CE #3: Souper!

In the dental world, CE stands for ‘Continuing Education,’ courses that you pay to take to keep yo’ skillz fresh; here, though, CE will stand for ‘Cheap Eats,’ meal recipes that are both affordable and delectable.

Carrot Ginger Broth

for individual noodle bowls

Let’s just get this out of the way now…IT’S FREAKING COLD OUTSIDE!!!!  Okay, not that we have fulfilled the obligatory weather comment requirement, let’s do something about it!  No, I don’t mean “do something about it” like Storm from X-Men, I mean, let’s just find a way to cope with the cold.  You know, soup!!
Noodle bowls, pho, ramen — whatever you want to call them — seem to be all the rage these days and for good reason!  They’re pretty easy to make at home, and they’re so incredibly versatile.  You can put whatever proteins, veggies, noodles, grains, etc, that you want, and you can prep all of the ingredients ahead of time for your busy workweek.
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Checkmate!

Spiced Chocolate Chess Bars

This Southern thing is really rubbing off on me.  I’ve been in Virginia for 6 months, and I’m already swapping my New England clam chowder for shrimp and grits.  Guess I’m basically just the cultural equivalent of tofu — I just take on the flavors of my surroundings 😉

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This being Christmastime, our clinic has been totally inundated with sugary tidings of festive good cheer.  After all, nothing says “Merry Christmas” quite like hyperglycemia!  We’ve had the standard variety of cookies, huge caramel corn tins, brownies, chocolate-covered everything, and even two massive boxes of assorted Greek desserts.  What spoke to me most, however, was something entirely new to me:  a chocolate chess pie.

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SRP #24: Use your noggin

“SRP” in dentistry means, “scaling & root planing” — a really deep cleaning for people with periodontal disease.  “SRP” in FoodSwing lingo means, “short recipe post” — a to-the-point recipe post for people with lives…and tastebuds. 

Carrot Eggnog Bread

I’m on a bit of an eggnog kick.  But, in my defense, you kind of have to be when you impulse-buy a half gallon of ‘nog and you don’t tolerate rich dairy beverages too well.

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As such, I am doing a LOT of eggnog baking experimenting at the mo’.  So far, they’re all successes [eggnog-based Spiced Chocolate Chess Bars are coming soon]!

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Cherry & Bright

Flourless Black Forest Cookies

The holidays are a time for celebration!  I know that I did not come up with that theory, but, it really is such a good one.  In light of the holiday spirit, I think it’s time to fill your cookie jars, dust off those cellophane gift bags, and curl that ribbon.  In other words, it’s time to share the holiday cheer in cookie form!

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There’s nothing that gets my goat more than people eating a delicious homemade baked good while postulating the number of calories per bite.  Nobody eats cookies as a health food!  Have one or two, enjoy them, and carry on with life — no regrets.  Nothing takes the fun out of the holidays like a calorie count.  Moderation.

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Kris Krinkle

Lemon Crinkles

Okay, let’s take a brief break from chocolate.  Don’t hate me though, I said a brief break!
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With trillions of holiday cookies on the horizon, I think now is a good time for a cookie cleanse.  I don’t mean one of those juice cleanses or detox things, I just mean a quick hiatus from dense, decadent, chocolate-laden confections.  Think of it as a zesty spring break!
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These lemon cookies are super fresh and fun, and they taste every bit as sunshine-y as they look.  Maybe sunshine-y isn’t a real adjective, but just think zesty and lemony, and you’ll have an idea of what I’m trying to say.

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Cold Turkey

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies with Set Chocolate Decorations

Some people just can’t wait to get out the Christmas decorations each year. Me?  I count down the days until I can whip out my turkey cookie cutter.  To each her own.  Certain cookie cutters have very limited use — a turkey cookie cutter is one of these such niche items.  Luckily, I thrive on minimal applicability, which is why I also possess a cow cookie cutter and a toothbrush cookie cutter.

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This thing is seriously adorable; however, when freshly-baked, the cookies tend to more resemble a map of the lower 48 states than the quintessential harbinger of Thanksgiving.  So, decorations are certainly in order.

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SRP #23: Soft Corn

In the world of dentistry, “SRP” stands for “Scaling and Root Planing,” a super thorough deep-clean.  In the world of FoodSwingBlog, “SRP” stands for “Short Recipe Post,” a condensed, flavor-packed post with minimal added comedic fillers and no high fructose corn syrup. 

Yeasted Maple Cornbread

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As a kind of corny person, it should be no real surprise that I love cornbread.  Whether in muffin form or as a big ol’ slab, there are few things with a more comforting and homey taste than cornbread.  The subtle sweetness, pleasant hint of grit, and fluffy crumb is unique to cornbread, and boy is it special!

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Happy Halloweek!

S’mores Brownie Ghosts

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Since I’m a smidge tardy posting this recipe, I’m proposing that we turn Halloween into a weeklong celebration — plus, now is when all of the surplus Halloween candy is dirt cheap!  Though it might be best to hang up the costumes for this year (showing up to work dressed as a bumble bee really can only fly on October 31…if then), the culinary aspects of Halloween can stay strong for at least a few days past the official observance.  After all, who couldn’t use s’more Halloween fun!

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Though these brownies have been thoroughly ghostified in honor of the season, they can easily transition into year-round treats with a quick wardrobe change.  An easy swap-out of the ethereal white chocolate draping, in favor of a thin, even smear of melted milk chocolate, takes these brownies from trick-or-treat to all-season sweet in the blink of an eye!

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It’s peanut butter jelly time!

PB&J Swirl Loaf

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — the stuffs of lunchboxes past.  PB&J-eaters can be divided into a few different groups based on deeply-entrenched preferences:  white bread, wheat bread, grape jelly, strawberry jelly, creamy peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter, …the list goes on.

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Most of us remember sad, squishy PB&J sandwiches for field trips when ice packs and coolers were not to be had.  When you think about it, though, the PB&J is brilliant — it was sweet & salty before “sweet & salty” was a thing!  Sweet, fruity jam, slathered upon salty, umami peanut butter, nestled between slices of soft bread.  Utter genius.  Peanut butter genius, you might say.

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Just in the nick of lime!

Zesty Lime Wedge Shortbread Cookies

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I like to play with my food.  I also like my Martha Stewart COOKIES cookbook (thanks, Mom!).  So, I decided to try to make a more visually-literal adaptation of Martha’s Lime Meltaways — a cookie that has been a family favorite since I acquired this tasty tome.

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A cloaking of powdered sugar on a cookie, while delicious, can hide both good and bad things:  indications of internal flavors, unsightly surface issues, dirt from when the cookie was dropped on the ground, etc.  So, to really embrace the zesty lime-iness of these cookies, I wanted to make them look every bit as citrus-y as they taste!

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