Homemade Flour Tortillas

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I’m horrible at posting delicious recipes in time for holidays. I think I went through about half of my day not remembering it’s Cinco de Mayo.

It’s the friggin fifth of mayonnaise. HOW COULD I FORGET?! I live in Texas, for crying out loud. I should be knee deep in amazing mexican food, margaritas and tequila! Instead, I’m on my couch watching Moneyball.

BUT to my defense, I did tell my hubby that I wanted at pina colada at 9am. I thought it was noon. I’ve been up since 5:30am, leavemealone.

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Anyway, if you’re like me and you’re a plight on this world and forgot to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (which Mexico doesn’t even celebrate), make up for it by making homemade tortillas. Or as my very German mother would say “tor-tee-lee-ahs.”

Make em and then stuff them with barbacoa, roll them into enchiladas, fill em with good stuff for quesadillas or shove some chocolate peanut butter and strawberries inside and call it dinner. I’m so grown up.

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Homemade Tortillas
makes 12 – 7″ tortillas

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cups canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 cup hot water

Note: I used 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 all purpose and they came out yummy. A bit thicker but definitely still tasty!! The original recipe yielded 12 tortillas but my dough weighed 650g and it was just easier to divide that evenly into 13 tortillas (at 50g each).

Instructions:

In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder with a whisk until completely combined. Add the oil and mix it together with your fingers until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the hot water and resume mixing with your hands until it begins to come together. Lightly flour your surface and knead for a minute until you get a smooth ball of dough. Put your dough in the same bowl you mixed the dough in, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes (mine ended up sitting for about 2 hours, oops). You can make this dough up to a day in advance and just let it rest, covered in the refrigerator.

Divide the dough into 12 balls (if you have a scale, weigh the dough and divide accordingly). Flour your surface and pat the ball down a bit with your hands to create an even, flat surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough flipping and adding flour as needed until it is uniform in thickness and about 8-inches in diameter. Cook on a hot, ungreased skillet over medium-high heat. Working one at a time, cook until brown blisters form on one side, then flip. Wrap them in a clean dish towel to keep them warm, before serving.

Keep in mind that these don’t have preservatives and junk so they won’t keep for weeks like store bought ones will. Aim to eat them immediately or at least within a day or two.

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen

My First Foodie Pen Pal

…and I’m posting two days late. That’s me, pretty much always late. BUT, better late than never everyone I always say.

The Lean Green Bean

For those of you who don’t know what the heck a foodie pen pal is, it’s only the greatest thing since indoor plumbing. Basically, every month you are paired up with another foodie and you send a package containing food to share and you in turn receive a food filled package from a different foodie. Then you tear into your goodies and post about how you ate everything in a matter of 2 days. Ok, maybe that last part is just me. No lies.

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My foodie gifter was Cat from Breakfast to Bed. She’s certainly a girl after my own heart. She was bubbly and kind and somehow, even though we never met or even really conversed for that long, she hit the bullseye with her box to me. All I told her was that I had no preferences (so decisive, I know) but I didn’t like bacon. But that I DO like food from all over.

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My box contained: a very sweet and hilarious note. No worries Cat, everyone spells my name wrong even when it’s right in front of them ;)

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Pesto. I swear, she just KNEW somehow that I’ve been mulling over buying some to try!

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Turkish Caramels. These are basically nutty, chewy taffy. Delicious.

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Lard bread. It sounds weird but I bet it’s delicious. Unfortunately, thanks to Houston’s humidity, the loaf arrived moldy :( I was super bummed. Like, super super bummed. I envisioned it to be perfect sliced thick, slathered with avocado and tomatoes. Ugh, bummed.

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A Russian cake. This bad boy is about the size of a salad plate and it lasted about two days. I couldn’t stop picking at it. I want to go to NY JUST for a fresh slab of this cake. No lies. It is basically a cake version of babka. And smart me didn’t realize that I photographed the bottom of the cake until I was already halfway through eating it. Classy.

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And last but definitely not least, an authentic NY black and white cookie. I took a bit the second I unwrapped it. then I remember I was supposed to photograph the contents and quickly grabbed my camera so that I could continue eating this cookie. It was heaven. Now I want to visit NY even more.

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I loved every bit of food in this package. A successful first experience!! I’m positive that I thanked you profusely already, but I just want to say thank you once more. And I sincerely hope we can keep in touch. You know… in case I need a place to crash once I come to NY ;) Save a spot for me on the couch!!

If you’re curious as to what I sent to my foodie pen pal, head on over to Lindsay’s blog, Running with Tongs! I hope she loved it!!

Brownie Batter Pancakes for One

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I am seriously doing a 903 things at once right now.

That may not sound like a lot to you but I’m not too used to multi-tasking and handling a bunch of stuff all at once. I like to give each task my undivided attention. Multi-tasking usually freaks me out.

But today I am trying to find the perfect birthday treat for one of my great friends, make my gma some candied pecans, clean the kitchen, figure out something quick to have for breakfast, look around on Facebook (cus it’s super important, duh!), write this post while uploading pics to my Flickr. See? 903 things! I don’t exaggerate here, I don’t need the drama. And I have to do all that by 11am. It’s 9:18am now. Oh gosh, my life is overrrr!!!

Ahem.

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Good thing that I have the best recipe EVER for THE MOST AMAZING QUICK FIX PANCAKES THAT WON’T KILL MY WAISTLINE!! Yes, I’m yelling at you. I want you to understand the sheer awesomeness of these pancakes. These come together super quick, they are chocolatey delicious, a perfect breakfast (or dinner, or dessert) for one, and the best part about these is that you get about 8 silver-dollar sized chocolate pancakes all for yourself and it won’t kill your diet!!! How can anyone NOT get excited about that?! Now, go chow down on some pancakes!!

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Brownie Batter Pancakes
Yields about 6-8 silver dollar pancakes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (30g) *
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 Tablespoon of Splenda Granulated sugar (or 1 Tablespoon of sugar)
pinch of salt (optional)
1 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (I used this)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 1/2 Tablespoon nondairy milk**

*There are several options for flour choice, choose what works for you: spelt flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, or even a gluten free AP flour.

**Same goes for the milk, feel free to use what you have: soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk (oh, YUM) or plain ole dairy milk, I don’t judge ;)

Instructions:

If you have a pan that can handle the heat (such as a cast iron skillet) set a non-stick pan or skillet over medium-low heat. (I do this before anything else so that once the mix is done, the skillet is preheated and ready to go. I’m impatient, clearly.)

In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together very well.

In a small measuring cup, stir together all the wet ingredients.

Add the wet to the dry and mix until the dry ingredients JUST disappear. You don’t want gummy pancakes.

If you haven’t already, preheat your skillet on medium-low heat and let it get nice and hot (flick some water on the surface of the pan, if it sizzles it’s ready to go!) Pour a very small amount (about 2 Tablespoons, one cookie scoop) worth of batter onto the center of your skillet and let it cook until bubbles start to form and the edges are set. Flip them, taking care not to break the pancakes (they are fragile) and cook them for 30 seconds – 1 minute longer.

Stack, throw on every topping you can think of (not really. Try: powdered sugar, caramel, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, sliced berries, nuts, dried fruit, your favorite yogurt and granola, or maple syrup) and dig in!!

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adapted from Skinny Taste

Servings: 1 • Serving size: 6-8 silver-dollar pancakes (one recipe without toppings) • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 172 • Fat: 2.4 g • Carb: 32 g • Fiber: 6.7 g • Protein: 5.3 g • Sugar: 4.7
Sodium: 241.7 (without salt)

Rum, Brown Butter and Pecan Brownies

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If you haven’t been here long, you probably don’t know that I’m a Texan. If you have been here for a while, you’re probably tired of me making references to the fact that I’m a Texan. Not the kind that wears cowboy boots with skirts and rides to work on a horse named sugar, but a Texan no less.

I can’t help it, I’m a Texan. It’s a pride unlike any other.

You won’t find better Tex-mex anywhere, steaks seem just a bit bigger, beautiful bluebonnets transform regular hills into waves of blue, seeing cows from the side of the road is perfectly normal, margaritas are a staple, BBQ is an art form, the night sky isn’t more beautiful anywhere else, and pecans run rampant across this great state.

Texas, I made you brownies. Brownies you wouldn’t mind calling home. They have rum and pecans in them, you’d be proud!

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Do yourself a favor: if you hate rum or aren’t crazy about the strong flavor of rum in your baked goods, don’t make these. There’s a half cup of rum in these, they are not for sissies. If you don’t like pecans, you can sub for any other nut just be sure to toast them or the flavor will get lost. If you don’t like browned butter, you’re in the wrong place ;-) BUT, you can just as easily use regular melted butter in place of browned. If you don’t like chocolate… we can’t be friends anymore*. If you want to smother these brownies in vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and a drizzle of dark rum for good measure… I think we can be the best of friends.

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Rum, Brown Butter and Pecan Brownies
yields 12-16 brownies

Ingredients:

100g unsalted butter, cut into 16 small pieces
175g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
190g (about 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
75g (about 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/4 pecans, toasted and chopped

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8×8″ pan with foil or parchment paper, taking care to leave an overhang on at least two sides for easy removal later. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter, swirling the pan occasionally until all the butter has melted. After several minutes, the butter will begin to bubble and this is your sign to really pay attention to your butter. The milk solids will separate: stir it frequently at this point, so that the milk solids do not settle at the bottom of the pan and burn (there is no saving burned butter, trust me). Continue stirring as your butter changes from a light brown to a medium brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat. Let it cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, toss in your chopped chocolate and pour the browned butter over it (swirl the bowl a bit to make sure all the chocolate pieces are submerged in butter). Let it sit for about 3 minutes. Using a whisk, mix the chocolate and butter together vigorously until it is satiny and combined. Add the sugar and whisk until combined. Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. When both eggs are in, give it a good vigorous whisking for about 10 seconds. Add the rum and mix well.

Sift the cocoa powder, flour and salt together over your chocolate mixture. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula until almost combined and then toss in pecans and fold until combined. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 mins, begin checking early to ensure your brownies don’t overbake.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan until room temperature. Remove the brownies from the pan using the overhang, cut and enjoy!

Adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes

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Some of my favorite things.

I know you probably came here for something to put you into a deep sugar coma.

Candy, stuffed in a cookie, deep fried and dipped in chocolate. Or something along those lines, right?

Well, I don’t have a recipe for you today.

I DO, however, have something ridiculously sweet to share with you!!

As I was perusing Etsy (as I do all too often!) I chanced upon an adorable shirt shop: Dressing On The Side.

I stayed and ogled her shirts for an embarrassing amount of time, looking at each shirt and proclaiming “Ooooh I want that one too!!” after each viewed shirt. And if I had an endless supply of moneys, I guarantee you I would own each shirt. Even a dude shirt or two. Let’s be honest here people, dude shirts are just more comfy simply because they’re dude shirts.

But let’s get down to brass tacks…

I want this. Now.

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Holla!!

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Let’s make whoopie. pies.

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Dude shirt + bear + tower of cupcakes = win!

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See what I mean? Too cool for school. Ahem, I’m a Large. In case you were wondering ;P

I don’t want to take up any more of your time. Head on over to Dots shop and peek at her tees.

And because she is super awesome, she has offered a 20% discount to all Whimsical Cupcake readers. THAT MEANS YOU!!

Add your shirts to you cart, click on “apply shop coupon code” and type in whimsicalcupcake to get your 20% discount. Ta-da!! Enjoy your awesome shirts!!

<3 J.

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

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I hate doing the same things over and over again.

Repeating myself because you didn’t listen to me the first time I said that awesome thing I said. Getting up after just having sat down because I forgot my water on the counter. Painting my nails AGAIN because I always seem to paint them when I am the most antsy I could ever possibly be. Laundry. Hearing the same commercial on three different radio stations, play some tunes man!

But, there are exceptions.

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Playing my song obsession of the moment twice in a row. Or three times, who’s counting? Finding an adorable outfit and wearing it twice in the same week. Rewinding a part in a movie that made you laugh so hard you almost peed just so you can almost pee again! Playing that level of Angry Birds until you get all three stars.

And most importantly, making a recipe that you just LOVE over and over again. And in my kitchen, that’s a pretty big deal. Recipes rarely get a repeat performance. So many recipes, so little time.

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But once in a while I make something delicious that I can’t stop thinking about. Like these bars.

Soft and chewy oatmeal bars with a great hit of banana flavor, speckled with chocolate chips, baked and served warm. Don’t let the oatmeal fool you, these are breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, if you ask me! Customize them to your liking: add peanut butter cups/chips, toss in some nuts, top with ice cream, whatever you like!

Make these and eat them. Then make them again. Then eat them again. Again. What a lovely vicious cycle.

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Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Yield about 12-16 servings

Ingredients:

1 very ripe banana (mine was 115 g)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8″ glass baking dish with foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the banana with a fork and then add the oil and brown sugar. With a whisk, mix well until there are no sugar lumps left.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oats until combined. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Pat batter down evenly into the prepared pan with the rubber spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden and the center looks set. Let cool before cutting into squares. Or throw caution to the wind and eat them warm straight from the pan. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Eat, Live Run

Skillet Brownies

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It’s gloomy here today. I’m talking pitch black at 9am kind of gloomy, rain all day kind of gloomy, flash flooding kind of gloomy, tornado watch kind of gloomy. And I’m ok with that.

You see, I’m one of those people that live in Happy Shiny Fun Land and things are always rainbows and butterflies and nothing goes seriously wrong. Chances are we are not going to get washed away in a flood. We’re probably not going to get swept up by a tornado and crash land in Oz either. Although I wouldn’t mind.

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But it’s that kind of day today. Upon waking, I exclaimed that I’m never getting out of bed (aloud, to myself because I’m weird and it made me feel more validated) but then my bladder quickly reminded me why that was not to be. Sadness.

So, I begrudgingly slumped out of bed and began my day. But I quickly realized that all was not lost. Oh, no. I had a tiny skillet and I knew just how to use it. And then there were brownies. Which I teased you with on Instagram.

These are as close to perfection as you can get: fudgy, chocolatey, quick and since they are baked in a cast iron skillet, everyone gets a SLICE of brownie (which includes the gooey center and the crusty edge all in one piece. WIN!!) No trying to shove foil in all the right places in your square pan and accidentally poking your finger through the foil and cutting yourself (true story, folks!). Just you and your pan, the way it was meant to be.

So if your day is washed away like mine, or if you actually live in Happy Shiny Fun Land, make these. Make them now.

And share with someone you love, it’ll make your heart feel all warm and mushy.

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Skillet Brownies
Yields one 10″ skillet of brownies (8-10 servings)

NOTE: I halved the recipe and baked in a 6-inch skillet for 28 minutes and it was divine. Top with some ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry. And sprinkles, if you’re fancy.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the sugar and eggs together until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.

In an oven-proof skillet (I used cast iron, you can use coated enamel, stainless steel, whatever you have that’s oven-proof) over medium heat, add the butter and cream until it begins to lightly simmer and the butter completely melts. Reduce heat to low and stir in the chocolate for one minute. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes and stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture looks satiny and smooth. Let sit another 5 minutes to cool.

Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into sugar mixture, whisking the entire time until completely blended. Gently fold in the flour with a rubber spatula and stop mixing once the flour just disappears.

Pour batter back into skillet, and using a rubber spatula scrape down sides if needed and smooth the top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Slice and serve warm from the skillet. Or go family style and hand everyone a spoon and dig in. Enjoy!

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Recipe from Pass the Sushi