Trudeau Ups Taxes, Scheerly He Shouldn’t!

September 27th, 2017

Trudeau Ups Taxes, Scheerly He Shouldn’t!

Anderew Scheer, Leader of the Conservatives and Official Opposition Leader, is taking a stand against Trudeau’s Tax Plan to tax small business owners who are “not paying their fair share of taxes”. This one hits home for us here at Fancy Dough, because unlike Trudeau, we’ve had to work very hard to make ends meet, while the silver spoon is still permanently affixed to his lips.

Despite this being a personal topic for us and the majority of small businesses across Canada, we wanted to weigh in on some of these proposed changes and review some of the ways Trudeau is being “open and transparent” about his proposed changes and justification for such egregious measures.

We’ll open this week’s post with a video of Andrew Scheer asking Trudeau and the Liberal Government to explain how these tax measures are benefiting the middle class. You’ll notice a theme to Mr. Trudeaus answers, but before we spill the coffers on this vid, check out this question period…

The theme of the question period is avoidance. Trudeau dodges Scheer’s questions and fails to address any of the issues appropriately. Canadians expect their Prime Minister to answer questions in Question Period posed by the opposition, as a fundamental characteristic of a strong democracy. These values were the values Trudeau was elected on and we expect him to fully explain his policies so that Canadians across Canada can understand exactly what’s at stake.

Check out more details on this and more by checking out this CTV Article here.

The Liberal Tax Plan

What does the Liberal tax plan change?

Income Sprinkling –

It makes it more difficult to “split” income to family members in the form of salary, wages, or dividends to reduce the overall taxes paid by the whole family unit. The proposal seeks to put restrictions on family members between the ages of 18 and 24.

Changes to taxation on passive business income –

Restricts the ability to leave “excess” earnings inside a corporation to grow in what would be deemed a “passive investment portfolio”.

Close “loopholes” that convert income into capital gains –

Income that “should” be taxed as salary or dividends is not easily able to be converted to capital gains (taxed at a much lower tax rates).

Summary

The Liberals believe that certain taxpayers are not paying their fair share of taxes when they use corporations to “hide” earnings or disperse them using “loopholes” currently prevalent within our tax system.

The problem with the Liberal Tax Changes is not that they want to revamp the system; the problem is that they wholeheartedly believe that small businesses and other corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes. Small business owners not only sacrifice their own personal finances and also their credit worthiness to become entrepreneurs and employ others, but they are often times the last people to get paid.

Small business owners don’t have pensions that they will draw from once they retire, nor do they have extended medical insurance offered by private corporations. They also have to put their own personal assets on the line to take risks to employ others who get to have a secure job that pays them “dividends” that owners simply do not get.

Read the full Moneysense.ca Article here to get a good sense of the changes and what’s likely to become reality for so many hard working entrepreneurs in Canada.

 

Check out our last post here.

Double Ginger Apple Crisp

It’s officially time to break out fall recipes and flavours! Bring on the apples, pumpkin, and spices because we’re ready to do some fall baking!

This apple crisp is the perfect way to ring in the new season with style, and will make your kitchen smell heavenly as well. Apples are definitely in abundance at our local market and we couldn’t resist making good use of them this week.

We decided to put a twist on this apple crisp with the addition of ginger in both the apple filling and the oatmeal crumble topping. Instead of adding a super gingery taste to the dish, the ginger adds a lovely warmth that will keep you nice and cozy on crisp fall evenings.

We used ginger root in the apple filling because as the crisp cooks the ginger breaks down and completely disappears amongst the apples. Ground ginger is used in the topping to add even more oomph to the ginger flavour.

There is some debate about what kind of apples work best for apple crisp and really, apple desserts in general. There is a team that is staunchly against using any type of sweet apple, like Red Delicious, in favour of more tart apples like Granny Smith, and then the team that doesn’t really seem to put too much emphasis on the type of apple used.

For us, we tried to come right down the middle. We used four Granny Smith apples and three Golden Delicious for the perfect balance between tart and sweet. The Granny Smith apples also tend to hold their shape better, where as the Golden Delicious cook down and create more of a jammy filling which is absolutely divine. We suggest that you use at least a couple Granny Smith apples to provide some structure, but other than that, use what’s in season and looks good where you are!

We topped ours with cheater’s custard using Bird’s custard powder. We’ve been reading British cookbooks lately, and were completely enamoured with the idea of using custard to top a crisp or crumble. Ice cream would be equally as wonderful though.

This is the perfect dessert for fall and you’re sure to make a friend of whoever eats it!

Go bake.

Double Ginger Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

10 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (We used 7 apples total- 4 Granny Smith and 3 Golden Delicious)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Thumb-sized piece of ginger (16 g), peeled and minced

2 cups (170 g) old-fashioned oats

2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups (350 g) packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup (8 oz/230 g) salted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking dish with non-stick spray (the shape doesn’t really matter here, but a large, shallow dish such as a 9x 13 would work well).
  2. Place the sliced apples, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and minced ginger into a large bowl and stir well to combine.
  3. In another bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, and melted butter.
  4. Place the apples into your prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Sprinkle your oatmeal crumble evenly over top. Transfer the baking dish to the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and golden brown on top. Let cool for a couple minutes before serving and then top with custard or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

I (Alyssa) recently had my 30th birthday. It was a fantastic day filled with friends, family, parties, and fun, and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it! Far from being sad to leave my twenties, I’m excited about what this new decade has in store!

In conjunction with my birthday though, came an onslaught of birthday cake- chocolate peanut butter cake, rum soaked cake, and chocolate cake so rich and chocolatey that I’m not sure it’s necessary to try any other chocolate cake recipe for the rest of our lives. I’m not going to complain.

However, since there has been so much dessert floating around, it was a bit of a challenge trying to build up the desire to bake another dessert. I’m so glad I did though, because these are cookies that you will still want to eat after eating three different types of birthday cake. They’re that good.

Filled to the brim with peanut buttery flavour (two whole cups go into the dough!), these cookies are sure to fulfill all your peanut butter cravings. The addition of oats adds another layer of texture, and the milk chocolate chips make them taste like you’re eating your favourite peanut butter cup in cookie form.

These cookies are big too! We made them using 3 ounces of dough per cookie, which results in big, thick, chewy cookies similar to what you would see in a bakery. Feel free to make them smaller though, they will just take slightly less time to bake but taste just as heavenly!

Peanut butter and chocolate is a winning combination that will definitely make your day and whoever’s you share them with!

Go Bake.

Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups (310 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (52 g) quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (230 g) salted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

3/4 cup (150 g) packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups (500 g) creamy peanut butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (270 g package) milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cream and both sugars until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and stir again until combined. *We did this entire process using a large spoon but a mixer would work just as well (and probably be much easier!).
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix again until incorporated. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours in the fridge to help firm up the dough.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. (We unfortunately ran out of parchment paper just as we were starting to bake these so we went for the au naturale method which worked as well!).
  5. Roll the dough into large balls, about 3 tablespoons per ball (or 3 ounces/85 g if you want to get into details). Place the dough onto your prepared baking sheet and gently press down on each ballto slightly flatten them. Bake each batch for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Skinny Nutella-Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Okay, we went there. We pulled out the pumpkin spice and made this delicious pumpkin bread with it. We also made it skinny so you can feel good about eating it. Less sugar? Check! Less oil? Check! Tons of flavour? Check!

Nutella goes amazingly well with pumpkin, in case you didn’t know. The combination of spice, earthiness from the pumpkin, hazelnuts, and chocolate is absolutely to-die-for. The idea comes from a pumpkin pie we used to make in years gone by that had Nutella swirled into it. It worked with pie and now it works with bread!

This pumpkin bread is really similar in method to the banana breads or zucchini breads that you’ve made in the past, except for the inclusion of pumpkin puree and fall spices. Make sure to buy pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling though! We want to make sure that we have complete control over what’s going into our pumpkin bread.

Another great thing about this bread is that it makes two loaves. So, you can make this recipe and eat a loaf and freeze a loaf, or keep one and pass one along to a friend. Sharing is caring.

No matter who you share it with, the Nutella swirl is sure to put a smile on someone’s face. We can’t think of a yummier way to welcome fall!

Go bake.

Skinny Nutella-Swired Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

2/3 cup water

2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar

3 1/2 cups (438 g) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup (120 g) Nutella

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two 8×4 or 9×5-inch pans with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, water, and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  4. Drop your nutella in small dollops evenly over the batter in both the pans. Gently run the tip of a knife through the batter to create a swirl pattern. Less is more here for more defined swirls.
  5. Transfer the loaf pans to your preheated oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes depending on the size of your pans. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and allowing to cool completely on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Bakery-Style Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Corey and I disagree on the virtues of muffins. I (Alyssa) believe that they are one of the more perfect foods in the world. Muffins can take on a number of different roles- as breakfast, snack, or lunch, as well as a number of different flavours. You can make them healthy or you can make them gut-bustingly indulgent, but at the end of the day, you’re still eating a muffin and not a cupcake. Cupcakes have icing. Obviously.

Corey believes that muffins are too dry and not worth it. He’d rather have cheesecake or toast with peanut butter. Anyways… Thankfully, we could both agree that these muffins were just plain yummy whether you are a fan of muffins or not!

The focus of these muffins is definitely the big, gorgeous, pieces of “crumb” that sit on top of them. In case you’re curious, crumbs differ from streusel in that they don’t contain any oats and generally, contain a good dose of flour. This results in almost a cookie like texture, although they’re not as sweet.

The muffin batter itself is fairly standard incorporating canola oil, buttermilk, sugar, flour, and both baking powder and baking soda. If you’re more partial to muffins made with butter, you could easily use an equal amount of melted butter in place of the oil, but we find that butter is harder to work with for muffins.

If you’re using cold eggs, buttermilk, etc. you run the risk of the butter re-solidifying when you mix everything together which results in a curdled-looking mess. If you’re going to use butter, just make sure that your other ingredients are at room temperature!

Finally, these muffins are studded with fresh blueberries to add a burst of flavour. Frozen would work just as well! No need to thaw them, just add them to the batter frozen. The addition of cardamom adds a slight citrus flavour, but if you don’t have it, they will be just as good without it!

Perfect for a brunch, school lunches, snack-time, or a special breakfast, these muffins are sure to please even the pickiest eaters!

Go bake.

Bakery-Style Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Ingredients:

For the crumb topping

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (106 g) light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons (142 g) salted butter, melted

1 3/4 cups (219 g) all-purpose flour

For the muffins

2 1/2 cups (313 g) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (140 g) fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. Make the crumb topping. Whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the butter until well-combined. Stir in the flour until the mixture just resembles a thick dough; set aside. (Full discloure: We added the flour to the sugar mixture before adding the butter and it worked just as well!).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the muffins- flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, butter milk, eggs and yolk, and vanilla until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a large spoon or rubber spatula until almost combined (you’ll still want some floury bits), then add the blueberries. Gently fold them in until the dry ingredients are just combined; some lumps are fine.
  6. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups (they will be quite full) then, divide the reserved crumbs among the muffin wells, gently pressing them into the batter. It will look like you have a ton of crumbs, but as the muffins rise the crumbs will separate, so don’t be afraid to pile them on.
  7. Transfer the muffins to your preheated oven and bake until the muffins are just golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20-24 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

September 13, 2017

Sikh or Muslim?  Who Cares?!

NDP Leadership Candidate, Jagmeet Singh, has been generating quite the buzz since he was confronted by a heckler at one of his events. To make a long story short, he handled it perfectly by refusing to tell the heckler that he is Sikh and not Muslim. Check out this video:

An “Illegal Resolution” or Perfectly Justifiable?

Washington has been accused of pursuing “political, economic and military confrontation.” This was shortly met with Han Tae Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, saying that he “Categorically reject[s]” the UN’s “Illegal resolution”. The new measures imposed on the regime include restricting oil imports and a complete ban on textile exports. These measures have been imposed as a result of the recent nuclear test that took place earlier this month.

This clip shows what a North Korea War would look like today, if it were to occur:

Check out the Full BBC Article here.

Norming and Storming

Pop Francis is calling on all the world leaders to take action on climate change after the successive hurricanes that have been plaguing North America, specifically the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Cuba. Pope Francis is urging the U.S. to reconsider its position on the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. According to the CBC, Francis said,

“the recent spate of hurricanes should prompt people to understand that humanity will “go down” if it does not address climate change, and history will judge those who deny the science on its causes.”

Francis went on to further say that,

“If we don’t turn back, we will go down”

“All of us have a responsibility, all of us, small or large, a moral responsibility. We have to take it seriously. We can’t joke about it. Each person has their own. Even politicians have their own.”

When Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked whether Trump is reconsidering his position on the Paris Climate Agreement, she replied by saying that she was “not sure”, but for now his administration is focusing on relief efforts.

…. ….

Check out the full CBC Article here.

Nuff said. Fancy-out –

 

Check out last week’s post here.

Fudgy Oatmeal Bars

With everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, let’s talk about something a bit more on the lighter side of things. Like what happens when you stuff a rich and fudgy chocolate filling inside soft and tender oatmeal cookie bars. Here’s a hint… you’ll want more.

On the west coast of Canada, Starbucks stocks these pastries called Oat Fudge Bars that are out of this world. In the US the closest we’ve seen is something called a Michigan Cherry Oat Bar, but let us be the first to tell you (in a completely unbiased way of course!) that the oat bars with fudge are better.

Today’s bars get their uniquely fudgy center by melting sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butter together to produce a smooth velvety fudge that is so simple to make! It then gets sandwiched between two layers of thick and chewy oatmeal cookie. We used 60% Ghiradelli chocolate chips for our fudge but regular chocolate chips would work just as well!

The oatmeal cookie base is very similar to your standard oatmeal cookie recipe, and gets made much the same way. First you start off by creaming together butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla, dry ingredients, and finally the oats. Quick cooking oats are a must for this recipe. Leave your old-fashioned oats for your oatmeal cookies!

The unique thing about these bars is that you don’t completely encase the fudge layer in an oatmeal cookie crust. Instead, you dot the second layer of oatmeal mixture over top of the fudge so that the fudge can peak out and let itself be seen in all its fudgy glory. Believe us, fudge tastes different when it gets to be in the spotlight!

The fudge layer is thck too guys, which is totally satisfying. The oatmeal cookie layer is not too sweet at all though so you’re not overwhelmed with a double-dose of sweetness.

These bars would make the BEST after-school snack and make you a hero to your kids. Or, if you’ve had a long day at university or work these bars would be the perfect pick me up with your afternoon cup of coffee. They’re sure to be a hit whenever you eat them!

Go bake.

Fudgy Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup (226 g) salted butter, softened

2 cups (224 g) light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla extract, divided

3 cups ( 240 g) quick cooking oats

2 1/2 cups (313 g) all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups (315 g) chocolate chips

3 tablespoons (42 g) salted butter

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup butter with the brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the ggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture and then set aside.
  4. In a small pot, heat the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla.
  5. Pat 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the preparen pan. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the top, and dot with the remaining oat mixture.
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is starting to look slightly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into bars. Enjoy!

Inspired by a recipe found in Just Desserts, a compliation cookbook from KCTS 9 Cooks (2013).

French Toast made with Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah

We have been going through a serious heat wave here on the west coast of Canada. Temperatures have been up near 30, which means that everyone has been doing their best to survive in a world largely without air conditioning.

Ironically, the entire retail world is trying to tell us that it’s actually fall even though we’re all sweltering. This has resulted in some unique late summer pairings including venti iced coffees and iced teas with pumpkin scones at Starbucks. When life gives you pumpkin flavoured baked goods, you eat them, we think is the moral of the story!

With that being said, we’re bringing you a simple recipe that could easily bridge the gap between summer and fall. We used the Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah we made on Tuesday, and repurposed it to make the most perfect French toast.

Let’s go over some things. There is French toast made using normal white bread, there is even French toast made using regular challah, but there is also French toast made using challah that has apples, cinnamon, and raisins in it, and believe us, it makes all the difference!

Our apple and raisin studded challah is dipped in a rich and cinnamony custard mixture and then fried to perfection in pools of butter. There really isn’t any better breakfast when you don’t have too much time in the morning, but are still feeling indulgent.

Maybe you’ll make this for your kids this weekend to celebrate their first week back at school, maybe you make it for the next brunch you host, or maybe you just make it for yourself, because heck, you deserve it!

French Toast made with Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1 cup milk (we used 2%)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

8 slices of apple cinnamon raisin challah or other similar, enriched dough bread (challah, brioche, etc.)

Salted butter for frying

Maple syrup for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large, shallow bowl (we used a pie plate), whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Place bread slices, one at a time, into the egg mixture and flip to make sure both sides of bread are well-coated.
  3. Melt the butter in a large pan or griddle over medium heat. Place the bread slices in the pan or on the griddle and cook until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately or keep warm in an oven until ready to serve (set at around 300 degrees F). Serve with butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit, etc. Enjoy!

 

Whole foods May Never Be Whole Again

September 6th, 2017

Whole foods May Never Be Whole Again

Whole foods started off as an artisan grocer, holding unique and often times local items you couldn’t find anywhere else. Well, that may not be the case anymore. Amazon is looking to quickly dominate the retail grocery space with their efficient delivery business model and low price strategy. While this may be a draw for some consumers looking to not have their “whole paycheck” consumed by Whole Foods groceries, it does pose a concern for the hippy cultural roots that the Whole Foods brand and reputation is known for.

Having worked in the thick of the corporate world, we understand the draw for Amazon to pivot with market demands and keep themselves on top of the competitive landscape; however, what made Whole Foods so great was the fact that they were so unique, in every sense of the word. They turned regular grocery shopping into a treasure hunt for their consumers, with new and exciting products coming in each month.

We will miss you Whole Foods… that said, we will enjoy stopping by to check out the new low prices. You’re not Walmart yet! Stay stylish!

Check out the full Insider Article here.

Harvey, Irma, and Trump

It might be bad luck, the will of a higher power, or it might be a bit of CLIMATE CHANGE… we’re not too sure, but either way climate change should really be a focus moving forward.

Hurricane Harvey may be gone, but the aftermath is just beginning. With Texas residents without homes, jobs, belongings, and their sentimental trinkets, it’s important to remember that all we have is each other. With that said, the U.S. may have another problem on its hands since the rise of Hurricane Irma. This new category 5 storm is set to hit Florida but is currently on its way to the Caribbean. Hopefully this storm loses strength and dissipates on its way to the Caribbean Islands – we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed!

The destruction of tropical storms is never a great thing to write about; however, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma might just be the thing that saves Trump’s presidency. The U.S.-Mexico Wall no longer needs to be a focus for Trump, so hopefully he uses these storms to drop his ridiculous immigration rhetoric and begins to focus his efforts on supporting those impacted by these terrible storms.

Only time will tell!

Another Storm Begins

A Paramedic who has been helping Hurricane Harvey victims may be deported as a result of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program coming to an end. This program protected illegal immigrant children and youth from being deported despite the fact that they were brought in illegally. Today, Jeff Sessions announced the end to this “unconstitutional exercise of authority”. For Jesus Contreras, his new storm is just beginning.

CNN had this to say about DACA:

Check out the full CBC Article here.

Finally, Something We Can Agree On!

We don’t normally see eye-to-eye with the not-so-popular dictator, Vladimir Putin, but in this specific case, we agree that further sanctions on North Korea is a complete waste of time. It’s time for some decisive action on behalf of the major super powers of the world. Putin said it clearly when he described North Korea’s relationship with their nuclear weapons,

“They’d rather eat grass than abandon their [nuclear weapons] programme unless they feel secure. And what can establish security? The restoration of international law. We should promote dialogue among all interested parties.”

Citing a “humanitarian aspect”, Mr Putin said millions of people would suffer under tougher measures, adding: “Sanctions have been exhausted.”

This is what the U.S. had to say about North Korea’s recent missile launch:

Check out the Full BBC Article here.

We’ll see what happens next!

 

Check out last week’s post here.

 

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Hey guys! Let’s talk about bread today. Bread sometimes gets a bad wrap in a lot of baker’s minds for being something that is hugely labour intensive and difficult to make. While we agree that there is a bit of an art to it (and some time investment involved for rising), we think that it’s well worth the effort of adding to your baking arsenal!

Homemade bread is out of this world. The stuff you can buy at the grocery store pales in comparison, and because you’re making it in the comfort of your own home, you can feel free to make it however you like it. Love raisins? Load them up. Hate them? Leave them out. Want to make things a bit healthier by adding some whole wheat flour? Go for it. The bread world is your oyster.

The very first bread recipe that we’re bringing to you is the stuff of our bread dreams. Tender, lightly sweetened dough swirled with raisins, chopped apples, and cinnamon for a loaf that screams to be toasted and slathered with butter.

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread, served on the Sabbath and at special events, often times with the addition of apples and honey for the Jewish new year which falls in September. It’s generally made with a dough that’s been enriched with eggs and either butter or oil, similar to a brioche dough if you’re familiar with that. This leaves it with a soft crumb and richer flavour than your average white bread.

Often times, challah is braided into a long loaf like sandwich bread. We took our inspiration from Deb at Smitten Kitchen though, and braided ours into a round instead. It looks impressive, but it’s actually very easy to create. You only need 4 lengths of dough and it only really gets braided twice. We’ve included lots of pictures, since we found that looking at the process visually was the easiest way to learn how to do this.

We took our flavours a step further as well and added raisins and cinnamon to the tradtional apples and honey since cinnamon, raisins, and apples go together like pumpkin and spice. Think cinnamon raisin bread, but better.

This bread would be absolutely brilliant toasted with butter and/or jam, it’s also great with peanut butter or almond butter slathered on it. We were thinking that French toast would be absolutely phenomenal when made using this bread, but you’ll have to check back in here on Thursday to get the recipe for that?

Go bake.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 standard packet) active instant dry yeast

1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon honey

1/3 cup neutral oil (we used canola oil)

2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

4 1/4 cups (530 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for your working surface

For the filling:

1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (we used Granny Smith)

1/2 cup (80 g) Thompson raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Squeeze of lemon juice to keep the apples from browning

Egg wash:

1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Start by whisking together the yeast, 1 teaspoon honey, and 2/3 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand until foamy, about a 4-5 mintues.
  2. To your yeast mixture, add the oil, 1/3 cup honey, eggs and yolk and give it a good stir. Add the flour and and salt all at once and stir until you get a shaggy mess of uneven dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lighly floured counter and knead it into a smooth, elastic dough, about 5-8 minutes. Try to use as little flour as necessary when kneading the dough to avoid a tough bread.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 1 hour, or until almost double in size. It’s important that you let your bread rise in a draft-free area. If you’re concerned, a safe place is always a turned-off oven.
  5. While you’re waiting, combine your chopped apples, raisins, cinnamon, and lemon juice and mix until well combined.
  6. Turn your dough onto a lighlty flour surface and gently press it down into a flat, oblong shape. The shape doesn’t matter! Spread 2/3 of the apple/raisin mixture over 1/2 of the flattened dough. Fold the other half over the filling and press the dough down around it, flattening the dough and sealing the edges. Spread the remaining 1/3 of the filling over half the folded dough. Fold the other half over the filling, pressing the dough down again. Your dough packet will probably look square-ish at this point.
  7. Fold the corners under using the sides of your hand and form the dough into a round. Place back into the bowl, cover, and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  8. Weave your bread: Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll and stretch each one as carefully as you can into a rope, about 12-inches long.
  9. Arrange two strands in each direction, perpendicular to each other, like a plus sign. Weave them so that one side is over, and the other is under, where they meet in the middle. So, now you should have 8 legs coming out from the center. Take the for legs that come from underneath the center and move them over the leg to their right, i.e. jumping it (it’s really easiest to look at the picture here!). Take those legs that were on the right and again, jum each over the leg before, this time to the left. If you had extra length to your ropes, you can repeat these jums until you run out of dough. For us, this was enough.
  10. To finish off the shaping, fold each of the ends of dough underneath and into the center using the sides of your hands so you’re left with a round loaf. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Let the challah rise for another hour but 45 minutes into this rise, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  11. Before baking, brush your loaf one more time with egg wash and then transfer to the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes. If you feel like the top of your bread is getting to brown, cover with tinfoil for the remaining bake time. Place the bread on a cooling rack to cool down completely before serving. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.