February 29, 2012

Happy 100th!


Happy Birthday, OREO!
Oh, how I love dunking you in ice cold milk then eating you. I tried these birthday cake Oreos this weekend and omg, so good! If you like birthday cake flavoured ice cream, you will love these. They're limited edition (though I totally think the people at Christie should make them permanent, along with the mint variety) and packaged in a pretty gold coloured bag. Pick one, two or ten thousand bags up while they last!

Smart Shopping

It's been awhile since my last Smart Shopping post, so here's an update!

Walmart: Kelloggs cereal $1.99 a box - $3 wub 3 = 99¢ each

Eating greens

Salad time! 
Click the image to watch Tank gnaw on lettuce <3

February 28, 2012

Thursday Dinner: Smokey broiled ribs



I made some darn good ribs last week and it couldn't have been easier. Well, I'm sure it could have been...but that would just mean opening a package of ribs and tossing it on the grill or into the oven. This is better than that and still really simple to boot!  I served it up with a sides of homemade corn bread, garlic roasted asparagus and a salad topped with mandarin slices and warm savoury, sweet and spicy candied walnuts. Like, like, like!  I didn't really use a recipe, but this is what basically happened...

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Get your favourite BBQ rib rub recipe. If you don't have one, Goggle.com is your best friend. 
  3. Buy a slab of ribs! We got ours from Walmart for $9. Inexpensive is fab.
  4. Lay out a giant piece of foil, big enough so that you can wrap your ribs in it tightly. I used two pieces, folded together to make one big piece. Place slab of ribs on foil.
  5.  Sprinkle your yummy seasoning mix all over your ribs and pat it in good. Your hands will look disgusting and your manicure will look even worse. Ignore this until you're done with the rub. Wash your grimy hands well.
  6. In a bowl, combine about 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke (usually found with the barbecue sauce and spices) with about 1/3 cup of water. 
  7. Begin the rib wrapping process. We are trying to form a rib burrito with foil. Leave one end open, to pour in the smoke/water mixture. Don't be like me and spill half of it on the table.
  8.  Seal tight. We don't want to let any of the steam or liquid out!
  9. Shove it in the oven and leave it there for about an hour and a half. Leave it in for 2 hours if you have the time..it really doesn't matter, as long as they're cooked. If you sealed the foil well, they won't dry out.
  10. Take this time to prep your vegetables, I just tossed my asparagus in olive oil, salt, pepper and smashed cloves of garlic. During the last 20 minutes or so, I cranked the oven to 400 degrees F and roasted them on the bottom rack, turning once. 
  11. Get your salad ready, if you're making one. I made candied walnuts (you can do pecans etc) by tossing a cup or so in a lightly whisked egg white, added in cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, pepper and a good spoonful of brown sugar. Stir to coat and put that in the oven, on a lightly greased pan along with your ribs and asparagus until golden. 
  12. Take the veg and nuts out after about 20 minutes, or earlier depending on your oven. Remove the ribs and carefully open the foil. Pour off the liquid and brush on your favourite BBQ sauce. 
  13. Turn the dial to BROIL and put your oven rack on the highest level allowed. Broil each side of the rib for a couple of minutes. I like mine slightly charred. Done.
Corn bread recipe from allrecipes.com. 1,500 reviews, 4.5 stars. The reviews don't lie- it was delicious.

February 24, 2012

Vegan chocolate & mint cupcakes

Delicious!

I finally got to break open my kelly green gel paste. Whoohoo! I had quite a hankering for chocolate cake the other day and was reminded of how easy it is to make a vegan one. Richard's mom has the best cake recipe for a rich, moist, chocolate-y cake. I started to think about complimentary flavours and at the same time looking at my pots of gel food colouring - which, by the way, I bought for only $1.10 each. Score! Peppermint came to mind, because it was also kind of snowy but kind of sunny and the birds were chirping and squirrels were rustling about and..well now I'm just making up excuses. Mint and chocolate are glorious together, period! Oh, and having said that...I found to a carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer waiting for me. I'm going to be like, nine gazillion pounds in no time. Here's the recipe for a half batch.

Vegan chocolate cupcakes
Makes 6 standard, 12 minis (double the recipe for a 9 inch round cake)

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar (minus 2 tablespoons, for less sweet)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water or brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or other extracts, go wild!)
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar. Mix until it's all combined.
  3. To that same bowl, dump in all your wet ingredients except the vinegar.
  4. Stir until you've got a pretty smooth batter, making sure all your dry ingredients are mixed in.  Be careful not to over mix though! You'll end up with a tough and rubbery cake. Angry cupcakes.
  5. Next, pour in your vinegar and stir it gently about 9 times. There will be a chemical reaction because of the baking soda, it's normal. That is how the cake rises!
  6. Right away, put it in the middle of the oven and bake for about 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  7. Cool and decorate with your favourite frosting! I didn't use a recipe for mine, but the one from Magnolia Bakery is easy and straightforward. It's also very easy to vegan-ize; just use (unsalted) vegan stick margarine (not from a  tub!) in place of butter and non-dairy milk for cows milk!

Eye Candy: MAC edition



The night Denise came over to bake lemon cupcakes, she also came baring gifts. I am one really, really, really happy girl! Make up and cupcakes...life is sweet. Thank you!

About

Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and make big messes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's super cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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