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Visit with college buddies & chocolate pie!

10 Jun

Our friends Linsey, Stephen, and their adorable daughter Leland came to visit. We were so excited to visit and show them Greenville. We had a great time. ūüôā Seeing loved ones from home makes me homesick. Linsey was my college roomie and first friend I had at Central. We both transferred into the photojournalism program our junior years and became best buddies. I remember our shared love for Incubus ( mmm Brandon Boyd…hahah) and of course photography! We have been best buds ever since. I can’t believe this was 10 years ago!! Wow.


I also have another amazing dessert to share. I got this idea from a friend of a friend, who is now my friend ( yeah, I just typed that). She came to our small group with this amazing chocolate tofu pie. Needless to say I was intrigued because it was delicious.

I found a similar recipe online and tweaked it a smidgen. Also it’s a great platform for trying a new yummy grain free/ gluten free crust recipe. I made this pie twice now and each time it was amazing.

Here is the recipe:

I would make the crust first or a day before because it needs to be completely cooled before the filling goes in.

1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon water

Place nuts in food processor; grind until fine.
Add melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla and water.
Continue processing till mixture begins falling off sides of bowl.
Press into 9-inch pie pan.

Bake at 325¬į for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Approx 13 ounces chocolate chips ( half milk chocolate and half semi sweet chocolate)
1/3 cup Kahlua or strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound silken tofu, drained
1 tablespoon honey
Top with favorite berries

The very first thing I do here is place the tofu in a colander to drain it. I let it sit for at least 20 minutes to get the excess moisture out.
Melt the chocolate chips, Kalhua or coffee, and vanilla using the double boiler method. I use a pan filled half way with water with a metal or glass bowl on top. This keeps the chocolate from burning.
Once melted place in food processor with the tofu and honey, blend until smooth.
Pour into cooled crust.
The original recipe suggested two hours cooling/ setting time in the fridge. I have cooled overnight both times so I’m not sure if two hours is enough.
Once cooled place berries on top. I have used raspberries and blackberries. Both were yummy!
You should try this it’s super easy and so good.

Filling Adapted from Alton Brown’s Mooless Pie:
Crust adapted from




Peanut butter chocolate heaven

26 May

Peanut butter and chocolate is my absolute favorite combo. I have always been a peanut butter addict but since going Wheat free, I’m pretty sure I eat more of it. I have been trying to make wheat free sweets at home so I don’t feel so bad about what I can’t have. Cake has been a huge blow. I love cake. So instead of dwelling on what I can’t have I made these cookies instead. These cookies are amazing and popular online. Here is my version.

This recipe has been tweaked from one of my faves: Gluten free girl

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Two cups peanut butter ( I used and recommend Trader Joes brand–used creamy this time)
Two cups white sugar
Two teaspoons baking powder
Two eggs
About a cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350¬į.

Cream the peanut butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat in the baking powder, then egg. Add vanilla and lastly chocolate chips. Mix until well combined.

Roll dough into small balls and roll in sugar. Bake about 10-12 minutes and let cool.
This recipe makes about 20 cookies or so depending on how small you make the cookies.

Holy smokes these are intensely good. My husband and I couldn’t get enough. Enjoy!



13 May

I love waffles. They remind me of when my mom used to make me a special breakfast as a kid. I love the way they get crunchy in the waffle iron. Plus it’s a great excuse for eating real maple syrup. The kind that is almost painfully sweet. I prefer the Michigan kind– it’s my personal favorite. This recipe is not dairy free— worth the lactose bellyache for me. But I’m sure you could try with some dairy substitutes.

GF waffles adapted from Martha

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF flour
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups low fat buttermilk (I make a substitute that you can find here)

Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet– being careful not to over mix. The batter will be runny, but it cooks up just fine.

Grease a waffle iron and cook for about 5 minutes a batch. These get crunchy and delicious. Enjoy!


The good, the bad, and the ugly.

7 May

That about sums up my weekend with food. I have had stomach issues for awhile now and finally sucked it up and went to a doctor this past year. I was given an elimination diet by my GI several months ago. No dairy and no whole grains– sigh. I finally got serious and decided to really stick with it the past 6 weeks. The culprits I noticed are dairy and wheat (and apparently oatmeal which is highly contested in the gluten free world). The dairy is no surprise as I have been lactose intolerant for years. I know what my dairy threshold is. The wheat has been somewhat of a shock. Gluten Is still up in the air.

I ate a cupcake and a flour tortilla this Saturday. Sunday morning I woke up with what can only be described as a wheat hangover. Awful. For the past 6 weeks I honestly thought I might be OK with wheat until Sunday happened.

It’s really all starting to click. Especially when I was doing endurance sports. During that time my wheat/carb consumption was at an all time high. I remember eating a PB&J before a swim workout and getting oddly sick. I’m remembering the stomach cramps after eating wheat based processed energy products during runs…and so on. Damn.

My love affair for all things wheat are over. I’m honestly depressed about it. Good news is that with Gluten Free being a more common issue my options for eating out and such isn’t all that bad.

Another blessing in this mess is that I like to cook and am already familiar with special diets. My mother is allergic to corn, soy, wheat, eggs, chicken, dairy..and probably more things that I missed. I’m just hoping I’m not intolerant or allergic to anything else.

Good news is the recipes in this blog just got more interesting? Creative? Scary? Probably all of the above. Here is my first stab at a recipe I tweaked to be GF/ wheat free. Enjoy!


Chocolate Zucchini muffins
Adapted from Nancy Creative

Makes 24 muffins

2 ounces semi sweet baking chocolate
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar (add more if you prefer a sweeter muffin)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour
1 cup Almond Meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I used a combo of white and milk chocolate- its what was on hand)
Could add nuts if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave baking chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, grated zucchini, vanilla, and melted chocolate; blend well. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (optional), and cocoa powder. Then fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Spoon into lined muffin cups.

Bake muffins at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Viola!

These were super yummy and I will definitely make them again.

No knead bread..where have you been all my life?

8 Jan

I got this idea and recipe from our buddies the Aulens. We have joined them for dinner a handful of times where we were greeted with this warm, crusty, homemade bread. There is something magical about the idea of having homemade bread for your guests. I finally just asked how they make it and discovered that it was a pretty darn easy recipe. So, I put on my bakers hat (which is pretty rusty) and thought I would try the recipe.

Here are the links to a couple recipes since a few folks have asked. I thought a blog post would be easier to explain the tweaks I made. After I made the longer version of this recipe I discovered there is an even speedier/easier counterpart. The recipe I tried this weekend is from a 2006 Mark Bittman NY Times post . I let the dough rest for about 18 hours even though 12 is an option. The speedier version  has a resting time of a mere 4 hours! I will be trying this next and comparing to see if there is a loss in flavor or texture.  Apparently Bittman created quite the buzz when this was introduced in 2006 because it is so easy.

I also found a recipe for a whole wheat option that includes rye flour. Can’t wait to try this one. I also wonder how gluten free bread would do..I may try this as well.

As far as ingredients, I just used all purpose flour because that’s what I had in the pantry. I did have to buy some instant yeast. Make sure you get the instant yeast. The packaging was tricky and had I not noticed this difference in the recipe it wouldn’t have worked out. We have a rosemary bush in our backyard so I added about 1.5 tablespoons of fresh rosemary to the mix. I will probably add even more next time. I also want to try some sun dried tomato, kalamata olive or roasted garlic ..mmmm..options are limitless.

I used my¬†Rachel Ray 7 quart dutch oven¬†(one of the best wedding presents to date).¬†I just screwed off the handle and placed some tinfoil in the hole. I didn’t think that silicone handle could handle 450 degrees. ¬†It worked like a charm. I also think any cast iron or similar pot would work just fine. I used cornmeal instead of flour to prevent sticking and this also work well.

Ok, now that you have the recipes go get started on a loaf. It made me feel like a kitchen pro and I know you will feel like one too!

May’s good eats.

28 May

May has been a bear. It is a busy time for work and all around been just exhausting. But I did find some good food and the farmer’s market is in full force! But really, I am ready for June. You may have noticed I changed to wordpress. From time to time this blog may look different as I try to experiment with what I like. ¬†I am¬†enjoying the creative control and interface vs. blogger. What do you think, better, worse…ehhh don’t care?

Now stop what your doing and buy this book.

No seriously–do it. ¬†I just did and am waiting patiently for it’s arrival to my doorstep. ¬†I recieved a recipe from this book (thank you Chloe) and tried it this past week. ¬†Quinoa, chickpea salad with cashew balsamic dressing. This was my first go with quinoa and I have to say, I’m a fan. It picks up the flavor of just about anything.

Just to be clear, I am not a vegan. I like ¬†love my animal products. ¬†I like to wear it, I like to cook it, I like to eat it…you get where I’m going. ¬†But I also love my veggies. My body feels better and I am less depressed when I eat well. ¬†Food is fuel..pure and simple. You eat bad, you are going to feel bad. ¬†You may think this doesn’t affect you but just think about it like sleep. You sleep poorly, it’s going to catch up with you. I know food is the same (by the countless hours I have spent fueling my body for racing). It’s a shame our fast food culture doesn’t think this way. ¬†Off my soap box–Ahem.

This brings me ¬†to the lunch time dilemma. I like to a pack a lunch to save money and calories. I get sick of sandwiches and don’t usually like to pack dinner leftovers because I’m going to eat those again for um…dinner. I’m hoping this book will give me some ideas to break away from the dreaded sandwich. Anyone have any favorites they like for lunch?

I also modified a recipe this month that was delicious and worth sharing: Asian noodle, Asparagus, Shrimp salad.


-1 lb shrimp (saute’¬†these puppies with¬†cayenne¬†pepper, fresh ginger, soy sauce).

-buckwheat noodles (in Asian cooking aisle -cook to directions)

-asparagus bunch (placed in water before I boiled noodles for ¬†light simmer–keep crunchy)

-small bunch of fresh basil (chopped or hand torn if your feeling rustic)


-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

-1 tbl raw sugar (agave nectar or whatever sweetener you like)

-1 tbl sesame oil

-fresh ground ginger to taste, I did about 1 tsp

-t tbl rice vinegar

Toss the noodles with the dressing. Place as much asparagus, shrimp, and basil on top as you desire and eat. I served this warm and ate it cold the next day. Delcious both ways.

(Modified from EverydayFood–June 2011)

>mmm Prosciutto

17 Apr


I miss Photoshop and having a Mac…this photo needs some serious toning help. Just had to put that out there.

Regardless, this is what I have been eating for the past 2 days. The best Italian sandwich I have had since being in Italy. Meet the fresh Prosciutto and Mozzarella sub from Lola’s. I would suggest adding roasted red peppers and basil.
What is prosciutto you may wonder?  Prosciutto (English pronunciation: /pr…ôňą Éuňźto ä/,[1]) is an Italian word for ham. In English, the term prosciutto is almost always used for a dry-cured ham that is usually sliced thin and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto. (thank you Wikipedia)

It is wonderful–if you like ham. If not this would be good with just fresh mozzarella, basil, and red peppers.  I really think this may be created at home–but with purchasing all the ingredients it may just be worth dishing out 9.00 bucks for the sub if you live in Greenville. By the way all you local Greenvillians, Greenvilganders?.. Go check out Lola’s off of Pelham ( it is good Italian…which is rare in my opinion.

If you’re not near Gville it would be easy to recreate.
-1 fresh loaf crusty bakery bread
-Good quality prosciutto ham (maybe 5 slices)
-roasted red peppers
-Fresh mozzarella sliced (get the kind in the ball form and slice it at home)
-Fresh basil
-a light vinaigrette made with balsamic and EVOO for dipping or spread on the bread or..gasp! both. ūüôā
-Enjoy and pretend you are in Italy–Buono!