The 7th Annual Valentine’s Brunch

by Megan on February 19, 2015

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

Sunday was the 7th Annual Valentine’s Brunch! And it was super fun. It involved: cheese plates, mimosas, a few fried things and even flower crowns. (They’re pretty easy to make, if you can even believe it).

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

We all hung out and ate tons of food and drank mimosas by the pitcher.  I kinda wish I would’ve eaten more! And my friends did secret dishes and it made the clean-up so much easier. I feel so lucky to have all these people in my life.

So much can happen in a year! Thank goodness, right?

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

For the sweet side of things, I made my mom’s cinnamon rolls and topped them with a bourbon glaze. I fried up some ricotta fritters, and made my go-to baked French toast cupcakes. This year I used challah bread for the french toast and put some rhubarb sauce in the bottom of each cup.

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

It turns out that my favorite polenta-crust quiche bake up really cute and tasty in cupcake liners! And these veggie burgers taste pretttttty great on pumpkin brioche buns. Nicole helped me fry up some avocado fries too!

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

We listened to tons of good songs thanks to this playlist. Do yourself a favor and listen to it all day while you have a party or bake cupcakes or lounge on the couch.

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

I passed out Valentines with poems on them like, “Roses are red, violets are blue, I like you more than cookies, cake and pizza too.” Some of them involved double dating in a Taco Bell drive-thru and even liking someone’s pug more than them a little.

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

I fried up breakfast corn dogs like I did last year, and made teeny Croque-Monsiers on sliced baguette!

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

My boyfriend took tons of Instax photos and finding them around my apartment is making me so happy! It was probably the best brunch party yet!

The 7th Annual Valentine's Brunch // take a megabite

Thanks to Westborn Market for sponsoring some of my grocery buying, bourbon for making a cinnamon roll glaze such a dream, huntsman cheese for being so stripy-magical, honeycomb decor and Instax photos!

P.S. Check out past brunches here: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th.

{ 9 comments }

Tart Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

by Megan on February 9, 2015

Tart Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream // take a megabite

Over the weekend I told my bf that when I eat an early dinner I sometimes get disappointed that it means I can’t eat dinner later. BUT that night the joke was on me because we had late night pizza and this second dinner was actually the first time I cared at all about pineapple on pizza, so there ya go. A 2-part story that has nothing to do with this ice cream other than that that was one of the best days ever.

Tart Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream // take a megabite

Not only because of the 2-dinner thing and macaron brunch appetizer, but because I found some pink cones AND tasted this ice cream and basically just really loved it. You see it’s tart from the Michigan cherries (a total freezer section miracle) and goat cheese. The graham cracker crust swirled in makes it taste JUST like cheesecake. Do yourself a favor and go to Kroger and get colorful cones and scoop this up for your Valentine.

Tart Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream // take a megabite

Tart Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream (makes 1 hefty quart)
Recipe adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Ingredients:

tart cherry compote –

  • 2 cups pitted tart cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup sugar

graham cracker crust –

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • pinch of  salt

goat cheese ice cream –

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 T + 1 t cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 oz.) fresh goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 T) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 t fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

Directions:

  1. Make compote. Heat sugar and cherries in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Mash gently with the back of a spoon. Stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Cover and chill until time to use.
  2. Make crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Stir the butter and sugar into the graham crackers until all of the crumbs are coated. Press onto a parchment lined baking sheet into a single layer about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before crumbling. Once cooled, crumble and place in a zip top bag in the freezer.
  3. Make ice cream. Mix about 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to create a smooth slurry. In a large bowl, whisk the goat cheese, cream cheese, and salt together.
  4. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  5. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Whisk in half of the cherry compote. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill over night.
  6. Churn, baby churn. Churn your ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Once churned layer in an air-tight container with the remaining compote and crust. Freeze overnight. Scoop and serve!

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

Insta-living // take a megabite

FriDAZE // Party Cone // Pre-brunch Snack-a-Palooza

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White Chocolate & Jam S'mores // take a megabite

I’m over on Better Homes & Gardens Delish Dish blog today talking about these s’mores and forcing Valentine’s Day puns on you and your boyfriend, girlfriend, BFF and secret crush.

White Chocolate & Jam S'mores // take a megabite

Yay! You can find the post right HERE. XOXO

{ 3 comments }

Vegan Banana Bread for Two

by Megan on February 2, 2015

Vegan Banana Bread for Two // take a megabite

Guys… I had the oldest banana burning a hole in my kitchen table. And the truth is, when it’s freezing out and there’s like a foot and a half of snow outside, the main answer is to warm up your house with baking AND to eat that goodness right out of the oven.

So I had this for a snack and then chips and salsa for dinner, and I might’ve looked like a scrub all day because, let’s be real, I didn’t leave the house except to move my car to a less stuck-in-the-snow spot and Elliot is totally cool with it. He thinks I’m pretty fun whether I have mascara or real pants on anyway.

BUT I’ve made this recipe about 4 times now. It’s so good and it’s got pantry business in it. Nothing weird. Sometimes I put brown sugar in it and pear sugar on top. Sometimes I use all honey in it, or olive oil, or put walnuts on top.

Vegan Banana Bread for Two // take a megabite

Vegan Banana Bread for Two
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients:

  • 1 super-ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 2 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1 small flax egg (1 T ground flax seeds + 1 T water)
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 T coconut oil, melted
  • 2 T slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a mini loaf pan with cooking spray. Stir all the ingredients together except for the almonds. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Top with almonds and more cinnamon. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer  inserted comes out clean. Divide in half and eat!

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

Elliot Yawn // take a megabite

Elliot thinks this recipe is so boring!

{ 8 comments }

Blood Orange Quickbread (vegan)

by Megan on January 29, 2015

Blood Orange Quickbread // take a megabite

As my friend Darren would say, “This cake decor gives me life.” It really does! I mean, I knew I wanted to bake with blood oranges since they’re the super hottie of citrus, but when I stirred it all together it looked like when you mix all the slurpie flavors, combine every watercolor paint shade, try to wear all your nail colors at once. Kinda gray/green/sick/gross.

Blood Orange Quickbread // take a megabite

I mean, it reminds me of the time I went swimming and then didn’t have time to wash my hair the next day before work so I put on super bright lipstick. These sprinkles + bedazzled goodness is the lipstick in that story.

Blood Orange Quickbread // take a megabite

I mean, who knew blood oranges could make a batter match my new lil army jacket so perfectly? Who knew it could look like swamp, but taste like a dream? I guess we should just eat this cake in the dark or try to disguise it’s weirdo color with all the festive cake toppers you can muster. I mean, it’s just so ridonk! I should’ve used those oranges as a glaze. Powdered sugar wouldn’t have let me down the way science did right here. BUT at the end of the day this stuff is good. So there’s that! And it’s casually vegan. So that adds some boom to the shaka laka we’ve got here.

Blood Orange Quickbread // take a megabite

Blood Orange Quickbread (vegan)
Recipe adapted from Veg Recipes of India

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup turbinado cane sugar or granulated
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • zest from 4 small blood oranges
  • 1/3 of a cup of slivered almonds
  • sprinkles!

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cornstarch. In a 2-cup measuring cup, stir together the juice, almond milk, sugar, coconut oil and zest. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until well mixed. Transfer to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and sprinkles. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Transfer to a wire rack. Lift out of the pan using parchment paper. Cool completely. Serve with some mad bedazzling.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

Instaliving // take a megabite

Elliot got a Barkbox! Heart carbs.
Heart honeycombs. FRY love you.

 

{ 4 comments }

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Megan on January 22, 2015

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies // take a megabite

These cookies are chewy and salty sweet. They’re also BIG which means there’s lots of middle and that’s the best part. Kinda like how the best part of the weekend is when there’s a 3rd day full of antique shopping and bibimbap eating and chit-chatting. These cookies are the 3-day weekend of your (my) January #veganphase living.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies // take a megabite

I think it’s really cool that there’s maple syrup in these and I think you’re really cool for not judging that lil glimpse of dumb turquoise socks in the first photo. So make these if you’re taking a break from dairy and stuff or if you’re out of butter and eggs or if you just are the type who wants to try every single chocolate chip cookie that’s ever existed.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies // take a megabite

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 1 dozen large cookies)
Recipe adapted from Eat Me, Delicious

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 big pinches of kosher salt, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 4 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. In a 2-cup measuring cup whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla, and olive oil. Add to the dry ingredients and beat until almost together. Add chocolate chips and mix until combined.
  2. Scoop the dough using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 11 minutes.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

P.S. I mentioned these casually before into vegan ice cream cups right HERE.

Insta-living // take a megabite

Pink oven of my dreams // Balloon business
Favorite tights and pup // Spring is coming!

{ 11 comments }

Snack Attack (This Bar Saves Lives)

by Megan on January 18, 2015

Snacks are just a part of life. // take a megabite

Snacks are really important to me. I won’t stop talking about it! So when the folks from This Bar Saves Lives contacted me to blog about where I snack, I was totally into it. Good snack, good cause, less hangry biz.

Snacks are just a part of life. // take a megabite

I put a few bars in my desk drawer to eat between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner or for lunch. I liked this one best. It has vanilla bean freckles.

Snacks are just a part of life. // take a megabite

This one matched my outfit. So thank goodness I had one in my purse to eat on my way to work or to the store or to the movies, ya know?

Snacks are just a part of life. // take a megabite

I even packed some in my backpack to bring to Chicago to eat on the plane or in the hotel or before dinner or after brunch.

So, thanks for the snacks! They were a dream.

{ 3 comments }

Almond Milk Spiced Hot Cocoa

by Megan on January 14, 2015

Almond Milk Spiced Hot Cocoa // take a megabite

I like to heat this up on the stove all casual-like in my favorite tights/dress combo. It pairs well with Pinterest perusing, recipe planning, BFF chit-chat, pup hugging, fireside hanging, record listening, neon nail painting and pink moccasin slipper wearing. You see, not to get all new years resolution-y on you guys, but I think I need to get my self-care in order. And this hot cocoa (and all those pairings) are helping me do just that.

So give yourself a compliment sandwich, warm up some cocoa in your favorite outfit, plan a party, cut yourself some slack, don’t ask anyone’s opinion, like what you like because you like it, and don’t bother sharing these 3-4 servings with anybody, ok? (Unless you want to and then please do! You’re in charge of your life and your hot cocoa. Believe it! I bet you didn’t think this recipe would be chock full of metaphors and lady power did you? Me neither!)

Almond Milk Spiced Hot Cocoa // take a megabite

Almond Milk Spiced Hot Cocoa (Makes 3-4 servings)
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Bring milk, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean and nutmeg to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean. Whisk in cocoa powder, dark chocolate, sugar and salt. Whisk until foamy. OR alternately use an immersion blender to mix completely. Strain if necessary. Serve immediately warm. OR chill and reheat as needed for up 5 days.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

insta-living // take a megabite

I’m 30, and I feel so alive. // Tofu Bahn Mi, hell yes.
Elliot is my sunshiny bff. // Veggie Taco Brother Brunch 

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Falafel Sliders (vegan)

by Megan on January 12, 2015

Vegan Falafel Sliders // take a megabite

In Memphis my bf and I went to a restaurant called Slider Inn (ahem). And we split a falafel slider with black bean hummus. Basically, what we have here. I thought it was a super-great idea! And I knew I wanted to eat them when I got home.

So I made my usual slider bun, the vegan remix, and Minimalist Baker’s falafel, and a thrown-together-no-big-deal black bean hummus.

Falafel // take a megabite

P.S. I’m doing this casual vegan January thing. And by January, I mean, until my friend’s birthday later in the month that will be pizza and beer everywhere. (I’m lookin’ at YOU, Katie.) And by vegan, I mean, I had to get my eating in check. I can’t live my life eating pie after donuts. AKA vacation eating. BUT this doesn’t mean I’m eating anything I don’t like, and I can still have cinnamon rolls, so what’s the big deal, right? I feel pretty good about it.

Falafel // take a megabite

Falafel Sliders
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients:

falafel –

  • 3-4 T oat flour (ground from rolled oats)
  • 4 cups stemmed and torn collard greens
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T tahini
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • sea salt + black pepper

for sliders –

  • vegan brioche slider buns, recipe below
  • cucumber slices
  • black bean hummus, recipe below

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make oat flour by pulsing a handful of rolled oats in a food processor until almost fine. Set aside.
  3. Add collard greens, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper to the food processor and pulse and puree until combined. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in oat flour until thick enough to handle. Taste and season as needed.
  4. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scoop out falafel. Form it into patties and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes in the hot oven, flipping halfway through bake-time. Serve on vegan buns with a cucumber slice and black bean hummus.

Black Bean Hummus // take a megabite

Eat it by the spoonful, live your LIFE.

Black Bean Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained + more  if needed to thicken
  • 2 T tahini
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • heaping 1/2 t cumin
  • salt + pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except walnuts in a food processor except walnuts and process until smooth. Add walnuts to thicken. Add additional beans if necessary to thicken. Taste and season as needed.

Vegan Falafel Sliders // take a megabite

Cookie-sized burgs.

Vegan”Brioche” Slider Buns
Recipe adapted from here

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 T almond milk
  • 1 package (2 t) active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 T sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax seeds + 2 T water)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 2 1/2 T coconut oil melted + more for brushing
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a glass measuring cup, combine 1 cup water and almond milk. Microwave for 10 seconds spurts until warm, about 30 seconds total. Whisk in the yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the flax egg by whisking ground flax seeds and water and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add melted coconut oil and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Pour in the yeast mixture and flax egg. Stir until a soft dough forms. Scrape dough onto a clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on the counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Shape dough into a ball. Place in a medium bowl sprayed with cooking spray, turning once to coat. Top with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts (4-ish ounces a piece) or a bunch of 1.5 oz slider buns. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Cover loosely with a tea towel and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 400° with rack in center. Brush melted coconut oil over the buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if ya’ feel like it. Bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes for big buns or 7-10 minutes for slider buns. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipes above.

Insta-living // take a megabite

Chocolate makes everything better and so do succulents
Vegan “brioche”?! Shut the front door.

{ 15 comments }

Months of Megabites (2014)

by Megan on January 9, 2015

Months of Megabites (2014) // take a megabite

January Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Milk Ice Cream of my Dreams
February Toasted Marshmallow and Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
Plus The 6th Annual Valentine’s Brunch Party

Months of Megabites (2014) // take a megabite

March Single Lady French Toast
April Feta, Tomato and Bell Pepper Quiche with a Polenta Crust
Plus I went to Florida!

Months of Megabites (2014) // take a megabite

May Roasted Strawberry Ice Pops
June Chickpea Sliders on Roasted Beet Buns
Plus My Top 5 Summer Essentials + I went to San Francisco (Again!)

Months of Megabites (2014) // take a megabite

July Sour Cherry Fro-Yo Ice Pops
August Strawberry Moscow Mules
Plus I went to Chicago!

Months of Megabites (2014) // take a megabite

September Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
October Vanilla Bean, Brown Sugar, & Cinnamon Swirl Whole Wheat Bread
Plus I recapped my Betty Crocker Pie Sundae Social + I went to Cleveland! + I made dinner with Stella Artois

Months of Megabites (2014) // take a megabite

November Cocoa Pebble Cereal Milk Pudding
December Veggie Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Plus A Thanksgiving Recap and Bunny Resolutions

I’d call 2014 the year of cereal milk everything, popsicles and Moscow Mules. Excited about what this year will be about!

P.S. You can peruse a few past years here: 2013, 2012, 2011

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