Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

Oh, hey! Remember me? It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been way too long. While I’ve still been making and eating lots of good food, my focus lately has been more on my running (I’m in the middle of training for a half marathon right now). A few weeks ago, though, I was browsing through this space, and I realized that I missed it. And soon it’ll be time to start making birthday cakes again (all our birthdays are from late winter to early summer), and those are my favorite posts to look back on! I’m not sure how I often I’ll be posting, but hopefully more than once every 10 months! I’m also on Instagram now (I post often). You can find me HERE.

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

I also wanted to mention that last May I decided to go vegetarian (heavy on the plant-based foods, light on the dairy and eggs), so you won’t be seeing any new meat/poultry/fish-based recipes on here (not that I was really posting them very often, anyhow, since I was never a huge meat-eater to begin with). I will leave on the previous ones, though, at least for now.

Anyhow, onto the recipe.

I’ve been making these overnight oats for breakfast at least a few times a week lately. I love being able to just pull a jar out of the fridge on hectic mornings, and it fills me up and gives me enough energy to run after I bring the kids to school. After defrosting overnight, the frozen raspberries break apart when you stir it, giving the whole thing a fruity flavor (and a pretty pink color!), and the cacao nibs give it a hint of chocolate and a crunch I love.

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

3/4 cup frozen raspberries

1 heaping tablespoon cacao nibs

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 cup rolled oats

generous 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or use plain, and add some vanilla extract)

Optional: up to 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)

1. Add all the ingredients to a jar, using enough almond milk to cover everything by a little bit (remember that the frozen raspberries will give off liquid as they defrost). I like my oats fairly thick, so if you want yours a bit thinner, add more milk. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. When you’re ready to eat, just give everything a good stir. That’s it!

Makes 1 serving

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Golden Vanilla-Pear Jam

Golden Vanilla-Pear Jam

I don’t easily get intimidated in the kitchen. A multi-layered cake made up of 4 different components? No problem. Roasting a turkey for the fist time, with 20-plus guests coming over? Bring it on. I love a challenge. But canning is something that I’ve pushed off trying for a long time, even though it was something that I was interested in. It just seemed like so much work. And then, of course, there was always the thought in the back of my head that I’m going to kill my family by serving them improperly canned food.

After reading several books about canning, I decided it was time for me to give it a try. And you know what? It really wasn’t that scary. I made this delicious vanilla-pear jam. So many jams are made with spring and summer produce, but this is a great was to use produce that’s in season during the colder months. You all know how much I adore vanilla, and this jam shows it off perfectly.

Golden Vanilla-Pear Jam

If you don’t want to can this (which I totally understand!), don’t let that keep you from making it! It’ll keep for about a month in the fridge. If you won’t use it that quickly, you can give some away or just make a half recipe. It’s wonderful on a sandwich with almond butter, and I also used about a jar of it in a batch of fruit bars (using THIS recipe).

Golden Vanilla-Pear Jam

Notes:

Make sure that the lids you use for canning are new—you can not reuse lids when canning!

The reason you remove the lids before storing is because in case the food wasn’t properly canned, and bacteria starts growing in it, the lid will pop off and you’ll know right away that you shouldn’t eat it. For that reason, it’s also best not to store jars in top of one another.

Golden Vanilla-Pear Jam

6 cups peeled, cored, and chopped pears

4 cups granulated sugar, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

1 (1.75-ounce) package powdered pectin

1. Place a rack (I used the basket from THIS set, but a rounds cake cooling rack also works well) on the bottom of a large pot. Add your (lidless) canning jars, fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars by an inch, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes to sterilize, then remove from heat, drop in you jar lids, and cover the pot to keep everything nice and hot.

2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot. combine 3 3/4 cups of the sugar, the lemon juice, and the vanilla beans. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Boil until the pears are very soft, about 12 to 15 minutes, mashing with a potato masher as the fruit softens.

3. Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the pectin in a small bowl. Stir into the pear mixture, and let boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the vanilla bean pods, scrape out any remaining seeds into the jam, ans mix well.

4. Carefully remove the jars and lids from the hot water using canning tongs and a magnetic lid lifter, pouring the hot water from the jars back into the pot. Place onto a clean towel on your work surface.

5. Place the canning pot with the water over medium heat.

6. Dry the jars, and then immediately ladle the jam into the jars a wide-mouth funnel helps a lot!). Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth. Place a lid on a each jar, and add the rings to close. Close the jars with the tips off your fingers, so that they are tight enough, but not too tight to allow air to escape when you remove the jars from the canning pot.

7. When the water starts boiling, add the closed jars to the pot, adding more water if necessary to cover the jars by a few inches. Boil for 10 minutes.

8. Using canning tongs, remove the jars from the pot back to the dish towel to cool. As they cool, you’ll hear popping sounds as the jars seal. Once cooled, check the jars to make sure that they have sealed properly—the center of the lids should not pop back when you press on them. Remove the rings, and store in the pantry for up to a year. Once opened, refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Makes about 6 half-pint jars (I canned 4 of them, and put 2 in the fridge)

From Pure Vanilla, by Shauna Sever

Onion, Feta & Olive Rolls

Onion, Feta & Olive Rolls

In my last post I left you all with half a batch of leftover Mother Dough, and a promise for a recipe to use it up. It took a while to get this post up, because I was enjoying time with Chaim while he was off from work over the holidays. But he’s back at work today, and it’s time for life to get back to normal. So here we go.

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my dough at first. I was thinking of doing another variation of the bagel bombs, but in the end I decided I wanted to something different. I rolled out the dough, spread caramelized onions over the top, scattered it with kalamata olives and feta cheese, then rolled it up and sliced it cinnamon bun-style, and baked them in muffins cups.

Onion, Feta & Olive Rolls

Filled with some of my favorite flavors, these are a perfect savory option for breakfast. They’d also be great alongside a bowl of tomato soup for a light lunch or dinner.

Onion, Feta & Olive Rolls

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, diced

1/4 cups chopped kalamata olives (about 8 olives)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 batch Mother Dough (find the recipe HERE), at room temperature

Flour, for rolling out the dough

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 6-cup muffin tin.

2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook until a deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about a 9-by 14-inch rectangle. Spread the caramelized onions over the top of the dough, all the way to the edged. Sprinkle evenly with the olives and feta.

4. Roll the dough up lengthwise, as you would cinnamon buns. Lightly push in on the sides of the roll to make a roll that is 12 inches long. Cut the roll into 2-inch slices, so that you have 6 rolls. Place each one into a muffins cup. Don’t worry if they fall apart a little, the cup with hold them together; they don’t need to be perfect.

5. Bake at 375°F for about 35 minutes, until the tops of the rolls are golden brown. Carefully remove the rolls to a rack to cool for a few minutes before serving. These can be made a ahead of time, but warm them up before eating them.

Makes 6 rolls

Tomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Bagel Bombs

Tomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Bagel Bombs

Since I was already using my Milk Bar cookbook to make the pretzel ice cream, I thought I’d finally pay some attention to the small savory section in the back if the book. The chapter is dedicated to the bakery’s “mother dough”, a simple dough that is used to make all different kinds of savory goodies.

Bagel Bombs are a sort of all-in-one breakfast sandwich, with the filling baked right inside the dough. The recipe in the book uses a bacon, scallion, and cream cheese plug, but since we do not eat bacon (nor do we eat milk and meat together) I needed to come up with an alternative. Yes, I could have just omitted the bacon, and had a plain scallion cream cheese plug, but I wanted something with a little richness in there.

Tomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Bagel Bombs

I ended up using some chopped homemade smoked-paprika oven-dried tomatoes in them, which was perfect. I served these for dinner with a huge salad, and everyone loved them!

Smoked Paprika Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Like most Milk Bar recipes, this is made up of a few components, but they can all be made ahead of time: the cream cheese plugs up to a month ahead, the everything bagel mix up to 6 months ahead, and the dough up to a week ahead. And once you’re ready to make them the assembly is pretty easy.

Tomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Bagel BombsTomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Bagel BombsTomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Bagel Bombs

Mine all exploded in the oven (which is, apparently, quite normal). But I guess that’s why they’re called bombs!

Tomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Bagel Bombs

Notes:

This recipe uses only half of the mother dough. I do have another recipe coming up that will use the other half but, if you prefer, you can double the plug & bagel mix amounts and make 16 bagel bombs.

If you’d rather, you can use jarred oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (blotted dry with a paper towel) for this if you don’t want to make your own oven-dried tomatoes.

Tomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Bagel Bombs

Tomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Plugs:

7 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons chopped oven-dried tomatoes (recipe below)

2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Place the cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the tomatoes, scallions, sugar, and salt. Mix just until it’s incorporated.

2. Evenly divide the mixture into 8 portions, and place them onto a lined quarter-sheet pan. Freeze until solid, about 1 to 3 hours. If not using right away, place them into an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes:

Use whatever tomatoes you find that look good. Normally I’d use Roma’s, but even for this time of year they looked really bad, so I used tomatoes on the vine. You really only need about one tomato for this recipe, but make as many as you want—you can use the leftovers in a salad or panini (anywhere you’d use sun-dried tomatoes, really). Cut the tomatoes in half, scoop out the seeds with a small spoon, and place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and mix them with your hands to make sure they are all coated. Place in a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Bake in a 250° oven for about 6 hours, until dry (but not bone dry; you want them to be fairly soft). Mine took about 7 1/2 hours, because my tomatoes were really juicy). Allow to cool.

Mother Dough

3 1/2 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups water, at room temperature

grapeseed oil, to grease the bowl

1. Place the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir together, using the dough hook like a spoon. Add the water, and keep stirring it by hand with the dough hook until the mixture just starts come together.

2. Attach the dough hook to the mixer, and mix the dough on the lowest speed for about 6 or 7 minutes, until the dough looks like a wet ball and bounces back softly when pressed.

3. Grease a large bowl with the oil and turn the dough out into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for 45 minutes (it may not rise much, and that’s okay).

4. Use the dough then, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a week. Bring the dough to room temperature before using!

Everything Bagel Mix

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

1 tablespoons dried onions

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Can be store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Assembly and Baking:

1 recipe Tomato & Scallion Cream Cheese Plugs (above)

1/2 recipe Mother Dough (above)

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon water

1 recipe Everything Bagel Mix (above)

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Flatten the dough down on a smooth, lightly floured surface, and divide evenly into 8 pieces. Using your fingers (I lightly floured my hands, because the dough was a little sticky), gently stretch each piece of dough into a circle about 3 inches wide.

3. Place a cream cheese plug onto the center of each circle, and bring the edges up and around the plug. I used a bench scraper to do this, because the dough was sticking to my work surface (you can sort of see this in the pictures above). Lightly flour your hands, and gently roll the ball between your palms to make a round shape. Place them onto the sheet pan, 4 inches apart from each other.

4. Whisk together the egg and water, and generously brush onto the rolls. Sprinkle evenly, and heavily, with the bagel mix.

5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the bombs are golden brown. Don’t worry if the cream cheese explodes out; that’s normal—you can leave it as is, or tuck it back into the bomb after it cools a bit.

6 Remove from the oven, and serve warm. If you are making these ahead of time, warm them up before serving. You can keep these, well-wrapped in plastic, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Makes 8 Bagel Bombs

Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar, by Christina Tosi

Millet-Fig Muffins {Gluten-Free & Vegan}

Millet-Fig Muffins {Gluten-free & Vegan}

Pretty much as soon as I saw this recipe I went out and bought gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, and dried figs (I already had everything else I needed in the pantry/fridge). While we’re not gluten-free (or vegan, for that matter), I’m always up for trying something new when it comes to baking, and these muffins just sounded so good to me.

This was the first time that I used gluten-free flour, so I was a little nervous about how these would come out, but they were great! The crumb was very tender, but then there was some crunch from the millet. I’d say these lean towards the savory side from the olive oil, but they also have a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup and the dried figs. They’re great for breakfast or a snack, and they freezer really well.

Millet-Fig Muffins {Gluten-Free & Vegan}

Millet-Fig Muffins {Gluten-Free & Vegan}

2 cups gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour already includes it)

1/2 cup raw millet

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

Big pinch fine sea salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup ground flaxseed

2/3 cup maple syrup (I used Grade B)

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped dried figs (I used dried calimyrna figs)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, millet, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and ground flaxseed. In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, almond milk, and olive oil. In a small bowl, toss the chopped dried figs with a spoonful of the dry ingredients (this keep the figs from sinking down to the bottom of the muffins, and keeps the figs from sticking together). Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, then fold in the figs.

3. Divide the batter into the muffin cups and bake until browned and a toothpick comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 12-18 muffins (The recipe says it makes 12, but I must’ve made mine on the smaller side since I got 18.)

From It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow & Julia Turshen