Tag Archives: oats

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Ah-ye-ah! Local blueberry season — finally!

It’s been bright and sunny around here and I’ve been mostly trapped inside, running about for work, or interviews, or trial shifts, or chores, or other general nuttiness. Yeah — that last job didn’t really work out.

To put it nicely: it sucked. Big time — and that’s putting it nicely. Place has big problems, doesn’t give a damn about good pastry, and is hemorrhaging money like nobody’s business.

Oh, well. Not my problem anymore!

I had the sense to a least leave on good terms, though — no one needs enemies in a small industry (especially since word tends to get around) — and now I’ve been interviewing at some really professional places. Cross your fingers for me!

So, in the spirit of summer and having no time, I bring you a recipe that’s easy as loafing around at the beach and quick as a ravenous mosquito.

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Compost Cookies

Call em compost cookies, garbage cookies, kitchen sink cookies — they’re more like everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies!

These chewy-crunchy treats are full of snacks snacks snacks. What kind of snacks?


Your favourite kind, of course!

Not only are they full of snack foods, but these magical cookies can lead you to a place of epiphany and a greater self understanding — for example, up until a few days ago I would have certainly, definitely not considered myself a “potato chip” person.

But, when I had to buy chips in order to make this recipe for a friend — insert snobby foodie eyeroll here — what did I do with the left over chips? I ate them. All of them.

In, like, 10 seconds flat.

Then I realized that I had no more chips left over for any photos, so I went back to the 7-11 to buy more chips and take some final photos, and then I ate those, too.


Much to my own chagrin, I’ve come to understand that the real reason why I don’t usually buy chips is because must I have a very deep, very dark, and (up until now) very secret — secret even to me! — love in my heart for them.

But that’s okay — because I can make compost cookies. They make me feel justified in my brazen potato chip love.

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Parkin & Cake Trials in Pastry School

So, here’s one of the reasons I’ve had cake on the brain:

Whadya think?

I think it looked okay-ish. Tasted great, but looked pretty amateur — I’ve gotta improve my masking and frosting skills.

Y’know, like, when you make something and you think, “This is pretty good…” and then not even 10 minutes later you think, “This is pretty good… but I should have done THAT!” — that’s totally how I felt about my cake project.

It’s comprised of a mocha sponge cake brushed with coffee syrup, layered with chestnut liqueur-infused ganache, and covered in chestnut whipped cream.

My chocolate-coffee-chestnut cake came into being because last week everyone in my class had to make their own cake project and present it to our chef for dissecting and tasting. While my creation definitely wasn’t the prettiest of the bunch, chef gave it top marks for taste and texture.

Besides — I know what I can do next time to make it look a lot better!

This parkin recipe I’m posting today is pretty much the exact opposite of what I was trying to do with my cake project — my cake was supposed to be elegant and sweet, while parkin is a down n’ dirty spice cake snack of the people.

I didn’t realize this before sifting through recipe books and planning posts for the month of November, but parkin is one of the festival foods commonly associated with Bonfire Night in England (which is, sadly, something I missed by about 10 days).

It’s weird timing that I would come across this recipe now, just because of the Occupy movement that’s been hitting major cities — little is it know that the movement actually started in Dataran, Kuala Lumpur, before igniting the high profile protest in Wall Street.

There’s even an Occupy protest happening in Vancouver right now, although I’m not totally sure what it’s supposed to accomplish.

While it would have been good to have a solidarity march for Wall Street or something, there’s not quite enough social inequity and crazy right-wing politicians in Canada to justify a full blown Occupy for any length of time.

Especially considering that the people who’ve pitched their tents on the Art Gallery lawn downtown don’t really seem to have any clear demands, other than to legalize raw milk — a stupid, irresponsible demand to which I’m 100% opposed.

Also, some of the protesters have been going to our local mayoral debates and heckling the candidates. I mean, good job, geniuses — the political change you want will come way faster if you interrupt democratic process.


The other weird thing about the Occupy movement is how the Guy Fawkes mask has been appropriated for the cause.

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Oat n’ Walnut Crackers

Life is about balance.

You can eat diabetes-inducing, artery-clogging, oh-god-it’s-so-good! Peanut Butter Cakewiches one day, then make healthy crackers with ground oats, whole wheat flour and natural, cold pressed apple juice the next.

Then you can enjoy them with apple wedges and soft cheese. Maybe a glass of dry white wine on the side… right?

That’s my idea of balance.

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Cocoa-Kissed Road Trip Cookies

By the time you read this, I’ll be on the road!

Up to the land of perfect summer, The Okanagan — sunshine and orchards and wineries, oh my!

Since I’m always the self-designated Head of Everything Sweet and Snacky, it’s only natural for me to feel that no road trip could ever possibly be complete without some kind of baked treats in tow.

Originally I made these for a coworker to take on her cross-BC road trip (she doesn’t know how to bake, but she wanted her 14-year-old son to have something special to munch on for his birthday) and they turned out too good to not make again.

I love it when that happens!

Anyways, these cookies are a little chewy, a little chocolatey, and a little sweet — and they’re full of oats to keep ’em softer for longer, too.

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Honey Oat n’ Seed Bars

It’s always nice when things turn out better than you expect them to.

For example, the other day I took a chance on a recipe with suspiciously high ratios of butter and flour that called itself “granola” — a recipe without a photo, even! — and what popped out of my oven later was totally better than anything I could have expected.

Crazy, right? How often does that happen?

I feel the need to say, though, that this is definitely not “granola” — it’s more like granola’s chubby cousin.

These treats are full of the same nutritious stuff, like oats, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and sticky-delicious-oozy honey, but have a bit of fat and flour packed in, too.

The key to getting the best flavour out these bars is in the effort you put into toasting your oats and wheat germ.

Crank that heat up and toast everything a wee bit longer than your good judgment tells you to — seriously!

I had a few suspiciously dark and crispy oats in my skillet by the time I was done, and it was just perfect — more crunch, more yum!

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