Monday, April 29, 2013

Baked French Toast with Blueberries and Cream

This baked french toast is perfect for a slow morning

You can assemble it the night before and bake it in the morning.

The house will smell amazing as it bakes.

Baked French Toast with Blueberries and Cream

1 (12 ounce) day-old baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used marble rye)
1 1/2 - 2 cups blueberries, divided 
12 ounces (about 1 1/3 bricks) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar, honey, or maple syrup
8 eggs
1 lemon, zested (optional)
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
Maple syrup, for topping

Place bread cubes in a greased 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with blueberries, reserving a few for garnish. 

In a mixing bowl, beat cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, lemon zest, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Gradually add milk until blended. 

Pour over bread. 

(If you are making this the night before, cover and chill overnight or up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.)

Cover with foil and bake at 350ºF about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 25 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with reserved blueberries. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Banana Blueberry Coconut Muffins

I have been eaten out of house and muffin.

Somehow, we've managed to eat 24 muffins in the last 24 hours.

So, I found my self making muffins again this afternoon.

Today's muffins needed to have banana in them because of an over ripe bunch I had to use up.

These are much less sweet than yesterday's Blueberry Lemon Muffins and use whole wheat flour.

Originally, this recipe calls for coconut oil but melted butter works too.

By all means, use coconut oil, if you can, it will give them even more rich coconut flavour.

If you double the recipe, like I did, you will get 24 muffins or 12 large and 24 mini. (Reduce heat to 325 and cook for 15 minutes for mini muffins.)

Banana Blueberry Coconut Muffins
(adapted slightly from

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used rye)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil or butter, melted
1 cup ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg, preferably at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1 tablespoon turbinado (raw) sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Grease a muffin tin or line the tin with muffin liners (I also spray liners with no stick spray).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded coconut.

In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, mashed banana, honey, egg and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Stir in berries.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, then sprinkle the muffin tops with the remaining 1/4 cup coconut (about 1 to 2 teaspoons each). Top with a very light sprinkle of raw sugar.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mini Blueberry Lemon Crunch Muffins

If you're wondering whether these muffins are good or not...

Check out Jimmy's face.

This is how he looks when he's really enjoying food.

The whole family loves these.

These are ridiculously fast and easy to make and they'll only dirty one bowl.

Mini Blueberry Lemon Crunch Muffins
adapted slightly from
Makes 24 mini or 12 large
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used a combo of AP and whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 lemon, zested
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries, wild works best because they're smaller
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp butter, cubed
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease mini muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and zest.
Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. 
Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon. 
Work together with finger tips, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake 15-20 minutes for mini and 20-25 for large muffins, or until done.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chicken Gyros

A little while ago, my friend Bec made these for dinner.

They were so good and fresh and summery tasting.

Jim and Clara totally loved them too and kept asking me to make them.

Bec made her chicken in a slow-cooker with amazing results.

(Those of you with a slow-cooker try it out. Here's the recipe.)

Because I don't have a slow-cooker, I used this very similar oven baked recipe.

My kids eat these as more of a salad on their plate with the pita on the side.

I'm not sure if this looks labour intensive, but it's really not.

It comes together really quickly.

You could even marinate the chicken all day in the fridge, do all the toppings ahead of time and just cook the chicken at supper time.

Chicken Gyros
Recipe found here
Serves 4-6

2 teaspoons garlic, minced 
Juice of 1 lemon, I also added some of the zest
2 teaspoons apple cider or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons greek yogurt 
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves

Combine all of the above ingredients except for the chicken in a baking dish, and whisk together to make a marinade. 
Add in chicken, and turn to coat. Cover, and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to marinate.

Cook the chicken in a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the toppings and make the tzatziki sauce.

1 tomato, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
8-10 greek pita or pita pockets
crumbled feta
lettuce or spinach
red onion slices and chopped parsley, optional
tzatziki sauce, recipe below

Tzatziki Sauce

16 ounces Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and very finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic, I skipped the garlic
1 teaspoon apple cider or white wine vinegar
Salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until dinner.

Chop the cooked chicken into large chunks or strips.
Set out bowls with the toppings.
Heat up the pitas and serve.
Create gyros to your liking.

**I'm adding a few pictures of Jimmy eating his Gyro...and getting increasingly annoyed that I'm photographing him in his work clothes.

I love you, Jimmy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blueberry Spinach Juice

I'm really enjoying this juice combo after exercising these days.

Lots of soy milk, blueberries, and yogurt, a bit of almond butter and a huge handful of spinach.

It's pretty simple and doesn't have my usual overload of banana.

I love banana but I wanted to switch it up a bit.

Blueberry Spinach Juice

1 1/2 C Soy Milk or whatever milk you drink
1/2 C yogurt
1/2 C blueberries
pinch cinnamon
1 heaping Tbsp almond butter
large handful spinach
2-3 ice cubes (optional)