Archive | August 2012

Sprinkled Sugar Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some wonderful friends of mine are moving this week/weekend. Actually, two family’s. One family bought a house and the other family is going to be renting the other families previous house. So all this is going down in one day, and sadly, it has to be a Friday, so I won’t be of much help with my two boys running around. Sorry, but I just can’t any of that going well. So I decided to offer to bake something! Since it’s obviously a passion of mine, why not? What I did not know, was that it would be 93 degrees outside when I had to bake. Praise the Lord for air conditioning!
In my head, I knew I wanted to make two different kinds of cookies. One with chocolate (later decided it to be m&m’s since I was somehow out of chocolate chips..I know, I know…) and a sugar cookie of some sort. But since I don’t make sugar cookies that much (because of my addiction to chocolate) I went on a search for some delicious sugar cookies.When I make cookies, I don’t want flat, hard cookies. NO. I want puffy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies. You know the kind. They’re they ones your Grandma used to make when you were a kid. The ones that went perfectly with that glass of milk (I wouldn’t know what that is like though, since I was lactose intolerant as a kid and now don’t like white milk..oh well).
Just my luck, I was scanning Facebook this morning and came across a post from Sally. And it happened to have 10 (count ’em ten!) cookies recipes on it. While the all looked absolutely amazing, there were two that stuck out to me. A sugar cookie and an m&m cookie. OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is my day! It was perfect! Then I read the recipes…
The sugar cookies used butter extract, which I’ve never owned, but am pretty sure I will need to pick some up at the store next time I’m there (thankfully, payday is soon! However, I managed to make them anyway. She had a note towards the end of the post about substituting the butter extract for almond extract. And since I decided to make a double batch, I used half almond and half vanilla extract. I’m also not a huge fan of almond extract, but these cookies actually taste pretty good!
As for the m&m cookies, she said to refrigerate them for as long as you can…well, I don’t have that long… so I haven’t actually decided if I have time to make them or not…indecision at it’s best.
Now, these cookies didn’t turn out puffy. But they are soft and delicious and that’s good enough for me!
I also didn’t have all the colorful sprinkles that I saw in the cookie post, but I did  my best and put colors together that are cute anyhow!
Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkled Sugar Cookies (adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Yield: 48 little cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup colorful sprinkles
1/4 cup sprinkles, for rolling

In the bowl of a stand mixer (you could probly do this by hand too) blend butter and sugar together until fluffy-ish.
Add egg yolks, almond extract, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
Mix in flour until the dough form a ball and pulls away from edges of bowl.
Carefully mix in 1/2 cup sprinkles.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll cookie dough into teaspoon size balls and roll in remaining 1/4 cup sprinkles. Place on cookies sheet and bake 9 minutes or until just done. You don’t want to over bake these, then they will be hard.

Let cool for a couple minutes pan before moving them to a cooling rack  to cool completely.

Clean Eating Zucchini Bread

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I’ve been on a kick with bread-y things lately, although I’m not sure why, since carbs have not been agreeing with me.lately. Every time I eat a slice of whole wheat toast a burger on a bun, I get really bloated and feel terrible for a few hours or more. I don’t think I am going to end up with celiacs, like my mother-in-law, but I think its from eating so many healthy carbs, my body doesn’t know how to digest bread carbs. (At least, that’s what I’m telling myself) I am not saying that this recipe isn’t healthy. It is. It’s clean, and its really really yummy, so I still eat, just in small increments. One slice at a time and with some protein, like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, and it seems to be fine. I also feel better feeding this to my family since its not chocked full of sugar and other ingredients that aren’t good for them.
My sister was the one that originally told me of this recipe, since we are both following a clean eating food plan, and she found it on one of my favorite websites, The Gracious Pantry. It is full of clean recipes for everything! I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I can’t emphasize enough, how much I love looking around at all the yummy recipes. I also fond tons of stuff on Pinterest. I have my own Clean Eating board, so when I want to find something, I know just where to go!
Now that I’ve completely gone off on a bunny trail… Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit… (Sorry, I couldn’t resist singing that one)
A slight note on the zucchini, I like to buy really big zucchini, chop it in really small pieces and freeze it. Thanks to my sister and her wonderful garden, I was able to get 3 large zucchini to freeze! Once they are that big, zucchini doesn’t taste the greatest just sliced and fried or baked. So here I sit with at least 16 cups of chopped zucchini and so much baking I want to do!
Bring it on!

Clean Eating Zucchini Bread (adapted from The Gracious Pantry)
Yield: One 9×5 loaf
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup honey
1 generous cup grated zucchini
2 tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 tbsp. fresh lemon zest
3/4 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
Chocolate Chips (optional)

In a medium to large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and nutmeg. In a slightly larger bowl, whisk together honey, zucchini, applesauce, olive oil, egg, egg white, lemon zest and yogurt. Using a wooden spoon, mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Stir well.

If you choose to add chocolate chips, now is the time. By adding them, the bread is no longer considered ‘clean’, but it’s darn close. So I added some. However, when I cut into the bread, I noticed all the chocolate chips had sunk to the bottom of the loaf. So if you want to avoid this, don’t add them or just sprinkle on top after you’ve poured the batter into the bread pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan. Pour batter into pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Apple Muffins

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This was my morning, last Thursday:
My hubby’s alarm went off at 2am. He got out of bed about 3am (that is a whole different story) and 3am is when I woke up and was then wide awake. Between my allergies and my mind racing, I decided that just getting up would be better. I gave a valiant effort to go back to sleep, but by 4am, I was done. I had to get up.
I decided to spend the extra time I had reading my Bible and praying. And then I decided to bake. It was still cool outside, it was dark, and I had my coffee already, so I figured it would be safe for me to start using sharp objects and my oven
Then came my search of what to make. There were so many options. Zucchini. Pumpkin. Apple. Banana. It’s all so good. I also wanted to make something that was ‘clean’ and that I wouldn’t feel guilty eating myself. So, I started scouring my Pinterest boards (yes, pretty much all my recipes are ones I found on Pinterest. What can I say, it’s a great website!)
Once I found this recipe, I knew it was the one for me. I had apples in the freezer that I had sliced last year and needed to be used (I’m not sure how long they last) and I knew I could replace most (if not all) of the brown sugar in this recipe. It was a success! I love them. My three year old was not a fan when it came to breakfast time that day. He picked out all the apples and only ate about half the muffin. But later in the morning, he told me was ‘starving’, so I offered him a muffin and he devoured it.

Apple Muffins (adapted from Budget Bytes )
Yield: 12 muffins

1 3/4 cup whole wheat pasty flour
3/4 cup ground flax
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar (you could use all agave syrup, and you also use honey or any sweetener you wish)
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium apples (or about 2 cups chopped apples)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place all ingredients, except apples, into a mixing bowl. (I used my stand mixer) After everything is well blended, fold in the apples.

Spray muffins tin with non-stick spray and divide batter between the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove muffins from tin and let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

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The weather lately has been playing with my emotions. It was so unbearably hot for what seemed like forever that I thought fall would never come. Don’t worry, I am mot wishing away summer! We had some cool days with rain which put me in the mood for scarves, boots, and anything pumpkin related. Food, drinks, the color, you name it, I like it. So, now its hot again. The a/c is on and the windows are shut (which is fine with me since my allergies are terrible this time of year), but I’m still craving fall. The apples, pumpkins, scarves, and boots. Well, this afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore! I had to make something pumpkin! And thank you Pinterest for helping me find that something. You see, I had a plain chocolate protein shake on the menu for this afternoon, but got hungry too early for it. So I decoded to hunt my Pinterest boards to find a shake or smoothie that would be more filling. And here it is folks! It’s tasty. Satisfying. And reeks of fall! (okay, maybe reek isn’t the right word, jut you get my drift)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1/2 banana
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (no sugar added)
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (would be yummy with vanilla too)
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 packet stevia (or sweetener of choice)
A few shakes of pumpkin pie spice
4-5 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been wanting to make some frozen yogurt for a whole, and normally vanilla is not the first flavor I run to. Give me chocolate, peanut butter, or fruity flavors first. I always put vanilla at the end of my list. But, since I had some vanilla beans to use from a bottle of my DIY vanilla that I had just used up, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make something with them. And, I’m still eating clean (and will be for pretty much ever), so I wanted to make a recipe I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating.
So I started Pinterest-ing and couldn’t find one recipe that I actually wanted to use. I either didn’t have all the ingredients, or it used a cup of sugar, which is a big no-no in the clean eating world. (and I’m totally okay with that!)
So, here’s where creating my own recipe comes in again. The biggest trick is to find a sweetener that will work in place of sugar and still sweeten it enough so everyone else likes it too.
There are many different sweeteners you can use in place of sugar. Honey, agave nectar, stevia, coconut sugar, etc. If you head to a grocery store, you will likely find something that will work. I’m not a huge fan of using ‘fake’ sugar like Splenda, since we’ve found out its not quite as good for you as they first made it out to be.
For this recipe, I used agave nectar. Why, you may ask? Well, most of the time, I use honey in place of sugar, but that’s mostly in baking, and if its not baked, I feel that whatever you make ends up tasting like honey, and that’s it. So agave nectar has a more mild taste and seems to mix in a little better to cold things. Many thanks to my friend Janelle for letting me borrow her food processor for extended periods of time. It just makes everything easier! (I really need to invest in one of my own soon)

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

1 cup milk (I used 1%, but I’m sure you could use almond, coconut, etc)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
18 oz plain Greek yogurt, nonfat
2 vanilla beans, split and seeded
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup agave nectar (more if you want it sweeter)

In a food processor, blender, or mixing bowl, blend all ingredients together. (how easy is that!)
Pour ingredients into the frozen canister of your I’ve cream maker and follow your I’ve cream makers directions.
Then put in freezable container and freezer for about 4 hours or until ready to serve.
Note: Once fully frozen, it is hard to scoop, since it is not like normal ice cream from the store. If using later, I suggest letting it sit out for a bit before scooping. Trust me, it will be less frustrating.

Disclaimer: This frozen yogurt is NOT as sweet as the stuff you buy from the store and it does have a slight Greek yogurt taste to it. You could use half regular yogurt if you wanted or use a flavored Greek yogurt like vanilla to give it a different flavor.

I paired this with my Black Bean Brownies and it was an amazing treat!

A Bun (or cupcake) in the Oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, its not me that expecting, but pretty much every other person I know. Seriously. It’s like another baby boom around here!
So, in honor of these babies (and my best friend, in particular, who is on her third baby in 3 years! ) I made some cupcakes! She finds out what she’s having next week, so I couldn’t make just pink or just blue, I HAD to make both!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She didn’t want chocolate (I know, a prego lady that doesn’t want chocolate? What’s up with that?) So I chose funfetti with pink and blue sprinkles, and per her request, Raspberry Buttercream frosting, which I found out does not pipe well… *sad face* (see recipe below for reason why)
And since the raspberry frosting turns out pink, I added some blue sprinkles to the top! These are just cutest baby-themed cupcakes I’ve ever made (not to mention the only baby-themed cupcakes I’ve ever made) And they taste great too!
I decided to use a new funfetti recipe, and although its quite similar to the last one I used, I think I like it a little better. The cupcakes turned out soft, were shaped well (at least most of them were), have great flavor, and the recipe is pretty easy. And I am all about easy!
Happy Baking (to the cupcakes and the babies!)

Funnfetti Cupcakes with Raspberry Butter Cream Frosting
(cupcake recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats)
Yield: about 24 cupcakes

1 cup milk, divided
6 large egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup multicolored sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the milk, egg whites, vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk to blend. In a larger bowl (I used my KitchenAid mixer) combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix briefly on low speed to combine. Add butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. Then, mix in the remaining 3/4 cup milk, then increase to medium speed and beat for about 90 seconds more. With the mixture on low speed, add the egg white mixture in three additions, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition. Scrap the sides of the bowl as needed. Gently fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. Fill about 2/3 full. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan briefly, then transfer to a cooling rack  to cool completely before frosting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting (from MyRecipes.com)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (I used frozen this time, and I think that’s why it didn’t pipe well), washed and dried
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
16 oz pkg powdered sugar, sifted

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat (I used the whisk attachment, because I like the consistency it makes the frosting when complete), beat together butter, raspberries, vanilla, and salt, until creamy.
Add the powdered sugar in two additions (I do this to avoid the ‘cloud’ of sugar that will poof when you start the mixer)

Frost your cupcakes any way you’d like!

Taco Corn Chili

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It may only be August, but today in Wisconsin, the high temperature was 68 degrees, it was cloudy, windy, rainy and quite, might I say, cold. At least compared to the rest of our summer, that is. We have had highs in the 80’s since March! While it has been wonderful to have all the warm temps, today was a nice change. It made me crave fall and all that comes with is. Pumpkin, apple cider, scarves, boots…well, you get the idea. And in case the cool day couldn’t have got any better, it was the first preseason NFL Packer Game. In fact, it’s on TV as I write this. Ahhh, I love football and I love my Pack.
But, I’m not here to talk football, and frankly, you should be glad, because I don’t know that much about it. I know the ‘downs’, the scrimmage, huddles, and yes, I know when they get a touch down.
So what goes better with football season and fall, except chili? Let’s face it, it’s easy to make for a crowd (particularly men watching football), it’s delicious, you can make it however you want to. You could add noodles (which I happen to love, but since I’m eating clean, I like to add brown to mine), cheese, sour cream (or plain Greek Yogurt, in my case. Yes, it taste surprisingly like sour cream), hot sauce. Really, whatever you feel like goes.
Another awesome thing about this recipe, you can make it all in one pot. One dish and you’re done. Yay! That’s my kind of meal.
P.S. It’s also gluten free and a ‘clean’ recipe

Taco Corn Chili (adapted from Gluten Freely)

1 lb lean ground turkey (I use Jennie-O Ground Turkey 93/7)
1 (15 or 16 oz) can black bean, drained and rinsed
1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (9oz) package frozen corn (I’m sure you could use fresh too, just use a scale to weigh it)
2 cups water
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp honey
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

In a large pot sprayed with cooking spray, cook turkey over medium-high heat. Cook turkey until until no long pink; Drain, if necessary.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered for about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Top with desired topping and enjoy!