Monday, March 30, 2015

Blueberry (No So) Waffles & Blueberry Lemon Syrup

So the other day I tried to do the “Blueberry Muffin Mix Waffle” thing I’ve seen on Pinterest:

Waffles using muffin mix...yum! Chocolate, blueberry and strawberry- my favorites!

I was also making a homemade blueberry lemon syrup to go with them.

WELLL…the waffles didn’t exactly turn out so well…

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However, the syrup was FANTASTIC.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2-1 tsp cornstarch (as needed)

DIRECTIONS:

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the cornstarch over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.  Lightly smash the blueberries with a potato masher or large spoon.  If needed, add the cornstarch to thicken to your preferred consistency.

Serve warm over (preferably successful) waffles…or the next day over some truly tasty pecan pancakes.

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NUTRIFACTS: (about four 1/4 cup servings)

Calories 74.2

  Total Fat 0.3 g

  Saturated Fat 0.1 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g

  Cholesterol 0.0 mg

  Sodium 0.5 mg

  Potassium 36.5 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 18.9 g

  Dietary Fiber 1.2 g

  Sugars 16.1 g

  Protein 0.2 g

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Herb Mayo & the BLT Dog (An Inside Scoop recipe)

Of all the recipes we used at The Scoop, this one is probably my favorite—and the one I still make on the regular.  We used it on several of our sandwiches and always got rave reviews.  I kept the recipe under wraps while we were open, but now I’m happy to share it!

In addition to the mayo recipe, I’m sharing one of the things we used it on—our BLT Dog. (I’ll share more of the herb mayo-infused recipes later on.)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup mayo (NOT Miracle Whip—you can make this from scratch if you prefer)
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried chives

DIRECTIONS:

Combine well in a medium bowl so that the herbs are fully integrated throughout the mayo.  Transfer into a sterilized glass jar or a plastic squeeze bottle.  The flavor is better after at least a day in the fridge.

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For the BLT Dog, you’ll want:

A) A Nathan’s Famous all beef frank, cooked using your preferred method (I like them grilled the best, but we steamed our dogs at The Scoop)

B) hot dog bun

C) Shredded lettuce

D) Diced tomatoes

E) Crumbled bacon

F) and a drizzle of the herb mayo

 

I know, I know…the idea of mayo on a hot dog kinda weirded me out too at first.  But this was probably my favorite of all the hot dogs we served up.  GOOOOOD STUFF.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie (From The Inside Scoop)

So... it occurred to me.  Granted...occurred very slllloooowwwllllyyy (because I'm a little short on both sleep and coffee at the moment), but now that our precious baby The Inside Scoop is closed... I have a crap-load of recipes from our restaurant that I could share with the world.  We've shared a few previously, but this seems like a good venue to share them with (plus I already have pretty promo shots that I took of them for our menus and social media, so DOUBLE easy!)

If you're new to reading this blog--a few years ago my husband & I decided to buy a little seasonal ice cream shop in our city, to run as a "side business" in addition to our full time jobs.  We naively had no idea how much time, effort, and work would be needed to undertake such a task, and the first season was full of learning experiences, tears, and eating our emotions.  But after that we finally got a handle on things.  It still ended up being too much for us as a "side business" and since we couldn't give it the attention it really needed in order to thrive without one of us quitting our jobs, we decided to sell it in October 2014.  It was a wonderful experience and we learned a lot those years (examples include "Breaking into the breakfast market is next to impossible with an ice cream cone on your sign").  
We primarily served ice cream & shakes, but also made custom smoothies, a variety of sandwiches, and some delicious Nathan's Famous hot dogs with a diverse array of toppings.

This smoothie was probably one of my favorites...which is surprising, since I usually hate anything raspberry.  This was one of the last Specials of the Month that we ran (September 2014, I believe).  In the restaurant biz, you run specials on whatever you have too much of or need to get rid of, and we had a surplus of raspberries at the time.  And of course, customer service is all about what the CUSTOMER likes, not what I like, and I know there are some weirdos people out there who think raspberries are delightful.  So, we concocted this.  And...in this case, those weirdos were right.

This smoothie can either be a great breakfast (about 280 calories, 17g of protein, 9g of fiber) or a delicious low-guilt dessert replacement.  If the calories feel like too much for a snack, split it in half & save 8oz or share with a friend!



INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 16-oz smoothie)
1 cup frozen raspberries
4 oz vanilla greek yogurt
4 oz skim milk (soy or almond milk also work well)
2 Tbsp hot cocoa mix (we used milk chocolate, but I think dark chocolate mix would also go great in this)

DIRECTIONS:
Combine all ingredients in blender--mix on High or Ice Crush until well combined and fruit is thoroughly integrated.




NUTRIFACTS:
Calories276.5
  Total Fat3.1 g
     Saturated Fat2.1 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.0 g
     Monounsaturated Fat0.1 g
  Cholesterol2.5 mg
  Sodium271.5 mg
  Potassium401.0 mg
  Total Carbohydrate47.1 g
     Dietary Fiber9.0 g
     Sugars32.7 g
  Protein17.2 g

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Home Stretch

This concoction is 100% from The Hubs.  He made the chili that goes on it, and he’s the one who was inspired to replicate “The Stretch”, an infamous dish from the Broadway Diner in Colombia, MO.  And the name…well, that just seemed appropriate, since we quite literally MADE it at home, but it feels somewhat connotative as well, since we’re in the “home stretch” of getting out of crummy, cold, wet, yucky weather, and since we’re only about a week away from one of my favorite times of the year—baseball season!!!!

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So what is a Stretch?  Well, it’s sorta what you’d expect from an infamous diner dish.  You start with crispy hash browns, topped with an over-easy fried egg, topped with chili, topped with cheese, and then finished off with a smattering of onion & green pepper (and perhaps served with a side of Tums).  I can only imagine the bell pepper is there to add some color and make you feel like at least one of the ingredients was healthy.  It’s a perfect combination of textures: crispiness from the hash browns and fresh onion/pepper, gooeyness from the egg yolk & cheese, and heartiness from the chili.

There’s also a wide variety of additional toppings you could go for—jalapeno slices, bacon, try some different cheeses (I’m thinking smoked gouda would be killer here).  From what I hear, some diners order their Stretch topped with sausage sawmill gravy.  THHAAAAAT’S a bit much for me.

This is the initial batch—photo sent to me by The Hubs while I was out of town:

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(Such a tease…)

Now, it would feel like a bit of a cop-out to just feature the Stretch as my entire blog post, since I essentially just gave the “recipe” for it in the preceding paragraphs, so instead, I’ll share the recipe for my husband’s chili, since it was one of the best batches he’s made to date (which likely means it will be tough for us to ever replicate again, but we’ll try!)

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INGREDIENTS: (makes about 8 servings)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp each of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
  • 2 cans pre-seasoned mild chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 4oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 Williams Original Chili seasoning packet
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/8 cup of our home-blend chili seasoning (I use this recipe to make my blend)
  • cayenne pepper, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot over Medium heat, combine the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chili seasonings and stir well.  When it starts to bubble, reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile, on another burner, brown your ground beef and season it with the black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Once fully cooked, drain off the fat and add the meat to the pot.

Once combined, simmer for 15-30 minutes, or longer if you like (the flavors will only improve with time), stirring periodically. 

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NutriFacts: (chili only, about 1.5 cups per serving)

Calories 361.3

  Total Fat 14.0 g

  Saturated Fat 5.3 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 5.2 g

  Cholesterol 42.5 mg

  Sodium 929.9 mg

  Potassium 512.5 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 38.7 g

  Dietary Fiber 10.8 g

  Sugars 2.0 g

  Protein 21.2 g

NOTE: To make The Stretch, you’ll only use about half a serving of chili.  Calories for The Stretch will vary depending on how many hash browns/cheese you use & if you add additional toppings, but my best guesstimate is about 500 calories, 35g of fat, 26g of carbs, 659mg of sodium, and 20g of protein.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Double Chocolate Protein Muffins

I've been trying to get more protein in my diet, because I am an absolute carb-fiend--ESPECIALLY this time of year.  Even my favorite "go-to" protein sources are a little carb-heavy--I have to have fruit with my cottage cheese, and Chobani Flips (Coco Loco OMG....) while delicious, still have a TON of sugar. 

Srrsly, sOooooo good.

We’re doing a Wellness Challenge at work, so I made one of my goals “Get at least 75g of protein every day”.  After some initial struggles, I’ve fallen into a bit of a routine:

Breakfast:  hard boiled egg, cottage cheese w/fruit, skim chocolate milk (sometimes I go with shredded wheat cereal instead of the cottage cheese…I know, I know…WILD CHILD!!!)

Lunch:  typically leftovers (a protein & some veg or pasta)--like today, it's chicken parm & whole wheat spaghetti from last night

Afternoon snack: yogurt and some veggies, or some microwave kettle corn

Dinner: usually fairly balanced--protein, veg, and a starch

...which is good for tracking nutrition, but a little boring at times.  Plus, I mean...egg burps.

So I decided to skim through Pinterest and find a tasty protein-rich muffin option.  I bought some soy-based protein powder a few weeks ago...chocolate flavored.  Which is cool--so long as it's being mixed into something that is SUPPOSED to taste like chocolate. I know I could make myself protein shakes or smoothies each morning, but really, I need something I can just grab-n-go in the mornings.

Know what's supposed to taste like chocolate?  Chocolate chip muffins.

(That idea may or may not have been inspired by a trip to Sam's Club over the weekend.  Did you know their double chocolate muffins back in the deli are 680 calories a pop?  And for that splurge, you get 8g of protein and 37g of fat.)  We can still get 8g of protein--but with WAY fewer calories.

I was a little skeptical about these at first because the batter didn't taste that sweet.  Or super-chocolately.  But the final product?  AWESOMESAUCE.  Light and moist and plenty chocolately.  The cinnamon, coffee and vanilla really help the chocolate flavor pop--without adding a bunch of sugar.  I made a batch of 12 and then stuck them in a gallon Ziploc in the fridge.  Pop one in the microwave for 15 seconds, then nom while you head out the door.  Perfection for a gal like me who typically eats breakfast on the way to work or at her desk.

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INGREDIENTS: (modified from the recipe here)

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats (if you want to up the fiber, you could sub in extra oats for some of the flour)
  • 1 3.9 ounce package dry pudding mix (I used Mounds--the coconut adds a nice layer of flavor)
  • ⅓ cup protein powder (I used chocolate flavored--a chocolate PB would also go really well in this)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3  cup cold coffee
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Then, in a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients.

Now beat in the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined, but don't over mix.  The batter will be slightly thick--this is okay.

Line a standard muffin pan with cupcake liners (easier cleanup and helps them store better in the fridge--less of the muffin is exposed to air so they won't dry out as quickly) and divide the batter evenly into the cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.  Should make exactly 12 muffins.

Next batch I may try integrating some Greek yogurt in place of some of the wet ingredients to bump up the protein even more!  I think there are a lot of different spins you could put on this recipe---add peanut butter, try a different type of pudding mix, add in some chopped nuts...There are tons of possibilities!

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NutriFacts: (per muffin)

Calories 183.0

  Total Fat 4.1 g

  Saturated Fat 1.9 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g

  Cholesterol 31.0 mg

  Sodium 362.0 mg

  Potassium 127.2 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 29.1 g

  Dietary Fiber 1.1 g

  Sugars 14.5 g

  Protein 7.7 g