Monday, March 23, 2015

Homemade Hummus

We got a new food processor and boy is it beautiful! Beautiful and oh so sharp. As amazed as I was with the case full of blades it came with I quickly learned that this machine could be my enemy. My first attempt at making hummus with our new kitchen toy resulted in no hummus, but a couple band aids - all is well! I quickly got over it and tried again and now I am a homemade hummus convert. I looked through a few recipes to get the basic idea of what to put in. It is really so easy, and it makes a tonne! Hummus for days!! 



Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic (or 1 more for extra garlicky)
1 (19-oz) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons of tahini
2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of water
1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Add the garlic to the food processor and mince. Add in all the ingredients and process until smooth, or desired consistency. That's all you do! To serve drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Banana Cream Pie

I only tried banana cream pie for the first time this past summer. On one of my trips to San Francisco I stopped by the infamous Mission Pie for a slice of something and the banana cream just looked so good I couldn't resist. Since it's pi day today (happy pi day!) I decided to give making one of these beauties a go! Creamy, slightly sweet and the perfect banana flavour makes this one a keeper. 


Ingredients
Adapted from Food.com

1 9-inch pie crust

2 1/2 cups of whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unbleached flour
1/4 salt
3 egg yolks, beaten 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 large, ripe bananas

I was lazy and cheated and bought a pre-made crust (the pillsbury ones are really good! Just roll it out and go!) but you can make your own (try this recipe), prick it all over, bake until lightly brown and let cool.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk just before boiling and then remove from heat. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir in the scalded milk. Over medium heat, stir regularly until the mixture has thickened. Cover for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Take a small spoonful of the heated mixture and stir into the beaten egg yolks until well combined. Combine all the eggs into the hot mixture, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. The mixture should resemble near pudding consistency - remove from heat. Mix in the vanilla, butter and rum and let the mixture sit until just warm. Thinly slice the bananas into the bottom of the pie shell and when your mixture has cooled pour evenly over top. Place in the fridge until set and ready to serve! I think it's best with the fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate, just saying. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

What I'm Into: February 2015

We're still in the single digits for March so I think it's okay to be posting what I've been into in February. I will also say that since it is March - Winter, you are free to leave now, take your snow and your coldness and just leave. That being said February was a pretty great month. I spent the last week and a half in San Francisco and the rest reading at the cottage, making crafts on Valentine's Day, and trying to stay as warm as possible! Here's what I've been into:



Movies I've Seen

Still Alice - Having read the book a couple years ago (I loved it), I was really looking forward to the movie adaptation. Julianne Moore did an amazing job portraying Alice as she moves through the stages of early onset alzheimer's - definitely deserved the Oscar. I also really loved Kirsten Stewart's character, Lydia - Alice's daughter, who takes on the role as a primary care giver and makes you feel inspired to act as selfless as she does.

The Heat - I watched this on the plane on the way to SF. It's a pretty ridiculous movie but I was entertained - Melissa McCarthy was great as always.

Interstellar - I saw this in IMAX while in SF - and I really didn't know much about it going in. I knew it was about space and that according to everyone it's great - and they were right! I wasn't expecting to cry so much though! Gee whiz I was a teary mess. Seeing it in IMAX was definitely worth it though and the soundtrack was perfectly suited to the film.

Books I've Read

How to Build A Girl - I received this as a Christmas present this year and having never heard of it, I was excited for a new read. This novel reminds me of one of my favourite Young Adult series, Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging - but the adult version. It's funny, very graphic, and loaded with weird British humour and references.

The Hatchet - This is a book I missed out on in elementary school and it has been on my list forever. Though I accidentally borrowed the illustrated version from the library I still really enjoyed it. It was a simple read; great for reading up at the cottage cozied up by the fire, surrounded by snow covered trees.

TV Shows I've Watched

American Horror Story - George and I just finished Season 1 and it was terrifying. I really like this show but it's definitely not one I can watch by myself! It's full of suspense and terror and right when I think I know how things will turn out, I'm completely surprised. We're early into Season 2 now and it's already the best. 

Parks and Recreation - It's over! There's not much I can say other than I love this show and that I am so sad it's gone. It's easily one of my favourites - my go-to watch when I need a quick pick me up. Amy Poehler will forever be one of my favourite people. 

More Fun Stuff

Yoga with Adrienne - Yoga classes are expensive and since I have limited funds I wasn't about to fork over $15 for a class when I know there are some great alternatives on the interwebs. I found YouTuber Yoga with Adrienne in the middle of January and have been loving her videos! I recently completed her 30 day yoga challenge and loved it! They're the perfect length, easy to follow and best of all FREE.

Frozen Peas - I used to hate peas because they're hard to eat with a fork but I'm obsessed with them now. So easy to make, easy green food and made even better with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Maple Almond Granola

This is the best granola you will ever have. It's filling, slightly sweet, and super crunchy. I can't seem to make it fast enough! I'll bake a batch, think it will last me the week, but it will be gone within a few days because the whole family is chowing down. It's great for breakfast or for a snack and doesn't even need berries because of the delicious addition of dried fruits. Seriously, this is the only granola recipe you will ever need. Don't you dare spend $10 on granola at the store - this is better!



Ingredients
Adapated from Pastry Affair

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1/3 cup chopped, dried apricots
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, quinoa, almonds, ground flax, chia seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, almond extract, salt and egg white and stir until everything is combined and well coated. Evenly spread out the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 23-27 minutes, until the edges are golden brown . Do not stir half way! Leave it for the full time to ensure crunchy clusters.

Allow to cool completely. Break up granola into clusters and mix in the dried apricots and cranberries. Store in an air-tight container. I have no idea how long this stays fresh for because ours is all eaten in about three days.