Jul
19
2

The Hummus Among Us

I used to be a hummus-hater. Seriously. Honestly, I used to hate every kind of bean, period. I wouldn’t touch chili with a ten-foot pole. Burritos were filled with only meat, rice and cheese. I was basically a weirdo. Luckily, I have since had a change of heart, and thanks to a del taco 79¢ bean and cheese burrito in high school, I have risen above my bean-eschewing ways. Refried beans and I are now the best of friends, and even black beans, white beans and red beans make occasional appearances on my table. But chickpeas, or garbanzo beans.. now those suckers I still have trouble with. I think it’s the texture. Scratch that, I know it’s the texture; something about the way they feel really doesn’t appeal to me. But, blend them up with some olive oil and sesame paste? Boy howdy do you have a winner then!

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I promised a fabulous recipe to use that butternut squash puree, didn’t I? Well, a girl must deliver. So if you are looking for something that tastes even more like fall, and will make your whole house smell like what I imagine heaven probably smells like, then look no further. These muffins are ridiculous. Seriously, they are the perfect breakfast treat that tastes like it must be bad for you, but really is pretty healthy as far as baked goods go. And I think that’s a definite plus in my book, especially when it comes to the breakfast department. So, without further ado, I give you:

Butternut Squash Muffins

(adapted from My Baking Addiction, who clearly, is one of my addictions.)

The original recipe called for using only all-purpose flour, but when I made these, I used part whole wheat flour and part all-purpose. If I made them again, I would use all whole wheat and skip the all-purpose entirely. The flavor is so awesome that it  just begs for something a little bit heartier, you could even add in some rolled oats I bet it would be delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour * (see note above)
  •  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a 12-cup capacity muffin tin with paper liners. ( If you have one of those giant muffin tins, these would hold up well as larger muffins. Or you could make a loaf of bread if you’re not feeling the muffin thing.)
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Set aside. In a larger bowl, stir together the puree, eggs, oil, white and brown sugars. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches. Stir until just combined, don’t overmix the batter.
  3. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins (an ice cream scoop is the perfect size for this job) and bake until tops are springy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-30 minutes.  (Check your muffins early, my oven is wonky so they make take less time or they may take more time.)
  4. Set on a rack to cool. Muffins will keep up to one week in a covered container at room temperature. Or, you could eat them warm slathered in butter. Or make some of this frosting and plop that on top. You’ll be glad you did. Eat and Enjoy!!

I know, I know. It’s not fall. Which means you’re probably eating watermelon and not squash. But you know what, I live in Hawaii. We don’t have any seasons. So I am going to eat whatever I feel like. Whenever I see it. So for all you seasonal-eating, farmers-market shopping, actually-have-leaves-that-fall-kind of people that I’m so very jealous of.. well…put this one in your box until October. Or, don’t. Be a little bit like me and eat some fall in the middle of July. We don’t judge here.

Seriously though. This stuff is delicious. Also, just as a tease, I’m going to show you TWO other ways you can use this puree. You know, that is, if you don’t eat it all with a spoon right after you make it. Again, no judgement.

Butternut Squash Puree

(adapted from My Baking Addiction)

Ingredients

  • 1 large-ish butternut squash
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter; diced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • A splash (or three) of milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. (You can either save these, rinse them, and roast them with a little salt and olive oil, or plant them in a pot and cross your fingers, or just toss them to the worms..up to you.)
  2. Place squash cut side up on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle the sugar and butter cubes evenly over both halves of the squash. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour (though if your oven runs hot like mine, start checking it at 30 minutes) or until a fork can easily prick the squash. Remove from oven and allow to cool just until cool enough to handle.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a very small dish.
  4. Scoop out the flesh (and all the melted butterysugarygoodness that will collect in the hole left by the seeds) of one half of the squash and put it into your magic bullet tall cup. sprinkle on about half of the cinnamon mixture, attach the cross blade, and pulse-and-blend until mixture is smooth. You may need to add a splash or two of milk to get it started. Be sure to pour in all the melted butter from the pan as well, as this liquid is what helps the puree come together.
  5. Scoop the puree into a bowl, and repeat with the second half of the squash and the remaining cinnamon mixture. Scoop that all into a bowl, and mix well.

Now. You could stop here. You could stop here and grab a large spoon and eat to your heart’s content. You could transfer this mixture into a casserole dish, top it with marshmallows and pop it under the broiler. Or, you could do even more magical things with it. Like what, you ask? Oh do stay tuned my dears.. I promise you’ll like it! Need a hint? It may involve muffins..


Oh yes, folks. I did. Well actually, I haven’t yet. But let me now: there are black beans in these brownies. WAIT! Don’t leave! Don’t be like I was and say “Seriously, why would you go and try to make brownies healthier? That’s blasphemous. Plus it sounds disgusting.” Because that’s what I said for several weeks until I broke down and had to try it, and people, those were several weeks that I could have been eating double the brownies that I normally eat because, helloooo? Black beans?! How freakin’ healthy can you get?!?

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Jun
26
2

Frothy Coffee Drink

Sometimes, we all have those days. You know the ones I mean.

umm.. yeah. so that's our pile of junk in the corner of our house.. please ignore it.

You press snooze one too many times. You stub your toe on the way out the door, and realize you forgot to put on deodorant. You rush to work with sleep still in your eyes and your hair matted to the side of your face. It’s not going to be a good day. And then someone says it, why, you have no idea, but it happens every time: “Wow, did you get enough sleep? You look super tired today.” …seriously? Everyone knows that’s code for ‘You look like crap, what the hell happened?’ Ugh. The day just keeps getting better, right?

Well, this is for those days. The days when you need something to make it better. To make your coworkers disappear for a while and create a nice little island of calm where you can sit for a while and wake up. Then you can fix your hair. And punch out your coworker. Or.. whatever. I don’t advocate violence. Just sayin’.

Frothy Coffee Drink 

Sorry guys, no measurements on this one. Use each ingredient according to your taste. If you use hot coffee, use less of it and use more milk and ice. Cold coffee, you can use more coffee and less milk and ice. Or however you like it. I like a ton of milk and sugar. My boyfriend likes a ton of coffee with just a little sugar and milk. To each his or her own!

P.S. You know you can grind coffee in your bullet, right? Just throw a tablespoon or two (or three) into the short cup, pop on the flat blade and pulse a few times. Whoo! Whole bean coffee keeps its freshness much better than pre-ground (it lasts especially long if you keep it in the freezer), so now you can buy whole bean coffee and grind it at home!

Ingredients

  • coffee (If you want to plan ahead and make this extra yummy, I have a recipe here for cold pressed coffee. It’s fab. Make it and keep it in the fridge and use a bit as you go. If you use this, you don’t need a lot as it’s super strong. Otherwise, just make coffee straight into your bullet party cup. It’ll do.)
  • milk
  • chocolate syrup (or cocoa powder and sugar)
  • ice

Instructions

  1. Put it all in your party mug and blend-a-rooskies.

Difficult, right? If you’re feeling crazy, I think it’d be delish to add some caramel (here’s my own personal fav. recipe) or whatever other flavors you like. Syrups will blend better than powders/granulated sugar if you are using cold pressed coffee. If you start with hot coffee, put the sugar and chocolate powder at the bottom of the cup before you pour in the coffee. It’ll dissolve right away. Drink and Enjoy!!

one of those days..

Yeah. That’s right. All those words. At one time. Is your mouth watering yet?

Because mine sure was the first time I heard about this. Did you know you can make ice cream in about 20 seconds in your blender?!? You don’t even need an ice cream maker!! Seriously!

Okay, well not entirely seriously. It’s not exactly ice cream. But it sure is as  close as you can get without actually owning an ice cream maker. And if you, like me, are 100 percent obsessed with ice cream and dream of one day being able to make it fresh in your very own home if only ice cream makers weren’t so expensive and entirely ridiculous to own when your entire house is smaller than a two car garage (I kid you not, but that is a story for another day)..I digress. Did I mention about the ice cream? With the chocolate and the peanut butter? Here’s how it goes:

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Jun
13
0

Milk Punch

Milk Punch. Milk. Punch. Punch. With Milk. Milk. That packs a Punch.

Hmmm.. Think about it. Say the words a few times in your head. Mull it over. Mull.. Mulled wine. Game of Thrones. No. Wine. Mmm.. Wine.. Drink. Milk. Punch? Milk Punch? Milk Punch! Does it still sound weird to you? It still sounds weird to me. But to my boyfriend, it just sounded delicious. Right away. No mulling required. So we decided to make it. In fact, we decided to make it for a very special occasion.

I was taking the MCAT. Heard of it? No? It’s just this one test that can decide whether or not a person gets to do the thing they want to do for the rest of their life. No big deal or anything. You know, just the kind of test you study for for four hours a day for three months with no breaks and no fun. Minor stuff, really. So. I was going to take it. And it was going to take all day. And afterward, I was going to need a drink. Stat. Like a doctor needs a stethescope. And a police officer needs your drivers license number. Am I rambling? Let’s have a drink. 

Drained it!

Be forewarned, however. Even though this was supposed to be my celebratory drink, the night I was supposed to have many and more drinks, I drank only this one. Then I, erm.. well I fell asleep. So it’s a good kind of drink. Just not the party kind of drink. Try it. You’ll see what I mean. It packs a punch.

Milk Punch

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients

  •  1/2  cup heavy cream
  • 2  cups milk (you can use 1 cup of half and half and 1 1/2 cups of milk if you like. use whichever you have on hand. but the more creamy the better..)
  • 3/4 cup burbon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (or if you’re lazy like me, skip it. Makes no difference and means less dishes! whoo!)
  • nutmeg for garnish

Instructions

  1. In the large blender attachment for your bullet, mix together all ingredients except nutmeg.
  2. Pulse a few times to mix thoroughly.
  3. Pop the whole thing in the freezer and let it freeze for several hours or up to one day if you’re a planner and are making this in advance.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, take it out of the freezer and give it a few pulses on the bullet.
  5. Pour into 2 glasses and sprinkle on some nutmeg for garnish. Note: if you are going to let it freeze all day or overnight, let the blender defrost for 10 minutes before blending.
  6. Drink and Enjoy! (And then sleep oh so well…)
Jun
5
1

Hawaiian Hurricane?

Hellooo there! It’s Erin again. Didyamissme?!

Hawaiian Hurricane? I have no idea if that is the name of this drink. But we’re gonna go with it. Because it’s delish and you will love it. That is, if you are old enough to, ahem. Imbibe. Actually this would probably be delish even without the rum.  I don’t have a story to go along with this. I tried so hard, I wanted to be clever. Thought I could come up with something. So I’m going to head over to Wikipedia and look up a fact about rum for you all today.

Did you know that the word ‘rum’ may have come from British slang for the word ‘best’? This means that good ol’ Samuel Moorewood (who is apparently an etymologist? Or was in the 1800s?) agrees with me: Rum is just the best. Go make this, people. It’s practically summer, right?  Read More

Jun
1
1

Blueberry Pancakes

Pancakes are awesome. Aren’t they? My dad was the pancake maker in our house. Yes, we had a pancake maker and we called him Dad. And he made the best pancakes. Famous ones, or so he claimed. My mom made everything else, but pancakes were my dad’s domain. Sometimes we’d have to beg him to make them, but most of the time we didn’t even have to ask. They were a weekend tradition, Dad’s Famous Pancakes. I still hold the pancake-eating record in my house.  Man, I really love pancakes.

Now, my dad had a few ‘secret ingredients’ he always put in the batter, but we always made pancakes with Bisquick. To some of you, that may seem blasphemous. “Oh, my! You use a box pancake mix?! How shameful!” But nay, I say to you, nay. I am not ashamed. Because those were delicious pancakes. And we didn’t use the instant stuff, ohhhh no. We used the real Bisquick, which, incidentally, can also be made into delicious biscuits using only milk (Only milk! Seriously!) and dumplings and waffles and plenty of other things. So when I grew up, I naturally bought Bisquick of my own and continued the fabulous-pancake making tradition. Until one horrible, awful, very bad day when I opened my Bisquick box, began to mix, and GASP! BUGS!! Everywhere bugs! My Bisquick had been invaded by the creepiest of crawlies and I could not use it and I really, really wanted pancakes.

So. I did the unthinkable. I turned to my Good Houskeeping Cookbook and I. Made. Pancakes. From Scratch. Read More

So I’ve mentioned how much I like smoothies for breakfast. But generally, a smoothie alone just doesn’t quite cut it. Sure, it makes a nice dent, but it isn’t going to be enough to keep you full until lunch. This is where the genius of the bowl comes in.

You’ve seen them. C’mon now, don’t be shy. You’ve walked past the hippe “health bar” where the guy with dreds flashes you a peace sign as he digs in to something purple and drippy and covered in fruit. You think, “Man, that looks good.” So you’ve even gone in. You’ve looked at the menu. You know it’s covered in organic granola, bananas and, wait.. bee pollen? Then you’ve seen the price tag. “Eleven dollars?!? For a bowl of smoothie?!” And you’ve walked away. Or maybe you’ve forked out the cash and you didn’t exactly regret it because yeah, it was downright tasty, but you’ve certainly mentally scolded yourself for spending so much on something that melts.

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