Blue Cornbread Muffins

Before everything became about sweet yellow corn, people were all about the blue corn.  Blue corn is one of the oldest varieties of corn.  Blue corn has a high level of anthocyanins, which give it the blue (or purplish) color.  In other words, blue corn has lots of health benefits! I’m going to be honest, I also like the fact that these are purple because they’re cuter than normal cornbread muffins.  There. I said it. You should be able to find organic blue corn meal at your grocery store and that is what I recommend.  Enough about that, back to the deliciousness that is the blue cornbread muffin.  These muffins come together quickly and make a great side to soups, salads, basically anything.  Give these a try for Thanksgiving (it is November now, after all) to accompany Thanksgiving dinner. I’m picturing them making a glorious combination with some turkey and homemade mac and cheese.

Blue-Cornbread-Muffins

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Mini Sweet Potato Bundt Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake has a hole in it.  A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I went to our first meeting of the LA Cake Club.  It is just what you think…a group of people get together and share their delicious homemade sweets.  We had a sufficient sugar high by 2 pm, so not a bad Saturday afternoon.  It was hosted at a great organization, the Made by DWC (Downtown Women’s Center).  “MADE by DWC is a social enterprise created by the Downtown Women’s Center to break the cycles of chronic unemployment and homelessness by empowering women to discover talents and develop skills through vocational opportunities, and generates economic and social capital to support programs at DWC.”  I encourage you to visit their website to learn more if you are interested in getting involved.  We met one of the participants and she was so excited to tell us about the organization.  My contribution to the Cake Club were these mini Sweet Potato Bundt cakes.  You know how much I love sweet potatoes and let me tell you, these cakes almost didn’t make it to Cake Club.  They are soooo good. They’re light, moist, and not overly sweet.  Move over pumpkin, these sweet potato cakes can put you out of business.

Mini-SP-Bundt-Cakes

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Vegetable Frittata

Sometimes I forget how satisfying a frittata can be.  Aside from being a quick meal, it is a great use to use up vegetables (and anything you want to put in it) that look like they’re getting ready say goodbye.  Have lots of half used veggies you need to cook? Throw them in a frittata!  Can you sauté vegetables? Can you add eggs to said sautéed vegetables? Can you put that combination in the oven? If you answered yes to those questions, you can make a frittata! If you answered no, well, I want to help you.  A frittata is basically a crustless quiche.  Along with the fact that this is not made with heavy cream, this is a much healthier alternative to a quiche.  It is filling enough by itself, but you can also serve it with baby arugula salad or toast.

Fall-Veggie-Frittata

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I looked at the recipes we’ve posted this fall and noticed a distinct lack of pumpkin dishes.  Maybe that’s because I love sweet potato everything (including a sweet potato cake coming next week), but I thought it was time to have some pumpkin in my life.  People go crazy over pumpkin.  I made these pumpkin cupcakes last year and they were quickly devoured by my sister, roommates, and an accidental serving to my roommate’s dog.  Are dogs supposed to have pumpkin cupcakes? I guess he wasn’t about to miss out on a pumpkin cupcake, and you shouldn’t either.  The cream cheese frosting tastes like a cinnamon roll and is a perfect complement to the pumpkin cupcakes.

Pumpkin-Cupcake

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Healthy Apple Breakfast Muffins

Growing up in the midwest, apple picking was a popular fall activity.  Southern California does not quite have the same apple picking appeal, but in an effort to make it feel a little like home, I like to travel to Julian, CA, and visit their apple orchards.  Julian is a cute, little mountain town that is known for their apples.  Some great cider comes out of there if you’re a fan… California is experiencing a severe drought right now, so there were only two orchards open this year.  We made the best of it and were able to come back with a bag of (fairly small) apples.  There’s no way we can eat all of the apples before they go bad without cooking them, so I used some of our haul to make a healthy breakfast muffin. These less guilt muffins are quick to throw together and you get apple in every bite.  An apple muffin a day keeps the doctor away. Buttered-Apple-Muffin Continue reading

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Sometimes you’re going to have a busy week and need something filling that can go a long way.  Butternut squash lasagna is your meal.  This butternut squash lasagna was not only filling, but reheats well, making it great leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.  Don’t be intimidated by  the number of steps, it is really easy to make (and easier to eat…).  I’m glad I took a break from sweet potatoes to make this lasagna and I love that I can be lazy efficient with my time by getting many meals out of this one dish. If you own one of the best vacuum sealer, saving the leftovers has never been easier.  Happy Meatless Monday!

Butternut Squash Lasagna

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Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Chai Frosting

I love chai.  I don’t drink coffee, so my drink of choice is usually a hot chai.  I also love chocolate. However, I had not thought about combining the two until I took a tour of the Theo Chocolate factory when I was on vacation in Seattle a few weeks ago.  Yes, I got to take a tour of an actual chocolate factory! No, it was nothing like Willy Wonka, but we did get to eat A LOT of samples. Highly recommended.  Did you know chocolate is made from fermented, roasted, and ground seeds of a tree called the theobroma cacao (aka the chocolate tree)? Very similar to the process of making coffee beans. So interesting. And no, Theo is not sponsoring me to write this (I wish!). I just think they’re a cool company doing good things aside from making great chocolate. Now, back to these cupcakes.  After having the chocolate chai bar at Theo, I knew immediately I needed to put it on a cupcake.  When I think of chocolate icing for a cupcake, I automatically think yellow cake because yellow cake plus chocolate icing is the best.  Bold statement, I know.  Make these cupcakes with the chocolate chai icing and you won’t be sorry.  And then put the chocolate chai icing on as many desserts as possible.

Cupcakes-with-Extra-Chocolate-Chai-Icing

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