Monthly Archives: July 2016

Foodie Trends: Hemp Seed Antioxidant Smoothie Bowl

The ying and yang of life, all in a smoothie bowl.

The ying and yang of life, all in a smoothie bowl.

I present: the Hemp-Seed & Kale Antioxidant Smoothie Bowl! It’s super-yum, super-easy, and so on trend that it’s practically on fleek.

I don’t have a crystal ball (or a crystal mixing bowl, for that matter) but I do read a lot of food blogs. Between the food blogs and Pinterest, you can totally see trends emerging, with pumpkin-spice-everything being the most obvious one. I’ve made a point to follow (almost exclusively) food bloggers on social media and it’s an education in itself to see how trends evolve and take off.

So I thought I’d try something different today, and talk about some of the trends I see developing on the foodie blog scene. And then try to develop my own trendy recipe, just ’cause I wanna go viral like that. (Referencing this post in which I talk about my plans for foodie world domination. Because why not?)

FOODIE TRENDS, according to moi:

  1. Cram-It-All-In Recipes — Take all the key words (gluten-free, low-carb) and/or mash-up a couple of types of recipes (brownie, cake, cookie), and voila! You’ve got a recipe that’s a) original and b) hopefully will go viral. Case in point, the Pumpkin Fudge Brookie.
  2. Dessert for Breakfast — As I’ve previously written, I have insomnia and as such am not a morning person. A dessert person, on the other hand, I most definitely am! If you’re like me, when you have no time to prepare breakfast, just make one of this year’s popular breakfast desserts and pop them in the fridge.
  3. Candy-Store-on-Top Cakes — You have your cake, and then you add slabs of chocolate, lollipops, macaroons, candy floss, basically everything you can find in a candy store and stack that baby up. It’s a one way street to a diabetic coma, but oh, what a way to go! Another variation of this is the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink milkshakes. You know, the ones that have a donut, a slice of pie, whipped cream, chocolate AND caramel sauce, and perhaps a few chocolate bars, all balancing on a tall, frosty milkshake? Not familiar with the concept? Check this out.
  4. Smoothie Bowls — Take a smoothie, pour it in a bowl, sprinkle some toppings over it all, and call it a smoothie bowl. Add in a few trendy words to get the clicks.

Which brings me to my latest easy-peasy recipe! Smoothie bowls are one of the next big things, and I do love my kale smoothies, so I thought I’d see what sort of a delicious mash-up I could make.

Hemp Seed & Kale Antioxidant Smoothie Bowl

Terri’s smoothie from this buzzfeed article is my absolute favourite, so I adapted it for this recipe.

Smoothie Base:

  • 1 small banana, frozen
  • 1 cup kale, frozen
  • 1/2 ripe pear, frozen
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. dehydrated broccoli powder (greens powder from a bulk food store works too)
  • 1 tsp. goji berry powder (optional, but ups the antioxidant factor)

Topping

  • 1/4 c. hemp seeds
  • 1/2 c. blueberries

Blend all ingredients for the smoothie together. Pour into a bowl. Sprinkle toppings over the smoothie.

Yup, it’s that easy! And it’s surprisingly delicious! The protein keeps you full until your next meal, the goji berries and blueberries are full of antioxidants, you’ve got your veggies in the form of kale and broccoli, and healthy fats via the hemp seeds. And did I say it’s delicious? It’s basically like…dessert for breakfast! (See what I did there? Foodie trendz for the win! *high fives self*)

Honestly, this smoothie bowl is much more delicious than it sounds.  Try it out, switch up the toppings, and come up with your own trendy version! And then post your version in the comments. Maybe it’ll go viral!

Next Post: The Sandwich Bread post, probably. Because I’ve already made the recipe twice and there are two more loaves in the oven right now!

Blueberries Gone Bonkers: A Galette Story

Pie, why are you not in my mouth already?

Pie, why are you not in my mouth already?

This week my bake-a-long group is making Dorie Greenspan’s Summer-Market Galette, from her Baking Chez Moi cookbook. What’s a galette? It’s basically a free-form pie.

How to make a galette:

  1. Take a pie crust (I suggest my recipe, ‘natch!), place it on a cookie tray, rolled out into a rough circle.
  2.  Sprinkle a little flour on the pie crust, except for a few inches around the edge.
  3.  Dump your filling on it, mounding it in the centre.
  4.  Fold the edges over.
  5.  Stick in the oven and bake in a hot oven until crust is golden brown and filling is forkable (it’s a word, really! Says I.)
  6.  Let cool (just enough so you won’t burn your tongue).
  7.  Eat!
  8.  Repeat steps six and seven as necessary. This step is pretty obvious, amirite?

In other words, it’s pretty darn easy!

Put down your camera and eat me #whathepiesaid

Put down your camera and eat me #whathepiesaid

Dorie’s recipe takes the basic galette recipe and makes it a bit more upmarket, of course. She gives the recipe for a galette crust that is flaky and browns wonderfully (I still prefer my vodka crust to be honest, but Dorie’s galette dough does hold its shape wonderfully, I have to say), and suggests using crumbled butter cookies (les petits beurres) or crumbled leftover brioche instead of flour to soak up the juices (personally, I don’t have leftover brioche lying around. And if I did, I wouldn’t be wasting it on the bottom of a pie crust. Just saying.). Her recipe calls for summer fruits, such as nectarines, plums, blueberries, and pluots (ever had one? I haven’t, but I’d love to! The love child of a plum and an apricot has got to be delicious, don’t you think?), all seasoned with lime zest and finely chopped ginger. The final touch is a sprinkle of decorative sugar all around the edge of the galette, complemented by an apple jelly glaze. These changes definitely makes the humble country galette a tad more upscale, wouldn’t you say?

And speaking of changes, I wouldn’t be the Queen of Substitutions if I didn’t make some changes to the recipe myself. I decided to use only blueberries. Why? Because blueberries were on sale this week ($2/lb, which is pretty darn cheap for Toronto) and the DH bought 14 lbs. Oh yeah! I’ve made blueberry muffins, dried blueberries, blueberry jam, added blueberries to my homemade yoghurt (recipe to come in a future post!), and ate bowls and bowls of blueberries as a snack. And there are still blueberries. So, a blueberry galette it was!

Other changes? I roughly estimated the ginger, zesting it from some frozen ginger I had in the freezer instead of finely chopping some fresh ginger. The lime zest I replaced with clementine zest simply because that was the only citrus in the house. For the decorative sugar, I used the pearl sugar I bought for another bake-a-long recipe, and it definitely added a nice touch.

Dear reader...I ate him.

Dear reader…I ate him.

And the result? Gorgeous! Also tasty, which is the whole point. (Pretty is as pretty does, but tasty is where it’s at, yo’!) I’d recommend the recipe! I’m sure it’s extra good when one follows the mixed-fruit recipe in Dorie’s cookbook. I can’t wait to see what everyone else in my bake-a-long thought!

Linking up at Southern Bite.

Next Post: The Ultimate Sandwich Bread? Grow-Your-Own Sprouts? Easy as 1-2-3 Homemade Yoghurt? Skor Mini Cupcakes? Oh, the delicious dilemma, I tell you what!

Look, ma! I’m fancy! Or at least my Meringues are.

Oh, sweet pile of sugar!

Oh, sweet pile of sugar!

In the baking world, as with most things in life, there are trends. The latest baking trend is fancy-pants meringues! Seriously fancy-pants, like plaid or Moroccan or cartoon hearts fancy-pants. Ok, so maybe cartoon hearts aren’t that fancy, but I think some of the designs are really…groovy! (I couldn’t resist. And here’s a meme just because that’s what’s going on in my brain right now. You’re welcome.)

groovy baby

What are they really? They’re edible transferable images for meringues.

How to use them?

  • You place the pretty coloured sheets on a baking tray
  • pipe the meringues onto the sheets
  • bake as usual
  • and then peel the meringues of the sheets.

And voila, your meringues are extra-fancy! It really is that easy.

I saw these debuting on some blogs last year and bought some for myself as soon as I could. The company I bought them from is overseas (this one), but I just found out that there is a Canadian one now (this one), so I plan to order from there next time.

Baaaby meringues! (sung to the tune of 'Baby Beluga', because I'm cool like that.)

Baaaaby meringues! (sung to the tune of ‘Baby Beluga’, because I’m cool like that.)

I think these are an easy way to make an event a bit fancy, say for a baby shower or a wedding dessert table, or just a holiday gathering. The meringues look extra pretty and hey, it’s a conversation piece too!

Would I buy some more? Probably, just because it’s fun and adds a nice touch. There isn’t any taste or change in texture, although the DH wasn’t particularly fond of them (he prefers my usual meringue recipe, instead of the one I used this time).

Do you have a favourite meringue recipe? Would you use these sugar sheets for your meringues? Let me know in the comments!

Next Post: Maybe about the AH-MAZE-ING bread recipe that I came across recently and made several times already, maybe about the myriad of canning that I did this week, maybe something else entirely. So many delicious things to write about!  

Linking to: Think Tank Thursday, Meal Plan Monday (x2), & Living Proverbs.

No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream and Why I Love A/C

Strawberries all mixed in, and waiting to be frozen! And then eaten, because...it's the best part.

Strawberries all mixed in, and waiting to be frozen! And then eaten, because…it’s the best part.

The summer has arrived in Toronto, and with it, the humidity. Whenever I step outside of my air-conditioned workplace, I’m hit with a wall of humid heat. Same goes for stepping outside of my condo; even going out into the hallway to do some recycling, the temperature is tangibly humid.

Which is when the DH and I beat a hasty retreat to our air-conditioned refuge! Even those we’re both campers, and even though I was out camping at Georgian Bay for the Canada Day long weekend, where I managed to get scrapes, bruises, and waaaay too many mosquito bites in delicate areas (still an AWESOME weekend!), I’m so happy to come home to my air-conditioned condo.

This is where I was camping. Worth the bug bites, wouldn't you agree? Also, the canoeing I did burned off enough calories that I can eat ice cream guilt-free. Bring on the creamy confection, yo'!

This is where I was camping. Worth the bug bites, wouldn’t you agree? Also, the canoeing burned off enough calories that I can eat ice cream guilt-free. Bring on the creamy confection, yo’!

And luckily for me, the DH is the same! I always joke that he chose the best country to emigrate to: we have WINTER! So nice and chilly for so many months!

And speaking of nice and chilly…how ’bout some no-churn strawberry ice cream?

I had some whipping cream leftover from my Rose Frasier cake, and some strawberries leftover from my recent dehydrating experiments, so I decided to whip up some ice cream! I mean, is there really any better way to beat the heat? Besides a/c? (Actually, the two together really work for me!)

This ice cream uses the same base as my Brownie Chunk Ice Cream (Gluten-Free) that I made last summer (visions of brownies dance in my head!), mixed with a quickie version of homemade strawberry jam. Easy-peasy, and so, SO creamy and full of strawberry goodness!

Which yummy thing do I nom on? Both are delicious choices!

Which yummy thing do I nom on? Both are delicious choices!

NO-CHURN STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

Strawberry Mix-In

  • 2 cups halved strawberries
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. pectin powder

Mash strawberries and mix with water and sugar. Boil until reduced to a chunky syrup and starting to stick to the pot sides. Add in pectin and stir every minutes until it looks like runny jam and is starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. Pour into bowl and let cool.

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1/2 can condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp. rum
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat whipping cream in a cold bowl with a cold beater until stiff. Stir in condensed milk, vanilla extract, and rum. Scoop into bread pan and stick in freezer until semi-firm, or until the strawberry mix-in is cool.

Poke holes in ice cream, and pour 1/4 of strawberry mix-in into those holes. Then pour 1/4 of strawberry mix-in over ice cream, and use knife to create marbled streaks.

Freeze for 4-8 hours until frozen through. Scoop, serve, and enjoy!

You’ll end up with maybe 1/2 c. of strawberry sauce leftover, but really, do you think that’s going to last long? (It certainly wouldn’t around me and the DH.) Serve it with French toast, over other ice cream, mixed into homemade ice cream floats, pour it over cobblers…or just eat with a spoon!

No churn strawberry ice cream! So creamy, so yummy, so want some right now!

No churn strawberry ice cream! So creamy, so yummy, so want some right now!

What I love about this ice cream is that it has the consistency of store-bought ice cream, the really good stuff. It’s eminently scoopable; you don’t have to drag your spoon across the top only to end up with a scraping. This will give you luscious scoops each time! (I just mis-typed and wrote “eat time”. I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something. Which I am so down for. Up for? At any rate, am for!)

This recipe is also easily customizable! Mix in a different fruity jam, or add in some crumbled graham crackers or lady fingers for a strawberry shortcake ice cream. I can totally see this with a fresh peach jam mixed in. *drools while gazing off into the distance* If you make this recipe, tell us which mix-ins you made!

Next Post: Hmm…which delicious thing shall I make next? Any requests? Oooh, shall I tell you about the deeeelicious (and easy!) sandwich bread recipe that I came across? Yes, I think I shall. Stay tuned!

Post-Pub Edit: I’m still working on my plan for foodie world domination (“What are we going to do today, Margaret?” “What we do every day…plot to take the foodie world by storm!”), and part of that plan is taking part in the lovely Christie Jordan’s Meal Plan Monday link-up. Lots of bloggers, lots of yummy recipes. Check it out here and here!