Monday, April 29, 2013

Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins


           My boys are home for two whole weeks for spring break! My husband has been home for the last 4 days so we've all had some quality family time together. There are has been plenty of eggs and bacon for breakfast,followed by bread baking sessions,muffin baking,car rides, spring cleaning,house hunting and grilling when weather permits.

These muffins were devoured by my family. They are super moist,almost brownie like and seriously addictive. They freeze incredibly well and go great with a hot cup of coffee.

Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

3/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Honey
2 Large Egg Whites or 1 Large Egg
3/4 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt or regular plain or vanilla yogurt   
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Unsweetened Dutch Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda   
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Mini Chocolate,plus a few extra for the tops

Preheat oven to 425 or 220 celcius. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. Do not use liners..they will stick to the insides.

In a large bowl,combine applesauce,sugar,honey,egg whites,yogurt,and vanilla. Whisk them all together until smooth,with no yogurt lumps remaining.

In a medium bowl,sift the flours,cocoa powder,salt,baking soda, and baking powder together. Slowly stir into the wet ingredients,being careful not to overmix (make sure there are no dry pockets of flour in the mixture). Fold in the mini chocolate chips. The batter will appear chunky but no worries..chunky is good :)

Divide the batter evenly amoung the prepared pan and fill each cup until full. 

Bake for 5 minutes at 425 or 220 celcius. Reduce the heat to 375 or 190 celcius and continue baking for 13 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a minute before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

** I actually skipped the high temp of the oven and baked them for 18 minutes at 375 or 190 celcius..only because I forgot. They turned out fine for me**

Yield: 12 Muffins
Source: Sally's Baking Addiction     

Friday, April 26, 2013

30 Minute Soft Pretzels


           A few weeks ago my oldest son rushed through the door as he came home from school and told me he and his friends needed to bake right now because they were due tomorrow for a class project. The original plan was for my son to bake them at a friends house but the mom wasn't home. 


       I panicked for a split second and then went searching for a quick recipe. I found one and into the kitchen we went. We laughed about the fact that they were Dutch kids,baking what was supposed to be a German pretzel recipe, and being taught by an American and speaking english during the whole process.



        Now, these are not German pretzels but in order for me to help them I had to find an english recipe and didn't have time for them to translate the german and if it went wrong, we were going to be in trouble. 

The 3 boys did all the work..they measured and mixed and kneaded..and complained while kneading because it sure did take alot of work and they were super impressed with my kneading skills! They wanted giant pretzels so the top photo is of what they made. The recipe makes 8-10 but they came away with 5..that should tell you how big those suckers were. My son came home the next day and told me his german teacher mentioned how chewy and perfect these were and he just loved them!

These really do only take 30 minutes to bake..which is kind of dangerous since I made them again the following day and will probably do it again this weekend. They are chewy and soft and wonderful. We sprinkled ours with a cinnamon/sugar mixture but you could top them however you like.

30 Minute Soft Pretzels

1-1/2 cups Warm Water
2-1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp. Salt
1 TBS Sugar
4-4-1/4 cups All-purpose Flour or a mix of white and whole wheat
1 Large Egg
Course Sea Salt for sprinkling or cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 425 or 220 celcius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Stir with a spoon until mixed. Add 1 cup of the flour along with the salt;mix until combined. Slowly add the remaining flour,1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Continue to add flour until dough is no longer sticky.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and with a sharp knife,cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. This doesn't need to be exact,use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you would can make really large ones or small. It's up to you.

Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. Some of my ropes were 12 inches long and some were up to 20..the 12 inch ones will give you a thicker pretzel that you see in the two last photos. Once you have your long rope,shape into a pretzel and place onto prepared pan.

In a small bowl,beat the egg and brush the tops of each pretzel with the mixture. Sprinkle with salt,cinnamon/sugar or leave plain.

Bake for 10-15 mins and if you like,turn the oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to brown the tops. I skipped that step though and loved the pale beauties.

Allow to cool slightly and enjoy warm or room temp. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days ( they will lose their softness and to  be honest, ours didn't survive the morning). You can also freeze these!

Yield: 8-10 Pretzels
Source: Sally's Baking Addiction              

Food Holiday Link Party

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Falafel Veggie Burgers with Feta Yogurt Sauce


          Have you ever tried a falafel? up until now, I had never eaten one and all I can say is that I have been seriously missing out! This is by far my favorite veggie burger recipe. The boys asked for these to be included in their lunches the next day and they keep asking me when we are going to have these again. Seriously, these are crazy good.

I love the fact that these are baked and not fried and you can make more than 6 patties out of this recipe. I actually came away with 9 but there is no problem if you wanted to keep them on the large side...but you will also thank me for left overs. The sauce is also delicious and goes so well with the burgers. So trust me on this..make these for your family soon. They will love it.

Falafel Veggie Burgers with Feta Yogurt Sauce

2 (15 ounce) cans Chickpeas,drained and rinsed
1/3 cup Tahini
1/3 cup chopped Fresh Cilantro
1/3 cup Sliced Green Onions
1 cup packed Fresh Spinach
1/2 cup chopped Roasted Red Peppers
2 Garlic Cloves,minced
1 cup Panko Crumbs
1 Large Egg
2 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
1-1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt

Feta Yogurt Sauce:

1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 small Garlic Clove,minced
1 TBS Lemon time I will use less..add according to taste

Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Line a cookie sheet with foil and coat well with nonstick spray or olive oil.

In a food processor,combine chickpeas,tahini,cilantro,green onions,spinach,red bell peppers, garlic,panko,egg,olive oil,lemon juice,cumin,coriander and salt. 

Pulse until chickpea beans are smooth, but not overprocessed ( some chunks are fine!). Transfer mixture to a bowl; shape into 6 or more equally sized patties,flattening slightly. Place on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes,flip with a spatula and bake an an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Either in a mini food processor or by hand,mix the yogurt sauce ingredients until pureed.

Serve with lettuce,tomato,cucumber and feta yogurt sauce.

** My veggie burger ingredients were were really sticky so I popped the mixture into the fridge and let it sit there for about 20 minutes and that made forming them into patties alot easier.**

Yield: 6 or more burgers
Source:  Nutritious Eats  



Monday, April 22, 2013

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake


           Are you a raspberry fan? As far a fruits go, these guys are on the lowest of the list..those and blackberries. I hate,hate, HATE the way they stick in your teeth. I will go years upon years upon years with never eating one. 

I finally found the one way that I will eat them. In this super moist and wonderful almond tasting coffe cake ( raspberries and almonds go really well together). I spotted this in the latest issue of,Taste of Home and decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did because the flavor combination was fantastic.

The recipe uses fresh berries but I honestly can't see why you couldn't get away with frozen. If you really aren't a fan of raspberries, then give it a shot with blueberries and even strawberries. I plan to try those combos aswell!

The orginial recipe calls for vanilla extract in the glaze..I went with almond and I'm really glad it did. Everyone kept saying how much they loved that flavor with the raspberries.

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

1 cup Fresh Raspberries
3 TBS Brown Sugar
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 Egg
1/2 cup Sour Cream..I used low fat plain yogurt
3 TBS Butter,melted
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds


1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Milk
1/4 tsp. Vanilla or Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Grease an 8 inch round baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl,combine raspberries and brown sugar;set aside.

In a large bowl,combine flour,sugar,baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg,sour cream,butter and vanilla together. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until moistened. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with raspberry mixture. Spoon remaining batter over raspberries and sprinkle with almonds.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack. 

In a small bowl,combine the icing ingredients;drizzle over coffee cake. Serve warm

1 slice has around 226 calories

Yield: 8 servings
Source: Taste of Home