Caribbean Cornbread

photo-370Happy 1 Year Blogiversary, Ski Boots in the Kitchen! It seems crazy to me that a year has gone by since I decided to start this blog. My first post was one of my favorite childhood fall recipes- Stew in a Pumpkin… I never thought a year later I’d be posting my 74th recipe! Stew in a pumpkin was a recipe my mom always made for us as kids and she still makes it for my nieces and nephew- we were always so excited to see the whole pumpkin on the table filled with stew! It’s usually a good excuse to carve pumpkins too!

Nothing says fall better than a Sunday afternoon watching football and eating some hearty stew or chili. One pot wonders, crock pot magic- whatever you like to call it soups are easy, cheap and feed all the hungry boys that have come over to your house, taken over your couch and drink all the beer! But serving chili without cornbread is like serving lamb without tuna fish… wait I think I meant to say, its like serving spaghetti with out meatballs (that was for all you Big Daddy movie fans…) anyways, you get the idea.photo-369What is worse than chili without cornbread? Dry, boring, stale cornbread that tastes like sawdust. That is kind of how I feel about a lot of cornbread, ohhh but not this recipe. The secret ingredients? Well not that secret because I’m going to tell you… Crushed pineapple, creamed corn and pepper Jack cheese!

This recipe was one my mother got out of Blanchard’s Cookbook but it was also one of the recipes I got at my bridal shower! Everyone that came to my bridal shower was asked to bring a copy of their favorite recipe for me to add to my collection! (that way I’ll always know your favorite dish when you come over for dinner!) This was the recipe Diane S. brought for me! So thank you Diane and mom for the recipe because it has become one of my favorites too! photo-371You’ll never think of cornbread the same after eating this deliciously moist and yummy treat! It would also make a great addition to your holiday meal and it freezes well too! So make up a big ol’ pot of chili, a big ol’ batch of cornbread and get the best spot on the couch. Enjoy!

Caribbean Cornbread (click for printer friendly)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canned cream-style corn
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained (small can)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or mild white Cheddar cheese (definitely use Jack cheese!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch square glass cake pan. (You can use a metal cake pan, but glass works best).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. (You can use gluten free all purpose flour from King Arthur for GF option).
  4. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs on at a time, beating after each addition. If the mixture starts to look curdled at this point its OK.
  5. Add the corn, pineapple, and cheese, and mix to blend. On a low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until blended well.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown around the edges and a tester stuck in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

*to freeze- let cornbread cool completely before cutting and removing it from the pan. Double wrapping in plastic and freeze.

Recipe from Blanchard’s Table Cookbook.

Corn Chowder and Bacon, Cheese & Chive Biscuits

photo-117It has been perfect soup weather lately. It snowed 3 days last week- enough that I needed a scraper to get the snow off my car one morning (too bad I couldn’t find one because when do you ever need an ice scraper in October? I ended up using a plastic spoon…not so helpful it turns out).photo-350 The fall foliage is at its peak right now and the fresh snow against the bright leaves has been gorgeous! photo-129There is nothing more satisfying then a bowl of hot soup on a cold day. Normally when you think of chowder, you think of a rich soup thickened with heavy cream. What is particularly wonderful about this corn chowder is its creamy base is created by pureeing vegetables, giving the soup a chowder like consistency with out all the fat.photo-119 This recipe can easily be made vegan or vegetarian by substituting olive oil for butter and vegetable broth for the chicken stock. The fresh corn, carrots, peppers and dill give this chowder amazing flavor and makes for an easy week night dinner!photo-120 It also makes enough for leftovers which are perfect for lunch the next day or you can pop it in the freezer for a quick meal later! photo-128The bacon, cheese and chive biscuits pair perfectly with the flavors of the chowder and are great for moping up the leftovers at the bottom of the bowl. Corn, bacon, cheese… what more could you want on a cold fall day? Enjoy!

Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (use olive oil to make it vegan)
  • 3 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 5 carrots cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 5 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 6 cups fresh uncooked corn kernels (8-10 ears depending on their size)
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth to make it vegan/vegetarian)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 large bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pot. When the butter is hot, add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook just until tender, stirring frequently (10-12 minutes). Add the corn and cook 2-5 minutes more
  2. Remove 4 cups of the vegetables and transfer to a food processor or blender. Puree the mixture until fairly smooth and return it to the soup pot
  3. Add the chicken or veggie broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils add the red peppers and simmer for 2 minutes
  4. Add the dill, and taste for salt and pepper
  5. Serve hot, garnish with more dill. Serves 8

photo-122photo-123photo-126photo-127This biscuit recipe was originally from Bon Appetit. I tweaked the recipe a bit- The original recipe calls for sharp cheddar however to liven up these biscuits sub out cheddar for pepper jack for a spicy kick! I also added more bacon as I felt there was not enough bacon in each biscuit.

Bacon, Cheese and Chive Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 thick-cut bacon slices
  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus melted butter for brushing
  • 2 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 3/4 cups chilled buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop coarsely.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter cubes. Blend until coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds (this can be done by hand by cutting the butter into flour mixture with two knives or by grating chilled butter into flour mixture with a box grater).
  4. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Add cheese, fresh chives, and chopped bacon; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky).
  5. Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/2 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Brush biscuits lightly with melted butter.
  7. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve biscuits warm or at room temperature with honey, if desired. Makes 12 biscuits.

(Biscuit recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, chowder recipe from Blanchar’s Kitchen)

Apple & Cranberry Harvest Pie

IMG_6225Happy October! The mornings are getting cooler, the nights are getting dark to quickly… fall is really here and I have no idea what happened to September. Since September slipped away without me noticing, I have a feeling October might go equally as fast and then… Its my favorite holiday… Thanksgiving! Which is why I’ve decided to dedicate the month of October to “Thanksgiving Menu Prep.” IMG_0049It’s time to pull out my collection of old Bon Appetit Thanksgiving issues, family recipes and classic Thanksgiving traditions, to find the best recipes for your Thanksgiving table. This year don’t showing up at your Thanksgiving feast with plain mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. IMG_6202It’s time to jazz up your menu with some fun, different and most importantly DELICIOUS dishes! This recipe for Harvest Pie from Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard is one of my mother’s favorite holiday desserts. The flavors and spices of the pie are the definition of fall and the holiday season. The tartness of the cranberries balances the sweetness of the apples and raisins making for a truly awesome but not too sweet dessert.IMG_6204 If you’re ready to mix up the dessert table from the plain (and over done) apple and pumpkin pies, this is your recipe! Top this pie with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or serve it a la mode. The original recipe calls for a streusel topping however, I prefer the recipe with a lattice pie crust which doesn’t overpower the fresh fruit with too much ‘stuff’.IMG_6205 To make this pie super easy you can use Pillsbury pie dough from the dairy section of your grocery store (when in a hurry I cheat and use this… no one will ever know!), or if you’re feeling ambitious make your own dough. Streusel topping, classic crust or lattice top this pie will become your new favorite holiday dessert too! Enjoy!

Harvest Pie (Click for printer friendly version)

Prep Time Cooking Time Serves
30 Minutes 40-55 minutes 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh apples, diced
  • 1 Cup fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/8 Cup orange juice
  • 1/8 Cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare piecrust or streusel topping (below).
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Pour into prepared piecrust. Top with streusel topping or lattice piecrust.
  3. Place pie in oven and immediately reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until the apples are tender and the crumb or crust is golden brown.

Pastry Dough (Makes two 9-inch piecrusts) This pastry dough freezes well and will work with any pie!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 6 Tbsp. ice water

Directions:

  1. Sift flour. Cut shortening and butter into flour with pastry blender or fingers until mixture has the consistency of small peas.
  2. Add ice water and blend just until dough holds together.
  3. Divide the dough into two pieces; if you are doing the streusel topping store one for later use. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll out into a 10-inch circle.
  4. Place dough in pie plate and crimp as desired.

Streusel Topping:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 cups all- purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients, then fold in melted butter, stirring until it clumps. Sprinkle evenly on top of pie.

Original recipes from Morning Glory Farm

Almond Crisped Peaches

photo-326Holy smokes- its September. I actually have no idea where my summer went. But September means a lot of great things: kids are back in school, fall foliage, peach season and most importantly…Football season! The peaches are in full swing in Utah and they are so delicious! photo-320This recipe is a fun and healthy spin on the classic peach crumble or crisp. The individual peach halves make a beautiful presentation if you are entertaining. The crunchy almond crisp topping is light enough that it allows the sweetness of the fresh peaches to shine through – so you’re actually enjoying the peach instead of a lot of sugar. photo-321Crunchy sweet perfection. Originally, I topped the dessert with ice cream- turns out, it doesn’t need it, they are amazing au natural! And… They are gluten free! Come to think of it a dollop of plain yogurt on these peaches would make a delicious breakfast…drool.photo-324This recipe calls for such basic and simple ingredients you’re bound to have some variation on hand at all times- which makes this a perfect last minute sweet treat! Sub peaches for plums, nectarines, apples or pears. Switch up the almonds for your favorite nut- the options are endless! photo-325I’ve eaten (and made) many different kinds of peach deserts but this one might be my new favorite and definitely the easiest! Enjoy!

Almond-Crisped Peaches (Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds (roasted or raw)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place peaches cut side up in a baking dish.
  3. In a food processor, combine almonds and sugar until coarsely ground (till only a few pebbles remain).
  4. Add oats, cinnamon and salt if adding them, and butter, pulsing until they are blended.
  5. Scoop almond mixture into the center of each peach and press flat to coat the whole top of the peach.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (baking time will depend on peach size) till the top is brown and the fruit is soft enough to cut with fork or spoon.
  7. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream, ice cream or with a drizzle of fresh maple syrup. Enjoy!

If you don’t have a food processor, use finely chopped almonds and combine them with other dry ingredients. Melt the butter and mix with dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Scoop mixture into peaches as directed above.   photo-327

Zucchini Bread with Honey Butter

photo-292Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend doing whatever it is that you love. I spent my weekend camping, relaxing, and making enough zucchini bread to feed a small country. One of our friends harvested a huge zucchini from his garden and gave it to me- It was one of the largest zucchinis I’ve seen!photo-289Unfortunately, once zucchinis get that size they are not as tender and delicious to cook with but they are still great for making zucchini bread. Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard is notorious for their zucchini bread and since I was having a small case of FOMO (fear of missing out) after seeing all my friends and family enjoying a beach picnic OTV, I pulled out my comfort cookbook and made some zucchini bread, which allowed me to briefly pretend I was on the Island. photo-294I normally enjoy my zucchini bread plain or with a little cream cheese but the idea to make honey butter came to me and I thought zucchini bread and honey butter would make an amazing combination. I was right. Turns out honey butter is good on EVERYTHING! photo-295 I took some of the honey butter and made french toast with it this morning. I used a little in the pan to cook the french toast. I topped it with some fresh peaches and some more honey butter instead of maple syrup… It was heavenly. photo-290I love this recipe for zucchini bread because its light, simple and totally delicious! The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for it to cool down before enjoying it!!

Zucchini Bread with Honey Butter (Click for printer friendly version)

Preparation time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 2 Loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (if using a very large zucchini remove the large seeds before shredding it.)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 9″x5″ bread pans with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Beat sugar into mix until it is thoroughly creamed.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  5. Once liquids and sugar are well mixed, add dry ingredients. Mix until batter is well blended and even in texture. The batter should be smooth, outside the zucchini shreds.
  6. Pour batter evenly into pans
  7. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until bread is brown and springs back when gently pressed in the middle.

Honey Butter by Ski Boots in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Place butter in microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 15-20 seconds, so the butter is very soft but not melted.
  2. Add honey and vanilla.
  3. Using an electric hand mixer or kitchenaid mixer beat on low speed until thoroughly combined.
  4. Using a rubber spatula scoop butter onto a large piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a log.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve on zucchini bread, french toast, pancakes or just about anything! Enjoy!

photo-293

Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with the Girl Scouts!

IMG_7140This past weekend I was asked by one of my friends, Helen Golden, to lead a cooking class for her daughters Girl Scout troop on how to make an Italian dessert for their cooking badge!  IMG_7151With the help of another one of Helen’s friends, who showed the girls how to make homemade ravioli and meatballs, the troop cooked an entire meal start to finish for themselves! It was such a fun experience and I was honored that Helen asked me to help them achieve their cooking badge! All of the girls did such a great job, I won’t be surprised when they all grow up to be great cooks!

IMG_7153Helen and her daughter with the Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes.

I chose to help them make mascarpone mini cupcakes with strawberry glaze. This recipe is great to make with first time bakers since you use a white cake mix as the base. Their is some measuring involved but most of it is included with the cake mix which makes this muffins a breeze!

IMG_7134Plus the strawberry glaze is delicious and pink, which the girls loved! The original recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis who is one of my favorite cooks. Hope you enjoy and congratulations to the Girl Scouts for earning their cooking badge!

Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes (Click for printer friendly version)

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (about 1 cup), softened
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Special equipment: 4 mini muffin tins and 48 mini muffin paper cupcake liners

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the mini tins with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl combine the mascarpone cheese, egg whites and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, beat the ingredients until combined and creamy. Add the cake mix and water and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Fill the mini cups to just below the rim and bake until puffed and golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly in the tin then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile, puree the strawberries in a blender or small food processor. Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Pour in the strawberry puree and whisk until smooth.
  5. Top the cooled cupcakes with the strawberry glaze. Let the cupcakes sit for a few minutes for the glaze to firm up, then serve. (This part didn’t happen because the girls were to excited to eat them!)

IMG_7158Our victory photo after the meal!

Chocolate Fudge Brownies… with Black Beans and Avocado!

photo-226

So you must be thinking that Ski Boots has gone off the deep end… Black bean brownies? Perhaps it’s the lack of snow we’ve been getting lately that’s made me want to experiment with some new recipes and ingredients. I had to try this one for a few reasons but mostly because I wanted to see if I could taste the black beans… Which you can’t… AT ALL.photo-225

In fact, everyone I served them to didn’t believe I actually made them with black beans. Nothing about these brownies are normal. Unlike your typical fudge brownies, where you feel sick after eating just one, these are dangerously perfect. They are rich AND light and you will most definitely not be able to stop at eating just one, Oh and did I mention they are gluten free? photo-228

Oh and did I also mention they are low fat? I wouldn’t feel guilty for a second eating these brownies for breakfast, they’ve got almost 5 grams of protein and only 150 calories per square (less if you use sugar substitute)… say what?! You won’t believe it until you try them for yourself but I promise you will enjoy them!

Black Bean & Avocado Fudge Brownies (Click for printer friendly version)
Ingredients:
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 of a large ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute of choice
  • dark chocolate chips (to sprinkle on top)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. Put all the ingredients besides chocolate chips into food processor (or a blender). Process or puree until ingredients form a smooth batter (scrapping down the sides with a spatula in between to make sure all the cocoa powder is incorporated.)
  3. Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips, nuts, or any other desired brownie topping and bake for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and top of the brownies begin to crack.
  4. Cool pan completely on wire rack then cut into 16 squares.

And if the kitchen didn’t smell amazing enough with all those brownies baking… my valentines day flowers are just starting to blooming and its like heaven on earth in my living room!photo-227Enjoy!

Original recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

Joanie’s Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies

photo-220Happy Valentines Day everyone! Whether you’re a lover or a hater of this pretty ridiculous holiday- You’ve gotta love an excuse to stuff your face with baked goods, chocolates, fruit covered in chocolate, candy hearts and then wash it down with wine or (but preferably AND) champagne with out getting a belly ache… Yeah, good luck!

My friend Aly brought me these beautiful tulips, I’m feeling pretty lucky and its not even officially Valentines Day!photo-223These almond cookies are pretty outrageous- in the healthiest way possible. Pom Pom got this recipe from her friend Joanie and Joanie must have got this recipe from an angle because they are that good. photo-219

They are made with almond flour/meal which gives it a chewy, nutty texture. Then you mix that with a hint of mint extract and dark chocolate chips and it’s like a Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie and a chocolate chip cookie got married and had little chocolate mint almond cookie babies. Plus… they are gluten free, vegan and guilt free (kind of) after you eat the whole plate. Enjoy!

Heaven on Earth Almond Cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups Almond flour/meal (this can be found in the bulk section at Whole Foods or any health food store. Bob’s Red Mill also makes it, usually in the gluten free section)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil (I used canola this time because I didn’t have grapeseed on hand but either is good)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup 70% dark chocolate, chopped (or use dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients together and stir in chocolate chunks
  • Roll dough into 1″ balls and softly press/flatten dough onto a well greased cookie sheet
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes until edges begin to brown.
  • Cool on wire wracks (if you can wait that long)
  • These would also make really good ice cream sandwiches- place a scoop of your favorite flavored ice cream or sorbet and let them set in the freezer for at least 1 hour before serving.

Salted Caramel Brownies

IMG_6784

Storm “Nemo” (which might I say could be the lamest name for “the fieriest blizzard since 1978”) has been the perfect excuse to cook up “a storm” in very kitchen that I learned so much about food and my love for making it- with my favorite cook, Palmer. There’s nothing better than a warm gooey brownie, especially on a cold day. Pair that with the sweetness of creamy caramel and savory sea salt and you’ve literally got the best combination on Earth. IMG_6770Then cut them into heart shaped, bite sized, pieces of perfection and you’ll have everyone asking to be your Valentine this year. In case you were wondering, this winter storm is not named after the fish Nemo, because according to this report... “that would be illegal.”IMG_6781Even our dog Tucker is pissed off by the storm. We let him out and he turned right back around to give us a look like “WTF it’s freaking cold out here, let me back in and give me some caramel brownies.” IMG_6760

My thoughts exactly, Tucker. While these brownies take a bit longer to make than your typical brownies, they are beyond worth it. IMG_6772

I served them with dairy free coconut milk ice cream but these would be great with real ice cream, whipped cream or a glass of milk. IMG_6700IMG_6705

IMG_6709

IMG_6718

IMG_6722Palmer finally had to put the remaining brownies in the freezer so we wouldn’t keep picking at them.IMG_6727

Salted Caramel Brownies…Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Caramel

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or salted, but then ease up on the sea salt)
  • Heaped 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt (or 1/8 teaspoon table salt, more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Brownie

  • 3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Heaped 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. For the caramel: Place a piece of parchment paper over a medium size plate and coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium, dry saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the sugar; this will take about 5 minutes, stirring if necessary to break up large chunks. It should be a nice copper color by the time its fully melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter until fully incorporated. Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat. Cook bubbling caramel for a few minutes more, until it is a shade darker.
  4. Pour out onto parchment-covered plate and transfer plate to your freezer. Freeze until solidified, which can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. (Make sure you are using a plate that can withstand the temperature change- if you are not sure about your dish wear, you can always use a Pyrex dish.)
  5. While the caramel is cooling, heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray.
  6. In a double boiler or medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple unmelted bits remain. Off the heat, stir until smooth and fully melted. (This can also be done in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each.)
  7. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula.
  8. Once caramel is firm, remove from the freezer and cut into 1-inch squares and gently fold all but a few pieces of caramel into brownie mixture.
  9. Pour into prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Place remaining caramel squares on top.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Let brownies cool completely before cutting into squares or using a cookie cutter, cut into desired shape.IMG_6765

Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Healthy Whole Wheat Carrot Coconut Morning Glory Muffins with Sour Cream Frosting

I have a serious weakness for carrot cake. My mother makes the most delicious carrot cake- She’s made it for me on my birthday for as long as I can remember. I usually eat the leftovers for breakfast the whole week. Turns out all that cream cheese frosting, butter and sugar is not so good for you when you eat it three meals a day. Then I came across this recipe… fantastically delicious and healthy but tastes just like her buttery, creamy carrot cake.

Carrots, raisins, apple sauce and almond milk make this recipe moist and hearty. photo-205

Topped with toasted coconut and a sour cream frosting, it was hard not to eat the whole plate of muffins. And its gets even better…photo-204

Each muffin is only about 188 calories! They are a perfect power breakfast before heading out to ski. Wrap them individually and freeze them, when you’re looking for a quick bite, pop it in the microwave. The whole wheat flour makes them filling and nutty! photo-203

These are delicious without the frosting too but why would you ever want them without frosting? I know you are going to love these! Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Carrot Coconut Morning Glory Muffins (Click for printer friendly version) 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons olive, coconut, or canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (or you can use sweetened)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Extra coconut (toasted for topping)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners and spray the inside of the liners with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
  4. Beat brown sugar, vanilla, oil, egg, and egg whites together until creamy. Add in almond milk and beat again. With a wooden spoon fold in carrots, applesauce, raisins. Mix in flour mixture until just combined be careful not to over mix! Fold in the walnuts and the coconut flakes.
  5. Spoon batter into the liners and bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Oven temperatures vary so you may find you need more or less time depending on the flours you use.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. While muffins are cooling combine sour cream and powdered sugar in a small bowl and set aside until muffins are cool.
  8. With a small spoon drizzle the sour cream frosting over muffins. Lightly toast coconut in oven or toaster oven until golden brown (about 2minutes) and sprinkle over the top of frosting. photo
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.