Glazed Doughnut Muffin

I know what you’re thinking..”How in the world have I not had these before?”  The answer is..I live under a rock.  But now that I’ve come out into the world of taste heaven, these little muffins were something I had to try.  I mean, come on..it’s a donut and a muffin in one.  Pure genius!!  I first saw these treats here from Sweet Peas Kitchen. (awesome site, by the way.)  She had me at ‘glazed.’

Your family will thank you for this easy treat, and what’s especially nice is that you can have it for breakfast or a a dessert. 

Glazed Doughnut Muffins, from Sweet Peas Kitchen

The Ingredients

For the Muffins:

 1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

 For the Glaze:

 3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water

The How-To:

*Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

*In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla until just combined. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

*Spoon batter into cups, filling the cups, and smooth tops. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 10 minutes before glazing.

*To make the glaze, In a medium bowl mix together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth.

*When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. Once hardened, dip a second time  and allow to harden then serve.

 Yields: 12 muffins

 Note: Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.

 

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Fruit Pizza

 

 

You can’t tell me you’re not drooling right now. Wait..you’re not drooling?? How can I be the only one going crazy over this dish? Well, it could be because you haven’t made it…yet. 🙂  Which is why I will share with you one of my all-time favorite summer dishes.  It’s fruity. It’s sweet. It’s pizza. Only, better. Made with a pie crust, a secret little pudding sauce that will have you doing a happy dance in no time, and topped with mounds of fresh fruit, this beauty screams “SUMMER”.  (at least, at my house that’s what I hear…) 

Ingredients:

1 pie crust (homemade or refrigerated store-bought. I use store-bought. Don’t  judge.)
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
1 carton whipped cream (you can use lite or fat-free if you’d like. Both are delicious)
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries, washed
1 cup halved blueberries, washed
1 cup fresh peach slices
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup softened butter
cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle

The How-To:

(the crust)
Pre-heat oven to 350*
*Roll out pie crust onto baking sheet
*Spread a thin layer of butter over the top of the pie crust, making sure to get right to the edges
*Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top of the butter
*Bake for 12-20 minutes or until crust is cooked through and golden
*Remove from oven and let cool completely

The toppings:
*In a large mixing bowl, combine the box of vanilla pudding mix and 2 cups of cold milk.  Mix well
*Add the whipped cream.  Again, mix well
*Place pudding mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use
*Meanwhile, take the strawberries, blueberries, peaches, raspberries and any other fruit of choice.  Wash and slice into bite sized pieces. 

*When the crust has cooled completely, spread the pudding mixture over top.  Make sure you spread it all the way to the edges, you don’t want to leave any crust feeling left out.
*Top with fresh berries..again, covering all the crust to the edges. 
*Serve immediately.  The crust has a tendency to get a little soft  if you don’t eat it quickly after topping it with the pudding and berry mixture.  But hey, can we really be patient enough to wait?? No.  Eating it right away works for me.

Are you drooling now?  Maybe if I tell you that the crust is light and flaky, and the pudding mixture adds just the right amount of sweetness to make the fruit sing praises to Summer. Now are you drooling?  Maybe another photo will do the job..

I don’t know about you, but I need to go make this…right now.  As in..RIGHT. NOW.  Care to join me??  😀  What are some of your favorite summer time treats??

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Ball

When I first saw this post  about these delicious Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls..I had to try them out.  First, they have peanut butter in them. Everyone knows that one of my weaknesses is peanut butter. Wait..you didn’t know that? Oh. Well, now you do. And now you know that if you offer me peanut butter on a spoon, I’ll gobble it up. Or peanut butter on a popsicle stick, I’ll take that as my cue to make toast and spread pb all over it.  The best thing for all of us would be to just put the peanut butter down, and walk away.  But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about these yummy peanut butter oatmeal balls.

I love that you can have these for a breakfast, snack, or a “I’m-trying-to-be-good-” dessert.  The real test came when I offered them to my kids.  Would they like them? Would they throw them at me? Answer: They LOVED them. (I can safely come out of hiding. Whew!)

Here’s the recipe in its original form.  I did make a few changes (added in italics).  Overall..perfection and delicious. 

Ingredients:
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped (I didn’t have any, so I used chopped peanuts)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried blueberries, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I left this out because of the salt on the peanuts..I figured I didn’t need it. It’s up to you.)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 The How-To:

*In a large bowl, combine all ingredients making sure to evenly distribute all the ingredients.  
*Roll some of the dough between your hands, if it sticks together it is ready to go. If it feels too dry then add a bit more peanut butter or honey. If it is too wet add extra oats or flaxseed.  
*Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I really, REALLY like the dried cranberries and blueberries in this recipe.  It adds a little sweetness to the peanut/oatmeal flavor. My mouth may or may not be watering just thinking about this…
For a quick, easy and super yummy treat, make these. And send me any left overs.  (Did I mention I loved peanut butter?)

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Back to Basics..Garden Salad

Summer is here!!!  Let’s give a shout out to Mr. Sun and deep blue skies, shall we? We shall!!  I’m so excited to see the sky. For reals. It’s been a loooong winter here, and summer is just what I needed to boost my attitude and feeling like I’m living in a snow cave.  But, we won’t talk about that.  Instead, we’ll talk about a simple, basic food that is always one of my favorites. (besides chocolate and anything dipped in sugar. :D) 

Enter: Garden Salad.

A garden salad is just that..foods that come from a garden.  Lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, onions..you get the picture, right?  When I’m hungry, in a rush, but want something that’s good for me, I usually turn to the trusty garden salad.  Loaded with fresh veggies..you just know you’re doing something good for yourself.

 

The best thing about this salad is that you can put virtually anything in it.  I tend to stay on the calmer side and just use the basics.  Tomatoes and cucumbers with little chunks of chicken. They are my friend.  I want to marry them.

But if you’re feeling a little wild, add boiled egg slices, maybe a few sunflower seeds or even some bacon bits.  But for me..I like it plain and simple, and oh so good for you. 🙂

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Summer Fruit Salsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the great things about this fruit salsa, is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just strawberries, kiwi, and blueberries.  No siree..go ahead and add pineapple, or mango, or if you’re really wild and crazy..how about throwing some pear chunks in there?  Can’t you see it now? “Mom of Year” Award because of this amazing simple dish that the whole family..the whole neighborhood..heck, the whole town will love. 😀 

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, dinnertime, lunch, sides, Snacky-Snacks

Granola-smizzola

Yes, I did say ‘smizzola’.  What? It’s fun to say new words. Especially when trying to rhyme with “granola”.  (Don’t judge..not as easy as you might think..) Getting off topic here.. moving on..

This weekend was Memorial day. Usually that is associated with bbq’s and gatherings with yummy, tantalizing food that you just can’t say no to.  However, here…it snowed. I know, right!? Who ordered that?!  Actually, I love the cooler weather, so I was completely A-OK with it.  For our Memorial day feast, we enjoyed….wait for it……..Granola!! Fresh from the oven, it truly was a treat to nibble on.  Loaded with dried cranberries, dried blueberries, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and oatmeal, this granola deserves a little smizzola. 😀

(original recipe found here, at Two Peas and Their Pod.  My modifications are in parentheses.)

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds (I used sunflower seeds instead, both would be amazing and a little extra crunch)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 T dark brown sugar
3 T pure maple syrup
2 T canola oil
2 T agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup raisins (I used 1/3 cup dried cranberries, and 1/3 cup dried blueberries…YUM!!!)

The How-To:
* In a medium bowl, mix the oats, almonds, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar together.
* In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, canola oil, agave nectar, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. I do this with my clean hands.
* Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 300 degrees, stirring occasionally. (I  stirred every 7 minutes or so, and took it out of the oven for good at around 22 minutes.) Take the granola out as soon as it starts to brown.
* Stir in the raisins (blueberries/cranberries) and cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

In the past when I’ve made granola, it never turned out, thanks to overcooking.  The trick to making granola is to take it out of the oven right when it starts to brown.  It may still feel a little moist, but it will crispen and dry as it cools.  So don’t fret, it will turn out.  😀  And when it does, you’ll be doing the Granola-Smizzola dance in your kitchen, too!! 🙂

What I love about granola is the many ways you can use it.  Top yogurt in the morning for breakfast, mix it into a salad for a crispy punch, eat it by the handfuls for a tasty snack..there is no end to what you can do with granola. Now..go..dance..rhyme words..

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Taco..Pizza…

It’s taco..and pizza combined.  That is genius.  Who thought of this idea? I’d like to shake their hand and give them the key to my..fridge. 🙂  I don’t know about you, but sometimes coming up with a dinner idea that everyone will like (not even love..just like) is hard.  So when the mention of a taco pizza fluttered into my mind, I knew it was something we needed to try.  Sure enough, it was a pleaser.  The boys in the family liked it because it was a pizza.  The girls liked it because it was a taco salad sitting nice and proper on top of a mouth-watering crust.   It was a win/win for everyone. 

For the crust, I used this recipe. (My favorite recipe for pizza crust found here)

For Pizza Crust
Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

The How-To:
* In a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), mix the water, yeast, sugar, honey and oil. (If using active dry yeast, increase the amount of yeast to 2 3/4 teaspoons and proof the yeast in the water until foamy before mixing in the sugar, honey and oil.) 

*Mix in 1 cup flour and the salt. Continue mixing in all the remaining flour until you get a nice, soft dough. Knead until dough is soft and smooth, about 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes with a stand mixer.

*Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl cover with damp cloth.  (I usually turn my oven on the lowest temperature while I’m making the dough, then turn it off when I’m finished with the dough.  Then, I cover the dough, while still in the mixing bowl, with a damp cloth and place it in the warm oven.  It rises beautifully.)

*Let rise for an hour.  Punch down and roll out (into the size and shape your pizza) onto a floured surface.  Transfer to a pizza stone or cookie sheet

*Bake at 450* for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy to your liking. (I like my crust crisp with a hint of softness, so I usually cook it a bit longer..)

*Take crust out of the oven and set aside

The Toppings:

This is where it gets really fun.  You can top your pizza with anything! 😀 I give you full permission to be crazy here and pile it high with things like:
Ground hamburger or turkey, browned/drained
Chopped tomatoes
Diced onions
Green peppers (diced)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Black olives, sliced
Shredded lettuce
Sour cream
Guacamole
The possibilities are endless and you can’t go wrong.  Anything that sounds good on a taco..add it. Go ahead. You can do it. 🙂

The How-to: (toppings)
*Brown hamburger or turkey meat. Drain and set aside
*Add 1 packet taco seasoning mix (or your own homemade version of taco spice mix) to the hamburger or turkey. Mix well. (For more punch, add more spice..we like subtle flavors so one packet works well for us.)
*Layer the meat on top of the pizza crust
*Top with the rest of your toppings

No need to place back in the oven, unless you really want to.  (If you do want to bake it a bit, don’t add lettuce, sour cream, guacamole or tomatoes until you remove it.  The lettuce will wilt, sour cream will turn runny…just don’t do it. Wait until after you remove it from the oven to add all the goodness.) 

And there you have it. Taco Pizza.  Two great meals combined to make one fantastic crowd pleaser.

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Garlic Dinner Rolls

This happened on accident.  Should I even admit that? 

I was making some pizza dough the other night for dinner (that blog post is soon to come. :D), and had some leftover dough. “Hmmm..what to do with this?”  I thought.  Well, how about make some garlic bread rolls?!  Brilliant!  I’ve always seen these rolls, the kind that have three cute little ‘puffs’ that some how come together while baking and just look..amazing. Yeah, that’s what I was going for.  These might not look like that, but boy..do they deliver in flavor! 😀

(This recipe is for pizza dough that I found here, which I also used for these rolls. Fantastic, favorite site that I just can’t stay away from. :D)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

The How-To:
* In a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), mix the water, yeast, sugar, honey and oil. (If using active dry yeast, increase the amount of yeast to 2 3/4 teaspoons and proof the yeast in the water until foamy before mixing in the sugar, honey and oil.) 

*Mix in 1 cup flour and the salt. Continue mixing in all the remaining flour until you get a nice, soft dough. Knead until dough is soft and smooth, about 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes with a stand mixer.

*Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and cover tightly (with a lid or plastic wrap).

***this is where I switch from making pizza dough, to garlic rolls**

*Let rise for about an hour

*Punch down dough.  Taking ‘pinch’ sized pieces (I just kind of tore a piece of dough and rolled it into a 1/2 tablespoon sized ball…if that makes sense.), and roll them into small balls.

*Place 3 balls in each well-greased muffin tin.

*Let rise for 30 minutes so they get nice and puffy looking. (think..marshmellow. Yes. Absolutely think that.) 

*Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350* or until golden brown.

*Rub the tops of the rolls with a little butter

*After baking, top with parmesan cheese for a little extra flavor. (And I know you like flavor. :D)

Wah-lah! Garlic dinner rolls. Perfect paired up with soup, salad, pizza, lasagna, anything, really.  You can omit the garlic or..if you’re an animal..use cinnamon and sugar! I dare you! 😀 Rawr!

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Bacon and Broccoli Alfredo

Isn’t there something comforting about a yummy plate of creamy, noodle-y deliciousness? Especially when bacon is involved. Yes, I think so too. The other day I was wondering what I could make for dinner. I knew time was short, we were going to have a busy night and spending a lot of time in the kitchen just wasn’t going to work. However, I wanted something other than toast. SO..I went on a search to find something quick, tasty, and pleasing to all members in my family.  Enter: Bacon and Broccoli Alfredo.  And, you guessed it, I found it here on one of my ‘go-to’ sites.  (If you haven’t checked out her blog..DO. The pictures will have you drooling in no time.  Her recipe is below..)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli (about 2 heads)
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (not the powdery kind!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • grilled chicken (optional)

The How-To:

*Bring a large stock pot of water to a rolling boil. Boil pasta according to package directions.

*While the pasta is boiling, fry the diced bacon until crisp. Add in the broccoli florets and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until they are tender-crisp.

*Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the butter and heavy cream until heated through and butter is melted. Add in the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is thoroughly melted and sauce is a smooth, creamy consistency.

*Drain pasta when done and add to a large serving bowl. Pour in the bacon and broccoli and toss it in with the penne. Pour the Alfredo sauce over top of the penne and stir until well combined.

*Serve topped with sliced grilled chicken, if desired.

I’m thinking that if you’re not a fan of broccoli..green peas, maybe even corn, would work perfectly. Or..if you’re really wild and crazy, throw in some asparagus! 😀  The bacon gives it a nice smokey taste, the noodles are soft and perfect, while the alfredo sauce adds the creamy spunk.  All combined, this meal is Amazing! (Yes, a giant  “A” was in order..) If you prefer this as a side dish..I think that would be ok, too. 🙂  (Is there ever a time when I’ll turn down a side dish that involves bacon? I think not. )

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Coconut Chicken with Apricot Sauce

I am not a fan of coconut. But I couldn’t resist trying this recipe.  Maybe it’s because the looooong winter weather has overstayed it’s welcome and the call of coconut made me think of someplace tropic. Whatever the reason, I wanted to try it and I am SO glad I did. Fantasticly moist chicken with a crunchy coconut topping that you dip into a zesty apricot sauce. Oh my, I’m having a hard time finishing this post instead of running into the kitchen to whip this up again. 😀  I found this recipe here, at Pennies on a Platter. (Fun website and fantastic photos. Makes me want to eat the screen. No joke.)

Now, we dipped the chicken in the sauce, other’s might want to drizzle the sauce over the chicken. Either way, I’m betting it will taste out-of-this-world amazing. 😀

Ingredients:
1 egg
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

The How-To:
*Preheat the oven to 400˚F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*Lightly beat the egg in a medium bowl; set aside.  Mix the coconut, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. 
*Working with one chicken breast at a time, dip the chicken in the bowl with the beaten egg and then coat with the coconut mixture. 
*Place on the baking sheet. 
* Once all chicken breasts are coated and on the baking sheet, evenly drizzle with the melted butter.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once halfway.

The Apricot Sauce:
* mix the apricot preserves and the Dijon mustard in a small bowl.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (note..I didn’t have any Dijon mustard, so I 1/4 teaspoon Catalina salad dressing. Ohh la la..I’m in love with this sauce!)

Freezer Friendly:  After baking the chicken, let cool completely then freeze in a freezer bag for up to 1 month.  To reheat, bake in a preheated oven at 400˚F for 20 minutes.

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