Sunday, April 13, 2014

Perfect Hamburger Buns

We rarely ever buy hamburger buns any more since I discovered that I could make them at home. They are so delicious right out of the oven! I love when I can make something at home because I know exactly what goes in it and how healthy it is. I started with this great recipe (click here) from the King Arthur Flour website and modified it to make it healthier. This recipe makes 8 large buns, 12 medium buns, or 16 slider buns.


Ingredients
Rolls
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Topping
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
Directions
  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer
  2. Add 1 cup of the all purpose flour, butter, egg, honey, and salt to the yeast mixture. Blend on medium speed until well mixed.
  3. Fit a dough hook onto stand mixer. Add remaining all purpose and whole wheat flours 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Once all flour is incorporated, knead the dough on low speed 5 to 6 minutes. If dough is very sticky, add additional whole wheat flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough is soft and smooth.
  4. Wipe out mixer bowl, drizzle olive oil into the bowl, and turn dough over in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and pat to flatten bubbles and form into a slightly rounded rectangle. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a round shape, gently tucking ends underneath.
  6. Use your hands to gently flatten the dough rounds. Arrange buns about 1/2 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheet.
  7. Whisk 1 egg with water in a small bowl. Lightly brush tops of buns with egg wash. Sprinkle each bun with sesame seeds. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the baking sheet (do not seal tightly). Let buns rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned on top, 14 to 16 minutes. Brush the rolls with melted butter. Let cool completely. Slice in half crosswise to serve.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Healthified Classic Bran Muffins

I modified this wonderful Classic Bran Muffins recipe to be a bit healthier, but still really delicious.  Bobby and I both loved this recipe! I'll definitely be making these again in the near future.  Unfortunately, I did not get a photo so I borrowed a photo from the original recipe.  But let's be honest, bran muffins really are not that pretty anyway!

Photo from allrecipes.com

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (I use organic brown sugar, but you could also use coconut or palm sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 12 count muffin pan or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Mix together wheat bran milk and sour cream; let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat together melted butter, egg, applesauce, vanilla and sugar and add to milk/bran mixture. Sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into bran mixture, until just blended. Fold in raisins and spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

So Easy Kale Salad

Kale salad is my new favorite side dish for just about any meat and veggie dinner.  It's so quick, easy, tasty, and healthy - a total winner in my book!  You can really add any combination of beans and fruit.  I love apples and garbanzo beans, but you could easily substitute mandarin oranges, strawberries, or blueberries and black beans, cannellini beans or dark red kidney beans, or you could add a sprinkle toasted walnuts or almonds. The possibilities are endless.  It's so delicious! 


Ingredients
  • 6 cups rinsed and chopped fresh kale
  • 1 apple (I like yellow delicious), peeled and chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
  • Juice of one large, soft lemon
  • 2 tbls honey
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Directions
  1. Combine lemon juice and honey in a food processor and blend until honey is dissolved. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil and process until smooth and creamy.  Stir in salt and pepper.
  2. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil.  With clean hands, massage kale for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly wilted. 
  3. Add apples and garbanzo beans and toss.  Drizzle honey/lemon dressing over the salad and toss until evenly coated.  Serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to eat.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pretty Pink Cake

I made this pretty pink cake for my sister's baby shower last week.  The recipe for the cake is a Paula Deen recipe and one of my favorites.  I whipped up a simple strawberry buttercream to frost the cake with and then topped it with white chocolate dipped strawberries and white chocolate curls.  I think it turned out really pretty and was perfect for a baby girl baby shower.  This was my first time making chocolate curls.  I just melted a Ghirardelli white chocolate bar and spread it very thin on the back side of a chilled 11 x 9" baking pan.  I let it chill in the freezer for about a minute and then used a spatula to peel the chocolate off and into pretty little curls.  I watched this YouTube tutorial which helped a lot.

Here is a link to the cake recipe: Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake