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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Banana Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

So apparently I am obsessed with making muffins this week ;) This afternoon I decided to use up some mature bananas by making a batch of banana-chocolate-oat muffins. There is nothing more delicious to me than the combination of sweet milk chocolate paired with the subtle sweetness and depth of bananas. I found this recipe on the Chobani yogurt website and fell in love. The use of yogurt in this recipe keeps the muffins extra moist and fluffy. I decided to add chocolate and oats to the recipe which created extra sweetness and texture. I would recommend you do the same! 

I hope you try this easy delicious recipe by clicking below: 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Molasses Raisin-Bran Muffins

Molasses is a viscous by-product of the refining of sugarcane, grapes, or sugar beets into sugar. Molasses has the consistency of honey and tastes fuller and earthier than sugar. Molasses is also more bitter and less-sweet compared with sugar or honey. In regards to nutritional value, it contains various healthy minerals and calcium. I made my own version of a molasses muffin by adding bran cereal, raisins and almond extract. Each muffin contains roughly 300 calories and is loaded to fiber, vitamins and minerals. Follow my recipe below:

Molasses Raisin-Bran Muffins

(makes about 2 dozen) 

2 cups bran 

3 cups milk
2 cups molasses
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tbsp almond extract  
4 cups flour 
2 tbsp baking powder 
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp clove
1 cup raisins  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. In large bowl, combine bran and milk and let sit for 5 minutes. Then add molasses, egg, oil and almond. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, flour through raisins. Slowly combine wet and dry ingredients together. Once mixed well, pour half of batter into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove muffins from tin and place on drying rack. Repeat for second batch. Keep stored at room temp in air-tight container. Best served with a pat of butter or honey! Enjoy. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pig Ate My Pizza

Cider Ham Rules 
Ray Charles 
Scallop and Rafael Pizzas
Scallop Ceviche 
Salt and Pepper Nugs 

Pig Ate My Pizza in Robbinsdale is truly unique among pizza joints. The restaurant is run by the owners of Travail, the former chef-fronted molecular gastronomy restaurant. The restaurant is located on a quiet street, in a sleep town... but inside, the restaurant is anything but sleepy. Myself and 9 other friends gathered early to the restaurant at around 5pm (arrive any later and you'll end up waiting for possibly hours!) Luckily, we got in right away and were seated at a high booth looking over the restaurant and kitchen. Music blasted old rock classics, decorative animals and nick-nacks clad the walls. The pizza kitchen is open and visible to the diners (always entertaining to see pizza flipping high into the air!) and all menu items are posted on chalkboards. 

Now getting to the grub... holy smokes this place is spot on delicious! Our group ordered 5 pizzas our server recommended to share alongside their scallop ceviche appetizer and salt and pepper nugs. The pizza crust is cooked napoleon style, thin and crispy. All of their toppings are extremely creative and inventive, for example the Ray Charles pizza features crispy kale, BBQ pork belly, peaches and mesquite smoke. My favorite pizzas were the scallop pizza, delicately presented with smokey bacon and butter sauce and the Cider Ham Rules, clad with homemade potato chips, shredded ham, black truffle and braised apple. When the pizzas are presented at the table, the chefs/servers whip out various "secret ingredient" spray bottles to spritz various flavorings atop the piping hot pizzas. If you ask me, the "spray" must have some intoxicating drug chemical inside because the pizzas are out of this world tasty!  

If you are looking for a new type of pizza eating experience, I highly recommend you try Pig Ate My Pizza, just be sure to arrive extra early to avoid a line. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Very Cherry Compote over Greek Frozen Yogurt

What to do with a bag of fresh cherries? Make a compote! A compote is a french term to mean fruit cooked in sugar. Compotes are made in a similar process to jams or jellies, except compotes do not contain pectin. Compotes are typically served over ice cream or crepes. To prepare compote, chop fresh cherries (without the pit) and reduce in a small sauce pan with sugar, lemon juice, a splash or cranberry or pomegranate juice and a pinch of salt to liven up the cherry flavor. Heat up compote before drizzling over your favorite ice cream! You're going to LOVE this sweet treat. 

Linguini with Triple Mushroom Ragu

Last night my husband and I invited friends over for dinner. I knew I wanted to keep the meal fuss-free, because who wants to be slaving away in the kitchen while entertaining guests? Not me! In an effort to conserve social time, I prepared my ragu sauce the day before so that when my guests arrived all I had to do was boil water for pasta and re-heat my sauce. Cooking a sauce the day before also tends to enhance the flavor. Overall the dish was a hit! Try my recipe out below for your next dinner party! 

Linguini with Triple Mushroom Ragu

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves freshly chopped garlic  
1 large can good quality chopped tomatoes in sauce
1 can diced tomatoes in garlic and olive oil 
1 cup fresh diced tomatoes 
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper 

1 tbsp olive oil 

1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms 
1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil 
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp onion power
1 tsp garlic powder

1 box linguini, cooked
Chopped fresh basil
Parmesan cheese 

In a large pot, add olive oil and onion over medium heat. Once onions are browned, add garlic and reduce heat to low. Add canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, then simmer on low for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in another fry pan, add olive oil, then mushrooms and sauté over medium heat adding spices until mushrooms have softened slightly. Now add mushroom mixture to sauce mixture and stir well. Add more salt or pepper as needed. Simmer all together on low for another 10 minutes. Refrigerate or serve immediately over cooked linguini, parmesan and freshly chopped basil.