Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I'm back from a lovely week of vacationing. I can't tell you how much I needed a break from everything. Leading up to our vacation we had nonstop rain. I was dreaming of soups and stews instead of grilled meats and summer salads. The day we packed up and took off the beautiful blue sky returned. We stayed in The Netherlands and spent a wonderful week on a lake. We had 90 degree temps and loved every single second of it. We all went kayaking,boating,fishing and grilled out almost everynight. The day we came back the rain returned! We are back to the summer one day and fall the next. I had a wonderful cooking free week. I came back with tons of ideas swirling around my head and can't wait to get started on them!
Baked donuts are something I can now appreciate. It wasn't always like that because lets face it..maple bars,apple fritters,old fashioned doughnuts and every other deep fried doughtnut flavor you can think of is pure heaven in ring form. I still have dreams about maple bars. I know I could in theory make them myself, but I don't own a deep fryer and don't ever want to. I don't even want to attempt making them in a large pot with oil. I like my insides to much now to even go there. Baked donuts give me the illusion of eating something super sinful but without all the oil involved. These donuts are really delicious and fresh tasting. I went ahead and left my strawberries crushed instead of pureed and used less powdered sugar. We thought it was perfect. Like all baked donuts, these are best eaten the day they are made. So go ahead..indulge a little without feeling guilty.
Baked Strawberry Glazed Donuts
1 cup All-purpose Flour
6 TBS Sugar..I used 3
1 tsp. Baking Powder
4 TBS Plain or Srawberry Yogurt..I used low fat
2 TBS Milk..I used Fat free
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 TBS Butter,melted..I used Canola Oil
Pre heat oven to 325 or 165 celcius. Spray a 6 cup donut pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,sugar, and baking powder.
In a small bowl,whisk together the yogurt,milk,egg,vanilla and melted butter. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until fully combined.
Pipe or spoon batter into prepared pan,filling 2/3 full. Bake 8-11 minutes or until donuts are golden brown. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Dip into strawberry glaze 1-3 times.
3-4 Large Strawberries,stems removed
1 TBS Strawberry Jam
1 TBS Milk
1-2 cups Powdered Sugar,sifted
Slice strawberries and puree with jam. Pour into a bowl and mix with milk. Slowly stir in powdered sugar,adidng more until you reached the desired consistency.
** I just mashed the strawberries with the jam and milk and then added maybe 1 cup of powdered sugar. The left over glaze goes great with some plain frozen yogurt!**
Yiled: 6-7 donuts
Source: Sally's Baking Addiction
Monday, July 23, 2012
Everyone is home this week and we decided to spend every moment of it together..as a family. So that means no blogging for a week..instead I will be zooming around this sunny country and visiting places,eating delicious foods and taking photos..See you next monday!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
So yesterday the dark grey skies opened up and the sun came out! I wasn't taking any chances so I went out and did some weeding,mowed our small front yard,opened up the windows to air the house out and cleaned the place from top to bottom. By the end of the day the rain and colder temps came back..but there was no denying that bright warm beautiful sun. The weatherman keeps promising that sunday will be the start of our summer. We will see sun, we will hit somewhere between 65-75 degrees and there will be no rain..for one whole week! I will take it because we have some serious plans for next week and sun is a must!
Speaking of things that are a must..I can't live without my speedy light dinners that we are enjoying more and more. My two sons are crazy about couscous and chickpeas..seriously, how lucky am I to have kids that love all types of vegetables,grains, and even going meatless several times a week? I'm blessed I tell you.
So here is a quick light meal that won't heat your kitchen up and can be changed up any way that you like..Add in some chopped grilled chicken,raisins,spinach,whatever you want! I added in frozen peas and next time I will toss in some chicken.
Curried Chickpea Couscous
1 cup Couscous
1 cup Chickpeas,cooked (If using canned chickpeas,remember to drain and rinse before using)
1-3/4 cup Water,Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1/2 tsp. Curry Powder..I used 1 teaspoon
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. Salt..I added more
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes;optional
** Feel free to add in your favorite spices to this dish!**
Place couscous,chickpeas and curry in a large bowl. Bring water or stock to a boil and pour over the couscous mixture;give it a quick stir and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 5 minutes or so..until the liquid is absorbed.
Add the olive oil,salt and red pepper flakes and gnetly stir with a fork. Serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side :)
** If adding frozen peas,toss those in with the couscous and curry. **
Yield: 4-6 big main servings
Source: The Boot
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Even though we are having fall-like temps, I am still churning the homemade ice cream out like there's no tomorrow. I don't care what the temps are outside..there is never a wrong time to enjoy a bowl of ice cream that you made yourself!
Roasted banana ice cream is so crazy delicious! You start out with roasting the bananas in the oven with some butter and brown sugar and what you get is an intense banana caramel flavor that you need to stop yourself from eating with a spoon. We adored this ice cream and I plan to make it again and turn it into ice cream sandwiches. You can get creative with this ice cream by pouring hot fudge sauce on top and a sprinkle of nuts if you like...or keep it simple like we did and enjoy the wonderful caramel banana flavor.
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
3 medium ripe Bananas,peeled
1/3 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
1 TBS Butter,salted or unsalted, cut into small pieces
1-1/2 cups Whole Milk..I used 2%
2 TBS Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1-1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp. Salt
Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Slice the bananas into 1/2-inch pieces and toss them with the brown sugar and butter in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes,stirring just once during baking, until bananas are browned and cooked through.
Scrape the bananas and the thick syrup in the baking dish into a blender or food processor. Add the milk,sugar,vanilla,lemon juice, and salt,and puree until smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator,then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the chilled mixtureis to thick to pour into your machine,whisking it will thin the mixture out.
Yield: About 1 Quart
Source: The Perfect Scoop
Monday, July 16, 2012
It's currently 50 freaking 6 degrees here in The Netherlands. It's July but we wouldn't know it by those types of temps or by the fact that it's pouring down rain outside. I had a
One of those baked items consisted of muffins..no shocker there right? I had a bunch of zucchini that needed to be used but wanted to stay clear of the heavy sugared zucchini breads. I spotted this lemon-zucchini loaf on pinterest and decided to make it. I turned it into muffins but you can make a loaf out of it. The first thing that struck my husband and I was how earthy and grassy it tasted. The lemon juice in the recipe didn't give the punch that I was expecting and what I should of done and will do from now on is to add lemon extract to this recipe. The taste of the zucchini was a bit much for us and my son kept saying that it tasted like tea. Now this in no way should put you off from making this because these were some seriously moist and airy muffins that rocked on all other levels..Had I gotten the lemon flavor right then these would of been a total 10 in my book. I plan to make these again with the lemon extract and Im convinced that these will then become one of our most favorite mufifns to date. I should also say that the lack of lemon flavor could also just be our issue and not someone else's. Alot of people commented on the original recipe post that they loved how lemony it was. I guess we needed that one extra punch of it to make it work for us. The glaze is something you should not leave out as it also adds another level of lemon flavor that is needed in my opinion.
2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Canola Oil
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Buttermilk
Juice of one lemon ( or 2 TBS of botteled Lemon juice)
Zest of one lemon
1/2-1 tsp. Lemon Extract;optional
1 cup ungrated Zucchini
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 TBS Lemon Juice
Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside. In a large bowl,whisk together the flour,baking powder, and salt.
In a medium bowl,whisk the eggs until combined,then add in the canola oil and sugar;whisk until thoroughly combined. Add in the buttermilk,lemon juice,lemon zest and lemon extract if using;mix until combined. Gently fold in the zucchini.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until everything is combined while making sure to not overmix the batter. Divide batter evenly amoung greased muffin cups. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow muffins to cool in pan for a few minutes before removing to wire racks. While still warm dip the tops of the muffins into the lemon glaze,allowing the excess to drip off before placing back on the wire tack to cool completely ( To make clean up easier,place tinfoil under the wire rack to catch any glaze that might drip down.)
Yield: 12 Muffins
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Photo taking with chocolate isn't always fun...very rarely do I like the photo..sigh.. I suppose if I had a fancy schmancy light box I could go to town with that..but I had one and hated the fake stark white photos..So this is the price I pay for that. Horrible photo aside these babies are pretty darned good!
These are paleo inspired and although I admit to not really knowing anything about the paleo way of life I am infact digging the desserts. I've already made the Banana Chocolate Chip Cakies..( the "cakie"part is due to the fact that these are a serious cross between a cookie and a cake..perfectly soft and moist and oh so delicious) and I've had the chocolate ones on my radar for awhile now and decided to use up some of my ripe bananas.
We loved these..if you are a fan of the super soft moist cookie then these will make you smile. What will also make you smile is that the bananas are the main sweetening factor in this recipe..no sugar. No sugar means healthier cakies and that means you can eat more..win win! There is no flour in this recipe..instead you are going to use almond flour..I used almond meal instead which is why you can see grainy bits in the cookies..almond flour has no skin,almond meal does. If you are looking for a healthier cookie to try that isn't overly sweet then I hope you give these a shot. They are so good.
Double Chocolate Cakies
1 cup Mashed Ripe Bananas ( 2-3 Bananas)
2 TBS Almond Butter or Peanut Butter
3-1/2 tsp. Cocoa Powder
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon;optional but so worth it
1/4 tsp. Salt
1-1/4 cups Almond Flour
1/4 cup Dark or semi sweet Chocolate Chips/Chunks
Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl combine mashed bananas,almond or peanut butter,cocoa powder,vanilla,baking soda,cinnamon and salt..either using a hand mixer or a whisk. Add almond flour and mix until everything is well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and mix well.
Drop tablespoons full of dough onto prepared cookie sheet ( you can make larger cookies by using an ice cream scoop.) Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden on tops and bottom.
Yield:1-2 dozen,depending on size
Source: Multiply Delicious
Monday, July 9, 2012
Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend. My oldest son has finished school for the year and my youngest will be done in 10 days. It seems so odd to me that they only get 6 weeks off here instead of the 3 month summer vacations I grew up with. They get robbed of a decent summer here and I wish it wasn't like that. I have wonderful memories of my summer vacations..never did they consist of sitting inside because of all the rain. We had sun and warmth this last week and it was welcomed by all.
I got up this morning and was craving some kind of a whole wheat muffin. I really like the wholesome taste that whole wheat brings. It instantly makes me feel more healthy when I bite into one. I tweaked this recipe based on what I hand on hand and what I felt like trying out. I only used 1/4 cup of brown sugar and that was enough for us. I have been tweaking our sugar intake and we no longer miss the large amounts of sugar in our baked goods. These muffins were light and fluffy and very moist. If you aren't a fan of raisins then use all cranberries or half and half. To see the full version of this recipe click on the name located at the bottom where I list the source.
Whole Wheat,Oatmeal, and Raisin Muffins
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour ( 4-3/4 ounces)
1/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
4 TBS Toasted Wheat Germ
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1-1/2 cups Quick Cooking Oats
2/3 cup Raisins
2/3 cup Shredded Carrots
1 cup Low-fat Buttermilk
1/4 cup Canola Oil or Applesauce would also work
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Large Egg,lightly beaten
1/2 cup Boiling Water
Preheat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl,whisk together the buttermilk,canola oil,vanilla and egg;set aside.
In a large bowl,combine the flour,brown sugar,wheat germ,baking soda,bakig powder,cinnamon and salt. Stir in the oats,raisins, and carrots. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the wet ingredients; mix just until moistened. Stir in the boiling water and mix until combined. Let batter stand for 15 minutes.
Divide batter evenly among the cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 2 minutes before removing to completely cool on wire rack.
Yield: 12 Muffins
Source: My Recipes
Friday, July 6, 2012
Whew..the humid weather that Holland is known for has finally kicked in. As bad as it is here, nothing can compair to the humidity I experienced when visiting Missouri one summer many many years ago. When I walked off the plane my make up melted right off. I never bothered putting anymore on during the two weeks I spent there!
All I can think of when the humidity hits is easy light dinners and lots and lots of water,popsicles and frozen yogurt. I'm loving the wonderful cold treats my ice cream is churning out these days and so is my family. Here is another simple yet delicious tasting frozen treat!
Peach Frozen Yogurt
1-1/2 lbs (675 g) Ripe Peaches (About 5 large peaches)
1/2 cup (125 ml) Water
3/4 cup (150 g) Sugar
1 cup (240 g) Plain Whole-Milk Yogurt..I used Greek Yogurt
A few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice
Peel the peaches,slice them in half, and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into chunks and cook them with the water in a medium,nonreactive saucepan over medium heat,covered,stirring occasionally, until soft and cooked through..about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the sugar and then chill in the refrigerator.
When the peaches are cool, puree them,along with the sugar water, in a food processor or blender with the yogurt until almost smooth but slightly chunky. Mix in a few drops of lemon juice.
Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Yield: 3 cups..750 ml
Source: The Perfect Scoop
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I wanted to take a moment to wish all my blogging friends both here and back home a wonderful and safe 4th of July! It's a normal day for us here in The Netherlands so we will celebrate on saturday with a wonderful meal and dessert.
It's times like these that I miss home! I can picture the big bbq's we had over the years and everyone coming together to share in the feast. I'd get so excited about the fireworks that were waiting for us as soon as it got dark outside. I have memories of eating bbq chicken,potato salad,deviled eggs and corn on the cob.
I hope everyone has a wonderful time!!
Labels: Life in the Netherlands
Monday, July 2, 2012
I've joined a cooking group on facebook thats made up of expats living in The Netherlands. It's filled with wonderful women who enjoy cooking and baking as much I do. We've hosted cookie swaps through mail ( It only takes one day to reach someone when mailing within Holland), we help eachother out when needing info on where something is called in Dutch or when an item could be found, and most recently we have started a monthly cooking challenge with two themes or items. The first one was zucchini and the second one was baklava. It's then left up to us to come up with our own version of the challenge.
I was going to pass on the baklava challenge since we had a calorie packed month with a birthday and father's day but decided to think outside the box and come up with something that worked for us. So my answer to that was of course..muffins! In truth..these are way more like coffee cakes than baklava but whatev..my family was over the moon when they saw these babies waiting for them when they woke up :) I'll be sharing my recipe for the zucchini challenge this week aswell!
My one complaint about this recipe is that the muffins stuck something fierce to the liners. I should of stuck with my theory of never using liners for muffins and saving them for cupcakes only because thats never failed me. I would make sure to either spray the liners or not use them at all and use nonstick spray on the tins. The original recipe leaves out the salt..please don't do that unless you want a lackluster muffin.
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts or Pistachios
1/3 cup Sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
3 TBS Butter,melted
1-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Large Egg
3 TBS Butter,melted
1 cup Buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Line a muffin tin with liners and spray the liners with nonstick spray;set aside.
In a small bowl,mix topping ingredients together;set aside.
In a large bowl,whisk together the flour,baking powder,baking soda,salt and sugar. In another bowl,whisk together the egg,melted butter and buttermilk. Add wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until combined.
Fill muffin cups one third,sprinkle filling over batter evenly and then top with remaining batter ( you can also leave some of the filling to be sprinkled on top but it's not necessary.)
Bake 15 mins or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before removing muffins to wire rack. While still warm,drizzle honey over the top of each muffin. Serve warm.
Yield: 12 Muffins
Source: Baker Street