Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

The Fall is here the Fall is here!  Time for pumpkins!

Okay growing up I hated pumpkin.  Whenever all the white kids would each their pumpkin pie I would sit there staring at my piece and just push it around my plate.  Blah!  What can I say I was a little Asian girl who knew nothing about pumpkin. 
Now that I am older I love pumpkin.  Okay maybe not love ... but I enjoy a good pumpkin pie.  This pumpkin bread is super yummy.  I think it's because it's simple so you can really enjoy the flavor of pumpkin.
Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from A Kitchen Muse

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups pumpkin
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cups water

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  Whisk flours, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl.
3.  Cream sugar and vegetable oil.
4.  Slowly add eggs.
5.  Add pumpkin puree.
6.  Add dry mixture and water alternating each a little at a time.  Do not over mix!
7.  Add batter into greased bundt pan.
8.  Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
9.  Cool for about 10 minutes and then turn bread out of bundt pan onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 

I used canned pumpkin puree and I am not ashamed at all.  Since I baked this on a Wednesday night before doggy training class there was not way I was going to attempt anything but a canned pumpkin recipe.  I am pretty sure the best part of this pumpkin bread is the crust.  It's got great flavor.  With the recipe being so easy I will for sure be making this bread for holiday parties.

The pup had no interest in this pumpkin bread since it's got no peanut butter in it.  Oh she lives a tough life.  However she did do a good job being the neighborhood watch while I baked the pumpkin bread.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I know I have been on a muffin crazy but I have a really good reason.  I have had to turn my break recipes to muffins because I keep burning my breads.  I don't know if it's my pan, oven, greasing too much or too little, or not putting a sheet of parchment paper oven my bread early enough.  What ever the reason is I keep getting burned bread with a raw center.  So instead of being frustrated and I have been turning everything into a muffin.  Which works just as well.

A friend of mine has recently asked if she can still use my recipes if she doesn't have wheat flour.  Of course!  I only substitute wheat flour to try to make things healthier.  If you don't have wheat flour go ahead and use all purpose flour.

So this will probably be the last banana recipe for a while.  I think.  I have used the last of my ripe bananas.  I think. 

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Taste Food

3 large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray muffin pan with vegetable oil
2.  Mix bananas and brown sugar in a bowl until smooth.
3.  Add eggs one at a time.
4.  Mix in vegetable oil, vanilla extract and cinnamon until well combined.
5.  Whisk flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
6.  Mix in dry ingredients with banana mixture.  Do not over mix.
7.  Add coconut and chocolate chips by hand.
8.  Use a ice cream scooper to scoop batter into greased muffin pans.
9.  Sprinkle additional coconut and chocolate chip on top
10.  Bake for about 20 minutes.
11.  Remove from oven and cool on rack for about 10 minutes.
12.  Remove muffins from pan and cool completely.

This banana recipe is a get-out-the-butter and put on some sweat pants kind of muffin.  Now I hate coconut but this muffin was so good that I ate it any way.  That's how good the muffin is.   Go ahead.  Eat a muffin.  Eat 2.  Eat 3.  Eat 4.  Heck eat as many as you want since you have your sweat pants on.  Just go for a nice long run/jog after.  Of course after your run/job eat another muffin for sustenance.
I am pretty sure my pup thinks she is a princess.  She is probably the most dramatic dog I know.  My husband says she learned it from me.  I don't even know if that is even possible.  Khloe jumps on the bed and sleeps like she belongs there.  Oh and the face she gives me if I attempt to move her.
Oh and what do I wake up to in the morning?  A Kong tennis ball in my bed!  I complain but I love my pup.  At least I know why I have back problems.  It's all the tennis balls in my bed!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Oatmeal Banana Muffins

How do you make a banana muffin healthy?  You add oats in it of course!  Okay.  So that's usually my solution to making any baked goods healthy.  Or add wheat flour.  But whatever!  I am pretty sure it works.

Bananas are one of those foods that you can eat at every meal.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.  There is a restaurant in my town that makes banana beef.  It's not too shabby.

Oatmeal Banana Muffins
Adapted from babble

3 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raisins

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin pan
2.  Mash bananas, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.  The mixture will be lumpy.  It is okay.
3.  Mix flours, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt until combined.
4.  Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  DO NOT OVER MIX.
5.  Add raisins.
6.  Use a ice cream scooper and scoop batter into prepared muffin pans.
7.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until tooth pick insert comes out clean.
8.  Cool on a rack.

These muffins are best with a slab of butter.  Oh wait.  Everything is better with a slab of butter!  On a more serious note this muffin is for sure a breakfast muffin.  This muffin is not too sweet and with the blend of oats and wheat flour it makes them perfect for my crazy Chinese family who always complain that "American" muffins are too sweet. 
The sweet pup waited with me for the muffins to cool.  Waiting is not something she enjoys to do.  Hence the face she is making.  Of course she was even more upset when she found out that there was nothing for her once the muffins where cool.  So of course I felt bad and gave her a teaspoon of peanut butter.  She waited nicely with me after all.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I heart my baby cousin. He is just the most adorable kid I know. Seriously. But to be fair I love all my family. So I have a freezer bag of frozen bananas thanks to my family who knows I love to bake. This bag was donated from cute little JakeEE so of course baked goods went to his house. I have so many banana recipes I have stacked up waiting to try so I am always excited when people bring me brown bananas. I know. I am weird.

So whenever I bake anything with peanut butter my dog is in the kitchen with me. The dog loves peanut butter. She can smell a peanut butter jar opening from the back yard. So of course when I decided to make peanut butter banana muffins the dog was waiting for her share of peanut butter. I know. I spoil my dog.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Adapted from Pinch of Yum

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup oats
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray muffin pan
2. Mix milk, oil, egg, peanut butter, banana and vanilla.
3. Mix flours, oats, brown sugar and baking soda
4. Combine wet mixture with dry mixture until just combined.
5. Make oat and sugar topping.
6. Use a ice cream scooper and scoop into muffin pans.
7. Top batter with topping.
8. Bake for about 16 minutes.
9. Cool on cooling rack.

These muffins are amazing. You can eat them plain or with butter. Or with jam. The husband approved and of course the dog approved since she got about a teaspoon of peanut butter. I think the best part of this muffin is the topping.  Of course pretty much anything that has a topping is yummy. 

Hopefully little JakeEE and his household approves.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am back!  Life has been crazy busy.  Yet I feel like I have accomplished nothing.  My yard is ugly.  My house is a mess.  My guest room is not complete.  My office is not complete.  Oh and the closet in my master bedroom decided to collapse.  It's been a tough couple of weeks.
On the bright side El Hubby and I have been taking the d-o-g to doggy training for the last 5 weeks.  Miss Khloe can now sit, stay, lay down, and leave it (referring to treats).  I am a proud doggy mommy.  However, many have noticed that when you command Khloe to go "down" she pretty much goes down like a princess.  It's sad.  But yet very true.  Ah I love my dog.

So a rep brought in some cookies for my office.  After eating the yummy cookies I couldn't help but think I could do better.  So off to the kitchen I went.  We have a slight bug problem a few weeks ago and basically had to throw everything in the cupboards away.  A waste but a must.  Does anyone else love opening up new bags of chocolate chips?  No? Just me?  Okay.  So I decided to switch it up a bit and make a cookie with both chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.  Thought I would get a little crazy. 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Mrs. Regueiro's Plate

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (3.5) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper
2.  Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
3.  Add pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract.
4.  Whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.
5.  Slowly add the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until just incorporated.  DO NOT OVER MIX!
6.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
7.  Using a cookies scooper, scoop 2 tablespoons cookie dough on prepared baking sheet.
8.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly brown.  Remove and place on cooling rack.

These cookies came out super yummy.  The cookies were moist, not too sweet but the perfect amount of chocolate and richness.  I will be saving this recipe for sure.  Using pudding mix in cookies really adds a extra touch.  If you don't have wheat flour it is perfectly okay to only use all purpose flour.  I just like to add wheat flour to attempt to make things a little healthy.