Tag Archives: cinnamon

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa

4 Feb

coconut breakfast quinoa

My parents are here visiting me in Buenos Aires, so it’s been a whirlwind taking them around to all the best sights and restaurants (and it’s also the reason why I didn’t post on Friday – whoops!). They get breakfast at their hotel though, so I’m on my own for fixing breakfast. Something quick and easy but healthy and filling is important to have enough energy to get me through until lunch with all the sight-seeing, and this coconut breakfast quinoa has been a great option. Coconut milk adds richness to the quinoa, which is similar to oatmeal in this preparation (not that I’ve given up on my favorite steel-cut oats), but with the added boost of quinoa’s higher fiber and protein – even more so if you include the optional chia seeds. This can be served warm or cold and can be adapted endlessly with your favorite fruits and nuts, and you can also use a different spice in place of cinnamon, if you’d like, or omit it altogether. Although it’s geared towards being a breakfast (and will give you a great start to your day), this would even make a delicious, healthy (vegan and gluten-free) dessert.

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Argentine Cappuccino with Dulce de Leche

25 Jan

argentine cappuccino with dulce de leche

I was at a cafe in Buenos Aires for merienda (an afternoon snack, usually consisting of coffee and pastries) a few weeks back when I spotted a drink the cafe called a “capuchino porteño.” Porteño is an adjective used for the natives here (literally meaning of/from the port, referring to Buenos Aires being a port city), and once I read the description of this cappuccino, I knew I had to order it. The key ingredient, unsurprising given its great popularity here, was dulce de leche. The drink was right up my alley, since I prefer my coffee drinks sweet and milky. When I found that our apartment in Uruguay (another dulce de leche loving country, by the by) included an espresso machine, I was determined to recreate this drink. It’s not a traditional cappuccino, although it does have the usual base of espresso and steamed milk; this is more of a dessert than anything, and in the Argentine style of desserts, it’s quite sweet. Dulce de leche is drizzled down the side of the glass and whipped into some cream on the top (this recipes makes extra dulce de leche whipped cream, but I’m sure you’ll find a use for it), and a sprinkle of cinnamon (cocoa powder would also work well) is a great complement to the caramel flavor.

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Honey Cinnamon Almonds

12 Dec

honey cinnamon almonds 2

I’m a big fan of candied nuts – which probably isn’t too surprising coming from someone who loves any combination of salty and sweet. They make a great snack and a great gift (when I can manage not to eat them all myself). I love the ease of this particular preparation where there’s no separating out and beating egg whites, just a simple whisking together of honey with spices. The resulting nuts are a bit stickier than many candied nuts, but I found I didn’t mind at all and still found them addictively tasty. I used almonds here since they’re one of my favorite nuts (and one of the healthiest too!). Cinnamon provides the spicing, and I also added a little ancho chile powder for some heat and smokiness – you can omit this if you’re not a fan of spice or use smoked salt to get the smokiness without the heat.

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Snickerdoodle Bars

5 Oct

snickerdoodle bars

I’m a big fan of cinnamon – it’s a major flavor in many of my favorite sweet and savory dishes, featuring in garam masala, spiced chocolate, and even my favorite chili recipe. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m a big fan of snickerdoodles. But I prefer my cookies in bar form (easier to make and much more decadent!), so these snickerdoodle bars are, in my opinion, even better than the traditional snickerdoodles. I dialed up the cinnamon, adding extra to the batter and a thorough topping of cinnamon sugar (using turbinado sugar for a little change in texture – I like the crunch on top). Perfect for any other cinnamon lovers out there, and you certainly won’t have a hard time getting anyone else to eat them either.

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Banana Breakfast Roll

20 Jun

banana breakfast roll

I often find myself needing a quick yet filling breakfast to get me going in the morning, and I’ve posted a few of my usual breakfast recipes before. Well, here’s another recipe that fills the role quite nicely. A riff on the classic combination of banana and peanut butter, rolled in a mixture of oats, flaxseed, chia seeds, and cinnamon for a great source of protein and fiber to start your day. It accomplishes the trifecta I often strive for: simple, healthy, and delicious. This recipe can easily be customized based on what you have around – coconut flakes or finely chopped nuts would be a great addition, for example, or you could even use granola to roll in for an especially simple version.

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Garam Masala

30 Apr

garam masala

I know I post a lot of spice mix recipes, but they’re really an easy way to get the most flavorful food out of your kitchen. The same basic spices (which will stay good for years when stored whole) can be recombined into many distinct mixes. Garam masala is one of my favorites. A staple of North Indian cuisine, the recipes can vary widely from one household to the next, but always involve some “warming” spices (such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper). So this is a great mix to adjust exactly to your liking, whether its changing the proportions, omitting some ingredients, or adding others (allspice, star anise, or a couple bay leaves would all fit nicely here); I like mine a little heavy on the cumin and chili peppers. The resulting mix can elevate a simple stew, help to recreate authentic North Indian dishes, or even be added to cookies or hot chocolate for an unusual twist.

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Carrot Cake Muffins Baked in Eggshells

11 Apr

carrot cake muffins baked in eggshells

Usually I’m all about taste, but every once in a while, I decide to cook something mostly for the visual impact. These muffins baked inside of eggshells were perfect for a spring brunch (where I also served scrambled eggs from the emptied out eggs – waste not, want not). You can use this technique with your favorite muffin or cupcake batter, but I decided that carrot cake muffins (a less sweet and more breakfast friendly take on classic carrot cake) with a “yolk” made from a cream cheese filling seemed like a great fit. I was pretty pleased with how these turned out, but I’d definitely do some things differently next time. The batter stuck to the eggshells which I hadn’t quite anticipated, so I think swirling a drop of oil inside them before filling would be useful. I filled my eggs using a plastic bag with the corner cut off, but I think a professional pastry tip would make this a lot easier and quicker. I also overfilled the shells, and while it’s easy enough to scrape off the overflowing muffin after they’re baked, this meant that my “yolks” didn’t end up as pretty little balls in the center of the egg as hoped, so stick to filling the eggs a little less than 2/3rds full. Learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them! Even with these small issues (and the hours spent emptying eggshells and piping batter in them), everyone at brunch was very impressed, and it was really fun to crack away the shell and reveal a muffin!

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Homemade Graham Crackers

4 Apr

homemade graham crackers

This is probably not shocking to anyone who’s perused this blog, but I can be really ambitious with my cooking projects sometimes. Which is how I found myself in a bind with these graham crackers. I’d committed to making s’mores on an early Saturday afternoon to be the grand finale for the first grill session of the year; I had already invited a couple friends to join and made homemade marshmallows, and I was absolutely determined to make homemade graham crackers for the perfect s’mores. Somehow I easily envisioned myself making the dough on Friday night and baking the crackers on Saturday morning. Of course, I chose not to take into account my full day of work that Friday as well as a party happening at my house that night. The inevitable outcome of which was me frantically making the dough as party guests arrived. But the dough came together surprisingly easily and was soon chilling safely in the fridge for the night while I stayed up, engrossed in conversations. The next thing I knew, I was forcing myself out of bed the next morning with less than eight hours of sleep, because I was absolutely determined to finish these graham crackers. After rolling, cutting, sprinkling on some cinnamon, sugar, and smoked salt (I can’t help myself when it comes to salt and baked goods, and the smokiness seemed like it would be perfect paired with toasted marshmallows), and, inevitably, dropping a few crackers onto the floor (I’ve given up on pretending I’m not a clumsy person), I watched eagerly as they baked and filled the house with an irresistible aroma. The graham crackers were an undisputed success, well worth the frantic stress and lack of sleep (there’s always time to relax and sleep after my stomach is full). And the s’mores? You’ll have to come back on Friday to hear how those turned out.

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Maple Bacon Marshmallows

2 Apr

maple bacon marshmallows

The moment I laid eyes on the recipe for these marshmallows, I was determined to make them for s’mores as in the linked recipe (look for my version of the s’mores later in the week). Despite my excitement about this particular combination of flavors, this ended up being a particularly divisive recipe, with reactions varying from enthusiastic pleas for a taste to an incredulous “there’s meat in those?” Bacon in marshmallows may indeed seem strange but when it’s candied bacon alongside maple syrup, it actually makes a lot of sense, especially if you (like me) love salty-sweet combinations. If you had the same reaction as me, you already know you want to make this recipe. If you’re on the edge though, not sure if you’re up to something this strange, I’d like to encourage you to take the plunge. Of course, you could also make this recipe and omit the candied bacon; the base marshmallow is surprisingly easy to throw together with very impressive results. Having never had homemade marshmallows prior to this, I was very pleasantly surprised at the great fluffy yet sticky texture and sweet but not cloying flavor, reminiscent of but far superior to the store bought variety.

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Candied Bacon

26 Mar

candied bacon

Today marks a special milestone for my blog. For more than six months, I’ve been posting here three times a week every week, and this post right here is my 100th post. I struggled trying to come up with the absolutely perfect recipe for this occasion. I wanted something I was really proud of, something unique and delicious, something salty and sweet. And when I came across this recipe, I knew it was the one. Candied bacon. Could anything be more perfect? The combination of salty, sweet, spicy, and smoky is unbelievably decadent and addictive. Not too difficult to make but certainly not an every day recipe (because it’s not every day that you use a whole pound of bacon). Only five ingredients, but still customizable – you can change the spices, use all brown sugar, or use all maple syrup for some great variations. Thanks to everyone who’s encouraged me along the way, by cooking the recipes and giving me feedback, taste testing my experiments, or just reading the blog! I can’t wait to put up another 100 posts.

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