Okay, Internet. This is it. This is me getting back in the blogging game after a 6 month hiatus.
Why did I leave?
It wasn’t you, internet, it was me!
Back in September/October, I started a new job(ish). I was promoted and moved to a different department within the same company. Starting a new job, even though this one involved working with the people I’ve known and enjoyed working with for the past year, was overwhelming. It took me quite a while to “catch up” and get in the groove. This new job is also a lot more creative and less administrative than my old one. That took some adjusting, too.
That, combined with the fact that I spent Dec-February training for a marathon meant Batch-22, and cooking in general took a backseat to running, thinking about running, stretching and sleeping. There were a lot of stir-fries, friends. More than I’m proud of.
Why am I back?
Because I missed blogging and you! Batch-22 motivates me to try new recipes and practice taking pretty pictures. It reminds me that I love food and cooking and making tasty things for my friends, coworkers, and roommates. It also forces me to make something other than stir-fry for dinner.
So I’m back! But this won’t be the same old Batch-22. I want to focus things up a bit more. There will be more cooking than baking and I’ll be using more whole foods and simple ingredients. And, to start off, I’ll be posting just twice a month, instead of every week. Finally, I’ll be focusing in on budget-friendly recipes. Ones that are delicious, not too fussy, and make a lot of leftovers.
Sound good? Here goes.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
For the cake:
- butter for the pan
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour)
- zest of 2 large grapefruits
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
- 1/3 cups non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
For the Syrup:
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
- a pinch of salt
Start on the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.
Whisk the sugar and grapefruit zest in a large bowl; be sure to bruise the zest. Whisk in the oil and one egg at a time. Mix until completely combined.
Sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Then, in a liquid measuring cup, combine the yogurt and grapefruit juice (just 2 tablespoons). Add the yogurt/grapefruit juice concoction to the sugar, zest, and eggs. Then fold in the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top and tap the pan against the counter to burst any air bubbles. Bake for 45-60 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
While the cake begins to cool, make the syrup by dissolving 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1/3 cup of grapefruit in a saucepan over low heat. While the cake is still warm, use a spoon or brush to spread the syrup over the cake.
While the cake cools and absorbs the syrup, make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, salt, and remaining grapefruit syrup in a small bowl. Pour the glaze over the completely cooled cake. Slice and serve!
When I graduated from the eighth grade, I didn’t attend the ceremony (it conflicted with my ballet recital), and I didn’t have a party (because, umm, why? It was the eighth grade.) But I did get an amazing gift — an ice cream maker and a Ben & Jerry’s recipe book. And let me tell you, having creative control over your own ice cream flavors is just dreamy. An ice cream maker is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Tragically, there’s no place to store my ice cream maker in my apartment. It’s just too small. With three twenty-somethings, three twenty-somethings worth of stuff, the books (and cookbooks) of two twenty-somethings working in the publishing industry…
It’s tight quarters here in apartment 20. We keep our broom and mop stashed behind a mirror and a college-chic coat rack slung over the front door.
So you can imagine how excited I was to find a churn-free frozen yogurt recipe on one of by favorite food blogs. Yup. You read that right, I got to make froyo without my precious ice cream maker. It’s possible, people. If you dream it, you can do it.
This peanut butter banana frozen yogurt. And because peanut butter and Nutella are a match made in dessert heaven, I added a Nutella ripple. Just go for it. Trust me.
Peanut Butter Banana Froyo with Nutella Swirl
adapted from Shutterbean
makes about 1 1/2 pints
- 4 frozen bananas
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)*
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)*
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup Nutella
In a sturdy blender, combine frozen bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, milk, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour into a loaf pan and freeze for 1 1/2 hours. Place Nutella in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Drizzle on top of the frozen yogurt and use a knife to swirl into a marble pattern. Cover the frozen yogurt and return to the freezer for 3-6 hours, until mixture is firm.
* The higher the fat content of the dairy, the richer the froyo. I found 2% to e a nice balance of creamy-yet-guilt-free.
Needless to say, I don’t get it.
- 2 cups sweetened cashew milk (the brand I used contained a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. So delicious! Almond, soy, coconut or dairy milk may be subbed in)
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 large frozen banana
It’s summer in the city. For real this time (I think). And I’m glad, mostly. Except for the accompanying humidity. And Subway sweat. No one likes subway sweat.
But you didn’t come here to listen to me complain about muggy metro stations and inadequate airconditioning. You came here for a recipe!
Last weekend, my best friend slash college roommate came to visit. We graduated about two years ago and have worked really hard to work regular visits into our busy, busy lives. Long distance friendships are tough (she’s in DC, I’m in New York) so we celebrated with ice cream!
To make the occasion extra fancy, we roasted strawberries with a dash of sugar and some sticky, sweet balsamic vinegar.
Let me tell you: IT WAS HEAVEN.
I know, I know. You’re not in the mood to turn on your oven. But if we come across a cool summer evening, or if you have AMAZING air conditioning, should give this recipe a whirl. Trust.
Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Sauce
serves 6 conservatively or 4 gluttonously
- 2 lbs strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (I used blackberry balsamic vinegar)
- vanilla coconut milk ice cream (for serving)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread strawberry halves in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar and balsamic overtop, toss, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Spoon over cold ice cream and serve!
The banana stand came to New York! THE BANANA STAND. You know. From Arrested Development?
When it arrived at Times Square last week, a few coworkers and I made good use of our lunch break and dashed uptown to see it. By 11:30, the line for Bluth bananas was already absurdly long, so we cruised in for a quick photo op and high tailed it back to work.
Little did we know, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett were due to show up not long after left. We missed this:
(And that is why you never go to the banana stand early).
So, having been deprived of a Bluth banana and a chance to gawk at the the stars of Arrested Development, I decided to make some frozen bananas of my own. These are bite-sized, stuffed with peanut butter, and dipped in chocolate. Perfect for an Arrested Development Season 4 viewing party or a sultry summer afternoon snack.
Grab your cut-offs, drink some juice, take a teamocil and make yourself some frozen banana bites. It will not be a huge mistake.
Frozen Banana Bites
Makes 16 bites
- 3 large bananas, sliced into 32 rounds
- 2 bars of dark chocolate
- peanut butter
Using a double boiler, heat chocolate until melted. Remove from heat. Arrange banana rounds in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Smear peanut butter on half the rounds, and top with the remaining rounds to form 16 peanut butter banana sandwiches.
Using a fork or toothpick, dip each sandwich in chocolate, and return to the baking sheet. When all sandwiches are coated in chocolate, place the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove the tray from the freezer, transfer the frozen banana bites to a tupperware container. Return bites to the freezer for 30 more minutes, until the bananas are thoroughly frozen.
Eat immediately or store in the freezer.
If a German pancake and a soufflé had a baby, it would be this skillet cake. Is that weird? To imagine confections procreating? It’s just that I’m not sure how else to describe this skillet cake. Light and fluffy like a pancake, yet airy and creamy like a soufflé.
You see, this started out as a German pancake post. But then I got a little…creative. I used coconut flour, and added an extra egg. I upped the (almond) milk and stirred in vanilla.
I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. This skillet cake is DELICIOUS.
What I like best about this skillet cake is that it’s barely sweet. The cake-like quality comes in the toppings: lemon curd and berries. If you have a killer sweet tooth, this is probably not the cake for you.
But if you, like me, want to easily trick yourself into thinking that you’re not really reaching for a third helping of dessert but are instead indulging in a three-course-snack, then you might want to write this one down.
Coconut Skillet Cake with Lemon Curd and Smashed Raspberries
yields on 9-inch skillet cake
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup raspberries, smashed
- lemon curd
- powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Place butter in a 9-inch cast iron (or ovenproof) skillet and heat in the oven until melted.
Using a fork or wire whisk, beat eggs in a small bowl until light and bright yellow. Beat in the almond milk, flour, and granulated sugar one at a time. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Pour the batter into the pan of hot, melted butter and return to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, until the pancake is golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Spread with lemon curd, smashed raspberries, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve & enjoy!
If it weren’t for the chocolate chips, I’d straight up call these a breakfast cookies. Don’t look at me like that (through the internet). Breakfast cookies are A THING. See? SEE? But somehow, despite the oats, maple syrup, dried fruit, and nuts, these cookies are still more reminiscent dessert than breakfast fare.
Maybe they’re snack cookies. Is that a thing? Let’s make it a thing.
Load your cookie dough with craisins — or raisins, if one of your roommates doesn’t find them utterly disgusting — nuts, and oats. Add some chocolate chips because it’s a mid-April Wednesday and you’ll probably need some chocolate to carry you through the week (and month).
I still maintain that April is the cruelest month — after all, it did taunt me with an 80-degree day before plunging back into the low 50s — but having quasai healthy cookies at the ready for emergency snacking sure do wonders for a girl’s outlook on life.
Oatmeal Craisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 2 dozen cookies
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup cranberries
- ½ cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine dry flour, baking soda, and oats in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and maple syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix well, and fold in the nuts, craisins, and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced an inch or so apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool for five minutes before transferring to wire racks.