Pear, Speculoos, Oat & Lemon Zest Muffins

A Star Muffin.

A tasty combination of awesome in one compact muffin. Are you ready?

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This is a time for warmth and comfort. For flavors that and a little heat and zing to your average ho hum day. As January comes to a close Spring begins its slow creep forward from the shadows. Their is a smell of hope in the air..it may be slight..and disappear at times like tonight when the weather drops down below freezing again..but alas it exists. With the combination of cinnamon, pear, lemon and that magical concoction known as speculoos you are sure to jump right out of bed in the morning just to have a bite.

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Pear, Speculoos, Oat & Lemon Zest Muffins

makes 10 small muffins or 6 large muffins

1 pear, diced (roughly a cup)

1 large egg

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3.5 tbsp coconut oil

2 heaping tbsp speculoos spread

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup millet flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour/almond flour mix

1/2 cup oats, plus more for topping

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

zest of 1/2 an organic lemon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix the flax and water and set aside (for 5-10 minutes). In a Large bowl combine the millet, brown rice and almond flours, oats, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, flax egg, vanilla extract, coconut oil (make sure the coconut oil is not solid), light brown sugar, and speculoos spread until fully combined with no lumps. Stir the lemon zest into the wet ingredients last. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir, once combined gently stir in the diced pear. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with parchment paper and fill with batter. Sprinkle muffin tops with extra oats before placing in oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. If you decided to make 6 larger muffins they will need more baking time, at least 30-35 minutes.

~ Enjoy, and as always..stay warm ~

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Apple Yogurt Upside-Down Cake

A Morning Worthy of Cake. Apple Cake.

apple_cake_1I am back! Shall I do a little dance? I think YES. It has been a busy busy past couple of months, the highlight being a romp through the Scottish highlands and Dublin in December. But it is a new year and I can’t wait to start putting more time in here.

This tasty treat is meant for fall, when the leaves are just starting to turn and the first cool breezes make themselves known…but when you have all the ingredients on hand and the exact number of crisp pink lady apples staring at you from the side of the counter…I say go for it. This is the coldest week I’ve experienced yet in New York (I actually NEED one of those face-sweaters..) and this cake is as delicious in the middle of Winter as it is in Fall. Full of warmth and comfort it is meant to be eaten at any time of day, while sitting on the couch, with thirty quilts, a thick pair of woolen socks and a cup of hot tea.

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Apple Yogurt Upside-Down Cake ~ adapted from Small Plates & Sweet Treats

3 pink lady apple

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp + more honey

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup brown rice flour + 1 tbsp

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup millet flour + 1 tbsp

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 heaping tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup packed dark muscovado sugar

1/2 cup whole-milk plain yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8 by 8-inch square cake pan (or an 8 by 3-inch round cake pan) and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Core the apples, quarter them, then cut each piece in half once more. Heat the coconut oil, 2 tbsp of honey and vanilla extract in a large saute pan (any soup or sauce pot will work, you may just need to cook the apples for a bit longer) over medium heat. Add the sliced apples and cook for about 10 minutes or until apples are soft but not mushy. Let cool for a few minutes before handling. Arrange the apples on the bottom of the cake pan as tightly as possible and pour any remaining liquid in the pot over the apples.

In a large bowl, whisk together all the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate smaller bowl mix the eggs, dark muscovado sugar, honey (I did about 2 tbsp add more for a sweeter cake), olive oil, and yogurt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Pour the batter into the cake pan making sure that it is evenly distributed over the apples. Bake for about 50min-1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes before carefully flipping. Allow to cool before serving. Keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days or freeze.

Serve warm by itself or with a speckled vanilla bean ice cream.

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~ Stay Warm! ~

Red Currant and Poppyseed Muffins

It is funny how fast the months slip by…for the first time I do not have access to the time I once did during these warm months. And time is everything. Especially when you want to make every flavor of popsicles under the sun, plan picnics, travel, and run around half-naked in a bathing suit. But trying to do said things as much as possible is all one can do.. even if not as frequently as desired. In this mindset, what better way to brighten a quick trip to the market then coming upon red currants. I have never tasted red currants before and am very excited to jump on this summer bandwagon.

Red currants are very tart. Only certain people can enjoy eating them plain (and not make crazy distorted faces…guilty) They pair beautifully with other berries such as raspberries and blackberries. Throw them in your morning cereal, oatmeal, in a jam or compote….or in MUFFINS. Or morning(cupcake)muffins. For anything containing oats is instantly thrown into the ‘meant for breakfast’ category.

Red Currant and Poppyseed Muffins
 
1 cup red currants, lightly rinsed
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup milk, regular or nut milk
1 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp poppyseeds
dash of cinnamon (optional)
muscavado sugar (optional)
**You can also sub 1 cup of oat flour instead of the ones listed.
 
Preheat your oven too 400 degrees. Grease a muffin pan. In a large bowl combine flours, oats, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. In a smaller bowl add milk, egg, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Stir until combined then add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix. Stir in the red currants last. Fill your muffin cups around 3/4 of the way. You can stir a few dashes of ground cinnamon into the batter beforehand or sprinkle a bit on top of the muffins right before you put them in the oven. If you want a sweeter touch take a few pinches of muscavado sugar (or brown sugar) and sprinkle the tops of the muffins before putting them in the oven as well. Bake for around 20 minutes until the edges start to golden and a toothpick comes out clean.Cool before storing.

Enjoy ~

Banana Berry Pudding Cakes with a Hint of Lime

This past weekend a sweet breakfast was in high demand. The city has been under a canopy of rainy skies with a slight chill..not exactly the kind of May I’m used to. I’m ready for the heat, the sundresses, and the flip flops. Preferably soon, Please.

This recipe came about by accident, too much liquid, not enough flour. An accident, however, that turned into a tasty treat. With a crispy muffin-like outside and a creamy interior these are full of flavor and texture. Hints of raspberry and lime paired with strawberries and banana pull it all together.

Banana Berry Pudding Cakes with a Hint of Lime

1/2 cup almond meal (+2 tsp or so)

1/2 cup millet flour

1 cup roughly berries (strawberries and raspberries)

1 small banana

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp lime zest

juice of half a small lime (roughly 1 1/2 tsp)

2 tbsp honey

4 ounces unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp coconut oil (liquid)

1 egg

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

dash of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. I used frozen berries which, once thawed, added more liquid then if fresh fruit was used. Once berries are thawed mix all the wet ingredients together in a food processor until smooth (including the egg). Transfer the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well, add a few more tsp of almond meal to help thicken the batter, if you like (I did). Pour into a greased or lined muffin tin and bake for around 30 mins or until the outside of the muffins are slightly golden and crisp. The insides will remain very soft until cooled. Feel free to eat with a spoon and keep leftovers in the fridge.

Soup & Biscuits

On a Chilly Winters Night

On a chilly Friday evening I invited a friend over for dinner where we shared soup and biscuits. I can’t think of anything better… Taking inspiration from two of my favorite food bloggers: Roost & Cannelle e Vanille

A leek, fennel, & watercress soup accompanied by rosemary & almond meal biscuits came into  being.

I actually had to look up the proper technique for chopping a leek. I was a first timer, with about every ingredient in this soup, but now when someone asks I can say “of course I can clean and cut a leek” (a very superior feeling).

The delightful licorice tast and smell of fennel was also a pleasant surprise. Not having a grinder on hand I bashed the seeds a bit with the end of a wooden spoon and threw them in the pot. I am still around to tell the tale..But I am sure the flavor is bit enhanced when freshly ground.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately to do with a grain-free lifestyle. Much of what I have been finding is quite intriguing and has gotten me on the nut meal/flour train for a bit. So far I am hooked and am loving the array of new and healthy flavors.

The biscuits took a total of 5 mins to mix all the ingredients together and throw in the oven, I ended up making mine as a loaf but will be taking the time to divide them in the future, my dinner guest liked them almost more then the soup. They also made a lovely breakfast accompanied with a bit of jam and fresh fruit.

recipes can be found here:

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