Avocado Pancakes

The name sounds a little weird, right?  Avocado in a pancake?  I know what you’re thinking.  I was skeptical too, but I had to use up some overripe avocados, and throwing them into a batch of pancakes sounded perfect.  I adjusted the recipe that I found on the California Avocado website.  The batter definitely has a greenish tinge to it, but that mostly goes away when you cook them, and they really don’t taste like avocados.  The original recipe calls for mixing everything in a blender, which I actually have in my new apartment, but I wanted to make these low-tech.  As long as your avocados are super-ripe, you’ll be absolutely fine without a blender.

Avocado Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk {I used 2%}
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 small ripe avocados
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

  1. Melt your butter.  30 seconds in the microwave on high will definitely do it.  Just watch it so it doesn’t explode.
  2. Mix together the milk, eggs, and butter in a large bowl.
  3. Mash avocado in a separate, small bowl.
  4. Add the avocado into the milk, eggs, and butter, making sure you get the lumps out.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated, but don’t over-mix.
  6. Cook on a griddle or a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. {1/3 cup is a good size scoop.}
  7. When heated through and bubbles appear, flip pancakes over and cook the other side.
  8. Serve warm, with all of your favorite pancake toppings.
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Mix the eggs, butter, and milk.

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Mash the avocado in a separate bowl.

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Add the avocado to the milk, butter, egg mixture.

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Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

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Combine.

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Drop in 1/3 cup scoops onto a medium hot griddle/frying pan.

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Flip when bubbles appear.

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A nice stack of avocado pancakes.

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Enjoy with your favorite toppings. I used my trusty “Vertmont” maple syrup.

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And they make good leftovers!

Have you ever tried avocado pancakes?  What’s your favorite non-traditional pancake recipe, or way to cook with avocados?

Nutrition info: I just did a rough calorie count, but my batter made 11 pancakes, at about 120 calories each.

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Whole Wheat Double Crumb Coffee Cake Muffins

One of the things I think I miss most here in Spain is crumb cake.  I don’t eat all that much at home, except down the shore in the summer.  The rest of the year, it’s just nice knowing that I could drive down and pick some up.  Except Mondays and January through the first two weeks in February when my favorite bakery is closed.  It’s a nice option.  Worst case, I could pick up some Entenmann’s.  Except here not so much.  The last time I made crumb cake at home turned out okay, but it definitely wasn’t the best I’d ever eaten.  I decided to try again, and mixed things up by making individual muffins instead of a full cake.  Because, you know, the muffin cups.  And I kind of wanted to keep my brownie pan free in case I decided to make brownies.  Emergency brownies are a thing.

I started with this recipe and tweaked it.  Mainly making it whole-wheaty.  And most importantly, doubling the crumb topping.  As I was assembling my muffins, it was clear that the topping, while delicious, just wasn’t going to cut it.  Double crumb it was!

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tsp whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted.

Topping:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. In a large bowl whisk the egg to combine the yolk and white.
  3. Add Greek yogurt, milk, and melted butter and mix well.
  4. Add flours, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
  5. Combine but don’t over-mix.
  6. Spread the batter into a prepared 8×8 pan or 6 large muffin cups.  Or 12 small muffin cups.  Or 24 mini muffin cups…
  7. Make the topping.  Cut brown sugar and flour into the butter in a bowl.
  8. Spread topping over cake (or muffins!)
  9. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Remember to turn your pan in the oven to avoid hot spots.
  11. 8×8 cake should take 25-30 minutes.  Smaller muffins, or mini muffins especially, would take less time.

The nutritional info for these guys is at the bottom of the page.  They’re not light, but so delicious.  If you were concerned, you could make smaller-sized muffins.  They’d still be delicious.

What’s your favorite crumb cake recipe??  Do you have a favorite summer food?

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Crumb Cake ingredients.

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Making the topping.

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Already topped and ready to go in the oven.

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Close-up Before.

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All done.

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Close-up After.

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Final touches. Powdered sugar.

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Look at all that crumb. That’s a cake-crumb ratio that I’m happy with!

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Yum.

I went ahead and calculated the nutritional info for these guys.  You might not want to hear it.  Just focus on the whole-wheaty health factor.  If you’re using My Fitness Pal, the muffins are already in there.  Just search “Whole Wheat Double Crumb Coffee Cake Muffins.”  That’s for one whole large muffin {1/6 of the batter}.  I didn’t include the powdered sugar in my nutritional info, because it’s optional, and totally not a lot of calories, right?

So here you go.

Calories per large muffin: 460

Grams of fat: 18.6

Grams of carbohydrates: 69.7

Grams of fiber: 3.8

Grams of protein: 8.7

Brown Butter Apple Muffins

Happy Wednesday!!  It might be one of my new favorite days of the week.  It’s so nice to sit in a quiet kitchen with a cup of coffee, reading blogs and whatever else I like, without having to rush out the door before sunrise.  Today, I’m waiting for the gas man.  Our gas-powered water heater has started having little explosions lately – nothing major except sparks fly out and it sounds like a car backfiring/gunshot for a moment, and then it’s back to normal.  Just to be on the safe side, the gas guy is coming today to check it out.

In the meantime, I’m also waiting for some brown butter apple muffins to come out of the oven!!  They’re really similar to the brown butter apple loaf I made in the fall, except basically they’re muffins.  American size muffins, according to the packaging of the silicon muffin cups I picked up yesterday.  This could turn into another Lékué love-fest, but I’ll hold off.  Except they’re colorful and silicon and amazing!!

In my quest to have healthy snacks, I’ve been throwing apples into my bag at work every day without checking if there might already be some leftover apples in there.  Yesterday I realized I had a few apples with brown spots that would be perfect for baking, plus an apple in my fruit bowl that started off as remedial when I got it from the market, with a brown dent.  I’ll spare you and save the market rant for another day, but regardless, I had some baking apples.

If I was being honest, I would call these muffins Whole Wheat Rolled Oat Brown Butter Chia Seed Apple Muffins, but I thought that would be too much of a mouthful to say.  I could have called them “Healthy” Muffins, but I didn’t want to scare people off.  I do think these are pretty healthy muffins, if maybe a little large, but they’re so yummy you won’t be able to tell they’re made with whole wheat flour.  Or that they have some chia seeds in them.  Honestly, I know I’m like a year and a half late to the chia bandwagon, but it’s my current favorite.  It goes well in everything, and you really can’t taste it, but it’s filled with protein and fiber; two important pieces of a healthy diet that are easy to overlook.

I even took the time to add up all of the ingredients and figure out the nutrition information for you.  I’m in a place right now where I want to make sure that everything I put in my body has a purpose.  That means no empty calories and mindless carb-binging {the half a loaf of bakery bread after work yesterday doesn’t count} for me.  In case you’re interested, I’ll put the nutrition info at the bottom of the post.  I think they have a decent amount of protein and fiber, and they’re yummy!  It’s always a good feeling when you save food from the garbage bin {I’m still sad I don’t have compost here} and it actually tastes like something you want to eat!

So, here it goes.  Whole Wheat Rolled Oat Brown Butter Chia Seed Apple Muffins.  They just came out of  the oven, and they’re as good as they look!!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp apple butter
  • 2 large apples, cored and diced {I leave the skin on, but you can peel them if you like.}

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F {176 C}.  Take your eggs out of the fridge so they can come up to room temperature.
  2. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat until browned and nutty.  Let cool a few minutes so as not to curdle the eggs.
  3. Pour into a large mixing bowl and mix with brown sugar and eggs.
  4. Add flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, chia seeds, baking soda and salt.  Mix until combined.
  5. Add Greek yogurt, apple butter, and apples.  Mix until well distributed but don’t overmix.
  6. Divide evenly into muffin cups.  {I made 6 large muffins.  This would also fill a loaf pan, or probably 12 smaller muffins.}
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes for large muffins {until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean}, or 1 hour for a loaf.  {Smaller muffins would take less time than large muffins, probably 15-20 minutes.}
  8. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes.  Enjoy!!!
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New Kitchen Toy Unveiling

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Everything mixed up, plus chia seeds. You should probably add the chia seeds with the other dry ingredients, but this worked too.

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ready for the oven

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All done!

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Creative close-up

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Super close-up

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Naked muffin

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Brunch!

Nutrition Info per large muffin:

Calories: 384

Fat: 13.6g

Carbs: 54.8g

Fiber: 6.8g

Protein: 8.7g

*I’m not a nutritionist.  I got these numbers using MyFitnessPal and a calculator.

What’s your favorite kind of muffin??

Overnight French Toast Casserole

Hey  you guys!  Hope December is still going well!

As you can see if you’ve been following along, I’m on a bit of an overnight kick; things that you can make ahead and then roll out of bed and enjoy.  This weekend I had a 4-day weekend, and really had time to experiment.  I had picked up two loaves of my favorite Spanish bread made by the lovely nuns around the corner {isn’t that a delightful sentence?}, and knew I wanted some for French toast.  But sometimes French toast bores me.  I like to mix it up. {Like the time I made French toast waffles.}  This time I was thinking a sort of French toast casserole, scaled down for the sake of my favorite silicon loaf pan.  Yes, part of me does wish I could marry it.

A lot of the recipes you find online for French toast casserole are delicious, but super-heavy, and meant for a crowd.  I wanted something yummy, but I didn’t want to go overboard, so this is what I came up with.  The recipe is scaled down for a loaf pan, but you could increase it for something larger/feeding more people.

Ingredients:

  • Half of one very large baguette/one normal sized baguette.
  • 4 eggs
  • About 2 cups of milk.
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Prepare your pan with butter if you need to.
  • Tear the bread into random chunks and stuff into the pan.
  • Mix eggs and 1 cup milk and a large dash of cinnamon.
  • Pour over the bread.
  • Add more milk as needed.  You want most of the bread to be sitting in milk.
  • Sprinkle with more cinnamon.
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • In the morning, take the loaf out of the fridge and preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.
  • Bake the loaf for about an hour.  {It does take a while, but it’s totally hands-off time, and I’m not entirely convinced that my Spanish oven isn’t as powerful as normal/I haven’t fully mastered the metric conversion.}
  • Keep in mind, the longer you bake the loaf, the crispier it will get.  For a softer texture, you can take it out sooner.
  • Slice and serve!  Butter, maple syrup, or even powdered sugar would go great on this!

Sorry for the lack of non-blurry pictures, but it really is yummy!

Do you have a go-to French toast casserole?

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Step one.

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Ready for the fridge.

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In the morning.

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After baking.

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I had my french toast with a sunny-side up egg and a sauteed apple. Delicious!

 

 

 

Super-Easy Overnight Cinnamon Buns, for a 9×9 Pan

Hi everyone!  I can’t believe it’s December, not just in the turn the calendar page over way, but in the, we’re a full-on-week-into December way, when it’s time to be festive now or never.  Because in a blink, I know this month will be gone, and we’ll be in dreary January.  So I want to make the most of it, which for me, includes a bit of baking, a lot of which is too cumbersome without a stand or hand mixer.  Lately I’ve been craving cinnamon buns, and I think I finally found the definitive recipe.  You do all the work the night before, which means the morning of, all you have to do is put together the icing and watch them bake in the oven as you enjoy a nice cup of coffee 🙂  You could even make the icing the night before, but it’s simple enough to do half-awake.

I found my recipe here, on one of my new favorite websites, Crazy for Crust.  I made phenomenal brownies last week that I found here and never got around to posting, and the cinnamon bun recipe did not disappoint!  I loved that this recipe was something I could do ahead of time, since I don’t have the patience in the morning, and that it was small enough for a 9×9 pan.  I didn’t want to risk a bigger recipe that would end up with me eating 15 cinnamon buns in a few days.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 package yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm milk {the original recipe called for non-fat milk, as well as 3 tbsp unsalted softened butter.  I used 2% milk and omitted the butter}
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3+ cups flour {I think I used closer to 4.  I used a combination of whole wheat, pizza, and all purpose flours, strictly because I was trying to clean out the half-opened flour bag section of my pantry}

Filling:

  • 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts {I’m not a person who likes nuts in my desserts, so I left these out}

Frosting:

  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Dissolve the yeast into the milk in a liquid measuring cup.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, salt, and egg.
  • Add milk and yeast and stir.
  • Add flour and mix with a large wooden spoon/your hands until it resembles dough.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest until doubled in size, anywhere from 1 to 4 hours.
  • Meanwhile, combine ingredients for filling until they form a sticky paste.
  • When your dough has doubled, roll it out on a floured surface until it’s roughly 10×14.  {This is a super-awesome forgiving dough.  I don’t currently have a rolling pin, and didn’t even have an old wine bottle lying around this time, so I smushed it into a rectangle with my fingers, and it still all worked out.}
  • Spread filling evenly over dough.
  • Roll it up so you have a long, thin, roll, not a short, fat one.
  • Slice into 9 relatively even rolls, and place in a buttered 9×9 pan.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  {I ended up refrigerating mine two nights, almost 36 hours, and they still came out delicious!  Again, super-forgiving dough.}
  • In the morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Take the rolls out of the fridge while the oven warms up.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  • While rolls are baking, make frosting.
  • Melt butter and combine with cream cheese and powdered sugar.  It will seem runny at first, but will thicken up as it sets.
  • Pour over warm cinnamon buns.
  • Serve and enjoy 🙂
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Ready to go into the fridge.

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After 2 nights of resting.

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Perfectly baked in the oven, covered in frosting 🙂

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Buttery close-up.

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I love the sleepy chicken mug!

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I couldn’t have asked for a better breakfast.

Do you have a favorite cinnamon bun recipe?  Or a breakfast that you love to make the night before?  This one is definitely one of my new favorites!  It made my morning a little more festive 🙂