Rosemary Focaccia Biscuit Bread

RosemaryFocacciaBiscuitBread@NancyCreative.com

I’m not originally from the south, but I’ve grown to love southern food. And that includes biscuits–especially biscuits! I love them hot from the oven with some butter or topped with sausage gravy…mmm! So of course I was excited about reviewing the new … Continue reading

Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

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After baking quite a few mini loaves for the holidays, I thought I’d try some muffins! I really like these muffins because they have dried cranberries, golden raisins, chopped pecans, and lots of spices–they just seem perfect for this time of … Continue reading

10 Sweet Potato Recipes

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Sweet potatoes recipes are perfect not only for Thanksgiving, but all holiday season long–and actually, some are great year-round! This Thanksgiving, I had made Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie, which was really good, and I thought I’d share a roundup … Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I realized that it’s been awhile since I made anything with chocolate in it, so I thought it would be a great time to make some Chocolate Chip Muffins! These are nice and cake-y, with lots of chocolate chips in every … Continue reading

Banana Oat Muffins with Maple Syrup Drizzle

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Ripe bananas once again–my bananas seem to ripen more quickly in the summer! I thought I’d try making some muffins this time. I had made some Blueberry Oat Banana Bread before, and thought it would be nice to add oats to … Continue reading

Blackberry Gingerbread Muffins

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Usually I think of making gingerbread during the winter holidays, but here’s a summerized version in muffin form! Fresh blackberries make these muffins moist and of course the ginger and molasses give these muffins that great gingerbread taste. I had clipped this recipe … Continue reading

Lemon Raspberry Muffins: Sugar-Crusted or Lemon-Glazed

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Lemon is such a great springtime flavor and this past weekend seemed like the perfect time to make some lemon-flavored muffins! I found a recipe on Pinterest that inspired me, and it also inspired one of my friends to convince me to make them … Continue reading

Carrot Cake Muffins from The Slim Down South Cookbook and a Giveaway!

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85da3980e121e8d97d9341993c7a3c00I mentioned a few posts ago that I’d be having another giveaway for a cookbook with healthy recipes, and here it is! It’s a Southern Living cookbook–they always have such great recipes!–and it’s called The Slim Down South Cookbook. I had a chance to review it, and the publisher is also providing a giveaway copy for one of you! See the end of the post for details on how to win this giveaway!

This cookbook is written by registered dietitian and award-winning journalist Carolyn O’Neil and includes nutritious versions of Southern-style favorites for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts. You’ll also find lots of great full-color photos of most of the recipes, like these…

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…which will inspire you to start making some healthy, appetizing food!

The book begins with a chapter called “A Healthy Southern Plate” which includes some great healthy lifestyle tips along with a 14-Day SLIM Eating Plan. You’ll find additional healthy tips in the other chapters, too, which have recipes for every meal, along with desserts and snacks. Calorie and nutrition information is included with every recipe.

Some of the great-sounding foods you can make include:

  • English Muffin French Toast
  • Zucchini-Onion Frittata
  • Baked Cheese Grits
  • Peach-and-Tomato Gazpacho
  • Salmon and Vegetable Salad
  • Crunchy Pecan Slaw
  • Chicken and Mini Waffles
  • Texas Caviar Rice and Beans
  • Mocha-Pecan Mud Pie
  • Lime-Raspberry Bites

I thought I’d try something from the chapter on breakfast food called “Rise and Shine!” These Carrot Cake Muffins sounded really good and I love trying new muffin recipes! I thought they came out great–crushed pineapple gives them a great moistness, and there are lots of healthy shredded carrots in them, too! It’s nice to start the day with something tasty as well as healthy! :)

CARROT CAKE MUFFINS from The Slim Down South Cookbook

Makes 18 muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used light olive oil instead)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (you can use the pre-shredded carrots to save time if you want)
  • Paper baking cups
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Whisk together oil and next 3 ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in carrots. Place paper baking cups in 18 muffins cups, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.

Bake at 350˚F for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Based on 18 muffins: Serving Size 1 muffin Calories 128 Fat 3.8g (sat 0.5, mono 1.6g, poly 1.5g) Protein 2.1g Carb 21.5g Fiber 0.9g Chol 21mg Iron 0.8mg Sodium 223 mg Calc 11mg

I must have filled my muffin cups a little fuller, because I ended up with 17 muffins instead of 18. But I liked how full and rounded they turned out, so I’d probably do that again. My baking time was 22 minutes. I was out of cooking spray, so I filled my paper liners without spraying them and that worked out fine–the muffins just stuck slightly to the liners.

85da3980e121e8d97d9341993c7a3c00THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congratulations to Cathy, whose comment #22 was chosen via random.org as the winner!

Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The Slim Down South Cookbook, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Wednesday, January 29, at 10 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Thursday evening, January 30. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.

First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite Southern dish is-even if it’s not that healthy! :)

Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it just means I need to click on it to approve it before it’s visible–I do this because of spam comments that sometimes come through!

White Cheddar and Sage Biscuits

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ncSirKensington1nmI recently had the chance to sample some complimentary products from Sir Kensington’s. They sent me a wonderful package of their all natural gourmet Classic Mayonnaise, Chipotle Mayonnaise, Ketchup and Spiced Ketchup.

Sir Kensington’s makes quality non-GMO condiments–their ketchup is made with crushed tomatoes, raw sugar, and a great blend of vinegar and spices that give it a very rich tomato taste (and with a lot less sugar and sodium than other brands). I love their spiced ketchup, too, which is flavored with chipotle peppers, cilantro, lime juice, and coriander.

The Classic Mayonnaise is wonderful–very smooth, rich and creamy. And I like that it’s made with cage-free eggs and has 33% less saturated fat than other mayos. If you like mayonnaise with some spice, their Chipotle Mayonnaise makes a perfect sandwich spread or veggie dip, flavored with chipotle peppers, cumin, garlic, and tomato–such a great blend of spicy flavors!

ncSirKensMayo3nmI also received some recipes from Sir Kensington’s and I just had to try their White Cheddar and Sage Biscuits, because I am such a cheese-lover! I was also curious to try this recipe because the biscuits have mayonnaise in them and I have never made biscuits that way before! I did change their original recipe slightly because it called for self-rising flour, and I substituted flour, baking powder, and salt instead. And the original recipe suggests baking the biscuits in a cast iron skillet, but my smaller iron skillet would not hold all the biscuits, so I baked them on a parchment-lined baking sheet instead.

I thought these biscuits were really good! The mayonnaise gives them a great texture and rich flavor. And of course I love the cheese in these, too! The fresh sage makes a great savory combination with the cheese. If you are a biscuit-lover, then you will need to try these out–they’d be great with some eggs for breakfast or with some soup or chili for lunch or dinner!

WHITE CHEDDAR AND SAGE BISCUITS (adapted from Sir Kensington’s)

Makes 11 to 12 biscuits

  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used non-GMO canola oil instead)
  • 3 tablespoons Sir Kensington’s Classic Mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • parchment paper, for lining baking sheet

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the buttermilk, oil, and mayonnaise.

In a separate bowl, mix together the white cheddar, chopped fresh sage, flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until all ingredients are combined.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. If dough is sticky, knead in a little extra flour. Pat the dough out to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut dough into round pieces. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and allow biscuits to rest on the sheet for 10 minutes before putting into the oven.

Bake in a preheated 425˚F oven (220˚C) until lightly browned, about 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from pan and serve.

Some of the stores that carry Sir Kensington’s products include Sur la table, Safeway, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. It’s a great brand to try if you feel like treating yourself to gourmet mayonnaise and ketchup! Have you ever tried this brand before?

Orange Creamsicle Muffins

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Are you a fan of Orange Creamsicles? I used to eat those a lot when I was a kid! If you like that orangey, creamy taste, you’ll probably enjoy these pretty and puffy rounded-top muffins. They have a great orange flavor and the white baking morsels give them an extra creaminess. They’re finished off with a yummy orange glaze and more of those creamy white baking morsels, coarsely chopped up. This recipe makes about 14 to 15 regular-size muffins.

ORANGE CREAMSICLE MUFFINS

Makes 14 to 15 muffins

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk or Half & Half
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
  • 1/2 Tablespoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 cup white (vanilla) baking morsels (aka white chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular-size muffin pan with paper liners. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; blend together and set aside. In medium bowl, mix sugar and oil together, blending well; then mix in milk (or Half & Half), egg, yogurt, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, and orange extract; mix until well blended. Add this mixture, half at a time, to flour mixture and stir until blended, but don’t overmix! Fold in the white baking morsels. Spoon batter (the batter will be thick) into muffin cups, filling them between 2/3 and 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean (muffins will be lightly browned on top). Cool 5-10 minutes and remove from pan, then cool completely on a wire rack. While waiting for the muffins to cool, you can mix the glaze…

ORANGE GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
  • 1/2 Tablespoon milk or half & half
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons white (vanilla) baking morsels, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Mix powdered sugar, orange juice concentrate, and milk together in small bowl and blend well, until sugar is dissolved. This will be a thicker glaze. Spoon over muffins and sprinkle some coarsely chopped white baking morsels on top. Let glaze set for at least 10 to 15 minutes, then serve.

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I think orange is a great muffin flavor! Do you have a favorite orange muffin recipe?

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins

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One thing I love about these muffins is that you can make them plain…

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…or you can make them fancy!

They taste great without any kind of topping at all because they’re filled with lots of small chunks of fresh strawberries, and Greek yogurt makes them nice and moist. I think the butter in these have something to do with the rich taste, too. They are really yummy! I debated about putting a glaze on top of the muffins because they taste great just the way they are–why mess with a good thing? But then again, they do look pretty cute with a little glaze and a strawberry half on top! So, it’s up to you…if you like your muffins plain and simple, leave off the glaze…but if you want a fancier muffin, add some glaze and a strawberry!

STRAWBERRY YOGURT MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Makes 24 muffins

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced or cut into small chunks (measure strawberries after they’ve been cut into chunks
  • Optional: Creamy Glaze (see recipe below) and 12 strawberries, hulled and cut in half for garnish

Preheat oven to 350″F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, then stir in vanilla.

In small bowl, blend flour, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate beating the flour mixture and the yogurt into the butter/sugar mixture in the large bowl. Fold in the strawberries, gently mixing them into the batter. FYI, the batter will be thick!

Spoon batter into muffin cups, dividing batter evenly among all the cups (they’ll be between 2/3 and 3/4 full) and bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool completely (I tasted these both warm from the oven and after they cooled completely, and I like them better when they are cooled!), then either serve or add the glaze and a strawberry half on top.

CREAMY GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 12 strawberries, hulled and cut in half for garnish

Mix powdered sugar and milk (or half and half), blending well–this will be a thick glaze. With a spoon, add a small dollup of glaze to the top of each muffin and spread out a little. Then add a strawberry half over the glaze. Let glaze set about 10 to 20 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftover muffins.

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NOTE: You can also make this recipe as a bundt cake–bake in a 10″ bundt pan at 350˚F for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Grease and flour your pan well so your cake will come out easily. Let cake cool in pan about 20 minutes before removing. Cool completely on wire rack, then either serve plain or top with Creamy Glaze (let glaze set 10 to 20 minutes before serving).

How do you like your muffins–plain or fancy?

Egg Nog Muffins

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I had some extra egg nog again this year, so I decided to try out an egg nog muffin recipe of my own. These muffins rise very nicely, with wonderfully rounded tops. They’re not overly sweet, so they’re great spread with butter, jam, or even some cranberry chutney…and the Egg Nog Glaze adds a nice touch of sweetness on top. If you like your muffins sweeter, you can add in some chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or golden raisins, which I’ve noted in the recipe below. The muffins have a very subtle egg nog flavor, so they’ll also appeal to non-egg nog lovers.

EGG NOG MUFFINS with EGG NOG GLAZE by NancyCreative

Makes 18 muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups egg nog
  • optional add-ins: 3/4 cup of dried cranberries, golden raisins, or white, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate chips
  • Egg Nog Glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 18 muffins cups with paper liners; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; set aside.

In medium bowl, combine canola oil, sugar, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and egg nog, blending well. Add these wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are moistened.

Spoon batter into lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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Let muffins cool completely, then top with the glaze…

EGG NOG GLAZE

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup egg nog
  • additional nutmeg for garnish

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. When muffins have cooled, spoon the glaze over each muffin or dip the tops of each muffin into the glaze, then sprinkle each muffin top with a dash of nutmeg before the glaze sets.

You’ll probably have some glaze left over, so you can save it to use on other things you’re baking.

Note: You can serve these muffins warm, too, if you want…let them cool about 5 minutes, then drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with nutmeg (the glaze will sink into the muffins a little because they’re still warm, but that’s OK :) ) Serve with butter, jam, or cranberry chutney if desired.

It’s hard to believe the holidays are just about over! Wishing all of you a wonderful New Year!

Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins

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I came up with this recipe when I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for anywhere else. I had to make several batches of these muffins before they came out the way I wanted, but it was worth it! These are really yummy muffins made with canned sweet potatoes and “loaded” with dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and finely chopped pecans. They’re a real treat for breakfast, brunch, or snack time.

These Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins are great to make all year round, but I’m going to keep these in mind for Thanksgiving time, too…since I usually make alot of things with sweet potatoes and cranberries that time of year.

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You’ll end up with 19-20 muffins when you make this…about 1 1/2 dozen. Here’s the recipe…enjoy!

LOADED SWEET POTATO MUFFINS by NancyCreative

Makes 19-20 muffins

  • 1 (15-ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or substitute raisins)
  • 1/2  to 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners (the second tin will only need 7 or 8 liners).

In large bowl, add mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and softened butter; blend until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, blending well. Add these dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture in the large bowl.

Add milk to sweet potato and flour mixture, stirring until blended (don’t overmix), then fold in the cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and chopped pecans.

Fill the lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Enjoy these muffins loaded with lots of yummy things inside!

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Do you like making muffins? What’s your favorite flavor?