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Joy the Baker’s Oatmeal Berry Ginger Scones ~*Recipe ReDux*~

22 Dec

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I am a member of a community of health and dietitian bloggers called The Recipe Redux. The Recipe Redux was founded by registered dietitians Regan Jones (of ReganMillerJones, Inc.), Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly (both of Teaspoon Communications). The Latin “redux” means to revisit or reinvent, and the aim of The Recipe Redux is to reinvent the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach.

On the 21st and 22nd of each month, members of this community receive a unique recipe challenge. This month’s challenge: “Grab a Book & Cook:.” Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 201, 16, 216 – or any combination of the number ‘2016.’  Continue reading

Healthy Carrot Breakfast Bread…Muffinized

8 Dec

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The “Healthy Carrot Breakfast Bread” is one of the more popular recipes on my blog. I still make it regularly whenever I have carrots around, tweaking the recipe slightly depending on my on-hand ingredients.

This weekend I turned the bread into muffins for easy snacks to take to my dietetic internship rotation.

I changed the recipe just enough from the original to feel like I should re-post. Continue reading

Easy Peasy Pasta + A Glimpse At My Life In A Restaurant

17 Jan

Easy Peasy. Dinner in a pinch.

Drop your pasta into salted boiling water. Add a few handfuls of frozen peas in the last 3 minutes of boiling. Saute a few minced garlic cloves in a skillet and add fresh spinach with a tiny splash of water. Cook down and add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chili flakes. Dump the pasta and peas into the skillet, mix everything together and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

For when you want a healthy, no fuss meal thrown together quickly by taste.

After spending most of my nights making the desserts at Print restaurant, on my days off, all I want is a quick home-cooked meal. I crave salt, I crave savory, but below I want to show you a tiny glimpse of some of the sweet things I do at work.

Every night before the restaurant opens, the staff has the opportunity to eat a meal together. We call it “family meal.” Usually the meal is something super simple that can be thrown together quickly: think chicken and rice or pasta. There is always a salad. The pastry team tries to offer something sweet for family meal, too, sometimes. Lately we have been making Horchata. Mexican Rice Milk with cinnamon. We based our recipe off of David Lebovitz. Just a yummy drink to start the night off.

One of the first things I tackle when I arrive at work is preparing for the next morning’s breakfast service. We (in pastry) make muffins and scones and coffeecakes, yogurt (from Argyle farms in NY) and fruit parfaits (topped with homemade granola), and fresh fruit plates. We offer two flavors each of muffins and scones every morning. The scone pictured above contains walnuts, Asian pears, and flaxseeds. Check out that seductive sugar sprinkle on top. Hellooooo coffee and a pastry!

After I finish preparing for the next morning’s breakfast, I begin to set up for dinner service. We currently have 6 desserts on the menu. Above you see our most recent addition to the dessert menu: Hazelnut Parfait, Maple Yogurt Mousse, Grappa Candied Chestnuts, Espresso Syrup. There’s all sorts of warm and cool, soft, creamy, and crunchy to this dessert. Mmm mmm winter wonderland.

And when you get your coffee or when you order some house made ice cream, you get to try our rotation of biscotti. We are currently serving pistachio polenta biscotti with dried cherries. Dip and go.

Sometimes there are large parties eating at the restaurant. We offer a special dessert menu for these parties. One of the desserts consists of chocolate hazelnut mousse, fleur de sal, hazelnut streusal, poached pear halves, brown butter ice cream, and chocolate decor. I would describe chocolate decor as tempered chocolate cut into shapes. There’s all sorts of heating and agitating and spreading and cooling. It’s a science that I have yet to perfect. But it sure tastes good along the way.


I feel like I have to leave you with a savory item from the restaurant. The burger is on our lunch menu and sometimes pops up on the dinner menu. This gargantuan meat stack has cornichons, pickled red onion, gooey cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and a toasted bun. Ah, swoon.

So now you have seen a tiny glimpse into restaurant dessert/food. Tiny.

And people always ask me how I don’t gain a zillion pounds working in pastry. I answer with: the stairs, the heavy lifting, the stirring, the rolling…I get quite the workout. So a few nibbles and tastes won’t spiral me out of control. I am constantly moving. And we work with so many fresh, local ingredients that I feel pretty darn good eating what I want.

Oatcakes

15 Nov

Oatcakes! Oatcakes! Getchyour oatcakes. Dense and delicious. Sweet with a hint of coconut. Walnut-filled and ready to go. Oatcakes! Oatcakes! Get’em while their hot.

My camera is officially broken. Technology loves to play tricks on me. The camera on my phone will have to suffice for now.

My last few blog posts have been devoted to how I am on a serious Heidi Swanson kick. This woman is amazing. Major girl-crush. And she really makes me miss the Bay Area.

I love the natural ingredients in Swanson’s recipes and her style of rustic, healthy, and nourishing meals and snacks for everyday cooking. I already blogged about making her Miso Curry Delicata Squash and her Baked Oatmeal (dang that Baked Oatmeal is getting around the food blog world). I also made her tempeh with eggplant and her museli.

Today I bring you Swanson’s oatcakes. With coconut butter, walnuts, flax seeds, and tons of rolled oats, these are the perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert. She writes:

“…These nutty, golden oatcakes are filling, slightly moist, and not too sweet. Best of all, they can usually stand up to an entire day tucked into my purse without falling apart…”

Now that is my kind of snack. Homemade (freaking delicious and good-for-you, too), portable, and sturdy. As with almost anything sweet and carby, these are great with coffee, tea, or a tall glass of milk.

Initially I was a tad upset because I used all-purpose instead of whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour (…was too tired to go back to the store to buy some). Hey, at least I am getting my benefits from the oats, from using coconut butter (cholesterol-free!) to replace some of the butter, and from the walnuts and flax seeds.

I put a few of the oatcakes in the freezer, but left most of them on the counter in an air-tight container because I know they will get gobbled up for breakfasts and snacks this week.

I wonder what I will make next from Heidi’s lovely cookbook?!

Oatcakes

from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday

makes 12 oatcakes

Ingredients:

3 cups/10.5 oz/300 g rolled oats

2 cups/8 oz/225 g spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour (I used All-Purpose Flour)

1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

2 teaspoons salt (fine-grain sea salt or Kosher salt)

1/4 cup/1.5 oz/45 g flax seeds

3/4 cup/3 oz/85 g chopped walnuts

1/3 cup/2.5 oz/ 70 g extra virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup/3 oz/85 g unsalted butter

3/4 cup/180 ml maple syrup

1/2 cup/2.5 oz/70 g natural cane sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 deg C). Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, flax seeds, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut oil, butter, maple syrup, and sugar and slowly melt together. Stir just until the butter melts and the sugar has dissolved, but do not let the mixture get too hot. You do not want it to cook the eggs on contact in the next step.

Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture. Stir a bit with a fork, add the eggs, and stir again until everything comes together into a wet dough. Spoon the dough into the muffin cups, nearly filling them.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges of each oatcake are deeply golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for a couple of minute. Using a small knife or an offset spatula, tip the cakes onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Healthy On-The-Go Breakfast or Snack: Banana Walnut Quinoa Muffins

10 Oct

Another twist on the Everything Muffin. This time with mashed banana, cooked quinoa, walnuts, raisins, candied ginger, flaxseeds, and wheat germ. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. All good things, combined into one muffin batter.

A hearty on-the-go breakfast or snack packed with protein and fiber to keep you satiated. Perfect for dipping into coffee.

The bananas and quinoa help keep the muffins moist and provide an even crumb with a slight crunch.

This recipe makes exactly 12 muffins. Gotta love that. And it was a great way to use up the leftover quinoa that I had from when I made this tofu panang curry last week.

I’m feelin’ good, people. Working at night lets me have my mornings to sleep-in, work-out, and cook up healthy meals and snacks to keep me nourished and excited about good food.

Banana Walnut Quinoa Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

2 ripe bananas, roughly mashed

2 eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cup flour (I used AP, you can use whole wheat pastry flour if you like)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2 tablespoons flaxseeds

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1/2 c. raisins

2 T. chopped candied (crystallized) ginger

PROCESS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mash your bananas and whisk in your eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. These are your wet ingredients. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, wheat germ, flaxseeds, quinoa). Make a little well in the center of your dry ingredients and add your wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined. Add in your nuts, raisins, and crystallized ginger.

Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure, drop into lightly sprayed or oiled muffin tins (fill each tin about 3/4 of the way). Sprinkle with a touch of sugar. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking process.

Serve warmed with coffee, jam, peanut butter, yogurt, fruit, etc. Or take it on-the-go when you are rushing to go to work or school. Instant energy!

Everything Muffins

18 Jul

I eat a bowl of cereal most days for breakfast. I usually like to mix together at least two kinds of cereal because it gives my mouth a bit more excitement.

Some days I go for oatmeal (my fav. oatmeal combo is banana, peanut butter, and dates). Sometimes on the weekend I will have eggs or French toast or whip up a Dutch Baby if I’m in the mood.

But most days I eat cereal.

I often feel like I need to branch out and eat different easy-to-prepare breakfasts:

-cottage cheese on top of toast with sliced fruit and honey

yogurt parfaits

-frozen waffle, toasted, with peanut butter and honey

-banana “shake” (blend up 1-2 frozen bananas with milk and/or yogurt)

This morning (after finishing my bowl of cereal) I decided to bake an alternative breakfast item to add to my repertoire. It is a variation on the well-known “Morning Glory Muffin” except, well, I had no carrots and I had no shredded coconut. Alas, I improvised and used up some miscellaneous ingredients that I had handy–an apple, raisins, walnuts, dates, candied ginger, flaxseed, wheat germ…

I call these “Everything Muffins” because you really can put everything and anything you feel like in them. Try shredded zucchini, or chocolate chunks, or oats, or Raisin Bran, or use fresh grated ginger, add some peanut butter, pumpkin seeds and cranberries, and instead of an apple use some fresh berries.

These muffins baked up to look and taste quite similar to the fresh apple coffee cake that I made a few months ago.

I used to have a job where I had to get up very early in the morning. Now I begin work at 4 pm and I no longer have to rush out of the house before a proper breakfast hour. But I do need a mid-work snack, and these are the perfect on-the-go energy boost that I need to help me get through my shift (mind you, I am already surrounded by food and pastries at work, but it is nice to bring my own snack than nibble constantly at work).

Everything Muffins

aka I have been eating way too much cereal and it is time to change things up…

loosely adapted from Marcigilbert.com

2 eggs

2/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cup flour (I used AP, you can use whole wheat pastry flour if you like)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1 apple, peeled cored and diced

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1/2 c. raisins

1/2 c. dates, pitted and chopped

2 T. chopped candied (crystallized) ginger

2 T. wheat germ

2 T. flaxseed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk your eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Chop up your apples, nuts, dried fruit and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients (flour through salt). Make a little well in the center of your dry ingredients and add your wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined. Add in your apples, nuts, raisins, dates, ginger, wheat germ, flaxseed.

Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure, drop into lightly sprayed or oiled muffin tins (fill each tin about 3/4 of the way). Sprinkle with a touch of sugar. Bake for about 22-25 minutes.

Serve warmed with coffee, jam, peanut butter, yogurt, fruit, etc. Or take it on-the-go when you are rushing to go to work or school. Instant energy!

Oooo Oooo by the way, my absolute FAVORITE morning glory muffin to date has definitely got to be from Venus Restaurant in Berkeley. You must go!

Banana Crumb Muffins

24 Dec

Tender muffins made with bananas and a sweet crumb top.

Bananas are delicious in baked goods, in smoothies, in pancakes and with nut butter.

Bananas, why do you sometimes attract little fruit flies? Why do the flies love you so?


Banana Crumb Muffins
from pipandebby

serves 12

Ingredients:

Muffins:
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 large ripened bananas, mashed
3⁄4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

Crumb top:
2/3 cup packed (light or golden) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

2. In a large bowl, mix together 11⁄2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and 1/3 cup melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 4 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Pour in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, just until moistened. It will resemble coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.