Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas Lasagnas!

Omg! I have never eaten so much in so little time! Christmas lasts a day but I ate enough to sustain a small village for a week!

Of course my family made our homemade meal that we planned months in advance like every year. So here it is!

Meat Lasagna!

We made our own pasta again this year.

And our own bolognese sauce! This sauce has 4 pounds of ground beef! 

(and yes, that sauce is so thick that the wooden spoon stands vertically up)

We had 3 layers of Ricotta cheese and spicy Italian sausages.

Here is the finished Product! (That, by the way, weighed SIXTEEN pounds)

Portobello Mushroom Lasagna!
For the vegetarians in the family.

My brother found these beautiful mushrooms

Here is the finished product: (Weighed 13 pounds if I remember correctly)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Holiday baking! (Part 1)

I've finally finished my last exam before Christmas so naturally I spent the day baking with my family. Here's what we made!

My brothers made our mom's famous Coffee Cake. My mom has made this cake every Christmas for as long as I can remember.

This cake is made with sour cream and lots of butter. It has a toasted walnuts and sugar topping. Cover in icing sugar and it is delicious with a warm cup of coffee. 

I can't give away this recipe since it's a family secret... But here's a different recipe :)

________*__________________*_________________*_________________*_______________*_________            *

I also made some lemon shortbread. I made it in a traditional ceramic cookie mold. 

You just butter the bottom and flatten your cookie dough making sure it covers all the edges. Bake like a normal pan of shortbread.

Here's what it looks like once it comes out of the oven:

So pretty!! and delicious to boot!


1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Line two baking sheets with parchment. Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer bowl (use the paddle attachment) or a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until the butter combines with the sugar but isn't perfectly smooth, 1 to 2 min. Add the flour and lemon zest and mix on low speed, scraping the bowl frequently, until the dough has just about pulled together, about 3 minutes; don't overmix.

Roll: On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Aim for a uniform thickness to ensure even baking.

Cut: Cut the dough into bars or squares with a sharp knife or, using cookie cutters, cut out shapes as close to one another as possible. Press the scraps together, roll them out, and cut out more cookies. If the dough becomes sticky, refrigerate it briefly. Arrange the cookies on two parchment-lined baking sheets and chill at least 20 min.

Bake: Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Bake the cookies until golden on the bottom and edges and pale to golden on top, 30 minutes to 1 hour. (After 15 min., swap the position of the baking sheets and rotate them 180 degrees for even baking.) If the cookies are done before 30 min., reduce the oven temperature to 275°F for the remaining batches; if they take longer than 1 hour, increase the temperature to 325°F.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Break from these Carbs (Part 2)

Photo by Alex E

Glorious nothing

              Do you miss the stars? We always miss what we leave behind no matter how much we wanted to escape. The stars are the first things I missed. I look up into the sky at night now and all I see is blackness; the sad empty sky towering over the lonely skyscrapers. I long to stand in a field once again; total blackness engulfing me but for the twinkling lights just beyond my reach. Glittering specks that have inspired great thinkers and philosophers are plentiful in my hometown.
            In the busy streets of Montreal, the air is never odourless. Fumes from the nonstop traffic and factories taint our lungs and throats. You can almost see the clouds of smog in front of you as you walk down Sainte-Catherine. Sewers and pipes line the streets pumping out waste to further pollute our fragile environment. Walking down Main Street of Bedford, you might be lucky to see a car pass. Refreshing breezes come in from the west and fill our nose with the smell of far off places we dreamed of visiting as a child. The occasional hint of cut grass or whiff of manure might awaken your senses. In autumn, what is more wonderful than the scent of thousands upon thousands of fallen leaves?
            Honk-honk! Drill-drill! The clatter of city life is endless. Outside you can barely hear yourself speak let alone think. Sirens pass and covering your ears becomes a necessity. You cannot even escape the nonstop cacophony once you are inside. Music of poor taste blasts from speakers in shopping malls and restaurants. Ringing of cell phones and blackberries disturb the peace when we are lucky enough to find it. If there is no mechanical device provoking our headaches then it is our neighbour talking too loud on the bus or the barking dogs at night. The constant chatter of hundreds of people in a public area is like white noise; hard to understand, not very loud, but always in the background. Never will you hear the sound of nature like a trickling brook; bubbly and happy as it flows down to the ocean. Nor will you catch the ruffling of a leaf made by a chipmunk scurrying away. In a municipality where there is only one fire truck, one ambulance and not a police car in sight, the scream of a siren would be the talk of the town for weeks. Sometimes, you can sit outside and listen to the chirping of chickadees and woodpeckers in the early mornings and, other times, you can just sit and hear nothing; glorious nothing.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Last Christmas (2010)

It's already December and all I can think about is Christmas!!! It's a shame that there's still no snow on the ground yet but Christmas music can turn any mood cheery. Every Christmas, my family plans our meal months in advance. Last Christmas was no exception. We decided to make Homemade ravioli. It took a whole day since we had to make the pasta, roll it out and then fill it with cheese. 

Step 1. : Make dough

Pasta dough is basically 4 ingredients: Flour, eggs, water and salt.

Step 2: Roll dough out

Now this step usually requires a pasta roller. It is not necessary but makes life a lot more easier. 

You will get a very looooooong sheet of pasta now. (Extra long table recommended)

Step 3: Fill with delicious cheese or meat.

Step 4: Cut the ravioli and let dry

Step 5: Cook and Enjoy!!! :D

________*__________________*_________________*_________________*_______________*_________            *

If you have leftover dough, then you can just cut it in strips and make fettuccine with it.

Happy Festive Season!