August 27, 2015

Homemade Nutella

Hazelnuts, also called "filberts" are what give this spread its unique nutty taste. I love the original, but it has so many ingredients that I can't pronounce, so I thought I would give it a try. I did end up needing more sugar than I wanted to add - but overall, it's not too bad, considering it is homemade and it is supposed to be sweet. 

This version also came out a bit heavier on the nutty taste and lighter on the chocolate, but I don't mind. It also has that "homemade texture" which I think is reminiscent of crunchy peanut butter.

Homemade Nutella

6 oz Hazelnuts
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 1/4 c milk
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
drizzle of olive oil
pinch of salt

1. Toast the hazelnuts until golden brown. Throw them into the food processor and allow to cool.

2. Grind to a fine paste and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Check for taste and adjust accordingly for the texture desired.

August 20, 2015

Simple Crock Pot Brick Roast

I'll admit - the name "brick roast" doesn't have that much appeal, but when it looked pretty soft, marbled and on sale - I figured, how bad could it be if I just threw it in the crock pot?

It turns out, I was right. It was pretty delicious. I kept it simple because I prepared it the morning before work and was short on time. 

I like the way it is explained here from a kosher butcher 
which meats are worth the splurge and which cheap cuts are easy to doctor up? 
Brick (a.k.a shell) roast would be the splurge. Brick roast comes from the chuck area, it’s one of the pieces of the chuck eye, but the animal doesn’t use that particular muscle much, so it’s tender, juicy and has a lot of marble in it. You don’t even need to sear it to lock in the flavor. It’s a really easy steak that’s difficult to mess up. Even if you overcook it (and go beyond medium) it’ll come out juicy." Read more:

Simple Crock Pot Brick Roast

1 lb brick roast
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup beef broth
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley

Season the roast and massage it in well. Place it in the crock pot and pour the beef broth around the beef. Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred with two forks when finished and garnish with parsley if desired.

August 14, 2015

Panera's Green Passion Power Smoothie

I tried this smoothie on one of my many trips to Panera and was pleasantly surprised. It is very refreshing - even my daughter loved it. 

I knew that I wanted to recreate it, so when at the drive thru window, I asked what was in it and went to work! I think she might have left out a few ingredients when she told me about it - but the good news is that the passion fruit juice is pretty powerful and takes over most flavors in this drink. It tasted extremely close and came out delicious. 

It is pretty fruit heavy, so the real nutrients are only really coming from the spinach - but feel free to experiment with other green veggies too, to add more "Power". Don't leave out the ice - which helps give this a real smoothie feel.

Panera's Green Passion Power Smoothie

1 overflowing cup of spinach leaves (baby leaves preferred) - You can also use a mix of baby spinach and baby kale for more nutrients here.
3/4 cup passion fruit juice (I used  CERES brand)
1 small ripe peach, chopped
1/2 ripe mango, chopped
1/4 cup white grape juice (I didn't use's optional)
1/2 cup crushed ice

Mix all in blender or food processor for a good 5 minutes, until all is combined and smooth.