Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Serves: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes (15 minutes of soaking)
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups milk (or half and half)
2 large eggs
1 can pumpkin puree
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
6 slices stale bread
4 King’s Hawaiian Rolls

Preparation:

1. Combine all ingredients except bread and whisk until combined. Add bread and allow to soak for 15 minutes.

2. Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.

I had stale bread left over from the Avocado Toasts I made the other day and one of my favorite ways to do that is bread pudding. I didn’t have enough left over bread for a whole recipe so I added some Hawaiian rolls that I had for dinner. I found this recipe and also had left over pumpkin so it was perfect! The spice mix was good and the custard was the right consistency. Some bread puddings can be dry, but this was nice and custardy. Yes, I just invented that word. This is delicious and I will enjoy eating it for breakfast tomorrow.

Taco!

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Avocado Toasts with Roasted Tomatoes and Hummus

Avocado Toasts with Roasted Tomatoes and Hummus

Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

6-8 slices bread, cut into squares or circles and toasted
3-4 plum tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
3 avocados, pitted and mashed
1 small container regular hummus
Salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Preparation:

1. To prepare tomatoes, spread on baking sheet, open side up. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 450 degrees for 25 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to caramelize.

2. Spread a thin layer of hummus on toasts, add avocado and top with a tomato.

Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run.

I planned on making these for a picnic pot luck for school but since I had to buy $600 worth of food at Costco that day for the picnic and make sure everything was prepped, I didn’t have time. So I made them this weekend instead. I was very intrigued by the roasted tomatoes and they ended up being delicious! The toasts were great. The creaminess of the avocado and hummus were a nice contrast to the bite and sourness of the tomatoes. The ones I made were a little big as finger foods and needed either a big hand or a fork, but I used them as a side anyway. I made all the tomatoes I had and therefore had a lot left over so I mixed them with chicken that I marinated in balsamic. Very tasty and great for a party! Don’t forget to check out How to Treat Your Avocados with Respect to make sure you know what to do with the avocados.

Taco!

Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie

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Serves: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

Filling
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 (8 oz) container mascarpone
Salt

Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs sugar
Salt

Preparation:

1. With a mixer, beat sugar and pumpkin until combined. Add all other filling ingredients, except mascarpone, and mix until smooth. Add mascarpone and mix until combined.

2. Place mixture in a prepared crust (I used a store bought graham crust). Bake on 350 degrees for about 55 minutes, until filling is set. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely (at least one hour).

3. For whipped cream, combine all ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Serve on top of cooled pie.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.

It was another one of those days where I had mascarpone (happens a lot) and no idea what to do with it. I was at the grocery store and with my handy Epicurious app looked up mascarpone. This was the first recipe that popped up and I knew I had to try it. That was a great decision. This is DELICIOUS and incredibly easy thanks to my handy dandy hand mixer. The picture is a little off because I wasn’t patient enough to let the pie cool completely but it was tasty none the less. I also realized I should have made the whipped cream right before serving because my stiff peaks became not-so-stiff after a while in the refrigerator. Again, not the prettiest thing on the planet but DELICIOUS. You should definitely try this. It’s a bit of a combination of pumpkin pie and cheesecake. It has the flavor of a cheesecake while having the consistency of pumpkin pie. That’s a pretty great combination if you ask me.

Taco!

Potato Soup with Bacon

Potato Soup with Bacon

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

5-6 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 slices bacon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (14 oz) can chicken stock
1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Sharp cheddar for topping, shredded

Preparation:

1. Place chopped potatoes in a large pot. Cover with water, salt and boil until potatoes break apart easily when stuck with a fork. Drain and set aside.

2. In the same pan, cook bacon until crisp. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel to drain.

3. Drain bacon fat, leaving about 3 tbs of fat in the pot. Cook onions and garlic in pot until translucent. Add wine, making sure to stir to get the bits off the bottom of the pot. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates.

4. Remove pot from heat. Add potatoes and mash. Add stock and cream and stir. If it’s not soupy enough, add more cream or water. Season with pepper and red pepper flakes (if desired). Return to heat until heated through. Chop/crumble bacon. Serve soup in bowls with cheese and bacon on top.

Recipe is an original.

I ended up with a very large bag of potatoes in my kitchen and my first thought was to make soup! Potato soup was always one of my favorite things my mom would make growing up and I wanted to try to make my own. This was an experiment that turned out well. I just added stuff as I went along and it worked! The soup was nice and rich and still tasted like potatoes. This would also be good with sour cream, scallions and all kinds of things as a topping. My mom also told me her technique for making this, which I will try next time. She boils the onions with the potatoes and makes sure the potatoes are barely covered with water. Then she uses the water instead of stock and doesn’t have to drain the potatoes. She said to keep checking on the water level to make sure the potatoes don’t burn. I will definitely try this the next time I make soup, which may be soon since I have so many potatoes! I am very proud of this recipe and I definitely recommend giving it a try!

Taco!

Quinoa Mac and Cheese with Chicken

Quinoa Mac and Cheese with Chicken

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups uncooked quinoa
1 chicken breast
garlic powder
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
2 tbs flour
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mild cheese such as chevre (goat cheese) or Queso Fresco

Preparation:

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook in oil until cooked through.

2. Heat 1/2 cup milk and flour, whisking until combined. Add the rest of the milk and a dash of red pepper and stir with spatula. Bring to a boil and stir for an additional minute.

3. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Add quinoa and chicken and stir.

4. Put in casserole dish and place under broiler for about 2-3 minutes. Allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

More quinoa! It was a quinoa kind of day. This was delicious! Definitely make sure you have enough cheese and keep stirring the milk mixture so it doesn’t curdle. I used what I had so I used Queso Fresco left over from Carnitas Night. Seasoning the chicken was also great because it gave it a great flavor. I’m also a lazy bum and I don’t like waiting for chicken to cook so I cut it up and then cook. It was delicious and easy. And apparently relatively good for me. Yay!

Taco!

Super Food Quinoa Green Smoothie

Quinoa Green Smoothie

Serves: About 3 medium smoothies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0!

Ingredients: 

1 cup kale
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup broccoli, steamed
1 carrot, steamed
1/2 banana
1/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1/3 cup pineapple
1 cup yogurt (I used Greek Gods Greek Yogurt with Honey)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 avocado

Preparation:

1. If steaming veggies, place steamer over boiling water or place veggies in glass, microwave safe bowl and add a little water. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving one corner open and microwave for about 5 minutes.

2. Place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If necessary, continue to blend with an immersion blender.

Recipe adapted from Cook to Love.

I found this online and immediately wanted to try it. I have been looking for quinoa recipes since I’ve never cooked with it before and ways to eat healthier so, here you go! Mine was not nearly as pretty as the one in the recipe I found but it was definitely tasty. Nice and sweet. The reason I mention the immersion blender is because my blender isn’t that great and I really didn’t want chunks of anything in my smoothie. This made it work! I will definitely be using this for lunch for the week.

Taco!

Mascarpone Nutella Crepes with Bananas and Strawberries

Mascarpone Nutella Crepes with Bananas and Strawberries

Serves: About 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Crepes

1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
3 tbs melted butter
2 eggs

Filling

8 oz (1 container) mascarpone, room temperature
8 oz Nutella, or equivalent
1-2 bananas, sliced
6-8 strawberries, sliced

Preparation:

1. To make crepes, combine all crepe ingredients except flour and whisk until smooth. Add flour and mix quickly until batter is combined and smooth. Heat about 1/4 tsp of butter in a pan. Add a ladle-full of batter. Move pan in a circular motion so batter covers bottom of pan. When ends begin to curl and bottom is slightly brown, flip crepes and cook until lightly brown on both sides.

2. To make filling, combine mascarpone and Nutella and mix until fully incorporated. Spread mixture on half of a crepe and cover in bananas and strawberries. Fold crepe over and if desired fold again. Top with cheese-chocolate mixture and fruit slices and serve.

Recipe adapted from Circle B Kitchen.

I really wanted chocolate and I had mascarpone (which until today I was pronouncing mar-sca-pone, not ma-scar-pone) so I scoured the internet for something tasty and at least moderately heathy. I found this great recipe and I knew my search was over! I had all of the required ingredients in the house and I could make them in about 30 minutes and satisfying my chocolate craving. They. Are. Delicious. Eat them. Like, now.

A few tips: Definitely set out the mascarpone early so it’s room temperature. Otherwise it will be REALLY difficult to mix. Trust me, I did that and it was horrible. Also, you’re first crepe will probably be funny looking. That’s also ok. Mine was definitely not right but Adam will eat anything so it’s ok. And finally, don’t worry about using too little batter and start spinning the pan IMMEDIATELY. I had a roommate once who is French and I watched her make crepes once so I consider myself an expert.

Taco!