An (easy) taste of home: Enchilada Orzo Soup

British food is bland. That’s not to say there isn’t flavourful food over here, but it’s not British. It means that if you get chili somewhere, it’s somehow going to be sweet and bland despite the fact that the name itself means spicy. It means that when you want comfort food, you have to make it yourself.

I was inspired by Creme de la Crumb‘s One Pot Enchilada Orzo. The photo looked amazing, and the ingredients were easy enough to have in the house. Also, to be honest, it’s great hangover food.

My version isn’t exact to the recipe, I don’t have enchilada sauce available here, and I was too lazy to measure things exactly. My adaption turned out more like this:

  •  1(ish) cup dry orzo pasta
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I did a boiling water and stock cubes)
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped

Throw that all in a pot, and cook at a medium heat for about 25/30 minutes, until the orzo is cooked through. Serve in bowls, topped with cheese, sour cream, and anything else you have around. Avocado would be great.

Food that tastes like home is important. So is food that feels good, tastes good, and is really good for you. This is a good one for that.


(mediocre photo because my house has bad lighting and I was much more interested in shoveling it into my face)


Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

In celebrating the end of term some friends and I made cookies on Saturday night. Quiet nights in like are my favourite way to spend time with friends, as you really get to talk and catch up!

We debated between Gingerbread cookies or Sugar cookies, but settled for a classic. The brown butter twist is my fault, but I’m pretty happy with it! As well, this recipe is much easier than traditional sugar cookies as you roll the dough into balls, rather than chilling a million times to get nice shapes.

This recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction and was a breeze to through together. We don’t own a stand mixer, so all the mixing was done by hand. Another reason the melted butter made this recipe so much easier!

Because everything is ‘work’, we also used this as a social media promo for Carolynne (the campus magazine I edit – @carolynneonline if you want to give us a cheeky follow) so enjoy some snapchat shots of the recipe!

Thai Coconut Soup

I snapchat most of my cooking these days, because I am an uncreative trend follower and would like to torment everyone with videos of what I’m making. But here is a non-video version of what I’m doing in the kitchen.

 This recipe is a mix of this recipe and this one, because I wanted more veggies, and then a few random additions because I am terrible at following directions.


  • 1-2 tbl fresh ginger
  • 2(+) cloves garlic
  • 1 onion – diced (red would be great, but HEB was out so we had white)
  • 1 red bell pepper – diced
  • bok choy  (I just used a whole baby one)
    • chop into one-inch strips, separating the fibrous stalks from the delicate green ends.
  • Cilantro (add as much as you possibly can)
  • Juice of a lime
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 ‘can’ (just use the coconut one, measuring cups are overrated) vegetable stock
  • 1 (small) can tomato paste
  • 2 tbl red curry paste
  • 1 bag of rice (we’re lazy and use the boil in a bag kind so I really have no measurement)
  • Shrimp (optional)

The obvious conclusion from this list is I do not measure things, and no idea how many ounces are in a can and I’m not taking the time to go look.


  1. In a large saucepan of 1 1 /2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. If adding shrimp: Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  3. Cook garlic, onion and bell pepper to a stockpot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute
  4. Whisk in curry paste until well combined, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in coconut milk and vegetable stock, and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the stalks of  bok choy, set aside leafy ends
  6. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes
  7. Add rice and shrimp (I ran out of space in the pot and made everyone add them separately, so plan better than me)
  8. Serve with lime juice, cilantro, and leafy ends of bok choy


 I make no promises this is anywhere near authentic, just that its good.




Procrasti-baking: Cinnamon Rolls

Procrasti-baking, or baking when you should really be doing work. My preferred way of spending a Saturday evening, or a weeknight if I can spare some time. For a form of procrastination, it’s a fairly productive one, you at least end up with some food for the week, or for friends at the end.

I’ve been using the past few weeks to attempts some recipes that seemed complicated, or I’ve just never tried before. I’ve fallen a bit in love with making bread, or anything using yeast, to be honest. This was last week’s Saturday night baking, though I just finished them off  this weekend.

I grew up eating homemade cinnamon roles, and while I’ve helped my grandmother make them, they’ve never been something I’ve done alone. I’m not sure if there is a formal recipe for my grandmother’s cinnamon rolls, but I have to say these weren’t too far off in regards to texture.

I started off planning to make some banana bread with leftover bananas but stumbled across this recipe from Minimalist Baker. It was incredibly simple, and the use of bananas really cut back on how much sugar was needed. Since I buy vegan butter, it was also nice that this was such a great easy vegan recipe and didn’t affect the final product at all.

I didn’t include the bananas withing the rolls, just in the dough. I also skipped the nuts, because I am a simple uni student who does not own chopped walnuts. I also can’t say I followed the directions to a “t”, I let the dough rise twice, instead of the once the recipe suggests. I added vanilla extract, but I add that to everything.

It’s a really simple recipe, and I like to justify it by using the time it takes for the dough to rise by going for a run. That burns off those fresh out to the oven cinnamon roll calories, right?


Prep time
1 hour 30 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
2 hours
Simple, fluffy vegan cinnamon rolled infused with banana bread flavor and made in just one bowl!
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan, American
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) instant/fast acting yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance), divided
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana + 1/2 cup sliced banana, divided
  • 2 3/4 – 3 1/4 cups flour (I used a ratio of 2/3 unbleached all purpose, 1/3 whole wheat pastry)
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts or pecans, crushed (optional)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, heat the almond milk and 3 Tbsp Earth Balance in the microwave in 30 sec increments (or heat over medium heat in a large sauce pan), until warm and melted (never reaching boiling). Let cool to 110 degrees, or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast. (If you used a saucepan to heat the milk, transfer to a large mixing bowl now.)
  2. Sprinkle on yeast and let activate for 10 minutes. Then add 1 Tbsp sugar, salt and stir. Next add in 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana and stir.
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go. The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so, adding flour as needed, until it forms a loose but still springy ball. Only use as much flour as it will take.
  4. Rinse out your mixing bowl, coat it with canola or olive oil, and add your dough ball back in seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size (see photo) – mine only took 40 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle ~1/4 inch thick. Brush with 1/4 cup melted vegan butter and top with 1/3 cup sugar (I used a little brown sugar mixed in with the cane sugar) and 1/2 – 1 Tbsp cinnamon (up to preference). Then add about 20 very thin banana slices so it’s easy to roll, and most of the walnuts.
  6. Slowly and tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. With a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5 – 2-inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8×8 square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls). Brush with remaining 1 Tbsp melted vegan butter and sprinkle with a bit more sugar (brown or cane) and remaining walnuts.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 28-35 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm.
  9. Optional: Frost with dairy free cream cheese frosting or a simple dairy-free glaze