10 Super Easy Post-Election Food Fixes

 Visions of the apocalypse slowing you down? Need a pick-me-up? These snacks are delicious reminders that joy is only a spoonful away. Since time is best spent plotting your immigration, each food fix takes 2 minutes or less to prepare.

  1. Slice avocado in cubes. Spritz generously with lime juice. Sprinkle sea salt. Add a handful of dried cranberries. In a small bowl, mix with a fork until smooth. Eat with crackers. Muffle sighs of ecstasy.

avocados

  1. Buy Brie. (Was there ever any doubt?) Buy a bag of Lays plain potato chips. Need I say more?

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  1. Tiny marshmallows. They’re like edible clouds. Bonus if they’re multicolored.

 

  1. What’s your two favorite teas? Be decadent and steep them together. Chai & peppermint is especially recommended.

 

  1. Melt aged cheddar in the microwave. Eat with apple slices and chunks of fresh whole wheat bread. Get the grilled cheese feels without cleaning a pan.

Cheese on Toast

  1. Warm sweet green peas (stay with me) dipped in Siracha hot sauce. #madeforeachother #sweetandspicy

 

  1. Add a fresh cinnamon stick to your hot chocolate. Swoon.

 

  1. Mix up your cereal routine. Use greek yogurt instead of milk. Top with honey & kiwi.

 

  1. Dip dried banana slices into a bowl of peanut butter & Nutella.

Chocolate spread and peanut butter

  1. When all else fails, crumble your favorite warm cookies into a pint of vanilla ice cream. If the world doesn’t glitter with every bite, seek medical attention.

homemade oreo  ice cream

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The Secret to finding the Best Croissant in Paris

Un café au lait et un croissant aux amandes s’il vous plait…

A French almond croissant from my favourite Parisian bakery is parfait. I love the contrast of textures between fresh pastry and creamy almond centres.…yum.  (I am that person who makes mmm noises when I eat.) But when I eat an almond croissant at a French bakery in Toronto, I experience fleeting nostalgia; it’s just not the same.

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Paris is Special.

Why is an almond croissant in Paris so much better than anywhere else?

Taste has something to do with it, but there’s something else too.

Paris is special.

A sunny day in Paris has a certain charm – anything is possible. The city parks come alive with impromptu picnics, small groups of people with an array of finger foods, cheese of course, a bottle of wine and joie de vivre.

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…the cobblestone streets seem to have no end…

 

Being in Paris is like stepping into a storybook—the historic buildings house secrets, the cobblestone streets seem to have no end, the river Seine carries my dreams in its rapids, and I can’t stop imagining what my story will be.

When I’m in Paris, the city-of-lights, I indulge daily.

No, I’m not kidding! And let me tell you, I’m picky about which almond croissant I’ll eat (even in Paris).

Just like any other place in the world, you and I both know, some shops are just for tourists—locals won’t set foot in them. From baguettes to pastries, a boulangerie is an essential part of the Parisian lifestyle. To get in with a local, you need to be where the locals are. A bakery or cafe is a good place to start.

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French Deliciousness & The Occasional Glass of Wine

 

Here’s my first little secret, shhh don’t tell anyone. I spent 8-weeks in Paris this year and never visited a single museum. Instead, I mastered how to find the best local bakeries in Paris. And I spent many an afternoon and night in long conversation over a spread of French deliciousness and the occasional glass of wine.

I wouldn’t change a thing; and that’s why I love Paris!

 

 

Here are my secrets on how to find the best boulangerie:

  1. Long lines don’t say anything about the quality of the pastry.
  1. Notice if there are Parisians in line, or tourists. Parisians always know the best places to go. How do you distinguish a Parisian from a tourist, you ask? The classic Parisian wears clothes that look effortless, a trench if cold, minimal makeup, hair tousled naturally and moves with an air of assurance in her walk.
  1. Check the time. The best bakeries sell-out by mid-afternoon. They are busiest in the morning and early afternoon, and then quiet, with vacant shelves by late afternoon.
  1. What kind of pastry is on display? The mom-and-pop local bakeries will only make pastries with seasonal fruits. If a bakery has an array of fruit pastries and only apples are in season, the bakery isn’t up to par. (You must eat a strawberry tart in June to July!)
  1. A pastry should look like a work of art and always be baked fresh daily. A fresh French baguette tastes different and everything else, everywhere else, is just bread.
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A pastry should look like a work of art.
  1. Be choosy! Remember, your holiday will come to an end and you deserve the best even in Paris.

One last note, on your first trip to France, don’t judge French food based on past experiences.

Taste it all.

xo,

 Lola

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Lola is a dietitian who doesn’t believe in dieting. Her favourite food motto  is Everything in Moderation. Needless to say, Lola loves food, (to cook and eat it) and is lucky to have a job that involves food. Lola’s second passion in life is dance and she spends most nights dancing Kizomba, which originates in Angola. Lola Teelucksingh is currently a Registered Dietitian, at the Centre for Addiction Mental Health (CAMH), in Toronto, Canada.

Not just speaking practically…

One thing the four of us ladies can agree on is how much we love, LOVE food (and wine).

IMG-20150919-WA0007But, before we share ‘foodie’ experiences, new and old recipes and stories of meals shared with others, I thought I would share some of my deeper foodie musings…

At a basic level – we need food to survive. Yet, food has always been about more than just sustenance for the lives of people. Besides the practicality of food, there’s just so much we can experience through sitting at the dinner table. Not to mention the simple joys of having a meal that takes you back to your cultural roots, allows you to learn about the cultures of others, reminisce about a past experience, or creates an opportunity for you to engage with family, friends, and maybe even strangers.

But even on a deeper level, whenever I think about food, I rein myself in with the concept of “everything in moderation”…

Life Exhibit “A”

For YEARS I couldn’t eat macaroni and cheese (I’m talking that good homemade macaroni and cheese).

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– A healthy appetite indeed…

When I was younger it was one of my favourite dishes, and I think we’ve established that I have a healthy appetite.Though she was hesitant, I reassured my mummy than I wanted more. Of course I did – who wouldn’t want more of this cheesy, warm lusciousness?

Bad idea.

I overdid it. I ate so much it all came up.

Lesson learnt.

But then on the other hand there’s Life Exhibit “B”….

Every year my grandmother, mother, sister and I, together bake traditional Black/Rum/Fruit/Christmas Cake – a Jamaican Christmas time essential.

I remember those days when my Grandma led the baking, with my mummy as sous chef. My sister and I were given the simple tasks: butter and flour the tin, crack the eggs, blend the fruits…

The years passed on, my mother was now the head chef and my sister and I were given more responsibility – we started to play a role in the aspects of the project that were more pivotal to the outcome of the cake. And eventually grandma played more of a supervisory role (though tasting the batter is a very important role in its own right).

There’s something special amount those moments. To be honest, as much as I enjoy the cake, which every year we say we’ve made the best batch yet (except that one year when we burnt it, but somehow still managed to “fix” it), it was always the process of baking the cake that I think was most memorable for all of us.

Contrasting these two experiences, I have come to a few conclusions:

As amazing as food is, overdoing it is bad for you.

As amazing as food is, we can’t forget that a lot of people work hard to grow, harvest, (or rear) and transport it so we can have food on our plates at home.

And as amazing as food is, at the same time you’re indulging in a fabulous meal, someone else is going without one.

 

I think this train of thought transcends into a lot of areas of life. This idea that we should be grateful for what we have, maximize our potential, and use the opportunities given to us – appreciating the support we receive from others in achieving our goals, and recognizing that not everyone has had the same opportunities before them.

 

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Dark Fruit Cake

Ingredients (recipe makes 2-3 cakes)

  • 2 lbs raisin
  • 1 lb currants
  • ½ lb prunes
  • ¼ lb dried cherries
  • ½ lb mixed peel
  • ¼ lb sugar
  • 1 cup rum/port wine (Jamaican “red label wine” is preferred)
  • ¼ lb chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1½ lb brown sugar
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 lb flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 lb butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tblsp almond essence
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ bottle brown colouring (browning)

 

Instructions

Soak the fruits in 1 cup of rum/wine in a jar for 4 weeks or longer

When ready to bake the cakes (recipe makes 2-3):

  • Mix butter and sugar well until creamy. Add the eggs (beaten) one by one, to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix in eggs thoroughly as they are added to the batter.
  • Cook the fruit mixture over low heat with a cup of water for 15 minutes, constantly stirring.
    • Optional- Blend fruits after cooking.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, spices etc).
  • Alternate mixing in portions of the cooked fruit mixture and the flour mixture into the batter.
  • Stir in browning into the mixture to obtain a milk chocolate colour (once baked the cakes will look darker).
  • Add the vanilla and almond essence.
  • Pour the mixture into baking tins lined with grease paper, or tins greased with butter and floured thereafter, to prevent the cake from sticking.
  • Bake at 275 degrees for 2-3 hours according to the size of pans.
  • After the cakes are cooked and removed from the oven, pour a mixture of rum and wine on top.

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