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Posts Tagged ‘fudgie likes’

A while back, I posted a pretty good recipe for whole wheat banana bread. I’ve been feeling more adventurous with my baking lately, and have also been trying to eat even more nutritiously, so I decided it was time to give that recipe a revamp, and voila, a more decadent, sweet, satisfying and filling recipe was born.

Mmmm Banana Bread - this one is so decadent and tasty, but still somewhat healthy. 🙂

A few of my inspirations: I’ve been running a lot more (yay!) and drinking a lot less (booo! boring!) so I’m looking for more protein-rich, nutritious foods, and I’m not quite as concerned about fat/calories as I used to be (the upside of running 25 + km per week!). So I incorporated some hemp protein powder, other good things like flax seed and unsweetened applesauce, and a delicious honey-nut glaze topping, and the result is really fantastic. J and I enjoyed two thick slices each while still warm, although one would’ve prolly been enough. 🙂

Ingredients:

-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

-1/2 cup ground flaxseed

-2 tsp baking soda

-2 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1 tsp pure vanilla extract

-3/4 cup hemp protein powder

-1 cup brown sugar Splenda

-1/4 cup butter

-1/4 cup canola oil

-1 egg

-1 cup unsweetened apple sauce

-3 mashed bananas

-3 tbsp honey

-1/2 cup chopped walnuts

-1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:

1. Mix all dry ingredients together (Flour, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, protein powder, cinnamon) and set aside

2. Cream butter, Splenda, oil and vanilla together, set aside

3. Mash banana and stir in apple sauce, add to dry mixture along with sugar/butter mixture.

4. Add in egg, stir together, and pour (although the consistency will be quite thick) into loaf pan.

5. Bake at 350. After about 10 minutes, remove from oven. Drizzle honey over top of loaf, then sprinkle chopped nuts and brown sugar on top. Place bake in oven and bake for another 50 minutes.

6. Make sure to cool before serving, loaf is very dense and moist.

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A frigid, -30 night (typical Montreal?) brought us to Bistro Cocagne on a recent Friday evening, in search of a warm atmosphere and delicious, nourishing food, and we were certainly not disappointed.

This intimate, attractive restaurant is located on St. Denis street, in the former location of renowned Montreal institution Toque. The space has been tranformed into a warm, elegant space with modern red walls, hard wood floors and accents, and soft lighting which creative an inviting mood, perfect for a romantic diner or an evening out with friends.

We chose the the $42 table d’hote menu which included an appetizer, main course and desert, all of which were delicious. As we often do, we both started with the same appetizer: Gnocchi de ricotta, escargots, purée de Sweet Mama, jus à la fleur d’ail. It was amazing – plenty of escargots, perfectly cooked gnocchi with just the right hint of cheese flavour, and a deliciously light sauce that was perfect for bread dipping.

For our entrees, I chose the special of the day which was seared scallops (6 medium sized ones, just the right amount for a satisfying portion), with bok choy, grilled mushrooms and a cauliflower mash. Outstanding. J ordered the Pièce d’agneau braisé, risotto de courge et épinard, jus de braisage, and it was equally good. The lamb was actually a very large portion (something I never complain about!) and extremely tender, while the risotto was cooked to perfection – not too mushy or heavy, and with a sauce that didn’t overpower the flavours.

For desert J had a dark chocolate creme brulee, and I had a daily special, which was a chocolate mousse with a light cake center and caramel sauce. Both were scrumptious.

The service was very friendly and attentive at the beginning of our meal, but became slow and ultimately a bit frustrating by the end of our evening, which was the only dark note in an otherwise perfect experience. Their sommelier suggested a fantastic white wine which we both enjoyed, and in general the staff was knowledgeable about the menu.

Overall I would highly recommend this restaurant. Fudgie likes a lot! 🙂

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This week was been unpleasant to say the least, as I’m getting over exhaustion, a cold, a very busy week at work, and some important ‘get my life in order’ tasks that I’ve been putting off since before Christmas. So, I haven’t had much time to try new recipes, but I plan to catch up on some next week. 🙂

Gum + Smurfs seemed appropriate...

In the meantime, I wanted to share a really quick tip for people who are dieting or trying to eat heathily, but still love to bake. Personally, when baking I usually always taste things a few times, or snack on the ingredients (sneaking a handful of chocolate chips, tasting an extra spoonful of the peanut butter, everyone’s got their weakness!) so that by the time my lovely creation is ready to eat, I’ve already probably had enough extra sweets but of course that cannot stop me from amply sampling the final product. So, Ive come up with a solution that works perfectly:

Chew gum while you bake. 🙂

Unlike cooking, baking rarely requires you to sample the dough to make sure the flavor is right, or to add more seasoning. Nope, you pretty much just need to follow the recipe by the book, and maybe make a few alterations based on texture, rather than taste. So, if you’ve got gum in your mouth, you are a lot less likely to try and taste things along the way. Give it a try!

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I think I’ve found one of my new favorite restaurants in Montreal (existing ones include Lemeac, Chez Leveque, L’Express, and Gibby’s): Cuisine Dependence.

Located on the cusp of Mile End, on St. Laurent just below St. Joseph, this fantastic French restaurant has a cozy and inviting yet modern and sophisticated atmosphere, with outstanding service and some of the best tasting food I’ve had at a Montreal restaurant in years.

My boyfriend started with the scallops in Bouillabase with Rouille sauce, and it was fantastic. The scallops were fresh and tender, and the sauce complimented the flavours well but was light enough to not overpower. I started with their salmon tartar garnished with a cabbage and spinach remoulade, and it was also delicious.

The main courses were what really shone. Again my boyfriend stuck with seafood, opting for the Cod. I ordered the veal cheeks which were served with root vegetables and potato mash, and it was honestly one of the best meat dishes I’ve tasted in years – the veal was so tender I didn’t need a knife at all.

For dessert we both ordered the terrine de chocolat – a slab of dense chocolate mousse, garnished with creme anglaise and rich caramel sauce – the perfect finish to our meal.

Service was exceptionally friendly and attentive – we were offered several wines to sample before ordering, and the food was served at a leisurely but not too slow pace, so we could take our time with each course and enjoy our conversation. The final bill was a bit high, starters run from $8-$12, main courses are in the $25-$30 range and dessert with coffee was $13 each, so combined with a bottle of wine and and extra cocktail and tip, we were above $200 but felt the meal and experience was well worth it.My only suggestion would be that they develop a table d’hote menu, so that diners could experience their cuisine at a more affordable price.

All in all I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for the ideal spot for a romantic dinner, a special celebration, or just a treat for your taste buds.

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I don’t particularly consider myself a coffee person, I’ll buy a cappucino or coffee a few days a week at work from Starbucks, but other than that don’t usually bother to make it at home. That is, until we received the awesomest new coffee machine for Christmas – a Keurig! It’s a fancy machine that brews one fresh cup of coffee at a time, using cute little “K Cups” of pre-measured coffee. It came with boxes of different assortments of coffee – breakfast blends, bold, french roasts and my favorite, flavored. 🙂

I think one of the reasons I like it so much is that since the coffee comes pre-measured, it comes out tasting the way it’s supposed to, not too weak or too strong. Plus, it’s always fresh, and it’s really fun to pick out which little cup of coffee I want to try on a particular morning. If you are a regular coffee drinker, I highly recommend you check it out. I think they run at about $100 each, and a box of 22 K Cups costs about $14. I can’t be bothered to do the math to find out whether or not that is a good deal, but you can also use the machine with regular ground coffee you buy in bags, but just measuring an individual serving amount into the reusable filter.

So, this means I’m going to be drinking coffee more often which is not necessarily a good thing, but at least will hopefully cut down on my Starbucks budget.

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One of my favorite Christmas books as a kid was called A Cranberry Christmas, and on the back it had a recipe for `Maggie’s Favorite Cranberry Cookies’.

Cranberry Christmas

I only ever tried making them once (as a kid I wasn’t too keen on cranberries) but vaguely remember them being tasty. This year, I’ve decided to make them again for Christmas Eve dinner, which J and I are hosting for his family. So, here is the recipe, I’ll post some pics later once they are ready.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped

Directions:

Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda into a bowl, mix with a fork. Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy, beat in egg, milk, and lemon juice. Stir in flour mixture until well blended, then add cranberries. Drop by tsp on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, until firm and golden.

Note from Fudgie: The recipe also calls for 1 cup of chopped walnuts, but frankly I hate chopped nuts in my cookies. I am thinking of adding white chocolate chips instead. 🙂

UPDATE: Cookies turned out AWESOME, one of the best cookie recipes I’ve ever made. I added coarsely chopped white chocolate with coconut flakes (about one full large-sized chocolate bar) which really set off the sweet and tart flavours nicely.

Cranberry Cookies with White Chocolate

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So, I made the annual attempt to bake and decorate some yummy and cute sugar cookies, to help me feel festive and this year, to give to my staff. I still used the same recipe I always do – the Rich Roll Cookies recipe from the Joy of Cooking. This year though, I thought I’d be clever and try chilling the dough for a few hours (as recommended) rather than being my usual impatient self and rolling it right away. It turned into a bit of an epic fail: my fridge is so cold that the dough essentially froze, so I had to take it out and thaw it again, which I tried doing by placing in a warm oven for a few minutes, which just ended up almost cooking the exterior layer, and keeping the inside still frozen. Eventually I just left the dough along until it completely thawed on its own, but learned my lesson and will continue to just roll the dough right away after mixing it in the future.

A few other pointers – the cookies are better when thick, I recommend at least a quarter inch. Store-bought decorative icing works just fine, and it much simpler than embarking on making your own. Lastly, these stay good for quite a while, I would say up to a week, so feel free to make them in advance and then just store them in airtight container. Without further ado, below is the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, along with some pics from this year’s batch.

Rich Roll Cookies

Happy Sugar Cookie People

Cream together:

1 cup butter

2/3 cup whte sugar

Beat in:

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, and use cookie cutters to make festive shapes. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, they remain white when done (if they are starting to get brown, you’ve overdone it).

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