Breakfasts

eighty six

Breakfast Granola Bowl

As I’ve mentioned before, breakfast foods are my favorite foods. Regardless of the time of day, I will always want breakfast. It’s just a thing. One of my new favorite breakfasts is a big fruit and granola bowl! It’s crunchy and sweet and has just a little spicy bite from the ginger. I very much recommend this to the standard cereal/oatmeal breakfast. It can easily be made beforehand (minus the fruit, obviously) and stored in a mason jar, ready to be grabbed for all breakfast-on-the-go needs!

Granola (serves 1)

– 1 cup granola (use whatever floats your boat!)

– 1/4 cup oats

– 3 tbsp. ground flaxseed

– 3 tbsp. dried coconut

– 3 tbsp. almonds

– 3 tbsp. chopped pecans

– 3 tbsp. hazelnuts

– 1/4 cup dried cherries and cranberries

– 2 tsp. chopped candied ginger

– 1/2 green apple, chopped

– other chopped fruit like bananas, strawberries, grapes, etc!

Combine all ingredients, then add yogurt or milk. Enjoy!

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Main Dishes, Sides

eighty

Baked Latkes

Who’s ready to celebrate Thanksgivakuh? I know I am! I also know I’m a little late with this, as this historic event did end December 5. But I think we can keep the celebration going, as  it is rumored the convergence of these two holidays won’t happen again for another 77,798 years! If you didn’t already know this, latkes are probably the best food. They’re basically super flavorful hash browns. What could be better?! I do however have one problem with this magical food: you have to cook them in quite a bit of oil, and each pan-full will probably get you 3-5 latkes, which -if you know anything about latkes- isn’t even a full serving. When I make them, the first 3-5 latkes rarely make it out of the kitchen, I think of them more as a cook’s fee. So that’s a long way of saying that after 10 rounds of frying your kitchen/home/clothes/pets are going to smell like a slightly classier fast-food restaurant. For days. Even with really great ventilation it’s tough. MAYBE if you leave all your windows and doors open while you’re cooking with fans running at full speed will the smell be a little less overpowering, but I doubt it. Side note, if anyone has any real tips on avoiding this they’d be very welcome! So, I decided the best way to work past the smell is to bake these bad boys. I KNOW, I KNOW, THAT’S NOT A REAL LATKE I’M SORRY TO MY ANCESTORS WHO ARE CLEARLY ROLLING OVER IN THEIR GRAVES BECAUSE THIS IS SUCH A TRAVESTY. Sry not sry guys, it really was not the worst thing in the world. Actually, they were kinda good! More than kinda! Try it for yourself and see what I mean!

Latkes (yields 24; adapted from foodnetwork.com)

– 3 1/2 lbs potatoes (grated)

– 2 large white onions (grated)

– 4 eggs

– 1 3/4+ tsp. salt

-pepper to taste

– 1/2 cup flour

– 1/2 tsp. baking powder

– Olive or vegetable oil (for pan)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Drain excess liquid from potatoes by squeezing them with a towel. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Coat a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper generously with oil. Make 1/4 cup latkes and flatten them. Bake for 15 minutes; turn and bake 10 minutes longer, making sure they’re not sticking to the pan. Serve with applesauce or sour cream!

 

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Snacks

seventy two

Smitten Kitchen Granola

Granola is so rad. I find it super intriguing when something essentially has the same ingredients but nearly always tastes different, depending on where you find it. Haven’t you noticed that about granola, that no two are alike? It’s like they’re snowflakes or something (idk I’m tired). If you’re ever looking for a good one and you also happen to live near the Pioneer Valley, one of my favorite granolas can be found at Hungry Ghost Bread in Northampton, MA. I recently became the proud owner of the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (late, I know..) and it is BEAUTIFUL. The writer of Smitten Kitchen, (a wonderful food blog if there ever was one) Deb Perelman, is on of my idols. She took the humble food blog and made it into a real business. She clearly is also a genius, because I don’t know how it’s humanly possible for one lady to create so many unbelievable recipes. She must be a sorceress. A food-specific-sorceress. Anywho, I wanted to make a quick recipe the other afternoon, so thus came the granola. I took a little creative license and tweaked the recipe a bit, but the bones and muscles of this one are all Deb’s (let’s say I added the fat. Like, for the sake of the body metaphor. Cause this is granola, obviously there’s not that much real fat in it. Lol food jokes. Okay sry I’ll stop). Enjoy! Looking for another granola recipe, this time in bar form? Try my Everything-Inside-Your-Cabinet Granola Bars!

Granola

– 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

– 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

– 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

– 1/8 cup ground flaxseed

– 2 tbsp. olive oil

– 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

– 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

– 1/2-2/3 cup maple syrup

– 1 egg white

– 1 cup dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit)

– 1/2 cup dried cherries (or any other dried fruit)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients except for egg white and dried fruit. Toss to combine. Whisk the egg white until frothy and stir into the granola mixture, but don’t go crazy mixing it in completely- the pockets of egg white make that great granola-y cluster effect! Spread mixture onto baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 45-55 minutes, stopping halfway through to turn over sections of the granola, being careful not to break it up too much. When the granola is golden brown and dry to touch, transfer the pan to a cooling wrack. Once it’s completely cool, break up into any sized pieces your heart desires and add the dried fruit. (Keeps at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 weeks, longer in the freezer if you wanna make a bunch and save it for winter.) Note: if you can’t tell from the million pictures I took of this batch, I hadn’t figured out the egg white trick, so this granola is not clustery. But it was still delicious, so don’t fret if this happens to you!
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Snacks

sixty nine

Curried Chickpea Salad

Side dishes are one of my favorite things to make. I love seeing a plate that’s full of many different things, so I try to whip up at least two side dishes for every dinner I make, even if it’s a simple salad. This particular “salad” is more my version of a deconstructed chickpea korma, a South Asian Curry. It’s incredibly aromatic and flavorful, and goes with so much. You can serve it over rice, with naan, on a green salad, or treat it like your typical side dish and spoon a big helping onto a plate full of whatever. Live your life. One of the best things about this dish is the role the onions play. Not only do they add great flavor, being onions and all, but they also have a lot of time to soak up all those great spices until they take on a completely different flavor than if the spices were added after the onions finished cooking. Yuuuuuum.

Salad (very loosely adapted from NYTimes.com)

– 6 teaspoons olive oil

– 1 1/2 cups diced white onion

– 1 small clove garlic, diced finely

– 1 tsp. turmeric

– 1 tsp. cumin

– 1 tsp. coriander

– 1 tsp. ground ginger

– 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

– 1 tsp. garam masala

– dash cayenne pepper (optional)

– 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

– 1 ear of corn, cooked and cut off the cob (canned works too)

– 4 tsp. lemon juice

– 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt

– Pepper to taste

– 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large and fairly deep pan on medium. When hot, add the oil, then onion and garlic; sauté until the onions begin to brown (6 to 8 minutes) stirring periodically. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, cardamom, garam masala, and cayenne pepper (if using) and continue to sauté until the spices begin getting fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, making sure the chickpeas have softened nicely. Remove from heat and add the corn. While the salad cools, mix in the parsley. Serve slightly warm, at room temperature, or cover in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve chilled.

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Sides, Snacks

sixty five

Corn, Avocado, and Red Pepper Salad

As summer is coming to an end (tears), I just had to share this rad summer salad before it was too late! (Just kidding, if you make it in November I won’t tell and it’ll still be awesome). This recipe was originally corn, avocado, and tomato salad, but if you know anything about me, you know I really can’t handle tomatoes. It’s a weird thing. But anyway, I had this salad a few times earlier this summer and it was AMAZING. Seriously. Even with the tomatoes. I’m such a sucker for a fresh summer salad. Probably because I’m very much a meat-on-the-side kinda gal. If you want to get technical, my dinner plate is usually full of green, sometimes orange, with some brown and maybe beige. So obviously there are times when I seriously think I will jump out a window if I see another piece of lettuce. That’s why I really try to supplement with veggie salads when I can. Then you don’t need any lettuce! You’ve already got that whole vegetable section of the food pyramid taken care of! Summer salads are one of those perfect dishes to bring to a pot luck or barbecue; if you bring this somewhere I can pretty much assure you that you won’t hear someone say “oh, avocados, I’m not eating that those week, too much fat” (I’ve encountered a version of this sentence many times. The thing that I’ve brought to the party is usually brownies). And if you’re really feeling adventurous you can add some chickpeas and couscous, and there you have a full meal/more filling side dish! Enjoy!

Salad (adapted from FoodNetwork.com)

– 5 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob

– 1 red pepper, chopped

– 1 avocado, chopped

– 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced

Dressing

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

– 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice

– 2 tsp dried cilantro

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine the vegetables in a bowl and gently toss. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad, gently stirring. Let sit for at least 15 minutes and then gently stir again. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

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Breakfasts

forty nine

Savory Brunch Plate

I love brunch. Sweet or savory, it’s my favorite meal of the day (regardless of whether I’m actually eating it at breakfast time or making pancake batter at 10 pm). I count down the days til I can go out for brunch (2 more to go, wooooOooOo) and I try not to spend a lot during the week so I can really dole out the cash come Sunday morning. One of my favorite things about brunch is the way everyone makes amazing tasting greens: kale, spinach, chard, broccoli, I am almost positive these brunch chefs are meeting in underground kitchens to create ways to make these kinda icky veggies taste INCREDIBLE. I want to know all their secrets. I would do unspeakable things to find out what they’re doing (even though the answer is probably just “butter” I’m still curious).

I decided to make my own little brunch plate, messing with greens as best as I could. I’d never had chard before! Tell me what you think? I’d love to know if anyone has their own special veggie brunch recipe to share..

Brunch Plate

– one or two eggs
– 1 bunch green chard (I used red and it was still too bitter for me, green is more like an intense spinach)
– 1 white onion, roughly chopped
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 2 tsp butter
– 2+ tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– large pieces of baguette
– pesto

Wash and dry the chard well. Cut out the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Melt the butter and oil in a pan, then add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions begin to caramelize. Add the lemon juice and chard, cook until it wilts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fry the eggs however you like (I’m a fan of over easy) and toast the baguette. Arrange everything on the plate with a big scoop of pesto. MmmmMmmMmmmM.

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