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Cranberry Orange Muffins

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Good evening friends!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I made some yummy Cranberry Orange Muffins for the fabulous teachers in my kids life.  I am so very thankful for the teachers who work so hard day in and day out inspiring, motivating, challenging and sparking that desire to learn in our kids.  We have been blessed with so many wonderful teachers over the years.  Some who have become my dear friends and some who simply remain in your heart forever.  Special teachers can truly make a difference in a child’s life.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those teachers who have gone the extra mile for us all for all!

These muffins are not low-fat or healthy in any way, but they are delicious!

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Yield- 24 muffins

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup flour

4 TBL sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

6 TBL butter, cold and diced

Muffins

4 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups frozen cranberries, chopped

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 cups buttermilk

2/3 cup canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 TBL orange zest, fresh is best

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

2-3 TBL orange juice

1-2 TBL orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with liners of your choice.

Make the streusel by combining all the ingredients and cutting in the butter with a pastry blender.

To make the muffin batter, (use a large bowl) toss the flour, baking soda, salt and cranberries together until combined. Set aside.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, both sugars together until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla and zest. Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients. Stir only until combined.

Fill muffins cups 1/2 to 3/4 full. Press streusel evenly onto each muffin.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until tops are firm.  Allow muffins to cool.

Assemble the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, OJ and zest together.  Once muffins are cool, remove them from pan and put on a wire rack. Drizzle the muffins with the glaze.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from http://www.sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

 

Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal

Good morning friends,

As we sit and wait for our umpteenth snow storm of the season, may I suggest a recipe that I’ve devised for my family incorporating some of our favorite ingredients? Tomorrows forecasted cold and snowy start might be more bearable with some warm Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal, and it can even be made the night before to save time.

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Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal

1-2 bananas (ripe, sliced for bottom)

2 cups of old-fashioned oats

1 generous tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (half the calories of skim) but you can use any type of milk desired

1/3 cup of peanut butter, softened in microwave, plus additional for serving

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 egg whites (I keep the liquid ones on hand for things like this when Im trying to do low-fat baking)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Spray deep pie dish with non-stick spray

3. Slice and layer the bananas on the bottom of the dish

4. Mix the rest of  the ingredients together and place in pie dish.

5. At this point you can refrigerate overnight or bake immediately for about 30-35 minutes or until set, but not over baked or it will be dry.

6. Serve with warm milk of your choice, sliced bananas if desired and drizzle with a bit of additional peanut butter (non-negotiable ;).

* A couple of side notes-if prepared as above, this recipe has 5 WW PointsPlus  (when the dish is cut into 8 servings and not including how much peanut butter you add to the top ;). Sometimes I make this recipe with 1 1/2 times the ingredients to make it a bit  thicker, this would however increase the points value.

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Enjoy! My family gobbles this up and requests I make it often :)

Lemon Blueberry Loaf

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Good morning fellow foodies :)

This Lemon Blueberry Loaf has become a favorite in my household. So summery with a tart lemon flavor and bursting with fresh blueberries, a perfect summer combination! It involves a couple extra steps with the glazing, but it’s a well worth it treat! No pointsplus calculations here girls ;)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of Fage 0%  greek yogurt

1 cup white sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp of fresh lemon zest (if you don’t have a  zester, buy one! It really does make a difference)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups of blueberries

Lemon Syrup ingreds

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup white sugar

Lemon Glaze ingreds

1 cup of powdered sugar

2 TBL fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large loaf pan.

2. Sift your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In another bowl,  combine the wet ingredients: yogurt, 1 cup of sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then fold in the oil. Finally, gently fold in the blueberries.

4. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked in the middle.

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5. Make the lemon syrup by combining 1/3 lemon juice and 1/3 cup white sugar in a pan. Heat until dissolved and mixture is clear. Set aside and let cool.

6. Allow loaf to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and put on a rack with a pan underneath to catch the drips!  Slowly pour the syrup over the loaf and allow to soak in. Cool Completely..overnight if serving the next morning.

7. The final step is the glaze! The glaze is simply powdered sugar and lemon juice combine until there are no lumps. Drizzle over your loaf. Allow to set.

8. Slice and enjoy :)

*Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa

 

 

National Donut Day

Happy Donut Day! I have to say I LOVE a good donut and I have ever since I was a child. My first donut memories involved Mister Donut in my hometown of good ole Peoria, Illinois! My mom would surprise my brother and I by having donuts waiting for us in the morning if she happened to be out the night before. I loved the box of assorted, especially the peanut, double chocolate frosted and vanilla iced cake. The Mister Donut in Peoria used to create these donut figures. Think like a gingerbread man, but made out of dough. They were decorated with frosting and sprinkled to look like they had clothes on. They were huge, sweet, and delectable and I miss them.
Now that I have my own munchkins, who have become donut lovers, we often check out the local donut shops when visiting or vacationing in a new town to sample the local favorites. Last summer, we discovered Spunky Dunkers nearby in Palatine, IL, really just 20 minutes away and we’ve discovered St. Louis is quite the donut mecca too. It’s fun to check out what each town has to offer!
Hope you got to enjoy a favorite donut today!
Happy Donut Day :)

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“Mom, are you eating weeds?!”

“Mom, are you eating weeds?!”

Good morning friends! Yes, I am eating dandelion greens this morning! I am a proud member of my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm, called Sandhill Family Farms.  Each week from spring through fall I get a weekly basket of fresh, locally grown beautiful veggies!  I try to make a game out of trying to figure out how to use everything each week so my waste is minimal.  Each week I get a nice variety of items, some familiar some not.  Last week, we received dandelion greens, a member of the chicory family.  As many of you know, I have a love of sauteing greens,  like spinach, chard, etc and serving over my favorite farm fresh eggs. So, today I put another spin on that and sautéed my dandelion greens.

It is actually pretty basic. Here’s what I did:

1/4 tsp bacon grease

1 tsp ham squares

bunch of dandelion greens

fresh chopped chives

I put the bacon grease in my non-stick pan and saute the ham bits, add the greens and saute until slightly wilted.  I can hear the gasps through the computer!  Yes, bacon grease bad for you, BUT its a very small amount and on the rare occasions that we do have bacon, I keep a small container under my sink to collect the grease. My kids think it’s totally gross, but this habit goes back long ago from my childhood when my babysitter, Irene, used to save the bacon grease to make homemade Chex Mix, which I still do today too!   Put the greens on your plate and use the pan to cook your eggs to your liking.  I prefer either sunny-side up or over-easy so you get that nice runny yolk to dip your toast into.  Top with the fresh chives.   Again, I urge you to try farm fresh eggs if you have the chance to, they are absolutely superior in taste.

I served my eggs and greens with my favorite Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Bread.  My favorite bread is low-cal, packed with whole grains, protein and is only 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per slice!!!!  Give it a try, you’ll be happy you did!

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Bon Appetit and I’m ready for the next challenge…we received some baby turnips this week!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Who doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly?! We LOVE the combination at our house.  A peanut butter jar does not last long here. We like to smear it on everything :) As you all know, I love to bake after school snacks for my kiddos on a pretty regular basis…this muffin recipe is what I came up with earlier in the week. It’s a recipe that I added to my collection from Cooking Light Magazine long ago, 2007 to be exact.  www.cookinglight.com You can use regular or crunchy peanut butter and any flavor of jam that you wish. They are  fairly low-cal, coming in at 185 calories per muffin and over 5 grams of protein each. I hope you enjoy as much as we did. When I asked Kyle, my oldest son, his opinion, he told me “Mom, I ate 4 at one sitting.”  I guess I’ll take that as a compliment!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Ingredients

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 TBL baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1  1/4 cup skim milk

1/3 cup peanut butter- creamy, crunchy, natural or regular

1/4 cup egg whites

2 TBL butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup  jam- strawberry, wild berry, your choice

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Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, combine milk, peanut butter, egg whites, butter and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture. Stir only to combine.

3. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. Fill each cup halfway with batter. Top each cup with 1 teaspoon of jam. Spoon remaining batter on top.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes or so until set.

Makes 12 muffins

 

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

Happy Monday Morning friends,

As promised, here is the recipe for these super yummy and very filling Morning Glory Muffins!  I love this kind of muffin and I’ve revamped this one to make it a healthy, low-fat 4 PointsPlus per muffin option! You could easily add nuts to this recipe, but it will raise your PointsPlus numbers, and since my daughter has a serious tree nut allergy, you’ll notice I do not bake with any nuts in my recipes. My next endeavor is re-working a nut-free granola recipe…stay tuned for that!

If you need a hearty, wholesome treat, I would recommend this choice:)

Dry Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2  tsp salt

1 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats

Wet Ingedients

2 TBL applesauce

1/2 cup skim milk

1-2 mashed bananas

1 egg

1 TBL canola oil

Add-in Ingredients

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 dried cranberries

Directions

Mix the wet ingredients together and add the dry ingredients. Do not overmix. Stir in the add-in ingredients. Line 12 muffin cups with liners. Divide batter among the cups. Bake muffins at 400 degrees for 23-25 minutes or until set. Makes 12 muffins.010

Recipe adapted from www.marthastewart.com

***Disclaimer- PointsPlus numbers are simply my own calculations, not officially from Weight Watchers.

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

Good morning friends,

I love a warm breakfast on a cool morning and this one will make you feel like your indulging, but without any guilt.  The recipe is a slight variation of the Blueberry Baked Oatmeal I made on Saturday, this one is equally as good, especially if you like pumpkin! I really enjoyed it as did my kiddos and I think you will too :)

Dry Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup dried cranberries (could use regular or golden raisins if preferred)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 generous tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Wet Ingredients

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1/3 cup of applesauce

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

2 egg whites

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine dry ingredients.

3.  Add wet ingredients to dry, mix until combined.

4.  Pour into baking dish and baked for about 25-30 minutes or until set.

5. Serve warm with steamed milk and if desired a drizzle of maple syrup.  My kids also sprinkled with “Maple Sugar” from the Savory Spice Shop.

This recipe serves a 9 and is 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus if you’re counting :)

(The calculations are my personal calculations, not endorsed by Weight Watchers)

Bon Appetit!

Recipe adapted from  http://www.mintdesignblog.com

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Baked Blueberry OatmealI love oatmeal, baked, boiled, overnight…you name it, I like it! I found a recipe that I adapted to make even healthier and it was so yummy, we polished off the pan very quickly. It almost tasted like a blueberry coffee cake, but for only 3 measly Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving you can easily indulge without guilt!

Ingredients

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 cups skim milk

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg white

3 TBL Truvia (or 1/3 cup sugar)

2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Zest lemon and set aside.  Add lemon juice to the milk to form a “buttermilk”.

3. Wisk together oats, baking powder, salt, spices and lemon zest.

4. In another bowl, blend milk, egg and sugar.

5. Spread half the oat mixture into the baking dish, top with half of the blueberries. add remaining oat mixture and scatter remainder of blueberries on top. Pour the milk mixture on top.

6. Bake about 40 minutes and until top is slightly brown and mixture is “set”.

I served with a little steamed milk and topped with a  drizzle of maple syrup and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I cut the 8×8 pan into 9 servings to yield 3 WW PointsPlus. Next time I make it I will try to make ahead the night before and bake in the morning.

 Hope you enjoy another delicious way to eat your oatmeal :)

Recipe adapted from http://www.preventionrd.com/

Oatmeal Pancakes with Warm Blueberries

Oatmeal Pancakes with Warm Blueberries

 Good morning and Happy New Year friends! On New Years Day I made some yummy healthy oatmeal pancakes that were low in fat, high in protein and actually contained no flour. I was a bit skeptical, I wasn’t trying to make a flour-free pancake, but the ground oats worked very nicely. The pancakes were thick and moist and had the flavor of an oatmeal cookie. You could add blueberries to the batter or I added some mini chocolate chips for some of the kiddos. Instead of syrup, I took some blueberries straight from the freezer, put into a Pyrex measuring cup and microwaved until hot and bubbly. They make their own “syrup” simply by heating and require no sugar. The kids enjoyed the pancakes and Allison said to me “mom, these were SO good, I didn’t even know they were healthy!” Here’s the recipe!

Oatmeal Pancakes

English: Blueberries.

English: Blueberries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 cups of uncooked old-fashioned oats
1/3 tsp cinnamon
2 TBL brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Greek yogurt (could use a flavor if desired, I used Fage 0% fat, plain)
2/3 cup of juice or skim milk (I used apple in my first run of this recipe)
1/3 cup egg whites (I’ve been keeping a carton in the fridge for easy use in cooking)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Frozen blueberries-simply warm in the microwave until hot and bubbly, pour over finishes pancakes

In a food processor or blender, whirl all the dry ingred

ients together until a “flour” like consistency is reached. Fold wet ingredients into the dry and let batter sit for about 5 minutes. While batter rests, warm up griddle. Using a non-stick spray, grease the griddle. Ladle batter onto griddle and cook until pancake sets up and is browned on the bottom. Flip and repeat. Can also dust with powdered sugar.
Serve with the warmed blueberry “syrup” or your favorite topping.

This recipe made about 12 pancakes using a 1/4 measuring cup. Per my calculations, each pancake at that size would be 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

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