April 21, 2012

Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes

I love this recipe because it is SO versatile! Tomatoes already taste good, but when you take the little ones and toss them in some balsamic vinegar and olive oil and roast them until they are soft and the flavors are concentrated, they are absolutely delicious! They are perfect plain as a snack or as toppings for pizza, pasta, or salad. As a bonus, they are actually really good for you. This recipe is the trifecta of cooking: easy, tasty, and healthy!

1 Pint Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
3 T Olive Oil
1 T Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Heat the oven to 450F.

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the insides using a melon baller or spoon.

Whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt together. Toss the tomatoes in the mixture and spread on a parchment-lined cookie tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until soft and shriveled.

April 18, 2012

Apple Muffins

Earth Day is quickly approaching, and that means its time to make some healthy, Earth-friendly recipes! These apple muffins are nutritious, vegan, and delicious! The word vegan tends to trigger negative reactions, and health food conjures images of quinoa and tofu. Such ideas couldn't be more wrong, especially with this recipe! My crew of tasters had absolutely no idea that the muffins were vegan until I told them. In addition to tasting fantastic, this recipe is one of the healthiest I've ever made. It is completely fat-free and filled with chunks of apples, so the muffins are perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert!

1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Oats
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Sugar
3 T Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ginger
Pinch Salt
1 Cup Applesauce
1 Granny Smith Apple
1/2 Cup + 1 T Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

Heat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups.

Peel and core the apples. Cut into small cubes.

Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Combine the applesauce, sugar, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Fold in the flour mixture and apples.

Scoop the batter into the prepared tins. They will be very full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, sift the powdered sugar into the remaining maple syrup. Drizzle onto the apple muffins.

Makes 12
Recipe Adapted from The Happy Herbivore

April 3, 2012

Easter Bread

Easter Bread involves a lot of symbolism, whether it involves the eggs woven into the bread, the shape of the bread, or the bread itself. This particular recipe is delicious, fun, and beautiful to look at. It’s a delicate sweet bread that is woven into rings and topped with a dyed egg and some sprinkles. You can dye the eggs whatever colors you want or just leave them plain. I tried to dye mine to match the sprinkles I used. I made mine into rings because I liked the way it looked and the size worked out well, but you can experiment with shapes that you find interesting or symbolize something meaningful. Any way you choose, it is sure to be delicious!

1 Package Yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/4 Cups Milk
Pinch Salt
1/3 Cup Butter
9 Eggs
1/2 Cup Sugar
5 Cups Flour
Food Coloring

Boil 1/2 cup water in a mug or glass measuring cup. Whisk in 1 tsp vinegar and food coloring. Gently place an egg in the mixture and swirl lightly for up to 5 minutes or until desired color. Repeat with 5 more eggs, changing water when necessary or when changing colors. There is no need to boil the eggs before dying because they will cook when the bread bakes, but make sure you refrigerate the bread after you bake it.
Combine the butter and milk in a small pot until the butter is melted. Cool until just warm.
Combine the yeast, salt, 2 eggs, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fold in the milk mixture, then beat in half of the flour using the dough hook. Gradually add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough; you may not use all of it. Knead until smooth.
Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area for an hour or until doubled. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each into a 1″ thick log. Twist two ropes together, then form it into a ring. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place the rings on parchment-lined cookie trays. Place an egg in the center of each; it should be fairly snug. Cover and let rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 350F. Beat the remaining egg with 1T water. Brush onto the rings, avoiding the egg in the center. Top with sprinkles and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Makes 6 Rings
Recipe Adapted from