Carrot Griddlecakes

 These were originally called carrot tortillas, but that seems misleading to one who grew up in a culture that knows tortilla only as a corn or flour pancake. Actually, that's the mexican definition. In Spanish cooking, a tortilla is an omelet stuffed to bursting with vegetables. That's what this is. And, like any good american, I changed the name up a bit. For its own good.
This griddlecake carrot cake, carrot pancake thing needs to be appreciated. So what if it's name is a little hard to choose? It's the most delicious thing to put on your plate for lunch or dinner. And it's easy to make in single servings. It's funny, because cooking carrot into things does not play a big part American cooking, yet it's sweet and crunchy and even crispy and so great with onion. It's kind of like potato latkes, but spanish. This is a fragile, falling apart meal that's best with ketchup unrepentantly slathered over it. No knife needed.

Carrot Griddlecakes
serves 2.
adapted from Recipes from South America

1/2 onion, roughly diced
2 medium carrots, grated
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp chopped parsley

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
Add the onion and sautee for 5-8 minutes. 
Combine the grated carrot and onion in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl mix the eggs with the milk, parsley, salt, and pepper, and beat with a fork for 30 seconds until foamy.

Using the same pan, heat the other tbsp oil over medium heat. 
Squeeze the carrot and onion mixture gently with a paper towel to remove excess moisture that will make the cake soggy, and add to the pan.
Flatten it so as to cover the entire skillet evenly, adding at once the egg mixture and allow to cover the carrots evenly, shaking the pan a little. 
Cook the tortilla over medium heat for about 15 minutes. 
When the center is cooked flip the cake (which can be done with the help of a plate to invert it and place back on the pan) and let it brown on the other side about 3 minutes more.
Serve warm with more parsley as garnish, if desired.


Sweet Pumpkin Challah

)You could make this, for, um, Passover? I'm a bad Jew, when's that? Oops. It's April 16. I should probably delete those last sentences. I could swear passover was coming. Oh, oh right! It's Chanukah. Spellcheck says I spell it wrong. How do I spell Chanukah wrong? There are ten million spellings!
Alright, so I should definitely delete everything and start over. But I'm too lazy, so let's continue on, shall we?
You could make this challah for passover. Or not. You could make it for sunday breakfast. You could make it for french toast. You could make it just to rip into chunks and sink your teeth into.
Challah is a very easy bread to make. You can do it all with a kitchenaid, and it only requires one rising. It's a bit of waiting, but not too much active time. It's good for when you plan to stay in the house all day anyway because you don't have any jeans to wear outside because it's sunday and the one pair of jeans you own without any holes is in the laundry. Is that too specific? It happens to me all the time. Like, every sunday. So this recipe is good for me.
 Very good. It's a sweet eggy bread with pumpkin in it. Mmm.
And the maple glaze can't hurt, can it? No, no it can't.

Sweet Pumpkin Challah
2 small loaves
adapted from Sugar Plum

1/4 cup warm milk (100°-110°F)
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/2 packet (1 1/8 tsp) active dry yeast
scant 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
scant 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsps milk
1 tbsp canola oil
3/4 tsp pie/cake spice
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups unbleached bread flour

1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

To make the bread dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the dough hook on medium speed, mix together milk, maple syrup and yeast until combined; allow to sit for 10 minutes or until bubbles form and you get that yeasty smell. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, 1 egg, milk, oil, spice and salt to yeast mixture and mix until well combined. Mix in bread flour until combined; continue to mix for an additional 5-8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball and place in a large, mixing bowl; lightly cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down, and divide in half. Divide one half of dough into 3 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion into a rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet; shape into a braid and pinch edges to seal. Repeat process with remaining dough. Lightly cover braids with plastic wrap or cloth and allow to rise in a warm area for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk remaining 1 egg together with a tablespoon of water; evenly brush on surface of braids (fingertips work fine). Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before spreading glaze on bread.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk together butter, confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Drizzle and spread glaze on top of bread (it hardens after a good 10-20 minutes).


Chewy Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies

 Hmmm, what shall I say? It's getting wintery out. December 3rd already. And while iced chai tea lattes are splendid in warm weather, you know what's even better? A steaming cup of chai tea in your kitchen in your fluffy socks in december.
And you know what's even better than that? Cookies. Gingery, chewy cookies for dunking and nomming. Sound good? Yes. And like many cookies in the world, pretty easy to make. I may not be a great fan of ginger, but here, a little fresh grated ginger makes the world seem warm again, in that way that you know your toes are a bit cold but your stomach is glowing.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies
2 dozen.
adapted from Joy the Baker

1 heaping cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
dash salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/8 cup molasses
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/8 cup granulated sugar, for rolling dough balls

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. 
 In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 2 minutes. 
Add the egg and molasses and mix until blended and an even light color, about 1 minute.
By hand, add the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spread the granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough between the palms of your hands into a ball, toss the ball in sugar to coat and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue making cookies, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm but are still soft in the center and there are several large cracks on top, about 12-14 minutes.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a plate for eating or an airtight plastic container to store for up to 4-5 days.


Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Now I don't want to write something silly, along the lines of: "I made this soup and I didn't particularly like it but I think you should make it", but I am. I forgot how little I like soups that have a thin broth and then chunks of things floating in them. If you like that, than this is totally a great soup.
There's broccoli, potatoes, onions, and garlic involved.
And cheddar, lots of cheddar.
 It's a nice, cheesy, garlicky soup for the winter. And the broccoli is just so gosh-darn pretty. I didn't want to say it too often because I didn't want it to blush. Because who wants red broccoli, let me ask you?
 You have to eat this soup with a spoon and a fork. Hows that for crazy? You know, you want to spice things up at dinner. No more boring soup! This one needs a spoon and a fork!
(I'm making a joke.)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
serves 4
adapted from Fresh365

1 medium head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 tbsps olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 cups coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
6-7oz firm tofu (apx 1/2 block), cut into chunks

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli, and cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes. 
Drain, reserving 3 cups water. Rinse broccoli with cold water to stop cooking, and set aside.

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add potato, onion, and garlic. 
Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cumin, salt, pepper, mustard and flour, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. 
Add reserved 3 cups broccoli water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer (partially covered), until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. 
Add soy milk and Cheddar, stirring to melt.

Transfer 3 c soup to a blender, and add tofu (this may need to be done in 2 batches). Puree, until smooth. Return to pot. 
Add florets and cook over medium heat, until heated, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


Muesli Scones

 These are so good I could die. Seriously. As in I may not even be joking. Maybe not even a little. And they're pretty good for you, as baked goods go.
Muesli is kind of like unbaked granola. It's made with rolled out, dried fruits, and nuts. Then you put it in a bowl and eat it. You can mix it with yogurt or milk, but I personally prefer orange juice. You let it sit for a couple minutes and it gets soft and citrusy... So good. I've even poured cold tea over muesli. That was pretty good too. But these scones don't actually have muesli in them. They just kind of taste like it, what with all the dried fruit and nuts and seeds. And you can switch that up. Put whatever fillings you want in, as long as you get about 1/2 cup of dried fruit, and 1/2 cup nuts and seeds. 
How come I didn't take enough pictures to have one separate this block of text? I may have to remedy that. My kitchen may need another batch of these, soon.

Muesli Scones
makes 15-20 squares. 
adapted from Elana's Pantry

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried california apricots, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 large egg
2 tbsps agave syrup
2 tbsps milk

Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt and baking soda.
Stir in dried fruit, seeds and nuts.
In a small bowl combine egg and agave, then stir wet ingredients into dry. If, at this point, the dough is not sticking together enough to form a ball with your hands, add 1 tablespoons of milk, or more as needed.
Use hands to shape dough into a square that is about 1" thick, and cut the dough into squares.
Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden on top. 

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas

 Ok, these are addictive. Possibly because they're super easy, cheap, and fast. And they're truly only chickpeas, so you tell yourself, how bad could they be for you?
 I won't answer that question. I've decided I like this better than popcorn. Yes, popcorn from the movies that is bright yellow and tastes like fake butter sauce is a must have on certain occasions, but I've decided that when I'm curling up on my bed to watch a movie at home (read: When Harry Met Sally) this is what my hand is going to be sticky with.
Really, you just open a can of chickpeas and roast them, and then toss them in oil and sugar and salt and cinnamon. If you want savory, you can do that too. I have this really great chile lime seasoning I threw on them. Eat it for snacks, dessert, at dinner--whatever. It's yum.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas
adapted from the Cupcake Project

1 can/14 oz chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon or your spice(s) of choice
1 1/2 tsps brown sugar
dash of sea salt

Place chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake at 450 F for 30 minutes. (The oil and spices come after.)
Transfer chickpeas to a small bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
Enjoy hot, or bring to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.


Blood Orange Olive Oil Loaf

I made this cake at night, so the images are a mite grainy.
 And by the morning, with sunny light, I had eated it. Eated. It.
 I love blood oranges, don't you? So, red. Like blood.
 Ooh, and I like olive oil cakes too. Moist and not too sweet. This one was mighty good. Slice after slice, I eated it. All gone.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Loaf
makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 blood oranges
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup yogurt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 oranges and rub with your fingers in a bowl with sugar to make blood orange sugar. Set aside.

Supreme an orange: Cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Cut each segment in half.

Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. Add yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with the blood orange sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs and olive oil.

In a measuring cup, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ones. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Serve warm with a spot of yogurt and honey, or continue to eat from the pan all day until it is all eated up.


Peanut Oat Energy Balls

 Yes, I did just name this recipe energy balls. Tell me you're not thinking about some cool video game pulsating orb. Swallow and level up. Oh, you're not thinking about that? What, you're fixating more on the scrotum-esque portrayal of the wording balls? Tsk, tsk, that's not what I'm thinking at all.
When I made these, I first thought "Super cool! No bake and yummydelicious!" Well, it was no bake, but in my opinion not entirely yummy delicious. Too many seeds and raisins. I guess I would swap the raisins with cranberries, and add blanched almonds maybe. And, well, it couldn't hurt to dip it in dark chocolate? Come on, could it hurt? Please, tell me to my face.

But the recipe went over very well with my family. They're best chilled for a bit in the fridge,a nd then you can pop one in your mouth and chew for a while. And then bounce of walls like sonic the hedgehog, little blue sparks flying from your tail. No? Ok, maybe not.

Peanut Oat Energy Balls
makes 12 small balls.
adapted from fresh and foodie

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/8 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
1/8 cup raisins
1/8 cup chocolate chips
pinch salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
1/2 tablespoon honey

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure everything is very well combined.
Scoop out a portion with a spoon and gently roll into a ball with your hands.
If it’s not sticking, add more peanut butter or honey. Likewise, if it’s too wet, add more oats.
Store the bites in the fridge in an airtight container.


Chai Spiced Pancakes

 Have I mentioned that I'm really into infusing tea flavor into recipes? And that I really like pancakes? There's not a lot to describe with these pancakes. Use your favorite recipe and throw in some chai tea and spices, and you've got something special.
 I was inspired by Joy the Baker's version, but I used the Tassajara Bread Book's recipe for pancakes. Joy says to directly mix in the chai tea. Which I did, but while I got a hint of chai, it seemed a bit lost. I think the flavor needs to be more concentrated. I want to try this recipe again, but use a technique outlined in the cupcake project. Stef says the key is to steep the tea in butter, and then strain to get tea-infused butter. I like. I'll update this whenever I get around to Chai Pancakes 2.0. For now, these aren't half-bad.

Chai Spiced Pancakes
serves 6.
adapted from tassajara recipe and joy the baker.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
pinch of ground cloves
pinch ground ginger
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup black chai tea
1/2 cup oil

Whisk baking flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and sugar together.
Beat milk, tea, and oil into beaten egg yolks.
Stiffly beat egg whites.
Combine wet mixture into dry until just blended. Then fold in egg whites.

Cook and flip and do as pancakes do.


Green Eggs (sans ham)

 Yay! They're eggs! And they're green! And the green actually denotes something nutritious and not food colored!
 The green is from kale, the ever-nutrient-ready green of my heart, apple of my eye, yadda yadda. Bright. Green. Do you see these eggs?! You blend everything up (the kale, the eggs) and throw it in a pan. It makes breakfast more fun and makes you feel super-healthy.

Oh, right. And I better explain the red. It turns out, I'm weird. No, I mean duh, I'm weird, but specifically when it comes to scrambled eggs. Apparently not many people put ketchup on their scrambled eggs. Well, world, I do. And not only is it visually striking, but it is so much better than anything else you could try to put on your eggs. The same goes for ketchup/mac-and-cheese combo. 'Nuff said. Go to it, my friends.

Kale Green Eggs
serves 2-3.
adapted from elena's pantry

4 eggs
4 large kale leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil


Roughly chop the kale to be friendly to your blender and stuff it into that thing. Add eggs and blend.
Heat oil in pan under medium heat.
Pour eggs into pan and add salt and pepper.
Scramble by pushing the spatula around the pan until lumps start to form.
Cook eggs for a couple minutes (the longer they cook, the less runny they become).
Douse in ketchup.

(is it too early to make a joke about christmas?)


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Oh hey! There's a picture of me! And I've got a plate of cookies on my head!
What can I say? it's October. It's pumpkin season. Don't try to reason with me and say I didn't actually use fresh pumpkin in this recipe. Shh. It's pumpkin season. It's pumpkin puree from a can season.
 Also, It's chocolate chip season. Also, it's always chocolate chip season. So make sure they're always in your freezer.
These pumpkins were sweet and fluffy, kind of like cake cookies, or muffin tops or something. I mean, there's not much to it. Pumpkins. Chocolate chips. How could it not be a good idea?

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
adapted from Joy the Baker

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Position a rack in the middle of the oven.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside. 
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a whisk until smooth and lightened in color. 
Whisk in the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. 
Mix in the flour mixture and then the chips.
Using a tablespoon, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. Smooth and flatten the rounds.

Bake the cookies until the tops feel firm and a fork inserted in the center comes out dry, about 15 minutes. 
Cool cookies and then eat. Stored in an airtight container, they'll last about 5 days.


Bardbarian Ultimate Cake

No recipe here, sorry. I just wanted to showcase a beautiful (and if I do say, delicious) cake my friend Nina and I made a while back.


Spiced Risotto Rice Pudding

 No. No.... Don't tell me you don't like rice pudding!? Ok. Listen here. Take my hand. We can work through this together. So maybe it's not so pretty. Neither are overnight oats, and I know you love them.
 It's warm, it's sweet, fluffy, and spiced just so to caress your tongue. Seriously, how could you say no?


Chinese Tea Eggs

 I first ran into tea eggs about a year ago, at my local bubble tea place (bubble tea-my designated guilty pleasure. I've had every single flavor from the forty at my place.) They're these super cool hard boiled eggs that are then lightly cracked and steeped overnight in an odd tea/soy sauce mixture.
 What comes out is this marbled, kaleidoscopic creation that is utterly delicious. Who knew that black tea mixed with copious amounts of star anise and soy sauce could create the perfect flavor on hard boiled eggs?


Super Sexy Sesame Ssscookies

 I gotta say, I'm not a big fan of sesame. But a friend who is very dear to me kinda loves the flavor more than anything. So, you know. It might not have even been a question of whether I would make these cookies for her. And they're gluten-free!

These cookies are made with almond flour, which is really just ground up almonds. They're the best gluten-free substitute I can find so far. Though, I'm pretty sure that you could make these with regular all-purpose and they'd still knock you over. Even I, a non-sesame lover, had a few. And maybe a couple more. 


Meyer Lemon Budino

It's raining in New York, and my nose hurts from sneezing so much. I hate the cold that comes inevitably with the first week of school. My immune system just wasn't ready. Already I'm thinking wistfully back to summer, especially the lovely week I spent in LA. Sunny and fruitful. A Meyer lemon tree in the backyard.

Which bore many many lemons. Overjoyed with fresh meyer lemons, I decided something must be done. So I did it. 


Best Potato Salad (with a little something I like to call Basil, bitches)

 So here's a lil' sumfin' for the spring and early summer, prime new potato season. Oh, what's that you say? It's now coming nigh on autumn? TOO BAD. Find yourself some fingerling potatoes instead.
Really, this dish is all about the sauce. As long as you find some small, non-starchy potatoes to use, you're set any time of year. Because, yum.


Inception Cookies (what?!)

These cookies are, yes, based on the movie. The movie features a dream within a dream within a dream. Well, here's the adjoining baked good: a cookie within a cookie (within a cookie, if you count oreo filling as the third cookie). Truly: an oreo covered in chocolate chip cookie dough and baked right up. Inception cookies for the win. 
These cookies are orgasmic (to quote my brother, who upon biting in said something like: "I just jizzed in my mouth"). The oreo gets nice and soft, and how could anyone dislike chocolate chip cookies?


Mango Bread

 It sounds a bit odd, but it's delicious. A steaming loaf from the oven for breakfast. I feel tropically overcome, in the middle of my kitchen on the tenth floor of an apartment in new york where the smog rises by my window, and many feet below the cars honk and the bagels sell.


Overnight Oats, Anyone?

Overnight oats, as an idea, is pretty appealing. It's oatmeal you don't cook. It's breakfast you can prepare in individual portions the night before and have a bowl waiting for you in the morning... with endless variations. 


Grapefruit Honey Yogurt Scones

These scones are not your normal scones. Soft, chewy, tart. They make your tongue tingle in that lovely way that grapefruit does.