Thursday, 18 September 2014

Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole



Who knew working took so much out of you? I have been tired all week that I barely had the time to write on this humble little blog of mine. I am hoping to get into the swing of things soon, and will be posting more.

So I have been making food as of late. No, not desserts disguised as something I could replace dinner with, but actual savory stuff. Ever since I moved in with my boyfriend, he won't let me substitute sugar for dinner. Boo.

So I have been cooking with quinoa. A lot. It is my new favorite thing. And my new favorite casserole? Well, you're looking right at it.





Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole
printable recipe


What you'll need:

  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chicken seasoning
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in thin strips
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups broccoli, coarsely chopped
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Generously grease a baking dish. 
  2. For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 1/2 cup of milk to a low boil. In a small bowl, whisk together the other 1/2 cup milk, chicken seasoning and flour until fully combined. Add the flour mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until smooth and creamy.
  3. For the casserole: In a large bowl, mix together the sauce from step 2, 1 cup water and quinoa. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place the chicken strips over the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. While the casserole is in the oven, steam the broccoli until tender. Set aside.
  5. Remove the casserole from the oven, and add the broccoli and up to 1 cup of water until the consistency is creamy and can be easily stirred in the pan. Sprinkle with the cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.


Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake



Ok. I am finally sane. And do you know why?

I HAVE INTERNET!!




After a stressful month(!!!) without internet, I am finally connected. Part of the rest of this city, without needing to jump from coffee shop to library in order to get what little amount of free internet that I can.

First order of business: make a dessert!




And since I have only just recently moved, I don't have too much organized. Which means baking supplies and ingredients are packed up in boxes and no where to be found.

But no worries. I am all about the mug cake. I mean, making a 4 ingredient mug cakechocolate vanilla protein mug cake and a 4 ingredient chocolate mug cake basically in the span of one month, you can all see that I have an obsession.

But a portion sized obsession! A "make a dessert in less than 5 minutes" obsession. Which, in my opinion, is the best kind of obsession.





Chocolate Chip Mug Cake
printable recipe


What you'll need:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. In a microwave safe mug, melt the butter in the microwave (around 15 seconds).
  2. Mix in the sugars, vanilla bean paste, salt and egg yolk until fully incorporated. 
  3. Mix in the flour until fully combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Microwave for 40 seconds, and see if it's done. If not, microwave for additional 10 second intervals.

Adapted from Number 2 Pencil

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Butterscotch Pinwheels



Still no internet. I am counting down the days until the 11th for my internet to be set up.

It's not that I haven't been baking. I have, believe me! You can be expecting some doughnuts on here soon. It's just that it's such a hassle to have to go to a coffee shop and attempt to get my ancient laptop to connect. I have even got some snickers from people who see my laptop. Hey, I get the most use in all the things I buy. Half of my sweaters have holes in them, so they become my weekend wear. They still function, why throw them out?




On a more foodie note, I have been DYING to start making pumpkin treats. When I was walking past Starbucks the other day, I saw that they were already selling pumpkin spiced latte, so I obviously got one. But I when I went to the grocery store to buy some pumpkin, I just felt silly. I know no one will be judging me, but still. I could do it.




So I made a recipe that my boyfriend's mom gave me instead. My boyfriend's brother would make this ALL the time, and I guess my boyfriend was feeling homesick. So I took up the challenge to recreate his brother's specialty.

This was the first time I have made any kind of pinwheels, so I had no idea how these would turn out. But I shouldn't have been scared. These were amazing! A definite make-again recipe!




Butterscotch Pinwheels
printable recipe


What you'll need:
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Butter or lightly spray a baking pan with high sides and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt until fully combined. Add in the shortening, and using a pastry blender or two knives (or a food processor), mix in the shortening with the flour mixture until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in the milk to make the dough.
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and knead gently around 8-10 times. Roll the dough into a 9 inch square.
  5. Spread the brown sugar mixture evenly onto the surface of the dough. Roll the dough as if you were creating a jelly roll. Seal the edges.
  6. Cut the dough into 12 3/4 inch slices and arrange cut side down in the greased pan.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Chocolate Vanilla Protein Mug Cake



You know that Rolling Stones song You Can't Always Get What You Want? Well, when it comes to me and my boyfriend and our most favorite apartment that we went to see, then YES. We totally can get what we want.




Let me walk you through the apartment without actually walking (because I am so pooped from my move I cannot even fathom getting up for more than a few seconds).

Two rooms, laundry (score!), a bathroom and, best of all and what you are all thinking about, a large kitchen with a lot of storage space. This calls for a celebration!




And what better than a mug cake?

When you have been moving everything you own into a large truck, (no, we did not hire movers...sigh) you definitely don't want to be spending much effort into making something that takes more than 5 minutes.

Also, after exerting all that energy today, I need something with protein in it. This was exactly what I needed.

So whether it's a moving celebration, a  pre- or post-workout snack, or just a treat for yourself, I definitely recommend making this mug cake. You CAN get what you want, and in less than 5 minutes.





Chocolate Vanilla Protein Mug Cake
printable recipe


What you'll need:
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons milk
Directions:
  1. In a microwave safe mug, mix together the flour, protein powder, cocoa, sugar and baking powder.
  2. Add the applesauce and milk, and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Microwave for 40 seconds and see if it's done. If it's not, microwave in 10 second intervals.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies



What is with all these desserts?

If that is the question you are asking my blog, I would like you to picture this scenario: you have just moved to an entirely different part of the country and are looking for a job. Except for the place you are staying at has no internet. That does seem to complicate things a little bit.




Fortunately (unfortunately?) I am moving AGAIN to a new place on the 2nd. So I will be internetless for AT LEAST another week. AND I'll have to uproot everything.. again.. and get settled in another apartment.

Which brings us back to the initial question at hand. What is with all these desserts? The moving/looking for job/no internet crisis that is now at the forefront of my life is a reason in itself. And then some.




So bring on the cookies!!

As a cookie lover monster, I am all for trying new cookie combinations. Oatmeal raisin? Check. Chocolate chip cookies? Check. Oatmeal Cookies? Check. Mixing them all together? Well, now that is one big fat check mark.





Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Printable Recipe


What you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and cinnamon until fully combined. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the brown sugar, and cream together until light ant fluffy.
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  5. Fold in oats, raisins and chocolate chips.
  6. Cover the top of the bowl with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. 
  9. Scoop the cookie dough onto the sheet.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.  Let them cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Apple Streusel Muffins



Let me first start by admitting that this is not a completely new recipe on my blog. Yeah, I know. Remember my last blog post when I lamented that I was getting more and more unoriginal? Well this one takes the cake. (Or the muffin. Ba dum tss)




If this recipe seems eerily similar to the one I made back in 2012...well you've got me. It is pretty much the same.

But you GUYS! It is so good that I NEEDED to remind you about it! So that you can store it in your shelf until apple season, or go out and make it now! Because who doesn't want to bake with apples all year round?




These muffins have actually been made (by me) so many times since the first time I posted them two years ago (can you believe I have been blogging for that long?). And now I want to give my new readers a chance to make them. You can be sure I'll make them again.




PART of the reason I am making these muffins is because my boyfriend is forcing me to eat healthy. Not forcing me like tying me to a chair and force feeding me kale and quinoa (which I wouldn't mind too much), but saying "we will not buy chocolate, candy, potato chips..." I kind of stopped listening after that, but I got his point.

I convinced him that I will bake one healthy thing, then one unhealthy thing. You know...to balance things out. And since these muffins have apples in them.. Well they must be healthy. Or that's what I convinced him.

So my friends, you can be expecting my next baked good to be unhealthy. Or hey, maybe I will jump on the healthy bandwagon and only bake healthy.

Alternately, maybe I can convince him that anything I bake would be healthier than the junk you buy prepacked in the stores. I will keep you updated. In the meantime, enjoy these muffins!





Apple Streusel Muffins
printable recipe 


What you'll need:

Muffin:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2 eggs
-1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 apple, peeled and cored, 3/4 shredded, 1/4 cut into cubes

Streusel topping:
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 tablespoon butter, melted


Directions:
    1.   Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line muffin pan with paper liners, or lightly spray a muffin pan.
    2.   In a medium bowl, combine the 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg.
    3.   In a large bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture, mixing until fully incorporated. Fold in the apples.
    4.   Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans.
    5.   In a small bowl, combine the streusel topping ingredients together. Sprinkle over the muffins.
    6.   Bake for around 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Place on wire racks to cool completely.


Slightly adapted from All Recipes

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting



You don't know how much you miss something until it's gone.

The most cliche breakup song lines included some kind of variation of that sentence, but it is so true. In my case, it is not a person, but the internet.




I am going to go another two weeks without internet, and I'm not sure if I can do it! It feels like I'm missing out on all of the fantastic inspiration I could be getting from other food blogs. And I can't update my own blog unless I go to the nearest coffee shop (here I come Tim Hortons), or I use the data on my phone (here I come sore eyes and clumsy thumbs).

Also, Pinterest. I am going on a Pinterest withdrawal.




What could POSSIBLY cheer me up in this situation? Um...did anyone say cupcakes?

Actually, as with my previous post, did anyone say Nutella??




These cupcakes, like most of the cupcakes I make, did not last long. Like, at all. I am looking at these pictures right now, and am craving them all over again.




Because of my lack of internet, these cupcakes aren't the most creative thing you have ever seen in the world, but sometimes simple and ordinary is best. Or that is what I will keep telling myself. That is, until I reacquaint myself with the internet full time in two weeks..





Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting


What you'll need:

Cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup nutella
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Cupcakes: In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, and beat until fully combined. Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla bean paste.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
  4. Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter, around 3/4 full. 
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, remove and rotate pans, then bake an additional 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven, and place on wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for around 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar, and beat until fully incorporated. Add in the Nutella, milk and vanilla bean paste and mix until fully combined. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more icing sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

Frosting recipe adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction

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