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Super Bowl XLVI (aka Tom Brady Bowl) Guacamole & Baked Sweet Potato Fries

5 Feb


NOoooooOoooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I think by now you can tell I’m a bit of a New England Patriots/Tom Brady fan, and by a “bit” of a fan, I mean I could care less about the team and feel like my heart is breaking right along with Tom’s.

I was so hopeful that history wouldn’t repeat itself and I wouldn’t end up once again typing on my computer as it short-circuits from the tears streaming from my eyes as I try to muster a congratulatory smirk in the general direction of all the Giants fans out there.  Hey, I never said I was a GOOD sport, per say…;p

Anyway, the one good thing that came out of the Super Bowl, and I mean aside from getting to stare at Tom Brady for several hours in tight, butt-hugging spandex, was the food!  I had some pretty awesome snacks lined up, and although they did nothing for the Patriots, at least I got to drown my anxiety in yummy treats like guacamole dip and baked sweet potato fries.  I know what you’re thinking, but game day snacks can be both delicious AND healthy, and you’ll never convince me that they have to be one or the other!  I know what you’re thinking again, and you’re about to throw this post in my face and say game day is over and you can’t use any of these recipes during the Super Bowl…but I assure you, you can eat this dip and these fries any dang time you want!  And also, there will be other games, duh!

Fresh Guacamole

Bursting with flavor and healthy ingredients, this guac is as perfect with veggies or crackers as it is with traditional tortilla chips!  I’m pretty heavy-handed with the garlic and lime juice because I love the bold flavors, but feel free to amp it up even more or tone it down if you prefer.

Ingredients:

* 3 avocados
* 1/4 cup salsa, or fresh-chopped tomato and jalapeno
* 1/8 finely chopped onion
* 2 cloves finely minced garlic
* 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
* Juice from 1/4 of a lime
* Salt & pepper to taste
* Pinch of cumin

Directions:

Scoop out the “meat” of the avocado and mash into a bowl with a fork. Add in the salsa or fresh tomato and jalapeno, and onion. Stir in the garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin.

That’s it – simple! Enjoy with chips, crackers, veggies, whatever your little heart desires!

And now, on to the spuds!

 Martha Stewart’s Baked Sweet Potato Fries

These are slightly adapted from the baked fries on the Martha Stewart website here!  They’re more like a thick-cut steak fry than a thin, flimsy fry, in that they’re hunkier and  don’t get crispy all the way through.  Trust me, I don’t usually like fries, and won’t touch a regular potato “Jo-Jo”…and I think these are super delish!

Ingredients:

* 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ sections
* 3 egg whites
* salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, & basil to taste (I used Italian seasoning)

Directions:

Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Lay out cut sweet potatoes on a microwave safe plate, and microwave for 2 minutes. Flip and microwave another 2 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing the egg whites.

Separate 3 egg whites into a bowl and whisk until frothy. Once cool to the touch, dip each fry into the egg whites and allow to drain before arranging on lined pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the fries. Bake another 10-15 minutes. Test for fork-tenderness, and crispiness, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool before enjoying!

True, they’re not the most photogenic little fries around, but they sure are DELICIOUS!  They get the job done and are super healthy!

 

I snapped a few pics of the most important part of this whole Super Bowl thing.  Look at the concentration, the determination, the anxiety?! :

And of course for dessert, I suggest Tom Brady Martha Stewart’s coconut cupcakes & my awesome coconut buttercream frosting!!

Congratulations or whatever, I guess, New York Giants!…I still love you, Tom Brady!

Mini Banana Bread Loaves: Two Ways

8 Jul

I should know better by now than to buy 6 bananas at a time. I go through banana phases where I can’t get enough, eating several a day, to crinkling my lip and giving an unequivocally lack-luster sigh at the thought of them just a week or two later. I blame marketing.

Have you ever noticed how much better an arrangement of 5 or 6 bananas looks in a bunch than say 2? Or even 4? And don’t even get me started on how pretty that nice, symmetrically large, bright yellow bundle looks sitting happily in the kitchen.

Now that I think about it, it’s an awful lot like having fresh flowers in a vase that look amazing for about a week then start tapering off until they have to be tossed and replaced. And then guilt sets in because they died just for my viewing pleasure. I don’t do many flowers, but I like to decorate with bouquets of bananas, I guess?

No banana casualties on my watch this time (until next week, most likely). Brown bananas, meet melted butter. And then meet some coconut and some peanut butter, and probably chocolate, too? Yes, chocolate.

Even if I can’t bear the thought of choking down a banana plain (depending on where I am in any particular banana phase), banana bread is always appealing. I have a feeling it might have something to do with the fact that it’s like banana wrapped in butter and brown sugary sweetness. Maybe.

Just to kick it up a notch, and cuten up the whole situation, I made mini-loaves! Obviously. Not only that, but I went and made it all kinds of more complicated than it really had to be by dividing up the batter and giving the flavors their own little loaves.

One banana & coconut. The other banana peanut butter Reese’s Cup. Worth it? Totally.

Banana Bread Two Ways : Coconut & Peanut Butter w/Reese’s Cups
(Ideally makes 4 mini loaves)

Ingredients:
* 12 Tbsp (6 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup coconut yogurt
* 1/4 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
* 2 eggs
* 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup unsweetened or sweetened shredded coconut
* 1/4 cup roughly chopped mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups + 2 whole for the top (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease or line 4 mini loaf pans.
Add melted butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together. Add the banana, vanilla, and 2 eggs, mixing between each.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until combined.
Divide the batter in half, placing one half in a separate mixing bowl.
To one half, stir in the coconut yogurt and shredded coconut.
To the other half, stir in the peanut butter and chopped Reese’s Cups.
Pour the banana coconut batter into two of the loaf pans, filling 1/2 to 3/4 full, depending on the exact size of your mini pans.
Do the same with the banana peanut butter batter. Push a mini Reese’s Cup into the top center of each pb loaf, if desired.

I ended up with slightly more than 1/2 of the batter being peanut butter, so I got 2 nice loaves out of it, and 1 and a puney loaf out of the coconut batter. It happens =)

Bake for about 50 minutes.
I sprinkled a little bit more shredded coconut on top of the coconut loaves about 10 minutes before they were done, just because. It looks nice. I highly recommend it!

This recipe would be great for muffins, too, I think! Just decrease the baking time a little and keep an eye on them!

I realize the actual bread portion of this picture looks a little blurry while the main focus seems to be on the beer. Uhh…NOT intentional, I promise! Although…
There’s a crazy rumor going around that Amber Ale compliments the banana bread well. Or the other way around. I can neither confirm nor deny!

Gluten Free Bizcocho con Chocolate

30 May

I really need a food scale, I’ll tell you what.  I had to do wayyyy more math today than I ever thought I’d have to again after having finished calculus.  And now my head hurts. 

See, it’s not that the metric system is annoying in baking; in fact, if I could have weighed out all of my ingredients, it would actually have been much more accurate!  I’ve learned from Alton Brown that this is true in general: it’s something you don’t normally think about, but different flours, sugars, and various other ingredients differ so much in their density, mass, and volume that a cup of one flour might be very different from a cup of another type of flour…and totally throw off your recipe! 

Luckily, along with the stoichiometric skills I learned in none other than chemistry class, this recipe seemed to be very forgiving and turned out great, regardless!

Now that I’ve got that discussion out of the way, can we talk delicious chocolate and cinnamon cake?  I thought you might like that.  I found this recipe over on my new friend, Nuria’s blog, and instantly knew I had to make it!

Actually, to be honest, I instantly fell in love with every recipe, dessert or not, that I laid eyes on- and that doesn’t happen often since I tend to naturally gravitate towards all things sweet, if you know what I mean! Her photos are so vibrant, colorful, and yummy-looking, I just can’t help myself! Not to mention, Nuria is one of the sweetest people I have met in the blogging world thus far!

I adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I had on hand, and to make it gluten and dairy free (not vegan, though, I’m afraid- I have to draw the line somewhere!)  It’s so delicious and perfectly chocolatey and cinnamony!   My version definitely turned out more like a dense quick bread than a cake or even a sponge cake, which I think is the English translation of “Bizcocho”…please forgive me if I’m a little off, I know maybe 2 words of Spanish! 🙂 

In any case, I’m just guessing here, but I think it would be great for dessert, breakfast, a snack, or maybe all of the above…I won’t tell!  Just make sure you enjoy it with a creamy cup of dark-roast coffee or maybe some chai tea.  You will thank me!

You can find the original recipe for Bizcocho Con Chocolate here

Bizcocho con Chocolate (gluten free, dairy free)

Ingredients:

* 1 cup Bob’s Redmill sorghum flour
* 1/2 cup white rice flour
* 1/4 cup Bob’s Redmill millet flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
* 4 oz. individual serving of applesauce + Earth Balance spread to make just shy of 3/4 cup
* 3 eggs
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
* 1 Tbsp cinnamon
* 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
* 2 Tbsp coffee liquor
* 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Cream together the Earth Balance, applesauce, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, mixing between each addition.
Sift together the flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a separate bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry until combined. Divide the batter in half. To one half, add the cocoa powder, coffee liquor, and half of the chocolate chips. To the other half, add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, and the rest of the chocolate chips.
Spray or line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in the cinnamon batter. Pour the chocolate batter on top of the cinnamon batter, and swirl the two together slightly with a knife.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. My oven runs VERY hot, so I ended up overcooking mine a little (oops!) just make sure you check it at the 30 minute mark and keep an eye on it. Generally, gluten free flour breads require less cooking time, but make sure a toothpick comes out clean when you test it.


Muy delicioso! (I hope I just said “Very delicious!” and not something really inappropriate!) 😀