Sunday, August 7, 2016

Baked French Toast Muffins

Breakfast is still my favorite meal of the day, except dessert of course, so it's fun to try new recipes. We rarely have french toast at home, but whenever we go out for breakfast it's something I usually order. This weekend we had family over to celebrate my mother-in-law's special birthday and I wanted to make something a little bit different as a treat. These french toast muffins didn't disappoint.

As a host, it is always nice to have dishes that can be prepared the night before so there is one less thing to worry about the day of your event. I mixed up the bread and filled the muffin tins the night before so that all I had to do in the morning was make the stresuel topping and put them in the oven. The tops had a sweet crunch while the french toast stayed nice and moist. I substituted Almond milk for a dairy allergy and no one noticed. Plus, you can enjoy the flavors of french toast without standing over a griddle all morning!

Baked French Toast Muffins
Source: Two Peas & Their Pod
Yields: 12

Ingredients:
1 loaf French bread, cut or torn into 1/2 inch cubes (about 12 cups of bread)
2 1/2 cups milk
6 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Cinnamon Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

2. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Add about 1 cup of bread cubes to each muffin cup. Carefully pour egg and milk mixture evenly over each muffin tin. You may need to press down on the bread cubes after you pour a little mixture and then pour more. Pour slowly or you will have a mess. Or you can combine everything in a large bowl and then fill the muffin cups. Cover the muffins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.

3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the cinnamon streusel, in a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together with your hands, until you have a crumbly mixture. Remove the muffins from the refrigerator and sprinkle the muffins evenly with the streusel topping.

4. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with butter and maple syrup, if desired.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Rolo pretzel treats

Be forewarned that these are addicting since they are both salty and sweet and the perfect bite size to be popped in your mouth. They are simple to make and can be themed for any holiday based on the color m&m's you use. Perfect for your next get together.


Rolo Pretzel Treats
Yield: about 45 candies


Ingredients:
1 package (11 oz.) Rolo candy, unwrapped
small pretzels
M&M candies
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Place pretzels in single layer on parchment lined cookie sheet. Place one Rolo on each pretzel.

Bake 3-5 minutes or until caramel begins to soften, but not melt. Remove cookie sheet from oven and immediately press an M&M into the top of the Rolo, pushing down so the Rolo fills the pretzel. Let cool completely.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Muffins

One of the things I dreamt about was being able to cook with my child. Now that day is here and my daughter loves to "help" cook. She pulled up a chair and helped put the muffin liners in the tin and mix all of the dry ingredients into the bowl. As she anxiously watched them bake in the oven, it was all I could do to let them cool down before she had to taste her hard work. They are truly kid and mother tested and approved. These are full of oatmeal to keep you full and not too sweet. They are also perfect to be frozen and defrosted on busy mornings.


Whole Wheat Oatmeal Muffins
Source: Bella 
Servings: 12-14

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Mix the first six ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl (or stand mixer), beat the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients until moistened.

Grease muffin pan and fill each cup till its 2/3 full. Bake at 400° for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick or fork inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Zucchini Muffins

Baking has been on the back burner for me lately, so I was excited to have the time to try a new recipe today. Muffins are easier to make during a hectic day since they can all go in the oven in one batch instead of spending an afternoon taking trays of cookies in and out of the oven. I was inspired by the abundance of zucchini during the summer and always love to use ingredients that are in season. It also helped that we are hosting a play date and can try out this new recipe for snack since it is a sneaky way to get toddlers or picky eaters to eat their vegetables ;) Since I made these for toddlers I did not add walnuts or raisins, but feel free to add whatever you enjoy in yours. The result was a moist muffin with cinnamon, nutmeg and zucchini flavors perfect for the whole family to enjoy!
Zucchini Muffins
Source: Simply Recipes
Yields: 12-14 muffins

Ingredients:
3 cups grated fresh zucchini
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnuts, crushed (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Directions:
* Grate the zucchini and then put in a strainer over a bowl to drain some of the water out so you don't have soggy muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. If using, stir in walnuts and raisins.

4. Either coat each muffin cup with spray or muffin liners. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the dough among the cups, filling the cups up completely.

5. Bake on the middle rack about 25-30 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and the tops bounce back when you press on them. Test with a toothpick to make sure the center or the muffin is done. Set on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin and let cool another 20 minutes.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sizzling Spicy Shrimp with Garlic

Shrimp is one of those items that we usually have on hand and is an easy go to healthy meal. This dish has a few ingredients that most people have in the house already and cooks up quickly for an easy weeknight meal that feels like you made something special. The shrimp have a bit of a kick with the crushed red pepper flakes and paprika. To mellow out the heat I served it over quick grits like they do in the south
Sizzling Spicy Shrimp with Garlic
Adapted from: Williams-Sonoma
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:
4 Tbs. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. paprika
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 Tbs. dry white wine or chicken broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, add the shrimp, lemon juice and dry white wine, stir well, and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Peanut Butter Blossoms

For the past few years my friends and I have had a holiday cookie swap. It is so much fun to think of which cookie recipe you want to make. The best part is tasting everything and being able to take home a tin full of cookies that your friends baked. Each year it has evolved to include costume themes and has grown competitive for who will win the most votes for the best cookie. This year it was a holiday pj party, it's always nice to indulge while in comfy clothes. I decided to go with a traditional cookie since they always taste good, but I also didn't have time to try out a new recipe in case it was a bust. While these didn't win, I still enjoy peanut butter with chocolate any day!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields: 48 cookies
Source: Hershey's Kitchen

Ingredients:
48 Hershey's kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
additional granulated sugar

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around the edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spinach Turkey Meatballs

Life with a toddler can be tricky at times, especially getting a balanced meal in when they are finding their voice and opinions. A great way to do this is by mixing vegetables into dishes they already love, and it doesn't hurt when we add more veggies for ourselves either. We tend to add leftover steamed broccoli to our scrambled eggs to get veggies into every meal. These meatballs are high in iron from the spinach and mix oatmeal in to substitute for breadcrumbs. And they have enough seasoning to provide flavor for adults to enjoy as well. You can either eat them plain or in your favorite sauce over pasta.
Spinach Turkey Meatballs
Yields ~24 meatballs

Ingredients:
1lb ground turkey
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 Tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 egg
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 355 degrees.

Heat a Tablespoons or 2 of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft. Add spinach, reduce heat to medium and cook until thawed and most liquid has evaporated. Place the onion-spinach mixture in a colander and press with a spatula to remove remaining liquid.

In a large bowl, combine the spices, ground turkey, spinach mixture, oats, bread crumbs and egg. Mix well to combine. Using moistened hands, roll 2 Tablespoons into ball and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I used a small cookie scoop to make it easier and keep them uniform.

Bake at 355F for 20 minutes or so depending on how big the meatballs are. If you want to store them, let them cool and freeze in ziploc bags. At mealtime, grab a couple out of the freezer, and microwave to defrost. 

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