Redemption Trail Mix + Cooking Mishaps

The very first time I ‘cooked’ for my family was an absolute disaster.

I’m not sure quite how old I was, but I’m guessing around 7 or 8 years old. I remember having watched my mom prepare dinner for us almost every night and my grandparents host impressively large meals for our giant extended family whenever everyone was in town. It was always such a nice feeling, sitting around together eating food. And so I thought to myself, “I wanna make something my family can have fun eating together!”

Ohhhhh, ohohoho, little Molly. I mean you tried, right?

Cherry Chocolate Redemption Trail Mix | memo2munch

Let’s think about this situation briefly. I was seven and roughly the height of our kitchen counter. I had no idea how to cook. So I did the obvious thing and mixed together all of my favorite snack foods at the time, creating the most horribly well-intentioned trail mix in history.

It had everything you’ve never wanted in your trail mix, and more:

-Bits of torn up white bread
-Crushed Pringles
-Goldfish crackers
-Pretzel twists
-Rustic pieces of broken pretzel rods

(Yep, two types of pretzel. For that textural difference, am I right?)

Long story short, it was awful, and I was super proud as I distributed my masterpiece among three plastic bowls decorated with cartoon animals to serve to my mom, dad, and sister.

They were so nice about it, the sweethearts. I remember them smiling while taking small bites and mmm-ing and ahh-ing over how yummy it was. And I was just there like, “Ok ya that’s great, fam, but like why is there still so much left in your bowls?”

Cherry Chocolate Redemption Trail Mix | memo2munch

Then I tried it, a bite with a fragment of white bread and a Pringle shard, and I understood.

I really love this story because it shows that no one is a hopeless cook. Anyone can learn. Sometimes people compliment my cooking and then say they wish they could cook. And I just think about how I began by making trail mix with ravaged white bread… You can cook!!!

I have so many stories about cooking mishaps like this, most of them embarrassingly dumb. But it’s ok because they’re hilarious, and I learn from them and keep going.

Like, this one time I was making these microwave French fries—I kid you not, they were these frozen, microwaveable French fries by Ore-Ida that I used to eat…USED TO–and listen to how simple it was to prepare them. You adjust the packaging a little bit by pressing in one side of the box so it lies flat against the fries, and stick the whole thing in the microwave for a few minutes, and BAM. Crispy fries. I know there are a lot of things wrong with this, but that’s not the point right now.

The point is that one time I managed to burn every single fry in the box to an absolute crisp. Black as coal, all of ’em. The whole house smelled awful. The smoke detector went off. I was home alone and confused and deeply ashamed. I think this happened early on in high school? I’m telling you, anyone can cook.

Cherry Chocolate Redemption Trail Mix | memo2munch

Here’s one more, from the first time I made bread. The directions said “rotate the bread halfway through baking.” So what did I do? I didn’t turn the pan around. No, I left that where it was, and I literally flipped the loaf of bread upside down on the pan.

I’m so serious, friends. That’s how I interpreted the directions, and I deflated my first ever loaf of bread. I remember telling my mom what I’d done and the look in her eyes said, “How do you think to do things like this??!”

So please, if I can rally from things like this, never doubt that you can cook.

Today I’m sharing a recipe for redemption trail mix. It still has snacks I like—chocolate, dried cherries, almonds, cinnamon chex—but it actually tastes good, I promise! I tried some before I gave it to anyone else this time. 😉

Do you have any cooking failures you’d like to share? Or a general memory including food? Tell me about it, anonymously or not, by clicking here!

Cherry Chocolate Redemption Trail Mix | memo2munch

Cherry Chocolate Redemption Trail Mix

Ingredients
4 cups cinnamon chex cereal (or any chex cereal of your choice)
2 tbsp. butter or Earth Balance
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
½ cup roasted, unsalted almonds
½ cup dark chocolate chunks, plus more for the drizzle
½ cup dried cherries

Method
1. Line a large baking tray with wax paper and set aside.
2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium-low heat until smooth. Gently stir in the chex cereal and almonds and continue cooking until cereal and almonds are coated, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
3. Spread the mixture evenly on the prepared tray. Sprinkle the chocolate chunks and dried cherries over the cereal mixture.
4. In a microwave safe bowl, heat about 2 tbsp. chocolate chunks in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring the chocolate after each 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Drizzle evenly over the trail mix with a fork. Let cool until the chocolate drizzle hardens completely, then break up the trail mix and enjoy. Store in an airtight container.

Crispy Baked Falafel

Welcome to the first ever food memory post with memories other than mine woooooo! (I am accepting food memory submissions to share on memo2munch that will inspire the recipes. Click here for info on submitting.)

Today’s memory takes place in Vienna, Austria and comes from one of my most precious friends, my roommate Tori. You may know her from triumphs such as her handmade prop in this post, and as my supplier of authentic chai spices direct from India, in this recipe.

Crispy Baked Falafel | memo2munch

As the chai spices may have indicated, Tori is an impressive traveler. We both studied abroad in Europe last semester (I was in Bologna, and she was in Rouen, France, a small town about an hour outside of Paris), but when I say Tori studied abroad I mean she, like, S T U D I E D  A B R O A D.

“Over the course of that half-year, I somehow managed to visit 22 countries in Europe and North Africa, an undertaking that I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around,” Tori told me. YOU GO GIRL.

Crispy Baked Falafel | memo2munch

In March, we had a reunion of epic proportions in Rome, somehow managing to swing a weekend together with our other roommate who was studying in Germany, plus two of our close friends who were in the midst of a Eurotrip of their own.

It was like some wonderful, strange, sitcom mashup of The Lizzie McGuire Movie and Roman Holiday. But I digress.

Crispy Baked Falafel | memo2munch

Roman reunions aside, Tori did much travelling alone, effectively making her the Planning & Coordination Queen™. Exposure to so many new places and cultures taught her lots of useful skills…

“As a solo traveler, bopping from city to city as much as I did, you pretty quickly learn the ins and outs of European markets.”

Successful Encounters with Feisty European Markets 101:

“Learning how to leisurely browse, avoid eye contact, efficiently make purchases, politely refuse aggressive vendors, and exploit any and every opportunity for a free sample, all at the same time, is a skill acquired only with much patience and practice.”

So here’s a Top Secret Market Trick—->“Find a bulk sweets stand where you have to pay by weight, and ask if you can have two dark chocolate covered almonds.” Tori discovered you can often get them for freeeeee

Crispy Baked Falafel | memo2munch

The food memory Tori shared with me is a perfect example of a European market encounter of the best kind. She was exploring a lively marketplace in Vienna:

“I was on the lookout for grab-and-go lunch to take with me as I walked from the center of the city out to Schönbrunn Palace. Already I had been snacking on some dried mango slices, and scored some free chocolate! Anyway, I stumbled upon a bustling falafel stall offering falafel for just 1€ each! When I asked for just one, the boisterous man behind the counter swiftly scooped up one of the warm, crispy delicacies, dipped it in a fresh batch of hummus, and extended his arm towards me in a single swooping motion.

‘“For you,” he said, and when I held up a euro coin he shook his head and smiled. Surprised and delighted, I expressed my genuine thanks and continued on my way, biting into perhaps the best falafel I’d ever tasted (until earlier this week that is). In the end, I went back to the same stand to order a falafel pita for my walking lunch, and enjoyed every chickpea/cucumber/lettuce/tomato/cabbage/hummus/tzatziki-filled bite.”

The very pita and its glorious falafel:

Crispy Baked Falafel | memo2munch

Ahhhhhh I want to be there, don’t you?! How about this, we tuck into some of our own homemade falafel and google pictures of strudel while Mozart plays in the background. Done.

(Also I didn’t even bribe her to subtly compliment my falafel, ain’t she the sweetest?)

Crispy Baked Falafel | memo2munch

Crispy Baked Falafel
(adapted from Mark Bittman)
Makes: about 21 falafel

Ingredients

1 ¾ cups DRIED chickpeas (they will need to soak for minimum 12 hours, so plan ahead)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
Scant tsp cayenne, or to taste
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt, more as needed
½ tsp. black pepper, more as needed
½ tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 Tbsp. olive oil
To serve:
Chopped cucumber and tomatoes
Hummus
Pita

Method

1. The night before: thoroughly rinse the chickpeas in a strainer and then place them in a large bowl (they will triple in size as they soak). Pour water over the chickpeas until they are covered by 3-4 inches of water. Let soak overnight, or for up to 24 hours.

2. The next day, discard the soaking water and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly with new water. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C and line a large baking sheet with foil.

3. Place the chickpeas in the body of a food processor along with all of the remaining ingredients except the oil. Pulse until everything is minced but not pureed. Scrape down the sides as necessary. Add a bit of water if the machine is having a lot of trouble. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

4. Grease the lined baking sheet with 2 Tbsp. of the oil. Roll the chickpea mixture into balls about 1.5 inches in diameter and place them evenly on the sheet. Gently press the tops of each to form thick patties. Brush with the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake 10-15 minutes on each side until golden all over.

5. To serve, spread each pita generously with hummus. Top with 2-3 falafel and the chopped cucumber and tomatoes. Fold and enjoy!

Spicy Roasted Chickpea Pita

Have we talked about how awesome chickpeas are?

Cuz if not then I think we need to address that at this point in our friendship.

Spicy Chickpea Pita Sandwiches | memo2munch

I mean, what’s not to love? They’re versatile and packed with protein. They make salads next level. You can puree them into hummus. Or fry them into falafel. Or, as I have now discovered, roast them to spicy perfection?!?!?

I’m a fan. Are you a fan? Is that the underlying reason why we get along?

Spicy Chickpea Pita Sandwich | memo2munch

Actually, I’m eating chickpeas while I write this, in their hummus form! But back to that whole ~spicy perfection~ thing.

I used about the same spice blend as in my shakshuka recipe to create a similarly satisfying flavor in a (pita) setting that’s a bit more summer-y. Pop the spiced chickpeas in the oven for less than half an hour, and all that’s left to do is assemble your sandwich!

Spicy Chickpea Pita Sandwich | memo2munch

It’s literally the easiest thing ever, and if chickpeas weren’t so delicious in falafel form I would be kicking myself for not having roasted them and stuffed them into pita before.

Instead I’m kicking myself for not having left the house at all today. Ugh, it’s really so unfortunate to be this lazy. I keep getting phone calls from unknown numbers, too. I haven’t answered for fear that they’ll lecture me about the beautiful weather I’m missing out on or something equally as bad like which candidate I should vote for.

Spicy Chickpea Pita Sandwich | memo2munch

Anywho, I’m going to end this here and get out in the open air! Promise.

PS you should make this for dinner. Promise?

Spicy Chickpea Pita Sandwich | memo2munch

Spicy Chickpea Pita Sandwich
(Adapted from Minimalist Baker)
Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

Chickpeas:
1 15-ounce (425g) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and gently patted dry
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. each ground cumin and garlic powder
½ tsp. each sea salt, black pepper, and paprika
¼ tsp. ground red pepper/cayenne (optional)

To serve:
Pita (or gf bread if needed)
Hummus
Diced tomato
Sliced red onion
Romaine lettuce, chopped,
Tahini (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C and line a large baking sheet with foil.

2. Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Place rinsed and dried chickpeas in a mixing bowl and toss with the oil to coat. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chickpeas and stir until the chickpeas are evenly coated. Spread in a single, spacious layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.

3. To serve, warm the pitas in a microwave for 15-30 seconds or in the still-warm oven. Spread a generous amount of hummus in the center of each pita and top with chickpeas, tomato, lettuce, onion, and tahini if desired. Fold and enjoy!

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew

You know how sometimes you’ll be doing something and then all of a sudden you’ll be hit by an idea for how you could have done said thing better?

But you’re already at the point of no return, so then you’re just like

Dang.

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew | memo2munch

I’m there, friends. In the words of Eunice from She’s the Man (which I have zero shame in admitting I watched last weekend), “I’m so there it’s insane.”

[Aside: Eunice is clearly my spirit animal. See below]

Eunice

Anyway, I can’t speak for Eunice, but the reason I’m so there it’s insane is because I made this k-i-l-l-e-r stew and THEN thought about how epic it would be if I had roasted acorn squash halves and served the soup inside them.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew | memo2munch

Sink in like the broth would have sunk into the acorn squash, flavoring it with tomato and warm hints of turmeric and ginger.

UGH, I still feel the tingles of regret and opportunities lost.

However, we are now two acorn squash from the farmer’s market richer, and so another soup can yet be made. Redemption is nigh!

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew | memo2munch

As the weather gets chillier and the sweaters more worn, a nourishing stew can do us all a world of good. This one comes together in only 30 minutes, and is filled to the brim with the most comforting veggies, legumes, and spices.

Put on your pajamas and curl up with a bowl for dinner tonight. And so help me, I WILL make squash bowls next time! (PS Thank you Ellie for being my soup model u r fabulous.)

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew | memo2munch

30 Minute Hearty & Healing Stew
(adapted from Green Kitchen Stories)

Ingredients
1 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil or olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or 1 tsp ground
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper or more to taste
3.5 cups canned plum tomatoes
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
2 cups water, plus more if needed
1 tsp sea salt
1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces*
2 zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces*
1 handful asparagus or green beans*
1 cup canned chickpeas
goat cheese, for serving (optional)

Heat oil in a large saucepan and add chopped onion and garlic. Lower the heat and cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened. Add ginger, turmeric, cayenne and stir, ensuring that they do not burn. When the spices smell fragrant, add tomatoes, lentils, water and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in all the vegetables and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Add the chickpeas toward the end of the cooking time. Serve in bowls with crumbled goat cheese if desired.

*You really can use any vegetables you have on hand! Just keep in mind that harder vegetables like carrots might need to cook longer.

Muesli

Here, let me introduce you to muesli.

Or as its friends like to call it, lazy granola.

Ooh yeah, I saw those ears perk up.

Muesli | memo2munch

Because sometimes (all the time) you don’t want to wait around forever for granola to toast in the oven, but you also don’t want to spend your life savings + an arm on little bags of overpriced granola consisting of ingredients you can buy IN BULK from Kroger for the same amount or less TOTAL. I know.

Muesli | memo2munch

muesli3'5

Muesli is the exact same thing as granola, only it’s not toasted or just slightly toasted. If you decide not to toast it, you literally just have to throw things in a bowl and stir them around. Done.

It’s the most college thing ever, but it makes you look hipster-foodie as all get out.

And saves you a lotta money.

And gives you a lotta fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol (byeeee, LDL) and keeps you full.

Muesli | memo2munch

“What did I do today? Oh, well I woke up early, biked to my favorite coffee shop–you know, that one next to that old record store I love–made a batch of muesli, saved a kitten, detangled my flower crown from my hair, and watched all of Wes Anderson’s films and it’s only 2pm.” <—- YOU

Muesli | memo2munch

Just like granola, muesli is super customizable. You can sub in all different kinds of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, or add some cinnamon for a little extra kick. As long as you stick with the basic formula, your ratios will turn out right.

I like to eat my muesli with coconut milk and so much fruit that you can’t even see the muesli underneath. Aka like this:

Muesli | memo2munch

You could also eat your muesli sprinkled over yogurt or in parfait form, mixed with water and heated up to make oatmeal, or however you so desire. It will be delicious, I promise.

Experiment with some muesli this week!!

Muesli | memo2munch

Muesli
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups rolled oats (certified GF if celiac)
  2. 1 cup nuts
  3. 1 cup seeds
  4. 1 cup dried fruit
  5. 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
Instructions
  1. If toasting muesli: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, and seeds. Stir in honey or maple syrup. Spread evenly on pan and toast for 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely before mixing in fruit. Store in an airtight container.
  2. If not toasting muesli: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Back to School Popeye Crepes

Do you get it?! Do you? Cuz, like, Popeye liked spinach, and it made him extra strong and ready to face his challenges, so I just thought it would be a good ‘beginning of the school year’ post and…

Well, you know.

Popeye Crepes | memo2munch

I can’t guarantee instant, bulging muscles after eating these, but I CAN guarantee the best-tasting serving of vegetables you will ever have the pleasure of feeding yourself. So tasty, in fact, that you won’t even taste the vegetables. That’s a good trade-off, right?

And I mean, how cool are GREEN CREPES?

popeye crepes | memo2munch

Now I really want to try sneaking other veggies or fruits into these crepes to make different colors. I bet beets would make just gorgeous magenta crepes. Or maybe you could make purple by using blackberries. Oh man, I would literally eat my body weight in crepes if they were purple and slightly blackberry flavored.

Time to put that at the top of my to-do list. (Sorry, anatomy homework.) Besides, I need practice crepe-flipping anyway. I broke about half of this batch before I got the hang of it. Turns out I didn’t have the heat high enough…

Popeye Crepes | memo2munch

Naturally, the filling could be anything you want. I followed the recipe from Green Kitchen Stories (and watched the video approximately 87 times because it was so beautiful) and liked the apple and tahini filling a lot more than I expected, especially with the addition of strawberries.

Here are some other fillings I might try:
-cheese and more spinach (spinach melt, holla)
-egg and tomato
-strawberry and/or banana (nutella optional, but who are we kidding?)

Let me know what other ideas you come up with!

Popeye Crepes | memo2munch

Also, I apologize for the lack of pictures. Photographing these babies was a struggle. Just to give you an idea of how sorry a scene it was, the wooden panels you see in the background are actually my kitchen floor. Don’t worry, I sanitized first!!

Popeye Crepes
Write a review
Print
Crepe batter
  1. 1.5 cups flour of your choice
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 2 cups (500 ml) non-dairy milk
  4. 1 cup (250 ml) water
  5. 1 tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil, plus more for frying
  6. pinch of sea salt
  7. 2 generous handfuls fresh spinach, rinsed (or thawed frozen)
Chickpea, Apple & Tahini Filling
  1. 3 tbsp. tahini
  2. 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  3. juice of one lemon
  4. 2 small apples, grated
  5. around 2 cups (600g) cooked chickpeas
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. honey to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all the crepe ingredients in a blender and put the lid securely on. Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender you can place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend with your immersion blender. I want one of those things. Either way, blend until smooth and green. Refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes.*
  2. Heat an 8 inch frying pan on medium heat. Add a bit of oil or butter. Then pour about 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the batter into the pan. Tilt the pan in circles until the batter has evenly coated the bottom of the pan. Fry about 1 minute on each side, until crepes are golden and can be turned easily. Fry all of the crepes and put on a baking sheet to cool off.
  3. Make the filling: Whisk tahini, oil and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl. Add grated apple, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the chickpeas and mix until chickpeas are coated. If you want a sweeter filling, you can add some honey.
  4. Add a generous scoop of the filling in the center of each crepe and fold in half to serve.
Notes
  1. *This is important!!! The batter will be too runny otherwise
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Welcome home! Mushroom Risotto & Flourless Chocolate Cake

Well guys, I’m writing this post from the States! After 3 and a half months working at the USA Pavilion at this year’s world’s fair in Milan, Italy, I’m back home again in Indiana!

memo2munch | Mushroom Risotto & Flourless Chocolate Cake

memo2munch | Mushroom Risotto & Flourless Chocolate Cake

IMG_6800

I can’t help it. Cheesy, America-related references and jokes are kind of ingrained in me by this point. Or should I say *corny*. Cuz I’m from Indiana.

I’ll stop, I’ll stop.

IMG_6788

memo2munch | Mushroom Risotto & Flourless Chocolate Cake

4

IMG_6835-1

2

So far my time has been spent as such:

  • Stuffing my face with bagels and maple syrup (not together…)
  • Facebook stalking the friends I had to say “see you later” to (miss you guys!!)
  • Hugging friends and family I haven’t seen for a looong time
  • Trying not to fall asleep at 6PM
  • Stopping myself from saying “Benvenuti, welcome” to everyone who walks past me. (Is this how workers at Disney World feel?)
  • Daydreaming about gelato

So you can see I’ve been super busy.

IMG_6829

memo2munch | Mushroom Risotto & Flourless Chocolate Cake

3

memo2munch | Mushroom Risotto & Flourless Chocolate Cake

Anyway, my cousin David made me promise to cook an Italian meal for the family when I got back and said that he would get me whatever ingredients I needed, which is an even nicer offer than you would think because I became a food snob while I was in Italy, so, you know, ingredient standards have gone up.

Here was our menu:

Antipasto

Tomato Bruschetta (Pronounced broo-SKEH-tah, not broo-SHEH-tah. When you have a –ch in Italian it sounds like a k. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Told you I was a snob now.) on Crostini

Primo

Mushroom Risotto
Sauteed Zucchini (with onions and garlic, made by my grandpa)
Bread

Dolci

Flourless Chocolate Cake topped with Chocolate Meringue (Recipe from an Italian food blog because it was #necessary)
Macedonia (made by my grandma)
A selection of Italian cheeses, courtesy of Eataly in Chicago
Italian shortbread cookies, also courtesy of Eataly

1

IMG_6825-1

IMG_6850

memo2munch | Mushroom Risotto & Flourless Chocolate Cake

Man, it was SO fun to make this meal. I simultaneously got to pretend I was still in Italy and spend time with people I love. And I got to feed them, too. (Cue inner Jewish mother fist pump)

Risotto is not as hard as you might think! Another benefit? It’s naturally gluten free! Give it a try. x

Mushroom Risotto
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock if not vegetarian)
  2. 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  3. 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 cup finely chopped onion
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 8 oz. white mushrooms, finely chopped
  7. 2 cups arborio rice*
  8. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  9. 1/2 tsp. salt, or as needed
  10. 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  11. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for topping
  12. Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms and set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the stock warm over very low heat.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and white mushrooms.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop. Add to saucepan with the the onions, white mushrooms, and garlic. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the rice and let it toast for 1-2 minutes, until the edges become translucent. Pour in the wine and stir well until evaporated. Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed.
  5. Continue to add stock in small batches and cook each batch until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remember to stir constantly.
  6. Keep repeating this process, adjusting the heat if need be so that the rice is simmering gently, until all the stock is used up. This should be about 20 minutes after the wine was added.
  7. Remove the saucepan from heat and beat in the butter. Then beat in the cheese and pepper. Serve topped with more cheese.
Notes
  1. *It is important that this variety of rice is used for risotto. Regular white rice does not contain enough starch to make the risotto turn out creamy.
Adapted from Mushroom Risotto with Peas
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Meringue
Write a review
Print
For the brownies
  1. 125 g. (1 stick + 1 tbsp.) butter
  2. 125 g. dark or semisweet chocolate, I prefer dark
  3. 150 g. (a bit less than 1 cup) brown sugar
  4. 3 eggs, whites and yolks separated
For the meringue
  1. 2 egg whites
  2. 112 g. (just over half a cup) white sugar
  3. 1 tsp. cornstarch
  4. 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 25 g. (1/4 c) unsweetened cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Grease an 8 or 9 inch round pan and cover the sides with parchment paper.
  2. For the brownies: Melt together the butter and chocolate using either a double boiler or a microwave. (If using a microwave, make sure to stir the mixture every 30 seconds so that it does not burn.) Add the sugar and mix until the sugar is not quite fully dissolved. Let cool for a few minutes before adding the yolks one by one and stirring well to incorporate.
  3. In a clean bowl, beat the whites to stiff peaks. Add a little of the whites to the chocolate mixture and stir. Then, add the chocolate mixture to the whites. This will help the mixture incorporate better. Stir gently until completely combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the meringue.
  4. For the meringue: In a clean bowl, whip the whites to stiff peaks, adding the sugar gradually. Add the vanilla, cornstarch, and cocoa powder and stir delicately until the mixture is shiny and homogeneous.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven carefully and then spread the meringue on top. Bake for another 20-25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly before taking out the parchment paper. Serve as you like!
Notes
  1. This recipe was originally written in grams and the conversions are not quite perfect, so if you don't have a kitchen scale just do the best you can!
Adapted from Mon Petit Bistrot
Adapted from Mon Petit Bistrot
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Warm Squash, Apple, & Lentil Salad

I am all for a good, crisp, fresh salad. I really am.

Totally customizable, and obviously full of nutrients. But I mean, during the winter… I would kinda rather have something that’s more…

Well, warm. I want something warm. And hearty. And filling.

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

As much as I love salad, it just doesn’t cut it when the temperature is lower than my age.

Ideally I could just live off of sweet rolls and muffins all winter. Those are warm! Buuuut we gotta treat our bodies better than that and give ’em some nutrients.

(My stomach, for its part, would like me to inform you that it thinks eating exclusively carbs would be treating it well. Agree to disagree.)

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

I’ve got the perfect solution for ya. Behold: the warm squash, apple, and lentil salad of awesomeness! *ness ness ness…* <— that was an echo. If you weren’t sure. (sorry)

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

Oh my gosh, guys. This salad. I hesitate to even call it a salad simply because it has alllll of the characteristics I want in a meal during the winter!

Savory, satisfying lentils. Nourishing acorn squash. The comforting scent of cinnamon mingling with lemon.

Seriously, how is this a salad?!

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

I’ve noticed that a lot of people think that eating seasonally during the winter automatically means not getting enough nutrients or variety. This is absolutely not the case! There are tons of nutrient-dense foods available during the winter.

There are more types of squash in season right now than I can name. You’ve still got your kale and sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Clementines are in season, too. THERE ARE OPTIONS! Check out your local winter farmer’s market if you have one, and see what’s there. I bet you’ll find something good. 🙂

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

You can easily slice the squash into wedges so that it will cook faster, but I loved how the salad looked piled inside. Also, the recipe makes enough lentils for you to have some leftover. Get creative with them during the rest of the week! You can toss them in soup, or wrap them in a tortilla with some hummus and veggies, or mix them with sauteed spinach, for example!

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

 

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
For the squash
  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1/2 ground cinnamon
  3. granulated sugar (optional)
  4. 1 medium acorn squash, scrubbed, halved, and seeded
For the lentils
  1. 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  2. 1/2 medium shallot, minced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 cup (7 oz) green lentils, rinsed
  5. 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  6. 1.5 tbsp. lemon juice
  7. salt and pepper
To finish
  1. 1/2 golden delicious apple, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
  2. Mixed greens
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat each squash half completely with 1 tbsp of oil, including skin. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, if using.
  2. Place the halves on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut edges up. Bake in oven until soft and tender, 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat half of the oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils and 1.5 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until lentils are tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Transfer lentils to a small bowl and let cool briefly. Stir in the thyme, lemon juice, and remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the squash halves on plates, and top with mixed greens, lentils, and apple slices. Drizzle with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from Food & Wine
Adapted from Food & Wine
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

One of the (many) places I would really like to visit is New Orleans. It seems to have such a vibrant and lively mix of cultural and culinary identities! When I think of Nola, my mind fills with bright colors, tantalizing smells, and some energetic Jazz, and I know that I just have to get to this place. Preferably during Mardi Gras because DUH.

Next year?

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Also, beignets. What other reason do you need? (Yeah, I’ll take 27 of those, extra powdered sugar, please. What’s that? Are they all for me?

…Do you know who I am?)

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Actually, there are several other foods that I’m just itching to try in their hometown–my most favorite dessert, Bananas Foster, was created at a Nola restaurant named Brennan’s. Other foods the city is famous for include: gumbo, bread pudding, muffulettas, po’boys, jambalaya, and Creole pralines.

Ugh, I’m making myself drool.

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Has anyone seen the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog? Well, if you haven’t, the important things to know are that it’s set in New Orleans in 1912, and the main character, Tiana, is a gifted cook who wants to open a restaurant. Can I just be her? Post frog-ness, of course. (Props to Ellie for knowing I would obsess over the movie and making me watch it!)

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

 

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Today’s sweet potato fries are coated with a traditional Cajun blend of spices you probably already have in your cabinet, and MAN are they good.

A perfectly satisfying balance of savory and sweet, these are the most addictive fries I’ve ever tasted. We finished the whole pan in one sitting! (Then scraped off whatever stuck to the pan.)

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Bonus: I used a sweet potato from the farmer’s market, and LOOK HOW BIG IT WAS. That’s a normal-sized fork, friends.

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

I think it looks kind of like a seal. Do you see it?

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries | memo2munch

Enjoy 🙂

Baked Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean (or one GIANT one, like mine)
  2. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
  4. 1.5 tsp. paprika
  5. 1.5 tsp. oregano
  6. 1 tsp. dried thyme (or 2 tsp. fresh)
  7. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  8. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  9. 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or sub 1/4 tsp. cayenne for more of a kick)
  10. Optional: 1 tbsp. sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, toss the spices together until even dispersed.
  3. Peel the potatoes or leave the skin on, and slice into thin, even match sticks.
  4. Spread the fries on two baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spice blend. Toss to coat fries evenly.
  5. Arrange the fries in a single layer so that they will crisp up. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip fries. Cook 10 to 15 minutes longer until fries reach desired crispness.
  6. Remove from oven and serve as is or with your favorite dip!
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

memo2brunch: GF Baked Oatmeals & GF Banana Choco Chip Bars!

So having a kitchen at college has helped me realize something. I love–like, LOVE–feeding people.

Ok well, duh. BUT I want to make a distinction. What I’m talking about is not the same as cooking for the sake of cooking and then deciding to share it with others. It’s cooking with the intention of providing something for people I care about. Cuz food and happiness go together, and everybody needs both.

During those moments when I get to watch my friends sitting in our living room, laughing and talking with each other, a plate of my food in hand, my heart just swells right up. I think to myself, “Hey, I got to provide people with this small bit of joy.” And that feels really, really good. I get allll the fuzzies. Every fluffy puppy known to man.

(Cleaning the apartment = worth it)

Shout out to Grandma and Poppy, who have brought our family together for delicious food more times than I can count. Your house is the hub! Thanks for showing me how it’s done. 😉

This school year we’ve had a few brunches at the apartment where I get to lure people over to our “hub” with the promise of lots of carbs. Here are some pics from our most recent one, along with the recipes! We had blueberry pecan baked oatmeal, maple bourbon baked oatmeal, and banana chocolate chip bars. Mmmmmm <3

memo2munch | baked oatmeal

memo2munch | baked oatmeal

brunch4

brunch3

oatmeal1

brunch2

brunch5

Recipes: (There are 3)

GF Baked Oatmeal with Maple Bourbon Sauce
Write a review
Print
For the oatmeal
  1. 3 cups certified GF rolled oats
  2. 1/2 c. brown sugar
  3. 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  4. 2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1 tsp. salt
  6. 1 c. unsweetened almond milk
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1/2 c. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
  9. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Sauce
  1. 1 c. pure maple syrup
  2. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  3. 1/4 tsp. allspice
  4. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  6. 1/4 c. bourbon
Instructions
  1. Make the oatmeal: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Toss dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, eggs, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Spread evenly in greased baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Make the sauce: Heat all on high until incorporated. Then lower heat and keep warm until oatmeal is done.
  5. When the oatmeal comes out of the oven, pour about half of the sauce on top of the oatmeal. It will soak in and be delicious! Save the rest for people to add as they want it.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/
GF Blueberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 c. certified gluten free rolled oats
  2. 1/2 c. pecan pieces, toasted and roughly chopped
  3. 1 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
  5. scant 1 tsp. salt
  6. 2 c. unsweetened almond milk
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/3 c. maple syrup or honey
  9. 3 tbsp. melted coconut oil or Earth Balance or butter
  10. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  11. 1.5 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen because berries are not in season)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. Grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet or other baking dish.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the berries and mix well.
  4. Pour some of the oat mixture into the pan. Top with some berries. Repeat with remaining oats and berries.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve with more syrup, if desired.
Adapted from Epicurious
Adapted from Epicurious
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/
GF Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mashed, ripe banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
  2. 8 tbsp. brown sugar
  3. 4 tbsp. honey
  4. 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1/3 cup brown rice flour*
  8. 1/3 cup finely ground corn flour*
  9. 1 tsp. salt
  10. 3 cups GF instant oatmeal (uncooked)
  11. A whole lotta chocolate chips (Add until it looks like enough)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/174 degrees C. Coat a foil-lined 9x13 inch rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Beat bananas and next five ingredients until blended.
  3. Combine flours and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to banana mixture. Stir in the oatmeal, and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into bars.
Notes
  1. *You can sub any flour you want, as long as it equals 2/3 cup
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/