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Easy Corn Esquites + A Giveaway

Easy Corn Esquites

It’s almost Labor Day, which means Summer’s almost over, which is pretty darn depressing.

Luckily, I got to try the Just Mayo line from Hampton Creek for one last taste of Summer and a lift in spirit.

For my whole life I didn’t think I liked mayo up until a couple of years ago when I actually tried it and–surprise, surprise–got hooked on the savory spread. I loved all of the Hampton Creek flavors, but the sriracha was by far my favorite even though I don’t like regular sriracha. It’s just the right amount of spice and cooling creaminess.

The garlic came in a close second when I made a killer potato salad for a camping trip with it that got eaten up almost immediately. Overall I love that these get a ton of flavor from a few simple ingredients. 

I had an amazing corn salad in the city with chipotle mayo, parmesan, and smoky spices. I knew I wanted to try it out myself because it highlighted the flavors of the ingredients with true simplicity. I’m sure you’ll eat more corn and mayo over Labor Day weekend but be sure to sneak this recipe in, too. 

Easy Corn Esquites

You can really prepare the corn for this anyway you want(you can even use frozen–just don’t admit to it). I roasted it since that’s easiest to do in a small NYC apartment but grilling would add a great smoky flavor.

Easy Corn Esquites

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 2 corn cobs, washed and cleaned 
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 Tablespoons parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy mayo
  • 2 lime wedges for garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease the corn with the oil.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes until the corn turns golden.
  4. After the corn’s cooled slightly, separate it from the cob with a sharp knife.
  5. In a large bowl mix together the corn, salt, lime juice, and chili powder.
  6. Scoop evenly into two small bowls. Sprinkle the parmesan and a dollop of mayo on top. Serve with a lime wedge at room temperature or slightly warmer.

Hampton Creek Mayo

Giveaway!

Want to try some of every flavor? Tell me what mayo-centric recipe you would make with it. Including what flavor/recipe you would use is optional but encouraged. I’ll pick a winner at random next Tuesday, the 2nd, right after Labor Day. Good luck! 

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Brunch is the best meal there is; the competition’s not even close. You can go sweet or you can go savory(you can even go both!). It can be at 10am or 3pm. And even when it’s at 10am it’s always acceptable to have alcohol. What could be better?

My favorite items on any brunch menu are the different roasted vegetables(and home fries, but that’s a given). They’re something that you have to put time into but end up being well worth the effort.

If you want to wake up with savory food, these brussels sprouts are perfect for you. They’re just the right amount of crispy, satisfying, and seasoning to wake you up. Combine them with a runny yolk from a fried egg and they’re that much better. 

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussel Sprouts

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and washed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large garlic clove, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons parmesan

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss the brussels sprouts, salt, and 2 Tablespoons of oil together.
  3. Lay the brussels out on a non-stick baking try and roast until slightly crispy(about 30 minutes for small-medium brussels)
  4. Heat the remaining Tablespoon oil in a pan over low heat.
  5. Toast the garlic until browning.
  6. Add in the brussels sprouts and toss until well mixed and they’re cooked in the oil.
  7. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the parmesan over and toss until well-mixed.
  8. Serve hot. 

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Raspberry Loaf

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Raspberry Loaf

I like to think I know everything but I don’t (of course). For instance, I don’t know if this is “bread” or a “cake”; I don’t even know if it’s a breakfast or dessert. But maybe not knowing is best because it means you can have it for both. 

As much as I love fresh berries for their sweetness, raspberries are by far my favorite for their sour punch. Fresh raspberries are an excuse for something special, like a hot sweet loaf straight out of the oven. 

This is right on par with Starbuck’s banana bread and pumpkin bread (or my very own). The addition of white rice flour gives it a light, airy texture. It’s sweet and moist and falls apart in your mouth. It’s as good in the morning heated up with some peanut butter as it is at night with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Raspberry Loaf

3/4 cup milk is more of a guestimate than an exact number. Go for a soft, semi-fluid bater that you can pour into a loaf pan but that fights to leave the bowl a little. Depending on what kind of flour you’re using, you might need an extra 1/4 or 1/2 cup. 

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Raspberry Loaf 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Ingredients(Makes one loaf):

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 5oz vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flours, sugar, and baking powder.
  3. Add in the oil, yogurt, eggs, and milk and beat well.
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients and continue mixing until it forms a batter.
  5. Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan with oil.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until the bread rises and sets.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing. Store in a cool place when not enjoying.

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be as polarizing as politics. Some like chewy while others like crisp. Should they have nuts in them? Are raisins even a question? Everyone has an opinion.

After Pinterest did a Q&A with me my coworkers were interested to try something gluten-free. One of them asked me if I knew any good cookie recipes for his cousin and it seemed like as good a place to start as any. 

Lucky for me, when I brought them into work they didn’t stir up any chewy vs. crispy debates and they were all gone by lunch time–a success! They’re more chewy than crispy, not too sweet, and just rich enough to hit all the right notes. It’s hard to argue with chocolate chips and shredded coconut.

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Probably the best thing to keep on hand for gluten-free baking is a bag of gluten-free all purpose flour you can use in recipes without having to mix ten different flours you’re not familiar with. I like Bob’s Red Mill’s but there are tons of different brands out there; try them out and find your favorite.

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 dozen cookies):

  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together your flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
  2. Add in the eggs, vanilla, peanut butter and melted butter and mix.
  3. Add in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips and continue mixing until it forms a thick dough. If your dough is too dry add milk by the tablespoon until it’s just wet enough to stick together.
  4. Put the dough in your refrigerator and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  5. After 15 minutes of chilling, roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
  6. Put the doughballs onto a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before trying to move.
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

I’ll look for excuses to make frosting, and they’re not that hard to find.

Cakes are great to make and frost when there’s a birthday, a party, or… a birthday party. But when it’s the weekend and you just want something sweet and fast for me, myself, and I, frosted brownies are the best way to go. 

My favorite brownie recipes are always on the traditional side. Forget about expensive olive oil and pine nuts; sweetened shredded coconut is in every grocery store and adds just as interesting a flavor and richness. Finish with some good vanilla and you’re good to go. 

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

What makes these brownies special besides the shredded coconut and spoon-licking frosting? Absolutely nothing, so if you want to use a quick gluten-free or regular boxed brownie recipe and fancy it up with shredded coconut and this frosting recipe, go right ahead–everyone will be too busy eating to mind.

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 8 x 8 pan):

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 7 oz bittersweet baking chocolate, divided OR 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup water

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the oat flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, melt together 4 ounces of chocolate or a scant 1/2 cup chocolate chips with the butter.
  4. While the chocolate is melting, beat together the eggs, sugar, shredded coconut, vanilla, and water.
  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg/sugar mixture while whisking until fully incorporated. Don’t go too fast so that the raw eggs don’t cook upon contact.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix completely.
  7. Pour the batter in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate and gently press it into the batter.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let these cool completely before frosting.
  10. With a beater, beat together the butter, sugar, and coconut until smooth.
  11. Spread gently and generously over the pan of brownies.
  12. Slice the brownies into even squares and serve within a couple days of baking. 

Trix Cereal-Milk Milkshake

Trix Cereal Milk Milkshake

If you’ve ever had a bowl of cereal, you probably know the best part is the last bit of milk at the bottom(unless the only cereal you’ve ever had is Bran Flakes or Fiber One but that’s a different problem). 

General Mills sent me some of their new Trix cereal to try out which was given a makeover for it’s 60th birthday (!!) to be fruitier than the old recipe. (Spoiler alert: No fruit shapes anymore; all of the pieces are circles) I can’t say I’m a Trix aficionado and remember what the old recipe tasted like but these are definitely fruity and delicious–by far the best lazy-night dinner I have in my cupboard when I get home past 8pm.

Living in NYC there’s no shortage of inspiration for out-of-the-box recipes whether it’s a cronut or a frozen hot chocolate. I’ve heard people rave about the cereal-milk from Momofuku’s and thought it was the perfect grown-up way to enjoy a kids’ favorite cereal. 

Trix Cereal Milk Milkshake

This is just a variation on your standard 2:1 ratio milkshake. Add extra milk or ice cream to make it smoother or thicker.

You can really customize a recipe like this with any cereal–it’s a blank canvas! If Trix aren’t your thing, try Lucky Charms or even Reese’s Puffs with a chocolate peanut butter ice cream.   

Trix Cereal-Milk Milkshake

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1/2 cup Trix cereal plus more for garnish

  • 3/4 cup whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened slightly

Trix Cereal Milk Milkshake

Method:

  1. Combine the Trix cereal and milk in a blender or food processor and mix until the Trix has fully dissolved into the milk. The milk should be smooth and darker in color. 

  2. Add in the ice cream and process until creamy.

  3. Pour out evenly into two glasses.

  4. Garnish with a little more Trix and enjoy with a straw or spoon.

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade

Though it’s only Wednesday, this week definitely calls for a drink.

It’s funny how much the seasons and weather change our tastebuds. This is by far one of my favorite Summer drinks (though the elderflower fizz puts up a tough fight). It’s just light and sweet enough but also packs a punch. 

I’ve posted before on how to make a drink like this from scratch, but that’s not always the most efficient thing to do. This drink can absolutely taste just as good with ingredients from the store; it’s just important to buy quality ingredients. If they don’t taste good on their own, they won’t taste good mixed together. 

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Pitcher

If you really want to kick this drink up a notch, I’d recommend adding crushed fresh herbs. You can add crushed mint for a classic sweet drink flavor or a little crushed basil for something more sophisticated.

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1/2 cup quality iced tea
  • 1/2 cup lemonade (the fresher the better)
  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • Lemon wedges to garnish

Method:

  1. Combine the iced tea, lemonade, vodka, and ice cubes in a large cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously until well mixed and the ice begins to break up. 
  3. Pour equally into two tall glasses.
  4. Garnish with a lemon slice before serving.

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Creamy Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

The best way to be a better cook is find recipes you like and learn to make them your own way. Some months I get lazy and never make anything new–I don’t mind the same lunch every day of the week. But reading blogs help me find recipes good enough to break me out of my rut.

This recipe from Mississippi Kitchen looked too good to pass up. I never buy as much spinach and salad mixins as I should so instead I wanted to take the same flavors and put them in a dip. This has a ton of savory, salty flavor and surprisingly healthy ingredients. You could serve this at a party and they’d never know it’s a bean dip!

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Seasoning should be the last step of this recipe. There’s no right amount of salt–you’ll need to taste it and figure out how much to add based on how salty your ingredients are.

Always taste a sauce or dip with whatever you’re using for dipping; if you’re using vegetables you’ll want the dip to be on the saltier side, while if you’re using seasoned crackers keep it on the bland side.   

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 servings):

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 4oz feta, crumbled

  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetables for dipping 

Method:

  1. Add the beans to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

  2. Add in the tomatoes, sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and feta and process.

  3. Slowly add more buttermilk to get the dip to the right consistency while processing. Only add as much as you’d like to make it the right thickness.

  4. When done, season to taste with salt.

  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator when not enjoying. 

4th of July Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gluten-Free Flag Cake

Cake is never my favorite dessert. Brownies, fudge and frosting are. So when I make a cake the fudgier and dense it is the better.

My mom’s made this flourless cake for years. I first had it during passover at a bake sale when it was one of the few flour-free treats people would flock to. Since then it’s been a go-to recipe.

The cake is just eggs, sugar, chocolate, and butter; it can’t get any simpler than that. For the frosting I used a basic vanilla buttercream and fresh berries to make it festive. When adding berries to baked goods you make the shelf life much much shorter, so add them at the last minute and make sure to eat it up fresh!   

Flourless Flag Cake

If you do prefer a lighter and cakier base, try this gluten-free recipe using almond and coconut flours. 

4th of July Flourless Chocolate Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 20 servings):

For the cake:

  • 1 stick butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 cup chocolate chips OR 8.5 oz chocolate, melted

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 Tablespoons milk or cream

  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced

  • 1 pint blueberries

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar, adding in eggs one at a time until all of them are incorporated. The batter should be smooth and ribbony.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
  4. Slowly temper the melted chocolate into the batter until it’s completely mixed in.
  5. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and pour the batter in.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake and let it sit undisturbed until it cools to room temperature. It should deflate as it cools. Don’t worry if the top cracks since it will get covered eventually.
  8. To make the frosting, whip together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
  9. Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar to make sure the frosting doesn’t pull crumbs.
  10. Spread the frosting on gently and evenly.
  11. Arrange the strawberries and blueberries however you’d like right before serving. Store leftovers in a air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

I somehow have become a morning exerciser. The first day of waking up, rolling out of bed, and putting on gym shorts instead of a pot of coffee was rough. The second was just as rough. But every day since it’s gotten a little easier.

After working out I’ve been more inclined to make a smoothie than bowl of oatmeal or anything else. It’s quick and easy to drink when getting ready for work. I’ve been trying different mixes to keep things interesting every time and this one is a winner.

It has the classic flavor of the inside of a PB & J, just in liquid form. It’s perfectly sweet and even packs some greens in it, too, if you opt in for the spinach(which you won’t be able to see or taste fully blended–I promise). 

IMG_7064_2

If you’re not a fan of peanut butter or just don’t have any lying around try making this with almond butter or even coconut butter.      

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 meal serving or 2 snack servings):

  • 1 medium banana

  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

  • 1/3 cup frozen spinach

  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-power blender. 

  2. Pulse briefly and then blend until the ingredients make a creamy smoothie. Add water if necessary to make smooth and creamy.

  3. Pour into a tall glass and drink cold.