Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baked Oatmeal in Muffin Tins


Around our house, breakfast is a sacred affair.

One which I avoid, at all costs.

You see, it doesn't matter if the kids wake up at 6:30 a.m. or 9 a.m., they wake up famished.  And their go-to person is their dad.  Hands-down.  Their momma just doesn't do breakfast to their liking; their dad is their breakfast hero.

Which is fine by me.

When I do breakfast for myself, it is simply to get out the door without my stomach grumbling after me.

With my husband, breakfast is a ritual.  A ritual to be practiced one slow step at a time, methodically and purposefully (and did I mention slowly?).  And since my kids choose him to help them with their breakfast, they have become fanatically ritualistic about their breakfast routines as well.

And that drives me nuts. The whole concept of "just sit down and eat and move on to the next thing" doesn't compute with them.

They need their cereal, with just the right amount of milk splashed over it.  For each of the kids, only 1 spoon will suffice (and of course, you know they fight over that one spoon!)  Then 2 minutes later, they need a drink.  Then exactly 2 minutes and 34 seconds after that, they ask for a cup of coffee, with the perfect amount of creamer in it.  Anything less than exact or faster than they are used to throws them into a tizzy.  And the days when their dad isn't here for breakfast....oh, my!  Might as well go back to bed and try again tomorrow!

(You think I'm joking, exaggerating, or making this stuff up, don't you??)

This recipe is my attempt at interfering in this particular meal, and an attempt to offer a gluten-free option to the boxed cold cereal which is dearly beloved in our pantry.

I personally loved these baked oatmeal "muffins" and loved the versatility of the add-ins (I'm a sucker for all things raspberry, anyhow!).  This recipe makes a lot, and any of the extras could easily be frozen for future "holy days" (you know, next week's breakfast!).


Baked Oatmeal in Muffin Tins
Adapted from Sugar Free Mom
Makes 24-30 "muffins"

2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey
5 cups rolled oats (I used old-fashioned oats)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups milk
Toppings: blueberries, raspberries, raisins, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, pecans, almonds, drizzled honey, or any other combination

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray 2 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.

Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and honey together in a bowl.
Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients.  Add milk and stir to combine.

Spoon batter evenly into each muffin liner (I used a soup spoon). Batter is pretty wet and sloppy.

Top each muffin cup with desired toppings.

Bake 30 minutes; test with a toothpick to make sure it is dry in the middle.   Serve warm or slightly cooled.  Drizzle each muffin with honey when serving if desired.  Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Quinoa Burgers


Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is a very new ingredient to me in my kitchen.  In an attempt to eliminate some chronic tummy troubles in myself and my oldest son, I decided several weeks ago to go gluten-free. So far, so good!  Though this blog will not likely become a gluten-free blog, I will be posting some of the things I've made and loved that don't contain wheat flour (although, wheat flour is a truly amazing thing and such yumminess is made with it!  Like cupcakes...I miss cupcakes....).

These quinoa "burgers" were amazing!!  Most surprising was that they were even better leftover (and I usually can't stand leftovers!).  Quinoa is very easy to make and the batter for these was very simple.

If quinoa is something that you already love or something that you are intrigued to try, give this recipe a whirl!  Yummy!

Quinoa Burgers
Adapted from Eating Well Living Thin

To cook quinoa:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender. Allow to cool for a few minutes. {Makes 2 cups cooked}

To make the burgers:
2 rounded cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded jack cheese
2 medium carrots, finely grated
3 eggs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour (I used oat flour for GF)
2 green onions, including white parts
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Olive oil for frying

Directions:
In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, carrots, eggs,  oat flour, green onions, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.

Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat (I used my handy dandy cast iron skillet).   Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Makes approx. 10 burgers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Roasted Banana Bundt Cake with Browned Butter Frosting


In the recent month, I have adopted the phrase "Get Gazelle-Intense!" and have begun applying it to several aspects of my life.  The phrase originally comes from Dave Ramsey, the Christian financial guy, and my husband and I have latched onto it as we have been going through his Financial Peace University.  (You can listen to the story here and here you can watch the gazelle chase the cheetah--yeah!).

If you just listened to the story, you will understand the purposeful intensity with which I face each day.  This includes, but is not limited to, our budget, but also the kitchen, and has spilled over into the deep purging of closets, cabinets, storage spaces, my cosmetics bin, the kids' toy room....basically, if it is just sitting around my house taking up space and collecting dust, it is outta here!   Just yesterday, I took my gazelle intensity outside, and single-handedly weeded the three huge flower beds around my house, trimmed trees, planted flowers and transplanted lilies, and evened out dirt mounds....all in about 3 hours!  (Of course, this translates to sore arms and shoulders today, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?!)

So, of course, when I came into the kitchen, I cooked not one, but two different dinners (I took one to a friend and her family) and then set about making this cake after the kids were in bed.

Gazelle intensity, baby.


This cake....not just banana cake.  Roasted banana cake.  Ever roasted bananas?  Me either....until now.  Talk about intense.  Brown sugar.  Butter.  Bananas.  All roasted and gooey with amazingness.

And the frosting....not just ordinary buttercream.  Browned butter.  Nutty and more complex than just melted butter.  Whoa.

The next time that bowl of brown and mushy bananas in your refrigerator look at you with their pathetic puppy dog eyes, get gazelle-intense and whip up this cake.  Both the bananas and yourself will thank you for it!


Roasted Banana Bundt Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
Cake slightly adapted from SugarHero and Frosting from MyRecipes

Cake
3 cups sliced bananas, very ripe (about 4-5 small bananas)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1.5 tbl. cold butter, cut into small pieces
3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup + 2 tbl. milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 ounces butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan with baking spray or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Toss together the sliced bananas, packed brown sugar, and cold cubed butter in an 8×8 dish and roast the bananas for about 30-40 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes, and roast the bananas until they are bubbling and have golden brown spots. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and set the bananas aside to cool slightly until warm but not hot to the touch.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, combine the milk, roasted banana pieces, and vanilla extract. The banana pieces will be very soft and might start disintegrating a little, but some pieces should still hold their shape.

In the bowl of a large mixer, combine the softened butter and the granulated sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until well-incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.

With the mixer running on low, add a third of the flour mixture, and mix until it is almost incorporated. Add half of the milk, again mixing until it’s mostly mixed in. Repeat, ending with the flour. Add the chocolate chips and gently mix to incorporate.

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake the bundt cake for 50-55 minutes, until the edges pull away and the center springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes at room temperature before carefully inverting it on a cooling rack and letting it cool completely.

Frosting

  • 1 cup butter
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1/4 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions:
    Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove pan from heat immediately, and pour butter into a small bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.

  • Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar. Beat mixture at low speed until well blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Optional:  Top frosted cake with additional mini chocolate chips.
Note:  Making this cake the day before serving optimizes the integration of flavors. (It will taste better the day after you make it!)  :)