Monthly Archives: November 2010

Cookie Dough Ballin’

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!! Best day of the week. After Saturday. And Sunday. And Friday. Of course.

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Whatever, sometimes all it takes is a decadent breakfast to get me over the mid-week hump with a smile on my face.

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The usual whole wheat protein waffle recipe base made sweeter with the addition of dates!

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 5 small honey dates, chopped

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Dipped in a mix of Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter + Sugar-Free Syrup. Chased down with a giant mug of coffee!

The decadence didn’t stop there though. At 9:30am, I got started on a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Remember this cookie from San Francisco?

That would one of Annie the Baker’s chocolate chip cookies. Anyone who was at the Tasting Pavillion at the Foodbuzz Festival raved about these cookies. They tasted just like little balls of raw cookie dough. But without the salmonella.

It’s no surprise that a mass of food bloggers left that event swearing to make their own versions. Since then, “dough balls” have been popping up all over the internets. Mama Pea created her own vegan version. While it took Diana seven batches for success.

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I decided on trying out Diana’s recipe since I already had the ingredients on hand:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 stick butter, softened/room-temp
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed-egg)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. (I used a handheld mixer, but you could probably just use a whisk). Add egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. Note: it will appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. See tips above for combining. Careful to not overmix.
  5. Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes before using a small sorbet scoop to scoop out dough into small mounds. Roll each mound into a ball and spread evenly on a baking sheet, leaving roughly 2-3 inches between each ball.
  7. Bake balls for 10-14 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers. If you use egg, and you’re paranoid like me, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of the balls are at least 160 degrees F, which many web sites say is the safe temp to eat eggs.
  8. Let your dough balls rest on the baking sheet to cool at least 5-10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

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I messed up the recipe almost immediately by throwing in the brown sugar with the flour. This makes the sugar clump up. But I don’t see anything wrong with an extra sugary bite.

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Then I half melted my butter in the microwave because it wasn’t at room temperature. I didn’t bother using an electric mixer and the butter was clumpy too. But who’s against an extra buttery bite?

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The mix itself was very dry. A lot more dry then normal cookie batter. I assume this is so it will maintain that cute ball shape after baking.

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Don’t forget the chocolate!! Key ingredient. Make sure it’s of good quality.

Then, let the batter chill in your Miley Cirus decorated fridge.

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And make inappropriate phrases with your “Romance Novel” magnets.

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I let the dough chill for about 2 hours. Then rolled them into tablespoon shaped balls.

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This is my favourite photo. There’s a Murphy nose in there!

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After 12 minutes in my 350F oven, I deemed them baked!

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Usually, I gobble up a sample immediately out of the oven. But I wanted to see if the texture really turned out like cookie dough. So I waited impatiently while they cooled.

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I let the Jack Russell terrier take me out for a run. I tweeted. I baked a casserole.

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Finally, the cookies were cool enough. The moment of truth…

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Ohbaby. That’s one fiiiiiine looking chocolate chip cookie dough ball! Annie needn’t worry, us food bloggers won’t put her out of business. We just need a way to get through until next year’s Foodbuzz Festival, when I’ll be the first in line at her cookie booth. Special thanks to Diana for coming up with something to hold me over until then :)

 

Question of the Day: Okay blog friends. Give me your favourite cookie recipe. Write it out, link it up, let’s start a cookie collection for the holidays! I’ll sum them all up in a future post – including my own favourite cookie recipe!

Five Things You Should Probably Know

1. There be a dog in this house. 

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His name is Murphy. Not Murphy Brown. He belongs to my roommate’s sister and we get to doggy-sit while she’s away! I LOVE dogs and can’t wait until I settle down and get one of my own someday. Until then, feel free to drop yours off at my place for a week. I’ll get him/her started on a jogging program stat.

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2. Speaking of roommates, living with fellow foodies is awesome.

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Megan made homemade toasted coconut marshmallows and I get to reap the benefits. She used this recipe and said it was incredibly easy (and cheap!). Don’t let the use of a candy thermometer scare you. Y’all know I have an unreasonable obsession with marshmallows and these turned out amazing!

 

3. Adding fruit to a savoury sandwich is a great way to get a gourmet meal at home.

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I set out to make a grilled ham and cheese sandwich when the idea of adding sliced apple popped into my head. It made what would have otherwise been a boring sandwich a million times better! I also love doing this with pears, dried fruit and preserves.

 

4. I haven’t bought shampoo in over five months.

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Seeing as I work at a gym 5 days a week, I just wait until I workout and shower using the shampoo and conditioner provided there. I stockpile samples to keep in the house in case of emergencies. My hair isn’t that affected whether I’m using a fancy or cheap shampoo. I’ve had to cut costs in all areas of my life since moving to Toronto and taking on wage jobs. This is just one of my sneaky ways of doing it!

 

5. I know I have yammered on about eye masks before, but it’s time to give them the credit they deserve.

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I bought this three dollar travel mask at a drugstore when I moved into my current place. I’ve got skylights in my ceiling and the eye mask was cheaper than curtains.

Simply put it has changed. my. life. I used to sleep horribly back in the day. Up at 6am every day no matter what time I went to bed. I slept lightly, waking several times throughout the night. I would often wake up feeling still tired and frustrated. Turns out, I’m a lot more affected by even the slightest light than I thought I was. My alarm clock, the moonlight, and the sun rising in the morning.

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I sleep like a rock now. A solid eight hours without a twitch throughout the night. I often wear my hair in a ponytail and wrap the headband around it so it doesn’t fall off in the night, but you could also bobby pin it. I don’t care if it makes me look like a princess, at least I’m a well rested princess ;)

Thanks to Janetha for taking this ridiculous picture of me.

 

Question of the Day: What is one thing that’s on your mind you want others to know? As Holly says, sharing is caring!

Jaipur Grille: One in Ten Thousand

Toronto is a city of around 5 million people and according to this website, 10,000 restaurants.

Yes. Ten thousand. I’ll be lucky if I get around to trying just the ones in my own neighbourhood.

Although I have discovered many new favourite restaurants in Toronto, this is why I try my best to eat at a new spot any time I go out. I’d like to leave here knowing I tried my best to make a dent in that 10,000.

When my Aunt Heather asked me about trying out Jaipur Grille in the Yonge/Eglinton area, I jumped on the chance.


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I’ve been hearing about this restaurant for a while now (some say the best Indian food outside of Little India!). I couldn’t pass up the chance to cross another restaurant off my list.


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Jaipur Grille opened 8 years ago by head chef Pawan Mahendro. After years of working in other kitchens in India and Canada, he decided to finally open his own place in Midtown Toronto.

I was immediately struck by how classy this restaurant seemed. Indian restaurants have a tendency to be a little rundown or kitschy. But here I felt like I was part of a fine dining experience.

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I wasn’t planning on getting a drink, but the waiter asked if I wanted an Indian beer. The thought of a fresh beer to wash down the spicy food suddenly piqued my tastebuds!

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He also brought us some crispy spicy bread. It was a lot like a chip or cracker and fun to munch on while we waited.

The occasion of this particular visit was to experience Jaiper Grille’s Tasting Menu. A great chance to try out tons of menu items at only $25 a head.

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We started with a taste of two appetizers. Heather and I each chose the Royal Spinach Kabab: spinach patty filled with cottage cheese, dates and cashews.

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It reminded my a lot of these spinach nuggets my mom buys from Costco. Just okay. You couldn’t taste the cashews and the dates only slightly.

My second choice was the Chicken Malai Kabab: chicken breast marinated in fresh cream with cardamom and saffron, finished in the tandoor.

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Now this was really good. The chicken was cooked perfectly and separated well from my fork. Even though it was cooked in a cream sauce, there was just a hint of it and not overpowering.

For her second appetizer, Heather tried the Fish Hyderabadi: grouper filet in a light batter, spiced with roasted coriander and carom.

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They looked like fish sticks!

Heather and I then both chose the same mains. Must be inherited tastes ;) 

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Chana Amritsari.

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Chickpeas in a dark sauce. This was probably my least favourite of the main meal options. I wasn’t a fan of the darker sauce.

Pudina aloo.

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Simple potatoes, I ate these with some of the other sauces.

Rice. Naan.

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The naan was hot upon arrival. A sign that it’s fresh and as pillowy as possible! The rice was actually one of my favourites. Seasoned with saffron, it really stood out and did not taste boring at all.

Yogurt raita.

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A nice cool dipper for the naan to cut the spices of the other dishes. I want to try making this at home!

Xacculi Shrimp: black tiger shrimp cooked in a popular aromatic Goan sauce made with roasted poppy seeds, coconut and red chilli paste.

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This was Heather’s favourite because of the rich red sauce. It had jumbo pieces of shrimp without being too spicy.

Shahi Laziz Paneer: home made cottage cheese simmered in a spiced tomato gravy with honey and cream.

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This was my favourite. The hard chunks of homemade cottage cheese were amazing. I polished off the rich tomato gravy, which again was more aromatic than spicy. I would order a whole dish of this if I were to go back!

Jalebi & Kheer: Indian funnel cake and rice pudding, garnished with roasted pistachios and almonds.

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Dessert was definitely lack lustre after such an amazing meal. We both agreed that East Indian food isn’t really known for its great desserts and we could both do without. The rice pudding was a little soupy and over-spiced. The funnel cake was more like a crunchy candy. Edible, but would not be my first choice for dessert.

Thank you to Heather for taking me out for what I am now deeming the best Indian food I’ve ever had.

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We never once broke out into a sweat because of ludicrous spicing. Nothing was too greasy or creamy. The service was fantastic (including a chat with the head chef and his wife!). As a newbie in the tastes of East Indian, it was the perfect example of just how good and flavourful it can be with fresh ingredients, proper cooking methods and inventive flavouring.

Now I just have 9,970 restaurants left to go ;)

 

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