Matcha Cream Dark Chocolate Cups

Lately I have been sucking down matcha lattes left and right, ever since I bought myself a pound of matcha powder I want to get through before I have to move.  But this is the first recipe that I have tried to cook with the powder and I am VERY happy.  These homemade cups are filled with a delicious matcha cream that goes so well with the dark chocolate outer shell.  Pack one of these with your lunches and you are bound to have a great day! If matcha isn’t your thing, I provided an alternative classic filling of peanut butter (equally delicious)! These need very few ingredients but you will be very happy you made them!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag Dark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 heaping spoonful matcha powder
  • Alternative filling (1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 teaspoon oats)
  • Cupcake liners or wax paper

How to:

  1. In a sauce pan melt the butter and then add in the sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Add the matcha powder and use a whisk to break it up so it is evenly dispersed.
  3. Continue to cook on medium low heat until when you pull a spatula through the mixture you can see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds until it comes back together.  That is how you know it is done. Set aside.
  4. Line your cupcake pan with liners.
  5. Microwave the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals. Once it is complete melted. Spread a little on the bottom of each liner.  You can do a thicker layer too, depends on how much you like chocolate and your ideal ratio.
  6. Let cool for a few seconds/place in the fridge to let it harden up.
  7. Scoop in a teaspoon of your filling into the cup and spread into an even layer, trying to keep it from just reaching the sides.  Again it is your choice on the ratio.
  8. Then add another layer of the melted chocolate, spreading so the filling is completely covered and fills in the gap the filling left behind.
  9. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until the chocolate hardens and then transfer into baggies in the fridge.
  10. Enjoy throughout the week!

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

For the past few weeks my favorite lunch has been buffalo cauliflower quinoa bowls, but you can only eat a certain delicious things so many times before you get a little bored.  I decided to shake it up a bit and turn the same favor into a portable snack.  This snack can be totally vegan, and is currently vegetarian.  Its great to bring with you to a party or to the library.  Any way you eat it, you are going to enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 cup roasted cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons cottage cheese (and/or shredded cheddar) *optional*
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (or more if you like it hot)
  • 1 pinch parsley
  • 1 tablespoon ranch

How to:

  1. Begin by roasting the cauliflower simply with just salt, pepper, and oil.
  2. Then in a food processor mix the cauliflower, cottage cheese, and hot sauce together.  Pulse for a few times until completely combined.
  3. If you want it hot, microwave this mix for a few minutes (or it could be baked into a dip).
  4. Then spread into clean celery. Sprinkle with parsley and a bit of ranch, and enjoy!
  5. A simple but satisfying snack!

 

Barrel full of these Crackers

Lately I have been in a very cooking mood, which doesn’t pair well with my currently busy schedule.  But I watched several food documentaries and they inspired me on what I can do and accomplish, so I am trying to become a completely homemade person.  First step was making these homemade crackers.  Crackers are something I would have never considered to make before, just easier to buy them.  Well friends, it is really easy to make them too! These are Italian Herb and Garlic crackers that are worth making at home.  They are flaky, flavorful, and are great paired with almost any cheese!  This is not be the last time I make these!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

How to:

  1. Set oven to 400 and spray two cookie sheets
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and italian seasoning
  3. Mix the water and oil mixture together and add to the flour mixture.
  4. Stir until dough is smooth. Cut the dough in half.
  5. Pat into a pancake as thin as you can, then place on baking sheet, and using your hands get as thin as you can, its okay if its a bit uneven or textured. Do the same with the other dough on the other baking sheet.
  6. Lightly sprinkle the dough with garlic powder (although if you hate garlic, you dont have to).  Cut dough into squares and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Let cool for 10- 15 minutes.  Store in an air tight mason jar or bag and can last for 1-2 weeks!
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Korean BBQ Egg Rolls

Sometimes I feel like I said I make something, and people get freaked out because it sounds complicated.  BUT THIS IS NOT COMPLICATED! You utilize a crock pot and the rest is just assembly.  I baked them into an oven and they reheated beautifully when I wanted to eat them later on. Try these because they are flavorful and delicious but will not take up your whole day to make!

Ingredients:

  • 3 country style beef ribs (bone out preferred)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2-3 teaspoons sriracha sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cabbage finely diced or chopped
  • egg roll wrappers (pre made)
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

How to:

  1. Begin by browning meat in a skillet.
  2. In a crock pot add all of the ingredients except the corn starch, cabbage, and egg rolls.
  3. Cook on high for 5-7 hours until the meat is easily shredded. Add in the cornstarch and stir to evenly disperse.
  4. Let the meat cool before continuing.
  5. Lay out the egg roll wrappers, towards the left hand side, leave 1 cm around all edges, add in a generous tablespoon of meat, next to it add a neat row of diced cabbage.
  6. Rub all of the edges with water, then fold the top and bottom edges over the meat. Then roll the whole things together. These can also be made in triangle form!
  7. Coat a baking sheet with a light layer of oil.  Roll the egg rolls so there is a light bit of oil all over the egg roll, (this can also be done with a brush).  Bake the egg rolls with the crease facing down, for 10-15 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  8. Let cool on paper towels.  An optional sauce is made with a little bit of mayo, sriracha, fresh cilantro, and rice wine vinegar.  Really easy but tastes delicious!

Orange Dream Cake

I love Birthdays, you get to celebrate their life, but also you have an excuse to eat cake.  It seems like one of the best holidays around.  Well yesterday was my Little’s birthday (who gets quite a few recipe shout outs) and also the first day of spring! Not that you could tell over here in New England with several inches of snow.  But regardless this is a spring inspired birthday cake.  It is an orange vanilla cake, with a whipped cream filling, and an orange cream cheese butter cream frosting.   This was family tested and approved!  Nothing beats a fresh cake, and this one is pretty easy, so give it a go!

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used soy milk and it turned out fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

For the icing and filling:

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1.5 -2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

How to:

  1. For the cake, begin by creaming the butter and sugar together.
  2. Then beat two eggs and fold into the butter mixture, you can pulse a little bit with the hand beater.
  3. Using a spatula, fold in the flour and baking powder.
  4. Add the milk, vanilla, orange zest and juice, gentle fold in until completely combined.
  5. Pour into a well greased baking dish, I used a 8×8 square glass pan
  6. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a knife can be inserted and removed clean.
  7. Let cool completely. Now onto the sweet stuff
  8. The whipped cream is made by just whipping the cream, and once stiff peaks have formed, add in 1/2 cup sugar (or more or less depending on how sweet you like things).
  9. For the icing, beat together the butter and cream cheese both at room temp. Once whipped, slowly add in the powdered sugar 1/2 a cup at a time.  Also add in the zest and vanilla.  Add sugar until you have reached the desired sweetness level.  I died some pink to use as decoration.
  10. Once the cake is cooled, use a serrated knife to slice through the middle of it (hamburger way), gently take off the top and spread an even coat of whipped cream.  At least 1/2 inch thick.
  11. Replace the top and gently spread the icing around coating, I like a generous layer of frosting, but it is your choice!
  12. Slice and serve, refrigerate if anything remains!

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The Sassy Blonde

You have heard of the slutty brownie right?  Well it is time for you to meet the Sassy Blond(ie).  It is blondie batter sprinkled with chocolate chips over a layer of oreos and ginger snaps.  The blondie dough is great on its own, but it works so well with the ginger and chocolate flavors.  This recipe was made in honor of my favorite sassy blonde, my Little.  She works so hard for one of my favorite causes, Relay for Life, and I thought she needed some treats to get her through 12 hours of inspiration, hope, and the power to fight back.  It was a great day and these Sassy Blondes will make any normal day better!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (this can be replaced with another cup of brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pack oreos
  • 8-10 ginger snap cookies
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

How to:

  1. Begin by whipping the brown sugar and butter together, just for a few minutes.
  2. Then add in your eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Slowly add in your flour cup at a time, and the salt and baking powder.  Mix until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. In a 9×13 glass pan, spray with cooking spray vigorously.  Then lay down a layer of ginger snaps, and then oreos, then scoop the batter on top of the cookies.  The batter is a little thick so it is best to add dollops around the pans and spread those out.. almost like connecting the dots.
  5. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting.
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Bite Me: Healthy Coconut Truffles

I have had an aggressive sweet tooth over the past couple of days, and with spring break being a week away, that really isn’t such a good thing.  But I these past few weeks have also been especially stressful and jam packed so I am not willing to cut out sugar and be an angry person through all of my meetings.  That is where this perfect bite sized treat comes into play.  It is like a almond joy, but elevated and free from all the additives.  Make these and bring on your busy weeks!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon coffee grouds
  • 1 dash vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate/ semi sweet chocolate chips
  • course or table salt

How to:

  1. In a food processor blend the coffee grounds and coconut until it turns into a finer powder.  About 10 pulses.
  2. Then add into a bowl, and add in the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla.
  3. Stir with a spatula into a paste. Roll/ form into balls (I made bite sized but they could be bigger) and place on a waxed paper lined tray and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes these balls will be firm. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in 30 second intervals stirring in between each one.
  5. Dip your balls into the chocolate and coat in chocolate. If you want less chocolate, just drizzle it on top. Sprinkle a bit of salt on top and place back into the fridge to set the chocolate. Store in the fridge and you are good to go!
  6. Better than a candy bar and you definitely don’t have to feel bad about these!

From Scratch Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Homemade Bagel Chips

Football season is underway as well as is the holiday season.  Pair those together and that also makes it dip season! Dips are great for parties, football games, girls nights, and when you just need a pick me up. Another great thing about dip is there are so many types and options and they are all incredibly versatile.  Todays dip is a totally homemade spinach and artichoke dip.  Everything was from scratch and that makes a world of difference.  Pair this with homemade bagel chips, and you have one hell of a good snack! Plus, this recipe has low fat components and lots of veggies so it is mostly guilt free!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooked artichokes (or just the hearts)
  • 1 package of spinach (or canned)
  • 1/4 of a white onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/4 package cream cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • sprinkle mozzarella cheese
  • a few pinches montreal steak seasoning
  • 2 bagels (stale is best)
  • pan spray

How to:

  1. Set your oven to 350.
  2. Begin with the bagel chips.  Slice them 1/2 centimeter thick, lay flat on a cookie sheet and spray with pan spray. Then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  3. I used fresh cooked artichokes as opposed to canned artichokes. To do this you have to scrape away the heart from the whole artichoke.  Its a little labor, but great results.  Be sure to get any choke into the mixture.
  4. In a pan, add some oil and sauté the garlic and onion until transparent. Then add in your spinach.  Once wilted add the artichoke. Let cook for a few mintues
  5. Add in your cottage cheese and continue to stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Pour mixture into a oven safe dish, add in the cream cheese, and stir until even.
  7. Then sprinkle on the grated cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is golden brown.
  8. Serve with your bagel chips and enjoy!

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