Mission Statement

Culinary Adventures in a College Kitchen

Friday, June 29, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cookie Frosting

Remember when I said I was making my own birthday cake?  Well, that was before I remembered that I only have one cake pan at my apartment and that I am incapable of actually choosing a cake without hours of deliberation.  That cannoli cake I made for my family took me an entire week to choose, and the final cake ended up coming from two separate recipes.  Instead of putting myself through that again, I settled on cupcakes.

Now, I feel bad saying that I settled for these cupcakes.  These are not settling cupcakes.  These are delicious, impressive, take-eighteen-pictures-of-them-because-they're-so-freaking-beautiful cupcakes.  No settling over here.  I don't think I've ever been so excited to show something I baked to my friends.  I actually put them on a fancy schmancy platter and made my friend take a picture of me with them.

And by fancy schmancy platter I mean the top of the tupperware container that I stored them in.

Anyhoo, you should all make these cupcakes.  They are super impressive for minimal effort and most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get baking!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cookie Frosting


For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips

For the ganache:
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the peanut butter cookie frosting:
9 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar


For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix together the cocoa powder and coffee in a bowl and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and two sugars.  Add the eggs on at a time.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  

Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the coffee-cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in the peanut butter chips.   Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 of the way.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the ganache:

Bring the heavy cream to a boil.  Pour over the chocolate and let stand for two minutes.  Stir until the chocolate is melted.  

For the peanut butter cookie frosting:

Mix together the peanut butter and butter.  Add the powdered sugar, mixing until a thick frosting forms.  With clean and dry hands form round disks and press the tines of a fork on the top to make it look like a peanut butter cookie.  Place on a piece of parchment paper.

To assemble the cupcakes, use an offset spatula to smear a layer of the ganache on the cupcake.  Press a "peanut butter cookie" on top.

Source: Annie's Eats

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'll Have What She's Having

I can't remember a time when I didn't love to write.  When I was seven, I wrote a series of baby stories on the now defunct word program Creative Writer that I printed out and handed to all of my family members at my brother's birthday party.  A few years later I wrote my first fanfiction with my neighbor, in which we met actors Jake Lloyd and Jonathan Jackson and proceeded to go on rollicking adventures  involving the cast of General Hospital.  From there I embarked on countless stories.  Some of them were completed while others remain in that half-baked world of fragmented characters and unfinished story lines.

Growing up, I looked up to writers because I recognized myself in them.  We shared a geeky sort of undercurrent that I just couldn't find in the hottest It girl or It guy.  A few weeks back I wrote a post about writers that I admired.  Yesterday, we lost one of those writers.

The first Nora Ephron film that I saw was When Harry Met Sally... staring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.  I was a freshman in college and went to one of those movie parties where a bunch of half-friends meet up to watch a movie instead of actually embarking on the task of getting to know each other.  Luckily, this meant no one spoke over the dialogue.  I loved Sally Albright's neuroses and Harry Burns' bleakness.  They were characters that were truly flesh and blood.  They weren't cardboard stereotypes spouting out equally cardboard and stereotypical lines.  They acted how people really act; talked how people really talk.

After that movie, I went and delved into the other Nora Ephron penned films.  I then went on to read Heartburn and all of Ephron's books of essays.  I even read her play Imaginary Friends, a piece about the turbulent relationship between writers Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy that largely went over my head, but I enjoyed regardless.  She had a way of stringing together words that were genuinely amusing, even if you didn't always get the joke.

This year I took a fiction writing class, and when asked who my favorite writer was, I responded without hesitation that it was Nora Ephron.  Her passing affects me more than I think the passing of a complete stranger should.  I've never met her.  Never spoken to her.  I admittedly haven't even read all of her works, but I found myself particularly moved yesterday when I first heard the news of her death.

I take comfort in the fact, though, that although she may be gone her works are still here and far from being forgotten.  Who can hear the name Katz Delicatessen without thinking, "I'll have what she's having" or see the Empire State building without thinking of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks finally seeing each other for the first time after dozens of just-missed-you moments?  I know I can't hear or see either of those without thinking immediately of Ephron's films.

So, lovely readers, any of you have a favorite Nora Ephron film or writing.  As cliched as it is, mine will always be When Harry Met Sally.  That's one of those movies that I never tire of!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oatmeal, Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I made these cookies on a whim.  I had a friend over earlier this week and thought, "Hey, what better way to pass the time than to heat up my apartment to an unbearable temperature by using my oven?"  For some reason, my oven is mightier than my air conditioner, and whenever I want to bake I have to dress like I'm in Bermuda.

I bought Giada's Weeknight Meals a few weeks ago, and have been cooking like crazy from it.  There are so many fantastic recipes that I can't wait to try.  My latest foray into the cookbook were these oatmeal, cranberry and chocolate chunk cookies.  To put it succinctly, they're winners.  I have fed them to no less than four friends, and as far as I know no one has keeled over.  So, great success!

Oatmeal, Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Cookies


1 cup flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 bar semi-sweet chocolate, chunked


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until smooth.  Gradually add in the flour mixture.  Mix in the oats, cranberries and chocolate.  

Scoop 1/4 cup of the dough onto a prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the cookies are slightly golden at the edges.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Source: Giada's Weeknight Meals

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me (And 22 Things)

I love birthdays.  I love having an excuse to eat cake and corral all of my friends into going out on a Tuesday night.  I definitely milk my birthday for all it's worth.  My brother actually jokes that the entire month of June is "The Feast of Liz", because my birthday is celebrated so many different times.  I usually respond with some smart retort and a smack.

I have some fun birthday festivities planned for later today.  My friends and I are going out to dinner and then having cake back at my apartment.  I've had several people tell me that it is blasphemous for me to bake my own birthday cake, but I love doing it.  When else do I get to make a ridiculous cake and force people to eat it?

I've decided to do a little 22 things for the birthday.  I've ALWAYS wanted to do one of these, but sort of pushed it to the back burner as I peddled more cookie recipes with eight sticks of butter in them.  Without further adieu, I bring you my 22 things:

1.  The answer is always coffee.
2.  Call your grandparents, even when you'd rather sit and watch another episode of How I Met Your Mother.
3.  Don't dread jury duty so much.  It will open your eyes to so many things.
4.  Stop buying vegan cheese.  It will never taste like the real stuff.
5.  Be the girl who dances like crazy at the bar.  It's always better than the girl who cries.
6.  Don't mix your alcohol unless you like feeling like an anvil hit your head the next morning.
7.  When in doubt, go to the coffee shop.  You never know who you'll run into.
8.  Stop worrying so much.  It gives you nothing but wrinkles.
9.  There is nothing in life that a little Gilmore Girls and Buffy can't cure.
10.  Stop drinking coffee at least an hour before any plane ride unless you like sitting with your legs tightly crossed.
11.  When in doubt, wear a dress.
12.  Sometimes, a little red lipstick is necessary.
13.  Listen to your parents' stories.  They know more than you.
14.  It is perfectly acceptable to sing along with showtunes at 11:00 p.m.  Particularly if you are doing it alone in your apartment.
15.  Keep in touch with friends.  While sometimes a lost friendship can't be helped, sometimes all you need is a quick text or phone call.
16.  Sometimes the things you dread are the things that end up being the most remarkable.
17.  Read more books.
18.  That doesn't include 50 Shades of Grey.
19.  Take more walks.
20.  Eat more chocolate.
21.  And don't care.
22.  Celebrate your birthday for an entire month.  Why not?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Newest Obsession: Fringe

I go through television shows like people go through shoes.  About every month I end up with a new show that I am absolutely obsessed with.  Last month it was Dawson's Creek.  I watched all 6 season (with some expert fast-forwarding skills) in about two weeks, and then went back and re-watched my favorite episodes.  My favorites were of course the best Pacey Witter episodes, because he is the only character worth re-watching.  I mean look at that face.

Oh yeah.  That boy grew into this man...

Say hello to Peter Bishop, one of the leads of Fringe.  He retains all of the witty dialogue of my beloved Pacey Witter, but without all those horrible collared shirts.  I started watching Fringe for the man candy, but kept watching for the endearing characters and science fiction story lines that are just out there enough to be interesting without going overboard.  It's easy for science fiction shows to get too far-fetched, but this one toes the line remarkably well.  It's also created by J.J. Abrams, the mastermind behind Alias and Lost, which helps.

What shows are you all obsessed with now?  Any recommendations for my next one?!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Pepper and Caper Salsa

Guys, something big happened this week.  SOMETHING BIG.  I, Liz-Tip-Top-Shape, made my first steak.  And I didn't ruin it or burn down my apartment.  I will accept applause at the end of the post.

Growing up, it was always a treat to have steak.  My dad would cook it up on the grill with a bunch of vegetables and his famous grilled tomatoes.  I never touched those tomatoes, but the rest of my family loves them.  I'd eat my half of a steak smothered in A1 sauce and salt.  To this day, I don't really know what's in A1 sauce.  The part of me that can no longer eat jello thanks to learning what's really in it thinks my ignorance is a good thing.

This recipe replaces the ubiquitous A1 sauce with a vinegary pepper and caper salsa.  It's a wonderful compliment to the meat, and I'd even go so far as to say you could eat it on its own.  I know I was picking at it while the steaks cooked.

If you like steaks, you must try this recipe.  If you like peppers, you must try this recipe.  If you like food in general, you must try this recipe.

Basically, try this recipe.

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Pepper and Caper Salsa


4 sirloin steaks
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 jar roasted yellow peppers, drained
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp fresh parsley
1/4 cup capers


Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic, capers and parsley.  Add the peppers and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Heat a grill pan on the stovetop.  Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill the steaks 4-6 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Thinly slice the steak and top with pepper.

Source:  Giada's Weeknight Meals

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cannoli Cream Cake

Cakes have a special place in my heart.  Growing up, we'd only have cake on two occasions.  It was either some festive event or when we were at my grandparent's house.  My grandma always served dessert after meals because my grandpa likes to end the meal with something sweet.  It wasn't always cake.  Sometimes it was cookies or sweet rolls left over from one of their senior meetings.  The cakes were always my favorite, though.  My grandma will always be one of the best bakers I know.  Anytime I would bring a batch of her cookies somewhere at least one person would ask for the recipe.

I learned how to bake in her kitchen.  She taught me the importance of having all of your ingredients ready and keeping your work station tidy.  I admittedly don't do the latter as well as she does, but from working under her direction I always (ALWAYS) let my dirty dishes soak before tackling them.  There's some grandma wisdom for you there.  Always (ALWAYS) let them soak.

We celebrated my birthday on Sunday.  My actual birthday isn't until June 26, but we gather all the family for Father's Day and throw in my birthday as an added bonus.  I used to have my grandma make my cake, but as I've grown older I've commandeered the baking.  This means that I spend an inordinate amount of time looking through all the food blogs for cakes while trying to keep track of all the various food allergies in my family.  This year I decided on a cannoli cake.  With a predominately Italian family, it was a wise choice.

Despite having to go to three different stores for the mascarpone cheese and accidentally using pie pans, it turned out pretty well.  There's not a single piece left, so I think my family would agree.

Cannoli Cream Cake

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2-3/4 cups flour
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 tbs vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients:
1 carton (16 oz) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp rum extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:
2 cartons (8 oz each) Mascarpone cheese
1-1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted (depends on the thickness of frosting)
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.  Beat in the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides.  Stir in the extract.

Alternate the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat until incorporated.  Pour the batter evenly between three prepared cake pans.  Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire wrack.

For the filling, combine all ingredients in a mixer, except for the chocolate chips, and mix until combined.  Spoon 1/3 cup of the filling onto the first layer of the cake.  


Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Repeat on the next layer, spreading the filling and sprinkling with the chocolate chips.  On the top layer, spread the filling but leave a one inch border around the edge of the cake.

For the frosting, combine all ingredients in a mixer, except for the chocolate chips, and mix until combined.  Frost the sides of the cake and the remaining one inch border on the top of the cake.  When finished, press chocolate chips to the sides of the cake and the one inch border.  It works on the sides best to sprinkle them from the top, using the palm of your hands to press them gently into the cake.  Leave the extra sprinkles at the bottom for decoration.

Source:  Cake and Filling/Frosting

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pasta with Salmon and Broccoli

Oh boy, do I have a recipe for you all today.  Last week, I had my graduation party at Wildfire with my family.  Wildfire is the place for parties with my family.  We have pretty much every big party there, and people always leave happy.  It's a three course meal served family style.  The best part is that you get to take all the leftovers home with you.  Hello, best week of leftovers ever.

Admittedly, though, the leftovers get a bit old after the third or fourth day.  This last party, we ended up with four large pieces of cedar planked salmon that none of us wanted to eat.  Instead of wasting the salmon, I came up with a simple pasta recipe to use up the last of our leftovers.

The recipe includes how to make the cedar planked salmon, and then mostly unnecessary directions for the other ingredients.  Because clearly you all need to be told how to boil pasta.

I ate this hot and cold.  Both ways are pretty fantastic, but I would recommend the cold for the summer months.  Serve it with a side salad, fruit and you have a wonderful summer meal!

Pasta with Salmon and Broccoli


Cedar Planked Salmon: 

4 salmon filets
4 cedar planks for grill
olive oil
1 tsp salmon rub per filet
1 tsp glaze per filet

For the salmon rub:

1 tbsp paprkia
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin

For salmon glaze:

6 oz dark brown sugar
4 oz unsalted butter
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup dijon mustard

For the pasta:

1/2 lb whole wheat rotini
1 cup roasted broccoli


For the salmon glaze, combine the dark brown sugar and butter in a sauce pan and heat until caramelized.  Stir in the soy sauce and dijon mustard.  Set aside.

For the salmon, soak the cedar planks for 30 minutes.  Season the filets with the rub, using 1/2 tsp for each side.  Put 1 tsp of glaze on the top of the filets.  Place the soaked planks in a heated grill and close the lid.  Turn the planks every two minutes, heating both sides.  Add the salmon and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Flake the salmon into cooked pasta.  Add roasted broccoli.  

Source:  Original Wildfire Recipe

Friday, June 15, 2012

Romaine with Apples, Walnuts and Craisins

I went to the doctor's earlier this week for some tests, and was put in one of those God-forsaken hospital gowns.  They're always made of cotton in the tv shows, which is totally misleading for those of us who haven't been to the doctor's office in ions.  Maybe my hospital is just cheap, but the gowns were made of this gauzy paper that ripped if you made the slightest movement.  I tried to tie mine closed at the front (as to not flash my doctor repeatedly) and then ended up ripping the gown right in the chest area.  I pulled the other side of the gown over to avoid any nip slips, which of course left me in danger of ripping the other side.

I've never been a large protestor.  I don't sign petitions or campaign on street corners beside the Greenpeace people that no one wants to talk to.  I think it's mostly because I haven't found my cause.  Until this week.  Cotton hospital gowns.  I'm for 'em.

Alright, now that I probably sent some of you running with my TMI ramblings, I'll get to the food-blog-part of this post.  I was in charge of dinner earlier this week and I knew that I wanted a salad alongside the meal.  Growing up, we were not a salad-eating-family.  We would have one about once in a blue moon, but it was not something common.  And when we did have it, you can bet it was iceberg lettuce with cheddar cheese shreds and Western dressing.

If you don't know what Western dressing is, then you clearly are missing out on one of the most delicious and nutritionally devoid dressings known to mankind.  It's similar to French dressing but with more sweetness.  It forever will be associated with summer, grilling and water balloon fights for me.

Since getting my own apartment, I have become a regular salad eater.  I make up my own dressings and   throw basically anything in my fridge into the mix.  Definitely not the salads of my childhood.  This one that I made for my family used up some apples and romaine we had chilling in the fridge.  We served it on the side, but it could be eaten on its own for a meal, too.  Just add a piece of bread and fruit, and you've got yourself a meal!

Romaine with Apples, Walnuts and Craisins


For Salad:

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1/3 cup craisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup goat cheese

For Dressing:

Dijon mustard
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil


For the dressing, mix together the mustard and balsamic vinegar.  While whisking with either a fork or small whisk, pour in the olive oil.  Mix until emulsified.  

For salad, mix together all of the ingredients.  Pour in the dressing and toss to coat.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bistrot Margot

Earlier this week I went to Old Town for dinner with my family.  For those of you not from Chicago, Old Town is a really fun and hip neighborhood in the northern part of the city.  They have all of these quaint little shops and some of the best food in the city.  For dinner, we chose French restaurant Bistro Margot for its delicious prix fixed menu.  For only 20 dollars, you get a three course meal with a beautiful atmosphere.  Definitely one of the city's steals.

One of my favorite things about Bistrot Margot is the decor.  You feel like you walked into some French bistro from the 1950s when you walk inside.  The lighting is soft and the era's premiere crooners warble in the background.  


Of course, a restaurant can have all the decor and atmosphere in the world, but if the food isn't good you won't want to go there.  Luckily, Bistrot Margot proves to have both a pleasant atmosphere and phenomenal food.

I started off with the Bistrot Salad.  Typically, I find starter salads pretty boring, but this one completely blew me away.  I could have eaten only this for my entire meal and have been a happy camper.  The best parts were the large chunks of bacon.

For my main course I ordered the Tilapia au Noix.  I was going to get the Steak Frites originally -- I was at a French restaurant, after all - but changed my mind.  Oh boy, am I glad that I did.  The tilapia was served over a mound of diced beets, carrots, celery and asparagus.  The dish was finished off with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

I paced myself during the first two courses by only eating half, which left me with more than enough room for dessert.  I ordered the Bread Pudding, which was amazing.

My mom ordered the Chocolate Terrine, which looked good, but I'm glad I went with my bread pudding.  I'm not a huge raspberry fan, and the terrine was studded with raspberries.

My dad ordered the profiteroles, because if they are on the menu you can bet the man will order them.

Overall, it was an absolutely delicious meal.  And for only 20 dollars?  You really can't go wrong.

Visit the website for more information and a complete menu.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Recipe Redux: Curried Chickpea Soup

I am re-posting this recipe in memory of my lost curry powder.

My pantry is the definition of over-stuffed.  Every time I reach in to grab something I find some sort of spice plummeting toward my head.  The last casualty was my curry powder.  An entire glass bottle fell on my kitchen floor and shattered.

By the way, vacuuming is not the best way to clean up spilled curry powder.  It will only spread it all over the floor and make it even more difficult for you when you get on your hands and knees to wipe it up.  So, uh, don't do that.

This is one of my favorite recipes I've made with curry powder.  I know it's summer and all, but I still like a good soup now and then.  It's air conditioned indoors, after all!  So, make this in memory of my lost curry powder.  

Or because it's tasty.  Whatever.

Curried Chickpea Soup


1 can chickpeas
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup spinach or kale, chopped
1 tsp curry powder


Bring the stock to a boil.  Add the chickpeas and curry powder, and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Add the spinach or kale, and cook until wilted.  Stir in the lemon juice.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Coconut Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I had jury duty for the first time yesterday.

You can see my excitement.

 Truthfully, I was the opposite of excited to go and do my civic duty.  I saw it as something that took up my entire day with minimal benefits.  Surprisingly, I actually ended really enjoying myself and discovering a personal benefit that I never expected.

I have a very abstract view of what being a lawyer will be like, mostly accrued from episodes of The Good Wife and Law & Order SVU.  Jury duty gave me a chance to really see what my future as a lawyer will hold.  While most of the other jurors found the case boring, I thought it was absolutely thrilling to watch these lawyers work.  It's verbal sparring in its finest form.

This entire experience has made me even more impatient to start law school.  I can't wait to immerse myself in my studies, and to one day be standing on the other side of the courtroom.

Speaking of law school, I had lunch with my future roommate earlier this week.  We talked through many of the living-together-topics, and my baking came up.  I told her that we would always have some sort of baked good in the house, and she definitely wasn't complaining!  Let me tell you, I am going to be so happy to have someone else to eat my baking besides me.

I made these last week for a friend's housewarming party, and they were a huge hit.  I only have a few left in the freezer and am trying to ration them so I don't finish them all in one weekend!

Coconut Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


1/2 pound butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soka
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups oats (any type)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until blended.  Mix in the vanilla extract.

Mix the flour mixture in with two batches, mixing until just combined.  Fold in the coconut and chocolate chips.  Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto a prepared cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Spiced Chickpea Tacos

I never used to like Mexican food.  Growing up, I would always complain when my parents would take my brother and I to the local Mexican restaurant.  My problem is that I don't like most of the ingredients in Mexican food.  I don't like tomatoes or sour cream.  I used to not like avocados.  And we all know my stance on cilantro.

And then I met Chipotle.

I know Chipotle is bastardized Mexican food, but it was a wonderful way for an older me to be reintroduced to Mexican flavors.  I found that I didn't mind heat in my meals, guacamole is one of mankind's greatest inventions and cilantro still tastes like soapy dish water.  

Despite my newfound love of Mexican food, I don't make it very often at home.  I'm not confident with the spices and rarely have the proper ingredients on hand.  I picked up some tortillas from the grocery store this week, though, and used what I had to make some fun vegetarian tacos.

Spiced Chickpea Tacos


1 can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp brown sugar
8 small corn tortillas
1/2 cup lettuce, chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas.  In a bowl, mix the chickpeas with the oil and spices.  Spread on a baking dish and bake 10 minutes.  Toss the chickpeas, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Microwave the tortillas for 15-20 seconds.  Pile on the chickpeas, lettuce, avocado and cheese.  The tacos go well with cold beers and Grey's Anatomy marathons.

Do you guys like Mexican food?  If so, do you ever make it at home?