Apple Crisp....for One!

>> Sunday, 30 October 2011

You know what I like?


In pretty much everything from relationships to camera manuals.  That love of simplicity transcends to desserts as well! Now don't get me wrong, I love fancy desserts (I just grow impatient with making them...mainly because I try to start fancy desserts at 2 am in the morning. Yep, don't ask.)

But simple desserts?  Ones that can be made in less than 10 minutes AND can be made for one?  Well, I'm hooked. 

I must have made about 5 of these in the past couple of weeks (don't judge) when I was craving something sweet and autumnal.  Especially when apples are in such abundance, this dessert is literally the perfect evening treat with a cup of tea.

Apple Crisp
(for one..or if you are feeling generous..for two!)

  • 1-2 apples (a tart cooking apple is great for this, but any of your favourite variety will do)
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoon quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon butter (I use about 1/2 to 3/4 tbsp and it's fine) cut into smaller squares
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ( taste depending on how much you like cinnamon)
  1. Peel & slice apples...layer in the bottom of the bowl you'll be using.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix all the other ingredients.
  3. Put crumbly topping you've just made on top of the apples.
  4. Put in the microwave on high for 2 1/2 minutes
  5. Let cool & eat with cheddar cheese, whipped cream or ice cream as you would any pie!
  6. Enjoy :)


Awwww Drats...and Jamie's Cauliflower Soup

>> Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Okay, so again I've managed to let this blog slide a bit (a lot).I'm going to blame the detox. Can I blame the detox?
Do you want to know about the detox?

Detox. Dr. Joshi's Holistic Detox. I was pretty good for the majority of it, but I will be the first person to tell you that I have absolutely no willpower and if presented with chocolate (or pie, cookies, French bread, etc) I will abandon such detoxes as soon as they are over.

I lost a little bit of weight, but nothing that drinking extra water would have done. I felt good too, but I'm not one of those people who are conscious enough about how their body feels in relation to certain foods/vitamins. Chocolate always makes me feel good. That I know!

So that, in essence was how it all went down.  That said, I will be sharing a couple of recipes from that detox that I particularly enjoyed.  I'm also going to write a few little mini posts too for some simple recipes that after you do it once, you don't even need a recipe! (I love those, it appeals to my lazy but hungry side)

But for now, Jamie Oliver's Cauliflower Soup!
I made this soup after locating a rather large cauliflower in the back of the fridge and thought, long has that been in there???  It's always good to have chicken stock/veggie stock on hand (I have made my own in the past, but never hurts to have any in the pantry just in case.)

So, with some Bon Iver on the iPod, I set to work making this soup...I always suggest some sort of music while cooking & Bon Iver just screams a little like winter soup. :) 

Jamie Oliver's Cauliflower Soup
(makes 6-8 servings  ::  from Jamie's Food Revolution cookbook)

* 2 slugs of olive oil
* 1 large chopped carrot
* 2 cloves chopped garlic
* 2 chopped celery stalks
* 1 medium chopped  onion
* 1 large head of cauliflower (chopped)
* 1 box of chicken stock (organic)
* handful of grated cheese for each serving
* tsp of mustard for garnish
* salt & pepper to taste

In a pot add olive oil, carrot, garlic, celery, onion & cauliflower.
In a separate pot, bring chicken stock to a boil. 
Cook the veggies until they are soft and onions and celery are translucent & almost golden.
Add the boiling stock to the veggies & bring to a boil once again.
Once boiled, simmer veggies & stock for about 10 mins.
Remove from heat and puree.
Serve with a handful of grated cheese & tsp of mustard.
Salt & pepper to taste.


The Post Where I Talk About Doing A Detox...And Then Doing It.

>> Sunday, 10 April 2011

Okay folks, here it is.
I've started a detox.
Now...before you all start laughing (you KNOW I love my chocolate, butter and salt), I did do the 100 Mile Diet two summers ago and found it really difficult.  This detox is actually easier, and although I am only on Day 3, I may just actually continue to eat this way! *Shocking I know!*  Maybe because I get more kitchen time this way, maybe because I am enjoying eating things that the rest of my family could care less about eating.  Totally possible in both regards.

I do find I need to sort out my portion control still (Joshi's book doesn't mention portions, but just eating healthier overall).  Now I have to be honest.  There are certain foods that definitely don't sit well with me..digestively speaking.  That said, I never have any idea as to how certain foods make me feel long term.  I am not one of those people who really know how their body works...everything just sort of does (and for that I'm thankful as I know there are many people who their bodies just don't work properly).

Lately however, I've been breaking out and feeling rather lethargic midday, so I decided to try out this detox and see what happens at the end of 21 days.

The basis of the detox is this:
  • No red meat
  • No dairy produce
  • No fruit - except for bananas
  • No wheat, gluten or yeast
  • No alcohol
  • No biscuits, cakes, doughnuts
  • No jams or spreads -except for honey
  • No coffee, decaf coffee or tea - except for herbal teas
  • No sugar, chocolate or sweets
  • No artificially produced condiments - ketchup, mustard, vinegar

Sounds like there is a lot that I can't eat, I know...but surprisingly, I've been enjoying exploring what I can eat. I'll give you a sample of my first grocery list:

3 lemons
4 bananas
2 large containers of plain bio yogurt
2 rice milk (I did cheat and buy 1 chocolate rice milk for smoothies)
3 heads of organic romaine lettuce
2 bags of spinach
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of broccoli
1 lb of green beans
1 large piece of ginger
large bunch of cilantro
2 packages of herbal caffeine free teas
1 container of hummous (I will be making it going forward, but wanted something on hand immediately)
1 pkg of rice crackers
organic pumpkin seed butter
salmon strips

Dr. Joshi Foods I already had in the fridge to use: carrots, homemade chicken stock, garlic, onion, brown rice, spaghetti squash, extra virgin olive oil

I'm currently on Day 3 of this detox and I'm looking forward to seeing what sort of meals I can cook up!  The hardest part for me will be when I go to a photoshoot next weekend and will be staying overnight.  I plan on taking food with me, but it will still be hard. 

Thus far, my actual meals have been really great and I will blog about some of them.  I have even looks through some of Jamie's recipes and can easily adapt them to Joshi-approved recipes!  This weirdly excites me.

Stay tuned!  (I will defo be making some sweet treats once the detox is over too...I have plans!) :)


Easy Artichoke Pasta Salad & Paper Cranes

>> Friday, 1 April 2011

 Bowtie pasta & origami paper cranes.  Sometimes, when your mind is in overdrive, you need something to keep your hands occupied.  In my case, pasta salad and a project called 1000 Paper Cranes for Japan on Flickr in order to show support to the people of Japan after the earthquake & tsunami.

The week following the tragedy, I taught ESL classes and Canadian Culture to a group of 15 year old boys who came from Japan 2 days after the tsunami.  The experience was phenomenal and the boys definitely uhheld the stoicism of Japan everyday in their classes and in everything they did.  They taught me how to fold origami paper cranes and we enjoyed laughing and learning about each other.  It was an experience that was unlike anything I`ve ever done and by the end of the classes, it was hard not to cry when saying goodbye.

I still have paper cranes that they made for me that sit on my desk and looking at them bring me back to the simplicity that we all yearn for in life.  As the weather gets warmer, pasta salad is that basic classicality of eating. It's that simplicity that we all crave in an otherwise hectic and frustrating world when nothing seems to be going right and you'd much rather wait it out under the covers until spring finally leaks in through the window.

It`s fast, easy, tasty and comfort food all in one.  This one, with added artichoke and sun dried tomatoes just gives you that boost of salty, pickled deliciousness.   Yep. I'm in love with a pasta salad.  Which is good, because my love life is not as exciting.

So I give you pasta salad and paper cranes.
Learn how to fold a paper crane here.

Easy Artichoke Pasta Salad

  • 2 cans drained and quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 pound cooked wholewheat bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 cup pitted and thinly sliced black olives
  • 6 finely roughly chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 pieces roasted red peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion (finely chopped) 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon balsalmic vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • cilantro sprigs to garnish
  • pinch of salt & pepper

Add all to bowl, toss and refridgerate for approx 1 hr until ready to eat!
**Following day, add a little more balsalmic vinegar to taste.  Your salad will taste even better after marinating.


Rocky Road Bars

>> Sunday, 6 February 2011

Is there really something as 'too much' chocolate?
Is there a limit? A threshold, maybe a tipping point?

The correct answer = no. never. never. ever. ever
...but these Rocky Road Bars inspired by the Hummingbird Bakery version come pretty close. 

Some people will tell you that chocolate is better than sex.
Ummmmmm...dear future boyfriend, I will never say this to your face.
No matter how good the chocolate is. ;)

Rocky Road Bars
(adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook)

My version of these bars have less chocolate surrounding them and more of a chocolate coating everything mash up and pressing them altogether in the pan to create a pressed bar. 
  • 2 bags of milk chocolate chips
  • 8 regular sized coarsely chopped chocolate bars (gooey is better...I used 4 Snickers and 4 Mars bars)
  • 1 cup of miniature marshmallows (I think I used about a 1 & 3/4 of a cup)
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup Rice Krispie cereal
  • 1 cup malted milk balls (I opted for mini peanut butter chocolate cups)
  1. Line a 9" pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 2 bags of chocolate chips in a saucepan
  3. Put all remaining ingredients in a large bowl...ensure it's mixed well
  4. Pour melted chocolate over the ingredients in the bowl and combine until all pieces are coated in chocolate.
  5. Press mixture into lined pan.
  6. Refridgerate.
  7. Slice up into squares and enjoy! :)

I'll be telling you about a couple of my restaurant week in New York experiences this week...namely the opulent Russian Tea Room & Pigalle.  Plus I'll touch on Jon's Pizza, Cafe Havana & the Doughnut Plant.  Yum!


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