Monthly Archives: September 2012

It’s Friday, Friday, Friday!

Happy Friday, dear readers! Just a quick post to remind you that the online charity bake sale ends this Sunday so don’t miss out on your chance to win a batch of my giant rainbow cookies! They’re seriously delicious.

Click here to bid! And happy weekend!

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Vegan Chickpea Chili Over Rice


I have a new project that I’m working on that I’m SO excited about but can’t talk about quite yet (don’t worry, mom, I told you already). In the meantime, I can tell you it involves this: delicious food. And that’s all you really care about anyway, isn’t it?

This chili should come with a warning: contains colon cleansers. Get my drift? Don’t eat more than one heaping bowl if you’re like, going on a date or something and you prefer not to asphyxiate said date with vicious flatulence.

Do you guys read other food blogs that talk about flatulence? No? Well then I win!

On the menu:
Vegan chickpea chili over rice
Serves 5

2 cups jasmine rice
4 cups water
Salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder (chipotle chili powder if you can find it)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Fresh ground black pepper
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained

In a medium pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, the chopped onion, and the red pepper and sautee until the vegetables soften, around 10 – 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the cumin, and the chili powder and stir to combine. Let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

While the tomatoes are simmering, make the rice according to the package.

Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Add chickpeas and kidney beans and cook over low/medium heat until beans are heated through, around 15 – 18 minutes. Put rice in bowls and serve chili over the top.

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Citrus Cream Cheese Pound Cake

One problem with being home all the time now is that I want to bake all. the. time. On my kitchen counter right now I have M&M cookies, unfrosted cupcakes in anticipation of a ladies’ lunch tomorrow, and a citrus cream cheese loaf that The BF asked me to make last week. I should invest in some sort of healthy eating cookbook or something.

In any case, this cake is not healthy by any means but for some reason it screams “brunch!” to me. How much¬†less healthy could it be than cinnamon French toast or something? That’s my rationale and I’m sticking to it.

Note: this makes an awkward amount of batter, and you’ll have enough batter for one loaf cake and 8 cupcakes. Just go with it.

On the menu:
Citrus Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Makes 1 9x3x4 sized loaf

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 3/4 sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lime zest

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 lemon juiced
2 Tbsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 3 x 4 pan. Put 8 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.

Cream together cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer. Add sugar and blend to combine. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each egg is added. Blend in vanilla until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and salt. Add zest and whisk in. Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir by hand just until combined. Do NOT overmix.

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the loaf pan. Divide rest among the cupcake cups. Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes; bake loaf cake for 60 minutes. Tip: set the timer for 25 minutes and put cupcakes and loaf in together. Once the timer goes off, take out the cupcakes and set the timer for 35 minutes to finish off the loaf.

Let the cakes cool and then make the glaze. Stir together the powdered sugar and the citrus juices. Remove the cakes from their respective pans and put the loaf on a plate, the cupcakes on parchment paper to catch the drips. Pour 3/4 over the cake and dip the cupcakes in the remaining glaze. Let the glaze harden and enjoy.

NOTE: This recipe originated here and here and the first one calls it a Philly Fluff. Does that name tug at your heart strings? Tell me why! I’m from upstate New York and have no idea.

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Online Charity Bake Sale

Do you like to eat delicious sweets? Do you like to occasionally donate money to charity? Do you spend time on the interwebz? Then have I got the event for you! I’m participating in an online charity bake sale running from September 10 (that’s today!) through September 16. Five food bloggers (including myself) are auctioning off some super special baked goods over at My Love for Cooking and all proceeds go to Pillwillop Therapuetic Farm.

Would you like to taste THESE beauties…

Giant Rainbow Cookies

… hmm? Then go ahead and bid. I’ll be donating a dozen giant rainbow cookies (yes, complete with rainbow jimmies and M&Ms) and they’ll be delivered, by me, with a personalized note directly to your door. Please don’t let me be the only loser without a bid.

To make it super easy, CLICK HERE TO BID: Online Charity Bake Sale

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Red Rooster Harlem

I feel this post doesn’t need a giant intro. Simply put, this was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Let’s dive in.

Red Rooster Harlem 310 Lenox Ave, Harlem, NY. Red Rooster Harlem is the brain child of Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised chef Marcus Samuelsson on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in the heart of Harlem. The restaurant features an upscale, but still low-key, experience with a menu filled with Ethiopian-influenced soul food.

Bunny Chow: lamb stew with ricotta and fried egg

On the menu:
Disclaimer: I did NOT eat all of this myself. But I did taste every single plate…
Earl of Harlem cocktail (Buffalo Trace bourbon, Early Gray tea, spiced coriander syrup)
Crab cakes
Jerk bacon and egg
Corn bread with honey butter and tomato jam
Collard greens
Bunny chow (lamb stew on a roll topped with fried egg and ricotta)
Berbere roast chicken (Ethiopian spiced chicken with rainbow chard, asparagus, and peanut slaw)
Catfish and grits
Fried Yard Bird (fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, and bread & butter pickles)
Sweet potato donuts
Lemon bread pudding
Kahlua truffles

Jerk Bacon and Egg

Verdict: Did I not already mention this was one of the best meals of my entire life? This is going to be one of my less informative restaurant reviews because how many times can I use the words “AMAZING” and “DELICIOUS” and “PERFECTION”? The spices blended, the sweet wasn’t too sweet and the spicy wasn’t too spicy, the crunch was crunchy enough, the portion sizes were enough but not too much, and the staff was attentive and friendly but never annoying. The restaurant itself is comfortable and our table was loud and jovial and no one seemed to mind. By the time we left the restaurant I had that warm, sleepy, happy feeling you only get after a truly incredible meal. I can’t say enough good things about Red Rooster Harlem and insist you try it for yourself. It’s on the pricier side, but it won’t break the bank, either. And for a special night out, I can’t think of anything better.

Earl of Harlem

Photos: c/o of Meagan Drillinger

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Banana Muffins with Brown Sugar Glaze


I found this recipe on a great food blog called That’s So Yummy and they call for brown sugar cream cheese frosting. But you all know how I feel about waiting for baked goods to cool before I frost them. So I combined this recipe with my donut muffin topping and VOILA. When The BF tasted one he said, “Is there BUTTER on these?! You’re gonna give me a coronary…” And then he happily ate 2 more. We call that success.

On the menu:
Banana muffins with brown sugar glaze
Makes 14 muffins
Adapted from this recipe at That’s So Yummy

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Blend in the egg. Add mashed bananas and stir with a spoon until incorporated. Add flour, then baking soda, then baking powder, then cinnamon, then nutmeg, then salt. Mix all ingredients together by hand with a large spoon. Add milk and vanilla and stir until combined.

Fill each muffin cup to almost full (5/6 full). Bake for around 37 – 40 minutes or until tops are light brown in color. Remove muffins from tin and let cool for 5 minutes before glazing.

Glaze:
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together over low heat. Pour into a shallow bowl and whisk in cinnamon. Note: this mixture will probably separate, so you might have to whisk it back together every 3 – 4 muffins.

Dip the top of the muffin in the butter/sugar mixture and let cool on a wire rack. Or, eat every single muffin before they cool. I won’t blame you.

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Happy Labor Day!

Just a quick post today to wish y’all a happy labor day! Someday I hope to post a picture like this because it represents the “labor” I must endure in order to make a living. Here’s hoping! In the meantime, this is also my first announcement that I’m participating in a charity online bake sale starting September 10. Details are here and more info including a blatant plea for bids will be coming soon.

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