All posts filed under: Better Baking

spelt sourdough crackers with olive oil, fennel and pepper

sourdough spelt crackers with fennel and cracked pepper

Just a short post today! I had another one drafted but it was waaay too long, so I divided it into a two-part post for a veg-forward appetizer spread for the holidays, the second of which will be coming next week. Today I’m leaving you with a recipe for sourdough crackers that I barely adapted from the Zero Waste Chef blog. I hate food waste (and waste in general), so I’m trying to get better at finding uses for the bits of produce that end up in our fridge, using environmentally responsible packaging as often as I can (like Abeego or reusable glass containers), and minimizing our overall garbage. If you’re interested in cutting your waste or becoming more self-sustaining you should check out this blog. One thing I’ve struggled with a lot in terms of waste is my sourdough starter. I keep it on the counter because I like being able to make a levain for bread, bagels or pizza dough at a moment’s notice. But on the days that I don’t do that, …

dairy free fudgy brownies

fudgy rye walnut brownies

I’ve had this idea of the perfect brownie floating around in my head for a while. I think it was prompted by my visits to The Elm Cafe where they have these incredible brownies right next to the cash, and every time I have this internal debate as to whether I need something to nibble on while I sip my London fog. This nudged me to get my butt in gear and make some brownies that would satisfy my need for chocolate. Real talk: the urgency was high when I was testing these because I was PMSing hard and knew I would want need some chocolate over the following days. In my opinion the perfect brownie is fudgy, chocolate-y, and with no icing in sight. A brownie should be rich enough to stand alone without gobs of super sweet icing taking it over the top. And please, none of those cake-y imposters. If you want cake by all means make a cake, but my brownie will be dense and chocolate-y. My ideal brownie would also be dairy free so …

five spice pumpkin pie with spelt crust

Thanksgiving, like many holidays, involves a grand feast that centres mostly around animal-based products. Even though I do eat eggs and a bit of dairy, I think it’s nice to lighten up this traditionally heavy meal with some plant-based additions. While I definitely prefer working with butter when making pastry my poor stomach prefers a non-dairy option, so I decided to go for a coconut oil pie crust. I follow the same method as my regular pie dough, which you can find full instructions for here. Removing dairy and eggs doesn’t mean you’re destined for boring, bland Thanksgiving desserts. I swear. One of my goals for this winter (is it too early for me to say that??) is to work on my pastry game. I want to improve both my coconut oil and butter pie doughs, and just practice making pies and such more often so the whole process becomes second nature. I often second guess myself and just want to know ratios and cook times without looking at a recipe (basically I just want …

vegan multigrain sourdough bread

sourdough multigrain sandwich bread

I’ve been making some variation on this loaf for a couple of months now. Don’t get me wrong, I love the process of making the boules: the artistic touch with the lame before it goes into the oven, taking the lid off and seeing how much it has sprung, cutting it (after patiently waiting for it to cool) to look at the cross section. I love bringing them to friends and family and hearing their enjoyment of just tearing pieces off of a loaf, unable to resist a nibble each time they walk past. I love the crisp crust and the creamy interior, a perfect vessel for dips and spreads or simply some good olive oil. But really, sometimes you need a more practical shaped loaf. I’ve dripped a lot of peanut butter through the little air pockets!  I started developing a loaf pan bread mostly because I was thinking ahead to school, and imagined I would be packing a lot of sandwiches. Since Luke bought me a stainless steel lunch container for my birthday …

squash and greens casserole gluten free

spaghetti squash and greens casserole

The notes app on my phone is very organized with a title for each note, which I don’t think is a surprise based on my personality. We recently did a ‘True Colours’ personality test in one of my classes, and the results indicated that I am undoubtedly a ‘gold’ with some ‘blue’ attributes. What this boils down to is that I’m thorough, detail-oriented, punctual, and a good planner, while also being compassionate and empathetic. There’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s a very enlightening test that helps you to see why you interact with people and situations a certain way. It also demonstrates how the strengths and weaknesses of each colour can complement one another, which is something helpful to keep in mind whether you’re at work, doing group projects, or baffled as to how your partner can leave their laundry in such disarray…… Anyway speaking of notes on my phone: one day out of nowhere I felt a sudden compulsion to make some kind of creamy, cheesy casserole, so I scrambled …

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

Around this time last year, I was frantically planning a last minute trip to Europe. I was WOOFing at a farm in the south of France for about a week, met up with Luke for a couple nights in Belgium, after which we made our way on the high speed rail to the Netherlands. Let me just say that I love it there, and if I wasn’t such a family-oriented homebody I would move there in a HEARTBEAT. I’m not exaggerating, I looked up apartments in Haarlem the other day and it is so incredibly charming. Also: everyone was so tall in Amsterdam, I felt right at home 😉 I love how there is such a culture of cycling there (though we didn’t actually rent any bikes, Luke thought we’d get run over). They dominate the streets more than the cars do. Instead of parking garages for cars, there are parking garages for bikes. The streets are lined with locked up bikes; they really are a fixture of Dutch living. Despite not renting bikes, we …

vegan banana oat snack bars

one bowl banana oat bars

I’m really in the back to school spirit this year, and not just figuratively! I am actually a student, once again. I even bought a new backpack, an insulated lunch bag, a new notebook and pens (nerd alert). I was texting my mom throughout my shopping process to which she replied, “You always loved back to school stuff.” And then reminded me about the sweet Sailor Moon lunch bag I used to have. Some things never change! Even the years I’ve been out of school, I still got an excited feeling every fall. In a way I still think of my year as going September-September. I think I feel about September how most people feel about January 1st: I’m amped to get back into weekly routines after the chaos of summer, I go through my closet and donate/recycle things, I get into a rhythm of baking bread every week and batch cooking. I think especially because there is so much change at this time of year (temps are dropping, different produce at the markets, leaves …

berry peach galette

berry peach galette with rye crust

I’m having some conflicting feelings right now about blog content. My initial hope was that the blog would be a source for seasonal, accessible, vegetable-heavy recipes that leave you feeling happy and satisfied. I also wanted to emphasize cooking because I want to be a better cook and develop the skills to make meals without recipes. I’m finding it somewhat difficult because I definitely have more recipe ideas with regards to breads and pastries, and tend to have more success with these earlier on than I do with savoury recipes. I would also like to put more of my fermenting adventures on here (think: sourdough, kombucha, lacto-fermented veg, etc), and also maybe my foray into natural homemaking things? Tell me your thoughts! Speaking of baking… let me introduce you to this easy galette! I love mid-late summer when the berries and stone fruit collide. My attention is usually drawn to strawberries and raspberries, but we’ve been seriously favouring bloobs this summer, if the stack of blue-ish cardboard pint containers on our kitchen counter is any …

asparagus nettle shiitake pizza

asparagus, nettle, and shiitake pizza

Real talk: this was a spur of the moment post, which is not usually how I roll. I have a few ideas sketched out for this month, but as this week was rolling along I wasn’t feeling motivated to work on any of them. But it just sort of happened organically, one of those situations where what I have in the fridge also happens to be seasonal and also jives with a bookmarked recipe I’ve been meaning to try out. 

vegan raspberry rhubarb buckle cake

raspberry rhubarb buckle

Normally this is the time of year when I’m so ready to bust out of my winter cocoon and flip on the extroverted switch. Usually I’m feeling so prepared to go out and socialize after months of hibernating, to host a BBQ, and plan some fun summery adventures. But I haven’t hit that mode yet. For the past while I’ve been more focused on looking inward rather than outward, trying to figure out how to feel healthier and happier.