Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lunch today

Barbeque local sausages, homemade coleslaw with honey and mayo, baked potato with Epicure Cheese, Chives and Bacon dip, crudités.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Microwave Brownie in a Mug (single serving)

Midnight snack tonight.

Not too much to look at, but you can see the ooey, gooey centre just slightly undercooked.
Yes, please!

Microwave Brownie in a Mug
adapted from Chow
3 Tbsp granulated sugar, slightly rounded
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp vanilla
A dash of salt
1 tsp Just Us! Espresso Blend ground coffee (optional, but highly recommended)
- In a small bowl or mug, mix sugar, cocoa and flour well.
- In a large mug (or small bowl), melt butter.  Add water, salt, vanilla and coffee, if using. Whisk.
- Add dry ingredients, whisk well.  Clean off edges of the mug with your clean finger, lick finger.
- Microwave for 60-75 seconds: 60 seconds for a molten bottom, 75 for uniformly done.

NOte on the coffee: you can use 3 Tbsp strong, brewed coffee (hot or cold) (and omit the 3 Tbsp water) to avoid the grits of coffee grinds in your cake, but I rather like the bits in my cake.

I cooked it in the microwave for 60 seconds.  (one measuring spoon and one button on my microwave!)

Perfection when served as is.

Then again, you could stick a small chunk of dark chocolate in the centre while hot, top with ice cream, whipped cream, Newfie cream (Carnation canned cream, like clotted cream I think), crème douce (whipping cream, heavy cream), or dust with icing sugar, or a ganache (nah, that's just too rich).

You can double (or more) this recipe. Then you can cook two at one time (I recommend two bowls) or use half now and store half in the cupboard for later... like later tonight when you're up with your toddler AGAIN and it only takes one beep of the microwave to cook it - One Minute button, thank you. Um, combine the dry ingredients and store those, then add the wet when you NEED CAKE FAST. I know what I'm talking about here!

EDIT: I have made it with cow's milk, soy milk, Earth Balance and applesauce in place of the melted butter. You take your pick.

If you have time to think and plan ahead, make a pan of these luscious brownies, they freeze really well and you can ship them across the country (though this costs a small fortune as they are dense and heavy).

It has come to my attention that the full recipe above is rich (yes, you're welcome) but perhaps too much for 1 person in one sitting.  Here is the math worked out for 2/3 of the cake above:
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp flour
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter, melted (or applesauce or Earth Balance, melted)
2 Tbsp water (or brewed coffee and omit coffee granules)
1/8 tsp vanilla
dash salt
2/3 tsp coffee granules
- mix dry
- melt butter in cereal bowl, add water, vanilla, salt and coffee (if using).
- add dry, mix well
- microwave 50 seconds to 1 minute

Did you share your brownie?  You don't have to, you know...
Did you add anything to it? 

Did you top it with something?

Lunch today - Pad Thai

Sadly, no chicken or tofu on-hand.  Added an extra egg.

Added a tablespoon of cornstarch to the sauce to thicken it (mixed in 1/4 cup cold water before I added it).

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter)

At the beginnig of every school year, I buy a new container of soybutter or sunbutter for the Big Kid's "emergency lunches" - those mornings you wake up late and haven't thought about his lunch and there's nothing to just pull out of the fridge, freezer or cupboard and you know you can't rely on a pb&j (there are allergies at the school).

Enter ALTERNATIVE BUTTERS. (say that with an echo, like you'd hear on Sesame Street or something)

Today I made sunbutter.

Oh. my. yummy.  My Wee Ones didn't buy it though and wanted "old peebee bubber" not "diffwent peebee bubber".  More for me!  And lunches!

I lightly toasted my shelled sunflower seeds and lightly salted them in a dry frying pan on medium high heat - don't leave the stove.  The instant they started to turn a little colour I poured them into the food processor bowl and they were perfect.

It took about four minutes for me to get the consistency I wanted with a bit of oil dribbled in it.

In the food processor, lookin' good.
Sunflower Butter
from The Tasty Alternative
1 cup sunflower seeds
1-2 Tbsp oil of choice (I used melted coconut oil)
- whir in food processor for a few minutes, drizzle in the oil near the end.

On toast with real butter underneath and beside coconut butter.

Coconut butter

I put my food processor to quite a test yesterday. 

I've been reading more blogs written by vegans and whole food and raw food eaters.   I hear about this coconut butter over and all the wonderful things you can do with it.  So, naturally, I wanted to try it.

The Ingredient

Now, normally you would have had coconut butter from a jar and then wanted more.  You go back to buy it and notice the price.  Then you say to yourself, "I can make this at home."  So you go home and try it.  It works and it's yummy. 

I didn't do it that way.  I read about other people loving a commercial coconut butter and I think to myself, "I can make this at home."  So I do.  I buy coconut and make coconut butter not knowing what I was aiming for or how good it can be.

Coconut before any whirring

My food processor whirred and whirred and whirred for 18 minutes straight (except for stopping to be scraped down).  Ho boy.

The results are granular, but I'm a chronic under baker and under processor so I'm not surprised nor disappointed.  Next time I'll let it go longer, I hope, so it can be creamy and irresistible.

Here is the recipe I followed to a "T".

Mine did not get as creamy as this one and not as liquidy as this one, but could have looked like this one with a bit more time.  Nonetheless, it is still delightful on toast (and a spoon).  I just microwave it for 30 seconds to soften it before I spread it.

On toast with real butter underneath and beside sunbutter.

Homemade Coconut Butter
from Oh She Glows
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (1 little bag)
- process in a food processor for about 20 minutes until a butter forms, scraping the sides of the bowl as often. Makes approximately 1/2 cup coconut butter.

As a variation, you can take 1/4 cup of coconut butter and add 1 Tbsp carob powder or cocoa powder.  Mmm

1 minute mark

3 minutes

6 minutes

8 minutes

11 minutes

15 minutes

18 minutes of whirring later, I stopped here.

I do feel I stopped early.  I may have been able to achieve a real smooth and creamy spread had I kept going. 

I will make this again using a different brand of coconut just to try it and using the smaller bowl of my food processor.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Spiced Hazelnut Milk

Made a batch of this today so I can make the raw cinnamon rolls with the hazelnut pulp that's leftover from the milk-making process.

Soooo yummy.

I processed the soaked nuts and dates with half the water, then slowly added the remaining water while the food processor was running.  I then strained it in cheesecloth for just a minute and squeezed out everything I could, save for later (I have frozen mine for the weekend).  Then I put it in the blender with the cinnamon and nutmeg and blended it just a bit more.  I probably could've done it all in the food processor, but my blender was already dirty (I'd tried to blend all the water with the nuts first and it was like the blades were gummed up or something, they didn't whir.) so I finished it off in there.

I poured myself a glass and put the rest in a mason jar in the fridge.  Yum yum.

I can see it being used in pancakes, waffles, a bowl of granola, in a glass with a cookie...

Got to try almond milk now, can't wait.

Two questions today:

1) Have you made any other nut milks?  What were your results?  Where will you use hazelnut milk (it sounds so luxurious, eh?!)?

2) I'm looking for a great salsa recipe, some for hot and some for not.  We could consume more of it, but I don't like to buy it often and have not found "The One" for us.  Can you suggest any?

Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy birthday to me!

I can't verify the source of this picture, but I like it.
I count 12 candles, that's about 1/3 what I needed!  ha ah!

Today is my birthday.  It is also the birthdays of my middle kids who happen to be twins.  We rock this date all day.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Miss you

I want to let you all know that I'm still here, cooking and taking pictures! I'm not making the time to post.  Hopefully I will soon as I miss posting.