28 January 2013

lemon bundt cake

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25 January 2013

shirataki noodle salad

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We have these annual biometric screenings at work where they take our "numbers".  Our body mass index, glucose levels, cholesterol... the works.  It's completely voluntary, but it's also free and comes with some perks.  I missed it last year, so this time I'm totally jumping on!

I have to admit I am a little nervous.  I know I'm young and have pretty healthy habits, but I could easily have some bogus cholesterol number.  WHO KNOWS?  Well, I suppose I will soon.

I've been trying to stay more on the healthy side knowing these screenings are coming up.  I'm even considering doing a juice cleanse for a few days if I can get my act together in time.  The goal is less fat,  less carbs, and trying to say no to sugar even though I have all of these Valentine's items brewing up in the bakery, just waiting for me to do quality control.

Anyway, I've basically been inhaling this shirataki noodle salad over the past two days.  If you haven't experimented with these "noodles" yet, you should give 'em a try.  They are low carb, low calorie, gluten-free, and almost entirely made of fiber.  They are pretty tasteless on their own, but throwing them in a stir-fry makes them amazing.  They fill me up for hours, cure my pasta craving, and are completely guilt free. WIN.

And the best part? This dish is really good hot or cold. Perfect for bringing with you to work or eating a few bites out of the fridge when you're in a rush!

Recipe for Shirataki Noodle Salad,  serves 2, or 1 if you're really hungry :)

1 head of broccoli, cut lengthwise into chunks
1 carrot, shaved
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 package shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp canola oil
A few dashes of fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp Sriracha Hot Sauce (or more if you're crazy like me!)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
A dash or two of crushed red pepper

Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add broccoli and carrot and toss to coat.  Once broccoli turns a bright green, toss in noodles.  Add ginger, fish sauce, and sriracha to dish and stir together until evenly distributed.  Keep on stove for a few more minutes, letting the noodles heat up and absorb the flavors.  Turn off heat and top with sesame seeds and crushed red pep!

15 January 2013

flourless chocolate cake

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Ah, where were we?  Oh, that's right.  I was going to tell you something cool and then share a recipe.  Isn't that how it usually goes?

To be honest with you, I've been stuck in a rut.  Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't... regardless, it's real.  It is not that I don't love sharing my life or that I haven't had time, but more so that I've been lacking inspiration and I don't want to fling any old dirt into the internet universe with my name on it.

I've got my head buried in the sand in a few different places around this beach of a life and it gets a little overwhelming.  I'm in the process of moving to another bakery (in Georgetown!), which is really exciting, but carries a lot of its own challenges.  And, oh yeah!  I'm getting married in a few months which isn't dreadful in the least, but constantly present in my mind.

I'm sort of waiting for the wedding panic to set in, but so far everything seems to be falling into place.  I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I could find something to stress over.  But, for now, I'll just keep buying vintage stamps and pining over registry items.  So far, planning a wedding is AWESOME and kind of ridiculous at times.  In reality, it's probably a great distraction for me, providing me something special and real to come back to when I need a moment to remember what's really important.

Here is the recipe for the flourless chocolate cake that I made the night I officially accepted the position in my new spot.  I also got a mani-pedi, a much needed haircut, and talked down from chopping bangs five months before my wedding.  Thank lord for the kindness of strangers.

This guy is totally gluten-free and totally way indulgent.  I also topped it with tons of fresh berries to brighten it up.  Be careful not to over bake this cake as it tends to crumble a bit.  Also, be sure to use a good quality chocolate since it's such a predominant ingredient.  I mean, seriously.  Chocolate, eggs, butter, sugar?  OK.

Recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake  recipe adapted from Whole Foods Market

12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chips or chunks
1 cup unsalted butter + 3 tbsp, cut into chunks
1 1/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375F.  Spray 9in springform pan with cooking oil.  Line bottom with parchment and spray again lightly.

Slowly melt 8oz chocolate and 1 cup butter in saucepan on low heat, stirring frequently until completely smooth.  Pour mixture into large bowl and thoroughly mix in sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, whisking until completely incorporated.  Sift in cocoa powder and stir until smooth.

Pour mixture into pan and bake around 30 minutes, or until cake has risen and has a thin crust.  Center should be set, but not firm.  Remove and let cool ten minutes (cake will fall, don't panic!) before flipping onto a plate to cool completely.

In the meantime, take rest of 4 oz chocolate, 3 tbsp butter, and 3 tbsp heavy cream to make the glaze.  Put chocolate in medium sized bowl. Melt butter in saucepan with heavy cream until melted, but not boiling.  Add cream and butter to chocolate and let sit one minute.  Whisk together, working from the center and moving your way out through the edges.

Pour glaze onto middle of cake and spread to edges with back of spoon or off-set spatula.  Top with berries and serve!  Keep refrigerated.

06 January 2013

warm african kale salad

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It's that time of year again when everyone is making resolutions to get skinny, be more positive, eat more vegetables.... you know the drill.  Suddenly every store has its active wear on sale (I know this because Old Navy totally got me with this one) and daily emails with healthy recipes are flooding my inbox.  I'd like to say that this is annoyingly expected and trivial, but truly, any dose of health inspiration is good for the world.

I'm not always the most healthy person.  I totally had fried avocado tacos (and a margarita) for dinner last night, but I aim for balance.  I'd be miserable if all I ate was raw food.  I'd also be miserable if all I ate was junk.

The key for me is keeping things fun, usually spicy, and filling.  This warm african kale salad is the pinnacle of that.  I also love that it's hot.  Who's trying to eat a cold salad in January?  Not me.

This recipe is full of simple ingredients, every single one of them good for you.  I know the combination of flavors might seem off-putting (or totally rad?), but this dish is amazing.  After one bite, I thought I was going to eat the whole thing, but it's so filling that it actually lasted me a few meals. If you're already a kale lover, you will LOVE this recipe.  If you aren't, well... you're gonna love it, too.

Recipe for Warm African Kale Salad   adapted from Whole Foods Market Cooking

1 large bunch kale, torn into pieces
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Boil kale until tender.  In the meantime, sautee onion and garlic in olive oil.  Once onions are translucent, add jalapeno and cook until softened.  Add ginger, tomatoes, peanut butter and salt and stir until combined and smooth.  Turn heat down to simmer and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.  Once kale is done, drain and add to sauce mixture.  Toss ingredients together and serve.