Pancakes for Two

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone! This morning I woke up and just felt like doing something festive. My Valentine was still a sleeping giant upstairs, so I decided to make him something tasty to wake up to. Little did I know that he wouldn’t actually wake up until 1pm… but hey- pancakes work for lunch too, right?

Anyway, this recipe is great because it makes the perfect amount for two to share, or a big portion for one. I love how you can just mix up a few of the ingredients in a small bowl and then not have to figure out a way to use up all the extra batter. Pancake ice cubes? Face mask?

Of course you have to make them pink for the day. Just a few drops of red food coloring will do, or, if you’re really granola and can’t stand the thought of such artificial coloring in your cakes- gasp!- you could use pureed strawberries.

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I hope that today, whether you’re old or young, whether you’re single, dating, or married, whether you’ve had a terrible week or the best week of your life, that you surround yourself with all the people you love, and that you remember why we love in the first place.

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Pancakes for Two
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: Breakfast
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
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Serves: 2
Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s an easy recipe that you can use to make a small serving of pancakes for you and your honey. Don’t forget to add a few drops of food coloring for Valentine’s Day cheer, and top with powdered sugar and strawberries.
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk
  • dash of vanilla (about 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • extra butter or cooking spray for the pan
  • small handful chocolate chips
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • powdered sugar, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk butter, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until just combined- don’t overmix! It will be a bit lumpy. Stir in food coloring.
  4. In a small skillet on medium heat, melt additional butter or spray with cooking spray.
  5. Pour one scoop of batter (depending on how big you want your pancakes) into skillet and top with a few slices of banana and chocolate chips. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the top.
  6. Flip carefully and cook 1 more minute.
  7. Repeat with remaining batter.
  8. Top with powdered sugar and serve with sliced strawberries on the side!

Recipe Adapted from Joy the Baker

Rocky Road Muffins

This one goes out to all my fellow DPT 3rd years who are just finishing up PT802! I know it’s been a looooong road (and probably a little rocky!) to get to where we are today, but just think- we’ll be done in three months and we graduate in four! Make a batch of these “Rocky Road Muffins” this weekend to kick off your week off, and think about all the things you’ve learned over the past few years- both in the classroom and the clinic, but also outside of both as you’ve balanced school/family/personal lives. Wherever you end up next, keep that head up (and shoulders back, and chin tucked!) and make this next 12 weeks worth it.

Or just do it for the chocolate.

Rocky Road Muffins
Rocky Road Muffins
Rocky Road Muffins
Recipe Type: Muffins
Cuisine: Dessert, Snack
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
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Serves: 24
When the road gets rocky… make rocky road muffins!
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup low-fat milk + 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup coconut, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 deg.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together eggs, yogurt, milk, water, applesauce, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don’t overmix!).
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Fill two 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners or spray with cooking spray.
  7. Spoon batter into each muffin tin until about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake at 375 for 15 min or until toothpick comes out clean. In the final 3 min of baking, top muffin with 4-5 marshmallows and a pinch of coconut. Continue to cook until golden brown on top.

 

Apple Nutter Chia Breakfast Bars

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Apple Nutter Chia Breakfast Bars
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Snack
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
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Serves: 12
An easy breakfast that will fill you up without breaking the calorie bank! Top it with a sliced banana and some almond milk or yogurt for the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or apple butter
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • handful of raisins and walnuts (or other dried fruit/nuts)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl, mix oats and milk and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add the applesauce/apple butter, oats/milk mixture, and vanilla. Carefully stir in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in chopped apple, raisins, nuts, and chia seeds.
  6. In a shallow baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, spread a thin, even layer of mixture. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave and drizzle over top of mixture (or stir it in if you’d like).
  7. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown and edges are crusty.
  8. Allow to cool, then cut into squares and wrap in parchment paper for a quick and easy breakfast on the go!

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Harvest Apple Spice Cake

It’s that time of year where all I want to do is bake. It doesn’t help when we have about a gazillion (times three) apples in our fridge from our annual apple picking trip to Carter Mountain Orchard, just begging to be chopped up, sliced, diced, roasted, baked, pureed, and munched as-is!

This spice cake uses a combination of apples and pears, nestled into a doughy inside. I used plain yogurt and some spiced apple cider from Trader Joe’s to keep the batter moist, then stirred in some juicy raisins with the apples and pears. Topped with chopped nuts and sprinkled with a bit of brown sugar, and this cake becomes breakfast, afternoon snack, OR dessert! I’d also suggest it with a nice big scoop of my favorite vanilla fro-yo!

Note: I used some of these handy little Threshold Oven-safe Paper Loaf Pans that I got at Target. They are the BEST. Especially if you plan on doubling the batch to give a loaf or two away, these are perfect because you can just bake the cake in the pan, let it cool, wrap it up and send it on its way! I first saw these used to display different types of quickbread at a booth at the Durham Farmer’s Market, and the woman selling them told me where she’d gotten them. Best invention ever! They come in the full loaf size as well as a smaller size, and come in packs of 4 ($5.99 for the larger, and $2.99 for the smaller). I got a pack of each!

HARVEST APPLE SPICE CAKE
HARVEST APPLE SPICE CAKE
Harvest Apple Spice Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert, Breakfast
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
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Serves: 16
I used plain yogurt and spiced apple cider in the batter of this spice cake, then stirred in some juicy raisins and chopped apples and pears. Sprinkle a few walnuts and brown sugar over the top before baking for a sweet caramelized glaze!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider (I used TJ’s spiced cider!)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 medium apples, chopped (I used one honeycrisp and one gala)
  • 1 medium pear, chopped
  • Extra brown sugar and chopped walnuts, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a cake pan with cooking spray or grease with shortening.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and continue to mix. Stir in yogurt and apple cider.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Stir in apples, pears, and raisins.
  6. Spread in an even layer in cake pan and top with walnuts and brown sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes, then slice into squares and serve!
Calories: 187cal Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 2g Protein: 3g

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Chicken Mole Corncake with Fried Plantains

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Chicken Mole Corncake with Fried Plantains
Recipe Type: Casserole, Chicken
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
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Serves: 8
Here’s a fun twist on a classic Mexican dish! Top a regular cornbread mixture with some mole-seasoned chicken and top with fried onions and plantains. An easy supper that’s hearty and exotic! Serve with a freshly sliced peach and side salad.
Ingredients
  • 1 box Trader Joe’s Corn Muffin Mix and package ingredients (mine called for 1 egg, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3/4 cup milk)
  • 1 tbsp mole seasoning (if you don’t have mole seasoning, combine 1 tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus additional for pan
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 ripe plantain, sliced into 1/4″ slices
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 deg.
  2. Grease a 8×8 casserole dish.
  3. Prepare cornbread according to package directions and pour into bottom of dish.
  4. In a large ziplock bag, combine all ingredients from mole seasoning to olive oil. Shake bag to mix. Add chicken and marinate at least 30 minutes.
  5. In a saute pan, heat more olive oil on medium-high. Add garlic and onions and continue to cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add plantain slices and fry (add more oil if you need to) until lightly browned and fragrant, flipping halfway through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  6. In same pan, cook chicken until just browned- about 1 min each side.
  7. Top cornbread with chicken, pressing gently down into the mixture.
  8. Return onions and plantains to pan, scraping up the browned bits from bottom. Add to top of chicken.
  9. Sprinkle cheese and parsley on top of casserole, cover and bake 35-40 minutes, until cornbread is brown around the edges.
  10. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Cream Cheese Banana Swirl Bread

I’ve been wanting to try out this recipe for a long while now, because seriously- who can resist a melt-in-your-mouth banana bread with a layer of cream cheese swirl “surprise” nestled right in the middle? Best. Idea. Ever. I wish I could say I came up with it on my own, but I based this recipe off of one from Averie Cooks with only a few minor tweaks (more yogurt, an additional banana, and a pinch of cinnamon). I also decided to “swirl” the cream cheese layer, as the remaining batter on top didn’t quite cover it all and cream cheese started to seep out the top corners. Anyway, it did not disappoint. You NEED to try this out for yourself. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever make it another way!

Happy Saturday!

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Cream Cheese Banana Swirl Bread
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: Breakfast, Sides
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
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Serves: 8
Enjoy this deliciously moist banana bread, swirled with a smooth cream cheese filling, on a rainy Saturday morning with a hot cup of coffee and a good book! Actually, this bread is good at ANY time of day!
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup flour + 3 tbsp, separated
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • pinch of cinnamon, to taste
  • 4 oz soft Neufchatel or cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk 1 egg, brown sugar, oil, yogurt, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Stir in mashed banana.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Gently fold into the batter with a spatula until just combined.
  5. Pour about 2/3 of batter into bottom of loaf pan and even out the top.
  6. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to mix cream cheese, remaining egg, 3 tbsp flour, and granulated sugar. Beat until smooth.
  7. Spread cream cheese filling into the loaf pan.
  8. Top with remaining bread batter and gently smooth until even.
  9. Using a knife or skewer, “swirl” top of batter just about 1/2″ down into the cream cheese filling.
  10. Bake 50 minutes or until top of bread is golden and cream cheese filling appears to be set. Cool about 10 minutes before gently releasing the sides of the bread with a knife and inverting the loaf to remove from the pan.
  11. Slice and serve!

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