In This Issue...
Tried something new this week: baking with marmite! Nope, it’s not as weird as it sounds and it tastes awesome. Other things I made this week include cassava cake and taquitos.
★ My weekly Food Diaries are a way of tracking what I cook, buy, and eat every day. They provide insight into my eating preferences, allow me to analyze patterns in my spending, and help improve my cooking. And I always share my recipes! ★
French Vanilla Coffee
I started today off with caffeine, which is so rare for me. We have a big fancy espresso maker in the office kitchen, and I’m so tired of smelling my coworkers’ delicious creamy coffees every morning, so I decided to try out a coffee for myself. It was delicious! I thought I would have to add sugar to the drink (bitter coffee is just terrible imo), but the machine already pre-added a good amount.
As usual, I noticed no effect from the caffeine—no energy boost or crash—nor from the sugar.
Bean Sprout Pancakes
Last week I made a pretty disastrous dish using bean sprouts. This week, I’ve redeemed myself slightly with these bean sprout pancakes. I followed this Kikkoman recipe, except I used the veggie soy roll that I talked about earlier (you can find it in a lot of Asian supermarkets in the frozen section) to make it vegetarian. It’s quite filling and delicious; a good hearty meal to come home to after work. My only issue is, I find it a little doughy. Maybe I could replace the flour with something like chickpea flour? I’m not sure how well that would bind, though.
Catered Office Sandwiches
Every time there’s any kind of free food being offered in the office, I swear people jump on it so fast. Especially my coworker Kulshaan—he’s like my personal free food alert system.
Some of the employees in the office had a meeting this morning with lunch included, and there were a bunch of sandwiches left over sitting in the kitchen. Of course, me and Kulshaan were one of the first ones on the scene (don’t even ask me how he found out before our admin manager sent out the group email about it), and I snagged a scrumptious vegetarian ‘wich stuffed with eggplant, tomatoes, and other goodies.
It was a free meal, so I have no complaints, but I’m just going to point out something that applies to most catered sandwiches in my experience: why is the bread so tough?! It’s always ciabatta or something else hard and chewy. Is this to prevent the bread from getting soggy for the hours it’s going to sit before it gets eaten? That’s the only reason I could come up with. It certainly doesn’t add to the enjoyment of the sandwich. I like my soft white sandwich breads much better.
Eggs and Faux Ham
Dinner was completely winged off the top of my head tonight. I cut up a few strips of veggie soy roll and scrambled that with three eggs. Sometimes a craving just hits and you have to have scrambled eggs right there, right now, you know?
As simple and unaesthetic as this may be, it was one tasty dinner. Maybe more breakfast than dinner, but hey, I’m not here judging your food choices.
I may have found my favourite store-bought yogurt. Yup, this is better than the buffalo yogurt I tried last week. No picture, but go to any Loblaws-affiliated store and look for the President’s Choice brand skyr. It’s 4% fat. 4%!! And boy, you can really taste it. I’m not ashamed to say I ate the whole 500 g tub in one sitting. #noregrets
Really this is just an excuse to post a cute picture of me 🙂
We had a pre busy season party after work today and my friend and I didn’t know what to do with our drink tickets, since neither of us drink at the moment. So we ordered virgin cocktails instead! Back when I did drink a little here and there, the mojito was one of my favourite drinks (mostly because it had the least alcoholic taste to me, hehe), so this is what I’m holding here.
Actually, the Caesar is probably my fave (got to represent the home city) but I’ve been told that it’s for old people. Whatever. Tomato juice tastes better than Sprite and that’s a fact.
Cassava cake is a popular dessert in the Philippines. I’ve been keen to try it for a long time, but never quite figured out where to source the cassava from. One day I saw it frozen at a Asian supermarket, so I bought a pack, and now I’ve finally gotten around to making it!
Rich, chewy, and coconutty, this cake sounded like all the things I love. I decided to make it in my silicone muffin molds for better portion control since I figured it would be easy for me to overeat.
I used this recipe, which is where I first found out about this cake. I ended up making a few mistakes in this recipe:
- I scaled the recipe down to half, but forgot to halve the sugar. So essentially there was double the amount of sugar there should have been. This is especially horrible because I usually use less sugar than a recipe calls for and it’s still sweet enough for me! Sure enough, when I tasted it after baking, it was waaay too sweet.
- I shouldn’t have used silicone molds. The taste of the silicon somehow made its way into these cupcakes and gave it a plastick-y smell.
I will be trying this recipe again, since I can’t even say exactly what the taste of the cassava cake actually was, what with the silicone and sugar messing it up.
Baking with Marmite: Cheesy “Vegemite” Scrolls
Aside from buffalo yogurt, another thing I love that Kevin finds gross is marmite. This is vegemite’s British and New Zealander cousin, and it’s just as salty, savoury, and delicious.
So far I’ve tried spreading it on toast and crackers, which were ok, but not enough for me. That’s when I found out about cheesy vegemite scrolls, which are a big thing down under. I used this recipe, except I used mozzarella instead of cheddar, and made my own self-raising flour from baking powder and flour. And marmite in place of vegemite, of course! Having never tasted vegemite (it’s not for lack of trying. I have no idea where to find vegemite in Canada! Do any readers have suggestions on places to look?), I can’t offer any taste comparisons. But these were so delicious!
Their shape reminds me of cinnamon buns, although of course they taste like the complete opposite. They are so addictively savoury and stuffed with umami flavour, that I ate half the pan right out of the oven! No exaggeration. Will definitely be looking out for more marmite baking uses, because these have opened my eyes to how versatile of an ingredient marmite can be.
I had a bunch of corn tortillas that I bought on a whim for whatever reason, so I decided to use them up by making taquitos today. I followed a recipe from Budget Bytes, subbing out cream cheese for Laughing Cow cheese. I thought they would be super easy, I mean, it’s just rolling up your filling and baking, right? Wrong. It turns out corn tortillas crack easily when they’re bent too much. I steamed my tortillas to keep them warm, but even then, they cracked so badly that it was hard to roll them tight enough to hold the filling securely.
With that, I present the world’s ugliest taquitos. They tasted great, which was a plus, and I have a few portions in the freezer ready for reheating on a day I don’t want to cook. But for what I thought was going to be a simple recipe, they were more stressful than I bargained for.
Skinnytaste Greek Yogurt Bagels
Since my first go at these bagels were so successful, I made an even bigger batch this time and froze some for later use. This time I made both some regular bagel shapes and some long pieces of dough, just to switch it up a little. (Also, did you notice I managed to make the holes bigger this time? So they don’t actually disappear during baking!)
Like I said I would, I sprinkled a couple more of them this time with dried minced garlic. It’s SO GOOD! Now I’m wondering about a homemade everything-seasoning bagel… or a marmite swirl bagel? I’m serious when I said I’m thinking about baking marmite in everything!