March 22, 2014

The Sweet {Tooth} Life has moved!

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Guess what?!  The Sweet {Tooth} Life has moved!  It is only the beginning and it will be a while before everything here is moved over there, but I'm so relieved to finally have the content moved and hosting and domain taken care of.  This is just a short update (there will be a long post on this later ;) but here is the new link:

So, you can come here, to the blogspot blog (it IS prettier at the moment!) but it won't be long before you will automatically be redirected to the new, so you can go ahead and practice using the new one. ;)

Thank you guys!

March 21, 2014

Toffee and Coffee Banana Cream Pie

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When I get excited, you can bet money there is going to be some dancing involved.  We are talking adrenaline rush that leaves no option but to jump and spin all over the kitchen.

Things like volleyball 
and blogging 

and pie. 

Definitely pie. 

Just wait, after one bite of this, you will be dancing, too.

Guess what else makes me dance?  Pandora serves as the source of all my happy dance music. It is official, I am your average, life-revolving-around-apps American.  First Foodgawker, now Pandora. 
I guess Pandora has the real purpose, too.  It helps majorly with studying. My mind works so that having one thing to concentrate on in addition to my books is actually helpful.  It gives my brain less options.  Now, I cannot do lyrics.  Because then I start thinking about the lyrics.  And it can't be a movie score.  Because then I start thinking about the movie. But give me Piano Guys, Lindsey Stirling, and the occasional Frozen soundtrack (because we can all make exceptions when it comes to Frozen) and studying time is good!

I really just shared that last paragraph to let you all know, I don't use Pandora to dance around the kitchen all day. That would like free Zumba on steroids - just no. 

But I do make pie. 

You might need Zumba on steroids after this one. Totally worth it in this case. 
I didn't actually eat any, bit I did have some dairy free pudding and pie crust, and WOW, was it sweet. This is not for the faint of heart in terms of sweet teeth.

If you know me, you know I don't do recipes that take a while and require a lot of hands on.  Pies often require a lot time and energy (aka the crust.)  So I used a frozen, pre made pie crust and my prep work was 10 seconds.  And the crust turned out perfectly flaky and crispy and buttery.  Beat that.

The filling also uses a short cut called pudding mix.  I didn't have time to make a homemade pudding, so I stuck with what I knew worked.  Then I stirred chopped bananas and toffee baking bits into the pudding. 

If you get anything from this post, buy Heath's toffee baking bits.  I love 'em and use them ALL the time.  (this isn't a sponsored post)

Finally, we have our coffee whipped cream.  I like making whipped cream from scratch because it is so easy.  There is only one ingredient and you just beat it for 3-4 minutes until soft peaks form.  Then you stir in your sugar and flavoring (in this case, coffee) and serve!  *for the coffee, you can use two tablespoons of strong brewed coffee, or dissolve instant coffee into two tablespoons of hot water.  The more instant coffee you use, the stronger your whipped cream will be*

Toffee and Coffee Banana Cream Pie 
Recipe Source: The Sweet {Tooth} Life 
Yield: 12 slices 

1 frozen pie crust
1 package instant banana cream pudding mix (4 serving size)
2 cups milk
1 large banana, chopped 
1/2 cup toffee 
3/4 cup whipping cream 
2 tablespoons hot water 
1/2 - 1 teaspoons instant coffee (adjust to taste)*
Thaw and bake crust according to package instructions.
Let cool completely. Set aside. 
Prepare pudding by whisking mix and milk for 2-3 minutes. 
Chill for at least 30 minutes. 
Meanwhile, beat the whipping cream until peaks form. 
Dissolve instant coffee in hot water and add to whipped cream. Beat again until combined. Set aside. 
Remove pudding from refrigerator and fold in banana and toffee. 
Spread pudding over crust. 
Spread whipped cream over pudding. 
Serve, or refrigerate until serving.  Also refrigerate leftovers.

*for the coffee, you can use two tablespoons of strong brewed coffee, or dissolve instant coffee into two tablespoons of hot water.  The more instant coffee you use, the stronger your whipped cream will be*

March 19, 2014

Blogging: What Is Going On?

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Hey everyone!

So, you might be wondering why the color scheme, header, and stuff is constantly changing. 

If I had a shorter answer (like, I'm just bored!) I would give it to you.

I'm trying to move to Wordpress and right now, I'm just trying to find a person to transfer this Blogger blog to a self hosted Wordpress blog.  Every day is a test of patience, waiting to see if that person emailed me back or not.  Once I decide to do something, I want to it to happen as soon as possible.

I'm learning nothing in blogging works that way!

To keep myself from going crazy, I've been doing lots of research.  On one side, it is great this is taking longer than I thought because I have learned SO much about Wordpress, Blogger, self hosting, and the works.  Buuuuut it is also testing my patience.  Which means I'm kind of a pain in the neck right now.  Sitting and waiting makes me feel unproductive and out of it.  I am Type A and I hate that.

So, while I was perusing Pinterest on moving from Blogger to Wordpress tips, I came across a post encouraging you to pin layouts, color schemes, etc. that you think you want for your new blog.  Finally, something I can do right now!  It has been a lot of fun and I am really enjoying it.  And now I'm testing out what I found and think I like on this blog. 

Feel free to offer feedback, tips, ideas about moving, hosting, designing - I'll take them!  Just wanted to let you know if the header changes between visits, you aren't going crazy.  I just am ;)

Vegan and Flourless Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

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Remember these cookies?

I loved them so much, I made them into bars.  And I doubled the chocolate.

You are welcome.

I've been a major peanut butter and chocolate kick recently.  I think it is all I have been eating.

Oh yeah, there is spinach too, but chocolate and peanut butter have taken over.

If you have to ask why, then go and bake a batch of these and then we can talk. 

Good deal?

I made my Healthy Reese's Fudge which was arguably much healthier than an actual Reese's, but it still wasn't quite what I wanted in a "creatively healthy" chocolate peanut butter dessert.  Ever since I made those aforementioned peanut butter cookies from chickpeas (and had success!) I couldn't get them out of my mind. 

Beans + peanut butter + sweetener = shockingly good.

So this time, I added a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder and spread a dairy-free-from-scratch-chocolate on top.  Peanut butter fudge cookie bars meets super smooth chocolate.

I'm good at this pairing up thing, huh?

Speaking of cocoa powder, I about had withdrawals the other day.  Since I can't have regular chocolate chips, I've been using cocoa powder and sweetener all.the.time.  I told one of my friends I eat 1/2 cup a day.  That might be an exaggeration, but only slightly. 
When I got out my cocoa powder container and had to bang it on the counter to get the last teaspoon out (note: don't try this at home - cocoa powder blows everywhere!) it ranked as one of my top cooking crisis's.  I live, sleep, breathe chocolate (NOT cocoa powder, already tried that.  Doesn't work) and besides, peanut butter needs a friend.
My awesome Dad went to the store and bought me a can of cocoa powder. 
{He's pretty awesome.  He doesn't even like chocolate.}

My cocoa powder is well loved and is used twice in this recipe.  First, in the base, but the dominant flavor is still peanut butter.  Don't worry, there are undertones of cocoa throughout every bite.
And then there is my favorite part!  That topping tastes like I melted chocolate chips and poured it over the top.  But it is only coconut oil, honey, and (yep) cocoa powder.
Are you mind blown?  I still am!  I think it is the coolest thing!  Because of the coconut oil, it solidifies at room temp and becomes like a slab of chocolate.  On top of a slab of peanut butter fudge bar.  You can store these at room temp, but I highly recommend refrigerating them.  It guarantees that the peanut butter layer stays moist and fudgy and the top layer remains smooth and firm. 
Please believe me when I tell you that this doesn't taste like beans.  It tastes like peanut butter and chocolate fudge.  You do bake the base, but it remains so fudgy that we can safely call it fudge.  The beans and peanut butter combine to create a filling and satisfying dessert that tastes like dessert!

Vegan and Flourless Peanut Butter Fudge Bars
Recipe Source: The Sweet {Tooth} Life
Yield: 12-16 servings

Peanut Butter Bars:
1 can (15.25) fully cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey *maple syrup for strict vegans*
1/4 teaspoon each, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Chocolate Topping:
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 350.
Rinse chickpeas in cold water.
Blend in a food processor until mostly smooth.
Add honey and blend again.
Add peanut butter and pulse a few times.  Don't blend too much or your peanut butter will seize up.
Remove blade and stir in baking powder, soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
Spread into a lightly greased 9x9 pan.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool.

Related Recipes:

Vegan Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This post might be linked up at any of these parties.

March 17, 2014

Salted Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Sweet whole wheat muffins with a tender crumb and melty chocolate chips!  The salt on top is optional, but highly recommended as it brings out the chocolate - oh, and there is no butter or cow's milk; these are dairy free!

I am addicted to Foodgawker.
It is so fun to look through all the beautiful photos of creative food!  Anytime I need inspiration, I go there.  It promises quality pictures and a wide variety of recipes.  And there is no weeding through hundreds of the same recipe on Pinterest because it happens to be incredibly popular.  Don't get me wrong, I am also a major Pinterest junkie, but Foodgawker makes my little food blogger heart very happy.
I found this recipe from Pretty Simple Sweet and learned so much from her post!  She revealed all the secrets to a bakery style muffin.  And as you can tell, they work!

Go read the whole post (her photos are really pretty as well) but I will share the one trick that stood out to me.  It makes perfect sense and works like a charm! 
Want tall, domed muffins?  Begin baking them at a higher temperature and after a few minutes, lower it to the temperature. This way, the muffins rise quickly and the outside edges will set faster than the center, causing the muffin to have a peak.  Then, they can finish baking at the lower temperature so the edges don't get too brown.  I don't like flat muffins, I mean, that domed top is the best part!  Sometimes, I'll just eat the top part ... please tell me I'm not the only one.

Ah, yes, the top part.  That is straight kosher salt.  You could definitely use coarse sugar, we just never have it on hand.  And I love the way it looks on baked goods. 
If you aren't into the sweet and salty, omit it or use coarse sugar, I won't judge.  I bet it would amazing!  But I love getting the mini chocolate chips and the salt together.  It really brings out the chocolate and adds that addictive saltiness.  My family was split on this, so really, it is up to your personal preference.  It isn't the make it or break it ingredient, but it is what makes this recipe different. ;)
Thanks to canola (or coconut oil) and dairy free chocolate chips, these are friendly to any lactose intolerant diets.  Even better, you don't miss the dairy!  As far as chocolate chip muffins, this is my favorite recipe to date. 
Using mini chocolate chips spreads out the melty chocolate pockets on the inside of the muffin, making these extra delicious while warm. 
They are perfectly domed, with the crusty, bread reminiscent top that bakeries are known for. 
They are lightly sweetened, making them feel dessert worthy, when in reality, you could totally eat one for breakfast.  They're healthy, with only 2-1/2 tablespoons of oil between six hefty muffins, which are 100% whole wheat. 
And even though they are whole wheat, they aren't dry or flat. 
Finally, aren't they just about the prettiest things you've ever seen?

I might just be a tad bit obsessed.

Salted Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe Source: The Sweet {Tooth} Life.  Adapted from Pretty Simple Sweet
Yield: 6 muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 egg
1/2 cup almond milk*
2-1/2 tablespoons canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips**

Topping (opt):
Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425F degrees.  
Grease12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Add sugar.
In a medium bowl, mix the egg with the milk, oil and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula just until combined. Do not overmix. The batter should be quite thick and lumpy. Fold in chocolate chips.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cups almost all the way to the top. Bake for 3 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 375F/190C and continue to bake for an additional 12-17 minutes (this is for standard size muffins. See post notes for jumbo and mini muffins baking times) until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

*If you aren't lactose intolerant, you can substitute regular cow's milk. 
**If you aren't lactose intolerant, you can substitute regular mini chocolate chips.

More muffins!  (I think they are my favorite thing to photograph)

March 14, 2014

Overnight Custard French Bagel Bake

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A twist on French toast using bagels instead if bread!  Soak overnight or for a few hours before popping in the oven for an hour. Less than 10 minutes of prep work for a delicious, crowd pleaser breakfast treat! 

Breakfast time around here is a cereal/oatmeal/toast free for all.  You aren't going to get any fresh muffins or eggs at 7 am - we all are too hungry to have a nice breakfast!
But come lunch, that's when the goods are baked and fried and stacked.  We have a breakfast for lunch every week and it is my brother's favorite.  They could live on scrambled eggs, hash browns, and French Toast forever.
Breakfast day is my least favorite day.  Now, don't get me wrong!  I have a major with breakfast food, but only certain kinds. Give me a bowl of granola or a big stack of pumpkin oatmeal waffles, but please, don't give me French Toast.  I see no point in soggy bread covered in more soggy and sugary syrup.  That is just not my cup of tea!  But this French Toast bake changed my opinion.  I could live off of this recipe forever.

I think it is because this isn't really French Toast.  There, I admit it.  It is bagels ... covered in custard.  *aka freaking delicious*
Instead of day old bread, I used day old bagels.  These were homemade whole wheat bagels, but any store bought will work as well, just make sure they are plain or cinnamon.  Don't try an a cheese or everything bagel in this recipe, it ain't gonna work.  But other than that, this is one of those recipes that you can be lazy about and it still turns out amazing. 
This past week would've been perfect for this recipe!  We all have been sick with sore throats and major congestion.  Although I haven't had a fever, I've still felt very out of it!  Hence this post.  I actually made this several weeks ago when we were babysitting four neighbor kids.  (I know, this is math, but that means there were 12 kids in our house.  That is a lot, just saying.)  Making food that satisfies everyone, including the picky eaters, is hard.  But this made it easy!  Not only does it require very little hands on time , I was few to do whatever up until taking it out of the oven and serving it. 

No frying a few pieces at a time. 
No standing over a griddle. 
No missing out on eating with everyone.
No waiting for seconds. 

Cover it in syrup or powdered sugar or peanut butter - it is guaranteed to be good.  The whole thing was gone by the time lunch was over.

Because it was in the oven up unt serving time, I had no time to do nice photos. 12 kids aren't interested in waiting and I don't blame them. So this ended up in the "ugly" post section aka the "I'll-post-only-if-I-have-nothing-else-to-post-because-the-photos-are-so -bad" section.  
Or when you have been sick and you haven't baked anything. ;)
Overnight Custard French Bagel Bake
Recipe Source: Adapted from Pepperidge Farms
Yield: 12 servings 
6 cups whole wheat bagel cubes
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Place bagel cubes in a lightly greased 9x13 pan.
Whisk milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon together.
Pour over bagel cubes.
Press down, with a spatula, so that the bagel cubes soak up the milk mixture.
Refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350.
Remove pan from the refrigerator.
Sprinkle brown sugar over top.
Bake for 60 minutes.

March 13, 2014

Healthy Reeses Fudge

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It's Thursday and I need some motivation to finish the week out!  Are you in the same boat?

How does a Reeses sounds?

How does a HEALTHY Reeses sound?  Now we are getting somewhere, eh? ;)

Did you know I didn't like peanut butter for the first 11-12 years of my life?  I think it was from one too many peanut butter sandwiches  (I also don't like grape jelly.  Never have, never will as far as I'm concerned.)
So, since I didn't like peanut butter, I obviously didn't like Reeses.  I began playing volleyball my 7th grade year and in junior high, we did a thing called "secret sisters."  You got a girl on the volleyball team and you secretly encouraged her with small gifts and notes throughout the year.  It was really fun!  Well, my secret sister (hi Anna M.!) chose Reeses as her favorite candy (we all filled out a questionnaire so as to be accurate with our gifts) and so I went out and bought one of those eight packs at Wal-Mart.  After a couple games, and giving her three or four of them, I still had half the container in my dresser.  One morning, I was hungry, and was like, hey, I'll try one of these!  Love at first bite.
(I still love anything that involves peanut butter being mixed with sugar.  Sweetened peanut butter is the bomb.)
I then ate the remaining four Reeses.  Yes, I ate all of my secret sister's candy.  Now that I say that out loud, it sounds bad.  I wish I had been introduced to Reeses in an admirable way.  Unless you eat this  Reeses, your friend will die!  It is your choice!
Er, no, we'll just stick with the real story.

Notes:  The chocolate topping is dairy free and only needs three ingredients!  The coconut oil solidifies at cold temperatures, so you cannot sub another oil for it.  Oh, and this does have sugar in it, but there is only a heaping 1/2 cup for 12 servings.  I think that is pretty good!  The graham cracker crumbs may be subbed for GF graham cracker crumbs, if you want.  Finally, healthy doesn't mean low calorie. :)
This has a stronger peanut butter flavor than a normal Reeses, but other than that, the texture and flavor are spot on!
Healthy Reeses Fudge
Recipe Source: The Sweet {Tooth} Life
Yield: 16 pieces
Peanut Butter Fudge:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Chocolate Topping:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Line a 9x9 pan with foil.  Lightly grease foil and set aside.
For the peanut butter fudge: Melt the coconut oil in a medium sized microwave safe bowl.
Stir in peanut butter and vanilla.
Add graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar.
Stir until combined (mixture will be a little grainy, that is ok)
Spread into prepared pan.  Set aside.
For the chocolate topping: melt coconut oil.
Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar.  Whisk until smooth.
Pour over peanut butter fudge, spreading if necessary.
Freeze for a couple hours before serving. Protection