Friday, May 23, 2008

Food Friday - Banana Spice Muffins

I found this recipe this week online at They are yummy!

2 1/2 C Flour
1/3 C Sugar
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 T Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
1 t Allpsice (ground) (I didn't have allspice so I just used cinnamon)
1 t Ginger (ground)
1 C Mashed Ripe Banana (about 2 small)
2/3 C Milk
1/3 C Buttermilk
1/3 C Ricotta Cheese (I know, who would have thought!)
2 T Vegetable Oil
1 T Vanilla
1 Egg
1 Egg White (I'm lazy and just did two eggs)

Preheat oven to 400

Combine first 8 ingredients (flour through ginger) in a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Combine banana and the next 7 ingredients (banana through eggs) in a bowl, and add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist. Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 for 18 minutes or until done. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on a wire rack.

Nutritional Info (if you use low-fat ingredients):
Calories 125
Fat 2.4g
Protein 3.2g
Cholesterol 13mg
Calcium 59mg
Sodium 194mg
Fiber .8g
Iron 1mg
Carbs 22.6g

(These freeze really well too!)


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Food Friday - Divinity

By request... (sorry Sugar and Spice girls - this is NOT helpful with our attempts to be more healthy)

This is actually just the recipe that came with my Kitchen Aid - it has very specific instructions about what speed etc. (My K.A. has speeds from 0-10 for reference.)

3 C sugar
3/4 C light corn syrup
1/2 C water
2 egg whites
1 t almond extract
1 C chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
(I've also seen recipes with zest of orange or maraschino cherries)

Place sugar, corn syrup, and water in heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat to hard ball stage (use a candy thermometer or place some cold water in a cup and when a drop of the mixture make a "hard ball" you know you're there). Remove from heat and let stand until temperature drops to 220, without stirring.

Place egg whites in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Speed 8 and whip about 1 minute, or until soft peaks form. Gradually add syrup in a fine stream and whip about 2 1/2 minutes longer.

Turn to Speed 4. Add almond extract and whip 20 to 25 minutes, or until mixture starts to become dry. Turn to Stir Speed and add nuts, mixing just until blended.

Drop mixture from measuring tablespoon onto waxed paper or greased baking sheet to form patties.

Let them stand for approximately 1 hour (until they cool and harden). Eat (but not too many).

Kitchen Aid Trick (free of charge, just for having read this far):
If you have a K.A. classic (the kind where the bowl is locked into place and the arm is lowered into the bowl) you may find that the bowl can get pretty wedged into place while doing long-term mixing (especially bread dough kneading). To prevent this from happening, I spray a little bit of cooking oil (like Pam) onto the metal where the bowl is secured. This acts as a lubricant and I don't have to use heavy tools to un-wedge the bowl when the mixing/kneading is done. It only took me about five years to figure out this trick. Five years of muscle work out every time I made bread or divinity (ok, I maybe make divinity once every five years but I make a lot of bread!).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Food Friday - French Bread

I got this recipe from my cousin, Jaime, who got it from her MIL. It is really easy (especially with a Kitchen Aid) and has a fabulous taste and texture.

French Bread

Combine all ingredients (except flour) in your bowl (or Kitchen Aid bowl) and mix:
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. oil
1 T. yeast
3 to 4 Cups Flour (I use more like 4 1/2)
Mix until the dough is smooth. Then let it rise for 1 hour. During that hour punch the dough down every 10 minutes. (I just keep it in my Kitchen Aid and then turn it on for 20 seconds every 10 minutes.)

After an hour, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle shape and then roll up like a cinnamon roll (don't be afraid to use more flour here). Place on a greased cookie sheet. Slit the top with a sharp knife. Rub your loaf with egg white; let rise 30 minutes. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes (golden brown). Great for French toast, too!

The crust is nice and crunchy and the inside is moist and yummy. Enjoy your bread. We had it last night with our black chicken.

Thanks to everyone who shared cooking tips last week and for taking the poll.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Food Friday - Scrambled Eggs

So this isn't so much a recipe as it is a food tip:

For extra fluffy (but not runny) scrambled eggs, try mixing in some cottage cheese (probably about 1/3 C for two eggs). Phil was quite the skeptic at first but now he wants cottage cheese eggs every time.

Now it is your turn to share YOUR simple food tips. You can also make a comment about the current poll.