Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

 

I’ve been making this recipe since 2014!

This recipe is from “Smitten Kitchen” – and we found it really healthy YET wonderful.  Sometimes, as we all know, healthy baked goods can be very unappetizing, but these had flavor, sweetness, with a unique apple taste.   I got about a 18-19 muffins yield.  They freeze and defrost well.  I left them on the counter to defrost, or in a pinch, I defrosted them on the defrost setting of my microwave.  I’ve used buttermilk one time, and recently (2017) I used 2% Greek Yogurt, both work well but I prefer the Greek Yogurt (or use any regular yogurt).  🙂   ENJOY!

—You can make these eggless by obviously removing the egg – no substitution needed. The buttermilk or yogurt makes up for it.—

Smitten Kitchen Link!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon** (cinnamon is not I.C. safe for me, so I omit it)
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten (*eggless tip, if you need it)
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt**
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

 

*IF YOU NEED TO MAKE THEM EGGLESS, I JUST TOOK OUT THE EGG BECAUSE THERE IS BUTTERMILK OR YOGURT IN THE RECIPE TO MAKE UP FOR IT). 

**We used 2% Fage Greek Yogurt and it turned out wonderful. – December 2017.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.
  2. Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy.
  4. If using eggs, add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Mix in the buttermilk/yogurt gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.)
  6. Stir buttermilk/yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Jacques Pépin Criques – Potato Pancakes via the Food Processor!

  

This was a superb Jacques Pepin recipe!  I saw him demonstrate this recipe on More Fast Food My Way on TV.  It’s really simple thanks to the food processor and was fun to make.  I highly suggest using a fish turner like he uses.  Make sure you place the finished pancakes on a raised rack so they do not sit directly on a plate or paper towels and get soggy!  Enjoy!

This makes about 12 potato pancakes!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup diced white or yellow onion
  • 2 cloves crushes garlic
  • 2 T. potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • few pinches of salt
  • scallion/chives/or green onion
  • Vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Begin by peeling your potatoes, rinse any dirt off with water.  Place them in a bowl with water to cover.
  2. Once all your potatoes are peeled and in water, take one out to chop it and put the chopped potatoes directly in your food processor.  Do NOT rinse the chopped potatoes at this point; you will rinse all the starch away.
  3. Once all the potatoes are chopped and into your food processor, add the 2 eggs, chopped onion, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, potato starch, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Puree until you get an applesauce texture.
  5. Pour batter into a fresh bowl, add chopped green onions.
  6. Heat your oil in your skillet.
  7. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the hot oil, you should be able to get 4 potato pancakes into a 12″ skillet.  It will take about 3 batches.  Flip pancake to cook the other side when you sneak a peek and the bottom is browned. Add more oil as needed and adjust temperature as needed for proper browning, not burning.  
  8. When you remove the cooked pancake, place it on a raised cooling rack.  You do not want to put it directly on paper towels or a plate, it will get soggy!
  9. Serve with sour cream, ketchup, or eat plain.  YUM!

 

Betty Crocker Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Machine Bread

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cinn-raisin-bread-machine1

This is a keeper recipe – it makes great tasting cinnamon raisin bread that can go desserty, it can be your carb for breakfast, or just a treat.  It’s a great all-around special bread machine concoction.  Enjoy…

I bumped up the raisins to 1 cup – c’mon, it is raisin bread!  Haha….

**I used the 1.5 LB. size and “light crust” color setting on my machine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 cups BREAD flour
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup dark raisins

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except raisins in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Weighing your bread flour, or any flour will always turn out best.  I go off the general assumption that 1 cup of flour equals 125 grams, but check your package or check online.    
  2. Add raisins at the “Raisin/Nut” audible signal, or 5-10 minutes before the last kneading cycle ends.
  3. Select Sweet or Basic/White cycle.
  4. Use medium or light crust color.
  5. Select 1.5 LB. loaf size.
  6. Once completed, remove baked bread from pan and cool on wire rack before slicing.

Black Forest Pumpernickel Bread Machine Loaf

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ABOVE: The ingredients in the bread machine pan.  Liquids on bottom, dry ingredients in the middle, and then the yeast on top.  

ABOVE: A few minutes into kneading, open the lid and use a spatula to push any flour pockets down into the dough.  (See top left flour pocket clinging to side of bread pan).

 

You’re going to love this dark pumpernickel bread with the ease of the bread machine!  It’s just perfect.  I’m not a fan of light rye bread, but I love dark rye!  It does use three types of flour, which may turn off some people, but it’s quite easy.  **Always store your whole wheat flour in the freezer; ask America’s Test Kitchen if you doubt me.  **Spray your measuring cup before pouring molasses into it for easy cleanup!  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients into your bread maker according to the manual directions.  (Order does matter a lot!)
  2. Select crust type to “light”.
  3. Select basic setting.
  4. Select 1.5 pound loaf size.
  5. Press start.
  6. Check while the machine is kneading.  If mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of warm water at a time.  If mixture is too wet, add a small amount of flour at a time.  The mixture should go into a ball form and be just soft and slightly sticky to the touch.

Peach Blueberry Banana Smoothie

This is a ‘recipe’ for a very tasty smoothie that I discovered myself.  Smoothies don’t need a recipe, you just need complimentary flavors and enough liquid.  No pic of the actual result this time, it was so good it was gone in moments. Just imagine a purple smoothie.  No measurements needed, eyeball this one!  Play with the amounts of ingredients.  It will be fine!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 peach, room temp. or refrigerated, cored and sliced
  • Approximately 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • Approximately 1/2 cup frozen sliced bananas**
  • Approximately 1 cup 2% (or your choice of fat) milk, soymilk, etc.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour your milk into the blender.
  2. Add your peach slices, frozen blueberries, and frozen slices of bananas.
  3. Cover with lid and process until super smooth – about 45 seconds to a minute.  (We love our NutriBullet much more than traditional blenders.  It makes the ingredients pulverized into super fine bits.  Even fruit seeds are no longer annoying to eat)
  4. If the smoothie gets too thick or the blender struggles, turn off blender, and add more milk, cover, and re-process.
  5. Enjoy!!

** When your banana is too ripe or on it’s way out, take off the peel, and slice it up.  You have two choices:

1) You can be lazy like I am sometimes and throw your banana slices into a Ziplock bag and put it in the freezer.  This works better for bananas than berries.  Bananas will freeze and clump together but they’re still seperate-able.  With berries, I recommend #2.

2) With berries or if you have time to freeze bananas the right way: slice your bananas and lay them on a parchment paper or aluminum foil-lined plate, making sure they don’t touch.  Freeze them for a few hours (1-2 hours).  Then take them off the plate and put them in a freezer bag, and label.  Initially freezing them separately keeps them from becoming a massive berry lump!  I’ve been there and learned the difficult way. LOL

Easy French Toast Casserole

French-toast-casserole

This is an excellent French toast casserole for breakfast or brunch.  It’s crispy on the top but just enough softness inside – NOT too gooey inside as that’s a pet peeve of mine for any French toast product.  I found this recipe in a French toast ebook.  Yes, French toast ebooks exist; c’mon get with the times! LOL  It is fantastic.  I’d say it will give you four servings if you’re famished and six servings if you appear to eat normally, or are eating it with something else.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 cups bread cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Lightly butter a 8×8″ baking pan.  (I used a 9″ round!)
  3. Line bottom of pan with bread cubes.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, 2 T. sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  5. Pour egg mixture over bread.
  6. Dot with margarine/butter.  Let stand 10 minutes.
  7. Combine remaining 2 T. sugar with 1 tsp. cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.
  8. Bake in preheated oven about 45-50 minutes, until top is golden.

 

Super Easy Strawberry Banana Smoothie!

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This is my creation.  You can’t go wrong with this smoothie – it’s super simple and fast.  I put all the ingredients in my Ninja and it does all the work!  Sometimes we have this for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack, or even a few hours before bed.

All ingredients are approximations, you don’t even need to measure the fruit, just guesstimate, taste, and adjust if necessary.

Makes about two servings.  

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • One 6 oz. container Yoplait original French vanilla yogurt**
  • About a cup frozen strawberries (freeze them yourself, save money).
  • About a cup frozen bananas, previously sliced into approximately 1/2″ pieces prior to freezing
  • Cold water to thin, if necessary.

**Or use whatever your favorite yogurt is, whatever flavor would work with the fruit.  Greek yogurt will change the flavor, so remember that.  Be careful with Yoplait yogurt – if you buy the ‘light’ version, the package will say “No aspartame” but it surely has Splenda in it: look for sucralose, the other name for Splenda, in the ingredient list.  My husband gets horrid headaches from Splenda that last many hours, and I, with I.C. cannot have any fake sweeteners, or I will suffer.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour yogurt into bottom of your food processor, add a little cold water (about a 1/4 cup), add your fruit.  Cover.
  2. Turn on your blender on low and process until your smoothie is thoroughly mixed.  Add additional cold water if mixture gets too thick.  If mixture is not flavorful enough, add more frozen fruit.
  3. Enjoy!

Eggless Waffle Recipe

eggless-waffles

This is one of those recipes you must know about if you a) like good waffles and/or b) have an egg allergy.  Even though my husband is allergic to eggs, yet I can have eggs, I still enjoy these waffles on a monthly basis.  We’ve made them nearly every month (or every other) for over a decade – so you know they are good!  They’re from Rosemarie Emro’s “Bakin’ Without Eggs” book.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (If you want to make it healthier like we do, use up to 3 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour with 1 cup all-purpose flour.  Or, if you want to play it safer, do 50% all purpose and 50% wheat flour).
  • 2 T. + 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 T. sugar 
  • 4 cups (1 quart) buttermilk (It’s really best if you use the real buttermilk here and not that trick to make buttermilk out of milk and lemon).
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or applesauce (hint: canola oil works best!)
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • Optional: blueberries, chocolate chips, or your choice of small fruit to mix into batter.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In stand mixer or in a large bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk attachment or a whisk.  Whisk until smooth.
  2. Preheat your waffle maker according to the maker’s directions.  Decide if you need to spray your waffle maker with nonstick spray.  We have found it helps to release.
  3. Depending on the size of the wells of your waffle maker, pour just enough batter in it to fill up the wells just enough.  Read your manual for recommendations.
  4. Makes approximately 15-20 waffles, depending on size.

Basic Crêpe Batter

crepes

 

I had a very successful crêpe experience and wanted to share the recipe and tips.  This is one of those recipes high in technique so it’s extra critical to follow the directions to the letter.  Whether you like them sweet or savory, there’s a crêpe for you!  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:    (Makes about 7-10 crêpes depending upon batter usage, so you can double this if you like).

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • (To make it richer, omit the water and use 1 cup of milk instead.  This is what I did.)
  • (To make it sweeter, add 2 T. sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  I did this also.)
  • (To make it more savory, add 1 T. chopped fresh herbs.)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend batter ingredients in a blender until combined.
  2. Let batter stand 30 mins. at room temperature, or cover and chill up to 48 hours.  (I left mine to refrigerate one day).   This gives the flour time to absorb the liquid and the bubbles time to subside.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat.  Brush lightly with melted butter or vegetable oil.  Make sure you brush just a little butter on and you only need to do it every few crêpes, as needed.  With less butter/oil, the crêpe browns better!
  4. Ladle batter (about 1/4 cup for an 8″ skillet) in center of pan.
  5. Working quickly, tilt the skillet, and swirl the batter around to coat the entire bottom.  It should be very thin!
  6. Cook until the edges pull away from the pan, the top loses its sheen, and the bottom is lightly browned, 45 sec to 3 min. depending on your skillet size and heat level. Use a thin heatproof spatula to loosen the crêpe from the pan and lift an edge.
  7. Grasp the raised edge with your fingers and flip the crêpe over in one quick, fluid motion. You can also use the spatula.  Cook until the second side is lightly browned, 15 sec to 1 minute more.
  8. Slide the crêpe onto a plate.  Repeat steps 3 to 5 with the remaining batter, buttering the skillet only as needed and stacking the finished crêpes.
  9. Hint: the first crêpe is usually garbage because your skillet is getting to the proper temperature, so don’t give up!
  10. Eat plain or fill with toppings – sweet, fruity, or savory, roll up and enjoy!

Delectable Green Pepper, Ham, & Tomato Quiche

pepper-ham-quiche2 pepper-ham-quiche1

 

I made this recipe for my favorite quiche.  So, if you’re going to steal any recipes on my site without referencing my site name, please don’t steal this one. 🙂  To me this quiche is near perfection and I don’t think I’ll make any new quiche after this!  Slice into servings and freeze remainder in aluminum foil, if desired!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Pre-made pie crust, thawed at room temp for 15 minutes, or your own homemade pie crust
  • 1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green (or any colored) bell pepper, top removed, seeded/membranes removed, diced
  • 1 stalk green onion, root end removed, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup half and half, regular fat (or if you desire, low fat, but it’ll affect the flavor)
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • coarse salt
  • 1 c. mixed shredded cheese (your favorite cheese is great here: swiss, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, etc)
  • 6 slices deli honey ham, chopped into bite sized pieces (or your favorite ham steak, chopped)
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350* F and place your oven rack on the middle position of the oven.
  2. Begin by placing de-thawed pie crust in your pie pan, forming around edges and sides snugly.
  3. Heat your olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until it gets shimmery and warm.  Carefully put your chopped green peppers and green onion in oil and saute until pepper pieces are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Crack 5 eggs into a large Pyrex or bowl, making sure not to get any eggshell in bowl.  Add 1/2 cup half-and-half, freshly ground pepper and coarse salt to taste; whisk until thoroughly mixed.
  5. It’s time to assemble your quiche: sprinkle 1/2 your green pepper/onion mixture onto dough in pie plate.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 your ham.
  6.  Rewhisk your egg/half and half mixture if it has separated and pour on top of quiche.
  7. Layer additional cheese, ham, and green pepper/onion mixture until it’s all used up. You can’t go wrong here.
  8. Top with halved cherry tomatoes, cut side down, so they are sticking out of quiche.
  9. Cover edges of pie plate with foil or a silicone pie guard, like I have.
  10. Bake approximately 35-38 minutes depending on your oven, until the top is lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out mostly clean.