here and there

Friday, November 24, 2017

Apple Coffee Cake with Caramel topping

Coffee Cake for a Birthday Cake? Why Not?  This is a cake I have wanted to try as the placement of apples on the cake top is decorative.  Another recipe I saw, used whole apples that were pushed into the batter, but this looked great.   I use to make a coffee cake in our previous home as we had an apple tree in our backyard that filled our crisper with tons of fruit.  Bavarian Apple Cake and a coffee cake filled with chopped apples and a Streusel topping were my favourite to make.

For this dessert, the apples are quartered and then sliced.  Use a chopstick, placed along the side of the apple so you do not cut through the apples.  

A quick caramel sauce was made from melting caramel squares with 1/2 c of cream in the microwave. 

Since my son's birthday was on a Wednesday night, we picked up our grandchild from school, so that she could practice for her piano lesson. 

The first thing she asked when walking through the door was if she could decorate the cake! Somethings are so predictable!  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

This year, my grandchild has started piano lesson and since she is within walking distance from her school, she come for her piano practices during the week.  Since her mom works most evenings, I also plan for suppers.   I am always looking for a recipe that came be done in the oven and still be able to spend time with the grandchild.  

A recipe video I came across was called "Cheeseburger Meatloaf" was not much different from my meatloaf recipe.  The difference is how it is put together. 


  • Ground beef 
  • Ground lean pork*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Spices, such as Italian seasoning
  • Rolled Oats, bread crumbs 

  • Slices of cheese*
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2-3 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced


  • 1/2 c of Ketchup or BBQ sauce
  • 1-2 T of Brown sugar or Honey
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

*I always mix pork with ground beef for extra flavour
* Thin slices of cheese worked perfectly


  • Caramelized the onions.
  • Saute mushroom, green pepper in Olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix all the ingredients. 
  • Line a cookie/baking sheet with foil.
  • Press the meat mixture into the pan
  • Layer slices of cheese.  Leave a space at one edge and the edges to help seal the meat roll.
  • Layer the vegetables over the cheese

  • Using the foil to form the pinwheel, roll the meat tightly. 
  • Lift the meat careful and place in a cast iron pan.
  • Bake for 20 - 30 minutes covered
  • Uncover 
  • Mix Ketchup, Brown sugar and nutmeg
  • Add to topping to the meatloaf
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until meat is cooked.

Gravy was made from the dippings for the meat loaf and oven baked rustic red potatoes!

This recipe is a keeper as the grandkids loved it. The thin slices of cheese worked perfectly as added just enough fat to the dish. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Korean Sweet Pancakes, Hotteok, Hoddeok

 I find different cuisines fascinating and love been introduced to them through different bloggers.   I especially like when I can make some dish with the granddaughter when I babysit them.   I came across a recipe on Korean Sweet pancake and in reading the article found that this sweet pancake was a version of Cinnamon rolls.  Sweet dough that is stuffed with Cinnamon, Brown sugar and Walnuts.  

This Korean Street food originated from the Chinese living in Korea. This is a delightful video of different styles and ways of preparing this pancake which I found after make the Cinnamon and sugar filled pancake.  I was interested to find that you can cook them differently using little or a lot of oil and all so baking them.  The fillings varied also and the savoury pancake with dipping sauce looks delicious! 

Fried dough was something that my Mom would do when we out of bread and  her bread was not baked yet.  She would pan fry stretched out dough on a hot pan.  This was day before Pizza was part of everyone's diet!  I loved this bread with cheese whiz and the last one with home made jelly. 

Since I had refrigerator dough, I thought I would use this to maker this fried bread for a snack after school.   My grandchild informed me that her Korean grandmother had made them and that she "didn't like them".   And yes, they were filled with fruit and sugar!   But this grandmother knows that food is so much better and tastier if you make it yourself! 

Using the dough from the refrigerator, I let it come to room temperature. 

Roll out or stretch the dough so you can place a filling of cinnamon, walnuts and lots of brown sugar.   Currants were added to one of the pancakes as the youngest loves currants.

The filling is carefully sealed and added to a hot cast iron pan to fry in a bit of oil.  Don't worry if the seal is not perfect.  Using a spatula, press down on the bun shaped roll to form a flattened  pancake.   A circle tool much like the press for frying hamburgers is used.  I found the spatula worked fine, just make sure it is oiled and heated to press down the bread dough.  Fry the pancake until a golden brown and the kitchen is filled with the smell of cinnamon and sugar!

Since my oven was on, I finished the pancakes in the oven as I am not a fan of frying things. 

Serve warm and slice for the kids to enjoy! 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Korean Seafood Pancake

A picture of Korean Seafood Pancake caught my eye on Instagram and I made the dish last night for supper.  In check out the recipes, the recipes are very similar mainly flour with some rice flour.  The rice flour is easily purchased in the Asian section of  Superstore.   I find that the rice flour made the pancake tender and light, yet crispy. 

  • I cup white flour 
  • 2 T rice flour
  • 2 T cornflour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Minced Garlic 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 - 1 1/4 c icy water to make a light batter 
Whisk together, adding enough water so the consistency of cream.
Let sit, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

  • 1 egg beaten
  • Variety of seafood, 
  • green onions
  • hot chilies, sliced

You can add your seafood into the batter
Some also added Kimchee to their pancake. 

    I spread out the seafood out over the pancake and then drizzled half of the beaten egg on top.
    Flip to cook the top seafood and egg.

    Serve with;
    Dipping Sauce

    • 2-3 T soya sauce
    • 1 Vinegar
    • 2-3 T water
    • chile flakes
    • splash of Sesame Seed Oil
    • chopped green onions

    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    Pickled Green Tomatoes with Green Adjika

     Last year, I came across Pickled Green Tomatoes with Adjika on Instagram 
    and made a jar with the last of my green Cherry tomatoes and was pleasantly surprised how delicious these pickles were.  I used small tomatoes, but this year used medium side and Cherry tomatoes.  I grow tomatoes in a pot and like to grow a variety but this year have 4 mislabelled tomatoes plants that are all Cherry or Cocktail Tomatoes.   

    The recipe shared with me from Europe 

    "My fermented green tomatoes stuffed with green adjika. (that's a total fermenting spam šŸ˜‰) Here in my location it's very popular in autumn when they pick up last tomatoes in the fields and kitchen gardens.  My adjika for stuffing is out of green and hot peppers, garlic, mint, celery, parsley, sage.  All stuffed tomatoes are put on celery and horseradish coat and pour with sweet & salt brine. Delicious!"

    Last year, I added a horseradish leaf and celery sticks to the base. 
    For the filling, I used dill, thyme, mint, parsley, hot jalapeƱo and garlic cloves and placed the stuffed tomatoes over the celery.  As I was pouring the brines, I wondered about the filling coming out.   Although some of the filling settled to the bottom of the jar, the tomatoes did have filling in the tomatoes.  The pickles were delicious, firm and tasted like pickled olives.  I did find the dill too strong of a flavour and did not use it this year.  The celery sticks are also  delicious. 

    Green Adjika Filling

    Use oregano, thyme, tarragon, garlic cloves and JalapeƱos.
    Pulse in the Food Processor 
    Cut the top of the tomatoes and stuff the filling into the tomato
    * use gloves to do this because of the hot chilies.

    My hairdresser from Moldova who makes pickled Tomatoes says she hollows out the tomatoes to add a bit more filling.

    I did not stuff the very small yellow lemon tomatoes or green tomatoes, just added them whole to the jar.  I used celery and Grape leaves for the base in the sterilize jars


    • 4 c water
    • 2 c vinegar ( I use half white and cider 
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 2 T pickling salt
    Bring to boil and add to pickles

    Refrigerate the pickles. 

    Lacto Fermentation Hot Sauce

    This is the third year I have made this Hot Sauce. The first year I used only Habaneros and the sauce was so hot that only the wife of the Syrian family we hosted would eat it.. I still have about a cup and it has mellowed out.  Last year's sauce, even though I also used a pound of hot Habanero Peppers, it lacked favourite and heat.  This is the second batch I made this year as the first time, there was no Habaneros only Jalpeno Peppers.  I came across this beauties, a couple of days ago and decide to make another batch. 

    Hot Sauce

    • 1 lb Hot peppers
    • 3-4 garlic cloves
    • 2 T honey, sugar
    Pulse hot chilies in Food Processor
    Add honey
    Transfer to sterilized jar
    Add brine and stir well
    • Brine; 1 1/4 c water  mixed with 2 teaspoon of pickling salt
    Keep at room temperature, loosen lid
    Stir every day
    On the fourth day, add 
    • 1/4 c cider vinegar
    Let mixture sit for 2- 6 weeks, the longer it sits the better the flavour

    Store in Refrigerator when ready
    The hot sauce last indefinitely

    Friday, September 15, 2017

    Princess Castle Birthday Cake with Butter cream

    This year's birthday cake creation was a Princess Castle Cake with it's size based around being plated on a cake stand.  

    The butter cream was one I had used for many years, but when it made, I wasn't sure if I would have enough to cover the cake.   I used a trick my Mom had always used for her layer cakes which was spreading jam between the layers.  It was interesting to hear those at the party reminisce on the use of jelly or jam between the layers after one of the guests won't eat the cake because of the jam.  This also lead to memories of money hidden in birthday cakes. 

    Butter Cream Icing

    • 1/2 c shortening
    • 1/2 butter
    • 1 T milk
    Beat together, then add
    • 4 c icing sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    Add more milk to get the proper consistency

    The cakes had been frozen which makes it easier to apply a crumb coat of icing.  Again, being concerned about the amount of icing and that the party was that morning, I applied a thinner coat as I thought of the Naked Cakes or those that have minimal outer layer of frosting that are so popular presently.  I must say I did feel better after decorating this cake as I usually cringe at the amount of sugar and fats applied on the cakes as icing! 

    Not only did my design revolve around the cake stand, it also had to be transferred to my son's home.  A long wooden kebab skewer worked well to hold the layers together along with the glue of butter cream on the plate and between the layers along with the jam.

    My son dished out plates of hot croquet monsieur, a baked ham and cheese sandwich which disappeared quickly. 

    The pink stripped marshmallows were a big hit as then everyone had a marshmallow. This was always a problem when I made cakes for my kids' party using marshmallows for Ernie or Bert's eyes! 

    The best part was watching my grandchild examine the cake very closely and the thank you  after!  A success! 

    The pointed cones were frosted and rolled in red sugar sprinkles.  Gummy bears had been placed inside the cones, but to my disappointment did not fall out as expected as even in such a short time, they had absorbed moisture from the cake and stuck to the cones.  It was still a surprise to the kids, although not as impressive if the candles had rolled out of the cones. One needs to use hard candies for this. 

    The craft was an painting  a small canvas to take take home and a group effort to paint a large canvas for the birthday girl!