Raspberry Muffins

Raspberry Muffins

These are easy enough to whip up for a weekend morning breakfast or brunch. Feel free to substitute blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or a combination of berries for the raspberries in this recipe.

Raspberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (you do not have to defrost the frozen berries)
extra sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins

Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray muffin pans lightly with cooking spray (or use paper baking cups) and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.  Combine the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg together and then add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened, but do not over mix. Gently mix in the raspberries.  Fill muffin pans about half full with batter. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a little bit of sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes approximately 12 large muffins or 24 mini muffins.

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Drop Biscuits

Drop Biscuits are super-easy and quick to make. Plus, because they don’t require buttermilk, I always have the ingredients on hand.

Drop Biscuits make a great side to a meal, but they really shine at breakfast. Smeared with butter and drizzled with honey (or eaten with cherry preserves), Drop Biscuits are a treat. They are also amazing covered in white gravy. They can also serve as the bread component of a breakfast sandwich (think ham or bacon, fried egg, and cheese).

Drop Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and milk. Stir until just combined. Drop 12 equal portions on to a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.


Hard Root Beer Bread

Hard Root Beer Bread 2

I bought some hard root beer not too long ago and wasn’t crazy about it. I still had some left over and didn’t want it to go to waste. I had success making a quick bread with hard apple cider, so I thought I would give making bread with the hard root beer a try. It turned out great! It smelled and tasted just like root beer and didn’t have the funky beer aftertaste. It was a big hit with the family.

Root Beer Bread

Hard Root Beer Bread

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1  12 oz. bottle hard root beer (I used Not Your Father’s Root Beer) at room temperature

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the hard root beer and stir until just combined.

Spray a bread loaf pan with cooking spray, then pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 375º for 45 minutes. Cool completely before removing the loaf from the bread pan to slice.

Hard Root Beer Bread 3


Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

These muffins are sooo good. They turn out light and moist. They are packed with zucchini so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating what is essentially breakfast cupcakes. The kids will love them too.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 firmly packed cups of shredded zucchini
1 – 3 tablespoons of milk (if necessary)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line muffin tins with baking cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and shredded zucchini. Pour the zucchini mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. If the batter is dry and crumbly, add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it is smooth. The zucchini will release moisture while the muffins are baking, so you don’t want to add any more milk than necessary.

Divide the batter between 18 muffin cups. You want them to be about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Yellow Squash Cornbread

Yellow Squash Cornbread

The amount of yellow squash (well, squash in general) I have gotten in the past several weeks in my CSA boxes is almost overwhelming. I’m not complaining. I love squash and have been happily using all of it. There has just been a lot. I have sautéed it, put it on savory tarts, made quick breads with it, added it to veggie enchiladas, fried it, put it in soups, made casseroles with it, and  tossed it with pasta. It seems that no matter how much squash I use in recipes, I continue to find more of it tucked away in the veggie crisper. I’ve been wondering if it is multiplying overnight in the fridge.

Tonight I added mashed yellow squash to a basic cornbread recipe. I was super happy with the results. The gluten-free cornbread was moist and the flavor was not overpowered by the squash. I really liked the idea of the added nutrition the squash brings to the cornbread.  I will definitely be making this again. I served the yellow squash cornbread with black-eyed peas and fried cabbage. Southern comfort food.

Update: I made a cornbread dressing with leftover yellow squash cornbread and half a loaf of French bread. Turned out well and you could not tell there was squash in it at all. Good stuff.

Yellow Squash Cornbread

4 yellow squash, ends trimmed, sliced
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola (or corn) oil
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Spray a cast iron skillet with cooking spray and set aside.

Bring the sliced yellow squash and enough water to cover to a boil. Cook until the squash is tender. Drain well in a colander. Mash the drained squash (I use a potato masher) and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, and eggs. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine. Add the mashed squash and mix until well combined. Pour into the prepared cast iron skillet and bake at 400° F. until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 – 40 minutes.

 


Spelt Biscuits

Spelt Biscuits

Spelt is an ancient type of wheat. It contains gluten, but it’s gluten is a little different in that it is water soluble and easier to digest. Those with Celiac Disease should not eat spelt, but people with wheat allergies, intolerances, or who are specifically avoiding wheat  may be able to eat it with no problems.

I have been on a wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free (except for butter), soy-free, alcohol-free, fun-free diet since mid-September. I’m trying this diet to help me get my thyroid disease under control (and weight loss would be an added bonus). I feel a tiny bit better since being on the diet and I have less of that hypothyroidism puffiness, but I have not lost any weight (curse you thyroid!). I’m struggling a little right now because the benefits of this diet are not outweighing the suckiness of the diet. I intend to stay on the diet until at least my next doctor’s appointment in November, but all I really want to do is consume crusty bread, goat cheese, and red wine.

I have been thinking of biscuits and gravy lately. I set out to make a wheat-free and dairy-free version. These biscuits actually turned out well. My 13 year old even liked them, which is saying something since he is the pickiest eater in the world. The biggest surprise was the gravy I made using unsweetened almond milk and spelt flour. It was fantastic! I didn’t use exact measurements for the gravy. I just made a roux with a little butter and spelt flour (about 1 tablespoon each) and added almond milk (maybe 1/2 a cup?), a little at a time, and cooked until a gravy came together. The gravy wasn’t pretty, but tasted fine on the spelt biscuits and satisfied my craving.

Spelt Biscuits 2

Spelt Biscuits

2 cups of spelt flour (can be found in bulk bins at natural food stores)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Combine the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands, work the shortening into the spelt flour mixture until it looks like crumbs. Add the almond milk and stir until the dough comes together. The dough will be sticky. At this point, you may have to add additional spelt flour if the dough is too wet to get the dough to a state that is easy enough to handle.

Pour the dough out onto a (spelt) floured surface and sprinkle with little more spelt flour. Fold the dough over onto itself a couple of times and then press it out until it’s about an inch thick. Cut out the biscuits and place them on a baking sheet. Reform remaining dough and cut out more biscuits and place them on the baking sheet.

Place the biscuits in the oven and bake until done and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes 12 biscuits.


Strawberry Bread

Strawberry Bread(640x422)

I bake quick breads and muffins often because my boys, who are very picky eaters, will eat them. I feel like quick breads and muffins are vehicles to get extra fruit (or vegetables) into my children. Plus, they are delicious. I usually have frozen strawberries in the freezer, so I can make this strawberry bread without having to plan ahead too much. My sons really like this strawberry bread (although they prefer it without the pecans).

Strawberry Bread

1 10 oz. package frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan (or 4 mini bread pans) with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine strawberries, eggs and oil. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and pecans. Add the strawberry mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Pour batter into loaf pan(s) and bake for 1 hour (35 to 40 minutes for mini loaves), or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.