Tag Archives: homemade

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} – Another “Star Trek: First Contact” Party!

6 Apr

Yesterday, we celebrated another First Contact Day! Yep, it’s that time of year again, when we observe the future meeting between humans and the alien race from Vulcan. April 5, 2063 draws ever closer, which of course required another party. Check out this post if you have no idea what I’m talking about – it’s a Star Trek thing 🙂

Chris did a fabulous job setting the apartment to Red Alert; the Tribbles were multiplying out of control; Trek trivia was being thrown about throughout the night; food and drink were enjoyed by all.

We began by watching the two-part The Next Generation two-episode story “All Good Things,” which was a nice way to kick off what was to come of encounters with the Borg. Spoiler: Resistance is Futile!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Picard becomes a Borg and green shots reverse our polarity.

After settling into our seats on the Bridge, we turned on the movie Star Trek: First Contact. Collectively (no, not the Borg Collective), I think we had the movie memorized by now! This was, after all, our 4th annual First Contact Day party.

Aside from actually buying a replicator to make food for the party, we did an excellent job embodying all that is Star Trek for some eats and treats.

Of course the Tribbles made an appearance, in the form of paleo coconut macaroons!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Tribble Coconut Macaroons – I think Kirk would have preferred these to the actual Tribbles!

Odo’s baked Bruschetta was a popular snack. Picard’s cheese board delighted all. Isolinear chips & dip were nice to nibble on. Polarity-Reversing Gravity Bombs were sure to knock us back a lightyear or two. Alvinian Melons provided a fruity side, along with some Vulcan vegetables.

Science and Engineering cupcakes brought some sweetness to our away missions (you’ll notice the red shirts were mysteriously gone…). I made these paleo chocolate cupcakes, which are gluten- and dairy-free, and topped them with mint and orange versions of the frosting from last year’s Cellular Peptide cake!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Science & Engineering cupcakes!

Bajoran Hasperat gave us something spicy to enjoy. Traditionally, “it was made using a specially prepared brine, which if made correctly would cause the eyes to water and sear the tongue.” However, in an effort so spare our eyes and tongues, I simply made pinwheels using low carb tortillas, plain vegan cream cheese, hot sauce and sweet red peppers. Details below!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Bajoran Hasperat makes a delicious pinwheel appetizer!

Finally, I made “Mool,” which is essentially a pot of baked beans, but way better! This is a slow cooker recipe, which makes it perfect for chilly days or busy parties. These beans are vegan, with no added fat. Oh, and they’re made with a bottle of beer, so you know it’s gonna be good 🙂 See below for the recipe!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These beer baked beans are great no matter the occasion!

Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels}, adapted from the Star Trek Cookbook

Makes 24 Pinwheels

  • 6 8″ low carb tortillas
  • 6 tbsp plain vegan cream cheese
  • 6 sweet twister peppers
  • 6 tsp hot sauce (more or less, to your liking)

Cut the tops and tips off of the peppers. Remove seeds and slice them thinly, lengthwise.

Spread one tablespoon of cream cheese onto a tortilla. In a line down the middle, drizzle/spread a teaspoon of hot sauce. Lay one pepper’s worth of slices onto the tortilla and roll it up tightly, as you would sushi. Slice off the ends of the rolled tortilla, then cut each tortilla into 4 equal pinwheels.

Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve with toothpicks on the side. You’ll notice that I made half of mine “mild” – I left off the hot sauce because not all of our guests like spicy foods.

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans}, adapted from the Star Trek Cookbook

Serves 6-8

  • 1 lb dried Navy beans
  • Water to cover, plus about 2 cups to add halfway through
  • 1 bottle beer (such as a Maple Scotch ale)
  • ¼ C molasses
  • 2 tbsp German mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except* the two extra cups of water, into your crockpot. Turn it on high and let cook for 8-10 hours.

About half way through, add the extra water and stir. This is necessary so your beans don’t burn, and they become cooked through.

*If you will be gone for the duration of cooking time, just add the extra water at the beginning with everything else.

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles

22 Aug

Pommes Frites. Bananaweizen. Currywurst. Spaghettieis. Schokolade. Doener-kebab. Broetchen. Torte. These were the foods that defined my time studying abroad in Germany. Six years ago, I spent the most wonderful semester immersed in the culture of my background, learning & speaking German, cheering on the German National soccer team during the world cup, making friendships to last a lifetime, traveling throughout Europe on long weekends, and eating and drinking…a lot.

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

I grew up eating German food, thanks to my mom, and Oma and Opa living right next door to us. I knew all about Spaetzle, Rolladen, Sauerkraut, Schnapps, and real, good chocolate. Studying in Germany was just as much about the classes as it was about the culinary experience. My friends and I tried new foods, beer you could only get locally (though not always the most delicious), and sweets that would make anyone’s mouth water.

That’s why, for this month’s Recipe Redux theme of “vacation foods,” I knew I had to recreate something from my travels. One trip that stands out from my semester abroad was when my friend Lisa and I traveled through three countries in four days. We hit up Luxembourg first, followed by a day in Brussels (where our hostel was next door to a Godiva factory), and finished with two days and nights in Amsterdam.

Brussels was an epicurean blur. In the span of 24 hours, I ate and drank:

  • the best beer of my life,
  • the most amazing chocolate,
  • original Pommes Frites, with real mayonnaise and caramelized onions,
  • and the best. waffle. ever.
Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This photo is from 2010!

That’s a lot to consume in one day. I still hold that we each gained 5 pounds in Brussels, which we luckily walked off over the duration of our trip. Those waffles were something from another sweet, delicious world. They were crispy and caramelized on the outside with a soft and sweet interior. The pearl sugar melts right into and onto the dough, creating a magnificent flavor.

Alas, bready waffles filled with pockets of sugar aren’t exactly healthy. So, for this recipe, I used mostly whole wheat flour, reduced the amount of pearl sugar, and swapped in coconut oil for traditional butter.

If you don’t intend to eat all the waffles at once (ha, good luck!), these freeze really well, which makes them perfect for a lazy weekend morning in the future.

Whether you’ve traveled to Belgium or not, I guarantee these sweet waffles will transport your mind, and stomach, all the way to Europe 🙂

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles, adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini

Makes 15 small waffles

  • 3/4 C lukewarm milk of choice – simply measure the milk into a large measuring cup and let sit on the counter for a bit to bring up to room temperature
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast (two of the small packets)
  • 3 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 1/2 C + 2 tbsp softened coconut oil (place in the fridge while the milk warms up if yours is liquid)
  • 3/4 C pearl sugar

Mix lukewarm milk and yeast together. Let sit 15 minutes so it can become bubbly.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flours, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Pour in the milk and eggs and mix with a wooden spoon to begin incorporating the ingredients.

Using the dough hook on your mixer, knead the dough for 5 minutes on the slowest setting.

Add in the coconut oil and knead again long enough so all the oil is mixed in and the dough becomes one big, sticky ball.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rise two hours, or until the dough is doubled in size. Time will vary based on the temperature and conditions of your kitchen.

With a wooden spoon, mix in the pearl sugar. Scoop out dough balls, about 2″ wide, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You should get 15 balls of dough. Let rest for 15 minutes while your waffle iron heats up.

Place one dough ball in each of the four parts of your hot waffle iron. Flatten with your fingers, press down the lid, and cook 4-5 minutes. You want the surface to be a shiny, sticky brown color, and the edges should look just cooked.

Transfer waffles to a cooling rack and let sit for 5-10 minutes before enjoying. It’s important not to place these on a plate, as the steam will make the waffles soggy, rather than creating the ideal crispy exterior.

Repeat with remaining dough balls. OR, place the baking sheet with the dough balls in your freezer and let freeze a few hours before transferring to a freezer-safe ziplock bag. When you want fresh waffles, thaw as many dough balls as desired for 3 hours at room temperature, and then cook like normal!

Enjoy warm, and try not to eat them all 🙂

Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy! (Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip

24 May

Can you believe that before this past weekend, I had never been hiking?! This fact seemed to shock quite a few of my friends. After all, I’m a runner and a lifetime Girl Scout – week-long summer camp was a regular annual experience for me, but aside from walking from our tents to the mess hall, I’ve never been on a proper hike. Until now.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Boy, have I been missing out! Our friends Adam and Jill invited Chris and myself to join them on a hiking day trip in Utica, IL. Sounded like it could be fun, so we were in. Starved Rock State Park is a 2.5 hour drive from Milwaukee, so we left early in the morning to arrive around 10:30am. Being the over-planner that I am, we had figured out all the food & drink, clothes, first aid and emergency supplies that we could possibly need for the day. I was tasked with making a pasta salad that could sit in the cooler all day, homemade trail mix, and some kind of granola bar or bite to replenish the carbs we’d quickly burn through.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Once we walked up to the two “tourist” spots in the park – Starved Rock and Lover’s Leap, we had had enough of all the slow pokes, so we moved the car to a parking lot further away from the visitor’s center to do some real hiking.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.comA quick lunch of sandwiches and fruit salad from Jill, my veggie pasta salad, chips, and perhaps a little something from Wisconsin (cheers!), we hiked out to see a few gorgeous canyons, complete with small waterfalls. The closer we got to the canyons, the cooler it became – a welcome relief from the hot, sunny 80+ degree day. The ground was pretty easy to walk on with a handful of muddy spots. The streams were what got me – too big to jump over (mostly) but too small to warrant turning around. Thankfully, Chris was really good at finding me the best places to cross where my shoes would become only slightly wet (they dried off quickly, too).

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The views really were beautiful. Everything was bright green, we were relatively well-shaded, and the rocks of the canyons had this amazing layered yellow hue to them. Hiking to and from each canyon spot made us work up an appetite, so we stopped for a snack break before hitting the final, steepest trail. The granola bites I ended up making are filled with a tart roasted rhubarb puree. The crust is made up of ground oats, 7-grain cereal, coconut oil, peanut butter, flax, and cinnamon – definitely a hearty, compact snack! I wanted to make sure we were set with carbs, protein and fat, and I think I nailed it! These had to stay in the cooler and the perfect snack break.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Our final trail of the day was the most challenging. The view up looked daunting. It was steep, and lacked a lot of footing. There is a wooden staircase built in for the steepest portion (which is also right next to a county road), but we had to manage the rest on our own. And it was well worth it! A few water stops later, and we were presented with a fantastic view of the river and surrounding park. I can see why people enjoy this! I can now say I’m one of them 🙂

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The descent to the bottom of the trail was almost just as challenging, as we worked to avoid slipping and falling. When we returned to the car, I experienced the most wonderful feeling of taking off my shoes and socks! Haha, yeah, that felt great – I’m so glad I brought flip flops to change into and rest my feet.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

We headed home, with a pit stop along the way for a bathroom and much-deserved cold beer, and finally reached Milwaukee again. I had so much fun, that the four of us are already working on our next hiking trip! In the meantime, I’m going to be making these roasted rhubarb granola bites pretty often. It’s a great way to use your rhubarb harvest, and is a much healthier snack than cake or pie. They’re easy to make, and can be frozen for enjoyment later on!

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites
Makes 12 bites

  • 3 C chopped rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp creamy nut/seed butter of choice
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 C Maple
  • 3/4 C Oat flour
  • 1 C Bob’s grain cereal
  • 2 tbsp Flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with PAM.

Spread chopped rhubarb on the baking sheet. Drizzle with honey. Roast for 25 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through, to prevent burning.

Transfer rhubarb to a bowl and mix in the cornstarch. Use an immersion blender to puree the roasted rhubarb. Set aside. Note: leave the oven on!

In a medium bowl, melt together the nut butter and coconut oil. Mix in the maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the oat flour, cereal and flaxseed meal until well-combined and hydrated.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into each paper liner and pat down with the back of the spoon. There should be some crust mixture remaining.

Spoon in a scant tablespoon of the rhubarb puree. Finally, spoon about a teaspoon of the leftover crust on top of the rhubarb.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the tin. Transfer the tin to your fridge and let chill a few hours or overnight. This will help set it up.

Remove from tin and serve. Refrigerate leftovers up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Cheese Recipes for Easter

16 Mar

The Easter holiday is one of pastel colors, the welcoming of Spring, children dressing up to search for filled eggs, and of course: food! One of my fondest Easter memories was waking up Sunday morning. Mom and dad always filled our Easter baskets with tons of goodies and hid plastic eggs around the house (usually it was too awful to hide them outside). But before we could even get that far, we had to follow the jelly bean trail from our beds to the living room! Yep, a trail of our favorite jelly beans leading right up to baskets overflowing with more candy. What more could a girl want?

Cheese Recipes for Easter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Well, it’s time to take Easter food to the next level. These recipes are packed full with cheesy goodness.

Cheese Recipes for Easter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Deviled eggs are made with cheddar cheese spread instead of mayonnaise.

Cheddar Deviled Easter Eggs | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Plain crescent rolls are filled with chocolate cheese fudge for a sweet treat.

Chocolate Walnut Cheese Fudge Crescent Rolls | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Corn muffins are given a savory punch with smoked gouda.

Smoked Gouda Corn Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Roasted carrots get covered in raspberry parmesan cheese.

Raspberry Parmesan Roasted Carrots | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Head on over to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart blog to get these recipes, order some cheese, and prepare for the best Easter yet!

FullPlateAngeled500x375

Sea Salted Double Chocolate Cupcakes

19 Aug

What’s better than chocolate? Double chocolate with sea salt 🙂 Oh yes, these cupcakes embody all that is good in the world. Loaded with chocolate, the cakes are moist and the ganache is so decadent, you can’t help but experience a watering mouth at the very sight of these beauties. To top it all off, the cupcakes are sprinkled with just the right amount of flaked sea salt.

Sea Salted Double Chocolate Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Yes, these cupcakes are perfect no matter the occasion. In this case, I made them for the baptism party of my friend’s adorable son, Ethan. Everyone loved them, despite the hot temperatures – proof that chocolate is good no matter the conditions! Make these for your next gathering, or indulgent night in.

Sea Salted Double Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

Ganache Frosting:

  • 2-1/2 C (15 oz) dark chocolate chips
  • 1-1/4 C heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp flaked sea salt

Heat heavy cream in a heavy pan on medium heat until it comes to a boil.

Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer and let chocolate mixture cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Bake the cupcakes while the ganache cools.

Cupcake:

  • 1.5 C + 4 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C skim milk + 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C hot, strong coffee (boiling water will also work)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake tin with paper liners, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a bigger, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Let cool 5 minutes and add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Use an electric hand mixer to beat well until thoroughly combined.

Slowly pour in dry ingredients until smooth. Pour in hot coffee/water and mix until completely smooth. Batter will be runny.

Divided batter among prepared cupcake liners and fill 3/4 to the top. Lower the oven temp to 325° and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist with a few crumbs. Tops should slightly spring back when touched.

Note: reducing the oven and increasing the bake time ensures fully-cooked cupcakes which will not burn nor overflow. It’s a neat trick to use for any cupcake or muffin!

Sea Salted Double Chocolate Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The reduced temperature and increased bake time equal a perfectly cooked cupcake with just the right amount of bounch.

Let cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While cupcakes are cooling, finish the frosting.

Whip the cooled chocolate mixture with the beater attachment of your mixer for 5 minutes on medium speed or until mixture creates stiff peaks. Scoop whipped ganache into a piping bag fitted with your tip of choice. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sea Salted Double Chocolate Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These adorable grey paper liners were found on sale, so I stocked up!

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