Orange Poppy seed Scones

Do you know something that really really irritates me?

A recipe that is completely and totally off.

I’m not talking about “oh it could use a bit more vanilla next time” or “mine took 5 minutes longer to bake.” I mean there is no way to save the mess in the bowl but by improvising because the listed ingredients and steps get you no where close to where you need to be.

Orange poppyseed scones

Cranky cranky me. It didn’t help I was only halfway through my morning cup of coffee when this happened.

Unfortunately a typo on one of my recipes did this to a dear friend of mine so I guess this was just karma. Still this recipe came from a PRINTED cook book. Don’t they edit or test these things?

I would happily volunteer for that gig! Maybe I should write to the editor of this cookbook. Clearly I am still fuming.

Orange poppyseed scones

Thankfully, I have some mad kitchen skills (if I do say so myself) and after a bit of improvising I reached a point where I felt these were ok enough to bake.

I am so pleased with the outcome! They are light, fluffy, orangey (is that a word?). Mine wound up a touch over-baked but mostly because I was headed for that nice browned look. They got rave reviews either way. And yes the accolades were from more than just my carb loving toddler.

Can we also note the fact that poppy seeds seem to be my current “it” thing in the kitchen? Remember the almond poppy seed bread? We have survived the Mexican food and biscotti surely we can make it through this still friends.

On the plus side I am now out of poppy seeds. Must go SHOPPING.

Orange poppyseed scones

Orange Poppy seed Scones (makes 8)
Adapted from a crappy cookbook that was all manner of wrong

2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup orange juice
2 eggs
1/2 tsp orange zest

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, fork, or two knives cut the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and the butter pieces are the size of small peas. In a separate bowl mix the orange juice, eggs, and orange zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir till just combined. It will be fairly wet. Dump out onto the parchment paper and with lightly floured hands pat it in to a 9-inch diameter circle. Using a knife cut the dough into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with extra white or turbinado sugar if desired. Bake for 20-22 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool then enjoy.

Orange poppyseed scones

Pina Colada Cupcakes

I heart cupcakes.

 Pina Colada Cupcakes

I haven’t been making them very much lately. I’m not suite sure why. Probably the all consuming obsession with biscotti and mexican food had something to do with it.

Anyways it was high time for cupcakes so here they are.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

In addition to loving cupcakes I love coconut. While making these I happily discovered Little will shovel toasted coconut in his face as fast as I will. Proud mama moment right there.

Decorating these lovelies was also the first time I had toddler help. Tiny mister has developed an opinion and a I’ll do it myself attitude. The MOST interesting thing in his world is whatever mama is doing at that moment. Thankfully sprinkling cupcakes with coconut is an easy Little friendly task. Even if one cupcake wound up doused.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

It was loads of fun. Tiny moments I store away in my heart for when my house is someday empty.

However I am a mean mean mama and Little didn’t get one of these cupcakes. You see… they are bit boozey. And by a bit I mean a lot.

Please don’t let the ingredient list deter you. I liked the flavor of the dark rum and coconut rum in frosting and cake. If you don’t have any, and don’t see this as a great excuse to visit the liquor store, feel free to sub extra coconut milk in the cake and just use whipping cream in the frosting. I think they would be equally tasty.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

In case you are wondering I had both coconut rum AND dark rum in liquor cabinet. That’s how we roll around here. Dark rum is kept on hand for when the craving for peaches/bananas/whatever fosters strikes. Coconut rum lives in the cabinet because…. yeah no excuse. It’s delicious. I like it (if you have leftover juice from the crushed pineapple add a shot or two of coconut rum. Thank me later).

So here you go. My first boozey cupcakes. I promise they wont be my last.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Pina Colada Cupcakes (makes 18-20)
Cake adapted from Paris Loves Pastry and frosting from Glorious Treats

Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut rum (or any rum you have on hand or coconut milk)
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the drained crushed pineapple)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded baker’s coconut
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

In a small bowl, combine rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the flour mixture and the rum mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in the coconut and pineapple. Fill cupcake liners nearly full- this recipe rises very little. Bake at 350°F for 20 – 25 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter room temp
8 oz. cream cheese room temp
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (always use pure vanilla extract if possible)
1 teaspoon coconut extract
4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon Dark Rum (or whipping cream)

Directions:
Place butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Add vanilla extract, coconut extract and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy. Slowly add the rum. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.

Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with toasted coconut (Spread coconut in a pan and bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes stirring often)

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Guacamole

Little loves avocados. He eats easily three or four a week. For snack yesterday I just sliced one up, put it in a bowl, handed him a spoon and called it good. He devoured it. I love that he loves eating them because they are chocked full of good brain building fats. This child wont stop moving so any extra calories I can get in him, especially healthy fatty ones, makes me a happy mama.

However, I am incompetent when it comes to buying avocados. I always have to ask Nathan if they are ripe enough or overripe. Also I tend to buy too many which, at the pace Little eats them, is actually an impressive feat.

The perfect homemade guacamole

My two favorite things to make when I have too many avocados is avocado chickpea salad and guacamole. Not both at the same time.

Guacamole can get a bit of a bad rap because it is a bit fatty and calorie laden but I don’t care. I actually believe it isn’t that bad for you. We need the healthy monosaturated fats to help our brains work. This mama to a toddler needs all the help she can get.

I have perfected this recipe over many a “too many ripe avocados in the houses” crises. I like my guacamole a bit spicy and chunky. I hope you do too.

If not, oh well. More for me.

The perfect homemade guacamole

Guacamole (makes 1 medium bowl full)
Adapted from Alton Brown

3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon + cayenne
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, cayenne, and garlic and mash. Then, fold in the onions, , tomatoes, and cilantro. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Granola Clusters

Since becoming a stay at home mama I have slowly been making many of our family’s every day items. Bread is the most recent adventure. I also make my own ricotta, cheeze-its, tamales, ice cream, graham crackers, and granola. I have tackled and perfected homemade tortillas this past week and will be sharing that with you soon.

Granola clusters

I used to think homemade meant cheap and not as good as store bought. Over the past few months I have discovered this is most certainly not the case. I can control what is in my food (meaning no artificial crap) and it is always so much better than anything I can get in the store. This was true for the granola I made but I wanted more. Finally I stumbled on a wonderful granola CLUSTER recipe. The same control over whats in my granola but now with the delicious clusters like the granola from the store.

Granola clusters

We made this for the first time weeks ago and were unimpressed. I don’t throw out food so it went in to a tupperware and in to the pantry. Something magical happened- it got so much better after a couple of days. And when sprinkled over yogurt and peaches I had to pace myself before I inhaled the whole bowl.

This is now my official go to granola recipe. Little loves it too. We go through a batch once every two weeks. Absurd pace I know but it is such a great “I need a quick sweets fix.” A handful of granola is infinitely better for you than a handful of chocolate chips I am sure.

Granola clusters

Granola Clusters (makes about 7 cups)
Adapted from An Oregon Cottage (yes I get alot of my recipes from her lately. What can I say? She’s good.)

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbs vanilla
1/2 cup coconut oil
5 c. rolled oats (not quick)
1 c. chopped almonds
1/2 c. flax meal
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 325 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with silicone or parchment. Place the first four ingredients in a glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute- just long enough to melt the coconut oil. Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl, pour the oil/honey/syrup mixture over it and mix everything really well. Press the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet, using the back of the spoon, or a spatula. The harder you press the tighter your finished clusters will be.  Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, for about 35 minutes and do not stir.  Remove to a cooling rack for 1 hour before breaking the granola into chunks.

Granola clusters

Avocado and chickpea salad

Can you handle two chickpea recipes in a row? You see, I make up a whole pound of beans at once then freeze them. When I defrost them it is about two and half cans worth of beans. Thawed. Needing to be used. Hence the plethora of chickpea recipes.

Chickpea and avocado salad- YUM!

True, I could just put them in soup (I can’t believe I haven’t share my chorizo chickpea soup yet) or toss them on salad. But, they are so much tastier roasted or smashed up in to a yummy sandwich spread.

I found this recipe on Pinterest. It seems to be the only place I find recipes these days. In fact, it looked so delicious, I had actually pinned it twice (does it bother anyone else that Pinterest doesn’t tell you when you have already pinned something?). I love that it is a vegetarian (actually vegan!) alternative to those mayo filled sandwich “salads.” No egg or chicken or mayo here. All wholesome good for you ingredients.

Chickpea and avocado salad- YUM!

I frequently buy too many avocados at once and have one or two threaten to go bad on me before I can get to them. Making up this salad is a quick way to use them up in something besides guacamole. Take two slices of  whole wheat bread, stuff it full of this salad and you will have the most satisfying lunch ever. Besides- look at that sandwich. It is gorgeous. Remember how I love pretty food? Well this is pretty food that doesn’t take any time at all to fix.

Chickpea and avocado salad- YUM!

Avocado and Chickpea Salad (makes enough for 3-4 sandwiches)
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas or garbanzo beans (or about 2 cups cooked beans)
1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread of your choice (I use Dave’s Killer bread)

Rinse and drain the chickpeas. In a medium bowl, using a potato masher smash the chickpeas and avocado together. Add in cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste (I add at least 1 tsp of salt).  Spread salad on bread and top with your favorite sandwich toppings.

Chickpea and avocado salad- YUM!

Ps. This would also make a spectacular dip.

Pps. Little will eat this by the spoonful for dinner.

Roasted Chickpeas

You could say I love snacky food. You could say I love say snacky food alot. And you would be right.

I have a weakness for salty food that seems to just fly from the bowl to my mouth. Chips, popcorn, chex mix (don’t judge), crackers, etc. Yum. Also I seem to lose all self control. Once I eat one it is game over. Might as well eat the whole bag, plate, bowl, whatever.

Roasted chickpeas- A healthy snack to satisfy that salty craving

Last year I was gifted an air popcorn popper. I don’t feel as bad when I am eating air popped popcorn. Even if I have smothered it in butter. Still there have to be healthier treats out there that will still satisfy my salty cravings.

Enter chickpeas. Also known as garbanzo beans. Or as my brother in law calls them- devil beans. But he is weird and doesn’t know what’s tasty. I had seen a pin on pinterest ages ago for roasted chickpeas. Intrigued, I pinned it and promptly forgot about it.

When I made the most recent batch of chickpeas to put in the freezer (you know you can cook and freeze beans right?) I was trying to think of what to make with them other than soup. As I frequently do I started scrolling through my pinterest boards on my phone while the beans were simmering away. You use your phone as a cookbook too? Awesome glad we are friends. Anyways, sure enough towards the bottom I ran across roasted chickpeas. Yum.

Roasted chickpeas- A healthy snack to satisfy that salty craving

I can’t believe how easy or good they are. This first batch was made simply with olive oil, salt, and rosemary. I can’t wait to try buffalo sauce, cinnamon and sugar, herbs and feta, and curry. And they satisfy that salty snack food craving perfectly.

Tasty healthy snacking. My kind of food.

Roasted chickpeas- A healthy snack to satisfy that salty craving

Roasted Chickpeas (makes however much it makes)

Cooked Chickpeas (either homemade or canned)
Salt
Olive oil
Rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 F. Drain your chickpeas and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Pat dry with a paper towel and, if you have the time, let them air dry a bit. The dryer they are the better they will roast. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat (about 1 tbs for 2 cups chickpeas). Sprinkle liberally with salt and rosemary. Pop the sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Check on them every 5 minutes and shake the pan. Taste one or two eat time till they reach your personal level of roasted goodness. Enjoy warm or at room temp.

(In case you can’t tell this was a bit of “read a bunch of recipes thrown things in the oven” for me. Sorry about that. They really are foolproof and amazing. I will keep you posted when I try the buffalo ones. That will happen SOON.)

Roasted chickpeas- A healthy snack to satisfy that salty craving