Monthly Archives

March 2011



March 24, 2011

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I am blown away by you all. Your kindness and generosity in light of recent events blew me away, and I’m thrilled to say that together we raised $230 for the Red Cross to go towards disaster relief in Japan!

Thank you, so much, to everyone who donated and placed bids on these baked goods. I will be contacting winners today to get the ball rolling. The winners are:

My Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies: Kate for $40

Sarah’s Oreo Cheesecake Cookies: Lauren for $25

Kristina’s Spring Flower Sugar Cookies: Monica for $25

Marilyn’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: Joni for $65

Lauren’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars: Monica for $50

Kristen’s Chocolate Chip, Toasted Pecan and Dried Cranberry Cookies: Jennifer for $25

Back tomorrow with a breakfast recipe you need to try this weekend!



Blog Bake Sale for Disaster Relief

March 22, 2011
Can I be completely honest with you? 
I’ve been more than a little nervous about this blog bake sale. It’s my first attempt at anything of the sort, dependent on the generosity of the readers of Espresso and Cream. I was more than a bit afraid that it was a silly idea, that no one would be interested in donating or bidding on the baked goods donated. But when some of my awesome readers volunteered their baking expertise with such enthusiasm, I realized it was totally worthwhile. 
Here is what you need to know. Bidding is now open and will go until Wednesday, March 23rd at 10 p.m. Bids for each item will start at $15 with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross for disaster relief in Japan. If you’re interested in bidding on one of the items listed below, send me an e-mail ( letting me know how much you would like to bid and on which item. I’ll update the blog as often as possible to let you know where the bids are at and will announce the winning bidders on Thursday, March 24th!
Winning bidders will be contacted within the week about where they would like their baked goods sent and how payments can be made. 
Thank you so much in advance for your generosity, support and willingness to help a country in such great need of our help right now. 

I wanted to kick this bake sale off by donating two dozen of my favorite Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re chewy and crispy at the same time and the chocolate drizzle puts them over the edge of deliciousness. 

BID: $40.00

Sarah over at Dragonfly Nurse is donating two dozen of her Mint Oreo Cheesecake Cookies. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never even attempted to bake a cheesecake. The whole process just scares me! So cookies like these would really come in handy.

BID: $25.00

I wish I was as creative as Kristina from Kristina’s Confections. She is donating a dozen of these Spring Flower Sugar Cookies for one lucky bidder. This picture alone is enough for me pull out my pastry bag and get to working on my piped flower skills. 
BID: $25.00

Marilyn (aka my amazing mom) is famous for her oatmeal raisin cookies. People come from miles away to eat cookies at her house, and today she is donating two dozen of her Outstanding Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

BID: $65.00

Lauren from Keep It Sweet is donating a pan of her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars. Amazing, right? Lauren is an outstanding baker and creates the most wonderful desserts on her blog. I’m positive these won’t disappoint!  
BID: $50.00 
Kristen from Chocolate Covered Kristen is donating a batch of her Chocolate Chip, Toasted Pecan and Dried Cranberry Cookies. This is one hearty cookie, packed with all sorts of delicious ingredients. This girl doesn’t skimp on ingredients, either. It’s only the best – Ghiradelli – for these babies. 
BID: $25.00

Roasted Garlic Bread

March 21, 2011

When I was sick a couple weeks back, my love for bread and butter was renewed. Bagels, English muffins, toast, the only thing I really wanted to eat was toasted bread and butter in various forms. Typically, I steer clear of bread and pasta that aren’t of the whole wheat variety. But as I learned while I was laying on the couch, unable to cook anything else, I realized that sometimes nothing but good old white bread will cut it.

Growing up, we never ate much garlic bread. Actually, come to think about it, I don’t think my mom ever made garlic bread for dinner, which is probably why I never really developed a taste for the stuff. Maybe it has more to do with the fact that most garlic bread is made with either garlic powder, which always comes off as overly salty and slightly artificial.

So when I found myself with a baguette and a head of garlic I thought it was high time to give garlic bread a bit of an upgrade. Roasted garlic mixed with creamy butter, spread atop bread and topped with coarse salt, fresh cracked pepper and smoky paprika.

If you’re new to roasting garlic, be prepared for a treat. It’s amazing what a drizzle of olive oil and 40 minutes in the oven can do for a humble clove of garlic, and in turn, a loaf of bread. Instead of giving off a sharp, pungent flavor, roasting garlic creates a rich, sweet paste that can be spread onto crackers or bread.

Roasted Garlic Bread 

*1 medium-size baguette or ciabatta loaf, halved lengthwise
*1 head garlic
*Olive oil 
*3 Tbsp. butter, softened
*Kosher salt
*Black pepper
*Paprika (optional)

*Preheat oven to 450°F.
*With papery skin intact, cut the top 1/4 portion off the top (skinnier end) of the garlic head, exposing some of the garlic cloves inside. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and wrap completely in aluminum foil.
*Place foil packet in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from oven and cool until able to be handled, about 15 to 20 minutes.
*Squeeze garlic cloves out onto a plate. Discard papery skin. With a fork, mash the garlic until smooth. Stir garlic and butter together until well combined.
*Spread garlic butter onto bread halves. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and paprika, if desired. Bake on a baking sheet for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and slightly crisp. Slice and serve immediately.

Happy cooking!


High Protein Health-Nut Banana Bread

March 18, 2011

I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more protein into each meal and snack I eat. After becoming vegetarian, I knew that finding new protein sources was going to be crucial to my success.  Each day I try to drink a protein shake filled with fruit, Greek yogurt flies out of the refrigerator, and I go through peanut butter faster than I want to admit.

And although I enjoy scrambled eggs for lunch or dinner quite often, I can never get myself to eat them for breakfast. It’s got to be on the sweet side for me, without causing a whole bunch of guilt and a sugar crash after. That’s where this banana bread comes into the picture.

Yes, another banana bread, despite the fact that there are already two recipes for it on the site. But this bread is delicious and healthy. It’s not your grandmother’s banana bread. No, it’s filled with yogurt, protein powder, flax seed, whole wheat flour and peanut butter for a hearty dose of protein and fiber. And with only a 1/2 cup of sugar in the entire loaf, it has a mildly sweet flavor that won’t weigh you down.

High Protein Health-Nut Banana Bread

*3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
*5 tablespoons butter, melted
*1/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (I use Dannon Light and Fit) 
*35-40 grams vanilla-flavored protein powder (I use Pure Protein Vanilla Whey Protein)
*1/4 cup sugar
*1/4 cub brown sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 cup ground flax meal
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 cup whole wheat flour
*2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
*2 tablespoons milk 

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil; set aside.
*In a large bowl, beat together the bananas, butter, yogurt, protein powder, sugar, brown sugar and eggs. Beat until well combined. Add in baking soda, salt vanilla extract, cinnamon and flax meal. Stir until combined.
*Beat in flours until just combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the batter. Transfer remaining batter to loaf pan. Stir peanut butter and milk into the reserved batter and stir until combined. Spread peanut butter batter atop batter in loaf pan. Run a knife through to evenly distribute peanut butter batter layer.
*Bake for 50 minutes, until golden brown on the surface. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Happy baking!



Time For Travel

March 17, 2011

Whirlwind 48 hours of travel for work: Check.

Managing to stay well-hydrated and getting the recommended servings of fruits and veggies both days: Check. (Thank you CIBO Express and the great little vegetarian-friendly restaurant in the Minneapolis airport!)

Coming home and trying a new recipe, only to have it fail: Check.

Back to the drawing board. Hope you enjoy these little snippets from my trip.