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Author: Redawna

Meringue Cookies

Meringue Cookies

A simple, delicate, showstopper. They can be any flavour and colour combination you like. You can dip the bottoms in melted chocolate or decorate them with sprinkles before baking. Easy to make these melt in your mouth cookies are a favourite of many.

I piped these with a piping bag and notched tip but you can use any type of ziplock bag with the corner cut off or even just a tablespoon to spoon the meringue out.  They look great free formed and hold whatever shape you make them. I do recommend baking them on parchment paper or silpat mats.

It is a fantastic addition to your cookie collection.

 

Meringue Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Ingredients
  • 3 large fresh egg whites
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place egg whites in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add almond flavouring, colouring (if using), cream of tartar and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form.
  4. Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; insert a star tip. Transfer meringue to bag.
  5. Pipe cookies 2 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes at 250 degrees until firm to the touch.
  7. Turn off oven leave meringues in oven 1 hour.
  8. Remove from oven; cool completely on baking sheets.
  9. Remove meringues from paper; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  10. I like to double up my cookie sheets to insulate the bottoms of the meringues from getting to dark, especially when making white meringue cookies.

You can serve them just as they are or dress them up with filling. I decided to sandwich these with a luscious ruby red grapefruit curd.

Meringue Cookies on Nutmeg Disrupted

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Canned Smoked Whitefish

Canned Smoked Whitefish

This is a topic close to my heart. It is a passion of mine that started in an effort to preserve the biggest harvest I ever had from my garden. It was the summer of 2001 and I had a 4000 square foot garden over flowing with fruits and vegetables. It was the results of working my way through the hardest struggle of my life.  Months before I lost my youngest son. Deep in the dark lonely hole of grief, I was desperate to find something good in the world. Something to busy my mind. My hands. To have purpose. So I started some seeds under a set of florescent lights that winter.

From those dark days grew a passion that gives me tremendous joy and is where I go to think, or not. And the results is an amazing wealth of fresh produce that I preserve to last the entire year.

Along my preserving journey I have made pickles, jams, jellies, pickles eggs and sausage and my latest experiments have been with smoked fish.

Smoked whitefish on Nutmeg Disrupted

Smoked fish is a flavour of my childhood that takes me back immediately to the kitchen table of my childhood home. It was like Christmas when my Gido would arrive bearing bags of whole smoked whitefish. Truly, it was one of the things I most looked forward to, better then any other gift he could have bought.  They were whole fish, cut down the belly, laid flat then smoked until they were dried yet still had a touch of tenderness to them.  I would gently peel the bones back from the fish and break it apart into flakes, popping the pieces into my mouth and slowly enjoyed the salty smokiness of each bite.

That was 35 years ago yet I can picture it as if it was only last week.

Blessed with friends who had just gone fishing it was easy to get as many as I needed. Everyone who knows me knows I love to smoke fish whenever given the chance. Looking for a better way to handle the fish once smoked I looked into canning it. All you need is a pressure cooker. And hey, that is a fantastic reason to pick up an new kitchen toy! I bought  a 22 quart Mirro pressure cooker at Canadian Tire.

22 quart Miro Pressure cooker

The first step in the process is to prep the fish for the brine. It must be scaled but keep the skin on and all the bones need to be removed.

Preping whitefish for smoking

Brine

3 1/2 quarts of water

1 1/2 cups of brown sugar

1 1/2 cups of coarse salt

2 tablespoons of onion powder

1/2 cup of white sugar

8 cloves of garlic, minced

Combine all of the brine ingredients in a large pot over medium heat. Simmer and stir until all sugar and salt is dissolved.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Brining whitefish on Nutmeg Disrupted

Once cool add the whitefish and refrigerate for 12 hours.

Remove the fish from the brine and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry.

Spray the rack from the smoker well with non stick spray. Place the fish on the rack, skin side down leaving a bit of space between the pieces. .

Place the rack on the top setting in the smoker and smoke for one hour.

Have all jars clean and sterlized and in hot water. All lids and rings should be in a pot of water, slightly simmering on low/medium heat.

Fill the canner with the proper amount of water for your model. I used 4 quarts for this application.

Remove the whitefish from the smoker and allow to cool for a few moments.

Filling jars with smoked whitefish

Gently fill the jars with warm whitefish, leaving 1/4 headspace in each jar. Drizzle with a touch of canola oil. I then topped each jar with 2 heaping tablespoons of hot sauce.

Adding hot sauce to the smoked fish

Clean the rims of the jars with a hot clean cloth, add the lids and rings until finger tight. Place on the racks of the pressure cooker.

Loading up the pressure cooker

Place and secure the lid on the cooker. Now crank up the heat!

You want the pressure cooker to get fully pressurized. Once that happens and the cooker begins to let off a steady stream of steam,  start timing for 10 minutes. This is a very important step, do not skip.

Once the 10 minutes has passed add the 10 pound weight and maintain the cooker just under 10 psi for 110 minutes.

After 110 minutes remove the canner off the heat and allow to cool for 1 hour before removing the lid of the pressure cooker.

Remove all jars and allow to cool completely.

You can open a jar and enjoy it immediately.

Canned Smoked Whitefish

I am sure my Gido would have enjoyed this version of preserving Smoked Whitefish.

dad and Gido auctioning in 1969

(my dad about age 22 and my Gido, first & second generation Auctioneers)

Gido in the pineapple fields of Hawaii.

It is amazing when I look back at how many of my memories of him are food related. Though first and foremost he was a businessman it was his garden and the crab apple picking adventures with him I cherish the most.

I don’t know where he got the smoked fish, whoever it was had some amazing skills.

 

 

 

 

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Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins

Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins

I love oats. Eating them takes me back instantly to my childhood. Sitting around my cousins table, surrounded by people I have so many fantastic memories with.

We would eat it with fresh cream that came from the cows milked earlier that morning. Truly a flavour of my childhood, simple yet transformative. It is amazing how one taste can transport you back to a moment in time as if were yesterday! And a flavour memory I refer back to often.

Looking to do some baking this morning I had oats on my mind. I have an amazing maple bread recipe that I love and have to share soon, but with a bunch of fresh berries in the fridge I thought muffins would be perfect.

 

Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Brunch
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of canola oil
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup of blueberries - fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup of raspberries - fresh or frozen
  • Streusel Topping:
  • combine the following
  • ¼ cup of butter - grated when cold
  • 4 tablespoons of quick cooking oats
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the oats and milk.
  2. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, canola oil and sugar.
  4. Add the oat and milk mixture.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  6. Stir well to combine
  7. Gently fold in the berries
  8. Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin cups.
  9. Top with the streusel.
  10. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes to until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Berry Explosion Muffins from Nutmeg Disrupted

It is a great muffin with fantastic texture from the oats. They are not sweet and have an amazing amount of tart juicy raspberries. With the perfect hint of nutmeg that rounds out the flavour.

Perfection.

 

 

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Raspberry Marshmallows

Raspberry Marshmallows

Looking for something a bit different for treats this Christmas I have turned to marshmallows. If you haven’t made marshmallows at home you really must give them a try.  They are soft and fluffy and melt in your mouth. You can make them any flavour you want and you can even dip them in chocolate! Yes, that’s a thing!

I have some fabulous raspberry syrup that I was inspired by, raspberries are my favorite berry. The flavour takes me back to the hot summer days out on the farm. The spectacular burst of flavour eating sun warmed berries right off the bushes. It is quite amazing how a taste of something as simple as a berry can instantly transport you back in time. Really is there anything better!

You can use any flavouring you like, from cooked down jams with the seeds removed, to espresso powder mixed with a little water to bottled flavourings like vanilla, maple or almond extract. And peppermint is a great seasonal flavouring for Christmas. Don’t forget to add a few drops of food coloring to bump up the eye appeal!

If you like things a bot more tropical be sure to pop over and check out the Toasted Tropical Marshmallows I made a few years ago. They are the next level of marshmallow love.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Raspberry Marshmallows
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 envelopes of gelatin
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • ½ cup of corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of raspberry syrup
  • ⅔ cup of icing sugar
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon of shortening
  • sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Place the gelatin and ½ cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Allow to soak.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining ½ cup of water.
  4. Over medium high heat bring to a rolling boil.
  5. Continue to boil for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. With the mixer on low, using the whisk attachment, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin.
  8. Add the raspberry syrup (or whatever flavour you are using)
  9. Turn the mixer to high and whip for 12 minutes.
  10. Transfer the marshmallow fluff to a buttered 9x9 pan for nice thick marshmallows or a 9x13 for thinner marshmallows.
  11. Cover the surface with plastic wrap that has been sprayed liberally with non stick spray.
  12. Allow to set over night.
  13. Using a sifter or fine mesh colander cover a cutting board with a nice layer of sifted icing sugar.
  14. Remove the marshmallow slab on to the icing sugar covered cutting board.
  15. With a sharp knife cut the slab into squares or rectangles.
  16. Sift icing sugar over all sides if the cut marshmallows.
  17. Store in a covered container.
  18. Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a metal bowl.
  19. Place over a small pot of simmering water.
  20. Stir until the chocolate is melted.
  21. Remove from heat.
  22. Dip an end of the marshmallow into the chocolate.
  23. Set on a sheet of parchment paper.
  24. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired.
  25. Set for 1 hour.

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Graham Wafer Toffee

Graham Wafer Toffee

I am sure you have seen it everywhere. It seems every season more and more people are making it. With good reason. It is sweet, buttery, crunchy and just spectacular! You may have seen it made with saltines, and it is fantastic. That little hit of salt and the flakiness of the crackers is perfect.

But there is just something about graham wafers that I can’t resist. The flavour is one that takes me back to my childhood and one that I still love today.

Graham Wafer Toffee is quick, very easy and fairly inexpensive. You can substitute saltines for the graham wafers and change out the type of nut used on top to one your family enjoys!

GrahamWafer Toffee
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 16 graham wafers
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1½ cups of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of toasted pecans - chopped
Instructions
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and lightly spray with non stick spray.
  2. Arrange the graham wafers with sides touching, covering the entire surface of the cookie sheet.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
  5. Add the brown sugar stirring to combine.
  6. Cook and stir the mixture until it comes to a boil.
  7. Boil for 2 minutes.
  8. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the graham wafers.
  9. Use an offset spatula to spread the sugar to completely cover the graham wafers
  10. Bake at 350 for 6 minutes or until bubbling.
  11. Remove from oven.
  12. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the surface of the bubbly brown sugar.
  13. Allow the chips to soften for a few minutes.
  14. I like to cover the cookie sheet with another cookie sheet to help retain the heat and melt the chips.
  15. Once the chocolate chips are shiny they are soft.
  16. Using the offset spatula spread the chocolate to completely cover the buttery sugar layer.
  17. Sprinkle with the toasted chopped pecans and allow to cool fully.
  18. Break apart and enjoy!

 

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