Tuesday, July 17, 2012

[Recipe] Mini Hamburger Cupcakes

I'd like to start out by saying that hamburger cupcakes are stupid easy to make. First time I did these back  in 2009 I played the recipe by ear based entirely off a cute picture on a food blog. Basically, bake yellow cupcakes and cut them in half for buns. Make brownies and cut them into the patties. Then, mix yellow food coloring frosting (for cheese), red food color frosting (for ketchup) and green food coloring frosting + coconut flakes(for shredded lettuce). That's it!

Buuuut, anyone reading my blog recently may have noticed all the recipes are slightly experimental low-carb variations of "normal food." Gotta maximize my Food to Guilt ratio. Anyway, I've been waiting for a chance to reinvent the hamburger cupcake and when my family came to visit this week I jumped on it. So, get this--new and improved version features almond flour cupcakes with dark chocolate infused patties and cream cheese frosting. MMMMMM.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE "BUNS"
3 TBS softened coconut oil or butter [I prefer coconut oil because the flavor it adds is INCREDIBLE]
1/2 + 1/4 cups almond flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp sea salt 
1/4 cups Xylitol
1/2 Stevia packet
2 eggs 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE "PATTIES"
Same ingredients as the buns, but cut portions in half. I could do the math for you but I didn't even do it for myself. Just guesstimated. 
2 squares of extra dark chocolate and if you have any cocoa powder laying around sprinkle in a tsp.
1tsp extra butter/coconut oil

WHAT YOU NEED FOR EVERYTHING ELSE (frostings n toppings)
4 oz Cream Cheese
1 TBS Coconut oil (or butter), softened
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Xylitol
1 packet of Stevia
1 TBS Heavy Whipping Cream
If you're feeling fancy, you can even get Flax, Sesame, or Poppy Seeds to sprinkle on top.

WHAT TO DO:
Preheat the oven to 350. Lube up your cupcake pan or set out liners. (I just bought these adorable silicone cups). Mix the dry ingredients for cupcakes into a bowl (almond flour, baking powder, salt, Xylitol, stevia). Warm the butter/coconut oil to liquify it and then mix it with the eggs and vanilla. Whisk or beat til fluffy. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients and beat/whisk til smooth. Divide up the batter between the into pan - fill each up about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or til they look risen and golden. Remove from pan and let 'em cool. 

Same directions apply to making the "hamburger patties," just with the portion size cut in half. After mixing up the batter, heat up the chocolate with the extra oil/butter and stir until it's liquified. Mix into the batter and spoon into re-greased cupcake pan. Bake for ~10-15 minutes. Take out of pan and let cool. 

Slice all of the cupcakes in half horizontally. 


How I layered the icings
Turned some leftovers into minis. :3

[Recipe] Chicken Cordon Bleu (with Proscuitto & Black Truffle Brie)

YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS, LARRY? SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BASE YOUR MEALS OFF OF SALES AT COSTCO? Amazing things. That's what. This delight came from thoroughly picking through the meat 'n cheese aisles at our local warehouse and in an afterthought deciding how to best smash together the ingredients.

WHAT YOU NEED depending on how many mouths you're feeding:
Chicken breasts, thinly sliced (1 per person)
Brie (1oz per person)
Proscuitto (2 slices per person)
1/4 cup of butter, melted
Breading of some sort 
[I used equal parts almond flour and crunched up jalape├▒o-dusted chicharr├│nes]
Toothpicks 

Preheat the oven to 375.
If the you can't find thinly sliced chicken breasts, just buy normal ones and flatten them with a meat tenderizer. Place one slice of proscuitto on top and use the other to roll up a chunk of cheese--so when it melts it's less likely to get everywhere.
Roll up the chicken around the stuffings and pin the edges closed with toothpicks. Melt the butter in a bowl and dip the chicken bundles in to coat them in butter. Roll them in the breading lay them out in a foiled up pan (because fuck cleaning). Bake for 40 minutes.
Don't forget to pull out the toothpicks!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[Recipe] Grilled Zucchini Rolls


Sometimes it feels nice to put effort into making your food look fancy. But you know what feels even nicer? When a recipe's classy factor totally outweighs the work required. My friends, this is that dish. Notably useful for when your parents stop by and you'd like to prove you're a fully functional adult. Or if you want to get laid  really impress someone with a homecooked meal. Or say, you're in the middle of a ridiculous X-files marathon on Netflix and your very sanity depends on manufacturing some sense of productivity for the day (slicing, grilling, and rolling totally count as light manual labor, yo).

aaaaanyway, 
WHAT YOU NEED
2 small-medium sized zucchini
Little log of herbed goat cheese
Few leaves of fresh basil
Lemon juice
Olive Oil
Salt-N-Pepa

Makes ~8 pieces which can feed ~2 faces as a side or 1 hungry face as a meal.
Slice the zuccs thinly lengthwise. You can totally go thinner or thicker than I have pictured, it all depends on your preference. I feel like they're easier to roll when they're thinner because they'll cook faster. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the slices and sprinkle on a little salt/pepper. Rub it all in and lay em out on the grill.** Grill the zucchini slices for a few minutes on each side. Add a dab of goat cheese and 1-2 leaves of folded basil onto one end of the zucchini slice and then roll it up!

Nutrition Specs for those interested: 
**Come to think of it, using a grill might not be easy for everyone. I'm sure this will all work just as well in an oven. Just be warned, you won't get the snazzy grill marks. Devastating, I know.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

[Recipe] BACON-CEPTION


Cheese wrapped in bacon wrapped in meat wrapped in bacon
Best Meta-Dinner Ever.

Hyperboles aside, this is a deliciously efficient recipe. Slice this bad boy into 10 pieces and you'll be satiated with just one (unless you're in SUPER HUNGER mode - then maybe 2). Don't worry, we also laughed at this stat (1/10th? PAH!) figured we'd just cut it in half anyway and enjoy our weekly dose of ....well, everything. What better way to celebrate the birth of our nation? But long, boring story short, we ended up having a tiny slice and being full for hours. These meats don't mess around.

WHAT YOU NEED
~25 pieces of thick cut bacon (maybe get 30 just in case)
3/4 package of ground beef
1/2 pound of ground italian sausage
4 oz of shredded cheddah cheese
Assorted seasonings: Cumin most def. We also used some Red Cloud ** 
2 hours
So Much Aluminum Foil.

WHAT TO DO
We pretty much used CavemanKeto's recipe to the T except for the "grinding your own meat" part. Also I changed the meat portions to fit what we did, but definitely check his out so you can make your own decisions. 

Make a 5x6 bacon grid, bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes (til it's well cooked)
http://picasion.com/webcam-to-gif/
Mix up the ground beef and sausage. Should be about 24oz of squishy deliciousness.
[Unrelated: this.gif gives me the weirdest boner. I mean, what?]
Make a rectangle of the groundstuffs atop the now cooked baconweave. Season it!
FLIP IT OVER! Cheese the middle and roll it up.
Refrigerate for 10-20 mins to let seasonings seep in.
Make a 7x7 bacon weave and roll your meat log up diagonally across it.
Ta-da! We rolled ours in foil before baking, but you can also put it on a baking rack atop a pan.
Bake for ~1 hour at 400 degrees.
Let it sit for 10 mins to cool off. Then slice up and enjoy!
**Thank god you can buy Red Cloud online in bulk. They've made a lifelong customer in me - this stuff is phenomenal on EVERYTHING meat related. Also popcorn.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mind the Gap

In Tokyo!  there's a scene (within Interior Design by Gondry) where the protagonist tells his girlfriend that ghosts inhabit the tiny spaces between buildings. These slivers of separation seem specific to super-dense cities,  an architectural mark of population distribution. No matter how ubiquitous, it's something you'd barely even notice until pointed out. Walking home from the grocery store this morning, I finally saw it. So I decided to  document our haunted little city and some of its haunted little spaces. 
Moral of the story: Goddamn this is a gorgeous place to live. It's no wonder we have so many ghosts.








PS : one of these is mine! I'll never tell!

Heffalumps on Parade

Just in case you'd forgotten Disney's odd fixation on trippy elephants:

Pink Elephants on Parade

Heffalumps and Woozles
You're welcome, signed #yourchildhoodonacid

[Recipe] Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Funny story: this food project came out of a seemingly random urge to melt chocolate. Maybe on an existential level it represents a repressed desire to DESTROY. But honestly I think I just wanted some chocolate and for whatever reason I wanted it in liquid form. Because the best part about cooking is licking spoons along the way, amiright?

WHAT I USED
For the shell
4 squares of a dark chocolate bar //Lindt's 85% Cacao
1/2 stick of Butter //Kerrygold Unsalted
1 Tblsp of Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 packet of Stevia //or Sugar to taste


For the Filling
2 Tblsp Peanut Butter // Trader Joe's Crunchy Valencia with roasted flaxseeds
1/2 packet of Stevia//or Sugar to taste
Dash of Cinnmon
Drop of Vanilla

Misc.
4 Muffin tins
a working Freezer
Walnuts to squish on top //Not necessary in the slightest, I just like 'em because they look like brains.

Break up the chocolate into little pieces and put in a microwave safe bowl with the butter. If you put the chocolate on top of the butter, there's less chance of it burning in the bowl. Microwave for one minute. Stir up til the mixture is smooth. Then, add in the whipping cream and the stevia/sugar. Pour a bit of the melty chocolate goodness into each muffin tin to form the base layer. [Only pour out about half - you'll need the rest for the top layer later!] Then, stick the muffin cups in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, mix all of the filler ingredients together. Once the base has frozen solid, add a dollop of peanut filling to each muffin cup and coat in a layer of melted chocolate. Top with a walnut. Stick everything back in the freezer and wait for it to freeze again. THEN EAT.


This recipe should make 4, but if you accidentally pour too much chocolate in the base layer, it'll only cover 3. Derp.

NUTRITION SPECS:

Many thanks to WickedStuffed.com for the awesome recipe.
[I'm ctorbot on MFP // Let's be friends!]

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Henna'd!


Before & After (inside)
The upside of using chopped n' dried plant matter over red chemical dyes is that your hair comes out healthier, shinier and the color lasts longer. The downside is that you have absolutely no clue what your hair will look like once you wash out the swampy mess. So, for my internet brethren -- I'm posting pictures of what happens to medium brown hair when you soak it in Lawsonia inermis (You Say Vanity -- I Say "For Science!") Plus I needed to break up my [Recipe] posts, those are getting a little out of hand.

You can buy body-art quality Henna for cheap from a graduate student of Henna's histories, traditions and biology on her website Henna for Hair.  I mixed 200g with lemon juice, let it sit for 12 hours and then added some water the next morning. Put it all up in my hair, roots first, and let it sit for 6 hours. It came out a super brassy red that has since darkened a bit (the change is pretty subtle in these pictures but I promise it's there). 
Day1 (outside)

Day 6 (outside)
I'll probably update it in a few months to see how long it takes to grow out. 
Check out how henna changes other people's hair on the Mixes and Hair Chart page.

***UPDATE: 2 months in.

Tags: What henna looks like on brown hair. Using henna // What color henna