Coffee Brittle


I’ve ventured into the world of even healthier eating and let me tell you, it can be a scary, judgmental, exhausting place.  Suddenly everything gives you cancer and you’re a horrible person if you buy non organic.  I’ve found that I’m somewhere in the middle of people who don’t know or care anything about nutrition and people who are fucking obsessed with it and want the whole world to know about it.

So we have the health jerk nuts…

“Did you make sure this was organic?  Don’t you want to help the environment?  Do you even know how toxic pesticides are to the body?  Where is your tote?” 

I’m poor and I just wanted a pepper.  I promise when I’m a bajillionaire I’ll buy an organic farm and pay everyone double their average wage.  And I’m sorry I don’t carry my fucking tote everywhere I go.  Jeebus.

“You’re actually going to buy those crackers?  They don’t have a “non-GMO” label on them.  Here buy these, they cost three times as much but you’ll feel so much better about it.” 

And on the other side, non health nuts group you in with these health freaks and turn you into one of them.

“Oh they’re selling vegan, gluten free, sugar free cookies.  You’re skinny, I bet you would just love those.” 

I’ve never heard of a more depressing cookie.

“Why don’t you eat meat?  Humans are meant to eat meat you know.  You need a steak, you look a little peaked.”  

I’m sorry is there a sign above my head that says, “I’m trying to make a political statement”?

I’m just having an experience with this non fat Greek yogurt.

Guys I honestly forgot what the point of that first section was.  Oh yes, now I remember it veered tremendously.  But it took a long time so I’m keeping it.  The point of that intro was sugar, I know it was never brought up.  That’s my bad.  See those people talking in the intro, those aren’t people that I know, even though I’m sure they exist.  They’re the two nutritional sides of myself, well that last one is probably more my dad but whatever.

It’s like I’ve got my “id’ side wondering why I’m bothering with all this healthy eating crap, just wanting to eat whatever tastes good.  Paired with my douchey, judgemental “superego” making me second guess every food decision I make.  Meanwhile my “ego,” who apparently identifies as a young male, is caught in the middle wondering what the hell to do.

So that brings me to sugar and this post.  I used to make something similar to this coffee brittle concoction in high school before I became crazy health conscious.  It had been years since I made it and I all of a sudden got the urge for it.  But that judgmental side of me didn’t hesitate for a second.

“You’re going to make what? Candy!? Do you know how much refined sugar is going to be in that?  I guess you could make it sugar free, but that would mean artificial sweeteners and those are supposed to be even worse!”

Finally I got sick of myself for making myself feel guilty for wanting to consume sugar.  It doesn’t make me a bad person and it’s not going to be what kills me.

You know what’s going to kill me?  Stressing about every possible thing that could potentially kill me.

So here’s my coffee brittle recipe.  Yes it has sugar, yes it has calories, and yes I’m deciding it’s guilt-free.  And super yes to the question of how crazy I am.


1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup strong coffee
pinch of salt (no more than 1/8 tsp)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp crushed coffee beans (ground are fine)
1 tbsp butter

Prep your butter, crushed beans, baking soda, and salt.  Also have a baking sheet covered in parchment or wax paper ready.


Add your sugar and coffee in a pot over medium low heat and stir until dissolved.

After the sugar has dissolved increase the heat to medium high and stir continuously until it reaches 300°.  Try not to splash too much on the sides of the pot, but if you do you can use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sugar granules.  Depending on how high you have your heat it should take about 5 minutes.


As soon as it reaches 300° remove from heat.


If you don’t have a thermometer don’t worry.  Get a class of water and periodically drop some of the mixture into the water.  If it hardens immediately and you hear a cracking sound, you’re good to go.  You should be able to pull it out and feel that it’s crunchy.


Immediately add your beans/soda/salt and butter.  Stir until combined.


As soon as everything is combined pour it out onto your covered sheet.  It should spread out pretty much on its own but you can help it out with your spoon if you need.


Allow to harden.  I forgot to time the cooling 30-60 minutes should be fine.  If it doesn’t harden after that then you didn’t cook it high enough.  You can try and put it back on the stove and recook it, but there’s no guarantees with that.


Break apart and store in an airtight container.



Peach Bran Banana Bread


The cereal aisle used to be a magical place for me.

All that sugar.  My diet practically consisted of it.

But then I realized I was not an elf and I couldn’t stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

So I said farewell to my over-sugarized cereal.

And said hello to healthy-ish green-er living.

Don’t worry I got over it.

So I bought a box of All-Bran cereal because it looked really good and I am officially an old lady and I love poopin’.

Unfortunately I wasn’t jiving it as much as I thought I would (not pooping, the cereal) so now I’ve been throwing it into random baking creations.  Mind you, the cereal tastes fine I just thought the pieces were going to be bigger and it threw off the texture I had envisioned in my brain.


Feel free to use Raisin Bran or whatever Bran cereal you have on hand for this.  Or if you’re super cool and you have plain wheat bran, use that.  Just increase the sugar amount by a little bit because the cereals contain sugars.

Recipe: (baking time: 1 hour)

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup bran cereal*
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
1 egg
2 bananas (mashed)
1 cup peaches (2, chopped- reserve 1/2 of 1 for topping)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

*you can use plain wheat bran if you happen to have that, you may want to increase the sugar amount though

Preheat oven: 350°

Add your cereal or bran to a mixing bowl.


Sift your flours, baking powder/soda, salt into the bowl.




Chop your peaches.  Save half of one for your topping.


Mash your bananas.  I use a whisk, I find the bread turns out better if you turn your bananas into a sludge rather than leaving chunks.


Add your peaches and cinnamon and mash those together slightly.


Whisk together your applesauce, vanilla, and brown sugar (save your white sugar for later).  Then add your egg.


Whisk until just mixed.


Add your flour mixture and then your banana mixture in chunks, ending with your banana.


Don’t mix completely between each addition, there’s no need.


End result.  This batter is a touch thicker than my other banana breads because of the bran.  If yours is too thick add a tbsp or two of milk or juice.


Pour into greased bread pan and even out.


Decorate with slices and sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp of white sugar.  Sprinkling with the sugar on the top gives you that nice crust without having to add as much sugar throughout the whole batter.

If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning you’ll have noticed I started with adding 3/4 cup of sugar to my banana breads and now I’m down to 1/4 cup and they still taste sugary to me.  If you lower your consumption of it, your body stops craving it and it tastes stronger in smaller quantities.


Bake in a 350° for 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before pulling out of pan.




Autumn Chewy Granola Bars


I’m calling these Autumn Chewy Granola Bars because they taste like fall to me and Fall Chewy Granola Bars just sounded weird.  They’ve got the nummy seasonings of a pumpkin pie without the pumpkin.  Eventually I’ll probably make a Pumpkin Chewy Granola Bar, which will negate these but whatever.  About August time I start craving Autumn-y things.  It’s mostly just the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg in warm beverages and copious amounts of pumpkin in any form.  Many of you start craving Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks and whatnot, others are fancy enough to make theirs at home.

Read: Cheap and picky as hell.  And has gotten to the point where, if they don’t make their food they can’t be satisfied with it.  But you know what, you got to start sharing the crazy in order to move past it.  Right?

Fuck, I hope so.

Anyhoozers.  These are some chewy granola bars that are nummy and good for you and not as sugary as many recipes you’ll find.  Much like my granola.  Instead of oil as a binder I use wheat puffs and water.  In execution it makes sense, but when you write it out, that sentence just sounds ridiculous.


3 cups oats (old fashion)
2 cups wheat cereal
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg white
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (roasted)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted)
1/4 cup flax seeds (roasted)
1/2 – 3/4 cup dried cranberries/raisins
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon*
3/4 tsp allspice*
3/4 tsp nutmeg*
1 1/2 tsp ginger*

*Or your favorite pumpkin/apple pie spice

Preheat oven 350°

Prep your cereal, oats, seeds, and nuts on a baking sheet (or 2) and lightly roast.  10 minutes should do it depending on how heavily you crowd your sheet.  Make sure you check it every couple minutes and move stuff around to prevent burning.


While that’s doing its thing turn your attention to your liquids and spices.  Add your egg white, honey, juice, water (you can use all juice if you want), vanilla, spices, and applesauce to a bowl.




Your oven stuff should be done now.  It’s not going to get a rich color or anything, but you should start to smell it.  Add it to a mixing bowl.


Add in your fruit.


And baking powder/salt.


Combine and add in your liquid.


Stir until there are no dry oats left.


Pour out onto greased cookie sheet (I weirdly don’t have one) or a 9×13 pan.  You can use parchment paper or something on the bottom to make it easier to remove the bars later, but I always find that kind of wasteful, both in product and time.


Wet your hands and flatten the granola, pressing down firmly.  The denser it is the more likely it is to stay together when it’s baked.




Bake in your 350° oven for 15-20 minutes until it looks golden-y and set.


Allow to cool.  Completely is best, but I understand your impatience.


Wrap individually and store in air tight container.  They’ll last longer in the fridge.


Healthy Espresso Chunky Granola


I have finally combined my two loves.  Granola and coffee.  All is right with the world.

Now I just need to get a picture of Tilda Swinton lying on a bed of it then I can die happy.

No creepin’.

Recipe: (baking time 1 hour)

3 cups oats (old fashion)
2 tbsp oat flour (ground oats) – can also use whole wheat flour
2 tbsp flax seed
1/2 cup almonds (raw, chopped)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp espresso powder
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 cup strong coffee – can also you water
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar

Preheat oven: 300°

On Pinterest I saw people talking about how they didn’t want to add wheat flour to one of my granola recipes so they were adding some random flour I can’t think of right now.  Instead of going to all that trouble/money of buying some of obscure gluten free flour just grind up 2 tbsp of your oats in a blender, food processor, or be weird like me and do it in your coffee grinder.

Don’t judge me on my cheap coffee grinder, our $200 one broke (relax, we didn’t spend that much on it) and we couldn’t get ourselves to buy another nice one. 😦


Oat flour!


Add your oats, flour, seeds and nuts to a bowl.


In a pot over low heat combine your cocoa powder, espresso powder, coffee, vanilla, applesauce, and cinnamon (I just love cinnamon and coffee together and have a hard time not adding them together).  Wait to add the salt and sugar.

I’ve started buying my applesauce in bulk (well just the bigger jars anyway) and freezing it in 4 oz sizes.  So that’s why it looks weird.  I used to buy it in those 4 oz tubs but you save a little bit when you buy it in the jars, those stupid jars just always go bad on me.  Hence the freezing.

I guess looking at the picture you probably wouldn’t have realized it was frozen and I didn’t need to explain that.  Oh well, maybe you’ll start freezing your applesauce too.


Heat and stir until combined.  Add 1/2 tsp of salt  and 1 tbsp sugar.

Taste it!  Does it taste like ass?  Then fix it.  Whether or not it tastes good will entirely depend on your espresso/coffee because my recipe is flawless.  Just kidding, but no seriously.  Your espresso may require you to add a little bit more salt.  Salt neutralizes bitterness better than sugar so add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar.  Taste it.  If you notice there’s not much of a bitter flavor, (it will still have a very strong coffee flavor, don’t confuse the two) then you’re good with the salt.   Add the other tbsp of sugar if you need it, I did.

My espresso powder was of the cheaper variety so I needed to add a little bit more salt to neutralize the not so pleasant bitterness (there’s a difference between pleasant bitterness and not so pleasant–and my stuff is cheap, I’ll admit that).


Mix your dry ingredients together.  I forget this step all the time.  It’s annoying when you do.


Pour your wet mixture into your dry.


And mix until everything is thoroughly combined.


Pour out onto a lightly greased baking sheet.


Wet your hands and press down on the granola making it as flat as possible.  We’re going for around 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick.  Anymore than that and it’s going to take a lot longer to bake.

If you want more of a cluster thing then just loosely spread it around, but that’s stupid.

Bake in your 300° oven for 1 hour.

About 40 minutes in I pull the granola out and break apart the huge sheet into large chunks.  It will be soft but still stay together.  Flip around the chunks so pieces that were on the outside are now on the inside and sides that were touching the sheet are now exposed to the air.

Do you have to do this step?  No.  But you don’t have to make your own granola either.  Doing this allows the granola to bake faster and more evenly.  If you don’t, it will still bake it will just take around 2 hours and the sides will probably burn.




Perfect for days when you find yourself second guessing that 4th cup of coffee.  Who are we kidding?  Those days don’t exist.

Perfect for days that end in ‘y’.


Chocolate Zucchini Bread


The base for this recipe is very similar to my banana breads.  So if you make it and wind up liking it you can check those out in the BREAKFAST section.  That being said this is even less sugary than my banana bread recipes.  I’m getting even more off the sugar wagon, not that I was ever really on it.  I guess I looked at it a little too hard sometimes, I don’t know.

I’m not eating much processed sugar these days is what I’m saying, I JUST WANT YOU ALL TO BE AWARE.

I’m kidding.

Yesterday, Justin brought home some summer squashes from the farmer’s market.   Now, I had never had a summer squash before and I barely eat zucchini.  I knew zucchini bread was a thing but  I realized I didn’t know exactly what he had brought home.

After some googling it turns out he brought home 1 zucchini, 1, crookneck, and 1 straightneck.


So what’s the difference?  It turns out not much of anything.  They’re used completely interchangeably in recipes and all that really differs is the color.  All are called summer squashes and they’re picked while still immature so their seeds and skins are still edible.  The only difference seems to be is yellows tend to have more seeds the larger they are, so look for small ones.

So short story shorter, don’t worry about what kind of summer squash you have, no one will be able to tell the difference anyway.

On to the recipe!

Recipe: (baking time: 1 hour) 

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 cups summer squash (3 small ones)
1 tbsp chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350°

Sift or whisk together your flours, baking powder/soda, salt, and cocoa powder.


In a large mixing bowl add your applesauce, sugars, espresso powder, and vanilla.

I usually use multiple kinds of sugar in my baking, I feel you get a better product that way.  Brown sugar makes it moist while white sugar gives it that firmer top at the end.  Granted we’re not adding that much but the idea is there.  If you want more of the effect add 1/4 cup of each, the rest of the recipe should be fine, you made need to add a tbsp or 2 of liquid at the end.

The instant espresso is optional, it just intensifies the chocolate flavor.


Grate your squashes.


Because these guys contain a lot of excess water you may want to strain them.  You don’t need them to be completely dry just squeeze the clump with your hand or something, just to get most of the liquid out.


Add an egg to your sugar/applesauce mix and whisk until just combined.


Now you’re going to add your flours and squash mix in chunks.


You don’t need to stir thoroughly in between each addition.


It’s kind of like a souffle mixing action.


End with a squash addition.


End result should be pour-able but not liquidy, thicker than a traditional cake batter.

Taste it!  If it’s not sugary enough for you consider sprinkling a tbsp or 2 of sugar after you put it in your pan.  I’m trying to lower my sugar desires and I found that was a good way to transition.


Add a tbsp of chocolate chips if you want and bake in your 350° for 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean.


Let it cool.  Give it at least 20 minutes or the poor thing with fall apart on you.


Bread like this keeps for a day or two on the counter and up to a week in the fridge.



Pineapple Kiwi Salsa


It’s summertime so it’s time for fruity salsas.  This is a very quick and easy salsa to make if you’re looking for something a little different.  Most fruit salsas are just chopped up chunks of the ingredients thrown together in a bowl.  While that might be good for some people, those types of salsa make me sad and I want them nowhere near my person.  I want my salsa to be thick and full of tomato-y flavor.  If you want just bits of fruit thrown together, I don’t know, make a fruit salad or something.


1 kiwi (chopped)
1 ring pineapple (100 g, chopped)
1 garlic clove (added to blender)
1/2 small red onion (1/2 chopped, 1/2 added to blender)
1 tsp dried cilantro OR 1 tbsp fresh
1 tbsp lime juice
1 red pepper (roasted, chopped)
28 oz can whole tomatoes (1/2 chopped, 1/2 added to blender)
salt to taste (if needed)

Roast your pepper.  You can add it raw to your salsa but I like roasting it because it brings out the flavor more.

If you’re not roasting it on the stove top you can also roast it in the oven.  400° for 30-40 minutes.


When the skin is blackened all around remove from stove top and place in a covered bowl.


While your pepper is resting you can chop your pineapple and kiwi.  Add them to a bowl with your lime juice and cilantro.


After a few minutes the steam accumulated in your pepper bowl will have softened the pepper skin and it will remove easily.  You can either wipe it off or rinse it off.  Dice the pepper and add it to your fruit bowl.


Deseed your tomatoes.  Is this absolutely necessary?  No.  But the seeds lend to a bitter flavor that can be noticed by some people.  Whether or not your remove them depends on how lazy you’re feeling that day.

I add half of my tomatoes to a blender (with the juice, garlic, and 1/2 my onion) and dice the other half.


Add your diced tomatoes to your bowl along with your diced onion.

I usually dice half of my onion and blend the other half.  Blending the onion produces a stronger onion flavor over all but then you don’t have as many onion chunks to bite into.  I feel like splitting the difference creates the balance of onion flavor I desire.


Add your blended tomato.  Because of the sugars in this salsa I don’t feel the need to add anything to make it thicker, but if you do you can add tomato paste (my go to salsa thickener) or arrowroot/corn starch or xanthan gum.



Lemon Lavender Blueberry Scones


These are a lighter version of a scone.  Shocker, I know.  Check out my Apple Cinnamon Scones, which are also lighter if you’d like.  I bought a bottle of Lavender Bitters a while back and while I love adding a dash of it to seltzers I love baking with it even more.  I also made a batch of Lemon Lavender Banana Bread I thought was divine.  I think lemon and lavender are two flavors just begging to be eaten together and find it very hard not to eat one without the other.  I feel like a high society lady who still only wears white before Labor Day when I indulge in them together.

But that’s just me.

It wasn’t until I was writing this blog post that I realized I completely forgot to add egg to this recipe.  They came out perfectly fine, fine enough for me to not notice there wasn’t egg in them anyway.  So there you go, an eggless scone.    If you want to add egg just decrease the amount of buttermilk to about 3/4 cup, but that might throw off your baking soda levels.  Who knows though, it might make them better.

Recipe: (baking time 18-20 minutes)

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
4 tbsp butter (no salt)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tbsp granulated sugar for topping
1 tbsp lavender bitters (can also use dried lavender)
zest, juice of 1 lemon (reserve a small amount for topping)
1 cup blueberries (fresh, can use dried or frozen)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven 425°

Whisk or sift together your salt, flours, baking powder/soda.


Get your buttermilk ready.

If you don’t want to use buttermilk you can do the milk and lemon juice trick and since this recipe already calls for lemon juice you can just use that.  Add the lemon juice to your milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.  But really, buttermilk is tasty and you should use it as much as possible.

Also, if you don’t use buttermilk you’re going to continue dicking with your baking soda levels.


Get your butter ready.  I make my scones like I make my pies and biscuits so I want my butter to be nice and chilled.  I cut it up and dump it in my milk.  Necessary?  No.  But why not?


Get your blueberries ready.  You can use dried, but dried blueberries make me sad.


Zest and juice your lemon.  I just do it into my bowl of blueberries, let them start to soak up some goodness.


Pull out your butter and mix it into your flour using your fingertips or one of those dough thingies.  Just make sure you leave it clumpy and don’t melt your butter with the heat of your hands.


Make a little well and pour in your buttermilk, applesauce, and 2 tbsp sugar.  Mix those together in the well.  You can do this in a separate bowl if you like, but why dirty another dish?  When your buttermilk is all mixed you can start to combine it with your flour.


You have two options with adding your blueberries.  You can either add them with your liquid or you can add them in after your dough comes together.  Neither is right or wrong and both have their draw backs.

If you add your blueberries in with the liquid it’s harder to mix the dough as thoroughly because you’re being careful not to break them.  If you add them in after the dough comes together it’s harder to make sure they’re fully integrated throughout the dough.

That being said I added mine in after my dough came together.


Dough should be stiff and not sticky.  If it’s sticky considering adding a little more flour.

Pour out dough onto lightly floured parchment paper and separate into two equal portions.


Shape into 6 inch flat dish (making sure there are no huge gaping holes on top) and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp sugar.  I brush the top with my remaining lemon juice/zest and then sprinkle with the sugar.


Cut into however many scones you want, I go for eight.


Bake in a 425° for 18-20 minutes until golden.

Scones should look done on all sides.  If you want the more perfect looking blueberry bits then you have to use dried blueberries.  But as I said before, those make me sad.  Frozen will hold their shape a little better than fresh but I like when some of them burst into the scone.