Breakfast Muffins

oatmeal_muffinThe baby and I have been eating dairy free for awhile now.  Definitely not by choice.  The truth is that I figured we would be eating ice cream like champs by now, so I didn’t put much thought into loads of dairy free recipes.  But, since we’re still doing this, and I really couldn’t last another week without a baked good (and I’m pretty sure she couldn’t either), I finally got down to business.  Poor girl couldn’t watch her sister eat homemade waffles any longer.

The first time I took a stab at these muffins, they were a bit dry and not overly sweet.  The engineer practically spit his out (I think he would sugar his sugar if he could).  The girls and I ended up scarfing down the whole batch though.  The next time, I upped the applesauce and oil by a bit and the result was just right.  These are truly a breakfast muffin–not too sweet, but filling and satisfying thanks to the oatmeal.  I love that they’re made with applesauce, which is something that’s in my pantry year round.  When they’re in season, I definitely plan to add some fresh shredded apple as well.  Adapted from Hannah Barringer Loudon.

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins
Prep time
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Total time
Satisfying and delicious dairy free muffins
Serves: 12
  • 1¼ cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, applesauce, water, oil, egg and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture until just combined
  4. Carefully stir oats into mixture
  5. Immediately spoon into 12 lined-muffin tins and bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Toaster Oven Pancakes

baked_pancakesIt’s a hot summer morning.  And a weekday.  And the kids have been sick all week which means NO ONE in the house has slept all week.  As I stumble bleary-eyed into the kitchen, my cherubic faced toddler asks for pancakes.  Now, let’s be honest.  If anyone else had requested pancakes on this particular morning, they would have gotten a smart ass retort and an eye roll.  But, this child had been sick and not eating much all week.  How could I say no?  Actually, how could I say yes and maintain my sanity?  Pancakes are time consuming and require standing in front of a hot stove, right?  Not necessarily.  As it turns out, there was a way to appease my toddler’s request and make me look and feel like super mom in the process.  Enter baked pancakes and my trusty toaster oven–two things which totally rock my world.

Toaster Oven Pancakes
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Serves: 4
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Check whether your toaster oven can fit an 8x8 baking pan. If yes, preheat your toaster oven to 350 degrees F. If not, preheat your regular oven.
  2. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place butter in microwave on high for 45 seconds.
  5. Whisk together the milk, melted butter, egg and vanilla.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until just combined.
  7. Pour into greased pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cut into squares and serve immediately with plenty of maple syrup.


Sunday Waffles


You’re not getting sick of strawberries yet, right?  Ok, good, me neither.  In fact, while we can still get strawberries at the farm stand, we’ve been using them a little recklessly during the week.  Sneaking an extra bowl of Cheerios in at night, just so we have an excuse to eat a few more.  I have all kinds of strawberry-related recipes swirling in my head, but it’s one of those weeks where they’re just not getting done.  So, I say, let’s keep it simple.  Let’s just eat strawberries with everything we normally eat.  And while I can’t think of many things strawberries don’t go with, surely they were meant to be eaten with waffles.

It occurred to me recently that I’d been wasting a lot of money on store-bought waffles.  If it was a Whole Foods week, we’d have whatever healthy frozen brand they carry.  If I didn’t make it to Whole Foods, we’d end up with Eggos.  Now, let’s be honest.  There’s no comparison in taste between Eggos and the healthy cardboard I buy from Whole Foods.  But, have you looked at the Eggos ingredients lately?  Food coloring?  Come on!  Anyway, it reminded me that we could have the best of both worlds if I just made them at home once a week and froze them.  They reheat in the toaster like a dream and, once you invest in a waffle maker, you can make them with things you already have in the pantry.  I like to cure my Sunday night blues by making them for dinner, but you can eat them anytime you want.

The recipe below is adapted from a Cuisinart recipe that came with my waffle maker.  If you’re looking for an all-in recipe though (butter, anyone? ), check out this recipe instead–you won’t be disappointed.

Sunday Waffles
Prep time
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Serves: 8
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¾ cup milk
  • 6 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, using a whisk to combine.
  4. Turn on your waffle maker and follow the instructions to make the waffles to your preferred doneness. If freezing the waffles, use one setting lower than you would normal choose.
  5. Serve immediately or place on a cooling rack and bring to room temperature before placing in gallon size freezer bags and freezing.


Father’s Day Traditions

cin_bun_rollYou know what the best thing about a tradition is? You can start a new one any time you want. You can even start one and not realize you started one until three years later. That’s kind of what happened in this house for Father’s Day. The first Father’s Day we celebrated after our daughter was born, I went all out. I started planning weeks in advance and had thoughtful and memorable gifts, perfectly wrapped and presented by our smiling baby girl. The pièce de résistance: homemade cinnamon buns. A special treat because, due to some really annoying food sensitivities (red wine, chocolate, cheese, need I say more?), my husband hadn’t eaten one in years. I found this recipe while searching for one that I could use my bread machine. Listen, I’m sure there are plenty of baking purists who would be horrified at this little act of laziness. To them I say, we’d never be friends. Just kidding. Kind of. Anyway, it’s been three Father’s Days that our little family has celebrated now and my husband is lucky if we let him sleep in until 8 before we wake him up with his only gift (a card). But you know what? We still let him have the cinnamon buns. And by let him have, I mean, I make them for me and let him (and the kids) have one too.

I’ve made this recipe the morning of, night before and even made the dough weeks in advance and frozen it. I’m pretty sure there’s no way to mess this one up.  Adapted from Marsha Fernandez’s Clone of a Cinnabon.

Bread Machine Cinnamon Buns
Prep time
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Serves: 12
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 4½ cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2½ tsp bread machine yeast ( or 1 packet dry active yeast)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2½ tbsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup softened butter
  • 3 ounces softened cream cheese (or low fat cream cheese)
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Warm the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Remove and stir. Check that milk is neither hot nor cold. Add milk, beaten eggs and melted butter to the bread machine followed by the bread flour, salt, sugar and, finally, the yeast.
  2. Set bread machine to 'dough' cycle and start.
  3. Once the cycle has completed, remove dough from bread machine. If freezing all or a portion of the dough for future use, freeze at this point. Otherwise, cover and let dough rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. If butter has not been left out to soften, place in the microwave to soften.
  5. Roll dough out to roughly 12x20 (if yours ends up circular, don't sweat it, you can trim the edges afterward).
  6. Spread the softened butter onto the dough using a flexible spreader or large spoon.
  7. Spread the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough.
  8. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and cut evenly into 12 rolls (cut roll in half, then cut each half into thirds and each third in half--clear as mud?)
  9. Place each roll into a 9x13 baking pan that has been sprayed with baking spray (here's my favorite spray)
  10. If making the night before, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator at this point. If making them now (waiting is too hard), preheat oven to 400 degrees F, cover and let them rise about 30 minutes.
  11. Bake buns about 15 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden brown and brown sugar is bubbly.
  12. Meanwhile, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixer. Mix until combined.
  13. Immediately spread frosting on buns when they come out of the oven.