Cake Batter Blondies

November 20, 2011 § 25 Comments

This past weekend I had a taste of Summer. :-)

No, New Jersey didn’t get hit with a giant heat wave. Nor did I go away on an exotic vacation. Nope. I simply had a four-day weekend thanks to a random teacher’s convention which took me back to the action-packed yet unstructured days of Summer.

I went to see Breaking Dawn the night it came out. Awesome movie, by the way. And I’m not even a Twilight fan!

I went shopping with the family and afterwards we went to my favorite diner of all time. I ordered chicken croquettes. Love. Those. Things!

I went running first thing in the morning. I got a great workout in and got to admire all the colorful fall leaves…score!

I wrote two papers for school. It was torturous but at least I got them over with.

I wasted two hours watching Fred Claus in my pajamas…and loved every minute of it!

And, of course, what would the weekend be without a little bit of baking? ;-)

Friday night I hit the kitchen with my little brother, Phil,  and whipped up a quick batch of Cake Batter Blondies a la Gracie

  

Phil was in charge of the frosting and sprinkles, I was in charge of mixing up the batter, cutting into squares, and taking pictures, and Mom and Dad were in change of dishes. It was a family affair! And although the jobs were split amongst everyone, the decision was unanimous: these are golden!

What a sweet weekend! :-D 

What did YOU do this weekend?

 

Red Velvet Pancakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

May 29, 2011 § 61 Comments

So, I think I’m becoming obsessed with pancakes. And red food coloring. And frosting. Does anyone else have the same problem? :-P

Ever since I ate those Cake Batter Pancakes last weekend I’ve been toying with the idea of Red Velvet Pancakes. They had everything I was craving at the moment! The only problem was that I couldn’t find a recipe that I really liked. They all either seemed to chocolate-y or had too many ingredients I didn’t have on hand. So, what’s a girl to do? Make a recipe up herself, obviously!

The task seemed easy enough considering the trademark Red Velvet flavor is simply a combination of cocoa powder and vanilla extract with the addition of red food coloring. It seemed so easy to do that I didn’t even bother planning the recipe out like I usually would with my original recipes. I just got right to work measuring out the ingredients and experimenting with the ratios. There was also copious amounts of batter consumed but what else is to be expected when you are making anything Red Velvet flavored? 

After a very short amount of recipe development the pancakes were cooked, plated, drizzled with Cream Cheese Frosting, and ready to eat. My brother, Phil, had the honor of tasting them for the first time with me. The verdict? Success! :-D

Red Velvet Pancakes

“Red Velvet Cake and frosting for breakfast? Why not?!” ;-)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½  cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring

Directions:

  1. Wisk all dry ingredients (flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt) until well-combined.
  2. Stir in buttermilk, eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and food coloring and mix until a smooth batter forms. Do NOT overmix!
  3. Let batter sit for 10-15 minutes. This allows the baking powder to “activate” and results in fluffier pancakes. Heat a griddle or large pan over medium heat and coat with nonstick spray or butter. Pour batter onto the pan (about ¼ cup worth) and cook for 90 seconds on each side or until pancakes are cooked through. Repeat until all batter is gone. Serve.

Yield: 4 servings (2 medium pancakes each)

Delicious. That’s the only word I could use to describe these pancakes. They were just so delicious and way better than I had expected!

Unfortunately for me, the short amount of time that it took to make these pancakes was doubled for the amount of time it took for me to clean up. You see, sometime between when I was photographing the pancakes and when I was eating them, the bottle of red food coloring tipped over and spilled all over my light-colored countertop. Eek! Fortunately, after much scrubbing the stain did come out, but the process was not fun at all.

The moral of the story? Make these pancakes but when you do make sure you cap your bottle of red food coloring!

Enjoy! :-D

A Life-Changing Vegan Lunch

April 20, 2011 § 42 Comments

There has been a slight change of plans in my posting schedule this week. Originally I was planning on posting the recipe for my homemade Spinach Artichoke Hummus today, but yesterday I ate something that was truly amazing and I wanted to share it with all of you. It is life-changing! :-D

Yesterday started out as any average day would. I woke up, showered, had breakfast, tried to clean my room. Again.  Around noon my stomach started to grumble. My body was indicating that it was, indeed, lunch time. Instead of just whipping up an old-standby I was feeling rather adventurous so I turned to Blog World for help. After a quick scroll through the bookmarked “Recipes” tab on my computer I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta.

Doesn’t that just scream Springtime to you?

Avocado.  Lemon.  Garlic.  Basil.  Pasta.  This is what dreams are made of. ;-)

Although it looks rather fancy and intimidating, this dish was easy to prepare and can be done in a snap! I guess that’s why they call it 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta. It only takes 15 minutes to make, if not less!

Ease of preparation isn’t the best part of this recipe though. Oh no. It is most definitely the taste and texture. Just look at that vegan ‘cream’ sauce. It was so creamy and delicious. Who needs alfredo?! :-P

Since the recipe states it makes 2 servings I figured I would be a nice sister and share some with my 10-year old brother, Phil. You’d think a kid his age would hate something like this. Nope. Phil loved it and so did I! Each ingredient provided a unique flavor and they all came together in perfect harmony. I garnished the top of the pasta with lemon zest and the citrus-y flavor was phenomenal against the mild taste of the avocado. Once I had eaten my the last bite I knew that I would be making this dish again soon.

That being said, if you ever find yourself trying to impress someone with a healthy vegan dish, this 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta is the dish for you!

I liked it so much that I got Phil to take a picture of me with it on the front lawn. I’m sure the people walking by loved seeing that. ;-)

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