Archive for January, 2011

I'm not a fan of muffin papers and have good luck spraying the pans with a light coating of oil.

These muffins aren’t too sweet, and the topping adds just the right amount of balance. I usually add some amount of whole wheat flour to muffins because I like the added nutrition and also enjoy biting into something which is more substantial than fluffy white bread. However, if you prefer the muffins either lighter or grainier, you can either use all white flour or all whole wheat pastry flour.

Banana Streusel Muffins

For the batter:

  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 c. white flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

For the topping, mix together the dry ingredients and cut in the butter until crumbly:

  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. butter

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and then bananas. Mix together the dry ingredients and stir all together. Spoon into greased muffin pan. Sprinkle on the topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.


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      Molly’s Veggie Omelet

      I’m raising some creative cooks. Molly, who is 14, shared her omelet with me this weekend. She put in an unexpected combination of ingredients: mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, and frozen peas. It was delicious! I enjoyed starting my day with a healthy serving of vegetables. Thanks, Mol!

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      This is a peanut butter and apple sandwich. Also try a classic cream cheese and jelly, being sure to use a red-colored jam.

      This is a terrific trick that will wow your kids. Let them watch as you cut off a slice of your challah, then cut it in half to make a heart. It’s a little bit of slicing magic that little kids love. Don’t worry if your slices don’t result in perfect cookie-cutter hearts; the kids won’t care. If you want you can do a little extra trimming to fine-tune the edges. I like that the top and side crusts are still there.

      Use this bread for sandwiches or for a special French toast Valentine’s Day breakfast.

      It’s very easy to make a double-braided challah:

      Make up a batch of Blue Ribbon Challah.

      Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Braid 3 and place on the greased cookie sheet. Divide the remaining portion into 3 equal portions, braid those and place on top of the first braid.

      Here's where to slice it. You can do some additional trimming if you like.



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      Get out your pretty china—the kids will feel the love—then sprinkle the pancakes with powdered sugar and add a dollop of raspberry jam.

      We like to start out holidays by celebrating at breakfast, so on Valentine’s Day I make the kids heart-shaped pancakes. It means getting up a little earlier, but it’s something they look forward to. This year I might just make them the night before, and then microwave them in the morning. I don’t think they’ll suffer too much, and it will mean an extra 30 minutes of sleep for the cook!

      Click here for a mini how-to on YouTube.

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      Break the cauliflower into very small florets, and pick out a couple of similarly sized pasta shapes.

      Jennie brought this incredible assortment of gourmet-looking cheeses as a starter course for our dinner party. She arranged them on a round wooden board and—this is the best part—she labeled them all! We all had so much fun trying some new cheeses. When I went to make my usual pasta sauce a few days later, I mixed in a left-over chunk of a soft looking cheese, blending it in with the cheddar. The cheese is called “fromager d’Affinois” and is a bit similar to brie, but made with more butter fat. Yum.

      This is more-or-less the same recipe as Mixed Pasta Shapes with Vegetables, but without the tomato and substituting in about 3/4 c. of the fromager d’Affinois.

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      The turkey soup which we ate tonight, for the third time in five days, was calling out for a fresh bread product. I liked the idea of biscuits but wanted something a bit grittier than usual (I’m still on my winter grain frenzy), so I added some whole wheat flour and flaxseed meal to the usual recipe. The vote is still out on how we feel about this recipe. I might cut back on the flaxseed meal next time. They have a stronger flavor than the usual breakfast biscuits. See what you think.

      Flaxseed Supper Biscuits (makes 6 large, 3″ biscuits)

      • 1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour
      • 1 c. flour
      • 1/2 c. flaxseed meal
      • 4 tsp. baking powder
      • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
      • 1/2 c. shortening
      • 2/3 c. milk

      Mix together the dry ingredients and cut in the shortening. Stir in the milk, flatten out onto a floured board and cut. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

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      This is a more kid-friendly version of the Party Chicken, and a really easy week-night dinner idea.

      Chicken Breasts with Crusted Parmesan and Parsley

      • 6 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
      • 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese
      • 1/3 c. chopped, fresh parsley
      • 1-1/2 tsp. oregano
      • 1 large clove garlic, pressed
      • 1/2 tsp. coarsely grated black pepper
      • 1/4 c. butter, melted in a wide, shallow bowl or baking dish

      In a large, shallow bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, garlic and pepper. Dip the chicken breasts in the butter and then dredge in the cheese mixture, being sure to get a good coating of the mixture on all sides of the chicken. Place in a baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

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