Daring Bakers Challenge!

August 31, 2008

So, this is my first month as a Daring Baker. I was very excited to get the challenge while on vacation at the Cape, so I had to wait awhile to start it. Then the weeks were busy, I went to Calgary, but I always had it on the back of my mind. I finally got down to it Monday night!

This month is hosted by Tony Tahhan and MeetaK. They chose Chocolate Eclairs by Pierre Herme. The recipe isn’t too long, but does have several steps.

First I made the eclairs. I had the same challenge as many other Daring Bakers, I think – my eclairs fell after taking them out of the oven.

Next I made the pastry cream. I actually should have asked Graham first before I started this. He is the biggest eclair fan. I am not joking. However: he only likes cream filled eclairs. I made the pastry cream, but something went wrong. Here, look at this:

Yuck. I don’t really know what happened! Ah well, it didn’t matter anyways. When I showed Graham, he said: “Well, I thought they were going to be cream filled. Can you make me cream filled ones instead?” So, I chucked my garbage pastry cream (too bad… waste of ingredients…) and filled them with cream.

Finally, the chocolate glaze. Yum! This worked out and was sooo tasty! I had to stop myself from eating it with a spoon!

And here is the finished product!

(eating eclairs, while studying for the LSATs!)

I had one that night, and it was tasty, but eclairs are actually the last type of dessert I’d choose… I like brownies, cake, pie, etc. better. But Graham was in heaven! He had three that night, one for breakfast the next day and then was sad when I hadn’t packed one for his lunch!

Overall, this went fairly well. I am looking forward to next month’s challenge! I hope to start it earlier this time, so that I can attempt it more than once! Check out Daring Bakers to see what everyone else made!



August 29, 2008

Well, we are here at the airport. A bird flew into one of the plane’s engines on its way to Ottawa (the flight was then coming to Toronto, then our flight to Winnipeg), so our flight is delayed two hours. We are scheduled to depart at 23:42, meaning we won’t get to Winnipeg ’til about 1:15 (2:15 TO time, then have to get a cab, etc). Yikes, that’s a long night!

We had a nice dinner with Graham’s parents and sister and three nephews and had salmon, salad and baguette. Now here at the airport, I’ve had more fuzzy peaches and kolac – a Czech desert that Graham’s dad makes. Sorry for the half eaten piece!

And here is Graham!

What a cheesy smile! (You can see the fuzzy peach bag next to him…)

We bought an hour of internet so that we could change our car rental, so this is kind of an added benefit of being delayed – catching up on blogs!

**Forgot to mention: I didn’t get my sunglasses! They had the wrong pair in the wrong box. It was the same style, but black. And I don’t want black! 😦 I will continue to hunt them down next week, or order online I guess…


August 29, 2008

I’ve had a relaxing morning around here, but will leave soon for the bank, to pick up my new sunglasses, return a sweater and then to Mississauga. We’re eating dinner with Graham’s parents later, so I’ll stop in and see mine first. 

Lunch time! Smoked salmon, pita and tomato…

And a few more of Tina’s muffins!

(And maybe a third…) 🙂

Ali @ Cheaper Than Therapy was talking about the new 90210 today, and that led to Beaches. Which got me thinking about my favourite childhood movies. Troop Beverly Hills! I love, love, love that movie!

Turns out we are taking my computer, so you might see some posts from me. But, have a great Labour Day Weekend!

Early bird!

August 29, 2008

Tada! I’m posting in the morning! My company has a great summer hours schedule, so this is a summer day for me. We’re going to Winnipeg tonight, so I have all day to get all that “other” stuff done… but actually, I don’t have too much to do. Pack, yes. Watch tennis, yes. Drive to Mississauga, yes. Other than that… it’ll be relaxing!

Here is the scene from our balcony today:

Good day to stay inside and have… pancakes!

Fluffy Griddle Cakes (ancient recipe, not sure where it’s from)

**I halve the recipe when it’s just me, so cut everything in half – just pour out half the egg, or use it for something else.

1 1/3 c. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1 egg
1 c. milk
2 tbsp. canola oil/melted butter

Combine dry ingredients, combine wet ingredients, then mix all together. The batter should be thick and lumpy. These are fairly thick pancakes, as opposed to thinner ones.

Heat griddle/frying pan/crepe pan – the type of pan will depend on the heat. I guess you’d say you want moderate heat…

Pour batter into circle shapes. When air bubbles appear on the top of the pancake, flip to the other side. I like mine to be fairly pale, but it’s whatever you want.


I tried to stop after 2, then 2 and a half, but kept eating! 

I think I am going to start watching Dexter. I’m excited because I’ve heard it’s great! See you for lunch!!


Happy Thursday!

August 28, 2008

This has been a busy, but productive night!

I got home around 5:15 and looked at the internet a little. I snacked on some (too many!) honey roasted nuts. I put laundry in before running some errands – shoes to the shoemaker, dry cleaning to pick up, groceries to get. I had decided not to run, because it was dark and cold out. But after getting back from the mall, I really felt like it! I did 35 minutes on the treadmill at the gym in my building. It’s the first time that I have used the gym here and it was good – enjoyable to watch Food Network while running and I was the only one there.

I had debated on dinner – really wanted pancakes. But, since I have the day off tomorrow, I thought I’d save that for breakfast or lunch. Here is dinner:

Graham is out with friends, so it’s just me! Before eating dinner, I put some muffins in the oven. Tina at Carrots n Cake makes great looking muffins all the time and I’ve been meaning to try them. I made Pumpkin-Peanut Butter-Chocolate Muffins. Yum! My only complaint is that I under-cooked them. Ah well, they’re still very good. Enjoying my muffins and tea, while watching tennis…

On an unrelated note to food… I have started reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. It is so good! I have read about 60 pages so far and can’t wait to sit down with it tonight. If you’ve not heard about the series, I highly recommend getting into it!

I’ll be sure to post whatever my special, day off breakfast is tomorrow morning. Good night!

Spinning wheel…

August 27, 2008

Ahh, this is nice! Watching tennis, fixing up my blog… freshly baked muffins! I had a great day today – busy but good – until I started getting antsy around 4:15. Good thing I had spinning today! The class was great and I really felt it, being away for three weeks.

Came home and we didn’t know what to make for dinner. Pasta is always fast, and so is shrimp, so we made up a pasta. Piccata Pasta!

Trader Joe’s Piccata sauce
Ingredients for salad!


Graham’s dinner (sorry for the off-centre shot!)

My dinner

I used up the last of the muffin mix, which gave me three muffins! I might eat one now, or I might have a peach. The night is still young, so I will have a snack in awhile. I feel very thirsty (have for about the past two weeks) so I do need more water! I’m parched! See you tomorrow 🙂

Peachy day

August 26, 2008

Well, not really, in terms of what’s going on at work. It’s not bad, but just hectic. But… I did have two peaches today. Ontario peaches are amazing! I wish I could send them to all my loyal blog readers (anyone… anyone… Bueller…?) because they really are that great. Here is a photo, in fact!

Oh, just remembered – I had half of a Banana Cookie Larabar today… very tasty! I’m saving the second half for tomorrow.

On to dinner. We were at Running Room tonight, so came home for something fast. I had four egg whites left from baking yesterday, so I did scrambled egg whites with chicken and tomato, with a little cheese and crackers on the side. I realized how weird that was after I made it… a lot of protein! Oh well, it was sort of tasty. Not sure I’d repeat it though…

I’m in a tea mood tonight. It’s dark and a little cold. I’m having more (fuzzy) peaches too. Must finish those. Very bad!

Look for a few blog updates tonight. I’m going to try to make it look a little prettier, but we’ll see!