Thursday, November 15, 2012

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

recipe from

Sometimes there is nothing like a warm, fresh muffin for breakfast and these muffins come together so easily that there isn't really any excuse not to enjoy them whenever you want.  We devoured these at our house.  I guess that means we can make them again soon!

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons poppy seed
3 teaspoons sugar
sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups (or spray them very well).  In a large bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, the oil, egg, and almond.  Beat in sour cream and milk with a spoon until blended.  Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, soda, and poppy seed until well blended.  Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.  Sprinkle batter with 3 teaspoons sugar and the almonds.  Bake for 14-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

recipe slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

Delightful recipe for this time of year. I have made this soup several times for my family and they love it.  I love it because it is packed with vegetables and my toddler doesn't even give it a second thought!  It is a very light soup, so I usually make it with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich or a nice crusty panini.  For a little more money, you can save yourself some time and buy the butternut squash already cubed at Costco, or you can go for the experience of peeling and slicing one yourself. Either way, this soup is definitely a seasonal favorite.

1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp butter (You could omit the butter and use 1 Tbsp canola oil for vegetarian recipe)
1/2 cup sliced carrots (about 1 medium or 12 baby ones)
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup diced onion
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium butternut squash, (about 4 cups peeled and diced)
32 oz chicken broth (that's one box/carton) (You could substitute vegetable broth here for a vegetarian recipe)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon dried sage
1 pinch cayenne pepper or douse of hot sauce

In a large stock pot, heat oil and butter. When butter is melted, add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Saute for 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add the squash. Then add potato, sage, salt, red pepper, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Simmer with the lid on for 30-40 minutes or until everything is tender. check a piece of squash and also a piece of celery and potato to make sure they are fork tender.  Stir in 1 tablespoon brown sugar.

Use an immersion blender, or let soup cool and transfer to a regular blender and puree until smooth.  

Drizzle with sour cream or heavy cream and garnish with a little parsley and some croutons.