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Monday, February 28, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Waffles

Well, well, well, what do we have here? Are these - gasp - whole wheat, banana, chocolate chip waffles with peanut butter whipped cream? That must be a lucky guess, because that is exactly what they are.

Take it in ladies and gentlemen, I think it's safe to say that the stars have aligned.

I love waffles, in fact, my waffle maker was the first kitchen appliance that I called my own. My parents gave me my wonderful waffle maker for Christmas when I was twelve or thirteen. It was a wonderful gift; I think I almost cried. That's slightly embarrassing ... I also had a dream about it once, is that embarrassing too?

I blame the waffles, they make me do weird things.

After many years (5 or so...) of making waffles, I finally concocted these bad boys with a certain friend of mine. You may remember her, she's a good baker, (meringues, or peanut butter cups anyone?) and she has a similar, bizarre passion for waffles. That's why we're friends.

Alright, enough chit chat, let's get to the main event.

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Waffles (yields 6-8 large waffles)
Recipe adapted from: Pancakes & Waffles by Lou Seibert Pappas

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp honey
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
1 banana, sliced
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat waffle iron.

Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer or hand mixer until soft, glossy peaks form.

In a bowl whisk the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients - egg yolks, honey, milk, butter, canola oil and vanilla extract.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and carefully fold in the egg whites. Slice the banana into slices and then cut those slices in half. This creates "banana pockets" when you bite into the waffles. Mix in the banana and chocolate chips to the batter.

Using a ladle, ladle the batter into the waffle iron and cook until desired doneness, about 4 minutes for golden waffles.

Peanut Butter Whipped Cream

1 cup whipping cream
2 heaping tsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp granulate sugar


In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer beat the whipping cream and peanut butter until thick and the correct consistency. The amount of time depends on the speed of the mixer and the amount of cream used. Be careful not to over beat the cream as it will curdle and turn into butter.

At the last stages of whipping the cream, add in the sugar and combine on low for a second or two.

Serve the peanut butter whipped cream on top of the waffles with some banana slices, chocolate chips and maple syrup!

- Lou

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Edamame Guacamole

Remember back a few weeks when the blogging world was buzzing with dips, like this Edamame Guacamole? It was the Super Bowl, which could possibly be the most important TV event of the year in the lives of many. For me, the Super Bowl doesn't mean anything, but man, the Oscars, now those are something.

If there's one thing to know about me, it's that I love film. Absolutely adore it, all genres, all aspects of films, it's my passion. Now, my love of film means that I'm one of those who watches almost every Oscar movie, excluding a few documentaries and foreign films, I've seen 'em all. My favourite of this year's nominees? Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan - he's a genius, and this film is a true masterpiece. Also, just saw Denis Villeneuve's Incendies and am completely blown away.

So, if you're like me, and must be munching on something come Sunday when I sit around the TV rooting for my favourite movies of the year and discussing that disgusting dress or hideous hair so-and-so was sporting, I always need a snack, or a few, on hand. This edamame guacamole is definitely the dip I'm reaching for. With the creaminess of guacamole, the freshness of cilantro and edamame, this has got to be one of my favourite dips, the fact that it's so simple to prepare is just a bonus!

Dip your chip into some of this dip, and enjoy the Oscars!

Edamame Guacamole
Recipe: Two Peas and Their Pod adapted from Epicurious


1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/4 onion, roughly chopped

1/4 jalapeno, roughly chopped

Juice of 1 limes
2 to 3 tablespoons water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Combine the edamame, avocado, cilantro, garlic, onion, jalapeno and lime in a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Add in the water and pulse another few times, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste, pulsing again to distribute the seasoning.

Serve with your favourite corn or potato chips, and enjoy the Oscars, I know I will.

- Lou

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Whole Wheat Bran Muffins

Muffins have to be one of my favourite things to eat for breakfast because you can have sweet muffins or hearty muffins, or both. Muffins are truly one of those baked goods you can never get tired of because they are just so versatile! Take my favourite carrot muffins and apple muffins, you'll never go wrong with muffins!

You can eat muffins in a multitude of ways, warm from the oven with a dollop of butter and a big glass of milk, or, as you run out the door in a flurry after you spent that extra five minutes in bed or as you sit at your desk working.

Anyways, these are the perfect breakfast muffins, especially when eaten warm straight from the oven (that's when they taste best!) Plus they are pretty good for you, as far as baked goods go, whole wheat bran muffins, with a hint of cinnamon and apple ... gimme!

Whole Wheat Bran Muffins

Ingredients (yields 6-8 medium sized muffins)

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp of wheat bran
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup cinnamon apple sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup


Begin by preheating the oven to 375. Line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease with butter.

Whisk the flour, oats, 1/3 cup bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the egg, milk, apple sauce and maple syrup.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir together until just mixed. Do not over mix, this will lead to a dense muffin!

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops with bran and a few oats.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

These muffins are a little bit dry, so I highly recommend eating these straight out of the oven with a big glass of milk and a little butter!

Enjoy the muffins,


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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Living Lou's Chili con Carne

One of the clearest memories from my childhood has to do with chili. I was five, and was in my kindergarten class crying my eyes out with a terrible, painful ear ache. Lying on a big red pillow with tears steaming down my face, my Dad came and picked me up and brought me home.

Now, my Dad loves to make chili, so that day, after a nice nap and some wonderful medicine to help my ears, we spent the afternoon at home making chili. The smell engulfed the whole house and I immediately started to feel better. After all, when you're a five year old girl, spending the day with your hero, in my case my Dad, might be one of the best things in the world. I remember he let me stir the chili and it was so thrilling, it's probably one of my earliest and fondest memories in the kitchen.

Ever since then, I've loved chili. My Dad and I enjoy sharing our love for chili and trying out different recipes - he has his favourite and I have mine. This is my favourite recipe and we both agree that this is a pretty mean and flavorful chili. This chili is made with ground turkey, because personally, I prefer the texture because it isn't quite as tough as beef, but feel free to sub in ground beef if that's your preference!

Have you heard of Soup-a-Palooza? It's pretty fun, and since I'm such a big fan of soups as I've mentioned before it's perfect for me! Come check it out, and join in the fun with TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers. There are tons of other recipes for soups, stews and chilies as well as fun prizes!

Living Lou's Chili con Carne


1 tbsp olive oil
1 lbs ground turkey
1/2 small onion, chopped or grated
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 rounded tbsp chili powder
1 rounded tbsp grill seasoning (such as Montreal Steak Seasoning etc.)
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper*
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

*if you're making this for kids, or do not like spicy food, omit the cayenne pepper or use 1/8 tsp


Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot, cook turkey over medium heat until fully cooked, crumbling throughout the process. About 5 minutes.

During that time you can chop (or grate) the onion and chop the garlic.

Once turkey is done cooking and is crumbled to your desired sized, add in the onion, garlic, chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper. Allow to cook until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stirring throughout to be sure the spices are evenly distributed.

Add in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Finally, add in your kidney beans and serve with your favourite toppings!

This chili is very quick and easy to make, it takes around half an hour.

- Lou

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

Pound cake is by far one of my favourite things to bake. You know why? I don't think you can ever screw it up. Maybe you can? Maybe I've just been lucky thus far in my journey of pound cake baking. I have yet to have a major catastrophe. It's one of those recipes that you can come home to after a stressful day and just know that it will work out.

I'll admit it, recipes that I can always count on are angelic. It's like having that friend you can always count on, angelic. I would even give up my bed and sleep on the couch for these recipes. Wait, no I wouldn't.

Do you want to know another reason why I love baking pound cake? Well, it always tastes amazing ... and my Dad usually eats most of it, so, I don't have to worry about eating it all myself.

Anyways, enough about my undying love for pound cake.

I saw this recipe for Honey Vanilla Pound Cake when I was browsing through my Barefoot Contessa cookbook, and it just sounded too good to pass up! I'm not usually a fan of citrus, but the balance in this cake was just perfect.

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake
Recipe Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina Garten

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the sides.

Cream the butter and sugar together for 2-4 minutes, until light. If using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment.

Put the eggs, honey, vanilla and lemon zest in a separate bowl, glass measuring cup or jug, but do not combine.

Add the mixture one egg at a time, slowly incorporating into the butter and sugar mixture. Wait until it is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Repeat with all four eggs.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. And add it slowly into the batter, in 2-3 additions. Beating slowly until just combined.

Once batter is smooth, pour into the prepared pan, smooth out the top and bake for 50 to 65 minutes. Be sure to check for doneness because I found mine needed a little more time and was till quite raw in the middle after the suggested cooking time.

This cake is perfect along with coffee or a quick breakfast before you run out the door!

- Lou

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf

Quinoa (keen-wah) is something that I've heard a lot about, but have never tried ... despite having some in the pantry for months. It's an interesting, ancient grain that has a rather unique texture, and it's really good for you! The texture is kind of crunchy and soft at the same time. At first I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm pleasantly surprised. The flavor of quinoa is mild and nutty, which is easily adaptable. This week's Meatless Monday quinoa pilaf is filling and works well as a main course, but it would also make a wonderful side to a nice roasted chicken.

After researching about quinoa and it's flavor, I thought that mushrooms would be a nice compliment to it's flavor. I have to say that after eating this quinoa mushroom pilaf, I'm definitely a big fan of quinoa and can't wait to try more recipes!

If you're on the hunt for a dish that is relatively simple to make, and yields scrumptious results then I highly recommend this one!

Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf (serves 2-4)
recipe inspired by: Food Network


1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz white mushrooms, quartered
1 cup quinoa
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
freshly ground pepper and salt
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese


Heat up olive oil in a in a saucepan and add your quartered mushrooms, cooking over medium/medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until slight softened. Add in your clove of garlic, cooking until fragrant, about a minute.

Be sure to rinse your quinoa properly in cold water before adding to the mushrooms. Once rinsed, add quinoa and dried thyme to saucepan, toasting for a minute and mixing around with the mushrooms. It should become rather fragrant. Add in salt and pepper to taste, (be careful with the salt as we will be adding in Parmesan cheese at the end.)

Add water and bay leaf and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for 9-11 minutes. Once cooking time is up, fluff with a fork and add in the two tbsp of Parmesan cheese, let sit for a couple of minutes before serving!

It really is very simple and delicious, try it out!

- Lou
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Healthier Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If there are two things in this world that I love it has to be:

1. the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.
2. cookies.

So, when I made and consequently devoured these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, I knew that I had hit the jackpot. Not only are they extremely delicious, but they are - gasp - not too bad for you! These cookies are healthier than most, so you won't have to feel bad after eating two, or you know, six of these little guys. And as if it could get any better, the ingredients are all things that everyone should have on hand! Plus, these are easy peasy to make.

So, if you, like me, are getting battered by this winter storm, and you, like me, are not sure what to do with your day, I highly recommend doing what I did, and make these cookies and then sit down with a good book, or like me, watch some guilty pleasure TV and just relax! The cookies end up being nice and chewy, just the way I like them!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 24)


1/4 cup granulate sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars, peanut butter, egg and vanilla. Beating at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.

Add in the dry ingredients, excluding the chocolate chips, and beat at low speed until combined, about 2-4 minutes. Now stir in your mini chocolate chips.

Remove dough from bowl (it will be quite runny) and shape it into a log, or a disk, wrapping in plastic wrap and placing in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Now would be the time to preheat your oven to 375 and line your two cookie sheets with wax paper.

Using a cookie scoop, or a teaspoon, break off a small about 1 to 1.5 inch piece of dough and roll it between your palms to create a well shaped ball. Place it on the cookie sheet and slightly flatten with the back of the spoon. Repeat with all cookies.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until cookies are set. Be sure to cool completely before storing!

And there you have it, a nice peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, that you won't feel too bad about after indulging!

- Lou

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