Category Archives: recipes

paleta making, take 2

I am in full-on denial right now about summer ending. I know that fall sounds lovely (IN THEORY) to lots of folks, but I’m still clinging to these warm, sunny days like my life depends on it. I’m really hoping that Chicago will still be fairly warm (damn this unseasonably cool summer!) until late September, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part.

Anyway, last summer I went on a paleta making spree and this summer was really no different. I made some of my staples from last year, and also tried out a few new ones, including Maura’s vegan fudge popsicles which were of course, super delicious.

My most recent recipe was one I revisited and tweaked from last year. I was super happy with the results, so I thought I’d share it:

paletas

Coconut lime yogurt paletas
Makes 6 paletas
Adapted from The Corner Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 14-oz can of light coconut milk
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s brand yogurt)
1/4 cup of agave syrup
1/2 cup of sweetened (or unsweetened) shredded coconut
Juice and zest of two limes

Blend together the yogurt and coconut milk. Once it’s fully mixed, add in the agave syrup and lime juice + zest. Either blend in or mix in by hand the shredded coconut. Freeze the paletas for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Run the molds under warm water for at least 30 seconds and then wiggle the paleta out. Enjoy!

Summer isn’t over yet, so enjoy it while it lasts! I know I will.

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five things friday – may 9th

Another Friday, another five things post! I really am attempting to make this a somewhat regular thing. So without further ado, let’s get this started:

So remember my whole treat yoself post? I’ve actually managed to stick to that, in small, minimal purchases. But I recently splurged on something that I’m currently considering a very early birthday present to myself:

everpursemini

I pre-ordered the Everpurse Mini a couple of weeks ago and I’m so, so excited to get it this summer. I’ve written about Everpurse before and I kept putting off investing in one. When I heard about the Mini, I realized that this would be perfect for me because I totally need to charge my phone on the go and I’m in dire need of a new wallet. My current wallet, which was actually a birthday present I bought myself when I was 23, is about the same size. I ordered mine in teal because it’s easily my favorite color. The low price I ordered mine for is no longer available, but you can still pre-order the Mini if you’re interested.

bourdain

Guys, Alex and I really love Anthony Bourdain. We’ve pretty much watched all his shows (No Reservations, The Layover, and now Parts Unknown) and Alex has read all his books. Now Bourdain has gone and cemented my admiration of him with this post about Mexico. I love the amount of respect and admiration he has for Mexican food and culture, and how he’s not afraid to call out America’s attitude towards its southern neighbor. His most recent episode of Parts Unknown takes place in Mexico City (there are clips up on CNN’s website). While the D.F. only gives a peek at what life was and continues to be like in Mexico today, it still shows that Mexico, despite the strides its made in the last few years in the face of danger and civil war-like situations, has a very long way to go.

This video has been everywhere lately but I feel compelled to share it here as well. ‘Look Up’ is a spoken word short film that talks about how consumed we are by technology today. And you know what? I’m TOTALLY guilty of this sometimes. It’s honestly become a tick; I’ve picked up and started scrolling through my phone without even realizing it. I do it when I’m bored or distracted, or even when I’m out with people. I love my phone, social media, and tech today as a whole, but I do think that it can be consuming at times. I definitely need to start paying more attention when I’m with my friends or out to dinner. Alex and I are going to get sushi tonight and enjoy the lovely weather we’ve been having, so I know that’s a place to start. I’ll leave my phone in my bag for once instead of having it within reach on the table.

overnightoats

[image courtesy of buzzfeed]

Although I’ve still been consistently baking my own granola (at least twice a month because it’s so freakin’ easy to do), I’ve been looking to mix up my daily breakfast. One of my new favorite things (which I actually just had for breakfast this morning) is overnight oats. I toss all the ingredients into a mason jar before bed, top with fruit in the morning and enjoy at work. I’ve been trying a few variations, including a recipe from Lauren Conrad, but my go-to version is: 1/2 cup of soy milk, 1/2 cup of oats, 1-2 teaspoons of chia seeds, and then add a handful of blueberries, banana slices, and a spoonful of peanut butter in the morning to top it off.

Last but not least, my latest music obsession: Lorde. I can’t stop listening to Glory and Gore; it’s easily my favorite of her singles. A close runner-up: Ain’t It Fun by Paramore.

 

see you soon, 2012.

Before I start talking about the end of the year, please watch the video above. It’s wonderful and touching and will probably make you cry (because it definitely made me shed a few tears). 2011 was quite a year. It’s a year that I had been waiting for, for quite some time. I had serious ups and downs since graduating college in 2008. And while I don’t necessarily feel like I standing steadily on both two feet just yet, I finally know that I’m well on my way there.

In 2011, I:

Went on a dating detox for 5 months. At the end of May, I met Alex and as they say, the rest is pretty much history. :)
I am so lucky to be someone so wonderful and so happy in our relationship. I feel secure, loved, and blessed. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Had an amazing summer, filled with adventures with friends and Alex. There was visits to the beach, drinks, outdoor festivals (including one in Milwaukee, my first time there), and everything in between. It was definitely one of my favorite things about this year.

Dabbled in creativity. Alex gave me an old film camera he had in college and I’ve all but fallen in love with it. I’ve always loved photography and working with film takes time and patience, but I adore it. I’m looking to buy more film soon and dabbling even more in the winter months. :)

Baked like whoa. It’s no secret that I love baking and I love getting some practice in. I did a little bit of everything and tried lots of new stuff this year, including pumpkin bread and Alex’s favorite cookies.

Lost my job. It’s not as awful as it sounds. I worked for a small publishing company for a year and got laid off because my projects got cut. This sort of stuff happens. And it wasn’t until I left that I realized how unhappy I was with my job. In a way, it was almost a relief. And I’ve been a full-time freelancer in the past, so I wasn’t completely blindsided. I was also fortunate enough to find employment with my alma mater, and it let’s me do more web/social media stuff than editorial. It’s not full-time but it has potential and I still have a couple of freelance gigs going on the side, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity and potential career change.

All in all, 2011 was so much more than I thought it would be. I survived my first blizzard. I fell in love. I travelled to Texas a few times. I had fun. I grew up. Like I said, I finally feel like I’m finding some steady ground. And tonight, you’ll find me a little Irish pub with Alex in his neighborhood, ringing in what should be a nice, relaxed new year. See you all then. :)

cooking up a (small) storm!

Alex and I (ok, just Alex… sometimes I help out) really like making new, yummy dishes for dinner. We’ve been actively trying to eat out less, so we’re constantly scouring the interwebs for recipes to try and make. We’ve also recently become obsessed with all things Iron Chef, so that only furthers our need to make awesome dinners for ourselves. I’ve been a huge fan of A Cozy Kitchen for a while now (seriously, it’s such a great food blog) so we decided to give two small recipes a go: jalapeño bacon stuffed mushrooms and avocado fries. If they both sound amazing, that’s because they are. Mushrooms and avocados are pretty much two of my all-time favorite things to eat, so I was pretty pumped for this meal.

Due to my veggie ways, Alex and I switched out regular bacon and used soy bacon. For those who say boo to all things soy: I swear, it’s not awful! Soy bacon (we used the kind from Morningstar) is actually pretty decent. It smells and tastes the same; the only real difference is the texture of it, as soy bacon doesn’t get super duper crispy.

Anywho, I cooked the veggies together while Alex scooped out the stems from the mushrooms:

While we waited for the mushrooms to bake, we got to working on the avocado fries (all while watching the finale for The Next Iron Chef, of course). I dipped the avocado in the mixture and Alex fried them up:

The finished results were just as awesome as we had hoped they would be. We pretty much inhaled this meal! I definitely want to try making them again. :)

Afterwards, I made Alex his birthday cake: a chocolate stout cake (using Guinness, his fave beer), which is a recipe I got from my other fave food blog, Smitten Kitchen.  The original recipe called for a chocolate ganache but I worried that would be a bit too sweet, so I went with my usual favorite frosting instead: cream cheese + whipped cream frosting, flavored with a cream stout (which we also had on hand at the time, haha). It turned out really yummy! But that cake will get its own blog post. :)

adventures in baking: chocolate chip banana bread

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated! Just kidding, there were no rumors. I was on a blogging roll and once again fell off the map. Whoops. To be far, last weekend did NOT go as expected. I was all set to be at the 20SB Summit, only to become horribly (and violently) ill on Friday night and had to be rescued by my wonderfully patient boyfriend, who then nursed me back to health on Saturday with soup, fancy grilled cheese and naps. I’ve been feeling icky on and off every since, so I’m hoping I’ll be feeling back to normal eventually.

Anyway, I finally downloaded pictures from my camera and remembered I had yet to blog about the banana bread I made a couple of weeks ago. My favorite guilty pleasure from one of my fave places, Beans and Bagels, is their super yummy chocolate chip banana bread and thus, I was inspired to make my own. I’ve never made any before, so after some searching, I decided to try and make this chocolate banana bread chocolate chip bread from Mom Start.

Here are some base ingredients:

So much chocolate:

I had enough batter for two loaves, so that meant one went to my office and the other was for Alex:

A slice of the suprisingly yummy banana bread:

I was pretty pleased with how these turned out since I’ve never made any kind of banana bread before. Alex insists upon taking all of the baked goods I make as breakfast to work, regardless of whether they’re healthy/breakfast-type desserts or not. He just finished up the banana bread and thus, next on my list of things to make: dulce de leche brownies. Stay tuned!

sugar and spice, part 2.

So in my last “sugar and spice” post, I wrote about the cookies I made for the boyfriend. This 2nd post covers the “spice” part, which is a super yummy drink with a kick: micheladas.

Micheladas are super common back home and I think almost every member of my family has their own unique recipe that they favor. Alex and I went out a few weeks ago to one of my favorite bars, where I suggested he try it out. He ordered one and like me, true to his Mexican roots, he LOVED it. Not long after, I emailed my dad and asked him for the recipe he and my mom use so we could try it out. It was only last night that we finally had the chance to try and make them for ourselves. And since I love sharing, here’s what my family uses for super yummy micheladas:

Ingredients:
1/2 lime (hand-squeezed!)
4 oz of Clamato (tomato juice is also acceptable)
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper

The tricky thing about micheladas is that other than the Clamato and/or tomato juice, everything else you add in is pretty much to your taste. Alex prefers his with a serious kick (I’m talking lots of Tabasco sauce) while I went for spicy but mild. Once the mixed part is in, you pour in your choice of Mexican beer (we personally went with Modelo; Tecate is also a good choice) and enjoy! :)

I am beyond excited that I have tomorrow off. Gotta love 3 day weekends! I’ll be hitting the beach and having some fun. Hope everyone does the same!