Monday, 8 September 2014

Apple Crumble Oats

My mom makes amazing apple crumble. I still don't know how she does it, but it's her contribution to every Thanksgiving, Christmas or pot luck event. She has perfected the recipe, no long hours spent slaving in the kitchen, just a pinch of this, a splash of that and a whole ton of apples. She fills a massive baking dish with the sticky sweet (but not too sweet) filling and covers it with the brown sugar oatmeal crumble. It's the only dish on the dessert table that everyone tucks into and we never came home with leftovers, much to my daddy's disappointment.

apple crumble oatmeal healthy dessert

I've been living in Australia for almost 2 years, and people are constantly asking me what I miss most about Canada. The first thing that comes to mind is the change of seasons. The distinct transition from hot humid summertime to crisp autumn air and the beautiful colours as the leaves change and the world around you prepares for winter. Pulling out the electric blankets for the bone chilling winter nights, although they don't seem too bad snuggled up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. The exhilaration that comes only from seeing the first teeny bud sticking out of the recently defrosted ground. It's spring in Australia, but really it just feels like another day. I've been pretty unlucky with the weather and never really experienced a hot Aussie summer so the days have all been pretty similar.

apple crumble oatmeal healthy dessert

I miss my mom's cooking. I miss having roast beef and horseradish mashed potatoes and chunky beef stew on the winter nights where the sun has set by 5pm. I miss the sticky pork ribs and barbecued corn on the cob on the back porch on those glorious summer days I never appreciated. I miss waking up to the smell of bacon and coffee on a Sunday morning, and roast turkey any day of the week, just because my mom loves cranberry sauce. I miss her apple crumble.

apple crumble oatmeal healthy dessert

These oats are the perfect balance of tart apple and sweet crumbly brown sugar with a dollop of vanilla yoghurt acting like the vanilla ice cream. Eat for breakfast, or as a healthy alternative to a late night sweet treat.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Naughty Naniamo Bars

Happy belated Canada Day! I've been dreaming of Tim Hortons, maple syrup everything, and real crispy bacon for the last 17 months... Australia is seriously slacking in the junk food department. Last year my Canadian bestie and I made tshirts and beer ponged the night away, but because of my Dry July crusade (and a little thing called a job) there was no ponging fun to be had. 

Naughty Naniamo Bar Recipe

I was pondering what I could do to celebrate the uniting of some British colonies into what is now known as my country and it suddenly hit me. Naniamo bars. Say that one three times fast.

Naniamo, Naniamo, Naniamo. 

So because here at Mise En Place I like to include a little history lesson with every bite I wanted to give you a bit of background on these tasty treats. Naniamo is a little town in British Colombia (the far left) and no one knows when or how the bars came about. Great story, huh? Well it's actually alright because since the 1950s Naniamo has taken great pride in their bars, holding contests for the best recipes and even have a Naniamo Bar Trail where you can sample all the goodies from around the town. 

Naughty Naniamo Bar Recipe

I adapted my bars from this Canadian Living Magazine recipe but there are hundreds and hundreds of recipes all around the internet and in various cook books. My mom has the most ridiculous sweet tooth and makes these as often as we can stomach, with double the filling of course! ;) The aim of the game is a nutty bitter base, an almost unbearably sweet and fluffy centre and a firm chocolate top. Yum.

Recipe after the jump!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cookbook of the Week: Maggie's Table


Have you guys heard of Maggie Beer? She's seriously the bomb-dig. Not only is she a major Australian icon in the food scene, she makes her way into even the least culinary inclined Aussie households with her line of magically delicious products. I'm a big fan of the quince paste with my cheese and crackers and am absolutely dying to try her ver jus. I've never had it but she uses it in quite a lot of her recipes!

She's been my friend through this book for the last couple weeks, giving me inspiration and helpful hints about how to use beautiful and seasonal ingredients. I brought her warm potato salad to a BBQ and it was seriously devoured!

I am obsessed with so many of the recipes, but these are my top 5:

  • Warm Potato Salad
  • Maggie's Mayonnaise (Spoiler, she uses a wooden spoon)
  • Rags of Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin, Pancetta and Sage
  • Roasted Goose with Preserved Lemon and Liver Stuffing and Figs and Caramelized Garlic
  • Orange Pound Cake with Passionfruit Icing
I've actually tried out the potato salad, the pound cake, and the roasted goose - except I used chicken because goose is expensive, yo! I need to buy a pasta maker... or at least a rolling pin. 

If you have the chance to pick up this book or any of her others, I'd totally recommend it. Or even just check out her website! The dishes I tried were super successful and pretty easy. Some of her recipes are a bit far fetched with some uncommon ingredients, but you can substitute or try and push your boundaries and eat something new!

I give this book 4.5 wooden spoons out of 5.

xx Bec

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

5 Swoon-worthy Cutting Boards

1. Olive Wood Cutting Board by Premiumolivewood
2. 1970's Vintage Mini Cheese Board, adVintagous
3. Vintage Fish Cutting Board, HouseofSeance
4. Vintage Bread Board, vieilor
5. Vintage Pig Shaped Cutting Board, Brimfieldfinds

xx Becky

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

My Kitchen Rules Drinking Game

I love love love My Kitchen Rules. If you've never heard it it, it's an Australian reality cooking show where novice cooks face off against each other in crazy crazy challenges. The gorgeous Pete Evans and Manu Feidel judge and as a qualified chef I am always amazed at what they're put through, and how they pull it off! These people can cook!

My Kitchen Rules Drinking Game

As much as I adore the show (and sorta kinda wish I wasn't a chef so I could qualify) they have some funny funny catch phrases. How perfect for a drinking game!

1 DRINK...
Every time Manu says "beauuutiful"
Every time someone says "it's a race to the finish"
Every time someone says "to perfection"

Every time someone makes a "dad joke"
Every time someone drops something on the ground
Every time they involve a sponsor product/the MKR team appears in a commercial

Every time someone says "the hero of the dish"
Every time someone says "the star of the dish"
Every time someone pulls out the megaphone

During the 5 second countdown
During every instant replay
When Pete and Manu hand out a 10/call something "perfection"

Why don't you grab a cold one and have fun getting pissed with me? 

xx Becky

Sunday, 2 February 2014

10 Gifts for Food Lovers

Valentines Day is right around the corner and you can't forget about the important food lovers in your life! Food really is the way to anyone's heart!

Top (L to R): Salt and Pepper Bowls, Heart Shaped Muffin Cups, Star Wars I Love You Mug, Bakers Rolling Pin
Middle (L to R): Vintage Heart Cookie Cutters, Gold Margarita Salt
Bottom (L to R): Barrel Aged Maple Syrup, Beer Spice Rub, DIY Cheese Kit, Custom Country Cutting Board

xx Becky

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Chef Chat: WTF Is Red Velvet?

I made a red velvet cake for work the other day (I'm not sure if I've told y'all but part of my job is to fill the cake display with various delicious cakes, pastries, and yummy goodies) and apparently all of my co-workers missed the Pinterest boat because none of them knew what a red velvet cake was.

(The cake display with coconut caramel cookies and a peach cobbler shortcake)

I kept getting questioned - why is it red velvet? Why do you make it red? Why.. why... why?!

And then I started asking myself... but really - why!

(50 layer chocolate crepe cake with white chocolate butter cream in between EVERY LAYER)

So, obviously, I googled it. And it's actually a much more fascinating story than I thought it would be. 

Way way way back in the day, during World War II, bakers would use beets to enhance the colour and sweetness of their cakes, due to the rationing of sugar. The original recipe for red velvet cake came from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the big apple (NYC). 

"Traditionally, the cake is iced with a French-style butter roux icing (also called ermine icing), which is very light and fluffy but time-consuming to prepare. Cream cheese frosting and buttercream frosting are variations which have increased in popularity." - Wikipedia

(Top L: Orange and poppyseed cake with orange segments on top, Top R: Pistachio and strawberry mousse tartlettes with pistachio brittle. Bottom L: Apple and rhubarb pie. Bottom R: Hot chocolate cake with house made marshmallows) 

I'm totally going to try to make the Ermine Icing for my next cake...!  I'm also totally open to suggestions if anyone ever wants to see me make a cake with certain flavours oooor whatever. I'll post the recipe, I promise. Also I'm very sorry there isn't a picture of the red velvet cake - I thought it was ugly....

BTW, have you entered my giveaway? Probs since I only have 2 readers - Cass and Rach your odds are looking EXCELLENT. Since last Saturday was terrible, today was okay, and next week will be awesome, I'll draw names 1 week from today! So go, enter, tell your friends! Before I eat all the chocolate....

xx Becky