Almond Poppy Seed Quick Bread

Quick breads are the best. You can throw all the ingredients together in one or two bowls, pour everything into a pan and leave it in the oven for an hour.  There is no annoying whipping of egg whites, chopping of fruit, boiling of sugar or spooning batter into little cups. So easy! And this recipe makes TWO loaves. So more for sharing. Nom.

Almond Poppy Seed Bread 2

I was really excited about this recipe because the only way I’ve ever eaten poppy seeds is in lemon poppy seed muffins. After this recipe, almond is my new favorite flavor.  Everyone who has tried it has had the same reaction: “OMG. Yum. Can I have another slice?”  I made this bread yesterday and one of the loaves is already gone… so if you are in a pinch and really want to impress your family with treat for Easter, make this!

Almond Poppy Seed Bread 4

Almond Poppy Seed Bread
Makes two 9×5″ loaves

Bread:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 1/3 cup canola oil
3 room temperature eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (I used almond milk, your favorite should be fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Glaze:
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 9×5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk  flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and poppy seeds. Set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, milk, and extracts until combined.

Using a wooden spoon, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the well and use the spoon or a rubber spatula to combine the ingredients. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. (Here, if your edges appear to be browning too quickly, top with aluminum foil midway through baking)

When the breads are finished in the oven, make the glaze: In a large bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and both juices until smooth and runny. Add the liquid slowly so the glaze doesn’t become too runny.

Run a butter knife along the edges of each pan, then invert the pans and remove the still-warm loaves. Place the loaves, right side up, onto serving plates and drizzle each one with the glaze. Cool completely before slicing.

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes

Almond Poppy Seed Bread 1

Fresh Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins with Orange Glaze

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins 1

Yay, muffins!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins 2

Fresh Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins with Orange Glaze
Makes 12 large muffins

Muffins:
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
3/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

Glaze:
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400º. Line 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray. In a small bowl, toss chopped strawberries with one tablespoon of flour, set aside. In small bowl, whisk together butter, milk, vanilla, almond extract and eggs, set aside. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined (do not over mix). Gently fold in strawberries and chocolate chips. Divide batter over 12 muffins (cups will be quite full).

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing from pan to cool on a cooling rack.

To make the glaze, whisk ingredients together until thick and smooth. Dip tops of completed cooled muffins into glaze or pour over the top. Allow to dry before eating, then enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Hidden Ponies

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins 3

Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread

Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread 1

After all the Christmas treats I thought it was time for a “healthier” snack.  I also needed to get rid of some grossly black bananas and the cranberries that have been sitting in my freezer since October.

I’m proud of this recipe. I usually am not able to combine ingredients in a way that produces edible food– I’m a recipe follower– but this time I remembered some of my mom’s tips about health-i-fying recipes and actually made something tasty.

The best part is, it’s not too bad for you, so you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating it for breakfast.

Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread
Makes one 9×5 loaf

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries**
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (can sub all-purpose or whole wheat, but the texture will be slightly different)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.  In a medium bowl, mix cranberries in flour, oats, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside

In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light-colored and fluffy.  Add applesauce and blend.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in mashed banana.  Add cranberry/flour mixture to shortening/sugar mixture and stir until just combined.  Spoon batter into prepared pan

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

**TIP: Any berry can be subbed in here! I imagine apple, peaches and mango would be great too.  Let me know in the comments how your experiments go.**

My recipe, inspired by Allrecipes

Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread 3

Zucchini Banana Bread

After all the cupcakes and cookies these past few weeks, I thought it was time for something a little lighter.  I was very happy with this simple bread- it could easily be eaten for breakfast, but it is sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth as a dessert too! You can make this healthier by substituting a half of the oil with applesauce and a quarter of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

Zucchini Banana Bread
Makes 1 9×5 loaf

1 medium zucchini, shredded, moisture squeezed out
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 1 c sugar (depending on how sweet you like your bread)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large or 2 small overripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9×5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk flour and baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.  In another bowl, combine sugar, eggs and oil and beat on high speed with a handheld until creamy and light.  Mix in mashed bananas and vanilla and beat until combined.  Stir in dry ingredients until incorporated and then stir in zucchini.  Pour batter into pan and bake for about one hour.

Recipe from Mehan’s Kitchen

Breakfast Pizza

Ever heard of the term “chick food”?  Well, this breakfast pizza isn’t it.

My boyfriend, Michael,  is visiting me from Chicago this weekend (yay!), and we’ve been having a great time.  We both love to eat (I bet you could have guessed that about me), so we are always trying new restaurants together.  This time around, we tried out a nearby Japanese noodle bar.  Great seafood pancakes and dumplings.

Anyway, choosing restaurants is always an easy feat for us, but eating in can be a bit more difficult. Michael is your typical meat-loving guy (and has also been nick-named the human garbage disposal due to his huuuuuge appetite), soI knew he wouldn’t be satisfied by my typical breakfast of quinoa with fruit and nuts (aka chick food). I knew I needed to make him something hearty, filling and packed with protein.  So breakfast pizza was born.

I made the dough the day before and made my own Hawaiian pizza with half of the crust.  I let the other half of the dough sit wrapped in the fridge overnight, and just rolled it flat the next morning.  Michael thought it was a great idea (though he still looked pretty disappointed when I told him I was out of bacon to add on top), and ate his entire half of the pizza in one sitting.

Success.

Breakfast Pizza

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust:
1 teaspoon white sugar (or honey)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

Toppings:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup prepared pizza sauce
Spices
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya)
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup thick ham, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 slices thick cut bacon, cook and cut into bite-sized pieces

Dough
In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water.  Sprinkle yeast over the top and let sit for about 10 minutes, or until foamy.  Stir in olive oil and salt, and then add flour.  Mix until just combined, and then transfer dough to a floured surface . Knead until dough becomes smooth and lump-free (about 10 minutes). Place into an oiled bowl, cover with saran wrap or a towel, and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.  When dough has doubled in size, punch dough down and place on  a floured surface.  At this point, divide dough into two equal parts if you want a thin crust pizza, leave whole if you want one large, thick crust. Form dough into one or two tight balls, and let sit for 45 minutes to rise, until doubled.   Roll dough out into a flat disc-shape and top with desired toppings.

Assembly
Preheat oven to 425F.  Brush olive oil over the top of dough, especially on the edges where the crust will be. Spread pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving 1/2-1 inch uncovered for the crust. Sprinkle sauce with desired spices (I used Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Feel free to use parmesan cheese here as well.) and then top with shredded cheese.  Top with ham and bacon; then crack raw eggs directly on top.  Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until egg whites are cooked.  Cut and serve immediately.

Crust recipe adapted from AllRecipes

Pina Colada Overnight Oats with Blueberries and Almonds

Overnight oats are all the rage right on food blogs right now.  There are tons of different variations, and let me tell you– I am obsessed with them.

The first time I tried, I wasn’t too sure about it– the only way I usually like my oatmeal is in Flourless Oatmeal Pancakes (or cookies), not the mushy stuff in the bowl.  BUT- I found that this recipe is really the perfect breakfast.

I always make these oats before bed, which totally eliminates my need to cook in the mornings!  I’ve been waking up a little bit later before work and just throwing this in my bag along with a spoon.  Since it’s summer where I really appreciate having a cold breakfast– even better that it’s super filling and nutritious!

P.S. These also couldn’t be any easier to make, try it!

Pina Colada Overnight Oats with Blueberries and Almonds
Serves 2

1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
1/2 cup almond milk (or soy, rice, hemp, cows etc.)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup pineapple chunks

Combine dry ingredients in a mason jar. Cover and shake well (if you combine all the ingredient at once, the chia seeds will not evenly disperse and will form big, sticky clumps throughout your oatmeal).  Add milks and honey, and cover and shake well again.  Refrigerate for at least five hours, and top with blueberries and pineapple chunks to serve.

VARIATIONS: you can go crazy with substitutions for this recipes, but here are some fun ideas!

  • Chocolate Raspberry Almond- Replace all milk with almond milk, omit shredded coconut, add one tablespoon of cocoa powder, replace blueberries and pineapple with raspberries and chocolate chips.
  • Banana Coconut- Replace pineapple with banana, coconut milk with almond milk, top with whipped cream and banana slices
  • Apple Cinnamon- Replace fruit with chopped apples, omit coconut, replace coconut milk with almond milk, add 1/4 cinnamon, omit honey, drizzle with caramel topping

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Would I ever be willing to die for blueberry muffins?  Probably not.  The name, however, did catch my eye, and they turned out to be delicious (almost good enough to die for, but I’m pretty young so I’m gonna stick with the statement that at this point in my life, I would not die for any  muffin.  Check back with me about this in a while).

I found these on AllRecipes and they were pretty easy to make dairy free- I just substituted almond milk and Earth Balance where necessary and the muffins turned out soft, light and scrumptious.  I thought I was being creative and smart in substituting brown sugar for white in the crumble but next time I think I will try white sugar and hopefully the tops will come out with a prettier color.

I really like this recipe because the batter is thick and holds the blueberries in place like glue.  You don’t have to worry about all of the blueberries sinking to the bottom of the batter, they will be spread evenly throughout!  Just follow the instructions, and you’ll just get beautiful, cake-y, delicious blueberry muffins, every time.

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Makes 8 jumbo muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk but if you don’t need DF then I would recommend buttermilk!)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg, vanilla and then enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done. Cool completely on a wire rack then serve.

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes