Monthly Archives: July 2008

mint brownies

I have made this recipe, in a bunch of variations, three times in July. That is a lot of brownies. Mostly, this is because they are terribly unphotogenic. Conveniently, they are also really delicious, so it’s not like I’m a brownie martyr or anything. Also, they barely need a recipe: they’re actually just a regular brownie, layered with mint patties. A few years ago, someone brought two boxes of these amazing amazing mint cookies to our house for a party, and everyone freaked out. These cookies are amazing, but time consuming, and someday I’ll make them again and everyone will freak out again. These brownies are also so good, but not really time consuming, so they might win the bake-off in my head.

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Basically, I just made the brownies from the Joy of Cooking, which are unsurprisingly good.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • many peppermint patties (maybe 25, maybe more)

Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler (sadly, this is not a one-bowl recipe…) and let it cool.  Beat the eggs with the salt and add in the sugar and vanilla.  Then add the buttery chocolate to the mixture, but don’t stir too much.  Last, add in the flour.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350, then quickly cover the semi-baked brownies with peppermint patties and bake for another 15 minutes.

The mint seeps through all the brownies and it’s generally awesome.  The main downfall is that the edges get a little crispy because the peppermint candy cooks quickly.  Also, I will admit that I’ve used a brownie mix and they turned out wonderfully.  You really can’t go wrong when you add peppermint patties.

balsamic feta

Ohhh Hillside was so fun and they have just the best best food ever. Usually music festivals in particular, and anywhere serving food quickly to thousands (ish?) people in general, have really bad food. Gross hot dogs and cold pizza and other problems. But! Hillside has amazing foods, lots of local and organic stuff, so so amazing and really quick but good

Anyway, we had these delicious balsamic marinated feta sandwiches which I definitely did not recreate, but they inspired me to make this other, different, yet also and still delicious sandwich. I mashed up the feta and added a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and maybe one tablespoon of olive oil. I let it “marinate” (sit there) from breakfast until lunch.

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Important: this sandwich does not need salt.

protein breakfast

My mother makes really really excellent granola. When I lived with her, I would probably eat it twice a day, no joke: for breakfast, and when I got home from school. She’s a great cook, and so there isn’t really a recipe. She mostly just tosses amazing nuts, grains, and oats in brown sugar and olive oil. No butter, no vegetable oil, basically ever. She is a huge proponent of olive oil in everything, and now, so am I. Anyway, now that I live on my own, her granola is like gold. When I do manage to score a bit, I try to figure out the best possible way to make it last forever.

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Recently, I started using it more sparingly than I’d like, but it works well, since I basically cut it with quinoa, my go-to grain. Anyway, it’s pretty much like this recipe, and I feel satisfied knowing that I’m not plowing through my treat as quickly as I might usually.

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  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 1 cup to 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granola
  • handful of raspberries

Anyway, cook the quinoa in the orange juice and water, then once it’s done, stir in the granola and gently stir in the raspberries. It’s pretty great, and when I eat this for breakfast I’m basically full until… lunch. Which is a serious accomplishment, for me.

picnic!

I have been leaving the city lots and lots because it’s summer and the air here is heavy and everyone is grumpy and hot and sticky. Plus, really, who wouldn’t want to spend the weekend here:

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Anyway, I am kind of feeling exhausted from all these weekend vacations, and I am totally excited to spend a bit of time in the city (but not this weekend! I’m going to Hillside!). And, sometimes when you are in a hot, sweaty city and everyone is grumpy, you really do appreciate very simple, fun things. Like picnics! I am so happy that Oyster Boy is right next to my favourite park, making fancy picnics supereasy.

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Recently, a lovely bunch of ladies brought an amazing assortment of delish treats to the park, and sat around drinking prosecco and eating treats. Though I later felt the consequences of basically eating only cheese for dinner, it was worth it and basically I want to do it again, and often. This is yet another food blog post that features no cooking! Whoops!

amazing

It’s wayyy too hot to cook, or do much of anything in our apartment. Luckily, awesome food things have been happening lately that don’t need cooking. The most awesome is my amazing birthday present. Awhile ago I was on a bit of a mason jar kick – I transferred all my dried goods into mason jars and thought about how pretty they would be mounted. Anyway, I guess I talked about this quite a bit, because there is now the most wonderful shelf in my kitchen.

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I’m sad that pictures don’t really do this justice, it’s huge and totally beautiful. Yesterday I watched it, like television, while eating a snack. And it was fun! Zack also filled a bunch of new jars with really pretty things (teas, star of anise, jelly beans). And now I have tonnes of shelf space where this used to go.

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Also excellent is his use of a label maker. Halfway through, he ran out of black label tape, hence the faux-wood-panel labels. I love label makers, and I love that all my dried goods are now so accessible and so clearly labeled. Basically, this is an amazingly thoughtful and wonderful gift and talking about it on the internet doesn’t really explain that well. But, pretty!

bran muffins

I am on a super bran muffin kick, for completely unknown reasons. Usually I prefer muffins with treats in them, but these are just delicious as is – and very easy. I also accidentally came in to (read: found at the back of my cupboard) a lot of bran, and I know that I don’t like adding it to cereal, even though it’s probably a good idea in the interest of health.

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  • 1 cup bran
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix it all together, divide into tins, and bake for half an hour at 350.  These are especially good because they travel well and fill you up – which is ideal if you are trying to spend a lot of time in the library (productivity! air conditioning!) like me.

birthday!

Yesterday we celebrated my birthday which was totally fun and took literally a whole day. For the past few years, I’ve organized a photo scavenger hunt, which is pretty fun and really you can try as hard or as not-hard as you want and it works for everyone. Or, at least for me. After the scavenger hunt, we had an awesome barbecue, and because i was drinking attractive second cousins, I did not take any pictures of the delicious food. An attractive second cousin is whiskey, gingerale and raspberries, and it is for sure the loveliest drink ever. I do not recommend googling said drink, as I think Zack might have named it to suit his fancy.
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After dinner Lindsay and Ashley brought an amazing cake event to the bar. They somehow, miraculously outdid their earlier cake creations, and this was unbelievable. I’m pretty sad that I wasn’t really at my prime in terms of photography. Basically, they went with the barbecue theme and made delicious dessert skewers. There were chocolate covered strawberries, mini cupcakes, and cheesecake balls. I had three skewers. That is a lot.

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These treats were obviously a huge hit and they were gone in seconds. Thank you so so much lovely ladies! I don’t have the recipe, but I can pretty much say that these amazing skewers are really time consuming. They would work for many bite-sized treats, though, and they are pretty much a guaranteed way to impress people. I’m totally impressed! Sadly, Keith was not there, because this would have been the perfect time to feature him on my blog. Sorry, Keith, and also, sorry Keith’s grandma, who has been waiting for her grandson’s internet fame for way too long.