Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Tonight I went to see the documentary, Qapirangajuq, it's about climate change from the Inuit perspective. The director Zacharias Kunuk and filmmaker Ian Mauro were there, and there was a question and answer period afterwards. It was really neat as there were people from very perspectives asking all sorts of questions. They even had a call via Skype from the UK.

I started taking Inuktitut classes on Saturday mornings a couple of months ago. It's a lot of fun, and my classmates are similar to me, mostly halfsies who grew up mostly in the south and have a half-decent base, but we just need to find our way over that hurdle to learn Inuktitut. It took a while, but I realized that language learning is more learning a new vocabulary. After that, I also learned that it's more than conjugating verbs. It's learning a way of life, and a big part of that is food. An optional course at a language school in France is gastronomy. I've eaten more different kinds of fish after living in Spain. If there is one thing I know about learning languages, it's that your palate expands along with your lexicon.

In this documentary, they talk about food, and about respecting the environment, where your food comes from. At the 6-minute mark, they are cooking fish. My mouth started to water. Seeing the broth after, I could smell and taste uujuq, seal broth. We all know that I'm a fan of soup, and I could really go for a nice, rich, hot bowl of uujuq right now. Later on, they eat some quaq, frozen meat. My stomach growled, I wouldn't mind some quaq sometime soon.

While I don't have any of that goodness on hand (but maybe my mum does? *hinthint*), my box of piruqsiaq arrived today:

Kale, living salad, squash, potatoes, pears, mandarins, oranges, onions, apples, carrot and mushrooms this time! If any of you have a mushroom recipe that you love, please share, I have nothing after the casserole.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My First Casserole

Remember all those shows from when you were young where the neighbour would show up with a casserole? Or a family member would rave or rant about their mothers casserole, be it broccoli or tuna. I remember asking my mum what a casserole was once upon hearing about them on TV for the thousandth time. She definitely never made a casserole. My first casserole experience was when I was about 13, and I stayed for dinner at my friend R's house. Her mum made a casserole and asked if I liked casserole. I had to admit to Momma I, I was a casserole virgin.

I continued my efforts to use everything in The Box today. I tackled the packet of mushrooms. Mushrooms are a man-vegetable in my book. I think it's because they go so well with steak. BBQ season? That's when it pays to have a barn full of chicken s*** (I am not entirely sure of how a commercial mushroom operation works, but a friend of mine worked at one once in the Okanagan, this is where I get the chicken sh*** idea from).

I couldn't think of a soup or a pie that I could stick the mushrooms into, so I checked out 101 Cookbooks, that's when I decided to make my very first casserole.

You will need:

1 8oz package of mushrooms
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
3 cups cooked brown rice, room temp.
1 1/2 cup of cottage cheese (the recipe called for part cottage cheese, part sour cream, but I don't eat the latter. no, not even on nachos.)
2 eggs
parmesan cheese
olive oil

Chop the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes with olive oil and salt, until they start to brown and some of the liquid is released. Add the chopped onion for about 5 minutes, and then the garlic for another minute. Remove from heat, and stir in the rice.

In a bowl, mix together the eggs, cottage cheese and salt. Mix in with the veggie/rice mixture. Move to casserole dish (formerly known as the shepherd's pie dish in our kitchen). Sprinkle with a layer of parmesan cheese, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

It looks exactly like a casserole, the contents somewhat unidentifiable, and no expectation of texture or flavour. I haven't tried it yet since I threw it together (that's my casserole talk, borrowed from TV) at 10pm. Maybe I should throw it in the freezer, you know, save it for a rainy day. I'll let you know what happens to this dish!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Egg salad

Egg salad in our house was always eggs, mayonnaise, onions, salt and pepper. Not much else, and it's pretty dang tasty! I was looking for recipes for something to bring to a potluck at work the other day (epic fail btw, I had remarks of disappointment that all I brought in was a salad) and came across Curried Egg Salad. I've got curry powder in my cupboard, so I decided to give it a shot:

I tried Heidi's method for perfect hard boiled eggs, put eggs (5 in this recipe) into a pot of boiling water, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for 7 minutes. Have a bowl of ice water ready, and at the 7 minute mark, put the eggs in the ice water for 3 minutes to stop the cooking process. It's a really good method actually. A hard boiled egg when done properly should not have any grey around the yolk, if there is grey, it's overcooked. There was not even a hint of grey, and the eggs were already cool for my salad!

While the eggs cooking, mix:
4 tbsps plain yogurt
2 tsps curry powder of your choice
a couple of pinches of salt

then chop:

1/4 cup pecans
1/2 an apple (I'll add more apple next time)
1 small onion
1 green onion (I had no chives)

Tastiness waiting for the eggs:

When your eggs are finished the 3 minutes of cooling, peel and put into a bowl with the rest of your ingredients, then MASH!

This salad was pretty good, next time, I will add more spice, less onion, and more apple. I ate it on the last pumpkin dinner roll, with a side helping as well, yum! My mum tried it the next day and also approved.

Susan's Swiss Chard + Beets!

Day 4 with the giant box of produce, and I'm making progress! Today I got to the swiss chard and did almost as Susan suggested. I skipped the boiling of the chard and put it straight into the frying pan with garlic and used olive oil instead of butter. Although I knew that the flavour would be amazing with the butter, I planned to prepare beets to go with it, and the dressing had olive oil.

While the chard was cooking, I washed and quartered two beets, and steamed them for 15 minutes. When done, I mixed them up with a chopped clove of garlic, a few chopped basil leaves, olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. The beets went on top of the chard, et voila:

a yummy warm salad! A close up:

The beets and chard worked really well together. A nice warm salad is perfect on the day of the first real snowfall of the year!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My organic box (haha)

I recently heard of Organics Delivered from some friends, R & S. They're the ones who were here when I was inspired to start blogging about soup! Remember that Carrot & Ginger beauty?

The idea of Organics Delivered is that they send you a box of organic goodies, both fruits and veggies each week or every other week. You can let them know what you don't want in your box, my opt out was water chestnut. Water chestnut is the only vegetable that I'm really not keen on.

Tonight my first box arrived, it's size small, about the size of one of those legal boxes you'll find at the office. It was seriously like opening up a stocking on Christmas morning, but in place of the Ovation chocolates, there was:

a bunch of carrots
green onions
swiss chard
romaine lettuce (not pictured, it was such a big head of lettuce it covered everything else)
a packet of mushrooms
5 apples
5 pears
4 oranges
2 grapefruits
2 avocados
5 bananas (thank goodness, my smoothie was at risk tomorrow morning!)
10-ish potatoes
2 beets

Not a bad haul for a small box! So far I've only had a pear to help digest the Indian buffet dinner, (both were delicious). The box was part of a sample trial, about $40 a box, seems like a decent deal so far. Look forward to creations thanks to the box!

Adios, calabaza!

It was time to say goodbye to pumpkin, at least for a few months. After loads of pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin pancakes (these never made it on here, they were consumed before the camera could start up), pumpkin beer, roasted pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin soup, I felt the need to use the last of the pumpkin in my kitchen.

It started off with some pumpkin dinner rolls:

These guys were really easy to whip up. You know those restaurants that offer a variety of little rolls with innovative flavours in a basket at your table? You'd find these rolls in that basket, yum!

First: mix the following in a bowl and let froth:
2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water

Second: mix the following in a bowl:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt

Third: add the following to bowl with the yeast and water:
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup pumpkin puree

Fourth: mix the wet ingredients into the dry. I don't have an electric mixer, so I kneaded the dough until it was smooth and elastic. If while you're doing this, the dough seems dry, add a tablespoon of soy milk at a time, I only needed one.

Fifth: Cover your dough in the bowl and let rise for about 20 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. When the dough is puffed, divide into 8 balls and flatten a bit. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Original recipe

I kept going. These pumpkin scones were so good the first time, I had to repeat. The only difference was that the first time the scones were so big that you had to cut them in half. So I made them half size this time. I divided the dough in two before making the circles and dividing into six.

At this point a needed a pumpkin break. I had some chickpeas leftover from last weeks Apricot Almond Hummus, and tons of spices from when J used to make curry. So I made my first curry, mixing the spices on my own. Since F made me a Thai curry when we were in Padova 6 years ago I've tried to satisfy my taste buds to that level on my own. Still unsuccessful. This wasn't bad though:

1 onion, chopped and browned in some olive oil
3 gloves garlic, added to the onions once browned
garam masala
a few cloves
add the spices to the pan along with the chickpeas
after a few minutes, add half a can of coconut milk, a chopped tomato, and half a chopped red pepper (those are the veggies that were in the fridge)

let it simmer a bit and enjoy! I didn't do rice as I knew I had some taste testing to do in the near future. The combination of spices was pretty good for a first timer!

The curry went down, and it was time to get back to the baking. Next up: Banumpkin Bread.

3 really ripe bananas, mashed
add to the mashed bananas:
1/2 cup sugar (I used sucanat, and thanks for helping me get my keyboard back to English T!)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon beer
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a second bowl:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (I always add a little more cinnamon, yum!)
Once the dry ingredients are mixed together, add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut flakes, then pour into a bread pan and cover with plastic wrap, putting this into the fridge for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake for an hour. Maybe 70 minutes, until your spaghetti comes out clean.

I brought some of this bread to work, it went down a few hatches pretty quickly, I like to think cos it was delicious as they said, and not because they were trying to be nice and swallow before they gagged. I then brought it to some friends, and ate the other half of the loaf on my own. You must try this! The recipe that I adjusted from is from (never home) maker. I switched a few things like maple syrup for honey as that's what I had on hand, and didn't add cloves since I don't have ground cloves. Remind me to get some.

Here's a summary of my Sunday evening:

Better wipe that drool off of your space bar!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Hummus. I don't even know where to start. I think my mum introduced me to hummus one summer. Then I became friends with A, who informed me that you could make hummus at home. This was before the days of me doing more in the kitchen than toasting a bagel, obviously. A came to visit me and brought along a tub of hummus that her amazing Lebanese momma made for me. oh em gee.

It wasn't until 3 years later that I made my first (successful) attempt at the dip. It was in Spain, where I learned that you can buy garbanzo beans in a jar, you don't have to go through the long process of soaking and boiling to achieve a tender garbanzo. This was about the time that I went beyond the microwavable section of the supermarket.

Pita bread isn't commonplace in Spain. My friend Irish A is a genius though, and offered the solution of carrot batons. Irish A makes a mean carrot baton, I still attempt the perfect width as she does, but have come to terms that my chopping requires a lot more practice before it develops the skill that she has. A lot of the hummus and carrot baton combination was consumed on the Costa del Sol.

The hummus continues to evolve. In the last year I've learned that to get the texture perfect, you have to peel the garbanzo beans. Peeling an entire jar of garbanzo beans is like getting the fruit out of a pomegranate. It takes practice and patience. But once you get it, it's a breeze. Soon you will be staying with friends all over the place, earning your room and board by filling their refrigerators with tubs of the snack. You'll be teaching them the best technique that you know on how to peel a garbanzo bean, and having endless discussions about what could make this particular hummus even better: Less salt. Roasting the garlic first. More tahini. Trust me, it's good BBQ conversation.

As you know, I am a fan of food blogs, and Peas and Thank You is one of them. Today Momma Pea listed Apricot Cinnamon Almond Hummus as a starter for Thanksgiving. I can't remember at which point I saw this, as I slept very little last night, and spent the day in meetings. But after dinner with Mum and E, I had them drop me and the Os off at the supermarket so that I could pick up the ingredients to try this enticing recipe.

Apricot Cinnamon Almond Hummus

  • 1/2 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. raw almonds
  • 4 dried apricots
  • 3 dried dates, pitted
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 T. agave
  • splash of water

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

I followed this recipe almost to a T, replacing the agave with maple syrup, and I used 6 dates instead of 3 because the dates I had were kind of small.

You've probably noticed by now that all of my food photos are taken in this small space. I kid you not, this is the extent of my counter space. I do plan on looking for ways to spice up the pictures shortly. Maybe in the New Year. Maybe when I sleep regular hours. Who am I kidding.

The Apricot Cinnamon Almond Hummus:

I don't know what I was expecting when I took a bite, but I was not expecting what I got. It is an amazing balance of flavours. It is thicker than normal hummus, and the cinnamon + almond + sweetness made me feel like I was curled up in a blanket on the couch on a cold day with a mug of hot chocolate. Make it. Snack it. Love it.

And yes, it goes well with carrot batons.

Soup, the Next Generation

A couple of weeks ago a trip was made to Toronto to visit my cousin family. We had lots of adventures, including walks on crisp fall days, trips to the dog park, and playing with helium balloons:

Little L is nearly two years old. She loves to run. She loves to babble on in her lovely two-year-old voice. She loves "PUPPY"s. She doesn't quite love mittens. But she does love...


Girl has her own little soup bowls in a variety of colours (a gourmande fashionista this early, we're going to get along just fine), she likes to add the occasional cookie (a whole wheat cracker, nice work K!), and she's no stranger to putting that spoon to the side and slurping back the last little bit.

I couldn't get enough pictures to show off Soupita L and all of her eagerness of getting that chicken noodle down the hatch:

Can't wait to see you again L! You bring the spoons, I'll bring the soup!

Purple Breakkie

Smoothies are definitely one of my top favourite foods right now. The perfect combo of the moment:

1 banana (blends all of the flavours together, consider this the base)
1.5 cup almond or soy milk (liquid! I'm off of regular milk at the moment)
1 cup frozen fruit (fruity flavour! makes the smoothie the perfect temperature without adding just plain ol' ice)
1 tablespoon peanut butter (texture, extra energy to get you through the morning)
a couple of handfuls of spinach (Popeye, need I say more?)
a spoonful of chia seeds (omega omega)

The frozen food aisle offers loads of options for frozen fruit. While I love strawberries, they often don't have much flavour when you buy them frozen. I'm a fan of blueberry, mixed berry or tropical fruit. In summer, when local fruit is cheap(er) and a-plenty, I would stuff those little ziploc baggies to the brim with fat, juicy blueberries and freeze them. Nothing beats a Canadian berry.

In late summer in Nunavut, you can find your momma and your aunties and every other woman you know out picking berries. Not just any berry, but paunga. Similar to a wild blueberry in shape and size, it's darker. It's got a tougher skin and goes *pop* in your mouth when you bite them:

This picture makes my mouth water.

You can expect purple fingers for a couple of days after eating these. Purple other stuff the next day as well. Because once you start, you can't stop. Luckily, Inuit are similar to Mediterraneans in one aspect: they don't want you to miss out on food. They will send these berries down to Hottawa with family members who are coming. Enough that it's impossible to eat all of them in one sitting. Trust me, I've tried. They freeze well though, and you can make a King Smoothie, the Paunga Smoothie:

I'm going to head to bed, so I can dream about berries (those with experience of berry picking know what I'm talking about) and wake up to make one of these babies. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Last week I had my wisdom teeth out. Most of you who read this blog already know this. I had prepared my fridge with individual packages of rice pudding and apple sauce. I made jello and vanilla pudding, thinking that if I get sick of these, I won't miss them afterwards. I ate more sugar in 4 days than I had in months. Definitely sick of 'porquerias'.

Since I've been back on my feet, in other words, off the painkillers, I've been running around with little spare time; I'm still recovering, so I fall into bed at the end of the day exhausted. I bought canned soup the other day. I tried to make it better by buying Amy's brand. It's the first time I tried this brand and they're pretty darn good! However, I miss creating deliciousness.

My solution: trying out one of these soup mixes of mixed beans! I've never been a bean user, I think it's one of those things that you prepare if you grow up with it. I started making lentils a couple of years ago, that's the Spanish influence, but I haven't ventured very much beyond that.

The instructions said to soak this mix overnight, then rinse, boil vigorously for 10 minutes, then simmer for an hour or two. First thing I learned in the morning when rinsing these babies: beans stink. No wonder there's that little tune.

When I added them to the soup base to boil, I also added 5 cloves of garlic, whole, 2 carrots, peeled and chopped, and 3 chopped chives. The result:

I have to say it was pretty darn good! It was nice as it was filling, yet easy on the jaw. While I've been adventurous in trying to chew, I realized that I have to take it easy. Beans are easy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Garbanzo bean salad

I've been talking about trying to make a bean salad for ages now. I've never tried making one. Then I saw a recipe for one on (never home) maker.

Try as I could, I could not get my hands on all of the ingredients. Who knew that you can't get fresh basil in Ottawa in late October? Unfortunately, I think that the basil would've packed a lot of punch into this bowl of deliciousness.

It's Monday, spinning night, where we did hill climbs. I was sweating from my shoulders and arrived home with giant eyes that were like magnets to the kitchen. This is how my salad started:

- 1 can of chick peas
- 2 chopped carrots (carrots are one thing that I buy organic as they flavour is so amazing)
- shredded coconut
- ground pepper

onto which I added the following sauce:

1T tahini
1T almond milk
1T maple syrup

I tasted, and it need something else, so I added some raisins. This is what it looked like:

At second taste, it needed something else. My trusty avocadoes were conveniently sitting on my table, perfectly ripened. Half of one went into my bowl, and I added some pita bread to go along with it. This is what I consumed, post hill-climbs, pre-5k walk with Oslo:

It was tasty, but definitely needs work. My mission is to find fresh basil. I think that I would add something else to the sauce as well, it just kind of hung out there as if to say: I'm a sauce, that's where my description ends. The left overs will be tomorrow lunch, possibly with some additions made.


A couple of weeks ago some friends and I were talking about tomato soup. Remember when you were little and on snow days you would come in for lunch from sledding, and have delicious Campbell's tomato soup? I would break half of a sleeve of Premium Plus crackers into my bowl and crunch away. We were talking about how it's impossible to make a homemade version of that goodness.

On Sunday, I met up with a study buddy to practice our Inuktitut. We went to Planet Coffee in the market, where there were two things on the lunch menu: 7-grain salad, and tomato and roasted garlic soup. I had the soup. Oh. Em. Gee. Amazing! It was a light coloured soup, it clearly had other veggies in it, as it wasn't a totally pureed soup. I thought to myself, I have to try and make this at home.

So I prepared the following:

- 5 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
- a bunch of fresh sage, leaves torn off of their sprigs
- a couple of carrots, I used the leftovers from the massive amount that came in the veggie tray that I had for dinner (sometimes I get an irresitable craving for a veggie tray, the smaller size, I can eat the whole thing, except for the carrots, there are always so many carrots!)
- 5 or six cloves of garlic
- 1 onion

I roasted the three last items listed in the oven at 350 for about half an hour with some olive oil drizzled on them:

After 30 minutes, I put them in the soup pot, with the rest of the veggies, minus the tomatoes. I added 5 sundried tomatoes to get an extra-tomato-y flavour, a litre of water and a bouillion cube. All of that stewed for about half an hour, until everything was soft. I then used the hand blender and zapped the developing deliciousness into a puree. THEN in went the chopped tomatoes and 2 cups of almond milk.

Almond milk you say? No, it doesn't taste at all like cow's milk, nor does it have the same texture. I've never compared the nutritional information, so other than the two of them being good sources of calcium, I don't know how they compare nutritionally. I don't mind milk, but I don't mind milk alternatives either. If you're a tried and true cow's milk fan, please use it in this soup, otherwise you'll be disappointed with the distinct almond milk flavour and likely throw out the whole pot.

Let the soup stew a little more, then zap it a second time, not zapping the tomatoes entirely. Add salt and pepper, and serve. My version of delicious tomato soup came out like this:

It was delicious. So delicious that I had a small bowl before going to bed. Then I sat down at the table in the kitchen at work and ate it today, instead of letting it splatter while I absent-mindedly consumed it over a forecast. It was slightly spicy thanks to the pepper, and had a rich flavour thanks to the variety of vegetables. Definitely post-sledding worthy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Savoury Schnacks!

Meet Clyde:

You can see his friend, Wicked Witch of the [insert your preference here] being carved in the background.

B and M came over this evening to partake in a practice run for a pumpkin carving competition that is happening at the Big House this Saturday. Text messages indicated that treats were going to be involved, which is how the pumpkin beer came in. This beer is pretty delicious, as I'm sure you were wondering. It's got a rich flavour to it, a bit sweet but still a beer, not cider-like, and it's nice and light. You can definitely have a few, it's not one of these "nice to have a glass of" brews. It's by Great Lakes Brewery and only available at this time of year.

Ok, enough about the beer, let's get back to the pumpkin. I picked up a "pie" pumpkin quickly somewhere between work, walking Oslo and spinning. B and M showed up with proper carving pumpkins. With pumpkin carving tools and patterns present at the table, and away we went. First gutting the pumpkins, then carving, for those of you who have never done this before.

Three pumpkins = a lot of pumpkin seeds. M is a serious team player and quickly finished her carving to start separating the seeds for roasting, she's amazing! Suddenly we had a colander full of seeds.

The only time I've roasted pumpkin seeds it's been straight up salt on a pan in the oven. This time, I decided to make them savoury instead of just salty. The colander of pumpkin seeds went into the pan with a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, rosemary, salt and olive oil. 30 minutes later, flipping every ten minutes, my apartment smelled amazing, and we had a giant batch of savoury snacks to compliment the seasonal decor:

This is about half the batch, the other half was eaten/sent home with M and B.

A close up of the schnacks:

It was the first time for all of us using a pumpkin carving kit. The saws are pretty dull, you don't have to worry about cutting yourself, but it does take quite a bit of effort. I think I might be investing in the pumpkin saw for Saturday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin

Just when I thought that I couldn't do anything more with pumpkin, Peas and Thank You showed me this:

Pumpkin scones! A couple of weeks ago B called me into the catering kitchen at the office. She introduced me to a tray of delicious Starbucks treats, before she could finish her sentence, my paws were all over the half a pumpkin scone like it was going to run away. That's how I feel about pumpkin scones. Unfortunately the calorie count is equivalent to a Big Mac. Fortunately, someone before me knew this and took just half of the pumpkin scone available.

So I made 6 pumpkin scones. My friend M came over and we shared one, she loved it. It was absolutely the perfect way to spend a chilly Friday night. Thanks for the visit M, and thanks for the easy peasy recipe S!

Apartment pie

I hesitate to use the term shepherd's pie for this, since there is no meat. I've been thinking about shepherd's pie for a week or so since a co-worker mentioned it. Not being too keen on beef at the moment, I decided that mung beans would be a good alternative. That's right, mung beans. It was the first time they were used in my kitchen, and I took a guess that they would cook like lentils.

The mung beans went into a pot of water and salt to boil until soft, but not too soft as I decided to leave them whole in the apartment pie.

While the beans were cooking, potatoes were peeled and also boiled. For flavour, I finely chopped an onion and some garlic and browned them in a pan with olive oil, then added the beans once they were quite soft, and some oregano, salt and pepper.

Then, like a shepherd's or cottage pie, the three layers went into a dish, mung beans, corn, and mashed potatoes (mashed with almond milk and butter).

After 25 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees, this was the result:

I admit, I was nervous. That it would be dry. Or flavourless. It was delicious! Lighter than other pies, but equally as nice on the taste buds.


Breakfast in my kitchen normally includes a smoothie. They always have a banana, some sort of liquid, and something frozen in common, but that's where the similarities end. Berries, avocadoes, chia seeds, peanut butter, avocado, mangoes and spinach are common participants. But this week I found the perfect combination:

1 banana
1 avocado
1 generous spoonful of peanut butter
a handful of frozen strawberries
approx. 1 cup almond milk


Amazing. Rarely will I make the same smoothie more than a couple of days in a row. This was repeated 5 times. I'd like to thank the bag of 5 avocadoes that ripened slowly and perfectly, stretching over 5 days of delicious breakfasts!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's back

The soup that is. The pot has come out of retirement as the temperatures have dropped and the stores and streets filled with pumpkins.

A butternut squash was the the star of this premiere soup. It was cut in half and roasted with 4 cloves of garlic for half an hour, enough to soften it up.

A smallish onion was chopped and fried in the pot with some olive oil until soft. Then went in a roughly chopped sweet potato, followed the butternut squash cut into squares with the skin removed, and a red pepper. After a few minutes of all of that cooking together, a litre of chicken stock and a chopped up pear were added, and it all simmered for about half an hour.

*Zap!* it all with the immersion blender, and here's what you get:

A smooth and savoury soup with a hint of sweetness, a perfect way to start off the season!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Eat your heart out, Pumpkin Spice Latte

Once upon a time I would get excited when September came and my favourite coffee shop brought back the Pumpkin Spice Latte. These days, a coffee with any other ingredient besides the nectar of the gods isn't really my cup of tea. But the idea of a pumpkin beverage sounds delicious!

Last night, as I'm reading the edible perspective, I learn that I'm not the only one. Pumpkin smoothies! What a great idea! I fell asleep with thoughts of orange gooey goodness.

What went in the blender this morning:

1 frozen banana
1 cup pure pumpkin (canned, I wasn't excited enough to stay up and cook a pumpkin last night)
3/4 cup almond milk
spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
a spoonful of sucanat

Thick! Spicy! Perfect for fall! Yum! Pumpkin smoothies are definitely going to be a part of my daily routine this season!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

El resultado de las vacaciones

Ayer llegue a casa despues de dos semanas de vacaciones en España, comiendo mucha comida española: las tapas de Granada, paella, tostada con tomate, filete ruso, o, y MacDo, porque la MacDo alli es mejor que aqui. Este viaje, encima de un agosto con amigos, ha resultado en un michelin.

El objetivo de las siguientes semanas: perder el michelin! El problema es que las temperaturas estan bajando, y la reaccion natural para el cuerpo es tener ganas de comida calentita, mas pesada. Que puede hacer una niña?!

He ido al super, evitando las galletas, la comida preparada, el pan buenissimo. He comprado fruta de la temporada como manzanas y peras, y verduras. Tambien tortillas, un tipo de pan fino, que se usa para los wraps, y un poco de queso parmesano.

Inspirado por, si lo puedes creer, un bocadillo caliente que he tomado en el avion, he creado un relleno para las tortillas, que es la siguiente:

2 batatas pequeñas
1 pimiento rojo
3 tomates pelados
1 cebolla pequeña
2 dientes de ajo

Cortar todo en cuadraditos, y cocinar en un sarten con aceite de oliva, albahaca (he usado seca), y pimienta, hasta que las verduras estan blanditas. Baja la temperatura, y añadir queso parmesano a tu gusto. Servir en una tortilla:

Estaba tan bueno que he repitido, sin la tortilla. Los sabores mezclaron perfectamente. Ligerito, con mucho sabor, sin dejar ganas para algo mas.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Esta claro que Oslo se echa de menos su Nan. Lleva 24 horas en casa, y tiene una cara de pena! Hay mucho mas ardillas en la zona donde vive su Nan, y ella me conto que Oslo esta bastante obsesionado con ellos. Esta mañana durante nuestro paseo, estaba mirando los cables en la calle donde corrian. Y, por suerte, habia una que le gustaba la camara. Aqui esta Oslo, mirando intentamente una ardilla negra:

Ojala que el cafe me desperte asi!

aguacate congelado

He congelado aguacates hace unos dias. Estaba pensando en que puedo utilizarlo, a parte de guacamole. Primer pensamiento: gazpacho!

Normalmente echo aguacate a gazpacho, añade una buena textura. Aqui puedes ver todos los ingredientes que he usado esta vez:

Salio muy rico, pero soy muy fan de pimiento rojo en el gazpacho tambien. La proxima vez, pimiento rojo! Me encantan las posibilidades de gazpacho. Producto final:

Sunday, March 28, 2010


We're on week 4 of no processed sugar. I admit to falling off the wagon each and every weekend, but I'm ok with that, because it's been a pretty big change over all, and I feel like it's sustainable, but more about that later.

I'm a breakfast lover. So is J, I'm pretty sure it's one of the things that keep us together. Whenever we prepare for a trip, we think about the breakfast that we're going to eat. If we're staying in a hotel, breakfast included is a must have. Hotel Tivoli in Lagos, Portugal is our all time favourite hotel breakfast if you were wondering.

If you've ever read the side of a cereal box, you know that sugar is always an ingredient. That includes Shreddies and Cheerios btw. My breakfast over the last four weeks has been of the pita with peanut butter, banana and honey, or hot cereal variety. What's missing from these delicious things? Crunch.

So, I decided to take a shot at making my very own crunchy cereal with no processed sugars. I started with quinoa. Remember to rinse your quinoa before you cook it, friends! 1 cup rinsed quinoa, 2 cups water, some unsweetened shredded coconut and cinnamon, all in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover to simmer until all of the water is absorbed. Once this was done and cooled a bit, I put it into a bowl with more coconut, a bit of sucanat, dried cranberries and chia seeds. This mixture went onto a cookie sheet and into the oven at 350, for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

What I didn't like about this: It was hard to get consistency. I had individual burnt pieces of quinoa, and then big chunks that were still pretty soft. I'm thinking I might try and cook the quinoa in apple juice or add some apple sauce to up the overall sweetness. I put it on my oatmeal the next morning anyway, with some strawberries. I give this attempt a big ol' meh.


I decided that I wanted to make cookies, with all natural sugars of course. My friend over at Alilstrange has got my hooked, absolutely hooked on I love this girl and all of her food and activity adventures. I decided to try the recipe that she posted for molasses cookies.

Off to the neighbourhood hippy supermarket I went to get some organic sucanat. This supermarket is a whole new world for me, and I'm loving it. Sucanat is the contraction of Sugar Cane Natural, or non-refined cane sugar. The juice is squeezed out of the cane, then dried. The result are sweet little grains that kind of look like sand. It's not a processed sugar, so it fits nicely into Jent.

I got home, and was planning on making half a batch of the recipe, only to realize that I only had a quarter of the flour called for. Oops. A quarter batch(ish) it is:

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sucanat
2 tbsps molasses
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
1 clove
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Cream the butter and sucanat together until soft and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and molasses until just combined. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together before adding them 1/3 at a time into the wet. Roll into little balls and place on a cookie sheet with a couple of inches space between, and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

These cookies were so yummy. With no processed sugar. I'm totally going to make a full batch next, you can find that recipe here. J, and our neighbour españolo A enjoyed these, and agree on the 5 oslos given.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I didn't make this, but I have to post it because I'm so excited. This is the sample wedding cake that we tried today, by Mary Mary Culinary. We found out a couple of months ago that this fellow kettlebell-er bakes. We just happened to be in the market for a cake baker for our wedding!

Our dream wedding cake, which was discussed way before a date was ever set, is carrot cake. J had never had carrot cake before he met his future wife, and I'm pretty sure that when I made carrot cake for the first time, it sealed the deal for him. After the first cake, he asked me to make one so that his family could try. Carrot cake became a legend among his entire extended family, and shredding carrots became a hobby for me. Birthday? Christmas? Carrot cake.

Today turned out to be the perfect wedding cake tasting day for us. Cousin B came around and we got to eat cake and drink coffee. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? Hopefully it's given her lots of brain power to give her an extra kick through her paper writing season.

The cake had two layers, with a thick cream cheese icing in the middle. The outside is meringue, blow-torched to give it that toasted look. I think we're going to have to switch out the toasted look idea and just do a swirly cream cheese icing, as the survival of the meringue in August is questionable. But it was amazing, I asked her to confirm the cake for our wedding day before I finished my slice. mMm!

Soup makes a comeback in our house

Aaaand...we're back! After the last entry, I was inspired to incorporate more meat into our meals. I came across this recipe for a soup with chorizo. Chorizo is a Spanish sausage, it's dark red, comes in mild or spicy, and can be found in the deli section of your supermarket. In Spain, I didn't learn about chorizo as mild or spicy, more like good, and bad. Both ends of that scale are extensive in Spain. Here in Canada though, it's pretty standard, and I'm a fan of the spicy variety.

Chorizo is one of Spain's favourite foods, typically you'll find it as a tapa, in paella, and on the bbq. Surely, there are many other unique ways that "pueblos" pride themselves on preparing chorizo. Kind of like today's recipe: chorizo soup.

What went in the pot:
olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups of veggie stock
2 tbsps cornstarch
1 red pepper, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
150g of chorizo, sliced
1/2 can of red kidney beans
1/2 cup 18% cream

First, the onions and garlic went into the pot with some olive oil on medium heat. While this stuff was creating a beautiful aroma in my kitchen, I mixed the cornstarch with half a cup of the veggie stock. Stir all of this together for about 2 minutes, then add the rest of the stock. Add the red pepper and potato, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and let simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

At the 25 minute mark, add the zucchini, red kidney beans and chorizo, and let cook for 10 more minutes. When you take the cover off at the end of the 10 minutes, you'll likely be hit by an aroma that makes you want to dive right into the pot, my eyes were like saucers. Finally, add the 1/2 cup of cream, and you'll get a really nice colour.

I was a fan of this soup immediately. The spiciness of the chorizo was really nice with the cream, and you could really taste the red pepper. I'm so excited for lunch tomorrow. Leftovers of course!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Today, I heart beef.

It's lunch time. In my office, I'm known to eat my lunch way before anyone else. Which means I have the beef in beer that I made last night digesting in my belly! De-li-cious it was! The meat was tender and falling apart, the flavours complemented one another perfectly, and I wished that I was at home instead of eating out of a microwavable container so that I could go back for seconds.

There was one part of the recipe that I left out yesterday: dumplings. I love dumplings, but when it came to making them, I was a dumpling virgin. At first I thought about leaving them out, then my adventurous side pushed me forward. As I looked at the recipe for the dumplings, I realized I was ignorant to yet another ingredient: suet. Trusty old Google let me know that it's raw beef or mutton fat. Um, can I substitute that with vegetable oil? Here is the version I came up with, if you're a dumpling connoisseur, please don't try this at home, you'll likely search me down and give me a smack for this attempt:

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp chopped parsley
4tbsp water

Mix that up and roll it into little balls. When your meat has been in the oven for an hour and a half, drop the dumplings in, recover and let cook for another half hour.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A return by error

It's been about 4 months since I've blogged about soup. You want to know what happened? We overdosed on soup. Most people who know me in person know that I often take things on with gusto, "souping" was one of those things. The closest thing to soup that I've prepared over the last few months has been chili.

So why the sudden unexpected return? Beef in Beer with Herb Dumplings, the dish that's in my oven at the moment.

My mum, the ever supporter of my dreams, who often has the keen eye of how my direction will change, got us some cookbooks for Christmas. We've been making some of the recipes ever since (minus the soups), this beef dish being on the list for the week. I'm not a big fan of meat. It doesn't gross me out, I wish I ate it more, I feel awesome after I eat it. It's just not my favourite food. But, in an effort to keep the iron levels up around this house, I try.

This recipe called for braised beef. I didn't, and don't know what this is. So I bought a nice looking piece of meat that I knew I wouldn't be doing it any shame by cutting it up into cubes. This is how the unexpected return began. I didn't look at how much beef it called for, and started cutting up the carrots that the recipe called for, 8. When I realized that my ratio of carrots to beef was going to be ridiculous, I consulted the called for amount and actual amount on hand of beef. Oops. What on earth was I going to do with all of these chopped carrots?! Immediate thoughts:

1. Feed them to the dog, he's enjoying the few pieces he's snacking on now.
2. Make a very carroty Beef in Beer dish.
3. Make a soup.

We'll get to the chosen option later.

So here is how I went about preparing tomorrow's lunch:

In pan, with a couple of tablespoons of corn oil (American cookbook anyone?) soften 1 large onion, with a decent amount of carrots. While this is going, add your cubed beef (about a pound) to a bag that has 4 tbsps of flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Spin this bag closed and *shake*. Remove the carrots and onions from the pan, and put the beef in, turning until all is browned. Re-add the carrots and onions to the pan, along with:

-a can of Guinness
-the rest of the flour mixture that you shook the beef in
-a bay leaf
-1 tbsp thyme
-2 tsp brown sugar

Bring that to a boil. If you're like me, you don't have a casserole dish that you can transfer from stove top to oven, so I put all of this into a pyrex dish and covered with aluminum foil before putting it into the oven pre-heated to 325f.

I haven't tried this yet, but will update later with how it turned out. Based on smell, it's amazing.