Monday, July 7, 2014

Belgian Waffles (with Maple Syrup)

One of my favourite childhood memories is waking up on a summer morning at the cottage, to the smell of homemade waffles. Nobody makes better waffles than my mother, that is a fact. They're perfectly crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, and best topped with real maple syrup and fresh berries. I was recently given a bottle of Lake of Bays Maple Syrup, and love pairing it with oatmeal, pancakes, but especially waffles. It is light in flavour, and perfectly sweet, the aroma alone will have you wanting to drown your breakfasts in real maple flavour. 



Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg whites

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the vegetable oil and egg yolks. Gently stir, slowly adding in the milk. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the whites into the waffle mixture - making sure not to over mix. Pour a scoopful into the heated waffle and cook according to your iron's instructions. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Good Books: Bird Box

I've never read a horror book before. I love scary movies and haunted houses and all that jazz, but I have always figured that if the Hunger Games gave me nightmares, a horror novel definitely would too. That being said I really enjoyed completing the 9th book of my 25-book pledge, Bird Box by Josh Malerman. The back cover synopsis really leaves a lot to the imagination, and as someone who is afraid of birds, I really don't know why I grabbed this book when it's supposed to be suspenseful and has 'birds' right there in the title. Well I'm here to tell you I survived! Though birds did play a minor role in the novel, I am pleased to say I'm not having nightmares of my face being pecked off. Bird Box follows Malorie and her two children, as they struggle to survive in a world where unknown 'creatures' are driving people to deadly violence. Fear of the outdoors leaves them living in an abandoned house, windows covered and doors bolted, and blindfolded when so much of a crack of light is seeping in. Their journey of survival and escape to a seemingly better place will leave you turning pages on the edge of your seat until the very end. Definitely recommend this read.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Coconut Lime Pull-Apart Bread

Maybe I should consider changing the title of this blog to something with coconut in it. I think nearly everything I've been baking recently has coconut. Or lime. This bread is no exception. It is similar to a cinnamon bun except instead of cinnamon it uses coconut oil, toasted coconut, and lime zest to ensure a sweet and tangy taste. It's moist and chewy, and perfect for dessert, but better for breakfast!
Ingredients

(Adapted from A Beautiful Mess)

1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted, coconut oil
1/3 cup light cream
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lime zest
1/3 cup toasted coconut

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
1/2 cup toasted coconut

In a small bowl combine warm water, pinch of salt and yeast. Allow to rest for at least 8 minutes, until foamy. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture, melted coconut oil and cream. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Stir until combined and form into a ball of dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and rise for at least one hour, until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. After the dough has risen, roll it into a large rectangle (1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Brush with melted coconut oil and sprinkle with sugar, zest and toasted coconut. Cut the dough into small rectangles, stack, and place in a lightly greased loaf pan. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. When ready, bake for 35 minutes. Whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. After allowing the bread to cool for 10 minutes, pour the the glaze over top and sprinkle with more toasted coconut. Now dig in while it's still warm and gooey!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Life Update

Well I went a whole month without posting. At first I felt sort of guilty for not putting up my usual weekly baking or book update, but then I remembered hey, this is a hobby! Hobbies are fun. Hobbies don't bring feelings of guilt, so I'm over that. Instead of apologizing I will update you on life things that have kept me from the blogosphere. 


I had my last day of work this weekend! But Joanna you say, don't you still need a job? Yes, yes I do, and though I will not be earning an income this summer, I think it's safe to say that the next few months are going to be pretty awesome. I'm moving to Los Angeles for the summer! I'll be interning with LiNK and couldn't be happier. 

Also, school. This month has been mayhem and I am so glad it's over. Having class for approximately 24 hours a week, with mountains of homework, and work on top of that was a less than ideal situation. But now it is over! Now I have a week off and it's fantastic. Insanity was totally worth it.

I went on vacation! I spent the last week of April in San Francisco, mostly stuffing my face with delicious food (bread and Mexican food mostly). I also realized that I am probably going to sweat to death this summer seeing as Northern California was too hot for me, so we'll see how I do in the Southern part. 

I've been reading books yes, but nothing so fantastic that I felt okay giving it the Good Books badge of honour. I read Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It's a book meant for 9-12 year olds but I heard so many good things about it that I gave it a read. If you have no shame reading kids' books, or have a kid in the family, this book. This book is it. I also read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn after hearing so much hype about it. This book is messed up. It is all sorts of crazy. If you're into that then cool, but it was a bit too far for me.

That has been my month. Bring on the summer.



Oh, I also turned 26.