Tag Archives: brown sugar

Your Friends Will Love These Treats – Paleo-Friendly Granola Bars

On the tails of last week’s post: this time, some people treats!

My crossfitting significant other sent me this paleo-friendly recipe via Flipboard message about a year ago, and I’ve been making it ever sense, especially for road trips and hiking. Most recently, I heard my next adventure is going to involve food price sticker shock, so naturally I whipped up some, and thought it a good morsel for you to try.

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Butternut Squash & Coconut Milk Soup

I love soup. Did I mention I love soup? Predictably, my household caught the sniffles after all that holiday activity and travel, and my mind was filled with thoughts of healing soup. It’s a great way to take a lot of fluids and help you get better. There was this one day where I made two vats of soup for the week, went out to eat for another soup, and made a quick mug of noodle soup before bed. Just soup-er.
This one is creamy despite not having dairy, “thank goodness,” said the lactard. I also did away with the shrimp to eliminate my risk of anaphylactic shock, and took a shot frying tofu on the side. *I had to go to two different stores to get a red curry paste without shrimp paste in it (thank you vegan options), so if you’re going vegetarian check the ingredients listing before buying that. Entertainingly, the original recipe I riffed off is from Whole Foods Market via an Instacart link, see Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup with Shrimp. If you choose tofu as your side protein, read up in step 1 beforehand and adjust your task times accordingly.

The completed dish: butternut squash & coconut soup with fried tofu.
Butternut squash & coconut soup with fried tofu.

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Guest Blog:
Parm-Crusted Chicken, Asparagus & 3 Bonus Recipes!

So first I must say I first had this from my sis Y_________. It was so good when she made it twice for me. So I had to ask her for the recipe because I needed a good main dish for a dinner/date I was making. Need something good to impress lol. The Parmesan Crusted Chicken was the main. Then Oven-Roasted Asparagus and just a normal salad on the side and Riesling for drinks.

-Alex J.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Ingredients
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves –if from frozen, try and cut thinner so the chicken is not too thick to cook in 30 minutes (shouldn’t be more than two finger-widths thick).
4 tsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs + dry herbs), or however much you need to cover one side of chicken
optional: a little salt & pepper

Instructions
Combine mayo and cheese. Spread on chicken, then sprinkle with bread crumbs, salt & pepper. Bake at 425 degrees (F), 20-35 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, usually 30 minutes, at least. Safe temp for chicken to be cooked to is 160F.

Top: raw chicken with "white sauce." Bottom: chicken with sauce and herbs-pretend-breadcrumbs.
Top: raw chicken with “white sauce.” Bottom: chicken with sauce and herbs-pretend-breadcrumbs.

For reheating: bake at 425 degrees for about 5-8 minutes until you know it’s heated through, then broil on high for 1 minute to obtain slightly crispy exterior.

Can also freeze raw and bake 20-27 minutes plus broil.

Trying to impress I decided to prep some of the ingredients before I headed over to her place to make the food. Also she is a bit of a health food person so I decided to use light hellman’s mayo and just let her know it was a white sauce. Also I was able to pick the chicken from Whole Foods, some free range chicken from the meats section.

Being the person I am I happen to forget the dry bread crumbs. So I decided to improvise and use her Italian seasoning and rosemary. Lots of rosemary, ’cause I just love that spice and just bit of sea salt and pepper.

She had a gas oven and it only took 15 mins to cook. It was not raw but cooked enough and just juicy and good.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus (allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.

I did not do much making the asparagus. This was her side. We were able to just put it in when the chicken was still cooking because it was the same temp.

Salad
Spinach with Mixed Greens
Dried Cranberries
Roasted Walnuts
Balsamic Vingerette

The salad -nothing really to it. I kind of just picked random ingredients and put them in the salad. Also I just put the walnuts on the stove top and put them on top of the salad. The balsamic was a good choice, surprisingly. I don’t really know much about salads but we both liked it.

Overall this meal was great. It did impress. So MISSION ACCOMPLISHED lol. Also forgot we had a Riesling for drinks. This is something that I would repeat for sure. Easy, fast and good. Would maybe pick another random side to mix it up though. Keep in mind the chicken says to use 4 breasts. It was too much for 2 people but leftovers for lunch, so, not that bad.

Wish I took more pictures but didn’t want to seem to be that person yet.

Ta-da! Breaking fast!
Ta-da! Breaking fast!

Breakfast FOOD!!

Another time for me to cook to impress. Instead of going out to brunch we decided to make food instead. I was able to find a there Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Banana Pancakes that just sounded great to make. For sides we decided to have some cut oranges, bacon and orange mango juice.

Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Banana Pancakes

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 banana, mashed

Instructions
Place the rolled oats into the jar of a blender and blend until the texture resembles coarse flour. Whisk together the blended oats, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, dry milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

Whisk together the egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Stir in the mashed banana. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto the griddle, and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Flip, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.

First off when we walked over to Wedge, my phone died and I had to go off memory what we needed. I had to alter the recipe a bit. I didn’t add the dry milk powder and switch the whole wheat flour with just all-purpose flour. Also we added 2 ripe bananas instead of just one. Made it so much better.

After getting the batter prepared I do wish I read the other comments because we could have just mixed everything in the blender instead of using so many bowls that needed to be cleaned. Also this makes a ton of pancakes. We only made 4 pancakes and half the batter was still left.

What I do love about the recipe is that you mash the bananas in the mix and you can taste gooey banana parts in some bites of the pancakes. Also used real maple syrup. Makes it just so much better

Bacon was just fried and dried to crisp and we just cut up oranges.

Again this meal did impress yet again. MISSON SUCCESS!!

I would like to do these pancakes again but in a blender. I bet it would be a lot faster and easier. Also maybe with eggs and bacon and fruit. Good stuff.

 

That’s it for now. Thanks, Alex! Stay tuned for another recipe from another J_____ brother, coming soon!

P.S. This parmesan-crusted chicken recipe was originally from my friend good Jennifer from grad school, who got it off a *gasp* Hellman’s Mayo jar. Thanks, Jennifer!

P.P.S. Bonus points to Alex for cooking the other dish at the same time due to same temp requirements.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

…because some things are worth trying again after the first time didn’t quite turn out 10 years ago.

left: sweet, right: bbq, bottom: salted
left: sweet, right: bbq, bottom: salted

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Source recipes: the first search result off google + Food Network combinations

boil, season, bake.
boil, season, bake.

Ingredients:
Leftover pumpkin seeds from carving 2 medium-large pumpkins
Arbitrary Amounts of…
Salt
Olive Oil
Seasoning combinations (amounts to taste):
BBQ: brown sugar, ground cumin, chili powder
Sweet: Sugar, cinnamon
Plain: salt

 

Directions

  1. Clean the seeds.
  2. Boil for 10 minutes in salt water.
  3. Drain the seeds in a colander.
  4. Spread seeds onto a baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, plus seasoning of your choice (see above for what I did).
  5. Roast seeds at 325F for 15-22 minutes, taste testing a few seeds at 15 minutes.
  6. Optional step: accidentally touch the burning hot pan and spill 1/6 of the seeds.
BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds
BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds

This Week’s Trial Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating:
4 of 5
I tried roasting fresh pumpkin seeds once years ago, and it was dry and not tasty. This method with boiling first was delicious!
Likelihood of Repeat: 75%
Totally worth doing in 365 days when I have fresh pumpkin seeds again!
Lesson Learned: Boo!
11/1/14 edit: these are not as crispy and tasty second or third day, unless you toast them up a little again.

Happy Halloween!

BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds + rogue farms pumpkin patch ale
BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds + rogue farms pumpkin patch ale

Hot Chocolate Cookies

At my day job, it is the office tradition to bring in treats when it’s your birthday. I spent the first four years feeling indignant about this, and evading it since I’ve always been gone on my birthday. However, I have finally come around to it, figuring at least I am not forced to eat mediocre cake I don’t like on my birthday. I was quite late in the delivery too, but felt it an opportunity to take a stab at this hot chocolate cookies recipe I saved over the holidays. Like people who have a favorite animal, once friends and family find out I like hot chocolate, I was gifted enough hot chocolate to develop diabetes –which is where this recipe randomly found online comes in as another way to use it up.

This is the neatest picture of the finished product. Note the funky one hiding in the back -that was one of my marshmallow-inside attempts.
Hot chocolate cookies: this is the neatest picture of the finished product. Note the funky one hiding in the back -that was one of my marshmallow-inside attempts.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

makes 24 large cookies (I did a half portion of this, full portions for 24 cookies is listed below)

Ingredients
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup hot chocolate mix
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cup flour (i think I had a mix of whole wheat and white flour, or some miscellaneous powder found in my pantry..)
1 cup chopped milk chocolate chips
1 cup Marshmallow Bits (didn’t have those delightful dehydrated ones, just used chopped up regular marshmallows)

Steps
Preheat oven to 350
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cream butter and brown sugar together with whisk for about 1 minute until combined. Add in hot chocolate and continue mixing.
Add in eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated.
Add in salt, baking soda and flour. Mix until just combined.
Finally, add in milk chocolate and Marshmallow Bits, stirring until evenly mixed in.
Drop by heaping tablespoon onto lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are set and slightly golden. Top with marshmallow bits in last 2 minutes.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.
*Store airtight for up to 3 days.

mix, clump, bake, enjoy.
mix, clump, bake, enjoy.

Today’s Trial Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating:
4 of 5 stars
This is the first time I tried this recipe, so besides it still having the basic steps of a chocolate chip cookie, it was quite novel indeed. The marshmallows were really entertaining to see in the oven too, since they got all puffed up. The end result made me sad since the marshmallow puffiness collapsed, and made the cookies appear quite messy, but it was still fun to have an outside addition that made it more ‘hot chocolatey’.
Likelihood of Repeat: 65%
This is definitely worth trying again when I have dehydrated marshmallows in stock, although maybe by then I will no longer have these 4 canisters of hot chocolate powder to deal with. It also seems like a good seasonal recipe to ring in the Fall. I also tried being clever by encasing lumps of marshmallow inside the cookie dough for a marshmallow inner filling, but those did not turn out as well. I think they just ended up melting into their component sugar parts..

HotChocolateCookies_Complete
nom nom nom. double-processed foods: are they twice as tasty?

The original recipe also called for an electric mixer, which I thought was unnecessary, although it also had a recipe for delicious frosting, which others may want to try. I used to be fond of saying that chocolate chip cookies are the only cookies worth making, and I’m afraid some days I still feel that way (especially if you put walnuts in them). This was no exception, but then I was unable to explain why I couldn’t stop eating the cookies when they came out…
The office kitchen space rating is: yum. As in, it disappeared pretty fast –but that’s not such a high bar..

P.S. Thanks to my friends who have gifted me hot chocolate in the past. It is a good thing to never run out of something you love to drink.