Tag Archives: Cooking

Lost in Thought

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Recently I’ve been cooking, baking and eating A LOT, and been so terrible at posting what I’ve been up to! I blame it on a busy summer, but I promise I will get back into it! As summer winds down, I will be spending more time cuddled up with my Pumpkin Spice Latte’s and writing up lots of new material! I also have decided to branch more into a lifestyle type blog, where I will still be putting out recipes, but will also include a lot more. A few of these are guides in different areas of food/coffee/TEA/things to do etc around Toronto, the GTA and anywhere life decides to take to for life & travel! I also want to include a few of the things I have a passion for which includes fashion, make up, hair, healthy lifestyle choices, working out, etc.

Working in Yorkville, I tend to put up a lot more pictures on my social media (particularly Instagram) of places that I frequently visit or try out. It’s such a gorgeous area of the city, and I will be dedicating a few posts specifically to Yorkville.

I also recently went to Vancouver, BC and had the most incredible time! I’ve been asked by a number of my friends and followers of suggestions of where to eat, sleep, visit, and what was and wasn’t worth it in the city. I have so much I want to share and can’t wait to get started!

I will be re-branding my blog likely in the near future, but will also be posting here until then. I’ll keep you all posted with that as soon as it happens! If you have anything else you would like me to do, please do comment and reach out to me, I would LOVE to know! Or just pop by and say hello!

In the meantime, check out my Instagram to keep updated on what I’m up to on the norm, and I’m looking forward to bringing you a lot of new material!

Tata for now,

Ally

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & White Chocolate Rosebud Pistachio Bark

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Recently, I have been baking up a storm and haven’t had any time to blog about it! I have tried to keep my Instagram page updated with pictures of the goodies (@Alyiar27) and now it’s time to go back and give some recipes to some new & old favorites! Currently, I’m obsessed with chocolate bark! I’ve made a variety of types (rosebud & pistachio, double chocolate Oreo, chocolate peppermint) but this one reminds me of the perfect ice-cream flavors! So for the hot weather we’re currently getting, I figured let’s start with this one (with a bowl of ice cream by my side of course)

So what’s the flavor you ask? Well, what can be better that cookie dough? Cookie dough stuffed in between two layers of chocolate and topped with cookie pieces! The best part, you can eat it as is or put it in any flavor of ice cream to take it to the next level! Currently my bowl is vanilla with chocolate cookie dough chunks; heavenly!!

BUT if you’re going for something a little fancier, I’m giving the recipe for two varieties! How does white chocolate pistachio rosebud bark sound? I made these for my best friends baby shower and they we’re a gorgeous addition to the sweet table! Not to mention they taste amazing!! If you’ve never eaten rosebuds or rose petals before, I highly recommend it! (I also highly recommend rosebud tea) Especially with chocolate!

Here’s the recipe to both, hope you enjoy!

A few Useful Tips:

  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave instead of a double boiler, I found the extra moisture made the chocolate a dryer consistency and more difficult to spread
  • Prep all the ingredients in bowls beforehand so you can work quickly
  • When working with white chocolate, keep in the fridge longer & work swiftly as the chocolate tends to melt quickly

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough Bark

  • 1 pkg Chocolate melts light (12oz)
  • 2-3 Butter cookies
  • Cookie dough

Cookie Dough

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Handful mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Cookie Dough

  1. Cream together the butter, brown and white sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Add in salt, vanilla and milk and mix until combined
  3. Add in flour and mix on medium speed until smooth
  4. Fold in chocolate chips and form into a ball
  5. Place in the fridg
    e to cool

Chocolate Cookie Dough Bark

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  2. Melt half the chocolate and spread evenly on cookie sheet
  3. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes
  4. Remove the chocolate and the cookie dough from the fridge, spread cookie dough evenly out on the chocolate and pat down to make a flat layer
  5. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes
  6. Remove bark from fridge, melt remaining chocolate and spread over the cookie dough layer
  7. While chocolate is still warm, break up butter cookie pieces and decorate the top of the bark
  8. Place in fridge for 15 minutes
  9. Remove from the fridge, break into pieces and enjoy!cookie.jpg

White Chocolate Pistachio Bark

  • ½ cup pistachios
  • ½ cup dried rosebuds or dried rose petals
  • 1 pkg white chocolate melts (12oz)

Directions:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  2. Chop pistachio up finely
  3. Heat white chocolate in microwave
  4. Pour white chocolate onto cookie sheet
  5. Break up the rosebuds and pour on top of melted chocolate keeping a few buds as well
  6. Evenly pour pistachio pieces on top of bark and slightly press in larger pieces
  7. Place in the fridge for 3 hours
  8. Remove from fridge and break apart the bark
  9. Place on a pretty & enjoy!

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Mongolian Beef

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After a busy day, I like to come home and throw a quick meal together that looks like it’s gourmet, but only takes me about half an hour! The best part is that everyone is happy because it’s a little sweet, a little sour and just as good as a dish from PF Changs (if not better!) I make mine I bit spicier than your traditional Mongolian Beef, but that can easily be taken down a notch if you’re not a huger fan of spice. I personally used red pepper flakes and a few jalapeños, but I recommend adding in green peppers for the colour without the kick.

A few useful tips

  • If you buy untested sesame seeds, just add the desired amount to a sauce pan or skillet and turn on medium heat for approx 3 minutes to allow them to ‘toast’
  • Don’t allow the meat to cook completely in the wok, as it will finish cooking when you add it to the sauce & you want the meat to stay tender
  • If your sauce begins to get too thick while its simmering, feet free to add another 1/4 cup of water, as you still want it a thin liquid for the next step
  • Once you add the meat to the sauce, try and get the sauce to a medium simmer, this will allow the sauce to thicken due to the cornstarch mixture the meat was covered in

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs thin steak pieces, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 1/4 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (vegetarian)
  • 1 tbsp hoisen sauce
  • 1/4 yellow pepper
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 jalepeno (optional)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few leaves coriander
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Cut meat into 1 inch pieces and set aside
  2. Cover pieces of meat with a coating of cornstarch and let sit for 15 minutes
  3. In a medium saucepan, add soy sauce, water, vegetable bullion, brown sugar until boil
  4. Turn heat down to maintain a simmer, add in oyster sauce & hoisin sauce & red chilli flakes and keep simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes
  5. In a wok or skillet, turn on medium heat and add 2 tbsp of oil
  6. Take the meat and allow to just cook until slightly pink
  7. With a slotted spoon, remove meat from oil and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil
  8. Once meat is all cooked, rain oil from the wok and return over medium heat, adding 1/4 tsp of oil
  9. Add broccoli, yellow pepper, jalapeño, & spring onion into the wok & add 2 tbsp of the sauce
  10. Add the meat to the sauce and turn heat to medium to allow the sauce to thicken
  11. Saute the vegetables for approx 3 minutes, and add the vegetables to the sauce
  12. Finally, add coriander & sesame seeds on top and serve over rice

No Bake Oat Bars

This weekend I took a trip to my local health food store to stock up on some healthy ingredients for these beauties! As I was looking through the aisles, I noticed myself picking up all sorts of bars to try out for my afternoon snack. These usually give me inspiration for my own little treats, and this week I was looking for something that was sweet, healthy, and all natural after my cousin gave me a little challenge. She’s been on a healthy regime, so this recipe inspiration was for her. I did cheat a little though, using chocolate (it was dark..so it doesn’t count as cheating right?! ) but I can’t help it, I personally love that little bit of sweetness in my snacks! The results turned out delicious, and I had to make a second batch to give to her since the first was gone so fast! But i’m not complaining, this recipe is super quick to make and requires no baking whatsoever, so it didn’t take me long at all. So, lets begin!

A few useful tips:

  • If you’re using whole oats, I threw mine in my Vitamix for a few seconds to make it more of a powdery consistency, it was easier to work with
  • Make the almond butter fresh instead of store bought (need a recipe, look at my previous post on Homemade Almond Butter)
  • Use your hands and get a little messy, its not only fun and kind of therapeutic hehe, but the heat from your body melts the coconut oil in the mixture and helps everything to blend together nicely

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cocao nibs
  • 3 pieces of 65% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. If you’re using whole oats, use a Vitamix or food processor and make into powdery consistency
  2. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix until combined
  3. Use your hands to kneed the mixture to make sure everything has been incorporated evenly
  4. In a container (I used a 4 x 6 glass container) use a spoon or your hands to evenly spread out the mixture
  5. Place in the fridge to “set” for 10 – 30 minutes
  6. Remove from fridge, cut into little rectangles & enjoy!  IMG_4474.JPG
  7. Yield: 12          156 calories/serving

Homemade Almond Butter

February is heart month, so what better time to make something that improves heart health, is high in vitamin E and helps boost serotonin levels: almond butter! Almonds naturally lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease! And, who knew almond butter was so tasty and so easy to make?! My brother actually inspired this post, as he has been asking me to make almond butter for a while now. I don’t know why it took me this long, but it will definitely be a staple from now on! It was delicious, super easy and so nutritious! And I also love that I know exactly what goes into it, so I don’t have to worry about all those extra preservatives either 🙂  just wholesome goodness!

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A few useful tips:

  • Roast the almonds and wait for them to cool completely if you’re buying un-roasted
  • Soak the almonds for a few hours or overnight. I did overnight (it helps the texture and you can get away using less oil this way)
  • Adjust the timing in the food processor slightly depending on the consistency of the butter you like (more time blending = smoother buttery texture)
  • You can use any oil you like, I used grapeseed oil to minimize the extra flavour but coconut, almond, canola, sunflower all work great!
  • Be careful using olive oil as the taste will be evident in your butter and not be the authentic almond butter you may be looking for
  • If you’re using a vitamix like me, you will hear a high pitched chugging sound towards the end, DON’T WORRY 🙂 your blender is fine and that sound is totally normal!

Ingredients (There’s only two! :))

  • 2 cups roasted almonds, soaked overnight
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oilIMG_3946.JPG

Directions

  1. Take two cups of roasted almonds, cover with water until submerged and soak overnight
  2. Drain the almonds and rinse off any residue
  3. Put the almonds in your food processor first (I used the vitamix which I LOVE)
  4. Add the oil of choice on top of the almonds and cover with lid
  5. Turn blender on Variable 1, turn on machine and increase speed to high
  6. Use the tamper to make sure all the almonds reach the blade and let blend for about 1 minute, you should see the consistency of the butter getting smooth and delicious
  7. Turn off machine and store in a container for up to two weeks in the fridge
  8. Enjoy!

And that’s it! Easy peasy and so yummy! I’ve been using almond butter in and on everything since making this (Smoothies, Chia pudding parfait (picture below), apples, bananas, toast <with almond butter, avocados, cayenne pepper and some lemon juice; YUM!> and the options are endless!) If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to leave me a comment below.

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