A geologist would have quite a time with these layered brownies. After tasting the snowy vanilla surface and taking some samples of the lusciously fruity cherry swirl, shoveling deeper reveals dense, rich brownies without a trace of flour. Colorful fossilized sprinkles abound, making this journey to the center of the dessert a real celebration.
If you’d like to participate in this fascinating excavation, come along and make this brownie frozen yogurt sundae creation! Start with the decadent brownie base…
…And layer the frozen yogurt “snow” on top, with a swirl of cherry jam in lieu of maraschino cherries!
I might recommend adding some edible foliage, such as fresh strawberries or pitted cherries, just before serving. Enjoy!
Click here for the full recipe: Celebration Sundae Brownies
To celebrate mother’s day and my birthday which coincided with it, my mom and I took a girls’ day the eve of May 10th to visit the Natural History Museum. (You can get some insight into both our personalities here by our idea of a girls’ day out!)
There was a special exhibit called Grandes Maestros: Great Masters of Iberoamerican Folk Art, displaying sculpture, ceramics, textiles, wood carvings, and more from traditional, contemporary artists throughout Central and South America, Mexico, and the Iberian Peninsula. We were encouraged to take photos so hopefully it’s all right for me to post some here…
A room overflowing with artwork.
We both really liked this mask.
I was surprised to see musical instruments on display, and wondered if anyone would ever play them?
All the descriptions of items were in both English and Spanish, and as a linguistic enthusiast who knows little Spanish I was getting really excited by the few words I was able to match up and understand phrases in Spanish. But nothing made me more proud than the billboard I was able to translate on my own on the train ride over to the museum: “Aqui viven las bebidas de un dolar” (or something like that) means “Here live the $1 drinks!” I guess it was a McDonald’s ad. It helped prepare me for the language I was about to be semi-immersed in at the museum.
Unlike a $1 drink, grabbed on the go at a fast food restaurant, the recipe I’m about to share with you takes some care and time to prepare. In fact, you might even say it is a work of art – created by yours truly, the grand master of kitchen exploration.
Well, it’s not really all that hard… I bet there are some talented individuals reading this who could replicate my success with this recipe nearly as deliciously as I was able to craft it.
Who am I kidding? I’m no master of cooking, and have about as much fluency with making baked fruit as I do with Spanish (little to none.) But, following this makeshift recipe based on a culinary dream that struck me several weeks ago, I was able to toss together an innovative new breakfast dish that tasted great! I encourage all mediocre cooks to get their artist’s palette on and try variations on this recipe for basic baked apple baked oatmeal. Translation: A soft, warm green apple boat filled with soft-baked, sweetly spiced oats emblazoned with chewy raisins and swirled with a chocolate hazelnut butter kiss.
Try baking longer than I did for crunchier/firmer oats and softer apples, or bake the amount listed below for softer oats. Furthermore, go ahead and get creative with adding different mix-ins or even using a different fruit puree to flavor the oats. Your masterpiece will be a splendid, balanced breakfast when topped with some delightfully cold frozen yogurt of your favorite flavor. Whether you follow my recipe exactly or go all Picasso on it, I wish you a good morning and a lovely, hearty breakfast. Provecho! (That’s bon appetit in Mexican Spanish according to here.)
Baked Apple Baked Oatmeal: Apple Cinnamon Raisin Chocolate Hazelnut
- 1 large Granny Smith apple
- splash of nutmeg
- dash of ginger
- 1 packet of Safeway brand Regular Flavor instant oatmeal
- 1 Tree Top brand single serving container of Cinnamon flavor applesauce
- 1 single serving box of Sunmaid brand raisins
- 2 tbs chocolate hazelnut spread
- one container Greek vanilla yogurt (I used Dannon brand Light & Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla flavor)
Freeze yogurt for at least an hour, or until it has the texture of soft frozen yogurt.
Preheat oven to 385 Fahrenheit. Line an oven-safe dish with aluminum foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine oats, applesauce, and raisins. Mix thoroughly.
Cut apple in half around core. Use sharp knife and spoon to lift a half-sphere of apple out of each half.
Place apple halves in baking dish, cut-side up. As for the remaining apple surrounding the core, cut it into slices, and halve the slices. Arrange them in baking dish around apple halves.
Sprinkle spices on apple pieces, and spread any leftover applesauce on them to help sweeten them in baking. Then, spoon oatmeal mixture into and around the holes in apple halves. Spoon leftovers over apple slices.
Swirl chocolate hazelnut butter into oatmeal.
Bake at 385 Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until oatmeal is as firm as you desire and apples are soft.
Remove from oven and place apples into serving dish(es.) Scoop frozen yogurt on top, if desired.
My English class had to take an AP test last week. I had to rise at the eerie hour of five in the morning to dress my aching body before the birds were even awake to proclaim the glorious Wednesday. Upon arriving at school, all the AP students were congregated around the locked door to our test room, groggily soaking in the dawn light and discussing their terrible mornings (in between last-minute studying, of course.) Many had not eaten breakfast, which to me would be getting the first question wrong on the test. (I’m sure they still did okay. However, a healthy breakfast is important every morning – even the accursed morning set aside for you to rise before the sun and tramp down cold hallways to a locked gymnasium to take a test. 🙂 )
Mornings can be tough. Make yours better by having breakfast and fueling your day with macronutrients and great savory taste! I made this pita pizza as a quick breakfast with whole grains, protein, veggies, and less sugar than the sweet breakfasts I typically have, to increase the length of time I’d stay energized. I microwaved frozen veggies, but feel free to use any already-cooked leftovers you may have lying around, or if you have the time get fancy and cook them from scratch.
Quick Breakfast Pita Pizza
- one personal-sized whole wheat pita round
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1 Laughing Cow cheese wedge, any flavor – I might suggest Creamy Swiss or Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil
- 1-2 cups cooked vegetables (Use your favorite types and cooking method; lots of colors!)
Cook vegetables if they aren’t already cooked.
Place sauce in a small, microwave safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel and warm up for about 30 seconds. Heat up pita.
Spread cheese on pita. Pour on sauce, and top with warm veggies.
I have never tried a conventional, ice cream shop banana split. However, I was once attracted to a certain recipe in a kids’ recipe book I had years ago, claiming it held the key to discovering “Breakfast Banana Splits.” However, upon reading over the ingredients, I was disgusted to find that this recipe claiming to be a dessert-like breakfast, was full of gross “health food” such as cottage cheese in place of ice cream. Really, who would be satisfied with lumpy regurgitated yogurt instead of a creamy vanilla frozen concoction? So I never made that recipe.
Still, the idea of a banana split that was healthy enough for breakfast was tempting. While this one I made recently strives to include only healthy ingredients that one might eat for breakfast (pudding being the only questionable one here) there is no cottage cheese to be found. In other words, it strikes the proper balance between great taste and texture, and great nutrition packed with protein and calcium. The banana is “fried” in pure, organic honey for a cheater’s “caramelization” method that’s easier and less fat than the traditional butter and sugar.
I found the flavor of this dish to be classically delicious, however to vary things up a little I might suggest adding crunchy cereal as a topping, trying pineapple chunks instead of/as well as strawberries, and maybe trying chocolate yogurt instead of pudding for a possible sugar reduction.
This recipe makes a lot, so I might suggest sharing with some friends!
Breakfast Banana Split with “Caramelized” Banana
- one medium-large banana
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 container Greek vanilla yogurt (I used Dannon Light & Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla yogurt)
- 1 single serve container chocolate pudding
- 8 fresh strawberries
- 1 tbs chocolate nut butter of choice
- 1 tbs cherry jam
- 1 tbs sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 tbs dried cranberries
Freeze the yogurt and pudding for 30-60 minutes.
Once yogurt and pudding are frozen, but still somewhat soft, prepare all ingredients: wash strawberries and remove stems and leaves, then cut them into small pieces; peel banana and cut in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half if desired; measure out/prepare all other toppings.
Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place banana on pan. Heat to medium. Spread some honey on one side of each banana piece. Rotate and spread honey on the other side. Rotate again after cooking a few minutes. When both sides of each banana piece have browned, remove from heat.
Place bananas in bowl/bowls. Scoop frozen yogurt and pudding on top. Add strawberry pieces. Top with a drizzle of honey, a swirl of chocolate nut butter, a spoonful of cherry jam in lieu of maraschino cherries, and a sprinkling each of coconut and cranberries. (Note: imaginative topping or yogurt/pudding flavor variations welcomed!)
Grab your family for a satisfying and balanced dessert/breakfast/hot day refreshment!