Breakfasts, Drinks, Snacks

139

Energizer Bunny Smoothie (V, GF)

This is a drink for those days that seem to go on forever. Y’know, those days where you have six hours of¬†class and three hours of work and 80 pages of reading? Yeah, this is a drink for those days. Everything in here is packed full of serious nutrients that keep your body alert and satisfied. Down one of these at noon and I can assure you you’ll be ready to go. You no longer have to worry about those¬†incredibly elegant 3pm stomach¬†grumbles that always seem to happen when the entire class is quiet. Also it’s probably the prettiest color I’ve ever seen. To fully convince you of this smoothie’s real potential, here’s the breakdown:

Almond milk: fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus, tryptophan, copper, and calcium (BAM)

Blueberries: vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, low glycemic load, antioxidants, fucking beautiful color

Banana: vitamin B6, soluble fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium

Coconut oil: medium chain triglycerides (aka *good* fats), vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron

Flaxseed: protein, dietary fiber, omega-3, vitamin B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, vitamin C

Honey: obviously a sweetener, but does actually contain several compounds than can function as antioxidants including vitamin C, B2,3, 5, and 6! That’s sure better than Splenda, amirite?

Dates: calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.

Smoothie (serves 1-2)

1 1/2+ c unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana

1/2 c frozen blueberries

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1-2 tsp honey OR 2 pitted medjool dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes

banana chip (optional)

Place banana and almond milk in blender and blend well. Add remainder of ingredients and blend until well combined, pausing to stir and add more almond milk if the blender gets stuck! Garnish with a banana chip and feel incredibly heathy for the rest of the day!

 

 

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Breakfasts

133

Almond, Corn, and Brown Rice Flour Blueberry Pancakes (GF)

Like most oxygen-breathers, I love pancakes. However, strangely enough, I don’t like having them for breakfast. Unless I know for a fact that immediately following the consumption of said syrup-topped confection, I will be able to flop around¬†on a couch and digest in peace for at least an hour. Pancakes are serious business. One has to train to finish a stack, not unlike preparing to run a marathon. Just as one cannot simply run 25 miles in one fell swoop simply because one possesses legs and sneakers, after four big pancakes any average person will probably be¬†facing a serious case of the “fulls” (read: being so stuffed one needs to take off their belt). And while I am nothing if not a champion eater, sometimes even I need to set down the fork and take a breather.

Now, If we’re talking pancakes for brinner, that’s a whole different story. Dinner is the meal to be full, as it’s perfectly acceptable to slip into a¬†food-coma for many hours after the last meal of the day. But we’re not talking about breakfast for dinner, we’re talking about breakfast for breakfast. How’s that for an eloquent sentence? This is a long way of saying that I’ve been experimenting with gluten free pancakes for quite some time now. While I am aware that gluten makes things delicious -not to mention it gives elasticity to doughs of all kinds, making that perfect fluffy chewy texture- it also sometimes has a knack for making me really full. I mean REALLY full. The kind of full that is often reserved for eating eight scoops of ice cream. And I just don’t want that in the morning before hours¬†of work and classes. My alternative: the following recipe.¬†These pancakes are made with corn, almond, and brown rice¬†flours, which are gluten free. I use three different flours because unlike all-purpose flour, each gluten free ingredient adds a different (but necessary) element to the pancake. Corn flour (different from cornmeal) is very high in fiber and filling, but doesn’t do a great job of leavening; brown rice flour has a lot of protein and a strong, almost nutty flavor; and almond flour has a really rich and mild flavor, which balances out the stronger corn and brown rice¬†(but if you’re not into almonds/have a nut allergy, you can add an extra 1/4 c. of either of the other two flours instead)

Keep in mind they will make the batter very runny. It will be very different from your standard pancake batter. I recommend using a 1/8 c. measuring cup to dole out eat pancake. While cooking, the cakes will get very bubbly, which in standard pancake language usually means “flip me!” but in gluten free¬†flour pancake-land, it does not. You’ll know they’re ready to be flipped¬†by their color- just lift the edges with a spatula to check for a nice golden color. Just FYI, you’ll notice I suggest you use a nonstick pan when cooking. Now, you can do whatever you choose¬†with this advice, but you’ll see that I suggest it with bold italics and **s. That should tell you how I feel about this recipe and normal pans, but hey, maybe you like scraping burnt gluten free pancakes off a pan in your free time! If that is the case, feel free to ignore my advice! Happy breakfasting!

Pancakes 

1/2 c corn flour

1/2 c brown rice flour

1/4 c almond flour

1 tbsp raw sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 c milk

1 half pint blueberries

If you’re making more than 4 pancakes preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger¬†bowl whisk¬†together the egg, butter and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the milk (don’t be alarmed if it gets clumpy, that’s just the melted butter reacting to the cold milk, but ideally if you’ve poured the milk in slowly enough this won’t happen). Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine. Heat a *nonstick* skillet on medium and grease lightly with butter or oil. Using a 1/8 c. measuring cup, pour out as many pancakes as will comfortably fit on the pan/griddle. Let them cook for about 30 seconds, then sprinkle on a scant handful of blueberries. Flip after about a minute or two or when you feel the stars have aligned (see my extremely exact flipping instructions in the explanation). Let the other side cook for another minute or two, then transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven. Repeat until you’re ready to eat, then serve with honey, maple syrup, jam, yogurt, or whatever your heart desires!

 

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Desserts

131

Blueberry Lemon Curd Tart

There is nothing quite like the simple pleasure of biting into a fresh fruit tart in the middle of summer. Your hand gets sticky from the lemon curd, blueberries slide down to stain your shorts, but who needs napkins? You’re just going to get covered again when you go in for a second slice in¬†about 45 seconds.¬†This is a recipe that will ultimately lead the the kind of pleasure I’m describing. If you’re ¬†not using a premade crust it takes a nice chunk of time to put the whole thing together (the crust needs to be fully baked before any lemony-blueberry goodness can set up shop inside) but I can assure you it’s well worth the wait. I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m very lazy. But I try to push that attribute under the rug when it comes to making pie and tart crusts; homemade crust is just¬†better. There’s no way to describe it. However, I know there are times when one doesn’t have the entire afternoon to wait around for a disk of butter and flour to chill to the perfect temperature so here’s my tip. Find one day where you have many free hours (or maybe that night when you couldn’t sleep and ended up watching half a season of¬†Mad Men on Netflix..) and make a bunch of crusts. Label them with dates, then stick ’em in the freezer for future use. They’ll be perfectly preserved! Then you’ll be all set when the cry for fresh pies ring out on a lazy summer Sunday. You’re welcome, earth! Just FIY, this recipe would be just as good if raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or even bananas were used in place of the blueberries. Blueberries aren’t my favorite fruit, but my father has gotten into the habit of bringing home two cartons of them¬†home literally four times a week. Check my fridge if you think I’m kidding. It looks like a million tiny Violet Beauregardes are taking over the fruit shelf. Not great. Now, were he bringing raspberries or peaches I’d probably be greeting him at the door every day with a mini confetti cannon, but beggars can’t be choosers, so here we are! It was still pretty darn delicious.

Crust (from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking)

1 1/4 c. flour

1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces

2 egg  yolks

1 tbsp. heavy cream

In a food processor, combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt, pulsing one or two times to mix. Add the butter pieces and pulse 7 or 8 times until the mixture forms coarse crumbs (size of small peas, you know the drill). In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks, then stir in the cream. With the motor running on the food processor, add the egg mixture and process just until the dough comes together, but does not form a ball.¬†On a work surface, shape the dough into a six-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to overnight.

Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and bring it to a lightly flour-dusted work surface. Rolling from the center out, roll the dough into a 13-inch round that is a little less than 1/4-inch thick (let’s not talk about how my cookbook told me it should be 3/16-inch thick and I had a mild panic attack because I couldn’t find a ruler and apparently forgot for a moment how to do second grade math. It’s fine guys.) Remember to flip and turn your disk, adding more dustings of flour to the rolling pin and work surface, as you roll it out to prevent sticking and cursing and starting over again.

First things first, check to make sure your tart pan has a removable bottom. Now get a bunch of neon post-its and write “MY TART PAN HAS A REMOVABLE BOTTOM IF YOU TOUCH IT WITHOUT REMEMBERING THIS YOU WILL LIKELY BURN YOURSELF AND RUIN A NICE CRUST YOU DO NOT WANT THIS ON YOUR CONSCIENCE BEWARE”. Now you’re ready. To get your disk of dough onto your tart pan, carefully roll the dough around¬†the rolling pin. Unroll the dough. Lifting the dough and ease it into the curves of the pan. Trim off the overhang and press it into the sides to create a double thick crust edge. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

You’ve now reached the second to last step in your Crust-Quest: Prebaking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line your chilled crust with heavy aluminum foil, being careful to gently press the foil into all the nooks and crannies of the crust. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights (I use dried chickpeas). Dry out the crust by baking for 15 minutes. Check to see if it’s ready by carefully lifting the foil. If it sticks, continue to bake for 2 minutes at a time, checking the foil. When it no longer sticks, remove from the oven REMEMBERING THE REMOVABLE BOTTOM. Remove the weights by gathering the foil and carefully moving it up and out. Now you’re ready to fully bake.¬†Reduce oven temperature to 350 and put the crust back in the oven and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. If the edges are getting very dark but the center is still not done, cover the edges with small pieces of aluminum foil or crust shields.¬†If the crust begins to form giant bubbles, prick them with a sharp knife and gently press down with a metal measuring cup. When it’s done, remove from the oven¬†REMEMBERING THE REMOVABLE BOTTOM and place on a wire cooling wrack. Make the filling as the crust cools.

To unmold the crust, place the fully cooled crust on a large inverted bowl and carefully slide the outer ring off. I like to leave the bottom of the tart pan on as a reinforcer, but you can do as you will and bravely use an offset spatula to separate the pan bottom from the crust

Filling (from foodnetwork.com)

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. lemon juice

6 tbsp. butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tbsp. lemon zest

3 eggs, beaten

about a pint of fresh blueberries

In the top of a double boiler, heat all the ingredients until they thicken to a custard¬†and bubbles form on the surface, about 10-15 minutes. When the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, remove from heat and strain through a mesh sieve. Let it cool until you’re ready to¬†assemble the tart. To assemble the tart, pour the filling into the cooled crust and arrange the blueberries in a pretty pattern or simply dump berries on to¬†embrace¬†Normcore in your tart. Chill until you’re ready to serve!

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Breakfasts, Desserts

127

Brown Butter Blueberry Doughnuts w/ Bourbon Basil Glaze 

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I don’t know about you guys, but there are some days when I really just need to have a doughnut. Or two. Especially when they’re dunked in a bourbon glaze. You get it. My life changed last year when I got my first doughnut pan. I’d never fried my own doughnuts, so this pan was a great way to dip my toe into the doughnut game. I made these, insisting upon calling them “doughnuts”, as I felt they didn’t deserve the title¬†without sarcasm unless the dessert was deep fried until golden brown. But now I think I’m ready to take that back. Baked doughnuts are people too! They’re less messy, and less filling (so you can have five of these bad boys before hitting a wall, unlike their fried friends which always seem to leave me feeling stuffed three bites in. Not that I call it quits there, just saying.) Not to mention it’s a much easier clean-up, and in my opinion when one has doughnuts to glaze, the last thing one needs is to deal with wiping oil off every surface in the kitchen. This recipe came out very sweet, what with fresh¬†blueberries mixed right into the batter, so I’m really glad I picked a glaze that included basil. You may not think so, but basil works incredibly well with sweets. The herb¬†mellows¬†the sugar¬†in desserts (and cocktails)¬†perfectly, while also adding new flavor profiles to what might otherwise be a mundane sweet!

Doughnuts (makes 10-12; altered slightly from Joy the Baker)

2 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 pinches ground cinnamon

2/3 c. granulated sugar

4 tbsp. butter

2 eggs

1 c. buttermilk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

blueberries (at least 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a doughnut pan with cooking spray or butter and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. ¬†Place butter in¬†small saucepan over medium low heat. It will crackle as it browns- don’t be afraid, but keep your eye on the pan! As soon as it looks golden brown and smells nutty, remove pan from heat and transfer to a bowl (even the very brown bits).

In a small bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add the browned butter and combine. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry. Combine well but try not to overmix the batter!

Spoon¬†batter into the prepared pan. ¬†Smooth out and fill each doughnut three-quarters full with batter. Sprinkle blueberries over the top. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. ¬†Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sample one doughnut to make sure they’re not poisonous.¬†While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze!

Glaze (from the Candid Appetite)

1 cup blueberries

1 tbsp fresh basil, torn

3 tbsp bourbon

3 cups powdered sugar

In a food processor blend the berries until smooth, then add the basil and bourbon and blend. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add powdered sugar. Whisk until combined. If it’s too thin, add more sugar; if too thick, add more bourbon or water (1 teaspoon at a time!) Dunk the doughnuts and then decorate with sprinkles or torn basil leaves!

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Drinks

124

Frozen Cherry Limeade

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Happy Fourth of July! I can’t say I care much about this holiday for any reason except for no one makes¬†a face as I open my first beer around noon and then spend the next eight hours talking passionately about watching fireworks. Which certainly isn’t bad! I’ll take any¬†excuse to day drink. But in all seriousness, this has been an interesting year for being American, as it usually tends to be. Even just this week the¬†Supreme Court of the land of the free decided employers with religious objections have the right the deny contraception coverage under Obamacare. But vasectomies and Viagra are still covered, of course. So that’s fun. I’ve decided I will just be grateful I don’t work for a business that feels they have the right to decide what I do or do not put in my body. And obviously eat a lot of dessert because dessert cures everything¬†makes bad things seem less bad for like 20 minutes. Hey, I’ll take it.

So I thought I’d make a pretty red and blue frozen cocktail today- it’s very cold and very tart, perfect for the 95% humidity that’s currently consuming Jersey. Scroll down after the cocktail for more red white and blue recipes- make one! Or two! Or all ¬†of them and then collapse at 2 pm from too much sugar..

Cherry Limeade (serves 1)

1 cup frozen cherries

splash pomegranate juice

1 1/2 oz gin

1 oz lime juice

1/2 oz simple syrup (optional)

two handfuls blueberries

Combine all ingredients except the blueberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a handful of ice cubes if it’s not thick enough for your liking or more juice if it’s too thick. Place one handful of blueberries in the bottom of a tall glass. Pour in the cocktail, then top with the second handful of blueberries!

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And now some dessert recipes for your Fourth of July festivities!

These Vegan Lingonberry Bars are so easy to whip up if you decide last minute to throw/attend a Fourth of July picnic. If you don’t have lingonberry jam, just swap it for raspberry. And then make a tray with blackberry jam to really embrace the colors of the day!

Lemon Raspberry Blueberry Sorbet is the easiest thing if you have an ice cream maker (but you can make do without one, check out the recipe to find out how!)

Try topping my White Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding with fresh strawberries or raspberries to get into the holiday!

Strawberry Shortcake is even more festive when raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are added..

Blueberry Crumb Pie is out of this world, and always disappears from picnics in mere minutes. Just look at the color of your tongue after you eat it and tell me you’re not celebrating the holiday!

 

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Desserts

122

White Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding w/ Blueberry Curd (GF)

Time to admit something: while I fancy myself a dessert snob in most areas, there are a few situations when all I want is an Oreo or soft serve ice cream or Jello pudding (y’know, this one, that every kid -except for yours truly- got in their¬†lunch box in elementary school). Honestly, whenever someone offers me any of the aforementioned desserts they instantly become my best friend. Especially if there’s Skippy peanut butter involved (yet another schoolyard chemically altered¬†delight of which I was deprived growing up). But it’s weird, because if you tried to get me to eat Chips Ahoy or a Twinkie for dessert I’d likely¬†scoff loudly and uncontrollably and hurt your feelings. That’s actually a lie. I’d probably eat them happily because, come on,¬†you just offered me dessert for no reason, you’re probably a really nice person. But I digress. The point of this little paragraph is that I was at the grocery store recently and was presented with a choice: to buy the Jello pudding snack packs or not to buy the¬†Jello pudding snack packs. I actually had them in my cart for an aisle or two, but then had a change of heart and decided I would make pudding myself. But a fruity version because it is summer after all, so why not take advantage of fresh berries? Mathematically speaking, the¬†price of one 6-pack of packaged chocolate-and-vanilla swirly goodness¬†was a little bit¬†less¬†than buying blueberries and white chocolate chips* and milk, but I think it’s safe to say this pudding was worth it.

*A note on white chocolate: I am not a fan. Not at all. It’s chocolate for people who don’t like chocolate. It is a lie. It is an impostor. BUT for some reason, when added to vanilla pudding it really works wonders. Because it’s essentially all cocoa butter, it creates a wonderfully creamy texture and more richly flavored¬†pudding.¬†And all this is achieved without¬†butter- imagine that!

Pudding (both recipes adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. 2% milk

1/4 c. half and half

4 1/2 oz white chocolate (I used chips, you can use whatever floats your boat)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt in the top of a double boiler (I use a glass bowl over a saucepan). Before placing over water, whisk in the milk and the half and half until all ingredients are incorporated. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk occasionally. After 15-20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon add the chocolate. Continue stirring until the pudding is smooth and thick. If it’s not cooperating with you (like it did to¬†me), transfer the pudding from the double boiler to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla and cinnamon. Strain if you’re looking for a silky smooth texture or simply pour into individual serving dishes. Chill in fridge while you make the blueberry curd.

 

Blueberry Curd 

1/2 c. blueberries (or, honestly, any berry your heart desires)

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 c. sugar

pinch of salt

1 egg

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Purée berries in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Strain the berries until you get about 3-4 tablespoons of purée. Whisk together berries and all other ingredients except the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the butter and cook over medium low heat, whisking frequently until the mixture begins to bubble. Strain again if you so choose, or simply divide evenly over the prepared pudding cups. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour. Before serving, top with fresh blueberries (or any other berry/fruit).

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