Friday, 30 November 2012

Quinoa Yam Patties

These didn't really form like I had expected them to. Nor did they taste like I had expected either. That's not to say that they were bad (we wouldn't have eaten them for 3 nights straight if they were bad), they were just different. I had originally decided to make them one morning. It seemed like a great idea (but they seemed to take all day to make, so a bit time consuming to say the least), and I really would have liked them to be ready for lunch, but they weren't. So dinner rolled around and I must admit, dinner time is when I always confirm that I could never be vegetarian. I don't need bacon or sausage for breakfast, or sandwich meat for lunch, but I do think dinner should contain meat. So, I didn't truly enjoy these the first night. But I do have to say, they were quite filling and had some decent flavour going (then again I just ate it by itself on a plate with a bit of thai sauce as we didn't have buns or burger fixings.)

The key thing to remember for this recipe is to let it cool completely in the fridge before trying to form patties. I didn't at first and that's what caused my nightmares. They went together much better the next day after they had sat.

So I guess the main question is, would I make these again? And I would have to say I honestly don't know. I really liked the idea of them, but what I imagined them to taste like, wasn't what they actually tasted like. So, even though they didn't taste bad, it's sometimes hard to overcome something that is different.

I adapted this recipe from In Sock Monkey Slippers. The idea to add the tahini came from Made to Create.

Makes 5 Patties


1 C. Water
1/2 C. Quinoa
1 1/2 C. Yams, shredded (about 1/2 large yam)
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 C. Bread Crumbs
1/4 C. Bran
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/2 Tsp. Tahini
Olive Oil


~Rinse the quinoa and place into a pot of boiling water (1 C.)
~Simmer on low heat until all the water is gone (times vary depending on brand of quinoa), 10-15 minutes
~Allow quinoa to cool.
~Peel and shred the yam with a cheese grater.
~Place the yam in a piece of paper towel and squeeze out the extra liquids (isn't it an amazing colour??)
~In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, yam, egg, bread crumbs, bran, garlic, tahini, salt and pepper.
~Mix well and then place bowl in refrigerator to cool.
~When cool, form into patties.
~Heat skillet (or grill) and the oil, and cook burgers until they are golden on both sides and crispy.


Never would have thought Yam Juice would be this vibrant and solid of a colour. Just thought I'd share :)

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Snowballs (No-Bake)

Welcome to Part II of my Xmas baking. These are an absolute favourite of mine either fresh or straight out of the freezer. Either way they are probably my top Christmas treat. As proof of this statement I'm going to let you in on a little secret...I tripled this batch...and this is only one of the many recipes I plan to make for Xmas, and I don't have a lot of people to feed.

This recipe was my Grandma's recipe. It is one of the few recipes of hers that we actually have. Unfortunately, most of them she just kept in her head and never wrote down. I guess it's a good one to have: chocolate, butter and sugar, what more could we ask for? These are very similar to most no-bake cookies / hot rods in their ingredients list, but they taste nothing, I repeat, NOTHING like the typical no-bake cookie. These are amazing and they have a unique flavour all to themselves, that no other no-bake cookie can compare to in my eyes.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen chocolate drops


Bowl #1
3 C. Rolled Oats
1 C. Coconut (flaked)

Bowl #2
1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. Milk
2 C. Sugar
6 Tbsp. Cocoa
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

~1 C. Medium or Fine Coconut (additional)


~Heat the contents of Bowl #2 and stir to combine.
~Add to Bowl #1 and mix.
~Cool for about half an hour and then roll into balls
~In a ziplock bag, toss the additional coconut with the balls (do this as soon as you roll each one, otherwise they will cool too much and the coconut will not stick).
~Allow to finish cooling on a tray before storing.
~Can be stored at room temperature or in the freezer (and can be served at room temperature or frozen).


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Nanaimo Bars (no-bake)

Ucluelet, Tsawwassen, Esquimalt, Cowichan, Squamish, Sechelt, Qualicum, Haida Gwaii, Zeballos, Sointula, Nootka and Naniamo. Yes, these are actually words, even though my spell check disagrees with me (saying only two of them are spelt correctly). But, they are not just words, they are places. You probably can probably only pronounce one of them though, maybe not even that. But I'm pretty positive though that even if you can't pronounce it (or spell it), you will still recognize it. Yes, I'm talking about Nanaimo, as in the Nanaimo Bar, Nanaimo. While I'm not from Nanaimo I do live not too far from it, and from all the other places I listed as well.

But this post isn't going to be a lesson about small-town BC, no it's about a custurdy, chocolatey, goodness. The recipe that I'm sharing is my Mom's recipe. I have no idea if it's the 'actual' recipe or not. If you go to the City of Naniamo's website, they have a whole page dedicated to one of my favourite treats, but they too don't know the exact origin of it and are asking anyone to come forward that does. This recipe is very close to the recipe that they do have posted on their site. It is the recipe that was decided on by the city as 'the best' Nanaimo Bar recipe. There are several slight variations on this recipe, and then some more extreme ones.

The butterscotch flavour is one of those extreme variations that I am not a fan of. So, that is why I'm making this square now, when I used to be able to get a perfectly good tray of them for relatively cheap at the grocery store.

For most of my life, we never made Nanaimo Bar at home. The local grocery stores made a large tray of it for a good price, and Costco had it on even better. Well, just over 5 years ago, the go-to grocery store closed, and we started buying the bar at other places. For awhile it was good, then I started tasting hints of butterscotch. Well, at first everyone didn't believe me, but eventually people agreed that these other bars weren't as good. But it still wasn't worth making it ourselves because it wasn't all that bad, and the price was still good. Well, we hadn't bought it in awhile and we bought a tray about a month ago. I've never seen Nanaimo Bar hang around for long in our house and usually I devour it myself. I had half a piece and thought I had just wasted my nighty dessert allowance on something that was absolutely flavourless. It was awful, so I decided that this was too simple of a thing to make to warrant buying it's now disgusting store bought variety (unfortunately, I think this is one of the last good home made tasting things that has gone the way of over processed crap (excuse my french). Now it's just another package of Chips Ahoy or Peak Freans or Deep and Delicious Cakes in the grocery aisles.

I'm going to share the single batch version of this recipe, which is to be made in a 7"x11" pan (who has one of those right?). Anyway, I doubled it and thought I could just get away with having a thick batch in a 9"x13" pan, but as I'm realizing now, I usually double an 8"x8" to get a thick 9"x13", that explains why I had way, way too much. Sorry, just typing with my train of thought there. So, what I ended up with was 1 - 9"x9" (square silicone dish) & 1 - 8"x8" tray that were the perfect thickness, as a doubled batch. Or just go with the single and have a thick 8"x8" or scrounge up the mysterious 7"x11" pan. Whew, enough with the numbers now. So, I present to you the first Xmas baking of the season, duh duh duuuhhhh!!!!

Makes: 25 squares


Base Layer
1/2 C. Butter
1/4 C. Sugar
5 Tbsp. Cocoa
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 C. Graham Wafer Crumbs
1 C. Coconut ( I used flaked, if you don't want the base as chunky, use medium)
1/2 C. Nuts (I used 2 Tbsp. Ground Almond Powder instead)

Middle Layer
1/4 C. Butter
3 Tbsp. Milk
2 C. Sifted Icing Sugar
2 Tbsp. Custard Powder
2 Tsp. Vanilla

Top Layer
1 C. Chocolate
4 Tsp. Butter


Base Layer
~Melt the first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan.
~Add egg and vanilla and whisk to help prevent the eggs from forming chunks as you heat the eggs.
~Add in the last 3 items
~Spread in a greased 7"x11" pan, pack it down firmly and put in the fridge to set, while you prepare the next layer

Middle Layer
~Combine all the ingredients in mixer bowl and beat (with paddle attachment on speed 2), until combined and fluffy (I tried to do this by hand and it felt like I was trying to mix cement by hand, so use the mixer please).
~Spread over Base Layer and place in freezer until solid (otherwise the top layer will just mix into the middle layer)

Top Layer
~In a microwave safe dish, melt chocolate and butter together.
~Spoon mixture over the Middle Layer and working quickly as the frozen layers will cause the chocolate to harden, smooth the chocolate.
~With a knife, run tracks through the chocolate where you'll want to cut the squares. This prevents the top layer from cracking when you cut it (or at least helps prevent it)
~When chocolate has hardened, cut into squares.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Inside-Out S'more Bars

Now to most of you, these may not look inside-out, but to me they do. Let me explain. My Mom makes a s'more square that is basically the same as Rice Krispie square, just with Golden Grahams. So she melts the marshmallows and stirs in the chocolate chips and cereal. The reason I don't make that type of square is because I really struggle timing it right. I either end up with marshmallow goop that is cooled too much and so nothing will mix into it, or too hot and so the chocolate melts and instead of having chocolate chips, you get a gooey chocolate flavoured marshmallow mess. So, this recipe is a lot safer for me (but I'd still like to share the recipe for her S'more Square, I'll just snap a picture of it one day when she makes it to show you). It's safer because you have melted chocolate and whole marshmallows (instead of melted marshmallows and whole chocolate chips - see, inside-out) and marshmallows need a lot more heat to melt than chocolate does (or so I've experienced).

This recipe was adapted from the Nestle Toll House recipe.

Makes 16 Squares


1/2 C. Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 3/4 C. Milk Chocolate Chips
3 1/4 C. Mini Marshmallows
1 1/2 C. Golden Grahams (or graham crackers cut into bite size pieces), 


~In a large microwave safe dish heat milk and vanilla until almost boiling (~2 minutes)
~Stir in the chocolate chips and return to microwave until fully melted (~30 sec)
~Make sure there is no lumps in the mixture and everything is thoroughly mixed, then set it aside to cool for ~5 minutes, or long enough so the marshmallows won't melt.
~Add in the marshmallows and stir to evenly coat.
~Mix in the graham crackers / cereal.
~Spoon into a greased 8x8 pan and cool in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
~When set, cut into squares. 
~Can be stored at room temperature.