Monday, June 14, 2010

Playing catch-up!

Warning: this is a very photo-heavy post! Those with dial-up beware!

I'm going to be playing food catch-up with this post. The last couple of months have been very hectic and despite the best of intentions I still haven't achieved my goal of posting more regularly. I feel as though once I get over this one big food blogging hump then we're smooth sailing!

But first, something totally unrelated to food - I cut off all of my hair.



I really wanted a change, and my hair was completely fried having dyed it blonde for 9 months straight. I got great feelings of instant gratification but now I desperately miss my ponytail! I can now pull it back into the tiniest of stubs but it will be a few months before I can fully pull it back. I will never cut my hair again! Which is a lie, as I'll probably want to do the exact same thing two years from now. Vicious cycle.

Back now to food! Ryan and I have been attempting to eat more healthy. In addition to adding raw food to our diet, we also are obsessed with rice paper wraps! So easy and so versatile.

I discovered a recipe from Happy Little Bento, and while my own version didn't turn out nearly as cute as the photo, nor did I have all of the proper ingredients amounts, it was still one of the most surprisingly delightful dishes I've ever eaten! Despite it's slop-like appearance, of course.

As some of you may have read, awhile ago I e-mailed a food stylist/specialist in Ottawa and we met and hit it off right away. I did some part-time work with her before being offered a more full-time position, and one of my projects was to pick some recipes from her website and to make them and take photos of each step. Later these will be on her blog (when I get around to doing that... oh dear...). For now though the final product pictures are here!

Egg-free and Gluten-free chicken fingers. Dipped in a honey-dijon mixture and rolled in spelt crumbs.

Tuna and asparagus salad with avocado.

Peanut butter energy balls.

I also had one week where I made a lot of cakes!

Double chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate brownie cake with caramel buttercream and pecans

Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache

Vanilla cake with chocolate icing (this felt like such a grocery store cake!)

Chocolate almond dacquoise with strawberry cream and caramel

Lastly, Ryan and I had a dinner party a few weeks back for some friends from cooking school. We felt slightly rushed to get everything prepared but it turned out to be a roaring success.

Dinner party attire!

Stuffed sea trout. Recipe found at The Delicious Miss Dahl.

Vegan chocolate cake with not-so-vegan chocolate caramel ganache

More photos and stories to come! Here a teaser list for you - raw tacos, tales from the ER, homemade pizza, raw cakes, and more!


Shona said...

Dear JB,
I love it all.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the vegan chocolate cake recipe from? I'm having Alison and all my family over on sunday for a bbq [father-less father's day celebration!] and since it Alison's birthday I wanna make a cake, but it needs to be super yummy so all the non-vegan's don't have a hissy fit! help!

Jenn the Red

Tastes Like More said...

Jenn the Red I can help! It's the easiest thing ever. It's from 'Organic and Chic', one of my favourite baking books. Here's the recipe:

2 1/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp white vinegar
2 cups cold water

Basically, sift your dry, mix together your wet, put dry into wet, whisk until incorporated (don't over mix) and plop into a cake pan! Make sure you either grease and flour or grease and parchment your cake pan. The batter is supposed to be super wet.

Bake at 350 about 30 minutes, but keep checking... I always find that this book's recipes have longer cooking times than indicated.

I want to come to your party!

Anonymous said...

Ok I typed this out once, and don't think I entered the word verification before submitting. This day drinking is getting the best of me...

Thoughts on replacing part/all of the flour so I'm not using white flour? I have spelt flour, brown rice flour and whole wheat all purpose flour on hand.
Also, thoughts on replacing some/all of the sugar, so I'm not using white sugar? What's the best? I have cane sugar, brown sugar, agave necter...?

Tastes Like More said...

Replacing flours is a tricky science. You can't just substitute one for the other. I was looking at a gluten-free book once and the amount of "flour" combinations was insane. However, I have substituted whole wheat for white before with no issues.

Again with sugar, you can't just eyeball it and replace it all willy-nilly like. The sugar adds structure as well as taste. Cane sugar granules are slightly larger than usual white sugar so I don't know how well they will dissolve in the baking process (you might get a grainy taste, but I'm not sure!). Brown sugar... well... maybe you could do half white and half brown, I think that would be fine. Agave, no no not at all. Although it's sweet you are basically adding a liquid and thus changing the composition of the recipe - it may not turn out properly.

Also, with sugar, whilst organic/cane/raw/whatever sugar is pretty good, brown sugar is no better for you than white. They're on par, as brown sugar is basically white sugar with molasses. It's not any healthier. It gives a "darker" and slightly richer taste but that's really the only big difference!

And with agave you have to make sure that it's 100% pure agave, not made from corn as some brands are (weird, I know). It's no longer considered a health product if corn is involved.

Sorry for the dorky rant!

Anonymous said...

I love you dorky rant!

I know you own the Babycakes cookbook, so thought I'd let you know that for Alison's birthday a few weeks ago, I made the chocolate cupcakes, then iced them with vegan peanut butter icing [recipe not from that cookbook but a vegan blog i found]....So freaking yummy! Everyone loved!