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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blast some Batter Baby

Batter Blaster Mishap!

Just to summarize, laura commented about there being a product on the market that provided pancake batter from a can. I of course was extremely curious and decided I needed to share this very bizarre product with whom ever may read my blog today.

For those of you that need a really simple pancake recipe that is *fool proof* and you can add whatever your heart can imagine to it with out it going mucky, this is it!

Aerosol *FREE* Pancakes

1 egg
1 c flour (spelt/kamut/wholewheat works great too)
3/4 c milk/almond milk or water
2 tbsp oil and a lil' more for the griddle
1 tbsp honey/sugar/agave
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
A baby nub of butter

Beat your egg up until its fluffy and fold into your other ingredients. Have a hot griddle/pan ready to go. Add your extra oil (just a smidge-this helps your butter not burn) and your nub of butter. Dollop your batter in to your desired size (don't do too big or you can't flip it) and wait for the little bubbles to form. Then you know its done on the one side and you can flip it!

You can add so many nummy things to pancakes! Bananas, blueberries, razberries, walnuts, pecans, you name it! In Japan, I had pancakes with greens, squid and soy sauce in 'em. They were yum!! The family I was staying with wanted me to make pancakes with maple syrup because they had never had maple syrup. Only read about it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Fresh herbs truly are my love . i think more than anything else in the garden, i most look forward to all the amazing herbs that can be used soo many ways. Basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, i sound like Simon and Garfunkel I know... marjoram, cilantro, oregano... My sister in-law, Sandy, has taught me a lot about good Vietnamese cooking! I don't know if she knows it, but she is an AWESOME flavor princess! She has introduced me to some good restaurants too. Not so much here, but in Calgary. I love Pho, but i'm not super big on the whole beefy broth, boil the bones thing that people do to make that really flavorful broth. So a while ago I started to experiment with making a killer Veggie Pho. Its taken some time, i'm not gonna lie! Even tonite when i made it, I added my greens too early and they got kinda over cooked... but none the less, i got the broth part down! Even though i totally cheated tonite! i usually have some veggie broth in my freezer... but not lately! So i used a high quality, no salt mushroom boullion cube to get the base.

Veggie Pho
1/2 a red onion thinly sliced
a smidge of grapeseed oil (divided)
2 cloves of garlic
6-8 cups of water/quality or homemade veg stock/boullion (remember most of 'em are uber salty and too much salt in this bad boy will kill it so read your ingredients)
a big nub of grated ginger
1 medium size grated carrot
Some chunked up mushrooms (tonite I used oyster)
A big handful of greens ( you can use: spinach, chard, collards, kale... )
A good size chunk of thinly sliced green cabbage (reds fine too, it just makes everything purple)
1/2 a brick of tofu (i use the other half in yummy salad rolls)
A itty bitty smidge of toasted sesame oil x 2
1/4 c of braggs (if you don't have braggs, get some! but if you don't wanna, use soy sauce but use WAY less.) x 2
A baby teaspoon of rice vinegar (apple cider works too)
A little Hoisin sauce
Some black bean sauce
Some kinda hot sauce or chili flakes ( do this to taste)
The juice of 1 lime and a bunch of the zest too.
Some thinly sliced red pepper
As much mint, chives, basil and cilantro that you want (or don't want!)
Some fresh pea shoots
Toasted sesame seeds
A bit of red pepper for color
Some rice vermicelli (i use about a 1/3 of a pkg)

Saute your onion in 1/2 your grapeseed oil in a big pot over med/high heat, add finely chopped or squeezed garlic, add water/broth, add grated ginger. Let this part simmer for a few. Add you carrot and your mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 350. Cube your tofu and toss in a bowl with a little bit of your braggs/soy sauce, a bit of hoisin, a touch of sesame oil and the rest of your grapeseed. Make sure all your tofu is covered, lay on a baking sheet and send'er into the oven. 15 minutes tops for the tofu. Watch it cuz everyones' oven cooks differently.

Add the rest of your braggs, hoisin, black bean sauce, rice vinegar and your other smidge of sesame oil to your pho. Add in your cabbage and cover to simmer. Boil the kettle for vermicelli. I like to slice up my greens into nice 'fit-in-my-mouth' size strips. I highly reccomend that. I also do the same for my herbs, but not at the same time. First I do my greens, put 'em aside. Then I do my herbs. Pour your boiled water over your vermicelli.

When your tofu is done, toss it in your pho. Send your greens in after. Zest and squeeze your lime, drain and rinse your vermicelli. Portion your vermicelli into the biggest, best bowls you can find, ladle the pho over top and sprinkle with your herbs, red pepper, sesame seeds and pea shoots.


I usually eat this (all the time!) with salad rolls and peanut sauce, but, I'm not ambitious enough tonite to write out those recipes. However, I did post pics of the salad rolls and if anyone chooses to read this, they can guess whats inside, until I post a recipe. They are sooo easy though!! Its the peanut sauce that makes it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A hopeful spring bitter start...

SO... I'm new at this! That's for sure. I have followed a lot of food blogs, especially lately, to get ideas and fodder for the radio bit I have been doing with Eryn at 107.5 Kiss Fm. I love the way people lay out such beautiful pictures of their creations in some of these blogs. Like art work! More and more I find myself being drawn to sharing my ideas and experience in the food industry and doing this bit on the radio is REALLY driving this passion forward.

I am shocked and appalled at the state of our food industry and our acceptance of the 'out-of-the-box' culture we have adopted as a rule. Our lives are now ruled by time and no longer by quality. The days of making home made bread and jam have been replaced by splashy marketing slogans geared towards convenience and it is acceptable now, to buy dough from some far off factory, place it in your oven for 8 minutes and call that home made!

I fully understand that planning to feed our families takes time and energy, but I feel the fundamental issue with how we eat actually stems from lack of education about how to cook!

I personally don't believe there is one way to cook or really any rules to it. All I know is that food is what you make it... and we are, truly, what we eat.

A spring time recipe for today: A bit of Bitter... Arugula Pine Nut Pesto

Arugula, also called rocket, is one of those hidden gems of spring time eating! Peppery in flavor and packed with goodness, makes arugula a favorite with chefs and foodies alike. Make sure to toss some arugula seeds into your lettuce patch!

You will need:

2 handfuls of fresh Arugula
A few basil leaves
60g of asiago cheese (grated)
Maybe 2 tbsp's or so of Olive oil
1 lemon (zested then juiced)
3 cloves of garlic (less is fine if you don’t want it too garlicky)
1.5c toasted pine nuts
(to toast, put in a dry frying pan over low heat until you can smell them toasting. They burn easily so toss them intermittently).
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A few stems of fresh chives
1 tbsp of diced red onion
Pinch of salt
Fresh pepper to taste.

In a food processor, toss in your garlic cloves, basil leaves and arugula leaves. Run until smooth. Add your toasted pine nuts, red onion, your olive oil and asiago cheese. Run the processor again, drizzle your balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in. Add salt and pepper, then run one last time in the processor until you have a smooth paste. Garnish with fresh chives and lemon zest.

Pesto can be served in a variety of ways. Toss with fresh pasta, use as a sandwich spread, toss with roasted veggies or add yogurt and use as a veggie dip... Use your foodie imagination!

Pesto also can stay in your fridge for 5 days or portion it into ice cube trays, freeze it and take it out when you need it.

**Tip** You can use walnuts, sunflower seeds or even hemp seeds for the base of this pesto. Experiment!