Tuesday, September 2, 2008

SHF: Meringue roundup!

Thank you all for participating! What beautiful creative entries!

When I came up with the meringue theme for this month's edition of Sugar High Friday (originally created by Jennifer, the Domestic Goddess), I wasnt sure how successful it would be. But all of you are masters of frothing eggwhites to that perfect peak!

Submissions are listed in the order they were received.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Sanwiches
Thip from Bonbini!

Instead of cake and ice-cream sanwiches, Danielle has made these meringue and mousse sandwiches to comfort herself on a hot day in August.

Rochers (French Meringue Cookies)
Lisa from Spicy Icecream

These gorgeous French meringue cookies are called 'Rochers'. They may be named after rocks but they're light
as air!

Tropical Pavlovas
Elizabeth from Cake or Death

I'm totally drooling looking at the Tropical Pavlovas that Elizabeth made. The ingredients consist of a coconut pavlova base, coconut whipped cream, mango sauce, and fresh raspberries.
These mountains of yum are so pretty!

Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons with Salted Caramel
Cindy from Hungry Girl Por Vida

Deliciously perfect macarons with a salted caramel filling from Cindy!

Gluten-free Angelfood Cake
Zilla from Climbin' the Walls

Zilla has mastered the art of frothing with her first foray into making a gluten-free angelfood cake.

Meringue Cake
Monica from Nervous Chef

Monica doesn't usually have issues witih meringue, but this time she had some bad luck with humid temperatures and a fussy meringue She made the meringue twice and got meringues that were too flat. The cake looks delish still!!

Chocolate Meringue Cookies
Judy from Judy's Gross Eats

Judy made chocolate meringue cookies with a secret ingredient! Check out her blog to see what it is!

Frozen Meringue Creams
Nicisme from Cherrapeno

Nicisme made a frozen dessert using meringues and cream - perfect with any seasonal fruit. So lovely!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Announcing SHF #46 : Meringue! EXTENDED!


This month I decided to do meringue. I for one, dont make it enough. For me its either a success or a disaster, so good luck! August is a good month for this light airy creation so make it yours!!

- The deadline for this month SHF is August 31st. I HAVE EXTENDED IT FOR THE WEEKEND. Entries will be posted on Monday September 1st.

- In your post, please include a link to Jennifer's blog the creator of SHF and mine so it is easy to track back posts.

- Once you have posted, send me an email at mfacciolo@rogers.com. Please, please, include the following information:
  • your name

  • your blog name

  • your blog URL

  • your post title and short description is you wish
  • Permalink for your entry

  • Brief Summary of your entry

  • a picture of your dessert resized to be 200 pixels wide with your blog name as your picture file name
- If you do not have a blog and wish to participate, send me an email at the above address with a description and picture of your creation. If you wish to provide a recipe, and I encourage you to.

I will let you know when I receive your entry. If you don't hear from me in more than a couple of days, don't hesitate to email me

Lets see your meringue creations!!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Ashley!!!!

Today is my little sis's birthday!

I hope you had a great day and a super yummy cake!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Ashley,
Happy birthday to you!!!!


Sunday, May 6, 2007

An Old Family Tradition

When I was living at home, and it was my birthday, my mother would ask me what I wanted for dinner on my special day. I would always reply "GNOCCHI!!". My poor mum would spend endless hours in the kitchen, preparing my meal. At the time, I didn't truly realize how much work it was.

Now that I am living on my own, my mum has graciously passed on the family's traditional recipe for potato gnocchi. In my first attempt, I added way too much flour to the dough. The thing with this dough, is that it is very sticky, so I kept adding flour to it. The end result was that it didn't taste much like potato and was very dense and chewy. Now that I am a little more experience at making these little dumplings, I keep in mind that the dough is very sticky and to flour my working surface (as well as my hands), so that they don't stick so terribly.

To shape the dumplings, you can use a fork, which I had been using for many years, before my mum got me a gnocchi board for Christmas. I love that little tool. It makes the job go by much quicker than a fork, because it hardly sticks to the board, if you flour it lightly.

The beautiful thing about the shape of gnocchi, is that one side has ridges, while the other side has an indent. Both are meant to capture the sauce served over them, and make each bite equally delicious.

Now, my gnocchi does not turn out as perfectly as my mums. I am blaming it on the fact that, although I make these often, I still have not purchased a potato ricer. You cannot just mash these potatoes, or it will turn into a gluey mess. You must pass them through a potato ricer or food mill. My ingenious solution was to grate the potatoes on the finest side of my steel grater. It is not so ingenious when you have a very hot potato in one hand and a hot grater in the other. My hands are getting nicely calloused from this as well as burning myself on hot pans and the inside of the oven :)

Serve with the sauce of your choice. I usually make a meat based tomato sauce, which cooks for nearly the entire day, which is another family tradition. I will post that one later! I've seen this served with a butter sauce as well, which sounds super yummy!


4 large Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes, (about 2 pounds), scrubbed
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 large eggs
Cornmeal, for dusting

Place unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 2 inches with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high, and cook until tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill another large saucepan with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Drain potatoes, and peel while still hot, holding them with a clean kitchen towel. Pass potatoes through a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with the finest disk onto a lightly floured work surface. Make a well in the center of the mound of potatoes, and sprinkle flour evenly over the potatoes. Break eggs into the well, and add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Using a fork, lightly beat eggs, and incorporate the remaining ingredients to form a dough. Knead lightly on the work surface until the dough is soft and smooth.

Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Divide dough into four balls, and shape each ball into a rope 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.

Shape the gnocchi: Hold a dinner fork in one hand, and use your thumb to hold a cut edge of a piece of gnocchi against the curved back of the tines of the fork. Press into the center of the gnocchi with your index finger to make a deep indentation. While you are pressing the piece against the tines, flip it away over the tip of the fork, allowing the gnocchi to drop to the work surface. If the gnocchi becomes sticky, dip fork and index finger into flour. The finished gnocchi will have ridges on one side and a depression on the other. At this point, gnocchi can be refrigerated for several hours or frozen on a baking sheet sprinkled lightly with cornmeal before boiling and serving.

To cook gnocchi, drop half of them into the boiling water, and cook until they float to the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. REMOVE AS SOON AS THEY RISE TO THE SURFACE. Otherwise they will over cook and just fall apart. If they are frozen, do not defrost, just put directly into the boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place in the ice bath for about 20 seconds. Transfer from ice bath, to a colander, and repeat process with the other half of the dough.

Serve with the sauce of your choice.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

MFC - Melly's Fried Chicken

A favorite in our home, oven fried chicken has become a common meal.

I made this up one day, on the fly. I didn't have any breadcrumbs or cornflakes (which I saw in a recipe once). I rustled through my cupboards and found some cornmeal, which I thought, might be an interesting change. It turned out to be the best fried chicken I have ever had!


1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tbsp salt

Place a large cast iron pan in the oven and preheat to 400F.

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Coat chicken (thighs and/or drumsticks, best with the skin and bones) with mixture and shake off excess.

When oven has heated up, drizzle 3 tbsp of olive oil into the pan and place in chicken.

When it is golden brown on the bottom, flip and brown the other side. You can flip them twice more to brown the sides of the drumsticks. Remove from oven once all sides are golden brown and cooked through, about 30-45 min.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Pillows Of Love

So, my butcher, who I have been getting my naturally raised meat from for some time now, has mysteriously closed its doors. I went there one weekend and there was a "for lease" sign up. Needless to say I was very upset by this unexpected blockade to my faithful meat shop. Since then, I have been having a hard time finding hormone, by-product and antibiotic free meat. Here in Canada, A&P/Dominion has just started selling this type of meat. They don't have a very good variety, I suppose because the demand is low.

I will get to the point. I used to make gyozas with ground chicken meat, but I cannot buy it anymore. I don't have a meat grinder and the store doesn't sell it. So I used pork this time, and they were very good! My next try is with shrimp, which I heard is very good! I think the traditional ingredients in these dumplings include napa cabbage, but I am such a carnivore that I omitted it.

There is a video up on YouTube courtesy of yongfook on how to shape the dumplings. It is quite good.


1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp green onion, green part only, chopped
1/2 tsp chili oil

Make dipping sauce by simmering ingredients over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside to cool.


1 pound ground pork
2 green onions, green and white parts, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 package (about 40) round dumpling wrappers
Chili Dipping Sauce

Combine ground pork, onions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and salt. Mix well.

Place a rounded teaspoon of pork mixture in the center of the gyoza skin. Wet the edges of the skin with water on your fingertip. Fold in half to form a semi-circle. Make pleats along the edges, squeezing tight to seal and tapping the bottom on the work surface to flatten. Set aside and repeat with remaining skins.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in wok or large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place about ten gyozas in wok and pan fry until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Pour 1/4 cup stock into wok and cover with lid to steam gyozas until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.

Heat another tbsp of oil in wok. Repeat process with another ten dumplings until all are cooked. Serve hot with dipping sauce.

"Healthy" Carrot Cake

When you love desserts like me, why not trick your mind into thinking they are "healthy"?

Well, what cake could be more healthy than a cake with vegetables? This one in particular is not a zucchini chocolate cake, or a pumpkin pie, but a carrot cake! I must admit, I have never had a zucchini chocolate cake, but it sounds delicious! I must try it one day!

Yet another dessert from my mom's kitchen, an old favorite. This cake is extremely light and fluffy, not dense like your usual carrot cake. If you have some picky eaters in your family, just hide some carrots in a cake, and no one will be the wiser!

This was originally a banana cake recipe so you could replace the carrots with bananas.

From Southern U.S. Cuisine (modified)

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup grated carrots (or 2-3 bananas, about 2/3 cup, mashed)
1/4 buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 scant tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8 or 9 inch square pan (I used an 8 by 6). In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg, milk, vanilla, and grated carrots until blended.

Combine remaining dry ingredients and spices. Stir the dry ingredients into the carrot mixture until moistened. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched with your finger.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with a cream cheese frosting or powdered sugar/water frosting.