Browsing the archives for the cake tag.

Minion Cupcakes

Domestic, Kids

How sweet are these little guys?! I made them once for a fundraiser for our dance company in the spring and then this summer, two of the songs our girls danced to were from Despicable Me 2 so I had to make them again. When I posted these on Instagram the first time, one of my besties texted me to ask if I had extra twinkies left. Haha, little did she know I had already set them aside for her. Duh. Bestie love! Natch, the second time she knew I had already hid hers from the children.

They are so simple to make but I keep getting asked how I did it, so here you do. One of the most simple tutorials ever. πŸ˜‰

Minion Cupcakes

24 cupcakes
12 Twinkies (or just half as many Twinkies as cupcakes)
Smarties candies (in Canada these candies are called Rockets)
Chocolate icing (make it slightly thicker than you would to ice a cake)

Minion Cupcakes Minion Cupcakes Minion Cupcakes

First upwrap (duh) and cut all the Twinkies in half, as evenly as possible. If they’re not even, you’ll end up with some mini Minions! This is when I arrange them assembly line style and give them their little personalities! I have found the easiest method is to use a little icing as glue to stick the Smarties on for the eyes, and then draw the arms of the glasses on with the same icing. Then I used a toothpick to scoop just the absolute teeniest amount of icing and make their pupils, then they need smiles ooooof course.

Minion Cupcakes Minion Cupcakes
Minion Cupcakes Minion Cupcakes

This part is pretty simple, just be careful while you do it! Once you have frosted the cupcakes with plain buttercream (or whatever you feel like using), poke a toothpick into each cupcake. Now, very carefully, pick up each Minion and impale him onto the toothpick. πŸ˜‰ This is when you bust out your kitchen tweezers and use chocolate sprinkles for tiny little tufts of hair. Not all Minions have hair, so you can leave some bald if you’d like. Be prepared for cuteness overload, these guys are adorable and always a hit.

Minion Cupcakes
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Orange Creamsicle Cake


The second cake of the year! It was actually a happy birthday cake for my friend Brigid! Happy Birthday, Brigid!

It’s wonderfully simple and could not possibly be easier to pull together. No really. It has three ingredients – 4 if you include the orange zest – you really should, it makes it more legit I think. πŸ˜‰

You know how I feel about using a cake mix as a base, or anything that comes from a box like that when you can just as easily make it yourself from scratch. I keep being told that some recipes (like this one) need the cake mix and it wont work out as well if it’s done from scratch. This usually infuriates me, but I’m trying to pretend it doesn’t bother me relax about this stuff a bit.

If you’re counting calories, this cake is a pretty good treat. If you slice it into 9 pieces, each slice is about 200 calories.

Orange Creamsicle Cake

via Better Recipes

1 box white cake mix (see, this bugs me, is ‘white’ a flavor??)
6oz plain Greek yogurt
1 cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange

This is one of those ‘dump it all in one bowl and you’re done’ type cakes, which, hatred for cake mixes aside, is actually really helpful. Preheat to 350 before you get started.

Orange Creamsicle Cake

I mixed the yogurt and the cake mix together first, then added the orange juice and once that was well mixed I folded in the orange zest. Bake for about 30-35 minutes.

Orange Creamsicle Cake Orange Creamsicle Cake

I keep taking pictures of my finished kitchen accomplishments with my phone for Instagram and then I totally forget to get a picture with my camera. Lame.

Orange Creamsicle Cake

This cake is really, really moist. Even the next day! It’s orangey, for sure, but not as orangey as I would have liked. If I make this again I will add more zest and maybe even some orange extract.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


On Monday, I shared photies of my Memorial Day weekend, which included two really serious cakes. Yesterday, I posted about the Crumble Jumble Cake, so today here is the second cake we brought with us to the barbecue. It’s pretty epic, but def in a good way. It is not only that winning combination of chocolate and peanut butter, but it is also in just the right ratio, not too much of either. The frosting really puts it over the edge. You’re welcome. πŸ™‚

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake – via The Farm Girl

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
1 small box chocolate instant pudding
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup water
5 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream

There’s a lot going on here, I’m not going to lie, but I loved every second of it. You probably will too if you like even half the recipes on this blog. πŸ˜‰

So first of all, it starts with a cake mix and you KNOW how I feel about those. In this case though it’s used more as an ingredient than a crutch, having said that, if I ever make this again I will try to ditch the mix. Mix everything except the peanut butter chips for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the peanut butter chips and pour into two greased 9″ pans. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans and then completely cool on a wire rack before icing!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

The frosting is wonderfully simple. Cream the butter and peanut butter until smooth then add the salt, vanilla, whipping cream and 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar at a time until thick enough to spread. I placed one cake on the platter, iced the top of it, added the second cake and then iced that as well. I made this to impress my girl Jillian’s husband and I heard he liked peanut butter cups, so I arranged them around the base of the cake, chopped up the rest of them and sprinkled them on top. Along with a generous helping of Reese’s Pieces!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
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Crumble Jumble Cake with Moonlight Frosting

Domestic, Kids

My littles love to tear it up in the kitchen, and I love to watch them. Sometimes their creations are a little sketchy but they are usually pretty good when they follow a recipe! This recipe is in one of their favorite library books, The Little Bitty Bakery by Leslie Muir and Betsy Lewin.

Essentially, this book is about an elephant baker who bakes all kinds of sweet treats but doesn’t realize until the day is done that she baked right through her birthday and didn’t celebrate it! The mice in her bakery all pitch in and gather crumbs and bits of treats to make her a birthday cake (hilarious how something so unsanitary is adorable in a children’s book). I can’t say for sure if it’s the glitter on the cover, or the sing-song rhyme of the text (here’s an adorable example ‘they scuttled to a huddle / prepared a secret plan / & launched a luscious mission / inside a brioche pan’), but my girls love this book. We first took it out of the library one day last fall when we were exploring libraries outside of our district and we ended up getting library cards in that district that day to take it out (the way the library system is down here is so weird that we actually have library cards in three different districts, even though they are all super close to us).

Since then, we have taken the book out three more times in the other two districts – and renewed again this week. Clearly, I need to just buy this book for them! The recipe for the crumble jumble cake is at the back of the book and was so weird I wasn’t sure it was actually going to work. There are a few mismeasured ingredients (duh, the bakers are 7 and 4), but really, it came out pretty well.

Crumble Jumble Cake

Crumble Jumble Cake via The Little Bitty Bakery

1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
1 cup flour

Moonlight Frosting via The Little Bitty Bakery

1 stick salted butter
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons half and half

The cake is fairly simple, first cream the butter and sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Slowly add the chocolate syrup (this is when I stopped and checked the book again because I just couldn’t believe it), vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes and voila!

The frosting is crazy simple too and it’s especially cute if you’ve read the book. <3 Just whip it all together in your stand up mixer and you're good to go. Once the cake has been baked, cooled and frosted, the real fun begins! This is where the ‘crumble jumble’ aspect comes in.

The real beauty is you can use whatever you know your friends and family will love! I chopped up a few Twix bars, some Butterfinger Bites, M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, broken cookies, jellybeans and chopped walnuts. When I showed up at my girl Jillian’s house with this (and another epic cake I’ll post about tomorrow) her response was ‘omg what are you doing?!’, of course I just replied, ‘I know, right?’ Don’t worry, we didn’t eat it all!

Crumble Jumble Cake Crumble Jumble Cake
Crumble Jumble Cake
Crumble Jumble Cake
Crumble Jumble Cake
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Lazy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake


I know it’s Wednesday, but my Work in Progress is a pile of puffs, strikingly similar to the pile of puffs you’ve seen repeatedly this summer (I’ve knitted about 130 or so since we moved to LA). Sockdown starts on Saturday and there will be some furious knitting happening for about a year after that. Don’t ask me where Christmas knitting fits with furious sock knitting (unless everyone gets socks for Christmas). πŸ˜‰

So instead I will give you this, the easiest, dirtiest (in a ‘this is defo not health food’ kind of way), laziest recipe I’ve ever made. It’s so lazy, I felt guilty making it. No really, I totally did.

Lazy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Lazy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake via – I’m a Lazy Mom

1 box yellow or white cake mix (use Trader Joe’s mix or organic mix from Whole Foods to feel slightly less awful)
2 eggs beaten (Omega eggs, at least!)
5 tablespoons melted butter (I used vegan butter, which I know means NOTHING when applied to this recipe)
2 cups M&M’s or mini chocolate chips (I chopped up a big bar of dark chocolate for this).

You literally just mix it all up and pour it into a (greased) 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. I feel like an asshole for even sharing this recipe. But it’s one of those awful, awful things that my kids love! There wasn’t any left for my husband when he got home!

Lazy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Lazy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Lazy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Lazy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
They are addicting because they have the texture of a cookie with the moistness of a cake and of course chocolate chip make everything tastier!

Daring Baker’s June Challenge – Battenberg Cake


Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

This was my first month doing a Daring Baker challenge after moving and it was so fun! I can’t believe I stopped doing them for a while! I’m back at it people – though I am a day late for posting! Eep!!

I have seen Battenberg cakes before but I had never made one until yesterday! It’s always fun and rewarding to make something difficult and come out on top! I took it one step further (because duh, of course I would) and I made the fondant myself too! Recipes like this make me miss Toronto, because my mother would have loved to see! I sent her a picture, but it’s not the same as seeing my masterpiece in person! When I first read this recipe I was a little scared to be honest and now I’m bummed out that I didn’t make several versions of this over the month to make a lovely epic post about all the different ways we Battenberg’ed it up in June. Next month, that’s the plan.

I used the recipe Mandy supplied, an altered version of Mary Berry’s Battenberg recipe. It was super, super easy to make and really good! It sprang up exactly as it should and that always makes me happy. I want to make vanilla/chocolate versions, strawberry/chocolate versions, mint/chocolate verions and and and I’d like to use ganache as the glue instead of the apricot jam (or use strawberry jam in a strawberry version). The possibilities are pretty much endless!

Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg

3/4 cup butter, softened & cut in cubes
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
3 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup ground almond
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
red food coloring, paste, liquid or gel
1/3 cup apricot jam
1 cup fondant
   1lb mini marshmallows
   2lbs icing sugar
   little bit of water
   butter for greasing hands and working area
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
First, make a tin foil wall for your pan so you have that rectangle shape. Super simple, then start on the batter. I was reading that the ‘drop it all in one bowl’ technique worked really well here, so that’s what I did.
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
After I put half of the batter in half of the pan, I added a few drops of red food coloring to the rest. Then I started on the fondant! The fondant was super simple. You need 1lb of mini marshmallows, a few drops of water, 2lbs of icing sugar and something to grease your hands with (I used butter).
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Melt the marshmallows with a little water in a double boiler and then drop the mass of melted goo onto a seriously greased up counter top or cookie sheet or whatever. Then dump the icing sugar on top of the goo and knead it the way you’d knead bread!
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Kneading the fondant takes a while so by the time I was done the cakes were ready. Let them cool in the pan for a bit, then let them cool completely. I stacked them to cut them into their four long squares.
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Heat the jam in a double boiler and then press through a sieve or small strainer to get all the bits out.
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Then glue your cake pieces together with the jam and roll out your fondant!
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Place the cake (with jam glue on the bottom) on the fondant, then brush more jam on the cake and wrap the fondant around it! This is kinda tricky.
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
Then I used the back of a knife to make the traditional scores on the top of the cake!
Daring Baker's June Challenge - Battenberg Cake
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Chocolate Buttermilk Cake


Don’t forget about our giveaway with Keeley Behling Studios! Like the Keeley Behling Studios Facebook page and leave a comment there about something in her Etsy shop to enter. It wouldn’t hurt if you liked the So Very Domestic Facebook page too. πŸ˜‰

This is the cake to make for people who generally tell you that chocolate cake is ‘too rich’ or ‘too heavy’. It’s also the cake to make for people who complain of cakes being too dry. The buttermilk here makes this cake seriously moist without being too fudgey or puddingy. It’s another winner from one of the first cookbooks my husband ever bought me, yes I’m still working through the Good Housekeeping cookbook – it’s that good.

I have made this cake so many times now that I haven’t been making the Stir and Bake Chocolate Cake that I used to make on the regular. This one is just as easy but even better, I swear.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake via The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
1 3/4 sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Mix till well combined, then add the flour mixture to it and beat. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
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Work in Progress Wednesday

Crafty, Domestic, Kids, Small Town

In this post, I’m participating in three WIP Wednesdays; Freshly Pieced, Tami’s Amis and Musings from the Fishbowl.

I am aware that it’s already well into the evening on Wednesday, but I really wanted to check in with my Christmas knitting progress and still blog about some tasty creations in the morning. πŸ™‚

This morning was Wee One #2’s last day of school before Christmas vacation, so I packed up her teacher’s Socks of Kindness, that I blogged about earlier. I also packed up a few of the mini stars and tree cookies I made last weekend for her kids (she has three also), but she wasn’t there today! Bummer!! Hopefully she checks in before the school is officially closed for two weeks (kindergarten is only a few days a week out here). Anyhoo, here’s her little package!

Since my last knitting post a few days ago, I’ve finished a stack of facecloths and one mitten. I posted about the first two facecloths here. They’re all knit from the same pattern, Mock Cable Facecloths, in three colours of Shine Worsted. Clementine is pretty obviously the orange pair, Wisteria is the light purple and Green Apple, of course is the green. I really adore this yarn and will be using it for more facecloths for the fam and for gifts!


I’m on a serious Knit Picks bender lately, this time using Wool of the Andes Worsted in Dune Twist. These mitts are for the kids’ school bus driver. He’s a new addition to our list of gift recipients since we have moved out to the woods! He’s a very nice guy and the kids always say that he’s not a yeller! I’ve never taken the school bus to school personally, but I always heard about mean school bus drivers. Glad to know he isn’t one! Also, wee one #2 tends to move slowly in the snow and he never gives her a hard time about waiting for her so he deserves something special. He’ll get a tin of treats too of course!


I will be baking a whole lotta cakes and cupcakes in the next three weeks to catch up on my self-inflicted cake challenge. Which may prove extra tricky since we’re away for 5 days, but I can do this! I made a little dent tonight with cake #45, Candy Cane Cake. No adult could stomach this. Maybe Andrew. Maybe. Don’t take that as a challenge, I even tried it in milk and the peppermint still knocked me on my butt.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

LOST Birthday Fete

Crafty, Domestic

If you’re not obsessed with Lost, this post can still be useful – I made the Classic Snowball Cake, which is something I think all domestic goddesses should know how to make. πŸ˜‰ I have been hooked on Lost for a couple of years, I started watching all the episodes in order after the show had already been on the air for 3 or 4 seasons. Being able to watch so much of the show at once, it was pretty easy to develop an unhealthy obsession. I owed my friend Romi a birthday fete and she’s just as crazy for Lost as I am (and arguably more die hard, as she’s been loyal since ep 1, season 1), so I ran with it and her 2*th birthday was all about Lost. πŸ˜€

Dharma Chocolate Bars

The Dharma labels are all courtesy of Max Pictures, who clearly also has a serious love for the show. Dharma chocolate bars were necessary, as Miss Romi loves chocolate. She’s also fond of red wine, so we needed to Dharamize that as well. We all had personalized boarding passes from Oceanic flight 815, except ours were all leaving Sydney and arriving in Toronto – don’t worry, we know the level of geeky we’ve risen to. What’s with the Dharma evaporated milk? Well, I am a baker you know, I always have to have this sort of thing on hand…

Dharma Evaporated Milk  Dharma Red Wine

Instead of talking about the cake first, I’m going to go on about the icing, because the construction of the cake itself will likely steal the show. It’s one of those very simple, but very good (good in this instance refers to deliciousness, not good as in ‘good for you’, just to be clear) quick recipe from Kraft. It is just five horribly indulgent ingredients and takes maybe five minutes to pull together.

Snowball Frosting (I omitted the coconut)
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 cup cold milk
2 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
1 cup flaked coconut

Snowball Frosting

The cake itself is actually a plain chocolate cake, the recipe used a devil’s food cake mix but you can use your favourite chocolate cake recipe of course! For the snowball effect, the cake is made in an oven safe glass bowl.

Snowball Chocolate Cake (I omitted the coconut)
1 chocolate cake, uncooked
1 pkg. (250 g) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
1 egg
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Essentially, you whip up a chocolate cake and pour the batter into an oven safe bowl. Mix the cream cheese, egg and sugar, and put that on top of the cake batter. It’ll sink a bit as it bakes. Mine was still visible after it baked, so next time I will knock it down a bit. My concern was that knocking the bowl would make it sink too far but that doesn’t seem likely now.

Snowball Batter  Snowball Cake

The video was helpful when putting this cake together, the only thing I didn’t do the same was sprinkle coconut on top because my sister hates coconut with the burning passion of 1000 suns, and naturally she was on the guest list. The candles are sparkly and have wee stars on them, because grown ups or not, birthdays are for being a little silly. Which is also why there are mini M&Ms on top!

The texture of this cake was amazing, I used my usual chocolate cake which is already pretty fantastic, but made so much better with this cream cheesy center! It’s not overpowering and just sweet enough. It’s two years in a row that I’ve made a cake with both vanilla and chocolate in it. We call it our ‘racial harmony’ cakes. πŸ˜‰

Snowball Birthday Cake

I also made Salsa Roll Ups, another quickie from Kraft. I end up with a very long ‘must try’ list after trolling that site for too long. I also made turkey-chicken meat balls, but I’ll save that recipe (courtesy of my Dad) for another post.

Salsa Roll Ups
(1/2 of 250-g pkg.) cream cheese spread, softened
3 Tbsp. salsa
2 spinach-flavoured tortillas or wraps (10 inch)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
chili powder

Mix the cream cheese with the salsa and spread onto the tortillas, then sprinkle on shredded cheese. Roll up the tortilla tightly.

Cut the logs into whatever length works for you, you may have to use toothpicks to keep the rolls secure.

Snowball Batter  Salsa Roll Ups

So happy 2*th birthday, Romi!! I’m already plotting next year’s cake (and theme, hmmm). <3

Snowball Batter  Dharam


Eat Your Fruits and Veggies (and Check Your Oil)

Domestic, Healthy

When I was a kid, I wouldn’t eat anything green – unless it was some form of candy or ice cream. This horrified my then strictly vegan father, a hippie powerhouse of health, which very likely amused my mother, who was a Kraft Dinner loving, late night ice cream eating kinda gal (I say ‘was’ because she had a heart attack 5 years ago and now eats like my dad). He was huge on smoothies, but not just the delicious fruity ones, he’d also do the veggie shakes – who does that?! He made his own breads and chocolate cakes and cookies and all kinds of amazing treats as well as wonderful stir fry’s, casserole-type dishes, and soups. I’d eat some of the treats, but mostly I’d turn my nose up at them and eat some disgusting sugary and/or marshmallowly concoction. I didn’t know it then, but most of these creations were hiding a veggie or two. I do it too now, some recipes are from him, some I’ve found online or in cookbooks and others still are from my friends. Gill makes the most amazing black bean brownies, Jessica Seinfield has a chocolate chip cookie recipe with chick peas – it works!

Now? I’m on the phone with him constantly asking for ideas and tricks for substituting healthy options for the more horrible ingredients in my favorite recipes. The easiest change to make was using mashed bananas or applesauce instead of oil in cakes and muffins. Mashed bananas work best with chocolate or oatmeal items and applesauce is a good pick for pretty much everything else because you can’t taste it as much. Usually people don’t notice there is applesauce in it unless I say something, or people comment that it’s moist. Sometimes, if the main taste of the cake is a fruit anyway, I’ll just add more of it’s liquid in place of the oil called for, like in the chocolate-cherry cake I made for our Miss America party (I swear, I will post about this little gathering soon).

My favourite combo is chocolate and banana, there’s just something about it that tastes ‘right’, you know? Here is the recipe I use the most – this was the decoy cake I made for our dear friend Andrew’s 29th last year. It was the decoy for a hilarious cake Gill had done for him at Dairy Queen, where they used an image of Burt Reynolds body on a bear skin rug – with Andrew’s head! Anyhoo….

Chocolate Banana Cake
2 cups white sugar
1 -3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed bananas
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat to 350. Whisk your sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.


Then mix the eggs, bananas, water, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet to dry, as usual, till well mixed. Note that this batter looks really runny but bakes up just fine.Pour into your cake pan (10″ round or maybe a medium rectangle) or cupcake liners, and bake for about half an hour. Adjust time for the size of your cake/s or cupcakes.

Other more obvious tips were to use low fat or no fat vanilla soy milk instead of 2% milk, whole wheat flour over white flour in pretty much every recipe (I drew the line at pie crust for lemon meringue, it just wasn’t right), and to use parchment paper or a non stick pan instead of greasing. That’s all fine and the flavour of most of my regulars haven’t changed much.

There have been a few silly attempts at making fundamentally unhealthy food healthy. Like when I tried to make onion rings with crushed Fibre 1 cereal as the coating. Not only was that a bad idea (I guess it wasn’t *that* bad, but it wasn’t exactly a substitute for the taste, or even the texture, of an actual onion ring. The real secret to making decent-for-you onion rings is in the oil! Using french fries as a classic example here, if you fried them in vegetable oil (as most people do), you’re looking at a top temperature of about 300 degrees. The issue with that is most foods (yes potatoes included) don’t have a low insta-cook temp, so they have to sit around in the vegetable oil for a few minutes to cook and while they do that, they of course soak up awful amounts of oil that no amount of paper towel patting will remove. Now, enter higher temperature oils, like canola, saffron and sunflower. These oils have temperature ranges much higher, closer to about 450+, which is perfect for your fries and little shrimp pops and yes, even your deep fried chocolate bars (even I think that’s gross and I looooove Snickers muffins). Most foods will cook within about 30 seconds in oil that’s 450 or 500 degrees. I’m not saying that your canola oil onion rings are going to be totally free from any oil at all, but I am saying that the amount absorbed is negligible and that’s before you’re patted them down with a paper towel! Sidebar, don’t mess around with weird and likely dangerous ways to guess your oil’s temperature. Just use a candy thermometer and know for sure! Second sidebar, make sure you’ve got a fire extinguisher when you’re cooking with oil. I know we’ve all used oil hundreds of times with no issue, but a grease fire is unpredictably dangerous and not something to mess around with at all. Also, from experience, keep the fire extinguisher just outside of the range of fire from the stove and not right beside it. ‘Quick, jump through the flames to get to the fire extinguisher!’

I’m still not especially fond of most green foods, but I know better and actually eat them now.

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