Happy Fall!

Hey friends,

I know I been slacking. My bad. It’s been a little hectic with the moving into a new apt and starting up my last (eek!) year of school. I promise to have something new up soon, but in the meantime here are some goodies I have concocted lately that I highly recommend! (Click the link to go to the recipe! Also none of these pic’s are mine – these foodbloggers have much better cameras/ photography skills than moi)

Green Monsters. All day err day. Well maybe not every day but I have a ton of frozen bananas so I’ve drinking them often. So freaking good.

Baked Banana bread oatmeal. Long story short, I ended up 25ish ripe bananas a few weeks ago.  So in addition to freezing most of them, I made a lot of banana things. Like this baked oatmeal. I can’t describe how wonderful it is to have such a healthy/ filling/ delicious breakfast every morning that takes one minute in the microwave to prepare.

I’m not sure exactly what made this so delicious, but I couldn’t get enough. I used summer squash and run of the mill mini sweet peppers. The squash was from my Nanny’s garden which I’m sure made it better too.

Kyle was inspired to whip up a batch of this, which I’ve been meaning to try for 8 months. I’m so glad he brought it up because it was amazing! Especially for someone with a cold (hot sauce = clear sinuses). We also broke out my immersion blender for the first time (how did I not realize how useful/ fun to use those things are?!).

I’m absolutely addicted to this simple sauce! I’m trying to make the most out of the end of tomato season. Kyle and I put in on pasta a few weeks ago (read: Kyle made this sauce for pasta for us while I was still at class) and it was divine! Lately I’ve been putting it on tortilla with goat cheese.

These came out of the kitchen last Saturday night when I decided making donuts and watching Weeds was a better plan then, well, making plans. And holy moly they were delicious. We killed all 6 in less than 24 hours.

Last but not least, homemade granola bars! I hate spending money on food while I’m campus, so I try to make things to take with me (that don’t need refrigeration). It’s also really nice to have granola bars without weird additives. And they fifteen minutes to make, including dish washing time.

And that’s all for now folks, new things (it’s almost pumpkin season) coming soon!

 

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Move into the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches

Millions of peaches, peaches for me.

Anyone?

Before the summer of 2011, I don’t think I had ever had a fresh peach. Now I can’t stop eating them. Plus the market across from my old apartment always has big bucket of them. So convenient.

At some point when I was home with my parents, we ended up with a whole bunch of peaches. And just like with extra oranges, my instinct, of course, was to bake with them. My dad requested a cobbler. I’ve never made a cobbler, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity!

I searched a couple of my favorite food blogs and settled on this blackberry peach cobbler from Eat, Live, Run. If you don’t read this blog, you should (I have enjoyed everything I’ve ever made- seriously!).

Ingredients!

Substitutions included wheat flour and almond milk (I was going to add oats but I wasn’t sure how that would turn out).

The first step was to skin the peaches, which I had also never done. Turns out it is ridiculously easy. You just boil a pot of water on the stove, and drop the peach in for thirty seconds. Pull it out (carefully), wait until its cool enough to handle, and cut the skin off.

Naked Peaches!

Next, I mixed the chopped peaches with blackberries, lemon juice, and sugar. I dumped the mixtures into a greased pan and popped it the oven.

While it was baking I made the dough part of the cobbler. It was pretty easy- I used a pastry cutter instead of my hands (I really need to get me one of those). After the fruit mixture was in the oven for a little while, I pulled it out and added the dough  in globs. Globs of dough = way more fun than spreading batter, just saying.

And about half an episode of Perception later, it was done! I snacked on some with some ice cream and Redi Whip and let me tell you it was heavenly.

I will definitely be keeping this recipe in mind for future excess fruit 🙂

Extra oranges? Make muffins.

I kind of have a problem with going overboard on produce .Seriously, I’m either completely out of all fruits and veggies or my fridge is ready to burst. Since I vacated my apartment, I was doing a pretty good job of keeping my stock in check. Until the end of my last week of work (I forgot how many free lunches that week entails – first world problems, I know).

Long story short I ended up with a bunch of bananas and two oranges. Bananas I never mind having leftover (banana ice cream and green monsters are two of my favorite snacks of all time – don’t make fun). But the oranges were a little trickier.

Luckily, my mom is the one the who got me into baking (ie. her pantry is also stocked with the essentials). And I had a free Sunday. I searched “orange” on foodgakwer, and came across these Orange Muffins.

*Also I left my camera in the ‘burgh. I hope you like instagram as much as me 🙂 My username is danananah. Follow me for more everyday food pic’s!

I substituted (apparently it is impossible for me to copy a recipe line by line) the sour cream for lactose free yogurt (delicious, not gross at all) and replaced a cup of the white flour for wheat flour (though I always do this –  added texture and health benefits? Favorite baking “trick”).

Mom also had dried orange peel on hand, so I used that instead of zesting the orange. I don’t know what it is about zesting fruit but I absolutely hate doing it.

Making a mess.

Yummy yummy batter. And my hand written recipe creepin’ underneath.

More yummy batter.

Glaze time! This is came together perfectly. More dried orange peel instead of zest.

And completion. I was more than happy with how they turned out. My dad even left me a note in the morning about how good they were (he had one for breakfast before I got up).

Honestly though- the best part of making them was leaving them in the oven for the exact amount of time the recipe suggested. Beautiful. I will never miss the oven from my last apartment. Ever. Fingers crossed the new oven is a good one!

Salted Pretzel Marshmallow Bars (Nick)

So I finally decided to make something and in-turn document it as well. Since I have been very lackadaisical about posting as well as documenting things I am trying to get back into it.

I have subscribed to food network magazine and enjoy their variety of things and this month they had a feature on marshmallows so I decided to make these bad boys… The perfect combo of sweet salty and peanut butter!

 

 

As you can see when I lifted the tin foil out of the pan they crumbled a little, not the most beautiful thing but alas, still delicious.

The ingredients were simple and the only thing I did not have in my kitchen were peanut butter chips and marshmallows..

Continue reading

Birthday Brownies

I’m a little late on this, but here it is. The best brownies I have ever made!

I did get birthday cake. In the form of an insanely delicious chocolate creation from Six Penn (aka the best restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh). Chocolate cake, layers of chocolate frosting, ganache topping, drizzled chocolate sauce on the plate, and a birthday candle. Not to mention a side of milk. It was the best piece of cake I’ve ever had.

I really need to take pictures of these things.

In the days leading up to my birthday though, all I could think about were brownies. So like any other self respecting baker, I made some for myself for my birthday. They might even be richer than the cake from Saturday. Super dense and melt in your mouth at the same time, with a bit of salt to even it all out.

Sure to elevate your mood under any circumstance.

Salted Fudge Brownies

I was out of eggs so I used chia seeds. Again. I’m beginning to think I may never switch back to eggs.

The best brownies always seem to be the one that involve melting lots of chocolate at the first step. I loved how it made my whole apartment smell like chocolate!

Then add in everything else and bake. My oven took about 15 minutes longer than the recipe said (par for the course). Eventually I just gave up and took them out- the melted chocolate made them seem less than done I think.

I did my best to savor them, but it was so hard! I will definitely be making these again as soon as I have a kitchen (or maybe even this week at my parent’s house!).

 

Pantry Project Completition

So remember that time I said I was going to use up everything in my pantry?

Well, I did. Kind of.

There’s some leftover tapioca flour and almond meal and powdered sugar. And corn syrup.

But overall, I went from this:

To this:

I finished up all my traditional ingredients (chips, flour, sugar, etc.) with these recipes:

1. Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe adaptions to use what I had:
-6 TBSP coconut oil + 3 TBSP butter (instead of the other way around)
-1/4 c whole wheat/ spelt flour for the cocoa powder
-Butterscotch chips instead of chocolate
-Whole wheat/ spelt flour instead of white
-A chia egg instead of a chicken egg
-Sweetened coconut instead of unsweetened, and therefore
-Elimination of the brown sugar

….somehow I think the actual version of these would taste a whole lot different. Can you believe I took out all the chocolate? Weird. But these were some of the most addictive cookies I’ve ever made. Most of the sweetness comes from the butterscotch chips & coconut, which I think made it easier keep munching (especially when they’re still warm from the over and you’ve eaten all salty things that day….or maybe that’s just my problem..). The oat/wheat flour/coconut texture really made it a winner.

Two peas and their pod have spectacular cookie recipes, for the record. The above came from their site, as did this next one.

2. Mini Rocky Road Cookies

Recipe adaptions to use what I had:
-Whole wheat/ spelt flour instead of white
-Reese’s peanut butter chips instead of white chocolate
-Nuts were elminiated

I mostly chose this recipe because it called for so much cocoa powder (and thus didn’t have enough for the coconut cookies- whoops). We also happened to have mallow bits in the pantry (they’re not quite as good as Lucky Charm marshmellows, if you were wondering). I also didn’t make them mini- because I was in the mist of moving and couldn’t afford to spend any more time baking.

I can honestly say they were the best chocolate cookies I’ve ever had. They were the type of cookies that actually stayed soft after they cooled without tasting stale (you know, like those “Keeber soft” cookies. Anybody?).

And last but not least,

3. Peanut Butter Cookie S’mores Bars

(unfortunately I packed them up and gave them away before I remembered to take a picture, whoops).

Recipe adaptions to use what I had:
-A chia egg (for the cookies)
-Whole wheat/ spelt (also for the cookies)
-6 oz fluff (I thought my jar was bigger for some reason)
-Elimination of the graham cracker crumbs (so they weren’t technically s’mores anymore, I know, I know).
-“Homemade chocolate” instead of Hershey’s bars.

So what is “homemade chocolate”? In this case, it was a combination of all the chocolate related baking stuff I had left that typically goes in chocolate. Specifically, unsweetened baker’s chocolate, cocoa powder (I made the chocolate itself before the coconut cookies), butter, sugar, and agave. It tasted a little weird on its own (I don’t have a double boiler, so melting everything without burning it proved a little difficult), but it went really well with the cookie base.

The edges got a little crisp, and everything melted together kind of oddly (my fault for the major adaptations, I’m sure). But they tasted incredible – and that’s all that really matters (uh, right?).

Aspirations & Accomplishments

Ed. 2 of drool worthy recipes and things I’m loving:

1.  Tequila Cherry Tomatoes. I did end up making them and and they were amazing. I’m totally making them again (if I have tequila left after this weekend – though it’s kind my birthday weekend though so there’s a distinct possibility my bottle will be empty).

2. Overnight Steel Cut Oats

I got a giant bag of steel cut oats in May at Big Lots. And by giant bag I mean there are 52 servings in it! My only problem with steel cut oats is that they take 20-30 minutes to cook, depending on the brand. I came across this method last week on The Kichcn (which you should be reading if you’re not – they have relevant tips, tricks, and recipes for everything you can think of!). The trick is to soak the oats overnight in milk just like regular overnight oats. It leaves the oats are still kind of chewy because they don’t absorb all the liquid, but honestly, I love the texture. And one tablespoon of chia seeds sops up most of the extra milk. Perfection.

3. This Zucchini Casserole

I mentioned in my last post that I made a casserole. As much as I hate the word casserole, I loved this recipe. My Nanny a whole bunch of zucchini out to Pittsburgh with my mom and I wasn’t sure how to use it all. Then I found this- which called for 6 cups of the stuff. I used less cheese than it called for and I used crushed up matzoh for the bread crumbs (which worked way better than I expected). It also froze/ reheated way better then…well, most things I freeze/reheat.

4. Vegan Caramel Glazed Baked Donuts

I came across these vegan caramel glazed baked donuts this morning. I may have actually drooled on the keyboard. I’ve been following Namely Marly on Pinterest for a while but some reason never checked out her blog. Until today. I cannot  believe what I’ve been missing. She has recipes for southwestern hummus & a vegan Philly Cheezesteak –  and those were just posted in the last few weeks!

5. I’m making brownies for myself for my birthday this year. A pantry version of this from Eat, Live, Run I’m thinking. We’ll see what jumps on the shelf when I get home tonight.

6. When I get a kitchen back, I really want to look into homemade vegan cheeses. The whole idea is really interesting to me. The Naked Kitcten posted this awesome recipe for feta cheese made from tofu. Vegan mac n chz is also on my to-cook list.

7. New food finds!

I discovered these two last weekend. We were getting food for a trip to my friend’s cabin. Apparently I can’t go anywhere without veggie burgers and hummus. I had never even seen either of these flavors before- and they were both incredible! (Especially together- seriously, you can put hummus on almost anything).

There definitely weren’t whole olive in the hummus I bought though.. wtf Sabra? 😉

Alright well I’m going to stop making everyone hungry now. Birthday brownies coming at you soon!