Autumn Gingerbread Muffins

Celebrate Fall and the Holidays by serving these adorable gingerbread muffins. These molasses and ginger treats are easy to make and add a festive look to any table. Serve them alone or with lemon curd. Trader Joe’s offers a great gingerbread mix that makes serving these cuties a snap.

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Autumn Gingerbread Cakelets

Yield: 16 Cakelets (144 calories each)

Ingredients
1 box Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Baking Mix
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola oil
¾ cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray cakelet pan with Trader Joe’s Canola Oil spray and sprinkle lightly with a few pinches of flour.
  3. Combine egg, oil and water in a bowl and then add mix. Fold together gently until ingredients are moistened. (don’t over-stir as the cakelets will become more dense).
  4. Fill the molds of the cakelet pan no more than ¾ full to avoid overflow. I use a tablespoon and then spread mixture to level tops and fill corners of each shape. Tap the pan firmly a few times on countertop to remove air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of a cakelet comes out clean.

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  1. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.
  2. Serve with lemon curd if you wish.   Yummy!

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Note: My cakelet pan is made by Nordic Ware.  Any muffin or cakelet pan works well too.

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Savory Sweet Potato Fries

img_7430Savory Sweet Potato Fries

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
2 ½ Tablespoons fresh thyme (rough chopped)

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Wash and prepare the fresh ingredients:
– Cut the sweet potatoes in 3rds and then cut each “wheel” in 8ths to make wedges
– Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
– Chop the fresh thyme.
3. Prepare the Fries:
– Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat the potatoes.
– Place the potato wedges on a Teflon coated jelly roll pan (or lightly greased cookie sheet) and spread in one layer on the pan.
4.Cook the Fries:
Cook for 20 -25 minutes on until nicely browned turning once with a spatula after about 10 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Summer Vegetables

My daughter and I started a SP cleanse recently that required us to refrain from  grains, dairy, nuts, meat or fish during the purification process.  We were getting bored with simply raw or steamed vegetables and fruit along with our SP Shakes.

Here is a yummy side dish we stumbled upon via Blue Apron, that is both full of flavor and guilt-free too.

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6392Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

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Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 ounces of summer beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

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1.  Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce.  Snap off and discard the bean stems; cut into 2-inch pieces.  Half the tomatoes. Peel and mince the garlic.

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2. Cook the vegetables:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the beans; season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has cooked off.

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Add the tomatoes and garlic; add a little bit more of sea salt and pepper if needed. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl. Enjoy!

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Ina-Inspired Tomato Soup

IMG_1324Easy Tomato Soup inspired by Ina Garten

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • Large pinch of saffron threads
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Preparation

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Refreshing Tomato Cucumber and Onion Salad

tomato cucumber and onion salad

Easy and refreshing, this quick salad recipe is great for summer.  I love to mix up the tomatoes for a unique twist.  It takes just 5 minutes to prepare and is big on tangy flavor.  Include it at your next BBQ!

 

Tomato Cucumber and Onion Salad

Ingredients

Approximately 1 pound of tomatoes (I like  small heirloom tomatoes, combined with grape and cherry tomatoes, quartered or  halved lengthwise depending on the size)
1/4 red onion (or sweet Maui Onion) peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
1 splashes red wine vinegar
1 splash of apple cider vinegar
Coarse salt and black pepper

Directions

Dress the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil,  vinegars, salt, and pepper.

Let stand to allow onions to mellow and flavors to blend, about 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve salad with crusty bread for mopping up juices and oil.

Stir-Fried Tofu with garlic, ginger and green onions

stir fried tofu
I only recently discovered tofu and the many health benefits it offers. Tofu is a high-protein alternative to red meat. Due to its protein content, eating tofu can help you feel full while consuming fewer calories.  A 1/2-cup serving of regular tofu provides about 10 grams of protein, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database.
Tofu is also a low-carb food.  A 1/2-cup portion of regular tofu contains about 2 grams of carbohydrates.  When trying to lose weight, trading in red meat and chicken for tofu is a great alternative.  It takes on the flavors of whatever it is cooked with.  Here is a yummy asian-inspired recipe.

Easy Stir- Fry Tofu with Garlic, Ginger and Scallions

 

Ingredients

12-14 oz. tofu (extra firm organic)
2 T. peanut oil (use more or less, depending on your pan)
2 tsp. minced garlic (finely)
2 tsp. ginger root, finely grated ( I use cubed ginger already grated and found at Trader Joe’s in the freezer section).
1 cup scallions (sliced into 2 inch pieces, This is about 1 bunch green onions. Keep white parts separate from green parts.
3 T. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 1/2 T. soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 -2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

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