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Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

7/6/18


It's hot.  Everywhere.  The weather map of the United States looks like an Oompa Loompa.  No one wants to spend time in their kitchen baking over a hot oven in this heat.  Not even Oompa Loompas, and they like sweets!  However...

This chocolate pie is so good that it's worth it.

Sorry.  Put on a flowy moo moo, drink a lot of water and quickly bake this giant, warm, gooey cookie pie, best served with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.  It's crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, really easy to make and the perfect treat to serve a bunch of Oompa Loompas.  I can't stop with them... guess I should go watch the movie (surrounded by air conditioning).  





Happen Bakers: Michelle Rosen

6/26/18

Today, I'm introducing a new series called Happen Bakers, where I will feature young, female bakers in an attempt to shine a new light on not only the craft, but the people who call it their passion.  
I hope you enjoy it!    


When I was young I loved to bake, but while I did so at home frequently, there wasn't much to inspire me outside of my own kitchen.  Junior competition shows did not exist on television, and there were no YouTube channels full of baking tutorials to follow.  Celebrity chefs weren't what they are today and basically, I didn't have a role model other than my own mother and grandmother.  Thankfully this didn't stop me, and I learned what I could from family, cookbooks and trial and error!    

Nowadays, it's very different for aspiring bakers.  There seems to be inspiration everywhere you look, and not only that, the entire attitude around baking (and cooking) has changed.  For women especially, what perhaps was once viewed as a domestic task is now a creative accomplishment.  I've been particularly interested lately in our youth (for now I am an old person), because with so much negativity in the world I think it's important to focus on the hope of our future.  This quest led me to Michelle Rosen: a 17 year-old girl living in Long Island, New York.  She just finished her junior year of high school, is researching colleges with an interest in communications and media, and in between doing regular teenage things, happens to be a gifted baker!  

She is, in pun speak, a Happen Baker.  BAM.

Michelle came over and made these Apple Cider Cupcakes with a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream, and they were perfection.  Honestly, none remained by the end of the day!  She traveled with her own piping tools and even taught me tips along the way (for example: insert your piping bag into a tall glass which will help you to easily fill it with frosting).  At one point, I felt like I was watching my younger self in the kitchen which made me feel happy and ancient at the same time.      

Check out Michelle's YouTube Channel, where she posts new videos every Tuesday.  Did someone say, S'Mores Dip??  Yep, I'll be making that at some point this summer (or in 5 minutes).  You can also find her on Instagram.  And, I interviewed her below... so read on to learn more about this incredible young woman!  I can only hope my girls grow up to be as focused, bright, creative and kind as Michelle.  She inspires me, and I know she'll do the same for you.            



When did you start baking?

I started baking when I was three years old.  My mom and I would bake our Christmas Cookie Cutter Cookie every year.  This recipe really started my love for baking.  My mom really inspired me and she encouraged me to take an advanced baking class on the weekends when I was 12.   

How did you learn?

I learned so much from my advanced baking class.  I learned so many different cake decorating techniques and learned how to make many difficult recipes such as breads and pies from scratch.  I've also learned so much from watching bakers on YouTube such as Rosanna Pansino.  

What do you love most about it?

First of all, I love anything sugary!  I love getting to eat everything I bake.  But I also love the creativity involved, especially when it comes to cake decorating.  


What's the most challenging thing you've attempted?

French Macarons.

What's your dream dessert?

The type of cake I get every year for my birthday...it's a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and a vanilla custard filling with pretty fondant designs on top. 

Name 3 celebrities you'd like to bake with...

I would love to bake with Rosanna Pansino, Ethan and Grayson Dolan (aka The Dolan Twins) and Shane Dawson.   

Most epic kitchen fail?

Once when I was making French Macarons, I wrote down the wrong measurements for the sugar and the cookies kept coming out flat.  They looked like wafers!  I also forgot to beat the meringue until it reached stiff peaks.  My merengue was at soft peaks which also ruined the cookies.  I tried this recipe about three times and kept trying to film it for my YouTube channel, but it took me all that time to realize I was putting in the wrong amount of sugar.  


Any favorite songs you listen to in the kitchen?

Any Kid Cudi song, Billie EilishLogic... it all depends on my mood.  

Favorite food site or YouTube channel?


When you're not baking, you are...

Playing Fortnite with my best friend, spending time with my family, playing tennis, drawing, painting and reading.  

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would hope to have a successful YouTube channel with millions of subscribers where I can inspire and teach my craft to the world and be a positive role model for young kids who watch me.  I hope that my YouTube videos can bring happiness to people's lives.  I hope to have a beautiful house with a white kitchen, a pool, and a tennis court!  I would love to travel to as many places as possible - I would really love to go to Australia!  And maybe even go on a world tour to meet subscribers of my YouTube channel!


*I'm excited to introduce more young bakers to you as I continue this series!  If you would like to submit yourself or anyone you might know, please email me: siri@siriouslydelicious.com

Smashed Chickpea Sandwich

6/14/18


Little known fact: I wrote most of my cookbook at Starbucks.  We were on vacation for some of the process, and occasionally I would stay up late and get things done with the TV on mute (and wine in hand), but ultimately, I found I was most productive at a coffee shop.  Prior to the writing portion of the book, I designed a small office space in my house and was psyched to use it.  However, every time I sat down, I'd find something else to do...like color coordinate my bookshelf or update my calendar.  Occasionally, I would find myself wandering downstairs to organize the tupperware drawer.  My point being, I could NOT focus at home, ever.  So, the nice baristas at Starbucks knew me, my drink, and I got to know all the other regulars who were there every day for whatever reason.  

THEN, a new coffee shop opened in town called For Five (I swear I'm getting to the sandwich part of this blog) and I haven't been back to Starbucks since.  I feel sort of badly about this.  Like I used all my new barista friends and then dumped them, high and dry.  Sure, I doubt they care, because after all they are Starbucks and serve millions of customers every day, but I still feel guilt because I always feel guilt.  Then, I add up all the money I spent on green tea lattes writing my book and that feeling dissolves.  STARBUCKS YOU OWE ME A THANK YOU CARD.  

Ok, so the sandwich.  At For Five, they make a Smashed Chickpea Sandwich that I was very excited to recreate at home.  It's essentially garbanzo beans, smashed, with greek yogurt, a little mayo, fresh squeezed lemon juice and some spices, served between toasted bread with whatever toppings you like (here: sprouts, cucumber and avocado).  It's a delicious lunch, and the beans provide a nice source of protein to a vegetarian dish.  Recipe below!  

*Side note: I find cucumbers completely worthless unless they are on a sandwich.  Sorry about it.        


Smashed Chickpea Sandwich
Makes: 4 

Ingredients:
1 15oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained
2 Tbsp greek yogurt
1 Tbsp mayonaise
Juice of half a lemon 
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted bread
Optional toppings: avocado, sprouts, sliced cucumbers

In a bowl, smash garbanzo beans with a fork or masher until desired consistency is reached.  Add the yogurt, mayo, lemon juice and seasonings and stir, tasting and adding more spices if needed.  Serve on toasted bread with toppings of choice!


Brazilian Cheese Bread

6/1/18


Have you ever been to a Brazilian restaurant and had these bad boys?  Do I sound really cool and hip when I say things like "bad boys"?  Anyhoo (there I go again), they are light and fluffy balls of goodness filled with ooey, gooey cheese.  Cheese Balls.  Best part?  They are gluten-free.  Way bester part (because I enjoy gluten)?  They are SO EASY TO MAKE.

I know what you're thinking.  How is baking your own cheese bread easy?  Just trust me.

I mean, look at the ingredients...


I count 6, and two of those 6 ingredients are cheese (Mozzarella and Parmesan).  No kneading, no rising, no effort at all.  Just a quick mix until a sticky dough is formed, a plop onto a baking sheet (wet your hands while you do this for less mess), and a perfect roll will form in your oven.  

They are best eaten warm, but you can easily reheat them later or the next day (or the next).  Please make them this weekend and then we can all be cheese ball experts!  

Recipe I followed HERE.   

Veggie & Chickpea Tacos

5/7/18



A couple of weeks ago, I had two of my sisters over for dinner.  They are vegetarian, gluten-free and one doesn't eat sugar, onions or garlic.  To say the least, I had to think carefully about what I served them, especially because I happen to be a meat-eating, sugar-toothed gluten lover.  It was a Tuesday night and naturally I was craving tacos, so I thought... veggie tacos!  For some added protein, I threw chickpeas into the mix.  I used corn tortillas (gluten-free) and resisted the overwhelming urge to add garlic (however did end up making crispy onions to serve on the side).    

I loosely followed this recipe from the lovely Baker Chick for the chickpeas and slaw (using bagged broccoli slaw instead of cabbage).  Then, I roasted some julienned zucchini, sweet potatoes and yellow onions in the oven (olive oil, salt and pepper, 400 degrees, 20 minutes or so) and added those to the tacos.  Finally, I *lightly fried sliced leeks in veggie oil until they got brown and crispy, and I sprinkled those on top of everything.  Queso fresco, avocado, radishes, hot sauce... done.

*I enjoy saying "lightly fried" because it makes it sound healthier when, in fact, there is nothing "light" about it.  I'm frying food, period.

These were SO tasty, and also filling.  I didn't miss the meat or the gluten (but maybe the garlic, because I have a problem).    



Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip

4/30/18


Well my friends, now that it appears spring blizzards are finally behind us, it's safe to start thinking about swim suit season.  Although, is it ever safe to think about that?  I just went online to look at a few, and the ones I like are backordered until August.  Excuse me??  Was I supposed to shop for swimsuits in January?  While I was eating hearty stews and drinking goblets of wine??  No thanks.  I guess I'll just drape myself in a fitted sheet and call it a day.  

However, if YOU found yourself a fabulous new swimsuit seven months ago, then maybe you're working on getting fit for those selfies by the pool (bahahaha... hahahahaha... HA, who does that?).  I have found the perfect snack for you.  This Spinach and Artichoke Dip uses greek yogurt in place of sour cream and much less cheese than traditional dips, yet it's just as creamy and delicious and the perfect vessel for all sorts of vegetables.  See?  Swim suit approved.        

One-Pan Sausage, Shrimp & Veggies

4/26/18


Ironically, leading up to the release of my cookbook, I haven't been cooking!  Is that actual irony?  I never really know, Alanis has me all confused.  Whatever it is, I do find it amusing.  We've had more take-out and meals that friends have graciously cooked for us in the last few weeks than we've had in a long time!  I should probably go ahead and add the pizza delivery guys to my will.

The truth is, I've been so busy trying to share what this cookbook stands for - which is that cooking should be simple, fun and delicious - that I've abandoned my kitchen in the process!  My kitchen is mad at me!  It's saying, "Siri, come back, you belong here..." because my kitchen talks, doesn't yours?

Therefore, to appease my talking kitchen and my family, I finally cooked dinner the other night.  I cooked it up, cooked it up real good.  And, surprise, surprise, I went with a simple, approachable, delicious recipe!  Can you tell I've been promoting my cookbook for the last month?  

One-pan dinners are my jam, if I was the type of person who said things like "my jam" - which I'm not.  They are easy, the flavors all marinate together, and clean-up is a breeze.  Here, I chopped up some veggies, added sausage and shrimp and a bunch of spices and, voila, dinner is done.  Serve it over rice, quinoa or pasta and you've got a yummy week-night dinner that you didn't slave over.  Perfect for those busy times which are, let's face it, all of the times.  Recipe below...    


One-Pan Sausage, Shrimp & Veggies
Serves 4-6
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, sliced
1/2 lb. shrimp (cleaned and deveined)
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a large sheet pan, add all veggies and sausage.  Place shrimp in a bowl.  In a smaller bowl, add spices and mix to combine.  Sprinkle 2 tbsp olive oil over sausage and veggies.  Add most of seasoning, reserving about a tsp.  Toss to make sure everything is evenly coated.  Add the remaining olive oil and remaining seasoning to shrimp, and toss to combine.  Place sheet pan in oven and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove and flip veggies and sausage.  Cook for another 10 minutes.  Remove, flip again and add shrimp.  Cook for 5 more minutes.  Serve over pasta or rice with freshly grated Parmesan.    

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