Cherry Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal

Summer Goals: Buy cherries when they are cheap!

I swear, one day, they’ll be at Westside Market for $3.99 a pound, then, in the blink of an eye, they are $9.99 a pound.

I’ve got rent and student loans to pay. I’ve gotta buy those cherries when they’re on the low-low.

I’m purposely giving myself slow plan-less weekends; as I’ll be moving from Inwood down to the Upper West Side in the end of August, I’m taking the time to slowly pack up what I need, pitch what I don’t, and use up what’s left in my kitchen! Luckily, I’ll take any excuse to create and cook, so the latter is obviously not an issue for me.

I’ve recently discovered dairy-free Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread. Being free of palm oil, I feel a bit better about indulging in this sweet treat from both a health and ethics perspective. Mixed with some summer-ripened cherries and healthy oats, this breakfast is a win-win! I don’t even care that it’s approximately 110 degrees in my kitchen right now. I’ll move to my air-conditioned bedroom to eat this goodness! Ha!

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NOTE: Thank you to Crier Communications for providing me with this Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread for testing purposes!

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Cherry Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal
(Makes three cups)

Ingredients:

– 2 cups water or milk of choice
– 1 cup rolled oats, uncooked
– 1/2 cup cherries, pits removed and quartered
– 1 tablespoon dairy-free Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread (or comparable hazelnut spread)
– 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)

Directions:

1.) Cook rolled oats according to directions on package. While oats are cooking, mix in cherries and cook for five minutes. Stir in hazelnut spread until melted and incorporated. Serve immediately!

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Cinnamon Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – which seems to be a common theme on this blog, I feel – but I love shortbread. I love the buttery crumb. I love the slight saltiness. I love the low-level sweetness. I love the fact that since there is no egg in the batter, I can eat it raw. (Ha!) A good shortbread recipe is one any good cook should have up their sleeve. You never know when you may need to whip it out!

Case in point: When a new co-worker suggested doing a cookie swap at work for the holidays, I both loved and loathed the idea. I don’t have any pressing issues with cookies: they are sugary, delicious, and soul-soothing. I was down for a cookie swap! My issue? When the HELL would I made a batch of cookies? The weekend prior was filled with shooting photos for other blogs and PR outlets, but I knew I had to squeeze in something simple and quick…

Low and behold, shortbread saves the day, once again!

I decided to go a little fancier with it, adding some cinnamon-infused semi-sweet chocolate to the mix. Cinnamon and chocolate is a combination that is sorely underutilized, and it works wonders when added to milk, semi, or dark chocolates. And, in honor of NYC’s first snow of the season on December 9th, why not sprinkle a little bit of finely grated white chocolate on top?

Want to save some more time? Make the dough the night before you want to bake – it took me 10 minutes to throw it together – and wrap it in plastic wrap before saying “Good night!” and placing it in your fridge. The next morning, take the dough out, have your coffee and breakfast, take a walk around the block, return an hour later, and roll it out!

I’m pleased with this batch. I can only hope my co-workers also enjoy it. I suppose I’ll find out tomorrow… 🀞

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JOIN THE VIRTUAL COOKIE SWAP! Please visit the following blogs; these talented folks have some additional awesome cookie recipes for y’all to try this holiday season! Come back on December 18th after 6 a.m. EST, when all links will be active:Β 

Madeline Hall – Snowflake Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Katherine in Brooklyn – Cranberry Jam Linzer CookiesΒ 
lyndsey eden – Orange Zest and Almond Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Conscious Eating with Rui – Snickerdoodle Mexican Wedding Cookies
Nommable – Nutmeg Nutella Rice Krispies
The Foodwright – Peanut Butter Cup Thumbprints
Wood and Spoon – Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Pumpkin & Peanut Butter – Gluten Free Gingerdoodle Blondies
This Brown Kitchen – Chocolate Holiday Nankhatai Cookies
Bappy Girl – Strawberry and Blueberry Meringue
The Table of Contents – Sesame Almond Ginger Lace Cookies
Gracepcheng – Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Jenna Hazel – Soft Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

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Cinnamon Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread
(Adapted from the Pretty. Simple. Sweet recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies)
(Makes roughly 40 cookies)

Ingredients:

For Shortbread:

– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Chocolate:

– 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup white chocolate, finely grated

Directions:

1.) In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, add butter and sugar. With a hand blender, mix on low for 3 minutes or until butter and sugar have creamed together. Beat in vanilla extract. Add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until combined.

3.) Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and put in fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight; if leaving out overnight, be sure to remove it from fridge and allow it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

4.) Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Roll dough out on parchment paper or a lightly floured surface until it is a round disc roughly 1/4″ thick. Score then cut dough into roughly 1″ x 1″ squares. Reroll scraps and continue to cut into additional squares.

5.) Place shortbread on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet – bake in batches, if necessary – and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven, place cookies on wire rack, and allow to cool to room temperature.

6.) In a double-boiler – or by placing a bowl or sauce pan over a larger saucepan with simmering water – slowly melt chocolate over low heat. Mix in cinnamon and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Place a towel or baking sheet beneath the wire rack the cookies are on; this will catch any chocolate drips. Dip one side of each cookie into the chocolate. Place back on wire rack and allow chocolate to cool / harden. If desired, sprinkle with shaved white chocolate while chocolate has cooled slightly but is still warm.

Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze

I have a major culinary quest in life.

I am trying to perfect the perfect donut glaze.

I just can’t get it!

I’m talking about good thick glazes like the kind you’d get on a donut from Underwest Donuts, Doughnut Plant, The Doughnut Project, or any of the top notch donut spots in NYC.

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For me, I am a baked donut gal when I’m at home; I’d love to make some yeasty fried donuts, but I am so attached to my donut pan! Cake donuts don’t take glazes as well as fried donuts, due to their porousness. It’ll go on thick, but seemingly sink in. Not to say I mind that extra sugary goodness leaching into my treats…

😏

I was a pretty basic glaze girl for a while – I’d mix confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk for my main base – but that doesn’t do as well with the cake donuts, as aforementioned. It certainly glazes them, but I wanted something to really coat them. I’ve been experimenting with other ingredients, such as butter and condensed sweetened milk. I’ve been finding that butter may be that trick up my sleeve I’ve been waiting for! I’ve found this glaze works better with cake donuts, and I’ve started to get that consistency I’m working towards; not perfect, but it’s progress.

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As I continue to tinker, I must say I’m satisfied with how this matcha glaze came out. I wish I could have gotten a more even coating for these photos – the dilemma of the food blogger – but all that matters to me is that they taste great, and the chocolate and matcha make for a cozy and slightly earthy match. It’s a great donut for the autumn when apple cider donut penetration is getting the best of you. Ha!

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NOTE: This recipe is part of a contest for Kiss Me Organics! PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO VOTE for me in their contest for best matcha-based recipe! Spread the word! Thank you to Kiss Me Organics and Pure Taste for the complimentary matcha and the opportunity to develop this awesome recipe!

Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze
(Makes 6 donuts)

Donuts:

– 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
– 1 large egg
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Matcha Glaze:

– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
– 2 teaspoons matcha tea powder, leveled off (I used Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Matcha)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
– 3 tablespoons milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Before We Get Started…

– When glazing donuts, set a cooling rack over a piece of scrap paper, parchment paper, cookie sheet, et al, to catch any glaze drips for an easier clean-up!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Lightly grease the inside of the donut pan’s cavities. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir / fold to combine.

3.) Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized seal-top plastic bag; if using plastic bag, cut off small corner to pipe out mixture. Evenly pipe mixture into cavities of donut pan.

4.) Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove donuts from pan and allow to continue cooling on cooling rack.

5.) Once donuts are room temperature, melt butter and allow to cool slightly, 2 – 3 minutes. Add matcha and vanilla and mix until combined. Place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add in butter matcha mixture and stir to combine. Add in milk, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until combined. Carefully dip one side of a donut into the glaze and place on cooling rack to drip dry, glaze side up. Allow glaze to set and dry for at least 30 minutes.

 

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

Oh, SNAP. Is that Allison, back with a new recipe?

Time has allowed. So has my sanity. Haaa.

Shall we?

Admittedly, over the last few months, while cooking at home, my meals have been a lot more plant-based, or at least without any sort of meat. One, it’s summer, so it’s too damn hot to even pan-fry chicken some nights. Two, I’ve just been cravings vegetables, eggs, and cheeses, so I’m giving my body what it wants. I’ve been making panzanella (sans the bread) a lot, as well as a lot of vegetable and bean-based salads. After writing another food post over at Yoga By Candace for Bean & Sauerkraut Salad, I’ve been really trying to keep my gut health in check with methods I never really considered as much of, such as by eating lacto-fermented vegetables and taking at least one scoop of collagen peptides per day in my morning oats.

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

In go the collagen peptides in quite a dramatic fashion…

I’ve lost a bit of weight; not that I was ever too heavily over, but after taking Paxil for a year between mid-2014 to mid-2015 for my GAD and shooting up to almost 160 (!!!) on my 5’6″ frame, I had a hard time losing those final few pounds over the past few years, leaving me in the 145 – 150 range. I’m back down to my “normal” 135 – 140 pound range with these diet (and exercise!) adjustments, which has me feeling better in a lot of ways. (I know, numbers on a scale shouldn’t matter…but… Β―\_(ツ)_/Β― )

I’ve been trying to sneak as many veggies into odd places in my diet as possible. Over the past few months, I’ve seen the cauliflower smoothie trend blow up all over my Instagram feed. That pre-steamed riced bag of cauliflower from Whole Foods was sitting in my freezer for months, getting harder and harder by the day, silently taunting me from afar. I knew I’d use it one day.

Well…I did today.

At first, I was experimenting with making a good base cauliflower smoothie recipe: just the cauliflower, a plant-based milk, and a few spices and vanilla. I was having a hard time finding just that on Google, surprisingly. Also, I wanted to see if it was good enough to drink in just that form. In my mind, I thought I could create the ultimate healthy vanilla smoothie that would change the world.

Oh HELL no.

The base recipe I created definitely worked, but if you’re looking for a low-sugar alternative to drink immediately, screw it. Add something flavorful to that cauliflower smoothie base! Add something fruity! Add some damn sugar to it! I took a sip and almost spit it out like a spiteful toddler that didn’t want to eat her cauliflower. I tried. It’s just not good enough alone.

I started to query everyone’s love for the cauliflower smoothie trend, but then I found a combination that works.

I went for cocoa. I’m not made of stone.

Still, the cocoa itself made it better, but not something I’d want to drink.

I hoard blueberries in my freezer like a chipmunk saves nuts for winter, and they were, thankfully, that final ingredient that this smoothie needed.

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

I’m not going to lie and say I’m totally on board with this trend yet…but…would I drink this smoothie again? Absolutely. I wouldn’t share this if I hated it.

Or…would I?

Nah, nah. It’s great. Ha!

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie; please note how I could not get my frozen blueberries to defrost, no matter how hard I tried. The struggle is real, y’all.

Chocolate Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie
(Makes One Serving)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup pre-steamed frozen cauliflower, preferably riced (Look for it at Whole Foods)
– 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used Malk Organics Maple Pecan)
– 2 teaspoons cocoa or cacao powder
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 cup blueberries, preferably frozen
– 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)

Notes:

– If preparing your own cauliflower for this recipe, be sure to steam and freeze it first. Leaving it raw will lead to a strong cruciferous flavor. It may also lead to some of the side effects that eating a heavy cruciferous meal stirs up. Haaa.

– The cauliflower will have a slightly grainy, though not unappealing texture. In other words, it will not be silky smooth. Just be aware!

Directions:

1.) Add all ingredients to your blender and blend for 1 – 2 minutes or until as smooth as possible. Pour into a glass and drink that bad boy immediately!

grain free cranberry almond biscotti

Grain-Free Almond Cranberry Biscotti

Happy New Year, Satiation Seekers! I know, I know, it’s been a few days since I’ve last posted. With the new year has come, well, my return to work. The time I had to craft recipes has fallen by the wayside this week and I jumped back into my office chair and surrounded myself with computer screens shimmering with tons to pertinent data on shiny new Excel sheets.

However, to tide you over until I get my first Seek Satiation-centric recipe of 2017, let me direct you over to my newest post over at Yoga by Candace! For January, I whipped up a wonderful Almond Cranberry Biscotti that is grain-free! Admittedly, I’ve never used almond flour before and wasn’t quite sure how this would turn out, but I found some generic almond flour biscotti recipe, handwritten, on a piece of paper inside of one of my cookbooks. Who knows where it came from, but I sure was tickled that I came across it!

Head over to Yoga By Candace for the full recipe!

grain free cranberry almond biscotti

If I luck out on this already very busy weekend and find some time to make and photograph a recipe tomorrow, I’ll get a post up by Wednesday. If not, expect a new selection of Seek Satiation recipes to be posted starting next Saturday, January 14th. πŸ˜€

grain free cranberry almond biscotti