Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Last of the Crockpot Recipes (for a while) March 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 8:42 PM
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Since the weather’s taken a decided turn towards spring, I figured I should share my last couple of crockpot recipes before nobody wants to use their crockpot anymore.  (Ours has probably been retired for the next several months.  My husband is tapped out on soup right now, and frankly, I feel the same way.)  Don’t get me wrong, I love my slow-cookers, but most of my recipes for them are soups, and that gets much less appealing when it’s hot outside.  Still, these were a couple of tasty recipes that we enjoyed during the past couple months when it was chilly and rainy.  If you’re still having some snow or colder weather, these might be something you could enjoy.  Or you could just save them for next winter.   :)

So after all that, I’m actually giving you a recipe that could be served year round.  It’s a tasty Thai chicken dish that could be served over rice or noodles.  Next time I make it, I’ll bump up the flavor even more by adding extra lime juice (I wanted to really taste it.), and add more vegetables to bump up the nutrition (I think zucchini would be great in this.).  All in all, this is easy to make, very tasty, and — sadly, unphotogenic.  But don’t let that stop you from making it.

Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken (from Family Fresh Meals)

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cut mine into strips, so it would cook faster.)

1 sliced red or orange bell pepper

1 sliced yellow bell pepper

1 chopped white onion

1/2 c. chunky peanut butter

1 tbsp. lime juice

1/2 c. chicken broth

1/4 c. soy sauce

2 tbsp. honey

1/4 c. crushed peanuts

1. Place the peppers and onions on the bottom of the crockpot and top with the chicken.

2. In a bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients except for the crushed peanuts and pour it over the chicken.

3. Cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 6 hours (less time if you’ve cut your chicken smaller, about 3-4 hours on low).  Shred the chicken and cook 15 more minutes.  Serve over rice and top with peanuts.

Crockpot Thai Peanut ChickenCrockpot Thai Peanut Chicken 4

This other recipe is one of my husband’s new favorites.  It’s a remake of Olive Garden’s pasta fagioli soup, and it is DELICIOUS!!  There are so many good things about this soup: it’s delicious, it’s super easy to make, it warms you up from the inside, it’s fairly inexpensive, and it makes SOOO much soup (8-10 servings).  Here’s what you need to make it.

Crockpot Pasta Fagioli (from Recipes that Crock)

1 lb. sausage

2 14 1/2 oz. cans Italian style diced tomatoes

2 15 oz. cans drained, rinsed cannellini beans

2 cloves diced garlic

1/2 c. chopped basil leaves (I didn’t have any fresh basil, so I added 1 tsp. of dried.)

2 tbsp. Italian seasoning

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 32 oz. boxes chicken or veggie broth

1 16 oz. box ditalini pasta

1. In a large pot of salted water, cook the ditalini pasta.  When it’s done drain it and set it aside til the soup’s cooked.  In a large frying pan, brown and drain the sausage.

2.  Add everything except the cooked pasta to a large crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.

3. To serve, place a serving of pasta in your bowl, top with soup, and sprinkle with some shredded mozzarella.

Crockpot Pasta FagioliCrockpot Pasta Fagioli 2

So, are you putting away the crockpot or a while or is yours still going strong?


No Irish Food Here March 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 9:29 PM
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!  The title isn’t a statement of dislike for this holiday, it’s just a statement of fact.  I don’t plan far enough ahead to make Irish food in advance and post it today.  You can think of me as your respite from all posts green, minty, or involving Guinness, corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread.  Instead, let’s talk about cookies.  Because there’s never a bad time for cookies.  :)

I’ll be especially nice and not give you 2 sugar-laden recipes.  Just 1.  ;)  This first cookie is one of the many incarnations of the famed speculoos  (aka – Biscoff).  Before you get your hopes up, this does not taste like the name brand cookie.  (Though trying to recreate that taste at home is why I tried this recipe in the first place.)  This is just a light, spiced cookie that seems unprepossessing, but keeps you coming back for more.  I didn’t take the time to ice mine, but you could certainly sweeten them up a bit with a glaze.  These were easy to make and produced several dozen small cookies.  They do have to be chilled for a while so I wouldn’t recommend starting them the same night you want to serve them.

Speculoos Buttons (From the December 2012 issue of Bon Appetit)

For the cookies:

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. cloves

1/2 c. softened butter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. sugar

2 tbsp. light molasses

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

To pretty it up:

1 egg white

2 c. confectioner’s sugar

Sprinkles or decorative sugar

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside.  In another bowl, beat the butter til smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the brown and regular sugars and beat til smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients.

2. Divide the dough into thirds and roll each one into an 8 inch log.  Wrap in plastic and freeze at least 3 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven rack in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment.

4. In a small bowl, beat the egg white, then brush it over 1 of the logs.  Roll the log in your sprinkles or decorative sugar.  Cut the log into 1/4 inch slices and place them 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet.  Place the baking sheet in the freezer and repeat the process with the remaining logs.

5. Bake 2 pans at a time, rotating from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, for 11-13 minutes, til the tops are golden brown and the centers are almost firm.  Cool on wire racks.

6. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and 7 tsp. water (the glaze will be thick).  Spoon about 1/2 tsp. of the glaze on top of each cookie, top with more sprinkles or sugar.

Speculoos ButtonsSpeculoos Buttons 2

Now this next cookie is very different from those cute little buttons; you could not describe it using the words light, unprepossessing, or plain.  These cookies (which I made for the hubby on Valentine’s Day) are rich, decadent, and very sweet.  I actually changed up the recipe just a hair by using oreo filling in the middle instead of the white chocolate (Mostly because I forgot to buy white chocolate.), but I don’t think the prescribed filling would be any less sweet.  I don’t quite remember how many cookies this made, but it was enough for me and the hubby to eat too many.  One mistake I made was using a regular biscuit cutter to cut these out.  They were incredibly sweet, so I would definitely suggest using a much smaller cutter (oreo size would be good).  Though most people might like the filling best, I actually kept going back to taste the cookie itself.  They have a great balance of salt and sweet and were a cinch to roll out.  You should definitely give these a try for your next special night!

Chocolate Malt Sandwiches (from Food Network)

For the cookies:

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. Dutch-process cocoa (I used Hershey’s special dark.)

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. malted milk powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

12 tbsp. cubed, softened butter

For filling:

4 oz. chopped white chocolate

2 tbsp. malted milk powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, 1/2 c. malted milk, baking soda, and salt.  With the mixer on high, add the vanilla and the butter (a few pieces at a time) and mix til the dough looks like wet sand and holds together when pinched, about 5 minutes.  Scrape the dough onto a piece of parchment, pat it into a 1/2 inch thick round, cover with another piece of parchment, and chill til slightly firm, about 10 minutes.

2. Roll the dough out between the parchment to 1/4 inch thick.  Peel off the top sheet of parchment and cut the dough into squares or rounds.  Repeat til the dough is used up.  Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

3. Bake til the cookies are set and not shiny, 8-10 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes on the pan, then cool completely on a wire rack.

4. In a large bowl, combine the white chocolate, 2 tbsp. malted milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.  Bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat, then pour it in the bowl and stir til smooth.  Refrigerate til cold, about 25 minutes.  Beat til thick and spreadable, about 1 minute.

5. Spread 2 tsp. filling on the underside of half of the cookies, then top with the remaining cookies.

Chocolate Malt SandwichesChocolate Malt Sandwiches 3

So, how do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?


A Little on the Weird Side March 10, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 9:30 PM
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I’m what you might call a little bit weird.  (Those of you who know me are probably laughing at this as a gross understatement of an obvious fact.)  It doesn’t show up in every area of my life, but I do have my little quirks and -isms.  In fact, ever since I was a kid, I’ve acknowledged, accepted, and occasionally reveled in my weirdness.  Sometimes my weirdness shows in not liking what’s considered universally likable (guacamole, Star Wars, reality tv), other times it’s liking things that others don’t understand (peanut butter and coconut sandwiches, going through catalogs and adding up the price of things I like [a favorite childhood pastime], making lists – LOTS of lists), and sometimes it’s just my affinity for nerdy things (I’m a self-proclaimed word, music, food, and book nerd.).

Still, I’m comfortable in my weirdness, and I understand that not everyone will like the same things as me.  Today’s recipe has a strong possibility of being one of those things; it has one of those ingredients that some people love and others hate.  Weirdly enough, I happen to love it and put it in more things than a reasonable person might find  …reasonable?  That divisive ingredient is none other than the exalted and oft-mispronounced seed – quinoa!  I just can’t help but love it; it’s so easy to make, is really filling, and can take on any number of flavors.  Even for me, this was a new application, but I decided to give it a try and was so happy with the results (surprisingly, my quinoa-hating husband liked it too).  Instead of the usual savory applications, this time quinoa is being used as the base for a delicious granola.  Since the quinoa isn’t cooked in liquid, I wasn’t sure what the texture would be like, but it turned out to be nicely crunchy.  The honey bound things together to form some nice clumps, but it’s not overly sweet.  As with most granolas, you could easily switch up the nuts, seeds, fruits, and spices to work with your family’s preferences or what you have on hand.  The recipe also calls for you to keep the granola in the fridge, and I would definitely recommend this.  I kept it out the first couple of days and the clumps didn’t stick together as well.  Once I started keeping it in the fridge, it held up much better.

Quinoa-Pumpkin Seed Granola (from Better Homes & Gardens)

3/4 c. rinsed, well-drained raw quinoa

1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 c. whole or slivered almonds

1/4 c. flax seeds (I didn’t have any, so I just subbed in the same amount of sunflower seeds.)

1/4 c. honey

2 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. dried fruit  (This time I used chopped dried apricots, craisins, and dried pineapple.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, seeds, and almonds.  In a small microwavable bowl, nuke the honey for 20 seconds.  Stir in the oil, cinnamon, and salt, then add this to the quinoa mix.  Stir to combine, then spread on a greased 15x10x1 inch pan.

2. Bake the granola for 20 minutes or til golden, stirring twice.  Once the granola is cooked, stir in the dried fruit and let cool 15 minutes on the pan.  Spread the granola onto a piece of foil and let cool completely.  Store in the fridge.

Quinoa-Pumpkin Seed GranolaQuinoa-Pumpkin Seed Granola 2

Recently, my husband and I got to watch a movie where the main characters are all just a bit on the weird side, the hit movie Big Hero 6.  In this fun movie, a group of young geniuses and one robotic personal healthcare companion team up to combat an evil genius.  Though a bit slow at the beginning, we really enjoyed it, especially the character Baymax.  There was plenty of action and a lot of funny dialogue.  Though not suitable for really young kids (there’s some revenge themes, character deaths, and fighting that might be a bit much for younger kids), it’s got some good moral teachings and fun scenes that parents and older kids will both enjoy.  If that’s not enough to convince you, check out this trailer.

So, where does your weirdness like to hang out?


Cold Weather Comfort March 3, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 9:59 PM
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Sorry about the lack of a post last week.  With the crazy weather and several appointments, I just couldn’t find the time to put one up.  Thankfully, this week seems to be a little less busy.  Because of all the changes in the weather, I thought I’d share a couple pasta recipes that will taste good in cold or warm weather.

This first recipe is a classic pasta dish that I made for the hubby for Valentine’s Day.  With bacon, eggs, parmesan, and half & half, this pasta dish is decadent, delicious, and easy.  Basically, you can’t go wrong!

Spaghetti Carbonara (from Martha Stewart)

8 oz. diced bacon

1 lb. spaghetti

3 eggs

3/4 c. grated Parmesan

1/2 c. half and half

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, til crisp, 8-12 minutes.  Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

2. Salt the boiling water and add the pasta.  Cook to al dente according to the package instructions.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parm, and half & half.  Set aside.

4. Drain the pasta briefly, leaving some water still clinging to it.  Immediately transfer the hot pasta to the egg mixture.  Add the bacon, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine everything.  (The heat from the pasta cooks the eggs.)

Spaghetti Carbonara 4

My other recipe is for a white cheddar mac and cheese that I’ve loved for years.  I don’t make it very often because it calls for a lot of white cheddar, but it’s one of my very favorites.  (Does anyone else find it weird that white cheddar costs more than regular?  Why do they charge more to leave out the food coloring?)  This recipe is actually really easy, and it delivers a perfect dish that makes a great side to just about any meal.

White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese (from Real Kitchen by Tyler Florence)

1 lb. elbow macaroni

3 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

3 c. milk

5 c. shredded sharp white cheddar

1. Cook the macaroni in lightly salted boiling water for about 10 minutes, til tender but firm.  Drain well and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly.  Pour in the milk and cook til the mix is thick, stirring constantly.  Stir in 4 c. of the cheese and continue to stir while it melts.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the macaroni and fold to incorporate.  Transfer to a greased 3 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 c. cheddar and bake 30 minutes, til hot and bubbly.

White Cheddar Macaroni and CheeseWhite Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese 2  (I only had 4 c. of white cheddar, so I had to top mine with regular.  Also, I only made a half batch this time, so I cooked mine in a loaf pan.)

I hope this makes you all warm and fuzzy inside.  ;)  Talk to you soon!


Fast and Filling February 17, 2015

For some reason, our February has been incredibly busy.  With appointments, get-togethers, and functions nearly every day these past couple weeks, we’ve been in definite need of some fast meals that will keep me and my carnivorous hubby full.  It also doesn’t hurt to have a super easy, delicious breakfast recipe that can double as a quick lunch with your girlfriends.

Speaking of breakfast, I have some Krispy Kreme news for you.  First, Krispy Kreme is opening their 1,000th store on February 24th (next Tuesday).  Because of this, you can go to Krispy Kreme on the 24th and receive a free glazed doughnut.  While you’re there, you might also want to try one of their new flavors: java chip or (the one I’d love to try) chocolate chip cookie dough.

For the first recipe, I’d like to share a classic quick dinner favorite – a casserole.  This one could not be easier, but it’s still very tasty and not too bad for you (depending on the bbq sauce you use).  I also love that it uses basic ingredients in a way that shakes up the usual chili routine.  I served mine with some white cheddar mac and cheese (a recipe I’ll share soon), but I think it would go equally well with biscuits, chips, or cornbread.  We got 8 servings from this, but that would depend on how many/what types of sides you serve with it.

BBQ Chili Bake (from Pillsbury)

1 lb. ground pork (I did use pork, but I see no reason you couldn’t substitute your choice of ground meat.)

1 pkg. taco seasoning

2 15 oz. cans rinsed, drained black beans

1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 c. bbq sauce

1 c. shredded cheddar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the pork and drain off all the grease.

2. To the browned meat, add the taco seasoning, beans, tomatoes, and bbq sauce.  Stir everything together and pour it into the prepared pan; cover it with foil.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven, top with cheese, recover, and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

BBQ Chili BakeBBQ Chili Bake 3

Now, as good as that was, these waffles are better.  We tried this recipe because my best friend is gluten and refined sugar free, and these looked like a great way to quench a waffle craving.  Man oh man, you would never guess that these are gluten free.  They taste so delicious and are good topped with just about anything you could think of: honey, maple syrup, peanut butter, jam, even cookie butter (if you’re not sugar free).  Unlike some buckwheat crepes that we’d recently tried (weird texture and not very flexible), these got wonderfully crisp and had a perfect waffle texture.  We got 10 individual waffle from this recipe and were hard pressed not to eat them all.  (By the way, 10 waffles means we filled up her waffle iron 5 times, and each square was one waffle.)  We got full on about 3 each, but they tasted so good we wanted to keep going.  I think these should definitely make an appearance in your breakfast rotation soon.

Buckwheat Waffles (Cookie and Kate blog)

1 c. buckwheat flour (I know it’s weird, but there’s actually no wheat or gluten in buckwheat.)

1 tbsp. sugar (Since we were topping it with something sweet, we just left this out.)

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/4 c. buttermilk

1/4 c. melted butter

1 egg

1. Preheat your waffle iron.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

2. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, and egg.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mix and stir everything together.

3. Pour the batter into your waffle iron and cook til the waffles are lightly crisp and barely letting off any steam.  (For us, this was 1 1/2-2 cycles for the waffle iron.)  Repeat with the remaining batter.

Buckwheat WafflesBuckwheat Waffles 2

Have you ever tried buckwheat before?  If you have, what’s your favorite recipe/dish to eat it in?


Muffin Mania February 10, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 10:11 PM
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I know this isn’t the case everywhere, but we’ve had some crazy weather lately.  Days in the 60’s shortly followed by balmy 80’s.  As you might expect, this makes weekly meal planning a little difficult.  On cold days, I want chili, oatmeal, and hot chocolate, but then a couple days later it’s warm, and none of that sounds appealing.  One thing that works for both temperatures is a good old morning muffin.  I’ve started making a new batch each week.  Why?  Well, it’s fun to try new recipes for one thing, and it’s also nice to have a super easy breakfast option for a few days each week.  A dozen muffins give us 6 servings (2 muffins each), which gives us leeway with a few breakfasts or even snacks.  So whether you’re craving a make-ahead breakfast, reheatable snack, or even a slightly more healthy dessert (healthier than a cupcake, anyway), I’ve got some options for you.

This first muffin is one that I served alongside our Christmas dinner.  I try to make a fruitcake every year (I like them!), and this year I went with a modified panettone recipe.  Panettone is an Italian holiday bread that includes dried fruit, so I felt it was a fitting choice.  I loved the citrusy aroma that this had, and the batter was so silky and easy to work with.  By the way, please note that this has an overnight prep step; you’ll definitely want to take that into account before using the recipe.

Panettone Muffins (from King Arthur Flour)

1 1/2 c. dried fruit (I wanted to use a regular fruit cake mix, but couldn’t find one in the right size.  So I went with what I had on hand: dried cherries, craisins, and dates.)

1/4 c. orange juice

1/4 c. butter

2 tbsp. veggie oil

2/3 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/8-1/4 tsp. orange oil (I couldn’t find this at my local store, so I substituted 1/2 tsp. orange extract.)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2/3 c. milk

2 tbsp. sugar

1. In a small bowl, mix together the dried fruit and orange juice.  Cover and let sit overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a muffin pan.  In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, veggie oil, and 2/3 c. sugar til smooth.  Add the eggs, beating to combine.  Then stir in the orange oil (or extract) and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, and flour.  Starting and ending with the dry mix, alternate stirring the dry ingredients and the milk into the wet ingredients.  Stir in the fruit with any remaining liquid.

4. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup almost full.  Sprinkle the muffin tops with the 2 tbsp. sugar.  Bake 18-20 minutes or til golden and a tester inserted in the center removes cleanly.  Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove and let dry on a cooling rack.

Panettone MuffinsPanettone Muffins 3

My next muffin was an unusual, but tasty flavor combination that my hubby and I ate right up.  As with most muffins, these came together quickly and were a nice, warm breakfast on some slightly chilly mornings.  Though you may not think that cheddar belongs in a sweet muffin, it really worked well.  There’s not so much cheddar that the muffins taste cheesy, but it does lend a savory side to a slightly sweet apple muffin.  The only thing I would change for next time would be to chop the apple a little smaller so that they incorporate more evenly.

Apple-Cheddar Muffins (from Betty Crocker)

1 egg

2 c. Bisquick

3/4 c. coarsely chopped, peeled, cored apple (Like I said above, I’d dice these a bit smaller.)

2/3 c. shredded cheddar

1/3 c. sugar

2/3 c. milk

2 tbsp. veggie oil

1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease 12 muffin cups.  In a medium bowl, beat the egg slightly.  Stir in the remaining ingredients til just moistened.  Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups.

2. Bake 17-19 minutes or til golden brown.

Apple-Cheddar MuffinsApple-Cheddar Muffins 3

And then this week, I made the quintessential muffin – blueberry!  This is an especially good recipe because it’s fairly healthy and super tasty.  The texture is very similar to scones, and the flavor is just sweet enough with a little tang from the yogurt and blueberries and just the right amount of lemon.  The recipe said it makes 10 muffins, but I got 12.  (Yay!  More muffins for me …or us.)  One note though, if you plan to eat these over a few days, you’ll want to store them in the fridge; the high amount of yogurt means that they’ll go bad faster at room temp.

Blueberry Muffins (I know my mom gave me the recipe, but I have no idea where she got it.  And I’m sure you can imagine that I’d get too many google results to be of much use.)

5 tbsp. softened butter

1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

3/4 c. sour cream or plain yogurt (I used nonfat Greek yogurt and really liked the results.)

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 c. blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with 10 (or 12) paper liners (or grease it).  In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar til light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, then the yogurt and lemon zest.

2. Put the dry ingredients in a sieve and sift half over the batter; mix til combined.  Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Lastly, fold in the blueberries.  (The dough will be very thick.)

3. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full.  Bake the muffins 25-30 minutes, til the tops are golden and a tester inserted in the center removes cleanly.  Let cool on a wire rack.

Blueberry MuffinsBlueberry Muffins 2

There are also a few muffin recipes already on the blog that you can check out: Cream Cheese Cranberry Muffins, S’mores Muffins, sausage brunch muffins, peanut butter and chocolate chunk muffins, lemon muffins with lemon glaze, cherry pie muffins, and gingerbread muffins.

What’s your favorite muffin recipe?


New Favorite February 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 10:29 PM

I think by now you might have guessed that I got very behind this week.   Still, I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so I’m going to squeeze in a quick recipe now, then we can catch up more at our regular time next week (I hope!).  I found this recipe in a recent issue of Cooking Light, and I promptly bought the half and half to try it out.  What intrigued me most was that it used a lot of milk (3 c.) and only a little half and half.  I mentioned before that I love cinnamon ice cream, so obviously I had to try this.  We always have a few cups of the old gallon of milk left when I bring home the new one, so I thought this could be a great use up for it.  And, oh boy, is it!  This recipe takes a little more work than my basic vanilla recipe, but to me it’s worth it.  Since there’s not a ton of milk fat in this recipe, it’s thickened with cornstarch.  Surprisingly, the cornstarch turns out a smooth creamy treat that’s a perfect base for any number of variations.  I made the first batch as written (and it was awesome), but the next time I made it, I omitted the cinnamon and added in almost a pound of pureed strawberries (originally frozen) to make a light strawberry flavor that I’m loving.  I can almost guarantee you that I’m going to be playing with this recipe all year long.  I’m leaning towards mint chocolate chip for my next batch, but there are so many options to play with: spices, fruits to puree, jams and jellies to swirl in, add-ins to crunch on.  I can’t wait for my next batch; I guess that means we’d better get to eating on the current flavor!  Here’s how you can get to work on your own variations.

Cinnamon Gelato (from the January/February 2015 issue of Cooking Light)

1 c. sugar

1 c. half and half

3 c. 1% milk

2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the sugar, half & half, and 2 1/2 c. milk.  In a measuring cup, whisk together the cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 c. milk.  Stir the cornstarch mix into the sugar mix, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Once it’s cooked, strain the mix into a bowl and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.

2. Chill the mix til cold, stirring occasionally.  Once cold, process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.  Place the processed gelato in a container and freeze at least 2 hours or til firm.

Cinnamon GelatoCinnamon Gelato 3

What variation would you try first?



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