Peanut Butter Latte

February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Even though I live in Seattle, the coffee mecca of the United States, I hold in my heart a fondness for the coffee shops in Tucson, Arizona. There were numerous shops with quirky decor and delicious drinks that I frequented a lot. Especially while in nursing school. I would often hunker down for hours (like 5-8) at a time and study med-surg, cardiac function, the Triad of Virchow and how to put in catheters
One that I loved was Epic Cafe on 4th Ave. The only thing I ever got there was the Peanut Butter Mocha. I know. Your mind may have been blown reading that drink title. That’s the only place I’ve ever seen it on the menu and the other day I got a hankering for it. What to do? Bottom line most of the places here would think putting peanut butter in coffee was an abomination. Anyways, I had to make one myself and I was so happy I did. I didn’t have any chocolate sauce at the time but even without it, it was amazing.
Peanut Butter Latte
(adapted from a drink at Epic Cafe)
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup strongly brewed espresso or coffee, hot
  • 2 heaping tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • sweetener of choice
To Make:
1) Gather your ingredients. Make your coffee. I use a French Press (1 heaping spoonful of coffee grounds to every half cup of water).
2) In a blender or cup suitable for using an immersion blender, pour coffee, peanut butter, whipping cream and as much sweetener as you like (chocolate syrup would also be delicious) and blend until mixed and frothy.
3) Taste and adjust ingredients to your discretion. Enjoy!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

February 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Few things in life are better than homemade bread. Seriously. The smell wafting from the oven, butter spread over a fresh slice, dipping it into a bowl of homemade soup. YUM. And the combination of milk and honey in this recipe? Stellar.

I know the process can be a bit intimidating though. I wanted to write through a few tricky points I’ve worked over the last few years. First? Proofing the yeast. To do this warm the liquid (in this case water) in the microwave for about 30 seconds. This is about the temp at which you can dip your finger into it and feel it’s warm but not too hot to leave your finger in. Add the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar and mix slightly. Leave it alone for about ten minutes. It should start foaming/bubbling at this point, which is when you know it’s proofed.

Second, make sure you add the flour little by little. Too much makes the bread really tough. The dough should stick together. As seen here.

Finally, forming the dough. I’m obviously still working on this, as demonstrated by my uneven loaf sizes below. It’s definitely an art form and I look at this link from About.

When letting it rise, I preheat the oven and leave the loaves covered with a flour sack right on top of the oven so it has a little bit of warmth. It should double in size over 45 minutes to one hour.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 packages of active dry yeast (or Rapid Rise)
  • 1 Tablespoon of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup honey
To Make:
1) Start by proofing this yeast. Microwave the water until warm, add teaspoon of sugar and yeast packages and let sit for 10 minutes.
2) In a large mixing bowl whisk together all the whole wheat flour, 1 cup of all purpose flour and salt. In a small saucepan add milk, honey and butter until butter is melted and honey is combined.
3) Add the milk mixture, and yeast mixture to the flour and stir. Then add the egg. When mixed together, add all-purpose flour, one half-cup at a time. When you can’t stir any more in, turn dough out onto well-floured surface and knead for 5 or so minutes.
4) Spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick spray and put the dough into the bowl. If you use regular yeast let the dough rise for an hour, or until doubled in size. If you use rapid rise yeast, let it rise for ten minutes then move on to next step.
5) Divide dough in two using sharp knife and form into two loaves. Put into bread pans, sprayed with non-stick spray, and let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour in a warm place.
6) Preheat oven to 375 and bake bread for about 40 minutes, until top is browned and bread sounds hollow when tapped. When it comes out of the oven, brush with butter and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Nutella Yogurt Dip

February 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

I bought a jar of Nutella when I made these Nutella-stuffed cookies (months ago) and honestly its been sitting in my pantry since then. Who does that? Who has a jar for that long without scarfing it down on a spoon, or toast, or a spoon….
Anyways, I found this recipe for Nutella yogurt dip and knew I had to bust it out. It’s a perfect tangy and sweet combination for fruit. And it’s hardly even a recipe it’s so easy to make.
 Nutella Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Nutella
  • dash of cinnamon
To Make:
1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl using spoon or immersion blender if you want it extra smooth.
2) Serve with fruit and enjoy!

Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

You guys. Taxes are real. And stressful. I even use online tax software and almost owed the government $900 because I mistyped one little letter. Thank goodness for moms.

You know what’s not stressful? These cookies. They’re simple and awesome. Coffee + chocolate = winning. always. I often forget the impact a little espresso powder can make in a dessert. It really takes these babies up a notch, a tasty and delicious notch. I think the alliteration in the title (4 C’s!) makes it even better. (adapted from Joy the Baker)

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
To Make
1) Cream butter and sugars together until well combined, about 3 minutes. Then add egg and egg yolk and beat at medium speed until fluffy, finally stir in the vanilla. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
2) Mix the flour, soda and espresso powder in a bowl. Dump this into the wet ingredients all at once and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips at the very end. Once all mixed, chill for 45 minutes.
3) When dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350*. Drop the dough using a melon baller or by tablespoonfuls only baking sheets. You can use parchment paper if you want to as well. Bake for 12 minutes and remove from oven. Then cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes or as long as you can handle it. Enjoy!

Chunky Carrot Soup

February 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Guilty pleasures. We all have them. That’s what I want to talk about today. Mine include: The Bachelor (which I judge myself for), not showering for as long as I can get away with, cookie dough and documentaries on Netflix.
All of those things can be balanced out by this soup. I’m not totally sure why it makes it okay for me to watch The Bachelor, but it does. It’s vegan after all! And thankfully vegan in this case dose mean healthy.

Just look at these veggies! Of course they’re good for you. I love the colors in these pictures, they veggies just shine through. And they’ve cooked down with spices, broth and Field Roast Sausage.

Never heard of Field Roast Sausage? Me either until a few weeks ago. It’s a vegan sausage made from grains, veggies, local wine and delicious flavorings. Honestly, it’s delicious. They have italian, mexican chipotle, and smoked apple sage. I used Italian for this recipe but the original recipe recommends the mexican chipotle. I don’t think you could go wrong.
Vegan Carrot Soup
Ingredients:
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 Field Roast vegan sausage
  • 5 large carrots
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 egg noodles (or any dry pasta)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-4 cups of water
  • s&p to taste
To Make
1) Prep your ingredients. Wash, peel and cup the potato into bite-sized pieces. Dice the onion. Roughly chop the sausage. Cut the carrots into large rounds. Wash and finely chop the parsley. This can be done ahead of time.
2) Heat olive oil in large pot. Saute the garlic, onions and sausage for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent garlic from burning. Then add the carrots and potatoes and cook for another few minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. You can adjust the amount of water to add depending on how thick you want your soup.
3) Once the pot has boiled, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour or until carrots and potatoes are tender and pasta is cooked. The longer you let is simmer the more intense the flavors will get. Once you’ve simmered for the right amount of time serve piping hot with some delicious bread on the side. Enjoy!

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