Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY Refrigerator Deodorizer

I don't know about you, but I love it when my refrigerator is fresh and clean. I've used the traditional box of baking soda to keep smells in check in the refrigerator before, but I like this do-it-yourself deodorizer better. I think it works better than baking soda too… it uses ground coffee beans. I always loved the smell of coffee. I can remember going to the super market with my mom as a kid and my very favorite aisle to walk down was the coffee aisle. I just loved that smell. The coffee also absorbs unpleasant odors in your refrigerator.

DIY Refrigerator Deodorizer
1 small mason jar
1 coffee filter
enough ground coffee beans to fill the jar

I used a small, short mason jar for this project with the widest mouth I could find. This allows maximum area to absorb smells.

This is so simple… Place coffee in mason jar. Place coffee filter over the mouth of the jar. Twist on the ring portion of the lid only. Trim excess coffee filter. Done!

Shake the jar every so often to release more of the smell. Replace the ground coffee beans every couple of months.

Enjoy your fresh and clean refrigerator!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gluten-Free Banana Muffins with Pecans & Toffee

Here's a twist on my go-to banana bread muffin recipe. I decided to try some toasted pecans and toffee bits rather than the mini chocolate chips I typically use. They are a perfect breakfast treat!

Gluten-Free Banana Muffins with Pecans & Toffee
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup toffee bits, plus extra for sprinkling on top


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Using an electric mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, canola oil, and sugar together. Add the eggs and bananas and mix. Add the the flour mixture slowly and stir until just combined. Stir in the chopped pecans and toffee bits.

Evenly divide the batter into the 12 cups of a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Sprinkle extra toffee bits on each muffin before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt

I've seen a few recipes on Pinterest for cookie dough yogurt, so I decided to give it a try. I used a Yoplait vanilla yogurt because that's what I had in my refrigerator. I think it would work a bit better if you use Greek yogurt because it's typically thicker. You could also substitute peanut butter if you prefer. This is a protein-packed treat that you can enjoy without too much guilt (even for breakfast)!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt
1 container yogurt (plain or vanilla)
2 tablespoons almond butter
pinch salt
a couple drops of vanilla
1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Stir all ingredients together and enjoy!

Hint: If you're using plain yogurt (rather than vanilla), add a bit of sugar or honey to sweeten.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Crab Deviled Eggs

Here's a twist on the traditional deviled egg. Mark made these for lunch today and they were delicious. This would be a great way to use those colored Easter eggs you'll have in a few weeks!

Crab Deviled Eggs
6 eggs, hard boiled*
1/4 cup lump crab meat
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 cornichons, chopped**
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
about a teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning (for garnish)

*Here's my method for hard boiled eggs (learned this one from my mom). Place the eggs in a medium pot, cover with water, top with the lid and cook over medium heat. When the water starts to boil, turn the heat completely off. Leave the lid on and set a timer for 12 minutes. Allow the eggs to simply sit in the hot water for 12 minutes. Then pour the hot water out of the pot and run cold water over the eggs. Store cooked eggs in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

**Cornichons are little mini pickles. You'll find them in the aisle with the pickles and olives at your local market. If you don't have cornichons, you could substitute dill pickles.

Now… to make the crab deviled eggs…
Cut each egg in half lengthwise. Remove the cooked yolks and place in a medium bowl. Stir in the crab, mayo, cornichons, dijon, and sat until creamy. Transfer the crab mixture to a large ziplock bag or a piping bag. Snip off the corner of the bag to for a hole about 1/2 inch in diameter. Pipe a bit of the crab mixture into each egg white. Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning on each egg.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

California Roll Salad

Have you ever tried to make sushi at home? I have. It's not easy. Getting the rice nice and sticky… cutting fish and vegetables into tiny strips… warming the nori (seaweed) so it's flexible enough to roll… then trying to roll everything tightly together… ugh! This is salad is waaaay easier, but will still satisfy your craving for sushi until you can get to your favorite sushi bar (mine is Wasa Sushi - locations in Irvine and Newport Beach). 

California Roll Salad
1/2 cup white rice (cooked)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce if desired)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup carrot, shredded
1 cucumber, cut into strips
1 avocado, diced
1 cup imitation crab, shredded
2 scallions, green parts only, chopped
2 sheets toasted nori, torn into pieces
2 tablespoons pickled ginger
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, salt, oil, soy sauce, and fresh ginger. Mix dressing into the rice. Top the rice with all remaining ingredients. Toss lightly to combine.