Sunday, April 7, 2013

Healthier Blueberry Mini Muffins

I'm always craving something sweet, so I thought I'd better come up with something that will satisfy my sweet tooth but won't pack on the pounds.  Now I'm not saying these are so healthy you should eat a whole batch....but they are better than the muffins I usually make!  I served a couple of these with a bowl of oatmeal and fruit to my 5 year old and he thought he was getting dessert for breakfast.  Everybody wins!

Here's the recipe:
printable recipe

Healthier Blueberry Mini Muffins
makes about 48 mini muffins
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup yogurt (I used plain)
3 tbsp applesauce
2 tbsp milk (any kind you want)
3/4 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda

3. In another bowl combine eggs, yogurt, applesauce and milk.  Mix with dry ingredients until moistened.  Stir in blueberries.

4. Fill lined mini muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so.



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Baked Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard

Yes, it's true. I do actually eat real food and not just sweets! 

Like most busy Moms I am always looking for a quick and healthy recipe that everyone will eat. Everyone loves chicken nuggets, right?  I'm not gonna lie I love those preservative filled junky frozen nuggets now and then.  But most of the time I want something that is healthy and tastes great, so here we have it, the easiest baked chicken nuggets in the world!  Scroll down for recipe.

Here's the recipe:
printable recipe

Baked Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Baked Chicken Nuggets
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg; beaten
3/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs (I used Progresso)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces and season with salt and pepper

3. Mix together breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan.

4. Dip each piece of chicken in egg, then in breadcrumb mixture.

5. Place on baking sheet coated with olive oil spray.  Bake for 9 minutes, flip over and bake for 4 to 5 more.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

3 tbsp dijon mustard
2 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mayonnaise

Mix together and enjoy!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Orange Dream Cupcakes

Get out your apron because you will want to make these now!  Words cannot describe how delicious these cupcakes are.  Usually when I try to come up with something new there is a lot of swearing, slamming of cupboards and sometimes a few tears.  Somehow these dreamy little cakes came out just perfect!  Since I'm pretty terrible at frosting cupcakes I decided that a little mandarin orange wedge on the top would hide any weirdness and now they are perfect for serving!  I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did...we actually had to give some away because we couldn't trust ourselves with them in the house.

Here's the recipe:

Orange Dream Cupcakes with Orange Vanilla Buttercream

Orange Dream Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups milk
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange extract
3 large eggs
1 box (small 4 1/2 servings) vanilla instant pudding mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with liners.

2. Beat all ingredients with an an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.  Then beat on high for 3 minutes scraping bowl occasionally.

3. Pour into cupcake liners (I like to use an ice cream scoop) filling about 3/4 full and bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes.

Orange Vanilla Buttercream
1 lb. box of powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick butter (softened)

1. Beat all ingredients with electric mixer, scraping bowl often.  I added a few drops of red and yellow food coloring to make my dreamy orange color.

Happy Baking!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fun Friday Finds! Holiday Gift Guide: For the home

I can't believe another week has gone by!  Time for holiday gift guide #2.  I could shop for home decor all day long but I had to pick just a few, so here are some of my favorites.  So excited that #4, the owl butter dish from West Elm is on sale for $5.99 with free shipping!!!  Be sure to grab one before they're all gone, I did.

1.  Jet Set Coasters by Jonathan Adler
2.  Pantone Universe Tea Pot
3.  Window Box Vases
4.  Owl Butter Dish
5.  Farmers Market Baskets


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fun Friday Finds! Holiday Gift Guide: Owls

As we all know, the holidays are right around the corner! (yikes!!!)  So I've put together a weekly gift guide of gifts under $100, which will take us right through to Christmas (nothing like last minute shopping).  Since we all love the owl theme that's been so popular for the last few years, why not pick up a few cute little trinkets for the owl lovers in your life?  Happy Shopping!

1.  Buddy owl clock by Decoylab
2. Vintage ceramic owl planter by Mod Clay
3. Brass owl earrings by Iris Jane
4. Owl baby blanket by Bun Bun Baby Designs
5. Personalized owl art print by me!  Melissa Ritacco


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Key Lime Bars

While grocery shopping the other day D says to me "Mama can we please get these little limes?" while waving a bag of key limes at me.  How could I say no?  Key limes are adorable!  So of course I got on my phone and searched for a recipe for key lime bars.  I found this one from Martha Stewart, made a couple of small changes and it sure did come out yummy!

Here's the recipe:

Key Lime Bars
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (about 15-20 Key limes total)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
heavy whipping cream

1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Press evenly onto bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Leave oven on.)

2. Make filling: Put egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.

3. Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula. Bake, rotating dish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).

4. Cut into 2-by-2-inch bars. Put cream in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Garnish bars with whipped cream and a slice of lime.

*I added 3 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract to my whipped cream (after it thickens) to sweeten it up a bit!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Sugar Cookie Sandwiches with Lemon Ice Filling

When I was little my Grandma baked all the time and I loved her sugar cookies.  I've been wanting to make them but wanted something more than just plain sugar cookies.  Since I have quite a few of her cookie cutters I thought I would make sandwich cookies and lemon frosting sounded like the perfect filling for them!

Here's the recipe:

Grandma's Sugar Cookies
Makes approx 24 cookies (12 sandwiches)

1 cup (2 sticks of butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Mix (I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer)

3. Form balls and roll in sugar

4. Lightly flatten (I just used my hand) and cut out with a cookie cutter of your choice (I used a metal scallop cutter as shown in picture)

5. Place on a cookie sheet (sprayed with Pam for baking) I sprinkled on a little more sugar on each cookie.  Bake for 9-10 minutes depending on your oven.  I like my cookies really soft and chewy so I check them after 7 1/2 minutes.

6. I let mine cool for 5 minutes and used a small heart fondant cutter to make the cute little heart cutout on half of them (don't do it on all of them otherwise your frosting will come out the bottom!)

7. Once cool, make your frosting (recipe below) and smooth on a thin layer between two cookies.

Lemon Ice Frosting

1 lb box powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (softened)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp lemon extract
*I added 3 drops of yellow food coloring to make that sweet pale yellow color

Mix (again, I used my stand mixer) for 2 minutes until nice and fluffy and you're done!