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A Mouth On Fire

2 Aug

Last night I bit in to a Snickers bar and had the oddest thing happen. As soon as the chocolate was touching my lips it felt as if my lips were on fire. Tingling, painful, fire sensations all along my lips. Being the dummy that I am I continued to bite in to the chocolate bar and the “on fire” sensation spread to the inside of my mouth.

fire

How my mouth was feeling. Super pleasant πŸ˜‰

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was going on. This is not what a Snickers is supposed to do to your mouth!

I paused, read the package to see if maybe it was some weird special kind that is supposed to be a spicy or hot flavour, which yes, I realize makes zero sense, but I dunno, I couldn’t think of what else it might be.

While reading the label I was holding one hand over my mouth, as if that might magically make things better. (go ahead, roll your eyes at me, I’m rolling them at myself).

After I removed my hand I started googling to see if I could figure out what was going on and while reading horrifying articles about nut allergies I scratched at my cheek and rubbed my eyelid and omg fire! The fire sensation immediately started in those two spots also. My eye started watering, my cheek felt like it was under attack, and all the while I still felt like my lips and mouth were on fire.

So I did what seemed normal and messaged some friends, described what was going on, and waited for them to solve the mystery of why I was on fire. They didn’t know either but our best guess was I, over night, became allergic to peanuts.

I say overnight because I almost daily eat peanut butter, don’t judge, to me a day without peanut butter is just sad. Plus a week or so ago I ate some mixed nuts, and well, lets just say nuts and I have always gotten along juuuuuust fine.

The idea I might all of a sudden be allergic was not at all appealing.

My face started being itchy but whenever I touched it to scratch the fire sensation would spread to that spot so I did my best to resist and eventually things calmed down a bit.

By the time I went to bed my cheek had a rash, my lips looked like I had lip liner on because they were lined red, they also still felt tingling and fire like, my eye had at least stopped tearing up, oh, and one nostril felt like it was on fire. So ya know, great shape to easily fall asleep in.

In the morning I was happy to find the rash was gone and my eye seemed fine…don’t you love how my first concern was over vanity issues and not say, the pain issue? πŸ˜‰

The fire sensation had gone down to tingling and my lips felt like how they do after they have been sunburned, they feel swollen but don’t really look it, and feel stretched a bit too tight when I smile. Something new was the fire sensation was in my throat in one little patch.

Except for the dreadful idea I might now have an allergy things seemed to be getting back to normal.

Well. Let’s just say your girl isn’t always the smartest, and when I got to work I snacked on a mini bar that has as its number one ingredient peanuts. Didn’t even think about the whole “maybe I have an allergy thing and should be careful for a bit” issue. Just bit right in. And what do you know, nothing happened, except my enjoying the snack bar.

Guess who isn’t allergic to peanuts? This girl! Yay!

I even made sure to eat some peanut butter at lunch just to make sure. You know, for science.

But now the Snickers Bar causing all that pain and weirdness is an even bigger mystery. Maybe it was contaminated somehow? Maybe they changed their recipe and some random ingredient in there gave me that reaction? Maybe my body was trying to teach me a lesson about eating chocolate bars late at night?

Before I ate the mini snack bar with the nuts in it and the peanut butter I was going to ask my doctor to set up an allergy test for me but now I don’t know that I need one. Instead I am going to contact whoever it is that makes Snickers Bars and let them know what happened and see if they know what is going on. Let’s see if they can solve the mystery!

 

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Eton Mess

3 Jul

For Canada Day (that’s July 1st for all you non-Canadians) I went to Squamish to hang with a friend and her peeps. We went for a walk with her dog, then back to her place where she made a delish dinner and I took care of dessert.

My only vague self imposed guideline I have for dessert on Canada Day is I want it to be red and white. I figure, if I’m going to have a flag on my car, and wear a t-shirt that has some sort of Canada pride image on it, and be all in your face about how it is Canada Day then that might as well extend to dessert. Listen, it may be weird logic but it is my logic, so let’s just all pretend we are ok with it, ok? πŸ˜‰

Now granted, Eton Mess is a very English dessert, but the two countries still have a connection, and well, it is one of my fave desserts and I wanted to try making it. The first, and only, time I had it was in Wales at some random restaurant. The menu didn’t adequately describe it so I had no idea what I was getting in to when I ordered it and oh wow was I happy when I got my first taste. It is a light, not too sweet, perfect for the summer dessert, aaaaand, it is red and white!

The most simple version I have found online involves meringues, whipped cream, strawberry sauce, and cut up strawberries.

Basically, you make meringues (or buy them if you can find them ready made), blitz some strawberries to make a strawberry sauce, cut up the remaining strawberries in to bite sized pieces, and make the whip cream (or I suppose you could buy that ready made also if you wanted). Once all the ingredients are prepped you crush about three quarters of the meringues and mix them with the cut up strawberries, then you mix in the whipping cream. Add some of the strawberry sauce and lightly mix so it gets swirls of red. Then you evenly distribute between serving bowls and top with the rest of the broken meringues and maybe a sliced strawberry if you want to try to be artistic about it. I opted for saving some of the strawberry sauce and put a layer of it in the middle of each of the servings. If I make it again I’ll also drizzle some on the top of the dish, ya know, for prettiness sake. πŸ™‚

Eton Mess 2019

Eton Mess, Canadian style!

The recipe I used is from the BBC Good Food website (www.bbcgoodfood.com), they also have an app if you’re interested, bbcgoodfood.app.link . I can’t vouch for the app, I haven’t used it, but it is there if any of you want to give it a try.

The ingredients measurements are:

2 large egg whites and 120 grams castor sugar to make the meringues

500 grams of strawberries, chopped. 1/3 of the strawberries get blitzed to turn into sauce

450 ml double cream (I used whipping cream) and 1 tbsp icing sugar for the whipped cream

A minor annoyance is that the recipe says to “spoon dollops” of the meringue mixture on to the baking tray, and cook on the bottom rack in the oven for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.

What, I ask you, is a dollop? And why in the world is it being used as some form of measurement? In a recipe! For a food that can easily burn! Oooooh, if the BBC could have heard the names I was calling them when I saw the word “dollop” they’d have ducked for cover. I ended up using the large sized spoon that comes in your cutlery set, and put similar sized “dollops” on to the baking tray, it made ten “dollops” in case you were wondering.

Other than the “dollop” issue and having to call my mother to get help converting Gas 1 to an oven temp that makes sense over here (ended up using 250F), the recipe is easy to follow, and has good results. So here is a link to the recipe I followed, in case you want to take a look:

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/eton-mess

If you’re American you could always top with some blueberries and make it a red, white, and blue dessert for July 4th. And as far as I know there is no rule that says you have to use strawberries so you could always use raspberries, or some combination of red fruits to jazz it up a bit, get a new flavour in there. I might try making a raspberry sauce next time for the middle layer…we shall see!

My friend’s dog and I taking selfies, he has the best expressions! lol

 

Sauerkraut

17 Apr

This is the meal where I discovered sauerkraut is not the condiment for me, and I love condiments!

sauerkraut

This was my dinner last Sunday, and yes I know, that is a hella lot of gravy but I didn’t plate it and it’s rude to judge…just sayin… πŸ˜‰

It is beef, with potatoes and veggies, as well as the gravy and sauerkraut. I decided to splurge on this dinner since my normal Sunday dinner is a sandwich, or maybe a bowl of soup, nothing as protein filled and tasty as this promised to be.

The meal was delicious, as I fully expected it to be lol Too much food for one person, but what I ate of it was yum!

Since the sauerkraut was there, and apparently it is a condiment used with beef, I figured why not give it a try? Uh yeah, bad plan there, it was um, well, kinda gross. No, that’s not fair, because I know some people really like it (you weirdos you! lol), it just wasn’t for me. I think part of it is that I liked the taste of the beef and didn’t find the sauerkraut complimentary to the beef, rather, it was over powering.

It’s like when people season the hell out of their vegetables and now their vegetables no longer taste like vegetables, instead they taste like the seasoning. I just don’t get that. Veggies taste great, why hide the taste underneath a bunch of seasoning? That’s how I felt with the sauerkraut, why hide the taste of the beef under the sauerkraut?

Maybe I’m just some sort of weird food purist at heart…says the woman who firmly believes ice cream is an acceptable option for dinner…not dessert, dinner. Yeah, let that sink in and wonder who decided to let me adult! lol πŸ˜‰

 

Hippie Snacks: Cauliflower Crisps

7 Apr

I went to Safeway after work with the intention of buying more bandages (for the cat, loooong story!) and a piece of cake for me (loooong day!). I ended up with the bandages, much to the cat’s dismay, but instead of cake I sampled and then bought Cauliflower Crisps by a company called Hippie Snacks.

cauliflower crisps

Who am I?

I went in for cake and I bought a vegan version of a potato chip that is made out of cauliflower!

It’s like I don’t even know myself anymore. πŸ˜‰

They also make a version out of avocado, which you would think would be amazing cuz hello, avocado! But no, not really, don’t do it ok? If you’re going to try one of them try the cauliflower version. They come in original and ranch flavour, I wouldn’t mind trying a dill pickle flavour, or bbq, ooooh, that could be nice…but I don’t think those flavours exist yet.

The tag line on the bag is “Real food tastes better”, the ingredients are cauliflower, coconut milk, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, tapioca starch, sesame seeds, water, sea salt, and mustard flour. I bought the original flavour so no ranch flavour added to my ingredient list.

I could definitely make the argument that a piece of chocolate cake would have tasted better, and is still “real food” but these aren’t bad. I’m not really a chip person so I don’t need a healthy alternative for that particular junk food category but if you’re trying to cut down on chips this might be a good option for you.

Cauliflower is a pretty forgiving vegetable, with no real taste of its own you can do to it whatever you want. so mix up some guacamole or make some salsa and dip these in, it’d be yum! Maybe even top with a bit of cheese…see now I’m starting to see possibilities for these chips, which is a good thing since they cost me over $5 for a 70 gram bag. *rolls eyes*

A high price point, which will put me off buying them again because while yes I value healthy food I value sticking to my budget more but if you can afford them why not jump on yet another cauliflower food train and give em a try?

cauliflower crisps 3

cauliflower crisps 2

 

Pancake Tuesday

5 Mar

Don’t forget to eat pancakes today!

Happy-Pancake-Tuesday

There, that is my good deed done for the week. πŸ˜‰

Every year when Pancake Tuesday rolls around I promise myself I will remember on the day and eat some pancakes. And every year I forget and clue in a couple days later that I missed the day. sigh.

But not this year!

This year I was making tea and pondering what I was going to eat when out of nowhere my brain did something useful, it remembered that today is Tuesday, and not just any Tuesday but pancake Tuesday, and boom! Pancakes were made!

Well, protein cakes, which is basically a pancake just not quite, shrug.

I used the Kodiak Cake mix, usually I make it using the powder and water combo but I decided to up the protein this time around and made it with the milk and egg and powder. In my world a pancake should be thick and fluffy and these came out runny and thin, so not the best, but they tasted fine, I just had to adjust my expectations for how thick and fluffy I wanted them to be. No biggy.

kodiak cakes

No pictures were taken of my Kodiak Cakes because they were so incredibly not photo worthy, oops! Good thing I’m not a food blogger lol

Enjoy your pancakes! πŸ™‚

Green Dragons

27 Oct

Every year my dragon boat team has a season end party, it is always a potluck and I always take a dessert because, well, that is what I know how to make lol Last year I took a cupcake cake shaped like a dragon and felt like I should take something this year also dragon themed. But what to take? I did some internet snooping to look for inspiration and came up with this…

IMG_2417

Green Dragons!

Ok yes, admittedly he is a bit ghetto looking, but he was the first one made and there was a bit of a learning curve for how to move them around once they were frosted lol In the end I resorted to using an offset spatula to scoop them up and move them to their carrying container, and even then some of them lost frosting on their torsos. *rolls eyes* Looking back I realize I should have frosted and decorated them a couple hours prior to when I had to package them up, give the frosting time to set a bit, instead of packing them as soon as they were decorated. My impatience was showing. πŸ˜‰

They are super easy to make, and would probably be a fun adult and kid project. Especially since you don’t have to decorate them to make them look like a dragon.

The base is Rice Krispie squares, only cut in to rectangles to give more of a “body” impression vs just a head. Cause ya know, totally normal to eat the entire body of an animal, but it’d be weird if it was just a decorated head…

Start with a tray of Rice Krispie treats, made exactly as the box says. Let them cool completely before cutting.

IMG_2406

While the treats are cooling you can whip up some buttercream frosting, dye it any colour you want, and prep your decorations.

I bought the eyes ready made because it is halloween and candy eyes are everywhere, so why not take advantage? All the other decorations are candies that I manipulated. I cut a Fruit By The Foot in to triangles for the ears. I pulled apart a pull apart Twizzler and then cut the strips short to make spiky hair. I found this white malleable candy at the dollar store to make the fangs. Lastly, I used Smarties for the nostrils.

Originally I wanted to make them all uniform, so if the frosting was going to be green than I wanted green spiky hair and ears. However, candy companies are not thinking of my baking decoration needs so I couldn’t find things that would work all in green, or all of any colour so I changed my mind and decided to go rainbow themed. After all, just because a dragon has a green body, who says he can’t show his individuality by dying his spiky hair? And who says genetics would make his ears green? Maybe dragons thrive on showing their personality by having multi-coloured hair. Or maybe they are a mix of colours to better blend in with the unicorns and rainbows.

The point is, there are no rules when it comes to stuff like this, so I purposefully went colourful. Having said that, I opened the bag of Smarties and they were all muted colours. When did Smarties stop being vibrant and instead become pastel and blah looking? That was kind of a let down, sigh.

Here is the candy prepped and ready for use. I had no idea how much I would need so I guessed…and definitely over estimated on the amount of hair I would need lol

Once your candy is prepped, your frosting is made, and your Rice Krispies are cooled all you do is cut the Rice Krispies, eat one for quality control, frost and decorate to your hearts content.

I would frost and decorate then move on to the next one instead of frost them all and then move on to the decorating part. You need the frosting to be soft enough it will accept you sticking candy in to it so if you wait to decorate until all of them are frosted it might be harder.

There was also going to be a line drawn in black gel frosting between the fangs to create a mouth but I thought that was too risky. Frosting Rice Krispie treats is not easy, well, not easy in the sense they are bumpy and will never look good, and that mouth was just going to end up wobbly and unattractive, so I left their mouth area as just having fangs. I think that part looked ok though so no biggy.

Voila! Green Dragons!

IMG_2423

Definitely not my best work, and I’m sorry I didn’t test them out the week prior to discover I wasn’t going to like how they turned out so I could make something else, but oh well. They are cute in a kid type of way, which is why I think its a great idea as an adult and kid project. Just maybe not quite right for an adult’s dragon boat season end party.

I’m already plotting for next year though, just you wait, it is gonna be great!…hopefully lol πŸ˜‰

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

18 Oct

I’m a bad food blogger. You’ll understand why I wrote that once you see the one, sad, pathetic, picture I took of the pumpkin cake. *rolls eyes*

The baking part I’m good at, just not the documenting part…oops?

The recipe was originally called Pumpkin Cake Bars, which led me to believe the cake would come out firm and, oh I don’t know, bar like? Oh how wrong I was. The cake came out super moist and very cake like, not at all like a bar. Which kinda messed with my plan for the final product.

See, I had intended to bake the bars and use them for two separate events, oh, did I mention this all happened two weekends ago, for Thanksgiving? Yet one more example of how I don’t rock at this whole food blogging thing…but let’s ignore that shall we? πŸ˜‰

I was going to a small get together on the Sunday and then a Thanksgiving dinner on the Monday. The plan was to make these bars and take half to each event. Since they were supposed to be bars it made sense they would be plated as an already cut item, like if I’d taken Nanaimo Bars. You wouldn’t bring Nanaimo Bars to a party and not already have them cut and plated right? I’m going to pretend you’re nodding your head in agreement right now and not googling “Nanaimo Bar”.Β  So if these bars were cut and plated when I took them to each event it wouldn’t be obvious that I didn’t bring the entire quantity. Not like I cut a cake in half and you can see the inside of the cake along the cut edge!

Except that these bars came out as cake, not bars, which meant the cut that exposed the inside of the cake was super obvious…

For the Sunday event I tried cutting half the cake as bars but it didn’t work very well. It just looked like I was bringing cut pieces of cake, which I was if we want to get technical about it. Also, the top of the cake was tacky to the touch, which I also wasn’t expecting. Seriously, it is a very moist cake! This wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d had time to do a crumb coat with the frosting but I didn’t, so I ended up with crumbs in the frosting. A personal pet peeve of mine.

Now, to be fair, I seem to be the only one with an issue with this cake. The people at both events really liked it and didn’t seem to care at all about the crumbs in the frosting or that it was supposed to be a bar recipe and it came out a proper cake instead. So perhaps I am too focused on the look of the food when other people are more concerned about the taste?

The Ingredients:

4 large eggs

1 2/3 C white sugar

1 C vegetable oil

1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree

2 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

6 ounces cream cheese

6 Tbl butter, softened

3 C confectioners sugar

The Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F

Grease and flour a 9×13 pan

In a large mixing bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin.

In a different bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mix thoroughly.

Pour in to the prepared pan.

Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, allow to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

Beat cream cheese, softened butter, and confectioners sugar together. Evenly spread over the bars after they are cooled.

Ok, so that is the original recipe, here is how I changed it!

I added 1/2 tsp nutmeg and a 1/2 tsp cloves to the dry ingredients at the same time I added the cinnamon. Next time I would bump up the quantity of all three seasonings as I found the flavour to be quite subtle, but that could just be me because everyone else seemed to love it as-is.

The frosting makes a huge amount, way more than you need. I would say you could easily make half the quantity and still have plenty to frost the cake, because this really is a cake.

Oh, and I never “grease and flour” a pan, I just spray with baking spray, or sometimes I soften some butter and spread that on the pan, but I don’t do the flour bit. The cake came out of the pan no problem, so I say grease the pan in whatever way your normal style is, it should be fine.

And here, the one, lone, sad, picture of a piece of the cake…go ahead, laugh, I deserve it…*big epic sigh*

 

pumpkin cake 2

crumbs in the frosting, I don’t even want to look at it πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

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