Friday, September 4, 2015

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread Waffles

I know that everybody's life is busy, but sometimes I just don't know how I do it. And yet, I always find time to do even more than I thought possible. A typical day in my life looks like a 6:00am alarm, throw on a quick layer of mascara, grab a hard-boiled egg from the fridge, and out the door by 6:30am. Leave work by 4pm, then head to the gym and home to catch up on homework (working on my human resources certificate). Somehow I find one last burst of energy to make dinner, photograph it, and blog every night. Kudos to all you parents out there, who do all of this and more!! While I am a creature of habit, sometimes it is nice to just do nothing, have a nice breakfast, fresh ground coffee, and lounge with my fiance and some Netflix. Last weekend I got the chance to do just that, with these waffles (I originally wrote pancakes instead, whoops). All the traditional flavors of chocolate zucchini bread, but in crispy waffle form. While there is not much sugar in this recipe, they taste perfectly sweet and they are full of healthy ingredients like eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, and the star of the show, zucchini!

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread Waffles

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (1 medium squash), excess liquid squeezed out
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • butter & syrup for serving

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs until smooth. Add the eggs to the dry ingredients as well as the milk, coconut oil, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Heat up your waffle maker, spray with non-stick cooking spray (if needed) and add 1/2 cup batter to the hot surface. Cook in batches until all batter has been used.

Serve crispy warm waffles with butter and syrup.

Freeze any leftover waffles and heat up in the toaster to enjoy at a later date. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blackened Ahi Tuna Sliders with Wasabi Aioli

Okay, so I am totally behind the times, but we just started watching "Sons of Anarchy" on Netflix, and all hail the great land of TV production, is that show good, or what? No spoilers please, I'm only on the 2nd season, but we have been binge watching like 3 to 4 episodes a night before bed. Or half of a season on Sunday morning, whoops! I think my dreams have been taken over by biker gang plots, and I'm cool with it. But that's besides the point. The point today is to introduce you to these blackened tuna sliders. It's basic common knowledge that anything you put on a hawaiian roll is going to be delicious. But add some smoky, spicy blackening seasoning, and forget about it! 

Blackened Ahi Tuna Sliders with Wasabi Aioli

  • 1 lb. sushi grade ahi tuna, cut into 2-inch steaks
  •  1/2 cup gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne or ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. high heat oil such as avocado oil
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 5 slider buns (I used King's Hawaiian rolls)
Wasabi Aioli
  • 2 tbsp. wasabi paste
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp. mayo
  • 1/2 lime, juiced 
In a food processor, blend the wasabi paste, avocado, mayo, and lime juice until well incorporated and smooth. Place into the fridge until ready to serve.

Place the tuna into a shallow dish and pour the tamari over the top. Place into the fridge and allow to marinate for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the blackening seasoning by whisking together the paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, thyme, and oregano together in a shallow dish.

Once the tuna has marinated, remove from the fridge and coat all sides of the tuna steaks in the blackening seasoning. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.

Once the oil is hot, cook the tuna steaks for 30 seconds on each side (for rare, longer if necessary), then promptly remove from the heat as not to overcook them.

To serve, spread the wasabi aioli onto the bottoms of the slider buns. Top with the tuna steaks, then cucumber slices and avocado.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Blueberry Mint Mojito Ice Cream

I'm kind of at a loss for words today. I know, my fiance is appalled right now. But I have started, deleted, and re-started today's post 3 times now. I just don't know what to say. Like I said, speechless. But what I do know is how absolutely crave-able this ice cream is. Creamy. Sweet. Minty. All the perfect descriptions of a delicious mojito on a warm summer day. But in ice cream form. Can we all just go to the beach together? But like, skip the bikinis and sunscreen and just sit under a tiki hut eating this all day? All aboard!

Blueberry Mint Mojito Ice Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp. rum or vodka (optional)

In a medium saucepan, heat the blueberries, sugar, and salt over medium heat, mashing with a fork or potato masher once the blueberries begin to soften and burst. Bring to a low boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove form the heat and allow the mixture to cool for at least 30 minutes. 

Once the blueberries have cooled, add them to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl, stirring to get all of the liquid through the mesh, and discarding the leftover skins and seeds (I used the skin and seeds on toast; makes an amazingly thick jam!). Stir in the lime juice and set the bowl aside.

While the strained blueberries continue to cool, heat 1 cup of the heavy cream, the milk, and the mint leaves over medium heat in a medium saucepan (I rinsed and used the same one that I previously used for my blueberries). Once the mixture begins to come to a simmer, stir the mixture, remove from the heat, cover, and allow the mint leaves to steep for 1 hour. 

While the mint cream is steeping, add the remaining 1 cup of cream to the cooling blueberries. Mix well to combine. Once the mint has steeped for 1 hour, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve (again I washed and used the same one from earlier) into a medium bowl, allowing the cream to pass through and catching the mint in the sieve. Press firmly down on the mint leaves to allow them to extract all of the mint flavor into the cream mixture. Discard the mint leaves. 

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. 

Return the cream to the medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once the cream mixture has heated up again, slowly whisk 1/2 cup of the warm cream into the egg yolks, This allows the egg yolks to "temper", which prevents them from curdling or turning into scrambled eggs in your ice cream base. Return the tempered egg yolks into the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Stir constantly until the cream/egg mixture thickens and coats the back of your spoon or spatula. 

Place the fine mesh sieve (cleaned after discarding the mint leaves) over the blueberry mixture bowl, and pour the cream/egg mixture through the mesh and into the blueberry bowl. Clean the fine mesh sieve once more. Stir the cream and blueberries well until combined. Pour the mixture through the sieve once more into a clean bowl and discard any blueberry/milk solids. Now stir in the rum or vodka if using (this will make for a softer/creamier final ice cream product). 

Cover the bowl with non-stick cling wrap and place the bowl of the ice cream base into the fridge for 8 hours until cooled completely.

Recipe slightly adapted from Treats + Eats

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Favorite Beauty Buys

Hello, and welcome to my favorite beauty products edition of Hot Dog it's a Food Blog. Don't worry, I will be back tomorrow with an incredible ice cream recipe, but today as my "Tuesday Tip", I wanted to share with you what you can find in my make-up bag. I get asked a lot about what products I use, so I thought this could be a fun way to let you see another side of me! Here goes:

This lip scrub from LUSH is to die. And it tastes like bubblegum. The 12 year old in me screams with joy every time I use it. Leaves your lips kissably smooth without damaging them.

This lip tint, also from LUSH, was an impulse purchase, but it has been my go-to lip color every day for the past month. It's just enough color that you don't look caked on for work, but also flirty enough for the weekend.

This brow drama gel form Maybelline has been a lifesaver while I am trying to fill out my eyebrows (I was overzealous with the tweezers as a teen). After I line my brows in the morning, this tinted gel holds them in place and keeps my brown brows, well, brown and not shiny in the least.

Gone are the days of using namebrand toothpaste full of chemicals and little plastic beads. We are a household of charcoal toothpaste users, this brand in particular. We don't wake up with bad breath or filmy teeth anymore, and after just 1 tube, our teeth are noticeably whiter. And if you think this is a bunch of bull, I have even had a dentist appointment since I switched, and they applauded my teeth.

Let's talk nails for a second. I am a little bit of a cheapskate when it comes to beauty upkeep (i.e. I went 2 years without a haircut, because my roommate used to cut it for free, then moved to TX, and I just couldn't bring myself to pay $60 to get it cut, because blog/grocery budget trumps hair budget. But hey, it grew like 8 inches over that period of time). So you can understand when I tell you that I rarely ever get manicures. But don't misunderstand me, my nails are always groomed. Because I do them myself! I have been using the same topcoat for years and I swear by it. It is fast drying, thick, and doesn't chip easily, especially important because I type on a keyboard all day long, cook, and wash dishes multiple times a day!

Lastly, I am a snob when it comes to trial-sized beauty products. I have subscriptions to both ipsy and Birchbox. I look forward to my monthly delivers, and you can't beat the $10/month price. You can sing up for ipsy with this link to start receiving your custom glam bag (their beauty quiz allows for a personalized beauty experience, and you can change it as many times as you want). Ipsy comes with an additional makeup bag each month filled with the products, while Birchbox comes in a tissue wrap-filled box, and you sometimes even score a full-sized version of a product.

So what are some of your favorite beauty buys? Tell, tell tell!!

This post was not sponsored, all opinions and purchases are my own. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

HDFB Weekend Photo Bomb

This weekend was spent celebrating my mom's belated birthday with Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician and watching late night re-runs of "New Girl". Also, anybody else as obsessed with the new Macklemore/Ryan Lewis hit "Downtown" as much as I am? It basically inspired us to head to downtown Phoenix this weekend for an impromptu adventure of pizza and cocktails. As if that wasn't enough indulgence we headed out for donuts on Sunday morning from local shop Born & Glazed. This mass amounts of photos proves what a fun weekend we had.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sweet Potato Noodles with Corn, Black Beans & Chipotle Crema

I have a new obsession. My spiralizer. I will admit that I almost accepted defeat with it the first couple of times I tried to use it (cucumber bits EVERYWHERE), but once I got the hang of it I fell in looooooove. There's no way that vegetable noodles will ever be able to replace classic pasta noodles in my mind, but I love the flexibility and the numerous options that my spiralizer gives me. Especially since I plan on looking svelte in my wedding dres,s and pasta and cheese don't really go hand in hand with that plan. I got this recipe from the Inspiralized website, which features more recipe ideas than I could ever imagine, making eating your veggies ridiculously easy, and delicious to boot!

Sweet Potato Noodles with Corn, Black Beans, and Chipotle Crema
Serves 4

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, separated
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1-2 tbsp. mayo or sour cream
  • 2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your grill over medium-high heat. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and grill on all sides, until slightly charred. Remove from the grill, cut the kernels from the cobb and toss the cooked kernels with the black beans, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside. 

Meanwhile, run the sweet potatoes, 1 at a time, through your vegetable spiralizer. Heat the remaining tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the sweet potato noodles and toss with the garlic and oil, cooking the noodles for 8-10 minutes, until softened.

To make the chipotle crema, blend the avocado, chipotle, mayo/sour cream, and 1 juiced lime in a food processor until smooth.

To plate, add the noodles to 4 shallow bowls or plates. Top with the  black bean/corn mixture, then drizzle the chipotle crema over the top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced jalapenos. Serve with lime quarters.

This recipe post was not sponsored, all opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese

You guys. Can we just talk about how it was 84 degrees in Phoenix this week? I know that there is still plenty of Arizona summer left to be had, but it was a nice change of pace to not see triple digits, and get to see some rain and cooler temperatures for a day or two. The second the weather drops I start craving all the things pumpkin, and fall, and cozy. Sometimes we even crank down the air in the house so we can wear blankets and sweatshirts on the couch (we're really normal, I promise). Today's BBQ chicken version of mac and cheese just screams comfort, with all the smokiness from the BBQ  sauce, and the creamy sauce. Plus, I have to let you in on a little secret. I am not one for leftovers. Like, I don't even own a microwave. I like my food best when it's freshly prepared. But, we had a little bit of this leftover, and I ate it. Cold. Out of the fridge. And I loved it. I don't even know myself anymore.

BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese

  • 12 oz. pasta noodles, cooked according to box directions
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded chicken 
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
In a a medium pot, bring the broth to a simmer, then add in the cream cheese. Whisk until the cream cheese melts into the broth and becomes smooth. Season with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Continue to whisk and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add in the chicken and BBQ sauce to the sauce. Add the cooked noodles to the BBQ chicken cheese sauce and toss until the noodles are covered. Serve in bowls and top with fresh cilantro.


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