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I am tired of baking with sugar sugar sugar and white flour which is like sugar. I found a dessert recipe with chickpeas and peanut butter and I modified it and made it for the family. They were so-so about it but I think it is because of the peanut butter taste. Kids these days just don’t like good ol’ PB. It’s actually kind of sad.
Chick peas are a protein-carbohydrate food and they add the perfect moisture to these faux blondies. You can reduce or omit the chocolate chips altogether for a healthier version.
Faux and Flourless
1 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 can of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Note: The blondies in these photos were marbled by melting the chocolate chips in a double boiler first and later stirred in. This proved more difficult than expected because the chickpea mixture is very thick. The melted chocolate didn’t marble that nicely. Either way, it ended up being delicious!
Try it and let us know how it turns out and if you liked it!
The mysterious Sephardic salade cuite has been reproduced in my kitchen today! I had almost given up on this savoury tomato and pepper salad but I thought I would give it one more chance.
I am very happy that I did. It turned out perfectly and the secret ingredient is patience.
Caryn’s Salad Cuite Ashkenaz Style
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 2 red peppers whole
- 2 green peppers whole
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 TBSP Paprika
- 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
Cook the peppers in the oven or on the BBQ (I used the BBQ because my oven was busy with Apple Cake, Broccoli and Lukshen Kugels) until they are totally black. Let them cool and then peel off the blackened skins. Remove all seeds. Chop them up and set aside.
Heat a TBSP of canola oil and toss in the garlic. Cook for about a minute. Dump the tomatoes in and bring to a boil. Add the sugar.
Toss in the peppers and the rest of the oil into the pot. Now is a good time for the paprika, salt and pepper. Get a good boil going and then turn the heat down, to just below the medium setting.
Here is where the patience comes in. You have to stir the mixture so it doesn’t burn. Do this every 5 minutes or so while the recipe reduces. It took about 2 hours to get to the right consistency.
Let the recipe cool down and then transfer it to a container and store in the fridge. Serve cold.
If you like it spicy add some tabasco sauce or hot pepper flakes along with the other spices.
On a recent trip to Texas, while staying here, I took a day trip to a real organic olive oil ranch with my family. My Aunt and Uncle, who both live in Austin, adopted a little olive tree. We stopped by the ranch to check on it since Texas is having a drought. It turns out all these beautiful trees are being irrigated regularly and the hope is they will start producing fruit by next year.
Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Ranch is located in the Austin hill country and there is also a thriving olive oil agriculture in California. The climate in Austin is hot, hot, hot in the summer but olive trees love that. Olive trees are one of the toughest trees around and they can handle abuse.
One of the son-in-laws of one the Gambini owners gave us a tour of the orchard and explained the process of raising olive trees. These trees need to be pruned very often to facilitate fruit production. If they don’t get pruned they get lazy and grow all over the place like snakes, and then they don’t produce much fruit.
We learned that the USA regulates the production of olive oil to ensure a top quality rancid free product. I was always under the impression that European olive oil producers were under the same strict regulations. Not so, said our guide. He is convinced the best product stays in their respective countries and lower quality oil gets exported. Well, one taste of the Californian/Texan olive oil and I was convinced too. A a high quality olive oil causes a mild burning sensation when it hits the back of your throat and it has an ever so slight bitterness to it.
While we visited Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Ranch my uncle treated us all to olive oil gelato. What a delicacy! We sampled vanilla, chocolate and rosemary with different flavoured balsamic vinegar. My favourite for the ice cream was blackberry but the fig went well with the kettle chips.
To find out more about Texas Hill Country Olive Oil click here.
The Good Food Box has a new drop off location at the Aquatic and Community Centre in Cote Saint Luc.
What is the Good Food Box, you ask? Basically, the Good Food Box is a collective buying program run by Harvest Montreal allowing for the purchase of top quality produce at lower prices. This initiative started in 2002 and you can read more about the history on the Good Food Box website at www.bonneboitebonnebouffe.org
Currently, there are over 70 drop off points across the Island of Montreal. For a complete list, please visit their website. Most of these drop off points are out of community run organizations. What makes the new drop off location in Cote Saint Luc so unique is that it is a partnership between the CSSS Cavendish (CLSC Rene-Cassin), the City of Cote Saint Luc and Harvest Montreal.
A pilot project was launched in the summer of 2012 and was very well received. Now the Good Food Box is open to all citizens of Cote Saint Luc. The initial concept was conceived in an effort to improve the nutritional status of seniors in CSL. CSL is known for its senior population. Many of these seniors live on a fixed income and are not eating well at all. Providing fresh fruits and vegetables at a lower cost greatly improves the odds of a achieving a healthier diet. As it turns out, CSL has many low income families who would benefit from this project as well.
The project is not just for those at risk, it is for anyone that wants to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. The caveat is that you have to really love fruits and vegetables! Each small, medium and large box priced at 7$, 10$ and 16$ respectively, contain an assorted variety of fresh produce. It’s like getting a surprise every two weeks. Moisson Montreal provides a newsletter and a recipe with each delivery. The recipe usually pertains to the unusual fruit or vegetable in the bunch. When in doubt make soup!
Mossion Montreal makes an effort to purchase locally grown produce whenever possible. In the winter this is challenging but an effort to provide local is still made as exemplified by the inclusion of Quebec root vegetables and apples.
For more information and to order your Good Food Box please call (514) 484-7878 poste 1501
P.S. If you are a shut in senior that would like to receive the Good Food Box but cannot pick it up you may qualify for the volunteer delivery service.
Cooking time: 25 minutes Makes 16 squares
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1/3 cup canola oil
2 TBSP vanilla extract (the real stuff)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 Tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips (if desired)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put all ingredients in a food processor (except chocolate chips) and mix until smooth
Feed chocolate chips through the top chute with quick on and off pulses
Poor mixture into a well greased 8″ x 8″ pan
According to the great Wikipedia, an aphrodisiac is a substance, such as food and drink, that increases sexual desire. However, it’s never been scientifically proven that such a link exists. Anecdotally, there are those folks who swear certain foods increase the libido. I am certain my second son was conceived due to a delectable cheesecake eaten at a popular restaurant 😉
Chocolate has the reputation for being a prominent aphrodisiac. Painting your lover with chocolate will probably do more for enhancing the experience than relying on any chemical in the food to spark an erotic response. No food can magically make a person horny. Even the most reputably known aphrodisiac, the oyster, has never been proven to make sex better. Oysters are high in amino acids which in turn make dopamine which is a happy hormone. Oysters do resemble a certain part of the female anatomy and that can be titallating.
Fruit can be very erotic. All you have to do is slice an apple lengthwise to find out why. Many fruits have a suggestive shape like strawberries, mangos, kiwis and bananas. Bet you never thought about fruit like that before!
A beautiful bountiful bowl of lush fruit can be very appealing before and after love making. Imagine blind folding your lover and feeding them luscious fruit dipped in, what else, chocolate. After a satisfying romp why not recharge and replenish with a healthy bowl of fruit.
Wine and other types of alcohol are known to get people in the mood. A little dulling of senses has led to many a one night stand. Be aware that alcohol is a known depressant and it dehydrates the body both of which can dampen the mood quickly. If you are going hot and heavy, keep a bottle of water nearby. Sex is considered exercise!
Since sex is a physical activity, treat is as such. Have a light meal before the fun and replenish with milk! Milk is a very popular post workout drink. It’s got carbs and protein, a perfect refueling combo. If you went extra hard go with the chocolate milk 😉