Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Flatbread Crackers

Do you remember having cinnamon toast for breakfast?
(I'm talking to you, sister and brothers.)

Hot buttered toast with just the right amount of crunchy brown sugar and cinnamon.
Soooo good.
Oops, hold on a sec while I wipe the drool from my keyboard.

That's better.

The only thing better than cinnamon toast are these lovely crackers.
They have the same crunchy sweet sugar topping on a crispy whole wheat base. 


I cheated and used a pasta maker to get my crackers thin.

I think they'd be super duper fab on a fruit tray alongside some cream cheesy fruit dip. (Think: cinnamon bun with cream cheese icing.)
Or maybe dipped straight into a jar of peanut butter.
Or dipped in some nutella.

Once you've tried these crackers it won't matter how you serve them as long as they're making it to your mouth. 

Cinnamon Sugar Flatbread Crackers
Makes: about 2 dozen
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup plus 2 tbsp warm water
¼ cup olive oil

2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp granulated sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add water and olive oil and mix until a dough forms. Form into a ball.
2. Dust a rimless baking sheet with flour. Roll the dough out as thin as you can right on the baking sheet. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle all over the dough. Use a pizza cutter to cut into small or large crackers. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Frosted B-raw-nies

I couldn't turn on my shower for 3 days. 
It was not a good situation.

I had to use dry shampoo (not dried out shampoo) and I didn't work very well.
I don't recommend it.
Just get your shower fixed if it's broken.
And use wet shampoo.
Always use wet shampoo.

In other news, I made these b-raw-nies. 
Do you get it?
Aren't I clever?
They're a raw brownie. Oh, and they're gluten free.

Don't worry though, they don't have raw eggs in them. 
They're really just ground up dates and stuff.

And they'll rock your world.
Believe me and trust me about the wet shampoo.

Frosted B-raw-nies
Makes: about 12 small pieces

For the brownies:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
5 tbsp raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa powder)
4 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
¼ tsp sea salt

For the frosting:
1 cup dates
¼ cup coconut butter (or cold expelled coconut oil)
¼ cup raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa powder)
¾ cup water

1. Process walnuts in the food processor until small and crumbly. Add dates and continue processing until finely ground and mixture sticks together. Add the remaining brownie ingredients and process again until chocolatey brown and only small bits remain. (Don't over process or it'll turn buttery.)
2. Dump mixture into a small cake pan or loaf pan. Smooth out with a spatula and place in the refrigerator. Meanwhile prepare the frosting. 
3. Place all the frosting ingredients in a blender a let sit for about 15 minutes to allow the dates to soften. Turn on the blender on low and gradually increase the speed until the frosting is smooth.
4. Spread over the brownies and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Linked to: April in the Raw

Friday, March 25, 2011

Crunchy Quinoa Parfait

I was actually pretty impressed with this easy breakfast parfait. 
We eat a lot of quinoa around here and this seemed like an interesting way to incorporate it into breakfast.

The quinoa is toasted in the oven with a bit of sweetener and olive oil and transformed into a nice, crunchy treat. Add that to some creamy, thick Greek style yogurt and fresh fruit and you have yourself a plethora of texture and flavor.

I toasted the quinoa the night before making it super fast to throw together in the morning.

Try it out for a variation to the usual yogurt and granola parfait.

Crunchy Quinoa Parfait
Adapted from: Whole Living
Serves at least 4

For each cup of quinoa (red or white), mix with 1 tbsp of honey or agave nectar and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Spread in a single layer on parchment paper. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Let cool and serve with thick Greek yogurt and fresh seasonal fruit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Flatbread 1 by jesses-kitchen

I made this to eat alongside some roasted pumpkin and beet soup.
I should've known that was a bad idea.
I ended up eating all the flatbread and none of the soup.

It was like serving a kid a side of lollipops with a main course of brussel sprouts. 
It's not that the brussel sprouts are bad it's just why would you eat them when you can have lollipops instead?

That's how I feel about this bread. 

It's like candy to me. 
If I could, I would tuck some in my purse to munch on during church or while I'm driving or waiting in a line-up. I'd pull out chunks of this lightly seasoned, soft, chewy bread with it's crunchy bits and people all over would envy me wishing they had flatbread in their bags instead of boring old chocolate bars or granola bars. 

Hmmm....maybe that's not such a bad idea.

Makes 8 - 10'' flatbread
Barely adapted from Good to the Grain

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
½ cup amaranth flour (feel free to substitute with all-purpose)
3 cups all purpose flour plus more for kneading
1 tbsp kosher salt

olive oil for brushing
a pinch per flatbread of spices to taste (ex: dried oregano, chili flakes, sesame seeds, rosemary)
Note: I like to use some dried oregano, pepper and a squeeze of lemon for a 'Greek' style bread or some cumin, ground coriander and dried cilantro for a 'Mexican' style.

1. Add 1½ cups warm water, yeast and honey to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Stir together to combine. Let stand for 5 - 10 minutes or until foamy.
2. Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Use the paddle attachment on your mixture to knead for dough for 5 minutes add a small amount of flour if the dough seems too sticky. The dough should stay soft and tacky.
3. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and place the bowl in a draft free area until the dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
4. Fold the dough over itself, gently deflating it as you form it back into a ball. Arrange the dough so that the smooth side is facing up and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours more.
5. After the second rise, scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
6. Roll each piece of dough into an irregular circle (no bigger than 10-inch) about 1/8'' - 1/4'' thick. Lightly brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs. Carefully, transfer to the pan and grill, oil side down for 3-4 minutes.
7. While the first side is grilling, brush the other side with oil and dust with more herbs and spices. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, adjusting the heat and cooking time as necessary. Flatbreads are best eaten right away.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Molasses Bran Muffin

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I'm on a mission to use up some amaranth flour.
I shouldn't really say 'mission' because it's more of a casual attempt to use up the flour.
I figure I have at least a year before I need to actively get rid of the stuff.

Last week while I was browsing through recipe books in the library (who doesn't love the library?), I came across 'Good to the Grain' by Kim Boyce. I was already familiar with the cookbook from these honey amaranth pancakes but what I didn't know was that this cookbook has a whole section on amaranth. 

How perfect is that? 
Unless of course you don't have any amaranth flour, then it's probably not ideal for you.

Kim Boyce pairs amaranth with ''strong-flavoured sweeteners like honey, molasses and muscovado sugar as they temper the boldness of the flour without masking it's flavour."

These muffins are a great example of the above. The molasses makes them thick, chewy and uh.... molassesy(?) while still allowing a hint of amaranth's earthiness to shine through.

Not too much though.... I don't want my muffins to taste like grass.

I had to make quite a few adaptation to the recipe to fit what was in my cupboard. Her recipe called for cooking prunes in orange juice, which I'm sure would've tasted great, but since I didn't have any prunes or orange juice I subbed in bananas.

I'm a simple girl with simple ingredients.... it works for me.

Molasses Bran Muffin
Makes: about 18
Adapted from Good to the Grain

½ cup mashed banana (you could also try pumpkin, pureed berries or date spread)
1½ cups wheat bran
½ cup amaranth flour (or substitute quinoa flour or whole wheat)
1½ cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsps brown sugar
1¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp cinnamon 
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup molasses
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tin. 
2. Measure the bran into a medium bowl. Warm the buttermilk until lukewarm and add to the bran. Set aside.
3. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the molasses, butter, egg and banana, making sure the egg is thoroughly mixed. Add this mixture to the bran, stir, then add the entire wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir gently until just combined.
4. Spoon batter into muffin cups (about ¾ full). Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool completely. These freeze well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Crustless Broccoli and Cheddar Mini Quiche

I honor of St. Paddy's day (yesterday) I thought I better kick out something green for y'all.

It was between this broccoli, some spinach or the green eggs and ham in the back of the fridge.

The broccoli needed to be used up so it won. 
I'm not sure if being eaten is really 'winning' in the life of a vegetable but it's better than being tossed, right?

These are yummy and easy so they're a winner in my book. 
The muffin tin makes them the perfect size for little (and big) mouths. My one year old gobbled them up (probably because of the cheese). The few leftovers we did have I put in the freezer and they taste pretty good reheated.

Try them out for an easy breakfast or lunch.

Crustless Broccoli and Cheddar Mini Quiche
Makes: about 16
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 pkg (10oz) broccoli florets
6 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 16 holes in a standard muffin tin, set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook for 1 minute. Drain well. Blot with paper towels to get out as much water as possible. Once cool enough to handle, coarsely chop.
2. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, mustard and pepper. Stir in broccoli and cheese. Ladle broccoli mixture into muffin cups, dividing evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the center of the quiche no longer jiggles. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Bread

I do like peanut butter bread, Sam I am. 
I could eat in a boat or with goat, or by a moat or even stuff it in my tote.

I'll eat with nutella, jam and jelly; anything really as long as it goes in my belly.
I'll eat it by the telly with Shelly alongside my pet melly in a deli.

I'll eat it for breakfast, lunch and snack I'll even share some with Jack.
Just don't make me give it back or I'll stuff it in my sack and make you sit on a tack.

Peanut Butter Bread
Makes: 1 loaf

2 cups whole wheat flour (I used spelt)
⅓ cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
⅔ cup peanut butter (preferably natural)
1 ½ cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9'' x 5'' loaf pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add peanut butter and milk and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Best eaten with homemade jam.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Butter Olive Oil Spread

Today, I bring you an extremely complicated recipe.
It involves multiple steps, exotic ingredients and unusual kitchen gadgets.

Are you ready for it?

Do you have some of this in your kitchen:

What about some of this:

Do you know how to beat together butter and olive oil?
Oh, you do.
Well I take back what I said.
This is actually the easiest thing you'll ever make. Ever.

Use it instead of tub margarine to spread on toast, baked potatoes, you name it.

Given that margarine is pretty close to being plastic, your body will thank you for making this.
It'll thank me for giving you this recipe.
So - you're welcome. 

Butter Olive Oil Spread
Makes: about ¾ cups

½ cup softened butter
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

1. Beat together softened butter and olive oil until well combined. Season with salt to taste. The mixture will be the consistency of mayonnaise. Refrigerate until it reaches a spreadable consistency. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Double Ginger Vegan Cookies

You may not be vegan if:

1) You just saw the word cookie and immediately reached for the butter.

2) You've been wondering how to replace the ginger for chocolate in these cookies.

3) You've had 30 pounds of bacon in your possession at one time.

4) You thought I forgot the egg in this recipe.

5) You once presented a homemade marshmallow to a vegan friend and when they looked at you quizzically exclaimed, "What? There's no meat in these!".

6) The thought of going a day without cheese or chocolate makes you feel faint.


7) You think hot dogs are fine for non meat eaters since they really don't contain any meat anyways.

Double Ginger Vegan Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1½ cups all purpose flour
1½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup minced candied ginger
1 cup vegan sugar
2 tbsps ground flaxseed
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup vegan sugar for rolling cookies into balls

1. In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger and minced candied ginger. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, flaxseed, applesauce, oil, lemon zest and juice.
3. Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well together until all the flour is moist and everything is well incorporated. Form dough into a disc and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough from fridge and form into walnut sized balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes until just slightly browned but still soft on the inside. Best eaten the same day. (As all cookies are.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cilantro Pesto Egg Salad

I'm not a huge lover of cilantro or egg salad.
Maybe this wasn't my best choice to make for lunch.
The cilantro made me do it.

A half batch of cilantro pesto being made

I had a big bunch of cilantro sitting in the fridge threatening to spoil and this seemed like a good enough way to use it up. 

Let me start my 'review' in saying this recipe didn't convert me to egg salad.
I'm still not fond of the stuff but I'll eat it if I must.

I was, however, pleased with the way the cilantro pesto turned out.
Generally, I find cilantro over powering and a bit of a steal the show herb.

This pesto really mellowed out the flavor.  I think it'd be good tossed with some hot pasta instead of the egg salad. I'm still struggling to think of how else I'd use this Mexican-Italian fusion pesto.

Any ideas out there?

Cilantro Pesto Egg Salad
Adapted from Mess in the Kitchen
Makes about 2 cups for 8 sandwiches  (don't hold me to that)

For the pesto:
70 grams cilantro
2 tbsp pinenuts or walnuts
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
salt and pepper to taste

For the egg salad:
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
½ cup low fat mayo (is there really such a thing?)
2 sticks of celery, chopped

16 slices crusty brown bread

1. To make the pesto: combine all the ingredients (under pesto) in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy looking. Taste and add more salt and pepper depending on your liking.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the chopped eggs, mayo and celery.
3. If desired toast the slices of brown bread. Spread about ¼ cup of egg salad on 8 slices of bread, top with the remaining slices and cut in triangles.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Apricot Cheese Loaf

Winter is alive and well in Revelstoke.

In the last week it's snowed almost 3 feet!
(Um... yes, I know it's March!)

I really love snow and winter but even I'm starting to miss the grass.

March 04, 2011

All this snow had me longing for a little taste of summer.

This loaf is basically what happened after I was finished tasting summer.
I took out some frozen apricots and blackberries and made some really lovely things (more on that another day) and was leftover with a handful of mushy thawed apricots.

Truthfully, I didn't have high expectations for this loaf (I'm really more of a chocolate kind of gal), but oh goodness me it was good. The cream cheese made it super duper moist and gave it a lovely melt in you mouth quality.
And the nutmeg and the cinnamon!
They just make everything taste like granny's house. (A cute little old granny that bakes not the one that sits in a lazy boy chain smoking all day.)

Although this loaf was superb, I wish I hadn't eaten all of it. 
I should've saved some for the very real possibility of getting snowed in. 

Apricot Cheese Loaf
Makes 1 loaf

For the loaf:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used spelt)
½ cup chopped apricots (dried or fresh)
2 tsp baking powder
¼tsp salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
¾ cup milk 
½ cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
4oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
¼ cup granulated sugar
⅛tsp almond extract

For the topping:
2 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9''x 5''x3'' loaf pan. To prepare the loaf combine the flours, baking powder, salt, sugar and nutmeg. Mix well. Add the apricots, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and stir until just combined. Set aside.
2. Prepare filling. Beat softened cream cheese for about a minute or until smooth. Add sugar and beat another minute. Add egg and almond extract and beat two more minutes, occasionally stopping to scrap the sides of the bowl.
3. Pour half of the loaf batter into the prepared pan. Spoon about half of the cream cheese mixture on top. Pour in the rest of the loaf batter and top with remaining cream cheese mixture. With a butter knife, gently (and minimally) swirl the batter to create a swirl effect (duh).
4. In a small bowl mix make the topping by mixing together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this cinnamon mixture all over the top of the loaf. Bake for about 1 hr - 1hr 15 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely, slice and enjoy.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

I'm not even close to vegan.

I'm a bacon lovin', butter eatin', whip cream slurpin' omnivore.

I can't help it.
I just love that stuff.

But I do still like to mix it up once in awhile.
It's usually at the request of my arteries.

Truthfully, I really do try to prepare vegan or vegetarian meals at least one day a week (usually Meatless Monday's) for some variety.

When vegan recipes taste as good as this soup, I really don't miss the other stuff.

This soup subs cashew cream for the heavy cream that would normally be in the soup. Although it's not as rich and thick as regular cream, the cashew cream works really well to make this into a comfort food.

I know this is a bit weird and different but give it try. 
(Not ready to go vegan? Eat it with a huge slice of cheese toast on the side :) )

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
Serves: 4
Source: Joy the Baker

2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb (454g) cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp coarse ground pepper
3 cups vegetable broth (or 3 cups water plus 1 tbsp homemade bouillon)
½ cup raw cashews
½ cup water

1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute more. Add mushrooms, tamari (or soy sauce), and worcestershire and continue cooking until mushrooms or very soft and broken down, about 5 minutes. Add pepper and broth and simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. While soup is simmering, prepare cashew cream. In a blender or food processor, puree cashews and water until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and set aside. 
3. When mushrooms are cooked through add about ⅓ of the soup to the blender and blend on low until smooth. Pour into a clean pot and continue until you've pureed the whole batch of soup. Pour the cashew  cream into the soup and stir until incorporated. If desired, strain through a fine mesh strainer. (I didn't). Serve or freeze for later.

Linked to: Seasonal Sundays
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