#MuffinMonday: Cherry Chocolate Muffins

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#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin!

You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

I had planned on being creative with my muffin offering today with an original recipe. That particular recipe still has some tweaking to do so it’s going to have to wait for its grand debut.

Instead, I rushed to the handy dandy 50 Muffins booklet from one of my Food Network magazines.

These Cherry Chocolate Muffins can’t even pretend to be a health food. These are a dessert muffin, 100%. And they’re absolutely delicious!

I wasn’t wanting the kids to have any of the chocolate deliciousness before dinner, but they managed to sneak away with a muffin during their photo shoot. Hey, you all know by now that I love including photos of kid-approved recipes being eaten by the cute (yes, I’m biased) children, so who was I to stop them?! Following the snapping of the camera, the muffins were taken away.

img_5996Firecracker helped bake these muffins with a sweet friend. I sent 3 home with her. She claimed she wasn’t going to share them with her husband because they were too good. I’ll have too follow up on that report. I brought 6 over for a pizza night at another friend’s house. Her kids were picking the crumbs off the muffin liners. Seriously, guys, they’re that good. I left the rest for Treat and my husband, as Firecracker and I were off to the airport the next morning to reunite with our best friends from Ohio, who now life in Texas.

With all the insanity, it’s amazing I’m getting this post typed up for this month’s Muffin Monday! I’m quite thankful for the crazy long travel day and the early bedtime from both of my boys. “Are you trying to set a world record for speed typing?” asks my husband. Told you I’m cutting it close!

This recipe makes 15 muffins.

Cherry Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 C mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C frozen cherries, thawed, drained and chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-15 muffin cups with liners, or grease.
  2. Put butter and chocolate in a microwave safe dish and melt, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the cherries.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and extracts.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry, then stir in the melted chocolate and butter.
  6. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake 24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.

*This recipe is adapted from Food Network Magazine*

Cherry Chocolate Muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Apricot Pistachio Matcha Muffins by Farm Fresh Feasts

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Cherry Chocolate Muffins by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Garlic Onion Muffins by Passion Kneaded

Muffins Florentine by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins by Food Lust People Love

Wild Rice and Carrots from The Migraine Relief Plan

When the opportunity arose to review The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver I jumped on it. While I’ve been lucky enough, at least in these first 28 years of life, to not be a sufferer of migraines, migraines do run in my family. My grandmother, great uncle, aunt, uncle, and mom have all dealt with varying versions of them. As a young child even my brother would suffer from headaches! Thankfully he’s outgrown them. I hope that means our family history of migraine attacks ends with our generation.

My mom’s headaches seem to be the least severe of the group, but I remember not even being allowed to utter the word “headache” around her, resorting to simply calling them an “H” when I was younger. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but I won’t use the word in her presence to this day. My aunt seems to suffer the most of the bunch and continues to get severe migraine attacks. These migraine attacks would result in days spent in bed and helped contribute to an early retirement. I can’t wait to share this book with her. As a doctor, I know she would appreciate the amount of research Stephanie put into developing the Plan. When I asked if it’d be okay to mention her in this blog post, I discovered that she’s already heard of the book and I look forward to giving her more information about it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Migraine Relief Plan in exchange of my honest review. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links.

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health is an incredible resource for anyone living with migraines. Stephanie is an author, blogger, and certified wellness and health coach. She has a Master of Public Health in Nutrition Education from the University of Illinois. Her recipes have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Parade, and more. She lives in San Diego, CA.

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The book is broken down into 5 parts: Creating the Plan, The Plan, Maintaining the Plan, Creating a long-term lifestyle, and Migraine-friendly recipes and meal plans.

In Part I you’ll read about Stephanie’s story. Part II explains the 8 week Plan. Stephanie’s 8 week plan is a perfect way to completely change your eating habits and lifestyle without “quitting cold turkey.” Even as a non-migraine patient I can look to her plan for ways to improve my own lifestyle. While near every processed grocery item contains “triggers” Stephanie’s well thought out way of eating and cooking is a fantastic guide for cutting out those boxed and packaged foods. (Something we said we were going to do when we moved back in April that still hasn’t happened…) Part III takes you through months 3-6 on the Plan, focusing on adjusting your lifestyle to reduce the onset of migraine attacks. Part IV is all about how to maintain your new lifestyle by slowly, thoughtfully, and carefully introducing potential trigger foods into your diet. Part V contains over 75 recipes to make your journey along the migraine relief plan delicious. Each recipe includes nutrition facts, helpful cook’s note, budget friendly indicator, and diet indicators.

I think the biggest game changer is cooking without salt. I’ve already tried 4 recipes from this book and not once did my husband comment on a lack of salt. Honestly, I was shocked! Stephanie has really succeeded in creating recipes that are full of flavor and healthy.

I made Herbed Cheese Spread (which I used as a pasta sauce for a quick dinner), Firehouse Turkey Chili, and Peachy Pulled Pork. All three were adult and kid approved!

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The recipe I’m featuring today is Wild Rice and Carrots. We served this side dish next to simply sautéed fresh tilapia for a great weeknight dinner. I had the leftover rice for lunch the next day. It’s been a while since I’d cooked with carrots and we found them to be delectable! They’re perfectly tender and subtly sweet. Wild rice was fun to work with, too! I think I’d only ever had the grain once before and I’m looking forward to utilizing it more as a side dish option.

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Recipe photography copyright 2016 by Laura Bashar

Wild Rice and Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 2 C (500 mL) filtered water or unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 C (150 g) wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil or unsalted grass-fed butter
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 ribs celery, finely minced
  • 1 handful fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Steps:

  1. In a medium saucepan set over high heat, combine the filtered water and rice. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the cover on for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the rice, parsley, and black pepper. Cook 1 minute more until everything is warmed through.
  3. Serve right away or refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days.

Vegan/Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Egg-free

Cook’s Note: Wile rice is only grown in North America and may not be available overseas. You could substitute a hearty brown rice instead. I wash the parsley, then roll it up in a clean kitchen towel to help absorb extra moisture. Finely chop just before adding to the recipe.

Budget friendly: Very

Per serving: 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 54 mg sodium, 381 mg potassium, 4 g fiber

*This recipe is reprinted with permission from The Migraine Relief Plan, copyright 2016 Stephanie Weaver. Published by Surrey Books, an imprint of Agate Publishing, Inc.*

Wild Rice and Carrots from #TheMigraineReliefPlan from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Because my carrots were smaller than the ones photographed by Laura Bashar, I used 5 little colorful organic carrots instead of 2 large ones. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly to very happy reviews. I used water to cook my rice and olive oil for sautéing the veggies.

#SundaySupper: Easy Pork Chop Recipes

MasterChef Junior has started up again and I’m super excited. These 9-13 year olds put me, and probably everyone I know, to shame in the kitchen! I don’t watch the adult version of the show, but have been sucked into the miniature talent. This season I was actually on top of it enough to know it was happening before it started and set the DVR accordingly. It’s been two weeks and I’m already behind. Figures.

But! I did catch the first episode and 4 of the contestants had to cook a dish using “the most cooked protein.” Flip to commercial break. I spent the time it took to fast forward commercials trying to guess what would be under the cloche. The answer? Pork chops. I was wrong.

We do cook pork chops fairly often. Once upon a time it was the only protein my Firecracker would eat. Now that his all time favorite is Chick-fil-A (or any fried) chicken, it’s been harder to get him to voluntarily eat pork. After getting him to try a bite, however, he’ll finish his portion. Insert frustrated-relieved sigh here.

Shelby from Grumpy’s Honeybunch is hosting this week’s Sunday Supper event all about easy pork chop recipes. Be sure to scroll past my recipe to see a fantastic collection of recipes for your next weeknight pork dinner.

Using thick-cut chops is not something I typically do. I always prefer the thin cut because they’re quick. These thick pork chops might change the way I buy pork from now on! They’re brined for 1-3 hours (I think I landed somewhere around 2:30) yielding plump and juicy pork. A sear in cast iron helps keep that moisture in, and then into the oven underneath a blanket of brown sugar.

Quick-Brine Pork Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze (1) for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

I served these pork chops with grilled cabbage (stay tuned) and mashed sweet potatoes.

This recipe serves 2-3.

Quick Brine Pork Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 C water
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • ice, if needed
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 1 1/2-2″ thick bone-in pork chops
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar

Steps:

  1. Bring 1 C water to a gentle boil. Stir in the sage and salt. Allow to cool slightly. Add 1 C cold water. Allow brine to get to room temperature. Add ice if needed.
  2. Place pork chops in a bowl, cover with the cooled brine. Add more water if needed to cover the pork. Cover and refrigerate 1-3 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove pork chops from the brine and pat dry.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush pork with vegetable oil and season with S+P. Sear both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Spread brown sugar over the pork chops in a thin, even layer and place the skillet in the oven. Cook 5-10 minutes to desired doneness, registering at least 145 degrees F in the middle. Remove pork from the pan and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

*This recipe is adapted from Emma at http://www.thekitchn.com/dinner-for-two-recipe-sage-brined-pork-chops-with-brown-sugar-glaze-recipes-from-the-kitchn-180424#*

Quick-Brine Pork Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze (2) for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Pork Chops

Pork Chops

And More Pork Chops

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

#BundtBakers: Red

4ae7b-bundtbakerspostValentine’s Day was 2 days ago, so the theme of “red” was quite fitting this February. Could be the Bundt cake batter, the drizzle or frosting, a filling or decorations. #BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. This month’s host is Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm.

Valentine’s cakes and I have a rough history, apparently. Maybe the cakes know that I don’t care for the holiday. Two years ago, I tried making a Red Velvet Cake. Without red food coloring. I went with green. Read about the hilarious quandary here: How the Grinch Stole Valentine’s Day.

This time around, the failure had to do with some serious cake-to-bundt-pan stickage. (It’s a word, don’t worry about looking that one up.)

I was going to throw in the towel and then I looked at it and thought, these little cakes are actually kind of pretty in their own ugly way. Without the “crust” you can see the pops of red from the cherries and the luscious chocolate chips saying hello.

naked-cake

I decided to power on! I made a ganache and a glaze with the maraschino cherry juice. And I think I ruined the aesthetic of the cakes by attempting to decorate them. I should have left well alone.

Firecracker wasn’t complaining though. He quite enjoyed his unhealthy snack of maraschino cherries, chocolate chips, and taste testing both the glaze and ganache. And then we shared a mini bundt when photo time was up. (No wonder he likes it when his little brother is napping!)

I got six 1 C bundtlettes, one 2.5 C bundt, and 2 cupcakes out of this batter amount. My husband and I immediately taste tested those cupcakes while watching a movie after the kids had gone to bed.

Cherry & Chocolate Chip Bundtlettes

Ingredients for glaze:

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 C cake flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries, divided use
  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips

Ingredients for glaze and ganache:

  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 C maraschino cherry juice
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp warm heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease six 1 C bundtlettes and one 2.5 C bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the egg whites.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a measuring cup, stir 2 tbsp cherry juice into the milk.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients to the stand mixer, alternating, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Chop the cherries (reserving a few for garnish if desired) and fold into the cake batter. Fold in the chocolate chips as well.
  7. Divide batter among bundt pans. Bake the bundlettes for 26-30 minutes and the bundt for 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
  8. Allow cakes to cool slightly before unmolding and allowing to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  9. Make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar and cherry juice. Adjust ratios as needed to reach a desired consistency.
  10. Make the ganache: Stir the warm cream into the chocolate chips until melted.
  11. Decorate cakes with the glaze and the ganache. Option to garnish with reserved cherries.

*This recipe is adapted from Annie at http://mamadweeb.com/2014/02/cherry-chip-bundt-cake/*

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You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Berries Bundt Cake by Bizcocheando

Berry UpBeet Bundt Cake by All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Bundt Cake extra rojo by La mejor manera

Cherry Bundt Cake by Basic N Delicious

Red Marble Bundt by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Red Velvet Bundt Cake by I love Bundt Cakes

Red Velvet Marble Bundt Cake by Patty’s Cake

Roasted Balsamic Cherry Chocolate Cake by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Strawberries and Cream Bundt Cake by Palatable Pastime

White Chocolate Bundt Cake with Raspberry Glaze and Fresh Raspberries by The Queen of Scones

Valentine’s Day Round Up – 2017

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and I have some great recipe ideas to make that Tuesday a little extra special.

Today’s round up is all about red and pink! I have 25 recipe ideas for you to consider.

25 Red & Pink Recipes for Valentine's Day | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Beets naturally turn everything pink!

Berries and cherries are naturally red, too!

Craving something sweet?

And don’t forget the drinks!

 

Champagne Cupcakes

The 3rd (and final) installment of my champagne week is definitely a dessert. There isn’t really any getting around it. These cupcakes do not qualify for breakfast. 

“But you could try…” as my son says when he asks me to sing a song I don’t know any of the words to. Sorry, kid, it’s just not gonna happen!

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I’ve always found that the flavor of champagne doesn’t always come through in baking. That is not the case with these cupcakes! These cupcakes, literally, taste like a glass of champagne. There’s even reduced champagne in the frosting to really boost the flavor.

These cupcakes are perfect for celebrating an anniversary, birthday, or holiday.

This recipe makes 12-15 cupcakes.

Champagne Cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/2 C champagne

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1 C + 1 tbsp champagne
  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tray with liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the sour cream and champagne. Alternating, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients to the stand mixer, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  4. Divide batter among prepared cupcake tray. Bake 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer the 1 C of champagne until it reduces down to 2 tbsp. Cool completely.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the reduced champagne and the 1 tbsp champagne.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes.

*This recipe is adapted from Haley at http://www.ifyougiveablondeakitchen.com/2014/12/29/cocktail-cupcakes-champagne-cupcakes/*

Champagne Cupcakes | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Champagne Chicken

Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a special dinner in less than 30 minutes.

This champagne chicken is exactly that. In fact, we’ve enjoyed it twice already!

The chicken is pounded thin making it quick to cook.

In fact, the longest part of the cooking process is boiling water for the accompanying angel hair pasta. The lightly breaded and fried chicken is topped with a champagne mushroom sauce.

Yes, I said mushrooms! I actually quite enjoyed the mushrooms in this dish. (Same with the Marsala ravioli… maybe I’m coming around!)

Champagne Chicken | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Champagne Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to 1/4″ thickness
  • 1/4 C + 2 tbsp flour, divided use
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 C champagne
  • 3/4 C heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • cooked angel hair pasta, for serving

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a wide shallow bowl, combine 1/4 C flour, Parmesan, S+P.
  3. Season the pounded chicken with S+P. Dredge in the flour.
  4. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook chicken 3 minutes on each side. Place chicken in the preheated oven to keep warm.
  5. Add the mushrooms to the same skillet and sprinkle with the remaining flour. Cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the champagne, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce by half. Add in the heavy cream and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with S+P, and cook until thickened.
  6. Serve chicken over angel hair pasta and top with the champagne-mushroom sauce.
  7. Option to garnish with parsley or tarragon.

*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/champagne-chicken/*

Champagne Chicken | Sew You Think You Can Cook (2) | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com