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Atypical Nanaimo Bars

19 Feb
  1. Raw Vegan Nanaimo Bars top view
    I was super proud of the raw, vegan Nanaimo Bars I’d just made but I was trying to be sneaky and not say ‘raw’ or ‘vegan’.
  2. Julie kindly pointed out what you might already know.
  3. To which I replied…
  4. @dinnerwithjulie oh really?! Shows how many times I’ve made them — never!
  5. In any case, this recipe is such a treat, super easy to make, and much better for you than the traditional variety. Now, someone come pry me away from them…
    Raw Vegan Nanaimo Bars

Forbidden Rice Pudding

16 Jan

I’ve been craving rice pudding ever since I got a sample at Silvestre Gusto Latino after last Saturday’s Social Bites dinner (my friend Todd and I were hobby-cheffing and had a blast. Will summarize in a later post).

There are a variety of rices in my house after I went a little crazy at Whole Foods’ 25% bulk day back in November. Forbidden rice is by far the most intriguing because of its super black colour. I thought I’d see what would happen if I substituted it in this rice pudding recipe. It turned out delicious. So delicious that I’m trying not to eat the entire pot of it now…

Rice pudding

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Testing a Gluten-Free Pie Shell and Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

4 Apr

I was given a Piccola Cucina gluten-free pie shell to test out and decided to make one of my favourite pies – Lemon Meringue! I particularly like to make this pie when it’s cold out, to remind me of warmer times to come. It’s also perfect for the upcoming Easter weekend if you’re having company over for dinner. Give it a try with any type of pie shell.

Lemon Meringue Pie (modified from the Joy of Cooking)

Lemon Curd
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cup Boiling Water (1/2 cup cold, 1 cup boiling)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 eggs
3 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup/~2-6 Lemons, juiced and zested

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Gingerbread Houses from Scratch!

22 Dec

I made an appearance on Breakfast Television today! It was a little nerve-wracking but super fun. Here’s a link to the CityTV video of the segment.

Chatting with Tara!

My friend Kendra came over to help me assemble and decorate one house for the show. Making this a group activity makes it much faster and more fun!

Here’s the recipe that my friend Trisha sent to me. It’s from a very old Better Homes & Gardens. I’ll continue searching for a link, but for now here’s a PDF version of the gingerbread recipe & template.

Homemade Gingerbread Houses (and/or cookies)

1 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup fancy molasses
1/2 blackstrap molasses (I just used blackstrap. Makes the gingerbread much darker)
5 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp each of baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon

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Chocolate Quinoa Cake

20 Dec

The first thing I’d like to say about this cake is make it. Make it now. Or soon, if you’re at work or some other important place that would frown upon you leaving to make a chocolate cake in the middle of the afternoon.

The second thing is: share it once you’ve made it. This cake is too good to have all to yourself. Or at least, you might feel a tad guilty after finishing it off so to avoid any guilt share it with one and all.

The third is: you will not believe that it’s gluten-free. I’m not much of a gluten-free baker, so the fact that it turned out great even for me is a very good sign!

Finally, and somewhat related: I’ve resorted to using my Instagram photos of my food. The Winter light here in Calgary is making it very difficult for me, a novice photographer, to get good light for photos! So, if anyone has any good, cheap photography tips for Winter, please let me know.

This recipe came to me through my friend Kendra who found it at Dinner With Julie. Julie excerpted the recipe from the book Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood in a post featured on The Family Kitchen. Continue reading

Cherry Cardamom Vanilla Loaf

22 Nov

My friend Kendra and I had a bread day last week. We went a little crazy and made five different types! This Cherry Loaf came from modifying a recipe Kendra had for Strawberry Loaf (which is also delicious and which some day I will also post here) using ingredients that I had in my freezer – namely, 10 pounds of cherries I brought back from B.C. this Summer.

I’ll name some modifications we would both make next time we make it. We both thought it would be good with grapefruit glaze or some other citrus. This is delicious served with a fragrant tea like Roobois or Chamomile.

Cherry Cardamom Vanilla Loaf

5 cups of sweet cherries, pitted and mashed (next time I’d pulse it a few times in the food processor)
2/3 cup grapeseed oil
2/3 cup applesauce (I used the Crabapple Sauce I canned a few months ago)
1.5 cups sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsps ground cardamom (I only had whole cardamom, so we ground it ourselves)
2 pinches of allspice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt Continue reading

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

9 Oct

Over the last week I’ve had a number of people ask if I have a great pumpkin pie recipe. I do, in fact, and though this post might be a little too late for some of you, I thought I’d post it anyway.

The Best Pumpkin Pie

Filling:
300 g pumpkin purée
150 ml sourcream
150 g sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp clove
2 eggs
1 Tbsp molasses

Crust:
625-700 g flour (approx. 5 cups) (I like to use a mix of whole wheat, spelt and all-purpose, whatever I have on hand)
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
454 g butter, lard or shortening (if using butter, add a little less water to start; shortening is NOT my favourite to work with)
1 egg
water Continue reading

Apricot Jam

4 Oct

On my cabin getaway in mid-August I came home with A LOT of fruit. This is my attempt at making Apricot Jam.

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Crabapple Sauce

21 Sep

There’s a very large crabapple tree in my backyard that produces beautiful red apples in September.Usually, the apples fall to the ground creating a mess that attracts wasp, but this year I broke out the extension ladder and picked about 25 pounds of fruit. Almost getting stuck on my garage roof aside, picking my own tree and turning into preserves that I’ll use over the next several months has been very satisfying!

I use applesauce quite a bit for baking, so I thought “why not make crabapple sauce?” I couldn’t find any recipes specifically using crabapples so I experimented a little and created my own.

Crabapples are very high in pectin which resulted in using much more water than regular applesauce recipes call for. I also wanted to make unsweetened sauce, but after tasting my first batch, I decided it’s more palatable to add a sweetener.

By the third batch I had the technique down; it turned out so well, I’m tempted to risk getting stuck on the garage again to pick more apples and make more sauce. This will definitely be something I make in future preserving seasons. Continue reading

Fruit Pies and Pie Crust – deconstructed.

9 Sep Berry Pies in the oven.

Here’s the latest Om Cooking article from Bodhi Tree’s September 2011 Newsletter.

———-

September has always meant new beginnings to me. There’s something about the fall air, the leaves turning and the back to school signs that signal the turning of another year, even more so than our calendar new year in January. The city is starting to bustle again and you begin to notice fresh haircuts, new outfits, and a renewed sense of determination to get down to business. You yourself may be getting back into your daily routine, starting a new job, or going back to school.

Changes to our familiar routine can sometimes be uncomfortable. During these times it’s good to remember the practice of non-attachment that we learn in yoga class. Take deep breaths, take everything in stride and remember that at many points in our lives, we started new; from our first breath, our first step, our first day of school, first yoga class, first job…the list could go on. Especially when we were young, our parents were there with open arms to comfort us when new experiences overwhelmed us. Now, those comforts could be a hug from a good friend, our yoga practice, exercise, or any number of other things.

To me, the ultimate comfort food is pie. If you’re a pie lover already, this recipe’s for you. If not, this might become the quintessential dessert to make when you want something familiar. Try combining apples with cranberries, rhubarb, or other berries for something a little different. Continue reading

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