National Doughnut Day: Mini S’Mores Doughnuts

Happy Hour Friday/Happy National Doughnut Day everyone!

S'Mores Doughnuts (3)

When I discovered (thanks to facebook) that it was national doughnut day I just had to tell Will.  He happens to LOVE doughnuts.  Sometimes I think that He is about to go into depression about the fact that he can’t eat as many Krispy Kreme’s in one setting without getting nauseous as he used to be able to. But I know he was happy when he saw this spread in the break room at work today:

How do they expect you to focus with those sitting there? Sorry for the bad quality picture.  I figured cropped and a little blurry was better than including the rest of the break room.

I thought it was just him, but to my surprise both my father and my sister texted me telling me to go eat a doughnut today!  Now for most people, that’s easy. Walk to the gas station down the block or stop by your local Krispy Kreme while the free doughnut light is on (did you know there’s an app for that?!) For me however, not so much.  Dang Gluten.

Will's manly sized doughnut with contraband graham cracker bits.

For me to be able to celebrate, I had to do some homemade doughnut making. Which I don’t mind at all!  And thanks to my awesome mother-in-law I have a regular and a mini doughnut pan! I love using them when I have extra batter from things.  Like when I have too much muffin batter.

yeah.... those were amazing little muffin bites.

Or when we have chili, I make “corn holes.”  It’s cornbread, but dunkable!

Dunkable Cornbread for our Spicy Chili!

I was unaware that it was National Doughnut day till I was already at work – blogger fail.  I feel like bloggers are supposed to know about these weird “holidays” so that we can have the perfect post ready ahead of time.  Not me!  So I am making doughnuts for dessert tonight!  These babies are fresh out of the oven and this recipe is hot off the presses!

S'Mores Doughnuts (13)

I decided that I wanted to make s’mores doughnuts because it is s’mores time of year.  I mean the evening weather is that perfect temperature where it’s not too hot for a fire and not too cold to sleep outside, which means I want to go camping, which means I want s’mores…..

….to be honest, I don’t care what time of year it is.  I will ALWAYS eat a s’more.  BUT same dang gluten issue.  I don’t always have Gluten Free Graham Crackers so I opted to make a sort of warm-cinnamon flavored doughnut as the base to make up for the lack of graham crackers.  I used a recipe I have tried before from Pinch of Yum as my go by.

Mini S’Mores Doughnuts

 These are easy, but fancy. They satisfy your every desire for the campfire classic. They aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. The ratio of marshmallow to chocolate to doughnut is pretty good too!

Ingredients

Doughnuts
  • 1⅓ cup Flour (I used ⅔ cup oat flour, ⅓ cup white rice flour, ⅙ cup brown rice flour, ⅙ cup tapioca startch + 1 tsp guar gum)
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Ginger
  • ¼ cup Sugar (I think brown sugar would work even better)
  • 1 Egg
  • ⅓ cup Applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon Milk
  • 1 taspoon Molasses
  • 2 tablespoons melted Butter
Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 oz (2/3 cup) Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Corn Syrup
Other Toppings:
  • Crushed Graham Crackers
  • Toasted Marshmallows
Instructions
Doughnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients.
  3. To the dry ingredients add the egg, applesauce, milk, and butter. Batter will be very thick
  4. Spoon or pope the batter into your doughnut pans. You want them to be about ½ way full.
  5. Bake for about 7-8 minutes.
  6. Remove the doughnuts from the pan.
Ganache:
  1. Place the chocolate, cream, and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl and melt the chocolate chips slowly in the microwave.
  2. Dip your doughnuts in the ganache and give them a little twist as you pull them out.
  3. For the rest of the topping I sprinkled crushed graham crackers on Will’s and toasted marshmallows in the broiler to put on top as well. For the mini doughnuts I had the marshmallows cut in half so that they would be more proportional, but I think there wouldn’t be anything wrong with leaving them whole! There is a picture of the marshmallows on a cookie sheet fresh out of the broiler below.

here's the marshmallows fresh from the oven! they are just the way hubster likes them. =)

S'Mores Doughnuts (16) S'Mores Doughnuts (12) S'Mores Doughnuts (8)

Other Doughnut Recipes on the Blog:

Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Vegan.... and still so good!

Easy as opening a can of Pillsbury biscuits! (these would make good S'Mores Doughnuts too!)

Munchie Monday: Blackberry Crack

If you have been following along with our lives for very long then you may remember last summer when I posted about all the amazing wild berries we would pick at the farm. Those days will be upon us again in a few months and I can’t wait!  We have been slowly using up our frozen stash from last year.  One thing that they are really good for is making “Blackberry Crack” as Will and I affectionately refer to it.

Throwback to last summer.... that one time when I looked like a complete hillbilly
Throwback to last summer…. that one time when I looked like a complete hillbilly

If you’ve ever had the Blackberry Syrup at Cracker Barrel then you really need to go buy some blackberries and make this for yourself. Trust me, you won’t regret spending money on those blackberries once you top some pancakes, waffles, cake, ice cream, cheesecake…. pretty much anything with this syrup.

....on pancakes
….on pancakes

This recipe is really simple, but it’s not for those who are afraid to have a heavy hand with sugar.  I admit, that part is hard for me.  If I am going to eat something unhealthy I generally prefer it to be chocolate filled, coated, chipped… you get the picture.  I make exceptions for blackberry crack, and since I make this stuff  myself I use it sort of sparingly, meaning, it’s not as bad as it seems.

I will make a single (or double) batch of this recipe to go with our weekend brunch.  It really doesn’t take long, 20 minutes tops.  We store ours in a mason jar in the fridge.  It keeps for a long time!  Although the only reason it’s ever made it longer than month in our house is because it was forgotten in the back of the fridge…. When you go to use it out of the fridge just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to get it more liquid again.

on some Citrus Almond Cake
on some Citrus Almond Cake

Ok, before you start drooling on your screen…. Here’s the recipe.

Blackberry Crack

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Blackberries (fresh or thawed out frozen ones)
  • 1/2 water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Optional: dash of Cinnamon (because cinnamon makes almost everything better)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Stir to dissolve sugar and help break apart berries.
  3. Bring to a boil and boil for 1-2 minutes to help break apart berries and begin to thicken the syrup some.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. At this point you have to decide how many whole berries you want in your syrup (if any). I like to leave 1/3 to 1/2 whole. The more berried you keep, the more seeds you will have in your syrup.  Scoop out the desired amount of berries, place them into a fine sieve, and being smashing them through the sieve. (photos below)
  6. Once you have strained out your desired amount of seeds/berries pour your syrup into a mason jar or desired storage container.  This will keep for quite a while in your fridge.
ready to begin
ready to begin
straining out seeds and berries
straining out seeds and berries

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the finished product
the finished product

Try it and see if you don’t think it is as addictive as crack.

Good For You Apple Cider Doughnuts

Sorry It has been so long since I posted anything on the blog. Since the last time that I posted anything Will and I have loosened our dietary constraints.  Such a relief!  Meal planning is much easier, and cooking requires less creative energy when you can use meat and dairy.

So we may have splurged at City BBQ when we decided to easy up... No worries, I promise there were lots of leftovers.  We ate lunch and dinner the next day.
So we may have splurged at City BBQ when we decided to easy up… No worries, I promise there were lots of leftovers. We ate lunch and dinner the next day.

We are still eating healthy – small portions of meat, very little dairy, and Will is doing great at staying away from soda and refined sugars…. me on the other hand – I have to make the verbal commitment that I will not allow my sweet tooth to control me.  It really likes to control me.  Anyone else out there have problems with their sweet tooth?

When we were in Nashville a couple weekends ago (which I need to write a post about), I spent a lot of time hanging out in a candy store with the little sister and our niece… the sights, the smells, the samples…. fresh fudge, caramel corn, and pralines.  It was heaven.

Back to the point.  When Will and I were being really strict I issued myself the challenge of coming up with an awesome breakfast to wake Hubster up with on Our Valentine’s Day.  After all, 3 years of being together warrants delicious food. Will loves doughnuts. When we were dating they were his go to comfort food to help him through the drive home after he would drop me off at the airport. So what better thing to wake him up with than doughnuts?

What Will Woke up to.
What Will Woke up to.

After quite a bit of searching I found a recipe that I thought would be delicious, easy to make gluten-free, and taste good without frosting/glaze.  My hunch was right.  BUT I still want to make these again and have the glaze on them now that we are less strict.

I promise to be better about posting again.  Posting Recipes, Menus, Workouts, and Life Updates.  But in the mean time go enjoy the warm taste of fall on this cold, snowy, almost spring day.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

original version found here.2014-02-07 10.09.14

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup all oat flour
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease a donut pan and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together maple syrup, apple cider, apple sauce, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined.
  3. Spoon or pipe batter into the prepared doughnut pan, filling each mold about 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until doughnuts springs back when gently pressed. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for a few minutes before transferring doughnuts onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped pecans.  OR find a glaze recipe here.
They were flavorful and hearty.  AND they didn't put you in a sugar coma 10 minutes later.
They were flavorful and hearty. AND they didn’t put you in a sugar coma 10 minutes later.

Munchie Monday: Cornbread Banana Cake

Eating gluten-free, vegan, and refined-sugar free is pretty challenging when it comes to baked goods.  I mean, if you want to eat rice and beans, soups and stir-fries then you’re golden, but when that hankering for coffee cake or a chocolate chip cookie comes knocking…. Good luck.

I am plagued with a very outgoing sweet tooth.  It talks to me all of the time.  Telling me it’s hungry, that it wants to go out for ice cream or make some cookies or cobbler.

A couple of weeks ago I found a solution.  I made this absolutely addicting cake.  Seriously, make this sucker and see if you can stop yourself from sneaking a second slice here and an extra nibble there.  You will lick up every last crumb of this moist, flavorful goodness.  It’s like cornbread and banana bread had a sweet baby that you can eat at any time of the day.

Look at that thing of beauty!
Look at that thing of beauty!
There it is drowning in peanut butter sauce
There it is drowning in peanut butter sauce

 

Cornbread Banana Cake

based off of this recipe.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 1/4 cup Oat Flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca/Corn/Potato Starch (pick one)
  • 1/2 cup Cornmeal
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 cup Coconut Milk (or other milk)
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
  • (or if you can have dairy just use ¾ – 1 cup of Buttermilk)
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 large, ripe Bananas, mashed (pick one)
  • 1/3 cup Applesauce
  • 1/3 cup melted Margarine/Butter/Oil

Crumb Topping:

  • ½ cup Oats
  • ¾ cup Almond meal/flour
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp butter

Peanut Butter Sauce: (optional)

  • 1 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • Sweetener to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp milk of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch spring form pan.
  2. In a small bowl or cup, combine the milk and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.  Let that sit for 5-10 minutes to curdle the milk into a buttermilk-ish mixture.  It will not look appetizing, but it works.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients listed for the cake. Add vanilla, maple syrup, applesauce and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir. Lastly add the banana and the milk mixture and mix well
  4. Now place all the crumb mixture ingredients in a medium bowl and cut together using a pastry cutter until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour half to two thirds of the cake batter into the greased pan. Top with half the crumb mixture. Pour remaining batter over the top, gently smooth out with a spatula, and top with remaining crumb mixture.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the middle is cooked through.
  7. Allow to cool, remove the outside of the spring form pan, slice and enjoy!
  8. You can eat it plain as a sweet and savory breakfast cake. Or you can make a little bit of peanut butter sauce to drizzle over your cake. To make the sauce get your peanut butter melty, and mix in your cinnamon, sweetener (if you want it), and milk.  Add the milk slowly till you get you sauce the consistency that you want it.  Drizzle it over your slice of cake, eat, and lick the plate. 

 

What’s your favorite kind of cake to have for breakfast? or just to have around to eat period?

20140203_212538
the ingredients for the crumb topping

20140203_213042

20140203_213303
half the batter and crumb topping

20140203_213320

peanut butter sauce and crumb cake for dessert, snack, and breakfast
peanut butter sauce and crumb cake for dessert, snack, and breakfast
almost as good of a pair as peanut butter and chocolate....
almost as good of a pair as peanut butter and chocolate….

Munchie Monday: Honey-Nut Cinnamon Craisin Bread

If you follow us on instagram, this is the post you have been waiting for since I shared a picture of Will’s breakfast last Wednesday.  Salivate no more! You can now make it for yourself!

Honey-Nut Cinnamon Craisin Bread
Honey-Nut Cinnamon Craisin Bread

Back in November, I put a bread machine on my Christmas list because I have come to realize that it does a much better job on gluten-free bread than the open-air, lots-of-messy-kneading process does.  On top of that, our drafty house really is not the best environment to raise dough in.

Lucky for us, Will’s grandma gave us one!  After the first couple weeks of craziness from settling back in after the holidays passed, Will realized that I had not made any bread yet.  Well, he made it his goal in life to change that.  I think he asked me to make bread for him every day for two weeks. (I have no room to talk; I nag him about things more than he does me.  He’s a patient man)

 I know I am a terrible person.  It’s just one of the ways I try to make my husband feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

Last week, we got home from Serve the City, and Will got on a Google hang out with all his guy friends.  I like to take advantage of said calls to not only laugh at the amazing friends God placed in his life, but also to make them a little jealous of how good Will has it by baking something awesome and bringing it in for Will to taste, smell, or eat the batter of while they are watching.  I know I am a terrible person.  It’s just one of the ways I try to make my husband feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

So back to the story…

Last week, we got home from Serve the City, and I brought the new bread machine in from the mud room.  After reading the directions, and finding just the right recipe to break in the new toy with I loaded it with the ingredients, pressed 2 MAYBE 3 buttons, and let it work its magic.  When we woke up there was a fresh loaf of amazing bread for Will’s breakfast.

Izzy was very intrigued by the bread machines kneading noises... and probably the delicious smell too!
Izzy was very intrigued by the bread machines kneading noises… and probably the delicious smell too!

Will loves Cinnamon Raisin Toast for breakfast, but those Pepperidge Farm loaves are so pricey! Naturally, I picked that safe bet as a sure way to wow him with my first bread making attempt. The recipe that I used was this one for cinnamon raisin bread.  But I made a few tweaks as we are trying not to use such heavily processed sugars and didn’t have raisins. For kicks I added in some finely chopped pecans to add a nuttiness to this warm flavored bread. 

I don’t know if I have to tell you this or not, but this bread was definitely Hubster Approved! He’s been enjoying it every morning, and had made many people jealous!  So try the recipe out and let me know how you liked it!

Note that this recipe is for a 1 pound loaf in your bread machine.

 Honey-Nut Cinnamon Cranberry Bread

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Margarine
  • 2 cups Flour (I used all-purpose)
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon (I put in a little extra)
  • 1 ¾ tsp. Yeast
  • ½ cup Craisins
  • ¼ cup Pecans, finely chopped

 Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients except the raisins in the order specified by your bread maker.
  2. Set it to a 1 lb. loaf with a light crust on the sweet bread cycle.
  3. This is when I was a little uncertain.  The original poster of this recipe said “When the mix-in tone sounds, add the raisins.”  Since I had never used the machine before, I had no idea what the “mix-in” tone was.  But trust me, it beeped loud and clear after a long kneading cycle.  I assumed that was the “mix-in” tone, so I opened it up and tossed in the craisins and nuts.  At that time it started kneading again… didn’t sound so great with the fixin’s rattling around, but soon enough they were all worked into the dough.  As you can see from the picture, they were nice and evenly distributed throughout the loaf!
Honey-Nut Cinnamon Craisin Bread
Honey-Nut Cinnamon Craisin Bread

Day 13: Baking – Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Glaze

Today, I am thankful for the tasty muffin I had for breakfast.  It’s not bakery quality, but it’s quick, yummy, and gluten-free.  No room for complaints there!  Just thankfulness from my taste buds and tummy this morning. 

I am thankful for baking in general.  I love to bake, and now that it’s cold out I feel like I have an excuse to bake because having the oven on helps keep our drafty, old house warm!  Seriously, on nights like last night when it’s in the 20’s you’ll either find me as close to my walking space heater of a husband as I can be leaching heat from him, OR hovering over the stove baking something because it’s warm.

Last night I made some muffins going off of this recipe here.  Read my comments after the recipe.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins with Maple GlazePumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups oats (regular or quick is fine)
  • 1 cup yogurt (I had vanilla on hand, but it was very high in sugar and calories, so I think that I will try to find something healthier next time)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 t (at least) cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used some homemade pumpkin puree)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I wish I had chopped mine smaller so that the flavor would be more distributed)

Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Grind up the oats in a coffee grinder.  A food processor would probably work too; I just don’t have one.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together.  I suggest adding your seasonings a little at a time and tasting the batter till you get the flavor that you want.  I like a lot of cinnamon and spices, but maybe you don’t.
  4. Grease a muffin tin.   Just greasing it should be enough.  I don’t think you need liners.
  5. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups.  This was about a ¼ cup in each muffin cup.
  6. Bake for 20 min, until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before glazing, but while they cool make the glaze.
  8. Melt the butter in the microwave in a bowl (cereal bowl is big enough).  Add the powdered sugar and maple syrup.  Add water very cautiously if you want it runnier, or vanilla extract if you want more flavor.
  9. I found that it was easiest to just dip the top of the muffin into the glaze and give it a twist to coat them.
  10. Once they are glazed, Enjoy!
Fresh from the oven =)
Fresh from the oven =)
that maple glaze is delicious!  AND it didn't run everywhere!
that maple glaze is delicious! AND it didn’t run everywhere!

My thoughts:

The original recipe everything is done in a blender, meaning your oats aren’t ground all the way into flour.  So what I did, and I would suggest doing if you don’t trust your blender to make these, is to coarsely grind up oats in a coffee grinder and then mix all the ingredients by hand.

They are a little gummy/dense as is common for both low fat and gluten free baked goods.  Please, don’t get me wrong, they are really good; I just wanted to give you a heads up.  The original author warns that they fall after you take them out of the oven, and that is true.  They don’t flatten out, mine kept their domed muffin shape, but they do get shorter.

They are not super sweet by themselves, but I topped them with Maple Glaze, and that made them plenty sweet.  Also I highly suggest chopping up Walnuts and putting them in there; the flavor addition was amazing!

I think that this is a really good recipe to start with, and I plan to experiment with it in the future.  I want to try adding in mashed bananas (maybe instead of honey for sweetness?), or applesauce and apple chunks instead of pumpkin.  I think that they might be good with craisins, and I know that you couldn’t go wrong with adding in some mini-chocolate chips!

Overall I think I will give these a 7 out of 10 and keep them on the list of go to’s because they are good and they only took me 5-10 minutes.

Munchie Monday: Pomeroy House Potatoes

Every restaurant has their own house specialty potatoes of some kind, be it steak fries, home fries, loaded baked potatoes, or mashed potatoes with so much butter you can feel your blood slowing down as you eat them. Here in the Pomeroy life we have our own signature potato dishes.    I like most dishes that involve potatoes or sweet potatoes. And since I am gluten free potatoes are a good way to pack some carbohydrates into my diet, as well as lots of potassium.   

Now while I can make some mean artery clogging mashed potatoes every Christmas, we have three house specialty potato recipes.  Two of them are quick and delicious as a side or a meal in themselves.  The third is my family’s baked potato soup recipe tweaked to be gluten-free, which is delicious and easy.

Devra’s Baked Potatoes

Based off of these from Iowa Girl Eats

I don’t really like baked potatoes, never have.  Until I tried these!  They are not your average baked potato.  They are 10 times more delicious, and take ¼ – ½ the time to bake! Once you’ve made these one time, you’ll have them down.  You’ll be able to whip them up in no time.  These are what I make when we only have 20 minutes to get out the door.  While they cook we whip up a salad.

Ingredients:

  • Potato
  • Butter
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. First, rinse any dirt off of your potato, and then, using it a fork, stab the potato a couple of times on all “sides.”
  2. Microwave the potato for 5-10 minutes.  You want it basically all the way cooked, but not quite.  The cooking time will vary based on the size of your potato, how many potatoes, and the power of your microwave.
  3. Turn your oven onto broil.
  4. Remove potato from microwave and slice it in half long ways.  Slice a waffle grid into each half (you don’t want to slice all the way through! Just enough for the butter to melt down in there).
  5. Now put a pat of butter (this is up to your taste) on top each half, spread it around as it melts to ensure you get that deliciousness melted down into all of you potato.
  6. Sprinkle pepper, seasoned salt, and parmesan cheese to taste over top.
  7. Place the potato in the oven on broil for 5-10 minutes. Again this probably depends some on your oven and some on how crispy you want the top of your potato to get.

THE Pomeroy Potatoes

This one is Will and I’s go to, cheap, quick meal.  The best part is that they are good for any meal- breakfast, lunch, or dinner!  You can spruce them up however you like.  Add onions, peppers, jalapenos, black beans, cheese, or even bacon.  Oh and you can’t forget the Franks! Like the previous recipe, make them once and you’ll be lightening fast at them the second time around.

I don’t have any definitive measurements for you, it’s whatever you are in the mood for and whatever you have on hand.

Potatoes - 3

What you need:

  • A big skillet
  • Oil
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Seasoned Salt & Pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • Optional: Bell pepper, jalapeno, cheese, black beans, bacon

Directions:

  1. Start by slicing your potatoes thin.  I try to make mine no more than 1/8th of inch thick.  That is because they cook faster if they are thinner,  If you have more patience than I do, then maybe you might want to try thicker slices.
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in your skillet, add your potatoes.  I like to try to keep the potatoes in one layer as much as possible, but Will piles them in there, and honestly his turn out just as good as mine.  So whatever suits your fancy.
  3. As your potatoes are frying dice up your mix-ins.
  4. Keep an eye on the potatoes to make sure they aren’t burning, turn the periodically to cook all the sides, and you may need to add more oil.
  5. Sprinkle the potatoes with seasoned salt and pepper to taste. Potatoes - 6
  6. When you think your potatoes are just about done, add in the onions and whatever else.  You don’t want to add these in till close to the end because otherwise they turn into little bits of diced up charcoal.
  7.  Put on a plate and top with Hot Sauce, maybe even some cheese and bacon if you like.

 

My Mom’s Baked Potato Soup

Growing up my youth group would always have a baked potato bar fundraiser for our mission trips.  Man was that a hit with the second service church crowd!  But no matter how many people came we always had oodles of baked potatoes left over.  So my mom would always make baked potato soup – enough to feed a small army.  But that was perfectly ok with all of us, because that soup was ballin’.  I just made some for Will and I this week.  I had to deviate a bit from the original recipe because I have to use corn starch instead of flour.

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium Potatoes (can be leftover baked potatoes, or you can bake some ahead of time)
  • 1/3 cup Butter (or margarine)
  • 1/3 cup Green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons Dill
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups of Milk
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • ½ -1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 4-6 slices of Bacon (cooked, drained, crumbled)(or bacon bits if you want to make this really easy)

Directions:

  1. Bake the potatoes at 425 for 40-60 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and allow to cool some.  Scoop out the insides of 4 of the potatoes and set aside.  Slice the other two into chunks.
  2. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter with the green onions.
  3. Add the seasonings (pepper, salt, and dill). Add the milk, and heat till almost boiling.
  4. Ladle out some of the hot milk mixture into a separate bowl, add the cornstarch, and whisk like mad till dissolved. I like to use a mug or my glass 2 cup measuring cup for this process.  They are easier to mix in.
  5. Add the thickened mixture back in, and add all the potatoes.  Cook for a few more minutes to reheat the potatoes.
  6. Mix in the cheese and bacon crumbles.

My Tweak:  I added about 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh cilantro to mine.  I want to try adding mushrooms next time.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!  The first two are cheap and easy go to’s that I wish I would have known about in college! If you try them, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. =)

Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Fall is in the air!  And with that comes all things pumpkin flavored! Even my afternoon fuel up snack is now going to be pumpkin flavored.  

Since finding out that I am gluten free I have had to learn to do some dietary shuffling in order to take in enough carbohydrates.  I don’t think that it would be that much a of an issue if I was not active.  But since I am, as hubster puts it, a “recovering jock” or “workout-aholic” I do have to keep the carb intake up. If I don’t eat a light carb near the end of work then my run that evening will be stuck in low gear, and that is unacceptable.

I love granola and granola bars… and everything else made from oatmeal. Consequently, granola bars are my go to afternoon fuel.  I have posted a couple of granola bar recipes, and I have posted a granola cereal recipe (I have another one that I need to post).

I know it would be easiest if I stuck with the routine I had through college of singlehandedly keeping Nature Valley in business, but I value making things myself.  I try pretty hard to keep processed food out of Will and I’s diet as much as possible.  So while I could buy a box of granola bars for a couple of bucks every week, I am convinced that I am going to be able to make perfect ones for myself eventually. This post has two delicious recipes for pumpkin “granola” bars!  They are so moist that they are more like cookie bars than granola bars.  So if you are looking for a crunch, this isn’t where to look.  But if you’re looking for healthy, pumpkin deliciousness – you’ve found the right place.

 

Prepare your taste buds for these wonderful Tasty Tuesday treats that my mom and I made!  These were even my pre-race breakfast on Sunday for the Iron Horse Half-Marathon.

Healthy Pumpkin Granola Cookie Bars

*adapted from http://deliciousbydre.com/pumpkin-oatmeal-cookies/

Pumpkin Oat Cookies 2Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or spray a baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the pumpkin, egg, vanilla, and honey until well combined.  In another large bowl combine oat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, spices, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients. You don’t have to mix it too much, just till it’s all blended together.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets and form them into little bars.  You could leave them as normal cookie shapes, but I wanted to feel like I was eating a granola bar.
  4. Bake for about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate or rack to cool.
there they are =) Fresh from the oven!
there they are =) Fresh from the oven!

I think that I want to try these with cinnamon chips or chocolate chips.  They could also use a little more of the pumpkin pie spice and so on.

they pair awesomely with my homemade pumpkin spice lattes!
they pair awesomely with my homemade pumpkin spice lattes!

If you would like your own homemade pumpkin spice latte syrup to add to your coffee, leave me a comment and I will gladly make and sell you your own jar!  

I don’t have any pictures of this next recipe, but man oh man were they good! They lasted me for about 3 weeks!  Made 14 bars.  They are very soft and moist, so I might try baking them longer next time to make them a little crispier.  They are pretty healthy, but not very sweet.  The sweetness comes from your mix-ins.  If you are looking for a sweet snack, stick with the Quaker man.  But if you are looking for something healthy, that you can make yourself and customize to your taste buds you’ve found the right recipe.

Healthy Pumpkin Butterscotch Granola Cookie Bars

They remind me a lot of the homemade breakfast protein bars I used to make in high school. The original recipe with loads of suggestions for different flavors (that I highly suggest you check out) is here. That recipe says that it makes 30 bars…. I got 14 bars.  I guess I just have a big appetite. Lol.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 cups Oats
  • ¾ cup Butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients.
  3. Spread it out on a cookie sheet so that it is about a ¼” thick.  And bake for 15 minutes .
  4. Let cool, slice, and eat!

I bagged all of mine up individually so that I could easily grab one to take to work with me.  Since they are so moist I am afraid of them molding.  My solution is to put of them in the freezer, I take one out in the morning, put it in my purse, and it thaws out quickly. That is what I used to do with the protein bars that I mentioned earlier.

 

Munchie Monday – “Black & Blue” Berry Muffins

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day; in fact, I would gladly eat breakfast food for every meal of the day.  I can’t remember the last time that I didn’t eat breakfast.  If I don’t eat breakfast… you probably don’t want to be around me because eating breakfast is more integral to my disposition than my morning dose of caffeine.

Will, on the other hand, would rather erase breakfast off of his personal menu.  I do have to give him kudos.  For someone who doesn’t care for eating breakfast, he does an amazing job of getting up and making mine for me every weekday while I get ready for work.  But since he doesn’t care for breakfast much, I try to keep tempting things around for him to eat.  A couple of weeks ago it was these Blackberry Scones.  There are still a few homemade Toaster Strudels in our freezer, and I try to always keep some homemade granola on the cereal shelf.

But last week, last week Will got these amazing muffins:

black and blue berry muffins (with lemon glaze)
black and blue berry muffins (with lemon glaze)

I was pretty proud of picturesque and delicious they turned out!  Will really liked them.  They are moist instead of crumbly like most muffins, and according to him they have “awesome flavor.”   He will echo what the blogger I adapted this recipe from said, in that they start to dry out a little after 5 days.  I made a lemon glaze to top them with which Will loved, but next time he wants me to try to sprinkle sugar on the tops like they do at bakeries and coffee shops.  Also next time I will only be making half a batch (unless the half that got put in the freezer thaw out really well, or maybe I will try them gluten free so I can eat them too).

before I glazed them
before I glazed them
yum... lemon glaze!
yum… lemon glaze!

muffins

The main difference between what I did and what Bowen Appetit did is that I used a wooden spoon not my hands to mix the muffins, and I used a mix of blackberries and blueberries.  Also, I glazed them.

20130902_171654 20130902_171639

TIP: I suggest using frozen berries in recipes like muffins and scones, because your berries don’t break apart and run through the batter so much, instead they keep a nice pretty appearance and are like little explosions of flavor as you eat your muffin.

Black & Blue Berry Muffins

I thought it was clever to call them “black and blue berry muffins”; to which my mother responded “because you beat them with a spoon! Lol!”  I am glad that someone appreciated my name.

20130902_170741

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups  flour
  • 1 cup  sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup blueberries (mine were frozen)
  • 1 cup blackberries (mine were frozen)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

20130902_163058

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin.  My batch ended up making 14 muffins.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) together  in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Gently mix the berries to the dry ingredients.
  4. Now make a large well in the center of the dry ingredients to add your wet ingredients to in a minute.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the well you created in the dry ingredients.  Before incorporating the wet into the dry, pour the buttermilk in trying to pour it around the outside of the dry ingredients.  So you have wet, dry, wet.
  6. Gently mix together  the ingredients.  be slow and careful as you go; you don’t want to splash the batter out everywhere, you don’t want to burst the berries, and you don’t want to over mix the batter.  Not over mixing is what made these muffins moist, and better than your average muffins in Will’s eyes.  Also, the batter will be rather sticky, unlike other muffins I have made.
  7. Fill the muffin tins just about all the way to the top.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a knife or toothpick comes out cleanly and tops are just starting to turn golden.
  9. Let the muffins cool for a couple of minutes, gently remove them from the tins. If you didn’t use liners you may need to run a knife around the edges to loosen them up, but I didn’t need to.
  10. Cool completely before glazing.
yum... lemon glaze!
yum… lemon glaze!
Black and Blue Berry Muffins (with lemon glaze)
Black and Blue Berry Muffins (with lemon glaze)

Banana Zucchini Bread

Thanks to a wonderful, restful long weekend I missed Munchie Monday, so this week we are going to have Tasty Tuesday.  I am going to tell you about some delicious bread that I made- Banana Zucchini Bread.  I had some bananas that were WAY brown and a bunch of zucchini from the garden so I thought to myself “it can’t get much better than combining zucchini and banana bread…”

Let me tell you what, it doesn’t.

I took one loaf to Nashville to share with Will’s brother John and his wife Carrie and their girls. It was a big hit, and was nearly gone by lunch time on Saturday. Followed by invitations to visit more often lol.

here's the one that everyone ate up this weekend
here’s the one that everyone ate up this weekend

Well when I started perusing the web for a recipe that combined the two I found one from The Grey Luster Girl. I started with her basic recipe and made a very few adaptations.  This is definitely a keeper that I hope to make many different variations of and perfect over the years.

here is my gluten free loaf that I got really experimental on.
here is my gluten free loaf that I got really experimental on.

Before I share the recipe, I need to tell you that I made it in two batches because I wanted to make a gluten free loaf, make one where I subbed apple sauce for the oil because oil has sooooo many calories and so much fat, and use up some strawberries going bad in the fridge.   So I mixed up half of the ingredients making the chocolate chip one by sticking to the recipe (as a control loaf so I would know how it’s supposed to be), and then I mixed up the second one using apple sauce, gluten free flour, oats, and strawberries.

Banana Zucchini Bread

INGREDIENTS: (enough for 2 loaves)

  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Mashed Ripe Bananas (about 4 medium)
  • 1 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups Shredded Zucchini
  • 1 Bag Milk Chocolate Chips

The Bottom one is Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread.  The Top one is my concoction: GF Strawberry Oat Zucchini Banana Bread!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Grease 2 loaf pans.
  3. Beat your bananas in the mixer to mash them up, then mix in the eggs, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Add in the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and flour. Mix until the batter is moist.
  5.  Fold in zucchini and two thirds of the chocolate chips.
  6. Divide the mixture into the two loaf pans.
  7. Sprinkle the left over chocolate chips on top of each loaf.  This gives them nice presentation.  If you don’t care about presentation, you could leave out that bit of chocolate or mix the whole bag in at one time.
  8. Bake for 60-75 minutes  until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Watch the loaves as they bake; the tops might start getting too brown.  If you think they are starting to burn tear off a piece of aluminum foil and lay it over top of the bread.
  9. Cool for 15 minutes then remove from pans.
here it is sliced into.  So moist and delicious!
here it is sliced into. So moist and delicious!

Strawberry Oat Banana Zucchini Bread (Gluten Free)

INGREDIENTS: (enough for 1 loaf)

  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I used my mom’s go to blend)
  • 1 Cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Guar Gum
  • 1/4 Cup Oats (plus some for sprinkling on the top)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Mashed Ripe Bananas
  • 1/2 Cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Shredded Zucchini
  • 1 Cup Chopped Strawberries (plus a few slices to lay on the top)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Grease a loaf pans.
  3. Beat your bananas in the mixer to mash them up, then mix in the eggs, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Add in the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and guar gum and flour. Mix until the batter is moist. At this point I thought my batter was a little too moist so I added a touch more flour and a few oats.  Adding in a few oats is something I like to do to gluten free baked goods for texture and flavor.
  5.  Fold in zucchini and chopped strawberries.
  6. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
  7. Sprinkle some oats on top of the loaf and arrange strawberry slices on there as well.
  8. Bake for 60-75 minutes  until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Watch the loaves as they bake; the tops might start getting too brown.  If you think they are starting to burn tear off a piece of aluminum foil and lay it over top of the bread.    I had to keep baking mine, I don’t know it was the height of the loaf, the gluten free, or the berries, but this one did not want to finish cooking.
  9. Cool for 15 minutes then remove from pan.

Nutritional Information:

This is for the Chocolate chip loaf I made for Will, John, Carrie, and the kiddos
This is for the Chocolate chip loaf I made for Will, John, Carrie, and the kiddos
This is for the gluten free loaf where I subbed applesauce for oil and chopped up strawberries for chocolate chips.
This is for the gluten free loaf where I subbed applesauce for oil and chopped up strawberries for chocolate chips.

You May Also Like:

Grandma's Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Grandma’s Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Easy Doughnuts
Easy Doughnuts
Super Berry Spinach Smoothies
Super Berry Spinach Smoothies