Tagged: molasses

Smoothies & Scones

Hey folks! I hope you enjoyed your weekend! Did you do anything fun or exciting? I didn’t do much of anything this weekend, and I must admit it was pretty fantastic! With the holidays winding down Johnny and I got to enjoy our first weekend of nothingness in what feels like fooooooreverrrrrrr and I made sure to take advantage!!

How?

By cooking my face off!!!

And I’m pleased to say that the time not spent cooking/eating I was either working out… or… cleaning…or at Target with Melinda and Kyle…orrrrr watching Parks and Rec. Regardless, it was faabuloussssss!

Now I don’t know about you, but without an alarm set my body naturally wakes up after 8 hours of sleep. I’m typically always up before Johnny. Yesterday morning  was no exception. I was up at 8:00 am and I was fiiiiinally able to try out my brand spanking new Bella Rocket Sport Blender!

I love making smoothies for breakfast, but I have a problem you see. I HATE measuring ingredients. That’s why I’ve never been much of a baker. The exactness of everything frustrates me. When I make smoothies in a standard blender, I always tend to overdo it and throw in a little of this and a little of that and I ultimately wind up with enough for two smoothies! My husband doesn’t care for most of the smoothies I make so he doesn’t drink the extra, and I can try to freeze and it drink it later but I wind up forgetting about it. It’s really quite a conundrum. For Christmas, Johnny picked up this single serve blender for me and it’s absolutely perfect! The first smoothie I made in it is one of my standards, as I typically always have everything on hand for it. Here is the recipe!

smoothie

Berry Almond Smoothie

serves 1

  • 8 oz vanilla soy milk
  • 1 8 0z container of berry flavored greek yogurt (I used Wegmans Brand Triple Berry, but any berry will do!)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 baby spinach leaves, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

Place all of the ingredients in your blender and whiz until combined! (Note: If you’re using the same Bella Rocket Sort Blender, I suggest adding the ingredients in the exact order they appear here. That way, when you flip it upside down to blend it, the spinach is closest to the blades and will incorporate nicely. Putting the milk in before the yogurt will also prevent the yogurt from getting stuck at the top of the blender!)

I enjoyed my smoothie with a piece of whole wheat toast with a little smart balance and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar! Noms!

cinnamon toast & smoothie

This morning I was up early again (7:45! Yikes! Getting ready for baby, haha!) and  it was suuuuper rainy and gloomy outside. I decided I wanted something warm and cozy for breakfast… and something a little different and fun! No oatmeal for this chick today!

I was all alone in the kitchen, even the puppies were still sleeping. I looked through my pantry and I decided I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Gingerbread Scones!

Now, ya know how I mentioned before that I wasn’t much of a baker? It’s really the truth. Muffins and quick breads are the only thing I’ve ever excelled at and that’s primarily because the recipes are pretty forgiving. Scones…dough that needs to be kneaded and cared for…I grit my teeth and searched for a recipe. I found one that sounded great at joyofbaking.com  and I’m pleased to say I followed it ALLLLLMOST exactly. The result was a perfectly light and flaky scone that tasted like Christmastime. I was thrilled with my results!  Here is the recipe, I’ve noted the few changes I made!

gingerbread scones

Gingerbread Scones

adapted from Joy of Baking.com

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour)
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Zest of 1 lemon  (I used the zest of an orange instead! I prefer using orange in my gingerbread recipes!)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (this was not a part of the original recipe at all, I just love pecans!)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I used skim milk – it worked fine!)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure anilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.  Stir in the lemon zest and dried cranberries, if using.  In a separate bowl mix together the milk, molasses and vanilla and then add the milk mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 11/2 inches thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles).  Place the scones on the baking sheet.  Make an egg wash of one well-beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk and brush the tops of the scones with this mixture.

Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

**I made my own glaze for this recipe, rather than the one provided with the original recipe. (I needed to express my creativity somehow!) All I did was microwave 2 oz of fat free cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup. I mixed it all up and spread it on top! These scones were perfect!!!**

gingerbread scone

Yes, you’ll note that is a mug of milk with my scone. I thought I wanted tea…so I got out a mug. Then I decided that my new big fuzzy blue robe I was lounging in (thanks, Ma!) was actually doing a fine job of keeping me nice and toasty so I decided I didn’t want tea and that I wanted a nice cold glass of milk instead. Buuuuuut and I didn’t want to get out a glass…so I drank my milk from a mug like the classy gal I am!! It was all delicious. 🙂

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Walnut Muffins with Cinnamon Orange Glaze

I was absolutely super-duper completely 110% beside myself when I opened up my brand new kitchen aid stand mixer on Christmas. (Love you Mom & Scott 🙂 )

See look! Me - really freakin' excited!

As soon as I got back to my apartment I had to make something. There was no other option. It was completely necessary to christen it, and to do so with something scrumptious while simultaneously attempting to stick to my New Year’s Resolution.

What to do, what to do?

The pantry pickings were slim. Johnny and I picked up a few things from the grocery store, but nothing too extravagant. I saw some molasses leftover from the tasty ginger snaps I made during my christmas cookie extravaganza and that’s when it clicked, gingerbread muffins! Om nom nom!! (Actually, my first though was gingerbread CAKE, but then I shook my head at myself and decided muffins would be a wiser decision…)

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Walnut Muffins
with Cinnamon Orange Glaze

For the Muffins:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsulphered molasses
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda, mixed into one cup of boil water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • The juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • pinch of nutmeg

Begin by mixing together the oil, sugar, and molasses.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Add the flour and the oats, followed by all of the spices, vanilla, and orange zest.Slowly mix in the water and baking soda mixture.Gently fold in the walnuts.
Transfer the batter into a greased or lined muffin tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 350° until fragrant or
when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Remove muffins from tin and let cool for about 10 minutes before glazing.
For glaze, whisk all ingredients together until well combined.
If it’s too thin, add more sugar. If it’s too thick, add some more juice or water.
Drizzle over muffins before digging in! 🙂