Monday, November 15, 2010

Cherry Pepper Corn Muffins

My husband has been craving cornbread. I have been craving all things spicy lately. In preparation for his upcoming exam, I decided to create a cornbread that was inspired by delicious jalapeƱo cornbread but also sweetly inspired by pie.

Cherry Pepper Corn Muffins


2/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
5 packets of splenda + 1 packet of Stevia or 1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp Smart Balance margarine or butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetned applesauce or 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
1 HOT pepper, finely chopped


(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pans with canola oil or line with muffin liners.
(2) In a small bowl, mix the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the dried cherries and pepper to the mix.
(3) In a medium bowl, mix the margarine and apple sauce. 
(4) Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing only until everything is combined. Since using the whole wheat flour, gluten formation will happen quickly so minimize mixing.
(4) Add 2-3 tbsp of the batter per muffin cup.
(5) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of a muffin pulls out cleanly.

Enjoy the sweet and spicy combo. I certainly enjoyed them with a cup of cinnamon tea and also with a bowl of chili. A multipurpose food ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Apple-Pear Cobbler

In preparation for a friend's dinner, I decided to prepare a simple and easy recipe using fruit that was both in season and in my refrigerator. Apples and Pears!!! I love the fall harvest. While I am usually a Crisp kind of gal, I decided to venture into Cobbler territory, where the crust is shaped from a buttery, biscuit-like dough. In fact, the leftover dough is perfect for a small crust, which is why I am keeping all the ends in my freezer for a rainy day. 

Apple-Pear Cobbler
Recipe adapted from MayoClinic healthy recipes

4 servings


1 1/2 large apple and 1 pear, cored and diced 

1 tablespoon orange juice 
1 tablespoons splenda 
1 tablespoons whole wheat flour 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the topping: 

1/4 cup oat flour + 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour 
2 tablespoons sugar or 4 packets of splenda 
3/4 teaspoons baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons cold trans-free margarine, cut into pieces 
1/4 cup fat-free milk or vanilla soymilk 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


(1) Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
(2) In a large bowl, add the apple and pear pieces. Sprinkle with orange (or lemon) juice.
(3) In small bowl, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the mixture to the chopped apples and pears and toss gently to mix. Stir in the Spread the apple-pear mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
(4) In another large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, cut the cold margarine into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and vanilla. Stir just until a moist dough forms.

(5) Turn the dough onto a generously floured work surface and, with floured hands, knead gently 6 to 8 times until the dough is smooth and manageable. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut out shapes. Cut close together for a minimum of scraps. Gather the scraps and roll out to make more cuts.
(6) Place the dough pieces over the apple-pear mixture, until the top is covered. Bake until the apples are tender and the topping is golden, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Notice, that I used orange, instead of lemon juice to bring out the tartness of the fruit. If I did apple-cranberry I would definitely use lemon instead. Here I loved the combination of apple, pear, nutmeg, with the hint of orange. Experiment, like I did, and let me know what you come up with.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

BALT Sandwich (Bacon, Ahi Tuna, Lettuce, and Tomato) & Taste Test

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received Nature's Pride OvenClassics 100% Whole Wheat bread to taste-test. In an aim to try this bread, I wanted to create a quick sandwich for lunch. I also had some delicious seared Ahi Tuna already prepared. 

I assembled this Bacon, Ahi Tuna, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich using some Turkey Bacon and farm-grown tomatoes. It was a treat. The bread was delicious, hearty, and yet fluffy. That is saying a lot since I rarely eat bread.

The combination of the BALT was delicious. If you happen to have some seared fish, try a creation of your own.