Wednesday, July 9, 2014

.blueberry banana bread.

it would only be fair to let you know that i'm distracted as i write this. the andy griffith show is on and i'm a sucker for manners and kindness. speaking of kindess, laura brought be a few overly ripe bananas thinking i may be able to use them to make a banana bread. well, just as deputy fife's lines are spot-on, so is this twist on traditional banana bread. 
if you want to make blueberry banana bread too, follow this script. whisk together the dry ingredients and then mix together your wet ones and sugars in a separate bowl. 
 ever had one of these brown bananas on your countertop before? this browning happens a little too often on my countertops. they make for the best ingredient in banana bread, luckily. 
stir your dry ingredients into your wet ones until they are immersed as one. one love. 
fold in as many blueberries as your heart desires. one to two cups is probably reasonable, but i may be a little more unreasonable next time. i really love blueberries.

i'm sure a loaf pan or muffin pan would do just fine, but i was feeling bundty and decided to use my bundt pan. 

my blueberry banana bread turned out pretty tasty and was easy to throw together. as simple and delightful as a sunny day in mayberry.

blueberry banana bread
what you need
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large ripe bananas, smashed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1- 2 cups blueberries

what you do
whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  in a separate bowl, mix your sugars, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla. then, stir in the smashed bananas. 
preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
stir your dry ingredients into the wet ones and make sure they are completely immersed. 
fold in, rather gently, your desired amount of blueberries. voila. 
bake for 35 minutes and check your bread with a toothpick. if it isn't ready, continue to add a few minutes on at a time. i have a phobia about overcooking baked goods and drying them out. join my phobia.
enjoy the bread!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

.veg cheesy crisps.

ok, so you know how we're all supposed to be eating better, adding veggies to our lives, skipping on the extra sugar? (and by skipping on the extra sugar, i mean i'm not skipping it at all. i'm not perfect, ya know.)
well in the name of all that is wholesome and grows from the ground, i have a really simple, three-ingredient recipe for you that will delight even the unhealthiest of eaters. 

start by grating some zucchini and carrot until you have about half a cup of each. if you want to use zucchini only, that is fine too. i can't vouch for the carrot only variety, but it may be tasty. either way, make sure you have one cup of veggie goodness.

i grated mine in the food processor and then smooshed the moisture out of it with a towel. however you grate yours, just make sure you press the water out after. go ahead and preheat your oven to 350.

wait- what is this third ingredient that resembles something heavenly from the land of dairy and love? yes, my friends, it is cheese. parmesan to be precise. you're going to need about half of a cup total. 

mix your veggies and cheese and then dollop it out by the spoonful on a parchment lined cookie sheet. i pretended i was making chocolate chunk peanut butter cookies. no, no. i wouldn't do that to myself and neither should you. bake your crisps for around 10 minutes until you start seeing the edges turning brown.

 let the crisps rest on the pan for another five or so before you remove them with a spatula. try not to eat all of them at once. wait- do whatever you want! these are spectacularly delicious.


veg cheesy crisps (makes 10-12 crisps)
what you need
1 cup grated veggies (zucchini and/or carrot)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

what you do
grate your vegetables then press the excess moisture out with a towel until you have about one cup worth. preheat your oven to 350.
mix half a cup of parmesan cheese in with the vegetables and dollop by the spoonful on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
bake for approximately 10 minutes and allow to rest outside the oven for another 5 minutes on the warm pan.
remove with a spatula.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

.cut some carbs tacos.

are you ready for cinco de mayo?
what about just dinner on a random thursday in the middle of any ol' month?
either way, these tortilla-less tacos are sure to please.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

.fancied-up store bought spinach dip.

sometimes the most delicious dishes are the simplest. in this case, make your life easy and make your mouth happy with my fancied-up store bought spinach dip. 

buy your favorite store bought spinach dip and sure, it is delicious. i really have to pull my arm away every time i pass it myself so that i don't gorge weekly on the stuff.  but, this recipe will take that dip to a different level. you'll need some cheese (i prefer parmesan and mozzarella) and a little sriracha if you'll feeling daring. 

mix a handful of parmesan cheese and a slight splash of the sriacha sauce into the spinach dip. 

put your dip mix into a glass baking dish.

put a generous coating of mozzarella cheese on top. cover with foil and bake for about fifteen minutes at 350. 

then, remove the foil and broil until your top cheese is bubbly and toasty. 

serve with pita points, chips, hawaiin bread, your fingers...


Saturday, March 29, 2014

.thin mint cookie cupcakes.

once upon a time, in a magical minty land, lived a cookie so perfect that in its raw form, it would make grown people swoon. 
along came an evil wench who decided this most delicate cookie was not good enough. she was determined to smash it to smithereens and put it in the furnace of an oven in cupcake form. no one lived happily ever after. WAIT- that is not the right ending. 
in fact, everyone lived so much MORE happily after they tasted this thin mint cookie cupcake. 

bragging is not a pleasant trait. but hey, i've just got to this time. these cupcakes are freakishly delicious! they're like taking the perfection of a thin mint cookie and smashing it with the perfection of a cupcake until they explode into a firework display of bliss. ok, ok...that's a lot of theatrics and dramatics, but this thing is g. o. o. d. let me show you how to make your own. 

take a sleeve of girl scout thin mint cookies and pulverize them either with a food processor or by hand.   maybe the extra workout will burn some of the calories you're about to consume. maybe. 

sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder into the bowl of your stand mixer. 

toss in your thin mint crumbles and then mix to combine. 

go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. brew a fresh cup of coffee. not for lounging and sipping, silly.
in a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla. with the mixer on low, slowly pour this liquid mixture into your dry ingredients. 
now, pour in your fresh, hot cup of coffee. do not overmix. 

this is one of those batters that will look just wrong. if you're like me, you'll think it is WAY too liquidy to be finished. just trust me, it'll all come out fine after it bakes. fill each lined muffin well almost to the top. 

bake the cupcakes for 15-22 minutes. i always start low and check with a toothpick. actually, one of my muffin pans cooks quicker than the other; so, i remove them at different times. when your toothpick pulls out clean, you'll know you're done. 

while your two dozen chocolate thin mint cupcakes are baking (insert drool), whip up some buttercream frosting. cream 3 sticks of room temperature butter on high for about 5 minutes before adding the confectionary sugar.
now for sugar. keep adding sugar until it is fluffy is my motto. it'll take 2+ cups. then, add your vanilla and mint extracts. 

as an ode to my own days in the green girl scouts, i put in just a spot of this beautiful kelly green food coloring. trust me when i say our uniforms were a much greener green than this. but hey, i think this shade gives just the right hint that there's mint in these things. 

after your cupcakes bake, allow them to rest in the pans for 5-10 more minutes outside the oven. this is the perfect time to top each one with a thin mint cookie. then, allow them all to cool on a wire wrack.

pipe or plop your frosting on top to hide the cookie surprise. 

if you're not convinced yet that you should make these, let me describe the experience you get when biting in...
imagine a delicate chocolate cake with hints of thin mint cookie nestled in the softness, topped with the crisp crunch of an actual thin mint cookie that is wearing a frosting hat so delicate and refreshing with just a hint of minty heaven. 

yeah, i went there. 
you should too. 

thin mint cookie cupcakes

what you need
for the cake...
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 sleeve thin mint cookies
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup freshly brewed coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

for the cookie...
girl scout thin mint cookies

for the frosting...
3 sticks room temperature unsalted butter
2+ cups confectionary sugar (keep adding sugar until the frosting gets fluffy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp mint extract
a smidgeon of kelly green food coloring (optional)

what you do
sift together your dry ingredients (minus the cookies) into the bowl of an electric mixer. in a food processor or by hand, crumble one sleeve of thin mint cookies and add to the mixer bowl. mix all ingredients together with the paddle attachment. 

preheat oven to 350.

in a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla. slowly pour it into the dry ingredients with the mixer on low. then, add the coffee.

before you scoop your batter into your lined muffin wells, be aware that the batter will be very liquidy. do scrape the bottom of the bowl with your spatula before scooping.  you should be able to make 2 dozen cupcakes. bake for 15-22 minutes.

while the cupcakes are baking, make your frosting by creaming your butter in your electric stand mixer. slowly add in the confectionary sugar and then the vanilla and mint. if you are coloring yours, put in a little dab of your color. mix on high speed until fluffy. continue to add confectionary sugar

when the cupcakes are done, a toothpick should pull clean. let them stand in the pan for 5-10 minutes before allowing to cool on a wire rack. 

place a thin mint cookie on the top of each cupcake. when the cakes are completely cooled, frost them. now...


Thursday, March 27, 2014

.zucchini muffins.

i made my own little muffin some really healthy blueberry muffins not too long ago and she gobbled them up.  i figured i could get her to fall in love all over again with a green twist. 

does hiding vegetables in a muffin make me a conniving mom? 

 nah. it's for her own good. plus, my little one year old luckily likes plenty of veggies without the muffin costume.

raisins, nuts, berries, chocolate...? ok, i may have gone a little overboard with the chocolate. but, any of the other options give these muffins some extra dimension. 

these bad boys, er, good boys are yum. i wouldn't categorize them as "healthy" because of the sugar and such, but they do sneak in vegetables to an otherwise sweet treat. hope you take them for a spin around your kitchen.

zucchini muffins

what you need
3 cups grated fresh zucchini
2/3 cup melted butter, unsalted
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup raisins

what you do
in a large bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar.  then, stir in the grated zucchini and melted butter. 
in a separate bowl, stir together all your remaining dry ingredients (excluding raisins). 
preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
stir your dry ingredients into the wet ones. now, mix in your raisins if you so choose to add them. i prefer golden raisins. 
either butter your muffin pan or use muffin liners. 
give each of the 12 muffin wells a generous heaping of the batter. 
bake for 20-30 minutes. i checked my muffins with a toothpick after 20 minutes and they needed another 5.