Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here it is. My obligatory pumpkin muffin recipe. I know it's the "basic" thing to make this fall, but the reason everyone is talking about pumpkin so much is because it is so damn delicious. I am currently making my way to Boston as we speak, and I can't wait to take in all the autumn-y things like crispy color changing leaves,  fall decor, and to pull out my boots and sweaters that I have been frantically shopping for since I own nothing of the sort. Then tomorrow we are traveling up to Portland, Maine to watch one of Andrew's good friend get married. I plan on packing in as much "fall" as I can in these short 4 days, and if I come across any pumpkin muffins, you better believe I'll be ordering 1 (or 2).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare 2 muffin tins with liners or non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, banana, and oil.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

In small batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing well between each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chocolate Bacon Breakfast Scones

Because it's the middle of the week, and because I love you all, I present to you the scone of all scones. Dessert for breakfast, practically. As long as you don't burn them (I learned the hard way, but Andrew still picked off the non-burnt pieces and ate them), these are quite the man pleaser. Bacon. Chocolate. Maple Glaze. What more could you want? Tomorrow we are making our way to the east coast, and I have basically planned out trip around food stops that I just have to visit (I'm coming for you Holy Donut!), but until then these will do just fine. 

Chocolate Bacon Breakfast Scones

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, chopped into chunks
  •  1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 slices thick bacon
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 large eggs, separated
Maple Glaze
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the bacon by topping the bacon with cinnamon, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Bake on a tin foil lined baking sheet until browned and crisp, about 14-17 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before chopping into small pieces.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add in the butter, cream, and 1 egg. Using a fork or pastry cutter, mix until the dough just comes together. Add in the bacon pieces and chocolate chunks. 

Cover your work surface in the excess flour, roll out the dough onto the counter and pat the dough into a 6-inch round. Cut into 6 even wedges and place them onto a non-stick baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each scone. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, and brush the tops of the scones with the whisked egg. 

Bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes until golden. Watch carefully, for they can burn (lesson learned the hard way). Transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Meanwhile, whisk together the maple glaze ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over the scones. Serve once cooled. 

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. But I highly doubt they will make it that long.

Recipe adapted from Bacon Today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Proper Food Storage

 You know those times when you spend half of your week's earnings at the grocery store "stocking up for the week", only to get home, put everything away, and 2 days later your produce has already gone bad? Well I'm here to share some tips on how to properly store your food so that you can get maximum usage and life out of all of your precious goodies! Don't forget to wash and dry them really well before putting them away.

Apples: unwrapped in the fridge drawer; up to 3 weeks
Avocado (whole): refrigerator shelf: 4 days once ripe
Banana: counter top: 3 days once ripe
Berries: in plastic container: refrigerator drawer: 3-4 days
Citrus: refrigerator shelf: 2 weeks
Grapes: colander bowl: 1-2 weeks
Melon (whole): counter top: 5 days
Melon (cut or halved): wrapped in plastic: refrigerator shelf: 7-10 days
Peach/Plum: refrigerator shelf: 5 days
Pear: counter top: 4 days
Tomatoes: in plastic container: counter top: 5 days

Asparagus: refrigerator shelf: in unsealed plastic bag: 4 days
Bell Pepper: plastic bag: refrigerator shelf: 1 week
Broccoli: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in plastic: 5 days
Cabbage: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in plastic: 2 weeks
Carrots: refrigerator drawer: plastic bag: 3 weeks
Cauliflower: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in plastic: 5 days
Celery: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in tinfoil: 2 weeks
Cucumber: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in plastic: 1 week
Garlic: dark area: unwrapped: 1-2 months
Lettuce: refrigerator drawer: plastic bag with paper towel: 5 days
Onion: dark pantry: unwrapped: 2 months
Onion (halved): plastic bag: refrigerator drawer: 5 days
Potatoes: dark pantry: paper bag: 1-2 months
Summer Squash: plastic bag: refrigerator shelf: 5 days
Winter Squash: dark pantry: unwrapped: 1 month

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baked Berry Oatmeal with Browned Butter

It's been a couple of weeks, but I am back with another recipe from Seriously Delish. I have been making my way through this cook book as quickly as I can, but sometime life gets in the way, and baking my way through my favorite cookbook isn't paying the bills (yet, anyways). This weekend the boyfriend and I went hiking on Camelback mountain, which a just a quick 5 minute drive form our house, and broke in our new hiking boots. Gotta get 'em ready for our trip to Hawaii this December. 

Once we got home we were famished, and in just 25 minutes we were in absolute breakfast bliss! It was so good we may or may not have made it again on Sunday for breakfast. Not mad about it. You could really make this breakfast to your own liking, using whatever fruits/berries are in season. I've got my eyes (and stomach) set on a cranberry orange version next!

Baked Berry Oatmeal with Browned Butter

  • 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 1/3 cup blackberries
  • 2 tbsp. browned butter*, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a small baking dish (serves 2-4 people) with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a small medium bowl whisk together the oats, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. 

In a small bowl whisk together the milk, oil, melted butter, vanilla, and egg. Add into the oat mixture and stir until the oats are coated with the wet ingredients. Gently fold in the berries. 

Pour the mixture into your baking dish and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove form the oven and allow to rest for 2 minutes or so (you don't wanna burn the roof of your mouth!). Drizzle with the browned butter and serve warm.

*How to brown butter: place butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt; whisking frequently. The butter will foam up and then begin to settle. Watch closely, as once the foam settles, small brown flecks will begin to appear at the bottom of the pan. Once the butter takes on a nutty aroma, remove from the heat to stop it from burning. Set aside in a small bowl until ready to use. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Autumn Harvest Cobb Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I'm clearly on an autumn kick here lately. Two blog posts about it in one week is really saying something. But I just can't help it. We don't really have seasons here in AZ other than hot and hotter, so I like to take advantage of this brief period where the weather can't seem to make up it's mind. This weekend the farmer's markets are back up and running, Andrew and I got new hiking boots to break in, and we plan on working on some landscape renovations ourselves in the backyard. What are your plans for this gorgeous autumn weekend?!

Autumn Harvest Cobb Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1 pear, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green apple, seeded and chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 3 cups mixed greens, chopped (I used a mix of spinach and romaine)
Poppy Seed Dressing
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
To make the dressing, simply whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To make salad, place the greens down on a large plate or bowl. Top with rows of the pear, apple, egg, bacon, cranberries, pecans, and goat cheese.

Top with the poppy seed dressing and serve cold.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bacon Pancake Dippers

What's better than pancakes? Bacon IN your pancakes! We recently served these at our housewarming party brunch, and to say these were a hit is an understatement. But we made so many more than we throught, so when we woke up Sunday morning from a housewarming party/pumpkin porter/mimosa slumber, we were super pumped to find a bag of leftovers waiting for us in the fridge. Popped a few in the toaster, smothered them in syrup and it was heaven. These are extremely versatile for all food allergies, so feel free to make the pancakes gluten/dairy/lactose free, use paleo friendly ingredients, etc. 

Bacon Pancake Dippers
Makes 12

  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and then halved
  • 1 batch pancake mix
  • maple syrup for serving
Preheat large skillet or griddle and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place a few bacon halves down, then carefully pour the pancake batter along the bacon, covering completely in the batter. Continue covering all of the bacon halves in batter. Wait for small air bubbles to form around the corners of the bacon pancakes before flipping them onto the other side. Continue to cook until golden brown. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin & Roasted Pear Soup with Goat Cheese

After buying out what seemed like the entire Costco grocery section for our housewarming party last weekend, we have leftovers galore. Yogurt, bacon, pancakes, waffles, juice, fruit, you name it, it's in a zip lock bag or tupperware in our fridge. With that being said, I have had to get quite crafty with dinner so that we can use up what we've got before heading out on yet another grocery store run. This recipe is the perfect case in point. Leftover pears, ginger, and goat cheese paired perfectly with the can of organic pumpkin puree in my pantry, and I served the soup alongside some crispy jalapeno jack grilled cheese sandwiches. The soup is actually very light in flavor, which pairs perfectly with the rich goat cheese. Eating this made leftovers the very last thing on my mind! Plus we received these adorable soup bowls from my old roommate and her boyfriend as a housewarming gift, and just had to break them in right away!

Pumpkin & Roasted Pear Soup with Goat Cheese

  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 ripe pears, stemmed and cored then chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2-inch knob of ginger, finely minced
  • 1 L chicken or vegetable stock
  • crumbled goat cheese for garnish
Heat 1 tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet and add in the chopped pears. Cook for 5-7 minutes until they are softened. Place cooked pears aside in a bowl. In the same skillet, heat up the other tbsp. of butter and add in the onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook another 5-7 minutes until softened. Add in the minced ginger and stir, cooking for another minute. Add the cooked pears, onions, and ginger to a large soup pot. Add in the pumpkin puree and add the chicken broth until the mixture is just covered. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Use and immersion blender, or blend in batched in a standard blender, and whirl until smooth. Serve hot with crumbled goat cheese and some freshly cracked black pepper on top.

design + created by | 2014