Monday, February 29, 2016

#MuffinMonday ~ Rosewater Banana White Chocolate Muffins



#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

For today's #MuffinMonday reveal day we were challenged to take a LEAP of faith for Leap Year and pick an ingredient we weren't familiar with or that we'd not used before in muffin form. I received some Rose Water awhile back from Nielsen Massey but hadn't used it yet and I thought this might be just the opportunity to test it out so I searched for a muffin recipe with rosewater. There aren't a whole lot that popped up, but this one sounded very intriguing to me (and I have a freezer full of overripe bananas that really need to be turned into muffins).

Lindsey and her "cheese" for the camera!

These muffins had great potential - we loved the texture and the bananas with the white chocolate chips, however the rosewater was very overpowering. You can smell them before the first bite, and the taste stays in your mouth for awhile afterwards - somewhat like when you accidentally inhale after spraying perfume! I would love to try these again, but would opt for about 1/4 tsp of the rosewater at most to start with and go from there.

See all the LEAP year muffins below:

Rosewater Banana White Chocolate Muffins form Sarah's Cucina Bella

Ingredients
1 large egg
1 cup milk
½ cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 TBS baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1/4 - 1 tsp rosewater (depending on how strong you want the flavor)
3 medium bananas, mashed
½ cup white chocolate chips

Topping
2 TBS cold unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 TBS all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, blend together the egg, milk, oil, rosewater, and mashed banana until evenly combined. In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet until just blended, then stir in the white chocolate chips until just mixed.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  4. In a small bowl, cut the butter into the brown sugar, flour and salt, until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle evenly over each of the 12 muffins.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven until golden. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins should come out cleanly.
  6. Remove from the oven. These can be enjoyed immediately, or stored in an airtight container for up to five days.


#SecretRecipeClub ~ Colcannon Soup


Welcome to the February Special Themed "Leprechaun and Bunnies" reveal day! We had an extra Monday this month so those who wanted to participate go to jump in and do a special reveal day - how could I pass up a St. Patrick's Day / Easter Secret Recipe Club event focusing on corned beef hash, anything green, etc. and / or Easter with suggestions like carrot cake, spring dishes, etc.!

I was paired with the fantastic blog "Dancing Veggies" for today and I had so many options!! Here are a couple that grabbed me right away during my searches: St. Patrick's Day CookiesColcannon SoupSpinach and ShellsPasta PrimaveraCarrot Cake Cake Pops, and I could keep going!


This soup was really fantastic - it really grew on me and reheats very well. I pureed most of the initial mix, but left a few chunks of the potato along with the cabbage that is added in after the puree. We thought it could use a touch more salt but didn't want to increase the added seasoning so put a sprinkling of crisped bacon on top - delicious! Happy St. Patrick's Day and Easter (almost)!


Colcannon Soup from Dancing Veggies

Ingredients
2 TBS EVOO

1 TBS oregano 
2 tsp thyme 
1 small onion, diced 
1 TBS minced garlic
3 lbs potatoes, washed well and cubed
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
3 cups chopped cabbage


Instructions
  1. Heat the EVOO in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds stirring frequently. Add the onion and garlic and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, until the onion begins to brown.
  2. Add the potatoes and allow to slightly brown before adding the stock, water, and half the cabbage. Bring to a quick boil then cover and turn heat to low, simmering for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the cover and use an immersion blender to break down the soup to your desired consistency. Add the remaining cabbage, along with additional liquid if a thinner soup is desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serving suggestion: Top with crisped, chopped bacon pieces.





Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Knorr's Mexican Rice and Beef Tacos


This is a very quick and easy weeknight dinner idea using ingredients I typically have on hand, and a Knorr's Fiesta Sides™ - Mexican Rice package. This month for my AllRecipes AllStar assignment I had the privilege of working with Knorr's easy and tasty rice side dishes!


I really liked the way the meat and rice mixture came out - it was hard to not just sit and eat it with a spoon at the stove... which I didn't... much. My son wants this mixture as nachos tonight for dinner, and I think it would make a fantastic rice casserole dish with some tortilla chips served on the side.


Knorr's Mexican Rice and Beef Tacos from AllRecipes

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 (5.4 ounce) package Knorr® Fiesta Sides™ - Mexican Rice
2 cups water
1 TBS taco seasoning

taco shells
desired toppings: shredded cheese, diced tomato, shredded lettuce, sour cream, etc.

Directions

  1. Combine ground beef with the peppers and onions in a large nonstick skillet, cook over medium high heat until ground beef is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are tender. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper. 
  2. Stir in water, Knorr(R) Fiesta Sides(TM) - Mexican Rice, taco seasoning (to taste) and diced tomato and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 7 minutes or until rice is tender.
  3. Spoon into taco shells and serve, if desired, with your favorite taco toppings such as sour cream, shredded cheese, diced tomato, and shredded lettuce.
DISCLAIMER:
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I am not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.

Products received from sponsors are only used for experienced-based reviews on Making Miracles. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely my opinion.



Monday, February 22, 2016

#SecretRecipeClub ~ Apple Oat Muffins


Welcome to the February 2016 Group D reveal day for Secret Recipe Club! I hope you will take a moment to visit the Secret Recipe Club if you've never heard of it before - it is a wonderful group of food bloggers who are given a secret assignment of another member's blog each month and our goal is to pick ANYTHING from their blog to make and post about on our designated reveal day.


For this month I received the lovely Karen's blog "Lavendar and Lovage". Please do yourself a favor and take a moment to visit Karen and just lose yourself for a little while in the gorgeous photos and tantalizing recipes. Karen is someone I so wish I could travel through the computer to have an afternoon tea and chat with!



I started working on narrowing down a few ideas - look at a few of these amazing options I had to choose from! Chicken and Pearl Barley Stew, Baked Lemon Chicken with Saffron, Healthy Three Cheese Macaroni Cheese Gratin, Cappuccino Pancakes with Bananas, Coffee Shop Style Banana Bread, Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup, Scrambled Eggs on Oatcakes, Tomato and Garden Herbs Omelet, Sticky Pulled Chicken Sliders, Homemade Lemon Curd, Old Bay Shrimp in Wine with a Spicy Creamy Dip... I really need to stop looking at food blogs before I've even eaten breakfast.



My adorable baby assistant insisted on helping with photographs and taste testing. She's such a good little helper. She sees the camera and must jump in front of it!



I included Karen's original ingredient list below and what I used in parentheses next to it since I converted most of the ingredients into cups instead of grams. My muffins came out so tasty - we couldn't decide if they were the perfect breakfast muffin, snack, afternoon tea muffin, dessert... these are definitely hybrids and you can use them for any time of day, in any type of way. The consistency is dense, moist, with some bounce to the dough as well - chock full of lovely grated apple and a nice chew from the oats as well. They are very lightly sweet which makes them great for any time of day. I think a nice addition would be some cinnamon, and maybe even a little bit of brown sugar streusal on top. 



I hope you give them a try soon - we all loved these delicious treats!


Apple Oat Muffins from Lavender and Lovage

Ingredients
125g self raising flour (1 cup AP flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt)
75g wholemeal flour (1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
75g oats (3/4 cup oats)
50g light brown sugar (1/4 cup brown sugar)
2 medium apples cored and grated (I left the peel on mine)
50g low-fat spread (such as Flora) (3.5 TBS butter / margarine)
150mls skimmed milk (2/3 cup milk)
1 large egg 
2 tablespoons sour cream

extra oats for dusting

Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and line or grease a 12-muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the flours, oats and sugar together.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg, sour cream. Mix well but do NOT over mix.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin , milk and melted butter, blend on medium to medium-high speed until mixture is well combined and smooth. On low speed add in the dry mixture and grated apple. Only mix until combined, do not over mix.
  5. Evenly distribute batter between muffin cups (my muffin cups were each very full), then sprinkle extra oats over the top and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes (I baked for 20 minutes), until the muffins are well risen and golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.




Friday, February 19, 2016

#FishFridayFoodies ~ Oven Baked Chowder


Welcome to my second posting for #FishFridayFoodies! This week we are sharing a seafood soup or stew recipe. Incorporating lean healthy seafood more regularly into my diet has been a goal of mine for awhile now, so when the lovely Wendy from A Day In The Life On The Farm suggested this group recently I was quick to raise my hand and jump on in! Inspiration and encouragement to try new delicious seafood recipes out? Yes please! Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies?  We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month.  To join our group please email Wendy at wendyklik1517@gmail.com. This month our lovely hostess is Stacy of Food Lust People Love.




This recipe is pretty dang amazing. I've never made a seafood soup or chowder before - I've made other types of chowder (potato, etc.) but not a fish version. I LOVE clam chowder and it is always a must have for me whenever we get back to Washington state for a visit with family. I have fond memories of the fast food restaurant Skippers there (which I've never seen anywhere else) because I loved their clam chowder. There are several great restaurants for chowder along the pier in Seattle too and I usually get a bowl on my Pike Place Market visit day. When I searched seafood soup recipes I saw this oven baked fish chowder and my curiosity was piqued. Oven baked sounded very easy, and a fish chowder sounded like something I could probably handle. 



In two simple baking steps, the vegetables are baked in the broth with some salt for seasoning, and the second half hour the pre-seasoned fish fillet pieces are added in and baked as well. The warmed cream is stirred in at the end. The process is very simple. Once your vegetables are prepped, there is very little hands on work leaving you plenty of time to do some dishes, play with your kiddos, watch some TV, sip some wine, or whatever else your heart may desire! I love how low maintenance this recipe is. And the result is a mild broth, light on the cream, but full of well cooked vegetables and a delicate white fish flavor (I used flounder - I could definitely taste "fish" but didn't find it overly "fishy"). This lovely simple chowder would pair perfectly with a glass of white wine and a crusty loaf of fresh baked french bread. Yumm. I'm so glad I tried this recipe - thank you for the inspiration Stacy! If you like more seasoning, feel free to season to taste after adding in the cream at the end. I thought the simple broth was perfect!


Oven Baked Chowder from Good Dinner Mom

Ingredients
¾ to 1 pound mild white fish (such as tilapia, flounder, or cod) about one inch thick, cut into large bite sized chunks
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon paprika
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2½ cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth (I used vegetable)
1 tablespoon butter, cut in small chunks
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup diced bell pepper (diced small)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 TBS dried parsley

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Season the fish with ½ teaspoon salt and paprika. Put it back in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. In 2-quart sized baking dish, combine the potatoes, carrots, celery and onion with remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Spread out evenly in the baking dish.
  4. Pour the chicken or vegetable broth over vegetables, evenly sprinkle the butter on top. Add the bay leaf.
  5. Cover the baking dish tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the fish and the red pepper and return pan to the oven, covered, for another 30 minutes until the fish is just cooked through and easily flakes apart with a fork.
  7. Gently heat the heavy whipping cream (I heated in a pan on the stove top over medium heat just until warm) and stir into the chowder.
  8. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. 





Thursday, February 18, 2016

#BundtBakers ~ Six Pound Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake


BundtBakers

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page. Our lovely hostess this month is Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook and she chose the theme of Cinnamon!


I had sticking issues this month - I didn't remember to flour my pan before adding batter so there was a decent chunk of my cake that the top didn't want to come loose. Sigh. There is so much sticky yummy brown sugar in this cake that it really wanted to adhere to the pan and not let go. I had about 1/3 of the cake that looked pretty good still - so you get some photos of that part of the cake!! I will definitely be attempting this cake again and better prepping the pan because it is really delicious. It is very much coffee cake like in texture and flavor and has the added bonus of lovely chocolate chips throughout. The brown sugar creates quite a crunchy crust along the top and bottom of this cake, and is gently swirled throughout the actual cake as well. It created a few pockets in my cake as well as it baked! I love the texture, moistness, and density of the cake.

Apparently this cake weighs approximately 6 lbs when baked - hence the name. It is 6 lbs of yummy!


And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:


Six Pound Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake from Broma Bakery
 
Ingredients

For the cake:
1 cup vegetable oil
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
12 ounces sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the filling:
1 cup medium/dark brown sugar
1½ tablespoons cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour a large bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Fold the dry mixture carefully into the wet ingredients until everything begins to come together.
  4. Add the chocolate chips to the mixture, then continue to fold until just combined. Be careful not to over mix - some lumps are ok.
  5. In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. 
  6. Pour half of the prepared batter into the well greased and floured bundt pan and smooth using the back of a spoon or a spatula. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture over the batter and swirl gently into batter using a fork. Pour in the second half of the batter on top and swirl the rest of the brown sugar mixture into it.
  7. Bake for 55-60 minutes in the preheated oven until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Allow to cool in the bundt pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate.



Monday, February 15, 2016

Double Chocolate Snack Cake



We love this quick easy chocolate snack cake - and I loved the chance to make it in these pretty heart design cupcake liners with this beautiful set I received to test and review. I have used the baking tray a couple times now and really like how sturdy it is compared to my other silicone tray - it's not nearly as bendy. It washes well in the dishwasher.


This pretty set includes a very nice sturdy silicone baking pan along with a pastry brush, spatula, and the cupcake liners. This is a terrific gift idea for your favorite baker!


Double Chocolate Snack Cake

Ingredients
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vinegar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour square pan, 8 x 8 x 2 inches.
  3. In small mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  4. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla; beat with mixer until smooth.
  5. Pour into prepared pan.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top.
  7. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan on wire rack.
  9. Cut into squares.
Can be served cool as a snack, or warm with ice cream for dessert.



*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Smooth Viking for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

#Review ~ Marvel Valentine's Hearts and Lollipops!



I received this via Tomoson to test out - my 2 1/2 year old decided she definitely wanted in on the review process!! Lindsey chewed on the edges and decided she was done with it - but she definitely liked the fun shape and bright colors.


This makes a great gift idea for Valentine's day for girls, boys, and grown up Marvel lovers (ahem - sister Kylie). :)


About the Product

  • Valentines Day Gift Set - Marvel Avengers Iron man, Captain America, Thor, hulk) Heart Shaped Box of 6 Premium Assorted Filled Chocolates. Crispy Chocolaty Hearts. 2 assorted styles.
  • 5 Carnival Swirl/Striped Star Shaped Lollipops which will bring a happy smile to any child.
  • Perfect Valentines Day gift for kids, Boys and Girls will love these Carnival Lollipops and Chocolates.
  • Perfect gift for a child, son, grandson, granddaughter and daughter.
  • Teacher and Classroom friend or child gift.







Saturday, February 13, 2016

#Review ~ Yummi Gear Divided Lunch Boxes



I received this to test via Tomoson and they've come in very handy around the house. Perfect for packing lunches to take to work, snacks for the car, and Lindsey has a great time using them to put her toys in while playing in her play room. She likes to pretend "cook" in them as well with her play food. The compartments are a good size, and the colors are fun and bright. They hold a lot and are very versatile containers!


Product Information

  1. Fun boxes for lunch - the lids are easy for kids to open! Great for lunch anywhere!
  2. Lid stays securely on the container, while still being easy to open.
  3. 3 compartments (9.4
  4. Microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe.
  5. Set of 4 containers with lids.





*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Smooth Viking for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.