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Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Bring on citrus season!  When life gives me a bowl of lemons, you better believe I’m going to make some muffins!  And perhaps some lemonade to wash them down, but that’s another post all together.  For now it’s all about muffins, as these Lemon Ricotta Muffins definitely deserve the spotlight.  They are bright, perfectly sweet and bonus – they’re low in fat, though you would never know it.  The ricotta cheese gives the muffins a moist, soft texture, and the flavor goes perfectly with the lemon.  The taste is reminiscent of delicious lemon ricotta pancakes, only a bit more portable.

With the wonderful citrus bounty upon us, over the next few weeks I will be sharing several recipes using citrus fruits.  In the meantime, grab those lemons and give these muffins a try!

Lemon Ricotta Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons salt (optional)
  • ¾ cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 12 muffin cups with paper liners or cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta, water, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg, and vanilla until blended.
  4. Fold the ricotta mixture into the flour mixture until just blended.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the tops of the muffins.
  6. Bake for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins sit in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Cooking Light

easy parmesan black pepper buttermilk drop biscuits

Parmesan-Black Pepper Drop Biscuits

There is nothing better than having warm fresh buns, bread or biscuits at the dinner table. Due to the time involved, that is often saved for the weekend. We’re always looking for quick and easy dinners, including accompaniments. Enter the wonderful world of drop biscuits! By simply dropping the dough instead of rolling and cutting, these can be made in around 15 minutes ~ just the amount of time you need to sear your meat, set the table, make a salad, catch up on your blog reading…or whatever you need to do. The result is fresh warm biscuits in no time. How nice is that!

From the original recipe, I used Parmesan cheese instead of Asiago cheese, as I was trying to use up what I had on hand.  Either way is really good.  I added garlic powder, which definitely enhances the flavor in these biscuits.  I have tried using whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour and found the whole wheat pastry flour yielded subpar results.  Light butter or regular butter work fine, but I’m always happy to shave off some calories if the light version works in a recipe.
Parmesan-Black Pepper Drop Biscuits are versatile, quick and easy to make.  Great for a weeknight dinner, a last minute side or simply just because you’re craving warm biscuits.
Parmesan-Black Pepper Drop Biscuits
 
Yields: 8 biscuits
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons light butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese (or Asiago cheese)
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in medium bowl.
  3. Into flour mixture, cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 knives) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and toss well to combine. Add buttermilk and fold until just moist.
  4. Drop dough into 8 equal mounds on lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until edges are browned.

Adapted from Cooking Light

chocolate malt muffins

Chocolate Malt Muffins

I had a lot of leftover malt powder after making Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies.  While I’m sure Mike would love if I used it up making several batches of his favorite cookie, I had other ideas.  One of them, of course, being muffins!  These muffins were a fun change from our usual breakfast.  The malt flavor was not overwhelming, and the chocolate chips gave a little extra interest.  A little chocolate for breakfast can’t be a bad thing, right?  Definitely not if that means enjoying these muffins!

Chocolate Malt Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chocolate malt powder (plus 2 teaspoons for topping)
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar (plus 2 teaspoons for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare muffins tin (line cups or spray with cooking spray). In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons malt powder and 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, malt powder, sugar and baking powder until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, buttermilk, egg and vanilla.
  4. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and fold gently until just combined; gently fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle with malt powder/sugar mixture.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from weewelcome

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Coconut Cranberry Muffins

I had been craving something with coconut for some time, and it occurred to me that coconut paired with cranberries would be a lovely combination.  Cranberries are so wonderful in the wintertime. They add beautiful, seasonal color, as well as a delightful zing to any dish.  Of course, my next thought was…let’s make muffins! 

The sweetness of the coconut was the perfect counterbalance to the tangy cranberries.  The whole family loved these, especially Adam (though at first, the cranberries were a bit too surprising).  Adam asked for coconut cranberry muffins every day for weeks.  Quite frankly, an almost 2 year old saying ‘coconut cranberry’ anything is quite possibly the cutest thing ever.  As if you didn’t need another reason to make these…they are just plain good!


Coconut Cranberry Muffins
Yields 18 muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare 18 muffin cups with liners or cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir flours, sugar, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt, until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.
  4. Add buttermilk mixture to flour, gently folding until combined.  Fold in cranberries.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan.  Sprinkle with remaining coconut.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Adapted from Food.com

Linked to Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for Saturday #50

banana graham muffins

Banana Graham Muffins

One of the reasons I often make muffins or quick breads is so that Mike can take breakfast on-the-go.  With this lastest muffin creation, I wanted to make something that Adam would love as well.  It definitely did not take me long to come up with this one.  It is no secret that toddlers love bananas and toddlers love graham crackers.  So why not put the two together in a muffin to create the ultimate toddler treat!

I must confess that Adam is not the only banana and graham cracker lover in this house ~ yours truly is a huge fan as well.  These muffins definitely did not disappoint!  The crushed graham crackers definitely add a tasty spin on an otherwise simple banana muffin recipe.  In fact, they ended up being a nice combination of the two flavors.  They were not overly graham cracker-y but also not like banana bread.  I added some cinnamon, which ended up very subtle in this recipe.  That amount could be doubled if you’re looking for something cinnamony to go with your banana and graham.

So did Adam love them?  He sure did!  In fact, we all did, and I hope you do too!

Banana Graham Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tin with paper liners (or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the graham crackers, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combined the mashed bananas, oil milk, egg anv vanilla.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, folding gently until combined (be careful not to over mix).
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Adapted from Baking Vintage

Pumpkin Cornbread

Pumpkin Cornbread

On Monday, I shared my favorite chili recipe of all time and gave you a preview of today’s post.  What goes best with chili – cornbread!  As I am sure you have noticed, we are all about pumpkin over here these days.  So we put the two together to make Pumpkin Cornbread.

This recipe is super easy to make, and the sweet cornbread was the perfect complement to the spicy chili.  The leftovers were a great quick breakfast on the go, while Adam enjoyed it most as a snack in the car after a trip to the zoo.  Versatile and delicious, these Pumpkin Cornbread recipe is definitely a keeper.

Pumpkin Cornbread
 
Yields: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8x8" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar and cornmeal; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and then stir in the pumpkin, oil and molasses until combined.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan (smooth the top, if needed).
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Slightly Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

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Layered Pumpkin Loaf

Layered Pumpkin Loaf is a delicious and easy recipe for pumpkin bread with a cream cheese swirl in the middle.

For the longest time, Mike and I would get ‘Pumpkin Loaf’ from everybody’s favorite coffee shop (you know, the one with the green logo).  While that bread is good, I dare say that I prefer this Layered Pumpkin Loaf.  Perhaps it’s the moist and flavorful bread, or perhaps it’s the cream cheese layer resting in the middle.  Regardless of the reason, this is just plain good.

I substituted buttermilk for the skim milk in the original recipe, and I added extra cinnamon in addition to the pumpkin pie spice.  I also added the chopped pepitas on top.  Pepitas are tasty, add some crunch, look pretty, and go perfectly with this bread.

If you will be hosting out of town guests over the holidays, or simply hosting a breakfast/brunch, Layered Pumpkin Loaf would make a lovely addition to your table.

Not sure if you noticed, but I like pumpkin just a little bit. 🙂 This bread is certainly no exception.

Layered Pumpkin Loaf
 
Yields: 9x5 loaf, approximately 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 egg whites, divided
  • ½ cup low fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cream cheese (1/3 reduced fat), softened
  • ¼ cup pepitas, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3 egg whites, buttermilk and oil, until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to pumpkin mixture and fold gently just until moistened.
  4. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining granulated sugar and remaining egg white until well blended.
  5. Spoon half the pumpkin batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Spread the cream cheese mixture in a layer over that batter. Top cream cheese layer with remaining pumpkin batter (You will want to spread the top pumpkin layer a little bit with a silicone spatula, but it is ok if a little cream cheese is still visible).
  6. Sprinkle the top layer with chopped pepitas, if desired. It helps to gently pat the pepitas into the batter
  7. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Loosen bread from sides of pan; cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Adapted from Kraft

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Pumpkin Gingerbread

Evidently it has unofficially become pumpkin week here at Alida’s Kitchen.  I had something else planned for today, but it just seemed fitting to close the week with a new favorite and continue the pumpkin theme.  It does not get more seasonally appropriate for fall/winter than pumpkin and gingerbread.  This Pumpkin Gingerbread is no exception.

I have not done a lot of baking with crystallized ginger, so it was fun to try something new.  It definitely enhanced the flavors in this gingerbread.  The original recipe did not call for cloves, but I like my gingerbread a little spicy.  I thought the cloves were perfect addition.  I love that this is made with whole wheat flour and not a lot of sugar.   Healthy, delicious and perfect for the season, this Pumpkin Gingerbread makes a delightful breakfast, brunch or even dessert.
Pumpkin Gingerbread
Yields 16 servings
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup chopped crystalized ginger
2 eggs
1 egg white
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8″ square baking pan with cooking spray.  Set aside
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking powder in a medium bowl. Stir in crystalized ginger.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg white, oil, molasses and pumpkin in a large bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, folding gently until just combined.
  5. Pour mixture in prepared pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.    Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.  Serve topped with crystalized ginger, if desired.
Adapted from prevention.com

 

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Pumpkin Banana Bread

An overabundance of overripe bananas is never a bad thing.  We all know those little black bananas mean that in the near future, some sort of banana treat will be made.  Banana bread is always a safe bet, but this time of year I find myself wanting to make something with pumpkin as well.  What better way to combine the two than to make Pumpkin Banana Bread.   

This Pumpkin Banana Bread is very easy to make.  Made with part whole wheat flour and less sugar, it becomes a healthier option.  The bananas add natural sweetness, which along with the pumpkin, yield a moist and delicious bread.  It’s not quite banana bread and not quite pumpkin bread, but a delightful combination of the two.     

Pumpkin Banana Bread
Yields 3 small loaves

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 bananas, mashed
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon brown sugar (for topping, optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (for topping, optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 3 small loaf pans with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the bananas, pumpkin, oil, eggs and vanilla. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the banana-pumpkin mixture, and gently fold until combined.  
  5. If using, combine sugar and cinnamon for topping. 
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired.  Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Remove bread from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.   

Powered by eRecipe.com

    Adapted from Low Fat Cooking @ About.com

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    Spiced Pumpkin Molasses Muffins

    I am always looking for new and different recipes for muffins.  They are an easy make ahead breakfast that Mike can take on the go, on his way to work or while traveling.  They are also easy for me to grab while I’m chasing after Adam, who then insists (very persistently) that I share with him.  Pumpkin season seems to be very popular with everybody these days, and our family is no exception.  For this muffin, I was looking for something pumpkin, healthy and with a little pizazz.  Enter Spiced Pumpkin Molasses Muffins.

    These muffins fulfill all of the above requirements and then some.  The pumpkin and molasses flavors are nicely balanced, with neither one outshining the other.  I topped the muffins with a mix of chopped pepitas, oats and brown sugar, which added some nice texture and visual appeal.  The muffins would be delicious without this optional topping, but I highly recommend it.  I also highly recommend making these muffins!

    Spiced Pumpkin Molasses Muffins
     
    Yields: 12 muffins
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup white whole wheat flour
    • ¼ cup flaxseed meal
    • ¼ cup rolled oats
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    • ½ cup dark brown sugar
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 tablespoons molasses
    • ¼ cup canola oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ pepitas, chopped (optional for garnish)
    • 2 tablespoons rolled oats (optional for garnish)
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional for garnish)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin cups with liners (or sprady with cooking spray). In a small bowl, mix together chopped pepitas, oats and sugar for garnish, if using. Set aside.
    2. In a bowl, mix together the flours, flax seed meal, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
    3. In another large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, yogurt , eggs, molasses, oil, and vanilla until well-blended.
    4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, folding until just combined (do not over mix).
    5. Divide the mixture into the prepared muffin tins, and sprinkle each muffin with the pepitas-oats mixture.
    6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Adapted from All Recipes

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    Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones

    A few weeks ago, Mike was out for a fun evening with the guys.  Meanwhile, I was home alone (well, Adam was home too, but sleeping).  Of course, I got the itch to bake something.  I found myself with leftover pumpkin and leftover buttermilk, along with some leftover cinnamon chips.  Sounds like I had the makings for the perfect pumpkin scone!

    I sent a scone with Mike to take to work the next day. Shortly after he left, the phone rang. It was Mike and he said ‘I’m not sure how you’re going to take this..’    Um, ok?     ‘but I think this scone is the best thing you’ve ever made!’ Yay!  This was my first attempt at making scones, and I am so glad they were a hit!

    The cinnamon chips are amazing with the pumpkin in these scones.  I suspect any chips, or even dried fruit, would be good though.  The base recipe is just that good.  I lightened things up by using my baking BFF, light butter.  I used 2 glazes – plain and spiced, and have written the recipe below with the full amount that I used.   While the glazes were really good, truthfully these scones can hold their own sans glaze.  Another time I would use half the amount (or simply go without), because I prefer something a little less desserty.  If glaze is your thing, then have at it, because they were fabulous!

    Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones
    Yields 8 scones

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
    1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
    1/2 cup (1 stick) light butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
    1/2 cup cinnamon chips (or white chocolate or butterscotch chips)
    1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Glaze – optional – see recipe below

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a food processor, pulse flours, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and baking soda until combined.  Add cold butter pieces and pulse until combined and butter forms small pea-sized chunks.  Pour into a large bowl and stir in cinnamon chips.
    3. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla.  Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients and gently fold until dough comes together.  (be careful not to over mix). 
    4. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet.  Press and form dough into a 8 to 9-inch round.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely and cut into 8 slices.

    GLAZE:

    Plain Glaze:

    2 tablespoons skim milk
    1 cup powdered sugar

    1. Whisk together milk and sugar until combined.  With a pastry brush, brush glaze over cooled scones.  Repeat until all glaze is used (or until desired coverage is achieved). 

    Spiced Glaze:

    1 tablespoons skim milk
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

    1.  Whisk together milk, sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour glaze in a plastic bag.  Cut off a corner of the bag and pipe spiced glaze over scones, as desired. 

    Note:  Let glaze(s) set before eating.

    Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Joy of Baking

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    Sweet Onion and Cheddar Cornbread

    Chili and cornbread is such a classic combination. On Monday I shared a delicious Black Bean Chili with Roasted Butternut Squash with you. Today I am sharing with you this amazing Sweet Onion and Cheddar Cornbread that with our chili.  Of course, while I have made several cornbread recipes over the years, cornbread with sweet onions and cheddar is a version I did not have a recipe for…until now.

    The first step in creating this recipe was to select a base, and for that I went to a very trusty source – the back of the cornmeal canister.  Their Easy Corn Bread was a perfect place to begin.  The rest was a little bit of guess work and crossed fingers.

    Sauteed onions and cheddar cheese are the perfect additions that take this basic cornbread recipe to a whole new level. The poppy seeds sprinkled on top add a little visual appeal.  Mike has already requested I make this again.  There is no doubt this Sweet Onion and Cheddar Cornbread will be making a regular appearance at our dinner table this chili season.

    Sweet Onion and Cheddar Cornbread
     
    Author:
    Yields: 16 servings
    Ingredients
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
    • ¾ cup cornmeal
    • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • pinch of salt (optional)
    • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • ¼ cup canola oil
    • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve 1 tablespoon for topping)
    • ¼ teaspoon poppy seeds
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
    2. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onion and saute until softened (about 5-7 minutes). Reserve 1 tablespoon for topping. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder.
    4. In a small bowl, whisk milk, oil and egg until combined.
    5. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in onion and and cheese (do not over mix).
    6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle reserved onion and cheese and poppy seeds on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Adapted from back of Quaker corn meal canister

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    PB Ball Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins

    Yesterday I shared with you Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins.  If you haven’t baked with cinnamon chips before, I suggest you go out and get some.  They are so good, especially in this banana muffin recipe.  As I also mentioned, that’s what I made with half of the recipe.  Today I am going to share with you what I did with the other half. 


    When I was conjuring up a purpose for the cinnamon chips, banana muffins were the first thing that popped into my head.  But then I got to thinking – what if I added something more…something delicious…something like…a peanut butter ball? 

    So today, part 2 of yesterday’s Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins, I present to you PB Ball Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins.  The muffins alone deserve the spotlight, because they really are spectacular.  Add a peanut butter ball to the center, and they become something extraordinary. 

    PB Ball Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins
    Yields 24 standard muffins

    1 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
    1 cup powdered sugar

    1 recipe Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 24 standard muffins cups with paper liners.  Set aside.
    2. Beat peanut butter and powdered sugar together until blended. 
    3. Roll peanut butter mixture into 24 evenly-sized balls and place in the paper-lined muffin cups.  
    4. Make Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins per the recipe.  Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, covering the peanut butter ball. 
    5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until muffin is set.  (You can do the toothpick test, obviously just don’t test through the peanut butter ball).  Let muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Adapted from Picky Palate

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    Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins

    If there is one thing we always have plenty of in this house, it’s bananas.  Whenever we run low, Mike is quick to run to the store to replenish our stash.  It didn’t take him long to learn that there is no such thing as too many bananas.  A surplus of bananas means baking bananas, which means treats!  As I write this, I have a bowlful of overripe bananas waiting to be mashed, whipped, mixed, baked into something delicious.

    To completely change subjects – have I told you about my baking chip collection?  I have a thing for baking chips.  I love buying chips in anticipation of creating new and exciting treats, but life (i.e. a busy toddler) usually gets in the way of those plans.   I decided it was time for a self-intervention.  I must begin baking my way through this collection,…starting with these cinnamon chips.

    So the two stories come together…in the form of Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins.   These muffins are a delicious and healthy option, made partly with whole wheat flour.  They are also made using 3 bananas, which means you can use less oil.  The cinnamon chips add just a little extra something that make these muffins special.  But if cinnamon is not your thing, these would be great with chocolate chips (mmm, or even peanut butter chips!).

    These muffins are moist and delicious.  They are all I hoped for and more…yet I ended up doing more with them.  I made half of the recipe as just Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins.  Tomorrow I will share with you what I did with the other half of the recipe! 😉

    Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins
    Yields 12 standard muffins

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup white whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    3 ripe mashed bananas
    1/3 cup canola oil
    1/4 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 cup cinnamon chips (or chocolate chips)

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease or line 12 standard muffins cups.  Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.
    3. In a separate bowl, mix the bananas, oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until combined. 
    4. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture until just blended (do not over mix).  Add cinnamon chips, and fold gently until combined.
    5. Distribute batter evenly among muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Adapted from Keep Your Diet Real

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    Zucchini Bread

    Childhood summers, playing in the vegetable garden, my 3rd birthday “cake”, that’s what this zucchini bread tastes like. 

    Throughout my childhood, my parents had a vegetable garden.  I remember they grew cucumbers, green beans, various other vegetables, and of course zucchini.  Zucchini plants are the gift that keeps on giving.  Even better, lots of zucchini meant lots of delicious zucchini bread!

    My mom said she got this recipe from an old relative of my dad’s.  Isn’t that the way it is…the greatest recipes are the old tried and trues?  Classic zucchini bread…one of the best simple pleasures.

    Zucchini Bread
    Yields 4 small loaves

    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup canola oil
    2 cups granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups grated zucchini (with peel)
    3 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cups all-purpose and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour)
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    dash of salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Cooking spray

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray 4 small loaf pans with cooking spray (or grease/flour).  Set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Sift dry ingredients.
    3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until creamy.  Add zucchini and stir until combined.
    4. Fold the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients until combined (do not over mix).
    5. Evenly distribute batter among 4 small loaf pans and bake for 60-70 minutes.  Let cool in pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

     

    Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

    Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins

    Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

    Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins are a healthy muffin that tastes good too!  They are made without any butter or oil, yet the are moist and delicious due to the zucchini and banana. 

     New magazine day is one of my favorites days of the month.  Since I subscribe to several magazines, this translates into several favorite days a month!   Actually, I think Mike might like new magazine day more than I do.  Especially when after just one quick perusal, it looks like this…

    10 flags after just a quick glance.  Not bad, eh?   Just wait until I get a chance to be more thorough!

    It was hard to choose what to make first, but there was clearly no better way to kick off zucchini week here than Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins!  Good thing too, because these might be the tastiest muffins ever!  I know, I know, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  But this time I mean it!

    After one bite, you will never guess that these are healthy and low fat!  Sure there is zucchini and banana, but I’m sure you’ve noticed a lot of times muffins find some way to become glorified cupcakes.  Not these.  There is no butter and no oil added to these muffins, yet they are incredibly moist and delicious.  For an additional nutrition boost, I subbed in some whole wheat flour.  I also replaced whole milk with buttermilk since it seems everything is made better with buttermilk.

    This week I will be featuring several zucchini recipes throughout the week.  I hope you will all enjoy them as much as we have!

    Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins
     
    Yields: 12 muffins
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • ½ cup ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1½ cups coarsely grated zucchini (I used 1½ zucchinis)
    • 1 mashed ripe banana (approx ⅓ cup)
    • ¾ cup buttermilk
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • nonstick cooking spray
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
    3. In a small bowl, stir zucchini and mashed banana together. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
    4. In medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir gently until combined (do not overmix).
    5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely (about 30 minutes).
    Notes
    Adapted from Everyday Food, September, 2011
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    Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

    My maternal grandmother was incredible in the kitchen and notorious for her baking.  She always had a vast array of ‘Grandma Goodies’ on hand, which certainly pleased her lucky grandchildren!  She knew everyone’s favorite goodie (granted it was near impossible to choose just one) and loved to make sure those favorites were always available.  One of my favorite goodies was a peanut butter rice krispie treat she made.  Much to my delight, she once told me it was okay to have one for breakfast.  “It has cereal after all!” is what she told me.  Who was I to argue with such reason!  I tried using that rationale to convince my parents, but it didn’t quite go over the way I hoped.  I found myself faced with yet another bowl of cereal for breakfast.

    My grandma was a wise woman and definitely on to something, if you ask me.  I think she would support me wholeheartedly today, because I am going to tell you IT’S OKAY TO HAVE CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST!

    Chocolate in the form of Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Muffins, that is!  After all they are made with banana, peanut butter and whole wheat!  I think individually each would be reason enough to forego your everyday cereal in favor of these muffins. Together, there is no excuse really.

    These muffins are phenomenal.  Chocolate and clove are a genius combination.  The spices, along with the banana, take this muffin from a chocolaty dessert to a chocolate spice muffin.  Combined with the peanut butter, it becomes the perfect breakfast muffin.  My grandma would have definitely approved of this!

    Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Muffins
     
    Yields: 12 muffins
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
    • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (approximately 2 large bananas)
    • ⅓ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
    • 1 large egg
    • ½ cup packed brown sugar
    • ¼ cup canola oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips)
    • 8 tablespoons natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare standard 12-cup muffin pan with liners or by spraying with cooking spray; set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, sift together flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt (if using), cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk mashed bananas and yogurt until smooth. Whisk in the egg, sugar, oil and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour mixture and fold gently until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
    4. Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with the batter. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of peanut butte into the center of each cup. Evenly divide remaining batter to cover the peanut butter.
    5. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

    Adapted from Christina Marsigliese and Amy’s Cooking Adventures

    rp_DSC05711.JPG

    Blueberry Lemon Muffins

    Have I told you lately that I love summer produce? Because I do!  This weekend we are planning a visit to our local farm to pick up several pounds of blueberries.  I am so excited! While we love to eat plain blueberries by the handful, I have a long list of great recipes using blueberries that I can’t wait to share with you!

    So in honor, and anticipation, of our future blueberry windfall, I would like to share with you my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.

    Years ago, I was flipping through a Bon Apetit magazine, and this recipe for blueberry muffins caught my eye. It just so happened to be an advertisement for Pam Cooking Spray – go figure!

    Now I know that I promised you a break from yogurt recipes, and well…I stuck to that for over a week. It would simply not be fair to keep this recipe from you any longer. These muffins rock!

    The beauty of using yogurt in baked goods means that you can use less oil/butter, which makes them a healthier option.  These muffins also contain oats, which provide a little texture that goes well with the juicy blueberries. And what more can I say about the blueberry-lemon combination – it just works.

    Over the years, I have made these muffins using different types of flours and yogurts.  This time, I made them using whole wheat pastry flour and Greek yogurt.  These muffins are just as delicious using all-purpose flour and/or regular yogurt, so use what you have or go crazy and try something different!

    Blueberry Lemon Muffins
     
    Author:
    Yields: 12 muffins
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
    • 1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
    • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (or regular plain nonfat yogurt)
    • ¼ cup canola oil
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • zest of 1 lemon
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare 12-cup regular muffin pan with cooking spray or liners.
    2. Whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla.
    3. Pour yogurt mixture into center of dry ingredients; stir until just blended. Do not over mix. Fold in blueberries and lemon zest. (Note: batter is thick)
    4. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups. Bake 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove from muffin pan and cool completely on wire rack.
    Notes
    Adapted from a Pam Cooking Spray Advertisement found in Bon Apetit magazine

     

     

    strawberry-yogurt-muffins

    Strawberry Yogurt Muffins

    Strawberry Yogurt Muffins are an easy, healthy muffin recipe made with lots of fresh strawberries and Greek yogurt.  

    After picking up 8 pounds of strawberries from a local farm, I noticed these were the most perfect strawberries I have ever seen.  They had a perfect shape, a perfect stem and were a deep red throughout (no white inside these berries).  My husband wondered what I could possibly do with 8 pounds of strawberries?  Spend a LOT of time experimenting in the kitchen, that’s what!

    In fact, I was thinking 8 pounds might not even be enough.  I eat strawberries on my plain Greek yogurt every day.  My son eats strawberries by the fistful.  There is also a long list of goodies that I want to make with strawberries…hmm.

    For the longest time, I have been searching high and low for the perfect strawberry muffin recipe.  I was inspired by this recipe for Strawberry Bread on Cate’s World Kitchen.  I love that Cate uses yogurt, a good dose of vanilla, and this recipe uses more actual strawberries than other recipes I found.  From the original recipe, I reduced the amount of sugar and used plain nonfat Greek yogurt.   The recipe below is written accordingly.

    These muffins smelled incredible while baking in the oven.  It was hard to resist digging in while they cooled, but I knew they would be worth the wait.  And worth the wait they were indeed!  They are moist, delicious and have bits of sweet strawberries in every bite.  We are definitely going to make another trip to the farm to pick up more strawberries, and I will definitely be making more of these muffins!

    Strawberry Yogurt Muffins
     
    Yields: 12 muffins
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
    • ¼ cup oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1½ cups strawberries, chopped
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease 12 muffin cups.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla until blended. Add to flour mixture and gently mix until combined (Be careful not to over mix). Gently fold in strawberries.
    4. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to wire rack and let cool completely.

    Adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen

    Strawberry Yogurt Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

    raspberry white chocolate cream cheese muffins

    Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

    Raspberry season is upon us with a plethera of delicious berries to do with as we wish.

    And I wish for Raspberry White Chocolate muffins.  Seriously.  I have been waiting all year for raspberry season just so I could make them.

    These muffins are definitely one of those muffins.  The kind of muffins that feel like dessert for breakfast…and well….it kind of is.  But there’s fruit, so it’s totally legit.

    Raspberry and white chocolate are such a classic combination.  The juicy raspberries burst in your mouth and the white chocolate chips provide a nice texture.  The cream cheese gives the batter a sticky consistency, resulting in beautiful, rustic-looking muffins.  Enjoy!
    Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins
     
    Yields: 12 muffins
    Ingredients
    • 1 package (8 oz) light cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 cup fresh raspberries
    • ½ cup white chocolate chips
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
    3. Combine the flour and baking powder.
    4. Add dry ingredients to the cream cheese mixture until just blended. Stir in chips. Gently fold in raspberries.
    5. Distribute batter evenly amongst 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

     

    Slightly adapted from Taste of Home: Cupcakes & Muffins