Adam’s Irish Brown Bread

by Sarah on February 8, 2016 · 0 comments

I’ve never been a bread person.

Not like Oprah.

I mean, I could “safely” keep the bread basket on the table at a restaurant and not worry about eating the whole thing. I actually loved having a bread basket, mostly because that meant I was in a restaurant where such services existed, not so much for the actual bread.

This, of course, was all before I met THIS bread.IMG_5077 (1280x853)

This bread was introduced to me by The Professor’s brother, Adam. (Who I guess is The Brofessor?) I was so taken with it that I literally TOOK it. With me. On the airplane when I left. Three tiny pieces smuggled away in the dead of night early morning, to be savored with a bowl of Kohlrabi & Leek Bisque.IMG_4528 (1280x853)

It was only a matter of time before I made my own.IMG_20160103_175452856 (1280x719)

And then made it again.

And again.IMG_5142

But after the first time–and after much googling about how to split an egg in half, and then just deciding to use the smallest of the eggs in the carton–I made it in a smaller, more manageable form.IMG_5084 (1280x853)Oh, delicious bread. Bread that I carve slices off as I walk through the kitchen, that I crumble into yogurt at night because it’s JUST sweet enough), that I dip into soup, and that I have developed a taste memory for that is actually rather embarassing.IMG_5122 (1280x853)

It tastes even better warm and toasted.

And it makes me want to eat butter.

But I’m not a butter person either.

Or am I?IMG_5133 (1280x853)

Irish Buttermilk Brown Bread

(Adapted from King Arthur)

Makes 1 small loaf*

  • 215 g whole wheat flourWhole Wheat Flour
  • 25 g steel cut oats
  • 17g molasses
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk + 2 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar, allowed to sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • rolled oats, for sprinkling on top (optional)

*For a more traditional “round,” double all ingredients except egg.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a small loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except rolled oats.
  4. Stir well until thick batter forms.
  5. Scoop and spread batter into pan.
  6. Sprinkle with rolled oats, if desired.
  7. Bake 30-40 minutes, until bread is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
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So, I’m studying graduate student eating behavior for my dissertation.

And it’s all very meta, really.IMG_4841 (1280x853)

I mean, I AM a graduate student, and my eating behaviors have certainly become a bit out of the ordinary, so I do constantly feel like I’m analyzing myself through the lens of all the other research.IMG_4848 (1280x853)

A common refrain about my eating habits lately has been, “It will get to be 2:00 and I think to myself, “Have I eaten anything besides granola today?”

I laugh it off as a joke.

But, oh, if only you knew.*

*Remind me to tell you the story about the Jason’s Deli catering granola one day.IMG_4838 (1280x853)

The latest incarnation and experimentation in my “granola”making (which is really always just a matter of throwing random grains, seeds, spices, and dried fruits into a bowl and seeing what happens) involves products from two of my favorite companies: Love Grown Foods and graze box.IMG_4860 (1280x853)

This is more of a sweet(ish) snack mix, because the instant oats get very well stuck on the flakes–without any added honey or nut butter or oil–and it’s a very chunky granola…but it’s also very, very tasty.IMG_4845 (1280x853)

Cinnamon Cherry Pear & Walnut “Oats & Flakes” Granola [Gluten-Free]

  • 1 cup Love Grown bean flakes (or substitute another GF flake cereal)
  • 2 packets Love Grown instant Apple Cinnamon or Brown Sugar oatmeal (or substitute another GF instant oatmeal)
  • 1 cup GF rolled oats (or not GF if that isn’t a concern)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup dried pears, diced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine flakes, instant oatmeal, rolled oats, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Pour applesauce mixture over oat mixture and stir well to coat.
  5. Spread granola onto a metal jelly roll pan or baking dish.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until the granola is pretty crisp. (The granola will continue to crisp as it cools.)
  7. Remove granola from the oven and stir in dried cherries and pears.
  8. Allow to cool completely before storing.IMG_4882 (853x1280)
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Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Bars

by Sarah on January 15, 2016 · 0 comments

We all know there is one little girl I love more than any other in the whole world. She is the absolute cutest, smartest baby there ever was. And I say this, even though my brother gave her his genes.IMG_20160108_162249

BUT, my dear friend Emily has a little girl, who I may also have a not-so-little soft spot for, and when I found out that there was a bit of struggle getting this little princess to eat breakfast, well, I had to act.IMG_4712 (1280x853)

Luckily–like myself–she is also a huge fan of anything pumpkin. The trick? Making something pumpkin-y that wasn’t also too full of sugar, had a boost of fiber, and a little protein, so that both mom AND daughter could feel good about it.IMG_4678 (1280x853)

After she took a bite, there was a slight happy dance….followed immediately by a request for milk and a dash out of the kitchen. I couldn’t call it a rousing success, but I was informed that the following day two of these bars were gobbled in rapid succession** by both the little princess and her mother, so I’m going to say these are officially kid-approved.

**Which is what also happened in MY kitchen after they were baked.IMG_4691 (1280x853)

Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Bars

(Makes 8)

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line an 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper. (Spray the sides with cooking spray if you want to be “safe.”)
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, egg, buttermlk, and vanilla.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  6. Mix in dates and raisins.
  7. Spread mixture into pan–it will be thick.
  8. Bake 25 minutes, until nicely browned.
  9. Allow to cool before removing from pan and slicing…if you can wait that long.IMG_4707 (1280x853)
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I received free samples of Progresso Cooking Stock mentioned in this post at no cost. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Progresso Cooking Stock and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.reciperedux_progresso_contest

So, I’m the kind of person who always seems to end up with excess vegetables in her fridge right before going away on a trip.

I am also the kind of person who will–after inhaling as much produce as one can feasibly manage and packing enough crudite for the plane ride to make TSA think she’s running a small scale farmers market out of her carry-on–simply freeze everything (and anything) that remains in the kitchen to deal with later.IMG_4519 (1280x853)

And thus, this delicious–perhaps slightly random (?)–thick, creamy bisque-that-should-probably-just-be-called-puree.IMG_4528 (1280x853)

Kohlrabi? I know: what?!? But, while aiding one of the farmers at the (actual) market in descriptive vocabulary about the cabbage’s German cousin, it struck me that raw kohlrabi really DOES taste a lot like broccoli stalks. And what are broccoli stalks best for? (Aside from, oh, eating in stir fries, or raw, if you are slightly strange, like me…)IMG_4525 (1280x853)

Broccoli soup!

So why not kohlrabi soup?

And leeks? Even The Professor likes leeks.IMG_4539 (1280x854)So what you get is a mash-up of cream of broccoli, potato, and onion soup, made possible by the fact that I happened to have some Progresso Vegetable Cooking Stock on hand for this month’s Recipe Redux member contest.IMG_4514 (1280x853)

As a side note, regardless of what I’m “supposed” to say about this stock,* it seriously is incredibly tasty. I may or may not have heated some up and just sipped it alone. (See above statement about being strange.) It’s so rich, you don’t even need to add much seasoning at ALL. To anything.

*Available now in your supermarket’s soup aisle!IMG_4535 (1280x853)

Kohlrabi & Leek Bisque (Cream-Free)

Serves 4

  • 8 cups kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced and cleaned (dark green parts removed)
  • 4 cups Progresso Vegetable Cooking stock
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (or other fresh herb)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, separated (optional)
  1. Combine kohlrabi, leeks, and cooking stock in a sauce pan.
  2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until soft.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Puree kohlrabi and leek mixture in a blender or food processor.
  5. Season to taste.
  6. Return to pot.
  7. Heat through.
  8. Serve with fresh cilantro and Greek yogurt (if desired).

P.S. If you’re worried about the frozen corn in the photo above, you shouldn’t be: Progresso helped out a little bit with my Rainbow Thai Coconut Curry as well…and made that corn VERY happy. :)

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P.P.S.  The Progresso Vegetable Stock also made for some incredibly flavorful field peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day.

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That’s It. [Review]

by Sarah on January 3, 2016 · 0 comments

A few weeks ago, The Professor e-mailed me and told me if there were “any movies I wanted to see” I should look up showtimes and we could go. This was all a facade, of course, because what he really meant was, “Look up times and tell me how much you love the idea of Bradley Cooper in a kitchen, but we’re really going to see The Martian.”

At least he sprung for 3-D.The-Martian-movie-poster

I had been curious about the film, not only because I’ve loved Matt Damon since Good Will Hunting, despite not really remembering any other movie he has been in that I’ve enjoyed, but also because they talked about it on Pop Culture Happy Hour and anything they say–like that it was a good movie– I believe to be true.

My love of the film was still going strong when I received an e-mail asking if I’d like to try a free sample of some fruit bars that could allow me to “Eat Like an Astronaut!” as they were the special request of an astronaut on the International Space Station. I may hate the thought of being in space, but I’m not opposed to eating space food.IMG_4496 (853x1280)

That’s It bars aren’t space food like the powdered packets you thought were SUPERCOOL as a kid before realizing that chewing is actually a valuable and rewarding experience. These are fruit bars, loaded with vitamins and fiber, made from…fruit.

Ready for the punchline?

And THAT’S IT.IMG_4584 (1280x853)

The Apples + Blueberries tastes a lot like slightly sweeter dates (which are my favorite dried fruit, so that is a compliment).

The Apples + Strawberries is like the punchline to a joke beginning, “A Fruit Roll-up walks into a Larabar…”

The Apple + Mango is probably my favorite. Because…mango.

Of course, there is the fact that if you dipped the Apple+ Coconut into melted chocolate you’d likely have a taste experience akin to eating a fun-sized Almond Joy. (Hey, now THERE’S an idea…)IMG_4579 (1280x854)

There are number of other flavors I’m pretty sure I’d like even more–I’m talking to YOU, apricot and pineapple–but I guess I’ll just have to either dip into my not-so-large graduate school budget or take those bags of dried fruit I’ve got stocked in the pantry and see what happens…which will probably be a giant sticky mess, if my past experiences in this arena are any indication.IMG_4513 (1280x853)

Guess that means I’m rationing for now.

Like Matt Damon Mark Watney would have had to do.


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Lovely Lemon Hummus

by Sarah on December 23, 2015 · 0 comments

Alright, I confess: for this month‘s Recipe Redux, I almost took the easy way out and used a recipe I’d already made but had yet to post.
IMG_4267 (1280x853)

I mean, when you flip open a cookbook to page 154 and find “hummus” staring back at you as a potential “redux”…taking the easy way out seems like a might fine idea in the face of a dissertation taunting you from wherever it currently resides in your cookbook hummus

But, no, I made a (still easy) tortilla soup, and will, instead, share this recipe born from both my love of Sabra’s (and Publix’s) lemon hummus and what The Professor calls my “inability to have a party go by without vegetables on the table.”
IMG_4263 (1280x852)

There is NOTHING wrong with that.

And there was nothing wrong–and everything right–with this hummus either. His grad students (and the reason for the gathering) didn’t even believe it was homemade.

So, there.
IMG_4274 (1280x853)Lovely Lemon Hummus

(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 15.5-oz. can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini
  • 4-5 Tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 of a REALLY juicy, large lemon)
  • 4-5 Tbsp. water, separated
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients, except water and oil, in a food processor. Process until relatively smooth.
  2. Add water 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, processing in between, until hummus reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Remove hummus from food processor.
  4. Just before serving, stir in olive oil.
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Easy Tortilla Soup [Recipe Redux]

by Sarah on December 21, 2015 · 2 comments

This month’s Recipe Redux theme was–in what may become a yearly December tradition–“Grab a Book and Cook,” meaning, essentially, find any cookbook on yourshelf, flip to the appropriate page number, see what the recipe is, decide if you like it or not, and repeat with every cookbook you have until you are satisfied.IMG_4433 (1280x853)

Or maybe that’s just MY process.IMG_4455 (1280x853)

To celebrate 54 months of existence, we were tasked with a recipe from page 54 or page 154.reciperedux54

I actually had a number of viable options, from Moosewood to Africa, but I went with Texas.IMG_4428 (1280x854)


Well, in much the same way that if you have a small child help plan a menu or grow vegetables, he will be more likely to enjoy the meal, The Professor actually bought me this cookbook, so I figured, he’d at least have to pretend to like it since we wouldn’t be eating it if it weren’t for him.IMG_4471 (1280x853)

Of course, who doesn’t love a good bowl of tortilla soup?

Me, when they tell you to puree everything separately first, fry your own tortilla chips, and basically make something much more complicated than it needs to be.IMG_4419 (1280x853)

I say, throw a handful of tortilla chips in the pot and take advantage of the fact that you have a Ninja in the kitchen to do the hard work for you.IMG_4447 (853x1280)

This version may not be”authentic,” but I sure as heck ain’t got time for anything but “easy” right now. (At least if I have any hope of getting this dissertation completed.)IMG_4466 (1280x853)

OK. So I DID roast some corn with cumin and chili powder to sprinkle on and in it, as shown above. The Professor’s looked a bit more like the bowl below…if the bowl below had two more handfuls of cheese AND chips on it.IMG_4481 (1280x853)

But he said it was “really good,” and asked politely if he was allowed to eat more. He’s growing up to be such a nice boy, isn’t he? :)

Easy Tortilla Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 14.5-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 handful (about 1 1/2 cups) corn tortilla chips
  • Optional garnishes/accoutrement: roasted corn, sliced avocado, cheese, chicken, chipotle seasoned tofu, crushed tortilla chips, etc.
  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Saute garlic, onion, and cilantro 3-5 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the pot, stirring well.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and allow to cool.*
  6. Remove bay leaf, then blend or process soup very well.
  7. Return to heat. Once heated through, ladle into bowls and top with garnishes/accoutrement.

*You can proceed without doing so, but note that you have been warned about hot liquids in blenders.

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Herbal Papaya [Review & Discount Code]

by Sarah on December 18, 2015 · 0 comments

They had me at papaya.IMG_4406 (1280x853)

And tea.IMG_4280 (1280x853)

And improves digestive function.

(Too much?)IMG_4392 (1280x853)

Obviously, the fact that it was sample of FREE goodies also helped.

I mean, I’m only human. (And a grad student.)IMG_4389 (1280x853)

The lovely ladies–and yes, it is a woman-owned, socially conscious company that gives 10% of its profits to help provide African girls with the opportunity for education–at Herbal Papaya also win HUGE points for presentation.IMG_4282 (1280x855)

I can’t honestly say that I had enough of any of the samples to notice too much of a difference in my immunity or my digestion, but this time of year, and with my very fickle stomach, I’m open to believing that it helped.

If nothing else, this Chai Tea is DELICIOUS.

(The mint flavor was lovely too. Alone, I found the plain a bit too bitter for my taste.)IMG_4384 (1280x853)

I also found that the papaya seed powder added a slight, almost cacao ‘note’ to this Ginger Honeydew & Apple smoothie I created on the spur of the moment. IMG_4407 (1280x853)

I may have to take advantage of the 10% discount code they gave me (and consequently, you) that is good through January 22, 2016: HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

And Happy Holidays to YOU, Herbal Papaya:)

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Pumpkin Spice Cobbler w. Cinnamon Biscuits

by Sarah on November 24, 2015 · 0 comments

I was going to go with another dessert, because I wondered, “Is having a maple spiced kale salad with winter squash AND a pumpkin spiced dessert a little too much?”

But Mama Smart said, “When else CAN you get away with this much pie spice at a meal but this time of year?”

Good point.IMG_20151122_200531_485 (1280x1280)

Pumpkin Spice Cobbler

(Serves 6-8)

Adapted from Taste and Tell’s Pumpkin Cobbler

Pumpkin Custard

  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (fat free works fine)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated sweet-tart apple (Fuji, Honeycrisp)
  • 1/3 cup  flour
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp. apple pie spice + 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Cinnamon “Biscuit” Topping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 5 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • whipped cream, for serving  (I recommend COCONUT whipped cream!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir together custard ingredients and pour/scrape into an 8″ square baking dish.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Use a fork to “cut in” butter until mixture is crumbly.
  5. Stir in milk, just until the mixture comes together.
  6. Drop dough (“dollop”) on top of the custard.
  7. If desired, sprinkle another tablespoon or two of sugar over the top.
  8. Bake 40-45 minutes until biscuits are set. (A toothpick should come out clean…from the biscuit part.)
  9. Serve with whipped cream.

Note: Custard and dough can be assembled in advance and stored in the fridge. Remove from fridge 15-30 minutes before assembly and baking.

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One of my proudest achievements as the coordinator of the Graduate School’s mentoring program has not been the incredible workshops that I’ve put together this year…but the fact that the snack selection–that has been deemed “so healthy” [or at least “the better bad choice” ;)] has been so well received by the students.5bba5694-7652-49a9-9b99-d5d65b817021

Of course, it’s hard to ‘sell’ slightly smushed, but not overripe, bananas. [See bottom right.] 1f41cedd-1648-465a-b435-a13855bf92c2I ended up with only four remaining–I love my hungry, hungry hippos grad students–and it seemed to me that this could not be better timed with this month’s Recipe Redux theme.Presentation1

But, as I mentioned, despite being smushed, the bananas weren’t at the “I’m so ripe and sweet that the only logical next step is banana bread” stage. So I got creative…and I pseudo-caramelized them to bring out some more sweetness.IMG_3752 (1280x853)

And THEN I turned them into bread.
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And it truly is a QUICK bread…at least in preparation.

(I tested this by mixing and pouring immediately after the evening workshop when all I really wanted was sweatpants, hot tea, and my couch.)

The cooking time, however…let’s just say I went through a LOT of toothpicks.

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[As a side note, one of my proudest moments as a BLOGGER was this post for another, perhaps even more delicious, banana bread…written to the tune of the Britney Spear’s classic, “…Oops, I Did It Again.” Check it out. You’ll see.]


Caramelized Banana Brown Sugar Bread

  • 1/4 c. applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar, separated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. apple pie spice (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, or both
  1. Cook mashed bananas and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar over medium heat (in a nonstick pan) until beginning to brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together applesauce, oil, and sugars.
  4. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  5. Mix in “caramelized” mashed bananas, beating well. (A few chunks are actually a good thing!)
  6. In a separate bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, spices (if using), and salt. Add to banana mixture and beat until just blended.
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan.
  8. Bake for an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean!

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