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Kitchen Sink Banana Bread

A quick recap of last week before we launch into this week’s latest recipe.
am6 Biking to beer is my latest favorite thing to do. This Sorachi saison from Funkwerks tasted so much better after I worked for it!
am7 My pops had a birthday last week! We visited Dancing Pines distillery in Loveland, shared a flight and ended up heading out with their brand new vodka (distilled from grapes!) and cherry liqueur. Goooood stuff!
am8 And we visited the gun store. Looking, no touching after that tasting.
am9 I got funky new pants from Marshall’s and watched my dog go camouflage. He’s kind of cool like that.
am10 I baked balsamic olive oil cookies for the housewarming party I threw on Friday night.
am11 It started pouring right after I snapped this picture. A rousing game of Hedbanz was played until we all hurt from laughing so hard. I left the cleaning for my roommate and was in bed around 12:30am because…
am12 Saturday morning brew! More details about all of this to come, but until then follow Snowbank Brewing on Twitter! I’m running the Twitterverse there during all of our brew days/tappings/random outings.
am13 Leftover cookies and caustic acid. Looking back, I probably should’ve removed the acid-covered nitrile gloves before consuming this…
am14 After a 22 hour brew day, we returned for yet another brew day yesterday. My body was screaming for greens so I whipped up a green monsta before heading back to the shiny tanks.
am1 Which brings me to this bread. I bake things for brew days. That’s just what I do. Pumpkin donuts and face cookies were my Enegren tradition, so I figured it would be a good thing to carry on with my new brewery.
am3 I had leftover pumpkin puree from last week’s pumpkin donuts, and half of an avocado from some guacamole I’d made earlier this week. I figured since they were about to go bad, along with the huge bunch of Costco bananas, I’d just throw them into the bread and see what happened.
am5 Delicious success! And way too much orange in these food styling pics… I think it’s time to go buy some new props…
am4 I threw in some chia seeds as well to make myself feel like this bread was even healthier. So there’s that.

Kitchen Sink Banana Bread

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Hearty oil-free banana bread full of random ingredients found around the kitchen. Everything but the kitchen sink.

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Large bananas (mashed)
  • 1/2 Large avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions

Step 1
Grease two mini bread loaf pans (or one standard size bread pan) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Step 3
In a large bowl, combine the bananas, avocados, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, chia seeds and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Step 4
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until just combined.
Step 5
Pour the batter in to the loaf pan(s), top with banana slices if desired, and bake for 35-55 minutes. The bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Step 6
Allow to cool. Or just devour it straight from the pan like I did.

am2 I’m off to another crazy busy week! Happy Monday!

What else do you bake with browning bananas? I have a ton more I need to use up!

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Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

One week until internet finally graces my house! Until then, I’m thanking Oprah for her chai while resting in the wonderfully air conditioned Starbucks in Old Town Fort Collins. It’s a welcome change after slaving over a hot oven to make these gems!
am4 I’m completely exaggerating. This is one of the simplest and tastiest recipes I’ve ever made. A few weeks ago I received an awesome care package in the mail from my bestest buddy Rick.
am6 In case you’ve forgotten, I should remind you of my obsession with Lourdes Gourmet chimichurri sauce. I discovered this four years ago at the farmers market in Ventura County and couldn’t get my mind away from it. I dreamed about the wonderfully tangy and herby spread, slathered slices of bread with it, basically drank the stuff. When Rick was kind enough to send me all these other goodies, I knew yet another unhealthy obsession was about to occur.
am The coconut spread. Another thing with which I’ve been slathering slices of bread. I decided that an actual recipe should occur before I finished every single jar in my fridge.

Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 1-2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Gems of sweet potato are roasted in Lourdes coconut spread until tender and caramelized, then topped with fresh lime zest.

Ingredients

  • 1 Large sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • 1/8 cup Lourdes Gourmet Coconut Spread
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • the zest of half a lime

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2
In a microwave safe cup, microwave the coconut spread for 15 seconds to thin the consistency.
Step 3
In a bowl, toss together the sweet potato cubes, warmed coconut spread, lime juice and salt.
Step 4
Spread the mixture on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes for an even roast.

am6 Simple, quasi-healthy and delicious! Thanks to Rick for both the care package and patience!

What’s your favorite way to spice up a simple sweet potato?

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Chocolate Caramel Porter Pops

I think it’s official. I think we may finally be over the random days of waking up to find snow covering the ground! (Knock on wood.)
Cloudy Colorado There have been many a wonderful spring shower in the afternoon, but the temperature is finally on a continuous upswing! We’ve been getting 90+ degrees for the last week. Summer is coming! And summer calls for…
am7 Popsicles!!! Not just any popsicles though. Popsicles with BEER in them!
am I teamed up with fairlife to bring some boozy recipes to the table. Some of them definitely haven’t worked out.
am9 Beer + dairy = curdled sadness. But these beersicles are a winner!
am8 The rich creaminess of the fairlife 2% chocolate milk makes the texture of these like fudgsicles, not the bland, crystallized, icy frozen milk you might expect. You’ll notice that I instructed to put the beer in the base of these popsicles whereas the pictures are reversed. After a horrible disaster that ended with me hand mopping my entire kitchen floor, I determined that the softer consistency of the frozen beer part would better be placed on the top of the popsicle so you don’t get stuck with puddles of sweet beer and chocolate milk on your floor. You’re welcome.
am2 I used one of my favorite porters around – Killer Boots caramel porter by Verboten Brewing. First, make a simple syrup and let cool completely. I chilled mine in the fridge for a good hour.
am3 Slowly mix together the beer and simple syrup, tasting as you go. These beersicles end up pretty sweet, so you may want to use less than I did.
am1 Fill the bases of the popsicle with the beer mixture and let them freeze for 2-4 hours, or until slightly solidified.
am6 Fill them the rest of the way with fairlife 2% chocolate milk, until 1/4 inch to the top.
am5 The genius that I am, I forgot science and the fact that liquids expand as they freeze, so after filling the molds up all the way I ended up cleaning out my freezer and rinsing off the overflow. Don’t do that.
am7 When completely frozen, place the molds in a cup of hot water for about two minutes until the popsicles slide right out and enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Porter Pops

Serves 6 popsicles
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 8 hours
Total time 8 hours, 20 minutes
Allergy Milk
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
Boozy popsicles filled with caramel porter and rich chocolate milk.

Ingredients

  • 12oz stout or rich porter (I used Verboten Brewing Killer Boots caramel porter)
  • 2oz simple syrup
  • 6oz fairlife 2% chocolate milk

Note

Must be 21 years or older to enjoy.

Directions

To make the simple syrup
Step 1
In a small pot, combine 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 cup of sugar, bring to a boil and let cool completely.
For the popsicles
Step 2
In a bowl, mix together the 12oz of stout or porter with 1-2oz of simple syrup (using more or less to taste).
Step 3
Pour the beer mixture evenly into the bottom halves of 6 popsicle molds and freeze for 4 hours.
Step 4
Once the beer mixture has hardened, pour fairlife 2% chocolate milk into the molds until a quarter inch from the top, insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

am10 Happy almost summer to everyone! What’s your favorite style/flavor of popsicle?

Note: I was provided free product and compensation by fairlife to create this recipe. All text and opinions are my own.

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Bhakti Chai Brewery Tour {GIVEAWAY}

I was invited to visit the Bhakti Chai brewery in Longmont last week and jumped at the chance!
am30 I discovered Bhakti Chai a little over a year ago when my bro forced me to have a sip at Cranknstein when I was visiting from California. I instantly fell in the love with the intensely spicy, gingery cup of warm deliciousness.
am6 Ever since then, I’ve been touting my love for the local company and their wonderful drink. I even moved back to Colorado just so I could have more access to it! Well, not really, but it’s been an added bonus.
am31 Since my bro is the one who initiated me into the Bhakti love club, I had to bring him and my sis-in-law along! Ignore the pained looks on our faces – we were actually thrilled to be there, but dang, that sun was bright!
am We arrived at the brewery in the morning and were greeted by the warm scents of mulled spices before we even entered the building. This adorable, colorful table was laid out with a handful of the Bhakti products, most of which I’ve never had the chance to try before!
am1 Our tour guide/marketing genius Allison gave us each one of the bottles to sip while we chatted about the history of the company.
am2 See that coffee blend? That is going to be the very first thing that I run to after Lent is over. Coffee and chai? I can’t wait!
am3 I grabbed the new almond blend. I love that they’re using almond milk now – I’ve never been a huge fan of soy, so this one called to me.
am29 Brook Eddy is the mastermind behind Bhakti Chai. She began making her own blend of spicy chai in her kitchen years ago, and stored it in mason jars to keep in her fridge.
am4 Brook’s creation became incredibly popular with her friends who started snagging these jars from her fridge and leaving a few bucks  in their place. Soon, a local cafe caught on and ordered three gallons of the blend to sell in-house, and Brook’s company was officially open!
am5 Bhakti means devotion through social action, and this company is committed to the empowerment of women and girls.
am6 Their walls are lined with examples of all the different organizations that they support. I love how deeply involved and committed they are with these causes. Allison was thrilled to share all of the work they’ve done.
am7 Then, it was time for the tour! We grabbed our bottles, put on some sexy hairnets and entered the brewery.
am8 This baby is basically a giant Vitamix. They grind all of their ginger into a pulp to feed into the vice.
am9 Nate hard at work. Grindin’ ginger. Sportin’ a beard-net.
am10 All of the pressed ginger is scooped into this vice which squeezes all of the spicy goodness into large buckets for brewing.
am11 Allison informed us that this number has more than doubled. They actually press around 3,500 pounds of fresh, organic ginger every week.
am12 The chai brewery is similar to a beer brewery.
am13 In fact, these tanks used to be the brew system for the now-defunct Oasis Brewing out of Boulder!
am14 Gallons and gallons of ginger juice and organic sugar being prepped to hop into the boil kettle!
am15 I also love their use of organic EVERYTHING!
am16 I forced brewer Jared to take a break and pose for me.
am24 Yes. Yes, they do.
am17 Up until six months ago, Bhakti was hand filling all of their bottles.
am18 Considering how far spread out Bhakti is, this handy bottling line was quite necessary to keep up with demand.
am23 They’re spread out across the states with more accounts being gained every month.
am20 Just a sample of the amount of ginger juice stored up in the walk-in!
am21 They receive their soy and almond milk in these gigantic vats so they can make their ready-to-drink bottles.
am22 And fresh ginger. So. Much. Ginger!
am25 Bhakti Chai is also a certified B Corp – one of about only 1,000 businesses around the world who meet the standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
am26 Happy magnets! I was able to get one of these to go on my new fridge!
am27 They recently introduced a new, dry Bhakti Chai! Now you can take Bhakti with you when you travel! Since the ginger pulp still has plenty of flavor left in it after going through the press, they decided to dry and pelletize the pulp to put into the new dry tea bags, reducing waste of perfectly good ingredients.
am28 I still have to find some of this ice cream to try! If they start making some almond milk ice cream, I will be their most devoted customer – even more so than I am now!
am19 It was one of the most wonderful smelling and interesting brew tours I’ve been on. A huge thanks to Allison and the entire Bhakti crew for inviting us in!
am32 Since I walked home with some special presents that they spoiled us with, I felt inspired to create a recipe. In the food blogger world, almond milk is in, Bhakti Chai is in, and chia seeds are IN.
am33 Combine the seeds, almond milk and Bhakti Chai…
am34 And WHISK your heart out!
am26 Refrigerate overnight and ta-da!
(Note: If you haven’t had chia pudding, the texture takes some getting used to, but it is deeeee-lish!)

Bhakti Chai Chia Pudding

Serves 2
Prep time 8 hours, 5 minutes
Dietary Vegan
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Serve Cold
Spicy ginger and sweet mango make this healthy, omega-2 packed chia pudding a delicious and satisfying snack.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Bhakti Chai concentrate
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Optional

  • 1 Small mango (pitted and diced for garnish)

Directions

Step 1
In a bowl, combine the chai, almond milk and chia seeds and whisk well.
Step 2
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Step 3
After refrigerating overnight, stir in the diced mango and enjoy!

Aaaaaaand now for yet another giveaway!!! Bhakti Chai has kindly offered up two quarts of their amazing drink for one winner! All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me what your beverage of choice is. It’s that easy! I’ll pick a winner on April 14th! Open to U.S. residents only.
Screen shot 2014-04-06 at 10.46.40 PM Note: Bhakti Chai provided me with product samples for tasting and a brewery tour, and is also furnishing two quarts of chai to the contest winner, but I received no other compensation for this review, nor was I pressured to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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Eggnog Spiked Christmas Kettle Corn

Anyone else feeling way behind in the holiday season? Our tree still doesn’t have ornaments on it, and for us, that is a HUGE deal. Normally the tree is up and decorated the day after Thanksgiving and I’d be ready for the Christmas music to finally cease at this point. Instead I’m trying to catch up to the whirlwind of the season and feel a little Christmas spirit before the year is over!
am Barrel-aged Velvet Merkin – this is a good start. Rich oatmeal stout with a potent aroma and flavor of bourbon in front of the fire? Sounds like Christmas-time to me!
am1 I also thought a little seasonal snack might help. I was never a big fan of eggnog as a kid, but ever since I found this Silk Seasonal Nog, I can’t get enough!
am2 Pop some corn…
am3 Make some nog-glaze…
am4 Prettify the glaze….
am5 Drizzle and enjoy! Sweet, salty, crunchy and vegan-friendly!
am6

Eggnog Spiked Christmas Kettle Corn

Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Occasion Christmas

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons Silk Seasonal Nog (or eggnog of your choice)
  • 4-8 drops red and green food coloring
  • 6 tablespoons unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • pinch sea salt

Optional

  • pinch silver and gold sprinkles

Directions

For the popcorn
Step 1
Melt the coconut oil in a large pot on the stove over medium-high heat.
Step 2
Pour in the popcorn kernels and place the lid on top, shaking constantly to coat kernels with oil and prevent burning.
Step 3
Once the popcorn is finished popping, spread evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Step 4
In two separate small bowls combine 3 tablespoons with two teaspoons of Silk eggnog (or eggnog of your choice) and stir until it becomes a thin paste.
Step 5
Add 4-8 drops of red food coloring to one bowl, and 4-8 drops of green food coloring to the other until you reach the desired colors.
Step 6
With a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the popcorn until coated to your liking and sprinkle the pinch of salt across the top.
Step 7
Add the silver and gold sprinkles here if you'd like, pour into a bowl and devour.

am7 Happy holidays!

Are you having trouble getting into the spirit of the season? I blame the late Thanksgiving!

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

That title is an abbreviated version of the true name: Vanilla Porter Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies. Since it’s the holiday season, Christmas cookies are high on my to-do list. Sipping winter warmers (i.e. stouts, porters, strong ales, etc.) is also very important. By my brilliant skills of deduction, I also factored this in: Beer in brownies = good. Therefore, beer in cookies = excellent. It’s mathematical, but don’t worry: I’ve got you covered.

Vanilla Porter Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Serves 3 dozen
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Rich, chocolatey cookies are studded with maraschino cherries and drizzled with a chocolate porter frosting.

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Vanilla Porter (+ 4 tsp Vanilla Porter)
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • 6oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-3 teaspoon cherry juice

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2
In a bowl, combing the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Step 3
In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
Step 4
Add egg and the 1/4 cup of Vanilla Porter to the butter mixture and mix well, then add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.
Step 5
Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet and create an indent in the center of each with your thumb.
Step 6
Drain the cherries and reserve the juice.
Step 7
Place one cherry in the center of each indentation.
Step 8
In a small pot, mix the chocolate chips and condensed milk over low heat until melted.
Step 9
Add the 4 tsp of Vanilla Porter and 1-3 tsp cherry juice to the melted chocolate, then spoon 2 tsp over each cookie.
Step 10
Bake for ten minutes.

I used whole wheat flour in my recipe, but I think my next batch will have plain white flour.
The dough will seem pretty dry, but I promise, it works out.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls.
Use all of your post-mall-shopping aggression and jab your thumb into the centers of each ball. If you need to pretend it’s the eye of that evil person who elbowed you in the stomach as s/he grabbed the last Tickle-Me-Elmo that your youngest niece has been begging you for since the beginning of the year and won’t love you unless you are somehow able to get it to her by Christmas, I won’t judge you.
Place one cherry in the eye-socket center of the indent.
Melt the chocolate chips into the condensed milk, add the 4 tsp of Vanilla Porter and cherry juice and stir well. It should be thin enough that it falls evenly from the spoon when you lift it, but not so thin that it doesn’t cling to the cherry.
Drizzle enough frosting to completely cover the cherry, and then some.
Bake at 350 for ten minutes, then let them cool on the cookie sheet for a little bit before you transfer them to a wire rack, otherwise they fall apart and you will be forced to consume the ones that don’t make it.
It’s an arduous process, consuming those poor, unpretty cookies.

I’m off to tempt fate and visit a terrifying place full of homicidal people – the mall. Wish me luck, please.

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Sticky Apple Pudding Cupcakes

With the thick blankets of clouds that rest on the towering mountains outside my kitchen window, the days have been getting progressively colder and colder. Today was a day just like that. It was bitterly chilly outside, so I spent the day sipping hot peppermint tea and baking.

I was sent some coupons from Foodbuzz and Duncan Hines in order to create something that “defies traditional”, so I attempted to do just that. These spicy little cakes are delicate, almost pudding-like in consistency and vegan!

Sticky Apple Pudding Cupcakes

Serves 25-30 mini-cupcakes
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
Delicate miniature vegan cupcakes are stuffed with sweet apple pie filling, giving them a consistency of sticky pudding.

Ingredients

  • 1 box Duncan Hines carrot cake or spice cake mix
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Comstock apple pie filling

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2
In a large bowl mix together the cake mix, applesauce, water and vegetable oil and stir until just combined.
Step 3
Take the 1/2 cup of apple pie filling, dice and stir into the batter.
Step 4
Pour the batter into greased mini-cupcake tins, filling 2/3 of the way.
Step 5
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out relatively clean.

I used the carrot cake mix but left out the pack of dehydrated carrots and raisins.
The applesauce is used as an egg substitute. 1/4 cup of applesauce = 1 egg.
Make sure you include the sugary syrup part after you dice the apple pie filling!
This batter appears thick, but it liquefies pretty quickly.
Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 full. These babies blow up!
While you wait for them to bake the 20-25 minutes, you can lick the spatula clean, thanks the the veganosity!
The consistency of these will make you keel over with happiness. I recommend smothering them with frosting and eating them with a spoon.
If you’re looking for something to whip together that’s ridiculously quick and easy, go for these!
Sweater and boots weather + sticky apple pudding cupcakes. HAPPY DANCE!

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread Pudding

 

I’ve been having explosions of genius in the kitchen lately. Well, lots of explosions of which a few end up being genius. Either way, I’ll share with you.
The basis for my latest creation is this Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread. Head over to Taste Terminal for the recipe, make it, and then continue on by making:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread Pudding

Serves 2-4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Spicy and sweet bread pudding studded with cinnamon chips.

Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, almond milk, brown sugar and vanilla extract and whisk well.
Step 3
Stir the bread pieces into the liquid, coating evenly and let rest for five minutes to absorb.
Step 4
Pour the mixture into a medium-sized greased ramekin.
Step 5
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-60 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Lightly adapted from my Magical Bread Pudding.

Mine took the full 60 minutes. I think the moisture content with the homemade bread did something mystical and wonderful.
I was planning on creating a pumpkin spiced cream cheese icing for this, but got lazy and just used some stuff from a tube from the grocery store. I can only do so much, guys!
I wish I’d had some of this bread pudding pudding while I was shivering in my boots and armwarmers on Sunday in Fountain Hills!

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