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Better Whole Grain Banana Muffins, small batch cooking

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Bananas are tricky, one moment not ripe enough to eat, then the next, too ripe to eat fresh, but needing to be baked into something delicious. Often times I have struggled with over ripe bananas because there were not enough for a standard batch of (12) muffins. The only solution was to place them in the freezer to wait for more bananas and finally be used in something, anything actually.......only to be forgotten about until it was too late.

See, what did I tell you, poor banana management!

And then I played around with this small batch banana muffin recipe and made it better. So good in fact that a couple of bananas to make this recipe again, are highly sought after. I would like to present a better banana muffin, made with whole grains.

Better Whole Grain Banana Muffins, small batch cooking.
Better Banana Muffins, fresh from the oven.

Whole Grain Banana Muffins, a small batch recipe
adapted from: Banana Muffins
350-degree oven

Note: this recipe makes 6 large muffins or 12 standard size.

3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat pastry grind flour (important use the pastry grind for a tender muffin)
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c sugar

1 t vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c oil
1 egg

2 bananas, mashed well with a fork

2 T sugar
1/4 t cinnamon

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add all liquid ingredients, adding the egg last. Beat the egg into the milk mixture in the center of the well, add the mashed bananas and fold entire contents together.

Divide into 6 prepared muffin cups. Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle evenly over the tops of the muffins.

A little sugar and spice over the top before baking.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until done in your oven. Let rest 5 minutes, carefully loosen around the edges (if not using liners) and tip over in the cups to cool completely.

Makes 6 (large, see note above) delicious muffins.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

You can also sign up for Our Sunday Cafe posts by email, thank you for subscribing!


this post shared with:
full plate thursday @ miz helen's

1

Sabrina's Beans, a slow cooker recipe

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

We threw this bean dish together right before I left to return to Vancouver. I had to ask my husband to send me a photo of the cooked beans, in order to post it here. Oh and I asked "how did the beans turn our?" and he said they are wonderful!

Delicious down home food that everyone loves to enjoy.
staffmeals, sometimes the best meals are before the restaurant opens. 

I love the cookbook staffmeals. My copy has many, many little yellow tabs. Stuck on lots of recipes I want to make. Ironically this bean recipe was not one of the tabbed recipes I had on my want to make list, but these beans were at the request of my husband, so let's make them.....

Beans and bacon in an easy slow cooker recipe
Sabrina's Beans

Sabrina's beans
adapted from staffmeals
serves 6-8

1 pound dried navy beans
1 (large) pork jowl bacon
1 T oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 c catsup
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c molasses
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T chili powder Note:  we used Penzy's Arizona Seasoning
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t cayenne pepper Note:  we did not use.....
water to cover, about 3-4 cups


Sort beans, place in a large kettle, cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes while preparing remaining ingredients.

Cut jowl bacon into 1-inch squares, add to frying pan with the oil and brown well to render excess fat and add flavor. When golden brown, add the onions and cook until onions become transparent, but do not brown.

Easy to cook beans, one kitchen task everyone can master.
Drained cooked beans, ready to be used in your recipe.

Drain beans, add to the bottom of a large slow cooker. Add drained jowl bacon and onion mixture, discarding excess fat.

beans bacon and spices, delicious slow cooker recipe
Jowl bacon, beans, and seasonings.
Add remaining ingredients, stir well. Cover cook on high 6 hours or low until done.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com
motivation monday @ making our life matter
our simple homestead blog hop @ our simple homestead
full plate thursday @ miz helen's
cookbook count down @ kitchen flavours
3

Big Batch Nutella 3 Ingredient Brownies

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

I have spent a great deal of time rearranging the cupboards and pantries at the peninsula house. As is the case with moving, you actually have to live with something in the wrong place, to know where to put it, and that was certainly the case for the dishes and the food. So the day was spent creating a dish pantry that includes the daily dishes, glassware, flatware, cloth napkins and kitchen linens.

Next, it was the food pantry and finally the baking pans. The upper cupboards are quite shallow, they are also quite tall. And somewhere along the way, I have lost some of my height and it was an uncomfortable (if not impossible) stretch to retrieve dishes from the upper cupboards.

Yet quite easy to grasp a bottle of vinegar or shaker of spice. You might be wondering what all this has to do with a big batch of Nutella Brownies. Well you see, we had an emergency Nutella sighting that day at the peninsula house. We came across a 35.3 oz jar of Nutella in the pantry that had to be used. Because let's be honest, wasting Nutella is never right!

Three Ingredient, Big Batch Nutella Brownies.
Big Batch Nutella Brownies

Enter these brownies.....

Big Batch Nutella Brownies
by the seat of my pants
make 1 9X13 pan

Note:  these brownies will satisfy the two kinds of brownie people in the world. Those that like the crisp/chewy edges and those that like the tender chewy center. If you are not in the first group cut a one-inch border around the pan and save those pieces for chocolate crumbs.

1 33.5 oz jar Nutella
4 eggs
1 c self-rising flour (you can find our whole grain recipe here)


Combine in a large bowl, spread in a prepared 9X13 pan, bake 30-35 minutes or until done in your oven.


Hint, the toothpick will come out with some chocolate at 30 minutes but the outer edges will be Firmer.


Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post is shared with:
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com
motivation monday @ making our life matter
3

Switchel..... now UPDATED!

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

UPDATE:  I have made a second batch and like other's before me have tailored the recipe to fit my personal taste needs and desires. For the second batch, I am allowing a longer ferment period on the counter before placing in the refrigerator. Plus I have made a few notes on the ingredients below. Otherwise, this will be in my kitchen for a long time to come.

I drink this every day as part of my quest to be healthy through fermented foods and beverages.

Original post starts here.....
Previously I have I brewed Kombucha, and from there tried Water Keifer. But with both beverages, I did not enjoy the finished product. But I also know I have a lot more to learn about both of these fermented beverages, until then, however, I still wanted to be able to produce a fermented, gut helping beverage in my own kitchen. So I kept looking.

A couple of days ago I came across an article for Switchel. Switchel is a maple syrup, ginger, apple cider vinegar drink that is all natural with no artificial ingredients and it is also good for your gut and digestive tract. Count me in! Here is how you make Switchel....(it is really easy)

Apple cider vinegar, real maple syrup, minced ginger are the basic ingredients to make Switchel.
Switchel, an old fashion mildly probiotic drink for the whole family.

Switchel
adapted from:  Wellness Mama

1-quart jar

4 t raw apple cider vinegar (shake the bottle and get some of the mother ) UPDATE: I use 5 t for a little more zing.

4 T real maple syrup

1-2 heaping t grated fresh ginger UPDATE: start with 1 t and go from there, ginger is delicious but pungent.

cool water - (if your water has fluoride, draw off the water the day before and let stand to clear out the  fluoride)

Add the cider vinegar, maple syrup and grated ginger to your jar. Fill with a scant 4 cups of water, stir gently. Cover with toweling or small sandwich bag. Let sit on the counter overnight to ferment. UPDATE: Let sit for 36-48 hours for more fermentation. Refrigerate until needed.

Stir, then strain out the ginger pieces before drinking.

I will be taking this with me as I drive to the peninsula to see my dear husband for the weekend. I will report back with my thoughts on this beverage.....

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
our simple homestead blog hop @ our simple homestead
1

Scalloped Potatoes and Rutabaga with Pork Chops Thyme and Cheddar Cheese

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Scalloped Potatoes and Rutabaga with Pork Chops Thyme and Cheddar Cheese
Scalloped Potatoes and Rutabaga with Pork Chops Thyme and Cheddar Cheese

I have become very fond of rutabagas. And they shine in Scalloped Potatoes and Rutabaga with Pork Chops Thyme and Cheddar Cheese.

Rutabagas are not glamorous, that is for sure, but they are earthy and delicious. They are a delicious addition to any potato dish. To make this dish our main course I including some pork chops for a one pan dinner. We served this dish with applesauce, but you could add a green vegetable also, it is up to you!

Scalloped Potatoes with Rutabaga and Pork Chops
by the seat of my pants
350-degree oven


6 small potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
3 small rutabaga, peeled and sliced thin
1 medium-size onion, diced
Pork Chops (4-6 or the amount that works for your family)
salt and pepper
1 c diced cheddar cheese
1 large can evaporated milk
2 c stock
garlic salt
1 tsp thyme leaves
1/3 c flour

Season pork chops with salt and pepper, brown well, set aside.

I had 3 thick chops in the freezer, this provided us with 2 meals.

In a large baking dish add the pork chops to the bottom. Sprinkle with the diced cheddar cheese.


In a large bowl, combine the potato slices, rutabaga slices and diced onions. Add a generous sprinkling of garlic salt and the thyme leaves crumbled. Toss around in the bowl to coat the vegetables with the seasonings. Cover the pork chops with the vegetables.

This 10X14 baking dish is my favorite for scalloped dishes,
the depth will accommodate all the liquid without a boil over on the bottom of the oven.  

Sprinkle the top with approximately 1/3 c flour, pour over the top the stock and the milk. Cover with a lid (or foil) and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Remove the lid after 1 1/2 hours to evaporate some of the juices.
Warning: not pretty, only delicious!

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
full plate thursday @ miz helen's
our simple homestead blog hop @ our simple homestead
1

Mint Oreo Cheesecake, another delicious dessert from my daughter's kitchen!

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Mint Oreo Cheesecake, cheesecake, chocolate, mint and oreos.
Mint Oreo Cheesecake.

Over the weekend while I was at the peninsula with my dear husband, it was the son in law (extraordinaire) 's birthday. To celebrate our daughter baked up a delicious dessert menu for all their friends to enjoy while they celebrated, chatted and played games.

I knew when she was baking this Thursday evening that not only would I request a piece be saved for me, but I would share the recipe with everyone, right here. Speaking for myself, the combination of mint and chocolate are a huge favorite of mine. Even more so than peanut butter and chocolate.....

While I am not the biggest cheesecake fan, I have to tell you, I loved this dessert and will make it myself for a special occasion, or just because. You know that saying that goes a bit like this, "life is short, so eat the dessert!" I think this cheesecake just might be the reason for that saying.


Mint Oreo Cheesecake
adapted from:  lifeloveandsugar.com
serves 16-20

Crust
2 c Oreo crumbs, about (20 Oreos)
4 T butter melted

Filling
24 oz cream cheese
1 c sugar
3 T flour
4 eggs
1 c sour cream
2 1/2 t mint extract
15-20 Oreos, chopped
1/2 c chocolate sauce (she used homemade)
7 drops green food color, optional (did not use)

Topping
additional Oreos
plus additional chocolate sauce

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
CRUST:
In a small bowl combine crust ingredients. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Press crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven, set aside to cool.


Take aluminum foil and make a square large enough to wrap the bottom and up the sides of your spring form pan. If you must fold a seam into the foil together to create a piece of foil large enough to cover the bottom and sides, you will want to make two pieces, arranging the seams in opposite directions for a water tight fit. This sheath will keep your cheesecake from absorbing water in the baking stage. Crimp the toil around the top edge of your pan.

Now you are ready to make the filling and get creative!


FILLING:  Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar, and flour with an electric mixer until combines. Note, use low speed to prevent air from being incorporated into the filling, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

This spruced up mixer is part of my daughter's kitchen and the one she uses for all the delicious desserts she makes!

Add eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl. after each addition. Add sour cream and extract (add green food coloring if using), blend in gently yet thoroughly.



Pour 1/2 of the cheesecake mixture into the springform pan. Add chopped Oreos and chocolate sauce, top with remaining cheesecake mixture. Drop the springform pan on the counter a few times to release any trapped air. Drop it (gently) 6-8 times


Place your (foil wrapped) springform pan inside a larger pan. Fill outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake 1 hour plus 10-20 minutes (the top of the cheesecake should appear a bit dry to indicate it has baked through out).
Turn off the heat, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until set. this cooling process helps the cheesecake cool slowly to prevent cracks.


Remove cheesecake from the oven and let cool completely on the counter. Chill in refrigerator until ready to decorate the top with additional chopped Oreos and chocolate syrup.


Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 


You can also sign up for Our Sunday Cafe posts by email, thank you for subscribing!

this post shared with:
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice
full plate thursday @ miz helen's
3

The evolving kitchens in our lives.....

It would be interesting to see a 90 second flip-book of the changes that happen in a kitchen during the lifetime of a family. The book would begin with just the two of you, and flip forward to a new image showing the changes when a family member is added.

The change could be a newborn child or other family member joining the household and thereby creating a new image in the book. These changes might continue for many years with new (or returning) family members joining you at the table. Each time there is a change, there would be a new image created for the book.


Until one day the reverse will begin to happen. Folks will depart for their own households and eventually the book will show a new image of just the two of you. During all these changes one thing remains constant, and that is the need to cook and serve healthy food.

Interestingly, how we do that one thing, is the single most interesting, frustrating and rewarding part of the evolving kitchen.


I have many years experience cooking in an evolving kitchen. Including but not limited to, cooking too much food, and then not cooking enough food, until I have come full circle and once again, I am cooking too much food.

If nothing else an evolving kitchen will teach us new skills!

My flip-book would also have to have a few images for burned food, wasted food, as well as inedible food that no one wanted to eat. It takes some experience to get it right and just about the time you do, the page flips!

Food brings us together as a family. This is true in your own home as well as a restaurant or cafe. If not for the food, then we still need to sit together and eat together, because we are family. Eating together is the one thing we can do to keep the family unit strong. Including just the two of you!


It does not matter that your cooking skills are a bit rusty, or your food budget a bit thin. It does not matter that you don't have a dining room and take all meals at your kitchen table. It does not matter that your dishes might be a bit chipped from many years of use, or that you have mismatched glasses.

It only matters that you take the nutritious food from your kitchen, that you serve up that food to those you love, while you sit together and eat.

That my friends is family, all the rest is but an image in your flip-book.

Note:  All photos are courtesy of PEXELS

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. You can also sign up for Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. 

this post shared with:
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com

3

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Who does not like cake I ask you? This cake I did not make, but I did get to enjoy for dessert and the rhubarb comes from the garden.....my daughter has a good eye for a delicious cake recipe! Now that I am sharing my daughter's kitchen, and we share in the cooking, grand creations like this one, will be hers, as I am focusing on small batch baking for my days on the peninsula.

And I am proud to share them here like I said, this is one delicious cake. While we are much more creative using what we have for our dinners and side dishes, a cake demands more precision and a recipe will usually be followed. When it is as delicious as this cake, expect to see it here.

The name of this cake is a bit tricky, this is a strawberry cake with rhubarb fruit for the Upside Down part, but it is so good. Buttery with brown sugar, good. Tangy rhubarb, good. Fresh strawberry puree in the cake, good. Let's get started, shall we....

Strawberry Cake over Rhubarb, Upside Down Cake.
Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
adapted from: the farm chicks
350-degree oven

Rhubarb Topping
3/4 c butter (1 1/2 cubes)
1 1/2 c light brown sugar (very lightly packed)
3 - 4 c fresh rhubarb cut into 1/2 slices - we used 3 cups, next time we will use 4 cups rhubarb

In medium size sauce pan, combine butter and brown sugar over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar has dissolved. Pour into a 9X13 baking pan.

Scatter the rhubarb over the butter mixture. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

Strawberry Cake
2 heaping cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and blended to yield 1 1/2 strawberry puree
2 1/2 c flour
2 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c butter, melted and cooled
1/2 c milk
2 eggs

Wash and hull berries, quarter and puree. Measure out 1 1/2 c puree, set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add butter, milk and the strawberry puree, beat for one minute at medium speed scraping bowl as needed.

Add eggs, beat on high speed for two minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Gently pour batter over the rhubarb mixture, bake in a pre-heated oven 45-50 minutes or until cake tests done in your oven.

Remove from oven and cool for five minutes. Loosen cake from edges of the pan using a spatula and invert onto a serving tray or platter.


Enjoy!

Who else is guilty of wanting another bite of whipped cream, after their dessert is gone?

Another delcious recipe, from my daughter's kitchen.

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 


You can also sign up for Our Sunday Cafe posts by email, thank you for subscribing!

this post is shared with:
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice
our simple homestead hop @ on the home front
2

Coffee and Beer Braised Pulled Pork, a slow cooker recipe

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Coffee and Beer Braised Pulled Pork, a slow cooker recipe
Coffee and Berr Braised Pulled Pork

Coffee and Beer Braised Pulled Pork
by the seat of my pants
serves 6-8

NOTE:  This pork roast is a two-step recipe, we covered the roast with Penzy's Old World Seasoning and charred the outside (this can be complete a day or two ahead for convenience). When ready to cook, add a bit more seasonings, some coffee and a bottle of beer. Then go and enjoy your day!

1 Pork Shoulder about 6 pounds (bone in) - charred on a BBQ
Penzy's Old World Seasoning
1/2 c strong coffee
1 12 oz bottle beer (we used fat tire)
Garlic powder
Onion power
Salt (lightly, you will adjust after cooking completely)
a sprinkling of Sugar

Place charred roast in your slow cooker dish and refrigerate until ready to cook. When ready to cook, pour the coffee over the roast. Sprinkle with the garlic and onion powders.


Lightly salt and pepper the top and sprinkle with sugar. Pour the beer around the roast (not over the top, you will wash off the seasonings), cover and cook on low until very very tender. Eight hours or so.


Transfer the pan juices to a sauce pan, reduce by about half. Chunk or pull the  pork into serving pieces serve with small cups of juice for dipping.


Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com

4

Banana Muffins, small batch cooking

As I had shared when I posted the Apple Crisp recipe, my biggest challenge is small batch cooking and baking. With this cookbook, I hope to change all that! This book has some great recipes and most appear to be easy to adapt for variety. For instance these banana muffins could become apple spice muffins or pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with a different choice in fruit.


My love of cookbooks is widely known, yet when I have browsed through small batch cooking; cook books, often times I have been disappointed with the quality of the recipes. Frequently a book in this category will call for half of an ingredient (like a beaten egg) leaving a portion of food that ultimately leads to waste. And while I know these authors worked hard on the content, those books stayed on the shelf at the store, instead of coming home with me.

I have been cooking long enough to cut a recipe down mathematically and come up with my own version of a smaller batch. But I also know from experience that while doubling a recipe works very well, cutting one in half, often does not. I was looking for formulated small batch recipes, that cooked or baked up just as well as full sized recipes have always done. You know quality food, not this will do food.  This area of cooking is really a specialty, and after all these years plus my own failed attempts, no one can convince me otherwise.

Banana Muffins.
Banana Muffins

You might be asking why I did not come up with my own versions of small batch recipes, and the short answer is, I did not want to have the food waste that recipe testing can produce. In our small family we already eat leftovers frequently and there is some wasted food. There would be more waste with recipe testing. Plus multiple repeats of the same food.....

It is also widely understood (especially in my own family household) that I hate food waste. I believe food waste to be the number one area any household can save wasted money. Wasted money! Yes, if you are wasting food, you have also wasted the money used to purchase the food.

Once we started growing a garden, I noticed a new awareness developing in me. I began to respect the food we grew in ways that I did not respect the food purchased at the grocery store. And I realized that I had an investment in our garden harvests. We invested land, time and hard work to produce that crop, and now those vegetables had intrinsic value to me. Where as the produce I purchased was simply a product. In that process of growing a garden, I began to define and understand myself better. And that is the long version of why I did not begin recipe testing for small batch cooking.

Banana Muffins, ready to serve.
Banana Muffins, fresh from the oven.

NOTE:  This is a basic, subtle flavored, not too sweet muffin. Perfect to enjoy for breakfast or with soup or salad at lunch. If you like a sweeter muffin, you could increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. This will be a fun (and easy) recipe to adapt for different flavors!

Banana Muffins
adapted from: The Gourmet Toaster Oven
makes 6

2 banana, coarsely mashed
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c oil
1 egg
1/3 c sugar

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking soda

1/2 c chopped walnuts, if desired


Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients to distribute the salt and soda evenly.


Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, fold in, taking care to not over mix.....(unfortunately this is also an area I am trying to improve on).


Divide into prepared muffin cups, bake 350 degrees 20-25 minutes or until done in your oven.

Toaster ovens are excellent for small batch cooking!

Enjoy!

KITCHEN TIP: While I used the standard two bowl method in photographs for this recipe, in real life I would use only one bowl. Starting with the dry ingredients, combine in a large bowl, make a well in the center, add wet ingredients and fold together. Divide into prepared muffin cups, then bake. Easy and the clean up is quicker!

I know that over mixing the batter creates 
"mountain top" muffins, 
this is a hard habit for me to break.....

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

You can also sign up for Our Sunday Cafe posts by email, thank you for subscribing!



this post shared with:
full plate thursday @ miz helen's
cookbook count down #4 @ kitchen flavors
our simple homestead hop @ on the home front
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice


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Apple Crisp, small batch cooking

Once we found the house on the peninsula, closed the deal, got our treasured belongings moved, organized and put away, we then had to begin living apart. We knew this was the plan from the beginning, and we are adjusting to this new way of living life. The reason?

I still have a bit of time to work before qualifying for my retirement.....

I will commute to the peninsula two weekends a month and my dear husband will come to Vancouver on the other weekends. This is the first of those commuting weekends.

One of the tasks I wanted to concentrate on while I am in Vancouver is small batch cooking. I really need some practice in that area. I have large batch cooking almost perfected, but small batch? Not so much. For some of our favorites like Garage Sale Stew, Stovetop Cabbage Rolls, or Mustard Oregano Chicken Thighs the full size version of the recipe is wonderful as these freeze well or make great leftovers.


But honestly there are many things that I don't like as a leftover, plus we do not have a ton of freezer storage space to dedicate to leftovers. We have located an organic beef ranch on the peninsula and our plan is to share a beef during butchering time.

For me this is a perfect goal to set and master.






Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
adapted from:  The Gourmet Toaster Oven
Serves 2 or 4 if serving warm with a bit of ice cream!

2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T sugar

Crisp Topping:
1/4 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T butter
1/4 c rolled oats

Combine apple slices with sugar and cinnamon, place in a 7 inch round baking dish, set aside.


Combine all topping ingredients, until crumbly and butter has been worked through the ingredients into small pieces. Cover apple mixture with the crumbs.

My toaster oven is a convection model, I will have to watch for over browning, when I bake again.

Bake 350 25-30 minutes or until done.

Let cool, then enjoy!

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this post is shared with:
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
cookbook count down #4 @ kitchen flavors
our simple homestead blog hop @ on the home front
full plate thursday @ miz helen's
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice

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