Thursday, July 30, 2009

Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins

OK, this is a recipe AND a cook book review! This recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld's cook book, Deceptively Delicious. Her cook book is fabulous and features recipes with pureed fruits and veggies hidden cleverly in delicious meals and goodies! I have made a lot of the recipes in the cook book and will discuss those later. But, back to this recipe- I have tried this both with the pureed cauliflower and with the pureed carrot. Both version are fabulous, but my family likes the carrot recipe the best. I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone with or without children.

(with carrot or cauliflower)
Non-stick cooking spray
1 c. brown sugar (divided 2) 1/2 c. portions)
1/2 c. natural peanut butter
1/2 c. carrot or cauliflower puree
1/2 c. banana puree
1 large egg white
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin pan with nonstick spray. Combine 1/2 c. sugar, peanut butter, vegetable puree, banana and egg white. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Add 2nd 1/2 c. of brown sugar and stir only once or twice. Divide batter into muffin cups and bake until tops are golden and toothpick come out clean. About 15-20 minutes.

Here are the other recipes I have tried from this wonderful book-
Banana bread- Great!
Sweet Potato Pancakes- Fabulous, our new Sunday morning tradition
Aloha Chicken Kebabs- Great flavor, but had trouble keeping the breading on
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (with squash puree)-Even better than the original
Sloppy Joes- Excellent

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

White Wedding Cake

My sister requested white wedding cake for her bridal shower. I must admit that white wedding cake is my personal favorite as well. I have made many cakes from scratch, but have found that they are most often not as moist as a cake mix. Even so, I do not usually buy cake mixes. For this occasion, I wanted to make sure that it was moist and delicious with a hint of almond- just like wedding cake should bed. I found this recipe and I will never use another!

White Wedding Cake
1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites
1 1/2 t. almond extract
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. oil
1 1/3 c. water

Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix well. Pour into greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. *To frost, I used plain white frosting in the container with 1 t. almond extract mixed in.

Cheesecake Won Ton Cups

I love short cuts. Especially when you can NOT tell that a short cut has been made! This is a recipe from my friend Stefanie. I have had these on several occasions and each time, everyone RAVES about them! This is one of the recipes that I made for my sister's bridal shower last weekend. Enjoy!
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Cheesecake Won ton Cups

1 pkg. won ton wrappers
1 container Philadelphia cheesecake filling (premade, and at your grocery store by the cream cheese)
1 jar lemon curd (fancy jam or pie filling would even work)
whipped cream (the kind in a can works best)

fresh raspberries (blackberries would be terrific, too)
Using a mini-cupcake pan, press wonton wrappers into pan. Spray lightly with PAM (I used olive oil spray). Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.
Bake at 350 for approximately 5 minutes, or until golden. Cool.
Fill cooled shells with about 1 t. of cheesecake filling, 1 t. lemon curd. Top with whipped cream and place one single raspberry on top. Garnish by sifting confectioner's sugar over just before serving.

Harvest Lamb Stew

This meal was delicious, but not the best for a hot summer night! In any event, this is a keeper. Simple and flavorful and could easily be made in the crock pot. For those of you who make your own baby food- this would be a great recipe to use!

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Harvest Lamb Stew

1 lb. Lamb stew meat

1 T. Olive oil

1/4 red onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 c. butternut squash, cut into chunks (I used frozen!)

1/2 c. pearl barley

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs thyme

3 c. tomato juice

Heat medium skillet on HIGH. Salt and pepper the lamb chunks. Brown lamb about 1 minute, turning once. Remove to roast pan or dutch oven (center should be red). Turn heat down to medium and add oil, onion, garlic, squash, bay leaf and thyme. Cook about 5-8 minutes and add barley. Cook, stirring, an additional 2 minutes and add to pan with the lamb. At this point it should look like this:

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Pour tomato juice over mixture and bake at 325 for about 2 hours (or place in crock pot for 3-4 hours on low) Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme.


This is my stand-by granola recipe. We always have a jar (or 2) of this stuff around. Some of my favorite combinations are dried tart cherries and almonds, and blueberries and almond or pecans. This is absoutely delicious mixed into a bowl with plain fat-free yogurt and a little honey or agave nectar. My hubby also likes this on top of a salad with vinaigrette.



3 c. oats

1 c. raw sunflower seeds (or nuts)

1 c. shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 c. vegetable oil

3/4 t. salt

1 c. dried fruit (I used blueberries this time)

Combine sugar, syrup, oil and salt. Combine oats, seeds and coconut, stir. Add oil mixture to oats. Spread over 2 cookie sheets and bake at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes until done to your liking (I did 30 minutes). Cool and add dried fruit. Store in airtight container. Makes approximately 6 cups.

Breakfast Bars

Looking for a quick, healthy breakfast? We have our freezer stocked with these at all times. I found the recipe here. Joe takes one of these and a banana with him to work for breakfast every morning. The bars are filling and really stick with you! They also contain spirulina. You can find spirulina in most health food stores. A container should cost about $20, but I have always gotten it in the bulk spice section so I didn’t have to buy quite so much at once (and it is a fraction of the cost).

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2 1/2 c. oats

1/2 c. flax seed

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. natural peanutbutter

1/2 c. honey

1/2 t. spirulina (I use closer to 1 t., but start here until you get used to the taste)

1/2- 1 c. hot water

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Mix well and form into patties. Wrap in saran wrap and store in refrigerator or freezer. Makes 8-12 bars.