My Favourite Brownie Recipe (It is on the can!)

November 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

The first thing I ever learned to bake was blueberry muffins. I used the Jiffy Mix and served them with the tea I made for tea parties. I was so proud to make these muffins for my family, and I felt like a big girl!

These brownies are the second thing I learned to bake.

Ok ok I know that picture doesn’t look appetizing, but it is my fault for adding too much butter and baking powder. Despite the brownie’s ugliness, half was eaten within a few minutes of being set out.



  • Pre-heat oven to 350˚F
  • Mix eggs, sugar, and melted butter, vanilla
  • In separate bowl, sift together chocolate, flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Combine wet and dry components
  • Pour into a greased pan
  • Bake 20-30 minutes



Roasted Pepitas

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

I know about this only because of a video game.

Before I made these, as a by-product of making pumpkin pie, I had never eaten a pumpkin seed before.

In the game Glitch, recently there was a holiday called Zille-o-ween which was an in game version of Halloween. Players grew pumpkins and got to make jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ale, and other pumpkin based foods. When you cut up the pumpkins to make these foods, you got roasted pepitas!

So, when I was cutting up some pumpkins to make pie and pulled out the seeds, I thought “Hey! I got pepitas!”

So anyway these are amazingly delicious and super duper healthy for you. Just don’t eat them all at once!


  • 1 1/2 cup of pepitas
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Scoop seeds out of pumpkin
  2. Rinse with cold water to remove as much membrane as possible
  3. (optional) Boil with salt water for 10 minutes, this gives it a flavor more similar to sunflower seeds
  4. Place on paper towels in a single layer and let dry overnight
  5. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  6. Mix seeds, oil, salt, and pepper together
  7. Spread seeds out in single layer on foil lined baking sheet
  8. Cook for about 25 minutes or until golden brown
  9. Try to wait for them to cool before eating!

Giving thanks

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

  • I am and always will be thankful for being blessed to have such a wonderful immediate and extended family
  • For my friends who still talk to me even though I fail at life
  • For health and shelter in a time where many even in this rich nation have none and could only dream of above minimum wage jobs and health insurance

Happy Thanksgiving everyone

Cranberry sauce

November 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I will never forget my one and only “real” Thanksgiving.

Even though my family has lived in the USA for over a decade, we never quite acculturated all the way. No Thanksgiving, no Halloween, no Fourth of July. I think when we moved to the suburbs we bought a grill in an attempt to be “all-American” and it was used once and never again.

So… I never had a “real” Thanksgiving so much as a mini pre-Christmas.

My first Thanksgiving was my second year of college. I wasn’t going home for the fall break and my friend invited me to come to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner since she lived nearby.

It was like I was in the home of those people on TV!

Turkey and tons of people and children running around. Stuffing and “yams,” and cranberry sauce.

Now, the only exposure to cranberry sauce I had up until then was the canned kind that they served in the dining hall before fall break. So I was amazed when I saw my friend make this, and it was so simply and delicious!

So, when this year I was asked what I would bring to dinner, I immediately volunteered to bring cranberry sauce.

It is the easiest thing. It is almost not cooking, but it is so great!


  • 2 bags of Cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  1. Wash cranberries and remove any that look too old and squishy
  2. Add cranberries, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and orange juice to large pot
  3. Cook until cranberries burst
  4. (optional) strain, but I love the taste of cranberry skins
  5. Cool and eat

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

November 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ok, so I’ve never carved a jack-o-lantern. I’ve never even made a pumpkin pie. I’ve never even made a pie before, unless galettes and pop-tarts count.

I don’t know why I volunteered to make pumpkin pie from scratch, but I am simultaneously super excited and super scared I will poison my whole family.

Lets see what happens!

So, of course, you need pumpkin purée for a pumpkin pie.


  • 2 small pumpkins


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Cut pumpkins in half from top to bottom
  3. Place pumpkins face down in baking pan on top of a cooking sheet
  4. Cook for about 1 hour
  5. When pumpkins are removed they will be browned and soft, allow to cool slightly (unless you are impatient like me)
  6. Scoop out the flesh ( I used one of those ice-cream scoops with the mechanical release to make it easier)
  7. Blend the scooped out flesh
  8. Store in fridge or freezer once thoroughly cooled



November 10, 2011 § 2 Comments


November 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

One of my favorite snacks is channa.

While channa is simply the Indian word for chickpea, in Trinidad it also means a roasted chickpea snack.

I loved the excitement of someone coming back from Trinidad, because it would always mean that they were bringing back snacks. Tamarind balls were great, coconut cake was ok, and toolum was fairly gross, but I could eat the whole bottle of channa all by myself.  They came in what looked like old rum bottles that had the labels cut off and had channa poured in to the very top. While that is a lot for a little girl to eat, at least I was getting protein and not sugar.

I actually made channa the first time when I was in Japan, and it is fairly easy to make, quick, and delicious. Plus, channa is healthy for you!

Soaking the Chickpeas

I  recommend purchasing dried chickpeas, since I am always wary of the chemicals that can leak from can linings.

There are two ways to soak chickpeas (and all beans) a quick way, and overnight. I am lazy, so I did it the quick way.

  • Soaking Overnight: Place 1 cup of chickpeas in 3-4 cups of water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse.
  • Quick soak
  1. Place 1 cup of chickpeas in 3-4 cups of water
  2. Allow water to boil for 5 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour
  4. Drain and rinse

Roasting the Chickpeas


  • 1 cup soaked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Shadow beni (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix together olive oil, salt, pepper, and shadow beni
  3. Coat chickpeans in mixture
  4. Line baking tray with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup
  5. Roast until crunchy and brown, about 50 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and let cool
  7. Store in an airtight container to preserve freshness

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