Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

You know how sometimes you see something in about a million different places?  But you're not sure what it is or if you should jump on board with the latest trend?  I mean, let's face it, trends aren't always the best idea - I mean, just look at this.  Eeek. 

So, when I kept seeing Chia Seeds popping up everywhere, I kind of wondered what the fuss was about.  I mean, is this new kale?  And as a society, are we ready for the new kale?  But, I'd heard good things about how healthy they are, how you can incorporate them into smoothies to bulk them up, and about pudding.  Shockingly, the pudding sold me. 

Now, let me remind you, dear reader, that healthified things aren't exactly like the unhealthified one. Kale chips are delicious, but they aren't chips.  That doesn't mean they're not good though, so give the chia pudding a try.  If you're worried, check the bulk bins at your grocery store and just pick up a few.  I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding - From Food Doodles

2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1/2 Cup Milk (I used Almond, you can use whatever you have/usually drink) 
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sweetener (I used Agave, but honey, syrup, etc would also work)
1 Tablespoon Coco Powder (Make sure that it's unsweetened baking coco powder, not something like Nesquick, or else it's going to be insanely sweet) 
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla 

Put everything into the jar - I find it easier to put the dry things on the bottom and then top with the milk, like I do when I make hot chocolate.  

Stir everything up.  Be careful, or else the coco powder will blow up everywhere.  

Now, you have a few options.  You can either just let it sit on the counter for about a half hour, or you can put it in the fridge for several hours.  I've tried it both ways, the result is the same.  The chia seeds just need time to soak up all the liquid and expand.  That's how it turns into pudding. 

Top with strawberries and enjoy!  

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite afternoon snack? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spicy Kale and Eggs

Is it odd that when I typed the title, I actually put "Kegs and Eggs" instead? Even though I'm entirely too old for such nonsense (jk - we just call it brunch now). Hopefully some college kids will make the same mistake, click on over, and realize what adulthood is all about. Kale, guys, it's about kale. There is really nothing in the universe that matches the feeling of moral superiority that comes with eating kale.

I'm not sure when it happened, but a few years ago, the universe went nuts for kale. NUTS. It's actually a little comical, except I shouldn't laugh because I was one of those people. I may or may not have had a kale smoothie a few times (not as enjoyable as I had hoped). However, I do love me some kale. Also, I feel that my stance on breakfast is pretty clear (that'd be PRO, for those of you who keep lists of my personal preferences on your fridge), so kale and eggs was a natural fit.

I mostly followed this recipe from Williams Sonoma, except I halved it and skipped the lemon, since I was out. And I used a very tiny about of regular onion in place of the green onion because I was out. Then I put it on toast, because hello. Why wouldn't you do that?

Spicy Kale and Eggs - from Williams Sonoma

1 Tablespoon butter

1/4 of a Small Red Onion, Minced (or green onions, or whatever you have)

1 Garlic Clove, Pressed or Minced

1 Bunch Kale, Chopped

1/2 Cup Liquid (I used veggie broth, you could also use chicken broth or water)

2 Eggs

Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes to Taste

In a large pan, melt the butter.  Add in the onion and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the kale and stir until it begins to wilt.  If it seems like way too much for one pan, do it half and half.  Once it's wilted, add the liquid, and some salt and pepper.

Simmer and stir occasionally until the kale is tender.  It took mine about 5 minutes.

Make a little pocket for your eggs with a spoon and crack them in there.

Reduce the heat to medium, season the eggs, and cover.  Let them cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on how done you like your eggs (I did about 3 because I like my eggs runny, but do you).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread - The Leftovers Club

Guys, I cannot believe how quickly time has passed this month!  It seems like I just made Leftovers Club treats.

For those of you who don't know, the Leftovers Club is a group of bloggy friends who send treats once a month.  It's a great way to get to know some new blogs and try some tasty treats.  This month, I was paired with Shaina from Take a Bite out of Boca.  She made me some DELICIOUS peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - with banana bread.  I can't even do it justice, you're just going to have to go check out her blog and see for yourself.  And, if you live in Boca (or the area), definitely check out her reviews.  You won't be eating poorly, that's for sure.

Since fall is coming (not ready, but Mother Nature has never seemed to care..), I thought I'd make something a little more seasonally appropriate this time around.  Although my parents, who live in Florida, but further north, have assured me that fall is no where to be found down there, I can't stop thinking about chili, soups, stews, and their sidekick cornbread.

This cornbread uses some of summer's farm share bounty to bump up the flavor.  There are many different ways to make cornbread, and I'm sure someone's lovely southern grandma is having a fit over the way I'm sharing.  But, if you send me her recipe, I'll do that next time.  It's all delicious.

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread - Adapted from Cookie and Kate

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1½ cups cornmeal (I actually used a touch more because didn't have quite enough flour)
1½ cups flour 
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Few twists' freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1½ cups buttermilk (you can make buttermilk yourself by adding vinegar to milk and letting it sit, so don't feel like you have to go out and buy special for this)
½ cup honey
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh corn kernels (feel free to sub frozen if it isn't corn season)
1 jalapeno, grated or chopped (I grated it, which I feel concentrates the flavor, so I actually only used half, which was plenty)

Pre-heat the oven to 375.  Put the butter into a cast iron skillet or baking pan and let it melt in the oven for 5-10 minutes, just long enough to get nice and browned. 

While that's happening, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and half the cheese in a bowl.  Set aside. 

In a separate, larger bowl, mix together the buttermilk, honey, and eggs.  Combine the two bowls. 

Remove the butter pan from the oven and VERY VERY CAREFULLY slosh it around a bit to make sure the butter gets up the sides of the pan.  Seriously, be careful, it's hot.  

Add the corn and the pepper to the hot butter and let cook for a minute.  After about 1 minute, add the batter.  Stir to combine.  Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

Check out what my friends have made! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cheddar Bacon Waffles with Fried Apples - Waffle Week 2014

So, yesterday I had the privilege of guest posting at Feed Me Seymour with my buddy Kim. Kim and I first bonded over a mutual love for our furbabies and a mutual loathing of raisins, especially those sneaky ones that hide in cookies.  ICK.  She also has some SERIOUSLY good recipes, like this Grilled Fruit Sangria.  So, obviously, when she invited me to participate in Waffle Week 2014, I was all like DONE - where do I sign (on a non-raisin covered line)?

Now, you guys kind of know that I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  Sure, I taste test all that I make (because I wouldn't want to be rude and give people gross food), but it's just not my thing.  Cheese on the other hand...oh boy.  I might have a problem.  True life: I once told my friend that the cheese section of Wegman's wasn't a safe place for me.  I love it that much.

Therefore, clearly, my waffles were going to involve cheese and not very much sugar.  Just a touch of sweetness somewhere to balance it out.  Growing up, my mom always paired apple and pear pie with cheddar, so I thought that would be a great starting point.  As always, I got by with a little help from my friends at Pinterest.  Seriously, you can find everything there.  Including a ton of awesome recipes for cheddar waffles.  Inspiration - BAM!

Cheddar Bacon Waffles with Fried Apples - Inspired by In Sock Monkey Slippers

For the Waffles:
2 Cups of Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
1 2/3 Cup Milk (I used Fat Free Half and Half, but had planned on using 1%....until I realized it was sour.  I'm pretty sure whatever you usually drink would work fine)
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
2 Eggs
6 Slices of Bacon. Crumbled (I used Thick Cut Applewood Smoked)
3/4 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (I used a combo of extra sharp and caramelized onion, which is just as good as it sounds)

For the Apples:
3 Apples, Sliced (I used Gala, but whatever your preference, you should go for a crisper apple, since you'll be cooking them for a while.  You don't want it to turn to mush)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Ginger, Nutmeg, and Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup McGillicuddy's Apple Pie Liquor (You can definitely use apple juice if you're worried about alcohol content, or if you don't want to buy random booze for this one recipe)

Start out by making the bacon, so it has time to cool.  I do mine in the oven, on a baking rack.  Just pop it into a cold oven and set it to 375.  It should be nice and crispy about 10 minutes after the oven comes to temperature.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.  While that's melting, chop the apples and mix them with the sugar, spice, and everything nice.

Add them to the pan and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.

Then, add the booze/juice and let it simmer until the apples are nice and soft and the liquid has thickened.

To make the waffles, begin by mixing together the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Melt the butter and mix with the eggs and milk.

Fold them together and stir in the bacon and cheese.  Don't over mix!!!  It should just come together; lumps, bumps, and my humps are all ok.

Try not to overfill the mess out of your waffle maker - it just wastes the delicious batter!!  And don't freak out if the first one turns out funny - mine stuck to the top and bottom and completely split apart.  I then asked my friend if he would like a waffle taco in exchange for helping me move a bookshelf - #problemsolver.

Serve the waffles with a scoop of apples on top and an apple mimosa on the side.

These can definitely be frozen and reheated later, if you want to make a big batch to impress your friends and family.  Added bonus of being able to yell, "and in the mornin', I'm making WAFFLES" at sleepovers.

The batter comes together quickly, and most of this stuff is a pantry staple (unless you have to find a million fancy cheeses).  I actually thought that waffles were difficult to make before this and was pleasantly surprised and how easy it was.  I will DEFINITELY be having more brunches from now on! Or just random waffles on a Tuesday, because, why not?

Now, go forth and impress people.