Tag Archives: delicious

hot hot heat

Last Friday I experienced some of the hottest temperatures that I have ever felt on my fair Canadian skin. Sydney peaked at a sunny 45 degrees celcius.

forty. five.

Granted, that is only five degrees hotter than the bikram yoga room… however, Bikram yoga is practiced at that heat to make you SWEAT, and sweat A LOT, but I usually don’t go about my daily routine in the hot room. And furthermore, I wear signicantly more clothing when I am outside a Bikram class. So… five degrees is like, ridiculous.

I don’t even know how to explain it. Really hot is pretty much it.

Anyway, Sean and I decided that an after work swim was in order… so at around 7pm we drove to the Eastern Beaches. When we got in the car the temperature had already dropped to 35 and by the time we reached the beach ten minutes later it was 24. YOU GUYS! What… the WHAT?

We took a dip anyway as the sun was setting and I was actually shivering. It’s a strange country I live in these days.

Let’s talk about summer food! Summer salads… BBQs… light… fresh!

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I got this recipe from my boyfriend’s mom. I swapped a couple of ingredients and kablammy! A delicious summer salad/salsa thing that is delish.

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Corn & Avocado Salad

4 stalks of spring onion

1 cob of corn (bbqed & chopped of the cob)

2 tomatoes (seeded and chopped)

1 avocado (chopped)

1/4 c. parsley (chopped)

1/2 red capsicum

juice of one lime

salt & pepper to taste

This salad is pretty straight forward.

First cook the corn. I BBQd mine cause I prefer that taste, but you can boil it also. Set it aside to cool.

Quarter the tomatoes. De-seed them and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. I find that this helps them to dry out a tiny bit so the salad doesn’t get watery. Chop the spring onions, red capsicum, and avocado. Chop the tomatoes quite small and cut the corn off the cob. Finely chop the parsley and toss everything in a bowl with the juice of one lime. Season to taste.

SO yummy.

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x

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Filed under Salads, Uncategorized

it’s pie time again…

Criscoooooo!

When I go back to Canada… whenever that might be… I am going to STOCK UP on Crisco. Can I do that? Can I bring vegetable shortening back in my suitcase? I think that’s allowed.

I’m goin’ for it.

This is a pie. This is THEE pie? This is a pie that I ate from the pie plate with a fork and occasionally vanilla ice cream. This is a pie with a crumbly crust and a delicious soft apple filling. This is a pie that Sean requested I bake.

How ’bout Strawberry?
No.

Rhubarb?
Huh?

Rhubarb-Apple?
Are you not listening?

…Just apple then.
Yes.

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He’s stunting my baking. I swear.

Pies and scones please.

—Homeboy, lets get some variety up in here.

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This might be a pie for him. But this is MY pie. I made it. My love is in this pie. Along with some flour and Crisco.

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Apple Pie. I’ve made it before.

It doesn’t need frills, or raisins. or cheese slices. Just apples and cinnamon.

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Merry December!

Apple Pie

Crust:
2 c. of all-purpose flour
1 c. of vegetable shortening
1/2 c. of ice cold water (or more depending on the day-whatever it takes for the pie to form together)
couple shakes of salt

Filling:

1/2 c. of sugar
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
Just a pinch or two of salt
Usually about 8 or 9 apples. In other words: lots.
6-7 dots of margarine

For the Crust:
Mix the flour and salt. Sifting the flour helps with mixing later on.Cube your shortening and cut it into the flour a couple cubes at a time until a course mixture is formed. Crumbs should be about pea size, but not bigger and not too small! Next add the cold water (make sure its cold!) and mix until combined. Try not to use your hands too mcuh. When the dough forms a loose ball, divide into two and wrap each in glad wrap. Place in fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

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For Filling:
Pre-heat the oven to 400*F.
Chop the apples (no need to peel), place in a large bowl and add the sugar,  flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.

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Mix it up until all the apples are coated in sugar. Take your dough and roll out the bottom crust. Make sure your surface and rolling pin are floured well. Place the rolled crust into a pie plate and place the apple slices into the bottom. Dot the apples with margarine. Next roll out the top crust and place on top. Pinch the edges to secure the top and bottom. Make 5 of 6 slices in the top of the pie to allow the steam to release. You can brush the top with some soy milk and sprinkle with raw sugar to help it brown a bit.

Place the pie in the pre-heated oven and allow to bake for 50-60 minutes.

Remove, serve with ice cream, on a plate, or on the pie. Eat out of the pie plate if necessary.

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It’s almost always necessary.

xxx

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7 Comments

December 9, 2012 · 5:33 am

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

flapjacks…?

Question: what is the difference between pancakes and flapjacks? I always thought they were the same thing…

My brother and I used to play this game. I have no idea how it started or where it came from… but basically it was about this man who was really crazy/out of his mind insane and the only thing that could cure him was more flapjacks.

That was it. That was the whole game. Creative, I know.

This is coming from the kids who used to put each other in cardboard boxes from the new home appliances and then proceed to push each other down the stairs. That was the best.

Another favourite? Indiana Jones, in which my brother got to play Indy and I was, of course, Henry; Indy’s father… traditionally portrayed by Sean Connery and not a 6 year old girl. I used to just open and close an umbrella a lot to scare away the birds cause that’s the only thing I could remember Henry doing in the movies. Then we would use my dads old belts and abseil off their 3 story bed. Obviously.

Anyway the flapjack game wasn’t really our finest. However, whenever I hear the word flapjack… that’s all I can think of.

Check out these pancakes (flapjacks?) They are the best vegan version I have ever made… delicious!

Vegan Flap-cakes… Pan-jacks?
Recipe adapted from here

1 1/2 Cup Oatmilk
1 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Coconut Oil
1 Cup Spelt Flour
1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbs water, to thin batter if needed

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for a minute or until everything is combined and smooth.

Heat a non-stick saucepan to medium heat. When it is good and hot, pour about a 1/4 c. of batter in the middle. Watch for bubbles to begin to rise. When they stop rising, flip the pancake and cook for another minute or two. The pancake should be a golden colour. Keep the pancakes in the oven at 180*C on a plate or in some tinfoil to keep them warm. This makes small silver dollar pancakes. Enough for two.

Top with Maple Syrup, and butter (vegan) and devour. Yum.

xxx

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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

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

Fancy a prune? How ’bout a date?

Things areeeeeee happening!

Leaves have fallen, scarves have been purchased, leases have been signed, boxes have been packed, and dates have been pureed.

datin’

Yep, stuff is going down in funky town. Exciting things, sad things, scary things… but also delicious things. In the form of date squares. Very simple, very delicious and somewhat healthy. I used to think that dates squares were for old people. Totally for old people.

I think I associated them with prunes. Which definitely carry negative connotations of being primarily enjoyed by senior citizens, in juice form… weird.

I hated prunes when I was little. You know why?! Yeah youuuu know. I’m looking at you Dad… and those god awful prune muffins you made that ONE time. I honestly don’t even remember if they were that bad, but my brother and I made a point of hating them and never letting my Dad live it down.

Hey Dad… Member that time you made those horrible prune muffins…? yeah… me too.

Funny thing is, my Dad is now an incredible baker. Like top-notch. After the Prune-muffin incident (henceforth known as The PMI), I don’t think he baked again until I was in highschool. Or maybe he did and I blocked it out of my memory because of The PMI. Anyway, I was uber skeptical of his baking for a while, but day after day I would come home from school and there would be warm muffins, cookies and scones piled high on the kitchen table. It didn’t take long for me to forget all about the PMI. And when I did… there were muffins to consume on the regular. And consume them I did. Two at a time.

However, that is not really the point. The point is, I thought dates were gross, until I finally tasted my Dad’s date squares. After crossing over to the vegan-side, I thought that date-squares should be an easy treat to re-create vegan styles. I found this great recipe on OhSheGlows. Check it out. And make it!

I’ve presented these date squares to many a people, all of whom have been thoroughly impressed given the simple ingredient list. These can easily be made raw and gluten free!

yum

Date-Squares
From OhSheGlows!

1 1/2 c. roasted almonds

1 1/2 c. rolled oats

1 tsp. salt

1/4 c. (or slightly more) melted coconut oil

3 c pitted dates

First, add 2 1/2 c. of the chopped dates to 1/2 c. of boiling water.

For the crust, put the almonds, salt and oats in the food processor and blend into a fine crumble. Add about 1/2 c. of chopped dates and blend until combined. Add the coconut oil and blend once more until the crumble is sticky.

Set aside 1/2 c. for crumbling on top, and then pack the rest into an 8″x8″ parchment lined pan. Press down the crumble until it is packed in.

Next, blend up the remaining dates and boiling water until a paste is formed. Scoop the paste on top of the crust and spread until even. Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top and press lightly.

Allow the squares to set in the freezer for 1-2 hours before slicing and enjoying! Keep in freezer or fridge, as the coconut oil needs to stay solid to hold everything together.

yum.

x

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Desserts