skillet chocolate chip pumpkin bread

I won’t make any more promises about pumpkin recipes.

I feel as if cast iron skillets are quintessential for Fall baking. They remind me of the warmth of fireplaces and the heartiness of stews and soups cooked during this time of year.

I still wonder what America would look like if Starbucks made debuted a sweet potato latte instead of a pumpkin one. Anybody else? Maybe not. Is it only weird to me that we drink pumpkins?

Well, pumpkin is no stranger to my family’s Thanksgiving smorgasbord. From pies to custards, whether baked, boiled, or roasted, it makes an appearance in some form or fashion between October and December.

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I recently shared a picture on IG but didn’t share the recipe. Rookie mistake, sorry fam. Without further delay,

Skillet Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

What you need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dairy-free butter, room temperature (not melted)
3/4 cup raw brown sugar
1 chia “egg” (1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1 ½ tablespoon water, let sit for 5 minutes)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 ½ cups of dark chocolate chips, chunks, or chopped

What to do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, gently whisk the flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt.
Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Mix on medium-high until ingredients creamed together.
Add chia egg, vanilla and pumpkin to wet mixture until combined.
Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Do not over mix.
Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into cast iron skillet leaving at least 1/4” inch at the top of the pan for rising. (If the skillet is well-seasoned, you will not need to grease it).
Smooth out mixture and sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave in skillet to cool.

Enjoy!

❤ Krystal

mango shrimp tacos.

Originally posted: July 24, 2013

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Since I am getting more clicks on my camera, I’ve been wanting to update my recipe pictures from years gone by. Part of the reason I stopped posting recipes is because my pictures just couldn’t hang with the many food bloggers out there, and learning photography was a daunting for me.

Well, here I am.

Mango Shrimp Tacos

Taco filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
15-20 medium shrimp, thawed, peeled, tails removed
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large jalapeno pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced in 1/4″ chunks (I ate most of my mango before it made it to a taco, whoops)
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped and de-stemmed

Sauce:
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lime juice (fresh is best)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together Greek yogurt, lime juice and salt. Set aside.

Add olive oil to a 10-inch non-stick skillet. On medium heat, saute shrimp, onion, ginger, jalapeno and salt until shrimp is cooked. This should not take long, about 6-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Place about 6-8 chunks of mango evenly over each lettuce leaf, then top with 1/4 of the shrimp mixture. If you’re one of the lucky ones to which cilantro doesn’t taste like soap, sprinkle on top.

Drizzle each taco with yogurt sauce.

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Happy National Taco Day!

❤ Krystal

super cao nguyen.

Some of us may never have the opportunity to travel abroad to enjoy international cuisines. Fortunately, in a world of increasing globalization, food is no longer isolated to its place of origin and can spread across all borders.

Super Cao Nguyen is located in the heart of the Asian District of Oklahoma City. It is the largest international grocer in Oklahoma City and was opened by Vietnamese refugees, Tri and Kim Luong. While the shelves here are filled with many Vietnamese kitchen staples, foods from all over the world can be found here.

After living and traveling overseas, I am not a stranger to the sights and sounds of international markets. While I currently don’t have a car, I enjoyed venturing away from my typical grocery store routine to check out more varied and seemingly fresher food options.

Super Cao Nguyen opens at 9am on weekdays. At opening time, employees are seen going through their normal routines of spray washing, stocking shelves, and prepping ready-to-go meals for the day. As you walk through the doors, you are greeted with the aromatic scents of incenses and a bright display of floral arrangments and traditional festive decor.

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I love signs like this that straight up, tell it like it is. The meat department cuts fresh fish and meat daily. Fresh salmon steaks on this particular day were $6.99 per pound.

In Mandarin, this dish is called zongzi. Zongzi is a traditional Chinese rice dish made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. Throughout Asia, there are different variations of this dish.

I am pretty adventurous when it comes to trying different foods, although I like to try international foods with someone with ties to a particular region (so I know if the food is actually good).

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I was on the hunt for two items, but only I found one. The first was purple sweet potatoes, which I could not find this time. The second was the matcha green tea Kit-Kat bars. Which I gladly purchased a bag of, because no shopping trip is complete without sweets.

❤ Krystal

pumpkin spice nice cream

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It’s PSL season, y’all.

While I am thankful to be back in the US where I can witness each season change, I am not quite ready to give up my summer favorites such as fresh berries and the most quintessential treat of the summer…ice cream.

I’m finally catching on to this new wave of nice cream. (I think I will be saying this for awhile to all the trends I missed out on from 2016 until now). By the way, I am not bringing bell-bottoms back. Props to those of you who are. I can’t. I just can’t.

Anyhow, nice cream is a great rendition on ice cream, if you couldn’t guess that much. While, I have nothing against ice cream, I don’t have a car, and ice cream doesn’t travel well from my local store to my house by foot.

Nice cream is simple and you will be amazed by 1) how easy it is to make,  2) the taste 3) and  the texture.

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Want to make your own pumpkin spice nice cream?

2 bananas*, peeled, chopped and frozen
1/2 – 3/4 c of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice (I made my own)
1/2 c of milk (you can use plant-based or dairy)
1 oz of cold brew coffee (because cold brew is the most millennial thing to do)

Add all ingredients to your blender or food processor, and scrape down the sides when needed. You should end up with a beautiful, soft serve consistency.

*You want ripe bananas, but not “banana bread” ripe. Use bananas that have some brown spots, but are still firm.

Note: Peel your bananas before freezing.

I think next time I will add my cold brew affogato-style.

Enjoy.

❤ Krystal

coconut & avocado oil deep conditioner.

After all these years of being natural, I finally realized my main curly girl dilemma. It has been my battle with properly conditioning. When I first BC’d (big chopped) my hair, wash-n-gos were a way of life. They required very little maintenance. As my hair has grown, I’ve found it more and more difficult to maintain length. Mostly because I am stuck in the wash-n-go way of life. This month during my 30 Day Challenge, I have been discovering new ways to care for my hair. Including new styling, washing, and conditioning methods.

Coconut Milk & Avocado Oil Deep Conditioner adapted from my new favorite curly girl Naija Curls
1- can full fat coconut milk
1- 2 tablespoons of avocado oil

Whisk well. Refrigerate overnight.
Divide hair into four sections.
Apply conditioner from root to tip of hair, twisting sections as you go.
Wrap hair in shower cap and towel for 30 minutes up to overnight.
Rinse hair by sections.

Style in desired protective style.

Flat Twists

Still working on my protective stylings, but here’s a start.
❤ Krystal

chicken & waffles with honey pecan pie coconut butter

Ever had your heart dead set on an amazing dish, and then realize you are one ingredient short. Not just one ingredient, but the most important ingredient? Yeah, me neither. I actually always have a fully stocked pantry with every ingredient you can get your hands on at anytime.

Yesterday, I grilled the most delicious “beer” butt chicken on the grill. Since, I had most of the chicken remaining, I decided chicken and waffles sounded like the best dinner idea for tonight. One major, major setback. I don’t have a waffle iron. But, I had this deceiving look-alike in my cabinet, and figured due to my desperation, it’ll do.

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Most people opt for fried chicken with waffles, but being palea-ish (I always felt like “paleo” was too masculine), grilled chicken is the best option for me. Before, I get the backlash from Paleo peeps, I realize this does have sugar, and spice, and everything nice in this recipe. Just consider it a cheat meal.

Chicken & Waffles with Honey Pecan Pie Coconut Butter (waffles adapted from PaleOMG)

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What you need:
Whole Fryer Chicken
1 can of beer, soda, or carbonated beverage
Seasoning of your choice- I used Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning

2 eggs
3/4 cup of almond meal
3/4 cup of pecan meal
1/4 cup of almond milk
1 tablespoon of coconut flour
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of pink sea salt (I #SweatPink all day, err’day)
1/2 cinnamon
2 tablespoons of Nikki’s Honey Pecan Pie Coconut Butter

For chicken:
Generously seasoning entire chicken. Stick a can of soda up the bottom end of your chicken and put on covered grill for 2-2 1/2 hours to cook.

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Plus this
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Equals this
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Remove from grill and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and almond milk. Add almond meal, pecan meal, and coconut flour. Add in honey, vanilla, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour mixture on waffle iron or fancy iron I don’t know the name of. Cook for 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from waffle iron.

Place waffles on serving plate and top with chicken wings or a few slices of your favorite chicken parts.

Melt coconut butter in microwave for 20 seconds and drizzle on top.

Enjoy!!!

primal fudge.

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Ohmygoodness. I’ve been dying to make this ever since this delectable treat danced on my taste buds at a girls night a few months ago. Creamy, airy, chocolately goodness. That’s probably the best and only way I know how to describe this marvelous creation. It definitely satisfies a sweet tooth and chocolate craving all-in-one. A perfect combination of almond butter, chocolate protein, agave, and coconut oil, this fudge is actually better than any fudge I have ever tried. (I actually don’t even like fudge.)

Let’s first talk about coconut oil. Although, it seems like a fad, coconut oil has been used in South Asian dishes for years. It makes excellent natural hair and skin moisturizer, as well as a flavorful oil in cooking and baking to replace hydrogenated oils such as vegetable oil. Coconut oil is unique in several ways. It’s completely solid at temperatures below 76 degrees Fahrenheit, it doesn’t become rancid, and the body treats and breaks down coconut oil, similar to other MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides). It requires less energy to absorb and utilize, but also helps the body feel fuller, longer as well as tackle fat.

Primal fudge. Adapted from practical paleo

What you Need:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup Arbonne chocolate protein powder
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

What to Do:
Melt coconut oil until liquid, but not hot. Adding all wet ingredients first, blend in Magic Bullet until well-blended. Pour into paper-lined muffin tin cups (about 1/8 cup of fudge per liner.) Makes 10. Freeze for 15 minutes. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!!!