‘Tis the season to warm up with a mug of hot chocolate – we like to mix up a big batch of our own, rather than rely on packaged instant hot chocolate, to stir into warmed milk throughout the winter. It’s also an easy thing for kids to measure and stir together – no chopping or heat required – to package up and give to their friends, relatives, even teachers and coaches to say thanks during the festive season. All you need is some good cocoa, powdered sugar (which will dissolve more easily than regular sugar) and a handful of mini marshmallows. Set the kids up with some markers to make labels, and your holiday gift giving is halfway done!
Elizabeth and Julie appeared on Your Morning in Toronto on Friday, talking about desserts you can make in your slow cooker – recipes from the new Family Slow Cooker cookbook, which is in stores now! We made coffee pots de creme, using the slow cooker in place of the usual bain marie (hot water bath), to ensure a moist, gentle heat, but we also had our Chocolate Caramel Pecan Upside Down Cake on display – a gooey treat that bakes up perfectly in the slow cooker – and slides right out, after it’s done!
The edges of the pecan layer will get chewy, the center stays softer. This cake will make a lot of people happy!
Everyone should know how to make a biscuit. They’re infinitely versatile – perfect for serving alongside soup, stew or chili, for turning into a sandwich or when you need to serve up some sloppy Joes. They can be made sweet for weekend mornings, or savoury with the addition of cheese, roasted garlic or fresh herbs. I like mine plain, served warm with butter and honey or jam.
Buttermilk makes these biscuits very tender, and the soda is added to neutralize its acidity. If you want to use regular milk instead, omit the baking soda. If you want sweeter biscuits, or plan to add fresh or frozen berries or dried fruit, add a couple tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter or oil and blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir just until the dough forms a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough four or five times. Pat the dough about 1/2” thick and cut into circles with a biscuit cutter, glass rim or the open end of a tin can.
- Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you like, brush the tops with a little milk.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm. Makes about a dozen 2-inch biscuits, or fewer larger ones.
Did you know that you can make custard in a slow cooker? These little pots de creme look fancy and impressive, but they’re quite easy to make — especially in the slow cooker.
Let’s face it – the best part about a turkey dinner is the leftovers, particularly turned into a sandwich. Combining the turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberries in Pillsbury Crescent dough turned out to be a delicious idea – like a sandwich, only better! Read More
We love cottage cheese pancakes around here – dense and slightly cheesy, they’re higher in protein than traditional pancakes, and delicious with tart berries or compote drizzled over top. They’re wonderful on leisurely holiday weekends, especially with berries to brighten them up – or thin leftover cranberry sauce with maple syrup to drizzle over top. Leftovers can be frozen and popped into the toaster or microwave for a warm, hearty winter breakfast that will set you up for a day at work or on the slopes.
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter
- In a large bowl, beat together the cottage cheese, eggs, sugar and salt; mix until smooth, then add the milk and stir until creamy. Add the flour and baking powder and stir just until blended; stir in the oil or melted butter.
- Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and brush with butter or oil or spray with nonstick spray. Drop batter (I used a small ladle) onto the pan and cook until bubbles begin to break the surface and the edges no longer appear wet - flip using a thin spatula and cook until golden on the other side as well. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 250F oven until they are all cooked.
- Serves 2-4; recipe can be easily doubled.