Monday, April 28, 2014

Black forest Ham and Swiss Sliders with mustard poppy seed topping

This past weekend I threw a baby shower for my good friend. The food turned out delicious and I wanted to share the menu with you. My next few posts will be dedicated to some of the best dishes I have found to share at your next party or family/friend get together... hope you enjoy!
Recipe: Black forest Ham and Swiss sliders
Recipe source: Emmy in her Element

2 packages Hawaiian sweet rolls (white or wheat are both delicious!)
1 package deli ham (I used black forest from Costco)
Swiss Cheese sliced (Jarlsberg is always my favorite swiss)
Poppy seed topping:
1 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon poppy seed
Slice the tops off of the rolls and set aside. Add 1-2 slices of black forest ham, and 1 slice of Swiss cheese on top. Replace tops of rolls and add the sandwiches to a cookie sheet close together. Prepare topping by whisking together ingredients and spoon over the tops of the rolls. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let the topping set while the oven warms. Cover rolls with tin foil and place in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is all melted. Remove the foil for the last 2 minutes of baking time to crisp up the tops. Serve warm.
I imagine this recipe could be played around with as far as fillings go... maybe turkey and Swiss or cheddar? Gouda.... oh my!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

{Greek Yogurt} Banana Oat muffins *FLOUR FREE but you would never guess it!*

Do you have some rapidly aging bananas on your counter? Me too! I was craving muffins today and decided to put my old-ish bananas to good use.
These little delights are moist, packed with flavor and very filling. They give you a little boost of energy and are perfect to grab and go... you know like on those Saturday mornings when you have a soccer game to be to?
A lot of gluten free breads I have tried are dry and crumbly. These flour free muffins are moist, fluffy and delicious, not to mention totally healthy! If you are making these GF for a friend, make sure and use gluten free oats.
Happy snacking!
Recipe for Greek Yogurt Banana Oat Muffins
Recipe from: Emmy in her Element
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I use vanilla)
1/3 cup oil (can use sunflower, vegetable, or olive)
1/2 cup low fat milk or almond milk
1/2 cup honey (warmed for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave to help it thin and incorporate easier)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar (this is optional but it makes them a little sweeter)
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 1/4 cups oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ripe banana's mashed
   chopped walnuts or pecans
 This recipe calls for oat flour. Don't have any? THAT'S OK! Here's how I made mine...
Take about 2 cups of oats and pour them into your food processor. Pulse for about 20-30 seconds until the oats have been blended into a thick flour looking like this...
 This will give you your 1 1/2 cups of oat flour!
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix egg, yogurt, honey, milk, vanilla and oil in a large bowl. Add 1 1/4 cup oats and let sit for a moment while you make your oat flour. This will help the oats soften and plump up as they soak in the liquid.
Make your oat flour and measure out 1 1/2 cups of it. You may have a tablespoon or two extra to discard. Take your oat flour and to that add salt, soda, baking powder, brown sugar  and cinnamon.
Slowly incorporate into wet ingredients until mixed. Add your mashed bananas and chopped walnuts and stir until incorporated. I like to save a little bit of my walnuts to sprinkle on top of the muffins along with some oats to make them look pretty...
Spoon into a pam-greased muffin tin. The batter should make exactly 12 muffins.
Bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown on top and toothpick tests clean.
These muffins could be made many ways. 
 I think next I will try to making them with chopped up Granny Smith Apples so they will warm up and soak in flavor just like the apple oatmeal! Oh and maybe a version with mini chocolate chips? Yummy...
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to make your own Chick-hatching Easter {DEVILED} eggs

Happy Easter Sunday everyone. I hope you have a beautiful day! I will be spending my day growing spiritually, enjoying time with family and of course devouring a delicious feast. One of my favorite recipes for Easter is for deviled eggs turned chick! I have a super easy recipe to share with you that is fun and fast.
Want to make it even faster? Boil or bake your eggs the night before.
If you aren't a fan of boiling eggs... try this fast mess free tip! They will turn out perfect every time.
Place eggs in a cupcake tin, and bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let cool, store in the refrigerator until you need them. Peel and enjoy!
Recipe- 8 Deviled chick eggs- See pictures below for process
Recipe Source: Emmy in her Element
8 eggs, hard boiled or baked (see above). Peel and cut 1/3 of the top off the egg.
8 egg yolks from boiled eggs
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. light mayo (Best Foods is my favorite)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch of sugar (this helps balance the salty tangy flavors)
1/3 teaspoon white vinegar
pinch of onion powder
{chick embellishments}
1 can chopped black olives
2 small carrots
Cut the top third of the egg off and add yolks to a bowl. Now turn the egg over and make a very small cut (1/4 inch in thickness or less) of the bottom of the egg, as to help it stand on the plate without tipping over. Keep this small piece of egg to add to the top of your chick heads.
Place hollow eggs on a plate surrounded with spinach.
Mix yolks and all ingredients in a bowl. Use mixer to whip together if you want a very smooth consistency. Add filling into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe deviled mixture into eggs making a circular motion at the top.
For the embellishments, use olives and carrots for the beak. Just slice a few pieces into a triangle shape. Now place the extra bottom pieces of egg that you cut off on the tops to look like the eggs are hatching. VoilĂ ! All finished. Store in the fridge and chill until ready to serve.



If you want to skip the chick look and go for something a little more "adult"... here is another option! Do everything the same and leave out the embellishment part. They look beautiful!
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2 simple tips that will change the look of your pie crust


I love to make pies and find so much satisfaction in sharing something beautiful that I put love into and made myself. I'll tell you though, pie making did not come naturally to me. It has taken practice and patience... and yes a few tear drenched crusts have been tossed in the trash...
So today, I want to share with you a couple of tips I have learned to make a beautiful top crust on my pies. The best part, they are easy tips that will make for a much prettier end result.
 TIP 1: Instead of exposing the top crust to the hot oven for the total time of baking, try cutting a small piece of tin foil and lightly placing it on the top of your pie. Bake for 1/2 the time, open the oven and pull it off (use a hot pad). Toss the foil and let your top crust beautifully brown for the other half of the bake time. Its a small tip that makes a big difference.
TIP 2: Always add a wash on top of your pies to help them be golden. Without the wash, your crust will stay a whitish color, the same as your dough looks. My Grandmother has always used a cream and sugar wash, and I always go with the traditional egg wash. It's easy just crack 1 egg in a cup, and add about a teaspoon of water. Whip with a fork until fluffy. Brush this wash onto your crust, and then sprinkle sugar over the top. The wash helps the sugar stick. Keep sprinkling all over the crust as a little will dissolve into the wash. Bake your pie and when you pull it out, you will see pretty parts of it where the sugar sparkles. It adds a wonderful rusticity to the pie.
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