Tag Archives: flax

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts

2016.  Many people found 2016 to be a rough year, but I’m thankful that I seem to have emerged reasonably unscathed.  I feel really accomplished because I successfully blogged consistently for a second straight year.  I started this blog way back in 2009 (!) but I only buckled down and got serious with this site in 2015.  I have worked so hard and am proud of how far I’ve come.  My writing, recipe developing and photography skills have all improved and I continue to trouble shoot my own self-hosted website.  Social media is a whole other beast that I’ve had to conquer and continually battle, but I actually find that aspect of blogging really interesting, I just wish there were more hours in a day! When I looked at my analytics for the year, I was happy to see that they have all increased since 2015. I’m so grateful for new and old readers who dropped by my site this year, it’s a daunting web out there with so many blogs and social media avenues, I’m amazed and happy to see when one of my posts does well. These  2016 top food, travel and horror movie posts were the ones all of you kind and inquisitive folk enjoyed the most. 

My top post of 2016 continues to be my review of Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee and Chocolate Pudding, a post from my first year of blogging. I decided to reshoot this recipe because I cringe when I look back at my first attempt at food photos! I’m hoping my new and improved dairy free version of his sticky toffee pudding does just as well this year.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

I was happy to see these new recipes in the top three food posts for the year:

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

This year my friend and I expanded our canning repertoire and picked our own cherries. Many hours later we had an array of canned cherry products. I was really please with how these cherry coffee preserves turned out, and I was inspired to pair them with goat cheese on top of a crispy crostini. The result was a delightful bittersweet, creamy, crunchy bite, and made for a festive appetizer over the holidays.

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

I had been wanting to develop this recipe for awhile, as I loved the flavour combination of tart apple and sweet cornmeal. I still had some apples leftover from apple picking in the fall, so I was happy to finally make these muffins. Packed full of fresh, juicy apples, they made for a tasty high fiber breakfast or a yummy, healthy dessert.

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup

I love incorporating my Japanese culture into my recipes, and this soup was a perfect example. I wanted to change up the usual butternut squash soup, so I added hints of sesame and topped the soup off with some nori. I also used miso instead of cream which made it lactose-intolerant-friendly for my boyfriend. A creamy, hearty soup that was really popular over the holidays.

As for travel, my big blog project this year was posting my two-week trip to Turkey. These posts took a really long time to put together as I diligently compiled all my thoughts and notes from diaries and photo logs. Many posts from this series did well throughout the year, though it made me sad to reminisce about this amazing trip with all the political turmoil this country has been through recently. I feel lucky we were able to travel to Turkey when we did, as we probably wouldn’t be advised to go there during these unstable times.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Turkey in Two Weeks

How We Toured Turkey in Two Weeks

Speaking of Turkey, my top horror movie post was also Turkish, a hellishly creepy movie called “Baskin”.  I loved the surreal imagery in this film and the political analogies that are implied in regards to police brutality in Turkey. If you like H.P Lovecraft mixed with Dario Argento then this movie is for you!

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts "Baskin" Property of Film Colony, Mo Film, XYZ Films

“Baskin” Property of Film Colony, Mo Film, XYZ Films

I reviewed this film as part of my “Dinner and A Movie” category and paired this movie with a Turkish breakfast. My boyfriend and I still have a Turkish breakfast every weekend; a little part of Turkey that we brought home with us.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Homemade Turkish breakfast

Homemade Turkish breakfast

So there they are!  My 2016 top food, travel and horror movie posts.  Thank you for visiting and hope to see you in 2017!

What were your top posts of 2016?  Did you accomplish your blogging goals?

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

With the holidays season in full swing, these Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins are a healthy breakfast or dessert in between all the wine, cheese and other treats we indulge in this time of year.  After a weekend of stuffing my face, I crave fruit and fiber – an apology to my body for having no will power when I see a cheese platter.  I’ve fully accepted that as I get older, I can no longer eat with total reckless abondon, and need to be kind to my stomach even during the holidays.

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

This past fall, my girlfriends and I spent the day apple picking at Puddicombe Estate Farms, an annual tradition. With a bushel of fruit in my fridge the possibilities were endless! Over the past month I made lots of cider, apple crisp, apple butter and for my last five precious apples I decided to bake these muffins.  Easy to make and a quick, portable breakfast or snack, my boyfriend and I are big muffin fans and when we bake together, we like to throw in all kinds of different ingredients and try out new flavour combinations.

One of my staple dishes I like to make during the holidays is a cornmeal and apple stuffing, such a tasty pairing!  This inspired me to include some cornmeal to add some natural sweetness and density.  While I added a bit of brown sugar, they are mainly sweetened with honey and the apples.  To add to the heartiness, I also threw in some ground flax seeds for extra fiber. Packed full of apples with some cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg for that holiday spice, these muffins are a healthy sweet treat.

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup stone ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking power
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled, cored, cubed McIntosh apples
  • 1 apple peeled, cored, cubed, halved and thinly sliced for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with muffin cups.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the banana, egg, sugar, honey, oil and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine being careful not to overmix. Fold in the apples.
  5. Evenly spoon the batter among the muffin cups. Top with a slice of apple.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes on the middle rack, rotating the pan halfway until the muffins are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when tested.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  8. Best serve warm or at room temperature and will keep in a cookie tin for up to 5 days.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/10/24/apple-cornmeal-flax-muffins/

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

My Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins were inspired by my favourite holiday dish, what are your favourite flavours?

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

With the holidays just around the corner, I started planning out my Christmas gift list. My parents are easy – Scotch or beer for my dad and a facial or pedicure for my mother. They’re in the process of moving so I really didn’t want to add to their junk! But my boyfriend has a big family with quite a few elderly who are staying away from sugar so my homemade jam was off the list. I had to think of something else to make them, a treat that would be yummy but not too sweet.

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

This recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart’s Banana-Nut Bread from her Baking Handbook cookbook. To make the loaf a bit healthier, I altered and replaced many of the ingredients adding oats and flax seed for fiber and sweetening with brown sugar, maple syrup and applesauce. I also brought out the coconut flavour by using coconut oil and coconut milk. The resulting banana bread tastes wholesome with just enough sweetness to make it a treat. Firm, moist with hints of maple and coconut this banana bread is a nutritious gift to give to those who can’t completely indulge in the holiday season.

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Healthy Maple         Coconut       Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup milled flax seeds
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cups packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 113g unsweetened apple sauce (snack pack)
  • ½ cup organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure coconut extract
  • 2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x5” loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, rolled oats, flax seeds, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, maple syrup, apple sauce and coconut oil on medium-low speed until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Add the coconut and maple syrup extracts, banana and almond milk. Beat until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into loaf pan and evenly smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 60 minutes , rotating pan halfway through until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely. Banana bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic for up to a week.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/11/02/healthy-maple-coconut-banana-bread/

 

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

What are you making the ones you love this holiday season?

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread