Tag Archives: butcanshebake

granola cruncher

Granola is a happening thing. Not just for tree huggers and hippies anymore. Not just for women who wear bucket hats with a ying yang patch on the front, using walking sticks and wearing hiking boots with their socks pulled up to the mid-calf.* Not just for those hooligans who don’t shave their  legs or wear deodorant. Those people are on to bigger and better things. Like hemp seeds and acai berries.

Me, I always liked granola. Especially from Rube. Rube is an older gentleman who works at the St. Lawrence market in Toronto. He has a little stand that sells rice and dried beans and quinoa, (he sold Quinoa before quinoa was cool, back when we were all pronouncing it Quinn-oh-ah), and also Granola. He sells lots of Granola. Out of huge tubs with metal scoops and into small brown bags wrapped up with a red elastic.

Ahhh Rube. He sold me granola every Saturday morning for most of my childhood. He let me weigh my own bag on his little scale… and then I would bust open the brown paper and eat all the raisins and apple pieces, those rolled oats were for suckers. I still do that, eat all the fruit that is. Just ask my dad the day after he buys a box of granola or muesli. Or ask my boyfriend. If you buy a breakfast cereal with fruit bits, you better believe that when you go to have a bowl in a couple days, there won’t be any fruit bits left. That’s just how I roll.

This granola is very unlike Rube’s Granola. But I would never even dream of trying to replicate his, cause I would never succeed. It’s the best granola ever.

This one is good too, it’s banana bread granola. It tastes like a big loaf of banana bread, but crunchy and in a bowl with some fruit and milk. yum.

Banana Bread Granola
adapted from here

Ingredients

3-4 c. old-fashioned oats

1 c. puffed millet (or puffed rice whatevs)

2 ripe bananas

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup banana chips
Granola is pretty basic. Smoosh the bananas up – Mix the wet, mix the dry (excluding the banana chips), mix together and spread on a baking sheet (or two). Bake for 25-30 minutes at 325*C. Stir in Banana chips

Eat warm. It will harden as it cools and become very crunchy!

It’s not Rubes, but it’ll do for now.

xxx

*that woman is not fictional. She is all too real- A woman from my neighbourhood who I met on many walks on the Scarborough bluffs. She once stopped me to ask if my puppy was a ‘bitch or a dog’.  I was 11 years old. I knew only of bitch being a bad word, not meaning female dog, so needless to say I  was taken aback. When I told my mom, my mom replied with… “Oh she’s a Granola cruncher” and so now when I think of Granola crunchers I think only of that woman and her stupid ying-yang bucket hat.

And FOR the RECORD. you do not need hiking boots to walk around the Scarborough bluffs. Ok? It’s just unnecessary. Not exactly mountainous terrain…

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast

the walnut and the fig

Are the things in life that are more delicious than warm-out-of-the-oven bread? Are there?! Because I have yet to find them.

And speaking of bread… why does everyone think sliced bread is the coolest? I don’t think it is. I’d much prefer a huge hunk, maybe sliced thick or perhaps ripped off the loaf.

Mmm, I think the best way to make this all happen is to bake your own bread. It’s BYOB… yo. Let’s get into it.

Easy enough for me to say, but for years I have been avoiding the bread making process. I’m just gunna say it. I’m afraid of yeast. It’s alive and that’s weird.

But that’s also the problem… cause usually it’s not alive at all… it’s dead. I am the worst ever at keeping yeast alive, so my past forays into the bread making business have been… less than successful.

And similarily, sometimes when the yeast IS alive, I fail to let it rise properly.

Who knew there were sometimes 2 or even 3 rises? Not I. Not. I.

So I tell ya, no one was more surprised than me when this bread was a hit.

Granted, I have no idea how to knead.

Nor do I own a scale… and yeah, the measurements are in grams. So needless to say my google history looked something like this

uhhuh… I spelled cups “gups.” But google knew what was up. Google is alll OVER that.

It’s a miracle this bread even baked.

But it did. And I’m sure it will. Again and again and again. But I will buy a scale. I will. When I find a cool fancy retro one in mint green. ok?

Anyhoo, you can refer to the almighty Masterchef Australia website for this bad boy. I won’t take any credit here.

Fig and Walnut bread!

And hey, how sweet is this photo of the steam in my tea? I love you afternoon light. You make my sundays so warm and lazy.

and I totes downed that bottle of scotch too. Maybe that’s why I was so warm and lazy.
(not really. we used empty scotch bottles for cold water. scotchy infusion!)

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads

Good things…

Think about all the things in life worth celebrating. I mean the big things!

Let’s brainstorm:

-Birthdays

-Weddings

-New / Dream Jobs

-Births

I suppose those are the biggest ones in my books. Now imagine, for a moment, that ALL of those things happened in the span of 5 days. Think of it.

Most. awesome. five. days. ever.

—Just last week:

A friend of mine in Toronto had a beautiful baby girl!

SO CUTE!

Another friend of mine in Toronto got hitched…

Amazing (and weird to see your friends be adults…)

A third friend of mine, here in Sydney, got a fantastic job offer…

Yesssssssss!

And that boyfriend of mine has achieved his primary goal in life… (I mean besides scooping up the finest lady Canada had to offer… bahaha)

Without going into too much detail, he has achieved something that he has been dreaming about since the ripe old age of 8. He is incredible and wonderful and no one else in the world deserves it more than him. I am infinitely proud of him and if you even bring up his name, I will brag about him for hours. It’s gross and totally annoying.

And last, but certainly not least… my lovely Grandpa celebrated a very special birthday this week. He turned 80! But I swear that man doesn’t look a day over 60! Right, Watson?

He is the coolest cat in town. He used to take my brother and I out to find jelly bellies and nutty butties. (These are of course jelly fish and small crabs found on the beach in Scotland.)

Here we all are during my brief visit home. My Grandparents are the best ever. EVER. They have killer accents… and just look at how hip they are. Yeah… My Grandpa has lacoste walking shoes. That’s real. And I’m pretty sure he’s on twitter.

Ok. maybe not. but they’re on facebook for sure. 🙂

Anyway, by the end of last week I was beyond excited about life. Just wanted to share the love.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia

carrot fingers

Do you know what my all-time favourite vegetable is?

I think if you had a look at my palms and the soles of my feet you might be able to guess. You see… I eat a lot of this vegetable. Quite a lot. And it has a tendency to give my skin an orangey glow. It seems that this vegetable is quite high beta-carotene, and since I eat so much, my body has an overload of it and so I store that extra beta-carotene in my skin! And thus it turns yellowy-orange.

Funny Story: I was meeting a friend a couple months ago and as I was walking up to her to with open arms she started laughing. She grabbed my hands and exclaimed: ‘You used fake tan and forgot to wash your hands after… DIDN’T YOU!?’

Awkward.

Have you figured it out yet? My favourite veggie? That contains lots of CAROT-ene?
Carrots!
Yum. Raw, with hummus, roasted. It doesn’t matter! I’ll take them anyway. anytime.

So let’s talk breakfast…

Maybe you’d fancy some Carrot muffins? Perfect.

Carrot Muffins
Adapted from this recipe

2 c. spelt flour
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c. raisins

2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 c. non-dairy milk
1 c. shredded carrot
1.5 tsp vanilla
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. coconut oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix together dry ingredients. Mix together wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and mix until combined.

Bake at for 25-27 in a lined muffin tin!

Serve with a some tofu-cream cheese (cause then its more like carrot cake. aka the best dessert ever.)

Enjoy a year round tan! With NO skin cancer! YAY!

ps. Did you ever see that youtube video called ‘salad fingers?’ Jeeez. if not, don’t look it up. Salad fingers haunts me.

xxx

And just for fun, a sneak peek at some of the hotness I’ve been photographing lately.

boom!

more to come…

x

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast, Muffins

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

on the outs…

Sydney and I had a falling out.

To say that the relationship was strained would be an understatement. It began a couple months ago. I started to resent Sydney. I couldn’t understand it, why one city had to be so far away from my family. Toronto is my home and it always will be. I was angry at Sydney. I had a couple of tantrums during which I stamped my feet and I proclaimed that I wasn’t in love anymore. Sometimes you just fall out of love. It happens. My reasons were weak, but they were adding up; the cockroaches, the cold apartments, the untimely buses. It was all too much.

Sydney and I were on the outs.

And then as fate would have it, I had the opportunity to go home for a week. Just one week. It was not specifically to escape Sydney, I had family matters to attend to; but I think it was good to have some separation. It’s what every relationship needs once and a while.

So Sydney and I took some time apart.

But then I returned… And Sydney hadn’t let up. It was still a million miles* away from home which had become blatantly obvious from my 30 hour trek. True, I saw less cockroaches and yes, the apartment was warming up, but I still wasn’t convinced.

I still had feelings for Sydney, but they were confused.

And then one day I was on the ferry. I took a look around and I breathed in the salty ocean air. I looked across the harbour to see the bridge against a sunset sky and I thought “Hey Sydney, you’re not so bad.”

I had an overwhelming feeling of love. And I suppose sometimes that is all it takes. A little sea breeze and some perspective. From a ferry in the Sydney harbour. Because how many people get to take that perspective?

I live in Sydney. It’s a fact. It probably won’t always be that way though. And when it all changes, I will miss the ferries, I will miss the bridge, I will miss the salty air.

Sure, cockroaches run a muck in this city, but I’ll tell ya one thing; I haven’t seen one centipede scurry across my floor. And my nazi-like cleaning habits have been amped up in an effort to keep the cockroaches at bay.

And true enough, there is no central heating anywhere apart from the yoga room. So yes, my apartment is cold. But I brought extra sweaters back from Canada and for Christ sake… I AM Canadian. Come on Hicks, suck it up.

And… well the buses will never change. So I’ll start riding my bike.

And yes. OK. It’s a million miles away from Toronto, but a trip is a trip. No matter how long. If family comes first, which it most certainly does, then no amount of plane trips or dollars spent on flights will keep me away. In the grand scheme of things 30 hours is not the end of the world.

So Sydney, I propose a truce. I will stop resenting you if you promise work on that continental drift thing.

Ok, sweet.

xxx

*Sydney is actually 15, 562 miles from Toronto. Fact.

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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?

lucy

Yeah. Well nothing beats that…

Meet Lucy. The most photographed dog in history.

dog

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