blogging my way through the everyday


Tasty Tortilla Crisps

So you’ve run out of nacho chips and the thought of plain old soda crackers caking up your cavities is hard to swallow–you’re looking for something to dip in salsa or crumble in your soup.

Start with one of these:

…brush with olive oil
sprinkle with salt and your favorite spices
toast in the oven (350) for five minutes or less…

…and voilà!

Instant (and tasty) tortilla crisps that are great for soups and dipping too.
I added onion and basil–but the possibilities are endless: go Italian with oregano, or spice it up with taco seasoning.

Just don’t make too many if you’re on your own… they are addictive.

Toasted Turmeric and Spinach Parmesan Rice


Today was a rainy cold day–just the kind to stay inside and rekindle my Toasted Turmeric and Spinach Parmesan Rice recipe.  Actually, I just thought that sounded good–I’m inside most of the time anyway.

Years ago, while flipping through a magazine I saw a recipe contest for brown rice that got me thinking about doing a little more than just steaming it.

Here’s what I came up with (though I never did enter the contest):  The last time I made it I added a huge dollop of coconut cream, which made it creamier and gave it a richer flavour–but I was all out of it tonight.

Toast a half cup of brown rice.  Toasting the rice first gives it more of a chewy texture.

In a small saucepan add to it 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese,

1/2 cup of milk, and 1 cup of water.

Bring to a boil while stirring often (to keep the cheese from sticking to the bottom), and add 1/2 cup of thawed chopped frozen spinach, well-drained and pressed.

Bring back to a gentle boil and add 1 1/2 vegetable bouillon cubes (I prefer the msg free kind), and stir until dissolved.  Then add 1 tsp (or more if you like) of turmeric (I like).  *This was a recent addition as I’ve added turmeric to just about everything this past year since I read about its anti-inflammatory properties.  I also like to add a little onion and garlic powder.

Stir well, cover and simmer for 20-40 minutes (depending on the brand of rice you’re using).

And there you have it,

just the right side for buttery steamed string beans and garlicky broiled chicken wings–years ago I was introduced to my (then) boyfriend’s mother’s broiled chicken wings.  They were lightly salted and broiled–and that’s it!  But they blew me away, and I find I sometimes prefer them without the extra breading and sauces. 

The Peach Betty, from this month’s Canadian Living magazine, was the perfect ‘warm me up’ finish to this hearty meal.

Have any of your own ‘rainy day’ recipes?

Gaga Over Lady Balitmores, in Monochrome (or, I Just Wanted to Do One of Those Baking Blog Entries)

It started insidiously, a couple of weeks ago–this hankering for a cupcake. My body was telling me I needed all that fat and sugar–I had a rumbly in my tummy. But, they’re not really all that healthy so I waited for the urge to pass.

I walked by them at the grocery store. Pink ones, with swirly icing and everything, but because I was feeling particularly pressed to have a snack I opted for Sun Chips, instead. What a huge disappointment.

It’s imperative I eat healthy–and, I usually always do. I eat tons of vegetables–cooked and raw vegetables; salad vegetables; snacking vegetables. And, I eat fruits and berries galore–fruit salad fruits and berries; smoothie fruits and berries, and to all that I add yogurt and protein powder. I add wheat germ, too. And I supplement–ohhhhhhh, do I supplement! Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega 3’s and 6’s and 9’s, ubiquinol and probiotics, iron and calcium–but I’m obviously not getting enough of whatever’s in a cupcake because my cravings were becoming intolerable.

So, today I decided to dig out my recipe books and resurrect an old flame that’s been dormant in me for a long time–the sheer joy of whipping something up from scratch for the sheer joy of it.

As a young girl, my mother’s recipe books intrigued me. I loved to watch her bake and prepare meals. We spent a lot of time at our grandparents, too, and they were fabulous cooks–having run their own taxi stand and diner when my mom was young.  They were masters at all the old French Canadian and Ukranian dishes.

When I was about eleven, Mom let me loose in the kitchen and I prepared my first restaurant worthy meal (from scratch) complete with dessert. Mom was really sick during those years, so I gladly took over a lot of the cooking, and I didn’t look back for a long time.

But, lately, I just couldn’t be bothered to get creative with desserts, until today. And I am soooooooo glad I did. These cupcakes are fabulous–and, they were well worth the wait.

Cake mixes don’t do it for me–I think I’d get more satisfaction from taking a bite out of my couch cushions. I wanted something sumptuous and decadent–something that would make the inside of my mouth want to suck the tastebuds right off my tongue–and I found a Lady Baltimore cake recipe you could cut in half and convert to cupcakes, that came pretty darn close.

If you’re a cupcake fanatic, and you’d like to try something your salivary glands will stand up and applaud you for, then this is the recipe for you.

Sift 1&1/2 cups of cake flour

1/2 tbsp. baking powder

set aside.

Soften 1/2 cup butter

beat with 1tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup of sugar

Alternately beat in flour mixture with 1/2 cup milk.

Whip 6  large egg whites

add 1/4 cup of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form

Fold into batter.

Spoon the batter into cupcake liners and bake 20 minutes at 350.

Once they were ready to ice I skipped the boiled frosting and opted for my favorite butter cream, instead.

And, even though I love fruits and berries, candied fruits are not my favorite (which you would add to your boiled frosting), so I decided to garnish with fresh strawberries.

These little cakes are velvety smooth and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.   Well worth their weight in waiting for.

Now that I’ve had my fix, I probably won’t want another cupcake for a couple of years–but, if I hadn’t made them I’d still be trying to fill the void with other tasteless snackables that wouldn’t satisfy.  Now, I can get back to the business of healthy eating.