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

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Quick & Easy Blueberry Muffins

HOWDY friends.  I’m lovin’ the cooler weather this weekend, how ‘bout y’all!  I had some fresh blueberries in the fridge that really needed to be used, so I decided to look through some of my cookbooks for a quick & easy new recipe to try.

I found one in an old cookbook (copyright 1985) called MUFFINS, Nut breads and More by Barbara Kanerva Kyte & Katherine Hayes Greenberg.  The book was published as A Nitty Gritty Cookbook by Bristol Publishing Enterprises, Inc.  I had trouble locating the publishing company online to get permission to print the recipe, so I hope this will give them proper credit. The recipe was listed as Wholesome Sweet Muffins on pgs. 39-40.

I made few of my usual adaptations to their original recipe, so the version I’m posting is mine (with notes referring to the original).  The basic recipe in the cookbook is for a plain muffin (pg. 39), but includes ideas for several variations (including the addition of blueberries) on pg. 40.  The one they recommended was for Jam Muffins which took the basic batter and added a tsp. of jam on top of each muffin (or layered in the middle of each muffin) before baking.  That sounds pretty good too, so I may just try that one day as well.

Anyway…on to the recipe…
Quick & Easy Blueberry Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or you could just use a total of 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour)
2-1/2 tsp. sodium free baking powder (or regular baking powder, as in the original recipe)
1/4 tsp. salt (the original recipe called for 1/2 tsp.)
1 cup fresh blueberries (you can also use frozen, just rinse & drain them first)
3/4 cup fat free (skim) milk (the original recipe called for whole milk)
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 egg)
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest (one of the recommended variations)
1/2 cup Whey Low Type D (or regular sugar, like the original recipe called for)
(NOTE:  The original recipe also suggested using 1/2 cup honey in place of the sugar…however, if you do that, you will need to reduce the amount of milk to 1/2 cup.)
(optional - I always keep some of this on hand…it adds a great touch to all kinds of things!) 
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel (you can use dried too…whenever I grate fresh, I let the extra dry, and then keep it stored in my spice cabinet)
1 Tbsp. Sugar in the Raw (or any coarse/Turbinado sugar)

Preheat your oven to 400°F, and spray a muffin pan with your favorite cooking spray.  (The original recipe recommended using paper liners.)

Whisk together flours, baking powder & salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add blueberries, and gently toss to coat with flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix milk, egg substitute, oil & Whey Low.  Mix well, and stir into dry ingredients until just moistened.  (Be gentle, so you don’t mush up the blueberries.)

Let stand for one to two minutes, and then fill muffin pan, each cup should be about 2/3 full.  (My large cookie scoop portioned this just right to make 12 muffins.)

Add a generous sprinkle of the topping onto each muffin, and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.


VARIATIONS recommended to go with the original recipe included 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup grated, peeled apple, 1 tsp grated orange or lemon rind, 1 tsp jam (per muffin - as described above), 1 slice of banana layered in the middle of each muffin, or a basic streusel topping (recipe not included…feel free to use your own favorite).

These muffins came together very quickly, and took less than 30 minutes to make from beginning to end.  I really think the topping added a great finish.

If you’re looking for something fast, easy and delicious for breakfast…this is it!  Let me know if you try it…I’d love to hear which variations you decided on.

Have a GREAT week!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

HOWDY and Happy Halloween my friends!  I hope you and yours are warm and dry this rainy morning.  Concerned for many in our wonderful state of Texas who have been slammed with massive flooding the past couple of days.  Please join me in praying for all who have suffered losses from these massive storms, and for all the rescue & relief workers involved as well.

As usual, the cooler weather has me in a fall mood, and wanting to try some new pumpkin recipes.  I came across this one by Jessica over at A Kitchen Addiction a couple of days ago, and knew I had I had to try it.  I got up early this morning to give it a go, and it definitely didn’t let me down.  These muffins are DELISH!!

They were super easy to throw together, and made my house smell soooooo good while they were baking!  They taste a little like a super pumped up bran muffin…only better.  They look good, AND they taste good, so you can’t go wrong with that!

As usual, I made a few very minor adaptations to the recipe (below), but whether you try Jessica’s original recipe or my version…just TRY THIS!!  You won’t regret it!

Pumpkin Oat Muffins


1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose flour for all or part, but this recipe works really good with all whole wheat flour…kinda tastes like a bran muffin)

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup Whey Low Gold (or packed brown sugar)

1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cloves

1 cup 100% pumpkin puree (I normally use homemade, but I was out, so canned it was.  Whatever you use though, DO NOT use canned pumpkin pie mix!)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (I’m sure you could use any oil you like, but this adds a delicious mild flavor)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
Topping (optional)  (I know this is optional, but I think the toasty pepitas on top add a delightful crunch to these muffins!!)
pepitas, for topping

rolled oats, for topping


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. (you can use cupcake liners if you want, but I prefer not too…I hate having any of the yumminess left stuck to the paper!).

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, Whey Low Gold, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.

Add pumpkin puree, honey, coconut oil, egg substitute, and vanilla extract.  Stir until just combined, making sure that the eggs are incorporated.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full (I always use my large cookie scoop, which is the perfect amount, but an ice cream scoop would work too).  Sprinkle with a few pepitas and oats.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 25) or until toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean.

The original recipe said that it made 12 muffins.  I ended up with 15.  (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy!!!  Bonus muffins!!)

Anyway…just had to stop by and share this recipe before I got too busy.  It’s THAT good!  (I'm thinking I might even try adding a few dried cranberries next time...hmmmm...I may even try making it into some small loaves for gifts...hmmmm...I'm really liking this recipe!)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!  Stay safe if you’re out there trick-or-treating tonight!  And don't forget to stop by and say howdy to Jessica over at A Kitchen Addiction!!



UPDATE:  This has become one of my favorite recipes, and it works really well with the homemade pumpkin puree.   Also, I did try adding the dried cranberries, and they add an extra layer of yumminess.  Definitely worth tossing in if you have some.  I may try some diced apples next.  Leftover muffins are especially good if you split them in half, then butter them and toast them under the broiler until lightly browned.  Mmmmmm...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Black Bean Salad

HOWDY friends!  As our American Independence Day celebration draws near, I wanted to pop in and share a yummy salad recipe, that is very quick & easy to put together, and ALWAYS a hit!

My brother brought home the recipe a few years ago.  He had eaten it at a friend’s house, and loved it, so he asked for their recipe.  He and my sister have been making it regularly ever since.  The recipe he brought home was made with corn & black beans.  I decided to adapt it, and leave out the corn.  I made my version for a hungry crew at our recent Memorial Day celebration, and it was a definite success.

Some folks liked it as it is intended (as a salad), others thought it worked well as a dip.  (I think I might give it a few pulses in the food processor if I decide to serve it as a dip.  I wouldn’t want it completely smooth, but a little less chunky might be good for dipping.)  My niece even decided it made a great hot dog topping!

However you might decide to serve it, or adapt it (as I did), you really should try it.  It’s delicious, and sure to be a favorite for your family like it has become for mine.

I’ve tried to track the original recipe (to give proper credit, where credit is due), but I’ve had a hard time nailing it down.  The closest I’ve come is what the internet refers to as Paula Deen’s Corn Salad .  However, I’m not even sure that it came from Paula Deen, as I haven’t found it on any of her websites, or anywhere with attribution other than the name.  Maybe somebody thought it sounded like something she might make and gave it the name, or maybe she really did originate it.  I really don’t know, but I do know that it is wonderful!  That recipe uses only corn (no black beans),unlike the recipe my brother brought home, but pretty much everything else was the same.  I figured if it could be made with just corn, it could be made with just beans, so without further ado…here’s my version.

(Photo quality isn't nearly as good as the salad is!)
Black Bean Salad

2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed & drained (the original recipe my brother brought home called for 1 can black beans & 1 can whole kernel corn - both rinsed & drained)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar adds a really nice flavor, but I’m sure you could substitute a Mexican cheese blend or whatever you happen to like)
1 cup mayonnaise (I prefer real mayo, as Miracle Whip tends to lend a sweetness that I don’t want)
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped (or you can use any combination of your favorite, red, yellow and/or green bell peppers - my brother’s recipe uses green - I’m even thinking I might try adding a chopped jalapeño or two next time!)
1/2 cup red onion, chopped (I prefer to use the sweet red onions when I can find them)
1 (10-1/2 ounce) bag coarsely crushed chili cheese flavored corn chips


Mix all ingredients (EXCEPT crushed corn chips) and chill.  (If you have time...make it the night before you plan to serve it, to allow the flavors to fully develop.  If you're in a hurry, don't worry, it will still be fabulous!)  Sprinkle crushed corn chips over the top of your salad just before serving.  (You can also stir them directly into the mixture if you prefer.  Either way, don’t do it too early, or they’ll lose their crunchiness.)

I hope you’ll give this one a try, and let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear about the variations you might choose!

Happy 4th of July my friends... I pray that you’ll have the opportunity to celebrate our country’s Independence Day with your family & friends, as I plan to.  May we never forget the sacrifices made by so many to grant us (and maintain for us) the many freedoms we so often take for granted.  I’m especially thankful to live in a country where I am blessed with the freedom to openly worship & serve my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!  May it always be so.
Photo credit:

May God Bless America, and each one of you my friends!