Quick Hazelnut Asparagus + Cocktail name reveal!

photo (4) This recipe is so simple that I’m almost embarrassed to post it. It’s kind of like telling you how to make toast. But this is my blog, so too bad :). Seriously though, sometimes all you need is two distinct flavours or ingredients that pair beautifully together to make a spectacularly simple & classic dish, like butter & onions, lemon & lavender, or tomatoes & basil. Or chicken and a chicken container (last pairing courtesy of my brother).

This is one of the easiest and fastest asparagus recipes you’ll come across. There are 5 ingredients, and 3 are things that I know you have in your cupboard – Olive oil, salt & pepper. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset I chose hazelnuts for this recipe because I’m not a huge fan of hazelnuts without chocolate (damn you, Ferrero Rocher and Nutella) and like I said, I think it pairs especially well in this recipe. If you don’t have hazelnuts, no worries. You can easily substitute almonds or walnuts. Tip: If you know that you use roasted nuts a lot, roast them in big batches. It’s no skin off your nose (just the skin off the hazelnuts! Ha!) and will significantly shorten your work if you have a craving for anything that you want to put nuts in – salads, pilafs, roasted nut butter, granola bars, toppings, etc. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Hazelnut Asparagus

Ingredients

1 bunch Asparagus

1/4 – 1/2 cup Hazelnuts

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Black pepper

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions

Roast Hazelnuts in your oven at 350 for 10 mins. Allow to cool, and rub the nuts to remove the skins. Chop roughly. You want some small, crumb-like pieces and also some larger, chunkier pieces.

Trim Asparagus by snapping off the woody stalk at the bottom. The easiest way is to bend the asparagus spear and it will magically snap off at the right spot.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Warm olive oil in a skillet. Add asparagus, salt & pepper and sauté for about 30 seconds on medium heat. Add nuts and stir to coat the nuts with oil. Cover skillet and allow to cook for about 1 minute. The asparagus should be bright green at this point. Turn off heat, stir once more, and replace cover. Allow the residual heat to steam the asparagus for about 1 minute more. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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Now, with that business out of the way, it’s time for the cocktail name reveal. Last week, I asked you guys to vote on the best name for my cocktail recipe containing lavender infused syrup, lemon juice, tonic water and vodka. There were some fantastic suggestions, and I have to give a special shoutout to my friend Deslyn for the “Laventini” suggestion and Stacey for “Aromatini”. I really liked both. Now, without further ado…the winning name is: Lavender Breeze! Congrats to my buddy Adam who clearly knows what a drinking audience likes. His other suggestion got second place so his skills aren’t a fluke :).  Let’s have a round on me to celebrate!

Lavender Infused Syrup + Help me choose a Cocktail name

Hey there. Remember me? I’m back and writing this post under the assumption that you’ve noticed my absence for the last two weeks, AND that you’ve felt the hole in your lives. Let me have this one, okay? It’s been a busy and tiring two weeks, compounded by travel, stress, allergies, the flu and general lethargy. All the more reason for the specific recipe I’m posting today. Actually, it’s technically two recipes. So let’s consider that I brought you a bouquet of flowers…with alcohol.

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So. First recipe. “Infused Syrup”. Sounds super fancy, doesn’t it? When I think of that phrase, I think of a syringe injecting some colourful concoction into a clear bag of liquid. Sounds very medical, doesn’t it? I like to think that if I ever find myself in the hospital hooked up to a drip – silver lining! I’d describe myself as a “morphine infused Indi”.

It’s a little difficult to find many uses for lavender. I’ve made Lavender Almond Bark, and I have lots of lavender type cupcakes and cake recipes marked to try. But I wanted more, so infusing it into a simple syrup of sugar and water seemed like a good idea.

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I also think that it would be a really nice gift to someone as well. It’s quick and easy for you to make (once you have a fine mesh strainer – you will kick yourself if you don’t), and is versatile to be used in cocktails, lemonade, in cakes, or as flavouring for coffee or milkshakes. Actually, if you want, attach my recipe to the bottle with your gift. If they like it, just direct them to my blog :)

Ingredients
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Lavender

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a skillet and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let boil for about 1 minute until the mixture is slightly reduced. Let cool, and strain to remove lavender. Store in the fridge.

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Now on to the cocktail. To be honest, I took a while posting this because I wanted to come up with a cool and clever name. I just couldn’t, so I asked a few friends for suggestions. It ended up being quite a lively discussion (with some very deep thought behind certain names), and I’ve decided to present some of the best ones for you to vote. Whatever name gets the majority vote by next Saturday wins the bragging rights. And I’ll make the cocktail for you. Probably. If you think you have a cooler name, I’m totally open to write-in votes.

The soon to be named Cocktail

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

3 tsp Lavender Syrup
1 cup Club Soda
1 shot glass Vodka (I used Grey Goose)
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

Instructions

Do I really have to tell you how to mix a drink?

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If you’ve made this recipe or any of my other ones and decide to Instagram it, just tag me at @illcookyouwash or label it #illcookyouwash. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Friendship, Independent Thought & Chocolate Puffs

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If you call me tonight at around 9 p.m, it’s very likely that I’ll be crying. Yes, I sometimes schedule my emotional breakdowns. People do that, right? This time, I’ll be sad because I’ll be watching the series finale of one my all time favourite shows – Parks & Recreation.

I recently binge re-watched (re-binge watched?) it and have fallen in love with it even more. I have new respect for Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) and beyond the brilliant comedy and zaniness of the series, they’ve written her as a strong female lead (let’s just ignore Season 1). I really respect that they’ve made her a competent, ethical & driven government employee who still cares about her friends and the welfare of a crappy community. Pawnee really sucks but I love almost every character on that show. I really respect Amy Poehler and although I think that Tina Fey is my spirit Comedienne (Liz Lemon FTW!), Amy Poehler is someone I’d want as my best friend. I want to be her Ann! This final season has been fantastic and it has been wonderful to see so many guest stars revisit the show. Every second of every episode is like an easter egg. Bonus points – Chris Pratt was already killing it as Andy Dwyer long before he became Star-Lord.

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Amy Poehler’s memoir “Yes, Please” is also a fabulous read. I was particularly inspired by one of her mantras in the book – “good for you, not for me”. Too often we compare ourselves to other people and where they are in their lives, and get down on ourselves and what we have. I am guilty of doing that too. Additionally, we get bombarded with pressure from society or people to act a certain way or accomplish certain things for no other reason than it being expected of you. Maybe you think that I’m wrong and my experiences are unique, but that’s one of the best parts of reading a book. That specific moment when your mouth drops open because you feel like the author is speaking to you alone is an indescribable comfort. I’m a pretty liberal chick, and I don’t believe that there’s only one right way to live a life. Good for you and what you have / do / believe, but that doesn’t mean it’s for me. And just because I might do or want something that you don’t, it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong (or right, as a matter of fact). Your judgment can stay right there on your lips because my ears aren’t taking visitors. That’s my grown up way of saying ‘talk to the hand’.

Her memoir also shows what a great friend she is in real life. Seth Myers (host of Late Night on NBC) writes a chapter. He and Amy hosted the SNL Weekend update desk for a few years. During this time, she was pregnant, and a few hours before the show, she went into labour, so he would have had to host alone that night. He writes that her message was “My water broke. You’re gonna do great!” I love that. I love that she found the time to encourage a friend while in the process of giving birth, and that he was an evolved enough person to understand and appreciate it. This is about the time I should say #friendshipgoals. In that vein, I’m grateful for the friends in my life, and I hope that I can be a Leslie Knope / Amy Poehler to all of you beautiful, tropical, naïve land mermaids. I love you and I like you.

So. On to food. How does anything I’ve said relate to food? Anyone who watches Parks & Rec will know that Leslie is obsessed with breakfast food – specifically waffles from JJ’s Diner. In one episode, JJ tells her that she spent $1000 the previous year on Waffles alone. Re-watching the series made me seriously crave waffles and I tried to break out the waffle maker but it’s pretty much shot. When I celebrated my blog-iversary a few weeks back, Rabin told me that I should do a “treat yo self” (which is another terms made popular by this show) and buy something to celebrate. I’m looking at waffle makers and if you have any good waffle recipes, send it my way, ok?

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Until I get my new waffle maker, I’m sharing a recipe for Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Puffs. It’s very close to a chocolate croissant (which is close to waffles…sort of…) and all in the same ‘fancy’ breakfast realm.

I found this recipe a while back at the Born in 82 Blog. Because the recipe is so simple, you can modify it to your taste, which I did. I got really into the combination of Pears, Hazelnuts and Chocolate last year  – check out my Hazelnut Pear Muffins and Chocolate Pear Tarts – and decided to bring it back.

Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Puffs

  • Time: 35 mins (excluding thawing of pastry)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients
1 sheet Puff Pastry
1/4 cup Hazelnuts
1 small Pear (I used Anjou)
8 – 9 pieces semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
Powdered sugar, for dusting (if desired, but recommended)

Instructions

Take a sheet of puff pastry out of freezer and thaw for approx. 40 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast hazelnuts for about 8-10 minutes until browned. Remove from oven, allow to cool and remove skins by gently rubbing. Chop nuts.

Cut each rectangle of baking chocolate in half, and cut pear into small pieces. You will have extra pear remaining.

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Flour a piece of wax / parchment paper. Unfold pastry and using a rolling pin, lightly roll out so that it is about 2-3 inches larger on each side. Ensure that you carefully pull up each corner and continue to sprinkle flour underneath to avoid sticking.

Cut into squares (I ended up with 16 squares) and in each, place a piece of chocolate, pear, and some hazelnuts. Fold the corners together to meet in the middle and pinch shut.

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Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake in oven for 25 – 27 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, but is very recommended.

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Notes:

1. Usually, you would use an egg wash on the pastry for it to brown and crisp up nicely. To be perfectly honest, I forgot about the wash. Go ahead and use the wash if you’d like, but you would likely need to reduce the baking time.

2. Rabin suggested that I used chocolate spread or chop the chocolate into finer pieces instead of the chocolate so that it would melt nicely and be ore evenly distributed throughout (what a nerd). I think it depends on the size of your puff. If you cut them on the small side, there’s really nowhere for the melted chocolate to go. I see his point though, so that decision is totally up to you.

3. Pinch the dough together to make it stick. The ones that I didn’t opened up a little unevenly, and a few opened up in a scandalous way that might offend a conservative person.

So there you have it. This will be my snack for tonight as I say goodbye to one of the strongest female characters on TV. Ron Swanson insists that there is no sadness that cannot be cured by breakfast food, so I hope these puffs qualify. Maybe I should also stock up on puffs…tissues?

Pesto, Doctors & Hydra

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Pesto, Doctors & Hydra. I don’t think these three words have ever gone together in a sentence. I feel like such a trailblazer. Is this how Columbus felt?

This year, Rabin and I decided to skip the Valentine’s Day dinner and do some general Doctor checkups instead. Crazy romantic, huh? In the spirit of V-day, we literally dealt with our hearts. And blood. And pressure (ha! the pressure on Valentine’s day). Plus we thought that it would be easier to get appointments, and we were more or less right.

Going to the Doctor is something I’ve put off for a while, mainly due to my crippling fear of needles and also because I always equate doctors with a Hydra. *pause while you scratch your head and look questioningly at the screen*

Don’t get me wrong. Doctors are wonderful, amazing miracle workers who save lives and families dozens of times a day. I totally respect you guys and get why there’s a whole subculture of mothers spanning races and ethnicities who brag about their children being doctors, or that their child is married to one :)

If you follow the Marvel Universe, you’d know that Hydra is the name of the evil organization that SHIELD fights against. You might also know it from the Disney Hercules movie, or if you’re really a genius and want to show off, you’d know that it originates from Greek mythology. The point is, cutting off the head of a Hydra makes three more heads grow in its place. Sound familiar yet?

No? Well, have you ever been to a doctor where he didn’t send you to a lab for more tests? Or a specialist? Did you get a referral? Did the doctor tell you to come back at another time to review the results of your tests? Did he say that some surgery has to be done and then schedule the surgery plus followup tests? Did he suggest that you should go see his colleague at another hospital? It’s never ending!

I get that it’s about my health and its important to deal with possible matters early, and checkups are non-negotiable, I know all that. But every appointment makes me face my own mortality. So for 2 days I’ve been making mental bucket lists. Thankfully, all is well health wise, and now I’m wondering whether I really do want to run a 10k or be part of a flash mob. Maybe not.

What I CAN do (and WANT to do!) is check off a recipe I’ve planned to make for a while: Fresh Basil Pesto. I’ve made it with dried basil before and I’ve used the ones in the little jars you see at the supermarket, but I’ve always found it to be a little too cloying. Fresh cilantro made me understand the total difference between fresh and dried herbs and I decided not to discount fresh pesto just because I don’t like it’s drier, older relative (insert family related joke here).

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I know. I’m on a roll today. It’s one of those days where I just can’t get to the point gracefully…so… here’s the recipe *curtsies gracefully*

Fresh Basil Pesto

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 5 Minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1 1/4 fresh Basil Leaves
2 tbsp. Pine Nuts
1 1/2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic
1 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese

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Instructions
Toast pine nuts in a small pan on med-low heat until browned, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add nuts and all other ingredients in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until thoroughly combined and the mixture turns into a paste, about 30 seconds.

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Makes approx. 1/4 cup


That’s it! Pesto is very easy to make and livens up practically any dish. We tossed it with some pasta and added tomatoes, peas and bell peppers. I love pine nuts so I made this a little nuttier (no comments about my mental state please!) than other pesto recipes you’ll see out there. If you don’t have pine nuts, any other bland nut like almonds or walnuts will do. There’s a reason why pesto is used loosely – there are so many variations that are equally delicious.

Also, thank you all for the Blog-iversary wishes. I haven’t gotten a chance to reply to all of you (although I will!!), but they are all very appreciated.

14 Valentine’s Day Recipes & my Blog-iversary!

If. I. Hear. One. More. Person. Say. ValentiMe. I. Will. Scream. Want to express your love for me? Pronounce the word correctly. And buy me an avocado. I’m not really difficult.

This month had an anniversary that I am way more excited about. It’s officially been one year since I started blogging! I’m kinda proud – this blog was something I started on a whim, and it’s been one of my absolute favourite things to do this year. I’ve met some great new friends and I continue to do so, and I get to be creative and learn all sorts of tricks on the interweb (that’s what the cool kids call it, right?).

To my followers, thanks for voluntarily singing up to visit my kitchen and my mind every week. Thank you to loved ones who have provided words of encouragement, support, constructive criticism, and ideas. You all also rock for promoting the blog to people.

So. In lieu of a new recipe, I’m going to point you to a few recipes I’ve featured over the year. I think I have enough recipes that can reasonably work for Valentine’s Day, and because I heart you all, here they are in a handy little list for your viewing pleasure.

Breakfast
Whole Wheat Chocolate Espresso Pancakes: Because decadent doesn’t have to be fattening.
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German Chocolate Cake Smoothie: Quick to whip up. Plus dessert for breakfast!
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Focaccia: Waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread – is there anything better?
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Cocoa Cardamom Apples : Easy to whip up and fills the kitchen with the most heavenly, homely smell.
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Lunch / Dinner
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Quesadillas: Quick, easy and super classy meal. Cooked with wine, so since the bottle is open already…pour yourself a glass.
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Blueberry Spinach Salad w/ Agave Vinaigrette: Because making your own Vinaigrette is super hot.
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
White Pizza w/ Roasted Garlic, Mushrooms, Spinach & Caramelized Onions: Delicious and easy and a very impressive meal.
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Sesame Buddha Bowl: Because what could be more romantic than thinking about what you’re grateful for…together?
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Truffle Fries: This is my Food Valentine this year. And every year.
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Roasted Garlic & Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes: Because sometimes, you just want to be fancy.
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Dessert
Chocolate Avocado Pudding & Toasted Nut Crumble: Even easier to whip up, especially if you slaved over the meal and kinda forgot dessert.

Lavender Chocolate Almond Bark: Yes, you can brag that you MADE chocolate. Infinite points.
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Pistachio, Chocolate & Cranberry Bars: You may have to ‘ugly’ eat this, but if both of you are doing it and both of you are still there after, then your relationship is meant to be.
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Cookies & Cream Rice Krispie Treats: Cute, easy and fun dessert you can make together. Also, melted Marshmallows and butter? Someone needs to turn that into a perfume!
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There ya go. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day, even if it means just sitting on a couch, watching a rom-com, yelling at the characters and pelting the TV with whatever you’re eating during the sappy parts. Whatever it is, #treatyoself this weekend. You know you deserve it.

Simple Focaccia Bread

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Kneading dough sucks. It’s one of the few kitchen tasks that makes me anxious about cooking and is the one step in a recipe that  makes me consider abandoning the entire recipe altogether. It ranks up there with washing mini tart & muffin pans (so many grooves!), and cooking chicken in any type of milk (ugh chicken milk). My discovery of dough hooks was the greatest thing since…well…sliced bread.

After the relative success of my Mascarpone Rosemary Beer Bread last year, I decided I’d try again – this time to make Focaccia. Ignoring all of the wrong ways somebody can say it (I won’t lie…I’ve avoided ordering it at cafés in the past for fear of insulting the cashier), focaccia is a simple bread (compared to a lot of the other breads out there).

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I made a list of 2015 Food Resolutions. One of these items was to make a different type of bread every month. My Resolutions are challenges to myself because I want to continuously up my cooking game, and bread skills elude me.

Apart from the kneading (thank you Kitchenaid for solving that part!), the other thing that gets to me is understanding yeast. There are so many different types of yeast I’ve come across recently (baker’s, brewer’s, nutritional), and like I’ve said before, baking bread feels like a whole other world. The yeast that I had in my pantry was on its dying breath, and I sort of put it in a too-warm oven to rise. I effectively murdered it. It didn’t bloom, rise, or bake nicely. I almost gave up, but the next day Rabin went to the supermarket and came back with a fresh pack of yeast. He’s such an enabler.

I’m so glad he did though. Not only did the new yeast bloom beautifully, the dough rose and looked like the legit kinda bread you see in fancy recipes.

Not an onion, but it definitely is bloomin'!

Not an onion, but it definitely is bloomin’!

Together we ate 7 pieces out of the pan and decided to up our snob level by trying it with different dipping oils & jams. Pistachio oil with the bread was the clear winner. Rab was a strong advocate for the bread with pear jam, and Basil infused olive oil gives it a serious Italian restaurant-type vibe. I would say that roasted garlic would also be wonderful, or just good ol’ cheese. I mean, can you really go wrong with freshly baked bread?

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Foccacia

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1 packet Yeast

1 cup warm Water

1 tsp Honey

2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Salt

Sea Salt (I used Pink Himalayan Sea salt)

¼ – ½ tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

Pour yeast, water and honey in a mixing bowl. Leave it for about 8-10 minutes to let the yeast bloom (it will look foamy). Add flour, ¼ cup olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Attach your dough hook to your mixer and let it knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Drizzle a little oil around the edges of the dough in the bowl and cover with a clean towel. Place the bowl in a warm place, and allow it to rise for about an hour.

Hello, gorgeous.

Hello, gorgeous.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. As the oven preheats, transfer the dough to a 9×13 inch pan / casserole dish. Pull the dough until it touches the edges of the pan. Poke holes in dough with your fingers. Sprinkle desired amount of sea salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Let the dough rest for about 15 – 20 minutes until it becomes a little puffy.

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Bake in oven for 20 minutes until the bread is golden brown and crusty.

Remove from oven, allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes and cut into squares.

Erase any carb-related guilt by taking a deep breath and reveling in that freshly baked bread smell.

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We are all Left Shark + Vegan Month Thoughts

Fair Warning: This is a slightly longer post than usual. It contains Recipes, Rants and ‘Rithmetic. Ok. Not so much of the 3rd one.

Today I’m thankful. Why, you ask? For many things being OVER. Vegan Month, Super Bowl, and the pressure of January to make myself a better person. Now I can coast through the rest of the year like the slacker I’m meant to be. I’ll just wing it, like Left Shark. I’ve watched the video a few times since the Super Bowl and I crack up more every time.

This weekend, I ended up hosting two casual get-togethers. I tried making beer can chicken in my oven which was kind of a disappointing bust. We also made smashed potatoes with a DIY toppings bar, which was surprisingly fun. Note: Sriracha powder + Sriracha + Red Pepper Flakes = a not-so-shockingly totally hot potato (Ha! ‘Rithmetic FTW!).

For years, I’ve wanted to host a Superbowl party and gorge myself on buffalo wings, potato skins and tortilla chips. I’ve been interested in everything else except the game. And the halftime show. And even the ads I only half care about. So basically I just wanted to eat.

After deciding that I wasn’t going to cook, I cooked 5 different things. Along with friends bringing Pizza, Wings, and a Veggie Platter, I made Shrimp, Bacon & Corn Chowder, Hummus, Guacamole, BBQ Beans in Bacon Cups, and Sriracha Mac + Cheese.

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Recipes for the Chowder and Mac & Cheese are in the links below.

Shrimp, Bacon & Roasted Corn Chowder 

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Sriracha Macaroni & Cheese

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Vegan Month
I’m not gonna lie. The vegan lifestyle is freakin’ HARD. Serious props to those of you who are vegan, and while I admire your perseverance and commitment to that choice, this diet on a regular basis isn’t for me. Although vegetarian month last year was simple and cleansing and something I could see myself doing almost permanently, this was unexpectedly harder than that. At times, I felt downright terrible.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed eating the extra veggies and fruits, and there are some vegan dishes I absolutely, positively love. I enjoyed splurging a bit on my favourite veggies and trying new recipes, but I’ve learned that if you don’t want to live on curry alone, the vegan diet is a fragile thing over here. The unavailability of one ingredient sends the whole menu plan tumbling down faster than a drunk cheerleader with a weak knee at the bottom of a human pyramid.

I found myself cooking constantly, and the breakfast and snack parts were by far the hardest. I’m so over sweet stuff in the morning and my savoury breakfast choices start at cheese sandwiches and end at eggs. I generally like bananas and certain fruits, but feeling forced to eat it was like Ron Swanson eating a Banana. See reference video below.

It also sucked looking through my recipe books and having to eliminate a recipe completely because it has butter or cheese and I don’t have access to the vegan alternatives.

There were also cooking fails. I tried Socca, a chickpea flour flatbread and although I took some great pictures, it tasted terrible. I also found myself relying on potato dishes a lot, and felt the constant panic that comes with wanting to use up your veggies before they get wilted or spotty or slimy.

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The failed Socca. Sigh.

Plus, I don’t think anything can make me stop loving cheese. I tried nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan cheese, and I am yet to taste the cheesy flavor people write about. I tried liquid smoke, which is basically a smokier BBQ sauce with the consistency of soy sauce. I haven’t seen tempeh over here, and I’m not a fan of soya chunks.

Physically, I didn’t feel much improved overall either. I felt ridiculously energized some days, but when I was tired and cranky, I was TIRED AND CRANKY. Harry Potter DVDs were put on more than once, and those are usually reserved for my dark PMS-ing days or moments of intense self-pity (sorry if that’s TMI but I’m TIRED AND CRANKY). I also felt sick of cooking (so you know that’s serious) and felt like what I was eating was more to avoid meat / eggs / dairy than to focus on the nourishing things I actually was eating.

Eventually I started feeling like a snobby jerk for even thinking of the word ‘vegan’. I even felt like I was placing a burden on friends by telling them about it. Also, thank goodness I won’t have to ask “is this vegan?” for any meal I eat outside again.

I hope I don’t sound too hateful. I’m happy I tried the diet and that I’m figuring out what works for me and for Rabin. Again, congrats to you vegans who have made the commitment and stuck to it.

Thanks to you wonderful friends who invited me over during the month and made the conscious effort to have vegan stuff available for me and Rabin. I will send the eggy-est, buttery-est, dairy-est cakes your way soon!

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I’m also linking up the monthly Celia’s In My Kitchen party over at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial. I haven’t been there in a while so Hi ladies! Looking forward seeing what you’ve been up to this month.

Well. That was a mouthful. In case you didn’t watch the Superbowl Halftime show, enjoy this video of the two greatest sharks ever. Left shark is the embodiment of my year so far. LOL. Have a great week!