Monthly Archives: February 2013

SRC: Oh! You Cook’s Jerusalem Carrot Salad

Oh You Cook Carrot Salad-4

For February’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Dena of Oh! You Cook!. Dena is a Librarian by day and makes delicious looking Kosher food by night, including this delicious fruit salad, all these AMAZING looking Purim treats and these Moroccan carrots.

It was quite a treat for me to look through all her recipes and get a better understanding of what things one eats on various Jewish holidays. Purim sounds especially amazing with all those sweets. ūüėČ

Oh You Cook Carrot Salad-1

After much humming and hawing, I finally chose her Jerusalem Carrot Salad, which is an approximation of a salad she had while in Jerusalem.

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly (shock, I know!) except that my spices almost burnt and then turned into these huge really dark brown spice clumps. My guess it’s because I added the honey while it was too hot, causing it to act kind of like sugar when you make candy. I salvaged what I could and added a bit more olive oil and honey whisked with the spices.

The result was decent, but I think I would have liked it better without the cumin as for some reason, I really don’t like cumin (and it doesn’t appear to like me either). On the same token, I didn’t want to leave it out as I wasn’t sure how that would affect the flavor profile of the salad. This salad is fairly delicate with the finely grated carrot, but if you’re short on time coarsely grating the carrot would make it easier to toss.

Oh You Cook Carrot Salad-3

Dena, it was really fun to spend so much time looking through all of your recipes – you definitely prove that kosher food can look and taste delicious!

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below!

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Gluten Free Vegan Valentine Cupcakes

GF Vegan Valentine Cupcakes-2Happy Early Valentine’s Day! In honour of the day of pink, hearts and all things kitsch, I decided to make cupcakes. Pink Cupcakes. Well, they couldn’t be any other colour, could they?

Being me, I wanted them to be healthier(ish), but still tasty. They are based off Cybele Pascal’s Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes recipe from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook (great book & resource!), but I reduced the sugar and added raspberry pur√©e as a swirl to take away some of the sweetness. Many raspberry swirl cupcakes get you to add sugar to the raspberries, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

These cupcakes work well with or without frosting – just make sure that you don’t add tons of it if you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake! (Don’t take a page from Crave Cupcakes. Seriously. No mountain-high icing swirls for me!)

GF Vegan Valentine Cupcakes-3

I brought them to work and my coworkers loved them (“this is gluten free? Everything I’ve ever tried that was gluten free was gross, but this is really good!”) – little did they know that they were also vegan!

I asked one of my coworkers how they compared in taste and texture to gluten ones and she said they were fairly similar and that mine were considerably less sweet, which was a good thing. I take that as praise for gluten free vegan baking!

GF Vegan Valentine Cupcakes-1

Gluten Free Vegan Raspberry Swirl Cupcakes

1/2 c. Sorghum flour
3/4 c. Brown rice flour
1/2 c. Tapioca starch
1/4 c. Potato starch
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 c. Almond milk
1 tsp. Apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. Vegan shortening (I used earth balance, which is unfortunately not soy free, but I needed to use it up)
3/4 c. Sugar (could probably use even less as I found them to be quite sweet)
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 Tbsp. Powdered egg replacer, whisked with 1/4 c. water
1 c. Frozen raspberries, thawed and mashed (you could pur√©e them in a blender, but why make extra dishes when you don’t have to?)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with paper cups (I made 20 mini cupcakes and 7 larger ones, but I think you could easily do 24 mini cupcakes and six bigger ones. This should make about 12 standard sized cupcakes.)
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Measure out your almond milk and add the vinegar. Stir and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the shortening, sugar, egg replacer and vanilla until fluffy, about 2 min.
  5. Add flour mixture in three parts and almond milk in two parts alternatively, starting and ending with the flour. Beat until smooth.
  6. Scoop a but of batter into each muffin tin (about 1/3 full). Add about a scant tsp of raspberries to the mini cupcakes and a scant Tbsp to the large cupcakes.
  7. Cover with batter until tins are 3/4 full. Using a toothpick, swirl the raspberries around the cupcake.
  8. Bake in oven for ~14 min for the minis and ~20 min for the larger cupcakes it until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
    Immediately remove from tin onto a cooling rack.
  9. Frost once cool, if desired.

Raspberry Frosting

1/2 c. vegan margarine
2+ c. icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Р3 tbsp raspberry purée (left over from cupcakes)

  1. Beat the margarine until fluffy.
  2. Add icing sugar, vanilla and raspberry purée.
  3. Beat until smooth. Add more icing sugar or purée to get the desired consistency.
  4. Pipe onto cupcakes with a star tip.
  5. Add heart sprinkles if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

*I found this amount of frosting to be perfect as I managed to ice all of the cupcakes. As you can see, I tried not to add a ton of frosting, so if you want more on your cupcakes, you’ll need to make more frosting.

GF Vegan Valentine Cupcakes-4

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

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Cross Country Skiing

Kananaskis-Lakes-from-Blueberry-Hill

View of Kananaskis Lakes from Blueberry Hill

Ever gotten back into something that you used to do a lot?

Cross Country Skiing-1

Upper Kananaskis Lake – Looking toward the Point and Forks Campgrounds

Cross Country Skiing is that for me. As a kid, we used to go fairly frequently and then I went sporadically as a teenager and adult. However, in the last month, I have gone three times. Mr. Bean and I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade our gear so we’re no longer using secondhand stuff from the 80s. It definitely helps!

Cross Country Skiing-4It can be so peaceful skiing through the snow covered trees and seeing things like this creek… Plus, now that I’m used to my new skis, I can snowplow with greater control and don’t do the “ahhh!! I’m going to fall – goodbye balance!!” dance while going down hills. Am I the only person who does that?

Cross Country Skiing-3

I am so grateful that I live so close to the mountains and have the opportunity to go out and enjoy them – does it make me weird if I want this warm weather to go away so it’ll snow so I can go skiing?

Cross Country Skiing-2

No twigs or pine needles in my eyes – my safety glasses did their best to replace my broken sunglasses.

Last weekend my mom and I headed out the Peter Lougheed Park and skied up to Blueberry Hill. It was a beautiful and warm day and lucky us got spoiled on the way back – what an amazing sunset to end a fantastic day!

Feb-Sunset

I tried to adjust the colours so they looked similar to what I actually saw – still is nothing close to the real thing!

Have you gotten back into something after not really doing it for a while?

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Filed under Life, Photography