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Sweets + Ice Cream

Breakfast + Brunch, Food, Homespun, Sweets + Ice Cream

Blueberry Banana Oat Crumb Muffins

I had a completely different post scheduled for today. But then I made these muffins and changed my plan at the last minute in a fit of excitement because these. muffins. are. LIFE.

Nothing beats the smell of blueberries baking on a warm summer morning. Whether you’re incorporating them into pancakes or folding them into muffin batter, there’s something incredibly nostalgic about that warming berry aroma. And I had a strong hankering for that sense of nostalgia, so I decided that this was a great opportunity to make blueberry-filled muffins.

And to break up the army of brown bananas in my freezer.

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Food, Sweets + Ice Cream

Dark Chocolate Chickpea Cake Brownies

Chickpea Brownies

Cake brownies; I’m sure that sounds puzzling.

Or maybe the inclusion of chickpeas is what’s baffling you more, but believe me when I say these are the most chocolatey and moist cake-y treats I’ve ever had, and I regret nothing.

I’d been hearing about black bean brownies for a while, but since I have such an affinity to chickpeas I wanted to use them instead.

Good golly, Miss Molly.

So, why the name?

I wanted to call them cake brownies because they truly do come out as a hybrid. They aren’t as dense and chewy as a brownie, but they definitely have some brownie-esque qualities — like the fact that they’re brown, chocolate-y and are cut into little squares. (I’m reachin’ for straws, huh?) But besides the texture of this dynamite little treat, there isn’t anything too cake-y about them otherwise.

They look like brownies and they feel like cake — WTF do you want from me?

Chickpea Brownies

A collaboration with The Cinnamon Scrolls.

This recipe was developed for my pal Amanda — the baker and blogger behind The Cinnamon Scrolls. Sound familiar? Amanda wrote an article for us back in January about natural baking as a bit of a prelude to her series, Natural Baking 101. In this series, Amanda touches on the processes behind the ingredients used in commercial baked goods while offering natural alternatives.

Since becoming chums with Amanda, I’ve been trying to follow in her footsteps and use honey, maple syrup and other unrefined sweeteners when baking. As someone who enjoys to cook with full fat everything (butter, cheese, cream, etc. — because screw the crap they put in low-fat shiz), it made sense to me. If I’m trying to dodge unnecessary evils in one area, I should be doing the same in others.

When Amanda asked me to bake and write a blog post for her, the challenge excited me. I’m really glad that I agreed, because these freaking brownie-cake-things. So good.

Chickpea Brownies 2

So do yourself a solid, and head on over to The Cinnamon Scrolls to check out the recipe for these bad boys. Then, be sure to peruse Amanda’s recipes. My personal faves are her peanut butter cookies and her strawberry rolls with basil cream. WHUT.

For more natural sweets, follow The Cinnamon Scrolls on Instagram.

If you decide to try these decadent little squares, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram: @killing__thyme / #killingthyme

 

Food, Sweets + Ice Cream

Strawberry Banana Bread

Strawberry Banana Bread 1I’ve been known to knock my baking skills from time to time, but this Strawberry Banana Bread has begged me to stop.

I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, so baking simply wasn’t an interest of mine. (Don’t worry, I made up for my lack of sugar intake by eating ALL the chips.) When I did attempt to bake, I’d end up with roof shingles instead of cookies and wonder why I’d even bothered. At least a year would pass before I’d make another attempt!

Fast forward to present time; while I was photographing this beautiful bread filled with strawberry and banana-y goodness, I thought to myself–if I ever knock my baking skills again, someone needs to smack me. I’ve discovered the two most important elements to baking are science, and tenacity. Mostly the latter in my case, because once I refused to accept the fact that I sucked at baking, things turned up; you might even say things began to rise.

So, what inspired this Strawberry Banana Bread with Lemon Basil Glaze?

Strawberries. Strawberries everywhere!Strawberry Banana Bread 3

Okay, strawberries and the fact that the bottom half of my freezer was full of overripe bananas. But hey, I was saving them for good reason, clearly!

Strawberries and bananas make a killer combo, that’s no secret, but I couldn’t believe that I’d never even heard of strawberry banana bread. Of course it’s already a thing that exists, but I figured I’d kick things up a few notches with a lemon and basil glaze. Lemon and basil are amazing together, and basil and strawberries are amazing together, so how much harm could be done, right?

None. None at all. It was magical.

Strawberry Banana Bread 2

Strawberry Banana Bread 4

Here’s a little peek at how things look behind the scenes! (My coffee stash is getting dangerously low…)

Strawberry Banana Bread 6

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Food, Sweets + Ice Cream

Rum and Raisin Bread Pudding

Rum and Raisin Bread Pudding 2Food is comfort, and comfort is food–but nothing holds a candle to the food and comfort you’ll find at Grandma’s house. I think that belief is universal.

Visiting Grand-Maman (yep, I was French kid) was always a treat. Upon arrival, you knew that the old-fashioned candy dish was going to be sitting on the kitchen table. Whether it contained those chalky Pepto-Bismol Pink pucks, the sugar-dusted spearmint gummies, or Starburst candies, it was overflowing and ready to be looted by little hands. Additionally, if you wanted ice cream, you got it! But not plain, oh hell no–ice cream chez Grand-Maman was always drizzled with a soft caramel sauce that could make your toes curl and your teeth rot in the same sitting. I also can’t neglect to mention her Tarte au Sucre (Sugar Pie). You’d need at least two colossal glasses of cold milk to wash that stuff down. Apparently French Canadians like their sweets… 

However, her talent didn’t just shine in the sweets department. She made the most wholesome pot of homemade veg soup every day at lunch. If I was lucky enough to visit after a recent trip to the neighborhood butcher, my soup would be accompanied by a fresh kaiser bun with thick-sliced ham, lettuce, cheese, and Miracle Whip. She also used to make this awesome “poor man’s” dish that was made with canned tomato soup, grated cheddar cheese, elbow macaroni, and parsley. (I still make that one–it’s my go-to comfort dish when I feel icky or sad).

So many awesome dishes; so many feels. I miss her beyond words.

Trying to decide on a recipe of Grand-Maman’s to reinvent as a nod to her was pretty challenging. In the end, I chose bread pudding–or as we used to call it in French, la Pouding au Pain. Haha. PAIN PUDDING! *punch*

Rum and Raisin Bread PuddingWhat I remember about Grand-Maman’s bread pudding is that it had a nice and crusty exterior that hid a gooey and custardy center.

Rum and Raisin Bread Pudding 3Ah, and raisins! Always raisins. I was really hoping to do it justice and I’m thrilled to say they came out beautifully! I think she’d be proud. I’m not sure how she’d feel about my addition of rum, but hey. It was just a splash or four…

Today’s story is one in a series of Hop Back in Time posts
across several blogs sponsored by the Association of Food
Bloggers
which are looking at old restaurants, recipes and
history. Please don’t stop with this story! Hop
to the next blog to read more
!

 

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Food, Sweets + Ice Cream

Red Wine and Cocoa Frozen Yogurt

Red Wine and Cocoa Frozen Yogurt
I’m learning that frozen yogurt can, in fact, be just as good as ice cream… and maybe better.

Yeah, I said it.

See, I learned something today. I learned that if you use two cups of plain Greek yogurt as opposed to one cup of plain Greek yogurt and one cup of milk, you end up with a smooth consistency that is comparable to frozen custard. And if you’ve ever had frozen custard, you already know that it’s the best damn frozen treat in the world–hands down.

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you’re doing one of two things: spending it with someone you think is awesome, or spending it with your awesome self. Either way, this sexy treat is the perfect dessert for lovers of red wine and dark chocolate.

I’ll give you one guess for what it pairs well with.

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