Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

Ben's mom gave me Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook. It's a nice cookbook because every recipe is just a little healthier. These 'grab & go' muffins are nice for breakfast, with a cup of coffee or even a snack. Less sugar, wheat flour only make it better in my eyes.

Pumpkin Muffins
Source: Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs (or if you’re trying to lower the cholesterol you can use 1 whole egg and 1 egg white)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
OPTIONAL ADDITIONS: 1/4 cup dark raisins; 1/4 golden raisins; 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, pumpkin, and eggs.

In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Fold this into the pumpkin mixture (dump the dry into the wet all at once and then gently mix) until dry ingredients are just moist. If you decided to include raisins and/or nuts stir them in now.

Butter your muffin tin (will make 12 regular sized or 6 jumbo muffins) and spoon the batter into the muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes. Let muffins cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, and then pull the out to cool completely or enjoy right away.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

OK - my review on this recipe is that it's.... OK. BUT - I see the potential in it ~ hence, why I blog it! I also like the potential for ways to adapt it. I would say give it a try ~ as part of a appetizer type party or even as a main dish with a salad.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Source: Everyday with Rachel Ray

3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk - I used 1% & it worked fine
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded, about 1 cup
4 oz pepperoni, cut into small cubes - I used turkey
1/2 cup pizza sauce
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk & egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni, let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through, then stir in 1 TBSP basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 TBSP basil. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

TO MAKE AHEAD: Place baked puffs on a baking sheet and put in the freezer until frozen. Transfer to a storage bag. When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, place puffs on a baking sheet, and bake for 8 - 10 minutes until warm.

IDEAS: bacon, cheddar & scallions; Parmesan, garlic & herb

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

We really have to make pork tenderloin more often in our home. It's so good & so so easy. This recipe came from a little Rachel Ray book "Guy Food". Well Rachel, I'd call this gal food as well. It was really tasty. We served it with green beans and mashed potatoes.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
Source: Rachel Ray "Guy Food"

(I cut the recipe in 1/2 & only used 1 tenderloin)
4 1/2 pounds pork tenderloins, 2 packages with 2 tenderloins in each package
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, cracked
Steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper - Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves stripped and finely chopped (I only had dried herbs on hand - worked fine)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Trim silver skin or connective tissue off tenderloins with a very sharp thin knife.

Place tender loins on a nonstick cookie sheet with a rim. Coat tenderloins in a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, rubbing vinegar into meat. Drizzle tenderloins with extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat. Cut small slits into meat and disperse chunks of cracked garlic cloves into meat. Combine steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and pepper with rosemary and thyme and rub meat with blend. Roast in hot oven 20 minutes.