Banana Crêpes

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Some recipes are too good to be true…

And this is one of them.

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I’m about to tell you that you can take a banana and an egg and make some of the best crêpes (or pancakes!) ever!

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But seriously, it’s just a banana and an egg—THAT’S IT.

Okay, yes, there is some salt and vanilla, but those don’t technically count.

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You blend them, you pour the batter out, and voila!

You end up with light, moist crêpes that can be eaten any way you like.

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I like mine with Nutella and strawberries, because, well, that tastes amazing.

But in your kitchen, the crêpe-topping rules are up to you!

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So try them!

There is literally no chance you will be disappointed.

And in the highly improbable case that you are, send those leftovers my way!

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Banana Crêpes

servings: six 5-inch crêpes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread, plus more for a garnish
  • 6 strawberries, thinly sliced
  • Powdered sugar, for a garnish

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a blender, add the bananas, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend these ingredients until they are smooth, then set them aside.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the butter in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Then make the crêpes one at a time by adding about ⅓ cup of the banana batter to the skillet, cooking each until its bottom is a deep golden brown—about 3 to 4 minutes. Then flip the crêpe over and cook it until the other side is also a deep golden brown—1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat this process with the remaining batter, wiping out the skillet and adding 1 teaspoon of butter between each crêpe.
  3. To serve, spread about 1 tablespoon of the Nutella over each crêpe. Then place a line of sliced strawberries slightly off center in each crêpe and roll them up, starting from the side closest to the strawberries. Drizzle the finished crêpes with more Nutella, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
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Grilled Pattypan Squash + Egg Bagel Sandwiches

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Every morning in New York City, people are enjoying bagel sandwiches. Whether with cream cheese, lox, or bacon and eggs, you really can’t go wrong when layering things on a soft and chewy NYC bagel.

The only thing I found missing from these iconic breakfast staples were—

VEGGIES!

Lo and behold, just as I had that thought, I found a perfect, bagel-size, pattypan squash giving me the eye at the farmers’ market, and I knew it was meant to be married to a bagel.

If you think squash for breakfast is weird, just wait until you bite through the sweet, tender-crisp slices sitting on a throne of cheese and topped with eggs and bacon.

It’s going to be your new breakfast staple!

Grilled Pattypan Squash + Egg Bagel Sandwiches

makes: 2 open-face sandwiches; double the recipe as you wish

Ingredients:

  • 1 pattypan squash
  • 1 bacon strip
  • 1 everything bagel
  • 4 tablespoons Boursin cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, more if needed
  • 2 large eggs
  • Two ¼-inch-thick slices large tomato (same diameter as the bagel)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions

Directions:

  1. Trim and discard the root and vine ends of the squash. Cut two ½-inch-thick slices crosswise from the middle section (save any scraps for another use).
  2. Heat a small nonstick skillet (but big enough to fry 2 eggs) over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp—6 to 7 minutes, turning once. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain; set aside the skillet with the rendered bacon fat.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the bagel in half. Spread 2 tablespoons of the cheese onto the cut side of each half and set aside.
  4. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the squash slices on both sides with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the 1 teaspoon oil, dividing equally. Add the squash slices to the pan and cook, turning once, until grill marks form and the squash is tender—5 to 8 minutes.
  5. While squash cooks, heat the skillet that you cooked the bacon in over medium-low heat. If there is not enough fat in the skillet to fry the eggs, add a bit of oil. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook to the desired doneness.
  6. To assemble each sandwich, place a squash slice on top of a cheese-spread bagel half. Top it with a tomato slice and then an egg. Crumble up the bacon and scatter half on top of each sandwich, along with half the scallions. Yum!

Keep It Simple:

  • Pattypan squash has a very similar taste and texture to zucchini and yellow squash, so feel free to substitute slices of those when pattypan squash is not in season.
  • Boursin is a fabulous soft cheese made with garlic and herbs; it tastes like whipped cream cheese—which you can use instead. Regular or flavored cream cheeses all work.
  • I like to use my grill pan for this recipe as it adds a little bit of a charred flavor, but a regular skillet works just as well. This is true for most of my recipes that call for a grill pan.

50/50:

  • The bacon gives a nice salty flavor to the egg, so if you prefer a vegetarian version, simply leave off the bacon and add a sprinkle of salt on top of your eggs. And if you are doing one sandwich with bacon and one without, be sure to cook the second egg in a different pan. You’ll have one more pan to clean but you’ll also have a happy vegetarian.

Family Friendly:

  • The squash has such a delicate flavor that it really pairs well with the bacon and eggs. In truth, it adds more texture and bite than it adds flavor. But if your kids are not going to dig a large piece of squash on their sandwich, cut up the squash, and blend it into the cheese or scramble the eggs and fold it into them. It will be the same sandwich but with a kid-friendly twist.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

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Golden Milk Overnight Oats

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Golden Milk Overnight Oats

servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Add the oats, almond milk, honey, turmeric, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, and salt to a jar (or bowl). Shake vigorously to combine (or stir well).
  2. Place the jar in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight, or for at least 2 hours.
  3. To serve, remove the oats from the refrigerator and top them with the blueberries, walnuts, and chia seeds (this can be done the night before, if desired).
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

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Banana Carrot Oat Muffins

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My daughter, Ivy, loves all carbs (I can’t imagine where she gets it from 😉).

She'll also gobble up anything that looks like a muffin.

And from a mom point-of-view, I know muffins are the perfect food to freeze and pull out as needed.

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So I challenged myself to make a super healthy muffin that would taste just as delicious as a regular not-as-healthy one.

My goal was to make this muffin so tasty that not only would Ivy eat it, but the big kids in the house (my husband and I) would gobble it up as well.

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The result is a muffin basically made of bananas, carrots, oats, and a touch of maple syrup. You puree all of these ingredients up and put the batter in the cups of a muffin tin.

These muffins couldn’t be easier to make and they actually taste like banana bread!

Whenever I’m eating one I have to remind myself how healthy they are because all I’m thinking is, I’m in muffin heaven.

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Now don’t get me wrong, they're a little denser than a regular muffin (they're all oats instead of flour, so that's why that happens).

And they're a touch more moist than you might be used to (this makes them perfect when re-heated though!).

But the fact that you can eat ten of these and still feel like Healthy Eating Champion of the World makes it all worth it!

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Banana Carrot Oat Muffins

servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups rolled oats, more for a garnish
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1½ cup shredded carrots (about 4½ ounces)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Add the oats, bananas, carrots, yogurt, maple syrup, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt to a blender; blend until the mixture is batter-like and nearly smooth.
  2. Pour the batter evenly into a 12-cup muffin tin prepared with cooking spray. Then top each of the filled cups with a sprinkle of the reserved oats.
  3. Bake the muffins until the tops are dry and a knife inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean—15 to 18 minutes.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
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Acorn Squash Bread

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Banana bread.

Zucchini bread.

Pumpkin bread.

All delicious, easy-to-make, moist and flavorful breads, thanks to the fruits and veggies they incorporate.

So let’s keep the Veggie Bread Train in business!

It's time to talk about Acorn Squash Bread!

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Prepared similarly to pumpkin bread, acorn squash bread uses the delicacy and sweetness of squash--along with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg--to make for a savory, but slightly sugary bread.

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This bread is perfect for your Christmas Day table or a cozy treat for Christmas morning when you're sitting around the kitchen with out-of-town relatives over cups of coffee.

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Just bake halves of acorns squash, scoop out the sweet flesh, mix with some pantry staples, and you’ve got an extremely addictive quick bread!

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And to take it one step further, I drizzle mine with a little cider vanilla glaze--yummm.

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Then sprinkle it with some granola for a sticky sweet and delightfully crunchy topping, and you've got a recipe your relatives won't stop asking you for!

Acorn Squash Bread

servings: 1 9 X 5-inch pan of bread (about 8 slices)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small acorn squash (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon cider
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ⅓ cup granola

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a soupspoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. Arrange the squash cut-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet and rub its flesh with the olive oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bake the squash until the flesh is fork tender—about 45 minutes.
  2. Scoop out the flesh of the squash, add it to the bowl of a food processor, and puree until smooth (this should give you about 1 cup of puree). Then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and grease a 9 X 5-inch bread loaf pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves. In a second large bowl, whisk together the squash puree, light brown sugar, canola oil, granulated sugar, ⅓ cup of the cider, eggs, vanilla, and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
  4. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined. Then pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake until the edges of the bread are brown and a toothpick inserted into its center comes out clean—about 60-65 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool completely.
  5. Next, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of cider until a smooth glaze forms. Drizzle over the cooled bread, sprinkle with granola, and serve.

Notes:

  • To make muffins: Lower the oven temperature to 350 F after the squash is roasted. Make the batter and glaze as directed above. Divide the batter into 9 cups of a lined or greased muffin tin and bake until the edges are brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove muffins from the pan to cool completely. Drizzle cooled muffins with glaze, sprinkle with granola, and serve.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
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Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole

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I love a breakfast casserole on Christmas morning!

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When I’m at my sister’s house for Christmas, the present-opening part of the morning tends to go on...

and on...

and on!

Finally, my brother in-law, Josh, can’t stand it anymore.

He'll declare a break for us all to fuel up so that maybe we can finish all of presents sometime before dinner!

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We used to just make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.

But as much as we all love a good, old-fashioned, sugar-filled breakfast, we decided we wanted something a little more substantial—not to replace the sugary stuff, of course, just to go with it!

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And that brought us to breakfast casseroles!

What’s better than making a breakfast big enough to serve your whole family and barely lifting a finger because you made that breakfast the night before?

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Well, I guess there is one thing better...

Making your casserole with everything bagels!

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It’s like a bagel sandwich with eggs, bacon, and veggie cream cheese—in casserole form!

And this year, it just might be the best present under your tree!

(Just to be clear, please don’t put this under your tree. Keep it refrigerated and bake at 375°. 😉)

Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole

servings: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

  • 4 bacon strips (about 4 ounces)
  • 6 everything bagels (1 pound, 4 ounce-bag of bagels), chopped
  • 1 medium yellow squash, chopped (about 2 cups or 8 ounces)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • One 8-ounce block of cream cheese, cut into ½-inch slices

Directions:

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp—about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then coarsely chop and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the bagel, squash, red bell pepper, and scallions, then set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, Gruyere, salt, garlic powder, and ground black pepper.
  4. Prepare a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, then add half of the bagel mixture to the dish. Next sprinkle on half of the cream cheese and half of the bacon. Repeat this layering with the remaining bagel mixture, cream cheese, and bacon.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over the entire casserole, then cover the casserole and chill it in the refrigerator for at least one hour, but preferably overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and bake it covered for 40 minutes, then uncovered until the eggs are set and the bagel pieces are toasted in spots—about 15 minutes more.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

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Egg In A Squash Hole

 

 

Some chefs will tell you that presentation is everything.

 

 

 

 

Well that’s not exactly true, though yes, we eat with our eyes first, it’s really all about the taste.

 

Read More

Acorn Squash Pancakes

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I’m not sure I've ever meet a kid who doesn’t like pancakes.

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What’s not to love?!

Soft on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside—and covered in maple syrup, of course.

Pancakes are pretty much a perfect food.

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But when the mom in me decided I wanted to make pancakes more nutritious, the chef in me knew I could use veggies.

Not only would these pancakes pack more of a nutritional punch, but I was sure the veggies would actually make them sweeter and more perfectly moist.

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As I thought about all of the possible veggies that could to the trick, it didn’t take long to realize that acorn squash was the perfect person for the job.

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Acorn squash's inherent sweetness and velvety texture make these pancakes something you will want to eat everyday—and because of their nutrition factor, something you actually should eat everyday.

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Now I’ll always tell it to you straight, so know that as-written these pancakes are very moist.

My daughter doesn’t mind at all, but if you have kids that are already into classic pancakes, you may want to use less of the acorn squash puree (look for details in the “notes” section of the recipe).

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If you do use a little less puree for a more traditional version, you'll find yourself with the perfect pancake—slightly sweet, warm, and soft yet crisp with a buttery warm yellow color.

And if you go for the more moist "toddler" version, you can truly count your pancake breakfast as a perfectly balanced meal.

Either way, I'd say we're all winners.

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Acorn Squash Pancakes

servings: 10 to 12 four- to five-inch pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large acorn squash (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a soupspoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. Arrange the squash cut-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil evenly over each piece and then bake the squash until the flesh is tender and can be easily pierced with the tines of a fork—30 to 40 minutes. Set aside until it is cool enough to handle.
  2. Scoop the flesh of the squash into a blender and puree it until it is smooth; this will give you about 2 cups of puree. Then add the flour, milk, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, and salt, and blend this mixture until just smooth.
  3. Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot and the butter is melted, pour about ½ cup of the batter into the pan; this will make one pancake, about 4 inches in diameter. Cook the batter until bubbles start to pop on its surface and the bottom is nicely browned. Then flip the pancake and cook it until the other side is also brown and the edges are dry—about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.
  4. Serve with extra butter, syrup, fruit, or whatever you like!

Notes:

  • You can decrease the amount of squash you use in the recipe, using a small squash—about 1 pounds (this will give you about 1 cup of squash puree after blending it). If you do so, also increase the amount of milk to 1 cup and the decrease the baking powder to 1½ teaspoons.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
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White Bean Pancakes

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Every Sunday my husband takes my daughter, Ivy, to the diner for pancakes while I try to catch up on a weeks-worth of sleep.

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Ivy LOVES pancakes.

And when I found out that her iron levels were a little on the low side, I started thinking about how I could get more iron into her diet.

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Pancakes were just the thing!

I’ve done Acorn Squash Pancakes, so I figured why not try a new version by adding an iron-rich bean instead of the squash?!

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I put a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans in my batter, and I’m telling you, the result looks and tastes JUST LIKE regular pancakes!

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It was so simple (opening a can of beans!) to turn a semi-indulgent breakfast into one we can feel really good about eating!

It’s easy to “eat healthy” when you’re eating like this!

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White Bean Pancakes

makes: 10 to 12 medium (4 to 5 inches in diameter) pancakes

Ingredients:

  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans (about 1¾ cups), rinsed + drained
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 ounces frozen spinach (about 1 cup), thawed + drained (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Add the beans, flour, milk, spinach (if desired), eggs, baking powder, vanilla, and salt to a blender, and blend this mixture until it is smooth.
  2. Next, add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, pour about ½ cup of the batter into the pan; this will make one pancake about 4 inches in diameter. Cook the batter until bubbles start to pop on its surface. Then flip the pancake and cook it until the other side is also brown and the edges are dry—about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.
  3. Serve with extra butter, syrup, fruit, or whatever you like!

Notes:

  • If you prefer fluffier pancakes, separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. Rather than following Step 1 as written, add the beans, flour, milk, spinach (if desired), egg yolks, baking powder, vanilla, and salt, to a blender, and blend this mixture until it is completely smooth; then transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high until they are white and fluffy and have soft peaks (they should be about 4 times larger than their starting size)—about 2 minutes; you could also whisk by hand or do this in a stand mixer. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the bean and flour mixture, deflating them as little as possible. Then proceed to Step 2 as written above.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
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No-Bake Granola Bars

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It's back-to-school time!

For a lot of families that means struggling to find time to make food that is healthy but also something your kids WILL eat.

This week, my goal is to bring you some nutritious recipes (well, maybe with the exception of one 😉) that both kids and adults will enjoy.

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I love a good granola bar, so I thought that might be the perfect thing to kick off the weeksimple to make and great for school lunches or after school snacks.

A while back I started testing recipes in search of a great one I could make and keep on hand...

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I tried baked ones, different combos of ingredients, and in the end found this relatively simple one the best by far.

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I’m using two kinds of nuts, some hemp seeds, oats, cranberries, and a little cinnamon.

Then I'm folding in peanut butter and honey to make a chewy bar that has some texture, but is still soft enough for my toddler.

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It’s kind of amazing what mixing just a couple of ingredients can do...

And with NO BAKING!

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I made mine in a 9 by 13-inch pan (you press the granola bar mixture into a dish to form them into bars), but after eating a pan's-worth this week, I would say that you might want to try them in something a little smaller. That will allow them to be so thicker and hold together even better.

Really though, no matter what shape you make, they will be your family's new favorite snack!

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No-Bake Granola Bars

makes: 16 bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups instant oats
  • ½ cup finely chopped pine nuts
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup hemp hearts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup smooth peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Line a baking dish, no bigger than 11 by 17 inches or 8 by 8 inches, with parchment paper, leaving the paper hang out about 2 to 3 inches over two of the sides (which will allow you to easily lift the finished granola bars from the dish); spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, pine nuts, walnuts, hemp hearts, cranberries, cinnamon, and salt, then set aside.
  3. Add the honey and peanut butter to a small saucepan and cook them over medium heat until they are fully combined and just beginning to bubble—about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat the dry ingredients evenly and fully.
  5. Firmly press the oat mixture evenly into the pan to ensure the granola bars stay together well; spraying your hands with cooking spray is helpful to prevent the mixture from sticking to them. Chill for at least two hours before cutting.
  6. Remove the granola bars from the pan using the edges of the parchment paper. Cut them into your desired size and enjoy! To store, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
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Boxed Mac + Cheese Pancakes

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When I was first starting out in the world of food, I was on a radio show here in NYC.

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One of the first segments I did was on a hole-in-the-wall diner known for all sorts of crazy-delicious concoctionsone of the concoctions being mac and cheese pancakes.

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They made theirs a bit differently than I make mine.

But with both versions, you get the tangy cheese and salty bacon swimming through the pancake, which is obviously a very good thing.

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I’m basically taking a box of mac and cheese and adding it to a pancake batter.

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Not exactly my healthiest meal ever, but I couldn’t resist recreating those diner mac and cheese pancakes.

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Thank you for coming on this Hack Your Mac journey with me this week!

My purpose in reinventing boxed mac and cheese was to show you that you don’t always have to make everything from scratch for it to be delicious.

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In real life we take shortcuts, and in real life sometimes we just need to have mac and cheese pancakes for dinner.

I mean, we just need to. 😉

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Boxed Mac + Cheese Pancakes

makes: Twelve 3- to 4-inch pancakes

Ingredients:

  • One 14-ounce box of macaroni and cheese (with liquid cheese packet)
  • 4 bacon strips (about 2 to 3 ounces or ¼ cup), some reserved for a garnish
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped scallions, more for a garnish
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces), more for a garnish
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place a medium pot of salted water over high heat for cooking the macaroni. When the water boils, add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions; drain when finished. Stir in the cheese packet, then set aside.
  2. While the macaroni cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp—6 to 7 minutes, turning once. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain, then crumble it into small pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, baking powder, and salt until they are fully combined. Then fold in the cooked macaroni along with the scallions, cheddar, and crumbled bacon.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the butter and allow it to melt. Scoop about ⅓ cup of the macaroni and cheese mixture into the skillet and cook until both sides of the “pancake” are dark golden brown—3 to 5 minutes per side.
  5. To serve, garnish with scallions, cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
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Banana Carrot Spinach Oat Muffins

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Stop.

Do not look at this muffin and say, "EW! It's green!"

Instead, I want you to close your eyes and imagine that you're eating a mini banana bread muffin.

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Now open your eyes.

This is when you discover that this same weird green muffin tastes just like banana bread.

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But instead of using banana bread ingredients, I’m using a bag of spinach, some carrots, oats, bananas, and a touch of maple syrup to create a muffin that packs some serious nutritional punch.

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And it's as simple as throwing everything in your food processor, blending it up, and baking.

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I’m telling you, every time I eat one, I have to remind myself that they're good for me.

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And if you’re on board, maybe your kids will be too.

And if you have a little one like mine, they might not yet realize that most kids think a green muffin is a scary thing. 

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Banana Carrot Spinach Oat Muffins

servings: 36 mini muffins

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed + squeezed dry (about 1 cup after squeezed)
  • 2½ cups rolled oats, more for a garnish
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 6 ounces)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add the spinach to a blender or food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped and almost pureed.
  2. Add the oats, bananas, carrots, maple syrup, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt to the spinach, then pulse until all ingredients are well-combined and the mixture is almost pureed, but not quite smooth. You may have to stop and stir the mixture a bit to make sure it doesn’t contain any large chunks.
  3. Scoop the batter evenly into 36 cups of a mini muffin tin prepared with cooking spray, then top each muffin with a light sprinkle of the reserved oats.
  4. Bake the muffins until a knife inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean and dry —24 to 28 minutes.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
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Breakfast Bowls with Wheat Berries + Kale

 

 

Sometimes after too many nights out, and too many pizzas in, you just need to eat something really healthy. Something to make you feel good about yourself again (because that half a pizza, mozzarella sticks and brownie the size of your face, are still making your stomach turn).

 

 

 

 

You’re in luck because I have just the dish for you! And guess what? In addition to being  healthy, it also tastes so so SO good!!!

 

 

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Cheesy Fritatta with Grape Compote

 

 

Many of us can’t imagine having dinner for breakfast, but it seems like we can all get on that "breakfast for dinner" train.

 

 

 

 

It may be hard to imagine having steak and potatoes at 7 a.m., but having eggs at 7 p.m. always sounds like a good idea.

 

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Banana Bread Recipe

RECIPE:

1/2 cup Buttermilk

2/3 cup Melted Butter

2 Eggs

1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract

1.5 Cups Mashed Bananas

1 tsp Salt

1+1/3 Cup Sugar

2+2/3 Cup Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1.5 tsp Baking Soda

Mix together buttermilk, butter, eggs, vanilla extract and bananas in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine salt, sugar, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix the wet and the dry ingredients together and stir untill just combined. Pour into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake on 350 for 50-60minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean from the center of the loaf. Remove from pan and let cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy! 

** For muffins, pour batter into a muffin pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes. Remove and let cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy!!

 

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Challah Hangover

 

 

I don’t know much, but I do know my alcohol.

Before the word “DRUNK!” runs into your head let me explain... 

When I first came to NYC I realized that the best place to make a buck was a bar. Drunk people had to be better tippers than the sober coffee drinking teenagers at my last job.  So though I had never actually been in a bar (details, details) and barely knew that vodka and gin were two different things (it all tastes the same, right?!) I somehow convinced a man named Tom that he just HAD to hire me. 

 

 

 

 

I was SO convincing that I was not only hired but given the serious responsibility of...Keeper of the Coats!! 

The only thing I could say was that I would be “the BEST coat check girl EVER.”

Yep, really living the NYC dream!

 

 

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