Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Unique Way to Use Masa

I love to make homemade corn tortillas, but the masa harina comes in a huge pack. I was curious to try the lime treated corn flour out on other recipes, and thus these pancakes were born.

The masa makes super fluffy pancakes, and anything with buttermilk is deliciously soft and airy. The oddest ingredients often make the most surprisingly delicious dishes.



Masa Harina Pancakes
makes 12
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup masa harina
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. buttermilk
2 tbsp. oil
2 eggs

Mix together  the flour, masa, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until there are no more lumps. Spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat it over medium heat. Once the oil sizzles, pour 1/4 cup of the batter at a time into the skillet. Cook each side for about a minute, until golden brown.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Summer Meets Fall

The last few (and not quite as tasty) peaches are leaving the market, and the first pecans are just showing up. It is the perfect time to make some spiced peach pecan muffins! It's not too hot too bake, not too far in to the hectic holiday season, and everyone likes a good muffin.

spiced peach pecan muffins (10)
Spiced Peach Pecan Muffins
makes 16
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups oat flour (or rolled oats blended into a fine powder)
¼ cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
3 ripe bananas
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
3 peaches, peeled and diced
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and oil a muffin pan. Mix the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. In a blender, blend the bananas, yogurt, eggs, and milk until creamy. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, stirring in the peaches. Divide the batter between the muffin holes. Top each muffin with a tablespoon of chopped pecans. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

spiced peach pecan muffins (8)
These muffins are food for my Georgian soul. Fresh pecans right off the tree and peaches just picked that morning are two of things I miss most about my home state. These muffins help to fill the hole GA left in my heart.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chicken Pesto Naan Pizza

Chicken + Naan + Pesto= One of the best pizzas ever!

Pesto and chicken are a natural combination for luxury pizza. Pesto is a nice replacement for the traditional tomato sauce, and chicken adds a nice touch paired with a trio of cheeses. Using a naan bread for the crust puts an untraditional twist to it. You can follow the link to make homemade naan  (which is especially delicious), or buy the store brand (not quite as good, but easier) for a quick, tasty supper. It's like the Indian and Italian fusion pizza that will captivate you at first bite.

chicken pesto naan pizza (2)
Chicken Pesto Naan Pizza
1 naan flatbread
3-4 tbsp basil pesto
½ cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup shredded parmesan
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
¼ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Preheat your broiler. Spray oil lightly over the top and bottom of the naan. Cover the side with bubbles with the pesto and sprinkle on the cheese. Evenly spread the spinach and chicken evenly over the center. Place the naan on a broiler safe pan and cook on the top rack of your oven for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cheesy Goodness!

"Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya!"

My dad sang that the entire month before he took my mom to Aruba. They came back with sun tans, t-shirts, and stories of amazing massages and beautiful beaches. One aspect they neglected to mention was the delicious food!

In case you didn't know, Aruba is an island located in the Caribbean. It's part of the Netherlands Antilles, and is a Dutch colony. The two languages most commonly spoken are Dutch and Papiamento, the latter being a creole language native to the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. The food of all three counties share similar characteristics.


The word "keshi" is the Papiamento rendition of the Dutch word for cheese: "kaas". This extremely cheesy pie-like substance. It actually originated with the Dutch slaves who would stuff hollowed out cheese rounds with random scraps, bake or steam it, and go into a cheesy coma. (Alright, maybe not the last part, but just about.) I had my doubts as always, but it turned out delicious!

Keshi Yena
serves 3-4
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked and shredded
1 green bell pepper, choppe1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
¼ cup raisins
½ cup cashew pieces
½ cup water
2 tbsp oil
8 ounces Gouda cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and oil two ramekins or a small baking dish. Line the bottoms and sides of the ramekins with the cheese slices, completely covering them. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion, bell peppers, and habanero for 10 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the water, chicken, cashews, and raisins; and cook until the water has evaporated. Carefully place the filling inside the cheese crust, top with the remaining slices of cheese, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn on the broiler and cook for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is nicely browned.


Pan bati is a side dish pancake that the Arubans often eat with soup or stews. I loves to sop up the melty cheese with the pan bati, and I thought they went great together. Who said that pancakes were breakfast food?

Pan Bati
makes about 10
1 cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ tbsp. baking powder
dash of salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup water
1 egg
6 tbsp milk

Mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring in enough water to make a pancake batter-like consistency. Oil a skillet and heat it over medium heat. Cook a few tablespoons of the batter at a time. Flip the bread over once bubbles start to form on top, cooking each side until lightly browned.
Cornmeal griddle bread and cheese crusted pie equals deliciousness all around. Aruba did not disappoint! I wish I could have cooked it for my family to see if they had tried anything like it in Aruba. My dad would have probably died because he heated cheese, but my mom and sisters could have joined me in the gooey paradise. Yum!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Today it was freezing. Ugh, I dread the winter. Everyone was bundled up in class, and I think they may have even turned on the heat. It's especially bad since only a couple of days ago it was super hot outside. One thing that makes the winter bearable is the knowledge that it's soup season. It's so nice to snuggle up with a warm bowl of soup and enjoy blasting the heat. This curried cauliflower soup will especially warm you up with its aromatic blend of spices. It is literally hot in both senses! I will never be scared of the cold with a mighty bowl of soup like this on my side.

curried cauliflower soup (3)
Curried Cauliflower Soup
serves 1
1-12 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower
1 cup chicken broth
¾ cup canned coconut milk
1 tsp curry powder
cashews, to garnish
In a microwave safe bowl with the lid, combine the cauliflower and broth. Microwave for 8 minutes. Pour the cauliflower, broth, coconut milk, and curry powder into a blender. Blend until creamy. Garnish your bowl of soup with cashews to serve.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Break Cards

Well, fall break is over, and I did not get half of the stuff that I needed to get done done. I did have a wonderful time cooking with my one roommate who stayed behind with me, knocked out half of my 8 paged Spanish paper, got some reading done, and was able to have a friend over to make cards. A fun and productive break all around. It went by way too fast.

This card is great for using up scraps. I think it is a super fun design for birthday cards, but, with the right paper, it could be used for anything. I used my birthday stack of cardstock cut out into triangles to create the fun design.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The most expensive ice cream you will ever make

My roommate and I have been talking about making some ice cream together since the beginning of the semester. Ice cream making is quite a long process (frozen yogurt is way faster), so I promised her we could do it over fall break. I know October is a little late in the season for ice cream, but it's a great time to find deals on candy. The particular candy bar we used for this ice cream must be amazing because it claims to be worth 100 Grand. All I can tell you is that it sure tastes like it. And luckily for us broke college kids, it doesn't cost quite that much. (Although a few bucks feels like a fortune when you're working minimum wage.)



100 Grand Ice Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
6- 100 Grand fun-size candy bars, chopped into small pieces

Place the sugar, salt, milk, and cream in a medium pot. Heat to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk the egg yolks together with 1 cup of the milk and cream mixture. Pour this into the pot and stir over medium heat until the custard reaches 170 degrees. Remove from the heat.

Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve and refrigerate in a sealed container for 5 hours.

Whisk the vanilla extract into the custard. Using an ice cream maker (mine is from Cuisinart), pour the cooled cream and egg mixture into the frozen ice cream maker’s attachment bowl. Let the machine run for 20 minutes. Once the ice cream has all come together, sprinkle the chopped up candy bars in while the machine is running.

Put the ice cream in a sealed container. Freeze for 3 hours before serving. Thaw it a little on the counter before scooping out and serving.