Friday, 28 March 2014

Coconut Banana Muffins

i can't think of a better way to usher in the weekend than with a friday morning muffin party.
meet my new power muffin couple....
coconut & banana 

Banana Coconut Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, plus more for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside.
In large bowl combine oil, orange juice and sugar until combined.  Add in egg and vanilla and mi until well blended.  Add in mashed bananas and coconut and mix further.
Add salt, baking soda and cinnamon mixing together with wooden spoon.  Finally add in flour and mix until just incorporated.  Do not over mix.
Divide batter among prepared muffin tin and sprinkle with extra coconut.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean

Yields: 12
adapted from my banana carrot muffins

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Kale Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie

good morning.
it's officially spring (don't let the snow on the ground fool you) which means two things in my house

1.  fresh tulips will always be present
2.  the return of smoothies for breakfast
it's amazing how two simple changes can make a girl like me so happy.
this morning i sipped on a nutritional & antioxident rich powerhouse.
greek yogurt
almond milk

high marks rewarded for eating a hearty supply of fruits and veggies in liquid form and all before 8am.  
cheers.  xo.


Kale Blueberry Smoothie

1/2 cup kale, packed
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 large banana
1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2/3 - 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and whirl till smooth.  Depending on desired consistency you can add in more almond milk.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Guinness Float

when is it acceptable to drink beer with a straw?
when the beer is accompanied by ice cream and chocolate syrup of course.
that's right, a beer and ice cream float.
this isn't something new, i've posted before about the genius that is the marriage of two of my favourite summer indulgences.
instead of reaching for a light refreshing summer beer to pair with vanilla ice cream, instead, i'm rounding out the winter months with a heavy Guinness stout, oh ya and i'm are adding a little chocolate syrup for good measure.

Guinness Float

2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 can Guinness stout
chocolate syrup for drizzling

Add ice cream to the bottom of a tall glass.  Slowly pour in Guinness Stout and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Banana Carrot Muffins

it's officially spring break which means i will be trying my hardest to keep the kids entertained for the next 10 days.  oh how i already miss school...
luckily our social calendar has plenty of playdates scheduled to keep everyone sane and entertained (i'm speaking mostly for myself here)  
it will also keep me plenty busy in the kitchen...
playdates = hungry kids = snacks = muffins

Banana Carrot Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, spelt, or a blend)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 large bananas, ripe & mashed
2/3 cup finely grated carrots, squeeze out excess moisture
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside.
In large bowl combine butter and sugar using an electric mixer until creamy.  Add in egg and vanilla and mix until well blended.  Add mashed bananas and carrots and mix again.
Add salt,baking soda and cinnamon mixing together with wooden spoon.  Finally add in flour and raisins (if using) and mix until just incorporated.  Do not over mix.
Divide batter among prepared muffin tin and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Yields: 12

Adapted from my Awesome Banana Nut Muffins

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Cookbook Giveaway: Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat.

when you think of cookbooks, you think lengthy instructions, too many ingredients, and never enough photos.  Picture Cook by Katie Shelly is a refreshing change to that idea, offering instead step-by-step, full-colour illustrations in place of text. it's recipes without reading.

"Picture Cook distills every recipe into its most basic component, each step rendered as an enchanting line drawing."  it will reinvent how you think about cooking and inspire you to use the ingredients as a "culinary blueprint, meant for improvisation, experimentation and play in the kitchen."  after all that's what cooking is all about, use what you like and alter the recipe to fit you.
If you are interested in winning a copy of this inventive cookbook filled with over 50 recipes including omelets, lasagna, and chocolate cake, please leave a comment below or email telling me your favourite go-to dish to prepare.
Contest closes Sunday March 23, 2014.  (winner will be picked at random and contacted by me for mailing information. best of luck!)

disclaimer:  cookbook prize is courtesy of Ulysses Press.

Brava Bistro

each month 5 friends from junior high get together for a wonderful dinner out sans kids and husbands.  we alternate picking the locale which i absolutely adore, since it allows me to try all of the great restaurants our beloved city has to offer.
this month's restaurant was courtesy KPM and Brava Bistro.
located at 723 17th SW, this restaurant won top spot in 2012 and placed 3rd overall last year, it also just so happened to be another restaurant that i was eager to check off my culinary bucket list. (which if your keeping track, is two in the last three days, this week is looking tasting pretty good so far)

the eats:

cheese plate |  three unique cheeses, seasonal fruit, candied pecans, crackers

spicy bacon rigatoni |  bacon, garlic, jalapeƱo, tomato, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan, parsley
(so good it was ordered twice)

prawn & avocado salad |  romaine lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, lime vinaigrette

crispy cracklin chicken |  pan roasted, yam fries (substitute), buttered carrots, white wine chicken jus

hamburger |  ground chuck, pickles, smoked cheddar, dijonnaise, arugula, multi-grain ciabatta, pomme frites

cheers to lovely friends & a great cheese plate.  xo.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Una Pizza + Wine

one of my favourite things to do is try out new restaurants with lovely company in tow.
another thing i love, good pizza.
and yesterday all 3 happened.
can we make it mandatory that all mondays be like this?
yesterday mr handsome and i had the pleasure of a relaxing double date night with one of our favourite couples ever M & D.  on their suggestion we went their favourite pizza joint in the city, Una Pizza + Wine, located at 618 17th Ave SW.
surprisingly for a girl like myself who adores pizza, it baffles me that i haven't frequented this restaurant yet.
pizza and i are practically inseparable after all.  here is a brief look at our delicious evening.

the eats:

 mushroom |  roasted cremini mushrooms, smoked mozzarella + grana padano, fresh arugula, truffle oil

tiki |  crisp prosciutto, shaved pineapple, san marzano tomato sauce, friulano, jalapeno oil

the beltline |  double smoked bacon, sausage, smoked mozzarella, maple syrup

margherita |  san marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte mozzarella, crushed basil

good wine, great pizza, lovely company, a perfect evening.

best pizza of the night:
tiki & beltline

if you haven't been this place should go, heck maybe we could both go...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Guinness Pulled Pork Sandwiches

and Guinness weekend continues....
today was race day for me, think of it like a shamrock shuffle for st.  patty's day, or as i like to think of all of my races, run now, beer and pulled pork later.
i have to say todays post race food was amazing.  seriously amazing.  i'm taking rich and hearty irish stew & lucky charms.  who wouldn't love running with this kind of incentive.
as we inch closer and closer towards spring, i'm getting ready to bid farewell to my beloved slow cooker.  my trusty sidekick and ally throughout the cold winter months will soon be replaced by the BBQ, which let's face it is more fun to use anyway.

so in the spirit (pun completely intended) of the weekend, we are having slow cooker style Guinness Pulled Pork and i couldn't be more happier.  cheers to sunday-rundays & sunday-fundays.

Guinness Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2- 2 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 - 440ml bottle Guinness Stout
1 - 455ml bottle Bullseye Guinness BBQ sauce
8 Kaiser buns, split & lightly toasted
prepared coleslaw

Place pork loin in slow cooker and add beer.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until tender and shreds easily.
Remove pork and discard juices.  Shred with a fork and return to slow cooker.  Add in BBQ sauce, stirring to coat and until warmed through.
Serve on kaiser buns and top with coleslaw.

adapted from my Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches

pre and post race recap photos (with my very own lucky charm, R)

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