My Life, Paleo/Whole30, & Mango Watermelon Salsa

363

Let’s talk about food, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about . . . anyone singing along right now? No, really, though, let’s discuss. Why have I been avoiding you? What have I been eating? Two exceedingly excellent questions. And, as it turns out, two questions that are inexplicably intertwined (Too much alliteration? Sorry).

The thing is, I haven’t really been eating much sugar lately. As in, no cake. Or cupcakes. Or froyo (is this my own personal version of hell?). Also, no alcohol. No pasta. NO CHEESE. Yes, the unimaginable has occurred: I’ve gone paleoContinue reading

Advertisements

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

330

Guys, I have really exciting news!!! This is huge. I mean, big time. Yeah, that’s right, the Playstation 4 was announced yesterday. Bring on the Killzone Shadow Fall.

331

Okay, sorry, I can’t even pretend. I just had to look up “Playstation 4 games” to find out the name of some popular games of this generation. I mean, my last game console was actually the original gray Playstation. I can’t even remember the name of my favorite game (It’s the one where you shoot the spaceships that line up and dive down at you. . . any ideas?).

332

But anyway, here’s the actual exciting news: My recipe was published in Cake Central Magazine this month! I contributed an article (quite similar to a blog post, actually) with a recipe and photos of a Strawberry Chantilly Cake inspired by my childhood. If you’re interested, you can check it out here (it’s the “strawberry sweetheart” mentioned on the front cover)!

Continue reading

Falafel Dip

Here’s the thing about Houston: I love it. I really do.

Driving 59 South to Chinatown, enjoying a concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre, even catching a whiff of the pungent smell perpetually dominating the intersection of Main Street and University. It’s just so familiar to me.

Most of all, though, I love Houston for the amazing people I met there during college. Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to visit Houston and stay with my college roommates. The trip may or may not have been designed around seeing the midnight premiere of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 with my friend (and four-year roommate, woohoo!) Liz. Perchance I’ve also seen every other Twilight Saga movie with her. I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind everybody that there is no judging on this website. None whatsoever.

A couple of days before I journeyed to H-town, I received this text from Liz: “Would you be interested in making baked falafel with me on wednesday?” Um. Who wouldn’t? Seriously. Who turns down a text like that? Not I.

That’s how, later on that week, I found myself making baked falafel with Liz and Rachel (another lovely roomie). Chickpeas, onions, cilantro, salt, pepper, and herbs went into a food processor, and out emerged . . . magic. Mmm. The falafel batter was so delicious. We immediately shaped the batter into falafel patties and popped them on the tray to bake.

Although we initially experienced a little trouble getting the falafel to firm up, after increasing the oven temperature a bit, our patience finally paid off and resulted in some mega tasty baked falafel. Later, after perusing the recipe again, I found out that our error lay in using canned instead of dry chickpeas, which the lovely Kate remarked would result in “sad falafel pancakes.” Whoops. I still think ours were pretty happy (in our tummies!).

Now then. What’s up with this falafel dip?? Well, the next morning, as Liz and I were lamenting the long-devoured falafel, we also discussed the amazingness of the falafel batter. And then. Liz said the words “falafel dip.” As in, the batter doesn’t really need to be baked/fried/cooked in any way, does it? NO. It really doesn’t. Continue reading

Lightened Up Mac & Cheese Bites

My first experiences with macaroni & cheese took place at the Ryan’s Buffet in Wichita, Kansas. Although this haven of all-you-can-eat steak is now closed down (eliciting great distress from my dad), I still remember my plan of attack at the buffet spread: First, a spoonful of mac & cheese – with the baked cheese crust on top.

Next, a visit to the mashed potatoes diagonally across from the mac & cheese. I would put a dollop of mashed potatoes on my plate, then – most importantly – brown gravy on top of both the potatoes and the mac & cheese. Thus, it was of utmost importance to visit the mac & cheese pan before sojourning to the mashed potatoes. Let’s not even talk about what happened if all the baked cheese crust had already been taken from the mac & cheese pan. Sob city.

My mac & cheese passions fluctuated over the next decade or so (gah how old am I??). The summer before high school, when I was exhausted and absolutely ravenous from the full days of summer P.E. class (ughhhh), I actually melted sour cream with cheese, then poured it over pasta. Never. again. In college, though, I was more a fan of Kraft Easy Mac Cups. Now those, those I could talk about for days. Three and a half minutes to cheesy pasta heaven.

Recently, I’ve been craving mac & cheese again. This craving happened to coincide with my hosting a (small) Halloween party this past weekend. Basically, it was an excuse for me to make a lot of food, eat, and decorate…which are three of my favorite activities in the entire world. Though, really, I can’t take credit for the decorations. My best friend Hannah (who I’ve known since basically the womb) visited me this past weekend (yayyy!), and worked some serious crepe paper magic.

In terms of food, though, I really wanted to make mac & cheese. I mean, who doesn’t like mounds of cheese heaped on pasta (AmIright? Crayola even named a crayon after it!). But, I wanted an option that didn’t require all sorts of fork/plate/mouth/napkin/messy shenanigans. So when I saw this recipe for mac & cheese bites – baked in a cupcake tin!!! – I knew I’d found a winner. Buttt. Since I also wanted a recipe that I could eat at least five of and not feel guilty about, I looked around for a “healthy” mac & cheese option as well.

These mac & cheese bites are a product of both of these recipes, plus some of my craziness/perpetual messing around with recipes. I also baked them in a mini cupcake tin to perfectly fit in the palm of your hand! But I do need to highlight one thing: Greek yogurt, people. Say it with me: GREEK YOGURT! I’ve used it before to substitute for butter in baking, and man oh man. Who knew it was so perfect in mac & cheese as well? Now you know. No excuses.

So, tell me, am I a crazy person? Or do you, too, go through mac & cheese phases/cravings/recipes galore? Hit me up with your mac & cheese recipes!

P.S. I now have a twitter – @3PastriesaDay. Follow me for delicious blog updates and drool-worthy pics!

Continue reading

S’mores Rice Krispie Squares

You already know about my love of all things s’mores.

But here’s something I haven’t told you (for fear that you won’t be my friend anymore): I am a fiercely competitive individual. Once, when I was about eight years old, I convinced my opponent (and, yeah, I guess she was my friend) in Monopoly that I could build hotels on any of my properties without owning all three of the same color block. By the end, she owed me $8000. I know, despicable, right?


Don’t say anything yet. We haven’t even talked about one of my favorite games of all time: Taboo. I pretty much turn into a monster whenever I play this game. I am that girl. Yeah, the girl who is blaring out all these random words that don’t even relate to the description because she doesn’t trust anyone to describe the target word besides herself and is hoping one of these words she’s screaming out will somehow hit the mark. And then she swears profusely when she doesn’t get it right. Quite. Obnoxious.


Though, in my defense, my scream-out-every-possible-word strategy does often work. And, top secret tip: People always crack up when the target word is “bimbo.” Like, every single time. So, every time the person giving the hints starts laughing, I shout, “bimbo!” Pretty sure my success rate is at least 1%.

But, back to the whole competitive thing. Even though evidence points to the contrary, I’m not actually telling you incriminating stories about myself just for the sake of it. I’m actually building up to the fact that I developed this recipe for the “incredibly easy” category of the Dallas Morning News Holiday Cookie Contest! My awesome friend Alexa, who is from Dallas and thus, super in the know about these things, told me about the contest, and my competitive side immediately started rearing its ugly head.


Unfortunately, it found its enemy in my procrastinating self, and thus, I may or may not have started thinking about this recipe a couple of nights ago. Sooo I’m not getting my hopes up. I am, however, quite enjoying these bars. Graham cracker crust + marshmallowy rice krispies + melted chocolate = love.

Continue reading

Figgy Chocolate Granola Clusters

I don’t believe in diets. You may be thinking, ‘Has she looked at her recipes lately? Clearly, she doesn’t believe in diets.’ Yeah, yeah.  Seriously, though. I used to believe in diets – stretches of time where I would eat lots of salads and count my calories (something my lazy self is really not cut out for).

In the past couple years or so, though, I changed my food philosophy. I wanted a sustainable, healthy eating lifestyle with ample room for splurges. Like, perhaps, eating three pastries a day? Probably the biggest splurge ever.

Oh, and also, the food consumed this past weekend? Whatever. Everyone knows that birthday weekends are the single biggest allowable splurge in the year.

Okay, so maybe I’m not such the healthy lifestyle model. But who is?

The point is, I’m now trying to make more healthy, delicious food, in order to eat more healthy food. Genius, right? So, in the spirit of healthy eating, I made these granola clusters!

I used applesauce to replace a lot of the oil, plus I used figs (love) to help bind the granola together. In a twist of events (me not reading the labels of products I purchase), I ended up with steel-cut oats instead of my regular rolled oats. And…they were delicious. But, you can use whichever oats you prefer.

Also, with this recipe, you can break up the granola into whatever size chunk you desire. I now have 1) granola bars, 2) granola clusters I can grab by the handful, and 3) small breakfast cereal-sized granola. Perfect for an indecisive person like me. Continue reading