"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oven S'more Bars

making s'mores is one of the highlights of summer.
getting said s'mores off of your 2 year old's face & out of her hair is not as much of a highlight.

also- it's all but impossible to make legit s'mores & take them places. or not eat them all right then & there. because they are messy & the only good melted marshmallow is one that is consumed within 47 seconds. otherwise- no bueno.

but this recipe allows for the taste of s'mores without the mess & with the ability to make & share with others. yes- they're magical like that.

Oven S'mores Bars (via wit&whistle via lovin' from the oven)

You Need:
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp canilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (i buy the boxed stuff)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king sized Hershey's bars or 5 regular sized
1 1/2 cups Fluff (NOT melted marshmallows)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 & grease an 8 in square baking dish

In the bowl of your stand mixer cream together the butter & sugars until light. Add the egg & vanilla & beat until fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder & salt.  Add the dry mix to the butter mix, at low speed, until combined.

Divide the dough in half & press half of the dough into an even sized layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish,
Place the chocolate bars over the dough, pressing down gently. I try & make sure every inch is covered with chocolate- so feel free to break the bars if needed.
Spray a spatula with cooking spray & use it to spread the Fluff over the chocolate bars. 

Place the remaining dough in a single layer of the Fluff (the easiest way to do this is to flatted then dough into small shingles & laying/pressing them together)

Bake for 30-35 min, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

try & get a picture before your significant other attacks the bars with a knife & cuts them with the skill of a 4 year old.

these were so good that i made them 2 weekends in a row.
they're perfect at room temp but they're heaven if you pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds.
heaven people.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Coconut Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

i love rice pudding. i love coconut. i love milk. i love lamp...whatever.

so if you mix all of those things (sans the lamp) together & let it simmer, you get this awesome creamy concoction that makes you want to eat a sinful amount. for shame.

you actually have 2 options with rice pudding. you can make it with non cooked rice or cooked rice. most recipes have you working with non cooked rice. probably because not a ton of people have cups & cups of cooked rice sitting around. but i'm not most people. so that's that.

i basically think the cooking time is the same, cooked or non cooked- but this is how i do things:

Coconut Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding
You Need:
2 cups of cooked rice (i use Jasmine)
1 can of coconut milk (full fat or light)
2 cups of milk
1 tblsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
chia seeds (optional)

Directions: Mix everything together (except the chia seeds) in a medium sized pot. Place the pot on low heat & simmer for around 40-45 minutes. Stir occasionally until the mixture is thick & creamy.

you can eat it hot, sprinkled with toasted coconut or cinnamon, or let it cool overnight & eat it nice & cold. You can also play with the flavors & add nutmeg, ginger, almond extract, etc etc. whatever your heart desires.

an added bonus is tossing in some chia seeds.
these things are packed with fiber & give a nice texture to just about anything. they're initially crunchy right out of the bag but if you leave them overnight they soak up some of the moisture & have an almost tapioca like texture. i hate tapioca but i love these.

i added about a palm full to the rice pudding & allowed it to cool overnight.

...& yes- i did eat the entire pot. it took me a week- but i did it.
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Mousse Bombs

 i enjoy making food that i can't eat. why? because i'm a sadist- duh.

...ok that's a lie. i technically can eat it (i'm not deathly allergic or anything) but my calorie intake counter tells me i shouldn't.

but sometimes i do it anyway.
not a sadist- a rebel.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mousse Bombs (adapted from cookies & cups)
You Need:
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 cup cool whip, thawed
1 cup powdered sugar
1 package of crunchy chocolate chip cookies (Chips Ahoy)
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp shortening or oil
mini chocolate chips (no, these are not optional)

Directions: Combine the cream cheese & powdered sugar at medium speed until smooth. Fold in the Cool Whip.
Rough chop about 10 cookies & fold them into the above mixture. Chill the mix in the fridge for at least 2 hours or pop it in the freezer for about 45-60 min.
Try not to eat the rest of the cookies while you wait.
When the mix is chilled, melt your semi sweet chips in a microwave safe bowl (i like to use 30-1 min intervals- stirring as i go)- then stir in your shortening or oil. It should be nice & smooth.

Lay our your remaining cookies on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Using a small scoop (i used a cookie one) scoop a hefty scoop of the cream cheese mixture onto the top of each cookie- press down gently, but firmly, to help it stick to the cookie.
Immediately dip each "bomb" into the chocolate & sprinkle with a few mini chocolate chips.

Keep at it until all your mousse is gone. Place the "bombs" back in the fridge until they're set- at least 15-20 min or so.
Take them out, put them on a plate & ignore the calorie intake counter that tells you not to eat them. Lies.

p.s. i used up the entire package of cookies & i think i still had a little bit of mousse left over. i didn't use a huge scoop of the mix because i feared it would just fall off into the chocolate. so i'd say you can get an entire package worth of "bombs" if you eyeball it well.
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kale Chips

kale chips are a good way to get your greens with a satisfying crunch.
they're good for you, addicting & you can play around with them by adding different seasonings & even Parmesan cheese to mix it up.

i should also mention that they're super easy & cheap. i think you can grab 1 ton of kale for like $3.99.

Kale Chips
You Need:
1 bunch of kale
olive oil
sea salt or kosher salt
seasoning to taste (garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, etc etc)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

rinse your kale & dry it well. use a salad spinner or some paper towels.
line a baking sheet with parchment paper & lay out your kale (try not to over crowd)

rub down your kale with a small amount of olive oil (just enough to give it a sheen) & sprinkle liberally with sea or kosher salt (& other seasonings if you so desire)

pop your baking sheet in the oven for 10-15 min (keep an eye on them- you just want them crispy, not burnt)
if you're adding parmesan cheese, taken them out at the 10 minute mark- sprinkle with cheese & pop them back in for another 3-5 minutes)

remove, shovel them into a bowl & enjoy.

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Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks

asparagus makes your pee smell funny. like, right away. you can eat it, pee 3 minutes later & you'll be like, "la la l...what the hell..?"
& if your 2 1/2 year old is in the bathroom with you she may not have mastered the art of manners yet & she'll say something like, "mamma, i smell something...is that your pee? your pee stinks!"

i love you too kiddo.

Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks (adapted from how sweet eats)
You Need:
1 bunch of asparagus
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

Directions: Pre heat your oven to 425. Cover a baking sheet with foil & set a wire rack on top.
Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus spears. On 2 plates lay out the beated eggs & panko+flour+cheese. Toss in some salt & pepper if you wish & start coating each spear frst in egg & then in the breadcrumb mixture.

 Lay each spear down on the wire rack.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or so, until brown & crispy.

Eat them all & don't feel guilty.
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Avocado Mac & Cheese

 a long time ago (like 6 months) i used to not like avocado. i know, wtf right? that stuff is crazy good. creamy, buttery, fresh...i could go on but this a PG blog.

well, since getting away from that dark period in my life i've been trying to incorporate avocado into just about everything. & what better way than macaroni & cheese? none.

Avocado Mac & Cheese (adapted from 2 peas & their pod)
You Need:
10 ounces dry macaroni (i used shells)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tblsp of the stuff in the squeeze bottle)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs (optional)
Fresh avocado chunks, for garnish (optional)

1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Salt the water and add in the pasta Stir and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. While the pasta is cooking, make the avocado sauce by placing the garlic, avocados, lime/lemon juice, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
3. To make the cheese sauce, place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste. Whisk in milk until smooth. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken. Add in shredded cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy.
4. Place macaroni in a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over the macaroni and stir until well coated. Add the cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is coated and creamy.
5. OPTIONAL- Place the panko breadcrumbs in a bowl with about 1 tblsp melted butter. Stir together. Grease a few (or 1 large) baking dishes & spoon in the macaroni mixture.

Sprinkle the Panko over the top & bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

 Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm. Garnish with fresh avocado chunks, if desired.

Note-the lime/lemon juice keeps the avocado from browning. The mac and cheese is best eaten the first day, but it is still good the second day. The pasta may turn slightly brown, but not bad. You can totally change up the cheese flavors as you wish.
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Skinny Grilled Cheeseburger Wraps

eating a cheesburger is something i used to do without batting an eye. but now days, after 2 kids & 28 years on this earth, i have to actually think about what passes my lips. not because i'm incredibly healthy or striving for a clean, raw diet- but because sometime my pants don't button & that makes me stabby.

but this creation allows me to indulge without guilt. i approve.

Skinny Grilled Cheesburger Wraps (adapted from skinny mom's kitchen)
You Need:
1 lb lean ground beef (93/7)
1 tblsp worchestershire sauce
1 tblsp ketchup
1 tblsp grated Parmesan
1 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp pepper & 1/8 tsp salt
6 80 calorie wraps (i used Fiber One)
6 slices of American cheese (2% works)
2 large tomatoes, slices
1-2 cups lettuce
addtl ketchup & mustard

Directions: In a medium skillet brown your beef & toss in all your seasonings + the 1 tblsp of ketchup. Mix together & make sure the beef is cooked through. Drain your meat (if needed)
Start putting together your wraps. Lay out a wrap, add the cheese & top with about 1/2 cup beef. Then layer on the lettuce & tomatoes. Lastly, add the addtl ketchup & mustard.

 Heat up your indoor grill (or you can be like me & use something that goes on your stovetop) & fold up each wrap as tightly as you can. Place seam side down on the grill & let it ride until you get some sweet grill marks.

Flip over your wraps & grill for another 2-3 minutes.
Let your wraps sit for about 2-3 minutes, slice on the diagonal & start feeding your face hole.

These were crazy good. & at only 300ish calories per wrap...well, that's a wrap.

p.s. i wrapped one in foil & re-heated it in the toaster oven for lunch the next day. it was still awesome.
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