Polenta Florentine

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The photo isn’t so great, but this is a dish I make regularly, so I wanted to add the recipe to the blog. My husband and I love this dish. It uses something that for years I walked right by in a supermarket without paying any attention to it – a tube of polenta. I have made polenta dishes in the past from corn meal, but until a year or so ago, I had never come across a recipe that called for a tube of polenta. Now I buy polenta tubes all the time, just to make this dish. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the boys won’t go near it. The triplets head off to college this fall. I don’t know how they’re going to survive in college dining halls. Hopefully they’ll surprise us.




Polenta Florentine
Recipe adapted slightly from TheKitchn

Cooking spray or butter, for coating the baking dish
1 (18-ounce) tube prepared polenta, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
Freshly ground black pepper
Between 8 and 12 oz. baby spinach
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (sometimes I dice the whole onion and throw it in)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
Generous 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided**
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Coat either a 7×11-inch baking dish or a 9×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Season the tops of the polenta rounds lightly with salt and pepper. Place the rounds in the baking dish in 3 rows (or more, depending upon which baking dish you use), overlapping them slightly; set aside.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and toss until completely wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a strainer set over a medium bowl. Press most of the water out of the spinach. If the baby spinach leaves were large, sometimes I take kitchen shears and cut the spinach into smaller pieces, once it has been drained. This makes it easier to mix into the sauce.

Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour or cornstarch and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Continue simmering, stirring constantly, until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, about 2 minutes more.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese (or up to 1/2 cup, if you really like Parmesan), reserved spinach, and lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Pour the spinach mixture evenly over the polenta. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup (or more) of cheese. Bake uncovered until bubbling around the edges and golden-brown, about 25 minutes. If the top of the dish hasn’t turned brown, you can turn the oven to broil and broil until the surface is golden-brown in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

**NB: Traditional Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian as it uses animal rennet in its production. If you would like this dish to be vegetarian, please use Parmesan that uses vegetarian rennet. Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell vegetarian versions. Sometimes it’s called Italian Hard Cheese.

Yield: 2 main course servings


One year ago:  Chouquettes
Two years ago:  Black Bean Salad
Three years ago:  Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts
Four years ago:  Oatmeal Scotchies
Five years ago:  Lemon Herb Quinoa with Spring Peas and Basil
Six years ago:  Cinnamon Streusel Baked French Toast Sticks
Seven years ago:  Macaroni and Cheese with Black Beans and Chipotle
Eight years ago:  Monkey Bread Muffins
Nine years ago:  Spanakopita Lasagna
Ten years ago:  Chocolate Chip Waffles
Eleven years ago:  Dinner Spanakopita
Twelve years ago: Cheddar Corn Chowder


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Burger Buns

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Yeast and I have had a rocky relationship over the years. It’s only recently that we’ve become good friends. Our relationship was solidified after I took a bread making class at Sur Le Table with one of my sons. We made several kinds of bread during a three-hour class, and they were all easy to make and delicious. Our instructor swore by the yeast that we used in the class – Saf- Instant Yeast. She highlighted that unlike other yeasts, this yeast required no pre-disolving or proofing. We bought a pound right after the class, which is a lot if you don’t bake bread all the time, but we were told it would last a long time in the freezer, so that’s where ours is right now. This yeast has been life-changing for me.

I attribute the fact that these burger buns turned out so well to the yeast. They rose perfectly during both the initial and the second rise.

The recipe makes 8 buns. If you don’t eat them all on the first day, put them on a plate and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and they’ll still be good the next day. Because the don’t contain any preservatives, I don’t think they’ll remain fresh much longer than that, but in our house they’ll never last more than two days. Our boys love bread.

The original recipe calls for brushing melted butter on the rolls before baking. I had an extra egg white hanging around, so I brushed them with that and the result was a darker top to the buns.

These buns were a HUGE hit in our house. Some of us ate them with hamburgers, some with veggie burgers and some with tofu. The boys are asking for them again already.


Burger Buns
Recipe from King Arthur Flour

3/4 to 1 cup (170g to 227g) lukewarm water*
2 tablespoons (28g) butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups (418g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast

*For best results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate); and something in between the rest of the time.

Topping: 3 tablespoons (43g) melted butter or one egg white beaten with 2 Tablespoons of water


Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough.

Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3″ across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.

Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter or the egg white.

Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.**

**I skipped brushing the buns with melted butter after they were baked without any ill effects.

Yield: 8 buns


One year ago:  Chouquettes
Two years ago:  Delicious Lemon Loaf
Three years ago:  Lemon White Chocolate Bars
Four years ago:  Oatmeal Scotchies
Five years ago:  Surprise Cookies
Six years ago:  Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
Seven years ago:  Coconut Bread
Eight years ago:  Curried Lentil Stew with Potatoes
Nine years ago:  Oatmeal, Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Ten years ago:  Crisp Roasted Potatoes
Eleven years ago:  Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas
Twelve years ago: Grandma Sachs’ Crumb Cake (one of my all-time favorite recipes!)



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Fluffy Flourless Peanut Butter Chickpea Muffins

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The name of these muffins and their ingredient list might seem a bit odd, but please trust me, these muffins are delicious. They remind me of a childhood snack that we would get to eat occasionally as a treat — Funny Bones. Those were always my favorite Drakes Cake. I enjoyed Yodels, Ring Dings, Devil Dogs and Yankee Doodles, but Funny Bones, with their sweet, peanut buttery filling, were always my favorite. Despite the wacky ingredient list, the flavor of muffins reminds me of Funny Bones. That said, the muffins are not nearly as sweet, nor do they taste artificial at all, and most importantly, they’re made with ingredients that you recognize. Another bonus is that at 7g, they have a decent amount of protein in each muffin.

Two out of four boys loved these. The other two were skeptical of what I might have put in them, so they steered clear. I tried to convince them that the muffins were truly delicious, but they wanted nothing to do with them. Definitely their loss. Crazy kids. I plan to make another batch tomorrow. We’ll see if I have more luck.


Fluffy Flourless Peanut Butter Chickpea Muffins
Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

1 can of garbanzo beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained
3 large eggs
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter (just peanuts + salt – the drippy kind)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with 10 muffin liners (the recipe only makes 10 muffins) and llightly spray the inside of each liner with nonstick cooking spray so that the liners do not stick to the muffins — you don’t want to skip this step.

Place chickpeas and 1 egg in the bowl of a food processor and process until beans are well blended. Add the two additional eggs, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, baking powder and salt and process again until smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips evenly among the tops of each muffin cup. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The muffins can stay out for a day at room temperature (if they last that long), then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze.

Yield: 10 muffins



One year ago:  Pie Crispies
Two years ago:  Black Bean Salad
Three years ago:  Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts
Four years ago:  Oatmeal Scotchies
Five years ago:  Surprise Cookies
Six years ago:  Polish Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Casserole
Seven years ago:  Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Eight years ago:  Milk Chocolate Brownies
Nine years ago:  Chocolate and Meringue Angel Pie
Ten years ago:  Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp
Eleven years ago:  Bourbon Glazed Salmon
Twelve years ago: Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Carrot and White Bean Burgers

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I love experimenting with veggie burgers, and in my book, this recipe is a winner. It’s very tasty even without condiments and when you first make them, they hold together pretty well. My husband and I ate them for a couple of days, because of course, the boys wanted nothing to do with them. When I reheated them in the microwave on day two and three, they became a bit more crumbly/fragile, but not terribly so.

This is one of those recipes where you get a decent amount of flavor from a handful of ingredients, and the ingredients in this case aren’t even very fancy.

Our lockdown due to coronavirus continues in NYC. Our city has been hit very hard and as a result we haven’t left our apartment in 38 days. The good news is that the curve is starting to flatten in our city and state. We are grateful that we are in good health and haven’t been infected.

Definitely try these burgers if you’re looking for a new and different veggie burger. As I mentioned, they don’t need condiments, but if you happen to have some guacamole or an avocado to put on your burger, it’s a nice addition.

Carrot and White Bean Burgers
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Olive oil
1/2 cup panko-style breadcrumbs
3 shallots, or 1 small onion, diced (I used shallots – yum!)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal is the best to use)
1 cup packed grated carrot (from 2 medium carrots)
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Two 15-ounce cans cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1 large egg, beaten
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the panko and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl, then return the pan to the heat.

Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to the skillet, followed by the shallot or onion. Cook until softened and lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and carrots and stir frequently until the carrots are soft and a bit blistered, another 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, scraping up all the browned bits until the pan is dry. Remove from heat and add the bowl with the toasted panko. Add beans and use a wooden spoon or spatula to very coarsely mash the mixture until a bit pasty and the mixture sticks together in places—there should still be plenty of beans intact. Add pepper, and salt if needed, to taste. Stir in the egg. Shape into 6 patties (I used a 1/2 cup measure as a scoop.)

To cook the burgers, heat a thin layer of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat and carefully cook until browned and slightly firm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes per side. It may be necessary to cook in batches. Serve hot or at room temperature with your favorite condiments (although none are really necessary.)

Yield: 6 burgers

One year ago:  Ultranutty Pecan Bars
Two years ago:  Chouquettes
Three years ago:  Chocolate Ganache Cake
Four years ago:  Oatmeal Scotchies
Five years ago:  Lemon Herb Quinoa with Spring Peas and Basil
Six years ago:  Avocado Toast
Seven years ago:  Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl
Eight years ago:  Lemon Sugar Cookies
Nine years ago:  Chocolate Dutch Baby
Ten years ago:  Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Eleven years ago:  Chewy Amaretti Sandwich Cookies
Twelve years ago: Candied Carrots

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Chia Pudding

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Ch-ch-ch-chia!

One of our sons is a runner, and after I read Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall (great book, by the way), I suggested that he, like the runners in the book, start to make chia seeds part of his regular diet. I was delighted when he agreed to start to mix the seeds into his morning yogurt. Now he asks me to make chia pudding regularly. Three out of the six of us really like it. Unfortunately my son is not running at the moment due to the coronavirus lockdown. We live in a large apartment building and we are staying inside to help prevent the spread.

Chia seeds are often called a “superfood.” They’re loaded with good things for your body like: omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium and zinc, among other things. The seeds themselves can be eaten whole, and don’t have to be ground like flax seeds do. Here’s a great article from the Harvard School of Public Health on chia seeds.

I make my pudding with oat milk, which is not pure white like cow’s milk, which gives my pudding a lightly brownish tinge. I think it actually looks like a bowl of birdseed, but don’t let that fool you, it’s really delicious.

You can make the pudding with any type of milk you like. Once you mix in the chia seeds and let the pudding sit for a few hours, it will develop the consistency of pudding. It’s a great afternoon snack, or dessert, and it’s good for you too. It’s hard to beat a dessert like that.

One of my dear friends gave me a bottle of cinnamon vanilla maple syrup for Christmas, and I use it exclusively in this recipe. The cinnamon flavor is a nice addition.

Chia Pudding

1/2 cup of milk (I like to use oat milk, but any type of milk will do)
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
tiny pinch of salt (optional)
toppings of your choice (fruit, nuts, etc.)

In a glass or a bowl, stir together the milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla and salt (if using.) Stir well to thoroughly combine everything.

Once the mixture is combined, let it sit for 5 minutes and then stir it again to break up any clumps. Cover the mixture and refrigerate it for at least two hours or overnight. Once the pudding is set, top with your favorite fruit or nuts, or eat it plain.

Yield: one serving


One year ago:  Pie Crispies
Two years ago:  Gingerbread Biscotti
Three years ago:  Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts
Four years ago:  Oatmeal Scotchies
Five years ago:  Coconut Chocolate Chip Magic Granola Bars
Six years ago:  Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Seven years ago:  Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
Eight years ago:  Ricotta Gnocchi
Nine years ago:  Baja-Style Fish Hand Pies
Ten years ago:  Chicken, Ham and Swiss Roulades
Eleven years ago:  Berry Sorbet
Twelve years ago: Sweet Corn Muffins

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Flourless Black Bean Brownie Muffins

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With the spread of coronavirus in NYC, we have been spending a lot of time together as a family. The boys’ schools have both instituted online learning, so their days have structure to them. They don’t get up quite as early as they used to, because they don’t have to commute, and although they have to be in dress code at 8:30 a.m. for their morning advisement meeting using Zoom, I can’t say that they don’t have pajama bottoms on.

These muffins use a whole can of black beans (don’t tell the boys), but not one of them noticed. They all loved the muffins. Fingers crossed that they don’t read this post!

We are very grateful for our health and for so many other things. I wish all of you health and safety during these uncertain days.


Flourless Black Bean Brownie Muffins
Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 large eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (honey can be a substitute)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon brewed coffee (optional – to enhance chocolate flavor)
1/2 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top (semi-sweet chips can be a substitute)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray the inside of each liner very lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Place black beans and 1 egg in food processor and process until beans are well blended.  Add two other eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and coffee; process again until smooth.

Add cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; process once more until smooth. Next, fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on the top of each cup of muffin batter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Place the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool then remove the muffins from the tin and place them on a rack to cool completely. Once cool, store the muffins in an airtight container. If they last more than a day in your house, store them in the refrigerator.

Yield: 12 muffins


One year ago:  Chouquettes
Two years ago:  Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Three years ago:  Lemon White Chocolate Bars
Four years ago:  Oatmeal Scotchies
Five years ago:  Nutella Biscuits
Six years ago:  Spinach and Chickpea Curry
Seven years ago:  Salted Chocolate Caramels
Eight years ago:  Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie
Nine years ago:  Pink Grapefruit Sorbet
Ten years ago:  Tortillitas With Shrimp
Eleven years ago:  Croissant Bread Pudding
Twelve years ago: Basil Parmesan Chicken Salad

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My Boys' Favorite Waffles

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Our family has a new favorite waffle recipe. Actually, if I want to be completely accurate I should say that most or our family has a new favorite waffle recipe. Three out of the four boys think this is hands-down the best waffle recipe I have ever used. The fourth prefers the old one.

This new recipe comes from King Arthur Flour. They mention that it is a recipe used in a popular Washington D.C. hotel. The waffles are quite crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They’re not as sweet as the old recipe I used.

The recipe calls for King Arthur Flour. I used Pillsbury all-purpose, and the recipe worked fine. The batter is very runny, surprisingly so. That said, the waffles turned out perfectly. Please note that this recipe calls for beating the egg whites separately until they hold soft peaks. I do this in my Kitchenaid stand mixer while I’m preparing the rest of the batter. Keep a close eye on them, you don’t want them to become too stiff or you’ll have trouble folding them into the rest of the batter.

The Best Waffles Ever
Recipe adapted ever so slightly from King Arthur Flour

2 large eggs, at room temperature; separated
1 1/2 cups (340g) buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for added crispness; optional, but good
1 cup (120g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (Pillsbury works too!)
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Grease and preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks, buttermilk, butter and oil until well combined. In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together the dry ingredients. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Don’t beat the batter; it’s unnecessary, and will make for tougher waffles.

Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Gently fold them into the batter. The batter will be quite thin. This is expected.

Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions. To keep finished waffles crisp as you continue baking, place them in a preheated 200°F oven, directly on the rack.

Yield (according to King Arthur): 5 large (7″) Belgian waffles; or 7 medium (5″) square American-style waffles


One year ago:  Easy Quiche Florentine
Two years ago:  Caramelized Shallots
Three years ago:  Burrata with Lentils and Basil Vinaigrette
Four years ago:  Chocolate Babka
Five years ago:  Sour Cream Corn Bread
Six years ago:  Chocolate Nudges
Seven years ago:  Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Eight years ago:  Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Nine years ago:  Jerk Shrimp Mini Pies
Ten years ago:  Chocolate Pancakes
Eleven years ago:  Baked Shrimp Scampi
Twelve years ago: Chicken Piccata


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Banana Oat Energy Bites

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We go through a lot of protein bars in our house, Rx bars being one of our favorites. I love their simple list of ingredients. Similarly, this is a recipe for a healthy snack that uses a simple list of ingredients and as a bonus, doesn’t involve any baking. It’s mix and go. We keep the energy bites in the freezer because we find them too soft otherwise. They make a great afternoon snack when you’re looking for a touch of sweetness. I use bananas that are overripe; I find they’re sweeter that way.

We almost always have a batch of these in the freezer.

Banana Oat Energy Bites
Recipe adapted from Pumpkin ‘N Spice

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 very ripe banana, mashed

In a large bowl, combine the oats, chocolate chips, and chia seeds. Set aside.

In a small, microwaveable bowl, add the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until peanut butter melts slightly, so that it is easier to stir. Remove from microwave and add in vanilla extract and mashed banana. Stir thoroughly until mixture is smooth.

Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine, ensuring all of the oats are covered. If the mixture seems too wet, add 1 tablespoon (or more) of oats, until it comes together.

Place bowl into refrigerator and chill for 15-20 minutes, so that mixture holds together and is easier to shape into balls. Form mixture into small balls. (I use a small cookie scoop.) Freeze and serve straight from the freezer.

One year ago:  InstanEasy Quiche Florentine
Two years ago:  Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Three years ago:  Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles
Four years ago:  Cabbage and Potato Gratin
Five years ago:  Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
Six years ago:  Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Seven years ago:  Olive Garden Bread Sticks
Eight years ago:  Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Nine years ago:  Weeknight White Chicken Chili
Ten years ago:  Tofu and Onions in Caramel Sauce
Eleven years ago:  Scallops Provencal
Twelve years ago: Braised Pork Chops

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Apple Strudel Muffins

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These muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful and they were a big hit in our house. Your kitchen will smell great while they’re cooking.

Some notes about the recipe: I diced my apples because my boys don’t like to find big chunks of fruit in their muffins. You’ll find that the batter is quite thick, almost like cookie dough. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal. If you don’t eat all of the muffins on the first day, they can be reheated in the microwave for 10 seconds. They reheat well.

This recipe is a great way to use up any extra apples you have kicking around. Keep it in mind for apple-picking season.

Apple Strudel Muffins
Recipe adapted slightly from Allrecipes.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 generous cup peeled and chopped apples
1 generous cup peeled and shredded apples

For Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeb.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples, and gradually blend in the flour mixture. The batter will be thick – almost like cookie dough. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.

Make the streusel topping. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter either with your fingers or with a pastry blender until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of the muffin batter.

Bake for approximately 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins



One year ago:  Instant Pot Tomato Soup
Two years ago:  Gingerbread Biscotti
Three years ago:  Cake Batter Truffles
Four years ago:  Stuffed Cookie Dough Bites
Five years ago:  Graham Cracker Bites
Six years ago:  Sugared Pretzel Cookies
Seven years ago:  Homemade Wheat Thins
Eight years ago:  Orange-Scented Almond and Olive Oil Muffins
Nine years ago:  Alsatian Pizza
Ten years ago:  Honey Wheat Cookies
Eleven years ago:  Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Twelve years ago: Chewy Sugar Cookies **One of my all-time favorite cookie recipes!

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Cinnamon Sugar Scones

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This is a one-bowl scone recipe that my boys love. They’re not terribly sweet and your home will smell great as they cook. I find that cinnamon in the oven always does that.

You don’t absolutely need parchment paper to make this recipe, but I find that it’s quite helpful. This recipe involves rolling out the dough into a rectangle, spreading cinnamon and sugar on half of the dough, folding the dough over and doing the whole thing again. I find that if I roll the dough on parchment, when it’s time to fold the dough over, I simply lift the parchment and the dough folds and releases well. Don’t forget to dust the parchment with a little flour to ensure that the dough doesn’t stick.

These are great for breakfast and are equally as good as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. I find that these are best right out of the oven, or certainly on the day that they’re made. If you happen to have one left over until the next day (you probably won’t), put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and it’ll be freshened right up.

Next time, I will shape the dough into a rectangle rather than a circle and make a dozen smaller scones rather than six large ones.

Cinnamon Sugar Scones
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, diced
1/4 cup (60 ml) half-and-half or 2 tablespoons each milk and heavy cream, cold
1 large egg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided


Heat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3 Tablespoons of the sugar (save 3 Tablespoons for later in the recipe), baking powder, and salt. Pinch the butter into the dry mixture with your fingers or cut it in with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the center and pour in the half-and-half, then the egg. Use a fork to gently combine the egg and cream in the center, then use it to combine everything into a rough mass. Dip your hands into the bowl and knead the mixture a few times into an even mass.

On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll the dough to roughly a 10-by-6-inch rectangle. If you don’t have parchment, you can roll the dough on a clean countertop. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon over half of the rectangle (it will seem like too much but really, it isn’t), then fold it in half. Roll the dough out again into an 8-by-6-inch rectangle; sprinkle another of the remaining tablespoons of sugar and the last teaspoon of cinnamon over half of the dough, then fold in half again. Do not roll again, just pat the dough into roughly a 6-inch circle and cut with a sharp knife into 6 wedges. Evenly space the wedges on the pan, sprinkle with final tablespoon of sugar, and bake until slightly golden at the edges, 15 to 17 minutes.

Yield: 6 large scones


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