How to change a file’s creation date on a Mac

Posted 18 April 2013 by
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This is not my usual area of expertise, but I thought it was worth posting about because it is something that I’ve needed to do more than once. I hope that one day there will be an easier way to do this on a Mac. Here is the step-by-step how-to on changing a file’s creation date (adapted from: http://blog.grapii.com/2010/07/change-a-files-creationmodified-date-on-mac-os-x/):

Date Format Key:

YY – year (last two digits)
MM – month
DD – day
hh – hours, from 00 to 23
mm – minutes, from 00 to 59

How to change the creation date of a single file: 
Note: changing the creation date will also change the modified date and set it the same as the creation date.

  1. Start the Terminal application (you can type “terminal” in Spotlight and press enter)
  2. Type the following in the command line, but do not hit enter/return.  Replace YYMMDDhhmm with the desired date information:
    touch -t YYMMDDhhmm
  3. Add a space to the end of your command line.
  4. Open a Finder window and locate the file you wish to change.  Drag and drop the file into the Terminal window, and the file and path will be added to the end of the line you just typed. Here is an example of what the line should look like:
    touch -t 1301312359 /Users/myname/Documents/Untitled.txt

    1301312359 represents 2013 January 31 11:59 pm. 

  5. To make the change, press enter.  The creation date and last modified date should now be changed to the date you have specified.

The above steps also apply to changing the creation date of a folder, without affecting the individual creation dates of the files within that folder.

Gluten-free dinner rolls

Posted 6 February 2013 by
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When I saw the pin below on Pinterest, I was immediately drawn to it.

 

 

Those dinner rolls looked so soft, chewy and not at all like the usual yucky gluten-free bakery products that you find at the supermarket. (more…)

Gluten-free, cream-free chicken corn chowder

Posted 1 February 2013 by
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This was developed because my hubby and I both love chowders, but I can’t handle too much dairy, and he can’t handle too much wheat. Voila, a gluten-free, cream-free chowder recipe that can be altered as you wish (seafood or clam chowder come to mind), is low in fat, and still has the creamy texture that you are looking for! This recipe replaces the cream that is usually in a chowder with almond milk thickened with 1/4 cup of GF flours. I used approximately 50% each of tapioca starch (a.k.a. tapioca flour) and rice flour, but I didn’t measure too carefully. We also try to limit our intake of fructose and fructans, so I left the onion in large pieces and picked them out before serving.

Gluten-free chicken corn chowder

  • 1 tbsp butter (or margarine, for a dairy-free recipe)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped or about 12 baby carrots
  • 1 onion, diced*
  • 4 red potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 can of corn*
  • 3 cups homemade chicken broth, without onion
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/4 cup blend of tapioca starch and rice flour (50% of each)
  • 385 ml almond milk (about 1.5 cups plus 2 tbsp)
  • Salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste, optional

*If following a low fructose diet, leave the onion in large pieces instead of dicing, and then pick out the onion prior to serving, and use only half the can of corn.

Directions:

  1. In a large round Dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil on medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the celery, carrot, and onion and sauté for a few minutes until the celery is tender and brightly coloured.
  2. Add the potatoes, chicken broth, corn, and cooked chicken. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked.
  3. Mix a small amount of almond milk with the tapioca starch and rice flour blend until you have a smooth paste, then slowly add the rest of the almond milk.
  4. Pour the thickened almond milk into the soup. Stir and raise the heat to medium. Bring to a boil and continue stirring and cooking until the chowder has thickened to a nice creamy texture.
  5. Taste and stir in pepper to taste. Add salt if necessary (I did not need to add any salt).

 

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Gluten-Free Bread

Posted 1 January 2013 by
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Makes 1 loaf of dense, yet soft, sandwich bread. I used this popular recipe as a guide. This is a recipe in progress. I plan to tweak it in the future, trying different flours to optimize the taste and texture.

Gluten-Free Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour*
  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 1 packet (about 1 tbsp) instant dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

*In the future, I will try replacing half of this with another type of GF flour.

Directions:

  1. Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Measure the almond milk into an oven-proof container and place it in the oven to warm.
  2. Combine salt, xanthan gum, and all the flours in a large bowl and mix well. Whisk the remaining ingredients, including the warmed milk, together in a medium bowl. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix well using a hand mixer until the mixture appears smooth.
  3. Transfer into a greased loaf pan. Place into oven, cover with damp tea towel, and turn off the heat. Allow to rise for 1 hour.
  4. Remove towel and set oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 50 min or until toothpick tests done (instant read thermometer should read 205-210 degrees F in centre of loaf).
  5. Cool for at least 10 minutes in pan.

 

References:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/alisons-gluten-free-bread/

Gluten-Free Bread

What to do with leftover cranberry sauce

Posted 28 December 2012 by
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If you’ve made cranberry sauce over the holidays, chances are that you have lots of it left over. So what do you do with leftover cranberry sauce? I plopped a dollop of cranberry sauce between two large dollops of cupcake mix, and you sort of get a filled cupcake. I based my cupcake recipe on this one, with the addition of oatmeal and spices.

Vegan Spiced Cranberry Oat Cupcakes with Orange Glaze

    Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp vinegar*
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk**
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar***
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • leftover cranberry sauce (about 1 1/4 cups)
    Glaze:

  • orange juice
  • icing (powdered) sugar

*I used red wine vinegar. **I actually used 2% lactose-free milk but almond milk will make this recipe vegan. ***I used 1/3 cup white sugar + 2/3 cup packed brown sugar.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan, warm the coconut oil until it melts, then remove from heat, allowing to cool. Meanwhile, line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups. In a 2-cup (or larger) liquid measuring cup, measure 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and then add milk to it until it reaches the 1-1/2 mark. Allow the soured milk to sit for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk together the melted coconut oil, vanilla, and soured milk.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just enough to combine.
  5. Spoon a heaping tablespoonful of cupcake batter into each muffin cup, then spoon another heaping tablespoon of cranberry sauce on top, and finally top each off with a final tablespoon or more of cupcake batter.
  6. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the orange glaze. Combine desired amount of icing sugar with enough orange juice to make a glaze.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool. Glaze. Enjoy.

 

References:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-cupcakes/ 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cranberry-sauce/

Lentil Cucumber Soup

Posted 23 November 2012 by
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Sometimes (well, often) you tweak a recipe not only to suit your preferences, but simply because you want to use ingredients you have on hand. This recipe was borne out of just that. On a cold winter-like day in late November (today), I didn’t feel like grocery shopping, but I did feel like some comforting lentil soup for dinner. Using the Basic Lentil Soup recipe on CHOW.com as a guide, I whipped up a delicious and filling lentil cucumber soup in less than an hour, with hardly any effort. Note that I didn’t have any canned tomatoes, carrots, or onions on hand, which seem to be essential in a soup of this type. However, the recipe as I have written below ends up being incredibly tasty despite the missing ingredients. I threw in a cucumber (strange, I know!) to replace the lack of tomatoes, with satisfying results.

Lentil Cucumber Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 long English cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart (946 ml) organic low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/3 cups lentils (I used Suraj brand “mixed dal” dried lentils), rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the celery and cook until bright in colour, about 3 minutes. Add the cucumber, garlic, and water; season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes or so.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaves, and thyme. Mix, cover the pan, and bring the soup to a simmer.
  3. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vinegar. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, if needed.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer all of the cucumber to another pot. Pour about half of the soup into the pot as well. Using an immersion blender, purée the cucumber and half the soup. Return the puréed mixture to the rest of the soup in the original saucepan and stir. Enjoy.

 

References:

http://www.chow.com/recipes/29342-basic-lentil-soup

Peanut butter balls with white chocolate coating

Posted 9 August 2012 by
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In search for a wheat- and egg-free dessert that I could make with the ingredients I had on hand, I found these two recipes for Buckeye Cookies on Allrecipes.com. I’m not from Ohio, so I had to do a Google search to find out what buckeyes actually were. Apparently buckeyes are a kind of nut that is found on the Ohio Buckeye tree, and the cookies resemble these nuts.

Photo credit: Northwest Ohio Nature

Photo credit: Dianne on Allrecipes.com

I wasn’t trying to achieve that look, and I only had white chocolate melting wafers on hand, so I just coated the peanut butter balls entirely. The peanut butter seemed to leach into the melted chocolate after awhile, so the coating became less smooth and more “furry” with each subsequent ball. I also ran out of chocolate after awhile, so I have only estimated the measurement of chocolate in the recipe that follows. Also a warning: these addictive desserts are approximately 200 calories and 11 g of fat each!

Peanut Butter Balls with White Chocolate Coating
Yield: about 40 balls

2 cups smooth peanut butter (I used light)
1 cup corn flakes and/or crispy rice cereal, coarsely crushed (I used a mix of both; optional)
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar (aka confectioners’ sugar)
3 cups white chocolate melting wafers*

*I found these in bulk food bins, but I know you can also buy them at Michaels. Feel free to use milk or dark chocolate, or any of the fun colours that they come in! See pics below.

Directions:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Mix the first four ingredients together well in a large bowl. Add sugar to the mixture while continuing to mix. Continue to add sugar until the mixture resembles dough. You may need to add more or less sugar than indicated to achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Roll the mixture into balls, using about a tablespoon for each ball. Place each ball onto the cookie sheet. Chill in fridge or freezer until ready for coating.
  4. Melt the chocolate wafers in a double boiler or a heat-proof glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Using two forks, pick up each ball one at a time and dip into the melted chocolate. Tap the fork to allow all excess chocolate to drip off the ball to ensure a thin coating. Return each ball to the cookie sheet. Once all the balls are coated (or you are out of chocolate), allow to set at room temperature (mine didn’t set as it is summertime and I didn’t have the A/C on so I just placed the whole thing in the freezer). I prefer them chilled or frozen, but you can serve at room temperature if it isn’t too warm where you are.

References:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buckeye-cookies-iii/detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buckeyes-ii/detail.aspx

White Chocolate Melting Wafers – Photo credit: Bulk Barn

Coloured Melting Wafers – Photo credit: Bulk Barn

Homemade Hummus

Posted 15 July 2012 by
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I stopped buying hummus at the deli after I found out how easy it is to make. Just keep a jar of tahini in your fridge, and a few cans of chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) in your cupboard, and you can make hummus on the fly in less time than it takes to go out to buy a container of the ready-made stuff. It’s a lot cheaper to make it yourself, too.

My recipe is based on this popular recipe, tweaked after I painstakingly read through the most popular suggestions made by that recipe’s reviewers as well as this lively discussion on Chowhound. The result is, I think, better than what you find at most restaurants and delis! Serve with wedges of warm pita bread and/or fresh veggies to dip. If possible, make this the night before. Store in the refrigerator and the flavours will meld together better overnight.

Note that this recipe makes enough to bring to a party. I normally make only half this recipe at a time, and so I have provided measurements that are easily cut in half.

Hummus

2 (540-ml or 19-oz) cans chick peas
4 tablespoons tahini*
the juice of 1 lemon
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
Optional: cayenne pepper, paprika, olive oil, fresh parsley

*you can buy tahini, which is roasted sesame seed paste, at health food stores like Whole Foods or Planet Organic; I actually found it in the peanut butter section at Safeway

Simple directions:
Drain the chick peas, saving about 1/2 cup of the “juice” from the cans.
Using a blender, handheld blender, or food processor, combine the chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (if used) together. Slowly add the chick pea “juice” a little at a time until you have achieved the desired thickness. Blend well until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. Best if chilled overnight. To serve, transfer to serving bowl, drizzle a little olive oil on top and sprinkle with paprika and fresh parsley.

More complicated directions:
Follow these directions if you have extra time! The texture of the hummus will be lighter and smoother.

  1. In a saucepan, heat the two cans of chick peas in their juice until boiling. Lower heat and simmer about two minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool until the chick peas are cool enough to handle with your bare hands but still quite warm.
  2. Meanwhile, using a hand blender, blend the tahini and the lemon juice together to create an emulsion.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves and mash them together with the salt. Add to the tahini/lemon mixture.
  4. When the chick peas have cooled enough, drain them from the chick pea “juice”, saving about 1/2 cup of juice, and run your fingers over the chick peas to release them from their skins. Remove as many skins as you can. The more skins you can remove, the smoother your hummus will be.
  5. Add the chick peas to the blended tahini mixture. Continue to blend well, adding the reserved chick pea juice a little at a time, until you have achieved the desired thickness and texture. I aim for the consistency of thick sour cream.
  6. Taste and mix in 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper if desired. Add more salt if necessary.
  7. Chill in refrigerator and serve the next day. To serve, transfer to serving bowl, drizzle a little olive oil on top and sprinkle with paprika and fresh parsley.

References:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hummus-iii/detail.aspx

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/316864

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Posted 13 July 2012 by
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This recipe was inspired by my first time at High Level Diner, a popular local eatery where one of the salad options was tabbouleh! As in, would you like your burger with green, Caesar, or tabbouleh? Awesome, right?

I wanted to make a quinoa tabbouleh instead of using the usual bulgur wheat, and I came across an inspiring recipe on the Gluten-Free Vancouver blog. I also used the technique for perfectly cooking (unrinsed) quinoa as found here.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
15 or so chopped fresh mint leaves
salt & pepper to taste

1 carrot
2 Roma tomatoes
1 long English cucumber
1 large bunch parsley (preferably Italian flat-leaf, if available)
Optional: dried currants, toasted pine nuts

Soak quinoa in water for 15 minutes, then rinse for two minutes in a fine metal strainer.
Add your broth to the quinoa in a saucepan.
Bring to a simmer (not a boil!) then reduce to low.
Cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for an additional five minutes.
Uncover and spread the quinoa out on a plate or cookie sheet to allow it to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and mint leaves to make your dressing. Set aside.
Grate carrot, and dice tomatoes and cucumber (I like to remove the cucumber seeds so my salad doesn’t get soggy, but that’s just my preference). Finely mince the parsley (preferably with a chef’s knife and NOT a food processor).
Once the quinoa is cool, add it to the vegetables and combine well. Mix the dressing and drizzle it over top. Add currants and nuts, if used. Taste and season if necessary. Keep in refrigerator. It tastes even better the next day, so plan ahead if you can!

References:

http://www.glutenfree-vancouver.com/blog/2010/6/11/gluten-free-sugar-free-cooking-quinoa-tabbouleh.html

http://www.cookingquinoa.net/how-to-cook-quinoa-perfectly/

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Hello 2012 and goodbye 2011

Posted 31 December 2011 by
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Happy New Year, everyone! My New Year’s Resolution is to blog more often. Here’s to a happy and successful 2012!

Goodbye, 2011. Here are a few of my Christmas-y Instagram photos in collages made using the online picture editor, Picnik.

Top left: Close-up of one of my (favourite) homemade vegan chocolate cupcakes, topped with a (non-vegan) chocolate cream frosting, coated with white chocolate, and sprinkled with festive, erm, sprinkles.

Top right: Part of my Christmas mantel, where I added a handmade angel (bought, not made by myself) and a Buckyballs snowflake spontaneously created by the hubby a few days before Christmas.

Bottom left: Fireplace mantel decked out for the holidays (notice the angel and snowflake weren’t placed yet). Christmas decoration budget this year was $12, wisely spent at Dollarama on shiny silver gift wrap and gold wire edge ribbon, plus my $2 snowman stocking. Those decorative presents are simply wrapped empty boxes. The basket on the left is holding the Christmas cards we received this year and doubles as a stocking hanger. The Crate and Barrel garland (purchased last year) hanging from the centre approximates the outline of a Christmas tree…this year I am sans-tree again.

Bottom right: A carefully wrapped present from Santa, with a matching ribbon made of scrap gift wrap.

Top left: Mukmuk found his way into the hubby’s stocking. I sewed that stocking for him 7 Christmases ago.

Top right: More cupcakes from the same batch of vegan chocolate cupcakes as above, minus the white chocolate coating.

Bottom left: Caramel Brulé on Christmas Day… Starbucks was open on Dec 25th, at least my Starbucks was! Gotta have those holiday coffees while they are still here.

Bottom right: All the Christmas baking ingredients I had to hide from the hubby, or else he would eat them.