A bulk-sized bag of sunflower seeds is pretty much a permanent fixture in my freezer. No, not the same, really old bag (it kind-of sounds like that’s what I meant but nope, lol!). I replenish my freezer with a new bag every couple months or so because I go through them so often (toasted up they make a great snack, garnish for salads and soups, or addition to muffins). (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Honey’
The very kind people at CSN recently contacted me to sponsor a giveaway; the prize is a $65 gift card to use on any CSN website. I’m excited to host this giveaway since CSN has anything a girl (or guy!) could want…including everything from cute handbags, to cookware, to console tables!
International readers can participate and as always, you don’t need to have a blog to enter. To participate, you can do any or all of the following (the more you do, the greater your chances of winning!). Please leave a separate comment for each so I can count it as another entry:
1) Go to any CSN site, pick your favorite item, and leave a comment here letting me know what it is.
2) Add me to your RSS feed and leave a comment here letting me know.
3) Link back to this giveaway on your blog and leave a comment here letting me know.
4) “Like me” on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know.
5) Post a link to my giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a comment here letting me know.
This giveaway ends October 19 at 9PM EST; after that I’ll use a random number generator to determine the winner. Good luck to all!
And now a little bit about apples. I’ve been drowning in them, but with my at-least-an-apple-a-day obsession you won’t hear any complaints from me. This sandwich is nice sweet twist on grilled cheese. I like to serve it alongside a salad of baby greens, chopped apples, raisins, and a sprinkle of walnuts, dressed with apple cider vinaigrette.
(Yield: 2 servings)
2 large slices country bread, cut in half so that you have 4 pieces
2 oz Camembert cheese, thinly sliced
1 small sweet-tart apple (such as Cortland), washed, dried, and thinly sliced
2 tsp chopped walnuts
1 TB butter
2 tsp honey, to drizzle on top
On one piece of bread, arrange 1 oz cheese and top with 1 tsp walnuts; arrange 1/2 of the sliced apple on top and place another piece of bread on top of the apple. Make the second sandwich in the same way.
Add the butter to a medium-sized skillet over medium heat; once the butter is almost all melted, add the sandwiches and turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook until golden brown on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side), gently pressing the sandwiches down while cooking.
Serve with honey drizzled on top.
Homemade Chewy Country Oat Bread…I couldn’t resist making it again. :)
One of the biggest perks of breakfast in bed (any time of day!) is that there is very little cleanup. There are no tables to set and no dinnerware sets are dirtied in the process, which gives you more time to relax and actually enjoy your meal. I surprised Mike with breakfast in bed and I wanted to make him something a little different. I love my morning bowl of oats and these beautiful popovers are just another way to eat them. And Mike (who normally won’t touch a bowl of oats) asked me to make these again. I think this breakfast in bed will be showing itself again in our near future.
(Yield: 6 popovers)
2 large eggs
1 c low-fat or fat-free milk
1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 TB super fine sugar
1 TB butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tsp canola oil, to grease the pan
1 TB honey
1 tsp rose water (optional)
Popover pan (to make 6 popovers)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425F. While the oven is preheating, let the eggs and the milk sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Measure 1/2 tsp canola oil into each popover cup. In a blender, process the oats until they become a fine powder; pulse in the flour, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla bean paste. Pour the egg mixture into the blender with the oat mixture and pulse three times, then use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender and pulse one more time; be careful not to over-process. The batter will be thin and a little lumpy.
Pour the batter into the popover pan, filling each cup about halfway full. Bake for 20 minutes at 425F, then turn down the oven to 350F and bake for another 8 minutes. (Do not oven the oven during the cooking process.) Remove from oven and use a sharp knife to cut a slit in the top of each popover to allow the steam to escape.
I’ve had a bag of cornmeal in my pantry for quite some time and I knew wanted to make cake out of it. This recipe was inspired by three staples of the ancient Roman diet: whole grains, honey, and cheese. Separately they might not sound extraordinary, but when combined they form something truly magical. One of the most interesting things about ancient Romans’ eating habits was how they would recline while eating their largest meal of the day, which typically consisted of three courses. These little cakes are the type of sweets that I imagine would be found gracing the third course of such a feast.
These little cakes are dense, moist, and slightly chewy from the cheese and corn meal, with a faint floral, citrusy aroma from the honey and nutmeg. They’re not overly sweet (which is how I prefer my sweets), so the sweetness of the compote makes a nice addition. Or if you prefer, you can add more brown sugar to the batter or make a glaze to drizzle on top before serving.
Plan on making these cakes right before you’re ready to serve them, since they taste best served warm or hot from the oven. They’re dangerously addictive when they’re freshly made and piping hot without even a drop of glaze or a spoonful of compote.
Individual Cheese, Honey, & Cornmeal Cakes with Prune Compote
(Yield: About 24 individual cakes)
1/2 c cottage cheese
2 1/2 c low-fat milk (or more if the batter looks too thick)
2 large eggs
1/2 c honey
1/4 c canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 c brown sugar
1 1/4 c yellow corn meal
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg
Butter, to grease the pan
1 1/2 c prunes (dried plums), pitted and halved
3 TB brown sugar
1 1/2 TB balsamic vinegar
Pinch each nutmeg, salt, and pepper (I know this might sound weird, just trust me, it helps to round out the compote’s flavor and you won’t be able to taste the salt and pepper)
Mini bundt cake pan (my pan makes 12 individual cakes)
For the cake: Preheat oven to 325F. Grease the pan with butter. In a blender or food processor, combine the cottage cheese and milk until smooth. Transfer the cottage cheese/milk mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the eggs, honey, canola oil, vanilla, and brown sugar. Once combined, whisk in the corn meal until completely incorporated. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet. The batter will be thick and somewhat grainy because of the corn meal, but if it’s too thick, add a little more milk or some water to thin it out. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the tops with a spoon to even them out. Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out with just a couple crumbs. Serve the cakes warm or hot from the oven, topped with Prune Compote.
For the compote: In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients with 6 TB water; cook over low to medium-low heat (uncovered) for about 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is evaporated or has been absorbed by the prunes, and the prunes are reconstituted.
I couldn’t resist adding that last picture…just look how moist it is!
My favorite muffins are chocolate chip, and I especially love the chocolate chip muffins at Tim Horton’s. They’re moist, soft, and cakey with just the right amount of chocolate and a crunchy, sugar top. Sadly, my favorite Tim Horton’s chocolate chip muffins have a whopping 430 calories each, not to mention 40 grams of sugar and only 2 grams of fiber (you can get their full nutritional profile here).
I can’t say that my Black Forest Bran Muffins are as cakey and delicious as the muffins at Tim Horton’s, but then again cake under the guise of a muffin probably shouldn’t be part of breakfast anyway. These muffins are moist and delicious in a different way. A healthy way…and when paired with low-fat cottage cheese and an apple, it’s a filling, nourishing breakfast that fuels me for at least four hours.
Baking with Honey: I do a lot of my baking with honey instead of sugar, because honey is natural and unprocessed, and contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that sugar lacks. Honey also helps keep baked goods fresher (because its enzymes fight mold) and moister (because it is hydroscopic, meaning it draws moisture to itself) for longer periods of time. When I develop a recipe with honey or experiment with substituting honey in a recipe, here are some helpful tips I keep in mind:
· Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you can use less.
· Honey is a liquid, so you can reduce the amounts of other liquids in the recipe.
· Honey is slightly acidic, so you can balance this with a little baking soda.
· Honey causes baked goods to brown faster, so to counterbalance this you can turn your oven down a bit (approximately 25 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick).
Honey’s Medicinal Qualities: Honey is completely marvelous in so many ways. In addition to its delicious taste and nutrition, raw honey has many medicinal uses. According to Dancing Bee Gardens, “Honey has a long history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years. While the health and healing properties of honey are wide and varied, it is raw honey’s antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it ideal for use on wounds, burns and infections. With its low pH and high sugar content, honey inhibits the growth of pathogens in much the same way that sugar is used to preserve jams and jellies. The hygroscopic nature of honey allow it to draw the moisture out of any bacteria or mold that are unfortunate enough to find themselves in contact with it. In this way, the bacteria found in infectious wounds are dehydrated and killed off by the application of honey. As if that was not enough, honey contains the enzyme glucose oxidase that upon contact with the skin, breaks down and slowly releases hydrogen peroxide in the process. Thus, honey provides a degree of antiseptic action that is unparalleled in the world of medicine.”
Black Forest Bran Muffins
(Yield: 12 muffins)
2 large eggs
1/3 c canola oil
1/2 c honey
3/4 c reduced-fat milk (I used 1%)
2 tsp almond extract (or pure vanilla extract)
1 c wheat bran
1 c plus 1 TB whole wheat flour, divided
1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c dark chocolate chips
1/2 c dried cherries
1/2 c chopped pecans or any nuts you like (optional)
3 tsp turbinado sugar
12 paper liners (if using)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Beat together the eggs, oil, honey, milk, and almond/vanilla extract. In a separate bowl mix together the bran, 1 c flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate chips, cherries, and nuts with the remaining 1 TB flour and stir to coat. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet, then stir in the chips/cherries/nuts until just mixed (be careful not to overmix or your chips/cherries/nuts will lose their flour coating and sink to the bottom of your muffins). Fill the muffin tray and sprinkle 1/4 tsp turbinado sugar on top of each muffin. Bake for 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist with just a few crumbs (careful not to overcook so they won’t be dry).