Friday, July 29, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This bread is so fast and easy, and it won’t leave you disappointed. It is also great for an on the go breakfast!



1 1/2 cups sugar, DIVIDED
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
1 egg
1/4 cup Vanilla Yogurt


First: Combine 1 cup of sugar and the 1 tablespoon of Cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside for later use.


Mix everything else together in a bowl.


Pour half of the batter into a greased loaf pan. (just spray with pam)


Sprinkle Half the cinnamon/sugar on top of the batter.


Pour the rest of the batter on top and then repeat the cinnamon sugar sprinkling.


Grab a butter knife and make a swirling pattern in the batter until it looks like this:


Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean. I say mostly clean because the cinnamon swirl part never really cooks completely…it stays a little gooey and delicious. So if your toothpick comes out dark brown but the bread doesn’t seem to be doughy anymore than take it out! You will be glad you did.


Tips from Kj:

I used vanilla yogurt in this to save some calories from oil. I have found that using yogurt in breads makes them SOOO soft it is awesome! If you don’t want to do this than use 1/4 cup vegetable oil.

Once again we used almond milk but you can use buttermilk that is what the original recipe called for.

If you look online most recipes have you use a 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar mixture and putting 1 cup of sugar into the batter mixture. I switched those by mistake and this batch has by far been my favorite! With a lot more cinnamon gooeyness.

I had a thought while I was writing this post and it was: Make this bread into French toast! Maybe next time…if any of you try that let me know! :)

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Vanilla Pancakes

The other day I decided to make Pancakes for breakfast. After Mark ate them he said, “I don’t know what you did this time but you need to make pancakes this way every time from now on” :D Needless to say he loved them!


I used the same recipe I normally do but this time added some tweaks and ended up creating the only pancake recipe I will use for the rest of my life!


3/4 cup ALMOND milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 egg whites
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

cooking spray


First: Mix your Vinegar and Almond milk together. Leave for 5 minutes to curdle.


While milk is curdling. Whip up your egg whites so they are nice and fluffy. You don’t want stiff peaks to form though so don’t whip too much. “Soft peaks or little hills” are more of what you want.


Mix together your milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg whites.


In a separate bowl mix together all other dry ingredients. (And your vanilla?? haha this was an oops-remember vanilla goes with the wet ingredients!)


Dump dry ingredients into wet ingredients. And mix together until JUST combined.


Turn your skillet on Medium Heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook your pancakes! I just check for a little bit of “brownness” and then I flip em over.


Tips from Kj:

We only drink almond milk in our humble abode. You can use other milk in this recipe but I personally think that the almond milk added to the delicious flavor!

If you don’t have vinegar to curdle the milk use lemon juice! It works the same.

I LOVE eating pancakes with Jam on them with a big glass of milk. This is my number one way I eat them, syrup gets second place. With the vanilla in them I think I liked it this way even better!


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Friday, July 8, 2011

Tutorial: The BEST way to cut an onion

This tutorial is brought to you by: MARK HELBERG :) One time Mark noticed me creatively chopping an onion for dinner. I had never been exactly sure about the best way but felt I had found a pretty okay strategy. It definitely wasn’t fast though or convenient for getting the exact size of pieces that I wanted.

That day Mark changed my life when he showed me how he had learned to chop an onion:

First-Cut off the top and bottom of your onion and peel the skin off


Your onion should be able to sit flat on the cutting board. Next start slicing your onion the same direction all the way across. Space your slices apart based on how big you want your onion pieces to be. (I was wanting tiny pieces so you can see that my first and second slice are pretty close to each other)


If you are not planning on using the whole onion only go down as far as you want to use. I was using a little more than half of the onion this time. (Also NEVER chop all the way through the bottom…you have to have something holding it together)


Once you get across the whole onion it will look like this:


Then it is time to chop the other direction…perpendicular to your previous slices.


Your onion will now look like this:


Then turn your onion on its side and slice a piece off as think as you want…the onion pieces will fall of in little perfect squares! :) IMG_2550


Oh happy day :) I also feel like I don’t cry as much when chopping onions this way. If this didn’t make sense to you than I guess I’m not good at tutorial making and you’ll just have to come over to my house for an onion chopping good time!

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Cider Butternut Squash and Parm Crusted Tilapia

I know that those sound like a random combination (I agree that they are) but individually they were both really good! Together with some salad they made a nice meal.

Cider Butternut Squash

This recipe was a total experiment but turned out to be really good! It reminded me of yams…which are one of my favorite foods so I was happy.


4 large carrots cut into half moons
2 butternut squash (mine were pretty little) peeled and cut into cubes
2 packets apple cider mix or 2 cups apple cider

First peel all of your carrots and the squash:


I got this peeler at Bed Bath and Beyond for 1 dollar. It is my favorite! It slides over your finger and fits in the palm of your hand. It is so nice compared to the ones you just hold.


Next comes the chopping:


Once everything is chopped put it in a skillet. Add your 2 cups apple cider. (I used the packets below) Simmer on the lowest temperature your stove will simmer until the squash and carrots are soft-About 30 minutes.


While that is simmering make:

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

This is something that we love and we have a lot. This is my variation of the recipe and you’ll find many that are pretty similar. I just tweaked and tweaked this until I came up with what I liked the best.


4 Tilapia Fillets

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons light butter melted
1 tablespoon light mayo
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
A couple shakes pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt

Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl. Spray a baking dish with Pam. Put your fillets in the baking dish. Smother with the above mixture.IMG_2524 Bake at 400 degrees until the fish flakes with a fork. (and they will turn white) This was about 20 minutes for me in my little old-school oven. In a regular oven it is going to be around 10-14 minutes.


The cheese on top will also be nice and brown and delicious looking.


Make a nice salad to go with it and there you have it:


Tips from Kj:

This isn’t really a tip but a fun fact-Both of these foods are really low calorie! :) Using only apple cider vinegar to simmer the squash and carrots eliminated oil or butter that would normally be used. I also use light butter and mayo as often as I can when I’m cooking and normally you can use LESS than the recipe says and it will still be yummy!

You’ll find on here that sometimes I will post recipes with a healthy twist and sometimes I’ll post artery clogging recipes with no ounce of health in them. This is because I feel like life just needs to have a happy medium when it comes to food. I try to be healthy most of the time but an artery clogging treat or dinner every now and then is a MUST! :D

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