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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nominally Nom - Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream!

Yes, you heard me right... And the name says it all. Which is why it is nominally nom. It is also officially delicious. And I am so full of om-nom-ness right now.

Tonight's dessert was...
Healthy(er) Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

*Clicking on advertisements will add pennies (not yours) to my college loans fund. Thanks!* /plea for help

*Recipes and/or sites that we used will be at the end of the meal's post.*

And this recipe can be dairy-free if you use dairy-free chocolate!

Okay, so I added in some "extra stuff" which may or may not have put back all the calories I just worked off at Zumba, but the main recipe itself is actually not so bad.

I could snack on walnuts all day...
I bet you can't guess what the secret ingredient is in this ice cream. No, seriously. And it's not the Reese's.

I'm actually pretty proud of my somewhat
artistic photos this time. I used props!
The secret ingredient is... [drumroll please]...


Aw, look! They're spooning.
Five bananas. Sliced and frozen. Of course, I put 'em in the freezer in a container, so they came out one giant frozen chunk o' bah-nahn. I would recommend laying the slices out on a cookie sheet, or else you'll be chopping the big mass of banana (massive banana?) by hand before your food processor can handle it.

It really does come out like soft serve ice cream though. Except it's banana cream.

Mmm... Creameh.
I put in a little more than a tablespoon of peanut butter, and then i mixed in some quartered Reese's peanut butter cups and walnuts. Then I put an extra spoonful of peanut butter on top. And that's why I just canceled out all the healthy eating I've been doing this week.

At least it's banana and not real ice cream. :)
So if you want to be healthy(er), lay off of these things:

Pieces of Reese's.
Also, although the recipe I used calls for 5 bananas to make 2 servings, pretty much one banana's worth of cream was PLENTY. I didn't even finish my bowl. It was too rich and full of goodness. However, I did whip up the rest of it so I wouldn't have to dirty the food processor again. I'll use the little processor to add some peanut butter to a single serving when I decide enough time has passed that I can handle this treat again. I will put more than 1 tablespoon in this time, so I don't have to add extra on top.

That's about it. Hope you enjoy it! And yes, I'm really proud of my photography skills in this post. :)

May you be nominally nom this week! And may everything you make be as well, so you are not an OMNOMALY! But that would be quite the phenomenom... Okay okay, I'm done now.

Happy Tuesday,

Recipes and Sites
Thank you to FoodGawker for helping us find recipes!

Healthified Supreme Chunky Monkey Ice Cream


Five bananas, for me, is WAY more than two servings. Also, I replaced the chocolate chips with quartered Reese's peanut butter cups. I skipped the coconut, 'cause I don't like it.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer treat update!

Hello and happy Sunday! I hope you all have enjoyed your weekend.

*Clicking on advertisements will add pennies (not yours) to my college loans fund. Thanks!* /plea for help

Here is the update, as promised, on the strawberry-banana freeze pops.



One of the bowls I enjoyed making.
Unfortunately, the glass bowl broke.

Mah spoon is not too big.

Frozen goodness.


Freeze pops are like onions...
The layers came out really well, and the slices of fruit inside were really nice little surprises. My mom said should would have liked more of the strawberry puree, and I personally liked the yogurt/puree mix more, so next time I'll layer them to our preferences. Also, I will put in way more slices. I thought there wouldn't be enough room for more than a few, but I could definitely fit more in there. In fact, I could just dump a bunch in and put the yogurt and puree over top, and it would probably be fine.

Let me know if you try it with other fruits!

Chica love,

Friday, July 29, 2011


That's what today's post is. Three recipes, one mega-post. I've got a bit of a backlog from the past two weeks, and I'm about to fill you in on all the yummy goodness!

This post's meals consisted of:
Baked chicken taquitos
Vegetable loaded sloppy joe's (/chili)
Strawberry-banana freeze pops! (or ice pops, or popsicles, or whatever you call them)

*Recipes and/or sites used will be at the end of the post.*
*Clicking on advertisements will add pennies (not yours) to my college loans fund. Thanks!* /plea for help

Talk about some good meals.

Link: This is from a t-shirt.

So let's start with the taquitos. We wanted something simple, and my mama loves Mexican food, so this was a great pick. We prepared it early, then while I was at Zumba (if you don't know what that is, go check it out - it may change your life) my mom put it in the oven, so it would be ready when I came home with the guacamole. Which I forgot. Oops.

The recipe called for a couple of things we did not have. We were out of cumin, for example, so in order to avoid the bland taste everyone dreads, we added a little extra chili powder and an extra dash of crushed peppers. We also had no cilantro or scallions, but that was no big deal. We had no Pepperjack cheese, so we doubled our cheddar. We had no lime, so we put in a squeeze of lemon (not enough to ruin the flavor) and a little extra salsa juice to make sure it wasn't too dry.

While I was mixing all this up, my mom was shredding the chicken. Then we put it all together and it was time to roll 'em up! In soft taco shells, that is.

All dressed up from my interview earlier. Yay job hunting.

Close up on the action!
They went in the oven like this:

Chickens in a blanket. Pigs aren't kosher. :)
And came out of the oven like this:

Perfectly browned.
These were our toppings:

My hand is holding the invisible guacamole that
I wished I had remembered.
The finished masterpiece:

Mom also made brown rice to go with it - she remembered I like brown rice! My mom's the best. It took forever to cook, but was totally worth it.


Moving right along, next we have vegetable loaded sloppy joe's. See, my brother's away at camp being a boy scout, so it's just my parents and me in the house. This means we can try new things that are full of vegetables and my brother probably wouldn't eat. My sister might try things, but she's off being a counselor at a different camp.

The awesome thing about this recipe is that it is actually designed for picky eaters who don't want vegetables. My brother would probably have enjoyed this meal had he been here and not watched us put the veggies in it. THEY ARE TOTALLY UNNOTICEABLE. Seriously. We put carrots, mushrooms, onion, and garlic in our mix, and my dad had to guess wildly for several minutes before getting all four. You couldn't see them and you couldn't tell by taste that they were there (unless you're a super-duper-taster, of course). And it was so delicious.

We chopped 'em up real good.
Again, we were missing a few things from the ingredients list, but we decided to wing it and see how it came out. Still no cumin, and no coriander or cloves either. So we added some extra chili powder and crushed peppers (sound familiar?). Apparently an extra teaspoon was a little much! My mom took a taste and went "Whoa!!" So I took a taste... And waited a moment... And then said, "There it is!" Boy, it took its sweet (spicy) time to kick, but what a kick. I pretty much felt the back of my mouth and throat go WHOOSH. We decided it would be chili instead of sloppy joe's.

Meat left, more veggies right.
And we discovered halfway through that we had no tomato paste, but only one tablespoon was called for, so we just skipped it.

Also, we weren't quite sure was a "tin" measured out to be, so we guessed a little. It came out a little liquidy, but we let it boil away, and by the next day it had thickened considerably. Enough to put it on a bun and eat it as a sloppy joe!

Anyway, you can put cheese on top, or you can skip the cheese. I skipped it because I keep kosher style and don't mix my dairy and meat products.* (See note below for clarification about chicken.)

Dad's on left, mine on right.
And we whipped up a peas and corn mix for a side, as well as some cornbread.

Daddy graciously let me use his bowl because
it was more colorful than mine. :)
And that was a fantastic meal. The next day I had leftovers on a bun. Wicked good. No pictures of that though, sorry.

*I keep kosher style, which means I don't eat non-kosher foods such as shellfish or pork, and I don't mix dairy with meat products. As you might have noticed, I do eat chicken with dairy. This is because after studying different texts, I feel that fowl is parve (neither meat nor dairy) just like fish. By my kosher diet, "meat" is an animal that produces milk. Have you ever seen a nipple on a chicken?

TL-DR: In short, a chicken does not produce milk, therefore it is impossible to boil a chick in its mother's milk.


Okay, this isn't really a meal. This is a dessert! Even better, right? And what's more, it's really good for you. Today I made strawberry-banana freeze pops. They are in the freezer as I type.

I showed my mom two dessert recipes that needed bananas, so she went out and bought a few. I had the day off from work, and I had the house to myself, so I decided to make a Shabbas (Sabbath) treat before anyone came home.

I <3 teh froot.
Since we had only about a cup of yogurt left and it was going to go bad very soon, I decided to double the recipe. Except for the honey. I only used one tablespoon of honey total. I'm not a huge honey fan, but I do like to put it in smoothies (and freeze pops) so that I can eat it without tasting it.

Doubling the strawberries meant a LOT of extra puree, which is not really a bad thing. There was simply more of it than the yogurt. Also, mixing two tablespoons of the puree with the yogurt made swirls until it blended completely. This made me very happy.

Happy swirls.
I found six popsicle molds hiding in one of our cabinets. I was pretty excited when I saw them. Layering the yogurt, puree, and sliced fruit into them was pretty fun. And a little messy.

Made with Real Froot!
And on a whim, I stuck a slice of banana onto the popsicle stick part before putting it on top. I hope that doesn't make it impossible to get them out of the molds.

Creativity at its best.
Since there were only six molds, and I had enough for 8+, I grabbed two little glass bowls and got to work.

Ready for the freezer.
They are freezing right now, and I can't wait to try them! I will put an update after Shabbas to let you know how they turned out. :)

Phew. That's it!
Happy weekend, everyone!

Recipes and Sites
Thank you to FoodGawker for helping us find recipes!

Baked chicken taquitos


Vegetable loaded sloppy joe's


We used extra chili powder and crushed peppers in place of some of our missing spices. Also, with a little extra beef stock, it turned out more like a very tasty chili than sloppy joe's. I enjoyed it as a sloppy joe the next day when it thickened.

Strawberry-banana ice pops


I doubled this recipe except for the honey (agave) - only put a single tablespoon in the puree, and did not add any more anywhere else in the recipe. I also used a few extra strawberries. Very easy and very fun to make!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Long time, no post

Goodness, it has been too long since I last posted. I'm here to fix that. Sorry I got too busy to update for a while. Summer jobs and applying for real jobs have limited free time considerably. Also, I went to Niagara Falls on Saturday! It was my first time in Canada.

Proof that I was there.
Okay. First order of business: You may have noticed some icky ads on my blog now. Why? Because every time YOU click on one, it contributes to my Pay-Back-College-Loans Fund. :) So... yeah.

In other news, There's a Chica in My Chili! has been welcomed to the community!

And now - on to the foodstuffs.

Tonight's meal consisted of:
Roasted garlic chicken pizza
Half-veggie, half-cheese pizza

*Recipes and/or sites that we used will be at the end of the meal's post.*

The tricky thing about cooking for my family is that I need to satisfy everyone's tastebuds. Not everyone enjoys curry, eggplant, or fish, just to name a few. And believe me, when my brother says something I made tastes good, that is an accomplishment.

So I wanted pizza with lots of veggies. He said no. So we're compromising by making a cheese pizza too, loading the veggies on my side. :) We'll have salads anyway.

The first thing I had to do was shred the chicken. I think I got a little carried away...

While I was doing that, my mom was experimenting with roasting the garlic. We had never done it before, so I Googled a site to tell us how it's done. A different site told us we could microwave for one minute on high, and since it's getting late, we did that. Our microwave is pretty weak, so we put the head in for an extra minute. That was too long, and the cloves got dried out.

The second head went in for a little less time, and they came out much better. Additionally, although the web page said to cut off 1/2 an inch, we found that as long as the cloves are exposed, it's better not to cut off that much.

See the difference?
Now it gets interesting. My mom couldn't find any frozen pizza dough at the supermarket, so she picked up two packages of "just add water" Betty Crocker pizza crust mix. I was happy that I didn't need to use a rolling pin, but I had to be careful while spreading it not to leave holes everywhere. That was probably me though, not the mix.

This cooking creme stuff the recipe calls for is kinda like pub cheese. Very spreadable. Good stuff. In this dish, it's used in place of tomato sauce.

And finally the chicken, garlic, and cheese went on top. We used both mozzarella and Colby-Jack (a Colby and Monterey Jack blend).

And here's the half-veggie pizza:

Peppas and 'shrooms!
Betty Crocker's crust wasn't bad - crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Although, I would have preferred a whole wheat dough. Next time. But whole wheat dough doesn't come in packages of 99 cents.

Roasted garlic chicken.

My brother wasn't very impressed with either of them, and said not to bother making them again. I was very happy with my veggie slice, and I would do that again for me. Love me some peppers on my pizza.

So that's it for tonight. I've bookmarked a whole bunch of new recipes though, and I hope to be trying some out soon.

Happy Thursday,

Recipe and Sites
Thank you to FoodGawker for helping us find recipes!

Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza


How to roast garlics sites:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Throwback time!

Okay, you guys. Who else grew up on Arthur from PBS? Remember that episode called "D.W. the Picky Eater"?

Well, skip to 2:45 and stop at 4:13.

"I LOVE SPINACH! Everybody knows THAT."

Know what, D.W.? So do I! And that's why...

Tonight's meal consisted of...
aka, my mom's famous Spinach Soufflé.

*Recipes and/or sites that we used will be at the end of the meal's post.*

And I do mean famous. Check it out:

That was at Goucher College.

Dinner was just mom and me tonight, so we made three small soufflés. Because unlike the reformed D.W., my siblings do not like spinach.

Beware the Spinach Monster!!!

We used up all the butter sticks in the house with all the baking we've been doing, so we used tub butter instead. HERE'S A TRICK!

To measure tub butter, use a liquid measuring cup. Let's say we need 1/4 cup of butter. Fill the measuring cup to the 1 3/4-cup mark with VERY COLD water. (Warm water will make the butter melt.) Then spoon the tub butter into the measuring cup until the water hits the 2-cup mark. Hurray for water displacement! Hurray for science!

We made three small soufflés - two small soufflés equals the recipe's one big one. We simply divided the recipe in half and made it three times.

We used small (about 5" x 8") aluminum pans. If you use these, melt the butter in the pans in the oven ('cause the microwave would make them esPLODE!).

I love the colors.

My mom is real funny. We were scooping, measuring, and mixing, and I randomly said, "I wonder why it's called cottage cheese."

Mom goes, "Maybe because it's been cottaged." Pause. "Ha. Ha ha. Ha."

I said, "I don't get it."

She said, "Me neither."

And then I laughed my butt off.

We were done prepping in less than 15 minutes. So easy.

Boom boom boom. Done.

They went in the oven, and we enjoyed some bread and butter while they cooked. Also, I started working on this blog post. :)

And cooked:

Have you ever seen anything more enticing?

...Did I mention this was my favorite food?

As for the plate picture...

This is my second helping.

I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take the picture. Sorry. Hehe.

Happy fooding,

Recipes and Sites
Thank you to FoodGawker for helping us find recipes!
(Except not today, because it came from my mama.)

Sarah's Mom's Spinach Soufflé

Ingredients:1 stick margarine
2 ten-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
16 oz 
cottage cheese
6 oz 
shredded cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups if measuring)
4 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Put stick of margarine in 9 x 13 pan, place in oven to melt, which greases the pan.
In large bowl, thoroughly mix all other ingredients.

Cook 30 minutes - covered.
Cook 15-30 minutes - uncovered.

WARNING - Food will be hot and delicious. Which is a dangerous combination if the deliciousness causes you to ignore the hotness. Be careful of burning your tongue!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Two desserts!

...and one dinner. :)

Last Friday I went to a potluck dinner, and decided to bring a dessert. It was a meat meal, so the dessert couldn't have any dairy in it. I was very happy to try out my first dairy-free dessert!

In addition to that, I made dinner and dessert for my family last night - a dairy meal this time.

This week's meals include:
Dairy-free chocolate chip cookie bars and dairy-free brownies
Baked ravioli
Chocolate chip praline brookies (that's right, brownie and cookie in one delicious mouthful)

*Recipes and/or sites that we used will be at the end of the meal's post.*

Once again I didn't get any pictures from the dairy-free desserts, but let me tell you: My friends questioned whether they were really dairy-free. Which is good, 'cause that was my goal!

Unfortunately, I tossed the recipe for the cookies when I threw away the chocolate chip bags, but you can use any chocolate chip cookie recipe. Just use margarine, vegan buttery spread, or some other dairy-free butter substitute as well as dairy-free chocolate chips. Tip: If you know about kosher symbols on packaging, look for "parve." That means there's no meat or dairy products in the package.

As for the brownies, again, you can use any generic recipe. Just be sure to use a dairy-free butter substitute if your recipe calls for it, and use pure cocoa powder because it is dairy-free. My mom's recipe is at the end of the post.

On to last night's dinner! Baked ravioli, mmm...


And I hope these pictures more than make up for the lack of cookie bar pictures. I couldn't find my camera because I was running out to my Zumba class, so I figured I'd have no pictures of the dinner either. But my mom is the best mom in the world, and took pictures with her phone. A lot of pictures. Yay mommy!

So, as my mom pulled the onion out of the fridge, I said, "Can you chop the onion tonight? Last time I chopped an onion I wore sunglasses and STILL couldn't stop crying..." (Haha, remember that?)

And she didn't say anything, but her face said "No..." And then she pulled a little appliance out of the cupboard and I said, "Is that a chopper??"

"Mhm," she replied. SWEET! It chopped the onion for us! I am totally getting one of those when I move out one day.

Anyway, we used the little garlic cubes again. So no sticky garlic mincing either.

And since the majority of people in our house don't love tomatoes, we swapped out the can of whole tomatoes for a second can of crushed. Perhaps next time we'll try one can of puréed and see how the sauce turns out.

Saucy. ;)

Also, the recipe calls for either thyme or oregano. We couldn't decide, so we put in a little of both. Oh, also also, we ran out of black pepper, so we put in some garlic pepper. "You can never have too much garlic," my mother declared as she sprinkled it in.

Tossin' the paaasta.

I had my Zumba workout class at 6, so we did all this prep before I left. We let the sauce simmer until about a half an hour before I got home. Then my mom tossed it with the partially cooked pasta and baked it until I got home.




So cheesy. So saucy. So tasty.

Everyone enjoyed it, although both my brother and sister agreed that we should try using the puréed tomatoes in the future. My brother said the sauce was "too chunky" and my sister simply said "lay off the sauce next time." But still she liked it enough to eat leftovers for dinner tonight. :)

Mama added garlic bread!
*Not pictured: Rainbow salad with red peppers, orange carrots, yellow croutons, green lettuce, peppers, and cukes, and white mushrooms. Om nom.

Now the dessert is one I've had in my bookmarked recipe list for a while.

Yeah, not all the cookie dough made it to the pan. We ate some.

I mentioned it to my mom as a possible birthday dessert (her birthday was in May and I still intend to make her something), and these brookies got my brother's vote. My mom has her eye on something else (ooooh, but that's for a later blog post!), leading me to bake the brookies for my brother.

There's a hidden layer of ooey gooey goodness underneath.

What is a brookie, you ask? It's a brownie with a layer of chocolate chip cookie on top. :) So bad for you, but sooooo good...

Ours turned out pretty gooey. The website with the recipe had some pictures that made them look much drier and cookie-cutter (brownie-cutter?) shaped squares.

Add milk for optimum happiness.

They were very yummy, but I don't think I'm dying to make them again any time soon though. They are VERY rich and full of calories - I mean, it's a cookie on top of a brownie, what do we expect?

*EDIT* The brookies are WAY BETTER as leftovers. Just saying.

That shiny bit is the caramel that glues the cookie to the brownie.

Only take one!

That's it for now. Until next time,
Sarah and company

Recipes and Sites
Thank you to FoodGawker for helping us find recipes!

Mom's Brownies (with dairy-free modifications)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
2 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 square/1 ounce unsweetened baking choc = 3 level tbsp cocoa + 1 tbsp shortening or oil)
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla

*Optional middle and top layers. (We couldn't because we were baking dairy-free.)

Middle layer:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Top layer:
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 tbsp butter

Melt chocolate and butter.
Combine all ingredients; mix well.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Baked Ravioli


We replaced the can of whole tomatoes with a second can of crushed. We used a little bit of thyme and a little bit of oregano.

Chocolate Chip Praline Brookies


There is an OMISSION in the recipe. The ingredients list contains vanilla, but the instructions never say when to add it in. Just put it in the saucepan with the butter, milk, and sugars. Oh, PS - we didn't use pecans.