Archive for November, 2009

Banana Muffins

Today I decided to make banana muffins because I wanted to use up the ripe bananas that have been sitting in my fruit bowl for the past several days.  I normally make banana bread, but figured muffins would be a good alternative because they’re small & easy to eat, & I knew that the individual portions would freeze well.  I found the recipe in my trusty & timeless Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.  The only modification I made was to add some cinnamon & a pinch of nutmeg to the muffin batter, in an effort to impart a little extra flavor.  I added ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, but next time I recommend doubling that amount-  ½ teaspoon was barely noticeable.  The streusel topping on these muffins is really tasty, and gives them a wonderful cinnamon-sugar flavor- yum!

I baked the muffins in a miniature muffin pan.  I recently received the mini muffin pan as a wedding gift, & I was excited to try it out!  The mini muffins turned out great, & now I want to bake all my future muffins in miniature form :)  Bonus: Each mini muffin is only 92 calories!  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup sugar
  • 2  teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • ½- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1  egg, beaten
  • ½  cup milk
  • ¼  cup cooking oil
  • ¾ cup mashed banana (approximately 2 bananas)
  • 1  recipe Streusel Topping

Streusel Topping: In a small bowl stir together 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups (I sprayed them with Pam Baking Spray.  Set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In another bowl combine egg, milk, and oil.  Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Also add mashed banana to flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Sprinkle Streusel Topping over muffin batter.

– Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. (For mini muffins, bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean).  Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Makes 12 muffins (or 24 miniature muffins)

Source: Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook

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Broccoli Soup

Last night I made an easy and delicious dinner: broccoli soup.  This is a recipe that I found a few years ago on the foodnetwork.com.  I made some modifications, mainly by adding more vegetables, omitting the cream, and using fresh broccoli  instead of frozen.  If you like cream in your soup, you can add a splash of cream after the soup has been pureed.  Enjoy!

Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (or pressed through garlic press)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large bunches of broccoli, broken apart into individual florets
  • ½ – 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Melt the butter & olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots, and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic, & cook for 1 additional minute.  Season the vegis with salt & pepper.  Add the potato, thyme, and broth and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook uncovered until the potato is fork tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli florets for 3-5 min so that they are partially cooked (but still crunchy).  Add the broccoli to the soup pot and simmer until the broccoli is fully cooked & starts to fall apart.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return soup to the pot. Bring to a simmer, taste, and season with salt and pepper.

Recipe modified from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/broccoli-soup-recipe/index.html

Sauté the onion, celery, carrot, & garlic until the onion is translucent.

Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil & freshly cracked black pepper. Bon appétit!

Welcome to Cooking with Karen!


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