Thursday, April 30, 2009

Almond Butter Chocolate Bars

Kate and Josh went away during Christmas, and brought me back this mix!

I'm finally getting around to doing some baking, and since I had some almond butter in the fridge... I decided to give that a go!

It was so nice to just dump everything in a bowl and mix. SO MUCH LESS DISHES TO WASH! It was just so weird to not have to cream the butter and sugar when baking this time.

Ingredients included: Quick cooking oats, flour, sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips, baking soda, butter, eggs, vanilla and almond butter.

Not sure if it baked up correctly... I don't think so, since there was a "crust".

Overall, pretty good. It was nice and warm and chewy right out of the oven. Got a little more chewy as it cooled. If you like oatmeal cookies, then these are totally awesome! It's not TOO sweet either.
Some people ate it up! (But those I know are total oatmeal eaters).
Some were indifferent to it. Maybe it wasn't sweet enough for them.

Is it weird to check that things are done in the middle by doing this?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Low(er) Fat Cake

I've been meaning to bake a chocolate matcha cake for a while now, especially after borrowing some matcha powder from Ila.
And since the little missy is planning to borrow one of my cake stands, what better way to say thanks for the matcha than to give her a cake!

Actually, I've made a White Chocolate and Matcha Cake before based off of La Tartine Gourmande's recipe.
But I didn't use matcha powder, instead I found a green tea cake mix from Trader Joe's and kind of smooshed those two recipes together. Essentially, I made three cake mixes (White Chocolate, Matcha, Dark Chocolate) in order to marble two cakes.
Then I stumble across GORGEOUS pictures of Chocolate and Matcha yummies, and I know why I'm so drawn to making it!
Bakerella's Chocolate Matcha Bundt Cake
Mini Matcha Whoopie Pies
Matcha and Chocoalte Swirl Cake

But I decided to go with this recipe, mainly because I had all the ingredients (sorta) and it uses yogurt. I've been meaning to bake with yogurt more too!

I didn't have any cake flour, and wasn't about to go buy some. So, I looked up on Baking Bites how to sub out/in AP flour for cake flour.

Pretty pretty batter

A few dollops... then the swirling. (I think I did okay this time!)

I filled these about half full... one had a little more than the other. Obviously. The batter bakes up to about double the volume. I scored these awesome paper bundt "cups" from Daiso where I go to stock up on all these kinds of goodies when I'm back in the San Fran area.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The last stand...

So I'm leaving for the weekend, and I didn't want any of my produce to go to waste while I was away... so I ate it all.

Breakfast as usual... yogurt + fruits. This is the last of my fresh fruit (hence the frozen peaches), and the last of my almonds.

Then I realized, I still have to eat dinner tonight and then breakfast the next day!

With a thawed chicken breast, and no "fresh ingredients"... what the hell was I going to eat?

How about Chicken with Cayenne Peaches, Diced Onions, and Baby Corn?
Just a mish mash of random ingredients... frozen peaches, canned baby corn...

Chop/Dice 1/2 Onion - however size you like. ( I think I shoulda gone bigger.)
Saute in olive oil with 2 cloves crushed garlic.
Add peaches (however much you want) and let soften. Sprinkle cayenne pepper - depending on how much heat you like.
Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Cook with onions and peaches. Add in two Dorot cubes of cilantro.
Add baby corn to the pan just to heat through.

Eat up!

The combination of all the flavors actually worked well for me. The sweet peaches with the savory onions, and an underlying tone of heat... with the cilantro that wakes up the tongue... you taste each flavor! Not a bad creation... if I do say so myself.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Portobello What?

I LOVE mushrooms... but I've never myself cooked anything other than white button mushrooms and enoki. And since I always pick out the portobello pieces in the sauteed veggies at work... I figure, SURE! I can make it too!

Not so much...
So, how exactly do you clean portobellos? and how am I even supposed to prep it?

Seems good enough... I suppose.

But at least I succeeded in flipping my "over easy" eggs without any issues.

Portobello-Spinach Saute on Fried Eggs

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Omelet Smash!

What was going to be my hefty spinach, mushroom and ham omelet... turned into what I now call "Omelet Smash!".

My omelet broke, and so I took a (rubber) spatula and went to town on it. I smashed that sucker up...

YUM-O. (victory is mine!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Breakfast of Champions... almost

I love fruit and yogurt parfaits. damn you mcdonalds. but since i hear (somewhere) that granola is "pretend" healthy... i can't sprinkle the oh-so-delicious-crunchy-sweet-goodness over the fruits and tart yogurt.

HOWEVER, almonds have come a close second. I tried both slivered and sliced. Both are good... but I think I like the slivered more. It tastes more 'meaty'. So rather that the usual strawberry+misc. berry mix+granola, I went for blackberries+blueberries+orange pieces+almond pieces.

For dinner, I made Chicken Breast stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach and Gorgonzola, with a side of Sweet Potato Fries (out of the bag).

Not much of a recipe for this... I just mixed some ricotta, gorg and spinach in a bowl to whatever proportions I felt like. If you don't like gorg much that you can skip it, of course.
For the spinach, I sauteed fresh spinach in olive oil and garlic. Nothing fancy.

Top with Parmesan for a little extra flavor. But you can skip also. I wanted to top with shredded Parm and broil it in the over for a nice top layer... but... didn't.

Now obviously I am not the best chicken flattener or roller... and I used breast steaks (whatever that means). So they were larger and thicker than what I'm used to.

All in all, it wasn't a hard dish to prepare. Came out dry, but I'm sure those who cook chicken more often than my "never" would know how to avoid that.

Baked at 350 for 60 min.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Small steps...

Trying to diet the right way... with healthy foods and exercise.

Hence the never before seen plethora of fruits and veggies and all things non-fat in my fridge.
(To be honest, I haven't latched onto veggies too much. Fruits are waaaaay yummier.)

Spinach, Tomato, and Ham Egg Scramble

And as a special treat, a new foodie discovery, Jello Salad (Lime Jello w/ Pineapple Chunks and Cottage Cheese), courtesy of Kate's mom.

It SOUNDS super weird, but it is AMAZING. The creamy chunks of cottage cheese with the sweet pineapple and lime jello... DELISH!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cupcake Project v1.0

Celebrating my own birthday is never a big to-do... but when it comes to other people's birthdays, mainly for close friends... I go all out (as much as I can) for them. And it also gives me an excuse to express my creativity. Thus, Cupcake Project v1.0:

Multicolored Cupcakes (White Cake + Neon Dye)

Double Chocolate Cupcakes (Devil's Food Cake + Mini Chocolate Chips)

(oopsies... I dropped the pan in the oven while checking, and sunk these poor mini cuppie cakes. And why are the cupcakes coming out all "dimple faced"?? Could be my messy pouring method.)

Cupcakes frosted with Basic Buttercream

And to finish off these yummy treats, I "created" a baroque-y classical style inspired cake/treat stand: