Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sriracha Caramel Corn

Sriracha caramel corn

The internet is a wonderful thing.

For example, the other week I was googling for recipes and the title "Sriracha Caramel Corn" popped up in my search results. As my brain processed the words I was seeing before me I went very still. In that brief moment, my whole world was that magical sequence of three words and all that they implied. Sriracha caramel corn. SRIRACHA CARAMEL CORN.

I almost fell of my chair. Holy shit amazeballs. Sriracha caramel corn? Oh my god. What fabulous wizard genius did I have to thank for not only having the vision to put Sriracha in caramel corn, but for then putting it on the internet for me to find and hence make FOREVER.

Because just think of about it. Caramel corn is already awesome - it's two amazing things: popcorn covered in fucking caramel. Covered in caramel, people. You wouldn't think this could be more delicious, BUT WAIT, let's add some tasty firestorm sauce from the heavens to it, because just imagine the sweet and crunchy goodness of caramel corn laced with smoky, sweet, spicy Rooster Sauce, as if you're receiving a gentle hug from a jalapeƱo on your tongue while eating pure decadence and WHY ARE WE ALL NOT MAKING THIS RIGHT NOW?

Don't you dare accuse me of overreacting. My feelings about this caramel corn are WARRANTED. It's a damn miracle this entire post isn't in caps-lock. I exercised more self-restraint here than I did when I shovelled all of this caramel corn into my face with the speed and grace of a baleen whale encountering a swarm of krill.

Please do yourself the service of making this caramel corn. If you're feeling extra nice, give it to people as gifts, or serve it at parties. Or, lock yourself in your room, hug the entire bowl of it to your chest and eat all of it because NO REGRETS, just tasty sweet firestorm forever.

the golden bowl Sriracha caramel corn. I will eat it forever.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quinoa Mango Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

golden quinoa mango salad

Yesterday I ate IKEA cookies for dinner. It was not intentional or in any way planned, but it was a life choice I made, and while I kinda mostly regretted it when I was struck by the sensation of being full of various wafers of dubious quality, and I definitely later regretted the choice to sip my friend's lemonade in the theatre (lemonade and chocolate go together like coffee and toothpaste, don't do it, for the love of god), it's hardly the worst food choice I've ever made. (I once melted an entire bag of chocolate kisses, stirred in a bunch of crushed tortilla chips and ate it. Actually, no, that was amazing. I did go through a phase during which I tried, for months, to create an energy bar out of lentils. I ate a lot of weird shit during that time.)

Suffice to say, I make a lot of weird food choices. (As a kid, I thought I was a genius for dipping carrots in milk. It's pretty underwhelming, don't do it.) Sometimes, they work out. Sometimes...well, sometimes you find yourself in a theatre shoving half-full boxes of IKEA cookies into your friends' hands in a last-ditch effort to save yourself from them.

So yes. Sometimes I eat boxes of cookies. They are not my proudest moments.

However, it's not all cookies and tortilla chip fudge. Sometimes it's whole grains, spicy peppers, luscious mangoes, and the tangy punch of lemon cut with the earthiness of curry powder and the creaminess of yogurt. It's quite a mouth full, but I guarantee, it's a good one.

quinoa mango salad

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Crunchy Peanut & Chocolate Energy Bars

healthy & decadent energy bars

The rest of world seems to have gone on various detox diets and juice cleanses, while I've been working my way through a pan of chocolate cake. I literally mean a pan of cake. In fact, I mean two. Two pans of cake. Cookie sheet pans. Filled with cake. Covered in chocolate glaze. Because I either hate or love myself a lot.

Not to say I haven't, like so many others, said to myself: this year I will eat better. This year I will not slice off pieces of frozen cookie dough and feed them to myself. This year I will not each tortilla chips for dinner. This year I will not substitute samosas for every meal. And the list goes on.

We all have our lists of things we can do better, and I often berate myself for so often failing to follow through with resolutions. I spend so much time looking back at all the things I've done wrong that when I look ahead I don't see possibilities so much as the failure I'm already predicting. And ain't that just depressing.

So I made a pan of chocolate cake, and I ate it (with help, though, thank god), New Year's resolutions be damned.

However, in the spirit of being good to myself, I also made these energy bars. I received a coupon for Natural Delights Medjool Dates (which are decadent bites of amazing, thank you nature), and so naturally I went straight to my food processor with them to create these chocolatey, peanut buttery treats that make me think I'm eating delicious junk food even that I know they're made with nothing but good things. Thank you, medjool dates.

Because while chocolate cake is delicious, it's simply inadvisable and bordering on insane for me to continue making pans of cake. But with these treats, I can have my all-natural energy bars that taste like candy and eat them too.

energy bar beginnings

Thursday, January 2, 2014

African Peanut Soup

West African Peanut Soup

The world outside has been mostly ice for the last few weeks. My first steps out the door are always taken gingerly, although the dog trots along merrily. He, for one, is in love with this new land of ice - at the park he's more interested in munching on the ice that's coated the ground, as if the world is his own giant popsicle.

I'm less keen on the cold, even though I spent most of my life in northern Ontario where the winters are frigid and chill you to your core. I used to spend hours outside, in full snowsuit regalia, sledding in the sandpit until my face was red with the cold. I'd come in from sledding and my mother would make hot chocolate to warm me up, and I'd drink it slowly, letting the giant marshmallows I stacked it with melt and turn into gooey blobs of deliciousness.

This soup isn't exactly a hot chocolate with marshmallows, but it has a similar effect on you after coming in from the cold. It's spicy, rich, but full of enough greens to make you feel good about it. It also happens to be a cinch to whip up and budget friendly, too.

So if you're coming in from the cold and need to warm up, this is the soup for you.

peanuts and sriracha let's make some soup