baking · comfort food · cupcakes · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · potluck food · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Mushroom and Oat “Meat”balls

The snow situation has been out of control lately. Last weekend Harriet (my cat) and I decided to hibernate at the boyfriend’s place while a blizzard raged outside. Is there anything better than eating comfort food, snuggling inside, and watching Netflix for hours while it snows like mad outside? Yeah, actually… it gets better when you add booze. I drank nearly an entire bottle of vodka over the course of the weekend, mixing it with grapefruit juice and laziness. We spent our time in various reclined positions on the couch, watching anything we could find on Netflix or HBO Go, only getting up to refill our drinks or play a rousing game of Super Mario Brothers. We also got up once to give all three cats “meowtinis” for the fluffy one’s birthday, which was really just tuna and tuna juice in a martini glass.

This is the only photo of these two getting along. Not pictured: The birthday boy (he doesn’t give a fuck about tuna, and just wanted his crunchy treats)

The plan was to stay Friday and Saturday night, then get the hell out of his way on Sunday morning. He and I walked out to my car Sunday morning, and found it under a mound of snow. It took 30+ minutes, lots of pushing, the help from a bobcat (that didn’t help AND scratched my car, me almost crying, then my BF finally maneuvering it that last few inches out of the snow. I was trying to get to Acro, but wanted to stop home first to shower. I wasn’t going to have time for a shower, but would still have time to clean up at home and change cloths. WRONG. There were two snow storms back to back, and this was the second one. That means that there were tons of open parking spots on my street, but they were filled with so much snow that my car wouldn’t be able to get into them (much less out again).

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ARE YOU SEEING THIS?

I would not be stopping at my apartment due to lack of parking, so I had an extra 20 minutes to kill. Filled with rage, I drove over to the fancy grocery store for a latte and a cupcake. I walked into the store, past the bouquets of flowers, $40 teddy bears, gourmet cheese, fresh baked bread, and made a beeline for the bakery counter. There were perfect little cupcakes lined up behind the glass, and I wanted one. There was no one at the counter, so I took my time making my decision. After circling the display several times, I made a choice. Chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream. But where the fuck is the bakery clerk to help me? What the fuck is happening right now? While the individual cupcakes are behind glass, there are 4 packs of cupcakes sitting out for anyone to grab. Since my rage level was already at capacity, I ripped a 4 pack from it’s stack, and stomped to the register. When I got to the car, I decided to share the other 3 cupcakes with my acro friends.

When I got to acro, I decided I wanted to eat another cupcake after class. Seems silly to share 2 cupcakes with a group of people. So I decided to leave them in my car for whenever I had a cupcake craving next (they would obviously be gone within a day). I referred to them as my car cupcakes, and stand by that as one of my best ideas to date.

I wish upon you all the joy of car cupcakes.

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Mushroom Oat “Meat”balls

24oz mushrooms, finely chopped (if you have a food processor – use it!)

1/2 to 1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup quick oats (or regular oats pulsed in the blender a couple of times)

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons parmesan

2 eggs

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop the fuck out of those mushrooms (and onions). This shit took me nearly an hour. Twenty-four ounces is a LOT when you’re chopping. So maybe invest in that food processor before embarking on this journey. Or just cut the recipe in half like a normal human. When you’re done chopping, throw the onions into a large skillet along with a drizzle of olive oil and crank the heat to medium-high. You ever play that Wii game Cooking Mama? It’s like that right now… you gotta time it right otherwise everything gets fucked up. The original recipe says to cook the mushrooms first. Well, that’s bullshit. The onions take longer to cook, so get those rolling first. Stir ’em around a bit and let ’em cook for a few minutes. They’ll start to soften and become slightly translucent. That’s when you want to add the mushrooms. Let everything cook down. Once it’s all starting to brown slightly, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now it’s time for the garlic. Once you’ve added the garlic, you’ve only got maybe 3-4 minutes before it burns. I suggested cooking for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, and then removing from heat. Scoop everything into a large bowl and add all the other dry ingredients (wait to add the eggs!). Stir it all together. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then mix into everything else. Grab a spoonful of the mixture and roll around in your palms until it forms a ball. Line up as many balls (lol) as you can onto a greased baking sheet.

Original recipe says to refrigerate for 2-12 hours. I did not do that. It turned out fine. This recipe also makes an obscene number of balls. I believe it was about 32 total, which is great if you have a large family or a potluck to attend. I do not, so I shared with my boyfriend and only baked a few at a time (keeping the mixture in the fridge for a few days). You could also just cut the recipe in half.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Throw ’em on top of some pasta,  maybe stuff ’em into some French bread for a meatless meatball sub, or crumble some up onto a pizza. Get creative! Then shove as many balls into your mouth as you can!

breakfast · brunch · cake · comfort food · cupcakes · dessert · pumpkin · snacks · vegetarian

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

20151124_150358Is there anything better than pumpkin cake?

I think it’s better than all the other pumpkin desserts. It might even be better than a pumpkin spice latte.

I found this recipe a few years ago, and it has become somewhat of a tradition at this point. I make it every year for Thanksgiving, and sometimes for Christmas. This year I cut the recipe in half, and made it in cupcake form. I brought extras to work with me. Hannah’s response after hardly finishing her first one was, “Can I have another one?”

20151124_160004This is literally the best thing I make.

My best friend and I recently started trying this new “diet.” We’re calling it “being kind to ourselves.” It consists of eating healthy and delicious things, while not restricting anything. My version also includes tons of yoga. Basically, we can eat whatever the fuck we want, as long as we’re hungry. No more emotional eating. No more beating ourselves up for eating cupcakes. We will no longer let food control us. And we will not let society tell us we don’t deserve dessert.

I ate chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast this morning, plus one of these cupcakes. For dinner, I’ll eat leftover turkey with sauteed bok choy. It’s all about balance.

Is this getting too rant-y? Oh wait, I don’t care.

20151124_161742Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 

Cake ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 can (15oz) pureed pumpkin

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup milk

 

Frosting ingredients:

12oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 cups powdered sugar

A generous dash of each: nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, all spice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease cupcake tins, or use paper cups. This can also be made into a 3 layer cake, if you’d prefer. In that case, grease 3 round cake pans (8 or 9 inch).

For cake: In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugar in your mixer, or by hand in a large bowl. Mix until light and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, pumpkin, and oil. Slowly add in flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Divide into cupcake tins or cake pans, and bake for 25 minutes(for cupcakes) to 35 minutes (for cake). Check to make sure it’s done by sticking a toothpick or a clean knife in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, they’re done! If not, bake for a few more minutes. Once done, place into the freezer. Since learning this trick, I do it with pretty much all my cake recipes. It really keeps the cake from drying out. Leave it in the freezer for 20-40 minutes (until cool).

For frosting: Cream together butter and cream cheese in a mixer. Add remaining ingredients, saving the powdered sugar for last. Slowly beat in the sugar until combined, then beat on high until smooth.

Assemble the cake with layers of frosting in between. Or! Top cupcakes with a generous layer of frosting. Serve right away, or keep refrigerated. When cut in half, this recipe makes about 36 cupcakes.

Make extra frosting, and just eat it out of a bowl.