Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Oat Blondies

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Oat Blondies made with Applesauce
3/4 cup Peanut Butter
2/3 cup Applesauce (if you want to be naughty, and make these chewier, use butter one for one)
3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar (I used splenda)

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup wheatgerm (optional)
1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup milk

~ 1 cup chocolate chips


-Cream together your peanut butter, applesauce and sugars.
-Add eggs one at a time.
-Add vanilla.

-Mix dry ingredients together.
-Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, alternating with milk.

-Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 325F/160C

And they are healthy, too! I'm on this low fat kick at the moment to help reduce my chances of getting a bad case of a condition I had with my first pregnancy called Cholestasis.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cormac's Chicken Caesar Salad with Bruschetta

Now and again, I enjoy sitting on the couch and letting Cormac make the dinner. I carved up a chicken we bought a few weeks back and froze the thighs/legs/wings, and that meat made for delicious chicken caesar. I have recipes for each little bit here.

Chicken for Tearing Up

2 thighs and legs
2 wings
Knob of Butter
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp brown sugar
Fresh thyme
Sea salt and black pepper

Melt the butter on medium heat.
Place the chicken pieces in the pan of melted butter for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Deglaze with wine and brown sugar (combined).
Season chicken while cooking with thyme, salt and pepper.
Total cooking time roughly 10-15 minutes. Keep pan and juices aside for bruschetta.
Place in oven on olive oil greased pan at 400F/200C covered for 25 minutes.
Tear off the bone into pieces for your salad.

Serves two

1 Large Tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 basil
Large ciabatta roll, halved.

Add all ingredients to the pan you cooked the chicken in.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, don't let the garlic burn!
Remove from heat.

Ciabatta cut in two, grilled under toasted.
Dip the cut side in the butter/oil left behind in the pan.
Top with tomato/garlic mix.
Grill again for a few minutes.
Top with fresh basil if desired.

Caesar Dressing

1/4 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 good olive oil (or all mayo)
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Blend! Add milk if needed to thin to your liking.

Salad assembly
We used fresh lettuce, spinach and a small bit of rocket from our garden. Topped with chicken, bit of corn cut from the cob, homemade croutons, dressing and Cormac added a few cashew nuts to his own. Traditionally, add extra Parmesan and pine nuts! ENJOY!

Blueberry Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

So I've got a bad habit of making food items outside of their desired season. First I'm hitting you with pumpkin cinnamon rolls, now I'm on about muffins. I even made the applesauce from scratch (just boil them up with a touch of cinnamon, lemon juice and vanilla!) and the house smelled like autumn. In Ireland, its easy to forget its not truly summer, its just, a little warmer than the rest of the year.

Blueberry Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

10 ounces or 2.5 cups cake flour (or -2 tbsp for each cup using all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup wheatgerm (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (depends on how much you like cinnamon, my applesauce had some cinnamon already so I stuck with 1/4 tsp and it was just enough of a pinch).

1 cup sugar or 3/4 cup Splenda (yes, I used Splenda-- I'm going to get cancer but hey, I'll look good!)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup applesauce (if you don't have applesauce, you can use a vegetable/sunflower/canola oil here instead, but it won't be as healthy!)

1-2 cups blueberries

Demerera sugar for sprinkling on top

- Mix sugar, vanilla, egg, yogurt and applesauce well.
- Sift flour
- Combine dry ingredients
- Add wet to dry, and fold together until the whole mixture is wet. The key will fluffy muffins is not to overmix.
- Fold in blueberries.

Now, I use a handy dandy ice cream scoop/large cookie dough scoop to fill my cups. After you fill your cups, sprinkle a bit of demerera or vanilla sugar on top of the muffins. This will melt down and make a bit of a crunchy, shiny, sweet

Bake for 20 minutes at 350F/180C. Smear with butter while warm and enjoy! See that pan with all the staining? Well used! These silicon muffin cups are the business, just to let you all know. I'm happy to make my cupcakes for the family in them as well!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My daughter Jane turns 2

It's her party, and she'll stick her fingers in the hip surfboard cake mommy made for her if she wants to.

This isn't good advertising for my business! However, it was too cute not to share. She loved it, of course. She was picking out bits of marshmallow fondant to eat. I did cry though (hormones, I blame) when I saw the disaster zone, as I had been exhausted (7 months pregnant now!) and forced myself to get it done the day before so I didn't have to worry about it on the day of her party. So is life!
When the birthday girl is this cute, you forgive! We were lucky, sunshine and a great party-- and no complaints about the finger holes while everyone scoffed down the cake! This was vanilla with vanilla buttercream, two layers and covered in marshmallow fondant. Simple.

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