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Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up

I have several more recipes to post over the next few days that I hope you find worthy of your Thanksgiving weekend. However, here is a quick round-up of recipes for your feast on Thursday.

Meat
Citrus and Sage Roasted Turkey Breast (I’m sure this general idea would work for a whole turkey. You would need a bit more of the oil/herb/citrus mixture and definitely need to cook it longer.
Citrus and Sage Roasted Turkey Breast

Sides
Fall Vegetable Bake
Fall Vegetable Bake

Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasted Butternut Squash

Sweet Potato Casserole
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Roasted Green Beans
Roasted Green Beans

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
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Bread
Honey Wheat Rolls
Honey Whole Wheat Rolls

Pretzel Rolls (obviously without the Halloween designs)
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Dessert
Apple Cake
Apple Cake

Apple or Pear Crisp
Apple or Pear Crisp

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints
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Breakfast
Pumpkin French Toast
Pumpkin French Toast

Apple Pancakes
Apple Pancakes

Breakfast Rolls
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Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
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Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Pancakes

Other

Tangy Cranberry Sauce
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Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza
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Molasses Bread

I’m posting yet another recipe that requires the oven and another bread recipe. I know. But I’m hoping that as not sweltering pregnant ladies, you will be open to actually turning yours on. And we all love carbs, let’s be real.

Obviously, my family really liked this recipe, or I wouldn’t be posting it here. However, the site I originally got this from claimed it is like the bread at Outback or other steakhouse chains. Admittedly, it’s been more than a year since I went to one of those. But this bread is different from that to me. Very delicious, but not that specific bread. And if you have some calories to splurge on some honey butter, they would be well spent.

Enjoy!

Molasses Bread (Makes 3 loaves, serves about 15-16)

Molasses Bread

2 ½ cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
⅓ cup molasses
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons canola oil
⅓ cup honey
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
6-7 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted, optional
Old-fashioned oats for sprinkling, optional

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, yeast, molasses, cocoa powder, oil, honey, salt, gluten, and 2 cups flour. Mix until combined.

2. With the mixer running, slowly add the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 7-10 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky.

3. Grease the sides of bowl. Cover bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

4. Punch down the dough and divide into 3 equal pieces. Form into tight loaves and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until puffy and doubled in size.

5. Preheat oven to 375. Bake the loaves for 25 minute-30 minutes. If sprinkling with oats, remove loaves after 25 minutes, lightly brush with butter and sprinkle on oats before baking for remaining 5-7 minutes.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 258
Protein: 9 g
Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 50 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 83 mg

Recipe Notes: The butter and oats at the end are only for presentation. Feel free to skip it. As I mentioned above, honey butter on this is amazing.

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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Homemade Hamburger Buns

Two startling realizations popped into my head last night.  First, I don’t remember the last time I purchased a pre-made bread product (sandwich, bagel, bun, etc).  This made me feel almost Amish and weird.  I used to read blogs about women who made all their own bread and think, “Don’t they have anything better to do? Go buy a loaf of bread!”  I find baking bread soothing, what can I say.   Second, April is almost over.  May means Memorial Day which means grilling season which means summer in my mind.  Summer.  It’s almost here!

Those thoughts collide with today’s recipe:  homemade hamburger buns.  If any of you are skeptical, I was right there with you when I saw this recipe online almost a year ago.  Why would I make hamburger buns?  Plain ones are $1 a pack at the store.  Whole wheat can be a bit pricey, but it’s got to be worth the money, right?

These buns were pretty awesome, though.  Light and fluffy, but can stand up to a burger.  And for a raised bread product, these are very fast and easy to make.  While I’d probably go the store bought route if feeding a large crowd, these are perfect for feeding a small group.  And they freeze really well, which is always a bonus.

Enjoy!

Homemade Hamburger Buns (Makes about 10 buns)

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2 tablespoons yeast
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 ½ tablespoons vital wheat gluten
garlic powder (optional)
sesame seeds (optional)
poppy seeds (optional)
dried minced onion (optional

1. In a mixing bowl, combine yeast, water, oil, and sugar. Stir in the egg and salt. Add 2 cups of flour and the vital wheat gluten. Mix. Gradually add the last cup of flour while mixing until a soft dough forms (you may not need all of it).

2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. Divide the dough into about 10 equal pieces. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing so buns will not touch as they raise. If desired, lightly spray the top of the rolls with cooking spray and sprinkle any or all of the optional toppings on top of the buns. LIGHTLY press onto each bun.

3. Cover and let rise for 15-20 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 425. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information (Amount per bun):

Calories: 195
Protein: 8 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 19 mg
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 68 mg

Recipe Notes: I actually do knead this by hand.  You could do it in a mixer, too.  I find I can control the amount of flour I add more when kneading by hand, oddly enough.  I admit I am not the best at making equal size rolls. This don’t double during the raising period like many bread products. I’d say they maybe get 1.5 times as big as they were. I really like the flavor the topping adds. Especially if you use the onion and garlic, this isn’t just for show. It adds a great little flavor punch to your meal.

Source: adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes

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Gluten Free Banana Yogurt Muffins

Yesterday, my daughter had a complete meltdown over muffins. Apparently, my saying “let’s take them off” referring to her tights sounded to her like “let’s eat a muffin”. When I explained that we didn’t have any muffins, she completely lost touch with reality. While I was kind of judging her, I realized that I wished we had muffins, too.

I discovered these muffins when preparing for a baby shower, and they are delicious. You’d never guess that they are gluten free. They freeze well, too, if you can restrain yourself from eating them all. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Banana Yogurt Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)

Gluten Free Banana Yogurt Muffins

1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
2 medium bananas, ripe to over ripe
2 large eggs
2 cups oats (old-fashioned or quick are fine)
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease the cups of a muffin pan. You can use paper liners as well, but you’ll need to spray them with cooking spray, too.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth batter forms.

3. Pour batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for up to 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information (Amount per muffin):

Calories: 109
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 32 mg
Carbohydrates: 19 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 134 mg

Recipe Notes: I haven’t tried this with any other flavors of yogurt. I’m guessing it would work with vanilla, although you could probably cut down on the brown sugar then. Not sure, though.

Source: Running with Spoons

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Rosemary Bread

What’s your favorite part of going out to eat? The ambience? Being served? Not having to cook or to do dishes? The variety? The free bread? I’ll admit, I like all of those things, but all the yummy different breads you can get at restaurants is pretty high up there. Sometimes I’m as extreme as this Jim Gaffigan clip. Most of us can remember what the bread was like at many restaurants – Olive Garden’s breadsticks, Outback Steakhouse’s brown bread. You can even find dozens of copy cat recipes for these online.

Macaroni Grill’s bread? Honestly, it didn’t stick out in my mind. But I found this copy cat recipe on a cooking blog I follow, and I was intrigued. It has become one of our family’s favorites over the last year or so. And the great thing is, even if it looks funky, it tastes delicious. Enjoy!

Rosemary Bread (Makes 2 loaves that serve at least 4 each)

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1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 ¾ – 4 cups white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons dried rosemary, divided, optional
1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
Coarse salt for sprinkling, optional

1. Combine yeast, sugar, water, 2 cups of flour, salt, and 1 tablespoon of rosemary in a large bowl. Use a dough hook if using a stand mixer. Mix well. Continue adding flour, gradually while mixing, until a soft dough is formed (dough should hold it’s shape but be slightly sticky to the touch). Knead dough for about 7 minutes, adding additional flour if dough is not clearing the sides of the bowl anymore.

2. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, usually about 1 hour.

3. Gently deflate dough and divide in half. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or lightly coat with cooking spray. Shape the dough into 2 oval shaped loaves. Place on baking sheet with room between them to rise without touching each other. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of each loaf with the olive oil (½ tablespoon per loaf). Sprinkle the remaining rosemary and a light sprinkling of salt over the top of each loaf. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until puffy and nearly doubled, usually 30 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 425. Bake loaves for 18-20 minutes, until nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 232
Protein: 9 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 45 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 293 mg

Recipe Notes: If you make this and the loaves rise out more than up on the second rise, DO NOT PANIC. Please cook it anyway, and eat it. This picture is a rare exception of this bread turning out nice and rounded. Even when it is flatter, this bread is very delicious. If it is flattish, I recommend kneading it for a bit longer. As I have increased the kneading time (original recipe said 4-5 minutes), I have had better results. If mixing in all-purpose flour, you won’t need to knead for as long. I have left out the rosemary, olive oil, and salt (or any combination of leaving one or all of those out), and the bread is still super tasty.

Source: slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Low-iodine adjustment – use a non-iodized salt.

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Too much pizza?

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A recent radio show broadcasted that research from the CDC stated that kids in America are eating too much pizza, which is not a healthy food. I was a bit puzzled, so I wanted to get a little more information on the actual research.

The CDC report is actually on sodium intakes in children and adolescents in the US. Like adults, children and adolescents are consuming more sodium than they need. And even in children, this can lead to increased blood pressure.

Why do we care? First, we don’t want to start kids off with health problems, like high blood pressure. This will only increase the likelihood of these problems as adults. Second, sodium intake is a taste preference. As children are developing their tastes and dietary preferences, we want to give them a healthy palate. Reducing intake when young will hopefully help prevent them from over consuming as adults.

So where does pizza come in? Pizza is the number one contributor of sodium to children and adolescent diets. Bread, poultry, cold cuts, and sandwiches round out the top five. Noticably, these are foods that naturally have high sodium. This isn’t about teaching kids to not salt their food. It is about teaching them to watch their consumption of foods naturally high in sodium.

So can your kid eat pizza? Of course! But, beware of the amount of cheese and cured meats on your toppings. Stick for less cheese, fresh cooked meats, veggies, and homemade sauce if possible. All of these allow you greater control of the sodium going in. Here are a couple of my favorites for pizza:

Marinara

Artichoke Pesto Pizza

White Chicken Pizza

Homemade Pizza Dough

What are your favorite adaptations to make pizza more healthy? Share them in the comments!

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Quick, Chewy Breadsticks

I have a cookbook of recipes my mom collected over the years, which includes a recipe for “chewy breadsticks”.  I was hosting a spaghetti dinner party once, and my mom suggested I make those.  I don’t know if I did something wrong, but the end result was definitely chewy, borderline like eating cardboard. They didn’t have any of the fluffy, bready goodness we associate with breadsticks, most likely thanks to pizza delivery places and Olive Garden.  It was a disaster

These breadsticks are a much better balance.  They are not the airy, fluffy breadsticks many of us are accustomed to eating.  They definitely are slightly crispy and chewy, but they still are soft enough to soak up any delicious saucy remains on your plate after a pasta meal.  And even better, they are really quick to make.  You can make these in the same amount of time it takes to whip up a quick pizza or pasta dinner at home.  No planning ahead for hours of rising time.  Hooray!

Enjoy!

Quick, Chewy Breadsticks (Makes about 16 breadsticks)

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1 ½ cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
3 ½ – 4 cups white whole wheat flour
¼ cup olive oil
½ – 1 teaspoon garlic powder, per taste preference
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, sugar, yeast, olive oil, and salt. Gradually mix in flour until a soft dough forms. Let dough rest and raise for 10 minutes.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a large rectangle/square, about 16×16 inches. (See note below). Lightly brush dough with olive oil. You may not need all of it. Sprinkle with garlic powder and parmesan cheese.

3. Cut dough into 1 inch strips. Fold each strip in half (making the strip shorter, not skinnier). Gently twist each strip a few times to make it look pretty. Place on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Let raise for 15-20 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 400. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Nutritional Information (Amount per breadstick):

Calories: 155
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 102 mg

Recipe notes: I frequently cut this recipe in half with great results. You can use as much whole wheat flour as you want. I’ve done all whole wheat and half. Both taste good. I definitely let this be a softer dough than if I’m making loaves of bread. You can always knead in a little extra flour when you are rolling it out. My dough is usually a little more of a rectangle shape.  I like to get as many breadsticks as I can out of this.  To compensate, I kind of stretch the breadsticks as I twist to make them a little longer.  Go easy on the olive oil. A little really can go a long way. At most you will use ¼ cup, but you could probably get away with only 2 tablespoons. We like garlicky bread, so I generously sprinkle the garlic powder. It can be a little strong, so be warned.

Source: adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes

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