Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had a pretty fantastic weekend. Those of you that don’t have school or work tomorrow are lucky because the perks of being a graduate student means that I get to go to my 6 hours of class tomorrow. Weeeee. Anyways this has been a pretty good weekend. On Friday, I went to this salsa dancing place with my best friend from home, Isa, and these two guys. It was interesting to say the least. I am a pretty good dancer, but even I felt like the whitest person in the room. The rest of the weekend I have been working my butt off on all these assignments for school. Yes more perks of grad life. Luckily this has given me time to make a ton of delicious recipes to share with ya’ll. I have a doughnut recipe for ya’ll today. I was so happy when my mom mailed me my doughnut pan because it means I can make some delicious treats to enjoy with my hot chocolate (and for my roommates to have with their coffee in the mornings). Since it is fall, I obviously had to go pumpkin themed!

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Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

2 cups of flour (any type – I used white all purpose)
1 1/2 tsp of baking power
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of ginger
1/4 tsp of cloves
1 1/2 c of pumpkin
1/4 cup of softened butter
3/4 c of brown sugar
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tbsp of skim milk
3 medium eggs

Maple Glaze

1 1/4 c of powdered sugar
1/4 c of sugar free pancake syrup (use maple or regular syrup)
2 tsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp of skim milk

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1. Preheat the oven to 350. Get out your doughnut pan and spray with nonstick cooking spray or grease with some butter.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, all the spices, and salt together. Stir well with a whisk until the ingredients appear to be thoroughly mixed by making the flour appear a brown color.

3. If butter is not softened, place in microwave for about 20 seconds until soft. Then place into a mixing bowl with the brown sugar and pumpkin. If you have a kitchen aid or mixer, you can use that. However I used a whisk and did it by hand. You can add more pumpkin if you like depending on how much pumpkin flavor you want to the doughnut. Once you have mixed thoroughly, the mixture will appear to be a grainy brown texture.

4. Add in the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until the eggs are no longer seen. Then slowly pour in the flour mixture. I used a 1/4 cup to pour it in slowly while I hand mixed it. At times, it gets a little harder to stir. It will appear to be a thick mixture, so you have to spoon it into the doughnut pan and move it around with your hands because it is not liquidy enough to pour.

5. Bake in oven for 16 minutes.

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6. Let the doughnuts cool until you can remove them from the pan. This recipe made about 12 doughnuts. While the doughnuts are cooking, you can make the glaze. Just put all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix.

7. You want to set up a frosting station by placing aluminum foil down and then placing a wire rack on top. I was lucky enough that our microwave came along with a wire rack.

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8. Dip the doughnut into the bowl of frosting one at a time. Really let the doughnut soak into the frosting then flip it over and place it on the wire rack. Repeat for each doughnut.

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9. Let the doughnuts harden for about 20-30 minutes, so that the icing solidifies on the top of the icing. Eat and enjoy.

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These doughnuts are the bomb. I wish there was a never ending supply of these because they are just that good. The doughnut is really soft and moist inside, which is nice because it is baked instead of fried. The icing really soaks into the cake too. It gives a good syrupy taste inside the doughnut. The spices mix really well. At first I was worried because when I tasted the batter it was kind of over spiced. I think that baking in the oven helped mix all of it together and let it become less ginger-like. I can’t wait to enjoy these in the morning with my hot chocolate. I may even crumble one into my bowl of oatmeal. I am getting all kinds of ideas now.

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I am obsessed with doughnuts. I’m not even sure what started this obsession. Maybe Gourdoughs? Dunkin? I’m not sure, but who cares because doughnuts are so delicious. I can’t wait to start exploring with other recipes in my pan. This will definitely be a treat for my weekends every few weeks or so. I am already brainstorming delicious doughnut combinations. Ya’ll will be excited with what my brain has for you! I hope you enjoyed this recipe and try it out because you definitely won’t be disappointed.

What is your favorite flavor of doughnut?
What is the best pumpkin treat you have made this fall?

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Orange Cauliflower and Rice

Happy Halloween to everyone! I am having a pretty boring Halloween compared to my past. I’m just having a night in with the roommates doing school work. Oh the life of a graduate student. Actually I’m doing that because Carrianne and I are going to a crazy concert tomorrow, which I CAN’T WAIT FOR! So to make up for the lackluster Halloween events, I have a delicious recipe for you: Orange Cauliflower and Rice. I do love cauliflower (ya’ll know that from my cauliflower fried rice and cauliflower pizza).

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Orange Cauliflower

3 T Egg Whites
1/4 c of flour
1/2 c of water
1/4 c of corn starch
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped up
3 chopped up green onions
zest of orange + all of juice of orange
2 T of soy sauce
2 T of rice vinegar
1/4 c of orange juice
1 tsp of corn starch
1 tsp of brown sugar
1 bag of frozen cauliflower

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1. Cook frozen cauliflower to directions on bag.

2. Mix flour, cornstarch, water, and egg whites into a small mixing bowl until a batter like texture if formed. Make sure that the batter isn’t super thick.

3. Heat 1/4 c of olive oil in a pan while you coat all the pieces of cauliflower until each piece is fully coated.

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4. Place cauliflower in pan until completely cooked and browned. Place cauliflower on paper towel to soak up oil and dry.

5. Heat 1 tsp of oil and the chopped up garlic in a new pan for a minute.

6. Add half of the green onions, the zest, and the juice of the orange into the pan and cook for another minute.

7. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar. Turn up the heat until it has reached a boil. Turn back down and toss in the cauliflower. Cook until it has been fully coated in sauce.

8. Remove from heat and place over brown rice (I just used Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown instant rice because I’m super lazy).

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9. Throw orange juice, brown sugar, and tsp of corn starch into the same pan. Heat to a boil for one minute, constantly stirring the dish.

10. Drizzle the sauce over the cauliflower and brown rice.

11. You can garnish the dish with the remaining green onions, orange zest, and sesame seeds.

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This dish is so delicious. It actually tastes like orange chicken minus the soft tenderness of the chicken, but the cauliflower is such a good healthy alternative. Chinese food can be packed full with calories, especially the Americanized food items like sesame chicken, orange chicken, and others. By placing a more vegetarian friendly option, you can lower the amount of calories while still enjoying the classic taste of the sauces. It was a nice warm meal to have when I was craving some greasy Chinese. I will definitely have to try this out with other popular Asian sauces. I like making healthy version of my favorite types of food because that allows me to enjoy them on a daily basis instead of just my fat day, which is Saturday.

I hope ya’ll enjoy this! Have an awesome Halloween. I’m catching up on all my missed TV shows while I make notecards, blog, and work on my review paper! Happy Halloween!

What is your favorite Chinese food item?
What are you going to be for Halloween?

Baked Peaches

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been totally awol lately. I’ve been busy with graduate school and exploring the wonderful city that I live in. However I’ve still kept ya’ll in mind and have tons of restaurant reviews, adventures, and recipes to share with ya’ll. For today, I have a delicious healthy snack. Baked peaches. Pretty much it tastes like a donut, but instead of the millions of calories and tons of fat, you are getting nutrients while eating something sweet. So lets get cooking!

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Baked Peaches

3-4 peaches, cut in half and seeds removed
4 tsp of butter/margarine
4-6 tsp of brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon
optional: ground almonds and dates

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1. Preheat oven to 375. Split peaches in half, remove the seed, and place in a 9 by 13 or 8 by 8 pan depending on how many peaches you have.

2. Place a small amount of the butter or margarine in the middle of the peach, where the seed used to be.

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3. Top each peach with a heaping of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You can add as much as you would like. It depends on each individual’s taste preference.

4. An option topping is to grind almonds and dates in a food processor. This gives a streudal like topping, which you can place on top of the brown sugar.

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5. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Once they are done, let them cool down and enjoy!

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The dish is best served warm. The sweetness that comes out from every bite is amazing. The butter is what makes it taste doughnut like as well as the brown sugar. The combination bakes into the skin and inside of the peach, making it soaked with sweet flavor. It is one amazing dish. Each entire peach (consuming both halves) is only around 95 calories, so compared to a doughnut, which can be around 300-400 calories plus tons of fat, it is a much better option. In my opinion it is very tasty too. The peach with the almonds and dates is also incredibly delicious. The almonds provide a nice crunch to the soft sweetness of the peach. It is a perfect dish to serve after a dinner or to have on a cold day.

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I definitely recommend making this dish! Peaches are probably going to be very hard to come by pretty soon, so you better go make this dish immediately. Otherwise you will have to wait until the summer to have this delicious treat. Anyways I’m off to go do more graduate homework and study for my midterms! Wooot! Grad school life. I do have some other exciting news though. For one thing, it is my birthday tomorrow, so maybe I’ll do a fun post about myself because let’s face it, I think I’m pretty awesome! Other news is that next week I have a job interview for a really awesome opportunity being a nutrition educator for youth! I hope all goes well! Have an awesome Friday, I’ll be spending mine studying and finishing assignments. Nerd session!

What is your favorite fruit to bake with?
Would you rather have a peach or a doughnut? What is your favorite doughnut?

Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash

Hey ya’ll! I have survived my first final. It was really easy to be honest, but my make-up exam was kind of hard, which was shocking. It was all short answer, which the test is usually multiple choice, a few short answer, and a case study. Instead it was all short answer and a case study. Hopefully I did well. If not, it isn’t the end of the world since I rocked the final. So I have something super special to share with ya’ll: my recipe for tofu spaghetti squash pad thai. Maybe one of the greatest things I have ever experienced (let me rephrase that: greatest healthy thing).

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Tofu Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
1 red onion
1 spaghetti squash
1 c of carrots (already in thin stick form)
1 c bean sprouts
1/4-1/2 c of liquid egg whites
1 clove of garlic
crushed peanuts
a few pieces of cilantro

Peanut Sauce
2 tbsp white rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1 lime
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp of PB2 prepared with 3-4 tbsp of water

photo(1)1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and slice your spaghetti squash into half. Carve out the middle of the squash that contains all of the seeds and discard into the trash.

2. Place squash on a baking sheet or in a pyrex dish with the skin facing the dish and cook for 40-60 minutes until soft.

3. Meanwhile drain tofu of all water and slice into extremely small pieces (or if you want larger chunks don’t cut down into fine cubes).

photo(13)4. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and toss in tofu (you can use 1 tbsp oil if you want it more crisp/fried like). Cook until light brown on sides.

5. Remove tofu from pan and toss in chopped red onion (you don’t have to add all of the red onion, I just added as much as I wanted there to be in the dish).

6. Cook for a minute or two, then add in chopped garlic (stir continuously, so it does not burn).

7. After a minute has gone by, add in the carrots and bean sprouts. You may need to spray the pan again with the non-cook PAM or add in some water, so the pan doesn’t burn.

photo8. Toss in the tofu to re-heat and mix with all the vegetables.

9. Move mixture to the side of the pan and add in the liquid egg whites. Wait until the liquid starts to solidify before moving around to turn into scrambled eggs.

10. Then mix all the ingredients together and then remove pan from flame to place on a burner for the meantime.

11. In a small saucepan or pot, add in the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, PB2, juice of one lime, and a clove of garlic.

12. Heat on medium and stir until the brown sugar and PB2 completely dissolves.

13. Place vegetable/tofu mixture back on a flame to heat back up then pour the cooked sauce into the mixture. Stir until everything is thoroughly coated.

14. By this time the spaghetti squash should be done cooking, so remove from oven and let cool. Once the squash is cool you can use a fork to pull the “noodles” from the squash. Once you have the amount you want, throw the “noodles” into the vegetable mixture and stir well.

photo(2)15. Pour however much you want into a bowl and top with a handful of crushed peanuts and around 6-7 cilantro leaves. Then enjoy!

Seriously this is one of the best meals I’ve made for myself. I have a love for all types of Asian food, so when I realized I could utilize spaghetti squash as noodles in pad thai my world completely changed. The richness of the peanut sauce meshes well with the freshness of the cooked vegetables. You can’t even tell that the noodles are spaghetti squash. I think it is the sauce that really ties it all together. I even had so much that I have had leftovers for two days. Also I didn’t use all my noodles, so I made spaghetti squash mac n cheese, which I will obviously have to share with ya’ll another day.

photo(3)I think another thing that I like so much about this dish is all the wonderful colors in it. The cilantro brings a nice pop of green to the dish while it has a lot of warm colors in it such as the red from the onion, the orange from the carrots, and the yellow from the squash. Wow I sound like an art freak to be honest. What can I say I have transitioned from oils and pastels to food. Okay, no I am still doing art because I love it, but now I just have another medium to work with: fresh food. This dish is definitely a hit. Even the non-vegetable eaters would probably love this. The true test is to use it on a guy (not saying that all guys don’t eat vegetables, just most)!

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Thursday evening. Mine will be spent curled up in bed reading a book. I just finished Night Circus and it was fantastic!

Have you ever had spaghetti squash?
What have you done with it?

WIAW (just your average party)

Hey ya’ll! Today I’m flying back home to Austin, so I’m super depressed. Luckily today is my favorite holiday, What I Ate Wednesday, so thanks to Jenn I’m not as sad. These eats are pre-Boston trip because every day starting tomorrow I’m going to recap my trip and share a few awesome things about Boston.

Chocolate Berry Oats are definitely the way to go in the morning. This is like fiber overload, but in a good way. Tons of fruit, raspberries and blueberries, plus gluten free oats equals one happy tummy. Plus piling on all of the chocolate chips makes it better too.

So when I went to Trader Joes a while back, I ended up getting these frozen salmon burgers. Oh how great they are! I decided to pan fry mine and then cut it up to put on top of a salad. My salad was spinach leaves, onions, tomatoes, shredded carrots, salmon burger, and guacamole. I think guac makes almost everything better.

Kim’s magic pops are the best snack. It is like practically no calories, so you can top it with tons of goodness. I put dark chocolate syrup on mine with whip cream and tons of halloween themed sprinkles. This is a sweet treat for little amount of calories. Definitely winning with this snack choice.

Peaches are definitely one of my favorite parts of summer. They are so juicy and delicious. These peaches were no exception. The perfect snack when refrigerated.

So I was actually stir frying some vegetables to put in a pita with hummus, but then I discovered that our pitas had been covered with mold. Freak out. I had no idea what to do for dinner. However I looked in the cupboard and found some leftover whole wheat pasta. An instant dish thrown together. It was actually pretty delicious too and filling since the good amount of fiber in the whole wheat pasta.

This is my new favorite snack: A baked apple. Pretty much you cut up an apple into tiny slices, add about 1 tbsp of brown sugar, a dash or two of cinnamon, and then cover it with plastic wrap. You place it in the microwave for 3 minutes and 50 seconds, and then be careful when you pull the plastic back because the steam can burn you.

I top mine off with tons of whipcream. It is amazing because the coolness of the whipcream tastes good against the heat of the apple. Plus the syrup from the brown sugar adds a nice texture to the softened apples.

Happy WIAW!

 

 

Another two-fer

Hey ya’ll! It is Thursday. So excited that it is almost the weekend. I am literally exhausted from doing crafts and finally unpacking my apartment – I know, I moved like two weeks ago. I’m just really lazy. I have a doctors appointment today (hopefully I’m not slowly dying), and I have volleyball practice tonight.

Aren’t these girls sooo cute? They are my JCC Maccabi Team Austin volleyball team – it is a Jewish thing. It is sort of like the Olympics for Jewish teens from 13-16. Every year, a city hosts it and hundreds of Jewish teens come in to compete in different sports. This year Houston is hosting, so it will be huge. I’m excited. Especially because when I played I was a gold medalist.

Anyways, I’ve been doing slave labor and hand painting t-shirts for them. The girls gave me the money, told me to get hot pink, and I came up with the design. This is the front, and the back will have their last names and a cute volleyball quote. Everyone is going to be jealous, and I won’t be able to stand up from hunching over to paint them. I’ve only been able to do 5 so far because painting the fire is time consuming. Hopefully I’ll finish soon.

Baked Apple Oats
1/2 c Oats
1 1/2 c water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 packet truvia
1 melted banana
1 sliced apple
1 tsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp raisins
1 tsp brown sugar

1. Add oats and water into a microwavable safe container, and heat for 2 min and 55 seconds.
2. In a second container, add the slice apple, sprinkle with a pinch of brown sugar, and cover with plastic.
3. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.
4. While apples are cooking, add vanilla, truvia, and brown sugar into oatmeal.
5. Then add melted banana (previously done in microwave for 1 min and 25 seconds).
6. Then add in apple mixture (make sure to slice down to even smaller pieces).
7. Add in raisins and walnuts.

Enjoy. This recipe reminds me of fall because of the sweetness of the apples. I could probably eat more than one apple a day because I love them so much. However, this definitely doesn’t keep the doctor away.

Black Forest Oatmeal Parfait (I know I promised this recipe a while ago)

1/2 c of Oatmeal
1 1/2 c of water
1/4 c of fat free cottage cheese
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 packet of truvia
1 packet of 20 calorie hot cocoa
chocolate chips
1 c of sliced cherries

1. Microwave oatmeal and water in a safe container for about 2 min and 55 seconds.
2. Mix in vanilla, truvia, chocolate, and cherries.
3. Spoon one layer of oatmeal mixture in a cup.
4. Top with a layer of cottage cheese.
5. Then another layer of oatmeal followed by cottage cheese until you run out of oatmeal or get to the top of the cup.
5. Top with a few chocolate chips and some more cherries.

This is definitely an amazing breakfast. I love parfaits – mainly because of TCBY, but this one is pretty good.

These girls are seriously too cute. There was a big storm at the last practice, so they wanted to go out and play in the rain for a little bit. Being the cool coach that I am, I decided sure. They are so funny. I don’t know what I would do without these girls!

Have you ever coached a sport before?
Have you ever participated in a competitive event like this?