June 29, 2007

3 More Reasons to Love Dorie

Reason the first: White and Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Cheesecake. Reason the second: World Peace Cookies. Reason the third: Chocolate Chunkers. If those three reasons aren’t good enough for you then you have a heart, (and stomach) of stone and I feel sorry for you. The following three recipes and filled to the brim with chocolaty goodness and are begging to be eaten with reckless abandonment.

For the Tall and Creamy Cheesecake, Dorie gives a basic recipe, provides numerous alterations and encourages you to make up your own. I took her suggestion for marbled cheesecake one step further by adding white chocolate and peppermint extract to half of the batter. I’d like to say this was my idea, but really I just stole it from page 230, (of Baking: From My Home to Yours, where else?) where it’s Dorie’s favourite switch up for her Basic Marbled Loaf cake. And did I mention this is one of the most luxuriously smooth cheesecakes I’ve ever tasted? It was dangerous for me to have in the house. I couldn’t even freeze it to keep myself from devouring it because I liked it frozen too!

The Word Peace cookies are nothing new to me, (hopefully not to you either, they’ve certainly made the rounds) I’ve even gone so far as to make World Peace cookie ice cream and they’re always good. I made this batch to bring into work with me for two reasons: 1- If they’re believed to be good enough to instill world peace then I figured they should certainly work for smaller scale goodwill projects too. My thoughts were that if I brought them into work the bosses might tell me I don’t actually have to do anything other than bake for them. Or maybe my co-workers will take over my work so that I can become the team baker. So far that hasn’t happened. Sigh. 2- One of the people at work can’t eat eggs so he previously hadn’t been able to sample any of my baked goodies. The World Peace cookies don’t have eggs so they were perfect for him and he appreciated the effort.

And then we have the Chocolate Chunkers. Oh my. Dorie describes them as fabulous, and she does mean truly fabulous. There are NINETEEN ounces of chocolate in these cookies and you’d better darn well include every last one of them! The only change I made was to add a couple tablespoons of mocha powder and substituted craisins for raisins. The cookies seriously give the world peace cookies a run for their money and are perfect with a glass of ice cold milk. They’re also perfect for breakfast. I’m not gonna lie, I started today with two of them…

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June 27, 2007

Daring Bakers: Where'd the Sweet Stuff Go?

This month’s co-hosts for the Daring Bakers challenge are none other than Jenny of All Things Edible and Freya of Writing at the Kitchen Table. To switch things up a little they chose Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels as the recipe with which to torture, er, challenge us with. It was a departure from all things sweet, far away from the land of searing hot caramel and I for one was looking forward to the change. I’ve made bagels once before and they were a success so I was fairly confident that I could master this challenge. I’m rather delusional that way; one success makes me an expert and one failure makes me the worst baker in the world. I’m not even going to try to pretend that makes sense.

In any case, my lack of logic means that I threw the dough together and then decided that instead of waiting for it to rise and continuing on with the recipe, I would go play tennis. Perhaps you’re thinking that sounds like a great idea since there’s no point sitting around, twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the dough to rise as that could take forever. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong. Some dough takes a long time to rise but not this one and not when it’s 30 degrees and humid. Given that heat, I was crazy to leave my dough alone for hours on end and even crazier to think I could play tennis in that heat. By the time I returned, (completely exhausted, but still the reigning tennis champion) my dough was threatening to push the roof off my house. I cautiously deflated it and watched as it slowly shrunk back down to a somewhat manageable size. The recipe stated that it made 15 bagels but I could tell from the start that my monster dough was going to make more. I shrugged and started into the bagel shaping. The last time I made bagels I used the method that requires you to roll the dough into a snake and then pinch the ends together to make your ring. As soon as those bagels hit the simmering water, they separated into horseshoes. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. This time around I rolled my dough into balls and poked a hole in the middle. I have no idea why I ever tried it the other way, this was a much better approach.

As per the challenge rules set out by Jenny and Freya, I was not allowed to alter the inside of the bagels whatsoever. Outer toppings were permitted but that was it. I dutifully followed the rules and topped some of my bagels with sesame seeds and some of them with fleur de sel and then popped them into the oven. The problem I had is that my oven is not overly big and all of those monster bagels wouldn’t fit at once. Given the heat situation, I didn’t want the bagels to sit on the counter and quadruple in size so I improvised with one of my favourite contraptions… the bbq. That’s right folks, I bbq’d the bagels. Those lovely lines you see on my bagels are grill marks and they’re awesome! My bbq bagels took a little longer to “bake” but the end result was a slightly smoky exterior with a plain bagel interior. But those grill marks, oh the grills marks! They’re worth the price of admission alone.

You’ll also notice the sleek and sexy dome that some of my bagels are hiding under. It was purchased this past week while shopping with Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice and Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict! The three of us enjoyed a stellar lunch and then a leisurely afternoon of chocolate shopping. I’ve been wanting a cake dome for quite some time now and when I started to stare longingly at this one, Ivonne and Jasmine insisted that I buy it. I’m glad they did because I’m currently using it for everything! Like bagels, lots and lots of bagels.

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June 24, 2007

The Ultimate Ice Cream Experience

Sugar High Friday has returned this month to its creator, Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess and she’s decided that the theme is your favourite, most craved dessert. This is an easy one. What dessert can count chocolate, caramel, cheesecake, cookie dough, strawberry, mango, vanilla, cinnamon, rum and cherries among its ingredients? Ice cream of course! Hey, I never said all of those ingredients had to be contained in one flavour of ice cream, although that’s not such a bad idea… Some people reserve ice cream for a special treat only once in a while. I pity the fool who only has ice cream on certain occasions. Not a day goes by that I don’t have a spoonful (or 12) because the day’s not complete without my favourite sugar fix. It doesn’t matter if it’s 30 degrees below zero or 30 degrees above, ice cream is always a necessity. And since it comes in so many flavours, I never tire of it. If I overdose on chocolate, (ha, like that will ever happen, but if it did) vanilla and kiwi are lined up at the gates, ready to take its place. I don’t think there’s anything I couldn’t turn into an ice cream flavour, if something tastes good on its own, I can only assume it tastes equally as good, if not better as an ice cream flavour; bacon, I’m looking at you here…

This is my very own ice cream recipe that I made after someone left a comment on one of my posts, (that of course, I can no longer find) saying that the Team Cookies would be good in ice cream. Thank you to whoever that was because I’m forever indebted to you! I didn’t want to make a vanilla ice cream with team cookies in it, but rather an ice cream that incorporated all of the flavours of the cookies, (chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal) into the ice cream itself. This recipe was the result and it’s deliciously decadent. Go big or go home.

Bri’s Team Cookie Ice Cream

2 ¼ cups milk

½ cup whole flake oats

Pinch of cinnamon

½ cup + 1T packed brown sugar

4 egg yolks

1 ½ cups heavy cream

½ peanut butter

½ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Pinch of fleur de sel

¾ cup Dorie’s Milk Chocolate Sauce, (made with bittersweet chocolate)

2 t vanilla

In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup milk, the oats, a pinch of cinnamon and 1T brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the oatmeal has absorbed most of the milk, and looks like a runny oatmeal. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine the remaining milk and the heavy cream and bring to a boil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and peanut butter until well blended and uniform in colour. While still whisking, pour in a quarter of the hot liquid to temper the eggs. Continue whisking and slowly pour in the rest of the liquid. Return the entire mixture to the pan and heat over medium heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in the cooked oatmeal mixture and vanilla.

Put mixture into the fridge to cool completely.

Pour into and ice cream machine and near the end of the cycle, just before it’s ready, pour in the peanuts and chocolate sauce.


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June 23, 2007

Looks May Be Deceiving

It looks like I made croissants again, doesn’t it? These gems are most certainly golden, flakey and buttery but they were also cranked out in about an hour. Now unless I’ve developed some sort of time defying powers, these are not croissants. I’ve got many powers, but defying time is unfortunately not one of them. I made these delicacies out of leftover puff pastry that has been hibernating in my freezer since I made the Gateau St Honore with the Daring Bakers. I simply took the puff pastry out of the freezer the night before and then rolled it out in the morning to bake with. Instead of using flour to keep my pastry from sticking to the counter and rolling pin I used sugar and quite frankly, that was a fantastic idea. Since there’s no sugar in the puff pastry itself, the extra dusting wasn’t overly sweet and was just right.

The imitation croissants were filled with bittersweet chocolate and cinnamon. The pinwheel pastries were filled with white chocolate and raspberry jam. Both were then baked in the oven at 350F. The pinwheels took about 20 minutes and the croissants a little bit longer, probably 25 minutes. The end result was a huge success and the pastries disappeared quickly. I don’t think you can go wrong with puff pastry, the possibility for fillings is endless and if the dough is already made these treats can be whipped up in no time. I had come up with lots of ideas for fillings that I didn’t get to use, (like putting the dough into muffin tins and filling them with butter tart filling or making mini tarts with pastry cream and fresh strawberries) so I think I’m going to have to make some more puff pastry. I suppose I could buy some as well, but where’s the fun in that?

If you’re not already in the kitchen making puff pastry to recreate these treats, then read on to find out more about me. I’ve been tagged by Minh at Couture Cupcakes to reveal 7 things you don’t know about me. So without further ado:

  • I like elephants. I’m not entirely sure why, I just do. It probably has something to do with the fact that neither of us were ever little nor will we ever find cute shoes to fit our feet.
  • Unlike many children who sucked their thumb, I sucked on my index and middle fingers but only when I had my blue blanket which I carried around everywhere I went, (not unlike Linus from Charlie Brown).
  • After a 12 year hiatus, I’ve taken up tennis again. It’s fun.
  • If I see a turtle on the road I feel obligated to stop and help them cross, this was inherited from my Dad who is a dedicated turtle-saver. Sometimes we get there too late, like the day we were waiting on the side of the road for traffic to pass so we could go to the centre line and help a wee turtle to safety. There was a long line of traffic with a transport truck at the end of it. As the truck barreled past, it clipped the edge of the turtles’ shell which propelled the turtle high up into the air and well into the adjacent field. If anyone tries to tell you that turtles can’t fly, they’re wrong. That turtle was something special.
  • I’m a pretty proficient backwards runner, not so much forwards.
  • I have horrible balance and can fall over while standing still.
  • I want to travel around the world visiting food bloggers, (food blog readers too). If you’d like to put me up for a few days, I’ll cook for you. Let me know if you’re interested…

If you want to brush up more facts about me, here are some past memes where I’ve divulged way too much information:

Sara of I like to Cook asks me 5 questions here.

Scott of Real Epicurean asks for 5 things about me here.

ArtizenFlair asks me questions that require 3 answers each here.

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June 19, 2007

Food for Thought: The Owen Sound Farmers' Market

Should you ever find yourself lost on a Saturday morning and about 3 hours north-west of Toronto, make sure you stop in to the Owen Sound Farmers' Market. You can read more about it on my first post for the Foodtv Canada blog, Food for Thought!

June 18, 2007

Dark and Mysterious

Lobster makes me happy. When lobster is on sale, it makes me really happy. If this dish says anything, it’s that I was really happy this week. You would be too if you had squid ink pasta dressed in a truffle vinaigrette with generous chunks of lobster. To make it even better, the pasta was boiled with the lobster shells to give it extra lobster flavour. You can never have too much lobster. Sweet, sweet pinchy. I think the black pasta adds huge visual appeal to the dish. I mean, lobster is good no matter what you pair it with and regular pasta would have been just fine, but black pasta made it more fun to eat. Eating should always be fun. I assure you, it is for me.

This is also my submission for Presto Pasta Night hosted by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast. I’ve been meaning to participate for quite a while now, but none of my other pasta dishes compared to this one so I didn’t bother. And wouldn’t you know it, this one is simple to prepare too!

Truffle Vinaigrette

Juice of half a lemon

Juice of half a lime

1 ½ T good olive oil

3 T truffle oil

Salt and pepper

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June 14, 2007

It's Gonna Be Another One of Those Hot Summers

A second year of blogging deserves a new kitchen toy… like an electric ice cream maker! I have nothing against my old ice cream maker, (his name is Alastair) he was good to me, but it was time for him to retire. Alastair has worked hard all of his life, churning out almost 20 years of ice cream and it was time for him to enjoy retirement. Hasta luego Alastair, enter the Ice-Man. He’s sleek, shiny, powerful and makes a mean ice cream. What more could you ask for? For my first date with the Ice-Man we made Murphy’s Kahlua Espresso Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings from Ice Cream Ireland. All it took was one velvety spoonful to cross my lips for me to know that the Ice-Man and I were going to get along very, very well. He does all of the work, churning round and around and I reap the rewards. He’s everything a life sponsor should be.

Not one to waste anytime, our second date happened the very next day. I had a ripe mango on the counter and fresh strawberries from the market, so a mango-strawberry ice cream, (with a little coconut rum) was a no-brainer. I wasn’t disappointed here either. I can’t wait for more fruit to come into season so I can ice cream-ify it too! This summer is going to be chockfull of frozen treats because I will never tire of them. This isn’t an infatuation stage, it’s the real deal. I love ice cream. I used to work in an ice cream store during the summer and people would always come in and say “you must be sick of ice cream after working here.” But I never was. I would go into work for a 12 hour shift and eat ice cream All. Day. Long. If I tired of one flavour, there were 49 others to tide me over.

Brilynn’s Strawberry Mango Ice Cream

1 ½ cups milk

1 ½ cups whipping cream

Generous ½ cup sugar

4 egg yolks

Scant quart of strawberries

1 ripe mango

¼ cup Malibu rum

Bring milk and cream to a simmer in a sauce pan. In another saucepan, off the stove, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until fully combined and pale yellow in colour. Drizzle in some of the milk and cream, while whisking, to temper the eggs. Slowly pour in the rest of the milk and cream while continuing to whisk. Place this sauce pan back on the stove and heat until a thermometer registers 70C, do not surpass 75C as the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and place the bowl into a dish of ice and water, whisking to cool the mixture down.

While that cools, hull the strawberries and peel and chop the mango. Put the fruit in your blender, (get a K-Tec!!!) and pour in ¼ cup Malibu. Puree.

Pour the fruit mixture into the cooled cream mixture and stir to combine. Place in the fridge to chill completely before pouring into your ice cream maker.

This last picture is of a chocolate-pistachio bundt cake that I made for one of the guys at work. Not only did I have to come up with a recipe, but I was also given specific colours for the icing. You would think that after all this hard work on my part, the recipient of the cake would at least show up to collect his goods. Matt called in “sick” that day and missed it completely. He claims he thought that it was the following week that I was bringing in the cake but that’s just silliness because I won’t be there then. So why was I even making Matt a cake in the first place? It started because I’ve been bringing baked goods into work lately since it gives me an outlet for my baking, (other than my mouth) and it means the people at work are nice to me because I bring them treats. It’s a win-win situation. Usually I bring in whatever I feel like making on that particular day, but since I like to make people happy, I started taking requests too, (I saw them as mini challenges). My first request was for a coffee cake, (for which I made Dorie’s Cardamom Coffee cake) the second came from Matt and was for a chocolate-pistachio bundt cake. He’d only ever had it once but liked it so much that he ate the whole thing. He described what he wanted and I set out to find a recipe that would fulfill the requirements. I based my cake on Dorie’s recipe for Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake but, among other variations, I increased the chocolate, added some cream and used pistachios in my swirl. I baked it up into an adorable individual bundt cake, personalized and everything and Matt had the nerve not to show up for work on the day I brought it in. The others enjoyed his cake for him and Matt’s name has now dropped to the bottom of the queue and he won’t be allowed to make requests for a little while. Let this be a lesson: If I bake for you, you’d better be there to eat!

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June 10, 2007

A Special Request

It has officially been a year since I started writing this blog. I can’t quite believe it’s been that long, but here we are. To celebrate a year, I decided to bake myself a cake, (um, is that really different than any other day?) and I’m asking for something from you in return: a comment. If you’ve never left one before, now’s the time to do it. If you always leave one, feel free to leave another. If you know me personally and think you don’t have to comment, make an exception today and leave one. It doesn’t really matter what you say, but I’m curious to know who’s out there, so if you want to tell me how you found your way to my little blog, where you’re from, your favourite food, what you’d like to see me make in the future or something completely different, it’s all good! And I promise I won’t ask for another comment for at least a year.

Perhaps you’re looking at my archives list and noticing that it only goes back as far as August, that’s because I started Jumbo Empanadas on a myspace page, (hangs head in shame) because I didn’t know any better. I quickly learned that Blogger let me do more things and was much easier to use so I made the switch. I also transferred all of my old posts to my blogspot site, so everything is here, from the beginning.

I knew that whatever I made for my 1 year cake would have to scream Go Big or Go Home. I think this cake does that effectively. It’s a combination of not one, not two but THREE Dorie recipes. I can’t get too much of a good thing. The white cake layers, raspberry layer and white buttercream icing are from Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake, the chocolate layer is a recipe I adapted from her chocolatey nutty sour cream swirl bundt cake, (I made it a pistachio swirl with more chocolate and in mini bundts so I had leftover which I made into this cake layer) and the chocolate frosting layers are actually Dorie’s recipe for bittersweet ganache. When you put all of that together you’ve got one serious cake, which is not for the faint of heart. With all of the work I put into that cake, the least you could do is leave me a little note!

On a final note, (and I’ll try to keep this brief, I’m not one for mushy stuff) thanks to everyone who’s visited over the past year. As I wrote in my first post, I originally thought bloggers and the whole concept of blogging was just weird but I’ve since changed my tune. I’ve really enjoyed writing, cooking and photographing over the past year and have been completely blown away by the kindness and encouragement I’ve received from others. I think I’ve been most surprised by the sense of community among bloggers and I’m continually shocked by the fact that anyone cares what I’m writing about and that you actually take the time to read my blog. So thanks again, you make me happy! Now let’s go eat some cake.

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June 09, 2007

Gifts From Afar

Back in March I was challenged to make alfajores, a shortbread-like cookie sandwiched with dulce de leche, an Argentinean specialty. That wouldn’t have been such a difficult task if I hadn’t of had to make the dulce de leche. For one very long day, I reduced a pot of milk in the hopes that it would turn into a wonderful and thick caramel-like sauce. That never really happened, but the resulting cookies looked neat and they tasted great so I guess that’s all that really matters.

Shortly after that post I received an email from Patricia of Technicolor Kitchen. Patricia, who resides in Brazil, generously offered to send me some authentic alfajores. I would have been a fool to turn her down and happily accepted her offer. To repay her kindness I insisted on sending her something in return. I was only too happy to be a part of someone’s first maple syrup experience. So I packed up a bottle of maple syrup and after shipping it off, I was left to wait for a card to arrive, telling me I had a package to pick up. Patience is not always my strong suit and it seemed like forever before that card arrived. When it finally did, I packed up a couple turnovers for the lady at the post office, (she benefits whenever someone sends me a package, so please, think of the post office lady!) hoped in the car and I was off.

Moments later, I sat with a bright yellow Havanna box in my hands, eager to dig into the goodies that were hidden inside. After one bite I knew it was worth the wait! For me, the Havanna alfajores are the Argentinean equivalent of the Australian Tim Tam, and oh how I love Tim Tams! The thing is, I have the same problem with both of them; they don’t make them in Canada! I guess that just means I’ll have to do more traveling, all in the names of cookies…

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June 08, 2007

Keep Turning 'Em Over

A while ago I made cherry danishes and was thrilled by the results. In what can only be described as a moment of sheer genius mixed with restraint, I froze half of the dough to use at a later date. Then it sat in the freezer, cold and alone with nobody to love it for two long months. I hate to see suffering of any sort so last night I rescued my danish dough from the frigid depths of the freezer and let it thaw out on the counter. I had no real plans for the dough but I thought I would try something other than danishes. Turnovers seemed like a logical second choice, apple turnovers. But not just any old apple turnover, an apple turnover with maple caramel from Bill Granger’s Maple Banana Upside Down cake. I was pretty excited about the whole thing but managed to mess it up when, instead of pouring the caramel over the apples, I dumped them into the pot and tried to combine the two. The result was a watery, (apple-juicy) maple caramel sauce that couldn’t be contained by a turnover. So I changed my strategy, drained the apple chunks out of the sauce and decided to call them “maple caramel soaked apple turnovers.” I ran into another roadblock when I realized I had way more dough than filling. I improvised with frozen raspberries. But I still had leftover dough so I chopped up some pistachios and bittersweet chocolate and used that as a filling too. The final two squares of dough were treated with the remnants of the chocolate and a little scoop of peanut butter. All of the turnovers were brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with sugar before baking to perfection. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or dessert. Anytime is turnover time.

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June 05, 2007

There’s Nanners All Over the Track!

Or more accurately, there are nanners all over my counter, in my freezer, smoothies, cakes, muffins and pies, (most recently, Dorie’s Banana Cream Pie). Lately my house has become the final resting place for everyone’s aging bananas. When you walk into my kitchen the scent of bananas is so strong, it’s a wonder we haven’t started attracting monkeys. As fast as I can bake with them, more bananas keep showing up. If only people would send money, cookbooks and chocolate with as much frequency… My fingers are crossed. In the meantime, I’ll keep baking and buying my own accessories like this gorgeous new cake plate. I’ve been pining away for a cake plate for quite some time now and finally broke down and bought my own. I wanted a plate with a dome, but that will have to be for another day.

I bought Bills Open Kitchen by Bill Granger at a great discount bookstore, it was only $9. With a huge cookbook section and prices like that, it’s a wonder I didn’t walk out of there with the whole store. This recipe for Banana Maple Upside-Down Cake stood out from the first time I flipped through the pages, it’s got maple syrup in it, how could it not? And just as I suspected, the maple syrup caramel was the best part. I think I’ll be making the topping again to use in other baked goodies. Or, if you want to forgo the cake part altogether, the maple caramel would be really good simply drizzled on top of sliced bananas, or even better on top of whipped frozen bananas. But really, there’s no reason for you not to make the entire cake because it’s quick to put together and is even easier if you have someone to crack your eggs for you.

Banana Maple Upside-Down Cake (by Bill Granger from Bills Open Kitchen)

50g unsalted butter plus 100g unsalted butter, softened

55g brown sugar

60ml maple syrup

3-4 bananas, sliced in half lengthwise, (I sliced mine into coins because it was easier)

230g superfine sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp natural vanilla extract

155g all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. To make the topping, place the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the sugar melts and the syrup is rich and golden. Pour the syrup into a 9inch greased or nonstick springform cake tin and arrange the sliced bananas over the base of the tin.

To make the cake, place the extra butter and cast sugar in a bowl and bet until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then add the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and gently fold through the mixture. Spoon the batter evenly over the bananas and caramel and smooth the top with a spatula.

Place the cake in the oven on a baking tray to catch any escaping caramel and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer to a large serving plate.

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June 03, 2007

Blue's My Favourite Colour

A while ago I was contacted by the folks at TrueBlue who asked me if I would be interested in trying some of their juice. I accepted their offer, (who doesn’t like free stuff?) saying that I would be happy to try some but that I would also be giving honest feedback and wouldn’t hesitate to say if I didn’t like something. A couple weeks later I received a bottle each of TrueBlue Blueberry juice, Blueberry-Pomegranante and Blueberry-Blackberry. Blueberries have been getting a lot of hype in the recent years for being rich in anti-oxidants. As far as I’m concerned, the anti-oxidants are merely a bonus, blueberries taste amazing and that’s reason enough to eat them for me.

I tried each of the juices, chilled, on their own and decided that the blueberry-blackberry was definitely my favourite. I thought the plain blueberry was somewhat dry and didn’t enjoy drinking it on its own as much as the other two. The blueberry-pomegranate was also good, but the blackberry was the winner as far as I’m concerned.

In general I don’t drink very much juice on its own, but I like mixing it with other things. I had lots of fun playing with these juices. The simplest drink was made by mixing any of the flavours with 7Up or another carbonated drink like soda water, add some ice to your glass and you’ve got a great summer drink. I also started adding TrueBlue to my smoothies, which I probably make at least every other day. There are always bananas on my counter that are ready to be mixed with some frozen fruit, yogurt, juice or milk and blended into oblivion by my beloved K-Tec. The smoothie you see here is a combo of TrueBlue bluberry juice, banana and strawberries. You can mix and match fruit here as much as you want and I don’t think failure is possible. I liked experimenting with adding the juice to savory dishes as well and found it worked very well when reduced with balsamic vinegar and drizzled over grilled salmon, (pictured here). Vinaigrettes for salads are another possibility.

So what’s the bottom line? I liked using the TrueBlue juices in drinks, there’s an endless number of ways they can be added to make drinks, alcoholic or otherwise. They would probably be pretty good frozen in an ice cube tray and then dropped into drinks to keep them cool without watering them down. I think a blueberry daiquiri could be interesting... I could see myself buying TrueBlue again to make summer drinks and there are 3 flavours that I didn’t get to try: Blueberry-Cranberry, Blueberry-Iced Green Tea and Blueberry-Raspberry so I wouldn’t mind seeing what they’re like too, the green tea mixture sounds particularly intriguing.

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