Monthly Archives: October 2013

Washing Machine Ice Chest

The holiday season is upon us and that means parties and family gatherings. 

Maybe not all of us are blessed with an ice chest, or maybe we just don’t have a big enough one on hand. Well here is a clever little tip when it comes to serving cold drinks at your next party: Store them in your washing machine!

Just think about it, you pour the ice into the washing machine, you put a case of beer (or soda) in there and then slowly bring them out to replenish drinks in the party atmosphere. You could of course also let guests pick right out of the machine. They will think you are so clever and innovative. But not all of us are blessed with an easily accessible laundry room, so just invest $10-$20 in a cute tin bucket that will actually fit on your table or counter top! And no need to worry about lugging that heavy cooler off to drain, your washing machine drains itself as the ice melts! Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy! 

Bye-bye ugly cooler, Hello washing machine!

-Ellie

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Snickerdoodle Blondies

Okay, you might just gain a pound from reading this post, that is how deliciously naughty these blonde babes are!

Despite what the plate says in the picture, these are anything but tough! Try super soft and chewy to perfection!

This is a totally from scratch recipe, that can also be clean (depending on a few ingredients), but remember eating clean doesn’t mean dieting. This is a wonderful indulgence. Just make sure you cut them in to like 24 small pieces, because even those pieces are about 200 calories each.

I was searching for a from-scratch recipe for chocolate brownies when I came across the idea of snickerdoodle brownies (or blondies, if you prefer). I mean, that is probably my favorite super soft and chewy cookie!

Okay enough drooling, lets get right to the recipe and let your tastebuds do the talking!

Snickerdoodle Brownies
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Total time: 40 min

Ingredients
2 and 2/3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur’s)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups packed brown sugar**(see below for clean substitute)
1 cup organic, unsalted butter, room temp***
2 eggs, room temp
1 tablespoon vanilla
Topping
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (or granulated white sugar)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

**I used brown sugar, so I have not tested this, but my understanding is for brown sugar you can substitute 3/4 the amount with pure honey and 1/16 the amount with molasses. So that would be 1 and 1/2 cup pure honey and 1/8 cup molasses. If you try it out this way, let me know how it goes!

***I know there are plenty of butter substitutes like: applesauce, mashed avocado, greek yogurt, pureed prunes, etc. But I honestly haven’t started playing around with these much yet, so I am unsure what it would do to the texture and flavor. You can always use a brand like EarthBalance that is lower in saturated fats I believe.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.
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2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside.
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3. In a large bowl (I used my blender because I really need to invest in a hand mixer) beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until creamed together. Add the flour mixture and blend until well combined.
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4. Spread the batter in an even layer in your lightly greased pan.
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5. In a small bowl combine your sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over prepared batter in baking pan.
6. Baking for 25 minutes or until blondies spring back with a light touch. Let cool slightly and cut while still warm.
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7. Eat and fall in love!

These addictive little blondies are great for a special treat or a cool Fall day.

I even think they taste better and just as chewy the next day, and the day after that! (if they stick around that long!)

-Ellie

Homemade Cheesy Garlic Bread

So this is going to sound bad on my part, but this is the first thing in a while that my guy actually asked me to make again, every night. Haha.

I don’t take offense to that, because I know it’s just because he would rather have a greasy burger and fries rather than the things I make at home. Is there such a thing as having a healthier palate? Because I think I have one (with a sweet side now and then)

So the French baguette I received from my co-op the other week had just been sitting in my fridge, staring at me every time I would open the door. I started to feel bad, so I decided to make some garlic bread. I mean how hard could it be?

Answer: Easy Peasy. Why the heck have I been buying that frozen crap that never turns out good?!?

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Cut the baguette in half horizontally. And set aside on baking sheet.

Step 3: In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) of softened, unsalted butter, 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic, and chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t measure but maybe about 1 tbsp). Spread mixture over both halves of the loaf. you can use more or less butter, depending on your health concerns

Step 4: Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over both halves. Broil for about 1 minute, or until cheese is melted. Really check often because it can burn very quickly! I check every twenty seconds or so, no joke.

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Let cool for about 5 minutes, cut and enjoy! I stored the leftovers in my fridge for a couple days and even reheated in the microwave they tasted great!

Happy Eating!
-Ellie

“Insert Corny Title Here”

I guess I have been living under a rock all of my life, because whenever I get ears of corn, I spend forever trying to peel off all of the silk and clean them. Then I do the typical boil in water.

So when I decided to finally cook up the ears of corn I purchased at the farmer’s market, something possessed me to look up how to oven bake corn. And holy moly! I will never go back to boiling corn, EVER!

It couldn’t be more simple.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place ears of corn, husks and all, on a baking sheet (or directly on the rack, but I didn’t want to risk my silk catching fire!)

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3. Bake ears of corn for 30 minutes.

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Ignore that one corn, I had already shucked one corn before I decided to look up oven baked, so I just wrapped it up in tin foil with butter, salt, pepper, and paprika to compare. And honestly, I liked the plain better!)

4. Remove from oven, wait a few minutes until corn is cool enough to be handled. Cut the top of the husk (the part with the silk) off and peel down the husk.

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The husk and silk just fell right off! We are strange and always eat corn off the cob. I just can’t stand it in my teeth!

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Yes, I use Christmas plates all year round, I also use Christmas bed sheets! Haha.

My favorite thing about this method (besides how easy it is) is the fact that I literally didn’t add anything to the corn. No butter, salt, pepper, etc. My guy didn’t even really noticed. After dinner, I asked how he liked the new cooking method and his response, “It was good, but could have used more salt.” I just started laughing because in my mind, he asked for more salt, which means he thought I seasoned it already, he just wanted to more.

But really you don’t need salt, I loved it plain. It was so sweet and bursting with flavor. Our taste buds in my opinion are still just adjusting because we are so used to putting junk in our bodies covered in salt to disguise the flavor!

What is your favorite way to prepare corn on the cob?Happy Eating
-Ellie

Chick-Fil-A Copycat

Believe it or not, I do still cook food! I know it seems like all I have been doing is couponing and home improvement. But seriously, we have to eat!

I got the Chick-Fil-A Copycat recipe from FoodBabe and couldn’t wait to try it out. While Chick-Fil-A might not share all the same views that I do, they do share delicious food with me. But after reading there are almost 100 ingredients in one Chick-Fil-A sandwich, you might want to politely break-up with Chick-Fil-A.

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Image Courtesy of FoodBabe

I mean it’s just a chicken sandwich right? What more could be needed than breading, chicken, seasoning, and a bun? (no pickles for me please!) Well apparently they thought it could also use high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, chemical preservatives (one of them is TBHQ or Tertiary Butylhydroquinone, made from butane!) and MSG, just to name a few.

It saddens me to know that I have been eating something so bad, after really thinking going to Chick-Fil-A was a healthier choice versus a greasy burger. (Not a healthy choice, but healthier.)

So I decided to try out FoodBabe’s recipe because I couldn’t imagine never tasting that chicken sandwich again. (Maybe one of the hundred ingredients causes addiction!)

http://foodbabe.com/2011/07/09/chick-fil-a-or-chemical-fil-a/
http://foodbabe.com/2011/07/24/chick-fil-a-now-open-on-sunday/

Food Babe’s Open on Sunday Sandwich

Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Total time 55 mins

Serves: 4
Ingredients
2 chicken breasts equaling about 1 pound
1 large egg
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup pickle juice
12 pickle slices
3 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 cup flour of your choice (I used spelt)
1 tbsp powdered sugar
¼ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp baking soda
4 sprouted whole wheat hamburger buns or buns of your choice
1 tbsp butter

Instructions
1. Marinating:

2. About 4 hours before or the day before – Cut chicken breasts in half making 4 similar size pieces
3. With a meat tenderizer or small hammer pound the chicken to ½ inch thick
4. Sprinkle salt, pepper and ½ tsp paprika to both sides of chicken
5. Place chicken in 1 cup pickle juice and let marinate for at least 4 hours to one day prior to baking
6. Baking:
7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
8. Place pickle slices in vinegar and let marinate while you prep the chicken
9. In a bowl, combine and stir flours, sugar, baking soda, 1 tsp paprika, dry mustard and set aside
10. In another bowl, whisk egg and almond milk together
11. Remove chicken from marinade and dredge one piece of chicken at a time in egg bath, ensuring each side is wet and dredge in flour mixture coating each sidePlace each flour coated chicken piece on a wire rack with pan on bottom
12. Spray each piece liberally with olive oil covering both sides
13. Place tray of chicken in oven
14. After 12 mins, turn each piece of chicken over mid way through baking
15. After about 25 mins – 30 mins, chicken should be completely cooked and crispy
16. Take out of the oven and let rest at least 5 mins
17. While chicken is resting, butter buns and place in oven for 3-5 mins
18. Take buns out of oven, place 3 pickles on bottom bun and chicken on top and ENJOY!
Notes
Serve with a nice large cabbage salad or steamed broccoli (If you really want fries, I suggest baked sweet potato fries) Try to use all organic ingredients

Okay so I am not sure I can really give this a fair review just yet and let me tell you why. Picture this: It’s 7pm, people are starving, and your husband has to leave for work in about 2 hours. You look up this recipe that you had planned on making. You even remembered to defrost the chicken! Then you read the words marinate for at least 4 hours Well crap! You are going to make this anyways and just let it marinate for 30 minutes while you prepare other things.

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I am not saying this tasted bad, it was just a little dry. So I want to try it again after really marinating it so that juice really soaks in to the chicken! But compared to Chick-Fil-A, the breading had that same sweet, delicious flavor you love! Also, don’t try to use a pizza pan like I did because you don’t have a cooling rack. The breading stuck when I tried to flip the chicken breast and when I took them off, boo! hence the not so great looking end product, missing breading But if you judge everything you eat off of how it looks, you are going to miss out on some great food!

Bottom Line: You should definitely try this out, just make sure you plan ahead!

Happy Eating!
-Ellie

Recipe and Ingredient Picture courtesy of FoodBabe. Website listed above. All opinions are my own.