Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oreo Copycat Sandwich Cookies

These are too too good. And also too easy. A rich vanilla buttercream sandwiched between too crispy chocolate cookies- how can you go wrong? 
I know what you're thinking. This is supposed to be a healthy blog, but I've got to get my butter fix sometimes! These cookies are a result of two recipes- the cookie recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook, and the buttercream I made up myself.

These cookies are not only easy, but a hit with anyone. Because come on, who doesn't love Oreos?
All in all this recipe took me about an hour and a half. But you could definitely do it faster- I baked only 6 cookies per sheet because they grew quite a bit.
It is very important to make sure the cookies are cool before you frost them-you don't want the buttercream melting off. Don't worry about getting the buttercream perfect-they're beautiful either way. Happy baking!

For the cookies (recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup for flattening cookies
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; continue beating until dough is well-combined. Using a 1 1/4-inch ice cream scoop (I used a teaspoon) drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Dip bottom of a glass into sugar; press to flatten cookies to about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are firm, 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack until completely cooled. Makes about 20-24 cookies.

For the buttercream:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a splash of milk
Cream together butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in mixer with paddle attachment. Add milk for a thinner consistency or more powdered sugar for a thicker frosting. 

Assembling the sandwiches:
Frost half of the cookies simply by spreading the buttercream on with a butter knife. Place remaining cookies on top and press down gently to distribute filling evenly. Enjoy with a glass of milk!


P.S.-Check out my Instagram!

Monday, August 5, 2013

{healthy} chocolate avocado banana muffins

Chocolate. Avocado. Banana. Need I say more?
Oh yes. No dairy and 100% whole wheat!

This is my very first baking post. Yay! As much as I love cooking, I do have more fun baking as I have been doing it longer and feel as if I can experiment a little more. Muffins are the best. For three reasons. 1)You can eat them for breakfast, snack, or dessert. Just an excuse to eat more muffins more often! 2)You can put almost anything in them. I mean look at these, they've got avocados! 3)They're healthier than cupcakes. And if you get them right, they may even taste better.

My mom has had some black bananas in the freezer for a while now. She's been begging me to use them in my baking all week. When I was at the grocery store this weekend, I bought about 6 avocados, which are perfectly in season right now. Not too hard, not too soft, juuust right. And the chocolate, well, it's good all year round. 

While making these muffins, I was a little scared because I didn't use a recipe. In fact, I kept all of the ingredients out until the first sample muffin came out of the oven in case I needed to add anything. But it turned out they were perfect- in fact, I wouldn't change anything about them. They're healthy (I promise!) And you can't even taste the avocado. But you still get all of the health benefits-vitamins, healthy fats, and a ton of potassium among others. 

As you can see, I didn't even get to take a picture of the sample muffin before my siblings begged me to let them try some. And then begged for another. These go fast, so if you want to double the recipe or make mini muffins, go for it! The more muffins the better.

I hope you enjoy them! Please leave a comment below telling me what you thought, it would be greatly appreciated. Happy baking!

Makes 10 ooey gooey delicious muffins.
  • 6 oz. bananas
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (it's ok to use soy or regular, too)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350º. In a small bowl, mash together (with a fork or a masher if you have one) bananas, avocado, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together all flours, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together (using a fork) egg, sugar, almond milk, and oil. Add the banana mixture to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. Then add in the dry mixture, all at once, and stir until there are no more clumps of flour, until combined. See picture above for what the end mixture should look like. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when lightly tapped. Be careful not to overcook-these muffins are best gooey and moist. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Vegetarian Fresh Rolls

Hello! For dinner tonight I decided to make veggie fresh rolls. I've made them a million times, but I wanted to share them with you. They're super refreshing and surprisingly filling!

Each time I make these, I learn how to change something I do to improve them. I also add something new each time-today I added in red peppers for the first time! They were delicious and added a nice crunch and flavor.

For this recipe you'll ned a few things:
  • A sharp, non-serrated knife
  • A large cutting board
  • A very large bowl
Have fun, and don't be afraid to experiment and add different veggies. Happy cooking!

Spring Rolls:
  • 12-14 rice paper sheets (sold at health food stores and asian markets)
  • 7 oz. extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup rice noodles
  • 1 cup spring mix lettuce
  • 3 stems of mint
  • 3 stems of cilantro
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers
Peanut Sauce:
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
  • hot water
  • liquid aminos or soy sauce
Cut tofu, bell peppers, and cucumbers in half and then lengthwise. Take mint and cilantro off of stem. Cook rice noodles as directed on package. When all of the fillings are ready, dip rice paper sheets in a large bowl of warm water for 5-10 seconds. After, place on cutting board and let sit for 10 additional seconds. Place fillings on rice paper, they should take up about 1/5 of the sheet. Roll 3/4 of the way, tuck in the ends, and then roll the rest of the way. Cut in half with a sharp, non-serrated knife. If these are not being served immediately, cover with saran wrap and let sit in the refrigerator to make them even more refreshing. Tip: After each roll is finished, wipe the cutting board with paper towel so it is as dry as possible. This will keep the rolls from getting wet and falling apart. For the peanut sauce, put peanut sauce in a small bowl and add water tablespoon by tablespoon, until you reach desired consistency. Add 2-4 drops of liquid aminos and a shake of salt. Ta-da!

Almond and Flax Granola

Happy Saturday!

I'm home from vacation, and it feels so nice to be in my own kitchen again. This morning I went to a killer kick boxing class at the gym. I could barely walk up and down the stairs when I was done. Wow! By the time I got home it was 11:00, and I was so ready for something to eat to keep me from getting back into bed. 

So, I made this super quick and simple Almond and Flax Granola! Making your own granola is so easy, and not only does it taste 
better than the store-bought kind, but it's also way healthier. 

Feel free to play around with the flavor in this recipe. If you're not into almonds, throw in some cashews! If you don't have flax on hand, don't worry about it! Have fun with it.

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw, whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup ground flax seed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cooking spray
  • cinnamon 
  • nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine oats, almonds, brown sugar, and ground flax. Set aside. Spray a small mixing bowl with cooking spray (or else the honey will stick.) In that small mixing bowl stir together olive oil, honey, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until there are no big clumps of wet mixture. Pour out half of the mixture onto the greased cookie sheet, and spread out until even. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top, as much or as little as you like. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with the other half of the mix. Let cool (or eat hot out of the oven as a snack,) and transfer to airtight container. Delicious served with Greek yogurt, bananas, and maple syrup. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Clean Eating and This Week's Shopping List

Hi there! I'm Gabi, and this is my first post on my food blog. I am so excited to get started. For more info on my blog, click here. I've been on vacation for the past week, and while eating out is fun, I am definitely ready to get back to my own kitchen. I'm also ready to get back on the healthy food train, which is why I've decided to try clean eating! The basic idea of clean eating is to get rid of processed food and stick to fresh, whole foods. The guidelines are these: 

  • Eat whole foods. 
  • Don't eat processed foods. 
  • Don't eat refined sugar. 
  • Eat several small meals instead of 3 big meals. 
  • Cook all your own meals (the best part!) 
  • Eat protein and carbs together (balance your meals.)
I like the idea of this because it's not a diet, and because it doesn't limit a lot of foods. I've been dreaming up meal plans for this week, and I can't wait to get home and go to the grocery store to buy everything I need. Also, I spent a good 40 minutes in the cookbook section of the bookstore today picking out a cookbook with meals in it that were on the healthier side. I decided on Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day. It has some great recipes for every meal, snack, and even desserts! Most include tons of fruits and veggies, and it's all vegetarian which I appreciate since I don't like to eat a lot of meat. Don't get me wrong, I do eat it, just not very often. 

Here's what's on my shopping list for this week. 

  • Kale (because it's in season and I want to use the VitaMix this week. Yum, green smoothies!)
  • Quinoa (I haven't always been a fan, but after seeing quinoa used in multiple recipes of my new cookbook, I'll give it a try!)
  • Avocado (because I love it on anything-toast, salad, I've even had it baked into muffins!)
  • Stir-fry veggies
  • Tofu to stir fry with my veggies^
  • Spaghetti Squash (because I'm a pasta-lover and I'm trying to cut it out of my diet right now.)
aaannnd that's about it! Most posts on my blog will be recipes accompanied by pretty pictures, so keep checking in. I hope I did okay with this first post, please leave comments below, I would love some feedback and/or suggestions!

Happy cooking,
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