Monday, January 31, 2011

Simple Buttermilk Bread

            I think I might have the only kids in the world that actually look forward to important tests at school. Now they actually hate the test taking part..but they love what comes along with that. My boys know that whenever they have tests at school they get an extra special breakfast during that time. I always tell them that they need to worry about the studying part and doing their best and I will make sure I provide them with a great breakfast during that time.

Buttermilk bread is one of the things I usually serve them during that time. It's such a simple easy bread to make and it tastes so good. They love it toasted with butter and a drizzle of honey on top. I usually serve this with fruit,scrambled eggs and milk. I've swapped out the sugar in the recipe for honey,I've tossed in a handful of oats into the batter and I've added in small amounts of sunflower seeds. It's great no matter what you add into it. 

Buttermilk Bread

2 cups of Flour
2 TBL Sugar or Honey
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1-1/2 cups Buttermilk
1/4 cup Butter,Melted
2 Large Egg Whites

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Coat an 8x4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

 Combine and whisk buttermilk,melted butter and egg whites in a bowl; set aside.

Combine flour,sugar or honey,baking soda, and salt in a large bowl;make a well in center of mixture. Pour buttermilk mixture into the well of the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 40-45 mins or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10mins in pan on a wire rack;remove from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack. Serve with butter and honey...makes excellent toast the next day :)



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday's In My City...

  
   It's sunday again! the week seems to fly by sometimes..well moreso the weekends than anything else. In The Netherlands you need to hurry up and get your shopping done on saturdays and all your other errands because on sunday there isn't anything open! In the much larger cities like Rotterdam they are open..but for those of us in small town,NL they are not. There has been a slight movement where certain grocery stores are open from 4-7 on sunday's and everyone shows up in their sunday finest. I spotted the first signs of Spring this morning. Isn't that bud a cutey?
     I'm ready for Spring..really really ready.
                              I need color and sun.
     I hope everyone has a sun filled brightly colored week. Head over to Unknown Mami and see what she along with everyone else is up to this week!!


Unknown Mami



 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

            I can't begin to tell you how much I love catering my husband's work meeting every week. Last week I sent in Magic Bars and I am happy to report that they went totally crazy over the chocolately sweet and salty combo. A few days ago one of his co workers called in to ask what I was bringing in this week. When he told her she shouted what it was over her shoulder to her husband(her husband is now another big fan of the American muffin:). She was excited to try these muffins since she had never had lemon and poppy seed together. I'm quickly learning that every single item I send in,is not only new to them, but the combinations are something they themsevles have never thought of. I received several muffin orders from one of the parents of my husband's co worker and I hope to be posting about another surprise I learned about..but don't want to mention it just yet until I know that it's a done deal : ) but I'm very very excited and nervous.

I've been on a massive lemon kick lately. I think that lemon and poppy seed has got to be on of my most favorite flavor of muffin. The lemon packs a serious punch in this recipe and it's wonderful! poppy seeds have an underlining nutty factor that pairs so well with lemon. The muffin is seriously moist and the glaze just pushes the lemon flavor up a serious puckering punch. Thanks to Thibeault's Table for a fantastic recipe! The original recipe stated that it made 12 large muffins. I filled the muffin cups full and still came away with 18 and could of easily come away with 24. I do like the fact of filling the muffins cups full because you get a nice sized dome on top. 


Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 TBL Fresh Lemon Juice
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter,Softened
1 TBL Grated Lemon Zest
2 Large Eggs
2 tsp. Poppy Seeds

Glaze
1 tsp. Melted Butter
4 tsp. Lemon Juice
Powdered Sugar


Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the flour,baking powder, salt and baking soda.


In another bowl whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk and lemon juice. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and lemon zest in a large bowl until blended. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each one until mixture is light and fluffy..make sure to scrape the sides down occasionally. Beat in the dry and wet ingredients alternately starting with the flour and then the buttermilk/sour cream mixture. I went ahead and did flour,cream,flour and the rest of the cream mixture...Mix just until blended. Stir in poppy seeds. 

Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake 20-22 mins or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 mins before take them out of the pan and allowing them to cool completely on a wire rack.


To make the glaze combine the melted butter, lemon juice and enough powdered sugar to make a glaze. I didn't want mine runny but slightly a step or two beyond that. You can dip,drizzle or pipe on the glaze over the tops of the still warmed muffins.


Makes 12-18 muffins..depending on how full you fill the cups.



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Statue Worthy?

                          Is Michael Jackson statue worthy to you? I hope you will join us on Communal Global by linking up with us and sharing a photo of your "Today"



 



  


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday's In My City...

 
         Today was going to be the first day since I started SIMC that I wasn't going to join in. I am so fed up with the horrible grey weather that I just wasn't inspired enough to even try today...And then I met Eenie Meenie and there was a ray of sunshine in my neighborhood. Eenie Meenie is a ferret and she belongs to the best friend of my oldest son. I feel in love with her semi smelly self right on the spot. I thought she was going to be super hyper but she happily layed in my arms and tried to take a nap.
   I think I'm going to ask for my own eenie meenie..even though I don't really need one,have no place to put one,could think of a hundred different things I do need and have a place for..Did I mention she walks around on a cat leash? how cute is that. Head on over to Unknown Mami and join in on all the fun of exploring everyone's sunday..and then join in yourself : )

Unknown Mami
 

Friday, January 21, 2011

White Chocolate Chip Lemon Cookies

 
             It's snowing again!! I don't even know how I feel about this..wait I do know how I feel about this..It needs to stop now..for real. I was expecting a nice sunny day and I get snow..honestly.

So the only thing that could be done was to bake sunshine in cookie form. This recipe comes from Cassie Craves..she loves all things lemon like I do so I knew I had to give these a shot. Cassie mentioned that they reminded her of lemon cake and I gotta say..I thought so too :) They were so soft and the white chocolate/lemon combination really works! If you eat these while they are warm you don't really taste the lemon flavor..let them cool a bit and then you get a nice shot of lemon. I think if anything that it needs one more shot of lemon and then it would be a perfection. Thanks so much Miss Cassie for another winner of a recipe!

White Chocolate Chip Lemon Cookies..2 Dozen 
1/2 cup Butter,Softened
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Milk
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1-3/4 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
1-1/2 tsp. Grated Lemon Zest

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt;set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla;mix well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix well. Stir in white chips and lemon zest.

Drop by tablespoons full onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 mins or until edges turn light brown. Allow to sit for 3 mins before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Linking up with Sweets for a Saturday 



 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blood Orange

            On a recent grocery shopping trip in Germany I spotted blood oranges for sale. I've never seen one upclose before so I bought a bag of them. The first one I peeled actually had me feeling rather ill. It was oozing with the blood color and actually looked really unhealthy. I ate it anyway and loved it. It tastes like a normal orange but comes with a cool color. I peeled this one yesterday and noticed it had a lovely sherbet color almost. Isn't it neat looking?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Magically Delicious

       Ok I know that's a cheesy title but these cookie bars rock! Some of you might know them from another name..7 Layer Bars. I've actually only had these one other time in my life and it's probably a good thing...if I made these all the time I would be in some serious trouble. I baked these for my husbands weekly meeting. Last week I sent in peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. It was their first experience with the wonderful combination that Americans love so much. I'm happy to report that they totally understood what there was to love about peanut butter and chocolate : ) they loved it so much that I needed to send in my remaining cookies the next day. I told them to enjoy it because it was my last bag of peanut butter chips and would make them again when I eventually get more.
      Ok so on to these bad boys..I just love how ooey gooey they are. You  can change up the combination aswell. I changed the recipe by adding in a hint of cinnamon and salt into the graham cracker crust..the salt took it up a notch that made it even better. I'm really loving the cinnamon/chocolate combo aswell..it just works so well together. These freeze beautifully by the way..place bars into a freezer safe container and seperate the layers with parchment/wax paper.

Magic Bars..Eagle Brand 
1-1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
1/2 cup Butter,Melted
1 (140z) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups Chocolate Chips
1-1/3 cups Flaked Coconut
1 cup Chopped Nuts..I used pecans
1/2-1 tsp each of Salt and Cinnamon;Optional

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Grease a 13x9 pan with nonstick spray and set aside. 

Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter (plus the cinnamon and salt if using it) in a small bowl. Press into the bottom of the pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork.

Bake in oven 25-30 mins or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars. If you don't wait long enough they will be more difficult to cut and could slightly fall apart.

** Use any combo of chocolate chips..1 cup chocolate,1 cup Butterscotch or use dried fruit like cranberries**

** For easier cutting,line the whole pan with foil while allowing the foil to hang over the sides. Spray with non stick spray. After the bars have baked and cooled,lift up with edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into bars.**

** For my Dutch/Germany friends you can buy sweetened condensed milk in stores. In Germany I see it being sold under the label of Baren Marke..just make sure you don't buy the evaporated milk. Sweetened condensed milk is really thick..the evaporated milk is more like a watery milk. In the Netherlands it's sometimes sold in the ethnic section of the store. I find mine on the bottom shelf in Albert Heijn but I know you can find it in other stores. The label is in english and says, Full cream sweetened condensed milk and it comes in 397gram size..the exact amount you need**                            


Monday, January 17, 2011

Super Simple Frittata

        I finally made a frittata this weekend! I've always wanted to make one but for whatever reason I thought they were to hard. Whats so hard about pouring eggs,milk,seasonings, and your choice of toppings into a pan is beyond me but there you go. I think most of my reasons for not trying it was because the directions usually tell you to use an oven safe frying pan. I don't own one of those and although I read you can cover the handle in tin foil, I'm still weary of it.

However thanks to a recipe I snagged from Cookie and Kate I can now make an awesome frittata thanks to the use of a springform pan!. The recipe is basic wich means you can add whatever you like to it. I plan to make this over and over again with tons of different things added. Thanks so much Kate for a wonderful recipe!

Basic Frittata..Serves 6-8 depending on size of the slices 
 6 Eggs
Handful of  Shredded Cheese..I used 1 cup
Splash of Milk..I used a good splash
Vegetables,spices,meats,whatever you like

Place a cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. 
       Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper and then lock it into place. The paper will stick out of the sides wich is fine. It will have a nice seal around it wich stops it from leaking. Grease the paper and the sides generously with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil. 

In a seperate bowl,whisk together the eggs,milk,cheese,vegetables and seasonings. Pour mixture into springform pan. Place on preheated cookiesheet/baking tray and bake for 25 mins. You want it to be golden and puffy with the middle being firm and springy.
      For my frittata I used satueed mushrooms and pieces of diced ham..During the last 5 mins I put another handful of shredded cheese on top. Serve this for breakfast,brunch,or a light dinner. Add in a side of salad and some warm crusty bread and you are set!                    
  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday's In My City...

       Hello Everyone! If this is your first time here..Hello,my name is Sonya. I'm an American living in The Netherlands. Each sunday,thanks to Unknown Mami, I am able to share a piece of my world with everyone who joins in! So please head over and join in on Sunday's In My City and share a piece of your world with us!
        It was another beautiful sunday so we decided to wash our car.
         We then headed out of town and into the countryside.
        I love the country life and hope to live it one day.
    We then needed to head home. I drank way to much water before we left..wich was a realllllyyyy bad idea. The skies have since turned grey so I was happy to get out of the house and enjoy the sun! See you next sunday : )

Unknown Mami




Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sunset

 
 It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.
~Bern Williams~


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies & Why it's important to copy a recipe correctly!

 
          Today I spent the morning baking two different cookies for my husband to take to work tomorrow. I am really enjoying the experience of catering to a small group. So far I've got two cookie orders and last week I received my first birthday cake order! In true Dutch fashion,they ordered it 5 months in advance! Thats ok though..it gives me plenty of time to work on my cake decorating skills. I decided now was the time to introduce the dutchies to the wonderful peanut butter and chocolate combo. I had one bag left of Reeces peanut butter chips and made the chewy chocolate cookies recipe wich can be found Here or on the back of the package. 

The second batch of cookies is the recipe I am sharing with you today. I've had it bookmarked for awhile now and thought now was the time to make these. I was expecting these flat chewy cookies...but instead I got soft airy cake like cookies! I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong. I thought maybe it was because of the coconut I used. The stuff I buy here is more snow flake like and really small..not the usual longer thicker pieces. Then I thought it was because I used old fashioned oats instead of quick cooking oats. The taste was awesome and it didn't matter that I made puff balls but it did bother me. As I sat down to type this I pulled the bookmarked page up and saw instantly what I had done wrong. I left out the sugar! I only added in the brown sugar. I am always really good about copying a recipe but somehow this slipped by me! So always make sure you double and even triple check your recipe before making it!

With that being said..you can totally make these with just brown sugar! they will come out super soft and light. The coconut flavor is just amazing in these and I bet a handful or two of chocolate chips,chopped pecans or butterscotch chips would go perfectly aswell. Thanks to Mel from My Kitchen Cafe for yet another keeper of a recipe!

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies..several dozen

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup Butter,Softened
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2-1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Shredded,sweetened Coconut
1 cup Quick Oats

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Either grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl,cream together the sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Drop by tablespoons full onto pan. Bake 9-11 mins, until cookies are set but not overly browned (bake a few mins longer for a crispier cookie)


 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lemon Meringue Muffins

              Back in December I hear a knock on the door. The postman has a package for me. I was super curious because I wasn't expecting anything. I look at the return address and get a huge smile on my face. It was from Kathy over at West Family Adventures. She lived in Germany for awhile and has since returned back to the states. We've exchanged several e-mails over time and it's always nice getting to talk with someone else who understands the struggles of living an expat life and I love reading about her new adventures of living back in the U.S. 

I ripped open the box and out came candy canes,peanut butter cups,cold pills(those were a life saver when my husband was sick),ranch packets and holiday baking magazines!! I think I actually twirled around the living room. I instantly lost the candy canes to the boys..it's been 3-1/2 years since they had one! I've seen candy canes here but they taste really weird so we never bother buying them anymore. I sat down right away to read the Taste of Home magazine she sent me and started making a list of what I was going to bake. So I'm here to share the first recipe!
     I was excited to try this recipe because I've never seen a lemon meringue muffin before. I made them on saturday and man did we LOVE these! The meringue is almost like a frosting..it was sticky and just perfect. The muffin itself was really moist with a wonderful mellow lemon flavor.
                 If you aren't a meringue fan, these muffins can totally stand alone just fine. You can still make these but just leave the final step of adding the meringues out. Thank you ever so much Kathy for all the wonderful items you sent to us. Your friendship means the world to me and I'm so glad were able connect through our blogs..blogging really does put you in contact with the most wonderful people that you wouldn't normally get the chance to connect with in everyday life.

Lemon Meringue Muffins..1 dozen
6 TBL Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar, divided
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
2 TBL Lemon Juice
1 TBL Lemon Peel
1/4 tsp. Lemon extract
1-1/3 cups Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
2 Egg Whites

Place egg whites in small mixing bowl and set aside. Pre heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Line cupcake pan with liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yogurt, lemon juice, peel and extract. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda,and pinch of salt; add to creamed mixture just until moistened.

Fill muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake for 18 minutes. While muffins are baking beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until soft glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.

Transfer meringue to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a small hoel in the corner of bag. Pipe onto muffins. Bake 5-8 minutes longer or until meringue is golden brown and toothpick inserted into the muffin cones out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack. Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers.

**I skipped the part about putting the meringue into a bag and just scooped the meringue onto the muffins. I would also say that these are best served warm and eaten on the same day they are made. The tops became slightly dry a few hours after cooling down.**            


  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday's In My City...

      There was laundry that needed to be done,a floor that needed vaccumed,wood that needed polished,and muffins that needed to be baked. However there was a bright blue sky and everything else was tossed aside as we headed out to enjoy it.
      We took #1 son out to race his remote control car that he got for christmas...the car can go over 50 miles an hour..Im slightly jealous.
      I love looking at all the different styles of apartment living here.
         I will always prefer a house to an apartment.
       The water towers here are magical looking.
      After living here almost 4 years,I still have to get used to the different way they tell time. That clock shows 13:06 wich is 1:06pm. They keep counting up until midnight at wich point it will then be 00:00. If you ask the time it will would never be thirteen o'clock but the correct one o'clock..but even then the way they say that is different. I will have to have my husband type out the super confusing ways of telling the time here. It's not 5 degrees either like it shows up there. They go by celcius..so right now it's 5 celcius wich is something like 41 degrees. Please stop by Unknown Mami's and check out her sunday aswell as everyone else's..and then join in yourself! Have a great week!
         
Unknown Mami