Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thyme Keeps on Slippin'

     Look at me, posting 2 days in a row. Yesterday, after eating so much bread and cheese, I felt like something really basic. Chicken soup~ So, because I've spent a lot more time than you searching up soup recipes and making over a thousand litres of soup (literally), I know more or less how to make a good soup.
     But today I thought I'm gonna take some time out to give you a tutorial on how to chop an onion efficiently, because a good soup has onions, whether you like it or not.
Step by step instructions look better:
  1. Cut the top and bottom off your onion, then cut it in half. That makes it easier to peel it. 
  2. Take one half of the onion and cut lengthwise, dragging your (sharp!!!!!!!!) knife across the top and just kind of letting the knife do the work for you. Cut your onion into strips that way, but don't cut all the way through. Instead leave a little bit on the end of the onion closest to the tip of the knife intact. 
  3. Flip your onion the other way now, and start cutting perpendicular to your lengthwise cuts. Once you get about halfway, flip your onion on it's side (with the side most recently cut in the cutting board) and continue cutting until you can't really cut anymore.
  4. Take your last slice of onion (which is still intact because you didn't slice all the way through) and chop it up so the size of those diced onions matches the size of your other ones. 
Onion success!!! So, maybe it wasn't beautiful on your first try, but it'll get there. Practice. Nobody's wonderful at this the first time they try. Maybe your onion didn't chop correctly?

Here are some reasons why:
  • You started chopping the wrong way. If you start chopping against the grain of the onion it's going to fall apart before you cut it across your other cuts. 
  • You suck at cutting things. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. Go get your knife sharpened. I guarantee that a sharp knife will make any chopping you do about 3000X easier. 
  • You don't have a proper knife. Go get one! It doesn't have to be a great knife, you aren't using it all day every day. You just need one to make some food with sometimes. Everyone likes a different knife, so go to a store and pick one out. There are so many different kind of knives, for all the budgets.... but you get what you pay for.
 Chicken Soup Recipe:
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 or 2 stalks of celery
  • a bunch of garlic
  •  250g chicken
  • some corn
  • some peas
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • One chicken bullion cube
  • oil 
  • cooking wine (optional)
  • Some kind of starch. I used potato starch because that's what I had kicking around.

 Fun soup time!
Notice the bear claw! It'll save your fingers
  • Chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. That's called a mirepoix (Meer-pwah) and it's used a lot in French cooking. I use it in almost every soup I make. Heat up a large soup pot with some oil. Once your pot is nice and hot, throw in your mirepoix. 
  • While you're sweating out your veg (that means letting your mirepoix get nice and soft. The purpose is to coax more flavour from the veg. For instance, celery by itself is a bad idea, but celery in soup is great.) chop up your chicken. You can just add in your little chicken chunks whenever there cut. After the veg is soft and a bit is sticking to the bottom of the pot, deglaze with white wine. If you don't have cooking wine, you can just skip that part. The wine brings out more flavour from your food, as well as helping get the caramelization from the bottom of the pot. Caramelization is just another word for deliciousness. 
  • Umm, so just put a bunch of water in your pot... I never measure, but just fill it until it covers the ingredients plus some. 
  • Now you can add S+P, chicken bullion cube, rosemary, and thyme. Taste it as you go so that you are happy with the end result. Bring your soup to a boil then turn it down. 
  • While your soup is coming to a boil, pour some cold water in a bowl then add, bit by bit, a bunch of starch. You want this mixture to be pretty thick, but not so thick you can't stir it.
  • Add your peas and corn, then whisk in, tiny bit by tiny bit, your starch roux. (Pronounced roo) 
  • It's done. Then end. Soup now. 
 Enjoy your soup!
Later days,

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Belgium: Land of the Frites and Home of the Beer!

     Okay, we probably need to get something straight: if you haven't been to Belgium yet, you're a sucker. Belgium is legit. If you don't even know where it is, google that shit and memorize it. Then go there.

As a Canadian, I'm not used to being able to sit in a park and drink a beer in the shade (legally), so to be able to do that with some of the best beer in the world was awesome. Also it was cheap.

So yeah, I cheated and had literally everything I shoudn't eat (in excess) the entire time I was in Brussels, but I couldn't help myself! Haha~ You understand.

I did, however, learn about some great gluten and dairy free foods while I was there. One of them is probably the coolest snack ever. So delicious, salty, sweet, colourful, and easy to prepare. It's beautiful. It's tuna and peaches. You read that right. If you don't believe me I'll type it again: tuna and peaches. Tuna and peaches.  I mean, look at that picture. Glorious. It's such a cheap, easy and healthy dish, too. I think I am maybe not stressing enough about how fucking great this food is.

 Another awesome thing I learned about is Americain (pronounced like "American" with a very French accent). It's a great sandwich spread and I absolutely adore it. The thing that makes Americain hardcore is that it's raw~ GUYS! It's like sushi for your sandwich! How exciting is that? It's basically steak tartare for Belgian people. Actually from what I gathered on the ingredients label (because my French skills are somewhat lacking) is that you go to make a mixture between potato salad and tartar sauce, but instead of adding mayo or potatoes, you just add meat. Raw. Sounds so easy to make, but also easy to get sick. I better be careful when I make it... and free for a few days after, just in case.

I also learned how to make Onion Pie, but I'm gonna fiddle with that recipe to make it gluten and dairy free first, but like, to give you an idea of how great it is: caramelized onions, bacon, cheese.

I did other things besides eating in Belgium, but to be fair I did A LOT of it, like most of the time we went hunting for more food. Belgian chocolate, fries, waffles, some awesome kind of donut you can buy at the fair. All of them were so good it was unreal. Umm... but yes, confession time: I didn't actually eat moules (mussels) while I was there, I guess I just never got around to it. I don't like mussels that much normally, so I guess I kept putting it off until it was too late. Oops. Don't judge me. There's only so much a girl can eat in 5 days.
Belgium was awesome. I had a lot of fun.

Tuna and Peaches Recipe
What you need:
  • Can of peaches is what is normally used, but I'm gonna try fresh ones because it's summer and I can do that. But if you use a fresh peach, maybe sprinkle some sugar over top of it.
  • Can of tuna
  • Mayo
  • Salt and pepper
Mix the mayo, salt, pepper and tuna. Take your peaches out of the can. Scoop tuna mix onto a peach. Eat. I'm going to try it out with some brunoise (a cutting term for a really really tiny dice) red onions and see how that goes.

Stay tuned for a marvellous chicken soup recipe and a tutorial on how to cut onions.

Later days,

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wow, I haven't cooked in so long!

     Dudes, it's been a while. It took so much longer to find a place than I thought. Britain makes that shit so hard. We arrived here in Bristol expecting to find a place within a week or two. In Vancouver that's pretty realistic, but since we're a couple we ended up teaming up with an awesome couple (one American, one Polish) to find a flat.
    We thought we had found a place, but the guys so SO sketchy, trying to get us to give him 1000 pounds and leave to photocopy the forms without a receipt or anything. We obviously told him that made us super uncomfortable and that we could photocopy the papers then give him the money after. He told us there was absolutely no way, and that we made him uncomfortable and he didn't want us as tenants. Such bullshit! Long story short, we almost got scammed. In the end we found a really cool flat with an agency, but had to wait two and a half weeks to get it.
     My point is this: I haven't really had a kitchen until now, so I couldn't make good food. I've missed cooking and there are some interesting differences here for people with stomach issues. Here is a list:
  • British people love sub-par Italian food.
  • They deep fry every fucking thing in batter
  • Kebabs. Everywhere.
  • No gluten-free anything, except one chain of sub-par Italian restaurants.
  • They sell goat's milk in most supermarkets! 
  • They use the French names for veg sometimes, and have no idea what it is if you say it in English. (Eggplant for example, is aubergine.)
  • British people have NO CLUE how to make a decent sandwich.
  • Every person ever grows rosemary and lavender
     So, when we moved into our flat, the first thing I did, obviously was cook. I'm gonna be honest, I wasn't super happy with the result, so I have to fiddle around with the goat's milk bechamel (a white sauce) and get back to you guys when I perfect that.
     But what I did make was rosemary and lavender chicken breasts. Omg, guys. It was so good. What I did was ninja some fresh lavender, rosemary, and hydrangeas from someone's garden. Rosemary and lavender for the chicken, hydrangeas for the centre piece. (I take other people's flowers and herbs because I suck at growing my own, sorry.)
    When I got home, I threw some oil in a cooking tray, sprinkled my chicken with salt, pepper, rosemary, lavender and lemon juice. Then I Threw it in the over for 15-20 mins. It was great. Unlike the rest of the meal. I was assured it was good, but it wasn't my best, so you don't get to see it.

     Stick around kids, next week I'm going to Belgium, so hopefully there will be posts about me eating mussels in Brussels, etc etc. Then when I get back, I'm gonna make some posts about the awesome cider here~ Bristol may not be a gluten-free place to eat, but they sure do love their cider! Also, maybe I'll get better photos because one of my roommates is a photographer, and I've basically been taking my pictures with a potato.

Later days,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sometimes I skip dinner and just eat dessert.

Well guys, my aunt brought to my attention that I haven't really brought up my dietary restrictions. I can't have wheat or gluten, dairy, corn (probably just the by-products, but I haven't tested that yet), potatoes and yeast (but I mostly ignore that). It's a lot, I know. That's just a heads up, because most of the recipes I post will be free of all that. But, if you're wanting to see a recipe cater to your specific restriction, just hit me up and I'll see what I can do~

Okay, I've been cooking a lot lately. It's picture sharing time! Excite!!

Peanut butter and banana french toast sandwhich on gluten free bread~

Lamb with a gremolata about to go in the oven.

Finished lamb with a samosa-style twice baked yam.

Hasselback potatoes (and a yam for me and my aunt).

Yay!! I make things taste good~ But the recipe I'm going to share with you today is one I just made up on the spot. I needed to use some rhubarb I picked yesterday, and some strawbs that were nearing the end in the fridge. I was the strawberry hero.

And guess what! I measured things for you, because I love you so much. Just kidding, I on;t half measured them. Because I half love you so much? I tried, anyways. So here, take it:

Shortbread crust:
  • 1c gluten free flour
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 1c butter or something dairy free. I used vegan margarine (boooooo, use butter if you can).
  •  2c rhubarb chopped up
  • 2c strawbs
  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (seriously, try it. Go on.)
Crumble topping:
  •  2 or 3 healthy spoonfuls of butter (or like, you know, whatever)
  • 3 nice big handfuls of slow cook oats (because gluten free oats take their time)
  • Some brown sug

Do yourself a favour and preheat that oven. 350. Mix your shortbread things up, and in a greased pan throw that in the bottom, like this:

Put some fork holes in that shit and bake it for about 10 mins.

While that bakes, you can mix your other shit in separate bowls.

Bowl 1
Bowl 2

Take your shortbread crust out, let it cool for 10 mins if you want. I'm impatient, so I really didn't. Then put the filling on the shortbread, and crumble your crumble on top~

 Put it back in for like... 25 minutes? My aunt has a convection oven, so it doesn't take as long for anything, but 25 should be fine.

This is what I got in the end:


And I have to say that this is stupid good. YUM!!! I'm eating it right now. Let me know if you add your own spin on it~

Later days, 



Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's Getting Warm Out~ (Even in Canada)

Lately I've been "paying rent" at my Aunt and Uncle's house while we wait out Jake's visa application by cooking dinner. For the first week my Uncle was away (he's a pretty traditional guy), so I could make whatever I wanted (since my Aunt has an adventurous pallet), but now that he's back, I'm challenging myself to make some more traditional things. I grew up in a household that ate A LOT of meat and potatoes, so after I moved out and started making my own food, you can bet I stayed far away from that style of cooking. All of this is new to me. Okay, whatever, tomorrow I'm making lamb. It should be tasty.

Tonight is steak (which my Aunt is grilling), but I'm gonna make some hasselback potatoes. They look cool. Here have a picture:

I obviously didn't make that. I have absolutely no photography equipment, and so as you might have noticed, I have to take all my pictures outside.I'm all excited to make these potatoes. They look great!!

Yesterday, I made lasagne. AND because I have time like that, I Wikipedia'd lasagne. I learned that lasagnE is plural, and lasagnA is a single piece of noodle!! I feel smart. Herp derp. I also made lavender frozen custard. It was delissshhhhh.


  • 1 can coconut milk - for 2-3 people, but this recipe doubles very easily
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar - depending on how sweet you like it. 
  • 1 bunch of lavender sprigs tied together with butchers twine
  • A cap full of vanilla
  • That's it, seriously.
First, you put the can of coconut milk in a pot on the stove with the sugar, vanilla and lavender (med-low heat). While that's all happening, beat your egg yolks till they reach the ribbon stage. Which looks like this:

When your lavender has infused to your taste into the coconut milk, strain it through a fine mesh strainer, then add about 1 cup of it to your eggs SLOWLY. Eggs hate being pressured into doing things they don't want to do. you have to ease them into it, like a cult leader eases his new members. Yeah, you have to love bomb your eggs. Then, when they're tempered, you can put all that back in the pot on low-medium heat and thicken that up. You want your custard to be thick, but still runny.

When your custard is done, strain that to get rid of any cooked egg parts. Those are the enemy. Put your mixture in a cake pan and throw it in the freezer. Stir it around every half hour or so till it's frozen. After you can put it in a container and enjoy the shit out of it.

Your welcome,

UPDATE! Jake brought to my attention that the lavender flavour really came out as the ice cream froze (and also as my tea cooled, but you don't know about that, so there). I just wanted y'all to know to be careful about your ice cream being too perfumey because you can't smell it so well when it's hot~

Friday, June 14, 2013

Boy, Do I Have a Story For You!

Jeez, where to start? Well, as you may or may not know, my boyfriend and I had planned to move to Bristol. Notice the past tense. Jake lost his wallet, like 3 hours before our plane left. Yay. Also, he left part of his luggage on the bus. So, after a week of madly running around trying to sort shit out, feeling like we were contestants in the Amazing Race, we finally have everything done. Now, all we have to do is wait. Le sigh.
     "So, what have you been doing this past week, Brittney?", one might ask. (Or one might not, but in that case, one may fuck right off.) Cooking!!!! And also reading about cooking. And also playing Scrabble.

One thing I've made a bunch of this past couple of weeks (mostly to impress people, if I'm being honest) is my Coconut Curry. It's so good you wouldn't know how vegan it is (if you don't add meat, which I do).

Fucking delicious looking, right? If you aren't having a mouthgasm, you're too picky and need to change.


  • Coconut milk (from a can) - I use 1 can for every 2 people I'm feeding. 
  • Lemongrass - 1 stalk for every can. 
  • Lime Leaves - I don't know, just a bunch I guess. 
  • Ginger - some.
  • Garlic - lots.
  • Tumeric - about 1 tbsp?
  • Curry powder/cumin/garam masala - to taste
  • S+P - to taste
  • Meat? Tofu? Other crazy things? - your call.
  • AN ONION - I don't care if you "don't like them." You are confused, add it anyways.
Okay, so as you've noticed, I'm not a huge fan of exact measuring. I'm sorry that I'm not sorry.

Moving on, step one: (Cut a hole in the box.) Dice your garlic, peel your ginger (with a spoon works best), beat the living hell out of your lemongrass (seriously, that's what you're supposed to do), and open your coconut milk into a pan or a pot or whatever you have that works. Throw your things I just told you to do stuff with in the cooking vessel. Bring that to a simmer and let it do it's thing for a little while, you want all your ingredients to lend their flavours to your sauce. 

When you can taste the lemongrass (should be about 10-15 mins) and your sauce is quite a bit thicker and more lovely, you should add your spices. Okay, here I'm gonna lecture about tasting your shit as you go, because when you don't bad things are gonna happen. Don't be afraid to spoon your food in and around your mouth before you serve it (okay, maybe not around). After your sauce tastes wonderful, strain it.

While your sauce is simmering, go ahead and cut your veg or whatever. After it's done, you can saute up some garlic and onion in oil. Reduce your heat and add your veg, meat, etc in there. Be mindful of the cooking times of your veg. For instance, if you have broc, add that with your meat, but if you have zucchini, add that quite a bit later since it takes very little time.

When your veg is cooked-ish, deglaze that shit with some white wine. Feel free to experiment with different liquors BTW, I'm just kind of poor. After your wine (or other fancy alcohol, like tequilla or sake) has reduced, pour your sauce into your veg. Let that sauce thicken for a bit.

OKAY PS I forgot to tell you to do up your rice, or noods, depending on preferance, at the same time you're sautéing your veg/meat/aliens. So, yes. Do that.

At the end, when I plate, I garnish with some green onions, because then I look like a fancy cook, and I am. And so can you be.

The end.


TL;DR: If you don't like onions, you aren't cooking them properly.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pasta fun~

So, I'm moving and can't be bothered to cook at all. I'm eating a lot of sushi lately. However, I did make a wonderful meal for my aunt a while back. It was spaghetti with prawns and coconut mocha panna cotta for dessert.
My foolproof recipe for pasta is so simple!
1 can of whole plum tomatoes
1 diced onion
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp oil
Some salt and pepper
Some white wine

First you gotta heat a pan up on medium heat with oil, then add onions and garlic. When your onions are soft, deglaze with white wine. After you just squeeze the whole tomatoes into the pan. That's my favourite part, but it's also kind of messy. Don't pour the rest of the tomato juice in, you get enough juice from the whole tomatoes. Then add your S and P. Reduce until it's as thick as you like it. That's it.

The reason you don't use fresh tomatoes is because they (I don't really know who "they" are personally) pick them while they're still green and add colour artificially or wait for them to ripen off the vine. The canned tomatoes get picked just when they're perfect and stay that way until they get to you.

This post is probably just a bunch of babble, and I'm sorry. It is a good recipe, and you should try it, but I'm too tired to English.

Blessed be the cheesemakers. (I'm watching Life of Brian.)

Later Days,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's been a while since I made something good.

I'm not gonna lie guys, it's been a long, busy couple of weeks. Since I work in a restaurant, and Mother's Day just passed, I've been crazy busy. I'm kind of exhausted. I got home yesterday from work, took a nap and got kicked out of my apartment because my landlord failed to mention she was showing it...again. SO, when I got back I was all, "Fuck this, I'm baking."


And what I made was possibly the best thing I've ever made, I'm serious. I made handi-banana bread. SO FREAKING GOOD. It didn't taste handi at all. Light, fluffy, moist. It had everything going. I use past tense because we got drunk and it's obviously all gone now.

  • fluffy
  • moist
  • not grainy at all, which I wasn't expecting
  • no rise time, because my poor stomach can't even handle yeast
  • stupid good
  • I didn't use a recipe, or even measure anything
  • fuck
But I'm trying it out again (not that I measured anything again) but I think I have the ratios down.


1.5 cups brown rice flour
0.5 cups white rice flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch
2 tsp guar gum
1 tbsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
0.25 cup oil
2 eggs
a bunch of water, maybe 3 cups? maybe more (sorry) (UPDATE: 1.5 cups was enough.)

(If you want the banana bread, add 2 bananas, 1/2 cup carob chips, and 1/2 cup sugar)

1. Set oven for 350, oil a bread pan, and mix them dry ingredients.
2. Add the wet ingredients, and when you add the water make sure it's just a big goopy mess. The trick to baking with rice flour is to add twice the liquid you would use for wheat flour.
3. Slop that delicious mess into your bread pan, and pop it in the oven for like... 30 mins.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I might explode I'm so happy!

Today is a day of many wonderful things, but I literally predicted they would all happen today. Let me bring you back:
     It's Sunday, April 28, and I am a wreck. I tore muscles in my lower back, and I'm freaking out about having to wait for everything. My boyfriend Jake says to me, "I'm sure everything will happen soon."
    To which I replied, "Well, I know. It's all going to happen on Wednesday, but I just want it to happen now."

SO! Here it is, Wednesday, and I get someone buzzing to come up (which never happens because I don't have a huge social life). It's the delivery guy with all of my internet clothes!!! Christmas, right? I've never ordered clothes from the internet before, and let me tell you, it's amazing. I loved every minute of it.

A couple hours later, while making my Roasted Strawberry and Coconut Torte, I get a text from my boyfriend saying to check my email. NEWS: I'm moving to the UK in under 2 months!!!!! Just on a working holiday visa, but it's going to be amazing!!

In other words, my life is awesome right now. Plus I had this great lunch, AND it's my Vancouver family's Game of Thrones and Excellent Dinner Night.

Behold, lunch!! (Excellent miso gravy)

 Also! A recipe today, that I just made up. :)

Roasted Strawberry and Coconut Torte!

First, cut up some strawbs and roast em.

 Next, mix your shit. Since there isn't any baking powder, you really don't have to worry about mixing dry and wet ingredients separately.

Look at that wonderful coconut milk

Add those berries in there, put the mix in an 8X8" add some coconut, fresh strawberries, and some more honey on top.
Look at that yum! 

2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup GF flour (I used rice flour)
A bunch of strawberries
Honey to taste

So Simple!

Later Days,

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

And so our story begins...

So, I recently started an exclusion diet to figure out what kinds of things upset my stomach. The answer: everything. Wheat and dairy are the huge ones so far though. I can basically say goodbye to things like this:
(Peaches and cream swiss roll cake)

And start saying hello to:
  • unexpected weightloss
  • rice
  • unexpected rice
  • tons of food experiments
  • rice experiments
Seriously people, after I got over the depressing vastness of my dietary restrictions, I realised what a great opportunity it was for me to experiment with delicious food!

For instance, I make an incredible amount of soup (admittedly it's for my job, but it's still tasty), and I recently discovered torte. It's so good!

Without realising it, I've become one of those hipsters who cut out gluten and dairy, who know the difference between fast cooking oats and steel cut oats, who eat quinoa, and who prefer wild or brown rice to white rice. I'm a little ashamed, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

Welcome to my food adventure.