Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Apple-Zucchini Muffins

I think I might be the first person to think that zucchini and apples might go together! {Not really}. The combo sounded great to me and I have lots of apples to use up so who thought it would be difficult to find such a muffin recipe. I still wasn't able to find one, so I adapted it from a apple-nut recipe. This recipe is a winner on all sorts of levels. Not only did I need to keep myself from eating the batter, but when baked, they look so rustic and comforting.

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Apple-Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from: Emeril Lagasse

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk {or sour cream}
4 Tbsp. melted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup peeled, cored, & chopped apples
1 cup shredded zucchini

Streusal Topping:
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon oats
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.

Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the apples and walnuts. Divide the batter among the muffin tin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

To make the streusel topping, in a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until well combined and crumbly.

Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture over the top of each muffin. Bake until a tester inserted into a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit in the muffin tin for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving.

My Modifications:
The original recipe included walnuts and omitted the zucchini. Also, in the streusel topping, it actually called for chopped walnuts instead of the oats. The oats were my ad-in at a 1:1 ratio. To chop the apples, I used a food processor. SO much easier. I made 6 muffins at a time for 12 minutes each batch. The zucchini made these super moist, so be careful when taking out of the tin. They were pretty delicate. If you're more interested in making it with nuts, you can view the original recipe by clicking the link above.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Since we now live in the South, I have a never-ending supply of fresh, local peaches at my fingertips all summer long. I began to look for a peach cobbler recipe and, at first, was actually a little discouraged. Many of the peach cobbler recipes I saw called for canned peaches. I suppose I could have substituted fresh, but for whatever reason, I wasn't interested in the recipe when I saw "canned peaches". I'm glad I waited it out, because I finally came across this recipe and have made it at least half a dozen times the last 2 months! It's quick and easy to put together and don't be surprised if the pan doesn't last very long.

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Fresh Peach Cobbler
Adapted from: Taste of Home

5-6 peaches, peeled & sliced
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash ground nutmeg
3/4 cup milk

In a bowl, combine peaches and 3/4 cup sugar; set aside. Pour butter into an 8-in. square baking dish. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and remaining sugar; stir in milk just until combined. Pour over butter. Top with the peaches. Bake at 375° for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

My Modifications:
The original recipe actually calls for 2 large peaches...this is simply not enough! I like peaches with my cobbler, thank you. Also, it's absolutely not necessary to use 1/2 cup butter. Half to 3/4 of a stick is plenty. Also, {probably because I use more peaches!} sometimes the dough has a harder time rising above the peaches. I just check periodically and push the peaches down and towards the sides of the dish and it seems to do the trick.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

This was originally intended to be a black bean salad; however, I discovered I had no black beans. In fact, I couldn't find a recipe that 100% coincided with ingredients I did have and needed to use. So...I made my own. I'm great at adapting or modifying pre-existing recipes, but I'm not very skilled at coming up with my own. However, this bean salad turned out wonderful and would be the perfect summertime addition to any picnic. Which is exactly what we did.

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Garbanzo Bean Salad
Adapted from: Me!

1 can garbanzo beans
2 ears of corn, cooked
1 "stalk" green onion
1 medium green pepper
2 sweet peppers
1 medium tomato
Sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing
salt & pepper, to taste

Drain and rinse garbanzo beans and place in bowl. Using a knife, remove corn from cob and add to bowl. Chop green onion and peppers and add to garbanzo beans & corn. De-seed tomato, dice, and add to mixture. Add salt, pepper, and vinaigrette to taste. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour {to marry flavors} before serving.


I think some red pepper would be nice in this dish and give it some more color. If you don't have fresh corn you could use frozen. Black beans would work in place of, or in addition to, the garbanzo beans and you could use any variation of vinaigrette. When seasoning, I use sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Whole-Wheat Apple Pancakes

These are fairly simple to put together. In fact, I whipped up a batch for Aaron's breakfast before work one morning. I put the leftovers in the fridge to heat up for other breakfasts'. They kept nicely and heated up well. This recipe should make 6 pancakes. Serving size is 2 pancakes and has 230 calories and 3g of fat. {I'm guessing most of which is from the syrup!}. A yummy, healthy, but hearty, breakfast option.

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Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes

Adapted from: Ellie Krieger

1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup non-fat milk
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. honey
6 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 medium apple, diced
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 250. Put the apple in a microwave-safe bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap; microwave on high until softened, about 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, nonfat milk, eggs and honey, then slowly add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

Heat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Spoon 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake and sprinkle each with apple, then drizzle a little more batter over the apple. Cook until the tops are bubbly and the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 more minutes. Keep the pancakes warm on a baking sheet in the oven while making the rest.

Place 2 pancakes on each plate. Drizzle with the syrup.

My Modifications:
I can't remember if I modified anything in this recipe, but I'm thinking I didn't. However, if you don't have any buttermilk, did you know you can make your own? Put 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice per cup of milk. Let it stand for 5 minutes and Voila! Buttermilk! You'll see the consistency change.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Coconut Cream Pie

Aaron recently asked me to make a Coconut Cream pie. I didn't know he even liked that kind of pie and I'd never made it. But what my man wants! I set out to find a recipe and very quickly realized that it wasn't going to be as simple as I thought. Not impossible, just a little more involved, like tempering the eggs and such. I finally managed to find one that seemed do-able and it was delish. Let's just say, we both had 2 pieces for dessert. I made one minor modification, which I do think improved the quality.

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Coconut Cream Pie
Adapted from: All Recipes

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups milk
4 eggs
3 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1 9-inch pie shell, baked

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt over a medium heat; gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from heat.

Separate the egg yolks from whites. Beat the egg yolks slightly. Gradually stir 1 cup of the hot mixture into yolks. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and bring the entire mixture to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes before removing the pan from heat.

Stir butter, vanilla, and coconut into the hot mixture. Pour the hot filling into the baked pie crust. Cool. Cover and chill to store the pie if not serving immediately.

My Modifications:
The recipe calls for 3 cups of milk, so I used 2 cups (1 can) of coconut milk and 1 cup of regular 1%. I think using the coconut milk enhances the coconut taste, but it's still pretty mild. I use whole-cane sugar for baking & cooking, but it's a 1:1 ratio with your average granulated white sugar. I also chilled for a couple of hours and sprinkled flaked coconut on each slice before serving.

Breakfast Casserole

The first time I made this recipe was for our Sunday School class. After I finished preparing it the night before, I started to get can be a risky little game to make something for other people that you've never tried before! However, it turned out really well and is a definite "will-make-again".

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Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from: Emeril Lagasse

6 eggs
1 cup half & half
2 Tbsp. green onion
salt & pepper
butter to grease pan
6-8 slices Texas Toast
1 lb. pork sausage
1 cup (or more!) grated cheddar cheese

In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they loosen up. Add the half and half, and green onions. Mix well, highly season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Butter a 12 by 10-inch baking pan. Line the pan with the bread, cutting and rearranging, if needed. Sprinkle the bread with the cooked sausage and cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the entire pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook covered for 25 to 30 minutes or until the egg mixture is set.

My Modifications:
I added green peppers and much more than 1 cup cheese. I used extra sharp cheddar, but I think any would do. Think of this dish as a big omelet over toast. Anything you would put in an omelet would be delicious in this. I also used 7 could use more, if desired. Just increase the cooking time. Make sure to butter the pan really well to avoid stickage!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Supper Success

You probably know this by now, but I love to cook. I enjoy reading recipes, even if I never intend on making them, and I'm a sucker for any cookbook or cooking magazine. I'm pretty good at modifying existing recipes to suit my needs or preferences, but I'm not very good at creating my own ideas. Many times I know what things go together and what I want to use, but I lack the inspiration to actually create a dish. Enter I love this site because, not only the recipes user rated, but it features an "Ingredients" tab which allows you to input the ingredients you want to use and it will search the database for matching recipes. Pretty slick feature.

Last night I wanted to do a dish with shrimp & spinach and I found this recipe for Fresh Tomato Shrimp Pasta. Not only did it taste amazing, but it was fairly easy to prepare. I was pleased to be able to use some spinach, tomato, and fresh basil that I got in my CSA share last week. The only thing I did differently was to use whole wheat angel hair instead of fettucine and I served it with homemade bread garlic toast. We both had seconds!

sauteing garlic, onion, basil, tomato, oregano

spinach & shrimp added

tossed with pasta

Don't pictures make things seem much more appealing?? I did also add the cubed mozzarella because I had some, but I think the dish would be perfectly fine without it. Don't run out and buy the mozzarella specifically for this.