Annual Christmas Kitchen Nightmare

1a3ed602-7bd6-4832-887c-35d0b8f078a0.JPG

Hey everyone! I can’t believe we haven’t posted since September and that blog was about our wonderful, meat-heavy Texas trip. We’ve been busy with moving from the suburbs to the city and from traveling in Japan! With all that’s going on - we became really lazy with blogging. Belated as we are, Christmas is of course over and we’re two months into 2019…but we’ll write about Christmas anyway because for us - it’s the busiest time in the kitchen for us! We plan an annual Friendsmas dinner, along with a Secret Santa exchange. We give ourselves ample time to think about what to cook for main, and what side dishes to accompany the main. Christmas dinner wouldn’t be Christmas dinner without our signature dish too: butter with a side of potato. Bon appetit!

- Robyn

A Brew-tiful Pudding.

IMG_20180722_095538.jpg

How cute are these puddings, right?

This is The First Mess' vegan coffee pudding. The recipe calls for espresso or very strong coffee. I don't have an espresso machine but I absolutely adore moka pots and they make some mean coffee.  It is definitely my choice of brewing method, that is, if I have the time. This time we used coffee from our local coffee shop, Black Canary

The pudding turned out pretty well: a strong coffee aroma with a hint of coconut. The sweetness was just right. It was pretty easy to make too! We definitely will experiment and explore different flavours using the same techniques. Any suggestions?

One failure we had was the can of coconut cream, which was not-so creamy. The coconut milk we bought couldn't settle into a thick layer of cream as mentioned in the recipe. What we ended up with was just a slightly thicker layer of coconut milk/cream. We hoped to the tropical gods that it will thicken up as the kitchen-aid did it's hard work but it was to no avail. If you know which brand of coconut milk is high in fat content that will thicken up - please let us know!

Enjoy!

- Ken

I Scream for Ice Cream!

DSC04737.jpg

It already feels like summer in Toronto and you know what that means? Ice cream time!

Our obsession with Earl Grey is a train that cannot be stopped! We are in loved with Roselle's Earl Grey shorties and Fortnum & Mason's beautiful Earl Grey loose leaf teas.  Next stop homemade Van Leeuwen Earl Grey Ice Cream!  Making ice cream at home is a lot easier than you would imagine.  All you need is the right tool. In this case, an ice cream machine - duh!

First, we made a custard base with Earl Grey tea, heavy cream, egg yolks, and sugar. We conducted a mini research (a quick search on Youtube) on the easiest, foolproof way of separating egg yolks and we ended up using a slotted spoon to crack the egg into, then the egg whites fell through the slotted spoon. I personally prefer the good old egg shell method because it is one less item to wash. After the custard thickened, we strained it and let it chill overnight. 

The next day we invited our friends over to share our sugary concoction. Unlike what the photos led you to believe, we are quite please with the result.  It doesn't have the soft serve swervy look, but regardless of the appearance, we were all very focused on eating.  The custard base made the ice cream extra creamy, and we received requests to make other flavours of ice cream. One thing I would like to modify next time is to add a bit less sugar.  Other than that, our bellies are happy!

-Ken