Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sriracha Quinoa Bites

Sriracha Quinoa Bites

If you're like me, any celebration I partake in involves food. Admittedly, some of my favorite parts of celebrations is the food. Especially when it's appetizers. Like appetizers, one of my favorite things in the world is samples. When I really want to spoil myself, I take a trip to Costco or Whole Foods, and try all the samples. Not only is it fun to try all the samples, but it's a great way to get a free meal! All in all, I really enjoy little bites of food. I find that appetizers are often more satisfying and flavorful than eating a whole meal. These little bites are packed full of flavor and protein, and are sure to be a hit at any New Years party.

Sriracha Quinoa Bites

Recipe from Leaf and Grain


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (how to cook quinoa)
  • 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (whole wheat or white)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Oil the cups of two mini 12 count muffin pans. Set aside.
  3. Stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. The mixture should be sticky and cling to a spoon. (Add more breadcrumbs if it’s too loose.)
  4. Spoon the mixture into one cup. Press down firmly with your fingers. Add more, if necessary, to fill even with the top. Press firmly again. Continue filling the cups in this manner. You should be able to fill 18 to 20 of the cups.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Keep an eye on the edges – if they brown, go ahead and remove the pans from the oven.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on a cooling rack. Serve immediately.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

One bite into these little cheese puffs and you won't want to eat anything else for the rest of your life. Crunchy on the outside, yet so chewy and cheesy on the inside, this bread is unlike anything you've had before. I do have a warning though, they are super addictive. Their small size is a good excuse to eat more of them though. My friend first introduced these to me at a Thanksgiving potluck about a month ago. However, he had the real deal because his were actually from Brazil. I vowed to recreate these delicious little appetizers, and they turned out delicious. They are super simple to make and are also gluten-free! Make them as a New Years appetizer and you are sure to have the best party in town.

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)
Recipe from The Kitchn

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (10 ounces) tapioca flour or sour cassava flour
2 eggs
1 - 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
2-quart saucepan
Long-handled spoon
Standing mixer with paddle attachment (or mixing bowl and elbow grease)


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking pan with parchment and set aside.
1. Boil the Milk and Oil: Combine the milk, oil, and salt in the saucepan, and whisking occasionally, bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk.
2. Add the Tapioca Flour: Add all of the tapioca flour to the saucepan and stir until you see no more dry tapioca flour. The dough will be grainy and gelatinous at this point.
3. Cool the Dough: Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can do the next few steps by hand. Be prepared for a work-out.) Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it smooths out and has cooled enough that you can hold your finger against the dough for several seconds.
4. Beat in the Eggs: Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. With the mixer on medium, beat the eggs into the dough in two additions. Wait until the first addition has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5. Beat in the Cheese: With the mixer on medium, beat in the cheese until fully incorporated. The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft with a consistency between cake batter and cooke dough.
6. Portion the Puffs: Using an ice cream scoop, a tablespoon measure, or a dinner spoon, scoop rounded portions of the dough into mounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Space the mounds an inch or two apart. Dip your scoop in water to prevent sticking.
7. Bake the Puffs: Transfer the sheet with the puffs to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the puffs have puffed, the outsides are dry, and they are just starting to color. Cool briefly and eat. Leftover puffs can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week and re-crisped in a warm oven or toaster oven.


Finding Tapioca Flour: Sour cassava flour or sour tapioca flour can be tricky to find in the United States. Look for it at Latin American markets. Plain tapioca flour lacks the slight sour, fermented flavor, but makes a fine substitute. You can find plain tapioca flour from Bob's Red Mill at most natural foods stores.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Herb Cornbread Stuffing

Herb Cornbread Stuffing

Why do we tend to reserve stuffing only for holidays? It's really quite a shame because stuffing is so delicious. I think I'd like to eat it more than just twice a year. Especially this particular stuffing recipe. I had some for breakfast this morning and it was still just as delicious as when I made it on Monday. Thank you Scott's mom for the recipe!

Herb Cornbread Stuffing

2 (6 oz) packages of cornbread mix (prepared according to package instructions)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375 F. Coarsely crumble prepared cornbread into a large bowl. In a skillet, melt the butter and cook celery and onion over medium-high heat until tender. Add vegetable mixture and remaining ingredients to the cornbread. Mix gently until just combined. Spoon into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Streusel Topped Gingerbread Muffins with Lemon Glaze

Streusel Topped Gingerbread Muffins with Lemon Glaze

Minx reunion!!! Yesterday my four best girlfriends from high school came over and we all made brunch together! It was a festive time of mimosas, super egg scramble, and gingerbread muffins. We had such a fun morning reminiscing about our lives back in high school and how much we've changed since then. It just blows my mind to think that four years ago we were celebrating being seniors in high school and talking about our college plans. Now we are all seniors in college and each going a different direction after graduation. I am so excited to see where God takes all these beautiful and talented women. Anyway, these muffins are super amazing. I'm sure Michelle, Hannah, Abi, or Carolina could easily agree to that. There were no leftovers. Enough said. Enjoy looking at our attempts at some sorority poses...

Streusel Topped Gingerbread Muffins with Lemon Glaze
Recipe from Mother Thyme
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest from one small lemon
  • Streusel Topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Lemon Glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 of one lemon)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 cup muffin pan with liners and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves and mix until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl stir melted butter, milk, molasses, egg and lemon zest. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients while mixing on low speed. Mix until just combined.
  4. Pour into prepared muffins pan filling about 3/4 full.
  5. Streusel topping
  6. In a medium bowl combine melted butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of muffins bake for about 20-25 minutes until tester inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for a few minutes then remove and place on wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Lemon Glaze
  8. In a small bowl stir together confectioners sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle on top of muffins.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

My obsession with pumpkin continues into December! I had a can of leftover pumpkin from a pie that I never made at Thanksgiving. So of course, I couldn’t leave it sitting so lonely on the shelf. I’ve been dying to make whoopie pies, and what better flavor to feature than pumpkin. These pies turned out super moist and almost too cute to eat. I think they might win second place for my favorite pumpkin recipe! Try them out and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional; substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips or candied nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl.
Whisk together sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla in a separate large bowl until well combined, then stir in flour mixture.
Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or tablespoon measure, drop a scant scoop's worth of batter or 2 scant tablespoons of batter onto a lined baking sheet to form 1 mound. Make 15 more mounds, arranging them 2 inches apart until baking sheet is full (you will have batter left over).
Bake until springy to the touch, 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookie-cakes to rack to cool.
Form and bake remaining batter on the other parchment-lined sheet. You should have a total of 32 cookie-cakes.
For filling:
While cookie-cakes are baking, beat cream cheese, butter, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and bourbon and mix on low speed until smooth.
Chill filling until firm enough to hold its shape when spread, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Assemble whoopie pies:
Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling each on flat side of half the cooled cookie-cakes, then top with other half of cookie-cakes. If necessary, chill whoopie pies just long enough to firm up filling again, about 30 minutes.
Gently press mini chocolate chips onto filling around middle of each whoopie pie to help them adhere to filling

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cowboy Tacos

Cowboy Tacos

Thanks to my wonderful friend Carlos, I was introduced to these tacos at Taco Deli a couple months ago. It was love at first bite. So many flavors combined to make this taco spectacular. The extra-limey guacamole and the coffee rubbed steak was really what set it apart though. Carlos and I decided to recreate the taco on our own, and it turned out delicious.  Thanks Carlito!!!

Cowboy Tacos

Coffee Rubbed Steak:
  • sirloin steaks about 8-10 oz each well trimed
  • finely ground coffee
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t black pepper
1) Mix ingredient. 2 T finely ground coffee, 1 T kosher salt, 1 t brown sugar, 1/2 t garlic powder and black pepper. My coffee was whole bean so I needed to grind it first.2) Rinse and pat dry the steak. Trim well. Coat the steak with a moderate coat and rub in well.3) Let meat rest at room temp for 15 minutes while grill preheats. Clean and oil grill. If you do not have a grill, cook meat in a large skillet over medium heat.
4) Place meat over high heat and flip every 5-6 minutes. Cook until internal temp of about 150. About 20-25 minutes depending on grill and thicken. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 


Coffee Rubbed Steak
Roasted Bell Pepper
Roasted Onion
Cojita Cheese

Assemble all ingredients on a tortilla!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

As I've inherited from my dad, apple pie is one of my favorite desserts. My mom spoiled our family with the best apple pies on the planet, and I always be a pie snob. Some musts I've learned from her: you must make your own crust, and you must eat the pie with french vanilla ice cream. There is simply no other way. So, when Luke asked if we could make a pie together, I was overjoyed!!! This is Luke's favorite apple pie recipe, and I must say it turned out quite delicious. The whole pie was literally devoured within 5 minutes of serving. I'd say that's a success. Not only was it fun eating the pie, but we had a blast making it together. Thanks Luke!

Apple Pie

Crust (makes 2, 9-inch crusts)

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Pie Filling

1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven (Place a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil underneath the pie to catch the drips). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog Cookies

Christmastime is such a special time of year. Not only do we get to celebrate and remember our Savior's birth, but we can respond to it by giving freely and graciously to those around us. One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is to make cookies to give to my friends, teachers, and co-workers. I made these cookies for our holiday party at work last week, and they were a hit! I loved how soft and flavorful these cookies turned out. They are definitely going to be a new tradition.

Eggnog Cookies
Recipe from The Slow Roasted Italian 

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup eggnog
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (plus more for garnish)
3 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Eggnog Drizzle:
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons eggnog
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk until well mixed.  In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, cream sugar and butter until well light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes).  Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat on medium speed until you have a smooth consistency.   Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.

Using a 1 tablespoon scoop, drop onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart .  Bake for 9-11 minutes until slightly golden brown around the edges.   Allow to cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  

Meanwhile, prepare the eggnog drizzle in a medium bowl.  Combine the powdered sugar, eggnog and vanilla.  Whisking until well combined and smooth.  Drizzle over cookies and then sprinkle with fresh grated nutmeg.  Serve and enjoy!