Pakistani Kima

Full disclosure:  I have no idea if this recipe is truly Pakistani, nor do I know what “kima” is.

But I *do* know that it’s delicious, filling, healthy, and easy.  That’s a dinner grand slam in my books.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

My sister has been making this for her family for quite a while, and she made it for us while I was visiting my parents a couple years ago.  I fell in love with the incredible aroma and flavors of the spice combination.  It’s truly what makes this dish special.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

But it has a lot more going for it.  It’s chock-full of veggies, across the color spectrum (something that I’m usually desperately needing).  It’s also super satiating, with a one-two-three punch of the fat in the butter (don’t skimp on this), the lean ground beef, and the fiber-full vegetables.

It clocks in at around 320 calories per serving (if you make 6 servings out of the batch), which is great if you’re trying to keep your calories down but not feel hungry all the time.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

And best of all, this recipe is super easy to make, a one-pot standby.  It only takes about a half-hour total, and only requires you to do some vegetable chopping and throw everything into a pot.  I made two desserts while putting this together a couple weeks ago, because I didn’t have to spare any brainpower for it.  So I’m kind of in love. [Read more…]

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Chocolate, Cinnamon, & Almond Loaf Cake (gluten-free)

My dessert tastes don’t always quite jive with other people’s.  I don’t like things super sweet, I tend more toward fruity desserts rather than super chocolate, I will always choose dark chocolate over milk (and don’t even talk to me about white chocolate and its lies…).

Chocolate, Cinnamon, & Almond Loaf Cake | Finding Time for Cooking

I was blown away by the complexity of the flavors in this cake, yet how subtle they were.  I cut back on the sugar quite a bit from what the recipe called for, and for me that made it perfect—letting the chocolate have more of a bittersweet quality and the cinnamon shine through.  Also, whoever thought to put cinnamon in whipped cream is a genius and I can’t believe I haven’t done that before.  But I assure you I will forever moving forward…
[Read more…]

Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread

This bread is the BOMB!

Snickerdoodle zucchini bread...cinnamon-sugar is my kryptonite

Cinnamon-sugar is my kryptonite in general, so it’s no surprise that I was drawn to this recipe.  It’s all the best things about my snickerdoodle bread (which is amazing, but also will make a major dent in your calories for the day), combined with a bit of whole wheat flour and fiber from zucchini.  Make no mistake, this is definitely a breakfast dessert, but it’s now only a bit of splurge rather than a complete diet derail.

Snickerdoodle zucchini bread...plenty of sweet, with a bit of healthy mixed in

The hardest thing is finding the cinnamon chips—if you see them, buy like 6 bags!  (Though this may be part of the scarcity problem…).  I think Hershey’s discontinued theirs, so I’ve been buying them on the Amazon black market, and will need to look elsewhere soon.  Cinnamon chips are seriously the best, and appropriate in all manner of delicious breakfast and dessert recipes.

Snickerdoodle zucchini bread

This was a hit at work.  And I had trouble keeping my hands off it.  I had a piece with my morning espresso, but went back several times throughout the day for another bite.  I probably had three pieces total, one bite at a time! [Read more…]

Healthy Scone (or Biscuit) for One Person

For a while I tried tons of different single-serving recipes, particularly mug cakes.  But the results were typically underwhelming and significantly higher-calorie than just having one serving of a normal recipe.  But this one is an exception.

Single-serving scone recipe, using healthier ingredients | FindingTimeForCooking

I stopped eating breakfast a couple years ago, and generally on weekends I just have tons of strong coffee to start my morning.  Every so often, though, I’m struck with an intense craving for hot biscuits and honey.  That’s basically what scones and biscuits are to me—an excuse to pile on jam or honey.  You can’t say I don’t have my priorities straight.

healthy-scones-for-one-person-apricot-lavender-jam

Healthier scone recipe, only makes one serving

Especially this jam.  I got it in a little jam shop in the tiny town of St. Paul-de-Vence, in the south of France.  I’m a sucker for anything apricot, but apricot and lavender is totally divine.  I was dying for an excuse to use it, so a few weeks ago I whipped up my go-to single-serving recipe and took it out on my patio to enjoy the last gasp of warm(ish) weather.

healthy-scones-for-one-person-with-tea

Now don’t confuse healthy and low-cal.  The texture of this is definitely not a traditional light and flaky biscuit, or the nice dense (but dry) crumb of a traditional UK scone.  Due to the whole wheat flour and coconut oil, it’s a bit heavier but also very moist.  And super easy to make, versus taking the time to cut butter in and roll things out nicely.  This recipe clocks in at about 300 calories total, which is totally acceptable for a treat. [Read more…]

Birthday Vanilla Spice Coke Cake with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting

Every year (minus last year), I make myself a special birthday cake.  I try to pick something that’s really captured my imagination, that seems a bit fancy and more complex than I’d usually convince myself to tackle.  Something special.

This year, for reasons I can’t even quite explain to myself, I made a vanilla spice Coca-Cola cake with salted peanut frosting.

Vanilla Spice Coke Cake with Salted Peanut Frosting

Yes, you read that right.

It’s kind of conceptual…while I’m not a fan myself, boiled peanuts in Coke is considered a Southern delicacy.  Consider this the deconstructed cake version.  But without the weird texture issues.

vanilla-spice-coke-cake-with-salted-peanut-frosting-sliced

It was really a gameday decision.  I’d pored over my whole Pinterest dessert board and nothing was really jumping out at me.  But then I finally got it into my head that this vanilla spice Coke cake was going to be my base.  I’ve never had a traditional Coca-Cola cake, but my understanding is that it’s almost always chocolate.  When I ran across this recipe from Local Milk, I was intrigued…the way the flavor profile was described so beautifully, and as an interesting transition into fall,I decided it had to happen.

vanilla-spice-coke-cake-with-salted-peanut-frosting

But the frosting that went along with it was just way too finicky for my exhausted and busy self to deal with.  I looked at tons of different recipes but nothing really felt right, until I saw this salted peanut frosting.  Since I love all things peanut butter, I was on board right away, and I thought that it would be a fun complement to the cake.  While this was a bit overly sweet for my tastes (or maybe that was because I also ate a gallon of queso, so I felt a bit ill), the flavor was bomb and the cake was insanely moist.

I’ll definitely be revisiting this recipe down the road, and not just for a special occasion—the cake base itself (minus frosting the layers) was super easy and fast.  As you can tell, frosting cakes is not my particular skill set.

So happy birthday to me, and cut yourself a huge slice of cake and pour a Coke! [Read more…]

Apricot Linzer Torte

I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong. And BOY, was I wrong about this.

Apricot Linzer Torte

See, for the past two or three years, basically every time I’ve gotten with my friend Shalya for dinner, the conversation has eventually turned to food (okay, fine, it’s on food 92.5% of the time), and every single time she’s begged me to make a linzer torte.

Apricot Linzer Torte slice

Every single time.  And I always told her she was a weirdo, because who is obsessed with linzer torte, but fine, yes, I’ll make a linzer torte if she comes to my house.  But that day finally came.  And it was glorious.

Apricot Linzer Torte closeup

See, in my (limited) experience, linzer torte is basically just a simple buttery pastry crust with some jam in it, and a lattice topping.  Something that’s fine adorning a bakery case somewhere, but not something that anyone ever really chooses.  Fine, and sturdy, but not setting the world on fire.  Which just goes to show, I have been eating the WRONG LINZER TORTE all my life.

Apricot Linzer Torte slice closeup

This linzer torte recipe is anything but “fine”.  The dough basically punches you in the face with a combination of spices so aromatic my house smelled like heaven.  Pair that moist, tender spiced crust up with slightly chunky apricot jam, and you have a simple and perfect match made in heaven. [Read more…]

Jam Streusel Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is like the Sound of Music in real life.  It’s all about my favorite things.

Jam Streusel Coffee Cake slice

Jam?  Check.  Streusel?  Check.  Excuse to eat dessert for breakfast?  Check.

jam streusel coffee cake jam swirls 2

Coffee cake is kind of a perfect food.  It is easy to whip up and throw in the oven, leaving you to focus on other things.  It can be made the night before if you’re on a tight schedule in the morning.  It’s fancy enough for a brunch or shower.  It CAN even be a dessert.  And this recipe is particularly great, in that the cake itself is lovely and light and moist and fluffy—helped along by the buttermilk, greek yogurt, and extra egg yolks. [Read more…]

Peach Raspberry Cobbler

You know when you end up with an ingredient and then have to find recipes that will help you use that ingredient?  Yeah, that’s what we’re looking at here.

Peach Raspberry Cobbler

See, I’m a “crisp” girl.  Peach crisp, apple crisp, cherry crisp—if it’s got oats and streusel topping, I’m on board.  So, while I like cobblers just fine, I never choose them over crisp.

peach raspberry cobbler sugar sprinkled

But as I mentioned a couple weeks ago in this garlic cheddar beer bread, I had a brand-new bag of self-rising flour that I needed to use up before Passover.  And after lots of Googling recipes for self-rising flour, I couldn’t resist this peach raspberry crisp even though there are NO good fresh peaches right now.  So I re-worked it using canned peaches (I know, not ideal) and it turned out great!

Peach Raspberry Cobbler done

My favorite part about this recipe—besides how delicious it was—is how it came together so incredibly fast.  It seriously was crazy easy and simple to pull together, but felt special as well.  And it would be totally awesome with fresh peaches. [Read more…]

Peach Rhubarb Pie

Some people go crazy trying to manufacture unleavened desserts during the Days of Unleavened Bread, but generally I gravitate (must like for gluten-free things) towards naturally unleavened recipes.  Pie is one of those glorious things.

Peach Rhubarb Pie

I went home for Passover, the Night to Be Much Observed, and the first Day of Unleavened Bread this year, as has become my custom.  It was…kind of crazy, with lots of people in and out of the house, four kids four and under to keep track of a lot of the time (one of them teething mightily), and hordes of people to be fed seemingly every night.

wheat sunset

Kansas this time of year is really a crapshoot weather-wise, and for the most part I really lucked out.  We had two beautiful days, then one insanely windy day (which isn’t unusual).

sunset

Three gorgeous sunsets.

pasture creek full

Actual water in the creek (it’s been bone-dry the past few years).  Overall, the weather was very kind to me.

peach rhubarb pie rhubarb raw

For the Night to Be Much Observed (or Remembered, which is the same night as the Jewish Seder), we needed to come up with a recipe to feed a lot of people and complement the chocolate toffee matzo that someone else was bringing.  Extra points if the babies could all eat it (which meant everything had to be organic, non-GMO, and with very little sugar.  After some discussion, I settled on peach rhubarb pie.  My mom had strawberries and that was an option, but I felt like the combo of peaches and rhubarbs was a little unique, so couldn’t resist.

A few notes on this recipe—this is a VERY forgiving recipe, in terms of quantities, length of time, etc.  That makes it a little challenging to give exact amounts or baking time (which will also very much depend on the crust you use).  Plus, you’ll want to adjust some of the ingredients to your own personal taste (specifically the sugar; this was a bit tart for my personal taste, but was kept that way for the babies). [Read more…]

Espresso Chocolate Coffee Cake

There is no such thing as having too many coffee cake recipes.  That’s like having too much cheese, or too many raw sugar packets, or too many pairs of shoes.

Espresso Chocolate Coffee Cake

Honestly, I have one coffee cake recipe (a cinnamon-streusel one) that is the best in the world, and my go-to under any and all circumstances.  And I’m just now realizing that I’ve never posted it.  So…that will need remedied.  But in the meantime, this one—if you like the combo of espresso and chocolate—is definitely a keeper.

Espresso Chocolate Coffee Cake slice

The sour cream gives this a lovely moistness and a dense but somehow light crumb.  Everyone at work totally raved about the taste and the texture, so you could probably switch up the toppings if the chocolate/espresso flavor combo isn’t for you.

espresso chocolate coffee cake ready to bake closeup

The original recipe (link at the bottom) calls for you to split the topping and batter, and have a layer of topping in the middle.  Since I was using a big springform pan I definitely didn’t have enough batter or topping to make this work, but if you go the bundt or tube pan route, you may want to give this a try.  Either way, the melted chocolate, deep espresso notes, and little spikes of cinnamon make this worth getting up in the morning. [Read more…]

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