Thursday, January 5, 2012

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

photo via smitten kitchen
Last week, I hosted a baby shower for my best friend, Katie. It was a definite success and I was so happy to be able to prepare some delicious food and fun games. The shower was at 10:30am, so we dined on brunch foods, including eggs with salsa, fruit, doughnuts, veggies, cranberry punch and baked goods. I re-vamped this yogurt bundt cake to include raspberries instead of strawberries, and found a new whole wheat muffin that is moist and delicious.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen to be 100% whole wheat

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Bake Time: 15-20 Minutes
Total Time: 30-35 Minutes

Yield 18 muffins


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 oz.) buttermilk or yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped


Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside. In a large, cream the butter using electric beaters and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Mix in the buttermilk gently (apparently the buttermilk can cause the mixture to curdle if you overbeat). Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks. 

Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top of each unbaked muffin. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400 degrees, and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them onto a wire rack and cool completely.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Top Ten of 2011

It's been another great year full of cooking, learning, and discovering. Below is a list of my favorite new recipe discoveries from 2011. Click here to see my top 10 list for 2010.

1. Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos - these are a definite crowd-pleaser and the perfect accompaniment to any television sporting event. They can be eaten as an appetizer, or served with rice and beans for dinner.

2. Catherine's Enchiladas - these are an original Mangoes & Lemons creation and a recipe that I've repeated several times. Also a crowd pleaser, these enchiladas are filling, delicious, and great for a hungry crowd. They can also be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to bake.

3. Crash Hot Potatoes - The Pioneer Woman did it again with these delicious, savory, crispy potatoes. The ingredients are simple, but the method turns ordinary potatoes into an extraordinary treat.

4. Creamy White Bean Chili - If I was ranking these 10 recipes, this would probably be #1. For about a month, I was making this dish once a week. I've finally given it a longer rotation, but this recipe is yummy, filling, and healthy, AND it actually makes me excited a little happy about having cold weather. 

5. Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - this divine, moist bundt cake is the perfect recipe for a brunch. Last week, I made it with raspberries instead of strawberries and brought it to a baby shower. It was a hit. Now, I'm dying to try it with blueberries. 

6. Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken Breast - I feel like any home cook should have this in his/her arsenal. A classic, baked chicken recipe that doesn't dry out the meat. This would be great accompanied with crash hot potatoes. 

7. Linda Schlauder's Famous Orange Rolls - Seeing as these rolls were the star of both my Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners this year, it's easy to see why this made the cut. Just thinking about these rolls makes me wish I had one (or 3 or 5) sitting in front of me. 

8. Steak with Lemon Garlic Butter - Steak is a meat that doesn't need a lot added to it to make it delicious. This simple recipe partners three staple ingredients with steak to create and flavorful, juicy, and oh-so-satisfying bite. 

9. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies - this year, I learned to cook a lot more with whole wheat flour and I have been very pleased with the results. These cookies are very delicious. If you haven't tried them yet, do yourself a healthy favor and bake a batch!

10. Whole Grain Banana Bread - Another 100% whole wheat specialty, this bread is a simple, moist, and delicious breakfast treat that won't put a dent in your nutrition plan.