’t jiggle when tapped.
I love fall – automatically means pie season! Enjoy!