Quick Rosemary Rolls

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If you ever need dinner rolls fast, like 30 minutes or less fast, give this recipe a go. You can decrease the recommended rising time as much as you like; I often let it rise for only 20 minutes and that’s because I’m almost always in a bit of a hurry.SAM_4996

I based this recipe off a hybrid of the whole-wheat pizza dough recipe and the rosemary ciabatta loaf recipe I’ve featured in the past. The rolls aren’t gorgeous–they are, after all, just quick and easy drop biscuits–but they are delicious and pair perfectly with soup or pasta.

Ingredients

1 t honey or agave nectar

1/2 of a yeast packet

3/4  cup whole wheat flour

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1 T rolled oats
pinch of garlic salt, if you like1 t cornmeal

Seasonings: Rosemary to taste, a little basil, and dill, too

Directions

-In a bowl, dissolve sweetener and yeast in 1/4 cup hot water. Let stand for about five minutes.

-Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir ’til a soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.SAM_4995

-Place in bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Let rise ’til double in size, about 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Punch down and work in seasonings. Use a spoon to scoop the dough into rolls, sort of like drop biscuits. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm. Maybe with my Roasted Corn & Black Bean Soup!

 

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Key Lime Cake with Whipped Yogurt Frosting

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I’ve written about how I’m not crazy about cake mixes. They usually have hydrogenated oils, but sometimes I get lucky and find one that doesn’t.SAM_4933

Or if I’m really lucky, one that uses whole, unrefined sugars and flours. But that’s rare.

But people like those cake mixes so much! It’s hard to please a crowd with unrefined tastebuds.

So here’s a compromise I made for a very special someone’s birthday. He likes key lime pie, a lot. Now he likes key lime cake, too.

IngredientsSAM_4921

1 box of angel food cake

1 large lime or two small

1 container of key-lime-flavored yogurt

1/3 cup healthy whipped topping (try a soy type or Troo Whip)

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-Prepare the angel food cake as directed, but add in some fresh lime zest and a little squeeze of juice at the end. The cake should still taste light and fluffy with just a hint of lime flavor, most of which comes from the topping

-Let cake cool, of course. But once it cools completely, you can begin making the whipped yogurt topping. It’s as simple as mixign the yogurt and whipped topping together, drizzling all over the cake, serving chilled, and if you like, sprinkling with fresh zest or coconut shreds.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

Hotcake Hearts Bar & Muffins

“Only boring people get bored.” quoth Ruth Burke.

I’m always looking for a new and crazy recipe inspiration, something odd and out there, and this is because I get bored easily with the most commonplace dishes that make up the American diet.

Does this mean I’m boring?

Or does the pursuit of new baking ideas make me an innovator? The antilogoi to boring?

Did you ever think food preparation could be so philosophical?

I did and do. Just read my “Philosophies & Such” page.

Or make this warm brunch treat and see what you can learn about yourself.

Makes 1 big hotcake heart or 6-7 mini muffins.

Ingredients

3 T nondairy milk

1/2 T melted vegan butter or applesauce

1/4 large egg or flax egg, mixed

1/2 T stevia

1/4 cup spelt or white whole wheat flour

dash of baking powder

splash of vanilla

optional: dash of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease whatever pan you’d like to bake in. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Then blend in wet.

Transfer to prepared dish and bake for 6-7 minutes for mini muffins, 10-12 for the hotcake heart.

Serve warm and top with whatever you like. Pure maple syrup is delicious, but so is my favorite cream cheese frosting.

DIY: Cupcake Transport Idea

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Friends of mine might remember the adorable cupcake presentation boxes I had for my letter writers when I was applying to M.A. programs two years ago.SAM_4837

Another round of excellent and supportive letter writers put up with my numerous reminders and gushing thank you’s again, this time for doctoral programs.

There’s a lot changing in my life right now, but craftiness and my cooking-to-relax routines are not. This time, it was a healthful little blueberry muffin. It needed delicate transport and it needed to be as cute as I was thankful. My favorite culinary truth: Eating is 50% presentation.

So I found this great little idea on Pinterest. Put a muffin or cupcake in a small plastic cup. Wrap with whatever kind of wrapping you like–I used treat bags from Michael’s–tie up in a pretty bow and take them anywhere. The cups keep the treats sturdy and upright. The bag gives the pizzazz.

Oh, and the most important part, the muffin, makes everything sweet. I hope they liked my thank you’s. I’m thinking of baking something for them again because I had so much fun tucking them into their mailboxes.

Pigs-In-A-Blanket: All Grown Up & Healthified!

This little piggy went to market,

 

 

 

 

And this little piggy stayed home (in his healthy whole-wheat blanket),

 

 

 

 

This little piggy was actually made from soy,

 

 

 

 

And this little piggy was anything but processed.

 

 

 

 

 

And this little piggy went “Whee! Whee! We all need to eat better, but we don’t have to ditch our favorite meals!”

Okay, certainly not the best story, but the moral is good. You don’t have to give up your favorite meals. You just have to prepare them in a way that’s better for you.

I love kid food. I love pigs-in-a-blanket because growing up I ate them all the time. Even as adult, I still crave them. The problem is that the overly-processed pig parts in regular hot dogs and the hydrogenated oils in store-bought crescent dough is anything but nourishing; it’s the exact opposite.

The solution? Try soy dogs! Unless you’re one of those people who can’t taste salt (and there is so much sodium in regular hot dogs), you’ll never be able to tell the difference between soy dogs and regular dogs.

And then take problem solving a little further with a homemade, whole-wheat “blanket.”

I’ll list the recipe below, but before you protest that you don’t have time to make your own dough, let me assure you that this recipe takes a minute to make and rises in 15 minutes or less. In 15 minutes, you can wash the dishes, prepare other foods, make your lunch for tomorrow, or take a quick cat nap. That’s what I typically do anyway.

Makes 4 little pigs

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 t stevia

1 t onion powder

a little salt, if you must have it

1/2 t yeast

7 T warm (but not piping hot) water

1 t olive oil

2 soy dogs

Directions

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

-Combine all dry ingredients, except yeast. Push to one side. Drop yeast on the other side, and then add water. Mix up a bit before blending water with the rest of the dry ingredients.

-Mix in olive oil. Cover with a towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.

-When dough has risen, separate into four sections. Roll out into long skinny triangles. Roll the pigs up in their blankets and bake for about 11-13 minutes.

Serve warm and with my absolute favorite condiment of all time: Trader Joe’s organic ketchup! You can even have a little fun like I did decorating the pigs with the ketchup or whatever other condiments you like.

Maple Syrup Oat Muffin

Not quite like oatmeal.

Not quite like a traditional muffin.

Not quite like a flapjack.

This delicious baked treat is deliciously odd. It takes from the three beloved breakfast staples, ones that can easily be prepared in a bland way, and pulls them together with a rich, flavorful syrup taste.

Yum.

Ingredients

2 T quick oats (save 1 t for topping)

2 T spelt or whole-wheat flour

dash of baking powder and cinnamon

1 t vegan butter

2 t pure maple syrup

1 flax egg

1 T nondairy milk

optional: chopped pecans or sliced almonds

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin slot or a ramekin. Set aside.

-Combine all dry ingredients; then wet.

-Softly mold to prepared baking dish. Press in extra oats and nuts.

-Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean. Alternatively, you can microwave for about a minute and a half.

Top with extra maple syrup or honey if you like. Serve fresh out of the oven.

My Good Morning Blueberry Muffin

A piping hot, fresh out of the oven blueberry muffin is a classic treat.

And Lord knows how I love classics.

And treats.

And blueberries!

Yes, I still have blueberries stockpiled in my freezer from my summer love affair with Berry Patch Farm. They are so close to gone, so I knew I had to make one more blueberry recipe before I ran out for good.

Until next summer, Berry Patch Farm. But right now, in the middle of winter, I’m warming up with this sweet summer fruit baked in the best way possible.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp spelt flour (30g) (or ww pastry)
  • dash of baking powder
  • 1-2 T blueberries (chopped or whole)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 T organic vanilla yogurt
  • 2 T nondairy milk
  • 1 T stevia

Directions

Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or a single silicone cup. Set aside. (Note: You can microwave for 1-1.5 minutes for a quicker muffin, but it will probably turn out less moist.)

Mix dry ingredients; then blend in wet ’til combined, but don’t overmix.

Pop in berries or smear them around for a little tie-dye blue effect.

Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

PB&J Cupcake

Peanut-butter-jelly time!

The song is a little annoying, but this recipe won’t be.

Unless you have a hard time fighting temptation. Then it might.

PB&J sandwiches really are like a dessert break in middle of the day–otherwise known as lunch. Think about it: sweet fruit, savory nut spread, topped on soft bread. Sounds almost like a sweet-savory cake, doesn’t it?

Let’s just go there already. We need a real PB&J dessert. A cupcake. Ever seen the ones in many cupcake emporiums? I always thought they looked less appetizing next to their chocolate and vanilla counterparts.

But try this very rich recipe, and you’ll change your mind.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp spelt flour (30g) (or ww)
  • .5 T stevia
  • dash of baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon
  • 1/2 an egg or 1/2 flax egg (.5 T ground flax mixed with 1/2 T water)
  • 1 T all-natural, salt-free peanut butter
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 T organic vanilla yogurt
  • .5 T nondairy milk

For icing: Mix another 1/2 T peanut butter with either another 1/2 T vanilla yogurt or 1/2 T Neufchatel cream cheese. Top with your favorite preserves.

Directions

Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or a single silicone cup. Set aside. (Note: You can microwave for 1-1.5 minutes for a quicker muffin, but it will probably turn out less moist.)

Mix dry ingredients; then blend in wet ’til combined, but don’t overmix.

Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Let cool. Spread with the peanut butter frosting and preserves.

Blue & Berry Good Bagel for One

A berrylicious bagel that will take you from saying “Good morning.” to “So good and more, please!”

Seriously, I can’t sing the praises of this berry bagel enough. I think the coconut oil is to blame. The sweetness of that oil paired with a scant splash of vanilla extract make for a scrumptious pairing. I contemplated spreading with a little vegan butter, but the finished creation tasted so delicious and moist on its own it didn’t need any extra help.

But you of course can bake and make this bagel work however you like. A little Neufchatel cream cheese or a drizzle of honey would be perfect.

Makes one really big bagel

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour

1/2 T stevia

1 t coconut oil

1/2 t instant yeast

1/2 cup warm (but not burning hot) water

splash of vanilla

a few T blueberries, chopped

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients, except toppings, and then blend in oil and water. Knead for a few minutes, and then let rest for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

Once dough has rested, pick it up again and easily knead a bit, adding in a few more t warm water if it has dried out too much.

Roll dough into ball and set aside. Sprinkle your toppings into another bowl.

Pick up the dough ball and use your thumbs to gently puncture a hole in the center. Mold into one bagel-shaped O, and once ready, press the top of the bagel into berries in a bowl or use your thumbs to press the berries into the dough. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes.

Zucchini Cookies & Mini-Muffins

 

Zucchini bread, otherwise known as Z bread to some, is a delicious treat. The best Z I’ve had came from a good friend of mine last winter. A Miss Angela Walther of Pleasureville, Kentucky, baked each of her friends a gift box full of southern treats right before we all left for Winter Break. They were all too tasty, especially the Z bread, and I loved that she shared with us the best recipes of her culture.

In cookie form

I’m not sure what was in Angela’s bread that made it taste so good, but I imagine lots of butter and sugar. I’ve got nothing against those ingredients. I’ll admit they’re tasty. And when a friend offers them to you, of course you enjoy them.

But I’ve found a Z bread recipe that rivals Angela’s sweet southern one. It comes from a mommy blogger committed to clean eating, and I just can’t get enough of it.

Makes four good-sized cookies, mini-muffins, or two regular muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat or spelt flour
  • dash of cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract
  • 1/2 egg, mixed up
  • 2 T coconut oil (or vanilla yogurt or applesauce)
  • 1 T + 1 t honey
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • Optional: chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet, muffin tin, or small loaf pan (depending on what kind of bread you’d like to make.
  2. Blend the dry ingredients.
  3. Make a hole in the center and pour in the egg, oil, honey, and vanilla, but do not overmix.
  4. Fold in zucchini (and chopped nuts if using).
  5. Pour batter into baking dish or choice and bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the baked good. About 12-15 minutes.

    Are you feeling more mini-muffin or cookie-like today?

Enjoy each little treat thoroughly.

Or if you’d like to save some for later, these will stay fresh in the freezer for quite a long time.