Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Blueberry Streusel Muffin Cake

You know the story...muffin meets cake, cake digs the muffins stusely topping, muffin digs the cake's no nonsense form.  They like, hit it off.  Add to the mix some blueberries, and the rest as they say, is history. 

My hubby never met a blueberry concoction that he didn't love.  This muffin cake, is no exception.  I ended up skipping the glaze, mostly because I forgot all about it, and the result was no less delicious.  There is heaps of streusel, which if you haven't already noticed from past posts, is second in line to blueberries in terms of my husbands affection.
This recipe could easily be made back into plain ol' muffins,  but give the muffin cake a whirl!  It makes Sunday breakfast that much fancier.  Promise.

Blueberry Streusel Muffin Cake
Recipe adapted from: Cookies and Cups

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 1/2teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries

Glaze (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon milk

Preheat the oven to 375.  Use about a 9 inch Springform pan, and spray or grease, and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine all the Crumb ingredients using a fork until they are blended. Set aside.
In a large bowl or cake stand cream together the butter, & sugar. Whisk the egg into the milk, and then add that into the butter.  Add the Flour salt, and baking powder all at once, and mix all ingredients until just combined.  Lastly, gently fold in the blueberries.
Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan and top evenly with the prepared steusal topping.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before loosening  the edges from the pan with a knife, then remove the sides of the pan.
For the glaze mix together all the ingredients together until smooth and then drizzle on top of the cake.  Serve warm, and keep any leftovers in a air-tight container.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Baked Onion Pakoras

Are you feeling bombarded and mass guilt by all the friggin' cleanses and detoxes being pushed in your face right now?  Ya, me too!  My Instagram feed is basically non-stop smoothies or those Skinny Tea Detox ads, Oi!  I'm not really a big New Years resolution maker, but I do believe in a healthy lifestyle...with treats too!  Balance y'all!  That being said, I am about 3 weeks away from heading out for a wee cruise vacation.  I cannot wait!  I have been working my butt off for months now, and not getting ANYWHERE on the scale, so to say the least, I am feeling a little frustrated.

Have you ever heard the term, "you can't out train a bad diet"?  I have decided it was time to listen to that phrase. I mean, I was working out twice a day, and getting nowhere, so it's time to switch it up.
I got really spoiled this Christmas, and received a Fitbit, which is great for tracking my workouts, heart rate, and steps I take in a day.  I actually had to get a new phone to accommodate the Fitbit (oh darn;)), as my old one couldn't upgrade to OS 8.  But the most valuable thing I've added to my routine, is the My Fitness Pal app, which is available for free, with the option to upgrade.  With the My Fitness Pal app I'm able to input everything I eat in a day, and the app breaks it down into calories, fat, carbs, protein, macros etc.  I always thought I was eating really healthy, and once I log it into the app I can see I really I DO eat healthy, for me the big culprit turns out to be it those little bites in-between meals that's taking me over my daily allotment.  Especially those "healthy" energy balls, which I should just have one of, instead of 3!
Between the Fitbit and My Fitness Pal, I am accountable for all the energy I expend, and all the food I take in, so I'm hoping this is what makes a difference for my 2016.  If I was to make a new year's resolution, it would be to feel more comfortable in my own skin...or at least my skinny jeans!

One treat I have been having mad cravings for is Indian food!  I want all the butter chicken, naan, samosas and pakoras!  Once I thought about it though, pakoras aren't all that bad an option, if you take away the deep frying.  They're filled with yummy spices, and the use of chick pea flour means they're also gluten-free.  I have made these both by oven baking them, and just dolloping the batter onto a pan as you would a pancake, and I really enjoyed them both ways.  While not as crisp as the traditional deep fried Pakoras, they at least have all the flavours I crave, without the guilt...just have like one or two at a time...not the whole plate!

Baked Onion Pakoras

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
2 medium onions, sliced
1 cup chick pea flour Chana/besan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 green chili thinly sliced ( or 2, depending on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or 1/2 for more flavour!)
1/2 - 3/4 water

Preheat oven to 425.  Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper, and set aside.
Add to a medium-high heat pan the cumin seeds, sautéing to prevent burning.  Add to the same pan the sliced onions, cooking until just soft.
Removed from heat and allow to cool slightly, 5-10 mins, enough time to prepare the batter. 
Using a Medium sized bowl mix chickpea flour, baking powder, chili, ginger, garlic, salt, and cilantro.  Next add water little by little, until a thick batter is achieved. Add cooled onions and cumin seeds, and stir into batter.
Add pakora batter to prepared baking sheet, in large drops, as you would cookies, and bake 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.  The batter also works great, pan fried, as you would a pancake!  Serve alongside a yummy chutney, with a cup of slightly sweetened chai yummmm