join me on my great kitchen adventure

Category: Dessert

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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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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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 »

Profiteroles

I took French for 7+ years, yet I still feel pretentious and awkward when I use French (or foreign) names of recipes.

Why say “a la mode” when you can say “with ice cream”?  Why say “cacciatore” when you can say “with sauce”?  I probably sound so ignorant and nationalistic right now.  Additionally, I understand that using the language of where the dish originated is, in a sense, an everlasting homage to its creators.  And I agree that it tends to make a dish sound “fancier”.   But I feel like doing so creates a language barrier between the speaker and those who are unfamiliar with a dish.  In my ideal world, everyone could read the menu at a fancy restaurant and know exactly what is offered, without feeling embarrassed of their lack of knowledge.  They wouldn’t pass over the Coq au Vin for the Spaghetti with Meatballs.  And most of all, they wouldn’t feel like a dish with a foreign name was out of their cooking league.

Food should bring people together, and I wish language barriers didn’t hinder that. ~sigh~

In my ideal world, everyone would also agree to never plan important things before noon and bedhead wouldn’t exist.  So maybe it’s a good thing that I’m not the one making any big decisions…

These are pastry puffs filled with ice cream and topped with melted chocolate.  If I had just come out and told you that from the beginning, you would have been drooling from the very start, and inhaling them at an obscene rate.  Which is exactly my intention.

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Lemon Blueberry Bars

I’m going to start my first recipe with a confession: it took me a while to appreciate the taste of lemon.  I got along well with most other citrus fruits, but I admittedly have a sweet tooth, and the zesty taste of lemon was always too bitter for my liking.

Luckily, I’ve had a turnaround over the past year, and now can’t get enough of it.  Lemon in my water.  Lemon on my sole.  Lemon-scented hand lotion.  Lemon sorbet and lemon starbursts.  I really never thought I’d see the day.  Also, there’s something about cool, mellow lemon that pairs perfectly with warm breezes and showing a little skin finally.  It’s starting to warm up here in Madison, and I’m looking forward to an entire week of sunny, 60 degree weather.  To celebrate, and prepare, I made a batch of lemon blueberry bars to stash in my fridge.  So tart, so tasty, and a breeze to make.  They’re a perfect breakfast, lunch or dessert.  In fact, they’re perfect to eat whenever, really.  And by that, I mean all the time for every meal forever.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you that they’ll be gone in 24 hours, and your friends will find you in a mellowed-out, lemon induced-coma.  You can thank me later.

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