Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween Severed Finger Cookies

I've been making these cookies every year for Halloween for the past 5 or 6 years now and I still think they are sooo cool! The nasty, busted, discoloured finger nails are the best part if you ask me!   I got this recipe from my mom years ago and I think she got if from a friend but beyond that.......I have no idea.  there are however many versions of this cookie floating around on the Internet but but I find none (I've tried 3 or 4 others) look quite as gruesome or hold their shape as well as these......not even the Martha Stewart version compares to these (gasp I can't believe I just said that, but it's true)

I made these guys in the photo's really quick before work yesterday which is why my piping gel isn't really mixed so well and they don't look as awesome as they could, but I still wanted to share......these are after all one of my favorite Halloween traditions.  I love the look on peoples faces when I hand them a little treat box all nicely tied with ribbon they open it up and peel back the tissue paper to find 2 or 3 severed fingers, fake blood and all!

What you need:
1 cup butter softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
50-60 almond slices (not too cracked or chipped)
1/2 cup piping gel (you can get a small container of this at bulk barn or a place like Michael's)
red food colouring paste
black food colouring paste

Here's what you do:
1.  In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla.  combine the flour and salt; stir into the sugar mixture.   Cover dough and chill for at least 1 hour.

2.  Roll out logs of dough approximately 1/2 inch thick and 3-4 inches long.....variety is okay but keep them relatively the size of your fingers.

3.  put as many as you can onto cookie sheets and pop them into the freezer or about 15 minutes.


4.  Working in batches pinch one end of a log to form a tapered end for the finger tip.  pinch two more times, not as much as the finger tip, to form the middle and bottom knuckle.

5.  Nest use a butter knife to score the knuckles, 3 lines by the finger tip, 3 on the main knuckle and and 2 at the "cut" end.  when scoring the knuckles with three lines try to curve the two outside score marks a little.

6.  Insert and almond slice into the finger tip so a little of the almond is inserted into the cookie dough, and pressing down a bit to flatten it out like a finger nail.  be careful not to apply too much pressure or the almond will break.

7.  put your finished fingers on cookie sheets spaced 1 inch apart (if you follow this recipe the dough won't spread)  and pop them back into the freezer for another 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F 

8.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden at the edges.  remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.


9.  Put your piping gel into a small bowl and colour with the red and black food colours......only a hint of can always add, but you can't take can be seen in the photo's of the cookies I made this year, some of them have way too much black.  When cool, dip the "cut" end of your finger into the piping gel.  or if you would prefer you can paint it on using a small bakers brush.  Also if you like you can add some of the icing blood up around the finger nail area.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Both T and I are huge fans of this dish although he grew up calling it Milanesa and I believe in his house it was usually made using thin cuts of beef.  I on the other hand, until I met T only knew it as Schnitzel and I associated it most often with veal......yes I know veal is actually cow but I think most people would agree with me that a veal steak tastes decidedly different than a beef steak.  I have also tried this recipe using thin cut pork and it also works nicely.

2 pounds veal, pork, or beef scallopini (cut no thicker than your finger)
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups bread crumbs
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup oil for frying
4-5 cups of milk

The night before you want to make this, you should tenderize the meat and then cover it in milk in an air tight container and put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.  As I understand it, using the natural enzymes and acidity in milk is a great way to further tenderize the meat.
take your thin and tenderized steaks, and dredge in flour. In a shallow dish, beat the eggs with salt and pepper. In another dish combine the bread crumbs and the grated Parmesan.  Coat the veal with egg mixture, then with bread crumb mixture.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes on each side.  Squeeze fresh lemon over top and Serve immediately

Make sure you make more than you need for dinner because the left overs make delicious sandwiches!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed loaf

I took this recipe from the Rose Reisman: "The Complete Light Kitchen" cookbook, and it's definitely one I feel is worth passing on.  It makes a really nice light dessert when serving it with coffee or tea.

What you need:
3/4 Cup Granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil **** I subbed in 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg
2tsp grated lemon rind
3tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup 2% milk
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1tbsp poppy seeds
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/3 cup yogurt or light sour cream

1/4 cup icing sugar
2tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

What you do:
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray
2.  combine the granulated sugar, oil, egg, lemon rind and 3tbsp of lemon juice; mix well.  Add the milk, mixing thoroughly.
3.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and poppy seeds.  Add to the wet mixture alternately with the yoghurt, mixing just until incorporated.
4.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.  let cool for 10 minutes
5.  For the glaze, combine the icing sugar and 2 tbsp of lemon juice.  prick holes in the top of the loaf with a fork or a wooden skewer and pour the glaze over the loaf

*****if you prefer muffins......pour your batter into muffin tins, and increase oven temperature to 375F
cooking time is reduced to 15-20 minutes
Let me know what you think of this one......We really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Easy Deviled Eggs

For me, Deviled eggs are one of those foods that feel totally old school.  but they are so delicious and super easy to make I often wonder why I don't make them more often.
1 egg makes 2 pieces
For this recipe I used 9 eggs
2tbsp white vinegar taste
pinch of dill
pinch of paprika

Fill a large pot with water add your 2 tbsp of Vinegar and turn heat up to high
gently place in all of your eggs making sure the water covers each egg
let the water come to a boil, once water is boiling turn the heat off but allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for about 4-5 minutes.  remove the eggs from the hot water and submerge into cold water.  Once the eggs are cool enough to handle with your fingers carefully peel the eggs ( the goal is to peel the eggs without leaving any marks/cracks in the egg flesh.....this is not too hard to achieve but can be tricky if you have longer fingernails) once all the eggs have been peeled you slice the egg in half length wise.
 Now you carefully scoop out the yolk from each egg and set aside
Using a fork mash up the yolks adding mustard to reach desired consistency......I like the filling to be smooth and a really creamy mashed potato
next you can either scoop a little filling into each egg half using a small spoon or you can use a piping bag with a large star tip for a slightly less rustic look.  once each egg is filled you can season with sprinklings of paprika or dill.....or whatever else you like
pop any leftovers into an air tight container and they'll keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
*****Helpful tip!******
Boil and peel the eggs the night before and then just finish them off in the morning.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Camera is broken >:-z

Sorry for the long delay in posts I really appreciate those who are sticking with me despite the lack of current activity on this blog.  It feels as though summer has just flown by!  I have been both cooking and baking yet with my camera not in working order I have no photos to share, I'm hoping to either get the camera fixed or to just get a new one in the very near future (this is what I'm really hoping for!)
coming up in the next little while......Lemon poppy seed loaf, spaetzle, Wiener Schnitzel, lemon ginger cookies, a variety of soups and so much more!
I'll be back shortly I promise!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Pie for Dinner.

I love pie!  All kinds of pies, fruit pies, meat pies, sweet pies and savory pies!  There is so much variety, you can do just about anything.  A couple of nights ago I was feeling the corn and onion vibe.

  I started with 5 corn on the cob, I threw them into a pot of boiling water until cooked.....I don't know......say 20 minutes?......I wasn't really paying attention.  once they were cooked I cut the corn from the save yourself some time you could just use frozen corn that you've let thaw, but hey I had the corn on the cob in the fridge. I chopped and sauteed a large onion with 2 cloves of garlic and I seasoned it with cracked pepper and ground thyme.  I turned the heat down and added the corn to the onions.  I then proceeded to stir in and melt 6oz or cream cheese.  Once everything was fully incorporated I let the mixture cool and then beat in one egg
evenly spread the mixture into your pie shell
when it comes to pie shells you have two options you can buy the frozen ready made shells or if you have a few extra minutes you can make it yourself from scratch........that's literally all it takes is 3 or 4 extra minutes.  I have a few different pie crust recipes in my repertoire but for this particular occasion I selected my most basic savory style shortening centered recipe.

Here's what you need:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
Here's what you do:
Mix shortening, flour, and salt together with a fork or a pastry blender until very crumbly. Add as much water as needed to hold together, and mix lightly with a fork.
Roll gently onto floured surface so that the diameter is about an inch larger that your pie plate.  Carefully lift and press crust into pie plate.
If adding a top crust again roll gently onto floured surface cut out centre shape to release steam carefully lift and place on top of filled pie. using your fingers go along the outside of the pie and pinch the two layers of crust together 
brush with a little bit of egg wash or milk and then pop her in the oven (350) for about 45 minutes and your done!  Sorry I forgot to take the after picture, the pie just smelled so good that 10 minutes after T got home the buzzer rang and we just cut into it immediately.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Peanut butter pie (For Mikey)

Last week among the many food blogs that I read on a regular basis one in particular stood out.  In Jennie's Kitchen Author, Jennifer Perillo had the courage to write about the tragic and sudden loss of her husband Mikey. The post was beautiful and it brought me to tears.

her request was so simple.....Peanut butter pie was his favorite dessert. Make a peanut butter pie and share it with someone you love.
what you need:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
 What you do:
1.  Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
2.  Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.

I chose this recipe to start off with because of it's simplicity......and it really is simple although I think next time I'll drizzle chocolate on top and garnish with chopped nuts to make it look a little more polished.
I hope that those of you who try this recipe love it and pass it on.  My heart aches for Jennifer Perillo and her two young daughters.  This was my Peanut butter pie for Mikey.