Sunday, May 20, 2012

ACTUALLY Healthy Zucchini Bread or Muffins...

I would first like to start off by thanking my mother for allowing me to mess up her beautifully clean kitchen... DAILY..... Sometimes twice daily. 
Thanks Mom.
(Oh yeah, and cleaning my car....)
 God I'm worthless, I blame it on the pain and the pain murderers.

Speaking of worthless.... Check out this cat.... ;)
This week I got my wisdom teeth out. It should be against the law. I'm just saying. I slept the whole day of the surgery and the next day decided to go with my mom to the ballet studio and did floor barre. I think I was still sedated when I did floor barre because I have no idea how I even got through even half of it. I felt GREAT until after and hit pain level 22... Day three I was in a pretty significant amount of pain but somehow talked my mother into dropping me off for a Pilates class. I walked in and they were like,
 "I thought you were getting your wisdom teeth out?!" 
Me, "I, did." 
"Umm...good luck with that. Let me know how that goes for you."
Once again. I don't remember much of that class.. which probably means I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DOING THAT.
The next day my mom wanted me to go into the dentist to make sure I wasn't on the fast track to a dry socket. I met with the dentist and he was like 
"WHAT?! You did WHAT?!"

"I took pilates."
"Pilates is the fastest way to a dry socket."
Really are you sure? Because I can think of faster. JUST SAYIN'.

So after that, I have been keeping all of my activities to baking and sewing and sleeping and take pain killers every two hours. Those little buggers just murder that pain away.

The first time I really got out of the house was yesterday to go to the annual SHAMROCK PARK NEIGHBORHOOD GARAGE SALE. We were there by 8:30 and I can guarantee 90% of the good stuff was gone. Now, we are in a town of what 50,000? I think 49.501 people we log-jammed in this tiny neighborhood. And everyone felt the need to drive of course. We biked. (You biked on pain killers?! Yes. I. did.) We ditched our bikes about 2.5 seconds into the mission because the chances of us DYING were about 110%. Jeff hit the motherload of vinyl records. Pretty hilarious collection from Bobby Brown to Oingo Boingo.... I found a pottery mug (which I have a small obsession with) and some super nice brand new skeins of alpaca and cashmere yarn for 4 skeins for a buck! I also got really close to buying an Emerald Green convertible Jag with CAMEL top.. but was soon talked out of it because it would be more to keep up than by sewing addiction.... (which is a hefty penny.)

Today I woke up later than I have woke up in...Oh let's see.... forever. 10 am. (do I hear a round of applause?!) Yes. Yes. Thank you. Thank you. (with bows.) And there was some grated zucchini that had been pulled out of the freezer from last season. So I started my hunt for a groovy healthy zucchini recipe. One after the other, No. No. No. Definitely not. NO. NO. NOOOOOO. What is wrong with these recipes?! I thought zucchini bread was supposed to be healthy! 2 cups of oil, 4 cups of sugar. REALLY?! Jesus. Might as well make brown butter brownies. (Oh wait I did....) Oops... ANYWAYS... Moving on. 
I decided to craft my own ACTUAL HEALTHY Zucchini bread recipe. And it turned out yummy.


3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup apple juice
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1 3/4 cups A/P flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
grated lemon zest
 1 cup grated apple
2 cups grated fresh zucchini, loosely packed

  1. Set rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Using a flat beater, beat eggs until frothy.  Beat in the sugar. Add oil, yogurt, honey, apple juice and vanilla and beat several minutes.
  3. Mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder and lemon zest in a bowl.  Add along with the zucchini and apples to the egg and oil mixture and beat until blended.
  4. Pour evenly into 2 buttered and lightly floured glass loaf pans. (Or muffin tin if using)
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 375º. Lower heat to 350º degrees and bake for 1 hour longer.  The loaves should have a dark skin with splits along the top, and a toothpick inserted into one of the splits should be nearly clean, with no batter buildup.
  6. Cool in pans on rack for 15 minutes.  Gently remove from pans, using a sharp knife if necessary, and then cool for an hour or more before serving
(If using muffin tins bake 12 mins for mini muffins and 25-28 mins for large muffins)


 I made the loaf as well as muffins with the extra batter instead of making two loaves of bread. To the muffins I made a lemon glaze to make for a sweet dessert treat.

Lemon Glaze: 
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 cup powdered sugar (or more to taste) 
dash of cinnamon
1 tbls melted butter

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Then drizzle over the tops warm muffins. 

 Hey you! In the back!

 One more note: Garage sales are the new bake sales. Enchanting. People will go up to the garage sale and grab a plate for 75 cents and ask the poor people to sell it for a quarter. BUT THEN they will go to the little "bake stand" (which is filled with freaking nasty ass doughnuts from the sunbeam discount bread store on Amon Road) and buy one for 2 bucks a piece!  HILARIOUS. Next time I'm bringing my table and setting up camp in front of a misc. home and making an ass load of cash from baked goods.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Oreo Pudding Cookies

Two posts in one week?! 
This must be a record.
The weather in Idaho had been groovy. Chilly nights, incredible sunsets, wonderful motorcycle rides... what more could I ask for?! 
Oh, I know. 
Some Oreo Pudding Cookies.

It's good to be home. I'm constantly reminded by my loving father, "R.I.C.E. JORDAN R.I.C.E!" If you knew my dad, you could hear his tone while yelling this. It's a sort of a sarcastic stern goofball tone with a giggle at the end. That makes no sense unless you know him... Great guy. I'm going to be just like him when I grow up. 

Mother's day is tomorrow. I have already given my mother her main gift. A lovely handmade mug from the same guy that makes the dishes for the amazing new restaurant in Houston, Oxheart. I ran into him by accident at iFest Houston (which was a complete waste of money shit show in my opinion. WHO PAY'S FOR CUSTARD IN TICKETS?!) This guy KINDA RULED. I got three beautiful mugs and let her choose her favorite. Tomorrow we are doing breakfast in bed for her and we're contemplating a picnic... we'll see, it may turn into a pajama day... nothing wrong with that!

I was getting my hairs did the other day, because it is a NECESSITY when I am in town. Even if I had my hair done a week before I came, I HAVE TO DO IT WHEN I AM IN TOWN. There is something wrong with me. I think I am superstitious or something. Or maybe I just like showing Marci a Mary Kate picture of what color I want, since I have brought her one every year since I was 13. Don't ask. She told me about these pudding cookies that she made that rivaled my famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. SO naturally I had to make them to see what the excitement was about and to see if they came close to my recipe.... 

They aren't like mine, but good try.
I went for the Oreo version, but they also do a vanilla or chocolate versions...


1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (4.2 ounce) package instant Oreo Pudding mix
2 1/4 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Hershey's Cookies N Cream Candy Bars broken into small pieces (I used 2.6 ounce King Sized bars)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in pudding mix until blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Stir in cookies n' cream pieces and chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.

Using a cookie dough scooper, place golf ball sized dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. You do not want to overbake these! Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a cooking rack. Store in air-tight container. Makes two dozen. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kale and Quinoa Cakes: Super Duper Food.

Oh hey there! I guess my last post was hmmmmmmmm ST PATTY'S DAY. Opps. I have been very busy and need about 5 days to write up a whole blog about it. To tell you the truth it probably won't happen, but at least if I throw it out there it might push me to do it. In short, I am injured and currently trying to heal myself while road tripping home to Idaho while visiting friends along the way. Started off by driving to Santa Fe for a Zen Buddhist Yoga retreat that lasted 3 days. One of the best things I have ever done, must write a blog on it.... Then I shot up to Denver and was supposed to only stay one day but ended up staying 6! Needless to say, I enjoyed my time there TOO MUCH. Never wanted to leave. Great, great city with some of my favorite people in the whole world. After that I came up to Idaho to visit with my family and get some unfortunate things done like get my wisdom teeth out.. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. 

So while in town, I made my family dinner. I'm sure my dad took one look at the Kale and Quinoa cakes and was like "Kale and WHO?" But they are DELICIOUS. I assure you. I'm sure, by now, most of you have heard of Quinoa. It's supposed to be a "Super Grain" and it is INSANELY good for you. Believe it or not it is related to the beet, spinach and TUMBLEWEED families. And naturally because we have so much tumbleweed in Idaho and I starred at tumbleweed for 8 hours on my way through Wyoming, I decided to make something with quinoa for dinner just as a tribute to this lovely native plant..... The nutritional value is pretty groovy for athletes (and all you normal folks as well!) Per 100 grams (3.5oz) there is 369 calories. At first I thought this was high in calorie when I looked at the serving size, but when it cooks up it expands like crazy and it is SO unbelievably filling. It has 7 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein per serving. It's also high in phosphorous, magnesium, and iron. The components it is comprised of make it a complete protein which is wonderful all around.

Roasted some eggplant as well....
I found this recipe on "Joy The Baker", where I find all things wonderful. She is a sweet lady, I wish I could grow up and be JUST LIKE HER. I changed the recipe a bit so here is a link to the original and I will put mine up as well. Kale and Quinoa Cakes.

Kale and Quinoa Cakes
makes about 2 dozen small cakes
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
1 1/2 cups raw quinoa (I used Red Quinoa)
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 bunch (about 3 cups) chopped dino kale
splash of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup red peppers chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon olive oil for frying, add a bit more as necessary

Place dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Wash under cool water for a few minutes.  Quinoa needs to be rinsed or it tastes dirty.
In a medium saucepan place rinsed quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for about 25 t0 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  We’ll need about 3 cups of cooked quinoa for the recipe.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Throw in red bell peppers and cook for an additional 3 mins. Add kale and toss until just slightly wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add a splash of vinegar.  Place kale mixture in a large bowl with prepared quinoa.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  You can speed up this process in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Add cheese, break crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Add beaten eggs and stir until all of the quinoa mixture is moistened.  Add water to thoroughly moisten mixture.  Quinoa should be slightly wet so it doesn’t dry out during cooking.
Scoop out mixture by the 2 tablespoonful.  (I used a small ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture right into the hot pan.)  Use clean, moist fingers to form into a patty.  Create as many patties as you’d like.  (Rinse your hands after every few patties… it makes making patties easier.)
In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil.  If you pan is large enough, add four to six patties to the hot pan.  You’ll need a bit of room to successfully flip them.
Cook on each side until beautifully browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.  Low heat helps the quinoa cakes cook slowly. Brown on each side then remove to a paper towel lined plate.

I served mine with this cool and refreshing Yogurt Garlic Sauce.

Yogurt Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves pressed through a garlic press
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more to taste)
salt to taste

Stir and combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl, serve immediately.

Another delicious recipe for kale is Kale Chips. They are super duper simple and I LOVE THEM. 
Kale Chips
2 bunches of kale, chopped into 3 inch pieces
olive oil
lemon juice
red pepper flakes
Chop the kale into about 3 inch pieces. Spread onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the kale and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Toss around and throw in the oven at 275 for an hour. 
The kale will crisp right up into delicious little chips that disintegrate in your mouth. You can use any flavor you like, plain sea salt and black pepper is delicious, you could do a take on Salt and Vinegar tossing the kale in a bit of white vinegar and sea salt... the options are endless and HEALTHY AS CAN BE. 
Good luck and enjoy your super food.