Archives for category: Sides/Snacks/Miscellaneous



I don’t think we’ve mentioned before where the inspiration for the name of our blog, Milk & Sugar comes from. Throughout our entire lives, and to this day, a very simple ritual we both share is the drinking of tea–traditionally for the Stroebe sisters the tea of choice is Earl Grey or Constant Comment– with milk and sugar.

Nothing but coffee will do in the mornings, but the rest of the day I consume vast quantities of tea. As I’ve gotten more into baking (and hosting tea parties) I’ve started incorporating tea into my treats. This cake is my most recent creation. I don’t actually use the tea in this recipe, but I’ve borrowed that unique flavor combination of orange and clove that will always be Constant Comment to me. Tasty , but not too sweet or overwhelming in flavor, this cake is perfect eaten for dessert, breakfast, or in the afternoon nice cup of tea. Enjoy!

Constant Comment Cake

2 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour ( I don’t recommend using whole wheat flour for this recipe)

3/4 cup  sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon  salt

3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk or almond milk

2 tablespoons fresh orange zest (from about 2 whole oranges)

2 teaspoons ground cloves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In one bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Beat eggs in a separate bowl, add milk and olive oil, then blend with wet ingredients. Stir in zest and cloves.

Pour into a greased pan–any you like, I used a large loaf pan here. Sprinkle the top with a few pinches of sugar, and just a dash of clove.

Bake until golden brown, and when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack and enjoy with a cup of tea.



I’m really busy with travel and work these days, so meals have become simple, quick, and in big pots so I can eat leftovers for several meals. So the next few posts will be less recipes and more meal ideas for those times when cooking healthy meals may seem a bit daunting. There’s really no need eat boring or unhealthy foods when you’re really busy (or broke)!

This is another meal that I eat quite often, as it is simple to make, really inexpensive, and delicious so I’m happy to eat the leftovers for days. I have to credit my good friend Caitlin Rueter, who I often stay with in NYC. She makes this all the time and although she  apologizes for the simplicity of the meal, I always enjoy it and crave it again and again.

Did you know that lentils and brown rice cook in the same amount of time? This was a great discovery for me–you can pop both raw (cleaned and picked through) lentils and brown rice into a rice cooker and not have to think about them at all. Meanwhile, cook any sides or toppings you would like and you have several filling, nutritious, and very tasty meals with about as much work as it would take to make a box of mac and cheese.

Caitlin’s lentils, rice and greens

  • Rinse, and pick any stones from about a cup of lentils (I used brown, you can use any you like, French lentils are great, red lentils would result in a more creamy texture)
  • Add lentils and approximately the same amount of raw brown rice (I like long-grain,or Jasmine) to the pot or rice cooker
  • Use the proportions of 2 parts water to 1 part rice/lentil mixture
  • Cook as you would rice
  • Go do whatever you have to do for about half an hour
  • When the rice and lentils are just about done, thinly slice about half an onion, and a little garlic if you like
  • Sautee onion in a few glugs of olive oil, and a couple generous pinches of salt. Add some chile flakes if you like
  • When the onions are translucent and slightly brown, add finely sliced greens or any other vegetable (still damp from rinsing)
  • Sautee until tender-crisp, add more salt to taste, and squeeze a good amount of lemon/lime juice on top
  • Serve vegetables over lentils and rice, with more lemon and your favorite hot sauce

You could use any vegetables you like here–spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, or just let the onions get a little crispy, add a handful of chopped fresh parsley, chives, or cilantro, and leave it at that. Don’t forget a big squeeze of lemon or lime juice before serving.

For a side dish/dessert, I sliced some ruby red grapefruit onto which I drizzled a little bit of real maple syrup.



I apologize for my long absence from the blog! December was a bit crazy for me – I completed my master’s degree, had my last day at work, then the holidays… wow. It’s been a blur, but a great one! 🙂

Suzanne & I made these rolls (adapted from VeganMonologue) for Thanksgiving and they were good, but didn’t come out exactly how I wanted them to.  I decided to try the recipe again with a couple important changes. They turned out a little ugly, but so fluffy and tasty! (not sure why a lot of my baking turns out this way…. ugly but tasty?!)

As the title implies, these rolls are very simple to make, however they are time consuming.  They require the dough to rise two separate times for an hour each time. But, they are well worth the time, if you have it!  The addition of wheat germ to the recipe boosts the nutrient content of these rolls (as compared to regular dinner rolls).  Wheat germ is a great source of many vitamins and minerals, including: thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, iron, and zinc to name just a few…

Easy (not to be mistaken with quick) Dinner Rolls

Adapted from VeganMonologue

1  packet active dry yeast

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup toasted wheat germ

1/2 Tbsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)

3 Tbs. butter, softened, plus more for brushing dough

3 Tbs. honey

¾ cup warm water (~100-110 degrees)

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (~100-110 degrees). Let stand 5-10 minutes, or until bubbles form.

dinner rolls, milk and sugar sisters, wheat germ, milk and sugar

Mix flour, wheat germ, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Stir butter and honey into warm water until both are dissolved.

dinner rolls, milk and sugar sisters, wheat germ, milk and sugar

dinner rolls, milk and sugar sisters, wheat germ, milk and sugar

Add yeast and butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Continue to mix the dough (easiest with hands and/or KitchenAid mixer) until it forms a smooth, elastic ball (~ 5 minutes of kneading).  If the dough is too sticky, add ¼ cup flour and knead into the dough.  Continue until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

Place dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled. (In the winter, I preheat the oven to 100 degrees, turn off the oven, and let the dough rise in the warmed oven.)

dinner rolls, milk and sugar sisters, wheat germ, milk and sugar

Punch down the dough and roll the dough into medium sized balls (think a little bigger than golf balls). Place dough balls in a greased metal pan and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm place for another hour, or until the dough has doubled in size again.

dinner rolls, milk and sugar sisters, wheat germ, milk and sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Brush tops with olive oil and bake 20 minutes, or until tops of rolls are browned.  Enjoy!

dinner rolls, milk and sugar sisters, wheat germ, milk and sugar

dinner rolls, milk and sugar sisters, wheat germ, milk and sugar

Here are a few things I’ve made recently that would be good additions to any holiday meal: an extra spicy, whole wheat gingerbread, a delicate and moist persimmon cake recipe that doubled as  persimmon chocolate chip muffins, lots of kabocha pumpkin simply roasted in olive oil and salt until super tender and caramelized, and an autumn salad with spinach, red quinoa, pumpkin seeds, apple, and feta.

spicy gingerbread


1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 ts. baking soda

1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon fresh ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground if desired

1 tablespoon orange rind

3/4 ts. salt

1 egg beaten (or 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed in 1/4 cup warm water)*

1/2 c. turbinado sugar + extra for topping

1/2 c. molasses (use a fuller flavored  “robust,” un-sulfered or unfiltered molasses if you can)

1/2 c. boiling water

1/2 c. olive oil


preheat 350 degrees

combine dry ingredients into one bowl. in a separate bowl, mix wet in ingredients. combine, then add boiling water last, stirring until smooth.

cook in a loaf pan, cake pan, or whatever you prefer. Bake until golden, coming away slightly from the sides of a pan, and when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Serve alone, or with lemon curd, lemon or vanilla ice cream, or fresh whipped cream. Also wonderful lightly toasted with coffee or tea and sliced oranges for breakfast.

*note: substituting flax seed for egg will make this recipe vegan. the result is just as delicious, but does not hold together as well

persimmon cake/ persimmon chocolate-chip muffins

adapted from bon apetit

note: this recipe results in a lightly sweet cake or muffin. If you would like a sweeter result, use 1 cup of sugar and/or top with a delicately flavored icing, glaze, or sweetened whipped cream (vanilla, orange zest, and/or nutmeg would be wonderful additions)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
  • 4 large, very ripe Hachiya persimmons
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • chocolate chips (optional)
  • chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour muffin tin or loaf pan. Tap out excess flour.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • Scoop persimmon flesh from skins into a blender. Purée until smooth. Mix with wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips or nuts if using
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, cake pan, or muffin tins.  Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  • Let bread cool in pan for 20 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely on a wire rack.

caramelized kabocha pumpkin


  • kabocha pumpkin
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


preheat oven to 400 degrees

cut pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and cut in thin slices or small chunks (more cuts means more caramelized edges!) drizzle generously with olive oil (about 1/4 cup for an entire small pumpkin) and salt. toss to coat.

roast until very tender and edges are lightly browned and caramelized, about 20 minutes

optional additions: sliced onions, fresh black pepper, hot chile flakes, a couple teaspoons of maple syrup and/or french mustard drizzled over squash for the last 5 minutes

Autumn Salad

makes one large salad


6 cups baby spinach, or mixed greens

one firm, sweet/tart apple, like a Pink Lady or Gala, cored and sliced thinly

pumpkin or squash seeds, roasted with olive oil and salt at 400 degrees until golden brown

1/2 cup crumbled feta (or ricotta salata, or fresh goat cheese)

1 cup leftover quinoa (any variety, I like red the best for salads)

your favorite vinaigrette or mix together 1 tablespoon french mustard, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of your favorite vinegar, black pepper, and a tiny pinch of sugar until emulsified

Toss greens with most of the dressing, leaving a couple tablespoons to drizzle on top. Arrange quinoa, apple slices, seeds, and cheese on top on dressed greens. Drizzle with remaining  dressing and serve.

quinoa salad, mexican style quinoa salad, mexi cali quinoa, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

A good friend of mine recently introduced me to the wonders of quinoa salad.  I’m not really sure why, but quinoa has always been something I have hesitated to cook.  I love it whenever it is prepared for me, but I’ve always resisted cooking it myself.  I was coached as to how to make the most flavorful and healthful quinoa salad, and, I must say, my first attempt was a success!!! I ended up making this as a “mexi-cali” style salad because these were the ingredients I had on hand – avocado, cilantro, green onions, beans, etc.  The flavors mixed with the quinoa turned out to be just right, but definitely play around with the main ingredients as you like!

I first cooked the quinoa according to directions (I believe it’s 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water; simmer until all the water has evaporated – super easy!). The black beans were drained, rinsed, and cooked on the stove top briefly to incorporate the spices and heat up the beans. The salad dressing was made while the beans were cooking and everything was tossed together at the end. So easy and so delicious!

Mexi-Cali Quinoa Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 ripe avocado, diced

1 whole tomato, diced

1 large handful cilantro, minced

3-4 large kale leaves, de-stemmed and chopped  (spinach would be a great substitute)

3 green onion stalks, chopped

1 Tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded (optional; omit for vegan cooking)

1/2 red or yellow bell pepper (or both!), finely chopped

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

1/2 tsp cayenne (1/4 tsp if you like foods less spicy)

1/2 tsp each cumin & garlic powder


~2 Tbsp cilantro, finely minced

1/4 avocado, mashed

2 Tbsp each white vinegar & apple cider vinegar

1 tsp honey

salt/pepper to taste (~1/2 tsp each)

1 Tbsp olive oil

Add the quinoa equally to two serving bowls and set aside. Add the next 7 ingredients (through bell pepper) into a large bowl and set aside.  Place drained & rinsed black beans in a sauce pot and add remaining ingredients.  Stir well and cook ~5 minutes over medium heat.  Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the dressing, add the cilantro, mashed avocado, honey, and vinegars to a small bowl. Stir very well until creamy.  Add salt/pepper to taste and stir in the olive oil.

Add the black beans and dressing to the veggie mix in the large bowl and stir until well incorporated.  Spoon a generous portion (~1 cup) on top of each bowl of quinoa and enjoy!  Serve with a slice of lime, if desired.

quinoa salad, mexican style quinoa salad, mexi cali quinoa, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

quinoa salad, mexican style quinoa salad, mexi cali quinoa, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

quinoa salad, mexican style quinoa salad, mexi cali quinoa, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

Late fall, I love ending up with a ton of apples in my CSA – often more than I can consume during the week with all the other awesome produce included each week.  I wanted to use some of them to make a delicious breakfast bread, with flavors reminiscent of both fall and winter.  I absolutely love the combination of apples and cinnamon, so I decided these would be the primary flavors in this baked good.  The oatmeal gave the bread a heartiness that I also associate with fall and winter.

I diced the apples and sprinkled with the teaspoon of vinegar and a tiny bit of the sugar (after it was measured into the 1/3 cup, so as not to add more sugar).  I let them sit about 5 minutes, similar to how one would prepare an apple pie.  This helps soften the apples a bit before putting them in the oven.

I made the bread with 1/3 cup white sugar + 1 Tbsp brown sugar and it turned out great, but a little on the sweet side for me (though it was perfect for the other people who tried it; so, you may want to stick with the original recipe at first).  I personally like my breakfast breads/muffins on the less sweet side so next time I’ll make with 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, but, again, this is dependent on how sweet you like your breads.  The bread will keep ~3 days in an air-tight container, and is amazing slightly toasted in the morning!  Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Bread

2 carrots, shredded

3-4 medium or small apples, de-cored and diced (ends up to be about 2 cups when diced)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar will also work, but apple cider is preferable)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup oatmeal (old fashioned)

1/3 cup white sugar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp each – ground ginger & nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup low fat milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a standard loaf pan (~9 x 5 x 7) with cooking spray.  Add the diced apples to a medium bowl and sprinkle with a small amount (~1 tsp) of the pre-measured sugar and add the vinegar.  Mix well and let sit 5 minutes.

Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.  Shred the carrots into a medium bowl and add the wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir.  Add the apples and mix until well incorporated (but, try not to over mix! Just mix until all ingredients are incorporated).  Add the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake about 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife/toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

apple cinnamon bread, cinnamon bread, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

whole wheat waffles, multigrain waffles, waffles, banana waffles, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

My first Saturday off work in well over a month deserved a celebratory breakfast!  My waffle iron has been neglected for close to 6 months, so I decided it was time to dust it off and give it a little love.  I’ve tried (and failed) at many waffle recipes over the years, and I’ve finally just about perfected it – at least to my liking.  I’ve found – again, through much trial and error – that the only way to make good waffles is to have a quality waffle iron.  My favorite so far is from Villa Ware (this isn’t my exact model b/c mine is quite old, but how cute would it be to have heart-shaped waffles!!).

I made these waffles with a 1/2 cup of oatmeal, as I like the hearty crunch the oatmeal gives the waffles.  This is definitely unusual in waffles, so, if you prefer, substitute the 1/2 cup oatmeal for your favorite type of flour – whole wheat, cornmeal, brown rice, etc.  I’ve tried making this recipe with all whole wheat flour and they turn out way too dense and dark.  This is a good compromise.

whole wheat waffles, multigrain waffles, waffles, banana waffles, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

I beat the egg white by hand to a soft foam in order to add a light and fluffy texture.  You certainly don’t need to do this, but it is quite easy and really makes a difference in the density of the waffles.

whole wheat waffles, multigrain waffles, waffles, banana waffles, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

I also used a frozen banana (I always have pounds of these in my freezer due to my banana obsession!) that I defrosted and mashed into the batter.  I then sliced a fresh banana into the batter just before I added it to the waffle iron.  You can sub the banana for any fruit you like – frozen or fresh (if using frozen, don’t defrost first). Blueberries or strawberries would be delicious! I hope you enjoy!!

whole wheat waffles, multigrain waffles, waffles, banana waffles, milk and sugar, milk and sugar sisters, michelle stroebe

Multi-grain Banana Waffles

3/4 cup unbleached white flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

2 Tbsp flax seed

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 frozen banana, defrosted & mashed

2 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil

1 cup LF milk (or almond milk)

1 whole banana, sliced

Add all dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, and set aside (flour through ginger).  Separate egg whites into a small bowl; add yolks to a medium bowl.  Add remaining ingredients (through milk) to the egg yolk and stir well.  Beat the egg white by hand until a soft foam forms.  Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir well.  Add the banana slices and stir.  Gently, fold in the egg white until fully incorporated.

Add waffle batter to a preheated waffle iron and cook ~4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup or your favorite jam!