Autumn Pear Muffins

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My calendar says we are into November! That means, we have fallen back an hour and old Mr. Winter is looming closeby! Autumn colors should have vanished by now and the trees should be as bare as a smoky BBQ rib, licked clean! (how I miss summer!); air outside should be crisp and cool prepping our skin for the winter freeze! But, what a treat that the fall foliage is still lurking and the temps are so atypical for November! Seriously, it was in the 70’s one day this week! I am definitely not complaining by the slightest bit! Linger as long as you would like warm temp! The longer you linger, the shorter will be winter! (guess vestiges of my poetry days are still around!)

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I digress. So, yes, the warm temps and abundance of sunshine did the obvious – put me a great baking mood! I was all out of homemade muffins that I could easily pack for kids’ breakfast or snack and decided to bake a batch. It’s autumn after all, so the big question was whether to bake apple or pear muffins! Apple somehow makes you believe, summer just eased into early fall! Pear on the other hand kind of serves as a gentle push that nudges you into winter! Wouldn’t you agree? So, anyway, I had both the fruits in abundance, but caved in for the latter! Yum, my very first attempt at a pear muffin recipe.

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I figured pears would easily substitute for apples in my usual muffin recipe, but I wanted to try a new one. As much as I would like to say this is my original recipe, it is not. The original is found here. I did make some modifications to give it my own little twist. Original ratios still remain though. I swapped out the milk with buttermilk (my favorite in baked goods) and added a streusel topping. And caramel! The last addition is not recommended at all as it is best done after baking and right before serving. Even though the caramel added another layer of sweetness to a not-overly-sweet muffin, I didn’t have the appearance I was going after! Oh well!

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These muffins are beyond delicious! Super autumny, super delicious, super moist and simply everything a muffin should be! 🙂 So, seriously, if you never tried any of my other recipes at all, you have to try this! It’s that good!

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Autumn Pear Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 45 min
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Ingredients
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 medium sizes Bosc pears, cut into 1/2′ cubes

Streusel topping
2 tablespoons of the dry mix (see instructions)
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Dulce de leche, optional (lessons learned: Drizzle after baking!)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped crystalized ginger

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a muffin pan or line with baking liners. Set aside.
2. Sift the flours with baking powder baking soda, spices and salt. Take 2 tablespoons of the dry mix and set aside for the streusel topping.
3. Prepare the streusel by mixing all the streusel ingredients till they are crumbly. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat well.
6. Using a rubber spatula, stir 1/3rd the flour, folding lightly. Add half the butter milk. Add the other third of the flour and follow with remaining buttermilk. Fold in the remaining flour with the pears. As with any muffin recipe, don’t overmix! The batter will be quite thick and super delicious looking! 🙂
7. Spoon the batter evenly across all 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter and lightly press so they stick to the batter. Drizzle some dulce de leche (caramel) over the streusel. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 400F and bake for 22-25 minutes.
8. When the muffins are done, remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, move to cooling rack and let them cool completely. The muffins can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.

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First and foremost, I must apologize to anyone that visits this blog for my extreme tardiness in posting new recipes lately. I won’t lie – I truly, honestly, sincerely felt so guilty not doing it, but something or the other kept me away. So, here I am, trying to keep up my promise to post the recipe for the simply wonderful and autumny apple muffins that I had posted a picture of earlier this week!

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Something about fall and the crisp air! As the temperature drops, apples take on a whole new dimension! They somehow make fall the best season and they also try to comfort you into believing winter wont be that terrible after all. I have tried to play around with several recipes, but wanted to try a recipe that not only looked great, but also tasted wonderful! That’s when I stumbled upon this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. She has great recipes on her site – so if you are looking for some comfort recipes, you should visit her site. 🙂

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So, back to this recipe…true to what she mentions in her recipe, these muffins do rise well, and taste so cake-like and full of apple goodness. I did use some apple cider in the wet ingredients per one of the reader comments and skipped the glaze. Honestly, I don’t think the glaze is really needed except for that picture perfect oozy look! Yum!

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Whip up these muffins this weekend and watch them disappear!

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Autumn Apple Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 25-30min
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Ingredients
Muffin Batter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup plain, fat free Greek (or regular) yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (better the quality, better the cinnamony goodness)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white, whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider
2 small Gala apples (or any firm kind), peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes

Crumb Topping
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners and set aside.
2. Prepare the crumb topping: Combine all ingredients and gently toss together till they are crumbly. Set aside (wow, that was easy!)
3. Using a handheld mixer, cream butter. Add the sugars and beat for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Beat in the eggs, yogurt, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and set the bowl aside.
5. In a separate bowl, toss together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly mix with a rubber spatula or whisk. Add the milk, gently stirring to mix in. Small lumps are OK. Fold in the apples.
6. Spoon the muffin batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. The tins will be quite full, which is great for making tall-domed muffins!
7. Distribute the crumb topping evenly over all the batter, pressing lightly with your hands so the crumbs will stick to the baked muffins.
8. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F, then reduce heat to 350F and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes, till the top is golden and muffin tests done.
9. Let the baked muffins stay in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cooled muffins can be stored at room temperature for about 5 days. These freeze well as well.

Enjoy!

Lighter Chocolate Chip Bread

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Chocolate! What is not to love about it!!!

This recipe is a spinoff from the original recipe for Cinnamon-Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread by Sally’s Baking Addiction. The first time I baked this bread, I must confess I felt like I was transported to a great pastry shop somewhere! The smell of chocolate and cinnamon permeated the entire house and had my kids dash to the kitchen wondering what was baking!

Original Recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction

Original Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

To top it off, I took some of the bread to work that morning (yes, the bread still slightly warm…needless to say, everyone raved about it and I obviously gave credit to Sally. I knew after the first loaf that this recipe was going to be keeper, but I wanted to find a way to “healthify” it up a little!

I thought cutting down the sugar content was quite easy to accomplish. Sally’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar with cinnamon to use in the cinnamon layer. Personally, I could do without it! So, there it is – my first calorie-saving switch was to eliminate the cinnamon sugar layer and instead use 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in the batter!

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Calorie-saving tip #2 – replace some of the oil with unsweetened applesauce! I substituted half the oil with the applesauce and you wouldn’t miss much of the moistness! Next time, I am going to try it with pureed prunes instead of applesauce to see how it turns out! I would imagine it will result in an equally delicious loaf with darker color! Yum!

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Final nutrient-boosting tip (#3) – substitute 3/4 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat. Yes, yes, white flour baked goods are delicious, but at least I feel a bit better knowing almost half the flour is whole-wheat! 🙂

"Lightened Up" Version - Can you tell the difference except for chocolate chip topping vs. chopped chocolate?

“Lightened Up” Version – Can you tell the difference except for chocolate chip topping vs. chopped chocolate?

This recipe is pretty simple to put together. As usual, measure out the dry ingredients, whip up the wet ingredients and fold in the dry into the wet making sure not to release your stress during the mixing process! 🙂 Gentle does it! My recommendation is to save your stress release for another bread recipe that calls for extreme amount of kneading! Gentle mixing results in a lighter bread that is not tough! And oh, another word of caution…this bread takes a long time to bake – almost an hour! So, you have to be patient!

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Enjoy!

Lighter Chocolate Chip Bread

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 1 hour 15 min
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Ingredients
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 egg at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce-oil mixture (I spooned in applesauce halfway up a 1/3 measuring cup and topped with oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional:
2 tablespoons of sweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon of chocolate chips

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350F; Spray a nonstick loaf pan with cooking spray on all sides and set aside. Alternatively, you can lay a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and spray over the sides of the pan. Parchment helps to remove the loaf easily from the pan.
2. Measure out the dry ingredients and sift into a medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Mix in the sugars till all lumps are broken down. Stir in the buttermilk, applesauce-oil combo and vanilla.
4. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients, along with chocolate chips taking care not to overmix.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with some sweetened grated coconut (optional) and additional chocolate chips.
6. Bake for about 50-55 minutes till the bread is baked all the way through (confirm with the usual toothpick trick!).
7. Remove from oven, let cool in the pan completely. If you are in a hurry like I was the first time I baked, let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and carefully remove taking care not to scorch yourself (not advisable). Transfer to a cooling rack.

Bread will stay fresh in a tightly closed container at room temperature for about 5 days.
Enjoy!

Perfect blueberry muffins

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Berries are a perfect way to start off a sunny morning -even a weekday one! Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries….I just love them all!

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I hope you have had the opportunity to try my raspberry scones! They are divine. Although I debated another scone recipe this morning, I went for buttery streusel topped blueberry muffin instead. This recipe is adapted from the original at the Café Sucre Farine. The recipe called for the blissful combination of lemon and blueberries! Heavenly!

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This recipe is so easy – I mean it. Even though the original recipe calls for creaming the butter and sugar, I decided to skip that step, mainly because I have made several batches of muffins before and I felt confident the muffins will turn out just fine without this additional step.

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So, grab yourself the basic ingredients I am sure you already have in your pantry and whip up this recipe in time for a great grab n’ go breakfast.

Perfect Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 45 min
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Ingredients

Crumb topping

3 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup demerara sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup oatmeal
¼ cup finely chopped almonds

Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup oil
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup light sour cream
¼ cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice (set aside for 5 min)
Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups frozen wild blueberries
Glaze (Optional)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation
1. Heat the oven to 375F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. You can also use muffin liners.
2. Prepare the streusel topping by combining all ingredients till crumbly. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.
4. In a smaller bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in the sour cream, curdled milk, oil, melted butter, lemon zest and vanilla.
5. Gently stir in the wet ingredients into the dry mixture just until moistened.
6. Fold in the frozen berries taking care to avoid breaking too many berries. I say this because it is inevitable your batter is going have bluish tint running through it no matter how careful you are! 
7. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan. Don’t level the batter. Top with a generous amount of the streusel topping.
8. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 375F. Decrease heat to 350F and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes till the tops are golden and the muffin is cooked through.
9. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins from the tin and let cool on a wire rack till completely cool.
10. While the muffins are cooling, prepare the glaze (optional) by vigorously stirring together the lemon juice and powdered sugar to a “drippable” consistency (say, like honey).
11. Lightly drizzle over the muffins. Let set.
12. Store muffins tightly covered for up to 5 days.

Strawberry Cheesecke Muffins

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Ahh….the first, albeit distant hint of spring is in the air! At least I want to think so! Yes, I did enjoy the snow fall we had just last week, but this sunshine and warm temps are making me want to spring forward to the warm weather!

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Today was a gorgeous day! Lots of sunshine flooding the house and it is almost too warm to have the pellet stove running! At times like this, my mind wanders aimlessly about the multitude of possibilities to create something wonderful and delicious. I had totally delicious, caramely baked sweet potato, two pounds of gorgeous, juicy, vibrant red strawberries, especially with tons of actual ripe fruit flavor, lots of flour and yeast and other basic baking must haves.

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So, I decided to whip up two totally different recipes….Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins (yes, had to use up some leftover cream cheese too) and sweet potato yeast bread! Yum! First up…..THE muffins!

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There are three parts to this recipe from Patty’s Food. I made couple of modifications by replacing half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, reducing the amount of sugar to less than 1/2 cup and replacing half the flour in the streusel topping with old-fashioned oats.

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These muffins are super delicious. Because of the whole wheat in them, they are not as airy as regular muffins, but the flavor of the berries and the subtle citrus flavor from the cheesecake filling are more than enough to want to indulge in another one! And maybe you should!

strawberry muffin

  • Servings: ”12
  • Time: ”45-50
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Ingredients:

For the muffin batter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (or less granulated sugar)
1/4 cup oil
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup 1% or 2 % milk
2 cups diced sweet strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cheesecake filling
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
grated rind of 1/2 lime or lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons beaten egg (from above)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the streusel topping
2 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tray with paper liners and set aside.
2. Prepare streusel topping by combining all the ingredients till they are crumbly. Set aside.
3. Prepare the cheesecake filling by thoroughly combining all the ingredients. Set aside.
4. Begin the preparation of the muffin batter by sifting all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
5. Combine egg, oil, milk and vanilla.
6. Add the dry ingredients to wet mix and gently fold to combine. Do not over mix.
7. Scoop a tablespoon of batter into each of the muffin wells. Drop a dollop of the cheesecake mixture on top of the batter.
8. Divide the chopped strawberries in half. Evenly distribute one half of the strawberries over the cheesecake mix. Divide the rest of the muffin batter evenly among all the muffin cups.
9. Sprinkle rest of the strawberries over the batter, followed by the streusel topping.
10. Bake for 25-27 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Super Crown Muffins

 

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Baking is one of my favorite ways to start my day! It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is – if I get the desire, I jump to action, pulling out the staples while thinking about the flavors or the mix-ins.

20150209_071820Even though they mostly turned out deliciously moist and flavorful, I was never fully impressed with how they looked. For every batch I pulled out of the oven, my hankering for perfecting the beautiful super crowns you see in coffeehouse muffins kept getting stronger! No matter how much I researched on tips and techniques, my heart would sink every time I pulled out a delicious yet flat muffin batch – well, until this week!

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So, you see, I didn’t give up! I kept whipping up batch after batch nearly every week! After all, they do make great after school snack or mid morning pick me upper even if they are flat topped! I tried tweaking an ingredient here and ingredient there, while still trying to keep the end product relatively healthy! Yes, “healthy” is a loosely used term, so let me explain what I mean. These muffins don’t use much added fat (1/4 cup oil for a dozen), use a blend of whole wheat, all purpose and wheat germ, touch of honey and a bit of boost from 1% milk and fat free yogurt! In my opinion, this probably qualifies as relatively healthy compared to what you will pick up at the grocery store or your favorite coffeehouse. And the best part….this recipe is awesome for those of you who want to use few different mix-ins – like the blueberries and chocolate chip versions I made here. Read on to find out more!

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So, unlike what you might read on the internet about having to overfill the muffin pans to achieve the sky-high crown effect, these muffins do just great with about 3/4 fill. They puff up so beautifully that I sometimes catch myself taking a few peeks before they are done! 🙂 And the golden color….You have to try this to experience the joy yourself! So, I hope you will grab couple of mixing bowls and go to task! Enjoy!

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Super Crown Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Time: 45 min
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Ingredients
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1 cup 1% milk
Add-ins: Chocolate chips, nuts, berries…
Optional: Streusel topping: Combine 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 12-well muffin pan and set aside (or alternatively use paper liners)
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients
3. In a small mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently fold in just until the flour mixture gets moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX!
5. Scoop about a tablespoon of batter into each greased well. Add a few chocolate chips or berries or whatever you choose. Divide rest of the batter evenly among all the wells and top with few more chocolate chips or other add-in of your choice.
6. If using streusel topping, divide it evenly among all the muffins.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes till the crowns are puffed up and beautifully golden!
8. At the end of baking, remove the pan and let the muffins cool for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

You can refrigerate these muffins for 3-5 days. Because of the low fat content, the muffins taste better when you microwave for just a few seconds!

Tri-Flour Fluffy Pancake

 

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Happy New Year everyone! It’s been almost a year since I started with this blog! It’s been a whirlwind of an year, wouldn’t you agree! Anyway, as I start the first weekend of 2015, I couldn’t help but start with a post on an all-time favorite breakfast time! Pancakes! Yes, sure, it takes a bit of time in the kitchen, but don’t you think it is so worth it when you dig your fork into the pillowy soft yumminess!

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On those lazy mornings when I do have some time to linger over a good breakfast, I try to alternate between pancakes and waffles. I especially like pancakes because I don’t have to fuss with them like I need to with waffles! Also, I personally think there are countless more recipes for pancakes than waffles! So, for someone who likes frequent changes, pancakes are probably a better choice than waffles – although I guess you could top a basic waffle with a zillion different toppings. 🙂

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So, this recipe is one of those recipes I happened to try out when I was seeking a change from the mundane basic pancake. This one uses an equal blend of whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and fine yellow cornmeal. The pancake is made pillowy soft with the addition of sour cream and yogurt. And yes, it gets a touch of sweetness from honey!

Feel free to add in grated lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon for a lemony twist to these flapjacks! And top them off with a squeeze of lemon and powdered sugar! Just for this one, please move over syrup!

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Tri-Flour Fluffy Pancakes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20-25 min
  • Print

Ingredients
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 cup 1% milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional

Preparation
1. Mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients until well combined (tip: mix honey with melted butter first as yogurt, sour cream and milk will be too cold to incorporate it well)
3. Gently mix the wet and dry ingredients. If using lemon zest and juice, add them now as well. Don’t over mix, batter will be lumpy.
4. Let the batter sit while you preheat a griddle over medium heat.
5. When hot, dab with a touch of butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake and cook for 3 minutes. When the edges look set, flip and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes or so.
6. Stack the pancakes while you cook rest of the batter. Serve warm with your favorite syrup or a squeeze of lemon juice and powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Preserves

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OMG friends! I missed posting here! It’s been rough few weeks!

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It so happened that a mishap occurred with my laptop….it “somehow” got drowned from the bottom and stopped working! Yes, I nearly crumbled into nothingness when I turned on the laptop and it made this whirring sound. My heart sank knowing something was terribly wrong! The screen was black. I almost collapsed thinking of the many photos saved on it! Can they be retrieved somehow? What about my computer time? Sure, I could have used one of the backup units, but somehow I felt I needed to wait till mine got at least some sort of a CPR.

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Long story and ordeal cut short, my laptop did get fixed. Although it took a bit of time (partly because I was too busy preparing for my extended family’s visit and work to bug my husband to do something about it), the unit is back to action – thanks to my brother and my husband!

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So, I couldn’t think of any better recipe to post but a wonderful, delectable, vibrant, fresh from the garden to a jar, blueberry preserve!

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Yesterday, we had gone blueberry picking. We picked several pounds and after freezing most and saving some for eating fresh, I used up a bunch to make two 16-oz jars of delicious preserves.

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If you can get past the beautiful hue of the preserve, I assure you that you will be greatly rewarded by the taste of the spread on a lightly buttered toast or spread on a split muffin or scone! Yummmm….so what are you waiting for??!! Grab the few things you need to start twirling the kitchen, will you!

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Bright and Sunny Blueberry Preserve

  • Servings: two 16-oz jars
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Ingredients
3 1/2 cups of crushed blueberries
2 tablespoons sure-jell low-sugar pectin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup stevia
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preparation:
1. Prepare the fruit by crushing rinsed blueberries. Scoop 3 1/2 cups of the crushed fruit and pour into a small sauce pan.
2. Place over medium-low heat and add the pectin.
3. Stir the pectin into the fruit and cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the sugar and stevia and continue cooking the fruit for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. The fruit may start to bubble and froth up. Stir in the butter to help reduce the froth.
6. While the fruit is cooking, place the two jars in a medium pot of simmering water and warm for about 5 minutes.
7. Remove the jars from the water, letting all the water drain out. Scoop the cooked fruits into the jars, leaving about 1/4 inch of head space. Place the lid and the ring and lightly tighten the lids.
8. Place the jars back into the pan with hot water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Make sure the water mark is well below the lid.
9. Remove the jars from the water and transfer the jars to the refrigerator to cool.
10. Check for seal after about 24 hours. You will see that when properly sealed, the lid will be slightly depressed down.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon-Walnut Bundt Cake

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Coffee cakes are great not just in the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea, but really anytime you have the craving for something sweet. Having said that, these cakes usually are quite unhealthy with lots of sugar and butter. Although this holds true for this original Cooking Light recipe as well, it does give more than 16 servings (so about 1 teaspoon butter per serving and a tablespoon or so of sugar).

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This cake did keep well for at least 5 days (the time it lasted in our household).

Feel free to substitute pecans for the walnuts. Although the original recipe called for all all-purpose flour, substituting at least 1/3 of it with wheat still tasted great!

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Lastly, this recipe is really quick to put together. So, while your first pot of coffee is brewing, whip up the cake and sip your coffee while enjoying the aroma of the baking cake! 🙂

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”Cinnamon-Walnut

  • Servings: ”16″
  • Time: ”60
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Whole Wheat Crepes with Nutella and Berries

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Crepes are a favorite breakfast item in our household. They are very easy to make and can be tailored to each person’s taste with the addition of their favorite fillings and/or spread. These crepes are especially good (and good for you) because they are made with white whole wheat and 1% milk.

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I usually go for Nutella or sweetened cream cheese for the spread and lots of fresh berries, berry compote etc. for the filling. Here is a tip about cream cheese – make your own sweetened cream cheese to limit the amount of sugar. It just takes a tablespoon or so of confectioner’s sugar to sweeten about 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese. Feel free to grate a bit of lemon zest into it with a dash of vanilla!

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Crepes can be enjoyed at room temperature. That means, you can cook all the crepes first and then, finish them off later with the spread and filling. Perhaps, you could just set the crepes with the spread(s) and filling(s) and have everyone compile their own! 🙂

Whole wheat crepes with fresh berries

Ingredients
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup 1% milk
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon honey
Extra butter or non stick spray for cooking the crepes

Spread
Nutella
Sweetened cream cheese

Fillings
Fresh berries
Banana
Sautéed apples
Mixed berry compote

Preparation
1. Thoroughly blend all of the crepe ingredients through honey in a blender. I used a handheld mixer to whisk the mixture.
2. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes so the air bubbles disappear.
3. Heat a small sauté or frying pan over medium high heat. Either melt a dab of butter or spray with a non-stick spray.
4. Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter and quickly swirl to coat the bottom.
5. Let cook for a minute and flip to the other side. Continue cooking for about 30 seconds or so.
6. Remove crepes to a plate and keep aside till ready to assemble.
7. When ready to assemble, spread a bit of nutella or cream cheese. Fill with fruits or compote of choice or just enjoy plain with just the spread.
8. Finish off with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.