adventures in baking

Since we all know that I’m not much of a baker, I’ve decided that I can no longer use that as an excuse and I’m going to start baking! (At least once a month) Part of the problem that I usually run into is that I always try to make substitutions or make it healthier. So I either need to follow directions exactly or use my Food Science learnings and make sure that the substitution is one that will work.
What did I tackle first???
Montana Whoppers!!! In my quest for a cookie recipe I found these on Caitlin’s blog at Healthy Tipping Point, and then on Meghann’s at The Inner Workings of a College Graduate. They looked SO good and I think are pretty healthy for a cookie! The recipe originally came from Michelle at Taste as You Go.
So with a few changes in the recipe I baked the afternoon away. I used some of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter instead of Peanut Butter and used all brown sugar and some mini chocolate chips because…well that is what I had. Other than those I followed directions exactly! I love the fact that the only ingredients are butter, eggs, sugar, almond butter, oats and chocolate chips!

all mixed together

ready for the oven (i’m terribly embarrassed of that excuse for a pan)

they turned out! miles of cookies

these are delicious! soft and chewy which is my favorite kind of cookie

Not sure what is next on my list so if anyone has any ideas for me, let me know!

kitchen gadget: the barbeclette

When I see an interesting gadget designed for cheese, it is nearly impossible for me to pass up. I had read about the Barbeclette (a contraption that makes it possible to grill cheese) and was thrilled when I found it at Surdyk’s, a local cheese shop & liquor store.
Imagine….warm, gooey cheese with crusty bread? Basically what I dream of at night….

This was a grilled aged gouda. I loved it. The taster and Michael? Not as impressed as I was.

I need to try it with a non-aged gouda so that it would be even more melty. So I did what anyone else would do and went to go get some new Gouda.

This was perfect. Yes, it is essentially fondue on the grill, but I don’t care. It is delicious and fun and much easier than fondue. This gouda melted much better than the aged, but I think I’ll try a different variety next time!
Is anyone else obsessed with kitchen gadgets like I am?!?!?


roasted garlic crostini

This appetizer came from my Operation Clean-Out but I thought that it was so good that it deserved its own post!
I had one clove of garlic left, some light cream cheese, bread and a red pepper so I decided to make a crostini of sorts. That was a great part about cleaning out my fridge, instead of planning meals around what I wanted to make, I was forced to get creative with what I already had!


Recipe:

4 Tbsp light cream cheese, softened
1 clove roasted garlic
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 red pepper
olive oil, salt and pepper
whole grain baguette or artisan bread

Cut pepper off core into 4 pieces. Drizzle red pepper and clove of garlic with olive oil on sheet pan. Broil on high until peppers are charred and garlic is soft. Set peppers aside and mash garlic with side of knife into a paste. Stir garlic paste and parsley into cream cheese and add about 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and salt & pepper. Mix well. Slice red pepper into thin strips.
Slice bread and sprinkle with olive oil. Grill both sides of bread until toasty. Spread the cheese on bread and top with pepper slices. Makes 4 pieces.

Later this week I’ll share some of my meals from New Orleans! (And trust me, there is a lot to share!!!)

update: operation clean-out

Hey Guys!

How did I do on my eating challenge?

Well….. I did PRETTY well I think! I do have a few confessions that I will start with, but I also realized that this challenge forced me to get creative in the kitchen towards the end as well as realize the over-abundance of food that I had/have. With so many hungry people out there, I really took a step back and realized I was kind of living a life of excess. Now I still love food and cooking but I’m going to work on being a little more mindful in my grocery shopping. An on-going challenge!

Confessions:

- Some trail mix from Tar-jay that was calling my name

- Happy Hour sushi…trying to come up with a good excuse…nothing is coming to mind :/

-And some of this….because I love it and had to go to the Co-op for a “work-related” trip…


But here are some of my successful clean-out meals:

Pesto Pasta (with some chicken for the taster)


Grilled Shrimp with salad and bread

Crostini (recipe coming soon, SO good!)

Roasted Veggies (Brussels, sweet potato, red onion and zucchini) and Bacon-wrapped scallops
Check out this fridge!!! I’m so happy that I *somewhat* succeeded because today we head out of town for the next week and a half and there will be no spoilage in that fridge!

Have a fabulous Friday friends!!!!