Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Birthday Pie

Hello friends! I’m stopping in for a late and quick update. Just getting in from playing a State of the Union drinking game. I had to take a drink of my Alexander Keith’s any time Obama said “economy” or when Joe Biden fell asleep :P

Tonight I want to share the pie I made for my birthday. It’s become a bit of a tradition that I make my own special treat rather than the more common birthday cake. You can see the carrot cake I made in 2009 and the chocolate beet cake I made in 2010.

This year I decided cake was passé and it was high time the lesser acknowledged pie take the front seat. I spent a lot of mental energy trying to decide what kind to make. I got some fabulous suggestions on Twitter and Facebook. But in the end I went with one of my favourite flavour combinations: peanut butter + marshmallow fluff. And so I give you…

Fluffernutter Pie

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I ended up following this recipe. However I think it could be tweaked a little. I will save my comments for the end so you can feel free to play around with it if you so choose!

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I started with a basic graham cracker crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp melted butter

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Sounds easy enough! However, this was my first attempt at a graham cracker crust, and I think it turned out too crumbly. Maybe because I used a pre-crumbled mix. Probably because any good recipe needs a little more butter ;)

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I flattened that mixture into a normal sized pie dish and stuck it in the fridge while I assembled the filling.

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You will need:

  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used smooth & natural)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (I used light)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
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    Start by beating together your cream cheese, peanut butter and marshmallow cream.

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    Slowly add in your 35% cream.

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    Then your sugar.

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    Blend all that up, then take a spoon and stir in the milk to get it nice and fluffy.

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    And pour over your chilled graham cracker crust.

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    That’s it! The hard work is done! Easiest pie ever, right? It’s quite literally “as easy as pie.” Now you just need to freeze overnight before eating. The recipe highly suggests you do this to bring out the flavours.

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    If you’re impatient, I recommend licking the bowl to tie you over. 

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    Now, the recipe never said if this should be eaten frozen or just chilled. I tried it both ways, and letting it defrost in the fridge makes a much better pie. Nice and fluffy instead of hard like a frozen cheesecake.

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    Overall, it was a damn tasty pie. Even though the crust was crumbly, it still tasted top notch. And the fluffy pie made for a wonderful light dessert. I did however find that the cream cheese flavours overpowered the peanut butter and marshmallow flavour. And it was a touch too runny.

    SO, if you’re brave and ever try making this. I suggest using a whole jar of marshmallow cream (closer to 1 1/2 – 2 cups) and leaving out the milk. Also, if you’re using natural peanut butter, feel free to bump up the sugar from 4 tsp to at least 2-3 tbsp.

    Clearly, I’ll just need to find an excuse to make this again. Anyone in need of a birthday pie??

    Bloggers Blogging about Bloggers

    First and foremost thank you to everyone out there who took the time to comment, e-mail, Facebook and message birthday wishes to me. I definitely felt very loved yesterday and lucky to have so many wonderful people around who care! Even though I’m a quarter century now, I like to think that I haven’t peaked just yet ;)

    Not only did I get to celebrate with my Maritime friends here in Toronto, but with my local blogger friends too!

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    Okay, so not all of my local blog friends were able to make it (I’m looking at you Angela, Miranda and Sarah) but I did get to meet some new faces!

    I have to admit, that when I heard Morgan was planning a big TO meet-up, I asked her to push it to this past weekend to give us an excuse to celebrate. Morgan happened to choose Commensal, a vegetarian buffet. They also give you a free lunch or dinner on your birthday. Morgan hooked me up and I didn’t have to pay for my meal – score!!

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    Commensal is actually a chain, I’ve been to their Quebec City location before. That was back when I was a vegetarian living in a small city. Going to a restaurant where I could eat everything was a big deal. Not to mention, seeing all the unique ways they assembled meat-free food.

    These days, my meat-eating self is not the biggest fan of pay-by-weight places. I find they’re overpriced and your food is always cold by the time you sit down. But I still managed to scrap up some good stuff ;)

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    Let’s see if I can remember it all… My favourite item was by far the apple and beet salad. Lightly dressed and refreshing. Above is also the oriental seitan. Sweet, the way I like it, and the seitan was a nice change from the usual tofu.

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    I have no idea what that pastry roll is. Tasted like an herbed bread thing in the centre.

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    The bottom slice with the squigly lines is smoked tofu. I was the most disappointed by this. Flavourless and wrapping it up caused a weird texture. On top of that is veggie pate. I ate this on top of a slice of pita bread. I stocked up on this because I love veggie pate and never make it at home. But, it wasn’t as good as my mom’s ;)

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    To the left is some curried tofu with couscous. Again, just alright. The tofu was bland. Like they didn’t marinate it or anything. To the right is the seitan bourguignon. I honestly don’t remember what this tasted like. So I guess that says something. Finally, there was also some deeeelicious roasted sweet potato and steamed kale to round it out.

    Really though, it’s not like I was paying much attention to the food. I had people to talk to!!

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    Me and Callie, reunited!! We bonded over 16 hours in the car together when we drove to Chicago for the Healthy Living Summit. She’s back in the Tee Dot!! Yayyy!! Don’t we look like we could be sisters?

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    Then there’s my CanFitPro study buddy, Angela. We did our Nutrition & Wellness courses at the same time. She’s a spin instructor and I’m counting on her helping me out with group instructor training ;)

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    More lovely faces!! A lot of good running conversations happening here.

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    My table! (that’s my clean plate in the front)

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    I was pretty excited to finally meet Nancy. We’ve been following each other’s blogs since I started my triathlon training blog two years ago. She’s an East Coaster like me (Newfoundland!) and I knew we were long-lost friends. Except she’s got better style and make-up know-how than me. And a cuter East Coast accent ;)

    Somehow I missed capturing close-ups of Morgan from Life After Bagels and Meghan from Making Love in the Kitchen. But they were there too! Thank you again to Morgan for organizing the meet-up between school assignments. And for being all around awesome.

    I feel so lucky that I’m in a centre with so many amazing bloggers around to socialize with. You know, people I can talk WordPress with (Kristin!) and gush about cupcakes with. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of my favourite bloggers over this past year, and I naively think I’ll get to meet everyone I’ve connected with through my blog someday. Yes, even you Australians. For the longest time I thought I was painfully awkward when meeting new people. Turns out I was just meeting the wrong people. Because I stayed chatting with these lovely women for three hours in the restaurant :)

     

    Question of the Day: What blogger are you dying to have lunch with? I’m still waiting for the day I can go to Scotland and eat haggis with Ellie!

    They Say It’s Your Birthday

    I know. Cheesy title for a post about my birthday. But this Beatles fan just can’t help it.

    The great thing about having a Sunday birthday this year is that I was able to turn it into a weekend affair. I’ll admit, I was a little worried about how the celebrations would go. I usually like to go home and spend the day with my mom. I mean, she’s the one who did all the work 25 years ago. I just showed up and ate a lot. But these past two days have turned out to be the next best thing. 

    Another great thing about the timing of this year’s birthday is that I still have a ton of gift certificates leftover from Christmas. So while I got some cash for my actual birthday, I was able to redeem those gift certificates for something a little more tangible.

    image Such as the above book. It’s chock full of exercises that I can’t wait to try myself and try with my clients! I’m always on the lookout for new forms of torture ;)

    I also redeemed a gift certificate at my running store. Thanks to some stellar sales and my sweet staff discount, I was able to buy two long-sleeve technical shirts, a pair of Nike capris, a running bra and running socks for only 80 bucks. That’s ridiculous. I scored one of the shirts and capris for six dollars each.

    Finally, a gorillapod!

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    My mom actually bought me one for Christmas to go with my new 50mm lens, but we ended up returning it. She gave me the money to buy another one here in Toronto and I’m so excited to play around with it! It’s only about a foot tall with bendable legs. So I can put it on the table or wrap it around things to capture a clear shot. 

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    Such as a picture of this week’s Simply Switch. That would be switching out my usual cheap, processed, store-bought bread with homemade Irish brown soda bread. I polished off a whole loaf in less than a week! SO good with a little PB&J. No yeast required. If I can do it, trust me, you can too.

    I decided there was no better day than my birthday to try out this nifty contraption me and 99 other people won from Janetha’s blog.

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    It’s a box of XPress Smart Cups. For people (like me!) who need to French press on the go. I’ve got an hour-long commute to work, so I often end up drinking my coffee on the subway. Or today, to keep me warm while walking in –28 C (-18 F) weather.

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    All you do is mix your near-boiling water with coarse coffee grinds (I use 3-4 tablespoons as I like it strong).

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    The lid has a disposable filter built in. Put it on and let the coffee set for four minutes, then take the small plunger and push the filter down.

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    Voila! As a person who is chronically late, this saves me from being an extra 5 minutes late while I wait for my coffee to brew. Such a cute idea!

    However, today was a much more relaxed affair. I booked the day off both jobs. Birthdays are an automatic “personal day” ;) I sipped my coffee on the way to a birthday brunch!

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    Continuing with the Leslieville Brunch Tour, my friends and I decided Edward Levesque’s Kitchen should be next on the list. I don’t know why we didn’t come here sooner. Their brunch menu is one of the most unique I’ve seen so far!

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    Crazy, right? In any other circumstances, I probably would have gone for the challah french toast. But my hangover was starting to set in and it was asking for a greasy savoury meal.

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    So I went for the latkes, smoked salmon, sour cream, chives, green salad.

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    Loved. I mean, it’s hard to screw up fried potato pancakes. But the smoked salmon and sour cream on top made them a million times better. I also appreciated the mass of greens on the side that for once were lightly dressed and not sopping in oil.

    Roommie Megan went for the cumbrae grilled jerk skirt steak, grilled pita, avocado, two over easy, roasted tomato, chives, olive oil.

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    This looked SO good. Love the idea of meat and eggs piled on top of a pita. How can you go wrong with that?

    Colin, the pancake connoisseur, got the banana pancakes.

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    But thankfully, did not sing Jack Johnson while eating them. Excuse the blurry photos. Apparently the hangover shakes were also setting in. Totally acceptable thing to happen on your birthday ;)

    Also acceptable, a self-induced sugar coma on your birthday.

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    Thank you Callie for the chocolate cupcakes with bacon and a maple buttercream frosting! These were my second cupcakes by Callie (first being these green tea cupcakes with a sweet red bean paste). I’ve decided that she is the cupcake queen. Uh-mazing. Not too fluffy, not too sweet, a subtle maple flavour and just the right amount of frosting. And of course, bacon makes everything better.

    There may have also been mass quantities of Fluffernutter Birthday Pie.

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    Who needs cake? The best part about a weekend birthday is eating peanut butter marshmallow pie on Saturday and Sunday. Including as a post-bar snack at 3am.

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    I had high hopes of going to yoga today, but after brunch I collapsed and watched Breaking Bad all day. Relaxed and low-key, just the way I like it. Well, you know, apart from the huge blogger meet-up on Saturday followed by a bottle of whiskey with my Maritime friends. Right. I’ll get to some of that later. For now, I’ve got to soak up the last few hours of my special day and look into investing in some wrinkle cream. Gah! I’m a quarter century!

     

    Question of the Day: What’s your favourite way to celebrate your birthday? And more importantly – what do you like to eat!?

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