Monday, October 31, 2011

Filled-With-Everything Pumpkin Loaf

Hey there. So this weekend I was in a baking mood and picked up a can of pumpkin pie filling so I could make *gasp* another pumpkin loaf! That's right. Ever since I baked my first quick-bread, I just can't stop myself from thinking about making another. But this time, I decided things would be different. No more plain pumpkin loaf with a few walnuts thrown in. This time, we're going all the way, adding chopped pecans, raisins, and chocolate chips!

Filled With Everything Pumpkin Loaf
-4 ounces of softened cream cheese (or half a package of a block)
-1/4 cup of butter
-1 cup of white sugar
-2 eggs
-1 cup of canned spiced pumpkin pie filling
-1 and 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour (or all purpose if that's what you have)
-1 tsp of baking soda
-1/4 tsp of baking powder
-1/2 tsp of salt
-1/2 cup of chopped pecans 
-1/2 cup of raisins
-1/2 cup of chocolate chips 
Making this loaf is exactly the same as the original Thanksgiving Loaf, the only difference is the cooking time. With the added ingredients, the loaf will need to cook for an extra 10-15 minutes.
Use a hand mixer to mix together all your wet ingredients and the sugar. Mix up the rest of the ingredients (excluding the raisins, pecans, and chocolate chips) with a whisk. Put the two together, add the raisins, pecans, and chocolate chips, put the mixture into a greased loaf pan and pop it into the oven to bake at 350 degrees for an hour and ten minutes. Then check the loaf with a toothpick to see if it is fully cooked in the middle. If it is, pop it out of the oven. If it isn't, pop it right back in for another five minutes.
When my first loaf came out it had a huge crack down the side, so I thought I would use my knife to make a gash through the middle and hopefully encourage the loaf to crack closer to the middle.
It didn't really help. : (
Truthfully, I don't think I'll make this loaf again. Chocolate chips and raisins just don't seem to go well together. Nuts + raisins and nuts + chocolate are fine, just not raisins + chocolate chips.
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Awful Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

So I have this awful thing called a sweet tooth that compels me to look for sweet treats during the evenings. I know it's a problem, but I just can't help it. Take this evening for example. I wanted chocolate ice cream. But being the weirdo that I am, I've stopped my mom from buying ice cream, because then I'll eat it. So there I was, wanting chocolate ice cream, but not having chocolate ice cream, so I decided to make chocolate ice cream. Yah, the result was sort of similar to this experiment
So I started out with thoughts of making the regular banana ice cream, then adding cocoa powder, and then finally adding agave nectar to make up for the bitterness of the cocoa.  
So far so good.
Adding the cocoa and agave nectar.
Note to self, stir in powders and other dry ingredients before turning the food processor back on.
Okay, looks good!...Tastes awful.
It was really bitter and just weird tasting. I put it into the freezer for a few hours and tried it while I was watching Saturday Night Live, but it still didn't taste good. I'm still determined to find a way to make a chocolate version of banana ice cream. Perhaps next time I'll add melted chocolate chips.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cupcakes in Shakespeare Class?

I love my Shakespeare class for many reasons. The people I've met there, the videos I get to watch there, the professor, and of course the plays themselves. Today I discovered another reason to love my Shakespeare class. Cupcakes. My professor decided to bring us cupcakes to enjoy during our group discussions on "Midsummer Night's Dream". Isn't that amazing? 
The cupcakes. Although my professor didn't say so, I'm fairly certain these cupcakes came from The Cupcake Corner in Osbourne Village.
Staking out which cupcake I want. 
I'm very proud of my cupcake. Unfortunately, my professor did not give these cupcakes to us without a little hard work. We had to make some kind of argument or observation about the way the play was portrayed in a painting he had brought to class. Guess who was the first to go. That's right, I really wanted that green cupcake.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Winnipeg's Ichiban Japanese Steak House

Ever since I was really young, I always wanted to go to a Japanese restaurant with huge flames and cool knife tossing. You know, the type of place that makes your food right in front of you, and then at some point sets an onion on fire. Well not too long ago I had the chance to go to a restaurant just like that here in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It's called the Ichiban Japanese Steak House. The biggest surprise of the evening was not the comical act the servers put on, or the fact that my meal came with a dessert, but the low cost. All meals start with a bowl of either miso soup, or vegetable soup, then a bowl of rice, then your main dish of choice (such as shrimp, chicken, or in my case, udon noodles), a TON of stir-fried vegetables, and then finally, a small bowl of ice-cream. My whole meal, entertainment included, came to only $16.00! However, the price goes up if you order meat such as Fillet Minion, which I believe was $30.00.
Now that I have been there and have discovered that my whole meal can cost less than $20.00 as a vegetarian, I know for sure that I'll be going there again soon. Here is what I ate that evening, plus some things my table mates ate. Please excuse the poor quality of the photos. As you can see in the picture above the lighting is really dim in the restaurant. It was almost too much for my poor point and shoot camera!
Miso soup to start.
They have dumplings on the menu that you can order along with your meal.
They also have all the different kind of rolls that you'd find at any sushi restaurant. I believe this is a dynamite roll.
The veggies and meat to cook on the grill.
My bowl of rice to eat with the stir-fried vegetables, and my noodles. Very yummy!
The Flaming Onion!
And ice-cream to finish the meal. Some of the flavours the  restaurant offers are chocolate, vanilla, orange, and green-tea. The photo above is of the green-tea and orange. Very smooth and refreshing. To be honest, I was much too full to eat ice-cream, but this was my first opportunity to have green-tea ice-cream, so I just couldn't say no. It was...different. Some people like it. I admit I got used to it near the end. : )
I highly suggest you give this a try. The experience is great and the cooks have lots of jokes. Just be sure to go with a friend.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

My Mini Kimchi Pancakes

So over the weekend I decided to use up the last of my kimchi by making some kimchi pancakes. Here is the original recipe from Maangchi. The recipe is very simple and uses a lot of common ingredients.
Mini Kimchi Pancakes
-1 cup of chopped kimchi
-3 tbs of kimchi juice
-1/2 tsp of salt (although kimchi is salty enough so you don't need it)
-1/2 tsp of sugar
-1/2 cup of all purpose flour (rice flour works really well if you want to make it gluten free)
-1/4 cup of water
-Lots of vegetable oil
-2 tbs of chopped onion (I didn't have any, so I left it out)
So first measure out one cup of kimchi and chop it up.
Then add your other ingredients into a bowl and mix them together.
Heat a large frying pan up to medium heat and add a generous amount of oil.
While Maangchi added the whole mixture onto the pan together to make one big pancake, I decided to make mini pancakes. Why? Because I'm too afraid to flip a huge pancake in my frying pan. Maangchi does it in her video very well, but I don't think I'm quite at that level yet.
So flip them over with a spatula and cook them until they are golden on both sides. Then enjoy!
Maangchi's website has a lot of great recipes and is the place to go when you want to know how to make a Korean dish. She includes videos for all of her recipes and even has an iTunes podcast that you can subscribe to.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Amazing Disney Food Ride

So my mother and I went on a short trip to Walt Disney World in Florida during the spring and while we were there we decided to ride the "Living With The Land" ride in Epcot. Why? Well, we were waiting for the chance to use our fast-passes on the ride "Soarin" and this is right next to it. Plus, there was no line. Probably because no one knows how amazing this ride is! Sure, it's pretty slow, but it's so cool. The ride takes you through a green house where you can see things like a tomato tree, plants growing without any soil, nine pound lemons, and a bunch of other cool stuff. I took as many pictures as I could but there are just too many things in this green house. 
I'm not too sure how this last picture works, but basically the plants are helping the fish and the fish are helping the plants. Isn't that nice? Here's a video that shows the ride from start to finish. It was posted in 2007, so it's missing a few things, but overall it's pretty good in showing you just how much cool stuff they have to show you on this ride. So the next time you make a trip to Walt Disney World's Epcot, be sure to check out this ride.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Home Made Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

Good Morning! All of my university midterms will be taking place in the next two weeks, so my hope is to put out some really awesome posts right now, just in case later on it's dificult for me to find time to work on the blog.
Anywho, do you remember my recipe for home made strawberry frozen yogurt? No? Maybe this will help you remember. Well, today I bring you raspberry frozen yogurt!

Home Made Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
- 3 cups of frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup of plain yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
- 1/4 cup of white sugar
So the steps are fairly simple. Pour the raspberries into the processor, pour the sugar on top, pulse a few times, turn the processor on until the raspberries get all crumbly, add the yogurt, and then let it run until all the ingredients come together like in the picture above.
You can eat this right away if you're like my mother and just can't wait, or you can pop the mixture into the freezer to let it harden.
This recipe has only three ingredients and takes only five minutes to make. Plus, it tastes super good, way better than store bought stuff. I hope you enjoyed this recipe and have a chance to either make some strawberry frozen yogurt or raspberry frozen yogurt.
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