Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Weekly Finds


Breakfast:

Fluffy Peanut Butter Pancakes I've never thought of putting peanut butter in pancakes!

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes That blueberry syrup...

Sandwiches and Soups:


Snacks:

Quick Pickled Blueberries An interesting way to preserve blueberries besides making jam!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Blueberry Cobbler Bread I love that this bread fully committed to being purple

Perfect Vanilla Scones A dense scone, instead of the typical light and crumbly one

Bread:


Buttermilk Ranch Biscuits A cool idea for flavored biscuits!

Hasselback Cheesy Garlic Bread Oh my...

Dinner:


Glazed Honey Garlic Shrimp These will be great on the grill

Five Cheese Skillet Mac and Cheese Wow this looks indulgent


Sides:

Cheesy Summer Stuffed Poblanos These look awesome, and much better than the typical stuffed pepper

Zucchini and Corn Parmesan Fritters 

Dessert:


Drinks:

Peach and Cardamom Lemonade Like a lemony peach pie in a glass!

Fitness:

Yoga After Strength Training Cool down with this yoga sequence after strength training

40 Squat Variations You Have to Try 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Buttery, Flaky Biscuits Made with Greek Yogurt

We hosted a friend for brunch yesterday morning. This was a very last minute decision, and required some creative cooking since we didn't have that much food on hand! Thankfully our brunch guest brought eggs, queso fresco and spinach to help out with omelet ingredients.

When we were running through our ideas, we realized that we didn't have anything for toast. We were out of sandwich bread, and the idea of frozen english muffins didn't sound very appealing. Running to the store seemed like unnecessary effort, especially since we would have to go back later that day for real grocery shopping. Joey had a flash of genius, and asked me how hard it would be to make biscuits. I checked, and we had almost all of the ingredients we needed. The only thing we were missing was buttermilk, and as before, it seemed silly to go to the store for just the one thing. I looked online, and found a buttermilk substitute using greek yogurt and milk - perfect! I know you can also make it with milk and lemon juice, but since we only had almond milk, I wasn't sure if that would work very well.

The greek yogurt + milk combination was perfect. It got to the exact consistency of buttermilk, and kept the tangy flavor. We always have greek yogurt and almond milk on hand, but rarely have buttermilk. I'm definitely using this substitution again! If you want to make something extra rich, you could use full fat yogurt and/or half and half for part of the liquid. You could also make it less rich, by using fat-free yogurt and water instead of the milk.

I slightly adapted a recipe I've made before, Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits. Like I said, I used greek yogurt and almond milk instead of the buttermilk, and then I omitted the cheddar since Joey wanted a plain biscuit. They were absolute perfection - they got really tall, with flaky layers of buttery goodness. Since we didn't use cheese, we could top them with anything.

Recipe: Greek Yogurt Biscuits
Adapted from Shutterbean
Yield: 10-12 biscuits

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour + extra for rolling
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (1 tsp if you are using table salt)
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced and kept cold
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
1 egg
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter, and cut in with a pastry blender or your fingers until the butter pieces are no larger than a pea.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the yogurt and milk until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add to the flour/butter mixture, and gently fold everything together. Once it is mostly combined, dump out onto a lightly floured surface. Turn over a few times to incorporate the flour, and then pat it into a rough rectangle. Cut in half (long way) and then in 5-6 rows (short way), for a total of 10 or 12 pieces. The end pieces might not be perfect rectangles.

Carefully transfer to your lined pan. Lightly brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine always take exactly 22 minutes). Enjoy while hot! They are delicious with butter or jam. If you make them larger, you can even use them for mini egg sandwiches.





Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins with Surprise Cream Cheese Filling

I needed to make some kind of dark muffin with a cream filling for a bachelorette party. They were made in a uniquely shaped mold -- I'm not actually typing what I made, since I don't want to direct some inappropriate searches my way!

After I made the bachelorette-themed muffins, I made some standard muffins for myself, and they were absolutely delicious! I used a pumpkin muffin recipe for inspiration, and made just a few changes so it was chocolate, and wasn't as heavily spiced.

* Note: You don't have to use special dark cocoa powder, but I definitely recommend it. It is a blend of natural and dutch processed cocoa powder, which gives you the best of both worlds. It also gives you a crazy dark color, which I think is more fun

Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins with Surprise Cream Cheese Filling
Yield: 12 muffins
Adapted from Annie's Eats

Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Muffins:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup special dark cocoa powder *see note above
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a small bowl, and keep refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 350 and spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until well blended. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in increments, mixing until just barely combined.

Fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, and spread out so it covers the bottom. Add a scoop of the cream cheese mixture on top, dividing evenly between all of the wells. Cover each well with more muffin batter, using up the remainder of the batter.

Bake at 350 for 25, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy warm (but be careful of the hot filling!), at room temperature, or even chilled (they taste really fudgy that way).

The light was weird here, and they didn't look quite as dark

Nutrition:
268 calories
15.2 g fat
33 g carbs
2.6 g fiber
4.0 g protein
53% vitamin A

And in case you were curious, here are some pictures of the "bachelorette-themed" cupcakes! I only filled part of them with the cream cheese filling, thought it made them a bit more realistic...