Thursday, 30 July 2015

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Heeeello everyone,

I hope you're all doing well! July has been such a quiet month for me. June was hectic, but July has been very relaxing. I've kind of just been sitting around the house and reading the occasional book. Overall, I've been pretty lazy to be honest.

Today, though, I was in the kitchen! I was making these bars  decided to write today about these bars that we sometimes make in our house.

They are no-bake chocolate coconut peanut butter bars. I mean, if I was reading this post, the no-bake alone would have hooked me.

So there is chocolate in this but you could always exchange that for cocoa powder, or leave it out all together. On top of that, if you use the golden syrup over the honey, this dish becomes vegan. However, I'd say the honey is probably the better option. 

I'm not sure though, if anyone knows please correct me. I don't know, maybe these bars are really actually bad for you... but they have healthy ingredients! So logically the end product must be pretty healthy too.

1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp golden syrup or honey
1 cup unsweetened chocolate chips
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 1/2 cups large-flake rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (and about 2 tbsp more for on top)
1 tbsp hemp seeds

1. First, grab a large saucepan and melt the coconut oil, golden syrup/honey and chocolate over medium-heat.
2. Once that's all melted together, turn the heat right down and add in the peanut butter.
3. When the peanut butter has melted in, take the whole pot off the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients (as in, the oats and the hemp seeds)
4. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish. I use a 9x9 one. I also normally use an oil spray to spray the dish before, but you can also use parchment paper, either will stop it from sticking.
5. Add coconut flakes on top
6. Let the bars cool in the dish before putting them into fridge to firm up.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Dinner on Main Street

Vancouver, BC, Canada
Hi everyone,

The weather in Vancouver is starting to get very hot again, after a week or so of some rain. It's nice, but it's also difficult to do anything - including going on a trip to the place that serves the "best mac and cheese ever" according to Instagram and my friend, Justine. So, yesterday, Justine and I went to try this place. We decided to walk and, this may be TMI but my dress was damp due to the amount I was sweating.

Once we got there, lucky us got the... Winking Waiter. You know, the waiter who winks so much and you can't decide if he's genuinely flirting or just wanting you to buy more drinks? (it's always the second one, by the way)

Either way, I guess it worked because I got a Mojito. After asking for the Mojito, the waiter replied, "Sure thing *wink*" and asked if I wanted a flavour (with another wink). I got strawberry, but honestly... is there any point in putting flavour in it if it's still gonna taste like mint? I mean, there was no hiding the fact that is drink uses mint. Nothing masks it, especially when there is there is like 70 million mint leaves jammed into the glass (that was an over-exaggeration... there was probably only like 5 mint leaves in the glass)

We also went to 49th Parallel Café, which was further down the street. These pictures were taken at about 7pm but summer, man, I love it. The sun stays out for hours.

We wanted ice cream, but also wanted to try these donuts because we've heard they are good (from Instagram). So, we got a donut but also an iced coffee for the coldness. 
The only problem was that the coffee was pretty weak. Heads up for tourists, it is actually hard to find good coffee in Vancouver. On every street corner there's a different coffee shop but each one's coffee is as bad as the next.

Although, they are all very photogenic.
I mean, look at this place. So cool, right? You see, Main Street is kind of the... hippie district in Vancouver. It's relatively close to Strathcona, which is definitely the hippie district in Vancouver. They all look fab over there, cycling their bikes to their heritage-looking houses.
I remember an old friend and I once babysat for a family in Strathcona. Their parents practised free-range parenting so the kids only ever wore tutus and had never met a hairbrush. No judgement though, their kids were more polite than most kids in the suburbs.

2902 Main Street, Vancouver

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Sweet Quinoa Oatmeal Recipe

Quinoa seems to be one of those healthy foods that are just accepted. They're a staple in every vegetarians diet, right? So, I'm not going to sit here and list reasons why you should try it because you probably already know what it is and why it's good. 

With that out the way, I find it difficult to make quinoa... taste nice. You need lots of flavours to soak in to it to have it taste like something other than a plain, mushy, rice thing. Because of this, I normally eat quinoa in my stir-frys at lunch because then there are vegetables and stuff to make it taste better.  When I have a lot of time (and when I can actually be bothered), I will make it for breakfast.
So, today, I wanted to share the recipe I use for those (rare?) days.

Oh, and, confession: I actually suck at measurements.
It took me a long time to find out what ratio works for oats and milk, and even more for quinoa and milk. These measurements seem to work for me, but you may need to tweak them.

1/3 cup of quinoa - wash it before cooking
1 cup of milk - I use almond milk 
handful of dried fruit - I use cranberries/blueberries
handful of nuts - I use cashews
sprinkle of brown sugar - I use more like a handful...

1. Add quinoa to pot, with milk, and bring to boil.
2. Cook for a bit on high heat then bring down halfway. Make sure to mix often so the milk doesn't burn (my problem).
3. When the little tail bit is showing, your quinoa is ready. Drain out excess milk and (optional) place back on heat for a minute to soak up anymore milk.
4. Plate up. Add your dried fruit and nut of choice along with the brown sugar.

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