Archive | March, 2014

Blueberry Ice Cream Parfait

26 Mar

“You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, ‘Let’s get some parfait,’ they say, ‘Hell no, I don’t like no parfait?’ Parfaits are delicious.”

–Donkey (of Shrek fame)

Truer words were never spoken. My love of parfait started way back in high school when McDonald’s introduced the Fruit ‘n’ Yogurt Parfait–luckily, I’ve kicked it up a notch since 2002 and today’s post is not about fake yogurt, sugary syrup, and genetically modified fruit.

Back before QueijoKef and I went on a Miami bender, CousinKef and ManCaveKef came over for crockpot chicken tikka masala and GF naan.  The obvious thing to do would have been some delicious Indian-inspired dessert (Rasika’s cardamom ice cream comes to mind) but your resident contrarian friend ChefKef took things the other way and went hog wild on an American favorite: blueberries.

I saw this recipe for no-bake Greek yogurt blueberry ice cream and pretty much every synapse in my head fired at once. Determined to make a cute little dessert deserving of my wonderful cousin, I decided to layer it with Babycakes NYC’s vanilla cupcake and drizzle a lemon blueberry sauce allllll over that puppy to make the love child of an ice cream cake, a trifle, and a parfait. Are we in heaven yet?

photo 1-7

Absolutely none of these components requires one ounce of skill (the cupcakes are a ONE BOWL miracle) and I was quite pleased with the results- although as soon as I put them all into mason jars, I realized I should have served them in these cute little ramekins I have. Alas. Presentation has never been my strong suit.

 

photo-91

Blueberry Ice Cream Parfait

–The Cake

  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/3 cups agave nectar
  • ¾ cup homemade applesauce or store‑bought unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two standard 12-cupcake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce, vanilla, and lemon zest to the dry ingredients and combine. Stir in the hot water and mix until the batter is smooth.

2. Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it. Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they’re golden brown and bounce back when pressure is applied gently to the center.

–The Ice Cream

  • 2.5 c blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 16 oz whole milk Greek yogurt (FIBBYDY)
  • 1/3 c sugar (I used coconut)
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Combine everything in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until thick, about 25 minutes. Pour or scoop Scoop into a large glass dish, cover, and freeze until firm — about an hour.

–The Sauce

  • 2 c blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 1/3 c coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c lemon juice
  • 2-3 TBS coconut milk

1. Bring blueberries, sugar and water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

2. Stir in the coconut oil milk. Stir well and cook for  another 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and let it cool.

The Parfait

1. Layer your ingredients as you see fit– I did sauce, cake, sauce, ice cream, cake, sauce.

Super Cute Jewelry and NYC Tri

25 Mar

It’s been a great week since the Rock N Roll Half last weekend- lots of food, not so much running, and more drinks during one weekend with Queijo than I drink in a month of race training.

So–like everyone who enjoys eating, resting, and drinking– I signed up to race in the NYC Triathlon. Which means that the only thing standing between me and my next week of countless calories, endless rest, and bottomless bubbly is a 1500m swim, a 40K bike, and a 10k run. That’s right, sports fans: a 0.9 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run. Kind of terrifying.

imagesBut luckily for me, I’m running with the awesome folks at Athletes to End Alzheimer’s. I’ll be training, strategizing, and fundraising along side (behind?) a group of dedicated individuals, including BFKef’s sister, WokeUpThisWayKef.

Which brings me to the super cute jewlery. You (yes, you!) have the chance to support the Alzheimer’s Association and their disease-changing research, care, and support. I’ve committed to raising $3,000 and your support would mean a ton!

You can contribute to the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease two ways:

1- Buy a gorgeous, finely-detailed, affordable piece of Chloe + Isabel jewelery from BabyKef’s boutique. Make a purchase using this link between Tuesday 3/25 (that’s today!) and Friday 3/28 and my sister will donate the proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Association!

photo-89

2- Make a donation directly through my fundraising page. In exchange, I’ll send you baked goods. No, really– check out the melomakarona I sent out last week:

photo-90

 

Thanks to everyone who’s donated so far- I’m already more than half way there! Now, I just need to turn eating, blogging, and sleeping back into some kind of swimming, biking, and running routine. Uncle Frank… is this a joke?

uncle frank

Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.

24 Mar

Less than 24 hours ago, I was in the scorching sun of south Florida. Current temperature in Washington, DC: 27F. Forgive me if I’m less than impressed.

Things in Miami started off as you would imagine– we hit the gym, spa, and pool immediately upon arrival.

 

photo 1-4

photo 3-2It was all fun and games until people started standing on their heads:

photo 4-1And once we realized our girl Mimi and her hubs Nick Cannon were in town… it was ON (in a rude turn of events, Mariah never tweeted us back. Humph.)

photo 5-1We got all gussied up and headed to Katsuya for an amazing sushi dinner

photo 3-3 photo 5-2Amazingly, KPMGKef was in town as well, so she met up with us at the Delano and schooled us on how to take a selfie.

photo 1-3But we think there’s something about the wrist of a 23 year old that makes selfies so good… so we resorted to asking the bartender to take a shot

photo 2-2

Yes, I know my Spanx are showing. No, I’m not going to edit them out.

Another 12 hours and thousands of glasses of bubbly later, it was time for QueijoKef’s parents (CrashKef and SpritzKef) to collect us from Miami and head on to our next destination: Joe’s Stone Crab.

photo-88 photo 3-1We wasted no time getting down with some stone crab, sauteed mushrooms, and lobster mac & cheese.

photo 4 photo 5 photo 1-5Let’s take a break here for just a second to give some much-deserved high praise for Crash & Spritz Kef… they are just about the most amazing hosts on the face of this planet. Queijo and I last visited them together when they were holding court in Rio, and they have only become more warm, welcoming, and fun in the last 7 years. A HUGE thank you to my hosts!

photo 2-1 photo 1-6By Saturday we had a singular goal: get Crash to the couch at Palodar with a mojito in hand by sunset. Challenge accepted.

… but not without some stops along the way.

photo 1-2

People watching from the Surf Club at Fort Lauderdale beach. Prisoner transport not pictured.

 

photo 3-4

SpritzKef knows my heart–she made sure to point out that the Whole Foods was there in the distance!

photo 4-4

If anybody needs a straw, we have extra!

Driving home, we paid homage to our Québécois friends

photo 2-5

Mangez. Sommeil. Rave. Répétez.

And then, as quickly as it started, the Suspicious Minds dance party of 2014 was over. Per usual, Queijo and I ended up nestled in the bosom of a very grounding floor.

IMG_2186

Here’s the thing (and there’s ALWAYS a thing…)

Back to the real world and the real blog tomorrow– thanks to QueijoKef, SpritzKef, and CrashKef for an amazing weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Ingredient Paleo Naan

20 Mar

This three ingredient naan is pretty awesome. We followed the recipe exactly–what she doesn’t tell you is that you have to cook it for 10-12 minutes to get it fully cooked, but it is worth the wait. CousinKef and I were happily gluten free, and BFKef and ManCave Kef didn’t seem to mind one bit. Check and check.

photo(8)

Would love to chat… but the beach is calling. Sorry not sorry. #DutyHonorMiami

Paleo Naan

Ingredients

  • ½ c almond flour
  • ½ c tapioca flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk, full fat
  • butter/oil for cooking

Assembly

1. Mix everything together.

2. Heat butter/oil in saute pan over med-high heat. Pour desired amount into pan, use metal spatula to flip after 4-5 minutes or so. Cook until both sides are browned and firm.

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

19 Mar

Welcome to Wednesday! I’m headed off to Miami with QueijoKef, so I have about 30 seconds to share this delightful recipe with you before I bribe the pilot to write, “See ya later, snow suckas!” in the air as we depart BWI.

CousinKef and her wonderful husband ManCaveKef came over on Sunday — it was a wayyyy overdue event and BFKef and I were super excited to host them. My darling BFKef, of course, insisted that we make something that included his beloved, the crockpot, and scoured the internet to find this surprisingly delicious Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. I was pretty skeptical, but after about 12 minutes in the slow cooker, the smell that permeated our kitchen confirmed what BFKef knew all along: this dish was gonna be yumcito.

We followed the original recipe exactly, so you can check it out here. If you’re into the whole DIY thing, check out the long form version of chicken tikka masala that I LOVE here.

photo-87

 

Coming up later this week (or maybe next week if Quiejo and I are having too much fun on South Beach to blog)– a brand new gluten-free naan with just THREE ingredients and a vegan, gf/sf vanilla cake that can be made in ONE BOWL.

RnR USA Race Recap

17 Mar

Well, sports fans, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

The good news is that I had an awesome race, felt good and finished strong. The bad news is that I missed my goal time, but did PR by about 3 minutes. So really, there’s good news and there’s good news.

Some great things happened along the way: the weather was perfect, the race was well organized, I fueled exactly correctly, and it was one of the best runs I’ve had in awhile in terms of feeling really strong and not feeling like the last miles were throw-aways, form wise. I beasted to the top of the Calvert Hill. The drummers at the bottom of Harvard St were totally amazing. My butt didn’t chap. None of those things compared to the amazing cheering team I had- it is a true friend who will watch 24,999 other strangers pass them by just to encourage you as you whiz by. Special thanks to NoLongerClevelandParkKef for making this spectacular sign:

1970858_10103649810422473_1825526384_nNow that’s something that will get a girl up a hill!

There were some not so great parts, too. It’s usually my race MO to go out too fast and have nothing left in the tank for the back end. Trying to avoid this situation, I started wayyy behind my assigned corral so I could just do my own thing and enjoy my own race. Well, that was a great plan until I got stuck in throngs of people running at a different pace than mine, and saw that I was 90 seconds behind my target pace at Mile 1. I made up some time on the nice flats leading up to Calvert and then on the downhills of Columbia Heights and Ledroit, but then fell victim to some bottlenecking in Bloomingdale and in the North Capitol tunnel. All in all, I ended up missing my goal by a bit more than 5 minutes. Boo.

[Side note- wtf was up with all the Putin signs? “Running 13.1 miles makes Putin look sane.” Um, that’s in poor taste, friend.]

All in all, I’m thrilled I ran. I don’t do road races all that often, but when I do I’m always amazed at the “power of running,” for lack of a cheesier phrase– here are thousands of people for whom running is an organizing life factor, if only for 3 hours on a Saturday. People run individually because it makes them healthier, it makes them stronger, it makes them saner… whatever… and then get together en masse to brave the same battle together. I really love that.

All of this means two things: more road races, and more speed work. On to the next one, people!

Oh– and about Goal #2… some mixed results:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 8.38.42 AM

Not as terrible as most of my other race photos, but there is a distinct resemblance to William Wallace here.

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 8.39.56 AM

Trying my hand at staging a shot-mild success in photogenics, wild success in making it appear that I’m mall walking

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 8.41.00 AM

I love a good step and repeat!

Irish Soda Bread for your Snow Day

17 Mar

I’m generally not really into St. Patrick’s Day, but I am realllllly into Irish Soda Bread.  So if, like me, SPD 2014 nearly passed you by without so much as one green beer, here’s a quick and easy recipe you can make with ingredients you almost certainly already have in your fridge– no trek to an overcrowded grocery store required. BFKef and I loved this bread, especially with egg and cheese piled in between two slices.

photo(2)They say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day… but naturally I went the other way and found an Irish soda bread recipe that honors Hellenic heritage, too. In addition to being quick, easy, and delicious,  this Irish soda bread has a secret Greek ingredient: yogurt! So to all the Greek-Americans with a little bit of Irish in them, this St. Patrick’s Day creation is for you.

I followed this recipe exactly and added raisins. My gluten free/sugar free subs are below.

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 c flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBS granulated sugar (I used coconut)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c golden raisins
  • 1.5 c whole milk
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt (FIBBYDY)

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and raisins. In another bowl, whisk together milk and yogurt until fully combined. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir using a wooden spoon until you have a shaggy dough.
  3. Lightly flour your counter or a piece of wax paper, press the dough into a loose ball, and lightly knead the dough for a couple of minutes on your work surface. You want the dough to be pliable and not too sticky. Reform the dough into a ball and throw it on your prepared baking sheet. Cut an X into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
  4. Find a large mixing bowl that is twice the size of your dough ball and is OVEN PROOF  (I used my large Pyrex mixing bowl– you will know it is oven proof because it will say on the bottom) and place it on top of the dough to help keep dough moist and to avoid burning. Bake for 30 minutes with the bowl covering the dough. Remove the bowl and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool before slicing.
%d bloggers like this: