The diet industry doesn’t care about you or your physical or mental health or your happiness.
They care about your money.
The diet industry doesn’t care about you or your physical or mental health or your happiness.
They care about your money.
I seem to be randomly sharing my weekends lately. It’s kinda fun, so I’m going to keep doing it. I love reading these blog posts and I am finding it fun to share them, as well.
My weekend started Thursday night when I picked up Jenn from the airport at 11:55pm. She came to town for a minute for a friend’s bridal shower. I brought Millie to grab her from the airport. Millie was VERY excited to see her Auntie Jenn.
We got home around 12:45am and it was bed time for all of us (once Millie calmed down from the Auntie Jenn excitement).
Friday I woke up early (shocking I know), went to barre, and made buckwheat and oatmeal waffles. Because waffles. I had mine with sunflower seed butter + bananas + other fruit.
Jenn and I went downtown so she could visit her friend who has a newborn and a toddler. I would post pics, but I feel weird posting pics of a baby that isn’t mine without asking. I should ask. Anyways, he was super cute!! Also, god bless all mothers everywhere. Motherhood seems incredibly stressful and exhausting. I’m good with just fur babies for the foreseeable future.
Then we went to Anodyne Coffee (the best coffee in MKE IMO) and walked around the lake front for a while. Milwaukee is so underrated. #hiddengem
After that, it was back home. Jenn left shortly after to meet some friends for lunch. I was feeling anxious about getting some stuff done so I opted to stay home and #werk. Millie sat outside with me and modeled an awesome new sticker I got from Made Wild.
She also modeled her new Civil Liberties Watchdog tee from ACLU 🙂
Around 4:30, Jenn came and picked me up and we headed to TJs to buy some stuff for a cake she was making for a bridal shower.
We came back and got crackin’ on the cake. We made two layers vanilla and two layers banana. While cakes were baking, I made us some dinner with random things we had around the house. Going out seemed stressful because we were pretty tied to the cakes.
I made us a build-a-bowl sort of thing with my favorite marinated tempeh, black rice, cauliflower rice, baby kale, avocado, cilantro, green onions, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes, cashews, pineapple, and a spicy peanut sauce. We ate around 8:15pm with my mom and the meal turned out to be really yummy and totally hit the spot.
Have you had Oriental/Japanese sweet potatoes before btw? They are AMAZING. They’re purple on the outside and white on the inside. They taste like chestnuts and I’m pretty sure they are what the potato emoji is representing. I like to bake them whole and gobble them up. For the bowls I sliced and tossed them in turmeric, cumin, and cayenne and roasted them up. YUM.
After dinner, we set the cakes out to cool, and started getting ready for bed (we were tired) and it was lights out by 10:00pm. #partyanimals
Saturday I got up at 5:30am (classic me) and got Jenn up at 7:00am (per her request) to finish the cakes. We whipped up some cream cheese frosting and nutella buttercream. Millie got caught in a powdered sugar shower and ate a bunch of the floor. Then we assembled the cake.
Jenn decorated it all fancy to make it look like a birch tree, which was the theme of the shower.
Around 9:30am she left for the shower and then I ran a bunch of errands, ate bowl leftovers for lunch, and laid down (I wasn’t feeling too well) for several hours.
That night, we headed to a bonfire/BBQ at a friends house for a birthday celebration of sorts. It was a good old time with warm weather, lots of laughs, and lovely people.
Around 12:30am we headed home (eep) and it was straight to bed!
Just a few short hours later at 4:00am, it was time to leave for the airport. I dropped Jenn off and was back home by around 5:30am. I napped for another two hours (until around 7:30am) and then took Millie to the park. I snapped this photo as she happened to turn around and sniff her butt. My dog is the weirdest. Like does anyone else’s dog do this? Anyways, eventually I went to a barre class to finish out the morning.
After lunch, I did some work. Then, I headed out to Panera with my mom. It was quite an event. A tire blew when we were getting gas before dinner and we ended up walking to Panera.
Panera literally messes up my order every single time. I double checked to make sure they had my order right and went up the the prep counter like a frickin’ crazy person to verbally verify they were going to give me a salad without chicken.
Then, my salad came with chicken. Like it does every time. In fact, a girl working said something like, “I feel like every time I’ve seen you here they mess up your order.” And I was like “yeah.”
And then I’m in this awkward position where my order is covered with chicken and it’s all mixed in and they have to make me a new one and I feel like a whiny bitch. But like also, I don’t eat chicken and don’t like chicken shreds touching every inch of my salad.
They then always give you the option to take home the salad or have them throw it away. Let’s just say my dog has eaten a lot of chicken salads this summer. Oh, Panera. I love you but get your sh*t together. Thanks so much.
Then we Uber’d home since the car was not going to make it. By that point, it was somehow like 8:30pm, so I enjoyed some ice cream and an early bed time.
I’m happy to report the car is now all better with shiny new tires.
Also! I’m exciting to announce I’ll be starting a content internship with The Global Foodbanking Network this summer and continuing it for the rest of the calendar year :). Stay tuned.
Fun week ahead! I have 2 recipe posts planned, and a trip to Chicago in the works!
Happy July! It’s July already?!? Yeah, I don’t know how that happened either. June flew by. Last thing I knew it was Jimmy’s birthday and now suddenly Summerfest is half over and everyone is getting ready for the 4th.
Ahh yes, the 4th of July. Just the mention of such a holiday fills me with Katy Perry song-spirit. The 4th of July means food, and fun, and BBQ. It’s a great excuse to get outside with friends and family and come together to eat good food, enjoy the sunshine, play some weird outdoor games while half drunk, and explode things in the sky.
Personally fireworks confuse me from a waste and ecological standpoint. I just don’t think they’re worth it. Also, they sound funny and my dog doesn’t like the loud booms. But you don’t care about my opinions anyway, do you? You care about what most people care about on the 4th of July which is tacky patriotic outfits and food. Fun food. Party food. Grilled food. Finger food. Basically, ALL DA NOMS.
When it comes to being a vegetarian or vegan at a BBQ, things can get awkward. I’ve gotten used to the BYOVB (bring your own veggie burger) way of life. Which works for me. I’d rather bring something and know I have a good option than show up to a sad empty bun with a side of grapes, and/or a grilled portabella “burger,” Ugh. No thanks. I have nothing against portabella mushrooms, but I cannot stand the whole portabella mushroom “burger” concept.I kind of wish I did like it, because it’s so often offered to me at BBQs. But it’s just not my taste. Pass me the veggie burgers, plz & thank you.
So I usually come with my own veggie burger (or 4) in hand, and have a happy time. But last night I was eating falafel from Trader Joe’s on pita bread with simultaneously eating these amazing dinner rolls I had. And then it hit me – I could make falafel sliders! What a cute, delicious finger food for the 4th of July or any party! Or my lunch! Excitement flooded my entire being as I stuffed myself with falafel-y goodness.
You can also use Trader Joe’s frozen falafels as an excellent shortcut in making these babies. You simply microwave them and they are pretty damn tasty. You can also make your own. These Waffle’d Falafel Patties I made last year would work great. As would other pre-made falafels, or whatever falafels you make from your favorite recipe.
The concept here is pretty simple: a falfel patty on a little dinner roll with whatever fixin’s and toppings you’re feelin’. I added lettuce, tomato, and a sauce I whipped up using Trader Joe’s Muhammara spread and unsweetened plain coconut milk yogurt. This was a delicious, flavorful, slightly spicy yet cool and creamy topping for the sliders. If you haven’t had the new(ish) Trader Joe’s Muhammara spread, you must.
I don’t really mean to tell you that you absolutely need this in your life to survive, but the truth is you actually really need this in your life to survive. Holy yum. It’s a hummus-like spread made of walnuts, roasted red peppers and pomegranate juice. It’s basically a spreadable flavor bomb.
If you can’t get access to this, you can sub roasted red pepper hummus. And/or any other spread you may like on your falafels. Like tahini or tzatziki. It’s up to you. Anyway you sauce, these falafel sliders are the boss. They’re tasty, satisfying, and obviously mini and adorable. Cheers to you and happy 4th of July!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes (depending on falafels used)
makes 8 falafel sliders
1. Prepare falafel according to instructions.
2. Prepare sauce by combining Muhammara (or roasted red pepper hummus) and unsweetened coconut milk yogurt in a small bowl and mixing well.
3. Cut dinner rolls in half. Slice tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce into small slices. Place a piece or two of lettuce, a piece of tomato, and a cucumber slice on each bun. Add one falafel to each sandwich. Top with a dollop of sauce and place top of bun on falafel.
4. Place a toothpick in each slider and serve. Happy summer fun! 🙂
Once upon a time a few years ago I randomly saw someone on TV make a grape cake. It was a quick, mini-cooking segment on a morning talk show. I can’t even remember who was hosting the show, who made the cake, or where I was when I watched it. All I can remember is that for years, the idea of making a cake with grapes has appealed to me. <— [unintentional pun]
This happens a lot. I have a hugeee baking bucket list. I’ll want to make something for years sometimes before it actually happens. For example, I wanted to make rainbow cookies for probably 3 year before it actually happened. But then it did. And it was awesome.
Anyways back to grape cake. It’s been on my baking bucket list for years. I believe the original one that I saw had ricotta and eggs and stuff. But I wanted a light, fluffy cake you could eat for breakfast. So I did my own lil twist on the grape cake by adding the lovely flavor of ALMONDS.
I added almond extract, which I believe was a solid idea. In fact, I think this makes the cake. I went a step further by adding some leftover almond flour I had. This gave it a heartier texture of sorts. I dug it. If you’re not really into almonds, don’t have almond flour, or just want a plainer, simpler cake, feel free to omit either the almond extract, flour, or both. For those of you who are as nuts about nuts as I am and want them in this cake, go ahead and add.
The grapes in the cake were very interesting. They got all cooked and juicy and played the same textural component chunks of apples do in apple cakes. Except it was a nice different surprise with a grapey flavor. Warm grapes are delicious, as it turns out (at least they were when I ate this fresh out of the oven and/or when I heated the cake up in the microwave later. Another thing I highly recommend).
Instead of butter or non-dairy butter, I decided to use olive oil as my fat, to give it a luscious flavor and super moist texture. One of my favorite cakes ever is this Lemon Olive Oil Cake I made a while back for my sister’s bridal shower. Fun fact that post is my most-viewed post on kbaked.com. Dang now I want that cake. [Whispers to self, “Soon, my pet, soon.”] <—-did I just talk to myself on my blog? #awkward.
In other news, you can and should make this cake. As far as cake-making goes, it’s super fast and easy. And it’s something different. Like DQ. Except DQ isn’t really that different. In fact, it’s pretty commercial and standard. Still delicious though. But not as #trendy or fun to talk about or healthy as this cake.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
makes one 9 inch round cake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a small bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar. Allow to curdle for at least 10 minutes. This is your pseudo-buttermilk.
3. In a large bowl, whisk olive oil and sugar. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, combine flours, salt, and baking powder. Whisk together until well combined. You can also sift if you’re fancy / your heart desires.
5. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl with the olive oil & sugar mix. Fold in gently. Add half almond milk + vinegar mixture, orange or lemon juice, and almond extract. Fold gently until well combine. Add remaining half flour mixture and mix again until just combined.
6. Wash and dry grapes well. Pick them off the stem. I suppose you could leave them on the stem, but that would be a hassle later on.
7. Pour batter into one round 9 inch pan. Sprinkle 3/4ths cup grapes evenly on top of batter, leaving the other 1/4 cup aside. Place in the oven for 20. Add remaining 1/4th cup grapes by gently pressing them into semi-cooked batter. This step is optional, but will give you some grapes peeking out of the cake instead of having all of them sink. If you want them all to sink, that’s cool too. All up to you!
8. Bake for another 10-12 minutes, until the cake is fragrant, has browned, and a toothpick comes out clean upon removal from the center of the cake.
9. Dust with powdered sugar if you’d like. Eat and enjoy the grapey olive oily goodness !
There are so many great things about being a pet owner. I’m sure many of you can relate. But there are also many stressful things about being a pet owner. For example, occasionally (read: today) you get awoken by the sound of your little chiweenie puking all over your bedroom floor. Instantly, depsite the fact that it’s 1:40am and you’ve only gotten 2 hours asleep, you are awake with adrenaline pumping, wondering what on earth is happening to your wee little nugget of joy!
You stand up. And watch your dog (clearly embarrassed) try to hide under the bed to conceal the fact that she is, in fact, puking piles of foamy chunky goo onto your carpet. Isn’t this an appetizing intro to a food blog post? Thought so. Anyways, if you’re like me, your dog puking on your carpet (followed closely by stuff coming out the other end) results in staying up for the remainder of the night/morning carefully watching and overanalyzing every move of your pup.
So yes, that was my morning. Dog poop and vomit on the floor. Fun stuff. The wee morning hours crept by, and around 5:15am, I made some peanut butter and banana oatmeal while watching the Duggars. I love the Duggars. Anyways, as I reached for my cinnamon shaker, I reached right past the nutritional yeast in the cabinet. I’ve always thought nutritional yeast to look like Cheetos Dust. I mean, doesn’t it? It totally does. So sometime between cinnamon shaking and JimBob fixing his combover, I decided I was going to make vegan Cheetos today.
And so I did. Here’s the recipe. They don’t taste exactly like Cheetos, which in my opinion is a good thing. They do, however, taste like cheesy straw-like crackers with cheesy dust. And really, it’s all about the dust. If you don’t have nutritional yeast, well then I suggest you buy some. A ~*~complete*~* protein with all 18 amino acids and all the B vitamins including B12 which is hard for a lot of veggies to get, it’s probably one of the most nutritious things you can add to your diet. Also it tastes good. It’s nutty and cheesy and after a while you just sort of start to crave it and put it on errything. Like these Cheetos. Which are also much better for you than regular Cheetos. They have nothing fake in them (!!) at all. They’re also whole wheat. How do you like them apples, erm…or Cheetos.
Anyways, I now sit in my kitchen, delusional from lack of sleep, and I hereby present to you my recipe for homemade whole-grain vegan Cheetos. Eat on, homies! And have a nice weekend. #cheetodust
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients – Cheetos:
Ingredients – Dust:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.In a large bowl, mix together the corn meal, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and cream of tartar. If you’re using mustard powder toss it in here, too. Mix well.
3. Cube cheese and place in a food processor. Grind until a doughy cheesy paste forms. Add mustard. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the cheese blend, about 1/4 cup at a time, pulsing to combine after each addition. Add oil and continue to pulse until a cheesy putty dough forms. If it’s a bit dry, add a teaspoon or so more oil or water.
4. Remove from food processor, and roll out dough into long tubes. Break apart with fingers in about 2-3 inch pieces, to resemble cheetos. They don’t have to look perfect, mind you, cheetos do not.
5. Place in the oven and bake on a lower rack for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms become a bit crispy and brown and the Cheetos are hollow sounding if you pick one up and tap it on the pan.
6. Allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk dust ingredients, and sprinkle all over your Cheetos. Cheeto Dust = lol. Link your phalanges. Eat Cheetos. Contemplate life. Eat more Cheetos.
*~*cue katy perry song*~*
I love healthy food. But sometimes I like really love to bake and eat things that are simply for fun and make me feel like a 5 year old because mental health is as important to physical health sometimes and feeling like I’m 5 makes me oh-so-happys! 🙂 So yesterday I wanted a mood boost so I made some very silly but delicious Funfetti Cookies with Birthday Cake M&Ms. To be honest, I am a sucker for all things “cake batter” flavored. My absolute FAVORITE cake batter flavored thing is the vegan soft serve from Lula’s Sweet Apothecary on East 6th street in NYC. It’s mindblowing and unlike anything else on the planet. You should try it. But I’m always down to try cake-battered flavored things – froyo, M&Ms, that cream cheese from Thompkin’s Square Bagels that’s all over Instagram right now, etc etc).
And cake flavored things are super trendy right now – I feel like every time I turn around there’s another random cake battered or birthday cake flavored thing. No complaints from me.
All of this cake batter-y sprinkly trending fits appropriately to the release of the new “Birthday” song by Katy Perry. I actually just love Katy Perry in general as a person and you cannot deny her music is catchy. You should listen to that song while you make these cookies. It will put you in a bubbly mood.
Anyways, back to the land of sugar, these are simple, classic, homemade funfetti cookies (with vegan options listed) full of artificial colors. #yum #health I’m sure there are non junky sprinkles out there, but I used Wilton because they were around. And they worked for aesthetics and to make a softer cookie by cutting the gluten strands as they were mixed in (as all mix-ins do! #foodscienceminilesson).
Birthday Cake M&Ms are relitively new, but available at Target and CVS and probably lots of other places. While you’re there you should pick out some big balloons (song reference) and party hats.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Allow butter and eggs to come to room temperature. Zap butter for 10-30 seconds in the microwave until soft if you’re impatient like I am.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or wicked arm, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula regularly. This will take 2-3 minutes.
3. Add mashed banana or eggs and vanilla and almond extracts to butter mixture, scrapping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
4. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until well combined. A cup at a time, gently fold into butter mixture until just combined. Add sprinkles and mix again.
5. Roll dough into small balls (lol) and place on a baking sheet. This baking sheet from Crate’n’Barrel is my favorite ever! My sister gave it to me for Christmas. Love it! Nothing ever sticks to it and cookies always turn out BEAUTIFULLY. Thanks Jenn!
6. Press 3 Birthday Cake M&Ms into each cookie. If you want a different look you can just mix them into the dough before rolling into balls. This will totally work, but just make note that Birthday Cake M&Ms are quite large. And in charge ;-).
7. Bake 12-15 minutes until fragrant and slightly browned. Eat and dance and party and feel 5 years old. Share if you’re feeling nice. Or if you have your cranky pants on eat them all yourself, however this may result in a slight tummy ache (you have been warned).
I have an [extreme] obsession with waffles. There is something about those airy rectangles that create such a pleasurable experience for my mouth. To me, texture is a huge part of the enjoyment of food, and there is something truly magical about those airy, repetitive rectangles that never fail to please my mouth. Maybe it’s the maximum surface area for browning. I love browning. Food that’s a lil burnt is totally up my ally…especially when it’s something sweet’n’carby.
If you want to get all food science-y, (too bad if you don’t, because I’m finna) this is called the Maillard Reaction, which is the reaction between amino acids and their reducing sugars that gives foods that distinct brown color and flavor. This is what happens to your toast, cake, the cripsy parts of your potatoes, your roasted veggies (yes, vegetables are carbohydrates!), caramel making, and that gorgeous golden crust on all your breads.
Long story short, the Maillard Reaction = protein + carbohydrate + heat = brown.
Bottom line of story: Maillard = delicious.
Now back to waffles. With all that surface area for Maillard to go down, there’s lots of crispy browning. And then there’s the glorious crunchy edges that contrast oh so beautifully with the fluffy inside.
I really, truly, love waffles. Toaster waffles are a staple in my life. Any place I’d put bread, I will other times put toaster waffles. Yes, your pb+j just got better. As did your sandwich. Just buy the whole wheat kind and they aren’t too sweet for even your saltiest creation. Trust me on this one. You will thank me later.
Beyond the freezer, there are homemade waffles. If you got a few extra minutes they are always worth making, even just for the fragrance that will waft through your house all day long after. I recently got a new waffle iron because my old one went MIA when my mom moved, and I have been spending some quality time making waffles for myself in batches, freezing some, and eating them all week long.
But why just make waffles in a waffle iron? I thought to myself. Why not cookies? And thus, the chocaffelie was born. Just rolls off the tounge, doesn’t it? No. No it does not. It does taste good though.
I had to try this recipe a few times before I got it right. The first time I just tried to bake regular cookie dough in the waffle iron. It didn’t work so great. It tasted nice, but was all sticky and crumbly. So I hybrid some various aspects of the cookie and the waffle and ended up with this. I also realized that for best results, smaller chocolate pieces are needed to prevent them from sticking to/burning on the waffle iron. Thus, I recommend you chop your chocolate chips. This would also be a wildly appropriate place for mini chips. But you know. Work with whatcha got.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1. Plug in your waffle iron and set it to a medium-high heat.
2. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Mix.
3. Separate egg into yolk and whites. Whip the whites up with an electric mixer. Add half of the granulated sugar (so about ⅛ cup or a few tablespoons) to encourage the stiff peaks to set. Set both aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, remaining white sugar, and all of the brown sugar together until nice and fluffy. This will take a minute or two. Next add the egg yolk and vanilla and whip a little more until combine. Lick the whisk. Or at the very least, appreciate its beauty or try to prevent your dog from hopping up and stealing it from you.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until combined.
6. Fold in the chocolate chip pieces or mini chips. Finally, very gently fold in the egg whites.
7. You can place a spoonful of batter in each of the four corners of the waffle iron, or place a big glob right in the center, depending on what kind of end product you want.
8. Close the iron and allow the cookie to bake for about 2 minutes, or until brown and crispy and beautiful.
9. Using a fork or knife, gently remove from iron and set on cooling rack to cool.
10. Eat. And/or post to instagram and prepare to be bombarded with texts demanding you share. It’s up to you.
Thanks to Beyond Sushi, I have a several month long obsession with black rice.
So what is black rice? Well, I will tell you.
Not only is it more dramatic looking and exotic than white rice, it’s a heck-of-a-lot healthier, too. It’s even better for you (and more chic) than brown rice. It’s much higher in fiber, because the rice kernel isn’t milled offed and polished the way it is in white rice. It also contains a lot of B vitamins that white rice is stripped down of (even though some are fortified back in, it’s not the same!), as well as manganese, phosphorous, iron, and all (yes, ALL) of the essential amino acids. Umm, hello vegetarian-friendly nutritional powerhouse!
As of about a month ago, it’s available for $2.69 per bag at Trader Joe’s ! HOLLA!
It’s also bursting with antioxidants. It contains anthocyanin – a water soluble antioxidant which colors things red, purple, or blue, depending on pH. This is what gives the rice that that blacky hue and makes it bleed purple (just like an NYU violet! #fightonNYUviolets #intimidating) It’s pink in acids, purple in neutral (ie water), and greenish-yellow in alkaline. So hypothetically you could even use black rice to test pHs of solutions. The possibilities with this stuff are endless. Anthocyanin also gives blueberries, acai, cherries, and concord grapes their colors. It’s also in a lot of flowers. Basically, it’s pretty.
Speaking of being a complete amino acid source, I’ve been reading a book called The China Study on my shiny new Kindle that my sissy gave me as a graduation present. It’s very interesting. Actually, it’s more like eye-opening / life changing. It’s basically a summation of research that has been highly ignored in the public eye but is backed by NIH and the National Cancer Institute, all of which point to diet as one of the biggest factors in controlling, even reversing cancer. And a lot of it has to do with protein intake – primarily from animal sources. Basically, the high-protein low-carb fad is actually more than not-good for your health – it’s downright dangerous. One of my fav parts of this book? It sticks up for my little bullied friend – gluten. Bless you gluten. May you live on in my heart and soul. #carbs5ever. Anyways, I’d highly recommend anyone interested in health/cancer/science/nutrition check out dis book. Even if you don’t agree with all of it, it’s always good to broaden your horizons and widen your prospectives.
I made this for a graduation lunch I had with some lovely friends of mine. Regarding this lunch, someone told me no one has parties for college graduation. I say I just like reasons to cook nice things for people. Living alone, I feel weird taking a lot of time or buying a lot of ingredients to make myself fancier or complicated things. It feels frivolous. It’s not. I’m going to start #treatingmyself more. Anyways, in my opinion any small accomplishment is worth celebrating with food. Next time you get a cavity filled or an A on your test, hit me up. I’d love to cook you something yummy. Like this black rice salad.
I was nervous that people wouldn’t like this. I actually had a mild panic right before all the people arrived like OMG ALL THIS FOOD IS WEIRD AND HEALTHY WHAT IF PEOPLE DON’T ACCEPT ALL THIS HEALTHY FOOD. WHAT IF SOMEONE JUST WANTS A DAMN CHEESEBURGER OR SOME WINGS. After a few deep breathes I realized it was too late to do anything except serve everything I made. And everything was well received, especially this salad. This post is now getting way too long and I bet no one is even reading anymore so I’m finna wrap things up.
This black rice salad really great for parties actually. It looks pretty. It looks impressive. It’s like tasting the rainbow in a non-Skittles way. And it tastes ah-MAZING. It can be served as a side dish or an entree. Whatever way you make it just make sure you do.
Ingredients for the Salad:
Ingredients for the Dressing:
Note: I eyeballed this. Use about 3 tablespoons each oil + 3 tablespoons lime juice with 1 tablespoon honey as a guideline
1. Cook black rice as instructed on package. The package will probably tell you to use a ratio of 1:2 for rice:water. I suggest using a little less. And not cooking it until it’s mushy. The salad works better when it’s a little al dente.
2. While rice is cooking, dice bell peppers and green onions.
3. Cube your mango into about 1/4 inch cubes.
4. Chop cilantro.
5. Pop rice into the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk.
7. Combine 3/4ths of chopped produce into cooled rice. Mix.
8.Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.
9.Add remaining 1/4th of chopped produce on top. Garnish with crushed nuts.
10. Watch out for creeping pups.
10.5. Especially when they look super pathetic and are trying to tell you they need to go poop before you eat…
As long as I’m rolling out candy recipes, (Kit Kats earlier today, Take 5 Bars with Graham Cracker and Sea Salt yesterday,) I thought I’d also post my homemade Twix and homemade Almond Joy bars. These were also part of my DIY Candies piece for NYU Spoon and were featured on The Daily Meal. I gave Kit-Kats their own post because Kit-Kats are a godly food in my eyes so I felt they deserved it. I’m combining Twix and Almond Joy because they’re also in my top 5 favs, but I’m also kind of lazy right now and I think my pup has to poop so I’m anxious to finish this post so we can go on a walk. And you know what? My blog my rules. *whip crack* Anywhoo, I feel like everyone loves Twix. I do too. I also feel like a lot of people think of Almond Joy as “old people” candy. It’s not. It’s great. Don’t judge my love of it and think I’m an old grannie. Even though ever since I turned 22, I’ve been going to bed progressively earlier. It’s fine trust me, I just like my bed a lot.
I feel like it is my responsibility to clarify, while I categorize all these homemade candies as “easy,” I should also mention that they’re all putsy. (ie: you got to have a bit of patience because it’s a lot of repetitive handling and spreading of chocolate etc). But spreading chocolate and being putsy is fun when you get delicious end results. At least in my eyes. Give these a whirl. And just like the Take 5 Bars, I reccomend Sea Salt. Also that Real Salt brand Sea Salt is dank monies. You should buy it. It’s like $6 for that bag, but so, so, so worth it. Last night I ate some food just so I could have a vessel for the salt. I do that a lot with hot sauce too. And salsa. And then I need a sugary chaser, like these bars. Life is all about balance, people!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 small box butter shortbread cookies
1 9 ounce bag baking caramels
1 12 ounce bag chocolate chips
sea salt (optional)
1. Place parchment paper or aluminum foil onto a large plate or baking sheet, and place it next to your work space.
2. Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in intervals of 30 seconds until melted, stirring between each interval.
2. Spread caramel onto shortbread cookies using a knife. Place each caramel covered cookie onto the prepared sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt if you’re fancy.
3. Allow caramel to cool on cookies. This should take about 20 minutes.
4. Empty the chocolate chips into a large microwave safe bowl. Place in the microwave and microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring after each increment, until chocolate is melted. Be careful not to burn chocolate.
5. Use a knife to spread chocolate on all four sides of the caramel coated shortbread cookies and place back onto prepared pan.
6. Place cookies in the refrigerator until chocolate has set, about 30-60 minutes.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (half of a small can)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 12 ounce bag chocolate chips
1/2 cup raw almonds
1. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper or grease with butter or nonstick spray.
2. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a medium sized bowl and add powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and well combined. Fold in sweetened coconut.
3. Pour coconut mixture into prepared pan. Spread and pat it down evenly with a spatula.
4. Place almonds in rows on top of the coconut mixture. Press each one into the coconut just a lightly, until each nut is about half submerged in coconut.
5. Place pan in the refrigerator for about an hour until coconut is set and firm.
6. Grease a sharp knife with cooking spray. Cut the coconut mixture in rows following the pattern made by the almonds, and then into individual 2-inch bites.
7. Place parchment paper or aluminum foil onto a large plate or baking sheet, and place it next to your work space.
8. Empty the chocolate chips into a large microwave safe bowl. Place in the microwave and microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring after each increment, until chocolate is melted. Be careful not to burn chocolate.
9. Using hands, dip each 2-inch bite in chocolate and use a knife to coat chocolate evenly. Place on lined baking sheet.
10. Place almond joys in fridge for 30-60 minutes until chocolate is firm. Keep cold until serving. Nom it up and defend these beauties as young AND old person candy.
Do you know what I love? Candy. Always have, always will. I have longtime standing favorites, like the Kit-Kat, which I conquered in the kitchen here, but a more recent candy to hit the scene and secure a place in my heart is the oh-so-wonderful Take 5 Bar.
In my humble opinion, these beauties are underrated. They are simple in principle (pretzel, caramel, peanut butter, peanuts, chocolate) but perfectly combine the salty-sweet-crunchy-chewy combo, which I consider to be synonymous with the ideal dessert. It’s like a mash up of the Salty Pimp and American Glob minus the soft serve. And y’all know ANYTHING that reminds me of Big Gay Ice Cream is the way to my <3.
Any sweet treat I like to eat I like even more as a challenge to make in the kitchen. And hence, the homemade Take 5 Bar became this afternoon’s adventure after a lovely hour long stroll with Millie and her Uncle James. She also functioned as a sous-chef/major creeper in the process of making these babies (see below).
I googled recipes and found a lot of Take-5-like layer bars, but those didn’t satisfy my desire to duplicate down to appearance. The only possible problem I came across while conceptualizing was how to avoid the pretzel topped with the goodies to stay together when I dipped em in chocolate. I decided I needed a base. And then I thought of graham crackers. I love graham crackers, so I decided that adding them to Take 5 Bars would only make them better. I was correct in this idea. Huge fan.
This recipe is not gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo, #fitspro, or antioxident rich. It is, however, delicious. And as much as I am a typically healthy eater I stand by my belief that nourishing your mind and your taste buds is just as important as nourishing your body.
So here is my recipe for Take-5s ft. Graham Crackers. Make these. Eat them. All of them. Top them on vanilla soft serve for best results. *~*drool*~*
1. Break graham crackers into quarters. Just follow those handy lines on the squares. I know you can do this. I believe in you.
2. Unwrap caramel candies. I highly recommend you do not skip this step. Place said caramels in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30-45 seconds on high until *~*melty*~* <3
3. Use a knife to spread gooey melty caramel onto each graham rectangle. This works best if you set up a nice parchment paper work tray on a baking sheet.
4. Press 2 pretzels on top of each graham rectangle.
5.Take your peanut butter and spread it on top of the pretzel layer.
6. Sprinkle 5-6 peanuts on each peanut-butter-covered rectangle.
7. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes in 30 second intervals, stirring at each interval until melty and smooth.
8. Use a spatula or knife to scoop chocolate on top of each bar and smother the crap out of it in with chocolatey goodness. Sprinkle with sea salt if you are fancy. I am fancy. Not “so fancy,” though. Just the regular type.
9.Place each on on parchment paper lined tray and freeze until chocolate is set.