September 29, 2012

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

I love pumpkin.

There's no secret about this little fact, I've shared it here before, but there is just something about pumpkin that calls to me year round.

I'm always happy when I start seeing the first pumpkins around locally. I start buying one every week or so, roasting them, baking the seeds and storing the roasted pumpkin in the freezer for use later. Sometimes I even buy a can of pumpkin when I run out, and these muffins are actually made from canned pumpkin, but you could easily use freshly roasted pumpkin as well. I'll tell you how to make that below.

Pumpkin just screams Autumn to me. I love to just pumpkin myself out, though in reality I've never actually gotten tired of pumpkin, but I love to try! These pumpkin muffins are just fabulous for a chilly Fall morning with a nice warm cup of tea or apple cider. They're moist and pumpkiny and you can't go wrong with that!

What You'll Need To Roast a Pumpkin:
1 pumpkin, any size
Walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
A large roasting pan

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds and pumpkin innards. Reserve the seeds for roasting if you like.

Cut the pumpkin in to chunks about the size of an apple and place in a large roasting dish, pan or baking sheet. No need to remove the skin, once it's roasted you can scrape the pumpkin right off. Drizzle walnut or extra virgin olive oil over the pumpkin and toss to coat.

Bake pumpkin in preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour and half, until pumpkin sticks done.

Let cool to room temperature and then scrape the pumpkin flesh out in to a large bowl. Freeze pumpkin in 1 to 2 cup increments for use later or use immediately.

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins: The Inside

What You'll Need for the Perfect Pumpkin Muffins:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour OR white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1/2 cup of natural brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup of safflower oil
1 - 15 ounce can of mashed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cane sugar and brown sugar until well mixed.

Next add eggs, maple syrup, buttermilk, safflower oil and pumpkin and stir until a thick batter forms.

Using a ladle scoop the batter into muffin pans that have been lined with cupcake liners. Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 18 minutes or until muffins stick done with a toothpick.

Makes about 24 muffins.

And how about a little chocolate on the side?

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins: Women and Chocolate

Oh that gives me an idea about Nutella and pumpkin....

Notes: These muffins get better with time. They're really good when baked, better the next day and fabulous on day three. They're a lot like soup in that way. You could also add in a cup of chopped nuts and/or raisins for a different twist. Or how about a cup of pumpkin seeds? Go with it...mix and match foods are fun!

Posted by Dianne at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Pancakes

Peanut Butter Pancakes

It's Monday...

Dreary, chilly, rainy Monday...

The type of Monday that should be outlawed, banned, shunned and sent away to live by itself on a deserted island somewhere alone for all eternity...

BUT...

It's also the first day of summer vacation for the tea cup and me, so I'm going to focus on peanut butter pancakes and sunshine instead! See that lovely sunshine in the picture? I'm going to close my eyes and pretend that is what today looks like instead!

A few days ago I dreamed about peanut butter pancakes. I had never actually had one, but I figured you couldn't go wrong with the idea and decided to play around with it and see what I'd end up with and these little gems were born! These pancakes are the ultimate comfort food and just right for a celebratory breakfast. I decided to top them with bananas for a bit of extra punch. If you like peanut butter (And bananas too!) then this is the pancake for you!

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour OR white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup of sour cream (Note: I used a light variety.)
2 cups of milk (Note: I used skim.)
1 cup of peanut butter (Note: You can use creamy or chunky.)
Sliced Banana (optional) Mini chocolate chips (optional)

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, sea salt and baking powder until well blended. (On a side note: I don't sift much of anything except when I'm making something like an angel food cake. Stirring is more than sufficient for things like cookies, pancakes, bread, most other cakes, etc.)

Next add eggs, sour cream, milk and peanut butter and stir mixture until smooth. The batter should be thick, but still fluid.

Let the batter sit for 15 minutes.

Preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. To test if the pan is hot drop a few dots of water on the pan. The water should immediately sizzle when the pan is ready.

Next brush pan with a little oil, or give it a spritz of non-stick spray. Scoop batter out in rounds on the hot/oiled surface using a ladle. You can make your pancakes any size you like, but I like to make them roughly the size of an orange or smaller grapefruit.

Cook the pancakes as you would any others, letting one side brown and then flipping to cook the other side. Repeat the process, re-oiling or spraying the pan as you go, until you run out of batter.

Serve with maple syrup and sliced bananas and/or mini chocolate chips.

Notes: You could substitute peanut butter powder for the peanut butter if you wanted. You could also add in a teaspoon or two of vanilla.

Posted by Dianne at 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

Who doesn't like chocolate chip pancakes? Who doesn't like muffins? Why not combine the two?

This recipe takes the idea of chocolate chip pancakes and rolls it into a muffin for better portability. It's quick to put together and bake, and you have a fantastic little muffin that makes the chocolate lover in you rejoice.

What could be better than that?

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 tablespoons of safflower oil
1/2 cup of light sour cream (Note: Any variety of sour cream will do, I just prefer the light variety.)
1/2 cup of milk
1 - package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, sea salt and baking powder to mix thoroughly.

Add eggs, vanilla, safflower oil, sour cream and milk to the dry mixture and stir until batter forms.

Add chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.

Fill muffin pans that have been lined with cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Store in an air tight container for up to a week, or freeze muffins for up to a year.

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

Notes: You can use other kinds of chocolate chips if you like. You could also add in a cup of chopped nuts.

Posted by Dianne at 11:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 7, 2011

French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole

I love to make croissants. I use the recipe that Abby from Abby Sweets blogged about a while back and they're perfect! The only problem is that I'm the only one who can (in Jamison's case) or will (in Lex's) eat them, so I usually end up eating a few and then freezing the rest. They freeze beautifully as they would say on Steel Magnolias.

Anyway....

There was a bag of frozen croissants in the big freezer that I kept looking at whenever I got something out of there to use. For a while now I've wanted to make a French Toast casserole and my mind started thinking it would be fabulous to make the casserole out of the croissants! Why not? When Mom and Darlene were here at the beginning on October I let them thaw and got to work.

The result?

This is a warm, ooey gooey treat that is just perfect for a special breakfast on a cold morning! What could be better than that?

What You'll Need for the Casserole:
8-12 croissants cut into cubes
8 eggs
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of natural brown sugar
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of half and half or heavy cream
Cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut croissants into cubes and place in a very large bowl.

Whip together eggs, cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup and heavy cream until completely incorporated. Pour this mixture into the bowl of croissant cubes and toss until all cubes are thoroughly coated.

Pour the cubes into a large baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. (I used a 14 X 10 inch pan, but you can use a 13 X 9 inch pan as well.) Sprinkle the top generously with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and egg is set and then remove from the oven.

Top with Maple Topping (see below) and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

French Toast Casserole

What You'll Need for the Maple Topping:
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of maple syrup

10 minutes or so before the casserole comes out of the oven start making your Maple Topping. You want this to be warm when it goes on the casserole as it comes out of the oven.

In a medium size pot stir together heavy cream and maple syrup. Bring to a quick boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes stirring often.

Pour mixture over the hot casserole and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes: I think some chocolate chips would be good in this for a chocolatey kick. I'd also like to try this with banana, apple or pumpkin bread for a bit of a twist. You can serve with extra maple syrup if desired. Also making your own cinnamon sugar is easy, mix 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and you're good to go!

Posted by Dianne at 1:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2011

Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls

Over the Christmas holidays I was inspired to make some sausage balls. I've made them before, once with real sausage and once with a vegetarian sausage, but this time I wanted to make them completely from scratch. I started out with the dry mixture I make when I make buttermilk biscuits and went from there. They turned out perfect!

These sausage balls are a great appetizer. They also make a nice addition to breakfast or a pot luck dinner. They're simple, which is always a plus, not to mention delicious. You can't ask for more than that!

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of shredded buttermilk cheese
1 pound of sausage
2-4 tablespoons of butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In the bowl of your mixer mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until incorporated.

Next add cheese and mix until the cheese is throughout the flour mixture.

Next add the sausage and 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix until mixture is crumbly:

Sausage Balls: Mixed

If the mixture is too dry and you seem to be having trouble getting the mixture to look like the picture above add another tablespoon of butter. If that still doesn't do the trick add the last tablespoon. The amount of butter you use depends on the fattiness of the sausage. I use the same type of sausage each time and sometimes you need more butter regardless because the fat consistency is different from one batch of sausage to the next.

Shape mixture into walnut sized balls and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper:

Sausage Balls: Ready To Bake

Once you have them shaped bake for 30-35 minutes until slightly golden and done through.

Makes 40-50 sausage balls.

Notes: You can use any type of cheese you like. Colby would work. Monterrey Jack would be fabulous too. I like to use a hot variety of sausage, but that is up to you too. You could also use an Italian sausage and use Mozzarella and Parmesan for a different twist.

Posted by Dianne at 1:53 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 25, 2010

Homemade Donuts

Homemade Donuts: With Chocolate and Sprinkles

When my parents were here over the holidays we happened to be over in Columbia, MD and my sole thought was "I'm going to get some Kripsy Kreme donuts!" When we arrived however it was only to find that the Krispy Kreme store there had closed. Talk about bummer! And of course once you have something on the brain you can't get rid of that thought for the most part, so I've had donuts on the brain ever since.

I've always been curious about making my own donuts, but again it was one of those things that seemed daunting to me. I decided to do a little research and discovered that yes, they can be a bit time consuming, but they aren't that hard to make and believe me the work is worth the end result! It's not something you will be making every day for obvious reasons, but so worth the effort when you want a little treat!

Another thing that you will see in this recipe that you won't see often on Dianne's Dishes is the use of vegetable shortening. I want to try making them with butter in the future, but the overwhelming majority of donut recipes I came across used shortening, or lard, and really I wasn't going there! ;oP So on my first round I decided that shortening was the way to go.

Homemade Donuts

These donuts turned out just perfect! They were airy and satisfying and the glaze was just fabulous and so simple! Even dipped in chocolate and topped with sprinkles you have the perfect all around donut. You can't go wrong with that!

So it's time to make the donuts! (Yes I went there!) ;oP

What You'll Need for the Donuts:
1/4 cup of warm water
3 teaspoons of yeast
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1/4 cup of half and half
1 egg
1/4 cup of shortening (Note: Look for a trans-fat free version)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour, divided
Oil for frying

In a large glass bowl mix water, yeast and sugar and let sit for a few minutes until it starts bubbling:

Homemade Donuts: Bubbling Yeast

Next add half and half, egg, shortening, sea salt and 1 cup of your flour:

Homemade Donuts: Ready to Mix

Mix with a mixer until well mixed and fluffy:

Homemade Donuts: Ready for More Flour

Slowly add flour until dough forms:

Homemade Donuts: Dough

You may need all of the remaining flour, or just some. When the dough starts forming and isn't sticky you know you're good.

Shape dough into a ball and place in a bowl that has been buttered:

Homemade Donuts: Ready to Rise

Let dough rise for an hour and then punch down and roll the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness:

Homemade Donuts: Ready to Cut

Now it's time to cut your donuts! They have handy dandy cutters, but I don't actually have one so I used a glass and the top of a water bottle.

First cut your big circle:

Homemade Donuts: Cut

Next cut your hole:

Homemade Donuts: Holes Cut

You can leave the donuts hole to rise or incorporate them back into the dough to cut more donuts. The choice is yours.

Place the dough on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper:

Homemade Donuts: Ready to Rise

Let rise for an hour or until they are slightly risen:

Homemade Donuts: Risen

When the donuts are almost risen prepare your glaze and/or chocolate for dipping. (See below)

Homemade Donuts: Glaze

What You'll Need for the Glaze:
1 cup of powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons of cold water

In a large bowl mix sugar with enough sugar to make a slightly thick glaze. You want it to drip, but not quickly. You want a consistency close to honey, but not quite as slow.

Set aside until donuts are fried.

Homemade Donuts: Chocolate

What You'll Need for the Chocolate Gaze:
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup of half and half

Place ingredients in a glass bowl and microwave on 20 second intervals until melted and smooth. Stir well between each interval.

Set aside until donuts are fried.

Homemade Donuts: Fried

Frying the Donuts:

Preheat oil to 375 F. You want a clear oil...Vegetable, safflower, light live oil, peanut oil. etc.

Once the oil is heat drop donuts down into the oil one at a time. Fry on each side until browned (1-2 minutes per side) and then place on a baking pan that has been lined with paper towels to drain:

Homemade Donuts: Fried

Repeat process until you are done with your donuts and then it's time to glaze!

Place fried donut face down into the glaze:

Homemade Donuts: Dipped in Glaze

Next flip the other side into the glaze:

Homemade Donuts:Glazing

Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper:

Homemade Donuts: Glazed

At this point you're ready to eat if you want to! Or you can go on and add a little chocolate, because well, you can't go wrong with a little chocolate!

Take your glazed donut and place it face down in the chocolate glaze:

Homemade Donuts:Dipping in Chocolate

Unlike the glaze you are only going to do one side in chocolate. Return the donut to the baking sheet:

Homemade Donuts: Dipped in Chocolate

Again at this point you're ready to eat, or you can add a few sprinkles!

So dig in!

Homemade Donuts: The Inside

And pretty soon you'll be down to your last delectable bite!

Homemade Donuts: A Bite

Verdict? I wish Jamison could have had one of these! Alexis and I love them!

Makes 4-6 donuts depending on the size you cut.

Notes: I think it would be fun to play around with a citrus glaze instead of using water with the powdered sugar. Also you can use any type of chocolate chip that you want. I used milk chocolate this go around because it was all I had on hand.

Posted by Dianne at 12:23 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 13, 2009

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

For the past few weeks Jamison has been teaching classes at work. We went to Connecticut so he could teach class and when we got back to Maryland he's been teaching classes each day. I think he's teaching classes next week too, so he's had a whole lot of teaching going on!

We were discussing it the other day and he asked if I could make something to send in on one of the days he was teaching. I used to do this quite often, but when he started working from home a lot I sort of fell out of the habit. He brought up the idea of cinnamon rolls and that made me wonder...Why not make a pumpkin cinnamon roll?

I started thinking about the whole process and at first I thought maybe it would be neat to just add a layer of pumpkin in with the cinnamon and sugar before rolling the dough, but then I decided I wanted to actually put pumpkin in the dough itself! In the future I may go back and try the other idea, but I have to say I was quite pleased with how this version turned out!

The cinnamon rolls turned out with a nice subtle pumpkin flavor. Overall the flavor just melds together perfectly! These are just the thing for a lazy fall morning!

What You'll Need for the Dough:
2 cups of mashed pumpkin, warmed (Note: I used some I had roasted myself, but canned will work as well.)
1 stick of butter, mostly melted
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of yeast
4-6 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

Place pumpkin in a glass bowl and microwave for 30-40 seconds until just warm. You want it to be warm, but not hot to the touch.

Melt the butter in a similar manner. Again you want it just warm, not hot. Mushy chunks of butter throughout are fine. You basically just want to soften it up a bit and give it a bit of warmth to help the yeast along.

Place pumpkin, butter, sea salt, sugar, eggs and yeast in a mixer bowl and mix until blended.

Add 1 cup of flour and mix until incorporated. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

After two minutes put the mixer back on low and slowly add flour until dough ball forms. You want a nice dough that isn't too sticky. Turn mixer back to medium speed and let mix for 3 minutes. Your mixer is doing the kneading work for you.

Once 3 minutes has passed move dough to a well oil or buttered bowl:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Dough

Let rise for one hour. (Note: Due to the pumpkin this dough isn't going to double in size or anything like that. After an hour it should be ready to go. It should be springy when touched.) Once the dough is risen you're reading for your next step.

What You'll Need for the Filling:
1 stick of melted butter, divided
Organic cane sugar
Natural brown sugar
Cinnamon

Punch down dough and on a floured surface roll out to 1/4 an inch thickness:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready to be Brushed with Butter

Next brush the dough with half of the melted butter:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Butter

Sprinkle with some organic cane sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Sugar

Then sprinkle some natural brown sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Brown Sugar

And last but not least cinnamon!:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Cinnamon

I went heavy on the cinnamon because I'm a big fan, but you can go a bit lighter if you like.

Slowly roll the dough into a long roll:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Rolled

Cut roll into 1/2 inch slices:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Sliced

Place slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Continue until roll is completely sliced:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready for Butter and Sugar

Next brush the tops of each roll with the remaining melted butter and then dust with more organic cane sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Butter and Sugar

Place in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Risen

The rise on these isn't going to be much. But letting them sit allows them to just breath and get ready for baking.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Baked

Let cool for 5 minutes and then frost (see below).

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready for Frosting

What You'll Need for the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 - 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup of maple syrup
2 cups of powdered sugar

In the bowl of a mixer mix together cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add maple syrup and mix until incorporated. Slowly add sugar and mix until smooth. Use to ice cinnamon rolls above.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: The Inside

Notes: The pumpkin I used was very pale in color, so it didn't really give an orange glow to these cinnamon rolls. Canned pumpkin would most likely give them a bit more of an orange flare. If you wanted you could add a little grated nutmeg to the filling, but I like to use just cinnamon and sugar.

Posted by Dianne at 11:36 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 9, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

So I've been in a funk since Friday. It happens from time to time, but this one seems to be sticking around a few more days than normal. I haven't been this depressed since high school and I'm generally just a snarky ball of angst. Saturday morning I woke up with a wild hair for pancakes, but my mood was not conducive to cooking, as it often is not when I'm in a bad mood, so I had left over beef stroganoff instead. Isn't that an exciting breakfast?

I love pancakes, but nine times out of ten I'll make waffles instead, because though I love them, I hate making them. All the dipping and turning and then dipping more and turning more gets old to me and fast! Once in a blue moon though I do make actual pancakes and yesterday morning, though I was still blue, I was feeling some better, so I decided we'd have pancakes and baked sausage for brunch.

Pumpkin is a fabulous flavor and makes a really great addition to pancakes. This version makes a very satisfying, fall treat that will quickly become a favorite. Toss in some chocolate and you've got the perfect breakfast time delight.

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 cup of mashed pumpkin (Note: I use some that I roasted myself and had in the freezer, but you could use canned pumpkin if you liked.)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of safflower oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
Chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (Note: I used some chopped milk chocolate that I had in the cupboard, but any type of chocolate will do. Dark chocolate would be particularly fabulous.)

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg until incorporated. Add remaining ingredients, except the chocolate and stir until batter forms:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Batter

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spray pan with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Pour batter in circles on the heated/prepared pan or griddle:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Ready for Chocolate

After a minute or two add some chocolate chunks or chips and cook for another minute or so:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Chocolate Added

Don't let them go too long, you don't want to burn them.

Flip the pancake over once set and cook for an additional minute or two until done through:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Flipped

Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

How fabulous do those look?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

Notes: You could leave out the chocolate if you preferred. You could also add in a chopped nut. Pecans or walnuts would be fabulous or maybe even a few raisins.

Posted by Dianne at 8:09 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 23, 2009

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Ready to Eat

I have a confession to make....On Saturday's I eat whatever I want. During the week I try to eat mostly healthy, and most days I do rather well, but on Saturday if something strikes my fancy then by golly I'm going to eat what I just can't get out of my head! A couple of weeks ago that was pancakes and I couldn't decide if I wanted to make chocolate chip pancakes or blueberry pancakes. What to do? What to do?

Now I've made pancakes and posted them on Dianne's Dishes before, but these were different. This took three different cravings (blueberries, chocolate and pancakes) and rolled them into one! Obviously this is not an everyday sort of food, but if you want to splurge I HIGHLY recommend looking no further!

The really neat thing about these pancakes is that you sort of get a three in one taste combination as well. In one bite you get a blueberry pancake vibe, in another you get a chocolate chip pancake feeling and then finally in some bites you get a blueberry/milk chocolate combo that just hits the spot! So if you like a little chocolate in your pancakes, or a little blueberry, just think about combining them and you're there!

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: As always feel free to use white whole wheat flour instead.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of organic cane sugar
1/8 cup of safflower oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups of buttermilk
Blueberries
Milk chocolate, cut into chunks (Note: You could use chocolate chips if you liked, or another version of chocolate.)

Preheat griddle or skillet over medium heat.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar until well mixed. Add remaining ingredients and stir until thick batter forms. Set aside.

I like to line up my ingredients in a row so it's easier to get to what I need as I go:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Ingredients Ready to Cook

Once your pan is heated brush it with oil or spray it with non-stick spray and ladle batter onto the pan:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Ready for Blueberries and Chocolate

Add blueberries and chocolate:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Adding the Blueberries and Chocolate

Cook until bubbles start to form an then flip quickly:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Flipped

Cook for a minute or two and then I like to flip them back over just to make sure everything is cooked through:

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Flipped

Remove from pan and repeat until you run out of batter.

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

Serve with maple syrup and butter and then dig in!

Blueberry Milk Chocolate Chunk Pancakes: Dig In!

Notes: You could do this with any fruit and chocolate combo that you liked.

Posted by Dianne at 7:57 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 17, 2009

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins

I've really been enjoying the strawberries we've gotten from our CSA. I miss my little strawberry patch that I planted at our old house. (Though I'll readily admit there isn't much else I miss from there! ;oP) When strawberries are in season my first task is eating them all by their little selves. Once that thrill wears off, which is about a week or so, I start doing other things with them. I have frozen some for later, I've made salads, I've made jam, ice cream is always a good idea and then I decided it was time to do some baking!

But what to bake? You can always make strawberry shortcake...I mean who doesn't like that classic? Or you could make another classic...Cobbler! And then there are always muffins! Blueberry muffins are usually the norm around here when muffins are made, but this time around I wanted to make some strawberry muffins because I've always wanted to try them!

Jamison works from home a lot. I like it when he works from home. It's nice to have him in the house even though he's working anyway. But when he goes in, from time to time, I like to send in treats with him to work. It let's me try something and have a little of it, without having to worry about eating it all myself! This way I got to have my muffin and eat it too so to speak! ;oP

For the past two weeks Jamison has had to go in each day because he's teaching a class, so last week I decided that it was high time to make a batch of strawberry muffins and send them in with him. I liked how these turned out...The strawberry flavor was just right, while the muffin itself was very moist and tender. I'll definitely be making these again. If you like strawberries then this is the muffin for you!

Strawberry Muffins: Ready for Jamison to Take to Work

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt (Note: I like Oikos.)
2 eggs
1/8 cup of safflower oil
2/3 cups of buttermilk
2 cups of strawberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Strawberry Muffins: Strawberries

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder until well mixed. Add yogurt, eggs, oil and buttermilk and stir until completely incorporated and thick batter forms. (Note: Flours is a finicky thing. You might need to add a little more buttermilk. You want the batter to be thick enough to sort of hold up the strawberries, but still be able to be stirred without strain.)

Once batter is mixed slowly stir in strawberries and stir until just mixed:

Strawberry Muffins: Batter

Line a muffin pan with muffin liners. (Note: If I'm making muffins for us I use silicone cupcake liners instead of paper. You can use them over and over and they cut down on waste! When I'm making something to send out I use the traditional paper liner.)

Fill each cup 3/4ths of the way full:

Strawberry Muffins: Ready to Bake

Bake for 18-20 minutes until muffins are golden and stick done.

Serve immediately or let cool and store in an airtight container.

Strawberry Muffins: The Inside

Notes: You could add half strawberry and half rhubarb if you wanted to shake things up a little bit. Or how about half strawberry and half blueberry?

Posted by Dianne at 8:23 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 12, 2009

Blueberry Cashew Granola

Blueberry Cashew Granola

I love granola! In the past I've experimented with several granola recipes, because well you know me...I like to experiment! It makes the perfect snack or even a great breakfast alone or with some yogurt. Not only is it versatile, it's yummy too!

For a while I've wanted to try a version that was minus an added fat source. The first batch I made used butter and the second go around used peanut butter and while this one has fat in the cashews themselves it does not have an added fat beyond that.

This version also utilized dried blueberries and let me tell you I LOVE dried blueberries! If you aren't a blueberry fan you could just as easily use raisins, or even dried cranberries, though I wouldn't do that and if you've been Dianne's Dishes for a while you've heard my cranberry rants, but to each their own.

Homemade granola is not only really easy to make, it's cheaper, and the flavor just can't be beat! If you've never tried your hand at making a batch try it...Trust me you can't go wrong!

What You'll Need:
2 cups of whole grain oats
2 cups of cashews (Note: You can use raw or roasted. I used some that were roasted with sea salt.)
2 cups of coconut flakes (Note: You want big flakes. I like Let's Do Organic Coconut Flakes.)
2 cups of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
2 cups of dried blueberries
1 cup of maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Blueberry Cashew Granola: Mixed

In a large bowl mix together oats through blueberries and toss to mix. Pour maple syrup over mixture and stir to coat.

Spread mixture out on a very large baking sheet:

Blueberry Cashew Granola: Ready to Bake

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown:

Blueberry Cashew Granola: Baked

Let cool completely and then break up and store in an airtight container.

Notes: Next time I make this I'm going to spread the mixture between two pans instead of baking it on just one. You could add other seeds or nuts to the mixture if you liked. Sunflower seeds are always a good addition an sometimes I like to add hemp seed too.

Posted by Dianne at 8:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 27, 2009

Breakfast Week: Hashbrowns

Hashbrowns

OK first let's do a little house cleaning so to speak! ;oP

Friday Link Love will be back next week. I thought you'd enjoy a recipe to round out Breakfast Week instead. I hope you've enjoyed Breakfast Week...I know I have!

What's For Dinner will also be back next week. My parents were here most of the week and I was enjoying spending time with my Mom versus telling you what we were having for dinner. Watching her with Alexis is so much fun! Also I've got some great recipes lined up for next week too so be sure and check back then!

Now let's talk some hashbrowns!

Hasbrowns are a classic breakfast dish. I had never actually made them, though I often order them when I have breakfast out. They were really simple to make and tasted fabulous! These went perfectly with the Mushroom Frittata...Just the right mix of crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They are just perfect for a weekend breakfast treat!

ddbw2009

What You'll Need:
2 large potatoes, shredded
1/2 a red onion, chopped
Sea salt
Black pepper
Olive oil

Hashbrowns: Potatoes Draining

Shred potatoes and place potatoes and onions, along with a sprinkle of sea salt in a strainer and let drain over a glass bowl for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Coat a skillet with olive oil. Toss the potato, onion mixture together to make sure they are completely mixed and drained. Add some freshly ground black pepper and toss again to mix. Press mixture into the prepared skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy. Remove from oven and serve.

How easy is that??

Notes: You can leave out the onion if you like. You could also toss in some cheese.

Posted by Dianne at 8:13 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 26, 2009

Breakfast Week: Mushroom Frittata

Mushrooms Frittata

For a while now I've been wanting to make a Frittata. I mean how hard could it be? It's just a quiche without a crust and I'm the queen of quiches. Turns out it was a little bit harder than I thought!

The Frittata itself turned out great and tasted fabulous, but when I went to turn it out onto the plate I hadn't used enough spray and it fell apart. Oh well, what can you do? We ate it anyway! ;oP Next time though I'll be sure to slick up the pan a little bit better, but taste wise I was really pleased with the outcome!

ddbw2009

What You'll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 package of button mushrooms, sliced
3/4th to 1 ounce of fresh dill, chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 eggs, beaten
6 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
3 ounces of a shredded Three Cheese Blend (Parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheeses)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mushrooms Frittata: Ready for Eggs

In a large skillet over medium heat sauté vegetables in a little olive oil in a very large skillet until tender. Next spray the pan and veggies with a nice coat of non-stick spray. Pour in eggs and then drop the goat cheese into the egg mixture. Top with the three cheese blend and then let sit on the stove top with the eye still on to firm up a bit around the edges. About 2 minutes.

When it looks roughly like this:

Mushrooms Frittata: Ready to Bake

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes until Frittata is golden brown and done through.

Mushrooms Frittata: Baked

Turn the Frittata out onto a large plate or serving platter. Cut into wedges like a pie or quiche and serve.

Mushrooms Frittata

Notes: You can use other vegetables if you like. You could also add in some ham or even play around with different cheeses.

Posted by Dianne at 12:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 25, 2009

Breakfast Week: Blueberry Muffins

Breakfast Week: Blueberry Muffins

Muffins are often a favorite breakfast food. I've made them before, but I wanted to lighten them up a bit. I decided to leave out the butter and use a small amount of safflower oil instead and I didn't miss the butter at all!

I also decided to use lemon juice, instead of lemon zest and I really liked how that turned out. The lemon juice gave just the right pop to the blueberries, without making them overwhelmingly lemony. They complimented each other perfectly!

So if you like blueberry muffins these will hit the spot! These are just perfect to take to a breakfast gathering or even to make for a special weekend breakfast.

ddbw2009

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: You can use white whole wheat flour instead if you like to make them even better.)
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt (Note: I used Stonyfield Farm's Fat Free French Vanilla. If you want you can use plain yogurt instead.)
2 eggs
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 tablespoons of safflower oil
1 - 15 ounce package of frozen blueberries, thawed, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, sea salt and baking powder until completely mix. Add yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, buttermilk and safflower oil and stir until batter forms. Fold in blueberries and place batter in muffin tins that have been lined with cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Breakfast Week: Blueberry Muffins

Notes: Next time I make these I'm going to set out 1/2 a cup of blueberries to add to the tops of the muffins. Alexis wants to try this using strawberries instead of blueberries. We'll let you know how that turns out!

Posted by Dianne at 8:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 24, 2009

Breakfast Week: Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Breakfast Week: Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Pancakes...What's not to like? Why not take those pancakes and shake them up a bit? What better combo than peanut butter and bananas? These pancakes are just perfect all by themselves, or topped with a little butter and maple syrup. Pair that with a couple of slices of bacon and you've got a perfect sometimes breakfast that really hits the spot!

ddbw2009

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: You can use white whole wheat flour if you like.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of peanut butter powder
1/4 cup of safflower oil
1/4 cup of honey
2 bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups of buttermilk

Heat a large pan or a griddle over medium heat until heated through. Test it by dropping a few drops of water on the pan. It should sizzle when it's ready.

While the pan is heating in a large glass bowl mix together flour, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda and peanut butter powder until completely incorporated. Add oil, honey, mashed banana, eggs and buttermilk and stir until totally mixed.

Once the pan is ready brush it with oil or spray it with non-stick spray and ladle batter into rounds on the hot surface. Cook, flipping once until browned on both sides and done through. This usually takes 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your pancake.

Serve immediately.

Breakfast Week: Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Notes: The riper the banana, the stronger the banana flavor. You could also add a cup of chopped honey roasted peanuts for a bit of a crunch.

Posted by Dianne at 8:29 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 23, 2009

Better Bites: Breakfast Week Edition: Do It Yourself Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Better Bites: Breakfast Week: Do It Yourself Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

So let's start off Breakfast Week with a healthy alternative that covers Better Bites as well!

As a child I loved apple cinnamon oatmeal, but as I've gotten older I've gotten more into a do it yourself way of thinking when it comes to food. It ends up tasting better and it's better for you than the highly processed alternatives.

A few years ago I started making my own apple and cinnamon oatmeal and really loved the results. Big chunks of apples...Lots of yummy cinnamon...What's not to like? Who says a healthy breakfast has to be boring or taste like cardboard?

ddbw2009

What You'll Need:
1/2 an apple, chopped
1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of honey (or any other natural sweetner that you like...Natural brown sugar or maple syrup work well too!)
1/2 cup of whole grain oats
1 cup of water

(Note: This version is completely in the microwave....Healthy and quick...How fabulous is that?)

Better Bites: Breakfast Week: Do It Yourself Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal: Apples

Place your apples in a microwaveable glass dish with cinnamon and honey. Cook for 1 minute or until apples are tender.

Add oatmeal and water and cook for 1-2 minutes until water is absorbed and oatmeal is soft. Stir to mix and serve immediately.

Better Bites: Breakfast Week: Do It Yourself Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Notes: You can add in 1/3 cup of raisins if you like.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow as Breakfast Week continues for something a bit more sinful! ;oP

Posted by Dianne at 3:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 12, 2009

Pancakes from Katherine!

Pancakes

What's a little guest blogging without a family member chipping in? For those of you who don't know, Katherine is my sister, and in fact she helped me out last time I had a guest bloggers too. Katherine still doesn't have a blog herself, but she's probably still writing blog entries in her head none the less! ;oP Be sure and say hello below in the comments.

Oh and her soux chef for the pancakes is my nephew Nelson. Grant, my other nephew, is still a bit too small, but he'll be helping out soon I'm sure, because if Nelson and Alexis are doing something he's going to want to too! ;oP

We love pancakes in our family. There are a couple of restaurants where Nelson will always order pancakes regardless of the time of day (Beb Obans, anyone? - three points to the first person to translate that 3-year-old-ism into the correct restaurant name), and they’re a pretty regular “Saturday” breakfast around our house. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a baking mix that I love (Trader Joe’s multigrain baking mix). But, nothing beats from-scratch pancakes. They’re really not that much more difficult to make than using a baking mix – and the possibilities for variations are endless.

The recipe I use actually came from a friend of mine – a surrogate little brother of sorts. When he lived here we spent way too much time cooking together. Now, he lives far away and is about to get married – I hope his wife-to-be appreciates his kitchen skills!! :o)

What You'll Need:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. oil
1 egg
1 cup milk

I’ve made every kind of fruit pancake imaginable with this recipe, but this weekend I wanted something simple, but with a little more health-y-ness. So, we made whole wheat flax seed pancakes.

I tripled the recipe (each portion of the recipes yields roughly a baker’s dozen of 4-5” pancakes), used white whole wheat flour, and added ¼ cup flaxseed meal. I’ve been meaning to experiment with the recipe a bit more – next time I think I’ll try substituting applesauce for the oil to see if that would work, and add more grains – throw in some oats and maybe some wheat berries for texture.

I used to have a gianormous non-stick skillet in which to cook pancakes, but it started flaking – and not wanting to deal with another non-stick skillet – I asked for a griddle for Christmas. So, grab your nearest griddle, and preheat to about 375.

The secret (I think) to fluffy pancakes, is really beating the eggs before you mix in the dry ingredients. Enter: the aforementioned 3-year-old. He worked on the eggs while I mixed the dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl until it is completely mixed.

Pancakes

Pour onto griddle to desired size (I like to make four on each side of my griddle – they fit into freezer bags / containers better when they’re this size). Then, wait for the bubbles . . .

Pancakes

(let me introduce you to my little sous chef . . . )

When they look like this:

Pancakes

Flip them over!

Wait until the bottom side turns golden-brown, then eat as soon as possible! :o)

If you have any left-over, they’ll keep in the refrigerator for several days. Or, if you like to have quick breakfasts, you can drop the cooled pancakes into freezer bags or containers, then pull them out and reheat in the microwave for a few seconds. Pancakes definitely go in the “freezes beautifully” section of any cookbook!

Thanks Katherine! The pancakes look great! One more guest blogger to come and you won't want to miss tomorrow's entry I promise! So check back then!

Posted by Dianne at 7:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 3, 2009

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns: Yummy Bite

Before we found out Jamison couldn't have gluten cinnamon buns were one of his all time favorite breakfast foods. I keep trying to come up with a gluten free version that he would like, but so far I haven't had a lot of luck. We'll get back to that in a minute....

For me I was a sometimes cinnamon bun sort of girl. I would have one occasionally and enjoy it, but my ideal breakfast is something much lighter. I'm not much of a morning person truth be told and I prefer cereal or some sort of fruit to get things started. But as I said above from time to time though I would get the urge to indulge and lately I kept thinking about cinnamon buns and thinking about them a lot.

So I started thinking, but I felt guilty about making them because I didn't want to taunt Jamison. He however said I should just make them, so I did! And oh boy these were good! Who doesn't like a fresh, warm, fabulous cinnamon bun? Top them with a little cream cheese frosting and you've got the prefect, sinful breakfast sometimes treat!

Cinnamon Buns: Dough

What You'll Need for the Dough:
2 cups of warm water (Note: I just use warm tap water. You want it warm to the touch, but not hot.)
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons of yeast
2 teaspoons of sea salt
4-5 cups of unbleached bread flour

In a large glass bowl mix together water, sugar and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes or until mixture is foamy. (Note: Sometimes it foams within a minute or two. When it's foamy you're good to go.)

Add sea salt into the foamy sugar/water/yeast mixture and stir to mix. Next slowly add flour until dough ball forms. (Note: As with any bread you might need only some of the flour, all of it or more. When dough forms stop adding flour.)

Turn dough ball out onto a floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes. (Note: You want to knead just until the dough is elastic. You don't have to knead it for a long time.)

Now you're ready for the next step....Finishing the buns!

Cinnamon Buns: Ready for Cream Cheese Icing

What You'll Need to Finish the Buns:
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
Cinnamon

First you want to roll out your dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick:

Cinnamon Buns: Ready for Butter

Next you want to brush the surface of the dough with melted butter and then sprinkle with sugar and then cinnamon:

Cinnamon Buns: Cinnamon and Sugar

Then you want to start to roll the dough on one of the long sides:

Cinnamon Buns: Starting to Roll

Keep rolling until the dough is completely rolled:

Cinnamon Buns: Rolled and Ready to Slice

Next using a serrated knife, cut the dough into slices roughly 3/4ths to 1 inch thick:

Cinnamon Buns: A Slice

Place slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat:

Cinnamon Buns: Ready to Rise

Set baking sheet in a warm place (I like to put them in the oven with the light on) and let rise until roughly doubled in size:

Cinnamon Buns: Risen

After the buns have risen preheat oven to 350 F. (Note: If you use your oven as your rising spot, be sure and take the buns out BEFORE you preheat!) Bake for 25-20 minutes or until golden brown:

Cinnamon Buns: Baked

You can eat these plain OR you can frost with cream cheese frosting. (See below.)

Cinnamon Buns

What You'll Need for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 - 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add sugar and mix until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and stir until just mixed. Use immediately.

Notes: Sometimes I use natural brown sugar instead of organic cane sugar. You can use as much, or as little, cinnamon as you like. I normally use 2-3 tablespoons at least.

Posted by Dianne at 8:16 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 7, 2008

Cheesy Sausage Rolls

Chessy Sausage Roll

As a kid from time to time my mom would make sausage rolls. I can't remember exactly how they were made, but I remember there was a dough of sorts, along with sausage. For a while now I've been thinking of making a sausage roll, but I decided to take it a step further and add some cheese, because seriously, how can you go wrong with sausage and cheese??!?!?

Note: It has come to my attention that my recipes/photos are being scraped from this site and posted on other sites without my permission. If you are not reading this through www.diannesdishes.com or the associated RSS feed then the content is stolen. I have not authorized my content to be posted anywhere else. Please e-mail me at diannesdishes at gmail dot com and let me know if you see things from my site that have been posted somewhere else. Thanks!

What You'll Need:
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 pound of sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar or Colby cheese (Note: I used Colby Jack. You can use as much cheese as you like or as little. It's completely up to you.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix yeast and warm water and set aside until it foams.

In a large bowl stir together flour and salt. Slowly add water until dough ball forms. (Note: You may need all of the water, some of the water or even have to add a bit more. Humidity and flour...Such a strange relationship! ;oP You want this dough to be basically like pizza dough in consistency.) Once dough ball forms turn out and knead the dough on a floured surface for 1-2 minutes until elastic.

Once dough is kneaded shape it into a rough rectangle and roll the dough out until it is roughly 1/4 of an inch thick:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Dough

It doesn't have to be perfect so don't sweat it if it's not.

Next add sausage to the dough spreading it out relatively even layer:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Sausage

I cooked the sausage and had it in the fridge ready to go.

Next add the cheese:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Cheese

Again use as much or as little if you like. You could even just skip the cheese and have your basic sausage roll, but really who would want to do that! ;oP

Carefully roll the dough into a roll:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Rolled

I usually roll from the longer side to longer side making it a longer roll.

With a serrated knife carefully cut the roll into slices and place on a baking sheet:

Chessy Sausage Roll: Ready to Bake

This is basically the same principle you use when making cinnamon rolls.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned and cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Notes: You'll need to store these in the fridge. You can reheat them before serving by placing them on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 F for about 10 minutes.

Posted by Dianne at 7:43 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 27, 2008

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

This is a holiday favorite in my family. Normally we would have it on special occasions including Christmas morning after opening gifts. When Jamison's parents were visiting a few weeks ago I decided it would be the perfect time to whip one up. You can make it up the night before and then bake it the next morning, or you can bake it the day before and just reheat it right before serving. It's simple, quick and delicious. What's better than that?

What You'll Need:
Bread (Note: I use whole wheat.)
1 pound of sausage, cooked and crumbled
2 cups of shredded cheese (Note: I used Colby Jack this go around, but Cheddar or Colby works fine too.)
10-12 eggs, beaten
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of milk (Note: Any dairy will work. I've used milk, half and half, heavy cream and even evaporated milk when it was all that is available in the past.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray a 13 X 9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray and line with bread:

Breakfast Casserole: Bread

It's ok if you have to tear the bread to get it to fit. I even like to plug some of the holes in between the slices of bread, but you don't have to if you don't want to.

Next spread out cooked sausage over the bread:

Breakfast Casserole: Sausage

Make sure it's relatively even, but it doesn't have to be perfect.

Sprinkle the top of the sausage with cheese:

Breakfast Casserole: Cheese

Sausage and cheese...Doesn't that look fabulous already?

Next whip eggs together with salt, pepper and milk. When thoroughly mixed pour into the baking dish:

Breakfast Casserole: Ready to Bake

Again it doesn't have to be perfect and every inch of bread doesn't have to be soaked with egg. It all blends together as it cooks.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and egg is set. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: There are many variations of this casserole. You can use hashbrowns for the base instead of bread, you can use ham instead of sausage, etc. I prefer it with sausage and bread, but to each their own. If you do make it with the hashbrowns it is gluten free which is nice, but Jamison wouldn't eat this to begin with so it wasn't a concern. My mom's original recipe also called for ground mustard and buttering the bread and then cutting it into cubes, but I didn't find that the ground mustard added anything, and the buttering and cubing was just extra steps that weren't needed. If you want once it's assembled you can put it in the fridge covered overnight and bake the next morning. Or you can bake it the night before and then reheat it on 350 F for about 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Posted by Dianne at 1:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 16, 2008

Dianne's Guest Blog Week: Heather's Pumpkin Pancakes

I first discovered Heather's blog back when I was still participating in Tuesday's With Dorie and I'm so glad that I did! I've been an avid reader ever since. When I needed another volunteer for my Guest Blog week she graciously jumped right in and she made something with pumpkin...Mmmm...Pumpkin! If you haven't stopped by her blog, you most definitely should. She makes some amazing things and her dog is one of the cutest little things I've ever seen! Seriously...Have you ever seen a cuter little face?? But now let's talk some Pumpkin Pancakes Heather style!

Heather blogs about all things food over at Randomosity and the Girl.

Pumpkin Pancakes

One of my favorite things about the end of summer and move into fall is the appearance of pumpkins everywhere. I love almost everything pumpkin, muffins, pie, breads and pasta. So as soon as the seasons change and the cooler weather starts, cans of pumpkin puree start hitting my shopping cart at the grocery store (well, honestly there's a can in the pantry all year!).

Recently, my mom sent me this pancake recipe when I was looking for a new pumpkin bread. It wasn't the bread I was looking for but it intrigued me because of the pumpkin. These pancakes are full of delicious pumpkin pie flavor but it isn't overwhelming for a pancake. They are wonderful topped with a pat of butter and maple syrup but would be great with whatever you prefer to have on your pancakes. They come together really quickly so they make a great weekend breakfast. Or if you are like me, they make an amazing dinner!

Thanks to Dianne for allowing me to guest post this week! I hope you have a great birthday! (Dianne Note: Thank you Heather for filling in! Oh and my birthday was fabulous!)

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients:
2 c. Bisquick
2 T. packed brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. allspice
½ c. canned pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
2 T. applesauce
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients until well blended.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Cook on a hot, greased griddle, using about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until brown on one side and around edge; turn and brown the other side.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Top with butter and maple syrup or topping of your preference. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Makes about 12 pancakes.

Posted by Dianne at 8:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 24, 2008

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Today we're going to do a quick and easy post. Yesterday morning when I was slicing gluten free bread for Jamison's sandwich for lunch I sliced into my finger. I'll spare you the details, but needless to say typing is not that much fun right now! So this is going to be short and sweet. Let's get to it shall we?

What You'll Need:
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
1 cup of milk (Note: You can use cow's milk, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc.)

Cut frozen banana into chunks. Dump everything into the jar of your blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes one large breakfast sized serving or two snack sized portions.

Notes: You could do this with any frozen fruit or any nut butter.

Posted by Dianne at 9:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 23, 2008

Apple Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Apple Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

It's apple season! The other day at the orchard I picked up some fresh Galas and besides being delicious all on their own (apples are one of Lex and my favorite snacks!) I knew I wanted to bake something with them too. I thought about making a basic apple cake, but decided I wanted to kick it up a notch so why not add some chocolate chips? The result was fabulous! And the most important thing is that it's extremely easy to make...What's not to like about that? Whether you'd like this for breakfast or dessert, if you like chocolate and apples this is the one for you!

What You'll Need:
2 cups of apples, chopped (Note: I used Gala, but whatever kind you like will work.)
1 cup of organic cane sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup of safflower oil
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 of an 11.5 ounce package of chocolate chips (Note: I used 60% Bittersweet, but you can use milk, semi or even go crazy and use white chocolate chips...It's all up to you!)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Apple Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake: Apples

Chop apples. Toss with 1/2 cup of sugar and set aside.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sea salt, baking powder and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Add eggs, safflower oil, vanilla and buttermilk and stir until batter forms. Add apples and stir to mix. Next stir in chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.

Pour mixture into a round pie plate that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 35-35 minutes until golden brown and done through. Remove from oven, let cool and serve.

Apple Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Notes: If you wanted to take this over the top you could drizzle it with a little caramel sauce and/or top it with whipped cream.

Posted by Dianne at 8:56 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 8, 2008

Mini Double Cheese Quiches

Mini Double Cheese Quiche

I like single serve dishes. For me, for some reason, it makes it easier to eat only what I am supposed to and not keep eating and eating. When I am faced with a big something I tend to eat more of it than I should...Why is that? What better way to control portion size than to make single servings! This is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner. By making the quiches in small single serve pans it's easy to know where to begin and where to end. Pair the quiche with a salad and you've got the perfect meal!

What You'll Need per Mini Pan:
1/4 of a prepared pie crust (Note: I used a store bought crust for this, but any type of crust will work. You just want enough to fill the bottom of your mini tart pan.)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon of dried dill
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of swiss, shredded
2 tablespoons of fontina, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Fill mini-tart pans with pie crust. Set aside.

In a glass bowl beat eggs. Add dill, sea salt and freshly ground pepper and stir to incorporate. Stir in cheeses and fill each pan with egg mixture until full. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Mini Double Cheese Quiche: Baked

You can make as many, or as few of these as you like. I ended up making two mini quiches...One for then and one for later.

Mini Double Cheese Quiche: A Bite

Note: Quiche is the ultimate play around with food. Add in more cheese, or different cheeses. Play around with herbs that you like. You could even throw in some mushrooms and onions. Or how about some spinach and leeks? The possibilities are endless!

Posted by Dianne at 7:10 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 6, 2008

Tomato Week 2008: Tomato and Goat Cheese Omelet

Tomato Goat Cheese Omelet

It's the weekend and what better way to celebrate a few days off than to have a fabulous Tomato and Goat Cheese Omelet? This omelet is quick, simple and delicious! It's just perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch or for any time that you have a little time to pamper yourself!

ddtomatoweek2008

What You'll Need Per Person:
1 1/2-2 cups of tomatoes, chopped
1 spring of rosemary, stripped
Non-stick spray
2 eggs
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper (Note: I don't always add pepper to my omelets and this time I did not, but it is a good addition.)
2 tablespoons of goat cheese

Preheat skillet until hot, but not screeching hot. You want to cook the eggs, not immediately scorch them. Don't go higher than medium heat.

Tomato Goat Cheese Omelet: Tomatoes Ready to Cook

While your skillet is heating cut tomatoes and place them in a microwave safe glass bowl. (Note: I used golf ball sized tomatoes and cut them into quarters.)

Tomato Goat Cheese Omelet: Tomatoes with Rosemary

Cook tomatoes for 1-2 minutes on high, until soft. Remove from microwave and sprinkle the tomatoes with rosemary leaves that have been stripped from the stem. Set aside.

Crack eggs into a bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. If you choose to use pepper add that at this time too. Beat the eggs until well mixed.

Tomato Goat Cheese Omelet: Ready to Fill

Spray the heated skillet generously with non-stick spray and pour the egg mixture into the hot skillet and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a spatula pull back the edges of the egg as it cooks and let the raw egg mixture on top drain to the open spot you've exposed with you spatula. Repeat this process until the top of the egg is no longer eggy.

Once the omelet is relatively dry on top add the tomato mixture to half of the egg circle:

Tomato Goat Cheese Omelet: Tomatoes

Then top the tomatoes with the goat cheese:

Tomato Goat Cheese Omelet: Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Once the cheese is added use your spatula and gently fold over half of the egg circle to cover the tomato/cheese mixture:

Tomato Goat Cheese Omelet: Folded

Gently slide the omelet from the pan and on to your plate. (Note: Omelet disasters happen. If it doesn't come out perfectly don't sweat it...It still tastes good in the end! ;oP)

Pair with some whole grain toast and enjoy!

Tomato Goat Cheese Omelet: Up Close

Notes: You can stuff an omelet with just about anything you can imagine! Let your imagination be your guide and have fun with your stuffing!

Posted by Dianne at 7:11 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge August 2008: Éclairs!

Daring Bakers August 2008 Challenge Eclairs: Oblong

It's the end of the month so you know what that means...The Daring Baker's Reveal! This month's challenge was chosen by Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey? and Tony of Tony Tahhan and our challenge was Éclairs!

I must say this challenge both excited me (I mean come on...Éclairs??) and terrified me all at the same time. I've attempted a Pâte à Choux type pastry dough exactly once before and they fell completely flat and who really wants a flat Éclair? Not I! ;oP So I procrastinated...I put it off and put it off and put it off and finally when I made them Thursday afternoon I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome!

Daring Bakers August 2008 Challenge Eclairs: Round

Now don't get me wrong...This challenge has a bit of work involved and you aren't going to just whip them up in thirty minutes, but it wasn't that hard in the long run and the results were heavenly! I ended halving the recipe when I realized there was no way I would get up early enough to send these to work with Jamison (and used 3 eggs because let's face it...It's a little hard to halve five eggs! ;oP) and made six oblong Éclairs and four round puffs and I must say they turned out fabulously!

I also decided to make my pastry cream a vanilla bean version instead of making it chocolate since we had the choice to keep one of the chocolate elements and use something else for the other option. I simply followed the recipe for the pastry cream and added in one scraped vanilla bean and one tablespoon of vanilla flavoring instead of the chocolate and it turned out perfectly! I still have some of the cream in the fridge...Oh the things I can do with that! ;oP

So this recipe is most definitely a winner! Be sure and check out the Daring Baker's Blogroll and see how everyone else's Éclairs turned out!

I can't wait to see what next month's challenge brings! I hope you all are having a fabulous Labor Day Weekend and for all my international readers I hope you're having a fabulous weekend too! :o)

Pierre Hermé's Chocolate Éclairs
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper.

2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough. Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers. Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff. The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.

3) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.

Notes:

1) The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.

Assembling the éclairs:

• Chocolate glaze (see below for recipe)
• Chocolate pastry cream (see below for recipe)

1) Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.

2) The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40 degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops of the éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the bottoms with the pastry cream.

3) Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream and wriggle gently to settle them.

Notes:

1) If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water, stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Do not stir too vigorously as you do not want to create bubbles.

2) The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.

Daring Bakers August 2008 Challenge Eclairs: Baked

Pierre Hermé's Cream Puff Dough
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• ½ cup (125g) whole milk
• ½ cup (125g) water
• 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
• ¼ teaspoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
• 5 large eggs, at room temperature

Daring Bakers August 2008 Challenge Eclairs: Dough Pre Egg

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil.

2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it's supposed to. You need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth.

Daring Bakers August 2008 Challenge Eclairs: Dough Post Egg

3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough. You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

Notes:

1) Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.

Daring Bakers August 2008 Challenge Eclairs: Ready to Bake

2) You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

Daring Bakers August 2008 Challenge Eclairs: Vanilla Pastry Cream

Chocolate Pastry Cream
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by PierreHermé

• 2 cups (500g) whole milk
• 4 large egg yolks
• 6 tbsp (75g) sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
• 7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted
• 2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.

2) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.

3) Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.

4) Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.

5) Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.

Notes:

1) The pastry cream can be made 2‐3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

2) In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream.

3) Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.

Chocolate Glaze
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1 cup or 300g)

• 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
• 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
• 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.

2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

Notes:

1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.

2) It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.

Chocolate Sauce
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1½ cups or 525 g)

• 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 cup (250 g) water
• ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
• 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.

2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.

Notes:

1) You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.

2) This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.

Posted by Dianne at 12:01 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

August 28, 2008

Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles

Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles

No matter whether it's for breakfast or dinner, sometimes it is nice to have a good old blueberry waffles, but why not take that blueberry waffle and make it a bit healthier. Granted this still is not something you would want to eat every day, but it makes the times that you just have to have a waffle that much better! ;oP

What You'll Need:
2 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
3 eggs 2 cups of buttermilk (Note: If you don't have buttermilk you can use 1 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of milk.)
1 to 1 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

Preheat a waffle iron.

Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles: Batter

Stir together white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and sugar in a bowl until well mixed. Add eggs, oil and buttermilk and stir until well mixed. (Note: You may need a bit more buttermilk due to humidity and such. You want a thick batter type consistency.) Stir in blueberries, until just mixed.

Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Add batter to each plate and lower the lid. When the waffles are golden and done through remove and serve.

Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles: A Bite

Notes: You could do this with strawberries or bananas as well.

Posted by Dianne at 7:42 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 2, 2008

Apple Raisin Sconey Muffins

Apple Raisin Sconey Muffins: Now With Drizzle

Apples and cinnamon...What a fabulous combination! Throw in some raisins and you've got a muffin that is begging to eaten! Top it with a little sugar drizzle and it becomes even better! This is the perfect muffin with or without topping when you need a little snack or even just want a delicious breakfast on the go!

Apple Raisin Sconey Muffins:

What You'll Need For the Muffins:
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of dried apples, chopped
1 cup of raisins, chopped
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of milk

Pre-heat oven to 425 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda until mixed. Next stir in sugar and cinnamon until incorporated. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry mixture until crumbly. Stir in apples and raisins until incorporated. Next stir in sour cream and milk until sticky batter/dough forms. Spoon dough into a muffin pan that has been lined with cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

What You'll Need For The Drizzle:
1 cup of powdered sugar
A few tablespoons of water

Drizzle over muffins right before serving.

Apple Raisin Sconey Muffins: The Yummy Inside

Notes: Chopped pecans or walnuts would be a fabulous addition to the muffins!

Posted by Dianne at 9:15 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 29, 2008

Daring Bakers June 2008...Danish Braids!

Daring Bakers June 2008: Danish: Up Close

This month's Daring Bakers challenge was a danish braid from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking and it was chosen by Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’? and let me just tell you this one is a winner, even if my braiding skills leave a lot to be desired, but we'll talk about that in a bit. For now let's talk some Danish!

We had a little leeway with this one to fill it as we saw fit and I chose to use blueberries and cream cheese for the filling. I made a simple blueberry sauce and mixed a little cream cheese and organic cane sugar. If you've read Dianne's Dishes for a while then you know I'm a fan of both blueberries and cheesecake so this was a bit of an homage to both and I must say it turned out quite well. Jamison's mom and I both liked the finished product!

Daring Bakers June 2008: Danish: Ready To Braid

I must be honest though and tell you that my braiding didn't really stick. One one of the Danishes it just popped completely open for the most part and in the one pictured below it popped a bit. But it didn't affect the taste, though it wasn't very pretty to look at. I looked at the diagrams and it just didn't come together and stick. Oh well. This is my second semi-failure in as many months. Part of that is probably because I was also baking Alexis' birthday cake, as well as some easy French bread and doing party prep all at the same time. You could say I was just a little busy! ;oP

Daring Bakers June 2008: Danish: Baked

As you can see when it went into the oven it looked like it was ok:

Daring Bakers June 2008: Danish: Baking

I even liked the way the ends came together and they actually held!

The dough for this was also gorgeous, but then again I love dough in general.

Daring Bakers June 2008: Danish: Dough

It was soft and springy and just perfect! I chose to omit the cardamom and since I was using blueberries I incorporated lemon instead of orange, which was also an allowed change.

Now let's talk flaky! This dough baked up to be so flaky! There was just layer upon layer of beautiful flakiness! I had never made anything like this before and I was very pleased with the result. It was really good the first morning after having cooled overnight, but still good the next day too! I'll definitely be making this again and I'd like to play around with fillings too!

Daring Bakers June 2008: Danish

So there you have it my June Daring Bakers challenge! Be sure to stop over at the Daring Bakers blogroll and see what all the other bakers cooked up!

I can't wait to see what next month brings!

What You'll Need for the Danish Dough:
(Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

What You'll Need for the Butter Block (Beurrage):
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

DOUGH:

Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Without a standing mixer: Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.

BUTTER BLOCK:

Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.

After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

DANISH BRAID:
(Makes enough for 2 large braids)
1 recipe Danish Dough (see above)
2 cups filling, jam, or preserves

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.

Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.

Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Egg Wash

Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking

Spray cooking oil onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.

Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

Posted by Dianne at 10:26 AM | Comments (31) | TrackBack

May 30, 2008

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Waffles

Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles

A few times a month we like to have breakfast for dinner. When we discovered that Jamison couldn't have gluten anymore this became infinitely more complicated since that breakfast for dinner was often pancakes or waffles. So far we haven't experimented with pancakes since the gluten discovery, but we have played around with waffles.

Our first journeys into waffledom used Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix and they were pretty good, but you know me, I'd rather make something from scratch. So one night last week I decided to play around with the alternative flours I had on hand and see what I could come up with and this is what resulted.

These waffles could easily fool a gluten eater. They would have no idea they were eating something that was gluten free. The waffles are tender and fluffy. Pair them with some fruit and/or maple syrup and you're set! We'll definitely make these again.

What You'll Need:
1 cup of sweet potato flour
1 cup of sorghum flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of xanthum gum
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup of safflower oil
2 1/2 cups of buttermilk

Pre-heat waffle maker.

In a large bowl sift or whisk together sweet potato flour through organic cane sugar. Set aside.

Separate eggs and whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Add egg yolks, safflower oil and buttermilk to dry mixture and stir until mixed. Gently fold in egg white until incorporated.

Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Place a dollop of batter in the middle of each square (or circle...my iron makes 4 square waffles) and lower the lid. Cook for 4-6 minutes until waffles are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes 8-10 waffles

Notes: These kept well and Alexis enjoyed some the next few days. Something during the cooking process caused the waffle iron to pop open. This happened on each batch, but it happened right before they were done so it didn't make a mess, but it was odd. We joked that they were explosive waffles! ;o)

Posted by Dianne at 9:15 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 27, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns: Ready for Icing

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and was chosen by Madam Chow of Madam Chow's Kitchen!

I felt guilty making these this week, because one of Jamison's all time favorites are cinnamon rolls and there was no way he could eat these! I had even planned to make a gluten free version for him but time got away from me and I have yet to find a gluten free dough that will roll out the way you need to to make cinnamon rolls. Even the doughs that promise to do just that don't live up. More experimentation is definitely needed!

Anyway, these turned out really well! I did tweak a few things, but that's par for the course I think. I used only dark brown molasses sugar instead of using a mix of brown and white sugar. I ended up having to use more butter and sugar in the middle to get it to spread out over the entire surface area. Also I mixed up a batch of cream cheese icing, because what's a sticky bun without a little icing?

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns: The Inside Goodness

Overall I'd give these a 4 out of 5 stars. Would I make them again? Probably not. The whole process is a bit intensive for a normal breakfast and there is enough butter here to kill a horse, but they were good. As Dorie mentioned in the recipe there are many recipes for cinnamon buns and everyone thinks theirs is the best and I guess I'm no different on that front. I like the ones I make on Christmas morning better and in all honesty I'm not a big fan of Dorie's brioche, though there was enough sugar and cinnamon here to overpower it so it ended up being pretty good.

I'm still on a quest to figure out a gluten free version that work and are not grainy, but I digress. I ended up sending the sticky buns home with my sister yesterday so she could enjoy them. I sent the loaf of brioche from the other half of the dough recipe home with her too. I also sent the rest of my Daring Bakers challenge home with her as well, but we'll get into that tomorrow! ;oP

Without further ado...Here's the recipe!

What You'll Need for the Glaze:
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup honey
1-1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)

What You'll Need for the Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

What You'll Need for the Buns:
1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche loaves (see below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight)

Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan (a Pyrex pan is perfect for this).

To make the glaze: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.

To make the filling: Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.

To shape the buns: On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months . . . . Or, if you want to make just part of the recipe now, you can use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder. Reduce the glaze recipe accordingly).

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns:Ready to Slice

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they're very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. (Because you trim the ragged ends of the dough, and you may have lost a little length in the rolling, you will get 15 buns, not 16.) Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and Brioche: Rising

Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and, in all likelihood, touching one another.

Getting ready to bake: When the buns have almost fully risen , center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden; the glaze will be bubbling away merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns Baked

The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicone mate or buttered foil. Be careful - the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.

What You'll Need for the Golden Brioche Dough (this recipe makes enough for two brioche loaves. If you divide the dough in half, you would use half for the sticky buns, and you can freeze the other half for a later date, or make a brioche loaf out of it!):
2 packets active dry yeast (each packet of yeast contains approx. 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

What You'll Need for the Glaze (you would brush this on brioche loaves, but not on the sticky buns):
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

To Make The Brioche:

Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight. (After this, you can proceed with the recipe to make the brioche loaves, or make the sticky buns instead, or freeze all or part of the dough for later use.)

The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.

Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.

Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and Brioche Baking

Posted by Dianne at 6:58 AM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

May 12, 2008

Fruity Watermleon Smoothie

Fruity Watermelon Smoothie

Most mornings I eat some sort of fruit and occasionally I like to make a smoothie. Smoothies are great because it's an easy way to get in several servings of fruits and/or vegetables in one sitting, all while having a delicious breakfast or snack! Pick the fruits and/or veggies you like (you can even throw in nuts and/or seeds if you like!) and take it for a spin the blender and you've got an instant, healthy breakfast or snack that will really hit the spot.

What You'll Need:
1 cup of watermelon
1/2 cup of blueberries
3-4 strawberries
1 banana, sliced (Note: I usually use a frozen banana, but I didn't have any frozen bananas today so I used ice instead. If you use frozen fruit you can leave out the ice.)
1/2 cup of orange juice
5-6 ice cubes (Optional)

Fruity Watermelon Smoothie: Ready to Blend

Dump ingredients in the jar of your blender and blend until smooth. (Did I mention how easy this was?)

Makes one large smoothie or two small smoothies.

Fruity Watermelon Smoothie

Notes: There is no need to use any sweetener in a smoothie as the fruit/juice is sweet enough in and of itself. You also don't have to use ice or frozen fruit, but I like the way it makes the consistency of the smoothie.

Posted by Dianne at 9:28 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 8, 2008

Spinach Gruyère Quiche

Spinach Gruyère Quiche

I love quiche and lately I've been wanting to make one, so when I had some left over pie dough I decided this was the perfect way to put it to use! Quiches are simple and delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner! This one utilizes some fresh spinach, which just happens to be in season right now, and pairs it with some Gruyère and just a hint of Monterrey Jack. The Gruyère provides the saltiness and the Monterrey Jack gives it a smooth undertone. It's just perfect when you're really in the mood for quiche.

What You'll Need:
1 pie crust (Note: You can use homemade or store bought.) 2 cups of baby spinach, julienned
1 small onion, chopped
1 to 1/2 cups of Gruyère, shredded
1/4 to 1/2 cup of Monterrey Jack, shredded
Freshly ground black pepper
A very small pinch of sea salt (Note: Gruyère can be salty so be careful with adding additional salt. If you do choose to add some I wouldn't add more than 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon at most.)
8-10 eggs (Note: This depends on the size of your eggs. If you eggs are larger you'll most likely need 8, if they are smaller then 10. There is no wrong answer with a quiche so do what feels right to you.)

Spinach Gruyère Quiche

Preheat oven to 400 F.

If you are using a homemade pie crust then roll it out and place it into a pie plate. If you're using a store bought crust it's either in a pre-made tin or it's already rolled out. If it's the rolled out version place it in a pie plate as well. Once your crust is in the pan, whether it is put there by you or already purchased that way, set it aside. Also make sure it is thawed if it was frozen.

In a large bowl toss together spinach, onion, cheeses, black pepper and sea salt if needed. Add eggs and stir to mix. Pour the egg/vegetable mixture into your pie shell. Bake for 30-40 minutes until quiche is done through and slightly golden.

Seriously how easy is that?

Spinach Gruyère Quiche

Notes: You can use any type of veggie or cheese that you like. If you wanted to make this gluten-free you could leave the crust out and simply bake the egg mixture in the pie dish without it, which would give you more of a fritatta, but it's the same in principle.

Posted by Dianne at 10:20 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 7, 2008

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Before the gluten had to go Blueberry Muffins were one of Jamison's favorites. Of course his version came out of a box, but that's neither here nor there! ;oP So now it was time to come up with a gluten free version that Jamison could enjoy and this happened to fill that bill.

One nice thing about these muffins is that they stay moist, even days later. The consistency is very good as well. There is no residual graininess or anything of that nature either that sometimes happens with gluten free baked goods. This is one you could definitely take and serve to gluten eaters without them really noticing and sometimes that is just what you need.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

What You'll Need:
2 cups of sweet potato flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1 cup of sorghum flour
1 3/4 cups of organic cane sugar
4 tablespoons of powdered milk
3 tablespoons of xanthum gum
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
1 cup of plain yogurt (Note: I used fat free.)
4 eggs
1/3 cup safflower oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
1 - 10 ounce package of frozen blueberries (Note: If you can't find a 10 ounce package then 12 or 14 ounces will work fine.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl mix or sift together sweet potato flour through baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together through buttermilk until smooth. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until dough forms.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins: The Dough

Stir in blueberries until incorporated and place dough in muffin pan that has been lined with cupcake liners. Each liner should be 3/4ths of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.

Makes roughly 30 muffins. Store in an airtight container to retain moistness.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Notes: In theory this should work with any frozen berry. I say in theory, because as I've learned since this gluten free adventure began, theories that might work with regular flour sometimes go astray when you're dealing with no gluten.

Posted by Dianne at 1:29 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

April 23, 2008

Taste & Create VIII: Strawberry Pancakes (with Honey)

Strawberry Pancake with Honey

I decided to participate in a food blogging event hosted by For the Love of Food called Taste & Create VIII where you are paired with another food blog, you look through their recipes and then cook one you'd like to try and blog about what you prepared! I was paired with Passion + Love + Patience = Good Food and I chose to try Strawberry Pancakes since Alexis is a big fan of anything pancake. I had mine paired with some honey, Alexis chose to top hers with a bit of maple syrup and let me tell you these pancakes were really wonderful!

Strawberry Pancakes

I wasn't able to find self-raising wholewheat flour so I had to use all-purpose flour and add in some baking powder, but other than that everything else was easily located. The pancakes were light and fluffy and the strawberries gave them just the right fruity touch. Alexis and I really enjoyed them!

Strawberry Pancakes Cooking

Pancakes...Strawberries...Completely delicious! What's not to like?

Posted by Dianne at 7:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 21, 2008

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Yesterday morning at church they had a breakfast gathering so Jamison and I decided Blueberry Muffins would be the thing to take. These muffins are delicious, tender and the blueberries give them just the right pop and zing. They are delicious warm or cold and keep for several days. You can even freeze them for use later. They are just perfect for a breakfast treat!

What You'll Need:
3 cups of unbleached flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of organic cane sugar
3 - 6 ounce cups of fat free vanilla yogurt
1 1/4 cups of butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup of buttermilk
The zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries

Blueberry Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until completely incorporated. Add lemon zest yogurt, buttermilk and butter and mix until flour mixture is completely wet and mixed throughout. Fold in blueberries carefully by hand and pour into pre-greased or lined muffin pans. Batter will be very thick.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden.

Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing.

Makes roughly 2 1/2 dozen muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

Notes: Make sure you have blueberries throughout your dough. If you get to the bottom of the dish and it's scarce on blueberries add a few to the remaining muffins once they are in the pan so that each muffin has blueberries throughout. Also make sure that you use firm blueberries, as those that overly mushy won't work as well. You can use plain yogurt and add in a teaspoon of vanilla, but I had some vanilla yogurt that needed to be used so I chose that route instead.

Posted by Dianne at 7:54 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 24, 2007

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Honey Wheat Banana Muffins

This recipe is a healthier take on my Mom's traditional Banana Bread recipe utilizing whole grains and natural sugars. The great thing is that in muffin form it's also quick and easy! They are good hot right of the oven or cold the next day. If you like banana muffins then these are the way to go!

What You'll Need:
1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup of honey
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped (Note: You can use any nut you like or even omit them.)
2 cups of white whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream bananas, honey, eggs and apple sauce until relatively smooth. (Note: A few banana chunks here and there is not a bad thing.) Add remaining ingredients, except flour and mix well. Stir in flour until just incorporated.

Scoop out into a muffin pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or has liners and bake from 12-15 minutes until golden brown and muffins stick done.

Makes approximately 24 muffins.

Notes: You can add in a cup of other fruits along with the bananas if you like such as peaches or blueberries. You can also add in a cup of peanut butter for a different twist.

Posted by Dianne at 7:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 19, 2007

Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes

Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes

Yesterday just slipped right by me! I was working on a quilt and then bang! It was evening and I hadn't cooked a thing! This cool weather just makes me want to be creative! I've been working on a travel quilt for Alexis for over a year and since we have some fun adventures planned over the next few months and she has grown too tall for her other quilts it's time to finish this one so her little toes won't get cold when she's sleeping on her travel bed! I hope to finish it today. We'll see how that goes! ;o)

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin! Alexis and I decided to use the last of our pumpkin and make some pancakes. These are a great fall time treat. You probably won't see anymore pumpkin recipes for a while, but then again never say never! ;o)

What You'll Need:
2 cups of white whole wheat flour (Note: If you don't have white whole wheat flour or can't find it then regular whole wheat flour will work too. All purpose flour would work as well, but then you'd knock out the benefits of whole grain.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 cup of mashed pumpkin
1/3 cup of maple syrup (Note: Real maple syrup, not pancake syrup. You can also use honey or molasses.)
1 3/4 cups of buttermilk
2 eggs
3/4 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Mix dry ingredients to incorporate. Stir in pumpkin, maple syrup, buttermilk and eggs mix until mixture is smooth. Add raisins and walnuts and stir to mix. Cook batter as you would regular pancakes in a large preheat skillet or griddle with a little non-stick spray.

Notes: You could use any kind of nut you liked. Also you may need a bit more or less buttermilk depending on the humidity. When the batter forms stop adding milk. If need be add a little more. The batter should be thin, but not completely runny.

Posted by Dianne at 11:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 14, 2007

Pumpkin Smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie

It's amazing how much pumpkin three small sugar pumpkins actually put out! So that just encourages me to come up with new uses for pumpkin. This morning I was thinking about pumpkin and I wondered how a pumpkin smoothie would taste, so I whipped one up. If you like pumpkin then this little gem makes a great fall time breakfast or snack!

What You'll Need:
1 ripe banana
1 cup of cooked pumpkin
1 cup of milk (Note: I used EdenBlend's Rice Soy blend, but you can whatever type of milk you like.)
1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
1 cup of ice

Dump all the ingredients into the jar of your blender and blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately.

Notes: If you wanted to add some cinnamon they that would be a great addition, but I'd leave out the peanut butter. Also I think the banana and pumpkin "sweetens" the smoothie without having to add any other sweeteners, but if you think it needs something more then I would go with either a tablespoon of honey or a tablespoon of maple syrup. I'ts nice to stick with natural sweetners and not processed ones.

Posted by Dianne at 7:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 12, 2007

Pumpkin Surprise Muffins

Pumpkin Surprise Muffins

Last weekend Alexis saw some local sugar pumpkins and wanted to get some. She's all about pumpkins. Loves them! We decided one of the things we could do was to make some Pumpkin Muffins and I decided it would be fun to add a little twist, a "surprise" if you will. What's better than a surprise? Most people like surprises. The "surprise" in these muffins is a little bite of cheesecake in the middle of each one! I decided this would make a good treat for Jamison to take to work since Fall is on our doorstep. I'm really enjoying making up new recipes and testing them out on Jamison's coworkers! Hopefully they are enjoying it too. :o)

What You'll Need for the Pumpkin Batter:
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: I had intended to use White Whole Wheat flour, but I realized I was out. You could easily substitute it for all of or part of the white flour.)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 cups of mashed pumpkin
1 stick of butter, melted (Note: You could use unsweetened apple sauce instead of the butter. Again this was my intention, but I realized I was out of apple sauce.)
1 cup of natural brown sugar
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1 cup of light or fat free sour cream
3/4 cup of light or fat free buttermilk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of vanilla

What You'll Need for the "Surprise":
1 package of cream cheese, softened (Note: Any variety is fine...Regular, light or fat free)
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/8 cup of unbleached all purpose, flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix dry ingredients (flour through sea salt) in a large bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients (pumpkin through vanilla) and stir until incorporated. Mix dry mixture with wet mixture and stir until completely mix. Set aside.

Cream together cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add flour and mix until just incorporated. Set aside.

Spray two muffin pans with non stick spray. Fill each cup 1/4 of the way full with pumpkin batter and then add a dollop of the "Surprise" mixture (roughly 1 tablespoon or less) into the middle of each cup. Top with more pumpkin batter to cover the "surprise".

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins stick done.

Makes about 24 muffins

Pumpkin Surprise Muffins

Notes: You could add a cup of nuts and/or raisins to the pumpkin batter for even more yummy goodness. We used fresh pumpkin that we roasted in the oven and mashed ourselves. This process gave lovely little bits of pumpkin throughout the muffins. You could easily used canned pumpkin instead.

Posted by Dianne at 7:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 13, 2007

Peanut Butter Granola

Peanut Butter Granola

When you think Granola it makes you think of wholesome goodness. Buying commercially made granola is a toss up though. You never know what you're going to get and who really wants a grab bag when it comes to what you're eating. Many of them have nasty preservatives you can't pronouce, and/or high fructose corn syrup, and/or other refined sugars and/or the dreaded trans-fats. None of that is stuff you want to eat, or shouldn't be anyway.

A while back I came across a recipe that I adapted from Mother Earth Living for homemade granola bars and Alexis, my sister, Nelson and I loved them!

At the time I thought it would be nice to subtract the butter, add another healthier fat and make it granola instead of granola bars, so today I tried that. The result was scrumptious! And the best part is that this is an excellent way to incorporate whole grains!

What You'll Need:
1 1/2 cups of extra thick rolled oats (This is the Whole Grain kind, not the instant version)
1 cup of unsulphered coconut
1/2 cup of raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup hempseed
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup of whole, raw almonds
1/4 cup of whole flax seeds
4 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (I use Tree of Life Blended Peanut Butter)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup (You can also use molasses instead)
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup raisins

Peheat oven to 350 F.

Mix together oats through flax seeds on a very large baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the oat mixture is heating in a pot melt peanut butter butter, honey and maple syrup. Once the mixture is nicely melted melted bring to a quick boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Remove oat mixture from the oven and leave the oven on. In a large bowl mix oat mixture with the peanut butter mixture and stir to coast. Stir in raisins and then spread granola mixture out so that it isn't completely touching on one large pan or two smaller pans. Put mixture back into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool and store granola crumbles in an air tight container. When they first come out of the oven they will be slightly soft, but they will harden as they cool. Serve plain, as cereal of as a topping for yogurt or ice cream.

Notes: You could add any seed or nut you wanted in addition to or in place of the ones I chose for this mix. Last time I used cashews. Peanuts would be good too! Mix it up and make it your own!

Posted by Dianne at 7:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 1, 2007

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread is one of those things that immediately sounds delicious if you're in to such things. There are many variations of this bread, but my recipe is an adaptation of my mom's Banana Bread. I've even seen recipes that called for chocolate chips! The possibilities are endless, but anyway you slice it (yeah I went there again! ;op) it's delicious!

What You'll Need:
2 large zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup of safflower oil or unsweetened apple sauce
2 eggs
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of heavy cream or half and half
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup of raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat together oil (or apple sauce) and sugar. Stir in eggs and zucchini. Add remaining ingredients and place batter into one prepared loaf pan. Bake for 35-30 minutes or until golden brown and sticks done.

Zucchini Bread

Posted by Dianne at 8:15 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

June 30, 2007

Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

In our house on your birthday you get to pick what we have for breakfast. Alexis picked pancakes and blueberries Sunday morning for hers! While she had her blueberries fresh, I decided to whip up a little blueberry sauce for mine. It was the perfect compliment!

What You'll Need For the Blueberry Sauce:
2 cups of fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
The zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoon of water

Dump everything into a medium sized pot and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes or until sauce forms. Serve warm over pancakes or waffles or chill for a great ice cream topping!

What You'll Need For the Pancakes:
What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2-2 cups of buttermilk
Oil or non-stick spray

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add eggs and buttermilk and stir until incorporated. (Depending on the humidity, etc. you may need more or less buttermilk. I never make a batch with the same amount of liquid because of this. You're looking for a batter that is thin, but not overly runny. It still needs to have a bit of stick to it and not run every which way when you spoon it into your pan.) Using a ladle ladle batter into circles in the hot pan that has been brushed with oil or sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook until browned on each side.

The pancakes are also good with other types of fruit, butter and/or maple syrup!

Posted by Dianne at 7:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 23, 2007

Buttermilk Waffles with Cherries and Sweetened Cream

Buttermilk Waffles with Cherries and Sweetened Cream

What better way to celebrate the weekend than with home made Buttermilk Waffles? Top them with fresh, cooked cherries and a little sweetened cream and you've got a breakfast to savor! After all isn't that what weekend are all about?

What You'll Need For The Waffles:
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of buttermilk
2 eggs

Mix everything in a bowl and stir until your batter is smooth. Cook on a waffle maker according to the maker's directions. Top with fresh fruit, maple syrup or whatever you like on your waffles.

What You'll Need For The Cherries:
2 cups of cherries, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup of sugar

Cook cherries and sugar over medium heat and sugar until cherries break down and sauce forms (about 20-30 minutes) stirring occasionally to keep the cherries from sticking or burning. Serve warm or chill in the fridge until ready for use. This also makes a good pie filling, but you'd need to double or triple it accordingly.

What You'll Need For the Cream:
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar

Mix until blended, but not stiff. Use to top waffles and cherries.

Posted by Dianne at 7:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 30, 2007

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit Smoothie

There is nothing better than a smoothie made with fresh, ripe fruit! The choice of the fruit is up to you...Banana strike your fancy? Then go for it! Strawberry? Absolutely! Papaya? That's always good? Blueberry? It'll be purple, but delicious! Mango? Surely! Well, you see where this is going. Anything you like, toss it in, you can't go wrong with a fresh, yummy smoothie!

What You'll Need:
1 large banana, sliced and/or frozen
3 large strawberries, sliced and/or frozen
1 small very ripe peach, sliced and or frozen
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
1 cup of soymilk (Note: You can use any kind of milk you like, but I like to use soymilk in my smoothies, I think it tastes better.)
1 cup of ice (optional)

Place all ingredients in the jar of your blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

How's that for a fast, easy and not to mention a portable breakfast? And don't forget you can use different fruits or even just add more to this basic smoothie. There is no wrong answer. ;o)

Posted by Dianne at 9:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 25, 2007

Orange Cream Coffee Cake

Orange Cream Coffee Cake

When my mom was visiting we tried a free sample of Starbuck's Reduced-Fat Orange Crème Coffee Cake and it was delicious! I told her I was going to have to come up with something similar and this morning Alexis and I did just that!

So my version is NOT low-fat, in fact it's anything but, but it's delicious and orangey none the less and in my opinion that's a good thing. As far as flavor goes, it sort of reminds you of a Creamsicle meets Orange Julius...Or maybe a creamy orange pie, but if you like orange flavored goodies you'll LOVE this!

Orange Cream Coffee Cake

What You'll Need For The Cake:
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (I used Minneolas, which are actually tangelos. I juiced two of them and used the juice for this and the filling below. It came out to exactly 1 cup from the two oranges.)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated. Add butter, orange juice and egg (the orange juice will make the baking powder fizz a bit, so don't be surprised) and mix until a sticky dough forms. Spread dough into a 9 inch round cake pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or spread with butter. Make a well around the cake in a circle about an inch from the edge of the pan. Set pan aside and proceed to the "filling".

What You'll Need For The "Filling":
1 - 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar

Cream together cream cheese, orange juice and sugar until smooth. Place the "filling" in the well that you made around the dough in your pan. Set aside and proceed to the topping.

What You'll Need For The Topping:
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup of sugar
The zest of two oranges

Mix ingredients in a food processor or with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the entire top of the cake, filling, batter and all. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. You can also let it cool completely before serving if desired, it's good either way.

Enjoy!

Orange Cream Coffee Cake

Posted by Dianne at 2:07 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 21, 2007

Breakfast For Dinner: Buttermilk Pancakes and Fruit

Buttermilk Pancakes and Fruit

My family has always liked to do breakfast for dinner from time to time and it's a tradition I have carried on with my own family (i.e. Jamison and Alexis). Since my parents are visiting I thought it would be fun to do breakfast for dinner this evening while we were together, so we had Buttermilk Pancakes with maple syrup and fruit. Sometimes it's fun to pretend it's morning even when it's not! ;o)

Buttermilk Pancakes

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2-2 cups of buttermilk
Oil or non-stick spray

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add eggs and buttermilk and stir until incorporated. (Depending on the humidity, etc. you may need more or less buttermilk. You're looking for a batter that is thin, but not overly runny. It still needs to have a bit of stick to it.) Using a ladle ladle batter into circles in the hot pan that has been brushed with oil or sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook until browned on each side.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Serve pancakes with some warmed maple syrup, butter and/or fresh fruit, (In this case watermelon, strawberries and blueberries, but whatever you like works!) and sit back and enjoy!

IMG_8850

Breakfast for dinner is yummy, but these Buttermilk Pancakes are good anytime of the day! ;o)

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May 12, 2007

Totally Cheating Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

Totally Cheating Pumpkin Walnuts Muffins

I usually do not use mixes that much at all, but by reading the ingredients on the box I quickly discovered that there isn't anything in it, but natural REAL ingredients and decided to give it a whirl. I ended up using it make Pumpkin Walnuts Muffins and they turned out great! Alexis loved them too. These are a great addition to any breakfast or the perfect snack!

1 package of Canterbury Naturals Pumpkin Cake Mix
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 - 15 ounce can of pumpkin (Note: Plain pumpkin NOT Pumpkin Pie Mix)
2 eggs
1 cup of raisins
1 cup of chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix ingredients and add into a prepared muffin pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until muffins stick clean with a toothpick.

Makes roughly 15 muffins.

See simple, easy and delicious! They are just perfect for a laid back weekend breakfast! ;o)

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May 2, 2007

Whole Grain Granola Bars

Whole Grain Granola Bars

When you think Granola Bars, you automatically think healthy, but a lot of the commercially produced bars are anything but. This recipe adapted from Mother Earth Living is not only whole grain, but there are not nasty preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugars or trans fats! These delightful bars will fast become a favorite and the crumbs make a fabulous granola topping for yogurt or even ice cream! ;o)

What You'll Need:
1 1/2 cups of extra thick rolled oats (This is the Whole Grain kind, not the instant version)
1 cup of unsulphered coconut
1/2 cup of raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup hempseed
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup of raw cashews
4 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup dark brown molasses sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup (You can also use honey or molasses instead)
1 cup raisins or milk chocolate chips (I used chocolate chips because we are out of raisins, which we usually have on hand, but we're eating out of the fridge and pantry trying to clean things out in a grand spring cleaning expedition! ;o))
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Whole Grain Granola Bars

Mix together oats through cashews on a very large baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes while the oven is preheating to 350 F.

While the oat mixture is heating in a pot melt butter, maple syrup and brown molasses sugar. Once melted bring to a quick boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Remove oat mixture from the oven and leave the oven on. Pour the melted sugar/syrup mixture over. Make sure all of the oat mixture is coated with the sugar mixture. Be careful not to burn yourself as both the oat mixture and the syrup mixture are very hot! Use a silicone spatula to do the mixing.

Using your silicone spatula press the mixture firmly into a 13 X 9 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick oven. Put back into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut into bars.

Notes: You could add any seed or nut you wanted in addition to or in place of the ones I chose. I think dried cherries would be really good and almonds or walnuts too. Dried apple bits would also be good. Mix it up and make it your own!

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March 20, 2007

Homemade Organic Yogurt

Homemade Organic Yogurt

A month ago or so I got a yogurt maker after reading about how easy it was to make your own, delicious yogurt. Not only is it easy, it's also cheaper than buying it from the store and you cut down on waste by not having all those plastic containers to have to recycle!

This is the 3rd batch I've made, but the first real milk bath. The first two batches I tried I made with soy milk, but I couldn't get it to set up properly. It was perfect for smoothies, but it was to thin to eat like regular yogurt. This time I used skim milk and it turned out beautifully! It's some of the best yogurt I've ever had! But don't forget to keep 1/2 a cup to make the next batch! ;o)

I'll most likely keep trying with the soy yogurt, but for now here's the milk version to tide you over.

What You'll Need:
4 cups of organic skim milk
1/2 cup of organic nonfat milk powder
1 - 6 ounce container of organic fat-free plain yogurt (Make sure the yogurt you purchase has live active cultures in it or the process won't work. This yogurt is for the starter for the first batch only. After that you just keep 1/2 cup of the yogurt you made the last time to use for your next batch.)

Heat milk and milk powder to between 180 and 200 F. DO NOT LET BOIL!!! Remove from heat and let milk cool to 110 F. (The best way to determine temperature is to use a candy/deep fry thermometer.) While your milk is heating and cooling plug in your yogurt maker and let it warm.

My yogurt maker is made by Salton and I really like it overall:

Yogurt Maker

Once the milk has cooled to 110 F (Note: This is very important...If the milk is too hot the yogurt will not set up!) add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the milk into the yogurt starter and stir until smooth. Pour this yogurt/milk mix into the rest of the milk and stir until just mixed. (Do NOT whip or beat...Just stir gently!) Add mixture to bucket of your yogurt maker and put the lid on. Let process for 4-6 hours or until yogurt is set.

Homemade Organic Yogurt

And the best part? The container comes right out of the yogurt base and into the fridge. It even has its own little serving spoon that hooks into the front of the container so it's ready to go:

Homemade Organic Yogurt

Simple, creamy, cheap and delicious! It makes about a quart at a time and lasts for about a week to a week and a half. You can add in your own fruit mixture or sweetener if you want to after it's made, but make sure you leave 1/2 cup of plain yogurt to make the next batch.

Notes: Make sure the utensils you are using are extremely clean so as not to mess with the cultures in the yogurt for best results. I usually just pour boiling water over everything that isn't being heated, but is going to touch the mixture to make sure it's sterile.

Posted by Dianne at 11:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 12, 2007

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Sometimes I like to make a smoothie for breakfast. I've seen a lot of smoothie recipes that call for sweeteners, but the reality is that natural sugars in the fruit are more than enough! Smoothies are fast, easy, healthy and delicious!

What You'll Need Per Person:
1 cup of milk (skim, soy, etc.)
2 strawberries, sliced
1 banana
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
1 cup of crushed ice

Place all ingredients in the jar of you blender and blend until smooth.

Notes: You can use peaches or blueberries or any other fruit that you like. You can even use frozen fruit! You can also add in some yogurt if you like as well. It's another one of those recipes that you can play with and the possibilities are endless!

Posted by Dianne at 9:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 11, 2007

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffin

Lemon poppy seed muffins are one of my all time favorites, but I've never actually tried to make them at home. Yesterday I decided to give them a try and I am very pleased with the results! They are buttery, lemony and oh so good!

3 cups of unbleached flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 1/4 cups of butter, melted
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 1/2 cups of plain fat free yogurt
1/3 cup of skim milk
The zest of 1 lemon
The juice of 2 large lemons
1/3 cup of poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and sit aside.

In the bowl of mix together the butter, sugar, yogurt, milk, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix well. Stir in poppy seeds and then slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined and pour into pregreased or lined muffin pans. Batter will be thick.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden.

Makes 2 dozen.

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February 26, 2007

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

Nothing says comfort food like pancakes! Throw in a few blueberries and you've got heaven on a plate! ;o)

What You'll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 eggs
2 cups of buttermilk
Blueberries

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, sea salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in eggs and buttermilk and stir until smooth.

Preheat skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray when hot. Pour batter into the pan in circles (about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of batter depending on how large you want your pancakes).

Drop blueberries onto the pancake spaced evenly:

Blueberry Pancakes Cooking

Turn when bubbly and cook the other side until done through. Serve plain or with maple syrup.

Blueberry Pancakes

Minus the blueberries this is my basic pancake recipe. You can add any kind of fruit you want or just eat them plain.

Plain Pancakes

What's not to like?

Posted by Dianne at 9:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 15, 2007

Omelets Stuffed With Veggies And Swiss Cheese

Omelet

Sometimes I like to have breakfast for dinner and nothing is better for that than omelets! Stuff them with veggies and a little cheese and they are hearty and oh so good!

What You'll Need Per Person:
Extra virgin olive oil
2 asparagus spears
2 button mushrooms
1/4 of an onion, cut into strips
2 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
1 slice of the cheese of your choice

Cut veggies and roast in the oven or sauté until tender with a little freshly ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Once tender set aside.

Heat skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Beat eggs with a little freshly ground black pepper and pour into skillet. Cook until egg is set.

Omelet In The Making

Add veggies and cheese to half of the egg circle and fold the other half of the egg over the "stuffing". Let heat through until cheese melts. Serve with whole grain toast.

Posted by Dianne at 8:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack