Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Banana Peanut Muffins (Virtuous!) with Chocolate Buttercream Icing (Sinful!)

The gas pedal in our car stopped working reliably on Monday night...which brought back the debate about when we should upgrade to a minivan and led us (well, just Matt this time) back to a car dealership for I think the 4th time since November.  We got the gas pedal fixed and again walked away without a new car. 

So to console us and encourage our financial self-discipline, I made cupcakes. Technically, muffins with frosting.  I think I came up with a really good mix of flavors and healthiness.  Banana Peanut muffins with Chocolate Buttercream.  The buttercream is really rich and and smooth and sweet, but the muffins are only mildly sweet and they have whole wheat flour.  Plus, the peanuts give them a nice crunch.  I will make these again.

For the Banana Peanut Muffins:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup stevia (or sugar, or splenda)
2 tsps baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil, or canola)
3/4 cup mashed banana (1 large banana)
1/2 cup dry roasted lightly salted peanuts

Mix the first 4 ingredients together.  Mix the egg and milk and add to dry mixture with oil and mashed banana.  Stir, then add peanuts and mix until combined.  Pour batter into a muffin tin sprayed with nonstick spray.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.

For the Chocolate Buttercream:
1 stick salted butter, at room temperature
scant 1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 squares baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1/8 cup (or 2 tbsps) milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Melt the baking chocolate in the microwave and set aside to cool.  Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until nicely whipped (I used the paddle attachment on my mixer) then mix in cocoa powder.  Once the baking chocolate is cool, mix it in too.  Then mix in the milk and the powdered sugar until you have a nice whippy frosting.  Yum!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

I was thisclose to buying Reese's peanut butter cups in the Halloween section at Walmart today.  Then I remembered looking at this recipe for peanut butter cups from Blue-Eyed Bakers and decided we would make them instead.  Go check out the recipe - you'll be glad you did!

I'm so glad we did!  As Cadence said, "They are peanut butter-y, graham cracker-y, and chocolate-y."  Besides getting the oil changed in the car, they are also the only thing I accomplished today.  Scratch that  - I did some laundry too.

I did make two changes to healthy up their recipe a little.  I used 1/4 cup powder stevia instead of the sugar called for, and I made 12 instead of 8.  So a serving is a little smaller, but there are more of them.  Win-win.  The comments said that some people had trouble getting the chocolate the set up, so I used less milk too - maybe 1/6 cup?  I just filled my 1/4 measuring cup  about 3/4 cup full.  (Also?  We don't keep sea salt in the house.  So I sprinkled kosher salt on top.)  Next time, I will try switching at least half the butter for coconut oil.

The revolutionary thing about these is all the ingredients are stuff we keep in our house ALL THE TIME.  Butter, peanut butter, graham crackers, chocolate chips, milk, sweetener, salt?  Check, check, check, check, check, check, check.

Don't you love this look?  Hanging out in a princess tiara and cheetah print dress on our front porch - that's how we roll!

Linking up to Tatertots and Jello.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Piper's Birthday Cake: Cinnamon Cake with Cream Cheese and Pear Frosting

This cinnamon cake with cream cheese and pear frosting was Piper's birthday cake.  It was very good.  Almost like a coffee cake - it would have been a wonderful breakfast treat.  Really easy too.  I used angry chicken's Friday Cake recipe as our starting point.

Cadence helped me make the batter.  Actually, it felt like all I did was gather the proper ingredients and read the recipe.

 The frosting was an experiment and I'm so glad it turned out well!  All you need is cream cheese and pear preserves.

Into the mixer!

I just whirred up the cream cheese and pear preserves on high speed until the preserves were pretty well incorporated.  If I had chopped up the pear pieces in advance it would have gone faster, but this was less work for me.

When the cake was cool, I just spread on the batter, then sprinkled it with some cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar.  I really liked that this cake was dense, and the cinnamon flavor was lovely.  I also loved that the frosting was not too sweet.  A good birthday cake for a one year old.

Cinnamon Cake
(adapted from angry chicken's Friday Cake recipe)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix it all up in a bowl and pour into a small round cake pan.  (I think we may have used a glass pie pan - it worked too.)  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool then frost with...

Cream Cheese and Pear Frosting

  • 4 oz. (half a package) cream cheese, softened (I almost always use reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup pear preserves
Whiz the cream cheese and pear preserves in a stand mixer on high speed until pieces are broken up and texture looks good to you.  

I think we'll try this cake again (possibly for Cadence's upcoming b-day).  For her, I'd sub cocoa powder for the whole wheat flour and strawberry jelly for the pear preserves.

Here's Piper enjoying her slice.

I think it's safe to say it was a hit, since she's shoving it into her mouth.

Linking up to: A Glimpse Inside's Catch a Glimpse Party, Show Off Your Stuff at Fireflies and Jellybeans, Tatertots and Jello, and live laugh rowe

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

the best homemade pizza! (i've ever made)

I've been making homemade pizza for awhile and have been using a pizza crust recipe I think I found on Money Saving Mom.  It was good.  It's whole wheat.  It came out thicker and chewier than we prefer, but it mixed in the bread machine, which was nice.  Then, I got this idea to use the artisan bread in five minutes a day dough (I make this sometimes, I blogged about it here - so go there if you want to read how I do it, and you can see the recipe and read about the details here, or buy the book) as pizza crust and  It's better than good.  Thin and crispy like we like!  And SUPER EASY.
The artisan bread in five minutes a day dough is so easy - water, flour, yeast stirred up and thrown in the fridge - it's kind of ridiculous.  If you like bread, you should try it.  And I have to say now that I am sure I can use the dough for pizza, I'll be making it more.

Here's the dough rolled out on the pizza stone.  I liberally sprinkled the stone with cornmeal before slapping the dough on there and using my (floured) hands to shape it.  The big circle is for Matt and I and the small loafish piece is for Cadence. Because she's picky.

Cadence's is topped with ricotta and a shredded cheese blend.  The grown-up one has ricotta, sliced tomatoes (from the garden), fresh basil, pepperoni, and a shredded cheese blend.

I baked it at 450 for about 20 minutes.  Which may have been a bit long, looking at the cheese, but it was still super yummy.

Nom. Nom. Nom.  The leftover pizza has been in high demand.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chicken and Cashews in Lettuce Wraps

I have this big fat notebook full of recipes I've pulled from magazines for years now, things that look really, really yummy.  I've resolved to start making some things from that notebook.

So the other day I made this Chicken and Cashews in Lettuce Wraps from Real Simple.  Easy and delicious.   I did stir a little cornstarch into the sauce toward the end because I am not a fun of runny sauces.  Matt and I loved it and Cadence ate some of hers without too much persuasion, so that's really good.  I'll make it again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Yesterday, we made homemade:

Playdough - recipe from here

Granola - using my recipe, which I apparently have not published here.  I will do that soon.

Yogurt - totally easy and waaaaaay cheaper than the vast amounts of store bought yogurt we (read: Cadence) have been consuming! Slow cooker recipe from here, and thanks to my friend Kat for inspiring me to finally do it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's going on in my kitchen

Last week was Matt's spring break which means we were eating real meals at home quite a bit (we also were out of town some so we got to eat out at some great places, like Tupelo Honey Cafe, State Street Barbecue in Black Mountain, and La Pietra Cucina), so I was cooking more than usual, which I really enjoyed.

The salad above was part of my lunch today, and so good!  Lettuce and strawberries were straight out of my garden, with toasted almonds, shredded mozzarella, and balsamic vinagrette.  I've been eating a lot of salads from the garden.  My early vegetables have been hit or miss.  I think it got too warm too fast this year.  My peas seem to be doing well, as did the spinach and lettuce.  But for the radishes to get to a decent size, they had to stay in the ground way longer than they should have and were hot.  Like spicy.  Fine, but not what I had hoped for.  I think my cabbage and broccoli is giving up, and the jury is still out on the kale and carrots. 

Speaking of spinach, some of what I've harvested has made its way into green smoothies.  Matt is scared of them, but Cadence will suck them down like nobody's business.  Inspired by the recipe here, I've been using full fat plain yogurt with a few squirts of honey, because honestly, Cadence could use the extra fat and calories. 

I've tried out several new recipes I can recommend.  For Easter dinner, I made us a turkey breast in the crockpot, and I am never making a turkey in the oven now that I know how good (and easy) it is slow cooked!  My friend Susie told me that's how she did hers at Thanksgiving and she was so right.  I just salted and peppered the breast, plopped it in the crockpot, poured in a 1/4 cup apple juice and let it go on high for about 4 hours.  It was juicy and flavorful and falling off the bone. 

Some of my friends here have raved about the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I thought this week was the perfect time to try it out.  Except I still haven't gotten the book, I followed the directions here.  I did it totally simple; I didn't buy any extra stuff, just baked the bread in a pyrex dish.  It. was. so. good.

And I just now tried out the chocolate peanut butter babies here, which sounded awesome having no added sugar and no baking!  When I saw dates were on sale at Ingles, I couldn't resist making these today.  I love me some chocolate.  Most days, I need me some chocolate.  They were delish and quick, which is kinda what I need since I'm attempting to do laundry, entertain Cadence, blog here, and wash dishes during Piper's nap.  Yikes, I have emails to reply to too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Strawberry "Cheesecake" Ice Cream Pie

I love cheesecake.  It was my birthday dessert request for many a year and it was my wedding cake.  I LOVE it. 

Back at Christmas, I made an amazing peppermint ice cream pie following Jenae's directions over here at I Can Teach My Child!  I figured you could take her basic recipe and change out flavors and come up with some other delicious ice cream pies.  When I saw some Edy's ice cream on close out at the store last week, I decided I would try a strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie.

And it was a total success (and super easy!). 

Here's what you need:

a block of neufchatel cheese (low fat cream cheese), a carton of strawberry ice cream, a container of cool whip, and a graham cracker pie crust (not pictured).

Here's how you do it:

Cut the block of cream cheese in half and put one half out to come to room temperture.  If you can be that patient.  If it's only softened a bit, you'll be fine.  You may also want to let the cool whip and ice cream soften slightly. 

Dump that softened half block of cream cheese in your mixing bowl with half the carton of ice cream and the whole container of cool whip.  Either use your mixer with a paddle attachment or a lot of arm strength to mix until everything is, well, mixed up.  Then pour that deliciousness into your pie crust and put in the freezer for at least two hours. 

The store bought pie crusts come with a plastic lid thing-y that I flip over to cover the pie in the freezer. 

You can garnish with some strawberries or whipped cream.  Yum!

Let me just say that this isn't particularly healthful, but I did use low fat cream cheese, light ice cream, and lite cool whip and it's still really good.

I think in the summer this would be yummy with peach ice cream and that chocolate or coffee ice cream in a chocolate crust would be really good too. 

Linking up to:
Catch a Glimpse Button


Monday, April 09, 2012

Super Easy Ham and Cheese Muffins

Got leftover Easter ham?  These muffins are really easy and delish!

Mix up self-rising flour, milk, mayonaise, ham, and shredded cheese.

Drop into greased muffin tin.


Easy Ham and Cheese Muffins

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsps mayo
1/2 cup diced ham
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but I think swiss would also be good)
a pinch of garlic powder (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Drop spoonfuls into 9 greased muffin tins (I simply spray mine with a no-stick cooking spray) until each tin is about half full.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Makes 9 muffins. 

P.S. Hey, Mom, this is, of course, a variation on your mayonaise biscuits.  I took them to playgroup last week and they were a hit.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I have perfected easy oven-baked french toast

This is my new go-to French toast recipe.  It's easy and cheap.  Here's the ingredients:
  • One loaf of french bread (I buy it on sale for just under a $1 at Ingles or Wal-mart.  I like to use the whole wheat loaf when I can get it.)
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup millk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Cut the bread into 1 to 1.5 inch slices.  Preheat oven to 400.  While oven is heating, put butter in your 13x9 pan and put it in the oven for few minutes to melt.  Whisk together eggs and milk.  Remove pan from oven and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon evenly on the bottom of the pan.  Dip bread slices in egg mixture and arrange in pan.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.

When you take the slices out of the pan, flip them over so you see the nice buttery, sugary, cinnamony crust on top.  Cadence takes hers with syrup.

I prefer powdered sugar.  I will probably never go back to frying french toast on the stove top.  This makes a lot, but the leftovers reheat nicely.  Yum!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Double Chocolate Peanut Oatmeal Cake Mix Cookies

Cadence and I needed a fun activity during Piper's mid-day nap yesterday, so we made cookies.  Cadence likes to help stir.  These were easy and super yummy.  They're moist and chewy and not too sweet.  My friend Kat makes awesome cake mix cookies, and I had a cake mix on hand, so we went from there.  I added chocolate chips, oatmeal, and peanuts...

You know you want to make some, so here's what you need:

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts, chopped sorta fine in the food processor

Mix above ingredients together.  If batter is too thick, add a few tsps of water (that's what I had to do).  Drop by rounded teaspoon (I use my ice cream scoop) onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool on pan for a minute, then cool on wire racks. 

This makes a ton of cookies - I filled 3 cookie sheets - we'll try not to eat them all in the next 2 days!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomato Pie

We were given some very ripe tomatoes last week, so I made tomato pie. (Because there was a pie crust in my freezer.  And cheese in the fridge.) I did a mash-up of a recipe I pulled out of a Better Homes and Gardens mag last year and creative little daisy's recipe here.  As I said, the tomatoes were very ripe, so it was hard to get them to not be too juicy.  The crust was a bit less than crusty in spots.

More importantly, why has no one told me about this before? Or served it to me? I've been living in the southeast my entire life, people. Shouldn't I have eaten this at some point?  My feeling is, a recipe that contains pie crust, tomatoes, cheese, and mayo must be a blessing from heaven. 

No one else in this house was interested in eating it, so I got the whole thing to myself.  Yum.  (To clarify - I ate it over the course of several days, not in one sitting.)

Also, I'm now craving chicken pie.  Does anyone in High Point want to send me one?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Blackberry Crumb Cake = YUM

The apparently wild blackberries around our house have become pickable this week, so Cadence and I have been on a few expeditions to harvest them.  I wanted to make this crumb cake from Real Simple - I made it last summer with frozen blackberries from our old neighbors and was eager to try it with fresh from our yard fruit! 

We didn't have enough berries and I wanted to make it in a loaf pan so I halved the recipe.  I am often halving recipes, and am very grateful for my 1/8 cup measuring cup. 

We dug into it after lunch today.  Cadence was a fan - the blackberries turned purple in the cake!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Deals of the Week (Impromptu Cooking Day)

When I went to Ingles on Wednesday I lucked up on a couple of great deals - a pound of reduced fat pork sausage for $1.69 and a dozen free range brown eggs for only $1 (pictured below).  The only problem?  They both needed to be used, like, immediately.

So I ended up spending a lot of yesterday afternoon in the kitchen.  I hardboiled a slew of the eggs for egg salad sandwiches and the rest went with some of the sausage for freezer breakfast burritos.  I was inspired by the recipe here at Money Saving Mom but did my own thing.  Then I made my sausage biscuit balls - you've probably seen this recipe before, with bisquik?  Seems like everyone knows it.  I do mine with 3 cups bisquik, about 12 oz. reduced fat sausage, 2 cups shredded cheddar, 1/4 cup parmesan, and around 1/2 cup milk.  Mix it up, roll into balls and bake at 350 for around 20-25 min. 

The finished product.  It's so easy and they freeze nicely - most of these ended up in the freezer.  I'm having a hard time focusing on meal planning since during the school year we eat so much in the dining hall, so it feels good to have some things in the freezer to pull out quickly for a hearty breakfast.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bacon and Blue Cheese Tart

I made this for my book club last Sunday and it was super yum.  I adapted the recipe from the March Woman's Day magazine. 

7 slices turkey bacon
1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 oz blue cheese crumbled*

Heat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, move to paper towel-lined plate.  Crumble when cool.  Cook onions in bacon grease (there won't be much, this is turkey bacon)  until very tender and carmelized. Stir bacon back into skillet with pepper to taste. 

Place pastry flat on baking sheet.  Top with onion and bacon, then the blue cheese, leaving a border around the edge.  Bake until pastry is golden, around 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.  (Matt was eating it cold out of the fridge.)

*There is a huge price difference in the blue cheese sold in the cheese section in the deli of the grocery store and the blue cheese in the dairy case with the sliced and shredded cheeses.  The blue cheese is the dairy case is significantly cheaper.

Friday, April 22, 2011

First spinach harvest

I'm a really lazy gardener.*  I told my friend Lydia recently that if I can't just stick the seed in some dirt in the sun and occasionally water it, I really don't want to bother.  Also, I have a 2 year old helping me so things aren't going to be perfect.  Hence, our pot of spinach was looking like this:
A little crowded on the one side, eh?  This is where you're supposed to thin things out, so I picked some of the baby leaves the other day and put them in meatballs!

 I sort of fudged the recipe from my favorite turkey meatball recipe from Ellie Krieger.  (I loved to watch her back in the old days when we had TV.  Recently I discovered you could watch her on Hulu and that made me happy.) I added the chopped spinach and some ricotta cheese, because I had it in the fridge.
They were yummy.  We ate them for lunch today with some pasta, and Cadence noticed the suspicious green thing on her fork.  She quickly asked me what it was, and when I said it was spinach from our garden she was totally eager to eat it.  For a kid who's totally not a veggie fan - it's shameful, I know, especially when I will eat anything under the sun, and gladly - this just proved to me that all that stuff I've heard and read about how growing a garden will make kids want to eat vegetables might actually be true!

*I'm also a cheap gardener.  All our seeds this year are actually from last year (except the sugar snap peas, which I bought to do the old start-a-sprout-in-a-plastic-bag-with-a-damp-cottonball-on-a-window-trick with Cadence.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, clearly you have never been involved with preschool or children's Sunday School).  I didn't use all the seeds in the packets, so I put them in a ziploc bag in the fridge and, so far, they are growing fine.  I think the secret to saving seeds is making sure they are not exposed to moisture.  Hence the baggie&fridge storage method.

Monday, April 11, 2011

End of Spring Break

Yesterday was the last day of Matt's spring break and it was bittersweet. We returned from Florida with a sick girl and Matt came down with it yesterday too, so he'll be home today but spending all his time in bed. He also spent all day yesterday working on our taxes which was extremely stressful as at one point it appeared we were going to owe close to $4000 (which made no sense as both of us were unemployed for at least 3 months last year). Anyway, the tax thing turned out fine.

What was fun was checking out how my little container garden was growing.  Have I mentioned we are moving again?  At the end of June, probably, we'll be packing up and heading down the road to...the next house, just on the other side of the cow pasture.  We'll be getting two bathrooms and a garage.  It's been gutted and is in the process of being totally renovated.  So, though I am desperate to grow us some veggies, I didn't want to put anything in the ground here. 




tulip?  this was already in the yard

While Matt was taxing it up and guzzling Emergen-C and I was coaxing Cadence to drink some juice I found time to make totally homemade pizza and it was yum!  I used the recipe for the dough here, and topped it with ricotta, leftover spaghetti sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni.  We like our pizza crust pretty flat so this was a bit bready for us. Next time, I'll freeze some of the dough and make a thinner crust.