Monday, 29 July 2013

Have sneaking suspicion am also something of a genius in the kitchen as well

Being entirely washed of all evening plans due to the weather of two Friday's ago, I had a very rare occasion: a guilt-free night in where I didn't feel like should be somewhere else, doing something else, or seeing someone else.

Using my time wisely, I made cupcakes for my soccer team's potluck BBQ the following day (chocolate peanut butter), spaghetti squash for family BBQ Sunday, made a fresh batch of almond milk, painted my nails, and watched Bridget Jones three times in a row.

I thought long and hard about how to make the cupcakes during the hours of 9 - 5 that day, when I am most productive at thinking. If I made them from scratch I would need to pick up milk, butter, and eggs (I don't use milk or butter on a regular basis so don't have any on hand and I feel like the organic, free-run chicken eggs I eat wouldn't be appreciated once divided amongst 24 cupcakes - and they're almost twice as much - so I buy regular ones when baking ginormous amounts) coming close to $10. And be stuck with the rest of the milk and butter that I wouldn't use. OR I could go to the dollar store to pick up a cake mix and icing (sorry, but if you're already eating a cupcake, who the heck cares if it's premade icing or homemade?) for a grand total of $2.75 and grab a 6 of eggs ($1.75) at the Giant Tiger Express along the way. 24 cupcakes for under $5? Guess which option I picked.

Chocolate peanut butter cup-cakes:
For the cupcakes
- make your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe OR go to the dollar store and buy a mix, then add oil, eggs, and water (as per box instructions)
- bake cupcakes as per box/recipe
- learn lesson about coconut oil (Coconut lesson #3: if you are subbing coconut oil for any other oil in a recipe - as I was since I did not have vegetable oil - you should use about 2/3's as much as it calls for or you will end up with very oily baked goods
- remove from oven when done (obviously) and let cool. Meanwhile, make the insides

For the inside
Very simple, mix together cool whip and peanut butter. To keep it low-budget, I buy No Name. Again, it's a cupcake, it's already bad for you so No Name vs. Kraft will not be what tips the scales of your health. Mix together equal parts whip and peanut butter - start with about half a cup of each. This is not an exact science - I eye-ball how much I think I'll use and make more if needed. Or if there is extra you can freeze it. If you want it thicker/stickier, add more peanut butter, if you want it fluffier go with more whip.




Cut a whole into the top of the cupcake.



Fill the hole with peanut butter whip.



Put the top back on.

Ice the top, be generous with the icing to cover up the now-uneven top.

Finis!

The evolution of a chocolate peanut butter cup-cake
After these were finished I popped my spaghetti squash in the oven. Possibly the most simple thing to make ever. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the guts.


Put the opened side down on a cookie sheet and put into the oven at 375 for 40 minutes.


I always separate the guts and the seeds, I save the guts in the freezer for soups and I put the seeds in a little Pyrex with some olive oil and sea salt to roast at the same time as the squash. I check on them at 20 minutes and 30 minutes in case they need to come out sooner (depends on the size of the dish, number of seeds). When they are browned to your taste, take them out. Honestly, they are so delicious - they rival popcorn from the theatre.



While the squash was baking, I blended up a new batch of almond milk. As I said, I always save the grounds to use as almond flour, but Joshua's (from Slim Palate where I originally got the recipe) suggestion to use the meal as a facial scrub really intrigued me. I couldn't bring myself to use that fabulous flour in a way that would end up with it going down the drain. But then I had a wonderful epiphany: to use the cheesecloth straining the almond milk as a face wash cloth. It. Was. Phenomenal. Highly recommended that you do this every single time you make almond milk (one use per cloth).

I also found this time around that the almond meal I was left with was in better condition that usual. I don't know if I wrung out the cheesecloth more than normal or because I used a larger dish to let the crumbs dry out in.


When it's time to take out the squash (and seeds), leave it to cool for a few minutes. I'm usually very impatient and try to fork out the "spaghetti" immediately. Sometimes this requires an oven mitt because it is very hot (so be careful). I'll use a spoon when I've gotten most of the squash out just to scrape right to the rind. In case you haven't noticed, I hate waste.



delicious snack for later

You can mix in sauce, add veggies, dress with only olive oil and salt, serve hot or cold. It's seriously an amazing little gourd. Delicious & healthy!

Oh and don't my nails look nice?

do your nails match your kitchen counter top?

(Most ADHD blog ever: cupcakes, spaghetti squash, almond milk, nail painting, and Bridget Jones. Welcome to my Friday night).

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