food porn friday

Food Porn Friday – June Food Holidays

It’s Food Porn Friday time and I have found some healthier versions of  popular recipes that have official (or maybe not that official) observances in June.

Because we deserve our treats and have them healthier, too!

The first Friday of June is National Doughnut Day. Wikipedia has the history of how National Doughnut Day carries on the tradition of Doughnut Day started by the Salvation Army in 1938 that honoured the men and women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.

Epicurious.com has a recipe for Baked Cake Doughnuts so that you don’t have to fry them. To get the doughnut shape you will need a doughnut pan. If you don’t have one,  muffin pans will give you doughnut-flavoured muffins. You could also use a cookie sheet but the doughnuts will have a flat bottom.

 

 

Baked Cake Doughnuts

 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter or vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, scalded
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten

 

A great refreshment to go along with the doughnuts is iced tea, perhaps on June 10th which is Iced Tea Day.  Many believe iced tea was invented at the World’s Fair in  St. Louis but it was popularized at the fair due to the hot summer of 1904. Eatingwell.com has a variety of healthy iced tea recipes such as Orange-Earl Grey Iced Tea.

 

 

Orange-Earl Grey Iced Tea

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup loose Earl Grey tea, or 12 Earl Grey tea bags
  • Peel of 1 orange, plus orange wedges for garnish
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups cold water

 

The National Peanut Board lists different peanut holidays throughout the year and June 12th is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. Here are some peanut facts from the National Peanut Board:

  • Peanuts have more protein, niacin, folate and phytosterols than any nut.
  • Peanuts and peanut butter contain over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients.
  • Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free.
  • Rumor says that there’s enough mental stimulation in one peanut to produce 30 minutes of serious thinking. That may or may not be true, but peanuts are a good source of protein and the B vitamins, nutrients that help prevent “brain fatigue”.

Among the many recipes on their site is a recipe for gluten-free peanut butter cookies. You know, to help with the “brain fatigue”.

 

 

Ultra Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free)

 

Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, well packed
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cups (7 ounces) peanut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces gluten-free semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (optional)

 

And no food post about treats would be complete without chocolate. June 16th is Fudge Day. In keeping with the healthier recipes, I found this Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge recipe from Chocolate-covered Katie.

 

Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut butter or Homemade Coconut Butter. (120g)
  • 1 large, very-ripe banana (160g) (For a banana-free version, just use 2/3 cup more coconut butter.)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • scant 1/8 tsp salt
  • sweetener of choice, to taste (Sweeteners that work well in this recipe include: nunaturals vanilla stevia drops, powdered sugar, or even a liquid sweetener such as pure maple syrup. If a using a super-ripe banana, you might not need any added sweetener, depending on your tastebuds.)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened or dutch cocoa powder or cacao powder (20g)
  • optional: 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Enjoy these recipes and always remember to treat yourself.

 

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Food Porn Friday – Time Saving Freezer Recipes

Time saving. Easy. Organized. Stress-reducer.

That’s what I think when I see the above picture. Also a wee bit of envy. I’d love to have a freezer like the one in the picture to store different food items. I had to sell  my freezer a few years ago when I had to “downsize” my living arrangements. A freezer, I believe,  is one of the best investments you can make.

Batch cooking and freezing meals is something I’ve done for years. It was so stress-free to look in the freezer and, depending on what I felt like having for lunch that day, put together a healthy meal before I left for work. Having some meals in the freezer also made for an easier time when I came home from work didn’t feel like cooking.

Along with different main course foods such as lasagna, pork tenderloin and chicken, I would also have a few bags of frozen vegetables I bought at the grocery store as well as some roasted potatoes and carrots in freezer bags. Add a salad as an option and I would have a healthy, balanced meal.

As someone with a chronic illness, there are days that going to the kitchen to prepare and cook a healthy meal is out of the question. Eating something that is easy to make such as a sandwich, cereal or tortilla chips, salsa and melted cheese (I regret nothing!) is fine the odd time, as is having something delivered. But when you need all the healthy food and nutrients you can get, you deserve better, healthier meals that so many times is cheaper than what you find in the frozen food section of the grocery store.

There is a variety of sites that have frozen meal ideas and recipes. Once A Month Meals  offer a variety of options such as traditional, paleo, gluten-free and baby recipes. Some people love frozen meals so much they have organized a freezer meal swap so that they have a variety of meals that they didn’t have to make. Feeling adventurous? Here are some freezer meal swap tips if you would like to be involved in a group.

Another option is slow cooker recipes. You prepare the ingredients, put them in freezer bags or reusable containers and store them in the freezer until you are ready to cook. Jami at Life’s Little Moments has done a post about how she planned the recipes she was going to do and the prep work involved. She did this shortly before her 2nd baby was born so that her family would have meals for a month. You can adjust the types and number of recipes you want to try according to your needs and lifestyle.

But, sometimes a simple sandwich is the best. Do you enjoy bacon but don’t want to cook the whole package or deal with the grease and splatter? I do my bacon in the oven now, using baking pans and racks so the grease drips onto the foil-lined pan and I cook a package of bacon at the same time.  It’s easy, quick, freezes well and still tastes great. I also cook my sausages the same way and, like bacon, only takes 15 – 20 minutes to cook.

Bon appetit!

Food Porn Friday – Easy Holiday Meals

(Image via nanahood.com)

Holidays and food always go together. Something else that goes with the end-of-year holidays is stress. Whether it’s gift buying, office parties, school concerts or traveling, the one constant for most people is stress. And, with stress comes eating too much or too little. Here’s some quick and easy recipes, with some that can be made the night before, to help make the holidays a little bit less stressful.

(Image via SparkPeople.com)

Christmas morning can come with lots of excitement and gift opening. While the merriment is happening, you can have a delicious and healthy breakfast – that was prepared the night before – baking in the oven such as Better Breakfast Casserole.

(Image via bystephanielynn.com)

Here’s a collection of 40 breakfast casseroles from sites such as Betty Crocker, Cooking Light and Southern Living. Some may not be as healthy as the previous recipe but, it is the holidays.

(Image via clairebidwellsmith.com)

Leading up to, and during the holidays, there is an abundance of food and leftovers. You may want some quick and easy recipes to make that both children and adults will enjoy such as these Cupcake Mold Pizzas or Windy City Crescent Rolls.

(Image via neatpins.com)

There’s a lot of indulging happening during the holidays so there should be some healthy eating going on such as Mason Jar Salads.

Image via melskitchencafe.com)

And, because time is at a premium during the holiday season, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has 39 Meals to Make in 30 Minutes or Less.

Happy eating!

Food Porn Friday – WAFFLES!

(Image via theshiksa.com)

August 24th is National Waffle Day in the U.S. According to MrBreakfast.com, August 24th is the day in 1869 that Cornelius Swarthout received his patent for a waffle iron. There is also an International Waffle Day that is celebrated on March 25th that originated in Sweden. But, really, any day can be waffle day. They are easy to make and are great for any meal. And during this summer’s heat wave, I made these a few times for supper because I wasn’t standing in front of a stove on a ridiculously hot and humid day.

The best place to start is with a classic waffle recipe from Allrecipes.com.

Classic Waffles

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

As a side note, Allrecipes.com also offers suggestions on what you might like to drink with your waffles. They suggested coffee. Seems like a normal choice, as would tea or juice.

However, I would be remiss as a blogger if I didn’t give you evidence that they also suggested a Harvey Wallbanger as their first choice of drink! (Well, it does have orange juice in it.) Here’s the proof, click on it to get a clearer image. The recipe follows. CHEERS!

Harvey Wallbanger

OK, back to waffle recipes. Martha Stewart has a Potato Waffle recipe that can be made in advance because it “reheats exceptionally well”.

Potato Waffles

  • 2 (about 13 ounces) medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for cooking water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups nonfat buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

If you want some variety to your waffle-making, Grouprecipes.com has a basic waffle recipe that also includes a dozen variations to the recipe so that you can also make dessert and savoury waffles.

A Dozen Delicious Waffle Variations

Beer is an important ingredient in a variety of batter recipes and waffles are no different. This recipe from Allrecipes.com also includes honey that is supposed to add a nice crunch to the waffles. I’m sure a bottle (or few) of beer goes well with these waffles. Just like the Harvey Wallbangers go with the classic breakfast waffles. 🙂

Beer Batter Waffles

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Food Porn Friday: It’s S’mores Day!

It’s S’mores Day! The National Confectioners Association said it is. So it’s best not to argue and to just make some s’mores.

(Image via dailyinfographic.com)

Because so many of us are living in areas affected by drought and are not allowed to have any kind of outdoor fire, here’s some indoor s’mores-inspired recipes.

Food Porn Friday – Single Serving Rice Krispies Treat

(Image via myrecipes.com)

Rice Krispies Treats. Comfort snack food of our childhood. Or adulthood in my case. Lately, I’ve been making a single serving of Rice Krispies Treats when I want a snack. I was buying a prepackaged “crispy rice treat”. However, it’s 430 calories for their oversized single serving and I was also spending way too much money on them. So, I experimented with the microwave. With the heat wave, some days felt like 430 °. I also don’t have air conditioning and didn’t want to stand in front of the stove, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

So, I bought a box of cereal and some miniature marshmallows and made my own single serving treat using the microwave. My treats come to around 212 calories. Since I’m the only one who uses the cereal and marshmallows I use handfuls. But, so that I have a general idea of how many calories are in each serving, I measured the three ingredients.

Single Serving Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispies cereal 1 cup = 104 calories

1 tsp. margarine = 18 calories

50 mini marshmallows or 1/2 cup  = 90 calories

Microwave cooking time: under 45 seconds. I have an older microwave so times may vary a bit.

Letting treat cool in fridge: 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of container and thickness of treat.

Melt the margarine for 10 seconds.

Add the marshmallows and stir to lightly coat. Then it’s back in the microwave for another 30 seconds.

Stir for a few seconds until you have a smooth consistency.

Add the Rice Krispies and stir till everything is mixed and evenly spread in the dish. Put the container in the fridge for 5 – 10 minutes to cool and is ready to eat.

The treat is more marshmallowy than the original recipe because that’s how I prefer it. The amount of cereal and marshmallows can be changed to suit your taste.

Food Porn Friday – Unicorn Poop Cookies

(Image via instructables.com)

Yes, Unicorn Poop Cookies!

They are colourful sugar cookies that the kids, big and small, would enjoy eating. And I’m pretty sure they would enjoy saying that they are holding and eating unicorn poop cookies. The recipe is posted at Instructables.com by user kristylynn84 of Sweet Insanity Bake Shop. She gives step-by-step instructions with great pictures at each step. And check out the comments. As people have tried the recipe, they have given other sugar cookie recipes and tips to make it easier for those of us who will try making these cookies.

WARNING!:

The cookies she used for the pictures are for a cookies and cake show. One of the products she uses, called Disco Dust, is for arts and crafts and should  not be eaten. You can buy edible glitter to get the same effect.