Carrot Oat Bread

Carrot Oat Bread

This carrot oat bread is perfectly sweet and satisfying without any added sugar. Go ahead and scroll down and take a look at the ingredient list…I’ll wait for you to come back. It doesn’t get any better, does it?

DSC_0651

Carrots from my garden! Yes, they got a little mangled and wouldn’t sell in a store I’m sure but they’re organic, fresh, and tasty.

DSC_0653

I’ve never baked with barley flour before and I was curious if you could do a one for one substitution for whole wheat flour. At least in this carrot oat bread, you can. Certainly, you could use whole wheat flour in this recipe if you’d like to, but there are benefits to barley flour. I have a whole lot of friends who are gluten sensitive or intolerant. While barley flour does have some gluten (so someone with Celiac disease would still need to find an alternative flour) it has markedly less gluten than whole wheat flour. I’d be curious to know, any of my gluten-senstive friends out there okay with barley flour and not whole wheat flour?

DSC_0655

A bread with protein? Sure, why not? There is 12 grams of protein from the walnuts alone in this recipe.

DSC_0658

Carrots, raisins, coconut, and pure maple syrup make this bread oh-so-sweet yet oh-so-healthy. And scrumptious, might I add.

Carrot Oat Bread
Carrot Oat Bread
(Adapted from wholefoods.com)
Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup walnuts
1 cup barley flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup raisins
¾ cup shredded coconut
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking pan.
Chop oats and walnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine carrots, maple syrup, raisins, coconut and vanilla. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir until well blended. Feel free to add in a handful of walnut pieces to make the bread a little crunchy. Note: The batter will be very thick. Pour into pan and bake approximately 45-50 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool before serving.


Drunken Pear Arugula Salad

Drunken Pear Salad With Strawberries and Goat Cheese

Drunken Pear Arugula Salad. Now this is a salad. I know I post a lot of salads, I have to balance out all the brownies somehow, but this one is my favorite, for right now anyway. For you wine lovers out there, this is really a twofer: wine in your salad and with your salad. Essentially, you’re poaching the pears in mulled wine…which leaves you with a delicious and warm post-dinner beverage.

Drunken Pear Salad With Strawberries and Goat Cheese

DSC_0608
(more…)


Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake

History is full of mistakes turning into masterpieces and inventions created by accident. I’m sure this cake won’t make it into any history books but hopefully it will make it into your recipe. What started out as an attempt to create butterscotch peanut butter (sounds pretty good, right?) turned into this Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake. Oops! A delicious way to salvage my botched peanut butter experiment. Clearly, I’m not that upset about it.

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake
(more…)


Scrambled Ostrich Egg

Scrambled Ostrich Egg

On Sunday night, one of my lifelong dreams finally came true. I ate on ostrich egg. How and why did this oddity become a lifelong dream? Let’s go back. I think it all started when I was a kid and watched The Gods Must Be Crazy II on repeat. Then I found out you can ride ostriches (another dream). In college, I spent time in Malawi, Africa and saw some of these birds up close…but I only got to ride an untrained camel there. For years now, eating an ostrich egg has been on my bucket list. Convivial. Fond of feasting, right? Especially feasting on the unusual.

DSC_0501

Well, it just so happens that there is a farm not too far from San Diego with 500 ostriches. And it just so happens to be the start of egg laying season! I got my hands on this guy, who my husband affectionately named Bilbo, on Saturday.

DSC_0503
(more…)


Bagel and Egg Casserole with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Bagel and Egg Casserole with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I’m a sucker for bagels. And breakfast casseroles. Okay, and any pesto-sun-dried-tomato combination. When I first saw the original recipe in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I dreamed about making it for months before Christmas morning finally served as the proper occasion to give it a try. Quite delicious. Then I found myself dreaming of all the different variations I could make from it. Now, at long last, I’ve made my dream a reality. I apologize to you that it took so long.

DSC_0339

Savory with a hint of sweet, this Bagel and Egg Casserole with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes was all that I had hoped for. You can make this casserole the night before, stick it in the fridge, and put it in the oven for breakfast the next morning. And, you guessed it, I’m still dreaming up other twists for this casserole. Any thoughts of your own?

DSC_0345
(more…)


Amaretto Crepes

Amaretto Crepes

As you likely know by now, I work at a French school with all French coworkers. Naturally, I eat a lot of crepes. One of my cousins studied abroad in Paris last year and wrote on his blog, “the French just cook better than you.” Love that. So true.

DSC_0259

My coworkers shared with me some of their special personal touches that they add to their crepe recipes. One adds rum. Another adds beer. For real? Who knew?? Well I had some leftover Amaretto liqueur and decided, why not Amaretto crepes? There really is no answer to that question. These almond-y crepes were fabulous. Recommended toppings: raspberry jam, strawberry jam, and, of course, Nutella.
(more…)


Warm Winter Salad With Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

Warm Winter Salad With Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

Confession: I have either eaten this salad or pizza every night for dinner for the past two weeks. In my defense, the pizza wasn’t my fault, we were with friends. I take full responsibility for this salad, however, and it’s still on the menu for dinner tonight! Although this salad is aptly titled “Warm Winter Salad With Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes,” as I was roasting the veggies, it was 81 degrees outside and I’m afraid winter is already over here. Perhaps for the rest of you there is still snow on the ground and you’ll enjoy the heat of the oven more than I did.

Warm Winter Salad With Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

These puppies above are parsnips. You’re probably saying, “duh…” But to my uncultured self growing up as a picky eater in Michigan, I was not aware of parsnips until a few months ago. Now I’m slightly obsessed. Okay, maybe a little more than slightly.

DSC_0303
(more…)


Baked Plantains With Honey

Baked Plantains With Honey

If you’ve never traveled to Central or South America, you may never have been introduced to plantains. Well then, let’s get you acquainted. Chances are you can find them in your local grocery store and you might have wondered why those bananas were so hard and green. Plantains are related to bananas but you have to cook them before you eat them.

DSC_0236

I could eat plantains by the dozen and, when I was in Costa Rica last summer, I probably did. No guilt. Plantains will really test your patience though, you have to wait for them to turn brown. Really brown. Our grocery store sells them green. Really green. I have to wait weeks for them to turn. I’m not a very patient person, especially in regards to food, and too many times I’ve been tempted to just try cooking them a little green. Do not do it. Remember: brown.

Baked Plantains With Honey
(more…)


Almond Mango Granola

Almond Mango Granola

It seems impossible, really, but it appears as if I’ve married someone who eats even more granola than I do. I thought it couldn’t be done. It really is ridiculous how quickly we go through granola.

DSC_0025

Because we (and I mean Dave) were eating so much granola every day, I actually got a sick of making it so frequently and so I told Dave to just buy some from the store. Well, that didn’t last long because I have yet to find a packaged granola that I actually enjoy. I know I’ve said that before but it’s as true now as it was then. Warning: if you make this almond mango granola, you’ll never go back to granola from a box.
(more…)


Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I’ve never made a top ten list for food, that would be near impossible, but I can easily say that twice baked potatoes are at the tip top of my favorite comfort foods. And it goes without saying that sweet potatoes are one of the greatest things on earth. That got me to thinking, why have I never heard of twice baked sweet potatoes? I’ve never seen it done, ever. Well, that had to change.

DSC_0111

So what to mix with the sweet potato puree? Goat cheese was the answer that came quite easily. It is it the answer to most of my major life questions.

DSC_0113

A little milk and cumin to add to the mix and that was it!

(more…)