It’s National Doughnut Day!!  Woo hoo!!  To celebrate, I made these healthy apple cinnamon mini donuts.  They are whole wheat and sugar free (unless you glaze them).

Ingredients

1 apple, peeled and diced
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs plus 1/2 cup Pyure organic stevia blend
2 tbs butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup organic unfiltered apple juice
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
coconut oil for greasing the doughnut pan

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the mini doughnut pan by greasing it with coconut oil.

Combine the diced apple with cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the stevia in a small bowl, stirring to coat all the apple pieces, and set it aside. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1/2 cup of stevia, baking powder, nutmeg, and ginger (a fork works best). Add the apple juice, egg, and melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined.  Fold in the apple mixture.  You’ll have a thick, slightly sticky batter.

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Fill the mini doughnut pan with the batter.  Bake the doughnuts for 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean.

How They Turned Out

Yummy and guilt free!  They aren’t super sweet like the usual doughnut, but are still very tasty. You can serve them warm, or wait a bit and glaze them (in which case they aren’t sugar free anymore).

Mini donut after (2)

 

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

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Of course, this is not a recipe for some sort of astronaut food.  It is, however, the revelation that prime rib is perhaps the easiest “fancy food” to make.

Go ahead and splurge on a really beautiful rib roast. It will be spendy but it is worth it.

To cook it, place a rack toward the bottom of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a roasting pan with heavy foil, and place the roasting rack on top of the foil.

Rinse and pat the rib roast dry.  Place it on the rack in the roasting pan.  Season it some, but do not be seduced into using a heavy rub.  A used a basic garlic and herb mix from Spice Islands.

Put the rib roast in the oven and let it cook, uncovered, until it reaches the desired temperature (check out this Prime Rib Cooking Chart).  Mine was 7 pounds and I let it cook about three and a half hours (but we don’t like our meat too rare — the ends were medium, and the middle was medium rare.).

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That’s it. No fuss, no muss. A decadent meal to share with friends and family (and all the mess in the pan goes straight into the trash).

I served it with Stonewall Kitchen Cranberry Horseradish Sauce (which I love!) and traditional horseradish. Yummy!

(Have you noticed that I don’t always have photos of the food I make, or of the final product before it’s eaten?  That’s because the food is made to be eaten, and too often I forget to grab the camera before everyone starts eating.  For a while I didn’t post a recipe if I didn’t get a “final” photo, but I think I’ll relax a bit about that from now on.)

We have a wonderful bakery here in Juneau: Wild Oven.  Their breads are perfect for all sorts of sandwiches and dishes.  I particularly like making French Toast with their Country French and Many Raisins breads.  This weekend, as a treat for my favorite munchkin, I made French toast with a lovely maple cinnamon toast sprinkle from Summit Spice and Tea (an Anchorage specialty store).

IngredientsIMG_2185 (2)

4 medium thick slices of French bread
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon toast sprinkle (cinnamon, maple sugar, brown sugar, cardamom)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
sliced strawberries, maple syrup, etc. to garnish

How I Made It

Lay the slices of bread in a shallow baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Then pour the egg mixture over the bread. Let the slices soak for 5 minutes. Turn them over, spoon the egg mixture over the top, and let soak another 5 minutes.

(This is a great time to wash and slice your berries.)

Heat the butter over medium-high heat.  Brown the bread in the butter, cooking about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Note that if your bread has lots of nooks and crannies, you’ll need to be sure that all of the egg mixture has cooked through on each side.

Serve hot, with berries and syrup. Serves 2.

How It Turned Out

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YUMMY!!

It’s nearly a month late, but I finally had my birthday party today. To celebrate getting older and actually settling into my own skin, I invited a dozen of my groovy girlfriends to a BELLYDANCING PARTY! And what else would you serve to get your wiggle on than fabulous gourmet gell-o shots!

These easy recipes all use Knox gelatin and fruit juice, with a complementary liquor.

Limoncello Shots

Prepare your mold or containers by putting a curl of lemon zest in each receptacle. Heat 3/4 cup of water in the microwave to boiling. Whisk in 3 packets of gelatin until dissolved. Add 1 cup of cold lemonade, the juice of the lemon you zested, 1/2 cup of club soda (for fizz,) and a 1/2 cup of limoncello. Whisk gently to combine the ingredients. Poor the mixture into the mold and then put them in the fridge to set.

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These were the best of the three. I used a silicon mold, which worked really well. The lemon taste was bright and not too tart. The lemon zest was startling after the cool jelly on the tongue. 

Cherry Vanilla Sweetheart Shots

Heat 1/2 cup of black cherry juice in the microwave until very hot. Whisk in one packet of gelatin until dissolved.  Add 1/2 cup of vanilla vodka and whisk gently to combine.  Pour the mixture into a heart shaped mold and then put in the fridge to set.

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I thought these were . . . unsettling . . . in appearance.  Too dark and glisteny.  They tasted wonderful, and the girls ate them all up first.  I’d make them again, but maybe dilute the juice or make a layered version so that they are less intense looking.

Peach Fizz Shots

Heat 1 cup of peach nectar in the microwave until very hot. Whisk in 2 packets of gelatin until dissolved. Add 1/2 cup of plain vodka and whisk to combine.  Add 1/2 cup of club soda (don’t whisk).  Pour into the mold and put in the fridge to set.

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These turned out super peachy, with a kick.

One note — candy molds sound like a good idea for making these.  They’re not.  Stick to silicon or a basic ice tray, if you want free standing shapes.  Or use little candy cups that people can slurp from.

These are the easiest, tastiest pork chops — thanks to this Apricot Mango Chipotle Sauce from Kozlowski Farms.

All you do is heat a half tablespoon of butter and a half tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a non-stick skillet. Put the lovely lean pork chops in the skillet and raise the heat a bit. Cook the pork chops, turning a few times so they brown nicely but don’t burn or sear too severely.

While the pork chops cook, line a baking sheet with foil.  When the pork chops are cooked through, transfer them to the baking sheet.  Brush the tops with the Apricot Mango Chipotle Sauce (a nice but not too thick layer).  Put the pork chops in the oven under the broiler (on high) and let the glaze caramelize. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Voila!

Pork Chops

Note: This sauce is also great on salmon and shrimp — especially on the grill!

These easy peasy mixed fruit pies are perfect for picnics and parties. The filling isn’t too sweet and the pastry is soft and flaky.

Ingredients:

3 cups of frozen organic mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry), thawed
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons of water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pinches of sea salt
2 sheets of Pillsbury Puff Pastry dough, thawed
1/4 cup flour for dusting
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with nonstick foil. (These will stick because of the oozy filling, and I’m not sure parchment is good enough.)

Heat the fruit in a saucepan over medium heat until warm through. While that’s cooking, whisk the cornstarch and water together until combined. After about 5 minutes, stir the cornstarch and then the sugar, vanilla, and salt into the fruit. Raise the temperature to bring the fruit mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick or scorch.  When it’s bubbly, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough.  You want it to be thin but not too thin.  Then, cut the dough into 6 squares or rectangles.

To assemble the pies, brush a little egg wash along the edges.  Put a spoonful of fruit not quite in the center but far enough the edge to minimize leakage.

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Fold the pastry over, and crimp the edges with a fork. Cut three little slits in the top and then brush the top with egg wash.

Transfer the pies to the lined baking sheets.  Give them a good margin, because they will leak as you bake them. Bake them for 30 minutes or until a lovely golden brown on top.

Let them cool before transferring them to a serving plate.

How They Turned Out:

Lovely!  You can serve them with whipped cream, ice cream, or just plain.

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One note — I have a friend who is allergic to corn. So, I pulled a half cup of fruit aside before adding the other ingredients. His pies were just as good.