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

ncCranPecPumpMuffs1nm

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

10SweetPotatoRecipes

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

ncChocChipMuffs1nm

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

ncBanOatMufs2nm

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

ncBlkbryGingbrdMufs1nm

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

ncLemRaspMuffs3nm

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!

ncCarrotCkMuffs1nm

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…

SlimDownSouth

…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

ncWhChedSgBiscnm

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?

Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins

ncLdSwtPotMuf1nm

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.

ncLdSwtPotMuf2nm

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!

ncLdSwtPot3nm

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

Egg Nog-Cranberry Muffins

ncEggNogMuf2nm

Okay, I promise this will be the last Christmasy thing I post for awhile! :) I just thought this recipe would come in handy if any of you happened to have egg nog left over from the holidays. I always buy egg nog every year–it doesn’t seem like the holidays without it–but I always end up with extra. And it’s so rich, you can’t really drink a lot of it. So baking with it seems like the perfect way to finish using it up. I’m not sure exactly where I found this recipe because it’s one I just had a clipping of, but the clipping says that these muffins are served at a bed and breakfast called Amid Summer’s Innin Cedar City, Utah. It sounds like a great bed and breakfast. Have any of you stayed there?

The original recipe has chopped candied cherries in it, but I had dried cranberries on hand and thought I’d use those instead. I thought the muffins were really good with the dried cranberries, and I’m sure they’re good with the candied cherries too, so use whatever you like best. These are really yummy muffins…they actually have a cupcake-like texture. The egg nog flavor isn’t very strong, so I think it’s safe to say even non-egg nog fans would like these.

ncEggNogMuf3nm

One thing you don’t want to do when making these is overfill your muffin cups! I filled mine a little too full and the tops rose a little too much and spread over the edges of the muffin cups, making them tricky to remove from the pan. Fortunately, I was using non-stick pans so I was able to remove them without breaking any muffin tops, but next time I’ll make sure just to fill each muffin cup 3/4 full of batter. That should give you a nice rounded–topped muffin that doesn’t run over the edge. This recipe makes 2 dozen muffins, plus 3-4 additional ones…so you’ll get about 27-28 muffins. I didn’t have 3 muffin pans, so I just filled a mini loaf pan with the extra batter and baked it right along with the muffins.

The creamy Egg Nog glaze makes a great topping for these muffins, and you can make them even prettier by sprinkling on some dried cranberries and chopped nuts. If you have extra egg nog, give these a try…or keep them in mind for next year!

EGG NOG–CRANBERRY MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from Amid Summer’s Inn Bed and Breakfast

Makes 27 to 28 muffins

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups egg nog
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or 1 cup chopped candied cherries)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat in eggs. In medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder and add alternately with eggnog to butter-sugar mixture. Fold in dried cranberries (or chopped candied cherries). Pour or spoon batter into well-greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 26 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, then add egg nog glaze…

CREAMY EGG NOG GLAZE

  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 to 6 Tablespoons egg nog
  • dried cranberries and finely chopped nuts for toppings (or dried candied cherry halves)

Mix powdered sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon together in small bowl. Add desired amount of egg nog to get the consistency you want (I used 6 Tablespoons for my glaze). Spread or drizzle over each muffin. Top with dried cranberries and chopped nuts (or a candied cherry half in the center).

ncEggNogMuff1nm

These would be great for a holiday breakfast, brunch, or tea. A nice way to enjoy your egg nog!