Lazy cooking: Avocado Smoothie

Pulpit rock Pulpit rock

Avocado, Banana, Kiwi smoothie!
Half an avocado
Half a banana
1 kiwi
Strawberry kefir 1/2 cup to 1 cup (to taste)
Splash of orange juice (to taste)

For this recipe that makes about 2 cups of smoothie, I just throw everything into a measuring cup. Cut up half your avocado, banana, and your one kiwi into the measuring cup. Then I just pour my kefir until it reaches the 1 and 3/4 to 2 cup mark, and then I topped it off with a splash of orange juice, usually less than 1/4 cup (you don’t want it to be too citrus flavored).
Then I used an immersion blender, or you could use any other type of blender, to blend it all up!
This recipe is super easy, which is why it’s such a great breakfast meal to make at 6 in the morning before work!

Pulpit rock Pulpit rock

Summer Recipe! Funfetti Cake

This is from allrecipes.com, and I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes you can find the best recipes there! This is the only cake I’ve ever made from scratch before, and I’ve made it a couple times now.
The only downside is that it uses both shortening in the cake and butter in the frosting. Oh well, it’s delicious anyway, I’m sure I’ll come across something healthier to make eventually.

Ingredients
Original recipe makes 1 – 9×13 inch cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
Sprinkles(colored, and however much you want).

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just to combine. stir in vanilla, and colorful sprinkles. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost and enjoy.

Chocolate Powdered Sugar Frosting 
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Directions
1. Cream sugar, butter and vanilla. Add a small amount of milk (1 to 2 tablespoons).
2. Add cocoa and beat until fluffy. If frosting is too sweet add a little more milk.

Summer Recipe! Super Awesome Brownies!

Curtsy of my dear friend Lauren, this is my go-to recipe for brownies. Not only does it make a large amount, more than most recipes you find for brownies, but it’s super easy to make! They are more cakey type of brownies, but they are so tasty, you won’t even be thinking that unless you make fudge brownies at the same time!

Super Amazing Easy Brownies

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Combine first 7 ingredients. Stir until smooth. Pour into a greased 13x9x2inch pan. Sprinkle (or mix in) chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Summer Recipe: Vegan Mousse Cupcakes

I found this recipe here while trying to find healthy dessert recipes while ago. It’s become one of my favorite cupcake recipes, so simple to make, it’s vegan, and the mousse recipes makes twice the amount you need, which means you get to continue eating it with anything after the cupcakes are gone!

My version of these cupcakes usually don’t turn out vegan because the chocolate chips I use have milk in them… but whatever, they are still good!

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the mousse:
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (one package is usually 12 ounces)
12 oz extra firm silken tofu (the vacuum packed kind)
1/4 cup plain soy milk
2 tablespoons agave syrup or maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the cupcakes:
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Prepare the Mousse:
1. Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the soy milk, agave and vanilla extract. Puree until completely smooth. Set aside.
2. (I usually just melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn) In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Obviously you don’t have a double boiler so take a small sauce pan and fill half way with water. On top of that place a small sauté pan. Fill the sauté pan with chocolate chips and bring the water to a boil. 3. Use a rubber spatula to mix the chocolate as it melts. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the chocolate to the tofu and blend until well combined, use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender every so often.
5. Transfer the mousse to an air tight container or a bowl covered in saran wrap and let chill for an hour.

Prepare the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
3. Lightly spray the liners with cooking spray and pour batter into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
To assemble:
1. Once the mousse is chilled and set and the cupcakes have cooled, remove from the refrigerator and stir with a fork to a spreadable consistency.  Fit a pastry bag with a wide decorating tip. Fill the bag with mousse and pipe it onto the cupcake in a spiral, starting from the outside in or in. Add chocolate chips or chocolate shavings if you are feeling especially fancy pants.
2. Chill the cupcakes or a half hour to let the mousse set again and serve cold.

My friend Heather, below, pointing out how amazing this cupcake is!

Summer Recipe: Chicken Braid

This is one of my family’s go-to recipes if we’re having company, or there is nothing else to make. It’s pretty easy and incredibly delicious if you like chicken, broccoli, creaminess wrapped in a crescent roll! Originally found here, I give you options below of optional ingredients, and other shortcuts I take because I am a lazy cook!

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Chicken and Broccoli Braid

Original recipe makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped, (I used frozen slightly cooked)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped (I don’t usually add this)
1 clove crushed garlic (I used powdered)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)
1/4 cup diced onion (I used powdered)
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, beaten
1 can cream of chicken soup, for gravy topping after its cooked

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large bowl, toss together cooked chicken, broccoli, red bell pepper, garlic, Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt, almonds and onion.
Unroll crescent roll dough, and arrange flat on a medium baking sheet. Pinch together perforations to form a single sheet of dough. (I usually put the mixture in the middle, then make the braiding strips.) Using a knife or scissors, cut 1 inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side. Spread the chicken mixture along the center strip. Fold the side strips over chicken mixture, alternating strips from each side. Pinch or twist to seal.
Brush braided dough with the egg white. Bake in the preheated oven 25 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown.

Summer Recipe: Apple pie cookies

This recipe was found on the lovely pinterest. And it was one that I thought was so cute, so simple, yet amazing, and I just had to try instantly. So I repinned it, and went shopping. Originally found here!

I loved this recipe I made it twice. I had half a can of apple pie filling left over, so I bought another box of pie crusts and made them again! They also didn’t last a week… so… Here’s the recipe!

I love macro photos of food

Ingredients:

1 Box of frozen Pie Crust (2 sheets per box), I used Pillsbury
approx. 1 Can of Apple Pie Filling (just enough for a thin layer)
2 tbsp. Cinnamon/Sugar
1 tbsp. Nutmeg
Flour, so the pie crust doesn’t stick to your work surface
A round cookie cutter, I used a wine glass since I didn’t have any cookie cutters
Baking sheet covered in parchment/baking paper

 Directions: 

  1. Lay out a sheet of Pie Crust, sprinkle it with some flour and slightly roll it out, just to increase its surface area.
  2. Cut out your circles, I made about 12 with one sheet of pie crust
  3. Coarsely chop the Apple Pie Filling into small pieces…
  4. Lay out the apple pie filling on your circular pieces of pie crust.
  5. Roll out the second sheet of Pie Crust the same size as the first sheet, and slice it into strips
  6. Create a lattice crust  for the top of the pie filling. Create your lattice on top of the actual filling, as if it were a pie!
  7. Brush the tops of your cookies with either egg wash or left over apple pie filling
  8. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar and nutmeg.
  9. Place them onto a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for approx. 20-25 minutes, until they’re golden and firm.   Let them cool just a little.

Summer Recipe: Blueberry Pie

So blueberries were on sale at the store this week, in those huge packs, and you just couldn’t resist? And of course you have no idea what to do with them! Well, you can make muffins, eat them by the hand full, or make them into a delicious pie.

Oh my gosh this recipe, this combination is just amazing, I could eat large amounts of this and not feel any remorse.

This picture really doesn’t do it justice, because it was already half eaten when I remembered to take this photo. (There are only 4 pieces left over after only 2 days.)

Blueberry pie bars!! Or just pie

Ingredients

  • Crust and Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • Pie filling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/8 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 16 oz fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. To make the crust and topping, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add to the flour mixture. Process until the butter is evenly distributed but the mixture is still crumbly, 30-60 seconds.
  3. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to use as the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  4. To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then add the sugar, sour cream, flour, and almond extract. Gently fold in the berries and spoon the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the filling, and bake 45 to 55 minutes, until top turns a golden brown.
  5. Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into bars, or scoop out of the pan to serve cobbler-style.
  6. Enjoy with ice cream, or by itself.