Banana Chocolate Chip Almond Muffins

The following recipe was featured in my Muffin Swap event. You can read about it and view other muffin recipes HERE.

Joelen’s Banana Chocolate Chip Almond Muffins

Recipe adapted from HERE

2 cups white whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup Vanilla soy milk (Silk brand)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 rip banana, mashed
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl or 2 cup measuing cup, beat egg with a fork. Stir in milk and oil. Pour all at once into the well in the flour mixture. Add the mashed banana, chocolate chips and almonds.

Mix quickly and lightly with a fork until moistened, but do not beat. The batter will be lumpy. Pour the batter into paper lined muffin pan cups.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden.

Salads Get No Respect

This weekend was pretty full of good food, but I feel like my body needs to go into detox. I didn’t splurge much at all with the dinner events I hosted over the weekend but I was craving some fresh veggies. So today for lunch, I made a salad.

Don’t you hate the rep salads get? Some folks think salads are lame, boring and too healthy to taste good. I’ll admit, I had that same thinking until I started being creative with salads. They are a blank canvas to capture flavors, textures, colors… only healthier!

Today my salad consisted of a baked boneless, skinless chicken breast that was marinated in southwest seasoning. I also made a quick mango salsa (fresh mangoes, chopped bell pepper, garlic, red onion, salt & pepper, green onion) to offset the spicy chicken with some sweetness. For texture, I added some slivered almonds. Lastly, all my salads involve a little bit of cheese so I added a pinch of gorgonzola for a bit of tang.
Love and embrace salads… they’re good for you!

Peach Berry Cobbler

The following recipe was shared during my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting recipes of Chef Wolfgang Puck. You can view other recipes and pictures of the event HERE.

Peach Berry Cobbler
shared at the event by Mary
Original recipe found here

1 1/3 cups (330 ml) cake flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream, plus extra for brushing

Filling:
2 pounds (4-5 large) peaches
6 cups mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Peach brandy, Kirsch or Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons quick cooking oats
Pinch each cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon
2 tablespoons heavy cream for glazing shortcakes
2 tablespoons sugar for glazing shortcakes

Make shortcake: In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and pulse just until the mixture forms small gravel-like pieces. With the motor running, pour the cream through the feed tube, stopping just before the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead just until it forms a smooth ball, being careful not to overwork it. On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch (12-mm) thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch (6-cm) cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 6 circles, gathering and re-rolling the scraps if necessary. Place them on a baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cobbler.

Prepare filling: In large pot of boiling water blanch peaches for about 1 minute. Plunge into an ice-bath. Remove skins, cut in half and remove pits. Cut each half into 4 or 5 slices and place in large bowl. Add mixed berries, brown sugar, lemon juice, Peach brandy and cinnamon. Stir to mix thoroughly. Spoon fruit mixture into a lightly buttered 13x9x2½-inch baking dish.

Prepare streusel: In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a fork, cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in remaining streusel ingredients.

Assemble cobbler: Preheat the oven to 375. Sprinkle prepared streusel mixture over fruit filling in dish. Place prepared shortcake circles on top. Lightly brush shortcakes with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until shortcakes are golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling and thickened. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Presentation: Warm the cobbler, if made earlier in the day. Serve with your favorite ice cream or softly whipped cream or just as is with a sprinkling of sifted powdered sugar.

Wasabi.. not only for Sushi!

In an attempt to use up some leftover wasabi, I decided to make a sushi inspired sauce combining wasabi and soy sauce. I call this, shrimp with wasabi soy noodles.Here’s my recipe:

1 lb large raw shrimp
1/2 package Shanghai egg noodles

2 cups water

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon wasabi
1 tablespoon sugar
splash of mirin
splash of sesame oil
1/2 cup julienned green beans
1 tablespoon slivered almonds

In a wok, add water & shrimp.

Cook shrimp until pink.
Add remaining ingredients except noodles, beans and almonds.
Allow shrimp to simmer and absorb flavors.
Remove shrimp and set aside.
Add noodles and cook until softened and sauce is absorbed.
Add beans and almonds; toss to coat.
Serve noodles with shrimps on the side.