Archive for November, 2012

November 30, 2012

Homemade English Muffins


No one has ever said “this does NOT taste better homemade”. And if they have, slap them for me.

Whenever I make homemade goodies, I become more and more excited about the possibilities of other homemade items that I can (and should) start making on a regular basis. Well folks, ENGLISH MUFFINS have just been added to my I-will-never-buy-again list.


We ate a couple LOT when they first came out of the oven because they were so irresistible. Once we were able to cut ourselves off, I saved the remainder in a zip lock bag and tossed them on the counter. I thought I would have to freeze most of them but oh no…they didn’t last. We made english muffin pizzas with the remainder! (Broccoli and spinach for me, hamburger and jalapenos for my man friend.)



So other than shoveling them in our mouths straight outta the oven and as a base for mini pizzas, I managed to try one toasted with apple butter. I had some left over from the mini apple pie cheesecakes. What a great snack! I would have continued to eat them this way alongside a mug of tea (I am trying to swap my 6 cups of coffee in the morning with green tea), but unfortunately they just didn’t last that long.

Oh, but LUCKILY!! I still have all the ingredients here to make another batch, which I will do as soon as I clean the kitchen. Ugh. That may be awhile.

*I admit, these photos are pretty lame. But so is the fact that the sun sets at 4pm and I have zero light when cooking! So there! Ok Ok…I’ll try harder, you convinced me.

English Muffins {Recipe from Foodess}


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour (or 2 cups whole wheat, 2 cups all purpose)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cornmeal, for dusting skillet


In large microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave milk on high power until starting to simmer at edges, about 2 1/2 minutes. Stir in cold butter until melted. When mixture has cooled to warm, stir in beaten egg and yogurt.

Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. With mixer speed on low (using beater attachment), slowly add milk mixture. Beat 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Dough will be very wet. Cover with saran wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for one hour.

Scrape dough from bowl onto a floured work surface. Lightly flour the top of dough, and pat down until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use a floured 3” biscuit cutter (or a upside-down drinking glass) to make rounds. Gather up scraps of dough and repeat. Use a floured spatula to pick up the English muffins as you go, and set them aside to rise for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and heat a skillet (or two) over medium heat. Dust skillet generously with cornmeal. Place English muffins 1 inch apart in skillet and cook 3-4 minutes, until golden brown on bottom. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes on other side. Transfer to baking sheet as they’re done. Once all English muffins have been browned, bake in center of oven for 7-10 minutes, until they sound hollow when you tap their tops.

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November 28, 2012

Mini Apple Pie Cheesecakes

I wasn’t planning on posting these. I threw them together for a dessert to have after (two!) Thanksgiving meals this year.

But I can’t stop thinking about how good they were and I want to spread the word! There is a great crust on the bottom made with graham crackers and walnuts. And then a cheesecake middle that involves a little apple butter. Topped with a warm apple/walnut/brown sugar mixture.


There are only two pictures because it was the last mini cheesecake I could find! I can’t take any credit for these, I found the recipe on one of my favorite sites… Shutterbean. Tracy includes excellent step-by-step photos that really helped.

It was a great dessert for Thanksgiving and luckily the holiday season isn’t over yet so we need to make as many different desserts as possible!! There are quite a few steps to this and I did have to restart at one point (mostly because I am a terrible baker) but all the work was really worth it. Plus, that means I should just make them again and again. Practice makes perfect right? Right.


Mini Apple Pie Cheesecakes {Recipe from Shutterbean}

makes 10

For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups graham crackers (from about 10 cookies)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 package 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Apple Butter

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 apple, peeled & chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch salt

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line 10 standard muffin cups with cupcake liners. In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers, walnuts, sugar, salt, cinnamon and butter until combined. Divide crumb mixture among cupcake liners, firmly pressing into bottoms and up the sides. Bake until crusts are browned and fragrant, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely in a pan on a wire rack at room temperature.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar, apple butter, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. In another medium bowl, with clean beaters, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold the whipped cream into the apple butter cream cheese mixture 1/3 at a time. Divide mixture among the cooled crusts and refrigerate until set, 1 hour or up to overnight.

While cheesecakes are chilling, make apple topping. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add the apple, walnuts, sugar & cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally until apples are just soft, about 4-5 minutes. Finish with a pinch of salt and let topping cool. When ready to serve, place a tablespoon of the apple walnut topping (I reheated mine first) on each mini cheesecake. Cheesecakes will last up to three days in the refrigerator.

November 27, 2012

Easy Home fries


I don’t typically eat a lot for breakfast. Usually I have a flavored greek yogurt paired with a few cups of coffee. But when I do have a large breakfast, I love the combination of crispy home fries and eggs. Give me scrambled, over easy, or an omelet – I’m not picky!

I used to make home fries with leftover, boiled potatoes because the process from starting with raw potatoes took way too long, OR SO I THOUGHT.


Heating the potatoes in a microwave to slightly soften them cuts a lot of cooking time. The bowl needs to be covered with plastic wrap and please be cautious when removing the plastic wrap from the bowl! The steam is incredibly hot. It’s a pretty obvious assumption, but I have yet to learn my lesson. Hopefully you are smarter than me.


I mentioned before that I prefer a small breakfast, but when we decide to put in the effort for a larger meal, we go BIG. A little too big. I wrote that this will serve 4 because that’s how much it probably should serve, but we just split the whole pan between the two of us! And then I took a nap. Big breakfast = a lazy day.


We were given the leftover veggies from a pizza night we had before Thanksgiving, so I threw them into an omelet. If you can call it that…I am still trying to figure out how to make an omelet. It doesn’t look so bad though does it? Don’t lie.


And YES this would taste great with bacon mixed in (and carrots). I’m trying to cut back on my meat consumption, and also trying to save money where I can. Lame.

Home Fries {adapted from Smitten Kitchen}
serves 2-4


  • 1.5 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


Arrange potatoes in a large microwave safe bowl, top with 1 tbsp butter and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave until edges of the potatoes begin to soften, approx. 5-7 minutes. Carefully stir halfway. Steam will be HOT.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and slightly browned, approx. 6 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl.

Melt remaining 2 tbsp of butter in the large skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and pack down with the spatula. Cook, without stirring, until potatoes begin to brown underneath, approx. 5-7 minutes. Flip the potatoes and again pack down with spatula, cooking until brown underneath, approx. 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking and mixing until brown and crispy, approx. 9-12 minutes.

Stir in the onions and seasonings. Serve immediately.

**Print this Recipe**

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