Tag Archives: baking

Baileys Irish Cream Brownies

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Valentine’s Day can be overrated, however, it is a great excuse to make something sweet!  I firmly believe you should make these for your honey this Valentine’s Day.  I’m sure he would love you for it; Vee loves these things.

Baileys Irish Cream Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

1.  Mix the butter, brown sugar, Baileys, and salt until well blended.

2. Add the egg and mix until well blended.

3. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well blended.

4. Add the flour and mix until just blended.  * The batter will be insanely thick!

5.  Pour into a greased or lined 8×8 baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

These brownies are fudgy, a little chewy, and you are guaranteed to go into a sugar coma.

HAPPY Vee-DAY

Charlie says to exercise after you eat them, okay?

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Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My absolute favorite cookie to get at Earth Fare is the Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I love the sweetness and texture of these cookies.  It’s a little crumbly, dense, chewy, and super filling.  I decided to take a photo of the ingredients listed and see if I could create a copy cat version at home.

Look Ma! No eggs!

Although I do love eggs, these cookies don’t require them.  I used agave nectar instead of maple syrup and I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips.  I think a more appropriate name for them would be whole grain chocolate chip cookies.

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond meal/flour  (you can find it at Trader joe’s or ground some almonds in your food processor)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut – I used sweetened shredded coconut. (To toast – spread evenly on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 min or until light brown.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1.  Combine the dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond meal/flour  (you can find it at Trader joe’s or ground some almonds in your food processor)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut – I used sweetened shredded coconut. (To toast – spread evenly on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 min or until light brown.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix until all ingredients are well dispersed.

2.  Add:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Mix until the dry ingredients are all wet.

3.  Fold in the chips.

* The mixture will not be sticky like regular dough and you will not be able to mold the cookies by hand.

4.  Take a 1/3 of a cup measuring cup and fill it with the mixture; pressing and packing the mixture into the cup.  Lightly tap the mixture onto a lined baking sheet.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  *The cookies will not rise or spread.

Makes 10 cookies.

I’m really proud with the way these cookies turned out and they taste very similar to Earth Fare’s version.  I thought these cookies seemed pretty healthy, but don’t be fooled.

1 cookie =

  • 354 calories
  • 16 grams of fat
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 17 grams of sugar

I suppose it’s still better than a regular cookie made with butter and white flour.  And using agave is better than white sugar since it has a low glycemic index.  You could use unsweetened coconut and use 1/4 cup of chocolate chips chopped to make them a little healthier.  Although really, the point of this was not to make healthy cookie, but a delicious sweet treat.  Mission accomplished.

Weekdays Made Easy

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The freezer is a wonderful invention.  It makes my weekdays a whole lot easier.  I rarely have time to “assemble” my lunch before work, and I would rather not go out to eat because it takes up too much time, money, and calories.  I make it easy on myself by taking one day on the weekend or a weeknight to prepare most of my meals for the work-week.

I did some major cooking and baking on MLK Day since I had the day off from work!  I decided to make winter veggie burritos and used Jenna’s method for slow cooker black beans.

 Winter Veggie Burritos

  • black beans (canned or slow cooker style)
  • cheese
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • steamed kale
  • super sweet corn
  • salsa

Roll all of the ingredients up in a tortilla.  During the summer I use zucchini and yellow squash in place of the sweet potatoes and kale.

Once you’re done rolling, you can wrap them individually in foil and place them in a bag in the freezer.

I ran out of tortillas, so I used brown rice instead.  Brown rice freezes nicely; you just cook it, let it cool, and then it’s ready to go in the freezer.

You can take them out the night before to thaw, or you can take it out in the morning and put it in an insulated lunch bag.  Mine is still frozen 4 hours later, without refrigeration.  It usually takes about 3-4 minutes to warm in the microwave.

Lunch is not the only thing you can prepare ahead of time.  I made blueberry muffins for my breakfast all last week.  The recipe comes from The Cupcake Calendar that my sister-in-law gave me (Thanks Ellen!).  It’s a neat little daily calendar that has a cupcake/muffin recipe for everyday.

I left six out for Vee and I to eat over the next couple of days and wrapped the rest individually in foil and put them in the freezer.  Just unwrap and nuke the muffin for 30-45 seconds in the microwave and you’re good to go.

Snacks can be frozen too!  I made hummus and put it in small freezer safe containers that hold about two servings each.  You can put the container in the fridge overnight to thaw.  Assuming that you freeze it right away, it will last two days in the fridge.

All in the name of time. Amen.

Do you any have meal-time saving tips?

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Who would ever think that these green veggie things would make such a wonderful dessert?

zucchini from Barbee Farms

My go to recipe is from The Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.  The recipe is actually for zucchini bread, but they make great muffins too.

I only change a few things from the original recipe.  I use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat, and I use raw cane sugar instead of white sugar.  The raw cane sugar gives the tops of the muffins a bit of a crunch, while the inside is still soft.  I’ve used raw cane sugar in brownies and they didn’t turn out so well.  They tasted gritty, but it seems to work for these muffins.  I also replace the nuts with semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (adapted from the The Better Homes and Garden Cookbook)

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup finely shredded,  peeled zucchini
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.

2. Mix together in a large bowl:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix together:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup finely shredded,  peeled zucchini
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
4. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture.  Stir until just mixed (do not over mix).  The batter will be lumpy and that’s OK.  Fold in chips.
5. Fill cups 2/3 of the way full.  Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
The best way to eat zucchini in my opinion.

Sweet Potato Fries

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Say hello to the sweet potatoes from Barbee Farms.  Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables, and I made these babies into some delicious fries.

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • plain panko bread crumbs
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • salt
1.  Peel and cut your taters.
2.  Pour about 3 Tablespoons (or more if needed) of olive oil in a plastic bag.  Put the taters in the bag and shake to coat.
3.  Put about a cup of bread crumbs on a plate and mix with 1/2 Tablespoon each of oregano and basil.  Then roll a couple of taters around the plate at a time to pick up the mixture, pressing the crumbs in if needed.  These will not have a heavy coating.
4.  Place on a baking sheet that has been coated with a non-stick spray.  Then generously sprinkle with sea salt.  I like to use Trader Joe’s Smoked sea salt.
5.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Enjoy!
P.S.  I would also like to take the time to gush about my $10 apron that I found at Target.
Happy Halloween!

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Arugula and Sunflower Seeds

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Go ahead and break out your elastic waistband pants, because you’re going to want to eat a lot of this.

I’ve never been good with measurements, but here is the ingredient list with estimated measurements:

  • 1.5  cups shredded chicken
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • pizza dough
  • sunflower seeds
  • dried oregano
  • Italian garlic gold nuggets

First, boil your chicken.  I used Windy Hill Farm chicken tenders.  I’m not really sure how long…..because I came home, put the burner on high, and went into another room to read some blogs.  It was when I heard a big gurgle and PLOP, that I realized “oh yeah, I’m boiling chicken.”  I’d say maybe 20 minutes should do it.

Then I shredded the chicken, placed it in a baking dish, and smothered it in barbecue sauce.  I put it in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour while I went to the gym.  This warmed up the barbecue sauce and made the chicken a little more tender.  If you don’t want to go to the gym for an hour (you know you should), you could just crank up the oven to 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or just skip the oven part all together.

Still with me? Listen carefully.

It’s important to spray your pan before you do anything else!  I often times forget.

Next, prepare your dough as directed on the package.  I used Trader Joe’s refrigerated dough.  All I have to do is set it out for 20 minutes, then I stretch it and shake it like a Polaroid picture.  Heyah.

Spread some olive oil on top.

Vee is our hand model for this evening.

Spread some barbecue sauce on top.  Don’t go overboard, you will still have lots of sauce on the chicken.

Top that off with some sprinkles of dried oregano and Italian Garlic Gold Nuggets.  If you have not tried Garlic Gold Nuggets, then you are truly missing out.  The name is, as implies – GOLD.  I am officially out.

Wash the arugula and send it through the salad spinner.  If you do not have  a salad spinner, be sure to blot all the moisture you can with paper towels.  No one wants a soggy pizza!

Cheese please!

Add the chicken.

Top it all off with sprinkles of love sunflower seeds.

Pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Nutella Brownies

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World Nutella Day is February 5th, and although that is only a mere two hours from this moment, I could not wait to share this recipe.  Making these brownies is probably the most productive thing I’ve done all day since coming home from work.

They are moist and cake-like and require a huge dollop of nutella on top (go ahead, the day calls for it!)  And while you’re at it, throw some vanilla ice cream on top too.  I was going to put ice cream on top, but I couldn’t put down my fork long enough after the first bite, and then it was gone before I knew it!

Nutella Brownies

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients except the chips in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Stir in chips.  Pour into an 8×8 baking pan and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Spread nutella on top and enjoy!

Easy Peasy.