Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chocolate Chip Blondie Bites

You know how mini things are always cuter?  I really like that rule.

Well, it's not really a rule or anything, but people seem to agree that it's true.  Like, why do you think babies are so adorable?  Or those teensy weensie teacup puppies?

It's the same reason these blondie bites are cute: because they're tiny.

And these blondie bites are also delicious which means they really have a lot going for them.  This recipe is by far the best blondie recipe I've ever made.  Let's talk about why it's so great.

For starters, they don't taste at all like chickpeas, which to be honest, are hidden inside.  Like I said though, you can't taste them at all.  This is one of those recipe that I wish I could just make and send to every reader so no one freaks out about beans in their dessert.

These Blondie Bites are also loaded with chocolate.  No really, the bold is completely necessary.  Because these blondies are so small (and cute!), the chocolate chips seem really big.  It's almost like with every bite, you get an equal amount of chocolate and blondie.  And let's face it, that is never a bad thing (although if you want to, feel free to decrease the chocolate chips)

So, do you want a blondie yet?  I sure do!

Chocolate Chip Blondie Bites

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 tbsp nut butter of choice (I used Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini or regulare sized)
Preheat oven to 350F.  Place oats in a food processor and process until ground into small pieces.  Add baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and process quickly to combine.  Add chickpeas, applesauce, nut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla and process until completely smooth.  There should be no chickpea clumps.  Place chocolate chips in food processor, and mix one more time, just to incorporate.  Scoop batter into greased mini muffin tins and bake for 9 minutes.  Let cool a couple minutes before removing from pan.  Recipe makes 18 Blondie Bites.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  Eating cute things makes you cute, and cute is something we all want to be, whether we'll admit it or not.

See?  Only good things can happen when you eat these Blondie Bites.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Kale Brussels Sprout Hash

Yesterday was the first day that actually felt like spring around here and I'm very excited!

So excited, in fact, that I got my butt off of the computer chair and went for a run outside in the sunshine.  Oh, it was soooo nice.  Now if only that last bit of snow would melt, it'll finally feel like the end of March again.

In case you can't tell, I'm completely fed up with the winter-like weather.  Like, so done with it.  I want it gone, and soon.  Maybe making springy food will help?

I already made Pineapple Salsa, but I think the warm weather could use another push.  Enter a Kale Brussels Sprout Hash.

To start with, this thing is so delicious.  That's what really matters, right?  It's light and fresh and will leave you feeling really energized in the best of ways.  So energized that maybe you'll feel like going for an after dinner/lunch walk out in the sunshine that Spring will hopefully be providing, like, every day. (Hear that, Spring?  You've gotta let all us energized people take a walk!)

And then there's the whole healthy part.  Pretty much everything on this blog is somewhat good for you, but this hash thing is really good for you.  It is mega healthy.  In all caps.  You've got kale, and brussels sprouts, and you could even add some bacon.  Ya know, for protein?

So, long story short... just make this.  It's tasty, it's healthy, and it will help you pretend it's spring even if Mother Nature doesn't quite want it to be yet.

Burssels Sprouts and Kale Hash

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon (optional)
  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 2 large bunches kale, stems and ribs removed
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  1. Halve the brussels sprouts lengthwise. Cut lengthwise into thin (1/8-inch) slices.
  2. Cut the kale into thin ribbons (as in a chiffonade) by rolling up the kale leaves tightly, and slicing them horizontally into thin strips.
  3. Cut bacon (if using) into ½-inch strips and cook in a large skillet.   Cook for 5 to 7 minutes to render the fat then take bacon out and set aside.  Pour out bacon fat and replace with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  If you aren't using bacon, just heat olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Over medium-high heat, add shallots and sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Add cider vinegar and maple syrup. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add brussels sprouts; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown at edges, 6 minutes. Add kale and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add bacon, cranberries, balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Cook until balsamic has evaporated.
  7. Serves 4.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Mixed Grains with Kale and Apple

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chocolate Banana Cups

I really wanted to call these s'mores cups.  I mean, everyone loves s'mores and these have all the components of them... they're just a bit different.

Graham crackers turn into a crust made from cereal, chocolate turns into, well, a chocolate cake filling, and the marshmallow is replaced with a banana and yogurt mixture that I swear has the exact same texture as the filling of an oreo cookie.

So, you see, these are sort of like s'mores, but then again, sort of not.  I figured it was better not to give people any false beliefs, so I stuck with the name Chocolate Banana Cups.  It's a bit boring, I'll admit, but no one's going to deny that this recipe is, indeed, for Chocolate Banana Cups.

Ok, so that was sorta boring.  Sorry.

Let's get to the good stuff, shall we?  Like the banana frosting stuff on these cups.  I mentioned it earlier, but I'll say it again.  Same texture as an Oreo cookie filling.  It's incredible, really.  And very delicious.

So is the crust on these things.  It's made with my new favorite cereal, Kashi Crunch!, and has no added fat. Pretty cool, huh?  I'd say these little guys as a whole are pretty awesome.

They may not be s'mores, but they've definitely got a lot going for them.

Chocolate Banana Cups

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp maples syrup
  • 1 tbsp turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large, ripe banana, mashed
  • scant 1/2 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt (just note that using vanilla will make frosting sweeter)
For Crust:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Place cereal in bowl of food processor and process until broken into small crumbs (this could get loud).  Add yogurt and process until fully incorporated.  Press a little bit of mixture into the bottom of the cups of greased muffin tins.  Set aside.

For Cake:
Place oats in food processor (you don't have to wash it from when you made crust), and process until ground into a flour (it's ok if some pieces are bigger than others).  Add remaining dry ingredients and process quickly to combine.  Add all remaining ingredients and process until a smooth batter forms.  Scoop a bit spoonful of batter on top of each prepared layer of crust.  Bake in preheated oven (it should be a t 350F) for  15 minutes.  Let cakes and crust cool at least 5 minutes before attempting to remove from pan.

For Frosting:
Rinse out the bowl of your food processor until no chocolate remains.  Place banana and yogurt (all ingredients for frosting) inside and process until a thick frosting like mixture forms.  It should look like an Oreo cookie's filling.  When cups have cooled, and have been removed from pan, spread frosting on top of each one.  Store in fridge.  Recipe yields 12 cups.

Now, time to healthify an Oreo cookie.  Don't you be thinking this is the last you'll see of that banana frosting!

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Banana Frosting

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Peanut Butter Glazed Cookies

I glazed a cookie with peanut butter.  And it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Chocolate chip cookies are great on their own, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I'm craving just a bit more.  Enter the thought of peanut butter.

It's no secret that peanut butter is one of the most amazing flavors in the whole entire world.  It can be sweet, it can be savory, it can be paired with fruit, it can be paired with chocolate.  Today we're pairing it with a cookie.

Originally the idea for this recipe was a chocolate chip cookie with a peanut butter frosting.  However, someone, perhaps the person who is writing this right now, adding a bit too much liquid and it came out too thin.  No worries, though, I fixed it.  The peanut butter frosting was turned into a peanut butter glaze.

I think it's even better that way because you get to be messy!

These cookies are delicious, there's no doubt about that, but I don't think they're for everyone.  The chocolate chip cookies themselves are on the cakey side, and the peanut butter glaze isn't the super sweet peanut butter flavor you may be expecting.

However, if you're up for something a little bit different, you have to give these cookies a try.  No really, you have to.

Peanut Butter Glazed Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp turbinado or brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (If you like cinnamon in your cc cookies)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp water (or more milk)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup peanut flour or PB2 or regular peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 tbsp water (or more milk)
For Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together egg whites, applesauce, yogurt, vanilla, maple syrup, and sugar.
  3. Place all dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a large bowl.  Mix together.
  4. Pour egg white mixture into flour mixture.  Add in milk and water and mix until a thin cookie dough forms.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.  Drop cookie dough, in 1 tsp amounts, onto baking sheet.  Spread out dough to form a cookie shape.
  7. Bake for 7 minutes.  Let cookies cool a few minutes on pan before transferring to a drying rack to cool completely.
For Glaze:
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Blend until completely smooth.
  2. Just before serving time, pour a bit of glaze on top of each cookie.  This can get messy :)
  3. If you have any leftovers, store them in a container in the fridge.
  4. Recipe makes 20-25 cookies.

Enjoy the recipe, guys!

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Bites

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Chocolate Steel Cut Oats

Nothing much beats a bowl full of chocolate first thing in the morning.  Actually...

Correction:  Nothing much beats a bowl full of chocolate that actually keeps you satisfied until lunch.

Cupcakes, cookies and candy bars may taste mighty fine at first, but if you're anything like me, you're tummy will be rumbling my 10 am.  And that sure ain't fun.

You know what would be a much better choice?  Yeah, you guessed it, a bowl of this Chocolate Steel Cut Oatmeal.

Oh, it's chocolatey all right.  Reallllllyyyy chocolatey.  And thick.  And rich.  And I-can't-believe-this-is-actually-a-filling-breakfast delicious.

Basically everything you want in a chocolate breakfast, but know you shouldn't have.  Except for the part where you can actually have it.  That's what makes this oatmeal so great.

Chocolate Steel Cut Oats

  • 1 cup steel cut oats (I used quick cooking)
  • 4 cups water or milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup special dark cocoa
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • sweetener such as maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc
Bring liquid of choice to boil in a large saucepan.  Add oats, salt, cocoa, and banana and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  This amount of time will vary depending on whether you use normal steel cut oats or quick cooking ones.  Taste oatmeal and decide how much sweetner to add.  Mix in desired amount of sweetener and taste to make sure sweetness is correct.  Transfer oatmeal to container and place in fridge until serving time.  Recipe yields for 4 servings.

I recommend making this on the weekend (especially if you don't use quick cooking oats) and then saving it in the fridge for a quick breakfast in the mornings.  You can layer it with yogurt, top normal oatmeal with it, or fix yourself a big ol' bowl.  I think it's great warm or cold, which means if you're in a huge rush you can just throw it into a container straight from the fridge!

Believe me, it is much better than a candy bar!

You know you want some!

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Funfetti Baked Oatmeal Bars

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Recipe ReDux - Basil Mint Pineapple Salsa

In honor of spring finally arriving, I've got a definite warm weather recipe to share today.  Conveniently enough, this month's Recipe ReDux theme also completely fits the springy bill.

Inspired by both the rising temperatures and the Recipe Redux theme of "Green with Herb Envy", I give you Basil Mint Pineapple Salsa.  Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

If you're part of the Recipe ReDux youself, you may know how I sort of cheated on the creativity for this recipe.  You see, the challenge was to use herbs in an unconventional way, - and don't get me wrong, I was super excited to do so - but then when I sat down to brainstorm some ideas, every single interesting, creative, and delicious thought flew right out of my head.

And you know what I was left with?  NOTHING.

Soooo, I turned to the examples left by the folks at the Recipe ReDux, and, as ashamed as I am to say it, I decided to use one.  The mint salsa one to be exact.

But don't get super mad at me, because I did put my creative juices to work a bit after I had the basic idea of the dish I wanted to make down.  I decided to make a pineapple salsa, and add basil as well as mint.  I threw in some red pepper, cucumber, and lime juice, too, and the result was just fantastic!

Can I just say: I'm sorry I wasn't creative and stole your idea this month, Recipe ReDux people.  May I please repay you with some delicious Basil Mint Pineapple Salsa?

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1/2 of a large pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Mix together lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Add bell pepper, cucumber, pineapple pieces, basil, and mint.  Recipe makes about 1 1/2 - 2 cups salsa.  Serve over chicken, fish, or even as a side dish.  Enjoy!

P.S.  It's totally OK to eat this salsa by the bowlful.  I promise.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie -> welcome warmer weather!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cookie Dough Eggs

Easter's coming!  You know what that means...

  • Colorful Plastic Eggs Everywhere
  • Easter Egg Hunts
  • Chocolate Bunnies
  • and A Whole Lot of Festive Candy!!!
Usually when it comes to Easter sweets, my absolute favorite is a big, fat chocolate bunny, but this year I decided to try my hand at creating a homemade treat.  And if there's one thing that beats pure chocolate in my book it's cookie dough... with chocolate chips!

These, my friends, are Cookie Dough Eggs.

Imagine a big scoop of raw chocolate chip cookie dough shaped as an egg.  Think about what it would be like to shovel it into your mouth.  Now, imagine that it's all totally guilt-free.

Ok, you can stop imagining now... Because these Cookie Dough Eggs are real!

Yes, it's true.  Those delicious treats you see above are big scoops of healthy cookie dough, polka dotted with chocolate chips, just begging to enter your mouth.  And a chocolate drizzel never hurts, either.

Did I mention they only take 5 minutes to make?  Tell me, what have you got to lose?

Cookie Dough Eggs

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • 3 prunes (dates could be a possible substitution)
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (another nut butter could work as well)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • optional: more chocolate, to melt and drizzle eggs with
Place oats in a food processor and process until broken into small pieces.  Add all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips and process again until all ingredients have benn well incorporated (no chickpea clumps!).  Mixture will look crumbly, but should hold together when you try to shape it.  Add chocolate chips and process one last time until chips are a bit broken up.  From mixture into egg shapes.  If desired, melt down some more chocolate and drizzle the eggs with it.  Recipe makes roughly 10 eggs, depending on size.


Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Mini Carrot Cake
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Is it still acceptable to eat pumpkin?  I mean, I know it's a big thing in fall, but is it still ok to eat it in March, what with the sunny days and daylight until 7pm?  I sure hope so, because these cookies aren't something you want to miss out on!

Alright fine.  So in all honesty they're just oatmeal cookies with pumpkin and chocolate chips.  BUT, they're really good oatmeal cookies with pumpkin and chocolate chips.  And who would I be if I let you miss out on a really good cookie?

Sometimes I try to make crazy desserts with a bajillion mystery ingredients, but other times a simple cookie is really what I'm craving.  Seeing as my super simple recipe for Pumpkin Sqares and my completely crazy Double Decker Chocolate Cake both make the top 5 most popular recipes on this blog, you guys seem to like both sides of my baking.

These cookies fall on the simple side of things.

Made mainly from rolled oats and pumpkin, these cookies are great for the times when you're pantry supply is running a bit low.  The weirdest ingredients you're gonna find in them is raisin puree and even then can be replaced with more maple syrup or honey.

But, and I'm sure all of you can think of something like this, sometimes the simplist things are the best ones.  I spend a lot of my time puree cauliflower and blending tofu.  It's good to take a break and make something good and simple... especially when you end up with really yummy cookies!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 flax "egg" or 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raisin puree
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (grind oats in a blender or food processor until they form a fine flour)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F.  In a small bowl, mix together first 5 ingredients.  In another large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients into dry until a thick dough forms.  Form dough into cookie shapes on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  Let cool for 3 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Recipes yields 16 cookies.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

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