Archives for June 2011

Whole Foods Market Best Burger Contest Finalist!

Happy Tuesday everyone,
I surprisingly have no recipe for you today, however I do have some exciting news and I need your help! I recently entered the Whole Foods Market Cooking Rockville: Your Best Burger contest. Today I found out that my Citrus-Dill Salmon Burger recipe made it into the top two finalists! I am super-duper excited and proud. I posted the recipe on my blog a while back and it is absolutely positively delicious, not to mention, super simple to prepare. Alright, now this is where you come in: I need you all to go to this link and vote for my Citrus-Dill Salmon Burgers by misschels. I would really love to win the prize, which is the Adjustable Nonstick Burger Press from Williams-Sonoma and assorted spices from Whole Foods Market. So, please, please, please, is that enough begging?…VOTE for me. Also, get the word out to all your friends and family to vote for my Citrus-Dill Salmon Burgers. I would really appreciate the support. Once again, thank you all for following my food blog, please try my Citrus-Dill Salmon Burgers if you haven’t already, and please vote for them once again at this link! You have until this Friday, June 17th, to vote so don’t hesitate! I LOVE YOU ALL!

MANGIA!!!

Going Bananas for Banana Cake!!!

B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

I could just eat the mashed bananas right out of the bowl…i just need some peanut butter!

Preparing the batter

The cake before being baked

And after…

I just couldn’t resist…more deliciousness

Whoa Baby! Look at that cake!

Picture Perfect…The End!

Happy Friday everyone,
I don’t know about y’all, but I am so ready for the weekend! T.G.IF.! I have spent the majority of my week looking for jobs, submitting resumes, stalking Craigslist, cooking, baking, reading (cookbooks that is), and eating, of course. This week I hopped on over to Barnes and Noble determined to spend the remaining balance on my gift card that I received as a Christmas gift. My sister was literally peeved that I had waited so long to spend a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card…if it was up to her she would have wasted no time spending that much on a few books, she even offered to spend my gift card for me (how nice of her). Anyways, I finally decided to purchase a cookbook that I had my eye on forever, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. I have been following Elana’s blog, Elana’s Pantry, for a while and she is a gluten-free goddess! I am a big fan of her desserts, and of course, her breads. Needless to say, her cookbook was some of the best money that I ever spent! Of course I flipped immediately to the cake and cupcake section of the book where I found an amazing recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Cake. I absolutely love banana cake, every time I eat it I think of my grandmother who always has homemade banana cake on hand at her house. Every time I visit, her recipe seems to include something new in it, whether it’s coconut, chocolate chips, or pecans…her recipe changes and gets better with time. My favorite part of this cake is the inviting aroma that fills the house as it bakes off in the oven. Absolutely mouthwatering! Anyhow, while I love chocolate, it unfortunately tends to turn my stomach and honestly, I don’t like it with my bananas. Plus, I am feeling the summer thing right now and I wanted a more “tropical” vibe to my banana cake. So, here it is: Coconut Banana Cake with Walnuts. I hope y’all enjoy this recipe, the cake is so moist and decadent, which literally makes it addicting. So addicting, that my mom offered to take a couple of pieces to her co-workers at work…just so we could stop eating the majority of the cake! Thanks Elana! P.S. It’s my grandmother’s birthday today, so this recipe is in honor of her, the person who first introduced me to banana cake, a recipe that I hope to one day share with my grandchildren.

Coconut Banana Cake with Walnuts (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:
3 c. blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. grapeseed oil
1/4 c. agave nectar
3 large eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla extract (I used Mexican vanilla)
1 c. (2 to 3) mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 c. coconut
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Spray a 9-in cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Using an electric mixer, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
5. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
6. Fold in bananas, walnuts, and 1/4 c. of the coconut.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
8. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c. of coconut on top of the cake.
9. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
10. Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.

MANGIA!!!

Wordless Wednesday



Baked Rosemary Thyme Chicken

Ingredients:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs. whole grain mustard
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. dried rosemary
1 Tbs. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Place chicken in a large plastic bag, use a rolling pin to pound the chicken into flat, even cutlets (this helps the chicken cook evenly).
3. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, evoo, rosemary, thyme, and salt. Pour marinade over the chicken.
4. Put the chicken in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour or more.
5. Place each chicken breast on a piece of aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

MANGIA!!!

Sweet Kale Salad for Summer!!!






Happy Tuesday all,
Well, it’s not even the middle of the week yet and I am already anticipating the arrival of the weekend. Anyhow, I was sifting through my blog recipes yesterday and it donned upon me that I have yet to post a salad recipe. Now, if you know me, this is definitely out of character for me due to the fact that salad is by far my favorite, or one of my favorite food groups. I know that I have posted recipes for chicken salad, tuna salad, etc., however I have failed to post any salad involving the main event, a leafy green. I sincerely apologize for this mishap. For those of you who think salads are “chick food,” or that salads are boring and reserved for only those people on a diet, think again. Boy, have I got news for you: salads, in my opinion, are fun, inventive, and once of the best ways to use fresh ingredients (not to mention a fantastic way to receive your daily dose of vitamins). Today I have recreated one of my favorite salads that is featured on occasion at the Whole Foods salad bar. Since I moved to Houston, I have been pining for this delicious and simple masterpiece of a salad. Although this is not your typical salad, I can guarantee you that this salad will be your new lunchtime favorite. Not to mention, this salad is a refresher on a scorching hot summer day. I drizzle fresh kale with a light and flavorful lemon and olive oil dressing, then toss with tart dried cranberries and crunchy slivered almonds. I would pair this with a big old glass of sweet iced tea or lemonade and serve alongside a bowl of fresh cut watermelon. Eat your heart out!

Cranberry Almond Kale Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale, rinsed and patted dry
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. slivered almonds

Instructions:

1. Using a cutting board, cut the kale, removing the excess stem, cutting in a ‘V’ motion going up into the green but not too far. About an inch or so where the stem is surrounded by greens, but still thick.
2. Once the excess stem is removed, it is time to cut the leaves. I like my greens bite size, so I continue with an angled motion, cutting off from both sides.
3. Place the cut kale leaves in a large mixing bowl.
4. Juice the lemon over the kale, making sure to catch the seeds as you are juicing.
5. Drizzle the kale with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
6. Using your hands, gently toss the kale with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, making sure that each green is covered.
7. Now add the dried cranberries and slivered almonds, toss once more.
8. Chill for 1 hour or more in the refrigerator, the longer the salad marinates, the better.

MANGIA!!!


Meatless Monday








Happy Monday all,
What better way to start off the week with another fabulous meatless meal, or meatless snack/dessert in this case. For those of you who have failed to take notice, I have expressed my profound love for peanut butter in my blog posts numerous times. I mean, how many people do you know who have a Reese’s Pieces collectors coffee mug from the Hershey’s factory, eat Oreo’s with peanut butter, dip Reese’s Peanut Butter cups into the peanut butter jar (as if they didn’t have enough peanut butter in them already), or who make it a point to purchase holiday editions of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (you know the Reese’s eggs for Easter, and the Reese’s hearts for Valentine’s Day)? Not too many people, I’ll bet! Well, today is no exception…I have once again found myself proclaiming my love for my all-time favorite staple, Mr. Peanut Butter. Now, on occasion Mr. Peanut Butter gets paired with my other favorite American staple, Mrs. Jelly. I don’t know about y’all, but when these two get paired together at my house it’s a party. First I start with two pieces of toasted whole-wheat bread, my fave extra-crunchy Jif Peanut Butter, and any all-natural sweet jam (my go-to preserves are usually strawberry or blackberry, and on occasion, apple butter). I spread generous helpings on each slice of bread and sandwich together…o sweet heaven. Anyway, that has been my quick fix lunch or snack since I was little. I remember as a child I would make any excuse to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and if I was really good Mom would let me eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon…I eventually ditched the spoon and just used my fingers. In my teens, this sandwich was my ultimate comfort food after some kind of heartbreak or emotional breakdown…ha ha. Today, these two ingredients still simplify my life. So, I had this idea…if I can put peanut butter and jelly onto two slices of bread, why the heck can’t I put them into a muffin for the ultimate on-the-go power snack! Bada-bing, bada-boom, done!!! I hope y’all enjoy these convenient and delicious muffins perfect for any morning, noon, mid-day, or even late night snack.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins


Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. almond flour (or whole-wheat flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs
6 tbsp. peanut butter (I use Simply Jif Creamy)
1 c. buttermilk
raspberry preserves
blackberry preserves

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Using an electric mixer, whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, eggs, peanut butter, and buttermilk until very smooth, making sure all egg has been well-incorporated.
5. Pour into flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.
6. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tin, filling each just about up to the top.
7. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Remove muffins from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
9. Core the center of each muffin using a cupcake corer.
10. Fill each muffin with a tablespoon of raspberry or blackberry preserves (you could also use another favorite jam of your choosing).

MANGIA!!!