Tag Archives: Recipes

Apple Granola Muffins

3 Mar

I love muffins. What’s not to love? Other than muffin pans, you don’t need any special equipment. They’re simple to throw together and are basically your own personal mini-cake. You can also take a basic recipe and add all sorts of fruits, spices or other flavorings.

For these muffins, I’ve taken my basic sour cream muffin recipe and added granola, apples and cinnamon. You can use any granola you like, homemade or one you like from the cereal aisle. Mixing some into the batter adds a little texture and sprinkling some on top gives you an instant crumble topping. Yum.

I use diced apples tossed with cinnamon and brown sugar in this recipe, but you can replace the apples with fresh or frozen blueberries, diced peaches or pears or any other fruit. The fruit to batter ratio is high – and that’s what I want. The fruit keeps the muffin moist and I think every bite should have fruit in it.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola, grapeseed, or other similar oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1 tbsp to toss with the apples)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup granola (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced small (I like to use Pink Lady, Ambrosia or similar apple)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Using a sturdy spoon, cream the granulated sugar and oil in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

Add the salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix in. Add the flour and stir until JUST combined. You don’t want to overmix the batter and having some small lumps is good. Add the granola and stir through.

In another bowl, combine the diced apples, 1 Tbsp flour, cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir together until all of the apples are coated in the sugar/ flour/ cinnamon mixture.

Add the apples to the batter, including any excess sugar that may be at the bottom of the bowl. Gently stir the apples into the batter. Don’t worry about the apples being enveloped in better – you should see lots of chunks of apples and streaks of the cinnamon/ sugar should still be visible.

Spray your muffin tins – I prefer using baking spray that contains flour. Using standard muffin/ cupcake tins, fill the cups to the top. You should get approximately 18 muffins. Sprinkle each muffin with more granola, about 1 tsp per muffin.

I like to bake one pan at a time on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the pan and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown.

Remove and let cool. These are best eaten the day you bake them, but kept in a sealed container will be good on the counter for a couple of days.

Smoked Cheddar and Green Onion Biscuits

4 Feb

Between the snow that fell last night and the continuing frigid temperatures, I declared today a personal snow day.

For me, snow days usually include making something in the kitchen and after looking through the cupboards and fridge I decided today’s project would be smoked cheddar and green onion biscuits. I say project, but really this is a simple recipe that takes just a few minutes to pull together.

Smoked old cheddar is one of my favorite favorite cheeses, so I often have a chunk in my fridge, but if you don’t have it or don’t like the smokiness, you can use cheddar, gouda, swiss or any other hard cheese you like. I love cheese and green onion together, but you can leave them out if you don’t like them — or add even more if you do!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes plus 1 Tbsp butter melted
  • 1 1/2 cups smoked cheddar, grated
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

Add the cold butter and use a pastry cutter if you have one to break up the butter and mix it in. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use your hands – just toss the butter and the flour so that the butter is coated in flour, then use your fingertips to press the butter into the flour, breaking it up until the butter is in smaller, pea-size chunks.

Add the grated cheese and green onions and stir into the flour/butter mixture until it’s evenly distributed. Form a well in the center.

Whisk the milk and egg together and pour into the well. Use a fork to stir the wet ingredients into the dry until it forms a dough, being careful not to overmix. If there is some flour that hasn’t mixed in, use your hand to bring it altogether.

Turn the mixture out onto a piece of parchment on a baking sheet and gently push it together to form a square approximately 1″ thick.

At this point, you can use cookie cutters to cut circles or other shapes, but I usually just cut the dough into 12 equal size squares. Gently pull the squares apart and space them out so there is about one inch of space surrounding each biscuit. They’re going to grow as they bake so they need a little room.

Brush the tops of the biscuits with the 1 Tbsp of melted butter and then place in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the tray and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby Pancake

30 Jan

When I was in junior high, we were taught how to make what we called ‘apple pancakes’ in cooking class. It was many years later that I learned this was a version of a Dutch-Baby pancake which may be a version of a German pancake and is oddly similar to a popover.

I remember that after I learned to make these, I was trotted out by my parents to make them for guests on a few occasions, but then the recipe was forgotten and the only time we enjoyed an apple pancake was when we visited a local restaurant chain.

This morning, about 30 years after I made my last Dutch Baby, I woke up after dreaming about them and decided it was time to reintroduce them into my cooking repertoire (though I no longer had the original recipe).

The thing about Dutch Babies is that they’re delicious, seem really impressive but are absolutely easy to make.

You can do different things with the basic recipe, like leaving out the apples, cinnamon and brown sugar and making a vanilla pancake that you dust with icing sugar and sprinkle with fresh berries. Or leave out the apples, cook the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for a few minutes and then add a couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries or diced fresh peaches right before you pour the pancake batter in. But I think the apple cinnamon version is my favorite.

Batter

  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Apples

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 large apples (Ambrosia, Pink Lady or similar), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Place all of the batter ingredients into a blender and blend until combined and all of the lumps are gone. You can also use an immersion blender or a good whisk to combine well. Set aside while the apples cook.

Most recipes call for a cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Use a 10 to 12 inch oven safe skillet to melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sliced apples, brown sugar and cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes, until the apples start to soften and the butter/ sugar mixture is simmering and has thickened slightly.

Pull the pan off the heat, move the apple slices around so that they’re evenly distributed and slowly pour the batter over all of the apples.

Place in the preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the pancake has puffed up and is golden brown across the top and dark, caramelized brown around the edges. Dust with powdered sugar and/or maple syrup on the side and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Cookies

13 Mar

Last month I published Pam’s Cookie Collection.

This is smaller than my other books with just 40-something recipes, but I’m proud of this one! It’s got lots of recipes that I baked at Desserts Plus over the years, along with lots of others that I created in my home kitchen.

You can get copies here:

Createspace
amazon. com
amazon. ca
And here’s a wonderful write-up by the equally wonderful Norene Gilletz in the CJN.

If you don’t have any of my books but you’ve wanted them, now is a good time to get them! For the next week one of the rewards for our kickstarter campaign is a cookbook collection. You can get one copy of each of my three books – signed if you like! (It’s listed twice – once if you’re able to pick them up at our new café and once if you need them shipped throughout North America.)

I’ll try not to be such a stranger! Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Buttermilk Cheese Kugel

4 Sep

The High Holidays are fast approaching and it seems everybody I know is in menu-planning mode.  A good cheese kugel is great for lunch during Rosh Hashana or for breaking the fast on Yom Kippur.

I know a lot of recipes call for some sugar, but I prefer to leave it out of cheese kugels — leave it for the apple or other fruit versions.  I like my cheese kugel to have a little tang and will either add sour cream, or in this case, buttermilk to the recipe.  The topping is optional, and it is delicious without it, but perhaps just a little more delicious with it.

Serve with extra sour cream on the side or if you must have a little sweetness, some sliced strawberries in syrup.

buttermilk kugel 2

 

Buttermilk Cheese Kugel

375 grams egg noodles — wide

5 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
375 grams dry curd cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt

Optional Topping
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
pinch salt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Cook the noodles following the instructions on the package. Drain well and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, salt and cottage cheese. Pour this mixture onto the noodles and stir to thoroughly mix.

Lightly butter a 2 quart (liter)  casserole and pour the noodle mixture into the pan.

If you choose to add the optional topping, mix all of the topping ingredients together in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture on top of the noodles.

Bake the kugel in a preheated 375º oven for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the kugel has set.

 

 

Radio Silence and Cookies

16 Dec

Haven’t posted in a while, because I’ve been busy working on recipes for the next book!

Yep, Cookies it is.  These are just a few images of what’s been going on in my home kitchen recently.

Much more to come! And between you and me, this is a really delicious book so far.

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Cranberry Sauce

13 Oct

Cranberry sauce is one of those things that is really, really easy to make, but i think a lot of people forgo making it and opt for opening a can instead.  If you have access to fresh cranberries (or frozen,  depending on the season) don’t question it — make a batch yourself and see how easy and delicious it is.

I always make it with orange or mandarin juice because I like the flavor combo. You can use water if you prefer.  I also like the addition of some ground, dry ginger.  I’ve tried it with fresh ginger, but it was too strong for my taste.  You can omit the ginger altogether, or substitute cinnamon, clove, nutmeg or allspice.  And if you’d like even more of a citrus kick, add some zest,

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Happy Thanksgiving!

  • 3 cups (or one 12 oz. package) fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange or mandarin (or tangerine or . .) juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dry ginger

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Wash and pick through the cranberries.  Add everything to the pot and place over medium-high heat.  Once the liquid comes to a simmer, reduce heat to medium and let cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the cranberries have all popped and the sauce has thickened.  Pour into a dish to cool.  Can be served warm or cover and keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Makes 2 cups.

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Granola

17 Jul

I’m going to be honest with you.  I love my homemade granola so much that I think I had it for breakfast every day for about six months (with some Greek yogurt and fresh berries) until I finally got sick of it and (thought I) never wanted to see it again.  Then, after going on a granola fast for a few months, I woke up one day and realized that I really missed it.

Here’s what I love about it: it’s filling and delicious and flexible.  I’m sharing a recipe with you (below), but just take it as a guide. Add or replace nuts, spices, grains or anything else you like.  Just stick with the basics — start with oats, add nuts and or coconut, spices, grains, some fat and a sweetener. You can add dried fruit, but don’t add it at the beginning.  Stir it in for the last 10 minutes of baking.  And make big batches — in a freezer bag or container this stuff can hang out in the freezer for a couple of months.

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Granola

  • 5 cups large flake oats
  • 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups slivered, blanched almonds
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup

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Preheat your oven to 325°.

In a large mixing bowl, use a spoon to mix the oats, coconut, almonds, pecans, salt, cinnamon and allspice.

Add the oil, vanilla and corn syrup and mix until everything is well incorporated.

Spread the mixture out on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 20 minutes, then stir. Switch the position of the trays around, then bake another 20 minutes and stir. Switch the trays around one more time and bake another 20 minutes or until golden brown (if you’re adding dried fruit, add it after 50 minutes or total baking time — then bake another 10 minutes or until done).

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Let cool completely and package in freezer bags or an air-tight container.  Can stay on your counter for a couple of weeks or in the freezer for a couple of months.

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My favorite way to have this is with some Greek yogurt and lots of fresh, ripe berries.

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Tortilla Soup

22 Feb

I love Tortilla Soup and make many different yet similar versions of it. What’s so great about Tortilla Soup (in my mind, at least) is that it’s a bowl of hot, slightly spicy (how spicy is up to you), filling soup that’s just what I want on a cold winter day,  yet the flavours take me to southern California and I can pretend I’m sitting in the sun rather than shivering in the ice and snow.

The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are a new obsession for me, but if you can’t get them, don’t want to use them because they’re too spicy or don’t like them, simply leave them out and add 1/2 – 1 tsp. chili powder.  If you have it, add 1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika as well.

The fresh, cool avocado that I add when serving the soup is something new for me.  The last couple of times I’ve made this soup I’ve added the avocado and love it.  The creamy, cool avocado is a great addition to the spicy, tart soup flavours.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium orange pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 tomatillos, paper removed, cored and chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced 1/2″
  • 19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • tortilla chips
  • lime wedges
  • extra cilantro

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Over medium heat, saute the onion and orange pepper in the olive oil for 5-7 minutes, until soft.  Add the garlic, cumin, salt, black pepper and the tomatillo and cook another minute.

Add the chipotle and the adobo sauce and stir through. Add the stock and tomato juice, cover and bring to a boil on high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the chicken and beans and cook for 2 minutes, then add the corn.  Cook another 8-10 minutes, or until the soup just comes back to the simmer, the corn is hot and the chicken has cooked through.

Add the lime juice and cilantro, stir through and taste, checking the seasoning and adjusting if necessary.

Top each bowl with diced avocado and serve with tortilla chips and extra lime wedges and chopped cilantro on the side.

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Simple Sides: Roasted Cauliflower

20 Feb

I’ve always liked cauliflower — even when I was really young, I always liked the vegetables that most kids don’t. I’m quite happy with simply steamed cauliflower, but I’ll take it in a soup, with sauces, in a stir-fry, a quiche or many other recipes.  But just like my crispy smashed potatoes, one of my absolutely favorites ways to prepare cauliflower is to simply roast it. (It also happens to be great for Passover.)

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Just like those crispy smashed potatoes, the ingredient list is small — only four items:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large cauliflower, washed well and broken down into small florets

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Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Mix the olive oil, garlic and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add the cauliflower and mix until the oil, salt and garlic are evenly distributed.  Spread the cauliflower out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Roast for 20 minutes, then toss and roast for another 20-25 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft and the edges golden brown.  Serve immediately.

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** Any leftovers are great chopped up and added to scrambled eggs for breakfast.