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Almond Coconut Loaves

Dearest friends,

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Hi! Happy Hump Day! Today is such a beautiful day for so many reasons. I’ve been so productive AND I haven’t even put pants on yet. It’s 2pm! That’s an accomplishment! I woke up at a reasonable hour, did some homework, cleaned (!!!), wrote, drew, baked, painted my nails…I just went all out. True, very little of this fits within a normal person’s definition of “productive”, but I’m not exactly a normal person. I actually do have a lot I should be doing for school (puke), buuut right now I’m just focusing on doing good, happy things. Not only have I done a ton today, but the weather is near perfect. It’s 70 degrees and sunny. I cannot WAIT to go run errands in this beautiful sunlight.

I feel like these little loaf cake is the perfect balance of sweetness where it tastes decadent and yummy but then you step back and think about the ingredients and it’s not all that indulgent after all! Which is nice. I love almonds. I think they’re perfection in food form. Coconut is pretty fabulous too. Together, they make a great pair.

1 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut, toasted
3/4 c. almond meal
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. almond or coconut milk
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled (or coconut oil!)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. slivered almonds, for the top

Preheat the oven to 350° and toast your coconut flakes. To do so, spread them out on a baking sheet and leave in the oven for 3-4 minutes, but watch them closely! They can get burnt super quickly. Grease one large loaf pan or two mini loaf pans with butter or coconut oil and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Make sure there are no lumps (that almond meal gets a little cheeky sometimes) and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs together and add the butter, almond/coconut milk, butter and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir to combine. Pour into your pan(s) and top with the slivered almonds. Bake for about 35-40 minutes for the small loaves, 50 minutes for the big one. (My mini loaves took about 45 minutes but my oven is old and funky so just keep an eye on them!)

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This is a really nice breakfast loaf. A slice of this deliciousness plus a cup of coffee…yummmm. I based this recipe off of a lovely coconut loaf cake one from my Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. It’s a good one; I was very happy with the way it turned out. Try it.

Love, Emily

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Honey Almond Oat Scones (+ Blueberry Chia Seed Jam)

Heeeey lovers,

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I am in looooove with these scooooones. If you don’t love scones, you’re wrong. Just kiddiiiing you’re entitled to your opinion and whatever (or am I kidding??) but just know that I strongly disagree. They’re crumbly, buttery perfection. Now I know that if you try to say you don’t like butter, you’re lying. Isn’t loving butter genetically engrained into every human or something? I feel like it is. I’m pretty sure. I also really, really love almonds. I would say a much larger than average percentage of my diet is composed of almond products and I’m very emotionally in touch with my almond-consumption. Trader Joe’s just restocked their almond butter and I almost cried tears of joy upon discovering this, for example. As long as we’re talking ingredients here, I’m also quite the honey fan. And can’t go wrong with oats. Essentially, these are my ideal Emily-scone. I got the idea for these from this lovely blog (how GREAT are her photos?!) with a few little tweaks here and there to the recipe. I loved the idea of toasting the oats before using them in the scones. This step can be skipped, of course, but I recommend it! The toasty flavor it adds is reeeally niiice.

Also: if you’ve never made your own jam, I highly recommend it as well. Like. Right now. It’s summer! There are copious berries available! Go buy some and throw ’em on the stove! It’s so easy! This recipe truly is as “magical” as the title claims. So simple. And so, so delicious.

Scones:

1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
3/4 c. almond meal
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. plain yogurt (I used whole milk, I imagine greek yogurt would work quite nicely as well)
1 Tbsp. milk
1/4 c. honey (+1/2 tsp. for the egg wash)
1 egg (+1 egg white for the egg wash)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Start by preheating the oven to 375°. Spread your oats onto an ungreased baking sheet and toast them for about 7 minutes or until they’re fragrant. Take them out, let them cool, set aside 2 Tbsp. of them aside to put on top of your scones later, and increase the oven temperature to 450°. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk and honey and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (the rest of the oats, almond meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the cold butter chunks (yeah, I hate the phrase “cold butter chunks” as much as you do, believe me) with a fork–or a pastry cutter, if you’re fancy–until almost all the way combined. You want the mixture to be mostly crumbly-looking; it’s okay if you can still see some butter pieces in there, just as long as they’re not too aggressively large. Make a well in the middle of the butter and dry-ingredient mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until juuust  combined. Don’t over-mix! Plop the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and form into a round, even 1″ layer. Using a pizza cutter (or a knife…but where’s the fun in that, hmm?), slice into 8 even, wedge-shaped pieces and space them out evenly onto a lightly greased baking sheet. In a teensy little bowl, whisk together an egg white and 1/2 tsp. of honey until combined and brush on top of each scone. Sprinkle them with your reserved oats and stick ’em in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges turn that beautiful, light golden brown.

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Blueberry Chia Seed Jam:

3 c. blueberries (organic, please, berries are super pesticide-y)
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, bring the berries and honey to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir frequently for about 5 minutes. Using a potato masher, smush the berries until they’re a nice, jam-like consistency (but leave some berries intact for texture purposes!) and add the chia seeds. Keep stirring frequently and let the mixture continue to simmer until you get to a good consistency–about 15 minutes or so. It might seem a little runny, but keep in mind it’ll thicken up once it’s cooled down. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and let cool. Place it in a nice little jar, stick it in the fridge, and enjoy! See how easy that was? Seriously guys, you haven’t really tasted jam until you’ve had homemade. Unreal.

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Shoutout to mah girl Emilie for talking to me repeatedly about scones and chia seed jam recently and therefore being the inspiration this scone-and-jam-making frenzy. Also to my lovely friend Joy for requesting the recipe, and therefore forcing me to actually post in a timely manner! All good things.

Hope your August is going swimmingly, friends.

Love, Emily


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Black Bottom Almond Shortbread Cookies

Hi guuuys,

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It’s been so long! I SURVIVED. I say that only half-jokingly–there was a time when I literally thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was a close call, guys. I didn’t sleep much. Ate a lot of granola. Cried a lot, screamed a lot, etc. Now, I’m paying for abusing my body with a fever and so much achey soreness that I am almost completely unable to move any of my limbs. At least now that I’m home I have my bed and an endless supply of tea to nurture me. After finals, moving out of my apartment, and getting home, I can finally relax. My family is happy that I’m home–both for baking/cooking reasons and for other me-being-home reasons. When we’re not screaming at each other, that is. Standard family shenanigans.

Obviously I needed to bake something immediately when I arrived to take full advantage of my family’s FULL-SIZED and FULLY-STOCKED kitchen (what luxury). I’ve been stressed. Baking is my stress relief. It was only a matter of time before I went cooking/baking crazy.

I was actually pretty proud of these cookies. My lovely friend Cheski came over and helped me bake and I just kind of made up the recipe as we went along. They turned out great. A little crumbly, but that’s shortbread for ya.

1 c. flour

1 c. almond meal (blanched might make these prettier, but it doesn’t really matter)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 egg

1/4 c. honey

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted

1 tbsp. vanilla

3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips (or baking chocolate), melted

Combine your flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk your egg until it gets a little light and fluffy (you don’t need to meringue it by hand, just until the yolk and white are fully combined and it expands a little). Whisk in the melted coconut oil, vanilla, and honey. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and fold until just combined–the mixture should be a little crumbly. Form into a ball in the bowl (if you want to use your hands for this part, by all means, go for it) and stick it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. When you stick it in the fridge, preheat the oven to 350. After you remove your chilled dough from the oven, roll into a cylinder in wax paper. With a sharp knife (to avoid crumbling), slice your cookies about 1/4″ thick like those terrifying but wonderful slice-and-bake holiday cookies you buy at the store. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Take them out and let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before very carefully transferring them to a cooling rack. Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring between 30 second intervals until fully melted. Use a spoon to spread a thin layer onto the bottom of your cookies once they’re cool enough, place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, and refrigerate until they’ve set.

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Aren’t they beautiful? I highly recommend eating these with tea or coffee. They’re like little tea biscuits! They make me feel proper and British. Kinda. These are nice, simple holiday cookies without overdoing it on sweetness. I recommend ’em!

More holiday goodness to come, I’m sure. Just you wait.

Love, Emily


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Ginger Almond Scones

Hi friends,

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Happy Hump Day…….meh. I’m drowning in work/stressful things and I just want to ignore my responsibilities, bake, and eat these scones always. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have lots of baking things to use up before I leave and I had some ricotta in my fridge (but naturally, nothing to cook with…and no eggs…), so ricotta scones it was! These are delicious. They’re wonderfully moist (I hate this word but I had to, I’m sorry) while still retaining that great, crumbly scone texture. The almondy part of them comes from almond flour, which makes them healthier AND adds a nice nutty taste. I cannot wait to get home tonight and eat one with an ice cold glass of milk.

1 c. almond flour

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces

3/4 c. part skim ricotta

1/3 c. milk

1/2 c. chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat your oven to 400 and prepare 2 baking sheets by greasing them with coconut oil/whatever you grease things with. Whisk together your dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and ginger). Add the butter and mix together with your hands until combined into a coarse, meal-y consistency. Once combined, fold in the ricotta and the milk until smooth and eventually add the ginger. Don’t overmix! With a spoon, drop heaping tablespoon-sized portions onto your prepared cookie sheets–you should end up with about 12 scones, depending on what size spoonfuls you end up with. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges start to get lightly golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes before transferring them elsewhere with a spatula. Enjoy!

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You may notice the bottoms of some of these scones are a little toasty. I took them out right at 12 minutes and this is how they turned out. They’re not bad; they don’t taste burnt or anything. But perhaps 350 for 15-18 minutes-ish would have been a better call. Not sure. If/when I make these again, I’ll be sure to update the recipe.

Mmmmm I love ginger. I quite enjoyed nibbling on little bits of crystallized ginger as I made these. Delicious.

Love, Emily


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Chocolate Almond Granola Bars

Hi everybody,

This is the first of a series of post-hurricane-catch-up posts that I’ll be writing–I did lots of cooking and baking while Sandy was happening, but was wifi-less for days (THE HORROR), hence my lack of posting. But I’m back! Lucky for me, we didn’t get hit too hard by the storm. A few power outages, fallen trees, and the loss of internet was all we really had to deal with. A huge part of downtown was not so lucky. Love you, New York. Stay safe.

This recipe was the result of a baking void build up from a few days–I needed to make something, but I didn’t want it to be unhealthy. All I did during the hurricane was wake up, eat, watch Law and Order SVU, eat more, shower more than necessary, eat, etc. We weren’t allowed to leave our homes, okay?! What else was I supposed to do? Anyways, after almost an entire week of constant eating (mostly those brownies in the last post), these granola bars were what I needed. They’re delicious, easy, and portable. And who doesn’t love granola bars? Warning: these are not super sweet. If you’re looking for a Chewy-bar-caliber sweetness, do not look here. The only thing I sweetened these with was banana; if you want something more, you could always add sugar or honey! Easy fix. I really wanted to make these a little more exciting by drizzling some melted chocolate over the top, but my chocolate chips mysteriously disappeared. I kid you not, I’m not even being sarcastic right now. They were in the cupboard last time I checked! Anyways, until I get more, these will have to do. Not the worst thing in the world! They were yummy either way.

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. almond butter

1 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 c. old fashioned oats

1/4 c. almond meal

1/2 c. chopped almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8″ pan. Put your bananas in a large bowl and mash with a fork (or your HANDS if you’re daring!) until as many lumps as possible are gone. You’re not going to be able to get all of them; don’t fret. Add your nut butters and mix until combined. Add your dry ingredients next and stir until everything is incorporated. Maybe add 1/2 c. or so of chocolate chips if you have them! Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the center is firm (but still gives a little). Wait until the bars cool completely before cutting! I cut mine into 10 granola-bar-sized bits. It worked out nicely.

Can you tell I love almonds? You could obviously add any other mix-ins you want to this, but I wanted to keep it a simple chocolate-almond combo. Dried fruit would be yummy, chocolate chips, coconut, etc. Go crazy. If you’ve never made your own granola bars before however (I hadn’t!), I highly recommend it! It’s honestly so simple. Aaaand cheaper. And so fresh! And there are no funky ingredients! And, last but not least: you can customize them. What’s better than that?

Enjoy!

Love, Emily

 


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Best Ever Brownies

Hello again, friends,

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Here, in my second post of the day, I am about to share with you something incredible. These brownies were so. So. So good. Before I get much further in my discussion of these brownies, let me warn you: they are made with almond flour, so if you’re in any way allergic to almonds/dislike them or something, I apologize for getting your hopes up. But really these are SO GOOD. It is taking every ounce of will power I have to not eat the entire plate. I’ve only had one today–well, on top of all the batter/crumbs I ate, but those don’t count–which is a huge victory for me. I’ll definitely have another one after dinner. Definitely.

I used this recipe for these brownies…didn’t even adapt it at all. The only thing I changed was that I used vanilla extract instead of almond, but only because I didn’t have any. I wish I did! That would’ve been even more fabulous. Almond meal is kind of hard to come by–I happened upon a cute little nut/dried fruit shop downtown that had tons of it (as well as walnut meal! Imagine the possibilities!), so naturally I stocked up. It’s just such a wonderful thing to have. I use it to “bread” everything that requires breadcrumbs! And now that I have successfully experimented with baking with almond meal, I can’t wait to try more. Yippeeee! The only thing is, if you’re going to use almond meal as “almond flour”, you need to make sure it’s super fine. If it’s too coarsely ground, it won’t bake quite right. As soon as I finish writing this post, I’m going to eat another one of these little morsels of awesomeness. I simply cannot wait.

3/4 c. almond flour

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. baking cocoa

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 c. sugar

3 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla (or almond extract if you’re lucky enough to have it and want things almond-y!)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. butter

3/4 c. chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips (separated into 1/2 c. and 1/4 c.)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Put half a cup of your chocolate into a microwavable bowl with your butter and microwave for 30 seconds. Take it out, stir it up, and put it back in for 20 seconds at a time until the mixture is completely melted, then set it aside and let it cool. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl until they’re combined, then slowly add the cooled butter/chocolate mixture, stirring constantly, until it’s all mixed together. Then, add your vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together your almond flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, and cinnamon (make sure to get rid of any lumps!). Pour your dry mixture into the wet one and stir until combined. Fold in the leftover 1/4 c. chocolate and pour into your prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center has completely set and is slightly crackly on top. Let them cool in the pan before you cut them, then enjoy!

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Make sure you are around to enjoy the smell of these brownies as they bake…it’s really one of the best smells in the entire world, I’m pretty sure. I’m almost positive that’s how my own personal heaven would smell. Like almond-y, cinnamon-y brownies baking. Ugh. It kills me.

Again, be safe in this hurricane, lovelies! Being a California baby, this is my first hurricane, so it’s a little intimidating. I’ll be sure to keep bakin’ and cookin’ (assuming the power stays on), so you’ll be hearing from me again soon!

Love, Emily