Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy birthday to me!

Well, it's official. I am 18 years old today, and I leave for Europe in only a few hours. I am so excited! I have been up since 4:30, and just can't wait to go. I won't actually get to Europe until June 29 because of the time change and long flight, but I am still itching to board that plane.
 
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I had never had coffee cake before trying out this recipe, and I was amazed by how delicious it was. (I tend to say this a lot. You probably think my mom never fed me anything when I was little. It was more like I was too picky to try anything.) I did not know how much the dough would rise while baking, so I did it in a smaller dish. It still worked fine, and yielded bigger slices.


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Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake
serves 4
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 egg
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp applesauce
¼ cup quick oatmeal
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sugar

Mix the 2 tsp sugar, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Set this aside. Beat together the egg, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and yogurt. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a separate bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Oil a 4X4 baking dish. Pour half of the batter into the dish and top with half of the cinnamon oatmeal mixture. Spread the remaining batter evenly over top, and finally sprinkle on the remaining topping. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
 
 
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Here is another cascade card. I just can't get enough of these things. They are too much fun to make. Of course, this one is birthday themed to celebrate the day.



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You cannot honestly tell me that these pancakes are not the coolest thing ever. They are birthday cake flavored! I poured a ton of sprinkles in them to make the batter explode with color. The picture above is of the top and the one below is the bottom of the pancakes. While the pancakes cook, the sprinkles bubble and rise to the top (which is actually the bottom of the pancake). It is so much fun to watch.
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Birthday Cake Pancakes for One
serves 1 (about 3 medium pancakes)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp oil
½ tbsp sugar
½ cup flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sprinkles
1/3 cup milk
¼ tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Whisk all the ingredients together. Preheat a nonstick pancake pan to medium heat. Scoop out a few tablespoons of the batter at a time onto the pan. Flip the pancake over when the top starts to bubble and look dried out. Remove the pancakes from the heat once they are done.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Red Velvet

Once again I am going to share recipes with you using produce that I bought at the Westside Market. (I had to use it all up before we leave for Europe tomorrow.) I had wanted to try to make red velvet something for a while, but I was not sure how to make the red color. The food coloring my mom buys is neon, so the red looks more pink. It also tastes disgusting. I found that beets worked wonderfully to give these pancakes and oatmeal a red tint. (The pictures make them look more brown, but they are redder in real life.) And best of all, you get a serving of veggies without having the taste of them. I hate beets, but I had no problem with either of these recipes.

Red Velvet Baked Oatmeal
½ a beet, peeled and cubed
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup milk
1 cup oatmeal
¼ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Cover the beet cubes with water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes. Drain off the water and allow the beets to cool. Blend the beets, milk, and applesauce together. In a separate container stir together the oatmeal, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until everything is incorporated. Pour the batter into an oiled ramekin. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

 

 
Red Velvet Pancakes
serves 3-4
1 beet, peeled and cubed
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
dash of salt

Cover the beet cubes with water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes. Drain off the water and allow the beets to cool. Combine all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until everything is all mixed up. Preheat a nonstick pancake pan to medium heat. Scoop out a few tablespoons of the batter at a time onto the pan. Flip the pancake over when the top starts to bubble and look dried out. Remove the pancakes from the heat once they are done.


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Syd asked me to make these invitations for a surprise birthday party she is throwing for one of her friends. The person she is throwing it for loves anything Asian, so I thought these cards with the Chinese symbol for friendship would look great.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cascade Cards

I have a new obsession: cascade cards. They are so fun and versatile. I have made them into anything from birthday to Christmas to missing you cards. Here is a step to step tutorial on how to make them.

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1.Start out with your standard 8.5X11 piece of cardstock paper.
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2. Cut it in half hamburger style.
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3. I am going to use two separate colors of paper to make the next few steps easier. Mark your "green" piece halfway up on the right hand side and the "red" piece halfway up on the left side.
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4. Use a ruler to trace a line from the mark on your green paper to the bottom left corner. Do the same with the red, but trace it to the bottom right corner.
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5. Cut along the lines.
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6. Fold each piece in half.
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7.Mark the halfway points between each of the new sides. (At the 1/4 and 3/4 points of each piece.)
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8.At each of the points you just made, measure up halfway up the height of the card and make a point.
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9. Cut up to the dots on the red piece from the bottom. Cut down to the dots on the green piece from the top.

10.Fit your card together and decorate!
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Here is a music themed cascade card. The way you decorate them is purely up to you. I like to jazz them up with some patterned paper and stickers.
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Now let's get on to today's pancake recipe. I have been putting this flavor combination off for a while. I was scared to try it since I'm not a fan of lemon flavored things or poppy seeds. (I thought it was a given that lemon poppy seed pancakes would just not be my thing.) I was proven wrong last night when I whipped these up, using fresh lemon juice squeezed right from the lemon. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
 
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Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes
makes 10 pancakes
1 cup flour
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
½ cup milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup applesauce
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Whisk all the ingredients together. Preheat a nonstick pancake pan to medium heat. Scoop out a few tablespoons of the batter at a time onto the pan. Flip the pancake over when the top starts to bubble and look dried out. Remove the pancakes from the heat once they are done.



 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy National Strawberry Parfait Day!

Today is a great day to celebrate everything parfait. Especially strawberry parfait.

What exactly is a parfait?

The French definition of a parfait is a frozen dessert made of sugar and cream like ice cream. The word parfait literally means perfect. I'm not French, though, and I make my parfaits with yogurt and have them for breakfast. This strawberry parfait can be eaten for breakfast or dessert without an awful sugar rush first thing in the morning. Take that you French frozen sugar cream. Us Americans know how to whip up a pretty perfect parfait too.


strawberry granola parfait (3)

Strawberry Granola Parfait
serves 4
2 cups sliced strawberries
4 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
1 recipe cinnamon- honey egg white granola (below), or 1 cup granola

Place ½ cup yogurt at the bottom of four large glasses. Divide the sliced strawberries between the glasses and top with the remaining ½ cup yogurt per glass. Sprinkle ¼ cup of granola over the yogurt.


And what is a parfait without a good dose of homemade granola? Here are two great recipes that will go great layered between your strawberries and yogurt.

pb egg white granola (5)

Cinnamon-Honey Egg White Granola
2 tbsp honey
1 egg white
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Whisk the egg until it is fluffy. Add in the honey and cinnamon. Stir to combine. In a bowl, combine the oatmeal with the egg mixture. Once all the oats are coated, spread them out on a parchment paper lined baking stone. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake another 15 minutes. Allow the granola to cool before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight glass container.

 
pb egg white granola (2)
Peanut Butter Egg White Granola
2 tbsp honey
1 egg white
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
3 tbsp peanut butter
½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Whisk the egg until it is fluffy. Add in the honey, peanut butter, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. In a bowl, combine the oatmeal with the egg mixture. Once all the oats are coated, spread them out on a parchment paper lined baking stone. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake another 15 minutes. Allow the granola to cool before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight glass container.


 
Just to clear everything up, I have nothing against the French. I am actually going to France next week. I am actually nothing but appreciative for their ingenious creation of the parfait. (I just perfected their recipe.) So here is a note to all you French cooks who create parfaits on a daily basis. Keep freezing that sugar cream in alternating layers of fruit. We can celebrate this grand day of strawberry parfaits together.
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And to top it all off with another strawberry, here is an awesome recipe for cottage cheese pancakes.


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Cottage Cheese Pancakes
¾ cup flour
4 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
 
Whisk all the ingredients together. Preheat a nonstick pancake pan to medium heat. Pour a few tbsp of the batter onto the pan and spread it out. Cook each side until golden brown.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Little Bit of Joy

Today's post is in honor of my poor dad who has been really sick these past couple of days with his gallbladder. Prayer would be appreciated, and he seems to be on the mend. Although he can't have them (nor does he want them), almond joys are his favorite candies. Here are two recipes using the famous flavor combination.
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Almond Joy Pancakes
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup almond milk, coconut milk or a mixture of the two
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp almond extract
dash of salt
1/2 cup coconut flakes
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp honey (Optional depending on whether your coconut is sweetened. It also helps to keep it together.)

Whisk the first nine ingredients together. Preheat a nonstick pancake pan to medium low heat. Scoop out a few tbsp of the batter onto the pan and cook until the top starts to bubble and the bottom is dry. Flip and cook the other side until lightly browned. Meanwhile, stir the coconut, milk, and honey (if using) together. Spread a few tablespoons of it on top of a pancake and top with another pancake. Sprinkle on coconut flakes, almonds, and chocolate chips.
 


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Hershey's sure did know what they were doing when they put together coconut, almonds, and chocolate. And don't worry all you nut haters. You can easily adapt this recipe to be "Mounds" flavored by leaving out the almond milk and extract. Or you can make it more almondy by using almond flour.

Almond Joy Cereal
serves 2-3
1 ½ cups oatmeal
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
pinch of salt
¾ cup almond milk
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp sugar

Toast the oatmeal and the coconut in an oven preheated to 350 degrees until golden. Blend together to form a flour. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Spread out onto a nonstick pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool before breaking into chunks.

 
Substitution Notes: You can sub ¾ cup almond flour and ¾ cup coconut flour for the oatmeal. Maybe you could try coconut milk in place of the almond milk.

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Harper wanted me to take a picture of her artwork to show everyone. I think she did a good job on the tulip and writing her name. She has gotten so big. I don't think I have mentioned it on here yet, but soon Harper will be a big sister! (I will too for the third time.) We are adopting another little girl from China. We should get her by the end of the year. I will write more on it later. I am so excited!

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 With the new baby coming, I have been thinking about more child-themed cards. The bright colors and animals are so fun to work with. Here is a zoo themed stepper card.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Roasted Edamame

Have you ever had edamame before? When you first hear about the stuff, you are like, "ewww soybeans". After you actually try it, you are like, "oooh soybeans". And then you devour them all. This was what Harper was like the other day when I cooked up this recipe for myself. She likes edamame, but she was a little skeptical about the fact that they were roasted. After trying one, I literally had to stand up with them to prevent her from eating them all. I hope you have similar results.

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Roasted Edamame
1 bag of frozen shelled edamame
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt

Spread the edamame out on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the cheese, salt, and garlic powder over the top. Bake at 400 for 18 minutes.


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Making Mickey Mouse cards is just so much fun. It brings up great memories of Disney World that you can share with whoever you give the card to. An added bonus is that it's super easy to cut out three circles and glue them together onto a card. Even a beginner can make a great Mouse ears card. I don't know what I will do with the big Minne card above, but I sent the one below to my friend today. she is on a mission trip called Operation Barnabas for six weeks. We can send her mail, and I hope that Mickey and Minnie can help to encourage her.


Unlike edamame, there is no question that anything made with grits will be amazing. Most people see grits as only a savory thing, but these pancakes introduce them as something sweet. The homemade blueberry sauce really tops them off. It's a great way to use up any leftover grits just like my leftover oatmeal pancakes.


Grits Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce
serves 3-4
½ cup quick cooking grits
1 ¾ cup water
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
2 eggs
blueberry sauce (below)
yogurt

Mix the grits and water together. Prepare the grits according to the directions on the package. Allow them to cool for at least an hour. Blend all the ingredients together in a high powered blender. Preheat a nonstick pancake pan to medium low heat. Scoop out a few tbsp of the batter onto the pan and cook until the top starts to bubble and the bottom is dry. Flip and cook the other side until lightly browned. Serve with blueberry sauce and yogurt.

 
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Blueberry Sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup plus 3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring the sugar, ½ cup water, and blueberries to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat and allow them to simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch and 3 tbsp of water together. Mix this in with the blueberries. Allow it to cook for two minutes before removing it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and serve.