Saturday, September 27, 2014

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS W/ STREUSEL TOPPING


ALWAYS on the hunt for a good muffin recipe and this one didn't disappoint!! My muffin criteria: must be light, moist and flavorful! These scored high in every area. A definite keeper! We have a dear lady in our church who was just recently widowed (a week ago) when her husband was killed in a very tragic work accident. It has only been a week, so it is still very fresh to her. But bless her heart, there she was this morning, at Saturday morning prayer breakfast, as usual, serving her Lord and cooking for the ones she loves. And to top it off, today is her birthday! A very hard weekend for her, I'm sure. So last night, I stopped at the church and decorated the fellowship hall with some festive birthday decorations in honor of her special day. I wanted everything in place before she got there this morning, knowing she would arrive before me. I know it's not the same, but thought it might lighten the heaviness a bit for her. Then this morning, I got up early and whipped up these little beauties as a surprise birthday treat for her. The first batch I made were in Happy Birthday muffin cups and had Happy Birthday picks stuck in the top of them. Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of those. Saturday mornings are usually a whirl of activity to get ready to go. ESPECIALLY when our precious 2 year old grandson, Gideon, spends the night on Friday! :-) I mean we HAVE to have "MooMoo" (my Grandma name from the grandbabies) and Giddy cuddle time and do cheers with our coffee cups together, before we rush into the day! :-)

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Yield: 24 muffins

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Streusel toppping (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, prepare Streusel topping and set aside. A pampered chef, stone muffin pan works best for these, but if you don't have one, a metal one works just fine too. Fill muffin wells with paper liners. Lightly spray liners with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a small mixing bowl, melt 1 stick of butter, and add remaining wet ingredients: milk, sour cream, applesauce and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Do not overmix your batter, or your muffins will be tough. Gently fold in fresh or frozen blueberries.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping.
Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 and bake an additional 12 - 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks (if you can wait that long!) :-)

STREUSEL TOPPING

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tblsp butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Mash with fork or pastry blender until well combined and mixture is crumbly.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

SNICKER'S SALAD


One bite of this delicious apple creation and you'll wonder why it's called a "salad!"  But.... mine is not to question why. :-) All I know, is every time I take this dish to a potluck or make it for company, it is one of the first things to be devoured! Everyone asks for the recipe. It's so simple, you could make it with your eyes closed and one arm tied behind your back!

SNICKER'S SALAD

6 Apples (your choice - but some prefer Granny Smith. I am not a tart apple fan, so I use Gala)
6 Snicker's candy bars, chopped into bite size pieces
2 bricks cream cheese, softened
2 (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
1 cup sugar

With mixer, cream softened cream cheese w/ sugar. Stir in Cool whip and mix until combined.  
Cut UNpeeled apples into 8 wedges and remove core. Dice each wedge into 4 or 5 bite size pieces. Add apples & Snickers pieces to cream cheese mixture. Fold all together until it is well combined.
Chill until ready to serve. Have several copies of recipe ready to hand out!

Friday, May 17, 2013

STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM

It's that time of year again! Strawberry season is upon us! For you folks in the cold North, you still have another month to wait for berries! Someone gave me a bunch of "leftover" berries the other day and it was so many that my first thought was to make freezer jam with them! I ended up making 20 (1/2 pint) containers and still had enough left over to make a batch of strawberry shortcake! WooHoo!
Strawberry freezer jam is so quick and easy to make! And makes such a nice gift when you pair it w/ a loaf of homemade bread or biscuits. To make preparing the berries quicker, I chop mine in my food processor. But you could mash your berries with a potato masher or just mash them with your hands even. At any rate, any work that goes into making the jam is WELL worth the effort!

STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM

2 cups  crushed strawberries (buy 1 qt. fully ripe strawberries)
4 cups  sugar, measured into separate bowl
3/4 cup  water
1 pkg.  SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
 
RINSE 5 (1-cup) plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. Discard stems. Crush strawberries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time. Measure exactly 2 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.  
 
MIX water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 min. or until most the sugar is dissolved. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
 
FILL containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. (If frozen, thaw in refrigerator before using.)
 
*I'm still trying to master the low sugar version. I made both kinds yesterday. The regular one set up quite nicely but the low sugar one did not. I'm working on fixing it and figuring out what I did wrong. 
If I can't fix it, I'll have 8 jars of ice cream topping to give away as gifts! When life hands you runny jam, make ice cream sundaes!  :-)   

Saturday, April 13, 2013

FAVORITE SCOOP


Cupcakes are all the rage right now, aren't they?! I don't know about you, but I find it annoying to try to fill the muffin papers with a spoon. You never know how much batter to put on the spoon and once you get all the papers filled, you go back through adding to each one, to make them all the same size. At least that's what I used to do! I'm a bit anal that way! haha When I started cooking for Summer Camp I discovered the joy of using measured scoops!! It was exactly what a CDO (that's OCD, except the letters are in order like they should be!) person like me needed!


This No. 20 scoop - 1 5/8 oz (if you scoop your cupcake batter out in even scoops) makes exactly 24 cupcakes, all perfectly the same size! There! Now isn't that better?! :-)

Friday, April 12, 2013

BANANA CINNAMON WAFFLES (Low Carb-GF)

Breakfast can be a real challenge when you are trying to eat Low Carb - GF. I try to rotate different meals so we aren't just eating eggs every morning. For a while now I have been making Cream cheese waffles that, if I remember right, have roughly 2 carbs each. These have a few more, but are still only 6 carbs each. I have been seeing this recipe all over Pinterest and decided to give them a try this morning. It received a thumbs up from hubby so that's all I needed to add them to my blog. I keep over ripe bananas in my freezer, and just popped a couple in the microwave to thaw, so this went together super quick and easy!

BANANA CINNAMON WAFFLES
Yield: 2 waffles

1 over ripe banana
2 large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Splenda (optional)

Heat waffle iron until your light says it's ready.
The easiest way to mix this up is to throw everything in a food processor or blender. Start by adding eggs and banana to the processor, blend until thoroughly combined. Add in remaining ingredients and give it another whirl until it's smooth and creamy.
Spritz hot waffle iron w/ Pam cooking spray. Add half of the batter to the hot iron and close cover. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until medium golden brown. Remove and drizzle with melted butter.

6 carbs each

Thursday, April 11, 2013

FLOURLESS PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Here I am again, still on the quest to get hubby off his insulin. The apple fritters were a brain freeze. I didn't technically make them for home, but to take to a new family that had visited. But anytime there is any baking going on, hubby seems to sniff it out! :-) So I will be a good girl and bake things that 'if' he does come sniffing, and he will, the thing he devours, won't serve to kill him! Recently I tried a flourless chocolate cookie for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised! So I thought if that was so good, then I wonder if there is a flourless version of the good ol' PB cookie and voila! Didn't take much searching to find one! I did not have Sucanat on hand (have actually never used it) but I did have bulk Splenda, so I used that. Personally when I make these again, if I use Splenda again, I will knock the amount down to 1/2 cup rather than 3/4. They were amazingly tasty though. It's crazy how you can still make these yummy little treats w/out flour or sugar! Who knew? :-)

FLOURLESS PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE
(Low Carb - Gluten Free)

3/4 cup Sucanat (if using bulk Splenda, reduce that to 1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I used my PC stone sheet pan, so didn't need the parchment paper).
Place sucanat, egg and vanilla in mixing bowl and mix well until smooth. Add in peanut butter and baking soda and mix until combined.
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop up dough and drop on cookie sheet. I put 8 on each pan so they would have room to bake and not run into each other and it was plenty of space. Roll each ball with your hands, and flatten slightly with the tines of a fork, in two directions, giving it the classic " Plaid PB cookie design."
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until desired doneness. I baked mine for exactly 8 minutes and when I removed the pan from the oven, I left the cookies on the stone for another 5 minutes before I removed them to my sheet of foil to cool completely.

Optional: If you want to make them PBJ thumbprint cookies, roll dough into balls, do not flatten with fork, but instead make slight indentation with thumb. Fill with about 1/2 tsp sugar free jam and bake as directed above.

Yield: 16 cookies

As best I could figure, these were 4 carbs per cookie

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

APPLE FRITTERS


Whenever we have a new family visit in a church service, hubby and I make a visit to their home and I take a homemade treat to them. This time I decided to try my hand at apple fritters. It was a super easy recipe to mix together and they were DEElicious! I had to make my family members all "cup bearers" the night before as I fried up a trial batch. (I know..... poor things! They live such sacrificial lives!) I was being overly cautious about the fry time in the cast iron pot, as I didn't want to burn them. The first batch came out looking all lovely and golden brown. We quickly dunked them in the glaze and with mouths watering, we dug in, only to have them OOZE out their uncooked middles all over the plate! :-) Glad it was the "trial" batch! 2nd batch I fried a couple minutes longer. We all stood around the stove watching them sizzle in the hot oil and magically flip themselves over when one side was done! Once I got the knack of it down, I flew right through the whole batch. I could fry up about a dozen at a time. I'm planning on making these for prayer breakfast this weekend. I'm thinking they'll go over fantabulously!

APPLE FRITTERS

1 heaping cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
dash salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T. butter, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup milk + plus more if needed
1 – 1 1/2 cups diced apple (your favorite kind)

oil for frying

milk and powdered sugar glaze for dipping or just powdered sugar for dusting
1 cup powdered sugar
1 T 1/2 & 1/2 (or milk)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients together, slowly add the wet ingredients minus the apple. Carefully mix until well combined. Gently fold in apple pieces. The batter should be the consistency of a light cake mix. Heat oil in cast iron pot over Medium to Medium high heat. Perfect temp to fry donuts is 375. Once the oil is ready (I always test it by sticking the handle of my wooden spoon in the oil. If it sizzles, it is ready) then using a cookie scooper place balls of dough into the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd (my cast iron dutch oven easily held a dozen fritters) and watch carefully for the underside to turn golden brown, then gently flip over and continue frying until done. I cooked mine about 2 minutes per side, but they were the size of golf balls – adjust cooking times based on size of fritters and temperature of your oil.
It's a good idea to do a trial run so you can gauge the temp of your oil and the fry time needed. Make your family or friends guinea pigs to taste test!
ENJOY!