Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

almond-poppy-seed-muffins

I have a question for the ladies out there. Do you ever take your purse and dump it out? Dump every little coin, paperclip, hair tie and piece of trash out of it? Then pick through the contents, get rid of those things that are cluttering it up and placing your necessities neatly back inside your purse.

With the painter almost finished here at our house I have been thinking about what I have that is really necessary and what can be considered clutter. It’s as if I have “dumped” it out and I am starting over. Just thinking about the purge makes me feel invigorated.  Imagine if you will, how much better our lives would be if we applied “dumping the unnecessary” to ourselves.  How much better would we feel to get rid of the negative thoughts that are cluttering our minds every day?

These muffins are wonderfully moist and delicious. The finishing touches are not necessary, but I love the added crunch on top. I promised easy recipes, and that is still my goal. This week’s recipe is easy, but I’m not sure how many of you will have almond paste lying around. These muffins are well worth the trip to the grocery store though. This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks. One that is well worn with plenty of vanilla splashes and creased pages. Almond Poppy Seed Muffins is from Marcy Goldman’s The New Best of Better Baking.com. You may add one teaspoon of lemon extract and a little lemon juice for a fantastic lemon poppy seed muffins.

 

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Almond Poppy Seed Muffins
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4-oz. almond paste, minced
  • ½ c. finely ground almonds
  • ½ c. (4-oz.) unsalted butter
  • ¼ c. canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • ⅓ c. milk
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • FINISHING TOUCHES
  • Slivered almonds
  • Coarse Sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Position the oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the sugar and almond paste together well, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the ground almonds, butter, and oil and blend well. Fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds and blend, scraping the bottom of the bowl occasionally to ensure nothing gets stuck in the well of the mixing bowl. If the mixture seems too loose, add a touch more flour. It should be the consistency of thick cake batter.
  3. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with some slivered almonds and sugar. Place the muffin cups on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake about 30 to 35 minutes, until the muffins are nicely browned and spring back when lightly touched. Let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.

 

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Triple-Flavored Big-Batch Cookies

triple-flavored-big-batch-cookies

 

Sometimes things happens that awakens an interest that you never imagined having. This particular thing has happened to me, as of late. I find myself wanting to learn as much about beekeeping as I possibly can.

A couple of years ago Greg and I came home, after being out of town for several days, to find hundreds of dead or almost dead honeybees in our living room floor. At the time I wanted nothing to do with them and contacted several beekeepers to rid myself of them. I thought that they were in the walls of our house and not being very fond of bee stings; I could not imagine coexisting with them in the same house.

Now I know that they were swarming and simply looking for a place to start a new hive. As it turned out, they were not in the walls of the house. They had, however, moved into a vacant camper behind the barn. Last year a local beekeeper, Michael, caught a couple of swarms here on the farm. The bees stayed in the camper for a while, but it was evident several weeks ago that they no longer occupied the camper.

I have bought two books but admittedly have only read parts of them. Greg and I will be going to the beach soon, and they are my intended reading material. In the meantime Michael has another nuc here on the farm and is going to help me set up a hive. I am still not too keen on the stings, but I’m excited about this new hobby of ours. If you are a beekeeper yourself, I would appreciate any information that you are willing to share! (notjustsundaydinner@yahoo.com)

Today’s recipe has all the goodness of peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, and chocolate chip cookies. These Triple-Flavored Big-Batch Cookies are delicious, and this recipe makes 10 to 11 dozen cookies. You can freeze a portion of the cookie dough if you do not care to bake so many at one time.

 

Triple-Flavored Big-Batch Cookies
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. chunky peanut butter
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1½ c. packed brown sugar
  • 3 egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 c. semisweet chocolate chips (or 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips plus 1 c. peanut butter chips)
Instructions
  1. in a large bowl stir together flour, oats, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a very large bowl beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture. Stir in chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350°F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and set. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

 

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Peanut Butter Skillet Brownie

peanut-butter-skillet-brownie

 

 

Binge watching a television show is entirely new to me. Since Netflix came into existence I think everyone in my family has binge-watched something, besides me. Greg went through his Person of Interest days and Savannah has watched several things, including Grey’s Anatomy. Nothing has ever held my interest long enough to sit for hours straight. I don’t even sit through a two-hour movie at home. I suppose there are too many things that I need to be doing.

Things have changed. I recently discovered a show on Starz that I totally have an obsession with now! I still can’t sit down long enough to watch the entire season at one time, but over the past week, I have almost finished two seasons. That is a record for me! Season three will not be on until September so I’m even thinking of rewatching the first two seasons when I finish the last three episodes this week.

I have made a few discoveries.  Binge watching is better with the lights out, it’s better with a friend, and it’s better with food.  What better way to enjoy the show that you love than with a good friend and a pizza, a big bowl of popcorn, or better yet, this awesome Peanut Butter Skillet Brownie? Warm from the oven, plopped right there between you, spoons in hand and digging in while you are completely absorbed with these characters that you feel like you know personally.

This skillet brownie bakes up in 20 minutes and is delicious served with vanilla ice cream. If you don’t care for peanut butter add a few chocolate chips or nuts into the batter or over the top. Serve up warm with a glass of cold milk and you are ready for a marathon of your favorite show!

 

Peanut Butter Skillet Brownie
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 8-oz. dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil or butter
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave until melted stirring every 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the chocolate mixture, gently stirring to combine.
  5. Transfer the batter to a well seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet, smoothing the top.
  6. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the peanut butter briefly to soften (20 to 30 seconds). Dollop the peanut butter onto the brownie batter, use a spoon handle to swirl the peanut butter into the batter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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Amye’s Top Recipes from 2016

Amye's-Top-Recipes-from-2016

 

 

One of my favorite post each year is my top picks. I’m running a little late this year, but I did not want to miss out on the opportunity to share my favorite recipes from 2016 with you!

It’s obvious at first glance that I enjoy cheese, chipotle peppers, sugar, and food with a Mexican flair. Because I am trying new recipes much of the time, I often prepare a recipe only once. However, my top picks for 2016 are recipes that I make over and over again! These are all dishes that my family and I enjoy. These are the foods that I crave.

I think it would be fun to sit down one day and figure out my ALL-TIME favorite NJSD recipes!! Maybe that will be an upcoming post!

In the meantime, visit or revisit these fabulous recipes from 2016. Simply click on the recipe title below to be redirected to the original post.

 

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The Varsity has nothing on these delicious Crispy Onion Rings!  They are fast and easy to prepare and worth the effort!

 

My cousin’s recipe for this Garden Dill Veggie Sandwich is simply the best!

 

Maybe it’s a little cold outside for these fabulous Peaches and Coconut Cream Popsicles, but they will be on the menu here soon!

 

The Cilantro Sauce takes these Fajita Kabobs over the top!  This is a must try recipe!

 

Sweet Potato bread is amazingly moist!  I seldom make the pineapple butter but for special occasions it’s a wonderful addition!

 

Not only does this Pineapple Upside Down Pound Cake look beautiful, it also tastes great!

 

This homemade enchilada sauce is so simple you will wonder why you haven’t been making it all along!  Make these tasty Chicken Enchiladas for an easy weeknight dinner!

 

Customize this recipe with as many chipotle peppers as you like.  I love the wonderful smoky flavor of chipotle peppers in Amye’s Smoky Cheese Dip!

 

My aunt’s recipe for Heirloom Carrot Cake is THE best carrot cake I’ve ever had.  I love this frosting!

 

Here’s another super easy recipe, Fried Chicken Tacos with Buttermilk Jalapeno Sauce.  I simply pick up chicken tenders at Zaxby’s then make the sauce for a delicious and simple meal for the family!

 

This smoky, spicy barbecue sauce adds tons of flavor to this yummy Smoky Barbecue Chicken Sandwich!  I keep this sauce in the fridge all of the time!

 

These wonderful Peanut Butter Fingers are the first recipe I ever cooked on my own as a teenager.  They are a great treat to this day…many years later!

 

I love the taste of pickles and olives.  This Olive Bruschetta is a sure winner for your next party!

 

Notice this is the third family recipe that I picked for a 2016 favorite.  Make my aunt’s Tea Cake recipe and you may never make another cookie!  They are just that good!

 

You will not find many casserole recipes on NJSD but this one is a keeper!  This ooey, gooey Cheesy Onion Casserole is high on the list of comfort foods in our house!

 

Now I am craving all my favorites!   I always enjoy your comments and I would enjoy hearing from you now.  Do you have a favorite recipe from NJSD that you have tried and you make it over and over again?  Leave a comment on NJSD or email me at notjustsundaydinner@yahoo.com.  My goal for 2017 is to have more reader involvement.  So please, if you enjoy NJSD or you have a favorite recipe, or you just want to say “hi”, let me hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gingerbread Loaf

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gingerbread-loaf-1

 

Christmastime for most of us is filled with traditions. Traditions are a big part of what makes the season so special to me. Many of those traditions revolving around food. When the kids were small, we always baked cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. They are older now but I still bake cookies on Christmas Eve. Christmas candy is something my mama always made, and I have continued that tradition at my house.

My kids decorated a gingerbread house every year when they were younger. Wes stopped doing helping with that in his early teens, but Savannah continued, and we had a gingerbread house in the center of the table every year. That is, until last year. With Savannah’s busy schedule she just could not find the time to decorate one last year. I’m not going to lie. The table looked a little lonely and sad.

This year I have decided to change up the tradition a bit. We will have gingerbread at the house but in a different form. I will be making this delicious gingerbread loaf to snack on during our time together. This loaf fills the house with a wonderful aroma as it bakes. It’s perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or as a snack, or even for dessert. It also makes a great gift for neighbors and coworkers.

In testing this recipe I used 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup sorghum syrup. Sorghum is not quite as strong as molasses, and therefore a better choice for my family.

Gingerbread Loaf
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ c. molasses
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Glaze:
  • 1 c. confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp. milk (more if needed)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice,and cloves.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together melted butter, molasses, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined. (Mixture may look curdled.)
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  6. For glaze: Whisk together the milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled loaf.
  7. If desired decorate the top with chopped nuts, dried cranberries, or whole fresh cranberries.
Notes
In testing this recipe, I used ½ c. molasses plus ¼ c. sorghum syrup.

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