‘Food Tips and Tricks’ Category

  1. nutella coconut tapioca

    November 16, 2013 by Lauren

    Sometimes great food combos just come to you.

    And sometimes it's a process. This one formed over multiple events - me loving coconut milk bubble tea but hating paying $3.50 for it, chatting with Susan from Knitting Night telling me to cook tapioca in coconut milk, reading the tapioca box's instructions and ignoring them, and then finally seeing my treasured tub of nutella.

    I present you with: Nutella Coconut Tapioca

    nutella coconut tapioca - The Burlap Bag

    This warm dessert is perfect for the cold weather! & it’s the easiest recipe – - because I wouldn’t have it any other way. 3 ingredients, 3 steps, and then EAT.

    Ingredients:
    -2 tsp nutella (or to taste)
    -2 cups coconut milk (I’m obsessed with this boxed kind! You can also just use milk! Or almond or soy or hemp milk)
    -2 tablespoons minute tapioca 

    Steps:
    1. Combine everything in a sauce pan over medium heat.
    2. Stir constantly until it’s at a full boil.
    3. Turn off the heat and let it cool town. After 10-20 minutes (or longer), eat!

    The tapioca will continue to expand the longer you let it sit – - and the flavors will blend more and be more delicious! We really enjoy it heated up the next day when the tapiocas DOUBLE in size! But if you eat it 10 minutes later, it’ll still be delicious.

    As with any recipe, do this to your taste. If you do it equal parts milk/tapioca, it’ll be thick like pudding and you’ll need a spoon to eat (especially the next day when the tapiocas expand – you might need to add in more milk when you reheat!)  If you add in a lot more milk in the beginning, it’ll be more like a delicious drink – no spoon necessary! See what you prefer. And feel free to add LOTS of nutella if you’re an addict.

    Some people like tapioca cold too! I, however, do not. But I won’t judge you if you eat it cold the next day. (gross, you sicko!)

    Hope you love it!


  2. how to cut a bell pepper quickly

    August 12, 2013 by Lauren

    Josiah and I recently took a super short vacation to gather with his side of the family in Tahoe, California. While we were making dinner together one night, his brother Ben (who works at one of my favorite food places) stopped me as I was cutting up some bell peppers for shish kabobs. He politely mentioned that there's a much more effective way to cut them.

    What, you mean my “cut around the top stem and try to shake out all the seeds” method wasn’t the best? Ha.

    Here it is….. How to cut a bell pepper quickly:

    how to cut a bell pepper quickly - The Burlap Bag

    This might not seem like that big of a change – but I had to cut 6 bell peppers that night – and there was no “shake out the seed” mess happening! This way really simplifies the process. He called it the “box method”.

    As you can see in the photos above:

    1. Cut off the bottom. This makes it so your bell pepper can stand all on it’s own, usually even if it’s a wonky shaped one!
    2. Cut off “side 1″. You’re going to be cutting off all 4 sides, making this the “box method”.
    3. Cut off “side 2″. 
    4. Cut off “side 3″. 
    5. Cut off “side 4″. (as you do this more and more, you can practice at getting your sides even – and your “seed avoiding skills”. Josiah did it in the photos above, for the first time ever, so our sides are all a little uneven. Noob)
    6. Discard the core and seeds! Admire all your lovely bell pepper chunks. And cut them up more as needed. Plus you can still use the bottom that you cut off.

    Seriously, that’s all! No cutting around the stem and then digging out the seeds. This will leave most seeds in the middle with the stem, and great rectangle pieces for you to cut as you need!  You can cut the big pieces in half or thirds and they are perfect for dipping – or in thin slices for lovely fajitas.


  3. frozen grapes – the perfect summer treat

    July 25, 2013 by Lauren

    Frozen grapes are delicious. I've been eating them since I was little and have loved them during every Texas summer.

    No, this isn't a recipe - because there is no recipe! It's just a reminder to eat these because they are fantastic.

    grapes

    Just put your (clean) grapes in the freezer! It’s suggested to dry them off after washing so they don’t stick together in the freezer - but ain’t nobody got time fo that, especially when we don’t use paper towels in our house (gasp, weirdos, i know). I always have a thousand ice cube trays lying around, so last time I made some, I just stuck one in each little cube holder thingy. Pretty genius if ya ask me? Then when I want a nice treat, I just grab a hole tray and enjoy!

    grapes tray

    A lot of people like them frozen because:

    -They have a different consistency (a nice icy chew, kinda like ice cream in a weird way?)
    -It’s slower to eat them (I can eat 100000s of normal grapes in 5 minutes like nobody’s business. They are also expensive. Here, you have to enjoy slowly!)
    -Some say they taste a little sweeter, but this may just be because you’re eating them slower and enjoying the grapey taste :)
    -A very healthy snack!
    -PERFECT for the hot summer!

    Go freeze some!

    grapesbowl copy


  4. The summer 2 ingredient cookie

    June 17, 2013 by Lauren

    So many of our current readers found us because of our 2 ingredient cookie – which I made up because I was sick of all the “healthy” cookies that still had like a thousand “mandatory” ingredients. I decided to come up with one that only had 2 mandatory ingredients – - and then whatever delicious mix-ins you want!

    And YES. I know. I know. I know. I know that there are more than 2 ingredients in my cookie. Thank you for letting me know in the comments like a thousand times – I did graduate kindergarden and even college and can count past 2! It’s a miracle. But the base is just 2 ingredients – plus YOUR choice of more, if you want.

    Ok enough Lauren rambling. We’ve modified the recipe for summer – since PEACHES are so abundant! Here’s the goods:

    The Summer 2 ingredient cookie – (plus the mix-ins of your choice!)

    The Summer 2 Ingredient Cookie - The Burlap Bag da 2 ingredients – equal parts:

    -peaches (pureed or mashed up a lot)
    -oatmeal (quick oats or regular!)

    and then whatever other ingredients you want! Options that sound great: walnuts, brown sugar, chocolate chips, cinnamon, sea salt,  coconut flakes, pecans, raisins, smothered with nutella or peanut butter right before you eat…… or whatever else you want!

    Our favorites (same in our original 2 ingredient cookie and our autumn 2 ingredient cookie) to mix in are cinnamon, chocolate chips, and nuts. 

    The Summer 2 Ingredient Cookie - The Burlap Bag

    Steps:

    1. Mix everything up! Equal-ish parts of peaches and oatmeal.  If you’re using a lot of “mix-ins”, you might need to add in more peach goop (yes i just said goop in a recipe) so it’s not too dry.
    2. On a greased cookie sheet, cook them for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Obviously, cook longer if they are still a little mushy in the middle!
     Steps: 1. Mix everything up! If you’re using a lot of “mix-ins”, you might need to add in more pumpkin so it’s not too dry. 2. On a greased cookie sheet, cook them for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.   That is IT! Here’s some photos of the whole process in case you got super confused by those 2 steps:
    A few remarks:
    -We put our peaches in the blender so the peaches would get real liquidy – but with a few nice peachy chunks here & there. I’m sure you could use canned peaches or peach pie filling! We even left the skins on – you can see the little pink pieces in the pictures.
    -Quick oats definitely hold together better – but you can use regular oats if you’d like. I’d suggest chopping them up a little in a food processor/blender/on a cutting board so that they hold together better.
    -do NOT forget to spray your pan (or use parchment paper). You’ll hate yourself if you forget/choose to ignore me. Oatmeal is like GLUE!
    The Summer 2 Ingredient Cookie - The Burlap Bag
    And as with a lot of recipes, this is a little bit of trial and error to best fit YOU!
    Change the mix-ins, add in more peach, cook a little longer, turn your oven up more, make smaller cookies, smush the cookie “dough” down, etc.
    The Summer 2 Ingredient Cookie - The Burlap Bag
    Also, you should probably put these in the fridge within a couple of hours. The peach keeps them pretty moist, which means they could mold fast. Or, bright idea, just eat ‘em!
    Tell us what mix-ins you’ve thought of! And no telling me that these have more than 2 ingredients, seriously. :)

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