Cooking Around the World: Angola

You know what’s awesome about Angolan food? It’s stuff I already have in my house!

Beans, rice, cornmeal mash (funge), and fried bananas just for kicks and giggles.

My main inspiration came from this blog, so I heated up some beans, cooked some rice, fried some bananas (saw that in a random Angolan recipe somewhere), and baked my cornmeal!

The cornmeal was a bit of a cheat, since it’s supposed to be tapioca flour, but you see, tapioca flour is expensive. And cornmeal is on my shelf. And cheap.

Soooo… Continue reading

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Cooking Around the World: Algeria

Not to hate on Algeria, but I was disappointed. Maybe we did it wrong.

Couscous is a very, very popular food in Algeria, Algiers specifically. It originally came from Syria, and from what I gather, I will being seeing a lot of couscous in Northern African recipes!

The main dish was a stew of veggies and spices with the couscous, and we definitely didn’t cook it long enough, so maybe that was it!

I’m not going to write much, because there’s not much to say, except, “Oops!”

The two sides were nice. Who doesn’t like fried potatoes? Continue reading

Hiking Akron: Buckeye Trail & Tow Path, Boston to Peninsula

Welp. Instead of doing the ~5 mile loop we did the ~7 mile loop. Oops!

It had it’s moments, though. 5+ miles in, we stopped by the train stop (for the tow path) in Peninsula and grabbed a couple of Snickers ice cream bars.

Totally worth it.

If you’re like me and trying to find scenic hikes in Ohio, or just the Akron area, the Cuyahoga Valley’s version of scenic is not the Shenandoah’s version of scenic. But I am learning to like it.

Aside from the lookout point over a highway and being able to hear traffic most of the time, the woods are really pretty! There’s some cool history too, as the tow path follows the old canals in the part we hiked (and maybe the whole way too, haven’t looked into it.)

Buckeye Trail, Boston to Peninsula, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Doesn’t it make you feel like a hobbit?

There’s a decent amount of actual upwards too, with lots of roots fashioned into stairs, which I really want to figure out a way to make a part of my house one day.

All in all, I would actually recommend this hike, and I definitely didn’t think I would say that going into it! Make sure you bring plenty of water and some snacks.

Tow Path, Peninsula to Boston, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

This used to be the “turnaround spot” for the canals. Now it’s all marshlands! You can’t see it in the picture, but there is water over where those shadows are; it’s all marshlands now.

Tow Path, Peninsula to Boston, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Marshlands!

Tow Path, Peninsula to Boston, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cool bridges on the tow path! Architecture is amazing.

Tow Path, Peninsula to Boston, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

More cool architecture. I remember a door-tunnel like this in an art museum, which makes me appreciate architecture even more.

Bestest Granola Recipe Ever — Because of the Secret Ingredients

I am hesitant to share this, because I have dreams of opening up my own breakfast&lunch place one of these days, but I also have a responsibility  to humanity.

I owe this recipe to Buzzfeed for their suggestion to include uncooked quinoa, and to Nature Valley because the deliciousness of their Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate bars made me realize I’d foolishly never added chocolate powder to granola before.

Now for those of you who, like me, can’t for the life of them get in the habit of reading a recipe’s directions before they start throwing things in a bowl, this one’s easy.

Dry together, wet together, combine.

SAVE THE COCONUT until half-baked. (Haha, half-baked.) Otherwise it will burn. And if you add fruit, don’t add it ’til all-baked. It will burn also.

And if you don’t have honey and/or maple syrup, 1) they are interchangeable basically, and 2) I believe you can use normal sugar.

I forgot to beat the egg whites. Oops.

Chocolate Granola with Qunioa | Belle of the Rust Belt

All mixed up! Don’t you love my brightly colored kitchen utensils?

 Chocolate Granola with Quinoa Recipe

2.5 cups oats
½ cup quinoa (uncooked)
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon (I always do heaping teaspoons because…cinnamon!)
¼ tsp nutmeg (Don’t do extra nutmeg. If you put in too much, you can tell and it’s not good.)
¼ tsp ginger
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup honey
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup oil, minus 3 TBsp
1 egg white, beaten (~2-4 TBsp)
1 cup coconut (add after first 30 min of baking, so it doesn’t burn)

Mix all dry and all wet separately. Add wet in with dry and stir. Spread out on baking sheet (use wax paper if desired, to prevent sticking if you lessen the oil amount).

Cook at 300 for 30 min, then mix it up in the pan and add coconut. Cook for additional 15 min or as long as needed to get crispy.

Yum

Chocolate Granola with Qunioa | Belle of the Rust Belt

Fresh out of the oven!

Chocolate Granola with Qunioa | Belle of the Rust Belt

So… I might have eaten this in three days… *embarrassing*

What’s Happening in Akron This Weekend: August 15th-17th, 2014

When I moved to Akron, I quickly realized that most things view Akron as a suburb of Cleveland. On Yelp!, I set my location as Akron, and I now get the weekly emails telling me about the greatest places to eat in Cleveland.

Sweet.

To help the rest of humanity who doesn’t want to drive 35-45 miles every time they want to try a new hot dog cart, I am going to attempt to list most of what’s happening actually in Akron.

My feeling is, if I don’t live next to cow fields and have bear sightings in my yard, I’m not driving 35 miles to go out on the weekends.

Kapeesh?

Oh, and they’ll be mostly the free or almost-free variety, because I has no monniez. Continue reading

Why I Had A Cheesecake Bar At My Wedding (and you should too)

Neither BW nor I like wedding cake.

I don’t know what wedding cake-makers do to cakes, but somehow all wedding cakes are light, fluffy confections with either lemon or almond flavoring, or just no flavor to speak of whatsoever.

Blegh.

I *strongly dislike* almond-infused desserts. (Almond paste? YUCK.)

The only wedding cake I ever liked (actually, loved!) was at a friend’s wedding where the groom’s mom made a HUGE carrot cake. I love carrot cake!

And since it was homemade, it was delicious. By the end of the night, we were just grabbing chunks of it and nomming. It was a fun wedding!

I digress. (<– overused by blog people who are trying to be funny? Silly blog people.)

The following are pictures of the cheesecake bar from my wedding. Yes people raved about it, but more importantly, BW and I actually enjoyed the cake at our own wedding. Mission accomplished!

It was delicious.

As someone who can rarely make up her mind, the plain cheesecakes with the topping options was my favorite part. But we also had a ricotta cheesecake — didn’t even know they had such things! — and those adorable little cheesecake squares where you can try ALL THE FLAVORS.

Why I Had A Cheesecake Bar At My Wedding (and you should too)

Photos courtesy of Chelsea Kight Photography

Continue reading