Summer Ale Fries

Every now and then I come across a recipe that makes me think “I need that… in my belly… right now.” These fries did exactly that haha. Also, I love cooking with beer and it had been way too long. They were just the right amount of crunch, salt, and the little bit of grease you sometimes need after a late night. The perfect Sunday Funday food.
Yields 4 side servings if you’re willing to share =)

Ingredients:

  • 3 russet potatoes
  • 2 bottles summer style ale (I went with Harpoon!)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

First step is to slice the potatoes lengthwise in similar size sticks. Cut the potato in half and lay it flat to make it easier. In a medium size bowl marinate the potatoes in the beer for 15 minutes, tossing a few times. Pre-heat the oven to 425.

Drain the beer and mix the potatoes with the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay fries out in a single layer (no stacking!). Bake for 45 minutes, turning once or twice.  After sprinkling with a tad more salt, enjoy with an ice cold Summer Ale =).

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin in July… so weird right?! This weekend I was going through my pantry looking for something to put together without buying any food (read: Joanna spent too much money at Sephora). I ended up throwing away a fair amount of stuff that was past it’s due date, which I HATE doing, but I guess it’s for the best. I happened upon a can of pumpkin that read “July 2012”. Phew safe for the fall. But then I read the bottom that said “July 2011”! Massive fail on their part. Not wanting to waste anything else… especially pumpkin… some pancakes were definitely in order.

I never make them from scratch. I don’t know why. It seems like a fairly easy task yet I always use a mix. Trader Joe’s used to have this uh-mazing dairy-free one but I haven’t seen it around lately. When I got the usual “Did you find everything you were looking for today?” line I spoke up and the guy said that I was probably the only one buying it. Touché.
Yields 12 pancakes.

pancake mix + ingredients it calls for
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
handful of pecans for garnish (optional)

Make the pancake batter as directed. Whisk in canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and pie spice. Heat a large pan on medium and pour batter using the 1/4 measuring cup. Once small bubbles start forming on the top, it’s time to flip. Top with pecans and lots of maple syrup =).

Cookies n Mint Marble Frappe


The other day H’s status was “mint oreo frappe”.

That sounded heavenly on a really hot day.

It was all I could think about… until now =)

Serves 2.
Ingredients:

Melt the remainder of the chocolate bar in a small glass. Place the frozen desert, milk, and the 5 whole cookies in a blender. Pulse until desert and milk are combined and cookies are in pieces. Drip the melted chocolate along the inner walls of the glasses you’re using. Pour frappe into glasses. Top with Rice Whip and sprinkle on the crushed cookies. Garnish with reserved chocolate and mint leaves.

Monkey Business Trail Mix

Sometimes I feel like Trader Joe’s really gets me. Almost all of their dark chocolate is sans dairy. They sell olive oil in massive quantities for pennies. And they have at least 10 banana related products in their store at all times. (I’m not sure if it’s actually 10… but it’s a lot!) One of those things new this year was Monkey Business Trex Mix.

O.M.G. I was in love.

It had banana chips, chocolate clusters, peanuts, and dried cherries. All of my favorite things in one bag. (not really the cherries, but more fruit is never bad). Then disaster struck. Suddenly it disappeared. Gone from the shelves yet to be restocked. I’d know cause I check every week and often mention it when the cashier makes awkward small talk as you check out.

I researched it online (yes I am a loser) and found a complaint that someone found glass pieces in the chocolate clusters. The nerve of that person ruining my bag of favorite things. I’ve pretty much given up hope that I’ll ever see the trex mix again. Luckily for me TJ’s sells all the things that came in the mix and I can make it myself! Crisis avoided.
Inspired from Trader Joe’s Monkey Business Trex Mix… R.I.P.
Yields atleast 8 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb roasted but not salted almonds
  • 1 lb roasted but not salted peanuts (you could do salted nuts obviously, but I chose not to)
  • 1 lb banana chips
  • 8 oz. dried bing cherries
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.

I eat this all the time…breakfast, pre-gym, at the beach, whenever!

Funfetti Cupcakes from Scratch

Mmmm Funfetti. The most universally loved cake there is. If you look at the ingredients, it’s just vanilla cake with sprinkles. But we all know it’s so much more than that.

It’s all I ever wanted as a kid.

From ’91… there’s sprinkles underneath I promise you…

To ’06… Mom was angling to “order” me a graduation cake… that wasn’t happening… funfetti… please and thank you.
(don’t know if you noticed, but the picture of the baby has now changed… that’s D$… c’mon Mom 😉

To now. My close friend C and I joked that it would be our wedding cake when the time came for each of us. She went with something else. I’m holding out hope for me =)

Adapted from How Sweet It Is.
Yields 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Earth Balance Buttery Stick
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup colored sprinkles

Frosting:

  • 1 Earth Balance Buttery Stick
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups confectionary sugar
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1 TB – 1/4 cup of almond milk, depending
  • 3 TB colored sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Alternate adding in the dry ingredients and milk then beat until completely mixed. Stir in the colored sprinkles.

Fill the cups about 2/3 and bake 20-25 minutes. The time will vary depending on oven temperatures.

Now for the good stuff! Beat butter and shortening together until fluffy. Add in the sugar, vanilla, and a little bit of the milk continuing to beat until well combined.

Add in additional milk to taste. I ended up adding the whole 1/4 then regretted it a little bit because the frosting was a tad too liquidy. It ended up hardening and was fine, but I still wish I put in a little less. Stir in the remaining sprinkles.

Bacon and Tuna Poke

Crate & Barrel is so inviting isn’t it? Every time I go in, the perfectly placed displays yell to me “take me home… you know you want to!” and I come out with all this cool stuff I never would have thought I needed. Like this I Love Bacon! cookbook for example. Why yes I do love bacon. Everyone I know loves bacon. It would look great on the coffee table. I do need this book!

After a little debate on what to make first, I saw Wicked Good Travel’s Tuna Tartare the other day, and knew exactly which recipe that would be!
Yields about 8 appetizer portions.

Ingredients:

Soy-Sesame Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TB sesame oil
  • 2 TB water
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TB sesame seeds
  • 1 lb smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 lb sushi grade tuna, chopped (I got some great stuff at New Deal Fish Market!)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 TB garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup scallions, diced
  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 1 20 oz bag sweet potato waffle fries, cooked according to package (original recipe used fried wanton wrapers, but Whole Foods was all out)

For the dressing, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, water, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and sesame seeds together in a small bowl.

In a separate medium bowl, mix bacon, tuna, red onion, ginger, garlic, and scallions. Add in enough dressing to evenly coat the mixture. I found you didn’t need all of it.

To assemble, spread the mashed avocado onto a fry and top with the tuna and bacon mixture.

The combination of all the flavors was SO good. I tried to make this into a meal for myself but probably won’t again.  After a few bites between the bacon, avocado, fries, and even tuna it was a little heavy. Definitely something to share with friends!