The idea for these bagels spawned from reading a post on A Beautiful Mess, where Emma mentioned that her favorite bagel was from Panera – a peanut butter and banana bagel in fact! I never had the chance to try this gem, as it has been discontinued, but decided to take on this challenge of recreating what I imagine they would have been like. The execution of making these bagels however, poses the problem of adding two wet ingredients to dough, which would just result is needing more flour. But I have made bagels using pumpkin puree in the past and therefore substituted with mashed banana and used PB2′s powdered peanut butter instead.
I had hoped for a very obvious flavor, but the result was more subtle and I may need to try folding in real peanut butter for a swirl or try peanut butter chips. Or maybe my desire for a super peanut buttery-banana-y bagel is unrealistic, and this is as close as it gets. Don’t get me wrong, these were wonderful bagels! I wouldn’t be sharing them on my blog if they were not, just not a “wow that’s an explosion of peanut butter-banana flavor”. That response might be reserved for moister items such as muffins and blondies. To compensate, these were particularly good with a smear of Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. Peanut butter on top of peanut butter – that’s just how I roll!
Actually, I recently discovered that cake batter flavor exists, and upon searching their website while writing this post found both banana and peanut butter flavorings. I feel like it would be a cop out to use them instead of real banana and peanut butter, but maybe a couple drops would get this bagel flavor up to the next level. What are your thoughts?
Two years ago: Baked Blueberry Almond Pancakes
PEANUT BUTTER BANANA BAGELS
Makes 8 bagels
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup PB2 powdered peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup warm water
2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar, divided
1 large very ripe banana, mashed
- In a small bowl, combine the two flours. In a large bowl, whisk together 2-1/2 cups of the flour, powdered peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk together slightly and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes or until slightly foamy.
- Add the mashed banana and mix using a dough hook, then begin to slowly add the flour mixture. Mix for 5 minutes or until smooth, alternating between slow and medium speeds as you add flour. You want to mix it until the dough is no longer sticky. After 5 minutes, if the dough is sticky, incorporate the remaining flour, a little at a time.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow the dough to double in size, around 1 hour.
- Remove the dough and punch it down. Divide into equal pieces. A digital scale is very helpful, but if you don’t have one just eye out 8 even pieces of dough. Press your finger through the middle of the ball, and form into a bagel shape. They will rise some more, so if you want a hole, make it bigger than the size of a quarter. Repeat with the the rest of the dough. Place on prepared baking sheet and let rest until risen but not doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bring 12 cups of water to a boil with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
- In batches, boil the bagels for around 20 to 30 seconds per side. Remove from water and place back on prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool before serving.
Today I commence a little project I came up with called Single Serving Sunday, where I will share recipes that serve just one. Being a grad student, living alone and being a food blogger is an interesting mix sometimes when it comes to cooking and baking. I don’t have a very large budget, I prefer to not eat the same thing for an entire week, and yet I like to make things that the general public can relate to on my blog. As a result of this combination, I scale a lot of recipes from their original sources in half when I make and post them on my blog. But sometimes I need a recipe that just serves one, and certainly there are other people out there just like me.
Sometimes I will share recipes that make two servings for those of us that like leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. The plan is to keep these recipes simple for one and occasionally two servings. The biggest challenge is going to be tackling the problem with single servings, which is the inevitability of having leftover ingredients. In those situations I will offer suggestions on what to do with what remains, or offer a post the following Sunday using the leftovers. If any other bloggers feel like joining me in this adventure feel free to do so!
Today’s breakfast taco does have some leftover ingredients, and I can already hear you asking “But what am I supposed to do with the remaining 3/4 avocado and corn tortillas?” For the avocado you could whip up a simple guacamole, or you could make these for breakfast another day. I actually did make these two days in a row because I enjoyed them so much and then used the remaining 1/2 in a pasta dish that I will share next Sunday. As for the corn tortillas, they keep in the fridge for a long time but you could also make baked tortilla chips to go with that guacamole . Or have friends over for a taco night dinner!
Do you have any single serving ideas, suggestions or requests? Please share! I may even get a fancy button if this project is a hit.
Two years ago: Penne with Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch
BACON, EGG AND AVOCADO TACO
2 slices turkey bacon
1/4 avocado, sliced
1 6-inch white corn tortilla, warmed
- In a frying pan over medium heat, fry the bacon to desired doneness. Drain on paper towel, and crumble.
- In the same frying pan, fry the egg until the yolk is set. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Assemble the taco by layering egg and avocado slices on the warm tortilla, and top with crumbled bacon. Fold and enjoy!
Source: Adapted slightly from Fitness, January 2013.
Step aside Twinkies, these truffles have you beat! You won’t need to hunt down the remaining Hostess cakes left in the world once you bite into one of these beauties. After yesterday, I decided to not even try to share something healthy today. It would just look like a joke seeing those two recipes side by side on my homepage. So I present to you, Twinkie truffles!
The truffle base is similar to a cake ball, but instead of frosting I mixed the cake crumbs with marshmallow creme. Then to take them over the top and get into Twinkie-character, a marshmallow creme filling is piped into the middle before being dipped in yellow chocolate coating. Do you see the resemblance?
One year ago: Thai Chicken Pizza
Two years ago: Grilled Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Makes approximately 3 dozen truffles
1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients on box)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
7 oz. marshmallow creme
2 tsp very hot water
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz. marshmallow creme
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. yellow candy melts
2 oz. white candy melts
- Bake cake mix according to package directions adding the extra vanilla into the mix along with the other liquid ingredients. When completely cool, crumble into a large bowl and mix with marshmallow cream until well blended (and hand mixer gets the job done).
- Using a cookie scoop form the cake balls and hollow out the center with your finger. Keep about the amount of six cake balls of dough aside. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the cream filling. Dissolve salt in very hot water and set aside to cool. Whip marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla until fluffy. When cool, add salt water and whip to combine. Place cream in a zip top bag and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Snip the corner of the bag so you can pipe into the hollow balls. Remove balls from freezer and fill each with cream. Take small amounts of the leftover dough that didn’t get frozen and smooth over top to enclose cream completely inside ball. Place back into the freezer from an additional 20 minutes.
- When you are ready to dip. Place candy melts in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Dip each ball and when completely covered, allow excess to drip off and place back on parchment paper. Allow to harden and enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Crumbs and Chaos.
Today I am sharing a very special local dish from where I grew up, known as the Garbage Plate. Not a very appetizing name right? Let me explain… A Garbage Plate is a combination of one selection of typically cheeseburger, hamburger, red hots, or white hots. But you can also choose Italian sausage, chicken tender, haddock, fried ham, grilled cheese, or eggs (yes eggs and it’s called a Breakfast Plate – it’s delicious). Then you choose two sides of either home fries, French fries, baked beans, or macaroni salad. On top of that are the options of mustard and onions, and a proprietary hot sauce, made with spices and slowly simmered ground beef. And then it’s all served with Italian bread and butter on the side. I like to use the bread to swipe up any remaining sauce when I’m finished! There’s actually a specific way to put it all together too. Click HERE to see how!
Are you hungry yet? Okay I know what you are thinking, and yes, it is definitely more popular to the college student crowd. Although I’ve actually eaten it sober many many more times than under the influence. Nick Tahou Hots is the originator of a the Garbage Plate and it’s popularity has spawned several imitators in the Greater Rochester area, including Mark’s Texas Hots (“The Sloppy Plate”), Gitsis Texas Hots (“The Gitsis Plate”), Empire Hots (“The Trash Plate”), Fairport Hots (“The Hot Plate”), Tom Wahl’s (“55 Junker Plate”), Jimmy Z’s (“Five Star Plate”), and others. Another fun fact, Health.com named the Garbage Plate the fattiest food in the state of New York, which is not all that surprising.
As for me and my history with the Garbage Plate, I used to get it with baked beans instead of mac salad, but I slowly converted over the years to enjoying the mac salad more. Today my perfect Garbage Plate is cheeseburger with mac salad, home fries, and a huge amount of ketchup. I go though half a bottle in one sitting, no lie. After cutting up the cheeseburgers and mixing it all together I swear it all gets absorbed and nearly disappears. Here is my plate before being cut up and mixed. I thought of posting a mixed picture but it’s not really a pretty sight.
As for my Memphian friends who I subjected this upon, they all loved it! Granted most of them had a half sized plate, but that’s really how much you should eat unless you like testing out how clogged you can get your arteries in one sitting. The bonus to this meal was the Genesee beer, found at a local grocery store! Never thought I’d see the day that a Rochester brewery would have a market in the south.
One year ago: Baked Oatmeal with Blackberries and Bananas
Two years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
HOMEMADE GARBAGE PLATES
Makes 4 garbage plates (serves 4 garbage-plate-pros or 8 regular people)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup water, plus more if needed
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
8 beef patties, cooked
8 slices of American cheese (preferably white but did yellow this time)
4 cups macaroni salad
4 cups home fries (cubed hash browns), cooked
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Ketchup, mustard and Tabasco sauce
1 loaf of fresh Italian bread, sliced and buttered
1 case Genny Light/Genesee beer
- In large skillet, fry chopped onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add meat, stirring constantly with fork to keep its texture fine. Once the meat browns, add water and tomato paste. Simmer 10 minutes. Add sugar and spices. Simmer 30 minutes, adding water if necessary to keep it moist but not soupy*.
- To assemble the garbage plate, melt one slice of cheese on each beef patty. Place 1 cup of macaroni salad and 1 cup of hash browns each onto four plates. Place 2 beef patties on top of the heaps, in the center. Spread mustard and diced onions over the beef patties. With a ladle, cover the center of the heap with plate sauce. Top with ketchup and/or Tabasco sauce, and garnish with buttered bread. (Also, here’s a slide show of how to put together a garbage plate.)
- Best served with Genny Light or Genesee beer.
*I like to prepare my sauce the day before. I feel like the flavors mix together better if they sit in the fridge overnight. But you must resist the urge to spoon off the grease that settles on top before reheating it!
Source: Adapted slightly from The Lynches.
I don’t go out to eat often, but when I do I rarely leave with leftovers. And what I mean by this is that I either inhale it all or I get a box to go and somehow end up leaving it on the table, much to my dismay later on. This problem of mine is particularly annoying when I purposely ordered enough food to cover two meals. I have to make a conscious effort to hold onto my to-go box when getting ready to leave or else it’ll never make it. One time I remembered right as I was walking out the restaurant door, but it was already too late. The waiting staff was just too fast and efficient for me .
The best thing about cooking and eating at home? All my leftovers stay with me. In fact, most of the time when I make recipes that serve multiple people, I portion out the serving I’m going to eat and then divide the rest amongst lunch-box-sized containers for lunch that week. This makes me particularly happy when I get to enjoy awesome things such as these sloppy joes more than once.
Sloppy Joes don’t have to come from a can. And they also don’t always have to be made with the same traditional seasonings either. When I saw this recipe using hoisin sauce I had to make it. And I am glad I did because it totally beats any canned sloppy joe sauce any day.
One year ago: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola & Pecans
GROUND TURKEY SLOPPY JOES WITH HOISIN AND CILANTRO
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste with 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb. ground turkey
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
4 sandwich rolls, toasted
- Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet and set the pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic paste, ginger and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until fragrant. Add the ground turkey to the pan and brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the turkey is browned, stir in the tomato sauce and the hoisin. Continue cooking for 5-7 more minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat under the pan and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Divide the mixture evenly among the rolls and serve.
Source: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
I know you are all familiar with the ice cream push pops from when you were a kid (or from your own kids because thankfully they are still making them), but how about one filled with cake?? Treat pops have been literally popping up all over the internet and Wilton as usual is on board and making great tools for you to use.
Their mini whoopie pie pan makes the perfect sized cake round to fit into the tube of a treat pop, and then their treat pop decorating set comes with everything else you will need: tips 230 (for filling container), 2A, 32, 48 (for topping), eight 12 inch disposable decorating bags and instructions on making treat pops. And of course you cannot make a treat pop without the proper container, and Wilton even improved them by adding a feature where the cap turns treat pop into a stand-up container for easy decorating and serving. This specially designed hole in the cap also allows you to embellish the treat pop with the cap on.
Previous treat pops I have purchased from other brands did not have this fun feature on their caps, and it really made decorating the pops much easier – no pop stand required! Also, the caps snap tighter than my previous experiences, making me feel more comfortable transporting them. Also, the long tapered tip provided by in the treat pop decorating kit definitely made piping the filling into the long tube much easier. Wilton thinks of everything, don’t they?
Since I have recently been sucked into the NBA playoffs cheering for the Memphis Grizzlies, I decided to make Grizzlies inspired treat pops – Grizz-Pops! They consist of a layering of three blue velvet whoopie pies and a lemon cream cheese frosting. If you notice, I should’ve let the frosting sit in the fridge for a little while before topping because after piping it in my hands had warmed it up so that the swirls didn’t hold their shape. But they still taste great! Just top with some team-spirited star sprinkles and it’s time to “screw calm and grind on”! (That’s what my shirt says in the background on the picture).
Two years ago: Pomegranate-Goat Cheese Ball
GRIZZ-POPS (or Blue Velvet and Lemon Pops)
Makes 12 treat pops or 18 mini whoopie pies
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) vegetable shortening
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp blue food coloring
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2-1/2 cup powdered sugar
Sprinkles, if desired
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat mini whoopie pie pan with nonstick spray, set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and both sugars on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the egg, beating well. Add the vanilla and the blue food coloring and beat until just blended.
- Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and remaining buttermilk and beat until completely combined.
- Drop a tablespoon of batter into each cavity of the mini whoopie pie pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
- While the cakes are cooling, prepare the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice until thoroughly blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 230 tip (long tapered tip).
- To assemble the treat pops, place empty push pop containers in a stand or use their lids to stand them. Place one cake round in bottom of treat pop. Pipe a swirl of cream cheese icing from back edge following the curve of the container, then filling in the center. Continue layering until treat pop is full. Top with a swirl of frosting and sprinkles, if using. (If using a tip coupler, change out the tip for a star shape for topping.)
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary products from Wilton. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s about that time of year – wedding season. Which means it’s the perfect time to take a look at Robin Miller’s The Newlywed Cookbook. Robin is the host of the Food Network’s Quick Fix Meals, as well as a nutritionist and a New York Times bestselling author. With over 200 recipes, The Newlywed Cookbook celebrates couples coming together over food, with recipes and tips for everything from quick and intimate meals to sit-down dinner parties with friends. The cookbook also comes with a simple guide explaining the different herbs and spices, cooking terms, and equipment used in the recipes to make sure those wedding gifts are getting used!
Just in case you are thinking the same thing I did when hearing about this cookbook, it is not a cookbook strictly for 2-serving recipes. Originally I was disappointed, particularly in the dessert section because most of the recipes make regular sized batches of cakes, cookies, pies, etc. But I had to step back and correct myself, because newlywed-simple recipes does not mean only two servings.
That being said, the majority of the entrees are for 4 servings which means when cooing for two, you would cook one night and eat leftovers the next! I’m pretty sure that does met the definition of newlywed-simple recipes and definitely makes dinner time easier than recipes that only serve 2. Who wants to cook every single night? And then there are some recipes that serve 8 or more for when you have family or friends over for dinner. Conveniently, there are even entire menus laid out for such occasions, and even for the holidays such as New Years, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, Sunday brunch, Super Bowl, picnics, breakfast in bed and dinner with the in-laws.
For example, the Valentine’s Day menu consists of broiled lobster tails, asparagus with tomato vinaigrette, cumin basmati pilaf, and mixed berry shortcake. No that lobster excited me, but seeing that the dessert only make two servings I jumped on it since I usually cook for one. The shortcakes were very easy to make and could even be made in advance along with the filling in order for quick assembly later. As for the cakes, they were the perfect amount of crumbly and soft for my ideal shortcake. Don’t forget the fresh whipped cream on top!
I also made the Penne with Andouille and Parmesan. This recipe was very simple yet had a lot of great flavors. The best part about this recipe was that it was ready in under 30 minutes. In fact the majority of the recipes in this cookbook are quick to prepare, which should make any newlywed couple cooking on a weeknight happy. Not only is it delicious, but it gets into your hungry post-work belly faster.
Know someone getting hitched soon? Enter to win a copy of this cookbook and it would be a great gift for the new couple! Or just keep it for yourself, you don’t have to be married to enjoy good recipes. US & CANADA ONLY.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy of this cookbook from Sourcebooks, and are providing the giveaway. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Meatloaves. Yes dad, if you are reading this I willingly made myself meatloaf for dinner. But I discovered the secret to overcoming their mushy texture which is the primary reason for my distaste for them all my life – minis! When you make them mini it’s just like eating a meatball and are less mushy. After I discovered this fact while reviewing The New Way to Cook Light cookbook, I decided to try out another mini recipe.
Since I recently received a ginormous shipment of Chobani Greek yogurt, I decided to make some mini meatloaves using some of it. Fittingly, I made Greek meatloaves with the Greek yogurt! With the additional flavors of mint and cucumber this meal is perfect for the spring-time and can be ready in under 30 minutes. Did I mention that I have now enjoyed my second meatloaf in my entire life? Crazy!
One year ago: Homemade Imo’s Pizza
Two years ago: Avocado Fries
MINI GREEK STYLE MEATLOAVES
10 oz. ground sirloin
5 oz. lean ground lamb
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup minced red onion
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used 0% plain Chobani)
2 oz. reduced-fat feta, crumbled
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups baby arugula leaves
1-1/2 cups 1/4-inch diagonally sliced, seeded, peeled cucumber
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat eight muffin cups with nonstick spray, set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine meatloaf ingredients. Press mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 7 minutes. Turn broiler on to high and broil for 3 minutes.
- While the meatloaves cook, combine sauce ingredients in a mini food processor. Pulse 10 times to combine.
- In another large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add arugula and cucumber then toss to coat.
- Serve meatloaves with a cup of salad and feta sauce on top.
Source: Cooking Light, May 2013
The first time I made these, I did a dumb thing and used the juice from the lemon as well as the zest. Do you know what happens when you add liquid to rice krispies? They get soggy just like in a bowl of milk. I should have realized this in advance but somehow I thought it was a brilliant idea, until I took a bite and was appalled with myself.
Batch #2 I did not use the juice, just the zest and added some extract to ensure the citrus flavors did not get lost. With the addition of the freeze dried strawberries they taste just like strawberry lemonade but without the use of any artificial beverage mixes!
What brainless baking/cooking things have you done in the past? Make me feel better by letting me know I’m not the only one who does things without thinking them through in the kitchen.
One year ago: Malted Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
STRAWBERRY LEMONADE RICE KRISPIE TREATS
Makes 24 bars
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
10 oz. marshmallows
1 lemon, zested
1/8 tsp fiori di sicilia or lemon extract
6 cups puffed rice cereal
1-1/2 cups freeze dried strawberries
- Coat a 13 x 9-inch pan with non-stick spray, set aside.
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, stir in the marshmallows until melted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and extract (if using).
- Add the puffed rice cereal and strawberries to the melted marshmallows and stir until coated and evenly distributed.
- Transfer to prepared pan and spread evenly. Press down with a sheet of wax paper.
- Allow to cool completely, then cut into bars.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original