Pumpkin Spiced Muffins – cajun rub fried turkey

I share this recipe last year but it was so good that I thought it was worth repeating. Plus I am sitting on a beach drinking tasty adult beverages and haven’t made anything sweet and delicious to share and maybe you have a can or two of pumpkins lying around. It may last till next year’s Thanksgiving but why chance it.

img_4800
I do hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year I did things a little different. I made mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes first thing in the morning and put each in my slow cookers to keep warm. I buy 2 smaller birds versus one enormous one, I find I have better luck having juicy meat instead of dry. This year I was on the fence on how to cook them. literally the morning of Thanksgiving I held a meeting with all in the kitchen on how to cook my two 10 pound birds. consensus was fry one and spatchcock the other. I knew that the fried one needed A LOT of spices and I needed to get going so it had time to soak in. I took the other and started to spatchcock also know as removed the backbone.  FYI it was much harder to remove than when I remove it from a roaster chicken.
img_4801


img_4802
Both birds turned out great, but the cajun spice rub I put on the fried bird was amazing!

Rub
1/4 cup chili pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground black pepper
2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

IMG_5560

spatchcock

IMG_5565

cajun rubbed fried

img_4803

Pumpkin Spiced Batter – preheat oven to 350’F


1 package yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup oil
½ cup water
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and with an electric mixer on low speed beat just till moistened. Move up to medium for a couple of minutes. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Fill each cup about ⅔ full

Bake for about 20 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes with the spiced cream cheese frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8oz) cream cheese – softened
¼ cup butter – softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp ground cloves

Add to bowl and beat until light and fluffy, gradually add 1 (16oz) box of confectioners sugar.

 

 


Recipe by : McCormick & Co

Pumpkin spice mini chocolate chip protein muffins

Not sure if you noticed that I had written my last 3 blogs on the same day 3 weeks ago. I do try to write my blog about something I had made at some point during the current week but in preparation of being out of commission for about a month because of carpal tunnel surgery I was scheduled for I wanted to get a little ahead of the game.  
IMG_5495I am doing better but still on limited use for another week or so.  I have found it virtually impossible to limit my most dominant hand to 1 lb and limited chopping for a month. For someone who loves to be in the kitchen and garden it hasn’t been easy; don’t tell my doctor but I know I have cheated a little more times than I can count.
IMG_5499

IMG_5496IMG_5497IMG_5498Since we are in the midst of pumpkin season I thought I would share a Pumpkin Spice Muffin with you all. I am still trying to be a little more healthy but without compromising taste; this recipe is low in calories and fat and has a nice supply of protein – for those like me counting macros; you can find them listed at the bottom of this and hopefully most all of my blogs.

Pumpkin spice mini chocolate chip protein muffins

1 cup oatmeal flour (quick oats ground in food processor – see below)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
3 egg whites
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium banana, peeled and mashed
1 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 container applesauce

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°
Place liners in one muffin pan and lightly spray with baking spray.
In a large bowl combine egg whites, yogurt, pumpkin puree, honey, vanilla extract, banana, applesauce.
In a second bowl combine oatmeal flour, almond meal, vanilla whey protein powder, pumpkin mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Combine flour mix and egg mix together until smooth.
Fill each tin ¾ of the way full, spreading evenly.

Bake for 20 minutes.
Store in the refrigerator

IMG_5492IMG_5493
Macros = 1 Muffin
170 Calories – 5 g Fat – 24 g Carbs – 8 g Protein

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

It seems the older I get the stranger my grocery shopping cart items seem to get.  I just got back from the store and I not only picked up silken tofu (YUCK) for a recipe; I grabbed 2 because they were on sale. What is wrong with me??? Now not only do I hope the dessert I want to make with it tastes good, it better be good enough to make/eat two of them. Or I will have to find something else out there to make with the other container.
IMG_5473 (2)I have been doing pretty good watching what I have been eating lately; I have also been reading labels a heck of a lot more than I have ever done in the past. The one thing I have been craving is baked goods. I thought chips were my downfall but I am starting to think it is cookies, pies  and cakes basically anything with flour, sugar, butter and eggs throw in some chocolate or peanut butter and I am one happy camper.
IMG_5467 (2)Don’t get me wrong if I want one I have been having ONE and it’s totally fine but So I have been trying to find SOMETHING – ANYTHING where I can maybe have TWO of something. Well I am still looking 🙂 I can appreciate more protein, less fat and carbs is probably a better way of living healthier but when did all purpose flour go wrong. Don’t worry I will never leave you behind; even if you are bad for my behind wink wink.
IMG_5468My girlfriend had bought some Peanut Powder pretty foreign to both of us. I was given the task to figure out what the heck to do with it. So today I spent sometime online looking for something to make with it; I failed but I did come across a funky peanut butter cookie recipe that looked promising and it was probably the easiest cookie I have ever made and they taste great.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ cup vanilla protein powder
1 cup peanut butter
1 lg egg
½ cup sugar in the raw
Pinch of salt
¼ cup mini chocolate chips – not needed but a nice touch

Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir till everything comes together. It will be the consistency of a regular cookie
IMG_5469
Use either a tablespoon scoop or do you best to make 12 same size ball. Press in a crosshatch pattern and bake in a pre-heated 350’F oven for about 12 minutes.

IMG_5470
Let them cool on the sheet tray for about 10 minutes till they set up. Once completely cooled store in an airtight container. They also freeze well!

IMG_5471

Makes 12 cookies – serving size 1 cookie

170 Calories
8.3 Carbs
12.2 Fat
9.4 Protein

I know they are still high in fat but they also add some protein and are lower in carbs than some other peanut butter chocolate chip cookies…
IMG_5474 (2)

Recipe – dailyburn website

Fresh Raspberry and Lime Scones

The party we threw last weekend was a complete success! Minus the pop up thunderstorm and whipping winds about an hour before it was to start and the power outage that lasted a couple of hours in the beginning. We contemplated postponing it a day but in the end figured it was best to move ahead with our plans. We had spent the day before prepping most everything we could and the rest we would make due with the BBQ and stove top.
IMG_5312
The BBQ shrimp I wrote about last week was loved by all; actually all the food was so good that most of it went that day. There were a few ingredients that needed to be cooked up so since there were a few people here the next day so I held a small impromptu luncheon out by the grill. When you buy ingredients for a large or even small party there are always seems to be some leftover ingredients. I froze the leftover meat and we have been snacking on a few of the other leftovers but I had some fresh raspberries and a bag of limes that I wanted to address.
IMG_5300

In searching for what to do with them; I came across a scone recipe that sounded intriguing to me. I was curious how a cup of juicy raspberries would be in a dough. My daughter even made a comment that she thought they would make the dough too wet.  Well it was a little more wet that other scones I have made but the result was quite pleasant. The sweet raspberry and tart of the lime play very well together. I still have some limes leftover so I might be writing about something else made with limes soon.

IMG_5302

The wetness made them hard for me to keep them in perfect triangles

 

Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoon sugar
zest of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 cup heavy cream – I used half and half which is what I had on hand
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh raspberries

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
juice of 1 lime

IMG_5303Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, lime zest and salt. Cut in the butter, using your hands, or a pastry blender. Mix just until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Mix 1 cup of heavy cream with lime juice and pour over the ingredients. Stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Careful not to over mix. Gently fold in raspberries, they will smash a bit and turn the dough a little pink but it does not affect the flavor.
IMG_5307
Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead by hand just until it forms a ball. Form scones by patting the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Cut into 8 even triangles.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until scones are light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Make the lime glaze in a small bowl while the scones are cooling. Whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream or milk, lime zest and juice. Whisk until you reach desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over the scones.

recipe adapted from website Angean

Almond Flour Blondies

I am a huge impulse buyer – KP stop laughing! My girlfriend KP gives me crap all the time for picking up something obscure and totally not what we were out shopping for. The area around the register is pretty dangerous for people like me; lucrative for the store though.
IMG_5279My daughter had made a few almond crust lemon curd tarts awhile back, at the time we couldn’t find almond flour in our little town so she had to make her own; she is so clever. So when I was out shopping and came across a large bag of Almond flour sitting at the end of an aisle I grabbed it.
IMG_5268Since I made this impulse purchase she hasn’t made any tarts; so now what am I supposed to do with it? Oh and I forgot to mention that I was at my club store when I “found” the bag so you might be getting a clearer picture that the bag I bought was a 10 pound bag of almond flour Yikes!
IMG_5271Since Almond flour is crushed almonds it is a little on the sweet side so I think it would only be good for something sweet; though I haven’t explored what to do with it extensively that is the way I am going with it.  I made an almond flour blondie that is sooooo good.  The only noticeable difference I found was that my blondie while ooey and gooey, it was also a little crumbly but that hasn’t stopped me from making them again.
IMG_5274Almond Flour Blondie

½ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

IMG_5270

If you need to soften your cold butter; slice it into smaller pieces it will soften quicker

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on high till they become light and fluffy. Takes about 3 minutes.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until everything is incorporated. Stir in the chips and nuts if you are using them.
Pour the dough into the greased baking dish. Smooth the dough and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15-20 minutes slice and enjoy!
IMG_5278

Basic Focaccia Bread

I am sure this will not come as a surprise but I LOVE food! I know I know thank you captain obvious! Well my daughter and I; well mostly me as I needed some moral support; have decided to take a much closer look at our food intake since someone might be having a pretty big birthday later this year. So it took less than a week to find out that too many carbs, not enough protein and too large of portion sizes are not really great recipe for your figure. Yeah I know another captain obvious moment here. When you see it in black and white kinda hard to deny.
IMG_5194So what do I do when we have a friend coming for dinner, my husband asked me to make the Pasta Sausage pesto dish I blogged about last week. Yeah that makes it 3 times I’ve made it in the last 2 weeks. And I decided I really wanted to make focaccia – really Donna too many carbs and makes a jelly roll pan full what is wrong with you! Maybe I am rebellious in nature? Maybe it’s the red hair thing? I really have no idea but I wasn’t sorry I made it. I was already thinking of how I would make it next time. Adding rosemary and or thyme some garlic even some caramelized onions does that not sound absolutely delicious.
IMG_5176If you have ever made focaccia and found the recipe online, you probably already have this recipe because why mess with any other when you have the master of dough making Anne Burrell’s at your fingertips. She is a master of all kinds of dough making plus so much more. I am going to share her recipe here because it’s really yummy and though it sounds like it takes a long time. The hands on part isn’t so you can do other things while the dough is rising. Next up is what to do with leftover focaccia bread as it really is a use it or lose it kind of bread.  Croutons? Breadcrumbs? Cheesy Garlic Bread? the possibilities… 
IMG_51911 ¾ cup warm water
1 package or 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
5 cups all purpose flour plus some for kneading
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
Some coarse salt for sprinkling on top
1 cup extra virgin olive oil – ½ cup in the dough, ½ cup for pan

In a small bowl or the measuring cup combine the warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand until the yeast bubbles this can take 5-15 minutes. If it doesn’t bloom/bubble start over.
IMG_5178Once ready add the flour, kosher salt, ½ cup olive oil into the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook mix on low until combined. Once the dough has come together and released from the sides. Continue to knead on medium speed for 5-6 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add a small amount of flour so you can handle it.
IMG_5179Transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times, if it is still too sticky sprinkle with a little flour.  Add a little olive oil to coat the bowl and add the dough back into the bowl to rise. Cover with plastic and put it in a warm place to allow it to double in size. This takes about an hour.
IMG_5180IMG_5181Coat your jelly roll pan with the other ½ cup of olive oil – if you are worried about it being too much, you can add less but you are making focaccia which is an oily crusty bread – just saying!
IMG_5183IMG_5185Add the dough to the pan and start pressing it so it fits into the pan. Flip the dough to make sure that the oil gets over all of it. Continue to work the dough in the shape of the pan. Using your fingers to make dents into the dough. I didn’t make actual dimple holes in the dough but I will the next time. Mine has dimples but they are not as defined as if I actually made the holes.
IMG_5190Place the tray in a warm place until it has doubled in size, which should take an hour. About 30-45 minutes in preheat your oven to 425’F.
IMG_5193Liberally sprinkle the top with some coarse salt and then lightly drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the loaf is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let it cool before cutting

Thank you Anne – you are a Rock Star

Homemade Cinnamon Roll under an hour

With Mother’s Day coming up next week I wanted to give you a breakfast or brunch option that tasted as good as it looked. It also needed to tick off a few of my important boxes; mainly using ingredients that most everyone has on hand; be pretty simple and not take you all morning to make.
IMG_5129

This is only the third homemade cinnamon roll I have ever made. My daughter reminded me that a few years ago while she was living in Japan we made maple bacon cinnamon rolls on Mother’s day. But my go-to; up until now; was my very old, very large white box bread maker. I’m sure some of you can envision the one I am talking about. That was what I used to make the dough for my cinnamon rolls. They always came out excellent but if I wanted to eat them in the morning for breakfast I had to get up around 5am so the machine could work it’s magic; as it took a couple of hours before I could roll out the dough; and then they had to rise for an hour or so. Needless to say I only made them on very special occasions.
IMG_5097


When my daughter came down in the morning and saw the cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven; which is truly the only way to eat them. Her first comment was ‘they look beautiful’ she proceeded to eat two of them. So they definitely passed the test. This recipe is really very easy that I think if you have little ones around they could definitely help you make them.
IMG_5109

IMG_5110

IMG_5111Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast – or 1 packet
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filing
½ stick unsalted butter softened/room temperature
2 tablespoons cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon milk

Pre-heat your oven to 200’ and just before you place the rolls in the oven; turn it off.

I used my stand mixer but you can do this by hand

Making the dough: in a large bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast; mix well. In a microwave safe bowl heat the milk, water and butter till the butter melts 30-40 seconds. Once melted stir into the flour mixture and the egg and knead until the the dough is no longer sticky roughly 3-4 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl to rest for 5 or 6 minutes.
IMG_5113Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the filing. Roll out the dough after it is done resting; into a 15″x 9″ rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top and then sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mixture over the butter. Roll the dough on the 15” side tightly and cut into 9 large even pieces. Place them in a 9″x 9″ slightly greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the; turned off oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the plastic wrap and turn the oven up to 375’F. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly browned.
IMG_5115IMG_5116

IMG_5120

I lined my pan with parchment paper so I could lift the rolls out after baking

Make the glaze while the rolls are in the oven. Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and use enough milk to make the glaze light enough for you to drizzle over the hot rolls when they come out of the oven.


Best served right out of the oven. They are OK re-heated but they do lose a little of their deliciousness. But I have never had any re-heated cinnamon roll that I truly loved.
IMG_5123

 

recipe adapted from: the recipe critic