Friday, December 13, 2013

Cranberry Orange Bran Muffins

I don't think I can overstate just how many of these muffins I consumed upon plucking them out of the oven. They are delicious (and while wheat bran may have little nutritional value at all, who's to say) and healthy.

I nervously make a bunch of tweaks to this recipe. I wasn't PLANNING on making a bran muffin. I just ran out of flour and had to substitute. I also doubled the recipe. BECAUSE WHO WANTS ONLY 8 MUFFINS?! Crazy people who don't know to freeze their sweet delicious muffins. This was also my first introduction to Craisins. Holy wow, how did I miss this?! They're amazing. I'll probably scarf them all by the end of the day. ALL THE CRANBERRIES FOR ME.

To the recipe!

1 c. flour
1 c. wheat bran
3 tbl. flaxseed meal (or a couple extra tbl of either flour or bran
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 tea baking powder
1/2 tea baking soda
1/4 tea salt
zest of a couple oranges (mine were small, but more is always better, right?
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. orange juice*
4 tbl. melted butter
2/3 c. dried (probably sweetened) cranberries

Mix the dry ingredients (not the cranberries, though) in a bowl. Add the orange zest. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, milk, orange juice, & butter. Stir in the flour mixture, and spin with a mixer a bit. Fold in the cranberries and fill into muffin tins.

Bake at 425 for about 20 mins.

 *I squeezed as much as I could out of the oranges I'd zested (?) and added regular bottled orange juice to make up the difference

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 c. Almond milk
1 spoon/serving of protein powder
1 banana
1 c. Pumpkin purée
1 tea. Vanilla
2 tea. Honey
1 tea. Pumpkin pie spice

Blend and chill. Or toss some ice cubes in while blending. Makes 1-2 servings.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Spice Muffins

Stop what you are doing right now and bake yourself up these muffins. For a couple reasons 1) they make the house smell AMAZING while in the oven. and 2) with all the sugar, these are almost cupcakes. But there's OATS. So "healthy." Basically, I used this recipe, but did not do the full streusel type topping. Because really, I had to draw the line SOMEWHERE on the sugar.

Dry bowl:
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. rolled oats

1/4 c. flaxseed meal
4 t. pumpkin pie spice*
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

Wet bowl:
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree (or one 15 oz. can)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2/3 c. coconut oil 
1/2 c. applesauce
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract

*I had to make my own using 2 tbl  cinnamon, 1 tbl ginger, 1/2 tbl allspice, 1/2 tbl cloves, 1/2 tbl nutmeg. 

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the wet & dry ingredients separately, then combine. Pour into muffin tins (about 18 muffins) and I sprinkled some of the rolled oats on top (you know, for reasons) bake for 30-35 mins. (my oven runs cool, so the full 35 mins was about right) 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pinky & The Brain Smoothie

Before you start rolling your eyes, this has nothing to do with pink everything breast cancer awareness. We are already quite aware of it.
This recipe (one of the only ones I made up on my very own!) was inspired by the opening of a Jamba Juice near our house. JJ was a big part of my teenage/college experience, we got smoothies ALL. THE. TIME. Jamba has changed quite a bit since those days. They have kids' meals! (and sandwiches!) The kids meal comes with cheesy whole grain pretzels; It's amazing. The kids picked a smoothie with a beet component, and I really wanted to duplicate it, but only with what I had on hand. 

My kids are WILD about steamed beets. But the stem/stalk (the red part, before the leaf) is edible too! Instead of tossing them in the trash I threw them into the blender and it turned out nicely. I am SO PROUD, y'all. Stuff I would have thrown out- useable once more! Not to mention the vitamins! The brain food that magical beets posses. (notice the excellent first grade math skills in the background?) 

1 c. Pomegranate juice
1 banana
1 large gala apple, sliced
1/4 c. grapefruit juice
1 handful beet stalks
1 c. frozen strawberry/mango/pineapple blend

Saturday, October 19, 2013

French Apple Pie

I was looking for my apple pie recipe and made the grave realization that I had not put it on the blog yet. This makes baking with my phone on the counter impossible. So I went and dug out the paper copy. I also forgot to buy apples at the store! So no picture yet. Anyway, this is a recipe I found on the back of a pastry box. I tried it on a whim, and not only is it fool-proof (I am a kitchen fool, you realize) but it is delicious and elicits many compliments. The peeling, coring, & slicing of the apples is the hard part- maybe get someone else to do that part.

1 ready to bake pie crust (rolled up in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 tea nutmeg
1/4 tea cinnamon
1/4 tea salt
6 c cored, peeled, thinly sliced tart baking apples (I like granny smith, about 4-5 medium sized)
1 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter

Prepare the crust according to instructions in a 9 in pie dish. Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix sugar, starch, nutmeg, cinnamon, & salt. Stir in sliced apples. Spoon apple slices into pie place. To make the crumb topping, mix together flour and brown sugar. Blend in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle atop the pie. Bake pie on a sheet pan for 1 hr 30 mins.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Honey Banana Muffins

You guys! I am sorry for all the banana and muffin recipes. Except that I'm not. I have a lot of bananas that keep going bad. This recipe was especially epic. So much so, that I demand you try it. I may pop in some oats or flaxmeal, just to punch up the nutrition. I froze some of them (the ones I didn't inhale immediately) and really hope they hold up well in the freezer for lunch packing. Update: they were divine thawed.

3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup honey (creamed or liquid is fine)
1/4 cup  oil
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas with the honey, oil, egg and vanilla. Add the flour, soda and salt.
Divide the batter among 10-12 paper-lined muffin cups, filling them almost full, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. 

Banana Pumpkin Muffins

By now you should have gathered that I will put pumpkin into anything. Seriously pumpkin makes everything better. Because I am a tortured desert dweller who gets overly excited about the appearance of all things fall. I also cannot throw away bananas. I had FIVE gone-bad bananas, and I was buying new bananas, and I didn't want the bad ones contaminating the old ones- you know that's a thing, right? It's awful. I made two batches of different banana related muffins. Because I am crazy. In any event, I did modify this recipe heavily. I also HAAAAATE when recipes include "pinch" as a measurement. That is stupid, everyone stop it. 
You can add a few walnuts on the top if that is your pleasure. It would be a nice crunch, but I did not have any nuts on hand. I am nuts, but have no nuts. Go figure. On with the recipe! 

1st bowl:
2 c. flour
1 tbl baking soda
1/2 tea salt
1/4 tea. nutmeg
1/4 tea. cinnamon
1/4 tea. ginger

2nd bowl:
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c softened butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 overflowing tbl plain yogurt
1 tea. vanilla

Combine the stuff in first bowl, then set aside. Cream together the butter & sugar, adding eggs one at a time, then the bananas & pumpkin. Add yogurt and vanilla, beat to smooth. Pour into muffin tins and bake at 375 for 20-25 mins. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Carrot Oat Muffins

This one is a real winner. Of course I modified the recipe, and in the future, I will add more oats and flour. (After a second try, maybe I overdid the flour) I opted to forego dirtying up my food processor and did a fine shred on the carrots, then just mixed it all up. The texture was just fine. The flavor! It's vegetables that taste delicious! The original suggests that the carrots you can buy prebagged and shredded can be used. In that case, maybe throw it in the food processor for a couple spins.

2 1/2 c. grated carrots
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. applesauce
1/3 c. oil (I used coconut oil)
1 egg- whisked
1 c. flour 
1/2 c. rolled oats 
1/2 tea. baking soda
1/2 tea. salt
1/2 tea. cinnamon
1/2 tea. nutmeg
1/4 tea. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a muffin pan.
Mix together the carrots, brown sugar, applesauce, oil, and egg. In a separate bowl mix the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. Then combine with the carrot mix. Distribute into muffin pans evenly and bake for about 20 mins.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

I am completely stressing about the kids starting school and having to pack a nutritious lunch. I've decided that muffins are going to be a staple. (my kids have issues with sandwiches- most likely a plot to drive me insane) Prepare yourself for a lot of muffin recipes coming up in the next very spare weeks until school starts.

So this recipe! I have tweaked it a bit from the original which I found via random searches on Pinterest. Next time I make this I plan to add applesauce to help make the dough a little less rock hard, and easier to "fold" the blueberries into. With that said, these were some incredible muffins. I didn't miss the butter, (uses yogurt instead) and it was filling! (I used whole wheat flour, so the dough was plenty dense)

1 c. plain yogurt or low fat sour cream (I used plain Greek yogurt) 
1 c. old fashioned oats
1 egg slightly beaten (if the mix is too thick when adding blueberries, add another beaten egg)
1/4 c. coconut oil

1/3 c. flaxseed meal (optional) 
1/2 c. unsweetened applesause (again, if the mixture seems too stiff, especially w/ whole wheat flour)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. frozen or fresh blueberries

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Place paper baking cups in 12 regular-size muffin cups, or grease bottoms only of muffin cups.
2. In large bowl, mix yogurt and oats. Stir in egg, oil, applesauce, and brown sugar. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt (batter will be lumpy). Gently stir in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with some additional brown sugar.
3. Bake 18 to 22 min or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Alfredo Cauliflower Sauce

I'm sure everyone has seen this cauliflower alfredo sauce on Pinterest. I was dying to try it as my son seems to dislike tomato based sauces, and geez! Who can pass up a vegetable stuffed meal? Especially with how much I like to make pasta for the kids. (easy dinner!)

The first attempt was kind of a failure. It was tasty, yet a bit spicy and SUPER GARLICKY. The kids found it to be too spicy, and I couldn't blame them. They seemed to like it though? Like in theory it was good? So I'm going to be tweaking the recipe a bit to allow for young tastebuds.

4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
5-6 cups cauliflower florets
6-7 cups vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup milk 
Garlic: Saute the minced garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.
Cauliflower: Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
Puree: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sauteed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender. Serve hot! If the sauce starts to look dry, add a few drops of water, milk, or olive oil.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Easy Cream Cheese Danish

Someone posted/shared this recipe on FB, and while it looked delicious beyond reason, I was completely irked that I could not pin it or whatnot. What is the point of a recipe if I have to write it down?! No doubt I will be devouring these for breakfast this weekend. (perhaps I'll take some pics) Would you try them too?

2 cans ready to use refrigerated crescent rolls
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg white

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:Preheat oven to 350* degrees and grease a 13X9-inch baking pan. Lay a pack of crescent rolls in the pan and pinch the openings together. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg together until smooth. Spread the mixture over the crescent rolls evenly and then lay the second pack of crescent rolls on top of the cheese mixture and brush with egg white. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Top with glaze after cooling for 20 minutes.

Kitchen Notes: the amount of filling the original recipe calls for makes a VERY heavily filled danish. I have halved the filling using 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 whole egg, and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and it was still very good. If you use the half filling method, bake for closer to 30-35 minutes.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rice & Bean Bake

Well this has become a dinnertime staple. This would be super easy as well if I did not insist on making brown rice the hard way. (not the instant, because I've become inexplicably weird about instant rice) Making real rice is a real pain in my... well you can guess.

But still.

This is a really delicious dish, and if the recipe gets lost on the internet before I post it up here, I would be enormously screwed. I put this all into My Fitness pal, and two servings (I must have seconds on this!) is not that bad- like under 400 calories.

Rice & Bean Bake

2 chicken breasts- diced (I think this is optional! Easier without!)
4 c. cooked rice
3/4 c. frozen corn
15 oz. can black beans
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. salsa
4 oz. diced green chiles w/ fluid
1 c. shredded cheese
maybe some cilantro if you have it for a garnish?

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for cilantro and mix thoroughly to combine. Make sure the yogurt and cheese are stirred in throughout the entire bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with extra cheese if you would like. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with chopped cilantro.