Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Peanut Butter Mug Cake for Breakfast

So you know how the whole mug cake thing came and went (or maybe it's still going; I don't know). The idea was to make a little one serving cake in a mug and then microwave it and, voila, you had a perfect single-serving of deliciousness.

Yeah, I didn't hop on that wagon at all.

Because as we all know if we ever had a mother who liked to make brownies in the microwave: Baked goods are disgusting when not, ahem, baked. 

I would have gone on happily without any mug cakes or microwaved brownies for the rest of my life were it not for an unfortunate Easter craving. You see, I'm not a huge candy lover (quality dark chocolate excepted). But it was Easter and I so wanted something sweet. And Pinterest kept telling me I wanted something sweet. And suddenly, as fate would have it, a mug cake happened to pop up in my feed. Rather, a link titled something like, "The 11 Best Mug Cakes." And, truly, the pictures all looked divine (because, um, Pinterest and stuff).

So I thought, "Hey, I'm craving baked goods, and the universe just told me to make a mug cake. And if I hate it, well, it was just a little thing." Not much to lose.

And it wasn't. But naturally, I couldn't help but mess with that darn recipe. And even though I'd been craving a sweet baked good, I got to thinking that if I added a little whole wheat, well then, that would give it a nuttier flavor, and also justify my sins. And I'll be darned if it wasn't a right decent evening snack. A wee bit dry, perhaps, but worth the lack of effort I put into it.

And then the next day, I just kept thinking about it. Like, what if I added a tablespoon of pumpkin to keep it moist? And, oops, I forgot the leavener. And added chocolate chips. It turned out a moist, dense, healthy mug cake that I may or may not have been making for myself all week.

You should make it too. We'll all be on an old band wagon that might not even be a thing anymore together. And we won't regret it.

I can't help but think that it would be the perfect thing to whip up when you're in a hurry and take to work with you, or make your kids eat in the car while you run them to school because they got up late and missed the bus. For the 18th time this week. (not that my kids are ever late)

And please note the price tag. This is a super healthy breakfast guys (well, depending on your chocolate chip addiction). And you can't beat it for cheap.

Peanut Butter Mug Cake for Breakfast
serves 1, maybe 2 if you eat light (it's quite filling; I can't always finish mine)
Prep time and cook time: 2 minutes (cool it for a few minutes though.
Cost: $.30 ($.45 with chocolate chips)
milk: .03, sugar: .03, peanut butter: .15, pumpkin: .03, whole wheat flour: .06, chocolate chips: .15

1/4 C milk
1 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
3 Tbsp peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1/4 C whole wheat flour (or 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour and 1 Tbsp oat flour)
1-3 Tbsp chocolate chips (optional, depending on your level of breakfast stoicism; my breakfast stoicism is quite low for the record)

Mix it all together.

Cook on high in the microwave for about one minute (Mine is usually between 1 minute and 10 second and 1 minute and 20 seconds.) Put it in for another 15 seconds if it's still not done. Note: You want it a little bit undone or raw looking in the center. It will continue to cook as it cools and that will give it just the right amount of moisture. If you cook it till it's dry-looking, it will taste dry.

Let cool for a few minutes (seriously guys, if you tear into this right of the microwave, you'll burn your tongue. Give it five minutes.)



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Good Frostings for Cinnamon Rolls

Since I made you cauliflower mash last week (which, btw, was perfectly amazing in every way despite the words 'cauliflower' and 'mash.' And you should try it and love it and feed it to your soul.) But anyway, since I made you vegetables mashed up (no matter how good they were), I figured that I owed you something perfectly unrighteous. Like cinnamon rolls. With several choices of frosting.

The great irony of this post is that there are all of ZERO posts of cinnamon rolls WITH frosting actually on them. Because as we all know if we are amateur photographers, it's easier to take a good picture of cinnamon rolls without frosting that with it.

Despite these nude photos of cinnamon rolls we shall persevere with the holy act of discussing how to properly dress them. Because there are so many wonderful ways to do this.

1. Cream Cheese Frosting. I remember coming out of college and having cream cheese frosting on cinnamon rolls at some church function. It was a coming-of-age experience for me. 

2. Bec's Buttercream Frosting. I want to disapprove of this one because it contains my nemesis, shortening. But I can't. It's fluffy and yummy and great on cinnamon rolls. 

3. Browned Butter Frosting. Introduce this into your life or die sad. 

4. Lemon Buttercream Frosting. If, say, you put blueberries and apples in some of your cinnamon rolls. Come on, guys. A-maz-ing. 

5. Orange Frosting. Here's that Lemon Buttercream's delightful fraternal twin. 

6. Salted Caramel Frosting. Because you love people and puppies and all good things. 

7. Vanilla Butter Frosting. Classic. The End. 

(This is the Lemon Buttercream in case you were wondering.)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cauliflower Mash

Have you ever read a recipe and just started to crave it from the ingredients list? Recently, that happened to me. And I know just what you're thinking: Wait, why is this post labeled "Cauliflower Mash" because, seriously, has she gone daft? (Um, yes, well a little. But I've been that way for a long time.) Because who seriously reads the ingredients of something called Cauliflower Mash, as in the mash of cauliflowers; and then craves it?

Well, I mean, hear me out. Cheese. Let's start with that one. It's easy to love right. And olive oil. Garlic. Hard to go too wrong with minced garlic, right?

And then it had these wholesome, interesting-sounding things like white beans and cornmeal. They kind of intrigued me.

And the truth is that I've had cauliflower in a variety of delicious ways and always like it. But the other truth is that I've had versions of this on my Pinterest board for, oh, well, forever. Because, as per our discussion. Cauliflower. Mash.

I wasn't sure how it would really go over with the minions (and P.S., it didn't). But it was so gloriously delicious that even after making it, I'm still craving. It just hit a savory, nutritious spot that just met a need. Like, a wholesome friend, who's also really fun.

Don't make the same mistake I did. Don't let this sit on your Pinterest board for millennia. Make it. Love it. Serve it with meat if you must.

Cauliflower Mash
adapted from Pinch of Yum
Serves 4-6
Prep and cook time: 15-20 minutes
Cost: $3.20 (that's $.50 for something a 40-year-old woman could totally eat for lunch. Teenagers and men cannot be accounted for in this reckoning and this will likely be a mere side dish to them. But us old ladies--this is all we need for a filling, well-rounded meal)
cauliflower: 1.50, milk: .15, chicken broth: .30, cornmeal: .10, cheese: .40, white beans: .60, other stuff: .15

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C milk
2 C chicken broth (you might need another if your mash is too thick; I added about 1/2 C more)
1/2 C cornmeal
1/2 C shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and I did not regret it)
1 14-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet with a lid or a 3-quart pot. Add the cauliflower. Mix it and sprinkle it with salt. Let it cook for a few minutes. It won't get tender, but will get a little flavor.

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the milk and chicken broth. Simmer (with lid on, so a low temperature is best) until the cauliflower is soft. When it is, mash it up.

Then add the cornmeal and stir. It will thicken, and the cornmeal is not exactly tastable, but kind of there, adding yumminess and nuttiness and thickness. If you need to, add more chicken broth.

Now, if you want, you can add that can of beans. (Note: In the original recipe, they told me to mash the beans. I did the first time I made this, but didn't love the mashed beans. Better to just leave them whole so you don't get a weird bean skin thing happening in you mash.) They add protein and make this a lovely complete meal on its own. (Though this is also really good with meat; we had it with shrimp and it was amazing.)

Add the cheese, mix it up, and let it melt. Add more salt and pepper if needed.



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