In an attempt to drink less coffee I don’t allow myself to have a cup post lunch. Having said that though, sometimes the work day can drag and we all need a little afternoon pick me up. I have been turning to tea at around 2:30pm daily. (Earl Grey has been my jam although I try to mix it up with Green tea every so often for the antioxidants).
Ok so I digress, with tea time I often crave a little snack. So, I thought of doing something sweet, but nothing too heavy that it will make you lethargic for the remainder of your day. When poking around the world wide web I came upon this easy cookie recipe and when I brought them into work I got mouthfuls of thumbs ups and yays from everyone. Hope you enjoy as well! (Also go out and buy a nice tea cup and matching saucer as it makes tea time more special, pretentious, fun etc…I got 4 recently! Some even monogrammed for the true tea snob factor.)
1 box of store bought lemon cake mix
1 lemon’s zest (if you don’t have a zester, a boxed grater works well also)
1 tub of cool whip
Mix the first 4 ingredients well and the spoon mixture into the powdered sugar. The batter will be very sticky so you will need to coat with the powdered sugar in order to form into balls for baking sheet. I would do a little bowl of powdered sugar in which you can drop the spoonfuls into the bowl, as this can get messy if you don’t have it all set up beforehand. Lay out on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let them sufficiently cool after you remove from oven as they will still be too soft to handle/will break if touched right after cooking.
My ex bf used to call me the “muffin man”, I know, how sexy! LOL but seriously, I just love making muffins. I think they are so easy and filling. They can be used as breakfast, a snack, or dessert (dollop anything with whipped cream child and its a dessert!) Anyway, to impress him early on when we were dating I made my scrumptious pumpkin muffins, and you know I just tossed my leftover veggies in some muffins just last week. So clearly, there is no stopping me on my muffin mania rampage. I realized I needed to do something more traditional and since its still summer and the berries are in abundance, I wanted to do a mixed berry muffin. Watch out Dunkin Donuts low fat blueberry, you may now be my 2nd favorite. Hope you love these as much as I did!
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar (honey works as well)
1 cup milk, at room temperature (original recipe calls for buttermilk, but I don’t have that stuff on hand so I just used the 1% I had in my fridge for cereal).
½ cup canola oil (don’t skip the oil, this will make the muffins moist, you could use melted butter, but this muffin is better w the oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (340g) mixed berries**
coarse sugar for sprinkling on top if you wanna really be like Dunkin Donuts.
In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand. Avoid over-mixing which will make for tough, dense muffins. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be extremely thick and somewhat lumpy. Very gently to avoid them from leaking their color, fold in 1 and 3/4 cups mixed berries. ** For a little culinary twist I like to add some citrus zest or peel to the muffins. Lemon tends to be a good tart compliment to blueberries and orange works well with the raspberries and strawberries. You pick which one or both you want and throw in a tsp. if you feel so bold.** Then, spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Using 1/4 cup of the berries you have leftover, press a few into the tops of each muffin. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if you fancy. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes and let cool before serving.
I am SO over red sauce. Any idiot can buy a can of marinara (Although I don’t know why you would when we have a recipe from scratch that is healthier & tastier) and throw it on some noodles and say they made “Italian” food for the night. How about the fact that most pasta dishes aren’t even the entrée in Italy and its a small portion in the primi platti course prior to your protein and vegetables which is your actual entrée. Now, as much as I wish that we could all dine on 4 course (Read: 4 hour) dinners I know that is not always possible. So here is an easy, light and yummy pasta dish that served with some grilled chicken (because god forbid I have a vegetarian meal for once) that could count as a whole meal (starch, veggies, protein). So bust out the leftover ingredients from the pancakes and kale dish and get to cooking! (See how we always save you money by reusing stuff, you love us).
12 oz. fettuccine
2/3 cup skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (also known as zest)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
salt and crushed black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper (increase to your taste level)
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water. While pasta is cooking, in a separate bowl, thoroughly combine ricotta, lemon juice and rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. (I listed 1/8 tsp. of crushed red pepper, but don’t be shy, this dish is even better with a bit of a kick from the red pepper, so adjust according to your taste level). Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and garlic, sauté for 3 minutes. Add pasta, spinach, ricotta mixture and pasta water to skillet; cook about 1 minute or until spinach wilts.