Friday, October 28, 2011

Stress-ipes

If you've seen my whining opining on Twitter this week, you'll know that our trusty (albeit ancient) fridge/freezer bit the dust last Sunday night, thawing out all the contents by the time I discovered it (since the stepdad is not one to open the fridge at all). Mom was away on business for the week (she conveniently left before it died!) and so, with a fridge full of food that would never all fit into our smaller backup fridge and deep freeze, I resorted to three other methods of saving what I could: I resorted to the garage as a cold storage unit (thank God for the small miracle of the fridge death being in a cold month!), I made pasta sauce with all the produce I could find (including the last of our tomatoes) and I baked away the apple butter, egg whites, almonds and pineapple juice that were in the freezer. We still don't have a fridge, since Mom only came home last night, but the garage and rather packed cold bellar in our basement is doing an ample job for now.
I jokingly termed the a la minute cooking and baking that I did as working out of "stress-essity". It's always been true that my main way of managing stress of any kind was to cook or bake something, and being able to actually have a purpose to expend my nervous energy was awesome. So these two that I made on Day 1 of the non-fridge (there are more to come!) were just more stress-ipes, if you will.

As long as we have a new one within the next few days, no Hell will break loose. Otherwise, fitting two frosted cakes and a batch of cupcakes (for the charity auction I'm donating to again this year) in a tiny fridge holding twice it's intended food already will be very interesting!
 
 
By the way, are you in Toronto and want a $40 dinner for two, free? Take a look at my giveaway to enter! You have only one week left to get in on your chance, draw closes November 4!

Small Miracles Pasta Sauce
Makes about 10 cups, 1/2 cup servings
1/2 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
3 stalks celery
3 carrots
3 cubanelle peppers (or sweet bell peppers)
1 habanero
1 head garlic (I counted about 15 cloves)
1 cucumber, unpeeled
25 plum tomatoes (ish... I didn't count in the interest of using them up)
1/4 cup white wine
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs lemon thyme
pinch dry basil
pinch black pepper
pinch sea salt
1 can tomato paste
  1. In a food processor (in batches), finely chop the onion.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion. Lower the heat and gently cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in the food processor (no need to clean) dice the celery, carrots, cubanelles, habanero and garlic.
  4. When the onion is cooked add the diced vegetables, raise the heat to medium-high and cook until they soften.
  5. Finally, in the food processor puree the cucumber and the tomatoes. Set aside.
  6. Add the wine to the pot and stir in well, let cook 1 minute.
  7. Add the herbs and pureed tomato-cucumber mixture, stir in.
  8. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Using a hand blender (or working in batches in a standard blender or food processor) puree until smooth.
  10. Season to taste, stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 47.9
Total Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 91.1 mg
Total Carbs: 9.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 1.6 g
  
With this batch of muffins, the grains and apple butter added a heartiness and moisture, while butterscotch chips and a touch of flavoured cappuccino mix lent a bit of decadence. They may be "apple" in flavour, but they're not overly diet friendly! They are, however, wheat and cholesterol free and 100% whole grain... so you know, you can feel semi-healthy!

Stress - essity Muffins
Makes 12
1/2 cup spelt flakes
3/4 cup warmed apple cider
1 cup rye flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp French vanilla cappuccino mix (I used Timmies')
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbsp oil
10 oz apple butter
2 egg whites
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a small dish, mix spelt flakes and cider. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, spice and cappuccino mix.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, apple butter and egg whites.
  5. Beat in soaked spelt flakes.
  6. Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the butterscotch chips.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Cool 10 minutes in the tin, then unmould onto a wire rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 258.5
Total Fat: 6.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 30.1 mg
Total Carbs: 49.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.1 g
Protein: 4.2 g