Category Archives: Bread

Pretzel Rolls

My husband loves hamburgers.  He could eat them 3 or 4 meals a week.  And while I appreciate a good burger, I need a little variety in my life.  So, when he asked me to put hamburgers on my menu even though we had just had them, I started thinking about a way to mix it up a bit.  I knew I wanted to make fresh buns.  And that’s when I decided that I should make pretzel buns.  I looked up Alton Brown’s very popular soft pretzel recipe and then adapted it to meet my needs.  I swapped out some of the white flour for whole wheat flour and added a little honey just because.

After you have mixed your dough and let it rise, you’re going to want to shape your rolls.  Surface tension is important.  Divide your dough into 8 equal parts.  Then, make a circle with the thumb and middle finger of your non-dominant hand.  Use your dominant hand to press each piece of dough up through the circle.  Then pinch the bottom edges together tightly.

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I flattened mine a little so they were a more appropriate size for hamburgers.  If you want to use these like dinner rolls, I’d probably cut my dough into 12 sections instead of 8.

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The next step is where the magic happens.  This is what turns these from dinner rolls into pretzels.  In a soup pot, mix together water and baking soda.  Bring it to a rapid boil.  Drop your shaped dough into the boiling water and boil for 20-30 seconds per side.

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Drain and place on baking sheets.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and use a sharp knife to slash an x in the top of each bun. You can use an egg wash, but if you sprinkle the salt right after you take them out of the water, the moisture from boiling will make the salt adhere.

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Bake these rolls in an oven preheated to 425* for 12-15 minutes.  They’ll be deep golden brown and chewy deliciousness.

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Recipe:

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 Tablespoon honey

1 package instant dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons melted butter

1 1/2-2 cups all purpose flour

For boiling:

5 cups water

1/3 cup baking soda

Combine the 1 1/2 cups warm water, honey and yeast.  Let bloom for 5-10 minutes.  Add salt, whole wheat flour and melted butter to make sponge.  Let sponge rise for 30 minutes.

Using your dough hook, add all purpose flour to sponge 1/2 cup at a time.  Dough will form a ball and clean the sides of the bowl.  Knead 4-5 minutes. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425*.

In a small stock pot, stir together water and baking soda. Place over high heat and bring to rapid boil.

While water is coming to a boil, divide your dough into 8 equal parts.  Shape each portion into a roll by pushing it through a circle made with your fingers and then pinching edges together tightly.

Drop formed rolls into boiling water and boil for 20-30 seconds per side.  Drain and place on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and score with sharp knife.

Bake at 425* for 12-15 minutes.

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Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

On Friday evening, I did something I have never done.  I drove into town and then into the parking lot of a local middle school.  I carried an empty plastic tote with me as I walked through the cold and into the cafeteria.  I was greeted at the door by a woman with a smile and a clipboard.  She checked my name and confirmation code and directed me to a table.  It was at that moment where I met my new love.  The excitement I experienced in the next few minutes was barely containable.  Carefully, I loaded potatoes, rainbow chard, orange peppers, romaine lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, red pears and blueberries into my empty tote and walked back to my car – all while repeating to myself, “all this for $15.00!?!?”.  I had just picked up my first Bountiful Basket and I couldn’t wait to get home and start cooking with all this wonderful food.  I’ve planned my menu the next two weeks around the items in my basket, but I couldn’t wait to go grocery shopping to start cooking.  First thing Saturday morning I pulled out those blueberries and stirred up some muffins.  These aren’t just any old muffins either.  They’re packed full of whole grains and protein.

The method is so simple I didn’t even take pictures.  I did take one pre-baking picture just to show off these plump, juicy blueberries.

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These bake up a little dense, but they are tasty and filling.  The bread itself is not very sweet, so if your blueberries aren’t nice and sweet, you may want to add some extra honey to the batter. My kids ate two of these each and then had a third for a snack later.  I didn’t dare tell them how healthy they are.

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Recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter or oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or any milk

1 5.3 ounce container low fat greek yogurt

1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 325*.  Grease muffin tin or line with baking cups.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, stir together eggs, melted butter, honey, almond milk and yogurt.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until mixed.  Carefully fold in blueberries.

Scoop batter into prepared tins.  This should make 12 muffins.

Bake at 325* for 15-20 minutes.

100% Whole Wheat French Bread

If you talked to my husband, he would be the first person to tell you just how sadly technologically inept I am.  This post is proof of that very fact.  You see, yesterday I posted this recipe.  Then, today, I opened up my browser to post a tortellini recipe and somehow wrote over my original post about making this French bread.  So, here I am again, sharing this delightful bread with you.  Sorry if it isn’t as entertaining as it was yesterday.  It will be, however, every bit as delicious.

Start by mixing the yeast and water and letting it bloom.  Then, use the paddle attachment on your mixer to incorporate the honey, oil, salt and egg.  When those are well mixed, add 2 cups of flour and mix until just incorporated.  Switch to the dough hook attachment and add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until you get a dough that pulls from the sides, sticks to the bottom and doesn’t stick to your finger when you touch it.

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Knead dough for 5 minutes. Cover this and let it rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours.  The long rise time helps the inside of this bread stay nice and moist.  After three hours, my dough looked like this.

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Carefully remove this dough from the bowl.  I just hold it in my hands and tuck the edges under continuously until I have a nice, round, taught, round loaf.  Set that loaf on your baking sheet and let it rise uncovered for another hour.  The outside will dry out some and that is good.  That dryness helps you get a nice, crispy crust. Don’t forget to dust your baking sheet with cornmeal like I did, or you’ll have to pick your loaf up again.

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Halfway through your last rise, heat your oven to 500* (or as hot as it will go).  Place a pan on the oven floor while the oven heats. Use a metal pan for this, not glass (don’t ask how I know, just trust me on this one).  Just before you place your dough in the oven, slice a couple of slits in the top with a sharp knife (or a razor knife).  The outside may crack some and that’s just fine.

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Placed this loaf in that hot oven and pour a half cup of water in the pan you preheated.  Close the oven immediately.  All that trapped steam will do wonders for your crispy crust.  I don’t know why this works, but it does.  Bake it for 10 minutes before you reduce the oven temperature to 350*.  Continue baking at the lower temperature for 10-15 minutes or until the outside is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

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Let this cool as long as you can before slicing with a serrated knife.  Its good just like this.  It’s even better toasted with some nutella, but I only do that after the kids are in bed.  Usually I serve it alongside a piping hot soup or a hearty bowl of pasta.

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Recipe:

1 package instant dry yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm water

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons oil

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon salt

3-4 cups whole wheat flour

Stir together yeast and water.  Allow to bloom for 5-10 minutes.

Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, stir in the honey, oil, egg and salt.  Mix until completely incorporated.  Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until just combined.

Switch to the dough hook mixer attachment.  Add more flour 1/4 cup at a time.  Mix in just enough flour to form a dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl, but still sticks to the bottom.  It should not stick to your finger when you touch it.  I used about 3 1/2 cups total.  Knead this dough for 5 minutes.

Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Carefully remove from bowl and form loaf by tucking edges under and shaping into a ball.  Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.  Let rise uncovered for 1 hour.

About halfway through the rise, preheat your oven to 500* and place a tall sided metal pan on the oven floor.

Just before baking, slice 2-3 slits in the top of your loaf with a sharp knife (or razor knife). Place baking sheet in hot oven and pour 1/2 cup water in the preheated pan on the oven floor.  Close oven door immediately.  Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350* and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped.

Apple Oatmeal Bread

Yesterday’s beignets are fabulous, really, but if they’re a bit too labor intensive (and a lot too unhealthy) for you, I’ve got you covered today.  This breakfast bread is not overly sweet and really is good for you.  It also smells amazing.  There’s no oil or butter in this bread, but the apples and applesauce keep it nice and moist.  And, 3 eggs may seem like a lot, but they help with rise and stability.

Start by mixing your dry ingredients.  I use oat flour, but I make it myself.  Just take some old fashioned oats and zip them in your blender or food processor until they are ground fine.  I also use tapioca starch in this recipe.  If you don’t have any, you can just use regular flour.  If you’ve got it, and you keep gluten free oats around, this recipe is gluten free.

Then,  I put all my wet ingredients into the blender.  Blending them until frothy helps keep the bread from being so dense.  Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Then, let it set while your oven preheats (about 20 minutes).  It will look like this.

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Now, gently fold in your whole oatmeal and diced apples.  Try not to knock out too much of the air.

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Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.  Top with maple almonds and bake until set. If the almonds start to get too brown, cover with a sheet of foil until the bread finishes.

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Allow to cool.  Carefully remove loaf from pan and slice.  The ends are cut off this piece because the boys were literally hanging on my legs begging for a bite.

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Recipe:

1 cup oat flour

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1 5.3 ounce container vanilla greek yogurt

1 cup whole rolled oats

1 apple, diced

3/4 cup sliced almonds

1 Tablespoon real maple syrup

Stir together oat flour, tapioca starch, coconut flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon and baking powder in a mixing bowl.

Add applesauce, vanilla, eggs and yogurt to blender.  Blend until well mixed and frothy.

Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350*.

Fold rolled oats and diced apple into the batter.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.

Stir together almonds and maple syrup.  Sprinkle over the top of batter in the loaf pan.

Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from loaf pan.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Yeah, you read that right, Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls.  And, what could possibly be more decadent than combining these two sinful treats? I have worked for several years to develop the perfect cinnamon roll recipe.  I’ve taken bits from here and there and changed techniques and altered amounts and cooking times. Seriously, these cinnamon rolls are perfect with a little powdered sugar icing.  But, why stop there? Add some thin sliced apples to the filling and then top it with rich caramel.  This is NOT a quick recipe, not by a long shot.  But, aren’t the best things in life worth waiting for?  As a caution, you probably want to make these when you are taking food somewhere.  Otherwise, you really will end up eating the whole pan (which is only bad if you value the current size of your waistline).

For the best time management, start your dough first.  Mix the yeast, water, milk and sugar together and let the yeast bloom for about 10 minutes.  Add in the salt, egg and soft butter.  Then, add in the flour.  I start with 1 1/2 cups and my paddle attachment.  It should look something like this.

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Then, I switch to my dough hook and add flour 1/2 cup at a time until it reaches the right consistency.  It will be soft and still sticking to the bowl at the bottom.  Don’t add more flour.  You want it to be soft so your rolls don’t dry out.  These will be golden brown on top, but soft and tender (unless you add too much flour, then they will be dry and crispy). Cover this and let it rise until double.

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Next, I slice apples super thin on my mandolin.  Leave the peels on, unless you’re just absolutely opposed to apple skins, then, by all means, peel the apples first.  If you don’t have a mandolin, slice them as thinly as you can by hand.  Super-thin slices really do work best.

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Cook those down with some butter over VERY low heat for about an hour.  The apples will be soft, but also dry.  Don’t skip this step to save time.  If you put fresh apples in your cinnamon rolls, you’ll end up with a soggy mess.  Trust me. Set your pan of apples aside to cool.

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Mix up the cinnamon/sugar filling.  Brown sugar and a high cinnamon to sugar ratio keeps the filling from being too sweet.  A little flour keeps it from melting out during rise and bake time.

After your dough has risen, gently remove it from the bowl and put it on a heavily floured surface.  Roll it into a rectangle that is about 18″x24″x1/4″.  Keeping the dough nice and thing makes sure that you never get a bit of bread without a good amount of filling too.

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Spread melted butter over the dough.  Be sure to leave about 1/2″ unbuttered along one long side so you can seal it.  Then, cover the butter with your cinnamon sugar.  Go all the way to the edges of the dough.  Top that with your cooled apples.

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Starting at the edge with filling on it, roll tightly.  Seal edge and slice into 1″ thick rolls.  Place in a pan and refrigerate overnight.  You could cook these same day, just let them rise for about 30 minutes on the counter.

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Are you tired yet? Almost done.  Now you make the caramel.  Add sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, light corn syrup and butter to a heavy sauce pan.

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Cook and stir over low heat for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Then add vanilla and salt.  This will set up slightly.  You’ll probably have to warm it a bit before spreading over your  baked cinnamon rolls.

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The next morning, take the cinnamon rolls out of the fridge, preheat your oven, bake, frost and enjoy!

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Recipe:

Dough:

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 package yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/4 cup room temperature butter

1 1/2-3 cups flour

Filling:

2 apples

5 Tablespoons room temperature butter – divided

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1 Tablespoon flour

Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, mix together water, yeast, milk and sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes so yeast can bloom.  Add in salt, egg and butter.  Mix well.  Add in 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well. Change out paddle for dough hook and add flour 1/2 cup at a time  Dough should be soft and pulling away from edges, but not the bottom, of the bowl.  Knead for 2 minutes.  Cover and let rise until double – about an hour.

Core apples and slice thinly on a mandolin (or by hand).  Add apples and 1 Tablespoon butter to a small saucepan. Cook over very low heat until apples are tender and liquid has cooked away (45 mins-1 hour).  Set aside to cool.

While apples are cooking, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Set aside.

When dough has doubled, gently remove it from bowl and place on a heavily floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll into an 18″x24″ rectangle.  Dough will be about 1/4″ thick.

Spread dough with 4 Tablespoons room temperature butter.  Leave about 1/2″ of dough on one long side unbuttered.  Spread cinnamon sugar mixture over the buttered dough.  Scatter cooked apples over the cinnamon sugar.

Starting with the long side of the dough that is covered with filling, tightly roll to unbuttered edge. Seal by pinching dough together.  Slice into 1″ rolls and place in a baking dish.  Cover and place in fridge overnight.

The next morning, remove rolls from fridge.  Preheat oven to 350*. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Top with caramel while still warm.

Caramel:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Place milk, butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a heavy sauce pan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in vanilla and salt.

More Than Microwaving – Cheesy Bread

Remember those rolls I made yesterday? The ones you just stir up and toss in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them? The ones that taste so good I almost ate the whole dozen myself? You do? Good. Now, do you remember I only baked 12 rolls but said the recipe would make 24? That’s because I was saving some for this loaf of bread in all its cheesy goodness.

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Scoop about half your remaining dough in little dollops into a greased bundt pan (or bread pan, I just like the way it looks). Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheese over the dollops. Top with remaining dough and more cheese. Bake until the bread is done and the cheese is golden.

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Recipe:
1/2 recipe Aunt Linda’s Spoon Rolls
1/2-1/4 cup shredded cheese (any kind)
Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a bundt pan.
Use about half your dough to scoop little pieces into the greased bundt pan. Be sure to cover the bottom on the pan. Sprinkle half your cheese over the dough. Use the remaining dough to scoop little pieces onto the top of the dough and cheese already in the pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then invert bundt pan onto serving plate. Slice (or tear) to serve.

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Aunt Linda’s Spoon Rolls

Earlier this week, I had a friend request that I post a recipe for yeast rolls.  I have several different recipes I use for yeast bread, depending on what I’m looking for.  I talked with her a little more and she said she wanted a roll that was a little sweet and yeasty.  I paired that with knowing that she lives quite a ways outside of town and is busy.  I knew I had a recipe that would be simple and tasty.  One problem.  It wasn’t mine.  It was my Aunt Linda’s.  And they’ve been a favorite holiday and everyday dinner roll ever since she shared the recipe with us when I was young.  I grabbed my phone, shot off a text message and she generously offered to let me share it with you all.

Start  by mixing the yeast with some warm water to let it bloom.  Then, melt some butter and stir in the sugar until it looks a bit like wet sand covered in oil.

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Add the egg and mix well.  Then add the bloomed yeast and water.

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Stir in the flour.  The dough will be really wet.  You’re going to think it is too think and want to add some flour.  Don’t.  I promise it will be ok.

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Cover this tightly with a lid, plastic wrap or just scrape the whole thing into a zip top bag.  Put it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours.  It really is better if you let it sit overnight.  Even two nights.  But, no longer than that or your yeast will ferment and your rolls will taste like beer (and not the good beer bread either).  We only made that mistake once.  When you take it out of the fridge after 20 or so hours, the dough will have risen and thickened.  It will also be bubble and super stretchy.

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Spoon this dough into greased muffin tins.  The recipe makes 24 rolls.  I made 12 today and I’ll bake the other 12 tomorrow.

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They’re not perfect, and that’s just fine.  They’ll still bake up beautiful and golden and people will know they are home made.

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Oh, you want to see what they look like on the inside.  Go ahead.  Twist my arm a little harder.  It’s going to take a lot of convincing to get me to tear one of them open.  Yeah right.  Who am I kidding.  It’s gonna take a monumental effort to keep me from eating the whole dozen before dinner.

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I’m betting you’ve guessed by now that I love this bread basket.  It’s got a secret.  There’s a pocket in that beautiful daisy fabric that holds a microwavable rice sack.  So, not only does it look beautiful, it keeps your bread products toasty warm (and, I bought it from a girl who was raising money for a school trip to sing at Carnegie Hall – BONUS!!).

Recipe:

1 package active dry yeast

2 cups warm water

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

4 cups flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside to bloom.

Melt butter in the microwave.  Stir in sugar and stir until sugar looks like wet sand.  Add egg and mix well.  Stir in yeast and water mixture.  Stir in all 4 cups of flour.  Mixture will be very wet and sticky.

Cover tightly or transfer to a zip top bag and refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours.  Overnight is better.  Do not exceed 2 nights.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350*.  Grease 12 muffin cups.  Remove bread dough from fridge and spoon into muffin tins.  This recipe makes 24 rolls, so you should have about half your dough left.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from tins.  Loosen any stuck edges with a butter knife.  Serve warm with butter if desired (though, they are nice and buttery without any extra).

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Banana Oatmeal Muffins

You may start to notice that I make a lot of breakfast breads.  I cook them both for my Sunday school class and also for my MOPS meetings.  Today’s banana oatmeal muffins will travel with me to the first MOPS meeting of the year tomorrow.  For two blessed hours, someone else will watch our children while we gather as women and nourish each others souls and stomachs.  These really are easy to whip up, and aside from the stick of butter, not terribly bad for you.

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Start by mixing up two really ripe bananas with a stick of softened butter and a 1/2 cup of sugar.  I like to do this with a fork so that I can mash the banana up some, but still leave some chunks. It will look curdled, so don’t throw it out when you see this.

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Add in a couple of eggs, some vanilla and buttermilk.  Then add your flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir just until everything is incorporated.  The more you stir it, the tougher and drier your muffins will be.

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Scoop this slightly sticky batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. If you want them to come out of the pan perfectly (or if you aren’t using a silicone muffin tin), go ahead and spray with no stick spray or use muffin liners.

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Bake for 15 minutes.  They’ll puff up some, get ever so slightly brown and maybe even crack just a bit.  Your house will smell like heaven.  It will be hard, but let them cool before you remove them and start eating.  They taste great, but it isn’t worth burning your hands and mouth (trust me, this is experience speaking).  Besides, if you scorch your tastebuds with the first  bite, you’ll miss out on the rest of that muffin (and the other 11, if you’re anything like me).

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Recipe:

2 very ripe bananas

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400*.  Grease 12 muffin cups (or line with paper liners).

Mash together banana and butter with a fork.  Stir in sugar (mixture will look curdled).  Add in eggs, buttermilk* and vanilla. Add oatmeal, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir just until combined.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.  Bake at 400* for 15 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pans.

*If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk or add 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice to your measuring cup and fill to the 1/2 cup mark with milk. 

 

BBQ Meatball Sliders

In addition to the leftover day I mentioned my mom plans into her menus, she also had “Fun Food Friday” (I’m betting at this point you can guess where I developed my love for alliterations).  This recipe for BBQ meatball sliders is fun and delicious and really not that hard to make.  You can make your own BBQ sauce, but I typically take some help from the store and just doctor it up a bit.  Wanna make it even easier? Throw the meatballs and sauce in the crockpot and walk away, or don’t bother with the meatballs just brown some meat add the sauce and serve sloppy joe style, or use leftover mashed sweet potatoes in the mini biscuits instead of cooking fresh ones.  Swap out the ground beef for ground turkey and serve with a side salad for a healthier alternative.

Start my mixing up the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, milk and seasoning in a bowl.  Then form into meatballs.  I made 16 out of my 1 lb of hamburger.  Put the meatballs in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Leave them alone until the start to brown and then turn.  Brown as many sides as you can.

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Once the meatballs are brown, add the sauce mixture and turn the heat to low.  Allow to simmer until the meatballs are done and the sauce cooks down to a glaze.  This takes about 20 minutes. This picture was taken right after I added the sauce mixture.

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While the meatballs are cooking, get your biscuits together.  If you aren’t using leftover sweet potatoes, I’d recommend cooking the sweet potatoes before you start the meatballs.  Put them in a Ziploc bag with a little water and toss it in the microwave for 8-10 minutes.  Let them cool in the bag before you peel and mash them.  Another tip, freeze your butter or shortening and then grate it into the dry ingredients.  This keeps you from having to spend all that time cutting cold butter into the flour!

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I bake my sweet potato biscuits in a mini muffin tin for this recipe.  They come out the perfect size for the meatballs!

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Recipe:

Meatballs-

1 lb ground beef

1 slice of whole wheat bread

1 egg

1 Tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon bbq seasoning (I like montreal steak)

! cup BBQ sauce (your favorite)

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1/2 cup water

1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar if needed

Put ground beef in a bowl.  Use microplane to grate bread slice into breadcrumbs (or toss it in the food processor or use 1/2 cup breadcrumbs).  Add egg, milk and seasoning to meat and breadcrumbs and toss with hands to combine.  The more you work this, the more you change the texture of the ground beef. I suggest only working it as much as you need to barely combine the ingredients.  Form the meat into 16 equal-sized meatballs. Place meatballs in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Cook for 1-2 minutes and flip.  Continue flipping until you’ve browned all sides of the meatballs.

While meatballs are cooking, combine BBQ sauce, liquid smoke and water.  Taste.  Add brown sugar if desired.  When meatballs are brown, turn heat to low and add sauce/water mixture to the pan.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is thick enough to coat the meatballs. Serve on sweet potato biscuits

Sweet Potato Biscuits –

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter

1 cup mashed sweet potato

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400*. Stir together flours, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs (or use the grater trick).  Stir in sweet potato and milk just until all ingredients are moistened.  Spoon into greased mini muffin tins. Bake at 400* for 15-18 minutes.

Slice open biscuits and place a meatball in the middle.  Better make more than one, because they’re really that good.

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On a side note, sorry about the picture quality in my last couple of posts.  I promise I’ll get batteries for my real camera this weekend.

 

 

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

Lots of people in the United States are sending their kids back to school today.  My daughter is actually starting her 3rd week of first grade and I’m almost past wanting to cry when I drop her off.  Every day except Friday I pack her lunch.  Every day I offer peanut butter and jelly as a sandwich option and secretly hope that’s what she will choose.  I mean, who doesn’t love sticky peanut butter and sweet jelly sandwiched between two slices of whole wheat bread? My daughter, that’s who.  Peanut butter has never really been a favorite food of hers.  It is one of mine though, and these muffins make it easy to share that love with  in a format that is both portable and more refined than sandwich triangles.  Peanut butter and jelly for breakfast? Yes, please.DSCN0937These super easy muffins start by mixing up a whole wheat batter packed with peanut butter flavor.  It will be super thick, almost like drop biscuit dough.  You use half the batter to partially fill 12 regular size muffin cups.  Then, add a generous dollop of your favorite jelly or jam – I used seedless blackberry jam this time, but strawberry is excellent too.  Then, top the jam with more batter.  Before they go in the oven, they’ll look something like this.

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If you’re not using a silicone muffin pan, you definitely want to use cupcake liners or grease your muffin tins before you start filling them up.  Make sure you let the muffins cool before you take them out.  You don’t want them to fall apart.  This is one of the few times I make muffins and serve them room temperature rather than piping hot. 

Recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 cup buttermilk*

2 eggs

1/3 cup honey**

1 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup jelly or jam

Preheat oven to 350*.  Prepare muffin tins by greasing or lining with paper cupcake liners.  Stir together flour, salt and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, honey, peanut butter and melted butter.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. 

Fill 12 muffin cups about 1/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter).  Since batter is so thick, you may need to use your fingers to press it out until it covers the bottom of the muffin cup.  Spoon about 2 teaspoons of jelly into the center of each muffin cup.  Top with remaining batter.  It is ok to fill your muffin cups to the top.  Make sure the batter covers the jelly.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned on top.  Remove pans from oven and let muffins cool completely before removing from pans. 

*If you do not have buttermilk, you can add 2 teaspoons white vinegar to your measuring cup and then fill to the 1 cup line with regular milk and let sit for two minutes.  Or, you can just use regular milk.

**This batter is more savory than sweet.  I like the balance of savory muffin and sweet jam filling.  However, if you would like a sweeter muffin, go ahead and double the amount of honey or add a few Tablespoons of white sugar.