Do you ever feel like your days begin one way and end another?? Maybe like this –
I have worked like a crazy person around here to bring you all fabulous new things. I believe I have succeeded – and there are more on the horizon. A week from now we will have a new address to meet at (www.feedingbliss.com). It is a waiting game now while all of my data here gets moved there. I don’t know what is worse – moving years of blogging or changing your name with the banks… at this moment I think it’s dead even.
I’ve mentioned my shop before, but now there is a special tab on this webpage for you to browse through my goods, or you could just click here. You will find muffins, cookies, granola, and gift kits, and some beautiful eco-friendly tote bags.
Do you ever feel like a certain treat could say everything you can’t? Or maybe it just reaffirms something, a bond between two people? During this time of year it seems to be s’mores. Eaten over an open flame (or a sink if your stove is freshly cleaned). We needed that yesterday, that wordless conversation. We had used all our words. S’mores make you feel young and carefree and decadent. S’mores, to me, are an inside joke, something very special.
In our house, s’mores require a warm marshmallow (slightly crispy at the edges), melted chocolate and low-fat graham crackers. First, we load up the skewers with fluffy white clouds. Next, we place the chocolate on the cracker and microwave (if possible) for 20-30 seconds. We really like the chocolate to be melty while the marshmallow is crisp-gooey. The rest is easy assembly. Load that cracker sandwich with the marshmallow and squish.
A week or so ago I made our first attempt at ice cream and it was creamy and decadent. Shortly after our first bite, C asked if I could and when I would make Chunky Monkey ice cream. While I will eventually make it for him, albeit reduced-guilt, I couldn’t get the flavor combination out of my mind. Any morning that we are able to sleep in seems to require a special breakfast – waffles, pancakes, French toast, etc. As I have made more waffles than I care to count over the past month pancakes were the clear answer. I flipped through this book for inspiration on healthier breakfasts and made up one of my own. They are very easy to whip up and go down quickly, especially if dunked in warm buttery syrup…
Whisk up some whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt, Splenda, cinnamon, and oats in one bowl.
In another some egg substitute, vanilla extract, milk, water and mashed banana.
Follow the normal pattern – add wet to dry and combine.
Next add in the chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, and banana.
Portion them out in to 2-bite pancakes and cook them until crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.
Chunky Monkey Pancakes (4 points plus/5 pancakes)
- 3 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 packets Splenda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons fat-free egg substitute
- 2 tablespoons non-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 banana, half mashed and half diced
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, chopped
- 2 tablespoons walnut pieces, chopped
- Preheat skillet over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk mashed banana, water, milk, vanilla and egg substitute
- Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet – whisk until just combined.
- Gently fold in nuts and chocolate.
- Use a tablespoon (or tablespoon-sized scoop) to portion out batter. Cook approximately 3 minutes on each side – they will be slightly crisp on the outside and light on the inside.
- While pancakes are crisping warm syrup with a bit of butter (I use 2 tablespoons of syrup and 2 teaspoons of butter).
- These will not last. Nothing bite-sized ever does… I put them out on a platter and portioned out 5 for myself.
What recipes did you grow up with? Maybe it’s restaurant dishes or a certain treat that stands out. There are several for me and often those foods are associated with a specific time of year or a person. For example, apple cake or muffins are a must have in January – or any time I need something special for my dad. As Carver tells it he and his sister were virtually raised on recipes from this book. My mother-in-law sent it to us one year and I have gradually added recipes from it to our repertoire. I must admit I was fairly hesitant about the tuna recipe below – Carver has asked for it for months and I have shied away. The original recipe calls for canned tuna which is an absolute NO in my book, and I was unsure of the cream and tuna. It just seemed unappealing to me. Carver finally convinced me to make it for his mom’s birthday this year and it was perfect. It says, “You’re special,” but it isn’t showy or over-the-top. Another quirk about Carver and I is we have a different definition of Strawberry Shortcake. I am of the classic school while Carver associates the dish with angel food cake in place of the shortcake. For this dinner I decided we should stick with what Carver remembered and it turned out very well.
Ahi Tuna with Creamy Pasta
- 2/3 pound ahi tuna steak
- 5 ounces whole wheat pasta
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1 lemon – zested and juiced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Before straining reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
- Season tuna steak with salt and pepper. Preheat grill pan over high heat. Sear tuna for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate to rest.
- In a food processor, combine heavy cream, lemon and garlic. Pulse until cream thickens – it will look like sour cream and takes less than 2 minutes so be ready! Fold in capers and parsley.
- Add sauce to pasta and mix so pasta is coated with sauce. The cream sauce should be fairly liquid and easily incorporate with the pasta, if it doesn’t gradually add a bit of the reserved pasta water to the mix and stir until you get the desired consistency.
- Slice tuna and serve on top of pasta.
Carver’s Strawberry ‘Shortcake’
- 1 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 slices angel food cake, cubed
- Add half the sugar to strawberries, stir and set aside for at least 30 minutes. *macerate those strawberries*
- Before serving whip cream on high with a mixer until soft peaks form.
- Once you have soft peaks, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat again on high until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble the dessert: a spoonful of berries and sauce, a dollop of whipped cream, a handful of cake cubes, a spoonful of berries and sauce, and a dollop of whipped cream
Now that the wedding has come and gone we get to delve back into our to-do list. The fun one that has things like update recipes and make macaroons on it… Not the one riddled with obligatory tasks like making table numbers. We are looking forward to fun and to relaxing. After all isn’t that what being newlyweds is all about?? Anyways, over the past few years I have adjusted this recipe from the original I was taught and the original one I posted here. This is where we are today.
- 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
- 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 small Granny Smith apples, cored and diced into 1/4″ pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin trays with papers and spray papers with nonstick spray.
- In a medium-sized bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Cream together butter, sugar, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract mixing until light, airy and well-combined
- Add dry ingredients to wet in thirds and mix at a gradual speed – you don’t want to over-mix or make a mess. Mix the first two thirds then wait.
- Add the diced apples to the remaining flour and stir to evenly coat the apples; add to muffin batter and fold to incorporate.
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
- If you are making mini-muffins, cook them for 18 minutes rotating halfway through. For larger muffins you will need 25 minutes, again rotate the pan halfway through cook time.
- Let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.
- These guys are delicious with yogurt, coffee, or by themselves.
Saturday I had this great idea to make these mini pizzas. It didn’t work the way I wanted and was totally discouraged. I’m going to share what I did anyways, just to show you dinner doesn’t always have to follow your plan for it to be balanced and delicious.
Here’s where I went wrong: I didn’t look up the recipe. Because I didn’t look it up, my measurements were off. I used 2 pounds of dough, with the intention of freezing at least half of my yield for the week after the wedding. I knew I wouldn’t be up for cooking the first couple days we were home – actually I probably won’t be up for grocery shopping, the cooking is easy. I have the hardest time with pizza dough. I canNOT get it to stretch out and form a nice thin crust. Never have been. I have found ways to make it work like par baking the crust so it doesn’t rise so much and won’t be gooey after we add toppings. So Saturday I knew the general idea of the recipe, put dough in muffin pans, top with goodies and bake. But my normal issue arose and I couldn’t get them flat. So I decided to just cut up the dough in 14 standard muffins and 10 mini muffins. I poked them with a fork so they wouldn’t puff too much and baked them for 10 minutes at 350. Meanwhile I chopped up some turkey meatballs. When the muffins were nearly finished (still a little doughy in the middle) I put them on a rack to cool.
Then a few hours later when it was time for dinner I preheat the oven to 350 and sliced the pizza dough muffins in half like a hamburger. Next was the assembly line. The muffin halves were lined up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Each half got a dollop of tomato sauce, a sprinkling of meatball and then fresh grated parmesan and pecorino. They went back in the oven for 10 minutes until crispy and warmed through. We served it with a large salad. Not as intended, but still delicious.
We have the muffins left over and so when I am ready to use again I will defrost the night before then when it’s time for dinner I can get these guys ready in about 15 minutes.