A Chance to Make these HOLES!

24 01 2013

I mean Pumpkin donut holes!

So I dont know why, but my life has been surrounded by Tim Horton’s timbits (aka donut holes for those unfamiliar with Tim Hortons) for the last couple of days. We had a box kicking around work and this morning, in a moment of weakness, I popped one in my mouth. It left a giant oil slick in my mouth and it was stale. I have to say the memories of “comfort” food are much better than the reality. It goes to show you how much my tastebuds have morphed… thank God.
Because I have been plagued by donut holes I decided to make some of my own. I was trying to decide what “special treat” I was going to make for my birthday re-do this Thursday with my coffee girls and guys. I *thought* I had a chocolate cake ball all sorted out when the pumpkin donut hole struck me as a better idea. Switched gears and made a batch up last night before I got called back to work because we had a flood. I curse cold weather, it makes pipes burst.

So while these dont look like donut holes aka timbits, they certainly will not taste nor clog your arteries like timbits either. These are grain free, sugar free goodness that remind me more of a scone than anything. God, how I miss bread.
Enjoy these at your next brunch and shoot the timbits an evil eye.

Pumpkin “Timbits”

1 cup Canned Or Fresh (cooked) Pumpkin
½ cups sf maple syrup
12 drops stevia with vanilla
½ cups Butter Or Coconut Oil, Melted
1 teaspoons Vanilla
3 whole Eggs
2 Tablespoons Buttermilk (or 2 tbsp milk with a dash of white vinegar)

1 cup Almond Flour
1 cup Coconut Flour
½ teaspoons Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
½ teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

Spice for rolling in after OR cranberries to top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get your baking sheet out and primed with spray OR parchment paper. Mix all the wet ingredients together (first part of recipe) and set aside. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a larger bowl.

pumpkin pre mix

Mix ingredients together until you get a slightly thick batter. This always seems so loose for me but just wait a couple of minutes until the coconut flour starts to thicken things up. I swear that stuff is incredible. If it doesnt feel like the batter is thick enough to roll into balls, then add a *touch* more coconut flour OR use your cookie scoop and work with what you have. I chose the later because I didnt want to monkey around with a good thing.
Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter onto the cookie sheet, and I jammed a dried cranberry in the top. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes and let cool. Nuclear alert, these mothers will burn if you try and consume before cooling.. as well, they tend to be a bit bendy, so wait.If you want, add some glaze or roll in some splenda/cinnamon to create more of a donut feel and brew some coffee!

pumpkin holes

Tada! These made 53 holes.. and the WLS serving is probably two. Nuts are PER hole:
Calories 45, Carbs 3(2g NET), Fat 3g, Protein 1g, Sugar 1g
Dont be an A-HOLE and forget to try these!


Primal, ‘The Sick’ & Pumpkin Casserole

19 02 2012

So I am back from Tucson. Such a fabulous business trip, saw colleagues, Kim and I had a grand time shopping and looking at spectacular minerals and equally ridiculous things-giant dinosaurs, hottub sized amethyst geodes, gorgeous displays.
Cold medicine was my friend..i felt like a criminal buying cold meds at midnight at Walgreens

The down side to my trip was I got Mega-cold 2.0. I had been Mega-sick about a week prior to leaving, and things cleared up and I thought I was in the clear. I worked out twice in Tucson and then was struck by Mega-cold 2.0. I lost my voice, fever and serious sinus infection. What a bummer. At first I sort of thought it might be the primal diet, but in hindsight, I cycled out of this cold pretty fast compared to most people. I was 60% in Tucson and I sort of lost my appetite, because who cares what you are eating when you can’t taste it. I came home down 3 pounds. Hopefully the loss isn’t due to lack of working out. I was doing push ups and planks on the floor when Kim had her shower in the morning.

Anyway, I am back, back at the market this morning, and just cooked up a storm this afternoon. I was back in my element. I have decided that primal is sticking around for a while. My tummy loves the lack of dairy, grain and beans.. I have no bloat.

A pet peeve had a silver lining today. My grocery store only carries the 28oz can of pumpkin purée. That is a heck a lot of pumpkin, and once you open the can, you are stuck trying to figure out what to do with all that pumpkin. So today I made the pumpkin chicken cream casserole from PaleOMG, and had about 1 cup of pumpkin left to make a rocking pumpkin snack cake with cinnamon icing. I was in pumpkin heaven today. Look for Pumpkin Snack cake as my next blog.

Paleo Pumpkin Cream Chicken Casserole

From PaleOMG with modifications noted n bold

1.5 lbs of chicken breast, cubed
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 head of cauliflower (**I roasted only half a head)
1 can of pumpkin puree (14 oz can)
½ can coconut milk
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoon of fat (I used bacon fat)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
** 1 tsp garam masala
** ¼ cup of cilantro
** 1 tbsp hot cock sauce
** ½ cup of fried onions (I know they aren’t primal, but we love them)
** chicken stock on standby

Preheat oven and line a 9 x 11 pan. Cut up half the cauliflower and cut the spaghetti squash in half. Place cut side down in dish and sprinkle cauliflower around the squash and pop in the oven. Check in on everything after 45 minutes, and if the squash is yielding, then it is done.

As the squash-cauliflower is in the oven, crack out a heavy pot and heat up your fat of choice. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the cube chicken and cook. The original recipe says to cook 2/3rds but I know my husband, who has a tendency to eat something right out of the fridge, so I didn’t want to poison him with 2/3rds done chicken.

Once the chicken is done, there will be chicken juices in the bottom of the pot…this is a good thing. Add spices and let them cook for 3 minutes.

Add coconut milk, pumpkin and cilantro. Give everything a big stir and taste. It needed something so I added some hot sauce, and salt. At this point, this was a thick stew so I used some chicken stock to thin it out. This stew has to mix with spaghetti squash and cauliflower and be re-baked, so too thick and it would be cement when added to the squash-cauliflower.

As the stew is simmering, prep the spaghetti squash out of each of the half squash using a fork. The cauliflower and prepped spaghetti squash are sitting in a greased 9×11 inch pan. Pour the thinned stew over the squash-cauliflower and combine. Sprinkle the onions on the top of the casserole and saran wrap for later or pop directly in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until everything was heated through.

This casserole reminded me of the old school canned mushroom soup Kraft kitchen casserole of my childhood. This makes a lot of deliciousness.. many thanks to PaleOMG for this deliciousness.

Triple M Club – Countdown Begins

20 01 2012

So I am gearing up for my yearly trek down to Tucson and with the weather turning nasty here in Toronto, this trip couldn’t have come at a better time. How to explain the scale and utter craziness of this place with the Tucson Gem and Mineral show happening is just not possible. A small sleepy town, recording the most days of sunshine of anywhere in the United States, gets a population surge of 50,000 people from all over the world for this show. I timed my 30 days primal to end a day and a half before I head down.. hmmm :). I can’t go to Tucson and not have at least a little bit of green tamale.

Our little group that meets every year, stays in the same hotel, and generally cavorts around are a group of colleagues from the NHM, London, GIA, U of Manitoba, and their friends. I tell Ken it is like a family reunion, in that these people are like my Tucson family for the two weeks of every year. Our group has been dubbed the Triple M club, Minerals, Mountains and Margaritas (the last bit is now dead to me unless they give me an unsweetened one, which just sounds like a sour mess)
Geodes everywhere

We sit around and gossip about our small industry, gush over what we saw that day and “OMG did you see the price”, help each other to decide on purchases, and just general information sharing.
Besides the comradery, there is something magical about the desert this time of year, the fresh produce from Mexico which tastes delicious, the massive burst of vitamin D from the sun, and the walking and hiking outside looking at 1000s of vendors and their stuff they brought to sell to us.

I use to look to this trip with a bit of anxiety prior to WLS, not unlike a family reunion because I tended to gain a bit of weight during every year and then have to face people slightly heavier than the previous year. I was awful feeling like I was being judged, and the reality of it was that I was the one that was judging myself, no one else cared and everyone was happy to see me every year.
All Smiles

I don’t feel the same anxiety about pulling summer clothes out of my closet in February anymore other than my legs look like paste given the weather and I am critical that I may need a peddy before I go.

Bring it on the nice weather!

Work is ONTO me…

27 05 2011

So I am saddling up close to my 200th post and I get an email from a colleague at work to say “hey-i-just-found-your-blog”… LOL

BUSTED ! A pic of me and my colleague, Alan, from the Natural History Museum, London. We are at a Gold Rush party !

I started this blog as a request from Erin Armstrong, who was once working in the ROM Governors office (now on my FB and a fellow knitter.. GO KNITTING) as she thought I was hip and cool and could detail what my day to day at the museum was like. She caught me at a time when my whole stress level about work was super high… two galleries, and the Diamond exhibition. I started the account and stalled for SO long.. it loomed over my head.

Fast track to a year ago.. apparently I had a lot to say about all my crazy cooking because I took the blog by the horns and started typing. I am now on a “Social Media’ task force at the museum, and am brimming with ideas on things we could “roll out” here at the museum !!

The spark is back.. Thank GOD… I though the bloom was off the rose.

I only need to look at some pictures of the extraordinary specimens and I realize how incredible this field is…
this is me holding a matched pair of trapiche emeralds..

A Bit of Work Stuff…

29 04 2011

I have been looking at some of things I have done in the past and you forget about stuff. I have an overflowing file of newspaper clippings, and TV junk, but I always really liked this podcast, so I am using my blog as a place holder for it.

My father complains that we will be the first generation that doesnt own a hard copy photo album, and he is right. I guess this is why I feel the need to archive these things somewhere “safe”, whatever that means in the digital age.

Sapphires anyone ?

And if you are interested in going into the geosciences… heh
Interested in becoming a geologist ??

Miners & Heading into Day 5

9 03 2011

I have been swamped at the mining convention and eating pretty on target considering the amount of beer and chocolate floating around this year. The mining industry is predominantly male based and as a whole reminds me of an industry that is stuck in the JR Ewing-Dallas-esque oil boom era.
Gold is at an all time high and expected to go to $5000 per ounce. Boom times for the mining sector so there is a lot of free single malt and sides of roast beef floating around.
We went to hospitality rooms at the Royal York last night and caught Tom Cochrane playing a free concert.
me and Tom on the big screen

They also have the crazy retrieval tube that was used in the Chilean mine diaster. It gives me chills to think about people actually fitting into the capsule and being pulled through a hole in the earth. I would need some serious drugs !

Food-wise I made a bacon turkey meatloaf stuffed with spinach and feta. I ate a couple of bacon wrapped scallops at the events last night so I made the meatloaf and plan to have it tonight.

Bacon Turkey Stuffed Meatloaf

Recipe by me !

1 lb ground turkey
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of lemon zest

8 strips of bacon (1/2 lb)
1 cup of fresh spinach
4 ounces of feta

Preheat oven to 350 and prep loaf pan with non-stick spray. Lay bacon horizontally in pan so it goes up one side, across bottom, and up the other side. Cover the bottom of the loaf pan.

In bowl mix ground turkey and spices and divide meat into two. Spread meat on top of the bacon, evenly distributing the meat. On top of the meat lay raw spinach and sliced feta. Pile the rest of the raw turkey on top of that and top with a sprig of rosemary.

Pop into oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes so when you cut into the meatloaf it doesn’t fall apart. I got 9 slices of 3 ounces each.
It slices up nicely and looks quite pretty. I served it with some mashed cauliflower on the side.

Nuts on this meatloaf is pretty darn good as well. 9 slices per meatloaf, with each slice weighing in around 3 ounces.
Calories 147, Fat 9g, Carb 1.5g, Protein 12.8g

A Week of Silence

4 03 2011

It’s hard to believe there has been a week of silence ! I feel in a slight shame spiral for not posting but we have had a house guest from UK staying with us which dampered my experiments in the kitchen. I could’t have served our guest an untested recipe. I was already serving him sugar free and low carb, which he was a good sport about.
We were pretty on-the-go the whole time he was here. We took Mike to skate at the waterfront.

To our friend’s restaurant, Dangerous Dan’s for some serious poutine and a triple decker grilled cheese with bacon called the “Kenny Cheese”, named after my wonderful husband Ken.

We talked a lot about minerals, and work, as he works at the Natural History Museum, London. As well, there was a lot of Oblivion talk with Ken. It seems they are both big fans of alchemy within the game *face palm*

Mike and Susan in the Mammalogy collection

We drank a lot of coffee, from all the Toronto indie roasters, and I think Mike liked Darkhorse the best, 49th Parallel coffee from a BC roaster. I made a bunch of different biscotti up before his arrival and nailed what I thought was going to be a diasterous glutton free biscotti. So there was a lot of biscotti eating, peanut butter jalapenos with bacon, and a lot of gaming-mineral talk. It was a great couple of days.

Mike in the dino gallery

Foodwise, I seem to have lost my way a bit, I am stressed at work and on the run a bit more, so my eating hasnt been stellar as of late. As well, a lot of eating out feels too overindulgent and I always worry about my daily bottom line. We are off to the market tomorrow morning, and have planned two weeks of very easy, casserole-low carb meals, so they can be made early and heated when I get home. I have a huge convention starting Sunday and March Break on the horizon, so having a plan is uber important.
Look for my new casserole recipes coming this week.