Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guest Post from The English Organizer – 10 Tips for a More Organized Kitchen

Allow me to introduce today’s guest blogger Pauline Wiles from The English Organizer.  Pauline is a Professional Organizer and runs her own company out of San Francisco.  She helps cliens conquer clutter and chaos to create an organized home. I am honored to have her here today to give us 10 tips for a more organized kitchen.

Few rooms in your home have the capacity to delight all five senses like your kitchen.  But your culinary enjoyment and efficiency will be greatly reduced if you haven’t organized the space effectively.  Here are some tips to create a functional everyday environment, in which you can slice, simmer, and stir with ease:

1. Sort through your cabinets and pantry and make categories of similar items (canned goods, dry foods, pots, plates, storage containers, gadgets, and so on).

2. Get rid of anything that is past its date, broken, dirty, or that you never use. For any seasonal items used only once a year, you can make space by storing them in another part of your home. If you find you have multiples of some items, figure out how many you realistically need, and donate the rest.

3. Clear off your counters and find a home for non-kitchen clutter.  A small appliance you use daily should live on the counter, otherwise, try keeping it somewhere else to maximize  workspace.  If you have the luxury of ample counters, you can allow yourself some decorative items, otherwise, you’d better look out for gadgets which are both functional and attractive!

4. Arrange your cupboards so that you’re keeping like with like and aim to store things where you need them.  For example, plates are best kept near the dishwasher or the stove.   Your spices, on the other hand, should not be too near the heat.

5. Consider making ‘stations’ for repeated daily activities.  Some families create a breakfast station, a beverage station, or a low-level, kid-friendly supply of healthy snacks. If you love to bake, you’ll benefit from a baking station, so that everything you need is in easy reach.

6. Create space for recycling – unless your kitchen was designed in the last five years, you probably lack adequate containers for cans, plastic and paper.

7. Don’t buy more than you have room to store – bulk warehouse shopping may be great value, but if you have nowhere to put them, your mass purchases will become a headache.

8. Decide on your favorite staple items and aim to stock these in your pantry at all times for store cupboard meals like a basic soup.

9. Hang up a shopping list and insist everyone adds items when they finish them.

10.  As you replenish food supplies, practice stock rotation so that older items are placed near the front to be used first. For healthier eating, make sure fruits and nutritious snacks are the easiest things to reach. Chips, candy and cookies should be a little harder to access!

Thanks  Pauline for such a lovely post. If you haven’t already, hop over to visit Pauline at The English Organizer!

Image Credits: 1. Stephen Saint 2. Williams Sonoma 3. Free Stock Photo 4. Free Stock Photo


Monday, April 18, 2011

Raspberry Orange Muffins

This is my first month’s Secret Recipe Club “assignment!”  Every month you get a name of a blog and you need to choose ANY recipe from that blog and then blog about that recipe by the deadline.  It’s a secret because the blog owner does not know you are doing this until the reveal date.  My secret blog  this month was Phe.MOM.enom which is written by Holly.  Holly has an adorable blog and there were many recipes that i wanted to try but i had lots of raspberries in my house and wanted to make some muffins.  As you can tell lately i have been making tons of muffins since they are easy for my “on the run” breakfasts.  For these muffins I decided not to do whole wheat flour but keep the white flour as is.  However i did remove all the sugar and use apple sauce and honey instead. These muffins are delicious with the perfect tart flavor and sweetness from the raspberries and hint of zest from the orange.


Raspberry Orange Muffins

Adapted from Phe.MOM.enom

Yields: 12 muffins | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp honey
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raspberries – fresh, preferably, or frozen (not thawed)
Additional – 1/3 cup sliced almonds, for topping (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups (optional). Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Pour the orange juice into a large glass measuring cup or a bowl and pour in enough buttermilk to make 1 cup. Whisk in the eggs, honey and melted butter.

In a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of orange strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy and bubbly, and that’s just the way it should be. Stir in the raspberries. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins with almonds.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. When fully baked, the tops of the muffins will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins will come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

Other Similar Recipes:

Apple and Carrot Bran Muffins
Blueberry Quinoa Pecan Muffins
Maple Spice Muffins
Swedish Rye Limpa

One Year Ago: Strawberry Scones


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What’s Cooking in your Kitchen – Gourmande in the Kitchen?

Today I will be going into the kitchen of Sylvie from the Gourmande in the Kitchen blog. I discovered Sylvie’s blog a while ago while blog hopping and was instantly hooked, how can you not be?  Just look at her photography, she is not only a great photographer but a very engaging writer.  Sylvie’s motto is: cook simply and her recipes are always uncomplicated, flavorful, comforting to eat, with a focus on quality ingredients and minimal preparation that let the natural flavors of the food shine.  And you can see this right through her pictures, gorgeous! I am so excited to be in her kitchen today.

How long have you been cooking and who was the person who encouraged you to come into the kitchen and learn about food?

I’ve been drawn to food and cooking from a very young age.  As a child, I spent every summer in France with my maternal grandparents.  Those summers were filled with some of my most cherished memories: picking fragrant wild blackberries and raspberries in the woods with which we prepared large batches of jam, and helping to thinly slice apples for my grandmother’s perfectly arranged apple tart.  Each meal was lovingly prepared with fresh ingredients we bought almost daily from the local merchants.  A favorite treat was biting into the crusty end (le crouton) of a still warm baguette on the way home from the bakery.  Food was the center of daily life; when one meal was finished, we immediately planned and anticipated the next.  When I think of my childhood summers, I think of these experiences and the great food I shared with the people I love.  That is what drives me to the kitchen, then and now.

Where would you like to travel that you haven’t been before and why?

If I had it my way, I would travel to every country and experience the food and the culture firsthand.  I think that the food of each country tells the story of its history and its people.  My dream would be to take off for a year to travel and taste the world.

Have you lived your full life in LA? If not where else?

Although I wasn’t born in Los Angeles, I grew up here and have lived here for a good part of my life so I consider it my home.

Do you have a signature dish? What is it and how did you come up with it?

I don’t know that I have one signature dish, perhaps a signature type of dish; I like to combine fresh vegetables, legumes, cheeses, and whole grains to create endless combinations of hearty and healthy salads.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget? [picture]

I think my most loved kitchen gadget is my electronic scale.  I like to measure things in metrics because I think it is more precise so this is a must for me, especially when I am baking.

Pictures from Salter Electonic Scale

What eatables do you have in your backyard?

Living in Los Angeles, space is at a premium so there isn’t room in my backyard to grow much.  I do have a tangerine and a Meyer lemon tree.  I also like to grow my own herbs to cook with and make herbal infusions.  I’ve grown peppermint, lavender, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives, and spring onions.

I would love to have room to grow more fruits and vegetables; I think there is something very satisfying about growing your own food.  My great-grandparents grew all their own vegetables, and it was such a pleasure to eat meals prepared with that fresh produce.  When I was little we had a plum and a white peach tree in the backyard at my house, and every summer we would gorge ourselves on the ripe fruit straight from the tree.  What we couldn’t eat we would make into jam.  I have a jam-making obsession so it would be a dream to have a backyard full of fruit trees and berry bushes.

What is the one cookbook you can’t live without?

Picture from Walmart

Although not technically a cookbook, Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking is one of the most used books in my kitchen.  It’s a great resource on kitchen science; it explains the where, what and how of food and cooking.  As someone who always wants to know the reason behind the method, this book is indispensible.

Do you have a cooking trick or technique you use all the time and would like to tell us about it?

Flash freezing.  When fruit is in season I like to freeze as much as I can to last me until the next season.  I wash and dry the fruit, then peel, pit and cut it into small pieces depending on the type of fruit and how I anticipate using it in the future.  I then spread the fruit out on a small sheetpan and place the sheetpan in the freezer until the fruit is firm and frozen.  I can then put the frozen fruit into freezer-safe containers and store them until I need them for a recipe.  Spreading the fruit out during the initial freezing period ensures that the fruit doesn’t clump together.  You can also flash freeze vegetables.  During the spring I stock up on rhubarb and in the summer it’s berries and peaches.

Name 3 thing you always have in your refrigerator.

Yogurt, fruit and vegetables.  Those are staples in my house and in my diet.  In fact when I travel the first thing I do when I get to where I’m going is go to the store to get those three things!

What are three things people don’t know about you?

Although I was born in the United States my first language was French.  French was spoken at home, so it wasn’t until I went to school that I was really immersed in the English language.  I then stubbornly decided that I would only speak English, so my mother would speak to me in French and I would respond in English!  It wasn’t until many years later that I realized how important preserving my French heritage was to me and I started speaking to her in French once again.  I am so thankful that she never gave up speaking French to me, today we have our own mixed up way of talking to each other in “Franglais” (part French, part English).

I like to go for an hour walk every day; it clears my head, refocuses and rejuvenates me.

I have a huge sweet-tooth and a crazy obsession with chocolate, although I’m fairly certain most people know that about me at this point!

Describe your death menu. (Last meal before you die)?

Good bread, raw milk cheese, olives, cornichons and wine.  That pretty much sums up the perfect meal for me.  I would then follow that up with an unreasonable amount of chocolate and every flavor of macaron from Pierre Hermé.

What advice would you give to other food bloggers about food photography?

First, get comfortable with your camera’s settings; make sure you know how everything works.  Next, practice taking shots in different lighting conditions to learn what to expect and how different lighting can create different moods.  Also, don’t be afraid to look at things from a different perspective or try unusual compositions.  And of course, read as much as you can on the subject.

I want to thank Sylvie for letting me in her kitchen! Thank you!

** All images from this post are taken and copyrighted by Sylvie from Gourmande in the Kitchen. **

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lasagna Bolognese

There are times when you need to prepare a dish the day before a party or need a dish that will last the whole week for the family and is delicious every night and easy to warm up.  This is my go to dish.

Lasanga Bolognese is always a huge hit.  You can prepare it the night before and all you need to do when the party arrives is heat it up.  Or you can prepare this during the weekend and depending on the size of your family it will last all week for dinner.  And the great thing about this dish, it gets better each night.

I know it takes a while to prepare due to the cooking of the Bolognese sauce but at the end of the day it is worth it, and you will not regret it.

Lasagna Bolognese

Yields: 8-10 people | Prep Time: 60 minutes | Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

One Set of Bolognese Sauce
15 oz Ricotta cheese
6 oz of fresh spinach
1 egg
1 lbs fresh mozzarella Cheese sliced
8 oz parmesan Cheese grated
Salt
Pepper

Prepare a batch of Bolognese Sauce.

Set oven to 350 Degrees.

Bring a large, wide pot of water to boil with salt and a splash of oil, that will help keep the noodles from sticking together as they drain. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Then using a separate bowl make the ricotta mixture but using all the ricotta, adding the egg and then salt and pepper.  Stir well and set aside.

Then prepare the fresh spinach but adding some olive oil and spinach to a pot and sauté for a few minutes.

Assembling the lasagna – Start by putting some sauce at the bottom of an 9×13” pan so the past will not burn to the bottom and then layer with pasta.  Then add a layer of ricotta/egg mixture and add the all the spinach on top of that.  Then add a layer of the meat sauce and all the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with parmesan on top of that.

Then another layer of pasta, ricotta and meat and end with the remainder of the parmesan cheese at the top.

I do not overlap my lasagna, but I will cut them so they fit perfectly in the pan.

Cook for about 45 hour min with cover and 15 minutes without cover.

Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Other Similar Recipes:

Chicken Piccata
Spaghetti Bolognese
Swedish Meatballs
Bulgogi Korean BBQ

One Year Ago: Raising and Pine nut Chicken Salad

 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup

Fennel is one of those vegetables that are pretty intimidating to a few people.  It has a specific anis flavor, and I have to admit I have stayed away from fennel because many folks do not like it. Don’t get me wrong I love anis, just like the liqueur Pernot but I feel it is an acquired taste.

A few weeks ago I went to an event where I was serving tomato and fennel soup and it was just delicious.  Since then I have been experimenting with tomatoes and fennel and have a new favorite tomato soup.

There are a few key things here that makes this soup a deep sweet delicious flavor; roasting the tomatoes and caramelizing the fennel. When roasting tomatoes use ripe but firm tomatoes so they don’t get soft too quickly. The combination of the flavors of this soup with the roasted tomatoes, caramelized fennel and the garlic is just marvelous.  If you are in a rush you can use caned tomatoes, just use a high quality version, I have done that and the soup is still delicious.

What do you make with fennel? Please add your link in the comment section.

Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup

Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine Sept. 1994

2 lbs tomatoes or 2 -12 oz can of whole tomatoes
olive oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
4 shallots, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 fennel, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups chicken stock
5 sprigs fresh tarragon
5 sprigs fresh parsley
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp Pernod (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 400F. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds, scraping them out with your fingers if necessary. Coat the tomatoes with olive oil and place them cut side down on a nonstick or foil-lined shallow baking dish. Roast for 35-45 minutes, until the tomatoes are very soft and the skins are dark. Remove them from the oven and let cool. The skins should slip off easily.

Melt ½ the butter in a medium-sized saucepan and caramelize the fennel for about 15 minutes, once caramelized add the chopped shallots, carrot, garlic and sauté until they’re soft, about 10 more minutes. Add 3 cups of stock and the tarragon and parsley. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the herb sprigs and add the roasted tomatoes and then the Pernod. If using whole canned tomatoes instead of roasted tomatoes drain the tomatoes and let it simmer for another 10 minutes and then add the Pernod.

Pure the soup in a blender or food processor.  Add the cream and return the soup to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Serve with croutons on top of soup.

Other Similar Recipes:

Tortilla Soup
Minestrone
Sweet Potato and Vegetable Stew with Fresh Greens
Watermelon and Tomato Salad

One Year Ago: Swedish Brownie “Kladdkaka”

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pink Grapefruit and Campari Sorbet

My favorite apéritif is Campari and orange juice.  If you have never had Campari before it is a bitter liquor that is dark red.  Most people drink it with soda water, wine or other juices.  When you mix it with organge juice it tastes just like grapefruit juice and very refreshing, one of my favorite drinks during a hot summer night.

Pink grapefruits have been on sale here and I thought why not make grapefruit sorbet.

The trick I learned to making a good sorbet is that you need to make a simple syrup to sweeten it, straight sugar won’t have a good texture.  Then the mixture needs a dash of alcohol to inhibit the freezing process, otherwise your sorbet will be a brick. This formula is very easy and it should work with any fruit, just be sure to taste the mixture for sweetness and acid.

Grapefruit, sweetness and Campari a perfect mix.  You have to like the grapefruit/bitter flavor or this is not for you.  I love it, so refreshing.

A few tips here.  Use fresh juice, and room temperature fruits will yield much more juice than chilled ones.

The rule of thought it that for every 1 cup of juice, you use ½ cup of sugar and 2 tbsp of alcohol.

Pink Grapefruit and Campari Sorbet

Yields: One Quart | Prep Time: 15 minutes

4 cups of pink grapefruit juice (about 4 pink grapefruits)
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp of Campari

Prepare an ice bath and put aside. Then in a small saucepan, combine the sugar and ½ cup of the pink grapefruit juice. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium and cook until the sugar has completely dissolved, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the syrup to your pink grapefruit juice and set over an ice bath. Stir occasionally until cooled to room temperature, add the Campari.

Once the mixture has cooled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Other Similar Recipes:
Peach Sorbet

Honey Ice Cream
Chocolate Gelato

Last Year: Passover Traditions, Kugel and Brisket

 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tortilla Soup

First time I heard of tortilla soup I thought tortilla soup was honesty based on tortillas, and did not sound like anything I wanted to try.  (When I grew up in Sweden there weren’t a lot of Mexican restaurantsJ) But then when I was served this soup for the first time I love it.  It had a spicy tomato base, with chicken, corn, cilantro and fresh hot tortilla chip.  It was just a cup of goodies.  So I ended up doing some research on tortilla soups and there are kinds of version on it, some are just a broth base, some have tomatoes, some do not, and some serve with lime and avocado, and some serve with tortillas in the soup and some serve with tortilla garnish.  It is really up to you of what goodies you like.  This is my favorite version of it.

I made this soup last weekend hoping it would last for a few days and it was gone the first night, tell you how much my husband enjoyed it. What is your version of this soup?

Tortilla Soup

Yields: 4-6 serving | Cook Time: 30 minutes

4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, preferably a little old and dried out
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium jalapeño chili chopped OR 2 tsp chili powder (Depending on the hotness and flavor desired)
1 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin
4 cups chicken stock (my version is a little spicier)
1 bay leaf
1 cup corn
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded mild cheddar

Preheat the oven to 300F.  Cut the tortillas into match stickers.  Place them in an even layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, about 15 minutes. Set aside for garnish.

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 5-6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook, 3 minutes.  Add the cilantro, chili powder/jalapeno, salt, pepper, cumin and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the broth, corn and bay leaf.  Stir well, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

Serve the soups in heated bowl, add shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, and top with tortilla strips.

Other Similar Recipes:

Minestrone Soup
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Sweet Potato and Vegetable Stew
Asparagus Soup with Bacon

One Year Ago: Passover Traditions, Kugel and Brisket

 

 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

It is that time of the month again; here is the next Daring Bakers challenge.

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

The Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake is gorgeous brioche-like dough is rolled jellyroll style around a whipped meringue and filled with cinnamon, raisins, nuts and sugar.  But you could do any filling you want sweet or savory.  Then the roll could be baked as cinnamon rolls, shaped into a wreath, made as bread or anyways you want.

The cake is light and fluffy, barely sweet; the meringue miraculously melts into the dough as it bakes leaving behind just a hint of sweetness and adding to the perfect moistness of the cake. Don’t scrimp on either the chopped nuts or chocolate or whatever filling additions you choose as the crunch and the flavors are the focal point of this tender, moist, outrageously delicious coffee cake.

Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

Yields: on 10” coffee cake or loaf | Prep Time: 2 hour 30 minutes | Bake Time: 30 minutes

Dough:
2 cups (300g) all purpose flour
2 tbsp (25g) sugar
¼ tsp (2.5g) salt
1 package (2 ¼ tsp/7g) active dried yeast
6 tbsp (90ml) whole milk
2 tbsp (30 ml) water
¼ (70g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg at room temperature

For the meringue:
2 large egg whites at room temperature
¼  tsp salt
¼  tsp vanilla
¼  cup (55g) sugar

For the filling:
½ cup (55g) chopped pecans
1 tbsp (15g) brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup (90g) semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup (90g) golden raisins

Prepare the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, combine ¾ cups (115g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.
In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the egg and ½ cup (75 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the ¾ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Filling:
Prepare your filling. In a food process mix and chop all the ingredients and set aside.

Meringue:
Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue.  In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ¼ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:
Line a baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper, or butter a bread loaf, or what ever pan you are using.

Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle your filling evenly over the meringue

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, or which ever pan you are using, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together if doing a circle.

If you are doing a wreath, using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.

Cover the coffee cake with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush the top of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Decorate with powdered sugar or pearl sugar or anything you wish.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Apple and Carrot Bran Muffins

Most of you know I have been doing my “on the run” category as I try to find healthy breakfasts and lunches for my busy days.  The “on the run” category needs to be healthy and keep my blood sugar stable to I can keep the energy level and not be sleepy during the day.  I do not like to hit Starbucks to pick up a sugary scone or muffin in the morning that have lots of calories and gives me a huge sugar spike and then makes me tired two hours later in search for some extra caffeine.

I am a big breakfast person so one yogurt for me will not solve it. My breakfast during the working week needs be easy, healthy, low in sugar, and filling.

One of the things that work for me are good solid breakfast muffins.  The muffins that I have created here are great.  These muffins do not need any oil since they get that from the flaxseed meal and the apples.  Also these muffins can be done without any sugar; you get the sweetness from the apples, carrots and raisins.  But if you need more add some honey.  And the best part is that these muffins are very moist.

Not everyone carries flaxseed meal in their pantry but if you have flaxseeds you can grind them and that works well too, I have done that a few times and I do not notice a difference.  I also use golden raisins since i like them better.

Apple and Carrot Bran Muffins

Adapted from Bob Red Mill

Yields: 12 muffins | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 20 minutes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown flaxseeds meal
3/4 cup all bran cereal
3 tbsp honey (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
2 peeled and shredded apples
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Turn oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together flour, flaxseed meal, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, apples, raisins and nuts. Combine milk, beaten eggs, vanilla and honey (optional). Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients are moistened. DO NOT OVER MIX. Fill muffin cups full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Other Similar Recipes:

Blueberry Quinoa Pecan Muffins
Maple Spice Muffins
Chocolate Banana Bread
Rye Bread – Swedish Limpa

One Year Ago: Guacamole

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mocha Brownies

Sometime you see a recipe and you read the instructions and wonder how that is going to turn out.  Well, this is one of those recipes.  Not only did i have to try it because of how different it was but it sounded good too.  I saw this recipe awhile ago on Tasty Kitchen and saved it.  I made it recently for a dinner party and it was a huge hit.  There is nothing normal with this brownie at all.  First you make the brownie mix and pour in into the pan and then your pour coffee all over it.  When I did this i just stared at it and through it was going to be a dissaster.  But boy was I wrong.  What comes out of the oven is this delicious chocolate and coffee brownie that is out of this world, and it is very easy to make too.  But before you go and make this I do have to warn you:  this brownie is VERY rich.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Mocha Brownies

Yields: 8 servings | Prep Time 20 Minutes | Cook Time 40 Minutes

¾ cups granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
? tsp salt
1 piece unsweetened chocolate (1 Square)
2 tbsp butter
½ cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cups brown sugar
½ cups granulated sugar (additional)
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup cold espresso or cold strong coffee

Turn oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together 3/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Melt square of unsweetened chocolate and butter in the microwave. Add to dry ingredients alternately with the milk and vanilla. Blend. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

Combine brown sugar, the 1/2 cup additional granulated sugar and cocoa powder. Sprinkle over the cake batter. Pour the one cup COLD coffee on top. Do not stir. Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipping cream.

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