Mug cakes are great because I can make one serving and avoid the temptation to binge! They’re also made with just a handful of basic ingredients and take only a few minutes to throw together. There are endless variations. This banana cake version is delicious. It’s gooey and a little pudding-like in texture. It satisfies my sweet tooth and is a special treat. In future posts, I plan to share recipes for chocolate, snickerdoodle, and peanut butter versions.
Have you tried microwave mug cakes before? Share in the comments.
This rendition of creamed corn couldn’t be any easier and my family gobbled it up. It’s just corn, jalapenos, and cream cheese. But it tastes like so much more. The jalapenos give it a nice bite that hangs around in your mouth awhile, leaving a tingly warm aftertaste. The cream cheese and corn dampen the spiciness so it doesn’t overwhelm. I’m pretty sure everyone in my family went back for seconds. We finished every last bite!
I unexpectedly learned many ways to prepare wood ears (also called black fungus and cloud fungus) when my husband decided to rehydrate a whole package of them, not realizing it would turn into about half a gallon of shiny ear-shaped fungus! My affection for wood ears began one day in the office breakroom, when my colleague, “Sunshine,” was eating one of her many delicious smelling homemade lunches. I asked her about it and she told me the ingredients in her stir fry. She offered a wood ear for me to try. It tasted of the soy sauce and vegetables in her dish and had the texture of thin rubber, but in a really fun way!
At the end of the growing season I am always left with a ton of basil. A great way to preserve the leaves is to keep them in the fridge, covered in olive oil and salt. They will keep for many months this way. I use them in any cooked dish that won’t mind a little extra oil. They are great in a stir fry, mixed with roasted meat and veggies, or in one my favorite dishes, Ezekiel’s chicken.
Deb’s decadent hot chocolate mix lives up to its name. It gets the decadence from using dark chocolate in addition to cocoa powder. The dark chocolate is ground in a food processor or finely chopped so that it perfectly melts when you add hot milk. It’s not too sweet so you can really taste the chocolate, and it has a thick and creamy texture. I expect nothing less from Deb of Smitten Kitchen. She is my favorite food blogger and taste bud kindred spirit. This hot chocolate mix is definitely gift worthy and takes about 10 minutes to make. Deb has some ideas for cute packaging and mixing in other flavors on her site.
This cranberry sauce is nothing like the cranberry sauce from a can. It’s sweet and tart and has the texture of a soupy jam. My mom made this for Thanksgiving every year when I was growing up. For me, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it. I didn’t like it much as a kid, but fell in love when my tastes buds grew up. It’s too good to eat only on Thanksgiving! The recipe is very quick, easy, and delicious.
Preserved radishes are so simple to make and can elevate a dish from ordinary to gourmet with very little effort. They soak in soy sauce and become crunchy, salty, and umami with a ginger kick. Ordinary cheese and crackers transforms into an appetizer that will impress your guests and delight your taste buds. I also like them in salads, on sandwiches, and in miso soup. The soy sauce ends up nicely flavored too, and can still be used in other dishes.
Fermented carrots are super yummy, like carrot pickles. They make a great healthy snack, side dish, or addition to salad. They are packed with vitamins and gut-friendly bacteria. Different herbs and spices can be added to flavor them however you like. I often use dill, which gives them a familiar and approachable dill pickle-like flavor. This time, I used spicier ingredients with a Tex-Mex flair: hot peppers, garlic, onion powder, mustard seeds, and oregano.
We have a great source of local, organic mushrooms. Every week I have the privilege of picking up a couple of these beautiful portabellas at our local farm club. Invariably, I stuff them full of cheese and other complimentary ingredients. Cheese please, I chant!
This is a quick, easy, and always delicious dinner. Last night, I used cheddar cheese, refried beans, hot sauce, onion, and dill. It took less than 30 minutes, start to finish. I baked them in our mini convection oven, to save energy and heat up the house less.
This recipe for fermented peppers is my absolute favorite ferment. I make it with the abundance of peppers I grow in my garden each year. It works for any kind of pepper. I have used jalapeños, banana peppers, poblanos, and Rio Grande Golds, to name a few. They come out a bit like the pickled pepperoncinis that often come with pizza. I use them in sandwiches, salads, rice or quinoa dishes, and many other ways.
Fermentation is all the rage because of its wide array of health benefits, especially in providing probiotic bacteria that are good for digestion. This will just be a short delve into fermentation basics with some helpful links to explore.
Fermentation is a type of pickling. You put food in a jar, cover it in brine, and wait for the natural bacteria to digest the food, enhancing its vitamin content and providing an abundance of probiotic bacteria that will benefit your gut when consumed. You use a saltwater brine to preserve and protect the food while it ferments. This is different than vinegar pickles or any type of canned pickles. Vinegar contains different organisms that aren’t as good for you (they’re not bad though) or no organisms at all. Canning methods use submersion in a hot water bath, which kills the beneficial bacteria desired in fermentation. Pretty much any kind of fruit or vegetable can be pickled through fermentation. The result is tangy and sour. Think sauerkraut, kimchi, and traditional dill pickles.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.