Friday, 20 January 2017

Quick Soup and a visit to Jollibee

Without any real direction I started making soup.  I put two frozen chicken breasts at the bottom of my crock pot.

I dumped in chopped onion, chopped celery, onion soup mix, and a block of frozen spinach.

I then added homemade turkey stock that I had on hand along with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
I let this cook for 4 hours and then removed the chicken breasts and chopped them up.
I added the chopped chicken back into the soup along with two cans of drained, rinsed white beans.
Voila!  No sautéing or any real work to put this together.  I think I added a bit too much stock for the garnish but oh well it still tasted good.  I served this over brown rice for the kids, to bulk it up.
Now on to my new favourite dinner, Noodle bowl!
I love making this.  All the garnish you want served over rice, with your choice of meat and oh that yummy spicy lime fish sauce.  So good!
I forgot to mention on the last blog that I highlighted the noodle bowl, that I used coconut brown sugar to lower the glycemic index of the sauce and it works out great. I also blitz the sauce in my magic bullet rather than trying to dice chiles and garlic. 
On the left; mine is shown with orange sesame glazed turkey breast, cashews and GF turkey sausages chopped up.
On the right; Jeff's is shown with orange sesame glazed turkey breast, cashews and pad thai spring rolls.
Both bowls have a bed of mint, cilantro, chopped cucumber, finely shredded iceberg lettuce, and shredded carrots.

This picture was taken from Aubrey's and my culinary adventure to Jollibee.  All of her friends at school were talking about the "Pilipino" McDonalds that has recently come to Winnipeg.  She was super excited, so her and I waited in line for about 40 minutes to get fried chicken and rice.  She was pretty pumped.  I love making food memories.

The kids were invited to our neighbours birthday party; it was basically an entire "Construction theme party" board directly from Pinterest.  My friend is so gifted and throws the best parties!
Life is so much fun with these two!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Pizza! Cocobeans GF DF pizza crust review

My wonderful neighbor brought this bag of ready to make pizza dough over a couple of weeks ago.  One bag had two portions in it.  I was pretty excited to try it.  The first time I used it I definitely under baked the crust but this past time it was perfection.  Delightfully thin and crisp; this was a great substitute for a thin crust pizza.

I mixed the package with 3/4 cups of water, 1 tsp of cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp of olive oil.  I mixed this in my kitchen aid and then spread it thinly on a greased cookie sheet.
I let this rest for over 20 minutes and then baked it 12 minutes on each side before adding any toppings.
Meanwhile the crust was rising I seasoned some peeled/chopped beets and brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I roasted these until tender; that took about 25 minutes at 400F. 
I drizzled the baked crust with olive oil, put a layer of fresh spinach and then topped that with the roasted vegetables.

I then topped this with goats cheese and grape tomatoes.

I baked this until the cheese was melting and had slight colour.
One cannot begin to explain how delicious this pizza was.  It was so good; Aubrey even ended up eating quite a bit of "my" dinner; but I was happy to share!
Here's the family ready for game day on Sunday.  A big game for the Green Bay Packer's football team.  We decided to show our support and all wear team colours.
This was Jeff watching the game; it was a nail-biter!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Orange Poppy Seed Loaf

So a not-so-typical morning at our house would look like this.  Goats milk latte and a bowl of fried rice.  I had a craving for brown rice, eggs, zucchini, hot sauce and cashews; so what can I say I improvised.

I imagined being somewhere around the world that this would be a completely normal breakfast.  What fun that would be!

Later on, I looked in my fruit drawer and noticed 10 oranges that needed to be used up so I zested and juiced them into a pot and then started thinking.

Why couldn't I make Lemon poppy seed loaf but with oranges?  Sure! So I found this recipe and that's what I did.
I decided to make 4 recipes; one to eat (not me obviously but my family) and some to share.
So first I took out the amount of juice needed for the syrup and the rest I would use in the recipe to offset the amount of milk I put in.
Next I whipped a pound of butter with 4 cups of sugar and then slowly added in 8 eggs.
Then I added in all the dry ingredients. 
Since I made 4 recipes; I added the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of orange juice and used 1/2 cup of milk to the batter; instead of all milk. 

Four recipes made two loaf pans and one bundt pan.  This bundt pan is so special to  me; it was my Grandma Alice's.  I have so many treasured memories of her in kitchen.  She was an amazing cook.
After these cooled slightly I flipped them out onto a cooling rack and while they were still warm I poked 12 holes in them and then poured the syrup over each.
As you can see the bundt loaf didn't turn out awesome (stuck in several places; I should of greased and floured it) so that was the one we kept for the New Year's tea party and the other two were perfect to give away. 

The kids were thrilled to have a cousins tea party; even with real tea.

Monday Jeff and I took Aubrey with us to visit his grandma in Roblin, Manitoba.  She is 97 and we are so grateful for the time to spend with her.  Obviously none of us know the time we have left here but when you're 97 that makes one acutely aware when you say "see you later" it could really be goodbye.
I feel blessed for the time we all had together and I do look forward to the next we will see her. As she put in "In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore".
Another high-five Jesus moment from our trip was when I found an almond milk latte in the small town of Roblin, Manitoba.  No stop light but there is a lady there that sure can make a delicious latte.  Thanks again latte lady!

December 2016; almond butter cups and vietnamese noodle bowl

Late posting (written December 31, 2016)...
As 2016 comes to a close I realize once again how quickly time passes.  Without intentionality life flies; rather races by. I love life and all that it entails; but as I get older I'm learning to see the beauty in the ordinary. Ordinary shouldn't really be ordinary; it's amazing. The sun rising, a baby being born, how the seasons fall right into place.  I'm actually starting to realize my amazement with God and all that He's created.  When life says; "no that just happens", my insides cry out, "no, that's our God!"
I'm sick of the noise that tells me this is all by chance or luck even when I know better.  Life is amazing. So, as the end of the year goes, we start to reflect on the year behind us and dream of the year ahead.
My prayer is to be used by God in whatever facet He chooses.  I will say yes.  I want to love, share, grow, hope, and journey with others.  Is that not our purpose here? People?  They are the only thing that can literally go with us to the other side of this life.
Too deep for a food blog?.  These are the thoughts that swirl in my head on the regular.  The world, all of its drama and unspeakable craziness.  When a food blog seems pointless.  I will continue to share my journey a little at a time.
The past few months I have taken on my own journey to healing.  I felt God telling me to "help myself" so to speak.  I started the healing foods plan by Dr. Axe.  I highly recommend this lifestyle if you have any stomach, digestion, or even autoimmune issues.  I have seen huge benefits.
Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE sweets and this recipe below has made eating "clean" bearable.
In a double boiler I put 2&1/2 bars of Lindt 85% dark chocolate and 1 tbsp of coconut oil.

In my food processor I put 1/4 cup of chopped dates, 3 Tbsp sun butter, 1/4 cup roasted almonds, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp coconut oil and 1/2 cup of toasted coconut.  This bulked up the original filling on the recipe above.  I blitz this until it was a paste.

Since I basically doubled the amount of filling by adding the extra ingredients. I was able to put  double the filling in my second test batch; I highly recommend this.
Double the filling of what the above picture shows to reveal the centre of the almond butter cup of the picture below.
In mini muffin tin you spoon in 1 teaspoon of metled chocolate, 2 teaspoons of filling and top with 1&1/2 teaspoon chocolate and then an almond.
Topping each almond butter cup with a roasted almond adds another dimension of texture. These are the final product of the second batch.  Much better filling-to-chocolate ratio.
Let these set in the freezer and then store in an airtight container in the freezer.
These lasted two weeks in my freezer. They are best served straight out of the freezer!
Now this next dish was something I had been craving.  I'm not sure how I didn't know I could make the yummy fish sauce that they pour over "noodle bowl".  I found this very easy recipe.
I strained the garlic and hot pepper out of the sauce before serving this and that was spicy enough for me and the kids.
I chopped up all the fresh garnish we wanted.
shredded carrot
shredded iceberg lettuce
sliced cucumber
snap peas
green onion

I also roasted a whole chicken, generously seasoned with salt and pepper. Once cooked I simply removed the skin and chopped up all the meat. This was the perfect protein to top the noodle bowls.

I topped my cooked rice noodles with everything I wanted and then poured some lightly warmed sauce on top.  Wow this was so amazing.
Delicious, bright, and that mint was such a great idea!
The kids loved creating their own bowls; they especially liked being able to add only what they wanted. Jeff topped his noodle bowl with crunchy springs rolls and chopped peanuts.
Christmas was such a beautiful time with the kids. Aubrey loved her present from Santa, to illustrate her own book.
New outfits from Great Grandma Foulds.
Family time watching tv Christmas movies!
My present from Jeff; can't wait to blog about some of these recipes.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Gluten free cookies

So Miss Independent is becoming mighty helpful in the kitchen.  She wanted to help deseed a pomagrenate so she suggested checking out a Youtube video and following the instructions.  Wow, what a great idea.  I love cooking demonastrations; a girl after my own heart.  Watch and learn!

Using a bowl full of water she pulled apart the whole fruit with her hands eventually leaving all the seeds at the bottom and the white stuff rose to the top.  She was pretty proud of herself.
Now on to the most delicious Gluten free cookie I've made or eaten!  My friend sent me this recipe and basically gave the instruction to substitute the pastry flour for GF flour.  Specifically Presidents Choice brand in a box.  I can attest to the fact that not all Gluten Free fours are equal; definitely NOT!  I omitted the walnuts; since the person I was making them for has a nuts allergy but everything else was true to the recipe (besides the butter flavouring; who knows what that is?! I used butter).

The PC Gluten Free flour comes in a box with 2 bags inside.  Each bag is exactly 2 &1/2 cups.  A good thing to know since measuring this flour can become a little messy.  Its very light!
New Hershey's 70% chocolate chunks are awesome.
I used a small scoop to make these very uniform.
I took these cookies out of the oven at this stage and left them on the stove top to "set".

Within 5 minutes they had finished cooking.

Here's the kids excitedly eating their soup and GF cornbread so they can partake in a warm cookie fresh from the oven.  Incentives are a moms best friend!