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Archive for the category “Snacks”

Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Cookbook: Corn Muffins

The Eat Clean Cookbook by Tosca Reno is full of healthful, delicious recipes.  I enjoyed making many recipes in this cookbook, but there is one I return to again and again: Corn Muffins.  (Often I make it as cornbread in a loaf pan.)  Maybe it’s because I’m married to a southerner, but in our house, you can never have too much cornbread around.

Super Simple Corn Muffins by Tosca Reno

Dry Ingredients:
1 and 1/3 cups / 320 ml whole-wheat flour
1 1/3 cups / 320 ml cornmeal
1/3 cup / 80 ml skim milk powder
2 Tbsp / 30 ml Sucanat or rapadura sugar
2 tsp / 10 ml baking powder
2 tsp / 10 ml baking soda
1 tsp / 5 ml finely ground sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
½ cup / 120 ml unsweetened applesauce
2 cups / 480 ml skim milk, soured with 2 Tbsp / 30 ml lemon juice
2 Tbsp / 30 ml coconut oil, canola oil or melted butter
4 egg whites, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C. Line a muffin tin with unbleached paper liners.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Place wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix together well.
4. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
5. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until just golden on top.

A cool thing about this cookbook is that Tosca Reno has some signature ingredient blends that she incorporates into several recipes.  Power Flour, for example, is a combination of various flours that can be used in place of regular or whole-wheat flours.  She also has a recipe for Eat Clean Cooking Spray to use in place of PAM or the like.

Thanks to Rechelle for sending me a review copy of this cookbook.  I’ll be using it for years to come.

Recipe: Taste of Home’s Honey-Oat Granola Bars

I had a small gathering of friends over on Friday night to watch some livestream of TED 2010 in Long Beach.

We decided on a potluck approach to the evening so, among other things, I whipped up a batch of some Honey-Oat Granola Bars from the Taste of Home Cookbook, Cooks Who Care edition (by the people who publish Taste of Home cooking magazine- free issue offer on the website).

This is a pretty new cookbook, and it’s enormous with over 1300 recipes in every category imaginable.  A person’s name and hometown is associated with each recipe, which gives me that all-fuzzy-inside feeling.  You know, if Marlys in Cincinnati loves this recipe, it must be good 😉   I’ve noticed the ingredients tend to be budget-friendly and many of the recipes could likely be made with staples you already have in the pantry.

The Taste of Home Cookbook also features 21 heart-warming stories of people helping others through food-related efforts. The Cooks Who Care cookbook ed. celebrates the recipes and charitable acts performed by Cooks Who Care. The hope is that these stories and recipes will hopefully inspire others to make a difference in their communities.

I added a meyer lemon glaze to the top of mine to add a bit of festivity.

Honey-Oat Granola Bars with Meyer Lemon Glaze


4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
3/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, peanuts, chocolate chips and sunflower kernels. Stir in the butter, honey and vanilla until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press into a greased parchment paper-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack; cut into squares. Cool completely before removing from pan. Yield: 3 dozen.


1 Meyer lemon (can substitute regular lemon)
1-1.5 cups powdered sugar

1. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Squeeze lemon over bowl so juice pours into bowl, being careful to catch any seeds.  Whisk until combined and smooth.

2. Pour over honey-oat granola bars.

Thanks to Anjali for sending me this cookbook!

Recipe: Raspberry Orange Muffins

It’s been fruit, fruit, fruit and more fruit lately.  I think I’m ready for spring and summer.

This Raspberry-Orange muffin recipe and photo come from Driscoll’s.  They are quite orange-y tasting which set them apart from other orange muffins I’ve had in the past (which have tended to be more orange colored than orange flavored).

Raspberry – Orange Muffins
My oh-so-typical substitutions: Whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour; walnut oil instead of canola oil; plain yogurt instead of sour cream.

1            6 ounce package Driscoll’s raspberries
1 ¾        cups whole wheat flour
1 ½        teaspoons baking powder
½           teaspoon baking soda
½           cup plain yogurt
½           cup packed brown sugar
¼           cup walnut oil
2-3         teaspoons grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
¼           cup orange juice
1            large egg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or coat with cooking spray.
3. Rinse and drain berries. Pat dry with paper towel.
4. Stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl.
5. Combine sour cream, brown sugar, oil, zest, juice and egg in a large bowl. Stir in flour until partially moistened.  Add raspberries and stir in gently until evenly mixed.  Do not over-stir.
6. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full.
7. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
8. Cool in pan 5 minutes.  Serve warm or remove and place on wire rack to cool completely.

Bagels Homemade: Sesame, onion and salt

I consider most Saturday mornings productive if I get up, perk some coffee and read a few sections of the New York Times all before noon.  Compared to many weekends during college, this is, after all, an improvement.

This morning, I forever raised the bar for Saturday Morning Productivity.  I made homemade bagels.  Yeast, water, sugar, salt, flour, kneading, resting, rising, shaping, boiling, and baking.  They’re perfect and delicious.

I followed this recipe by Aimee of Under the High Chair and, gasp, I followed the recipe exactly.  Double gasp, this included using white flour.  I did keep the raw cane sugar for the sugar.  And I did allow myself one creative flourish for a topping: dehydrated onions mixed with salt.  (Poppy seeds and salt on the rest.)

Here’s the biggest shock, though.  How does Aimee, a mother of two wee ones, manage to make homemade bagels?  And how find time did she videotape herself shaping the dough for the helpful video tutorials?  And how does she clean everything?

‘Cause I just glanced in my kitchen, and it looks like a flour mill and a poppy seed factory exploded simultaneously.

Good thing some productivity can be postponed until the late afternoon.

Maple Coconut Pecan Clusters with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Maple Coconut Pecan Clusters with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
Adapted from Bryant Terry‘s Double Maple-Coated Pecans

What I Changed (Reflected Below) and Why: Substituted raw cane sugar for maple sugar because I didn’t have maple sugar and figured it might be difficult to find and expensive; Added shaved coconut for added texture, flavor and nutrition; Added sea salt for taste; Toasted the pecans in the skillet instead of on a baking sheet in the oven so that the whole recipe would be on the range (simple!) and use just one pan (fewer dishes!)

4 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup succanat (raw cane sugar)
1 cup shaved coconut flakes
1 tsp sea salt

1.  Put pecans in large heavy cast-iron skillet and heat on medium-high range for about five minutes, stirring frequently so they don’t burn.  Pecans will be fragrant and toasted.

2. Remove pecans to a large mixing bowl and combine with the oil.  Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly coated.  Add the maple syrup and stir again.  Then add the coconut and sugar and stir again.

3. Warm the skillet to medium-high again and pour the mixture in, scraping the bowl to remove everything.  Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until most of the liquid has evaporated and everything begins to “cluster,” about 2-3 minutes.

4. Transfer to parchment paper and quickly spread out with the back of the wooden spoon.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Eat slightly warm or cool.  Nuts keep for quite a while, if you can keep them around that long.

Walnut Biscotti with Whole Wheat and Corn Meal

I learned in a magazine a few years back that biscotti is the plural of biscotto.

Now that is all I can think of when I hear or see or taste biscotti.  Like a multisensory tic.

Biscotti are great gifts because they keep for a long time.  This version is grainy, nutty and subtly sweet.  Give them away in multiples (thus avoiding having to say biscotto).

Walnut Biscotti with Whole Wheat and Corn Meal

Adapted from Made Healthier‘s Chocolate Chip Biscotti

What I Changed (Reflected Here) and Why: Half and half instead of milk because we rarely have regular milk in the fridge; walnut oil for “oil” (unspecified) to enhance nutrition and walnut taste; Replaced white flour with extra whole wheat flour for nutrition and simplicity; Replaced white sugar with succanat for nutrition; Replaced chocolate chips with walnuts for fun/nutrition.  In essence I made Made Healthier‘s recipe healthier.  My poor, poor friends.  Still, Isabel, didn’t you declare them tasty?

Note: This makes about 10 biscotti, which disappear fast.  I might multiply the recipe if you’re looking to give some as gifts or even just to have plenty to keep yourself.

1 egg
2 Tbsp half and half
1 Tbsp walnut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup succanat
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Mix the first five ingredients together with a whisk, then add everything else in and mix with a spoon until it comes together.

2. Spray nonstick baking spray on a nonstick baking sheet and mold a long, low mound of batter with a spoon.  Bake for 30 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.  Cut the loaf diagonally into 1-inch slices.  Turn them onto their sides and return to oven (still at 350° F) to crisp up, about 8 minutes per side.

Serve with coffee, tea or cocoa.

Recipe: Mufcake = muffin plus cupcake

The dividing line between muffin and cupcake has always been a bit hazy.

I think people prefer to say “muffin” when they’re eating it before noon and when they’re trying to be healthy.

Once, at Perkins Restaurant in Minnesota, the “muffin of the day” was double chocolate chip with cappuccino frosting. The worst part? I ordered it.

To be fair, my mufcakes are nutritious: whole wheat, 5 bananas and cocoa powder (full of antioxidants).

Chocolate Banana Whole Wheat Mufcakes

Adapted from Pinch My Salt, a San Diego-based food blog

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 C. sugar (per usual, I used raw/unrefined)
2 eggs
1.5 C. mashed ripe banana (~5 bananas)
1 t. vanilla
1/4 C. half and half
2 C. whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs, bananas and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
5. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
6. Pour this mixture into muffin tins that have been greased or lined with paper cups. (I made 6 large mufcakes and 12 mini mufcakes.)
7. Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on size of muffins- use a toothpick to test. Cool at least 10 minutes.

To emphasize muffin-ness, spread with peanut butter and banana slices.

To emphasize cupcake-ness, top with chunky coconut frosting.

Recipe: Apple Buttermilk Bread or Muffins

With a bushel of apples from our pick-your-own adventure, I’ve been creating a few apple recipes.

I’m currently serving on a jury and I brought in this bread one morning last week to share with my fellow jurors.

It is not very sweet, the buttermilk is palatable, and there is a subtle, surprising fusion of sugar and salt. At least that was my interpretation.

The other jurors simply said, “Mmmm.”

Apple Buttermilk Bread or Muffins

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks, a great recipe/wholesome food blog

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit
1 T lemon juice
1 medium apple, cored and diced
3 tablespoons large grain raw sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle. Grease and flour muffin tins if you’re making muffins or a loaf pan if you’re making bread. (Parchment paper also works for the loaf pan.)

Combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk, whisk in the melted butter, and add the lemon juice. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined – try not to over mix. Batter will be lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing out toward the edges. Now place the apple pieces across top. It’s okay if they overlap a little, but try to cover the entire surfaces of the bread/muffins. Sprinkle with the large grain sugar and then the salt. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cake is set (or a toothpick in the center comes out clean), and a touch golden on top. Muffins may take a bit less depending on their size. My yield was one shallow loaf pan (perfect for snack-sized slices for 12 angry men 9 happy jurors) and 6 medium-to-large muffins.

Recipe: Rosemary Roasted Pecans

Some dear friends threw us an engagement party last Saturday. One of the couples in attendance, Lilo & Tom, gifted us a large jar of “Lilo’s Southern Love Nuts.”

They are now gone. Yes, gone.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday- three days. Really, is that all?

Well, they’re that good. Enjoy.

Lilo’s Southern “Love Nuts” (Rosemary Roasted Pecans)

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
4 cups pecans

1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil.

2. In a small saucepan, heat oil, rosemary, salt, garlic powder, and pepper until warmed through. Pour mixture over pecans in a bowl and toss. Drain excess oil using a colander.

3. Quickly spread in even layers on cookie sheets. Roast nuts for 15 minutes. Cool and pack in tins. Store in cool place.

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