Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ham and Cheese Mini Omelettes



Eggs around here have been very cheap. Aldi  has had a dozen for 64 cents for several weeks!! I was trying to think of a different way to use eggs. I love omelettes and I used to make my stepson "made to order," omelettes when he was younger. He would be so appreciative, that it made me happy to do it for him! During the week, I am hustling to get the hubby and Dominic to work and school respectively, that we never get a chance to eat breakfast together. Lately, on the weekends, Sunday has become the day we eat breakfast together and I've just been making scrambled eggs.  In my lifetime, I've probably made thousands of cupcakes and muffins, but I have never thought of using the muffin tins to make mini omelettes.  This recipe was so easy, quick and on the table in about a half hour. We usually buy a ham for Easter and we inevitably have tons left over!! I think I know what I'm making Easter Monday for breakfast!😉
 
Ingredients

12 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup cooked ham, cubed
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In large bowl, crack the dozen eggs. Beat well with fork and add the curry powder, pepper, ham and cheese and with a large spoon, combine well. Pour into the muffin tin, distributing
evenly. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a mini omelette comes out clean. Remove from oven and let them sit for five minutes before you remove to a wire rack.  *Feel free to make your mini omelettes all cheese, all veggies - whatever you want!!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Southern Pecan Praline Cookies




"Fat Tuesday" is just around the corner! Even though I grew up in Maryland, I love Southern food, particularly New Orleans cuisine! I have eaten jambalaya, crawfish, hush puppies, dirty rice, the list goes on and on. I have never made any of the traditional, "Mardi Gras," desserts like a "King's Cake," but how about pralines?? Pralines are candy typically made of pecans and brown sugar. How about making it into a cookie instead?? These were pretty delicious if I do say so myself!!! Of course I had to "sample," a few!!!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
 3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the brown sugar until creamy with an electric mixer or by hand with a large spoon.  Add the vanilla extract and flour. Mix until well combined. "Fold," in the pecans. Roll into 18 equal sized balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are starting to turn light brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet five minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to continue to cool.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Overnight Honey Nut Granola


At 5:43 a.m. this morning, our phone rang. It was a recording from the school district informing us that Dominic's school was closed due to the weather. We had about 4-5 inches of fresh snow on the ground! Well, this is Michigan after all. Last night, I had prepared this granola, expecting to take a baggie of it with me this morning to eat in the car on the way to a 9:30 a.m. meeting. Well, my meeting was cancelled, so I ended up scooping a cup or so of this yummy granola into a bowl, adding fresh blueberries and strawberries and then pouring milk on top instead!!! An added benefit - it kept me filled up for hours. When I eat cereal out of a box, I usually start feeling light-headed and hungry well before lunchtime. Maybe it's all the oats?!?!?!


Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger with a large spoon until smooth.  Add the two different types of oats and combine until all the oats are covered with the butter and honey mixture. Stir in the walnuts and mix well. Pour into an ungreased jelly roll pan (11  x 17 inches) and spread evenly. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the oven off. DO NOT open the oven door for at least 10 hours - basically overnight. When ready to eat, pull the pan out of the oven and break into small clusters with a spatula, a large spoon or your hands. Makes approximately five cups.  Store in a covered container or a Ziploc-type bag at room temperature up to one week for maximum freshness.  To make my "on-the-go granola," I added Craisins, mini chocolate chips and sunflower kernels.




Looks pretty tasty doesn't it?? Other good "add-ins," are peanuts, almonds, pecans, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter chips - pretty much just about anything that is your favorite. How about sprinkling the plain granola on top of some vanilla ice cream? Okay, I'm getting hungry now!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gingerbread Muffins


In my personal opinion, ginger is one of those spices that is similar to cloves, a little bit goes a very long way! I don't even keep cloves in my spice cabinet because even a "whiff," of that spice is too strong for me.  Anyways, around this time of the year, gingerbread men/women are a very popular cookie to make. Dominic and I even made some gingerbread people just about a week ago.



Yesterday, in keeping with the gingerbread "theme," my baking assistant (Dominic) and I made some gingerbread muffins. Wow, these smelled so incredible when they were baking! In about a half hour you can have these tasty "gems," on your kitchen table. They are going pretty fast in my house!

Ingredients

2 cups white flour
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside. In a large bowl, put all the ingredients in the order given and mix until just combined with a large spoon. The batter is kind of stiff, but that's fine. Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack to cool. Top with powdered sugar glaze if you want (1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 1 3/4 teaspoon water). Makes 12 muffins. Store covered for up to three days.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Madeleines


About a week or so, I went looking for a new cookie recipe because the holidays are right around the corner. I dug deep into my pile of cookbooks and pulled one out called, "Tante Marie's French Kitchen," from 1949. The gal that translated and adapted it was Charlotte Turgeon, who just so happens to have been a lifelong pal of Julia Child! The two women met in college. I absolutely loved watching Julia Child's show, "The French Chef," that was on PBS. Yep, my love of watching cooking shows goes back a LONG way!! Anyways, after I blew the dust off the top of the cookbook, I found a recipe for madeleines. The only thing about making madeleines is that you need a special kind of pan to bake them in! I went to my local Bed, Bath and Beyond (I love the store, plus I always have a bunch of coupons) and purchased a 12-cavity madeleine pan for about $10.00. I have never heard of a pan with 12 cavities. Maybe the pan needs to go to the dentist. LOL.  Okay, bad joke, I know.  Ladies (and men) who bake, if you don't have one, ask for it for a holiday present!!! The recipe was so simple to make and they turned out pretty well if I do say so myself!!!

Ingredients

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 1/3 cups white flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray the madeleine pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Get one small bowl and one large bowl. Separate the yolks from the whites of the four eggs. Put the whites in the small bowl and the yolks in the large bowl. Beat the yolks slightly with a fork and add the white sugar and butter. Mix by hand with a large spoon or use an electric mixer until well combined. Add the lemon juice and white flour and combine well again. Gently "fold," in the whites of the eggs and mix until smooth. Pour into each "cavity," making sure it's not filled too full. This recipe makes three dozen cookies. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool five minutes before removing to wire rack to continue cooling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

No Yeast Cardamom Bread


I am always on the "lookout," for new quick bread recipes.  I recently picked up a bottle of cardamom at the Kroger even though I had NEVER used cardamom in my life!! Being the "bread," gal that I am,  I knew I wanted to make cardamom bread, but many of the recipes out there used yeast. I do keep yeast in my pantry (but I use that for my bread machine). This bread has no yeast, but does include buttermilk. I always have plenty of regular milk, because Dominic goes through a couple of gallons a week, but I typically do not have buttermilk in the fridge. You can easily whip up your own in a matter of minutes. Do you dye eggs around Easter? then you probably have white vinegar somewhere in your pantry. To make what you need for this bread, pour a cup of milk into a small bowl and then add a tablespoon of white vinegar. Set the timer for five minutes. Yep, that's it. When I made this bread this morning, I got the homemade buttermilk going and then mixed up the rest of the ingredients. I made a loaf of this bread earlier in the week (with no icing or walnuts) and there was just one piece left this morning. I now have made this bread both plain and with vanilla icing and chopped walnuts on top (which is the "traditional," way of making it). Both ways were super duper scrumptious!





Ingredients

2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 cup buttermilk
  (if you don't have any, put one cup milk and
  one tablespoon of white vinegar in a bowl
  and wait five minutes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a  9 x 5 x 3 inch  loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In large bowl, put the eggs and white sugar and mix well. Add the canola oil and mix well again. Next, put the flour, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Combine and then add the buttermilk. Mix until smooth and pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool on a baking rack and then remove from the pan. Top with vanilla icing and walnuts, if desired. Keeps for up to three days covered at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles


One of my dear friends, Melissa, looked at my blog recently trying to find a pumpkin cookie recipe. Finding none, I told her I would try and come up with one! I am ALWAYS up for a baking challenge, so I decided to make pumpkin snickerdoodles! My absolute favorite "trio," of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) are in these tasty "gems!" Shortly before I headed over to a disability ministry art event at Melissa's art gallery Sunday a week ago, I whipped up a few dozen cookies, thinking there would be at least a few left over for her to enjoy later with her husband. Well, guess how many were left. ONE!!! You know what that means. Well, it actually means three things, the participants at the art event liked them, since I didn't even get a picture of my first platter of cookies, I had to make some more and I owe Melissa a platter of cookies!


 Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 cup packed pumpkin
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Topping

1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger

In a large bowl, put the butter and white sugar and cream until smooth by hand with a large spoon or with electric mixer. Next, add the light brown sugar, pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Lastly, add the white flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix by hand with large spoon until it turns into a soft batter. Don't over mix. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a minimum of two hours. When ready to make, preheat oven to 375 degrees and cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the batter into four dozen balls the same size (a little smaller than a golf ball) and set aside. In a small bowl, put the topping ingredients - white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Using a small spoon, mix until combined. Roll each ball into the sugar topping mixture, coating the entire ball. Place a dozen at a time on the cookie sheet and using the bottom of a drinking glass, first put in the sugar topping mixture and then press the ball. Bake for 12 minutes and then remove to wire rack immediately to continue to cool.  Store covered at room temperature for up to one week. Side note: parchment paper is my new favorite baking item for cookies. If a recipe calls for ungreased cookie sheets, I use parchment paper. I bought the Kroger "house," brand a while back and I still have several sheets and no "stuck" cookies!!