Thinking of Summer

It started snowing yesterday, here in Waterloo. I’m not sure how I feel about that. The snow is beautiful on rooftops and bare tree branches, and it makes me feel like I’m walking in a snow globe when I’m on campus. The bad thing, though, is obvious… the cold! It was minus thirteen this morning. Brrrrr.

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How appropriate, then, that I’m sharing meals from the SUMMER with you guys! These were photos taken late last spring, so that was obviously a long time ago. It honestly feels like two years ago. Enjoy these ancient photos that were taken before moving to Waterloo, my grad, before my family trip to the Sunshine Coast (I miss this so much), and before Paris. Whew!

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Devilled eggs with canola mayonnaise, mustard, spices and paprika // mixed green salad with poppyseed dressing, berries, cashews

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Thai-style beef fried rice with Thai basil, fish sauce, and tomatoes // rotini pesto pasta salad with roasted peppers, shrimp, and shredded white cheddar

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Garlic and vinegar cold salads: black cloud ear fungus with cilantro // seaweed and scallion salad // cucumber with garlic and chilies

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Pan-fried sausage // honey-soy sauce chicken drummettes and wings with sesame seeds // pan-fried barbecue corn with mustard and pepper

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Sausage scrambled eggs // spicy fried fish with scallions

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Toasted kaiser buns topped with Tex-Mex cheese (Monterey Jack, cheddar, mozzarella) and garlic butter

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My plate had a little of everything, and I especially liked this cold noodle salad in Japanese dressing.

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Mom’s party food is so creative and everyone loved the dinner 🙂

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Banana oatmeal can’t be beat! This bowl was topped with farmer’s market blackberries, cashews, coconut chips, and hemp hearts. So yummy 🙂

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I made pancakes for Dad one morning. This recipe is very simple and makes fluffy, sweet pancakes that he loves.

Brown Sugar Pancakes (for one)

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

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For myself, I tried a new recipe for PB cookie pancakes. I wasn’t completely satisfied with these as I found them a bit too dense, but I’m going to play around with the recipe. I still prefer PB on top rather than mixed into the batter.

Peanut Butter Cookie Pancakes for One
Serves: 1 (Makes 3-4 pancakes)
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ teaspoons flaxseed meal (I used a whole egg instead of the flax egg)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ very ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup spelt flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • Maple syrup, to serve
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flaxseed meal and water in a medium-sized bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the banana half and mash thoroughly. Mix in the peanut butter, blackstrap molasses and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the spelt flour, rolled oats, baking powder and salt. Pour in the milk, and mix until just combined.
  4. Preheat a skillet over low heat. Grease with cooking oil spray, and then add a scant ¼ cup of batter for each pancake (an ice-cream scoop is perfect for this). Shake the pan a little to spread the batter.
  5. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes (or until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges are a little dry). Flip the pancakes, and cook for 1 ½ – 2 minutes on the other side. Adjust the stove heat as needed.
  6. Serve with maple syrup. Enjoy!

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Leftover pan-fried tofu over broccoli, pea, spinach quinoa stir-fry with scallion oil and sesame seeds

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Oatmeal topped with caramelized banana, cherries, muffin, hemp hearts

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Made a mess in the kitchen one day with lots of plates and bowls. I made squash custard and Italian baked eggplant, some of my favourite vegetarian dishes.

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The squash custard and eggplant pieces were served with mixed green salad + red pepper dressing + pecans and some pan-fried salmon with lemon juice.

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The squash custard was excellent! This recipe serves three.

SUMMER SQUASH CUSTARD
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 squash, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1.5 oz goat cheese
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1.5 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
 INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat the olive oil in a frypan. Add in the squash and onions and cook over medium-high heat, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mash slightly with a potato masher or large fork. Add the goat cheese and butter while still hot and stir until melted.
  3. Mix in the cornmeal, eggs, milk, dill, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish or 6 individual ramekins that have been coated with cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes (35 minutes for the ramekins) or until golden brown on top. Serve warm or at room temperature

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One busy morning I had plain oatmeal topped with hemp hearts, a big chopped peach, and some Greek yogurt with cashews. A simple but very flavourful and fresh bowl!

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Lunch one day was hummus + roasted garlic and rosemary crackers, a piece of apple scone, chopped kiwi, and a mixed greens + quinoa + goat cheese + black bean salad.

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Pancakes never disappoint for breakfast. These were simple spelt pancakes topped with berries, coconut chips, and hemp hearts.

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Quinoa with steamed broccoli + scallion oil + sesame and tomato scrambled eggs again.

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Dessert was Greek yogurt with crumbled apple scone, raspberries, and chopped mixed nuts. This is my all-time favourite go-to dessert because of all the flavours and textures. It’s also filling and nutritious!

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Overnight oatmeal that I transferred from this new jar into my oats bowl. Served with Earl Grey and topped with caramelized banana, peanut butter, coconut chips, date-nut muffin, blackberries, and hemp hearts.

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Scrambled vegetable eggs {zucchini, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, scallions} with salsa and sharp white cheddar

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Chopped kiwi with hummus + avocado + red pepper + goat cheese sandwich, apple scone and rosemary + roasted garlic crackers, hummus

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Delicious bowl of Morning Glory oatmeal: kitchen sink muffin crumbled on top of a bowl of banana-carrot oatmeal, with coconut chips, raisins, nuts, and hemp hearts

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Egg salad sandwich made with one egg and one piece of bread. Also some banana-spelt muffin, hummus, sesame kamut flatbreads, and chopped kiwi.

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Oatmeal with banana muffin, raspberries, peanut butter. I was running late on this day and made this bowl in less than 10! Quick oats have saved my life multiple times 🙂

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Classic Mom Dinner here, with stir-fried vegetables, chicken, and chive scrambled eggs. Plus brown rice!

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The chicken stir-fry was actually a sesame-honey chicken recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. I used a bit less honey and added sesame seeds and sesame oil.

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More pancakes! These were pear pancakes topped with hemp hearts, coconut chips, and raspberries. Two are cocoa pancakes and the other two plain 🙂 Delicious!

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These desserts were from a French-style bakery on Commercial Drive. One is a chestnut cream puff (there is chestnut puree under the whipped cream) and the other was a classic cheesecake.

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Both were quite good! The cheesecake was simple but very flavourful, and I enjoyed the chestnut. Neither dessert was too sweet, which I appreciated. Do you like desserts that involve “exotic” things like passionfruit or chestnut?

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OATMEAL! A chocolate-banana base today, topped with massive blueberries and peanut butter. Hemp hearts to sprinkle on top for extra protein, nutrients, and okay… visual appeal.

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Ooooh these pancakes are one of my faves ever! Dark chocolate pancakes with banana in the batter for maximum tenderness, topped with chopped cherries, hemp hearts, and blobs of Greek yogurt with coconut chips on top.

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Holy yum.

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Tropical oatmeal also made an appearance: caramelized banana, coconut chips, chopped kiwi, and some of Beaucoup Bakery’s tropical scone.

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 These were buttermilk pancakes that I topped with a maple syrup and peanut butter sauce, raspberries, and blobs of yogurt. I forgot how delicious buttermilk pancakes were!

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Frittata with goat cheese and lots of veggies.

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PureBread bakery’s white chocolate cherry scone with buckwheat flour is the #1 scone in the world. Banana oatmeal is my favourite, and cherries are my favourite fruit. Coconut chips have the best texture and incredible flavour… you can guess how much I loved this bowl. One of my all-time faves!

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Healthy veggie quinoa bowl topped with hummus and goat cheese.

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Good stuff! 🙂 For the mind, the tastebuds, and the body. Woo!

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That’s it for today, guys! On Wednesday I have an interesting “exam” where I have to describe one of three random chemical processes in a cell. I have about ten minutes to explain the process, draw diagrams, and answer questions from my T.A. I love things like that and want to be well-prepared!

Also, on December 5th, my group will present this poster to our Kin 104 class of about two hundred people. It is sort of a meta-analysis, but we only analyzed two articles that supported and refuted the use of milk as something that promotes bone health. It was interesting to research and a fun poster to make!

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Anyways, hope you enjoyed taking a peek at June 2015 😉 Good times. Have a fantastic week, everyone!