Monday 25 May 2015

Apple Pie Cupcakes

My daughter requests to make cupcakes ALL THE TIME!  Lately I feel like we've been kind of a one hit wonder with plain old chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles.  So when she suggested yet again the other day that we should make cupcakes for a barbeque we hosted on the weekend, I looked to Pinterest for inspiration.  These Apple Pie Cupcakes jumped out at me, courtesy of spoonfulofflavor.  I didn't change a thing when I made these, and they turned out delicious.  Here is another link to the recipe.  I'm linking right to it because this delicious morsel is all down to the original writer.  I didn't tweak anything.

I have to stress though....always use sifted cake flour when a recipe calls for it.  That is the key to having a light and fluffy from-scratch cupcake.  It changed my life when I finally stopped ignoring any call for cake flour in a recipe and using regular old all purpose.  My dense and heavy from-scratch cupcakes are behind me since finally surrendering to the awesomeness that cake flour provides.

Here is a picture of the finished product:

Thursday 14 May 2015

Super Easy Bread Maker Buns

You can't beat the taste (or smell) of fresh baked bread.  There are many days when my daughter asks for soup and "fresh bread" for lunch.  Both kids gobble it up like crazy!  So, I like to whip up these super easy buns to go with all sorts of meals.  They are great for sliders, dinner buns, or to eat straight out of the oven just because.  This recipe seems to stay fresh for at least 3 days too, which is about the max any homemade bread ever tastes fresh to me.  They freeze fantastically if well sealed.

The best part is that I throw this recipe in the bread maker.  You could make them without as well....but I only do that when I'm doubling a batch.  

So, to make these little delights, throw the ingredients in the bread maker in the following order:

1 and 2/3 cup warm water
2 tbsp stick margarine or butter*
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4 and 1/3 cups flour**
1 and 1/2 tsp yeast

*I have also substituted crisco shortening for the butter when having guests over that can't eat dairy.
**Substituting whole wheat flour also works well in this recipe.

Set your bread maker to dough/pasta setting.  When complete, shape into small balls (I usually get about 18 buns with this recipe).  Allow to rise in greased pans (two 9 inch round cake pans work well for this), until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).  Cover them lightly with a clean tea towel in a warm place while they rise.   Bake in a preheated 350F oven for approximately 22 minutes, or until desired golden color is reached.  

Pre rising

Ready for the oven

Finished product.... next time I'd brown them a bit more.... but the kids were waiting like hungry vultures.

My daughter loves to get a big gob of dough and make her own bun.  Baking it separate for her to eat as a special treat is always fun :)

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Homemade Chicken or Turkey Nuggets

When my son was born, my friend brought over a bunch of yummy food for us as a gift.  (Food is the best gift ever for the family of a new baby!)  Included in this package was a bag of frozen chicken nuggets made from scratch.  My daughter LOVED them!  So did my husband...... I've been making them in double batches ever since.  I've tweaked a few of the quantities in the recipe to our liking, and this is a staple in our household!

The best part about these besides the fact that everyone likes them..... HIDDEN VEGGIES!  The recipe below is for a double batch.   I don't bother making single batches anymore or else there are no leftovers for the freezer.


2.5 lbs ground chicken or turkey
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups old fashioned oats (not Quick oats)s
1.5 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup very finely diced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 eggs
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ground flax

Combine all ingredients except breadcrumbs and flax into a large bowl.  MIX THOROUGHLY!  At this point I like to refrigerate it and let the mixture "set" a bit in the fridge for about an hour.  It makes it easier to handle and shape.

Stir together the flax and breadcrumb mixture.

Shape ~1 tbsp into a nugget shape, roll in the flax/breadcrumb mixture, and lay on a very generously oiled pan.  You will need 2 sheet pans (with an not use flat cookie sheets).  I use olive oil and use a pastry brush to distribute the oil evenly.  Bake in a preheated 375F convection oven (400F conventional oven) for 10 minutes on each side.

Once cooled, these freeze well in a ziploc bag for several weeks.....if they last that long!

Ready for the oven!

Golden and ready to eat!