Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

Raspberry Mini Muffins {Valentine’s Day Treats}

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

I again lucked out and got assigned snack duty at the foodie tot’s preschool for Valentine’s week. Sure it was for Wednesday, but the impending snow storm made it likely that they won’t have school on the day of, anyway. I had picked up these cute Valentine’s heart mini cupcake liners so muffins were an obvious choice — and I thought a whole raspberry inside the muffin would go over well in a crowd of three-year-olds.

Valentine's Raspberry Mini Muffins | FoodieTots.com

I’m pleased to report that not only did the class enjoy them, the foodie boy yelled “It was AWESOME!” when asked about the surprise packed in his lunch box. These are sweet and simple, and I served them with some baby red pepper slices to continue the naturally red theme.

Recipe: Raspberry Mini Muffins

Adapted from Serious Eats
Makes 24 mini muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 24 raspberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or place liners in a 24 cup mini muffin tin.
  2. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and whisk until smooth. Stir in egg, milk and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. With a teaspoon, fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Place one raspberry, open side down, in each cup. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until edges are golden and a toothpick come out clean. Let cool in pan.

Raspberry Mini Muffins | FoodieTots.com

Looking for more naturally red Valentine’s inspiration? Here are a few more recipes from around the web.

Baked Maple Doughnuts {Crown Maple Review}

Friday, February 7th, 2014

There’s nothing like a snow day to get one craving something sweet, and making baked doughnuts lets me feel like it’s a slightly healthier choice than the fried versions. Even if I top it with a rich maple glaze. I hadn’t realized that maple bars were a West Coast thing until reading about an article about them a couple years ago. I can’t recall eating many doughnuts as a child, but realizing that something isn’t available where you now live has a way of spurring a sudden sense of nostalgia. Of course you can get maple doughnuts at Dunkin Donuts, but I’m not a fan of that chemical aftertaste that artificial maple extract imparts. So it’s safer to make my own maple glazed doughnuts at home. As I’ve said before, baked doughnuts are really just muffins in the shape of a doughnut, but the glaze transforms them into a special occasion treat.

Maple Doughnuts | FoodieTots.com

We were recently sent some maple syrups and maple sugar from Crown Maple, and I was eager to try out the maple sugar in some baked goods. Unlike the maple sugar crystals I’ve used before, Crown maple sugar is very fine in texture and gives the baked doughnuts just a subtle maple flavor while baking up light and moist with a great crumb. Just take a peek inside.

Baked Maple Dougnuts with Maple Glaze | FoodieTots

Recipe: Baked Maple Doughnuts with Pure Maple Glaze

Adapted from Shutterbean
Makes 6 doughnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the maple glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure maple extract*
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk

*Note: If you don’t have maple extract, use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. It won’t have as rich a maple flavor, but will still be delicious.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease doughnut pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and maple sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined.
  5. Scoop the batter into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off a corner and pipe batter into doughnut pan.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until top bounces back when poked. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.
  7. While doughnuts are cooling, whisk together the glaze ingredients using just enough milk to make it smooth but not so much that it’s runny. I made it slightly thinner and dipped the doughnuts in it, but you risk getting crumbs in the glaze that way. I’d recommend keeping it just thin enough to drizzle with a fork and drizzling it over the doughnuts.

Crown Maple Sugar Review | FoodieTots

About Crown Maple Syrup: Crown Maple Syrup is certified organic syrup produced from 25,000 sugar and red maple trees on an 800-acre sustainably-managed estate in New York’s Hudson River Valley. They use a unique reverse osmosis system to remove 90% of water from the sap before the evaporation process, resulting in an extraordinarily pure syrup. The syrups, available in light, medium, dark and extra dark amber, are pure and delicious drizzled on pancakes and waffles; I also like to use them in vinaigrette over salad and even in cocktails. You can visit Madava Farms, home of Crown Maple, on the weekends for a tour and tasting — and March is the peak tapping season to see it in action.

Disclosure: We received product from Crown Maple for review purposes; no other compensation was received and as always, all opinions are our own.

A Lighter Shade of Green for St. Patrick’s Day {Leprechaun Smoothies}

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

I’m not sure when St. Patrick’s Day became a national holiday nearly on par with Christmas. I know it can be a slow slog through the months of school between winter and spring breaks, but we still have a few stray pieces of Valentine’s candy around and now we’re in full-fledged leprechaun territory. And for kids, corned beef and cabbage has long since been supplanted with shamrock cookies and pots of gold. At least the chocolate is, well, slightly natural, but the barrage of bright rainbow-colored and artificially-dyed green treats flooding the internet frankly makes me nauseous. Even so, I wasn’t sure how my own little leprechauns would react to my latest green smoothie. Neither has touched avocado on its own since their first birthdays, though they will still dabble in guacamole occasionally. (I doubt anyone would suspect a toddler of being a rational being.)

leprechaun smoothie

Recently my five-year-old watched a VitaMix demonstration at the supermarket with rapt attention. When the woman placed handfuls of kale and spinach in the smoothie, he declared, “I LOVE kale and spinach!” Um, news to me, to say the least — but I determined to test his enthusiasm at home. And so my Leprechaun Smoothie was born — avocado, banana, orange juice and spinach. (According to the folks at Avocados from Mexico, a slice of avocado has a full gram of fiber — always something little ones can use more of.) Even if your kids load up on junk food the rest of the day, at least they can get a healthy start this St. Patrick’s Day.

st. patrick's day green smoothie

As for my leprechauns? They both demanded seconds. To quote my five-year-old, “I’ll die if you don’t get me some more smoothie immediately.” That’s better than a pot of gold to this mama.

Recipe: Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • several fresh spinach leaves

Instructions: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Makes 2 small servings or 1 large smoothie.

A few other healthy green options for St. Patrick’s Day:

(and if you really want to go even more naturally green, check out my “Eat More Kale {and Other Greens}” board on Pinterest.)

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! {and Yink’s Pink Ink Drink}

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

We’re big fans of Dr. Seuss around here. The boy has been looking forward to PBS Kids’ Cat-in-the-Hat-a-thon all week — and, he even has the day off school so he can camp out in front of the tv in his pjs to watch. Meanwhile, I made a Seuss breakfast: Lorax pancakes, green eggs and ham, and pink ink. You know, of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish:

This one, I think, is called a Yink.
He likes to wink, he likes to drink.
He likes to drink, and drink, and drink.
The thing he likes to drink is ink.
The ink he likes to drink is pink.
He likes to wink and drink pink ink. – Dr. Seuss

This breakfast smoothie is fast to whip up. And the best part — it’s all natural, no food dyes needed.

yink's pink ink drink

Recipe: Yink’s Pink Ink Drink

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

Instructions: Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth and frothy. Pour into glasses, add a straw, and enjoy! Makes 2 small smoothies.

natural green eggs and ham

What’s the most read Dr. Seuss book in your house? Ours is probably Green Eggs in Ham, but One Fish Two Fish gets a lot of air time as well. Most exciting is that the boy is just about ready to start reading them to us — can’t wait!

Toad-in-the-Hole with Crispy Kale {Happy Leap Day!}

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

One of my favorite breakfasts as a child was something so simple I’d nearly forgotten about it. It begins with an egg and a slice of toast, but is somehow elevated to something fancy when you stick the egg inside the toast. While I’ve since heard it called by various names, in my house it’s a toad-in-the-hole. (Oddly, I always assumed the name came from my English great-grandmother, but according to Simply Recipes, a British toad-in-the-hole is another dish entirely. The Pioneer Woman goes with the more descriptive “Egg-in-a-Hole.”)

toad-in-the-hole with crispy kale

I’m also a sucker for greens with my eggs, so when I spotted eggs with crispy kale on Pinterest I immediately gave it a try.* Fabulous. Hop on over to Happy Jack Eats for the recipe. As for the toad-in-the-hole, butter both sides of a piece of whole wheat sandwich bread. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut a circle out of the center. Put your skillet on over medium heat, add the toast (cook the cut-out circle on the side), and crack an egg into the center. Cover and cook about 2-3 minutes, until white is set, flipping for the last minute if you prefer your egg over easy.

(*Every time I type “crispy kale” I have to fight the urge to write “krispy kale.” I don’t want to get into a trademark battle with the doughnut chain, but wouldn’t that be something, a kale-centric breakfast food chain?)

Start your Leap Day off right with some frogs and greens, and enjoy the “extra” day!