On Wednesday I had some of my colleagues over for dinner for a wine and whine night, which was much needed.
I made Gnocchi a la Romano from Ottolenghi Simple and a cheesy baked eggplant thing (Melanzane alla Parmiggiana) that Emmeline from Always Use Butter recommended for an easy and delicious meal. It was tasty, and a lovely evening that resulted in opening perhaps one too many bottles of wine, but that's how these things go.
At around 12:30 in the morning the last two ladies got ready to leave, and I said I'd walk out with them to point them in the direction of the bus stop. So I shuffled outside in jeans a hoodie, my indoor slippers, and that's it. No phone. No keys. Nothing.
We walked halfway down the walk way from my building when I remembered something important: the keypad that you punch a 4-digit code into to unlock the front door of the building stops working at 10pm. It was now 12:45am. Fuuuuuuudge.
I tried the back door, but the result was the same. I tried calling Paul - who has a key to my place - from my colleague's phone, but of course he was sleeping and didn't answer. So after a bit of deliberation we decided that the only thing to do was for me to jump into an Uber and go sleep at my colleague's house out in the burbs.
Luckily they were still with me when I realized I was locked out, because if I'd walked them to the bus stop and then turned around to go home alone I would have been well and truly screwed. I got to sleep in my colleague's spare room, in a brand new bed, was loaned comfy clothes to sleep in and luckily could borrow some contact lens solution and a couple of glasses to put my lenses in, and then I took another Uber home in the morning.
When her kids woke up she told them that her friend Katie was sleeping upstairs, and they were very disappointed that I turned out to be not Katy Perry. What can I say?!
I didn't sleep much because I was stressed about getting back into my apartment, and I truly wasn't sure whether or not I had even shut the door - which is right in the main entry way to the building. When I got home at 8am I was able to get back into the building, the door was closed, and it didn't seem like anything had been stolen.
But... there was this beeping. This piercing, intermittent, chirping that sounded like a smoke detector giving a low battery warning, but I had no idea where it was coming from.
Beep. Beep. Beep!!!
I was going crazy trying to find the source of the noise and was literally moments away from dismantling the light fixture in the living room to see if the noise was coming from in there, when I noticed a flat white object on a shelf behind a picture frame.
And there it was - a smoke detector giving a low battery warning. But I swear I've never seen it before! Has this thing been there for the past year and I just never noticed it? Or did someone come in and plant it there to drive me crazy?
WHAT EVEN HAPPENED WHILE I WAS GONE?!
In the old days of food blogging people used to babble extensively about their lives. I have tons of old posts like that in the archives that were like blah blah blah story about my life... awkward segue... here's a recipe!
Any food blogger worth their salt doesn't do that anymore, because our posts are hella optimized for search and designed to be super useful to the user.
Answering questions about the best way to make a recipe? Useful! Tips that will help a first-time user make the recipe without stress? Useful! A story about that time my dog ate a gigantic Toblerone bar? Not so much.
But since you, my Sunday peeps, are literally here to listen to me babble about my life, I wanted to tell you the story of the Healthy Apple Cake I shared this week. This is a recipe that my family has been making forever, except that I obviously put an HNL spin on it with wholegrain flour and reduced sugar and whatnot.
The original recipe is an applesauce cake that my grandmother used to make, and since the recipe came from the 80's or before, it called for margarine and a ton of white sugar. When I post a new recipe (or update an old one) I do a lot of keyword research to see what people are looking for, so I can use search terms that will actually bring people to my site.
I also look up similar recipes and read the comments to see what questions people are asking or what problems people had with the recipe so that I can make sure my content is as useful as possible.
So when I started researching applesauce cakes, the first hit was a recipe on the megasite All Recipes. And the very first recipe listed was the EXCACT recipe my family had been making for all of those years. To. The. Letter.
It was like that episode of friends where Monica was trying to crack the code to Phoebe's grandmother's chocolate chip cookie recipe only to discover it was printed on the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chips.
Anyways, my recipe is updated and modified, so I hope you enjoy it. My kids have been devouring it as an after-school snack.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
First up, Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce. I've included both Instant Pot and Stovetop Instructions so that everyone can make this easily.
Next, we updated our list of healthy Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes that you can make ahead. So many good ideas in here!
And last but not least, the Healthy Apple Cake I mentioned in the story above.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
1. 10-Minute Vegetable Ramen Noodles. Shooting up to the top spot this week!
2. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos. Always a fan favourite!
3. Turmeric Latte Mix. Again. Still.
4. Pumpkin Seed Butter. Love this stuff!
5. Cinnamon Roasted Apples. Mmmmm.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Deborah left the following comment and 5-star review on my Chickpea Fries recipe:
Oh. My. Goodness! These were to die for. I think I & my elderly parents all could have made a meal with these alone! I served them alongside vegan shepherds pie, with cauliflower “potato” salad, & fresh cantaloupe & tomatoes from the garden. WHAT A FEAST! Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe!
Thank YOU Deborah for the glowing review!
THIS WEEK’S MENU
We're away on a trip for a few days this week, so the menu doesn't really start until Wednesday or Thursday.
HERE’S WHAT’S ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
Monday: We're away!
Tuesday: We're away!
Wednesday: We get back home in the afternoon, so will scrounge something together.
Thursday: Big salad!
Friday: I have a team event at work and we're doing an Italian cooking class afterwards. Super excited!
Saturday: Family dinner. Menu TBD but will be simple.
Sunday: Pizza night! Will make a double batch of my Spelt Pizza Dough and freeze half.