Cookie Cake Surprise!

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Cookie Cake Surprise!

Alright so I know everyone gets nervous when the word “surprise” comes at the end of a dessert. In my family surprises usually mean that the meat on your plate is not actually beef like you thought but cow tongue! But this is actually a good surprise! A low calorie delicious surprise. All right Ill come out and say it, I put garbanzo beans in the cake. You would never have guessed it in a million years. Another perk about this cake is that its gluten free! Just a warning, my next couple of posts might be gluten free cooking! My new cooking/baking buddy has celiacs disease (cant eat gluten) which gives me a great new opportunity to test my cooking skills!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans of garbanzos

1 cup of oats

1/4 cup of applesauce

3 tbsp of canola oil

1/2 tsp of baking soda

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of salt

1 and 1/2 cups of brown sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take out a pie pan and spray it well with oil. Really make sure it is coated because gluten free mixes have a terrible tendency to stick to the pan.

Pour all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips  in a food processor and make sure it mixes very well. (You dont want to have garbanzo beans in the cake! )Mix in the chocolate chips to your finely ground cake mixture and plop it into your pan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

SONG OF THE DAY:

What the Water Gave Me – Florence + The Machine

Spinach Enchiladas

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Spinach Enchiladas

 

This is a recipe that has quickly turned into a family favorite. My mother made these for thanksgiving this year and Ive finally gotten around making them myself, only three months later haha.  These spinach enchiladas are super easy to make and not to mention sooo good for you! Lets get started!

INGREDIENTS:

1 small bag of frozen corn

1 small bag of frozen spinach

3 whole cloves of garlic

1/8 tsp of cayenne

1/2 medium onion

(roughly) 10 corn tortillas

1 1/2 cup of shredded cheese **

(**originally the recipe called for mushrooms however they are a little too pricey for me and I already had cheese on hand :) )

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly oil a 8×11 casserole pan. Place aside.

Begin by pan roasting your frozen corn with the three cloves of garlic. Do not put oil or anything in the pan just keep the heat on medium and stir occasionally. Ideally, you want the corn and cloves to turn a light brown and smell roasted.

While the corn and cloves are roasting, pour the spinach and onions in a pan.Cook until the spinach is tender and all of the juices are cooked out. (If you are using mushrooms cook them in the pan with the spinach)

As soon as the corn/cloves are roasted put it in a food processor and grind it up along with the cayenne pepper.

Start warming up the tortillas in a frying pan and place aside.

Assembly time! Place a small amount of the corn mixture in the pan to prevent sticking. Put some cheese in the preheated corn tortilla, then spread the spinach/onion (mushroom?) mixture on top and roll it up. Place the assembled tortilla seam side down. Continue until you have finished the spinach mixture and filled up the pan. Spoon the remaining corn mixture over the tortillas and pop it in the oven for 20 to 3o minutes. If you want you can put a little bit of additional cheese on top of the enchiladas and I also put sundried tomatoes for a little extra flavor on top.

SONG OF THE DAY:

Little Black Submarines – The Black Keys

Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

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Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

In my family, Christmas isnt complete until we have made at least ten different types of cookies. This year we each decided to make one to two cookie batches EACH! There are five of us so we have plenty of cookies to give away! I took the second day of cooking (we have to do it in shifts there is so many cookies on the list!) and I decided to make thumbprint cookies. They are so cute, small and delicious! They will be perfect with a hot cup of tea sitting by the fireplace listening to your families insanity ;).

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of butter

1/4 cup white sugar

1 large egg separated

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1 cup of flour

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 cup  (approx.) of crushed almonds

1/4 cup (approx.) of strawberry jelly **

** you can use whatever flavor jelly you want

Instructions:

Since Im home I actually have an electric mixer! It was soo exciting :)! So with my mothers electric mixer I blended butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Then add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat together. (Be sure to keep the egg white in a small bowl and whisk it together until frothy)

In a separate, smaller bowl, mix the flour and salt. Then add the flour mixture to the batter and beat with the electric mixer until combined. I didnt have to but if the dough is too soft pop it into the fridge for about thirty minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make an assembly line of nuts, egg white and dough. First roll the dough in one inch balls and dip into the egg white and then roll it into the nuts. Place on the cookie sheet about one to two inches apart. Using your thumb (hence the title) push a small hole in the cookie and fill it in with about a 1/2 tsp of jam.

Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until browned and let it cool.

Enjoy and have a Happy Holiday!

Song of the Day

Baby Its Cold Outside- Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald (Mulato Beat Remix)

 

Leftover/Thanksgiving Empanadas

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Leftover/Thanksgiving Empanadas

I have decided that Empanadas are the miracle food. You can put all of your leftovers in an empanada and it turns out delicious. This year we had a non-traditional thanksgiving,which was a huge success! I decided to blend ethnic, vegetarian and traditional thanksgiving food together and as a result I found this recipe. Honestly the ingredients can be replaced with whatever you have in your fridge but I am for sure making these again for next thanksgiving!

Ingredients:

Precut round empanada pastries

1 can of cranberry sauce

2 cups of black beans (canned or homemade)

2 cups of mashed potatoes or cauliflower**

1 egg white

Stuffing (I used the store brand pre-made kind)

** If you make the mashed cauliflower:

1 to 2 tbsps of plain greek yogurt

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp of butter

A dash of milk if it isnt creamy enough

Instructions:

** So you may be wondering why I said mashed potatoes or cauliflower. Well! I found out that mashed cauliflower with seasoning tastes almost exactly the same as mashed potatoes. Trust me, I approached this with skepticism too but while I was preparing the ingredients for the empanadas my mother made the mashed cauliflower and it was delicious. So delicious in fact that I ate the remainder of the mashed cauliflower for lunch and dinner the next day. Also! It cuts the calorie count way down in the empanadas!**

To make the mashed cauliflower:

Cook the cauliflower in a pan with a little water, like you would cook brocolli. Steam it until it is tender and then drain the water off. Mash the cauliflower, electric mixers are nice but you can do it by hand, and add in the greek yogurt, butter and salt and pepper. If it is too thick, add in a tiny amount of milk just to make it creamy.


But anywho back to the recipe. Prepare the black beans, mashed cauliflower/potatoes and stuffing ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 425.

Lay out the circular pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Then spread on the mashed cauliflower on half of the pastry leaving an inch border around the dough.  Apply a spoonful of stuffing and on top a spoonful or less of black beans. Cut the cranberry sauce into thin slices and place ontop of the mixture.

Two things to remember here: 1. you have to make sure there is enough room to fold the empanada dough over to make a crescent shape. If you stuff it too full it will not close properly and will pop open while baking. 2. Slice the cranberry sauce really thin or else it will overpower the entire empanada. Once you have all of your ingredients in the empanada, brush egg white over the inch border you created earlier. This helps the edges to stick to each other. Then stretch the dough to the corners and use the prongs of the fork to shut it by pressing it around the edges. Then repeat! Place the empanadas on a baking pan that has a thin layer of Pam or olive oil.

Once you have finished making the empanadas, let them cool in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. After it cools, cut slits in the tops of the empanadas and fork down the edges one more time to make sure it will hold in the oven.

Once the oven has preheated to 425, pop the empanadas in there for ten minutes. After the ten minutes are up, turn down the heat to 350 and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until brown.

Song of the Day:

Norway- Beach House

“Grilled” Zucchini Mozzarella Roll

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“Grilled” Zucchini Mozzarella Roll

Ill be honest, I thought I hated zucchini, squash and pumpkin. I dont remember when I first tried it (or if I even tried it at all?) but from then on I would avoid these vegetables like the plague. I bought zucchini at one point to experiment with a falafel recipe but I never got around to it and that poor zucchini was just begging to be used. So I took pity on it, invited my friends over and used this recipe.

My logic was that if I didnt like it I could pawn the zucchini off on my friends. I hesitantly tried it and found out that IT IS DELICIOUS! Im going to contribute some of its deliciousness to my cooking talent but as you will see… I actually did very little to it. So with my newfound love for zucchini, I present to you this recipe.

Ingredients:

3 small zucchinis

A cup or so of olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mozzarella balls

Toothpicks

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Cut the zucchini into long thin slices and pour the olive oil into a small bowl. Coat the zucchini in the olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper on it.

Put the zucchini on a cookie sheet.

Here comes the cool part! I dont have a grill so I researched ways to grill in an oven. It turns out that there is a way and it is sooo easy. After the oven heats up to 500 degrees switch the oven from bake to broil (on high). As soon as you do that pop your zucchini  in the oven and check it every five minutes or so. Since the oven is so hot they grill fast so as soon as you see it start browning take it out or else it will burn! Trust me I found out the hard way! When it cools, take out the mozzarella balls and wrap the zucchini slice around it. Put a toothpick in it to hold it in place. Continue doing this until you run out of your pre-cut zucchini slices. Then enjoy!!

Song of the Day:

The Dead Dog- Portugal the Man

Tortilla de Patata

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Tortilla de Patata


IMMM BAAACCCKKKK!!! so after a month and something break, I interrupt my silence with a delicious and easy recipe. Apparently I used to gobble this typical Spanish cuisine up when I was little. The story goes that my parents ordered the tortilla one minute and the next, 5 year old me, had eaten it all! Haha it sure does sound like me! My mom still makes tortilla de patata today and even though I can no longer finish it in five minutes, it is still one of my favorite meals.

Ingredients:

5 small (ish)  potatoes 

1/2 of an onion

Smidge of olive oil

5 eggs

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

We begin the recipe by cheating a little heehee. I microwaved the potatoes for four minutes instead of cooking them on a skillet. (I do this because it takes FOREVER to cook potatoes and often I decide to make these things when Im already starving! oops!) While the potatoes are microwaving, chop up the onion and start cooking it on low heat with the olive oil. When the potatoes are done, peel them and chop them up into small pieces. You dont want to make the pieces too big because then the tortilla should be a fairly even mixture between egg and potato. Put the chopped up potatoes in the pan with the onions and let it simmer.

Then crack the five eggs into one large bowl and whisk the eggs together and add salt and pepper to this mixture. Pour the potato mixture into the bowl with the eggs and then back into the frying pan. This is to make sure the potatoes and eggs are mixed evenly.Take out another pan that is roughly the size of the one with the potatoes and onions and put it next to the pan that is cooking. Now here comes the hard part. I am terrible at flipping and it always ends up looking really lopsided. Once the sides of the egg/potato mixture is cooked you need to flip the tortilla into the other pan. My suggestion is to flip it over the sink because if you mess up egg/potato mess all over your stove is a hassle to clean up. Hopefully, you will be more skilled than me and it will turn out beautifully. Then let it finish cooking and you have a delicious tortilla de patata.

Song of the Day:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cough+syrup+young+the+giant&aq=0&oq=cough+sy

Tilapia-Veggie Bake

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Tilapia-Veggie Bake

This might be a little late and forgive me for writing this two weeks after the    event BUT ACL WAS AMAZING! (as always) I listened to my favorite bands,    ate overpriced but delicious food and learned new culturally accepted practices. For example, before ACL I was unaware that you could only have “one fedora per crew”. (I was so nicely told this by an intoxicated young woman and the band Young the Giant) Imagine my embarrassment when both my friend and I both came in fedoras. However fashion mistakes aside I had an incredible time.

On a different note, my mother called me the other day and informed me that my recipes have been concentrated around sweets. Although I see no problem in this I decided to try a new fish recipe to appease her.      *adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients:

2 filet of tilapia

1 cup of chopped carrots

1/2 cup of broccoli

1/2 cup of green beans

1/2 cup of sliced onions

1 clove of minced garlic

1/4 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of pepper

4 tsp of olive oil

1 tsp of rosemary

1/2 of a lemon

Instructions:

Thaw fish if frozen and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bring maybe a cup of water to boil in a small pot or pan. Cook the chopped green beans, broccoli and carrots for two minutes and then immediately take off the heat. Toss together the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and vegetables until all mixed. Squeeze part of the lemon on top.

Tear off two large pieces of foil and place them in a large oven pan. Divide the vegetable mixture evenly in the center of each piece of foil. Place the tilapia filet over each. Then drizzle the olive oil and the rest of the lemon over the filet. Sprinkle the filet with rosemary.

Bring together the two opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold. Make sure there is no way for the steam to escape. Pop it into the oven for roughly thirty minutes. Once finished the tilapia should be completely cooked through and deliciously flaky. Also the vegetables should be fully cooked. Open the packets slowly to let steam escape and enjoy!

Song of the Day!

Devil Knows Your Dead – Delta Spirit