Saturday, April 23, 2011

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week

Banana Bread Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Time = 45 min

1/2 c bread flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c shortening
3 small very ripe bananas
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all the dry ingredients and stir to mix. Using the back of a large spoon, cream the shortening into the dry mix until it is crumbly. In a small bowl, beat the bananas and eggs together, then pour into the flour/shortening. Mix until just combined. Fill lined muffin tin 3/4-full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool on wrack.

Options: You can fold in 1 c of raisins, walnuts and/or chocolate chips before scooping in to the muffin tin.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week

This is a special Easter Edition for those who will be celebrating next weekend. My Easter tradition is to bake two pineapple upside-down cakes for a potluck party at my mother-in-law's house. This year I decided to make the cakes from scratch and looked up recipes online. I was amazed to find that every single recipes started with "1 box yellow cake mix". How exactly is that from scratch?! Don't get me wrong, I'm not that snobby about my food (Ok, maybe I am). A cake that is a doctored-up box-cake is delicious and it took time and that's great! But sometimes I want to start with flour, butter and milk and see if I can do it without the help of Pillsbury. So I ended up combining 3 different recipes, none of which called for 1 box of yellow cake mix. The result turned out great!

Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Servings = 2 cakes
Time = 1 hr

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 c melted butter (not margarine)
2/3 c paked brown sugar
1 c coconut flakes
1 20-oz can pineapple rings, drained
1 jar red cherries in water, drained (not maraschino cherries)
3 eggs
½ c water
1/3 c oil
1 c low-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside
3. In a small bowl, mix melted butter, brown sugar and coconut flakes.
4. Arrange 5 pineapple rings in the bottom of 2 9-inch cake pans. Pour half the cherries in each pan, arranging them to fill in the gaps between the pinapples. Sprinkle the coconut mixture evenly over the pineapples and cherries.
5. To the flour mixture, add the eggs, water, oil, sour cream and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Pour half the batter into each pan and use a spoon to smooth.
6. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
7. Cool for 10 minutes in pan. Run a knife around the edges and flip onto serving plates. Cool completely before serving.

Notes: You must use pastry or cake flour, not regular, to get the right consistency - whole wheat is healthier, but white is a fluffier texture. You can use twice as many pineapples and just a single maraschino cherry in the middle of each, which is the traditional look. But maraschino cherries are died with nasty red dye, which is starting to be tied to behavioral problems in kids, so I'm not using those any more. If you prefer yogurt to sour cream, just make sure it is plain without added sugar or your cakes will be too sweet. And use a low-fat, not a fat-free, version because the fat makes the cake moist.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week

Kids' Egg Bake
Servings = 4
Time = 1 hr

2 english muffins
1 bunch broccolini
1 large shallot
5 oz swiss cheese
5 eggs
3/4 c half-and-half
3 Tbsp butter
cooking spray
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Tear up english muffins into crumb-sized bits. Trim broccolini into 1/2-inch pieces. Chop shallot. Shred swiss cheese. In a large bowl, beat eggs with half-and-half. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Cook english muffins in skillet, stirring occasionally until golden (5 min). Transfer to plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Add shallot and some salt and pepper. Saute until softened. Add broccolini to skillet and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer over medium-high heat until water is just evaporated and broccolini is fork tender.

Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer shallot/broccolini mix to dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of swiss cheese. Pour egg mixture over. In a small bowl, mix toasted bread crumbs with remaining swiss cheese and sprinkle over eggs. Top with parmesan cheese. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 30 min or until to is browned.

Notes: This is from Everyday with Rachael Ray (April 2011). Kids can help out too! Young kids can tear up the muffins, stir the eggs/milk and sprinkle cheese. Older kids can cut broccolini, stir veggies in the skillet and pour mixes into the baking dish. You can substitute kale for broccolini and fontina or gruyere cheese for the swiss.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 14 Meeting: Bikes + Kids + Commute + Play

Calling all City of Portland mamas and papas! Are you interested in commuting to work, school and play with your kids by bike? If yes, come to the cityMama’s meeting and learn from some working moms and dads how they do it.

TOPIC: Biking to Work, Daycare and Home with Kids + Let's go to Sunday Parkways
DATE: Thursday, April 14th
TIME: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
LOCATION: (NEW LOCATION!): NW Broadway Room, 9th Floor, Portland Bldg.

This one is for the dads too. PRESENTERS: Dan Layden, PBOT; Jon Makler, OTREC; Hau Hagerdorn, OTREC/urbanMamas. These mamas and papas commute to work, school, daycare, etc., on bikes with kids in tow. Panel discussion with hopefully some real world demonstrations of gear and equipment. Will also have information on the 2011 Sunday Parkways - let's plan a meet up!