Archives for January 2013

National Peanut Butter Day and Single Gal Desserts

Happy National Peanut Butter Day y’all!
Yep, we all know that I am a peanut butter addict. Well, if you didn’t know, know y’all know. 🙂 I recently had a breakdown. Like…yesterday. Afternoon, to be exact. I have been keeping a little secret…I gave up peanut butter at the beginning of the new year. I know. I know. Don’t look at me like that. I have been having stomach issues with legumes so I thought I might eliminate my beloved peanut butter for a bit. Well…23.5 days strong and yesterday…breakdown! 
It probably wasn’t helpful that at any given time I could open my pantry to find 8 jars of different flavored peanut butter. In other news, I’m a single gal and because my peanut butter emotions were on full blast I needed something quick, delicious, and preferably dessert like to satisfy my peanut butter tooth. 1 minute. Presto. Finished.
We begin with a chocolate peanut butter cake batter. 
We are making this for #1, remember? That means we get to be selfish. 

Of course you can share a couple of bites with your people. 
My people are my parents. They were delighted.

Whaddup peanut butter frosting?

Seriously irresistible. 

I can’t even tell you how salivating this thing is. 

All done in a microwave?
This is totally unheard of. 

With dessert like this hopefully a man will come running my way. 
No, sprinting. 🙂

As for now, I will eat my single gal cake with my single gal spoon anytime of the day that I want!

Any questions?
Please tell me you love peanut butter as much as I do?
Wait, wait…it’s gluten-free.
Duh.

Single Gal Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (GF):

Ingredients:
For the cake:
1/4 c. raw organic cocoa powder
1 T. water
3 T. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
1 large egg white
3 t. granulated stevia
For the frosting:
3 t. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
Instructions:
1. Grease a small ramekin with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the cake ingredients until smooth.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekin.
4. Place the ramekin in the microwave and cook on 20 second intervals until the cake is cooked through and has risen slightly over the top of the ramekin.
5. To make the frosting, combine the peanut butter and almond milk until smooth.
6. Spread the frosting on top of the cake and devour!
Makes 1 cake (for single gals…or any other gal…or guy)

Nutrition Facts: Total Calories: 144, Total Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1.7g, Total Carb: 19.5g, Sugars: 1.9g, Protein: 16g

MANGIA!!!

The New Meat.

Happy Tuesday y’all!
Today is my mommas 52nd 25th birthday :). I love my mom to death so in honor of her day I will be feasting with her tonight at one of her fave restaurants. Yummy! Maybe I will make her a dessert later on this week. Maybe. All I know is that whatever I make her must be able to be slathered in butter. She is the butter queen. I am talking Paula Deen level here, y’all! Seriously. 
Now, my dad is under doctor’s orders to eat all things healthy. This means no Blue Bell ice cream. Thank goodness we already eat healthy the majority of the time. 
Last night’s dinner included this.
Roasted eggplant steaks 

drizzled in a Maple Honey Tahini Dressing. 

The “steaks” were so tender and the dressing nearly blew my socks off!

Perfect as a vegetarian entree at dinner.
Eggplant…the new meat. 

Roasted Eggplant Steaks with Maple Honey Tahini Dressing (GF/V/P):

Ingredients:
2 large eggplants, tops removed, cut in half lengthwise
2 T. honey tahini
1 T. apple cider vinegar
3 t. pure maple syrup
juice of 1/2 a small lemon
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, optional garnish
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the prepared eggplant flesh side up on a large baking sheet.
2. Bake for 1 hour or until the eggplant is golden brown and the back side of the eggplant is slightly charred.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until smooth.
4. Drizzle each eggplant steak with the dressing, a pinch of salt and pepper, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Makes 4 eggplant steaks.
MANGIA!!!

Secret Recipe Club

Happy Monday y’all!
It’s time for another installment of Secret Recipe Club! Whoo-hoo! This is actually the first SRC post for Group C of 2013, so I’m pretty freaking ecstatic! Sooooo, this month I was proud to learn that my secret blogger was Melissa, the voice behind the blog, Melissa’s Cuisine. Melissa lives in West Michigan w/ her husband Mike and absolutely loves cooking. Duh :). Anyhoo, I learned that, like myself, Melissa credits her parents for her mad cooking skills! I one day hope that like my parents, and Melissa’s parents, I can teach my future children, from an early age, how to gain an appreciation for food. This is a no brainer, right? I’ll let you know when I have kids ;). First I need to find myself a man! Okay, okay enough about me. Melissa knows her cooking and baking…I mean, seriously? Look at her extensive recipe catalog. I wanted to make everything from her Chicken Parmesan to her Peanut Butter Cup Bars. However, because I have about 4 cans of unopened organic pumpkin pie puree in my pantry, I went with something pumpkin. It’s not too late for pumpkin recipes is it? Nah, didn’t think so 🙂 
I am also a super huge fan of carrot cake, soooooo Melissa’s Pumpkin Carrot Cake Bread had my name all over it.

This bread/cake is chock full of good for you stuff!

Ummmm…hello there carrots, raisins, and walnuts!

This bread is utterly divine, with a melt in your mouth texture!

I used almond flour which almost makes this bread/cake a spoon bread consistency.

I know what I will be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all this week.

 That is…if this stuff lasts more than a day!

Pumpkin Carrot Cake Bread (recipe via Melissa’s Cuisine) (GF/P):

Ingredients:
1.5 c. whole-wheat flour (I used almond flour)
1 t. baking powder
1.5 t. pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin (I used organic)
1/2 c. brown sugar (I used raw coconut sugar)
2 T. applesauce 
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 c. shredded carrots
1/4 c. mix-ins (I used 1/4 c. chopped walnuts, 1/4 c. raisins) (Melissa also suggests chopped apple and chocolate chips)
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9 in. loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Place the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
5. Fold in the carrots and the mix-ins. 
6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (because of the almond flour mine took longer to bake, about 45 minutes). 
7. Let the bread cool completely before turning it out onto a cutting board and slicing.
Makes 8-10 slices.
MANGIA!!!

My Life According To…

Happy Sunday y’all!
This week is going to be a busy one for me as I have a temp job for a few days, so I apologize in advance if I seem a little off and miss a post or two. 😉 
Last night was by far the best day of my week, I had my godfather, aunt, and their kids over to celebrate his birthday. 
We ordered the best Mexican food around so I was one happy girlie.
It’s great to not have to cook sometimes.
There is definitely no pressure with Mexican food 🙂
I’ve been working on my fitness this week. 
This is me post run…no sweat thanks to 30 degree temps!

Definitely needed this dish at the beginning of this week. 🙂 

I’m officially back on the egg train for breakfast. 
Eggs…all day, erry day. 

Trust me when I say that these babies are the best “candied” pecans I have made yet. 
Superior snackage right there, people!
WHAT’S YOUR GO TO TAKE-OUT?
MANGIA!!!

G.V.C. Pecans.

Happy Friday y’all!
Mom and I are off this morning for a mini road trip. This should be fun. Let’s talk childhood stuff. Okay… :). I grew up in South Houston in the neighborhood that my parents were also born and raised in, and I attended school where they attended school. It was all gravy. 
Now, our neighborhood wasn’t the most lavish neighborhood…but that is what I loved about it. I loved the billowing pecan trees lining the streets in the heat of the summer, shading me from getting a sun burn as I ran barefoot down the street to play at a friends house. Those pecan trees were my life. I would wake up on Saturday morning, walk out my front door, and pick the pecans off the ground with the pecan picker. I always thought that thing looked like a pogo stick. Kid brain, for sure. Then, I would sit at the kitchen table with my parents and crack those pecans until my knuckles were sore. 
Have you ever tasted a fresh pecan? It’s like biting into an itty bitty, nutty crunch of heaven. I still long for those days to be able to pick those pecans directly from my front yard. Luckily, I still have family members that live in my old neighborhood and bring me fresh pecans occasionally. The other day I had lunch with my cousin Megs and she surprised me with a bag of freshly cracked pecans. I was stoked. With the first bite of the pecan, all of my childhood memories came rushing back to me. Pure bliss.
I mean, seriously?

For all you super bowl fans…listen up! We are working on prime time snackage. 

I’m talking maple syrup, spices, and sea salt. 

Sweet, spicy, salty, super-bowl-y. 

Remember…these are magic Garden Villas pecans. 
They have special powers. 

Oh, and they are damn delicious! 
Spiced Maple and Sea Salt Pecans (GF/V/P):
Ingredients:
4 c. fresh, raw pecans
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. coarse sea salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss until the pecans are coated evenly. 
3. Spread the pecans out onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally. 
4. Let the pecans cool completely on the baking sheet before removing.
Makes 4 cups.
MANGIA!!!