Sunday, February 28, 2016

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Loaf

Super delicious coffee-, loaf-, breakfast- or whatever-you-want-to-call-it-cake for college cooking--refreshing addition to any afternoon break or a satisfying solution for a sweet treat with minimal sugar...unless you double the icing!

Grab a bowl and start mixing! 
Great recipe found in Bon Appetite and reduced fat by using Greek yoghurt in place of sour cream--be surprised!

Parchment paper
8 1/2" x  4 1/2" Metal Loaf Pan
Zester or Fine grater

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more
1 Tbls finely grated grapefruit zest
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbls plain Greek yoghurt
8 Tbls grapefruit juice divided
1 Tbls poppy seeds
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line your loaf pan with parchment paper.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Add the zest to the sugar and mix with your fingers. 

5. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla, and beat on high speed x approx. 4 minutes. 

6. Reduce speed and add half of the dry ingredients.

7. Add 3/4 cup of yoghurt. 
8. Add remaining dry ingredients, 5 Tbls of grapefruit juice and the poppy seeds.

9. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.

10. While still hot, poke a few holes into cake and pour remaining grapefruit juice on top.

11. Make the icing by mixing powdered sugar, 1 tsp water, 1 Tbls yoghurt together.

12. Pour over cooled cake. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kitchen Sink Marshmallow Treats

Sometimes you just have to improvise in life! Same thing with certain recipes like pasta dishes, salads, monster cookies and rice crispy treats--sometimes you just have to use what's in your cupboards. These recipes, other than the basic batter or basic sauce, are open to your imagination.

This variation of the classic rice krispy treat is basically a marshmallow treat on steroids! (Let me be clear, however...nothing replaces the original rice crispy treat!!) The original recipe from Jelly Toast ( calls for Chocolate Chex cereal, but I only had Rice and Wheat Chex in available at the grocery store. So, I went with that, because I wanted marshmallow treats now; and, well, that shouldn't stop you, right?

See what you come with! You could add chocolate chips or bulk up the mix with a variety of leftover cereals, but remember Math 101 and make sure you have the right ratio of marshmallow filling to dry ingredients, i.e. enough marshmallow batter to coat all of the dry ingredients you want in your mix! 

Great easy dessert 4 college cooking and for using up leftover cereals--leave no waste behind!

Kitchen Sink Marshmallow Treats

9" x 13" Pyrex Dish, lightly greased
Large Mixing Bowl

1/4 unsalted butter, melted
1 (10.5 oz) bag of Mini-Marshmallows
5 cups Chocolate Chex (or any Chex cereal or other cereals)
2 cups Chocolate Coconut granola
4 oz chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

1. Wash your hands.
2. Grease pyrex dish. 
3. Have cereals measured and combined.
4. In the microwave, melt butter in 30 second intervals and add marshmallows. 

5. Work quickly stirring the marshmallows until a smooth white batter remains.
6. Add cereal and granola.
7. Press mixture into greased pyrex.

8. Drizzle with melted chocolate chips. 

9. Top off with toasted coconut flakes.

10. Let set at room temperature before cutting and consuming!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fish Nuggets 4 College Cooking

Craving childhood favorites lately like grilled cheese, mac 'n cheese, biscuits, chicken nuggets and fish sticks--but, I really wanted all the nostalgia and comfort without the artificial flavors, saturated fats, and laundry list of unknown ingredients!

Luckily for me, I came across a great deal on fresh tilapia at the grocery store and a simple recipe of Fish Nuggets in Cooking Light--a few ingredients, simple steps, and delicious-ness when all was said and   done.

The recipe might be too messy for some, but why not take the challenge and make a great meal tonight. More than plenty to share with a roommate or hungry college student and friend.

(Adapted from Cooking Light--recommend making double egg-wash and double panko)

Fish Nuggets 4 College Cooking

Sheet Pan
3 Shallow Mixing Bowls (or Cereal bowls or pyrex dish or pie dish)
Functioning Oven
Platter with Parchment paper

1 lb tilapia fillets, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces and chunks
Salt & Pepper
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 eggs
1 Tbls water
1 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs, preferably no flavors

Easy Dipping Sauce (combine all ingredients):
1/4 cup Light Mayo or Olive Oil Mayo
1 Tbls dill relish (like for hot dogs)
1 Tbls green onions


1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven with sheet pan at 450F-500F degrees.
3. Prepare your fish chunks with salt & pepper.

4. Prepare your assembly line:
--shallow bowl with 1/3 cup cornstarch
--shallow bowl with egg + water wash, briefly whisked with a fork
--shallow bowl with panko breadcrumbs

5. Move fish chunks into cornstarch, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs.

6. Set on a platter with parchment paper.

7. Remove the sheet pan from the oven safely without burning yourself.
8. Spray lightly with PAM spray and place fish nuggets in a single layer.

9. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 450F degrees x 12-15 minutes.

10. Make sure to fish nuggets at 8-10 minutes.

Have dipping sauce (or ketchup) ready and dig in!

Cravings Satisfied!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Purple Kale Citrus Salad

Everyone is eating kale--kale chips, kale (or green) smoothies, kale everything--so why miss out on this health craze? Kale has gotten a bad rap because folks don't know anything other than grinding it or roasting it with salt! It is all about the context that makes kale pop and taste delicious, i.e. how it is prepared and what it is combined with!

Kale is a simple alternative to lettuce or arugula, another option in your salad and side-dish 'arsenal' that is tasty, healthy and trendy...perfect for any college student living off campus! 

In this simple salad, the shredded kale absorbs an incredible citrus dressing that makes the whole concoction pop, awesome, and fresh--rather than just another "salad"!

(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman and her latest cookbook 'Dinnertime'. If you are in Chicago, The Pump Room makes a fantastic version of a kale salad as well!)

Purple Kale Citrus Salad

Mixing Bowl
Chopping Board & Knife

1 bunch fresh kale--green or purple
1 small jalapeno, thinly sliced & seeded
1 cup mandarin slices, drained
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta 
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbls olive oil
1-2 tsp honey
1 Tbls (generous) Greek yoghurt or Light sour cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

1. Wash your hands.
2. Wash the kale and separate the stems from leaves.

3. Roll the leaves and slice them into thin strips until you have a nice pile of them.

4. Prep other ingredients, i.e. sliced jalapeƱos, drain mandarin slices, & crumbled cheese.

5. Combine your salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

6. Make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together.

7. Combine the salad and dressing just prior to serving.

8. Here's to your health with the best of flavors and without compromise! So simple!