join me on my great kitchen adventure

Raspberry Chia Lemonade

photo 1I bought a bag of chia seeds. I did. I became one of those people who buy into trends. Read the rest of this entry »

Blackberry and Lemon Fizzes with Rosemary

There are a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head today. It might have something to do with the fact that we had our first real snowfall this morning, which means I snuggled on the couch for a large part of the day reading and looking out the window with excitement. I got so excited about this idea for a drink that I eventually ran out to grab the ingredients. I know it’s only Monday, so all the more reason to ease into the week with this drink.

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Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

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My roommates and I spend about 50% of our conversations discussing food. We’re convinced it’s okay to eat a block of cheese in one sitting, and three dinners are perfectly fine. While my tastes and food adventures do stray from the norm sometimes, my roommates are fantastic about embracing it, encouraging it, and often even trying it. I once made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with a glaze, to be told by one roommate that they were too spiced and another that they were under-spiced. I was just glad to be sitting there with them, sharing what I had made. Read the rest of this entry »

Eggy, Airy Popover Goodness

It’s no secret in my family that I’m a popover fiend.

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I’ll wake up early in the morning with the intention of making my family popovers, and even go as far as to tell them the night before so that they’re all excited to come downstairs and break open a warm popover in the morning. Then everyone gets downstairs and, well… I’m sitting there with jam on my fingers and an empty popover rack, making excuses like “I didn’t want them to get cold!” and “Don’t worry, they’re so quick to make I’ll put in another batch!” This happens every time, without fail.

My memories of popovers start early. When I was a little girl, my Nana would treat me, me sister, and my mom by taking us all down to the Neiman Marcus in White Plains, NY, where we would sit and have tea and the most amazing popovers. I never lost my taste for the light, fluffy crevices filled with jam or nutella or whatever, and the sight of popovers still makes me giddy and excited today.

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They are best for breakfast or an evening snack, as they are delicious but not necessarily substantial. I used a mixed berry jam I had made myself – that’s a recipe for another day! They also go well with nutella, butter, clotted cream, or any other sweet topping you fancy. If you want a more savory version, feel free to put a combination of parmesan, rosemary, or spices in the batter. They are incredibly easy and fast to make, so there’s really no reason not to stir up a bowl and pop them in the oven whenever you’re in the mood.

Bonus points if you caught the pun. You, my friend, are welcome to stop by for a popover anytime.

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Blueberry Kale Power Smoothie

I’ve been getting back into running lately. I’ve continued to go on runs on and off since graduating high school with the goal of general fitness, but recently I’ve made a hobby out of it. I’m keeping track of times and distances, seeing how long, how far, and how fast I can run. Since entering college I’ve taken yoga classes, ab/core workouts, and even taken up kickboxing for three months. However, I think my favorite thing about going for a run is that I can just lace up my sneakers and go. No need to go to any gym, meet up with anyone, or show up at a certain time. I get a free hour and a half in the middle of the day, and I go for a jog around the tree-lined Vilas neighborhood past the zoo and Lake Monona. I’ve found that smoothies are my favorite thing to eat, or rather inhale, when I get back. This is another one of those “recipes” that’s more just an idea and a list of suggestions. Additionally, I’m pretty approximate in all my ingredient amounts, so feel free to play around with the measurements and make it however you like. Also, I know so many people who turn up their nose at the idea of kale. DON’T. It’s amazing and slips seamlessly into so many dishes. It’s perfect for thickening up a smoothie and the end result is still sweet and creamy. If you still are turned off by the idea of it, google some of its benefits. Then try to come back and tell me you don’t want to turn into a superhero, because that’s pretty much what happens.*

*this may or may not be a hyperbole

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Vegan French Toast with a Blueberry Maple Compote

I’ll start this post off with a strange confession – I’ve decided to go vegan for a while. I haven’t determined a deadline, and yes, this decision surprised me almost as much as it will surprise my readers. I guess I have kind of strange reasoning for it, but hey – it’ll produce some interesting recipes!

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Read the rest of this entry »

Carrot Cake, and a Trip to the Farmers Market!

We have a great farmers market here in Madison, which is where I spend most of my Saturday mornings from Spring to Fall. Buying local food, if you can put the time and money into it, really comes full circle and benefits you and the community.

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I’m a big fan of picking up goat cheese and a rhubarb bar. However, my favorite stand might be the man who wears a beehive hat and sells honey every weekend, all season long.

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While the summer definitely boasts its own assets (strawberries and sunflowers), the fall atmosphere at the farmers market is something akin to sacred for me. All the vegetables are coming to an end, which means the entire market is flooded with them – perfect for me!

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Consequentially, I’ve been making a lot of foods with veggies in them – who would’ve guessed?! I just can’t beat making zucchini bread out of the largest zucchini I have ever seen, for which I only paid a dollar. One stand has green, red, and yellow chili peppers hanging from all around the tent.

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The baskets of carrots, all lined up, just look too good to pass up. So here we are – one of my favorite foods of all time.

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I made a few alterations to the original recipe by reducing the amount of sugar and swapping out white flour for whole wheat flour. I also omitted walnuts in place of raisins, but feel free to put any sort of fruit or nut in it – they all go pretty well together! Additionally, feel free to make a cream cheese frosting. I opted not to, but it would certainly make it more of a dessert as opposed to a sweet bread.

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Cauliflower Soup

I have a theory that everyone looks good in fall clothes. Swap out your sweatshirt for a sweater – BAM! You could be in a J. Crew spread. Put on some waffle-knit as you sit down to eat your waffles – BAM! You’re now the heartthrob of many a lumberjane. In case you couldn’t already guess, my closet is filled with an arsenal of sweaters, skirts, and scarves. In fact, I own but one pair of jean shorts which I wear all summer, just waiting out the season so I can pull out my multitude of tights matching the colors of the falling leaves.

I could not be more excited about the arrival of fall. I’m disgustingly energetic, I have boundless enthusiasm for everything, and all I want to do is sprinkle everything with cinnamon. This recipe is just one way I’m going to infect you with my enthusiasm for all things warm and seasoned. I also have a little too much enthusiasm, so if I don’t share it I’ll explode. Come on, help me out.

This cauliflower soup has so many things going for it. It’s warm, it’s hearty, and it’s low in calories. Additionally, you can eat it plain (still pretty flavorful) or you can put toppings on it and get the most amazing mix of textures and tastes. I like to put crumbled corn chips and a swirl of sriracha sauce on top, as displayed above. Read the rest of this entry »

Banana Peanut-Butter “Ice Cream”

Hello again, my cute food-blog readers!

I’m a college student, and on top of that both my majors are humanities related.  This can only mean one thing: endless papers.  I currently no longer resemble a human being.  I have been broken down into a pen-holding, keyboard-pounding, hair-pulling machine.  My capacity to feel any emotion aside from stress right now is both impressive and concerning. My humor has taken a snarky turn.  It’s truly a sad sight.

But never fear!  I have the simplest recipe for you and all your problems, school-related or otherwise!

This, my friends, is banana peanut butter “ice cream.” Read the rest of this entry »

Low-Fat Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

There are certain things when I meet someone that help me more easily determine whether I’m going to be friends with them.  Liking cheesecake is one of those defining things.

I mean, you don’t have to like it.  You could also be a good conversationalist or have a great knack for spontaneous humor or have amazing taste in music.  I understand that there are lots of deeper, more meaningful ways to connect with someone you’re just getting to know.  But at the end of the day, if I find out you like cheesecake I will immediately ask if you’d like to hang out again, as soon as possible, presumably with plans to consume copious amounts of cheesecake.  That’s just how it is.

This recipe in particular I love because it’s got all the richness and thickness of cheesecake done normally, but with a few variations on the classic recipe it becomes low-fat and lower in calories.  When I said we were going to consume copious amounts of cheesecake together in our sudden and new friendship, I meant it.  Read the rest of this entry »