The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Audra's Blueberry Oatmeal Bread

HOWDY!  Had an opportunity to go in to work a bit later than usual today, so I’m enjoying my morning at home.  I spent a good while enjoying the beautiful weather on my porch this morning…doing my morning devotions, talking (and sometimes listening) to God, and playing with my adorable puppy.

I thought I’d take a minute to post another recipe that I’ve been meaning to put up for a while.  I found this one on another one of my favorite blog sites…Once a Mom Always a Cook.  As usual, I adapted the recipe a bit, so the one I’m posting is my version.  You can find the original recipe by clicking here. 

My husband and I both liked it so much, I’ve already made it several times.  Give it a try, it’s YUMMY!
Blueberry Oatmeal Bread
1/2 cup butter (1 stick - softened)
½ cup HEB Real Egg (or 2 eggs)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (if you don’t have or don’t like wheat flour, feel free to use all-purpose flour)
1 cup old fashioned oats (plus a little extra for topping)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used 1/2 of what the original recipe called for)
1 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt (you could easily substitute sour cream if you don’t have any yogurt)
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen blueberries will work fine as well…I’m also thinking diced peaches -- or a mixture of blueberries and peaches -- might be worth a try)

With a mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating until creamy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt until thoroughly mixed.

With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients to egg mixture, a little at a time, alternating with the Greek yogurt.  Once everything is just mixed together, remove from the mixer and gently fold in your blueberries.  (If you're using frozen blueberries, you may want to toss them in a small amount of the flour -- just enough to give them a light dusting -- before stirring them in.  This can help prevent them from turning the entire batter blue.  I don’t really care about the color, so I usually just dump them right in.)

Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and sprinkle the top with oats.

Bake at 350° F for 65-75 minutes or until done (a “toothpick test” is a good judge).

Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan to wire rack and allow to cool completely.  (NOTE:  I did NOT allow mine to cool completely before grabbing a sample!  It’s very good warm.  However, you do want to let it cool some, or the hot blueberries will definitely burn your mouth.  Don't ask me how I know this.  LOL!)

This bread is delicious hot or cold…and still wonderful the next day.  It also freezes well.  I love to butter a slice and put in under a broiler until lightly browned.  Mmmmm…

Don’t forget to stop by and check out Once a Mom Always a Cook, and tell Audra thanks for the recipe!  You can also tell her that Faithy sent you!

Enjoy your day my friends...


Monday, April 22, 2013

Cran-Apple Oatmeal Muffins

HOWDY friends!  I am feeling abundantly blessed this beautiful morning…hope you are too!
I had a weekend at home for a change, so I decided to try another new recipe.  I found this one a while back in a cookbook called “Cookin’ Up Country Breakfasts”.  It’s one of the many cookbooks published by Reiman Publications.  If you’re not familiar with them, you should be!  (They publish Taste of Home magazine among many others, and I’ve rarely found a recipe from them that I don’t like!)

Anyway, I got this cookbook from a co-worker about a year ago.  I’ve tried several of the recipes in it, and so far they’re all good.  It was published almost 20 years ago, but good recipes last forever!  This one is actually listed as Oatmeal-Cinnamon Muffins on pg. 76 of the cookbook, but I made some additions to it and gave it a new name.  You can find the original recipe on the Taste of Home website by clicking here.

I think the base muffin batter would be great plain (as in the original recipe) or with all kinds of different add-ins.  You might try blueberries instead of the apples and cranberries…or raisins and shredded carrots…chocolate chips…or who knows what else?!!  Give it a try and let me know which variation is your favorite!

Cran-Apple Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have any buttermilk, you can add 1 Tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice to a cup measure and then fill it to the one cup line with regular milk and stir -- just let it stand for 5 minutes before using)
1/2 cup HEB Real Egg (or 2 eggs, lightly beaten)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (if you don’t have whole wheat flour, regular all-purpose flour is fine)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons low-sodium baking powder (or regular baking powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium Granny Smith apple, diced (I like to leave the peel on, but you can remove it if you prefer)
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Combine oats and buttermilk in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in eggs.
In a separate bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Mix well.

Stir dry ingredients into oatmeal mixture, just until moistened.  Stir in fruit, until evenly distributed.

Fill muffin cups (sprayed with cooking spray) about 2/3 full.  (I always use a large cookie scoop!)  Bake at 400°F for about 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins pass a “toothpick test”.

Cool in the pan for about 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

These are SOOO good warm with a little real butter…mmmmmmm…you really should try ‘em!

Gotta run...have a beautiful day my friends.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

“Oatrageous” Cookies

HOWDY once again my friends!

I’ve been behind on my recipe sharing, so today I’m playing “catch-up”.  This is an oldie-but-goodie recipe of mine that I’ve been meaning to share for some time.

I developed it years ago after trying the yummy cookies served to guests by the DoubleTree hotel in Austin, TX.  My friends and I liked those cookies so much that I was determined to come up with a close copy.  I tried lots of things, and finally came across a bar cookie recipe in a magazine, that was pretty close.  I adapted it into regular cookies, and the rest is history.

It’s been so long that I truly can’t remember what magazine I got the original recipe from.  If I could, I’d gladly credit them.

I’ve made this recipe many times over the years, and it’s always a hit.  Most recently, I made a double batch of “Mega-Cookies” to share with the truck drivers at the company where I work.  They loved ‘em!  I’ve even had a few of the guys offer to pay me to make them a batch.  Ha! Ha!  (It’ll more fun to just surprise them with some when they least expect it!)

Anyway…their enthusiastic response reminded me that I need to get this recipe posted so you all can enjoy it too.  Here goes…

“Oatrageous” Cookies


½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup Smart Sugar (or regular sugar)
¼ cup HEB Real Egg (or 1 large egg, beaten)
1 Tbsp. fat free (skim) milk
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1-1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (you can use raw too, but the toasted ones are more flavorful)
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350° F.  In large mixer bowl, cream butter & sugars.  Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
In medium bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats.  Add to creamed mixture and mix until blended.  Remove from mixer and stir in chocolate chips, pecans and coconut.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes (or until golden brown).  Remove from pan and cool on wire racks.
NOTE:  I generally prefer to make “mega-cookies”.  To do this, I use my large cookie scoop (but an ice cream scoop would work well too) to drop batter onto the cookie sheet.  The cookies will need to cook a little longer, so keep an eye on them (should take about 15 minutes or a little longer to cook - depending on your oven).  I can get about 9 or 10 “mega-cookies” from one batch of this dough.
I hope you’ll give these yummy cookies a try, and feel free to pass along the recipe.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have!

Choco-Cran-Ban Muffins

HOWDY friends!  Just popping in to share another yummy recipe I came across recently.  This one was originally posted by Abby over at Manila Spoon.  She’s got a great blog that I love to follow, and when I saw this one, I knew I had to try it.  (Can’t imagine why I never thought of combining cranberries and banana bread…and the chocolate chips just put it over the top!)

I made a batch a couple of weekends ago to share with a group of hungry guys and gals out working cattle on our place.  They all gave them a “thumbs up”, so I thought I’d share the recipe.

I’m sharing my adaptation here, but please stop by to check out Abby’s original version (as well as all the other yummy recipes she’s posted) and tell her Faithy sent you.

You should smell these!!
Choco-Cran-Ban Muffins

1 cup plus 3 Tbsp Smart Sugar (or whatever type of sugar you prefer)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (the original recipe called for 2 cups A/P flour, but as usual, I am substituting some whole wheat flour for part of it)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can use all regular A/P flour if you prefer, but I like the taste & nutritional boost you get from using part whole wheat flour - feel free to play with the amounts of each until you find your preference)

2 tsp. low-sodium baking powder (feel free to use regular baking powder if you don’t have any of this stuff, but I really like it…it’s a GREAT way to decrease the amount of sodium in your baking without a noticeable difference in taste)

1/4 tsp. salt (I always use half the sodium called for in my baking recipes, without any noticeable difference in flavor)

1/2 cup HEB Real Egg (or 2 regular eggs, lightly beaten)

1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt, but you could also use sour cream if you don’t have any)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp. vanilla (you can leave this out if you don’t have any, but it adds a nice flavor)

1/2 cup banana, mashed (about 1 1/2 bananas - I used 2 bananas but I think it was a bit too much)

1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional (for you northerners…walnuts would be fine too)  :-) 

Preheat oven to 400 F°.

Mix all dry ingredients, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and yogurt on low speed, just until combined, then add the oil & vanilla.  Once that is mixed in, add the banana and continue to beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth (without any large lumps of banana).

Adjust the speed to low and then slowly add the flour mixture.  I add it with a 1/2-cup measure, so it isn’t too much at once.  (If you dump it all in at once, your kitchen will have a nice light dusting of flour!)  Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula after each addition of flour mixture.

Once everything is combined, remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in cranberries, chocolate chips and pecans (if you’re using those) by hand.  (I have one family member - who for some unknown reason doesn’t like chocolate - so I scooped out a few muffins for her before stirring in the chocolate chips.  You can do this with the cranberries or pecans too if someone doesn’t like those.  I’m sure you could substitute raisins or dried blueberries for the cranberries too if you prefer those.)

Fill muffin cups (sprayed with cooking spray) about 2/3 full.  (My large cookie scoop works perfectly for this!)  Bake at 400°F for about 20-25 minutes or until muffins pass a “toothpick test”.

Let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes before transferring from muffin tin to a wire rack to cool completely. The muffins may feel soft when you lift them up but don't worry they will firm up as they cool down.

Abby is right, the combination of sweet and tart flavors has a nice balance, and these muffins stay nice & moist even after they’ve cooled and set out for a while. 
NOTE:  The recipe is supposed to make 12 regular-sized muffins but I had enough batter left for an additional dozen mini muffins.  (BEWARE:  The mini ones are addictive…so easy to pop in your mouth and enjoy…)

I really hope you’ll try these delicious muffins, and then come back and let me know what you think.  I’d really like to hear about any adaptations you may try, as I’m always looking for new ideas. 

Oh yeah…don’t forget to stop by Manila Spoon and thank Abby for this great recipe!

Have a beautiful day my friends…and be sure and spend some time with your family this weekend.  You’ll be glad you did!