Thursday, September 25, 2014

Skillet Pumpkin Bread with Pecans and Chocolate Chips


Have you ever made a skillet cookie before? Instead of rolling out individual cookies, you simply spread the dough into the skillet and bake. Totally easy, and then you have one, huge awesome cookie. I took inspiration from skillet cookies to make this pumpkin skillet bread.

I love this bread because it's dense, rich, and can be enjoyed as a dessert, or as a decadent breakfast. I recommend eating warm with a big ol' scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. Because, well....duh.

Skillet Pumpkin Bread with Pecans and Chocolate
2 sticks butter (plus a little extra to butter the skillet)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbs. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
2. In a stand mixer, blend together butter and sugars until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, and thoroughly mix. Add egg one at a time, blending in between each addition. Add vanilla extract, and blend until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. 
3. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, one cup at a time. Don't over mix. Add pecans and chocolate chips. 
4. Lightly grease your skillet, and spread the dough evenly into the skillet. If you'd like, add a little extra pecans and chocolate chips to the top.
5. Place in the oven, and let bake for 35-45 minutes. The bread should be golden, and a knife should come out clean when a knife is inserted.
6. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly. 
7. Serve warm from the oven with chocolate sauce and ice cream on top, or enjoy the next day for breakfast. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Curry & Chickpea Soup


Around this time of year, I'm ready to move on from summer. The warm weather and long days are great, but I'm ready for sweaters, scarves, leaves on the ground and pumpkin everything. This week, I decided to ignore the sun and make some hot, comforting chickpea soup. Take that summer!

Are you ready for fall, or are you holding on tight to the last weeks of summer? If the thought of fall is a bummer, this soup might change your mind. Slightly spicy, the carrots and zucchini bring the crunch while chickpeas fill you up. This soup would be great with chicken as well!


Curry & Chickpea Soup

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups carrots, chopped (about 5 carrots)
3 cups zucchini, chopped (about 2 medium zucchini)
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
45 oz. chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3 cans)
5 cups chicken broth, low sodium
14 oz. low-fat coconut milk
4 tbs. curry powder
2 tbs. coriander
2 tsp. fish sauce
lime juice from 1/2 lime
1 tbs. sriracha sauce
1/2 tbs honey
3 tbs. cornstarch
fresh cilantro

1. In a large stock pot, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and turn to medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.
2, Add carrots, garlic, curry powder and coriander. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add chicken broth and coconut milk and turn heat to high.
3. Once soup reaches a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Add chickpeas, fish sauce, green onion, lime juice, sriracha sauce and honey.
4. Cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Uncover, and add zucchini. Cover and allow to cook for another 10-15 minutes.
5. Uncover, and add salt, pepper and more sriracha sauce to taste. Turn heat off.
6. Spoon about 1 cup broth from soap, and place in a small container. Whisk in cornstarch quickly, to avoid any clumps. Pour cornstarch mixture back into soap and stir to thoroughly combine. You can skip this step if you prefer a thinner soup.
7.
Pour soup into bowls, and garnish with plenty of cilantro. This soup is also great stale bread or tortilla chips, and fresh chunks of avocado.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Meet Benjen!

Oh hey there blogosphere! 

I didn't intend on taking such a long blogging break, but hey, it happens. I think I have a pretty good excuse though. I have been too busy looking at this cute face!




This is Benjen (name comes from Game of Thrones), my new Corgi/Australian Shepherd puppy, aka: the cutest thing in the entire world. He is currently 15 weeks, and is the sweetest little nugget of a dog. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Kale Salad with Roasted Yams and Raspberry Dressing


It's officially summer. I'm sure many of you have been feeling it for weeks, but here in the PNW, summer takes a little longer to kick in. Today was actually the hottest day of the year so far, 85 degrees!

Don't get me wrong, I love the sun. But anything over 75 degrees I start realizing I have no summer clothes, I'm sweating and probably burnt. But I'll stop complaining, because with summer comes BERRY SEASON. YESSS.
 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sweet Potato, Bacon, Arugula and Pesto Pizza

The real name of this post should be, "Sweet Potato, Bacon, Chicken, Onion, Walnut, Pesto and Arugula Pizza." But, for some reason it just didn't have the same ring. Instead, I chose to focus on the stars of this pizza: sweet potato, bacon, arugula and pesto.

On Sunday, Tommy and I almost ate the entire thing...it was that good. The sweet potato + bacon + pesto combination is crazy delicious; it's slightly sweet, salty, and creamy. Then throw in some crunchy walnuts, onions, and spicy arugula? Yep, eating the whole pizza. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lemon, Honey and Ricotta Ice Cream



It's ice cream season! Not that ice cream goes out of season. But, there is something incredibly satisfying about eating an ice cream cone on a sunny day.

Speaking of eating ice cream cones, let's get our technique straight. This is important. Do not bite into your ice cream cone, because that's barbaric. Tilt your head slightly, and lick while rotating the cone.

Concentrate on the bottom to catch the drips, but don't let the top get too top-heavy. Keeping the scoop of ice cream even is important. Why? Well, because I'm OCD when it comes to eating ice cream cones...obviously :).

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Honeydew and Coconut Popsicles


There was a time when my dad went through a major Otter-Pops phase. On dreary weekends, I remember him eating them like popcorn during movies. Of course I joined in occasionally, reaching mostly for the purple or red flavors. The best part was when the pop had melted a bit, and you got to suck the sugary-goodness out of the plastic tube. Ah, simple pleasures.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lazy Sunday Links


Happy Sunday all! Today I'm going to be spending the day with my mom, grandma and sister to celebrate my (late) birthday. I'm also going to be putting together a post for some popsicles. Oh, and Game of Thrones season finale, but that goes without saying. Hope you have a great Sunday, here are some links to start browsing.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper, Basil & Salami Grilled Cheese


The past few weeks I have been trying to eat a lot healthier. I have also been going to the gym, and it feels great. But every now and then, you gotta indulge. Sometimes, you need to stop counting calories, and just enjoy something really decadent. Treat yo self, ya know?


Speaking of the gym, why is it so dang hard to go? I always enjoy it when I'm there, and I feel great it's over, but I really drag my feet when it comes to getting in that building. What helps motivate you to go to the gym? Wait, back to treating yourself!