Thursday, July 29, 2010

Recipe: Ginger Peach Muffins

Earlier this summer I made a Gingerbread-Peach Upside Down Cake and awoke this morning craving muffins with the flavour combination of ginger and peaches.  After a brief search I found a recipe for these beauties.  These were so tastey with the bite of ginger and earthy sweet peaches.

A kitchen I would die for.
Love the combination of lime green with cream.

Our MOMS Club had a breakfast potluck and everyone brought beautiful and tastey dishes.  Our host recently moved into their renovated vintage home and I couldn't stop taking pictures of the beautiful details throughout the house..

They built in this pantry & broom closet.
Look at those slate floors!

adapted from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups peeled diced peaches
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp flour
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, first amount of ginger and first amount of cinnamon in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.

In a smaller bowl cream together butter, apple sauce, egg, and sugar. Mix in peaches and milk.

Pour into flour mixture, and stir just to moisten (it will be lumpy).

Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full.

Mix together brown sugar, and second amount of flour, ginger and cinnamon.  Sprinkle mixture over top of muffins in tins.

Bake in 400 F oven for 20 - 25 minutes, let rest in pan 5 minutes then remove.  Serve warm.

The outside of these muffins came out crunchy. 
Perfect with the soft moist inside.
Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Family Friendly Fridays over at Mommy Cooks!


from the book "Richard Scarry's Best Story Book Ever"
pictures and story by Richard Scarry
1968, Golden Press

I purchased this book from a local thrift shop.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Recipe: Fragrant Curried Turkey Meatballs

This curry was fragrant and delicious.  There wasn't a drop of sauce left in our bowls.  The recipe has quite a few steps but is worth every effort.  The curry spice is from scratch and you may be surprised by what's included in it.

I served this over noodles but I think it would've tasted better over basmati rice to absorb the sauce better.  Next time I will also use crushed tomatoes instead of diced so it's not as lumpy.

When I formed the meatballs they were mushy and I was tempted to add breadcrumbs to firm them up a bit, however, I trusted in the recipe and just kept going.  When I placed them on top of the sauce I thought there was no way they'd hold together.  Much to my surprise, after 15 minutes simmering they were well formed and floating on top of the sauce.

from The Perfect Pantry

1-1/2 lb ground turkey
2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp minced ginger root
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp minced onion
1 large egg
3/4 tsp kosher salt

In a large bowl, using your impeccably clean hands, mix all ingredients for the meatballs, adding 3 Tbsp of the minced onion (the remainder will go into the sauce). Do not overmix, but be sure the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Set aside while you make the sauce.

1 medium-large onion, minced (set aside 3 Tbsp for the meatballs)
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 bay leaves
1 small (2-inch) piece of cinnamon stick
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
2 tsp minced ginger root
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chile powder (cayenne), or to taste
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
Kosher salt, to taste (3/4 tsp or more)
Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

In a deep sauce pan, heat the canola oil. Add the remaining onion, bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and saute over medium heat until the onions are golden brown, 3-4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Cook until the oil comes to the surface, 4-5 minutes, then add 1 cup of water. Continue cooking until the water has evaporated, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Then stir constantly for 3 minutes; at this point the mixture will be a bit dry.

Add the powdered spices and salt, and the remaining water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5-6 minutes while you form the meatballs.

Form the turkey into meatballs approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter (the size of large walnuts). Set the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, shaking the pan every 2-3 minutes to turn the meatballs and coat them with the sauce. Uncover the pan and continue to cook the meatballs for 3 minutes. Add the parsley, and shake the pan or gently stir. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe

from the book "Aesop's Fables"
translated from the Greek by the Rev. Geo. Fyler Townsend
illustratins designed by Harrison Weir
and engraved by J. Greenaway
1964, Parents Magazine Enterprises, Inc.

I purchased this book from a local thrift shop.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I got free peaches!

Yesterday the "peach man" was selling his wares at the Farm Center parking lot.  I bought two bags at $6.00/piece and noticed he was throwing some into a bucket outside the van during his sort to fill my bags.  I asked him what he was going to do with those and he said get rid of them unless someone wants them.

Last week I read a good article by Stephanie over at Saving Naturally about Why We Waste Food: Are We Too Picky?   In Stephanie's article she says:

"The only thing that could probably be said for them was that their imperfections offended my culturally-influenced concept of what “good” food ought to look like."

This really got me thinking about that bucket of bruised and imperfect peaches and all the things I could do with them.  Even if I couldn't think of any wonderful baked desserts and peach goodies, there's always smoothies that make any imperfect fruit look good.

I still have never canned or preserved any great quantities of food, but I was sure I could figure it out.  So, I asked him if I could have them and he said "sure!".  He went through the rest of his crates to pick out the "spoils" and I took half a crate of FREE peaches home!

Once I got them home I panicked a bit.  Whatever I was going to decide to do with them had to be that day and fast before the fruit flies and rot quickly set in.  I searched the internet and found some great freezing tips on but the task still seemed overwhelming.  So, I called my dear neighbour and friend, Sarah, to see if she could help.  She came right over and showed me how to do everything.

We put a few at a time into a boiling pot of water for about 30 seconds, then quickly transferred them into an ice bath for peeling.  After peeling we laid them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and placed them in a freezer.  Once frozen, we transferred them to freezer bags. 

We could've added some juice or sugar syrup to the peaches prior to freezing them but decided not to.  These aren't going to last that long.  We also put some in jars that we planned on using in the next couple days.  In the end we ended up with about 3 jars each and 2 freezer bags full of peaches - all for free!

I wish I could've taken mroe photos of our work but we had to move quickly as a big storm was rolling in fast.  Outside looked like this within moments of her driving home to bring all our peach scraps to her chickens.
Look at how far my poor trees are bent over on the left. 
The temperature drop was 20 degrees within minutes.

I hope you'll be inspired to take a second look at imperfect produce and recognize that it's still useable and worth a try.  Hey, you might even get it for free!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recipe: Crispy Crunchy Lumpy Applesauce Granola

Warning - this granola is seriously addictive.  You can eat it straight outta the jar as it's perfectly lumpy.  I can't decide if it's the spice combination of cardamom, ginger and cinnamon that makes it so good, or the crunch.
Look how lumpy it is!

I adapted this recipe from the Mix-n-Match Applesauce Granola found over at Everybody Likes Sandwiches - love this blog.  I've made it dozens of times now and never realized I haven't written about it yet.  There's always a huge jar of it on the counter for everyone to dip in as a snack or on ice cream, yogurt, on top of cereal, or added to baking and more.

Staples on our counter - jars of granola, & cookies or muffins.

adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups puffed rice cereal (I've also used Rice Chex type cereal)
1 teaspoon Saigon (or regular) cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon of Kosher (or regular) salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup plain applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I like pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
1 cup dried fruit (we like raisins)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (I use my Silpat). 

In a large bowl combine oats, puffed rice cereal, and spices.  In a medium bowl whisk together applesauce and vanilla.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients along with chopped nuts and raisins and mix thoroughly.  Spread on a baking sheet in a even layer.

Bake for 30 minutes, then turn over granola carefully (don't break the lumps!) with a large spatual.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes then turn again.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes until crisp and golden.

Cool in the pan completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Optional - after the first 30 minutes and turning the granola over, you can turn off your oven, leave the door open, go to bed and take it out in the morning.  The granola is even more crisp and cooled completely.  I usually make a batch just before bed.

Printable Recipe


1953, Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc.

I purchased this book from a library sale for 25 cents.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recipe Cobb Salad Pizza & Bread Machine Dough

A salad pizza doesn't sound very filling for dinner but this has cooked chicken, bacon and a wonderful whole wheat crust to satisfy your appetite.  It's also filled with avacado, blue cheese, and lots of fresh vegetables.  The blend of flavours comes together nicely. My husband and kids even enjoyed this supper.

Yesterday was too hot to be cooking supper here in Kansas. So what do you make when everyone's starving and you need something quick - Cobb Salad Pizza! The August 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine arrived in our mailbox yesterday and this recipe jumped off the page at me. I've been looking for interesting ways to use up all the greens we've been receiving on our CSA, and this looked like a delicious option.

You can use a store-bought crust, but this whole wheat crust is so easy to prepare in the bread maker.  Remember a pizza is as good as it's crust.  My dough takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to prepapre in the bread maker.

from The Bread Machine Baker

3 teaspoons or 1 package of yeast (I use Bread Machine Yeast)
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon sugar (I used 1 1/2 half packets of Truvia)
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water (room temperature)
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Place all ingredients in your machine according to the specifications of your machine (mine is always yeast first, followed by flour and the other ingredients).  Select the dough cycle and push start. 

Printable Recipe

adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, August 2010

1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough (or make your own)
Cooking spray (I used olive oil instead)
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon Montreal Chicken Spice (I added this ingredient)
2 slices applewood-smoked bacon (I used 4 slices maple bacon)
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets (I diced them)
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
2 Tablespoons chopped red onion
2 cups lightly packed mixed baby greens
1/2 cup diced peeled avacado

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Unroll dough on a baking sheet coated in cooking spray (I used olive oil to coat the pizza pan instead); pat dough into a 14x12" rectangle.  Lightly coat dough with cooking spray (I used olive oil instead).  Bake at 425 for 8 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven; sprinkl evenly with 2 Tablespoons of the blue cheese.  Set aside.

Combine oil, vinegar, mustard, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove any bacon from pan; crumble bacon into oil mixture. 

Wipe your pan clean with paper towels.  Heat pan over medium-high heat, coating pan with cooking spray.  Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper (and I added a teaspoon or so of Montreal Chicken Spice).  Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes each side until done.

Add chicken, tomatoes, and onion to oil mixture; toss gently to combine.  Add greens; toss gently.  Top crust evenly with chicken mixture, avacado, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of cheese.  Cut into 8 pieces.

Printable Recipe


1961 Harper & Brothers

I purchased this book at a garage sale for 50 cents.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Martha Mondays: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Semifreddo (ice cream)

Can you say peanut butter cup ice cream?  Oh yeah, that's what we're talkin' about here!  The best part is that I made it low-sugar too!  This ice cream dessert is decadent.  It's elegant enough to serve at a fancy dinner party, yet easy enough to make so you could serve it to a group of  lucky kids.  It's so creamy that you'll want to lick the bowl.

I haven't participated in Martha Mondays in quite a while and I'm so glad I jumped in this time.  Brette of Martha and Me, who hosts Martha Mondays, chose this splendid dessert from Everyday Food Magazine July/Aug 2010 issue.  To see how everyone else's turned out and what they thought of the recipe go here for their link-ups.  Why not join us next week as we're making chocolate pudding from avacado and dates - yum!

Like most Martha recipes, there were a few steps that I had to read and reread before I understood what I was supposed to do.  They didn't include the water in the ingredients list, which is enough to throw me off completely.  Hey, I've never made ice cream before ;o)  I retyped the recipe with my notes, and a little more direction for clarity below.

I replaced the sugar in this recipe using Truvia packets.  Truvia is made from Stevia which is a natural source (I even have a Stevia plant in my garden).  I'm not a big fan of the other chemical-laden sweeteners and this seems to be a more natural choice as it's made from plants.  Truvia's website has lots of recipes and a conversion chart for sugar here.  The sugar in this recipe comes from the peanut butter which only has 3g per 2Tbsp.  If you use home made peanut butter, then you could make this dessert completely sugar-free.

Note - I wasn't paid or asked to recommend Truvia, nor did I receive any free samples or anything.. but I'd love some!

from Everyday Food Magazine July/Aug 2010

2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar (36 packets of Truvia)
2 cups creamy peanut butter (it's says not natural but I'm not sure why)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (I used Hershey's chips made with Splenda)
1/2 cup water
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Line a 5x10" jumbo loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a 4" overhang on all sides.  (I had to use a much bigger 7x10" pan and it was right to the brim!)

In a medium saucepan, combine milk and 1 cup sugar (or 24 Truvia packets).  Bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat, add peanut butter, and whisk until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature (about an hour).

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar (12 Truvia packets) and 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium-high, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.  Transfer to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature (about an hour).

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (because it takes almost 5 minutes!), whisk cream and vanilla until soft peaks form.

Add half the peanut butter mixture and whisk until combined.

With a rubber spatula, add half the remaining peanut butter mixture (1/4 and you'll still have 1/4 left over) and gently fold 3 times (mixture will be rippled). (I folded mine about 10 times to get it mixed in somewhat).

Transfer half the cream/peanut butter mixture to loaf pan.  Top with half the peanut butter mixture and 1/4 cup chocolate mixture.  Top with remaining cream/peanut butter mixture, then drizzle with remaining peanut butter mixture and 1/4 cup chocolate mixture.  With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, swirl mixtures together. 

Freeze until firm, about 5 hours (or up to 3 days).  Let sit 20 minutes at room temperature before serving with extra chocolate sauce.

Printable Recipe

This is crazy good. 

OMG!  Is that a funnel cloud forming?!?

Kansas has the most beautiful thunderstorms.
This was the view from our back patio Friday evening.
This storm came and went within 30 minutes.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Recipe: Biscoff Cookies

Yes, I found a knock-off recipe for this fabulous cookie!  The best part is that it's a bar cookie so it's super easy to make.  I made these yesterday afternoon and I'm sure they'll be gone by the end of today from me the kids. 

These buttery shortbread cookies burst with cinnamon flavour and have the perfect texture.  They don't fall apart when you cut them or lift them out of the pan either.  I bet you have these ingredients in your pantry now and could even make them today :)
The Art Of The Cookie

2 c. all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I used Saigon Cinnamon - yum!)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg,baker's ammonia and salt together; set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together. Add the vanilla extract.

Gradually blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
The dough is thick but not too stickey. 
Spread it in the pan with your fingers.

Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 greased pan. Decoratively score the dough with a fork or small knife, if you wish.
I used a cake server to make a decorative pattern.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 25 minutes (mine was 25 min), or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container. Well-wrapped shortbread may also be frozen.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Frugal Friday over at Life As Mom :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Recipe: Scallops with Liguinie in White Wine Sauce

Anytime we serve seafood it feels like a very special meal when, in fact, it's one of the easiest and quickest foods to prepare.  You never have to add a bunch of ingredients or cook it for long for it to taste great.  It readily absorbs the flavours of the dish and pairs well with almost anything. 

My fridge was bursting with veggies from my CSA (green pepper and tomatoes used in this recipe) and I needed a quick meal to prepare.  I had 45 minutes until my husband arrived home and needed something hearty, healthy, and fast!  I had nothing defrosted or planned.  It was over 100 degrees outside and turning the oven on wasn't an option.  Didn't I feel like an accomplished woman when I served up this meal in no time flat!

This special recipe came on the back of the package of frozen scallops.  At the moment, I don't follow any seafood buying guides, but intend to soon.  I do look at where the seafood comes from and, if given a choice, buy as local as possible.  Being in a small town in the midwest my choices are very limited.  With better meal planning and trips to stores that offer better options, like Whole Foods, I'll be able to make better choices.  Baby steps people. ;o)

from Aqua Star Bay Scallops

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 (28oz) can Italian tomatoes, peeled, chopped & drained
(I chopped 3.5 cups of tomatoes instead - about 4)
 1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed hot red pepper
1 cup dry red or white wine
1 lb. Bay Scallops
1 lb. cooked linguine
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper and saute until tender. 

Stir in tomatoes, oregano, salt and hot pepper.  Add wine and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stir frequently. 

Add bay scallops, stir occasionally, and cook until scallops are opaque throughout (this only takes a few minutes!).  Serve over cooked linguine.  Garnish with chopped parsley.

Printable Recipe


1973, Four Winds Press

This book is from our local library.
It reminds me so much of Nova Scotia that it makes my heart ache.
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