Thursday, December 29, 2011

NYE Snack: Sriracha Party Mix

I’m not a goal setter but here, in front of you few loyal readers, I hope to post more in 2012. With that said, please make and enjoy one of the favorite things to come out of my kitchen this year.


Wish I could take credit for the recipe because it’s a good one, but I can’t. You can find the details regarding measurements and such over at The Food in My Beard.

What you will need:

  • Chex cereal (I used rice… a mix of rice and corn would be or Crispix)
  • Wasabi Peas
  • pretzels
  • Chow Mein Noodles
  • Peanuts
  • Butter
  • Sriracha
  • Soy Sauce (I actually used a combination of soy, Worcestershire, and Hendersons Relish)
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Ginger (minced)


Add dry ingredients to bowl.


Mix wet ingredients in another smaller bowl. Pour wet into dry mixture.


I found it easiest to mix with my hands – just make sure wet mixture isn’t still piping hot.


Spread mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.


Seek out the pieces that are clumped together – they are the best.

Warning: this is quite spicy… make sure you have a beverage, or two, nearby when eating.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where is Santa?

Merry Christmas Eve, folks. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then Happy Holidays to you and hopefully you are enjoying time with loved ones.

Currently I’m sitting by the tree, enjoying a glass of wine and watching Home Alone… one of my all time favorite holiday flicks.

In case you were wondering, I have an important update:


Santa’s current location is Tarrafal, Cape Verde. Looks like he’ll be crossing the ocean to our continent pretty soon though.

So, I saw this survey cropping up around the interwebs and thought I’d participate for fun (the wine helps).

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Always wrapped. That’s part of the fun!

Colored lights on tree/house or white?

Definitely white. Though I’ve seen trees tastefully done with colored lights, white it is for me!

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

I’d probably say stuffing or potatoes… though squash is definitely right up there! Oh and Christmas morning we always have some sort of coffee cake – I think I look forward to that more than Christmas dinner itself!

Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Definitely Christmas morning – my brother and I would wake up SUPER early and were allowed to open up our stockings. Then we’d watch a Christmas movie until mom and dad got up to open the rest of the gifts.

Snow? Love it or dread it?

I don’t mind it for Christmas – after that I’m quite all set.

Real tree or fake tree?

Real! My parents have always had real trees. I will say, though, that I don’t even get a tree for my place because I can’t stand the clean up – pine needles, woof.

What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?

Being with family and friends, of course, and just the “magical-ness” of the day.

What is your favorite holiday dessert?

We have different desserts every year, but I don’t think it’s Christmas without at least one peanut butter ball tasting!

What is your favorite tradition?

Again, Christmas morning. We have coffee, eat coffee cake and open presents in our pajamas. Typically there is a viewing of the Disney Christmas Parade at some point.

What tops your tree?

A star

What is your favorite Christmas song?

Carol of the Bells

What do you leave for Santa?

Nothing, both of the Santa’s in this house are watching their figures Winking smile

Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?

See above.

Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

I did a little bit of both this year.

Wishing Everyone a Happy, Healthy Holiday and New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Current Obsessions, Vol. 1

I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth, promise. I’ve just had no interest in blogging. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch… I just haven’t had much to blog about. Having December off has been just what I needed. For the first time in months, I’ve actually allowed myself to watch TV after work and spend hours doing absolutely nothing and NOT feel guilty about it. Okay, well there’s some guilt there when I look at the laundry pile in my bedroom that just never seems to go away but, you get it.

Anyway, because I’m sure you find yourself at my blog because I’m highly fashionable (read: not at all, today I realized shortly before closing time at work that my sweater had been on backwards all day) and have impeccable taste in all of the things, I present to you: my current obsessions.

1. The apartment has no tree or wreath but I do have what I have titled, for the sake of this post, my holiday corner. It’s actually not a corner at all but rather the top of my radiator unit. Classy should have been my middle name.


How embarrassed I should be for showing you the 5 Christmas cards I’ve received this year. But I’m not, because it’s my holiday corner and I don’t care about your hundreds of cards.

2. This candle. It smells amazing. I light it when I get home from work,  or when something doesn’t smell right.


3. These Gorgonzola Biscuits. WOW. Jessica posted these today and I already made them. But not the pinot noir butter, not today anyway, I had TV to watch remember?


They don’t look quite like hers (read: not at all), but were still cheesy deliciousness.


Oozing cheese, is there any other kind worth eating?

4. And speaking of Jessica, I made her Gingersnap Crusted Salmon for dinner last night. SO good. So so SO so so SO good.

5. Burnt Habanero Crema Salsa. I’ve made this twice now. Once with sour cream in place of the crema (couldn’t find it) and once with Greek yogurt. Both times it was fantastic and both times my mouth was on serious fire.


Bring it to a party. Wow your friends. Their mouths will burn but they won’t be able to get enough.

6. My Growler of Blue Hills Brewery: Black Hops. Though the brewery isn’t too far from where I live, I found growlers at my local liquor store. I can’t get enough of this delicious dark beer.


What are your latest obsessions? TELL ME, TELL ME! Food, drinks, music, restaurants?!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Muffins and Muppets

Long time, no post. Good news is, my finals are over and I’m on break from school for the month of December. I thought that a break from classes meant I’d be posting a lot more but I’ve been enjoying relaxing and being obligation free so much I haven’t really gotten around to it.

I did make some delicious Clementine Date Muffins. The recipe is a Pinterest find and I barely made any changes to it so here it is:


Photo Source and Recipe

In other news, Matt and I went to see The Muppets last night. It was such a fun movie. I busted out laughing during the song, “Am I a man? … or a muppet?” I actually have been singing it all day. So ridiculous.

Speaking of movies, I still need to go see Breaking Dawn. Anyone?

Well, hopefully I’ll whip up something in the kitchen blogworthy soon but in the meantime, go see The Muppets and sing the man-muppet song all day the next day to your coworkers.

I’m off to watch more Vampire Diaries on netflix, is anyone else into this show?!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Better than Biscoff

I stopped at Trader Joe’s in Portland, Maine yesterday on my way back to Massachusetts and found this:


It’s seriously amazing and I can’t keep my fingers out of the jar. It must be the gingerbread but it tastes just like the holidays to me. Though I’m a HUGE fan of Biscoff spread, I think this takes the cake.

That’s all.

Now go run and get some!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Almond Joy Doughy Cookies


It will come as no surprise that coconut is one of my favorite ingredients. I think it is delicious in both sweet and savory foods – I actually may even prefer it in savory – but these are an exception. The coconut, along with the chocolate and almond, marry well to make some of the most fantastic cookies I’ve ever made.


Almond Joy Doughy Cookies

makes about 3 dozen cookies


  • 1 c. homemade almond butter
  • 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy whipped butter spread (regular butter is fine)
  • 1/2 t. almond extract
  • 1 t. coconut extract
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
  • 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (regular milk is fine)

With a mixer, beat together almond butter, sugars, butter and extracts.

In a separate bowl, mix together baking powder, baking soda, salt and flours.

Add dry mixture to mixer bowl a little at a time. Beat until fully incorporated. Repeat until dry mixture is fully mixed with wet ingredients.

Dough may seem a little mealy. Add in almond milk 1/4 c. at a time until a dough forms.

Once dough is formed, stir in chocolate chips and coconut.

Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

Scoop using a tablespoon measuring spoon and place on ungreased cookie sheet (or you can use a sheet lined with parchment). Leave about a half inch between cookies because they will spread a little.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Not a minute longer. This is the key to keeping them super soft!

Let cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling racks.

Try not to eat them all while transferring to cookie sheet to cooling rack.


Drizzle with melted chocolate if you wish. This will make them more “almond joy” like. But you don’t have to – they are great just the way they are.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Banana Coconut Mini Donuts


On Friday night for dinner I had 1/2 a leftover chile relleno and 4 of these.

Yes, I said 4.

Don’t look at me like that.


Now do you see why?

These are itty-bitty and perfect for popping in your mouth one after another.

I made them using this, a birthday gift (thanks Ben & Amanda!)


Banana Coconut Donuts very slight adapted from Bakingdom

for 3 dozen mini-donuts


  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2 T buttermilk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 c cake flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 6 T coconut spread, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Mash bananas and add in buttermilk and vanilla. Stir and set aside. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda and baking powder, set aside. In another bowl, beat together coconut spread and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, mix until combined. Add some of the flour mixture to the coconut spread/sugar mixture until combined, add some of the banana mixture. Alternate adding flour and banana mixtures until it’s all combined. Gently stir in coconut at end.

Place mixture in a ziploc bag (cup the end off) and pipe into preheated donut maker*. Cook until golden in color, about 7 minutes.

*Alternately preheat oven to 350, pipe donut mixture into well-greased donut pan. Cook for about 10 minutes or until golden in color.



  • 1/2 c confectioners sugar
  • 2 t milk
  • food coloring
  • sprinkles

Combine sugar and milk and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add food coloring. Dip donuts in glaze as soon as they are cool enough to handle (but still warm). Add sprinkles.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread


Hopefully some of you stuck around…

I know I’ve been absent but I haven’t done a lot of cooking lately. Unless making soup on Sunday and eating it until Thursday, counts. Between traveling to Maine for one of my best friend’s weddings, school projects and laziness, there hasn’t been much to share with you.

But I feel that might be changing. I hope so anyway. Life seems to have slowed down a bit. (As if I’m saying that going into the holiday season!!)

So anyway. This bread. I will NOT be making it again. Why? Because I cannot stop eating it.

Okay, so I lied, I most definitely will be making it again. It’s addictive and it PULLS APART! It’s just begging for me to take “one more piece” before I walk away from it.

I hope it lasts the weekend.

Actually I don’t because then I can make more.



Okay, so this photo is heinous. I have some explaining to do. In the recipe (to follow) for the frosting, you will see that I used coconut oil. My intentions here was to create a bread with a glaze rather than frosting. And I was successful, as you will see, so consider this a “before” picture if you will.


I couldn’t resist pulling a piece off while it was still warm… and eating it while I still had my camera in my hand. I may or may not have dipped this piece in the extra glaze.


This is the aforementioned “after” photo. As you can see, the “glaze” is now (mostly) clear. If it’s any indication to the deliciousness of this bread, know that the reason this picture is cropped like-so is because 1/3 of the loaf is already gone. Truth.

Make. This. Now.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread


  • 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 1/2 c quick cooking steel cut oats
  • 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 T Earth Balance coconut spread, melted (or butter)
  • 1 T chia seeds mixed with 3 T water (or 1 egg)
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 c all-purpose flour

For filling:

  • 3 T Earth Balance coconut spread, softened (or butter)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 t ground cinnamon

For glaze:

  • 1 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 1/2 t unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 4 1/2 t coconut oil, softened

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, coconut spread, chia egg, salt and 1 c AP flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

3. Punch dough down. Toll into an 18-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Spread with coconut spread. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough to within 1/2 in. of edges.

4. Cut into 36 (approximate) 3-in. x 2-in. rectangles. Make 2 stacks of 18 (approximate) rectangles. Place, cut sides up, in a greased 9-in x 5-in. load pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Make glaze and drizzle over warm bread.

Serves one I mean, 12. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kate & Richard–10/28/2011


I know I haven’t been around much lately.

But I’ll be back when things settle down a bit.

This weekend I’m celebrating* the beginning of my dear friend Kate’s ‘Happily Ever After’ with her soon-to-be husband, Richard.

It’s been quite the journey for them and I can’t think of two people more deserving of a super-special day.

Congratulations Kate & Richard!!!


*cross your fingers that me and my 3.5 inch bridesmaid-issued heels make it down the staircase upright.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Avocado Margarita


I know when I got back from my vacation in August I did a few recaps. One thing I can’t believe I haven’t shared is this incredible drink I had at the bar within the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.


Mexico has always been my favorite “country” to visit in Epcot. I love how it looks like a street fair at night inside.



And now I love it even more because it has a bar inside, “La Cava del Tequila – De San Angel Inn”.



The menu includes a vast selection of premium tequilas which I did not partake in as me + straight tequila = goodbye lunch. Lucky for me though, it includes a huge selection of margaritas. My choice: the avocado margarita.


I cannot sing high enough praises of this drink. It was so good that we came back for a second round of drinks later in the day and ordered 3 more to go (got to love Disney for that!)


My plan has been to recreate this drink but I haven’t taken a stab at it yet. I will definitely let you know when I do. For now, I’m reminiscing of *warm* memories to shake the chill of this cold, rainy Boston evening.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin and Peet’s


I know, I know. Everyone has probably had enough with the pumpkin recipes and so I’m not going to give you another one. I made a batch of vegan pumpkin pancakes last weekend. You can probably find the recipe if you google and the only reason I made them “vegan” is because I didn’t have eggs. I also didn’t have syrup so what you see on top is coconut cream made by mixing coconut flour with almond milk. A fantastic combination if I do say so myself.


The reason behind my showing you these pancakes I’m not giving the recipe for is to tell you about the coffee I received from Peet’s Coffee as a member of Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker Program. Peet’s sent me two bags of their new medium roast coffees to try – Café Domingo and Café Solano. I tried the Café Domingo which is a blend of Central and South American coffees that is smooth, balanced and medium-bodied with more pure coffee taste. Peet’s coffee experts describe it as a medium roast cup with hints of toffee sweetness and clean crisp finish.


For someone who doesn’t typically love non-flavored coffee, I thought this was great (and I mean it)! I added just a splash of half-half and some sweetener and paired it up with the pumpkin pancakes. I feel that pairing this with a fall-flavored dish was a great choice because the coffee truly is smooth and therefore went great with pancakes packed full of spice like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.


Peet’s also sent me a bunch of $2 off coupons (their coffee is now available in grocery stores) so if you are interested in some coupons let me know and I’ll send some off to you.

*I received the Peet’s Coffee at no cost as part of my participation in Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker program. The opinions expressed are solely mine and I’d tell you if I didn’t really like the stuff, promise.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Faux Fall

Through my participation in Foodbuzz's Tastemaker Program, I received this Tervis Tumbler at no cost. Though I’ll admit the first beverage it held was Atwater's Vanilla Java Porter, the next was this Pumpkin-Banana-Coconut Smoothie I made for breakfast yesterday.


I’m not usually a smoothie-for-breakfast kind of girl but the warm weather inspired me so I popped open one of my coveted cans of pumpkin and whipped one up. It hit the spot – refreshing yet filling and deliciously reminiscent of pumpkin pie but with a twist.

Pumpkin-Banana-Coconut Smoothie

serves 1

  • 1 c milk (I used combination of unsweetened almond and skim)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 T shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 2 packets stevia sweetener (or sugar… or you can omit all together for a less sweet drink)
  • cinnamon, for topping

Add all ingredients to Magic Bullet tall cup and blend until smooth (or use blender/food processor/whatever you have) top with cinnamon.



I am loving this tumbler. It seems to keep my drinks nice and cold. It will be getting lots of use – and I’ll let you know when I try a hot drink in it!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Stuff and Things

1. Fall came, finally, and I got a cold.


(Side note: using this photo effect really highlights the fact that my eyes are two different sizes)

2. Fall doesn’t appear to be here to stay, yet.


3.  It’s the month of my birth, I’m turning 21. Thanks, I know I don’t look a day over 18.


Winking smile

4. I did some serious pumpkin hoarding last year so I’ll apologize now but there may be just a few hundred pumpkin recipes this month.

5. Mary Lou’s Pumpkin Spice is Back


What am I talking about? Well if you don’t know Mary Lou’s then the excitement of this will mean nothing to you. But if you live in Massachusetts’ South Shore, South Eastern MA, Cape Cod or Northern RI, you know Mary Lou’s. And their seasonal delight is back. Beats Dunkin’s, hands down, in my opinion.

6. It’s already midterms for me… crazy, right? I feel like the semester just started… or trimester rather, my school goes year around. I just have to keep plugging away for another month and a half and I have December off from school!

7. One more work day and then it’s a long weekend… hooray for that.