Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Baked Zucchini Bread Oatmeal and Baked Chocolate Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

It's been a while since I was experimenting with new oatmeal flavors so I thought I better get back at it.
Baked oatmeal is a fantabulous way to eat oatmeal. It's not at all mushy like the stove top version can be. This version just happens to taste like zucchini bread. Moist, chewy, streusel topped zucchini bread. Then I went ahead and made a chocolate version because..... well..... chocolate.
I'm not sure which one is my favorite. They are both soooooooo yummy.
Even better -- they only take about 5 minutes to whip up and then 30 minutes to bake. 
Warm, delicious, hearty, even a little bit healthy -- what more could you ask for in a breakfast?

First up.... Baked Zucchini Bread Oatmeal.

Baked Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

1/3 cup large flake oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 pkg Stevia
2 pecan halves, finely diced
1/3 cup zucchini, shredded
1/3 cup 1% milk
1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp butter
1 pecan half, finely diced
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Preheat over to 350. Lightly spray a ramekin or single serving oven safe dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together oats, cinnamon, baking powder, Stevia, pecans, and zucchini. In a separate small bowl, stir together the milk, and vanilla. 
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well mixed. Scrape into prepared ramekin.
Prepare topping - stir together the butter, pecan, and brown sugar. Crumble on top of the oatmeal into the ramekin.

Bake at 350 for 20 - 30 minutes, until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

And now.... on to the chocolate version.

Baked Chocolate Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

1/3 cup large flake oats
pinch cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 pkg Stevia
2 pecan halves, finely diced
1/2 Tbsp baking cocoa
1/2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup zucchini, shredded
1/3 cup 1% milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp coffee, prepared

1 tsp butter
1 pecan half, finely diced
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a ramekin or single serving oven safe dish with cooking spray. Set aside. 
In a small bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, baking powder, Stevia, pecans, cocoa, mini chocolate chips, and zucchini. In a separate small bowl, stir together the milk, vanilla, and coffee.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Scrape into prepared ramekin.
Prepare topping - stir together the butter, pecan, and brown sugar. Crumble on top of the oatmeal into the ramekin.

Bake at 350 for 20 - 30 minutes, until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 

Now you can have zucchini bread for breakfast. And it's even a little bit healthy. 
The regular version is 238 calories, 30 carbs, 10 fat, 7 protein, 4 fibre.
The chocolate version is 283 calories, 37 carbs, 12 fat, 8 protein, 6 fibre.  

Can't decide which one to try? 
Make both. 
Make both.
We're sharing at these fab linky parties - Dizzy Busy & Hungry, Adventures of Mel,

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Irish Soda Bread (Gluten Free)

St. Patrick's Day is a perfect time to make traditional Irish Soda Bread but, unfortunately, not everyone can eat traditional Irish Soda Bread because of the flour (gluten). 
I searched out the internet for a gluten free version but almost all the ones I could find involved all sorts of ingredients that I don't usually have and are too expensive to buy just to experiment with. Therefore, I came up with this version.
Nothing too strange involved at all and it only takes a few minutes to whip up. Plus, it looks almost exactly the same as the traditional version. Maybe not as poofy after it has risen but still... pretty close!
Aaaaaaand....most importantly, yes, it is delicious. 

Irish Soda Bread (Gluten Free)

1 1/4 cup almond flour
3 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 pkg Stevia (about 1/8 tsp)
1/4 cup currants
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp 0 fat Greek yogurt, plain - (use coconut milk for a dairy free version!)

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray an 8 inch, oven safe frying pan (I used cast iron) with cooking spray, set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and Stevia. When well mixed, stir in currants. 
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add into the well the vinegar, eggs, and Greek yogurt. Mix well with a spatula. 
Place the dough into the center of the prepared frying pan. Pat it down so it is approx 7 inches across.

Score an "X" across the top with a knife. Bake at 375 for around 20 - 28 minutes. Top should be golden brown and toothpick inserted near center should come out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 5 minutes.

Using a spatula, carefully remove from the pan to a wire rack and let cool at least 20 minutes before breaking the bread or slicing with a serrated knife. 

I let this sit out for several hours, uncovered, and then covered it and served it the next day. It was perfect. Not dry and not sticky. 

Isn't it pretty?
I love looking at pretty food. 
It makes me almost as happy as eating it.
We're sharing at these fun linky parties, be sure to check them out! - Lou Lou Girls, Simple Life of a Fire Wife, Memories By The Mile, New Mrs Adventures

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Welsh Cakes

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best.
Take Welsh Cakes, for example. It just doesn't get much more basic and simple than Welsh Cakes, yet they are pretty much one of the tastiest things on the planet. 
I remember taking a cooking course when I was in elementary school (way WAY back when) and the lady teaching it made these. I was instantly hooked. 
I recently saw some pins on Pinterest and was reminded of these fabulous little morsels. The recipes I could find online were all in metric/by weight so I did a little conversion math and came up with the measurements in this version. I, by no means, claim to have "come up with" this recipe. It has been around since the dawn of time (pretty sure) but the conversions here are mine. Hopefully they work as well for you as they did for us. 
Definitely give them a try. You probably have all you need in your kitchen right now!

Welsh Cakes

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup currants
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk

1 - 2 Tbsp sugar, for sprinkling

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Using 2 knives or a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. 
Stir in the sugar and currants.

Make a well in the center and add in egg and milk.
Using a fork, mix in the ingredients until dough comes together. 

Flour a work surface and then roll dough out to approximately the thickness of your baby finger. 

Cut out with a round cookie cutter. (Apparently, traditionally the edges should also be fluted!)
Reroll the trimmings and cut out more rounds. 
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease with either cooking spray or a little butter. 
Place as many rounds as will fit on the skillet without touching.

Cook approx 3 -4 minutes on the first side. Carefully flip over.

Cook for another 3 or so minutes. (If bottoms are going too dark, too fast then turn down your heat!)
Remove from pan to a wire rack. 

Sprinkle immediately with a little sugar.
Continue cooking remaining cakes.

These are amazing served warm with a little butter OR room temp with some jam.
Like scones but different. 
Little fluffy and crispy bites of heaven. 
P.S. - This recipe makes 12 cakes using a 2.5 inch cookie cutter. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Guinness Burger Sliders on Guinness Buns

I have come up with a genius solution to those of you who don't want to eat corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day dinner but still want to do something with an Irish twist to celebrate. 
Guinness Sliders on soft and chewy Guinness bread. 
This takes a little prep ahead of time but is sooooo worth the effort. If you are one of those people that doesn't make yeast bread  - cooooooome oooooon, tryyyyyyy it! (Or, just use regular slider buns but you are totally missing out. Just sayin')
You can of course make these into regular sized burgers and buns but, really, do you want to miss out on the cuteness factor here? 
I don't think so.
Besides, it makes 24 sliders so would be perfect to bring to a St. Patty's Day potluck. 
FYI - also great for tail gating parties and game nights. 

Guinness Burger Sliders

1 lb lean ground beef
2/3 cup Guinness Draught
1/2 onion, finely diced
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper to taste

NIGHT BEFORE - place the ground beef into a shallow dish and pour the Guinness over it. Using your hands, massage the beer into the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (At least 12 hours)
When ready to form burgers - Drain off any excess Guinness in a strainer.
Using your hands, mix in the onion, bacon, flour, oats, cheese, and spices, until well combined. 
Using a cookie cutter - or by pinching off golf ball sized portions, form into 24 slider patties. Place onto a cookie sheet or platter. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Now you can whip up the bread!

Guinness Buns

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Guinness Draught
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 - 6 cups flour
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

1 egg, beaten
sesame seeds

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, beer, butter, sugar and salt. Heat until steaming. Remove from heat and let cool to 120 - 130 degrees.

Pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in 2 cups of the flour and the chopped green onion until well mixed. 
Gradually add in more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, until dough has come together without being too sticky. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 - 3 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elasticy. 
Place into an oiled bowl.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour. (Until doubled in size)

When risen, punch down and place dough onto a floured work surface.
Cut dough into 24 equal pieces. (You can use a scale if you want them exactly even. I just go by sight.) Roll into balls.
Place about an inch or so apart onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm place to rise for an hour. 
After an hour, preheat oven to 375.

Place the risen buns into the oven and bake for approx 30 minutes. 
Remove from oven and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Return to oven to bake another 5 - 8 minutes - until tops are golden brown.

Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before breaking apart and letting cool completely on wire rack. (You can use a serrated knife to separate them if you are worried about ripping the buns.)

Prepare your burger - Remove burger slider patties from the fridge and let sit on the counter while you heat a large frying pan sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat.
Place as many of the patties as will fit into the pan. Cook about 4 - 5 minutes on the one side then gently flip over and cook until burgers are done.
If you want to add more cheese then place a slice on about 1 minute before you remove the burgers from the pan.

Now you can prep your bun with whatever condiments and toppings you like, place a burger on top, and you are good to go.
Especially if you have another Guinness to enjoy with the burgers....

Of course you have to have some crispy fries to accompany your tasty burger.
So cute.

Let me just say - these are some of the juiciest, most flavorful sliders I've had in a very long time.

The hint of Guinness elevates these from "regular old burger" good to "St. Patrick's Day celebration" good. 

And they are cute to boot.
It's win win really.
We're sharing at these fabulous linky parties - Memories By The Mile, Simple Life of a Fire Wife, Hun... What's For Dinner? ,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Minty Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Sue here today!
I decided to get a blog in here about St. Patrick's Day while I had the chance. Jo and I tend to go a little crazy with holiday baking and St. Patrick's Day is no exception. 
I've been wanting to make brownie cookies for a while now and knew St. Patrick's Day would be the perfect opportunity. I was inspired by several photos I saw on Pinterest and kind-of amalgamated the recipes and added my own touch. 
These are the perfect amount of minty and chocolaty deliciousness. 
They are very rich and quite sweet so one or two will hit the spot. 

Minty Chocolate Brownie Cookies

1/2 cup butter, cubed
1 bag (250 gr) mint chocolate chips
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking cocoa 
pinch salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup flour

Middle Layer
vanilla store bought icing
green food coloring

Top Layer
approx 1/2 cup milk or dark chocolate chips

Prepare cookie dough - In a medium saucepan over low/medium heat, melt the butter and mint chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. 
Add in the melted chocolate mixture and beat briefly.
Stir in the the vanilla, baking powder, and flour until just mixed in and no white streaks remain.
CHILL DOUGH FOR AT LEAST 4 HOURS, up to overnight. 
When dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350. 
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and scoop it onto prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. (I used a medium cookie scoop - about 2 Tbsp in size)
Bake at 350 for 10 - 12 minutes, until cookie appears dry on top.
Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Prepare middle layer - Mix a few drops of green food coloring into a container of white frosting (I used Betty Crocker). Spread about 1 tsp of frosting on top of each cooled cookie. 
Prepare top layer - Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 20 seconds. Stir, then microwave another 20 seconds. Continue until chocolate is melted. 
Spoon a scant tsp of chocolate on top of the frosting on each cookie, being carefully to leave some of the green peeking out. 

Enjoy them for St. Patrick's Day while wearing a green mustache... because, why not? ...

Or just enjoying them anytime. 
The are delicious.

You can, of course, make your own green frosting for the center using a vanilla butter cream if you want to. 
We're sharing at these fun linky parties -