Green Smoothie for sick-days (or regular days)

Mar 03 2014

green smoothie

I’m grumpy.

My head hurts.

I’m spending my day off from work, home sick.

I’m not even that sick, but just sick enough to want to stay in bed and be absolutely useless.Just sick enough that I feel exhausted doing household chores, so our studio apartment will continue to yell at me about how filthy it it, while I sit in bed with my hands over my ears like a four-year-old.

Like I said, I’m grumpy.

Here’s a smoothie that isnt’t:

Green Smoothie:
1/2 c frozen pears (I froze my own, fresh works too, or sub for frozen pineapple)
1/2 c frozen mango
1 banana
2 large leaves of dino kale
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp sugar or honey
1/2 unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk, or whatever kind of milk you like)

1. Stick all that in a blender
2. Blend it all up
3. Drink it and read a magazine. Feel a little better.

booyah.

 

 

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A letter to my Sister (and Gluten Free Pecan Bars)

Dec 24 2013

Dear Ally-Ba-Ba,
These Pecan Bars are for you. I made them especially for you to enjoy this holiday season. They prove that, despite all the bickering and silly fights about who got to sit in the front seat of the car throughout our childhood, that I love and support you. They also prove that gluten free doesn’t need to be all about sacrifice, and your decision to have a gluten free lifestyle doesn’t need to be either. In fact, they are the response to a challenge: “Oh Elise, don’t make gluten free dessert- we’ll just give your sister some cookies or something. Everyone should be able to enjoy it, and just because one person is gluten free doesn’t mean that everyone should have to eat a lame gluten free dessert”. Well phoo on that. Delicious and gluten free are not mutually exclusive, and I ain’t scared. These pecan bars are filled with love and defiance. I am defending you from missing out on the dessert course– that would be whack.

Here, have a pecan bar– oh you like it? It’s gluten free. Gotcha!

I hope you’ll take these pecan bars as a sign of hope and happiness and that your sister, Elise, has got some mad skill.

Booyah.

Love, Elise

pecan bars

For Gluten Free Pecan Bars:

1 Package gluten free vanilla sandwich cookies (like these)
2 Cups Gluten Free Gingersnaps (like these)
1 Stick of butter, melted
1/4 Cup Gluten Free Flour Mix (I use this)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
4 Cups Pecans, Chopped
1 Cup Honey
1 2/3 Cups Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
2 Tbs Molasses

1. Preaheat the oven to 375 and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper. Spray the paper with cooking spray.
2. Break down the cookies to sand-like consistency using a food processor (or zip bag and a rolling pin).
3. Slowly add the melted butter to the cookies, make sure it’s evenly dispersed.
4. Stir in the GF Flour, Sugar, and Ginger. The mixture should appear like sand, and should hold its shape when you squish it in your hand. (does it fall apart? try adding a tad bit more butter)
5. Pour the mixture into the lined pan, and firmly flatten down with your hands (or the bottom of a cup) to cover the bottom evenly.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes (until golden brown)
7. Meanwhile, add the honey, sugar, maple syrup, and molasses into a medium/large sauce pan over medium heat.
8. Stirring constantly, allow sugar to melt and the ingredients to incorporate.
9. Turn off the heat, add the pecans, and stir. You like your pecan bars a little saucy? Cool– use less nuts and add more sugar. You like it nutty? Use more nuts! This is flexible, and totally up to yous guys.
10. Remove the crust from the oven, and pour the pecan mixture on top. Return to the oven for 20-25 more minutes (until it’s bubbly and delicious).
11. Remove from the oven (be careful! hot sugar!) and allow to cool before serving.

Some Tips:It’s important to allow this recipe to cool before serving. Sugar has a scary ability to hold onto heat, and it will burn the crap out of your mouth if you try it too soon.

Also, I like to line the pan with 2 pieces of parchment, one going long-ways, and the other going short-ways– with excess hanging off the sides. This way, when the recipe is cool you can simply lift the whole thing out onto a cutting board by grasping the extra parchment and lifting directly up.

Serve with ice cream… and butterscotch… and whipped cream. Or don’t. It’s dang delicious any way.

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Weeknight Eats: Roasted Butternut Squash

Nov 25 2013

If you walked into my apartment, you’d find me perched on top of my counter awkwardly taking photos of dinner. Please excuse my crazy.

roasted butternut squash

Oh, and please excuse the wonky lighting. The sun goes down eaaaaarrrllly now-a-days…looks like weeknight eats will be brought to you by the harsh track-lights in my apartment kitchen! Whoot! You’ll still love me anyway, right? This is real life.

Alright, shake it off.

Up until a few years ago, I systematically avoided butternut squash at the grocery store. Weird, I know. It wasn’t  because I didn’t like the taste, but more because I was unfamiliar (okay and a little fearful) with the ingredient itself. Little did I know that butternut squash is not only insanely simple to prepare, but tasty too. I started buying butternut squash at the farmer’s market out of pure curiosity. Then, I did what most of us do when faced with a question in need of an answer—I googled it—and found many ways to cook this delightful little squash! Now, with a few butternut squash seasons under my belt, I firmly believe that you haven’t tasted Fall until you’ve eaten some roasted butternut squash. Fear not, it’s very, very easy.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic and Thyme:

1 medium sized butternut squash
2 tbs canola oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper
balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Peel the skin off of the butternut squash (a vegetable peeler works just fine). With a sharp knife remove the stem and a sliver off the bottom. Carefully cut the skinny neck part from the bulb-shaped part.
3. Cut the bulb in half and remove the seeds/strings with a spoon.
4. Cut the squash into 1″ cubes
5. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
6. Spread the squash on the sheet and drizzle the oil and apple cider vinegar. Toss to coat thoroughly.
7. Sprinkle the thyme, salt, and pepper on top. Place in the oven and allow to roast for 25-35 minutes (until fork tender).
8. Once the squash is tender, remove from the oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar (use a high-end or aged balsamic if you’ve got it)

Easy, right? If you don’t have balsamic, don’t worry about it! You can eat it plain, or to really shake things up, sprinkle a teensy bit of cinnamon and red chili on top. Ohhhhh daaaannnnggggg.

It’s a great week-night dish, but if you’re looking for a nice addition to the Thanksgiving table, this makes a tasty side-dish… people will appreciate something a little on the light side.

Happy squashing!

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Bourbon-Soaked Lemon Pound Cake

Nov 17 2013

wine country in Autumn

So anyway, we’re in the throws of Autumn, and teetering on the edge of the Holiday season.

How did THAT happen? The air is getting (just a little) chilly, the vines are changing colors, and suddenly we’re eating butternut squash and sweet potatoes WAY more often than usual. Tyler and I just attended a friends-giving celebration, and in a few short weeks we’ll be embarking on an epic dual-family holiday season. Two Thanksgivings, two Christmases… needless to say we’re going to need to fit a few more workouts in between the big days, and we’ll definitely need some formidable recipes to take along with us.

sliced cake

So when it’s a potluck situation, dessert is my move. Sorry, I know everyone does dessert. I’m with you friends, desserts are the shiz-nit… and when you’re not hosting the party at home and the host’s kitchen is unfamiliar or probably filled with other guests putting the finishing touches on their dishes, it’s much nicer to sip wine and nibble on you’re mom’s delicious spinach dip, right? Take it easy, bake something the night before, bring a pint of lovely vanilla ice cream (Three Twins Madagascar Vanilla is excellent) and let the chaos ensue. You’ll sneak into the kitchen just when the turkey-coma sets in to dribble bourbon-lemon glaze atop you’re sneak-attack dang-licious dessert. It’s simply, and crazy delicious. Let’s get to it.

stir the batter

Oh don’t mind me, it says, I’m just a simple baked good…
BAM! NO I’M NOT! I’M PACKED WITH LEMONEY-SWEET SCRUMPTIOUSNESS!

slice this cake!

Getchu some:

Adapted from original recipe by Joy the Baker
makes one 8.5″ x 4.5″ cake
For the Cake:
1 1/3c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 c sugar
2 tsps bourbon
3 eggs
1/3 c heavy cream
zest of two lemons
1 stick butter, melted and cooled

For the Glaze
1/4 c bourbon
1/3 c sugar
2 tbs water
the juice of two lemons
1/4 c orange juice (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour the baking pan. Place a piece of parchment paper across the widest part of the pan with the excess sticking up vertically. (this will help you remove the cake when the time comes)

2. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and lemon zest together until it’s fragrant and fully incorporated. Add the eggs and beat until everything is totally mixed together.

4. Then mix in the cream and bourbon

5. Slowly add the dry ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated.

6. Fold in the melted butter in three parts and pour the batter into the pan.

7. Bake for 50-60 minutes (until a toothpick inserted comes out clean).

8. While the cake is baking, combine all of the ingredients for the glaze into a small saucepan over medium heat.

9. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and cook on medium heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.

10. When the cake comes out of the oven, slowly spoon the glaze over the top of the cake. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, and remove from the pan to cool completely on a rack.

Serve it up with ice cream and pure happiness. I like to make a double batch of the glaze, and bring some along with me to heat up and pour on top when serving. One more thing, not into bourbon? That’s okay, we’re still friends. Sub 1 tsp vanilla extract in the cake, and orange juice in the glaze.

 

 

 

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Salad Season

Jun 09 2013

Dude. Yo.

Let’s talk bikini season.

Rather, let’s bitch about bikini season.
Who the eff-word is EVER ready to put on a tiny itty bitty outfit that pretty much only covers up the essentials and prance around wearing big sunglasses and a giant hat? Not me. No way. I’ve been too busy stuffing my face with dark chocolate and Three Twins Ice Cream to prepare for an ordeal like that. Sunglasses? Yeah. Huge hat? Yeah. Tiny bikini? …what?

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not against the idea of wearing a bathing suit. I’m just against the idea that gals have to worry so much about their bodies and how they may look strutting along the beach in next to no clothing. If it’s a trade between sharing a big slice of Tartine Sourdough with Tyler and teeny-bikini-dom, I’ll take the crusty carby glory any day.

Hold it though, furreal. I feel like I’m painting a picture that isn’t quite right– so let me set things straight: I’m all about sourdough. I’m all about ice cream, frozen brownie pops, and peanutbutter banana chocolate chip cookies. But you know what else I’m about? Kale. Radishes, nectarines, celery, carrots… and balance. As much as I love the sweets and the carbies, I also love the fresh and healthies. A girl cannot live on calorie-dense food alone (well… yes she could. But she would feel like crap most of the time) So there… back to bikini season.

Hey girl.
You rockin it? Rock it.
That’s all you should have to do. Tall, short, thin, thick, who cares!? We shouldn’t.
We shouldn’t strive toward looking a certain way in a bathing suit. We should strive toward feeling great—in a bikini, in a sundress… heck—in sweatpants. Let’s feel good. Let’s balance the heavy with the light. Let’s eat good food, that makes us feel good!

When I’m feeling like a bit of a negative-nancy about bikini season (can you tell how I’m feelin?) I like to eat this:

Yeah. It’s a salad. Come at me.

As much as I LOVE (love. love. love) my Aunt Margaret’s blackberry jam on big slabs of toast, french toast, and duck breast paninis, like I said, it’s all about finding the right balance of those heavy things with light things. Allow me to introduce you to the wonder of crispy lettuce. How about how a great salad dressing tastes… not from a bottle. Let’s get together, eat some salad, and feel good about what we just ate.

My Standby Salad
You’ll Need:
For the Salad
1 bunch of your favorite salad greens (I used baby gems)
Several bits of thinly sliced red onions
1/2 avocado cut into pieces
1/4 cup almonds roughly chopped
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
For the Dressing:
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tbs peach jam (orange marmalade or honey would also work)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 clove garlic, minced
3 tbs olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of salt

1. Put all the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl or jar, whisk thoroughly. (I like to use a mason jar and save any extra)
2. Toss the ingredients for the salad all together with the dressing, top with shredded cheese.
3. Eat that.

One, two, three.

Yum Foodie Foodie!

One more thing, feel free to mess with the ratio of ingredients in the dressing. It’s good in many different proportions!

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Roasted Oysters with Butter and Garlic

May 28 2013

First of all, don’t be scared. I am fully aware of the giant crazy-looking oysters on your screen. I put them there.

Before you get all upset—I have to tell you something.

I’m not a seafood person.

I don’t enjoy sushi… not the raw fish type… I’m one of those California-Roll-Sushi-Eaters that real sushi lovers scoff at. It doesn’t help that I’m half Japanese either, does it? I feel that I may just confuse people.
Although… I will happily eat some smoked salmon or a grilled fish taco…I might even muster up the courage to eat dungeness crab… if I don’t have to look it in the face while it’s being prepared.

I guess I’m just not a fishy-fish kind of girl—does that make sense?

Maybe I’m developing some kind of complex about this. I’m a foodie, I live on the West Coast, and I have access to some of the loveliest culinary confections that the Pacific Ocean has to offer. What’s the dealio? I keep hoping that maybe I’ll grow into it—the taste of seafood, that is. I keep thinking, oh one day, I’ll be one of those fabulous hip girls wearing a fadora (are those still in?) and black skinny jeans (curvy girls CAN wear skinny jeans, you know) eating Uni like I was born to do it.

…nope. Not yet.

 

So, what’s a girl who has some irrational fear of anything of the fishy, briney, or aquatic persuasion doing talking about OYSTERS on her food blog? Let me just say two things:

1. When I was sixteen, my brother brought me to the local farmers’ market. He marched right up to a stand selling fresh oysters and asked me “do you want to try one?”. Hoping not to look like a total wuss, I said yes, and to my horror, ate a RAW oyster (oh my god don’t gag, don’t gag). It wasn’t my cup of tea, but then again, it wasn’t terrible. In fact, I could see why some people go gaga over oysters. So I filed oysters under “seafood that’s not preferable but definitely not awful” folder in my crazy-food-brain. It’s all in my head, really, it is.

2. This weekend, Tyler and I went on a day-trip to Point Reyes. It’s a lovely area, crazy-beautiful and charming. We went to Cowgirl Creamery, ate far too much cheese, went on a windy drive to a super cool lighthouse, and finally, to Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm. I ate a raw oyster, AGAIN you guys-again. And again, I was stricken with a fear that seemed even MORE irrational to me this time around. This is a delicacy. Why am I wigging out over it? …again. All in my head, really.

What I learned from these two experiences:
Oysters are a delicacy that many people love.
I am only freaked out by oysters because of my own crazy-brain, not because they are undesirable
or unpleasant.
Part of the reason I get all crazy about oysters is the texture-very unique.

So: what’s the solution. I’ll tell you what: garlic and butter. What could go wrong?

Off we go.

Roasted Oysters with Butter and Garlic
If you’ve never dealt with oysters before, please take note that you will need a special utensil for shucking them. Also, please be very, very careful. Protect your hands with either a metal mesh glove or at the very least, a thick kitchen towel. Click here to view a video on how to shuck an oyster.

You’ll Need:

6 Medium to Large Oysters, Shucked
4 Tbs Butter
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
Parmesan Cheese
Lemon Wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 450°
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, stir, continue cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes, and then remove from the heat.
3. Arrange the Oysters in a single layer in a shallow baking pan (keep them on ice or in the
fridge up until this point).
4. Place a spoonful of the garlic-butter into each oyster.
5. Place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and garnish with some grated Parmesan Cheese and a lemon wedge.
Serve immediately.

There you have it! You want a little hot sauce on those suckers? Do it. Cocktail Sauce? Encouraged.
Roasting the oysters changes their texture game like crazy. All of a sudden, they are no longer slippery—now they are hot, buttery, and creamy (I know…)
Give it a try!

Yum Foodie Foodie!

 

 

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Bittersweet Frozen Brownie Pops

Apr 10 2013

I’ve found that there’s a running pattern in my life.
I’m sure you’ve noticed it.

I find that I speak in food. Lots of people do this, but I’ve become increasingly aware of this phenomena happening in my own life.

I say “Get well soon” with a Mason jar of soup, “Today sucked, but it’ll be okay” with Spicy Soba Soup, “Today sucked, do not disturb” with Green Smoothies, and “I love you” with a pot of Dirty Rice.

Update alert:

I am very excited to say, I have found a brand spankin’ new job! Tyler and I will be moving in order to make my commute more tolerable, and suddenly, I find myself in a situation where I need to say “goodbye”. How do you tell a group of coworkers “goodbye, I’ll miss ya, keep kicking butt” with something delicious? Sort of a bittersweet message. So I figured, bittersweet brownies.

Pump the breaks. Brownies are awesome. Yes, this is a fact.
You know what else is awesome? Pops. Cakepops, Ice cream pops… Brownie Pops. Where are my popsicle sticks?

Dear Coworkers,
I am so excited to start a new chapter in my life–working at a new job, living in a new city, and experiencing all new things. Yes, I am excited– but I’m totally going to miss all of you! Thank you for the (almost) two years of working together and kicking butt together. Keep on keepin’ on!
Love,
Elise


Let’s pop.

Bittersweet Brownie Pops
(brownie inspired by Alton Brown’s Cocoa Brownie
Recipe)

For the Brownie:
4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups of cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 shots of espresso (optional)
4 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, melted
2 sticks of butter, melted and brought to room temp
nonstick spray

For the Pop:
12 popcicle sticks
1 bag of white chocolate chips
all the sprinkles your heart desires

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. Place the eggs in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn onto medium and allow to beat for 3 minutes.
3. Add the two types of sugar and mix to incorporate.
4. Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, and salt together.
5. Reduce the mixer to low speed, and slowly add the dry ingredients. Feel free to stop the paddle to scrape the sides as needed.
6. Once the ingredients are fully incorporated, add the vanilla, espresso, and melted chocolate.
7. Continue to keep the mixer on low, and slowly drizzle the melted butter into the batter. Do it low and slow, allowing the butter to incorporate before adding more.
8. Make a parchment paper hammock in a 9×13″ baking pan (line with parchment) and spray with the nonstick spray. Fill with the batter and smooth the top.
9. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
10. Remove the brownies from the pan and place onto a cooling rack. Cool for 15 minutes, and then (using a pizza cutter) cut into 12 squares.
11. While the brownies are warm, (very) carefully, insert the popcicle sticks. Be nice about it, would you? The brownies are still fairly fragile at this point.
12. Carefully place onto a cookie sheet and place into the freezer. Freeze for at least 2 hours and up to a day.
13. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler (microwave on half power stirring every 30 seconds until melted also works).
14. Gently dip or drizzle the brownie pops to your heart’s desire, also sprinkle those sprinkles! Place onto a lined cookie sheet into the freezer.
15. Allow the white chocolate to solidify, serve and enjoy!!!

 

Yes. I know it’s a long process. But it’s worth it, trust me.

 

Yum Foodie Foodie!

One response so far

Lemon Chicken & Orzo Soup

Mar 27 2013

I have come to realize that life comes in waves.

Sometimes, there are waves of unfortunate situations…a family member falls ill, a friend looses their job, you’re in a fight with loved ones.

Then there are times that are filled with happy events: you get a promotion, or it’s your significant other’s birthday…

At this particular point in time, I would like to officially declare that the waves of bad stuff totally suck. Poo on you bad stuff. I will not welcome you and your negativity into my life, no. No, not at all.

Last night, feeling the weight of life of my shoulders (and really… let’s be honest, I was throwing myself a little pity party), rather than sit around drinking red wine scowling at birds flying above my back patio, I decided to make soup. Soup is the kind of food that I totally associate with being comforted– don’t you? If you were sick when you were a kid, your mom would heat up a can of chicken noodle soup and give it to you in a big mug. At this stage of my life, I feel that I’ve moved past the canned-chicken-soup-phase and into the boom-pow-delicious-home-made-soup-in-a-huge-cast-iron-pot-phase… I’m sort of proud of myself.

One of our friends was feeling a bit under the weather last night, so I decided that not only would the act of making soup soothe me and my angst, but it would also spread the love a little. Double batch it is–I put that deliciousness in a mason jar and paraded it over to her house with a big hunk of bread. Good karma. Getchusome.

jar of soup

Lemon Chicken & Orzo Soup
I saw this recipe on Shutterbean, who originally got it from Bon Appétit… this slightly adjusted version is inspired by both of them, plus a little extra love from my kitchen.

You’ll Need:
2 tbs olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 leeks, light green and white only, thinly chopped and cleaned
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 32oz box of chicken broth
1 cup water
2 chicken breasts
1 cup orzo (you can use any type of pasta you like)
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh dill
lemon wedges (1 per serving)

1. In a large [cast iron if you're a snob like me] pot, add olive oil and place over medium high heat.
2. Add the onion, leeks, celery, carrots, and garlic into the pot. Stirring occasionally, cook until tender (about 5 min)
3. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breasts into the pot, completely submerging them under the liquid. Lower heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes. (soup should be gently boiling for the full 20 minutes, if you find that the liquid isn’t, simply adjust the heat up)
4. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board, and using two forks, shred it!
5. In the meantime, add the bay leaves and orzo. Allow to boil for 11-15 minutes (until orzo is tender).
6. Place shredded chicken back into the pot, stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Scoop a big ‘ol bowl of soup, garnish with as much dill as you like, and squeeze a lemon wedge
into it!

You know what? You should share some of this soup… this is a big pot… this recipe make a respectable amount of soup… and if you’re anything like me, you might abandon your excess in the back of your refrigerator (whoops…). Put this vicious delicious concoction into a container/big mason jar and deliver to your person of choosing. Or better yet (given that everyone is in good health) go ahead and invite somebody over to have soup with you. It might be a random phone call…

“hi”
“hey”
“what are you doing?”
“nothing…”
“…would you like to come over and eat soup?”
“…yes.”

but it will likely end in a pleasant experience. And hey, it definitely beats sitting around by yourself.
Share. It’s good for you.

 

Yum foodie foodie!

 

 

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Blueberries and Lemons and Love

Feb 27 2013

I have, and always will maintain that cooking something delicious for someone is an act of love. You are creating something that evokes joy in the other person. Whether it’s soup for a sick friend, or cookies for a new neighbor—you are taking time out of your crazy-run-around-day to create something joyous for someone else.

Have I ever talked about Muffin Monday?
Well, of course I have… in fact I’ve blogged muffin recipes from Muffin Monday’s past like Donut Muffins, Holiday Gingerbread Muffins, and Coffeecake Muffins with a Hint of Lavender just to name a few… but have I ever really talked about Muffin Monday?

Let’s get real here.

For about a year or so, every Sunday afternoon, I busted out my muffin pans and baked a batch of roughly two dozen muffins. Sometimes using recipes that I’d seen before, but mostly recipes that I made up—and always something different. It became part of my weekend: 3pm on a Sunday—Muffin Time. Why did I do this? What did I do with two dozen muffins?

Nothing.

I took them from the oven and put them into a plastic container, where they would wait, all happy and delicious, until the next day: Muffin Monday.

Every Monday morning I marched through the campus of Chico State University, down to the basement of the Miriam Library to the little graphic design studio where I worked and placed my batch of muffins on the counter with a hand-written flavor card. People started to take note, and after a while, people knew Mondays were Muffin Mondays.

Why did I do this?
Well, I loved (and still do) to bake, for starters.

But I did it out of love.

I loved my life, I loved the studio I worked in, I loved the people I worked with—that love manifested in the form of two dozen muffins in a plastic container, every Monday.

Okay okay, so why the long-winded story? It’s simple: I’m hoping to inspire you to love.
I don’t care who, show some love to your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your family, your friends, even your coworkers—whoever!

Muffin Monday is long gone, but it helped build a community in our little design studio that I will never forget.
Last night I had a nostalgic run-in with blueberries, butter, and sugar: a classic muffin flavor profile, that made an appearance in a bread-pan rather than a muffin-tin this time around. So, this morning, I brought this lovely thing into work, you know, to spread the love:

lemon blueberry bread

Blueberry Lemon Bread
(yields one 5×9 inch loaf)

You’ll Need
1.5 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
1 stick of sweet cream butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
0.25 cup of lemon juice
2 tbs lemon zest
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups of blueberries
0.5 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
3. In a stand mixer with a paddle, cream the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes (until fluffy).
4. Add the lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and eggs. Beat on medium until well incorporated, make sure to scrape the bowl if you need to.
5. Put the mixer on low, and add half of the flour mixture-allow to stir-and then add half of the buttermilk. Repeat until all is incorporated.
6. Toss the blueberries in a small handful of flour and then fold into the batter.
7. Butter and flour your bread pan and fill it up with your batter!
8. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes (it depends on how hot your oven REALLY runs).
9. Remove when a toothpick comes out clean, allow to cool in the pan for at least 40 minutes.
10. Insert a knife along the edges to help dislodge the bread from the pan, and invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool, and share it with someone you love.

I made this for you all, I love you all! Who do you love?
You should go walk up that that person and say “hey! you listen to me, I freakin’ love your face and Immonna make you something delicious… to prove it… and to share it”

 

Get after it.

Yum Foodie Foodie!

5 responses so far

Spiced Apple Cider

Dec 17 2012

Did you know that it’s the holiday season?

I know it.

I bet you do. I bet your amazon.com accounts are going haywire. I bet you’re stressing about that one gosh darn relative that’s impossible to buy a gift for!!!

Been there.

Done that.

I’ve been going nuts. This time of year used to be magical when I was a kid. Now it is… well, it’s still fairly magical, but not in the same way. It used to be magical because SANTA WAS COMING and you got to eat unlimited sugar cookies. Now- it’s magical because I have friends and family to buy thoughtful gifts for, and I have a wonderful boyfriend to buy funny/random presents for. It’s magical because suddenly I’m allowed to bake with loads of ginger and cinnamon- and NO ONE–NO ONE– CAN STOP ME!

It’s magical becaaaaaaaause we get to drink things like eggnog, or fancy cocktails at holiday parties—-oooooooooor spiced apple cider.

Yes.

I made this spiced apple cider in no time, it was delicious. It was holiday-ish. It was crazy good.

also- I wouldn’t judge you if you added say… bourbon to your mug.
I’m just saying.

 

It’s as easy as

1. Place 1 1/2 cups of unfiltered apple cider into a sauce pan over medium heat.

2. Wrap 1 teaspoon of minced ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of cloves, a 4-inch slice of fresh orange peel, and one cinnamon stick (cracked in half) in cheesecloth. Tie with cooking string.3. Place the bundle of spices into the cider, reduce the heat to low, and allow to steep for 15-30 minutes.

4. Remove the spice bundle and pour the hot cider into your favorite mug. Garnish with an orange slice, and enjoy!

Yum Foodie Foodie!

 

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