Pretzel Muffins with Chocolate Chips

2014-02-22 10.16.20

Some people will say that they are more of a “sweet” or “salty” person. I’ve always said I’m both. I crave salty foods, but immediately after I need a little something sweet. Lately, I’ve been combining the two and loving the results! Remember, I barely have enough time to eat one thing so this double dose is more efficient. I know, I should simply avoid both and eat a carrot, but that’s no fun!

I was afriad these muffins would come out too salty, but they were just right. If you are worried or not a fan salted sweets, like salted caramels, simply leave off the garnish salt. That is truly where you get the salt taste, not from the pretzels themselves. These work well for breakfast, but make a great snack!

Pretzel Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Ingredients

For the Streusel

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground pretzels, into small pieces, not too fine
  • 1/4 cup broken pretzels
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the Muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground pretzels
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pretzel or other coarse salt for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

For the streusel, combine flour, sugar, ground and broken pretzels, and cinnamon. Stir butter into the dry mixture, cover, and chill.

For the muffins, whisk flour, pretzels, chocolate chips, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add eggs, oil, butter, and vanilla; stir into the flour mixture. Let the batter sit for 2 minutes, then divide among muffins cups.

Squeeze streusel into clumps; top muffins with it and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted in centers come out clean, 17 to 19 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 342 calories, 19g total fat, 58mg cholesterol, 447mg sodium, 41g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 5g protein.

Source: Cuisine at home, October 2013

Chicken Tetrazzini

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The tides are changing at my dinner table. I’m taking things back. Not just from my pre-schooler who has become increasingly picky, but now that my husband is more willing to try things I am pushing the envelope a bit more. I’m also trying some new recipes that will carry us over for a couple of nights since my time in the kitchen is limited with my newborn son. What is the big “new” factor in this dish. Mushrooms! I’ve always cooked mushrooms off to the side because they always led to moans and groans. Not anymore, learn to eat around them if you must! I’ve been wanting to make dishes like Chicken Tetrazzini for so long and I’m so glad I finally went for it!

This dish is quite labor intensive, take some shortcuts if you need to! Buy pre-chopped veggies and use cooked chicken from a previous meal. I tend to cook chicken, shred it up, and then bag them up in servings for a later date. That way it’s always a freezer away! While I was making this I was honestly worried that all of this work would be a waste and I’d hear lots of complaints. The only complaining was from my daughter, who will have it deconstructed from now on since she loves the ingredients just not them “touching each other.” My husband and I loved this meal. He loved it so much he had no problem pushing those mushrooms aside. We told my daughter to get used to it becuase it’s going to become part of our rotation. I’ll just make sure to make it on the weekends!  In all my chaos, I forgot to add the white wine to my dish, which was probably better for younger palates since the sauce had a lighter flavor. Plus, the reserved wine was still consumed ;) It’s always important to use good wine in your cooking folks!

What I love about this dish is since it has been lightened up I can put it in the rotation. It’s not the decadent dish that is saved for special occasions. You can now enjoy the fabulous flavor of the garlic, onions, and thyme without all of that guilt.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Ingredient

  • 10 oz. uncooked linguine
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated low-fat ilk
  • 2 1/2 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divded
  • 1 oz 1/3-less-fat-cream cheese
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 (8 oz) packages sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 oz. French bread baquette, torn into peices
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add stock and milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms; saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, garlic, and thyme; saute 3 minutes. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Combine milk mixture, mushroom mixture, pasta, chicken, and peas; toss to combine. Spoon the pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coasted with cooking spray.

Place bread in a food processor; drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Process until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano; sprinkle evenly over pasta. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Top with parsley.

Serves 8, serving size about 1 1/4 cups

Nutritional Information

Calories 435, Fat 12.2g, Protein 33.2g, Carbohydrates 45g, Fiber 3.6g, Cholesterol 69mg, Iron 3mg, Sodium 573mg, Calcium 249mg

Source: Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2014

 

 

Super Easy Crusty Bread

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There is nothing better than homemade bread. Besides the fact that it tastes great, you have the anticipation, the smell of it in the oven, and then everyone fights over that first warm slice with a slab of butter on it. The problem is, most don’t get the chance to make homemade bread. We consume a lot of bread and I just don’t have the time to keep up right now, heck I don’t even have enough time to get to the store these days to grab a loaf there either! With casseroles, stews, and soups this winter we require a lot of bread and I’ve found the perfect recipe. The name of it is so fitting, I couldn’t change it. Besides the yeast, you should have everything in your pantry as the ingredient list is minimal and all you need is a spoon and a bowl! No kneading either! So, this weekend if you are making something that you know you’ll want bread to go with it, try this instead of grabbing a loaf. You’ll love how easy this bread is to make!

Super Easy Crusty Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 package)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • corn meal for dusting stone

In a large bowl, and the water, yeast, and salt and stir until combined. Add the flour and stir until incorporated. Work the dough with the spoon until the lumps are gone.

Place a towel or plastic wrap over the bowl and set in a draft free spot for 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 450 F. Place a pizza stone in the center of the oven to warm as well. Add 2 cups of water in an oven-safe dish  and place in the rack below the pizza stone. This will create steam and give that nice crust you are looking for.

Once the dough has risen, form into a ball and sprinkle flour on top. Make 2 or 3 slices on the top of the bread.

Sprinkle the pizza stone with corn meal or flour and place the dough on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Source: So Tasty, So Yummy , originally from Veg Obsession

DSC_0774 When I had my daughter, as most new mothers know, you try and relax when the baby is sleeping. When you have your second, there is no resting. Since my son arrived back in November, our household has been very busy. There is no chance to relax, between pre-school, holidays, household chores, doctor appointments, and let’s not forget loving on both adorable children. There is no time for rest and there is no time for me. I’ve caught myself saying more than a few times that I wished I drank coffee. I need that little energy boost and with the way this winter has been, I could use that warmth as well! You see, I’m a social coffee drinker. I like to sit and enjoy a cup when I am out. Downing a cup before rushing out of the house has never held much interest. I don’t want to sacrifice good taste for convenience, and I don’t want to get caught up in spending a lot of money on quick purchases as I run around town completing my errands. DSC_0758 That’s why I really am enjoying Maxwell House International. The cafe style coffees, on their own, are delicious, comforting, and quick to make. Since it’s instant, I don’t have to wait until the coffee maker is finished. I am already waiting for my kids to be finished with things, I don’t need one more thing in my life that I’m standing next to tapping my foot! Simply boil water, stir in the Maxwell House International and you can enjoy a flavorful and creamy coffee. What I really love about Maxwell House International though is that it can be used as a creamer as well. That’s right, you heard me. Simply add a few spoonsful instead of creamer to bring romance to your coffee. This was my favorite part of Maxwell House International since it upped the indulgence factor and allowed me to close my eyes, even if just for a second, and take a sip and imagine myself somewhere else rather then standing in my kitchen in my robe. DSC_0791 Want to try Maxwell House International in a new way? Get a sample or coupon while they last! Want to be entered in a sweepstakes drawing for a $100 Visa gift card? Leave a comment below telling me which Maxwell House International flavor you would like to try. There are so many to choose from, including French Vanilla, Vanilla Nut, Hazelnut, Suisse Mocha, Vanilla Caramel, and Café Vienna!

 

 

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