Yeah. It’s happening. It’s pumpkin season. Not that it not being pumpkin season ever stopped me before. I really, really like pumpkin. I don’t think I always did. But to be honest, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love it. Or at least, I don’t want to remember such a time, if it exists at all.

Pumpkin and cream cheese is a combination that ought to be as classic as peanut butter and jelly. Because, it’s basically awesome. Cream cheese and brownie is also awesome. So. Imagine for a second the combination of all three. Yeah. Uh huh. Wipe up that drool, son. Get baking.

P.S. Remember when I told you you could make your own flour?! Well, if you haven’t tried it out yet, here’s your shot!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bites 

(adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces plain greek yogurt (I failed to measure this, but I think it should be about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (aren’t you so glad you know how to make oat flour now?!)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (which is not the same thing as pumpkin pie filling. You can make your own or just buy it in a can.)
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12-cup capacity muffin tin with paper liners or generously grease with butter.
  2. Blend together first 8 ingredients (yogurt, milk, egg, salt, baking powder, sugar, cocoa powder, oat flour) in the Magic Bullet blender attachment. You might be able to shove it all in the tall cup, but I didn’t check on this. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins until 1/2 to 2/3 full. [This mixture is suuuuper liquidy. Don’t worry, that’s normal. Means it’s easy to pour!]
  3. In a separate bowl, (or in a tall cup) mix together cream cheese, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Drop a heaping half tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture into the center of each filled muffin well.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out without batter on it. [This is a fudgey brownie, so a toothpick won’t come out completely clean.]
  5. Allow to cool completely before eating or removing from pan; these have a tendency to fall apart a bit if they aren’t completely cool. Store in refrigerator for up to a week, if you can stop yourself from eating them all at once…
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You guys. This stuff is seriously ridiculous. Seriously.

A while back, I made a chocolate mousse cake. I’m not going to lie, it rocked my world. I was so super proud. It was awesome. Then, much to my astonishment, I learned via my friend at FrugalFeeding, that what I had made was not, in fact, mousse. Martha Stewart had downright lied to me. Not that I was all that upset, because did I mention how delicious it was? But, anyway. I was determined to make mousse. Like, fo’ realz. Apparently, mousse is supposed to be airy and light and fluffy. Mine was soft and smooth and decadent, but I don’t think I would call it airy. Can chocolate be airy?

Yes. Yes, it can. Because now I’ve had mousse. Real, live, fluffier-than-I-thought-possible mousse. Um, people? You’re going to want to make this. Trust me.

Chocolate Mousse Fo’ Realz

(adapted from FrugalFeeding, who, by the way, has way too many awesome recipes. I’m so glad we’re friends.)

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, separated [be sure you separate the whites and yolks completely; even the tiniest trace of yolk in your whites will not allow them to whip properly]
  • 3.5 oz good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped [this is all about the chocolate, so make sure you spring for the good stuff, nestle chocolate chips just won’t cut it here.]
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Combine chocolate and milk in the short [or tall, your choice] cup. Microwave in 30 second intervals on half power, stirring after each 30 seconds, until chocolate is melted. Chocolate holds its shape even after reaching its melting point, so you have to stir frequently and heat slowly to avoid burnage. Trust me. I learn these things the hard way. Allow to cool for a few minutes after melted.
  2. Add in your egg yolks, pop on the cross blade and give it a whirl. Blend until mixture becomes thick and shiny, this will only take a few seconds.
  3. Now. Here’s where things get tricky. In a perfect world, you could whip up your egg whites [making sure they are absolutely free of any traces of yolk] in a super clean short cup with a super clean flat blade. In theory this should work. For some reason it did not work for me. I ended up using a separate mixer to whip up my egg whites. But someday I’m going to try this again, because it really ought to work; the bullet whips cream like a pro. But either way, what you want to do is whip together the egg whites and cream of tartar until the mixture is frothy. Then, you can add in your sugar and whip it until you have stiff, glossy peaks. Do not overbeat it or you’ll have to start over. Again, the hard way, trust me.
  4. Pour your chocolate-egg yolk mixture into a medium bowl, and fold in the egg whites in thirds. Do this gently to avoid deflating the egg whites.
  5. Pour into four individual ramekins [or two if you don’t have dinky little ramekins like me. Ugh, portion control is the bane of my existance]. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, though they will last a few days in the fridge.

Hah!  A few days! We all know they’ll be gone by breakfast.

 

I have to be honest, I was skeptical of this recipe for Baked Donuts that I found on the Camille Styles blog. I mean it’s very nicely photographed and all, but how good could baked donuts really be?

These are a little denser than your normal fare but since they’re baked that means you can definitely eat twice as many.

The recipe calls for a donut pan but I just used a muffin/cupcake tin and it worked just fine. As long as you don’t have your heart set on donut holes.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Ingredients

Donut

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat donut pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg; mix well.
3.  Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
4.  Fill donut tins half full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Take out of pan immediately and swirl tops with melted butter, then sugar and cinnamon mixture. Makes 6-7 big donuts.

Look at those beauties. My mornings at work just got that much better.

I’m going to be entirely honest with you: I’m an ice cream kind of girl. If I had a choice between sorbet and ice cream, I’d pick ice cream every single time. Popsicle vs. ice cream? Ice cream for the win. Cake vs. ice cream? Ice cream wins. Pie vs. ice cream? I’ll take both, thank you very much. But, you see, we are turning over a new leaf here in my tiny little kitchen. This is a leaf of a slightly-more-healthy sort. So we’ve nixed the ice cream. At least for a little while. But I can’t live life without dessert after every meal dinner.

Enter: granita. Not 100% sure what it is in real life, but in my world, it’s basically frozen fruit juice. Or a mashed up popsicle. Or a wanna-be shaved ice. Whatever. It’s delish. And way easy to make. And has zero [refined] sugar. Which means I can eat it All. The. Time. And hopefully not end up with diabetes…

Melon-Pineapple Granita

Ingredients

  • 1/4 melon or cantelope [honestly I have no clue what kind of melon we used. it was yellow on the outside with smooth skin and orange on the inside. any ideas what kind of melon that is? it was daaaang delicious. but any kind of melon will do. honeydew would probably be awesome]
  • 1/4 pineapple [if you use those giant pineapples. If you use small ones like me, you could up this to half.]
  • splash of orange juice

Instructions

  1. Cut up your melon and pineapple into chunks. Place chunks into the Magic Bullet big ol’ blender attachment [or do this in batches in the tall cup]. Pour in a splash of orange juice. Blend until very smooth.
  2. Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a shallow, high-surface-area container that is freezer safe. A lid is helpful, but not required.
  3. Freeze for about 1 hour, then, using a fork or knife, crunch up the mixture so that it doesn’t freeze too solid. Freeze for another 3-4 hours or until frozen through.
  4. To serve, scrape along the top of the container with the side of a spoon. You want to shave the ice off the top, not cut or scoop any out. Eat and enjoy!

So, I don’t know about all of you out there, but I grew up in a household that did not idolize Martha Stewart. I may or may not be mildly obsessed with all her craft products and drool-worthy recipes now, but growing up I thought she was a weirdo. Like, seriously. On her shows back then she would do something like, I don’t know, make butter, and I swear it would start with milking the cow. Who has a cow in their backyard to milk?! I buy my butter at the store! Her jam recipes would start with growing your own insert-fruit-here, and people, her breads may as well have started with growing your own wheat as far as I was concerned.

My point is, Martha Stewart is known for doing things the hard way: from scratch. And in my youth full of boxed cake mixes and easy bake ovens, that made absolutely no sense to me. But these days, I really relish making things from scratch. There is an immense amount of pride and satisfaction one can get from creaming together butter and sugar, mixing in eggs and flour, and coming out with something amazing. And I’ll tell you another little secret: homemade stuff tastes better. Really. Even my biggest flops in the kitchen usually come out miles ahead of anything packaged in plastic. So for awhile now I have been baking my own breads, making my own pasta sauce, and always, always baking all my sweets from scratch.

In baking, and in baking bread especially, one can end up with a ridiculous amount of flours. I literally have at least 6 different kinds of flour in my cupboard, and people, I only have one cupboard in my kitchen. So suffice it to say flour is taking up quite a bit of room in my teeny kitchen. So I learned a trick, and I want to share it with you. It isn’t exactly a recipe, but it’s a trick that I promise you will want to use. The bullet can make flour. In literally seconds. Throw some oats in your bullet, top it with the flat blade, and in five seconds you have oat flour. Throw some flaxseeds in your bullet and in six seconds you have flaxseed flour. Quinoa, almonds, rice? Ten seconds. I’m serious here people. Do you know what you can do with this capability?! The possibilities are endless!

With oat flour you could make the best granola bars I’ve ever had. Or bread that is secretly healthy. With almond flour you can not only make fabulous cakes, you could make the fanciest french cookie in existence. You’d be a star! With homemade rice, quinoa, coconut and other flours you can make gluten free baked goods, mix up your flours in bread for extra nutrition you need but never really want to eat. Are you getting the picture here? To buy a bag of oat, quinoa, or almond flour is expensive. Almond flour where I live is something ridiculous like $9 a bag. But I always have almonds in the freezer, and whole they are less than $6 a pound. So by making your own flour you are not only eating something that is fresher, but you’re saving a ton of money in the process. So. I urge you. Try your own. Not going to lie, the first thing I made was these granola bars and I am pretty much obsessed with them now. So all I’m saying is that’s not a bad way to go.

So. Will you try it? Will you grind up your own flour? What are you going to make with it?? I’m so curious!

Oatmeal and fruit makes everything healthy, right? 


Right. I’m glad you’re on-board with that.

That’s what you should tell your coworkers if they refuse to eat these Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with you. They’re called “cookies,” but I mean…

Fruit=good

Oatmeal=good

Milk=good

Just like Joey’s logic for Monica’s Meat Trifle.

That logic is completely infallible. So now that your conscience is clear, go ahead and make yourself these delicious treats.

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add egg; beat well.
  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture in bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until golden. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Well, I guess this is kind of another way to have summer for longer than we are allowed by the seasons. Smores are pretty much a summer staple, but, for whatever reason, no one ever eats them any other time of the year (uh, I know the reason actually, it’s called cold. no one camps in the cold). If you’ve never had a smore, and to be honest it’s difficult to imagine anyone growing up without ever eating one, (but I know you people probably exist out there) firstly you should make a real one. Toast two marshmallows, preferably over an open fire (but the broiler will do in a pinch), and smooooosh them in between two halves of a graham cracker and four squares of hersheys chocolate. That is the world’s most perfect smore.

Now. I’ve never eaten a smore at home. Smores are for camping. It would feel totally blasphemous. But pretty much every camping trip, you come home with a half a bag of jumbo jet-puffed marshmallows leftover. And marshmallows, all on their own in their spongey-plastic bagged glory, just aren’t all that tasty on their own. But add fire, and holy cow is there anything more awesome than a toasted marshmallow?!

Well, yeah. You could blend it up with some vanilla ice cream. That. That would be better.

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

(inspired by Cupcakes and Cashmere)

Ingredients

  • 3 big ol scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 4 jumbo marshmallows
  • splash of milk

Instructions

  1. Toast the marshmallows under the broiler, flipping over once so both sides get toasty. Watch them so carefully because they will burn really quickly.
  2. Put three giant scoops of ice cream and a splash of milk into a tall cup, toss three of the toasted marshmallows inside and blend until smooth, but not watery. (If you accidentally add too much milk, don’t be afraid to add more ice cream.)
  3. Top with the other toasted marshmallow. You should probably also top it with whipped cream. I know I sure wish we had some around…

 

Sep
13
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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Remember Gogurt? Remember when you wanted to eat it, but it was warm from sitting in your mom’s car after a long day of errands? Remember when you stuck it in the freezer to get it cold faster? And then forgot about it and discovered it the next day!?

That’s what all of those new-fangled create-your-own-yogurt places remind me of. But sometimes, I’m too lazy to walk down the five flights of stairs to the place down the street. It’s a lot easier to make this five-ingredient recipe from Poor Girl Eats Well instead, set it in your freezer, and forget it.

You won’t regret it, I promise.

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 c fresh or frozen blueberries1/2 c sugar
  •  1 T lemon juice
  • 1 c nonfat milk
  • 2 c nonfat plain yogurt (Greek style is preferable)

Instructions

  1. Combine the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a low boil and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until the berries have created their own syrup and have started to soften. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When the berry mixture has cooled to room temperature, transfer to the Magic Bullet Tall Cup and blend until smooth.
  2. Combine the yogurt and milk in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth. Gently fold in the blueberry mix and combine until completely incorporated into the yogurt mixture. Pour the mixture into a 9″ x 9″ metal pan and freeze for about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from freezer and, using a whisk or fork, stir in the icy bits from the edges and mix with the softer center until completely smooth. Place in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for up to 2 hours, making sure to whip until smooth before putting it back in to freeze.
  4. Store in an airtight container and freeze until ready to use. Garnish with extra blueberries, and enjoy!

 

In high school I used to spend a lot of time hanging out on my best friends’ families’ couches. Oftentimes I would find myself making bologna sandwiches and eating their leftovers, too. I loved them for letting me into their homes and their kitchens. It’s there that I discovered my love for eating frozen fruit. Plain. This fruit was really meant for smoothies, but I liked it all alone. Still do.

But when that wasn’t cutting it for me, I thought I would try out Jamie Oliver’s One-Minute Berry Ice Cream. I wouldn’t say it’s ice cream, but it does take about a minute and it does taste just as good. One could say it’s even better because this is actually better for you. And therefore, you feel better about eating it.

Grab whatever frozen fruit and yogurt you have on hand. Instead of plain Greek yogurt I used Mango Greek Yogurt, which gave it a nice tang.

  Throw all the ingredients into a party cup—I like to bring mine to the living room to eat on the couch while watching trash television—and blend until smooth.

But don’t over blend because it will become too liquidy and you’ll have yourself a smoothie instead.

All there’s left to do now is grab a spoon and have yourself some guilt free dessert! I may or may not have justified eating two of these cups because they’re “healthy.”

It’s summer and the sun is shining and the humidity is disgusting here in NYC. Although I spent all winter waiting to run outdoors without boots and socks and any number of layers on, now I find myself cooped up inside wishing for it to cool down. Oh, New York…

While inside, I decided to make myself some quintessential summer eats.

Popsicles! This is the easiest, set-it-and-forget-it recipe there is.

Grab some watermelon. Cut it up into bite size chunks. Grab a lime. Cut it in half.

Throw the watermelon into your trusty Magic Bullet, squeeze in half a lime’s worth of juice and add a teaspoon or two of sugar.

Blend it all up!

Now simply pour this mix into your Popsicle molds…

Sit back and goof around with watermelon rinds…

Because you know that in a few short hours you’ll have refreshing, tart popsicles!