Saturday, March 28, 2015

Strawberry Banana Muffins

As Easter approaches and the markets are filled with beautiful red strawberries, these muffins are a great way to enjoy the fruits of the season! They are also a good make ahead for Easter Brunch.

Muffins are one of my favorite breakfast and brunch breads. They are easy to mix (by hand, no electric mixer required!), ingredients can be measured ahead of time and stored until ready to mix, they bake quickly and they always taste best the day they're baked, plus they make the house smell scrumptious! I considered omitting the cinnamon from these, but decided to try it as the recipe was written. It could barely be tasted, but it gave a nice undertone to the full flavor. These were a BIG hit at our house!

And they cooked beautifully in my new muffin pan! USA Pans... I absolutely cannot say enough good things about their pans! They cook evenly, brown perfectly, nothing sticks and they are a breeze to clean!

Strawberry Banana Muffins

1 cup mashed banana
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs and mashed banana.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add the butter mixture. Stir in chopped strawberries. Stir just until dry ingredients are wet and strawberries are combined. Spoon into prepared muffin pan.
Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm to the touch, approximately 20-24 minutes. Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes. Yield: 12 muffins

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Three Ingredient Spaghetti Sauce

The youngest Grands are coming this weekend ( and bringing their Mommy, my daughter!) of course, that sent grandma off to the kitchen to do as much prep ahead of time as possible so as not to take up too much of our play time with cooking! This spaghetti sauce is as easy as it gets and is kid- friendly!
I've got meatballs chilling and will add those to the sauce after while. Ok, I don't count salt and sugar as ingredients!

Serve just the sauce over pasta or add meatballs and serve all of it over pasta! The meatballs cook in the sauce, so they are easy, not quick, but easy.

Three Ingredient Spaghetti Sauce

2 (28-oz) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1teaspoon sugar

Since this sauce is for Grands, I processed the tomatoes in the food processor with a few quick off and on pulses just to chop them.  Combine tomatoes, onion, butter salt and sugar in a wide, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove onion with slotted spoon. DONE!

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
8 oz. ground round
8 oz. ground pork
1 cup finely ground ( not grated) fresh Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped Italian ( flat leaf) parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
2 large cloves garlic, pressed

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Break meat up into small chunks. Add cheese, parsley, salt and pepper, eggs and garlic.
Stir lightly to combine. Overmixing causes tough meatballs.
Squeeze milk from breadcrumb mixture, reserve milk. Add breadcrumbs to meat mixture and toss just to combine. Chill for a minumum of 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Wet hands with reserved milk. Shape meatballs into desired size. Place in sauce in a single layer. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with spaghetti.