Hummus

When I was on my fun free diet, my new best friends ended up being sweet potatoes and hummus. I’ve always liked hummus but those two weeks where I was depraved of my normal diet made me really appreciate this chickpea dip. Hummus is versatile enough that you can use it as a spread on sammiches and wraps, but I end up eating the whole bowl before that could ever happen. Since I couldn’t eat gluten, I ended up using veggies as the vehicle to get hummus into my mouth. I think I like it more with veggies than I do with pita chips since it tastes ten times fresher that way (and probably ten times less the calories!)

PS, I find that the tahini (sesame paste) is 100% necessary!! Don’t go without it! I found mine at the local health food store.

Hummus

makes about 2 cups

1 can chickpeas (19 oz), drained and liquid reserved

1 tbsp tahini

1 garlic clove

1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper + more for garnish

1/8 tsp chile powder

Throw your chickpeas, tahini, garlic clove, lemon, salt, cayenne, and chile powder into a blender or food processor and give it a whizz. Once it becomes a rough mixture, add in some of the reserved chickpea liquid. (for a 19 oz can I ended up having 1 cup of liquid reserved and ended up using half a cup of the liquid to get a chunky mixture).

Continue to slowly add more liquid until you reach your desired consistency. I usually make my hummus ultra smooth and spreadable, but in the pictures shown I decided to keep it chunky today. The chunkier you want your hummus, the less liquid you add and vice versa.

Transfer your mix into a bowl, and garnish with cayenne (or paprika!) powder. Chop up some cucumber sticks, or grab pita chips. Eat the whole bowl by yourself and feel like a glutton.

 

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Avatar: The Last Airbender aka why I’ve been living under a rock

I’m on the biggest Avatar: The Last Airbender kick right now. I finished Season 1 Monday night annd I’m almost done Season 3 tonight.

“Hi my name is Pam and I’ve been Avatar free for twenty minutes”

This is why I don’t watch TV, I get sucked into these vortexes and never make it out alive. Welp, since I only have eight more episodes to go…I might as well just watch it all in one night (all nighter anyone?!). I reaaaaally I hope I get to join the land of the living real soon, because I have a mean granola bar recipe to share.

(via http://avatar-gifs.tumblr.com)

There’s a tumblr for everything!!

PS, I fell off the 365 day photo challenge wagon. Woops! Better get back on soon!

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

This past week ended up being busier than I thought it would be. Between running from practice and work, and to Calgary and back, I feel like I haven’t been able to catch my breath.

Last week it snowed a lot. Like, ten inches in one day a lot. Shoveling that day was mucho painful, and the highways were no better. 100 car pile up on the QE2 anyone?

It’s hard to believe that last week there were just wee remnants of snow left over…apparently Spring happens to be a flighty mistress. It’s always this time of year when you think she’s about to arrive, and then boomten inches of snow. Here’s a pie chart on how I feel about this situation.

Pretty much last week was that one day of optimism that was crushed hard by a wall of snow. But a girl can dream about spring, and this loaf sure inspires it. The combination of the crunchy poppy seeds and the tart lemons make me daydream about warmer days, and sunny skies.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

3/4 cup granulated  sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tbsp lemon zest
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup butter milk (or for the frugal/lazy: scant 3/4 cup of 2% milk with a tbsp of white vinegar – let it stand for 5 minutes, then use)

Glaze:

2/3 cup powdered sugar
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds together. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time into the butter mixture, and mix until combined.  Add the lemon zest and vanilla into the wet mixture, and beat everything is incorporated. Working in thirds, add half of your flour mix, then the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour into the wet mix. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and pop into the oven for an hour.

Once you take out the loaf, let it cool in the pan and prepare your glaze.

Mix the three ingredients together, using a fork to stir and mash any sugar lumps out. For a runnier consistency use more lemon juice (or water) to thin it out and if you want yours a bit thicker, use less liquid.

Take your loaf out of the pan and place on a cooling rack with parchment or tinfoil lined underneath. Score the top of the loaf, and drizzle that sucker with your glaze. Let the glaze set for a few minutes, then devour.

WURST

So I did a forty hour road trip to Calgary last week. In those said forty hours, the hour and a bit we spent at WURST was probably my favourite part of the trip. WURST is a German restaurant in the sort of DT are of Calgary (Mission), and it’s probably one of my favourite spots in the city so far. The building is split into two levels, with two different menus: the main floor being a open and clean looking space with trees and fairy lights strewn about.

And the downstairs is a beer hall. Yes, a beer hall. My dad was so happy to be there, exclaiming “This is how it was in Germany when I was there! This was my favourite thing about of Germany!”

You can even rent a cubby here! To store what you ask? YOUR BEER STEIN OF COURSE!!

But I digress, lets move onto the eats…

My parentals got the huge Franzl’s Mixed Grill to share – it was meat on meat on meat on sauerkraut. They enjoyed it but it was so huge!  (Really, all I could think was holyyyyy that plate equals mad meat sweats – classy, right?)

Us children went in the direction of the carvery. K & B got themselves some prime rib, S half a rotisserie chicken, and I got myself TWO helpings of knackwurst. Because I love me some knackwurst. We ordered em all with pretzel buns, because when you have the option, you always pick pretzel bun.

I’ve also been craving these exact pretzel buns for probably six months, so imagine how happy I was to sink my teeth into one. I could eat pretzel buns for days.

The food was so so so good, and I really recommend this spot. I’ve actually never eaten in the upstairs restaurant (unless sitting at the bar chatting up a handsome bartender counts) so I think I’ll have to try that out next.

Hi Fam Jam

WURST Restaurant & Beer Hall | 2437 4th Street SW, Calgary, AB | 403-245-234

PS, I love cider

3.14

Yeah, yeah… I’m late on posting, but Thursday (March 14th) was Pi Day!

Ty and I had mini pies from Duchess. Nom nom, duchess.

Banana Cream & Blackberry Rhubarb

 

 

I hope you guys paid homage to the most delicious of mathematical constants out there… and when I mean paid homage, I actually mean I hope you ate your own weight in pie!

 

 

 

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

There’s this super annoying tap on your shoulder that won’t relent, tap tap tap. It’s me. It’s me whispering, “I’m baaaack” in a way too happy sing-song voice. I’ve been hiding for the last little bit. After I was put on a fun free diet by my naturopath, I just wanted to lay in bed and cry over the lack of baguettes in my life.

I’ve been learning what I can eat, and what I can’t (pretty much everything it feels like), and along the way I made a new friend. My new friend’s name is Sweet Potato and lemme tell you, he’s (she? it?) delish. I never really thought twice about this root veggie since it never had a home in my pantry, but after being on this diet and trying to solve the riddle, “What has carbs, but doesn’t start with ‘B‘ and ends with ‘read“, I’ve been noshing super hard on these fellas. My favourite way to eat sweet potatoes are in the fry form (duh), and long story short: Pam + Sweet Potato = Sweethearts 4Eva aka it’s my new staple aka they’re here to stay.

Sweet Potato Fries

Makes 2-3 servings

1 fairly large sweet potato

olive oil

paprika

cayenne

salt

black pepper

1 tbsp corn starch (optional)

Preheat your oven to 450˚F

Slice your sweet potato in half, and then into  3/4 inch sections. Lay your sections flat and chop into fry sized bits (1/2 inch). Toss into a bowl and coat with enough olive oil so everything looks nice and shiny (great cooking terms, am I right?).

I don’t really measure the paprika or cayenne, I kinda just wing it and use a 1:1.5 (respectively) ratio of the stuff to the size of my potato. (But if my potato is on the large size, I usually find myself measuring a tablespoon of paprika, and a tablespoon and a half of cayenne…)

Sprinkle on the seasoning and then throw a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper on for good measure. (If using corn starch, add it in now!) Give everything a good toss, and then lay the fries out onto a foiled (or parchment covered) baking sheet. Make sure the fries aren’t touching so they can crisp up nicely, and pop it into the oven one tray at a time (super important if you want crispy fries!!).

Bake for 15 minutes, flip the fries, and return to the oven for another 13-15 minutes.

Dip fries in Sriracha Ketchup (I mix Sriracha hot sauce and ketchup together, fancy), and shamelessly snack on all three servings.

PS. I find that the corn starch makes the fries extra crispy, and use it when I’m in a hurry and put more than one tray at a time in the oven.

PPS. Don’t actually eat all three servings in one go. (Kidding, I won’t tell)