Whole Wheat Apple Muffin

I added all the brown sugar into the batter…woops! I have a bad habit of not reading through an entire recipe – don’t be like me 😉  I figured the extra sugar couldn’t hurt these, and I was right. I didn’t add more to the tops, but next time I will be sure to remember that “divided” step. The kids and I love these and they are really flavorful, fluffy and moist. One of the ways I safeguard against dense baked goods that require whole wheat flour, is to make the simple substitution of whole wheat pastry flour. Another easy modification is to add the buttermilk and flour in three additions to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. The resulting batter is light and fluffy and baked into 16 Fall inspired muffins. And about the temperature called for in these – I cut it back to 350 degrees on convection for 20 minutes and they came out perfectly. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins – adapted from Smitten Kitchen via King Arthur Flour

Yield: They said 12, I got 16

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat pastry 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
  • 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
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. 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. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Broccoli and Potato Soup

Quick Post: What do you do when the co-op only gives you a few potatoes and two broccoli crowns? You make soup for lunch, that’s what 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Broccoli and Potato Soup –

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, small dice
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • nutmeg, freshly grated to taste
  • shredded cheddar cheese for topping

1. Place a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter. Sauté the onions and carrots until soft but still firm, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and then whisk in the flour, cook for  1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the vegetable stock and the half and half to the pan, whisk constantly so that no lumps form – about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in nutmeg and stir. Cover and simmer {over medium-low} for 15 minutes.

3. Next, reduce heat to low and add in the onions, carrots, broccoli and potato. Add more vegetable stock if you feel the soup is too thick. Stir and cover to simmer for another 20-25 minutes.

4. Lastly, use a potato masher to break up the broccoli florets to desired size. Season generously {to taste} with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve immediately and top with cheddar cheese.

Buttertop Bread

I waited too long to blog about this one, so I don’t have much to tell about it 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

Buttertop Bread – adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 3 cups King Arthur AP flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup dry potato flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons soft or melted butter
  • 3/4 cup to 7/8 cup lukewarm milk

Directions –

1) Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together until you’ve made a smooth, though somewhat sticky dough. If you’re uncertain about the amount of milk to use, start with the lesser amount; you can always add more as you go along.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover, and allow the dough to rise for about 90 minutes; it should become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk.

3) Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 9″ log. Place it in a lightly greased- 9×5 inch loaf pan.

4) Using a sharp knife, cut the loaf vertically down the middle from one end of the pan to the other, almost but not quite to the bottom of the pan.

5) Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap (or a shower cap), and allow it to rise until its top has crowned about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 45 to 60 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

6) Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it’s golden brown. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil after about 15 minutes of baking; because of its somewhat higher sugar content, this bread tends to over-brown if not covered.

7) Remove the bread from the oven, and brush it with melted butter. Cool completely before slicing.

8) Store bread, tightly wrapped, for several days at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.

Ham and Cheese Rolls

Quick Post: After I made the kids these pizza rolls, I knew I needed to make ham and cheese filled for their school lunches. These are quick, easy and the kids loved them! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ham and Cheese Rolls –

  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • swiss cheese, sliced or shredded
  • cheddar cheese, sliced or shredded
  • sliced deli ham, chopped or torn

Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Roll pizza dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle and cut into 4 strips width wise (so you’d end up with 4 pieces of dough that are 4 1/2 inches x 12 inches). Place the slices of ham on top of the dough and then with swiss and cheddar cheese.Roll up each piece of dough and place on prepared baking sheet seem side down. Press the open edges down to seal. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden and bottoms are brown.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Quick Post: This is really good – so good that I ate it twice this week. I had leftover roast chicken, and what better way to use it than for chicken salad? This is a combination of a few different recipes that inspired me. I love the crisp bite of the celery, the sweetness of the apple, the toasty walnuts…all of these ingredients work together to make one of my favorite sandwiches. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Salad Sandwich –

  • 1/2 – 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or chopped fine
  • 1 celery rib, small dice
  • 1 small apple, small dice (I used a Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2-3 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 2-3 TBSP plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp of curry powder
  • cayenne, paprika, pepper, salt – to taste

Directions –

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve in a wrap, on a sandwich or over a bed of lettuce.

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

In an effort to give my kids something other than sandwiches (I would have gotten burned out on those a long time ago), I decided to make these. The best were so easy to make and the kids loved them. My son said I should have doubled the recipe so he could have eaten more – but these are pretty big and the kids split one. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls – adapted from Lauren’s Latest

**I used this sauce recipe and a new pizza dough recipe**

  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1-3.5 oz. package sliced pepperoni
  • 2/3 cup prepared pizza sauce

Directions-

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Roll pizza dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle and cut into 4 strips width wise (so you’d end up with 4 pieces of dough that are 4 1/2 inches x 12 inches). Divide pizza sauce between all 4 slices and spread, leaving a 1/4 inch border approximately. Shingle the slices of pepperoni on top of the sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup per pizza roll) and cheddar cheese (2 tablespoons per roll).Roll up each piece of dough and place on prepared baking sheet seem side down. Press the open edges down to seal. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden and bottoms are brown. Serve warm with more pizza sauce for dipping.

Chile Verde

Quick Post: I love this dish – seriously it’s one of the best things I make. The house smells amazing right now! It’s not something that can be made quickly, but it is so worth the effort it takes. I thought I posted this recipe here already, but I found out that it has been at least two years since I last made it. I found this recipe about three years ago, but I have combined two different recipes to make this just the way I like it. We enjoyed this over rice that  I cooked with chicken stock instead of water, and these tortillas. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chili Verde – loosely adapted from Food Network and For the Love of Cooking

Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapeno for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.
For the Pork:
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of pork loin (or shoulder), trimmed of excess fat and cut into to 2-inch cubes
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock

Directions –

Season the pork cubes generously with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and oregano, to taste. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat then brown pork chunks on all sides. Remove pork from Dutch oven and set aside. I had just a little grease in the pan so I didn’t add olive oil but if you have no grease, add a bit of olive oil. Place the onions in the Dutch oven and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 60 seconds. Add the pork to the onion mixture then pour your chile verde sauce on top. Add enough chicken stock to cover the meat. Taste and re-season with salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Be careful not to add too much because the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Quick Post: My girl asked nicely for chocolate chip pancakes 🙂 I have never tried any batter that wasn’t all AP flour, so I was a little worried these would become heavy. These were light, fluffy and slightly sweet. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes – adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 eggs

Directions –

In a medium bowl, whisk both flours, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a second medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, egg and egg white. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just until barely combined – the batter will still be lumpy, that’s fine.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil starts shimmering, use paper towels to wipe the pan so only a thin, even coating of oil covers the bottom and sides. Use a 1/4 cup measure to portion the batter into the pan. Cook on the first side until the edges are set and bubbles form on the surface, about 2-3 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side, or until golden brown and cooked through. {If not serving immediately, transfer the pancakes to the wire rack in the oven.} Repeat with remaining batter, adding the rest of the oil to the pan if necessary.