Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gluten Free Almond Butter Blondies

Well I am exhausted! Some of you may remember me posting about the Manitoba Food Bloggers Meet and Greet a few weeks ago. Well, it took place tonight and it was amazing. I met so many wonderful and kind people who truly love food. I can't wait to show you pictures of the whole event in my next post.
But aside from that great news, I have some other great news. Yesterday I bought my first jar of almond butter. I've made my own before in my processor, but this stuff is definitely smoother than what I could ever make at home. So naturally, I had to try using it in some kind of recipe and ended up stumbling upon this recipe for gluten free almond butter blondies. So not only was this my first time using almond butter, it was also my first time making blondies, something I've had on my list-of-things-to-do for a while.

Gluten Free Almond Butter Blondies [source]
-2 cups smooth almond butter
-1 cup agave nectar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup chocolate chips

So the instructions for this recipe are very simple. Put the almond butter, agave nectar, and eggs into a bowl and mix them together with a hand mixer. Then add in the salt and baking soda and mix those in as well. Stir in half of the chocolate chips and pour the batter into a greased or parchment lined 9 by 13 pan and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top. Bake for 35 minutes at 325 degrees and be sure to use a toothpick to check and make sure it's cooked all the way through. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
My amazing almond butter.
The blondies came out perfectly. It's really amazing, but when you taste them, it's hard to believe that there isn't any kind of flour in them at all.
Mmm, I cut these and photographed them while they were still warm because I just couldn't wait to dig in and try them. If you have almond butter, be sure to give this a try because it's really easy and tastes so good. If you don't have almond butter, get some. : )
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Delicious Whole Wheat Blueberry Orange Loaf

So reading week is over and now it's time to start getting up early in the morning again. To help me get through it, last night I decided to bake myself a loaf of quick bread to eat for breakfast. Because it isn't fall anymore, I decided not to make a pumpkin loaf, and because I've eaten enough sweet things in the past few days, I couldn't make a chocolate orange loaf, so in the end I decided to make a Whole Wheat Blueberry Orange Loaf. The original recipe I found at allrecipes.com and then I just made a few alterations to make it a little healthier.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Orange Loaf [source]
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 cup white sugar
-1tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 egg
-1/2 cup orange juice
-1/3 cup water
-2 tbsp vegetable oil
-2 tbsp grated orange peel
-3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)

This loaf is very easy to make. Just put all of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt) into a bowl and whisk them together. Then put all of your wet ingredients (egg, juice, water, oil, orange peel) into a separate bowl and use a hand mixer to combine them. Then pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and use the hand mixer to combine them well. Then cover the blueberries in some whole wheat flower and then fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake it for an hour to 70 minutes at 350 degrees. Remember to stick a toothpick into the centre of the loaf to see if it is done. Then let it cool for ten minutes before taking it out of the pan.
One you have your dry mixture and wet mixture ready, combine the two using the hand mixer.
I'm not too sure if this is true, but I've heard that if you cover the blueberries in flour, it will help to keep them from sinking to the bottom while the loaf is baking.
At first I was really worried that the loaf would come out blue based on how the batter looked before I put the pan into the oven, but in the end I think it turned out perfect.
The first slice while it was still warm. Usually the loaves are still a little crumbly when they're fresh out of the oven.
This morning's breakfast. So delicious. The orange is a little hard to taste at first, but it's definitely there, and the blueberries ended up dispersed evenly throughout the loaf rather than all falling to the bottom.
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Surrounded by Cakes at Baked Expectations

I know I haven't been posting a lot of recipes, even though it's reading week and you'd think I have time to try some new ones out, but it seems like all of my time has been spent going out to eat with all the friends I haven't seen since Christmas. Oh well. I promise one will be coming soon.
So the other day I went to Baked Expectations, a restaurant in Osbourne Village that is known for its vast array of cakes. It's very popular amongst people of all ages and is a place I consider to be one of the must sees for people who come to Winnipeg. Not only does it have amazing cakes, Baked Expectations has a large menu with sandwiches and burgers, soups and salads, and even main dishes. And boy, is their food good. I don't know for sure, but I think their caesar dressing is home made and I know that they make their french fries from scratch. That's why almost every time I go there, someone at the table has to order french fries.
But enough about that, let's talk about the cakes! Ohh, the cakes! How I wish I could have a bit of each one whenever I go there. That's really the only bad thing about Baked Expectations. Choosing what slice of cake you want to order.
I did my best to take photos of the menu that would be easy for everyone to read. For vegetarians there are a lot of options, so you don't need to worry about not being able to order anything but cake. Although I don't think that would be such a bad thing. : )
The caesar salad served with garlic bread.
The triple decker grilled cheese sandwich. This was my first time ordering it and I am so glad that I did. At first I thought that it would just be a lot of cheese and three pieces of bread, which would have been more than fine, but it ended up having so much more than that like tomato, spinach, onions, and mushrooms. The sandwich was also served with french fries and a pickle on the side.
Mmmm, delicious fries. 
This photo was taken this summer on Canada Day. Currently the cheesecake display is being repaired, so all of the cheesecakes are being stored in the back, just in case you go there and begin to worry that they're all out of cheesecake.
I don't know the name of this cake because it was something special they offered for Valentines day and isn't on the menu.
The Deadly Chocolate Mousse.
The Banana Cake, Crazy Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Orange Mousse Cake, and another cake I don't know.
Apple Pie.
The Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Mocha Torte (My favourite!) and another cake I don't know.
The Pavlova.
Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Banana Pie.
So in the end we decided to order two different cakes. The Chocolate Orange Mousse Cake and the Mocha Torte. Both were so good. The mousse in the chocolate cake was so delicious and creamy and the multiple layers of cake in the Mocha Torte were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with layers of whip cream slathered in between. It's always amazing going to Baked Expectations whether it's for any type of meal. And if you're in a hurry and need some cake to satisfy your sweet tooth, they'll box up an individual slice for you to take home.
Baked Expectations on Urbanspoon
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company at The Forks Market

Tall Grass Prairie is a bakery located in The Forks Market and sells a wide range of baked goods. From home made breads and delicious treats to sandwiches and jam, this bakery has it all.
I remember when I was a little kid and was taking acting classes at MTYP (Manitoba Theatre for Young People) on Saturdays, my mom would come to pick me up and we would always buy one of the amazing cinnamon sugar beaver tails from the beaver tail place. It was so amazing to watch the man knead the dough, form it into a the shape of a beaver tail, deep fry it, slather it with butter and then shower it with cinnamon sugar. But then one day the beaver tail place closed and my mother and I discovered Tall Grass Prairie bakery. Thus we began a new tradition of buying one of the giant cinnamon buns to share from the bakery.
But let's move beyond that story from memory lane, and focus on all the amazing things that you can find at Tall Grass Prairie. They have a variety of freshly baked loaves of bread, as well as croissants and scones. They also have a wide range of individual squares that you can buy if you're looking for something sweet, like brownies, date squares, and pecan squares. And some of their other treats include things like cookies, pie, and their amazing giant cinnamon buns. The bakery is also very veggie friendly offering veggetarian sandwiches and even a vegan burger and vegan spelt morning glory muffins.
The pre-made sandwiches offered by Tall Grass Prairie. Along with this, they often have a daily lunch special and when we went on Monday it was a veggie quiche.
The famous giant cinnamon buns. The best thing about these probably isn't their size, but the amount of syrup they have in them.
Well that's Tall Grass Prairie for you. I thought about giving you specific directions that would take you right to the bakery, but The Forks Market is so small that all you really need to do is walk around for a while and you'll find it.

Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company & Deli on Urbanspoon
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