Monthly Archives: September 2010

Forgive Me

Now and again (but actually quite often) I cook. Baking is my favourite and my passion, but close runner-up is cooking. I love the freedom and creativity, but mostly the savoury goodness of an awesome meal. There’s nothing better than grocery shopping during harvest because nothing beats Ontario or local grown produce. With all this vegspiration I instantly thought of stir fry and next thing you know I’m staring at a pack of chow mein noodles. Duh, I need to make an epic asian inspired dinner! even better, I have leftover roast beef. So that’s what I did tonight… after work my first thought was, “must… have… wine” so I picked up a bottle of my cheap and favourite pinot grigio and headed home for dins. I love walking in my door everyday after work – a yappy, adorable, smushy-faced kitteh greets me with big eyes and even bigger meows… like me, she also wants dinner and I even let her pick: beef, chicken or turkey. I pretend she answers, and well, if I’m making chicken for dinner it’s only fair she gets it too. Anyways, after I fed the creature, I started dinner.

Before I even chopped the veggies, I poured a glass of wine, ahh, perfect, let’s get this show on the road. I proceeded to chop, chop, chop, which strangely enough, I find rather enjoyable. Soon enough my workspace was filled with aplethora of veg, after a nibble of carrot, I am reminded of why local produce rules, this tastes like candy. I sautéed some carrots, celery, onions and red peppers in olive oil, salt and pepper until soft, added a clove of garlic (chopped) then I tossed in 3 heads of baby bok choy. Last but not least, I threw in a handful of cubed roast beef – so good. I added some sweet chili and soya sauce, and some ginger. I prepared the chow mein noodles, as per package instructions (with chicken broth). Atop my bed of noodly goodness I added the veg/beef mixture and an extremely generous helping of sriracha chili sauce (kills me) It was incredibly tasty and satisfying. Maybe not the healthiest of suppers, but a sensible portion makes for a happy gal. I can’t decide if I like the wine or the supper more or the fact that there’s homemade chocolate chip cookies in the freezer.


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Edible Love

I have been MIA – but for good reason. This past week has been a doozy – one of those kinds where everything in your life seems to go wrong. But it’s okay, because during all of these not-so-happy moments, I did a lot of baking to distract myself. I made a lot of soul food because if life isn’t treating you right, you can always depend on good food. It can fill a belly, warm a heart, and satisfy a craving. So luckily, my baking cupboards were stocked, and I took care of bidneh (business, as if spoken by a toothless old man)

Firstly, I made some macaroons for Josh. I had to make him some – he needed TLC (treats, love and care) all of which I provided. I made him his favourite dinners and rubbed his back and gave him hugs. We held each other really close this week – I needed him and he needed me. It’s times like this when I feel loved, like everything in the world is okay as long as I have my lover close by (even better if I can be in his arms or in that general area)

Next on my list were some birthday cupcakes. It’s become a work tradition that if a teammate has a birthday, they can request a treat (if a treat is not requested within 24 hours of asking time, I default to preparing whatever I please) and it didn’t take long for this one… lemon filled cupcakes with cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries on top. These are so simple and that’s because I use cake mix – GASP!?!?!? I know, I said cake mix… I’m a baker who thrives on ‘from scratch’ goods, but as my Nan says “you baked it, you take the credit!” But the cake isn’t the special part here – the special part lies in the garnishes and additives: lemon pie filling (also store bought – who has time to make this from scratch) homemade cream cheese icing, flecked with vanilla beans and fresh strawberries cut up on top! So refreshing, also tart and sweet at the same time – a perfect balance of deliciousness that reminds you a perfect summer day. And if you have the time, by all means, make the cake and lemon filling from scratch! In the end sometimes your roster of recipes has some no-fails that have a few shortcuts, perfectly fine by me!

And then last but not least, a treat to bring home to my family, once again comfort food – not too unhealthy but yummy. Since fall is fast approaching I’ve become inspired by spices – I mixed together cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and made a batch of oatmeal cookies with cranberries and dark chocolate. These are easily my favouritist cookie on planet earth – I dare you to try them. They’re awesome and chewy and freeze well (if for some stupid reason they last long enough to consider freezing) and who doesn’t like oatmeal cookies? I’ve tried many variations: pecans, raisins, just chocolate chips… and either way, they always come out perfect. Try ‘em out! You can find the recipe here:

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Kinda Mushy

The past year has been somewhat of a struggle for me and my beau. We moved to the big city (both being small town folk) with big dreams and even bigger expectations. It’s been a whirlwind of fun and delight, but this whole ‘recession recovery’ thing was a little difficult on the both of us. We graduated with our shiny new diplomas and we were ready to take on a career… well kinda. Cause you see, sometimes you think you’re qualified, and that your quirky sense of humour will get you real far, and sometimes it helps… but for the most part that stupid piece of paper (a.k.a. a resume) is your lifeline and well, mine was pretty dinky (his was too, kinda, but mine was worse) I finally got a job in marketing and he did some film work and even dabbled in the art of poutine creation, but it just wasn’t enough to pay the bills.
What I’m getting at is, the other day my lover landed an amazing gig at a totally cool production company. Words cannot express how proud I am of the guy (also jealous) – he’s a talented, spunky red-head and finally his efforts and character have been acknowledged! Our financial struggles shall be halted in their tracks! We shall overcome them and press through and have money to spend on awesome things like craft supplies, luchador masks, too many DVD’s, tattoos and dinner reservations (oh! And baking stuff!) And this post is for my lover, because he’s pretty special to me and we’ve spent the past 5 years fighting crime together. His favourite treat ever is chocolate macaroons and I really owe him – this is long overdue. I promise to make him macaroons frequently until we’re old and wrinkly.

Maybe you can make these for your special someone – sometimes we call them macaroons, other times they’re fiddle diddles, to a passerby they may look like cow patties, but here’s my no-bake, awesome recipe. I don’t understand how something so simple can make a man so happy:

Makes about 18 macaroons

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
(you may also add a 1/2 cup of nuts, if desired!)

Measure butter, milk and sugar into a medium saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring often, until mixture just begins to boil. Remove from stove to hot pad. Add in remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Using an ice cream scoop (or spoon depending in desired size) drop onto parchment covered tray or baking sheet. Cool completely and store in airtight container – we enjoy this right from the freezer… something about them being cold is just so much awesome-r.


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