Monthly Archives: April 2011

Gluten Free Ricotta Marbled Muffins

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I have made several kinds of almond flour and coconut flour muffins, but they usually don’t have a very good texture compared to those made with regular flour.  I made these last week and was really impressed with not only the flavor, but the texture!

I based the recipe on this Chocolate Almond Ricotta Cake.  I really liked these and would definitely make them again!

Gluten Free Ricotta Marbled Muffins

1 T butter
1 T cocoa powder
1 & 1/4 C almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 C ricotta
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 T honey

Melt  butter in a medium bowl and add cocoa powder.

In another bowl, mix almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In yet another bowl (I ended up with a lot of dishes making this!), beat eggs with electric mixer until frothy.  Add ricotta, almond extract, and honey, and beat well.  Add in dry ingredients.

Mix half of the batter in with the chocolate.  Layer the chocolate and the almond batters in muffin tin, swirling as desired.    I was lazy so mine were kinda two-toned.  Only fill 3/4 full because unlike most low carb muffins, these actually rose!

Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes.

Travel Tuesday-Early Morning Honolulu

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I spent some time vacationing in Hawaii last summer and absolutely loved it!!  Though Maui was my favorite, I still enjoyed Oahu.  My first morning there I was wide awake by 6am due to jet lag.  One friend was heading to work and the other hadn’t gotten in yet, so I explored Honolulu and Waikiki Beach by myself before crowds of tourists took over.  Everything was quiet and calm, definitely one of the more relaxing parts of my trip!

Ala Moana Park

View of the city from the far end of Ala Moana. It rained for a few minutes, then got sunny and beautiful again!

One of my favorite pictures I have ever taken!

The first of many rainbows I saw

Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial-A WWI Memorial

Diamond Head Crater

So if you are looking to avoid the crowds at Waikiki Beach you don’t have to go far-you just have to wake up early!

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

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Alternately titled “The Best Thing You Can Make With Asparagus.  Ever.”

Grab three spears of asparagus and a thick piece of bacon (like the kind I wrote about here).  Using a few toothpicks to hold it in place, wrap the bacon around your bundle.  Cook at 415 degrees until the bacon is browned and crispy around the edges, about 20-25 mins but just keep an eye on it.  Flip after 10-15 minutes so that both sides get brown.

You’re welcome :]

Sweet Potato Fries

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We have a small sweet potato obsession around here.  I usually eat them with at least four meals a week and am always looking for something new and creative to do with them.  My standby favorite is to make sweet potato fries.

I know everyone has their own method for these, but I’m going to share mine.  I like mine thicker-more of steak fries because the thinner they are, the easier they burn.  I may have set off the smoke alarm a few times while experimenting with cooking times…oops!  After cutting, I put them in a bowl and toss with olive oil and whatever seasonings I am using.

Here are a couple of ideas if you want something more than just salt: Chili-spiked sweet potato fries, baked curry sweet potato friespeanut butter crusted sweet potato fries, Ina Garten’s baked sweet potato fries, and bacon wrapped sweet potato fries (future Bacon Friday?!).

Put on a cookie sheet and bake-I do mine at 425 for 28 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  But my oven isn’t very hot so I would start at about 20 and work up.  Bake until the fry comes off the pan easily and is lightly brown.

Finally, I am way too lazy to flip a panful of fries, so I cook the top by broiling (at 500) for 2-3 minutes.  These take a little bit of time to cook, but are really easy and so delicious!

Mango Curry Chicken

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I have to apologize for the terrible pictures of this, but I was too hungry and didn’t realize quite how bad they were until it was too late!  Despite that, this recipe is too good not to share.  I love Indian because it is so easy.  Once you have all the spices it only takes a little bit to add a lot of flavor to dishes. I got the recipe from this site.

Warning: I was told by a friend that I smelled like Indian food a few hours after I made this so probably don’t hang out in the kitchen while it is cooking like I did!

Mango Curry Chicken

1 lb. chicken thighs
Olive oil
Sea Salt
1 T. curry powder
1 slab butter
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Mango-I used a half package of frozen mango from Trader Joe’s
A large glass of white wine-I used Two Buck Chuck Chardonnay from Trader Joe’s

Coat the chicken lightly with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and curry.  Heat a little more olive oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat, then add the butter.  When the butter gets foamy, add the chicken.  Cook until it starts to pale, then add in garlic.  Turn down to low-medium (should be gently sizzling) and  cover with lid.  Cook for 20 minutes, then flip over and cook 20 more.

When the chicken is done, take it out of the pan and add in the wine, mango, and parsley.  I let it simmer for about 5 minutes because the mango was still a little frozen.

simmering mango wine sauce

When done, pour over chicken and serve!  I ate it with sweet potato fries, which I thought was a good combo!

the finished product

Weekly Favorites

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I probably read way too many blogs, but love finding new recipes, travel destinations, decorating ideas, and DIY projects, among other things. I’m going to start sharing some favorite posts, books I’m reading, and anything else I find inspiring each week!

Money is Unlimited.  Life is Limited.  This is why I travel.  I know people think I am irresponsible for being in grad school and still going on a few trips a year.  But what I spend on travel is what most other students spend going out to eat most days instead of cooking.  I make travel a priority because I know I will regret it if I don’t.

Your Brain and the Primal Blueprint.  I could go on and on about the benefits of going primal/paleo other than easy weight loss.  Better mood, more energy, no bloating, no chronic headaches, improved allergies.  This article explains the benefits to your brain that result in better mood, energy, and focus.

Fig and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Caramelized Onions.  This looks so delicious!!

Frozen Raspberry Mousse Tart with Chocolate Crust.  I’m obsessed with anything raspberry, so have been dying to make this!  Love all of her low carb desserts, they all look delicious!

Inspiration: Book Shelf Styling.  I love pictures of styled bookshelves.  It totally makes me want a library like the one from Beauty and the Beast.  Realistic?  Not in the slightest.

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakaeur.  I’m a big fan of Krakaeur’s other books and this one did not disappoint.  Tillman was an NFL player who gave up his football career to join the Marines and was killed by friendly fire.  I learned a lot about the Iraq war and how the military works in general.  Incidents like this give me even more respect for the troops who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country.


New Feature: Bacon Friday!

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That’s right!  Every Friday, I’ll be posting a new recipe with everyone’s favorite ingredient: BACON!

For starters, let’s begin with just plain old bacon in all it’s delicious glory.  Not all bacons are created equal!  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the bacon you’ve been buying at the grocery store is the WRONG kind of bacon… the kind that comes in those vacuum-packed plastic packages, arranged in a pretty little stack with catchy-sounding names like “hickory smoked” or “maple cured.”

Are you ready for this?  Do not buy that kind of bacon ever again.  Ever.  It’s not real bacon!  Well, it is, but it’s been saturated with all sorts of chemicals and additives that aren’t very good for you and that you don’t need anyways.

Real bacon looks like this:

Raw bacon!

Do you see how thick and marbled and meaty that bacon is?  That’s how bacon is supposed to look.  No ingredients added, no preservatives or fillers or ANYTHING – just meat.

This is the bacon I buy from Whole Foods.  Its dry-rubbed and uncured slab bacon.  I’ve spotted slab bacon in the more standard grocery stores as well, but it tends to be cured nonetheless – and that means it’s still full of the additives you want to avoid.  Farmer’s markets are another great place to look for this kind of bacon.  I like to buy it in batches of 1.5lbs, which will last me anywhere from a 1-2 weeks, usually 2.  The taste is incomparable to the packaged stuff – it’s the perfect blend of sweet and salty.  Plus, since it’s cut so thick, you get both the crunch of crispy bacon and the meaty chewiness of a good jerky.

Trust me, once you give this kind of bacon a try, you will never, ever, ever want to go back.

This piece kind of looks like New Jersey. I look like crap, but who cares - it's BACON!

Happy Friday!