Magazine Monday–Tropical Muffins with Coconut Topping

I really wanted to sit down and write something witty and profound for today’s post but every time I sat down to write it turned into a rant about thoughtless last minute bakery customers and even more thoughtless neighbors. So rather than going all negative, I thought I would just tell you how good these muffins are.

Tropical Muffins with Coconut Topping

1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup regular oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 TBS canola
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 TBS lightly beaten egg
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 1/2 TBS sweetened coconut

1 TBS sweetened coconut
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp rolled oats
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another medium bowl, combine mashed banana, buttermilk, brown sugar, canola oil, vanilla and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Add pineapple and coconut. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. In a small bowl, combine all the topping ingredients and mix well. Spoon about one teaspoon of the topping on each muffin. Bake 18 minutes or until the muffin springs back when lightly touched in the middle. Remove from the pan immediately and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Ramen Chicken Dinner

Random Ramen fact: A package of ramen noodles is equal to two servings. Now the question is who eats half a package of ramen noodles and feels full and satisfied? When I was in college I could eat 2 or 3 packages of ramen at a time before I was satisfied. Sometimes I wonder how I ever made it out of my twenties.

I still like ramen noodles However, I try to make them a little more substantial by adding some chicken and fresh or frozen vegetables. This recipe has a high salt content. If that is an issue for you feel free to use reduced sodium soy sauce and only part of the seasoning packet.

Ramen Chicken Dinner

1 package chicken flavored ramen noodles
1/2 cup frozen vegetables
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup water stirring once
8 oz cooked chicken, cut into strips
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS canola oil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Set aside the seasoning packet from the noodles. In a two quart microwave safe dish, combine the noodles, vegetables and water. Cook in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables and noodles are tender; stirring once. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine the soy sauce, canola oil and the contents of the seasoning packet, mix well. Stir the sauce into the noodle and vegetable mixture. Serve immediately.

From A Taste of Home

Magazine Monday — Herbed Chicken and Dumplings

My friend, Heather, brought me another stack of old cooking magazines. This time they were mostly Cooking Pleasures and various Taste of Home titles. I only just started going through them and tearing out the recipes I want to keep but already have a large stack of recipes to add to the first pile I did a few weeks ago. To keep up with my promise to only keep the recipes I pulled if I was actually trying them on a regular basis, I am starting a new weekly feature called Magazine Monday where I post one adapted recipe from my pile every week.

Today’s recipe is from a 2009 Cooking Light magazine. I tried it because It was already adapted for two and I love dumplings. This recipe actually reminds of my mom’s chicken noodle soup. When I was a kid, my brothers and I would often fight and argue over who would get the last dumpling in the pot. So next time I make this recipe I am going to double the dumplings. This is a great recipe to warm you as the nights get colder.

Herbed Chicken and Dumplings

2 chicken thighs, cut into cubes
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/8 tsp dried thyme
3 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook 4minutez, browning on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add celery, carrot, onion, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Sauté 5 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the chicken and broth to saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add milk and stir until just moist. Add heaping teaspoonful into the broth; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until dumplings are done. Discard parsley sprigs and bay leaves.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

IMG_1711 (2)A few years ago, I totally quit buying cooking magazines. Cooking magazines are expensive and I wasn’t cooking out of them anyway. They just weren’t my go to source for recipes or other cooking information. That being said, I couldn’t resist saying yes when my friend, Heather, offered me a pile of old cooking magazines. Heather brought me a “small” pile of 17 Cooking Light and Gourmet magazines from 2008.

I spent a thoroughly lovely Sunday afternoon pouring over the magazines, reading articles that caught my eye and tearing out recipes I thought I might want to try. As I tucked the recipes I pulled out of the magazines into a folder, I promised myself I would only keep the folder as long as I was trying the recipes. So for the last few weeks I have been picking a recipe or two to try each week. I’ll adapt and post my favorites.

I had never read Gourmet magazine before because my cooking is definitely not gourmet. I figured the recipes would be too involved and fussy for my tastes. I was pleasantly surprised to find several very accessible recipes in my search through the Gourmet magazines, including this one for pumpkin bread. Don’t skip any of the spices. They are what is going to give that incredible smell to your house. This is easily the best pumpkin bread I have ever eaten.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, at room temperature
2 1/2 TBS water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position the rack in the middle of the oven. Spray a 5 x 3 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves ginger and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs and water. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and vanilla blend well one more time. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients are just moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

30 Minute Chicken and Rice Soup

A quick and easy soup for those cold nights.

30 Minute Chicken Soup

3 cups chicken broth
¼ cup white rice
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
½ cup raw or cooked chicken
salt and pepper
Put broth in a large pot over medium high heat. When it is just about boiling, turn the heat down so that it bubbles but not vigorously. Stir in the rice, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the chicken. If it is raw, cook until it is cooked through, 5-8 minutes. If it is cooked, 2-3 minutes until hot. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary