Saturday, August 16, 2014

PB & J Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

I proudly present my employee cafeteria dessert hack.

We are fortunate to have a cafeteria at work.   To keep things interesting, we periodically come up with new and crazy things to do with the basic ingredients we have to work with....such as the person who floated a grilled Swiss cheese sandwich in their French Onion Soup.  That person was not me, but I do it now because it's brilliant.

This week it was sandwich day in the cafeteria and we lucked out that we had an ice cream sundae bar as well.   It's very rare to have cookies AND ice cream on the same day, so the minute I saw the big bowls of peanut butter and jelly, I knew what was going to happen.    One big, bad, PB&J ice cream cookie sandwich.

What You Need

2 cookies of your choice
Peanut Butter and Jelly
1 scoop of ice cream
nuts for garnish (we actually have these every day for the salad bar - one more win!)

What You Do

Spread jelly on the bottom of one cookie and peanut butter on the other cookie.    Put the scoop of ice cream on top of the cookie with the jelly.    Press the cookie with peanut butter on top.   Garnish with peanuts if you're feeling extra creative.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Hawaiian Pineapple Margaritas

Last week I had a margarita.

The end.

Great story, wasn't it?   Actually, the margarita was after our super long hike through the crater at Haleakala National Park.   I can't even say there is a technical name for the super long hike, because it's a couple trails put together, where you park one car at the summit and take the Sliding Sands trail past Holua Cabin to the Halemau'u trail head where you park the other car.    So you need at least two cars, meaning at least 2 people.   Would you really want to hike 11.5 miles through a volcano by yourself? 

Our intrepid hiking crew

The endangered Haleakala Silversword blooming in the crater

Anyway....after our hike, we stopped for lunch in Paia at Millagros where margarita happy hour was happening on the patio.    Li hing mui margaritas weren't on happy hour, but our server graciously had the bartender rim our regular margs with li hing mui powder and then, because we couldn't get enough, she brought a shaker to the table.

What is li hing mui?   It's a salty dried plum.   I had never had it, nor heard of it, before moving to Hawaii.   In powder form, it's popular to put on shave ice, candy, and fruit.    I bought some this week for the purpose of making cocktails.    Living in Hawaii, a pineapple margarita seemed in order.

What You Need

6-8 one inch cubes of fresh pineapple
1 cup pineapple juice
1-2 shots of tequila,  I used Sauza Gold
8 large ice cubes

li hing mui powder to rim the glass
pineapple for garnish

What You Do

To rim your glass, run a slice of pineapple along the top over the glass to give the powder something to stick onto.   Turn the glass upside down into a dish of li hing mui powder.  

Combine the pineapple, juice, tequila, and ice in the blender.   Use the blend (or ice crush)  setting until smooth.   Pineapple tends to froth up, so it will look very light and airy.   

Pour the margaritas into your glasses.     
This recipe makes 2 servings, depending on the size of your glassware.

What's your favorite type of margarita?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Kickin' White Bean Dip

I like food that is well-seasoned.    It doesn't have to be hot.   It doesn't have to be spicy.   It just needs to have taste.   There is nothing sadder than a big bowl of bland.   

When you make your own food, you have complete control: nutritional content, dietary restrictions, flavor, portion size.    So why not kick it up a notch?   

I just got back from a morning sail / reef clean up project and needed a snack to get me back on track after a morning in the sun.    And this is what I wanted!

What You Need

1 (15oz) can of cannellini beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce, I used low sodium
2 tablespoons hot sauce, your choice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground garlic (from a jar - or you can use a clove of garlic)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder, I love to use Penzys hot curry powder
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon lime juice

Remember:  you can always add more spice - you can start off using less hot sauce and curry powder if you'd like.    And maybe?  You'll want to add more.  

You'll also need something to dip;  pita bread, crackers, vegetables are all good.

What You Do

Every time I make hummus (or a cousin of  hummus, like this dip), I'm reminded how easy and cheap it is to make my own instead of paying $3-5 for a small tub of commercially made hummus at the store.   You just need a blender or a food processor to make it.    

For this dip,  you're going to throw everything in the food processor.    Process until smooth. 

That's it.   Mere minutes after you opened the can of beans, you're sitting down with a bowl of kickin' dip.  

By the way, I'm celebrating my nine month "Maui-versary" today.   If you're interested in what life is like in Maui, check out this post over on Traveler for Good:  Answering the Question "Are you happy that you moved to Hawaii?"

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