Saturday, January 29, 2011

Big, Vegan Peanut Butter Pillows

Yum! These are one of my favourite cookies. Just when I had a hankering  for some, my wonderful sister Caitlin made these for me. 


What's better than sharing one of these delicious, healthified cookies with the best sister in the world? NOTHING. 


Check out our original post for the recipe. This time we used whole wheat flour to add that extra bit of healthiness.


Here's Caitlin's recommended song pairing for these cookies (especially if they're for your Valentine!):
Close to You by The Carpenters.



Monday, January 24, 2011

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

WARNING: EXTREMELY DELICIOUS AND ADDICTING. 


  So, now that you have been warned, you are free to decide whether or not you want to make these cookies.





Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
From Handle the Heat

Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat white flour)
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (a must!)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

2. Beat peanut butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Mix in flour until just incorporated then mix in oats, baking soda, and cinnamon, if using. Be careful not to over-mix. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

3. Using an ice cream scoop, drop balls of evenly sized dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving enough room for cookies to spread slightly. Bake for 10 minutes (yes, exactly 10 minutes, not more). Cool on a cooling rack. Once cooled stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
 




Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jezebel and Us

Riley and I are super excited because someone gave us a shout-out on Jezebel.com. We're excited and just wanted to let you all know. And, Jezebel.com is cool, too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yummy Burrito Bowls



Homemade burritos are a favourite dinner option at our house.


Especially when stormy, cold weather prevents us from picking some up from our preferred burrito destination Burrito Boyz


When there are leftovers...make burrito bowls!!





We used:


  • extra lean ground beef with Old El Paso taco seasoning
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • canned refried black beans 
  • sour cream 
  • salsa 
  • guacamole 
  • grated cheese


















Sunday, January 16, 2011

Finally! An Actual Meal!





You may have started to wonder if we would ever post some ACTUAL food.

Rest assured we don't just live off of baked goods.



This was really delicious. The whole family eagerly devoured this one.

We added chicken breasts, which we cooked simply in a pan and cut into pieces.



Corn and Sundried Tomato Pasta with Chicken
Adapted from Sippity Sup
Serves 4 generously

Ingredients

  • 3 oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 lb angel hair or other thin pasta
  • salt as needed
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 clv garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 sli shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2 T fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 3 ears of fresh corn kernels
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 T flat leaf parsley, minced
  • freshly cracked pepper

Instructions

Cut the tomatoes into fine julienne and place them, along with the sugar in a small bowl. Pour in just enough hot water to cover. Set aside to hydrate until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain well, squeezing out excess liquid. You may skip this step if you choose oil packed or pre-marinated sun-dried tomatoes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add good amount of salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Retain some of the pasta water for the sauce.
Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and shallots; saute briefly until lightly colored. Add the oregano, corn, balsamic and about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Cook, uncovered, until the corn is just tender, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes, half of the Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley and toss well. Toss with more of the reserved cooking water, if necessary, to moisten.
Pour the pasta into a warmed serving bowl, dust with a little more Parmesan, and scatter the remaining parsley on top, and give it a good grind of pepper. Pass the remaining Parmesan at the table. Serve immediately.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bran Muffins with Cinnamon Chips!










Caitlin and I enjoy healthy muffins.


They've got more substance to them, ya know?


These ones fit the bill for a healthy and delicious muffin, courtesy of Mags at The Other Side of Fifty.


We ain't bluffin' 'bout these muffins. (We couldn't resist the Gaga reference).






























BRANana Cinnamon Chip Muffins

Adapted from The Other Side of Fifty

(makes 1 dozen muffins)


1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup milled flax seed

1/4 cup wheat bran

1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda (or 1/2 cup regular brown sugar)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup cinnamon chips

1 1/2 cup very ripe mashed bananas

3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 large egg plus 1 large egg white

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and spray lightly with cooking spray.


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, flax seed, wheat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the cinnamon chips.


In another bowl whisk together the bananas, sour cream, eggs, canola oil and vanilla.


Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine but do not over mix. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake for 24-26 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely on cooling rack.













































Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Citrus Pull Apart Coffe Cake Loaf



I have a confession to make. One that if you knew me, you would know quite well.
I LOVE Florida.
It might be the wonderful memories of family vacations attached to the place (like the ones from our most recent trip) or the fact that it has palm trees, beautiful weather throughout most of the year, and it's where The Happiest Place on Earth (Disney World) is.
So, basically I HAVE to move there one day.
My life depends on it....well maybe not my life, but it sure would be ultra happy-making to live there permanently.

Okay, with that said and done here is a cake/loaf/pull-apart thingy that Caitlin and I made after returning to the cold and snow after our vacation in Florida.

It has citrus in it so to remind us of the sunshine state.


Enjoy!
When you take a bite think of your very own favourite vacation spot. I know I will.

Citrus Pull Apart Coffee Cake
adapted from Radishes and Rhubarb

Dough

2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 package instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature


Citrus filling

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup butter, melted


Cream cheese icing

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Make the dough


In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, the yeast, and the salt and set aside. Heat the milk and butter in a small pan over low heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat, add the water, and set aside until warm or about 120 to 130°F.
Add the vanilla extract and pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stop the mixer, add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, and resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Add 2 more tablespoons flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 45 seconds.
Remove the dough from the bowl and quickly form into a ball. Sprinkle a work surface with a small amount of flour. Knead gently until smooth and no longer sticky, about 1 minute. You can add additional flour if needed, but try not to use more that 2 tablespoons.
Place the dough in a large lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. The dough is ready for the next step when you can press your finger lightly into the surface and the indentation remains.

Lemon Filling

Make the paste while the dough is rising. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and both zests. Set aside. The mixture will appear dry at first but the sugar will draw moisture from the zest making a wet paste.
Assembling the Cake

Lightly butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
Punch the dough down. Remove from the bowl and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush, spread the 1/4 cup of melted butter over the dough. Be generous with the butter, but you may not need it all. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, each about 12 by 4 inches. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar/zest mixture over one of the buttered rectangles. Top with a second rectangle and sprinkle it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining dough sugar mixture, ending with a stack of 5 rectangles.
Slice the stack crosswise through the 5 layers to create 6 equal strips, each about 4 by 2 inches. Fit these layered strips into the prepared loaf pan, cut edges up and side by side. Do not worry if it does not fit exactly into your pan. The dough will spread to fill the space as it rises and bakes. If it is tight lengthwise that is fine. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes. During the last 20 minutes of the second rise, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the coffee cake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.


Cream Cheese Icing


In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the milk and lemon juice until the mixture is creamy and smooth. The mixture should be a little runny.
While still warm, remove the coffee cake from the pan, loosening the sides with a spatula and invert on a baking rack
Place a piece of waxed paper under the rack to catch any drips from the icing. Pour the icing mixture over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Saturday, January 8, 2011

Salted Chocolate Caramel Macarons





Well, we gave it a try! We made our first batch of macarons - ever! I must say, it was terribly exciting and terrifying. I read so much to prepare beforehand that I think I got all psyched up for the process unnecessarily. It went well minus the fact that we got skirts, not feet! I think we will let them sit out about 4 hours before baking the macarons just to be safe next time. We only dried them for about one hour so hopefully that was the reason for the skirtage. Oh well. You live and you learn. Or, you bake and you learn. 


For the recipe, we substituted some ready-made dulce de leche instead of making our own caramel since I haven't had much luck with that.


Anyway, we didn't feel like typing out the super long recipe so there's a link to the scanned recipe from Food & Drink Magazine:


Recipe for Chocolate & Salted Caramel Macarons
































































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