Gra-no you didn’t (Pt2?)

Posted on April 19, 2016. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Was there a part one? I can’t remember.

This past weekend was the first of my crazy weekends that I’ll be having until I move. I ran a show Friday, had to be at work at 8:30 for a cooking class thing, worked till 5, ended up out with my friends, then pulled a double yesterday. I stayed in the city on Friday, and I didn’t want (or really couldn’t) bring up a salad the next day, and I wanted to have some sort of healthy snack that didn’t need to be kept in the fridge.

A few weeks ago I had some bananas that were getting a little far along, and thought about making granola bars with them. I found a very simple and good for you recipe and finally had time to bake them on Friday before my trip up to the city.

This recipe is very easy, and, as long as you have the correct measurements you can switch out a lot of the ingredients.

IMG_20160418_124349.jpg

Here’s what to get from the store:

Quiona
Chia
Oatmeal
Almond Butter
Nuts (I used almonds and cashews)
Dried Fruit (I did dates and golden raisins)

Chia, Quiona and Banana Granola Bars
(From Ambitious Kitchen)

1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup uncooked pre-rinsed quinoa
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup dried fruit (raisins or cranberries work well)
1/4 cup natural creamy almond butter
2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper to prevent bars from sticking.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, uncooked quinoa, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon. Stir in mashed banana and vanilla. Fold in almonds, pecans (or walnuts) and dried fruit.
  3. Place a small saucepan over low heat; add in almond butter and honey (or maple syrup) and stir until warm and almond butter is melted. Fold into granola bar mixture until well combined. Pour into prepared pan and press down firmly with hands or with a measuring cup to help bars stay intact. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 10 bars.

I really like working at the new place. Everyone there has been great. I had been told the bartenders are a little standoffish at the beginning, but all the ones I’ve worked with seem to like me right away. It’s great working somewhere that feels like a family again.

 

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Drink your veggies!

Posted on April 1, 2016. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

When I got back from vacation, I was a little mad I’d gained a few pounds. We moved around as much as I always did, but my eating habits weren’t the same, and I could tell the difference. I knew I had to eat a lot more veggies. I also came home to a fridge with just spinach and some juices and no time for grocery shopping (since I’m a psycho and went right back to work).

So, pretty much every day since I got back, I’ve had a spinach and banana smoothie to start out the day. I know, I know, it sounds gross. But, here’s the great thing about raw spinach; it has almost no flavor when it’s blended.

I tried to make this smoothie as nutritionally balanced as possible. It only takes a few minutes to make, but it will give you the boost of energy you need to get through a workout or your morning. Warning though: this is also SUPER full of fiber. If your diet isn’t full of fiber, be careful. (I also didn’t measure anything, so…sorry)

Spinach and Banana Smoothie

Here’s what to get from the store:

Banana
Spinach
Kale
Flax Seeds
Chia Seeds
Plain Greek Yogurt
Fortified OJ
Cashew Milk

Banana and Spinach Smoothie

1 banana
Chia and Flax Seeds
Few tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
Equal Parts OJ and Cashew Milk
Handfuls Spinach and Kale

  1. Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Add more spinach if you like.

I’ve come to really look forward to my daily yoga. It’s the one thing that slows me down. If you know me, you know I’m always moving quickly. Thanks to the breathing and having to focus, I actually am forced to slow down, it’s actually really nice.

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Where the Cookie Crumbles

Posted on February 24, 2016. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

So I made these the same time I made everything else last Thursday, I was planning on just waiting to post it until this week because I originally had no time to cook this week, but mother nature decided to step in. (I’m currently working on some Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread).

I’m always looking at different ways to use up bananas I didn’t eat. Luckily since I eat one almost every day, I generally don’t have any that get to far gone, but sometimes I do. I wanted to make something healthy that I could bring to work with me for breakfast.

Even though they’re technically cookies, they’re actually very good for you. I added flax and chia to the recipe I found, so once again, they’re full of fiber. They aren’t too sweet but they do satisfy that craving if you so want.

This recipe is very easy and takes no time at all. I used less honey than the suggested because I did want to keep sugar content a little lower.

Banana Breakfest Cookies

Here’s what to get from the store (you do need old bananas):

Flax
Oatmeal
Almond Butter
Chia
Dried Cranberries
Dried Dates

Banana Breakfast Cookies
(Based off Five Heart Home)

2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup Flax
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large bananas (ripe or slightly overripe), mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup almond butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried dates

  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Measure oats, flax, chia, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; whisk to combine. Stir in mashed banana, almond butter, honey, vanilla, cranberries, and dates. Scoop dough using a scant 1/4-cup measuring cup for form 12 cookies. Flatten the top of each cookie on the baking sheet and bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet before storing in an airtight container.

The wind is the worst, here in NWI there isn’t anything to hold the wind back, so even if there isn’t that much snow, the wind can make it look like white out conditions. Also, my complex makes its own wind tunnel, so outside sounds like about a hundred ghosts are having a party.

 

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Nanna Muffins

Posted on February 5, 2016. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Two posts in one day!

I had some bananas that were getting a little dark, and I could have just made regular muffins, but I thought “Why not make them full of fiber!” I had extra flax seeds, so why not, right?

This recipe is so easy and takes very little time. It’s also very fiber-rific, so be careful if you don’t eat as much fiber as I do.

Banana Flax Seed Muffin

Here’s what to get from the store (remember, old bananas though)

Flax seeds
Chia Seeds
Oatmeal

Banana Flax Seed Muffins

2 over ripe banans, mashed
1 egg
1 cup flax seeds
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup oatmeal
Chia Seeds

  1. Grind your flax seeds in a coffee grinder until fine.
  2. Add the flax seeds and the egg to the bananas and mix.
  3. In a seperate bowl, mix the dry ingredients and sprinkle chia seeds on top, then mix them in as well
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the bananas mixture. Put into greased cupcake pans.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

My fingers are sticky, and there was something on my arm. My life is a bunch of mysteries. Clumsy, clumsy mysteries.

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Puddin on the Ritz

Posted on December 29, 2015. Filed under: Breakfast | Tags: , , , |

I thought I wasn’t going to be able to cook, but for some reason at midnight, I looked at my quinoa and thought “wonder what breakfast recipes I could find any breakfast recipes?”  of course I did,  the fastest one I found was a Chia pudding, so I made my own. 

This recipe is very easy and the most work you have to do is cook the quinoa.

image

Here’s what to get from the store :
Quinoa
Banana
Almond milk
Strawberries
Chia seeds
Craisans
Peanuts

Quinoa Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding

1 cp cooked quiona
1/4 cp plus 1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 cup Almond milk
1 banana
5 Strawberries
Cinnamon
Sweetner of your choice
Craisans
Peanuts

1. In a blender, place milk,  fruit, sweetener and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
2. Place the mixture in a quart size jar and add the grains. Shake to incorporate. Let sit in the fridge overnight.
3. In the morning, add your toppings and enjoy!!

I wrote this post on my phone,  and I can tell you,  I don’t like doing it this way. 

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Squash the soup!

Posted on October 30, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Ok, that one wasn’t to great, but it’s hard with squash soup?

So, as I said yesterday, I got the day off. I literally laid around and did a bunch of nothing, added to some cooking. It was great. I left the apartment once, and that was because my Cartwheel app had 40% off boots and…well I had to get new snow boots.

I had been wanting to make a butternut squash soup ever since I had a version at work. It was good, but too thin and WAY to sweet. Yes, I know butternut squash is sweet, but this was almost dessert soup. I started my plan to just to regular soup, then I decided to add cauliflower and sweet potato, because, why not? And good soup needs good bread, so I found a recipe for a no knead bread online. And then I decided I wanted to make some bread pudding out of the banana bread I had in my freezer. This is what happens when I have time to cook. I invited Shawn over because I know she likes a lot of the same flavors I do..and I still have a lot. I’ll be bringing some in to trade for some chili with some of my regulars.

The bread recipe is beyond easy (I actually woke up in the middle of the night wondering what the yeast would eat because there’s no sugar), the soup is just slightly time consuming, and the bread pudding is also super easy.

Butternut Squash Soup with No Knead Bread Banana Bread Pudding

Here’s what to get from the store:

Butternut Squash
Sweet Potato
Cauliflower
Vegetable Stock
Yeast
Milk
Walnuts
Banana Bread (Homemade is the best though)

No Knead Crusty Bread
(From Jo Cooks)

3 cups all purpose flour
1¾ tsp salt
½ tsp active dry yeast
1½ cups water (room temperature)

  1. In a big bowl mix flour, salt and yeast together. Pour water into the bowl and using a spatula mix it until it’s all incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 to 18 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Add your cast iron pot to the oven and heat it as well until it’s at 450 F degrees.
  3. Remove pot from oven and remove the lid from it.
  4. Flour your work surface really well and make sure you flour your hands really well. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Cauliflower

1 Butternut squash, halved
1 sweet potato, cubed
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp chopped onion
Salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon
Red Curry Paste
Olive Oil
Cauliflower
1 quart Vegetable Broth

  1. Coat the potato, garlic and squash in olive oil and spices. Roast in a 350 degree oven until soft. Pull from the oven and scoop out the squash from the skin. Separate the garlic cloves.
  2. In a large pot, saute the onions until fragrant. Add the garlic and smash a little.
  3. Add the squash and potato mixture with the vegetable broth. Use an immersion blender to blend smooth. Add spices and simmer.
  4. While the soup is simmering, roast the cauliflower in a 350 degree oven covered in olive oil and the same spices as the other. Add to the soup.
  5. Taste the soup, and add more seasonings if needed. Serve with some crusty bread.

Banana Bread Pudding

1 loaf banana bread, cubbed
2 cups milk
4 eggs
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

  1. Whisk the eggs, milk and seasonings together. Add the cubbed bread and walnuts and mix to coat. Let soak for about 20 minutes.
  2. Spoon into large, greased cupcake pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Serve warm.

Not taking time for myself for the past few months made me go a little crazy. Sure, I had a few hours here and there for myself, but they weren’t enough. I was always doing work, or helping other people, or talking about work; I couldn’t get a break. It’s ok to be selfish every once in a while, in fact, it’s healthy. Don’t get too caught up in the other things to forget about yourself. Be sure to work on yourself before you start giving it away to other people.

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Cha-Cha-Chia!

Posted on October 29, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

The last time I had a day to myself, it must have been August at least; I was able to go to the beach. Tomorrow is the first day where I have no obligations to anyone and I couldn’t be more excited. When you work as much as I do, having even a 12 hour span off seems like a long time. Seriously, these 48 hours feels like a week, and I’ve only been off work for about 4 hours.

I had to wait to go grocery shopping till after work Tuesday, and I had to grab quinoa because I was out, and noticed that Chia seeds were a few bucks off. I admit, I was a little weirded out when people started eating the seeds that could be grown on a Tweety head, but, Shawn had told me she made some of the pudding, and I thought I’d try it out. (I told her if I didn’t like it that she was going to get the rest of it). I actually liked it. Now, this pudding wasn’t as thick as I liked, and I’m not sure if it was just because I used more cashew milk than I should have or if that’s how it’s supposed to be.

This recipe is super easy, and it’s ready in an hour or over night. It made about 2 servings, I only had 1 but it wasn’t that filling. I found that odd because chia seeds are supposed to be full of fiber, and I added some flax seeds to.

Banana Chia Pudding

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chia Seeds
Almond or Chasew Milk
Banana (you need more ripe ones)
Walnuts
Honey

Banana Chia Pudding
(From Healthy Living How To)

1 1/2 c. Unsweetened Almond Milk (or Cashew Milk)
1 Small Banana
Liquid Vanilla Stevia (Or honey) (to taste)
1/4 c. Chia Seeds
2 tbsp Flax Seeds
Walnuts (Optional)

  1. To a blender, add almond milk and peeled banana.
  2. Whiz until blended and no chunks of banana remain.
  3. Add vanilla stevia until desired sweetness.
  4. Pour liquid into quart-sized jar with lid.
  5. Add chia seeds, cover and shake well.
  6. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes then remove, shake again, add the flax seeds, then back in the refrigerator.
  7. Chill for an hour.
  8. Serve garnished with walnuts.

I don’t eat a ton of beef anymore, but, we had a patty melt on the lunch special today and I just HAD to have it. I could barely get through half of it! That amount of protein fills me up so much; I kind of knew that, but it’s always a surprise. I can eat vegetables for hours it seems and almost never get full, but 1 burger is too hard to finish. I probably don’t need any meat protein for the rest of the week…luckily I have some awesome veggie stuff on the menu for tomorrow.

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Necessity

Posted on July 16, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Ok, 2 posts in a day, it’s fine. If you’ve been around me for the past few weeks you know I’ve been talking about NEEDING muffins or cupcakes. For some reason, I just hadn’t made them myself. While talking to one of my coworkers today I decided I should make banana peach muffins. I had 2 bananas that were past the point of eating and I had just bought peaches on Monday, so it was a perfect fit.

One of the things I love about baking is as along as you get the chemistry right, you can add what you need. I found just a basic banana muffin recipe online and added what I needed to. I would have used my mom’s recipe, but it calls for buttermilk and while I know how to make it; I only had almond milk.

This recipe is super easy and can be make into bread if you like.

Banana Peach Muffins

Here’s what to get from the store (you’ll need old, almost black bananas)

Peaches
Butter
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Sugar

Banana Peach Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 Peaches, cubed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and spices; set aside.
  2. Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.
  3. Add the peaches in just at the end.
  4. Bake in preheated oven. Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.

Even though I love cooking, baking will always be my first love. When I was a kid I loved trying to make cookies…and getting flour everywhere. The flour isn’t EVERYWHERE now, but it’s still pretty…all over my shirt somehow.

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Easy Peasy

Posted on January 31, 2015. Filed under: Breakfast | Tags: , , |

The biggest problem I always have with bananas is that they tend to go brown before I an use them all, even if I purposely get them green. I have one left and I should just make bread out of it, but I know that’s not enough; it’ll go into a smoothie tomorrow.

I saw these two ingredient pancakes made from bananas on Pinterest and decided to give them a try. Normally I don’t trust stuff like that because they don’t seem to turn out right, but I was really impressed. The batter was a little thin and I broke all 3 of them trying to flip them (but honestly, I do that with normal pancakes to, so that’s a user issue).

This recipe is great if you don’t have all the other ingredients for normal pancakes, or just want something that is much more healthy. They’re gluten free (if you believe that, I don’t) and carb free. It’s very easy to change the flavor because all you have to do is add a different spice. I did cinnamon, nutmeg and some cloves. They look like pancakes, taste like bananas and are even sweet enough that you don’t need to use syrup. These will be good for a post work out, or a pre work day food.

Here’s what you need from the store:

Bananas
Eggs

Easy Banana pancake

1 Banana
2 eggs
Spice of choice

  1. Blend the banana and eggs together in your blender or with your immersion blender. Add your spices.
  2. Pre-heat your skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Drop a little bit of the batter onto the skillet. Wait until the edges are turning slightly white and bubbles come in the batter. Flip and cook a little longer.

That’s it. It’s very easy and very healthy. This makes about 3 or 4 pancakes depending on the size. They filled me up pretty well and I have a ton of energy.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, it can taste indulgent and bad for you if you want.

 

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I may have a problem….

Posted on October 3, 2014. Filed under: Breads, Main Course | Tags: , , , , , |

Do you ever have an idea to make one thing and somehow end up making 5? No? That’s just me? Oh well. I’ve had this problem for a while, I’ll start with one thing and end up with way more food than people to feed it to. This time it started out simple enough, I had some bananas that HAD to be made into something before they liquified. My first thought, of course, was banana bread. But, then I thought, “Oh hey, I saw this recipe for apple cinnamon rolls, let’s make those too”. Then I decided I just HAD to do something pumpkin (because, thanks to Jeremiah, all I can think of are fall things, because, you know, it’s white people season) so I decided to do cinnamon rolls with pumpkin filling. BUT the only cans the store had were the big ones, so I just HAD to make something else, so that ended up being cheesecake filled pumpkin bread. On top of all that, Shawn had said something about black bean soup sometime last week and I just HAD to make that to. So, if you were trying to keep count today (just today) I made: banana bread, apple pie cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls, pumpkin cheesecake bread and black bean soup. All in about 7 hours, I’m pretty proud of that. Clearly, I can’t eat all of that, because I would turn into a human diabetic beach ball, so I gave a lot of it away to people at work, along with Shawn and Calli. Well, the soup is mine, for now, and I still have about 4 cinnamon rolls and parts of the breads, so I’m set.

The banana bread recipe is my mom’s, she’s been making that bread for as long as I can remember. I used the same dough for both cinnamon rolls so they’re both kind of a Frankenstein recipe, but the soup is all me (so I apologize for the recipe in advance).

Apple Pie Cinnanom Rolls

Here’s what to get from the store:
Bananas
Apples
Yeast
Buttermilk
Lemon Juice
Bread Flour
Pumpkin Puree
Cream Cheese
Black Beans
Yellow Peppers

Banana Bread

 2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

  1. Sift flour, soda and salt.
  2. Cream butter gradually adding sugar.
  3. Add eggs and banana, blending thoroughly.
  4. Combine buttermilk and lemon juice.
  5. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture gradually, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients
  6. Pour into greased 9 x 5 loaf pan
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 – 70 minutes.

Cinnamon Roll Dough
(From The Hopeless Housewife)

1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled to warm
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  1. In a small bowl, add yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar to the lukewarm water and let it sit until it dissolves, about 10 minutes. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment, (or a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer) add scalded milk, melted butter, egg, remaining sugar, and salt and mix on low speed until combined. Add half of the flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and continue to mix on low. Slowly add the remaining flour (if using an electric mixer you will have to stop when it’s getting hard to mix and use a wooden spoon to incorporate the rest of the four as best you can- the motor of the electric mixer will burn out- then turn dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, folding the dough over onto itself and pushing down repeatedly). For a stand mixer, increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. Remove dough, place in a greased bowl, cover, and set aside on countertop or warm place. Let it rise until it is double in size, about 2 hours.
  2. While dough is rising, make the filling. (Recipes below)
  3. When dough has risen, remove cover and, using your fist, punch the dough down and remove from the bowl. Roll out on a well-floured surface into a 16×24 inch rectangle and spread the remaining 2 tablespoons butter almost out to the edges, but not quite. Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly across the butter. Spread the  mixture over the brown sugar as evenly as you can. Roll into a log, starting from one end to the other, lengthwise, so the log is 24 inches. Cut 2 inch slices, this will give you 12 cinnamon rolls.
  4. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment. The cinnamon roll slices close together, but not touching, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough is doubled, 1 1/2-2 hours.
  5. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, being careful not to over-bake them.
  6. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt together with an electric or stand mixer on medium speed and set aside. When cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, spread the glaze over the top and serve.

Apple Pie filling for Cinnamon Rolls
(From The Hopeless Housewife)

 

6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter and sugar in a large skillet, then add the apples. Sauté until apples are slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pumpkin Pie filling for Cinnamon Rolls
(From Diethood)

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  1. In a small bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Evenly divide pumpkin filling and spread over each piece of rolled-out dough.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread
(From Just Another Day in Paradise)

Filling:
1-8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bread:
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour two 8″ loaf pans. In one bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Beat until smooth and creamy. Set aside. In another bigger bowl, blend the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg and set aside. In another bowl (yes another one), combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar. Mix well. Then stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until combined. Fold in the nuts.
  2. Pour half of the pumpkin bread batter equally into two pans. Then spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly over both. Now spoon over the rest of the pumpkin batter over each loaf. With a knife stuck just in the top layer of pumpkin and the cheesecake layer, swirl the layers around to marble the top part of the bread.
  3. Bake for 55-60 minutes, when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pans for 10 minutes. Then remove to a rack.

Black Bean Soup

5 cloves of garlic, smashed and diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (and deseeded, do it)
32 oz of broth
1 large can black beans
A1 Steak Sauce
1/5 cup buttermilk
Salt, white and black pepper, paprika

  1. Saute the garlic and onions in olive oil with salt and pepper until translucent. Add the jalapeno, steak sauce and seasonings and saute a few moments more.
  2. Add the broth and beans (don’t drain them!) and simmer for about an hour.
  3. Taste the soup, burn your mouth because you didn’t de-seed the jalapenos, and add the buttermilk. Add some of that fresh basil and oregano you have sitting in your windows and simmer while you go save your best friend from a gas-less car and buy yourself some sour cream to save from more burning.
  4. Serve with sour cream and crunchy tortilla chips.
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