Happy Father's Day
I've decided to honor my dad in the best way that I can from afar - by posting a recipe for his favorite treat - biscotti! Lactose-free almond biscotti to be exact.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon almond extract
1 cup slivered almonds
Dump mixture onto a silpat lined baking sheet.
Shape mixture into 2 loaves.
Bake 20 minutes at 350.
Cool 10 minutes then slice diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces.
Lay slices on baking sheet and bake another 15 minutes - turning halfway through baking time.
This is a very basic - super easy almond biscotti recipe. You could easily dress these biscotti up by drizzling a little dark chocolate over the tops but in my case, they had to travel in the mail so I left them chocolate-free.
Hope you enjoy your Father's Day dad - love you lots.
My garden has really started to come into it's own this week. Right now I've got fresh lettuce, Japanese eggplant, TONS of giant cucumbers and fresh herbs. I'm still a couple of weeks away from picking ripe tomatoes and peppers and it looks like we wont be enjoying any fresh watermelon until late August but that's perfectly okay with me.
I have been eating a lot more vegetables than usual just because they're steps away from my kitchen. I've been making giant salads for dinner and getting creative with my garden harvest.
This week I decided to combine my fresh garden vegetables into one delicious grilled vegetable sandwich.
I used the eggplant and fresh oregano from my garden, threw in some portabella mushrooms, red onion, roma tomatoes and avocado from the grocery store and made THE BEST grilled vegetable sandwich.
My plan was to grill twice as many veggies that I needed for my sandwich and save the other half to put in a vegetable calzone the next day. That didn't happen. This sandwich was soooo good that I used all my vegetables to make a second one the next day. Forget the calzone - this sandwich was too good not to make a second.
Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced
2 portabella mushrooms
1 roma tomato, thickly sliced
1 red bell pepper
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
pinch on onion powder
pinch of garlic powder
fresh ground black pepper
1 chiabatta roll
Combine beans, lime juice, fresh oregano, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper in food processor and pulse until a coarse mixture forms.
To assemble sandwich, spread bean mixture one half of chiabatta roll. Layer grilled vegetables and avocado on other half.
Assemble sandwich and enjoy!
Ok admittedly, the black bean mixture looks a little unappetizing but the beautiful grilled vegetables more than make up for the unappealing brown color of the beans. I am loving this fresh garden vegetable sandwich. It's so good - you'd better make 2 sandwiches because 1 just isn't going to be enough.
What's better than a candy bar baked inside of a cupcake?
Don't worry if you couldn't come up with an answer - neither could I.
True Kit Kat lovers will love their favorite crunchy candy bar even more when it's been baked inside of a rich, dark chocolate cupcake and topped with caramel buttercream. This cupcake might even convert some people into Kit Kat fans. The chocolate wafer candy bar really takes these chocolate cupcakes from ordinary to extraordinary.
Kit Kat Cupcakes
1 cup flour
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup hot water
1 snack size kit kat candy bar
1 recipe caramel buttercream
Scoop a small amount of batter into paper lined cupcake tins. Break 1 kit kat in half and place on top of batter.
Fill cupcake liners with remaining batter - two thirds full and bake cupcakes 24 minutes.
Top with a swirl of caramel buttercream and the other half of the kit kat candy bar.
The next time you find yourself baking a batch of chocolate cupcakes, try adding a Kit Kat bar and you'll see what I mean about these little beauties.
I am obsessed with Kind Bars. Especially the dark chocolate drizzled sea salt Kind Bars. I literally buy them by the dozens. I have a Kind Bar in my purse ALMOST all the time - for snacking emergencies, you know.
I have to admit that I was somewhat hesitant when I found a copycat Kind Bar recipe on www.theyummylife.com. How could I possibly make a granola bar at home that's BETTER than a KIND bar? Then I realized that I was approaching the recipe in the wrong way - maybe I should NOT strive to improve upon my favorite granola bar but simply to recreate the wholesome bars at home for a fraction of the cost of what I can buy them.
After making my own Kind bars - I think I love them even more than I did before. I love the fact that these bars are made without refined sugars and that they have only simple, healthy ingredients. If you are a lover of the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Kind Bar - you are going to love this copycat recipe.
Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Bars
Combine dry ingredients.
Stir together in a large bowl.
Bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Use a candy thermometer to determine when the mixture reaches 260 degrees.
Add mixture to nut mixture and stir to combine.
Press into a wax paper lined 9x31 inch pan. Use a greased glass bottom to press mixture evenly into pan.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Melt chocolate chips in microwave and drizzle over nut mixture.
Cool 20 minutes and then slice into bars.
There you have it - Kind Bars that are just as delicious as their grocery store counterparts at a fraction of the cost.
If you are not drooling by now - there is something wrong. These sweet, salty, nutty, chocolaty bars are pure goodness.
I hope that you will give these homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt bars a try. You will not be disappointed.
I love to cook but I don't like to make the same thing over and over again. I would make a terrible restaurant chef - every meal would come out slightly different. Great restaurants serve meals that are fairly consistent - not really my strength.
I don't like to mass produce food and I really don't even like repeating recipes twice. I would rather put a new spin on an old recipe and make it into something new than to continue to make the same thing over and over again. You probably could have guessed that just by looking at the TWELVE HUNDRED recipes in my index!
Lucky for me - I'm not a restaurant chef. I have the perfect job that allows me to be creative and bake new recipes all the time. I love to come up with new flavors and ways to make old flavors - new again. My newest cupcake transforms a classic yellow cupcake into a tie die cupcake. The flavor is the same but the look is completely different. The kaleidoscope of colors makes this cupcake appeal to a whole other audience of cupcake eaters.
Tie Die Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
10 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 Tablespoons canola oil
6 egg yolks
3 egg whites
Fold egg whites into batter.
Divide batter between 6 different bowls.
Add color to each bowl and stir.
Spoon batter into cupcake liners, one color at a time.
Bake 24 minutes at 350. Cool on wire racks.
Frost with rainbow colored buttercream.
These cupcakes take a little more time than the standard vanilla cupcakes but they are so worth it - don't you think? And I should probably mention the abundance of dirty dishes that this recipe requires. 6 bowls, 6 knives, 6 spoons, 2 mixing bowls, rubber scrapers, etc. My suggestion - hire someone else to wash the dishes - trust me - it will be worth it.
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