Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Freezing Fruit and a Smoothie

strawberries, washed and ready strawberries, put to the knife

While I have a tendency to splurge on things like chocolate, peanut butter, and baking supplies, I do have some good thrifty habits. Like buying in bulk, shopping in Chinatown, and freezing stuff, especially fruit. I am a smoothie fanatic, so there's always a bag or two of frozen fruit in my freezer. I buy frozen fruit, but I like to freeze stuff myself as well - especially bananas.

This is a great trick for keeping fruit from going bad and preserving seasonal fruits at their peak (peaches and wild blueberries, hello!). Since frozen fruit lasts virtually forever, you can have summer berries in smoothies, pies, crisps, oatmeal, etc. even in the middle of winter. This is also something I do to take advantage of sales - such as the recent one on strawberries. So though freezing fruit sounds pretty straightforward (and I assure you, it is) here are a few tips to get you started.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Carob Brownies

stack 'em up

Posting this in the wake of Valentine's Day, after you've either had the fortune to be treated to an indulgent dinner and dessert, received a basket of goodies from an anonymous sender (do people still do this?), or, if your life is more like mine, received a package of chocolates from your mother, or you've just gone and loaded up on all the sale candy, could possibly be seen as a little twisted. If I were a better person, I would probably be sharing recipes for salads and juices that begin with "detox" with promises of brighter skin, energy, and healthy colons. (I probably shouldn't talk about colons.)

If I were a better person. Who hadn't spent Valentine's Day sitting on a bed, with a giant bar of chocolate, watching a film about female revenge with a fellow single friend. In our defence, however, we did not yell or throw anything at the screen or cry about boys or braid each other's hair.

I don't usually spend Valentine's Day in such a stereotypical single-woman way. Generally I only eat more chocolate than usual that day, as that's the week I receive an excessive amount of chocolate from my mother. One year she sent me flowers and a teddy bear, and I think there may have been a musical card involved but can't be sure because I've probably repressed that much of it, but I told her she could never do that again because it was too weird. Although, this year, I had no chocolates in the mail, not because my mother has come to the sudden realization that Valentine's Day is traditionally a couple-oriented holiday or she's become worried about my health (not that she doesn't worry - she worries about me on principle), she's just touring through India and Nepal with my dad. Retired teachers. I want to be one.

Then there are these brownies. Which aren't really related to Valentine's Day or my mother, but it seemed logical to talk about a holiday that is about chocolate as much as it's about giving people corny cards and flowers, if not more. And if Valentine's Day hadn't already passed, I would tell you to make these in anticipation of it, and any dates you wanted to make for that night, either to serve to a significant other, or just to yourself. But it has passed, though that doesn't mean the time for brownies has ended - oh no. The time for brownies is always and forever. You can even whip up a batch and keep the brownies cut up and stored in the freezer, for whenever a craving for something rich and sweet strikes.

And I did make them with whole wheat flour, so I'm not encouraging you to be totally bad. Right?

divide and devourcarob brownie in sepia

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Best Bran Muffins

bran muffins, fresh out of the oven

I am generally very suspicious of recipes that claim to be the "best" anything, since taste is so subjective and there are invariably going to be several hundred other "best" recipes of the same thing out there. Yet here I am, claiming to have found the "best" bran muffins. And they are. In my own humble opinion.

When I took my first bite of one of these - warm and steaming, fresh out of the oven - it was...almost religious. I might have seen Jesus. But I don't remember - the deliciousness of the muffin eclipsed all else that was going on in that moment. The muffin tasted so amazing that, almost immediately after finishing the first, I inhaled another one, then began to frantically text my friend about the muffins, multiple times. And then I may have danced.

It was a beautiful moment.

So now I wish to share this recipe with you, that it may bring beautiful moments, moments of foodgasmic quality, into your life. Make these muffins. I'm telling you - foodgasmic. Real words don't suffice.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sweet and Salty Cookies


I spent at least fifteen minutes in Shoppers Drugmart, staring at various bags of chips and packages of chocolate, trying to convince myself not to spend money on another one of my frivolous baking projects.

Clearly that didn't work out.

But I don't have regrets. Though everyone stared at me like I was nuts (more so than usual, anyways) when I told them there were potato chips in these cookies, their expressions of doubt and disgust turned to delight as soon as they tasted them. You can't really even detect the potato chips unless you know they're there - the cookies have a taste similar to shortbread.

So while this recipe isn't in any way healthy, is completely indulgent, and a little wacky, it's fun and tasty and may even surprise you, and your friends. And or classmates or professors, if you share them with those too.

Also, if you eat the rest of the potato chips while making these, I won't judge. No judgement here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Millet Porridge

stick to your ribs good

I feel like this is starting to become a breakfast blog. Not that that would be a bad thing. I love breakfast. Breakfast is sometimes my favourite part of the day. When I finish my smoothie, oatmeal, or egg and toast, I feel a sense of loss. My sacred moment of morning indulgence has ended, meaning that I must pack my things and head to the library, or the bank, or class. Real life begins at the end of breakfast...and sometimes, I wish I could just stay stuck in my little breakfast bubble. Forever.

But unfortunately, that's not going to happen. Even while sitting at my kitchen table in the morning, enjoying the first meal of the day, I can hear the kids at the daycare next to the apartment, screaming. Screaming endlessly.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wordless(ish) Wednesday: Smoothie Time

war journals and fruit smoothies
Raspberry Smoothie
1 cup Soy Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 Frozen Banana
1 cup Frozen Raspberries
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger (or 1 tbs fresh grated ginger)

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

pear close upsepia tones make every dramaticpears, chopped & frozen
"I like breakfast-time better than any other moment in the day," said Mr. Irwine. "No dust has settled on one's mind then, and it presents a clear mirror to the rays of things."
- George Eliot, Adam Bede

peanut butter banana smoothie
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
1 cup Soy Milk (or other milk)
1 heaping tbsp Peanut Butter (all natural)
1 tbsp Chia or Flax Seeds
1 Frozen Banana
1/2 cup Frozen Pear Chunks
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.