Saturday, July 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars (Gluten-Free | Vegan)

We had our one year marriage celebration this past week (yaaaay!), which of course landed on one of our busiest nights. He had a 9:30pm softball game while I had a work event in the morning, which pushed my day back to about 8pm. However, it was our one year - we would make do with a small hour window of time.

I made a quick pasta dinner, which we ended up eating in about 11.6 seconds flights beeecccaaaause...

CAKE! That is a whole one year old, just like our marriage! (However, I would like to think that our marriage has maintained and flourished with its fresh, sweet flavor, while the cake might be heading the opposite direction.)

It was, nonetheless, delicious. Because it's cake, and who cares if it's been in freezing temperatures for a year straight? Not homegirl.

Anyways, the moral of the story here is that when you celebrate your anniversary and your husband leaves you for California at 3:45am the following morning, you do NOT whine and throw a pitiful fit. Oh no. Don't do that. It gets you nowhere.

Instead, embrace the fact that you have 3 days to listen to your songs at top volume while making endless messes in the kitchen, which are your messes only that you get to clean up.

End result? Chocolate peanut butter bars.


The second I saw this recipe pop up in my Google Reader I knew - those will be mine. And it was as menacing as that reads.

As you can imagine, the marriage of peanut butter and chocolate deserves to be celebrated on an annual basis. there a chocolate and peanut butter anniversary? Have I been skimping on an important holiday my past 26 years? If that was the case, I would need to make up for lost time. 26 days of chocolate peanut butter for all the household! (=2 people. Can I order a new, larger, wardrobe with that?)

I'm sure I don't need to get into it, but I will. These are delicious. I scaled back on the sugar and added in the last handful of un-crunched rice crispies at the end, but other than that I made no changes to this recipe...and you can see the grand product. Just awful. You should probably just make them and bring them over to me to eat for you.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars
from Peas and Thank You

1/2 cup vegan margarine or butter, melted
1/2 cup and later 2 T creamy peanut butter
1.5 cups and later 1/2 cup whole rice crispies
1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup chocolate chips

1. Crunch up 1/5 cups of the rice crispies nice and good; add to a large mixing bowl with the melted butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, oats and powdered sugar. Combine fully, and stir in the last 1/2 cup un-crushed rice crispies.

2. Push down into an 8 x 8 or similar-sized dish and flatten on top.

3. In the microwave, melt together the chocolate chips and last 2 T ob peanut butter in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Pour over the batter, spread evenly, and refrigerate until set. Eat and drool.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dutch Baby goes Tropical (GF)

 This little baby has some eggs, this little baby has some sugar, and this little baby goes wee wee wee all the way to the tropics.

I first heard of this oddly-named pancake a couple years ago, when a close friend raaaaved about an unforgettable puffy pancake that The Oak Table specializes in. While they simply call it the "apple pancake," everyone else seems to know it as the "dutch baby."

It's essentially a souffle, but instead of going the savory route this baby is stuffed with a delectable combination of fruit and sweetener. It's then popped into the oven in a 10-inch skillet and left to rise, becoming a custard-like, fruit-stuffed pancake.'s that good.

I've experimented with  tons of combinations - apple and lemon, pear and nutella - I bet you even could go the savory route and stick in some onions and veggies for a dinner-time side dish.

We had a ripe mango facing its final hours on our counter so that was an easy decision. Mango + coconut?

Uhhh yeah. Easiest decision all day.

Mango Coconut Dutch Baby, Gluten-Free
Makes one 10-inch round pancake

4 eggs
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 t baking powder
1 T white sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1 cup milk (I used rice)
1 t vanilla extract
2 T melted coconut oil

the filling:
3 T coconut oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 t sinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 mango, diced

1. Beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the flours, baking powder, sugar salt and nutmeg and combine. Add the milk, vanilla and coconut oil and combine again. Let sit for 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge if you are ahead of the game and preparing this on Saturday night for Sunday morning.

2. After the batter has rested, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Moving onto the filling ingredients, melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, swirling it around to cover the entire pan and up the sides. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle half in the bottom of the pan over the coconut oil. Evenly distribute the mango in the pan and cover with the remaining sugar mix. Give the batter a quick whisk and pour over the mango mixture.

3. Take the skillet off the burner and pop into the oven for 20 minutes until slightly browned on top. Prepare to be marveled.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Crispy Smashed Potatoes (GF) (V)

I was out to eat at Benihana with co-workers the other day, and the chef was doing his thing - slicing, dicing, flipping, spicing. He gets to the rice part, which means he puts a pound of butter on top of white rice and cracks an egg all fancy like and then mixes it all together on the grill to cook.

Well, there are always the sad parts on the outskirts that get missed and end up burning, which is when they get scraped off and thrown away. I mean, they get scraped off and someone gasps I want those.


I love burned bits.

And they were delicious. Crispy, flavorful and delicious. Just like these pots:

This night we sat down to dinner at 10:32pm, which felt very summery. We had been swimming at a lake, and then sitting by a fire, and then realized that we should probably be scooting home - which was a lot easier said than done.

After a great night, these potatoes tasted probably 10x more amazing than they should. Either that, or we can blame it on the crispy bits. So dang scrumptious.

Crispy Smashes Potatoes
from Everyday Food

1.5 pounds small potatoes (I used fingerling)
 olice oil
garlic salt

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.Bring the potatoes to a boil in a pot of water; when the water begins to boil, turn down and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Drain and rinse with cool water; let cool for a couple minutes.

4. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and garlic salt; toss to coat evenly. Using the palm of your hand, smush each potato so it pops. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until it meets your crispy standards.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lemon Raspberry Frozen Yogurt (GF)

Sun is awesome. We had a nice dose of it last week, and it felt like we finally had a summer that was going to stick around.

However, sometimes I feel like a major grump, because when all someone hears is sun, sun, sun, sun while they sit at work, work, work, work, the sun has the opposite feeling of cheery because it's totally a tease. How dare it try to lure you outside when your desk is buried somewhere with your mind and you can't seem to find either of them.

Too bad this is real life, and I need to buck it up and handle my adult duties. Whomp, whomp.

Anyway, so it's sunny like mad and then comes the weekend and Seattle gets thunderstorms. Seriously.  On the weekend. And that's when I decided to make fro-yo.

This was super easy to make. I tried it out with vanilla soy yogurt, because i had never tasted it before. It turned out great, but I'm sure regular vanilla yogurt will work just dandy, too. This is also verrry lemony, so if that flavor isn't your thing, feel free to leave out the zest altogether to make the lemon more subtle.

Also, I added in the raspberries at the last moment, since they were nice and fresh and juicy and from the Farmer's Market and why not?

Raspberry Lemon Frozen Yogurt
Adapted from Back to Her Roots

1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup honey
1 cup washed, fresh raspberries

1. Combine all the ingredients but raspberries in a bowl. Put into fridge to chill for about an hour.

2. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions, adding in the raspberries about 15 minutes after it's been mixing.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Frozen Banana Bites (Gluten-Free | Vegan)

Most days, I leave work feeling not hungry, not full, and simply content. Just being. It's great.

Until I get on the ferry and an hour goes by and I'm staring at that woman's McDonald's bag wondering whytheheckisn'thereaMcDonaldsontheferryandwhydon'ttheymaketofuburgers?!

 It's ridiculous. I'm fully aware that there are too many people starving in this world as it is, and yet I'm hangry to the verge of tears because I haven't eaten since lunch. Then I get mad at myself and mad at my stomach and then just plain mad at the world for being so cruel and MAN, I am in a great mood when my husband finally receives me through the front door.

Which is when I go straight to the freezer and grab myself one of these puppies. I can almost feel my blood sugar evening out, the birds start chirping and rainbows popping out of my ears.

These truly are a great snack, given the carb : protein ratio. I love them for the times mentioned above, which is also right before I go on a run. They fuel my body for another hour before I start dinner, and keep my cravings of wanting to eat all the dinner ingredients while they're being prepared at bay.

These balls are good balls.

Frozen Banana Bites
Adapted from Oh She Glows

1 large banana
1 t cocoa powder
2 T peanut butter
1 T honey (or maple syrup)
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup shredded coconut

1. Mash the banana in a medium bowl.

2. Add in the cocoa powder, peanut butter and honey and mix until fully combined.

3. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly - the mix will be loose and wet.

4. Using a spoon, scoop and drop tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking dish. Mine were about 3 tablespoons big and made 6. (no need to spray). Stick balls in the freezer until frozen, then eat one (batch) and place leftovers in a baggies for the next time you crave a tofu burger at McDonald's. Weird.