Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Refreshing Blackberry Mojitos

The days of summer are still getting longer, and the weather outside is slowly warming up. Every time I look, my container garden surprises me with more sprouts and seedling. The temperatures here are set to be around 20C and mostly sunny every day - pretty nice weather, I'd say! Yesterday just seemed like the perfect day for a refreshing beverage - we got home from after-dinner shopping and I knew exactly what I was going to make with my pretty new Apple Mint plant: Mojitos. And just yesterday morning, I saw this recipe from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen on Pinterest. Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest? No? Well its a lot. Anyway, getting back to the beverages... I had some blackberries in my fridge. I often buy blackberries when we go to Costco, especially if they're a really good price. I don't know why. I don't particularly love fresh blackberries... I find the white part in the middle to be bitter and pithy, and the fruits themselves to be not particularly juicy or flavourful, especially when compared to my favourite raspberry. These mojitos were a fantastic use of those blackberries! A little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and a little bit of sad because they used up the rest of our delicious Flor de Cana grand reserve (7 year). That's something else I can't help buying... if we're in our favourite liquor mart, and there is liquor that is above the quality we normally purchase (which is usually middle-shelf to begin with, as we're kind of liquor snobs). Liquor is quite a bit more expensive here than it is in the US, so when we come across an interesting or upper-shelf bottle of liquor for a non-exorbitant price (usually at our local SOLO liquor) we snap it up. And its usually great, like this Flor de Cana rum was. Anyway, its all gone now (sadface) leaving me without any rum and thus no way to make more of these delicious mojitos! On the plus side, that means an exciting trip to SOLO tonight - I wonder what interesting things they'll have for us today? Blackberry Mojitos

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pet Peeves and C4 Results

Anyone else out there have pet peeves related to their hobbies? One of my friends is irritated by people that scrapbook better than she does. Does that count? I don't know. I know I have lots of pet peeves when it comes to baking.

1. Calling something "homemade" when its made from a boxed cake/cookie/brownie/muffin mix with slight alterations to the added ingredients. I get it, purchased mixes are made at home, but that is totally not the same thing as homemade!

2. The obsession with calorie-wise or low-fat baked goods. If I am making a cake, you bet your ass I'm going to be using butter. The only exception to this is things that are also considered breakfast foods (muffins, I'm looking at you). It is totally acceptable to have a low-fat muffin... as long as it still tastes yummy, and not like cardboard.

3. Light butter. Seriously. What the heck is this? HButter should only ever contain a maximum of 2 ingredients: cream, salt, in that order. The list of ingredients in "light" butter should be terrifying to anyone trying to eat healthfully, and if you're really trying to be health-conscious you should limit your butter intake anyway, and find a recipe that doesn't require it. Not that I would ever suggest anyone to restrict anything as delicious as butter...

Speaking of butter, I sent through 5.5 lbs of it during the course of my C4 study. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it made close to 600 cookies. Some were small, some were not so small. All were edible, but some were more delicious than others. The average rating out of 10 was 6.24 (Min 4.5, Max 7.7). The winner? This recipe from the NY Times. Its a pain in the butt to make though, and requires at least 24, and preferably 48, hours for the dough to rest before baking. The second place recipe is less finicky, and scored very well. Funny enough, its my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies, so I think in the future I will just stick with it!