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Entries in recipes (703)

Sunday
Mar152015

20 Tasty Green Foods For St. Patrick's Day

The theme of today's post is GREEN. That's the color associated with St. Patrick's day, and the color of all the food you should eat on March 17. Here are 10 green foods that can help you celebrate. Pairing with green beer optional. 

1. Mint chocolate chip whoopie pies

Mint chocolate chip whoopie pies

Whoopie pies are great. But whoopie pies inspired by the prettiest ice cream flavor? All the better, and very appropriate for St. Patrick's Day. Recipe here

2. Watergate cake

Watergate Cake (Pistachio Pudding Mix Cake)

The connection to the scandal is tenuous at best. Following Watergate, many foods flavored with pistachio (said to be a favorite of Richard Nixon's) were dubbed after the scandal. This cake is only scandalous in its deliciousness. Recipe here

3. Green Irish soda bread

Green Irish Soda Bread

Well, this one's easy. Take your favorite Irish Soda bread recipe...and add green food coloring. I much prefer this method to letting it mold over. The food coloring is a more delicious variation of green. Recipe here (untinted). 

4. Candy salad

Sweet Salad

Possibly the tastiest method of eating your greens, ever. That isn't actual salad - it's candy and cake configured to look like it! Recipe here

5. Princess cake

Miette Princess Cake

I can't say with 100 percent certainty why it's green, but it typically is, and it's a fun and fancy food. Featured in my second book, The Secret Lives of Baked Goods.

6. Shamrock shakes

Shamrock Shake

Photo via Flickr member vasenka

It's not up to me to judge whether you make a homemade version or buy it at the evil empire fast food retailer. But it is a classic green food around this time of year. Homemade version recipe here.

7. Pistachio chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies

This is one of my favorite cookie recipes in the world. Find out why...Recipe here

8. Something healthy

Green smoothie

You can consider this intermission, or consider the fact that I made a banana and kale smoothie, and it actually tasted good. Recipe here.

9. Avocado cake

Chocolate Avocado Cake

This remains one of my favorite recipes for Serious Eats. It basically employs avocado wherever a normal recipe would call for butter (I actually used butter, too, though). Recipe here

10. Green tea ice cream

Green Tea Ice Cream

Photo via Flickr member Dong Kwan

I seem to see green tea ice cream on frequent offer at sushi places, but not so much at ice cream parlors. If you want, make your own, for a dignified green treat. Recipe here

11. Mint oreo stuffed brownie cupcakes Finalist 8: Stuffed Brownie Cupcakes (with chocolate covered mint oreos)

Go ahead. Stuff your cupcakes with mint fudge covered Oreos. It's only St. Patrick's day once a year. More info here.

 

12. Butter mint bars

Butter mint bars

A sugar cookie base with a thick, rich buttercream topping. I don't care that they're a Christmas treat. They're tasty right now, too. Recipe here

13. Pistachio pudding pops

Pistachio pudding pop

So simple. So perfect. This is my favorite flavor for Jell-O pudding pops. Or, fancy them up and make a two-tone variation. Recipe here

14. Avocado pie

Avocado Pie from Curio Confections Pie-Off

Pie? With avocado? Believe it. It's actually quite good. Recipe here

15. Mint chocolate chip ice cream Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (with Sprinkles) - Week #10 for "52 of 2014" 

Photo via Flickr member aukirk

If you are one of those people who prefers the white variety of mint ice cream, then please, stay in bed all day on the 17th. I suggest, for the full experience, going to a local ice cream shop and picking this up. Read about how I shipped a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone to myself

16. Mint Nanaimo bars Nanaimo bars

Nanaimo bars are delicious any time of year, and making them minty gives you a reason to make the middle green and to call them St. Patrick's day appropriate. Recipe here

17. Frog cupcakes

Frog cakes

I suppose that you could make these sweet treats, but it's more fun to find them in their natural element. Read my essay about the Curious Case of the Frog Cupcakes.

18. Green buttercream

Peppermint Patty Cupcake, Common Ground, Renton

If you're making cupcakes on March 17, I don't care what flavor they are. Tint your buttercream green. That's all.

19. Mint chocolate chip cookies Green holiday cookies

All it takes is some doctored up cookie mix to make these tasty green cookies, which are inspired by the ice cream flavor. Recipe here

20. Green bagels

 Green Bagels

It's possible that your local grocery store or bagel shop has green bagels on the 17th. If they do, buy them. You must! Or, tint a batch of your own. (Untinted) Recipe here

BONUS: rainbow cookies

How to make NYC style rainbow cookies

They're a treasure, and they're not at the end of the rainbow: they ARE the rainbow. Or, make them all green for a St. Patrick's day treat. Recipe here

What's your favorite green food?

Thursday
Mar122015

How to Make Paleo Coffee, AKA Bulletproof Coffee

Paleo coffee DIY

When I was in Asheville, several of my yoga school classmates became hooked on something sold at the Whole Foods nearby called "Paleo Coffee". Well, I didn't have too much interest in it until someone told me it contained butter.

What? Coffee with butter? That sounded awesome!

I was intrigued, and when I tried the stuff, I found that it was quite agreeable. Turns out, it was not only butter but coconut oil in addition that gave the coffee its rich, creamy flavor. Yes, I liked the stuff.

After Asheville, I promptly forgot about it until I happened upon this article in In Touch Weekly (one of my guilty pleasures fo'sho). I had to roll my eyes at it a bit, but then again, I have to say that the butter diet is one of the better ones I've come across. 

Paleo coffee DIY

They called it "bulletproof coffee" but it was the same thing that Whole Foods in Asheville had deemed Paleo Coffee. Either way, I think this stuff is worth a try. It's far cheaper to make it at home (I've seen it for sale between $4 and a whopping $8 per cup) and it's pretty delicious. While I will never ever suggest a fad diet to you, I think that this buttery coffee is a curiosity that is worth trying at least once! 

Paleo coffee DIY

Paleo Coffee, or "Bulletproof" Coffee

inspired by In Touch Weekly and Greenlife of Asheville 

  • 2 cups (16 oz) hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (I used unsalted) 

Procedure: It's as easy as combining all of the ingredients, but I will give you a few small tips. First, you'll definitely want to use super hot coffee, because it needs to be hot to allow the coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, become liquid, and the butter to melt. Second, I suggest pouring the mixture into a bowl and mixing it all together with a whisk, because if you just stir with a spoon in the cup, it won't be vigorous enough to make the butter droplets go away. I find that it just looks better when mixed thoroughly.

Paleo coffee DIY

Finally, be sure to drink it while it's quite hot. The fat will begin to separate as it cools, making for a less appetizing visual.

Have you ever tried bulletproof or paleo coffee? 

Thursday
Mar122015

Actually Good: Stout Beer Ganache

Do you like beer? 

Beer ganache

In general, I do not. But in recent years I have come to appreciate a few what I will call "fancy beers" - the type that cost more than the average six pack, have the word "handcrafted" somewhere on the packaging, and that the average football watching dude would probably scoff at. 

The only problem is that a lot of the fancy beers only come in 22 ounce bottles. Now, as an occasional beer drinker, this is an insanely large quantity to me; I have never and probably will never be able to finish an entire bottle. And as it simply isn't the same the next day (flat!) and I'm the only one in my house who drinks it, it has been relegated to "occasional" treat, and I usually end up throwing out the un-consumed portion. 

I hate waste.

So the last time I bought a fancy-ish beer called Cappuccino Stout, I had some, and then decided to experiment with the rest.

What would happen if I substituted fancy beer for cream in a ganache recipe? What would beer ganache taste like? 

Well, given the success of chocolate stout cupcakes, I figured there was a chance that I could be successful. So I heated up the beer, and then mixed it with mixed dark and milk chopped chocolate in an equal quantity. 

I let it sit until it firmed a bit, and here's what it looked like.

Beer Ganache

And as for the taste? Surprisingly good. Like, actually good. The beer didn't so much taste beer-y anymore, but it more imparted a malty, caramelly taste to the chocolate. If I had been given a sample and you'd asked me to do a blind taste, I would have said that it was some sort of malted chocolate sauce.

Stout beer ganache is definitely worth your time. I think I'll try it on top of brownies next! 

Actually-Good Beer Ganache

Note: you can use whatever quantity you like, as long as the beer and chocolate are in equal weights. 

  1. Put the beer in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble (not to be confused with the fizz), like it's just shy of boiling. 
  2. Beer Ganache
  3. Either add the chocolate to the pan, or pour the hot beer over chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  4. Beer Ganache
  5. Mix until combined, and the chocolate has melted.
  6. Let set until it has reached cool room temperature. Enjoy as a cake filling, icing, or as a tasty dip for cookies.
  7. Beer Ganache

Would you ever try beer ganache?

Sunday
Mar082015

Last Meal-Worthy: Snickers Cheesecake Recipe

Snickers cheesecake

"If I could only eat one pie for the rest of my life, I would choose this one. It’s so incredibly good!" - so says Roy Fares in the headnote for this recipe, featured in the new book United States of Cakes: Tasty Traditional American Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and Baked Goods. I am pretty into this book so far. For one thing, it's beautiful eye candy: I could look at the pictures of cakes and places all day--it speaks to my sweet tooth and wanderlust tendencies.

Now, the title might be a bit misleading - while you might be picturing sweets from sea to shining sea, the book is mostly set in Southern California. The author, Roy Fares, is an international pastry chef celebrity, and on his travels, the Los Angeles area intrigued him quite a bit--so he settled there to bake through some American favorites. It's a beautiful book, but don't expect a book like United Cakes of America: Recipes Celebrating Every State. DO expect some delicious and decadent desserts, like the one featured below. 

Snickers Cheesecake

Makes 12 pieces

Pie Shell

  • 15 (200 g) graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (100 g) butter
  • 1⁄4 cup (40 g) sugar
  • 11⁄2 tbsp (10 g) cocoa powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp (3 g) salt
  • Cheesecake Filling
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1⁄2 cups (600 g) cream cheese
  • 3⁄4 cup (180 g) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (20 g) all­ purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup (59 mL (50 g)) whipping cream
  • 2 (30 g) egg yolks
  • 2 (110 g) eggs
  • 1 1⁄2 (80 g) Snickers bars
  • 1⁄2 cup (60 g) salted peanuts

Frosting

  • 1 1⁄4 cups (300 g) cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp (15 g) cocoa powder
  • 3⁄4 cups (120 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp (11⁄2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 cup (50 g) whipping cream

Garnish

  • Pieces of Snickers
  • Salted peanuts
  • Optional, cocoa powder for Dusting

Make the Pie Shell

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius), convection function. Run the cookies in a food processor until they become fine crumbs. Melt the butter and add it. Add a little more butter if you think that the mixture is too dry to work with. Line a springform, 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter, with the crumbs, create an edge of about 11⁄2 inches (4 cm) high. Flatten the surface a little with the back of a tablespoon. Bake in the center of the oven for 7 minutes. Allow to cool.

Make the Cheesecake Filling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius), convection function. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour in a bowl until fluffy. Whisk in the cream. Fold in the egg yolks one egg at a time with a spatula. Cut the Snickers into pieces and spread them over the bottom of the pie shell along with the peanuts. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top and smooth with a spatula. Bake in the middle of oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (105 degrees Celsius) and bake for 35 minutes (do not open oven door). Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake stand in the heat for another 25 minutes (which reduces the risk of cracking). Remove and let cool completely. Let the cheesecake stand in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, so that it hardens properly. Run a thin knife around the form’s edge before it is removed. Rinse the knife with hot water a few times during that process.

Make the Frosting, and finish up

Mix all the ingredients except the cream in a bowl and whisk until the mixture feels fluffy. Whip in the cream in batches until it becomes a smooth frosting. Pipe or spread the frosting over the cheesecake. Garnish with Snickers chunks and peanuts and, if you like, dust with cocoa powder.

What dessert would you choose if you knew it would be your last meal?

Saturday
Mar072015

Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cake

Got eggs, peanut butter and sugar? You could be enjoying this cake in less than an hour. Really. 

It's only three ingredients, but it tastes way fancier. Trust me: try this one. 

Intrigued? Recipe here. 

Wednesday
Mar042015

Panettone Monte Cristo Sandwiches

I made something savory. Deal with it.

Monte Cristo sandwich

Well, as savories go, this Monte Cristo-inspired sandwich is sort of a crossover. The traditional sandwich features meat and cheese on bread, which is battered French toast style, toasted, and often served with confectioners' sugar and jam. So it's got one foot in the dessert world, even if technically, it's a savory food. 

Honestly, I don't know why Monte Cristo sandwiches served on panettone aren't a thing. Monte Cristo sandwich The lightly sweet, spongey bread is the absolute perfect carbohydrate for this sandwich: absorbent enough to get crispy and flavorful once toasted with the egg mixture, and with little fruits and bits and bobs which make the whole sandwich more interesting.

If you still think it's totally inappropriate that CakeSpy made something savory, well, I have this to say: you have to warm up for dessert somehow. 

As hybrid foods that span sweet and savory go, this is an indulgent and delicious one. Here's how you make it. 

Monte Cristo sandwich

Panettone Monte Cristo

Makes one large sandwich (suitable for sharing; or, double or triple the recipe)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water
  • 2 thick slices of panettone (I used Bauli Pandoro Panettone di Milano, and cut "coins" off of the circular loaf)
  • a few slices of ham
  • a few slices of cheese
  • mayonnaise and mustard to taste
  • jam on the side, if desired 

 Procedure 

  1. Mix together the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. 
  2. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt a knob of butter in the pan. 
  3. Brush the first slice of pannettone with the egg mixture on both sides, and place it in the saucepan. Reduce heat to medium low. Toast each side until lightly browned, and remove from the pan to a plate on the side. Repeat with the second slice of pannettone. Turn off the heat for the moment.
  4. Monte Cristo sandwich
  5. Once all of the sides of the pannettone are lightly toasted, spread mayonnaise or mustard on one side of each slice. Place whatever fillings you'd like inside, and sandwich the slices together. 
  6. Put the heat back on to medium-low, and melt more butter in the pan if necessary. Place the sandwich in the pan, and toast on either side until nice and toasty, with the cheese melty in the middle.Monte Cristo sandwich 
  7. Remove, and serve in warm wedges. Serve with jam if desired. 

Have you ever tried a Monte Cristo sandwich?

Wednesday
Feb182015

Easy Olive Oil Shortbread Recipe

Chocolate drizzle

In spite of the cartoon treatment above, these cookies are actually quite sophisticated.

They're shortbread, yes, but with an important departure from tradition: they're made with olive oil. Sound weird? Get over it. Because these cookies are so tender, so flavorful, so delicious, that you'll be craving them long after the batch is gone.

Chocolate drizzled olive oil cookies

The olive oil gives them an intriguing taste that more than makes up for the fact that they are delicate--so delicate, in fact, that I like to eat them with ice cream and a spoon. 

A drizzle of chocolate, which is my preferred garnish, helps hold the cookies together, so that they can melt in your mouth--not your hand. 

Chocolate drizzled olive oil cookies

Here's how to make these crave-worthy and conversation-starting cookies.

Olive oil shortbread cookies

Makes about 12

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • pinch salt 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Optional: 2 ounces melted chocolate, for drizzling on top of the finished cookies

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease and line with parchment an 8-inch square pan. 
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch with a pinch of salt. Set to the side.
  3. In a stand mixer or by hand, mix together the sugar and olive oil. It will be just a sandy liquid mixture.
  4. Add the flour mixture in 2-3 increments, mixing gently to combine. If the mixture is too soft, you can add up to 1/4 cup more flour.
  5. Turn the mixture out into your prepared 8-inch square pan, patting the mixture evenly into the pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden on the edges and matte on top.
  7. Slice the bars shortly after they are out of the oven, using a very sharp knife. But let them set completely before removing them from the pan.

These are much softer than regular shortbread so handle with care!

If you'd like, drizzle the cookies with melted chocolate (my fave!). 

Have you ever tried shortbread made with olive oil?

Monday
Feb162015

How to Use the Last of the Peanut Butter in the Jar 

Peanut butter jar solution

This is an empty peanut butter jar. But it isn't a bigtime bummer: it's a delicious opportunity.

No more do you have to lament the loss of the last hard-to-remove bits of peanut butter from the jar. Instead, make it a delicious snack: peanut butter hot chocolate. 

Peanut butter jar solution

All you have to do is this.

Gather up:

  • 1 almost-empty jar of peanut butter 
  • Up to 8 ounces of hot chocolate, not piping hot but definitely warm 

And do this:

  1. Pour the hot chocolate into the jar. Shake vigorously. You'll start to see the chocolate melt and absorb the peanut butter as you shake. Peanut butter jar solutionYou may not get every last shred, but you'll get a good amount mixed in.
  2. Once you're satisfied, stop shaking. You can drink it straight from the jar if you want to look all cool, or transfer it to another cup to enjoy. 
  3. Peanut butter jar solution 
    Enjoy! Peanut butter hot chocolate time!
    Peanut butter jar solution

Notes:

Don't do this with low fat peanut butter. In fact, don't buy low fat peanut butter, EVER. 

I suggest "up to 8 ounces" as the liquid amount because this leaves you room to shake the liquid.

Don't like chocolate? I don't know what's wrong with you, but I guess we can share space on the same planet. You could also use warm milk or any soy/rice/nut alternative. 

You're welcome. 

Thursday
Feb122015

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Olive oil chocolate chip cookie dough truffles. That's a mouthful to say, but an even more delicious mouthful to eat. 

Olive oil can be employed in this absolutely gorgeous egg-free (it won't kill you!) cookie dough for an intriguing flavor which becomes all the more seductive when coated in rich dark chocolate. 

Go ahead--you deserve it. So does your Valentine. 

Recipe here. 

Saturday
Feb072015

2/7: Happy National Ice Cream For Breakfast Day

Photo via Post Foods

Did you know that February 7th is National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day? I know, I know: best holiday ever. Finally, a reason for ice cream stores to open early! Because one of my true laments in life is that ice cream stores open too late. Surely I'm not the only one who craves ice cream at 9:00 in the morning, right? 

But I digress. To celebrate this wondrous day, I'd like to present an easy way to "breakfast" up your ice cream--by adding Grape Nuts.

Believe it or not, Grape Nuts ice cream not only exists, but can be quite common in parts of New England. Weird as it might sound, it works: the ice cream basically does to grape nuts what takes milk at least 40 minutes to do: it softens it, so that you can eat and enjoy the nutty, somewhat wholesome flavor without breaking your teeth. It works very nicely as an ice cream flavor.

If you're not in New England, however, you can do it the easy DIY way, by mixing Grape-Nuts into existing vanilla ice cream. Here's how.

Easy d.i.y. Grape-Nuts Ice Cream

Adapted from Post Foods

  • 1/2 cup Grape-Nuts Cereal
  • 1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream, softened 
  • Additional mix-ins of your choice: caramel, chocolate chips, etc.

Procedure

  1. Mix the cereal and softened ice cream in freezer proof bowl until the cereal is equally dispersed; cover.
  2. Freeze until firm.
  3. Store leftovers in freezer.

What flavor will you have for breakfast on National Ice Cream for Breakfast day?

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