Tag Archives: brunch

Maple Oat Pecan Muffins

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Breakfast just seems more like breakfast when maple syrup is involved! And as fall approaches, I like to use maple syrup in my recipes. These muffins have pure maple syrup in them and oatmeal is also an ingredient, so I like to think they’re a little healthy, too! 🙂  Chopped pecans also give these muffins a hearty texture and flavor. They’re topped with a very thick maple glaze, but you can leave the glaze off if you want…if you make them without the glaze, I recommend serving them warm with butter! These are just the thing for a fall breakfast or brunch!

MAPLE OAT PECAN MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 20 muffins

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup  (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Maple Syrup Glaze (recipe below)

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups. In medium bowl, combine oats and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.

Going back to the medium bowl, stir the maple syrup, melted butter, and egg into the oat-and-milk mixture. Then add all of this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl. Stir just until moistened, then fold the chopped pecans into the batter.

Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean or almost clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from pan onto a wire rack. Either serve muffins warm without adding the glaze, or let them cool completely and then top with the Maple Syrup Glaze.

MAPLE SYRUP GLAZE

  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • pecan halves for garnish (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, blending well. This is a thick glaze–almost a frosting–if you want a thinner glaze, you can add more milk and maple syrup. Use a small spoon to add the glaze over each muffin top, then add a pecan half on top, if desired. Let the glaze set and serve.

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You can serve these muffins with the glaze and a pecan on top, or with just the glaze, or no glaze at all…whatever way you like best!

The pure maple syrup gives these muffins a wonderful flavor and sweetness! Do you use maple syrup as a sweetener in any recipes?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Blueberry Oat Banana Bread

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When blueberry season comes around, I love baking with those fresh berries! So I thought I’d try combining blueberries and bananas in a bread, and I also decided to add a little oatmeal–I thought oatmeal would give it a nice texture and make a nice quick bread for breakfast.

This bread is so moist and packed with blueberries! It’s sweet, but not overly sweet–and the ripe bananas add just the right amount of sweetness and moistness to the bread. I actually didn’t taste my loaf until the day after I baked it, and it was wonderful the day after! I’m not sure what it tastes like while still warm, but I’m guessing it’s pretty good. The flavor of the bread is so good you really don’t need to put anything on it–but you can always add a little dab of butter on a warm slice, or lightly spread some cream cheese on a cooled slice if you want.

BLUEBERRY OAT BANANA BREAD by NancyC

Makes one 8 x 4″ loaf

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3 bananas, depending on size)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour an 8 x 4″ loaf pan.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend olive oil, milk, and egg, blending well, then add vanilla and mashed bananas, blending everything well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350˚F for 50 to 52 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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Fresh blueberries are the best! What types of treats do you like to make with them?

A Taste of Provence-Tomatoes Provençal

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DownloadedFileHave you ever been to Provence? I have never been to France but if I have the chance to go, Provence will be one of the areas I want to visit! This region of southern France stretches from the Mediterranean to the hills of Haute Provence, and from the Rhone River valley to the Italian Alps. It was the site of the first Roman colony beyond Italy and today it’s known for fragrant lavender fields, beautiful beaches like Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Nice, quaint small villages, and fine wines and food. The cuisine of this area includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts–basically the core of the healthy Mediterranean diet.

I learned these things and more about Provence as I was looking through my review copy of Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living, by François Millo and Viktorija Todorovska. This softcover book introduces you to the geography, history, traditions, wines, and recipes of the region. Here are some images of Provence you’ll find in the book:

Provence

Above images used with permission © François Milo.

Isn’t it beautiful? You’ll find more full color photography of picturesque Provence as well as many of the 47 recipes in the book, which are traditional favorites of the region…like Niçoise Salad, Fougasse with Tomatoes, Olives, and Peppers, Artichokes Barigoule, Tapenade, Swiss Chard Tart, Mediterranean Cod with Caramelized Onions, and Lemon Tart. The recipes are organized by the different areas of Provence that they’re popular in–Aix-en-Provence and Haute Provence, Marseille, La Cote Varoise, and Nice and the Riviera.

I decided to try the recipe for Tomatoes Provençal, because I love tomatoes and this is a simple yet delicious way to fix them–fresh tomatoes topped with a mix of breadcrumbs, chopped fresh parsley, and minced garlic. This makes a great side dish and would even work nicely for a spring or summer brunch. The book recommends serving “as a light meal with other Provençal delicacies and some crusty bread, or with meat.” For best results, use fresh, sweet, ripe tomatoes!

 TOMATOES PROVENÇAL from Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living

Makes 4 servings

This traditional Provençial dish relies on the quality of the tomatoes used; they must be fresh and ripe. It’s best to prepare this dish in the summer, when tomatoes are at the peak of ripeness, sweet, and full of flavor….

  • 4 small to medium ripe tomatoes, halved and stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) chopped fresh parsley (I used Italian flat leaf parsley)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs (I used the very fine breadcrumbs you purchase, but I think fresh breadcrumbs would be even better!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: I added some additional chopped parsley for garnish

Lightly dust the cut sides of the tomatoes with the sugar.

In a large sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, cut sides down, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until they caramelize.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the parsley and garlic.

Flip the tomatoes and distribute the parsley and garlic mixture evenly onto them, pressing down so the mixture adheres to the tomato. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Distribute the breadcrumbs evenly among the tomatoes.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and fully cooked through. Remove from the heat. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Transfer the tomatoes to a serving dish and serve warm. Note: I drizzled the remaining olive oil from the sauté pan over the tomatoes and garnished them with additional chopped parsley.

I thought the blend of parsley, garlic, olive oil, and touch of sea salt made a great flavor combination as a topping for the tomatoes.

Have you made or tasted this dish before? And are you ready to take a trip to Provence now? 🙂

Black Bean Hummus Bagel ThinsÂź Bagel and a Gift Card & Coupon Giveaway!

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I’m such a bread lover–I love all kinds of breads, rolls, bagels–you name it. But I’ve found that I really have to watch how much bread I eat because it tends to want to stick with me–can you relate? 🙂  So when I was asked if I’d like to try out some Sandwich ThinsÂź, Pocket ThinsÂź, and Bagel ThinsÂź, I was definitely interested! Especially when I found out they are endorsed by Weight WatchersÂź, and are just 110 calories each or less. I received coupons for free product, product information, and a gift card to cover the cost of my recipe ingredients, courtesy of Sandwich ThinsÂź, Pocket ThinsÂź, and Bagel ThinsÂź. I tried out some recipes, like the one shown in the photo above, plus a few others. I’ll share these with you, and then I’ll tell you more about my Gift Card and Coupon giveaway at the end of the post!

ncThinkThin1If you’re not familiar with these Thomas’Âź and ArnoldÂź, BrownberryÂź, and OroweatÂź products, which all have a Weight WatchersÂź 3 PointsPlus VALUEÂź, here’s a little info about them:

  • The Sandwich ThinsÂź Rolls have zero grams of Trans Fat, no high fructose corn syrup, are cholesterol free, and come in 100% Whole Wheat, Multi-Grain, Honey Wheat, and Flax & Fiber.
  • The Pocket ThinsÂź Flatbreads also have zero grams of Trans Fat, no high fructose corn syrup, are cholesterol free, and come in 8 Grain, 100% Whole Wheat, and Italian Herb.
  • The Bagel ThinsÂź Bagels have zero grams of Trans Fat, are low in fat, cholesterol free, and come in 100% Whole Wheat, Plain, Cinnamon Raisin, and Everything.

Here are the recipes I made with them…

BLACK BEAN HUMMUS BAGEL THINSÂź BAGEL adapted from Thomas’Âź

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 ThomasÂź 100% Whole Wheat Bagel ThinsÂź bagel (Weight WatchersÂź 3 PointsPlus)
  • 4 Tablespoons black bean hummus (I used my own Black Bean Hummus recipe, but there’s also an easy one you can make from the original recipe here)
  • 2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of your favorite salsa
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced black olives
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Start out by spreading on the hummus and Greek yogurt…then add the rest of the toppings!

Separate and toast a bagel. Place bagel down open-faced and top each half with 2 Tablespoons of black bean hummus, 1 Tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt (or low-fat sour cream), 1 Tablespoon salsa, 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 Tablespoon sliced black olives. Serve immediately. For more servings, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you want to make.

ncChickCaesarnmCHICKEN CAESAR POCKET adapted from Thomas’Âź

Makes 1 pocket sandwich

  • 1 OroweatÂź Italian Herb Pocket ThinsÂź flatbread (Weight WatchersÂź 3 PointsPlus)
  • 2/3 cup Romaine lettuce leaves, chopped into small pieces (or use a Romaine lettuce mix)
  • 3 slices thin-sliced deli chicken, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 heaping Tablespoon shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons non-fat Caesar salad dressing

Toss chopped lettuce leaves, chicken, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing together in small bowl. Fill Italian Herb Pocket ThinÂź with lettuce mixture and serve.

ncTomatoBrushettanmGRAPE TOMATO BRUSCHETTA adapted from ArnoldÂź Bread

Makes 2 slices of bruschetta

  • 1 ArnoldÂź Sandwich ThinsÂź Honey Wheat roll, separated (Weight WatchersÂź 3 PointsPlus)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (be sure to slice them lengthwise–I sliced mine the wrong way and they didn’t lay on the roll as well!)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil or garlic-infused olive oil
  • 3 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Toast the separated Sandwich ThinsÂź rolls to a light golden brown. In a bowl, mix sliced grape tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Stack basil leaves and roll them in the shape of a log. Horizontally slice the rolled basil, making ribbons. Toss most of the cut basil with the tomatoes, reserving a little for garnish.

Spoon dressed tomatoes on top of each toasted Sandwich ThinsÂź half and garnish with the remaining basil ribbons and shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Hope you enjoy trying these recipes out! 🙂

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED–Winning comment is #18!

Now for the Giveaway–a $25 Visa gift card and coupon for free product! If you’d like to enter to win a $25 Visa gift card, plus a coupon for free product shown in this post (Sandwich ThinsÂź, Pocket ThinsÂź, or Bagel Thins), leave a comment on this blog post between now and Sunday, March 30 at 8 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Sunday evening, March 30. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway is limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.

First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite healthy sandwich is!

Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it just means I need to click on it to approve it before it’s visible–I do this because of spam comments that sometimes come through!

 

 

Banana Bread (Inspired by the Disneyland Hotel)

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I was in a banana bread-making mood last weekend. And I just so happened to come across this recipe at Food.com, where they mentioned that this banana bread is served at the Disneyland Hotel. Not having ever stayed there myself, I hadn’t ever tasted their banana bread, but it sounded like a great recipe to try! After all, I’m sure they serve wonderful food at the Disneyland Hotel, right down to their banana bread. 🙂

I made a few small changes to the recipe and decided to add some pecans to it, too. My baking time was also a little less than what the original recipe had mentioned. This is a really good basic banana bread with a rich, buttery taste, so if you have some ripe bananas you will need to keep this recipe in mind! The batter is thick and creamy and bakes into 2 yummy 8 x 4″ loaves. And believe me, you will be glad you have 2 loaves of this banana bread to enjoy!

BANANA BREAD (INSPIRED BY THE DISNEYLAND HOTEL),  slightly adapted from Food.com

Makes two 8 x 4″ loaves

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 8 x 4″ loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add milk, mashed bananas, and vanilla, mixing everything well.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients, a third at a time, to mixture in large bowl, stirring until everything is well blended. Fold in chopped pecans and stir until they are evenly incorporated into the batter.

Spoon batter in equal amounts into two 8 x 4″ loaf pans and bake at 350˚F for 52 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes, then remove loaves from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

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Or, if you want to eat this banana bread warm, let it cool for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes–it will be easier to slice if you let it cool a little.

I’ve been to Disneyland, but not Disney World. I haven’t stayed at any of the Disney Resort Hotels, but I’m sure they would be wonderful! Have any of you stayed at a Disney Hotel and have you had their banana bread?

I’m linking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.