Super Bowl Blackout Supercharged Doughnuts

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Sometimes you need a little extra help recharging. When I need a quick boost, I often turn to coffee. Maybe I should get more sleep. Maybe I should plan more, eat better, or practice more self control when it comes to making time for rest. But sometimes I just don’t, and on those days, I crave a steady stream of caffeine. I know you know the feeling.

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Stayed up too late on Sunday night?

Is your Monday morning brain having a hard time waking up?

Feel like the Super Dome during a power outage, in desperate need of a big jolt of energy?

For times when a coffee and a doughnut aren’t quite enough, get a double dose of coffee with these supercharged doughnuts that I recently dreamt up in my kitchen. . . Leave it to me to put doughnuts in coffee, and coffee in doughnuts.

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Yes, you read that right. Coffee. In. Doughnuts. Chocolate and coffee are perfectly complementary and they team up to pack a punch in these delightful baked doughnuts. Some people achieve balance through protein shakes, juices, and probiotics. Sometimes I am one of those people. Sometimes I am one of those other people whose idea of balance is tempering bitter with sweet, coffee with chocolate.

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When it feels like the lights are flickering, power up with these.

Supercharged Coffee Doughnuts

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 oz. low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease a doughnut pan.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, espresso powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In another bowl, combine egg, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop batter into the wells of the doughnut pan. Wipe off any excess batter that gets on the pan surface in the center of the doughnut to preserve the ring shape.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Makes 6 doughnuts.
  8. Optional: dip in your favorite frosting or glaze.

Go Ravens!

Thanksgiving a la Vegology

There were a lot of firsts this Thanksgiving. And it was the best Thanksgiving I can remember.

It was the first time I hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my place.

It was the first time I spent Thanksgiving with my best friend.

It was the first time the Ravens had a Thanksgiving day game.

Because Kyle and I had to fit in three separate Thanksgiving family events, we did a lot of schedule shuffling before we compromised on an itinerary. The result was that we got to see almost all of our loved ones during the holiday, even though our families live 200 miles apart. It was delightful to visit with everyone, and I owe a major THANK YOU to my mom, dad and sister, who drove down to Richmond from Baltimore to make it all possible.

This is not Thanksgiving at my house. This is a cruise ship.

We started by driving out to a horse farm in Caroline County. There Kyle’s dad and his wife hosted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I had a drink and nibbled on sides, because I had another meal to eat that night.

Then I drove back to Richmond to prepare dinner #2 with my family and Kyle. Three out of five people in attendance are not fans of turkey, so we knew from the start that we weren’t going the traditional route. The only requirement from my family was that we give our undivided attention to the Ravens game at 8:20 PM. My biggest challenge was that I was away from home until about 6:30 PM so I did not have time to prepare and serve an elaborate meal before kickoff.

I had the idea in the shower last week. I always come up with my best ideas while in the shower. I decided to do a slow cooked vegetarian chili (normal football fare in my home) plus a baked potato bar with all the toppings we could possibly want on our spuds.

This is where I want to make a joke about how it was “totally tuber-ular” but I won’t.

Okay, maybe I did just make that joke. Sorry. Can I make it up to you with some steamy chili shots?

The feast consisted of:

  • Baked sweet potatoes, baked russet potatoes
  • Vegetarian chili
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Homemade cheddar cheese sauce
  • Shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Crumbled vegan “bacon”
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • On the side: orange glazed baby carrots

I think everyone loved the tater bar, and it got us fed just in time for the main event. I highly recommend it if you need to make a no-hassle dinner for a crowd. Less time in the kitchen means more time for family and friends!

I failed to take a picture of all of us in our gear, so I’ll show you one from the 2010 playoffs instead.

Again, cruise ship.

I also failed to take a picture of this amazing dessert that I made: Pear Cranberry and Ginger Snap Crumble. Topped with some local Homestead Creamery vanilla ice cream, it was a smash hit!

The next day, all five of us headed over to Kyle’s aunt’s house for an Italian dinner for ten. We had so much fun at the kids table. Mind you, all “kids” were over the age of 22.

We had a delicious dinner, followed by party games and a movie. I learned a lot about our families during a round of The Game of Things. I’m going to leave it at that.

I am so thankful that I was able to be surrounded by the people I love for the whole weekend! I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Hope you had a tasty and memorable Thanksgiving weekend too.

 

Any Given Scone Day

Most Sundays in the fall involve some combination of brunch, chores and football. I especially look forward to watching a football game with a cold beer and some spicy chili or stew. But lately my Sundays have involved baking, and not much else. I have been working on my submission for a recipe contest. Because I am a perfectionist, it took me baking 64 scones over 8 days to get the recipe just right.

It’s a good thing it’s the holidays or else the bagger at the local grocery store may think my butter consumption is excessive. It’s a good thing I have coworkers, friends and new neighbors to eat my creations or else they may have to remove me from this tiny apartment with a crane. It’s a good thing these scones take precisely 18 minutes to bake or else I may not have had time to take photos of my zesting and garnishing adventures today.

After a little garnish practice, I got to zest up these beauties. I am starting to like baking because I freaking love to zest citrus fruits. Maybe it’s because the peeling is a stress reliever, or maybe it’s because the flavors and smells are so deep. Seriously, I want to add zest to everything. Today it went into two different types of scones. Lime zest for the savory scones and orange zest for the sweet ones. I can’t wait to share this recipe with you this week. I am very excited about the possibilities for my nouvelles patisseries.

Pardon my French.

It’s a good thing these scones go well with chili, or else I may have felt like I missed out on two perfect football Sundays. Instead I got the best of both worlds. Baking and sports. Sweet and savory. Look out for recipes later this week!

Pumpkin Chili

The weather is getting cooler and football season has begun, which means it’s time to break out the chili pot. I celebrated the Ravens’ victory last week with a big bowl of slow simmered pumpkin chili. The addition of pumpkin, cinnamon and white hominy to this vegetarian chili added another dimension of flavor that I really enjoyed. The hint of spice and squash made this the perfect pairing to a Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale to toast to the win.

Regardless of which team you support, whether it be pro football, college football, English Premier League, or your kids’ soccer team, this chili is a crowd pleaser when it’s cold outside and you have cheering to do. Even if all you are cheering for is “more pumpkin!” I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • large onion, diced
  • bell pepper (any color; I used orange), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1- 15 oz can diced tomatoes with jalapenos (or chiles for a milder flavor)
  • 1- 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1- 15 oz can white hominy, drained
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1- 15 oz can pumpkin (plain, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • salt and pepper
  • hot sauce

Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in a large chili pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions and peppers and saute until onion is translucent and fragrant. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Add chili powder and cumin, stir to coat and cook for 30 seconds while stirring.
  4. Add cinnamon, tomatoes, beans, hominy, tomato juice, and pumpkin. When it starts to simmer, turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
  5. Serve with toppings: sour cream, cheese, cilantro, green onions and tortilla chips are all great options.

I served mine with pumpkin ale and cornbread muffins.

Every time I have this meal, the song “Beans and Cornbread” starts playing in my head. Remember that theme song from Dinner and Movie on TBS? Am I the only one who hears this song every time cornbread is near?

Monday Night Vegetables

Watching football is all about good beer and great finger food. However as vegetarians, we are somewhat limited in our football food choices. Most people watch football with a side of chicken wings, a burger, a meaty bowl of hot chili, or a pile of loaded nachos. When Kyle and I go out to catch a game, we often find ourselves hovering around the veggie tray, as it is the only option that suits our diet. And let’s face it: celery and carrot sticks are tasty but they don’t exactly pair well with a frosty mug of beer. Or shouting at the television. Or shouting at your friends, for that matter.

When football is at our place, I always make sure we have great food that fits both our diet and the situation: watching sports. Think mean and meaty; taste lean and veggie. I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

This week we used Monday Night Football as an excuse to test a recipe we’ve been dying to try: Green Bean Fries!

We used to love the version served at a popular chain restaurant that we haven’t visited in a very long time. In an attempt to be just a little healthier, I chose to forego the deep fryer and bake them instead.

First I blanched some green beans.

Then I coated them in flour and shook them.

After dipping them in a mixture of egg and milk, I tossed them in a large plastic bag with: bread crumbs, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper, and chili powder.

Then I placed them in  single layer on a baking sheet and baked for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

And served with Southwestern ranch dressing.

Now this is a veggie tray that means business.

Add a big burger and it gets real serious.

We had our green bean fries with homemade black bean veggie burgers topped with ricotta-cheddar-stuffed Carmen peppers, fresh tomatoes, and brown mustard on sesame buns.

Full disclosure: these green beans were as dry as my sense of humor at the end of a tough week at the office. We had a few and then gave in and threw them in a saute pan with some hot oil to crisp them up a little. Delicious.

Add one two Hofbrau Oktoberfest beers and. . . Game on!