Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

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Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I have been training for (and just completed) my first sprint triathlon. I actually love training, but find that there is not enough food in the world to satisfy me during those intense training times. It’s especially bad when I wake up in the morning. I need protein, stat!

I’m usually an egg person but when I want a little but of a treat, I go for pancakes. (I have a bit of a sweet tooth.) If I’m going to eat pancakes, I want to make sure that they have some nutritional value.

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Kitchen Gadgets: SodaStream

We love kitchen gadgets around here. In fact, we’ve recently resorted to storing gadgets that don’t fit in the kitchen in our entryway closet and our office. We don’t have a huge kitchen, but we do have a ton of gadgets. Despite our storage conundrum, we recently snagged a SodaStream on sale at Kohl’s.

For anyone who doesn’t know, SodaStream came out a few years ago and it allows you to carbonate your own water. The company also sells flavored syrups that allow you create many of your favorite soft drinks with your DIY carbonated water. Personally, I always skip the syrups and opt for natural or low-cal flavors.

The SodaStream Genesis is the newest version and it’s pretty sleek. (Good news for our overstuffed counters.) One of the great features is that the machine doesn’t require any power because the CO2 tank is pressurized. This is great news because it means that we can store our bubbly friend on the bar in the living room, rather than the kitchen counter.

#awesome

sodastream-genesis

DIY Sushi

A few years ago, my fiance (Josh) and I took a sushi making class. We’re more experimental than direction followers so I had my doubts as to how it would go. I have to say that it was actually a lot of fun.

There are a lot of factors that go into the enjoyability of a class – size of class, complication level of the dish, etc – but our turned out to be a very nice balance. For us, that meant very little oversight and judge-y looks from the teacher. Admittedly many of our sushi rolls looked like science experiments, but we learned the basics.

We haven’t tried our hand at sushi making again since that class, perhaps since some of the ingredients and tools aren’t part of our kitchen collection. So when we decided the other day that we wanted to make sushi, I have no idea what prompted it since the supply issue hasn’t changed. But we were excited enough about it to head to the grocery store and stuck up.

Sushi_PrepAfter retrieving the $30 worth of missing supplies required, we jumped right into the process. One lovely element of the sushi class (that we delightfully overlooked) was the amount of prep required before you can actually make anything. Waiting for rice to cook is literally watching water boil. And once the rice was cooked, we had to wait for it to cool. Not great for two hungry adults, but it did give us time to delicately slice the fish and vegetables.

With all the prep work out of the way, it really took no time at all to roll up some tasty sushi. We used a sriracha-mayo to spice up our tuna and some teryaki to flavor one of the tuna rolls. No formal recipes were used. We eat created rolls based on what flavors and textures we like.

 

Helpful Hints for Sushi Making:

  • Pour a medium-sized shallow bowl of rice wine vinegar. You’ll need to dip your hands and other utensils in here. Anything that touches the rice without a vinegar rinse will get stuck like you wouldn’t believe.

  • Wrap your rolling maps in plastic wrap before you start. It will keep the rice from getting wedged in the map when creating a roll with rice on the outside.

 

Memorial Day Apple Cake

McIntosh_Apples Most people only think of apple recipes during the fall, but I can’t think of anything more American than a red, juicy apple. Apples area available at a reasonable price year round, making them a great thing to cook and bake with.

Partially inspired by a recipe from Joy the Baker and a host of things viewed on Pinterest, this recipe is a cross between a cake and a fritter, and will hit the spot for anyone with a sweet tooth. (This girl!)

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Custom Cocktails

A few years back, my parents rescued an old phonograph from an elderly family member’s house. Phonograph? Huh? Check it out. (Hard to think that this was the cutting edge at one point.)

Phonograph

It’s a well-made, free-standing piece of furniture. And while the insides are shot after years on the back porch, the wooden housing is surprisingly solid. Wouldn’t it be so cool if we could turn this into a mini bar? What you can’t see from the photo is that the top is a hinged lid that opens to reveal the (no longer operational) phonograph ‘technology.’ The machine itself sits on an inner shelf, about 12 inches down. The double doors at the bottom open up to storage.

I’d love to refinish the piece to remove the machine parts and use the recessed shelf on top to store liquor bottles. We could also use the bottom shelves to store glass and barware. It’d be especially useful in a small space, like, say, our apartment.

NOTE: My use of the pro-noun may be misleading. I am not handy enough to do any of this work myself (which is why it’s still not finished these years later). I’m lucky enough to have a few good resources on tap to help with the project.

What do you think? Do you have a cool home bar?

Overnight Oats

Overnight-Oats

Overnight oatmeal is all the rage on Pinterest these days so I thought I’d give it a try. If you haven’t already heard, overnight oats are essentially just old fashioned oats, soaked overnight int he fridge and eaten cold in the morning. This kind of breakfast is perfect for someone on the go because it requires next to no effort int he morning. It’s also a great (healthy) cereal substitute. I’m a big lover of cereal – Rice Crispies, Lucky Charms, Raisin Brand, everything – so that was another big plus for me.

For the most basic versions, all you need is one part old fashioned oats and one part milk. I went with a lactose-free skim milk but you can really use any kind. That’s it. Seriously. You just stash it in the fridge overnight in an air-tight container and you have breakfast ready and waiting when you wake up.

Part of why this breakfast is so popular is because there are endless possibilities for toppings and flavors. For my test run I just did a traditional brown sugar and cinnamon version. But I think tomorrow I’ll try peanut butter banana. I’ve seen recipes with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit and my all-time favorite chia seeds. Let your imagination run wild!

See what else I’m looking at on Pinterest

Summertime Gazpacho

GazpachoMy boyfriend and I visited Portsmouth, NH last summer and had a wonderful dinner at a lovely little tapas restaurant that we’ve since forgotten the name of. If I ever remember, I’ll update this post because it’s definitely somewhere that I’d recommend getting a bite to eat if you’re in the area. We sat on a gorgeously intimate patio for dinner and one of the dishes that we ordered was a deconstructed gazpacho.

It arrived as perfectly segmented purees (cucumber and tomatoes/red peppers) with a swirl of olive oil decorating the top of each. Since that time, we’ve tried to recreate a decent gazpacho at home for assorted parties and dinners to together. We always debate the consistency because I prefer my gazpacho a bit smoother with a texture similar to soup, while he prefers his to be coarsely pureed and the consistency of salsa. What usually happens is that we make it his way and I water my bowl down a bit.

The recipe below makes a coarser gazpacho but you can always add a bit of water or vegetable stock to adjust the consistency to your preference.

  • 14 oz. diced tomatoes (I usually use canned because it’s easier.)
  • 7 oz. diced red bell pepper (The color doesn’t actually matter, red is just the prettiest.)
  • 7 oz. peeled, chopped cucumber
  • 5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 or 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • vegetable stock (optional add for consistency)
  • garnish with a few leaves of basil (if you’re feeling fancy)
  1. Roast the garlic by cutting the top off about a third a clove of garlic and roasting it in the over at 350 degrees with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper – wrapped in tin foil – for 30-45 minutes.
  2. While the garlic is roasting, chop the bell pepper and the cucumber, removing the seeds from both.
  3. Add the tomatoes, chopped red pepper, chopped cucumber, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to a food processor and blend just short of desired consistency.
  4. After the garlic has roasted, discard the foil and remove two or three roasted cloves with a butter knife.
  5. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to the food processor and blend to desired consistency.

One of the best things about gazpacho is that it presents beautifully and because of that people think it’s really difficult. It’s a great way to impress guests or a significant other.

Skinny Vanilla Latte

Vanilla Latte

I am a true Starbucks lover. When I became lactose intolerant, I was forced to eschew those other coffee chains that often don’t carry non-dairy options. Several years later and I haven’t looked back. Something about that frothy treat hitting my lips that instantly makes my day better. Since this can be quite the expensive love affair, I decided to start making some drinks at home.

I have consumed a lot of mediocre lattes in my quest for my at-home treat, but here’s what I’ve come up with:
– 2 shots espresso
– 1 c steamed, frothed milk
– 1 tsp simple syrup
– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract