Tag Archives: food

bloody mary, bloody mary, bloody mary…

Last year around this time I was hiking through the Annapurnas. Well almost – I actually just realized that at this time last year I was probably eating dinner at a tiny restaurant in Pokhara, Nepal called The Olive. It was: the best. For some reason, all over Nepal, happy hour consisted of cheap alcohol and… popcorn? I wasn’t mad about it. It’s quite apt that this is exactly what I have decided to make today. I only just realized that. WOO! Paralells!

Anyway, last Halloween I spent the night at a tea house called ‘The Excellent View’ and yeah, it was OKAY… I guess. 😉 However it did not feel like Halloween at all because a) no one was dressed up ridiculously b) there was no chocolate and c) I didn’t get any birthday carrot cake. LAME. Instead, I was considering the likleyhood of altitude sickness while scarfing down one of many apple pies. Like I said… it was only OK.  (So it was pretty much the best ever, but let’s talk Halloween)

This year though… This year I am bringing Halloween back in a big way. Australia is not huge on this holiday… so when I found out that our apartment building was taking part in trick or treating for the kiddies followed by a party for the adults I was more that a leetle bit excited. And the next day I made this happen:

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Only door in the building that is decorated. Sean may have mumbled something about ‘excessive’ when he got home from work that night. But I am not be deterred.

I’ve also watched no less than 7 horror movies including:

* The Loved Ones (What the WHAT!? This movie is effed up. Thank you to Andy and Jenn for that gem of a recommendation haha)
* The Conjuring (Demons are hella scary)
*Scream (1996 in ALL it’s glory)
*Scream 2 (cause… duh)
*I Know What You Did Last Summer (Classic and so so bad)
*(Half of) Halloween
* American Horror Story: Murder House (Heebie Jeebies GALORE)

So, while my family is celebrating Halloween and the many family birthdays in Toronto with our annual pumpkin carving party, I am sitting in sunny Sydney carving a pumpkin (which I am sure will rot before Halloween) whilst sipping the Ultimate Bloody Mary and eating the Ultimate Popcorn. Let’s talk about it.

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Lately, I have wanted a cocktail that is less about the sugar and fruit and more about the savoury. A Bloody Mary is where it’s AT. Now if we were in Canada, we might be having a Caesar – but being the vegan that I am -we’ll stick with a Bloody Mary. Let’s partner this delightful cocktail with another salty treat. You might think that Worcestershire sauce on popcorn is like, the weirdest thing ever and it very well might be. But this is how Mama Hicks has been making her popcorn for years and I’m not about to change it. However, I am about to add garlic butter and nutritional yeast. So there’s that. This popcorn is major. All in all – it’s a perfect Halloween combination, whether you’re in Nepal, Canada, or Australia.

Happy Halloween friends. 😀

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The Ultimate Bloody Mary
adapted from HonestlyYUM

Ingredients

2oz Vodka
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 big dash Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes Tabasco (or to taste)
2 pinches celery salt
1 pinch black pepper
a quarter of a tomato
Tomato juice to fill

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Garnishes

extra celery salt for rim
celery stick
lemon wedge
capers
gherkins
pimento stuffed olives

First, Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker (minus the tomato juice) and muddle. Fill the shaker with ice & shake for ten seconds until cold.
Pour the cocktail into a salted tall glass and top with tomato juice – garnish as you like. This is not a less is more situation. DRINK UP!

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Ultimate Popcorn

1/2 c. popcorn kernels
2 tsp. coconut oil
salt
pepper
1-2 tsp butter
chopped garlic or dried garlic granules
Worcestershiresauce
nutritional yeast
celery salt

Melt the coconut oil in large pot over a medium heat. Add the popcorn and a pinch of salt – make sure all the kernels are covered in oil and then cover the pot leaving a crack open for steam to escape. Melt your butter in a separate bowl and add the garlic to it. Wait for popcorn to pop (3-5 minutes) and wait until it begins to slow down – take the popcorn off the heat and allow the kernels to finish popping.  Toss the garlic butter, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and nutritional yeast into the popcorn and mix thoroughly. Nutritional Yeast is, as it’s names suggest, nutritional… but also it tastes a bit cheesey. You could also add parmesan and I’m sure it would be delightful… ENJOY!

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cocktails, Snacks

ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.cherry bomb

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I just googled “random facts” because I was having trouble getting started on this blog post. Sometimes random facts are inspiring.

Like this one:
Every second Americans collectively eat one hundred pounds of chocolate.

What?! is that a thing? How is this stuff even measured? What about at night time? Who are all the lonely hearts eating 100 pounds of chocolate a second between midnight and 6am.

This is an interesting fact that I have a feeling may not have much truth to it. But I’m gunna roll with it, I may not be American, but this makes me feel better about the 3 oversized chocolate bars a consumed last week.

Aside from my chocolate cravings which are ongoing and unavoidable… I am craving muchos carbohydrates lately. Muffins are delightful. Scones are perfect. Cherry Banana bread is amaze-balls. I didn’t think of it prior… but chocolate would be a GREAT addition.

Just doin my part to contribute to the random facts of the world.

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Let’s get into it.

Cherry Banana Bread
Adapted from this recipe

3 ripe bananas
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 c. raw sugar or brown sugar
1 chia egg
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. oats
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. frozen cherries
1/2 c. walnuts

First, grease a bread pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350*F.

In a large bowl, mash the banana until very mushy. Combine with the sugar, lemon juice, chia egg & apple sauce. Add the cherries and fold through.

In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients, including the nuts. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the bread pan and spread evenly. You can top it with some more cherries and walnuts for good measure.

Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Eat it and be merry.

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I also just read that in 1879 Belgians tried to train cats to deliver mail. Not surprisingly… it did not work.

Mail cats. pft.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads, Breakfast

happy one year

Autumn is here! The cool, windy weather is making me giddy and has me itching to buy scarves and wooly sweaters. Although this autumn will never turn into a proper winter… not here in Sydney anyway. I’m still excited and sort of surprised to look at the ground and see fallen leaves in hues of burnt orange and red. I didn’t think that happened in this country. So ill informed, I am.

And here we are. It’s been a year. A year since I started writing this little blog and a year since I moved to Australia. (In fact I just checked and tomorrow marks exactly one year since I first posted here. It’s somewhat of an anniversary I suppose…)

It seems odd to me, that it’s been that long. Even as I write this, it seems wrong. Where has the year gone? Has it really been that long since I’ve been home? Since I’ve seen my puppy? Since I’ve slept in my own bed? I suppose it has. Sometimes It feels like eons ago and sometimes not so much. Either way, I have mixed emotions. I’m very happy at this moment in time, in this lifestyle. I get to live in a beautiful country with a beautiful man. I get to sip delicious coffee and eat delicious food, and I get to gallivant about Sydney. And there are Palm trees. PALM TREES everywhere! But I do miss my Canadian home, my friends and my family. Some days are harder than others…

I won’t be gone forever… but I think that somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought that I might be back for a visit around now. Well, life is life. And it would seem that I won’t be visiting home just yet. Still, the weather is making me nostalgic for Canada. I am half expecting some winter winds and frosty mornings.

Now before I start tearing up over my keyboard (ooops, too late) let’s move on to a sweeter subject. Banana Bread! Cause who doesn’t need a little comfort food when the cold weather hits (bringing with it just a dash of reality…)

so dense and delicious

Well, I sure needed it this week. And I might need a little more right now. In fact, as I sit here typing this, there is a second loaf of bread baking in the oven. Yes, cause the loaf I made last night is nearly gone. (this recipe is REALLY yummy)

raspberries look sooo sophisticated when cooked.

I think it’s kind of fitting that I post a Banana-bread on the one year anniversary of this blog. When I first arrived in Australia Bananas were a whopping $14 a kilo… all I wanted in the world was to bake with them. Haha… Well this week I stumbled upon a bounty of bananas for just 99cents! So as fate would have it:

Raspberry-Banana Bread
to soothe your soul

1.5 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. raw sugar

2 tbsp. ground flax (+ 1/4 c. water)

2-3 bananas (mushed up)

1/2 c. rice milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

3/4 c. raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. whisk the flax seed with the water and allow to sit and thicken for about five minutes. Mix the wet ingredients and add in the flax seeds, then add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until just combined. Now fold in the walnuts and raspberries. Pour into a loaf pan(greased or lined) and baked at 350* for about an hour.

Eat warm, eat cool, eat at the coffee shop with a delicious cold coffee. Eat after it has been smushed in your bag by your ginormous camera, because honestly… it’s still good.

I guess a lot has happened in a year. I mean just browse through this little ditty. This here marks my 45th post. Almost one a week. Not too shabby Hicks.

For now I will just have to keep baking, it calms any storms a’brewing in my mind and reminds me of home. And to ease the pain of being away from my puppy, I snuggle up with this little guy.

Odin

He’s no dog.dog.DOG… but he’s as close as I’m going to get for a couple more months. And he is pretty cute.

hello adorable.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads