Thursday, May 9, 2019

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie


You know those days when you need a little extra oomph for your breakfast? Or when you need a little "pick-me-up" for lunch at work? Well, this is the recipe for those days! Vegan peanut butter banana smoothie. It's such a healthy recipe: vegan, gluten free, soy free, refined sugar free, paleo, high fiber, low cholesterol, low calorie, and high in protein. But most of all, it's delicious!

The recipe is basic and you can tweek it to your taste. I added flax seed and oats for extra thickness and more fiber. I'm really contemplating buying a NutriBullet for all of the smoothie recipes I'm making lately. I currently use my food processor, but it's such a clean-up afterwards. That being said, it was well worth it!


Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie


Taste: 5 out of 5
Consistency: 5 out of 5
Overall appeal: 4.5 out of 5





Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie: Chocolate Covered Katie

Ingredients:
- 2 overripe, frozen large bananas
- 4 to 6 tbsp peanut butter or pb2, or allergy-friendly sub
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups milk of choice, depending on desired thickness
- scant 1/8 tsp salt
- optional 1/3 cup quick oats or rolled oats
- sweetener of choice, to taste
- optional scoop protein powder

Instructions:
- If you want an even thicker shake, feel free to add an extra banana. The bananas should be at least partially brown before peeling and freezing.
- To make the peanut butter banana smoothie recipe, blend the oats until a fine powder forms, then add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Drink immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator if you’d prefer to make the smoothie the night before.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Vote for which bread I should bake next!

You can't call yourself a baker, if you don't bake your own bread every now and then - I've been told.
So for my culinary self-image, this is obligatory and I need your help on deciding which option to go for.
I'm leaning towards an Irish soda bread, because I've never made one before.

panel management

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Caramelized Onion Quiche

Caramelized Onion Quiche


This might just be ... my first savory recipe I've ever put on the blog! But it is still a baking-recipe, and it's FRENCH! I quite often cook French food for dinner, but I never take pictures of it or post it on my blog because I hate the lighting in pics at dinner time. I baked this quiche in the afternoon for dinner, and it was still sunny so I thought, why not?


I made a Val-Dieu salad along with the quiche, which is a very popular salad in Limburg, The Netherlands where I live. Val-Dieu is a Belgian cheese. You roast the cheese and apples, use walnuts and onions, and make an apple vinaigrette for the salad.


I got the idea for an onion quiche after making a French onion soup the week before, which came out amazing! It was my first time making a soup from scratch - EVER! I even made the vegetable stock, which, in hindsight is the easiest thing ever to make, but it seemed daunting before. I'm not a huge soup-lover, except for pumpkin- and French onion soup. French onion soup and caramelized onion quiche would also make a great dinner pairing!


Caramelized Onion Quiche


Taste: 4 out of 5
Consistency: 4 out of 5
Overall appeal: 4.5 out of 5


Caramelized Onion Quiche: SimplyRecipes.com - please visit the site for extra tips & tricks!

Ingredients:
- 1 recipe pie dough
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 large red onions (about one pound total), French-cut (see below)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- Pinch nutmeg
- 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)

Instructions:
METHOD SLICING ONIONS STEM TO ROOT
- To caramelize onions, you'll want to slice them lengthwise, or from stem end to root end. That way the onions will hold their shape better during the long cooking involved in caramelizing. (See How to Slice an Onion for more details.)
- First, use a sharp knife, get a firm grip on the onion, and slice off the stem end of the onion, by about a 1/2 inch. Cut about 1/8th of an inch from the root end, cutting off the roots, but leaving the core intact. Then place the onion root side up on the board to stabilize it, and cut it in half, straight through the root end.
- Peel back the papery skin of the onions. If you want, to keep your cutting area clean, cut off the roots with the skins, but cut only enough to cut off the messy roots. Keep the root end intact. It will make it easier to slice the onion.
- With an onion half cut-side down on the board to stabilize it, make angled cuts into the onion, from stem end to root end, cutting to, but not through the root end. Work your way around the arc of the onion, aiming your knife's blade toward the center of the onion.
- Make a "V" cut in the root end of the onion to cut out the tough root end, to release the onion slices.

PRE-BAKE THE CRUST
- Make a frozen tart crust: If you are making your own crust (instead of using an already prepared frozen crust), roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface, into a 12-inch circle. Fit into a 9-by-1 1/2-inch round tart pan (or 9-inch pie dish), pressing dough into corners. Transfer to freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
- Line frozen crust with foil and pie weights: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pastry with aluminum foil, pressing into the corners and edges, allowing extra foil on the sides (they'll be your handles when you remove the foil).
- Fill at least two-thirds with baking weights—dried beans, rice, copper pennies, or ceramic or metal pie weights.
- Bake with weights: Bake first for 15 minutes, remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Carefully remove aluminum foil and weights.
- Remove weights and bake again: Poke the bottom of the pie pan with the tines of a fork and return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until lightly golden. (Fork holes are for any air to escape.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool while making filling.

CARAMELIZING THE ONIONS AND PREPARING THE QUICHE
- The onions will take about an hour to cook on the stovetop before they are ready to go into the quiche. So timing-wise, if you are making the entire quiche from scratch, it makes sense to get started on the onions once you've put the crust into the freezer to chill before pre-baking.
- Caramelize the onions: Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle a little salt over them. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened and are translucent. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are well browned. (See How to Caramelize Onions for more details.)
- Add 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar and cook for 10 minutes more, until onions are completely caramelized. Remove from heat.
- Assemble the quiche: Place tart pan on a baking sheet to catch any run-off there might be. Sprinkle half the cheese evenly over the bottom of the crust. Spread onions over the cheese and then top with remaining cheese.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, and eggs. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour over the tart.
- Bake the quiche: Transfer to oven, and bake until just set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes before slicing.


Caramelized Onion Quiche

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Easter Cakes & Cupcakes!



Easter Cupcakes





Easter Carrot Cake
(my personal favorite!)





Ladybug Cupcakes





Easter Nest Cupcakes





Layer Carrot Cake



Rose Buttercream Cake

Rose Buttercream Cake





Easter Cupcakes



Lemon Meringue Tart

Lemon Meringue Tart




Easter Cupcakes



Lemon Macarons

Lemon Macarons with Lemon Curd



Rose & Lemon Bundt Cake

Rose & Lemon Bundt Cake



Hydrangea Cake

Hydrangea Cake



Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes



Blueberry Cupcakes

Easter Blueberry Cupcakes - Little Chicks





Carrot Walnut Cake



The BEST Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls you'll ever eat



Glazed Orange Scones

Glazed Orange Scones



Easter M&M Cookies

Easter M&M Cookies



For even more Easter recipes, click on the scroll down menu
on the top right of the blog!

Happy Easter baking!

Much love,

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Easter M&M Cookies

Easter M&M Cookies


My friend tends to give me bags of chocolates and sweets whenever she's pregnant as leftovers from her pregnancy cravings. She gave me a bag of Easter M&M's and I knew instantly that I wanted to make Easter M&M cookies with them. I've been wanting to make them for years, but it's hard to come by the Easter M&M's here in The Netherlands, and when you finally find them, they're wayyy expensive.


As a true baker, you look at Easter M&M's as an ingredient. Not a snack itself. There are 5 colors of Easter M&M's and I divided them amongst the cookies, because I think it's look prettier. They're beautifully freckled with food coloring, resembling like a real Easter egg. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to celebrate Easter this year, but I sure know that I want to bake! I used my go-to M&M cookie recipe from Magnolia Bakery. You can also make the vegan version, but the Easter M&M's are not vegan.


Easter M&M Cookies


This is the much-coveted Easter M&M bag.

Easter M&M Cookies


Separating the colors.

Easter M&M Cookies


Pre-oven.
I put one M&M inside the dough. Then add 2 or 3 on top before baking, and add one more right after I take them out of the oven.


Easter M&M Cookies


Easter M&M surprise!

Easter M&M Cookies


Taste: 5 out of 5
Consistency: 5 out of 5
Overall appeal: 5 out of 5




M&M Cookies: The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Ingredients: Makes around 20
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup (1 ⅓ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (or regular-sized M&M's in this case, and add a few more to press on top)

Instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, and the salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg and the vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls on to ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.


I especially love to eat these warm, because the chocolate eggs just melt on your tongue.

Easter M&M Cookies

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Vegan Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

Vegan Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl


From one smoothie recipe to another. Except this time it's a smoothie bowl. I totally can get behind the hype of smoothie bowl. Often times a smoothie doesn't quite feel like a meal because it's a drink. So a smoothie bowl is essentially the same, but has a "bite" to it.

This was my first attempt at making a smoothie bowl, and it turned out quite successfully! The layering was fun to do and gave the smoothie bowl much more taste. I haven't eaten many smoothie bowls so I guess this one turned out fine.

Am I team smoothie or team smoothie bowl? I would say ... team smoothie! Because the smoothie bowl (because of the frozen fruits) was quite cold to eat, and a smoothie is more room temperature. Also, I like the idea of drinking a meal. The number one reason why I drink smoothies, is because it saves time! Great for when you're in a hurry and still want to eat healthy.


Aerial shot of my smoothie bowl.

Vegan Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl


Taste: 4 out of 5
Consistency: 4 out of 5
Overall appeal: 4.5 out of 5




Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl: Bakerita

Ingredients:
- 1 banana frozen
- 1½ cups frozen strawberries
- ½ cup Silk Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Instructions:
- Combine frozen banana, frozen strawberries, and coconut milk in a blender. Puree until completely
smooth - the mixture should be thick. Add a touch more liquid if necessary to get it to blend completely smooth.
- Transfer to a bowl and add toppings as desired. Enjoy!


For toppings I used: shredded coconut flakes, flax seed, sliced strawberries & bananas, and dark chocolate (vegan).

Vegan Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl