February 4, 2010

Quickie: Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Smores

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter S'mores

I’m doing Project 365 this year, which is a challenge to take a picture every single day for a full year. It’s a month in and I’m already starting to run out of ideas of what to take pictures of. Last week I was sitting in my kitchen trying to come up with something, but my mind kept wandering to dessert (this is not unusual). Then I realized: I should take a picture of dessert! Perfect.

This is my favorite go-to snack. I always have all the ingredients in my pantry and when I’m having a chocolate craving I can make a couple of these in 5 minutes, which is much faster (and healthier) than making up a batch of cookies or brownies. It’s not a mind-blowing dessert or anything, but when I posted this picture on flickr a lot of people commented saying how good it looked, so I decided I should share it with all my wonderful foodblog readers as well! Because maybe you guys have never thought to add peanut butter to s’mores? Seriously, peanut butter makes everything better.


July 7, 2008

This weekend in food

Well, I didn’t get much of a holiday this weekend seeing as I had to work both my jobs all three days, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t celebrate. I made lots of food, to the point of overcompensation probably.

Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries

I celebrated the fourth by making Braised BBQ Beef from Simply Recipes, which was sooooo good and quite easy to make. I’ve never been much of a beef eater, but I’m trying to expand my horizons and this was definitely a good start.

I also made Oven “Fried” Sweet Potatoes to go with it. Really good, though perhaps a bit soft, even after following the instructions for making them crispier. That recipe is from Mollie Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without via Serious Eats.

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April 29, 2011

Whole Grain Blueberry Buckle

Whole Grain Blueberry Buckle

In my last post, I talked about how I love decadent desserts, but that I’m also making an effort to be a healthier person. Well, sometimes I forget that you can be a healthier person and still bake lots of great treats. Case in point: this coffee cake and also the entire cookbook that this coffee cake is from, Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce. Up until now I’ve just thought of my whole wheat flour as a substitute: “I’ll add some whole wheat flour to these muffins to make them better for me.” But this cookbook has made me look at whole grain flours in a whole new light. Whole grain flours have something that white flour doesn’t have: taste. And because of that you can use them in your baked goods to make that something has tons more flavor and depth than anything made with plain white flour.

This coffee cake is made with whole wheat pastry flour and spelt flour. I went on an online shopping spree …

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October 8, 2013

Nutella Stuffed Almond Butter Cookies (Gluten free)

Nutella Stuffed Almond Butter Cookies

It’s been a little over two weeks since I completed Whole30. It wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad that I did it and I’m really happy with the results. So far, I’ve dropped 15 pounds but the biggest difference has been losing 6 inches off my waist and 3 inches off my hips. Hello, smaller pants size! The only other time I’ve ever lost this much weight was when I did Weight Watchers about 5 years ago. That took a lot of dedication and point counting and feeling hungry most of the time. What I really liked about Whole30 was just being able to eat without counting calories or feeling like I was supposed to starve myself to get results.

It’s also been very illuminating to find that even when you can’t have grains, sugar or dairy, there is still A LOT that you can eat. Before this I honestly didn’t think it would be possible to go even a single day without bread or sugar or potatoes or cheese and now I barely give those things a second …

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October 17, 2012

Easy Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I’m so happy that the weather is cooler because now I can finally make my favorite comfort foods again. The list includes:

  1. Chicken and Dumplings
  2. Tortilla Soup
  3. Beef Stew or Roast Beef
  4. Roasted Chicken

Unfortunately, all of those recipes either heat up the kitchen too much or they’re just too hot to eat on a muggy summer day so I haven’t made them in what feels like forever. When I was excitedly making up a new weekly meal plan full of these recipes I realized I hadn’t yet shared one of my very favorite comfort foods: Barbecue Chicken!

Back when I lived in Florida, Brandon and I had a favorite barbecue restaurant nearby that we ate at regularly but when we moved to Charlottesville the nearest good barbecue was a 45 minute drive away. That’s when I started making this recipe so that we could still get our barbecue fix. Barbecue sounds like it could be time-consuming to make and in the past I have tried other recipes that took a lot longer which is why I love this recipe. You …

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December 15, 2009

Peppermint Fudge Pinwheels

Peppermint Fudge Pinwheels

Christmas is my favorite time of year and one of the main reasons for that is all the baking I get to do. Even when I didn’t cook much, I’ve always liked to bake and cookies are just about my favorite thing to make. Plus this time of year is the only time besides my birthday and Thanksgiving that I let myself make/eat whatever I want and I don’t feel guilty about it. Diets are what January is for. (I’ve already signed up for Recipe Girl’s Ten in ’10 challenge!) So expect a bunch of sweet recipes around here for the next few weeks because I’m in the baking mood.

I’m obviously obsessed with black and white desserts, so I knew I had to make these as soon as I saw them. The original recipe isn’t very christmas-y, but that was easily remedied with the addition of some peppermint extract to the chocolate cookie dough AND to the fudge frosting in the middle. Don’t worry though, these cookies aren’t crazy peppermint-y. The vanilla part of the cookie balances out the peppermint …

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July 13, 2009

BBA Challenge: Ciabatta

Ciabatta

The seventh recipe for The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge was Ciabatta. This was one I was really excited about attempting but also pretty apprehensive. It’s probably one of the most complicated breads we’ve done so far and from surveying other BBAers on twitter and the forum it was pretty apparent that “results may vary”. Good Ciabatta is full of big giant holes and that involves having a very wet dough, which you can imagine, is hard to work with. In addition to working with the very wet dough for the first time, making this bread involves some special tools as well as setting up your oven in a very specific way, so there’s quite a bit of prep involved.

There were two different versions, using different kinds of pre-ferments: poolish or biga. These are just mixtures of bread, water and yeast that sit out for a certain amount of time to develop flavor and texture. Later you add the rest of ingredients to make the final dough. I chose the biga because the consensus seemed to be that it resulted in bread with bigger holes. I …

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June 20, 2011

Frozen Raspberry Pie

Frozen Raspberry Pie

Sometimes I worry that people think I’m way better at this while cooking/baking thing than I actually am. But if anyone is to blame for this perception, it’s obviously me because I’m always telling you how easy this or that recipe is to make and blah blah blah…look how great it turned out, too! Here’s what you should be taking away from any recipe I post on this site: If I can make this thing, then you most definitely can as well. Because the truth is I’m still learning and I make mistakes ALL the time. But the awesome thing about learning to cook is that the more you do it, the more you learn little tricks and shortcuts so that you can fix your mistakes and learn to steer clear of them next time. But even then, things don’t always go your way. It always sucks to waste ingredients, but you just have to stop, take a breath and start all over again.