vegetarian roti

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It was Chris’s dinner making day and he was determined to come up with something that was healthier then his other culinary specialties (which include ribs, steak, pasta dishes, short ribs, mac’n cheese etc… which always include incredible homemade sauces and marinades ). Everything he makes is awesome!….always. Even though (thanks to the blog) I have become much better cooking, it’s still so frustrating when people NEVER seem to mess things up! He consistently makes great food (My BFF is the same!) UGH! .

I was excited to see what he was going to come up with. He found some authentic Guyanese roti  (shells? skins?…whatever they’re called). We filled them with a super yummy chickpea/sweet potato curry filling. Needless to say I was not disappointed we ate until we couldn’t eat anymore! The following day we brought the left-overs to lunch ,which I shared with a co-worker, she agreed they were excellent!.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp coconut oil

1 small onion, peeled and sliced

1 cup  organic vegetable broth

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp each coriander, cinnamon and turmeric

1/2 tsp hot sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chickpeas, canned or frozen

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 to 3 large roti

Preparation

1. In non-stick skillet over medium, heat oil. Add onion; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in broth, potato, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and turmeric.

2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until potato is fork-tender. Season with hot sauce and salt.

3. Stir in chickpeas (rinse if canned; thaw if frozen) and milk. Bring to a boil. Cook, low heat, stirring, until chickpeas are heated through.

4. Divide mixture between 2 roti. Fold up the bottom to make a straight edge. Roll to make a wrap. Wrap snugly in plastic wrap.

 

 

 

Thanks for dinner babe! XOXO

roti bf

 

 

 

creamy dressing

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So everyone seems to have an opinion on Gwyneth Paltrow and her blog (which I actually really like), her marriage…pretty much her life in general. I always kinda liked her (remember when she dated Brad Pitt!?!?). She always seems happy in interviews, pretty in magazines. She’s also been in some of my favorite movies (Royal Tenenbaums, Great Expectations!) Anyways, inspired by all the Paltrow hollywood gossip lately, I decided to crack open her (newest) cookbook “It’s All Good”  (a gift from my parents).

salad dressing2We’ve been trying a bunch of different stuff from the book the past couple weeks. So far everything has been delicious!! MY FAVORITE so far being this salad dressing. It’s super simple and so freaking good!! Please give it a try….regardless of your feelings about Ms. Paltrow.

 

It’s All Good; Gwyenth Paltrow & Julia Turshen (p.61)

INGREDIENTS:

3 T white wine vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup organic Vegenaise

3 T water

½ tsp coarse sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

**Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe, she added a handful of parsley which is also amazing!**

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a blender until completely pureed. Keeps well in a jar with a fitted lid for up to one week.

 

 

salad dressing

 

 

 

a birthday party

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I spent the weekend celebrating my birthday with my favorite people!  Saturday afternoon we hosted a wonderful potluck with some of the most delicious food! Chris made my favorite ribs on the BBQ, My bestie Nic  (ibbyandpop) brought her delicious quiche (hopefully she’ll post the recipe on her beautiful blog), We had salads; chickpea, caesar, and cabbage. Homemade mac’n cheese, awesome mini baked potatoes and a HUGE spread of meats and cheeses, banana cupcakes and of course beer and wine for all. This year we choose to include EVERYONE that meant even our new little friends. We stuffed a pinata with candy (for us) toys, stickers and gold star confetti!  It was one of the most special birthdays I have ever had. I can not thank everyone enough for coming and sharing the day with me.

Thank you, Chris for capturing it and making another incredible video for me! I love you!

 

 

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Beautiful photo’s of the party and lots of amazing recipes and stunning photo’s check-out: www.ibbyandpop.com

 

oat yogurt scones

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I had a whole list of things I wanted to do today. I can honestly say that this scone project was the only thing I ended up getting done. I woke up with a splitting headache. Unable to barely move I whined and cried till past noon. Finally, after a couple tylenol I was functional enough to make some scones and a small blog post. Homework and taking Wyatt for a walk will have to wait a little longer. The scones were nice, a little too dry but, with a large cup of fresh coffee, a little butter and fresh strawberries they ended up pretty good!

Ok, well guess it’s time to tackle a little homework.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups  cake flour flour extra for dusting surface
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup  rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon (+) full-fat yogurt
  • 1 egg, beaten (for glaze)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). line baking sheet with un-buttered parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. With your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients (until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs).
  4. In a small dish, combine the milk and syrup, then add these ingredients to the butter-flour mixture.
  5. By hand, bring everything together and add yogurt a tablespoon at a time until it forms a soft dough. If it feels too dry, add a little more yogurt (dough should not be sticky).
  6. On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough out until it is approx 2 inches tall. Using a  cutter (or a small cup), cut the dough into rounds and place them on the prepared tray so that they almost touch. Glaze the tops with beaten egg
  7. Bake for 20-25min

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baba ghanoush

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I was up till 2am working on homework…that I’m still no where near finished with. We are currently working on color theory and that seems to also include watercolor. I have to make 2 colour charts and render a fashion illustration using 2 of the “water colour techniques” listed in the assignment hand out. I’m HORRIBLE with water colour. Thankfully Chris joined me at our dining room table, sketching away and testing out his new brushes he got a couple months ago. We blasted music and chatted away….this could be a contributing factor for why I don’t have as much done as I had hoped to.

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Tired from yesterday and overwhelmed with how much work I still have to do, I thought I would blog (procrastinate) a little. I saw the William-Sonoma recipe for Baba Ghanoush and thought I would give it a try.  They use the BBQ to char the eggplant…we did not. Our grill is pretty much frozen shut and there was no way I was going outside if I didn’t have to ( I HATE being cold). I looked up the directions for the oven, but used the ingredients and recipe directions from the William-Sonoma. We chopped up some vegetables, grabbed a handful of crackers and I toasted up some sweet potato slices in the hot oven.

I can’t wait till summer to use the BBQ we will definitely try it again!

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INGREDIENTS:  (WILLIAM-SONOMA, OVEN DIRECTIONS AT BOTTOM)

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/4 cup tahini, plus more as needed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • Large pinch of ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. Preheat an oven to 375°F.Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl.

Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.

Serve at room temperature.
 
OVEN DIRECTIONS:
  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and turn broiler on (high heat). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place eggplants onto the baking sheet and prick in several places using a fork. This helps steam escape while the eggplants roast.
  • Broil eggplants 2 minutes on all sides. The skin will darken a little and begin to smell smoky, adding lots of flavor to the dip.
  • Turn broiler off, but do not remove eggplants from the oven. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Roast eggplants 25 to 30 minutes, or until very soft. Cool 10 to 15 minutes until easily handled.
 
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birthday cake

IMG_5121Chris’s birthday cake…was probably the biggest baking project I have ever tried. It was surprisingly super successful!! The directions are long but the outcome is amazing! I followed the directions as closely as possible and it wasn’t necessarily hard, it just takes a while.

Our birthday weekend started with Valentines Day. We started the evening with some champagne then off to Roy Thompson Hall to watch Casablanca with the TSO. On the way we stopped at Seven Lives in Kensington Market to grab taco’s and sat in the car trying our best not to ruin our clothes.

valentinesdaySaturday we had a small gathering planned. We had arranged a dinner at Soos about a month ago, a fun little Malaysian restaurant. They reserved a small private table for us with a strict number of (12) guests. We ate an incredible meal laughing and catching up with bunch of Chris’s friends. Then we strolled up to Dundas West to enjoy some drinks with a few more people at Get Well. We stayed till last call and stumbled home.

IMG_3550 I made his birthday cake, the topping and the icing Sunday afternoon (while the birthday boy waited out his horrible hang-over on the couch). Finally Monday (CHRIS’S BIRTHDAY!!) I woke up early to put the cake all together (and  of course pile the table with more champagne, gifts, balloons and to get started on a big birthday breakfast). We made eggs benedict with prosciutto, drank coffee, listened (sang along…and there MAY have been some dancing) to our favorite 90′s tunes and of course snuggled with our puppy.

By the afternoon we were ready to try some cake and sip some champagne.

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Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake

  • 1 batch birthday cake (recipe below)
  • 1 batch birthday cake soak (recipe below)
  • 1 batch birthday cake frosting (recipe below)
  • 1 batch birthday cake crumbs (recipe below)
  1. Invert the birthday cake onto a sheet of parchment paper or silpat, and peel off the parchment paper backing. Using the 6-inch cake ring, stamp out two circles from the cake. These will be the top and middle layers. The remaining cake “scrap’ will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.
  2. Clean the cake ring and place it on a sheet of parchment paper or silpat atop a baking sheet. Use one strop of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. Put the cake scraps in the ring and use the back of your hand to press the scraps together into a flat even later.
  3. Dunk the pastry brush in the birthday cake soak and give the layer of scraps a good, healthy bath of half of the soak.
  4. Spread one fifth of the birthday cake frosting over the base layer. Then sprinkle with one-third of the birthday cake crumbs evenly over the top of the frosting. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place. Top with another fifth of the birthday cake frosting, carefully spreading it so that it is even, but without disturbing the crumbs.
  5. With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5-6 inches tall- high enough to support the height of th finished cake. Top with a full circle of cake (save the nicest one for the top layer), brush the rest of the cake soak over this layer, top with another one fifth of the frosting, one third of the cake crumbs, and another one fifth of the frosting.
  6. Nestle the remaining cake round into the frosting. Cover the top of the cake with the last fifth of the frosting. Give it volume and swirls, or opt for the perfectly flat top. Garnish the frosting with the remaining birthday crumbs.
  7. Freeze the cake for at least 12 hours to set the cake and filling. (And to make the unmolding much easier.)
  8. Three hours before serving, pull the pan from the freezer, and using your fingers and thumbs, pop the cake out of the cake ring. Gently peel off the acetate and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. Let it defrost in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. (wrapped well in plastic, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)

Birthday Cake, Yield: 1 quarter sheet cake

  •  2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T rainbow sprinkles
  • 4 T (1/2 stick) salted butter, at room temp
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 T light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a rimmed quarter sheet pan by spraying with cooking spray and covering the base with a sheet of parchment. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 cup sprinkles in a small bowl. Set the dry ingredients aside for later.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the eggs (all at once) and then beat again on medium-high for another 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the wet ingredients (buttermilk, oil, and imitation vanilla) in a steady stream. Increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for another 4 to 6 minutes. The mixture should double in size and turn practically white. Don’t stop mixing until the mixture is completely homogeneous, with no visible streaks of oil or fat.
  6. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, and mix for another minute or so until the ingredients are just combined.
  7. Pour out the batter into the prepared sheet pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbl of sprinkles.
  8. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the cake bounces back slightly when gently pressed in the corner. The center of the cake should no longer jiggle when the pan is shook. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Birthday Cake Soak

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together the milk and vanilla in a small cup or bowl.

Birthday Cake Crumb

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 T light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 T rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 T clear imitation vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or piece of parchment.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles. Mix on low speed until combined.
  3. Stream in the oil and the imitation vanilla on low speed and continue beating the mixture until the ingredients clump and form small clusters.
  4. Carefully spread the clusters in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes, breaking up occasionally. They will be slightly moist but will harden as they cool. Let them cool completely before using.

Birthday Cake Frosting

  • 1 stick salted butter, at room temp
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 tablespoon glucose
  • 2 tbl light corn syrup
  • 1 T clear imitation vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch baking powder
  • pinch citric acid

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, and the cream cheese for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the glucose, corn syrup, and vanilla, and beat the mixture on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and glossy white.
  3. Add the powdered sugar, baking powder, and citric acid on low speed until just combined. Crank the mixer to high speed and beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is stark white and fluffy.

IMG_3568HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LOVE!!!!! XOXOX

hot chocolate + spiced rum

hot chocolate

We decided to head up to the cottage last weekend. It was insane, I have never seen or walked through so much snow.  We hiked in Friday night, in the dark, with the puppy and snow up to our knees. When we finally got to the cottage we didn’t notice just how cold the powerless cottage was. We had totally bundled up for the 20 minute hike, which left us hot and exhausted. We lit a fire, turned on the power, and plugged in the electric blanket and before we knew it we were shivering waiting for the cottage to warm up.

We decided to make a warm drink. We had packed a small mickey of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, hot chocolate and some cream. We quickly boiled some water mixed our hot chocolate and topped it off with cream and rum. It was the perfect. A few hours later the cottage was toasty and we were excited for the rest of the weekend. We spent Saturday wandering around the wintery wonderland (by then some of the snow was up to our waist!), reading, watching movies and of course eating.

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