Happy Mother’s Day! 

Just wanted to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and pet mothers and step mothers and other mothers out there! In celebration, I sent an edible arrangement (with my siblings) to both my mom and my step mom. Cards were sent to my grandmothers. And then there’s this: 

 The angel food cake with coconut cream frosting, raspberries and a strawberry tart cranberry purée on top. I made it for my boyfriends mother. It was heavenly. (No wonder it’s ANGEL food. Huh huh huh huh) 
Have a good one, y’all,

Sarah Montana  

Advertisements

Quick & Easy Baked Apple Pie Oatmeal

IMG_4386

1/2 cup Trader Joes Rolled Oats (cooked following instructions on bag)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 apple diced into small chunks
Cinnamon to taste (I like a lot. I just shook some in until it tasted how I like it)
1 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 325*F
2. Put all ingredients into a bowl (except brown sugar).
3. Spoon into 2 creme brûlée ramekins.
4. Put brown sugar on top
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes
6. Turn oven to broil and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
7. LET COOL. (You’ll burn your mouth!)
8. I topped mine with cream, but you could put any kind of milk, coconut cream, whipped cream….whatever tickles your fancy.
9. Enjoy!!

Have a good one, y’all,
Sarah Montana

Something easy for two!

As the weather here in Philly gets a little cooler (cold, in my humble 16 years of living in Florida opinion), and Douglas is spending the next month in Florida for work (coincidental!? yes…), I am starting to crave hearty comfort foods. One of my favorite things to eat this time of year, is chicken pot pie, but never those nasty store-bought frozen food section ones, with a gazillion calories and preservatives. And with my work schedule getting crazier (reminder: I work at the mall), I am looking for something easy that will be filling, but not with so many leftovers that I will never get to. So here’s a recipe for something you can make in less than a half our (not counting oven time…) that will feed you and one other (or yourself again tomorrow!)

*The picture quality sucks. The lighting in my kitchen is very yellow/orange and I’m still adjusting to the lighting change because of the daylight savings!

Easy peasy chicken pot pie for the lazy person such as myself!

Ingredients

(*Note: you can double the ingredients to make enough for more people!) (I usually make a big pan of this for Douglas and myself and it lasts us a few meals)

*1 can Progresso Chicken Pot Pie soup (*note: I tried Campbells Pot Pie soup last time and I hated it, honestly).

*1/2 lb chicken breast, cooked (I pan cooked mine in coconut oil)

*1 1/2 cups Bisquick (This is becoming a staple in my recipes lately)

*1 egg

*1/3 cup milk

*1/2 bag frozen veggies (my mix has corn, carrots, peas, green beans and lima beans) (*I ALWAYS pick out the green beans)

*1/4 tsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian seasoning (my go-to every day seasoning)

*pinch of salt

*pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350*F

Cook your chicken however you like. I didn’t season mine just to keep it simple in this recipe.

image

Put your soup in a pot and cook it. Add in your mixed frozen veggies and then your chicken (cut into cubes) and let it cook until its all warm.

image_2

Mix your Bisquick, egg, milk and seasonings. You don’t want the consistency to be too watery. Add more or less Bisquick to make sure its thick enough to scoop out with your ice cream scooper thingy (you know, the one that you use to fill muffin/cupcake tins with!!)

image_4

Pour your soup mix into a glass baking dish, I used my small one (forgot to look at the dimensions before I put it into the oven…but suffice it to say that its maybe 6″x9″ or so.

image_5

Scoop your Bisquick ‘biscuits’ on top of the mix like so.

image_6

Pop into your oven for 25-30 minutes. You want the tops of the biscuits to be a golden brown. (Don’t worry about the bottom layer, everything has been pre-cooked so you don’t have to worry about it being undercooked!) I put a piece of foil down on the bottom of the oven to catch any spill over so I don’t have to clean it later!!!)

image_1image

Remove from oven and cool long enough that its not going to burn the heck out of your tongue when you eat it! I like to serve this with a sweet potato on the side and some fruit!

Enjoy!

Have a good one, y’all, stay warm!

Sarah Montana

Running out of time…..

Sometimes, when I have a day off, all I want to do is be lazy and get nothing accomplished. Today was not that day. The weather was boasting a near 70*F temperature, which, from what I can assume, is abnormal for Philadelphia at the near-end of October. So what is a gal to do, but take her dogs to the dog park to ensure they get a good run under their belts to ensure they don’t drive me too crazy today. And, its ALWAYS good to be outside breathing some fresh air. (I must say the area that the dog park I go to is in such a gorgeous location. Beautiful trees, a cute little creek nearby…totally worth the 20+ minute drive to get there ((and away from the craziness of living with a major road right in my front yard!)).

Curtis Hall Dog Park, Cheltenham PA

Curtis Hall Dog Park, Cheltenham PA

So after I returned from the dog park (and quick excursions into Trader Joes/Pathmark and Sally’s) I decided it was time to bake. I had no idea what I was gonna do, so I went into the basement and rode on my stationary bike for a half hour while I looked at Instagram to get some inspiration. I knew I had bananas, sweet potatoes, and a half used can of pumpkin puree all looking like they needed to be used, before they reached the point of no return and I had to throw them out.

So today I bring you photos and a recipe I adapted from a gal named Karina, who runs the awesome blog, Cafe Delites.

Cinnamon Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin Blondies (OMG, I know, right?)

Blondies

*1 Large Egg

*1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

*1/4 cup Stevia (or your preferred sweetener)

*1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)

*1 tbsp honey/agave

*2 tbsp applesauce

*1/4 tsp vanilla

*1 cup all purpose flour

*3/4 tsp baking powder

*1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

*Pinch of salt

*1/2 cup of chocolate chips (she says 1/4…but I’m a sucker for chocolate)

Cheesecake (This is where I added a LOT of bells and whistles. I will keep her recipe items on top and let you know which ones I added because….well…I live on the wild side(mine have extra ***’s).

*8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

*2 tbsp all purpose flour

*1 tsp cinnamon (I added a few extra shakes for good luck)

*1/4 cup stevia

*****1/2 tbsp maple syrup

*****1/2 tbsp honey

*****1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*****1/2 cup whipped coconut cream

*****1 scoop vanilla protein powder

*****Extra coconut milk/almond milk/milk/whatever you like just to thin the cheesecake a bit to make it easier to spread

OPTIONAL CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

*1/2 cup chocolate chips

*1/4 cup half and half (plus more if you need to thin it out a bit more)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your hot box to 350*F/175*C

Mix all of the blondie ingredients together in a large bowl or your Kitchenaid mixer with the standard mixer attachment. (I like to do all of the ‘liquid’ ingredients first, and then slowly add in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt etc).

Gently mix in the chocolate chips.

Pour into a parchment paper lined baking pan (I recommend an 8×8 but mine is gone, so I used a 6×9)

IMG_2747 image_6

Mix all of the cheesecake ingredients together and gently spoon on top of the pumpkin blondie mix. If you need to add some extra coconut milk/almond milk (whatever you used) to thin it out to make it easier, go ahead, but use sparingly!!!

image_7 image_8

I added a little more cinnamon on top (and a sprinkle of sugar for that churro effect!)

Place in the center rack of your oven for 25-35 minutes. The top layer should be a little jiggly but not too liquid…so eyeball it every 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes.

image(16)

I put mine in the fridge for an hour (while I watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire with Douglas) to let the cheesecake layer set up.

And, because we all know I love chocolate, I melted chocolate chips with half and half and drizzled on the top of my cheesecake bars….

To serve, I put a small scoop of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin ice cream on top….wowie!!!

image(15)

Triumphant Return!!!

Well hello everyone, MANY apologies for such a delay. I spent 8 amazing days in Florida on a vacation with Douglas, and my parent’s oven was broken! I went many days without baking and something just wasn’t right in the world. But never fear! I return with a recipe for you to try out, in hopes that you will forgive my extended absence!!

If you’re anything like me, you wake up and already your sweet tooth is calling out for something delicious. While I have visited the grocery store twice since we landed on Friday night, my trips have been short and for absolute necessities… Lucky for me, todays recipe is simple, and I have everything I needed laying around!

image(10)

I feel like almost everyone has canned black beans in their pantry. Canned food is a staple in most homes, and black beans are such a versatile item that you shouldn’t live without. Some of you may be new to this idea, but black beans are GREAT when you use them in brownies. I know, I know, it sounds SO WEIRD, but believe me, these brownies are SO FREAKING GOOD.  What is even better about this recipe: there is NO flour. So its GLUTEN FREE. Yeehaw. AND! You can make them vegan if you wanna. (Kateland friendly!)

Black Bean Protein Brownies

(adapted from a recipe on Tastofhome.com)

1 15 oz can black beans (rinsed)

1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (Vegan option: vegan chocolate chips or chunks)

3 tbsp coconut oil (canola, sunflour, almond work too!)

3 large eggs (Vegan option: 3 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water. Let them sit until they become a nice thick mix (stir often!)

2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)

1/2 cup cacao powder  (or cocoa powder!)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

(Feel free to mix in other goodies, marshmallows (vegan or not), nuts (if you’re into that kinda thing), cookie chunks, chia seeds (for extra omega 3’s!), etc etc)

You can also drizzle melted cookie butter, peanut butter or any other nut butter on top for some tasty variation!!!

1. Mix the black beans, chocolate chips and oil of your choice in a high powered blender or food processor.

2. Add all other ingredients until the batter is nice and whipped and smooth.

image(11)

Looks like real brownie batter to me!

3. Dump the delicious mixture into a 9″ square pan (I used an 8×11 because my square one died when I moved from Montana to Nashville (RIP). Make sure that pan is sprayed down with pam or rubbed down with some oil so it doesn’t stick!

4. Pop into a preheated 350*F oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out nice and clean.

image(13)

5. Enjoy!! They’re always good with a glass of milk mmmm.

image(12)

Someday, I will bake when I have a day off with Douglas. My photos do the foods no justice. And Douglas can make ANYTHING look good- even with his cell phone. Just imagine what he can do with a camera!

I’m gonna be back sooner this time with more tidings of joy and good foods!!

Have a good one, y’all!

Sarah Montana

Hey Baby Pt 2: The Great Pumpkin.

It should come as NO surprise that I LOVE fall- especially fall foods and fall colors and fall clothes! I know we haven’t QUITE yet hit the official fall season (which just so happens to usually ‘fall’ on my birthday, Sept 22nd) (I turn 30 this year- eek!) but I have already started the pumpkin celebration. (As are Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and our local convenience shop WaWa).  If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that I’ve already made a few pumpkin things… Well today, I bring you something I am SUPER proud of….and a RECIPE! (Who doesn’t love a good fall recipe).

image

Mmmm Pumpkin Puree… You can make this yourself, y’know. As we get closer to Halloween, maybe I will show you how to make your own pumpkin puree.. For now, you can use the canned stuff you can pick up at your local grocery store.

image_1

 

Pumpkin Spice Dutch Baby Pancake

(Serves 1-4, depending on whether or not you want to share).

3 Tbsp butter (divided into 1 tbsp squares)

3/4 cup milk, heated in the microwave for 20-30 seconds

3 eggs

2 heaping tbsp pumpkin puree

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp nutmet

1/2 tsp cinnamon (I love cinnamon)

pinch of salt

pinch of ginger (just cause)

 

Set your oven to 400*F and put your divided butter in a cast iron skillet and place in the oven to preheat and melt into heavenly goodness.

image_3

Put the rest of your ingredients into a blender and mix for 30 seconds. Make sure you scrape the sides so its all evenly combined.

Pour into your cast iron skillet.

image_2image_4image_6

I sprinkled some extra cinnamon (and brown sugar) on top for some extra flavor.

image_5

Pop that sucker back into your oven and let it do its thing in there for 20-30 minutes. It all depends on your oven, so start eyeballing it every 5 minutes or so at about 15 minutes (free smells!)

image(9)

VOILA! Look at how MARVELOUS it is!!! (And it tastes really REALLY awesome- I am eating my slice right now!!)

 

Looking back, I should’ve thrown some vanilla protein power in there for some extra oomph to my day. I’ve been enjoying putting that stuff in almost everything. Yolo I guess, right?

I hope you all try this VERY soon. Its the weekend starting tomorrow! What a great excuse for a dutch baby pancake…. You can also melt down some cookie butter to drizzle on top of it so you can serve it as a dessert!!!

If you make it, tag me in your instagram so I can see and applaud your greatness!!!

Have a great weekend, y’all!!!

-Sarah Montana

Challenge Accepted

I like to bake. I am pretty sure this is a clear statement. However, I always like to try new things. For me, baking (and cooking) is like a science experiment. I like to come up with ideas that I think might work (the science world would call this a ‘hypothesis’) and then test them out. I also like to bring in these science experiments to work to share with my co-workers. Lately, I’ve been feeling somewhat guilty. There is a gal who works for us named Kateland (yes, the Land of Kate) (pronounced like Katelyn) who is a Vegan and she’s also Gluten Free and Soy Free. So anytime I bring in something, I have to say its not Kateland friendly. Well today, I don’t have to do that anymore. I concocted a recipe ESPECIALLY FOR HER (because I love her so) and I am VERY proud of it. Not only does it taste amazing, but its also healthy(ish).

image_2

These guys were the main helpers for said gluten free vegan extravaganza that I had in my kitchen today. The Chia Seeds were like 5 bucks from Trader Joes, The GF Flour and the Vegan/Soy/Nut free chocolate chunks were from Wegmans. (Chia seeds can be used as an egg replacer!!! 1 tbsp chia per 3 tbsp water per egg. SIMPLE.

image

I also made my own almond meal/flour. This was a first for me, and, it was a knock out for the bread. It adds a nutty flavor and a slight crunch that can’t be beat!!! Its important to have another ‘flour’ or dry good in addition to the GF flour to keep it from turning to mush.

image_1

I was VERY anxious at this point. I had taste-tested the batter a few times to ensure its sweetness, but whether or not it would hold up in my hot box was a major concern. (::salute:: Major Concern). (HIMYM Reference….) The timing and the temperate were also a gamble. I had to make sure the thing wouldn’t burn on the outside, while the inside cooked to an even solidity. Nobody likes a mushy banana bread….especially vegans!!!

image_3

And voila! After about an hour and a half in the oven, this little guy made it! Even consistency, crunchy top crust. PERFECTION!!!

Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2 ripe bananas

1/3 cup cinnamon applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 chia seed egg replacement

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

A sprinkle of ginger (just ’cause).

Dash of salt

3 tbsp apple butter

3/4 cup almond flour/meal

1/3 cup raw cane sugar (I put it in the food processor for 20 seconds to break it down into smaller bits).

1 1/2 cup GF flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Almost the entire bag of the chocolate chunks. (There would’ve been the whole bag in there, but I wanted to give them a taste test and, well, lets just say they’re really tasty!)

 

Preheat your oven to 350*F

Put the bananas and applesauce in a large bowl and mix until the banana chunks break down. (I throw these babies into my Orange Kitchenaid Mixer and give them a whirl with my whisk attachment.)

Add your vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, ‘egg’, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and apple butter and let it mix up just a bit to combine.

Throw in your apple butter, almond meal or flour, sugar, GF flour and mix until its combined.

Then toss in your chocolate chunks and mix by hand with a spatula. Make sure you scrape the sides of your bowl to ensure no flour or other goodies are left stuck to the wall to ensure its a nice even sludge of tasty healthy goodness.

Put in a parchment paper lined loaf pan (I sprayed mine with non-stick spray just incase) and put in the middle rack in your oven for 1- 1/2 hours. ** IT REALLY depends on your oven on how long it cooks. I started at 60 minutes, and checked it, and then did 10 minute increments until a long wooden skewer could be put in the middle without any of the batter being liquidy and getting on the stick.

Let cool and then slice with a good serrated knife and enjoy!!!!

image_5

Be still, my heart.

 

Have a good one, y’all,

Sarah Montana

3 – Ingredient Breakfast Cookies

I’m calling these breakfast cookies because I want an excuse to eat these whenever I want. Like most women, chocolate rules my life so if I can put it in something, I generally do. So lets get down to business, because it’s breakfast time somewhere!!!

3 – Ingredient Cookies
(Which are totally customizable to make them yours!!!)

IMG_1521.JPG

1 medium sized banana, that’s just starting to get its brown spots
1 cup quick oats
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips
(You can add anything to these, just about. Chopped nuts? Why not! A sprinkle of brown sugar! Yes!! Cut up fruit?! Why didn’t I think to put my strawberries in these?! Ugh. I fail!!)

Preheat your oven to about 325*F
Mash up the banana in a bowl. Then add the oats. You can add more or less oats as you please. Then add your extra fixins and stir up to combine. Put some parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and scoop some ‘dough’ out with your hands. I made enough for 3 good size cookies. I mashed them together a bit and shaped them into a cookie and flattened them to a good even thickness and put on the cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. I think I did 23 because I wanted some extra brown-ness on the bottom.
Remove and eat up! I melted some cookie butter to put on one of them and oh. My. God.

IMG_1520.JPG

Have a good one, y’all!
Sarah Montana

Hey Baby!

Have you ever heard of a Dutch Baby Pancake? I used to get them when I was younger and living in Florida from this place called ‘The Original Pancake House.’ It’s one of my favorite restaurants down there, because they serve pancakes. And let me tell you: pancakes are my FAVORITE food in the world. (Well, and crepes…) They would take 30 minutes to make, so you had to be patient at this place. I used to go with my Dad for my birthday. And it was an apple dutch baby. Imagine, if you will, apple pie and pancakes having a baby….. Are you drooling yet?

So with my passion for baking and cooking and creating, I decided to embark on the dutch baby making world.

Batter

Lucky for everyone: they are SUPER easy. For a basic dutch baby, all you need is flour, eggs, butter, milk, salt, vanilla and sugar. And a blender. Once you get the basic recipe down, its up to you to really take that to the next level by adding fruit or chocolate chips or whatever tickles your fancy!!!

Easy Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe

Serves 1-4 (depending on how hungry you are… I ate half of it all by myself!)

(Adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown!)

3 Tbsp butter, divided

1/2 cup all purpose flour

3 Tbsp sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup milk, room temperature (he says whole, I used 2%….)

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375*F

Put 2 Tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet and place in the pre-heated oven to melt.

Put all of the ingredients into your blender (and your extra tbsp of your butter!) and mix up for 1 minute, until all ingredients are well blended, and some air has been whipped into it.

Pour into your skillet once the butter is melted in the pan and place into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately.

ENJOY!!!!

Sweet tasty heaven!

Don’t be surprised if you want to eat the whole thing. It’s so wonderful and delicious.  Let me know if you make it and how it goes!!!

Have a good one, y’all!

Sarah Montana

MRI’s and Apple Pies

Since February when I was finishing up hair school in Kansas, I’ve been having these sharp pains in my right wrist, namely on the outer edge near where that little bump of a bone lives. It’s not like I had a klutz attack (which I so often do) and fell on it; it just started hurting after wrapping a perm on the cutest 94-year-old little lady named Helen. Since then, the pain has been getting more and more intense (especially working in retail where I am always typing and unlocking doors and lifting heavy shelves and folding and all the ‘ings you can think of). I finally got health insurance through my company, and went to see and Orthopedic Specialist/Surgeon to pick her mind about what the heck is going wrong with me [now]. After some inconclusive x-rays

Modern technology!

Modern technology!

the doctor told me I needed to get an MRI. That was what I did today. Not very exciting; had to take out all of my piercings, which isn’t the biggest pain save for putting a captive bead ring back into my septum (which I will go to my favorite friendly tattooer guy in PA). I had to lay in the superman position (Right arm straight up, face down with a pillow) COMPLETELY STILL for 60 minutes. I tried to nap but was unsuccessful. In any case, it’s done now and I’ll find out more next Thursday!

image(5)

Most expensive CD I’ve ever bought.

So after that was all said and done, I wanted nothing more than to make a big mess in the kitchen.

Enter: Big Mess.

Enter: Big Mess.

There’s always something so wonderful about the smell of an apple pie in the oven. Its the perfect treat for summer or fall/winter and its the most American thing someone can do (in my own opinion.) In any case, heres a few photos of my afternoon apple pie adventure.

image_2

Pie crust recipe from Williams Sonoma.

image_3

image_4

image_5

Egg White Wash with agave, sugar and honey!

Egg White Wash with agave, sugar and honey!

image_7

FIN

FIN

Pretty proud of today’s accomplishment. Fingers crossed that nothing is seriously wrong with my hand or my future is DOOMED!!! Haha…

Have a good one, y’all,

Sarah Montana