Posts Tagged ‘cinnamon’

Unrecipe of the Week: Mini Frozen Strawberry Margarita Froyo Cakes

July 29, 2015

It is hot. I mean, really hot out there. How about making a refreshing dessert that doesn’t require turning on the oven? Sign.us.up!!!

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This week, we made a no-bake graham cracker crust, rich with cinnamon, brown sugar and pecans. We patted it into a mold, added some of Pinkberry’s Strawberry Margarita flavored frozen yogurt and popped it into the freezer. When we were ready to serve them, we diced a few strawberries for garnish, made a simple strawberry coulis to pour on top and we were good to go. It doesn’t get much easier than that, and these mini froyo cakes provided a cool, delicous and interesting end to a summer meal.

ZC8X5866 Pinkberry Yogurt Indigo jones eats blog

 

No-Bake Graham Cracker Crust:

Combine a few graham crackers* and a handful or two of pecans in the food processor. Process until they form a course crumb. Add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar, and a little ground cinnamon to taste. Drizzle melted butter through the feed tube while the machine is running, and process until the crumbs stick together, but aren’t too greasy.  Depending on the quantity you are making, you might need anywhere from a couple of tablespoons of butter, to 6 tablespoons.

Pat the graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of your molds. We used a square silcone mold, but you can use muffin tins with paper cupcake liners, or even small paper cups that can be peeled away later. The idea is to have an easy way to remove the mini cakes after they are frozen. Fill the molds to the top with soft frozen yogurt, and cover with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.
When you are ready to serve them, set them on a bed of diced strawberries, and pour a little of the strawberry coulis over them and enjoy!

indigo jones eats / Pinkberry Treats

No Cook Strawberry Coulis:

Place fresh or frozen strawberries into the blender. Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar depending on quantity and desired sweetness. Squeeze in a tablespoon or two of lemon or lime juice and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

*If you prefer a full sized cake, line the bottom of a springform pan with removable sides with the graham cracker mixture, and then fill it with frozen yogurt. Decorate the top with sprinkling of the graham cracker mixture and some fresh strawberries and enjoy!!

*related post:https://indigo-jones.com/2015/07/21/kitchen-tips-tuesday-graham-cracker-crumbs/

Photo: Spencer Jones for Glasshouse Images

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Frozen yogurt courtesy of Pinkberry

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Unrecipe of the Week: Pumpkin Spice Bread

September 24, 2014

 

IMG_3101Once the weather begins to change and the days begin to shorten, the craving for cinnamon, spice and everything nice seems to come about as well.  Step away from the empty calorie bomb that is the pumpkin spice latte, and try this healthier alternative, adapted from Fit Sugar.

It has real pureed pumpkin in it, and uses whole wheat flour and oatmeal instead of the white stuff. Unsweetened applesauce and oil replace the stick of butter traditionally found in this type of thing. While not really an UN- recipe, feel free to make it one, by adding nuts, raisins, or a dollop of whipped cream on the side. ( OK, that last one took us to whole other place, but it would sure taste good!)

 

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Pumpkin Spice Bread:

In a mixer, beat 4 eggs, a 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree, 2/3 cup neutral oil ( grape seed, canola, sunflower etc.) 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, and 2/3 cup of water. Mix until it is a creamy consistency.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 2/3 cups sugar *( I prefer a mix of white and brown sugars for a richer flavor), 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 1/2 teaspoons all spice. Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your palette. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix thoroughly.

Pour the batter into 2 loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkle the tops with a little of the rolled oats. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and dry. Allow to cool, and enjoy!

photos: indigojonesnyc instagram

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Where’s The Pumpkin in My Pumpkin Spice Latte?

August 28, 2014

 

As the summer starts to wind down and the days begin to get just a little bit shorter, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are just around the corner. This seasonal treat has a cult like following, with over 200 million of them sold to date! Starbucks recently announced it would start offering the drink extra early this year, to feed the frenzy.  I’ve never actually had one, (really!) so I am interested in what makes this so special.
Food Babe, an investigative food blogger was interested too, and what she uncovered may change your mind about ordering another one!

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Starbucks defines the drink as “[made of] pumpkin and traditional fall spice flavors, combined with espresso and steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice.”

What Food Babe discovered, is that while it contains way more ingredients than anticipated, it doesn’t contain any pumpkin.

The base of the drink is espresso; just coffee beans and water. No surprise there.

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Next up on the list: pumpkin spice flavored sauce. Operative word: flavored. Contents:
sugar( and lots of it,) non-fat condensed milk, high fructose corn syrup, annatto ( for color), natural and artificial flavors, caramel color(class IV), salt and potassium sorbate.

Annatto is derived from a seed. It is considered safe, but can possibly effect blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Class IV caramel color is a laboratory creation, made by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperature, creating a by-product that has been linked to cancer, even in small doses, and is under investigation by the FDA.  Do you really want to risk your life to make sure the syrup in your latte is brown?

Potassium sorbate is a preservative made from the salt of sorbic acid. Although it has been found to be toxic to human DNA cells, the World Health Organization has deemed it safe in small quantities.

The “latte” part is made from steamed milk. The dairy option uses what is affectionately referred to as “Monsanto Milk”, which comes from cows raised with antibiotics, and fed GMO corn, soy and cottonseed.

While vegans and lactose intolerant can order a soy milk option, it is most likely that they won’t be informed that there is milk in the pumpkin sauce. Oops!

The whipped cream topping contains cream, and vanilla syrup which is made from more sugar, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, citric acid, and caramel color class IV.

Finish it off by sprinkling it with pumpkin spice topping, containing cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove and sulfites, another potentially dangerous food substance.

A non-fat grande pumpkin spice latte contains 50 grams of sugar and 330 calories, among other things, none of which are actually pumpkin. And while the $4.55 price tag may seem steep, the health risks are even more staggering.

For those who crave the drink, no worries. You can make a healthy version of it at home!

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Mix a shot of espresso with warm or steamed milk, a teaspoon of honey or pure maple syrup ( no Aunt Jemima’s please!) and a healthy sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

To read Food Babe’s post in it’s entirety, click HERE.

photos: Glasshouse Images

UPDATE: Starbucks has issued a statement regarding the ingredients in their popular drink:

“The standard recipe for Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte at company-operated and licensed stores does not contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and is sweetened with sugar. We are actively looking at phasing out caramel coloring. In any instances where it is used in our beverages, the level is well below the No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) and safe to consume.

As a company, we take pride in providing full ingredient transparency to our customers so they can make whatever choice is right for them on their beverage selection. The high level of personalization of Starbucks beverages available allows customers to enjoy a unique Starbucks Experience and tailor their drink to match their own personal taste preferences – including the selection from a variety of fresh dairy selections and soy milk, a combination of syrups, and coffee/espresso options and toppings. If customers have questions about any of the items offered in our stores, they can ask their barista for a list of ingredients. We’re also working on listing core beverage recipes online via Starbucks.com and hope to have an update in the near future.”

 

Unrecipe of the Week: Zucchini Bread

August 21, 2014

B is a banana bread fiend, so it would seem that zucchini bread would be an obvious alternative. Or maybe not.

This rich, moist and mostly healthy treat was met with skepticism, when she demanded to know why there was green stuff in her banana bread. Did I have to put zucchini in EVERYTHING? ( Well, lately yes I do!)

Her father, who hates bananas, liked the cinnamon and allspice flavor and bread-like texture.

You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. Or something like that…

Here is the recipe. See for yourself if you are on Team B or Team S.

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Zucchini Bread
Sift together 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, (or a mix of regular and whole wheat if you prefer),1/2 teaspoon each of baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and all spice in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl mix together 1 egg, 1/3 cup of canola oil, or another neutral oil such as sunflower or grape seed oil, and 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, (I used non-fat Greek), 2 teaspoons vanilla,and 3/4 cup sugar. Mix well and stir in flour mixture until combined.

Fold in 1 grated medium sized zucchini  ( about 1 cup ) to the batter, and stir to mix.

Pour mixture into a loaf pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray or lightly oiled.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a rack and enjoy! ( or not, as the case may be.)

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Oven Spills

June 10, 2014

Don’t you just hate when something splatters in the oven and burns to a crisp, sending smoke and a nasty smell into the air?

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Next time that happens, (and it inevitably will) sprinkle some salt over the spill to reduce the smoke, and make it easier to clean up later. Adding a  little cinnamon to the warm oven will give off a much nicer smell than the charred food did, giving the kitchen pleasant spicy scent. Much nicer than “Eau de Burnt Food,” don’t you think?

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Chicken Roasted in Milk

January 6, 2014

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On New Year’s Day, I craved something warm, nourishing and different. I stumbled upon the recipe for Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk, and thought it sounded downright vile. The idea of combining chicken, milk, lemon,garlic and cinnamon seemed just wrong. Yet, a writer from a trusted source, The Kitchn, absolutely raved about it, claiming it was the best chicken she has ever eaten. So,in the spirit of “new year, new attitude”, YOLO, etc., I decided to cook on the wild side and give it a try. We are all very glad that I did. It was crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside, and the sauce was surprisingly clean, yet rich at the same time. The flavors somehow meshed together perfectly, and the only regret was not having a loaf of thick bread on hand to sop up the sauce the chicken was sitting in. Go ahead, step outside of the norm, and give it a try. It really is delicious!

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Roasted in Milk: (unrecipe version, of course!)

(c) 2012 || jocelynmathewesphotography.com

Season one whole chicken ( about 3 or 3.5 pounds or so ) with salt and pepper, and brown it in olive oil in a large, but snug fitting pot that is oven proof. Remove the chicken, pour out the excess fat, and place the chicken back in the pot.

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Toss in a handful of fresh sage leaves, 1/2 a cinnamon stick ( confesssion: I used ground cinnamon since I was out of sticks and it was just fine) 8 or 10 garlic cloves unpeeled, and the zest of 2 lemons. Pour in about 2 1/2 cups of milk, and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 90 minutes until the skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through. You can walk away and forget about it like I did, or baste it from time to time. Our sauce did not curdle at all, but you may expect to get a few curds.

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When you are ready to serve it, pull the chicken off the bones with your gloved hands,( it’s hot!) or use a poultry sheers to cut it into pieces. Pour the juices over the chicken, and prepare to be wowed! You can squeeze the roasted garlic cloves onto bread,  vegetables, or mix into mashed potatoes and enjoy!

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Moroccan Chicken Tagine

December 11, 2013

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Those of you who follow us on Facebook ( and you really should!) know that I got a slow cooker as a gift. Those of you that follow this blog, know that I am more of a fast cooker type, using fresh ingredients to create seasonal, flavorful and simple dishes. I admit to being a bit intimidated by this concept of slow cooking, and put off trying it out. Finally, on the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I was home long enough to attempt to try it out. First, I did my due diligence, researching recipes, and reading the comments. Many of the readers complained that the cooking times were off. There was lots of conversation about too much liquid, or not enough. Many of the recipes were for dishes I simply don’t care for. Finally, I stumbled upon a recipe for a Moroccan Style Chicken Tagine, with dried apricots and chickpeas. The comments were all favorable, and dish did not disappoint. The rich flavorful stew that accompanies the chicken is hearty and tasty enough to hold its own as a vegetarian dish, with a few minor tweaks ( like losing the chicken!).

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I learned a few lessons experimenting with the slow cooker:

Just tossing the ingredients into the pot and turning it on isn’t going to happen very often. Browning meats, sauteing onions, and finishing sauces on the stove top are part of the success of slow cooked foods. This (un) recipe, is adapted from the Kitchn, and requires a bit of before and after work, but the results were worth the extra effort, and the added mess.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Chickpeas:

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown them in olive oil until golden. Work in batches if necessary, until all pieces are done.  Transfer them to the slow cooker.

Using the same pan, saute one diced onion and 2 peeled and diced carrots in olive oil, until soft and slightly brown. Add 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves, and a chunk of ginger root, peeled and minced to the pan, and cook for about 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon or so of cumin, and cinnamon. Continue to saute until mixed.  Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, and a few large handfuls of dried apricots, chopped.

Turn the slow cooker up to high, and cook for roughly 4 -5 hours.

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Remove the chicken from the cooker, and place on a platter, covered with foil to keep warm. Pour the sauce, including the fruit and vegetables into a pan, add 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.  Simmer until the sauce reduces a bit and starts to thicken.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the finished sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Serve on a bed of cous cous and enjoy!

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Banana Bread

December 2, 2013

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We eat a lot of bananas in our house, but inevitably, there is always a few that get too ripe, despite the techniques we have employed to avoid it.

No worries, banana bread is so easy to make, that we are happy to have an excuse to whip some up!

Banana Bread

Mash up 3 or 4 over ripe bananas in a mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup melted butter and mix. Stir in 1 egg,  3/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt over the mixture add 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix well and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan, slice and enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Pumpkin Bread

November 4, 2013

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It’s pumpkin season, and it seems like everything from lattes to Oreos wants in on the action. This pumpkin bread recipe is full of “sugar and spice and everything nice,”  and is a cinch to make.

Pumpkin Bread

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1 cup of vegetable oil. (used sunflower oil). Stir in 1 16 oz. can of unsweetened pumpkin, and 4 eggs, slightly beaten.

In a separate bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour (the recipe called for white flour but I used whole wheat ) with 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon cloves.

Blend dry ingredients with pumpkin mixture, and 2/3 cup water. Mix well and divide between 2 greased loaf pans, or one sheet pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing. Slice and enjoy!

photo: Spencer Jones /Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Baked Apples with Lattice Tops

September 30, 2013

It is apple season, and the markets are filled with every type imaginable. Apples are low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and have a naturally sweet yet slightly tart flavor. Seeing all those apples at the greenmarket made me long for warm baked apples, filled with cinnamon and spice. My idea was instantly met with dissent. Apparently, some feel the best part of an apple pie is the crust.
This week’s Unrecipe shows an exercise in compromise.  I got my baked apple, they got their piecrust, and all is right in the world; for the time being. 

Stuffed Baked Apples with a Lattice Top:

Core the apples, gently scooping out the centers to create a well. This can be done with an apple corer, or by cutting a hole in the top of the apple with a paring knife, and using a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds and core.

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In a separate bowl, mix together about ½ cup each of oatmeal and brown sugar, depending on how many apples you wish to stuff.  Add a liberal amount of cinnamon, and a little nutmeg, ground cloves, ginger and allspice.  You can also add nuts or raisins at this stage if you like. Spoon the mixture into the well of the apple, pressing down with your finger to pack it in tightly. Dot each apple with a pat of butter.

Place the apples in an ovenproof dish and fill it with about 1” of water. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. At this point, the kitchen will smell heavenly!

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While the apples are baking, prepare the crusts using a simple pate brisee:

Mix together 1 stick of butter, 1-½ cups of flour, a pinch of salt and a little sugar.

Once the ingredients are mixed, begin adding ice water (it should take about 4 tablespoons) until the dough comes together into a ball.  For more complete instructions and piecrust tips, click HERE.

Roll out the dough on a floured cloth or parchment paper.

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Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into long strips. Weave the strips into a lattice pattern and cut the lattice into circles just large enough to fit over the top of the apples. Lay the lattice disks out on parchment paper, and refrigerate.

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Remove the foil from the apples. Brush the lattice disks with an egg wash, and sprinkle them with sugar. Gently set them on top of the apples, and press down lightly to make sure they adhere.  Place the open pan back into the oven, and bake for another 25 minutes or so, until the tops are golden brown, and the apples are soft, but still intact.

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If you wish to skip the crust, and just make the baked stuffed apples, just omit the crust and return them to the oven uncovered. If the apples seem dry, add some more butter, or pour a bit of maple syrup over them before returning them to the oven.

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Serve alone, or with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy!

photos: indigojonesnyc instagram (check it out for in-process photos all the time!)

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