Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

The quintessential autumn bread. I like to keep it simple but feel free to add a cup of chopped walnuts or chocolate chips.

This recipe makes two loaves: keep one for yourself, give one to a friend or neighbor and make their day!

You can also bake the batter in muffin tins: bake regular-sized muffins at 350° for 24-25 minutes or mini muffins at 375° for 11-12 minutes.

Makes two loaves (based on a recipe from Bon Appétit magazine)
  • 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar = 300 g de cassonade
  • 1 cup granulated sugar = 200 de sucre
  • ½ cup vegetable oil = 120 ml d'huile végétale
  • ½ cup applesauce = 120 ml ou 120 g de compote de pomme 
  • 3 large eggs = 3 oeufs
  • 1 16-ounce can pumpkin (or homemade) = 450 g de purée de citrouille
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour = 375 g de farine
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon = 2 cuillères à café de cannelle en poudre
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves = ½ cuillère à café de clous de girofles en poudre ou fraichement moulu
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg = ½ cuillère à café de noix de muscade en poudre ou fraichement moulu
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda = 1 cuillère à café de bicarbonate de soude
  • ½ teaspoon salt = ½ cuillère à café de sel
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder = ½ cuillère à café de levure chimique

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugars, oil and applesauce in a large bowl. Add eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, spices, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture and blend well. Mix in walnuts or chocolate chips if using.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake for about 1 hour and to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Transfer and cool completely. Enjoy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thai Chicken with Fresh Basil

We often order take-out from a nearby Thai restaurant, but this dish is so easy and quick to make, you won't need to reach for the phone. The original recipe is from this great little book: Quick and Easy Thai; however, I have tweaked it quite a bit to our taste (less onion, more sauce, ground chili paste instead of fresh chilies...). If you can find some, use Asian basil, if not, Italian basil will work just as well. I usually serve this dish with steamed jasmine rice and sliced mango for dessert. Thai night-in!

Serves 3 to 4
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil = 2 cuillères à soupe d'huile végétale
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced = 2 ou 3 gousses d'ail, émincées
  • ¼ cup chopped onion = ¼ d'un oignon, coupé en petits morceaux
  • 3 or 4 medium chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces = 3 ou 4 escalopes de poulet, coupées en morceaux
  • 4 tablespoons nam pla (thai fish sauce) = 60 ml de nam pla ou nuoc-mâm
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce = 30 ml de sauce soja
  • 4 tablespoons water = 60 ml d'eau
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar = 2 cuillères à café de cassonade
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground chili paste (sambal oelek) = 1 à 2 cuillères à café de sambal ulek (purée de piments)
  • 20 to 25 fresh basil leaves = 20 à 25 feuilles de basilic frais

Heat up the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a couple minutes. Toss the chicken pieces in, cook, stirring so the chicken browns on all sides.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the chili paste and basil leaves, toss well. Once basil has wilted, remove from heat and transfer to serving dish. Serve immediately, with jasmine rice on the side. Enjoy!