Monday, 21 May 2012

Beer Batter Onion Rings

Hey guys! Guess what! You no longer have to venture outside of your house to find some nice greasy food that will make you feel inevitably disgusting! You can make it right here in your own kitchen! No walking required! What did I make??

ONION RINGS (the greasy fried kind, not the "i'm-trying-to-be-healthy-oven-baked kind")

Rob, out of concern that I might light the apartment on fire, ensured there was a box of baking soda close by to put out the apparently expected flames. I'm happy to report, no such disasters occurred (besides my health plummeting after consumption)

This is how easy it is to make! (Dangerously so)

1-2 Onions, sliced in rings
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp oil
1 1/4 cups flour
tsp salt
pepper, and other spices you'd like to season the batter
1 cup beer (I used Foster's, which was conveniently just hangin out in our fridge)

+ Enough oil (vegetable/canola) to be about 1-2 inches in the pan/pot you're using (consider using a deep one in case of lots of oil splattering)

1. After beating the eggs in a medium sized bowl, add in baking powder, oil, spices and salt, and then the beer. Mix well until there's not crazy clumps.
2. Refrigerate batter for 30 min
3. When the batter is just about ready, heat the oil. Take the batter out of the fridge and start dunkin' onions. Coat them completely and when the oil in hot enough, when you drop a batter-coated onion in it just start sizzling and splatting pretty intensely. If it doesn't do this, wait until it's a little hotter.
4. Dunk multiple onions and coat the bottom of the pan (but give them enough space for no overlap)
5. Once oil is at a good temperature, turn it down a bit. Onions should take a few minutes on each side to cook. Once golden brown, take them out and place them right on a plate covered in paper towel to let the grease drain.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Creamy Avocado Pasta

I had two avocados to use yesterday that had become extremely ripe (i.e. too soft for cutting up for salads or sandwiches or any sort of thing like that), so I thought my only option was guacamole. I LOVE guacamole, but there's only so much you can eat... and I was out of chips for dipping. So I did some quick research and turns out, avocados are the perfect vegan sub for creamy pasta sauce. Who knew? I was taken by the idea immediately and started to prepare perhaps the quickest dinner of all time. I must admit, my particular sauce recipe is not vegan, but it can be, easily. I added a tad sour cream and parmesan sprinkled on top, but those are two optional ingredients. I suggest using whole wheat pasta as well to up the healthy factor just a bit.

2 extra-ripe avocados
A handful of fresh parsley, cut up (picked right from my plant!)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
Sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper

I also suggest using lemon juice (perhaps as the sour cream sub... the acids in both will keep the avocados from going brown quickly)

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until creamy and smooth... I used a magic bullet and had some difficulty, so I added a bit of water a couple times until it could blend easier
2. Add delicious avocado cream sauce to a pasta of your choice.
3. Top with desired garnishes.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Mexican Brownies

MEXICAN BROWNIES. What makes them so Mexican? Not really sure, other than a little spice. I feel like I can't make anything the "regular" way anymore when there is so much more room for other flavours to be mixed in. So imagine normal brownies, and then add a little kick of cayenne and some cinnamon warmth. So much better than boring normal brownies! It's the little things that count.

I got this recipe from here


1/2 cup chopped dark, good quality chocolate
6 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp AP flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of cloves
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray & line a brownie pan (8x8 or 9x7) pan with parchment paper, so that it hangs over the edges.
2. Place chocolate and butter in a double boiler and melt until glossy. Remove from heat but keep bowl over hot water and whisk in both sugars. Let cool for 3 minutes, before then adding the eggs one at a time, whisking well to make sure each is well incorporated. Add in vanilla.
3. Add in flour, spices and salt and stir until it's all incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
4. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a knife is inserted in the centre and comes out with just a few crumbs. Transfer out of the pan to cool immediately.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Feta & Pomegranate Couscous Salad

Greetings all,

it's been a couple weeks since my last post so I'm due for a new one! I had an idea this week to make some kind of grain salad with pomegranate, so I opted for couscous. The sweetness of the fruit is a refreshing contrast with the heavier salty flavour of the couscous and feta. It's a breeze to make and is enough to last for a few good work lunches. Et voila...

1 box of couscous, prepared (I bought a "lemon spinach" flavoured one, but next time I think I'd just go au naturel...)
6 green onions, sliced
1 bunch of cilantro, "snipped" into smaller pieces (use scissors, its easier)
1 pomegranate, seeds removed** (I'd even go for 2 next time)
Juice of 1 lemon
A decent sized block of feta (mine was about 2x2'')
A few dashes of black pepper

**To easily extract the seeds of the pomegranate mess-free, do it in a bowl of water. when you break pieces apart, the seeds will sink and the skin and other bits will float. Then just remove the floating pieces and strain the rest- this way the seeds don't stain anything either.

Simply mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate if you prefer it cold (I do).