Tagged: whole wheat

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

I’m not sure if you’ve gathered this about me by now, but I’m not really much of a baker. I can safely say this is the truth for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I’ve always been more of the “creative” type in the kitchen and I always have a very hard time following recipes. It’s not that I’m incapable of doing so. It’s just that baking is so exact that, personally, I can never get that excited about it.

What’s so exciting about following directions??

Nothing, I say!

That’s what I’ve always loved so much about cooking. Sure, there are techniques that I may need to know or ratios that are important but, ultimately, every time I whip something up in the kitchen the best part, for me, is that I don’t need to think about measuring or having things precisely a specific way and I know that whatever I make will still turn out delicious!

Another thing about baking is that the result of baking is so rarely healthy that I can’t  justify even bothering to bake something. Sure, there are some baked goods that I adore. I love a buttery croissant or cheese danish, I swoon over carrot cake, and I have a hard time saying no to brownies (especially if there are nuts in them!). Luckily, though, it’s always pretty easy for me to refuse a slice of chocolate cake, apple pie, or a big deli blueberry muffin.  As someone who typically advocates eating healthy, when I DO bake it’s usually something  like my banana oat muffin/bars or something similar, where there is no white flour or butter to be found!

For Easter this year, though, when I decided to make breakfast for the family I knew that I wanted to have something sweet to accompany the quiche I was making and although fruit is delicious (and was had in abundance) I decided to give baking  something a whirl.  Another pastry that I enjoy and my husband in particular loves is coffee cake. Nothing too crazy about it. Not some fancy, fruity, glazed nonsense.  Just a lovely cinnamon swirl coffee cake.

I found a fairly basic recipe for a standard classic coffee cake and spruced it up to make it my own (because I just can’t help myself). The batter is spiked with lemon zest and cinnamon and uses white whole wheat flour to get some fiber in your diet! I also used plain, nonfat greek yogurt to replace the traditional sour cream used in most coffee cake recipes and this recipe turned out perfectly moist and tender.  The cinnamon swirl contains oats and walnuts to bulk it out because I wanted as much swirl as possible without adding anymore sugar to the recipe.  The resulting coffee cake was delightful, especially paired with a steaming hot cup of English Breakfast Tea with milk and honey (or ya know…coffee…if you’re like most people.) I hope you enjoy this recipe!

coffee cake

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

For the Coffee Cake
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt

For the Cinnamon Swirl
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×9 inch baking dish with some nonstick spray and set aside.

To make he cinnamon swirl: combine the sugars, oats, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small dish. Add the vanilla and the softened butter and, using your hands, smush everything together until the butter is distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer if that what you’ve got) cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and mix until just combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture with your mixer on low speed. Add 1/2 of the yogurt and combine. Add the remaining flour and combine, followed by the yogurt.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the cinnamon swirl mixture. Top with the remaining batter, making sure you spread it out to cover the swirl, and top with remaining cinnamon mixture.

Bake the coffeecake for 45-55 minuets, or until a toothpick (or heck, I always just use a knife) inserted in the center of the coffeecake comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving…preferably to people you love…because you’re not going to want to share this coffeecake with just anyone.


Do you have a favorite breakfast pastry??  

Do you prefer coffee or tea??

Last, but certainly not least,  don’t forget to grab a badge and link up with your favorite real food recipe, today!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


Pass the Beans… or Pass on the Beans??

So I have a question for you…
DO YOU or DON’T YOU like beans???

For a very long time I HATED beans. Kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, baked beans. The whole lot. I remember back in the days of watching my brother play pee-wee football, I’d stand bundled up in the freezing New Jersey winter drinking hot chocolate for warmth and I completely refuuuused to eat the chili from the snack stand – regardless of the warmth it would have provided me – because I knew there where beans in it.

I’m pretty sure my aversion to them early in life was based on the fact that my parents didn’t like them… so I just assumed I wouldn’t like them either. Most of my food aversions early in life were because of the same reason…like Brussels sprouts (which now I love)!

I wish I could say I remembered exactly when I decided I liked beans. I am pretty sure after a few years of shivering, I finally tried that snack stand chili, and my life was changed forever!!

I am genuinely fascinated by the number of people I know who still don’t eat beans. I feel like 95% of the bean haters I know have never actually even tried one!!

Beans aren’t called “the magical fruit” (as my father likes to call them) for nothing, ya know. To my knowledge, beans are typically most associated with fiber, which I think we all know at this point is good for your health (not JUST because they help you poop! grow up!). The soluble fiber in beans aids in lowering bad cholesterol and regular consumption increases heart health. Beans are also super low in fat and high in protein – on average there are about 7 grams of protein in 1/2 cup of beans. Beans also contain loads of antioxidants and the complex carbohydrates in them keep you fuller and happier for longer. I don’t know about you, but I love to be full and happy!!

The best part about beans, though, in my opinion is that THEY ARE SO FLIPPIN’ CHEAP!!!! Dry or canned, beans are one of the cheapest sources of protein ever….and I love it.

This is one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes using one of my favorite beans – cannellini beans! This recipe is quick, easy, and has an awesome balance of whole grains, protein, vegetables, and healthy fats! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Balsamic Chicken Spaghetti with Spinach and White Beans

serves 2 -4 (depending on your appetite)

  • 1/2 box whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup cannelini beans
  • 2 whole, roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the chicken to the skillet with garlic and onions and cook until no longer pink – about 8 to 10 minutes more.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and stir well to combine. Let cook for about 2 minutes until the vinegar begins to thicken.

Add the cooked pasta, beans, peppers, and spinach to the chicken mixture and toss well until the spinach wilts and everything is combined. Add pasta water as necessary if the mixture seems to dry.

Serve immediately, topped with parmesan cheese, with a big glass of wine!


So tell me, are you or aren’t you on the bean wagon??

Blueberry Almond Muffins

Blueberries have been looking absolutely outstanding at the grocery store lately and I’ve been stockpiling them! I’ve been sticking them in my morning cereal (Kashi Heart to Heart in Warm Cinnamon Oat! I can’t get enough of it!), mixing them in my yogurt, and combining them with strawberries and bananas for a tasty fruit salad.

I was in the mood to bake when the clouds rolled in this weekend and the gloom (And humidity! Sheesh has it been gross out EVERYWHERE lately, of just in PA?) kept me inside and I knew that I had plenty of blueberries to use. 🙂

I knew I wanted to try and making something as guilt-free as possible while still maintaing the “I’m-being-naughty-and-eating-a-pastry” feeling. I think the recipe I came up with is as close to that as I could get!

Using whole wheat flour, nonfat greek yogurt, protein packed almonds and fresh blueberries these muffins are really quite healthy. A hint of almond extract and the subtle sweetness of brown sugar gave these muffins the perfect balance of naughty and nice. 🙂

Blueberry Almond Muffins

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (4 tbsp) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 oz nonfat greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup almond milk (nonfat would be fine, too)
  • ¼ cup almonds, chopped fine
  • ½ cup blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, thaw)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Mix the blueberries and almonds in one tablespoon of flour. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in a stand mixer until well combined.
Add the egg, yogurt, almond extract, and almond milk and combine.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just moistened.
Gently mix in the blueberries and almonds by hand.
Spoon batter into paper-line or greased muffin tins.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool five minutes and serve warm!

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! 🙂

Good morning sunshine!

1029091053I guess technically it’s afternoon now. Regardless, I love the early morning and I LOVE my great big mug – or bug as I shall refer to it from now on –  and I love tea with milk and honey! This morning was particularly lovely because not only did I get to enjoy a steaming bug of tea, but I also remembered I had a loaf of Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bread that I made and saved for a rainy day in my freezer. HOORAY!

So I defrosted a few pieces, sliced up an apple to enjoy with it and snuggled up on my couch to watch the Rachel Ray Show, which I do when I can in hopes of finding inspiration for an upcoming meal.


Delicious & Nutritious

Anyway, this last week has been kind of lame for me. I’ve been working nights all week and have hardly had any time to cook anything at all. And that, my friends, makes me sad. 🙁

In the upcoming weeks,however, I plan to take culinary journeys to Germany, Jamaica, England, and maybe even a brief trip to Texas. I’m also hoping to snag an interview with someone who – for the time being – shall remain nameless because I don’t know if I can get it. FINGERS CROSSED! So be on the lookout for new posts containing interviews and new, scrumptious recipes! I can’t wait to get cooking again!