Recipes you have to try

Last week the half a bag of coconut and two half used bags of butterscotch and chocolate chips were calling my name from the pantry. Seriously. I was trying to write a blog post and they would not shut up. They needed to be consumed. They were lonely in there with all the boring flax seeds and garbanzo beans. I had to oblige them.

When I googled butterscotch, chocolate and coconut these came up. The oven was set to 350 in less than 5 seconds.

I am such a sucker for a gooey bar. Way better than a cookie or cake. Bars are the way to go. They keep longer, you can decide the portion and they are harder to screw up baking wise. The recipe is here. I changed a few things though:

I subbed all of the butter for applesauce. (Fine if you don’t mind an apple taste, but if not, just sub half of the butter or not at all if you can wear a bikini with pride.)

I used flax eggs instead of real. I usually always do this in baked goods now. It’s just one T. flax meal to 3T. almond milk or water. I started doing this so Beau could eat raw cookie dough to his hearts content, but now it’s just became habit.

I subbed a cup of the flour with whole wheat. I have no idea if its any healthier but it makes me feel like it is. I also feel like its healthier to consume dessert standing over the counter in a dark kitchen around midnight with my only light coming from under the microwave. My thighs say differently.

I think I’ve gotten us onto a slippery slope. Let’s just keep going with the health theme here.

Mint Oreo Cupcakes. Don’t be fooled by the lone Oreo on top. There is also one BAKED IN THE BOTTOM. Like I said, healthy.  To be honest, the two Oreo’s are kind of overkill but just go with it. I made these for the winery employees. You wouldn’t have to do mint. You could run with any flavor Oreo you find and adjust your frosting accordingly. I didn’t really substitute anything expect for making the cake from scratch instead of the box. Too many preservatives in those things. Wow, I just totally judged you using cake mix from a box while also telling you to put two Oreo’s in one cupcake. The irony. It’s killing me softly. Use whatever you want. Just promise me, you will eat some kale while you make these. You need to be able to fit through your front door without the jaws of life. Remember this when you reach for seconds.

When you have delusions that you are a chef(that would be me) but your repertoire consists of Beouf Bourginon, gooey bars, and a bad-ass vinaigrette dressing sometimes you ask yourself in a Nathan Lane singsong voice “Is that all there is?

If I think I’m some great chef maybe I should be able to make something other than Italian? Maybe something daring like Asian or Indian? I already make a mean fry-bread taco, so obviously I’ve got Mexican covered. In my Asian recipe searching I went back to Ole Faithful, The Pioneer Woman.

TPW_1355

Oh, a rancher from Oklahoma wasn’t your first choice for Asian cuisine??? Yes me neither, but my Nobu Cookbook was stuck in customs and I had green onions spoiling. Her Sesame Noodles were beckoning me. I’m not going to lie though…I have some issues with this recipe.

First, that she uses spaghetti noodles. I’m sorry but my brain can’t compute using what I think of as Italian ingredients in Asian.  I just can’t. I stick things into compartmentalized boxes and that is where they stay. I could write a whole post about why Rory Gilmore does not belong on Mad Men, but then I’ll be up all evening. Just know that I see things very black and white. Gray is not in my color wheel. Unless it’s on walls, then it’s dreamy.  I had to sub Spelt pasta. I needed the dark color and texture. To each his own, but I think the rougher texture of the noodles make the sauce cling better.

Second, I subbed brown raw sugar for white sugar. I have no idea really why, but I generally prefer using brown sugar in cooking. I delude myself into thinking it deepens the flavors of the dish. Whatevs, you could probably add Sweet N’ Low and I’d ask for seconds.

Third and lastly, Sesame Seeds! What are cold sesame noodles without sesame seeds??? Admittedly I’m a sesame seed addict. I buy them in bulk and have been known to bring them in my purse when dining out. Since most of you that read this blog know me, my weirdness shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. (Hi mom.) I have now made these like 5 times in the last month. You should do the same.

Let’s continue this journey on the Orient Express. I’ve been a strict vegetarian for 7 years. No chicken broth,  no jello, no marshmallows. Nothing. I also don’t eat eggs or drink milk so I was far down the road to militant Veganism. Until I read The End of Illness. In short,  Omega 3 supplements are BS and the only real way to get them is from Fish or flax but even flax is a little suspect. Of course Salmon is like the hot popular blond hippie in the fish kingdom so I started there.

(This photo is awful. I apologize.)

I’m not the biggest fish fan so starting out I need recipes that drown the taste out enough for me to be able to imagine it’s tofu. With scales and bones.  This recipe does just that. It’s awesome and Asian and easy. That sentence sounds like a video I found on my ex’s computer.

I really didn’t tweak this recipe except to add WAY more brown sugar.  I feel like I can’t have a recipe without sugar in this post. I like octupled the sugar. I added 1/4 C. instead of the measly 1 1/2 teaspoon the recipe calls for. Don’t judge me. It makes it better. Trust. I also subbed olive oil for the peanut oil because I’m lazy and didn’t  feel like spending 8 dollars on organic peanut oil. Add a teaspoon of peanut butter to the marinade and it will taste the same.  My last tip for the recipe is to not use all of it for the marinade. Save some for serving and drizzle it on top. Magical. Almost doesn’t taste like fish. Almost.

I promise I  don’t only make recipes with sugar. Here’s a delightful pot pie I made two weeks ago.

Mushroom Potpie

(Totally did not look this and that fork is ugly)

What’s that you say? Puff Pastry contains sugar? You can leave my blog right now and go click back over to http://www.healthyrecipesthattastehorribly.com This recipe may or may not contain a form of what may or may not be sugar. I at least didn’t add any more.

In summation, this recipe is delicious and I didn’t change a thing! Except for one of course. It has you make it in an 8 in square baking dish. Wha-wha-what??? No, no, no. Pot pie is served in individual ramekins. There is no square pot pie. You DO NOT CUT pot pie into squares and serve. While I admire the food styling in the photo above,  the pot pie is rapidly oozing away from the crust  and will devour that lettuce in a matter of seconds. I don’t like warm runny salads and I assume you don’t either. Make it the way it’s supposed to be. In bowls. Individually. So with every spoonful you get a piece of crust. What is wrong with you Real Simple? Do you not even know your own name????

Let’s leave on a high note.  And by high I mean what your cholesterol will be after eating this. Or what you should eat if you have a case of the munchies.

martha's creamy mac

Oh hi there Martha. I usually think your recipes are a hot mess and wonder if the test cooks in your kitchens are actually high, because they never ever turn out correctly. But with this one you proved me wrong. The photo and recipe I’m linking to are from Smitten Kitchen because I like her photos more, and Deb needs more clicks than silly old Martha but the recipe is the exact same. Here’s the thing….The croutons are what makes this dish. MAKES. THIS. DISH. The base is everything you want in Mac and Cheese. Elbow noodles? Check. Although cavatappi would make a perfectly fine choice if you were trying to impress fancy people. Cheddar cheese? Check. Butter, milk, blah blah blah. Your traditional components are all here. The roux is a solid foundation that stops it from becoming a liquid style mac and cheese. Boston Market, I’m looking at you. Whatever, the base is fine. It’s better than fine even, it’s good. What makes this dish excellent though, is something as simple as TOSSING MELTED BUTTER WITCH CUT UP WHITE BREAD and baking them on top.  Oh. My. God or .Gawd depending on your proximity to Long Island. This dish becomes transcendental with the addition of  adding what are basically croutons. Because they’re soft. And Buttery. And crunchy. And the perfect complement to the strong tasting cheese beneath. It’s other worldly. The first time I made it I added a touch of blue cheese to the crust. Ridonkulous good. I know it’s summer now and comfort food has been put on the back burner but sometime in mid-August when you’re sick of tomatoes and cucumbers(that day will come, promise) and it’s raining and you’re starting to long for fall, pull this recipe out and make it.  I swear to you it’s worth heating up that oven.

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