Tag Archives: bread

Zucchini Mini Muffins

With zucchini being in abundance this summer and almost always on sale, why not pick up an extra squash the next time you are at the store and consider putting it in some bread?  Never had zucchini in bread?  You don’t know what you’re missing.  Zucchini bread was just as common in my house growing up as banana bread and it shocks be when people have never tried it before.  I once had a friend cringe at the thought of zucchini bread that you would have thought I was suggesting liver in bread.  But honestly, if you at all like banana bread, or even carrot cake, you must give zucchini bread a try.  When I had an extra zucchini in my fridge, I remembered I had this recipe for Zucchini Mini Muffins which makes for a quick bite for breakfast in the morning.

Shredded zucchini is added to a light quick bread batter accent by the flavor of allspice.  The result is fluffy bite-sized muffins which could easily be enjoyed as a quick breakfast or even as an after dinner snack.  And if you are able to eat just one, there is zero guilt involved.  Never considered zucchini bread, let alone zucchini muffins, before?  Definitely try this.  And since muffins freeze well, make a batch of these and throw them in the freezer.  Pop a few in your bag before you run out the door and microwave for a few seconds and your breakfast is ready.  Who would have thought that adding vegetable to a muffin could be so good?

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 400°F.  Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and allspice in a large bowl.

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Combine zucchini, oil, butter, vanilla, milk and egg in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

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Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring batter just until combined.

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Divide batter evenly among 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

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Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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Pico de Gallo Bruschetta

July has been one hot month for us in the Northeast and now that the humidity has broken (at least temporarily), maybe I’ll actually start using my stove or oven again.  On really hot days, when you can’t get your thermostat to get any cooler than 80 degrees, sometimes you want to do as little moving around as possible.  On days like that, I have to find something light to eat and this Pico de Gallo Bruschetta seemed like a good bet.

Crusty baguette slices are toasted and lightly covered with cheese before being topped with fresh tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, basil and lime juice.  The result is a light and summery bite that seems perfect for a warm night.  Although you have to turn the oven on briefly to toast the bread, it’ll be worth it in the end but honestly, you could just scoop this cool tomato mixture right on untoasted bread.  Do whatever you feel like, just stay cool doing it!

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush baguette slices with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Bake 7 minutes or until light golden brown.

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Remove from oven; sprinkle evenly with cheese, and bake 1 minute or until cheese is melted.

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Combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients in a bowl; spoon mixture onto bread slices.

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Serve immediately.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions: 

  • Basil instead of cilantro

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source: Coastal Living Magazine

Monkey Bread

One morning last week, I was on the train enduring my daily commute into the city for my job and like usual I was listening to my favorite morning radio show, The Preston & Steve Show. On that particular day, they started talking about Cinnabon’s ooey, gooey, buttery cinnamon buns which morphed into a conversation about yummy, sweet, sticky Monkey Bread. By the time I got off the train and walked the six blocks to work, my mouth was watering and my stomach was growling. Thankfully, there wasn’t a Cinnabon nearby (at least if there is, I don’t want to know about it!) but the seed had already been planted and the damage had already been done – at any given moment after that, my brain would automatically turn to cinnamon buns, brown sugar and cinnamon, or anything cinnamony with a cool, drippy icing. It was all I could think about. I hope that explains why I made this Monkey Bread.

Balls of freshly made dough are rolled in a sugar-brown sugar-cinnamon mixture and baked until gooey and dripping in sweetness. As if that isn’t enough, a warmed cream cheese icing drizzle is spooned over the warm bread. It really doesn’t get more decadent or sinful than this. Since it contains yeast, this does take time to make as you let the dough rise but you can find faster recipes using store-bought dough online but they tend to be higher in calories. This recipe I made cuts the calories (not that you can tell) which is important because it’s hard to stop eating this.

Thanks, Preston & Steve. I may have to call the Love You, Hate You line to tell you how much I both love and hate you for putting this idea in my head!

The ingredients:

Combine flours, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; mix until combined.

With mixer on, slowly add 1 cup milk, juice, honey, and 2 tablespoons butter; mix dough at medium speed 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Punch dough down; divide into 8 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll into an 8-inch rope. Cut each dough rope into 8 equal pieces, shaping each piece into a 1-inch ball.

Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Combine 3 tablespoons milk and 2 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Dip each ball in milk mixture, turning to coat, and roll in sugar mixture. Layer balls in a 12-cup Bundt pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 7 dough ropes. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of bread; invert onto plate.

Combine powdered sugar, remaining milk, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Microwave at HIGH 20 seconds or until warm. Drizzle over bread.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Anadama Bread

Sorry it’s been a couple days since I’ve posted but I’ve been out of town for three days and despite having Internet access, I just didn’t feel like pulling out my computer.  You know the feeling.  Being disconnected.  It kind of feels good.  Although with my iPhone on my hip, I wasn’t truly disconnected.  Oh well.  It was an effort.  Anyway, I’ve been on a real reading kick lately (I recently devoured The Age of Miracles, Wild, Gone Girl and Where We Belong – all of which I recommend) and since I’ve decided I need dial down my book collection rather than grow it, I decided to take advantage of my library card and checked out two more books to read yesterday, The Bungalow and The Hypnotist’s Love Story.  Reading as much as I have been sometimes disrupts my pattern of cooking but it was in one of my reading fits last weekend that I spontaneously decided I wanted to bake some bread.  Next thing I knew, I was up to my elbows in flour, twisting and kneading fresh dough until it was perfectly rounded and fragrant.  This particular bread, Anadama Bread, is a bread my aunt often makes for holidays or just because.  Of course I think hers tastes better.  Just because.

Anadama Bread is a yeast bread made special with the addition of molasses and cornmeal.  This bread has the slightest hint of sweetness, but not too much, and is good toasted with jam or just butter.  It also freezes easily, just simply slice it ahead of time and seal in a freezer bag.  Making bread can be both therapeutic and satisfying.  Kneading dough is a good way to de-stress and after watching a mixture of ingredients come together and simply grow, you get a feeling of accomplishment when you pull out the warm, baked bread from the oven and your kitchen – your whole house – smells like a bakery.  There is nothing better.  When I make bread I kind of get that feeling that Tom Hanks has in Cast Away when he pounds on his chest and proudly proclaims to no one “Look what I have created!  I have made fire!”  When that bread comes out of the oven perfectly rounded and browned, it’s hard not to be proud and want to show it to someone.  Next time, I just might pound on my chest too.  Just because.

Read a good book lately?  Let me know! 🙂

The ingredients:

Dissolve the yeast and molasses in warm water in a large bowl, and let stand 5 minutes.  Stir in melted butter.

Add 3 cups flour, cornmeal, and salt to yeast mixture and stir until blended.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes), adding enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes.

Roll into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal.  Place roll, seam side down, in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.  Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Uncover dough and bake at in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes or until loaf is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve been getting into bad breakfast habits again.  I find myself getting a calorie-loaded egg and cheese bagel more often than usual or I’ll end up skipping breakfast altogether and be so starving by 10am that I’ll eat handfuls of miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups out of the candy bowl in the office next door.  It’s terrible.  I decided it was time to make some muffins that I could keep stored away for a quick grab-and-go each morning.  Rather than deprive myself of that morning chocolate I’ve been getting used to, I thought these Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins would be a perfect transition back into normal breakfast eating.

A simple muffin batter is jazzed up with a splash of red wine vinegar and chocolate chips, which are also used to top of these puffy cocoa gems.  I used regular chocolate chips in place of mini-chocolate chips because I had them on hand but I can only imagine how rich and chocolatey these muffins would be with little bits of melted chocolate in every bite.  These muffins satisfy any chocolate urge you get and are perfectly light enough to eat with your morning coffee.  Now I can actually feel a little less guilty about eating chocolate for breakfast.

Also, I want to take a moment to wish my cousin-more-like-a-little-brother Ben a very, very Happy Birthday today!  Check out his novel, Harvitz, As To War, here.

The ingredients:

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Make a well in center of mixture.

Combine water, red wine vinegar, canola oil, vanilla and egg in a separate bowl, stirring well.  Stir in half of the chocolate chips and add mixture to the well in the flour mixture.  Stir just until moist.

Coat 12 muffin liners with cooking spray and divide batter evenly among muffin cups.  Top remaining chocolate chips evenly over batter.  

Bake in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

 

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Whole-wheat flour for 3/4 cup white flour
  • Regular chocolate chips for minichips

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Blueberry-Basil Scones

As much as I would love to cook for my blog full-time, I have to go to work each day, often work long hours, and many times eat lunch at my desk. I used to be able to skip breakfast but I just can’t do that anymore so I do my best to eat something healthy. I have to muster up every ounce of self-control not to run to the Dunkin’ Donuts for egg and cheese on a fattening bagel. I rarely bring in cereal because I don’t want to have to worry about running out to buy milk and I think it’s a pain to bring in egg whites to cook in the microwave. Despite the fact that my office building provides a two-story cafeteria for employees with stunning views of Philadelphia, I rarely go up there because I don’t trust myself to get something healthy with all of the other buttery, cheesy options available (I could eat the walnut-raisin cream cheese by the spoonful!). Generally, I grab a packet of oatmeal from home but every once in a while, I love to make muffins or scones to store in the freezer which are easy to grab as I’m running out the door.

Blueberries are ridiculously delicious right now so I keep buying packages of them each time I’m at the store or produce market. Wanting something a little more interesting than plain old blueberry scones, I decided to use up the last of some of my basil and make Blueberry-Basil Scones. It may sound like an odd combination but they are both fresh, vibrant flavors that just so happen to complement one another. These scones also have a bit of lemon zest as well, adding to the brightness of these scones. Eat these toasted with a little bit of butter or jam or just eat them plain and enjoy how the blueberries pop so perfectly in every bite.

Blueberry-Basil Scones (makes 8 scones)

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Scones

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or Splenda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1/3 cup 1% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside. In a large bowl, combines flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the flour mixture until incorporated. Stir in blueberries, basil and lemon zest. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, vanilla and eggs. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture. Carefully combine the mixture with a fork just until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and carefully knead a few times (do not overknead). Shape dough into an 8-inch circle and place on the baking sheet. Cut dough into 8 wedges, cutting into, but not through, the dough. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool. Optional: Brush 2 teaspoons of additional milk over surface of dough and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of additional sugar before baking.

The ingredients:

In a large bowl, combines flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the flour mixture until incorporated.

Stir in blueberries, basil and lemon zest.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, vanilla and eggs. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture. Carefully combine the mixture with a fork just until dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and carefully knead a few times (do not overknead). Shape dough into an 8-inch circle and place on the baking sheet. Cut dough into 8 wedges, cutting into, but not through, the dough.

Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

Mmm…coffee cake.  Whenever I hear the words “coffee cake”, see coffee cake, smell coffee cake, or anything with any sort of brown sugar-cinnamon crumbly topping, my mouth waters incredibly.  I’m one of those people that loves chocolate but sugary-cinnamony goodness is a very close second.  Coffee cake was a common dessert we had growing up because we always seemed to have the ingredients on hand and even now, sometimes I find myself wanting to make it.  Since I’m counting calories, I love these Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins  because they give me the coffee cake flavor I crave while being portion controlled.  The sour cream in these muffins help make them light and cakey and the topping is warm, nutty, and crunchy.  I left off the icing drizzle to save some calories but I’m sure it only makes these even more decadent.  These muffins would be perfect for Easter morning with a cup of coffee.  How appropriate! 

The ingredients:

Combine the brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer.  When combined, add in the egg substitute and beat together.  Then add in the sour cream, water, and vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in center of mixture and add sour cream mixture.  Stir just until combined.

Spoon 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture into a small bowl and set aside.  Fold the remaining mixture into the batter 4 times.

 

Spoon batter into a muffin tin filled with cupcake liner sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle remaining brown sugar mixture over the top of the batter.  Bake in a 400°F oven for 25 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Orange

Substitutions:

  • Whole-wheat flour

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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