Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spiced Oatmeal Smoothie

It's my favorite time of year again, folks! When the mornings and nights are crisp and cool and I want to throw apples, pumpkin and cinnamon into everything.

Without going pumpkin spice crazy, this smoothie is the perfect welcome to Autumn! And it fills up your tummy.

Recipe adapted from Refinery29.

1 packet of Quaker's Banana Nut Oatmeal
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup honey Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
Pinch of turmeric
1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp pure maple syrup
A small squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Ice cubes

1 fresh date, pitted and chopped


1. Make oatmeal according to packet directions. Set aside to cool.
2. In a blender add milk, yogurt, cinnamon, turmeric, apple, vanilla, maple syrup, lemon juice, date (if using), ice cubes and cooked oats. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into glass or jar. Finish with a dusting of cinnamon.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Jamaican Jerk Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken is a regular on the dinner list at the Duke home. Whether it is chicken breasts, slow-cooked and shredded or even soup, there are a lot of different ways to make a delicious meal with chicken. One benefit to chicken that I especially love, is the value of it relative to its cost. The other day I bought 5 pounds of chicken drumsticks for under $4. I decided to try a new spice rub on the chicken and make some baked chicken drumsticks for a simple, weeknight meal.

Jamaican Jerk Spice Rub
Recipe found on
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In a small mixing bowl, stir together all the spices and set aside for chicken.

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Prepare the chicken by patting each drumstick down and getting them as dry as possible, then lay them out on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over the top of the drumsticks and rub each drumstick with the spice rub you made. Bake the chicken for 30 minutes, flip them, and then for an additional 25 minutes.

We often have rice with chicken, but a side of corn on the cob would be great as well! Enjoy!

(Tip: there are lots of spices in the rub recipe and you may not have all of them each time you cook. There is a cool Herb and Spice Substitution Chart at The Humbled Homemaker. Check it out!)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Avocados and Breakfast at the Dukes

The last few weeks, Shutterbean has been posting some fantastic pictures of various avocado delights, and each time I see them I have wanted to try them. Couple that with my wife making the best fried eggs and I knew what I was going to have for breakfast on Saturday morning. We also have tried an Avocado Banana Smoothie before and thought I'd give that a go again.

Basic Avocado Spread
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • freshly ground salt and pepper
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until well mixed. Spread on toast. 

Like I said before, I wanted to add a fried egg on top of this and it was delicious.

Avocado Banana Smoothie
Recipe found on Once Upon a Cutting Board
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 frozen ripe banana, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • couple handfuls of spinach (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dad's Dark Chocolate Birthday Cake

My dad is the biggest fan of chocolate. Particularly dark chocolate. I made this cake for his birthday this month and it was a huge hit! The cake is soft and spongy, and the chocolate ganache is silky and rich. I made two 9-inch round layers, but you could do three 8-inch layers as well. 

Dark Chocolate Cake
Recipe found on The Kitchn.
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans, or three 8-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Mix in boiling water - the batter will be quite thin. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Tip: Be careful that you do not over mix the batter! Over mixing causes the cake to fall in the center ... as I learned from trial and error.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then tap the cakes out of the pans. Cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Ganache
Recipe found on Savory Sweet Life.
  • 12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. I put mine in the fridge for an hour or so before whipping.