Friday, January 27, 2012

Molasses Spice Muffins

I wanted to make some muffins this past Sunday morning that I would be able to have for breakfast all week. I find that my mornings go by so quickly that I need something I can just grab and go. It worked really well a couple weeks ago when I made whole wheat cinnamon rolls. Those lasted all week. Yum!

I wanted to make something with whole wheat flour and dried cranberries, because I have those on hand, and I need to start using up the food in my cupboards. I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com. I had to make a few changes because I didn't have any actual butter or buttermilk. To see the original recipe, follow the link above.
Molasses Spice Muffins
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6oz cup of Chobani Greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tin with paper liners or generously grease with cooking spray.

2. Mix margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mixing well after each. Mix in the yogurt and the molasses.

3. Add the flours, spices, and baking soda. Blend until well mixed. Stir in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
*** I had some cinnamon-sugar mixture leftover from my whole wheat cinnamon rolls a few weeks ago, so I sprinkled the tops of these muffins with that. I think it added a little more spice, but it obviously is totally optional.
4. Bake for 18-22 minutes in preheated oven or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed. Cool for about 10 minutes in pan before removing to wire racks.
Molasses Spice Muffins
These turned out to be so tasty! Even Jeff liked them, and I really didn't think that he would. They lasted me most of the week for a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday #1

google
 
I need some kitchen inspiration. Where better to look than Pinterest, right?

Here are a few delicious looking foods I'd like to try out in my kitchen.







Monday, January 16, 2012

Nutmeg Cookie Logs

I first made these a couple years ago for Christmas. I was kind of surprised at how well they were received, and these quickly became a holiday favorite. It calls for rum extract, but I think it's somewhat optional. I know that this past Christmas I made them without it, and everyone still seemed to love them.
Nutmeg Cookie Logs
Yields 5 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:
Cookies:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp rum extract (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Frosting:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp margarine or butter, softened
  • 3/4 tsp rum extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp half-and-half or milk
  • Nutmeg

Directions:
1. In large bowl, combine sugar, 1 cup margarine, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp rum extract, and egg. Beat until light and fluffy.

2. Add flour and 1 tsp nutmeg; mix well.  Cover dough with plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes for easier handling.

3. Heat oven to 350°F. Divide dough into 12 pieces. On floured surface, shape each piece of dough into a long rope, 1/2 inch in diameter and about 15 inches long. Cut into 3-inch lengths; place on ungreased cookie sheets.

4. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets; place on wire racks. Cool about 20 minutes or until completely cooled.

5. In small bowl, combine all frosting ingredients except nutmet, adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency. Spread on top and sides of cookies. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Let stand until frosting is set before storing.
Nutmeg Cookie Logs
And here's another video on making cookies. I don't think this one turned out as well as my first. Oh well. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Super Easy Beans and Rice

This has quickly become one of the easiest stand-by dinners. It's quick and painless for those nights when I just do not feel like cooking or making dinner. Plus, it's beans and rice. It's got to be better for us than frozen pizza, right?

Serves 3

Ingredients:
  • 1 can Bush's Grillin' Beans Black Bean Fiesta
  • 1/2 c Rice - I've used both white and brown rice.
Black Bean Fiesta<sup>®</sup>

Directions:
1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. Warm beans up in a saucepan.

3. Add cooked rice to beans and stir until well mixed.
 Super Easy Beans and Rice
Sometimes I might add a little salt, pepper, and/or a dash or two of tabasco, to liven it up a little more, but it's great all on its own, too.

This would probably be great served with a salad and/or tortillas to round out the meal a little more. We usually just have this and then something for dessert.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WIAW #1

I thought it would be fun to link up with Peas and Crayons for

I fully intended on starting this last week, but, well, I didn't.

However this is what I ate last Wednesday.

I started off super nutritiously with a S'mores flavored Pop Tart.
 S'mores flavored Pop Tart
Somehow that miraculously got me through until lunch. I must have been unusually busy at work.

Lunch was a bowl of mediocre leftover soup from the night before.
soup
Accompanied by some carrots and Christmas cookies.
baby carrots, Christmas cookies
Afternoons are difficult to get through without a couple snacks. I didn't do too badly today with just a cup of applesauce and ONE caramel.
applesauce
caramel
Dinner was the super easy, perfect-for-night-I-don't-feel-like-cooking beans and rice.
Super Easy Beans and Rice
Complemented with a glass (or two, who am I kidding?) of sparkling pear wine.
Sparkling Pear Wine
I've finished off my Wednesday eatings with some delicious mint chocolate chip ice cream. And yes, I did eat it right out of the carton.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
What did you eat today? Join me next week for WIAW with Peas and Crayons!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Yesterday I really had a hankering for cinnamon rolls. Also, I have a LOT of whole wheat flour that I need to be using, so I searched online for a whole wheat cinnamon roll recipe. I found this one at Myrecipes.com. My goodness do cinnamon rolls ever take a long time to make! But these are very tasty, and I going with slightly healthier since they are made with whole wheat and honey. Jeff is not much of a cinnamon roll fan, so these didn't really top his list - especially because of the whole wheat. Oh well, more for me!
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
Ingredients

Dough:
  • 1 1/2 packages dry yeast (about 3 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup warm fat-free milk (100° to 110°)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided (about 11 1/4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (about 7 ounces)
  • Cooking spray

Filling:
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)

Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 teaspoons fat-free milk

Directions:
1. To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm milk and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy.

2. Add butter and next 5 ingredients (through egg white); stir well. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour and all of the whole wheat flour, stirring until a soft dough forms. Knead for 2 minutes on Speed 2 of a heavy duty mixer (alternately, you can turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes)). Dough should still feel sticky, but go ahead and add enough of the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from becoming too sticky.

3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°F), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Tip 1: I usually turn my oven on for about one minute and then turn it off and place the covered bowl of dough into the oven. This will keep it ever-so-slighty warm and relatively draft-free.

Tip 2: To determine if the dough has doubled in size, gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.
4. Punch dough down; roll into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Coat surface of dough with cooking spray.

5. To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; sprinkle over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle raisins (if using) over dough, pressing gently into dough.

6. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam to seal. Cut the dough into 16 rolls. Place the rolls, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
Tip 3: I marked the dough at 1" increments and then used dental floss to easily cut the rolls without smooshing them too much. Worked like a charm.
7. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

8. Preheat oven to 375°F. Uncover rolls. Bake for 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

9. To prepare glaze, place powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Add 5 teaspoons milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring to form a thick glaze. Drizzle glaze evenly over rolls.

Jeff Gremillion, Cooking Light
JUNE 2007
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge

When I saw this recipe over at Two Normal Moms, I just knew I'd want to give it a try. It sounded so rich and creamy and perfect for the holidays ... or anytime. It's got a great flavor. It's a pretty soft fudge, so keep it refrigerated. Oh, and the recipe yields a LOT. I cut it in half before making it. I'd never made fudge before, so I was pleasantly surprised at how simple this was to make.
Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge
Yields: A LOT

Ingredients:
  • 2 pkgs milk chocolate chips, 12 oz each
  • 1 pkg semisweet chocolate chips, 12 oz
  • 2 jars marshmallow cream, 7 oz each
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 2 cups chopped nuts, optional
  • 4 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 can evaporated mile, 12 oz
  • ½ lb butter

Directions:
1. In a very large bowl, combine chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla, irish cream, and nuts (if you're doing that option). Set aside.

2. Line a 10x15 inch pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray (if you don't have this size, use 9x13 plus a smaller loaf pan).

3. In a small saucepan, the sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook slowly, stirring constantly for 11 minutes.

4. Pour milk mixture over the chocolate chip mixture. Stir slowly by hand to blend (do not use a mixer). Pour into prepared pan(s). Chill until set

5. Lift fudge by foil from pans, place on cutting board and cut into squares (freezing for an hour before cutting can make your job easier, as it's a very soft fudge!)
Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge

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