Archives for October 2012

The Best of Both Worlds.

Let’s talk about breakfast. I have said it time and time again, it is, and will always be, my favorite meal of the day. I think it has something to do with my awesome breakfast memories as a child. Breakfast was more like a celebration in my family. Especially on the weekends. No school rush, which meant no pop-tarts, no cereal, and no granola bars (bleh). No, weekends meant homemade buttermilk pancakes (sometimes with a candle stuck in the short-stack if it was someones birthday), omelets, cream of wheat, or oatmeal. Oh, and my favorite was Sunday after church, where I would head to my local Mickey D’s with my parents, seester, grandparents, and great uncles and aunts. 
It was a tradition to go to Mikey D’s if my grandmother didn’t have us head back to her house for homemade biscuits. I will forever hold my ability to devour a stack of Kiddie Cakes in 3.5 seconds as an ultimate record. Don’t I win some kind of award for that? I sure hope so 😉 
Anyway, I have always loved breakfast, especially for dinner. I guess having breakfast for dinner is taking the easy way out. There are no grilled steaks or roasted chickens that have been in the oven for 5 hours, or a million step casseroles that have every ingredient in the kitchen sink in them. No thanks. Nope. It’s breakfast people. It’s supposed to be easy peasy. Scrambled eggs, check. Bacon, check. Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls….wait, what? 
Yea, I said it. It’s all the sweet goodness of a cinnamon roll, wrapped up into a crispy biscuit.

This is my favorite part…cutting the butter…I mean, “non-butter” into the flour.
Yea, that’s right “non butter” because these babies are vegan

and gluten-free.

This is going to make your head spin.

You would never be able to tell the difference.

TRUST ME.

Like seriously…know that are friendship is built on TRUST…

like I would never lie to you about how bad that new scarf you found at the junk-yard sale down the street is. 
 There’s a reason they call it junk.
It’s not you, it’s the scarf. Break up with it! 🙂

Have these for breakfast this weekend. Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls…the best of both worlds.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls (GF/V) recipe inspired by Joy the Baker :

Ingredients:
2 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling (I used Cup 4 Cup)
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
5 T. vegan butter, chilled
3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 t. ground cinnamon
2 T. raw coconut sugar
2 T. melted vegan butter

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 8 in. square cake pan with vegan butter.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Use a biscuit cutter (or fork) to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is distributed evenly, and there are no lumps. The mixture should look crumbly.
4. Add the almond milk and combine using your hands, just until the mixture is moistened and begins to stick together.
5. Lightly flour the surface of a wooden cutting board. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out onto the cutting board.
6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and coconut sugar.
7. Brush the biscuit dough with 1 T. of the melted butter.
8. Distribute the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the dough.
9. Begin to carefully roll one vertical side of the dough into a tight roll. Continue rolling the dough until you have a long, cylinder shaped dough.
10. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.
11. Take the dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap, and using a sharp, floured knife, slice the log of dough into rolls that are about 1/2′ to 1 in. thick.
12. Place the rolls in the prepared pan. Brush the tops of each roll with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
13. Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.
14. Serve warm with butter.

Makes 6 rolls.

MANGIA!!!

The Pea.

Happy Tuesday y’all!
I am super excited for today b/c I get to see my bff who just moved back in town. This means tea room lunch date. I just love it. If you really, really want to get on my good side…take me to your fave tea room. We will become best friends. I think my fondness for tea rooms has something to do we me playing with my tea set and dressing up as a princess when I was little. I just feel so regal eating those itty bitty tea sandwiches. 
On another note, let’s talk about this past weekend. My weekend started on Friday. My dad was off work Friday, so we got to spend some quality father-daughter time together. I had eaten lunch already, but since we were waiting for my dad to get his hair cut, we went next door so he could grab a bite to eat at Black Eyed Pea. If you don’t know about “the pea,” just know that it was one of my fave restaurants to go to as a child, and it still is today. This is for one reason and one reason only…Broccoli Cheese Soup  and Cornbread…wait, that’s two things. Whatevs. 
Okay, not just those things eaten by themselves, but together…and I don’t mean that you take a bite of your cornbread and then eat a big spoonful of soup, or dip your cornbread in the soup. I’m talking about, taking that cakey, thick, sweet cornbread and crumbling it up into your broccoli cheese soup. Ummmmm yes please. Don’t look at me weird. Just do it. It will change your life. My dad taught me how to do this when I was little and I may have just thought it was the best invention in the world. Seriously. 
I had been wanting to make some sort of broccoli soup for a while, and well, you know I am all about the cornbread so…
I got down to business. 
This cornbread just so happens to be vegan. 
Don’t be scurrred.
This cornbread has a crumbly texture, perfect for the soup.
What soup?
This soup.
Well, that is broccoli that is going to go into the soup. 
I could live off cornbread.
Oh, yea
this cornbread is made with apple butter preserves.
Fall has arrived, embrace it!

This cornbread has the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Oh, hit there beautiful pot of creamy broccoli cauliflower soup!
Yo, there is actually no “cream” in this soup.

The wonders of the immersion blender (or any blender for that matter) will pulverize this soup, giving it a creamy texture.
I just love that word…pulverize.
Green is my fave color.

So there you have it…craving fixed. 
In a healthier way.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: you need to top this soup with Parmesan cheese. 

It will change your life.

Yes, crumble that cornbread.

Enjoy!
DO YOU HAVE ANY WEIRD/AWESOME FOOD COMBO’S THAT I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT? SEND THEM MY WAY!

Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Soup with Apple Butter Cornbread (GF/V):

Ingredients:

For the soup:
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 head of broccoli, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 head of cauliflower, stems removed, roughly chopped
5 c. water
1/4 c. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

For the cornbread:
1 c. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
1 T. white vinegar
2 c. fine stone ground cornmeal
2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/4 c. raw coconut sugar (or regular sugar or stevia)
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. apple butter preserves (I used an organic brand with low sugar)

Instructions:

For the soup:
1. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat on the stove. Drizzle with evoo.
2. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and saute until the onions are translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the broccoli and cauliflower and saute for an extra 3-5 minutes, just to combine the ingredients together.
4. Pour the water over the vegetables, turn up the heat to medium-high and boil for 3 minutes. Then, lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer until the broccoli and cauliflower are tender. About 20 minutes.
5. Add the parsley. Using an immersion blender, blend the vegetables together until pureed into a thick, soup-like consistency.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve hot sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and crumbled cornbread.

For the cornbread:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 420 degrees F. Grease an 8 in. square cake pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
4. Add the almond milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and mix well.
5. Add the evoo and apple butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
8. Let the cornbread cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares.
9. Serve drizzled with honey and butter or crumble the cornbread into a bowl of broccoli cauliflower soup.

Makes 12 squares of cornbread. Soup serves 8-12 people.

MANGIA!!!

Secret Recipe Club.

Y’all know what time it is…boom shaka laka!
It’s Secret Recipe Club reveal time!
Mah fave time of the month!
This months recipe comes from Sara, the lovely Midwestern gal behind the blog, Cook with Sara.
Since she was a child, Sara has had a passion for cooking and baking, most of which she contributes to her mother. I just loved Sara’s blog. Not only does she have an extensive and delicious recipe index, but Sara has a welcoming and inviting demeanor that makes her seem very hospitable. If you know me, I am all about that hospitality, so, naturally, I felt right at home.

I seriously wanted to try all of the recipes on Sara’s blog, but after much thought, consideration, and consultation with my breakfast cravings, I decided to make Sara’s Banana Bread Pancakes. Now, y’all know I am a sucker for banana bread, moreover, anything with the word banana bread in it. I was sold! 

Seriously…these pancakes are the bomb.com. 
I made a few substitutions because you know that’s how I roll.
So, I made the pancakes gluten-free.

Duh. 

Mix the ingredient-ses together.

Holy 

Yum.

They’re so fluffffy!
I also felt the need to create a syrup for these little babies.

The banana cinnamon syrup is the bees knees.

Yum-diddly.

Stack em’ any way you like em’.

Dig in.

Make sure to grab a tall glass of milk. 

These babies are thick.

Sara, you are a genius!

OH MAH GAWD!
Banana Bread Pancakes with Banana Cinnamon Syrup (GF):
Ingredients:
For the pancakes:
2 c. white whole wheat flour (I used gluten-free oat flour)
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. brown sugar ( I used coconut sugar)
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1 c. milk ( I used almond milk)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T. pure vanilla extract
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 T. butter, melted (I used extra-virgin olive oil)
For the syrup:
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil (or butter)
1 banana, sliced into quarter sized rounds
1/2 c. honey (or agave nectar)
1 t. ground cinnamon
Instructions:
For the pancakes:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Add in the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
3. Fold in the mashed bananas and mix well.
4. Add in the evoo and mix again.
5. Heat a non-stick griddle over medium heat. Grease with non-stick cooking spray.
6. Add 2 tablespoons full of batter to the griddle. Cook until bubbles form on top of the pancake, about 2-3 minutes.
7. Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
8. Repeat with the remaining batter.
9. Serve hot with butter and the syrup.
For the syrup:
1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the evoo to the skillet.
2. Add the bananas and saute for about 2 minutes.
3. Add the honey and cinnamon and stir to combine and coat the bananas. 
4. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the syrup starts to bubble and thickens. 
5. Pour a little bit of the syrup over the pancakes.
6. Devour.
Makes about 2 dozen pancakes and 1/2 c. syrup.
MANGIA!!!

My Life According To…

Happy Sunday y’all!
Today is a soup making day. For sure. 
So, that is what is currently going down right now in my kitchen.
I just loooove Sunday.
It’s a do nothing day.
A day to enjoy coffee.

A day for a mini muffin.
Emphasis on the mini.

That is all.

You should probably make something fancy today too.

And also eat a bomb.com healthy, killer salad.

I still get the American Girl Doll Catalog in the mail. As a young girl, I was always stoked about these dolls.
Samantha was my first doll. Little did I know how expensive these things were when I was little.
Money grows on trees, right? Riiiiiiiiight.

Feel free to do a little light exercise today too. It’s beautiful here, what’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?
What am I? A weather girl?
MANGIA!!!

Outlet.

Happy Thursday y’all!
Today is going to be absolutely fantastic! I can just feel it in my bones. Totally. I mean, any day that comes before Friday must be an awesome day, right? Right! Now, I’m pretty much super duper excited for this weekend in particular because there is an outlet mall opening just a couple of miles down the road from me. All I can see right now is J.Crew and Ralph Lauren signs blinking in my brain. Not that I can afford anything, or not that I will actually purchase anything, I just absolutely love outlet malls! 
While we are on the topic of shopping…I absolutely cannot stand to shop…I mean, I love the end result: a new pair of shoes, a cute top, or some “omg I can’t believe I found a pair of jeans that fit” jeans, I just can’t stand the actual shopping process. Usually after the first hour I am ready to high-tail it on home…that is, unless I am having a really, really, ridiculously good shopping day. Or if I am with others, I will just take up a bench and people watch. Oh, the humor of people that try to fit into capri pants, and that one guy who wears shirts that are as bright as the sun. Yep, we are not in the 70’s man, leave those at home. 
Or…if I have some really good snacks on hand to take my mind off large crowds of people, unruly sales associates, and long lines, I will probably grin and bear the shopping process. I just don’t do food courts. Unless it’s a Sonic drink…then, I do food courts. 
I’m talking about some really, really, ridiculously good mall shopping snacks.
The mini kind…the kind that can easily fit into my purse without be squished by the bottom-less pit of never worn lipstick, business cards, and a slew of Sharpie pens.
Something like a mini-muffin

a banana coconut mini-muffin made with coconut flour.
Double the coconut because you know that’s how I do.

Healthy and delicious.

I mean, they are cute enough to possibly share with that obnoxious woman standing in front of you to purchase one pair of socks, who ironically, is tapping her toe at the 3 people that are in front of her with 5 billion +1 things to purchase!
Not!

Ooo OH, then we are going to “ice” them with a bit of coconut butter. 
 Triple the coconut…can you see where I am going with this?
Mini treats!!!

Boom

shaka laka.
Now, who is coming with?


Mini Coconut Flour Banana Muffins (GF):

Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c. + 1 T. liquid egg whites, or 3 large eggs
1 T. vanilla extract
1 T. agave nectar (honey)
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
1/2 c. coconut flour, sifted
1/2 t. sea salt
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 batch Coconut Butter

Instructions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a mini muffin cup pan with mini paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bananas, egg whites, vanilla extract, agave, and oil. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the coconut.
5. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoons full of the batter to each mini muffin cup.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden.
7. Let the muffins cool completely before topping each muffin with 1 teaspoon of coconut butter.

Makes 26 mini muffins.

MANGIA!!!