Archive for the ‘Sweets’ Category

Agua Fresca

I love strawberry agua fresca, you guys.  I love it to much, I want to marry it.  I go to the swapmeet in East County, just to get it.  Then I got the courage to ask the cashier at the tamale stand how to make it… What she told me was TOTALLY different than the recipes on line.  She said the secret ingredient is half and half.  The recipes online are always just fruit, sugar, ice, water.  I don’t buy half and half, and always have 2% milk, so I used that instead.  The result was SO GOOD.  Almost just like at the swapmeet, but no pants required.

P.S. Please do not mix up SALT for SUGAR in this recipe.  Trust me, it is the most disgusting thing you will taste all month, if you do.  #ilearnfrommymistakes :/

What you need:

  • 4 cups chopped/ hulled strawberries (about the amount you get from a small container from the store)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • blender

What to do:

  1. Add all the stuff to the blender… and puree! 
  2. Put the agua fresca in the fridge for at least an hour, 2-3 hours is preferred.  Don’t worry if the foam settles on top.
  3. Stir it up and enjoy, preferably in a warm, sunny spot. 

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I’M BACK!!!!!!!!!!! I suck at blogging, sorry guys. Please forgive me? I’ll attempt to make up for my lack of blogging (for YEARS btw) by offering this amazing cookie recipe. First thing’s first — what the FFFFFFFFFF is paleo?

The paleo dietary lifestyle is something I’ve been following since last summer. I only got somewhat serious about it last fall and have since been cooking up a paleo storm. It’s pretty simple to follow: NO grains, legumes, dairy, sugars or anything processed. LOTS of meat and veggies. Basically think of what our primal ancestors had to eat — that’s what I (try to) eat. Benefits are plentiful! Better digestion, better skin, better sleep, increased energy, improved awareness of body, mind, and food in general.. All in all, it’s something I really believe in (since I’ve seen the results firsthand) and I encourage everyone to give it a shot. Do some googling if you want more information since I’m not very articulate or anything.. I just expect you to trust me when I say it’s good. YOU GUYS JUST TRUST ME! It’s not necessarily a weight-loss sort of diet (although you will lose weight), it’s really more of a lifestyle. I’m a cheeseball (cheeseballs aren’t paleo btw).

Now you may be wondering.. did cavemen eat cookies? No. They did not. But bear with me*, after you’ve made these cookies, you’ll believe that they wish they had.

  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1-2 tbsp of pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil (this stuff is hard when you buy it.. run it under some hot water until it’s liquified and then measure it out)
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
  • A few handfuls of dark chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate.. whoops, not paleo!) or carob chips
  • Some chopped walnuts wouldn’t be so bad either

Mix it all up and bake at 330 ON THE TOP RACK uncovered until the tops are hardened. Cover with foil and then bake for an additional 15ish minutes. They’ll come out moist and chewy.. oh my god amazing. And because there are no eggs in this cookie dough, you can eat it raw!

* so I just googled “bear with me or bare with me” because I wasn’t sure which was correct but apparently “bear with me” is correct because you’re asking someone to have patience with you, whereas “bare with me” is asking someone to get naked with you! #themoreyouknow

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Apple Pie!

Walter loves apple pie.  He’d rather have an apple pie than birthday cake, which I personally find insane.  So I decided to treat him and attempt to bake my first apple pie.

Got this (adjusted) recipe from allrecipes.com:
•    1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
•    1/2 cup unsalted butter
•    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•    1 tsp cinnamon
•    1/2 tsp nutmeg
•    1 tsp vanilla
•    1/2 cup white sugar
•    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
•    1/4 cup water
•    6-7 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced
•    milk

1.    Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes.
2.    Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in your pan. Brush the crust with milk.  Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
3.    Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 45 minutes.  Recommended to place a cookie sheet, or foil under (on rack below) the pie because it will likely bubble over and spill out the sides.

The only thing I changed was the type of apples.  I had a bunch of galas that I needed to use, so I used 3 galas, 1 big red delicious and 2 huge granny smiths.  Also, I just used the pre-made frozen pie crusts from Trader Joe’s.

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Ok so I am a really picky eater and basically only like eating about 5 kinds of fruits…UNLESS…they are in smoothies.  So we got a blender and I looked up some recipes, just to get an idea of what people do.  Most recipes called for milk or yogurt, but when you do this with fresh fruit, you still need to add ice, or it’s just not cold enough.  But then the ice waters it down, which is a huge bummer.

But THEN I had the best idea ever:  frozen milk cubes.  You get the milk, and the ice, haaaaay!  I told BF and he thought I was crazy so I said back up, genuis at work and made some milk cubes.

I’m not going to lie, they look a little bit weird.  And they feel kinda gross too, but it is the secret amazing ingredient to the best smoothie ever – trust me.  The one problem is, I broke the hell out of our standard hard plastic ice cube tray trying to get the milk cubes out.  They aren’t rigid like ice cubes, so I highly recommend a rubber bendable ice cube tray (I actually bought a baby food/ breast milk one, EW).

You will be amazed what the milk cubes adds to the smoothie.  They seriously make the smoothies super awesome and creamy like the fancy, expensive (and full of added sugar) ones at Jamba Juice.

My favorite, so far, is strawberry banana.  But we have also tried strawberry, nanner, blueberry and just strawberry, blueberry.  I have some frozen kiwis waiting for use, too!  If your fruit is getting too ripe, just freeze it.  Henry’s had strawberries for 98 cents a pound so I bought 3 with full intention of freezing them.

Also, strawberries are great because they are really low in sugar.  As long as you add some strawberries with another fruit with higher carb content, like blueberries or nanners, I’d estimate a glass of smoothie (1/3 of a blender full) is about 25-30 grams of carbs (equal to a cup of pasta).  This is pretty low considering the amount of vitamins, you are getting, and probably about 2-3 full servings of fruit.  Plus, the same size smoothie at a store can contain as much as 100 grams of carbs.


Sooo, we buy fruit at the Costco a lot, and obviously, two people can’t consume 47 lbs of strawberries in 5 days, so I end up freezing a lot of fruit for smoothies.  In my experience berries freeze very well (strawberries, blueberries, etc), as do kiwis.  Bananas on the other hand, not so good.

ANYWAY, the reason for the edit is if you have frozen fruit, you do not need frozen milk.  If you try to blend frozen fruit without 4-8 ounces of regular liquid milk, you might be needing a new blender…not that I’d know from experience, or anything.

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Sugar cookies!

I am NOT good at baking. I’ve never made my own batch of homemade cookies until I bought a food processor–honestly I don’t know why I thought a food processor was going to help me out in the baking department. My issue with baking is that it’s a science; I don’t cook like that! I don’t measure anything. I don’t even own measuring cups.. I use my roommate’s set! Anyway, turns out I CAN bake, with or without a food processor!

I’ve been on this HUGE cookie kick as of late (must be the winter!) and I stumbled upon this incredibly easy sugar cookie recipe. I made a HUGE batch of dough so adjust as necessary as this recipe makes a few dozen cookies:

  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 c of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (whoops I just realized I used 1 tbsp instead.. and of WHISKEY–yeah, you heard me right! I don’t have any vanilla and since vanilla is a liqueur, you can use rum.. however, all I have on hand is a little bottle of Jameson)

Mix everything together and bake @ 350 until the edges start to turn brown. I like my cookies chewy so I undercook them a bit and then let them cool down. For chewy cookies, I read that you can also change your ratio of white sugar and brown sugar (brown sugar will result in chewier cookies–thanks Mary!) and baking at a lower temperature for a longer time is also supposed to help (but it didn’t in my case).

My friend didn’t believe me when I told him the cookies were homemade. 🙂

$ breakdown:

  • Honestly, I’d be disappointed if you didn’t have any of these ingredients on hand in your kitchen. If anything, you should be missing the baking powder ($2-3) and the vanilla extract (another $3)

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