Raspberry Crumble Bars

raspberry crumble bars4

Happy Friday!

Well, it’s not entirely happy for me. In some crazy sleep deprived fog I foolishly decided to give up sweets for lent. I don’t know what I was thinking. It’s been two days and already the gummy sour bunnies that live in the center console of my car are screaming my name. I’m already planning my easter basket. It’s going to be epic.

But just because I’m unhappy, doesn’t mean you have to be. You can make these Raspberry Crumb Bars. Please make them, for those of us who cannot.

raspberry crumble bars3

 

This recipe is really simple and can be easily tweaked. If you’d prefer blueberry or strawberry jam you can easily substitute. I also use this amazing granola in the topping, but if you don’t have some readily made (or you ate it all last night) you can use a good store bought brand.

raspberry crumble bars2

 

The shortbread crust is buttery, yet somehow light, and the fruity jam and nutty granola combine for the perfect bite.

raspberry crumble bars5

I made these for the first time for a meeting of my moms group. There are about nine of us moms who have babies around the same age and we try to get together once a week for play dates. It’s so much fun to get the babies together and watch them interact. But the best part is, we always have dessert.

raspberry crumble bars

It’s awesome. Once a week you can look forward to dessert (and a glass of wine!) in the middle of the day. It’s pretty great. In fact, I’ve thought seriously about being one of the people who nurses their kid until they are like, a tween, just so I can continue to use the excuse, “I’m breastfeeding” when eating my second bar. And also use it an excuse when I take tiny slivers out of a third slice until I’ve basically eaten the whole thing. Don’t worry, if you’re not nursing there are plenty of other reasons to eat these delicious, crumbly bars….”Having friends over for dinner!” “Just finished the laundry!”  ”It’s Tuesday!” …you get the idea.

raspberry crumble bars6

 

I’ll be thinking of those tiny slivers for the next 38 days…but who’s counting?

Enjoy!

Recipe: Raspberry Crumb Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 -1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces raspberry jam (I like the kind with seeds) OR USE THIS
  • 1 cup  Coconut Maple Granola (or store bought granola without dried fruit)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed just until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.
  3. Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together in a ball. Turn the dough out on a board. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan and about 1/4-inch up the sides. Spread with the jam, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Mix the granola into the remaining dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits and distribute it on top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned.
  4. Cool completely and cut into 9 or 12 bars.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

 

Coconut Maple Granola

coconut maple granola

 

This is the best granola I have ever tasted.

I thought long and hard about things before I wrote that sentence. I have had a lot of granola. I love granola. But this is the best granola I’ve ever gotten my hands on. Since I discovered the recipe I have made it at least once a week and I’m not even close to sick of it yet. Thank goodness for Costco-sized packs of Quaker Oats!

All the credit for bringing this granola into my life goes to my friend Christina. She came down from Portland to stay with me over the holidays and brought a little pouch of this granola with her. I devoured it in about 5 seconds. After she left I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I asked her for the recipe. On one hand, I’m glad I did because, as I have stated, it is amazing. On the other hand, I think I am getting dangerously close to needing to check myself into granola rehab.

coconut maple granola

I guess this granola could have been called “Trader Joe’s” granola, huh? :)

I had never heard of coconut chips before this recipe, in fact, I was looking for something in a bag like chocolate chips! Haha, silly me. These coconut chips are little flecks of coconut that have been dried and roasted and they are delicious!

coconut maple granola

The combination of the flavor of the coconut oil and coconut chips with the maple syrup and brown sugar makes this granola irresistible! I’ll admit, this is overall sweeter than most granola I usually make, but if you pair it with some unsweetened greek yogurt it’s divine. If you prefer your granola a little less sweet, you can cut back on the sugar a bit, just be sure to add a little extra coconut oil to assure the granola gets crispy all over.

coconut maple granola

 

The original recipe called for pecans and pepitas only, but Christina had found some local Oregon hazelnuts and decided to throw them in and I can’t imagine this stuff without them! Hazelnuts are one of my favorite nuts anyway, but with the amazing sugar/syrup coating they are even better! I like to leave them whole, but you can always give them a rough chop if you’d like.

coconut maple granola

 

This recipe makes a pretty giant batch, but it keeps well in an airtight container for at least a week, if it lasts you that long! Or fill a couple mason jars and give them to your neighbor, your boss, your kid’s teacher, or anyone you’d like to love you forever and ever.

Enjoy! And thanks Christina!

Recipe: Coconut Maple Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup together over medium heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, salt, and coconut chips. Pour sugar mixture over oat mixture and stir well to coat.
  4. Turn onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once to cook evenly.

 

 

Baked Strawberry Donuts with Strawberry Sugar

Baked Strawberry Donut

I’m baaaaaaaaack! Hey guys! Remember me? I’m the one who abandoned you and left you recipe-less for the past 7 months. I’m sorry, I really am, but I have a good excuse! I gave birth to the most beautiful, perfect, amazing little boy in the whole world and I have been spending every waking (and there have been a lot!) moment staring at him, playing with him, and planting so many kisses on him I have perma-chapped lips. So, I’ve let other things slip. I constantly have a pile of laundry that isn’t done. Ponytails are my best friend. Don’t even get me started on how much spit up I let cover my shirt before I consider it “dirty.” And, I haven’t really been keeping up with things in the kitchen – all I can say is thank goodness for Trader Joe’s and the Thai place down the street! But, all that is about to change – it’s about time don’t you think? I know my husband does – no matter how hard I try I can’t get him to consider cereal dinner.

It’s Valentine’s Day and I have a whole lotta love this year. More than ever. So, I need something to show that love. Clearly, the answer here is doughnuts.

Baked Strawberry Donut

Strawberry baked donuts with strawberry sugar. If that doesn’t sound like love I don’t know what does! These donuts are light and airy, sweet and sugary, and in true SSB fashion – “healthified” (only 2 tablespoons butter?!) so you can have one for breakfast AND dessert :)

Baked Strawberry Donut

I was racking my brain to come up with the perfect Valentine’s Day recipe. I knew I wanted something sweet, and I couldn’t get donuts off my mind…but how could I make them Valentine-y? That’s when it hit me – strawberry sugar. And the secret to this amazing pink stuff is…freeze dried strawberries. You can get them in the grocery store, usually with the dried fruit, or, if you happen to have a box of Special K Red Berries lying around the house, get diggin’!

Baked Strawberry Donut

The perk to this method is that you get to snack while you are picking out the berries! However you do it, you need about a half cup. Set them aside for later and get cooking.

Baked Strawberry Donut

 

Whisk dry ingredients together and in a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients except strawberry jam. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until moistened. Then, stir in the strawberry jam. The strawberry jam is your secret weapon in this batter. It adds a little color, a little sweetness, and lots of strawberry flavor. If you are lucky enough to have your mom’s homemade strawberry jam in your fridge, complete with chunks of strawberries mixed in, I highly suggest using it :) If not, any store bought brand will work!

Baked Strawberry Donut

 

You do need a donut pan for this recipe. I got mine on Amazon and it has been well worth the few bucks I spent. The best way I’ve found to get the batter in without making a huge mess is a good old ziplock bag. Just snip off  a corner and pipe away.

Baked Strawberry Donut

After you finish baking these pillow-like cakes, it’s time to set up your decoration station. Sugar. Butter. Donuts.

Baked Strawberry Donut

Make sure the donuts have cooled slightly or they will absorb too much butter (although some may not think that is a bad thing!) and the strawberry sugar will melt right on and turn red. It probably will do a bit of this anyway so I suggest second dusting with a spoon or if you want to get really fancy, a powdered sugar shaker.

Baked Strawberry Donut

Make these for the ones you love. Make them for your coworkers. Make them for your kids. Make them for yourself. Just make them! ‘

 

So happy to be back. Enjoy!!

Recipe: Baked Strawberry Donuts with Strawberry Sugar

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • For strawberry sugar:
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray doughnut pans with baking spray.
  2. Into a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in strawberry jam.
  3. Fill donut pans almost to the top. Bake for 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a cutting board.
  4. For the topping, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in shallow bowl. To make the strawberry sugar, combine sugar and freeze dried strawberries in a food processor and process until a fine sand is created. Pour into a shallow bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the butter and then in the strawberry sugar, either on one side or both sides.

 

 

Blueberry Oat Muffins

Hey!

So, things have been a liiitle crazy around here lately, so some quick and easy meals have been a must. These muffins have been my grab and go-to for breakfast pretty much every morning last week, not to mention a few quick lunches and snacks mixed in as well!

Luckily, I don’t feel too badly about making two of these and a handful of cherries my impromptu lunch because of all the good stuff that fills them up!

The recipe I derived these muffins from calls for you to process the oats in a food processor to make oat flour, but I prefer the texture difference of using the whole oats instead. Plus, I almost doubled the amount of blueberries used in the batter because…why not?! Who doesn’t est a blueberry muffin wishing there were just a few more blueberries scattered in there?

Make sure to give the frozen blueberries a toss in flour before mixing them into the batter, that way they won’t all sink to the bottom. You could use fresh blueberries if you have them, but for some reason I can never keep fresh blueberries in the house long enough to do anything other than eat them by the handful!

Go ahead a fill the muffin cups almost o the top, that way you’ll get big, puffy muffins. I also think next time I make these I’ll sprinkle some dry oats on the top for even more texture.

These will keep for about a week, but they are also great to freeze. I think they will be one of my “make before baby comes projects.” I wouldn’t mind having a dozen or so of these in the freezer for late night feeding snacks!

 

Recipe: Blueberry Oat Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups oats
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Mix flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to oats; stir well. Make a well in center of mixture.
  3. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients (through eggs). Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist.
  4. Toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour, and gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter.
  5. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Baked Eggs with Kale and Sausage

Happy Monday everyone!

 If you’ve read this blog before, you probably know that I have an extreme fondness for my local Farmer’s Market. It’s my Sunday ritual. I just love walking though and looking at the fresh, local produce, not to mention seeing things I can’t find at my local grocery store or (even more exciting) I’ve never even heard of! Shopping the farmer’s market also helps me branch out in the kitchen. I usually go with a list of things I know I need, but always come back with those items plus whatever looks so good I just can’t resist it. Case in point, last week these giant batches of kale looked so good I couldn’t stop myself from buying two. We used one to make the world’s largest batch of kale chips, and the second one sat in the fridge for a few days while I marinated on what to do with it.
Just so happened, I had a dozen extra large eggs in the fridge (from the farmer’s market too). So the wheels started turning. I do love breakfast for dinner, and sure an omelet would be easy, but too expected. Then I remembered a dish I had several years ago where the eggs were baked in a rich tomato sauce – I figured, why can’t I do the same thing with these eggs, only…very different. Time for some experimentation!
First, I fried up some sausage until it was crispy. You could use turkey sausage here, but the fat content in pork sausage goes a long way to help the flavor of the kale, so that’s what I’d suggest. After the sausage is cooked, drain it on a paper towel while you sauté your kale.
Kale is perfect for this dish because even when cooked, it still has some body. It doesn’t wilt down too much the way spinach might. When the kale is cooked down, pour it into a greased 9×9 baking dish and then sprinkle in the sausage. Use a spoon to mix things up so the sausage is incorporated in the kale instead of layered on top.
Next, all you need to do is crack your eggs on top season with S&P and bake! This was delicious for dinner, but would work great for brunch too! You could even make it in individual ramekins if you wanted to have an impressive and delicious addition to your brunch table.
Enjoy!

Recipe: Baked Eggs with Kale and Sausage

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 8 oz pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet over med-hi heat, Cook sausage until brown and slightly crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Drain sausage onto a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.
  3. Add oil to the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add kale and sauté for about 5 minutes. Until Kale starts to wilt and darken, but still retains some shape.
  4. Grease a 9×9 baking dish. Add kale. Add sausage and stir together. Crack eggs on top of kale/sausage mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake 15-18 minutes, until whites are set but yolks are runny. (If you want your yolks set, increase baking time).

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Hey there!

Happy Friday! Hope you are looking forward to a wonderful weekend! It is supposed to be warm and sunny in the Bay Area and I’m looking forward to being outside and soaking in some rays. Until then, I’ll be eating this cake!

Don’t you just love having people over for dinner? I do! The other night we had some friends over for dinner and it was so much fun. I was in charge of the main dish and dessert. I went for an apple theme because I purchased a giant bag of apples before I left for Chicago (smart move I know) and needed to use some up. So I went with pork chops and applesauce for dinner and I spent hours trying to find the perfect apple dessert. Sometimes when I have people over, I tend to go a biiiit overboard or try to be too fancy. I was looking at some seriously complex (and don’t get me wrong, delicious) looking apple desserts, but then I came upon this ridiculously simple apple cake and for some reason just went with it.

Wouldn’t you know, this dessert received RAVE reviews from the dinner guests! Sometimes simple is best! I also didn’t mention a peep to the guys who were going on and on about how delicious it was that it was both low fat AND whole wheat! Muahahahahaaa! (ßmy sneaky laugh!)

I think one thing I did that made my guests (and me!) swoon over this cake is that I used really good cinnamon. For Christmas, I got some “boutique” spices from my mother in law which I use all the time. You don’t have to go scouring your local gourmet shop for ceylon cinnamon, but you should use a good quality cinnamon, preferable one that hasn’t been sitting in your spice cupboard since Full House was running new episodes.

Another trick is to really cream the sugar, butter, and cream cheese. I let mine run on medium high speed for about 5 minutes. This leaves you with a ridiculously airy batter and in turn, a light and fluffy cake! It’s also really important to let your butter and cream cheese come up to room temp before mixing. Don’t even try melting or defrosting in the micro. Just be patient!

After you cream the batter, gently fold in the dry ingredients and then the apples coated in lemon, cinnamon and sugar. Pour in a spring form pan and sprinkle with more cinnamon & sugar mixture. Make sure to grease the pan well so it doesn’t stick!

You may want to leave the house while this is baking to avoid being so entranced by the smell that you pull it out of the oven and dive in to a half-baked cake with a spoon.

You can serve the cake warm or at room temperature, and it goes extremely well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Incidentally, it also serves as a fantastic breakfast. J

Enjoy!

Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • • 1/2 cup stick butter, room temperature
  • • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • • 6 ounces block-style reduced fat cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)
  • • 2 large eggs
  • • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • • 4 cups chopped, peeled apple (about 3 large)
  • • Cooking spray
  • • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flours, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
  3.  Combine 1/4cup sugar and cinnamon. Combine 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture, lemon juice, and apple in a bowl, and stir apple mixture into batter. Pour batter into a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.
  4. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.



Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Good Morning!

I’ve been trying to eat more protein for breakfast recently, which isn’t always so easy for an oatmeal/cereal/toast loving gal. And I love my green smoothies with protein powder, but everyone needs a little variety now and then. The problem is, I’m usually running out the door at the very last minute before I know I’ll be late for work so it’s not always so easy to fry up some bacon or make that chicken omelet I’ve been craving.

Luckily, these homemade turkey sausage patties can be made ahead, so whip up a batch on Sunday night and you’ll have a healthy protein boost ready to help you kick start your morning!

Packed inside these terrific turkey treats are all the flavors you’re looking for in sausage: garlic, smoked paprika, and fennel seed. And because you’re using turkey you get all that sausage flavor with way fewer calories and fat grams then if you ordered up a side at your local breakfast joint.

Mixing these patties up is a cinch, but you can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Really get in there and mix the herbs and spices in so that each bite tastes as good as the next. Then, simply pan fry the sausages, about 5 minutes per side. You need about 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan before you get cooking; the ground turkey breast doesn’t have the fat content of pork or beef, so it needs a little help!

These sausage patties taste great drizzled with maple syrup or dunked in a farm fresh egg yolk. You could also whip yourself up a homemade Sausage McMuffin. I bet they’d also be great sliced up and wrapped around a pancake. Man, is anyone else getting hungry???

Enjoy!

Recipe: Homemade Turkey Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix very well with your hands, being sure to incorporate fully.
  2. Form into 8 patties.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook sausage about 5-7 minutes per side, until brown on both sides and cooked though.

 

Superfood Granola

Hey!

As spring approaches, I’m finding myself in the mood for some lighter foods all throughout the day. Especially after indulging a little too much over the holiday weekend! But, being as I’m just about 6 months pregnant, I’m also finding myself needing a bit more food to fill us  both up! So, I want to make sure the extra food I’m eating isn’t just satisfying my hunger, it’s also giving me the nutrients I need to pass along to my little man.

This superfood granola is so packed with good-for-you-stuff it’s a light, yet filling meal you can feel great about eating. Oh, and it tastes so good you’ll feel like you’re indulging too!

This granola is a little bit different than my normal granola recipes, mainly because it’s not baked! Which coincidentally makes it a cinch to throw together on a weeknight or any old time. The almond butter and honey you add bind the granola without needing to bake it – so it’s perfect for all you raw food lovers out there! The honey does make it a little sweeter than my usual granola recipes but I counterbalanced the extra sweetness well by using unsweetened fruit. But if you like your granola sweet, feel free to use sweetened fruit!

This recipe really packs in the vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. All things we could use more of on a daily basis! If you press this granola into a pan and chill it, you’ll end up with granola bars. Perfect for those of us that are constantly on the go (who isn’t!?!). Or you can do what I did and break them up before they are completely set to make a chunky no-bake loose granola. Either way it tastes delicious. The unbaked oats have a different taste and texture than baked oats, but not baking them allows them to soak up the almond buttery/honey goodness. And because this granola is a bit sweeter you can toss it into some plain greek yogurt for a quick, easy, and extremely healthy breakfast – no extra sweeteners needed!

This granola will definitely help you get your day started off on the right foot. Give it a try!

Enjoy!

*Important recipe note! This granola will come out just as good with some small substitutions. No chia seeds? No problem? Like rasins instead of blueberries? Go for it! you get the idea.. :)

Recipe: Superfood Granola

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup raw/turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine oats, walnuts, flaxseeds, wheat germ, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently until lightly bubbling; 2-5 minutes.
  4. Immediately pour almond butter mixture over oat mixture and carefully mix with a rubber spatula or spoon.
  5. Gently press mixture into prepared pan, smoothing the top evenly.
  6. For granola bars: Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  7. For loose granola: Refrigerate until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Break granola up into chunks and continue to let cool at room temperature until completely cooled.
  8. Store bars or granola in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Guinness and Jameson Cinnamon Rolls

Yesterday I was issued a challenge. My friend Mike sent me a link to this recipe saying nothing but, “Thanks in advance.” Now, I’m not one to back down from a challenge, but as soon as I looked at the recipe I dropped everything and started baking.

And that’s what you need to do right now. Drop everything. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. And bake. More specifically, bake these.

These will be the perfect way to start off your St. Patrick’s Day!!

Enjoy!

Find the recipe here.

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Hey there!

 Did you have a good weekend? I did! On Saturday we went to an engagement party for two of our very good friends, Alex and Stephanie. It was so much fun! We got to meet lots of family members from both the bride’s and groom’s families. Don’t you find weddings to be way more fun when you know lots of people??! :) I also discovered I am going to need to take some serious dance lessons before this wedding! The bride and groom have many Latin relatives who can turn circles around me on the dance floor. I swear one of the bride’s aunts taught Shakira all her moves. It was amazing…and intimidating! Good thing I have a year to learn! Everything at the party was fantastic, including the food! But the best part was the end of the night when the cupcakes came out! Well, they were actually like mini bundt cakes. Ohmygoodness! These things were mind blowing. There were lots of flavors, so naturally, I tried them all! We had a thing going with a few of my friends where we each took a bite and passed it around. You may think that’s weird, but think again. It is the absolute best way to try multiple flavors of baked goods! Eating one whole cupcake is so last year.
By far, my favorite was strawberry lemon. Lemon cake with really chunks of strawberry floating throughout. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. So obviously I set out to recreate it first thing Sunday morning. The only problem? I didn’t have any strawberries! So my options were…get out of my PJ’s and head to the store, or make do with what I had. Baking in your PJ’s is so much more fun anyway!
In honor of my delicious Saturday night memories, I baked this pound cake in a bundt pan, but you could definitely use a traditional loaf pan if you’d like. I think there would be enough batter for two loaves and you may want to check for doneness 10-15 minutes earlier, but it should come out tasting just as delicious!
There’s loads of lemon flavor in this cake from a double dose of lemon juice and grated lemon rind. I love adding both because #1 you get way more flavor and #2 you can see the little flecks of lemon rind in the cake so everyone knows before they even have a bite that they are about to get some fresh lemon flavor (surrounded by a moist and delicious cake of course!).
I was initially going to glaze this cake with a simple powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze, but once I tasted it I realized it was absolutely perfect as is. It is a pretty sweet cake, so it doesn’t need any extra sweetness from the glaze (of course that doesn’t mean you couldn’t do it if you wanted to!). It is a bit crumblier than a traditional pound cake, I think because I used low-fat buttermilk. The texture is almost a cross between a pound cake and a coffee cake. Which, coincidentally makes it perfect for breakfast! :)
I think you are going to love this cake as much as I do. In fact, you may even force yourself to bring two-thirds of it to work to share out of fear that you just might eat the entire thing yourself!
Enjoy!

Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon rind (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Coat a 10-inch bundt pan liberally with cooking spray and dust with flour.
  3. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, and stir well with a whisk. Combine 2 cups granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed. Add rind and juice; beat just until blended. Mix blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour. Stir to coat. Fold blueberries into batter.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan; sharply tap the pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Hey there!

 Did you ever have one of those days? I had planned to post this banana bread recipe yesterday but I ran out of the house without my work bag, in which was my computer, a bunch of stuff I needed for work, and my lunch. Major bummer, mostly because it meant an extra day keeping this amazing recipe from you! On another note, do you have any idea how hard it is to get through a work day without a computer?! There is almost nothing you can do to kill time ;)
Before we left for vacation, I had a few bananas that we hadn’t eaten. I knew they’d go bad over the time we were gone, so I threw them in the fridge. Did you know you can freeze bananas, peel and all? They will turn a very beautiful shade of dark brown, but they freeze really well. Then you have them on hand when you need to make this bread!
I love banana bread but hate the guilt I feel eating most of the butter, oil, and calorie ridden loaves out there. I have a recipe that calls for 1/2 pound of butter for ONE loaf! Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious, and perfect if you’re baking it to bring to a breakfast gathering where you will only have one luscious slice, but if you want something you can have all week and legitimately call it “breakfast” without the least bit of guilt – this is the bread for you! The secret is in my favorite ingredient: Greek yogurt! The addition of Greek yogurt gives you moist, tasty bread with wayyyy fewer calories and all the flavor.
Another secret to this bread is using really ripe bananas. Have you ever heard of using bananas as a substitute for butter? Well, you can do it (although I suggest only subbing it for half the recommended amount of butter) and it turns out great. I do it in chocolate chip cookies sometimes and in lots of my muffin recipes. Anyway, using lots of really ripe bananas allows you to get away with only a third of a cup of oil in this whole loaf. And trust me, if you didn’t know, you’d never know!
This batter mixes up really, really thick. But don’t worry, that’s just how it’s supposed to be! You’ll have to get your arm muscles going to stir in the walnuts! I love walnuts, so there’s lots of them in this recipe. If you aren’t so keen on them, feel free to use less or leave them out.
Don’t mind the mess!
You might think you are over stuffing the loaf pan with all this batter, but you’re just a little over an hour from a puffy, delicious, healthy loaf of banana bread. I mean, how many times can you actually say you are getting your protein eating a slice of banana bread???!? Greek yogurt, I thank you!
Enjoy!
*Note: I’ve heard a couple of people made a smaller loaf and put some batter into muffin tins. Great idea!!! Also, be sure to tent the bread with aluminum foil after about 20 minutes to avoid it getting too brown. 

Recipe: Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 extra ripe bananas
  • 2 T vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine both flours, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another bowl whisk eggs, oil, and sugar. Mash in bananas and stir in Greek yogurt.
  3. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (batter will be thick!). Stir in walnuts.
  4. Spray a loaf pan generously with cooking spray and spoon in batter.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes. Check to see if the top is getting too brown and tent with foil if necessary. Bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, until a knife comes out clean from the center of the bread.

Strawberry Cantaloupe Smoothie

Hi!

Happy two days before Valentine’s Day! When I was a kid, my mom was really good at holidays. We’d always have a special breakfast, and if the holiday fell on a school day, a special lunch…think all green lunch for St. Patrick’s Day, pink and red lunch for Valentine’s etc. We’d also have a full on holiday themed breakfast. Food dye colored pancakes formed into heart shapes with a variety of red fruits on top…the whole shebang.

Well, I don’t have that much time in the morning! So it will have to be a smoothie!

But it’s a delicious and healthy smoothie!!! And..it’s pink! Perfect for your rush out the door Valentines’ breakfast with your sweetie. Don’t worry…there will be time for a nice romantic dinner later! :)

Enjoy!!

Recipe: Strawberry Cantaloupe Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cantaloupe
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar or honey
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder *optional

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a straw and a strawberry!
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