Monday, October 25, 2010

PB Chocolate Crispy Bars

A Christmas or two ago, my mom gave me a beautiful cookbook that I loved as much for its unique recipes as I did for its design and aesthetic. Baked: New Frontiers in Baking is gorgeous from cover to cover and makes you want to break out your candy thermometer! I decided to try my hand at a no-bake recipe for a layered bar of rice cereal, milk chocolate peanut butter, and dark chocolate. Yeah, I said it.

These were very rich and delicious, and I was sure to get them out of the house ASAP so people at work could enjoy them. I believe these would have been dangerous to keep in the house!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Restaurant Review: Philadelphia Chutney Company

 Philadelphia Chutney Company on Urbanspoon

Working in Center City Philly means that I have plenty of lunch options within walking distance. The other day I grabbed lunch with a couple co-workers, and we tried the Philadelphia Chutney Company (PCC). It's a bit hidden at 1638 Sansom Street, but definitely a great new option for a quick, authentic Indian bite!

Their website describes their food as organic, natural, health-conscious, and 100% vegetarian. I had the #11, one of the dosas (a "light sourdough crepe made from rice"), which was curry Chutney veggie chicken with spinach and balsamic roasted onion. When the dosa came out, it was about two feet long! It was very tasty (once I figured out how I was supposed to eat it).

As the name would imply, they serve various chutneys with each menu item. With my dosa, I had the mango chutney (I asked for a recommendation from the guy taking my order, and he thought that a sweet chutney would pair nicely with the spicy curry "chicken"). It complemented the dosa nicely!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

If you like oatmeal, I really hope that every now and then you treat yourself to real, homemade oatmeal — it's so much better than packet oatmeal! Packets have their place (e.g., in my desk drawer at work), but be sure to try this if you have a few minutes at home one morning.

I stayed home from work on Monday and decided to make this recipe for breakfast. It's easy, fast, and delicious...but better than that, it's health-conscious too! In your breakfast you have calcium from the milk, veg and fiber from the pumpkin, and whole grain from the oats! And it's low fat and sugar. And under 200 calories per serving. Not a bad way to start the day...just saying!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (makes one 1-cup serving)

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tbsp. pumpkin
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp. brown sugar (or one Splenda if you prefer a sugar-free option)

  • Put the milk and water into a saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add oats and pinch of salt and continue to stir. 
  • Cook for about 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed and oats are soft. Be sure to stir constantly, especially towards the end, so your oatmeal doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot.
  • Remove from stove and stir in the pumpkin, spices, and brown sugar (or Splenda). Pour into a bowl and add any desired toppings (e.g., cinnamon, dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped pecans). 
  • A Grandma Mitt inspired note: If you're adding dried fruit, I recommend that you first put the fruit in a small bowl, add a little water, and microwave it for about 30 seconds. This steams the dried fruit so it's softer and meshes better in your oatmeal. That Grandma Mitt — what a woman!
My friend Lesia often makes pumpkin oatmeal for her breakfast, so I have to thank her for the idea for this post (thanks, Lesia!). She would often throw all of the ingredients into a container, bring it to work, and then throw it in the microwave for a minute or two until the liquid is absorbed. Genius!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Split Pea Rosemary Soup

Let me start by saying that I don't really like peas. It's just one of the few foods that I've never really cared for (but Dad, thanks for making me sit at the table until every last one was gone anyway! I'm sure you did it out of love...). So for the first 26 years of my life I just didn't eat split pea soup, even when my mom made it annually using the ham bone from Easter dinner. This recipe, however, changed my mind!

Split peas can be found in the market either in bulk bins (as at Whole Foods) or in bags like other dried morsels (e.g., Goya). They are peas that are dried and split in half (as you may have guessed), and they're a great source of fiber and protein!

A sea of split green peas. By they time they're done cooking, they look much different!

My recipe is adapted from one that I found on, although it's quite different from the original. And the ingredients, including rosemary and leeks, make for a wonderfully aromatic soup!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Extreme Makeover

Do not adjust your monitor. Cooking With Zest is now Consumed! Rest assured that I still plan to cook with zest under the new moniker, but I thought the new name would do a better job of capturing the topics that I'd like to cover.

While the old URL will still work, you can now get to my blog at Fancy, right? Tell your friends! Or maybe your mom. Or your mom's friends? Or just read for yourself. Whatever you feel comfortable with, really.

Happy cooking/eating!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oatmeal Toffee Birthday Cookies

I'm writing today to assure you that there's no shame in a recipe from the back of a bag. If a manufacturer thinks something is fab enough to make it to the bag, it's probably been tested and perfected (especially when that manufacturer is Hershey)! Which brings me to my next recipe.

This cookie recipe was one I got from a bag of Hershey's Heath Bits O' Brickle (I swear that's what they're called), which are basically just toffee bits. Back in the day when Brad was still living in Kansas City and I was in Philly, I would make these cookies and ship them out his way — and at some point, they were deemed his favorite. So, in honor of his 31st birthday (happy birthday, Brad!) I threw a batch together.

These cookies have a very unique and deliciously chewy texture from the marriage of the toffee and oatmeal. (Speaking of marriage, happy 36th anniversary to my awesome parents! But I digress.) And they're delicious with a little milk.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...