Wednesday, April 27, 2016

South of the Border Hummus

I love hummus. I love the stuff out of the container. The plain, the roasted garlic, the lemon. I love it on crackers, on tortilla chips, with veggies, with chicken, on potato chips (is that weird?). I just love it.

So, of course, I topped it with veggies and beans and other things that reminded me of southwest-y flavors. You get it, right? That's how our friendship works. I make (sometimes weird) stuff. You look at it. You don't judge me. It's perfect.

South of Border Hummus
2 cans chickpeas
juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 avocado
1/2 tsp salt
1 tomato, diced
1 ear of corn, removed from the cob
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  1. Using a food processor, blend together the chickpeas, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and avocado until smooth. You may need slightly more oil.
  2. Add the hummus to the bowl, or whatever serving vehicle you plan on using. Top with the tomato, corn, black beans, and cilantro. Enjoy with chips or crackers or anything else you want!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Banana Bread French Toast with Salted Pecan Caramel and Bourbon Whipped Cream

So....that's a mouthful. But look at it. It was going to just be the banana bread and the whipped cream, but I found pecans in the freezer and can't leave well enough alone. So now there's caramel sauce too.

So what is this? Dessert? Breakfast? Brunch? I mean, technically it's probably all of them, but I like to think it's brunch, because I'm honestly infatuated with brunch right now. Like, I love the food, but something about brunch is just so inherently classy (at least in my head). It seems like the type of thing you pull out the nice fancy plates for and wear your pearls and some pretty lipstick.

But, knowing me, I'm usually in yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Or pajamas. And an apron. Sometimes. Because if I'm eating brunch there's like an 80% chance I made it, or at least helped make it. 

I think brunch sounds fancy because it usually involves champagne? Or some other type of cute cocktail, at least. And those are fancy. In my 19-year-old opinion.

Anyway, welcome this to your brunch party. It's a fun guest. I promise.

Banana Bread French Toast
banana bread (adapted from How Sweet It Is)
1/2 cup butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1 cup brown sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed smooth with a fork
1 egg
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

French toast
2 eggs
3 tbsp half and half
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp butter

salted pecan caramel
1/2 cup pecans, chopped roughly
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp half and half
1/4 tsp salt

bourbon whipped cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp bourbon
1 tbsp confectioner's sugar

  1. Start by making the banana bread. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and cream cheese. Add the banana, egg, and Greek yogurt, mix until smooth. Add in dry ingredients. Bake at 350 in a greased loaf pan for 70 minutes.
  2. While the banana bread is cooling, start the caramel. Add the butter and brown sugar to a pot over medium heat. Stir until totally melted. Add in the pecans, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Make the whipped cream. Place the bowl and whisk attachment of an electric mixer in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cream to the mixer and beat on high speed for about a minute. Add sugar and bourbon. Continue to beat until soft peaks form.
  5. Once the banana bread is cool, cut two inch-thick slices.
  6. Whisk together the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, and vanilla. Soak each slice of banana bread in the mixture for 2 minutes, flip, then soak another two minutes.
  7. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add French toast, cook for 3 minutes per side, then plate.
  8. Top the toast with caramel sauce and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

BLT Salads with Chicken and Garlic Bread Croutons

Hi friends. I made us salad. With CROUTONS.

Homemade croutons are a thing you need in your life. You'll be shocked by how easy they are and how good they are. They make every salad so much better. Like, I don't think you understand how awesome salads you make at home have the potential to be.

Believe in your salads. They love you. You should love them. Love yourself. Make your own croutons. Homemade salad dressing is doable too. If I can make it happen, so can you. Come over and eat this salad with me. I know it's not quite comfort food, but the croutons bring it pretty close. Trust me.

BLT Salads with Chicken
4 cups butter lettuce
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tomato, diced
1 ear of corn, cut off the cob
1 lb chicken (I like to use the tenderloins)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

garlic bread croutons
1 cup sourdough, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp garlic, minced
  1. Add all the vegetables for the salad to a large bowl.
  2. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then add to a pan over medium heat. Cook about 4 minutes per side, until white all the way through. Remove from heat, let cool, then chop and add to the bowl with the veggies.
  3. For the dressing, stir together the yogurt, mustard, garlic, cheese, and vinegar.
  4. Whisking continuously, add the oil to the dressing in a steady stream. Whisk until smooth.
  5. For the croutons, add the bread cubes to a baking sheet. Drizzle oil over top and sprinkle on the garlic. Toss to coat thoroughly.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, then toss to flip and cook another 5 minutes, until golden and toasty.
  7. Combine in the desired ratio and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

S'more Rice Krispy Treats

I sort of love rice krispy treats. They're simple, they're childish, but I love them. They're buttery and sweet, and the texture is so fun to me.

So I decided to complicate them. Because it seemed necessary. I'm also a firm believer that chocolate and a graham cracker crust can improve most things, if not all.

These are a good idea to make when you're home alone and have been watching a little too much of the Investigation Discovery channel, and need something to emotionally eat while you jump at every little noise, because you're convinced that you're going to be stabbed to death. You might accidentally eat the whole pan though. I claim no responsibility for that.

That being said, eating the whole pan.....there are worse things in life.

S'more Rice Krispy Treats
10 graham crackers
1 stick + 3 tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz. mini marshmallows
3 cups rice krispies
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks
1/4 cup marshmallow fluff

  1. Smash the graham crackers into crumbs. Melt the stick of butter, then stir in the crumbs. Mush into the bottom of a greased 9x9 pan.
  2. Melt the remaining butter and the marshmallows in a pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the marshmallow mixture to the rice krispies in a medium bowl. Stir in the fluff and chocolate chunks, making sure to not fully combine the fluff.
  4. Add to the pan with the graham cracker crust. Let cool completely and enjoy!