theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

S’mores Graham Treats (similar to Rice Krispie Treats but different!) October 21, 2012

Filed under: Dessert,Snack — theboxexperiment @ 6:56 pm
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I know its been a very long time, almost a year. But it’s been a crazy year full of new roles at work and year 1 of grad school. On the grad school note, I am posting tonight instead of working on a paper. It currently seems like a good use of my time  🙂

I found this recipe on Pinterest and expect it to a big hit with my students. It was originally from the Country Cleaver blog- check her out!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (10 oz) Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips + 1 handful  for topping (this seemed like a lot of chocolate chips, next time I’ll probably use less)
  • 1 box (12 0z) Golden Grahams Cereal
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Spray a  9×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large non-stick pot over medium heat, melt butter.
  3. Add in marshmallows and stir together with butter until marshmallows have melted and become creamy.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Gently stir in Golden Grahams until everything is evenly coated.
  6. Mix in 1 cup of chocolate chips.
  7. Spread and press mixture into sprayed baking pan.
  8. Sprinkle remaining handful of chocolate chips on top of the treats, lightly press into top of treats to make sure they stick. Place into fridge for 10 minutes to cool.

Slice into bars and enjoy.

 

Vegan Brown Sugar Blondies February 21, 2012

Filed under: Dessert,Snack — theboxexperiment @ 5:00 pm
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I found this recipe while searching vegan/dairy free blogs. I’ve convinced myself this recipe is quite healthy (please don’t make me accept the truth 🙂 ). They are absolutely fantastic, JEM loved them. I am bringing them to school as well, hopefully the kids find them just as yummy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup margarine OR coconut oil, softened
  • 6 ounces coconut milk or soy yogurt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups white flour, spelt flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 8 ounces chocolate chips (chose dairy free if you want these to be truly vegan)
  • Sprinkles (again, if you want these to be vegan make sure you buy vegan sprinkles)

Directions:

  1. With a mixer, beat together the margarine, yogurt, and brown sugar.
  2. Add the baking powder, salt, and vanilla.
  3. Mix in the flour until just combine.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Press into a lightly greased 9×9 baking dish, top with sprinkles.
  6. Then bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges of light golden brown.

Enjoy!!!

 

Original post can be found at: http://www.cheekykitchen.com/2012/02/vegan-brown-sugar-blondies.html

 

Homemade Pesto July 7, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Snack,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 9:54 pm
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Earlier this summer, we’ve planted 3 basil plants that have really taken off. We have a lot of basil, definitely more than we can use for just the 2 of us. I made a test run of homemade pesto, it turned out fantastic so I am definitely going to make another bigger batch to freeze.

Ingredients for Small Batch

  • small bunch basil leaves (~1 cup)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic chopped (depending on how much you like garlic)
  • 1/6-1/4 cup of macadamia nuts (most people use pine nuts but they were way to expensive at the grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup  extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
Steps
  1. Wash the basil leaves with water, dry in colander.
  2. Place basil leaves, nuts of choice, and salt into food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and the parmesan to the food processor. Pulse till combined.
  4. Add the olive oil and pulse till joined (the longer you run it, the smoother it will be).
 

Cake Pops June 22, 2011

Filed under: Dessert,Snack — theboxexperiment @ 11:29 am
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JEM read an article about cake pops and became pretty excited about making them. So, I told AbEm about them and she got also got excited. What’s a woman to do when 2 people in your house are excited about a desert? Get them the means to make them and then put them to work. That is exactly what I did, helped them prep, found a recipe, and then directed 🙂 Cake pops are somewhat time-consuming and definitely messy. But well worth it, JEM and AbEm had fun making them and had fun eating them (so did I!).

Ingredients

  • 1 box of cake any flavor you like (we used chocolate- I have heard it is denser so the balls hold better to the stick…it was also what we had in the house at the time)
  • 1 can of frosting (or if your more skilled at baking have the time, make your own. We used cream cheese frosting but you can use any flavor you like.)
  • chocolate for melting
  • popsicle sticks
  • sprinkles
Steps
  1. Make a 13Ă—9 cake.
  2. Let it cool. Crumble the cake and mix in 1 can of frosting.
  3. Throw it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. After refrigerating, roll the mixture into balls.
  5. Place a sucker stick into the top of each cake ball. (If you have a styrofoam block, you can hold this step until after you dip them in chocolate. See step 10)
  6. Put them back into the refrigerator for another 15 mins-24 hours.
  7. Once your ready to finish making them, start melting your chocolate. (We used a microwavable variety- Baker’s.)
  8. Dip and swirl each pop into your candy melt.
  9. Once you’ve got an even coating on the cake pop, roll them in sprinkles or sprinkle on top.
  10. Place upside down on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper (for easy cleanup). If you have a styrofoam block- you could stick the pops in there and there avoid the flat top they’ll get from sitting on a cookie sheet.
  11. Put back into the fridge until the chocolate hardens.
  12. ENJOY
 

Potato Salad May 29, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch,Snack,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 11:13 am
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It’s officially summertime and with summer comes barbecues, picnics, and hot weather. That can only mean grilling and cold salads. I made our first batch of potato salad yesterday and it turned out pretty well. I never remember what I put into it, so I’m here to share with you (and give myself a permanent record!).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs of potatoes (red, white, yukon…)
  • 1/4 cup of mayo
  • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 yellow or red onion or scallions
When I made this I was using 5 lbs of potatoes, so the proportions might be slightly off.
Steps
  1. Wash and cut potatoes into similar sized pieces.
  2. Put in a pot and fill with water until the potatoes are just covered.
  3. Bring potatoes to a boil, once boiling lower the temperature till its lightly boiling. Keep on heat for ~15 mins, until potatoes are tender but not mushy. (If you stick a knife, it should go in and slide off easily.)
  4. Drain and fill pot with cold water. Let sit for a few minutes, drain and rinse with cold water again.
  5. While the potatoes are boiling, chop the pepper and onion into small pieces. (Onion to add flavor so you can omit if you don’t like it, peppers to add color and flavor)
  6. Mix the mayo and dijon mustard.
  7. Once the potatoes are slightly cool, mix the potatoes, peppers, onion, and mayo/dijon mixture together until the potatoes are coated.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. At this point you can serve immediately or you can store in the fridge for up to a day. (Making this a great make ahead dish!)
  10. Enjoy!!
 

Apple Bread May 4, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Dessert,Fruit,Snack — theboxexperiment @ 9:16 pm
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This recipe is amazingly good and amazingly unhealthy. It’s a recipe that I brought with me from home, though Mom doesn’t have it so I’m not sure where I originally found it. You shouldn’t mess too much with the ingredients in baking recipes like you can with cooking recipes, baking is more about chemistry than cooking it. So this post is the original recipe in all its unhealthy glory. As I made the bread tonight I adjusted the measurements of the sugar and the oil to make it slightly healthier, if it turns out just as good I will update with a “better-for-you” recipe.

Note: this will make 2 loaves.

Ingredients

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 c. fine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. vegetable oil**
  • 2 peeled, cored, and chopped apples (I always use 3 but it’s a lot of apple.)
**A good replacement for oil in any baking recipe is applesauce. It can be replaced in a 1:1 ratio with the oil. Ex: the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, you can sub in 1 cup of applesauce. In baking oil helps to keep the muffins/cake/bread moist, from what I understand applesauce will keep the moistness without leaving an apple-y taste.
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. If needed oil bread pan (don’t do this on non-stick pans!!)
  3. Mix the dry (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon) ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Mix the wet (sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil) ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir till joined.
  6. Add the chopped apples and mix until just combined.
  7. Spoon into bread pan.
  8. Cook for 60 mins (1 hr).
  9. Enjoy!!
UPDATE: I used 1.5 c of sugar and 3/4 c. of vegetable oil + 1/2 c. of water and it is fantastic!!!
 

Falafel March 26, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Snack,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 10:15 pm
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This has been a draft for a while but we’ve finally made falafel! I made it tonight for my parent and kid sister, Moo Moo. I made the big error of mixing up the amounts for cayenne vs. chili powder so it turned out more spicy than it should have. I must admit to feeling pretty bad; mom and Moo Moo aren’t huge fans of spicy food. My dad is and both JEM and I are, but it was a bit rough regardless of ones level of spice love. Lesson of the night: pay attention to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (or 2 tablespoons of dried)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 1 teaspoon of chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of flour

Steps:

1. In a blender or food processor: put garlic, onion, and parsley.

2. Blend until smooth. Place in a mixing bowl.

3. Put drained chickpeas in blender or processor until they look like bread crumbs (~10 pulses). Place chickpea crumbles into the bowl with the onion/parsley/garlic mush.

Tip: Don’t pulse too much or it will turn into a paste which is awesome for humus, but not for falafel.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients except the flour to the bowl with the crumbles and mush and mix well.

5. Add the flour bit by bit until the mixture isn’t wet and can stay together when you try to make it into a ball.

6. Place the mixture in the fridge for about half an hour. This will remove any extra moisture and will help the falafel keep their shape when you put them together.

7. Pre-heat oven to 350*

8. With a teaspoon, scoop out some of the mixture. You can make them round balls or disks.

Normally we do balls, but tonight I tried disks and actually like them better when you make a sandwich.

9. . Bake  for 25-30 minutes, until they are golden brown.

I flip mine over after about 17 minutes.

Generally when baking this won’t become firm like the falafel you think of from a mediterranean restaurant. A bit mushier but definitely just as yummy.

Frying them will get you closer to the consistency that you expect.  I have once or twice but it seemed a) not the safest, b) time-consuming, and c) unhealthy so I started baking. But for those of you who have want to try it: Heat ~3″ of oil  in a deep wok or pot ( vegetable or peanut) to 375*, test 1 ball (if it falls apart add more flour). Cook up to 6 at a time a few minutes on each side or until golden brown.

This will go fantastic over a garden salad or as a sandwich. We serve them with pita bread, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, and a tzatziki sauce.

We make our own tzatziki and are slowly refining it. It’s good, but can definitely be better.

In a bowl add:  3 cups plain Greek yogurt, 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped cucumber, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of chopped dill (if you enjoy dill), 1 teaspoon of salt (that’s at most–it’s better to under salt than to over salt). Mix and serve.