30 May 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Cakes

It seems only fitting that after sharing my Mormor's prize winning pancake, I should share my own.  Out of the plethora of recipes in my ever-evolving repertoire, it was amusing to me that one of the easiest and most basic won a cooking competition at my work.  But if you try this recipe out one, just ONE time, you'll understand why.

28 May 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Oven Pancake

Growing up, nothing said brunch at my Mormor's house more than her oven pancake.  My maternal grandmother had a penchant for delicious and cheap weekend breakfasts.  Growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, she was raised to use up everything and while you're at it, make it filling.  You can't put a good day's work under your belt without first having a good breakfast.

22 May 2012

Cotija and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

I had never cooked much with cojita until we made fish tacos last week.  After buying a wheel of it, I have found that it is an awesomely fun cheese to work with.  Extremely dry and crumbly, it's like an extra-salty version of feta.  Great taste, keeps its shape and really jazzes up a dish.  It's been great to play with.

Though it is not your traditional melting cheese, I thought it would be fun to try in a stuffed mushroom.  Though I enjoy a gooey mushroom, I typically prefer using a cheese that maintains its structural (and flavorful) integrity.  And happily, this cheese totally does.  It is so salty, I didn't add any additional salt at all.  The flavory profile of these babies is all mushroom and spinach up front with a cotija finish.  Pretty excellent, if I do say so myself.

Berry Pie Oatmeal

I've been living in the land of luscious strawberries, and enjoying every minute of it.  But let me tell you, blackberries haven't been doing too bad, either.  In fact, the past two boxes I've gotten have been fabulous.  Juicy, tender and sweet, they last longer in the refrigerator and provide a pleasantly pop-able fruit experience.  They've been so good, I got a little carried away with the berry section of our local market on my last shopping trip.  We ended up with a massive amount of berries that needed to be eaten....today....or else perish.  My frugal budget would not allow that, so I went to my classic fruit breakfast standby - oatmeal.

20 May 2012

Monkey Loaf - for Slightly Smaller Appetites

Monkey bread is one of those classic, terrible for you breakfast delights that is required from time to time. Loaded with butter, sugar, more sugar and a dash of cinnamon, this breakfast goes straight to your hips.  But it is totally worth it.

Candied Old Fashioned

And speaking of favorite whiskey drinks, here is mine.  Basically it's an Old Fashioned, but I make it with homemade candied orange peel instead of orange slices and simple syrup.  Delicious drink, doing Don Draper proud.

Tennessee Whiskey Burgers with Drunken Mushrooms

One of my favorite things about summer is cooking outside.  You can enjoy the sunshine and warm weather outdoors while cooking up some fresh flavor.  Just open a beer, sit back and enjoy the sun.  Plus, I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to not turn on the oven in our teeny tiny apartment.  It feels like you're turning the whole house to 450 degrees on a hot day, and then the hubs, pup and I are all miserable for the rest of the night.  So barbecue meal this is!

Southwestern Turkey Panini with Green Chili Cilantro Yogurt

I've said it before and I'll say it again....God bless the person who gave us the panini press that we didn't register for as a wedding gift.  If you're getting married, be sure to register for one of these bad boys.  Every sandwich is better when popped in for 10 minutes.  Cheese becomes melty cheese, bread becomes toast and flavor becomes...warmer flavor.  Whatever, it's delicious and I love them.

Someone needs to invent a travel size.  I want to take mine to work.

Strawberry Coconut Oat Cakes

Old fashioned rolled oats are a staple in our household.  Our go-to, 5-minute, quick-and-easy (other-hyphenated-phase) breakfast is oatmeal.  Just stir in your favorite fresh fruit, yogurt, milk, brown sugar, canned pumpkin or nuts and voila, delicious breakfast that sticks to your ribs for several hours.  Oats have a ton of fiber, are completely gluten free and keep you full until lunch.  They're pretty much great.

One of our favorite breakfasts to make is what I call my protein pancake.  Technically, they are pancakes as they are a flat cake cooked in a frying pan, but really are their own creation entirely.  Rolled oats and egg whites are mixed with fruit and spices to create a quick, healthy and extremely filling breakfast.  Egg whites and fiber ensure that you are full for a loooooong time, and are super healthy and lean.  

15 May 2012

Green Goddess Pasta & Parmesan Baked Chicken

Avocados are nature's butter.  Pretty much anything you would ever think of topping with a pat of butter, I counter you with a hunk of avocado.  Smear it on any carb and you have a delicious and far more nutritious fat source.  It's amazing on biscuits, burritos, eggs, chickpea salads, guacamole....you can mash it, slice it, dice it or serve it whole.  I love the stuff.

Dinner in 10 - Rosemary Salmon Burgers with Blackberries & Provolone

Monday nights is volleyball night in the Craig household!  We head on down to the local sand volleyball bar and get our game on.  And I'm not gonna lie, our four's team is pretty rockin'.  It's all about the fundies, baby (or fundamentals for you fancy people out there).

Running around in the sand is always great, especially when its 80 degrees out.  But after we get home, the last thing I want to do is put together a complicated meal.  Good, yes....complex, no.  So we busted out the salmon burgers and made a delicious little meal.

13 May 2012

Pulled Pork Tostada with Jalapeno Lime Cabbage

Lately I've been delightfully distracted by Deb at Smitten Kitchen.  Not only does she work in a teensy weensy apartment kitchen, but she likes to jazz up homestyle favorites and works with ingredients common to your local market.  This woman and I are on the same page when it comes to food, and I relish in reading her little corner of the blososphere.  This post is an ode to her conc and the inspiration a like-minded lady can provide from a tiny amount of counter space.

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Soup & Ossau-Iraty Grilled Cheese

Sun-dried tomatoes and olives.  These are two favorites of which these foodies are skeptics.  We know that they are very popular, flavorful little morsels.  However, their flavors are not our favorites.  Olives are especially avoided....we'll throw in an occasional kalamata, well chopped, but we typically substitute capers.  As for sun-dried tomatoes, most are either too oily or so over-dried, they almost taste burnt.  However, there is a little market nearby that makes wonderful sun-dried tomatoes in store which are distributed fresh.  They are bright, flavorful and neither oily nor burnt.  Whenever a recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes, these are what we use.  

12 May 2012

Mocha Chip Cookies

I love coffee.  I love tea.  I love the java jive and it loves me.  I am one of those pampered Seattle girls who thinks non-gourmet coffee is sinful.  To me, Guatemala will be the equivalent of heaven because of the fantastic coffee you can get down there for dirt cheap.  Pour me a big ol' cup of dark roast and then, let the day begin.

06 May 2012

Easy Lunch - Strawberry Blue Cheese Crostini

I love a quick lunch.  Especially when that lunch is homemade bread, good cheese, fresh fruit and honey. Mmmmmm......

Whoever first invented toast is my hero.  The crunchy, dark flavor makes every sandwich more delicious, in my opinion.  I'm the kind of gal who loves a good panini and there have been some succulent looking recipes cropping up on pinterest lately with chocolate, mascarpone and other fancy delights.  However, let us not forget about the delicious crostini, toast with toppings, a.k.a. the open face sandwich.  They are delightful little sliders that allow the toppings to shine without getting lost in a bready bog of carbs.

Kale & Quinoa Cakes with Avocado & Poached Eggs

I take almost no credit for this recipe.  All props go to this amazing Kale & Quinoa Cakes recipe by Joy the Baker.  I cannot begin to tell you how obsessed I am with these things.  It's turned into a running joke with our friend, MikeElliott & us, to see who can find the superior twist on these scrumptious little bites.  Savory kale, sun dried tomatoes, sharp parmesan and a fresh squeeze of lemon grilled up in gluten free, savory goodness.  Oh.  My.  Stars.  I cannot get enough.  Top with capers, avocado, feta, shrimp, balsamic, goat cheese....it's all good.  The the leftovers.....to die for.  Even better the next day.

05 May 2012

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes & Shimp

This may very well be the worst Cinco de Mayo post of all time, but we did super intense nachos last night that I was too busy eating to take a picture of.  Whoops.  I promise this is still a good one, though!

Spaghetti squash is one of those wonder vegetables that are great in almost anything.  They provide a wonderful and slightly crunchy texture and their mild flavor pair wonderfully with nearly everything.  When steamed or baked, the squash develops little noodle-like strands, making them a great, healthy substitute to a pasta dish for the gluten-free diet or those who are just watching their carbs.