Easy Peasy


This year’s holiday dessert features the spectacular Egg Nog Poundcake I discovered last year. It’s easy peasy to make and looks gorgeous.

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All you need is one Egg Nog Poundcake (sans cranberries), 3 cups of cherry pie filling, and homemade whipped cream. You can add a little egg nog or nutmeg to your whipped cream, if you want.  Cut up the pound cake into cubes.  Alternate the layers of cake, cherries, and whipped cream in pretty glasses (for individual servings) or a trifle dish (for a buffet centerpiece). You can make it ahead and leave it, covered with saran wrap, in the refrigerator until you are ready for dessert. Just leave the last dollop of whipped cream for right before you serve them. FANCY!!

These are the perfect autumn sweet, great alone or with coffee or a little vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup organic pumpkin pie filling or 1 cup pumpkin puree plus 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light or medium brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbs vanilla
1 cup (or more) dark chocolate chunks

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugars together in the standing mixer.  While that goes, combine the flour, oats, and baking soda.  If you’re using plain pumpkin puree, mix the pumpkin pie spice into the dry ingredients.

When the butter and sugars are all mixed together, add the egg and vanilla.  Once those are combined, add the dry ingredients and pumpkin, alternating between the two.  When that’s all combined, remove the bowl of cookie batter from the mixer.  Fold the chocolate chunks in with a spatula.  Do not try and do this with the mixer — it will bend your beater.

Drop spoons of the cookie batter onto the prepared cookie sheets (you can make small, medium, or large cookies).  Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. Remove the cookies to a wire rack or counter top to cool.

How They Turned Out

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These are soft, cakey and super yummy — especially for breakfast.

My favorite munchkin is growing at supersonic speed, so getting plenty of protein and nutrients into him is even more important than ever.  It can be tricky though, as he can have a picky palate. This weekend’s concoction has whole wheat and oats, bananas, yogurt, and a little brown sugar — to balance the pint of maple syrup he was sure to pour on them.

Ingredients

3 large organic bananas, mashed
2 eggs
6 ounces Greek or Australian yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a muffin top pan with a little vegetable oil.

Combine the bananas, eggs, yogurt, sugar, and canola oil together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, combining thoroughly.

Spoon the batter into the muffin top pan. It is a thick batter, so use a spoon to spread it in the pan.

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Bake for ten minutes or until a tester comes away clean.  Serve hot with a little butter and maple syrup.

How They Turned Out:

They didn’t fool the munchkin, who determined quickly they weren’t pancakes. But with enough syrup they did the trick.

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I am one of those people who feels compelled to have a bowl of lemons in the kitchen — and then fails to use them all before they go bad.  Today, I decided to zest and juice them all and then make something yummy.  This pound cake is a basic recipe, with a few twists.

First, after throwing out all my baking and cooking sprays (one of my remaining bad habits in the kitchen), I decided to throw caution to the wind and use coconut oil (solid) to grease the pan.  Coconuts go with lemon, right?

Second, I recently read something somewhere (I have no recollection where) about the sweet crunch a cake will get if you sugar the pan instead of flouring it. So I sugared the coconut oiled bundt cake pan instead of flouring it.

Third, I didn’t have plain yogurt or enough sour cream for the recipe.  What I did have was 4 ounces of sour cream and a container of Noosa Raspberry Yogurt.  (I am addicted to Noosa yogurt — even the pumpkin flavor is good!)  Raspberries go with lemon, right?

Ingredients

2 tbs organic coconut oil
2 sticks of unsalted organic butter, softened
3 cups of sugar (I use Zulka Morena, a minimally processed sugar)
3 tbs lemon zest (this was about 4-5 medium sized lemons)
3 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
juice from one medium lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 eggs (preferably not straight from the fridge)
4 ounces sour cream
8 ounces Noosa raspberry yogurt (or other Greek or Australian yogurt)

How I Made It

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bundt pan with coconut oil and sprinkle sugar evenly in the pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Sift together with a fork.

In a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until well-combined. Turn the speed down to medium and add the lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing each into the mixture before adding another. Once the eggs are all combined, add the lemon juice.

Turn the mixer down to low. Add one third of the flour mixture, then the sour cream. Add another third of the flour and half the yogurt.  Add the last of the flour and the last of the yogurt. Turn up the speed for just about 30 seconds to be sure it’s all combined.

Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and give the batter a few good stirs. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. You might have extra, which you can bake as cupcakes (just halve the baking time).

Bake for 60-65 minutes, until a cake tester comes away clean. Let the cake cool in the pan. Loosen the sides with a slim knife, and turn it out onto a cake plate.

How It Turned Out

Lemon Pound Cake (2)

The sugar trick worked on the sides but not the top (maybe that’s because of the pan?).  Otherwise, it’s an oh so summery cake to share.

P.S. What did I do with the juice from all those lemons I zested? I juiced them straight into an ice tray. When it’s done freezing, I’ll have little cubes of fresh lemon juice for whenever I need a couple of tablespoons for a recipe.

My best friend loves cucumber sandwiches, so whenever we have a tea party or other excuse for finger foods, I make them for her. These are an upgrade from my last cucumber sandwiches, made more elegant with a round shape and fresh dill garnish.

Ingredients

Seedless English cucumber, sliced thin but not too thin
Blue Isle Yogurt Spread, plain*
Fresh organic dill
Sea salt
White sandwich bread (1 loaf will make 12 sandwiches)

How I Made Them:

My sweet sous chef S recommended cutting the bread into circles by using a glass. Smart and easy! He cut the bread for us by pressing the glass into the center of each slice of bread.

Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the yogurt spread on the slices of bread. Arrange the cucumber slices on one piece of bread and sprinkle with salt. Top with the second slice of bread. Garnish with fresh dill (I used a spot of yogurt spread to make the dill stick).

How The Turned Out:

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Fresh and light and perfect. The Supersonic Seven Year (formerly known at the Stupendous Six Year Old) announced to his mother (my best friend, the cucumber sandwich connoisseur) “These are great! We should make them at home.”

 *I stumbled onto this new Blue Isle Yogurt Spread when I was looking for cream cheese. I tried out the plain flavor for this recipe, and liked it so much that we whipped up a lovely veggie dip with a little garlic and dill.

 

This is a simplified version of a Southern staple of picnics and church potlucks. Using frozen fruit instead of canned reduces the sweetness, and the yogurt adds a nice zing.

Ingredients:

8 ounces (1 container) Noosa lemon yoghurt
1 container original Cool Whip
2 packages Dole Mandarin Sunshine Blend frozen fruit (thawed, drained)
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

How I Made It:

Gently mix the yogurt and Cool Whip with a rubber spatula. Fold in the coconut and then the fruit.

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Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

How It Turned Out:

Yummy!

 

 

Mornings are not my best time of day, so breakfast is usually just coffee and more coffee before I leave the house.  This week, I’m going to have a hot, protein packed breakfast with that coffee — because I made these scrambled egg muffins that I can just reheat in the microwave.

Ingredients

7 cage free eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 tsp cracked pepper
6 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled or cut into small pieces
1 cup of cooked broccoli florets, cut into little florets

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with olive oil or baking spray. (I used a regular sized muffin tin and got 7 muffins).

Whip the eggs, cheese and pepper together like you would for scrambled eggs. Divide the bacon and broccoli among the muffin cups. Fill 3/4 full with the egg mixture.

Bake with the muffin tins on a cookie sheet (in case they overflow) in the center of the oven for 30 minutes or until the egg tops are set and lightly browned.

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How They Turned Out

Tasty! 20160124_134850 (2)

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