The 3-Day Reset Teaser Tour

Yesterday, May 6th, The 3-Day Reset by Pooja Mottl, hit the shelves. This book helps cut cravings by offering three day plans to follow. The chapters include sugar, salt, wheat, chocolate, yogurt, chicken, beverage, breakfast, salad, and take-out. This book helps us change how we think about food.

Here’s an exclusive tip from the sugar reset chapter:

1) Beware of the various names that “ADDED SUGARS” masquerade under on ingredient lists. Here are some that commonly pop-up on a broad range of packaged, bottled, and boxed foods and beverages:

  • Corn-syrup solids
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Glucose
  • Sucrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Demerara

2) Don’t forget that added sugars aren’t just in sweet foods and drinks, they can also be found in a broad range of savory foods such as cured meats, almond milk, ketchup, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Attached is an infographic to help guide you when you’re grocery shopping!

3) Try to eat whole, unrefined sources of sweetness, in moderation, about 80% of the time. The best sources for healthy sweetness are:

  • Whole, ripe, fresh fruits
  • Dried fruits and vegetables such as dates, pineapple, and tomatoes
  • Raw, unpasteurized honey
  • 100% maple syrup
  • Whole dried cane sugar or coconut palm sugar granulated crystals

 

AND GUESS WHAT!? The Law Student’s Cookbook has one signed book to giveaway!
The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.
This giveaway runs through the 16th of May!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

White Fish on Mashed Fava Beans

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This month at Cooking with Herbs, we’re playing with mint. Mint is one of my favorite herbs, though not one I use very frequently. I find mint to only work in some things – it isn’t like oregano or even basil which I use frequently and feel like work in a lot of dishes. When I generally think of mint I think of lamb. I made the intentional decision this time to pick something very different than how I usually use mint – so no lamb! Instead I found a recipe using fish and fava beans.

The mashed fava beans were sort of strange? Or interesting. They tasted good, but I’ve never made anything like it before.

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White Fish on Mashed Fava Beans
(source)

 

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups canned fava beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup + 2 tsp mint, chopped
2 tsp lemon peel, grated
3/4 tsp salt
2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
6 fillets of white fish of your choice – I used cod
9 tbsp olive oil
all-purpose flour (for dredging)

Directions

1. In a boiling pot of water, cook the fava beans for 2 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

2. Mix 2 tsp of mint, 1 tsp lemon peel, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1 pinch red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Arrange fish on a rimmed baking sheet.  Rub the mint mixture over the fish. Set aside.

3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the fava beans. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook over heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. If they begin to get dry, add 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking. Using a potato masher, mash the beans. If they are dry, add 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Dredge fish in flour. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until slightly brown and opaque in the middle, about 4 minutes per side.

5. Stir remaining mint, lemon peel, and 3 tbsp of olive oil in the fava beans.

6. Serve the fish on top of the fava beans.

* serves 6
* Besides Cooking with Herbs, I’m sharing this recipe with Weekend Cooking 

Steamed Buns

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The best way to put this, is that this was a huge experiment. It wasn’t exactly successful, but the end result was edible and flavorful.

Maybe I should have taken them out of these silly cupcake wrappers to photograph. Maybe I shouldn’t have snapped the picture quickly before chowing all these buns down. But I won’t live my life with too many maybes. :)

This month’s movie for Food ‘n Flix was a movie I watched all the time in college, Kung Fu Panda hosted by girlichef. Why did I watch it a lot? I don’t know. I also watched Happy Feet a lot. My college movie tastes were more along the line of a 5-year old’s.

I shouldn’t have let my boyfriend have a say in the dish, because if it had been entirely up to me I would have made an Asian dish with peaches in it for the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom.

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I didn’t do that though. Instead I made steamed buns that lacked the appropriate shape and were shoved into cupcake wrappers. Next time I’m making the calls without input from the peanut gallery.

FoodnFlix

Steamed Buns
(source)

FOR THE DOUGH
500 gram all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
50 gram sugar
3 gram salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil

FOR THE STUFFING
1 1/2 lb ground beef (which you probably shouldn’t use like I did, because it’s greasy, use pork or turkey)
1/2 cup spinach, shredded
1 tbsp salt
5 green onions, diced
2 inch ginger, diced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp ground pepper

Directions

1. Combine the yeast with the lukewarm water to activate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a bread mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Attach the dough hook. Turn it on and slowly add the activated yeast and the milk. Then slowly add the vegetable oil.

3. Knead with the bread hook for 15 minutes. It should form a smooth, soft, non-sticky ball of dough. Add liquid or flour if the texture of the dough is too sticky or too dry.

4. Cover the bowl with plastic. Place somewhere warm and let the dough rest for an hour. The dough should double in size. Turn on the mixer again, allowing the dough to be kneaded for 5 more minutes.

5. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Mix 1 tbsp of salt with the spinach. Let sit for 20 minutes.

6. After 20 minutes, press any liquid out of the spinach. Add the remaining filling ingredients to the bowl and mix together with your hands. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

7. Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured surface. Divide the dough into four portions and roll each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

8. Cut each log into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Press the ball flat in your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a round flat circle, about 4 inches in diameter.

9. Place 1 tbsp of the filling in each piece. Wrap the bun by folding the edge counterclockwise until the bun is completely sealed.

10. Place the buns in a steamer on parchment paper (or uh, cupcake wrappers.) Cover and let sit for 45 minutes.

11. Steam the buns for 15 minutes over high heat. Turn off the heat and keep the buns covered for 5 minutes before removing from the steamer.

* makes about 24 buns

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

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There is no reason for my lack of updates in the last month, except that I frequently suck at blogging. Life gets in the way sometime. And my computer died thanks to my cat and now I’m stuck using Windows 8.1 which makes me want to poke myself in the eyes.

A month ago I lamented about how AlphaBakes was meeting its end. However, luckily for me, there was a change of heart! This month, AlphaBakes and Random Recipes joined together to create a combined challenge of alpha-baking and picking random cookbooks off of my shelf.

So how does this challenge work? We were told to pick a random cookbook off of our shelves, go to the index and look under “A,” and pick one of those recipes to make.

The random number generator chose the book A Baker’s Field Guide to Cupcakes by Dede Wilson. This is a fun cupcake book, filled with seasonal cupcakes. When I made it to the index I was given the option to make these Caramel Apple Cupcakes or the April Fool’s Day “Spaghetti and Meatballs” Cupcakes. Perhaps the latter would have been appropriate, since it is April this month, but I wasn’t really in the mood for decorating cupcakes. Despite the caramel apple variety being in the Thanksgiving section, I opted to go that way!

These cupcakes are almost muffin-y. Perhaps a little sweeter than a standard muffin, but having the fruit in it felt so much more like a muffin to me than a cupcake.

Anyway, I’m glad to be blogging again. There’s more to come in the next few days!

AlphaBakes Logorandom

 

 

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Ingredients
2/3 cup peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
18 Kraft caramels
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
3 cups sugar, divided
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. First make the streusel. Melt one stick of butter. Mix it with 2/3 cup of sugar, the cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined. Then stir in 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and mix together, allowing it to clump together and form crumbs. Set aside.

2. Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt together in a small bow. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the other stick of butter until creamy. Add 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp sugar, gradually beating until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 tsp of the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Beat in the eggs one at a time and scrape the bowl after each addition. Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternating with the sour cream.

4. Fold the chopped apples into the cupcake batter.

5. Prepare a cupcake tin, allowing for this recipe to make approximately 18 cupcakes. Fill each paper liner one-quarter of the way full with batter. Top with some streusel. Fill with remaining batter and top with remaining streusel.

6. Bake for 22 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

7. Melt the caramels in a double boiler on in a microwave. Drizzle the caramel over the top of the cupcakes.

* makes 18 cupcakes
* these cupcakes are also being shared with Mix It Up Monday

Roasted Butternut Squash and Udon Noodles

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Alphabakes has reached the end of the alphabet. This makes me sad. This has been a fun activity to participate in. *Hint Hint* People should suggest other round-ups like Alphabakes to me! I participate frequently in We Should Cocoa, Random Recipes, and some others as well. What other ones should I do?

I obviously have not been updating frequently. I’ve been cooking, but nothing exciting. Work has been overwhelming me. And on top of work (which really just means my volunteer attorney position that involves a $0 paycheck,) I’ve been applying for jobs and trying to find an office that will actually pay me. I’ve been feeling bitter and have been having a hard time emotionally with this, which is making my updating pretty abysmal. But I did decide to participate in the last Alphabakes – this month’s letter is U.

This was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. The squash, the garlic, the noodles – this was such a good dish. The longest part of the whole thing is waiting for the squash to roast. Once roasted though, it comes together easily.

AlphaBakes Logo

Roasted Butternut Squash and Udon Noodles
(inspiration)

Ingredients
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
9 oz udon noodles
3 cloves garlic
1-inch piece ginger, peeled
1/4 cup parsley
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp honey
1 tsp sesame seeds

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss together the squash and olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, until tender.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook to the package specifications. Drain and set aside.

3. In a food process, add the garlic and ginger. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the parsley and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and sesame seeds. Pulse some more.

4. Toss the squash, udon, and sauce together.

* serves 2
* besides Alphabakes, this recipe is being shared with Weekend Cooking

Stir-Fried Beef with Mint

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This month for Cooking with Herbs, I opted to make a stir-fry. For February we were challenged to make something either romantic (for Valentine’s Day) or Chinese for Chinese New Year. I decided to make a stir-fry to celebrate the Lunar New Year. I grew up in San Francisco and went to a predominantly Chinese school. I loved Chinese New Year, for the red envelopes filled with money. I really could use one of those now . . . Filled with lots of money!

Anyway, this stir-fry features beef, mint, garlic, and onion. I love stir-fry for their simplicity and quickness. A meal ready in under 20 minutes is always nice.

Stir-Fried Beef with Mint

Ingredients
1 lb skirt steak, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp crushed red chili peppers
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped

Directions

1. Put the red chili, garlic, and onion together in a cup. Mush together to make something resembling a paste.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok. Once hot, add the onion mixture. Cook the mixture until it turns golden brown.

3. Add the beef. Cook the beef until it’s no longer pink.

4. Add the fish sauce, sugar, water, and mint. Cook for several minutes, stirring consistently, until the liquid becomes thick.

5. Serve over rice.

* serves 4
* besides Cooking with Herbs, this recipe is being shared with #FoodieFriday Foodie Friday, & Tasty Tuesdays

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

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This month, Random Recipes and We Should Cocoa banded together to create a wonderful challenge. Randomly pick a cookbook and randomly pick a recipe from said cookbook that uses . . . you guessed it! CHOCOLATE!

Somehow, despite being random, I keep picking my favorite cookbook off the shelf. Either I just need more cookbooks to be randomly selected or there’s some sort of magnetism that keeps this book coming back to me. Welcome again my favorite cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin. In the past, for Random Recipes I’ve made the Mediterranean Chicken and Better For You Breakfast Sandwich.

Anyway, once I was holding this cookbook, I counted the number of recipes in it that used chocolate. I then put into the random number generator and was directed to this chocolate cake. I was pretty happy when I saw what recipe the generator had chosen for me, since my boyfriend’s birthday is in February (today actually) and he had asked for a chocolate cake.

This cake was sort of dry, but he raved over and over that he hates moist cakes and was so happy because he likes dry cakes and no one ever makes dry cakes. While I personally like moist cakes a hell of a lot, the lack of butter does take away a lot of the moist in a cake. Additionally, he likes it when I accidentally overcook things, so a dry cake really was the way to go for him. All in all, it was a success. The beets were such a strange addition, but in the end, you don’t even taste them.

This was a great random recipe. The universe was aligned when I randomly chose this recipe!

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And with that, I’d also like to wish my love a very happy 31st birthday!

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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE
1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely ground cashews
5 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz beets, peeled and finely grated
4 oz buttermilk
2 tbsp brewed black coffee
3 eggs
3/4 cups sugar

FOR THE ICING
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp brewed black coffee
2 tbsp honey

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8″ springform baking pan with cooking spray.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, ground cashews, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside.

4. In a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes using medium speed, until pale and fluffy. On low speed, beat in the beets followed by the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and coffee and beat until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Place in the middle of a hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Your cake is done with a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

6. Cool for 10 minutes then unmold and set on a cooling rack. Cool until the cake is cold.

7. To make the icing, prepare a double broiler. Combine all the icing ingredients and stir gently, until the chocolate is smooth. Stir until the chocolate mixture thickens.

9. Pour the icing over the top of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides.

* I’m also sharing this recipe with Mix It Up Monday

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

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This month’s Random Recipes challenged us to randomly pick a cookbook we received for Christmas. For the past two years I’ve been very lucky and have received cookbooks for Christmas. They are my favorite things ever. This year I received two. One book was filled with cupcakes. The other book is called Recipes Across America. Funny enough, though I made cupcakes this time, were not from the cupcake book but the other one instead. The book is filled with recipes from across this big country from Kentucky Grilled Chicken, Cheese Soup from Wisconsin, and Northwest Salmon Salad.

I opened the book hoping to get a savory recipe, but I was greeted by two different cake recipes: Devil’s Food Cake and Southern Lane Cake. Though the Southern Lane Cake intrigued me greatly (it’s essentially a glorified fruitcake,) I decided to stick with my favorite and do the chocolate.

This recipe appears in the “South sweets” section of the book. The recipe comes from Donna Carman in Tulsa, OK who shared that this recipe won the blue ribbon at several state fairs.

Though the recipe was for a cake, I decided to make cupcakes so I could more easily bring them to work. I’m not sure what I think about that option anymore, because the devil’s food made sort of weird cupcakes. It tasted good still, but they sort of drooped in the middle and shrunk.

Then when it got to the frosting, I realized I had a huge dilemma. The frosting recipe called for almost 4 cups of powdered sugar. I only had 1/4 cup!!!!!!!! (Which by the way, I need to buy more obviously.) So I found this recipe online for a frosting that didn’t used powdered sugar. It’s really more of a glaze and it hardened on top of the cupcakes.

They were super sweet, but pretty good and fluffy.

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Ingredients
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup sour cream

Directions

1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and chocolate.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, alternately with the water and sour cream. Transfer to prepared cupcake tins.

3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

For the Frosting

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a pot mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool partially and then beat with a mixer for three minutes.

2. When your cupcakes are cool, spread this glaze on top of them.

* makes about 2 dozen cupcakes