Monday, May 31, 2010

toasted coconut chocolate chunk cookies

these cookies are amazing. i used a recipe from firstlookthencook and tested them with both unbleached all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. the former were slightly better, but the whole wheat ones (featured above) were also fantastic and kid approved.


1  cup  flaked unsweetened coconut
1 cup  all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
1/8  teaspoon  salt
3/4  cup  packed brown sugar
1/4  cup  unsalted butter, softened
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1  large egg
2-3  ounces  dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped into rough chunks

preheat oven to 350° F.
arrange coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet. bake for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted, making sure that the flakes don't start to burn. set aside and allow to cool.
cream together butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. add vanilla and egg. combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl and add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. stir in toasted coconut and chocolate.
depending on the desired size of the cookies, this recipe will yield apx 9-12. form roughly shaped cookies and place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. bake for 10 (if using wheat flour, the cookies will take longer, apx 15) minutes or until bottoms of cookies just begin to brown. remove from pan and allow to cool before serving. or if, like me and teeny, you just can't wait, try not to burn yourself on the melted chocolate chunks...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

breakfast of champions

breakfast of champions (conceptually approved by teeny,  she has not taste tested the product)

oatmeal smoothie (sans oatmeal...):

1 ripe banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa unsweetened
1/4 cup greek honey yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetend soy milk
1/4 cup almond butter
1 tsblespoon ground flax seed
4 ice cubes
1/3 cup old fashioned oats (i didn't have any oats, but would have added them to the mix)

blend all ingredients in a blender on an ice crush setting and top with a dash of cinnamon, some flax, and a sprinkle of oats.

mango kiwi smoothie

1 1/2 cups mango (2 manilla mangoes)
2 kiwi
1 banana
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
4 ice cubes (frozen orange juice cubes would be awesome too)

blend all ingredients in a blender on an ice crush setting. the seeds of the kiwi add great texture and crunch, they function similarly to the flax and almonds in the oatmeal smoothie.

both of these combos would be great served in small portions at a brunch.

Friday, May 28, 2010

blackberry mint sorbet

my mom is infamous for her inability to pass up a deal. the results are sometimes exciting, but more often overwhelming and ridiculous. what, for example, is one man (my dad) supposed to do with 6 cartons of pink lemonade? or 10 boxes of raisin bran?
when she came home with 5 cartons of blackberries last night I knew there had to be an intervention, and this is it:

blackberry mint sorbet:

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups blackberries
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves

in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and mint over medium heat. once the mixture has begun to boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. strain the liquid to remove the mint leaves, and allow the syrup to cool for at least 20 minutes. it's important to have all the components of the sorbet thoroughly chilled before placing them in an ice cream maker.
add the blackberries and lemon juice to a food processor and puree. push the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the seeds. stir in the chilled mint syrup to the blackberry puree and chill for an additional hour.
freeze the chilled mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions (roughly 20-25 minutes). for a firmer consistency, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for an additional 2 hours.
garnish with lemon zest and fresh mint sprigs.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

black bean burgers extraordinaire

if you're going to have a barbecue, you might as well go all out. in addition to mini mountains of grilled veggies and tofu, i made these burgers which were only slightly more manageable than they appear. served on whole wheat buns and topped with habaƱero cheddar, grilled orange pepper, sliced avocado, tomato, and fresh cilantro leaves, these burgers are packed with protein and aren't messin around...

black bean burger patties:

1 (30 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can of corn (about 7 oz)
1 green bell pepper, cut into roughly 2 inch pieces
1 jalepeno pepper, seeds removed and cut into roughly 2 inch pieces
couple handfuls cilantro (apx 1/2 cup)
juice of half a lime
1 small yellow onion, cut into wedges
7 cloves garlic, peeled
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons ground paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tablespoon honey

in a large bowl, mash the beans.
combine peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, honey, and lime in a food processor and blend well.
stir the processed mixture into beans and add the corn.
in a smaller bowl, mix eggs with the spices.  when blended well, add to bean mixture, along with the bread crumbs and salt.
once all the ingredients are combined, oil a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 375 F.
if forming larger burgers, the recipe will yield about 8 patties, for smaller burgers it will yield closer to 12. when patties are formed, coat both the tops and bottoms with oil and sprinkle with salt.
cook for 10 minutes on each side, 8 for smaller burgers. at this point the burgers should be thoroughly cooked, but i also like to throw them on a grill or broil them for 3-4 minutes each side for added color and texture.
they are also great topped with marinated portabellas or other kinds of cheese, and would pair excellently with sweet potato fries.


lemon basil cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting

caroline and kristin, this one's for you. i think the tag teaming last week convinced me that i should give food blogging a shot.
these cupcakes, which are adapted from an amazing recipe by vera (my cupcake icon and best friend), are a great conclusion to a barbecue. they are light, tart, refreshing, and also vegan. i used dairy in the frosting, but it could easily be adapted to be vegan as well.


1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp lemon extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned

preheat oven to 350 F
whisk milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to curdle.
mix together wet ingredients (including sugar), mix together dry ingredients, add wet to dry.
fill tin or liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for 20-22 minutes.
chill before frosting.


1/4 cup butter (softened)
1/4 cup cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2- 2 cups confectioners sugar (I prefer a gooier consistency and more tart flavor, but add more for a thicker consistency)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
juice from 1/2 lemon

cream together butter and cream cheese.
whip in sugar at 1/2 cup batches.
mix in vanilla and lemon.

frost, eat, and be merry : )