Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Home-made Lemon Tea

Well, my last day of school before exams was yesterday, so now I have a few days off to study and catch up on some sleep. Because it's cold season and there's snow everywhere, I've been preparing lemon tea for myself every night before I go to bed. It's really simple and reminds me of the NeoCitran tea packages I used to drink when I was a kid. I really love making this because it clears out my sinuses and helps me to relax before I go to bed, plus it's super easy.
All you have to do it boil some water, squeeze out the lemon juice from the lemon and then add a little bit of agave nectar for a little sweetness and to help with the sourness. If you don't have agave nectar, then you can use honey or sugar, the only difference it that agave nectar has a low glycemic index so it won't give you a sugar spike right before bed, plus it's vegan.
That's it. Good luck to everybody preparing for exams and I hope we all stay healthy during the cold season!
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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Tofu Tom Yum from Thai Express

Wow, try saying that title 5 times fast! So recently I told you guys about my love for the vegetable pad thai from Thai Express. Back then I mentioned that Thai Express had a huge bowl of soup the I had often seen people order but was to nervous to order myself. Well, I finally tried it.
Wow, this thing is huge. Really, I think it has 2 litres of broth! Anyways, it was so good. I knew it would be good because it's so popular and I can't imagine Thai Express making anything that tastes bad, but this was so much better than I was expecting! Spicy, full of vegetables and fried pieces of tofu, and a whack of rice noodles at the bottom.
I can't be certain, but this may even come close to the Pho from T.H. Dang.
Also, Thai Express has a website. Who knew? I was looking around and it's actually pretty cool. Take a look and check out their menu online.
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remembering Summer

It's been cold lately. Really cold. Plus, my final day at the University before exams is this tuesday, so naturally I have been putting off my homework by looking at pictures from this summer.
This year's summer was a great one. I worked with kids at a community centre and got to go on multiple field trips, I spent some time visiting with family that I hadn't seen for years, and I also made the decision to become a full vegetarian.
The picture above is of a medium and large "Chocolate, Chocolate, Upside Down" from Winnipeg's BDI (Bridge Drive In). The Bridge Drive In is a must see during the summer. To be honest, I don't think my summer's would be the same without it. Unfortunately, it's only open during the summer, so it's been a while since I've gone.
Some of my friends don't believe me when I tell them that the pond in front of my house has fish in it.
This summer was also the summer I discovered greek yogurt. I LOVE greek yogurt and sometimes I wonder how I ever lived with out it.
I also fell in love with bananas. Why? I don't know, it might have something to do with banana ice-cream...
And then there's "Baked Expectations", or what I like to call "Cake Heaven on Earth". Any cake you can think of, cheese cakes, tortes, pies, cookie cakes, traditional cakes, wedding cakes, even pavlova, this place has it and will make it better than any other bakery in town. But this place isn't just known for it's cake, it also has a wide variety of main dishes like home made soups, salads with home made dressing, sandwiches and burgers that come with freshly cut potatoes. It's amazing. When I went there this summer, all I wanted was some fries and a piece of cake, so my friend and I ordered the sandwich and I got the fries.
Then she ordered the pavlova,
and I ordered the mocha torte, my favourite thing on the menu.
There were a lot of other pictures I took this summer from things like Canada Day and Ultimate tournaments my team competed in, but I decided to save them for another cold and stressed out day. I hope everyone stays healthy over the next few months and is sure to get lots of sunlight despite the weather.
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Friday, November 25, 2011

We Day in Winnipeg, Video and Free Giveaway

This year, for the first time ever, a We Day concert was held in Winnipeg and I was lucky enough to attend this event with my fellow MB4Youth Advisory Council members this past Wednesday. The concert was amazing. It was very up-lifting and encouraging and had a large number of celebrities there to speak to the crowd of young Manitoban students. 

"At We Day, youth from across North America join together to celebrate the positive actions they are taking and to build the momentum of the movement of young people making a difference in their communities and around the world. Through We Day, youth learn that it is cool to care. The We Day movement lives online at Weday.com, an online hub dedicated to educating, engaging and empowering a generation of socially conscious youth. Featuring videos by world-renowned celebrities and speakers, newspaper articles about timely global and social issues, and countless other resources, Weday.com is social justice education at its best."  [source]
For more information on We Day and how you can help, visit the We Day homepage
Here was the view from my seat. Look at all those people!
So I decided to edit together some of the footage I took with my camera and make a short video to show everyone. Here it is.  

And now it's Free Giveaway time! When I went to the concert I got a Free The Children book by Craig Kielburger, one of the two brothers to start We Day, and now I'm giving it away. For a chance to win this book, all you have to do is leave a comment down below. That's it! I'll be posting the winner in one week. 
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Ice-cream

Hi there. I'm back! Whew, I have spent so much of my time lately on school since the last day of classes in next tuesday, which means everything is due Right Now! I handed in two papers yesterday, and tomorrow's is almost done, so I figured I had time to show you what I made for dessert this weekend (that's right, there's always time for making dessert, and eating it of course).
After the Chocolate Banana Ice-cream failure, I was determined to give making a flavoured ice-cream another try. Well, this time I added some agave nectar and a large spoonful of peanut butter to see what would happen. Surprisingly, it worked out really well.

Peanut Butter Banana Ice-cream
-2 bananas cut into disks and frozen
-1 large spoonful of peanut butter (I used home-made)
-1 tbs of agave nectar to add extra sweetness
Making the banana ice-cream base is as easy as throwing the frozen banana into a food processor and letting it run until the banana looks like the picture above. Then you can add in the rest of your ingredients.
You may have noticed already, but the mixture came out really soupy. The flavour was really great, but honestly, you can't really go wrong with peanut butter and banana. I ended up putting the mixture into the freezer to let it harden. It isn't as creamy as ice-cream after it has been re-frozen, but this peanut butter banana ice-cream still tastes really good. I think if I make it again I'll throw the other ingredients in just a little before the banana has fully turned into ice-cream.
Oh, and what's this? This is a picture from a very special event that took place here in Winnipeg, Manitoba just a few hours ago! Can you guess what it is? Please look forward to Friday's post where I will reveal where I took this picture and will be hosting my first Free Giveaway!
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Puff Wheat Squares

So I love puff wheat squares. Even eating them is fun if you're like me and like to eat your puff wheat squares one puff at a time. : )
Well, over the summer I asked my mother to show me how to make them back before I had learnt how to bake things by myself (and also before I knew how to take a picture). Anyways, last night I was cleaning the kitchen and when I put away a casserole dish, I noticed a shelf that I had never seen before. Seriously, it's like I had been blind to it my whole life. It was full of little binders, old books with yellowing pages, and a small floral box full of little recipe cards. Yay, I finally know the recipe for making puff wheat squares and I can put up this post which I created months ago before I even finished designing this blog. 

Chocolate Puff Wheat Squares
-8 cups of puffed wheat* (you can usually find this in the cereal aisle)
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup butter
-1/2 cup corn syrup
-2 tbs cocoa
-1 tsp vanilla
*for special results only put in 7 cups of puffed wheat.
The ingredients.
Making puff wheat squares is actually really easy to do. Put everything except for the puff wheat into a pot and melt them together until they begin to bubble.
Then pour the whole mixture into a large bowl containing the puff wheat. Make sure it is a huge bowl, otherwise you'll have puff wheats flying everywhere.
Then put the whole thing into a lightly greased pan and pop it into the fridge to harden. 
OMG, look at that picture! Wow, I really had no idea how to frame a picture back then. Okay, just had to get that off my chest. 
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Coconut Oil Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Wow, that title sure is long. It almost took my breath away! So I was inspired to make some home made peanut butter cups after seeing this recipe over at The Edible Perspective. Now I regret that decision. Why? Because I will never be able to eat a Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cup again! Like Ashley from The Edible Perspective said in her post, Reese's Pieces are really greasy. Really greasy. Anyways, here's the recipe to make your own peanut butter cups that will taste a lot better than store bought ones and are probably healthier for you to.

Coconut Oil Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
-2 cups chocolate chips (to make this recipe vegan, you just need to use vegan chocolate chips)
-2 tbs coconut oil
-1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
-1/4 cup powdered sugar (oh dear, I think I used icing sugar...)
-1tbs coconut flakes*
*Ashley's original recipe used some extra things like sea-salt, crispy rice cereal, and candies for the top. Things I did not have.
The ingredients.
So this was my first time using coconut oil. Probably because I couldn't find it in my regular grocery store. I did, however, find it at Bulk Barn, the place where I seem to find everything. Cake decorating supplies, agave nectar, Chee Chas, nutritional yeast, amazing dried fruit, and now, coconut oil. If you have never used coconut oil or perhaps have never seen it, you are sooooooo missing out. It is the best thing EVER! Don't believe me? Just find a jar and open it. I'm sure you'll be convinced.
Use a hand mixer to mix the peanut butter and icing sugar together. Then put it into a plastic bag and cut off the tip in the corner. Make large dollops of the peanut butter onto a wax sheet of paper and then pop it into the freezer to harden.
While the peanut butter is hardening, melt your chocolate in the micro wave. Once it is melted, add in the 2 tbls of coconut oil (yessssss) and stir slowly to mix the two together.
Put a thin later of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of some candy cups. The recipe original used mini cupcake paper cups, but I had some of these in the store room. Then put the tray into the freezer.
 Wait about ten minutes, then bring out your hardened chocolate and peanut butter and assemble them together. Then top the cups with some final chocolate and put them back into the freezer. Don't worry, you wont need to reheat your chocolate, it will stay liquidy for a long time.
After about 20 minutes, the peanut butter cups should be ready. If you want to keep them to eat later, be sure to keep them in the fridge instead of the freezer.
As a last note, for some of the peanut butter cups I sprinkled some coconut flakes on top, just to continue with the coconut theme and to make them look prettier. It's optional though. : )
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Daily Eats: It's Been a While

I woke up this morning and realized that it had been a while since I had put up a post on my daily eats. Here are some of the things I have eaten recently but never really had the chance to post about.
A home-made whole wheat waffle with a banana and fresh blue berries. Recipe here.
Vegetables to stir-fry and some quinoa to go with them.
Home-made peanut butter and crackers. Making your own peanut butter is really easy. Just put some roasted peanuts into a food processor and let it run. Takes about 5-7 minutes. Here is how my first experienced went.
Leaf lettuce with some tomato and red bell pepper.
Left over Pho from T.H. Dang that I warmed in a pot. It's hard to see the noodles at the bottom, but they're in there!
A lunch and some snacks that I packed before heading off to the University. The little chocolate treat on the left is from my "smore-in-a-pan" recipe. The recipe will come eventually. : )
Raspberry frozen yogurt and some plum slices.
Mini pumpkin muffin tops that I had kept hidden (yes, hidden from myself) in the freezer. Like most desserts that your grandma has hidden in the freezer, these never really get hard and taste better frozen.

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