Monthly Archives: September 2013

apple cheddar muffins

Fall is in the air and apples are at the market. I have a small mountain’s worth of apples to use up and have already made my annual batch of apple sauce & apple butter. I decided to pull out a recipe I hadn’t made in a while and use up some of those delicious, crisp apples – apple cheddar muffins. These muffins are the perfect combination of sweet and savory and are, without a doubt, one of the best muffins around.

If you don’t intend to eat an entire tray of muffins in one day, I highly recommend staying away from this recipe. If you choose to ignore my advice, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I made a dozen large muffins and another dozen mini-muffins from this recipe and there are already no mini-muffins left thanks to the kids and I.

Apple Cheddar Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups shredded aged, sharp cheddar – sharp is key.
2 eggs
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups finely chopped apple – a tart apple like a Granny Smith works perfectly in this recipe!

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine all the dry ingredients and stir. Add cheese and stir some more.

Beat eggs with apple juice, add butter and apple. Pour wet mixture into dry and combine until the entire mixture is wet. Divide batter into greased or lined muffin tin.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Serve warm, or cold, or whenever you want. You won’t regret it!



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mulligatawny soup

I just may have picked the wrong day to make this soup. It was only 34C when I got home and almost double that inside the house.  You know, the fact that I wore a sweater to work yesterday and that it’s September, we turned the AC off.  Soup was the last think I felt like eating, let alone making, tonight. But I’d already thawed the chicken and had nothing else on hand for dinner. Mulligatawny it was.

I have no idea if this recipe is authentic, but I snagged it from the Looneyspoons cookbook a few years back (actually, I started making it when I owned their Crazy Plates cookbook way back when) and decided to pop it back into our meal rotation. It pleased 3 of the 4 family members. My 3-year-old decided to tell me tonight that he no longer likes chicken and only likes “meat”.


Mulligatawny Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 whole cloves
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons cilantro or parsley

In a large pot set over medium heat, heat oliver oil. Add the celery, onions, carrots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, until the chicken is no longer pink.

Add the ginger, curry powder, chili powder, cumin and cloves. Cook and stir for 1 more minute.

Add the broth, tomatoes, rice, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the apple and simmer until the apple is tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cilantro and continue to cook until heated through.

Serve hot.


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homemade, nut-free granola bars

It’s been a while… I know. I haven’t tried many new recipes and have been resorting to some tried, tested and true meals I know the whole family will eat. Most of these recipes already appear on the blog. Also, with the end of summer, vacation and back to school keeping me busy, time to blog about the few new recipes I have tried has been sparse.

Speaking of back to school, that means back to packing lunches. This is the first year I have to pack full-day lunches for my eldest (who is now in grade 1… where does time fly?!) and in order to make my life a little easier, I decided to try prepping as much as possible ahead of time. Today, I made a full batch of ham & cheese wraps to keep in the freezer along with some banana chocolate chip mini loaves and these fabulous homemade, nut-free granola bars with oats, flax-seed, pumpkin, cranberries and chocolate chips. I’ve been making these for a few years; the recipe is dead-simple and the kids (and I!) enjoy them.

The recipe is based on Looneyspoons’ recipe, GRAINola Bars, but excludes any form of nut since the boy’s lunches must be nut-free.

Homemade, nut-free granola bars

2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (don’t use instant!)
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (make sure you use pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Let the paper overhang on two sides, that way it’s easier to lift the granola bars out of the pan after you’re done baking.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

In another bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix until all the dry ingredients are coated with the pumpkin mixture and pour everything into the pan.

Spread the mixture evenly, using your hands to press the granola down firmly so it’s tightly packed in the pan.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes until the top turns a golden brown and feels dry to the touch. I’ve found that I can really tell it’s done is when the edges of the granola start to shrink away from the side of the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift the slab of granola by holding on to the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the granola into about 16 bars (about 1 1/2 x 4 inches each)

I freeze the bars in a freezer bag and separate each bar by a piece of wax paper. Otherwise, you can store them at room temperature or in the fridge in an airtight container.



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