Friday, March 25, 2016

Oatmeal & Raisin Bran Muffins

This is truly a decadent muffin.  If you aren't watching your calories . . .this one is for you.  Each muffin is about 200 calories. . . .but man, oh man . . .delicious!!

Oatmeal and Raisin Bran Muffins
Yield:  12 Muffins

3 Cups Bran Flake Cereal
1 and 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Oatmeal
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Egg, Beaten
2 Tablespoons Oil
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Raisins

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line muffin tin with paper muffin liners.

Step 2:  In a large bowl, add the bran flake cereal and the buttermilk.  Stir.  Add in the oil, egg and honey.  Stir to combine.

Step 3:  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients:  flour, oatmeal, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and raisins.

Step 4:  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Mix to combine.

Step 5:  Disperse the batter among the muffin tin.  They will be full!  

Step 6:  Place the muffin tin into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.   

Friday, March 18, 2016

Oriental Slaw

This is one of my all-time favorite salads and is always potluck favorite.  Shredded cabbage, oriental flavors, onion, almonds and crunchy ramen noodles.  There are many versions of this salad - here is mine.  What makes it better than the other recipes?  I toast my almonds.  I use Nature's Seasoning + the seasoning packet from the ramen.  Those are just the first few differences.  Give it whirl - you will love it!

Oriental Slaw
Serves Several

1 Pkg Cabbage, Pre-Cut
1 Pkg Oriental Ramen Noodles
1/2 Sliced Almonds, Toasted
1/2 Cup Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Bunch (5-6) Green Onion, cleaned and sliced
2 Teaspoons Nature's Seasoning

Step 1:  In a large bowl, combine the seasoning packet from the ramen noodles along with the vinegar, oil, sugar and Nature's Seasoning.  Mix well.

Step 2:  Add to the bowl the cabbage, toasted almonds and green onion.  Stir well to combine and incorporate the dressing.

Step 3:  Crunch up the ramen noodles.  Add to the salad and stir.  Serve immediately.  OR, if you prefer to make ahead - prepare everything except this last step.  Reserve the noodles and add them to the salad right before serving it (unless you prefer soggy noodles . . .which are okay too).

Friday, March 11, 2016

Incredible Edible Sweet Potatoes

Love sweet potato fries?  Then you will love these!  Less fuss, same effect.  Delicious.  Sweet, creamy texture in the center and slightly crispy on the outside.  Buy extra when shopping for sweet potatoes - this recipe always disappears fast!  All you do is dice up the sweet potatoes and roast . . .and shebam!  Before you know it . . .happy family.  The hardest issue is just waiting for them to roast (approximately 1 hour baking time)!  These go great with pork chops, just sayin'.

Incredible Edible Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4-8 

1-2 Pounds of Sweet Potatoes
1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with non-stick pan spray.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Wash the sweet potatoes.  Once washed - leave the skins on.  No need to peel!!  Cube them into approximately 1/2 inch cubes.  Place on the cookie sheet in a single layer.  Use two cookie sheets if you run out of room on the first cookie sheet!

Step 3: Once all potatoes are cubed, drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and then give them a quick toss with your hands.  No need to fully coat them in oil.  You just want the oil to get disbursed.

Step 4:  Time to roast up these babies!  Place in the oven for 30 minutes.  Then, stir them around/flip them.  Return to the oven and bake for another 30  minutes - until they are soft when pierced with a fork and slightly beginning to brown around the edges.  

Friday, March 4, 2016

Cream Cheese Candies

These Cream Cheese Candies are the perfect confection to place in a candy dish or use as little favors for events.  They are easy to make, use only a few ingredients and are completely delightful.  They are sweet, melt in your mouth and highly addictive.  Some people refer to them as 'mints' . . .but they really aren't mints unless you flavor them with mint.  Regardless of the flavors you use, they will be a huge hit! And just think of the gift/favor possibilities . . .Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas . . .place them a cute mason jar with some ribbon and viola!  

In the picture below, I feature two flavors:  Saskatoon Berry (pink) and Almond (yellow).

Cream Cheese Candies
Serves Many

8 oz Cream Cheese
5 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Flavored Extract of Your Choice (Example:  Almond, Mint, Strawberry, or Cinnamon etc)
A few drops of Food Coloring (to coordinate with the flavor)
Waxed Paper or Parchment Paper
Granulated Sugar (optional)

Step 1:  In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and beat with a mixer until smooth.  This is an occasion where you may want to use your big mixer (like a Kitchenaid stand mixer).

Step 2:  Add the extract, food coloring and half of the powdered sugar to the bowl.  Beat again until well combined.  

Step 3:  Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Taste a small bit and adjust flavor and food dye as needed.

Step 4:  Line two large cookie pans or sheet pans with waxed paper or parchment paper.  Use your hands to take pinch off a small bit and shape into your desired shape.  A few ideas:

  • Roll into a small ball and then flatten with a fork (as pictured below).
  • Use a rubber/silicone candy mold - sprinkle the mold with a bit of granulated sugar first and then press the dough into the mold.  Remove the excess and pop the candy out onto the waxed paper.  I used a star mold for some that I made (see picture above)
  • Roll some dough into a long, rope.  Make it about the circumference of your pinkie finger.  Then, with a knife - cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  Separate the pieces. These will look like tiny little pillows (not pictured).
As you are creating the shapes, place them onto the lined trays into a single layer to air dry.  You will want to let them dry for several hours (overnight on the counter works great!).  Or, you can expedite the drying process by placing them in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.  

Step 5:  To serve, place them in a candy dish and let guests help themselves :)  These are perfectly fine sitting out in the air for about 24 hours.  Or, package them up for gifts.    

For long-term storage - place them in an airtight container in the fridge and they will last about 2-3 weeks.  As well, they can also be frozen for later use (if doing so, place in container single layered, with waxed paper between the layers of candies before freezing).  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

Yep, here I am again with oats.  You are likely thinking that my alias is The Crazy Oatmeal Lady.  Seriously, I love oats.  It's my preferred grain.  I just love the flavor! Anyhow, here is a low-sugar oatmeal raisin muffin - made with honey and no oil.  Not crazy about raisins?  Substitute chocolate chips or craisins etc.  These are perfect for brunch, a snack or a breakfast on the go!  Light and fluffy, you will be sure to enjoy.

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins
Serves 12

1 Cup Old-Fashioned Oats
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/3 Cup Applesauce
1/4 Cup Honey
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg
1 Cup Milk

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare your muffin tin by spraying really well with oil or by lining it with paper muffin cups.

Step 2:  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients:  oats, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and raisins.  Mix well.  Set aside.

Step 3:  In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: applesauce, honey, vanilla, egg and milk.  Stir until well combined.  

Step 4:  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  

Step 5:  Disperse the batter evenly among the muffin tin.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

I have this new addiction.  Same old flavors . . .new creation:  Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Mug Cake.  Cooks in 1 minute via the microwave and is only 4 ingredients.  Yes, it's true.  1 minute, 4 ingredients.  You can thank me later.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Mug Cake
Serves 1

1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla 
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter (or 4 Tablespoons)
1-2 Tablespoons of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

In a microwave safe mug, add the egg, vanilla and peanut butter.  Stir until well combined.  I use a fork, it tends to break up and mix the ingredients very well.  Once well combined, stir in the chocolate chips.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Cool a few minutes before eating - just so you don't burn your tongue.  Enjoy!

Please Note:  In the above photo, I used a very large, over-sized coffee mug.  If this were made in a regular-sized coffee mug, it would puff up while cooking up to the rim!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cloud Bread

Have you ever come across a recipe that just sounded so interesting that you had to try it?  This recipe is one of those for me.  I've seen it around the web in varying forms, but finally just had to give it a try.  It is a carb-free recipe . . .but that doesn't really interest me.  I was more intrigued by the fact that so few ingredients when prepared the right way . . .could taste unlike their original form.  In this recipe, you take eggs and cream cheese . . .and in the end, the final product doesn't even taste like cream cheese OR eggs.  ** Mind.Blown**  What you do end up with though - is a very soft, pillow-y and delicious bread substitute.  One thing about this recipe though - it was super simps because I had the right tools.  If I didn't have a mixer or my mini food processor, I'm not sure it would have turned out so well.  Regardless, everyone in my family loved the 'bread' and is already begging for it again.

Cloud Bread
Yield:  9 Pieces

3 Eggs
3 Tablespoons Cream Cheese (or 1.5 ounces total - if you prefer to go by weight)
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Next, line a very large baking sheet with parchment paper - or use two smaller baking sheets.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Separate the eggs.  Place the egg whites in one bowl, egg yolks in a different bowl.

Step 3:  Add the cream cheese to the egg yolks.  With a fork, mash and blend until it becomes fully combined.  If you have a small food processor - you can use it here instead doing this the old-fashioned-by-hand method.  Set aside.

Step 4:  Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites.  Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 

Step 5:  Fold the yolk mixture into whipped egg whites.  Do this very gently and until just combined.

Step 6:  Scoop the mixture by spoonfuls out onto the parchment paper.  I used an ice-cream scoop and got 9 rounds.  Depending on how stiff you beat your egg whites, you may want to flatten them a bit.  They don't really spread while baking.  Season with crushed rosemary.

Step 7:  Place in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, they will be a light tan color.  Then, turn on the broiler (or crank the heat) and bake a minute or two longer until the tops brown.  Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

To store, place in an air tight container.  However, I doubt they'll last long enough to actually store!