Category Archives: Dessert

Peanut Butter Mug Brownie

Those mug cakes are so gross and spongy; this mug brownie is not. I found the recipe on Instructables in a frantic Internet search for a single serving of something both cake-y and chocolate; I modified the recipe to suit my tastes. Woot!

INGREDIENTS:
4 T Flour
4 T Sugar
2 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 T Vegetable Oil
2 T Milk
1T Peanut Butter
dash salt
powdered sugar or vanilla ice cream

DIRECTIONS:
Combine all ingredients in a small-ish 8 oz. coffee mug – or any small microwaveable dish, really. Mix thoroughly. Microwave for 1:10 – it doesn’t take long at all.

Cool for a couple of minutes. Dust with powdered sugar or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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Chocolate Teff Pudding

I’ve been working on my finals for school for the past two weeks and I don’t even remember the last time I went food shopping; so upon completion of my last presentation today, I arrived home with virtually nothing to eat. As I rummaged through the remaining bags of rice, beans, and assorted grains I located a bag of Bob’s Red Mill teff (a nutrient dense Ethiopian grain), and scanned the back for instructions to find something called “Teff Pudding”. Coincidentally, there was exactly 1/2 C of grain left in the bag, so I got to work amending this recipe with my limited kitchen resources, and here’s what I came up with. My version turned out absurdly delicious, and I find it really hard to believe this is made out of whole grains and zero butter. It serves about 2. I’d like to try it with almond or peppermint extract next time, because its super chocolatey!

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 C Teff Grain
2 T Water
1/4 C Sugar
1/8 -1/4 C milk
2 tsp Vanilla
3 T Cocoa

DIRECTIONS:
On a stovetop combine Teff and water. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes (or according to instructions on the package). When water is absorbed and the teff becomes porridge-y, remove from heat and add 1/8 C milk, cocoa, sugar, and vanilla. Stir thoroughly – if you have trouble stirring because the pudding is still too thick, then add a little more milk over low heat until you reach a smooth pudding consistency. Scoop into bowls and serve warm!

Peanut Butter Fruit Smoothie

This is my favorite basic standby breakfast smoothie – and its ridiculously filling.  I use crunchy peanut butter because the little peanut chunks give the smoothie a delicious peanut-y texture.  Substituting dairy for almond milk will make the drink fluffier.  My roommate recently taught me the Cuban method for creating a super-fluffy smoothie by adding trigo (puffed wheat) – It’s awesome if you are looking to experiment with smoothie ideas.  Boris (my quaker parrot) loves it too!

This recipe serves 2, and makes about 16 oz.  It stores pretty well in the fridge for a couple of hours, too – but I probably wouldn’t push it past a day.

INGREDIENTS:
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
1 ripe banana, peeled
3/4 C frozen blueberries (or any frozen fruit)
4 T flax meal
4 T crunchy peanut butter (or your choice of nut butter)
1/2-3/4 C almond milk

DIRECTIONS:
Toss everything except milk into food processor and turn on; through the feeder tube, slowly add 1/2 C almond milk, or more, until smoothie reaches desired consistency.  Pour into two cups, and serve.


This recipe serves 2, and makes about 16 oz.  It stores pretty well in the fridge for a couple of hours, too – but I probably wouldn’t push it past a day.

Horchata

If you’ve never made horchata before, its a pretty simple recipe with a lot of waiting in-between steps.  The steps go like this:  blend uncooked rice and cinnamon in blender until finely chopped.  Add a few cups of water and sit in fridge overnight.  Strain mix through cheesecloth to remove goop.  Add milk/vanilla/sugar/spices/whatever your family/regional specialty is.  Toss in some ice cubes (and perhaps some rum!) and serve.  

My version is made from leftover (already cooked) brown rice, and the flavor stays just as true to most original versions.  The sweet milkiness really compliments a super-spicy Mexican or Latin-American dish.  Mixed with espresso or rum is also fantastic.

This specific recipe is more of a concentrate, because I like to maintain a stronger flavor when I use it as a baking substitute.  It can be used for anything you can possibly imagine: banana bread, pancakes, or pretty much any baked good that requires milk.  If you like really sweet horchata then just add ice cubes and a dash of cinnamon, and its the real deal.  If you prefer a subtler drink, serve 2 parts concentrate and 1 part milk. 

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 C cooked brown rice
1 T ground cinnamon
4 C water
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C white sugar

DIRECTIONS:
Pulse rice, cinnamon, and 1/4 C water in a food processor until rice looks more like mush than rice.  Transfer mixture to a pitcher or large bowl.  Add remaining 3 3/4 C water.  Let mixture sit in refrigerator overnight.  12 hours is ideal, but 6 hours works just fine, too.

Pour mix through cheesecloth or strainer; there should be a gloopy mix that remains behind.  It may take 5-10 minutes to entirely separate the liquid, depending on your straining method.  Discard the gloopy mix or make horchata cookies with it!

Add vanilla, sugar, and evaporated milk.  Stir until most of the sugar dissolves.  Serve with rum, espresso, or use as a substitute for milk in your favorite baking dish.  If you prefer a milder flavor, serve 2 parts horchata, 1 part milk.

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal

I have eaten oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, and fresh apple slices 5 days a week for the past 6 years of my life–I love it–but I was also looking for a more unique approach to the meal.  Often times I stir in peanut butter, flax seeds, chocolate chips, walnuts, fig jam–whatever, really; oatmeal is so versatile, and it pairs amazingly well with a fresh cup of coffe in the morning.  Wrap a spoonful in some fresh Crepes and dust with powdered sugar for a brunch-y style home-cooked meal.

INGREDIENTS:
2 Granny Smith Apples
4-6 T brown sugar, to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
3 C water (plus 1/2 C extra if you prefer a less chunky oatmeal texture)
1 1/2 C rolled oats
1 T butter (omit for vegan recipe)

DIRECTIONS:
Chop apples to desired size.  You can use an apple slicer to begin the process, but I like to chop my apples a bit finer than the thickness the corer provides.

Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.  Add apples, 4 T brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and water.  Stir.  Cook on high for 1 hour.  Apples will be soft on the outside, but still crisp on the inside


Add rolled oats.  Stir.  I love thick oatmeal, but here is where you can add an additional 1/2 C of water if you find the texture too thick.  Taste and adjust cinnamon and sugar to your liking.  Replace lid and continue cooking on high for 1 hr.

When finished, mix should begin to clump together and have a sticky consistency.  Apples should be soft, and a little mushy.

Serve with milk or soymilk.  Wrap a spoonful in some fresh Crepes and dust with powdered sugar or a honey drizzle for a brunch-y style home-cooked meal.

You can store this in the fridge for a few days and simply reheat in a saucepan (or microwave) with a splash of milk.  I find the taste is even more pronounced the next day when reheated.

This recipe was adapted from the wonderful Kalyn’s Kitchen, however I amended it a bit because I’m not a big fan of Splenda.  I also wanted to add a more buttery flavor so as to mimic apple pie.  

Crepes

You can stuff anything into a crepe–sweet or savory–and it will be a new experience each time.  Some of my favorite fillings are nutella with banannas and raspberries; crockpot apple pie oatmeal; and marinated peppers, mushrooms, and onions.  They also go great with a scrambled egg filling of your choice, accompanied by a nice spicy bloody mary.  

If you’ve never made crepes before, the batter will be considerably runnier than a pancake or waffle batter, and the crepes themselves will be no more than 1/4 inch thick when baked.  If you have a 12″ no-stick skillet, try folding them the traditional triangular method.  I have a smaller skillet, so I roll mine, just like the picture above.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C milk
2 eggs
1T butter (melted)
1/3 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:
In a food processor, mix eggs for about 10 seconds.  Add milk and butter, and mix 10 additional seconds.  Add flour and salt.  Mix again for 10-15 seconds.  The batter should be considerably runnier than a pancake mixture, but should also maintain a slight thickness.  If its still too thin add additional flour 1 T at a time until desired texture is reached.  See video below for an example of my own ideal crepe batter consistency.  Let batter sit 20-30 minutes while you prepare the sauce and eggs.


When cooking crepes, heat a no-stick skillet over medium-low heat.  Remove the skillet from heat and coat the pan with a small layer of vegetable oil (I use a pastry brush).  Scoop 1/4 C of the crepe mixture into the skillet and use your wrist to distribute the batter evenly around the circumference of the pan.  Return to stovetop.  When edges begin to brown (after about 1-2 mins), use you fingers and the tip of a cereal spoon to flip the crepe.  Cook for an additional minute.  Remove from heat, and store on a plate covered with foil, or in a warmer.  Repeat until batter is gone.  This recipe should make approximately 4 thin crepes.

You can fold your crepes simply by placing your filling in the center and then rolling them up, as in the picture at the top of this post; or place your filling on one half of the crepe, flap the other side over the top to form a half, circle, and then fold again to form a triangle.

You can fill these guys with anything under the sun: scrambled eggs and spinach; peanut butter and chocolate chips; or strawberries and creme fraiche.  Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top for the sweet ones.

Grandma Sally’s Granola

My Grandma Sally always had like a 2-gallon barrel of this stuff on hand for my grandfather (who’s name, incidentally, was Linus!), and my mom has mimicked the recipe for as many years as I can remember because my dad likes it so much.  I make it occasionally because it’s excellent in yogurt, and even better on top of ice cream.  Its primary function is as a cereal, though.  If you bake it for about 10 minutes, its really easy to mold into granola bars before it cools completely (although, I prefer to make granola “rods” so I don’t have to shape the bars into squares) and wrap in wax paper for a snack during class or work.  Just pack the mix tightly as you shape.

I’ve been experimenting with the recipe using spices (cinnamon, cloves), different types of fruit (dried bananas, figs), grains (quinoa) and seeds, etc…but I’m not quite ‘there’ yet.  The photos for this image include sesame seeds*, which add a nice nutty flavor.  

DRY INGREDIENTS:
6 C old fashioned oats
1 C Fiber One (my mom has altered the recipe by using Kashi GoLean Cereal)
1 C wheat germ (I prefer the taste of honey crunch style in this recipe)
1 C sunflower nuts
1-2 C walnuts or almonds, chopped
1/4 C sesame seeds (optional)*
1 C dried fruit (raisins, chopped dates, bananas, etc.)

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1 C canola oil
1 C honey
1 C brown sugar
2-3 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325 F.

Mix together dry ingredients (except fruit) in large pan or bowl.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring canola oil, honey, and brown sugar to a boil for 10 seconds.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla, and stir thoroughly.

Pour the freshly boiled sauce over the dry mix.  Mix thoroughly with a big spoon.  There should be plenty of sauce to make the mix completely sticky.  Spread mixture onto a large lightly greased cookie sheet (12″ x 18″ x 2″ -ish in size).

Bake 10 minutes if you like soft granola, or 15-20 minutes if you prefer a crispier granola–be sure to monitor and stir periodically for crunchy granola, as it could become overdone very quickly.

Add dried fruit (like raisins, chopped dates, or dried apples) as granola is cooling.  Store in a cool airtight container, like an old gallon ice cream bucket or a nice tupperware bowl/lid combo.  I’m not sure how long this stuff keeps, but I do know that my mom makes GIANT batches of this stuff that lasts for a month or so, and it always tastes fresh.