Saturday, May 18, 2024

Chocolate Chiffon Pie


This recipe is from the blog Gift of Hospitality. It has a bit more sugar than my truffle chocolate cream pie, though still not much, and it’s lighter than French silk pie. Plus, it’s so pretty! I used some vegan Reddi Wip instead of the whipped cream.

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 ¼ cups lactose-free milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
⅔ cup lactose-free evaporated milk (cold from the fridge)
1 fully baked pastry shell/pie crust (deep dish works great here)
½ cup lactose-free cream + 1 Tbsp. sugar to make whipped cream

Place gelatin, sugar, salt, and milk in a large heatproof bowl. Whisk to combine.

Place over a saucepan of simmering water (or use a double boiler if you prefer). Cook just until the chocolate is melted.

Beat with a handheld mixer until smooth, then add the vanilla.

Refrigerate for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until it mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon.

Place the evaporated milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the lemon juice and beat until soft peaks form.

Fold the evaporated milk mixture into the chilled chocolate mixture.

Pour into the prepared pie crust (you may have a little leftover). Chill for at least 2 hours, or until firm.

Garnish with whipped cream made from beating the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form. I also garnished it with some chocolate curls, which I made from shaving a chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler.

Grilled Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Here’s a recipe that’s a bit more summery… This grilled chicken with avocado salsa was great! I really liked the lime and cilantro in the marinade, and avocado always hits the spot. It was easy to prepare (though I confess I roasted the chicken instead of grilling it) and tasted great. Bonus – it’s low in carbs, too!

1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 4 chicken breasts

For the marinade
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. salt, or to taste
¼ tsp. black pepper

For the avocado salsa
2 avocados, diced
2 small (or 1 large tomato), chopped
¼ cup red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, de-seeded and chopped (optional, I did not use it)
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste

In a large bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the marinade and set aside.

Pound the breasts to even thickness or slice in half horizontally to get evenly sized breasts and add to the bowl of marinade. Mix through until the chicken is fully coated in the marinade. Use right away if needed or marinate for 30-minutes or up to 12 hours (obviously, marinating is better).

Grill chicken over medium-high heat or in a large heavy-duty skillet on the stovetop for 5-6 minutes per side or until the inside is cooked through and the outside is charred.

While the chicken is grilling, combine all the ingredients for the salsa in a small bowl.

Top the grilled chicken with fresh avocado salsa and serve immediately.

Two hot chocolates, with a twist

First, I finally tried this tahini hot chocolate from Bon Appétit and I LOVED it! I’m going to have to make it more often in the winter. Or, you know, on a cooler summer day if I’m in Canada (can’t think of a cool summer day in Texas).

2 cups unsweetened almond milk (I used lactose-free milk)
2 Tbsp. agave syrup (nectar)
3 Tbsp. tahini
1 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Heat almond milk and agave syrup in a small saucepan, whisking to dissolve syrup, until steaming. Add tahini and chocolate; whisk until smooth.

Then, I also tried this mushroom hot chocolate (affiliate link), which is essentially cacao, coconut milk powder, lucuma, and dried mushroom powder. I simply added hot water. It was surprisingly good! You can’t taste the mushrooms, it’s not too sweet nor do you need to add sweetener… I made it once to taste it (and enjoyed it!), then made it a few more times when I felt like I needed a hot drink in the evening. I highly recommend it!

Braised Meatballs with Polenta

This admittedly feels like a cold weather recipe, but it might still work for spring! I found it much more satisfying than the twice-baked shepherd’s pie potatoes or the creamy goat cheese mushroom gnocchi I had tried. I got the recipe from Jenny Rosenstrach’s newsletter. Obviously, the polenta won’t be as creamy the second night, but it’s just as good!

For the sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 15-oz. cans tomato purée (or diced tomatoes)
2 Tbsp. oregano
a few pinches fennel seeds
a small handful thyme or basil

In a Dutch oven, sauté onion and garlic and a few red pepper flakes in olive oil over medium low heat until onions are soft and just starting to turn golden. Add tomato paste and sugar and stir, mashing paste and onion mixture together, about 1-2 minutes. Fill empty tomato paste can with water and add to pot, stirring until mixed, another 1-2 minutes. Pour in tomatoes, oregano, fennel, and thyme or basil, and stir. Simmer lazily over low heat, uncovered, for as long as you want: the longer the better. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water.

For the meatballs
2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey (I used the latter)
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded lactose-free parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
a few pinches fennel seeds
2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, parmesan, parsley, fennel, salt and pepper. Mash together with hands until thoroughly combined. Roll into balls (the size of golf balls) and set aside on a plate. When all the meatballs are shaped, add them to the sauce, and simmer, cooking over medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes. (It’s always a good idea to test one meatball to ensure doneness.)

For the polenta
4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable) or water
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup freshly grated lactose-free parmesan

In a medium pot, bring the stock and salt to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over low heat. Add the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously so it doesn’t clump. Continue to stir until the polenta starts pulling away from the sides of the pan, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat. Toss in the butter and cheese, and stir until both are melted.

To serve
Divide the polenta among four bowls. (If the polenta has sat for too long, it might have set — just stir in a little water to loosen.) Top with meatballs, sauce, a little more parmesan, and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Bol déjeuner de quinoa au lait de coco


J’ai tiré cette recette de Famille futée 4 (Geneviève O’Gleman et Alexandra Diaz). J’ai simplement ajouté une pincée de sel (notée ci-dessous), j’ai ajouté la vanille plus tard et j’ai fait cuire le mélange un peu après l’ajout de l’œuf cru. C’était vraiment bon! Et puis facile à faire réchauffer le matin, en ajoutant une cuillerée de lait sans lactose.

Pour le quinoa
1 tasse de quinoa sec, rincé
2 boîtes de lait de coco léger, divisé
2 c. à soupe de sirop d’érable
1 c. à thé d’extrait de vanille pur
cannelle moulue
1 pincée de sel
1 œuf

Pour la garniture
Fraises, bleuets, cerises de terre, ou fruits au choix
Flocons d’érable (je n’avais que du sucre d’érable)

Déposer le quinoa dans une casserole moyenne. Verser le lait de coco en prenant soin d’en conserver 1/3 tasse dans l’un des contenants.

Incorporer dans la casserole le sirop d’érable, la vanille (j’ai préféré l’ajouter après la cuisson seulement), une pincée de sel et une pincée de cannelle. Porter à ébullition è feu vif, réduire à feu doux et laisser mijoter 10 minutes à découvert. Retirer du feu.

Directement dans la conserve de lait de coco réservé, fouetter à l’a fourchette l’œuf avec le lait de coco. Verser graduellement ce mélange dans le quinoa cuit, en remuant constamment. (Ici, j’ai fait cuire le mélange un peu.)

Transvider le quinoa dans 4 bols individuels. Garnier de fruits et de flocons d’érable, puis servir.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

I made this chicken satay with peanut sauce from Damn Delicious as part of a quick meal (the quantities below make 4 generous servings) and didn’t really take any good pictures. But I regret it now, because it was so good! And easy to make, too. I’ll have to make it again!

For the chicken
¼ cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
2 ½ tsp. yellow curry powder
1 ½ tsp. turmeric
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (I used half that)
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Tbsp. canola oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the peanut sauce
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce, or more, to taste (I used half that)
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger

To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons water until desired consistency is reached; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce.

In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and coconut milk mixture; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers. Brush with canola oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add skewers to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 °F, about 12-15 minutes. (I cooked mine in the oven for 25 minutes at 425 °F.)

Serve immediately with peanut sauce.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Halvah


I read this Food 52 article titled Why You Should Make Halvah with Peanut Butter, which then led me to their Peanut Butter-Chocolate Halvah Recipe. This was relatively easy to make, though you do need to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go, because once the sugar reaches the right temperature, things happen fast. I loved the flavor combination!

(Honestly, if you want to taste a similar confection but don’t want to make it yourself, I highly recommend buying this!)

For the marble halvah
1 (1-lb/454-g) jar unsweetened salted peanut butter
1 2/3 cups (332 g) granulated sugar
3 oz. (85 g) dark chocolate (preferably 60 to 72% cacao)

For the chocolate topping (optional, but why in the world wouldn’t you want it?)
3 oz. (85 g) dark chocolate (preferably 60 to 72% cacao), melted
flaky salt, for sprinkling

Get everything ready! Line a loaf pan with parchment, so it’s flat on the bottom, with overhang on the two longer sides. Add the peanut butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar to a small saucepan, pour ½ cup water on top, and set over medium-high heat. Melt the 3 ounces chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.

Cook the sugar, without stirring, until it reaches 245 °F on a candy or instant-read thermometer—this should take 5 to 10 minutes. When it’s almost there (figure around 235 °F), turn on the stand mixer to its lowest setting. As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 245 °F, carefully carry the pot to the running stand mixer, and slowly pour it in, aiming for somewhere between the beater and bowl.

After all the syrup has been added, mix for 28 seconds. (You can either count aloud or use a timer. Just make sure you don’t go beyond or the halvah could turn out too crumbly.)

Working quickly now: turn off the mixer and unlatch the bowl. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top—squiggling as much as possible, versus pouring one big blob—and use a silicone spatula to fold a couple times, taking care to not overmix (you want it marbled, not blended).

Scrape the marbled mixture into the loaf pan and use an offset spatula to smooth out (don’t worry if it looks slightly crumbly on top!). Cool on a wire rack until it’s room-temperature or cooler to the touch.

If you want to top with chocolate, pour the remaining melted chocolate on top and use an offset spatula to smooth out. Sprinkle with flaky salt, then transfer to the fridge to firm up.

Dense Chocolate Cake


I got this Nigella Lawson recipe from Food 52’s Genius Recipes, which I bought from a used book store (used cookbooks are practically free, right?). I also found it online here. It is for a squidgy loaf cake, almost a pudding cake, that is intensely chocolaty. The addition of so much water makes for a very runny batter, but the cake bakes up moist and, dare I say, perfect – as in, exactly what it set out to be. I simply added a pinch of kosher salt (written below) and baked the cake a tad longer than called for.

1 cup lactose-free butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. best bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. boiling water

Heat oven to 375 °F, put in a baking sheet in case of sticky drips later, and grease and line a 9x5-inch loaf pan. The lining is important, as this is a very damp cake: use parchment paper or one of those loaf-pan-shaped paper liners. (The original recipe said it might leave you with a bit of excess batter, so that you should bake it into a mini loaf pan or muffin tin, but I did not have this issue.)

Cream the butter and sugar, either with a wooden spoon or with an electric hand-held mixer, then add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well. Next, fold in the melted and now slightly cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but being careful not to overbeat. You want the ingredients combined: You don't want a light, airy mass.

Then gently add the flour, to which you've added the baking soda and salt, alternately spoon by spoon, with the boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter. Pour into the lined loaf pan. (Note: Don't let this batter come closer than 1 inch from the rim of the cake pan or it risks overflowing. Pour any excess into a greased mini loaf pan or muffin pan and start testing for doneness at 20 minutes.)

Bake the cake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 °F and continue to cook for another 15 minutes (I baked mine a little longer). The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so an inserted cake tester or skewer won't come out completely clean.

Place the loaf pan on a rack, and leave to get completely cold before turning it out. (Like gingerbread, it improves the next day.) Don't worry if it sinks in the middle: indeed, it will do so, because it's such a dense and damp cake.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Chocolate Sunbutter Pancake Sandwiches


It’s the end of the school year, and if you’re like me, you’re wondering what to make for your kids’ lunches now. If you have leftover sunbutter, this is a great way to use it! This recipe is from Weelicious.

8 mini whole wheat pancakes
2 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup sunflower butter

Make pancakes according to recipe directions, place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool fully.

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave for 40 seconds or over a double boiler until melted and allow to cool.

Stir sunflower butter into melted chocolate.

Spread chocolate sunbutter on a pancake, and sandwich together with another pancake.

Greens, Orzo, and Meatball Soup

Here is a really good soup recipe from Smitten Kitchen – I loved it as is, but I was also able to serve it to the soup-averse Fox by just giving him solids and very little broth, so he was okay with it too. It was a great way to use up the anelletti we had, instead of orzo. I think I might make this soup again and throw in some parmesan rinds next time! It’s not the prettiest picture, because I was starving and wanted to eat it already, but it was delicious!

For the meatballs
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. water
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
12 oz. ground turkey
¼ cup grated lactose-free parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper

For the assembly
8 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup peeled, chopped carrots
¾ cup (about 135 g.) orzo
4 cups (about 3 oz.) coarsely chopped greens (such as escarole, swiss chard, kale, or spinach)

For the meatballs
Whisk the egg and water in medium bowl to blend. Mix in breadcrumbs; let stand one minute. Add turkey, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper; gently stir to blend. Using wet hands, shape turkey mixture into 1 ¼-inch-diameter meatballs (I got 53). Place on baking sheet; chill while you prepare the next steps, or 30 minutes, if you have the time.

For assembling the soup
Bring chicken broth to a boil in large (4 to 5-quart) pot. Add carrots and orzo; reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered 8 minutes. Add turkey meatballs and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chopped greens and simmer until turkey meatballs, orzo, and escarole are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Sapins feuilletés à la crème d'épinards


Il s’agit ici d’une recette publiée dans La Presse pour Noël. Je l’ai faite bien après, pour servir aux enfants lors d’une journée pédagogique. C’était bon! Je dirais par contre que les quantités de garniture étaient un peu trop grandes pour la quantité de pâte.

80 g (2/3 tasse) de noix de cajou
100 g (4 tasses) d’épinards frais
2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
2 pâtes feuilletées du commerce (beaucoup sont végétaliennes)
½ citron
sel et poivre

Préchauffer le four à 360 °F.

Dans une casserole remplie d’eau, faire bouillir les noix de cajou 10 minutes (ou bien les faire tremper dans l’eau froide au moins 2 heures – je les laisse habituellement tremper pour la nuit). Égoutter.

Dans un poêlon, faire chauffer l’huile d’olive. Y faire cuire les feuilles d’épinards jusqu’à ce que l’eau de constitution d’évapore et qu’elles commencent à devenir colorées.

Dans un mélangeur, mélanger les épinards avec les noix de cajou égouttées, le jus du demi-citron, du sel et du poivre. On obtient une crème d’épinards bien lisse.

Abaisser les pâtes feuilletées pour obtenir deux grands carrés d’environ 30 cm x 30 cm.

Sur l’une des pâtes feuilletées, tartiner la crème d’épinards. Recouvrir avec la deuxième pâte. Couper des bandes d’environ 1,5 cm de large.

Sur de petits pics à brochette, enfiler les bandes de pâte en accordéon, en faisant des étages de plus en plus courts, pour former de petits sapins.

Enfourner pendant 25 minutes (ou un peu plus, je trouve que les miens étaient un peu pâles).

Sweet Potato Banana Mini Muffins

I made these mini muffins for the kids, and while they were not as popular as green muffins, they are very good! I love how simple they are to make. I doubled the recipe and got 40 mini muffins, most of which went into the freezer.

½ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium)
½ cup mashed banana (about 1 medium)
¼ cup nut butter
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
cinnamon, to taste
optional mix-ins: dark chocolate chips, fruit, chia seeds, etc. (like ¼ cup mini chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Grease a mini muffin pan.

Mash the sweet potato and banana together in a small bowl.

Add the peanut butter, salt, eggs, and cinnamon and mix well.

Stir in any additional mix-ins and spoon into greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 18 minutes.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Riz iranien


Cette recette d’Épices de Cru était absolument délicieuse! J’ai dû acheter de l’épine-vinette (« barberry ») en ligne, mais ça valait la peine! C’est une petite baie acidulée du Moyen-Orient. (En fait, j’ai aussi essayé sans épine-vinette, puisqu’elle n’était pas arrivée le premier soir, et c’est quand même délicieux!) Et puisque je n’aime pas vraiment l’aneth, j’ai remplacé par de la menthe. À se rouler par terre! Surtout avec du poulet shawarma au four. Même le Renard a aimé!

La recette d’origine comprenait aussi du yogourt à l’ail, mais nous avons décidé que le riz et le poulet étaient tous les deux meilleurs sans les goûts forts du yogourt et de l’ail, alors je n’inclus pas cette partie.

Pour le riz
2 tasses de riz basmati
6 c. à soupe de beurre sans lactose
1 bâton de cannelle de 2 pouces
6 gousses de cardamome verte craquées
¼ tasse de pistaches émondées
¼ tasse d’épine-vinette
1 grosse pincée de safran
sel et poivre

Pour garnir
aneth frais (voir note plus haut)
arilles de grenade fraiches
pétales de rose (je n’en avais pas)

Infuser le safran dans un peu d'eau chaude. Réserver.

Laver le riz à plusieurs eaux jusqu'à ce que l'eau soit claire.

Couvrir le riz d'eau tiède salée et laisser reposer une heure.

Égoutter le riz et réserver.

Chauffer une casserole à fond épais. Ajouter le beurre, la cannelle et la cardamome. Cuire 2 minutes. (Je suggère de retirer les gousses de cardamome ici, parce que sinon, elles ressembleront à s’y méprendre aux pistaches au moment de servir, et c’est un jeu qui n’amuse pas les enfants.)

Ajouter le riz. Cuire 2 minutes.

Ajouter le safran infusé, les pistaches et l'épine-vinette et mélanger. Ajouter 3 tasses d'eau, porter à ébullition. Couvrir et cuire à feu doux 10 minutes.

Servir décoré d'aneth, de pétales de rose et d’arilles de grenade.

Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma


This NYT Cooking recipe has quickly become a favorite! I first made it with some pieces of chicken breast we had in the freezer, and I served it with Iranian rice as a side. It was fantastic! We gave it a rare 4 thumbs up, and it was so good that I made it again the following month when my parents came to visit.

I highly recommend serving this dish with the Iranian rice as a side. Another good idea would be pita and hummus, and/or chopped cucumber and tomatoes.

2 lemons, juiced
½ cup + 1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, and minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. turmeric
1 pinch ground cinnamon
red pepper flakes, to taste
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Combine the lemon juice, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl; whisk to combine. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 °F. Use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to grease a rimmed sheet pan (I lined mine with tin foil for easier cleanup). Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade, and toss once to combine. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and place on the pan, spreading everything evenly across it.

Put the chicken in the oven and roast until it is browned, crisped at the edges, and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest 2 minutes, then slice into bits. (If you want to make the chicken even more crisp, set a pan over high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then add the sliced chicken and sauté until everything curls tight in the heat.)

Scatter the parsley over the top and serve.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Marbled Tahini Muffins

 Here’s another great recipe from The Magic of Tahini by Dunja Gulin (see the first one here). I only made one change, which was to use miniature chocolate chips instead of cocoa nibs, to please the kids. These were fantastic! The crumb was moist and absolutely delicious. That being said, I got a completely unexpected comment from the Fox. He did not like them because, and I quote, “they taste too professional.” Say what? I hadn’t heard that one before. I wonder if the tall paper liners I used influenced his decision at all… But anyway, more for us!

¼ cup (70 g) tahini
1 ripe banana, peeled
¼ cup (60 g) virgin coconut oil, melted
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
1 ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
¼ tsp. pure almond extract (optional; omit for a nut-free version)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup white whole wheat flour
¼ tsp. vanilla powder
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. raw cocoa nibs, plus more for sprinkling (I used miniature chocolate chips)
1 Tbsp. raw cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Blend the tahini and banana together with the liquid ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla powder, and salt into a bowl. Add the lemon zest, pour into the wet ingredients, and whisk gently until you have a smooth batter.

Spoon one-third of the mixture into a separate bowl (like the bowl that just had your dry ingredients). Fold in the cocoa nibs and cocoa powder.

Divide the plain muffin batter between 10-12 lined muffin cups. Put a spoonful of the cocoa mixture on top of that and, with the help of a chopstick or skewer, mix a little to get a marbled pattern. Sprinkle with the extra cocoa nibs.

Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the muffin pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Cherry and Dark Chocolate Crostata


This cherry and dark chocolate crostata was a nice change from what I usually make. I really liked the cherry and dark chocolate together!

I wasn’t going to buy doppio zero flour for this, so I used all-purpose flour. I used a pie plate instead of a tart pan, and since I didn’t have enough leftover dough to make a lattice top, I just cut out a few shapes and called it a day. I liked this one!

For the dough
2 cups (250 g) Italian 00 flour or all-purpose flour
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt
11 Tbsp. chilled lactose-free butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling and assembly
3 1/3 cups fresh or frozen sweet cherries (about 20 oz.), pitted
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 big pinch of kosher salt
1/3 cup (67 g.) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 oz. dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend

For the dough
Pulse flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is the consistency of wet sand. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and pulse again to combine. The mixture should still look crumbly but hold together when squeezed in your hand. Turn out onto a surface and smash and pat into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.

For the filling and assembly
Cook cherries, lemon juice, cornstarch, salt, and ⅓ cup (67 g) sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cherries have burst but still have some body and juices have thickened, 6–8 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes.

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350 °F. Roll out dough to about ¼" thick. Transfer to a 9” or 10” tart pan with a removable bottom; lift up dough, allowing it to slump into corners, then press lightly into pan. Trim excess so dough is flush with rim. Set extra dough aside.

Scatter chocolate across crust, then top with filling. Reroll reserved dough; cut into strips or cut out into other shapes. Use strips to make a lattice top or decorate with shapes as desired. Brush dough with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes to let filling set. The crostata will keep, covered, for a few days at room temperature.

Sunday, May 05, 2024

I got this recipe in Bon Appétit, where it was called a tempeh bowl with nut butter sauce. I couldn’t find tempeh, but I did find locally made tofu crumbles, so I figured that was close enough! Make sure your tempeh is gluten-free if you are gluten-intolerant. I really enjoyed this lunch. The amounts below make about 4 servings.

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
2 8-oz. packages tempeh (see note above)
4 cups of 1” cubes peeled butternut squash
a 1”-piece of ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
¼ cup nut butter (such as peanut or almond)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more
1 large bunch broccolini, halved lengthwise if thick
4 large eggs
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt
mint sprigs (for serving)

Heat 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Cook two 8-oz. packages tempeh until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Let cool slightly; tear into large pieces and set aside.

Wipe out pot and pour in water to come 1" up sides. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover pot and place a large steamer, colander, or mesh sieve inside (bottom should not touch water). Place 4 cups of 1" cubes peeled butternut squash in steamer, cover, and steam until almost tender, 15–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk one 1”-piece of ginger, peeled, finely grated, 1 garlic clove, finely grated, ¼ cup nut butter (such as peanut or almond), 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar in a small bowl. Gradually pour in warm water, whisking, until sauce is loose enough to drizzle (amount of water will depend on the consistency of your nut butter).

Uncover pot and place 1 large bunch broccolini, halved lengthwise if thick, on top of squash. Re-cover; steam until broccolini is bright green and crisp-tender and squash is tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes.

While the broccolini is steaming, cook 4 large eggs in a large saucepan of boiling water, 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Peel, then tear into large pieces and set aside.

Combine squash, broccolini, 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced, and 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a large bowl. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and a little unseasoned rice vinegar; toss to coat.

Divide vegetable mixture among shallow bowls; arrange reserved tempeh and eggs around. Drizzle sauce over and top with mint sprigs.

Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches


My kids love breakfast sandwiches (the Egg McMuffin type), and I figured there should be a way to make them at home with decent ingredients and for less money than the ones in the freezer section of the grocery store. Enter these microwave prep breakfast sandwiches, which you can make with sausage, bacon, or ham. The quantities below make 5 sandwiches, but I ended up making a dozen sausage sandwiches, since they keep so well in the freezer.

I made some changes, since I didn’t actually want to prep everything in the microwave (I’ll warm up the frozen sandwiches in the microwave, but I won’t cook eggs and meat in there!). So for my version, I used a greased silicone muffin tin for the eggs and baked them at 350 °F for 20 minutes. I left some of them whole and stirred the others right in the tin to mix the whites and yolks, because the Fox doesn’t like egg yolks if he can see them clearly. My sausage patties were already cooked.

2 sausage patties
2 slices ham, quartered
5 eggs
1 splash milk
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 slices of bacon, sliced in half width-wise
5 English muffins, halved
5 slices lactose-free cheddar cheese
fresh spinach

On a large plate, arrange the sausage and the ham in a circle, then place a microwaveable mug in the center. (See the note on prep above – I cannot, in good conscience, recommend cooking eggs in a mug.)

Crack the eggs into the mug, season with salt, pepper, and add a splash of milk. Stir until evenly mixed. Microwave the entire plate for about 2 minutes until the egg is cooked through, making sure it does not bubble over.

Remove the plate and microwave the bacon strips on a separate plate for about 4-7 minutes. Check the bacon at 4 minutes, then every minute or so to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Drain the bacon of its fat, then set aside.

Invert the mug with the egg, then slice the egg cylinder into 5 equal rounds. You may have to run a knife around the mug first to ensure that the egg comes loose in one solid piece.

To assemble, layer your sandwich as you’d like with the meat, egg, cheese, and spinach. Wrap each sandwich in a damp paper towel, then with parchment paper. Place the sandwiches in a large zip top bag, then freeze for up to 1 month.

When ready to eat, remove a sandwich from the freezer, unwrap the parchment, and microwave for about 2 minutes (my microwave is pretty powerful, and 60 to 90 seconds does the trick for me). Cool for 1 minute, then unwrap the paper towel. Enjoy! [Update: The Engineer recommends microwaving the sandwich for 60 seconds, then taking out the egg and microwaving it an extra 20 seconds before reassembling the sandwich.] [Updated update: I came across a slightly different recipe on <a href="">Tastes Better From Scratch</a> and it has great reheating instructions: “Thaw in fridge overnight, for best results. Remove paper and wrap sandwich in a paper towel.  Microwave for 40 seconds - 1 minute on defrost (or 50% power). Flip the sandwich over and microwave for 10-30 seconds on high power, until warmed through. You can also reheat the sandwiches in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or in the toaster oven.”]

Monday, April 29, 2024

Roasted Corn and Red Pepper Soup


This recipe is from Bon Appétit. It’s an easy soup to make in the Vitamix, and I adapted the croutons based on what I had on hand. This was a nice lunch! This makes 2 large servings or 4 smaller ones.

For the soup
1 roasted ear of corn
1 ½ roasted red bell peppers, skins discarded (about 1½ cups)
½ cup vegetable broth
1 large garlic clove
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
½ tsp. chipotle chili powder
¼ tsp. paprika
¾ tsp. salt
fresh lime juice, to taste (about 1–2 Tbsp.)

For the croutons
4 slices of bread (from a French baguette)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove
4-5 basil leaves
1 sprig of fresh oregano (stem removed)
small handful of fresh parsley
2 oz. lactose-free goat cheese

Cut kernels from cob, and add to the Vitamix with roasted red peppers, vegetable broth, garlic, olive oil, butter, chili powder, paprika, and salt. Use the Vitamix soup function, and blend until completely smooth. Divide between two bowls, and add lime juice to taste. Rinse the Vitamix Blender.

Back in the Vitamix Blender, pulse the olive oil with the garlic and herbs on level 1 until chunky. Add in the goat cheese, and pulse 3–4 times on level 1 until combined. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to broil.

Place bread under the broiler and cook for about 2 minutes or until dark and toasted on one side. Remove and spread goat cheese mixture on the untoasted side of the bread, and place back under the broiler for another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Place croutons on top of the soup and serve.