Tag Archives: Peaches

Rideau Lake: Relaxation, Foodamania and a “Touch” of Tequila


Rideau Lake

If I had to pick a favourite past time of my fellow countrymen and women, I think it would be the weekends at the cottage. Until recently, I was a cottage virgin, even a cottage country virgin! It was only recently I’ve visited Tobermory, which is considered by many as one of the nicest cottage destinations. And then I asked myself, why haven’t I done this earlier?
A few days ago, our little group got together and spent the long weekend at the lovely cottage/cabin on Rideau Lake, about 50 km away from Kingston. It’s set right on the water, which was usually luke warm, and although some of us got bit by the naughty sunfish, we spent most of our time lounging in or by the water. The above is the view from the cabin.

Pancetta Fritatta

We split up making our meals, and the second morning, it was mine and D’s turn to make the lovely fritatta above.  Fritattas are always such a crowd pleaser, and the best thing about them is that they are super quick and easy.  I sauteed some red peppers, mushrooms and pancetta, while D scrambled the eggs and added shredded mozzarella.  While I was cutting the peppers I noticed they made these cute flower shapes, so I decided to keep them as decoration for the top.  The eggs are then poured into the pan, stirred around a bit and into the oven it goes for about 20 minutes or until it sets.  Top with more mozzarella, let it melt and serve!

Pancetta Fritatta

We used 24 eggs for 8 people, which looked like it was a lot – the pieces were super tall, but there was none left! Although, that is mostly because we have DM on our team 🙂

Fritatta loves strawberry

And as if we didn’t have enough food, there was also delicious fruit salad!

Fruit Salad

Our first dinner of the cottage weekend was prepared skillfully by DM. He calls it heart attack, or as some would call it – a really really fancy Mac and Cheese. There was several kinds of cheeses, heavy cream, yummy creminis and Panko topping.  I think we all agreed he had won the weekend with this yumminess! (recipe pending)

Heart Attack on a Plate

And, because this group likes to eat, we also had grilled corn, courtesy of DVG.  Back home, corn is grilled without the husk, right on the fire and it comes out slightly charred but smoky and delicious.  I haven’t seen it done this way in Canada.

Sweet Corn

The nights were spent lounging on the terrace until the wee hours of the morning, watching the candles blow in the wind, being wildly inappropriate (thank God the neighbours’ house is out of ear’s reach!), drinking way too much tequila and laughing uncontrollably.

Candles in the Night

For me, the most delicious thing of the entire weekend was C’s peach pie.  I’m probably biased because I love sweets, and even more ripe and sweet peaches!  C made this srumptious creation, so skillfully (she thinks her dough skills are not so good, but I can put this insanity to rest once and for all!), and it came out looking like something out a fairy tale! And, it was calling my name!  I wished there were two!  The recipe is generously shared by our dear C below.  Thank you!

Peach Pie

Super awesome peach pie was gone in minutes!

Peach Pie

Another peach dessert was being prepared by my dearest DVG, and it took all day for the peaches to be soaked in rum and balsamic vinegar, before they were put on the grill that evening.  They came out soft, juicy and with slight touches of rum.  Yum!

Rum Peaches

And while the others were enjoying some necessary terrace time, my dearest DVG was nice enough to pose for me.  Here, you can see his cannonballing skills!

Wheeeee

That evening, B and M made some of the juiciest chicken that I’ve ever had.  Beer can chicken is one of the easiest ways to make your chicken juicy.  The contraption can be bought at any kitchen store, and it basically looks like a stand, fitted for a small beer can (beer can doesn’t come with it).  The chicken is then stood over top of the stand and the beer can, so that the beer can sits safely inside the chicken (let the dirty jokes begin! :)).  The can can be filled with anything.  The two that were made were curry chicken and wine bbq – so the can doesn’t have to necessarily hold only beer.  Make sure you rub the outside with spices that you like and the chicken will come out looking nice and brown like the one below.

Beer Chicken

The chicken went well with the grilled red bell peppers and zuchinni below.  The preparation: toss the veggies with salt, pepper and olive oil, put in tinfoil and grill!

Roasted Veggies

The cutest member of the bunch – Bubba.  He even got to swim in the lake!

Bubba

J and M make us delicious cannelloni one evening that was accompanied by these colourful organic beets from J’s garden.  The colours are so vibrant that I couldn’t resist taking so many photos! The red and white one looks like a candycane!

Yellow Beet

Beets from the garden

Sunday was so rainy that we mostly stayed inside, played games and read.  When the rain stopped, I captured this little droplet about to fall to the ground.

Rain Drops

And soon enough, the sun was out again…

Rainy tips

We came away from the weekend, feeling relaxed and serene, such as the photo below.  Good friends, good food and good tequilla – what can be better!?

Decking Out

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recipeS

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Peach Pie

Pie crust

Grate 1 cup of butter and freeze

Add to 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoonsugar and 1 teaspoon salt.    Combine until it looks like a coursemeal.  At 6 to 10 table spoons of ICE water just until it will holdtogether.   Divide in two, make into balls wrap and refridgerate forat least an hour.

Filling

6 cups peelingand sliced peaches, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 flour all tossed together.

Roll your crust, fill it with the peachmixture and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then drop the heat to350 for an additional 30-35 minutes

Take it out and eat the whole thing!

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 Baked Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1/2 pound macaroni
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk (add 1 cup cream if sause is desired)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 10 ounces (300g) sharp cheddar (Balderson 2+ works well), shredded
  • 10 ounces (300g) full bodied cheddar, shredded
  • 2 Hot italian sausages (remove casing, chop)
  • 2 cups Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups assorted wild mushrooms (Oyster, Shiitake, Chanterelle), trimmed, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt Fresh black pepper

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot, begin boiling salted water.

While the water is heating, melt 1 tbsp of butter at medium in a cast iron pan. Add mushrooms, season with 1tsp of salt, and saute until softened, browned, and slightly scortched. About 10 minutes. Set aside.

Add marcaroni to water and cook to al dente. Drain and set aside when done.

While pasta is cooking, melt another 1 tbsp of butter at medium-high in the same cast iron pan. Add chopped sausage grounds and season with salt and pepper. Sauté and separate chopped sausage into grounds until nicely browned. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt the remaining 3 tbsp of butter. Quickly whisk in the mustard until smooth. Whisk in the flour and keep whisking for about five minutes making sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg (this is important). Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the set aside mushrooms and sausage. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest.

Lazy Sunday with Berlin Air Cake


Sunday morning is my favourite time of the week. It’s not a market day, work day or a school day. There’s no need to run anywhere or wake up early. Perfect for lounging, taking extra time to get out of bed and even longer to have the morning coffee and breakfast. And to top it all off, this Sunday was perfectly sunny – it made my living room nice and warm and so incredibly bright!
Igor was coming over to study in the late morning, so I decided make us some croissants and cappucinos for breakfast. Mmmm…the smell of warm croissants – is there anything better when you’re hungry?

So, I’ve been eyeing this cake on the front page of LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine for a few months now, and Sunday seemed to be a perfect day to try it. So, I decided that while Igor was studying, I’d make this beautiful piece of dessert 🙂 I underestimated the amount of time it would take to make it, so by the time I was finished, I had run out of good daylight…so the pictures had to wait until the next day. I think it would have gone faster had I had three same size cake pans. I only had one, so I had to bake each crust separately…so just the baking alone took 1.5 hours. I must say though, the way it turned out, all the work was so totally worth it!

I also really enjoyed the name of this cake – Berlin Air 🙂 I wonder how that came about. I thought in addition to it being a delicious cake, it could also be a sweet temptation and a greeting to all my dear friends in Berlin 🙂 Of course, leave it to Isabeau to ask if the cake can fly! 🙂 🙂 Well, sure, I said, I could fly – if you threw it at someone 🙂
Ha ha ha!

Other than the fact that this cake takes some time to make (but if you had 3 cake pans, it would take 1/3 of the time), it was actually pretty easy. The crust is simple, and the rest is just a lot of whipping cream. It seems that the “Whip It” stabilizer is quite important because otherwise the whipped cream wouldn’t hold its shape for longer periods. The cake also should be consumed almost immediately, so make sure you share it with your friends and family!
Happy eating! ’till next time – cheerio!

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Click on each photo to view the high resolution images.

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RECIPE

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Berlin Air Cake

Cake

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) unsalted butter
  • 1¾ cups (425 mL) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1¾ cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ½ cup (125 mL) milk
  • ¾ tsp (4 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) sliced almonds

Filling

  • 1 cup (250 mL) drained canned peaches or mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
  • 1 envelope (10 g) Dr. Oetker Whip it
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Use three 9-inch (23-cm) springform pans or use cake tins lined with enough foil to overlap sides (to be used to lift cakes out); coat pan insides with spray. Separate eggs; set whites aside.

2. Using electric beaters, cream butter with ¾ cup (175 mL) sugar for 5 minutes, or until quite fluffy. Beat in egg yolks 1 at a time. Stir flour with baking powder and salt. Stir milk with vanilla. Using a spatula, stir a third of flour mixture into butter mixture; then stir in half of milk mixture. Repeat; then finish with final third of flour mixture. Divide batter between pans; spread out dough and smooth tops.

3 Using a clean bowl and clean beaters, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. While beating, slowly add remaining 1 cup (250 mL) sugar. Continue to beat until whites are stiff and glossy. Dividing equally, spread over batter in pans; sprinkle with almonds.

4. Bake in centre of oven for 30 minutes or until top is lightly golden and a cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes; then remove cakes from pans. Place back on rack to cool completely. (Baked cakes can be kept uncovered at room temperature for up to half a day.)

5. To assemble cake, coarsely chop well-drained peaches (or oranges). Pour whipping cream and Whip it into a cold mixing bowl; add 2tbsp (25mL) sugar. Whip cream with electric beaters until firm peaks form when beaters are lifted.

6. Set aside best-looking cake round for top layer. Place 1 round on cake plate; spread with half of cream. Dot with half of fruit. Top with another round. Repeat with cream and fruit.

7. Finally add reserved top layer. Lightly sift icing sugar over top. Uncovered, cake keeps well at room temperature for several hours, but other wise cannot be prepared ahead or frozen.

Serves 10 to 12

© LCBO Food and Drink Magazine