It really doesn’t get better for me than muffins, for several reasons. They bake all at once, they’re portable, they can be healthy, they can be a part of any meal (muffin with soup for dinner? Muffin with fruit for breakfast?), and both the kids and the adults in the house can happily (and healthfully) partake. What’s not to love?
Scones are comforting. Like how mashed potatoes are comforting? That’s how scones are to me. They aren’t so sweet like a cookie, or bread-y like a biscuit. They are so good with hot tea or coffee, and they’re somehow fancy but not the least bit pretentious.
A re-do for updated photography, these have been on my blog for years and are my go-to for biscuits. I made them recently for when my cousins and their kids came for a playdate in the mid-morning. There may have been some cinnamon honey butter (just beat softened butter with a pinch of kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and about a tbsp. of honey until smoothly blended) to go along and everyone was happy – kids and mom alike.
In level 1 cooking one of the first thing we talked about was how to understand a recipe. See, the thing is, if you understand how to read a recipe and how to do what the recipe tells you, you can cook. This muffin recipe supports and exemplifies that statement – let me explain.
I’m a bargain shopper by nature, so it was hard to pass up zucchini being sold for 25 cents at my local farmers’ market recently. But buying an apocalyptic supply of zucchini left me with one tiny problem: What the heck could I do with all of it? If you remember these zucchini turkey burgers from way back, you already know that grated zucchini both inspires and challenges me. So now that I snuck zucchini onto your dinner plate, I’d thought I’d take on breakfast. Ergo: Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.
OK, so scones are the best. In college I used to end almost every day with a cinnamon chip scone and a chai latte (and then I gained ten pounds). For other people it was beer, for me it was scones. They still have a place in my life, but more like 1 every few weeks. Nothing beats a warm, fresh scone. I will tell you how to make them ahead and freeze them so they’re ready to go when the occasion calls.
I love scones. When I needed a big batch of “can’t miss” scones that would be crowd pleasing, I’d go to epicurious.com for this recipe – I’ve made these at least five times over the years. I figured I might as well share it on here, then in the future I can find it a lot easier! These would be perfect if you’re having guests in town for the upcoming holiday – make ahead and freeze them, just reheat the morning of.
We eat a lot of smoothies in our house so we have a LOT of bananas in the freezer. I snagged three before the latest banana freeze and hid them behind the TV on the kitchen counter (I’ve tried notes – hiding is better). Tessa and I kept an eye on them and waited patiently until they were appropriately speckled.
There are times to sub whole-wheat for white and cut the sugar in half. When you bff has a new baby and is struck with a vicious spinal headache so badly that she can’t sit up from her bed, it is not one of those times. It’s the time to make a muffin that could totally be frosted and served at birthday parties.
I’ve had a revelation! We should all eat like babies. Seriously, babies have wonderfully healthy diets. They don’t eat sugar, they enjoy small portions of high fat dairy, lean meat and fish, whole grains, and fruits and veggies. It’s seriously the way we all should eat! These muffins pass the baby health test (as well as the taste test), which means they are FANTASTIC for you. Yes YOU, not just your kids.
A while back I tasted an almond flour banana bread at my friend Brianna’s house and let me tell you, it was memorable. I knew a bag of almond flour was on the expensive side so I was waiting for a reason to bake gluten free; well now I have a reason so let’s get started (I promise not to only make gluten free recipes – and I also promise to compare them in flavor to non-gluten free baked goods).
I loved raisin bran as a teenager; I’d graduated from the sugary stuff and felt quite healthy and mature eating a cereal that touted nutrition. While meandering the organic aisle one day at the grocery store I saw a Bob’s Red Mill bag of “wheat bran”, which is the outer shell of the wheat kernel, removed during processing to make “white flour”. The bran holds most of the fiber and a lot of minerals; a whole bag of the stuff? Nice. You can cook it up like oatmeal but it’s fairly gritty – I like it best added to yogurt and cereal the same way I add ground flax, wheat germ or chia seeds. Needless to say I usually have a bag on hand, and you can’t make bran muffins without it so I suggest you get some!
This recipe comes directly from my “kitchen equipment” unit in level 1 cooking. We were learning about the pastry blender, as well as the term “cutting in”. I’ve said this before but if you beef up your knowledge of kitchen terms and recipe reading, you’ll blow the door to cooking wide open.
These little guys are a hybrid blend of sweet scones and flakey, fluffy biscuits. With the jam center and some fresh whipped cream and strawberries, they’re a simple and adorable dessert.
I just love muffins. Done right, they’re the original 100-calorie packs but without any wasted packaging. Allow me to explain.You see, my friends, you needn’t fear the muffin. When you’re smart about your ingredients and mixins’, your muffins won’t tip the caloric scale. And paired with a nonfat latte (or the poor man’s latte I drink each morning which is coffee-milk you microwave about fifty-four times), you’ve got a high-fiber, high-protein grab-and-go meal.
Lemon Blueberry is my favorite non-chocolate combo (let’s face it, chocolate pb, choco banana, choco mint, choco hazelnut – all better than anything with fruit). Easy to put into pancakes but I hadn’t yet tried it in a scone. As we almost always have a bag of frozen wild blueberries from Trader Joe’s in our freezer, it was nice to know this spring/summer recipe could technically be made any time of the year. Frozen berries worked GREAT.
I had a really great food experience last Sunday. I woke up at 7:30, attended church at 9, and entertained friends for brunch at 10:45. Brunch included warm, quiche-like breakfast casserole, lemony-dressed mixed greens, and warm-from-the-oven scones. It probably seemed like I’d been slaving all morning, but I was cool as a cucumber as I sat down with my friends to eat.
There are two styles of cornbread; southern cornbread isn’t sweet and pairs well with most barbecue southern dishes – chili, ribs, pulled pork, etc. Northern style cornbread is sweeter and lighter. Maybe it’s because I’m a PA girl or maybe just that I like things sweet, but these honey corn muffins, most definitely “northern”, are one of my very favorite things to have around the house.
I bet you have these ingredients on hand; I bet you 20 dollars. I’m not a betting girl but there are only 5 ingredients needed here, so I figure it’s safe. Do you want to feel like an old timer Puritan woman (or man)? Make these biscuits with dinner tonight. The house will smell INCREDIBLE and your people will love you.
I have something to confess that you might already know. I am not good with technology. If it wasn’t for my brother in law Tom starting this, teaching me how to use it, and fixing all the problems, there’d be no homebeccanomics. There is a reason I’m telling you this…