Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hidden Treasure: Cornmeal-Oatmeal Blueberry Bread

I love surprises! Surprise birthday parties, a surprise visit from a dear friend, a surprising and exciting result in the lab: surprises are the exclamation points in otherwise mundane day-to-day life.

Cookbooks, of course, are chockful of surprises. Every recipe is potentially a surprise. And in a cookbook like Passionate Vegetarian, which contains literally over a thousand recipes, there are bound to be lots of surprises. The Cornmeal-Oatmeal Blueberry Bread is more like a hidden treasure. This fabulous recipe is tucked not in the dessert chapter but rather in the grains chapter, right next to the recipes for savory cornbreads. This particular bread, though, is sweet and so it makes a great midafternoon snack. It has a wonderful texture: firm and a bit nubbly from the cornmeal, oatmeal, and walnuts. Don't leave out the walnuts! The flavor combination of blueberries and lemon is fantastic and really makes this bread worth making over and over again. Crescent suggests saving this bread for fresh blueberry season, and I am inclined to agree with her. The size and flavor of fresh blueberries works really well in this recipe, and I don't want to tinker with it. It's perfect just the way it is.

I discovered that this recipe has been posted online, so I'll provide the link here.

What are you waiting for? Get baking!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

White Bean Minestrone

I have a confession: I like simple recipes. I like dishes that come together easily and without fuss. I like food that tastes like the essence of itself: fruit, vegetables, bread, cheese. I like food that is delicious without trying too hard. And I like recipes that are quickly made not because you ran around the kitchen like a banshee for 30 minutes but because the recipe is simple and straightforward enough that in less that an hour you can chop your vegetables, saute your onions, and simmer your soup peacefully all while nursing a cup of coffee.

Of course I cook so that I may eat, but I often cook as a way of slowing down. With a to-do list that never ends and a racing mind, I need a way to slow everything down so that I may regain a sense of balance and peace. For this reason, I make many pots of soup and stew. While the soup simmers, so do my thoughts. After a cooking session like this, I not only have lunch for the next day but I am ready to face the unknown challenges that the day will bring.

This recipe for White Bean Minestrone is among my favorite soup recipes. It is a simple recipe, but it is delicious, filling, and nutritious. I found it long ago in a magazine, and I have made it many times since. My only regret is that I did not make a note of that magazine source! Last Sunday I found myself fortunate enough to have all the ingredients on hand, so I made the soup in the morning before heading out for my 80-minute run (I'm training for a half-marathon). When I came back for lunch, I sauteed some vegetarian breakfast soysage to add to my soup and added a big slice of sourdough bread to dip in my soup. Perfect!

White Bean Minestrone

Makes 5 servings

1 large onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
2 large carrots, sliced in half lengthwise and then sliced widthwise into "half moons"
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large red potatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 14.5-oz. can of diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
1 14.5-oz. can of white beans (cannellini beans or Great Northern beans are good choices), drained and rinsed
4 c. vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the oil and saute for about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2) Add the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper to the saucepan. Cover and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Try not to overcook the potatoes so that they don't become mushy.
3) Taste the soup (carefully because it's hot!) and add salt and/or pepper to taste. You can also add additional seasonings such as a bit of dried basil if you like. Eat with some good bread to sop up the broth!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

From the Wish List: Dairy-Free Peach Ice Cream

Ah, summer! The days are long, the mood is happy, and the cooking is light. Truth be told, I am not much of a "seasonal eater." I eat more or less the same things year round except when it comes to fruit. I am indulging in seasonal summer fruits to my heart's content this year, knowing that their presence at the market is transient. Yesterday I spotted Michigan blueberries at my local Jewel for less than $2 a pint! Score! And they are DELICIOUS: big, sweet, and juicy. Blueberries were not on my shopping list, but I'm happy to ditch the list for sweet Michigan blueberries.

But this blog entry is not really about blueberries. It's about ice cream! Specifically, it's about the dairy-free peach ice cream recipe in the current (July/August 2007) issue of Vegetarian Times. This recipe is a really easy, fast way to whip up a frozen dessert in less than ten minutes. Basically you buzz frozen peach slices with some soymilk, sugar, and some flavorings to make a peachy slush. You can then eat it right away or tuck it into the freezer to make it more solid. The end result is more of a sobet than an ice cream: it's cold and sweet but it isn't very creamy. This quality isn't necessarily a bad thing; it's still a light and satisfying dessert which would be especially appropriate after a rich, heavy, or spicy meal.

I made this dessert using my teeny-tiny food processor which can hold about 2.5 cups of stuff at one time. With this limited capacity in mind, I halved the original recipe and cut back a bit on the sugar. I found the slush was sweet enough without adding the full amount of sugar in the original recipe. I'll give you my modified recipe here.

Dairy-Free Peach Sorbet
adapted from "Dairy-Free Peach Ice Cream," p. 86, Vegetarian Times July/August 2007

2 cups frozen peach slices
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (I used 1 Tbsp. but think 2 Tbsp. would be even tastier)
1/4 tsp. real vanilla extract, optional (I didn't use vanilla because I didn't have any on hand)
Pinch of salt

1) Add all ingredients to a food processor, starting with the peaches to make sure they all fit! Buzz until smooth.
2) Either eat sorbet immediately or spoon mixture into a freezer-appropriate container to freeze. If you freeze the sorbet until it's solid, give it about ten minutes to warm up at room temperature before attempting to scoop it out. Otherwise the sorbet will be rock hard and very difficult to serve.

And just for fun, I'm entering this recipe in the "Blog or Bust" event over at ( The Clumsy Cook is calling for healthy summer desserts. Her blog is quite entertaining, so go check it out!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

From the Wish List: Rainier Cherries

As my graduate advisor says, do the easy things first. And so I do!

Delicious Rainier cherries recently appeared at the market. I love this variety of cherries because they are gorgeous and delicious. Their skins are a golden yellow blushed with red, and their flesh is a pale creamy yellow. They are delectably sweet with a hint of tartness, and they are juicy and tender. Of course they still have a pit inside, and I spit that out, so I try not to eat them in polite company. In my opinion, spitting out the pits is half the fun in eating fresh cherries!

Like all fresh cherries, their presence at the market is seasonal and fleeting. At $4 for a pound of Rainiers (and that was a sale price!), they are not cheap, but it's a splurge worth making. I think it's important to mark the seasons in ways that are meaningful to you, and for those of us whose work lives vary little throughout the year (grad students like me don't get summers off, contrary to popular belief), summertime offers its own unique treats. You just have to keep your eyes peeled for the Rainier cherries!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I like spicy food. Really, I do! Apparently I do not yet appreciate that not all spicy foods are created equal, and the world cuisines in which spiciness is a prominent feature can be vastly different in the intensity and use of heat.

Last Saturday I was excited to try my first recipe from Nancie McDermott's Real Vegetarian Thai. I chose a very simple recipe, Red Curry with Sweet Red Peppers, Snow Peas, and Tofu (p. 96 in my copy), but I substituted ~1 c. broccoli florets for the snow peas. The recipe calls for 1-2 tbsp. of red curry paste. I had on hand Thai Kitchen's Red Curry Paste, and I used a conservative 1 tbsp. of it to keep the heat under control. Boy, was I completely wrong! As I was cooking the curry, the smell of coconut milk mingling with curry paste was irresistible, and I couldn't wait to try it. In keeping with Thai tradition, I ate my curry over freshly made Thai jasmine rice, but I got too greedy. Since the sauce smelled amazing, I figured it would taste just as good, and I spooned a generous amount of it over my rice. The result was that I could have breathed fire as I tried to eat my dinner. The heat of the curry paste was overpowering; my nose was running, and my mouth and lips were burning. I had to gulp down water after every bite to quench the flames! Eventually I gave up and decided I would eat the rest of the curry with a mountain of rice to tame the fire that is red curry paste. The extra rice helped, but I'm afraid I may have met my match in red curry paste.

I have not given up on trying other curries from Real Vegetarian Thai. I really want to try some green curries (made with green curry paste, of course!), but to be cautious, I will try them first with very small amounts of the curry paste and work my way up to more generous amounts.

Why was I so confident that I would be able to handle the heat of this red curry? I believe it's because I enjoy the heat and flavors of spicy Mexican (or Tex-Mex or Southwestern, however you want to label it) and Indian food. It's not often that I make a dish from one of those cuisines that is overpoweringly spicy. The caveat is that I will adjust the number of fresh chile peppers to suit my own taste; if a recipe calls for two jalapeno peppers, many times I will use just one pepper. Perhaps if I use the same logic with Thai cooking I will end up with a dish that I can actually enjoy rather than survive!

Hurray for experimentation in the kitchen!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summer Cooking Wish List

In celebration of the fleeting glory that is summer in the American Midwest, I have compiled a wish list of the recipes that I would like to make or food I would like to eat before summer ends.


1) Rainier cherries (local grocery store)


2) Citrus-Buttermilk Soup with Minted Fruit Salsa (Passionate Vegetarian, pp. 176-177)
3) Lunar Gazpacho (putting my own spin on the original recipe published in Passionate Vegetarian, pp. 175-176)


4) Just Peachy Salsa (July/August 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times, p. 86)
5) Sweet and Spicy Nuts (Real Vegetarian Thai, pp. 50-51)

6) Coffee Ricotta Mousse (Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, p. ?)
7) Peach Parfait, (July/August 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times, p. 86)
8) Dairy-Free Peach Ice Cream (July/August 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times, p. 86)
9) Thai Iced Coffee (Real Vegetarian Thai, pp. 188-189)

Can you tell that the current issue of Vegetarian Times features an article about peaches? Can you tell I just bought myself a copy of Real Vegetarian Thai?

Why is there such emphasis on beverages and desserts? Is it because I have a sweet tooth? Or is it because summer features such glorious seasonal fruit that one ought to make a special effort to enjoy it?

This wish list will require me to make at least one special trip to find the Thai coffee required for Thai Iced Coffee. I am looking forward to the hunt! Chicago has a number of Asian shopping districts; I'm hoping the grocery stores off of the Argyle Red Line stop will carry my coffee so I can make it soon. Any Chicago denizens or former denizens have any suggestions about where else to look for Thai coffee?

Saturday Lunch

Finally, a decent meal! During an unusually chaotic week at work, I was living off of leftovers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and quick lettuce-and-carrot salads. When the week finally ended, I had a semi-empty fridge (a cook's fridge is never really empty) and a need to make something new and delicious.

The heat wave last weekend ruined my plans to make these delicious Corn and Broccoli Calzones. I found the recipe in the latest issue of Eating Well magazine: Since I had planned to make the calzones last weekend but couldn't, I had all the ingredients on hand and so I had the luxury of puttering around my apartment this morning, preparing lunch in between showering and finishing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (an EXCELLENT read!). Since I am a bit of a bread snob, I made the calzone dough from scratch (rather than buy store-bought dough, as the recipe instructs), using my favorite pizza dough recipe. I use the Pizzetta dough recipe from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven (pp. 132-133 in my copy). I make a full batch of dough, split the dough into six balls, and freeze any leftover dough in individual balls to use later in the week. This plan works really well for calzones because I can use one ball of dough per calzone.

The filling for these calzones comes together very fast because there aren't too many ingredients and nothing needs to be cooked beforehand. I had never had corn before in a calzone, and I was delighted with the results. I used frozen corn (apparently I'm not a corn snob), but all the other ingredients were fresh except the basil; I used ~1 tbsp. of dried basil, crumbled into the filling ingredients.

The calzone was delicious. Chunks of bright green broccoli with sweet little kernels of corn mixed with spunky green onions and soothing ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, all wrapped up in a chewy golden brown bready package. Yum! Calzones tend to be really filling, so I had one calzone and a handful of fresh dark red cherries. This meal is a great example of summer eating at its best...or at least summer eating on days when you can still use your oven!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Addictive Peanut Butter Granola

Hurray, an actual recipe!

If recipes were judged based on the number of times you make them, then this recipe gets five stars from me. I love it for many reasons: I can make it quickly from ingredients I have on hand, it is reasonably nutritious (especially for a sweet snack), it's satisfying, and most importantly, it's delicious! I adapted it from a now-lost recipe I found on, so my kudos and apologies to the writer of the original granola bar recipe from whence my beloved peanut butter granola came.

I truly believe peanut butter and chocolate are a magical combination. When I was a child, my favorite candy of all was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Now that I am older and no longer live on candy, I eat this chocolate-studded granola in place of Peanut Butter Cups. I usually stir the granola into milk or plain yogurt and eat it alongside some fruit.

Addictive Peanut Butter Granola
4-6 servings

2 1/4 cups oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/6 - 1/3 cup (or 3-5 tbsp.) vegetable oil (I usually just eyeball 1/6 of a cup by filling the 1/3 cup half full)
1/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth as you prefer (I do like the texture chunky peanut butter gives the granola)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 of the following add-ins:
-1/2 cup mini chocolate chip morsels
-1 cup mixed peanut butter and chocolate morsels
-1 cup chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix together the oats, flour, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3) Add the vegetable oil and peanut butter and mix. The mixture will be a bit chunky.
4) Stir in the brown sugar.
5) Stir in your chosen add-in. The mixture will be a bit moist from the oil and peanut butter, but overall it will be rather dry and chunky. Spoon the granola into a square 8-inch cake pan.
6) Bake the granola at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then dig in! Before storing, allow granola to cool completely in the pan and then store it at room temperature in a tightly sealed container. This granola will keep for at least a week. My batches never last longer than that!

* * *

Friday, November 28, 2008

A post-script

This granola recipe is a wildly popular hit when people search for peanut butter granola recipes via Google. I'm tickled to discover that there are so many people out there who are eager to make their own granola! This granola in particular is one of the easiest and most satisfying baking recipes in my collection; it hardly gets much easier than measure-stir-bake-eat. (That last part is my favorite.)

The popularity of this recipe nudged me into making it again after a long hiatus. Ooh-wee, I forgot how good this stuff is! It's too tasty for its own good, especially when you make it with Sunspire Peanut Butter Chips. Although I love chocolate as much as the next guy, I really like a straight peanut butter granola, which is my official recipe entry for Nick's celebration of Peanut Butter Lover's Month. I am hardly surprised that November is Peanut Butter Lover's Month; it seems apropos because November is my birthday month and I consider peanut butter essential for life. So to all my fellow peanut butter lovers, I raise my spoon to you in a sticky, peanut-buttery salute!

To make the all-peanut butter version of Addictive Peanut Butter Granola, I recommend using 1/2 cup of Sunspire Peanut Butter Chips as the add-in. The chips are pretty sweet, so if you are a little sensitive to sugar, you can decrease the brown sugar if you like. With the full 1/4 cup of brown sugar, the granola is pleasantly sweet to me when mixed with milk or plain yogurt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Late in the Game

Allow me a moment to discuss something other than my true love, food. Recently I have started reading the Harry Potter series. For those of you who have been living in a cave (or in graduate school) for the last ten years, the Harry Potter books feature a young wizard named Harry Potter who has repeated encounters with the evil Dark wizard Lord Voldemort while attending Hogwarts, a school for wizards and witches. At the outset, I wasn't really interested in reading these books at all. I read mostly nonfiction; I rely on friends and family to recommend good fiction to me. Somehow all the fiction I pick out on my own ends up being chick lit, which, while fun, is also a bit grating since the characters tend to be shallow, neurotic, and insecure. I love nonfiction and I do enjoy good fiction, but I don't tend to enjoy the fantasy genre much. Case in point: I did not enjoy the recent Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. It was too long, too complicated, and frankly, I was bored.

I did not expect to enjoy Harry Potter since it is fantasy and it is written for young adults, not 25-year-old Ph.D. candidates. The first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was tolerable. The ending, however, was unexpectedly delightful. After that, I devoured the second book, and now I am reading the third book in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Prisoner of Azkaban is actually very creepy and a little disturbing thus far! For me, though, the Harry Potter series is refreshing not because of all the magic but because the characters are so very human. Despite their supernatural abilities, they struggle with the same issues that baffle us Muggles: loyalty, goodness, selfishness, self-doubt, courage, fear, and hope. I like the characters and the relationships between them because they have qualities that make them believeable. I suspect I am not the only Harry Potter fan who feels this way.

It is rather enjoyable to become absorbed in Harry Potter's adventures now because there is just one final book that will be added to the series. This coincidental timing means that I can just keep reading without interruptions; I'm not stuck LONGING for the release of the latest Harry Potter book. My awesome friend Josh, who originally insisted I read the first book, has now loaned me his copies of the first three books, so I haven't even needed to visit the library to find the books! Cheers to life's little pleasures, including the fun, fantastical world of Harry Potter and friends.

And by the way, if I were a Harry Potter character, I would be the smart, book-loving know-it-all, Hermione. If I could be any character, I would be Hagrid, the generous, loyal, rough-around-the-edges giant with a heart of gold and a fondness for all creatures, great and small.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Foodie Status

I'm trying to figure out if I'm actually a foodie. To me, this term, "foodie," refers to a class of people who have strong and specific opinions about all things food-related, including ingredients, cooking techniques, restaurants, and wine. To help illustrate my own position on the foodie spectrum, I have compiled the following lists:

Signs that I might be a foodie:
1) I much prefer to make my own pizza dough rather than buy pre-made dough. (As a side note, check out JD's post about homemade vegetarian pizza on his blog, American Life! I've provided the link to his blog in the sidebar. Note to self: Must learn how to create snazzier links in blog.)
2) I avoid frozen dinners. I refuse to become part of the Lean Cuisine brigade!
3) I love really good bakery breads and homemade breads.
4) I love shopping at Wild Oats, my local "natural foods" store in Evanston, IL.
5) I have a newfound love for artichokes. The caveat is that I use canned artichokes; does that disqualify this statement from counting toward foodie status?

Signs that I'm not truly a foodie:
1) I don't like many expensive stinky European cheeses. (Matt, if you are reading this, sorry!)
2) I know almost nothing about wine (sorry again, Matt! But you already knew that...).
3) I feel pretentious shopping at Whole Foods. This feeling doesn't stop me from an occasional Whole Foods visit, but I much prefer the more hippie-esque Wild Oats.
4) I'm perfectly happy to use jarred marinara sauce rather than make my own, although I am curious to try my hand at a homemade sauce.
5) I usually use canned, not fresh, tomatoes in my soups and stews.
6) I haven't decided how I feel about roasted bell peppers. I think foodies in general are in love with roasted red peppers. I can take 'em or leave 'em.
7) I hate mushrooms! (More apologies to Matt here.) Actually, hate is a strong word, but I often dislike them and don't cook with them myself.
8) I own a Rachael Ray cookbook. Does that automatically disqualify me from foodie status?

Since the non-foodie list has more items than the foodie list, for now I shall settle for non-foodie status. Am I still allowed to write a food blog?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

It's Summer: Bring on the Salads!

I go through food phases. During my first few years of graduate school, I went through a long soup phase and learned to make many tasty soups. I even perfected a simple tomato soup recipe (coming soon!) that I now regularly crave. When I was really young, I went through cookie phases and macaroni-and-cheese phases, during which I made ample amounts of Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies and Velveeta Shells and Cheese, respectively. Thank goodness my eating habits and cooking skills have improved considerably since those days!

Now it's finally summer in the American Midwest. We Midwesterners have a deeply meaningful relationship with summer because it is so short and for some reason, we have no spring in the Chicago area. We seem to go straight from winter to summer: 30 degrees to 70 degrees overnight. It's crazy. But we love summer and in the spirit of the season, I'm starting a new food phase: prepared salads.

In her lovely book Soup and Bread, Crescent Dragonwagon has written a beautiful and inspirational essay about summer eating. She waxes poetically about the pleasures of building your summer diet around cold soups, tasty bread, and prepared salads. It's that last item on which I am working. My first cold salad of the season is the Green Lentil Salad with Lemon Dressing from Ladle, Leaf, and Loaf by Lisa Cowden. This salad is a tangy and filling combination of cooked green lentils, bell peppers, avocado, onion, and fresh herbs marinated in a light, garlicky lemony dressing. I loved it at first bite. This salad is a good keeper: I made it on Saturday and it was just as tasty for dinner on Tuesday night. One of my favorite things about this salad is that it allows me to enjoy avocado, which doesn't always keep well, for several days after preparing it. I highly recommend good bread with either a savory or sweet topping to accompany this salad. Desperate for something simple yet filling for dinner last night, I whipped up a single scrambled egg and piled it and a big scoop of lentil salad on some toasted hearty rye bread. Fabulous! It totally hit the spot. Since I had already overdosed on desserts earlier in the day, I ended the meal with a cup of decaf green tea and curled up with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Wonderful!

Next up: homemade potato salad?

It's So Green!

I'm a fairly healthy eater. I eat my share of vegetables and fruits, and because I'm a vegetarian, I get my protein from beans, nut butters, and moderate amounts of dairy and eggs.

But I have a sweet tooth.

In fact, my sweet tooth is probably responsible for my most unhealthy habit, which is that I eat too much sugar. I follow nutrition research fairly casually, but the general trends seem to indicate that we should be eating very little or no refined sugar. And contrary to what some hippie cooks might have you believe, I do not believe that a honey-sweetened dessert is healthier than its white sugar-sweetened counterpart. But I refuse to give up my cookies, brownies, muffins, peanut butter granola (look for that recipe in a future post!), and the occasional waffle cone on the premise that I am not willing to live without the pleasure of dessert. Just like I'm not willing to forgo the pleasure of a good-night kiss after a good first date just for the sake of being coy!

A box of JELL-O Instant Pistashio Pudding Mix had been sitting in my pantry for over a year. By the time I decided to make it, it was rancid! Gross. However, now I was in the mood for green pudding and so I bought myself a new box. This behavior is fairly unusual on my part for several reasons. First and most importantly, I try to avoid foods with excessive amounts of strange food colorings with names like Yellow 5 and Blue 1. What exactly IS Yellow 5? Do I even really want to know? Second, I am a fairly dedicated from-scratch baker. I make very few desserts that use boxed mixes as the starting point. It would be more characteristic of me to make a pudding from scratch than from a mix, but when I was much, much younger, I had some misadventures while making pudding and haven't attempted it since.

That brings us back to my box of pistashio pudding. These JELL-O mixes are the easiest thing in the world to make: you add milk, whisk for a few minutes, pour into cute serving dishes, refrigerate for 5 minutes, and TA-DA! Pudding in less than ten minutes total, including the time it takes you to clean up your tiny mess. But I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to see the color this pudding becomes when you add the milk. The mix goes from a pale green powder to BRIGHT GREEN! I only wish I had a picture to share with you for this transformation; it was amazing and not just a little alarming. And how does our innocent pudding mix accomplish such feats? Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6, and "artificial color." I'm not sure what that last one is! Are the first three not artificial colors?

Despite my concern over what exactly I was eating, the pudding was tasty and very sweet. It took me back to my childhood for a few minutes because this pudding was one of my brother John's favorite things to whip up for us at a moment's notice, and it was always such a nice gesture. He's still doing nice things for others just to make the world a little sweeter.

Perhaps that's the real meaning behind dessert: it makes the world just a little sweeter. It's worth the fuss of making desserts from scratch, but sometimes all you need is a box of pistashio pudding mix and some cold milk.