Friday, 24 February 2012

Mini Banana bread for one!

Hey guys,
so as you probably know, yesterday was National Banana Bread day.
Well, I didn't know that it was until it was too late into the night,
so I decided to bake one today!
But when you live on your own, baking an average sized banana bread is a little too much,
unless you plan on having banana bread for all your meals for the next 3 days or so.
(which in my opinion, is perfectly fine, but my body thinks otherwise)

So I set out to find the perfect mini-banana bread recipe,
and just ended up altering a few average sized recipes to fit my own needs,
and It was absolutely delicious!

Straight out of the oven, I finished more than half of it before it even had the chance to cool down,
and at that point, I was wondering why I didn't bake the bigger loaf of this stuff.

 Before it went into the oven. You will notice the lemon poppyseed loaf that I baked as well,
it was appealing visually, but was too lemon-y for my taste.
I'll be tweaking the recipe in the future, so stay in tune (:

 And just for the visual entertainment:
Lemon poppyseed loaf!

These loaves are fairly small, about 4 inches long, and not anymore than 3 inches deep.
Here's the recipe for the banana bread:

1 ripe (medium) banana
1 1/3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt (do not need if using salted butter)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp all purpose flour
and as many chocolate chips as you want! (I used about 1/4 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Mix all the ingredients together
3. Bake mini loaf for about 25 minutes. (Check on it at 20 minutes)

you can test to see if it's done with a toothpick, but I like the chewy texture of slightly uncooked top when it comes to banana breads, so 23 minutes was just perfect for me.

Also, I didn't need to use the egg yolk, if your batter seems too think, add a little bit of milk.
Cutting the yolk out cuts out cholesterol, which makes you feel better when you eat the whole loaf in one sitting.

and finally, munch when it's still warm (with a very tall glass of milk)!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Grocery spreeeee

So I went grocery shopping!
Mind you, I usually don't buy much because I live on a rather small budget,
but since I've started a food blog, I thought it would be only fitting to buy sufficient amount of food to blog about, that and the grocery store was having a big big sale! 
....oh right, and I broke my savings for ipod touch that I was saving for, 
BUT ITS really is...! sigh

Anyways, here's what I bought:

Eggs, Source yogurt tubs, broccoli, apples, lemons, 2 chilli tuna cans, dark chocolate, dijon mustard, soy milk, pumpkin puree, canned corn, cottage cheese, cream cheese, chewy bars aaaaaaand BUTTER!
Buying butter was exciting, because believe it or not, it was my very first time buying butter!
Usually it's too pricey, and I always thought it was really unhealthy, but I wanted to make baked salmon in dill butter sauce and blog about it, so in it went in my shopping cart.
(I am noticing a serious lack of fresh food here, and in case you are concerned...I take vitamins.)
(Just kidding (not about vitamins though), I have some fresh veggies from last week's groceries.)

and if you see at the corner, a mysterious rolled up thing, that's my silicone baking sheet, 
its original purpose was so that I can make macarons, but apparently you can bake just about anything on it, so I'm looking forward to baking constantly on it (Check back for the best biscotti ever, coming soon)! I also got a zester that I forgot to include in the photo. So I'm set to go!

Oh and of course, some bulk barn stuff.
In the end, this came to about 25 dollars, excluding the rolled up thing and bulk barn stuff, a success, wouldn't you say?
I don't know about you guys, but Bulk Barn is my absolute favourite place. Today I went and picked up some: adzuki beans (for making paste), walnuts, cocoa powder, moulding chocolate, graham cracker crumbs, some flour and spices. I think all together, it only costed about 5 dollars or so.  

Usually my monthly allowance on food is about 100 dollars, 
so this spree was sort of an over-spending occasion, but as I mentioned, ipod saving...
haha, well keep checking back for more recipes!
I was going to make something tonight, but I still had so much left over baked penne with creamy ginger sauce and asparagus. I'll be baking soon. (:

Monday, 20 February 2012

Baked Penne with ginger cream and asparagus GLUTEN FREE

Baked Penne with ginger cream and asparagus
serves: 5
time: 40 minutes (including the bake time)
mmmmmm. So this recipe came about because:
1. A friend of mine gave me a package of gluten free penne
2. cheese was on sale! (as well as asparagus)
3. It was a holiday long weekend and nothing was opened, boredom came.

So let's get started!

(one thing about my recipes are that they often don't have exact measurements, I usually play it by feeling, but I'll try to get the measurements right for you guys!)
Handful of         penne (about 2 cups)
10 stems            asparagus
2                        onions (medium sized)
1/3 cup               fresh ginger (cut in chunks)
1.5 cup               milk (I used soy milk)
1/2 tsp                honey (can substitute it with rice syrup, maple syrup, etc)
4                        garlic cloves
1 Tbsp               olive oil
1/2 tsp               pepper
1 tsp                  dry rosemary (optional)
1/2 tsp               ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp               salt
alot of               cheese
10                     shrimps (optional and can be substituted with chicken)
I know the ingredients sound like a lot, but as you will notice with my recipes, they're mostly ingredients that you'd have in your fridge already, or are easy to get a hold of at a relatively cheap price. Yay budget cooking!

 I have to admit, this recipe might seem a little bit complicated and annoyingly long but I assure you that it's easy, just a little bit time consuming. Just follow step by step! I will try to have the process work photographed for the next recipe.

1. In a small sauce pan, add milk with cubed ginger, simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
2. Cook penne to al dente. Make sure not to overcook because they're going to cook in the oven as well! drain and add to the milk mixture over low heat, stir gently occasionally.
3 Preheat oven to 385 F.
4. In a pan, sauté 7 asparagus stems (cut into smaller pieces), onions, crushed garlic gloves, pepper, nutmeg, honey, rosemary and salt in olive oil, until onions are clear, or until the kitchen smells like heaven! remove from heat, and put aside.
5. Line the bottom of the glass pan with penne - remove from the milk mixture but leave the mixture in the pan! Then top the penne with sauteed vegetables.
6. Add a few chunks (I added about 4 long stripes) of cheese (I used light havarti) in the milk mixture. If you feel that there isn't enough milk, add more milk, but I'm not a saucy-baked-penne kind of a person, so I didn't add any more milk.
7. Add shrimp, or chicken, etc, to the milk mixture (now thick with cheeeese!)
8. drizzle the milk mixture over the penne and vegetables
9. Generously cover the top of the glass pan with cheese, maybe 3 or so asparagus stems, as well.
10. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven
11. EAT!
Ginger naturally has a very strong flavour, so by heating it up with milk, the flavour infuses with milk really, really nicely.
 So first bite: it was like, heaven in my mouth. mmmm
and since it's only me, I have so much left overs for tomorrow and the day after that and even the day after that! I'm a happy girl.
These are 100% buckwheat gluten free penne! so delicious, and only takes about 8 minutes to cook.
You can probably find them at your local health stores, but if not, all grocery stores should carry rice penne, or you can just use regular penne if you aren't gluten intolerant.

Bon appétit!

Past photos that I found lying around my computer

Just to start us off, these are some of the things that I've made in the past.
Obviously I don't have that many photos, but I thought it might make a decent blog post.
Stay in tune! I'll be back with my own recipe soon (AND photos)! (:
In the meantime:
Wow can you say blurry? This is my absolute favourite: Aglio Olio sauteed in coconut milk!
 Spinach wrapped tomato and boccioni cheese with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar
 Homemade blueberry bread
 Guacamole with spinach chips
Rice Laaaaasaaagnaaaaa
 Spinach wrap with spinach and mozzarella
 Sweet pumpkin bread (prior to being baked)
 My first attempt at macarons! Ginger macaron
 Some cookies
 Home baked granola
Pasta with tomato sauce and cheese

Now, time to post a recipe!

First First First

 Okay, so my very first post.
As the blog title suggests, I'm a teenager; 17 going on 18!
I know your average 17 year old probably would be someone who's not all that interested in cooking, and definitely not someone who starts a blog about it, but I've been living on my own since I was 11, moving from a house to house, going through countless roommates and 'host families'.
I guess it's safe to say that I've been exposed to the world of cooking at a very, very early age. I cooked my very first pasta when I was 12, and baked bread from scratch when I was 14.
Since then, I've been trying to cook up my own recipes, change the ones that are out there on other intimidatingly wonderful food blogs and just get away from the tiring and inevitably dramatic life of a 17 year old high school girl.

I watched Julie & Julia last night, and as they said: cooking for me is an escape.
So to keep track of my recipes that fire up on a whim and disappear from my memory shortly after I am done doing the dishes, I thought it'd be nice to blog about it.

I guess I'm also hoping to help other teenagers, or even university/college students who live on their own, and have to make do on an annoyingly limited budget.

So here it is.
I'm going to try to update at least 3 times a week, with my own recipes, with altered recipes, my grocery lists, and other stuff related to cooking!