Friday, October 29, 2010

TGIF never meant so much

was this a long week or what...

its like the jet lag hit me a week behind - last week, I was up early and all chipper about it.  Every morning, I'd make breakfast for the two of us, pack (fancy) lunches, work out, clean up around the house, go shopping, read, sip on a cup of tea THEN leave for work 7:45 in the morning.  This week, on the other hand, has been more of the peel-yourself-out-of-bed-and-wonder-how-its-only-Tuesday variety.  But alas, I have made it to Friday and am looking forward to a busy weekend starting with an evening with friends, games and fun - happy Friday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

dear Kitchen, oh how I have missed you...

I didn't realize just how much I would miss my kitchen during our time away from home.  I suppose I missed both my kitchen and the food that comes out of it.  And taking pictures along the way.  And going to the farmer's market.  I even found myself getting all giddy in the fruit and veggie section of the grocery store!

On the evening we flew in, I walked into my kitchen, turned to Daniel and said "if I could hug this kitchen, I would!"  In addition to my excitement to be able to cook for myself again, I have been craving all kinds of wholesome "Angy food," as most of our friends and family have come to know it.  But when you come home after three weeks of being away, there is much to catch up on and get done, so I had to think of good food that I could throw together quick.  

Enter oatmeal - it's warm, relatively quick, needs little attention, keeps you full, tastes great and has endless possibilities flavor-wise...(the list goes on, but I'll spare you and stop there)  I prefer steel cut oats just because I am a texture eater and I find their texture much more appealing than that of the rolled variety.  Also, the steel cut ones have a great nutty flavour to them.  

I got the oats started on the stovetop then walked over to the living room and picked up my copy of Super Natural Cooking - a great cookbook by Heidi Swanson (over at 101, wondering if she had a take on steel cut oats.  A quick flip through landed me on a page titled "Seven-Way Steel-Cut Oats" and I knew I'd hit the jackpot.  As the title suggests, she gave a general how-to on cooking the oats, then suggested seven different themes for flavoring them.  I liked the sound of the tropical twist and with a few tweaks to accomodate for my preferences and what I had on hand, the recipe came together beautifully. 

Tropical Twist Steel Cut Oats
(for one - multiply as necessary)

1/4 cup Steel Cut Oats
1 1/4 cups Water
Plain Almond Milk* - to taste
Agave Nectar - to taste
Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut - to taste
Mango Chunks - to taste

*There seems to be quite a range when it comes to different brands of almond milk - I used Silk here, but I also really enjoy Almond Breeze.  I haven't come across others I've liked, but if you have a favorite, certainly go with that one. 

Cook the oats as per package instructions - for mine, I just boiled the water then added the oats and simmered on medium heat for 15 - 20 minutes.

While the oats are cooking, dry toast your coconut (I used a couple tablespoons worth) in a small frying pan.  Once toasted, remove from heat and put aside.  

I used frozen pre-chopped mango, but if you have the fresh kind use this time to chop it up into bite sized pieces then set it aside as well.

Keep an eye on the oats, if they get too dry they may need an extra splash of water.  Once they're cooked, scoop them into a bowl and top with mango, coconut, a splash of almond milk and some agave nectar for sweetener - oatmeal heaven! 

Adapted from Seven-Way Steel-Cut Oats recipe in Super Natural Cooking.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's been a while...

...I've been halfway across the world and back so needless to say, that's absorbed all of my attention for the past month or so.  In theory, posts on here will be a bit more frequent now that we're back from our much anticipated trip to Egypt.  If I had to describe the first couple days back home in one word it would definitely be cold
so   very   cold

Switching from 40 degree Egypt to 10 degree Canada is quite a jump -- at least it's been sunny, I've told myself.  But not anymore - the rain has begun and there is no end in sight.  I am fighting really hard to avoid the panic that sets in right about this time every.single.year.  I dread the end of summer in the most irrational way possible.  I begin to crave going to the beach, regardless of the weather or come up with harebrained schemes like quitting our jobs and travelling to India or decide we're moving to Australia... anything to avoid the wet, dark winter.  bah... Usually I settle for flipping through pictures of my favorite places in an attempt to soothe my unsettled soul.  In keeping with that theme, I'll leave you with a picture of Crescent beach and call it a night - enjoy. 

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