April 30, 2011

Homemade Sourdough Starter and Bread

10 days ago I committed.

I committed to a slimy, sticky, sour group of creatures. I committed to raise, feed, and take care of them for as long as I possibly can.

The chances are good, that I will probably get bored and kill them in a couple of months, but for now, I am committed.

Did I forget to mention that I am growing yeast - not puppies.

I'm going on vacation in 1 week, and I asked a friend if she could feed my yeast. I'm not gonna lie, it sounded weird.

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April 27, 2011

Quinoa Pasta with a Tomato Rose Sauce





















Celiac disease is a disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains (oats, barley, couscous, and rye).

Anger and/or rage are the 2 feelings I would probably have, if I were diagnosed with celiac disease.

What would I eat if I had celiac disease? QUINOA PASTA BABY. It is sooooooo good. Almost as good as chocolate. Note to self: eat more chocolate.

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April 26, 2011

Mango Banana Smoothie with Rosemary


Ahhhh.... smoothies. Fruit, yogurt, milk, and ice - POW, smoothie. Four weeks ago I ate like a bird. If you brought me a smoothie for breakfast, I would be happy, really happy. Nowadays, I'd be delighted to drink a smoothie for breakfast, as long as its served with bread, cheese, eggs, and fruit - lots of fruit.
If you bring me a smoothie, all by itself, I will cry. Not on the inside, probably out loud. I'm a baby, just ask my husband.

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April 24, 2011

Vegetarian Poutine

Yesterday in Seattle something unearthly happened. The sun shone. The sun and it's strength was completely unexpected, so much so that I got a very attractive sunburn on my nose. This was  extremely displeasing to me. My family lives in Canada, where it is super cold. I am always trying to convince them to move to the Pacific Northwest. I like to taunt them with days like this.

With all this sun, we (husband + me + dog) went to a picnic potluck party in the park. Try saying that fast 10 times. In preparation for this picnic, I tried to make macarons, which failed, followed by macaroons, which also failed. After spending a great deal of time in the kitchen, I got really mad and threw them both against the wall. I was annoyed, my husband was scared, my dog was excited. In the end, we all laughed. So instead of bringing French pastries, we brought veggie dogs. And, I also threw out that super horrible baking book which leads me to fail every time.

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April 21, 2011

Strawberry Shortcakes

Yesterday, I got bored. I often get bored. I blame this on; a) constant need for change, b) constant need for stimulation, and c) short attention span. What to do? Eat chocolate? No wait, I just ate chocolate. Do yoga? One problem, today I'm lacking gusto. Hmmmmmm.....shopping No....... yes....... no....... yes...... no........ YES. Self-control = 0 vs Self-indulgence = 1 Shopping will be fun, but what shall I buy?  A puppy? No, bad idea. Ody (my dog) + _____ (new dog) = poop x 2 - no thanks. A xylophone? Wait, do I really want a xylophone or do I just really like saying xylophone? What about a banana-phone? Also, cool name, but no, I don't think I need a banana-phone.  A cookbook?  Do I really need a cookbook? This is questionable. Do I really want a cookbook? Definitely. This dilemma, the whole need vs want thing, seems to be a reoccurrence in my life. I've determined that my desire to want is way stronger than my actual need.

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April 19, 2011

Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomato with a Balsamic Dressing





















Back in the day, when I was a student, I used to frequent an establishment called the Sugar Bowl. They made the most delicious goat cheese stuffed tomatoes.

The Sugar Bowl is in a city called Edmonton, in a province called Alberta, in a country called Canada.

I lived there, in Edmonton, not the Sugar Bowl.

In Edmonton, they have underground tunnels, because it's to cold to be outside. When I lived there, it was so cold, I rarely left the house. When I did, my eyeballs froze.

Now I live in Seattle, and it rains. Today, I did boot camp, and it rained. Damn rain.

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April 18, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with Streusel Topping

9:00 am - Way to early, lacking creativity, must rely on the interweb for help.

9:30 am - Discover "The Quest for the Perfect Banana Muffin". Perfect, I like quests.

10:00 am - Kitchen explodes into a sea of flour, egg shells, and banana peels - this is normal.

10:30 am - Time for the magic to happen.

11:00 am - Now, wait patiently for muffins to cool. This is too hard, I give up. OUCH, burnt mouth. This was predictable.

11:10 am - YES, the best banana muffins ever.

You wanna to know what makes these the best banana muffins ever? Banana, a whole lot of it.

Chocolate, also a whole lot of it. Maybe some love. Love couldn't hurt.

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April 15, 2011

French Potato Salad with Dill and Cashews


Ody, my dog, is a maniac.

This morning I was working out in my office/photography studio/kitchen table area - which might I add, can turn into a make-shift exercise room - and I decided to take a break (I get distracted easily).

When I came back 10 minutes later, my dog had, with his mouth, picked up a 5 lb weight and carried it to his bed.

When I entered the room, he was frantically trying to tear this thing apart. Clearly, this was the best gift anyone had ever given him.

A few hours later, I decided to do a few stretches.

While I was in the downward dog position, cursing at my ham strings, my dog laid down right underneath me.

I'm not sure if the guilt from the previous weight incident was too overwhelming, and he was trying to make amends, or if he was just looking for shelter?

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April 14, 2011

Savory Cheese Muffins with Caramelized Onions

Organized - to be efficient and methodical. It is in this state that I am able to surpass all of my wildest expectations. Today I woke up with an idea - well, two ideas:

1. rearrange my living room (this may lead to a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment)
2. eat chocolate cake (this will probably taste good)

Prior to this morning's feng shui organizational experiment, my photography studio consisted of a very nice couch, a very narrow windowsill, and a bear-sized window.

The bear-sized window provides the most desirable picture taking light (overcast). No, you must have mistaken my words, I didn't say the most desirable light for sun tanning or vitamin D acquisition.

Now, thanks to my spatial organization skills and ultimate desire to move heavy furniture all afternoon, I have a new make-shift photography studio. This new studio also functions as a kitchen table and an office - brilliant!

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April 13, 2011

Mango and Avocado Salad

Scrumptious, super healthy, yummy, fantastic, delicious salad. Salad is my second favorite food - first being chocolate.

Last night, I picked up these mangoes - you know, the cute yellow ones, also known as Ataulfo mangoes.

These are the type of mangoes that will leave you feeling nostalgic for the days of tropical beaches, sand, and sun. This salad screams summer, and that is exactly what I am screaming - SUMMER.

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April 12, 2011

Dubliner Irish Stout Cheddar Sandwich with Apples

DUBLINER IRISH STOUT AND APPLE SANDWICH RECIPE
makes 4 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 clove garlic
8 slices sourdough bread
8 - 12 slices veggie or regular turkey
4 oz Dubliner Irish Stout Cheese
tomatoes, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 -2 cups spring mix lettuce
4 tbsp mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, puree the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, and garlic.

Slice the fresh sourdough loaf.

Slice the cheese, tomatoes, apples, and avocado.

Assemble the sandwich with turkey, tomato, cheese, apples, avocado, lettuce. Spread mayo on the bread, and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.



April 11, 2011

The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake (ever)



I'm currently in Yakima, WA for a dietetic conference, therefore I am taking a bit of a hiatus from cooking/baking. The conference is only 2 days long, so I'll be back in Seattle tomorrow night. It has been really good so far. Lots of interesting speakers, and the most important thing, I am networking. Nobody has offered me a job yet, but there's always tomorrow. I had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. this morning, in order to make it to the conference by 7:30 a.m., so I am foreseeably tired. The drive was awesome, especially the part when I drove through a mountainous blizzard in the dark. When I arrived home, I had a mad craving for chocolate cake. Simply Desserts, below my apartment was close, so I decided to make a cake of my own, and I am excited to share this recipe. This is the most extraordinary chocolate cake I have ever eaten. Rich, moist, delicate, the cake would sure fix a chocolate craving in a second. Give it a try - you'll see.

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April 8, 2011

Salted Caramel Popcorn with Peanuts





















I made caramel popcorn.

This should hav been easy.

I didn't remove the unpopped kernels before I covered it will caramel. This is bad.

I didn't realize until later, that bitting down on a caramel hidden kernel could be an unpleasant event.

This means, I had to pick through all the hot sticky popcorn and remove the unpopped kernels. Blarh!

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Smoked Apple Sage Field Roast Sausage, Caramelized Onion, and Squash Quesadillas





















I really surprised myself with this recipe. I wish I had a better picture, but it's so hard to take good photos in my apartment at night.

I just built myself a light box, which will hopefully improve the quality of my photos.

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April 6, 2011

Beer Battered Fish and Homemade Coleslaw

Oh yum - fish and chips. I went our for fish and chips last week, and I was extremely disappointed. I decided to take a stab at making my own beer battered fish. The only thing that sucks about frying fish at home, is all the left over oil. I never know what to do with it - seems like such a waste. 

Now, you can't have fish and chips without the coleslaw. I tried to recreate a coleslaw recipe from Red Fish Blue Fish in Victoria BC. This is my favorite spot to get fish and chips. They also make an amazing fish chowder. We ordered a huge pot for our wedding rehearsal, and it was such a hit. 

I also made french fries. Let me rephrase that, I took fries out of the bag and baked them. I know, not that exciting. There is only so much deep fat frying a girl can do in one day.

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April 4, 2011

Savory Swiss Cheese Pancakes with Mixed Berry Compote






















Let's just say that this past weekend, I went pancake crazy.

After Saturday's cottage cheese pancakes, I got the desire to make a savory pancake with cheese.

My original plan was a pancake, egg, veggie sausage breakfast sandwich, but at the last moment, I decided to use up the slightly greenish potatoes before they turned bad. I made them into potato pancakes [not fried green potato pancakes].

Cheesy pancakes are good, and even better with a mixed berry compote. You want to know what else is good - boot camp. I can't wait for tomorrows class!

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Cajun Fried Potato Cakes





















Ingredients (serves 4)
4 small potatoes, shredded
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Cajun spice

1. In a food processor, grate the potatoes. Mix in salt, pepper, and Cajun. Press the potatoes into flat pancakes and fry in butter over medium heat for 10 minutes on each side, or until crispy.

April 2, 2011

Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Lemon





















Today, I got my lab results. Turns out, my blood lipid levels are within normal range (phew), fasting glucose is excellent (thank goodness), but my vitamin D level is not so good.

The normal healthy range for vitamin D is 32 - 100 ng/mL and mine is 17ng/mL.

I've been recommended by my doctor to take 2000 IU of vitamin D3 twice daily for 4 months, and then have my blood levels rechecked.

I was really shocked when I got this news - I'm not really sure why, it makes total sense. Being a dietitian, I thought I was a glowing example of pure healthiness, I guess not.
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April 1, 2011

Parmasen Spaghetti Squash





















Good News. It's a boy!

It's official, I'm an aunt. After a grueling 24 hours of labour, my sister had a baby boy - Jaxon Phillips born March 31, 2011, 8 lb 1 oz.

It sounds as though she had quite the labour. I imagine it was like participating in an iron-man, while being tortured at the same time.

While my sister was in labour, I cooked. This is what I do.

I made spaghetti squash. Salty, delicious, stringy, spaghetti squash.
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