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Tag Archive: healthy

Sweet Potato and Sage Risotto

January 27, 2016 Print this page

A lot of people get intimidated by risotto, but you really shouldn’t–it’s super easy to make, and it’s a delicious, hearty dinner for a cold winter night. I gave one of my favorite dishes a fresh new spin by frying some sage leaves, adding a splash (a, er, rather large splash) of white wine, and stirring in some roasted sweet potato puree just before serving.

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time 50 minutes, ish, I don't know, really
Total Time 1 hour, ish
Yield 4 servings

3 tablespoons of olive oil

8 large sage leaves

1 red onion, chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of arborio rice

1 cup of white wine

3 cups (approximately) of vegetable broth

Salt, to taste

A pinch of nutmeg

A pinch of smoked paprika

1 cup of roasted sweet potato puree

3/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

In the bottom of a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until glistening. Once hot, add the sage leaves, and fry until they are crispy and beginning to turn brown around the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the fried sage leaves to paper towels and set aside.

To the sage-infused olive oil in the Dutch oven or heavy pot, add the chopped red onion and saute with a pinch of salt until beginning to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute longer, then pour in the rice. Stir frequently for two minutes, then slowly pour in the white wine.

Bring everything to a bubble, then reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring continuously, until all of the wine has been dissolved. Once things start to look dry again, slowly pour in a cup of the vegetable broth and keep stirring frequently until the liquid is again absorbed. Keep repeating this process until the risotto is thick, creamy, and the rice is fairly (BUT NOT TOTALLY) soft when you take a bite.

Yes, you have to stir constantly. Use it as an excuse for why you didn’t do your AP Stats homework. And no, I don’t know how approximately long this is going to take, or how much liquid you’re gonna have to add. Risotto is one of those things where you sit back, relax, taste as you go, and you’ll know when it’s done. Trust me.

When you think the risotto is just about done, add the nutmeg, smoked paprika, roasted sweet potato puree, and salt to taste. Stir continuously to slightly thicken the risotto, about 3-4 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. (Hey buddy, go easy on the nutmeg! It can overpower easily!) When you’re satisfied, stir in the cheese and remove from the heat.

Serve immediately with the fried sage leaves on top. Please pour yourself a glass of wine, because I can’t yet. Thank you.


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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies with White + Dark Chocolate Kisses

December 28, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Oh yes. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for.

THE RELEASE OF THE RECIPE FOR THE INFAMOUS CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES!!!

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(If you know me, you know I am now hysterically laughing all by myself and will not stop these maniacal giggles for at least another five minutes.)

But these cookies are #goals and #aspirations. What’s with the hashtags? #idk. Have I lost a great amount of self-respect over the course of the past month? #perhaps. 😉

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I am so happy that it’s winter break, and that I’m currently sitting on a beach chair and listening to the ocean waves crash against the shore as my fingers pitter-patter away on my laptop’s keyboard. I think I understand why they call twelfth grade senior year: the stress ages you until you need either a cane, Social Security, or both.

*Badum tsssssssss*

But seriously. The past month has been a tired trudge through college decisions, more applications, endless essay-writing, tears, screams of joy, late-night panic attacks over Facebook Messenger, Snapchats with black and white filters and text labeled “crying and no longer trying,” distribution of sympathy brownies, and miserable mornings where I’ve hidden under my favorite English teacher’s desk clutching a pink blankie (true story). The moments of happiness were wonderful beyond compare, but the rest…

Still, I feel incredibly grateful for everything that has happened. Why?!

Well, throughout this anxiety-ridden time, I’ve honestly made more meaningful connections with the people around me than I have this entire school year. You know that High School Musical song “We’re All in This Together?” That’s what the past four weeks have felt like, at least to me. It’s been so…nice to see everyone giving each other hugs and talking openly and candidly with one another. Even though a lot of my friends received not-so-good news, others received fabulous news, and everyone was there for everyone else either way. In my humble opinion, it’s been a truly beautiful thing to witness, and I feel so lucky to have watched it unfold.

I’ve had wonderful, heart-warming conversations with some of the most lovely, kind people I know, both friends and teachers. I’ve gone on some fabulous adventures with my best friends to take my mind off of things. Yes, I’ve had moments of despair, but I’ve also had many moments of contentment, where I’ve been so happy that the universe has given me exactly what I needed after all. And for that, I will smile, because I can give love, I can feel love, and I can choose love.

You know what else was awesome? The ABBY BAKING RAVE 2k15!!!

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Every year, I bake my teachers a variety of goodies around the holidays, but this year, I went all-out, because hey, it’s senior year: go big or go home! (That was the catchphrase that was going to be on our homecoming t-shirt, but then the administration nixed it because it’s supposedly a reference to alcohol. Ouch.)

I certainly went big. I started on a Sunday morning at 8:30 A.M., then baked and boxed almost non-stop until 1:30 A.M., pausing only to go to yoga so I could stretch myself out. (I then got up at 5:30 A.M. to do some more baking because I’m dumb/care too much.) I made croissants and pain au chocolat from scratch, linzer heart cookies with homemade raspberry jam, gingerbread cookies that I hand-decorated meticulously (there were 28 gingerbread folk in total!!!), and of course these crinkle cookies, whose kisses I also made myself. It was a tiring twenty four hours, but each element of the holiday treat box came out perfectly. I must say I’m very proud. 🙂

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I healthified/veganized this recipe 100% on my own. Basically, I took a glance at a traditional recipe (loaded with copious amounts of butter and processed ingredients), adjusted some ratios, made some swaps, and VOILA, magic happened. They were so chocolaty, tender, and delicious…I wish I had more than the one I saved for myself. 🙁 Oh well, guess I’ll have to make them again!

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Now, you can use regular chocolate kisses from the store, but I personally prefer to DIY them, simply because I can use much better quality chocolate and keep dairy out of the equation. It’s quite easy, really: all you need is some of your favorite melted chocolate and a kiss mold, and you’re set to go! People will be very impressed when you tell them you made the kisses from scratch. 🙂

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Hugs and kisses from me to you. <3

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies with White + Dark Chocolate Kisses

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 11 min
Total Time 30 min
Yield 18-24 cookies

FOR THE KISSES:

3 ounces of dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

3 ounces of white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (use dairy-free white chocolate to keep it completely vegan)

Chocolate kiss mold

FOR THE COOKIES:

1 1/4 cups of non-hydrogenated palm shortening (I like Spectrum, which is unrefined and organic)

1 1/2 cups of unrefined cane sugar (you can reduce it down to 1 cup, but don’t go any further!), plus more for rolling (not hating)

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder + 6 tablespoons of water, whisked together in a small bowl

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

FOR THE KISSES:

Using a little spoon, layer in white chocolate on the bottom of each slot in the mold, then put a little layer of dark chocolate on top. Keep layering a little bit at a time until you’ve reached the top.

Using a toothpick, gently swirl the white and dark chocolate together, scraping up and down the sides of each mold slot to make the pattern visible.

Chill in the freezer until solid, about 30 minutes. Pop out of the molds and store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to use.

FOR THE COOKIES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the palm shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the arrowroot/water mixture and vanilla, then beat on medium for another minute or two more.

In a medium bowl, sift together the whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the mixture 1 cup at a time to the wet ingredients, setting the mixer on low to ensure that you don’t have flour going up in your face.

Once all of the dry ingredients have been added, test the batter. If it holds together pretty well in a ball and doesn’t feel too sticky, you’re good! If it feels a bit too wet, add in another 1/4 cup of pastry flour and see where you’re at. If it feels too dry, add a splash or two of soy or almond milk to keep things moist.

Pour a bit of unrefined cane sugar into a bowl. Using a decent-sized ice cream scoop, take a large scoop of cookie dough and roll it into a sphere with your hands. Drop it in the sugar, roll it around to coat completely, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Pat the top three times gently with your hand and repeat with the remaining cookie dough. (I recommend placing nine to twelve dough balls on each sheet.)

Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, until they begin to feel firm around the edges. Remove from the oven and promptly kiss each one with a frozen kiss that you prepared. Leave the cookies to hang out at room temperature for 10 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely so the kisses don’t melt.


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Thank you, reader, for listening to me babble about my life. It’s been a wild year and I’ve had a lot to say about it, haha! You are a beautiful human being and I love you, whoever you are! May your 2016 be filled with happiness, laughter, and light. xoxo

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies with White + Dark Chocolate Kisses

December 26, 2015 Print this page

I would like to present one of the fruitful results of the Abby Baking Rave 2k15, where I baked almost non-stop from 8:30 A.M. to 1:30 A.M., then rose at 5:30 A.M. to bake homemade croissants and pain au chocolat for my teachers. 🙂 What can I say, this was my post-college-stress relaxation? I’m strange.

Okay. You need to make these. They’re ~amazing~.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 11 min
Total Time 30 min
Yield 18-24 cookies

FOR THE KISSES:

3 ounces of dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

3 ounces of white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (use dairy-free white chocolate to keep it completely vegan)

Chocolate kiss mold

FOR THE COOKIES:

1 1/4 cups of non-hydrogenated palm shortening (I like Spectrum, which is unrefined and organic)

1 1/2 cups of unrefined cane sugar (you can reduce it down to 1 cup, but don’t go any further!), plus more for rolling (not hating)

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder + 6 tablespoons of water, whisked together in a small bowl

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

FOR THE KISSES:

Using a little spoon, layer in white chocolate on the bottom of each slot in the mold, then put a little layer of dark chocolate on top. Keep layering a little bit at a time until you’ve reached the top.

Using a toothpick, gently swirl the white and dark chocolate together, scraping up and down the sides of each mold slot to make the pattern visible.

Chill in the freezer until solid, about 30 minutes. Pop out of the molds and store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to use.

FOR THE COOKIES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the palm shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the arrowroot/water mixture and vanilla, then beat on medium for another minute or two more.

In a medium bowl, sift together the whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the mixture 1 cup at a time to the wet ingredients, setting the mixer on low to ensure that you don’t have flour going up in your face.

Once all of the dry ingredients have been added, test the batter. If it holds together pretty well in a ball and doesn’t feel too sticky, you’re good! If it feels a bit too wet, add in another 1/4 cup of pastry flour and see where you’re at. If it feels too dry, add a splash or two of soy or almond milk to keep things moist.

Pour a bit of unrefined cane sugar into a bowl. Using a decent-sized ice cream scoop, take a large scoop of cookie dough and roll it into a sphere with your hands. Drop it in the sugar, roll it around to coat completely, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Pat the top three times gently with your hand and repeat with the remaining cookie dough. (I recommend placing nine to twelve dough balls on each sheet.)

Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, until they begin to feel firm around the edges. Remove from the oven and promptly kiss each one with a frozen kiss that you prepared. Leave the cookies to hang out at room temperature for 10 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely so the kisses don’t melt.


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Healthier Smores Cupcakes

December 2, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Aren’t these cupcakes absolutely gorgeous?! I think they were worth waving over a candle for an hour. Yup, I did that. My blowtorch broke, so I used a candle to brown the top. Hey, when you have determination, you can do anything.

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Sigh. I could totally go for a glass of determination right now. I’m kinda stuck in this very transitional time and it kinda totally blows. I try to be optimistic, to smile and see beauty in everything and sing Kumbaya, but most days I’m just so tired that I put my head down and keep plowing through. Sometimes I’m slightly convinced I’m going crazy, like when I drew myself as a prickly pink sea cucumber or when I was entertained by a cardboard box for a good fifteen minutes.

Is it too late to reclaim my identity as a cat?

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I have a dream, and it’s so close that I can almost reach my hand out and grab it. And that’s super exciting. But at the same time, I feel like I’m going to vomit because that dream might not be mine to grab, and I’m going to have to pick up the pieces and find a new one instead. And right now…I know…nothing. That’s terrifying.

Ah, the trials and tribulations of being a teenager! At least I’ll always have cooking and baking to keep me preoccupied.

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I’ve been up since 4:30 A.M. so I’ll spare you my mindless prattle and cut to the chase: THESE CUPCAKES. YOU MUST MAKE THEM. I didn’t have one–I gave all of them away to friends and family–but the reports from the taste testers were astoundingly positive. (Apparently one of my English teachers refused to share his cupcake when asked by a colleague because it was so good.) Several people said this was the best cupcake they’ve ever eaten, so you’ve gotta believe it, folks!

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So go forth. Make cupcakes. Send good energy and prayers or whatever you do and dance little positivity dances for me. Thank you. Love you. <3

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Smores Cupcakes

Making cupcakes is fun, but you know what’s even more fun? Burning cupcakes, on purpose, for ART! No, I’m not a pyromaniac, just a girl who likes making cupcakes extra pretty.

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time 20 min
Total Time 1 hr 30 min
Yield 10-12 cupcakes

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

1 large egg, at room temperature

2/3 cup unrefined cane sugar or coconut sugar

1/4 cup of molasses

1 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of vegetable oil or melted coconut oil

2 tablespoons of coconut cream (the thick stuff at the top of the can)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

4 ounces of dark chocolate, chips or chopped finely

1/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk

FOR THE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE:

3 egg whites

3/4 cup of unrefined cane sugar

3/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with parchment liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, molasses, almond milk/vinegar mixture, oil, coconut cream, and vanilla extract until well-combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together with a fork and fold into the wet ingredients, 1 cup at a time, until no clumps of flour remain. DO NOT over-mix.

Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, scoop the batter into the parchment liners until each is 3/4 the way full. Bake in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 20 minutes.

Let cool in the muffin tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to come to room temperature.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Once completely melted, add in the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir with a spatula. Let cool at room temperature or in the fridge until thickened but still very pliable.

Using an inverted spatula, spread a generous scoop of the ganache all over the top of each cupcake. Let the ganache harden a bit at room temperature while you make the marshmallow.

FOR THE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE:

In a small saucepan, warm the egg whites and sugar over medium-low heat until the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the cream of tartar and salt, and beat on medium-high until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes longer.

Immediately fill pastry bags fitted with a fat French tip with the prepared marshmallow meringue. Decoratively pipe it all over the top of each prepared cupcake, making whatever patterns you desire.

TO FINISH:

Using a culinary blowtorch (or a candle, if you’re old-school), gently brulee the top of each cupcake until the meringue begins to brown. Try not to stay in one place too long: once you’ve achieved browning, move onto the next section.

Store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Best if consumed right away.


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Happy December, everybody! 🙂


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Smores Cupcakes

November 14, 2015 Print this page

Making cupcakes is fun, but you know what’s even more fun? Burning cupcakes, on purpose, for ART! No, I’m not a pyromaniac, just a girl who likes making cupcakes extra pretty.

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time 20 min
Total Time 1 hr 30 min
Yield 10-12 cupcakes

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

1 large egg, at room temperature

2/3 cup unrefined cane sugar or coconut sugar

1/4 cup of molasses

1 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of vegetable oil or melted coconut oil

2 tablespoons of coconut cream (the thick stuff at the top of the can)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

4 ounces of dark chocolate, chips or chopped finely

1/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk

FOR THE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE:

3 egg whites

3/4 cup of unrefined cane sugar

3/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with parchment liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, molasses, almond milk/vinegar mixture, oil, coconut cream, and vanilla extract until well-combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together with a fork and fold into the wet ingredients, 1 cup at a time, until no clumps of flour remain. DO NOT over-mix.

Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, scoop the batter into the parchment liners until each is 3/4 the way full. Bake in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 20 minutes.

Let cool in the muffin tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to come to room temperature.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Once completely melted, add in the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir with a spatula. Let cool at room temperature or in the fridge until thickened but still very pliable.

Using an inverted spatula, spread a generous scoop of the ganache all over the top of each cupcake. Let the ganache harden a bit at room temperature while you make the marshmallow.

FOR THE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE:

In a small saucepan, warm the egg whites and sugar over medium-low heat until the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the cream of tartar and salt, and beat on medium-high until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes longer.

Immediately fill pastry bags fitted with a fat French tip with the prepared marshmallow meringue. Decoratively pipe it all over the top of each prepared cupcake, making whatever patterns you desire.

TO FINISH:

Using a culinary blowtorch (or a candle, if you’re old-school), gently brulee the top of each cupcake until the meringue begins to brown. Try not to stay in one place too long: once you’ve achieved browning, move onto the next section.

Store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Best if consumed right away.


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