Em's Bytes

Greek Yogurt Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

DSC_3217

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here–life took over for a bit. Don’t worry, I’ve still been cooking. In fact, I’ve written a few pieces for Daily Burn including my favorite White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Crostini [recipe]:

08364615aa1a02214817cc72d5f47606-1

But for today, I’ll leave you with a fantastic muffin recipe that will knock your socks off. Thanks to my co-worker for the recipe suggestion, I made these Greek Yogurt Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins in an attempt to use up overripe bananas sitting in the freezer. Damn are these satisfying. The yogurt is a great binding ingredient, replacing much of the oil but retaining the moisture. I added some chocolate chips, because, well…everything is better with chocolate. You only live once, right?

DSC_3220

Makes 20 muffins, or 40 mini-muffins

Adapted from Averie Cooks

3 medium ripe bananas [frozen bananas work well, just make sure you let them thaw]

1 large egg

1 5.3oz container banana Greek yogurt

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pans. 

In a large bowl, mash banana. Add egg, yogurt, oil, sugar, vanilla and spices. Whisk well. Add the remaining dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin tins until three-quarters full. Bake for 20-22 minutes (10-11 minutes for mini muffins). A toothpick should come out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Tuscan Orzo Salad

Image

I’m happy to announce that I will be doing some writing for DailyBurn, a fitness start-up focused on helping you get to a better, stronger, healthier you.

If you’re looking for a way to use up some of summer’s last bounty, check out this Tuscan Orzo Salad. Combining ripe tomatoes with fresh arugula and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese is my version of bliss.

DSC_1926-2DSC_1924-2

Barb’s Cookies: The Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Image

I almost didn’t want to post this recipe, since it is such a treasured one. Here’s why:

18 years ago, my family moved into a new house. The neighbors across the street, Bob and Barb, brought over housewarming cookies. They were so delicious that we asked for the recipe. We’ve since given a batch of these divine treats to almost every new neighbor, including most recently a young couple up the street.

Image

Now, what makes these cookies so damn delicious? Coffee.

Image

And two kinds of coffee!

Instant espresso dissolved in water, as well as ground coffee. Sounds gross, or overwhelming in flavor, but believe me (and the other 8 neighbors) that the minute amount of coffee actually brings out the chocolate flavors.

Image

Here’s the treasured recipe:

Makes 5 dozen cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in a few droplets of water

1 tsp ground coffee

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips [splurge here! I used Ghiradelli]

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. 

Cream butter, sugars, egg and vanilla. Beat in flour, salt, powder, soda, and coffees. By hand, mix oatmeal, chocolate and walnuts into the dough. 

Place tablespoon-sized drops of dough on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to cookie rack.

Image

Thai Cabbage Salad

Image

Need a salad that will keep for the work week? Want a salad that is too good to last through the work week?

This Thai Cabbage Salad does the job.

With a slight kick and a peanutty crunch, the salad is best a few hours after making it, creating a tantalizing slaw-like salad. Check out the recipe at Epicurious.

Image

Summer Dinner

DSC_1529

DSC_1534

DSC_1543

DSC_1533

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

DSC_1555

Father’s Day reminds me of the weekly Sunday drives I used to take with my Dad to visit my grandparents, NPR always filling the car. Upon arrival: a freshly baked tray of cookies.

But peanut butter also always reminds me of my father–it seems to be a mainstay in the kitchen, whether for sandwiches or a simple dollop straight from the spoon.

DSC_1559

And so, I tested out these Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, with a recipe thanks to Tasty Kitchen and Two Peas and Their Pod. With no butter, these seemingly healthier cookies maintain a great chew thanks to the peanut butter and oatmeal. I used high-quality chocolate for extra oomph–a worthwhile decision. With few ingredients and batter that is hard to resist eating out of the bowl, I was pleased with their simplicity. To say the least, I am a fan.

DSC_1563

San Francisco

IMG_2508

I just returned from San Francisco, a city that makes it very easy to gain five pounds from eating delicious foods and then torturously makes you burn it off by walking its steep hills. One such delicious food is Bi-Rite‘s ice cream. But that’s an obvious answer.

A turn off of busy, food-laden Valencia Street will bring you to Esperpento, a cozy tapas place.

IMG_2511

The Gambas Al Ajillo are tasty, full of garlic and white wine. But, surprisingly, my favorite dish was the Asparagus A La Plancha. With just a sprinkle of sea salt and a squirt of lemon juice, this simple dish stole the show.

IMG_2513

Other things I learned on my trip:

IMG_2506

Dining al fresco is the best kind of dining, particularly when wine, cheese, and local blueberries are involved ;

IMG_2500

Earth Balance Coconut and Peanut Spread is dangerously good (and even better when spread on slices of banana);

IMG_2521

The Mill, a new venture formed by Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker Bread which was recently mentioned in Food+Wine, is fabulously simple with its thick slices of bread topped with favorite spreads like butter and cinnamon sugar.

If I can say anything at all, I know I ate well while in San Francisco.

Mom’s Greek Salad

DSC_1314

This past month has been one of the most tumultuous months of my life, from a terrifyingly close call at the Boston Marathon to my graduation from *gasp* college. The vast number of uncertainties and changes in my life is daunting. One thing that will always be a constant in my life is this Greek Salad with Hardboiled Eggs and Homemade Croutons.

DSC_1315

Greek Salad with Hardboiled Eggs and Homemade Croutons

Salad

4 cups romaine or butter lettuce

1 bunch scallions, chopped

4 cherry tomatoes, chopped

3 button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 hardboiled eggs, sliced

Black pepper, to taste

Dressing

2 tbs fresh lemon juice

1.5 tbs neutral oil

Croutons

Stale bread, such as ciabatta or French baguette

Olive oil

Sea salt

Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice and cut bread into cubes. Place in a large Ziploc bag and drizzle olive oil over the bread. Close bag and shake croutons. Place bread onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

For Salad, place vegetables in large salad bowl. Spoon feta on top, and then add hardboiled eggs and croutons. Grind black pepper on top. 

In a small dish or salad dressing container, mix lemon juice and oil. Pour over salad.

DSC_1324

Darwin’s Ltd., Harvard Square

Image

Out and about on a gloriously sunny day, I stopped at Darwin’s Ltd., a cramped yet cozy space in Harvard Square. The lines were long, our stomachs were grumbling, and yet the wait was so worth it. Breakfast sandwiches are served until 3PM on weekends, and while they looked delicious, I opted for The Hubbard Park sandwich on 7-grain bread. Slices of avocado, carrot, tomato and sprouts contrasted the sweet apple and spice of honey mustard. Add cheddar cheese for even more taste bud wildness. 

Gennaro’s at 5 North Square

Image

Insalata Verde

Image

Linguine Scampi & Clams

Gennaro’s at 5 North Square

North End, Boston, MA

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 76 other followers