Vanilla Coffee Creamer with a hint of Coconut

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I love my morning coffee! But I don’t love my preservative & chemical filled creamer. So I learned how to make my own!

I never knew how easy it was! This recipe is adapted from http://www.whatmegansmaking.com/

– INGREDIENTS –
1 cup vanilla coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

– PROCESS –
Heat up a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk together the coconut milk, cream, and maple syrup in the pan. Let it cook until the edges begin to bubble.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Cover and let sit for thirty minutes to thicken and cool.

Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

Have you ever made creamer? Any new flavor ideas I should try??

Stovetop Pizza in a Skillet

photo 5Pizza in a skillet? Made on a stove? Not in an oven?

Yep, and it was delicious! I decided that I am tired of not being able to make pizza. I had essentially given up on the idea since we moved into our apartment. I thought no oven automatically meant no pizza. The other day I was so in the mood for homemade pizza that I decided to throw caution to the wind and try stovetop pizza!

This is not a recipe for pizza dough and pizza sauce. I admit that I bought both of those things at Trader Joe’s because I really didn’t want to go to all the work of making things from scratch just to have my stovetop pizza come out burnt. But now that I know, perhaps I’ll make my own next time.

For now, here is the process for making stovetop pizza!

– INGREDIENTS –
1 bag of herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s (or any dough you like, really)
2 tablespoons pizza sauce
1 sundried tomato sausage, thinly sliced
2 cups raw baby spinach
1/2 large yellow bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 small tomato (I used Roma)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded havarti cheese

– PROCESS –
Begin with your largest skillet. Mine was a 10″. Spray with non-stick spray and then lightly flour the bottom. You don’t want this pizza sticking, because you will be flipping the dough more than once.

Put your stove on low to medium heat. Don’t be in a hurry and put the heat higher. You want it to cook slowly, like an oven 🙂

photo 1On a floured surface, roll out your dough to the size you need for your pan. Place in skillet and press down so it takes on the shape of the edge, if it even reaches the edges of the pan at all. Mine was kind of oddly shaped! Imperfection is beauty, right?

photo 2Place a cover on your pan and let it bake for 3-4 minutes. Once the dough has begun to brown a little, but the top is still very soft, carefully flip the dough over. With the spatula, press the dough down gently into the pan to work out some air bubbles and re-shape it.

Put the top back on and let it bake for 2-3 minutes.

photo 3Now it’s time to put on your toppings! Spread out your sauce, put on your meat and veggies, top with the cheese. I usually put the tomatoes on top. I think they get mushy when they are under the cheese. Just a personal preference.

Put the top on the pan and let it bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. You can take the top off periodically to check the bottom of your pizza too, to make sure it isn’t burning. If it seems like it is browning too quickly, turn the heat down.

photo 4Once done, gently slide the pizza out of the skillet onto a cutting board. Slice and serve!

French Toast with Espresso Vodka

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My last post was about making yeast free bread for my hubby. Today that’s out the window haha. It’s his cheat meal and I wanted to use real, yeasty, gluteny bread!

My boss gave me some fresh bread from a local bakery, but you can use any bread. It’s best if it is a little dry to start with.

– INGRDIENTS –
4 eggs
2/3 cup vanilla soymilk
1/4 cup espresso vodka (I used Vail brand)
Splash of vanilla
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Bread

– PROCESS –
Heat your skillet over medium heat.

Mix all your ingredients (except the bread of course) and then pour in a shallow bowl.

Dip your bread, slice by slice, in the mixture and let soak for a few seconds. Place in pan and let cook on each side for about 3 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Serve with your favorite toppings. Mine are fruit!

Try Something New Tuesday – Quinoa Flour Bread

Quinoa Flour is fairly new to me.  Not completely new, but new enough to be a part of Try Something New Tuesday.  I will be doing this weekly to motivate myself and you to try new things regularly.

photo 1Anyways, with my husband’s new diet, I have been looking into yeast-free breads.  We need it to be yeast-free and as low in carbs as possible.  On an investigatory trip to Sprouts we discovered that we will have to plan to pay at least $6 a loaf for bread he can eat.  I refuse to do that.  So I have begun experimenting with my own bread!

Experiment number one failed miserably.  It tasted fine, but was about an inch thich, not exactly ideal for sandwiches.

So today I have tried something new.  I am still using quinoa flour because of the high protein content and the fact that it is gluten free.  I adjusted the amount of baking soda, and I added extra milk to make the consistency closer to pancake batter than bread dough.  And I am making my bread in a skillet.  Individual “slices” of bread.  I avoid the rising problems caused by lack of yeast and I can control the size of the slices.

– INGREDIENTS –
2 1/2 cups quinoa flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 teaspoon salt
2 cups vanilla soymilk
1/8 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons shredded coconut

– PROCESS –
Heat up a large skillet on low to medium heat. You can use coconut oil or non stick spray. Coconut oil crisps the slices, whereas non stick spray leaves the bread a little softer.

Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Melt the butter and add it in with the soymilk. Add the wet ingredients and stir well.

photo 2Pour two pieces of bread a time, being careful to make them a similar size.

photo 3Place a cover over your pan and let cook for 3-4 mintues. Flip bread over and let cook for another 2 minutes. You will end up with one side much flatter than the other. This is where your sandwich toppings will go.

Let cool and then store in a sealed plastic bag.

photo 4This bread is nutty, full of protein, gluten free, yeast free…and delicious! I like it topped with peanut butter and honey personally.

Orange Honey Balsamic Chicken

84F85396-4782-43BD-95E1-0F6545F99A3FI have been thoroughly enjoying the oranges my friend gave me the other day. I knew my husband and I just wouldn’t get to all of them before they started rotting, so I spent some time juicing a large percentage of them. Juice came out great!

I was left with a lot of orange peels afterward though. A LOT. Ordinarily I would throw away the peel, but it just seemed wasteful to take that much organic material and throw it out!

I decided to make a meat marinade out of some of the peels. I took a mason jar and filled it with washed orange peels. Then I added honey and balsamic vinegar. I shook the bottle and stuck it in my fridge overnight to let all the flavors mix.

5EF75043-3A38-469E-A6BF-201FFE69650CThus is born my orange honey balsamic chicken!

– INGREDIENTS –
Clean, leftover peels from some oranges (or lemons if that’s what you’ve got lying around)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 chicken breasts
1 butternut squash

– PROCESS –
Grab a mason jar ( or any sealed container) and fill it with orange peels. Add honey and vinegar and shake. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning shake again. Pour some of the mix into the crockpot along with 1/2 cup vegetable stock. Place chicken on top and then pour the rest of the marinade on top of that.

96E71590-37D2-4C6D-A527-C301E92C4587Slice up your squash, scoop out seeds, and put skin-side down on top of the chicken.

C841A9BB-CF44-4064-BC8A-D0AADA4CF9F4Cook on high for four hours.  Mash up your squash and garnish with something bright!photo 2

 

 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Sweet Potato

photo 2I enjoy going out to eat. It gives me an opportunity sit back, relax, enjoy the company of friends and family…all without the work of cooking myself. And let’s be honest – sometimes the food at a restaurant just tastes better. The ingredients they use are unique, their cooking techniques flawless. Along with that delicious food, however, often comes a high price and way more calories, sodium, and sugar than you need for an entire day.

One of my favorite dishes out is the Jamaican Jerk Sweet Potato at Claim Jumpers. Fits all the criteria above, including the “bad for you” stuff. So I did some research and found out how to make this amazing dish with things I already have in my fridge and pantry, and it’s good for you! Plus, it’s made in the CrockPot!

– INGREDIENTS –
– Spice Mix –
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon thyme

– Other –
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sweet potatoes
a few sprigs of rosemary
1 red onion
2 cups crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth

– DIRECTIONS –

Mix everything for your spice mixture in a small bowl. Set aside.

photo 2Slice up the onion in large chunks. Put half of it on the bottom of the crockpot with some of your chopped rosemary. Pour in vegetable broth.

Place chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle spice mix on top, coating the chicken thoroughly. Lay the rest of your onion on top of the chicken along with the rest of the chopped rosemary. Also put in the mushrooms. Wrap your sweet potatoes individually in tin foil and place on the very top.

photo 4Let cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Serve with a drizzle of honey on top (or not if you’re trying to limit sugar). Delicioso!

Jamaicanjerkchicken*Note: I leave for work very early in the morning, so I like to put together my crockpot dishes the night before. This is one that holds up very well in the fridge overnight. I think it helps the chicken to take on the flavor of the spices even more!*