Category Archives: Sweet

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!

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.

Tostones

The ripeness and color of any plantain you choose at the market has a huge impact on the taste of your intended meal.  Green plantains are fantastic as a savory dish, as they are only slightly sweet; yellow and black plantains are more suited for sweet caramelized dishes.  

When I make tostones I choose a green plantain with almost no black spots.  When I make platanos maduros, I prefer a ripeness somewhere between yellow and black, although many traditional Latin-American dishes suggest using a completely black plantain.  Generally, I buy them green and store in a bowl on the counter for future use.  A green plantain can take up to a month to turn black, so its an easy fruit to perpetually have on hand.

INGREDIENTS:
1 green plantain
1/4 inch corn oil in a cast iron skillet
1 small dinner plate
Sea salt to taste
Lime wedges

DIRECTIONS:
Peel the plantain by cutting off each edge and then slicing lengthwise on both sides. Peel away the remaining peel. Slice the fruit at an angle into 1 1/2 inch chunks–slicing at an angle (rather than creating a flat surface) will help with smashing later in the process.

Heat 1/4-1/2 inch of corn oil in a cast iron frying pan. When a small drop of water sizzles in the pan, the oil is ready for frying. Carefully add plantain chunks to pan and fry both sides for approximately 3-5 minutes–until tostones just begin to brown.

Remove chunks and drain oil on a paper towel.  Using a small plate, flatten the tostones one at a time. The idea is not to make them super-flat, but just mash them down.

Return to oil and fry an additional minute or two flipping halfway through, until tostones are golden brown.

Remove from frying pan and drain oil once more onto paper towels.  Sea salt to taste, and serve with Lime-Garlic Mayonnaise and some extra lime wedges.


Pumpkin Peanut Butter Hummus

I make hummus practically every week, so I have to vary the recipe a bit in order to keep myself interested in my own cooking!

This hummus has a hint of brown sugary sweetness with the richness of a peanut butter and pumpkin combination–and is still justifiably healthy!  If you are serving it in a dish, garnish with a cinnamon stick, caramelized walnuts, or a drizzle of honey.  It tastes best with celery sticks, graham crackers, buttery crackers, or wrapped in crepes with potatoes and greens.  

INGREDIENTS:
1 16 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzos)
1 C pumpkin (cooked or canned)
1/2 C peanut butter
1/8 C olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
4 T brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2-1 C water

DIRECTIONS:
Add all ingredients to food processor except water.

Begin blending.  Slowly pour 1/2 C water through the feeder tube in your food processor. Blend 10 seconds, or until hummus reaches a smooth consistency.  Taste and adjust spices.  Blend again, pouring in the remaining water until hummus becomes fluffy and smooth.  You might not need all the water–or you might need a little more than 1 C–just stop pouring when your hummus reaches the consistency you prefer most.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick, some caramelized walnuts, or a drizzle of honey.

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.