Archive for August, 2012


Whole Wheat Apple MuffinsWow – these are good!

I was excited to find this recipe at The Goodie Plate that uses whole wheat flour and fresh apples. The blogger raved about the smell and the flavor of these muffins and I needed to see for myself just how good they are!

I’m glad I tried them – they’re delish! And my house smelled wonderful! Even though they use some whole wheat flour, they were incredibly moist muffins and not as heavy as I expected them to be. 

Of course I made a few adjustments to the recipe, because that’s how I bake, but they were simple tweaks. I added some chopped walnuts and some finely chopped candied ginger. If you’ve never tried candied ginger, it’s a sweet / hot thing that’s best eaten in small pieces, so chop it well. If you like the heat of ginger, like I do, make sure to add some to your muffins! If you’re not quite sure, stick with a small amount (maybe 1 Tablespoon) and adjust the amount in your next batch.Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

I used light brown sugar because my box of dark brown sugar was hard as a rock! I didn’t realize I could soften the brown sugar in the microwave by putting the brown sugar in with a small bowl of water near it, zapping for 1 minute, then checking every 30 seconds until it was soft. Dark brown would give the muffins a richer flavor, but the light brown was delicious.

I used two large apples, so I had very chunky muffins that made a batch of 18. I think they’d freeze very well. I didn’t think to throw a couple in the freezer before they all disappeared, but next time I will.

These are great for a healthier breakfast or snack alternative, and almost sweet enough for a dessert. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

I associate crock pot cooking with cold, winter days, but recently it occurred to me that summer is an even better time for using the crock pot. Kansas City was expected to be in the triple digits for several more days. I didn’t want to turn on the oven or stand over the stove for long, and I surely didn’t want to stand on my west-facing deck next to a hot grill in the late afternoon sun! Yet we need to eat.

For the most part I’m happy with picking at bits from the frig, but The Pretty One really needs a meal to keep him going. Between 40-50 hours a week at his internship and 9 hours of online summer classes, he needs “real” food.White Bean Chicken Chili

The Pretty One eats at the golf course when he’s working, but golf course food typically isn’t very healthy. Menus are designed for speed, not nutrition. Once he’s home, he heads to his laptop to study and take his tests for his online courses, so I like to have something healthy ready for him.

It seems weird to make chili in the summer, but I guess it shouldn’t since we eat hot foods all year round. I found this recipe on Taste of Home. It’s not a thick and creamy white chicken chili, so don’t expect that. I followed the recipe closely, but added a bit more pepper since I wasn’t feeding anyone who is spice-challenged. The flavor is great! It had just enough pop without being too much. The consistency, though, wasn’t what I expected. It’s more like a soup than a chili, so I took one of the reviewers’ suggestions and add a cup or so of cooked brown rice to it. I think the rice made it a more filling dish that was still somewhat light. Click for recipe.

I’m happy with this recipe and think it’s a nicely-spiced, healthy meal that didn’t heat up the house. The crock pot may become one of my go-to kitchen tools this summer. In fact, I’m already looking for more recipes to try!

Banzai to Alex! We celebrated Alex’s birthday with these cinnamony Snickerdoodle Bars.

Banzai Birthday: Snickerdoodle Bars

Alex showing respect for Sensei (me!) who made his Banzai Birthday Treats! 😉

They have the flavors of a snickerdoodle cookie without all the effort and patience required to roll the dough into balls and then dip them in cinnamon sugar. (Have I ever mentioned I’m not the most patient person?) Once the bars are baked a simple sugar glaze tops them off.

This is one of the few recipes where I could just eat the batter off a spoon! I don’t say that often because I don’t like batter or raw dough, but there’s just something about these that I find irresistible! If you’re a cinnamon and vanilla fan, you need to try these! Click for recipe.

I found this recipe at Grin and Bake It awhile back and made a pan for The Pretty One to take back to school. He had to take them – – if I had kept them for myself, I would have eaten them all within a day! The Pretty One is a veteran snickerdoodle taster and raved about these, so I knew they were good. I even forgot to put on the glaze and neither of us missed it!

When I asked Alex what he wanted for treats, he told me he prefers vanilla over chocolate “if it comes to a cake-like creation” but didn’t specify anything other than that. Since these were so good the first time, I thought they’d be something the Karate Club would enjoy.

Snickerdoodle BarsThere’s not much to this recipe, and maybe that’s the key to it. The vanilla batter layered with the cinnamon sugar filling really work together for an enjoyable treat.

The most wonderful aroma will fill your kitchen when you bake these!

 

 

Snickerdoodle Bars

From Grin and Bake It

 

Stuff you need:

2 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon-sugar filling:

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Now what?
Heat oven to 350. Spray or grease the bottom only of a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine sugar and cinnamon for cinnamon-sugar filling in a small bowl and set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat butter on high speed until creamy. Beat in sugars.

Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. [Batter will be very thick and sticky.]

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar filling evenly over batter. Dollop teaspoons of remaining batter evenly over cinnamon-sugar filling. [You won’t be able to spread it!] Gaps are okay. The filling can peek through.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In a small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over bars.