Category Archives: Desserts

no-bake MINI chocolate tarts!

21Nov14-059©chicksphotoI took this picture the other night and I immediately wanted to make creamsicles.

right?! you get it.

The day was HOT. And the weekend was HOTTER – Meaning that baking was never going to be a happening thing in my kitchen. Creamsicles seemed like a good compromise. Sweet and delicious – minus the heat. But then I couldn’t find popsicle molds and basically my whole world came shattering down as I stumbled around the Woolworths on Saturday night looking for some popsicle mold-like container. I’m a wild and crazy kinda lady on Saturday nights. I had these really solid intentions of cashew cream/coconut milk/orange zest amaz-sicles – but alas Woolworths really dropped the ball.

So. Now that you REALLY want a creamsicle… I bring you… no-bake chocolate tarts! YAYYYYY!

No-bakeTarts-23Nov14-007©chicksphotoThey are super cold. They are super delicious. And they are super easy. I have made this before in a ‘one big pie’ sort of way… but when I looked back on that recipe it had about 10 ingredients for the base alone which, again, just wasn’t a happening thing. So, in my lazyness, I eyeballed a bunch of ingredients into a food processor and hoped for the best. Here’s to me accurately remembering the recipe for you now! Woop!

No-bakeTarts-23Nov14-028©chicksphotoNo-Bake Chocolate Mini-Tarts
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and DEELIGHTFUL.

Ingredients

Crust
1 c. pecans
1/2 c. medjool dates
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. coconut oil

Filling
1 c. avocado flesh
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. oat milk
1/2 tbsp. peanut butter (totally optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. melted chocolate

For the crust, I crushed up the pecans first in the food processor and then added the other ingredients and mixed until it was well combined and forming a sticky ball. If you can press it together and it holds – its ready. You can used more or less dates – this crust is about consistency. Whatever works as long as it is sticking together well. I divided up the crust into 12 silicone cupcake liners and pressed it into the bottom. I put this in the freezer to chill as I made the filling.

Making the filling is just a matter of putting all the ingredients into the processor and mixing until it is as smooth as possible. I divided this mixture evenly onto each of the crusts and then allowed it to set inthe freezer for about 4 hours.

They should pop out of the liners very easily because of the coconut oil. They are and highly addictive. You can sprinkle some salt on top if you like because… delicious. 🙂

No-bakeTarts-23Nov14-010©chicksphoto

No-bakeTarts-23Nov14-039©chicksphotoYou can see here that I obviously ate about three of these before I finished photographing them. yum.

xxx

 

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Filed under Desserts, Pies

Breakfast and Dessert – basically the same thing

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You know what’s weird?

That oatmeal and rice pudding have essentially the same ingredients and preparation/cooking instructions but one is a very distinctly a breakfast and one is very much a dessert. What is it with oats and rice? Why is rice a dessert and oats are a breakfast? Well I say to hell with that.

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Rice pudding for breakfast anyone? If we put fruit on it… its basically a balanced meal. duh.

I’m down with this train of thought.

Next thing: Why has the world been keeping home-made compote from me for the past 20-odd years. Who’s wise idea was that?

I didn’t think it was that easy to make I guess. And man, it is better than jam and contains less sugar… so why would you ever make jam?! WHY!? Why would you try (and probably fail) to can/jar things in boiling water  when you could really, honestly, just eat compote from the saucepan…? Riddle me that!

So – I made rice pudding. And then I made compote. And then I layered them like a fancy person and put lemon on top like an even FANCIER person and then my tastebuds exploded.

If I can have fancy tastebud explosions… so can you!

Lets get into it!

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Rice Pudding

1/2c. Arborio rice

1 c. coconut milk

1 c. oat milk

1/4 c. raw sugar

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 vanilla bean (scraped)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Blueberry Compote

1 c. bluberries

1/8 c. sugar

1 tbsp. lemon

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. arrowroot powder

For the rice puddin’

Pour the coconut milk, oat milk, rice, sugar, and zest into a saucepan and bring to a boil over med/high heat. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the temperature and allow it to simmer while covered for about 30 minutes. I usually eyeball this because it always depends. I taste it and take it off the heat when the rice is cooked and there is only a bit of liquid left. It will firm up quite a bit as it cools. Now, mix in the cinnamon and vanilla bean scrapings.

Serve hot or cold with blueberry compote.

For the Blueberry compote

Toss everything in a small saucepan and simmer on a medium heat until sugar has dissolved and you crush up some of those berries. It doesn’t take long… 3-5 minutes.

Eat direct from saucepan. Or layer with rice pudding like a fancy person.

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xxx

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Puddings

Canadia does desserts

Well well well… here we are again.

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It’s CANADA DAY!
I’ve talked at length about what it’s like to be a Canadian in another country and here I am again – feeling just the same way.

I spent the weekend deciding what to bake for Canada Day. What quintessentially Canadian treat could I make to commemorate the day?

Canadian Bacon Sandwiches with mustard? (mmm. no.)

Poutine? (ahhh… no thanks.)

Elk Burgers? (… is all Canadian food the opposite of vegan?)

Shot glasses full of maple syrup?

PERFECT. I mean… ok… maybe not. But that would be AWESOME and I secretly eat spoonfuls of maple syrup all. the. time.

What else is Canadian?

Really? I dunno. This is a question I struggle with a lot. People often ask me what Canadian cuisine is. I don’t know.

Canadian bacon and maple syrup. Get down with it.

But here is the thing I realized… in Canada we have a plethora of desserts. Desserts that I always just ate and enjoyed and assumed that the rest of the world was eating and enjoying them with me. I was so wrong!

There are three desserts that I have discovered recently that many people from other countries have never had the pleasure of tasting or sometimes even heard of!

UNREAL.

Here they are in list form:

1. Smores. I know. I KNOW, guys.I don’t think this is necessarily Canadian only… but it’s definitely a North American thing. My boyfriend and his friends knew nothing of these “smoresss” I spoke of when we first met (in Canada) and furthermore you cannot even buy Graham crackers here in Australia. WHAT EVEN IS THAT?!

2. Beaver Tails. Pastry with cinnamon sugar. Um… does it get any more delicious? They resemble Beaver tails… BOOM – Canadian.

3. Nanaimo Bars. OK it kind of makes sense since Nanaimo is a place in British Columbia, but hell, i didn’t know that until I was like… 18 at least. Woops.

4. BUTTER TARTS! How and why is this only a Canadian thing? I grew up with these tasty tarts. Interesting. Well today I introduce them to Australia… in picture form only. Cause the actual recipe was very touch and go… into my mouth.

But also they didn’t hold up thattt well. So I’m not gunna tell you it was top notch. I think the problem was the crust which should have been thicker. All the ooey-gooey ness inside the tarts just broke loose and ooozed er’rewhere. Still delicious.

Anyway, had to share since it’s CANADIA DAY!

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🙂
Have a good one!

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Desserts

and now for MINE.

When my brother and I weren’t playing the flap jack game… or pushing each other down the stairs in cardboard boxes… we were often found sitting around the big wooden kitchen table trying to conceal our cookies.

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It was a thing. A game of deception, if you will. After a meal my mom and dad would give us each two cookies for dessert. We would both proceed to eat our first cookie cautiously, while eyeing the other sibling and their cookie eating ways. At some point, someone would likely become distracted (usually me) and the other (usually my brother) would take this opportunity to hide his second cookie, then continue eating as if nothing happened. Usually hiding the cookie meant sitting on it. or stuffing it down your shirt. Either would suffice.

I usually became so tied up in enjoying my cookies that I would accidentally eat not only one but BOTH cookies (!!!) forgetting the game of deception altogether until it was too late. Or worse still, I would get to my second cookie and notice my brother was cookie-less. I would then gleefully rub it in his face that I was still enjoying my dessert like a KING. (Rookie mistake)

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This is where things took a turn for the worse. When my brother was satisfied that I had finished both my cookies, he would WHIP out his remaining cookie and sing-song those HORRIBLE words that would ring in my ears for hours after…

‘annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd NOW for MINE!…’

At this point he would proceed to savour said cookie to the best of his ability. Making delicious and over-exaggerated noises of enjoyment as he munched away.

That cookie hiding bastard.

I knew this game all toooo well, but for some reason, I seldom remember winning.

It really makes no sense since we both got the same amount of cookies, but my six year old brain seemed to think that if he was still eating cookies, than I should be too. Good GOD I hated that game.

This recipe is cookie revenge. Because I baked them. And therefore I will eat them all. AND NOW FOR MINE.

what.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from here

1  1/2 c. walnuts
2 c. regular oats
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. Rapadura Sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp oat milk
3.5 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast the walnuts in the oven for about 10 minutes. After they have cooled, quickly process the walnuts until they make a fine meal.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar and only 1 cup of the oats. Now add the ingredients to the food processor and process until just mixed.

In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (soften the coconut oil if you need to first) and pour this mixture into the food processor. Process until the entire mixture is thoroughly combined.

In the medium size bowl, mix this entire mixtures with the remaining 1 cup of oats. Fold in the raisins.

For the cookies, take about 2 tbsp of dough, make a ball, and then flatten onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 350F. Watch them because they will go dark very quick! Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before placing onto a cooling rack.

So yummy! Maybe next time I’ll try them with chocolate.

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xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cookies, Desserts

25

Boy o boy, the weeks are going fast now… don’t you think? I’ve had the internet back for a while now, so my usual excuses as to why there have been no posts are not going to fly here.

Noted.

It’s almost December! OH MY GOD. It’s seems like just last month I was posting picture of my parents arriving in Sydney. You guys… scary.

Let’s just move on then, shall we? Let’s not talk about Christmas or New Years just yet. I’m not ready for 2013. Actually as far as I’m concerned, it’s still twenty eleven. And besides which, I never gave a birthday update! And now, a month later… I have finally settled into being 25. I have become acquainted with the new editor of my pictures… (hello lover.) And I am finally ready to share some highlights, of which there were many.

We had already gone camping, so my actual birthday was more about cocktails and dinner. As it happened, a friend on mine had some gold class tickets to see Argo, so we started the evening in style. Free drinks, canapes, plush seats (that reclined) and more food served to us mid-movie. Amazeballs. To say the least. If you’ve never gone gold class… you’ve never lived. That may be an over exaggeration, but go with it. Trust me. It’s worth the extra bajillion dollars. (Probably another exaggeration.)

Oh and the movie was good too.

After that, I had a hankering for antipasti so we headed to the Jamie’s Italian restaurant that I had just found out about the day prior. I had googled ‘Sydney restaurants with good anti-pasti’ and guess what I found? I was nervous about having to wait for a table. We were told it would be 30-40 minute wait, but since it was already 9pm our table was ready just minutes after we ordered a cocktail and sat down at the bar. Boom.

The food was delightful! We each had an antipasto platter (veggo for her, meat for him) and one separate dish.

I think Sean had the Italian nachos, which are basically a fried pasta-like nachos thing and I had the roasted red pepper on a chickpea flat bread. So. Good.

The service there was really fast! We were in and out in forty minutes… I almost stole a menu for fun and good times but my better half guilted me out of it. I’m pretty sure Jamie Oliver gets a lot of thieves. And I think he’s ok with it… just for the record.

Anyway, that was my birthday. It is really sad to me that Halloween isn’t a big deal in Australia. In years to come, should I find myself still living in Australia, I need to make a much better effort… or maybe I should just make a pact to be home every year on my birthday. Yeah. that sounds good.

I did carve a pumpkin though… it’s green cause the Grocery stores actually sold out of normal pumpkins. And not cause they are SO popular… but because they only stock 20 per store. That would NEVER happen in Canada. I was appalled and frazzled when on October 30th I could not find a single pumpkin ANYWHERE! Sean saved the day with this green one.

Also pictured, My carrot cake birthday cupcakes! A must-do! I altered the original recipe even further from my last attempt. I really was aiming to cut down the 1.5 cups of oil that the original recipe called for. haha. Anyway, these were great! And I experimented with the icing since last year I found the cream cheese icing was really thin. I’m not a fan of using an entire bag of icing sugar to thicken it up. And I didn’t have to! This version was great. Nice and firm, but delicious! It was sweet enough to even out the not-as-sweet carrot cake. Yum.

After all the festivities and sugar I passed out on the bed with my face planted into a book while letting my nails dry. I had  some serious book shaped sleep creases on my cheek when I woke up.

Good sleep creases mean good birthdays. Obviously.

Aside from my boyfriend going OTT on a present for me… (as per usual. I’m onto you boy…) and all the other bountiful things I received in care-packages from lovely people overseas, one of my very favourite gifts came from a wee Canadian lady who shares my love for Vegetable Shortening Pie Crust. In case you didn’t know, Veggie shortening is next to impossssssssible to find in Australia… but this jazzy lady found a can of Crisco and presented it to me in a bag with many other kitchen goodies. I squealed an unnecessary amount. but actually, it was totally necessary. So the next recipe to grace our presence? An Apple pie of course. Just in case you’re wondering. It was THE BOMB. diggity.

For now: The Carrot Cake cupcakes. I cannot give you the original recipe as that is a family jewel. But here is my adaptation.

Carrot (cup)Cake(s)

2 1/4 c. flour

2 tsp. cinnamin

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 c. carrot (grated)

1 c. coconut

1 can pineapple (crushed)

1 c. walnuts

1 c. rice syrup

1 c. coconut oil

1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax w/3tbsp. water)

3 tsp. vanilla

Mix together the flax egg and let it sit for five minutes to firm up.

Then mix all the wet ingredients in one bowl (flax egg, oil, rice syrup, vanilla).

Separately, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients. Then add the remaining ingredients one by one and stir. Just stir until well combined. the batter will be very thick.

You can make two 9 inch cakes or a bunch of cupcakes. I halved the recipe, cause it seriously makes SO MUCH. I had about 8 or 9 cupcakes from half.

Bake in a prepared pan (buttered/floured or with cupcake liners) at 350*F for 40-50 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.

I will have to re-do my cream cheese icing because i didn’t write it down. IDIOT. sorry! But use any cream cheese icing and try subbing in soy cream cheese if you’re vegan like me. It’s tastes just the same!

 

 

xxx

2 Comments

November 29, 2012 · 9:24 am

roasted oranges

It’s almost springtime! September 1st is justttttt around the corner and I could not be more excited about it!

The sun is coming out early and it is setting late. The magpies are getting frisky and I’m sure they will be dive bombing the back of my head in no time at all. OH SWEET SPRING! You bring me such joy and pain.

But more on that and my irrational (yet totally rational) fear of magpies later.

these are NOT magpies… no…but these wee birdies LOVED my fruit.

For now, we celebrate the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring with roasted fruit! It’s actually winter fruit, but I’ve only just started to see it at the grocery store in the last week or so. Blood Oranges! They look kinda rotten on the outside with their orange skins turning a funny ruby/brown colour. But slice that bad boy open… and holy moly.


As soon as I saw them I knew what I wanted. I wanted a whole bag and I wanted to make this!

So I did. I bought them, I chopped them, I sprinkled them and within an hour I was eattting their jeweled, juicy goodness. Straight off the pan.

This recipe would probably be a winner paired with pancakes or the like, but it was afternoon times and I wanted the hot oranges in my belly immediately.

Roasted Winter Citrus
From Joy the Baker… in all her wisdom.

A variety  of winter fruit: Blood oranges, mandarins/clementines, grapefruit perhaps?

Oil

Salt

Sugar

Rosemary

Slice up the fruit, line a pan with parchment and place the fruit on the pan. Sprinkle with oil, salt, sugar and rosemary.

Roast for 20ish minutes at 350F.

Try it. I was skeptical… but there is no reason to be. It’s roasted fruit! You’re not digging the rosemary? My next thought was, ‘What if I just coated these in sugar?’ Yes. Awesome. Do it.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast, Desserts

puppies, pimm’s, and popsicles

It’s not quite summer in Australia. However I’ve been hoarding some summer recipes for the last couple months, so when I was in Toronto very unexpectedly last week and it was 30+ degrees outside, I whipped out my warm weather recipes and made it happen.

In the form of popsicles.

and cocktails!

Yum…

What’s better than a Saturday afternoon cocktail? followed by bbq’d corn and a boozey popsicle?

Maybe lounging in the sun with your puppy dog?

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Yeah. Well nothing beats that…

Meet Lucy. The most photographed dog in history.

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She enjoys napping on the counter, drinking from my water glass and sharing popsicles. (the non-boozey kind)

She works the camera.

Sometimes I wondering if this dog thinks I have a camera for a face.

ANYWAY…cocktails and popsicles!

Pimm’s is best paired with painted toe nails and lounging in muskoka chairs.

If you haven’t tried this cocktail, then you haven’t sipped summer from a glass. It’s a must do.

Pimm’s Cocktail:

Pimm’s

Sparkling lemonade

Cucumber

Strawberries

Orange

Lemon

Mint

Slice all the fruit and veggies and put them in a jug.

Add 1 part Pimm’s and 2 parts lemonade. (although I prefer a 1:1 ratio… haha or maybe 1: 1.5 if you want to make it past 1 cocktail. :P)

Add some mint, stir it up, serve over ice and drink. Crazy straws are also encouraged.

On to the ‘sicles!

Pina colada!

Pina Colada Popsicles!?

Ohhhhh my goodness, so delicious.

Put this on your to-do list as well. You should totally make these. You should also check out this food blog, cause her recipes are delightful! Pina Colada Popsicles! The only alteration I made to her recipe was using Maple Syrup instead of sugar. I’m Canandian. This is what I do.

the fam (and our kick ass backyard)

Oh sweet summer. It was nice to have a little bit of sun on my shoulders and ice coffee in my cup.

It was short and very sweet. I miss you Toronto! I’ll try and visit soon. 😦

stay cool doggie.

xxx

ps. MIYOSHI! LOOK! I did it again! (the bee)

bzzz

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Cocktails, Desserts