Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin is in season! I always like pumpkins: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake…everything about pumpkin! But I never once wanted to make them because I didn’t have a mixer or food processor. Luckily I’ve found some recipes that do not require one. This is one of them.
This recipe is my OWN development. It works very well and I am proudly sharing with you.
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This recipe serves approximately 6.

All you need is:

  • 2 big mixing bowls
  • 1 eight inch loaf pan
  • whisk, spatula, measuring spoons and measuring cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp melted unsalted butter(4 tbsp for the batter. 1 tbsp for buttering the pan.)
  • pumpkin seed (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fº
  2. In the dry ingredient bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground clove, and ground nutmeg.
  3. In the wet ingredient bowl, whisk an egg, sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract until it’s smooth then add melted butter.
  4. Slowly fold the dry ingredient bowl into the wet one until the batter is blended.
  5. Butter the loaf pan.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake it for 65-75 mins.
  7. Let it cool at least 10-15 mins.

I’ve worked in a kitchen store as an assistant for cooking classes. One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt from the teacher is knowing my oven. The baking time is an estimation. My oven tends to get too hot so it takes about 65 mins to bake the bread through without burning the top.

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Chung Ling’s Farmer Curry

Curry is the first dish I learned how to make when I studied abroad. When I lived in Philadelphia, this recipe warmed me up through many snowy winters. It is easy but flavourful; simple but filling. It is somewhere between Indian style curry and Japanese style curry with chunky vegetables. I love to make it around this time of year.

I got this recipe from a friend and developed it over time. I use yogurt as the base so it has richer and thicker texture, and is more healthy. It is so satisfying that I rarely eat curry in restaurants anymore.

Mr. K wants me to write down my secret. So here it is! This recipe serves approximately 4-5 people.

All you need is:

  • 1 big pot (maybe 5L to 6L)

Ingredients:

  • 5 slices of ginger
  • 5 whole cloves garlic.
  • 2 whole chili pepper (optional)
  • 750g plain yogurt (please do NOT use non-fat)
  • 1 little canned tomato paste
  • 1/2 canned chopped tomato
  • 2-3 potato, cut into chunky pieces
  • 2-3 carrot, cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 onion, cut into chunky pieces
  • 5-6 chicken thigh
  • 2 curry block
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil (about 1-2 tbsp) in the pot and add ginger, garlic and chilli pepper in the pot. Cook it for about 2 mins. Add chicken thighs. Skin side down. Cook them until the skin is golden and take the thighs out and put them aside.
  2. In the same pot, add chopped carrots, onions and potatoes. Stir it once a while and let it cook for 5 mins.
  3. Pour yogurt in and bring it to boil.
  4. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and water until the liquid covers the ingredients. Then add a bay leaf, the oregano, and rosemary. Bring it to boil again and turn down the heat to simmer for 20-3o mins.
  5. When carrots are cooked through, add the curry blocks. Stir it until it is well blended. Simmer it for another 5-10 mins.

Tips:

  1. You can get curry blocks from asian grocery stores.
  2. Curry blocks thicken the liquid so make sure you stir it often.
  3. For vegetarians, just take out the meat!

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Lemon Ricotta Cake

Baking can sometimes be intimidating when you don’t have a stand mixer, blender, or food processor. These baking essentials can also take up a lot of space in the kitchen. So when I see a recipe that requires NONE of those and instead just mixing and folding in a bowl, I try it and save it.

This wonderful and trouble-saving recipe is from a chef friend. I’ve tried it four times and it’s always been deliciousO

All you need is:

  • 2 big mixing bowls
  • one 9″ cake pan or muffin pan
  • parchment paper
  • whisk, spatula, measuring spoons and measuring cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder (do not use baking soda)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup full fat ricotta
  • 1 tbsp lemon rind
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries or black berries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fº. Line a 9″ cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray or butter it. If you use muffin pans, you can use cupcake cups and butter them.
  2. In the dry ingredient bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the wet ingredient bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta, lemon rind, and vanilla extract until it is smooth.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredient bowl into the wet one by folding it until the mixture is blended.
  5. Add butter and keep folding it until it is smooth.
  6. Fold in raspberries. Be careful not to crush them.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake it for 45-55 mins. If you use muffin pans, 20 mins should be enough.
  8. Let it cool at least 20 mins.

The recipe calls for baking 50-60 mins. But for my oven, 45 mins is plenty. So be sure you know your oven!

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The Corner On The Map -Delysees

Delysees was rated one of the best macaron places in Toronto. Located on King West, Delysees is an authentic French bakery. The exterior and interior are modern contemporary, and maybe a bit cold. I passed by many times but its look did not interest me.

However I had a chance to stop by. The colourful macarons immediately grabbed my attention. Along with these fancy little treats, there were many pastry and baked goods. I had a decent croissant and delicious vanilla choux. The poppy seed in the vanilla custard made it refreshing and not too heavy. The presentation was beautiful with a touch of gold flake.

Both experiences were good enough to make me go back again. If it’s too far for you, you can get the croissants at Sorry Coffee Co. in yorkville too.

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