Recipe Review: Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

So I whipped up a batch of these the other day for no particular reason and they were a huge hit.  My husband, who really isn’t much of a sweets person, ate three of these in one sitting.  This recipe is from Taste of Home.

Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

Serves: Makes 6 muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package (6-1/2 ounces) apple cinnamon muffin mix
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

GLAZE:

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare muffin mix according to package directions; fold in apple. Fill greased muffin cups three-fourths full. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, flour and butter; sprinkle over batter.
  2. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over warm muffins. Serve warm.

THOUGHTS

  • Everyone who ate these muffins said the same thing – the center is so moist!  People raved.
  • I used a nonstick muffin pan and did not grease the cups or use paper liners.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

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Recipe Review: Coconut Banana Bread

I’ve had some leftover flaked coconut in my pantry for a while now and when I stumbled across this recipe here I just knew I had to make it. 

Coconut Banana Bread

Coconut Banana Bread

Serves: not listed

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • I made one big loaf instead of 4 mini loafs (like the originator of this recipe did).  One piece of this bread with a large glass of milk makes for a delicious breakfast.  So yummy. 
  • I couldn’t find light coconut milk like the recipe calls for so I used regular milk and it tasted just fine.  If you can’t find the light, don’t stress about it. 
  • I would suggest that you pulse your sweetened flaked coconut a few times in a food processor before incorporating into the recipe.  Leaving it ‘as-is’ made for a slightly stringy texture in some areas. 
  • This would also make a great gift for Christmas or some other occasion where you want to give several people homemade baked goods.  Since you can make 4 mini loaves with one batch you could make quite a few in a relatively short amount of time. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: French Onion Pan Rolls

Did you grow up eating bread with nearly every dinner meal?  I’m fairly certain this is a regional thing but here in the south it seems as though a lot of families serve some sort of bread with dinner.  My family, however, was not that way.  My husbands family though is a different story.  When we first got together he would come over several nights a week and I would cook dinner.  I remember him asking a few times ‘where’s the bread?’ and I kept thinking ‘what bread?’  I finally told him that my family didn’t serve bread with every dinner unless it was Italian food – that almost always came with garlic bread.

Occasionally I’ll try to incorporate bread into whatever I’m cooking for dinner but usually only if it calls for it.  Spaghetti with garlic bread, chili with cornbread, etc.

The other day I mentioned that I made Bean and Pasta Soup (which was delish) and I decided to serve these nifty rolls to go alongside.  It was a great pairing!

You can view the original source of the recipe here.

French Onion Pan Rolls

Yield:  20 rolls

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • ½ cup butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. Divide the bread dough into 20 portions; shape each into a ball (note: grease wax paper or foil to ease sticking).  In a shallow bowl, combine cheese and soup mix.  Place butter in another shallow bowl.
  2. Roll each ball in butter, then in the cheese mixture.  Arrange in a greased 13×9 inch baking dish.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  3. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from dish to wire rack.  Serve warm.

THOUGHTS

  • You definitely want to put your parmesan cheese and onion soup in a food processor and pulse until ground up.  You get a much more even coating this way.  (Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor you can double bag in a sandwich bag, squeeze out the air, then beat it with a meat tenderizing hammer).
  • If you’re not a baker (ahem, mom) you can still totally make these since you’re using pre-made dough.  All you have to do is allow enough time for your frozen bread to thaw.  Check the packaging!  It takes about 5 hours so this is super important!
  • These cook up nice and soft with this cheesy crust on the outside.  Absolutely delicious!  They were just as good the next day wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven for a few minutes.  Husband is already asking when we can have these again!

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Bloom Designs
Chef in Training
Delightful Order
Ginger Snap Crafts
Home Stories A to Z
I Heart Naptime
My Girlish Whims
One Artsy Mama
Skip to my Lou
This Gal Cooks
Uncommon Designs
Under the Table and Dreaming

There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t, and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will. ~Robert Frost

While I have no doubt that I exasperate my husband on a fairly regular basis, I know it’s not due to cooking. 

I am a good cook.  I don’t say this to sound conceited but I do believe this to be true and I have been told this more times that I can count from lots and lots of people.  I attribute this to a few different things… for one, I’m not intimidated by much.  A 16 layer cake?  Bring it on.  Some kind of vegetable I can’t pronounce that looks like an alien and can only be found in the remote reaches of an ethnic food store?  Let’s do it.  A recipe that calls for some gadget I’ve never heard of let alone know how to use?  I’m down. 

Secondly, I love to try new recipes.  I have several binders in my office related to just this topic in fact.  They’re organized based upon the type of dish they are (breakfast, appetizer, main course, dessert, etc), then by subgroup (chicken, pork, seafood, etc for the main course), then by sub-sub group (Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, etc).  I try to cook a few new recipes every week if I can.  The one thing I’ve learned through all my trial and error is this: when you first make a new recipe, make it exactly the way the recipe calls for it.  Then, when you’re finished eating, ask those around you what they honestly thought.  In truth, you can’t be upset if it was terrible, it’s not as though you wrote the recipe yourself.  Then ask if there was anything that could be done to make it better.  If so, write notes on your recipe and file it away for later.  Next time when you cook that recipe again, cook it including the notes you made the previous-go-round. 

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I have (mostly) willing guinea pigs.  When I was a child my mom used to tell me that I had to try a bite of everything.  If I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to eat any more of it.  Now, I employ the same tactics with her and with my husband.  For the most part, I don’t think they hate me too much.  We call my husband the “human garbage disposal” because he’s just not a picky eater.  Remember that whole “give it to Mikey, he’ll eat it!” thing?  Yeah, that’s my husband.  My mom is not particularly picky either which is great.  Actually, since I’m such a picky eater sometimes I’ll even make recipes that I won’t eat and then I have to rely solely on my mom and my husband’s tips on how to make it better.  I have a pretty discerning palate and a good imagination.  I can be given a list of ingredients and pretty much know if the recipe made with them is going to be good or not.  That being said, since I’m a picky eater and there’s a litany of things I don’t eat, even my imagination cannot help sometimes.  So, when I’m making a new roast, I rely on others to tell me if it’s good or not since I don’t eat red meat. 

This weekend since I was not feeling well I decided I wanted soup.  I love soup and in fact I eat it several times a week.  I cannot stand meat in my soup though.  Chicken noodle soup?  Ick!  I love vegetable soups and though most people think that there isn’t a lot of variety with vegetable soups they’d be quite wrong.  Yesterday I made Cheesy Vegetable Soup as well as Broccoli-Cheese Corn Bread.  Both turned out delicious.  Mom even said that they would be “great company fare” which in our house means that the meal is good enough to feed to guests (that’s a HUGE compliment).  We’re super picky about what we feed guests at our house.

Anyways, since everything turned out so wonderfully I thought I’d share the recipes with all you lovely people.  Neither recipe was hard and shouldn’t be hard even for a novice cook.  Basically if you can chop vegetables and measure spices or liquids you’ve pretty much got this made.  Enjoy!

 

Broccoli-Cheese Corn Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 packages (8-1/2 ounces each) corn bread/muffin mix
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) 4% cottage cheese (note: I used small curd)
  • 1 package (9 ounces) frozen broccoli cuts, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons canned jalapeno slices, chopped (if you prefer a less spicy version, used canned green chiles instead)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine corn bread mix and shredded cheese.  In another bowl, beat the eggs, cottage cheese and onion mixture.  Stir into corn bread mixture until just moistened.  Fold in the broccoli, corn, and jalapeno.
  2. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and edges pull away from sides of pan.  Serve warm.  Refrigerate leftovers.  Yeild: 12-15 servings.

 

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, copped
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced peeled potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bullion granuels
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika (I used about ½ this)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (I recommend doubling this)
  • 2 cups milk (I used organic skim milk but you could use anything)
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream (use the full-fat version, not the light stuff)
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2 cups / 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese)
  • Minced fresh parsley (I skipped this)
  • Note: the recipe does not call for salt but all of us thought it could use some.  You can choose to let each person add salt to their individual bowls or you can add a ¼ teaspoon of salt when you add the black pepper.

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté onion in 2 tablespoons butter until tender.  Add water, vegetables and bouillon.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt remaining butter.  Stir in the flour, paprika and pepper until smooth.  Gradually add milk and cream.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted.  Add to soup; heat through.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Yield: 8 servings.