Funny how holidays come and go so quickly. Memorial Day at the beach in Ocean City is the opening day of summer. At least for those of us here, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Rain or shine, it never seems to deter people from all over, piling “down the shore hon”.
This weekend was no exception. My mother-in-law lives about 15 minutes outside of Ocean City. LIQUID ASSETS (LA) IN OCEAN CITY We spent the weekend with her and my sister and brother-in-law. They live in Michigan and love coming here, especially in the summer.
Before Dawn married and moved to Michigan, we cooked a lot together. It’s always fun when she comes home. We still love to cook together and talk about food. There were lots of laughs and lots of food. I decided to make these muffins for a quick breakfast. I also had blueberries I didn’t want to leave, for fear of them spoiling. I don’t know about you, I HATE to waste food.
These muffins area an adaptation from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Family Style”. Her cookbooks are fantastic! I have every one she has written. She has a new one coming out in October. Of course, I pre-ordered it.
It makes 18 muffins. I used a half cup ice-cream scoop so they all came out the same. I lightened them up by cuting some of the butter and sugar. I also used skim milk, light sour cream, and non-fat yogurt that had been strained overnight. They come out moist and light and loaded with blueberries.
BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE MUFFINS
• 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 C sugar
• 3 extra large eggs, room temperature
• 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla
• ½ C light sour cream
• ½ C nonfat plain Greek Yogurt, strained
• ¼ C skim milk
• 2 ½ C all purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 2 half-pints fresh blueberries, picked through for stems and washed and drained
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put 16 muffin liners in muffin pans.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy with kitchen mixer using paddle attachment.
3. At low speed add eggs one at a time, then vanilla, sour cream, yogurt, and milk.
4. In a separate bowl, place flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, whisk all together with a wire whisk.
5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and beat until just mixed. DO NOT OVER-MIX.
6. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.
7. Using an ice cream scoop (large) scoop the batter into the muffin pans, filling each one just over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes until the muffins are lightly browned on the top and a cake tester comes out clean.
TIP: greasing the top of the muffin tins makes it easier to remove the muffins.
Til next time,
We like bananas but I always seem to buy too many. Which means, I am left with brown, over-ripened ones. I hate throwing anything out, so what’s a woman to do? Why, make banana bread of course!
Quick breads have long been a favorite of mine. In fact, I just made some zucchini bread for a co-worker. It was a birthday/nurses week gift! I had promised to make some for her well over a year ago. I figured it was time to make good on my promise.
One of the problems with most quick breads is the amount of fat and sugar in them. Just because it has bananas in it doesn’t make it healthy. I turned to a recipe by Gina Homolka, the author of Skinny Taste. She has multiple cookbooks out that are fantastic. The recipes are big on flavor, and nice portions that won’t leave you starved. Check out her website Skinnytaste.com. She is also worth the follow on Pinterest.
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This recipe uses 7 bananas which makes it very moist and tender. It makes 2 loaves. I made one with nuts and one without. The one without nuts was gifted to my daughter. Both turned out beautifully! If you don’t want to gift one, wrap it tightly and freeze it. When you are ready to serve it, let it thaw at room temperature.
LOW FAT BANANA NUT BREAD
- 7 ripe bananas, mashed chunky with fork
- 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
- 2 1/2 C all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 C light brown sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 oz. chopped walnuts or pecans
- baking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8×5 inch loaf pans with baking spray. (I lined both with parchment paper and sprayed the paper, and left some overhang on either side to assist with removing from the pan.)
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
- In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, apple sauce and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and blend at low speed until combined, add another 1/3 of the flour and blend at low speed, add remaining 1/3 of flour mixture and the bananas and blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the nuts if using.
- Pour batter into loaf pans and bake on the center rack for 50 – 52 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes before removing. Let cool completely before slicing.
Serving Size = 1 slice Freestyle Points = 4 Points Plus = 3
Til next time,
Is anybody else out there tired of the cold and rain? I guess in some areas you folks are still getting snow. Mother Nature is going through naturepause or something. Seriously, I’m on the verge of needing medication or another vacation on an island somewhere.
I had to light a fire because it’s damp and cold. There’s not much else to do since I’m stuck inside. I said to myself, why not make some bread? So that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to make a loaf of Egg Bread EGG BREAD or CHALLAH and I think I’ll make some of my grandmothers yeast rolls Grandmom Minnie’s Yeast Rolls.
I love to bake bread. It makes the whole house smell so inviting and warm. It also reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen when I was little. It’s amazing how certain scents evoke such pleasant memories. Like the smell of a rose; it reminds me of my mother. It’s one of those days for reminiscing.
Know what goes good with homemade bread? Why soup of course! It’s doesn’t matter what kind. It just has to be good and one of your favorites. I have several I’ve posted, one of my favorites is vegetable soup. WEEKEND IN ANNAPOLIS and Vegetable Soup. I love to make it in my Instant Pot. Of course if you are a good planner, the Crock Pot is also a great method.
I’m praying for mother nature and I ask that you do too. Maybe if we all pray real hard she will come out of her funk.
Send me some of your favorite soup recipes. Nothing better than a tried and true recipe that has been passed down. Keep smiling and find some sunshine inside. Bake a loaf of bread or make a recipe that brings back good memories.
Til next time,
I promised myself I was going to write at least twice a week. So far I haven’t been great about it but today prompted me to remember my committment to myself. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year.
I don’t make resolutions because I feel like we should be the best we can be every day. Let’s face it, nobody is perfect! I am striving to be happier and healthier this year. I think that’s a great start.
So on that note…..I am following the new Weight Watchers Freestyle program along with the hubster. I have always loved Weight Watchers because I don’t have to buy special foods. I don’t have to cook something different for guests. I can still go out on occasion and I can still have a cocktail or dessert if I want to. While my daily points have decreased, the number of zero point foods has increased. It’s a learning curve, but we are getting there.
Recently posted was a WW recipe for air fried bagels. They can also be baked. I just happen to own a Cooks Essential air fryer and love it. Really, “everything topped” air fried bagels. I had to give it a whirl. It makes 4 nice sized bagels at 3 points.
So here’s the before air fried pic’s…..
and here’s the after…..
Can I just tell you………YUM. They really were excellent. I will make these over and over again. They were very simple to do. I will, in the future, make them into a thinner rope before shaping them into a bagel. Mine seemed to be a tad doughy. Taste wise, hands down, a great bagel. If you could only see the many possibilities rolling through my brain………..it’s exhausting.
So without further ado, I will post the recipe. Give it a try! Oven or air fried, it was well worth giving it a test run.
WEIGHT WATCHERS OVEN OR AIR FRIED BAGELS
3 FS POINTS PER SERVING
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (make sure it’s not expired)
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 C non-fat Greek yogurt (do not use regular yogurt, it will be too sticky)
- 1 beaten egg, or egg white
- Toppings of choice (you can purchase “Everything Topping” from King Arthur Flour) or use sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic or onion flakes or make your own everything topping.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Place parchment or silpat on a baking sheet. If using parchment spray with oil to avoid sticking.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well. Add the yogurt and mix with a fork until well combined. It will look like small crumbles.
- Lightly dust flour on a work surface and remove dough from the bowl, knead the dough a few times until dough is tacky, but not sticky, about 20 turns. (It should not leave dough on your hand when you pull away).
- Divide dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each ball into a 3/4 inch thick rope and join the ends to form a bagel.
- Top with egg wash and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of your choice. Bake for 22 minutes in 350F oven then increase to 550F for 4 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.
AIR FRYER METHOD:
- Pre-heat the air fryer 325F and set for 11-12 minutes.
- Repeat steps 2-4 as above for the oven method.
- Top with egg wash and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of your choice.
- Transfer in batches without overcrowding and bake 12 minutes, or until golden. No turning needed. You can check them at 10 minutes for color.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting
Til next time,
We love bananas! High in potassium, filling, and tasty! Unfortunately, I buy them and I usually end up with some brown, mushy, ones. I will be honest, they have to be firm for me to eat them, a little green, if you know what I mean.
Does this ever happen to you? I am sure that it does. I can not be the only person in the world with soft, over ripe, bananas. Never fear, I have a use for them. It’s a tasty one too. While I can not take credit for this recipe, I am going to share it because it really is that good! My hairdresser will vouch for this one!
If you have bananas “going south” try this recipe out. No time today? No problem! Remove the bananas from their peels, mash them and put them in a Ziploc bag. Label them, and freeze them. When you are ready, they will be ready to go. They thaw very quickly. After they thaw just cut a corner off of your bag and squeeze them into a large bowl. The rest is explained below.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD
- 3 medium to large ripe bananas
- 1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C cocoa powder (I like Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 1 C semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 C mini chocolate chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with Crisco, cut a piece of parchment paper so it fits the length of the pan and hangs over the sides (it helps lift the bread out of the pan when it’s done) and grease the parchment inside the pan also. Set aside.
- Mash the bananas in a large bowl (or squeeze them out of your Ziploc bag).
- Whisk in the melted butter.
- Then whisk in the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder together and stir into the mashed banana mixture until just incorporated.
- Gently stir in the 1 C of chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and sprinkle with the 1/2 C of mini chocolate chips.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Gently using the parchment, lift it out of the pan and place on a wire rack and cool completely.
- Keep it wrapped tightly after cooled and keep at room temperature (if it lasts that long..haha).
Serve immediately. It will last up to 4 days.
Looks good enough to eat!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Given the fact that everybodys gardens should be flourishing with ripe fruit, I thought this one was appropriate. By the way, did I mention how hot it’s been. It’s brutal here!
I met with an old friend that I haven’t seen in many years. She arrived with zucchini from her garden. “Would you like to have some?” she said. Of course, the answer was yes. Especially since we didn’t plant any. I took a few and immediately came home and went to work.
One of the zucchini was extremely large. The only think I like to do with those is grate them. They make excellent zucchini patties. They also work well with my zucchini bread recipe. I’ve been making this bread for years and I don’t quite remember where this recipe originated from. I can say it’s a wonderful recipe. If you find yourself with an abundance of zucchini, give it a try.
(Makes 2 loaves)
- 3 eggs
- 2 C brown sugar
- 1 C oil
- 2 C flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 3 tsp vanilla
- 2 C grated zucchini
- 1 C chopped nuts *optional (you can use your favorite or leave them out)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease 2 loaf pans and line with parchment greasing parchment .
- Beat eggs, brown sugar, and oil together.
- Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
- Add sifted ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until well blended.
- Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.
- Add zucchini and chopped nuts, if using. Stir into the batter with a wooden spoon.
- Divide the batter into the two prepared loaf pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I have a ton of tomatoes coming on the vine. Stay tuned……..I am going to do some canning this year. I might even try my hand at salsa.
Til next time,