Monday, May 27, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins With Cinnamon Glaze

So, my sister sent me an email not long ago with a recipe for a vegan pumpkin muffin with cinnamon glaze along with a review from one of her friends.
"Oh, those are great!"  My oldest child declared when he ate them. As we were eating them,  we agreed that while the cinnamon glaze rocks, that the next time I make these muffins ( and I will make them again) that I will use my caramel icing as a frosting, making them more of a cup cake. You can get the caramel icing recipe here.  My other kids liked them too, and my mother in law who was visiting us said she thinks they even tasted wonderful plain. A dusting of  powdered sugar would also be a good topping, I think.

The great thing about these muffins is that they were easy to make and were not very time consuming. The batter is thick but easy to work with.  I did make a few changes though to the original recipe. First, I used only 3/4 c sugar because I thought that with the powdered sugar in the glaze as well, that it might be too sweet. I'm glad that I cut down on the sugar because the amount I put in was perfect. Second, I used only whole wheat pastry flour since I never use white flour. Third, I used organic skim milk, not soy milk, so technically, my version was not vegan.

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins With Cinnamon Glaze
(Adapted from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World," by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons applesauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 ....The original recipe was posted on Ann You can find the complete recipe there or on my muffins, donuts, breads Pinterest board. Check either place for the complete original recipe.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Alphabet Soup: Z is for Zucchini-Cheese Casserole

I have been trying to make cooked veggies or a veggie casserole every now and then, because as much as I love salads, these casseroles and veggie combos give me a healthy alternative for the times when I'm just not in a salad kind of mood. This week, I made zucchini-cheese casserole, one of my favorites, that I haven't had in some time. It also fits beautifully into the South Beach Diet for those who follow it.  This is not my recipe. I think this originally came from an old cookbook my Grandma, Mawmaw, had from the American Heart Association., but I'm not 100% sure of that. What I am sure of is that this is a satisfying, delicious veggie dish, and if you can use farm fresh zucchini, onion, and tomatoes, it will be even more flavorful.
Zucchini-Cheese Casserole, a great way to use farm fresh produce available
in abundance in the summertime. Photo from the kitchen of Shannon Recktenwald

Zucchini-Cheese Casserole

3 md.zucchini squash

1/2 c. chopped onion

fresh tomatoes-the amt you need will be different based on what kind of tomatoes you use and how big they are ( i.e you need to use less regular tomatoes and more romas b/c romas are smaller I like to use organic romas)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1#  LF cottage cheese

1 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/3 c. LF parmesan cheese

Slice zucchini thin.  Sautee zucchini and onion in olive oil till zucchini is softened and onion is opaque.  While you are doing this, whip cottage cheese and seasonings in a blender or food processor.  Spray a casserole dish with Pam and layer zucchini-onion mixture, then cottage cheese mixture, then thinly sliced tomatoes. Repeat 1 more time ending with the tomatoes. Top with parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. It will be bubbly and top should be browned.

Makes 6 side servings or 3 main dish servings

Cook's notes:   LF means low fat.  If you use FF (fat free) cottage cheese instead of LF, use a slotted spoon to remove servings as it creates a lot of water/ juice along with the veggies at the bottom of the casserole.   Regular cottage cheese, which my mom uses didn't create that liquid at the bottom. Another way to keep the liquid sown is to drain the zucchini-onion mixture before layering it.

Also, I like cheese so I usually sprinkle some LF mozzarella cheese on top of my casserole as well.

As is, it is a delicious recipe that tastes very Lasagna-esque.  I eat this lot for lunch b/c it keeps for several days in the fridge and is a great way for me to get my veggies in.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What My Scale Said Wednesday

My scale has been so kind to me recently. Look what it said to me yesterday:

No girl minds hearing that. Thank you, scale.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

So it was Saturday morning, and I was going to get up and make a new cinnamon roll recipe I've been wanting to try for awhile now. Unfortunately, the recipe is not a a quick one.   When I realized I needed to let the dough rise for two hours at two different times during the recipe, my cinnamon roll idea was out. I was thinking it was quicker and since it was already 9 am, if I'd made them, we 'd be eating them for lunch, so I nixed the idea.. I'm sure it's a good recipe and I'm going to maybe try it some other time...maybe. Anyway, I still wanted to do something cinnamon rolly, so I decided to make a cinnamon roll muffin. I didn't have a recipe, but that didn't stop me. I wasn't sure my muffins would turn out, but they were a hit.  Score 1 for mom!

I may still make a few modifications to this recipe (like maybe less or no white sugar next time), but for a first go around, they couldn't have turned out better.  They disappeared quickly, and if I had let the boys eat all they wanted, the muffins would have been gone in less time than it took to make them. This is a recipe I would not make everyday, but when we're in the mood for cinnamon  rolls, they will definitely hit the spot.

oat crumb flour
Cinnamon Roll Muffins

In a small bowl, whisk
4 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and set aside for later. Use this as your cinnamon filling.

Meanwhile, mix these dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 c oat crumb flour-I make this by pulsing oats in my food processor. It is crumby and powdery,

Pinch of salt

Adding wet and dry ingredients
1 Tbsp baking powder mix

In still another bowl, mix
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 c skim milk

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well till combined or use a whisk.

Muffins cooling on my new Pampered chef cooling rack ( Love it)
Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray and preheat oven to 350. While the oven is heating up, assemble your muffins. First, using a tea spoon, put some batter into the bottom of each muffin reservoir. On top of that sprinkle the cinnamon - brown sugar mixture (make sure not to skimp on this). Next, using your tea spoon, put the remaining batter on top of each cinnamon - brown sugar layer.

Bake 16 to 25 minutes depending on your oven at 350 till done. A toothpick inserted in the middle of each muffin will come out clean when done. I would cool it for about five minutes before you take them out of the pan.  Once they are removed from the pan, let them cool completely before glazing them.

Making the glaze
While the muffins are cooling or cooking,   prepare your glaze topping.  The topping is 1 c powdered sugar,  1 Tbsp milk,  and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Whisk ingredients together to make sure it's the right consistency that you want. I found that the combination that I mentioned is pretty much right on.  It should be a thick glaze. 

Drizzle over cooled muffins and enjoy. You'll notice the glaze on the bottom of my pan. It is the by product of glazing and the very best part! One of my kids swept his finger across the bottom to get up that delicious icing. Another dipped his muffin in the extra icing at the bottom. It reminded me of whenever my mom made us those yummy Pillsbury-from-the-can cinnamon rolls when we were little, and we all fought over who got to lick the little icing container clean.  And all of our fingers tried to sweep up the drippings from the bottom of the pan. Good times...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013