Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

DSC_0234This month is both flying by, and at the same time, can’t move fast enough! I have been living in two different places, and that in itself is quite frazzling. We are in the middle of packing up the house, getting errands done before moving, packing, planning, job preparation, packing, and oh, did I mention that it’s my birthday next weekend?! Yeah. Things are nuts in our neck of the woods.

However, when life wasn’t as crazy as it is now, back in August, my mother paid me a visit. She came down, we went to Shakespeare in the Park, saw A Comedy of Errors, went to the Alberta Birds of Prey Center, and went to dinner. The next morning, we were puttering around before the Birds of Prey Center, and I wanted something slightly sweeter for breakfast.DSC_0233

I took to Pinterest, and found these doughnut muffins, which were extremely simple to make, very fast, and delicious! They definitely reminded me of both doughnuts and muffins, so they screamed breakfast.DSC_0232

Ingredients

Yield: 12 muffins

For the muffins:

1½ c. flour
½ c. sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
½ c. milk
1/3 c. butter, melted and cooled

For the topping:

1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
5 tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease muffin cups with miracle cake release, or line with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk, vanilla, and melted butter, and mix well to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, and bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Dip muffins in melted butter, then cinnamon sugar mixture, then cool completely.

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Sourdough Pasta

Wow. It’s been almost three weeks since I’ve posted. Let me update you with what has been happening, because there has been a LOT of changes in my life since my last post.

Okay! The craziest part of the last few weeks is that I got a teaching job! But I’m getting ahead of myself. Paul went camping for a few days. During that, my mom came down to visit, and Paul came back from camping for a day to go to a wedding we were invited to. After he went back to his camping site, I heard that there was a job opening for an English teacher from my old high school English teacher at the school she is currently working at! Paul encouraged me to apply, and I did. I applied for the job on the weekend, and on the Monday I got a call for a job interview. Sure enough, Tuesday, I started work. I went to a Professional Development Day on Tuesday, had a Teacher Prep day on Wednesday, and on Thursday was the first day of classes. I had two days to prepare for a brand new job!

The only downside is that the job is in Brooks. Still, Paul has been the most supportive person in the world, and after encouraging me to apply at a school in a different city, is all for moving with me. I’m so lucky. Either way, since the end of August, I’ve been spending the weekdays in Brooks, and the weekend in Lethbridge. It’s been a lot of driving, a lot of planning, and a lot of stress, so I haven’t had time to blog much at all.

Either way, I found a new use for my sourdough starter, and it is AWESOME. I made the pasta twice in a few days, because Paul liked it so much he asked me to make the pasta again. It is so good!

Ingredients

Yield: About 6-8 servings of pasta

2 c. flour
2 eggs
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ c. sourdough starter (discard is fine)
1-2 tbsp. water, as needed

In a small mixing bowl, combine the eggs and oil and whisk until combined.

In the bowl of a mixer, or a large mixing bowl, place the flour. Add the egg mixture into the flour, then add the sourdough starter.

Mix the liquid into the flour. Add a few drops of water, a little at a time, until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough until it becomes cohesive. Cover the dough with an overturned bowl and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.

When the dough has rested, cut into four pieces, and run through pasta rollers, one piece at a time. Run through to the fourth or fifth setting. Flour it as necessary to prevent it from sticking.

Switch to a pasta cutter. Run the rolled pasta through the cutters, then transfer to a pot of salted boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Toss in your favourite sauce, and serve.

Lemon Rhubarb Bundt Cake

I found something amazing to do with some of the rhubarb my parents gifted to me! This cake was the perfect option. It is sweet, tart, lemony, moist, and has a beautiful splash of rhubarb right in the middle.

You know me by now, and when friends come over, I love to have some baked goods of some kind to offer them. If I don’t have anything prepared and friends come over to visit, I actually feel bad! I’ve built up a bit of a reputation in that I always have something delicious to munch on if we have visitors, and if I don’t live up to the name, there’s a little bit of guilt.

Well, a friend of mine came over last night for a dinner/movie date. We made dinner, I made dessert, and then we just caught up over a movie and just had some relaxation time. It was awesome. I was looking for a sweet treat for dessert, and I had a ton (and I mean a TON) of rhubarb in my freezer. Bless those parents of mine, they gave me so much!

I took to Pinterest, and found this eye-catching recipe. It looked amazing, used mostly pantry staples, and seemed to yield some delicious results. Boy, were my expectations lived up to! This cake is phenomenal. It’s got a little bit of tartness, some sweet, and a whole lot of AWESOME. If you have some time, and some rhubarb, I highly suggest you go make this cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 Bundt cake

For the cake:

1 c. butter, softened
1¾ c. sugar
Zest of 1-2 lemons (I used the zest of 1 lemon, and about 2 tsp. of lemon juice)
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2½ c. + 2 tbsp. flour, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¾ c. buttermilk (or milk with 2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice mixed in)
3 c. diced rhubarb

For the glaze:

Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 c. icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (or use some Miracle Cake Release. 1:1:1 ratio of flour, vegetable shortening, and oil.) and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and lemon zest/juice and whip until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, combining after each addition. Add in the vanilla.

In a separate, medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour (the first amount), baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, ideally in 3 portions of each, until everything is fully incorporated.

Toss the rhubarb with the second measurement of flour to coat rhubarb evenly. Fold into the cake batter with a spatula.

Transfer cake batter into prepared pan, and smooth evenly with a spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Mine took even longer, because my oven tends to run a bit cool.)

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool about 30 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and let cool. If you glaze your cake while warm, the glaze will be a bit runnier, but you can still do this.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, and 2 c. of the icing sugar. Add more icing sugar for a thicker glaze, depending on how much juice you got from the lemon. (I needed to add an extra half-cup or so.) Pour the glaze evenly over the cake.

Slice, serve, and enjoy!

 

 

 

Peach Upside-Down Cake

This cake is a perfect summer dessert! I haven’t turned on my oven very much, but the weather is finally cooling off a bit, so I can turn on my oven and not feel as guilty (or as warm!)

Paul made us dinner last night, and we invited some dear friends over. When we went to Jamaica, we tried authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken and fell in love. It’s delicious! Spicy, slightly charred, moist, jerk chicken is totally worth it. Well, being the chef he is, Paul found some Jerk spice to bring home and try to replicate that authentic Jamaican flavour. Well, friends, let me tell you, he succeeded!

It was Paul’s first time using the spices, so it was a bit of an experiment, but apparently there is a method to making great jerk chicken. We actually asked around when in Jamaica about how to make our own jerk chicken at home, and they gave us an answer. Paul marinated the chicken for about 24 hours (the first step to great chicken!), then he started it in the oven in a jerk liquid (not part of the original cooking method, but he wanted to make sure the chicken was moist), then finished the chicken on the BBQ. The Jamaican natives said to cook the chicken over a wood-fired barbecue, but as we have an absence of mango wood in Canada (the preferred wood to make jerk chicken), he just went with the barbecue.

Like I said, it worked! Those flavours really brought me back to Jamaica, and it was incredible. He whipped up some Cajun-spiced rice, and some veggies, and oh boy did we ever have our own little feast. Now, in my mind, a “feast” or dinner party of any kind is not complete without dessert. I had went to the Farmer’s Market and found some delicious fresh peaches and wanted to use some in a dessert.

I took to Pinterest (like I said, addicted!) and found this recipe for a Peach Upside-Down Cake. It was super simple to whip up, and didn’t take very long at all. It requires pantry staples, so the only thing you might have to go out of your way to get are peaches, and this cake works well with fresh or frozen peaches. That means if you don’t have access to fresh B.C. grown peaches like I do, you can still make this delicious concoction with the frozen variety and it works just as well.

Okay, okay. I’ve been blathering on for long enough. We want cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8-9 inch cake (depending on pan used)

¼ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
1½ – 2 c. fresh or frozen peaches, sliced thinly (for fresh peaches, pit and peel the peaches before slicing)
1¼ c. flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. butter, softened
¾ c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In an 8 x 8 square baking pan or a round 9 inch cake pan (I used the round cake pan), place the first measurement of butter. Place pan in oven and let butter melt, watching carefully so it doesn’t brown.

Once butter is melted, add in the brown sugar and mix with a spatula until all brown sugar is moistened and evenly spread across the bottom of the pan. Place peach slices in the brown sugar mixture, placing evenly. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the second measurement of butter and the sugar. Beat to combine until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla, and beat again.

Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, beating after each addition until just combined. Spread batter evenly over peaches in the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack in pan for about 5 minutes, then invert onto serving tray. Cool for 10-15 minutes more. Serve warm.

Bread Machine White Bread

When you want fresh bread, but you don’t want to turn on the oven, a breadmaker is the perfect solution. It only heats up around the bread, so the heat doesn’t seep into your kitchen. Perfect! I was able to make this bread in 30+ weather and my house kept as cool as it can.

After the bread was finished, we made awesome BLT’s with the homemade bread. When bread takes you five minutes to prepare (and in prepare, I mean dump everything into the breadmaker), what’s not to love! You even end up with fresh bread, which is amazing, and that fresh bread smell, which is phenomenal!

I found the original recipe here, and the first time I made this bread it rose so much it hit the top of the breadmaker. The second time I made it, I completely forgot to blog about it! In the comments of the original recipe, someone cut the recipe to make a perfectly sized 1.5 lb loaf. These are the measurements that I’ve listed below.

Ingredients

Yield: 1- 1.5 lb loaf

1 c. water
1½ tsp. salt
¼ c. olive oil
3 c. flour
2¼ tsp. yeast
2 tbsp. sugar

Combine ingredients in the order specified by your breadmaker. Set to 1.5 lb loaf, and doneness level for crust, and turn breadmaker to white bread setting.

My breadmaker is a Black & Decker, and it says to put wet ingredients in first, and flour and yeast after. I put in the water, salt and olive oil first. After, I added the flour, put the sugar in a corner, and made a small well for the yeast, then turned it on.

Let the bread mix, and bake, then enjoy!