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Coffee Cake Muffins

Today is the first day of school here. We have had a long standing tradition of pancakes for breakfast, but my daughter is beginning her junior year.  I felt it was time for a bit of a change to celebrate her grown-ness (yeah I just made that word up). I found a yummy recipe in my 2012 Taste of Home Quick Cooking cookbook that I felt was perfect for your teens first day back to school or a mom’s brunch.

These true (yes, there is coffee) Coffee Cake Muffins have a crumb topping with a jam filled center. Amazing!

 

Coffee Cake Muffins

1 1/2 cups All purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brewed coffee

1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 egg

1/4 cup apricot preserves I have apricot preserves, but I think peach or strawberry would also be yummy.

 

Topping:

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

 

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then stir in the coffee, oil and egg.

Fill paper lined muffin tins about a 1/4 of the way full. Drop 1 teaspoon of preserves in the center.

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Cover with remaining batter.

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Time to make the topping. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon and cut in the cold butter.  Stir in the walnuts. Sprinkle over the tops.

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Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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And yes there are 2 without topping on it. Not because I didn’t have enough, but because my son doesn’t like walnuts.

Enjoy!

 

 

Real Food Challenge

This summer I took the time to really learn about our food. I am tired of hearing my hubby complain about feeling sick and tired. Every week there is something new. I also started thinking about how I could feel better and it really comes down to the way we treat our bodies. I wonder how many illnesses and diseases could be cured just with a healthy diet.  The list of unpronounceable names of ingredients that ends up in our food is disgusting. I mean whatever happen to simple is better. You shouldn’t have a huge list of ingredients in a can of green beans. It’s just green beans, for goodness sake!

Everyone has a different definition of what Real Food is. Some say it is all organic, all the time. Some say it is back to basics like our ancestors. Some say it is raising and growing your own food. I am very jealous of anyone who can do all of these all the time.

I am eclectic, a little of each. As much as I would love to raise and grow ALL of our food, it takes money and time and knowledge.  I do agree with making it from scratch instead of buying prepackaged mixes or food. In all reality, you already have everything on hand for pancakes, waffles and various cakes or cookies. And food should taste like food, not cardboard. Buy organic when you can, but especially try to buy organic for the dirty dozen. Corn is another vegetable you want to grow or buy organic due to the possibility of it being GMO. Also try to buy products that are non-GMO verified.

So here are my starting points:

  • Make small changes each month
  • Farm fresh eggs, natural chicken and pork and grass fed beef, when possible.
  • Organic for the dirty dozen and corn or whenever I can find it for reasonable.
  • Process items must have less than 5 ingredients and for the most part I want to know what they are.
  • Eating out only twice a month and not at drive thru type restaurants.

Remember these are my starting points, you can jump in with both feet or just dip your toes in. It’s up to you. I will be blogging my journey to help others along the way. Our official start date is September 1st. So look for a post next week on our grocery list and goals for month 1.

In the meantime, check out the blog 100 day food challenge. It’s amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Strawberry Pie

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A few months back I took the kids strawberry picking. This is an activity we do every year when the U-pick em’s open up. While we were picking Dakota was listing all the things we could make with our strawberries. Then I hear, “Momma, I want a strawberry pie. Can you make a strawberry pie?” So of course I say yes, because I can’t say no to him. And there began our strawberry pie challenge.

When I am making something new, I usually read several recipes and then mix and mingle them together to accommodate it to my family’s taste or to my pantry supply.

The original recipe is from 2006 Taste of Home Annual Recipes, but this is my version of it.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 pre-made pie crust, frozen or refrigerated. I used the refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust.

1 package of cream cheese, softened

2 tbs sugar

1 tbs milk

Fresh strawberries about a quart, sliced

1 container Sugar free Strawberry Glaze, my kids grabbed the sugar free when I sent them to get it. I couldn’t tell the difference.

1)Preheat oven to 450

2) Unroll your pie crust and place in your pan. Trim edge and flute. Line unpricked crust with heavy duty foil.

3) Bake for 8 minutes, remove foil and bake 7 minutes longer. Cool completely.

4) Beat cream cheese, sugar and milk in a small bowl until smooth.

5) Spread over the crust and arrange strawberries on top.

6) Spread Strawberry Glaze over the top and chill until serving.

I’m Southern and I can’t bake biscuits!?

I was born and raised Southern. But no matter what I do, I can’t bake biscuits! I have tried! And I can’t!

Every Southern Gal or Guy should be able to whip up a batch of homemade biscuits. It is a staple at meals in every southern home. But I can’t! And it’s frustrating!

I don’t know if I knead the dough to much. Or roll it out too much. I don’t know if I am suppose to use a rolling pin or if I am suppose to pat it out with my hands.

WHY? you ask. Because my mom, grandma or grandmom should have taught me right. Because that is what all good Southerners do. WELL…..they ain’t southern. I am only second generation born and raised southerner. And I am only half at that because my Dad was born….somewhere not in the south….because I don’t remember right now. But I know it was not in the south.

Anyways. My grandparents on my Dad’s side is from Illinois and my grandparents on my Mom’s side is from Jersey. And before anyone ask no I can’t make pasta from scratch either (though I might be able to but never tried).

Back to biscuits, it is embarrassing to buy a bag of frozen premade biscuits when you want some because you can’t make them.

Look here is the list to qualify as Southern:

Sweet Tea~ check

Cornbread~ check

Grits~ check

Chicken and Dumplings~ check

Biscuits~ NO!!!

So if anyone can help me out with some tips or a recipe. I am determined to learn how to make biscuits this summer. Though after all my attempts, my family may never want to see a biscuit again. BUT BY GOLLY, I am going to do it!

Here is my last sad attempt.

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It was a Bobby Deen recipe.

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Decent Flavor. But not light and fluffy at all.

Help!!!

Desperately Seeking good biscuit making tips.

Sunday dinner with the girls….and Lil’ Man

My husband is all about “man food” meaning anything that is heavy. Meat, potatoes and if there is pasta there better be some heavy sauce with bread on the side.

So when Hubby went to the Buccaneers opening day game and left me with the kids and Grandma, I decided to make sure girly food. I knew my girls would love it because of the accidental veggie tacos from the week before. It showed me that my girls don’t care if there is meat on the plate or not. And with Hubby gone it was the perfect day for a meatless meal.

We had Buttery Lemon pasta with steamed broccoli and a side of fresh organic fruit topped with homemade whipped cinnamon cream.

YUM!!

Butter Lemon Pasta~

Cook your pasta according to package and drain.

In a skillet melt 5 TBS. butter in a skillet. Add pasta to the skillet. Stir. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the juice of 1 lemon. Add lemon zest, as much as you prefer. Stir and serve.

I then added some steamed broccoli on top with some shaved parmesan.

Enjoy!

 

Cheeseburger Pizza

With my homemade pizza dough, I made this cheeseburger pizza. I was a little unsure of how my family would react to it. But it is definitely a keeper.

Start with your rolled out pizza dough. I spray my pan and sprinkle some cornmeal so the crust doesn’t stick.

Next add the sauce, which in this case is Ketchup and Mustard. I used more ketchup than mustard but it’s whatever you prefer.

Now your ready for the toppings.

Sprinkle a little bit of cheese. I used shredded Cheddar. This just helps to stick the toppings to the crust. Then I piled on the hamburger that I cooked in a skillet.

Now comes the fun part. Stop and think about what you love on a cheeseburger. Is it pickles, onions, or tomatoes? Great now get those items out. Chop them up and sprinkle on top.

My family is a little picky and were skeptical of the idea of pickles on pizza, so I just used pickles this time.  Next time I am gonna add some tomatoes and maybe sprinkle some lettuce after the pizza has cooked.

Then finish with some more cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. If you prefer you can add some extra ketchup or mustard on top but my family didn’t request any.

YUMMY!

Homemade Pizza Dough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few days ago I tried my hand at something I have dying to make. Homemade Pizza Dough. I see it ready made at the stores and have always wondered can I make it at home cheaper. And the answer to that is YES!!!!

I have this wonderful machine called a bread machine. A lot of people have complained about theirs but I love mine. I have had it about 10 years and have never had a problem with it. And it makes homemade yummy bread easy.

I used a recipe for a 2 pound pizza dough. And this was enough for 2 pizzas for my family of 7.

The dough process takes about 1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients:

3/4 tsp salt

4 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups water (it called for 1 3/8 and I don’t have a measuring cup with that measurement. LOL so I used 1 3/4 cup and it was fine)

3 Tbs oil, olive or vegetable

I put liquid ingredients in first.

Then comes all the dry ingredients except the yeast.

I then make a little hole in the center of the flour and put the yeast in there.

Put the machine on Dough setting. And go about your life until it beeps.

I then flour my cutting board or countertop.

Knead the dough a little.

Cut in half and roll out half of it until it somewhat resembles a pizza.

Now at this point you can use both halves to make 2 pizzas or you can freeze the other half for another day.

Don’t fret if it’s not perfect it will still taste good.

I spray my pizza pan with cooking spray and sprinkle some cornmeal to keep the crust from sticking.

Not add toppings and bake at 400 degrees for 15- 20 minutes.

Enjoy!