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Banana Pecan Great Grains Muffins

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Oh, where has the time gone? So bad with posting this month, sorry. This is a great muffin recipe from the book, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. This has pretty much become my go to baking resource.

I love the maple syrup in these muffins, with the crunchiness of the cornmeal and oats. i used brown sugar instead of white and added banana to the original recipe. I also swapped out 1/2 cup of butter for applesauce. Instead of bananas, you could always used dried fruit like raisins or figs.

Banana Pecan Great Grains Muffins
Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan
1 cup AP flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pecans
1 ripe banana, mashed or sliced, depending on ripeness

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and spray a jumbo 6 count or 12 count muffin tin with non-stick spray.

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Combine the flours, cornmeal, oats, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

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In another bowl combine the buttermilk, syrup, . . . → Read More: Banana Pecan Great Grains Muffins

Spanish Potato Soup with Fried Almonds & Garlic

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Usually, I cook on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, but lately, Thursday nights have become have a glass of wine and make soup night. Last week it was Mushroom and Barley, last night, Potato Soup with Fried Almonds & Garlic. This wonderful recipe is from one of my new favorite cookbooks, The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen and I have to say, this soup is really, really good. So go make some!

The stock I used was from the chicken bones leftover from the most recent meal of Spanish Lemon Chicken with Honey and Saffron, which I can’t recommend enough. Make the chicken, save all the bones afterward, make stock and then make this soup. I had made the stock about a month ago and then stored it in the freezer. Defrosted it about a day and a half before I made the soup.

I added a little orange juice just to…well, because I had an orange and I like the combination of orange, almonds and garlic. Also I added just a pinch of dried thyme to the original recipe.

Spanish Potato Soup with Fried Almonds
Adapted from The New Spanish Table
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup whole marcona almonds . . . → Read More: Spanish Potato Soup with Fried Almonds & Garlic

Tasty French Apple Cake

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I don’t know what it was but last weekend I was totally into baking things in cake pans. I made a quiche (well, that was in a pie pan) but then also this cake. Oh! I remember why now, I have this new ginger apple hair conditioner that I have been using that smells so good. It totally made me want to bake something apple-y. Then I found the recipe for this cake and there you go.

Okay, originally, the topping recipe called for white sugar. I decided to do it with brown sugar for fun. Oh, it was fun. I also added walnuts and at the advice of many posters at the Food Network site, I increased the oven time a little bit.

The original recipe said to use “baking apples” — I opted for a mix of apples. I also found that 3 apples was quite enough, once sliced up. Speaking of which, slice the apples thinly, into wedges, like you were making an apple tart. They will bake up really nicely stacked up — you will “ooohhhh” and “ahhhhhh” once you cut into the cake!

Tasty French Apple Cake
Adapted from the Apple Lady Apple Cake in . . . → Read More: Tasty French Apple Cake

Chicken Provençal w/ Olives & Tomatoes

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This is an awesome, flavorful, pretty quick-to-make dinner. It works really well with defrosted, chicken breasts.

I’ve started buying the big bag of frozen chicken breasts at Trader Joe’s lately because they seem so much cheaper than the package of fresh breasts. I don’t use them for all my chicken needs but they are great to use here. I just put a couple of breasts in the fridge to defrost the day before I made this dinner.

I made a full sauce version (what’s listed below) with only two breasts. We have some leftover sauce but I’m sure I will find a use for it! Right now I’m thinking it’ll be a lunch this week with some grilled tuna and fennel. Mmmmm! (Another great use of frozen fish there).

Chicken Provençal w/ Olives & Tomatoes
Adapted from The CIA — Culinary Institute of America
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breasts, tenders reserved for another use
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried lavender
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced (I used the rest of a red onion I had in the fridge)
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 flat anchovy fillet, mashed to . . . → Read More: Chicken Provençal w/ Olives & Tomatoes

White Bean, Kale and Chorizo Soup

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I have been craving soups lately. This was one I made a couple of weeks ago when, to my delight, I realized I had almost all the ingredients required, minus the kale. S’okay. I walked to the store and got kale!

The original recipe (from the defunct, “Cooking Live” on Food Network) called for dried beans and 3 chorizo sausages. I used canned beans and a 2:1 ratio of turkey sausage to pork chorizo. My turkey sausage was raw, so I cooked that in link form and then sliced up (to avoid the casing shrinkage). My chorizo was cooked already, so I just chopped and browned that. Then, I started the soup in all the sausage drippings. Oh yeah, I added a couple of potatoes too.

The paprika, saffron and sherry vinegar totally rock this soup (and the spices give it a very pretty color!)

White Bean, Kale and Chorizo Soup
Recipe adapted from Sara Moulton
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
6 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
Pinch saffron threads
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Spanish chorizo sausages, about 3/4 pound, cut into 1/2-inch dice (or a mix of chorizo and turkey sausage — this is what I did, 2 turkey . . . → Read More: White Bean, Kale and Chorizo Soup