r'TIS THE SEASON...
For Festive goodies. And your gang might enjoy these peppermint cupcakes. This recipe makes about 16 cupcakes.
Ingredients (for cake)
2 &1/4 cup sifted flour
2&1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 &1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp cooking oil (for extra moistness)
1 tsp vanilla extract
red food coloring
3 ounces white chocolate chips (so about a quarter of a package)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
peppermint extract (to taste)
crushed peppermint candy for topping
Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl, add eggs, butter, sugar, and half the milk and mix slowly. Add the rest of the milk and food coloring (I used 1/2 tsp for a lighter color but you might want to put in more), then beat until well mixed. Pour into muffin tins lined with festive cupcake liners and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack.
Pour white chocolate chips into a metal bowl. Heat cream in microwave until just before boiling. Pour over the chips, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 - 7 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and mix until smooth. Add butter and mix some more. Add your powdered sugar and peppermint extract. (Start with a small amount, like a quarter tsp and then add more as you go. This is a potent extract and it's better to go slowly. You can always add more. You can't take it out once it's mixed in there.) Note: you might want to add a dribble more cream if your frosting feels too stiff.
Frost your cupcakes and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy
It's that time of year when we want stews and soups - and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch! (Remember Mom making that for you? I do.)
Here's little twist on the traditional grilled cheese. You'll want two slices of sourdough bread, Gouda cheese, thinly sliced and unpeeled apple, also thinly sliced. Stuff the cheese and apple slices inside the bread, butter both sides and grill until golden brown. A tasty treat to accompany that bowl of tomato soup!
Here's a fun breakfast treat your family will enjoy! Easy to throw together, and what's not to like about raspberries and white chocolate!
generous 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cups flour
4 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup fresh raspberries (if using frozen, thaw and drain)
3/4 cup milk
powdered sugar glaze
Cream together sugar and butter, then mix in egg. Sift together dry ingredients and add, alternating with the milk. (Note: you may need to add a tablespoon more milk depending on how juicy your berries are. You just don't want your batter to get runny.) Add chocolate chips, then gently fold in raspberries. Drop by large spoonfuls into greased muffin tin, filling each cup two-thirds full. Bake at 350 for twenty minutes.
Take from oven and allow to cool slightly, then add glaze (1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp milk) Remove to a baking rack when further cooled.
Makes about 14.
BROWNIES WITH A NUTRITIOUS PUNCH?
Oh, yes. These black bean brownies are gluten free and high in fiber. I love them. I think you might, too.
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 large eggs
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered baking cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
In food processor or blender combine beans half the chocolate chips and coconut oil and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Transfer to an 8 inch square baking dish lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and bake 20 - 25 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack then cut into bars. Yield: 12
This little guy will be fun for your kids to make and eat. You'll want to make one for each member of the family. As you can see, he's easy to assemble. All you need is a scoop of chocolate ice cream, black licorice for legs (4 pieces cut in half) and a couple of colorful candies. I used M&M's leftover from Easter. One word of caution. Work fast. These little guys melt quickly (as you can see by my picture). Your best bet is to make your octopus bodies and put them in the freezer to set up a little before sticking in the licorice. Then, once the legs are attached, back in again to finish setting up. By the time you're ready for dessert transfer them to plates and sprinkle brown sugar around for sand.
By the way, I used chocolate peanut butter ice cream for my guy. Yum!
As I'm posting this, thanks to the Corona virus, we appear to be experiencing a flour shortage (right along with .... almost everything it seems). It looks like many of us, being stuck at home are turning to baking for comfort. These cookies are great because they use a little less flour than other cookies and have the added benefit of fiber and fruit. They have a bit of a crunch due to the use of oil instead of shortening or butter. Give 'em a try and see what you think!
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup vegetable oil (oil makes the dough a lot more moist so you don't need to use as much oil as you would butter or shortening. If the dough feels dry to you, add a little more - but go easy.)
a handful of rainsins
Directions: cream together the sugars, oil and egg. Add dry ingredients (I always mix in the soda first and make sure there are no tiny lumps). Lastly add vanilla, chocolate chips and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls (how big you want 'em will determine what size spoon you use. I use a soup spoon) onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 10 - 12 minutes. (Times really vary from stove to stove.)
Makes about 2 dozen.
a handful of chocolate chips
With all the reds and greens, this salad is perfect for a potluck or your holiday dinner table. My friend Arlene shared it with me and I made it and took it to a luncheon. I got rave reviews! I bet you will, too!
Ingredients for Salad:
8 cups spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced (I chopped mine)
1 cup pomegranate seeds
or 1 cup dried cranberries (I actually use both)
Ingredients for Dressing
4 tbsp cranberry juice concentrate
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1 /2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (I use olive oil).
Stem spinach and tear into bite-sized pieces and place in salad bowl. Place avocado and onion over spinach. For dressing combine cranberry juice concentrate, vinegar, mustard, pepper and oil in a jar with a lid. Shake until well blended. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle pomegranate and/or dried cranberries over salad. Toss gently and serve.
It's that time of year for all things pumpkin, so I wanted to share my favorite pumpkin bread recipe with you. It's one I got years ago from my old high school buddy Donna. I still make it and I think of her every time I do!
PUMPKIN BREAD (Makes two loaves)
3/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 one pound can of pumpkin
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
2/3 cup chopped nuts
(I often throw in some white chocolate chips, too)
Cream butter and sugar. Ads eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly. Mix in pumpkin. Sift dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, adding a little at a time and keep stirring until well blended. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans; pour in batter, dividing evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. (Depending on your oven you may need a little more time or possibly a little less.) Test with tooth pick. If it comes out clean you're done. Cool on a wire rack before taking bread from pans.
At our house, it's smoothies for breakfast - easy and fast to make when you're trying to get out the door in a hurry. If you're rushing off to work or have kids or a sweetie who aren't much into breakfast this is a good way to back some quick nutrition into them. Yummy stuff! Here's one of my favorite recipes:
Orange Dream Smoothie (serves one)
1 banana (peeled of course)
1 mandarin orange (ditto)
1/2 cup honey yogurt
2 Tbsp almond milk
Mix 'em up in your blender on high and serve. Great way to get your potassium and vitamin C for the day!
This recipe is from my fabulous daughter-in-law Adrianna. It is simply delicious.
4 large salmon fillets (we get them from Costco)
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 pinches of kosher salt
1 Tbsp of orange zest
First clean your salmon (so it won't taste so fishy) Thaw to room temp, pat dry with a paper towel, then coat with dill and let it rest for five minutes. Then rise well and pat dry again. Butter both sides of the salmon then drizzle on the glaze mix. Put avocado oil in a pre-heated pan. If you've got an electric grill where you can control temperature, heat the pan to 275 degrees. Once oil is in heat pan to 325 and add salmon. Cook for about 4 - 5 minutes on each side (until it easily flips.) Pairs well with asparagus and rice or garlic mashed potatoes.
(P.S. Don't leave your salmon or any raw food out too long. You don't want to give bacteria a chance to grow!)