30 07, 2014

Foodie Pen Pals July 2014

By |July 30th, 2014|chocolate, foodie pen pals, gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo|0 Comments|

I’ve been participating in Foodie Pen Pals for about a year and a half now and I’ve received some really interesting packages filled with all sorts of delightful goodies.  Some of the boxes have been more to my taste than others and some have been so incredibly thoughtful, but I have to say that this month’s box definitely takes the cake!

I was teamed up with the lovely Jenn over at Bake and Be Merry  this month.  We exchanged a couple of e-mails and hit it off right away.  This was her first time participating in Foodie Pen Pals.  She mentioned in one of her e-mails that she participated in a foodie scavenger hunt which raised money for the Ottawa Food Bank.  I was so interested to hear that since I volunteer 2 days a week at a local food bank.  She wrote an awesome blog post on the subject, which I forwarded to our community liaison in hopes that we can do something similar in the future.

I sent Jenn my usual Foodie Pen Pal questionnaire asking things like ‘what’s your favourite food?’, ‘what don’t you like?’, etc… and she answered it and then added even more questions for me to answer.  One question she asked me was ‘Is there something that you’ve been wanting to try/make/eat/drink that you haven’t gotten around to yet?’  I answered that I’ve been wanting to attempt making macarons for my sister as they’re her favourite baked treats.  Well wouldn’t you know that the extremely sweet and thoughtful Jenn put together a macaron kit for me!!!!  I mean, could you possibly ask for a lovelier gesture?  I was blown away.

Okay, enough rambling and on to the package contents…

At the top of the box there was an envelope telling me to open everything before reading it.  I LOVED that!

At the top of the box there was an envelope telling me to open everything before reading it. I LOVED that!

The macaron kit was wrapped in this pretty box with a ribbon.

The macaron kit was wrapped in this pretty box with a ribbon.

It contained all the makings for one batch of macarons.

It contained all the makings for one batch of macarons.

I loved how everything had a little note attached and what fun that everything was wrapped up.  It was like Christmas :)

What fun that everything was wrapped up. It was like Christmas 🙂

Apple chips for a healthier option than my guilty pleasure, potato chips :)

Apple chips for a healthier option than my guilty pleasure, potato chips 🙂

She actually had a spice shop make up a collection of spices for me!!!

She actually had a spice shop make up a collection of spices for me!!!

One for each of my favourite cuisines!

One for each of my favourite cuisines!

I love how she attached little notes to each item :)

I love how she attached little notes to each item 🙂

I tried these the day I got the package.  YUM!

I tried this the day I got the package. YUM!

Even fancy napkins! :)

Even fancy napkins! 🙂

I was so excited to see what was in this package!

I was so excited to see what was in this package!

Dark Chocolate to pair with wine!!!

Dark Chocolate to pair with wine!!!

I mentioned that I'm on a tasting panel and she managed to work that in to the package too! :)

I mentioned that I’m on a tasting panel and she managed to work that into the package too! 🙂

I can't wait to try this.  I'm obsessed with flavoured salts!

I can’t wait to try this. I’m obsessed with flavoured salts!

And then I got to open the letter.  Reading this, you can tell how much care was put into the package.

And then I got to open the letter. Reading this, you can tell how much care was put into the package.

Needless to say, the chocolate didn't make it past day one and it paired beautifully with a glass of dry red wine. I did share :)

Needless to say, the chocolate didn’t make it past day one and it paired beautifully with a glass of dry red wine. I did share 🙂

 

I truly hope that Jenn enjoys my package as much as I did hers.  And I hope that next month she’s paired up with someone as thoughtful as she is.  I wonder if maybe I should quit Foodie Pen Pals now as I can’t imagine any package topping that one! 🙂

 

 

 

7 05, 2014

Paleo Nut and Seed Bread

By |May 7th, 2014|Bread, Paleo, recipe|0 Comments|

 

I came across this recipe for paleo bread on one of my favourite blogs Green Kitchen Stories  As soon as I read the recipe, I knew I wanted to make this.  Apparently it’s a very popular recipe in Denmark, although the original contains eggs.  I have no problem using eggs, but thought I’d try this version first just to see how it turned out because it’s always good to have a vegan-friendly and paleo option.

It turned out even better than I had expected.  It’s so nutty and delicious and it’s even better toasted.  Next time I’ll try using eggs and see how that changes the texture.  Made as I did, it’s quite crisp on the ends, but a little softer and more pliable in the centre.

Here’s what I did…

I put 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks into a large bowl.

I put 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks into a large bowl.

 

Then I whisked in 1 1/2 cups water and set it aside.

Then I whisked in 1 1/2 cups water and set it aside.

 

Meanwhile, I added 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup pistachios (both raw) to the bowl of my food processor.

Meanwhile, I added 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup pistachios (both raw) to the bowl of my food processor.

 

And added 1/4 cup white sesame seeds and 1/4 cup of black sesame seeds.

And added 1/4 cup white sesame seeds and 1/4 cup of black sesame seeds.

 

Next I added 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds.

Next I added 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds.

 

And 1/4 cup golden flax seeds and 1/4 cup chia seeds plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan salt.

And 1/4 cup golden flax seeds and 1/4 cup chia seeds plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan salt.

 

Then I pulsed it in the food processor until the seeds were broken up a bit, but not completely chopped.

Then I pulsed it in the food processor until the seeds were broken up a bit, but not completely chopped.

 

I added everything from the food processor to the bowl of psyllium water which had now gelled.

I added everything from the food processor plus 3 tablespoons of Extra-virgin olive oil to the bowl of psyllium water which had now gelled.

 

And I threw in a handful of raisins just to add a little sweetness.

And I threw in a handful of raisins just to add a little sweetness.

 

I mixed it all together well and then left it for a couple of hours.  I'm sure it doesn't need to be left this long, but I was going to the gym :)

I mixed it all together well and then left it for a couple of hours. I’m sure it doesn’t need to be left this long, but I was going to the gym 🙂

 

Then I preheated the oven to 350F and spooned the mixture into a greased and parchment-lined loaf tin.

Then I preheated the oven to 350F and spooned the mixture into a greased and parchment-lined loaf tin.

 

I baked it for 75 minutes and then removed it from the oven and let it cool for several hours.

I baked it for 75 minutes and then removed it from the oven and let it cool for several hours before slicing.

 

 

I sliced it up and enjoyed the first piece topped with some lovely, runny brie.  YUMMMM!!!

I sliced it up and enjoyed the first piece topped with some lovely, runny brie. YUMMMM!!!

 

Paleo Nut and Seed Bread

  • 2 tbsp psyllium husks

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • generous 1/2 cup raw almonds

  • generous 1/2 cup raw pistachios

  • generous ¼ cup white sesame seeds

  • generous ¼ cup black sesame seeds

  • generous ½ cup raw sunflower seeds

  • generous ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

  • generous ¼ cup chia seeds

  • generous ¼ cup golden flax seeds

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Himalayan salt

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • generous handful raisins (leave out for savoury version)

 

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the psyllium husks and water and set aside

  2. Put all of the ingredients other than oil and raisins in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they’re coarsely chopped.

  3. Scoop mixture from the food processor into the bowl with the gelled psyllium husk mixture.

  4. Add oil and raisins and m ix it all together until it’s well-combined.

  5. Leave mixture for at least an hour.

  6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F

  7. Scoop into a loaf pan that’s been lined with a parchment sling and greased where there’s no parchment.and bake for about 75 minutes.

  8. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then use the parchment sling to transfer the loaf to a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool completely (several hours) before slicing. I found that slicing with a serrated knife worked best.

  9. I stored mine in the fridge for a few days and then put the remainder into the freezer.

*linking back to West Coast Mama’s Coast to Coast Blog Party!

31 05, 2013

May Foodie Pen Pals

By |May 31st, 2013|foodie pen pals, gluten-free, Paleo|0 Comments|

Well it’s time for another Foodie pen pals package and I am absolutely thrilled with this month’s goodies.  My sweet pen pal Ceecee from B.C. really listened to what I told her in my e-mail and sent me the most wonderful selection of treats.
Here’s what I saw when I opened the box…
My first thought was that during my 3 months participating in foodie pen pals, I have received seaweed every single time.  I don’t think I mentioned to any of my pen pals that all three of us love it and eat it like it’s going out of style so I guess they are all psychic 🙂
 I’ve had wasabi seaweed before, but never this brand so I’m excited to try it.

 

 New kinds of dark chocolate for me to try…yum!
 Spicy salt!!!
 I’m really looking forward to experimenting with this curry powder.

 

Crunchy green beans.  Sounds delicious!!
OMG chocolate-covered potato chips.  These will obviously be a HUGE treat for me and I can’t wait to try them.
 Never tried teriyaki sunflower seeds, but I imagine they’ll be delicious.
Best foodie pen pal box ever.  Thanks so much to the lovely Ceecee!
And this month the foodie pen pal who was chosen for me was my sister Ashleigh.  I’m not sure if she took pics. of what I sent her, but I’ll be sure to ask if she’ll write a short guest post about the package.