Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Biscotti By Any Other Name…Would Be Cake Rusk

One of my favorite tea-time snacks as a kid was Indian cake rusk.  Do you know what it is?  Have you had it?

Well, it is delicious.

Since then I’ve grown up.

Since then I’ve also realized that cake rusk is really biscotti.  Since then I’ve made biscotti.  Several times.  And called it cake rusk to my Indian family so they too can understand – and awe at my creation.

And what I mean by “my creation” is that I used the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and changed it up a tad.

This is hands-down my favorite biscotti recipe.

The flavor is outstanding.  The subtle citrus combined with almonds makes this cake rusk biscotti perfect for tea time or any time at all.

Biscotti/Cake Rusk
–  adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • 3  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/3 t salt
  • 1  1/2 cup sugar
  • 1  1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 1 T orange juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
  4. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  5. By hand, not using an electric mixer, incorporate the flour mixture in three batches into the sugar/butter mixture.
  6. Incorporate until everything is blended and smooth.
  7. Add almonds to cookie dough.
  8. Divide dough in half and shape into two logs onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Make each dough into a 13-inch-long and 2-inch-high log.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven, but do not turn off oven.  Or, if you have to turn off the oven, note that you must have the oven back at 350 F when you re-bake the cookies.
  12. Cool completely.
  13. Once cool, transport the cookies (holding onto the parchment) to a cutting board.
  14. Cut each log into 1/2 wide slices.
  15. Lay each slice back on the cookie sheet with cut sides facing down.
  16. Bake for 12 minutes.
  17. Turn the cookies over and bake for another 8 minutes.
  18. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

FYI – Currently listening to: Pleasure Songs by The Mary Onettes

Do you like biscotti?  Have you tried the Smitten Kitchen recipe?  Do you drink it with tea? 

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19 Comments

Filed under baking, Cookies, Desserts, Italian, Vegetarian

Summer Smoothie

Sometimes, a smoothie can solve all problems.

For instance, when you are sweaty in the morning because you spent the night under your winter sheets, a smoothie really can perk you right up.

Or, when you ate an inordinate amount of pizza for dinner, and you really need to fill your taste buds (and body) with normal whole foods, a smoothie can jump-start your road to good eating the next day.

This is my go-to all-around-great summer smoothie.  And, it’s SCD approved!

Summer Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 handfuls of organic spinach
  • 2 tbsp honey, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into blender until you are left with a magnificent and refreshing smoothie.

I added natural peanut butter and almonds.  Next time, I’ll use more drippy peanut butter, but the flavor was all there.  The almonds add the perfect crunch while giving you all the antioxidant goodness.

What’s in your summer smoothie?

16 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Vegetarian

Thai Tanee

I love Asian food.  Obviously I’m a huge fan of Indian.  My next favorite would be Korean.  Then, Japanese.  Of my top 10 Asian food favs, I think Thai food would be the last or near the last on that list.

I rarely crave it, but when I do, it’s almost an unstoppable force.  Yesterday was one of those days.

Binks and I Yelp-ed and found Thai Tanee.

Tai Tanee is located in a strip center, and if I weren’t looking for it, I would likely drive by and never notice.  But, I’m very glad I stopped.

Upon entering the restaurant, you immediately (well, I immediately) notice how clean everything is.  We were immediately seated by the sweetest of wait staff.

Binks and I usually share when we go out to eat, so we came up with a game plan.

Appetizers: Tanee Egg Rolls with chicken.  *not pictured, forgive me.

Main Course: Chicken Larb Salad and an order of steamed rice.

When the waitress came to take our order, I made sure to say, Thai hot – very very hot.  As always, I got the typical reaction – “Yes, Yes.”  And, I had to stop her.  No, I mean really – Thai hot – very very hot, I told her again.  She walked off and I hoped to goodness she would know.

She arrived with this:

Don’t let the plethora of red pepper flakes fool you.  It wasn’t Thai hot.  If you have ever cooked with the Thai peppers, you know what Thai hot is.

But, it was full of Thai flavor.  While it was a tad on the sweeter side, Binks and I really enjoyed the meal.

The picture doesn’t do it justice.  The portions were huge.  Mind you, Binks and I shared.

I of course had to have my side dish mixture of garlic chili paste, Sriracha sauce, and low-sodium soy sauce.

Per usual, my side dish mixture turned into pretty much a main course on my plate.

After the waitress saw my hot sauce concoction she said: “Oh, you like really hot.”  I smiled and nodded while sweating out of every orifice in my body.

I’m 80% sure I gave myself 40 new ulcers.  I left very satisfied.

Do you love Thai food?  Have you tried larb salad?  Do you like spicy?  Thai hot?  Do you dare? 🙂

20 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Uncategorized

The Munchies

I have been attempting to make a conscious effort to eat more snacks throughout the day.

I’m generally a three square meals per day person.  I typically (while working) wait until I get hungry and then I eat – ravenously.  ‘Tis not a good thing, my friends.  ‘Tis really not.

So, I made a Central Market run.  Let’s just say I picked up some newbies along with my usuals.

That is my office desk – well a portion of it.  Is it usually covered in food?  Considering I live walking distance to Whole Foods, and made a much-needed Central Market run after paying off taxes yesterday (yikes!), I like to gather the goods and inspect my inventory.

The usuals (not pictured): heirloom oranges, bananas, and grapefruit.  I have been on a citrus kick lately.  Hellooo summer!

I have heard about Justin’s nut butters all over the blog world and finally purchased some.  I have to admit that I’m saving these (I have two more packs) for my San Fran to San Diego trip in May.  Again, after paying taxes yesterday (yikes!), I figured I need to cut down on the eating out costs at home and on vacation and pack some healthy snacks.

Have you bought Justin’s nut butters for an on-the-go snack?  How do you eat it?

Now, if you’ve been through Central Market, you would likely hear the constant popping as you turn the bulk section and come to the dairy aisle.  Have you seen this?  It’s magnificent.

Binks is in love with this.  It’s crunch, it’s light and it pretty much can hold any topping.  Binks also asked the rep behind the machine how much the machine costs and how cool it would be to have one in the house.  I just stood there watching this disaster occur – while eating my sample of Magic Pop with Biscoff  Spread.

Which leads me to the main attraction.


I have coveted the original Biscoff cookie since I had it on a Delta flight once.  Then, I found out about the spread.  It’s been a Biscoff whirlwind in my life.

While I have saved several recipes and made modifications in an attempt to make my own Biscoff cookie and then the Spread, I gave up – for now.  I bought a jar.

And it’s been glorious.

Have you tried Biscoff?  How do you eat it?  Do you love it?  What are some healthy office snacks you keep around?  Are you a snacker or a 3-meals-a-day person? 

29 Comments

Filed under Favorites, Health, Life, Vegetarian

Ooh La La.

I know I just wrote about how I never order breakfasts at restaurants.  However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love to cook it at home – especially on weekends (seen here and here).

And this weekend was no different.

I had crepes on the mind.

So Delicious coconut milk really is so so delicious.  I’ve replaced almond milk for a while with this.  It’s perfect and slightly sweet for the summer.

Whisk your heart out because there is no room for leaving any clumps of any kind.  The French would be very angry otherwise.

I promise you will yield the most delicious, soft and slightly sweet crepes.

I had one plain.

And of course, I had one with Nutella.  It just wouldn’t be as authentic without it.

And, one with blueberries and Nutella.

After eating, I was ready to take my French experience to another level.  So, I popped in the Moulin Rouge DVD and sang my heart out…to Wally.

Très magnifique.

Crepes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk (you can use regular milk if you want)*
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup flour

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.
  2. Whisk in milk and melted butter.  The melted butter should be slightly cooled before adding.  Even then, make sure you constantly whisk while adding the butter as you do not want any cooked eggs.
  3. Add salt and sugar and combine.
  4. Add flour and whisk ensuring that are NO clumps in the batter.
  5. Heat a large, flat non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Spray pan with cooking spray.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of the mixture to the hot pan and swivel the pan in a circular motion to allow the batter to thinly coat the surface of the pan evenly.
  8. Cook on each side for approximately 2 minutes.  The bottoms of the crepe will be lightly browned.  Don’t cook for too long as it will be dry.

Have you tried crepes (eating and/or making)?  Are you a fan?  Have you been to Paris?  Did you love it?  Have you seen Moulin Rouge?  Do you sing the Elephant Love Medley like I do (i.e. maniac)?

24 Comments

Filed under Breakfast

How I Do Art

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been stalking most of the internet for house decor purchases lately.

I have some wall space to the right of my fireplace where I knew I wanted to hang some framed art – something that really represented Binks and I.

I found the perfect frames for the area at West Elm.

Most of my stalking revolves around Etsy.  Quite coincidentally, I found poordogfarm and I really fell in love with two pieces in particular.

I always refer to Binks as a Little Bird.

And he refers to me an as Elephant.

(Let’s say when we were dating, I took great offense to this at first because I thought he was just calling me fat.  But, after finding out the reasons, I realized how special it really is.  Plus, if he was making jokes, I’ll just squash that little bird with one leg.)

The classic prints look perfect in the frames.

I can’t wait to hang them up this weekend.

Where and how do you art?  Do you stalk Etsy?  What are some of your favorite Etsy sellers?

14 Comments

Filed under Life

Mojo

I’ve been flailing around on the blog lately.  I apologize.

But, my no-desire-to-cook has been going away and my ideas are coming back.  What’s also happened is that the doctor has said to stop the SCD diet before taking the SIBO test so that my hydrogen levels can be monitored based on my actual levels.

As I had nothing in the house as of yesterday, Binks and I went out for breakfast before work.  On our way to work, we always pass by The Egg & I.  It’s always packed and I had to see what I was missing.

Mind you, we went for breakfast.

Meet my breakfast:

I have been meaning to reveal this for a while, but never found the appropriate time.  I think this is the time.

I don’t like to order breakfast.  I don’t know what it is.  When I said, I never get French Toast anywhere, I also meant to say that I never really get breakfast anywhere.  I rarely go out for breakfast, but when I do, my first question to the waitress is: “Can I order lunch now?”

I love eating breakfast, but I never can bring myself to ordering it if I don’t have to.

I have problems.  Again, I apologize.

The club sandwich was delicious.  I finished a quarter of it and the fruit for breakfast.  Yum!

I saved the rest for later as snacks throughout the day.  I had another quarter at about 11:30 a.m. and then another quarter at 3:30 p.m.  Binks had the rest.

Who knew I could find so much color in a sandwich?!  🙂  I’m always game for a good club sandwich.

Binks, on the other hand, eats like a 5-year-old when offered breakfast.

If you take him to breakfast, there is a 90% chance that he will order something with chocolate chips in it.

I had a bite of his pancake and it tasted like chocolate chip cake.  A mix of a chocolate chip cookie with a fluffy moist cake.  It was pretty much perfect.

I will definitely go back.  But, I can’t make any promises that I’ll order breakfast.

Finally, I apologize.

Do you have breakfast issues at restaurants?  Or are you normal?  Do you like club sandwiches?  What do you order for breakfasts at restaurants?

15 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Lunch