Thursday, June 28, 2012

Picnic Goodies for the 4th! (part 2)

Now this is a neat recipe for kid-friendly drinks from Moore Minutes.
Photo courtesy of Moore Minutes

Here's the down low:  
The highest sugar content goes in first as the bottom layer.  
Fill up your glasses completely with ice.
Pour slowly. 

Have fun with this one! 

This is: 

Sobe Pina Colada for the white,  Gatorade Fruit Punch for the red, and 
G2 Blueberry Pomegranate for the blue.  

Another delicious recipe from  I have done my usually "tweaks" to the original recipe.  I substitute apple sauce for vegetable oil.  Personally, I like to cut the sugar in half but for this recipe I have left it alone.  I like muffins and cupcakes because they are pretty easy to make and portable.

Blueberry Oat Muffins

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup Apple Sauce (or vegetable oil)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, beat egg whites, water and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups or muffin cups coated with nonstick cooking spray three-fourths full. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Picnic Goodies for the 4th! (Part 1)

Today's theme is Red, White and Blue.  Pretty much a no-brainer!  This recipe comes from a fitness magazine so it's a bit different.

Slim Pikinz  Blueberry Cheesecake Rounds

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, whipped
1 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 egg whites
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tsp lemon extract
3 packets sweetener (stevia)

1 cup Fiber One, ground into breadcrumb consistency
1 egg white
2 tsp coconut oil, softened
1 TB unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)

1/3 cup sugar-free blueberry preserves

How to Prepare
Preheat oven to 350°

CRUST: Put Fiber One crumbs, white, coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix until crumbly. Divide evenly and press onto bottom of 6-cup muffin pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Put in oven and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.

FILLING: Combine all ingredients, except blueberries, into a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth (if you don’t have electric mixer, you can use a spatula, but be sure to stir until smooth and creamy). Gently stir in blueberries. Scoop equal amounts over the cooled crusts and smooth with back of spoon to evenly distribute in cups.

Put in oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until tops are lightly golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of cheesecake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and spoon 1 TB of preserves over each cake. Let cool at least one hour. Best when chilled. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nutella Thumbprints

Another delicious Emily creation!

Nutella Thumbprints
picture from Emily Bites
by Emily Bites

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Nutella hazelnut-chocolate spread

1.    Preheat the oven to 350
2.    Spoon flour into a measuring cup and level the top with a knife to create exactly 1 cup of unpacked flour. In a large bowl, combine flour with powdered sugar, salt and cocoa, stirring until mixed. In a separate large bowl, place the stick of butter and beat it with a hand mixer at a medium speed until fluffy (about 1-2 minutes). Stir the egg yolks together in a small cup with a whisk and when combined, add them along with the vanilla to the butter and beat with mixer until combines. Add flour mixture to bowl and beat together on a low speed for several minutes until dough combines and thickens.
3.    Place the dough onto a sheet of wax paper and knead it several times until smooth. Breaking pieces off the dough, form 28 balls (about 1 inch each). Line a large baking sheet (or 2 if necessary) with parchment paper and place the balls in rows one inch apart on the paper. In the center of each cookie, press your thumb about halfway through the ball to create an indentation. Bake cookies for 10 minutes and remove from oven. 

Place cookies on wire racks and let them cool completely. Once cooled, spread about ½ teaspoon of Nutella into the indented center of each cookie.

Yields 28 cookies.

These cookies were delicious!!!  I couldn't take a picture that really did them justice so I used Emily's.  It's very easy to make these with a bit less fat by substituting Apple Sauce for butter.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Breakfast Anyone?

Sausage and Mushroom Breakfast Quiche
Makes 1 dozen mini quiches

8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup 1% milk

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper.

Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup.

Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a rack on top of the pan, flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack. Turn upright and let cool completely.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Coconana Pancakes

Now this is a fantastic summer breakfast!  Coconut, bananas and pineapple...Oh my!

Coconana Pancakes

2 tbs coconut flour
2 tbs reduced-fat shredded coconut
2 tbs vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup Egg Whites
2 tbs unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs stevia (sweetener)
1/2 tsp baking powder
45 g sliced/cubed banana
Pineapple (optional)

Heat pan over medium. Coat with cooking spray.

Whisk together protein powder, stevia, baking powder, and flour. Add a pinch of sea salt and combine. Then work in almond milk, egg whites, vanilla, and shredded coconut. Slice banana in to batter and fold to combine.

Pour batter in to pan, cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until browned.

Serve with sliced pineapple and syrup.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Orange Toffee Crust

I've had my hands full over the last few months.  I completed Mary's Real Food Cookbook and celebrated 1 year in our new location at our Chiropractic office.  If that wasn't enough, my hubby and I adopted a sweet 5 week old rescue kitten.  Needless to say it's has been an interesting period of adjustment for our 2 fourteen year old cats (and the humans).

My friend Bridiget sent me this recipe but I have yet to try it.  Most of what I make/cook/bake lately has been quick and easy.  I figure this is a great recipe for summer since it is raw...That's right...No Baking!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Orange Toffee Crust
from Raw Food Recipes

Nut-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
1 pie pumpkin, refuse removed, cut into slices & soaked in water for 3+ hours
1 carrot
5 cups of coconut + 4 tbsp coconut oil, blitzed into coconut butter
1.5 cups of coconut kefir or coconut milk.
3 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp ginger
1 cup lucuma powder
splash of vanilla (optional)
3/4 agave
Juice of half a lemon (optional, but gives it a more cheesecake-like flavour)
Fresh cranberries for decoration.

Orange Toffee Crust
zest of 2 oranges
juice of 1/2 an orange
2 cups almonds
1 cup dates
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes

Nut-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
1) Start by blitzing your coconut and coconut oil in the food processor to make a smooth, liquidy coconut butter.
2) Add coconut kefir or coconut milk. Blend. You now have a kind of coconut cream cheese.
3) Run your soaked pumpkin and carrot through the juicer. Add both the liquid and the pulp to the cream cheese” in the food processor. Blend.
4) Add your spices and lucuma powder. Blend.
5) Add agave and vanilla. Blend. Adjust agave quantity to suit your pallet.
6) Add lemon if desired. Blend.
7) This has now formed a delicious, though pretty wet filling. Have no fear! This sets in the fridge and becomes very firm, though it does take a long time to solidify. I recommend preparing this the night before, but otherwise leave yourself at least 6 hours for it to set. Place in the freezer if you’re short on time.

Orange Toffee Crust
1) Blitz your almonds in the food processor until you’ve made almond flour.
2) Add the dates. Blend.
3) Zest your oranges and add the zest.
4) For the orange juice, if you’re going to dehydrate your crust you can use quite a lot of the juice. However, if you don’t have a dehydrator or don’t have time, I would only use 1 or 2 tablespoons of juice or skip the juice altogether.
5) Sprinkle coconut flakes at the bottom of a spring form pan. This will help prevent your crust from sticking.
6) Press your filling in to the spring form pan. If you have extra dough for the crust, you can press it in to some other forms for later desserts or roll in to balls and have as tasty “Larabara” type cookies for later.
7) Dehydrate (if you can) for 2 to 4 hours, depending on how much juice you’ve used. Ideally, the top of the crust should be completely dry when you pull it out.

Pour your filling on top of the crust in your spring form pan and refrigerate for as long as you can. Decorate with fresh cranberries if you like, serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mango Smoothies

Mangos are in season here is South Florida.  I have a box full sitting on the floor in the kitchen just waiting to be frozen.  Below are a few of my favorite mango smoothie recipes from

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

1 tablespoon chia seeds (or flax seeds)
1 (6 ounce) container vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup mango juice
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup fresh mango chunks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grind chia (or flax) seeds in a food processor until pulverized; add yogurt, mango juice, blueberries, mango, and vanilla extract and blend until smooth. 

Mango Cardamon Smoothie

2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted
1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat optional)
8 cubes ice
2/3 cup skim milk (fat-free optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (or cinnamon if you prefer)
1 tablespoon Agave

Place mango, yogurt, ice, and milk into a blender. Sprinkle in cardamom and agave to taste. Puree until smooth, frothy, and creamy. 

Mango-Pineapple Smoothie

1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 banana, sliced
1 mango – peeled and seeded
1/2 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons cream of coconut or coconut milk

In a blender, blend the vanilla yogurt, pineapple juice, banana, mango, milk, and cream of coconut until smooth.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Delicious Banana Smoothies

Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body’s hemoglobin function.
Due to their content in fiber, they help restore a normal bowel function. In addition, diarrhea usually depletes your body of important electrolytes (of which the most important is potassium, contained in high amounts in bananas). They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract.

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

10 ounces skim milk or plain soy milk
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 medium banana

In a blender, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Use 6 ice cubes for a thicker consistency.

Strawberry, Banana and Flax Smoothie

1/2 medium banana
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 1/2 cups skim milk or light soy milk
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

Blend all until smooth.

Monday, June 18, 2012

SP Complete Shakes! ( part 2 )

Add 1-2 cups of water or juice to each shake.  If you don't have SP Complete you may use another form of protein powder, soy milk or tofu.  I try to stay away from soy since it seems to be in just about everything.  AND  according to Seeds of Deception and Responsible Technology, 94% of Soy grown commercially is GMO!  Say NO to gmo!

Strawberry Twist
1 cup strawberries
1 cup freshly juiced carrots*
1 Tbs. flaxseed oil
2 rounded Tbs. of SP Complete
Ice cubes or cold water

Triple Delight
½ cup fresh pineapple chunks
½ banana
½ cup frozen peaches
2 rounded Tbs. of SP Complete
Ice cubes or cold water

Carrot Shake
1 cup freshly juiced carrots, with pulp
1 tsp. roasted sesame oil
2 rounded Tbs. of SP Complete
Ice cubes or cold water

Dr. Agocs Special
1 banana or ¾ cup strawberries (or both)
40-50 grams freshly ground flaxseeds
(1.5 Tbs. pre-ground)
2 rounded Tbs. of SP Complete
1 cup water

Sunday, June 17, 2012

SP Complete Shakes! ( part 1 )

Add 1-2 cups of water or juice to Each Smoothie recipe!

Citrus Berry Splash
½ cup blackberries
¼ cup blueberries
½ cup strawberries
½ banana (optional)
The juice from 2 freshly squeezed oranges
2 rounded Tbs. of SP Complete
Ice cubes or cold water

Banana Berry Blast
½ cup blueberries
½ cup strawberries
½ banana
2 rounded Tbs. of SP Complete
Ice cubes or cold water

Flecks o' Flax
1 small or ½ large banana
A handful of sweet grapes
½ ripe pear or apple (cored & peeled)
1 cup water
2 heaping Tbs. of organic milled flaxseed (not oil)
Add 2 rounded Tbs. of SP Complete and pulse blender 4-5 times for a smooth consistency

Triple Berry Banana Bliss
½ cup sliced ripe banana
1 cup organic berries (mixture of blueberries, raspberries, & huckleberries)
½ Tbs. flaxseed oil
2 rounded Tbs. of SP Complete
Ice cubes or cold water

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer Smoothie Series

Thermos-Ready Smoothie
From EatingWell:  October/November 2005

1 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 banana
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup silken tofu

Combine berries, banana, apple juice and tofu in a blender; blend until smooth

Per serving: 288 calories; 3 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 62 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 6 g protein; 7 g fiber; 33 mg sodium; 539 mg potassium.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Why Smoothies?

I don't usually use fruit juices in my smoothies.  I might be considered hard-core...seriously! 

Hubby and I drink a protein shake or two a day.  Our shakes include SP Complete Rice Protein, Spinach or Celery, 1 Banana, 1 handful of Strawberries and sometimes 1 fresh mango...And 2 cups of water!

SP Complete is a product we offer in our wellness office for people who would like an alternative to the sugary, chemical-laden protein powders on the market.  SP Complete is also part of the 21- day Purification Program which we have complete several time with great results.

Standard Process (SP) is a whole-food supplement company, started in 1929 by Dr. Royal Lee.  "Dr. Royal Lee dedicated his life to finding solutions for all sorts of challenges, but his greatest passion was improving the nation's health by providing high-quality, whole food supplements and educating others about them. He devoted the majority of his life to spreading the truth about nutrition."

Why am I telling you all of this?  I believe in a healthy diet, regular exercise, whole-food nutrition supplements and occasionally falling off the wagon and eating Great-Grandma's 14 Karat Cake (or something like it).

Studies show that the "Average American" eats a steady diet full of fast food, processed and chemical-laden foods that are low in nutrients and high is refined sugar.  

It's summertime, which means I'll be posting lots of "healthy" recipes.  I try to keep the added sugars to a minimum and stay away from processed foods. 


Raspberry-Avocado Smoothie
From EatingWell:  April/May 2006

2 servings
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

1 avocado, peeled and pitted
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup raspberry juice
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, (not thawed)

Puree avocado, orange juice, raspberry juice and raspberries in a blender until smooth.

Per serving: 249 calories; 14 g fat ( 2 g sat , 9 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 7 g fiber; 14 mg sodium; 625 mg potassium.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pickled Jalapenos and Carrots

I found a recipe for pickled jalapeno peppers but I couldn't resist adding carrots.  Below is the original recipe.  To include carrots, simply double the brine recipe and add 1-2 pounds sliced carrots.

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

This technique can be used for just about any small, hot pepper. Measurements are for 1 pound of peppers and yield approximately 2 1/2 pints. Recipe can be doubled.

1 pound of jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons pickling salt

Pack clean, hot jars with peppers. Pour hot brine over top. Bubble your jars thoroughly by tapping them firmly on the countertop and using a wooden chopstick to release any stubborn bubbles. Wipe rims, apply lids and bands.

Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Store in cool, dark place for up to a year.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Purple Opal Basil Jelly

This post was from a book review at Back to the Basics:

Last month I reviewed an excellent gardening / food book Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail.  Then of course I had all sorts of excitement with the New Seeds announcement and I didn't get a chance to post what looks to be a delicious recipe.  This is a jelly recipe I'll look forward to making as soon as my Dark Opal has reached maturity.

"This recipe uses low-methoxyl pectin, a type that allows jam and jelly makers to cut back on the sugar.  As a result, this recipe will not work with regular pectin."

Dark Opal Basil Jelly
1 1/2 cups fresh Dark Opal Basil leave, finely chopped

1/2 cup white grape juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons low-methoxyl pectin

3 teaspoons calcium phosphate solution

1. Place the basil, white grape juice and 1 1/2 cups water in a pan and bring to a boil.  Immediately remove the pan from the heat and set aside to steep for about 20 minutes.

2.  Strain the leaves from the liquid.  Some liquid will have evaporated, so add more water to bring the quantity up to 2 cups.

3.  Pour the liquid back into the pan along with the lemon juice and slowly bring the mixture to a boil.  In the meantime, mix the sugar and low-methoxyl pectin in a bowl.

4.  Once the herbal liquid is bowling, slowly stir in the sugar-pectin mixture using a whisk, continuing to stir until the powders have dissolved into the liquid and all lumps are gone.

5.  Bring the liquid to a vigorous rolling boil that can't be stirred down and allow it to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

6.  Quickly and thoroughly stir in the calcium phosphate solution and remove the jelly from from the heat.

7.  Pour into sterilized jars and process in a boiling-water bath for 5 minutes.

Makes 5-6 quarter-pint jars

"If you'd rather not bother with sterilizing jars, leave the jelly on the counter to cool and set for a few hours before serving.  It will last about a month in the fridge."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Key Lime Marmalade

I enjoy lime marmalade on a fresh buttery roll.  I prefer Key Lime Marmalade, however any type of limes or lemons will work.  This recipe makes 10 Pints and can easily be cut in half or a third.

Key Lime Marmalade

3 lbs (about 18) large limes, peeled, zest cut into thin strips 2" long.
9 c water
6 lbs sugar (13 1/2 cups)

Cut the peeled limes in half and squeeze the juice. Set the juice aside.

Scrape the pulp and seeds from the lime halves. Place in a cheesecloth bag. Place the cheesecloth bag, zest, juice and water in a 6qt saucepan, cover and let soak overnight or about 8 hours (this removes bitterness).

Bring water mixture to a boil and cook about 2 hours until the peels are soft. Remove the cheesecloth bag. Add the sugar to the pan and stir to dissolve. Boil stirring often, until a cooking thermometer reaches 220 degrees.

Ladle into clean jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Cap and seal. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner.

Makes about 10 pints.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Apricot and Cranberry Jelly

I was so excited to try this recipe...And my new water-bath canner!!!  It's simple and inexpensive to make.  I liked this recipe so much I made it twice and I'm ready to make it again!

Apricot and Cranberry Jelly
Time to prepare: 25 mins

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
4 cups cranberries
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 orange, zested

Boil the water and sugar together for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and apricots. Simmer until the cranberry skins burst, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the orange zest and cool.

To can: sterilize and prepare appropriate jars.  Add jelly to warm jars, making sure to remove air bubbles and wipe rim of jars, and seal.  Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Healthier Summer Recipe Series in 1 Week!

Now it's time for a few healthy and exciting Summer recipes.  When I think of summer I think light and delicious, watermelon and mango, Sangria and Margaritas or fruit salsa and bruschetta.

Have a favorite recipe you'd like to share?  Let me know!  
Post a comment with your info or send me an email at

Looking for a gift for the cook, baker or someone special in your family?  My "go-to" cookbook is almost complete!  I'll share the details as soon as they are available.

Pre-Sale orders should be available in a few weeks, 
possibly June 22nd! 

A portion of all book sales will be 
donated to a local non-profit. 
Official announcement Coming Soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Candied Orange or Lemon (peel)

These are two recipes that I don't tweak.  One recipe is short, the other a bit more time consuming but the fruit is interchangeable.  I use the oranges in cakes, cupcakes and even just by themselves.  SO Yummy!  To store candied citrus peels, store in an airtight container and freeze.  The syrup can be used in other delicious recipes or teas.

Candied Lemon Peel

3 lemons
2 cups water
2 cups white sugar, or as needed

Cut lemons into slices, and remove the fruit pulp. Scrape off as much of the white inner layer as you can, this part is bitter. A spoon or butter knife will work well.

Bring water to a boil in a small pan, and add lemon peels. Boil for about 5 minutes, until tender. Remove peels from water, and stir in sugar. Return to a boil, add peels, and boil until transparent. Drain, and allow to dry before storing. Liquid may be reserved and used as lemon simple syrup. 

Candied Orange

6 thick-skinned Valencia or navel oranges
4 1/2 cups sugar, plus extra for rolling
1 1/2 cups water

Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe. Cut the peel into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 1 or 2 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. (Test kitchen liked the texture of a 3 time blanch best, it also mellowed the bitterness. But it is a matter of preference.) Remove the orange peels from the pan.

Whisk the sugar with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (If you took the sugar's temperature with a candy thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees F.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around. Drain the peels, (save the syrup for ice tea.) Roll the peels in sugar and dry on a rack, for 4 to 5 hours. Return to the sugar to store.

Cook's Note: One way to use orange peels is to stuff a dried date with a piece of orange peel and almond, then dip the entire thing into dark chocolate.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Delicious Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Dessert!  This is not the first post in the healthier dessert options but it's one of my favorites.  Enjoy!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

5 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
2 cups raspberries

1.    Preheat the oven to 350. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
2.    In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter and applesauce and beat with a mixer until blended. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add vanilla, eggs and egg whites and beat until blended.
3.    In a separate bowl, combine the flour (lightly spoon into measuring cups and then level with a knife), baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir together. In the bowl containing the wet ingredients, use the mixer on a low speed while pouring in the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Beat until blended. Add raspberries and fold in gently.
4.    Spoon the batter evenly into the liners. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Yields 24 servings.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Favorite Banana Bread

I've been using this recipe for as long as I can remember.  I've tweaked it so that it's healthier but either ways it's delicious!

Simple Banana Bread

½ cup apple sauce  (original recipe: 1/2 cup margarine, softened)
½ cup organic raw or brown sugar  (original recipe: 1 cup white sugar)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x5 inch pan

Cream apple sauce (margarine) and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, then bananas. Add flour, cinnamon and soda, stirring just until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 1 hour (or till toothpick comes out clean). Remove from pan and let cool, store in refrigerator or freeze.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Orange Sweet Rolls

Delicious Citrus!

Orange Sweet Rolls

*Makes 12-14 rolls/twists
¾ cup buttermilk, warm (I pour the buttermilk in a glass liquid measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute on 50% power)
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
4 ¼ cups (21 ¼ ounces) flour
¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons salt

Orange Filling:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Grated orange rind/zest from two large oranges (reserving 1/2 teaspoon grated rind for the glaze below)

Orange Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from about 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind/zest reserved from the filling above

For the dough, whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15-18 minutes by hand). 

If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips.

Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 ½ hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

For the filling, combine all the filling ingredients (reserving 1/2 teaspoon orange zest for the glaze) in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter (I use my trusty roul’pat for this step) and press it into about a 16 by 12-inch rectangle (if you have doubled the recipe, split the dough in half and roll out one half at a time). Gently brush the filling mixture over the rectangle, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula.

Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls, more or less. You can slice them thinner or thicker as you like.

For a traditional cinnamon-roll-look, arrange the rolls cut side down on a lined or lightly greased baking pan. If you want to try the twist method (see the pictures below), one at a time grab each sliced roll and holding on to either end simultaneously pull and twist the roll into a figure eight and place it on the prepared pan.

Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through. While the rolls are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Amazing Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast?  Dessert?  Delicious anytime!

Cinnamon Rolls

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the sugar, salt, egg and 1 cup flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly grease an 8x8 inch square baking pan. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Smear the dough with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up the dough along the long edge until it forms a roll. Slice the roll into 16 equal size pieces and place them in the pan with the cut side up.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake rolls until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Healthier Pineapple Angel Cake

I don't normally use "healthy" and "cake" in the same sentence.  This recipe is deliciously healthy and low-fat.  I use gluten-free Angel Food Cake mix.

Healthier Pineapple Angel Cake

1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix
1 can crushed pineapple 20 oz
Empty angel food cake mix into a large bowl. Add the pineapple and stir until moistened (make sure to scrape sides and bottom) Empty into 9x13 cake pan and bake in preheated 375 oven for 30-35 minutes. Top should be dark golden brown. Cool.

Frosting?  If this recipe just isn't enough, there are several ways to "spice things up."

Pineapple Coconut Frosting
12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon coconut extract, or rum
1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
2 tablespoons toasted coconut

Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and extract (or rum)  in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Decorate the top with the remaining 1 cup pineapple and toasted coconut.
I used crushed pineapple, pineapple juice and brown sugar for this cake

Pineapple Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons pineapple juice

In a mixing bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and the pineapple juice together until smooth.

Once the cake has cooled, ladle the glaze over the cake, and top with flaked coconut. Let glaze set before serving.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bisquick Peach Cobbler

This is another great dessert my mom used to make and it's great for potluck dinners.

Bisquick Peach Cobbler

1 cup Original Bisquick baking mix
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 can (29 ounce size) sliced peaches, drained
(Home canned or fresh peaches work great)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Stir together Bisquick, milk and nutmeg in ungreased square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches. Stir in butter until blended. Stir together sugar and peaches; spoon over batter. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until golden.

I prefer to add cinnamon to both the batter and peach mixture.

**For a lighter recipe substitute apple sauce for butter**