The Sunday Recipe: Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

The first time I made these, I went with the 400 degree oven, like I do for most muffins and baked for 22 minutes, but they scorched on the bottom. The crumb topping I was using, which was intended for apple crisp, was delicious, but sunk in a bit.

The second time I made them, I switched to the crumb topping that my Betty Crocker cook book gives for apple streusel muffins. I also turned the oven down to the 350 degrees that I used on the original cake recipe. The muffins without topping were great, the ones with it were good too, but the topping sunk in to make a filling.

Third try – 425 for 5 minutes to puff the top, like Sally’s Baking Addiction recommends, then down to 350 for the remaining 15 minutes. This time I refrigerated the crumb topping a bit. It melted AND sunk in.

I liked the muffins better themselves when they were baked at 350 so I’m forgetting about the crumb topping for now. Maybe a nice glaze made with powdered sugar and cider?

Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Dry ingredients

  • 3/4 cups white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (3/4 cups of oats processes into the same for oat flour.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 6 tablespoons applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons each melted butter and light olive oil
  • ½ cup overflowing maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray two 6 cup muffin tins with cooking spray, or grease.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl. (There are a lot of wet ingredients, go with a big bowl.)
  4. Add the processed oats or oat flour and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center of one side of the round comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

The Sunday Recipe: Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies – gluten free

My grandmother’s original recipe used strawberry jam and was called a strawberry cream cookie. I wanted to make this gluten free and chose the nutty flours to complement a darker filling, like lekvar or mincemeat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • Jam of your choice

Directions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolk, blend.
  3. Measure flours and combine before adding to mixer.
  4. Mix until combined and chill dough for a couple hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Shape into 1-inch balls.
  7. Using something rounded on the end, like a measuring spoon, dip in powdered sugar and then press into dough to create a well.
  8. Fill with jam.
  9. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. This recipe yields about 5 dozen cookies.

The Sunday Recipe: Almond Sponge Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

It’s a holiday weekend and we’re all busy but here’s a super simple recipe. We just adore rhubarb but this time I used strawberries AND rhubarb, as many people don’t think rhubarb by itself is as wonderful as my family does.

I adapted the strawberry rhubarb sauce from https://www.skinnytaste.com/strawberry-rhubarb-compote/ by simply using maple syrup instead of honey. I also used rhubarb I had already frozen. I didn’t even let it defrost, just dumped it in the pan with the chunked up strawberries. The rhubarb was diced more finely than her recipe calls for, about a quarter inch slices, but I think that helped it break down easier from frozen.

Almond Sponge Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 ounces almond flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 ½ inch spring form plate, or even just a cake tin, or pie plate. (If using something that you can’t take the ring off, I would use a piece of parchment paper or wax paper in the bottom.)
  3. Separate the 5 eggs into 2 mixing bowls. (I highly recommend you do the actual separating over a small bowl and then dump the egg yolk into the one bowl and transfer the egg white into the mixing bowl.) If you don’t know how to separate eggs, here’s a simple 1-minute video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAGX-54iR30
  4. Mix the maple syrup into the egg yolks then stir in the almond extract and almond flour.
  5. Using a mixer, beat your egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. (Tip: for best results make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and dry, free of any oil.)
  6. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, about one third at a time. (Basically, folding means to use a large rubber spatula to stir up gently from the bottom.)
  7. Pour the mixture in the pan and bake for 40 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound strawberries, sliced
  • ¾ pound rhubarb, diced in quarter inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. Combine the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to medium low.
  4. Simmer until the fruit breaks down, about 15 minutes.
  5. Chill and serve over almond cake. (Preferably with soft whipped cream.)

The Sunday Recipe: Savory Brown Rice

The ultra-simple ways to make healthy food taste delicious – isn’t that what we’re all looking for? This one goes down easy with my family. If you want to stay vegetarian with this recipe, simply use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

The Sunday Recipe: Savory Brown Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 4 teaspoons low sodium chicken bouillon powder plus 2 cups water OR  2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup of brown rice

Directions

  1. Prepare a medium-large pot with non-stick cooking spray or just the olive oil and heat over medium low heat.
  2. Dice the onion, carrot, and celery. (I use a plunger chopper with multiple blades to make this part go very quickly.)
  3. Sauté veggies in pot for a few minutes until softened.
  4. While they are cooking, in a fine mesh strainer rinse your rice until the water runs clear, leave to drain. (Because our water is not drinkable, I pour the rice into a small bowl, cover with water, stir until water is cloudy and drain off then repeat two more times.)
  5. Add the bouillon and water or chicken broth with the brown rice to the pot, and salt if using.
  6. Bring to a boil then stir and reduce heat to lowest setting.
  7. Cover and allow to cook for 50 minutes.
  8. After 50 minutes, remove from heat and allow to rest, covered, for 10 more minutes.
  9. Stir the rice and serve.  

Shelter and Write: 30 Journal Prompts for a COVID-19 Quarantine

Some good thoughts and writing prompts.

Writerly Update: Earthbound Cover in Contest

 

Hi Folks!

It appears the cover for my book, Earthbound, ” is competing in the Creme dé la Cover contest at InD’tale!

(The prize for the weekly contest winner is a FREE 1/4 page ad in the next issue of InD’tale magazine and the winner then competes in the Creme dé la Creme Cover finals which are held in the last week of the month. The monthly winner receives a free FULL page ad in the magazine!)

This would be a HUGE help for me as a newbie, so could you please vote for my book’s cover? (It does require you sign up for a free account with InD’Tale. Sorry about that.) THANK YOU!

http://indtale.com/polls/creme-de-la-cover-contest

In other news, I’ve whittled a short story down to 5,300 words for a contest that would put my writing in front of paranormal romance fans. Still another 300 words to go to make it eligible. I can do this, but it’s getting harder. 🙂

Also, still working on Camp NaNoWriMo though it’s slow going this month. I will get this second novel drafted, but I’m not going to stress myself out doing it. I want it to stay fun so it reads fun.

#tirgearrtuesday #bookcover #paranormalromance #urbanfantasy #romanticfantasy

An Extra Recipe: Toasted Oat & Cranberry Scones

Toasted Oat & Cranberry Scones – smell AMAZING, taste even better! Recipe @ (creationsbykara.com/toasted-oatmea) Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries, soaked in 1/2 cup warmed OJ, then drain. Stir oats every 3 minutes when toasting. Do NOT over mix batter, just enough to bring it together. Enjoy!

Scones

Earthbound – Book Review

Yay! Thank you for the lovely 4-star review Rosie Wylor-Owen!

The Secret Library Book Blog

Title: Earthbound

Author: Melora Johnson

Genre: Urban fantasy/Christian fantasy

Rating: Four stars

** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **

** Also, spoilers! **

earthbound“Ally Reynolds is a veterinarian specializing in raptor rehabilitation in New Hampshire. Other than one horrific incident in her childhood and a little extra “spark” for healing in her hands, both of which she has kept secret from even her best friend, her life has been singularly boring. It has also been extremely lonely. Ally longs for someone to share her life with, but how can she trust someone with her secret?

Matthew Blake, an ornithologist at Cornell University, calls Ally, asking for her help with an injured raptor. Matthew grew up in New Zealand and has lived around the world. He has read about Ally’s high success rates in raptor rehabilitation and suspects there is more to…

View original post 647 more words

The Sunday Recipe: Easter Hot Cross Buns

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Mom’s Easter Buns a.k.a. Hot Cross Buns

These are traditional in our family for Easter so I wanted to make sure we had some ready. I made two tins so we could have one now and freeze one for Easter. The mashed potatoes and potato water make them incredibly soft and delicious. I used half whole wheat flour because that is what we had on hand, without changing the recipe, and they were delicious. I imagine plain water and instant mashed potatoes could work too. I’ve also seen raisins instead of currants used.

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Measure into a mixing bowl:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (or 2 packets)
  • 1/3 cup dried currants

Stir thoroughly with a whisk.

Beat in:

  • ½ cup warm potato water
  • ½ cup scalded and cooled whole milk
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm mashed potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

*To scald milk, heat gently until a skin forms on top. In my microwave, that’s 50 seconds on high for ½ cup milk.

  • Beat in 3 eggs.
  • Add about 3 2/3 cups flour.
  • Mix and turn out onto a floured surface.
  • Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Place in an oiled bowl and cover loosely.
  • Allow to rise in a draft free place for 1 ½ hours, until doubled.
  • Punch down.
  • Divide into 2 portions.
  • Shape each portion into 16 buns and place in two greased square tins.
  • Let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
  • Brush with an egg yolk glaze. (Blend 1 yolk with 2 tablespoons water.

  • Bake 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • Cool thoroughly.
  • If desired, cross or glaze the top with powdered sugar mixed with a little lemon juice.

 

The Sunday Recipe: Roasted Asparagus

 

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Maybe I have an odd child, but she LOVES roasted asparagus. It’s spring and I’ve been seeing it on sale in the stores here in New York State, probably brought from somewhere farther south. Next time you do a grocery run, or you have someone do one for you, grab a bunch and give it a try. When you bring it home, stand it upright in the fridge, in a mug with an inch of water, until ready to use.

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Snap off the bottom end about an inch up. (You’re looking to eliminate the woody bit.)
  2. Break the rest of the spear into bit size pieces, about an inch in size.
  3. Rinse the pieces in water then drain.
  4. Lay the pieces out on a kitchen towel then pat dry to eliminate most water.
  5. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil and seasonings.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  7. Enjoy!

The munchkin enjoyed them recently with leftover fried scallops from a local diner.

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