Easy Peasy Blueberry Scones

I used bon appetit’s blueberry scone recipe with a few tweaks. I used buttermilk instead of heavy cream and I think if anything it made them fluffier and less sweet which I love! I also added nutmeg for a little more depth of flavor and used fresh blueberries from our garden. We’ve been trying to grow blueberries for years without much luck but this year we have quite the crop so I had to showcase them in a recipe. I love this recipe because there are very few ingredients (no butter!), it’s simple and quick, and the result is comforting and beautiful. Enjoy!

  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup + 2tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour + some for dusting
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp old fashioned oats
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 lg egg yolk

{makes about 8 BIG scones}

  1. pre-heat oven to 400┬║ F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. zest the lemon on a microplane into a big bowl, add 1/3 cup sugar and rub these two ingredients together with your fingertips until they smell very lemony
  3. add in 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of the oats, all of the baking powder, salt and nutmeg and whisk to combine
  4. in another small bowl whisk together 1 1/3 cups buttermilk and the honey, this is a bit tricky but it will come together
  5. then add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined
  6. using a plastic spatula gently fold in the blueberries
  7. liberally flour your work surface, I used a big cutting board but you can use your countertop too; flour your hands as well
  8. transfer the dough to your work surface and from a square that’s about an inch thick
  9. using a sharp knife (rinse under hot water before each slice for cleaner cutting) cut an X then a + shape into the square so you have eight triangles
  10. using a slotted spatula transfer each scone onto the baking sheet
  11. in a small bowl whisk together then egg yolk and remaining 1 tbsp of buttermilk; brush this onto each scone
  12. sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp of both oats and sugar onto the scones

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Banana Ice Cream with Date Coconut Caramel

I’d been wary of banana “nice cream” for a while but I decided to give it a try the other night when I had an ice cream hankering but no ice cream. It turned out pretty good! It’s all about the toppings though.

{serves 1}

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp date coconut caramel
  • dark chocolate chunks
  1. take bananas out of the freezer and give them a quick minute to soften slightly
  2. in a small food processor blend bananas and vanilla extract
  3. blend until they reach a smooth soft serve kind of consistency but not too much, you don’t want it to turn into a smoothie!
  4. then scoop out and top with your favorite toppings! mine are date caramel and chocolate chunks ATM

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Healthyish German Chocolate Cake

My mom kept dropping hints about wanting German Chocolate Cake for her birthday so I thought I would make the best German Chocolate Cake she’d ever had! I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for the most part but free styled my own “frosting” with dates and subbed out the sugars for coconut sugar. I also used slightly bigger pans so I increased the cake ingredients by half. I don’t have 6 inch pans and I figured probably a lot of people don’t. You’ll probably have leftover date-coconut paste but it’s great for a cheese accoutrement or on banana ice cream! Since the cake was pretty much shades of brown I topped with some berries ­čÖé

{serves 8}

  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used scharffenberger chunks)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup hot coffee (I used Lion Coffee)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs, seperated
  • ┬á1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cocoa powder
  • 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 20 medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cups pecans
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • sea salt
  • berries for garnish (optional)

CAKE:

  1. heat oven to 350┬║F, line the bottoms of two 8 inch cake pans (or somewhere close to that size, I used heart shaped pans) with parchment paper, coat the bottom and sides with butter
  2. pit dates and soak them in hot water in a big bowl
  3. in a medium sized bowl whisk together chocolate and hot coffee until the chocolate is all melted. whisk in buttermilk; set aside
  4. in another medium sized bowl beat egg whites until stiff using (I highly recomend using an electric beater!)
  5. in a large bowl (use the same beaters, no need to clean them), beat butter, sugars and salt together until fluffy. beat in yolks and vanilla until smooth, then buttermilk/coffee/chocolate mixture
  6. sprinkle baking soda over and beat well to combine again. scrape down sides, add cocoa powder and flour and beat until just combined
  7. fold in a quarter of the egg whites to loosen batter. fold in the rest gently until fully combined
  8. divide between the baking pans, bake for 24-26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. set out to cool

DATE COCONUT CARAMEL:

  1. line a small baking sheet and spread coconut and pecans out evenly, bake for 10ish minutes, stirring occasionally until toasty and fragrant, let cool
  2. chop pecans coarsely
  3. in a small food processor blend dates, coconut, pecans, coconut extract and a dash of sea salt until paste-like

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Smoked Yellowtail, Baked White Bean and Roasted Tomato Salad

For anyone who thinks salads can’t be exciting dinners, I have to disagree. We’ve been focussing on dinner salads for the past couple of weeks. It’s quick, versatile, cheap and easy. This one was especially notable. We picked up some smoked yellowtail at Seaside Market and I kind of based the dinner around that. I used to bake beans like this in college all the time. I lived with three girls who all loved to cook and had similar tastes and this was one of our favorite drunk snacks. We’d all end up back in the living room after a night on the town and I’d inevitably toss together some white beans (cannellini beans) and nuts with some mustard, tahini and vinegar mixture and throw them in the oven- side note, I’m kind of known for my strange drunk snacks. Anyways don’t knock it ’til you try it, it sounds kind of funky but it’s quite good. Also roasted tomatoes are never a bad idea and of course I have unending fondness for soft boiled eggs <3

{serves 2}

  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 lemon
  • Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
  • a drizzle olive oil
  • ┬á1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 thyme sprigs, stemmed
  • 2 eggs
  • 14 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz smoked fish
  • pita chips (optional)
  • avocado ! (optional)
  • 3 handfuls mixed greens
  • 1 bell pepper
  1. pre-heat oven to 350┬║F
  2. soft boil eggs;┬áboil a small pot of water then turn it down to a simmer, add the eggs gently and cook for 6-7 minutes then remove w/ a slotted spoon and put in an ice bath for a few minutes –or hard boil them if that’s more your speed
  3. drain beans and transfer to a medium sized bowl; add tahini, mustard, balsamic, lemon juice, herbs and Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
  4. line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread beans on one half, then toss tomatoes in same bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil
  5. spread them on the other half of the baking sheet
  6. bake for about 30 minutes, checking and turning every so often after the first 15 minutes
  7. rinse greens and chop, divide between two bowls
  8. chop bell pepper and add that on top; slice fish and throw that in
  9. let the beans and tomatoes cool slightly when finished them add them to the party and lastly top with the egg and avo! great with a vinaigrette and maybe a glass of crisp rose

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Mean Green Pasta, with Goat Cheese!

 

I didn’t want to go to the store yesterday so I whipped up this pasta with all stuff we had in the fridge/freezer/pantry. I like this frozen Kale/Spinach mix from Costco, it’s great for smoothies and cooking! Soft goat cheese is a great base for sauces. It’s melts down so easily and pairs well with just about anything.

{serves 3-4}

  • 1 box Banza penne (or pasta of your choice)
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 5 cups frozen greens
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10 green beans
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • olive oil
  • parmesan and red pepper flakes for garnish
  1. mince garlic and chop onion, heat oven to 350┬║ F
  2. heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok and add garlic, onion and mustard seeds
  3. when the onion has turned opaque add the greens, you can use any frozen greens you’d like, squeeze in lemon juice
  4. meanwhile bring salted water to a boil for pasta (according to box instructions)
  5. when greens are heated add goat cheese and stir until it’s well incorporated
  6. cook pasta, toast pistachios for 5-7 minutes or until smelling toasty
  7. once the goat cheese is melted and stirred in, turn off heat and cover the sauce
  8. chop green beans removing ends, chop pistachios roughly and set aside
  9. serve green sauce over pasta, top with green beans, pistachios, red pepper flakes and parmesan

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Amped Up Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

We’ve been buying these h-amazing raisins at the Encinitas Farmer’s Market and I’ve been craving a good oatmeal raisin cookie. Oatmeal raisin cookies get a bad rap but I’m a big fan- when they’re good. These are not only good, but they’re also pretty healthy! No added sugar hurr AND they’re vegan. I didn’t do this on purpose it was just kind of a happy accident. They’re also super fast to make and require few ingredients so get bakin.

{makes 12}

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 apple sauce container
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 5 baby bananas┬á
  • handful dark chocolate chips
  1. pre-heat the oven to 350┬║ F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. in a large mixing bowl mix oats, apple sauce and raisins
  3. melt coconut oil in microwave or over the stove
  4. if your almond butter is on the drier side add some the coconut oil into it and melt that as well
  5. mix melted coconut oil and soft almond butter into the oat mixture
  6. add a generous dash of nutmeg and cinnamon and the chocolate chips
  7. slice the baby bananas and add those too
  8. then roll into small balls and space out evenly on the baking sheet
  9. bake 10-12 minutes and enjoy! great w/ wine or coffee

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Kale Salad with Chicken, Avocado and Mustard Vinaigrette

 

Kale salads can be really good or not good at all. The secret is massaging the kale and adding enough acidity and liquids so that the leaves relax a bit and it’s not just like, well, chewing on leaves.

{serves 2 or 1 hungry person}

  • 1 bunch lacinto kale
  • 1 handful dried cranberries
  • 1 handful pepitas
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 8 oz cooked chicken (I used some we’d bbq’ed last night but this is pretty much up to you)
  • generous dash of ‘Everything but the Bagel Seasoning’ (Trader Joe’s)- if you don’t know now you know- I put this stuff on everything
  • heaping spoonful capers
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 soft boiled eggs
  • truffle pecorino- or plain pecorino

vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp caper juice
  • a generous splash (or even a glug) of red wine vin
  1. cut kale along stems so you get a flap on either side, then slice it into small strips
  2. put prepped kale in a big bowl then squeeze the orange juice into the bowl and massage the kale, like I mentioned the acid from the orange juice helps break down the sometimes tough kale leaves so this is the most important step! Give it a nice massage
  3. bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan, bring it down to a simmer and gently slip your eggs into the water, leave simmering for 5-8 minutes (5 for a very runny yolk), then transfer to an ice bath (I suggest using a slotted spoon)
  4. in a small jar, bowl, or if you’re conveniently at the end of your mustard container, add dijon, caper juice and red wine vinegar and shake or stir until incorporated
  5. pour this vinaigrette over the kale situation and use tongs to toss
  6. then add pepitas, dried cranberries and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and toss once again
  7. let sit in the fridge to marinate; meanwhile peel eggs, slice chicken, avocado and pecorino
  8. when ready to eat assemble all these components on top of the kale and you’ve got yourself a kale salad!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Spring Orzo w/ Pesto, Favas and Asparagus

 

We planted fava beans in the beginning of the year and with our all of the rain we got they’ve taken off and grown over my head! They are super beautiful plants and these favas are so incredibly green, I just keep marveling at them. They are also available in lots of grocery stores and farmers markets now if you don’t happen to have a forrest of them in your front yard. This is a light pasta dish that we created to focus on the spring flavors.

{serves 4}

  • 1 pack (1 lb) whole grain orzo (or reg. orzo)
  • 8 cups chicken broth (or a mix of water and broth)
  • 1 1/2 cups fava beans (pods removed, with outer bean layer still on)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • 2 tbsp julienned mint
  • asparagus tips (remaining from pesto)
  • more asiago for serving

for the pesto:

  • 1/4 cup mint
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 lg garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 5 fat asparagus spears (cut off tips)
  • 2 tbsp grated asiago
  • tbsp olive oil
  1.  cook the orzo according to package instructions
  2. meanwhile remove fava beans from pods and boil for 30 seconds then move to an ice bath, let sit for 2 minutes then remove with a strainer and use your fingernails or a knife to peel outer layer off, use the same water to blanch asparagus for 1 minute, transfer them to an ice bath as well
  3. blend all pesto ingredients together in a food processor
  4. when the orzo is pretty cooled off stir the cream (if using) and pesto in
  5. serve and garnish with asparagus tips, fava beans, mint and more cheese!

 

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Cal Mex Breakfast

I love hash browns as much as the next person but I also don’t always want to stuff myself full of fried potatoes. So I came up with this baked sweet potato version. It’s simple, flavorful, healthy and goes great with all kinds of foods. I’m thinking of doing something Indian-inspired with them next.

  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt (jalapeno salt if you have it)
  1. pre-heat the oven to 350┬░F and line a baking sheet (maybe 2 depending on how big your sweet potatoes are)
  2. grate sweet potatoes on the large setting of a box cheese grater
  3. put the shreds in a big bowl and drizzle olive oil over, mix in all the spices with your hands then spread on baking sheet (s)
  4. bake for 40 minutes, remove from oven and turn with fork and flip around the sheets if your oven cooks kind of unevenly like mine.
  5. continue cooking for about 30 more minutes stirring with a fork occasionally, until starting to crisp and get brown
  6. serve with mashed black beans, a soft boiled egg, avocado, baked tempeh and lime wedge (pictured here) -these keep well in the fridge

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Ni├žoise Inspired Salad

 

My mom got me these sardines as a little treat. Because those are the kinds of gifts we give each other ­čÖé . So I made this ni├žoise inspired salad. It’s not really a ni├žoise because it doesn’t have olives, green beans or tuna but I replaced those with capers, cornichons, beets and sardines.

{serves 1}

  • 2 handfuls of greens
  • 1 soft boiled egg
  • 4 cornichons
  • spoonful of capers
  • 3 sardines packed in olive oil (we love matiz)
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • a couple of slices of leftover beet terrine (or just roasted beets and goat cheese)
  1. soft boil the egg (or a couple to have on hand); my theory is to boil a small pot of water then turn it down to a simmer, add the eggs gently and cook for 7 minutes then remove w/ a slotted spoon and put in an ice bath for a few minutes
  2. in a bowl put washed greens, sardines, sliced beet terrine (or simply slices of beets and crumbles of goat cheese)
  3. top with capers, cornichons and tomatoes and dig in!

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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